Jehovah was not in the wind. And after the wind, an earthquake: Jehovah was not in the earthquake.
And after the earthquake, a fire: Jehovah was not in the fire. And after the fire, a soft gentle voice. (1Kings 19:11-12)

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Saturday, November 29, 2008

When I am Weak


A call, from my sister in tears, came today and I think once again on these thoughts, at the blog Holy Experience. These words really spoke to me and made me realize too that I am not the only one wrestling. Of course, I knew it to be true, but again the lies tell me I am alone.

I have been silent here as I have been wrestling. I fear to write things down when I am at this place. I wrote the author of this blog, just wanting to thank her for her encouragement and trying to ease out some of what I wrestle with. Immediately after the email had been sent I recalled these well known words :

But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
(2 Corinthians 12:9-10)

It is o.k. that I do not have all the answers, that I do wrestle, that I find discouragement on this journey. It is not about me at all. It is about HIM.

I mentioned this quiet place to my sister, telling her that the thoughts and words shared here direct us to a better place - to HIM.


Let all our employment be to know GOD: the more one knows Him,

the more one desires to know Him.

And as knowledge is commonly the measure of love, the deeper and more extensive our knowledge shall be, the greater will be our love:

and if our love of GOD were great we should love Him equally in pains and pleasures.

Let us seek Him often by faith: He is within us; seek Him not elsewhere.

Monday, September 15, 2008

The Power of God

It is something we really do not do enough. Sharing slips of paper; sharing the gospel for which we should not be ashamed.

It was a little gospel tract that my husband was given early in the day as he entered the auditorium of our small Chapel building as the Church meeting had begun. He tucked it in his pocket intending to pass it along to someone in his travels.

Later that day, on a very wet drive home from the evening service, it was evident that we needed to make a routine stop at the gas station. As he looked in to the service centre, he felt he should pass the tract along to the blonde, middle aged lady attending the gas bar. A little inward struggle took place as to whether he really should just walk in there and give it to her. He decided to fill up and pay as he normally does right at the pump, without the help of the gas attendant. As he held on to the nozzle, filling the tank as the rain pelted down around him, the struggle continued. But, as he put up the nozzle, replaced the gas cap, and proceeded to complete the transaction the machine posted a note:

Receipt failed to print. Please see attendant inside.



Now confident that he was to pass on the Good News he went in to get his receipt and see the attendant. He said to her, "Here is a little something you can read when you have a few spare minutes."

She took the slips of paper with gratitude and he sauntered out back to his waiting family. As he opened the vehicle door, the attendant called out on the loud speaker, "I guess there was a reason the receipt did not print and that you had to come in here tonight. Thank you very much." and gave him the thumbs up.

We thank God for this opportunity. So often we fail to share what is so precious to us.

For I am not ashamed of the gospel,
for it is
the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes,
to the Jew first and also to
the Greek.
Romans 1:16


Friday, August 22, 2008

In Everything Give Thanks

In some ways it has been a tough summer and yet the Lord's goodness and mercy shine through. With death, heart abnormalities, hospitalization for an in-law family member, and other medical issues the simple day to day stuff seemed insignificant. And yet the toilet training, the school planning, cleaning, making meals and such had to continue.

It is great to be able to get away from the mundane and take a breather.

We still had much to be thankful for . . .


106. with much thanksgiving I held my little nephew the day after he had his angiography . . . he is doing very well!!


107. a Saturday to enjoy a beach and a museum on an island


108. we have been thankful for how our gardens turned out this year


tomatoes

lettuce

beets . . . so far two jars of pickled beets

cucumbers . . . some to eat and some to pickle


and some sweet peppers . . . as well as peas, beans, spinach, dill, celery, carrots, and a few strawberries



109. time away at the cottage . . . resting, reading


110. enjoying the outdoors with our children . . . walking, rowing,


111. beautiful colours


112. campfires at night with sticky treats


113. a walk on a beautiful summer day not far from home


114. a place for little legs to rest


115. a wonderful day at the African Lion Safari . . .








116. daughter cutting off more than 10 inches of blonde locks to donate

Friday, August 1, 2008

In HIS Hands


When my sister called me on Wednesday within the hour of hearing that Grandpa had passed away I was not prepared for the words she managed to speak.

Mixed in with tears and much emotion were the words, "It is not a heart murmur, it is a narrow heart valve." Those words meant that my little four week old nephew had some sort of heart abnormality, but there was so much uncertainty and fear and pain ahead.

It was a difficult day for my sister and brother in law. Now they knew something was wrong, but the doctors knew further investigation would be required.

It was a hard day for Mom as she had flown out to see her Dad and yet by the time she arrived she found out that her Dad had passed away and now her Grandson needed medical attention.

Dad had almost arrived home from driving seven hours to get Mom to the airport when he heard about his Grandson and so he had more driving ahead in order to go help his daughter.

It was a hard day.

Yet, through it all I knew they were trusting. She felt numb, and confused, and scared, worried, but she knew that the Lord God of all creation had formed her little son just the way He intended. He would be glorified through it all.

We talked together how even though we don't understand it, God is good.

She talked about what his name means and how she is sure God has special plan for him.

The following day they met with the Doctor and were told that their son is doing well despite having Pulmonary Stenosis and that he was going to be put on a waiting list so he could have a catheter put in place to widen the valve that regulates the blood flow into the lungs from the right ventricle. They were told they would probably hear something next week.

But not 12 hours later they were back in emergency as they were called back in to get more required tests completed. Then sent off this morning to the Children's Hospital to see the specialist. After more hours of testing it was determined that the catheter would need to be put in to place tomorrow morning.

"The Strong Boy" as he is being called by the nurses and doctors has many praying on his behalf. He has a very capable Doctor performing the procedure and the Great Physician watching over him.

We continue to pray.

Know that the LORD Himself is God;
it is He who made us, and not we ourselves . . .
Give thanks to Him, bless His name.
For the L
ORD is good;
His loving kindness is everlasting
and
His faithfulness to all generations.
Psalm 100:3,4,5

Monday, July 28, 2008

Meat for the Mind


I have started reading Charlotte Mason's series on education. After a little research I decided to begin with her sixth volume, A Philosophy of Education. All of her books can be found here. A second hand copy of her complete set was passed on to me for which I am thankful.

Miss Charlotte Mason lived from 1842-1923. She was a British educator who believed, ". . . the function of education is not to give technical skill but to develop a person; the more of a person, the better the work of whatever kind." Vol 6 pg 147

Charlotte Mason presented the theory that "as the body requires wholesome food and cannot nourish itself upon any substance so the mind too requires meat after its kind." Vol 6 pg 5

Charlotte wrote about three instruments of education: Education is an Atmosphere, Education is a Discipline, and Education in a life. The author expounded on the latter instrument by penning these words:

"Education is a life. That life is sustained on ideas. Ideas are of spiritual origin, and God has made us so that we get them chiefly as we convey them to one another, whether by word of mouth, written page, Scripture word, musical symphony; but we must sustain a child's inner life with ideas as we sustain his body with food. Probably he will reject nine-tenths of the ideas we offer, as he makes use of only a small proportion of his bodily food, rejecting the rest. He is an eclectic; he may choose this or that; our business is to supply him with due abundance and variety and his to take what he needs. Urgency on our part annoys him. He resists forcible feeding and loathes predigested food. What suits him best is pabulum presented in the indirect literary form which Our Lord adopts in those wonderful parables whose quality is that they cannot be forgotten though, while every detail of the story is remembered, its application may pass and leave no trace. We, too, must take this risk." Vol 6 pg 109

I was further challenged by this thought . . .

"It is well we should recognise that the business of education is with us all our lives, that we must always go on increasing our knowledge." Vol 6 pg 54

It is so important to keep our own minds fed. How can we feed our children's minds if we neglect our own. The same applies in our walk with the Lord. How can we 'train' our own children into a relationship with God if we are neglecting our own relationship with Him?

Thursday, July 10, 2008

In Everything Give Thanks

For the first time, one of my children actually asked to go to bed today. As a matter of fact, he laid his head down at the supper table and was about to sleep right there. I knew I needed to settle him early. My daughter is spending the week at her grandparents and so now I have a very quiet house. I will put on some quiet music and while my bread dough is rising I will continue on here with my list of gratitude . . .

79. fun days at theme park . . . thankful husband could take the day to see daughter perform there with home school choir

80. a day with my Mom and daughter at the ballet

81. my Dad willing and wanting to watch his grandson while the ladies enjoy the ballet

82. daughter, son, and husband performing at Chapel's talent night . . . and seeing so many others using their talents

83. nephew's second birthday party

84. food, fun and games at Sunday School Picnic

85. husband's birthday, pleasing him with his birthday cheescake



86. field trip with local home school group . . . some children went canoing

. . . some watched the Trumpeter Swans


87. the end of the school year . . . just reading, math drills, and journals for the summer

88. children enjoying the evening at family fun night hosted by another home schooling family

89. husband and daughter enjoying time together in the fields picking berries


90. cleaned and hulled berries waiting . . .

91.. an interruption by friends wanting to visit

92. the satisfaction of many jars filled with red strawberry jam

93. sitting down with husband at the end of a long day with fresh buns spread with butter and, of course, jam


94. time away at the cottage with extended family and then just on our own

95. cousins enjoying one another, playing together, wrestling, swimming

96. sisters visiting


97. campfires by the water's edge


98. visiting with friends . . . meeting friend's forth . . . her first baby girl

99. picking wildflowers for dinner table



100. children meeting another cousin . . . oh, how sweet to hold a newborn babe

101. the news of the ninth cousin born just six days after the last one

102. a quiet week at home, although missing my firstborn, enjoying time with my toddler

103. watching my son always wanting to play 'Pooh Sticks' when he sees water

104. the many smiles my son give me and the laughs we have together


. . . giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,

(Ephesians 5:20)

And now, off to form the loaves and do some house cleaning. . . with a thankful heart

Sunday, June 8, 2008

House of Mourning

His handshake was missed today.

We celebrated his life this past Thursday at his funeral service and his handshake was mentioned over and over. He shook your hand like he really cared for you. His hand was large and strong and he would look into your eyes as he shook your hand. I always thought this, but on Thursday I realized many others felt this way too.

Today, at Church, he was not with us to remember Christ' s death and resurrection and afterward to shake our hands. He is in a far better place. He is with his Lord and Saviour. He lived an abundant life and now life everlasting.

As I try to explain to my daughter, who is full of questions, 'where' he is I realize my own limited understanding of death. It is such a mystery really. To be absent from the body and present with the Lord.

But what about his widow? Married for 53 years, she is now without him. I really do not know how to offer words to one grieving. I have not been through what she is now experiencing. What do you say to one who has just lost the one she had loved all these years? As I give her a hug, I tell her we are praying. That is all I can say.

I contemplate the lessons we learn through death. He did not fear it; he was ready. She has been given a strength and peace.

When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written:
"Death is swallowed up in victory." "O death, where is your victory?
O death, where is your sting?"
The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law.
But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
(1 Corinthians 15:54-57)

John N. Darby wrote this in his commentary:

Death, to the believer who must pass through it, is only leaving that which is mortal; it no longer bears the terror of God's judgment, nor that of the power of Satan. Christ has gone into it and borne it and taken it away totally and for ever. Nor that only, — He has taken its source away. It was sin which sharpened and envenomed that sting. It was the law which, presenting to the conscience exact righteousness, and the judgment of God which required the accomplishment of that law, and pronounced a curse on those who failed in it, — it was the law which gave sin its force to the conscience, and made death doubly formidable. But Christ was made sin, and bore the curse of the law, being made a curse for His own who were under the law; and thus, while glorifying God perfectly with regard to sin, and to the law in its most absolute requirements, He has completely delivered us from the one and the other, and, at the same time, from the power of death, out of which He came victorious. All that death can do to us is to take us out of the scene in which it exercises its power, to bring us into that in which it has none. God, the Author of these counsels of grace, in whom is the power that accomplishes them, has given us this deliverance by Jesus Christ our Lord. Instead of fearing death, we render thanks to Him who has given us the victory by Jesus. The great result is to be with Jesus and like Jesus, and to see Him as He is.



It is better to go to the house of mourning than to go to the house of feasting:
in that that is the end of all men, and the living taketh it to heart.

(Ecclesiastes 7:2)

Saturday, May 31, 2008

A Greater Plan

Susan Schaeffer Macaulay wrote in her book, For the Children's Sake:

"Try a simple experiment. Take a small child on your knee. Respect him. Do not see him as something to prune, form, or mold. This is an individual who thinks, acts, and feels. He is a separate human being whose strength lies in who he is, not in who he will become."

"Many adults now 'have' a child in the same way that they 'have' a washing machine or a collie dog. We must answer: No. You are holding a person on your knee. And that is wonderful."

"Look well at the child on your knee. In whatever condition you find him, look with reverence. We can only love him and serve him and be his friend. We cannot own him. He is not ours."

I have recently finished this book mentioned above for the second time. It was the first book recommended to me before we were homeschooling . . . it left an impression on me and I felt I needed to read it again. Again I was impressed with this thought.

God has blessed me with these children that so often I do refer to as 'mine' . . . and yet here I am reminded that they are separate human beings created in the image of God. They are not mine, but God's. God has a plan for them . . . a greater plan than I could give them.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Our Square Foot Gardens

A while ago I came across this idea here. I was immediately intrigued as we have a small property and have always thought the idea of a vegetable garden here would be pretty pointless.

However, we decided this would be a great idea for us and so here are our gardens . . . so far . . .


the 4x4 gardens built and put in place


mixing the soil for the gardens


the grids being put on top of the soil


planting time . . .


almost everything is planted . . . just the peppers and tomatoes to go


It has been a wonderful family project. The children have been eager to be involved. It is being incorporated into our home school science curriculum.


Wednesday, May 21, 2008

In Everything Give Thanks

69. a wonderful day with family celebrating my father's birthday . . . we were able to enjoy so many things together on a wonderful spring day . . .

70. daughter's delight in discovering robin's eggs



71. nephew 'talking' to the chickens

72. we so often enjoy fresh eggs

73. tractor rides on Papa's tractor


74. the varied reactions by the little children when my brother brought
these little lambs home

75. a great long weekend together as a family

76. a nice evening with friends

77. finally having relief from my cough

78. our little garden
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