Friday, December 29, 2006

Trust

Last night we watched a DVD that Zackery got for Christmas -- Veggie Tales' "Gideon: Tuba Warrior". Obviously it's the story of Gideon, which in and of itself is a great story about God's faithfulness, especially when we are willing to be used by Him. But they also "Veggie-fied" the story of George Mueller, the fellow from Bristol, England who started an orphanage there. He never asked for any donations or help, yet his testimony was that God always supplied all their needs. Our boys were all questioning if this was a real story, and I think found it a little incredulous ... that there were some days when this orphanage had absolutely nothing to eat or drink and their response was to pray and ask God to send it, also remembering to thank Him in advance for supplying. And God heard their prayer and supplied their needs. It is an amazing testimony and it is a great reminder for me to continue to place my trust in God for all I need.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Life means so much

It's been a good Christmas for us this year. Often Christmas is a hard time of the year for Eric emotionally, but this year he has done really well. Eric's parents were at our place for a very short visit, which was good -- I don't mean that it was good that it was a very short visit, but the time together was good. On Boxing Day we got together with some new friends that we have made (the parents of our kids' friends) and had a great time together. We've taken time to play, nap, read, puzzle and enjoy each other's company and the company of friends and family.

Family and friends are an important part of who we are ... often they have shaped us into the people we are today (good or bad). I guess I'm feeling kind of melancholy because my parents aren't around anymore and I miss them. I received news yesterday that a good friend of mine from high school lost her father to a brain hemorrhage on Boxing Day. I guess that's contributed to my sad and rather contemplative mood.

Every day is a journal page
Every man holds a quill and ink
And there's plenty of room for writing in
All we do is believe and think
So will you compose a curse
Or will today bring the blessing
Fill the page with rhyming verse
Or some random sketching

Teach us to count the days
Teach us to make the days count
Lead us in better ways
That somehow our souls forgot
Life means so much
Life means so much
Life means so much

Every day is a bank account
And time is our currency
So nobody's rich, nobody's poor
We get 24 hours each
So how are you gonna spend
Will you invest, or squander
Try to get ahead
Or help someone who's under

Teach us to count the days
Teach us to make the days count
Lead us in better ways
That somehow our souls forgot
Life means so much
Life means so much
Life means so much

Has anybody ever lived who knew the value of a life
And don't you think giving is all
What proves the worth of yours and mine

Teach us to count the days
Teach us to make the days count
Lead us in better ways
That somehow our souls forgot
Life means so much

Every day is a gift you've been given
Make the most of the time every minute you're living


Artist: Chris Rice
Song: Life Means So Much
Album: Short Term Memories
[" Short Term Memories " CD]

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

J is for Jesus ...

Today my two youngest boys had their school Christmas concert. My husband went to the afternoon performance and I attended the evening showing. I use the word "showing" because a school Christmas concert really isn't complete until a little girl from the kindergarten class hikes up her dress to her armpits so she can pull up her tights!

I really appreciate that the public elementary school that my boys have been attending still calls it a "Christmas" concert. Other school divisions call it a "winter" concert and seem to bend over backwards to keep their concert and the season sanitized of anything to do with the birth of Christ. At our school Christmas concert, Christmas carols are sung and it's a good mix of Santa, Scrooge and the Son.

Tonight my son Zackery's grade 3 class did the "ABC's of Xmas". My heart was touched when the young boy with the letter J around his neck proclaimed that "J is for Jesus ... it's all for his sake". And it is.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Crisis of Faith??

So lately I have been struggling with being a Christian. I have been a Christian all my life and time-to-time my self-evaluations are downright discouraging. Here are the main points that seem to disqualify me from the club of Christianity:
  1. My vices:
    1. I drink rum – too much for my own good.
    2. I smoke to often. Hardly at all in the past 4 years but I still crave it.
  2. My lack of Church association – I am not attending church nor am I part of any fellowship group
  3. My devotions – are non-existent. Reading the “Word” brings little relief to the daily toil.
  4. My prayer life – sporadic at best and then mostly asking God to get me out of the pain of life.
  5. My reaching out to others is just not happening. My whole life seems to be more about not being of the world than living in it.
  6. I am not impressed with the “body of Christ”. Far to often Church people are irrelevant, hypocritical, and selfish.
  7. My depression – although many people get depressed there is still a huge stigma for a Christian who struggles with it. Depressed Christians can hardly be a witness of all the good things God is doing in their lives when the feel down all the time.

And I can still rationalize all these points by saying that God still loves me and it is His love for me and not my performance, that makes me a Christian.

So what really gets me is how far I am from the main message of Jesus. When asked what the most important thing in life was he responded with “love the Lord your God…” and “love your neighbour…”. Sadly I don’t love people. I tolerate them, I patronize them, I put up with them, I avoid them, I endure them, and sometimes I even loathe them.

There are people that I do love, my family and a few friends, but I consider the vast majority of people to be not worth the effort or pain required to love.

So how can I say I love God? And how can I call myself a Christian?

Friday, December 08, 2006

Advent

The Advent Season is upon us. My Advent Wreath has been prepared and one candle has been lit and the Advent Calendar has been hung on the wall. I love the Advent Season ... I enjoy the preparations for Christmas and the anticipation that comes with it. That's not to say I enjoy the shopping and the crowds ... I don't. I avoid the malls and the stores on the weekends if at all possible!

I picked up a pointsettia this week and at the greenhouse where I got my pointsettia they have a beautiful display of Christmas trees, wreaths and ornaments. I picked up a bare wreath of greenery and some decorations and made my own wreath for the front door. I just wish I could hang it on the inside of the door so that I could enjoy it from inside the warm house!

Far too often the Advent Season is jam packed with concerts and get togethers ... sometimes in the busyness of it all we don't sit back and appreciate what the season really means. Last Sunday as we were preparing to light the first Advent candle, I talked a little bit about Mary with the boys. I've been thinking of her often in the last few weeks; how she must have felt when the angel Gabriel first paid her a visit; her unwavering trust and faith and willingness to be the servant of the Most High. What an amazing testimony of obedience to the fulfilment of God's will. It begs me to ask the question, "Am I ever that willing to be obedient?"

I hope that when the Lord asks something of me, I would reply as Mary did: "Yes, I see it all now. I'm the Lord's maid, ready to serve." (The Message)