3GT Episode 61: When Elders Come Knocking

Aaron wants to know about the strange Reformed phenomenon known as elder visitations. So Kyle and Barry, aspiring Jedis, tell him about their training under the Yoda of visitation, who is hidden far away in the fair plains of Kansas. Secrets of this mysterious rite are revealed.

From there the guys talk about the Biblical concept of shepherding, the importance of elders knowing the flock of God, practical guidelines for making visitations, and the benefits of elders being in the homes of God’s people. Don’t miss this edifying episode of 3GT!



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Onboard with a Transgender Flight Attendant

This past summer I flew a number of times. On one international flight, as I boarded I was met by a friendly, female flight attendant. As I passed by her to go to my seat, in my mind I did a double take. I realized that the attendant was not a woman, but a man dressed as one. It was pretty obvious.

His face was broad and his voice was husky. Those qualities could easily have been attributed to genetics or a cold. But as I took my seat in the row closest to first class (love the legroom there), other things stood out that made it clear this attendant indeed was a man.

He served the first class passengers warmly and played the part of a hostess quite well. Yet he could not overcome certain things. His thick Adam’s apple protruded. When he walked, he swung his hips just like a man might do imitating a woman, sadly painful to witness. When talking with a seated passenger, he would lean over them with too much intensity and eye-batting. He would then respond to something they said by flipping his long hair back over his shoulder like a teenage girl might do. Observing […]

How Much Do You Love Your Local Church?

A Painful Question

Are you cold, indifferent, angry, frustrated, intolerant, castigating or hostile towards your local church? Or are you warm, concerned, involved, sympathetic, committed, patient, and full of love, grace, hope and peace, in your relationships and dealings with your brothers and sisters in the blood-bought congregation of God?

A Pauline Concern

Paul’s own personal response to God’s people seems to have fluctuated with the ups and down of the churches, over which he was given charge, and to which he was bound with cords of compassion and love.

A Pertinent Text

The giveaway text comes at the end of the letter of 2 Corinthians. The Achaian congregations, contained many of his harshest critics. In this epistle, like no other, for the sake of the progress of the Gospel, and Corinthian spiritual growth, he has to defend His ministry repeatedly, from false accusations and disparaging charges. Yet, like a parent deeply involved with happenings of their children, when the Church is progressing nicely it causes Paul to sing, but when the congregation goes bad it forces Paul to lament.

“For I fear that perhaps when I come I may find you not as I wish – that perhaps there may be quarreling, jealousy, anger, hostility, […]

Conversations with a snowflake

The world outside my window lay blanketed in dazzling white. I stepped outside and drank deeply from the cold fresh air.

“Good morning, Mistress Snowflake,” I greeted the freshly fallen flakes.

“Tell me, where have you come from this morning?” I asked as I marvelled at her beauty and splendour.

“O from vast heights of velvet clouds. But we were not always as you see us now,” chirped the particular snowflake I had focused my gaze on.

“Go on, tell me more.”

“We lay about the earth, in stagnant pools by busy roadsides, in polluted puddles in industrious cities, in effluent-ridden seawater. Some of us lay in leaf blocked gutters and in wayside ditches.”

Seeing my surprise she explained, “We were not as you see us now. We were mere water drops—filthy and contaminated.”

I gazed at the breathtaking beauty of the intricate structure of this perfect crystal flake and marvelled at its brilliance, “How then did you come to this?”

“The sunlight kissed us and caught us heavenward. How it happened none of us can tell. Before we knew what was happening, we were swept through the skies and set free once more.”

There was a moment’s silence as she remembered that glorious day, then she continued, “We […]

Thanksgiving Incense

I sit alone by crackling fire.
Quiet prayers of gratitude ascend.
Spirit-fired sparks shoot upward.

We embraced a long-lost son this week.
He tells us he was blind and dead.
He now sees! He is alive!

I kissed a head for the first time.
A dimple-cheeked grandson was placed in my arms.
I still feel his softness, the hope he gives.

Another grandchild was shy at first.
Yet she of brown eyes and ponytail remembered love.
My legs became her slide, my arms her wings to flight.

A daughter too far away gave birth.
For yesterday a little dove arrived.
How can love fill a heart so for one yet unseen?

I rejoice over children walking in faithfulness.
The two middle ones will celebrate at other tables today.
The faces of our two youngest bringing joy to our own.

I sat at other tables this week.
Lifelong friends smiled across from me.
Stories and laughter outer signs of the Spirit’s bonds.

Thanksgivings, like holy incense, drift heavenward.
Yet libations are present also.
For tears of gratitude drop upon the hearth.

What C.S. Lewis Taught Me

On November 22, 1963 the death of C.S. Lewis was eclipsed by the tragic assassination of John F. Kennedy. However, fifty-four years after his death Lewis remains in the mind of many one of the most successful and influential thinkers of the twentieth century. Indeed, few if any have left such a legacy on the evangelical church, the secular academy, and even children’s literature. Today, I remain thankful for C.S. Lewis.

Now, that may sound strange to some. I’m not overly interested in developing the differences only to say that there are a number of extremely important subjects on which Lewis and I would part ways. While I think he was brilliant his brilliance isn’t always biblically satisfying. I won’t make him something he wasn’t, nor would I offer a ready defense for the things I disagree with him on. Nevertheless, his writings have had a profound effect on me and were very formative in shaping the way I think. Here are five things I learned from C.S. Lewis.

C.S. Lewis taught me that Christianity doesn’t have to be mindless. I grew up in the broad streams of evangelicalism in the 1990s which, not to be overly critical, probably won’t be remembered […]

Proverbial Sayings in the Law: Sow One Seed in Your Vineyard

When one considers the law section of the Bible known as the Pentateuch – the first five books of the Bible – it is easy to think of them simply as codes and regulations like we have in modern law. Yet we need to remember there are various literary genres contained in what we know as the Law of Moses – Genesis through Deuteronomy. There are certainly legal stipulations such as those associated with the sacrificial section or the civil law of ancient Israel, but there also historical narratives such as Moses leading Israel out of Egypt in Exodus, prophetic portions such as Balaam’s pronouncements in Numbers, genealogies like the one found in Genesis 5, and even Hebraic poetry like that found in Genesis 4:23-24.

Another interesting thing to note in the book of Deuteronomy is the presence of what we might call proverbial sayings. When Moses is speaking, perhaps rather than viewing what he is saying as simply a legal stipulation for Israel, we might want to remember what this book truly is. Deuteronomy is not simply a collection of laws, but it is Moses preaching a sermon based on Israel’s history and the law the Lord had given them to […]

The Double Groan of the Gospel


It would be ridiculous to deny that Christian are drenched with countless blessing both material and spiritual. Yet it would not be overstating the case to recognize that every Christian personally, and Gospel workers in particular, have the greatest share or portion not in this life but the next. Glory, for the main part, belongs to worldly men. In this valley of tears believers are often heaped with shame.

It is in the context of despised, inglorious, faith that the apostle Paul mentions a ‘double groan’ of the Gospel to the Corinthians in 2 Corinthians 5.10. His double aim is confidence in their travail for the Lord and consolation for the afflictions and reverses they endure.

The Gravitational Groan

Our home is not down here, but with God in heaven above. Paul contrasts the temporary, flimsy, earthly body with the permanent, indestructible, heavenly frame – one day soon we will be like the risen, exalted, Lord Jesus, death swallowed up in glory, in the Temple prepared by God. Contemplation of this new resurrection body, in the likeness of the glorified humanity of our exalted Lord Jesus, should be light a magnet which draws our hearts, by soul-transforming, heart-rejoicing, triumphant-overcoming, walking by faith and […]

What’s wrong with the Occult?

I’m giving a talk this evening to some of the young people of our Presbytery about the Occult, so I thought I’d kill two birds with one stone today… Eastern Presbytery CY members look away now!!


In his introduction to The Screwtape Letters, C.S. Lewis wrote ‘There are two equal and opposite errors into which our race can fall about the devils. One is to disbelieve in their existence. The other is to believe, and to feel an excessive and unhealthy interest in them.’ Lewis makes the point that the Devil is perfectly happy with either of those extremes – both suit his purpose very well. The apostle Paul says in 2 Cor 2.11 that we are not ignorant of the Devil’s tactics. The occult is one of his many tactics to ensnare human beings, and so we should be aware of it dangers.


What is the Occult?

The word ‘occult’ means ‘secret’ or ‘hidden’. Occult practices have to do with gaining secret, hidden knowledge and using invisible powers to control things in the world. This knowledge and power comes from the unseen, supernatural world. All kinds of practices fall under label ‘occult’, such as fortune telling (in any of its many […]

Browse Worthy: Shots in the Arm

So often the news and even blogosphere can be depressing to read, from the latest political scandal to the next ecclesiastical controversy. Though living in this sin-drenched world means we have to deal with negative news, meditating on the grace of God in Christ can fill us with the Spirit’s goodness. Here are a few good reads along those lines.

The State of Evangelicalism in America and all that Blah Blah Blah | Tim Challies

Encouraging to read our Canadian brother reminding those south of him how we should be grateful to God for all that he is using the American church to do around the world.

Assurance: a Pastoral Conversation | Jeffrey Stivason

An imagined but all-too-real conversation that shows how a pastor might help a parishioner whose mind is troubled regarding assurance of salvation.

Why and how do we sing to one other? | Matt Merker

A short video clip from 9Marks that explains that our congregational singing is not only to God, but to one another.

When Everything Is Missions | Kevin DeYoung

This article is a review of a book by this name (When Everything is Missions by Denny Spitters and Matthew Ellison) that explains its thesis: everything is not missions, should not be missions, and when […]