My friend Peter Cusick generously gave permission for us to reprint an article* he recently posted online. I like his to-the-point writing style and his engaging, inimitable preaching. (Peter is lead pastor of St. Thomas Pentecostal Church (in St. Thomas, Ontario). He writes:
Let’s have a building contest. Kind of like that program on T.V. called, Canada’s Worst Handyman. The object is to build a back yard shed. There is a huge selection of tools to choose from. You can use any of the tools in the room – your choice. However, only I get to use a tape-measure and a carpenter’s square. You must build your shed – using the finest of tools – but nothing to measure with. No ruler, no square, no tape-measure, no level – just your keen eye.
I will suggest a few things that might help you. Since you have nothing to measure with, there are things you could try. [For example]: your feelings. So, if you feel as if a board is too long – simply cut it. If you think a line isn’t straight – change it. Another thing that might help is listening to other people.
If your husband says – “Wow that looks crooked,” Then take his advice – listen to him. Another idea – listen to culture. Culture says that your shed needs to be tall, wide, covered with board and batten. These are three key things that will help build your shed – what you feel, other’s advice, and culture. Don’t be intimidated with the fact that you do not have a measuring tape – you are beyond that. You have other tools.
Now, I . . . may use the same three things you will use – feelings, other’s advice, and culture – but I also have an external standard of measurement. I have a measuring tape. I have a carpenter’s square. So where there is a potential contradiction with what I feel – I put feelings aside and use my tape measure. When my buddy tells me something is crooked – I take my level and adjust according to an external standard of measurement – not my buddy’s eyes.
I’m going to suggest to you that no matter how talented, patient, or capable you are – my shed will look better. And that is not because I am more talented, patient, or capable! It is because I have an external measuring tool. I have an absolute. I have something that is not affected by my feelings, the opinion of others – nor what culture is or is not saying.
Change the game – let’s talk about life. How do you navigate life without an outside – external standard of morality, ethics, spirituality, knowledge, right or wrong? If you have no outside standard all you have are your feelings, opinions of others, and culture. It’s like navigating without a compass – just what you feel. It’s like writing a test without having taken the class. So, what is your external standard – what do you use? And that is something to think about.
It certainly is something to think about.
Our thanks to Peter for permitting our use of this piece. Check out his church site and more of his pithy thought-provoking posts, at http://www.stpa.on.ca/
Thought for Today
We need Divine Wisdom for building – not a mere garden shed or an earthly house, but – a LIFE prepared for an eternal home in the presence of God.
From Higher Up
Jesus said: “. . . everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock” (Mat. 7:24-25 NIV).
(An edition of the above article was published in P-Pep! column in The Standard Guide Advocate.)
Positive reader feedback for the book “Raise Your Gaze . . . Mindful Musings of a Grateful Heart.” Some have purchased second and third copies – and even a fourth – to give to family members and friends.
Available from the author for $17.00 (list price $19.50) + $5.50 shipping to an address in Canada. See Contact Form below.
Ebook version now available. Click: Raise Your Gaze … EbookMindful Musings of a Grateful Heart is a collection of 52 articles from Black’s P-Pep! column, sprinkled with Words to Bless. Inspirational; some biographical. 190 pp. ISBN: 978-0-9920074-2-3 Also Available from Angel Hope Publishing: Angelhopepublishing@glynisbelec.com ; www.glynisbelec.com Amazon.com ; Amazon.ca Ebook version now available.
Reader reflections of “Raise Your Gaze . . . Mindful Musings . . .” indicate how much they’ve enjoyed its variety as well as the format and structure. They like its warmth, human interest stories and encouraging inspiration.
Peter A. Black is a freelance writer in Southwestern Ontario, and is author of “Parables from the Pond” – a children’s / family book (mildly educational, inspirational in orientation, character reinforcing. 39 stories, 232 pp, b/w illustrations. Finalist – Word Alive Press. ISBN: 1897373-21-X. List price $15.99. Available through bookstores, the author and at Amazon.com and Amazon.ca
The book continues to find a place in various settings with a readership ranging from kids to senior adults. His inspirational column, P-Pep! appears weekly in The Standard Guide Advocate (of Southwestern Ontario). His articles have appeared in 50 Plus Contact and testimony, and several newspapers in Ontario. ~~+~~