We were all saddened this week to learn of the death of Rev. John Bodner.  He was a good friend of the Toronto church and often preached there.  Although his passing was expected yet when the moment arrived, it had considerable shock to it.  John had suffered from esophageal cancer for some time.  His funeral will be held on Friday, September 15 (11:00 a.m.) at Turner and Porter, Peel Chapel, 2150 Hurontario Street, Mississauga.  Please keep his wife Dorothy in your prayers that the Lord will comfort her at this difficult time.


“I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten” [Joel 2:25]

     Joel tells us that the Jews had lost time, and that this lost time had run into years.  The thought of lost time is a depressing one, and yet we all have to admit that we have lost years from our allotted span through our failure to live for God and obey His voice.

     When Naomi returned to Bethlehem after ten wasted years in Moab, [Ruth], the full extent of her loss seemed to stare her in the face. She felt that Marah, which means “bitter,” would be a more appropriate name for her than Naomi, which means “pleasant.”  If you are feeling depressed by thinking about how many years you have lost, God has a cheering thought here to scatter the gloom: “I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten.”

     Maybe you are saying as you read this, “Impossible! When time is lost, it can’t be recovered; it is water under the bridge.”  That is true, but what God does is to compensate for the time lost through our carelessness and waywardness.

     When Naomi returned to Bethlehem, she must have been expecting to spend her last days as a poor, broken old woman.  But she brought back her daughter-in-law Ruth, a saved young woman.  Ruth married Boaz, who was a man of wealth and influence in Bethlehem.  When Boaz and Ruth’s son was born, the women of the district celebrated with Naomi and told her that the child would be a restorer of her life and a nourisher of her old age.  When Naomi returned, God compensated her for the years she had lost.  He can do the very same for you and me.

[Rev. Gordon Ferguson is currently preaching in Calgary and will be in Toronto on October 8 and 29.  He will also  be speaking at Port Hope the last week of October.]

“You cannot have back your time, but there is a strange and wonderful way which God can give back to you the wasted blessings” [C.H. Spurgeon]


‘Twas battered and scarred, and the auctioneer

Thought it scarcely worth his while

To waste much time on the old violin.

But he held it up with a smile.

“What am I bidden, good folk?” he cried,

“Who’ll start the bidding for me?

“A dollar – a dollar – then two, only two –

“Two dollars, and who’ll make it three?

“Going for three” – but no –

From the room far back, a gray-haired man

Came forward and picked up the bow,

Then, wiping the dust from the old violin,

And tightening the loosened strings,

He played a melody pure and sweet

As a caroling angel sings.

The music ceased, and the auctioneer,

With a voice that was quiet and low,

Said, “NOW what am I bid for the old violin?”

And he held it up with the bow.

“A thousand dollars – and who’ll make it two?

“Two thousand – and who’ll make it three?

“Three thousand once – three thousand twice –

“And going – and gone.” Cried he.

The people cheered, but some of them cried,’

“We do not understand.

“What changed its worth?” Quick came the reply,

“The touch of the Master’s hand.”


And many a man with life out of tune,

And battered and scarred with sin,

Is auctioned cheap, to a thoughtless crowd,

Much like the old violin.

“A mess of pottage” – a glass of wine,

A game – and he travels on:

He is going once – and going twice –

He’s going – and almost gone!

But the Master comes, and the foolish crowd

Never can quite understand

The worth of a soul and the change that’s

wrought by the touch of the Master’s hand.

[Myra Brooks].

What a wonderful change in my life has been wrought, since Jesus came into my heart; I have light in my soul for which

long I had sought, since Jesus came into my heart.” [Rufus H. McDaniel]