Just a few thoughts on how it is going as I am working on forming my Scripture reading habit for 2015. The first day was much harder than I thought it would be. While I was looking forward to my coffee and chocolate (see the previous blog) as my reward, I found that it was much harder to get started than I had anticipated.  Read More

We often make resolutions at the beginning of a new year. Some of us have given up on new year's resolutions as well as reading the Bible. Recent Canadian surveys show that even among Christians in Canada, we don't read Scripture very often. Maybe we are going about this in the wrong way - through using will power and then beating ourselves up with guilt. Read More

Meeting Jesus Every Day in 2015

- posted by Len Thompson

Jesus is far more than a baby born in Bethlehem 2000 years ago - among many other things He is the Word of God. He can be encountered as we read the Bible because the Son of God speaks to us through the words of Scripture! I don't read the Bible because I can learn a lot from the wisdom contained with or because I love well written prose or even wonderful poetry. I read it because I want to meet God and in those pages I meet Jesus and He guides me in the way to live my life according to His desires. Read More

What if you could find an experienced mentor?

- posted by Len Thompson

Personal mentorship with someone who has weathered many storms and still loves God, has become Christlike and is passionately and effectively living out their calling is a rare thing indeed. I wish I had that opportunity as a young pastor as it would have helped me keep focussed on what is important and helped me prune a whole lot of nonsense from my life. Read More

More Discipleship Essentials for Today

- posted by Len Thompson

When I think of the disciples and their time with Jesus, I can't help but think about the transformation that each disciple went through. Thomas learned to live from faith, Peter learned to curb his impetuous nature and become a solid leader, and John learned to sacrificially love to the very end instead of patronize his favourite cliques. While we do not know as much about many of the other disciples, we do know that each of them were great leaders in various places around the world after the ascension in ways that none of them had been before being with Jesus. Christ is still a master at character transformation. Read More

Discipleship Essentials for Today

- posted by Len Thompson

What does Jesus expect of disciples today? The original 12 disciples lived in a different time, culture and context so we do have to take that into account. But Jesus did commission the apostles to go into all the world and disciple others. What might that mean today? Read More

The Church and the Forming of Character

- posted by Len Thompson

James Wilhoit in his book Spiritual Formation as if the Church Mattered : Growing in Christ through Community asserts that the church should be very concerned about the character formation of each member of the congregation, "Spiritual Formation is the task of the church. Period. It represents neither an interesting, optional pursuit by the church nor an insignificant category in the job description of the Body of Christ. Spiritual formation is at the heart of its whole purpose for existence. “ Read More

In today's 144 character world we might think that to be a follower of Jesus is simply pushing a button on a computer to be a follower of Jesus. This is one time when we would be bringing our modern conceptions into the text in a very crass and undisciplined way. Read More

New Launch

- posted by Len Thompson

If you didn't notice, the web page is a bit different from yesterday. Ian Thompson has put together a whole new site that has most of the content from the previous site but it is arranged in a way that we hope will be easier for you to navigate. It also should work better on whatever browser you are using, which was a problem with the old site. Ian is leaving for an internship in Canada's north tomorrow and so we ask for patience as we fix up a few little things over the next couple of weeks. If you like the new site, please feel free to send your compliments to ian@urbansanctuary.ca. Read More

Details can be very revealing...

- posted by Ian Thompson

Nicodemus begins his dialogue with Jesus late one night with the words, “Rabbi, we know…” Dr. Jeremy Stephano, in a lecture last week at Gordon Conwell Seminary, pointed out the dangerous incongruity in those words. “Rabbi, teach us,” might have been a possible place to start, but, Nicodemus' beginning with the bold assertion of his own knowledge, resulted in Jesus telling him that he really did not even know the rudiments of the spiritual life. (John 3:10)  Read More