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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Friday, January 31, 2014

Five Minute Friday: Hero



I don't know, maybe I should have lived believing there really were heroes.

Maybe I should have slipped on some rose coloured glasses so I could have some super vision and read a few more fairy tales.

I didn't buy into the whole hero thing growing up. I never was interesting in popular culture heroes and cartoons on saturday morning. No way. Couldn't stand them.

I wanted real life. Heroes were more for fantasy and the extraordinary.

I lived real life. I didn't see a whole lot of extraordinary in my ordinary world.

Or maybe I just wasn't looking.

When I asked my children this morning, what they think of when they hear the word hero, my son, he tells me while he chewing his toast dripping strawberry jam, it depends on how it's written.

If it's written with zig zags he thinks of the heroes in the Bible.

I stop right there and I believe the boy's on to something.

Maybe it is how we see it?

Are we looking for something grand, some marvellous action, something with the word super in front of it?

Don't true heroes look more like humility and laying one self down for the love and benefit of another?

Heroes don't need huge stories and brazen feats to make them legendary, but a humble spirit and a bold faith to live out their lives sacrificially.

Heroes live their ordinary lives without seeking their own fame, and believe God will do the extraordinary in their lives for the glory of His name.

Maybe I did grow up believing in heroes after all.

Cause when I crack open the simple-folk stories of lives around me, I see zig zags too.

***
Linking with Five Minute Friday at Lisa-Jo's place. This week the prompt is: Hero

Officially, the rules are:

Five Minute Friday1. Write for 5 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...


Thursday, January 30, 2014

Titus 2 Tips {on Thursdays}: Five Keys to Practice Forgiveness {Guest Post}


If I were to go back in time, and tell myself anything about how to better experience, live and teach a critical life lesson, it would be to practice forgiveness and do it well. I still need to remind myself of just how important this choice is.

I grew up in a single-parent, large family. Even though it was a Christian family, I did not understand and therefore did not practice forgiveness well. I sometimes rehearsed the wrongs others did to me, in my mind.

One of the critical hallmarks of being a disciple of Jesus, is to love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind and soul and your neighbour as yourself. {Matthew 22:37-40, John 13:34, 35}. Loving someone is to constantly practice forgiveness. Both asking for it, and giving it.

The Lord taught that this was an essential characteristic of His disciples and mentioned it numerous times.

He even said that we would not be forgiven, if we did not forgive our fellow human beings. {Matthew 6: 9-15, Mark 11: 25, 26}. Fellowship with our heavenly Father would be broken, until we repented. Broken fellowship means that we will not be enjoying the Lord as we should, and we also open ourselves to attacks of the enemy and that we will not be experiencing answers to prayers.

Forgiveness is about believing God.

It is believing that when I am wronged, that God will take responsibility for teaching the offender what they need to know. I am to believe that God will do as He says He will do...."Vengeance is Mine, I will repay". {Romans 12: 17-19}. I am called to demonstrate love and forgiveness even when the person hasn't recognized their part. The world may be watching, and will learn by example that Jesus' disciples do something that many others will not do. Which is the hardest thing to do, actually—giving up the right to get even. Giving it up to God, who knows much better than I how to handle it!

When I am offended, I am to send up a prayer to God, and say that I forgive them. Then, when the time and place are possible, I should speak to the offender and talk about it, and ask them if they'd like my forgiveness. (like offering a gift) If they say yes, then I give forgiveness verbally. If they do not, I leave the situation with God, still quietly forgiving them in my heart.

If I offend someone, then I am to go to them and ask their forgiveness.  If I'm not aware that I offended them, and they come to me to mention it, I should ask forgiveness.

Forgiveness is Over and Over Again

The Lord said that we forgive over and over and over again. Seventy times seven. {Luke 17:3,4}

Sometimes, we have to see leaders in our church family to help sort out an issue amongst members. That is mentioned in Matthew 18:15-19.

Forgiveness is Not Based on Feelings

Another critical part of forgiveness, is that most people will say that they don't FEEL forgiving, so therefore won't do it. The truth is, when we verbally release the person from the offence, by saying, "I forgive you", the resolving of feelings will come later. We need to recognize that feelings are a separate issue, and the forgiveness action is like a written contract. It needs to be separated from the feelings. We ask God to heal the hurts, and comfort our hearts and over time the hurt will also be released.

We actually will experience spiritual loss and physical consequences of unforgiveness if we do not forgive. When we need His help to forgive, all we need to do is ask for it {Phil 4:6-7}, and we will receive peace.

Forgiveness is Good and Hard

Forgiveness as taught by the Lord sounds good and right, and it is.  But when it comes down to the crunch, it is amongst the hardest choices of the will to do. The Lord has also said that He will be with us to the end of the age, and He empowers us to do the hardest things on earth.

It will be by His Spirit that we will be able to do these seemingly impossible things. {Luke 18:27}

Every time we come into relationship with anyone, we take a risk. The risk to hurt someone's feelings, and to have our feelings hurt. Sometimes, it is much more than just feelings hurt. And yet, this is one of the most critical ways that the world will observe and learn about God from us.  Many people may never darken the door of a church, but they are watching us all the time. And with God, the impossible becomes possible!

Jesus Himself gave us the supreme model of forgiveness, when as He died on the cross, He cried out to the Father, "Father forgive them, for they know not what they do". {Luke 23:34}

Also, we may feel that the person cannot be trusted anymore. We should not stand by and allow ourselves or loved ones to be abused. We should remove ourselves and/or loved ones from dangerous situations under threat. We might need to seek protection from authorities, or counsel under unusual circumstances.

Forgiveness is Freedom

To be unforgiving, is to be held captive.

Practicing forgiveness sets the captive free!

May we choose to live life in freedom.



Esther Weston formerly worked in Food Service Venues in Toronto, with CNIB and as a nursing home Food Service Department Head. Married for 31 years to Rob, an Auto Shop owner. When their children were born, she became a stay-at-home mom. As her children grew, she volunteered in numerous capacities as time allowed. Now she's a Mother of 3 adult children and 2 daughters-in-law. She's presently enjoying an intimate relationship with Jesus Christ, ever increasingly seeking and aware of His power and grace in her life and those around her.

{Esther writes: "I cannot take credit for this message on forgiveness, as it was taught by Dr. James Rennie at a Riverdrive chapel retreat 10 years ago.  It is backed up by scripture and when practised, works."}



A Soft Gentle voiceI am honoured to host these guest posts in this series on women mentoring women

Some weeks you may find tips from the kitchen or healthy recipes, tools other women have used to grow spiritually, hints to help us build up and love our husbands, and lessons they have learned as they have walked along with their children to teach them to love God wholeheartedly, habits they have developed in keeping their home, ways they have worked on to keep their behaviour respectful, or rhythms that allow peace and rest in the home and hearts that dwell there within.

You will find all the posts in the series here.



"Older women likewise are to be reverent in behaviour,
not slanderers or slaves to much wine.
They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands,
that the word of God may not be reviled."
{Titus 2:3-5}

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

When You Are Not Sure How You Will Go On {Words of Life Wednesdays}



Some days I desperately need to look back on the landscape of my life and remember the lesson I learned the first day I tried cross-country skiing.

I'll never forget it. I was ten years old and excited to go on this field trip with my fifth grade classmates. The best part was my Dad came with me. I loved it when I had my Dad to myself for the day as it was a rare occurrence with five other siblings. I never could have imagined how I might have needed him that day. Perhaps my parents decided that he would come for they knew how limited I would be in such a sport, but they never told me I couldn't do it.

We strapped skis on our feet and strung poles on our wrists. We poked those poles into the white ground and our skis made strides in fresh snow. With the rest of the class, we followed marks on skeleton trees in the woods. I remember how difficult it was for me to coordinate my left and right motion. When it came to the dreaded downhill parts, I found my limbs all entangled in skis and poles and tumbled down most of the way.

I was giving it an honest effort, but as we wound ourselves deeper into the bush, we were left far behind from the rest of the skiers. It was just my Dad and me finding our way through the forest. About the time this escapade on trails in the winter wonderland became more like a trial to test one's endurance when there's no blessed end in sight, blisters burst open and my feet began to throb. It was cold and I was worn out from trying to learn a new skill, weary from so many falls, discouraged that I was so far behind from all my classmates, and distressed from pain that was very real.

I wanted to give up. My Dad encouraged me to press on.

I groped along with unsteady strides for a wee while longer, but in the end you know what he did?

When I could go no longer on my own, he picked me up and skied with me on his shoulders. Now, granted, I was a petite ten year old, but I was still at least 60 pounds. Plus, my skis were still attached to my feet and tucked under his armpits.

Yeah, that's what my Dad did. He picked up sixtyish pounds, skis, poles and carried me on his shoulders and propelled both of us forward.

Some times I look back and think I should never have given up. I should have endured to the end. I shake my finger in my own face and rebuke myself: why did I give up so easily?

But, the reality is, I was living with a significant disadvantage with only one functioning lung and that kind of exercise is a cardiovascular challenge even for the fittest. I had recovered from a two year fight against cancer five years earlier, but was dealing with side effects that made some things in life difficult.

Cross-country skiing proved to be one of those things that would be a challenge for a childhood cancer survivor living with half her lung capacity.

None of my classmates ever knew that I was carried on my father's shoulders. My Dad put my feet on the ground as that glorious chalet came into view and I skied the final stretch with him by my side.

I look back to that day as one on which I learned a very real limitation, as well as this vital life lesson: I was never alone.

There will be trials. They will distress us. But the One who goes before us, carries us as a father carries his child when life winds through the wild woods and your strength is dried up and you simply can't go on.

Sometimes the demanding trails we journey in life lead to difficult trials and we are desperate for a way out of the woods.

Turn to this truth when you're worn out from trying to live this life in your own strength.

Hold on to this hope when you're weary from falling down so many times,

Rest in His strength when you are discouraged that you seem to be so far behind from so many others who are making a real difference in the world.

Cling to His tender care when the pain in this life is very real.

Embrace His steadfast love when your heart is distressed and full of sorrow.

What does the Father of Heavenly Lights do when life is more than we can handle?

He picks up and carries His children to the place of refuge.

He lovingly leads His children home.

"And you saw how the LORD your God cared for you 
all along the way as you traveled through the wilderness, 
just as a father cares for his child.
Now he has brought you to this place."
{Deuteronomy 1:31}



(email subscribers can watch the video by clicking here)


A Soft Gentle Voice

(also linking with Coffee For Your Heart)





Monday, January 27, 2014

When You Are Weary You Need a Wilderness



The world is noisy.

Our lives are busy.

The distractions in our days are many.

There is much work to be done.

There are many places to go.

There are multitudes of people to love.

We are weary and worn.

We wonder how we will meet all the demands on our lives and precious time.

We find ourselves pulled in many directions.

We are simply unable to please so many people.

The solution is simple, but not easy.

After busy days, the best thing we could do is follow the example of Jesus.

Find a secluded place and spend time in prayer.

It requires sacrifice, surrender, and abandoning our own self-desires.

We need to go against the flow to slow down and slip away.

We need to quit trying to please everyone to withdraw to a quiet place to pray.

We need to remember it is not all about our plans in life, but God's purpose for our lives.




"But Jesus Himself would often slip away 
to the wilderness and pray."
{Luke 5:16}




A Soft Gentle Voice

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Words of Wisdom for the Weekend: Life, Love, and Light {with web links}

"The light shines in the darkness, 

and the darkness has not overcome it."
{John 1:5}



"This is the stunning message of Christianity: Jesus died for you so that he might live in you. Jesus doesn't merely improve your old nature; he imparts to you and entirely new nature—one that is completely united with his. Everything that belongs to him becomes your. His righteousness replaces your unrighteousness. His Spirit fills your spirit. His love becomes your love. His joy becomes your joy. His mind becomes your mind. His desires become your desires. His will becomes your desires. His will becomes your will. His purpose becomes your purpose. His power becomes your power. The Christian life this becomes nothing less than the outliving of the indwelling Christ. This in the essence of what it means to be a Christian—a follower of Christ."
~ David Platt, What Did Jesus Really Mean When He Said Follow Me?  
{this booklet is free right now on Amazon Kindle}

A Soft Gentle Voice


Life is messy and broken. That is the way it is. There is baggage and junk. 
My sister sent this video to me and while I was doing dishes and rolling our pastry for a party I listened to this powerful message. 
Just like yours my family is full of brokenness. 
BUT there is hope in the power of the Gospel.
{Email subscribers can watch this love letter here.}
"I am a brand new person . . . this is the story of me today . . . "

"I love you . . . I came full of grace and full of truth . . . Put down the book of being the victim . . . the story of the Victor is overwhelming the story of the victim . . . No once can separate you from the love of God . . ."

"You will never be without the love of a Father." 

"I am His and He is mine"

"It is only possible . . . with Christ and it's only possible at the cross."


A love letter straight from the Word of God.

{Email subscribers can watch this love letter here.}
{Thank you Beatriz for linking this on our Words of Life Wednesdays Link-up}

How To Get Through the Dark Places [#TheJesusProject 2]
I read this one out loud to my hubby in the dark late one night. If you haven't read it, take a few moments to read this incredible story. And while you're at it, you may still want to join in on the memory work project. It is not too late.

"While others run fast, you can just shuffle with perseverance. 
While others impress, you can simply press on.  
While others stop for the dark, you can run through the dark. 
The race is won by those who keep running through the dark. 
Could be the year to pull a Cliff Young."

***
{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, January 24, 2014

Five Minute Friday: Visit




He shuffles out of his bedroom in his blue and white striped jammies, the ones that look like there has indeed been a jailbreak. He stands over the heat register cause when it's -20 degrees celcius outside the frigid air seeps in through the cracks and its cold in here in the morning.

Straight away he would like to know when we'll be heading out. No matter what I say, unless I say right now, it will be too long. He's eager to get together with his cousins. He has almost twenty of them and when they all get together you can believe that they have a lot of crazy fun.

Tonight, there's a party and he can't wait for it to start. But there's much to do before the celebration commences. There's phyllo pastry in the fridge waiting to be cut out for appetizers, fancy ones with cream cheese piped in with a dollop of red pepper jelly. There's dirty clothes to wash, fold and pack, and floors to be swept, and sinks to be scrubbed, in amongst the reading and writing and math facts to be figured.

The hours seem to crawl when there are a few celebrations on the horizon. The visits that will take place this weekend will be joyous, loud, filled food, fun, laughter and love.

So, excuse me mundane, would you kindly move along for there are memories waiting to be made.
Our Mama turns seventy today and the baby of the family turns thirty on Sunday and we plan to make merry with two parties in one weekend to celebrate and give thanks for them.

***
Linking with Five Minute Friday at Lisa-Jo's place. This week the prompt is: Visit

Officially, the rules are:

Five Minute Friday1. Write for 5 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...

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Calming the Sunday Morning Mayhem {Titus 2 Tips on Thursdays: Guest Post}



Just the other week, after a bit of a crazy morning, my darling son said “Why are Sundays always so … hard?”. He was doing his best to be polite, but he was right. At our house, sometimes Sunday morning can be the most unpredictable of the week. Okay, “sometimes” may be understating it a bit.

If you take your family to church every week, you are no stranger to Sunday Morning Mayhem. Why is it that things can go from molehill to mountain quicker than you can say it on a Sunday morning?

My mother was a wise woman. When Sunday mornings got crazy when I was growing up, she’d remind me: “Megan, don’t let the enemy win.” The enemy? Contrary to what I thought at the time, she didn’t mean whichever brother had just popped into the bathroom right when I was planning on using it, making my fists clench and my attitude sour. She meant The Enemy.

See, God’s told us in the Bible that we need to be meeting with other Christians on a regular basis (Hebrews 10:25). But Satan will do anything to keep us from doing what God wants. And what better way to distract us from worship, Bible teaching and fellowship than to create havoc and bad attitudes through sleeping in, a cranky baby, missing headbands, an empty milk bag, and no clean mugs for coffee. And it’s easy to let him win, even if we do make it to church. We show up rushed, unsettled, unprepared for ministry, and certainly not with a worshipful state of mind.

How can we change that? How can we fight back and not let the enemy win?

Have Clearly Defined Roles.
In our family, I’m the morning person. So, I’m the one who wakes the kids, makes sure they get dressed and fed, and that they get to church. When I was working full time, things were different, but this is the way it works for us now, and it works well (most days). Talk with your spouse about Sunday mornings. Decide who will do what when it comes to not only getting the kids ready, but getting the snow brushed off the car, starting the coffee, who gets the shower first, and who feeds the baby. Knowing in advance which responsibilities belong to whom can completely eliminate the “I thought YOU were going to do that!” we’ve all heard so many times on a Sunday morning.

Choose Clothing On Saturday Night.
Whether your family wears “church clothes” or not, making sure you have enough clean socks and underwear, tights and yes, headbands makes Sunday morning go so much more smoothly. Lay the kids’ clothes out on a chair for them, so that they can get dressed quickly and easily, without having to make too many early- morning decisions.

Don’t Sleep In.
Get up at the same time you wake up Monday to Friday. I know it’s a drag – it is the weekend after all! But prioritizing obedience to God’s Word trumps that. Wake up your kids at the usual time too. Chances are you won’t need to be at church before you would normally be ready for school, so follow your school-morning routine. If you’re ready early, spend that time having an extra cup of coffee, reading with your kids, or simply by having a massive, house- wide game of laser tag. Oh wait, maybe that last one only applies to kids like mine . . .

Have A Quiet Time With God.
Make time to quiet yourself before God, read His Word, and pray that the enemy would not get a foothold in your family today.

You may be tested, and your patience may wear thin when the craziness begins, but whatever you do: “Don’t let the enemy win”. Preparing for the battle and making sure you’re ready for action will go a long way in calming the Sunday Morning Mayhem.



Megan Elford is a WAHM who enjoys dabbling in her not-quite-lucrative-enough-to-be-a-real-business printing start-up, stalking her 3 children at school under the guise of "volunteering" and taking on DIY projects that exceed her skill set. She maintains a blog at Welcome To The Zoo.ca and loves to write about her experiences with running her in-home daycare, the crazy genius things her kids teach her, and all of the steps that she and her husband are taking to expand their family through domestic adoption. You can find her lurking on Facebook and trying to figure out how to tweet on Twitter






A Soft Gentle voiceI am excited to host the first guest post in this series on women mentoring women

Some weeks you may find tips from the kitchen or healthy recipes, tools other women have used to grow spiritually, hints to help us build up and love our husbands, and lessons they have learned as they have walked along with their children to teach them to love God wholeheartedly, habits they have developed in keeping their home, ways they have worked on to keep their behaviour respectful, or rhythms that allow peace and rest in the home and hearts that dwell there within.

You will find all the posts in the series here.


"Older women likewise are to be reverent in behaviour,
not slanderers or slaves to much wine.
They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands,
that the word of God may not be reviled."
{Titus 2:3-5}

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Of The Fulness of Christ We Have Received One Gift After Another {Words of Life Wednesdays:Link-up}

{Join us below for Words of Life Wednesdays and link-up your post.
We'd love to hear how God's Word has been nourishing you.}

"And of his fulness have all we received, grace upon grace."
{John 1:16}



Weary one?

We have already received one gift after another, grace upon grace.

We may reach out feeble hands to this inexhaustible fountain of grace,
where grace cascades down after grace,
for it is all from Him in the first place.

It is incomprehensible, but not beyond our grasp,
for in Christ is it made possible.

Because He is full of grace and truth,
we receive the inconceivable, but truly amazing grace,
over and over and over again.

In the wisdom of the old preacher, Charles Spurgeon,
contemplate what we receive in Christ:
"These words tell us that there is a fulness in Christ 
There is a fulness of essential Deity, for "in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead."  
There is a fulness of perfect manhood, for in him, bodily, that Godhead was revealed.  
There is a fulness of atoning efficacy in his blood, for "the blood of Jesus Christ, his Son, cleanest us from all sin."  
There is a fulness of justifying righteousness in his life, for "there is therefore now no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus."  
There is a fulness of divine prevalence in his plea, for "He is able to save to the uttermost them that come unto God by him; seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them."  
There is a fulness of victory in his death, for through death he destroyed him that had the power of death, that is the devil.  
There is a fulness of efficacy in his resurrection from the dead, for by it "we are begotten again unto a lively hope."  
There is a fulness of triumph in his ascension, for "when he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and received gifts for men."  
There is a fulness of blessings of every sort and shape; a fulness of grace to pardon, of grace to regenerate, of grace to sanctify, of grace to preserve, and of grace to perfect.  
There is a fulness at all times; a fulness of comfort in affliction; a fulness of guidance in prosperity.  
A fulness of every divine attribute, of wisdom, of power, of love; a fulness which it were impossible to survey, much less to explore. "It pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell."  
Oh, what a fulness must this be of which all receive! Fulness, indeed, must there be when the stream is always flowing, and yet the well springs up as free, as rich, as full as ever.  
Come, believer, and get all thy need supplied; ask largely, and thou shalt receive largely, for this "fulness" is inexhaustible, and is treasured up where all the needy may reach it, even in Jesus, Immanuel—God with us." 
~ Charles Spurgeon {layout and emphasis mine}


What beautiful unfailing love!

What eternal comforting hope!

What absolute redeeming truth!

What extravagant amazing grace!

A Soft Gentle Voice

{Also linking with Coffee for your Heart}








Monday, January 20, 2014

The Golden Axe Will Eventually Lose its Lustre BUT The Golden Rule Will Eternally Shine {Meditation of My Heart Mondays}

“So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them,
for this is the Law and the Prophets."
{Matthew 7:12}


These days most would say brains over brawn.

But, when it comes right down to the heart of the matter there is something even better: a man that is committed to living out the sum of all that is written in the Scriptures. In a nutshell, a man that whole-heartedly loves God and his neighbour. This man knows his duty is to live according to the royal law, the law of love.

Twenty-five years ago, or maybe closer to thirty, there was a single woman raising her children on her  own. I have no other details. I don't know why she was single. Perhaps she was grieving the loss of her husband or experiencing guilt or shame for life choices she had made.

I don't know how she managed to care for her children, or if she was even able to feed them nutritious meals. I wonder how she survived her days if money was tight or how she braved her nights when dreams were tormenting. I don't know if Loneliness was her lousy companion, or if she chose to rise above her circumstances, but I hope she lived believing she was called Beloved.

I could act as a good reporter and dig up all the lurid details, or write up a sensational story about this woman's life, but it's not the specifics that make this particular story so heart-wrenchingly beautiful. This story is not about the status of a person, rather it's the way some people loved with hearts that beat in time to the King of love.

All I know is that she needed help. She needed fire-wood to keep her children and her own self warm one cold Canadian winter. And there was a small group of men and women who had a deep desire to pour out God's love by helping those in need in their little backwoods community. They knew the importance of treating their neighbour just as they themselves would desire to be treated.

Men and women who met together to pray and sing praise to their Saviour, break bread at the Lord's Supper, and listen to the teaching of Biblical truths every week, also met together one winter's day in the bush. They hauled axes over their shoulders, tromped deep into the wood, and with all their heart and all their strength, cut right through logs. Men of dust, bent their knees down low, did back-breaking humble work with their feet planted firmly on the forest humus, and split wood for a woman.

The man who owned the bush, I've been told, was a quiet man, so he may not have had words to offer, but he gave what he had.

The man of few words gave his wood.

It started an annual tradition and it became known as the "Bush Party".


Years later, however, it didn't seem appropriate to call an annual church gathering a 'bush party' so it was re-named. In 2014, at the event now called the "Snow Ball", wood-splitting was brought back in the form of a good old-fashioned competition. After roasting hot dogs on an open fire, axes fell on ash logs, and the champion was determined by the man who split his log into six pieces with the least number of swings. Crack after crack, the excitement in the competition grew, and laughter and cheers echoed off still standing trees.

A golden axe was presented to the champ who had split his log with 5 strategic arches of the axe, cutting through the air and chopping that frozen log into firewood.

I have a feeling that this first annual wood-splitting contest won't be remembered in another thirty years in quite the same way as that year almost three decades ago when love was shown to a neighbour in the splitting and sharing of wood.

Yes, of course, it may be a small honour to have your name on a golden axe, but it's of great value to live out what has come to be known as the golden rule of Christ.

Not all of us will handle an axe, or have wood to give away, but "whatever you want people to do for you, do the same for them."

Next year, I hear, there will be more logs ready for another competition, and another name added to the golden axe. Perhaps another generation of men and women who meet together on Sundays and desire to live the golden rule, will gather in the same bush and split wood for another neighbour in need.

For when we live our days according to the Golden Rule of the King of Love the Light shines on in the darkest night.


A Soft Gentle Voice

How are you living our the Golden Rule of Christ?

In what ways has your heart been stirred to love your neighbour as yourself?




Saturday, January 18, 2014

Words of Wisdom for the Weekend: "Face the Sermon on the Mount"

"But since we belong to the day,
let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love,
and for a helmet the hope of salvation. 
For God has not destined us for wrath,
but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ,
who died for us so that whether we are awake or asleep we might live with him.
Therefore encourage one another and build one another up,
 just as you are doing."
{1 Thessalonians 5:9-11}


"Nothing but the Holy Spirit can humble us, nothing but the Holy Spirit can make us poor in spirit and make us mourn because of our sinfulness and produce in us this true, right view of self and give us this very mind of Christ Himself. But this is a serious matter. Those of us who claim to be Christian claim of necessity that we have already received the Holy Spirit. Therefore we have no excuse . . . It is not something you do and I do. It is character that is produced in us by the Spirit. It is the direct fruit of the Spirit. It is offered to us and it is possible for us all. What do we have to do? We must face this Sermon on the Mount; we must meditate upon this statement about bing meek; we must look at the examples; above all we must look at the Lord Himself. Then we must humble ourselves and confess with shame, not only the smallness of our stature, but our utter imperfection. Then we must finish with that self which is the cause of all our troubles, so that He who has bought us at such a price may come in and possess us wholly."

A Soft Gentle Voice


Russian Mother Takes Magical Pictures of Her Two Kids With Animals On Her Farm
"These wonderful photographs by Elena Shumilova plunge the viewer into a beautiful world that revolves around two boys and their adorable dog, cat, duckling and rabbit friends. Taking advantage of natural colors, weather conditions and her enchanting surroundings, the gifted Russian artist creates cozy and heartwarming photography that will leave you amazed. 
The boys in the photographs are the photographer’s sons and the animals belong to the farm she runs. “I largely trust my intuition and inspiration when I compose photos. I get inspired mainly by my desire to express something I feel, though I usually cannot tell exactly what that is” Shumilova explained . . ."



Five Minute Friday: Encouragement
 Over 200 women share on the word, "Encouragement" at Lisa-Jo Baker's Five Minute Friday.

Need some encouragement this weekend on this sometimes slippery road in this journey of life.










Anne of Green Gables 

Have you read these novels by a Canadian author. A favourite in our home. I still have my original set, but now all of them on Kindle for .99c!!


A Give-Away

Beth, from Simply Beth is giving away "Anything" by Jennie Allen on her Friday Randomness.  I was just given a copy of this book and I've been 'cautioned' that it can stir deep things within you. 

Come on over for your chance to win!


Titus 2 Tips {on Thursdays} 
 
This weeks tip was a practical food tip. It would be a perfect weekend to roast a chicken and make your own homemade chicken broth. If you've never made it, I have seven reasons to entice you to and I leave you with a simple recipe.
I have some great women lined up willing to share from their hearts to encourage and mentor women. Here on this little house on the web on Thursdays.





A song for your Weekend



***
{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.}


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