Thursday, March 28, 2013

Spring has Sprung

Hi bunnies! Okay, so that's probably too feminine for some of you but it seemed to fit with the spring theme and this being Easter weekend and all.  Sorry this is a later post tonight, work was so busy I barely had time for lunch today and I didn't have a thought prepared before this moment...

It just feels like Spring today (and I guess that's a good thing since it is Spring) a friend posted on Facebook that she actually saw some budded trees today, my mother saw robins in a family members yard yesterday! IT'S HERE, IT'S HERE!! And with all the twiterpation and sweet smell in the air I have the energy of... Well, this lamb!

Saturday night is the first night of "Messiah" the Easter presentation at Capital Community Church - it's free, there's food and it looks/sounds great so if you're in the area don't miss it!  Of course we've been putting in quite a lot of practice time and I've been seeing the story for a few nights now and somehow it's found room to inspire a new thought and new meaning in my life... We all look at Easter as an amazing story of the Saviour being tried, crucified and then alive again and that's awesome but to be honest, when you grow up in church or in any environment where you hear this story every year it can receive little thought after a while... We get too used to it and that's not good, we should never lose the amazement of Jesus laying down his life for us and not only laying it down but picking it back up so we can live in victory through His spirit in our lives!

The part of the Easter story that's taken my attention back and freshened my thoughts is actually the resurrection... Because I've been thinking of Spring so much this year when I thought of the resurrection all I could see was a new beginning! What a new beginning! Not only a new beginning for Jesus, but for the church and for all of us! It's so amazing to serve a living, vibrant, resurrected saviour! And not only did He create a new beginning then but each spring He uses the season all around us to remind us once again He can give us the new beginnings we need in any situation in our lives! He is the God of creation but not creation alone; new creation and re-creation! Even if you're coming out of a long winter season in life, Spring is here! God has a new beginning ready for you to step into so what are you waiting for!? Renew your hope! Revive your excitement! Take hold of your trust and believe! This IS a new season, accept and move into what God has waiting for you without second thought or fear! He has an amazing future planned out for you, you are His possession, Hid beloved, He loves you and wants the best for you and we all know God gets what God wants so don't stand in your own way, move aside and watch Him work!

Love you all! Thank you so much for your support, it's much appreciated and needed, I love all the notes and comments in person! Happy Easter! Jesus lives!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Florida vacation airport rewrite - not the prettiest

Hi darlins! I'm sitting in Montreal airport typing today's blog post for you all... once again i had no idea what to write and thought about a re-post because my head is aching so bad I would like to be sick but as I read over the post I was going to put up again I had a flash of genius! Well, okay, maybe not genius but something... Haha! Anyway this post is more of a rewrite of "Not the Prettiest" instead of just a mindless re-post. 

I am under no illusions, I know I'm not usually the prettiest woman in the room.  I wish I was one of those people with the exotic vibe or the dark hair and striking blue eyes... I would even settle to be one of the girls with the hair that never looks messy or always has a Colgate smile.  It's just not me, I hold my own as far as self presentation most of the time - you know, present the best version of you to the world sort of thing - I always try but I am just normal...

Some things you have I may not, and some things I have you may not... But I've come to realize one thing is very important - possibly most important - and the great news is: we can all possess or acquire it!  I know it's a cliché but the most important part of beauty is on the inside.  I know, beauty on the inside can't make that wart on the nose disappear and no matter how much we wish it would help that snaggle-tooth, it's not gonna happen... That takes money, ha!  Just as much as that "inner beauty" can't help the outside; our "outside beauty" cannot hide "inner ugly."  (Can I get an amen from men and women alike who have almost slipped in the puddle of drool from that GQ/Vogue model that just crossed our path but once they've opened their mouth a couple of times the troll appeared and we couldn't believe there was any attraction in the first place? "AMEN!")

"No amount of makeup can conceal an ugly heart..." tweeted by TheSingleWoman

We all have a little bit of "people pleaser" in us but we can't allow ourselves to worry about pleasing people to the point we forget about who we are on the inside... Or never find out who we are to become because we were too busy trying to be what everyone else expects us to be.  And just an interjection... We are all still on that road to becoming (unless we've given up or gotten lost) and no matter how great we are there is some area we just haven't "arrived" yet.  So I'm not talking about perfection... Instead I'm talking about awareness of that inner beauty and those little quirks we still have to work on, an honesty with ourselves that we are not perfect and finally a commitment to ourselves on becoming more beautiful with a plan to work on it each day.

I don't know what that area is for you, I'm not sure what buttons get pushed for you or what chip you have on your shoulder that causes you to lose sight of who you want to be and the importance of being a "good person" and "beautiful person" at your core... I know it's not fun to talk about, think about or worse yet, be told about (which has happened to me on a couple of occasions)... I know your initial reaction is anger, an excuse or two, to point out fault with everyone else around then to sweep your "not so serious as their issue" under the proverbial rug... But let's not do that this time... Let's take a minute and give thought to some things we want to change about who we are on the inside and then put those thoughts into action and change ourselves! 

You may or may not know I have been in Florida for a couple of weeks on family vacation with eight other family members (my mom comes from a family of 19 siblings so that's easy for us haha -Bustards.) while in Florida I noticed something about myself that's not so pretty... I get really sarcastic when I'm cooped up with the same people for too long and although I normally think of my sarcasm as witty and endearing if overused (which I have to admit was the case this vacation) it can border on ugly and it's definitely something I need to and will work on! I know I'm joking and the people who "get me" do as well but I need to be sensitive to those who may not know me well enough to discern when I'm using sarcasm or not... I'm reminded of Sheldon on Big Bang Theory all of a sudden! Ha! (I'll be posting a video for you at the end of this post so you can be in on this humour!) I am just like you, I haven't arrived but I've been working on my inner beauty for a while and I'm proud of how far I've come, it's really important to me.  Inner beauty is what makes you a great friend, daughter/son, mother/father, soul mate and person in general.  The reason I'm sharing this thought is to try to inspire you to recognize and admit your own ugly tendencies and work on you while I work on me!  It really is important and more than that, it will actually make you feel better about yourself which is an area most of us could use a boost in. After a little while of working on it you will see progress (I encourage a journal of some sort to keep you on track and encouraged) and start to appreciate the journey, it will give you something to be proud of and to encourage others with! Let's do this :o)

Friday, March 15, 2013

Make a Move or Plug Your Ears

Hi sweethearts! I'm in Florida in vacation right now and just got into my condo unit for the night now.  To be honest I'm not really sure what to write about again tonight but I once read a quote by a philosopher that if you have nothing to write, write that... So... Haha

Actually, I do have a little something, not a big revelation or anything like that, just a nudge... Just want to say let God lead you... Whether, in life in general (we all need that!) or in decision making (and again, something we all need) or ministry or prayer... Just allow Him to lead you! Now, I'm saying this even to those of you who (like me) want God's leading and confirmation in every area of life... I'm writing this to us because even though we desperately desire the Spirit to lead sometimes we get afraid to trust it.  You know that feeling "I hope it's not just me..." Something I heard long ago is instruction to figure out where it's coming from through process of elimination if you have to: first, thoughts only come from one of three places, God, ourselves or satan.  If you're having a thought to do something for someone else, God's kingdom or if you're feeling impressed to pray for someone you can pretty much eliminate Satan, right? Right.  Next ask yourself "is it truly for the good of someone else or God's kingdom? Will it hurt anyone in any way? If the answer there is no, even if it is just you chances are it's still something good to attempt. But just in the interest of truly eliminating the thought coming from you, wouldn't you most likely want the attention that comes along with doing good anyway? Would you be second guessing it or intimidated at all? Probably not because what are second thoughts anyway? Opposition and if its just you and not a God thing, there would be nothing for the enemy to oppose in the first place.  So, if its not Satan and it's not you then it's probably God? That's right, that's where I'm going! Listen, it's scary to do things for God Mose times, stepping out and not knowing what you're landing on is not really something that comes natural to most of us but if you never step out you never get to walk on the waves with Jesus, right? 

What if you make a mistake? Yeh, what if? I'll tell you what, remember elementary school lessons and "try, try again!" In every area of life when you're attempting to increase your skill-set and learning something new there is a curve, you're allowed to make a mistake, it's all part of the process and learning to work for God and learning to follow after the Spirit's leading is the same! God understands a miss-step, He is just looking for someone to keep following Him when he calls. Like a shepherd who constantly corrects the paths of His sheepfold without anger God can correct your steps into the right directional long as you're willing and trying to follow. Another quote I saw this week: "If you want something you've never had, you have to be willing to do something you've never done." So if you're wanting to be used by God you must be willing to do what He asks when He asks you! "Don't ask God to guide your steps until you're willing to move your feet." - unknown. 

So there it is, just be willing. Trust you are hearing from God, He will teach you as you go, you will learn the familiarity of His voice the more you act on what you think He is currently saying, He's not going to tell you more if you're not already following the word He's given you now. Lets go, make a move or plug your ears! 

Thursday, March 7, 2013

What to do..? What to do?

I - apparently along with most of the USA & Canada - watched Bible Series on History Channel Sunday evening... And watched twenty three clips of upcoming shows and character mini-interviews. I've heard some mixed reviews on the series, the negative side being "not accurate" however; I beg to differ, "incomplete" maybe but not really inaccurate... And as far as the "incomplete" I think Mark Burnett & Roma Downey deserve a break, it would be a 3 year series if you tried to fit the whole of God's Word into a television series! And let's all face it, at least it's something of God on TV, better than anything else I've seen in a long time! Don't fight against your own kingdom Christians. Rant aside, one of the clips I saw of the Bible series was the birth of Christ... And I actually did see an inaccuracy there, I'm not alarmed by it, it's in every nativity scene I've ever laid eyes on and really, even if Burnett & Downey knew about it I wouldn't expect them to "make it right." It's the wise men.  There is a powerful scene where one of the Kings or wise men kneels down in front of Mary, Joseph and Jesus and says "lady, I believe your son is the king of his people..." And the look in Mary's eyes as someone from outside of her family nucleus confirms the word God has only spoken to a few.  The inaccuracy is that the wise men, although they saw and most likely began following the star before Christ's birth never actually made it all the way to Bethlehem until Jesus was about two years of age. That's why Herod had all the male children two years and under killed when he was trying to stamp out the Messiah. (see Matthew 2 for the whole story).

So, Mary and Joseph travelled back to Bethlehem to pay their annual taxes and be in Joseph's hometown for a government imposed census...  They are just in Bethlehem trying to find a B&B (;o)) to stay in and Mary goes into labour... Now, Mary could try to ignore the contractions and keep silent until the stress of the hotel search was over but let's just be realistic here, the poor girl was riding on a donkey!  Ummm, hello? Donkey bareback ride + labour = OUCH! Joseph can't find a room for them and when he gets back to the donkey from the last inn he finds Mary doubled over in pain, when he gets to her to see if she is okay she grabs his robe and says "Joseph, this baby is not waiting for a room!" The inn-keeper hadn't quite shut the door and when he realizes this woman is having a baby, although it's not much, he does the best that he can and leads them into the stable... Yes, it's messy, muddy, stinky and loud but the inn keeper does tell them to use all the straw they can to make Mary comfortable before he heads back to his paying customers in the inn.  (Now, I've heard the argument that Joseph and Mary should/did have somewhere to stay with family, but let's face it, if everyone still alive that was ever born in your hometown had to all rush back into town for a weekend census there wouldn't be room there either and there were no phones or Internet to make reservations... The best chance you would have had is the fastest horse into town and all Mary & Joseph had was a stubborn donkey that was far overloaded with a 9 month in pregnant lady on it's back. They would have been far too late getting into town to stay at an inn and probably just not close enough to the family homestead if there was one, remember baby doesn't wait to get to grandma's house once he's ready!) So Mary who believes she's carrying God's baby has given birth in a stable... Now let's again bring this down to the level of reality, I can only imagine how Mary and Joseph would feel, Joseph wants to impress God with how well he can take care of this baby and Mary most likely expected something a little better the a stable as a birth place... Mary and Joseph were probably not only embarrassed a manger was all they could give God for a place for His baby's head to rest but fearful He would find them as "unfit." And what would having this baby you have believed is God's seed being born in a dirty stable do to your faith... I mean, seriously, if it was me, I would be thinking "okay, was I wrong about this God? Did I somehow black out when I got pregnant? Is this really your baby?" and let's not even go there with the thoughts Joseph must have been experiencing...

The thoughts... That's what I woke up about... How did they believe through the stable? They must have had doubt and we all know the guilt that comes when circumstance makes us unsure if it was really God speaking or our own hopes and imaginings...  And as if  the night of the stable birth thoughts were not enough there was no confirmation.  I mean God speaks and impregnates Mary, and although that was majestic and amazing once she was pregnant God really didn't do or say much else for her - with the exception of when she met Elizabeth but Elizabeth was family and family is expected to believe you, it's easy to wonder later if they were just being supportive because it's the right thing to do or if they really believed. Two years... Two years until the wise men showed up to worship Christ.  That really is the first record of confirmation after the stable birth! 

Can you imagine, God makes this promise, Mary does everything in her power that she thinks is right and God would want her to do for this promise to come true... All the signs confirm the promise but then when she is finally going to see the promise unfold she is in a dark, dirty, lonely place...  Thinking things like "is this really it God? Is this the promise You've given me? Have I been wrong all this time? Can You really want me to be in this place for this promise to come true? If this is You, I shouldn't even be having these thoughts, should I?" To add insult to injury, there is not a breath of encouragement or confirmation recorded for two years after this unlikely promise happens..  Mary Goes from excitement and wonder to some strange mixture of disappointment and shaken hope... She still believes because some part of her knows it had to be God but there's still the cold fingers of doubt gripping her mind... Of course you can imagine, because this is something we all face at some point.  God give us this promise and it all seems so exciting and amazing and then one day we turn the corner into a dark, dirty, lonely place and we wonder where we went wrong? Was it the last step we took or the first step when we decided to believe God could give us a promise like that in the first place...  We begin to wonder if we were wrong all along.  You wondered why there is no confirmation and those wonderings eventually lead to questions like "well, if it was God, wouldn't he make sure I knew through confirmation? Maybe I just wanted something so bad I convinced myself God had a promise for me...?"  But that's where we get into trouble... We think because we would treat ourselves a certain way if we were God that He should follow suit... But that's not quite the way He works, see even when we pray "God, I need confirmation in order to make a move forward..." He knows we actually just are being needy and in reality just want confirmation, it's really just a trust issue.  When God makes a promise everything needed to fulfill that promise is created simultaneously with the spoken word, so we don't actually need confirmation at all, it's already confirmed.
"For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us." 2 Corinthians 1:20
Listen, I'm one of those people too, I like to be sure of something before I take a step but really, If Mary didn't get confirmation for two years and kept moving forward, believing in her promise with people all around thinking horrible things of her I'm sure I can take a step or two in the direction God seems to be leading me... And in case you need one more example, how about God's word to Abraham? "Take your family and go, don't worry about where, I'll lead you and you'll know when you see it." (my paraphrase.) What happened? Abraham believed and obeyed God and became the father of many nations winning the promised land!

So now I leave you with two more thoughts: 

  1. If you "knew" it was God when the promise was spoken, you really still know it is... Stop trying to get confirmation out of Him when you know as well as He does it's not what you need at all... Take a step and build some faith and trust! Stop waiting, hesitating and wasting time. If God knows you want Him to lead you and you're praying and obeying He most certainly will guide every bit of your path!
  2. Maybe this blog is the confirmation you're asking for!  Maybe this time, God has decided confirmation is needed but you have to pay attention. And now, you've got your confirmation so you're at the same place, if you're still really scared, try this prayer "God, I really believed you gave me a promise... I still believe it but help my unbelief!  It's a scary thing to take a step without knowing if I'm landing where I should but because I believe you have this plan for me I am going to take a step, if I'm wrong in some way then close the door so I don't walk in the wrong direction." God will guide you!  So, now it's time... Take that step. GO!