We are excited to announce Calvary Church’s new radio segment – NavigateLife, a moment of truth from God’s word.  It will air on Star 105.7FM on Monday mornings just after 7.30am during the Tommy and Brook Show.

Here is a picture of us working in Calvary’s improvised “recording studio” with Mark from the media department in the background.  I did not know that Jackie from the marketing department — who has done an amazing job coordinating this initiative –was capturing us but it shows us hard at work.  Somehow to record one-minute segments takes hours of editing, recording and re-recording until Jim could get the length, tone and message right.  It was a lot of work but it was also a lot of fun!

Listen below to the first segment of NavigateLife:

NavigateLife Oct 29

So, each week listen to Star 105.7 FM at 7.30am on Monday mornings to hear NavigateLife.  We will also post the segments on our blog each week.  Our hope is that even in one minute people might hear God’s truth because the Bible assures us that God’s word does not return empty and will always accomplish his purpose.

All is well,











Psalm 84 Exam

If you have been working through Psalm 84 with me, thank you.

Are you ready for the final exam?  Below, are the first letters of each word in Psalm 84 from the 1984 NIV translation to see if you can make it all the way through.  I think you will be surprised at how well you do.

I hope it is an encouragement to you that we memorized an entire Psalm of the Bible together in (approximately) one month!















All is well,


Memorization Idea

Can you rearrange these words into part of Psalm 84?

If you have been working on the verses this week, hopefully some key words helped you pick up on the fact that it is Psalm 84:11.  When you rearrange them, verse 11 reads:

Different tools work for different people.  If you are a more visual learner, this is another great way to memorize scripture.  I simply wrote out the words on individual cards and mixed them up.  Then I had to put them in the right order.

One thing I really like about this method is that all the words are right in front of you, so you don’t have to try to pull them out of thin air.  In the process of getting them into the right order, it helped me to learn the verse.

For kids, another great idea someone sent me is to tape the words to blocks to help their little hands manipulate the words.  Then they can make towers or trains with the words to form the verses.

Keep going, we are almost there!

All is well,


The Sons of Korah

The Psalms are the Bible’s songbook but in modern times we primarily read them, and it is easy to forget that they were intended to be sung… perhaps even to help the Israelites memorize them.

I think Creator God knew we would need help to hide his word in our hearts when he told his people to combine scripture with music.  God also honored those who helped his people worship by recording their names in scripture for all of eternity.

Psalm 84 begins, “For the director of music.  According to gittith.  Of the Sons of Korah.  A Psalm.”   The Korahites, or the Sons of Korah, were a group of musicians who arranged and sang psalms when Israel gathered to worship, and are responsible for at least 13 Psalms.  Although we don’t know the author of this Psalm, we do know the musicians.

Today, musicians are again helping us to sing the ancient Psalms.  One popular version of Psalm 84 is the wonderful song “Better is One Day” by Chris Tomlin.

But, even better for trying to memorize Psalm 84 is the following version by the Australian band, The Sons of Korah.  Taking their name from the Old Testament artists, The Sons of Korah are “devoted to giving a fresh voice to the biblical psalms.”  On their website, they also write about the purpose of their music concluding “the psalms present a deep and rich spiritual well for prayer and worship. The psalms were originally written as songs and they were intended to be expressed musically.”

I hope you enjoy this beautiful adaption, and may it help you memorize Psalm 84 this week.

All is well,


Psalm 84

This is our last week to finish up  Psalm 84.  Thankfully, the last three verses of the Psalm (verses 10-12) are pretty familiar.

It has been great to talk in hallways you, my fellow memorizers.  I appreciate the encouragement!

To help us finish strong, I’ll post lots of encouragement/ideas this week.

All is well,



When I was putting together the sermon this week, I thought about using this clip from the Disney movie, The Lion King, but it didn’t easily fit into the message.

This scene illustrates the difference between the shout that went up from the Israelites’ camp in 1 Samuel 4 and the shout that came down from heaven in 1 Samuel 7.

Young Simba tries to scare away the evil hyenas but his best effort at a roar doesn’t intimidate them.  Simba has a weak roar, evidence that he lacks the power to do much to defend himself.  But Mufasa’s thundering roar means that the hyenas are in real trouble.  Mufasa has arrived to deliver his son, and not only is his roar loud but Mufasa is capable of rescuing Simba.



That They May All Be One

“That they may all be one” is my favorite work of contemporary religious art.  It hangs above the entryway to the dining hall at Wolfson College, where Jim studied at Oxford.  As we lived and spent time in the college that was atheistic by design, it was a symbol of God’s presence – whether acknowledged or not – every time I saw this painting.

The painting is by a Herefordshire (UK) artist named Charles MacCarthy.  I have never been able to find much information about him but he is described on art websites as a well-respected artist. I don’t know if he is a man of faith but he has captured some amazing aspects of communion in this piece of art (or at least I found them whether intended or not).

In the middle is Christ’s cup.  It is completely segregated from the rest of the picture because only Jesus is able to drink from the cup.  Jesus prayed, “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.”  In obedience to God, Jesus drank from the cup, paying a price that none of us could pay.

I love that all of the cups are simple.  This was not a dinner restricted to the wealthy, or the influential, or the wise.  It was a dinner for anyone willing to take up their cross and follow Christ.

Different colors and the placement of the cups in the panels convey to me that each person came separately to the table.  Each person who sat at the table made the decision to be at that dinner, marking a series of decisions to follow Christ.

My favorite part of the painting is that there is space at the bottom.  The last row of panels is empty as if to invite each one of us to join them at the table.  Logically, we could not physically be at Christ’s crucifixion.  However, Paul writes in Galatians 2:20a, “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.”  His shocking claim is that we were actually there at the cross with Christ.  When Jesus gave up his life for us, each believer was spiritually at the cross with him so that in his resurrection we might have access to new life.

Finally, although Christ has his unique position, although the cups are simple enough for anyone to participate, although there are individual invitations to the table, as well as space at the bottom for us, together it makes one painting, one story, one record of redemption.

This Sunday, we will celebrate the Lord’s supper.  As we prepare our hearts to receive communion in community, remember we are all part of one story so that we may all be one.

All is well,




Life Interrupted

Well, this is what my wipe-off board I use for scripture memory has looked like for one month —

Other than a little water that splashed on it while doing dishes, not one word got erased. I had enough time to get the verses written out and then our lives were interrupted. As Jim’s dad’s health failed we had been living for several months knowing that his last breath could come at any moment. In the midst of uncertainty about the timing, we had to go on living. Then one day, the end was clearly in sight and everything was turned upside down. All our plans and appointments were canceled, and our best intentions – what else could you call the plan to memorize an entire Psalm in one month – suddenly were scrapped.

But, God wasn’t surprised. He used my best intentions to memorize a Psalm that had some, but little meaning, to weave it into a precious time in my life. The last few weeks of George’s life I went over to visit whenever I could even if just for a few minutes. Sometimes it was to give Nancy a break, sometimes to keep her company, and sometimes to spend time with a father-in-law who was always generous in love toward me.

As the end drew near and having a conversation was no longer possible, I started to read scripture with, or mostly just to him. I spent time reading various passages from the Bible but found that I loved to read Psalms to him. We read a variety of Psalms, but since I was trying to memorize Psalm 84 that made it into the mix more and more.

In the midst of room with a man who would soon be with the Lord, I read that a believer’s true longing is to be in the courts of the Lord, that a believer is blessed to reside in the Lord’s presence because he can worship Jesus continually, that the Lord sustains believers on their journey to his presence, and that when we arrive we will know that better is one day with Jesus than 1,000 days anywhere else.

So, the new normal of life is settling in and we are getting back to responsibilities and demands of family and ministry life. In his grace, I am back to memorizing Psalm 84 even if I am not doing it on my original timeline.  But now, I am doing it with a deeper appreciation for its meaning.

Since I didn’t have much time on verses 7-9, if you are still willing to memorize with me we’ll restart there and Lord willing we will finish our Psalm next week.

All is well,