A LIVING HOPE
The Prairies can be a lonely place, but it was especially so for Tom Sukanen, a Finnish immigrant who moved to Saskatchewan over 100 years ago. He’d walked 600 miles from Minnesota, where his family waited for him to later return and get them. Seven years later he did, but his wife had passed away and all his children had been placed in foster homes. Alone, he returned to his homestead near the South Saskatchewan River. He dreamed of returning to Finland and, having been trained as a shipbuilder, decided to build a sea-going vessel he could sail up the river to Hudson’s Bay, then across the Atlantic. The Great Depression hit, and at great sacrifice, he managed to build his craft in sections, moving each by himself 17 miles to the river. The heaviest piece needed help, and no one would lend a hand. He sank into depression, especially after vandals stole some of the metal parts. Institutionalized in a hospital, he died in 1943. Decades later, the community organized a museum and Tom’s ship is the crowning piece. You can visit it today, just southwest of Moose Jaw.
Sukanen’s sad story teaches us many things, but one thing stands out: the futility of unreasonable hopes. While we all would wish for Tom’s success, there were just too many obstacles. It’s different with the hope that every Christian carries in his heart – to live again after death and enter heaven. Peter put it this way: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.” (1 Peter 1:3) He emphasized that it is A LIVING HOPE. It’s not an impossible, and therefore unreasonable hope. Jesus Himself rose again, demonstrating forever that the coming resurrection will indeed take place. Our hope is real, and it will not fail.
– Tim Johnson
The following article was written by Roy Graneau, preacher for the South Edmonton Church of Christ (the congregation that I used to work with before moving to Barrie). Roy is highly respected and appreciated. – Tim
THE IMPORTANCE OF HOPE IN MY LIFE
There are times when everything looks very dark to me, so dark that I have to ask, “Is my God still with me in my storms?” Waiting with hope is very difficult, but true patience is expressed when I must even wait for hope. When I see no hint of success yet refuse to despair, when I see nothing but darkness of night through my window, yet keep the shutters open because stars may appear in the sky, and when I have an empty place in my heart yet will not allow it to be filled with anything less than one of God’s best virtue of patience.
It is the story of Job in the midst of trials, Abraham on the road to Mount Moriah, Moses in the burning desert of Median and Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane. There is no patience as strong as that which endures because God who is invisible in my storms.
“By faith he left Egypt, not fearing the king’s anger; he persevered because he saw him who is invisible.” Hebrews 11:27
– By Roy Graneau
The Greek Island of Patmos is a popular place these days. Surrounded by the Agean Sea, this small, idyllic outcrop of land is dotted with resorts, spas and beaches. But in the 1st century it was the lonely, rugged home of the apostle John, near the end of his life. In Rev.1:9 he said he was there because of tribulation and his work to spread the testimony of Jesus. The Romans had exiled him to Patmos, no doubt trying to silence his influence. They certainly failed! Continue reading
If you’ve been to the Maritimes, you probably saw something that’s common to all coastal communities: an anchor propped up in a seaside park. Besides being a nice spot to take pictures, anchors are a connection to great ships of the past that were manufactured there, or maybe the town served as a home port. Some anchors are man-size, but many are gigantic. Once deployed, a huge ship isn’t going anywhere. Continue reading