Thursday, December 27, 2007

Sisters

Merry Christmas to all!! Wishing everyone all the BEST this holiday season. We are headed to Gatineau to spend a few days with my sister and her family. She gave this ornament to me a couple of years ago and it is a perfect reminder. As children, we shared so many holidays and we have sooo many wonderful memories. God Bless you as you visit with family and friends - making new memories and reflecting on seasons past.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

I'm Sorry!!

Our Anniversary is coming up next week (34 years!!). On our 25th anniversary, we went to Niagara Falls. I bought this beautiful glass ornament as a memento to hang on our Christmas tree every year as a reminder of our December anniversary.

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.

On Christmas morning, there was a gift under the tree from our sweet little kitten. Inside was a beautiful glass ornament with these smiling Christmas cats. They were all saying, “We’re so sorry your special anniversary ornament was broken. Please forgive little Wiley!!” Of course we did and they have been a reminder of this story every year since.

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.

This Christmas allow God to bring forgiveness and reconciliation to your life. It is a time when many families gather together and the season when many hearts are open to hear the message of reconciliation. Watch closely for the opportunities to “give” the gift of forgiveness. Then allow God to heal past wounds and restore estranged relationships. This could be your best Christmas gift ever – the one that lasts all year long!!

Selah Y

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Christmas Angels


I collect Christmas Angels. These are just a couple of the angels hanging on my tree. Both were gifts to my collection. Each one is special. Each one has a story. (Don't we all??)

Some of my angels are beautiful collector pieces and others are homemade. I really like this little cloth angel. She is very simple and maybe that's what makes her special.

Jesus came - not born in the palace as a prince (though He was) - but born in a stable and laid in a manger. He came humbly and simply.Sometimes the most treasured gifts are the simple ones - made special because of the giver, not the gift itself.

In the frenzy of all the commercialism and "bigger & better" advertizing, remember the simple things - the "homemade" touches - that are special because of who they came from or who made them.

Treasured Christmas memories are often made in the simple things, which may be overlooked by some, but are made special by what is connected to them.

So whether it is giving a handmade item or some homebaked goodies, keep the simple traditions that can't be bought in the store or ordered online, but add that special touch as only you can to make Christmas personal.

Selah Y

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Memories of Christmas Past

This will be a "First Christmas" for many families - First Christmas together - First Christmas tree of their own - First time to cook a Christmas turkey (yikes!!! remember that??) - First Christmas away from home (ours was in BC - a long way from NS) - Baby's first Christmas - The first year of new traditions.

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.

There were 8 cousins (I am the oldest) and we are pictured here at our last traditional Christmas together. After this year, everything changed. The next year I spent Christmas with my uncle's family with an invitation to Christmas Dinner with my future husband's family. It was actually the first time to meet his mother (very stressful to do this on a holiday!! but all went well). The next year we were engaged and every year after that we have shared Christmas with our own family.

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.

Selah Y

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Christmas in Heaven

This post is dedicated to James Michael Rusinka (my cousin, Jan's son). He passed away on November 17 after battling many years with CHF. He was only 26. There is no easy time to lose a loved one, and the first Christmas is always the hardest. This poem was written by a Mom who lost her daughter on Christmas Day. (Story behind the poem).
Christmas in Heaven
I see the countless Christmas trees
around the world below
with tiny lights like heaven's stars
reflecting on the snow.

The sight is so spectacular
please wipe away that tear
for I am spending Christmas
with Jesus Christ this year.

I hear the many Christmas songs
that people hold so dear
but the sounds of music can't compare
with the Christmas choir up here.

I have no words to tell you
of the joy their voices bring
for it is beyond description
to hear the angels sing.

I know how much you miss me,
I see the pain inside your heart
for I am spending Christmas
with Jesus Christ this year.

I can't tell you of the splendor
or the peace here in this place
Can you just imagine Christmas
with our Savior face to face?

I'll ask him to lift your spirit
as I tell you of your love
so then pray for one another
as you lift your eyes above.

Please let your hearts be joyful
and let your spirit sing
for I am spending Christmas in heaven
and I'm walking with the King.
Wanda Bencke
Copyright 1998

All Dressed Up

Three weeks until Christmas!! This month will be filled with Christmas Pageants, Christmas Concerts, and children bursting with excitement. Kids love to dress up and they will be have plenty of opportunities this month, whether it's in their school play or a Nativity presentation at their church. They love "pretend" times and we love to take pictures as we sigh, "Aren't they cute??"

How many remember being a shepherd or an angel? The chances of playing the role of Mary or Joseph or 1 of the 3 wisemen were slimmer. Any star performers? I love the Charlie Brown Christmas TV special (I never tire of watching it every year). In all of the Christmas chaos, he reminds us of the real message of Christmas - Jesus' birth. Whether you are reminiscing of past Christmas traditions, or planning to make brand new traditions this year, remember to weave in the Nativity story. Make it fun, make it fresh, make it your tradition.

Kids remember special occasions long into their adulthood. Many family traditions are duplicated as they celebrate future Christmases with their own children. Sadly, there are some who don't even want to celebrate Christmas because of "bad" memories of their past Christmas experiences. Let's change that for them and make new, happy Christmas memories.


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.

Selah Y

Christmas Giveaway

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Tis the season for gifts!! Check out this contest. Hurry - Drawing will be Monday, December 10th. You don't have to have a blog to enter.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

The Reason for the Season

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!! December is here!! One of my favourite Christmas decorations is my Nativity set. I made it when I belonged to the Ceramics Club on the radar station in Baldy Hughes (near Prince George, BC). I was the Sunday School Superintendant there and this represented my SS kids re-enacting the Christmas story. The stable actually belongs to a nativity set that Wayne brought home for me from Israel when he was with UN Peacekeeper in Egypt for 6 months. It is made of olive wood and makes it an "authentic" Hebrew stable!

Mary and Joseph are the central characters of the Christmas story so they are always "in the center" with the Baby Jesus slightly in front. After all, HE is the REASON why we even have a Christmas season! It is the celebration of HIS birth - His arrival in fulfillment of God's Promise to us. His name (Yeshua) means "Saviour" because He came to save us. If you haven't seen it yet, you need to watch "The Nativity Story" on DVD. It's a wonderful view of the story we all know so well, but from how it may have affected Mary & Joseph personally. It's very well done - not filled with action (or violence!!) and you know the ending, but just reminds us again of sacrifices made so many years ago that WE are reaping benefits from 2000 years later.

With the birth of a child comes the Birth Announcement. The Shepherds were watching their flocks by night, just as they had always done night after night. Suddenly, angels appeared and told them the Good News. They rushed to see and confirm that what they were told was true. Then they ran and told everyone who would listen. Wouldn't you if you had experienced what they did? Pretty hard to just go back to the field as if nothing special had taken place. I love it that the very first to learn about Jesus' arrival was not the officials or most important in terms of position, but the simple every day people. Maybe those who would have been overlooked once the news made headlines. They were given front row seats to the great event.
The Wisemen are an interesting group. We don't really know how many there were who traveled so far to see for themselves what they believed was about to happen - the birth of a king that was foretold by the stars! They believed and took action. We know they brought at least 3 gifts and that they were truly sent by God, even though they were not even from Israel or of the Hebrew faith. (Do you think they carried down something from the time of the Babylonian captivity when Daniel was in Persia? God has ways of preserving His Word for such time as HE wants to release it. He loves keeping it hidden from those who want to destroy and wipe out even the memory of what He has done, but He will ALWAYS keep a remnant with His true testimony.) How do we know that they were sent by God? They were warned in a dream to go home a different way and not report back to King Herod. Why would they listen to the dream and not obey the command of the king of the country they were visiting unless they knew it was God directing their path. (Commands of the king in those days was NOT taken lightly. Disobedience could be fatal).

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.

Selah Y

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Monday, November 12, 2007

GOD'S LOVE

How big is God's Love??
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.
Surface Relationships,
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 –
GOD Alone!
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.

Selah Y
13 Jan 2000

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Support Our Troops















Support Our Military whether they are Canadian or American.

Physically show your support by wearing something Red on Fridays or wear this "Red Friday" pin.

James Robert Martin

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Go Light Your World

A single candle – alone in the darkness – seems to be ineffective. What can a tiny flame do against the vastness of the darkness surrounding it? Surely it will be swallowed up and quenched.

"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!!!!

Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. - Martin Luther King, Jr

Candles

Burning

Glowing

Shining

Beauty

in darkness

Bringing LIFE!!

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 are a Candle – where are YOU going to SHINE? Where are YOU going to spread the light that you have received? Where are YOU going to “PUSH BACK THE DARKNESS”? The darkness is all around. Ask God to show YOU where to hold your candle high and SHINE!!

Kathy Troccoli’s song (Go Light YOUR World) deeply impacted me a few years ago. I wrote to this song along with another song (Thrown Away) by Ray Boltz. It is posted on my “Heart Songs” blog. It challenges us to reach out and “Be a Candle” to SHINE His Light in us to those living in darkness.

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

Selah Y

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Bring the Rain by Mercy Me

Bring the Rain

I have just discovered this song by Mercy Me. If you are going through a difficult time right now, draw closer to HIM and let Him minister to you deep inside.

> 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

Slippery When Wet

Today was dreary and wet. It has been so dry this summer/fall and we desperately need the rain to replenish the water levels. And rain it did today – pouring down at times (and it is still raining tonight). This created a lot of water on the streets.

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.

Selah Y

REST in His Presence

In today’s busy, busy world, there is often a lack of time taken to rest. By some, it is looked on as unproductive and “wasted” time, but even the medical professionals are confirming this need in our lives. God worked for six days and then rested on the seventh. HE gave us this pattern to follow. Does God really get tired? Think about it. I think He was showing us what we needed to do and then put a boundary there because He knew we would have a tendency to overload our schedules or be overloaded by others.
When we set aside time alone with Him, we renew our focus. It is there we will be refreshed and regain our strength. Jesus recognized the need for peace in our lives. He is the “Prince of Peace.” He often withdrew from the crowds (even when there were still obvious needs) and spent time alone with God. If HE needed this time, how much more do we need time away?

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!!)
Peace be unto you today as you seek Him and “REST in His Presence.”
Selah Y

What is the Carnival of Beauty?
Each week women from around the world write on a specially selected topic allowing them to reflect on the beauty of Christ in the world around us.

What is the purpose of the Carnival of Beauty?
1. Encourage women by reflecting the beauty of Christ in our writing.
2. Meet women online who cherish the beauty of Christ that we might not have met otherwise.

Please join us as we seek to glorify Christ in our writing!
Join this week's Hostess: Sara @ Stones of Remembrance
This week's Theme: The Beauty of Peace

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Butterfly Girl

This song was presented at our Ladies Retreat. I love it!! So many of us can relate to these lyrics.

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.

TRUST HIM & FLY!!
You ARE Beautiful,
Butterfly Girl!!

Selah Y

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Fall Colours


The Colours of Fall tell us that cooler days are ahead. I love the variety of our Canadian seasons. This fall has been very warm which has us spoiled. When the cold weather finally does come, it will be a shock.

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.

Selah Y

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Summer's End

Summer is quickly winding down. Lazy days and free time are drawing to a close. The evenings are cooler and the leaves are beginning to turn and fall. College/University students are preparing to begin a new semester and schools will be open for classes before we know it. This season is about to transition into the next. Time for reflection.
What is your answer to the question: "What did you do in the summer of 2007?" Have you accomplished your goals for this summer? Was it all you expected it to be? Did you take the time to enjoy the season? We are just over a week away from the Labour Day weekend, then we will be launched into the Fall schedule - ready or not!!
Take time to reflect before this season closes. There's still time to plan quiet days to enjoy God's creation in the beauty of summer, or a family get-away before the kids are back in school full time. Whatever you need to do - enjoy the final days of the "Summer of 2007"!!
Selah Y

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Baby Beluga

Baby Beluga in the deep blue sea, Swim so wild and you swim so free.
Heaven above and the sea below, And a little white whale on the go.
from the song “Baby Beluga” by Raffi and Debi Pike

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.

A few weeks ago, they traveled to BC for a family wedding. While in Vancouver, they visited the Vancouver Aquarium. It was an event to remember – my grandson saw his first – live & up close – for real – Baby Beluga. My son captured the moment in this awesome photo. You can feel the “WOW” as he watches the whale swim by the glass. There really are Baby Belugas!! They are not just make believe and they are more awesome than he ever imagined them to be. The little bedtime story book couldn’t fully prepare him for encountering a real, life-sized whale.

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”!!

Selah Y

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

A Day by the Pool

Sum – Sum – Summer Time. Taking the time to relax and soak up the sun. :o)

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!!

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Friday, July 6, 2007

New Season / New Life

“Summer is finally here!!” was the cry of many people this past weekend. Whether you celebrated Canada Day or Independence Day, we have entered a new season. The school year is finished – graduations are complete. Many are in transition this summer before new educational adventures in September. Enjoy the break as you celebrate your accomplishments.

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.

Timoth̩e made his grand entrance Рforever changing our family. My niece and her husband are brand new parents. My sister and brother-in-law are Grandpapa and Nana for the first time. Three nephews are now uncles. Grandparents are now great-grandparents with various new names. One event has changed family ties and positions. It will never be the same. In a few short weeks, we will not be able to imagine him not being part of our family. The next generation has arrived.

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

There is 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 plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain,
a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.

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.

Selah Y

Friday, June 15, 2007

Watoto

We had the honor of having the Watoto African Children's Choir at our church last night. They are all orphans from Uganda. They have been touring in Canada since January and will return to home in July. The Watoto Villages are raising these children to make a difference in their country of Uganda by preparing them to be future leaders. With God's help, they are turning tragedy into triumph.

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

Protected

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the LORD, "He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust."
"Because he/she loves Me," says the LORD, "I will rescue him/her; I will protect him/her, for he/she acknowledges My name. He/she will call upon Me, and I will answer him/her; I will be with him/her in trouble, I will deliver him/her and honor him/her. Psalm 91:1-2, 14-15

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

But the Lord is faithful, and He will strengthen and protect you from the evil one. 2 Thessalonians 3:3

Selah Y

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Pansies

Hoping to get more flowers in soon. Waiting for the front garden to be finished. These are some of my beautiful Pansies on the back deck.