Articles

Read More The Focus of Advent On The Season The Focus of Advent
Advent is a beginning. In the midst of the hustle and bustle of the Christmas season, it offers an invitation to see the world afresh. Advent is the beginning of the year according to the church calendar. And though connected to Christmas, it has its own focus as a season. The season of Advent lasts approximately four weeks, beginning the fourth Sunday before Christmas and continuing until Christmas Eve and the celebration of Christmas Day. The church calendar is a way to pattern our days and mo...
Read More Chronic Sorrow Lifestyle Chronic Sorrow
The sun was bright that July day, the lake was still, and the air was thick. I stood with my son in the long check-in line of junior high campers and parents. It was then that the thing hit me. My face grew hot. I was thankful for the sunglasses that hid my tears. I swallowed hard and took a deep breath, trying to shake free of it, but there was no escape. Choking back tears, I forced a smile and whispered to my son, “You realize, if things were different, I would be checking Annie and Aud...
Read More Where Have All the Millennials Gone? Perspective Where Have All the Millennials Gone?
Someone’s missing in the church today. Millennials (those born between 1982 and 2004[1]) are not engaging in our church communities like youth and young adults used to. So what has changed in our churches to lead to this problem? The problem is, not much. As a 20-year-old Christian, I often think about this issue. Why, despite the investment of time, effort and thousands of dollars in the development of youth and young adult ministries, is the church not seeing results? The short answer is...
Read More Some of Jim’s Finest Living On The Issue Some of Jim’s Finest Living
I sat with him in a darkened room. Light caused nausea and discomfort for Jim. It was easier for him to relax in the dimness. As we began to talk, Jim was quick to speak of the pain and the struggle of the last couple of days. He wasn’t complaining or whining—simply reflecting the reality of the journey. It was easy for us to go down this pathway. In fact, it was expected. Jim found it helpful to talk about the moment of dying and the struggle of leaving the people he loved so deepl...
Read More Lost and Found Worldview Lost and Found
“God, don't just watch from the sidelines. Come on! Run to my side!” (Psalm 71:12, THE MESSAGE). Have you ever lost something you valued, only to find it again? Of course you have, and it is a happy moment. I have a stainless steel travel mug I have lost at least three or four times, but somehow it keeps coming back to me. That old beat-up but lovable travel mug has now become a symbol to me, a symbol of “found-ness.” Jesus tells three parables of “lost and found&rd...
Read More SEVEN 7 QUESTIONS FOR: CARLENE HORNBY ALLEN Interview SEVEN 7 QUESTIONS FOR: CARLENE HORNBY ALLEN
Carlene Hornby Allen is a Fellow Chartered Accountant (FCA) and partner with KPMG in Vancouver. She is the daughter of a pastor and remembers clearly the moment she decided to follow Christ at seven years of age. She has served on the General Executive of The Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada since 2006 and is a trustee of the PAOC Pension Plan. Carlene is known for her professional expertise and for her dedication to ministry and non-profit work. Q 1: What led you to a career in finance? God dir...
Read More Musings on Prayer Perspective Musings on Prayer
I am a theologian and a biblical scholar. I teach courses on spiritual formation, Pentecostal history and theology, and New Testament theology, with a special interest in the Gospels and Acts. In these courses I teach that prayer is a foundational discipline. I stress Pentecostal emphasis upon prayer and intimacy with God. I underscore how Jesus and His first followers practised prayer, taught about prayer, and expected us to follow suit. I’m an expert, right? I have a confession: when it...
Read More Following the Trail Our Story Following the Trail
This is a story about the unfolding of an 85-year-old prophecy. Modesty forbids his telling the story about himself, but I believe we need to be each other’s champions. So let me tell you about my friend, Fred. This is a very inspiring story, a uniquely Pentecostal drama that started in the 1930s in Ukraine. At that time there was a prophetic word among the Pentecostal believers telling them to leave because of an impending famine, even though weather and crop yields had never been better....
Read More Quit Overthinking It Perspective Quit Overthinking It
Whether I am talking to my college students or to seasoned Christians, teenagers or older adults, I’ve noticed that many Christians experience angst concerning God’s will. They brood over questions such as “What is God’s will for my life?” and “Am I currently in God’s will?” Instead of overthinking such questions, perhaps we ought to focus less on whether we’re in the exact place God wants us to be and more on what we’re doing whe...
Read More Midnight Prayer: Tuesday, 17 November 2015 Everyday Thoughts Midnight Prayer: Tuesday, 17 November 2015
Oh God, Where do Syrian children sleep? Only you know each troubled bed. Mine are safe under quilts and treasured blankies, wrapped in the security of home. Mine are sleeping deeply, even as I wrestle with the midnight thoughts and images I can't escape. Don’t let me escape them. Don’t let me forget them. The world is a broken puzzle, with too many pieces missing. Blown to bits. What do I do? What do we do? I don’t know the answers to the questions in their eyes, the cries in t...
Read More One Beautiful Life at a Time On The Issue One Beautiful Life at a Time
In 2009, Marion Cozens established a refuge for homeless, pregnant women. She named it W.I.N.G.S. (for Waiting, Investing, Nurturing, Growing and Soaring) Maternity Home. Her intention was to rebuild broken women into healthy moms. Marion, a former businesswoman and single parent of four daughters, renovated her personal residence, sought formal group home status, and then began sharing the home’s mission with local churches, businesses and community leaders.  The mission of W.I.N.G.S...
Read More A Beautiful Life Lifestyle A Beautiful Life
I’ve been thinking about what C. S. Lewis said when his dear friend, Charles Williams, died: “Lots, lots of pain, but not a particle of depression or resentment.” I know what he meant. While I have found myself crying at the oddest moments this week, I do not despair at my mother’s passing. Instead, there is something strangely wondrous about this moment. The great Scottish writer George MacDonald said.... Click here to subscribe so that you can receive the full con...
Read More Was Blind, but Now I See Your Story Was Blind, but Now I See
I considered myself a lucky man. At 47 years old, I had a great career, a wonderful wife, three healthy boys, and a beautiful home. Our family was financially very comfortable. I felt secure about where I was and where I was heading. Life was good. Life was very good. And then came July 15, 2015. We’d left for Florida that morning, my family and I, for a well-earned vacation on the beach. Upon our arrival, I received news that my mother had suffered a terrible accident back in Montreal. I...
Read More God Has Other Plans Perspective God Has Other Plans
My father, the late Pastor E. R. Milley (1911-1983), told me the story of being so ill at one point in his life that someone, thinking he was dead, actually measured him for a coffin! But God had other plans. In 1950, after eight years and five months of being an invalid with an incurable heart disease, my father was at death’s door. In his journal he wrote:             I heard my dad say, “He’s dying.” They decid...
Read More 7 QUESTIONS for Robert McAffee Interview 7 QUESTIONS for Robert McAffee
Robert McAffee is a Canadian landscape artist. During his lifetime, he has worked as a sign painter, a photographer, in retail, and in banking. He began painting full time in 2009. McAffee credits his opportunity to create art and his every success to God. Robert and his family attend Whitby Christian Assembly in Whitby, Ont. Q1: Was church part of your family’s regular routine when you were growing up? I was raised in a Christian home. My father was a fourth-generation Christian. When he ...
Read More The Holy Spirit and Me Your Story The Holy Spirit and Me
I grew up in an evangelical church which taught that certain New Testament experiences—miracles, healing, the baptism in the Holy Spirit, and the gifts of the Spirit—ceased at the end of the Book of Acts. The leadership believed that any of these manifestations were now either “of the flesh” or a “counterfeit of Satan.” My first experience in a Pentecostal church was in 1974. A young lady who attended Kennedy Road Tabernacle (KRT) in Brampton, Ont., had come t...
Read More A Tangled, Beautiful Mess Your Story A Tangled, Beautiful Mess
One evening recently, our three kids and I sat around the table drinking tea—like a good Russian family. They were telling stories about the shenanigans they got into at the orphanage, the constant fist fights the boys had, how the older girls would gang up on the younger ones, and the countless ways they tried to avoid the mean orphanage workers. There was lots of laughter. But as they talked, the look in their eyes told me that they didn’t want to go back. They may not fully unders...
Read More Elizabeth On The Season Elizabeth
She shares my middle name, but not much else. She was born into a family of priests and was the wife of one. Most of her life’s years were behind her, though she had no child to take care of her and her aging husband Zechariah. The first thing we know after being introduced to her is that she is righteous in the sight of God, a blameless keeper of all the commands and requirements of the Lord. So we know it wasn’t her sin that kept her barren, though that’s what most of the mar...
Read More The Odds of God Perspective The Odds of God
When the truck in which you’re a passenger hits black ice and flips into a snow-filled ditch, the first words you’d want to hear might be: “I’m a nurse. I’m here to help you.” Cory and Lynsey Jones, my son and daughter-in-law, were delayed in leaving Saskatoon for a 2014 family Christmas celebration in Delmas, Saskatchewan. They were just east of North Battleford when a black pickup truck accelerated past them. A hundred yards down the road, the driver was try...
Read More My Kids Go to Public School—and I’m OK With That Lifestyle My Kids Go to Public School—and I’m OK With That
I do admit that when it was time for my first-born to go to school, I really wanted her to attend a private Christian school so she would be “safe.” I spent a lot of time praying for a miracle—that God would provide the funds and open the doors so that she could put on a uniform and get a good Christian education. But the doors never opened and the funds never arrived because God had better miracles in store. Miracles. Plural. Miracle #1: More Faith It is a leap of faith t...