Thursday, 31 May 2012

Our Family Traditions....

Phillipians 2:1-2 says If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies,  Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.

As I thought about our family traditions, I realized how traditions are so often connected with holidays, special occasions and food. I also realized that in the now almost 21 years of marriage to my husband that we have not developed nearly as many of our own family traditions as I would have liked. Though it may not be much, I still feel it is important to acknowledge the traditions we have for what they are.
One tradition we have developed in our family here is that we have Mennonite pancakes for lunch every Saturday. Allow me to describe the Mennonite pancake. The batter is made similar to regular breakfast pancakes (flour, salt, eggs, margarine, and milk) but with no baking powder or baking soda and more milk is needed to make the batter quite thin. About 1/2 cup of batter is poured in a large hot greasy frying pan, making the pancake as large as the bottom of the frying pan. Flip the pancake to fry so it is fried on both sides. Serve. Sprinkle with white sugar, roll up the pancake and enjoy. Most people can only eat about two of these pancakes at a mealtime since they are so large. Most of our family really really enjoys this so that is why we made it a regular every Saturday lunch treat.

Some other family traditions we have tried to create is to celebrate the short life of our baby Darcy on the day of the birth by eating an ice-cream treat called revels. It is vanilla ice-cream covered in a chocolate coating. The revel seemed to make sense to use as a remembrance because what child does not like to eat ice-cream on their birthday? Also the white ice-cream part represents life while the dark chocolate represents the sorrow of having to lose baby Darcy to death. We did celebrate that way for many years but as the years have gone by it is something we have not been able to keep up.

We also started a tradition to celebrate Mother's day with a special more expensive type of ice-cream for breakfast on Mother's day. The kids loved it when they were younger to have ice cream for breakfast. Recently I was reading in my kid's early school years journals and it was interesting to read there how important that was to them in those elementary school years to have ice-cream for breakfast on Mother's Day. That too is something we have not kept up though I still always try to do something special for the family for Mother's day because I appreciate the fact that they are my children. So this past Mother's day I purchased a large tin of Tim Hortons coffee as my part to make Mother's day a little special for us all. We go through a lot of coffee in our house now since the boys are all mostly grown up so that worked out well.

When the kids were younger we also tried to make a tradition of celebrating Canada Day on July 1 every year by going to see the fireworks display in one of our local communities. It was nice to do that but the mosquitoes are so bad at night most years. It doesn't get dark enough here for fireworks till at least 10:30 pm or later so it was always a really long wait for our young children back then.

For birthdays I usually make a special supper and a cake for the person whose birthday it is. We put candles on the cake and sing Happy Birthday. When our kids were younger the local Coop Food store and also the IGA store had what they refered to as kid's club. So then for birthdays, the store would give each child a decorated birthday cake and often a small toy. That was quite special for them to get that every year while they were young.  We always ended up having a lot of cake around on our twins birthday - two boys and two cakes!!

One other tradition I will mention is Christmas. Perhaps when it gets close to Christmas I will post more about Christmases past. In our family we have carried on the tradition that I grew up with in my family which was to not have a Christmas tree at Christmas. My parents taught me and my sisters that the tree does not make it Christmas.  It is actually kind of fun when people find out that we do not have a tree because the usual question that follows is - Do you not celebrate Christmas?  and it is nice to be able to say -Yes we do celebrate Christmas, the birth of Jesus but we do not need to have a tree for that. Then they will ask if we share gifts which we definitely do. We usually put up a few Christmas lights on the outside of the house and I put up a few in the house as well.

In hindsight, I wish I would have been more diligent with creating traditions. I wish I could have passed on the German language to my children but that was not meant to be.  Traditions  help to create memories that no one can take from you - memories are  treasures you can take with you wherever life takes you.

Psalm 90: 1-2 says  Lord, thou hast been our dwelling place in all generations.
Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God.

I like the words on a poster at our kids school. It says:

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

If the Stones could speak...

There are many important Bible stories and passages where a stone or stones are a  part of the story. Wouldn't it be interesting if stones could speak and share what they saw? The good news is we don't really need the stones to share with us what happened since it is all recorded for us in our Bibles. We can  think of various examples like the story where Moses was instructed by God to cut out two stone tablets and bring them up the to Mount Sinai and there God Himself wrote out the ten commandments on those stone tablets. It says they were written with the finger of God.  We can also read where God required  the death penalty for people found guilty of certain deliberate sins such as blasphemy, a wizard, some sexual sins etc. But also, just as today, stones were also used as a memorial  as in the book of Joshua where each of the twelve tribes of Israel were instructed to pick up one stone from the river Jordan, pile them in a heap on the land as a lasting remembrance that  they crossed through the Jordan on dry land.  Joshua 4: 7 That the waters of Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the Lord; when it passed over Jordan, the waters of Jordan were cut off: and these stones shall be for a memorial unto the children of Israel for ever.
 Today also we use stones to mark a memorial or we place a huge stone as a reminder of a new covenant after a break and then restoration of a relationship.

But what I wanted to draw attention to is to look at the story of the stone used at the tomb of our Lord Jesus. We have all heard the question asked - Can God make a stone so big that He cannot move it?  I believe nothing is too hard for the LORD so that question is really irrelevant.
We read in the gospels how Jesus had been wrongly accused, and had been crucified. After Jesus died, his friend Joseph of Arimathaea took the body of Jesus down from the cross, wrapped the  body in linen cloths and laid Him in the sepulchre and rolled a huge stone in place. Mark 15:46  And he bought fine linen, and took him down, and wrapped him in the linen, and laid him in a sepulchre which was hewn out of a rock, and rolled a stone unto the door of the sepulchre. - It would seem at this point that Satan would have thought he had won. Satan's plan all along was to spoil the plan of God and prevent salvation for us to be possible, and so with Jesus being now dead and safely in the tomb, a huge stone rolled in place, Satan will have felt pretty confident at this point that he had won and  there would be no way Jesus could get up and out of there. I am thinking that Satan would have been having a party with his demon friends at this point. BUT that is not the end of the story. If the stone could tell us what happened next, it could testify that an angel came and rolled that stone away. Death could not keep Jesus, neither could a huge stone.  Jesus did not need the stone to be rolled away for Him to be able to get out but we needed it rolled away so that the women could go in there and testify to Jesus resurrection. We can see that the women who were coming to anoint the body of Jesus were worried and wondering who could  move the stone for them. Mark 16: 1-4 says:
 And when the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, had bought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint him.
And very early in the morning the first day of the week, they came unto the sepulchre at the rising of the sun.
And they said among themselves, Who shall roll us away the stone from the door of the sepulchre?
And when they looked, they saw that the stone was rolled away: for it was very great.
The women enter the sepulchre and to their surprise an angel  is in there and tells them that Jesus is risen and is alive. Verse 6 - And he saith unto them, Be not affrighted: Ye seek Jesus of Nazareth, which was crucified: he is risen; he is not here: behold the place where they laid him
I have often thought as I've read this about the parallel of the huge stone to worry or fear in our lives about the future. Just  as this huge stone was an obstacle for the women so my worries or fear is an obstacle to true faith -faith that trusts God for a good outcome even though present circumstances appear otherwise. I think of  verse 4 again where it says  when they looked, the stone had already been rolled away. So I also choose to trust that as I look to my Saviour and put my trust in Him, He will supply every need and work things out to the glory of His Name.
Romans 8:28  And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

Monday, 28 May 2012

Sermon Review - "How Great is our Good Shepherd" ( Updated )

Sermon Review - "How Great is our Good Shepherd"   May 27, 2012   ( Updated  with lyrics from a song by "Sanctus Real" )

Preview - Have you ever felt alone and abondoned in your troubles and it seems as if God is not taking care of your situation? You ask - If He is the Good Shepherd, why does He seem distant from me in my struggles. The preacher went on to discuss his own experience of a concussion due to a mountain biking accident and the struggle to recover and feeling some abandonment from the Lord during this time. He reminded us that Jesus went through  more abandonment -(betrayal and loss of loved ones, suffering on the cross) than any of us will ever experience. The Lord cares for us. Matthew 6:26 -Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?
The preacher proceeded to read the text from John 10 : 1-21 ( posted at the bottom) .
He discussed  the job of shepherding and what it involved. It is a 24/7 job, not glamorous, sheep are defenseless and unintelligent and need a constant protector. A shepherd must have a genuine love for the sheep, protecting them from danger with his own life at stake. At night a shepherd would bring the sheep into an enclosed area. The shepherd would physically lie down in the doorway and guard the door and the sheep with his own life. verse 7 - Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep

Three Reasons Jesus is that Shepherd:
1) He Cares and Knows us intimately - knows everything about us, knows us better than we know ourselves, loves us like His sons, knows us by name. A shepherd knows his sheep by name, not just as a number in a herd, he knows when and where he got each sheep.
2) He Protects the Flock - He guards the lives of the sheep with His own life, will stay and fight for his own sheep while a hired hand would leave the sheep when he fears for his own life. A hired hand would flee in a dangerous situation thinking he could get another job elsewhere. verse 13 -The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep.
3) He Provides - Jesus gives us what we need. Sheep need water, food and safety. We are needy, and a lost people whom Jesus came to save. Why would we die in sin when we can come to Jesus? Sin separated us from God  but through Christ we can be brought back to God into relationship with Him again. Jesus gave His life for us for that purpose.
Analogy of the mother Octopus: The mother octopus will find a safe place to lay her eggs. She will not leave the eggs for anything, not for food, not for water, but stays by the eggs the entire time to care for them and protect them from danger.  By the time the day draws near for the eggs to hatch, a mother octopus will be weakened to the point that she dies. She is devoted to those eggs and she gives up her life up for the life of her children. The  first meal the baby octopus will eat is the remains of his mother.  So also Jesus loves, guards and protects us as His children and He gave us His life so that we may have life to the full. verse 11 -  I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep
Please take the time to read John 10:1-21, as there we can see "How Great our Good Shepherd" really is

John 10 : 1-21
Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber.
But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep.
To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out.
And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice.
And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers.
This parable spake Jesus unto them: but they understood not what things they were which he spake unto them.
Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep.
All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers: but the sheep did not hear them.
I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.
10 The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.
11 I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.

12 But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep.
13 The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep.
14 I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.
15 As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep.
16 And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.
17 Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again.
18 No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.
19 There was a division therefore again among the Jews for these sayings.
20 And many of them said, He hath a devil, and is mad; why hear ye him?
21 Others said, These are not the words of him that hath a devil. Can a devil open the eyes of the blind?

The sermon ended with the preacher reading the lyrics to a fitting song by "Sanctus Real".  The song lyrics are as follows:

       Everything About You
Be my light in this darkened room
I'm on my face and I'm calling you
I can't fathom all you've done for me
Everytime it finds me on my knees

Like sunlight in the winter cold

Everything about you, it takes my breath
I tried this once without you and it was my
Great mistake...Hallelujah

Questions fade when you invade
You chase all my fears away
With your love in my atmosphere
All confusion disappears

And nothing but your truth remains

Questions fade, you remain
You are color on a page of white, bright
Like eyes beneath black lights
Like a glowing city on the plains, you call
My name


Sunday, 27 May 2012

Sunday Sermons

I have been thinking that I would like to write a weekly blog post regarding the Sunday sermon from the church we attend as a family. I will try to write the post either on a Sunday afternoon or Monday, depending on when time allows me to write.  I would like to weekly post some of the  basic points of the sermon in the church we attend. Today we were not in our own home church since our son was invited to preach today at one of the churches in our area. We wanted to show our support for him so we attended that service instead of the one in our home church. He preached on Jesus the Good Shepherd. So tomorrow I hope to give some points of the message.

Friday, 25 May 2012

Our God is Greater and Higher than any other!

I don't know if you have ever had the chance to meet someone famous. I have not. The only thing remotely close would be several years ago when Franklin Graham and his team were in Winnipeg for a crusade. We took our family to the crusade two nights to hear Mr Graham  preach. I remember I felt sort of in awe to actually see him in person from a distance. To be in the same building as the famous preacher was kind of an exciting feeling. I felt small and insignificant. But Franklin Graham is human, just as I am and really God's love is the same for the both of us. All of us humans are sinners, and in need of the Saviour Jesus Christ. So when I think of the who really is great - it is only God alone who deserves our worship.  Psalm 99:5 says Exalt ye the Lord our God, and worship at his footstool; for he is holy. We are able to understand  the point that we should worship God, after all He is God .....but then to think that He actually also wants to be in relationship with us. That is simply amazing!! To think that God Almighty, the I AM God, God from everlasting to everlasting, the God who made the whole world and keeps it in place  welcomes us to come to Him.   We feel like such insignificant human beings and yet He loves us so. God treats us with so much love and grace every day.  He wants us to come boldly to Him in prayer with our burdens and requests and lay our lives down before Him. Hebrews 4:16 16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.  We do not need to try to pretend anything before God, we can come just as we are and He is pleased that we have come and He is more than willing to communicate with us, be our best friend and meet all of our longings. Jeremiah 29:13 says  And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.
He saves all who come to Him in repentance believing in Jesus as the only Saviour. And He is preparing a home for us to live with Him throughout all eternity! It can't get any better than that!! John 14 verses 1-3 talk about the mansion He is preparing for us:
 Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.
In 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.
And 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.

We see that there is no person that can ever compare to God Almightly, the LORD of all!

Isaiah 6 1-8 gives a good description of God on the throne, and how the heavenly beings worship Him. He alone is worthy of our worship!!
In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple.
Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly.
And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory.
And the posts of the door moved at the voice of him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke.
Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts.
Then flew one of the seraphims unto me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar:
And he laid it upon my mouth, and said, Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged.
Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me.

Thursday, 24 May 2012

The Beauty of Nature

The beauty of nature constantly reminds me of God. God who created everything in six days and rested on the seventh day. Whether you consider the beauty of the mountains, large oceans, waterfalls, or the stillness of white fluffy clouds floating across the blue sky, it is all breathtaking in beauty. Psalm 19:1 says - The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork. I am one that enjoys nature - watching animals, birds, winged creatures, or the flowing of a river.  I find it all quite intriguing. Growing up on my parent's farm I could sit  by the chick incubator for hours and watch the baby chicks wiggle their way out of the eggs. Or to see a baby calf try to stand up on his wobbly legs for the first time. Or to watch kittens fight and play. God has made it all so interesting and it all fits together exactly.
We live out in the country here with our two dogs and a cat. A small river runs by our property and there is bush. My husband has made a trail through the bush so that we can walk or ride through it to see the river and just enjoy the quietness of being in a bush. Together with our dogs, I often go walking on the trail and make my way around through the bush and see the river. It gives me a chance to become quiet and reflective before the Lord and commune with Him with very few distractions.  It's not always equally  easy or peaceful as right now there are some little green worms that have spun a web and they dangle down from the smaller tree branches. I try hard to avoid them.  Sometimes the mosquitoes get bad and there are woodticks as well. One day recently as I was walking and singing praise to the Lord, I noticed how the birds in the trees were also singing their praises to God as well. It almost seemed like we were in a band together praising God. Sometimes there are geese or ducks on the river or flying gracefully overhead above the trees. One day as we were riding the trail together we saw a black bear down by the river bank but thankfully it hasn't been back though it was beautiful to see. 
One thing that I have specifically noticed and delights my heart is the detail of it all. If I pick a wild flower perhaps even from a weed such as a thistle or a pink wild rose flower, God has made even the wild flowers with perfection. Even if no person will ever see it, there it is, every petal formed perfectly. It seems as if God has made it for His own delight. Now compare all that with how He loves and cares for us His children. He has created us each one special in his or her own way, and He has a plan and purpose for each of our lives. Not only that but Jesus died in our place so that we can be saved and someday share in the beauty of Heaven. I often think that if God has placed so much care and detail  and beauty into creating things in this world that will pass away -think of  How Beautiful Heaven must be!

Isaiah 61:11 For as the earth bringeth forth her bud, and as the garden causeth the things that are sown in it to spring forth; so the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations.
Psalm 146:2 2 While I live will I praise the Lord: I will sing praises unto my God while I have any being.I found this Wild Rose so I snapped a picture! So pretty!

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Happy Birthday to my Twin Sons!

Happy Birthday to my twin boys! You guys turned 20 today! Wow! Where did all the time go?

7 months
 3 John 1:4 - I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.

May 23rd 1992 in the afternoon, you guys came into this world and were refered to as Twin A and Twin B in the hospital. Twin A came into the world at 8 pounds and 11 ounces. Eight minutes later Twin B arrived weighing in at 5 pounds 13 ounces and suddenly life had turned very busy for these new parents.

Twin A - you've grown into a fine handsome young man. You are smart and determined, and the Lord has gifted you to be a leader. You are someone that a person can rely on to be true to your word. The Lord has great plans for you for your life. I pray you would always seek to live for Him according to His Word.  You've done great work at McDonald's learning to do every job there working your way into management. I pray the Lord will continue to guide and bless you as you go to college in the fall. God bless you son!

Twin B - you've grown up so fast, you're handsome and winsome. You are smart and kindhearted and God has gifted you with leadership skills and a love for people. The Lord has lead you into camp ministry and you have been able to develop your skills in leadership, in music and the mountain biking program there the last several years.  You have heard the call that the Lord has placed on your life to be a preacher of  the gospel and to work in His kingdom. I praise God that you have yielded to His call. Two years of Bible College done and two more years to go. I pray that you would always seek God to please Him and that all you do be done for Him. He will guide you in all your life. God bless you son!

I claim Philippians 1: 6  for both of you my twin sons and also for the other two in our family:
 Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ
Love from Mom

Heavenly Father, Thank-you for the children that you have entrusted into my care. I ask you to guide them, each one and protect them and keep them in Your care, That each one would live for You alone, In Jesus Name, amen.

Monday, 21 May 2012

The Collapse of a Nation

Jesus tells us to be a people who are alert and watching what is going on and prepare for future events. In Matthew 24: Jesus uses the fig tree to illustrate that we can know what we have to look forward to.  If we see a fig tree putting forth leaves we can know summer is near. Matthew 24:32  Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh:
This reminds me of the message I heard on the radio this morning on Turning Point with Pastor David Jeremiah. He was discussing the moral decline in America and where it fits in with Bible prophecy. What caught my attention was when he explained that there is a pattern that nations follow and history has shown that it takes approximately 200 years for a nation to move through the steps coming out of bondage and ending up in bondage once again.  He mentioned Rome, Greece and Babylon having collapsed due to greed. So I wanted to share the list of the steps that David Jeremiah listed and the question he asked was - In which of the stages listed are we presently living? He suggested it would be in the bottom half of the list.

So here are the steps he listed:
1) come out of bondage to
2) spiritual faith to
3) great courage to
4) liberty to
5) abundance to
6) complacency to
7) apathy to
8) dependance to
9) back to bondage

I would suggest anyone interested in hearing the sermon by David Jeremiah to go to Oneplace.com and you can find the Turning Point ministry listed there. I would highly recommend listening to his teaching on end time prophecies.

Sunday, 20 May 2012

Mistakes at home and school...

It is safe to say that we all make mistakes. It is also true that we learn from the mistakes we make. The mistakes we made as children can actually be a benefit to us if we are able to learn from them.  In childhood the consequences are usually much more minor than they are in adulthood. The Bible says that we all fall in many ways. James 3:2 -For in many things we offend all. If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body.
I am thinking about a few specific instances in my growing up years where I did wrong and I think that through these mistakes I learned that it is better to do right from the start.
The first situation happened while I was quite young, probably around seven years old. As I have mentioned in some of my earlier posts, I have five sisters. This one particular sunny day my mom and older sisters were doing laundry. I had been in the house with them and it seemed that one of my sisters was having a particularly hard day and was having a hard time being cheerful and was downright grumpy. So I went outside to play. I noticed my other sister at the old well, hand pumping water to take to the house. I decided to giver her a fair warning about my other sister's grumpy disposition so I called out to her "beware". My mom overheard me and asked me " Did you say that to her because of your other sister? - because if you did, I am going to give you a spanking". Mom knew it!  I did say that as a warning to my sister but I sure did not want a spanking so I lied.   I said " No, that is not why called out the warning to....beware".  I got away with my lie  that day and I did not get the spanking I deserved and she asked no further questions. The only problem was that I felt very very guilty. We had been taught that we should not lie and I had lied on purpose in an instant to avoid pain. I didn't do anything about it for a long while, just kept it inside me and the guilt rose up inside every time I thought about it. I finally confessed to my Mom several years later. She laughed about it when I told her but to this day I remember it so well. I learned that lying and being untruthful makes me miserable. I learned that I need to face up to my wrong actions.

The second incident involved cheating on a school test. in grade 8. I usually studied hard, tried to be honest and kind and did pretty reasonable on my assignments and tests.  I can still see where I was sitting in the classroom writing the test. As I remember the teacher was Mr Revel who gave the class the test. One question puzzled me and I did not know the anwer. I looked over to the student's paper on the desk across the isle and I saw the answer that student had chosen. I marked down the same answer and felt confident that I had made the right choice. A few days later, the teacher had marked the tests and returned them to the class. To my disappointment, the question that I had cheated on was marked wrong.  From then on I knew that rather than looking over at my neighbor's papers, I would just take an honest guess if I did not know the answer on a test. Cheating did not help me at all. I believe it was to my benefit that I did not get the right answer there and I got it wrong as I deserved.

The last situation I am thinking about also happened in school in grade 9. It was in Mr. Switzer's class. Mr Switzer assigned work to the class and with orders that we were all to stay in our desks till he returned as he needed to step out for just a couple of minutes. As you may know from some of my earlier posts, I was very good friends with a girl named Nettie. So when Mr Switzer left the room I got out of my desk and went over to Nettie's  desk to help her with a few questions. I was not the only student who disobeyed but when Mr Switzer walked in and saw us out of our desks he was understandably upset. He said " Everyone of you who was out of your desk has detention at noon today. You know who you are and I know who you are so I will see you at noon." I knew that I was guilty and I had been caught. So when noon time came, I went for detention. When he saw me walk in he said to me "you were not out of your desk, you do not have detention". This was confusing for me but what could I say?  I was willing to do my time but I was shown grace and let go inspite of my mistakes. I learned that it is better for me if I own up to my mistakes and am willing to face the consequences than to hide from it.  Proverbs 28:13 - He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy

The same is true in our relationship with God.  God wants us to come to Him and confess our sins to Him and repent of them and He will forgive us and cleanse us.     The Bible says in 1 John 1:9 -
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Friday, 18 May 2012

Household Faith??

In this post I want to explore "household faith".  It is something that I feel I would like to understand more fully. If anyone reading this post has some understanding or further insights of this topic I invite you to leave your thoughts in the comment section.
Recently I wrote a post about my Dad's final message to our family where he quoted Joshua 24:15 where it says .. choose you this day whom ye will serve; ...and.... but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.  I believe coming to faith is an individual personal experience but I am also wondering if it is possible for a father or the parents of the household to claim the family for the Lord and that somehow it would put a hedge of protection around the family that Satan then would not be able to easily penetrate? Another way of saying it,  would be to have a "roof" of protection over the entire family. I think it is very possible that this is true but perhaps many times not something that we see happening in our families today. God has placed responsibility on the shoulders of the parents and even more solidly on the shoulder of the father in the home as to what happens in a household. God has given each of us responsibility and requires us to do our part in the family unit.
As I look in my Bible and ponder what it says, I think there must be something there - the idea of "household" faith. Please allow me to quote some passages :

(1)  The first one is in Genesis 48: 5-6 where Jacob claims the two sons of Joseph namely Ephraim and Manasseh as his own sons to be in the clan of 12. -Genesis 48: 5-6 says :
5 And now thy two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh, which were born unto thee in the land of Egypt before I came unto thee into Egypt, are mine; as Reuben and Simeon, they shall be mine.
 6 And thy issue, which thou begettest after them, shall be thine, and shall be called after the name of their brethren in their inheritance.

(2)  In John 4 Jesus heals a nobleman's son and after the healing it says in verse 53: 53 So the father knew that it was at the same hour, in the which Jesus said unto him, Thy son liveth: and himself believed, and his whole house.

(3)  Acts 10 describes a man by the name of Cornelius, a centurian of the Italian band and it says in verse 2 that he was  "A devout man, and one that feared God with all his house, which gave much alms to the people, and prayed to God alway."

(4)  Acts 16 tells of a woman named Lydia whose heart the Lord touched and in verse 15 it says : And when she was baptized, and her household, she besought us, saying, If ye have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come into my house, and abide there. And she constrained us.

(5)  In the latter part of Acts 16, Paul and Silas land up in prison. There in prison they pray and sing praises to God and the other prisoners hear them. Then when the prison doors are opened up by an earthquake, the jailor is frightened and about to kill himself, but Paul and Silas lead him to the Lord to salvation and in verses 33 and 34 it says:
33 And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes; and was baptized, he and all his, straightway.
 34 And when he had brought them into his house, he set meat before them, and rejoiced, believing in God with all his house.

(6)  And one final example would be in Acts 18:8 where a man named Crispus is saved: 8 And Crispus, the chief ruler of the synagogue, believed on the Lord with all his house; and many of the Corinthians hearing believed, and were baptized.

What a wonderful blessing indeed to have an entire household saved and living for the LORD!
Again I would invite comments if anyone out there has some insights into the topic of "household faith".

The Hope of Resurrection!

As Christians, we believe in the resurrection. We believe that Jesus died on the cross, was buried, and rose on the third day. The Bible teaches that we also will be resurrected - all people who have died or will yet die will be resurrected. Acts 24: 15 talks about this resurrection: 15 And have hope toward God, which they themselves also allow, that there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust.
So having this hope in us that we will surely be resurrected, what difference does it make in us today as to how we live our lives from day to day? To know that this life is not all there is, but that there surely is a life hereafter, creates a desire and determination within us to do what pleases God and to be found acceptable to Him. Verse 16 of Acts chapter 24 says : 16 And herein do I exercise myself, to have always a conscience void to offence toward God, and toward men.
So we Paul says here that he makes sure (and so should we) that he lives in such a way as to have a conscience void of offence toward God and men. This would indicate that we keep short accounts with God and the people around us. This of course means repenting before God of our wrong doings, receiving forgiveness through the blood of Jesus. It is also doing right to the people around us, living by the golden rule which is found in Matthew 7:12 - 12 Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.
We are also instructed to live in peace in Romans 12:18 - 18 If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.
Living in a right relationship with God and with the Lord Jesus, and working at living in right relationship with the people around us helps us to be prepared and ready to meet God whenever our appointed time comes.

An  interesting to note to add would be that both of these passages include the importance of the Law and the Prophets.
14 But this I confess unto thee, that after the way which they call heresy, so worship I the God of my fathers, believing all things which are written in the law and in the prophets:   and in Matthew 7:12  Jesus uses that very phrase.
12 Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Dad's final message to the family

In this post I want to share about my Dad's final message to the family. It was Christmas 2003. None of us knew that this would be our last Christmas together but it seemed that Dad knew it. We were all gathered together to celebrate Christmas at my parents home. Everyone had been able to make it out to be together for Christmas, that being all  24 of us in total. The dinner meal was finished and we all gathered in the livingroom for an afternoon of visiting and sharing and giving gifts.
Dad's health had been slowly deteriorating since the diagnosis of cancer a year earlier. He had been through surgery for the cancer  and many chemotherapy treatments. Combine that with a  heart attack that  had weakened his heart and having battled diabetes for years, he was not a strong man any more. He was getting weaker and walked with a cane. We all loved him very dearly and we hoped that he would be able to regain his strength and health and perhaps live to see his grandchildren grow up.
As we were all sitting there, suddenly Dad rose to his feet and it was clear it was time for all of us to stop visiting and listen up. It was sort of frightening because with him being so weak, any stress that he placed upon himself could trigger another heart attack. But leaning on his cane, he began to speak from the book of Joshua chapter 24: 14-15 where it says :
14 Now therefore fear the Lord, and serve him in sincerity and in truth: and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood, and in Egypt; and serve ye the Lord.

15 And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.

Dad specifically wanted to stress that we as his family were to serve the LORD.  It was his desire that after he would be gone that we should all continue to live for Christ. He was choosing that for all of us though it is a choice we must each make as individuals. In a sense it was a challenge to us but it seemed more like a "gathering in of the flock".  Somewhat like if a hen gathers her chicks together to safety under her wings.
Tears flowed freely as he spoke to us. We all knew how hard it was for him to give that message to us in his condition but we are so thankful that he left us with those words and that memory.
A few weeks later in January, the cancer broke his leg and he was not able to walk anymore. He spent most of the next six months in the hospital in paliative care, where they had to increase the pain medication and his mind was not nearly so clear  anymore.  His love for all the family continued especially making an effort to bless  his grandchildren  who were very precious to him and he would always say goodbye to each one by name when they visited him in the hosptial. He passed away in July of 2004.
 It's been a while Dad, but we'll see you up there in glory when we all get to Heaven. We'll be together again.

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Fuel for the Soul!

The other day I went to the gas station to fill up the family van. The tank was mostly empty again. As I stood there filling in the gasoline, it reminded me of the importance of filling up our spiritual tanks regulary.  Just as we can not run our vehicles very far on an empty tank, neither can we live in victory as Christians if we do not take time with the Lord daily. It is important that as individuals we spend time reading our Bibles and praying every day. A person might say " I am too busy to read and pray, I have a lot to get done today." But from my own experience I can tell you that time with God is never time wasted. There is really nothing else as sweet as being in God's presence in personal time with Him. Someone has said that if we are too busy to read our Bibles and pray everyday then we are just too busy. I would say that for me, the day goes better if I make my time with the Lord a real priority.
The Bible likens feeding our souls to the intake of food or milk. In John 6:35 Jesus says : " I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst."
Jesus satisfies our deepest longings and needs. No one can do this except Jesus. When we take the Word into our own life and apply it to ourselves personally, we are really blessed.
In 1 Peter 2:2 it says - As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:  Just as a baby needs milk in order to grow and mature so we also need the milk of God's Word to grow in our Christian walk. We begin with milk and grow and mature in our faith and come to need the meat of the Word.
Someone may say - But what if I cannot remember what I have read, what does it help me?  When we put the Word of God in our minds through Bible reading, it slowly grows us and shapes us into right thinking and helps us to live a  God-honoring life. We need the consistant intake of God's Word to become  more and more like Jesus. Consider the  nourishing of our physical bodies with food, we cannot remember either what we have had for lunch or supper a couple of days ago but still it has nurtured us and helped us and carried us till our next meal. So it is also in our spiritual life. It helps us immediately and also in the long-term.
The Bible says in 2 Timothy  that the Bible is written by the inspiration of God Himself.
2 Timothy 3:15-17 says
15 And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.

16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

17 That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.

As Woodrow Kroll says - God only wrote one book and He'd be pleased to have us read it.

Monday, 14 May 2012

Hope for the Disappointed Heart...

Disappointment. It comes to all of us in varying degrees in all stages of our lives. Recently I was getting groceries in our small local grocery store where the owners and cashiers know everyone who shop there. The cashier made small talk asking how I was doing. Then I also asked her how she was and her response was "not too bad for a Monday, I guess" she said.  Simply stated she was struggling with some sort of disappointment that had occured in her life, possibly over the weekend. Feelings of discouragement on a Monday is sometimes even referred to as the "Monday blues".
Disappointment comes in all different forms and in varying degrees. A farmer might be discouaraged when the weather is unfavorable to his growing crops. One might become discouraged due to loss of a job or a business deal lost but probably most often discouragement come from our relationships with people. People disappoint one another and that can be really hard.
Sometimes we become discouraged when we try to do good for another person or persons and they do not even acknowledge it even with a small word of thanks. Perhaps they may even treat us with scorn for having tried to do good to them. We feel that we have put time and energy into our effort to bless that person  and now we feel we have been rejected or have been taken for granted. It is at a time such as this that it is important to remember that all we do as a Christian is really done unto the Lord and guess what?? - He saw it all! and because He saw it and we did it for Him anyway - our time and efforts are not wasted!! Or if we have been treated in an unfair or unkind way, God sees that also. In His quiet whisper he reassures us that He has not forgotten us and He sees our pain and He will take care of it. We must leave the outcome to Him.
Colosians 3:17 says: 17 And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.
and  Matthew 10:42 says-
42 And whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones a cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple, verily I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose his reward.

So we see that our reward is in Heaven, and if our efforts are not appreciated here, we need not be discouraged or disappointed. God sees and God knows and He will make things right in the end. The reward that God will give us is better by far than any human recognition or reward. So we must wait for Him and entrust ourselves to Him.

In the school that our children attend, there is a poster that says: It's okay to be mad but not to be mean. Sometimes disappointments can make us upset as we can read from the life of David in the Bible.

In the life of King David, we see how he experienced a disappointing situation in 1 Samuel 25 and 26. David and his servants had been watching over David's sheep in the wilderness and at the same time had also been providing security and safety for the servants and flocks of a man named Nabal. Under the watchful eye of David and his men, no harm had come to any of Nabal's servants or sheep. So at the time of sheep shearing, David sends his men to Nabal and requests that Nabal give something to him in exchange for his efforts of protecting Nabal's sheep. Nabal rejects David's request and refuses to give any good thing to David and his men. David is very upset. So David and 400 of his men prepare for battle with Nabal. When Nabal's wife hears what is going on she quickly prepares a gift of food for David, which she brings to him before David and his men of war can arrive at Nabal and Abigail's farm.
1 Samuel 25: 18 Then Abigail made haste, and took two hundred loaves, and two bottles of wine, and five sheep ready dressed, and five measures of parched corn, and an hundred clusters of raisins, and two hundred cakes of figs, and laid them on asses.
19 And she said unto her servants, Go on before me; behold, I come after you. But she told not her husband Nabal.
David accepts the gifts of food from Abigail and conflict is avoided. But God is not done with Nabal and so in the morning Abigail tells Nabal what she did. God showed his displeasure of Nabal's behavior. Even though David was satisfied with Abigail's reconciliation efforts, God was not and He took it a step further. God took care of Nabal and it says " the LORD smote Nabal that he died."
37 But it came to pass in the morning, when the wine was gone out of Nabal, and his wife had told him these things, that his heart died within him, and he became as a stone.
38 And it came to pass about ten days after, that the Lord smote Nabal, that he died.

We don't ever need to wonder whether God sees what is happening to us. He sees. He knows. He cares. He will take care of us in our disapppointing situations of life and years down the road we will look back and it is then we will be able to see how He carried us.

The song " God will Take Care of you" says it well:
Original Trinity Hymnal, #696

Be not dismayed whate'er betide,
God will take care of you;
Beneath his wings of love abide,
God will take care of you;

God will take care of you;
Through ev'ry day, o'er all the way;
He will take care of you,
God will take care of you.

Through days of toil when heart doth fail,
God will take care of you;
When dangers fierce your path assail,
God will take care of you.

All you may need he will provide,
God will take care of you;
Trust him and you will be satisfied,
God will take care of you.

No matter what may be the test,
God will take care of you;
Lean, weary one, upon his breast,
God will take care of you.

Friday, 11 May 2012

Obama takes a stand against God's View on Marriage...

This week President Obama made history when he went on national televison and said that believes in same sex marriage. I am a Canadian so normally I would not comment on  American politics or on President Obama but this is a matter of faith. It appears that President Obama has taken a direct stand against God and the Bible.
It is God who created the whole world and everyone in it and it is God who has the authority to say what is classified as right living and what is sin. Marriage is God's plan and it involves only 1 man and 1 woman bound together till death parts the union. Genesis 2:24 - 24 Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.

In the past hundred years or more, God has raised up many evangelists and preachers from the United States and has sent them out into the entire world to preach the gospel of salvation through Jesus Christ. We can think of even preachers of our day such as Billy Graham, David Jeremiah, Franklin Graham, James McDonald, John Piper, John McArthur, Vernon McGee, John McTernnan, Woodrow Kroll and others who faithfully teach the Bible and many have come to know Jesus through their ministries. So we can see that the United States of America plays a big role in God's preordained plan for the world to give everyone a chance to be saved. But now it seems that America is turning away from God and is no longer willing to lead the world as a Christian country that other countries and leaders can look to for direction and support. It is my hope that many true Christian leaders will now take a firm stand against homosexuality. It is disturbing to see what is happening to the United States going down this path away from the clear teachings of the Bible. One might say that Obama only speaks for himself so it doesn't matter but this is not the case. While doing his interview on ABC news, President Obama said that he and Michelle his wife are practicing Christians. If one is a practicing Christian, then a person will look to the Bible for direction and seek to do what the Bible says even if it is the unpopular stand to take. Christians seek to please Christ and obey the written Word of God. Instead of taking a stand for the Bible and righteousness so that other Christians also can stand stronger together, Obama causes division within the body of Christ by opposing the Bible's stand on homosexuality. It is a dangerous thing to oppose God and place one's own ideas above that of the Scriptures.
Romans 1:24-32 is somewhat a longer passage but I will post it since it is worth reading -

Romans 1: 24-32 says
24 Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:
25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.
26 For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:
27 And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.
28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;
29 Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers,
30 Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,
31 Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful:
32 Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.

I find it odd that President Obama would come to his evolving conclusions on gay marriage by looking at his daughters and their friends. He says his daughters would find it unthinkable that somehow their friends gay parents were different. Well, if Obama is a Christian as he says he is, then the right thing to do would be to teach his daughters what the Bible says about homosexuality and tell them that since God says homosexuality is sin - it is SIN, regardless if others are doing it, homosexuality is sin and will bring the judgment of God on those who do it and those who support those who do it UNLESS they come in repentance to God and find forgiveness through the blood of Jesus Christ.

1 Corinthians 6:9
Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals,

May God have mercy on us especially on those of us who love Him and look for His appearing.

Thursday, 10 May 2012

Me and the children God gave us.....

As I have shared in earlier posts, I consider myself blessed to be a mother. As I grew to adulthood, the desire in my heart to be a mother grew stronger. I believe it is God who gave me that desire in my heart in order to prepare me for the work He had in store for me to do. God put the desire in my heart to love, nourish, cherish and cuddle our little babies and it is only in His strength that I seek to be the mom that God wants me to be - to raise my children for Him and for his kingdom work.
  Phillipians 4:13 - I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.
My experiences as a mother began with becoming pregnant and giving birth to our twin baby
 boys. That made for a very busy and a super fun time as they began to develop their own identities. Son #1  (referred to as twin A in the hospital) has brown hair and brown eyes like his father, while son #2 ( referred to as twin B in the hospital) has blonde hair and blue eyes similiar to me his mom. God made them twins, but not identical. They are both smart, both have the gift of leadership but God has lead them in differing paths son #1 into studying business management and son #2 into studying for Christian ministry. Next God gave us our baby Darcy who passed away within my womb. To have my baby die was hard for me and I confess that I do not understand why such hardships come but I do trust that my baby is safe with Jesus in heaven and someday we will all be together there. I hope to hear Darcy call me "mom" even just one time there in the sweet by and by where we shall meet on that beautiful shore. After this the Lord again blessed us with another baby boy, blonde with big blue eyes, but smart and mechanically minded like his dad. Son #3 is still in school but helps his dad in the business. Then God had plans for another baby for us, this time a baby girl, brown hair, brown eyes like her daddy. This baby is special in her own way as she was born with down snydrome and cannot do many things other little girls can. The doctor who delivered her, also a man of faith, said God had a special little girl He needed to give to someone and He picked me to be her mom. I consider it an honor and precious responsibility to be blessed with each one of these our children. We have dedicated each one to the Lord and I firmly believe that God has begun a good work in each of them and He will perfect it until the day we all meet Jesus in death or at His glorious return.
Phillipians 1:6
Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

A Mother's Day Card

In a few days, we will be celebrating Mother's Day. Children are a gift from God. Mother's Day is a day to honor our moms but I also feel that it is a day that I want to celebrate the fact that God has given me the privelege of being a mom and so I like to reflect on the blessings that my children are to me.
I thought I might share some parts of a card that my son #2 made for me for Mother's Day when he was in elementary school. I like to keep special things and writings that my children have made at school. I hope anyone reading this will be blessed.

It is a hand made card with hand drawn pictures, colored with crayons, hand printed, etc.

On the front cover is a picture of a bear holding flowers and the bear says "Look Mom I picked flowers for you!" Happy Mother's Day!.
Then inside the card is : A Recipe for a Marvelous Mom
1/2 cup of love
1 tsp. of spice
1 dash of sweetness
1 Tbsp. of hugs
1 pinch of patience
1 litre of kindness

Mix the love and hugs in a bowl. Pour in the litre of kindness and tsp of spice. Throw in dash of sweetness and pinch of patience. Take out the lumps and pour it into a mould.
Turn over  the mould and out comes a Marvelous Mom!
Thank-you son #2 for this card that I treasure.

Heavenly Father, Thank-You for the wonderful children that You have given to me and have given me the privelege of being their mom. I love each one and each one is precious to me but I realize that they are even more loved and precious to You.  Amen.

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

As in the days of Noah...

The Bible teaches that just prior to the return of the Lord Jesus, the world will be in a similar condition as it was in the days of Noah when God destroyed the world with the flood and also as in the days of Lot when God sent fire on Sodom and Gomorrah and destroyed everyone in those wicked cities.  So the question is - Is our world heading into those kinds of conditions and is the world about to fall uder the judgement of the Almighty God?

 Luke 17:26-30 says -  And as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man. They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all.  Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded; But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all.  Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed.

 1. Why is it that Noah was spared in his day and Lot also was spared when Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed? 
2. And secondly what was it that made God decide to destroy the world in the flood and the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah?
In Genesis 6:8-9 we find the answer to question 1? Why was Noah spared? - verse 8 " But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD " and verse 9 -
 Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God.
The answer is that Noah lived for the LORD and this pleased God very much.  Noah was doing right and living faithfully to God  in the midst of all the evil around him so God in His grace provided the ark and everything  that was needed for Noah in order to spare him and protect him from the judgement that God was sending on the wicked people. God did not destroy the righteous ones, He only destroyed the people who were living in their wickedness. Only Noah, Noah's wife, their 3 sons and the sons wives were saved alive, that is 8 people in all.

In 2 Peter 2 we read that Lot was a just and righteous man living among the wicked people of Sodom. Verses 7-8 say
And delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked:
(For that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds;)
So we see also  that Lot was living for the Lord and God saved him and his wife and two daughters. They escaped the city before God sent the fire down upon it.

Now question 2 - What kinds of evil was it that brought these judgements to fall?
 Violence - Genesis 6:13 says ....for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth.
 People were carrying on without a thought for the things of the LORD - Luke 17:27 They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all.
Ungodly, filthy conversation, wicked, unlawfull deeds - according to 2 Peter chapter 2

Homosexual practices - Genesis 19: 4-5 describes the sexual addictions of the people of the city -   Before they had gone to bed, all the men from every part of the city of Sodom —both young and old—surrounded the house. They called to Lot, “Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us so that we can have sex with them.” Genesis 18:20 -
20 And the Lord said, Because the cry of Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is very grievous;

So we see that God does not take sin lightly. It says their sin is very grievous and I believe that God finds sin grievous today also. When He looks down at our world today, He sees the same things happening as what caused Him to decide to destroy the world in the flood in the days of Noah and also to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah. Violence, homosexuality, drunkenness, immorality, ungodliness, and filthiness is all around us. This is exactly what the entertainment business makes it's money on and it is what people want to fill their minds with day in and day out. It is time to repent of these evils and cry out to God for mercy. Today is the day to come to Jesus for salvation. It would seem to make sense that the judgments are near but we know our God, the God of the Bible will defend and protect us who are His children. He is mighty to save!

2 Peter 3:9 - The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

Monday, 7 May 2012

Grandpa Herman...a gentleman

As I have said before, sometimes the goal of a post that I write is simply to document a little bit about people in my life. Hopefully it will help someone someday down the road to feel a connection with their ancestors. So today I am thinking about Grandpa Herman. He was the father to my Dad. Grandpa Herman was born in 1902 and married my grandmother when he was 19 years old. One of my sisters were born the same day as was his birthday so it was quite special to her that she shared a birthday with Grandpa. Grandpa Herman passed away in 1974, also after a courageous battle with cancer.
I often think that it is in the moments when we think no one is watching us that we do things that people will remember us for. That is exactly the case with my Grandpa Herman. He was a gentleman and I know it to be true because as a young girl I saw him treat his wife ( my Grandma ) with kindness. Here is what I saw. Grandpa and Grandma only came to visit us in our home very very seldomly, but I will never forget this one particular time. They were getting a bit elderly already, they came with their old pickup truck. So in order to help Grandma get in and out of the truck, Grandpa kept a small step stool in the back of the truck. He would open the door of the truck and carefully placed the step stool at the entrance to the truck and lovingly help Grandma in and out of the truck. We all know how a man will treat his girlfriend or young wife as a queen in the early days but this was not the early days for them but Grandpa took care of her as though it was. When I think about Grandpa Herman, this is the mark he left on my life.
I remember Grandpa Herman as a quiet man with a soft voice. He was of a small build, a slender face and always wore denim overalls. I do not remember ever seeing him dressed up in a suit ( though pictures do show him dressed in a suit.) In the earlier years he drove a very old model truck but later in life he drove a beige colored Ford 196? shortbox pickup truck. I remember that truck pretty well since my Dad bought that particular truck at Grandpa's auction and so we used it around the farm at home. I would use it while fixing fences and the dog was always glad to catch a ride with me. Lots of memories with Grandpa's truck.
We would visit Grandpa and Grandma regularly for family get-togethers but then I would spend my time with my cousins there. Things were different though when it was just our family there to visit. Grandpa Herman never travelled much ( other than some time spent in Mexico and then the journey to Paraguay that the Mennonites made) but I'm thinking perhaps he would have liked to see the world. He would get out his special viewmaster and reels to go with it and allow me and my sisters to see his pictures. That made me feel special also. The viewmaster was one of his treasures.
Times were tough for Grandpa Herman trying to raise a family in the 1930's. There was a terrible drought here in Canada in the 1930's known as the "dirty thirties" when it became very hard to make a living. My Dad sometimes spoke of  how it was so dry that  the dust would blow around and form drifts sort of like in a snowstorm. I also know that tragedy hit Grandpa and Grandma's home when their son Herman died when he was just 17 years old.  My Dad had a picture of this brother Herman. I can only  imagine the pain of losing your precious child at the age of 17 and how hard it would be to move forward from such a heartbreaking event.  But Grandpa Herman was a person of faith, living his life for the Lord Jesus. So knowing that,  I know that God will have provided the strength needed for them to smile again. After all Jesus did come to heal the brokenhearted as it says in Luke 4:18 - 18 The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,

I have good memories of Grandpa Herman and precious indeed.

Friday, 4 May 2012

What really matters?

Sometimes people will say that God seems so far away or that they feel like God doesn't really speak to them. The truth is that God is interested in us and that He does care to speak to us. The main way that He speaks to us is through the written Word of God which is the Bible. It is God's Word to us. He speaks to us through the Bible. We just need to get to a quiet place and begin to read. God says that His Word will not come back empty.
In Mark chapter 8 verses 36 -37, Jesus speaks these words - He asks these questions.
36 For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?
 37 Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?
What is the point that Jesus is getting at here? We know that each of us is a body and we each have a soul. Our soul is the part of us where we think and reason - the "real" part of us and the soul is eternal. The body is the part of us that gets old. Sometimes when a person has a birthday especially a more elderly person, you will hear them say -" I feel like I should only be 30 yet" when in fact the birthday is more like maybe 70's. A person will feel this way because the soul doesn't get old. We only feel age in our bodies.  It is only the body that begins to show age and as much as one may try to hide the aging process, no one can escape it.
The body will die but the soul never dies. At death, the soul is released from the body and goes straight to eternity. If we have accepted Christ as our Saviour from sin through the finished work that  He did for us on the cross, then the soul goes directly into the presence of God and Heaven.  If on the other hand a person has rejected Christ and one has never commited his or her life to Jesus, then that soul will face eternal condemnation in the only other place and that is hell.
So Jesus is asking us to consider - is there any point at all to trying to gain the world here and not take care of our eternal destination. A person may have the best richest house in the world,a mansion  or the biggest farm or business, drive the most expensive car, you could be a famous actor, or a  celebrity of sorts, maybe an NFL football player or the President or Prime Minister of a country or the Queen of England. The list of possibilities is endless. BUT if you have all these earthly possessions or power, whatever possible thing there is out there in this world  and if you don't have Jesus as your Saviour, all is lost. Riches and position in life will not be enough to get anyone into Heaven. The only "ticket" so to speak that will get you into Heaven is Jesus - that you commit your entire life to Him, nothing held back. So we need Jesus, Jesus only! There isn't anything in this world that is any value at all in comparison to the value of our soul. Make your decision for Jesus today and let's be ready to meet Him.

Thursday, 3 May 2012

Burdens to bear...allergies

Galatians chapter 6 contains some interesting points to ponder. In verse 2 it says we are to bear one another's burdens -Galatians 6:2 - " 2Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ." but then a few verses farther in verse 5 it says everyone must bear his own burden. Verse 5: -"5For every man shall bear his own burden."  This is not a contadiction but what does this mean? 
Many of us carry burdens of various sorts but let's just take a health issue as an example. There are many different health issues one could consider -such as arthritis, diabetes, cancer, or allergies such as to pollen in the spring, or to milk as I am or to gluten.  I want to consider a gluten allergy since a member in my  family ( that is my husband) carries that burden.  Gluten is found in food that is made with wheat, barley, and most oatmeal. No amount of gluten in the diet is acceptable. The diet must be completely gluten free.  That means that a person with an intolerance to gluten must avoid eating any regular breads, pasta, cereals, cakes, cookies, crackers, desserts as well as always looking for hidden gluten in foods such as in deli meats, hotdogs, sausages, and sauces.  Reading the ingredient list on a food item is highly important as well as knowing what is meant by certain words. Going out to eat in a restaurant, to family gatherings  or church meal is quite challenging because one needs to know what the ingredients are in any given dish that is served. So in one way of looking at this, gluten intolerance it is a type of burden to bear. Not an impossible task but something that one needs to be thinking about day in and day out.  This is a burden that I (as his wife) can help my husband to bear. I can do my part to help by cooking meals at home that are gluten free. We eat at home as much as possible. I can make buns, muffins and cakes gluten free.  I purchase regular white rice and grind it to flour at home which I then use to make chocolate chip cookies. Some extended family members enjoy the challenge of cooking this way occasionally and are glad to invite us over. Also it is becoming easier to find gluten free food products in the grocery stores as more and more people are being diagnosed with this problem. There are specialty health food stores that carry gluten free mixes for cakes, muffins, and pizza crust as well as gluten free pasta that is made from corn or rice.
On the other hand, in Galatians 6:5 it says - 5For every man shall bear his own burden.  Thinking again of the gluten allergy, it is burden he must bear on his own. One must constantly be trying to think positively and be thankful to be able to have the modified food though everyone else around is eating the regular pizza, or burgers, birthday cake, or pasta dish. One must be disciplined to eat right or suffer the consequences.
Christ gives us the strength we need to bear our burdens. We depend on Him to provide all our needs.

2 Corinthains12:9 - And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.