Happy Canada Day 2020 (more or less!)

July 1st is one of my favourite holidays.  It’s CANADA Day!  Of all the privileges we get to celebrate as Canadians, being a FREE people is surely one of our greatest. Just read the opening paragraph of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

“Whereas Canada is founded upon principles that recognize the supremacy of God and the rule of law:  The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees the rights and freedoms set out in it subject only to such reasonable limits prescribed by law as can be justified in a free and democratic society.  Everyone has the following fundamental freedoms: (a) freedom of conscience and religion; (b) freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of communication; (c) freedom of peaceful assembly; and (d) freedom of association.”

Subject only to such reasonable limits prescribed by law, you are free to live by the standards of your own conscience. You are free to practise your religion (or not, as many do).  You are free to think, believe and express your own values. You are free to peaceful assembly and free to associate with whomever you want. 

Here’s how I think you can celebrate your freedoms in the best possible way:   

A lot less
ragging on Canada. Stop poking this great country in the eye.  Go ahead and make it better but have some respect for the freedoms that are granted here.

A lot more love for our neighbour.  This country is your country and it’s my country.  It’s ours

Let’s respect each other.  We share the same streets, neighbourhoods, cities, villages, provinces and nation, so let’s show the world how to get along in sharing the same planet.   

A lot less division.  True love for one’s neighbour doesn’t label others by any standard other than the respect and value owed to every human being.  

A lot more unity.  The Charter is helpful in keeping unity because it establishes the common law and values we agree to impose on ourselves. 

A lot less gawking at the USA.  When someone you love and on whom you depend is going through a rough season, it’s unnatural and unholy to stab them in the back.  “Love covers a multitude of transgressions.”  It’s horribly distasteful when one nation postures itself as morally superior to another. 

A lot more hard work in cleaning up our own back yard.  One of the surest signs that you are in denial is to talk endlessly about someone else’s problems.  It’s called “deflecting” and it’s not healthy.  I vote for working hard at cleaning up our own messes. 

A lot less bullying and manipulation.  The right and freedom of conscience, belief, opinion and expression is a cornerstone tenet of the Charter.  You aren’t free if you are afraid to express another side of an argument that doesn’t follow mainstream chatter.  Nor are you free if you are labelled a “hater” because you raise an opposing view.  I would never have believed that Canada would become a land of bullying and manipulation to this degree.  From mayors to ministers we bully through silence, shouting or sarcasm.   

A lot more humility.  The Bible says that “pride goes before destruction” for a reason.  I think it’s commendable to realize how blessed you are to live in this great nation, but I think it’s more endearing to be humble about your blessings. 

A lot more praying, hoping and trusting in God to keep our land.  Without a doubt, the best gift Canada bestowed upon me was access to the knowledge of God upon which our country is founded (according to the Charter).  For many years now I have stood with my church on Canada Day weekend to sing the national anthem.  We are unique (even rare according to Wikipedia) in that when we sing, we include the third stanza which reads: 

Ruler supreme, who hearest humble prayer,
Hold our Dominion within thy loving care;
Help us to find, O God, in thee
A lasting, rich reward,
As waiting for the better Day,
We ever stand on guard.

So, on this great day of celebrating our freedom, say a prayer or two that our Lord, Ruler Supreme, would hold our Dominion in His loving care!

Just two things to remember before I go church family:   

No promise of freedom is complete without the one that Jesus offered His message of hope!  “So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed” (John 8:36).  Unless and until you are set free from the bondage of your sin, you are never really free.  He is the true liberator of the souls of mankind.  ALL mankind, from every “tribe and tongue and nation.”

Happy FREEDOM Day church family,
Pastor Deric

RESET 2020

One of my kids sent me a text the other day that said that 2020 was like looking both ways before crossing the street and then getting hit by an airplane.  I laughed of course but couldn’t help analyzing the hidden truth from a pastoral perspective.  I’m always on the lookout for a good blog that might help my church family better process what they are experiencing in this world.  Here’s what I think. 
Everybody needs a RESET from time to time, especially after a crisis.  The brain and the body need to refocus on “life as it was meant to be” not as it has been during the last 4 months and continues to be, i.e. intimidating, confusing, violent, divided, etc. We all know how to “reset” our computers, modems, or electronic devices.  You know what I’m talking about.  You call your internet provider and wait for an hour to talk to a technician, after which they walk you through several stages of troubleshooting, only to tell you in the end to “reset” your device.  And BOOM, it works just fine again.  All it needed was a reset. 
Your head and your heart are like that electronic device.  They need a reset on a regular basis. You really do need a vacation on a regular basis, if only to reset your soul.  I think that’s what a good night’s rest is supposed to do.  It’s a reset for your body and soul.  The soul is not meant to sustain high levels of stress and anxiety without regular intervals of resting, refreshing, and resetting.  We are meant to live in CALM with our “fight or flight” mode only activating infrequently as a matter of self-preservation.  Continual assault on the mind with heightened emotion is a sure path to a stressed-out soul.  I don’t need to tell you the outcomes of maintaining high levels of stress on both the body and the mind. 
We’ve been in a hypervigilant mode for 15 weeks now and we need to reset our minds on the matters of faith that give purpose and peace to our daily lives.  Staring at a screen for too long will catch your brain in a feedback loop.  Even the most noble cause can become an obsession if you don’t stop and refocus your mind on the “things that are above” (Colossians 3:1).  
I’m not sure I’ve told you yet but RESET 2020 is my new summer sermon series.  Here are some of the topics I hope to study with you on Sunday mornings, either in person at the church or online in your home. 
  1. Advancing the Gates of Hell
  2. Facing Your Fears
  3. The Last Days  
  4. Clarity in Confusion
  5. Unity in Community
  6. The Second Coming
  7. Justice for All  
  8. Love Your Neighbor
  9. Faith and Politics
  10. The Pathology of Wealth and Materialism


The one message that I hope I don’t get to preach is number 6!  And I’m not kidding.  “Even so come Lord Jesus!” (Rev. 22:20).  Be ready church family.  He is coming soon. 


Shalom everyone,

Pastor Deric