Such as I have …

I just finished a Facebook exchange with a Talluri Roni Joseph, a pastor in a third world country who cares for orphans.  I have talked to him several times and each conversation leads to an “ask“.  He pleads with me for money to help with the orphans.  This is “pure and undefiled religion” according to James.  I think he may be for real.  I think these orphans may be for real … there certainly are far too many in our broken world.

Each time I tell him that I would donate if he could establish a relationship with a credible organization, through which I could give.  Otherwise I won’t.  I know of too many, relatives even, who have been scammed out of thousands of dollars over the internet.

Today, he told me that God would send me to hell for failing to respond to his need and then he blocked me.  My wife and I have always been involved in organizations like Compassion because we know that what leaves our hands, finds its way into the hands of those who need it most.

I hope God doesn’t sent me to hell for failing this person.

What I forget is that I have no contact with this person and no knowledge of the situation directly.  All that I can say for sure is that there is someone typing back at me from “God knows where“.  

But I still feel bad.

I feel bad because I have so much and others have so little.  Comparatively speaking, I have nothing … nothing to complain about.  I feel bad because I can’t share the biblical testimony of Psalms 37:25, “I was young and now I am old, yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken or their children begging for bread.”

I think I have seen that.  Not forsaken spiritually, but seemingly neglected by both God and man.  And I have seen them begging.  As little as my wife and I are doing, we are responding at some level but it seems so minor in the face of such great need.  And I still feel guilty. 

There are people that I see everyday, whose circumstances may not be so stark as the orphaned third world but they need help as well.  Sometimes I am able and other times I find myself a penniless beggar as well. Nothing to give.

Peter and John, going to the temple to pray, encountered a man who went there daily, a regular attendee.  But he wasn’t there to pray.  He was there to beg for money enough to survive.  I am certain that Peter and John must have seen him there before.  Perhaps on other days they had silver and/or gold and likely tossed coins his way.  But this day, they had nothing except a prayer … and they prayed it. 

“In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk.”

I wonder if they were as surprised as he was?  I’ve prayed prayers before and then been shocked, even surprised when God answered them.

It is sad when you think that a man could have been coming to the temple, the church, for years, looking for financial help when his greatest need was something else.  It is sad when you think that believers respond financially as though that were the greatest thing that we could do for people.  

If Peter and John were carrying cash that day, what might have happened?  They would have flipped a couple coins his way and nothing would have been different … just like they may have done times before.

Lord help us not to spend our lives trying to deal with issues that are not the main pain.  Help us not to fasten our hopes on the resources and generosity of others when our help comes from You.  Help Talluri Roni Joseph and the orphans that he cares for.

“Such as I have, give I unto thee … “


Two Spots Left

Countdown to the Retreat








We are at 18 of 20 available spots for our Fall Retreat.  Brad Jersak just confirmed that he will be staying overnight on the 23rd and speaking at Community Life Church on September 24th.

If you know of anyone, sitting on the fence re: registering for the event, send them a note and let them know that we are close to capacity.  Our decision to cap registrations was to provide for a more personal experience where adequate interaction time is provided with our speaker and others who attend.

I am incredibly excited about this time.  We will compile a waiting list for those who miss a registration opportunity.  Have you purchased “A More Christlike God” yet.  Whatever reading that you can do ahead of time will be very beneficial.

“But God sometimes permits men to retain certain defects and imperfections, blind-spots and eccentricities, even after they have reached a high degree of sanctity, and because of these things their sanctity remains hidden from them and from other men.  If the holiness of all the saints had been plainly  evident to everybody, they would never have been polished and perfected by trial, criticism, humiliation and opposition from the people they lived with…be satisfied to let God lead you to sanctity by paths you cannot understand.”

— Thomas Merton

Retreat Update 05/02/2017

It is a foggy … I mean … F … O … G … G … Y, Grand Manan morning.  And I love it.  This kind of weather does something to me.  In its own way, it draws me to God.  I spend time thinking, praying, listening for His Voice.  Maybe it is because my eyes are less distracted.  I know there are things out there that I cannot see and my inability to see does not diminish their existence.

This has always been where God seems to have met me in the most transformative experiences of my journey … in my incapacity.  This is where He has revealed Himself to me.  In my weakness He is strong.

Lest I get to preaching, I have an update …

We now have 15 paid registrations of the 20 available.  There is a good mixture of island and mainland folks.  I will begin a “Waiting List” if it becomes necessary.  But if you do want to make certain that your place is reserved, please get me the funds.  eTransfer to or snail mail check to “Community Life Church” is fine.

Google “Accommodations Grand Mana” for relevant info.  There are several ladies who come to our church ( who run Bed ‘n Breakfasts and even a motel.

  1. Surfside Motel – Carly Fleet
  2. Ferryview BNB – Shelia Tate Hornjak
  3. Blossoms and Blooms BNB – Lorraine McNeil
  4. McLaughlin’s Wharf Inn – Brenda McLaughlin
  5. Pa’s Place – Tammy Brown

It should be easy to find accommodations at that point in the tourist season.  Anyway … thanks to all who have made reservations.  We still have 5 available seats.  If you know of friends who are considering attending, let them know that they need to register ASAP.

Blessings …

“Our idea of God tells us more about ourselves than about Him.” – Thomas Merton

Brad Jersak Retreat

    Contact Info

  • Additional Info

  • Please Note

  • Please note that we are limiting the registration to the first 20 paid participants. When we have received your payment we will confirm your spot. You can email transfer to or send a check payable to "Community Life Church". Checks should be mailed to: Karl Ingersoll, 1842 Rt 776, Grand Manan, NB E5G-3H2


Retreat Update 04/28/17

We are currently at six paid/confirmed registrations for our rally.  Our capacity is twenty.  If you have interest in combining a visit to Grand Manan with an exceptional opportunity to enrich your spiritual walk, please register ASAP.

Our financial goal is merely to meet expenses.  We have limited our registration in order to facilitate the kind of gathering that we envision to be most helpful.  The teaching times with Brad, conversations with a group of people, small enough to get to know and the beauty of creation around us offer us what stands to be a rare opportunity.

I am attaching a YouTube video that you might want to watch in order to get a sense of who Brad is and what flows from his heart.

Please feel free to share this with your friends.  You can eTransfer to or send a check made out to “Community Life Church“, to secure your registration.  When we have received payment we will confirm your registration.  The address for snail mail is Karl Ingersoll, 1842 Rt 776, Grand Manan, NB E5G-3H2.

“Letting go is not in anybody’s program for happiness, and yet all mature spirituality, in one sense or another, is about letting go and unlearning.”

— Richard Rohr   OFM

Day Two

It’s Day Two since our Fall Retreat plans have been announced.  We have three confirmed reservations.  If you have interest in being a part of this gathering, please look at the Registration Form for more info and don’t delay.

Our hope is to put information and material before you in the intervening days that will paint a picture of the time that we will spend together and the kinds of perspectives that you will encounter.

Also, please note the opportunity to subscribe to this blog so that current information will go directly to your inbox.

“The early but learned pattern of dualistic thinking can get us only so far; so all religions at the more mature levels have discovered another ‘software’ for processing the really big questions, like death, love, infinity, suffering, and God.  Many of us call this access ‘contemplation’.  It is a nondualistic way of seeing the moment.  Originally, the word was simply prayer.”

— Richard Rohr,  OFM


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