We are on a journey, sojourners on this earth. Let us share with you the highs and lows of our lives. Heaven is a sweeter place now that we have two beautiful granddaughters waiting there for us.

Tuesday, October 03, 2017

An Obedience of Faith

“Now to Him who is able to establish you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery which has been kept secret for long ages past, but now is manifested…leading to obedience of faith.” Romans 16: 25,26

How often have you prayed the Lord’s prayer and really thought about the words that you are saying? Are you every tempted to skip over certain phrases? ‘thy will be done’….Really Lord?

What does that really look like? In reading through Romans a phrase captured my mind, ‘an obedience of faith’….“Jesus Christ our Lord, through whom we have received grace and discipleship to bring about the obedience of faith…” Romans 1:4b-5  Paul repeats the same phrase again at the end of the book as if to tell us…remember what this is all about?

When we seek to do God’s will or ask for His will to be done in our lives, are we willing to commit to having an obedience of faith? And what does that look like? A pastor defined it as ‘active trust and loyalty to God’. It’s not just about having an intellectual knowledge or assent to what scriptures say, but it’s active and involves a change in our behaviour and thought. 

For myself, it means that I daily choose to believe that God is still God, He hasn’t changed, He is still in control and He still asks me to be thankful and choose joy regardless of the circumstances that I find myself in or that someone near to be is facing.

How about you? What are you facing today that requires you to walk an obedience of faith?

Dear Heavenly Father,
Thank you for the reminder that you require more of me than just an intellectual assent to your existence or a weekly appearance in church. Help me to listen to Your still small voice and then to walk in that obedience of faith, whatever that looks like in the situation in which I find myself. May I actively choose to trust You every day and be loyal to You regardless of the cost. Amen

Tuesday, August 08, 2017

A Servant Heart

 “But select from among you, brethren, seven men of good reputation, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we may put in charge of this task(serving)…..and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and the Holy Spirit…” Acts 6:3-5

We had gathered at a Lake House to spend some extended time together as our church’s small group. During the winter season we met weekly, but for these few days, we enjoyed being together 24/7. As the days went on, I was struck by the servant hearts of these men and women, never expecting others to wait on them, but all willing to serve others, go the extra mile and do whatever task needed doing.

As I sat in my chair looking over the lake, I couldn’t help but think of the verses from Acts 6 where the growing group of believers needed to find specific men who could take care of serving others. The criteria? They had to be ‘seven men of good reputation, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we may put in charge of this task(serving) Acts 6:3

Really God? In order to serve others in the body of Christ they had to be full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom? How different from what we often think, that being filled with the Spirit isn’t as important in the lives of the servants as it is in the lives of the leaders. But God’s view is the exact opposite.

Stephen was one such man, full of faith and the Holy Spirit, chosen to serve but also known today as the first martyr for the cause of Christ. May we too be like Stephen today!

Dear Heavenly Father,
Thank you so much for the tangible reminder of what it truly means to be full of faith and the Holy Spirit, always ready to serve others and not expect to be served myself.  May I remember that in the days ahead as I seek to put this into practice in my own life, the life of my family and my church. Amen

Action Step:
Are you quick to serve others or do you expect others to serve you because of your age or position? This week be mindful of what it means to be full of faith and the Holy Spirit and look for ways to serve others in the body of Christ.

Monday, July 10, 2017

His Plans, Not Mine

 “The Lord will work out his plans for my life – for your faithful love, O Lord, endures forever. Don’t abandon me, for you made me.” Psalm 138:8 (NLT)

The news from the surgeon had not been good and to complicate an already difficult situation I would have to wait for the surgery required to deal with the daily pain I was experiencing.  In this instant society that we live in there were no instant answers and so I would have to wait. As I shared the news with friends and family the overwhelming response was ‘Oh that’s terrible!’

And for a few moments I agreed! I had put on a brave front all day but now in the quiet moments before I turned off the light for the night, I opened my bible and my eyes fell on the words I had marked up the night before…. The Lord will work out his plans for my life…. Really Lord? Even now? Even with this new news? ….Yes child, even now.

Nothing had changed. He was still the same God, and He was still sovereign and in control. He had made me and there was nothing that was a surprise to Him, therefore I could depend on Him. He wasn’t going to abandon me because after all, He hade made.

As I read on that night, I read Psalm 139 and it was as if I was reading the words for the first time again. You chart the path ahead of me and tell me where to stop and rest. Every moment you know where I am.(vs 3). I was stopping and resting a lot these days but God already knew that and I could trust and depend on Him.

Falling asleep that night my heart was singing and remembering, How precious are your thoughts about me, Oh God! (vs 17a) I knew then that I could trust in His plans, not mine!

Dear Heavenly Father,
Help me to depend on You, regardless of the situation I am facing today or the pain that I am in. May I remember that your promises have not changed and that I need to wait on You as You have told me, to be obedient to Your Word, and to remember always that You are still in control and I can depend on You to do exactly what You promised to do. Amen

Monday, June 26, 2017

Turn My Eyes

 “Give me an eagerness for your decrees; do not inflict me with love for money! Turn my eyes from worthless things, and give me life through your word.” Psalm 119:36,37(New Living Translation)

As the parent of adult children and grandmother to 9, my heart is more and more towards how I can effectively pray for my family. As I read these words from Psalm 119, I felt like the verses literally jumped off the page at me! Why hadn’t I noticed them before?

A change of translation can often do that and I was thankful for the way that God not only grabbed my attention but also gave me some specific verses that I could pray for family members. 

Lord I don’t want to have my eyes turned to worthless things. I don’t want to waste my life Lord, or waste the hours in each day. And for sure I don’t want my children and grandchildren to be wasting their hours and lives either. Instead, give me life through Your Word! Would you do that for them too Lord?

It’s so easy to be sucked into the things that the world around says are important, most of which centers around self-satisfaction and the love for money. But instead these verses reminded me that I can ask God to change my heart, and turn my eyes. I love this translation…..’do not inflict me with love for money’! Who thinks of it that way anyway? That it is something I can pray against in my own life and the life of those closest to me. Definitely something to think about and apply!

Dear Heavenly Father,
Thank you for the reminder from Your Word that I can ask You to turn my eyes from worthless things and instead to give me an eagerness for those things that are near to your heart. Give me life through Your Word dear Lord. Amen
Action Step:
What worthless things consume your heart, mind or time? Ask God to give you an eagerness for His word instead and a heart to please Him in every way.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Running for Water and to Remember

Today several of our family members joined over 4000 others to Run for Water,
an annual event that raises money to provide water wells 
for villages in Ethiopia that have no fresh water.
Our Northerners came down on Friday already so that Matt could run the 25 km Trail Run yesterday... it was hot and covered 1500 meters of elevation but we were all proud of him.
 First off this morning, it was Heather's turn!
She had been training all year for this her first half marathon,
and Matt and the boys were there to cheer her on!
 7:30 am and they are off....
 and there she goes!
 While she was off running the half marathon,
the next racers were getting ready.
 The race included hills and heat so the Fire Engine spraying water on the runners along the way
was a welcome sight.
 Next to get ready to go,
were Megan and Jaxon.
Jaxon was running the 10 km race for the second year in a row...
 and was definitely excited to do it again.
 At 8:30, it was time for them to be off....
 Jaxon stayed with Megan for most of the race,
 but once he knew where he was at,
Megan gave him the ok to take off without her...
and off he went!
He looked like he wasn't even running that hard as he approached the finish line... came Megan...
...looking a wee bit more tired than her son. :-)
Also at the finish line were Heather's two biggest fans...
 watching and waiting for her to come in...
 before they took off for their 5 km run.
 And there she comes... and tired...
 but to she did it!! 
She ran her first half marathon!
 And off they went...
 Kai was so excited to finish ahead of his Dad.
 A family picture to remember an awesome day of running...
...but also remembering.
 As the medals proudly proclaimed, the run this year was for Letisha's Well,
in memory of the young girl from our church who was killed in November last year.
 Like our family, Letisha had run the race for the past several years
and she was passionate about serving others, making people smile,
and being involved in giving back to those less fortunate than she was.

What an amazing day to run for water and to remember.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

A Good Reminder

Since we moved to our oasis(I feel like that when I am sitting on our patio, listening and watching the birds, and reading a book with not a single other soul in sight, I have often marveled at the ridiculous amount of 'Stuff' that people around us seem to collect. Double and triple garages so full that the three vehicles all sit outside. Really people?!!

It reminds me of two posts that I wrote when we were getting ready to move in here, that I looked up to share with a friend who was also might be perfect timing for some of you that are going through the same thing.

Here you go....check them out! ....Why do we have so much stuff? and better yet, why do we keep so much of it? How do we take a realistic look at the things we keep? My daughter has a great life motto......something in, something out. In other words, when she buys something new, something has to go. So if she buys a new shirt, an old shirt goes.

Same with children's toys and it works! Oh and speaking of toys, both our girls don't have all the toys out for the children to play with. They periodically go through them and put them in a bag, out of sight. If no one missed them, then they are gone! Good thinking ladies! .... Questions to ask when you are purging or getting ready for a move. I found these really helpful.

A couple of extra ones that I have thought of since then are:
1. Will my children know what this is? or who this is in the case of pictures? If not, then either label it or toss it.

2. Will my children know why I kept this? why it was important to me?

There you go....some more thoughts from my back patio!

Monday, May 22, 2017

Working Together

 We love our little corner of the world....
a townhouse complex but the end unit 
so sometimes we almost forget we have neighbours close by.
As Grandparents these days we often feel the need to entertain our grandchildren,
after all that's what we are here for right?
or maybe not!
 I've been thinking a lot these past weeks about our influence on the generations that follow us.
What will they remember us for?
What memories will they hold close to their hearts?
 Dave loves to work outdoors so guess what?
Our grandchildren will definitely have memories of that,
but not just him working,
but them working alongside of him.
 Friday was one of those days.
The boys had a Professional Development Day so no school,
but Dave had already arranged to borrow a friend's truck to add a load of bark mulch to our gardens.
 No problem!
The boys just got to help,
and help they did! 
They shoveled it over the brick wall into the garden,
raked it out and voila!
Everything looks fresh and clean,
no weeds,
and they had fun being part of the work team!
Not a bad memory at all!