I spend most of my days with children. Some days I am with children who are functional. Other days I am with children who function differently. Society has lots of labels for this second set, labels that are mostly polite ways for saying they are damaged. We live in a world where broken-ness is not tolerated. Instead it is something to be defined, analysed and fixed. This is fairly easy to do when you wear your damage at a surface level – when the way you walk or talk or behave is clearly different from the way everyone else does. But what about when your malfunction is not on the surface? What about what your broken-ness is so deep inside that no one can see it? Or so deeply woven into who you are that you don’t realize it is broken-ness until you try to untangle the reasons you behave the way you do?
I have the memory of an elephant. An elephant with short term memory loss. So in order to ensure that I get things accomplished I have to make lists and use calendars and the like to remind myself of what I need to do. It doesn’t help that I usually have a million things going on from week to week. Between my ever-changing work schedule, my activities at church, appointments with my family, favors for friends, and the volunteering I manage to squeeze in, I can barely keep track. Continue reading
Last Friday I wrote about the fact that having faith means patiently waiting. As I continued to focus on that this week, a text I read some time ago came to mind: James 2: 14 – 16 (NKJV). The highlights of this section of scripture, for me, are:
“14 What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him?…17 Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.”
You can’t say you have faith, but then not show it. It does not work that way. The New International Version puts it this way: 17 In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.
To me, waiting patiently and showing action seemed a little oxymoronic – how do you actively wait? Then I remembered something my dad once told me. He said that when you can’t hear God’s voice, you just keep doing the last thing He told you to do, or head in the last direction He pointed you in, until you hear Him again telling you otherwise.
There’s a man at the Kennedy Subway Station in Toronto who stands at the escalators telling people, “Jesus loves you”. I see him in the morning sometimes – around 7am when I am passing through Kennedy Station – and I sometimes also see him in the evenings on my way home. I can’t help but wonder about him. Does he have a job? Does he have a family? Responsibilities? How does he find time to do this so often? Doesn’t he even care that almost no one looks at him, and those that do look at him as if he’s strange? Is he even making a difference?
“What does God want me to do” has to be one of the most asked questions, not only by Christians, but also non-Christians. It is often a preface to other more specific questions like, “What does God want me to do in school?”, “What does God want me to do for a career” or “What does God want me to do about this relationship?”
I love winter. The clean crisp air. The shimmery white snow. My cute winter boots. I however hate winter driving. I hate everything about it, from the snow shovelling, to the cold car seats, to being stuck in snow banks. And this week I had the joy of experiencing all this and more when I drove my friend to school in London from Toronto. Continue reading
So on Wednesday my friend Dave talked about the things we let into our minds through the media. And let me tell you that message rubbed me the wrong way, given that I had just started watching a movie that was admittedly lacking in substance. But you can’t fight the truth. The things we put into our mind that don’t lift us up to God pull us down away from Him. It sucks, but there’s really no middle ground.
So then, why is it so hard to let go of the things that hurt us or that even just fill us up with empty calories?
Because it tastes good.
It feels good. It sounds good. It looks good. That’s the thing with sin. It’s designed to draw us away or at least distract us from the One who really loves us. It really is sad. I could say more, but The Arrows say it so much better.
Something to think about.
I am a source girl.
I need to know where things come from. If I am eating a meal, I prefer to know who cooked it. I regularly ruin the ending of movies for myself by checking the synopsis on Wikipedia. And when it comes to books and music, especially gospel music I have to know the story. Sometimes however, knowing the story changes how much I like the music.
So if you’ve been around people the last couple weeks you’ve probably heard the prophecies that talk about the end of the world happening on May 21 at 6pm. I have many questions about this so called end of the world, such as, is this 6pm eastern, central or mountain time? Since I am in Thailand, does the end of the world come sooner for me (May 21 at 6am)?
But all jokes aside, no doubt the world has been in a state of conflict for long enough that it is easy for people to think that our world is in fact coming to an end. And it is. The question is, when?
For the truth check out:
Get the facts, then decide for yourself.
The teenagers I teach on the side are part of a Pathfinder Club who have as one of their laws “Keep a song in my heart.” Today that came in very handy for me, as I was verbally abused for 20 minutes by a guest of an event I put on a couple weeks ago. As I listened to this woman rip into me over the phone, I could hear in the background of my mind this song by Fred Hammond:
I just found this song from the album Freedom to Worship and it has been on a loop in my head, and on my CD player this week.
It is so amazing to know that there is no greater love than God’s love for us, and that it is forever. His mercy and favour erases everything else. He sees past our flaws and incompetence to the heart of who we truly are, and He still loves us. You would be surprised how much that puts things into context, and how much knowing Christ and being connected with His love, keeps you from giving someone a piece of your mind on the phone. Of late I’ve been growing to understand more and more how truly deep and enduring God’s love is for me, and it is so overwhelming and amazing. I can’t help but love Him.
Anyway, I could easily go on, but let me know what you think.