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Faith Passions

A Different Side of God

By Rev. C.J. Barry Kentner

There was a time in my life when I worked in one of the largest Jewish Communities in Canada.   I would drive through the streets of that community and see the residents in various dress.  Some men dressed in suits, collar and tie, and others wore beards and robes, and a black hat that resembled the wide-brimmed Amish hat.  Still, others wore a small black beanie. Women, on the other hand, dressed very much alike, wearing dresses or slacks. The children caught my eye….some of them were walking with a little box in the middle of their forehead, held there by a ribbon that was tied around their head.  These were the students of a synagogue school.
In that little box on their forehead was a scripture verse that they were to commit to memory that day.

On several occasions before I moved into this community, I had worked alongside several Jewish individuals, and we compared our beliefs and customs.  So I was semi-prepared for the events and things that I witnessed.

As editor of the church page for a newspaper chain, I had many opportunities to talk with Rabbis, as well as ministers and pastors in the community.  As a pastor myself, I believe that what God spoke to Moses as he handed down the Law and the ten commandments, He also was speaking to us. 

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In the book of Deuteronomy, the sixth chapter, He told Moses to tell the people that “The Lord our God, the Lord, is one.  Love Him with all your heart, all your soul … and all your strength!

These commandments were to be on their hearts, and, He said, “impress them on your children”. They were to talk about them at home, as they walked along the road, when they laid down and when they got up.  God said, “tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads.” And, He continued…Write them on the doorframes of your houses, and on your gates.

I am sure if cars were available in those long ago Biblical days, God would have included bumper stickers as well.

There is one more thing I realized during the months that I worked in that community.  On Saturday, very few cars were on the road.  There were many, many synagogues…and you could see the families walking to worship.  Dad and the boys together, and a few steps behind, the women and girls walked with their heads down.  Most of them covered their heads with a shawl.

It was an amazing time in my life, and I saw a different side of God and His people.  My own Faith was bolstered as I learned more about the roots of what we now call “Evangelical Christianity” during those months


Lay everything down                                                                         
At the foot of the cross:
Give everything to Jesus.
It matters not 
that it’s complete loss
For He only wants to relieve us.
He’ll take the hurts, 
He’ll soothe the pain
It’s what He came to die for…
When you let go
Then He takes hold,
And lifts you up again!
He is a friend,
The Scriptures say—
Who’s “closer than a brother.”
And as He said so many times,
“Beside me there’s no other.
So bow your knee
And open your heart
It isn’t hard to do;
No matter what
The future holds
He’s always there for you.

{c}  Rev. C.J. Barry Kentner, Nov.2016

Barry was born in Toronto, Ontario in 1935 and schooled to Grade 10, but continued educational pursuits until age 65 when he graduated from Open Word Bible College. He started working for Spitzer and Mills advertising in 1952, then moved to the Broadcast arena where for 62 years he was News Director and Talk Show Host at several Canadian Radio Stations. He was one of 5 consultants who managed to lobby for Christian Radio in Canada, and in the last five years before retirement, he was News Director of Canadian Altar.Net News, a network of 25 Christian Radio Stations across Canada from Charlottetown PEI to Campbell River BC.
Barry Kentner is a semi-retired pastor.

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