Monday, October 29, 2018

Words in The Word

One of the interesting quirks of Bible study is the use of different translations of the Bible. The studies themselves usually quote from the New International Version, the same translation we use in worship. But when we get down to answering the study questions we'll read from The Message (Peterson), the Good News Bible, the New English Bible or even the King James Version.
      I admit a preference for the KJV.  It's the Bible I learned as a child.  As an adult, I respond to the beauty of the words. The archaic language seems to carry more weight to my ear. "And they were sore afraid," Lk 2:8 KJV holds more power for me than "they were terrified." Lk 2:8 NIV.
     But, when it comes to study, I'm glad to have the luxury of many versions to read from.  Modern language translations can make a passage clearer, and as Rev. Irwin often reminds us, some Greek or Hebrew words don't have a direct English equivalent. Reading different interpretations can give us a fuller sense of what the writers of scripture said.
     Sometimes, a new version can surprise. Last week one of the devotionals from the Presbyterian Church in Canada quoted from the New Living Translation. In the passage from Hebrews, Paul spoke of being an old man. He urged those with "tired hands" and "weak knees" to stay faithful to the end. Since my knees were particularly achy that day, the passage really spoke to me.

     We have several translations, including The Message, KJV, NIV, Good News and a Children's Bible, in our library at the church. Feel free to take one out and look up passages you may have found confusing in another translation.

    Of course, Bible Gateway is a wonderful website where you can find 59 English translations, as well as foreign language versions. 
     If you'd like discuss Bible passages from any version, you're always welcome at Bible study, Wednesdays at 9:30 pm or 6:30 pm at SPPC, 9296 E. Saanich Rd. tel 250 656-2241.

Monday, October 22, 2018

Pray for Missionaries

by Linda Cliff

If you have been reading this blog over the past 8 months you know that I promised my friend that I would write a blog for her each month.  Over the past month I have read two articles on missionaries and will try to summarize what I have learned.

An article I read in MSC, which is a Canadian Missions based organization, spoke of how missions have changed over the past two decades.  It used to be that if you worked in the mission field you would go to one place overseas in a foreign culture for a long time, usually until retirement.  Today there is generally much less freedom for a missionary to stay in one place long term.  Now creativity is required to even get access into a country and stay for any period of time.  Hence, mission workers must commit for shorter periods of time to a single place.  They may access a country to run a business, work with NGOs and nonprofits, or teach English.  
Some workers serve multiple nations for example in refugee camps or may work cross-culturally here in Canada. 
What hasn’t changed about missions is that even though the world is ever changing people continue to need the Gospel and the changed lives that the Gospel provides when it is embraced. 
Given that Missions are changing with the times, an article from the House Upon the Rock newsletter seemed very timely.  A quote from “Pray for Missionaries” by Global Operations Team has the following suggestions for what we should pray for missionaries.
  • Prayer requests
  • Love for God
  • Genuine Love for Others
  • Deeper relationship with God
  • Spirit controlled lives
  • Fruit of the spirit
  • Wisdom and knowledge
  • Courage
  • Receptive hearts
  • Disciples
  • A strong faith
  • Steadfastness
  • A strong family
  • Protection
  • Material needs
  • Health and strength

When I was typing this list I realized that we should be praying for such support for ourselves as well as the missionaries who serve God in the mission field. I encourage you to include SPPC, our minister and our leaders in your prayers.

Monday, October 15, 2018

Visit to Compassionate Warehouse

by Janet Mitchell

On Friday, October 12, 2018, Barbara, Bin-Sie, Linda, Janet and I went to the Compassionate Warehouse in Esquimalt.  

We learned that the mission venture began in 1999 by a retired RN, Dell Marie Wergeland.  When she returned from a visit to impoverished, Honduras, she decided she must do something to help. Dell attends the Church of the Nazarene and the church supported her efforts. The first container full of needed items went to Honduras that year.  Since then there have been 471 containers sent to various places in the world.  The 472 container is currently in Delta getting loaded on a ship to Moldova. It costs $10,000 to $15,000 to ship one container.
 Sometimes specific requests are made.  Orphanages may need plates or cutlery. Ground sheets and blankets may be needed following a disaster in an impoverished country.  There are also times when many sewing machines are sent to a volunteer teaching sewing in a poor area. Electric sewing machines are okay to donate because they can often convert them to be used with a hand crank.
The containers are full of medical supplies, medical equipment, tools, clothing, school supplies, sports equipment, non-breakable kitchen wares, sewing machines, sewing kits, hospital linen, household linen, towels, toys (non battery), embroidery supplies, wool, crochet supplies, art supplies, kitchen utensils and cutlery, kitchen pots and pans and 5 gallon cleaned buckets with lids. 

The workers use biscuit tins to pack cutlery or tools, etc. Shoe boxes and other durable boxes are packed with various items.  Every tin, bucket, box, etc. is labeled with its contents and by number.  The numbers tell them when the items arrived so that they can ship out the oldest items first.  Shoe stores give them boxes.  However, they would be pleased to receive your biscuit tins or boxes, too.

  Electrical appliances are not accepted as most of the countries where the containers are sent have no electricity.  A retired registered physiotherapist volunteers regularly in Haiti. She cleverly refits wheelchairs to suit those in needs.  She is currently refitting a wheelchair to suit a young boy.  It is wonderful she is so handy at adapting the equipment changing the wheelchairs or walkers.  
One volunteer was in the yarn and material section. 
She does quilting and a group of volunteers take small pieces of material home to make quilts to send overseas.  Our tour guide normally works in the office and school supply section.  In this section the workers sort supplies for students into donated backpacks.  Items useful for teachers are separated as well.  One elderly man takes home pencils to sharpen and discards pens that do not work before they are shipped.
There were men at the warehouse organizing tools. They need to sand off rust from tools or tighten screws, etc. They spend a lot of time sorting screws and nails into the correct sizes. They also carefully wrap long handled tools like shovels so that the sharp ends do not cause harm to anyone when the containers are opened. 
Stuffed animals are used as packing material and also bring joy to young children.
Old sheets are used for bandages so do donate faded and even sheets with holes. They are needed.  The people receiving items are very appreciative. They make good use of everything.  There were numerous pictures of happy people holding or using donated items such as the smiling children in the Ukraine with donated bicycles or the two happy teenage girls in Iran holding sewing machines.  There was also a very happy young woman wearing a donated wedding dress. 

The warehouse is open on Wednesdays and Fridays.  Volunteers are always welcome and can work as little as an hour each month.  The warehouse is located on Devonshire Road in Esquimalt.  For more information phone (250) 381-4483 or email them at Their website is:

Monetary gifts and donations of useful items are very welcome.  At SPPC we have a large box for donated items.  It is located under the coat hangers near our front entrance.  There is a big CW sign on it.

Monday, October 8, 2018

Thanksgiving Anytime

During our stretch of sunshine at the end of September I got into Thanksgiving mode a little early.  

We picked pumpkins, 

harvested apples,

and gathered seeds for next year's flowers.


We were dazzled by dahlias and 
 enchanted by late blooming roses. 

 I couldn't help but think,
All good gifts around us,
Are sent from Heaven above,
Then thank the Lord, O thank the Lord,
For all His love.

The harvest table set in the sanctuary on Thanksgiving Sunday, lovely though it is, is a mere representation of the bounty God provides, every day. Let us remember His goodness when the rain falls and the skies are gloomy. That too is a blessing.  

He sends the snow in winter, 
the warmth to swell the grain, 
the breezes and the sunshine, 
and soft, refreshing rain.

Monday, October 1, 2018

Go to the Source

I grew up with the iconic television series, “Perry Mason.” starring Raymond BurrIt came on an hour past our bedtime, but if we got into our pyjamas and stayed very quiet and unobtrusive, we could usually stay up and watch.  I really wanted to be Della.
So, when I saw a classic movie channel showing a 1930’s film of Perry Mason, I tuned in to watch.  I thought it would be fun to see another actor in the role.
I was astounded.  The Perry Mason in the movie was nothing like the one portrayed by Raymond Burr.  This Perry moonlighted as a chef in a fancy restaurant.  He spent his off hours attending swanky parties and was a bit of a womanizer.  Long-suffering Della wasn’t even invited.
I set out to find the real Perry Mason.  It took some time, but I finally found one of the books by Erle Stanley Gardner. I settled down to discover the character as written by the author. 

We do somewhat the same thing in Bible Study.  Often we think we know what the Bible says - Christian teaching has been part of our culture for generations - but mistakes can creep in. Factions of society may over-emphasize parts of the message and ignore others. Well-meaning people may mix popular myths into the scriptures. If you care about what the Bible says and what it means to your life, check your sources.
This session we will study the Book of Isaiah. Wednesdays at 9:30 am or 6:30 pm. See you there.