Tuesday, 20 January 2015


became a Creationist Friday, March 5, 2010.  Since then I have had conversations with many devout Christians who still accept the non-Biblical worldview of evolutionary theory.  The evolutionary theorists have done such an effective job of promoting their viewpoint that many, including those in the church, consider evolution to be fact. For many, this can me a fatal wound (lie) to their faith journey.

I just purchased and viewed the new DVD EVOLUTION'S ACHILLES' HEELS produced by Creation Ministries International.  My motivation was to be able to present my friends with reasoned and convincing arguments that the Biblical account of Creation is not a fanciful whim of an old man written a few thousand years ago, but a logical and scientifically arguable account of how we, and all of Creation, came to be.

The video comprises interviews with 15 Ph.D's from around the world, many of whom came from a secular background, previously believed in evolutionary theory, and received their Ph.D's from secular universities.  The video is well produced and includes many excellent computer animations.

I have read several reviews of EVOLUTION'S ACHILLES' HEELS by evolutionary theorists.  They mostly condemn the video but without addressing the facts and arguments raised in this video - they simply decry it on the basis of watching the 60-second trailer and that 'evolution has already been proved.'  I would much rather they bring scientific rebuttals but apparently are unable or unwilling to do so.

The video adresses Natural Selection, Genetics, the Origin of Life, the Fossil Record, the Geological Column, Radiometric Dating, Cosmology and Ethical Implications.

As important as the main video content is, the personal testimonies of eight of the Ph.D scientists were the most profound for me.  For anyone watching the video I strongly urge them to view several of these testimonies PRIOR to viewing the main video. These testimonies provide the context (so important) for their contributions to this major project.

In summary, this is a 'must-watch' video for anyone who is interested in discerning Biblical truths and how they match up to the evidence they can reach out and touch.  Becoming a believer in the Biblical account of Creations does not require you to flush your brain down the drain with the bathwater.

Monday, 12 January 2015


Last spring I received an email from Steve Brethour, pastor of the Bridge Community Church in Bancroft.  Let me share part of it with you….
David, I have a favour to ask of you. I am wondering if you would be interested in speaking at The Bridge this summer. It would be the long weekend in August. We are doing a series entitled "God is Greater Than...."
Now here is the reason that I am asking you. The first week is "God is Greater Than My.... Failure". 
Now, I am not calling you a failure [thank you Steve!] but knowing you and your story you have experienced the highs and the lows and yet you have seen God carry and meet you in both. And you have a great way of articulating what you learned about God in both.
Now in there Steve makes a very valid statement, “you have experienced the highs and the lows and yet you have seen God carry and meet you in both…”  This is a fundamental truth of my life.  As to whether I “…have a great way of articulating what you learned about God in both.”?  I will let you be the judge.  So, let us begin this journey of discovery…
What is a paradigm shift?
One of the on-line dictionaries describes it this way:
paradigm shift— noun.  a radical change in underlying beliefs or theory.
I doubt you need or want to be reminded of your failures.  My objective, my prayer for you in sharing these thoughts is that you will experience a paradigm shift in your ‘underlying beliefs’.  That you will better understand how God sees you, rather than how you might perceive yourself.  God does not view you as a failure – in fact He specifically says that you are His masterpiece!
I would never be so arrogant as to suppose you need to change your thinking but, as I have asked five critical questions of people I have met (I’ve added a sixth for this series), virtually all of them answered the majority incorrectly and left the conversation having experienced a paradigm shift or, at the very least, they left contemplating their understanding of the wonderful reality of exactly who they are in Christ.
I want to be very clear that I am not challenging the Gospel Message.  How one becomes a believer, a follower of Christ, has not changed two-thousand years.  In Romans 10:9 the apostle Paul distills the way of salvation into a single sentence:  “If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”  The minute we add a single condition to these words we corrupt the Gospel.  It really is that simple!
So, let’s begin our journey of discovery and see what God has to say about who we are and what He thinks about our failures.  
Am I a failure?  Are you a failure?  What happens when we fail?  Do we disappoint God?  Let’s compare your present understanding to what the Bible says.  What God says.
I only discovered the answers to these questions having been in a Bible study group, going through The Grace Walk, by Steve McVey.  It’s an 8-week study that took our group a full year to digest.  Even now I am challenged by many of the paradigm-shifts I experienced.  I believe them intellectually, simply on the basis of what the Bible says, but the intrinsic joy and the freedom these truths are intended to provide have yet to fully migrate to my heart. 
So, here are our six statements.  Are they TRUE or FALSE?
  • I am a sinner
  • I am a slave to sin
  • I am holy
  • I am righteous
  • I disappoint God
  • I am a failure
Why not write these six statements down and your present belief or understanding beside each, TRUE or FALSE?

David Harrison © 2014


How many times have you heard a preacher say, “We are sinners saved by grace”?  The real truth of the matter is, “We WERE sinners saved by grace.”
OK.  Here’s our first paradigm-shift, mind-bender number one.
We have to ask the question, “Will the real me please stand up?”
The Bible talks about the ‘old me’, my body (or flesh) and the ‘new me’.  
Paul writes, I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” Galatians 2:20 
If I have received Jesus as my Saviour then the Bible says the ‘old me’ is dead. D-E-A-D.  Crucified. Dead. Buried. Never to rise again. Finito!  I am already  [presently] living my eternal life in Christ.
In this one verse we have four very important principles to take in:
  • The ‘old me’ has been crucified and no longer lives;
  • The ‘new me’ lives by faith in the Son of God;
  • The ‘new me’ still lives in the ‘old body’
  • Christ lives in the ‘new me’.
This is the essence of what Jesus was saying when He told Nicodemus, “…you must be born again.”
The ‘new you’, or the ‘new me’, is now so intimately intertwined with Christ, that if I point an accusing finger at the ‘new you’, calling you ‘a sinner’, I am simultaneously pointing the finger at Christ.  Heaven forbid!
So, what gives? What about all the sins I committed since I woke up this morning? Well, this is where Paul helps us to distinguish between the ‘real me’ and this ‘old body’ (and I must say that I’m looking forward to the new and improved version!)
In Romans 6:11-12, Paul writes, “In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.  Therefore do not [the new you] let sin reign in your [old] mortal body so that you obey its evil desires.”
Here Paul clearly distinguishes between the ‘new you’ and your mortal body, and that it is your mortal body that has a problem with evil desires.  The job of the ‘new you’ is to keep the mortal body in check, with Christ’s help.
Each time your mortal body fails, don’t give up.  Even the Apostle Paul screamed frustration at his sin, “What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death?” and in his next breath exclaimed, “Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!”
So the correct answer to question number one is, the ‘new me’, the ‘real me’ that is one with Christ, is not a sinner, yet I do live in a mortal body that sometimes sins.
As long as we go around believing that we are sinners we provide Satan with the ultimate weapon of guilt to use against us and disable us.
I want to emphasize that we should never use this truth, that it is our old body that sins, as an excuse to indulge in wilful sin. 
Again, as Paul wrote, “What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?”  Romans 6:1-2

As a postscript; after I first shared this truth my wife, Wendy, observed that it is Satan, the great accuser that would try and convince us that we are, not were, sinners.  As Jesus said, “He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” John 8:44


How did you answer the question, “I am a slave to sin.” ?
Let’s see what the Author of Life has to say on the subject:
Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.”  John 8:31-36
Yes, our fleshly body may feel like it’s a slave to sin but our fleshly body has no place in God’s family.  It will soon enough become topsoil!  But the ‘new you’, the ‘real you’, is free indeed!  
If you are ‘in Christ’ you have been SET FREE!  You [the real you] is no longer a slave to sin!
The best analogy I can give, one that has helped me comprehend this paradigm-shift-thinking, this understanding of the difference between the real me and this fleshly body, that wants to keep on sinning, is this:
I think of my fleshly body as a corpse the real me has to drag around in this life.  Sort of like a ball and chain.  If I let this corpse of a body get wet (by sinning) it begins to get heavy and starts to smell pretty awful.  On the other hand, if I endeavour to protect this body from sin, the load gets lighter and the foul odour seems to dissipate.  All of a sudden the flowers in God’s garden become a lot more fragrant, the sun shines brighter and I am at peace.
But, no, praise God, the new me, the ‘real me’ is not a slave to sin


Dictionary definition of Holy:
  1. Belonging to, derived from, or associated with a divine power; sacred.
  2. Regarded with veneration or specified for a religious purpose: a holy book; a holy place.
  3. Living or undertaken with highly moral or spiritual purpose; saintly: a holy person; a holy way of life.
  4. Regarded as deserving special respect or reverence: The pursuit of peace is our holiest quest.
As a Christ-follower, it is important to note that our holiness is imputed – it was never earned by us.  Imputed means that your holiness is assigned to you, credited to you, or ‘laid upon’ you.  Our holiness comes from our ‘oneness’ with Jesus Christ.
There is a worship song by Matt Maher, Lord I need you and in the lyrics were the words, “Holiness is Christ in me.”  It is Christ in me who makes me holy.
We also need to note that, we are called to ‘work out our salvation’ or make our salvation count for something in this world, so we are called to ‘active holiness’.  “But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.” 1 Peter 1:15-16
We are not to smugly sit, warming the pews, confident in our imputed holiness.  We are called to take it and let our holiness shine into this lost world.
Being holy is an action item.


Dictionary definition of Righteous:
  1. Morally upright; without guilt or sin: a righteous parishioner.
  2. In accordance with virtue or morality: a righteous judgment.
I am righteous – God gave me my righteousness as a gift and no one can take it from me!
Let’s read from Romans 3 in the New International Version and then read the same passage from the easy-to-understand language of The Message:
“But now apart from the law the righteousness of God has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe.”  Romans 3:19-22 NIV
Now let’s read the same passage from The Message:
“Since we’ve compiled this long and sorry record as sinners and proved that we are utterly incapable of living the glorious lives God wills for us, God did it for us. Out of sheer generosity he put us in right standing with himself. A pure gift. He got us out of the mess we’re in and restored us to where he always wanted us to be. And he did it by means of Jesus Christ.”  Romans 3:19-22 The Message
This is what righteousness is – to be in ‘right standing’ with God.  When God looks at us He does so through what I like to think of as ‘Jesus coloured glasses’.  He sees us, the ‘new us’, clothed in Christ’s righteousness.
Like I said earlier, I believe this intellectually but the wonder, the huge ‘wow-factor’ of this truth, has yet to migrate from my brain to my heart. 
If you’re like most people I’ve asked these first four questions of, you’re probably zero for four.  Sometimes it’s good to be wrong, because when you find the right answer we can once again stand in awe of such a gracious God!


Let’s look at the principle topic of disappointing God and the “God that is greater than my failures.”
Do you disappoint God?  
Did you answer this question as ‘TRUE’?
Maybe you’re catching on to the idea that the answer is not that which is, at first glance, logical.
Let’s look into dictionary definitions once more…
Disappoint - Verb
  1. to fail to fulfill the expectations or wishes of - 
  2. to defeat the fulfillment of (hopes, plans, etc.); thwart; frustrate, 
It’s interesting that ‘to disappoint’ is a verb – it’s an action item.  

Verb: a word that is usually one of the main parts of a sentence and that expresses an action, an occurrence, or a state of being…

Most actions are voluntary or deliberate.  That is the essence of the meaning of a verb, it is ‘to do’ something.

I doubt very much if anyone of you set out on any given venture to deliberately disappoint God.  For you to think of yourself as a great disappointment, would infer that you have repeatedly, and deliberately, disappointed God.
Well, if this is what you think, I’m sorry to disappoint you with good news once again! 
This is how God sees us:
“For we are God’s masterpiece.” Ephesians 2:10 NLT 
Who are we to argue with God?  
Before you try and affirm that God might possibly be mistaken on this matter, and that He really should consider you a disappointment and a failure rather than a masterpiece, remember how sternly He answered Job, “Who is this that questions my wisdom with such ignorant words?” Job 38:2  I really don’t think we want to go down that road!
Lest I be accused of quoting Scripture out-of-context, let’s read Ephesians 2:10 in full.  You can read the entire letter of Ephesians here.
“For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.”  
There is a lot to unpack in this one verse:
  • We are God’s masterpiece
  • He has created us anew in Christ Jesus,
  • so we can do
  • the good things
  • he planned
  • for us long ago.
Each and every one of us is a masterpiece.
In Christ, we have been created anew – we’ve been born again!
We have been created anew for a purpose.
God says, “We can do…” He’s not looking for ‘why-not’ excuses.
We have been created to do ‘good things’ – things that will specifically bring glory to God.
These are things God has planned.  Don’t think you can be a spoiler just so you can disappoint Him.  He’s omnipotent and you’re not. 
To emphasize this point I will quote Jeremiah 29:11  [God says], “I know the plans I have for you.” – not just any plans!  God’s plans are to give us a hope and a future.  Not a future of disappointments but a future filled with hope and blessing! And, if you read this passage in-context you will see that God speaks this promise to the Israelites while they were suffering as a consequence of humungous failure on their part!
There is also the question of whether it is practically possible to disappoint God?  The paradigm-shifting answer is simply, NO!  By virtue of the very nature of God it is simply not possible.
You see, the definition of disappointment is, “an unfulfilled expectation”.  Now God is both eternal (He exists outside of time) and omniscient (He is all-knowing).  This means He knows everything that has ever happened or will ever happen.  This is why God can say, to Jeremiah, I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb. Before you were born I set you apart and appointed you…” Jeremiah 1:5 If God knows everything you are ever going to do – there can be no unfulfilled expectations, ergo, it is impossible to disappoint God.
It is not the prerogative of the Christian to say, “If only this or that, things would have been different.”


Getting back to Steve’s original email, he’s right, I am an expert in failure.  However, I am also an expert witness to God’s grace.  I feel as though I have received much, much more than my share.  Thankfully God does not apportion grace measure-by-measure, God’s grace is without limit to all who will receive!
Let’s look once more to the dictionary for a definition of failure:  Failure is the state or condition of not meeting a desirable or intended objective, and may be viewed as the opposite of success.
A sense of failure, or fear of failure, is probably the greatest weapon that Satan will draw from his arsenal in his attempt to incapacitate the child of God.  In Ephesians 2 Paul reminds us that, “we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Satan is scared poopless that we might even believe Jesus when He explicitly told us, “Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me [note this is not a statement limited to just the disciples – it specifically includes YOU] will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.” John 14:12. The IMAGINE! video is my personal testimony to this truth.
Imagine!  Imagine doing greater things than Jesus!  Now, don’t start making excuses – as to why you can’t – that is to make a liar of Christ.
Do you ever feel like this before God?
“Get away from me Lord, I am a sinful man.”
I know I do.  
Each time we try an use our sin as an excuse for not working to build up God’s Kingdom it seems as though Jesus simply covers His ears with His hands and shouts, “Na, na-na, na-na-na, I’m not listening!” 
Let’s read the whole interaction between Peter and Jesus:
When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus’ knees and said, “Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!”  For he and all his companions were astonished at the catch of fish they had taken, and so were James and John, the sons of Zebedee, Simon’s partners.
Then Jesus said to Simon, “Don’t be afraid; from now on you will fish for people.” So they pulled their boats up on shore, left everything and followed him.
I feel like saying, “Jesus, didn’t you hear what Peter said? He’s a sinner for goodness sake.” Jesus chose to ignore Peter’s protestations just as He has chosen to ignore all of mine.
Jesus never seems to answer a question as we would expect.  Simon-Peter exclaims, “Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!” and Jesus prefaces His reply with, “Don’t be afraid…”
Jesus is saying to Peter (and all you ‘Peters’ out there), “I know exactly who you are and what you are.  You are mine and I love you.  So, don’t be afraid, especially of me.  Roll up your sleeves, put you waders on, – we’re goin’ fishin’ – I’m going to show you how it’s done and we’re not stopping when we reach 143!”
I am not saying that willful sin does not impact our ability to serve God freely but I am saying that God does not accept failure as an excuse not to serve Him - it’s simply not an option!
Do you sometimes feel as though God has called you to carry out an impossible task?  One that seems doomed to failure?
I recently read a great quote by Oswald Chambers: “A saint's life is in the hands of God like a bow and arrow in the hands of an archer. God is aiming at something the saint cannot see, and He stretches and strains, and every now and again the saint says--'I cannot stand it anymore.' God does not heed, He goes on stretching till His purpose is in sight, then He lets fly.”
Failure can take on many forms.  It comes in many shapes and sizes.  But God is SO MUCH GREATER than our failures.
In Proverbs 24-16a, God says, “…for though the righteous [the new you] fall seven times, they rise again…”
Personal sin almost certainly instills the greatest sense of failure in any child of God.  But, if we will receive it, when we sin, God gives us the gift of repentance, the ability to confess our sin to Him and for Him to bring about change in us.  When we confess our sin, God lifts us up by the hand, brushes the dirt off our knees, and then says, “Now, where were we? Ah, yes, we were building my Kingdom.  Let’s get back at it.”
In Romans 8:28 Paul emphatically states that God will work all things for the good of those that love Him.  Either this statement is true or it’s not.  ‘All things’ simply means, ‘all things’, not just some things or a few things.  This statement does not exclude sin, or failures, or disappointments.  Paul does not include any exceptions to this rule – quite the opposite.


I want to share a very personal testimony to illustrate the point – that God will work even our greatest failures for the good – simply on the basis of His love for us. 
I grew up in England.  As a family we went to church at Christmas, Easter and for weddings.  It was the thing to do.
In my teens and early adulthood I would have described myself as an atheist but could always be counted on to argue either side of the ‘God question’.  I have always enjoyed a good debate.
When I was twenty-one I immigrated to Canada, I couldn’t wait to find my independence.  The only so-called ‘spiritual experience’ I had in those years was when the plane touched down in Toronto and I had this overwhelming feeling of ‘being home’.
I worked primarily in sales and did quite well.  When I turned thirty I and two colleagues started up our own audio-visual company.  We were successful, brash and arrogant.  There was even appoint where the three of us were seriously considering leasing identical Porsche 928’s to make a public display of our success.
In four short years we has a staff of twenty-five and moved into our own new building.  Then came an economic turndown and we crashed with it.  In March of 1986 we filed for bankruptcy.
In this midst of this crisis, the greatest failure of my life, I cried out aloud, “God, if you’re there, help me!”  
I had completely come to the end of self and had nowhere else to turn. I had failed. Spectacularly. A cry from the heart of a wretched soul.  I like to refer to those six short words as my prayer of salvation.  
But God is so much bigger than my failure.  In that instant, in that split-second, in the blink of an eye, God showed up.
It would take many pages to explain all the details of what happened - but that evening, for the very first time, I prayed.  Don’t ask me what I prayed – I don’t remember.  I started to read the Bible and little-by-little I came to know God and the person of Jesus Christ.
A few weeks later I went to a local restaurant with my next-door neighbours, Wayne and Barbara.   We had become good friends.  I forget the context of our conversation but I do remember saying the words, “Since I have become a Christian…”  At that moment the Holy Spirit showed up.  The only way I can describe it is an overwhelming sense of peace and warmth.  It was as though I had just gulped down a swig of the finest single-malt whiskey and felt the warmth that radiates from within.
I must confess that in those few moments I had no idea what was happening to me.  There was no doubt in my mind though that this was a ‘God-thing’.
When I shared this experience with some friends, whom I knew to be Christians, they explained quoting Romans 10:9, “If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved.”
I want to briefly interject to say that this was my experience.  Not everyone will have the same experience as me.  There are probably many who read this testimony that have simply grown up knowing God and cannot remember a time when God was not present in their lives.
So there you have it, God had taken the greatest failure of my life, working it for my good according to His great promise, and giving me the greatest success of my life – to be made a co-heir with Christ in the Kingdom of God! 
And let me add that He didn’t stop there. The cascading blessings out of that cry for help have never ended.  Eighteen months later God brought Wendy into my life and this past September we celebrated 25-years of marriage.  
I hasten to add that when Wendy and I met, I had absolutely nothing.  God had plucked me clean and was starting a whole new rebuilding project which continues to this day.
In his generosity God provided me with a wife who, along with many other things, came with a cottage on Baptiste Lake, and many friendships including that of Steve and Angie Breathour, which brings me full-circle to the email from Steve that has given me the opportunity to share these precious lessons learned.
Being able to share these thoughts and short testimony with you is yet another of those things that I hope God is working together for our respective and collective good, for those of us who love Him and have been called according to His purpose.


I pointed out previously that Paul is emphatic when he states that God will work all things for the good of those that love Him.  Either this statement is true or it’s not.  ‘All things’ simply means, ‘all things’, not just ‘some things’ or a ‘few things’.  This statement does not exclude sin, or failures, or disappointments.  Paul does not include any exceptions to this rule – quite the opposite in fact:
“We, too, wait with eager hope for the day when God will give us our full rights as his adopted children, including the new bodies he has promised us. We were given this hope when we were saved. (If we already have something, we don’t need to hope for it. But if we look forward to something we don’t yet have, we must wait patiently and confidently.)
And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words. And the Father who knows all hearts knows what the Spirit is saying, for the Spirit pleads for us believers in harmony with God’s own will. And we know that God causes everything [including all our failures] to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. For God knew his people in advance, and he chose them to become like his Son, so that his Son would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. And having chosen them, he called them to come to him. And having called them, he gave them right standing with himself. And having given them right standing, he gave them his glory.
What shall we say about such wonderful things as these? If God is for us, who can ever be against us? Since he did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for us all, won’t he also give us everything else? Who dares accuse us whom God has chosen for his own? No one—for God himself has given us right standing with himself. Who then will condemn us? No one—for Christ Jesus died for us and was raised to life for us, and he is sitting in the place of honor at God’s right hand, pleading for us.
Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love [including all our failures]? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity [or failure], or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? (As the Scriptures say, “For your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep.”) No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.
And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.”