Party On The Way! Party As the Way!


Paradoxically, humility is one of the great virtues for the Christian, who wishes to follow Jesus! Jesus deigned to become incarnate. He stepped into the teaming mess of humanity coming not to be served but to serve and pour out himself to ransom humanity. The Master took the towel and then the rough wooden cross. If I do not prize humility, my claim to follow His way is a pretense.

In Luke 14 Jesus offers two ways of attaining humility.

The first is through humiliation. The proud guest claims a place at the party that is reserved for another. Humiliated, he is escorted to the available seat which is in the lowest place. I imagine all eyes taking in this humiliating event. It is a walk of shame. He thought more highly of himself than he ought and is publicly brought low. Now though comes his life altering choice: does he become angry and bitter at this oh so public shaming? Or does he take the choice  of humility and allow grace to flow?

The second is through the deliberate choice of association with the humble. Jesus says not to invite the important and family and friends to the party but instead to invite the humble poor. I don’t think he is saying that we should not celebrate with family and friends. He seems to suggest that everyone does that. It is not a distinctive mark of the Christian disciple. The true mark is to associate with those the ‘world’ does not esteem, those whose friendship will not advance our worldly agenda.

Years ago, I would read this passage and relate more to the way of the person who sat above his station. I read with discomfort. But now I read it from the obscurity of our little Street Hope ministry, and I find comfort. I have come to enjoy the friendship of many who will not help advance my agenda. We often party and celebrate together, often at our Street Hope venues but frequently at my home.

This passage calls us to re-examine our ‘relational’ lives. Not to stop associating with friends and family but to purposely choose to include the humble poor in our circles. Jesus eschewed turning stones to bread. Charitable donations and hand-outs to panhandlers are good but are no substitute for personal relationship. Following after Him means humble service and friendship to those who have little to offer in return.

The bonus is that just as Jesus humility is rewarded with “the Name above all names…” so we are promised that such obedience is not without heavenly reward. Let’s store some of this up for ourselves by our deliberate choice of humility.

Last week we had a wonderful trip to St. Martins on our Roamin’ Holiday. We visited the caves and feasted on the World Famous Chowder. We visited Inthestillness where we were reminded of the importance of Sabbath. We took some pictures, and each will be given some. Many do not have photos, and these become prized possessions.

Our Pool Party and Barbecue was postponed due to stormy weather. We are looking forward to going on this adventure next Thursday instead. I’ll let you know how that goes.

I have not been well the last several weeks and have fallen behind on the necessary work on our new project. We are looking to create a Christian Community for those who have recovered from addiction. Threshold House needs refurbishment and renovation to house this. Much work needs to be done in the next few weeks and it all seems daunting right now. Please keep this project in your prayers.

Brief Update

We postponed our last Roamin’ Holiday because I have come down with “The Mother of  All Colds!” After a week of sleepless hacking I went to the hospital where (thankfully?) I learned that it was ‘just a virus’.

I am not going to make it to the Drop In tonight but Linda, with whom I generously shared this malady, has  plans to carry on with the help of at least one of our volunteers.

For a bit of comic relief, (the Three Stooges’ variety) as my son-in-law Mike was helping me carry an old couch out to the road for pick up, I dropped my end on my toe. The toe is now swollen and most painful.

I am drinking lots of water and pitifully limping around our home but I am not writing a further blog today.

Please keep us and our Roamin’ Holiday in prayer and if anyone drops by with chicken soup you would be very welcome.

Roamin’ Holiday Part 1

deer island 1

They say a picture is worth a thousand words so this is likely my longest post ever! We had our first ‘Roamin’ Holiday’ this week, to a park on Deer Island the home of the “Old Sow” a natural whirlpool in the Bay of Fundy. We cobbled together enough cars and drivers that we all were able to go, 20 of us in total.

We dined on pulled pork sandwiches and explored the unique beauties of this locale. We had a Word From Our Sponsor reminding us of Romans 1:20 (which is our theme verse for these trips) reminding ourselves of the universal witness to God’s nature and power. We then considered Jude 24 & 25 reminding ourselves of the person interest God takes in each of us as individuals. The God who created all this, loves me!

We enjoyed another beautiful ferry ride and all arrived home safe and satisfied/

deer island 5

We enjoyed our open air dinning

deer island 4

deer island 3

We explored the park.

deer island 6

Enjoyed the ferry ride home. All 5 cars in the convoy made it on the same ferry in both directions. It was a marvelous day and we are looking forward to part 2 on Monday.

Please keep us in prayer.

Gone Fishing ?


Sometimes I think I would really enjoy fishing, especially fishing as depicted above. I picture a warm summer day. I sit under the shade of a weeping willow as I listen to birds singing and the babble of the nearby brook as I dangle my line and occasionally my toes on the cool waters. I read my book and pause occasionally to just enjoy the peace around me, and to let that peace sink into my inmost being. I unconsciously exult in the God who created all this and bask in his goodness. Fishing would not be a task but an excuse for experiencing and savouring all this. The last thing I would really want is a strike on my line. Such would interrupt my idyll peace!

This would be both an unproductive and a productive exercise, but it would be entirely self-focussed. This is not the picture that would have ‘sprung to mind’ for the first disciples when they thought about fishing. Their vision would involve callouses and sore muscles. It would conjure up images of big seas and a little boat; of swelling waves and mending nets, of hauling and casting, of life and death. To these folks fishing was not an idle pastime it was a vocation. It was a task, and much depended on productivity. Rather than being self-focussed the exercise was fish focussed. It was about launching into the deep, beyond a comfort zone. It was about boldly facing stormy seas. It was work! It was work that required the best of those who plied the trade.


When Jesus called these 1st Century fishermen to ‘fish for men and women and boys and girls’ they understood it as a call to challenging, indeed daunting, labour. With no illusions about what fishing meant, they followed Jesus.

Too many of us, who claim to follow Jesus in the 21st Century,  hold  more closely to my version of fishing. We do not labour in prayer or witness as our vocation would call for. We have traded in the utilitarian fishing boat for a cruise ship, centering life on contemplation and worship. We have neglected the task of evangelism and as we have sought self-satisfaction people are dying without having heard the Good News.

Such biblical fishing calls us to action rather than inaction. It calls us to deeper waters away from couch and willow shaded shore into the hurly burly of life, where we engage with a frightening world. As people in a little boat on a great big sea we rely on the power of God to quell the storms within and without. Like the fishermen of old we must realise that such fishing is not a solo sport but a labour in fellowship with others.

Years ago, the Church was described as the only organization that exists for those who are not yet members. It seems to me that it is high time to make ‘fish’ the focus as we endeavour to follow Jesus as his fisher folk.