Freedom “Good” Friday

Freedom “Good” Friday

For believers, today is a big day. At first, its easy to question what is so “good” about Good Friday. I mean, a human being was falsly arrested, tortured and murdered on a cross. What’s “good” about that?

I’ve been reflecting on this day today with a fresh perspective. There is alot of injustice going on in the world and we are seeing it happen more and more under the guise of “Covid”. I live in Canada and it is supposed to be a free country. I’m not feeling very free lately. Are you?

We are being told to wear masks “muzzles”, where to go, where not to go, how to shop, who we can be with, who we can’t be with, how many people we can be with, how to worship, don’t sing, wear two maks, wear three masks, no school, etc. Then there is the whole racism, sexism, social justice issues being preached to us every day.

We are being told how to think and how to live. If we don’t do what we are told we are shamed, guilted, bullied, harrassed, fined, and even in some cases jailed. Recently a Pastor by Edmonton was imprisoned in a Maximum Security Jail for 34 days. What was his crime? He refused to do what he was told and held a worship service.

The root of everything we see going on in our world is NOT racism, sexism, or any other social justice issue being proclaimed.

The root issue is SIN.

Those who do not accept and follow Jesus are slaves to sin. This is why today is so important! Jesus shows us all, the way to FREEDOM from sin. FREEDOM from oppression. In order for us to be truly free we must be willing to be persecuted in HIS NAME. That means we must reject the world. We must boldly declare our freedom in Jesus. Jesus refused to do what he was told. He stood before pilot and accepted the worlds judgement. He was tortured and then carried his own cross where he was crucified. He died for our freedom.

Today I want to thank Jesus again for showing the way. For freedom from being enslaved to the sinful nature the dmonates this world.

I urge you to accept Jesus Christ today and declare your freedom in his name.




Focus Matters

Focus Matters

How distracted are you these days? There are several reasons to lose focus. I have spent the last month (February) narrowing my focus on what really matters, not what the MSM want us to think matters. There are so many sources of misinformation that it is hard to know what to think, let alone what to focus our thinking on. The bible provides some helpful guidance on the matter of focus.

22 But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!

Galatians 5:22-23

Further, Philipians 4:8 states:

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

Philipians 4:8

What could be more noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent or praiseworthy than love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control? Will you take some time to focus on these fruits?

Love: Let our primary focus be one of love. Not the worlds “version” of love but God’s love.

Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.

1 Corinthians 13:4-7

Joy: Where exactly can we find joy in so much joylessness? Is there really anything we can be joyful about? The answer is, absolutely! We focus our joy on what matters. What matters? God matters! In times of trouble focus on the goodness of God! Acknowledge the Lord is God! Give thanks for all of God’s blessings! Trust in the everlasting love of God!

Peace: There really is only one way to be at peace despite the troubles of the world. I am reminded daily that the peace I seek can only be found in my faith. Prior to Jesus crucifixion he sensed his disciples were worried and afraid. He went out of his way to console and reassure them. He said,

32 But the time is coming—indeed it’s here now—when you will be scattered, each one going his own way, leaving me alone. Yet I am not alone because the Father is with me. 33 I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”

John 16:32-33

Patience: Even when we know the outcome it can be hard to be patient. What about when we don’t know?

Dear brothers and sisters,[a] when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.

If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking. But when you ask him, be sure that your faith is in God alone. Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind. Such people should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Their loyalty is divided between God and the world, and they are unstable in everything they do.

James 1:2-8

Kindness: Being kind is hard, especially when there is so much unkindness. There is a great example of kindness found in the book of Ruth, Chapter Two. If you have not read this chapter, I urge you to do so. Kindness is helping others when they least expect it. It’s a kind word, deed or gesture. There are many who are struggling. Show them kindness.

Goodness: When we focus on goodness, we focus on doing what matters. It is said that goodness “is not a mere passive quality, but the deliberate preference of right to wrong, the firm and persistent resistance of all moral evil, and the choosing and following of all moral good.”

It’s not easy but keep your focus on doing good in this world. When you do good, rest assured it makes a difference.

Gentleness: Have you ever met someone who literally epitomizes gentleness? I find these people to be incredibly attractive. I am envious of their ability to reflect such a spirit of gentleness. I remember such an experience when I was a nine year old boy in hospital. I was recovering from a rather painful and uncomfortable surgery. I recall laying on my side feeling sad and lonely. All of a sudden I felt a nurse rubbing my back. I told her she did not have to do that. Here reply, “I know. I want to.” A kindness I have never forgotten. Her name was “Grace.”

Self-control: There have been many times when I wish I had more self-control. I grew up an abused and bullied kid. I have little tolerance for abuse and bullying these days. Despite the many reasons why it would be easy to justify losing our cool but in the end it serves us well. If you ever have the pleasure of meeting a “Karen” maintain your self-control. Losing control will only encourage others that they control you.

Focus matters and what matters must be our focus.





Tomorrow is Valentines Day. There will be alot of talk about love. We see this word thrown around alot in our world. I’m not sure many people really understand love, especially God’s love. The word “agape” is often translated as love in the New Testament.

Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proudor rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.

1 Corinthians 13:4-7

The word “agape” does not reflect sexual or romantic love nor is it a reflection of friendship or brotherly/sisterly love. “Agape” love is a willful focus of purposeful love. It requires commitment and faithfullness that overcomes all circumstances. Agape love never gives up.

Agape love is becoming rarer and rarer these days. But, every once in awhile there are times when we know we have just experienced this kind of love. This happened yesterday.

Once a year I need to renew my Sirius XM Radio. I’ve been a customer for ten years. Every year it’s been a pain. I don’t look forward to it. Suffice it to say I am a little grumpy when I make the call. Yesterday was different. I called the Sirius XM Canada Customer Retention line expecting another annoying phone call.

Instead, I had a wonderful conversation with a gal in Egypt! Yes, Egypt! It’s crazy. I complained to her that I have to make this call every year and it would be nice if we could just set my yearly rate and automatically renew in order to avoid making the call. Her reply preciptated a wonderful conversation.

Her name is May. She says to me, “You know I totally understand where you are coming from but I wanted you to know that your needing to call me enables me to keep my job. So THANK YOU!” This was totally disarming and I found myself agreeing and my enitre perspective changed. Her intentional kindness and gratitidue for her job led to a great conversation about gratititude, (we exchanged resources) and even became Instagram friends.

I found myself reflecting after, “I wish we could all talk to each other like this.”

She further went on to say that she purposfully asked to work only with Canadians because in her experience we are the kindest people she has worked with. Wow! I thanked her again and said, “I look forward to connecting in a year!”

This valentines day love your spouse or significant other. More than that though, show more agap love. Seek people out with that kind of love just as God seeks you.





It’s been a chilly week and when I mean chilly, I mean -45 to -50 Celcius. (that’s -49 to -58 F for my American friends). Our furnace has not been able to keep up. So, been burning alot of wood and had our electric heater on all day long. Some of Amerian friends have asked, “how is that even possible?” Trust me. It’s possible. The idea that you can throw a pot of boiling water into the air and it turns to snow, is TRUE.

Despite the extreme cold, we are grateful for our fireplace although my wife is not thrilled in the morning. She’s chilled! By Friday the temperature will start warming up and I look forward to get back on the ice and catch me some perch and walleye.

Have you every been ice fishing? Do you have a “winter story?” What’s the coldest weather you have experienced?

Hard to believe that Spring is just over a month away!



The Power of Beauty

The Power of Beauty

Someone asked me the other day if I miss Fakebook. A little, but not alot. I left Fakebook because of the constant negativity, division and censorship. I no longer want to participate on platforms intent on telling me how to think and to be afraid. I am so grateful I dumped Fakebook and Twitter.

Photo by Daria Shevtsova on

Since leaving these dark platforms I have been committed to exposing myself to narratives, videos and pics that make me smile: weddings, pregnancy announcements, engagements, babies, beauty, vacations, nature and devotionals. I am doing my best to fill my eyes and mind with beauty and joy! I encourage you to try it. Cut out the toxicity in your life. Replace that with what compells you to feel good about yourself and the life we are living.

Blessings, Stacey

Confronting the Guilt and Shame Based Agenda

Confronting the Guilt and Shame Based Agenda

Every day we are confronted with the same dilemma. A choice. A difficult choice. A choice that will inevitably pit ourselves against someone who have made a different choice. Why do we make the choices we choose? Decisions are difficult. They require wisdom, courage and conviction. I don’t know about you but there have been several times over the last year when my choices have been criticized by those who have made a different choice.

I have always believed that each person has a right to their own opinion and their own choices; the right to make our own decisions. I also believe we have a responsibility to respect another persons opinion even if we disagree. Lately it seems more and more like this right to our own opinion is one sided. I’m not going to identify which side are disrespecting my opinions or decisions. I will leave that up to the reader. The truth is, there appears to be an all out effort to guilt and shame those who do not support and agree with the public message. For example, if you don’t agree with mask wearing or getting the vaccine you are just an uncaring, insensitive jerk. We have fondly identified these shame makers as “Karens” or “Maskholes.”

I have personally been labeled an “asshole”, “jerk” and “unloving.” I’ve been told to “believe the science” even though the science is different depending on the subject matter. Science sure has become politicized and opinionated. I would love to trust the science, government and medical leaders. Sadly, the evidence over the last year have only validated my distrust.

How do we weather this storm of division?

It’s not easy.

Most often we make decisions based on two sources of data: emotions and/or expectations. Both are valid and important sources of information. The problem with emotional decisions is that our feelings often lie to us. Emotional decisions are often very misleading. The issue with expectations is our inability to please everyone. There will always be someone who holds a different expectation. So we cannot go through life trying to meet everyones expectations. The trick is learning to screen those emotions and expectations through our core values. The problem is we don’t all share the same core values.

Are you clear what your core values are?

If you are clear what your core values are those values become your guide. Not your emotions or the expectations other have of you. I have three core values that inform my decision making: Faith, family and integrity. I refuse to make decisions that require me to compromise these values in any way. The problem with making value based decisions is that not everyone will share those values. So it is inevitable we will meet people who reject what we hold dear. That’s okay. It really is. It means that sometime we have to let those people go. We have to allow them to live with their own decision while we live with ours.

Never allow anyone to shame or guilt you for values that are different than theirs. Stand up for your values because if you do not your life will be miserable. There is nothing worse than bartering away your values for a facade of acceptance and love. That’s not acceptance. That’s called coercion. Guilt and shame are being used to coerce people into submission.

It’s hard. It really is. But, your values are far more valuable than acceptance. The bible says, “You are in the world, NOT of the world.” My friends, the world is trying hard to coerce us into a concept of worldly subservience.

I for one, REFUSE.



The Power of Presence

The Power of Presence

Todays devotion reminded me of Jesus message, “I am with you always.” Presence is a power our world seems hellbent on eliminating.

It was not that long ago (11 months) when we would have heard that people spend too much time on social media, too much time on their phones, too much time on the gaming console. We would laugh at the silly selfies and at each other when we realize we are all on our technology while sitting in the same room together. We would be together but not really present.

Photo by Francesca Zama on

It’s amazing what can happen in eleven short agonizing months. Now, all of a sudden we are told to stay home, don’t have friends and family over, and basically live our entire life in isolation on social media. Hmmm. Even school is online.

When I was in bible college, I spent an hour every day for an entire semester sitting with palliative care patients. Most often these were folks unable to speak. You would just sit by their bedside and read a book, watch television or talk to them. The silence was so awkward. But, in those times I learned the power of presence. The power of just being “with” someone.

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on

Human being are not created to live in isolation. Social media and technology is toxic to human development. It stagnates growth, empathy and connection. We need people to be in our life.

Children especially depend on social interactions. Social interaction is a primary source of identity development. Without healthy social (in person) interaction we struggle to know who we are in this world. It is in those social interactions (at least in part) we develop a concept of self. The division, in many ways we see going on in this world is creating more long term damage than Covid19.

We live in a world where we can be more connected than ever but we are so apart.

I thank God every day Jesus is a fundamental part of my life. I try reminding myself that no matter what Jesus is with me. But you know what. It’s not enough.

There is a story of a little girl who had a bad dream. She awoke crying out for her mom, “Mommy mommy, I need you. I had a bad dream.” Her mom replied, “It’s okay, Jesus is with you.” The little girl says, “I know Mommy! I need someone with skin!.”

Photo by Lucas Pezeta on

Yes, Jesus is with us. Praise God! But, God knew how important it was for us to have someone with skin. That’s why God created Eve!

Have a blessed day!


I want More

I want More

The concept of wanting more is a common distortion many have. A client I am working with said this about their life,

My life is defined by More. More sales growth, more profitability, more freedom, more time away from work, more time at work, more coaching the kids, more relaxing (looking for relaxing time), more time as Mayor, more planning for retirement with wife, more thought about future political office, more, more, more. 

Provided with permission.


The truth is, less really is more. There are those of us who are simply chasing time and shoulding themselves into a chronic anxiety disorder. Sure, the “I want more” approach to life holds several benefits but at what cost? You simply cannot be “on” all of the time. Eventually your body will shut down. Chronic stress and tension built up over time leads to several negative physical, mental and emotional consequences. It is inevitable. All that time, chasing time, only to lose it.

The more on you are, the more off you will feel.

Stephen W. Smith, The Jesus Life

Consider yourself challenged to reflect “more” on the “less is more” concept. If you really want more out of life we need to define what less looks like. Less driveness mean more health. Less perfectionism means more flexibility. Less people pleasing means more sanity. Less avoidance means more solutions. LESS REALLY IS MORE

So, if you really do want more try incorporating more less. Sit back, enjoy a cool drink a hot cup of decaf coffee and enjoy the moment. Stop trying to create more of everything and everyone. Be quiet. Be still. Be patient. Sit with yourself a while and feel more of you!