Don Cantelon grew up on the Canadian prairie amid the incredible poverty of the Great Depression. Nine years of drought, dust storms, and grasshopper plagues added to the misery. Don’s dad, a prairie preacher, continued as faithfully as he could, living on almost nothing; and inspired by his example, Don himself grew up to become a young pastor. But he, too, received little income from the impoverished congregations he served.
Don met a girl named Ardena who he quickly fell in love with—the two became engaged. He was embarrassed that his fiancée’s left hand was bare, but there was no way he could afford a ring on his church salary, so he waited for an outside speaking engagement to provide a little extra money. Finally, he was asked to speak at a youth convention in Alberta.
Arriving in Alberta, he counted ten cents in his pocket; and when he learned that his assigned accommodations were a long way from the meeting hall, he fretted about the bus fare. As Don ambled down the street, a prayer formed in his mind: “Lord, if I had just five dollars, I think I’d be all right until they give me my love offering at the end of the convention. You see, Lord, I need just enough money for bus fare, a little writing pad, and a cheap pen.” As Don continued walking, he stuck his hand in the breast pocket of his coat and pulled out a love letter from Ardena along with a paper giving information about his trip.
Stuck between the two was a five-dollar bill.
At the end of the meetings, Don was given a modest honorarium. After buying his train ticket and returning home, there was enough left for the tiniest of engagement rings. Don never knew how the money got into his pocket, but he said, “From that point in my life, I found it easier to believe that God would supply all my needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19).
He Is Our Provider
Never doubt that our God is our provider. You and I serve the same God who provided a lamb for Abraham and Isaac on Mount Moriah; sent manna from heaven and streams in the desert for the Children of Israel; commanded the ravens to feed the prophet Elijah by the Brook Cherith; filled the widow’s larder with oil and flour in 1 Kings 17; multiplied the loaves and fish for the throngs of Galilee; and put a coin in a fish’s mouth so Peter could pay his taxes. He works in ways we cannot see or comprehend at times to provide for our needs.
He is Our Protector
The same God who provides for us also protects us. The Twenty-Third Psalm assures us that if the Lord is our Shepherd, we’ll lack nothing; and we have nothing to fear. His rod and staff will comfort us, and He will be with us even in the valley of the shadow of death. How easy to fear when we hear a noise in the night or when we board an airplane. But the Lord says, “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God” (Isaiah 41:10).
The word “afraid” occurs 216 times in the Bible. The earliest biblical reference occurs immediately after Adam and Eve sinned. The first words out of Adam’s mouth were: I was afraid (Genesis 3:10). Most of the remaining 215 references are reassurances that by God’s grace and by Christ’s love we don’t have to remain in a state of fear: Do not be afraid. Stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which He will accomplish for you today…The LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid…? Whenever I am afraid, I will trust in You….You shall not be afraid of the terror by night, nor of the arrow that flies by day…. Do not be afraid; only believe…. (Exodus 14:13; Psalm 27:1; Psalm 56:3; Psalm 91:5; Luke 8:50).
Because He is our Provider and Protector, we can also say that He is our Peace. Because He cares for us., He blesses us with all we need to live in today’s world. So look upward today and see what God is doing for you, and thank Him for His provision, protection, and peace.
Dr. Jeremiah is the founder and host of Turning Point for God and senior pastor of
Shadow Mountain Community Church in El Cajon, California.
For more information on Turning Point, go to
 Don Cantelon, The Day I Burned the Hotel Down and Other True Stories (Abbotsford, BC: CeeTeC Publishing, 2002), chapter 18: “The Five Dollar Miracle.”
The beautiful red-bricked church of St. Andrews in Easton, Maryland, was known for its open door. Generations had gathered at St. Andrews to enjoy food, fellowship, and Sunday worship. So it came as a jolt to most parishioners when the bank foreclosed on the building and sold the property at auction.
Sadly, this is not a rare occurrence. There are thousands of houses of worship in America, and every week a few of them close their doors. The Christian Science Monitor ran a column a number of years ago entitled, “The Coming Evangelical Collapse,” which proclaimed, “We are on the verge—within 10 years—of a major collapse of evangelical Christianity.”
But not so fast! I’m not ready to accept defeat. These are exciting times to be a Christian. The Church around the world is growing at a pace unequalled since Pentecost, and this is the greatest harvest season in the history of Christianity.
While I’m realistic about the challenges facing evangelism today, Christianity has a way of outliving its critics. News magazines and newspapers may soon be a thing of the past, but it’s a mistake to assume that Christianity is dead and buried. Don’t discount the power of God in the hearts of men and women.Confidence Still Standing
Rain, wind, and fire—think what life on earth would be like without them. Pretty desperate if not ultimately, impossible.
Rain. Water evaporates as a gas from the earth into the sky where it forms clouds, condenses, and falls to earth as a liquid. That liquid grows our crops, fills our rivers and lakes, cleanses the air and the planet from dirt and dust, and slakes our thirst. Life would not be good without rain.
Wind. We take it for granted, but life would be difficult without it. Wind moves clouds through the sky, making it possible for arid regions to get rain. With the advent of mechanization, wind power fell out of primary use; but now wind has suddenly become a targeted tool for producing electrical energy. Think how different life would be without wind.
Fire. No one knows when the first spark was intentionally struck by a human being, setting ablaze a fuel source, producing heat and light. Wherever fire began, life today would be impossible without it.Quiet Please
Our English word noise comes from the Latin word noxia, which means “injury or hurt.” The connection is easy to see. Noise pollution affects our physical and mental well-being, and it’s often detrimental to our spiritual health. Yet we’re surrounded by noise—blaring, jarring, clanging, clamoring commotion.
Thank God for quiet gardens! Whether it is a balcony with a flower pot or a sprawling national park, a garden is a great place to relax all five senses. There is no gentler sound on earth than the rippling of water in a small fountain or brook, or the rustling of trees in the breeze.
We can trace our origins back to a gorgeous garden planted “eastward in Eden” (Genesis 2:8). It was filled with bountiful fruit trees, irrigated by four rivers, scented by a million flowers, and studded with gold.
Knowing what to do in times of crisis is the mark of a great leader. Knowing how to behave in times of crisis? That’s the duty of every believer. Dr. David Jeremiah considers how Joseph managed the many crises he faced in his life, with principles we can apply when trouble arises in our lives.All Sermons by Dr. David Jeremiah