O Canada!

Saturday, July 1, 2017
Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "As With Gladness Men Of Old"1 (Lyrics)

Luke 10:27 – Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and love your neighbour as yourself. (NIV)

For Canadians, July 1, 2017, is special: it is Canada's 150th anniversary! In December, I will have lived in this country for 50 years. I often return to my country of birth, England, but I love Canada.

When I have visitors from England, they always remark on how much space there is here and how much distance between towns. They notice how each house is different from its neighbour. They're also surprised how hot it is, because they always come in the summer. I'm sure that they'd be equally surprised at how cold it can be, if they came in winter! Coming from a country where there is not much difference between the seasons, the beautiful colours of fall are another thing that they find intriguing. Lake Ontario is often called "the sea" by mistake, because it's so much bigger than English lakes. People are astounded when they realize how far away the sea really is.

We live in a beautiful country. We have so much freedom to roam. Another thing that surprises visitors is that Canadians move around so much. We upgrade or downsize and change our residence for any number of reasons, whereas there are no real advantages to relocating inside a small country.

Being a fairly young nation, Canada has so many amenities: straight, well-maintained highways, indoor shopping malls, playgrounds, comfort centres, fast food outlets, and churches with insulation and air conditioning.

God's been good to us. There's room for all here. We're friendly. We welcome those from other countries, and all religions are free to worship here. Being young at heart, Canadians have healthy minds and bodies. We're open-minded. We're known the world over as peacemakers. I suspect that we might, in fact, be just a little apathetic, taking our blessings for granted.

Whatever the part of the globe that we call home, we need to stand on guard. We could lose our freedoms very easily. As patriots and as Christians, we must be good stewards of this part of the globe that we call home. This means taking care of everything from voting to littering. We need to be informed. We need to keep the Golden Rule, loving our neighbours as ourselves.

As Christians, this world is not our home. We belong to God's kingdom, and one day, we will live with Him there. We are different from worldly people. God has placed us here to be salt and light — not to be assimilated into the world, but to have an effect on it. We are His ambassadors.

We're to be lights in the darkness, so when we see the sky lit up by fireworks, let us remember who we are, who we belong to, and why we're here.

Prayer: Father in heaven, we praise You for our own country, for Your creation, for blessings, and for freedom. Help us to know our true purpose: to serve and to stand on guard for Thee. Amen.

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About the author:

JJ Ollerenshaw <sandjollie86@gmail.com>
Belleville, Ontario, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Beautiful, your words move my mind and soul. Thanks.

    Thank you, JJ, for sharing your thoughts in this devotional with us. Blessings.

    A wonderful piece of writing about a wonderful country given to us by the most wonderful God.

    Beautiful! Enjoyed this.

    CANADA is great but won’t compare to our final home land.

    Amen JJ. Have a great time celebrating Canada Day!

    I wonder often about people who are led to write devotionals for special days – excellent job! May God bless you today on Canada’s 150 birthday and always.

    What a wonderful message for Canada Day.I understand all you are saying re visitors from Britain as we often had relatives from Scotland and they felt similarly . We do indeed have a lot to be thankful for today and everyday. Have a great celebration. Thanks .

    Thank you! Three years ago, July 1, my road trip took me to Ontario and camping on the Great Lakes and being stuck in 3 day weekend traffic trying to get out of town. It really is one of my favorite places to ride. God bless Canada as it has blessed me w it’s beautiful people and scenery!

    This is a great reminder of the wonderful privileges we have in being part of the best country in the world. I love it with every part of my being, and will stand on guard for the freedoms God has given us in being citizens.
    Thank you for writing this.

    You’ve given us another good one, JJ. Thank you for your patriotism, something we share as our big day is the 4th.

    Wonderful, inspiring Devotional on our wonderful country, JJ.
    I am also blessed to have lived in this blessed land for most of my life.
    Have a great DOMINION DAY!
    As a retired history teacher, I much prefer the original name of DOMINION DAY (with all it’s Christian connotations) to commemorate the formation of our glorious country on July 1, 1867.
    The official Canadian motto, A Mari usque ad Mare (From Sea to Sea) is derived from Psalm 72:8 and is part of a sentence which says: “He shall have dominion also from sea to sea, and from the river unto the ends of the earth.”

    Thank you for these thoughts.

    Dear JJ,
    Thank you for your devotional on July 1st!
    I was talking with an 90+ year old lady today at a senior’s residence where my Mom lives. She was born in Russia, escaped with her parents, living in various countries. Eventually they moved to Canada.
    She was telling me about how difficult and dangerous life was in other parts of the world that she has lived in. She said, and I agree, that sometimes Canadians don’t know how good they have it here with plenty of food, free healthcare, freedoms and being able to move about the country without threats from the officials.
    I know Canada has its problems but compared to many other war-torn countries, we live in the Eutopia of indulgence of food and clothing, medical help, and for the most part, peace and quiet.
    Thank you for your time.

    Dear JJ,
    Thank you for your devotional. Your advantage in being able to compare Canada with England adds much.
    And I appreciate all this — and more…
    Keep writing, for God’s sake.


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