Sunday, December 16, 2007
My doctor’s office has a policy where they only call you if your test results are positive. On Friday I got home from work and there was a message for me from the doctor’s office asking me to call, but they had already closed up for the week-end when I called back. So, now I get to wait until Monday morning. I can’t wait that long! I JUST WANT TO KNOW!!! They tested for so many different things that I just want to know what they found- or if they found anything, or if they’re just calling to say “someone lost a glove-was it you?” or something equally trivial.
This has been stressing me out since I got the message- it’s all I can think about. The entire time the phone was ringing I found myself praying, and just asking God that it not be something serious. So, please pray that I can relax and actually get some sleep and be patient while I wait for Monday to come. I’m already exhausted- I don’t want to miss even more sleep, plus this is a big week-end for my swimmers as they’re at another meet and I need to keep my focus on them. (This is probably the first time in my life I’ve ever looked forward to the week-end being over!).
Saturday, December 08, 2007
As I spoke about in my last post, my relationship with Christ has been going well- I’m lacking in zeal no more! My devotions have been great and I really feel like I’m creating a deeper relationship with God. (I still haven’t found a new church yet, but I’ve been praying and I’m optimistic that God will lead me to the right one). So what have I found so discouraging? I feel like I have nothing of value to share. I’ll read all my regular blogs and get so much out of them. Verses or sentiments that people write about really touch me, and there are so many times when something I read will prompt me to study my Bible even more. I’ll sit down to write something and feel like I have absolutely nothing to say back. Somehow it just grew easier to say nothing at all then something boring and irrelevant.
Last week-end I had brunch with a friend who is also a recent university grad. Our topic of conversation was how this is a very uncertain time in our lives, with so many decisions to make and no idea what path our decisions would lead us down. My friend made the comment “I wish you could predict life”. I couldn’t help but think of my favourite verse. Even though we can’t predict life, as Christians we DO know that God has a plan for our lives- a plan to prosper us and not harm us, a plan to give us hope and a future. That’s something to be thankful for and carry in our hearts, especially with so many of us facing uncertainties.
In His Love-
Saturday, September 15, 2007
And the outcome? It was the best birthday present EVER!! I spent all week boating, relaxing and eating homemade lasagna and chocolate cookies! There was even a Dairy Queen ice cream birthday cake! I took a lot of pictures but right now they're not loading, so hopefully I can figure out the problem and have them up in a day or two.
I brought my Bible and some devotional readings along with me, and I spent a lot of afternoons relaxing in the back of the boat reading. I honestly feel like my relationship with God is back on track, if not stronger than ever. While my Muskoka vacation was a good thing, my vacation from a relationship with God this past month has been a BAD thing. It feels so great to be back on track and refreshed.
I wish I could write more but my bags still need to be unpacked. I'll end with a verse that I read earlier on in the week and just really stuck with me all week:
Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fevor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.
- Romans 12:11-12
In His Love-
Tuesday, August 07, 2007
So, that's why I haven't been posting again. THANK YOU for the prayers sent my way as I continue to struggle with forgiveness.
In His Healing Love-
Sunday, July 29, 2007
I’ve been struggling for a while with trying to forgive someone for something that they did to me. In my life, many people have hurt me or done something bad to me. Some have asked for forgiveness and/or apologized, and others haven’t bothered to do either, but I’ve always managed to forgive them. Conversely, I’ve also been the one to mess up, and I’ve been lucky enough to receive forgiveness.
To make a very long story short, years ago a member of a church I used to attend was caught talking about me in a not-so-positive way. This person wasn’t just a church member, but an elder, and a well-respected one. I swam for my university swim team for two seasons, until an injury forced me to retire. During my first year away at school, I joined this church, but with a heavy competition schedule, I was away competing an average of three week-ends a month. Whenever I was able to, I attended the Sunday meeting. I couldn’t go to the “College and Careers” group because they met on a Friday night, and I had practice Friday night and then again at 5:30 am on Saturday mornings.
A group of people who know me (including some family members) met this particular elder at a conference, and when they heard which church he was from, they asked him if he knew me. This is when the man started on a long and rambling speech about how I was a lackluster Christian, that my attendance was shabby at best, that I hadn’t shown any willingness to socialize with the other people my age and that he really didn’t want to be bothered with someone like me, who would only semi-commit themselves to attending church. Apparently, he also made a face like he was sucking on lemon when my name was first mentioned. Keep in mind, this was coming from my grandmother, so I’m sure she was softening the blow.
I never went back to that church (those who read my testimony last summer will remember that I didn’t go ANYWHERE for a while afterwards). About a year later, I saw this man in the grocery store, and I hid in the next aisle over until he left. To this day I’m so humiliated by what he said. It may sound immature to say that he hurt my feelings, but he did. I still feel tears welling up when I think about it. It frustrates me that he thought that about me, but what frustrates me the most is that he (or anyone else) never asked why I was hardly around. Now that I’m older, I can look back on the situation with better perspective than I could when I was eighteen and I realize now that I should have spoken to someone and explained my absence, and that I truly was doing the best I could. I guess hindsight really is 20/20.
The entire situation shook my faith. I don’t want to sound dramatic, but it really did shake me. I think I’ve done a good job so far of recovering, but for the past month it’s really been weighing on me. No matter how hard I try, I can’t forgive this person. It’s been YEARS, and I still feel so much anger when I think about it. I have a strong feeling the Lord has been putting this desire in my heart to forgive, but I just CAN’T. I want to, but I can’t- it still stings.
So, that’s what’s been happening with me this past month.
I read Matthew 7:1-5 this week, and I think it serves as such a great reminder that we shouldn’t judge others.
Struggling with forgiveness….
Love In Christ-
Friday, June 15, 2007
I couldn’t help but think about what would happen if we actually had to audition or interview to be Christians. What if we had to go one day to have a chat with God about why we should be saved? What are the strengths and weaknesses you would present to Him? I’ve picked two of each.
1) I’m very organized.
All my files are alphabetized, my closet is colour coordinated, when writing on my calendar or agenda I have a specific colour for each event (work, school stuff, fun stuff, reminders, etc), and everything has it’s spot. I’m not as rigid as I sound, and I won’t flip out if someone placed the “Bills” file between “school notes” and “taxes”, I just find that life flows so much better when everything is organized.
I like to organize my devotions. I keep a journal chronicling what I’ve read, any verses that really stuck out at me and any thoughts that I’ve been having. (Not only does this keep me on track with my devotions and readings, but it’s fun to flip through old journals from years ago!).
2) I’m very non-judgemental.
I hate it when people judge others, and I tend to very rarely judge people. As a result, I think that this makes me easy to talk to and confide in. Through working at the youth centre and coaching I’ve had a lot of great talks with kids who are going through problems, and even random classmates have confided to me in the past. I think as Christians it’s important for us to be accepting of others, and to not judge each other.
And now that I’ve made myself sound so wonderful (!!) ….
1) I always have a “full mouth”.
You know the expression “don’t bite off more than you can chew”? I usually don’t take on more than I can handle, but I am usually busy. At any given time I’ll be juggling participating in two different sports, hanging out with friends, a job (or two this summer!), classes and homework (not anymore!!), reading, writing, playing with my pets … finding the time to actually spend time with God, in prayer and in study, is often hard to do. (See, my organizational skills aren’t sounding quite so crazy anymore!).
2) I get tunnel-vision.
When I was still in school, most of my energy and focus went into class, my research and my job, and I didn’t work on anything else until these three were completely taken care of. Were those things important? Sure! But so are my friends, actually making a nutritious meal…and my relationship with Christ! Can I afford to take half an hour off each day to open my Bible? Yes, but sometimes it’s hard for me to do. I definitely need to work on not letting other important things slide.
While a relationship with Christ goes much deeper than organizing devotions, I still find it interesting how our individual differences can reflect where we fall short in our walk with God, and where we are strong. Luckily for us, God doesn’t care about our organizational skills or how busy we are, He loves us for who we are. He created us with our own individual strengths and weaknesses. That’s a bit of a re-assurance as I brace myself for that inevitable question next week.
"Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth".
- 2 Timothy 2:15
Love In Christ, from one very organized and very busy Christian-
Monday, June 11, 2007
I’m very lucky because at both my jobs, I enjoy the people I work with. Working at the barn, I work with a group of friends that I’ve known for fifteen years now. We knew each other when we were crazy kids tearing around on equally crazy ponies, and we’ve stayed friends because not only do we have a passion in common, but because after spending so much time together for so many years, we know each other incredibly well, and we all have an emotional attachment. How do we all maintain our friendship? Well, working together automatically ensures we spend a lot of time together, but our lunch hours are filled with constant laughing and conversation, we go out for dinners all the time, and our favourite time of year: the annual Christmas party. We MAKE time for each other, because we VALUE each other.
Sitting on my desk is a picture of me with two of my closest friends: two girls I swam with for many years. It was taken at our last swim meet before we went off to compete for separate universities. I love the picture because you can see that all 3 of us are just about to laugh, and I’ve had so many great times with those girls that every time I look at the picture, no matter how stressed, sad or angry I am, I always laugh. How did we become such close friends? Once again, it goes deeper than just a shared passion for a sport. We always roomed together when we travelled, and we you travel as much as we did, that adds up to a lot of nights in hotel rooms with nothing to do but hang out and talk. Our friendship grew, and I still talk to the two girls all the time.
My friendships are one of the most important things to me. When I got home from work tonight, I talked to my best friend tonight on the phone for almost an hour. She’s leaving tomorrow morning to work out in Alberta for the rest of the summer, and we’ve never spent a summer apart before. After I hung up, I thought about how much time people invest in relationships.
If a husband came home one day and told his wife that they should only spend time together for one hour on Sundays, most people would probably say that the marriage was doomed. Yet, that’s all the time that some people give to spending time with the Lord.
I’ve always known that I have a relationship with Christ, for I never really thought of it in terms of MAINTAINING a real relationship.
In John 15, we are referred to as the branches and Christ as the vine. I read my Bible today sitting on my parents’ deck, which is decorated with a couple of potted plants. If I had cut off one of the branches from one of the plants, I’m sure it would be dead, or well on its way by now, but the plant itself would still be alive and blossoming. The vine takes care of its branches, sustaining it with the proper food and nutrients it needs to survive, but the vine doesn’t NEED each individual branch in order to survive. Just like a branch, we need to constant contact with our vine, the Lord Jesus Christ.
I am the vine, you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.
- John 15:5
**Note: while none of these girls are Christians (except for my best friend, who is an incredibly strong Christian), they are all incredibly supportive of my lifestyle and choices.
Hhhmm....I've been kind of long-winded tonight! I guess that's what happens after a week (eep!) of not posting!
In His Love-
Monday, June 04, 2007
I’ve been thinking a lot about spiritual happiness lately. When we’re young, other people help to control our walk with Christ- parents that take you to church every Sunday, Sunday School teachers who teach you, etc. But as we get older, the responsibility to maintain a relationship with Christ lays more and more on us. I’ll be honest: I’ve been avoiding that responsibility for a while now. After exams were done and I’d moved back home, I was hoping that the stress of school would finally wear off, and instead it’s just been transferred to stress about finding a permanent job, deciding what to do in September….and the list continues. Somewhere along the way, I started to let my devotions, readings and fellowship and time with other Christians slide. Making matters worse is the fact that my Bible group fell apart this summer because all the other members moved away. I try not to take it personally-haha. For those of you who don’t know, I attend a small assembly, and with hardly anyone else my age that attends, my Bible study group of fellow women in our twenties came to mean a lot to me.
After my uncharacteristic period of moping around wore off, I decided to make some changes, starting first with were I attend. Sitting on my desk beside me is a list of local churches, so I think I might spend the next few Sundays church hopping. This decision led to a whole new set of problems: my parents and grandparents attend my current assembly. In fact, we started going there because that’s where my parents took my sister and me when our former church fell apart. Apparently my decision to possibly change churches has upset my parents, who feel as though there will be hurt feelings all around if I leave.
This led me to two thoughts I’ve been pondering over: am I being selfish? And…. is it ok to be selfish when seeking fulfillment in Christ? I’m feeling a little stale, I miss the company of people my own age, and I think I’m ready for a change, even if it’s just for a little while. Seems simple enough, but I’ve been changing my mind every two seconds over what to do!
Now that I’ve finished rambling and complaining (nobody’s perfect right?!), I’ll close with sharing the chorus from one of my favourite hymns, “At Calvary”. We sang it at church on Sunday, and I was playing it on the piano this afternoon too: “Mercy there was great, and grace was free; Pardon there was multiplied to me; There my burdened soul found liberty, at Calvary”. The last part about the burdened soul really hit home for me, because lately my soul has definitely been burdened!
Love In Christ-
Tuesday, May 22, 2007
Grace is defined in my Bible’s dictionary as “Unmerited favour, unearned benefit, undeserved kindness. God’s amazing gift of forgiveness of sin and power to live with dignity in the present and hope for the future”. The concept of grace shows up many times in the Bible. One of the first verses I had to memorize in Sunday School was Ephesians 2: 8-9: “For it is by grace you have been saved through faith- and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God-not by works, so that no one can boast”.
I’m thankful every day for God’s grace, but every once in a while I’ll really stop to think about it, and the idea of His forgiveness and grace is always overwhelms me. When I think of how many times I have sinned against Him, doubted Him, turned my back on Him …talk about an unmerited favour and an undeserved kindness!
And if by grace, then it is no longer by works; if it were, grace would no longer be grace.
- Romans 11:6
Later on in the song “Imagine”, John Lennon sings about all the people living for today. I’m all for seizing opportunities, taking chances and living each day as if it’s our last, but I much prefer to live life for my FOREVER with my Lord Jesus Christ, so that one day I can stand before Him and be proud of the life I’ve lived for Him.
We don’t need to imagine a world with a Heaven, because we already have one. I hope to see you all there!
The law was added so that the trespass might increase. But where sin increased, grace increased all the more, so that, just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
- Romans 5:20-21
Saved By His Grace-
Thank you to everyone who sent their congratulations when I posted earlier in the month that I had graduated, and a BIG thank you as well for all the prayers that were sent my way!
So, what's next for me? I still don't know yet-aahh! I've been accepted into some programs, and I'm still waiting to hear back from other programs...and a few job advertisements have caught my eye, so I'm just crossing my fingers, praying hard and waiting for God to reveal His plan to prosper me and not harm me!
In a comment in an earlier post (see how far behind I've gotten!?), "Hebrews 11:1" asked me where I worked for the summer, and that reminded me that I never really said what I was doing this summer. I'm actually working two jobs this summer. I'm going to back to the youth centre in Bells Corners (between Kanata and Ottawa) that I worked at last summer and I'm also working at a barn. I've worked there for years, but when I left for university I had to limit my work to the summer, and then when I started working at the youth centre I only filled in the odd shift at the barn. But, I've missed my friends and I missed the horses, so when I couldn't decide what job to take, I took them both! So far, I'm loving having both jobs, but I'm definitely sleeping soundly every night!
In His Love-
Monday, May 14, 2007
Isn't His creation beautiful!?!
Today was my first day back at work, so I can already feel my eyes wanting to close .... I took two weeks off before going back to work, and I think I got a little too used to sleeping in!
This past week actually hasn't been much of a vacation. I'm been frustrated about a lot of things, so thanks for all your words of encouragement! I've still got work to do tonight for my second job, but if I have time before bed, I'll post more, and if not, hopefully tomorrow!!
In His Love-
Tuesday, May 01, 2007
So much has happened since the last time I wrote, but I’ll stick to the big news for now…I am now a university graduate!!! I wrote my last exam Thursday morning, and I practically skipped out of the room when I was done! I now have my Bachelor of Physical Education (BPHE), hopefully with honours (I find out once my final marks are in).
I just moved back home on Sunday, so half my stuff is still in boxes, so once I unpack my Bible, I'll have more to say!
Also, a great big THANK YOU to everyone who prayed for me this year. It was a very trying and stressful year (although very successful as well!), so all of your prayers are more appreciated than you know!
In His Love;
Wednesday, April 11, 2007
The geese behind me in this picture were fighting moments before this was taken:
To give you an idea of how big this rock really is, I'm 5-foot-8 AND standing on another rock, and it's still taller than me:
I can't wait until the "muddy phase" of spring wears off and everything turns green!!
Hope everyone had a great Easter!
Enjoying His beautiful creation-
Sunday, April 01, 2007
With the rest of my exams looming ahead in a few short weeks, I should have spent the week-end working, but Saturday morning the sunny skies called me outside! It looks as though spring is here- all the snow is gone and the weather has been beautiful. A friend and I spent all Saturday afternoon hiking, it felt amazing to spend the day outside, soaking in the sun and enjoying God's beautiful creation! It reminded me of a song I used to sing all the time in Sunday School:
My God is so big, so strong and so mighty,
there's nothing my God cannot do.
The mountains are His, the valleys are His,
the stars are His handiwork too.
My God is so big, the so strong and so mighty,
there's nothing my God cannot do.
On the walk back home, I remarked to my friend about how much easier it is to study during the winter when it's cold and dark out, or on a rainy day when there isn't much to do outside. As guilty as I felt about taking the day off, I was having such a great time!
I was seriously considering going out for another hike when I woke up this morning, until I looked out the window and saw it was POURING rain out!! I had to laugh at the irony, seeing as I had just remarked yesterday about how it's easy to study when it's raining out. (And, I'm pleased to report, I got a lot done today!). I'd like to think of this week-end as a subtle reminder that while I need to relax, I also can't slack off too much!
"O Lord, be gracious to us; we long for you. Be our strength every morning, our salvation in time of distress"
- Isaiah 33:2
In His Love-
Thursday, March 29, 2007
"Teach me, O Lord, to follow your decrees; then I will keep them to the end. Give me understanding, and I will keep your law and obey it with all my heart".
- Psalm 119: 33-34
I'm heading back to work now, but PLEASE PRAY FOR ME FRIDAY MORNING!!!
Trusting In Him-
Saturday, March 24, 2007
For the past two weeks I've been travelling a lot to interviews for some summer jobs and a few internships for next year. Remember all the applications I was stressing myself out over in the fall? The good news is that I got called in for some interviews (prayers answered!), but the bad news is that this is "crunch time" for my school work, so I really couldn't afford to take almost two weeks off (prayers needed!).
I was hoping to get some posting done, but the few days I did spend at my apartment were filled with work, and apart from the few days I spent at my parents' house in Ottawa, I didn't have Internet access. The realization that I had a deadline for the paper with no Internet was quite a shock, but all's well that ends well!
When I got back today, I flipped my verse-a-day calendar to the right date and this was the verse:
"I have set the Lord always before me. Because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken".
- Psalms 16:8
I just got back from my last interview, so I'm off to play with Jack and unpack, but I promise it won't take me another two and a half weeks to return!
In His Love-
Tuesday, March 06, 2007
O what a foretaste of glory divine!
Heir of salvation, purchase of God,
Born of His Spirit, washed in His blood.
This is my story, this is my song,
Praising my Saviour all the day long;
This is my story, this is my song,
Praising my Saviour all the day long.
Perfect submission, perfect delight,
Visions of rapture now burst on my sight;
Angels descending, bring from above
Echoes of mercy, whispers of love.
Perfect submission, all is at rest,
I in my Saviour am happy and blest;
Watching and waiting, looking above,
Filled with His goodness, lost in His love.
- Franny J. Crosby
Last Monday was my first day back after a week off, so I really wasn’t too thrilled to be back in class (forget the seven year itch- after four years, I’m ready to graduate and move on!). I was trying to listen to the lecture as best I could though, when something really caught my attention. The professor was talking about the Christian Crusades, and all of a sudden started off on a tangent about how the Crusades prove that the root of Christianity is evil, and how she doesn’t trust anyone with strong religious beliefs, and so on. People who knew I was a Christian started glancing over to see what my reaction would be. I’ll admit- I was panicked. Part of me wanted to jump right in and defend Christianity, another part of me really didn’t feel like starting a massive argument, and the yet another part of me was just hoping the professor would quickly move on. I finally couldn’t take it anymore and tried to contradict her. I don’t remember actually what she said back to me, but it basically meant “I’m right, you’re wrong, now stop talking”. The rant continued, to her equating some radical Christians to ALL Christians, to which I stepped in again, only to be shot down. Then, I remembered a lecture last month in which the very same prof chastised another student in the class for making a generalization about another religious group, and how wrong it was to equate a few radicals with the entire religion. I made this point, to which she really had nothing to come back to, so I figured the discussion was over. Not so. The prof simply switched tactics, and started talking about how ridiculous the resurrection of Christ is, but her facts were flat-out wrong. I stepped in again, trying to correct her. I said I obviously disagree with her stand, but that if she’s going to rant, she should at least have her facts right. I think I’ve been marked as the rebel student! The worst part was that this particular prof and I disagree on a lot, and have debated in the past. Usually though half the class is with me; plus, I’m not one to start a hot debate, just join in. This time though, I was standing all alone.
For the next few days, I was plagued with guilt over how I didn’t step in right away and defend my faith with immediate confidence, and that part of me just felt like sinking down into my chair and becoming invisible. I’m completely comfortable sharing my faith with people who want to know, but I’m not one of those people who are upfront about it. “Hi, my name is Lauren and I’m a Christian” is not usually how I introduce myself! I’m more of an “actions speak louder than words” person. I really felt like I’d let God down, but He was a funny way of providing for us.
Remember my friend Jordan? I wrote about him about a month ago. He’s the one who’s found a list on the Internet of reasons that supposedly disprove Christianity. He asked me to explain some of the points to him, and every once in a while I’ll get a phone call or an e-mail with a quick question. Poor Jordan had the misfortune of bumping into me while I was still fuming over Monday morning’s class. We were talking over one point on the list, which was a Bible verse that had been clearly taken out of context. I issued Jordan a two-part challenge: 1) even if you don’t believe, open your mind to the possibility. Trying to learn with a closed mind is a waste of time and 2) Don’t form an opinion until you’ve heard both sides.
I got a call over the week-end from Jordan saying he’d gone out and bought a Bible! I was shocked! I asked him how come, and apparently my challenge made sense and he’s decided that if Christianity isn’t for him, at least it will be a decision made after he’s explored it. He asked if we could get together sometime and talk about what he’s been reading. I said sure, but I could call up someone else older and a bit more experienced if he wanted. He said no, because he’s already talked to some other Christians, but he likes that I don’t “Bible-thump” and I understand his doubts. What a confidence booster after a very long and trying week!!! I’d been praying all week about how upset I was over not being aggressive in my stand, and all along God had a plan to use my own witnessing style. Life really is so much easier when we place it in His hands isn’t it?! So, now I’ve been praying that God gives me the right words to use and opens Jordan’s heart.
Isn’t it funny how we all have different traits and personalities, and God uses them all? God is great!
So, apparently I’m very long-winded tonight! I’ll end here with a quick prayer request: please pray for me, and for Jordan!
In His Love-
Friday, March 02, 2007
This week has been so ridiculously insane. So much has happened, but right now I have a good book waiting for me (and it's not a textbook-woohoo!), a tea brewing and Jack is already curled up on a blanket on the couch, so I think I'll sit down this week-end and type more.
For now, though, I thought I would share two verses that have really stuck with me this week. I've tried to organize my daily devotions and readings in to a certain pattern, but sometimes the Lord has a funny way of slipping in a verse or two that I really needed to read or be reminded of!
But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not grow faint.
- Isaiah 40:31
Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.
- Matthew 22:37
I remember memorizing Matthew 22:37 in Sunday School!
I hope everyone who is stuck in this storm stays safe!
In His Love;
Thursday, February 22, 2007
Today I had to show my apartment to a girl who is interested in renting it next year. I was in the middle of taking her on the tour and talking on and on about all the great features of my apartment when it hit me: I won't be here next year. I've lived in this apartment for three years, and I absolutely love it. Growing up, I lived in a house with both my parents and my sister, and I lived in residence for a year, so this has been the first place that has been one hundred percent all mine. It's decorated just right, and it has a cozy and warm feel to it. It may be small, but it's home.
Panicking over my apartment was just the tip of the iceberg. It worries me that I still don't completely know what I'm doing come spring. I was talking to my best friend on the phone about this the other day, and she's going through the same thing. I quoted Jeremiah 29:11 yet again, and it's such a reassurance. I may be panicking, but God has a plan to prosper me and not harm me, to give me hope and a future. I need to keep reminding myself that God has a plan, and that's it's a perfect plan, and that I need to fully rely on Him. It sounds so easy, and yet sometimes it's so hard!
Yet another verse that I've been running through my head a lot today was a verse my best friend quoted on the phone:
"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight." - Proverbs 3:5-6
Fully Relying On Him-
Wednesday, February 14, 2007
I hope everyone had a great Valentine’s Day. In honour of the day, I decided to focus on love during my devotions today.
As I’ve written about before, a lot of my friends are married. Out of the ten girls that were in my Sunday School class growing up, I’m the only one not married or engaged. This means that I’ve been to my fair share of weddings. As traditional as cutting the cake and tossing the bouquet, 1 Corinthians has worked its way into many weddings. Out of the many quotes about love, I personally feel that Paul’s description is nearly perfect:
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is
not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered,
it keeps no record of wrongs. Love not does delight in evil, but
rejoices in the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes,
- 1 Corinthians 13: 4-6
What many of us are unaware of, or don’t reflect upon often (for me personally), is that the Bible is filled with many other examples of love, scattered throughout both the Old and New Testament. Love for our friends, love for our fellow believers, love for our enemies, and love for Christ are only some of the many types of loves discussed. I’ve chosen a few verses that I came across today that really impacted me:
Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. – 1 John 4:7
My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. – John 15:12-13
And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him.- 1 John 4:16
Since there’s no significant other in my life, my Valentine this year has four legs, a tail, and weighs about ten pounds. Of course, I’m talking about Jack! We started off the day with a bang. He somehow managed to find a cinnamon heart and nearly chocked on it. I guess I’m a bad mom, because I was munching on some last night and I didn’t realize I had dropped one. Jack found the stray heart, and just as the words “Jack, NO! Don’t eat that!” came out of my mouth, he tried to swallow it and chaos broke out! Luckily, I got to him right away, and he really didn’t seem too flustered by the episode.
Part of the reason I love Jack so much is because of his unconditional love for me. He doesn’t care if I’m having a bad hair day, if I’m behind in class, if my articles for the paper are disastrous; he just loves me for me. My favourite non-Biblical quotation about love is from William Shakespeare’s Sonnet 116: “Love is not love which alters when it alteration finds”. Someone once told me that only very lucky people can count more than five people who love them unconditionally. As a child of the Lord, I know that He will always love me, no matter what. There will be times where I will stumble, times when I don’t act as I should or when I sin, and yet He will always love me. That’s so much better than cinnamon hearts and chocolate! And for a girl who’s still looking for Mr. Right, it’s a great consolation on Valentine’s Day. Frankly, that’s a gift that’s worth celebrating not only every February 14, but every day!
We are all aware of Christ’s love for us. John 3:16 clearly states that for God so LOVED the world that he gave his only begotten son. He gave the ultimate gift, His son, so that we may have ever-lasting life. In comparison to this, He asks very little in return from us:
Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. – Deuteronomy 6:5
In Christian Love;
Here’s my Valentine (clearly, he lives a stressful life!):
Monday, February 12, 2007
Ever wonder about the abbreviation A.S.A.P.? Generally we think of it in terms of even more hurry and stress in our lives. Maybe if we think of this abbreviation in a different manner, we will begin to find a new way to deal with those rough days along the way. There's work to do, deadlines to meet. You've got no time to spare. But as you hurry and scurry, think of ASAP - ALWAYS SAY A PRAYER. In the midst of family chaos, "Quality time" is rare. Do your best; let God do the rest. ASAP - ALWAYS SAY A PRAYER. It may seem like your worries are more than you can bear. Slow down and take a breather. ASAP - ALWAYS SAY A PRAYER. God knows how stressful life is; He wants to ease our cares. He'll respond to all your needs A.S.A.P. - ALWAYS SAY A PRAYER.
Just thought I would pass it on because it's definitely a great reminder!
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
- Philippians 4:6
In His Love;
Monday, February 05, 2007
At the end of last week I received a really encouraging letter from a woman that I met at the Women In Sport Conference I attended last week-end. We sat at the same table and we had talked about how easy it is to take on a lot of projects and next thing you know you’re swamped with work. At the end of her e-mail she said “make sure you remember to take some time off, my dear, and remember that there are only 24 hours in a day”. Unfortunately, it seems I didn’t really take her advice!
This morning one of my contributing journalists bumped in to me and asked if I had a few moments to go over some articles she’s working on for me. For the first time in my life I actually had to use the phrase “only if you can walk and talk”. I’m not a “walk and talk” person, I’m a “stop and chat” person! I felt so badly afterwards that I have so much going on right now that I don’t even have time to stop and help someone who I’m supposed to be guiding and helping.
Part of the reason things have been so busy lately is because our assistant editor and Arts & Entertainment editor at the paper both quit. All the editors get together to put the paper together, and with all the editors working it takes us hours. With an original editorial staff of only five, being down two made a big difference. After a week of working late into the night, we got the paper out though. At this point in the year, finding people to fill the vacant positions looks close to impossible.
I’ve been praying lately about finding a better paying summer job because I’m worried about making it through next year because every single teacher’s college application guide said that students will be so busy that it’s highly recommended that they not take on a part time job. If I were to take on the Arts and Entertainment section as well as Sports, it would be double the paycheque. Unfortunately, it would also be double the time commitment.
You know how they say that one of the keys to successfully attaining your goals is to verbalize your goal, that way it makes you more accountable? Well, that’s what I’m doing. I’m going to make myself take some time off (time to breathe and relax!), more time with my Bible, and more consistent posts! There, I’ve said it!
I’ll end on a good note: some of the first round rejection letters to teacher’s college have already gone out and so far, none of come for me!! We don’t officially find out until April, but it’s still nice to know that my applications are still being considered.
Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough troubles of its own.
- Matthew 6:34
In His Love;
Sunday, January 28, 2007
Reading back over my old posts, it started to become apparent just how frustrated and discouraged I've been lately. I've been praying so much lately for God to help me out and lift me up, and He definitely helped me take my first steps back to "normal me" these past few days.
This week I was offered two great opportunities. I represented my graduating class at a Women In Sport conference and was asked to cover a local hockey tournament for a paper. Unfortunately, they both fell on the same days. With a little bit of planning and tweaking, I was able to do both and I'm so happy I did!
Being at the conference was such an experience. I've been to conference aimed at young adults, but this was my very first "adult" conference. I sat in a room with many of my professors (all of whom I have the upmost respect for) and many other accomplished women, and it was such a new feeling to actually be taken seriously and to be considered one of the group. I had to present on incorporating physical activity in to the "work-life" balance, and I was shaking right before I went up! I said a quick prayer, and I know the Lord was standing there with me. It was kind of awkward lecturing TO my professors (as opposed to the other way around!). Friday night after the first meeting there was a cocktail reception, and I had the chance to network and meet women in all different fields in sport, and I really feel as though doors have been opened for me. It was also the first time that there wasn't a power difference between myself and my professors. I'm lucky because most of my profs are open and incredibly approachable, but I don't think I would ever swing by their office to chat about our favourite TV shows or our plans for the spring break! We were able to talk on such an equal level, and it was a chance for them to get to know me outside of being a student. If nothing else, the entire experience was a much needed confidence boost!
I love how I really feel God is looking out for me and keeping me under His wings!
Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
- 1 Peter 5:7
In His Love;
Tuesday, January 23, 2007
This is the most recent picture of my sister and I that I have with me. This is us at our grandparent's house after church in the spring of 2005:
And here we are growing up:
...getting ready to go biking: (you've got to love the fashion of the early 90's!)
...first day of kindergarten for me:
...until I was 13, I had a VERY pink room! My sister and I used to read together at night in my room:
... we were both flowergirls at a friend of the family's wedding:
... I still have that brown bear! (and I'm pretty sure my sister still has her white one!)
No one ever believes that we are sisters. We're often asked if one of us is adopted- I think it's the hair colour that throws everyone. The complete polar opposite hair colour may be the most obvious difference, but there are many more. In fact, I completely understand why people are shocked when they find out we're sisters. My sister is loud, bubbly, and one hundred percent a CITY GIRL whereas I am shy, quiet and a country girl. In fact, since our family only has one car and I worked longer hours, my sister would usually drop me off and pick me up at work at the barn. She flat out REFUSED to even get out of the car because of the mud, hay and horse smell. Her dream car is a red convertible; mine's a dark blue Ford F150 truck. I'm never seen without a book in my hand; she would die without her cell phone.
Isn't it incredible that God creates so many people, with so many different personalities, interests and appearances, and He loves us all?!? He loves and treasures each one of us.
In His love-
Sunday, January 21, 2007
Trust and Obey- John Sammis
When we walk with the Lord in the light of His Word,
What a glory He sheds on our way!
While we do His good will, He abides with us still,
And with all who will trust and obey.
Trust and obey, for there's no other way
To be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.
Not a shadow can rise, not a cloud in the skies,
But His smile quickly drives it away;
Not a doubt or a fear, not a sigh or a tear,
Can abide while we trust and obey.
Not a burden we bear, not a sorrow we share,
But our toil He doth richly repay;
Not a grief or a loss, not a frown or a cross,
But is blessed if we trust and obey.
But we never can prove the delights of His love
Until all on the altar we lay;
For the favor He shows, for the joy He bestows,
Are for them who will trust and obey.
Then in fellowship sweet we will sit at His feet.
Or we''ll walk by His side in the way.
What He says we will do, where He sends we will go;
Never fear, only trust and obey.
"It is the Lord your God you must follow and him you must revere. Keep his commands and obey him; serve him and hold fast to him".
- Deuteronomy 13:4
Have a safe and blessed week!
Trusting and Obeying Him-
Monday, January 15, 2007
The e-mail that he sent me was a list that is circulating around the Internet. Some guy has written a list of 150 points that he feels disprove Christianity and the Bible. Jordan forwarded the list to me, with note saying that he'd read the list and was wondering if I would go over it and then discuss it with him. I was shocked, not only at the list, but at Jordan's openness to talk about it. I've only had the chance to read a few of the points, most of which are either uniformed or are taking a verse out of context.
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
So, pray for me and pray for Jordan in the upcoming weeks!
Love In Him;
Monday, January 08, 2007
"When Your purpose is revealed to me, Father, help me to accept my responsibility and do Your will. Amen".
It was such a great reminder that I should be spending less time worrying and more time PRAYING!!
Waiting to do His will-
Thursday, January 04, 2007
After our meeting, I thought about one day last summer when I took little Diane to the beach. The first few days that we chose to go it poured rain, so we kept having to postpone the trip. Finally a day came when it was beautiful and sunny out, so we packed up our bags, grabbed a towel and headed out to the beach. After a few hours of beach volleyball and tossing around a Frisbee, we decided to go swimming. Diane spotted some minnows swimming around in the shallow part of the water. She was bound and determined to catch one. Diane armed herself with pails, small plastic shovels, and eventually a Ziploc bag and set to work. I helped for a bit and then sat and enjoyed the rays of sun the Lord had provided us with! This was around eleven in the morning, and apart from a small lunch break, Diane diligently worked on catching a minnow until I had to drag her out of the water at four that afternoon.
At around three that afternoon, Diane still hadn’t caught anything. Three boys arrived at the beach with their babysitter and came bolting in to the water with their own pails. I was sure that all the running would have scared away any potential minnows for Diane to catch. Instead, one of the boys threw his pail in to the water, looked into it and said “Hey, I caught a minnow!!”. He’d been in the water no more than two minutes! Diane just looked at the boy, looked at me, mouthed the word “WHAT?!” and rolled her eyes. I couldn’t help it; I had to laugh. An hour later we still didn’t have any luck, but it was time to head home. (Well, actually, she caught one minnow but it was dead, so Diane decided that that didn’t count).
I think we’ve all had times like Diane, where we’ve worked really hard and been really patient, and then something fantastic happens to someone else really quickly. It can be so discouraging! But the Lord tells us to never be discouraged, for He had a plan. There are also many references throughout His Word, telling us to be patient. At a time when a lot of people are making resolutions for the new year, I took a look at my own ability to be patient. I can be incredibly patient with other people, but I have almost NO patience at all with myself!
My friend and I finished our study by reading the following verse:
“Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love”.
- Ephesians 4:2
In His Love;