and the One who walks with me on it.

Friday, March 18, 2011


       My face was pasty white as I sat in my seat on the airplane.  This was my very first flight and though my high school friends were well aware of my trepidation, their presence didn’t assuage my fear at all.  As the plane engine started and we began to taxi, I could only take shallow breaths and it didn’t matter how much I wanted to go on this trip, I was ready to bolt.  Unexpectedly, a hand reached over and pulled a bag out from the seat in front of me to place it in my hands.  I didn’t really understand right away, but then all my friends started handing me their barf bags too- in case I needed a back-up supply.  Apparently I looked pretty bad!

View from Toronto CN Tower

       You see, since I was young I have always had a fear of heights.  After finding that first flight so enjoyable, I realized that my fear was not heights at all, but was actually a fear of falling.  I discovered that as long as I feel safe and secure I love to observe the earth from great heights.  Since my early twenties I considered skydiving to try and face that fear, but for lack of money I have never had the chance.  I imagine myself screaming from the first step off the plane to my touchdown- that is, if I don’t pass out first (hopefully I faint AFTER I open the parachute  J ).

       The funny thing is my fear of falling isn’t only a physical one.  It also relates to the spiritual side of my life.  In the past, 'fear of falling’ back into sin kept me from getting closer to the Lord.  (Why would He want to be with me when I am so reprehensible…)  Sometimes, 'fear of falling' into error has kept me from moving in the Spirit.  (What if it wasn’t God’s voice I heard say “tell him that____”…)  And occasionally, 'fear of falling' on my face, especially in view of others, keeps me from doing work that the Lord wants me to do.  (What will people say, do, think…)

       Kind of like doing this blog.  What will people think if I lay it all out there and write what’s in my mind and my heart?  It was a difficult first step for me to take but I faced that fear.  I’d like to say I’m prepared for the next step He wants me to take but I’m not too sure yet.  My head knows I am safe and secure in Christ’s love, but obviously my heart isn’t perfectly there yet.  So I ask for help as I seek God’s will, I spend time in His presence, 

       and I pray He continues to change me.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

A New Church

       For me, it is always enjoyable to watch new buildings go up.  This is a season where the local church that I attend is having a new building constructed; beams, walls, bricks and mortar.  It’s been interesting to watch it go up step by step on a vacant lot as the new building is on our way home from service. 

       The actual building though is not what excites me.  What excites me is the people walking into the ‘old’ building to worship along with me.  It was never intended that the brick and mortar building be the church.  We, the people who have accepted Jesus as Lord and Savior, are the church.  Jesus is the head of the body, and we are His body*.

       There are many beautiful, fascinating people that make up the body:  the pastor, the greeter, the administrator, the toilet scrubber, the librarian, the coffee server, the offering counter, the lighting crew, the deacon, the crying baby comforter, the teacher, the classroom organizer, the worship leader, the gardener, the receptionist, the cook, the prayer warrior et all; many different faces, many different personalities doing many different things in life.  How wonderfully diverse!

       As I enter our building, I see the faces around me and I think- this is my church… this is my body.  That delights me because the people are the ones who will reach the world.  The building is just sitting there, but the people are what God glories in.  The people are where His presence resides.  He used to reside in the tabernacle, then the temple but at Christ’s death He tore the veil so now He can be in us**. 

       When I look at the diversity of people:  young and old, tall and short, blue or brown eyed, timid and bold, serious and funny, laid back and energetic with everything in between, I look at the smiles and even the frowns, I look at the ones I get along with and the ones I simply may never understand, and I think, this is great!  This is exciting; this is my body, a part of me; bone of my bone, flesh of my flesh.  Because when they gave their hearts to the Lord Jesus Christ, they became part of my body as I became part of theirs.

So on the day our new building is open for service...

                                         won’t be ‘the church’ until we the body arrive.

*Eph. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. KJV
Rom. 12:5 so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. NIV
1 Cor. Now here is what I am trying to say: All of you together are the one body of Christ and each one of you is a separate and necessary part of it. TLB
**Eph. That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith;… KJV (Gal. )
1 Cor. …ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? KJV (John )

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The Praise of Swans

       It was cold as Mandie (my friend’s dog) and I walked down the path to the river.  About halfway there I heard a loud, unusual clapping sound; it stopped and started several times.  Now, I’ve been living in this area for several years and never noticed this particular sound before, so as we rounded past the obstacles, I gazed curiously at the length of the river.  There floating in the river were several magnificent white swans hoping to catch some supper.  As one took off in flight I heard the clapping noise I hadn’t recognized.

       Immediately, a scripture came to mind where the stones cry out praise (Luke ) and where it says, “Let everything he has made give praise to him.” Ps. 148:5 TLB  The whole psalm is about nature praising God, and certainly swans are part of that everything … so are we.  To me, it seemed like the swans were clapping praise to God, after all, clapping and shouting are part of acceptable praise to our God. (Ps. 47:1- O clap your hands, all ye people; shout unto God with the voice of triumph.  KJV)

       We do it in church all the time.  While sometimes it is in appreciation for a person who does a special song, or to welcome someone, when we clap during worship it is in praise to our Lord.  For the swans the ‘clapping’ is an automatic response to their desire to reach a new destination.  For us, clapping can be a response of our desire to worship our King and reach a new level in His presence; and that is worth more than, well, anything.  The clapping ‘praise’ of the swans reminded me that we have something in common with the rest of creation, and the psalmist reminds us all,

Let every thing that hath breath praise the LORD. Praise ye the LORD.
                                                                                    Ps. 150:6 KJV

Monday, March 14, 2011


       I’ve been thinking about faith for a while, specifically my faith.  In John (KJV), Jesus says, “…He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.”  The word ‘works’ means toil, act, deed, labour, work.  So, effectively Jesus was saying that we should be doing the work He did and more.  What was it He did?  He taught truth, demonstrated relationship with the Father, He showed compassion and mercy, reached out to the lost, and much, much more often together with the working of miracles.

I believe in Jesus and have since I was a teen.  While I can’t say my faith has been great or even steady, I can say it has generally grown throughout the years.  Still, I am not seeing in my life what I think I should be seeing.  There must be more.  Jesus said there is more.  I don’t really see ALL the works Jesus did in my life, around me or in the body of Christ, so naturally I have to question why.  (In my opinion, inquiry is good because it can help a person improve their life by providing answers to what is and is not working.)  Is what my Savior said true in my life?

       Jesus often remarked on or questioned His disciple’s faith.  Matt. 16:8- O ye of little faith…  Mark - …how is it that ye have no faith?  Luke - Where is your faith?  Well, if I’m supposed to be doing what Jesus did and more, I have the same question for me…

Where is my faith?

Sunday, March 13, 2011


       One of my favorite movies is a Sandra Bullock one from a few years ago called ‘While You Were Sleeping’.  Near the end there’s a part I always thought was weird.  Jack, who is developing feelings for Lucy, tells her he saw her ‘leaning’ toward another man.  When she questions what this ‘leaning’ means, Jack basically says it means intimacy with that person.  I never really considered the truth in that statement until lately .

       As I sat in church service I noticed once again that some couples sit beside each other and their bodies lean in or touch the other person.  There doesn’t seem to be an age where it is more prominent, but rather spans all ages from young adults to seniors.  Is there really more intimacy between these couples than the ones who sit rigidly apart?  I’m thinking yes because if I remember my ‘falling in love’ days, Albert and I leaned toward each other all the time as did every other couple we knew.  Somewhere life gets in and changes the intimacy between us a little at a time until we don’t realize that intimacy has been broken.

I think it’s the same with the Lord.  Life intrudes, the cares of the world, our own needs, the negative side of our trials and sorrows, the daily stresses and disappointments, and it slowly, brick by brick, builds a wall between us and our Savior until one day we are faced with that wall right in front of our eyes and we are shocked asking how it happened.  Step by step we stopped leaning toward the Lord and our intimacy with Him was broken.

       Mercifully, it can be fixed.  We can return to our first Love.  (Jer 24:7, Deut. 30:2 KJV)  We can begin again to work on our relationship to improve it.  We need to start to lean on our Lord once again throughout the day, in good times and bad, and instead of moving farther away from Him, move in closer- especially when we don’t understand the ‘whys’ of life. 

       Job ,15 says, “So are the paths of all that forget* God… He shall lean upon his house, but it shall not stand:  he shall hold it fast, but it shall not endure.”  If we do not turn toward God in intimacy we will rely on ourselves which will precipitate a fall, and we shall not endure in this journey.  We are meant to endure with the Lord.  Though we are weak, He is strong, (2 Cor. 13:9) and He will carry us through the storms of life (Is. 25:4).  We have His many promises. (2 Cor. 1:20)
*Not so much indicative of lapse of memory so much as “to ignore”.

Lean on Him.  Trust in Him.  Maintain your intimacy with Him.  Remember His words…

       Prov. 3:5  Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
       Matt.   Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
       2Cor. 1:9  … we should not trust in ourselves, but in God…
       1Tim.   … nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, …
         John   Now there was leaning on Jesus' bosom one of his disciples, whom Jesus loved.

This is one entry I ‘preach’ to myself all the time because I’ve got a long way to go…