Chocolate and Lent

Therefore prepare your minds for action; discipline yourselves; set all your hope on the grace that Jesus Christ will bring you when he is revealed. – 1 Peter 1:13 NRSV Sandra Jacobson was Messiah's church secretary when Kathy and I first came to Vancouver. She was one of God’s gifts to this congregation and to Kathy and me as she taught all of us many important lessons before she retired. She once advised me—probably on a day when she knew I was in trouble with Kathy—that chocolate was a nutritional requirement that all women have, and when filled makes women happier, healthier, and forgiving. She taught me a lot. Although she had a great personal affection for chocolate, one of Sandy’s annual tradition was to stop eating it during Lent. Her motive wasn’t to be less happy or healthful during this 40-day season. Instead, it was an exercise in self-restraint...
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I Come with Joy

Here for Good! Why do I worship each Sunday, lead hymns and songs from the piano and organ, lead choirs, instruments and handbells? Because I see God's love poured out through people day after day. Their hearts render love to others, gifts beyond expectation. In the music ministry areas alone, I could list example after example of love shining brightly as people come together to worship and help one another. Christ in you, the hope of glory (Colossians 1:27b). We sing (or play instruments) because it boils within us and cannot but help to explode forth in glorious praise of our Father, Creator, Savior, Comforter, Provider, Friend. We cannot hold it back. The joy bubbles over and over. When we are happy, when we are sad, when times are pleasant, when things are tough, a song is always in our heart... a song of reverential gratefulness for all that God has...
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