Wednesday, April 20, 2011

To walk where Jesus walked, where he lay, and rose again in victory

I am once again reminded of the desire I have to visit Isreal. I know that many times I have read books, watched DVD's and wondered what it would be like to actually be there. I know of friends that have gone and they have told me what a wonderful experience it was. So today I imagined walking, I read the scriptures of the days between Palm Sunday and the crucification and the day they rolled away the stone to reveal a risen saviour. If you are having a tough day, read these biblical accounts and you can be instantly transformed into a humble, thankful heap of tears of gladness. He is risen, He is alive, He lives in me. WOW how cool is that!

So here is my morning, I watched Hillsongs, Stronger, more than once I admit, I looked through pictures and I read and prayed my prayers of thanks for a gift so immense there is not a word in our language to describe it.

More pictures and a short video can be found at the website
Take a walk through and go in your mind, if you close your eyes after and mediate on the meaning of the week that we are in, pray a prayer of thanks, you can be whisked away in your heart to a place long ago. Travelling to see myself would be great but I am thankful for the internet and those pictures and informative sites that teach me about what it was like on that day. "Jesus conquered death and is now seated at the Father’s right hand, interceding for believers. He knows your name, where you are, and what you need and desire. The comfort of the empty tomb is that our Savior is alive and watching over us—just as He said (Heb. 7:25; 12:2)." CStanley

Friday, April 15, 2011

Do you go to DEAD church?

I am deep in the throes of a great book, I Dare You by Joyce Meyer.
Every page rivets me to the promises in the word, the encouragement to "git er done", but nothing lately has stopped me in my tracks more than reading about dead churches. I guess because I am so blessed to be part of GREAT church, a living church, a thriving church I didn't realize that there was such a thing as a dead church.
So here are some of the ways to notice if you are in a dead church, in true Jeff Foxworthy fashion!

If you feel worse rather than better after church? You might be in a dead church!
If the same people who sang twenty years ago are still the only ones singing from the platform.You might be in a dead church!
Does your church have reserved seating and guests are only welcome if they don't sit in your seat?You might be in a dead church!
IS the most exciting conversation on a sunday morning the color choices for sanctuary renovation? You might be in a dead church!
Does your church attendance and participation never get into the sermon, but other churches does? You might be in a dead church!
Do you go to church to hear all the "what you can't do" and nothing about what Jesus has done? You might be in a dead church!
If there is any movement or does everything stay the same, week after week, month after month, year after year? You might be in a dead church!

Well that is paraphrased (Sorry Joyce, you got me all fired up, but people have got to read this book) People go to church looking for God, help and comfort, peace, liberty and freedom, they are not there to get loaded down with guilt, rules and condemnation. At this time I will suggest that if you answered yes to more than three of these then message me and lets get you into a church that has passion and enthusiasm, to a place that ministers life. Jesus is the truth, the light and the way, He gives fullness of life, joy, and strength. Going to church is supposed to give us energy, excitement and anticipation. Going to my church does!

I love her parting words in the chapter on keeping yourself stirred up.
"Do you go to church just to get your blessing for the week, or do you go to give to and help other people? Are you a channel or a reservoir? A channel has something flowing in and something flowing out, but a reservoir just sits there and collects whatever is offered. There is no movement" ...therefore there is great potential to become stuck, or dead, or stagnant. Like the yucky pond in the summer, swarming with mosquitos, yeah, the one you walk away from. That is a vision of stagnant, that green pond that sits still, with only the occasional passerby in the shape of a water skeeter. (Colleen speak for one of those bugs with long legs that skids along the water)

I know I want to be the channel, I am excited to be a channel, I live for being a channel, Lord make me a channel!
Each of us have been planted in a church and given the opportunity to grow. Reach for the stars friends...and allow Him to nuture your gifts and purpose.

Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness. Colossians 2 v7
New Living Translation

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Running on empty..waiting for the rush!

Lately we have been discussing the humdrum life of winter, how much we miss the sun and what makes us tick. What refreshes us, what spurs us on and motivates us to get up each morning, seeking His face and all that He has for you that day. I will be honest, lately it has been a lot harder, just to get out of bed, okay, and waking up joyful.
Years ago our son sang "Eye of the Sparrow" and often I visualize that day, it was his grandma's celebration of life,  she loved to hear him sing, she loved her grandchildren so much, and listening from heaven, I can't imagine anything but a smile and her hands clapping, declaring that is my grandson. 
The song goes..
I sing because I'm happy

I sing because I'm free, 

His eye is on the sparrow, 
And I know He watches me. 
What an incredible promise we have in being watched over by our amazingly good God.  
So waking up joyful maybe difficult but choosing to be positive in whatever circumstance comes my way is how I can turn my joy "on". Yep, I am preaching to me here. What do I live for?
Some people live for the weekend. Okay most of us do.  Some people live for sports, or hunting and fishing,  Some people live for things, new clothes, new cars, new houses, bigger bank accounts. Some people are only motivated by addictions. Some for the prestige or status at work. Some play and don't work, living life on the edge of never knowing the what next.  
So, what keeps you going,  drives you, motivates you to get out of the bed in the morning?  What do you look forward to?  What gives you comfort or satisfaction, what gives you that feel-good-feeling inside?   Where is the joy in the Lord in order of importance to you each day?  l

Some days the emptiness inside creates a longing for something that will fill us and so we find that we are always searching for something. That one thing that makes us happy, that makes our heart sing, that propels us forward in anticipation. I am not talking the thrill seekers that jump out of planes for the rush...but how do I get my rush?

My prayer this week will to be happy where I am, and pray for the rush of infectious joy. I want  to sing and dance, I want to scream and shout. To smile and be infectious to all I meet. To  shed all the winter blahs and look forward to the spring, embrace the wind and rain in my face, stand in awe at the glacier, the oceans brimming with seals, the call of the eagles in the morning, so loud they wake me, each piece of this beautiful land I call home, created by Him. I am so thankful. 

See the notes below....just because. C

Matthew 6
 27-29"Has anyone by fussing in front of the mirror ever gotten taller by so much as an inch? All this time and money wasted on fashion—do you think it makes that much difference? Instead of looking at the fashions, walk out into the fields and look at the wildflowers. They never primp or shop, but have you ever seen color and design quite like it? The ten best-dressed men and women in the country look shabby alongside them.
 30-33"If God gives such attention to the appearance of wildflowers—most of which are never even seen—don't you think he'll attend to you, take pride in you, do his best for you? What I'm trying to do here is to get you to relax, to not be so preoccupied with gettingso you can respond to God's giving. People who don't know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works. Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don't worry about missing out. You'll find all your everyday human concerns will be met.
 34"Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don't get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes." The Message
Matthew 10
29Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care. 30 And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. 31 So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows. NIV

The inspiration behind the song...
Early in the spring of 1905, my husband and I were sojourning in Elmira, New York. We contracted a deep friendship for a couple by the name of Mr. and Mrs. Doolittle—true saints of God. Mrs. Doolittle had been bedridden for nigh twenty years. Her husband was an incurable cripple who had to propel himself to and from his business in a wheel chair. Despite their afflictions, they lived happy Christian lives, bringing inspiration and comfort to all who knew them. One day while we were visiting with the Doolittles, my husband commented on their bright hopefulness and asked them for the secret of it. Mrs. Doolittle's reply was simple: "His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me." The beauty of this simple expression of boundless faith gripped the hearts and fired the imagination of Dr. Martin and me. The hymn "His Eye Is on the Sparrow" was the outcome of that experience.
—Civilla Martin

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Happy Birthday ....I Love U

In Finland 2years old
Last night while watching TV, I heard Jussi say, I am officially 46."Not until tomorrow, " I said and he said "I was born at 9:15am in Finland that means with the ten hour difference, I am now 46." At that point I wished I could say I was 46, but I am 39, someday I catch him.   Many years ago my dear husband in his bid to be romantic, (uncharacteristic for a Finn) decided to write me a poem. It was and still is a classic. He loves it and says it is still his best work. I have encouraged him to expand in his poetry skills as a willing recipient but he says nothing can top this one. So that all of you can grasp the intensity and absolute depth of my husband you have to know him, he is wiseloving, funny, adventuresome, an amazing problem solver, creative, can fix anything with wit and ease, loves the Lord, desires to live in Haiti or wherever God calls us, is passionate for change and the rights of children everywhere, his dream life to grow old surrounded by children he can teach the treasures in his mind, experiencing life through their eyes. His values, morals and judgements remain steadfast and unwavering and I am so blessed to be his wife!
Happy Birthday "H" I love you!

The poem reproduced without permission from the author. 
A Poem for my wife

Your eyes are like two brown circles 
with dots  in them. Your most beautiful 
feature is your hair, the same colour as
wood. Your skin is softer than the
cats hair. 

Yep, you can't go wrong with man with a sense of humour. Every year we remember the poem and so this year I dug it out of the treasure box, unfortunately I never dated it, but it was in our first few years of marriage. We have sure had some fun, a few more grey hairs,  today we celebrate Jussi's mom Kaarina (she did all the work that day) and his dad Leo and remember the day they held a sweet baby boy in their arms and the wonderful man he has become that I get to hold! 
Hyvää syntymäpäivää minä rakastan sinua!

Sorry Kelsey never noticed the fanny pack, nice touch, but my hair back when it was the color of wood

Loving his hockey player hair

Thanks Monkey for the Mangoes

Ti Mac and Papa

Yep that is him way up there....

Looking forward to another day like this one!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Things that make me think....of summer

You know how some days you get to thinking about things and one thing leads to another, then another and before you know it, you are smiling and wondering and daydreaming. Well hopefully you are not driving at the time but I rarely listen to anything on my commute to work, most days gearing up for the busy day ahead of me. I work in a program for students with special needs and it is busy...twenty plus of them and 8 or so of us...yep we are outnumbered, add that to the 1200 plus teenagers  in the halls and the fun and excitement of high school is never boring.
The other day on my way to work, I was counting down the days until summer vacation. (Yeah I know that looks bad after just having a week off for spring break) It seems that the winter takes forever to be over LOL. Here in BC it rains a lot and this year was no exception. So for all you statistic people and those that wonder why we pine for the warmth and sun of Haiti, here it is one winter in a nutshell. (I should say that quietly because I want to believe that winter is behind us)
October 2010 it  rained 17 days in 31
November 2010 it rained 24 days in 30 (yep only 6 days it didn't rain?
December 2010 rained 25 days in 31  (totalling 315 one month) grab an ark we were floating
Jan 2011 it rained 22 days in 31
Feb 2011 it rained 13 in 28
and March yeah well it rained 26 days in 31! Now I even was shocked that last month is rained 84% of the days. Maybe by then I getting used to it. Oh how I long for summer!

It is no wonder we start to think of summer, of wearing flip flops, warm breezes, camping, hiking, bbqs, haying season, and time off from school. I am thankful for the job that I have and I will never take it for granted but Lord just allow me the little times, when I escape in the warmth of summer, the sights, the sounds, and pray for the days to wing quickly by.