Bits and Pieces is a random collection of news and views compiled by Dr. Frank McClelland for Toronto F.P.C.


CORONAVIRUS SITUATION.  Now after seven weeks of self-isolation and lockdown there are some small positive signs that the peak has been reached.  But just as it was dangerous on the way up, that danger remains on the way down.  So any return to some sort of normality will take time and care.  Ontario has announced that all schools, including our Whitefield Christian Schools, will remain closed until the end of May at least. There is every likelihood that school will not restart until the new school year in September.  Our school classes, however, are continuing on Google Classroom, and our teaching staff are doing an amazing job in teaching online. Our grateful thanks goes out to them.  Pray for them.

The Toronto church services will continue to go out on each week, the Sunday services at 11.00am and 6.30pm. preceded by the adult Bible Class at 10.00am.  The Wednesday prayer meeting is carried on zoom at 7.30pm.  Anyone can join.  Contact the church for details on how.


A PRECIOUS LITTLE BIBLE. The writer has a little 1648 Bible, given to him kindly by Dirk Struck of the Calgary church.  It is a small ‘ladies Bible.’ It was printed when England was in the throes of Civil War between the Parliamentary forces of Oliver Cromwell and the army of Charles I, who would be beheaded the next year.  In 1648 John Bunyan was 20, Montreal was six years old, and the law of gravity was not yet discovered.  Most interesting are the many pages of hand-notes, written by a lay person, which give a view of the deep spiritual state of that church-going age.  Here is one of them, a lovely outline on the Bible.  

“The inspired scripture is ye infallible rule of faith, the unmoveable ground of hope, the perfect guide of life, the soul’s storehouse of provision, the spiritual arsenal of munition, the sacred fewell (fuel) of devotion, the divine subject of contemplation, the everlasting spring of celestial consolation.  A small and dim knowledge of it is to be valued far above a greater of clearer insight in any other science.”


FORTY YEARS AGO.  John Lennon, of the Beatles, was killed in 1980.  Christians do not forget his words on Christ and Christianity. “Christianity will go.  It will vanish and shrink.  I needn’t argue about that.  I’m right and will be proved right.  We’re more popular than Jesus now.  I don’t know what will go first – rock and roll or Christianity.”  John Lennon is dead.  Jesus Christ and Christianity live on.  ‘Nuff sed!


THE APPLE TREE.  “An apple a day keeps the doctor away’.  So goes the old adage.  We are not sure if that is true, but one thing we do know is that Jesus Christ is pictured as an apple tree in the Bible (Song 2:3).  The apple tree is a notable picture of Christ. 

Its Singularity.  It is one “tree among the trees of the wood.”   There are many trees in the wood but they cannot sustain life.  An apple tree can provide both food and drink.  There are many philosophies in the world, but they cannot satisfy the hungry soul, but the living Christ alone can provide spiritual food and drink for the soul.

Its Shadow.  In a hot and barren land what a delight to find shelter under the foliage of the apple tree.  Elizabeth Clephane, in her wonderful hymn, Beneath the Cross of Jesus spoke of the “shadow” of the Cross.  What a blessing to be able to sing, “I sat down under His shadow with great delight.”

Its Sweetness.  Louisa Stead wrote, “Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus, just to take Him at His word.’  How sweet it is in times of crisis just to rest upon the “exceeding great and precious promises” of the Word of the Lord (2 Peter 1:4).  The apple tree in the Song of Solomon is not fenced in an orchard setting, but is outside and available to all.  Christ is available to all, and able to satisfy the cravings of your soul.  “O taste and see that the Lord is good”.  (Psalm 34:9).


ELECTRONIC PRAYER MEETINGS.  With the restrictions of Covid19 preventing public church meetings many congregations have taken to SermonAudio, Skype and Zoom to get their messages out, and meet for prayer. The North American FPC ministers meet weekly in groups for prayer.  The Toronto church Wednesday prayer meeting is on  Last Wednesday more than eighty signed on for a blessed time of intersession.  Rev. Reggie Cranston brought a short devotional before the times of prayer, which were divided into three ‘electronic’ rooms.