The Blog of Pastor Mike Wilkins
"The long run" referred to in the title of this blog is, in the first place, the many years Mike Wilkins served as West London's solo pastor, and then its Senior Pastor, since he and his wife Deb moved to London (and this church) in 1984.
In these past few years (beginning November 2011,) Mike's various health challenges, particularly a serious and ongoing case of cancer, has added another layer to the "long run" metaphor, and lots to blog about. Mike is currently on an extended Sick Leave, but generally worships with the church family on Sunday mornings.
With the publication of a book he wrote in 2016 entitled "Glory in the Face" (now available electronically and in paperback from Amazon.ca, and other online venders), Mike has just launched a new website, which will serve as a sort of scrapbook for readers of the book, with relevant background photos, for example, of That Last Final Solo Canoe Trip in May, 2011, as well as additional information about the book, and--coming soon--a new set of blog posts, mostly about the peace of God and the joy of the Lord and the face of Christ and the strength to face anything. You'll find the new website now at www.gloryintheface.com.
Sep30FriSeptember 30, 2016
I posted a notice on the first day of September that I had been busy this year, especially from March to August, writing a book. I am pleased to announce that the self-publishing company I chose (and am now very impressed with: Tellwell.ca) is making good progress towards the completion of the project and the availability of the book just a few weeks from now. To give a little more information, here, on the last day of September, is a part of the book's FOREWORD:
Glory in the Face was the name of a sermon series before it became the title of this book: a series of sermons I preached on Sunday mornings in the fall of 2011, the particular autumn coinciding with my own fall from good health.
It was the set of sermons I had thought up—and thought through, and prayed about—on the 2011 version of my annual First-Thing-in-the-Spring Solo Canoe Trip in Temagami Provincial Park: five glorious days of silence and solitude, camping beside, and paddling on, lakes as still as glass and as cold as ice. It was an utterly breathless experience, and, as it turned out, the last solo canoe trip of my life.
The theme of the sermons: finding the strength to face anything, rendered the series more personally relevant and applicable than any group of sermons I had ever preached. Half-way through the preaching of the series, I learned that I needed a major surgery in order to save my eyesight. The final sermon of the set was preached three days prior to that surgery.
… Just as I was wrapping up that medical adventure, a real health disaster was discovered; this time not in my attic but in my, um, basement
… That is, in April, 2013, I was diagnosed with cancer. Of the colorectal kind. Thickening the plot a lot, the nasty thing had metastasized to my liver. It turned out that the whole pituitary business was not The Thing at all. It was only the dress rehearsal for The Really Serious Medical Thing that followed.
… For almost five years now, I have, by the grace of Jesus Christ, been finding the strength to face many uncertainties, a number of inconveniences, some pain, and the permanent loss of some things I have loved for many years. And I am continuing to find the strength to face the oncoming challenges of actually dying.
… My good news is that these years have not been horrible. On the contrary, for me, and my magnificent wife, this experience has been loaded with the peace of God. Our minds and our hearts are guarded by it. And the joy of the Lord is our strength.
… It does seem to me that the sermons I brought home from that last solo canoe trip—as much as I intended them to benefit the people to whom I would preach them—were God’s gifts to me.
… And now there is a book entitled Glory in the Face. It is written in the hope, and with the prayer, that what God revealed to me five years ago, about gaining strength by knowing Christ better—and what I have learned by experience since then—will be a practical help to a number of people; some of whom I am never going to meet in this life.