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.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

But God

 You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.” (Genesis 50:20)
Have you ever been so overwhelmed with everything that seems to be going wrong in your life that you wonder how it can possibly work out for good? Or maybe you are holding a grudge against someone that has done you wrong and nursing feelings of planning to get even with that person?

Joseph’s brothers had every reason to be afraid of what was going to happen now that Jacob had died (Genesis 50:15). After all, they had sold him into slavery and let their father believe that he had been dead all these years. But God had intervened and now Joseph had the upper hand.

Instead of punishing them for their actions, his response must have surprised them. “Don’t be afraid. Am I in the place of God? You intended to harm me, but God…” Joseph recognized that God had been at work in his life all along right from the start.

God had gone before them and brought him to Egypt so that he could now save the Israelites from starving in Canaan. Not only were they now safe in Egypt, but they had been given the best pastures for their livestock and in fact all of Egypt had been provided for through Joseph’s wisdom.

His brothers had meant to harm Joseph and teach him a lesson, but God had worked it all for good so that all of them would not only survive but multiply. How often do you see only the harm intended, but God has other plans for you?
Dear Heavenly Father,
Thank you for the reminder that even when it seems like nothing is going right, you are still at work. Even when others mean to harm me, your plans are greater than that. Help me to see those places in my life today when it looked like my life was headed for disaster, but God turned it out for good. Amen.

Monday, January 08, 2018

Following the Shepherd

 The watchman opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out of all of his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice.” John 10:3,4

We were enjoying a summer barbecue in the backyard of friends who lived on a farm. Right behind us the sheep were grazing, oblivious of us eating our dinner. As we visited, we talked about the fact that we are often referred to as sheep in the scriptures.

To illustrate, our host called out to the sheep. Much to our amazement, every single sheep, stopped where it was and looked up to see what he was going to do next. They were ready to follow! I’ve never forgotten that evening.

The sheepfold in Israel was an enclosure that provided protection for the sheep at night. It had an opening where the Shepherd would lie so that predators would have to go over him to get to the sheep. In the morning, he would stand at that opening and call out his sheep and because they knew his voice, they would follow him up into the hills.

In the same way that the sheep were poised to see what the shepherd wanted of them, I too must be mindful of the voice of my good shepherd. Am I listening for it all the time? Do I stop everything and listen when I hear him, asking what it is he wants, where he wants me to follow?

Dear Heavenly Father,
Thank you that you are my Good Shepherd. You not only provide for my every need, but you also lead and guide me in the way that I should. Help me to always be on the alert for your voice, poised to follow you in the direction that I should go. Amen
Moving Forward:
Do you recognize the voice of the Good Shepherd when he speaks to you? Are you willing to drop everything and follow him? Perhaps you have heard him speaking, but haven’t been willing to follow. Make today the day that you say, ‘yes, I will follow’.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Learning to Listen

 Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened you.” Matthew 7:7

Several couples were headed out of town when our friends who were arriving later got the call. “Help, we stopped at the side of the road and one of my wife’s shoes fell out of the car. Can you please keep your eyes open and see if you can find it when you drive up? It was orange.”

As we sat around the dinner table we prayed that the shoe would be found. We agreed that it was highly unlikely since no one knew for sure where it had been dropped.

Before long the message was received, the lost had been found!!

As we sat later and reflected on the incredible return of the shoe, we marveled that anyone should have been able to see that orange shoe by the side of the road, while driving past at full speed. While we were praying, so were the driver and his wife. They were looking, asking God to show them the shoe. And there it was!

We couldn’t help but see that God was the one not only answering all of our prayers, but also giving them eyes to see, and ears to hear, ‘Look, over there! There in the gravel…an orange shoe’. How many others had driven right past without seeing a thing. But as they were looking, they were listening for God’s voice to direct them as to where to direct their eyes.

Are you facing the impossible but have been afraid to ask God for help lest he not answer? Ask anyway, and then listen for his voice.
Dear Heavenly Father,
Thank you that you are speaking us today and every day. Help me not to be afraid to ask and then give me ears to hear your answer. Help me to recognize your voice when I hear it. Open my ears so I can hear. Amen.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

A Season of Gratitude

The blessing of having family on both sides of the 49th parallel is that we get to not only celebrate Thanksgiving twice, in October in Canada and then again in November down in Texas, but we have over a month to think about all we are thankful for. It creates in our lives a season of gratitude. This week we are in Texas celebrating with our Texans and so it seemed like the perfect time to share some of the things that I am grateful for in this season of my life.

The first one, as always is our family. As you can see from the pictures our entire family was together in late summer. What an incredible time of making memories which we hold very dear! There is much laughter in the walls of our home!

 Having all of our children and grandchildren home provided us with a unique opportunity to get together with my sister and her entire family, which meant that all 15 of my parents great-grandchildren were together for the first time!! Heather is holding the youngest who was sleeping but I did manage to take this picture to remember the moment.

I'm so thankful that my parents are still both alive, and that we have been able to spend some extended time with them this year, due to a couple of funerals and then a health crisis. I took this picture of my mother with her three remaining brothers at my aunt's funeral in early July and then by September we were headed back to Calgary for my oldest uncle's funeral(to the right of my mother on this picture)

I'm thankful that in spite of my debilitating back issues that I can still have a meaningful ministry with our new staff as well as writing devotionals and mentoring others both in person and online. In a season of much sitting and quiet I am grateful that I am still able to impact the lives of others in this way.

And most of all I realize as I have been reflecting on this during these sunny Texas days, I am thankful for the gift of joy that I can choose every day. What an incredible blessing! Regardless of the pain or the physical restrictions my body places on me, every day is a day to be cherished and enjoyed.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Hope That Does Not Disappoint

 And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us. (Romans 5:3-5)

She was only 13 years old the day that she was tragically murdered in the rotunda of her high school on a very ordinary school day. Our church and community were struck with her horrific death and we grieved for the loss of one so young.

In the midst of the grief the community and country watched. How would our church and our youth group of whom she was a vibrant member, deal with her senseless death. They were shocked! Because we did not grieve as those who had no hope, because we knew exactly where she was, with her Heavenly Father that she loved and served.

A year has passed since that tragic day and as we looked back on the past year, we all had to agree that our hope had not disappointed. The journey had been difficult, the loss painful, but we had reminded each other that the last words that she and a friend had been writing out were still true today:
         This is Amazing Grace, this is Amazing Love,
That you would take my place, that you would bear my cross,
You laid down your life that I would be set free
Jesus I sing for all you have done for me.

Maybe your family too has suffered loss and grieves for those gone to soon. I know our family has lost three members that we miss but we celebrate that we have a hope that does not disappoint.

 Dear Heavenly Father,
Thank you that this life on earth is only temporary and that we have the hope of spending all of eternity with you. Help me to today to remember to live my life in light of that truth regardless of the circumstances I am facing. Amen

Saturday, November 11, 2017

In Flanders Fields

In Flanders fields the poppies blow

Between the crosses, row on row,

That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago

We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,

Loved and were loved, and now we lie

In Flanders fields.


Take up our quarrel with the foe:

To you from failing hands we throw

The torch; be yours to hold it high.

If ye break faith with us who die

We shall not sleep, though poppies grow

In Flanders fields.

John McCrae, May 1915

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Attend to His Presence

 The Lord your God is in your midst; he is a warrior who can deliver. He takes great delight in you; he renews you by his love;
he shouts for joy over you.
Zephaniah 3:17 NET)

It is easy to remember that God loves us and delights in us when all is well with our world, but when our days are filled with emotional or physical pain, our thoughts often go elsewhere. Have you ever found yourself in that place of wondering where God is in all of this?

Several weeks ago our pastor made a statement that has served as a wake-up call to me…I need to acknowledge that God occupies the space between us and let God speak to me. I need to attend to the presence of God….” As I thought about that statement since that day, he brought the above verse to my mind.

God is in fact in the midst of us! Not only is he right here, with me, all around me, but he ‘takes great delight in’ me and as it says in the NIV version, “He will rejoice over you with singing”(NIV vs 17b) God is delighting in me right at this moment, regardless of the circumstances I find myself in. He has promised to “renew me with his love”.

I need to remember that I am not alone, God hasn’t moved and I just need to be still, attend to his presence and listen for his voice. What is it that he wants to do in my life today? He is rejoicing over me so what is my response to that?

Dear Heavenly Father,
Thank you for the reminder that not only are you right here in the midst of my life, but I need to attend to your presence. I need to listen to what it is that you want to do in my life, even in this place that I would not have chosen for myself. Thank you that you in fact rejoice over me with singing and I can rest in your love. Amen