How is your quiet time going this week? I spent some great time “on the steps of my soul” early this morning with my Maker … I wrote about this concept in an earlier posting here. In the midst of a busy week packing for our move this coming Friday, it is good to pause to hear from God …
Here is the third and final installment from my “quiet timer” friend, Brad Kurtz. You can read the first and second installments here and here. He uses excerpts from Jean Fleming’s book: Feeding Your Soul – A Quiet Time Handbook.
The world desperately needs to see Christ in you!
But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of him. (2 Corinthians 2:14) Through us spreads His fragrance, His essence, all I can say is WOW!
Jean Fleming in her book “Feeding Your Soul” explains it this way:
We live in a needy world-a world that needs to know Christ. God has called us to be the light and the salt to that world. He wants to bless us that we might be a blessing to others. Quiet time is not an isolated act of devotion estranged from the rest of life. It is an affirmation that we desire to express our devotion to Christ all day long in every endeavour and all our dealings with people.
The world doesn’t change but I know every morning when I‘m intentional with Him my attitude changes a little. As Jean said, he wants to bless us that we might be a blessing to others. And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit. (2 Corinthians 3:18) Moses’ face shone after spending time in His presence, he came away reflecting God’s glory. Are we so different?
Ever had one of those days where everything seems to go wrong. If today was that day let me ask you this; did you meet with your maker this morning?
How is your quiet time going this week?
There are three basic reasons for forming a lifetime of meetings with God:
· God desires to meet with you.
· You need it.
· The world desperately needs to see Christ in you.
You need it.
Our God is a relational God. He created us for friendship with Him. All that we are finds it fullest expression and satisfaction in relationship with Him. There will always be something missing in our friendships, career, and leisure activities that only God can satisfy.
Jesus said that He could fulfill desires in us that nothing else can fulfill. Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” (John 4:13-14) Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty.” (John 6:35) That’s because we’re not just physical beings, we’re spiritual beings also. Only God can fulfill our spiritual hunger and thirst completely. And while we may be content without our daily quiet time, it is only by intentionally growing closer to God that we can have true joy, fulfillment and peace.
Remember: You have a purpose. God has plans for you. But you will never know the fullness of your destiny until you cooperate with His design. Daily quiet time will help you to focus and align yourself with Him. God wants you to be all that you were created to be. In His presence only, will you find your true direction.
This last Sunday found me in Oshawa playing at the Calvary Baptist Church for their “Fire Up the Grille” Father’s Day event. What an awesome day for guys and car enthusiasts. Canadian Stock Car race car driver, Gary Elliott, gave a Father’s Day talk and shared his life story of over 40 years of racing. The church parking lot and lobby was packed with classic cars and trucks, sports cars, hot rods and bikes. Mix that with some excellent beef on a bun and foot long hot dogs and you’ve got a day for men made in heaven! I had a great time joining the church (all male) worship team for the morning’s two services. I also played two solo numbers – “In Christ Alone” and “Iyale” (a song in memory of my dad, Dr. Kenneth Dick) and shared my story. Here are some pics of the day (courtesy of photographer: Scott Martin).
With Canadian Stock Car racer Gary Elliott
The Calvary Baptist Church grounds filled with classic cars and trucks
Ok … I grew up wanting one of these …
This one’s not bad either …
As I drove home from Oshawa (fighting a rainstorm on the 401), I reflected on a vivid childhood memory: how I used to give my yearly hand crafted Seaview Elementary School Father’s Day presents to my oldest brother David. He always accepted them graciously with a grin and a pat on my back. In many ways my oldest brother was like a dad to us younger brothers … we still look up to him as the leader he is.
Later on Sunday at home in Guelph with my family, we celebrated Fathers Day with Le-Anne’s dad, a bucket of KFC, and an excited puppy! I love being a dad to my three boys. I try to carve out time with them each week. I wrote about this not too long ago … the boys call it “Daddy Day”. I think losing my own father as a child has caused me to want to be the dad I missed having.
My favorite picture of my dad, Dr. Kenneth Dick, and I. Although I really miss him, I know that one day I will see him in heaven …
I like new experiences, I love different cultures … I especially enjoy interesting ethnic foods! All these things came together in a very cool culturally rich weekend. Corey Lacey (guitarist) and I were asked by Compassion Canada to provide the music for the wedding and traditional Chinese banquet of a young couple: Teresa and Caspian who were married on Saturday. Caspian and Teresa chose to donate the money they would have spent on guest “favors” to the amazing work of Compassion. They also encouraged the guests to sponsor a child as their wedding gift. I have played at many, many weddings (too many to count!) and this was a first for me of the Asian variety! This was also the first Compassion wedding. We had a great time. Here are some pics …
The wedding couple: Caspian and Teresa
Corey and I providing music at the reception hall …
The 10 course (yes TEN!) traditional Chinese wedding menu …
Yes … you read it right … roasted sucking pig with jelly fish on the side – like nothing I have tasted before …
Shark’s fin soup … a real delicacy … and did I hear endangered?
Greg from Compassion getting ready to eat a roasted chicken head … NOT!
“Seeing eye to eye” with the eye ball of a steamed Chinese fish (I DID eat this – tasted a bit like liver)
The next morning I had the honor of playing and speaking at the Scarborough Chinese Baptist Church with pastor Peter Quek in their beautiful new award winning Sanctuary and Community Center. It was another great morning of ministry. I continue to be amazed at how my instrumental music crosses so many language and cultural barriers …
Ok … I must admit, I love my morning coffee! It is a really nice part of my morning routine …
… but in one of my first blog posts, The Steps of My Soul, I briefly wrote about something much more important to me … my morning “Quiet Time” with God … where I open my bible and “let Him read His words to [me]” – a time to be be still, quiet, listen … and as a pastor friend used to tell me, “breath deep the breath of God!”
Another “quiet timer” friend, Brad Kurtz, chair of my music ministry board (Flyingbow) and leader of the men’s ministry at my home church of Lakeside, regularly sends out emails to keep the idea of Quiet Time front and center in our busy lives. Here he uses excerpts from Jean Fleming’s book: Feeding Your Soul – A Quiet Time Handbook.
There are three basic reasons for forming a lifetime of meetings with God:
· God desires to meet with you.
· You need it.
· The world desperately needs to see Christ in you.
God desires to meet with you. As incredible as that may sound the full weight of His book supports the idea that He wants to meet with you.
We know that God is great. He is all knowing, all powerful, in control, all loving, infinite, and holy. We sometimes forget that He has emotions like ours: God loves (John 3:16), is deeply moved and troubled (John 11:33), and weeps (John 11:35) just to name a few. The emotions we feel help us to identify with the scope of God’s emotions. Remember that God longs for a deep relationship with you (Matthew 23:37).
Why a quiet time? Because God desires to meet with you. Understanding this, shifts the focus to God and it no longer revolves around you. Not “What do I get out of it?” but “How has our relationship been enriched?” You meet with God Almighty because He requests the pleasure of your company. Your God, the creator of the universe, wants you to know Him and to love Him. I’m thinking that’s reason enough but there’s more.
As you devote this time to God you allow Him to tell you things He is yearning to tell you. You may forget from time to time how much He loves you; in your quiet time He’ll tell you again and again. The God of all that is longs to show Himself to you, to open His heart and mind to you. He wants to bring you into His inner circle, into the boardroom where company strategies are disclosed and directions are formed. Jesus said, “I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead I call you friends, for everything I learned from my Father I have made known to you” (John 15:15).
Yes, God communicates to us all the time not just during quiet time. But the hectic schedule of life can blur your focus and it is easy to miss His overtures, His whispers. Sometimes you just forget to look up. Quiet time is His idea to help you to refocus. A date for just the two of you. How cool is that!
Next week, “You need it”.
Let’s take the time each week to spend in quiet meditation with the King of the Universe who wants to be our Intimate Friend. This takes an act of our will (discipline) to make it happen! Until next time … TD
Last night we had the opportunity to show Kyle, Aaron and Liam our new house. They were very excited to explore every “nook and cranny” … have already claimed their new rooms. We also took some measurements of the yard for a basement entrance we plan to design for my new music studio. This home in the west end of Guelph is truly a provision of God for us. We are very thankful. We take posession on June 27. Time to start packing a few boxes!
Our new house in the west end of Guelph
Well … it has been a few days since I last wrote … oh well: real life is more important than a blog of random thoughts in cyberspace!
My 3 boys: Kyle, Aaron and Liam fondly call some time with me, “daddy day”. Normally this special day falls on a Monday evening … but this weekend, I had the privilege of having a full weekend with “my three sons”. Le-Anne was away at a women’s retreat at MBC with 60 others from my home church of Lakeside … and wow, did the boys and I (while missing Le-Anne) ever have a great time!
Friday evening started with an early supper after which we rushed off to Kyle and Aaron’s baseball games with Liam in tow (a new sport the boys thought they would like to try this year). I dropped off Kyle and drinks for the team at one end of town for a double header set of games and then took back roads to “the Italian Ward” district of Guelph for Aaron’s game. I must admit, I really love the atmosphere of a baseball game. The parents seem to be more relaxed and less competitive … it was a warm summer like evening … life felt good. I tossed a ball around with Liam in between innings. A highlight for me was watching Aaron play “bat-catcher” for the first time all rigged up like a knight in armor. At his level (age 8), they use a pitching machine, and wow – the ball shoots out of that thing at quite a speed! Aaron at one point got pegged with the ball off the face mask which pretty much knocked him off his feet … later he said ” it was really freaky dad” with a big toothy grin … “I can’t wait to do it again!” After Aaron’s game, we rushed back to catch Kyle’s 2nd game in which he hit his first double of the season. We got home at 10:30 p.m. … far too late for poor 5 year old Liam … but good and ready for a good night’s sleep!
Saturday morning started with a sleep in and then a pancake breakfast (Grandma Dick’s recipe) as we talked about what each boy wanted to do for the weekend. Cycling (plan A) was put off for another weekend due to some baseball “injuries” Kyle had sustained from a stray bat or ball … so we decided to go with Liam’s first choice of making swords and guns with a jig saw and scrap pieces of wood. It’s really amazing how little it takes to entertain 3 (ok 4!) boys … especially when you add some power tools into the equation. Soon Kyle (black spray paint in hand) began detailing the new “weapons” …
Later in the afternoon, our neighbour Tom and his family joined us for a quick outdoor excursion to a beautiful spot on the Speed River which runs through Guelph. While Tom and I fished for pike (or anything moving!), the kids swam and rode small logs down a small section of rapids they had scrounged from the river’s edge. Tom found a couple of large snails upstream which thrilled our “nature boy” Aaron who took one home and put it in his Turtle tank … “they eat algae, you know dad”, he said to me. Later on that evening as we reminisced about the great day, I asked the boys if they would like to join me the next morning for a booking in Owen Sound at Calvary Evangelical Missionary Church. Our original plan was for the boys to remain in Guelph but I thought I’d bounce the idea of going to Sauble Beach together after the morning church service. They were excited about the change of plans …
Early the next morning (6:10 a.m. to be exact) I got the boys up, we gulped down some breakfast and quickly packed my music gear and our beach stuff. We were off by 7 a.m. armed with the portable DVD player and “National Treasure II – Book of Secrets” (a great family movie!) The boys were as good as gold as we traveled the 2 hours up to Owen Sound. A beautiful drive … I was admiring the infinite shades of green of the spring trees and farm fields in clear early morning sunlight … heart overflowing with praise to the Master Artist who created such beauty for us to enjoy. The service went really well. I was the guest music artist and speaker for the Compassion Canada event. I really felt the Spirit of God in that place in a profound way – orchestrating every detail of the service. Pastor Mary Turner leads a wonderful, warm, caring congregation. Between 15 and 20 children were sponsored from an audience of 150 so this was an excellent response. We quickly packed up after the service with the help of my young “road crew”, went out for lunch with Jessica and Jeremy from Compassion Canada and then were on our way to Sauble Beach to soak in the rays.
At the beach we set up where a little stream winds its way to the lake’s edge. We spent lots of time damming the stream, diverting it, building a bridge over it … having a mud fight in it … you name it! As Liam and Aaron kept playing, Kyle and I had some one on one time throwing a nerf football and swimming in the freezing Lake Huron waters. As we dove under the icy water we both remarked at how we were both getting “brain freeze”, the same sensation you get when you eat ice cream too fast! As we made our way back to shore, I realized we were the only ones swimming … go figure … tricked by my 12 year old son again! … oh well – if I had poor circulation in my outer extremities, I don’t now! … Another huge highlight was “burying” Liam and Aaron with a shovel side by side in the sand with just their heads poking out … and even more hilarious to watch them as they later struggled to pull themselves out from under the sand’s heavy weight …
On the drive back to Guelph, we had the idea of playing a practical joke on my wife, Le-Anne. Minutes from home, I phoned her on our cell and told her the van was acting strange … perhaps the transmission … and we were stranded in Mount Forest. She fell for it, hook line and sinker … proceeded to tell me that she had noticed the same symptoms earlier that week that I was describing … As we were discussing our options, CAA, a hotel, or picking us up with a neighbours vehicle (we are a one car family), to Le-Anne’s squeal of surprise Kyle rang our house doorbell! The boys and I (and Le-Anne) had a huge laugh about the whole thing … a fun end to a great “daddy weekend”! Hugs and kisses all around … It SURE was good to be all together again as a family.
Liam, Aaron and Kyle trying to dam another stream last summer just outside of St. John’s, Newfoundland while on an East Coast Tour/Vacation
With “my three sons” at Peggy’s Cove, Nova Scotia on another beautiful sunny day at the beach
Well it’s official … our house has sold – the inspection last week was fine (except for some servicing we need to do on the furnace) and the final deal complete. The new home owners are a young couple from Calgary who have an 18 month old boy. This will be a great place for them. Our closing date is June 27th. Oh, by the way, Le-Anne and I put an offer in on a new house Saturday evening in the Guelph west end (conditional upon inspection this Thursday). It looks just perfect for us and with the same closing … more on the new house later (many God signs). He has provided!
Sold in 5 days! A big thanks to Bill and Rob Green from Royal Lepage Royal City Reality.