Monday, 30 April 2012

My friend Nettie...

In this post I would like to tell you about my friend Nettie. We became friends at school when we were in grade 8.  After finishing grade six at Graysville, I had now moved on to a bigger school in the next town. My friend Kathy stopped coming to our school after grade 7 so the Lord knew what he was doing when He sent Nettie into my life as a school friend. We shared a locker, and were together all the time at school. Together we endured the teasing/bullying of the older boys. I suppose we were teased because of us being Christians -it was then just as it is in today's world Christians are often not popular. Nettie came from a large family with many struggles. So when I got to know her she was living with her foster family. Praise God for all the Christian foster parents out there that open up their homes to children in need.  She would tell me of her time spent on weekends with her Dad and siblings. She knew even as a young teenager how to make homemade bread from scratch which she did whenever she would go home to her Dad and brothers and sisters. She had done it for them so often she didn't even need a recipe anymore. She loved going to church with her foster family. They went to the Pentecostal church. Her faith was real and it challenged me to become real with the Lord in my own faith. She would often talk about how she so was longing to be raptured and to go and be with Jesus. She was a dear friend indeed. As school was drawing to a close for us and we knew we would be parting ways, we made a promise to each other - a very girl-type promise. She promised me that no matter where life would have taken us in our different paths we would remember each other. She promised to invite me to her wedding if she ever got married and I promised her that I would invite her to my wedding if I ever got married. Neither of us were in a relationship with any guy at the time.
As time passed, she moved to the city and I stayed closer to home and got a job at the local nursing home. This was well before the time of texting, or emails so we did not stay in touch. Then one day ( we were in our twenties then) I got a terrible phone call from one of Nettie's sisters. She had been murdered by an x-boyfriend in the city and so Nettie's sister was inviting me to her funeral. That was very shocking. We had promised to invite each other for weddings but now she was gone and I was being invited to her funeral. I honestly cannot remember much beyond that. I know my parents came to the funeral too as they had got to know her as well.
In high school already,  Nettie was waiting for Jesus, but now she was taken way too soon in such a senseless and cruel way. Someday in Heaven, I'll see Nettie again. We'll sit down and talk "friend to friend".

Saturday, 28 April 2012

Happy Birthday Son!

Happy Birthday Son! You've grown to be a fine young man. Keep growing in your love and faithfulness to the Lord. God has gifted you to serve Him. You are an amazing mechanic! I would never have thought it possible for a guy to know how to fix tractors like you do being a teenager. You do excellent work and have shown great leadership skills in school and as you work here with Dad in the business.  Happy Birthday and God Bless you!
love from mom

Monday, April 30
Congratulations on passing your learner's test and getting your driving permit today!

Friday, 27 April 2012

Daddy - the old time preacher man

In this post I would like to share a bit more about my Dad. He was born in 1925 in Mexico but came to Canada with his parents as a very young baby. He spent most of his growing up years in the Kleefeld area of Manitoba. My Dad and his family were also among the group of Mennonites that moved to Paraguay in the late 1940's where they hoped to find a peaceful life.  I mentioned this move to Paraguay in an ealier post about my Mom. My Dad was among an early group of men that flew to Paraguay to prepare the way for the others that would come by ship later. He quite liked the adventure of going to Paraguay and had many fond memories of the time he spent out there and he even learned to speak a bit of Spanish.  After coming back to Canada, he worked for an English farmer (in the Carman area) which he also enjoyed very much. He married my mother in 1951.
My parents started farming in a very small way and gradually built the farm to a more moderate size. They started with just few acres of land and milked a few cows, sold the cream etc.  The Lord was faithful and provided all that was necessary to raise the six girls that were born to them.
My Dad always knew that the Lord had placed a calling on his life to be a preacher of the gospel. The actual call came in January of 1976 at the small country church that we attended. He was ordained as a preacher of the gospel in April of 1976 and began preaching immediately thereafter. He continued to farm on the side with the time that was available to him. The church did not provide a salary to the preachers so continuing to farm  was the right thing to do. The church denomination was involved with was is known as circuit preaching. There were churches of our denomination scattered throughout southern Manitoba and so my Dad was put on a schedule that would take him to each of these churches by rotation and thereby preaching in a different location every Sunday morning. He would spend many hours during the week preparing the sermon he would preach on Sunday. The drive to the church for any given Sunday morning ( other than our own local home church) would take about an hour or longer depending where the location of the church was that he was scheduled at that particular morning. This meant an early start to the morning chores. The cows  needed to be milked and fed before getting ready for church. It was very plain to see that Dad loved preaching. He preached his last sermon in January of 2002 at a little church at the village called Stuartburn.  At this time we already knew that Dad was not well, but we did not know that it was cancer. My husband and I took our family to hear Dad and Grandpa preach his last sermon. Our children were ages 9 and 9 and 5 and 3 when they heard Grandpa preach the last time. I don't remember much about the sermon but I know he talked some about the terrorist attacks that had happened in New York on September 11, 2001 which was just a few months earlier and that laid heavy on his heart.
I hope to post more in the next little while about my Dad, and his final message to the family. 

Thursday, 26 April 2012

God's Way verses Satan's Alternatives....

Have you ever considered how satan tries to make people believe that his ideas are good alternatives to God's true ways?
Take for example marriage. God says marriage is to be between one man and one woman.
Satan suggests sinful alternatives such as homosexual and lesbian relationships.
God's way is to save sex for after the wedding. Satan's sinful alternative is to not wait for marriage. Satan's way is fornication - sex with whoever you choose, the if it feels good then do it attitude.
God's way is to love your spouse deeply and dearly. Satan's way is lust and pornography.
God's way is for a couple to begin sharing a home together after marriage. Satan's way is for a couple to shack up together and then give the excuse that you need to try it out first before making any real decisions.
 God's ways are best because His way  provides protection from foolish choices that lead to unnecessary heartache and failure.
God's plan is for us to be filled with the Holy Spirit. Satan's sinful plan is for people to fill up on alchol, drugs and abusive substances.
God's plan is for women to be modest in the way they dress and to not be sensual and flirting in character. Satan's way is for women to wear the skimpy, the tight, the short, the low tops and to show skin inappropriately and to attract attention to your body.

Now let us examine another one of satan's counterfeits, one that is more difficult to understand.
 The one true holy God is a trinity. He is Father, Son ( Jesus) and Holy Spirit - three in One. Not three Gods but One God in three distinct persons. Just as God has three persons so Satan also tries to copy a trinity for himself  and it is displayed quite clearly Revelation.  So if you study the book of Revelation 12, satan is depicted as a great red dragon. Then in Revelation 13 the beast comes on the scene which is the Antichrist. It says that the dragon which is satan gives his power to the beast.  Then thirdly, also in chapter 13 another beast comes onto the scene which is a false prophet. The false prophet then makes the people on the earth worship the Antichrist. In order to be able to make any business transactions that is buy or sell anything, people are required to obtain a number in either their right hand or their forehead. Without this number people will not be allowed to do business. Revelation 13: 18 tells us what that number will be 666. -18Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six.
However, we who are Christians must be prepared to never accept this mark 666 as no one who does will enter the kingdom of Heaven.
To be sure there are many more of satan's counterfeits that we could discuss. Perhaps one comes to your mind even as you read this.

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Dressed for battle - Armour of God

In our world today there is much evil around us. We see how the devil is working overtime trying to entice people to walk in the ways of the world. We see the fallout of this on the evening news everyday, violence, immorality, murder, cheating and theft. Commercials on television, in magazines and on the internet suggest we should spend money we don't have on things we don't need. We are bombarded with lies that suggest  that we are not going to be successful unless we look a certain way, wear certain clothes, drive a certain car, hang out with a certain crowd. It is a downward spiral that many fall into constantly. All the while God is looking into our hearts to see if we will seek Him first and live in obedience to Him as He has outlined in the Bible. Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness. The Bible encourages us to STAND strong against the devil and his lying evil schemes. In Ephesians 6: 10 and 11 it says:
" be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.
 11Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil."

So what is this armour of God that will help us to stand and not fall?

Verse 13 -13Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.  In Ephesians chapter 6 is a list of the six pieces of armour that we need for this war.  In our mind  we can picture a soldier dressed for battle.
1) -loins girt about with truth, - The magazine or TV commercial that tells us to look and act like a certain famous person is a lie.  God made you to be you and live for Him.
2) -breastplate of righteousness - Is that thing we desire  pure and right in the eyes of God? Does it honor Christ?
3) -feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; - Will it hurt someone or help someone?
4) -taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.  - Believe that Christ will meet all your real needs.
5) - helmet of salvation, - We are reconciled to God by faith in Jesus and repenting of our sin.
6) -the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: - God's word in our heart, in our thoughts and in our mind all the day and night. Waking or sleeping I belong to Jesus.

God has provided this armour to each of us as believers. Let's put it on and stand against the evil around us. Say "NO" to the devil as he goes about seeking to deceive.

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Sports and the Bible

It may come as a surprise to some of you to hear that in the Bible we find passages that compare our life to sports. My family enjoys sports. Right now the NHL hockey playoffs are going on, so my boys have their teams that they cheer for. The Vancouver Canucks are out so will we become Ottawa Senators fans? Maybe, or maybe not.  My husband and  my boys have played as a team curling for several winters at our local rink and quite enjoy it, and everyone here enjoys a round of golf now and then. In high school, the younger of my twin sons  played pretty much every sport he could - in track running the 3 kilometer race provincially, also playing varsity volleyball, basketball, etc  and now in college continues to play team sports there. He has also enjoyed reffing hockey for the kids playing hockey locally. Playing sports is not only fun but it builds  many good qualities in person such as to persevere in difficult situations and to look out for others on the team, to be fair, and honest, to do your part in life and to encourage other people in the game we call life.   In 1 Timothy 4:8 it says  8For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come.
We know that in order to keep our bodies healthy we need to eat healthy foods  and get some exercise but as the verse reminds us that our bodies are temporary - our bodies are for this life only here and now. Our soul is what will live on for eternity so that is why we are encouraged to focus on godliness.
We know that any person doing well in his chosen sport is a person of discipline, spending many hours practicing and working very hard to reach their goals. There is the need to eat right, stay hydrated and get plenty of rest and sleep.
 We see the influence that sports figures play in the minds of kids and people. An example of one who is using his influence to reach others in a positive way would be Tim Teebow.  He has been able to share the gospel very publically with the gift to play football  that God has given to him. Of coursewe can also  think of a few sports figures who have become a negative influence to others and become disgraced publically.
Let's consider what 1 Corinthians 9: 24-27 says -
 24Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.
 25And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible.
 26I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air:
 27But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.
In the game of life, we seek to win. It says in verse 24  "so run that ye may obtain". So just as in sports, we also need to discipline ourselves in our daily lives in order to win in our Christian life.  The prize is to be in the presence of God with the Lord Jesus for all eternity. After we have made the choice to enter the race - that is we have chosen to become a Christian, we then seek to live to please Christ in all we do and say in our everyday life.  Just like an athelete  needs to stay well nourished with healthy food and water, we need to be in the Scriptures daily, reading the Bible and thereby  taking in Spiritual food and drink.  We need to be in communication with our Heavenly Father in prayer and filling our minds with wholesome God honoring stuff.  These disciplines help us to be strong and to win over sin in our daily life. We have no desire to live in the pleasures of the sinful nature because we seek to win the prize and it is our goal to  " break through the tape" at the finish line in Christ's strength and in victory.  Our crown as refered to in verse 25 is incorruptible which means it is a reward that will last forever throughout eternity. How long is eternity you ask - is it a million years? No a million years into eternity will be only the beginning of it. It will be forever and ever and ever. So it is definitely worth all our time and energy to run this race of life with eternity as the goal!

Sunday, 22 April 2012

Why does the earth quake??

Under three things the earth quakes, And under four, it cannot bear up: That is what it says in Proverbs 3:20 in the NASB. This is rather interesting. That there are actually some things that make the earth so unstable that it quakes. What are these things?  In the KJV the passage states: Proverbs 30 : 21-23
 21For three things the earth is disquieted, and for four which it cannot bear:
 22For a servant when he reigneth;  and a fool when he is filled with meat;
 23For an odious woman when she is married; and an handmaid that is heir to her mistress.

So the first thing that causes the earth to quake is when a servant reigns. What could this mean? I know that God does things decently and in order according to 1 Corinthians 14:40 - 40Let all things be done decently and in order."  So what if an employee somehow tried take the business away from the owner, like maybe not follow company rules but kind of do things whatever way he wished.  That would not be good and a business could not function that way for very long.  But is that not pretty much what is happening in our world today? God created the world and it belongs to Him. Psalm 24:1 1The earth is the LORD's, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein.
So LORD made the earth and everything in it. Then He should also have the authority to instruct those of us in the world how to live, to tell us what is truth, and how to live, which is exactly what He does throughout the Bible. The Bible is the business manual or handbook with instruction as to how things are to be done. So when we are his servants, called upon to take care of business till he comes in the second coming, We are to obey Him and being disobedient to the Master would definitely cause the earth to quake. Just as in any business, when the things are not done right the boss is not pleased, and disciplinary action has to be taken. So it is also with God. He sees our disobedience to His instructions in the Bible and so disciplinary action is happening all around us which are the judgements that we see such as the tornadoes, earthquakes, outbreaks of pandemics, etc.
Next let us consider " and a fool when he is filled with meat;"  I believe this is referring to the luxurious and excessive lifestyle that so many take as "must haves". Trying to keep up with the neighbors in possessions and therefore aquiring unbearable amounts of debt. Instead of living in contentment as we should , we are told that we deserve to be able to live out the so called "American dream". Money and posessions, fame and loose living will never satisfy. This is another thing that the causes displeasure to our LORD and causes the earth to quake.
Verse 23 23"For an odious woman when she is married, and an handmaid that is heir to her mistress." The words odious woman simply means a woman who is not loved by her husband. I believe this verse is referring to the problem of adultery and divorce in our culture. Consistantly on the news, we hear of high ranking officials, and evangelical leaders, and politicians involved in an affair and failing in their marriages. We also see this happening in our churches, neighborhoods and families. Pornography, lust and coveteousness is rampant. God's directions are for sex within the bonds of marriage. Any other sex is immorality. God clearly states in the Bible that marriage is to be between one man and one woman and that till death.   Ephesians 5:25 -
25Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;
Mark 10:6-9 states
 6But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female.
 7For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife;
 8And they twain shall be one flesh: so then they are no more twain, but one flesh.
 9What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.
And one more verse 1 Corinthians 7:39 says 39The wife is bound by the law as long as her husband liveth; but if her husband be dead, she is at liberty to be married to whom she will; only in the Lord.
There are many more passages that we could reference that say God made marriage to be between only one man and one woman till death.  God does allow divorce in the case of sexual immorality in order to protect the abused spouse but it never was His original plan.
The rampant immorality is abominable in the sight of God and He is prepared to deal with it.
We who are Christians are a sanctified people and not at all like the non Christian.  Our goal is to please our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in our words and our actions and bring glory to Him. This world is not our home.

Saturday, 21 April 2012

School days

Perhaps sometime down the road, in generations to come, my family will be interested to know a few details of my life at school. It is a long time ago already and there would be a lot more than I can write but here is a bit of it. Most of my school years were in the late 1960's and through the 1970's.
Every morning I would wake up to the old wind-up type chime clock chiming seven times and that meant I had to get up and get ready for school. As I remember the school bus arrived at the end of our lane at ten minutes before 8 am and my sisters and I were off to school. School started at 9am as it still does here in our town now.
There was no preschool or kindergarten in my day so I started school when I was six years old going into grade one at Graysville which was a tiny village about ten miles from our home. The school was a simple four classroom school, with the an auditiorium ( now they would call it the gym) in the basement, the classrooms on the main floor and the teachers office was upstairs. There were three teachers in the school. Mrs Gray taught grade 1&2, Mrs McIntosh taught grades 3&4, and Mrs Watt taught grades 5&6. Approximately seventy students attended this school on an average year.
My memories of each grade are few though in my mind I can still see where my desk was in each grade. I remember in grade one at lunch time the classroom doors were open and when I would look behind me I could see my sister sitting at her desk in her classroom eating her lunch as well and the security it brought me just seeing her there across the hall. Also in grade one, one day when Mrs Gray was doing our sight memory words with the class she put out a new word which was the word "Christmas". She proceeded to ask if anyone knew the word and I gladly raised my hand. Then she scolded me for knowing a word that she had not taught the class and I was a bad girl for having learned it ahead of the other children. I remember my friend Diana in grade one and two and that she moved away.
 I failed a test in grade 3. I had missed some days of school and so I didn't know enough about pemmican to pass the test. Pemmican is a high protein energy food developed by the Native Americans long ago.  Also in grade 3, I remember four boys got a spanking with the strap. I don't know what they had done wrong but I can still see Mrs McIntosh, her red face, and the four boys standing  at the front of the class. She got the strap from her desk and each one had to hold out his hands and they got their due one by one with the whole class watching.  Mrs. McIntosh had two sons of her own in the class while I was in her classroom. It seemed her boys were allowed to see tests and assignments before the rest of us in the class. It seemed unfair and like she favored them.  In grade 4, I was having trouble seeing the blackboard. I didn't know that I needed glasses but when my parents got a visit from the school division nurse, I had to be taken to the optometrist and I got my first pair of glasses. I have worn glasses ever since. I didn't like having to wear glasses because none of my sisters needed glasses so I felt different. I often would pray that my eyes would be better but that was a prayer that I had to accept would not be answered with a yes.
In grade 5, I won second place in our school's science fair. I did my project on Scientific Changes in physcial and chemical things. It was an exciting accomplishment for me. I also became school bus captain in grade six. I had to keep an eye an the kids in the bus and report to the teacher whatever I thought necessary. I actually can't remember reporting anything but I know I felt the responsibilty to watch the other kids. Also every year in June, our school would have "track and field day". It was just a fun day for which  we spent hours and days preparing for and in grade 6, I was fortunate to become team captain for for one of our school's teams. All the kids from all ages and grades were divided into our groups. There were relay races, long jump, high jump, track races, and baseball. High jump was my favorite as I was a bit taller than some girls and I did reasonably well at it. Parents could come for the day to watch. They would set up a canteen for the day ( the rest of the year there was no canteen at all). It was a lot of fun.
Some distinct memories of fellow classmates. Patricia was an excellent artist. I never knew how she could draw so well but now that I also am a mom, I know how much kids can learn from watching TV especially Mr Dressup. We didn't have a TV in our home as I was growing up. Perhaps Patricia watched Mr Dressup and learned to draw that way. Darlene had a banana in her lunch every single day. I could never figure out how her family could have bananas every day. At our house having a banana was an occasional treat. Marylynne was popular and mature and often came to the bus with toast in hand.  Judith and Sharon were cousins and mostly stayed together. There was Valerie who always had the best costume for parties and another Valerie who was from a very poor family. There were boys too but I guess the memories are fewer of the boys than with the girls except for on the bus where the boys oftentimes made their mark.
There were in class school parties for Valentine's day, Halloween and Christmas. So much to remember from school days.
 Some day I will post about my high school experiences. For grade seven and on we had to ride the bus to the next town and there are many memories from there as well.

Friday, 20 April 2012

Baby Darcy...

April 20 - Today is the birthday of my baby named Darcy. Darcy was born in 1995 but went to be with Jesus before being born. You see Darcy passed away while within my womb and was born a couple of weeks later.
Darcy was loved and would have been a much welcomed gift into our family here on earth but that was not God's plan for our baby.
Here is some of our story - My husband and I were blessed with twin babies in 1992 and what a joy and blessing that proved to be.  The twins were soon to be three years old so I was excited to learn that I was pregnant again. But the excitement slowly faded after a while as I realized things were not going so well and wondered if perhaps the baby was gone. I knew needed to get to the doctor. The doctor checked and made sure baby was still in the womb and asked me a few questions. He wanted to know what I was thinking and I answered that I think my baby is dead. Then he asked " Why do you think that?" to which I responded - "I feel so empty inside."  To the mothers out there reading this, you will understand what I am saying. When you have a living baby growing inside of you, it is an indescribable satisfying feeling. So now since my baby had died, I felt empty. I could feel that the soul of my child had departed. The doctor immediately sent me for an ultrasound test which proved my fear true. My baby had died but was still in my womb. Next arrangements were made to induce the baby to be born. So baby Darcy was born at 12 weeks into the pregnancy. And so the grieving process began. We were fortunate to have the hospital give the baby to us to take home with us and we were able to give it a proper burial in a safe place.
Many people will say that it is only fetus, some kind of tissue and not a real baby. I will be bold to tell you that without a shadow of a doubt, it is a baby. From the point of conception it is a baby. We got to see our baby born at 12 weeks but having died possibly at least 2 weeks sooner ( the time of death remained unclear). We could clearly see the baby's eyes, little nose, chin, arms, legs. It's all there right from the very start but grows and matures with time.  So I would like to encourage anyone considering abortion to definitely not have the abortion. That would be taking a life which God has tenderly created with purpose. The commandment of God is that we do not put to death another person.
Family and friends were very kind to us in our grief. As I was in the process of grieving, one day I remembered the ultrasound that the hospital had done and I started to wonder if it would be possible for me to obtain the pictures of it as a tangible memory thing for myself. I contacted the hospital and they agreed to allow me to have the ultrasound pictures for a small fee. I treasure those pictures.
Job 1:21 says - Naked came I out of my mother's womb, and naked shall I return thither: the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.

Heavenly Father, Thank-you for baby Darcy. Thank-you that Darcy is safe with you and someday we will meet our precious baby. Blessed be the Name of the LORD! Amen.

Thursday, 19 April 2012

Only 1 Real God....

One of Satan's schemes to deceive people is that he would have us believe that there are many ways to get to heaven. Satan would have us believe that one god is as good as another and you can choose which one you want to serve. Satan would have us be favorable to all of the various religions (such as Islam, Hinduism, Mormonism ,etc) and have us believe we can live however we choose and still reach heaven. This is absolute falsehood and not true. The only God that Satan doesn't want us to have is the true God and the Lord Jesus Christ.  Satan is fine with any or all of the rest of the gods that people worship.  BUT there is only one God - the three in One -( FATHER, SON, HOLY SPIRIT) who  created the world, and there is no other God. There is only one way to Heaven.  Jesus is  only way to get to God.  Jesus, the only begotten Son of the Father came as a baby, born of the virgin Mary, walking  on this earth and  showing us how to live,  died on the cross as the payment for our sin, rose again on the third and ascended to heaven to the right hand of the Father and now we wait for His soon return to earth to come for us. Those of us who are saved will meet Jesus in the air.  If we choose to try to reach God some other way, it will result in failure. Our eternal destiny is at stake here. And there are only two destinies - If we choose Jesus, then heaven. If we choose one of the others, then hell.
So the question is - What must we do to be saved so we can get to the one true God and heaven?
First, lets get a few scriptures that tell us about the only true God and there is none besides Him.
 Isaiah 43: 10-11..Ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD, and my servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me.  I, even I, am the LORD; and beside me there is no saviour
Here it is clear - there never was any true God other than the LORD and there will never be any other after.
Isaiah 44:6 Thus saith the LORD the King of Israel, and his redeemer the LORD of hosts; I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God.
and verse 24:
Thus saith the LORD, thy redeemer, and he that formed thee from the womb, I am the LORD that maketh all things; that stretcheth forth the heavens alone; that spreadeth abroad the earth by myself;
Revelation 22:13 I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.

Now let us consider the way to salvation. This very thing was asked of Paul and Silas while they were  in prison in Acts 16:30 -"...... Sirs, what must I do to be saved?"
And the answer is very clear in verse 31 - And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.
 Mark 1:15  is very clear where is states - And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.
And of course the well known verse, a favorite of many people is John 3:16
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
So basically it involves repenting - which is to see sin as God sees it, If He says something is sin, it most certainly is and we give those things up in our lives and ask Him for forgivenes and cleansing through Jesus blood.
And we believe - Believe in Jesus , his death and ressurection as described in the Bible. Believe in the only true God the Father, Jesus the Son of God, and Holy Spirit who then comes to live inside of us and guides us through life.
Accept Jesus as Savior today and begin today to live the rest of life for Jesus.

So we can see that Muhammad is not the way, Buddha is not the way, Joseph Smith is not the way... JESUS alone is the way.
Acts 4:12 - Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

God first....

A scribe came to Jesus and asked Him a question--  "Which is the first commandment of all?"   So Jesus gives him the answer:
Mark 12:29-32 ...
 And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord:
 And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.
 And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.
 And the scribe said unto him, Well, Master, thou hast said the truth: for there is one God; and there is none other but he

Love God wth all our heart, soul, mind and strength - put God first in everything and second - love others

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Does God still speak through dreams??

I wonder what your answer would be to this question? Does God still speak to us through dreams? We know that in the Bible God spoke to people through dreams at night while they were sound asleep and also through visions during the daytime. I am not really thinking so much about visions but I would like to explore just a few of the dreams that people in the Bible had and then tie in a few more personal examples. It is important that we understand that God's main way of speaking is through the written Word, the Bible. If anything is contrary to what God has revealed in the Scriptures, then we can be 100% sure that it is not from God. God will never go against anything in the Bible. He doesn't change and neither does His Word.

It seems to me that God will sometimes use dreams to prepare a person for the future or to warn of danger or wrong doing. In the case of Joseph ( the son of Jacob and Rachel ) the dreams were to prepare him for the future. Genises 37 records the dreams in verses 5-10 :
5And Joseph dreamed a dream, and he told it his brethren: and they hated him yet the more.
 6And he said unto them, Hear, I pray you, this dream which I have dreamed:
 7For, behold, we were binding sheaves in the field, and, lo, my sheaf arose, and also stood upright; and, behold, your sheaves stood round about, and made obeisance to my sheaf.
 8And his brethren said to him, Shalt thou indeed reign over us? or shalt thou indeed have dominion over us? And they hated him yet the more for his dreams, and for his words.
 9And he dreamed yet another dream, and told it his brethren, and said, Behold, I have dreamed a dream more; and, behold, the sun and the moon and the eleven stars made obeisance to me.
 10And he told it to his father, and to his brethren: and his father rebuked him, and said unto him, What is this dream that thou hast dreamed? Shall I and thy mother and thy brethren indeed come to bow down ourselves to thee to the earth?
Both of these dreams had the same meaning and father Jacob recognized the meaning of the dream when he says in verse 10 : " Shall I and thy mother and thy brethren indeed come to bow down ourselves to thee to the earth?" Through these dreams that God gave to Joseph in the night, He was preparing him as well as Joseph's family for what was to come. As we know from the Bible, Joseph's brothers hated him and sold him as a slave to Egypt. It was in Egypt that these dreams came true. Joseph was a good slave and though he experienced many difficulties there and was even unjustly imprisoned, Joseph became the ruler in Egypt and only Pharoah was above him in command. When famine hit the land and food was scarce, the brothers came to buy food and bowed down to Joseph just as his dream had foretold.
Another dream to consider is that of Abimelech in Genesis 20. It is the story where  Abraham and Sarah were on a journey and came to the place Gerar.  Abraham had made a deal with Sarah his wife that they would tell people that Sarah was his sister rather than saying his wife since Abraham was afraid men might kill him if they happened to become interested in Sarah. Though this was a very wrong thing to do God spared Abraham in the midst of it all. So Abraham and Sarah came to Abimelech in Gerar and sure enough Abimelech was interested in Sarah as a possible spouse. Genesis 20:2   2And Abraham said of Sarah his wife, She is my sister: and Abimelech king of Gerar sent, and took Sarah., Then notice what happens in verse 3,4. -3But God came to Abimelech in a dream by night, and said to him, Behold, thou art but a dead man, for the woman which thou hast taken; for she is a man's wife. 4But Abimelech had not come near her: and he said, LORD, wilt thou slay also a righteous nation?..   So here in this story God comes to Abimelech to protect him from making a bad mistake worse and Abimelech makes things right and gives Sarah back to Abraham because after all she is Abraham's wife.

We can also think of the story of the birth of Jesus and where  Joseph finds out that Mary is with child by the Holy Spirit, Joseph decides to put her away secretly so as to not bring any shame on Mary. But then an angel of the Lord comes to Joseph in a dream in Matthew 1:19-21 -Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a public example, was minded to put her away privily.
20But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the LORD appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.
21And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.
And again in22Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying,
23Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.
24Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife:
Also in Matthew 2:13 an angel of the Lord appears to Joseph again in a dream with further instructions for Joseph.

Making it Personal
So it is pretty clear that God has spoken many times in the Bible through dreams. I believe God still speaks to us in dreams occasionally. One example of this in my own life would be before my daughter who has down syndrome was born. God prepared me for this in other ways also,  but one way was by a dream. I dreamed that I saw a family picture of our family - my husband, myself and our children. There were more children in the picture than the three that we had at the time, one also in Heaven already,  but one of our children in the picture looked "different". The dream puzzled me at the time but when our daughter was born it made perfect sense. As you probably know, a child with down syndrome has a distinctive look, very beautiful, a lot like our other children but different. And she is a perfect fit and wonderful part of our family.
Another dream that I had years ago that troubled me for some time was one that I was at heaven's gate but all that I had to bring was straw. I believe that this was an encouragement from the LORD for me that all I do is to be done for Him and such that He can reward. Also we can only enter Heaven by Jesus and not by anything that we bring.
Another would be a reoccuring dream that I had for several years which only stopped after a family issue was taken care of.
My Dad had a dream in which God revealed to him that he was called to be a preacher of the gospel. So when the actual call came, he was prepared and ready to work for the Lord.
As I said at the start of this post, it is important to make sure that we are guided by the already revealed truth in the Bible. God's Word in the Bible is true and it is  His Word to us and these other hints that he gives us are just "icing on the cake" so to speak. God Bless.

Sunday, 15 April 2012

My Mom - Woman of Faith!

Recently in the news Ann Romney ( the wife of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney) was  criticized for having made the choice to be a stay- at - home mom to raise their family. She was criticized to have never worked a day in her life. Wow! I am glad that many many people came to her defense including Michelle Obama and the President himself. Raising children is not an easy task - it takes very much love, and patience, and the giving up of one's own desires for the good of the family.
So with that I want to turn my thoughts over to my own Mom who did this very thing - she has been a stay at home Mom and together with my Dad lovingly raised me and my 5 sisters.
Jeremiah 29:11 -
 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.

The LORD has plans for each of us and now that my Mom is in her eighties we can look back and get a picture of some of what that was.
Before my Mom and Dad met, my Mom's parents decided to move from Manitoba to Paraguay along with many other Mennonite families. The Mennonites were seeking to find a place of peace where they would be able to raise their families.So in preparation for the journey to Paraguay( thinking never to return to Canada) my Mom, a young lady,  had to get rid of her possessions which included her "hope chest". A "hope chest" was dishes and things girls would start to collect as young teenagers which they would then hope to use once they would marry the man of their dreams. She recalls the agony of leaving it behind. Then my Mom, her parents and siblings along with a couple of thousand other Mennonites  boarded the ship to sail to Paraguay.  Sailing there took approximately a month and as she recalls she was sick most of the time sailing. As it turned out though, life was not as promising in Paraguay as they all had hoped and they headed back to Canada within six months and back in Canada my Mom met my Dad. God had it all planned.
                                        This is a picture of my parents as a very young couple.                                  

My Mom was a very hard working person not only keeping the house, cooking with a wood stove in the early days, doing laundry with the old washing machine and no dryer, she was always helping Dad on the farm however she could. She was always by his side in a supporting role whether it was with farmwork - fixing the combine, running the baler, milking cows, but even more importantly she supported Dad in his work as a preacher. Always with him at his side whenever or however she was needed. As I think about my Mom, I remember the loving care she gave to me as a little girl. She would come to help me say my prayers each night. I would kneel in bed to pray and she would kneel  beside the bed as I prayed. Then she would tuck me in so I would get a good sleep.  If at any time in the night I woke up, and couldn't sleep, I would call " MOM" and she would be right there. She would read a Bible story to me regardless of what time in the night it was, then she would tuck me in again and she would say -" I'll stay right here with you until you fall asleep" and she did too. It didn't matter if it took half an hour or an hour for her little girl to fall asleep, she stayed there by my bed to bring security and comfort.  She was selfless and loving through and through. This also showed up in her giving spirit to the neighbors. She is a truly generous and caring person.
My Mom's faith has grown strong over the years. She has been a great example to us to see her reading her Bible and other Scriptural literature. Being sure of  one's salvation and that we be ready to meet the LORD at any time is something that she stresses consistantly. Since Dad's passing, she has blossomed in showing her love for the LORD even more.
When my Dad became ill with cancer, she again stood strong with him going to appointment after appointment  with him and caring for him. The last six months of Dad's battle with cancer were spent in the hospital. Mom would go to the hospital in the morning and stay there with Dad the entire day, come home in the evening and the next day do it all over again. It seemed Dad had peace when he was so sick, just to know she was there with him and know she would be there with him the whole way through.

Heavenly Father, You have given me a wonderful Mother...Thank-you , Amen

Saturday, 14 April 2012

Fear of the LORD....

What does it look like to fear the LORD? I mean we all know that we should fear the LORD, because He does really have the final word in everything. We can say oh I think this is the way and a friend may have a differing opinion but really our opininion of truth is only accurate if it parallels to what the Bible says, -simply because the Bible is the true Word of God and it is alive and active in our lives when surrender to Him.  Proverbs has many verses relating to the fear of the LORD. So in Proverbs 8:13 we get a glimpse of what it looks like to fear the LORD.
Proverbs 8:13 - The fear of the LORD is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate.
We need to hate evil as the LORD does, and put it out of our lives. Pride and arrogance have no place in our lives nor the froward mouth. The NASB uses the words "perverted mouth".  
Pride can lead to many destructive ways and pride was what got angel Lucifer thrown out of Heaven to become the devil and satan. So it is one of satan's schemes to use pride and arrogance to bring us down also.
Proverbs 16:18 -Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.
Proverbs 1:7 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.
Proverbs 10:27 The fear of the LORD prolongeth days: but the years of the wicked shall be shortened.

Thursday, 12 April 2012

The LORD is my Shepherd!

Psalm 23 is a favorite of many many people. It has brought much comfort to many people grieving the loss of a loved one. But I would like to suggest that the comfort and assurance that it brings is what we need for our everyday lives. So let's consider Psalm 23.
Psalm 23... 1The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
 2He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.
 3He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.
 4Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
 5Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
 6Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.

First of all I notice that the word LORD is in all capital letters which indicates that it refers to the name of God Himself, (YHWH ) God who is has no beginning and has no end, God who created the universe, the planets, the earth, people, animals, everything. The only true and living God!. That is who we are talking about here.
The LORD is my shepherd -  He is my personal shepherd. I am one in His fold, I am in His care, He takes the responsibility upon Himself to watch over me.
I shall not want. - He will supply what I really need. He is the giver of every good thing, however large or small, it is a gift from Him. He has given good to me way beyond what I deserve. ( As a sinner, I deserved hell but He came and rescued me and saved me from that). What good thing do we really possess  that does not come from the Hand of the LORD? Whether it be health, our homes, family, our abilities such as being able to breathe, work, walk, sing , speak, read, write, drive, see, smell, taste, hear, sleep, - I mean the list is pretty much endless. Glory to the LORD for these wonderful gifts.
He makes me lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside quiet waters -my good Shepherd provides for me. A sheep that would lie down in green pastures has all needs met. I can depend on the LORD to provide all. He provides all and in His care I am secure.
I notice that He restores my soul, leads me in paths of righteousness for His Name sake.  As followers of Christ we are separate from the world. There is a difference between us and the non-Christians in our goals, lifestyles and values. God has set forth the standard what is right and what is sin. He wrote the handbook for living and it is the Bible. In Christ we are saved by grace and then from then on we seek to live a God honoring life as decribed in the Bible. So when God says it is sin to commit murder, lie, steal, live in drunkenness or commit adultery we believe Him and do things His way. He says marriage is only between one man and one woman and that for life, and that the marriage bed is to be kept undefiled, God  says fornication which is sex outside of marriage is sin, we believe Him and live accordingly. If we claim His name "Christian" we have an obligation to live like Christ would have us live. We should be careful to not drag His Holy name in the dirt.  Hebrews 12:14 -Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord
The valley of the shadow of death , I will fear no evil - The valley of the shadow of death could well mean our own passing through death but the "shadow of death" could also be an illness that we or a  loved one is experiencing, or the death of someone close to us.  The LORD holds us in life and in death. And we need not be afraid when He is with us. It says "Thou art with me". I believe that nothing can come into our lives (as believers) except that God gives the OK so to speak for it to come. If a hardship comes into our lives, He is not taken by surprise and He already knows how He plans to use it for good  in us if we will allow Him to. Satan plans for hardships to  destroy us but God uses hardships in us to teach us to trust Him more and more and to make us stronger in Him.
He prepares a table before me in the presence of my enemies - we look forward to the marriage supper of the Lamb when we as His bride will be in His presence for eternity. Overflowing blessing will be there for those who remain faithful to Him to the end.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.
What a blessed hope we have that He is preparing a home for each of us in Heaven that someday when our life is over down here we will go to dwell with Him forever. That is the most exciting thought ever!
John 14: 2-3
2In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.
 3And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

My Baby has Down Syndrome..

My baby has down syndrome...my baby is now a teenager but that was the shocking news that we received when she was born more than 13 years ago. With this news also came a lot of questions and uncertainty. Questions reguarding her health and the future. Now more that 13 years along this jouney I am happy to say that she has brought  much joy and blessing into our lives as well as into the lives of friends, family and of  those at school and church. God is at work in all of our lives and He has a plan for each of our lives and He can use every one of us regardless of our handicaps to bring blessing and hope to those around us. God has taught me many lessons by giving me the gift of our daughter.
Examples: (1)  Love your child for who he or she is without comparing them to others.
(2) It's not all about the life that we live here. This short little time that we have here on earth is so small compared to eternity to come that it is so important to keep our eyes on Jesus and our eternal home with Him there. (3) Be thankful for what we have  rather than focus on the "not going to happen sort of things".
 (4) Expectations and goals set up for my child by others is not necessarily what is best for her or what she needs.
(5) In Heaven she will not have a disability - she will be free to express her love to Jesus without the limitations of now.
And probably most important is that God made her exactly who He wanted her to be.  She is equal to every one else in His eyes - fearfully and wonderfully made.
Psalm 139: 13-17
13For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother's womb.
 14I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.
 15My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.
 16Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them.
 17How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them!
I feel honored to have been called by God to be her mother! Thank-you Heavenly Father for this wonderful gift that you have allowed into my life.

Monday, 9 April 2012

The Last Days??

Many people ask this question today - Are we in the last days of history in the world we know? or When will the end of the world be? While no one knows the day or the time of the end of the world, in the Bible we find specific things that we can look for that tell us the time is drawing closer. In 2 Timothy 3:1-5 is a description of what society will be like in the last days. What things in the passage coincide with what we see all around us on the evening news or in our own neighborhoods today? 2Timothy 3:1-5 1This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.
 2For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,
 3Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,
 4Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;
 5Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.
We see many, many of these being played out daily ..let's just take covetous for an example, people want  to have what others have or to be what some celebrity is so they purchase the latest products and gadgets to keep up with friends or celebrities , and thereby increase their debt loads to unbearable levels. Lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God - God requires that he has first place in our hearts and lives and so when we allow our desires for pleasure to get in front we are sinning against our Father in Heaven.
Also in Matthew 24 is an excellent discription of what the world will look like just prior to Christ's return.
Matthew 24: 5-12
5For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.
 6And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.
 7For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.
 8All these are the beginning of sorrows.
 9Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name's sake.
 10And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another.
 11And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.
 12And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.
Look in verse 6 where it says there will be wars and rumors of wars. According to verse 7, there will be famines, earthquakes and pestilence. Pestilence is widespread infectious fatal disease - perhaps something like swine flu or bird flu or even possibly AIDS.  We see and hear of these things happening pretty much every day on the news. 
Other things to look for is the introduction of a cashless society, the Antichrist coming onto the world stage and setting up a peace treaty with Israel.  Israel became a nation in 1948 fulfuilling Bible prophecy, and there is an ever increasing threat of war in the middle east so all these things that the Bible tells us to look for are beginning to take place.
So the most important question to answer is not when will all this happen? ... but rather... have you come to Christ and accepted Him into your heart and life, and repented of your sin, believing that He died for you on the cross, rose again on the third day and He is the only way to Heaven?  This is the way to be prepared for all that is to come. Have you made sure that you will be ready to meet Jesus when He comes? Do so today.

Sunday, 8 April 2012

Christ the Lord is Risen!

Today is Easter Sunday, the day we celebrate that Jesus rose from the dead! He was crucified and died for us there on the cross to redeem us to the Father. He rose from the grave and the tomb where His friends buried Him  is empty and our Savior lives. Jesus defeated death for us by His ressurection.

Luke 23:33
 33And when they were come to the place, which is called Calvary, there they crucified him, and the malefactors, one on the right hand, and the other on the left.
Luke 23:46
 46And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit: and having said thus, he gave up the ghost.
Luke 23:50,52
50And, behold, there was a man named Joseph, a counsellor; and he was a good man, and a just:
52This man went unto Pilate, and begged the body of Jesus.
53And he took it down, and wrapped it in linen, and laid it in a sepulchre that was hewn in stone, wherein never man before was laid.
Luke 24: 1-8
1Now upon the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they came unto the sepulchre, bringing the spices which they had prepared, and certain others with them.
 2And they found the stone rolled away from the sepulchre.
 3And they entered in, and found not the body of the Lord Jesus.
 4And it came to pass, as they were much perplexed thereabout, behold, two men stood by them in shining garments:
 5And as they were afraid, and bowed down their faces to the earth, they said unto them, Why seek ye the living among the dead?
 6He is not here, but is risen: remember how he spake unto you when he was yet in Galilee,
 7Saying, The Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.
 8And they remembered his words,

Jesus appeared to two men travelling , and walked along with them but they did not recognize Him as Jesus.  They talked about all that had happened and when they got to their destination they were about to eat together, their eyes were opened to understand that it was Jesus there with then and then Jesus vanished from their sight.
Luke 24: 33-34
 33And they rose up the same hour, and returned to Jerusalem, and found the eleven gathered together, and them that were with them,
 34Saying, The Lord is risen indeed, and hath appeared to Simon.
Luke 24:36
36And as they thus spake, Jesus himself stood in the midst of them, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you.

Jesus ate some broiled fish and talked with those there.

Luke 24:45-48
45Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures,
 46And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behooved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day:
 47And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.
 48And ye are witnesses of these things.

Christ is Risen! Amen!

Saturday, 7 April 2012

My Dad, a man of God

From time to time I want to share stories here about people and events that have impacted my life in various ways. This will include my parents, family, friends, school, church etc. Many times it is the little things that have happen that create the special memories in our lives. It is my hope that if in years to come my decendants will want to know what their ancestors were like they can look here on my blog and find some stories of things that have happened in the past. Today I want to share a bit about my Dad and I am sure much more will follow in the days to come. My Dad passed away in 2004 after a courageous battle with cancer. There are many life lessons we can learn from our parents, some of the lessons would be spoken words and others would just be from what we have observed from them over the years. Proverbs 1:8,9 says -
 8My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother:
 9For they shall be an ornament of grace unto thy head, and chains about thy neck.

As I think about my Dad, I wonder how he became the gentle, kind and generous man that he was. I wonder if being a Dad to six little girls would help build those characteristics into a man.  He loved my mother , he could make my mom's eyes twinkle beautifully like nothing else except  his tender love ever could. He was fun to be around, joking around with us girls often times. But he was faithful to the calling of God on his life as a husband and father and a preacher of the gospel. We lived out in the country on a small farm milking cows and selling the cream and farming some land.
Now to start with a few special memories - I remember as a little girl oftentimes playing hair dressup with him. He would sit on the chair and allow me and my sister to give him a "hairdo".  We would comb his hair anyway we wanted and pin it up with bobby pins. Usually we would end off the hairdressing session by adorning him with a kerchief just like my mother would always wear. That was so much fun for us. Or he would sit on a chair in the kitchen and stretch out his legs and we would use his legs as a slide. - Climb up onto his lap and slide down over and over. Also very fun. One day I remember we had company over and my Dad and his guest were in the basement visiting.  I ( his little girl) decided to go downstairs also but I took a huge tumble down the stairs but guess what - Dad was right there at the bottom of the stairs ready to catch me before I got down too far and I didn't get hurt at all.  One time my Mom had her ironing board out and had been ironing clothes. I didn't know that the iron was still hot and I placed my whole hand flat on the iron. Why I would do such is beyond me but as I remember my Dad spent the rest of the evening tending to my hand, helping me to cool it and keep me comfortable. That is just the kind of man he was - always thinking of others.
His tender spirit would show up from time to time. I can still see him in my mind sitting on his favorite chair in the livingroom listening to a record on the old record player. ( Now we have CDs but back then we had records and eight track cassettes) I can see him sitting there listening to his record of Jim Reeves singing the song "Daddy, my Daddy teach me how to pray" The song was about a little boy coming and asking his Dad to teach him how to pray. The lines went something like -"........ You've taught me lots today, You brought me home a brand new kite and taught me how to fly, there ain't no other kid whose Dad can knock a ball so high, I want to thank God for you, but I don't know what to say - So Daddy, my Daddy, teach me how to pray......." It was a really nice gentle song and I saw my Dad fight back the tears every time he would hear that song play. It seemed that it touched his heart as a Father in a special way.
More to come on "Dad" another day but the song  sang by Jim Reeves holds true for me too as I think of my Dad -  "I want to thank God for you" 

Thursday, 5 April 2012

Easter - God keeps His Promises!

One super great character of God is that he knows the end of things before the beginning even happens. He knows what we will need and His promises stand for all time. In the very  beginning when God created all things, he created Adam and Eve and placed them in the garden of Eden to live. In the first couple of chapters in the book of  Genesis the story unfolds of the creation and how God tells Adam and Eve they can eat of any trees in the garden except the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Genesis 2:17 -But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die. But in chapter 3 of Genesis, satan disguised as a snake ( notice that satan always disguises himself and lies but pretends to represent truth) he comes to Eve and tempts her to eat of the fruit of that tree and she does and also gives to Adam and he eats. That is the first sin and ever since then the relationship that God had intended for us to have with Him has been broken. God is holy. Sin cannot dwell in His presence  so sin has to be dealt with. God knew this would happen to Adam and Eve and He had a plan in place ( even from before the beginning of time) to restore them and us  to Himself again. So in Genesis 3:14 &15 God has a word for satan and He promises us the Savior. -And the LORD God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life:           15And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.  Throughout the Old Testament God remembers His promise to send a Savior who will die for us and provide a way of salvation for us. One such passage is found in Isaiah 7:14 " Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel."       and that of course was fulfilled when Jesus was born of the virgin Mary. God also fortold of Jesus's death and ressurection and He has kept all his promises there too. In Psalm 22 is  a good description of the crucifixion of Jesus. For example Psalm 22:1 and also verse 18. 1My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? why art thou so far from helping me, and from the words of my roaring ...18They part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture. In the gospels we find the complete story of the death and ressurection of Jesus our Savior.
The fulfillment of the promises and prophecy of God is sure. It's not a matter of maybe God will do what He has said - we can depend on Him to keep his Word 100%.  We are waiting now for God to fulfill His promise that Jesus will return to earth again in His second coming. We do not know when He is coming but we do know for sure that He is coming back.  Revelation 22: 12 and 13 says And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.  13I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.
So this Easter I want to remember Jesus that He came as a baby born of the virgin Mary, He is the promised Messiah that God sent to die on the cross for us to redeem us back to Himself. Jesus  rose from the dead on the third day and ascended to Heaven.  Now we wait for His return for us His children and so we shall forever be with the LORD!
Happy Easter to all!

Tuesday, 3 April 2012


Baptism was an important step for me as a Christian. It is something that I wanted to do even though it was  somewhat nerve racking on many levels. It meant going public with my decision to become a Christian and live for Christ for the rest of my days. In the church that I attended with my parents and family, there were some steps that were followed in the process of preparing for the day of baptism. So the first thing I had to do was to ask my Dad to be my first witness and that he give my name to the clergy as a candidate. I also needed to get a second person to stand as a witness for me in my decision and so I asked  Mr Wieler to do that for me.  My church required that we study the Catechism to get a general picture of living as a person of faith. The church I attended with my family was very small so I decided to proceed with the process of preparing for baptism in a church of the same denomination as ours but was about an hour's drive away from our home church, where there were some thirty other persons also preparing to be baptized. So for several Sundays prior to Baptism Sunday we would go forward together as a group during the morning worship service and the preacher lead us through a study of the Catechism. The Catechism is a book of questions and answers based on the Bible. Finally the day of baptism arrived and it was June 1, 1980.
There were a few questions that were asked, basically allowing us to proclaim faith in Jesus as individuals there. One question that was asked that I remember in a significant way was from the story of Lazarus getting raised from the dead, based on John 11: 19 -28 ... 19And many of the Jews came to Martha and Mary, to comfort them concerning their brother.
 20Then Martha, as soon as she heard that Jesus was coming, went and met him: but Mary sat still in the house.
 21Then said Martha unto Jesus, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died.
 22But I know, that even now, whatsoever thou wilt ask of God, God will give it thee.
 23Jesus saith unto her, Thy brother shall rise again.
 24Martha saith unto him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day.
 25Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:
 26And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?
 27She saith unto him, Yea, Lord: I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world.
  The Bishop quoted Jesus'  question to Martha from verses 25 and 26  where it says .. 25Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:
 26And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?  .......and he specifically asked the question -" Do you also believe this?  and to  which I was able to answer -Yes.  And so I was baptized on the confession of my faith ( that Jesus died for me and is my Savior ) with Bishop John A Friesen pouring water on me in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost. 

Galatians 2:20  - I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

Monday, 2 April 2012

Coming to Jesus!

In  an earlier post I wrote a bit about the beginning points of my journey of faith. During my childhood I did have some level of faith and sense of the presence of God with me. Sometimes I would pretend that Jesus was holding my hand and we would run around together as I played outside. I would pray to Jesus and ask Him for help at school. But in my early teen years I began to feel the urge inside my to get the matter of faith settled. I knew that there is heaven and there is hell and that when we die we will be in either one of those two places depnding on what we have done with Jesus here on earth.  I wanted to be sure that heaven would be my home. My best school friend Nettie was from the Pentecostal church and would often talk of how she couldn't wait to be raptured and to be with Jesus.  I knew that I wasn't in as close a relationship with Jesus as she was but I wanted to be. My parents did a great job in exposing our family to the Bible. On Sundays we would go to church and then in the afternoon they would tune in for the Hour of Decision program with Billy Graham on the radio and on Wednesday evenings we would always listen to Dr Manfred George Gutzke.  Every evening my Dad would read to us from the Bible. So it is plain to see that I have been very blessed to have had all these opportunities to hear the gospel. When my sister started reading her Bible, I also decided to read my Bible simply because she did. I remember one particular Sunday riding with my parents in their 1976 blue chevy pick-up truck and of course my Dad again turned on the radio to listen to a Christian program. The topic of discussion was about putting off the old self and putting on the new as found in Colossians 3:9 - Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds;  and Colossians 3:10 -And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him. I found that stuck in my mind though I did not understand it much. And so it went on for a while, the Holy Spirit was nudging me from various sources. Every Sunday Billy Graham would say " are you sure that if you died tonight you would go to Heaven, you can be sure".  Billy would say that even if I had been the only person in the world that needed saving, Jesus still would have went to the cross and died just for me. That is an amazing love. John 3:16 says : For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. I understood that Jesus took my sins, my judgement and the hell that I deserve and he bore it all for me on the cross and died for me. I wanted to be sure that Jesus is my Savior and that I would be in Heaven when I die so I prayed and asked Jesus to be my personal Savior and Lord.  He has come into my heart and I am happy to say that I belong to Jesus!
To be continued .... with my Baptism

Sunday, 1 April 2012

Prayer Matthew 6:9-13

9After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.
 10Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
 11Give us this day our daily bread.
 12And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
 13And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.

Thy will be done Father, nothing more, nothing less, nothing else. Amen