Thursday, 28 March 2013

"Jesus is a Timbit"

As we approach Easter and are faced with the image of the cross and the empty tomb, I have been thinking about the importance of Jesus in our lives. 

Yesterday, after picking up a coffee and some "timbits" (they are small doughnut holes for those that don't know), Little A was excitedly eating some in the back seat.  As we drove she began to sing:

"Jesus is a Timbit. Jesus is a Timbit. Jesus is a Timbit."

I could not contain my laughter.  I tried to catch it on film but as soon as I tried she stopped singing. 

The song that she was trying to sing is from The Donut Man found here at

Apparently, I have been getting the words wrong but she gets the basics of the song and loves it. 

We sing: 

Life without Jesus is like a donut
Like a donut    
Like a donut
Life without Jesus is like a donut
There's a hole in the middle of your heart. 

Without Jesus, we only have death. We have bondage, slavery and pain.  We live our lives searching for things to fill the void. We end up with pain and sorrow because nothing fills the emptiness. There is a Jesus shaped hole in our hearts that will not be filled by anything else. 

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 6:23

For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. And not only that, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation.
Romans 5:6-11

What little A said is totally true...well with some imagination.  Jesus is like a timbit, he is the piece that fills up the hole in the center of the donut. 

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Safe In the Shadow

Busy week, so I just thought I would share a chapter that really spoke to me today. 

 He who lives in the safe place of the Most High will be in the shadow of the All-powerful.  I will say to the Lord, “You are my safe and strong place, my God, in Whom I trust.”  For it is He Who takes you away from the trap, and from the killing sickness.  He will cover you with His wings. And under His wings you will be safe. He is faithful like a safe-covering and a strong wall.

 You will not be afraid of trouble at night, or of the arrow that flies by day. You will not be afraid of the sickness that walks in darkness, or of the trouble that destroys at noon. A thousand may fall at your side, and ten thousand at your right hand. But it will not come near you. You will only look on with your eyes, and see how the sinful are punished. Because you have made the Lord your safe place, and the Most High the place where you live, nothing will hurt you. No trouble will come near your tent.

 For He will tell His angels to care for you and keep you in all your ways. They will hold you up in their hands. So your foot will not hit against a stone. You will walk upon the lion and the snake. You will crush under your feet the young lion and the snake.

 Because he has loved Me, I will bring him out of trouble. I will set him in a safe place on high, because he has known My name. He will call upon Me, and I will answer him. I will be with him in trouble. I will take him out of trouble and honor him. I will please him with a long life. And I will show him My saving power.
Psalm 91

Banff, Alberta   Canada 

Monday, 25 March 2013

What shall we say then?

What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it? Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.

 For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection,  knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin.  For he who has died has been freed from sin. Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more. Death no longer has dominion over Him.  For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God. Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 6:1-11

Young love, nothing like spending the day
driving through the mud on the quad. 

We have died to our sin and yet we continue to live in it.  Its like having a bath and putting on your old dirty clothes again.  Yes, there is grace, thankfully. But what does our actions say to the Lord when we accept his forgiveness and the white robes he gives us, then put on our old nasty ones.  

This passage gives such a clear picture of what Jesus really did on that cross. 

His death was to fulfill the promise of the Father in Heaven, his death was to give us life.  That we would not be slaves to sin any longer and that the life we would live would be to God. 

May this scripture stick with us this week as we celebrate Easter and the gift of new and eternal life.  And may it be written in your heart to remind you of that new life and what we should do with it.  

Thursday, 21 March 2013

Give It Up

 Now a certain ruler asked Him, saying, “Good Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?”
So Jesus said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God. You know the commandments: ‘Do not commit adultery,’ ‘Do not murder,’ ‘Do not steal,’ ‘Do not bear false witness,’ ‘Honor your father and your mother.’ ” 
 And he said, “All these things I have kept from my youth.”
 So when Jesus heard these things, He said to him, “You still lack one thing. Sell all that you have and distribute to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.”
 But when he heard this, he became very sorrowful, for he was very rich.

 And when Jesus saw that he became very sorrowful, He said, “How hard it is for those who have riches to enter the kingdom of God! For it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”
 And those who heard it said, “Who then can be saved?”
 But He said, “The things which are impossible with men are possible with God.”
 Then Peter said, “See, we have left all and followed You.”
 So He said to them, “Assuredly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or parents or brothers or wife or children, for the sake of the kingdom of God, who shall not receive many times more in this present time, and in the age to come eternal life.”
Luke 18:18-30

In our bible study group we have been talking about the Holy Spirit. This week we talked about being afraid of really giving up our cushy comfy lives and following God's leadership to where ever He would send us. 

As teens we are free to move about and live how we want, nothing holds us back and besides our family, nothing ties us to one place. It is simpler to give it up and follow God. 

As we grow, marry, have children, and careers, it gets harder to give it up and follow. 

In the above passage, we are given insight into how hard it really is. The more we have the harder it is to give up. The more blessed we are on this earth, the less we long for heaven. 

We have some family friends that are missionaries with their two children. Previously they were doing missions in India and have now felt called to a different part of the world. They go where God calls. It doesn't mean they do not fear or doubt, but they trust the Father enough to go and do what He asks. 

Hubby and I also have another friend who is currently living in a Creative Access Nation doing ministry. The country is closed to Christian ministry but they are there living and shining God's love to those people. 

I have been churning these questions around in my head and have been trying to sit and listen to the Lord for his answers.

"What parts of my life am I not giving over to Him?"
"What am I afraid of loosing?"
"What opportunities am I missing out on because I am not giving it ALL over to Him?"

When it was a lot easier to go wherever He called us. 

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Ways and Words to Bless a Grieving Family

In light of all that happened last week,  I started thinking about writing this post. My family was greatly blessed during all of the craziness of planning a funeral and having all of our family come from across the country. 

I often find it difficult to know what to say to people when they are going through a loss and I thought that it would be a good idea to share a few ways to bless people going through a difficult time like this.  

Each situation is different but it is always nice to feel like someone is thinking of you and praying for you and your family. 

10 ways to Bless a Grieving Family:

1. Cards offering condolences. 
               Our family received many cards and emails offering condolences and each one was so wonderful to read. Each honored my grandmother and spoke highly of her and of her life. It touched the whole family to know that there were friends around the country thinking and praying for us. 

2. Drop off a big can of Coffee. 
               Planning a funeral service takes a lot of work and everyone is emotional and not sleeping well. It is always a great idea to have coffee around.  ( We went through a ton of coffee, having an extra can around was great because we didn't have to go running out to get more) 

3. Deliver some Baking. 
               We were blessed with a large batch of muffins that my moms friends baked and delivered to us. It was so nice having them there for the people that showed up both before and after the funeral. They were delicious and made breakfast so much easier on me because I didn't have to think about making things for everyone. 

4. Deliver a Tray. (Fruit, Veggie, Cheese)
             My dear friend dropped in the day after my Grandma passed away, she came to offer a hug and a card, as well as a tray of cheese, sausage, olives, and crackers.  It meant so much that she stopped in and that she thought of helping us out with food.  My dad was really struggling to force himself to eat because there was so much going on and he said he felt numb. It was such a blessing having something that I could quickly pull out and offer to him and others when they came over. 
5. Send Flowers. 
             We had lovely flowers that were sent from my Aunt and Uncle's Church, they were delivered right to the funeral home and were a nice addition to the flowers that were purchased for the funeral.  
             Flowers are such a great reminder of life and beauty. They are so quick and easy to choose and have delivered if you are too far away to deliver them yourself. 

6. Send a Meal or Restaurant Gift Card 
              Funerals bring families together. And when there are a lot of people arriving at your house it can get a little overwhelming trying to feed everyone and ordering in can get pricey. We have a wonderful family and everyone really tried to pitch in but it is nice not feeling stressed about money when you are trying to host everyone and make them feel welcome. 

7. Monetary Gifts for Donation. 
              I was blown away by the generosity of others after the death of my Grandma. Our family received many cards that were a great blessing to receive, but we were also blessed with money to be given as a donation in my Grandmas name to Cystic Fibrosis Canada.  Two of my cousins have Cystic Fibrosis and the donations made to the organization really touched our hearts. 

8. Offer to pick up or drop off family from the airport. 
              It can take a huge load off of the host of all of the family if someone offers to shuttle people too or from the airport. 

9. Offer to house some of the out of town family. 
              Staying at a hotel can be pricey as it is but it really adds up when you need to be around for more than a weekend or when you have your whole family with you.  

10. Attend the funeral Service. 
               I had the honor of doing the eulogy for my Grandmothers funeral at it was so nice to look into the crowd and see familiar faces of family friends. It means so much to the family to receive love and support from those that attend the funeral.

Words of Blessing and Comfort for those who are Grieving:

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you.
When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned,
Nor shall the flame scorch you.

Isaiah 43:2

Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.”
Matthew 11:28-30

 So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.

Hebrews 4:16

All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort.  He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us. 
2 Corinthians 1:3-4

"He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.”
Revelation 21:4 

There is a time for everything,
    and a season for every activity under the heavens:

a time to be born and a time to die,
    a time to plant and a time to uproot,

a time to kill and a time to heal,
    a time to tear down and a time to build,

a time to weep and a time to laugh,
    a time to mourn and a time to dance,

 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
    a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,

a time to search and a time to give up,
    a time to keep and a time to throw away,

 a time to tear and a time to mend,
    a time to be silent and a time to speak,

 a time to love and a time to hate,
    a time for war and a time for peace.

What do workers gain from their toil?  I have seen the burden God has laid on the human race.  He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end. 
Ecclesiastes 3:1-11

O God, listen to my cry!
    Hear my prayer!

From the ends of the earth,
    I cry to you for help
    when my heart is overwhelmed.
Lead me to the towering rock of safety,

for you are my safe refuge,
    a fortress where my enemies cannot reach me.

Let me live forever in your sanctuary,
    safe beneath the shelter of your wings! 

Psalm 61:1-4

The Lord is close to the brokenhearted;
    he rescues those whose spirits are crushed.

Psalm 34:18

The Lord is my shepherd;
    I have all that I need.

He lets me rest in green meadows;
    he leads me beside peaceful streams.

He renews my strength.
He guides me along right paths,
    bringing honor to his name.

Even when I walk
    through the darkest valley,
I will not be afraid,
    for you are close beside me.
Your rod and your staff
    protect and comfort me.

Psalm 23-1-4

Friday, 15 March 2013

Loving Memory

Sorry for the silence on the blog the past week. 

Monday afternoon my Grandma was rushed to the hospital after suffering a massive heart attack while out with her friends for coffee.  They were able to stabilize her but she never regained consciousness. A few short hours later, she left this world and went into the arms of her saviour and her husbands that went before her.

She was an amazing woman and has blessed many family and friends by her grace, faith, and the unwavering strength that she possessed through many hardships in her life. 

She has left a legacy of faith and though we mourn our loss we know that she is happy and at peace. 

He has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time, but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Savior, Christ Jesus, who has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel. 
2 Timothy 1:9-10

in the hope of eternal life, which God, who does not lie, promised before the beginning of time,
Titus 1:2

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will—
Ephesians 1:3-5

Monday, 11 March 2013

"Unfair Life"

“For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire workers for his vineyard. He agreed to pay them a denarius for the day and sent them into his vineyard.

“About nine in the morning he went out and saw others standing in the marketplace doing nothing. He told them, ‘You also go and work in my vineyard, and I will pay you whatever is right.’  So they went.

“He went out again about noon and about three in the afternoon and did the same thing. About five in the afternoon he went out and found still others standing around. He asked them, ‘Why have you been standing here all day long doing nothing?’

“‘Because no one has hired us,’ they answered.

“He said to them, ‘You also go and work in my vineyard.’

“When evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his foreman, ‘Call the workers and pay them their wages, beginning with the last ones hired and going on to the first.’

“The workers who were hired about five in the afternoon came and each received a denarius. So when those came who were hired first, they expected to receive more. But each one of them also received a denarius.  When they received it, they began to grumble against the landowner.  ‘These who were hired last worked only one hour,’ they said, ‘and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the work and the heat of the day.’

 “But he answered one of them, ‘I am not being unfair to you, friend. Didn’t you agree to work for a denarius?  Take your pay and go. I want to give the one who was hired last the same as I gave you.  Don’t I have the right to do what I want with my own money? Or are you envious because I am generous?’

“So the last will be first, and the first will be last.”
Matthew 20:1-16 

I have been thinking about this parable a lot lately.  Jesus really hits the nail on the head for how we humans often think. We can so quick to be jealous of others and to grumble and complain. 

This is such a wonderful parable to point out the difference between equal and fair.  I know that the day is coming when my children will begin to complain about things not being fair. 

But really, they are not desiring fairness, they are desiring what they feel like they deserve. Likely they would still not be happy with what is actually "fair". 

Growing up, I can remember many times when I felt like what I was receiving was unfair. That I deserved more, or less. I was rarely quiet about what I thought was unjust or unequal. 

Looking back on our house full of craziness, my parents really did have a handle on what was fair. It was not always equal, but our circumstances, attitudes, and challenges were all different and they handled them the best they could have. 

The boss in the parable was a kind and generous person. He took people from the city who had no jobs to do and gave them a job. He took a lot of men that needed work and gave them a way to earn money. He generously pays them all the same pay. Not many people would do that. Most would pay for the work that they received and send them on their way. 

Think about how blessed the men who were hired at 5 would feel. They spent the day trying to find work. They likely felt hopeless and were disappointed to be unable to bring home any money for their families. This man comes near the end of the day and gives them work.  They were likely just happy to be able to bring home any money at all and then they were blessed with the same money as the others. They were probably beside themselves with excitement. 

I totally understand where the men who worked all day were coming from.  Watching the other men get paid, they started to expect more.  They probably were getting pretty excited thinking about how much they would likely be getting paid. "If they are getting a denarius, then I should be getting almost 10." 

It would be such a blow to then get the same as the others.  It would be like hearing that the work they did all day was the same as what those men could do in an a few hours.  Ouch. 

Somehow getting what we were told we would get, sometimes doesn't live up to our expectations.  

God is generous. He gives us so many blessings. But we are often the ungrateful workers.  

We expect more. We are jealous of the blessings that others receive and we compare ourselves to them. We judge them by their what they say and do, or don't do or say. We compare ourselves to them. We compare our "work for the kingdom".   And then we get upset that God is giving them more when they don't deserve it. 

But our Father in heaven has a good handle on what is fair.  NOT EQUAL, what is fair (meaning: free from bias, dishonesty or injustice).  He is the Judge. 

This is how one should regard us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. Moreover, it is required of stewards that they be found faithful.  But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged by you or by any human court. In fact, I do not even judge myself.  For I am not aware of anything against myself, but I am not thereby acquitted. It is the Lord who judges me.  Therefore do not pronounce judgment before the time, before the Lord comes, who will bring to light the things now hidden in darkness and will disclose the purposes of the heart. Then each one will receive his commendation from God.
1 Corinthians 4:1-5

He loves to bless us.  We receive His blessings, not for good works or good behavior, but by His love and mercy. 

The blessing of the Lord brings wealth,
    without painful toil for it.
Proverbs 10:22

And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.
2 Corinthians 9:8

Friday, 8 March 2013


Then he got into the boat and his disciples followed him. Suddenly a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping.  The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!”
 He replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm.
 The men were amazed and asked, “What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!”
Matthew 8:23-27

This story from the bible is retold so much. It gives us a great picture of how Jesus was so powerful and of how He can calm the storms of life. 
I love how it is written in Mark:

 That day when evening came, he said to his disciples, “Let us go over to the other side.”  Leaving the crowd behind, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat. There were also other boats with him.  A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?”
 He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.
 He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?”
 They were terrified and asked each other, “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!”
Mark 4:35-41

The disciples are terrified. They don't just ask Jesus to save them, they get upset. They wake Him and ask Him if He really cares about them. 
"Teacher, don't you care if we drown?"

Thats how I feel like I have talked to God in the storms of my life. 

Sure there are times where I can sit and calmly ask Him to help and change things for me. But if I am honest, most of the time I feel like He has abandoned me. That He is asleep and unaware or doesn't care. 

What this story points out to us is that Jesus is there.  He is unafraid. He trusts His Father in Heaven, He can sleep and rest because He knows they will be alright. 

Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life?
Luke 12:25

For who is God besides the Lord?
And who is the Rock 
except our God?
It is God who arms me with strength
and keeps my way secure. 
He makes my feet like the feet of a deer;
he causes me to stand on the heights.
2 Samuel 22:32-34 (Psalm 18:31-33)

If they didn't wake Him, what would have happened?

I think they would have continued to be beaten and battered by the storm. They would be terrified and continue to fear for their lives.  And then the storm would likely just pass. They would make it through and would be angry with Jesus that He was able to be at peace through it all. 

Isn't that how we feel when we go through something horrible? We make it to the other side and then feel angry with God for not making it easier for us. For not taking away the pain but making us feel hurt.  We feel like He was not there with us, that He didn't go through it. 

But truth is He is always there.  

In peace I will lie down and sleep,
    for you alone, Lord,
    make me dwell in safety.

Psalm 4:8

There will be some times in our lives where we pray and God calms the storm. 

There will be some times when we pray and the storm continues to rage around us and we feel abandoned and alone. But He will be there with us through the entire ordeal, never leaving or forsaking.  

There will be times when we feel like we might as well just go through it alone. We can do it ourselves. But He is still there waiting and hoping that we will rely on Him. Because through Him we cam do so much more.