Friday, December 16, 2011

The Deep Well

The Deep Well
Deep within each of us there must be a little seed of faith. Sometimes it is like a deep well. The pump on the well has never been activated. So the pump is a little rusty. Perhaps the rust accumulated from years of not being used and now the pump is ceased. It is stiff and squeaky and requires a lot of strength and effort to even make that pump move again. Are you going through a trial at this time? Can you relate to the old rusty pump? Often we go through life, things are going good in our daily lives and we can cope. Then all of a sudden, all of our reserves run dry. Something flips in our lives and we desperately need to reach deep into that well and pull up that faith again. We are desperate. There seems to be nowhere that we can turn. There is no hope in the doctors. They can only do so much. We find ourselves on our knees trying to access that faith, in a hope that God will somehow miraculously send a gushing spring of water through the broken pump. I can picture it. I’ve been there, sitting on the front steps of the church whose doors were locked. Sitting there alone . . . wishing there was someone who had that special connection to God who would intercede on our behalf. On that day there was no one else. I sat on that church step and prayed for my nephew who had bacterial meningitis. Doctors gave us very little hope that he would survive. God had me in that deep well. I prayed the only way I knew how, desperately with a seed of faith not bigger than a mustard seed. The cry of my heart was real. God please heal him. God did answer my prayer and my nephew survived.
Many times God answers our prayers in ways we don’t understand. Sometimes we can even look back and say, “Boy am I ever glad God didn’t answer my prayer in the way that I prayed.” Sometimes we say, why didn't he. . .?We have to know what we ask of God. We need to know in our hearts that God knows the situation in detail. God is all knowing, loving and compassionate. Sometimes we don’t recognize these truths about God, especially during times when we have these thoughts, God let us down. He didn’t answer our prayers, therefore he does not love me or maybe he doesn’t even exist.  Is it so hard to believe that the God who created the universe does know what is best and that just maybe His plan for life and death is perfect? Often we cannot see past the temporal world and what is going on in our lives. The world can seem dark and ugly when we are in the dark well. I can vision that well gushing out living water as we cry out from the deep. That living water is not temporal, it is eternal. When we live or die in Christ we are eternal beings. Our journey here on earth, however long or short, it is a part of a divine plan. Remember, God is all knowing. He knew us before we were conceived Jeremiah 1:4-5. He knew the day we would be born and the day we would die. Psalm 139:13-16 How we live the time between those two dates is up to us. You may ask, “What about those who don’t have a choice or can’t make a choice?” For babies and young children. Mt: 19:14 Jesus said,"Let the little children come to me, and do no hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these." I believe there is an age of accountability - a time in life when you know the difference. God knows the hearts and minds of mankind.
Whatever deep well you find yourself in at this time, you can activate that rusty pump yourself. God desires a relationship with you. Just as Jesus sat at that well waiting for the woman at the well to draw water, he waits for you to put your hand on that pump to draw water too. When you take that step of faith, Jesus will give you living water.  Oil that pump daily with prayer. Receive that living water and in doing so you will embrace the love God the Father has for you. He is the Father who will comfort you in all your troubles 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 He carries you close when you are feeling broken hearted. Psalm 34:18 God will someday take away all the pain you have suffered on earth. Revelation 21:3-4
Someday, all your questions will be answered. I’m thinking that on that day when we stand before God the Father and our Saviour Jesus Christ, all our questions won’t even touch our lips. They won’t matter. What will matter is that we are standing in His Holy Presence, in the glory of a great and awesome God, enveloped in the Loving arms of the God of all Creation. Praise to our great and mighty God. This life is just a glimpse of the amazing splendour of life that we will have when we pass from here to there . . . for all eternity.

Friday, December 9, 2011

The Greatest Gift

Penny Darlene Wills

One year ago, I awoke excited to face the day. It was December 3, 2010. We were planning our Ladies Christmas Fellowship for that evening. We were planning an evening to bring something happy and positive into some of these ladies lives; something that would give them hope, laughter, put a new song in their heart. It is a busy time of year getting ready for Christmas. We spent months preparing for that evening, trying to put a program together that would bless the ladies hearts.

Yes, we have all heard the Christmas story, frontwards, backwards and every story in between. Some are stories which touch the heart. This time of year can be very difficult for people. Not every one's life is bright and rosy. Some people are living alone, their children are grown or even gone. Some families are coping with divorce and their family unit is split apart. Other's are mourning the death of a loved one. Some people have no home, no food.

Christmas time can bring back the memories of old. Being a child and having that anticipation of opening presents, seeing loved ones come together. Mom's home baked cookies, salads and turkey dinner.

The Christmas songs play on the radio and throughout the malls. Songs like, "Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire" sung by Nat King Cole. or  Elvis singing, "I'll have a Blue Christmas Without You". You are shopping and walking along in the store. A song plays loud over the speaker. You pause for a moment, thinking of the memory. Oh I miss those childhood years. For a moment, you may even feel sad because the memories remain but many of our loved ones in those memories from Christmases long ago, are gone too.

Here I am. It is December 9, 2011, a year later. We have been planning yet another Ladies Christmas Fellowship. I remember well the phone call I received on this day last year. The phone call that changed our lives. My dear younger sister Penny suddenly passed away on that day. I spent most of the day by her side, along with our mother, my niece and a few friends and family.

It puts an entirely new spin on Christmas when you lose a loved one. We had lived through it before years ago, when my sister in law Sue was suddenly killed when a drunk driver ran her down. It was two weeks before Christmas. Santa still came that year. I was nine years old. I opened Sue's present to me on that Christmas morning. She gave me a real 10kt gold ring with my initials on it. All I could do was cry. Yes it was a long time ago. You know what? I remember that Christmas like it was yesterday. Life is not all sad. We have enjoyed many Happy Christmases since.

Why am I telling you this? Do I want you to throw me a big crying towel? No. However, life can change on a dime. In the blinking of an eye your life, my life can be flipped upside down. We have all experienced these flipping moments. We survived them and maybe learned a thing or two about life, about God. We take our experiences whatever they have been and we help others who are feeling what we have felt, that sorrow, loneliness, emptiness. We reach out our strong arms and give a sincere hug, wipe a tear, give a smile, share a laugh, bring some comfort, live in peace and be a gift to others. That is what we do at Christmas because that is exactly what Jesus does for us. He does it in so many different ways. We may not even recognize these moments. Perhaps you have been entertained by an angel, unaware.

Penny now has a tomb stone which says, "Our Little Angel". Yes I did whisper in her ear a year ago today. "Penny I love you. You are going to see Jesus now" I held her little hand and kissed her cheek before I walked out of the room. I felt that I had to go and help with the Christmas Ladies Fellowship. Twenty minutes after I left her, Penny walked into the loving Arms of Jesus Christ her Saviour. She received the Greatest Gift of All, Christmas Love. Note: If you flip the m in "Christmas Love" - upside down - you get "Christ was Love".  God's Gift to us.

Merry Christmas Penny

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

What is the meaning of Christmas?


Merry Christmas
Unless you have been living under a rock for your entire life, you have heard the name of Jesus. For my entire life, I have celebrated Christmas Day and enjoyed the many blessings, gifts and love which seem to naturally embrace us at Christmas. We naturally in return, embrace these blessings poured over us and into our lives.  There is a feeling which comes during this time of year which goes far deeper than the beautiful songs played on the radio or the coloured Christmas lights strung across the rows of houses. Sure we enjoy these things along with the hot apple cider and eggnog and all the traditions past down from one generation to the next. Many of us even get lost under the shopping carts and long line-ups, spending money on presents we can’t really afford. Deep down we know that there is no present or gift or any amount of money spent which will satisfy the longing of our hearts. I’ve seen it year after year. The nicely wrapped present garnished with a beautiful bow which probably cost an extra two dollars plus tax, gets ripped off the gift, crumbled up with the paper, thrown into the wood stove and used for fire starter. On to the next present we go.

I don’t mean to trivialize the wondrous generosity poured out from people at Christmas. I merely want to find that true meaning of Christmas again. I want to find and embrace the Spirit of God in the mist of that wave of commercialism. I think in reality, most people long for the warm fireplace and the days of old when families gathered together, enjoyed a nice family dinner and sang songs like: “Silent Night” “Oh Little Town of Bethlehem” I don’t think rocking around the Christmas tree half snapped, was the original intent or way of honouring the birth of a King who was born to give us the greatest gift of all, eternal life. I look around and witness the blasphemous behaviour that our modern day society accepts and promotes.  We have employers telling their employees what to speak, “You must say Happy Holiday not Merry Christmas”. Last time I checked, I was not going on a holiday.

For the past 1,700 years, a significant portion of the Western world has celebrated the day of December 25th as the birth of the divine Son of God and Saviour Jesus Christ. We have all seen many images of Jesus lying in a manger surrounded by ox and lamb, with the Virgin Mary, Joseph, angels and three Wise Men looking on in wonder at the luminous infant. These are interpretations.
The account of Christ's birth is not a perfectly arranged set on a stage. Jesus was born in a putrid smelling stable, surrounded by farm animals that didn’t have controlled bowels. “The wise men travelled hundreds of miles to see this special child. It would have been an arduous journey and probably took them a couple of years to get there. When they finally arrived to this divine child, they lavished Him with gifts. Their gifts were not for Mary or Joseph. The gifts were a form of worship to God.
It was a hectic and dangerous time. Mary and Joseph had reason to be frightened. By faith, they trusted God even though they may not have fully understood how God was at work in it all. The time came when Joseph and Mary had to go to Egypt, to protect the child or he would have been bludgeoned with a sword like many other male babies. Matthew 2:13 – Arise, take the young Child and His mother, flee to Egypt, and stay there until I bring you word; for Herod will seek the young Child to destroy Him.” 16 “Then Herod, when he saw that he was deceived by the wise men, was exceedingly angry; and he sent forth and put to death all the male children who were in Bethlehem and in all its districts, from two years old and under.”
The bible does not tell the exact day of Christ’s birth and by most theological accounts it was not on December 25th. Most of us know this fact. Long ago, December 25th was the day chosen to recognize the Saviour’s birth. We can pinpoint Christ’s birth to occur just before the death of King Herod. Some believe, his birth was during a time observed as the winter solstice. The exact day of His birth is not known.  

This day of remembering Christ’s birth became known as Christmas. It had nothing to do with wish lists or asking for the most recent Iphone or video game. It had nothing to do with socks and underwear or fine knit sweaters, television commercials; stockings filled with candy canes or red tag specials; although these things do seem to appease our selfish desires.   The birth of Christ Jesus the King was the fulfillment of a long awaited prophecy which took hundreds of years to happen. His birth was spoken of in the days of Isaiah and Jeremiah and also other prophets mentioned in the books of the Old Testament. It was a big event in history, played out exactly how it was prophesied, including the miraculous conception and life of Jesus the Messiah. It was not a surprise.

May we find the original meaning and truth of Christmas, the “reason for the season.” When we seek to find the truth found in Christ Jesus, we will find all we really need. He saved my life when he called my name. He shines His light through the darkest days. He is the perfect gift. Run after Him like a child runs after a kite. In life when we really want something we go after it. We get passionate about the things we want, the people we love. Can you imagine if we ran after a deeper relationship with Christ Jesus with that same kind of love, need, desire and passion? Oh, how much more we would know Him, love Him, hear Him and understand Him. We would learn the depth, the height and the width of His love. It would become personal. The Father God desires to give us this blessing. That is why Jesus was born. The true story of our Saviour didn’t end in a lowly manger. His life continued for thirty three years.  God’s plan unfolded. 
The most important date to recognize is the verified date of  Jesus death on the cross. We know His death was on the Friday during the Passover at a place called Calvary. We even know the exact time of his death. Matthew 27:45 “Now from the sixth hour to the ninth hour (3 o'clock) there was darkness over all the land.” 50 And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice, and yielded up His spirit.” This is the most important date; the date of our atonement.

Mary stood at the foot of the cross on that Friday and watched as God fulfilled His plan. She watched what the people did to her son. With the love a mother feels toward God and for her child, she watched him suffer. Mary endured the horrible reality of it all, as the people hurled insults, mocked and rejected Him. Her tears soaked the ground beneath her feet as she watched her son, NO!  “GOD’s Son” take his last earthly breath, just after He uttered these words, Luke 23:34 “Father forgive them for they know not what they do.” It was God’s way of making atonement for our sinfulness. Prophecy fulfilled. The Father’s gift to us is His Son Jesus. His life for ours.  
Today many people still mock and reject the Father’s perfect gift. Jesus words still echo today, “Father forgive them, for they do not know what they do.”

As Christmas quickly approaches let each of us take time to reflect about the true meaning of Christmas and ask ourselves, what part does God play in our daily lives, not just at Christmas, but every day of the year? Is this gift that God offers to each of us, something we would like to receive and open and enjoy for the rest of eternity?  
Merry Christmas

Christ’s

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Seek and You Will Find

We muddle through each day busying ourselves with many things we believe we must get done. The stresses and events often fill our minds and suck the energy out of us. Many times it feels like the weights around our ankles are pulling us down. We are tired from carrying them each day. Perhaps you have muddled for years and you wonder: Is this all there is to life? Is this the purpose God has for my life? I asked God that question more than once when I was working in a two foot cubical filing patient charts all day and then cleaning speculums at the end of the day. Only God knows what lesson he was teaching me each day when I scrubbed off the blood and scum before sterilization took place. I did that job for two years and never did find any great purpose except that I earned a wage to pay my bills. I’m thankful that particular job ended. I’m sure there were days when I said or did something that made an indent in part of God’s creative process.

Now I’m onto the next journey and still wondering what it is God has for me to do on this day that he has made. Almost every day I feel like I’m on top of the world. I look around and realize how blessed I really am. Daily I praise Him. In doing so, I desire to know God in a deeper way. I find myself not satisfied in knowing who Jesus was and what He did for me, but to go deeper into my relationship with Him and really know him and not just what the bible says about Him. I want to really know Jesus. Isn’t that what a true relationship seeks to find; knowing and understanding the other person in the relationship, so that we can learn to love them even more? We should never be satisfied just reading a line or two. Read the entire book or you miss the main event.

Some people go to church almost every Sunday. I am one of them. I listen intently to the sermon as to glean some wonderful truth from the scripture which will make a difference in my life for the upcoming week. Listening and waiting to receive that one word or maybe an entire chapter of the bible which will turn the light on or open some doorway into heaven which will pour out over me and into me like a rushing cleansing wave; something more from God that will fill the empty air pockets of my soul. During that half hour of worship the songs we sing are meaningful and again the words pierce through my mind, spirit and soul. During that time I feel the closeness of God and the moving of His Spirit amongst us. We sing that song – “Draw me close to you (Jesus). Never let me go. I lay it all down again, just to hear you say that I am your friend. Help me find the way that leads me straight to you.” We sing the words loud and out of tune, yet God only hears the cry of our hearts. God hears our songs of love and it blesses him. It is love reciprocated back to Him for all the love He has shown us. He promises he will never let us go. John 10 25-29 -“Jesus answered, “I did tell you, but you do not believe. The miracles I do in my Father’s name speak for me, but you do not believe because you are not my sheep. My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.” Like sheep, sometimes we stray away from him, but God has a long arm and his sheep (children) are never out of His reach. The way back to him is to lay it all down again and again if that is what it takes. God is patient. God would love it if we laid down those sins that pull us away and tempt us to go down paths of unrighteousness. We put down whatever it is that hinders and we cry out to Jesus (receive Him as our Saviour) and return to Him. He pours out His favour onto us. His love is so strong and so pure. The bible says to look for Him. Seek Him (Jesus) and you will find Him. There is a new song I have come to know and love to sing. It is called "The More I Seek You". I have written many songs over the years, but I could not write a song or words anymore meaningful than that song.  The words speak the cry of my heart. They belong to me as much as if I wrote them.

"The more I seek You, the more I find You.

The more I find You, the more I love You.

I want to sit at Your feet, drink from the cup in Your hand.

Lay back against You and breathe, feel Your heartbeat.

This love is so deep, it’s more than I can stand.

I melt in Your peace, it’s overwhelming."

© 1999 Zach Neese/Gateway Create Publishing by Zach Neese Worship Leader Jessica Hall

So, I close my eyes and find myself in the Spirit realm sitting at the feet of Jesus (washing his feet with my tears; not out of sorrow but because my love for Him is so strong, so real, so intense. Luke 7:37-38 – “When a woman who had lived a sinful life in that town learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee’s house, she brought an alabaster jar of perfume, and as she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed his feet and poured perfume on them.”
I find the words to the song coming alive as the Holy Spirit fills my living room. I am drinking from the cup of Jesus hand. A new wine and I am the wine skin and He is filling me to overflowing. Matthew 9:17 – “Neither do men pour new wine into old wineskins. If they do, the skins will burst, the wine will run out and the wineskins will be ruined. No they pour new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved.” Ft note – In ancient times goatskins were used to hold wine. As the fresh grape juice fermented, the wine would expand, and the new wineskin would stretch. But a used skin, already stretched, would break. Jesus brings a newness that cannot be confined within the old forms.)NIV

At that moment I can feel myself lying back against him; the Lord of Lords and the King of Kings (Jesus). I breathe deep the fragrance of His breathe (Jesus) His presence is so strong that I can feel His heartbeat in mine. Everything I’ve always looked for is right here with me. A love so true, it is more than I can say. Yes it is overwhelming to me; His all encompassing love that flows like a calm serene river deep down into my soul where God rests within me. He is always there waiting for me to talk to Him. God is uncomplaining and He waits for me and for you to seek Him and find Him.

And then the song ends and I want sit a little longer beneath the wind of His Spirit because it is so peaceful there. He says to me, “Let us meet again my child. It was nice spending time with you too. Just remember I am always here anytime of the day. I don’t take coffee breaks. I am with you always even to the ends of the age."
Matthew 28:19 – “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aSYQKt5vgVs

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Weeds in the Garden

Interrupted

The breath of God brushes along my naked flesh.
I can feel it in the gentle breeze.
The pleasant perfumes from His wild flowers tantalize my senses.
God covers the landscape as one laying a blanket over a loved one.
It is a quilt made of many unique fabrics.
A patch of grass, dark, lush, shadowed.
No one knows I’m here in this secluded meadow.
It is just me, God, and the crickets.
A pond of water, rippling, rhythmic radiant lay at my feet.
Wait . . .
Interruption, barking dogs frolicking in the grass,
buzzing deer fly around my head.
Who is flying that airplane in the middle of my God moment?
Okay . . . where was I?
Blue sky, floating drifting clouds pass by like a ship set sail,
moving forever changing.
Tassels, wild daisies, and purple wild flowers,
interspersed amongst the field of grass.
All intertwined into this perfect quilt.
God, you create such amazing patch work.
Even I am woven into it.
I feel like I’m being bathed in the embrace of your loving arms.
Cuddled in a safe warm place.
It makes me feel like I might have already been raptured into your Kingdom of Heaven.
God, you reach far beyond the barriers of time, gravity and this tiny planet that is hidden amongst the many stars and galaxies.

God, only you can distinguish me from each single blade of grass which you have put in its designated place. You are the creative master behind all that we see and hear, the artist who deliberately uses each stroke of your creative brush to breathe everything into existence. Who can fathom the depth of who you are to each one of us, oh God?

Weeds in the Garden
I have a garden plot at our community church. It is a grey clay soil. When it is dry it becomes clumpy and hard, difficult to cultivate. Nearing the end of May I gathered up my tools: A hoe, a weed puller and a rake. I was dressed for the weather wearing my rubber boots, in case the garden was muddy, a hat to protect my head from the sun. It was a humid and hot day so I wore my favourite shorts. I was all set. So I thought. After three hours of digging and pulling up weeds, I then planted my seeds and a few starter plants. By this time my body was aching, I was very hot and dehydrated. I had had enough. What was I thinking not bringing any water to drink on such a hot day?

Having spent two days planting seeds, watering the garden I was ready to see my crop begin to grow. A week went by and not much growth. However the garden plot beside mine was really flourishing. There was a mass of green covering every inch of that garden. They must be doing something right. I thought. I’ve never once seen anyone watering that garden plot. For that matter I have not seen anyone even plant a seed there. Could I be doing something wrong? I began to wonder.

Well another week went by. I watered my garden when needed and there were plenty of sunny days when the sun shined its selective rays upon the garden soil. Potato plants started to poke their little heads out of the ground. Evidence of some hopes for at the least a fall potato cake. I had to wonder about all the other vegetable seeds I had planted. Were they ever going to grow? It seemed a little odd because I began to notice that the garden plot beside mine seemed to be sharing its abundance. Oh how nice of them to share.

Another week went by and more of those green plants were growing, not only  in my neighbour’s garden but they were taking over my garden too. I tried to pull one of these lush green plants out of the soil to see what it was. When I did, I noticed the root of it went very deep, but there was no fruit or vegetable attached to it. I noticed that when I just broke a piece of this plant off, it would still grow back and spread. Determined little buggers.

Another week went by and now my garden looked like the garden beside mine. I didn’t plant any of those seeds. That lush greenery was everywhere and it was choking out all the seeds I toiled to plant. In such a short time those subtle little green invaders choked the life right out of my garden. I have no fruit and no vegetables growing, just two garden plots filled with these useless green plants. One might as well place a grave stone there because nothing is growing.

Are our lives like that garden? What weeds are choking out your spiritual fruit and vegetables? They may be things which can seem to be genuine. For more information check-out following scripture references. 

http://www.biblegateway.com/

Matthew 13


Parable of the Farmer Scattering Seed

1 Later that same day Jesus left the house and sat beside the lake. 2 A large crowd soon gathered around him, so he got into a boat. Then he sat there and taught as the people stood on the shore. 3 He told many stories in the form of parables, such as this one:

“Listen! A farmer went out to plant some seeds. 4 As he scattered them across his field, some seeds fell on a footpath, and the birds came and ate them. 5 Other seeds fell on shallow soil with underlying rock. The seeds sprouted quickly because the soil was shallow. 6 But the plants soon wilted under the hot sun, and since they didn’t have deep roots, they died. 7 Other seeds fell among thorns that grew up and choked out the tender plants. 8 Still other seeds fell on fertile soil, and they produced a crop that was thirty, sixty, and even a hundred times as much as had been planted! 9 Anyone with ears to hear should listen and understand.”

18 “Now listen to the explanation of the parable about the farmer planting seeds: 19 The seed that fell on the footpath represents those who hear the message about the Kingdom and don’t understand it. Then the evil one comes and snatches away the seed that was planted in their hearts. 20 The seed on the rocky soil represents those who hear the message and immediately receive it with joy. 21 But since they don’t have deep roots, they don’t last long. They fall away as soon as they have problems or are persecuted for believing God’s word. 22 The seed that fell among the thorns represents those who hear God’s word, but all too quickly the message is crowded out by the worries of this life and the lure of wealth, so no fruit is produced. 23 The seed that fell on good soil represents those who truly hear and understand God’s word and produce a harvest of thirty, sixty, or even a hundred times as much as had been planted!”

Parable of the Wheat and Weeds

24 Here is another story Jesus told: “The Kingdom of Heaven is like a farmer who planted good seed in his field. 25 But that night as the workers slept, his enemy came and planted weeds among the wheat, then slipped away. 26 When the crop began to grow and produce grain, the weeds also grew.

27 “The farmer’s workers went to him and said, ‘Sir, the field where you planted that good seed is full of weeds! Where did they come from?’

28 “‘An enemy has done this!’ the farmer exclaimed.

“‘Should we pull out the weeds?’ they asked.

29 “‘No,’ he replied, ‘you’ll uproot the wheat if you do. 30 Let both grow together until the harvest. Then I will tell the harvesters to sort out the weeds, tie them into bundles, and burn them, and to put the wheat in the barn.’”

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Extra Ordinary

My Grandfather
My grandfather was an extra ordinary man,
extra special, extra funny, extra sweet and extra, extra grand.
Some people say John Bull was just an ordinary man.
He liked ice cream, baseball games, both family and friends.
My grandfather may not have been a movie star,
The President, an Astronaut nor travelled very far.
He was witty, very funny, sharp as a tack, never had much money.
When my grandfather was more than ninety nine years old,
He could tell you every detail, of every tale ever told.
It was a joy to see his hazy blue eyes and sincere smile.
I’ve never known a nicer man. He always went that extra mile.
My grandfather was so grand,
even if some people think that he was just an ordinary man.
If you put the extra in front of ordinary, do you know what you get?
You get my grandfather - John Bull, a very extraordinary man.


I was having a deep conversation the other day with a friend. We shared a few heart connectors with one another. A few tidbits of ourselves. Most women know what they are and you don’t get them at Tim Hortons. Tidbits are pieces of the center part of the donuts of our lives; the things dear to our heart. They are moments or events in our lives which mould us into the people we are and into the people we become. I’m sure when I was a child I was a much different person than I am now; perhaps a little more carefree, fun, innocent, with a touch of that Anne of Green Gable quality. Even the imaginations of Anne Shirley could not give a picture of what her or my future would hold. Life experiences do shape our character. I believe they are all a part of that great plan that God has for each individual life, now that I am on the down side of the hill as some may describe one who hits that half century mark. Does that mean that my life will get easier from here on out? After all, climbing the hill is the most difficult and tiring part. Going down the hill is a stroll. My fear is that I just might go a little too fast down that steep grade. It is impossible to put the brakes on time. Running the battery out makes no difference. The clock keeps ticking even though I have all these things I want to get done. Sometimes there seems to be an urgency to live life and get as much done as possible in one day. Dare I strive to the left or the right and get off the path I am on? No time to do that, it seems. The problem with going downhill too fast is sometimes something pulls out in front of you and wham. The brakes are on and we skid right into that obstacle. Repair damage – negotiate a good lawyer and have good medical-care. Not necessarily in that order. It does seem that time is moving much faster now then it did when I was younger. I don’t know if it is just me who feels this way.

I discovered something about myself the other day. I think it is funny and sad at the same time. I guess we must learn to laugh at ourselves and the sad things we discover about ourselves or else we would probably slip into a depressed state. I was almost there the other day. Then I called a friend to pray for me. I thought maybe if someone else prayed for me I would snap out of the funk I felt myself slipping into. Like I said, when you are already speeding down the hill and your life seems to be spinning out of control, sometimes we need a little help, a slap in the head, maybe some prayer, a cup of tea and even a little whine shared with a friend. (To express distress or complain) Well our conversation didn’t solve all the problems of the world, but it did make me stop working, sit down for the afternoon and just take in this friend’s company. Oh yeah, I almost forgot to tell what I learned. Well my day was full like many days seem to be lately. Don’t ask what I am so busy doing? All I know is that I fall into bed exhausted each night, my body aches from painting, gardening, cleaning, yard work and emotional drainage . . . When a friend called me up on this very busy day, I almost cried - feeling so overwhelmed. The last thing I felt I wanted to do on that particular day was drive to my friend’s house for coffee. Can you imagine? Instead of thinking of this gracious invite as a wonderful opportunity and a blessing to have a special time out, the thought of one more thing almost stopped me in the middle of that down hill slide. Then a light came on in my memory. I remembered back to a time when I was so lonely, and board that I only thought of myself and wanted to go out shopping or spend a little time with my friend. I remembered just how devastated I was when my friend told me; no she could not go out for coffee because she was so busy. Do you think at that time I understood her predicament? Not at all. Here I am seven years later trying to bail out my life boat which has that same huge hole in it. The water is coming in faster than I can bail it out. Believe me, I was a good and quick bailer when I was a child. Bailing the water out of our boats had to be done if I wanted the reward of driving down Cooks Bay like my hair was on fire. So the funny part was in me realizing what it must have been like for my friend years back. I love wearing hand-me-downs. Her shoe fits me perfectly. I couldn’t help but think what a jerk I used to be. Now, I realize why she didn’t want my burdened friendship vying for her time.

Don’t we all strive at times to do things we think need to be done? Isn’t there something deep inside all of us that wants things to be better? Do we have a need to do something grand as to give ourselves some kind of self worth? My friend asked me a very good question. I had to really think about it. “Why can’t we be ordinary?” she asked. Actually her question stumped me for a moment. My analytical friend made me think. Is there not something so peaceful about knowing that in our ordinariness, with Christ Jesus that it is enough? The simplicity of our individual lives is extra special and unique. In fact being ordinary can be extraordinary. I looked up into the sky and saw this eagle soaring high above us like it was being carried by the wind. I thought yeah, “Why do we have to try and be the eagle? Why can’t we be satisfied being like a sparrow? There is a song that comes to mind.


His Eye Is On the Sparrow

“Why should I feel discouraged, why should the shadows come?
Why should my heart be lonely and long for heav’n and home;
when Jesus is my portion?
My constant friend is He.
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.”

Thank you my insightful friend for the flower that sits on my kitchen table.
It is a reminder of the flowers in my life.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Back Door















Step outside my back door.
Walk a few steps
Lilac flowers cover the path like sprinkled lace.
It must be God’s grace.

A hundred more steps before you reach the crest of the hill.
Embrace the moment and be still.
Wild flowers lay amongst the uncultivated grass.
Fields of green shimmer and dash.

Legs tickle with the brush of painted flowers.
The woodwinds symphony of praises empowers.
Birds chirp, frogs whistle a God orchestrated song.
It makes one feel strong.

Trees sway aggressively in majestic praise.
Dancing with a quiver full of leaves.
Birds glide with the wind up and down
In perfect harmony with every quiet sound.

Blue sky reflects off the calm of the pond.
Creating an inimitable bond.
Tiny waves glitter over the water like diamonds enhanced by the sun.
One can almost see the angels dipping their wings and having fun.

Everything is dancing to an eccentric rhythm.
Freedom from bondage to escape like the light from a prism.
A water show of unmistakable magnitude.
Life changing, perspective making, gratitude.

Rustling to a crescendo of a song that never ends
Through the window of our eyes we see a glimpse of Heaven
Standing at the highest place like a queen.
A view untarnished and rarely seen.

Soft, romantic, spontaneous, charismatic, gentle and amazing.
God’s poetic song of love is peaceful, soft, tranquil and capturing.
No words can recreate all that God lavishes on us or the depth of His
amazing love which He generously pours out to each of us every day.

Exult the Lord our God for He is worthy of all our praise.

2011-06-02 – Rebecca Wills Robinson

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Gifts - A Reflection of His Love



Gifts



Endless streams of water poured over my children and me as we stood under the waterfalls. Gushing out from between the tightly packed rocks, water flowed with an endless rush down over the boulders with a vibrant force. The sun was shining through the mist making a prism of colours, pink, yellow and green. With hands held high we bathed in the moment of refreshing. Our smiles glowed, cheeks the colour of rose pedals. Refreshing, cleansing, a spiritual awakening, and a moment in time. The sense datum in the air of that day, was a sweet natural scent, lending itself to our pleasure. With eyes closed, our arms artlessly propelled toward the sky cognizant of the fact that we were standing beneath God’s intricately made waterfall which he was pouring out for our enjoyment on that hot summer day. To this day, that waterfall remains secluded deep within the forests of Algonquin. The portage was worth every moment. Oh, how that memory refreshes me even now fifteen years later. The children are grown and living on their own. Yet, I remember that moment in time, the precious memory in our lives, treasured and guarded safe within the expression of my mind and my heart. With a willingness to share one of my life experiences with you, in a hope that in some way I would remind you of a similar time in your life when you felt that there was something special or divine in your life.

We all have these moments. I would like to call them gifts from God. You know they are special because these moments capture the deepest part of whom God has created us to be. God moments. The feeling you get the first time you ride a bike. The awe that takes your breath away when you watch the calm in a morning sunrise. The bond of love felt when a baby is born. That unsettled butterfly in your stomach when you are driving your boat over the waves at such speed that your eyes water and tears stream down your face. Or maybe it is the connection between close friends sharing a picnic basket. Yes, there are many such moments to treasure.


These moments are a part of our lives. Stemmed from opportunities given, chances taken and choices made. There is a wise saying: “Stop and smell the roses”. Did you ever notice that roses don’t last very long? They have a sweet fragrance when they flower. However after about a week or so the pedals fall off. Sometimes all you are left with is a bush of thorns. Even in that state, they have a uniqueness about them. I think there is a message in that saying. I was thinking just the other day that I would really like to have more of those God moments. Moments when we want to see, feel or hear that wow factor. Perhaps they are there, but I don’t recognize them for one reason or another. Life can get to busy that we get caught in that time warp and don't realize that there is so much in life to experience. It is a big world out there. We can have these times of refreshing every day if we choose. The first thing we need to do is stop what we are doing. If it means pulling your car off to the side of a road and looking at the wild flowers, why not take a minute to observe how beautiful wild flowers can be. Shut the television off and take a walk along the road side. Drive to a lake and watch an amazing sunset and notice the colours in the sky. Sit on the front step with a loved one and point out to each other what you see amongst the numerous stars.


Did you like fishing when you were a child? Go fishing, even bait the hook. Take a minute to get away and listen to sounds of the singing frogs, crickets, the swish of the wind. Feel the breeze on your face. Notice it, feel it and praise God for it. Don’t take anything for granted. What if today was your last day on earth? Take snapshots with your mind as you look with new eyes at the fields of green, the budding trees. Spring arrives each year with the newness of life. Everything around us flourishes. Notice the pleasant fragrances in the air after a rainfall. You can even smell the dew worms. Seize the moments when they happen. So soon the moment could be gone. You will have missed out on God’s gifts to you. Breathe in the life around you and at the end of the day, when your head hits that pillow, sleep in peace knowing that life is good. Sing a new song or even an old one. “Count your blessings, name them one by one. Count your many blessings and see what God has done. Count your blessings, name them, one by one. Count your many blessings and see what God has done”.


A Reflection of His Love

I Praise You Lord
My trust is in you alone Lord.
You direct my path.
You make complete my soul.

With you Lord, I am forever free.
Your Love sustains me.
Continuously mending my broken heart.
Moulding me, conforming me to Your Perfect Image.

Day to day, You fill my cup with Love, and Hope.
Your gracious love and healing touch soothes my soul.
Like broken pottery restored by a potter's hand,
You restore me. I Praise You Lord.

May the mountains, You have helped me climb,
return to You the pleasant fragrance of Your perfume.
Blend it with the flowers of my love,
so we can be one in Spirit eternally.

Like flowing streams,
which trickle through thick forest glades
eroding through rugged mountains,
You direct my crooked paths, always bringing me back to You.

Your tender mercies flow upon me like a cascade.
Washing me again and again.
Though over 2000 years ago, Your blood was shed for me,
Your blood still flows from that cross today.

Still cleansing me.
Forever lifting my feet upon a solid rock.
Reminding me of the Great Sacrificial Love,
You have always shown me.

No other Love can compare to Your Perfect Love.
Thank - You Jesus.

Poem - by Rebecca Wills Robinson

Monday, April 11, 2011

Snapshots


Snapshots

We take snapshots along our journey.
When we do, it is our internal safe device
to inadvertently protect the moment.
It is our way of saying the picture will always remain
even if time should erode the reality of that moment.
Our fond memories remain including the sad ones
as we flip from page to page.
We smile at the memory, the times shared with close friends.
We feel the serenity for a brief moment
as we look thoughtfully at the pictures.
The special ones even make it into a picture frame
because they remind us of a precious moment.
They remind us of a relationship shared.
If we feel sad or alone on any particular day,
we look at the picture and the memory brings
a moment of comfort to our day.
I’m sure as we get older and continue to look at the snapshots
we appreciate them more and more as time goes on.
Especially as our reflection changes over time.
We realize how great we looked back then.
The tear of time may stain some old photos to see loved ones gone.
But we still have the picture, don’t we? We won.
Our insurance paid off. We still have the memory, that picture.
But it does also bring a pain of sorrow
with that realization of what seems lost.
If we dig deep enough we can still hear the laughter and sense
the quiet breeze of that day spent together with loved ones.
I cherish those moments shared.
Nothing seems to stay the same for a long period of time.
Why is it so?
Only God knows the answers to life’s questions.
I hope you enjoy the snapshots of the time you shared.
Reminisce for a moment, smile at the memory.
Mostly never forget what is true blue.
It easily gets lost in the shadows.
Find the beauty in life.
Sometimes it is nice to sit in the shadows with a close friend.
That is where I wait, in the shadow of God’s Mighty Wings,
I am compelled to stay and wait until we meet again.



Author - Rebecca Wills Robinson

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Sitting on the Dock of the Bay

Sitting on the Dock of the Bay


Do you ever feel like you are sitting on the dock of the bay wasting time? It is a well known song which many of us can relate to. Perhaps you feel like time is your enemy. You race to work each day frustrated by the traffic, red lights, the price of gas it costs to get there. Friday arrives and you feel that finally you can have two days to do what you want to do. For some, the bills are higher than the wage and you must work a second job. One of my friends has three children and she finds herself doing her laundry at ten o’clock at night. There is not much time for her to dedicate to herself. Whatever is going on in our lives is real, it is personal to each of us. I can’t understand what you are going through or what your struggles are, any more than you can understand my struggles.

I am a Christian. I believe Jesus Christ is my Saviour. Yes, at times I still struggle with my dog hairs and cat dander. Sometimes I can feel alone in my thoughts and concerns. When I do feel this way, I relate to that old hymn Just a Closer Walk with Thee. Help me Jesus if you please. Who with me my burden’s share, none but Thee Lord, none but Thee. I know people can relate to that song because when I sing that song at public gatherings, that song gets the most applause.

Today I was feeling burdened. It was difficult to even pray, for I was feeling so grieved within my spirit. I didn’t really even know what to pray. With my honest thoughts and feelings, I laid my burdens upon the Lord as scripture tells us to do. I asked, “Lord Jesus, will you intercede for me today because I don’t even know what to pray? My heart feels heavy and my spirit weak.” Sometimes we just get tired of the fight and trying to do what seems right. I believe when we begin to feel this way, it helps to go to the Lord in prayer. Just talk to HIM. I did that. I also said, "God if there is something I did or said wrong, please reveal it to me, so that I may repent and make any changes I need to make.” Note - When we feel this way, it is not always caused from the sin in our lives. Many times it is just the challenges in life that begin to weigh us down.

Not being able to concentrate on my writing today, I took some quiet time. One particular thought made me weep. That thought was for many who try and struggle through life feeling so alone, tired and fed up. I wondered, how do they get through it? You don’t have to go through anything alone. You may feel alone.

The story of the woman at the well came to my mind. The woman met Jesus and gave Him a drink. There relationship began with dialogue. By the end of their conversation the woman at the well discovered and believed exactly who Jesus represents. Her life changed at the well that day. Jesus offered her living water. He was speaking of water which would quench her thirst forever. The woman at the well spent her life seeking things that couldn’t satisfy her desires. The bible says she had five husbands. Her lifestyle was considered to be sinful. Aren’t we all sinners? Is there not something in each of our lives which may be considered sinful? Jesus simply told her to turn from her sin and he would give her that living water which leads to eternal life. We can ask Him to help us too. Jesus is the word of life. He is not a closed book. We just have to open up to him.

What He told that woman at the well, He tells to each of us. Jesus knew her heart and He also knows our hearts. It is simple. The woman had a choice to accept or reject Jesus (the water of life). Each of us has that same option.

At this particular moment I simply want to tell you about this water of life. I feel deeply for anyone who does feel alone in their struggles. Are you trying to find meaning or purpose for your life? Perhaps your purpose is to know Jesus? I tend to believe that is our purpose. To have that connection (life line) with God that stays attached through to eternity. Time does go by so fast. Before we know it our lives come to an end here on earth. Do you have assurance, hope for eternity? If you read that question and you are thinking, “I’m not sure”. You can be sure today. Your first step is to acknowledge Jesus presence in your life. Just say His name and he is there. “He stands at your door and knocks, waiting for you to open it and let him into your life, your home, your car, your heart.

Just start talking to him. Tell him what is on your mind. He can take it. He is God. Don’t worry if you feel your life is too sinful, or if you are too angry, bitter or sad. Acknowledge the truth to Him. I am a sinner. I need you Jesus. (Because of the sins of Adam and Eve, we are born sinners. All of us.) God’s grace is sufficient to forgive all our sins. God loves you. He knows you better than anyone. He knows your thoughts before you even say them. He wants a relationship with me, with you. Jesus wants to be your best friend. You can have communion with Him this very day. He took upon Himself the sins of the world on that cross. His blood was shed for a purpose. That purpose was to wash away our sins so that we might have life eternal. One major purpose is so that God the creator of the universe could fellowship with each of us on a one on one relationship.

In reality, there is nothing simpler than this concept. There is no other offer as good. It is a free gift. Jesus paid the price. He made the sacrifice and took our punishment. Why? John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have everlasting life. – Halleluiah! Halleluiah! Halleluiah! That means - Praise the Lord.

If you have already accepted or believe that Jesus is your Saviour - Praise him everyday. Praise him while you drive your cars to work, while sitting at a red light. Laugh out loud with joy in your heart knowing you are saved from death. Let Jesus take the wheel of your life. Share the love of Christ with others.

Now that you are saved, be careful not to judge another person’s salvation or their heart. Leave that to the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords the Saviour our Lord Jesus Christ.

Please don’t go through life alone. Please think about it. Please don’t go to your grave alone. Keep him close as always. Never let your love grow cold. In Jesus name - Amen!

NIV - Romans 10:9-14

If you confess with your mouth, Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved. As the Scripture says, “Anyone who trusts in him will never be put to shame. For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile – the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

You can have a best friend a Saviour. Jesus is with you where ever you go.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Obedience

Obedience


Speeding down the long straight away the car reaches speeds over 200 miles per hour  and then slows down entering the corner. Banking on the race track curves to an upward angle. The car must remain in control, speed kept high as possible. The tires must have the right balance of camber. Too much positive camber will wear on the outside rubber of the tires. Too much negative camber will wear on the inside of the tire and eventually wear out the tires and possibly cause them to flatten. The tire must have the right balance of camber for that particular track so that the tires grip the track using as much of the rubber on the tire as possible. This helps the car maintain a fast speed and control entering into the corner while also gaining speed coming out of the corner. My husband (Danny) races oval track and I have become quite familiar with the phrase camber. It only seemed fitting that when we took a new young pup into our family that we give her a name that has to do with the race car. We named her Camber. Our other dog’s name is Axsel. Our new pup is a black Shepherd – Border Collie mix. We have had to make some major adjustments with this new addition to the family.

Camber has earned her name. We have had her for three months. It seems like longer. Camber is displaying a lot of imbalance. She has many positive features which often make it easy for us to forgive her for some of the things she does. It comes with the puppy stage. Camber also has a few negative features which she often displays. We have not quite found the balance in Camber yet. I would like to focus on the major imbalance we are struggling to find at this time. She is very disobedient and stubborn. If she does not want to come when we call her, there is no way to get her to come.

I would like to tell you a true event from only a couple of weeks ago. It was a sunny day; a good day to let the dogs go for a long run in the open field out back of our house. Both dogs ran free through the snow and chased each other while enjoying their freedom. However, I am supposed to be the master. It was time to come back into the house. Well, Camber was not going to obey. Needless to say, my blood pressure began to rise. I mean, come on. I feed her. I wipe her wounds when she needs my help. Often, I reward her with nice treats and bones to chew. I lavish my love on her all the time. Why would she run away from me and not obey? Determined, I tried everything to get her to obey, including trying to give her a Texas sized bone that any other dog would die for. Problem was that she would not come close enough to me to get it. Surely, she must have known that when she came close to me, I had every intention of grabbing her by the collar and taking her into my house. After all, I had other things to do than chase the dog all afternoon. Well, I tried for the longest time to coax her back to me but to no avail. Somewhat at my wits ends, I sat on the front steps wearing my slippers thinking, I might as well enjoy the sunshine even though I still wanting to get her inside.

Camber can be easily distracted and she was. I guess she thought saying hello to the mail lady was more important than being obedient to me. I called her and called her. She would not come. Kept thinking to myself, I wish the mail lady would hurry up and go. I just knew that Camber was going to go out on that road in the font of our house. It is dangerous road with a lot of rushing cars. The mail lady finally left and again I called out to Camber to come back. You see, Camber is quick. The closer I would try to get to her, the more she would run away. Maybe she thought it was a game or maybe she just wanted to do her own thing and enjoy the outdoors. That is not what I wanted. Here she was standing in the middle of a busy road. I am calling her and getting very frustrated by each passing moment. I wasn’t going to run through the snow with my slippers on so I had to go into the house to get my boots on. By this point, I have just about had it with her, thinking boy is she going to get it when I get my hands on her. While I was getting my boots on, I heard a loud honk. . . . My heart was in my throat thinking oh no! Quickly the boots were on and out the door I went running down the driveway after my disobedient pup. There she stood looking at me with defiance as again I called, “Camber come!” There she stood looking at me as if to say, “I’m not coming. I am going to do what I want to do.” It was as if I could see it come before it happened. A truck was speeding down the road and Camber was standing in the middle of the road and then there was a thud. . . I watched the truck hit her in the rump, spinning her off into the ditch and there was nothing I could do about it. I ran down the road to Camber thinking that surely she would be dead. The truck that hit her was 100 yards up the road. I don’t think he was planning on coming back until he saw me running down the road. He finally backed up his truck to see how the dog was. In the time it took me to give the driver of the truck the what for - Camber got up, ran away and hid.

Again, I searched for her and called her name, hoping I would find her. I was very distraught with worry. My neighbour saw my distress and came outside to help me search. I phoned Danny to come home from work as I was frantic. I searched and searched and called and whistled. She was nowhere to be found. My fear was that we would find her dead. When Danny arrived home, he called Camber and she finally came out of hiding. To our surprise she was fine, nothing broken; she was absolutely fine. Danny said "that all the way home he had prayed that Camber would be alright." We thanked God that she was fine. I would like to tell you that we have since found the balance with our Camber but we have not. We still struggle. She is still disobedient.

The other day I was once again walking with Camber and Axsel in our Garden of Eden that is out back of our house. I was praying and praising the Lord. I also asked for the Holy Spirit to help me to write something inspiring. After praying, it was time to walk back to the house. I called Camber and she would not come. My first thought was, Oh no, not again.

Instantly my thoughts opened up. It just became so clear to me what I was to write about. It was like God said to me, “See how disobedient Camber is and how that makes you feel. My children are disobedient to me all the time. I love them, I call them all the time, but they just ignore my voice and keep doing what they want to do. I try to direct their paths in right ways, they stand in the middle of the road and ignore me and choose the road they want to travel. How do you think it makes me feel? I have to let them go, even though I know that the road they have chosen leads to heartbreak, sickness and for some even death. I give them signs to help them go the right way, but they ignore my signs.”

I thought wow, I get it Lord. Whenever we make decisions it may be helpful to ask ourselves these questions: Am I being obedient to God my Father? How do my decisions line up with God’s word (bible)? What would Jesus want me to do? What would He do? How does my decision affect the way God may feel? Knowing that God is calling me away from a situation that may be harmful to my health or even to my eternal destiny, will I answer His call or will I be disobedient?

Camber’s choice to be disobedient had its consequence. She felt the blow. For what ever reason, she was given another chance. Sometimes God gives seconds chances. Sometimes He doesn’t. Last question - What if today was my last chance to be obedient to God or to receive Christ’s invitation, His gift of eternal life, salvation and redemption from all the times that I’ve sinned or turned away, would I draw closer to God - to Christ Jesus – the Lord of Lords and King of Kings – the Son of God? Or will I stand in the middle of the road, look at God and say, “Thanks, but no thanks – not right now. I want to do it my way for a little while longer. Maybe later I’ll return to you.”

1 John 3:28 “And now, dear children, remain in fellowship with Christ so that when he returns, you will be full of courage and not shrink back from him in shame. 29 Since we know that Christ is righteous, we also know that all who do what is right are God’s children.”

Hebrews 2: 1-4 “So we must listen very carefully to the truth we have heard, or we may drift away from it. For the message God delivered through angels has always stood firm, and every violation of the law and every act of disobedience was punished. So what makes us think we can escape if we ignore this great salvation that was first announced by the Lord Jesus himself and then delivered to us by those who heard him speak? And God confirmed the message by giving signs and wonders and various miracles and gifts of the Holy Spirit whenever he chose.”

May the Lord add His blessing to these scripture verses we just read.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Assumption

There is a saying about the word “assume” – When you assume - you make an ass out of u and me. How many of us go through life making assumptions. We see someone look at us and without words spoken assume what that person is thinking. More often than not our assumption is based on our own thoughts, perception or insecurities that we have about ourselves. The word assumption: The act of assuming; taking upon one’s self; the act of taking for granted; supposition’ the thing supposed; a postulate or proposition assumed. Suppose as a fact; to claim more than is due.

You would think that it would not take fifty years to learn the valuable lesson. Don’t assume anything. I celebrated my 50th birthday with my family (all 53 of us) while we also celebrated our mother’s (Nanny's) 90th birthday. It was a birthday voyage aboard the Kekeboola cruise ship. My niece and her partner decorated their home with all the trimmings you would find on a cruise ship. Everyone felt like they actually boarded a ship. I was humbled to see the work and recognize the thought put into organizing such a fabulous setting and surprised to also have my milestone celebrated. I felt unworthy of such a display of love and affection from the entire family. I don’t very often show my affection to our family as I should. My lack of verbal communication often stifles my true feelings or affections toward others. My own guarded self can at times seem stand offish. I should know that what you see or perceive is not really what you get or what lies underneath that persuade.

When I received a precious gift which was a word picture of what my family each individually thought when they thought of a word to describe me; I was overwhelmed to see that they didn’t describe me with negative words – words I assumed they would use to describe me. Words like religious nut, snob, closed minded, selfish, striven, and harsh and so on . . . Instead they wrote life giving words which overwhelmed my sense of being. Words like caring, determined, spiritual, thoughtful, bubbly, and inspiring and so on. . .

They described me with words I needed to hear – hope to be, strive to be. In my own insecurity I always assumed that others thought of me in the same way I think of myself. So on my 50th birthday I received a valuable lesson from my family. It still moves my heart days later. Every time I look at that picture it will give me words to live up to – inspiration to try and be all those life giving words. Deep within I think that I cannot live up to such high standards written in that word picture. However long or short the rest of my life may be, my prayer is that I can be all those wonderful things which my family see in me and not behave in the way I perceive myself to be. I’ll try not to make an ass out of you or me. Thank you to my family for being so “kind, loving, caring, honest, inspiring, special, beautiful, compassionate, open-minded, loyal, sweet, friends, spiritual and creative.” You are all these things to me and so much more. Even though I don’t often convey to you my thoughts or feelings. I love and appreciate each one of you so very much.

Love, Becky xoxo

Friday, January 21, 2011

In the Shadow of Your Wings

I will sing your praise in the shadow of your wings. The shadow is God’s protection and His wings reach to the end of the universe and beyond. Psalm 36:5-8 “Your love, O Lord, reaches to the heavens, your faithfulness to the skies. Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains, your justice like the great deep. O Lord, you preserve both man and beast. How priceless is your unfailing love! Both high and low among men find refuge in the shadow of your wings.”


In the dog days of summer when the heat from the sun is so hot it parches the grass and dries up the fields. The shade from a tree can protect everything in its shadow. The shadow cools our body temperature and protects us from burning up like dry grass. If we go out from the shadow or shade of the tree we are left to the elements. It reminds me of a time when I went camping with my friend and my two children. We didn’t have a tarp up and without much warning a storm raged through the camp. The trees began to sway violently from the strong winds, the clouds darkened and thunder roared in the distance. Quickly we ran and huddled under the protection of this big cedar tree. The branches were just high enough and thick enough that we actually kept fairly try. The storm was a cloud burst which only lasted about five minutes. We stood in the eye of the storm and watched as it marched through our camp like an army of soldiers riding on flying horses searching everything in its path. The entire time we remained protected. The feeling I had was one of awe as I watch the power of the storm. My heart rate elevated because I was a little afraid, thinking that we might actually be blown away at any minute by a tornado. The wind subsided as quickly as it began and the sun began to shine again.

During those few minutes we found refuge in the shadow of a tree. The psalmist understood the complexity of God, His shadow and the expanse of God’s wings. The word “wings” is a metaphor for the protective outreach of God’s power. The word “shadow” was a conventional Hebrew metaphor for protection against oppression as shade protects from the oppressive heat of the hot desert sun. He was asking God for protection from his enemies who surrounded him and wanted to kill him. The psalmist recognized that the safest place to be was in the shadow of God’s wings.

Today we are surrounded by a clever enemy who pretends to be our friend and lavishes us with everything that feels good, sounds good, there for it must be good. In reality this enemy is killing our souls as we stray from God’s truths and accept many lies contrary to the word of God. Lord I ask that you hide me in the shadow of your wings, where I’ll praise your name. Hide me from the temptations to compromise your standards. It is so easy to follow the sheep right off the cliff. Isaiah 53:6 – We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him (our Saviour - Jesus Christ ) the iniquity of us all.”

For more background study read the book of Isaiah. If you would like a study bible I can get you one. Leave a comment saying you would like one.

The prophet Isaiah in the Old Testament writings prophesies in the book of Isaiah chapter 53 regarding Christ and his death and salvation. The interesting fact is that Isaiah lived centuries before Christ.