Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Thursday, April 24, 2008

This morning ...

This morning I had to sew a button on my winter coat. I wish it was because I was so organized that I was fixing stuff as I was putting it away for the summer. But, nope ... it's because I am leaving this summer weather behind and heading to Edmonton where they had nearly 3 feet of snowfall last weekend! uugghh. At least it's only for a few days!
Somehow this is all wrong ... aren't you supposed to leave COLD weather and go somewhere HOT for a few days?
Oh well, hopefully the good concerts and spending time with friends will warm our hearts!

Saturday, April 12, 2008

"Child of God Gives Back"

I have spent two evenings this week with my family watching American Idol's "Idol Gives Back". We are all big fans of the show and were thrilled to watch the many entertainers, singers, celebrities, athletes and politicians join together with one voice and compel the public to donate to the needy, hungry and sick both in Africa and the United States. In total over 60 million dollars has been raised and they are still taking donations! What an incredible amount of people will be able to be helped.

I was thinking of us, as Children of God. What if we all set our own mandate to be part of "Child of God Gives Back". There wouldn't be any famous names begging people to make large donations or even donations of pocket change. No, this would be that "still, small voice" prodding us to engage in random acts of kindness -being Jesus to everyone we encounter. In "Child of God Gives Back" each one would show the same amount of mercy to others as God has shown to them. In "Child of God Gives Back" each would love their neighbour as themselves. In "Child of God Gives Back" each would treat others as they'd like to be treated. In "Child of God Gives Back" each would share what they have (hint ... it really isn't ours anyway. It actually all belongs to God.) In "Child of God Gives Back" hate e-mails disguised as prayer requests would be obsolete. In "Child of God Gives Back" each would offer and receive forgiveness. In "Child of God Gives Back" each would display the fruits of the spirit in every situation. In "Child of God Gives Back" they would know us by our love for one another.

Even in the words of some of those who were guests on American Idol, we can be encouraged be part of "Child of God Gives Back" See how fitting these words are ....???

"Help people out. It'll feel good." Adam Sandler
"Keep giving. Keep caring." Gloria Estevan
"Sometimes to help someone, we have to travel outside our comfort zones." Brad Pitt
"Get involved." Dr. Phil
"We can't just leave this up to our parents. We've got to get involved too!" Miley Cyrus
"It would mean so much to so many." Reese Witherspoon
"Give whatever you can." Tyra Banks
"Let's do it together." Forest Whitaker

What a mandate! I am so thankful for second chances! Lord, help us to slow down, hear your still, small voice and begin affecting the world around us.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Truth ...

After reading part of Roxanne's blog last week and also being inspired by Rhonda's posting of simple, yet powerful, scripture, I have been thinking a lot about TRUTH.

From the time we are toddlers we are scolded, "Tell the truth". Yet, there are times when we know that if we tell the truth we will be punished and will have to face the consequences, so we don't. It is easier to deny the truth and escape the consequences.

As adults, we do the same thing, except it isn't about stealing a cookie or taking a toy from a sibling. Usually it has to do with relationships. If we simply deny the truth, we escape the consequences. But, this will only go on for so long before we lose the relationship or we face the truth and make things right. This applies to marriages, friendships, work relationships and even to ourselves.

We immobilize situations by refusing to face the truth. We deny that there are problems that are unsolved. We deny that there are feelings we haven't dealt with. We deny that we have made bad decisions. We deny that we have addictions. We deny that there are relationships that are not whole. We deny that marriage isn't everything we thought it was going to be. We deny the financial crisis we are in. While we live in denial, situations go from bad to worse.

I think of people sitting in counselling sessions time after time after time while the counsellor simply waits for the truth to be told or revealed. Until there is truth, even a professional counsellor's hands are tied.

I like to think of John 8:32 as "... you will know the Truth and the Truth shall set you free ..." (a bit out of context, I know). I really believe that knowing the One who IS Truth is imperative for facing truth in every other situation. I like to think though, that when we come to Jesus (Truth), spend time with Him and get to know Him, then we would see ...

"... that I'm precious, and I would know that I'm prized
I'd know Your love never changes
If I could look through your eyes.
If I saw my value to you
I'd see your love for me remains
Despite the foolish things I do
And I'd see your love for what it is
Unshakable and TRUE
If I saw my value to you." (written by Dan Cutrona, sung by my hubby yesterday morning at DSCF and recorded on his new album "Departures")

Oh, the incredible things that happen to us when we know the one who IS Truth ... we become FREE! Yes, Mona, we can trust Him because He cannot tell anything, but the Truth!

When we know the One who Is Truth, He can speak the truth to us. I remember one very confusing morning a few years ago when God revealed some truth to my husband and I. A ton of feeling came with the revelation and we really didn't even know what to do with it all. We went to our friends, Todd and Tammy who listened and then reminded us that, "The Lord reveals to heal". He speaks the truth to us to heal us!! I can't tell you how many times I have quoted that phrase to other people since that time.

When we know the One who IS Truth, we can begin to speak the truth about everything else in our lives. We are able to speak the truth about hurt and mistreatment and then forgive! We can speak the truth about unhappiness and dissatisfaction and then work towards a solution! We can speak truth about our financial situation, rework our budget and make better financial decisions. We can speak the truth about disappointments and failures and then trust God to help us become better people! It all begins, though, with telling the truth. Yes, there may be consequences ... we may have to admit that we aren't perfect (gasp!). We may have to struggle through some ugly feelings. We may have to step out of our comfort zones. We may even have to work very, very hard. The results, though, are so worth it ... we can be ... FREE!!


Disclaimer: I am only speaking from my own experiences and want to encourage others towards freedom. In no way have I meant to shame anyone. If this post seems harsh, it wasn't meant to be.