Becoming Poor

Scripture:  2 Corinthians 8:9; Philippians 2


For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich.  (2 Cor 8:9 NIV).

Here is another marvelous definition of “grace.”  It is the movement from riches to poverty; from heavenly splendor to human limitation.  In that process, Jesus gives up “equality with God” to gain “the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness” (Phil 2:7).

How can this be gain?  It can be gain only because it is God in Christ who is bringing about this mysterious change.

This great identifying work of God is not only real but sufficient and I can therefore move as William Sleeper writes in his grand gospel song:

Out of my bondage, sorrow, and night, Into Thy freedom, gladness, and light,

Out of my sickness, into Thy health, Out of my want and into Thy wealth,

Out of my sin and into Thyself, Out of my shameful failure and loss,

Into the glorious gain of Thy cross, Jesus, I come; Jesus, I come to Thee.

Byron Carmony puts it this way:

His were the planets and stars in the sky; His were the valleys and mountains so high;

His, all earth’s riches from pole unto pole; But He became poor to ransom my soul.

Through the incarnate Jesus’ self-emptying sacrifice on the cross, I can receive the grace needed to be transformed.  As I allow Jesus to remold me, I can allow him to absorb the “bondage, sorrow, and night” and replace it with His “freedom, gladness, and light.”  This is indeed the work of Christ on the Cross!

(2 Cor 9:15 NIV)  Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!

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New Beautiful Cushions

Joyce has been making beautiful cushions.  Here are the latest from her “production line.”  Some are for our couch and some are for grandson, Kai, who just turned four years old.  Can you guess which is which?

The monster pillow also stores pajamas.


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God’s Call to Rest for Today

Moses at rockOur church has recently presented a series of messages on the 3:16 verses from various books of Scripture on Sunday evenings.  My contribution comes from Hebrews 3:16.  I am attaching links to a written version and an audio version.


Text version:    HEBREWS 3 04 24 2016 WFMC

Audio version:


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God in a Box


Looking out the window at a cold Lake Erie and reading some of Richard Rohr’s Everything Belongs.  Watching the birds fly by.  Some with the wind and others against it.


Think on that and smile.



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Joyce recently present a Wednesday evening “talk” on the Prophet Jeremiah and his contribution to our faith.  Here it is . . .

Jeremiah Talk August 2015





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Recent travels to the North East

We took lots of pictures but this is just a very small sampling of the sights.


Jordon Pond in Acadia National Park, Maine


Portland Head Light, Maine


Pictou Wharf, Pictou, Nova Scotia


Maine Coast


View from Cadillac Mountain, Acadia National Park, Maine

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Pictures from Florida

It was our privilege to spend the month of March in Florida — lots of sunshine, plenty of water, and fun things to see and do.  Here are some pictures of our time in Bradenton.



Vultures at Myakka State Park


Alligator lounging in the water


Herons, maybe


Ringling mansion


An interesting door; maybe there are secrets inside


a hungry pelican


a crab under glass


Holmes Beach


Flamingos; are they naturally pink?


Koi — are they just big goldfish?


fenced-in alligators –safer for us that way


I think you can see Mexico from here or is it Texas, smile . . .


Sunshine Skyway Bridge


a stork behind our Florida house


a flock of ducks with orange beaks

IMG_1037 IMG_1164 IMG_1244 0326151542

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Today our Wrestling with Truth class addressed, in part, Paul’s comments in I Timothy 3:14-16 which read:

“Although I hope to come to you soon, I am writing you these instructions so that, if I am delayed, you will know how people ought to conduct themselves in God’s household, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth. Beyond all question, the mystery [truth] from which true godliness springs is great:

He appeared in the flesh,
was vindicated by the Spirit,
was seen by angels,
was preached among the nations,
was believed on in the world,
was taken up in glory.” (NIV)

Some scholars believe that verse 16 is an early hymn which emphasizes six theological principles about God and godliness particularly as expressed in Christ. These are truths about the character and nature of Jesus Christ.

INCARNATION–                              He appeared in the flesh,
and VICTORY OVER DEATH–      was vindicated by the Spirit
ANNOUNCED and HELPED–       was seen by angels,
PROCLAMATION–                         was preached among the nations,
BELIEVED and ACCEPTED–        was believed on in the world,
ASCENSION and GLORIFIED–    was taken up in glory.

Let us rejoice as we consider who Jesus is!


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Children at Easter

Jesus_and_ChildfenIn 1858 Karolina W. Sandell-Berg wrote the beautiful Swedish hymn, Children of the Heavenly Father. In 1925, it was translated from Swedish into English by Ernst W. Olson.

I had not thought of this as an Easter week hymn but we sang it last night at our Good Friday service and I found it most encouraging. May it also bless you.

Children of the heav’nly Father
Safely in His bosom gather;
Nestling bird nor star in Heaven
Such a refuge e’er was given.

God His own doth tend and nourish;
In His holy courts they flourish;
From all evil things He spares them;
In His mighty arms He bears them.

Neither life nor death shall ever
From the Lord His children sever;
Unto them His grace He showeth,
And their sorrows all He knoweth.

Though He giveth or He taketh,
God His children ne’er forsaketh;
His the loving purpose solely
To preserve them pure and holy.

Lo, their very hairs He numbers,lily
And no daily care encumbers
Them that share His ev’ry blessing
And His help in woes distressing.

Praise the Lord in joyful numbers:
Your Protector never slumbers.
At the will of your Defender
Ev’ry foeman must surrender.

To hear it sung, click on


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11 Things to Learn from 2 Thessalonians 1

IMG_89321. The “jewels” of the Church are faith and love and perseverance.

2. We ought (are bound) always to thank God for
faith that is growing more and more and for
love for one another that is increasing.

3. We ought to boast about God’s work in aiding perseverance, patience, endurance, and faith in the midst of all the persecutions and trials.
As Jeremiah 9:23-24 (NIV) says:
This is what the Lord says:
“Let not the wise boast of their wisdom
or the strong boast of their strength
or the rich boast of their riches,
but let the one who boasts boast about this:
that they have the understanding to know me,
that I am the Lord, who exercises kindness,

4. God’s justice is right and moral.

5. God will give relief and comfort.

6. The Lord Jesus will be revealed in his glory.

7. Those who reject Christ will be excluded from his glory.

8. God’s people are a testimony of his grace and peace.

IMG_89419. We need to pray that God will make us worthy of his calling.

10. We need to pray that God’s power will bring to fruition our every desire for goodness and our every deed prompted by faith.

11. God’s glory (doxa, doxology) as expressed through our lives is like a floodlight that shines on a house but does not bring attention to itself, only to the object of the light. Jesus is the image of God’s glory. As Hebrews tells us:
“The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word.” (Hebrews 1:4)


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