and the One who walks with me on it.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Slushy Drive

        It's a bit slushy out here today, but we are on the way to London to have my family Christmas. It will be a great time although I just realized I forgot a gift for the newest addition to our family- my nephew's baby. Oops! Well, I've been forgetful on those types of issues for many years, so people expect it anyway. Of course, I haven't finished my ornaments either, so I'm packed up here in the back of the van with my laptop for blogging and my bags of craft supplies to work on when I'm done.

        Anyway... Back on topic. Snow may look pretty and makes for some romantic moments occasionally, but snow isn't so pretty when it's on the roads causing potential accidents and I particularly don't like slush. Earlier this year we bought a 'new to us' used van and thought the tires have good tread, they obviously are not good in the snow/ slush as I discovered Boxing Day. Yikes! But we'll be okay today because the roads are only wet and not so bad.

        Splat, that nasty truck just sprayed us with slush heavy enough it made a loud noise, and oh boy, there's a car in the ditch- but the cops are there to deal with it. I hope the people are okay. Really, I have always loved snow, but I would love it better if it would only snow on the ground and stay off the sidewalks and roads. I mean, God can do miracles, so He could do that for me, couldn't He? Well, He hasn't yet, so I'm not holding my breath!
        How can something so pretty, and uniquely special like snow, become so dangerous? Snow is so delicate that it quickly changes form depending on it's environment. I guess this also reflects in our own lives. Sometimes the environment around us can be difficult to endure and instead of pressing in to God and His strength, we allow our environment to transform us into mush, and that is dangerous to our spirits and our relationships.
And He said to me, My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore I will rather glory in my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may overshadow me. 2Cor. 12:9 MKJV
        Paul is writing about the source of His strength, that in His trials and difficulties, in his pain and suffering He found that when he was weak, then Christ in Him was strong (v. 10). Paul didn't let his environment transform him to slush because he knew he could rely on the inestimable strength of Almighty God to get him through the tough times. "Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might" (Eph. 6:10) Paul knew his strength, and so should we. We don't have to let life turn us into mush because greater is He in us, than he that is in the world (1Jh. 4:4).

Friday, December 28, 2012


       Just a few days away from the New Year, I am thinking about making a resolution- something I don’t do very often.  Though I have been eating better, I think I want to eat healthier yet.  Wheat and milk (in liquid form) no longer seem to agree with my digestive system so I’m going to further cut them out.  This is good for everyone around me too as the repercussions of these two things in my diet become quite stinky- if you know what I mean!  But food and drink are not what I actually want to make a resolution about.

       It is the other food that my spirit ‘digests’ that I want to resolve to change: the things I hear, see, feel, smell, taste.  Our senses are constantly being used everyday.  They fill our minds with experiences- both good and bad.  It is of these that most of our memories are made and on which most of our thoughts dwell.  Although I don’t have Scriptures for them all, these are two that speak of three of the senses.  O taste and see that the LORD is good...” (Ps. 34:8) “…and they shall hear my voice...” (Jh. 10:16)

       Though I have been more careful about the things that pass through my lips, I have not been as careful with the things that pass through my mind.  Most movies and tv shows have questionable material that can feed my lustful side.  Books and reading material can lead me into a realm of fantasy that is unhealthy and anti-holiness.  Feelings provoked by these things cause further delving into sin.  Then I wonder why my relationship with God is a struggle, why my flesh wins more than loses and I can’t seem to shake certain sins.  Duh!

       Just like what we feed our bodies is reflected in our physical health, so what we feed our souls and spirits is reflected in our spiritual health.  As we’ve heard many times, “garbage in, garbage out” or in other words, if all we see, hear etc is garbage, then how we act, think and speak will be garbage-like.  The repercussions of an unhealthy diet of worldly values, attitudes, ideas, feelings, beliefs, goals, and views will cause us to become ‘stinky’ in sin like David when he says, “My wounds stink…” (Ps. 38:5).

       So I will try to be more careful about what I am watching and listening to.  If I can’t leave the situation for whatever reason, I can always close my eyes and distort my hearing, or pull out my Bible and read.  And I can choose to NOT: not watch, not be where I have to listen, not pick up that book or look at those magazines, etc.  Instead I will choose more often to read the Word, get in God’s presence, pray, praise, and meditate on Him and His Word.  These things will be healthier eating for my spirit, and that can only result in better spiritual health for this New Year.

Your Words were found, and I ate them; and Your Word was to me the joy and gladness of my heart; for I am called by Your name, O Jehovah, the God of Hosts.  Jer. 15:16 (both MKJV)
(Jesus said) It is the Spirit that makes alive, the flesh profits nothing. The words that I  speak to you are spirit and are life.  Jh. 6:63

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Weeds in the Garden

       The new year is quickly approaching, in fact, is only five days away, and this morning I am wondering where our hearts lie; the hearts of God’s children.  What does the ground of our hearts look like?  A couple years ago, we planted a garden on a small area that used to have marshland reeds.  It seemed like no matter how many we pulled new reeds kept growing in the garden; we could not get rid of them.  It became impossible to keep the weeding up, and in the end, we gave up.

       There is a parable that Jesus told of a farmer sowing some seed.  As he is scattering the seed, some fall on a hard path, some over rocky soil, some fall among the thorns, and some on good soil.  So I’m wondering where (in general) the hearts of God’s children stand in these choices.  Are we hard hearted, shallow, squeezed by the world, or are we the good soil the Lord desires us to be.

The thorny ground represents the hearts of people who listen to the Good News and receive it, but all too quickly the attractions of this world and the delights of wealth, and the search for success and lure of nice things come in and crowd out God’s message from their hearts, so that no crop is produced.  Mark 4:18,19 TLB

       Christmas has become so commercial the last few decades that it’s hard to remember what the season is really all about.  (It's great we are putting up signs to keep Christ in Christmas, but are we keeping Christ in our hearts this Christmas?)  But the scripture above makes me wonder if our hearts are caught up in the world too much.  We are attracted to the things of the world, the trips, the toys, the excesses, and all the things the world says are important.  The delights of wealth lead us to wanting more- of everything; a life of ease, status brought by the money, a beautiful home and car, freedom to buy whatever we want and working to pay for it all.

       We all want to ‘be somebody’ and so we struggle and strive for success just like the rest of the world, because success means lots of money and lots of things we want and a full life- doesn’t it?  Ah, all the nice things of the world come in and crowd out the abundant life that God longs for us to have.  Once our hearts are distracted by all the worldly things, there is no room left in our hearts for our God and our love for Him.  Are we transforming the world or being conformed to it which we are warned not to do (Rom. 12:2).

Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.  1Jh. 2:15-17

       Let’s all consider changing the ground of our hearts this new year to soft, plowed ground that the seeds of God’s Word can fall in, grow and produce yields of crops that can feed the world.  The weeds don’t need to crowd us out anymore.  If all of us determine to prepare the ground of our hearts we will change the world by the brightness of our light.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Unto Us

       After writing the post yesterday and meditating on the verse from Is. 9:6, “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given…”, two words seemed to jump out at me.  ‘Unto us’ a child was born, ‘unto us’ a son was given.  This is the season of Immanuel (God with us), and today is the day we celebrate His birth even if we all know this wasn’t His literal birthday.  God came into flesh and was given to us.

       We didn’t deserve Him.  We didn’t even believe He was the Messiah despite His holy life and proof of miracles.  We mistreated Him in every way possible and ended by killing Him, and yet, God knew this would all happen in advance, and still chose to give Jesus ‘unto us’- into our care and for our benefit.  That is the selfless act of a good God, one whose value of us is immeasurable. 

Thou art good, and doest good  Ps. 119:68
O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good; for his mercy endureth for ever.  1Chr. 16:34
       Jesus was born so that we can be reconciled to God through His blood shed for our salvation.  God has always been the giver of the best gifts.  Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.  (Jms. 1:17)  Let us remember today the greatest gift God gave ‘unto us’ in the form of a babe, and lets give all the honour and praise to Him for providing our salvation.

Merry Christmas Everyone!!!


Happy Birthday Jesus!!!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Thirty Years Ago Today

       At fifteen years of age I thought it was the perfect Christmas gift for my whole family.  A great peace enveloped my being unlike anything I had ever felt.  Mom and Dad were off somewhere, my sisters had their boyfriends, and I had no one.  It was the perfect gift that would relieve the whole family of a big problem.

       Solemnly I walked into the vacant living room to the place where the crèche (manger) was displayed and I quietly knelt down in front of it.  Bowing my head, I prayed that God would forgive me as deep down I knew my decision was sinful; yet I was still peaceful as I got up, went into my bedroom and downed a variety of prescription pills I found around the house.  My Christmas present to my family would be my death.  Warped?  Yes.  But when you are feeling so unloved and unimportant, there are a lot of bizarre thoughts that go through your head, and at that moment- that night- I truly believed my family would be glad.

       After a couple hours I realized something was wrong: I felt very sick but my suicide attempt had failed.  “Perhaps if I waited some more…”  Another half an hour went by and I decided nothing mortal was going to happen but I felt so sick I went and told my sister who wisely brought me to the hospital.  From then on, I don’t remember much except being made to vomit my stomach empty and doctors asking me a whole lot of questions.  There is only one picture in my head after that: of all my family sitting in the living room not understanding.

       As usual at home, we didn’t talk about the attempt afterwards.  Everything seemed to go on as (dysfunctional-ly) normal, but I would never be the same again.  You see, sitting on the hospital bed early Christmas morning I had determined that I would find love- somewhere- somehow.  There had to be a reason I was alive, and I resolved to find it.  Not long after I found a group of godly women who met to worship God, pray, and who were passionate about the Word.  None of that mattered because it was what I saw in their eyes that simultaneously ‘blew me away’ and drew me in. 

Art by- Lorenzo Lotto (portion of)

       Their eyes were filled with such love as I had never seen.  The power of the Holy Spirit filled their lives and healings were taking place.  They loved and accepted me with open arms and it was there, in the basement of my Catholic church, that I learned the truth of God’s love.  That summer I heard about needing to be born again, and I gave my life to the Lord.  The most incredible journey began at that point, certainly not ever easy, but always a fascinating learning experience.

       There was still a LOT of work the Lord needed to do in me, my feelings of worth/ value, and what real love was, that it took a LOT of years.  Looking back I know He was there with me that Christmas Eve.  He made sure I didn’t take the right amount of the right pills, and He protected my life from the enemy’s wiles.  You see, God had His own plans for me- and here I am: loving God and loving life.  Knowing deep down that I am truly loved by a God who loves me more than His own life.  Finally living the abundant life He always wanted for me while looking forward to being with Him face to face for eternity.

And ever so grateful for every breath that He has given me for the past thirty years.

What a Great and Awesome God we have.

Jesus You are truly the best Christmas present ever!!!

For to us a Child is born, to us a Son is given; and the government shall be on His shoulder;
and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father,
The Prince of Peace. There is no end of the increase of His government and peace
on the throne of David, and on His kingdom, to order it and to establish it
with judgment and with justice from now on, even forever
Is. 9:6,7 MKJV

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Where is Shedden ON?

       Yes, Shedden is a real place not all that far from where I live: it lies about 23 km south of London.  As I was looking for a picture one day, I came upon their ‘town’ sign although they are considered a hamlet.  The reason the sign stuck out to me is because it said, “Rhubarb capital of Ontario, Slow down! and listen to the rhubarb grow”.  Of course my first thought was that I love rhubarb- it is my favorite vegetable- yes, it is considered a veggie.  That made me wonder if they have a rhubarb festival and brought me to my second thought.

       Just where is Shedden anyway?  Research indicates it is a small hamlet, although I can’t find an actual population.  It is reported to have: a public library, a medical clinic, a volunteer-based fire hall, and a jujutsu dojo.  (No grocery store?)  And this year is the 21st anniversary of the annual Rosy Rhubarb Festival.  Ooo, just imagining rhubarb pie with or without strawberries, rhubarb bread, jam, sauce, cake, and all the other treats they might have.  Yum!

       It sounds like a great ‘quiet little town’ to go visit someday especially on festival weekend.  Of course, it is also known for something far more sinister.  In April of 2006, the bodies of eight men were found in a farmer’s field outside of town.  I can’t imagine how difficult it was for the town to put such a thing behind them and move beyond all the chaos caused by it, but then to realize that when people look up your little town, that information is right there for the whole wide world to see.

       That’s how it seems sometimes in our own lives.  We all have pasts: some are full of all kinds of outward misbehaviour or sinfulness, while others led quiet, inwardly sinful lives (that was me), and a rare few were mostly good inside and out.  Still- we all have pasts.  The thing is, when we give our hearts and lives to the Lord, He doesn’t hold our pasts against us, and He doesn’t remind us of them to make us feel bad.

As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.  Ps. 103:12 (all MKJV)
If You will keep in mind iniquities, O Jehovah, who shall stand, O Lord?  Ps. 130:3
Who is a God like You, who pardons iniquity and passes by the transgression of the remnant of His heritage? He does not keep His anger forever, because He delights in mercy.  Mic. 7:18
For His merciful kindness is great toward us  Ps. 117:2

       The Lord removes our transgressions from us an inestimable amount, like we have a clean slate with Him.  We could not stand before a holy God if He did not do that for us, for we are all sinful creatures who struggle daily with the flesh.  Why does He pass by our sins?  The Lord loves us and is mercifully kind toward us.  His longsuffering toward His people over the millennia and the sacrificial death of His Son proves His love for us.  God doesn’t see our wicked pasts when He looks at us- He sees the blood of His Son- the blood that makes us clean*.

Blessed be the name of Jehovah!

*Ps. 51:7; Rom. 3:25; 5:9; Eph. 1:8; Heb. 10:12; 1Jh. 1:7; Rev. 1:7