Sunday, November 30, 2008

Mary's Pain!

It's such a joy as parents to watch our children grow and learn new things, to see them attempt things on their own, and to hear the questions they ask in order to piece things together in their own little minds. "Come unto me as a little child," is what Jesus said and as I watch the simplicity with which they live their lives, I come to understand that verse more and more. They don't care where we live, what we drive, or what kind of clothes they wear - they just want to spend time with us.

As we reflect over this last year and look forward to the one to come, we need to ask ourselves this question, "How can I spend more time with my Father?" We can't impress Him with our "things" because they are His anyways. We can't impress Him with our thoughts because He knows them even before we do. We can't impress Him with our knowledge because He knows everything. All we can give Him, that He may not already have, is our time.

As I close, I'm going to leave you with a poem. In thinking about Mary one night, I realized that on that wonderful night when she gave birth to Jesus, she embarked on an awesome but painful journey. As a mother I can imagine the pain she must have felt, but how thankful I am that she just trusted her Father and did not try to stop it.

I stared at you the other night
As so peacefully you slept,
With thoughts of another mommy
And the tears she must have wept.

Her newborn babe she held so close
As she whispered in His ear,
"You are this promised Jesus,"
And she wiped away a tear.

She watched Him grow in wisdom,
Found Him teaching those that taught,
She heard He fed five thousand,
As He healed all those that sought.

And all the while she waited,
For she sensed with a mother's heart
That sooner than she'd ever want
He must fulfill His part.

So it came to pass that final day
That she watched, as pain engulfed her,
For there He hung, her little boy,
Who had now become her Saviour.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Santa in the Manger!

We got a card the other day
A Christmas one, in fact,
But it really was the strangest thing
And showed such little tact.

For laying in the manger
Was Santa, big as life,
Surrounded by some little elves
And Rudolph and his wife.

There was so much excitement
That the shepherd’s saw the glow
Of Rudolph’s bright and shining nose
Reflected on the snow.

So in they rushed to see him
Followed by the wise men three,
Who came not bearing any gifts ~
Just some stockings and a tree.

They gathered round about him
To sing praises to his name;
A song about Saint Nicholas
And how he came to fame.

Then they handed him the lists they’d made
Of, oh, so many toys
That they were sure they would receive
For being such good boys.

And sure enough he chuckled,
While reaching in his bag,
And placed in all their outstretched hands
A gift that bore a tag.

And on that tag was printed
A simple verse that read,
“Even though it’s Jesus’ birthday,
Please take this gift instead.”

Then I realized they really did
Know Who this day was for
Though by every indication
They had just chosen to ignore.

And Jesus looked upon this scene,
His eyes so filled with pain ~
They said this year’d be different
But they’d forgotten Him again.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


One of my favourite verses is 2 Cor. 10:5 which encourages us to take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ. I had to do that today!

As you may know if you follow my blog, our daughter, Rachel, just returned from India. She was there for 2 weeks and has been home for 5 days now. She got home 5 days before the terror attacks in Mumbai, India...the last place she visited...the place she flew out of...the place that touched her heart the most...the place where she took some of the most intimate pictures of the children who captured her heart!

As I watched the news coverage of this place where my daughter had just been, the tears began to flow freely. Tears of joy for allowing Rachel to make it home 5 short days before...tears of pain for all those who lost their lives and are experiencing such terror...and tears from a Mama's heart envisioning those sweet little faces in the pictures who are having to endure yet more atrocities against their innocent young lives!

My mind became very active this afternoon and I had to reign
it back in! I looked up the verse in 2 Cor. and checked to see how it was worded in The Message. I loved it!!! 2 Cor. 10:5 We use our powerful God-tools for smashing warped philosophies, tearing down barriers erected against the truth of God, fitting every loose thought and emotion and impulse into the structure of life shaped by Christ. Wow! Doesn't get much better than that!

Our every loose thought, emotion and impulse does so need to be fit into the structure of life shaped by Christ. My what-if thoughts don't fit that model. My wonderings and worryings about those sweet little ones Rachel had to leave behind are wasting the time I could be spending taking them before the Throne!

So I am choosing to take captive those loose thoughts and fix my thoughts firmly on the only One Who was not surprised by today's events!! I'm asking Him, too, to place a special hedge of protection around those children who need lots of protecting!

This was Rachel's favourite place she Mumbai...and the little ones who stole her heart!!!

Friday, November 21, 2008

She's Home!

Thank you to everyone who prayed for our girl while she was gone! She is home and very happy to be here! She took some amazing pictures and has been sharing her stories since we met at the airport! It would be safe to say she has seen, heard and tasted things she never could have imagined and she has seen firsthand how truly blessed we all are!

The other 4 children are thrilled to have Sissy home and Hannah and Caleb just keep looking at her and giggling! Ahhhh, all my chicks are safe in the nest and I think I need a nap! Interceding for your baby while she is on the other side of the world really will wear you out! ;O)

Thursday, November 20, 2008

We're Doing a New Thing!

Our family is starting a new tradition and, quite honestly, it's been a while since I was as excited about something as I am about this! As I contemplated Christmas and all the "stuff" that would be added to our already bursting-at-the-seams home, I started praying and asking the Lord for an alternative. I felt that He gave me something and when I presented it to our family, everyone was pretty fired up!

So...instead of buying our kids presents they do not need and will forget they even have this year, we are going to give them each $50-100 to spend on someone else! We may get a child's name off the Angel Tree at church, we may buy goats and chickens through World Vision, we may adopt a family at Scottish Rite or we may have the Lord show us someone else who is in need! The rules are that the kids get to choose who and what they spend it on and they get to individually assist in the purchasing!

The little ones have already started making cards for "their" kids and they have all been pouring over the World Vision catalogue! Their excitement has already blessed me immensely and I just know this will be a tradition to treasure!

Care to join us?

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Wordless Wednesday!

Let the field exult, and all that is in it.
Then all the trees of the forest will sing for joy

Psalm 96:12 (NASB-U)

Friday, November 14, 2008

The Battle...

Ephes. 6:10-18 (MsgB)
And that about wraps it up. God is strong, and he wants you strong. [11] So take everything the Master has set out for you, well-made weapons of the best materials. And put them to use so you will be able to stand up to everything the Devil throws your way. [12] This is no afternoon athletic contest that we'll walk away from and forget about in a couple of hours. This is for keeps, a life-or-death fight to the finish against the Devil and all his angels.
[13] Be prepared. You're up against far more than you can handle on your own. Take all the help you can get, every weapon God has issued, so that when it's all over but the shouting you'll still be on your feet.
[14] Truth, righteousness, [15] peace, [16] faith, [17] and salvation are more than words. Learn how to apply them. You'll need them throughout your life. God's Word is an indispensable weapon. [18] In the same way, prayer is essential in this ongoing warfare. Pray hard and long. Pray for your brothers and sisters. Keep your eyes open. Keep each other's spirits up so that no one falls behind or drops out.

Praying for baby girl today as I sense that the battle is fierce! Thankful that the Name of the Lord is a strong tower and that the righteous can run to it and be saved! Would Rachel take refuge under the shadow of Your wing today, Abba!

Psalm 91:4 (MsgB)
His huge outstretched arms protect you—
under them you're perfectly safe;
his arms fend off all harm.

Psalm 36:7 (MsgB)
How exquisite your love, O God!
How eager we are to run under your wings,

Psalm 121:5 (MsgB)
God's your Guardian,
right at your side to protect you—

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Can You See Me Now?

“Can you see me now?” If you have children, this is a phrase you have probably heard many times in your home. What child doesn’t love to cover their eyes with their hands or an object and ask most sincerely, “Can you see me now?” Our 2 little ones still love to do this and they are convinced that just because they can’t see you, you must also be unable to see them!

How many times do we ask God from a most sincere heart, “Can You see me now?”

Maybe we are going through a storm and are calling out to Him rather frantically, wondering if He has closed His eyes to us and our difficulty. Surely if He could see us, He would have intervened by now and saved us from additional turmoil and heartache. Has your heart ever resonated with the question David asked of the Lord, “Why do You hide Your face and forget our affliction and our oppression?” (Psalm 44:24)

Maybe we are experiencing a season of rebellion before the Lord. We all, left to our own devices, tend to think we know better than God at times and we willfully choose to disobey what He lays out so clearly for us in His Word. During these seasons, our “Can you see me now?” question becomes one of hopeful anticipation that maybe we really have been able to move beneath His radar and elude a painful encounter with a loving, yet just God. “Can you see me now?”

The Lord shared with Jeremiah an observation that many of us would be wise to embrace. "Can a man hide himself in hiding places so I do not see him?” declares the Lord.” Do I not fill the heavens and the earth?" declares the Lord. (Jeremiah 23:24) Do we really think we will ever be successful at hiding the things we do or the thoughts we think from the Lord? Isaiah 29:15 says, “Woe to those who deeply hide their plans from the Lord, and whose deeds are done in a dark place, and they say, "Who sees us?" or "Who knows us?" Attempting to hide from the Lord is a scary place to be!

God, though, is not the only One we strive to hide from. We hide from each other all the time, unwilling to let anyone see who we really are or get close enough to glimpse our pain, our dreams and the unfulfilled longings of our heart! We create, brick-by-painful-brick, a wall behind which we seek refuge, while all the while really longing for another to take the time to know us!

We put on whatever face is expected from us at any given moment. It’s Tuesday night so it must be time to pull out the “Bible study” face. Sunday morning calls for the “happy little family” face. Unfortunately our families often get the “do what I say or else” face, while we reserve the “pretty” faces for those that would be turned off by the real us! Such pretending! Such deceit!

The Lord admonishes us to “encourage one another day after day, so that none of (us) will become hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.” (Hebrews 3:13) What a miserable, isolated existence we live when we try and avoid having others know where our heart truly is. “Do not lie to one another, since you laid aside the old self with its evil practices.” (Col. 3:9)

We all have struggles! We all have times when doing what is right before the Lord seems like an insurmountable feat that we feel very insufficient to attempt. None of us is exempt. None of us is without fault at all times! That is why the Lord tells us in James to “confess (our) sins to one another, and pray for one another so that (we) may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.” (James 5:16)

It has been said that eyes that look are common, but eyes that see are rare! Oh, how I yearn to quit hiding from the Lord and desire to have the eyes of my heart open to what He longs to show me. “Search me, O God, and know my heart, try me and know my anxious thoughts!” (Psalm 139:23) Oh, how I desire to open myself up to really be seen and known by those around me.

Let us cease playing childish games! “Brethren, do not be children in your thinking, but in your thinking be mature.” (1 Cor. 14:20) No matter how many ways we try, no matter how we hold our hands, contort our body or pull the covers over our heads…we cannot hide from the One Who knows the number of hairs on our head. No matter which mask we pull out of the closet on any given day, we can’t keep others from eventually knowing what our true colors are!

I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints. (Eph. 1:18)

He is not here...

I feel I must start this post with a disclaimer, reminding you guys to consider the name of my blog! ;O) My thoughts are not always conventional ones, but I love to wrestle through how and why we do things! This is just one of my latest attempts...

Have you ever considered why there will be many people this Christmas season who set out a nativity as part of their decorating scheme, yet have no clue what it means to have a relationship with Jesus Christ? It used to be puzzling to me, but this is the conclusion I have come to...

For many people, Jesus has never become more than a cute little baby, wrapped in swaddling clothes, laying in a manger. He is safe as long as He stays in there. How much havoc can a cute little baby really wreak in our lives. Once a year we pull the set out and pay homage to this wee one Who arrived in such an unconventional way. How much is an innocent baby really going to require of us?

Think about it...when your children have a birthday, do you sit around and obsess about the day they were born and fill your thoughts with them as a little baby? Sure it's fun to reminisce, but don't we really end up celebrating who they are NOW and what they mean to us at this stage of life? Why should it be any different with Jesus?

Last year when I set out my nativity, I didn't even put Jesus in His "rightful" place. Some people probably thought it looked crazy to have a nativity with no Jesus, but I wanted a visual reminder that HE IS NOT THERE! He is not still a little baby in my life, but He is the risen Saviour in Whom I have found eternal life. That's what I want to focus on!

This year when I set out the familiar pieces, I imagine Jesus will again be absent. I think I'll attach a sign to the scene, though, that reads like this...

He is not here, He is risen!

Now that's something to celebrate!

Monday, November 10, 2008

She's in India!

My girl is in India! Rachel, Naomi, Barb and 2 other people are in India for 2 weeks on a mission trip! Thanks for praying for safety, fruitful ministry and health! I know she will come home a changed young lady and I can't wait to hear what the Lord does in her and through her!

We love you, baby girl!!! XXOO

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

It's a New Day!

Psalm 143:8 (NASB-U)
Let me hear Your lovingkindness in the morning;
For I trust in You;
Teach me the way in which I should walk;
For to You I lift up my soul.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Election Day!

Well, I must admit I am relieved and nervous all at the same time that it is finally Election Day! What a time of uncertainty for us as a nation! I have to keep going back to the fact that God is matter what!

Proverbs 21:1 (MsgB) says, "Good leadership is a channel of water controlled by God; he directs it to whatever ends he chooses." If that is truly the case (and since He said it, I believe it is) then I have to believe that He has the ability to clear the way for whomever needs to be elected so that His ultimate purposes and plans are carried out!

We do seem to be living in a time where there are many things pointing to the return of Jesus Christ in the not-too-distant future and chances are it's not going to get too much better before that! Weird how you can be comforted by even that if you trust that He IS in control!

So as we are filled with expectation, waiting to see what the Lord has in store for us for the next 4 years, let us pray with all unity that we will be filled with His peace, trusting that His will WILL be done!