Around The Corner
September 2, 2021
TURN, TURN, TURN
WRITTEN BY PASTOR LUKE BENJAMIN
Another summer has come and gone. The first leaves begin to change colours, students are making their way back to school, and the people (myself included) who complain about the heat of the summer will start to moan about the crispness of the air. The change of a season is usually accompanied by a change in activities. Summers spent at the cottage turn into Falls at home, Falls spent deer hunting and apple picking turn into winters spent ice fishing and staring out the window at the snow that needs to be shovelled. Every season leaves something behind and brings with it something new. This is very similar to our lives. We have no trouble breaking our lives up into different seasons. Some are good and some not so good. Each season brings a change to our lives. The Bible teaches on the seasons of our life in Ecclesiastes chapter 3: 1-8:
There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing, a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away, a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak, a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace.
This section of scripture makes good use of the concept of contrast. It makes sure that we know that there is a time for both the positive and the negative in our lives. Everything has a season. You may not be in a season that you are particularly enjoying right now but we can rejoice even in the hardships we face because we know that our God is in control. Ecclesiastes 3:11 starts by saying that “He has made everything beautiful in its time.” The seasons we go through are not wasted. God can take them and make them beautiful. I hope that this wonderful truth is a helpful reminder for you in the season you are in today. To close today’s Around The Corner, I want to leave you with a few promises to help you in your hard seasons:
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. (James 1:2-4)
You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. (Genesis 50:20)
And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. (1 Peter 5:10)
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)
SUNDAY SEPTEMBER 5: This week, Pastor Luke teaches on The Fear of the Lord. “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction." (Proverbs 1:7)
Join us at The Corner at 10:30 A.M. This weeks service will be outside.
August 5, 2021
WHAT DRIVES YOU?
WRITTEN BY PASTOR LUKE BENJAMIN
If you have run into Alicia and I over the past few weeks, you may have thought that we bought a new vehicle. When we first arrived here, we were driving a silver Ford. Now we have been spotted driving both a white Hyundai and a blue Mazda. Unfortunately, neither vehicle is ours. Thankfully, I have generous parents who are willing to help us when we face unexpected car trouble. The problems started on one of the trips that Alicia and I took to finish taking care of our apartment. As we were about to leave Peterborough, the check engine light came on and we heard a funny sound coming from the front passenger side wheel. Fortunately, I have a mechanic, my father, on speed dial. Quicker than CAA, he arrived to check it out. He couldn’t immediately find the problem but suggested that we swap cars with him so that he could check it out more thoroughly. We gratefully took him up on the offer. Later he informed us that noise only got worse as he drove it back to his house. It probably wouldn’t have made the trip back. So, while he repairs the issue we have been using Mom & Dad Rental Services™. At the moment there is no new vehicle on the horizon but we are thankful to God and my parents for the temporary vehicle solutions.
Telling this story has me thinking a lot about driving and driving has led me to thinking about the things that drive us as people: our motivations. I am very aware that this is a silly connection, but this is how my brain works. Proverbs 16:1-9 (NIV) has a lot to say about those things that drive us, our hearts motivations.
1To humans belong the plans of the heart, but from the Lord comes the proper answer of the tongue. 2 All a person’s ways seem pure to them, but motives are weighed by the Lord.3 Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans. 4 The Lord works out everything to its proper end—even the wicked for a day of disaster. 5 The Lord detests all the proud of heart. Be sure of this: They will not go unpunished. 6 Through love and faithfulness sin is atoned for; through the fear of the Lord evil is avoided. 7 When the Lord takes pleasure in anyone’s way, he causes their enemies to make peace with them. 8 Better a little with righteousness than much gain with injustice. 9 In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps.
Verses 2 and 3 have my attention this week. “2 All a person’s ways seem pure to them, but motives are weighed by the Lord.3 Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans.” God knows our innermost thoughts, ways and desires. He knows the reason we do what we do. On the outside our actions may seem pure but God is more than aware when our motives are selfish. We can be thankful that this passage wasn’t just written to convict us, it also provides direction. It tells us to commit our plans to the Lord. When our plans start with him and not with us, our motivations are on the right track. We need to be aware of the plans we make. What we want in life is something that appears to be good. What God wants for our life, he knows is good. So what is driving you right now? Is it my way or the highway? Or, is God in the driver's seat?