Thursday, December 27, 2007
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
One year, our son’s new kitten was discovering what Christmas was all about – a time for installing new climbing structures in the basement!! I was upstairs when I heard that unforgettable noise. Even though the family room floor was carpeted, the sound was like a light bulb hitting the cement floor.
I ran downstairs and there under the tree was my Niagara ornament. The kitten fled, instinctively knowing she was in deep trouble. Thankfully it was not smashed beyond repair. My husband carefully glued the pieces back in. Unless you look really closely, you won’t notice the cracks – especially hidden in the dim lights of the Christmas tree.
Christmas is a time for forgiveness and reconciliation. We have all done things that have caused us to run from God and hide, thinking that what we have done is beyond being forgiven. But we are wrong. God sent Jesus to “reconcile” the world to Him. He came to forgive and to restore.
Many may think that some lives are not worth saving, BUT God knows what HE can do with each damaged life. He is waiting for us to come to Him with our brokenness – broken lives and broken dreams – and allow HIM to restore them as only He can. If you look closely, you may still see the scars of our past, but it only becomes an opportunity to give testimony of the Faithfulness of our God, who reconciled us to Himself and gave us more than we ever knew was possible.
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
Wednesday, December 5, 2007
This is a photo of my first Christmas. My Dad was military and we were posted to Fountainbleue, France. For sure, it was a year of firsts and a very different Christmas for my parents so far from home. We were in France for 3 years (& that meant 3 Christmases). Fortunately, my Dad's brother was also stationed in Europe (Belgium) so we did have family close by for part of our time there. I know we spent at least one Christmas together with their family.
After France, we were in Winnipeg for 2 years and then we moved back to Nova Scotia. From the time I was 5 years old, we spent every Christmas at my grandparents' house (Mom's side). Christmas day was a time for all 4 siblings and their families to gather and have Christmas Dinner together.
Of all the years in the military - traveling far and wide, my husband only missed one Christmas at home with us. On Christmas Day, 1992, he was in Mogadishu, Somalia - flying in famine relief which was so desperately needed. He had volunteered to be deployed over Christmas so that those in the squadron with young families could be home for them. (It's harder for the very young to understand why Daddy - or Mommy - is not home for Christmas. PRAY for our military families!!!) He missed other holidays and special occasions, but Christmas seemed to be the hardest. It was the first and thankfully, the only one.
Memories are Treasures. We have so many memories that it is difficult to choose just one "special" Christmas. After all, isn't it the memories of ALL of our past Christmases that have brought us to this year? Some are valued more than others. Some were celebrated not knowing that it was the last Christmas together. ALL are "special" in their own way. God Bless you this Christmas as you make special memories for 2007.
Tuesday, December 4, 2007
The sight is so spectacular
I hear the many Christmas songs
I have no words to tell you
I know how much you miss me,
I can't tell you of the splendor
I'll ask him to lift your spirit
Please let your hearts be joyful
Others dread December because it reminds them that their loved ones are no longer nearby to celebrate with them. Be sensitive to those around you. The angels proclaimed: "JOY to the world!!! And PEACE to all men." Pray that God's peace brings comfort to those who are grieving losses this Christmas season.
Saturday, December 1, 2007
God knows the hearts of men (& women). He knew King Herod would kill Jesus rather than worship Him. God warned Joseph and Mary to flee to Egypt to escape Herod. They stayed there until he died and it was safe for them to return to Israel. God's provision for their exodus came from the gifts brought by the wisemen. Sometimes we can question the verse that tells us that God knows our needs before we even ask. Here we clearly see that God knew they would need provision and made preparations a long time in advance for their need to be met in that crisis time. They certainly would not have had time to raise support for that kind of journey in the moment of crisis that they unexpectedly found themselves. God knew and provided for them before they even knew they would need it. He DOES watch over us. He is FAITHFUL!!
Remember the phrase: Jesus is the Reason for the Season. Yes, it's cute and I heard it before, but what does it mean? The reason we even have Christmas at all is because Jesus was born. Remember - it's HIS brithday celebration. Invite HIM to your Christmas celebrations. How would you feel if you were not invited to your own birthday party?? I know some who even have a birthday cake for Him as part of their Christmas tradition. If "cookies for Santa" can be a tradition, then why not a cake for Jesus?? The kids will love it.
Today is December 1st. 24 days until Christmas Day!!!! Advent calendars are being activated. This Sunday is the first Sunday of Advent. The first candle of the Advent wreath will be lit. Many other Christmas traditions occur throughout the month of December, not only on Dec 25. Why not share with us what your Christmas traditions are? I know there is a Dutch tradition about filling wooden shoes and it's before Christmas Day. Tell us about them and your memories of Christmas seasons past. Let's keep our December focused on the true meaning of Christmas and not on the "shopping craze" that tries so hard to pull us in and overwhelm us emotionally and physically. Jesus IS the Reason for the Season!! Let's celebrate HIM together.
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
Monday, November 12, 2007
Is there enough to heal a wounded heart?
Can it be trusted to comfort and not abuse?
Others said they could be trusted – they lied.
Others said they would stay – they left.
Others said they loved you – they betrayed your trust.
They left scars that don't seem to end.
Can God be trusted??
How can you ever trust again?
He calls you “His Beloved” – What does that mean?
He says that He is Faithful – How long is that?
His Love is pure – How do you know the real thing?
How can you let yourself be used again?
Why take the risk?
"Open your heart," they say.
Easier said than done.
The walls and the locks were put in place long ago.
The vows of self-protection locked the doors.
Any cracks were sealed up tight.
"No one is ever going to hurt me again!!"
How can you open yourself up again?
WHY take the risk?
Isolation is easier.
Masks, Diversions, "I'm fine,"
Easy conversations, Games ==> LONELINESS!!
Is it possible to love again?
Is it possible to ever FEEL loved?
God's Love HEALS the Broken-hearted.
He sees the pieces.
He knows how they fit.
Piece by piece He puts them together.
He CAN make it whole again.
EVERY part of your heart is valuable.
Don't throw away any pieces.
How did you get here?
Why is your heart broken?
Darkness crept in. Ugliness grew.
Hidden sin gave birth to a monster (Bondage).
Now he has you captive.
You are locked into the very thing
that was supposed to protect you.
Imprisoned in your own heart –
You are surrounded, but all alone.
Let God's Love in.
Open your heart to HIM.
Only HE can fulfil your deepest longings.
HIS Love IS big enough.
It is more than you will ever be able to contain.
Make Him your all in all.
No one else – No person, No Idol –
Depend on HIM.
Lay your heart at HIS feet.
He won't step on it.
He won't crush it.
He won't ignore it.
He will cherish it.
He loves you.
Open your heart and receive His Love.
Open your heart and let Him cleanse out the sin.
Open your heart and “Let God be God” in YOU.
How can you know the depths of His Love?
Ask Him to show YOU how much HE loves YOU.
He won't disappoint you.
HIS Love IS big enough.
Let HIS Love consume you.
Then the need in your heart WILL be satisfied.
THEN you will be secure.
Then you can rest in His arms –
SAFE in HIS LOVE.
13 Jan 2000
Sunday, November 11, 2007
Thursday, November 8, 2007
"There is not enough darkness in all the world to put out the light of even one small candle." - Robert Alden
There is a profound truth in this quote. The darkness CANNOT put out the light – Light dispels the darkness – ALWAYS.
A single candle – alone – does not light a very big area. BUT when it lights another candle, and they stand together, the circle is larger. Light even more candles, and the circle widens. Soon it will light up the whole area.
What’s really cool is that: “A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle.” (Arthur Unknown) The original candle continues to burn with the same intensity. NOTHING is lost. The flame can be transferred to the candle next to it or transported to a candle far from it – both will burn brightly.
TOGETHER they make a greater light – they are more effective – than the single candle all alone. WE are those candles. WE are the LIGHT to the world. WE need to SHINE.
Remember the little song we learned as children? “This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it SHINE!!” Don’t hide it – SHINE!! Don’t let it be blown out – SHINE!! PUSH BACK THE DARKNESS & SHINE!!!!
A light cannot “hide” in darkness. It WILL be noticed. It WILL stand out. It WILL influence the area around it. We are to SHINE. We are to reflect the Light in us – the Light of the world – to the world around US. Don’t hide your light – SHINE!!
“The people living in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned." Matthew 4:16 NIV
You can’t stop being a candle. You CAN choose how and where you will shine. Don’t hide your light (HIS Light in you). Sharing it won’t diminish your light. PUSH back the Darkness. Let your light SHINE!!
Be a Candle - Go Light YOUR World
Saturday, October 20, 2007
> HE is the One to see you through the stormy days.
> HE is the One who gives us the strength to go on when we can't take another step.
> HE is the One who wipes away our tears and LOVES us no matter where we have been.
> HE will NOT turn away the weary heart calling out for Him to deliver and lift from the miry pit.
> HE will NEVER abandon or forsake you. TRUST HIM.
"Bring The Rain"
I can count a million times
People asking me how I
Can praise You with all that I've gone through
The question just amazes me
Can circumstances possibly
Change who I forever am in You
Maybe since my life was changed
Long before these rainy days
It's never really ever crossed my mind
To turn my back on you, oh Lord
My only shelter from the storm
But instead I draw closer through these times
So I pray
Bring me joy, bring me peace
Bring the chance to be free
Bring me anything that brings You glory
And I know there'll be days
When this life brings me pain
But if that's what it takes to praise You
Jesus, bring the rain
I am Yours regardless of
The dark clouds that may loom above
Because You are much greater than my pain
You who made a way for me
By suffering Your destiny
So tell me what's a little rain
So I pray
Holy, holy, holy
Is the Lord God Almighty
Friday, October 19, 2007
I knew about hydroplaning on wet highways, but today I experienced it – sort of. While stopped at a red light, I was hit from behind. When the driver hit his brakes, he skid into me while I was waiting for the light to turn. It jolted me forward and really startled me. At first, I thought it was my brakes that had failed, but then I realized what had happened.
Damage to my bumper is so slight that you really have to look hard to see the indent. But it really shook me – a very strange feeling. He was very nice and asked me twice if I was OK Then he gave me his phone number and I continued on my way.
Things can happen SO quickly. I am VERY THANKFUL as I watched the news tonight and saw a terrible head-on collision where someone else was not so fortunate. In a moment, everything can change. It is so ironic that I just posted the entry below on “Peace” this morning. If our peace depended solely on our circumstances of the day, we’d never maintain it.
I was shaken today – physically jolted – yet, my inner peace remains intact – focused on Him, knowing that I am in His care and under His protection.
There are so many things that steal our Peace: Fear, Anxiety, Worry, Depression, Self-Condemnation, Guilt, Doubts, Distrust & Suspicion, Discontentment, Jealousy, Envy, Busyness & Weariness, and so many more. It is this wearing down that drains us not only of our peace, but also our strength and eventually, our health. This is not God’s plan for us.
You will guard him and keep him in perfect and constant peace whose mind [both its inclination and its character] is stayed on You, because he commits himself to You, leans on You, and hopes confidently in You. (Isaiah 26:3 Amplified Bible)
God promises to guard us – sheltered under His protection. HE will keep us in perfect and constant peace, but don’t miss the KEY to this promise. It is for “…whose mind is stayed on Him.” With our every inclination - this means every thought – where our minds naturally wonder to, as well as in our character (Is He your first thought?)
He KEEPS us in peace when we have committed ourselves completely to Him, including our minds with all of its thoughts, plans and dreams.
He KEEPS us in peace when we think on these things: whatever is true, whatever is worthy of reverence and is honorable and seemly, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely and lovable, whatever is kind and winsome and gracious, if there is any virtue and excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think on and weigh and take account of these things [fix your minds on them]. (Philippians 4:8 Amplified Bible)
He KEEPS us in peace when we lean on Him and Trust that HIS ways are Higher and Wiser and Better than our ways.
He KEEPS us in peace when our hope is in Him and not in our “Plan B” in case this “Christian thing” doesn’t quite work out the way we want it to.
He KEEPS us in peace when we purpose to spend quality time with Him.
I have been listening to a Jason Upton song a lot lately called, “In Your Presence.” I hear the lyrics as they keep repeating in my mind:
In Your Presence, all fear is gone, in Your Presence;
In Your Presence, is where I belong, in Your Presence.
Peace is so valuable and yet sometimes it is so elusive. There is no substitute for peace. Don’t trade away your peace or let it be stolen from you. Listen for HIS voice as He says to you: “Peace, Be Still” and “Be Still and Know that I Am God.” (YOUR God!!)
What is the purpose of the Carnival of Beauty?
Please join us as we seek to glorify Christ in our writing!
Join this week's Hostess: Sara @ Stones of Remembrance
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
We often just want to curl up and hide – too “full of fear & doubt & insecurity” to face to the day. But nothing just goes away. Problems remain, pain increases, and situations worsen. Hiding and isolating NEVER solves the issue at hand – only prolongs it and often intensifies it.
Many people have their own advice or “opinions” to “help us out.” Their words could comfort & soothe, bringing healing and relief. However, sometimes they are spoken rashly, not knowing the full picture, and are actually spoken in judgment or criticism. They can in fact, surround us like a web – trapping us inside, unable to break free of their pronouncements. Bound, we stay there. It is easier to give up and give in than to fight for our freedom. “They must be true,” we conclude. The veil settles over our heart and the walls close in tightly around us. Darkness seals the tomb. We are left with hardly room to breathe. Life is very limited.
There is a time to BREAK FREE!! It will be scary to step out into the unknown and the first steps will be shaky, but Jesus will be there to guide us. Break out of the dark cocoon of winter and follow the Light. Lingering in His warmth, we will regain our strength. When He releases us from our past life, we are transformed – no longer the same. Beautiful butterflies – no longer hiding – free to shine!! Then we spread our wings and FLY!! The world is a new place and our lives reveal our true colours – the hidden treasures now revealed in full splendor.
“Don’t you know that you’re a precious miracle”!! EVERY life transformed by God is a miracle – a testimony of His Amazing Grace and His Great Love for us. Our suffering IS then transformed into something wonderful!! Only HE can turn ALL things around for GOOD. The very places that bound us will be the areas of our strength. We will be able to testify to others how Jesus releases the captives from their prisons and set them free.
He is calling you out of your cocoon. Step out and spread your wings. Their colours reflect His creativity IN you. Throw off the veil of lies that has been holding you back. No more hiding, no more fear. It’s time to be released.
Thursday, October 11, 2007
In the meantime, the trees are changing slowly - almost as if they are dancing in slow motion. Maybe so we don't miss it this year. Maybe so we'll take the time to notice. Fall is such a busy season. It seems like everything starts up at once - each demanding our full attention.
This weekend I am going away to a Ladies Retreat and I am soooo looking forward to the time away. I want to walk in the woods and hear only the birds (no phones!). I want to enjoy the mass splashes of colours so intricately blended on the trees before the winds blow them to their winter resting places. I want to spend some quiet time - just me and God, enjoying His creation together.
Of course, I know there will be others there too!! It will also be a chance to spend time with other ladies without the many interruptions that creep in every day. It will be a time set aside to just be "us" - not having to wear the many "hats" that fill our lives - not having to fulfill the many "roles" of commitment in our busy schedules. For two days, we will just be women - seeking God and seeking to know ourselves and others better.
As the season changes again and transitions into winter (the harshest season), let's take the time to reflect on ALL that God has blessed us with, both physically and spiritually. I am setting aside this weekend to be refreshed and to refine my focus for this next season God is opening up to us. Stay close to HIM. Winter can be cold and barren, but it is also a time to draw close to the "Fire" and stay warm in His presence. He has made the preparations. Don't be too busy to be part of what He is doing.
Thursday, August 23, 2007
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
This song is in a book called “Baby Beluga” that is read to my 22-month-old grandson every night before he goes to bed (along with other good night books). I had to learn to sing the song to be part of the “good night bedtime tradition.” By consistently reading to him at bedtime, we have created a routine that is familiar to him. He can repeat the song and he often sings it to himself before going to sleep.
When I saw this photo, I thought of the scripture: Psalm 107: 24: “See the works of the Lord and His wonders in the deep.” I saw the wonder of a little child as he realized that the character in his storybook was real – not just someone's imagination. It brings a whole new perspective. This event will forever change how he sees his book. He now has a reference point that brings new meaning to the story. Now when he sings the song, he will “see” Baby Beluga as he never could before this encounter.
Isn’t this also true for our experiences with God? We can read stories about God – whether in the Bible or someone’s testimony – but when we have an actual personal encounter with God, we are left in awe – forever changed!!
Remember the first time you realized that God was real? It changes how you see everything. When we really realize that God is always with us - wherever we go – that changes our perspective and brings a new awareness that can’t be understood until it is experienced. That is when we have our own “WOW” moment - just as my grandson did with Baby Beluga.
I remember the first Christmas when all of the Christmas Carols “came alive” for me. They were no longer just familiar, memorized lyrics – they were ALIVE with the Truth – the Gospel message proclaiming Jesus’ birth. I had a “WOW” moment as I realized what I had been singing without actually “hearing” the message. The hidden treasure in every song had been unlocked. The same is true with the Bible. It will no longer be a book of “Bible stories” – it becomes the Living Word of God to us.
Have you experienced the “wonder” of realizing that what God says is true – really is Truth? It WILL change your life and then change how you face each future situation. It brings things into perspective. It allows us to see them the way that God sees them.
How big is a whale? You don’t REALLY know until you see one close up. How big is God? Allow Him to reveal Himself to you and get ready to be “WOWED”!!
Tuesday, August 7, 2007
We had a very relaxing day on Friday by enjoying my son’s in-law’s pool – taking a much needed break. This past weekend was a long weekend for us (4 days for me with having Fridays off in the summer). We made a mini-vacation of it, enjoying some "us time" and not checking the computer.
My Summer blog entries have been sparse and will probably remain so until the Fall and cooler weather. We have to enjoy the sunny days while they are here. Canadian summers are short, but certainly hot and humid here in Ontario.
God Bless you as you enjoy family time and vacations. God doesn’t take a vacation, but He doesn’t mind if we do – just not a vacation from Him!!
Friday, July 6, 2007
In the past 6 months, many in our family entered new seasons. We have mourned losses of family members and they will be greatly missed. On June 28, we had reason to celebrate LIFE again.
We knew he was coming. He was announced at Christmas while we celebrated another life-changing birth. The signs of his coming became clearer and clearer as each month and then week passed. Anticipation and excitement grew – would it be a boy or a girl? Who would guess the date? We prayed for a safe delivery and then rejoiced as the first photos were posted. We shared the “good news” with family and friends, and anyone who would listen.
A new season was launched by the arrival of a new life. What has God been wanting to “birth” in your life? What season is opening? Or is it a transition time between seasons? Just as with our four seasons of spring, summer, fall and winter, there are some things we KNOW are coming. They are expected and we can read the signs of their coming. However, some things can catch us unprepared.
We don’t have to enter the seasons blindly. In the natural, we know what to expect – snow in winter, falling leaves in autumn, hot summer days, new growth in the spring – seasons when we sow and seasons when we reap. Sunrise and sunset are calculated and accurate, but there are also unpredictable factors. The weather is one of those variables. The weather man can narrow down temperature and conditions in daily forecasts, but long range forecasts are more vague and change constantly. Storms can and do arise quickly and are usually not in our plans, but they are part of the seasons.
There is One who knows everything this season of your life will bring. You don’t have to enter it unaware.
Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 – A Time for Everything
and a season for every activity under heaven:
a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to love and a time to hate,
We cannot always easily read the signs. Even when we see the signs of changes, we don’t always know the interpretation of them on a deeper level. God does. Ask HIM and follow His direction. In many transitions, it is often NOT “vacation time” as we think. It may well be a time of rest, but usually only in order to prepare for our next assignment.
We moved several times while in the military. Once the posting notice arrived and was confirmed, there were LOTS of things to do, even before the actual day of the move. Then we traveled to the new base and set up for a new season of our life. It was not without preparation, not without support, not without purpose, and not without effects.
Everything changed. The last season was sealed and quickly passed into memories – you can’t keep living there. The new season was ripe with possibilities and promises as a fresh chapter opened with blank pages ready to be written on. The choice was ours.
As this new season unfolds, what will you write on its pages? Who will make the journey with you? What will be your focus? So many questions and only One who truly knows the answers. We LOVE to celebrate the birth of a new baby – and we should!! But it doesn’t stop there. There is sooo much more ahead.
God bless you as you walk through this season of your life. Listen closely for God’s voice and enjoy the journey.
Friday, June 15, 2007
Hear a sample of their concert:
Children of Watoto Choir:
I am NOT Forgotten:
We were so blessed to have some of them stay at our home last night. :o) God has not forgotten them and neither will we.
For more information, visit the Watoto web site.
Tuesday, June 12, 2007
You are my hiding place; You will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance. Selah. I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you. Psalm 32:7-8
I have given them Your word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world. My prayer is not that You take them out of the world but that You protect them from the evil one. John 17:14-15