by Bob Black on December 28, 2016

June 20th, 2016


Father’s Day!  I’m writing this on the morning after what will definitely be one of my more memorable ones.  In addition to connecting with my own children and a family meal that included plenty of play time with our two grand-daughters (our third grandchild is due to arrive in a few weeks), I received a call from a young man that I’ve been journeying with for the past four weeks.


We’ve actually known each other for years but as will often happen, circumstances change and our paths stopped crossing.  Then, a little over a month ago, he came to mind and I felt led to start praying for an opportunity to reconnect with him.  I really shouldn’t have been surprised (because of the way God works sometimes), but a few days later, he phoned me to ask if I’d be willing to serve as an employment reference for him.  I agreed on the condition that we grab a coffee and since then, we’ve been meeting on a weekly basis.


When we met together last week, he wanted to talk about his estranged relationship with his dad.   They hadn’t talked for a long time and knowing that Father’s Day was coming, he wondered aloud how he could fix what seemed to be so broken.  We talked for over three hours and as we headed off, he made a commitment to see his dad on Father’s Day and I made a commitment to pray for both of them.


Fast forward to Sunday afternoon – my phone rings and it’s this young man telling me that he’s just spent the past two hours with his dad and in his words, “I feel like a weight has been lifted off of my shoulders”.   This morning, his dad called me to tell me much of what I already knew and together, we thanked God for the blessing of a restored relationship.


In addition to the four different activities that I get to lead throughout the year (weekly Bible studies with an emphasis on applying what we’re learning, ALPHA like studies for those open to exploring what the Christian faith is all about, a “Hockey Chapel” for the 400+ guys who play in the same league as me, and a monthly BLX (Business Leadership eXchange) for leaders who want to fine tune their skills, care for and resource one another as well as discover more of what it means to lead in a way that honours God), I get to spend a lot of time with people individually and because everyone has a story, there’s never a shortage of opportunities to both show and share the love of Christ with others.


Yes, because of friends like you, I get to be a listening ear and often, because of God’s goodness, a source of help and encouragement to those who are struggling with health issues, financial challenges, relationships that have gone sideways, addictions, questions of faith and so much more.


Last week, one such individual asked me for a Bible.  He’s never had one so I suggested he begin by reading about the life of Jesus from the book of John and because I’m sure that he’ll have some questions, I’ve been re-reading it as well.  Interestingly, from the very first chapter, you find Jesus putting himself in places and situations that make him accessible to everyday people and in the process; he made the Father’s love and grace available to all.


That love and grace is still available and because it’s a life changing message that’s still changing lives, it’s not hard to head into each new day with a heart full of anticipation, hope and gratitude.  Thanks again for choosing to be a part of this important work.  Your kind and faithful support means more to me than you might realize.


Wishing you and yours, a wonderful summer,

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