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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Sunday, March 31, 2013

Indeed, He is Risen!

IMG_6073


“But the angel said to the women,
“Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified.
He is not here, for he has risen, as he said.
Come, see the place where he lay.”
Matthew 28:6


“ . . . this Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God,
you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men.
God raised him up,
loosing the pangs of death,
because it was not possible for him to be held by it.”
Acts 2:23,24


“And God will raise us from the dead by his power, 
just as he raised our Lord from the dead.”
1 Corinthians 6:14

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Words of Wisdom for the Weekend: What to do in the Waiting









*****

" Stone cold. And the stone is closed. Where do I go from here? . . . What do I do? . . . Joseph's stone is like the period that stops the sentence. Boom!--the story's done. and when the story's over, the very air is empty . . . Silence . . . the whole world is a graveyard. Because this is the one that has my Lord . . . 

"Jesus! Jesus! Without you I am nothing in a nowhere! . . . 

"One story is done indeed, my Magdalene, Your're right. You've entered the dark night of the soul.

"But another story--one you cannot conceive of (it's God who conceives it!)--starts at sunrise. And the empty time between, while sadly you prepare the spices, is in fact preparing you! Soon you will change . . . 'As dying, and behold we live;as punished, and yet not killed; as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things' . . . 

"Come again on Sunday, Mary, and see how it is that God makes saints."

~ Walter Wangerin Jr., 'Reliving the Passion'


*****

{Words for Wisdom for the Weekend: These are words that I have been challenged or encouraged by that I have read throughout my week that I kept pondering; words that I couldn't get off my mind and heart throughout my week. 
For other Words of Wisdom for the Weekend posts see here.}

Friday, March 29, 2013

Five Minute Friday: Broken






It's Friday. And it's called good.

How can a day so dark and full of sorrow and pain and death be good?

We break the matzah bread with the holes representing His piercings and strips symbolizing the stripes that bring me healing.

He said, after He had given thanks, and broken the unleavened bread, 'This is my body, broken for you.'

I don't know if I will ever comprehend the extent of the grief He bore, the way He carried my sorrows, how he was smitten by God, afflicted.

I don't know of I will ever appreciate how he was wounded for my transgressions, crushed for my iniquities.

He bore all this in His body on the tree, broken for me, becoming sin, making intercession that I would be made whole. He, in love, was crushed.

I am broken. There were many women there looking on from a distance, who had followed Him and I mourn with them. I stand helpless at His cross.

I can only weep with Him in His death. I can only weep in sorrow at the foot of the cross with Him, bearing my sin.

And with Him, give thanks. For it is finished. And it is good.


*****

Reflecting and writing on the word prompt given here for Five Minute Friday at Lisa-Jo's place. 

This week the prompt is: Broken

Officially, the rules are:

Five Minute Friday1. Write for 5 minutes (A few weeks ago, I made this confession that I don't always exactly keep to the five minutes. )
2. Link up at Lisa-Jo's  and invite others to join in.
3. And then absolutely, no ifs, ands or buts about it, you need to visit the person who linked up before you & encourage them in their comments. Seriously. That is, like, the rule. And the fun. And the heart of this community...


Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Intentional Motherhood: Decorating Doorposts with Blood and Truth





In  two days we will gather at our local small-town church and share a Passover meal. We will remember the Lamb of God and his blood that was shed for the forgiveness of sins. For without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness.

Our children will share the meal with us and see the vivid reminders of the great redemptive act that was foreshadowed thousands of years ago on a dark night in Egypt when the firstborn either died or was saved depending on whether there was blood  painted on the crossbeams of the door.

The most vivid reminder the Jews had for their freedom from bondage was the Passover meal. Each year they were to select a perfect, spotless, unblemished, male lamb. They were to take its blood and put it on the doorpost of the home just as the Israelites had to do to be delivered from the angel of death. Each year families would gather and take a lamb and mark its blood on the doorposts and explain to their children why they were doing this. 

"As we think of the precious blood and seek to walk in the nearness to God which it gives, let us claim its cleansing power for our houses, as well as for ourselves. Let us be assured that our faith as parents has power and does secure divine blessing. Every day there is sin in my house. The fullness of the application of the blood will correspond to what faith claims. I have in nature transmitted sin and death--through me they inherit it. Thank God . . . I may also transmit the grace and blessing of redemption."

It was obedience in applying this blood to the doorpost that saved the firstborn.

The Israelites were commanded then to remember this feast each year that they would reflect on all that He had done for them. 

And they were commanded to teach these things to their children that His redemptive acts would be 'stamped on the minds and hearts of future generations . . . Even as we teach our children today through object lessons, Jehovah used everyday acts of seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting and touching to teach holy truths to His people.' (Ceil &Moishe Rosen, 'Christ in the Passover')


Jesus shared this very meal with his closest disciples on the night before He would become this substitutionary spotless lamb that would atone for sins and set us free from our bondage.
"The salvation that which is secured for the child in redemption must be appropriated by him personally before it is made his own. This cannot happen without the child knowing it. The children of Israel were taught that they belonged to the redeemed people and that they belonged to the redeeming God. The parent was to act not only as priest, but also as prophet and teacher. As he dealt for the child with God in blood-sprinkling, so he was to deal for God in the instructions given to the child. Let us teach our children what the blood has done for them, to make them know and love the God who accepted them, even before they knew Him."
On the very doors that were to be painted, year by year, with the blood of the spotless lamb, the words that God commanded  were to be written on them as well.  
“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates." (Duet. 6:4-9)
On days that are tough and my faith is put to the test, honestly, I would prefer to not have an audience of little ones. But I am called to obedience and to lay out these truths and teach my children of the great love and mercy and grace of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Words are empty if we are not loving and living these truths before our children. As we live out our own faith, the questions our children pose are endless. As we are watched and and our own actions are weighed by the little ones around us we have opportunity to grow in faith and to disciple these ones in their very own faith.
 "I must train and educate my children to know and love, and keep the commands of their God. Day by day, in teaching and living, I must seek to set before them the joy of a faith that freely accepts all the God gives, with a surrender that gives all that He claims."

A Mother's Prayer
"Blessed Lord Jesus, the Lamb of God, Your blood cleanses from all sin . . . Gracious God, who gave this wonderful ordinance of a lamb for a house, I yield myself to You as the minister of Your covenant. Use me, my God, to save my children, to train them for You and You alone. I want my children to grow up to serve You. May our faith in the blood and surrender to Your will be as the two doorposts which we daily go in and out. The Lord make it so. Amen."


*****


{all quotations taken directly from 'Raising Your Child for Christ' by Andrew Murray, unless otherwise noted}


IMG_2469-sz-250There's a little book, 'Raising Your Children for Christ' by Andrew Murray, on my shelf that I keep bringing down and leafing through and, Lord willing, on Wednesdays I hope to share snippets of my gleanings from it.


I don't claim to know all the answers. I need to dig deeper so that I can be even more equipped to be the mother that God intended. I am so thankful that this task of raising our children has not been given to me alone.


Join me on this journey? It is not a list of rules and how-to's but rather a chance to look into your own life and heart and be challenged to live a life wholeheartedly devoted to the Lord

For the first post in this series on Intentional Motherhood you can find it here.

For all posts in this series you can read them here.



Monday, March 25, 2013

Rest for our Souls



There was no rest for Him on the night He was betrayed and arrested; the night he stood silent before the Council and Pilate, and was mocked, beaten, scorned and led as a lamb.

Just that evening He had shared with His disciples what was about to happen. He was clear that His body was to be broken, His blood was to be spilled. He set his face like flint upon the work He had come to do and just as this final Passover drew to a close, He knew His time was near.

And after they had sung a hymn He went out to pray in Gethsemane. There,  in the darkest garden, His closest disciples slept when there was no time for rest. 

He had come to do the work of his Father and His time had come.

Work and rest have been essential parts of life since the beginning of time. God set them in place and demonstrated them Himself. Christ came and exemplified what work and rest should look like.

On this night, there was no time to rest. He had work to do.

And through His work, we come to Him and find rest for our souls.

We are to follow Him ~ this way of the cross; this is the 'work' that we have to do. We are told it is few who will actually go this way of the One who humbled Himself, but those who do, experience His rest.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Words of Wisdom for the Weekend: The Cross in the very Center





*****

" . . . the Creator God put a cross in the very center of the human history--to be its center, ever.
The Son of God, the gift of God, the love of God, the endless light of the self-sufficient God filled the emptiness which was death at our core. People, here is eternal life in the very midst of us!
"Now, therefore, it is the person and the passion of Jesus Christ which defines us . . .
"Behold, this is the central event of the whole of history, behold, this is the sun that keeps the planets and bequeaths importance to the peoples and makes significant even me and all I do: And they crucified him. It happened. Eternity entered time. They crossed at the cross.
"We are altogether meaningless, except God touch us. God touched us here."

~ Walter Wangerin Jr., 'Reliving the Passion'


*****

{Words for Wisdom for the Weekend: These are words that I have been challenged or encouraged by that I have read throughout my week that I kept pondering; words that I couldn't get off my mind and heart throughout my week. 
For other Words of Wisdom for the Weekend posts see here.}






Friday, March 22, 2013

Five Minute Friday: Remember

Do you have a few minutes to join in the fun? Do you want to write for the love of writing on one given prompt. Really, it is great and if you want to join in, you'll find the link up here for Five Minute Friday at Lisa-Jo's place. 


Officially, the rules are:

Five Minute Friday1. Write for 5 minutes (A few weeks ago, I made this confession that I don't always exactly keep to the five minutes. )
2. Link up at Lisa-Jo's  and invite others to join in.
3. And then absolutely, no ifs, ands or buts about it, you need to visit the person who linked up before you & encourage them in their comments. Seriously. That is, like, the rule. And the fun. And the heart of this community...

And the Five Minute Friday prompt for this week is : Remember




*****

I've been thinking this week of the woman who anointed Jesus, and I find myself twirling my hair in my fingers. 

She let down her hair and broke open a jar of costly perfume and poured it out on the feet that would be pierced with nails just a week later. She wiped his feet with her hair.

She was ridiculed right away. Accused of wasting her resources. She was letting her hair down in public and she was pouring out a perfume that cost a whole years wages.

But Jesus told her accuser to leave her alone. He received her worship. 

The fragrance of the perfume filled the house as she poured it out. 

And I wonder how it must have lingered in her hair all week. And when she saw her Lord die, did she cry into her pillow and smell the perfume still in her hair a week later?

He said she would be remembered wherever the Gospel is preached.

And here we are over two thousand years later. And she is remembered. This beautiful worship that came from a grateful heart and love lingered in deep humility at the feet of her Lord.

It's not for her riches or her words or accomplishments that she is remembered.

It's not for her giving to the poor that is remembered.

Mary, this woman who worshiped, is remembered for her courageous act of adoration.






Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Intentional Motherhood: A Mother's Faith

Each time I have groaned in labour and brought forth life, those first moments were simply glorious. Those moments when their tiny bodies came from within and gently cradled in my arms, our skin touching for the first time, and I breathed in, drank deep the beauty of life that had been formed within. The pain forgotten {momentarily} and I was completely absorbed, lost, enraptured in the wonder of a mere 7 pounds. The moments following the pain were exhilarating.

But, each time, when my baby was taken from me to be weighed and wrapped, I immediately felt the emptiness and I would follow my newborn with my eyes and call for my little one, wanting her back, to feel his skin on mine, to know she was safe and well. Oh, the relief when my baby was placed back near my heart and was rooting for warm milk. 

I know mothers who have had their babies delivered from their bodies and whisked right away, some to be made to live; other mothers have know the deep grief of the excruciating loss of the little one they already love.

We are living in a fallen world. A world where sorrow is associated with life. From even before the moment our little ones enter this world the Mother’s instinct is so strong. 

We will do anything to protect our baby.





One little sentence, but imagine bearing a child at a time when if you delivered a boy, your son would be killed at birth ~ simply cast into the Nile!

We wonder about the gender of our baby these days to know if we should purchase blue or pink. But, the Hebrew women would wonder for 9 months if the life growing deep within would be granted the gift of life or have it extinguished just after those first cries. If they delivered a male child, Pharaoh had commanded death.

It is here in the midst of intense sorrow and the wailing cries and evil that Moses’ mother’s faith shines. When she saw that the child was a beautiful child, her faith saw more than her natural eyes. She breathed in the new born scent of her boy and believed he was special.

“The eye of faith sees in each little one a divine goodness.”

We see the natural beauty of our children, but may God grant us the faith to see each one of our children as a goodly child ~ exceeding fair and beautiful ~ a being created in God’s image, a jewel, the heavenly beauty that is reflected in our little ones.


May we have this same faith and may it manifest itself as we raise our children.

1. Faith does not fear.

No, our children do not face Pharaoh or the Nile, but the power behind this evil, the prince of this world, is still active for the lives of our children.

“The spirit of the world claims possession of the children.”

But, a greater power works in us. We have to be aware of the danger, but not be in fear of it. Neither can we ignore it or tune it out. 

Are we actively engaged in protecting our children?






“The Church has failed to realize the importance of the role of parenting in the spiritual life of the child . . . If only the eyes of God’s people were opened to the danger which threatens His Church . . . If every Christian home were a training school for His service, more spiritual growth would take place than could be accomplished through preaching.”

2. Faith Finds Safety

Three words, ‘she hid him.’ 

His mother saw with eyes of faith that he was a beautiful child, a special child and she did everything she could to protect him. We need to do whatever we believe is necessary to protect our children from evil.



  
‘Each day lay your child in God’s keeping and let your soul be filled with the knowledge that He has indeed taken charge of it. Let the love of Jesus be the first place of safety to which you guide his youthful feet. Hide your child in the quietness of home life . . . Believe that yours are children of a peculiar people, who are separated unto God. Continue to believe that they must be kept separate for Him.’

We also need to surrender our children to the Lord. For when Moses’ mother could no longer hide him, she laid her baby in a basket and released him into the very river that swallowed the lives of Hebrew newborn boys. Her faith surrendered her son to God and God blessed her and granted her the blessing of receiving her son back to her very own bosom.





3. The Reward of Faith

Our faith is always blessed by God. As we trust God, he will bless our children and we too will receive blessing.

“Let faith hide the child in the ark of God’s love. Let faith, train the child for God and His people. Then, when the time comes that your child must go into the world, he will be safe in the power of faith and God’s protection. A child of faith will not only receive a blessing for itself, but be a blessing to others.”


A Mother’s Prayer

"I acknowledge, Lord, that I do not fully realize the value of my children, nor the danger to which they are exposed from the Prince and the Spirit of the world. Lord, teach me to fully recognize the danger and yet never to fear the commandment of the King. Open my eyes to see in the light of heaven that each little one is a goodly child, entrusted to my keeping and training for Your work and Kingdom. Help me to keep them sheltered, to hide them from the power of the world and of sin. May my own life be the life of faith, hid with Christ in God, that my child may know no other dwelling place. Grant this also to all Your people, O my God. Let Your Church awake to know her place in this world, and her calling to go out to the land to which God has called her. Let the mighty power of faith be seen in the training of our children to show the difference between those who fear you and those who do not. Give us grace to raise our children for you. Amen."


*****


{all quotations taken directly from 'Raising Your Child for Christ' by Andrew Murray, unless otherwise noted}



IMG_2469-sz-250There's a little book, 'Raising Your Children for Christ' by Andrew Murray, on my shelf that I keep bringing down and leafing through and, Lord willing, on Wednesdays I hope to share snippets of my gleanings from it.


I don't claim to know all the answers. I need to dig deeper so that I can be even more equipped to be the mother that God intended. I am so thankful that this task of raising our children has not been given to me alone.


Join me on this journey? It is not a list of rules and how-to's but rather a chance to look into your own life and heart and be challenged to live a life wholeheartedly devoted to the Lord

For the first post in this series on Intentional Motherhood you can find it here.

For all posts in this series you can read them here.



Monday, March 18, 2013

I Cried it Too: "Crucify Him!"




I've grown up finding my identify in performance.

I was definitely not an einstein in my early elementary years. Perhaps the cancer and the two years of treatments I endured in crucial developmental years affected my scholarly performance, perhaps not. But, as I made the connection that hard work pays off, I studied hard and was determined to do well.

I studied during lunch hour in the library, and into the night, and would memorize everything because I didn't want to fail.

I dropped courses if it was going to bring my average down for I was determined to be on the honour roll, as though it would define me.

I went to youth group and committed to do my devotions every day because they told me if I didn't then Satan won.

I went to a small Bible College and saturated myself in the Word and in my studies and was determined to graduate at the top as this, even though pride wouldn't allow me to admit it, would define me too.

I never rebelled.

I worked an honest job at an organization that serves missionaries all across the world.

I got married to the only man I ever dated.

I have had three children and now home educate them.

I have a pretty nice life, a cozy home, and amazing friends.

But, I let all this define me.

I refused to let others see the real me. I refused to see it myself.

I wouldn't go out without makeup ~ until my third child was born, and didn't have the choice some days to put it on.

I wouldn't have company in unless my house was vacuumed.

I was a good girl who played life safely. Performance and fear held me in their clutches.

I had decided how I wanted to be identified and made this happen.

I had seen the need for a Saviour and I had repented. I wanted Him to be Lord of my life. But, I made my identity my own.

I failed to see myself for who I truly am. A sinner who screamed with the angry mob, filled with evil and hatred, "Crucify Him! Crucify Him! Crucify Him!" I was His enemy, after all.

It was my sin that he bore on the cross. But, it was His love that caused Him to be led as a lamb to be slaughtered. Without question, He willingly took my sin, my shame and He cried out. "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing!"

I don't need to protect my identity. It is nothing but sinful.

I have a new identity in Christ, when I look to the cross. I lose myself in Him for I died with Him and the life I now live is His!

It is not just a prayer of an eight year old girl in her grade three classroom that changed her life forever, but a daily looking to the cross; it is a life for those who are being saved.

For it is the power of the Cross, and faith, that is the victory, that sets me free.






(for email subscribers, follow the link to hear this powerful song)






linking with Emily's Dare to love yourself, just write, Jen, and Tell His Story

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Words for Wisdom for the Weekend: Radical Love





*****

"In the end we're all alike, groping for true love and incapable of fully giving it. What we need is someone to love us who doesn't need us at all. Someone who loves us radically, unconditionally, vulnerably . . . If we received that kind of love, that would so assure us of our value, it would so fill us, that maybe we could start to give that kind of love too. Who can give love with no need? Jesus. Remember the dance of the Trinity--the Father, the Son, and the Spirit have been knowing and loving one another perfectly for all eternity. Within Himself, God has forever all the love, all the fulfillment, and all the joy that we could possibly want. He has all the love within Himself that the whole human race lacks. And the only way we're going to get any more is from Him . . .
"His love is perfect love, radically vulnerable love. And when you begin to get it, when you begin to experience it, the fakery and manipulativeness of your own love starts to wash away, and you've got the patience and security to reach out and start giving a truer love to other people."


~ Timothy Keller, 'King's Cross'

*****


{Words for Wisdom for the Weekend: These are words that I have been challenged or encouraged by that I have read throughout my week that I kept pondering; words that I couldn't get off my mind and heart throughout my week. 
For other Words of Wisdom for the Weekend posts see here.}






Friday, March 15, 2013

Five Minuet Friday: Rest

Do you have a few minutes to join in the fun? Do you want to write for the love of writing on one given prompt. Really, it is great and if you want to join in, you'll find the link up here for Five Minute Friday at Lisa-Jo's place. 


Officially, the rules are:

Five Minute Friday1. Write for 5 minutes (A few weeks ago, I made this confession that I don't always exactly keep to the five minutes. )
2. Link up at Lisa-Jo's  and invite others to join in.
3. And then absolutely, no ifs, ands or buts about it, you need to visit the person who linked up before you & encourage them in their comments. Seriously. That is, like, the rule. And the fun. And the heart of this community...

And the Five Minute Friday prompt for this week is : Rest




*****

I almost felt like I needed to apologize. When he ran that quick errand yesterday, and took the three kids with him and left me with a few rare moments of quiet in the middle of the afternoon. 

When he returned everything appeared the same as when they had left. The dishwasher still stood open like an empty cave and the sink was still half filled with dirty dishes with remnants of yet another meal and the crumbs were still scattered all about me as though Hansel and Gretel needed to find their way back.

We had company coming that night and I had things that needed to get done.

But as I heard the garage door open and van doors close, I was sitting at the computer. When I got up and set to work about the kitchen, he took my place and read my words. Then he questioned; he thought I would have taken the time to rest.

I assured him, I did think of it, but I realized, and quietly admitted to him and to myself, that letting these thoughts and words finally flow, was rest to me.


Thursday, March 14, 2013

New Every Morning






It's a rare moment, but I can actually hear the hum of the fridge and the clothes clicking the sides of the dryer as they dry and it is the middle of the day.

I look around and see the dishwasher that I abandoned to take hostage these precious few moments of quiet to write a few lines. Dinner is thawing on the counter and lunch crumbs remain scattered about me.

I look up and see hope--on top of the cabinet painted the colour of robin's eggs, four blocks, laid out to remind us that our hope is in our King.



The bright sun is reflecting off the snow and throwing shadows of the naked trees on the blanket of white.

The sun spills into the room, the sun that cracked dawn this very morning, that has risen since the beginning and I take it for granted.



Most days I don't even consider the sun. I know it is there and I appreciate it's beauty and warmth, but I have missed most of the sunrises in my life time.

There is a beautiful canvas on display in the heavens every morning, painted by the Master artist Himself. A free, new, daily exhibit and I've slept most of them away.

Early shadows were chased as light began to appear this morning, when I read how the Israelites gathered bread from heaven, 
'Morning by morning they gathered it, each as much as he could eat;
but when the sun grew hot, it melted.'


He gives us exactly what we need every day. In the early morning shadows, as we look to the Bread from heaven, He continues to feed us. As we sojourn here, we, 'do not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.'


As I watch the sun rise, I turn my eyes to the Son, for it would be far worse to miss seeing the beauty of the Son, the One who created the sun and causes it to rise every morning and holds all things together.

And, I can only direct my praise to the One who orchestrates this masterpiece every morning.



~~~

Will you watch for sun rises with me in the days to come and turn our praise to the Saviour?

Monday, March 11, 2013

For Those Who are Not Qualified



What do you do when you are not qualified? When you aren't eloquent? When you are slow of speech and tongue? And, really, you'd like to stay in obscurity.

What do you do when you want someone else to do it and you say so by your actions. You walk in the opposite direction for several years because fear keeps it's tight grip around your throat and fingers?

When you plead, 'Lord, please! Send someone else.'

Oh, He will answer this plea.

In fact, He did so with Moses. He called Moses and Moses pleaded for someone else to take his place. So God did just as Moses asked. He doesn't really need us, He will accomplish His purposes without us.

But, what blessings did Moses miss? What an opportunity to prove God's greatness by surrendering his weakness and allowing God to use His mouth. God's anger burned against Moses although His steadfast love for him stayed constant. The Israelites were set free from Pharaoh's heavy hand. And God used his brother in His place.

Someone will be willing.

He doesn't need me, but by His grace He desires to use me for the furthering of His Kingdom.

I know fear was present when Moses pleaded with God, for God even reassured him that He would be with Him.

I know fear is present when God has called me to go out into all the world and make disciples. I know I look like a fool when I am vulnerable, 'But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong' and  He promised that He would be with me, always.

I don't have a message to deliver to a pharaoh, but I have a message that is to go into all the world that I am obligated to share. It is fear that keeps me wanting to stay in obscurity and pleads, 'Lord, Please! Send someone else.' As followers we have a message to make known and our own story to share.

But . . . 

I am not qualified. I am not eloquent. Someone else always does a better job. I am slow of speech and tongue. I'm too afraid and I'll look like a fool.

And yet, all God desires is that I say, 'Yes, Lord, send me, use me, take my weakness, empower me by your Spirit and use it for your glory.'

So I pray for faith to move forward, to look to the cross, to proclaim the gospel, and make disciples.


For isn't that the way of the follower?


"May the threefold Christian graces of faith, hope and love be more and more formed within me, until all my walk and conversation be such as becometh the gospel."
~J. Baillie

*****
Has this been true in your life?

Have you pleaded, "Lord, please! Send someone else?"





Saturday, March 9, 2013

Words of Wisdom for the Weekend {Followers, not Admirers}



{Words for Wisdom for the Weekend: These are words that I have been challenged or encouraged by that I have read throughout my week that I kept pondering; words that I couldn't get off my mind and heart throughout my week. 
For other Words of Wisdom for the Weekend posts see here.}



This excerpt made an impact on me last year when reading through 'Bread and Wine ~ Readings for Lent and Easter' and it has challenged me just the same this year.


*****


"It is well known that Christ consistently used the expression 'follower.' He never asks for admirers, worshippers, or adherents. No, he calls disciples. It is not adherents of a teaching but followers of a life of Christ is looking for.

"Christ understood that being a 'disciple' was in innermost and deepest harmony with what he said about himself. Christ claimed to be the way and the truth and the life (Jn 14:6) . . . His whole life on earth, from beginning to end, was destined solely to have followers and to make having admirers impossible.

"Christ came into the world with the purpose of saving, not instructing it. At the same time . . . He came to be the pattern, to leave footprints for the person who would join him, who would become his follower . . .

"And Christ's life indeed makes it manifest, terrifyingly manifest, what dreadful untruth, it is to admire the truth instead of following it. When there is no danger, when there is a dead calm, when everything is favorable to our Christianity, then it is all too easy to confuse an admirer with a follower. And this can happen very quietly. The admirer can be under the delusion that the position he takes is the true one, when all he is doing is playing it safe. Give heed, therefore, to the call of discipleship!

"The admirer never makes any true sacrifices. He always plays it safe. Though in word he is inexhaustible about how highly he prizes Christ, he renounces nothing, will not reconstruct his life, and will not let his life express what it is he supposedly admires. Not so for the follower . . . The follower aspires with all his strength to be what he admires. And then, remarkably enough, even though he is living amongst a 'Christian people' he incurs the same peril he did when it was dangerous to openly confess Christ. And because of the follower's life, it will become evident who the admirers are, for the admirers will become agitated with him. Even these words will disturb many -- but then they must be likewise belong to the admirers."


~ Soren Kierkegaard [emphasis added]

*****



Friday, March 8, 2013

Five Minute Friday: Home

Do you have a few minutes to join in the fun? Do you want to write for the love of writing on one given prompt. Really, it is great and if you want to join in, you'll find the link up here for Five Minute Friday at Lisa-Jo's place. 


Officially, the rules are:

Five Minute Friday1. Write for 5 minutes (A few weeks ago, I made this confession that I don't always exactly keep to the five minutes. )
2. Link up at Lisa-Jo's  and invite others to join in.
3. And then absolutely, no ifs, ands or buts about it, you need to visit the person who linked up before you & encourage them in their comments. Seriously. That is, like, the rule. And the fun. And the heart of this community...

And the Five Minute Friday prompt for this week is : Home



*****


We come in from a morning walk and my children spill themselves on the living room floor with a rainbow of markers strewn around them, colouring, leaning in, listening as I read the next chapter in 'Anne of Green Gables'. 'All things great are wound up with all things little" is how the chapter begins.

Just the words I needed to read. We have a great and amazing responsibility here. And yes, it is wound up with the little things that we do for our loved ones in our homes. I was reminded just the other night, here with a dozen other mothers gathered together in this same room, that we, as mothers, set the atmosphere in our home. But, so often we lose sight of the great thing because we are deep in the tedious routines of the moment by moment. But is it the little things that we do, the little self sacrifices that make a difference in the greatest thing.

The very next day, I was at my assessment for a lung rehab exercise program and I just couldn't resist. The therapist, she asked me, "Do you think that your chest problem will get better?" Although I have been told countless times that it is not going to happen, I said "Yes" and after a very brief pause continued on with, "But, not on this earth."

She looked up from her stack of paperwork and looked me straight in the eye. I knew she knew what I was referring to, I just didn't now if she thought I was crazy or if she knew this same resurrection hope.

It is easy to get bogged down in the little things. But this is the thing: when we remember that this is not our home, that we are not just feeding little bodies, but feeding souls and making disciples, our role as mothers boasts of great things and brings us much hope.

How we need to fix our eyes on things unseen for that is where our hope is.

For home is where our Hope is.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Intentional Motherhood: Loving Them with Our Presence {In reality}



For anyone who is actually reading here about Intentional Motherhood, you *may* have noticed that although yesterday was Wednesday there was no post here. Instead of working on it, I intentionally chose to go down hill skiing with my family.

It is great to be my own 'boss' of my blog so I can choose to be with my family. I thought maybe I would be able to work on it when I got home, but I couldn't even keep my eyes open after dinner and everyone was settled for the night.

I am so thankful that I was intentional in choosing to be with them. It was so worth it!!

Encouraging you to intentionally be a mother to your children and love on them with your presence!


*****


For the first post in this series on Intentional Motherhood you can find it here.

For all posts in this series you can read them here.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Daring to do the Impossible



I am going to throw on a pair of running shoes and head to a gym tomorrow for the first time in my life. I really have no idea what to expect. A part of me is curious, but a part of me wants to cancel the appointment. I really do not want to be assessed and evaluated and have a plan drawn up, but I know I need to.

For my health, for my family, for me.

I wonder how much good it will do.

The respirologist who referred me to the program told me months ago that it won't improve some things. Living with only one functioning lung is still going to present challenges, but he thinks that if I get into better shape then I should be able to get through my days a lot better. It sounded good to me at the time, months ago, when it was just a referral.

But, now I have to go and show them what I can do, or can't. They'll set me up with a program and I'll wish it'll be like magic and that I'll feel better, and get through my days better, and maybe, maybe, I'll even look the best I've ever looked. {a girl can dream, can't she?}

Admittedly, living with half of normal lung capacity has made some things difficult, some things impossible ~ or at least seem impossible. When you live believing the impossible you learn to limit what is possible. It is not easy to dare yourself to do the impossible.

I'd loved to be able to run for miles or run after my children without getting out of breath. I'd loved to be able walk up a hill without having to stop. I'd love to be able to stop telling my children that I am just not able to do something with them.

Maybe, I'd just love to accept what I can do and work on improving what seems impossible.

I know these next few months are going to put me to the test. I am going to have to face some facts and perhaps push harder or maybe just accept the way I am and just dream about running a marathon.


I know I need to run with perseverance this race set out before me.


I am just not sure what is more impossible: running a marathon or accepting me for who I am and daring to love myself for just what and whose I am: a masterpiece of God.


***
Taking the dare to love myself with others daring to do the same, here.

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