22 November 2008

Building Traditions

The first week of this holiday carnival of posts is a difficult one for me, not only because I have had limited time to write, but because we actually have very few traditions. Let me explain:

I grew up in a Jewish home and family. We celebrated Hannukah instead of Christmas. I always felt like there was something missing (not knowing at the time what was missing was Jesus!). As I grew into young adulthood my parents somehow respected my choice to open gifts with them on December 25th, wrapped in Christmas paper and all the trimmings. I would spend the day with families of friends, just to have a little bit of Christmas, but always yearned to have my own family to celebrate with.

When I gave my heart and life to Jesus in the autumn of 1999 I was invited to spend the holiday season with the family that led me to my Lord. It was a time of learning, rejoicing, and my baptism on Boxing Day. I still hoped and prayed that one day I would have traditions of my own.

When I married my beloved Rick we would spend Chistmas with his family. It was always a cold, hard, non-Christian Christmas. There might have been Jesus on greeting cards, but not in the hearts of anyone but us. The holiday was about little more than food and presents.

We are trying to build our own traditions now, as each year we try to find other loving Christians to celebrate Jesus with. Our decorations begin early in November and remain through January. The house looks so lovely I hate to take them down. The first thing put out id the manger scene, reminding us what it is we are celebrating. Crystal angels, birds of peace, and other favourite trinkets sprinkle the tree. The best part of Christmas is joining with others to sing, rejoice and remember, so we never miss our Christmas Eve service. We exchange a small gift with each other before going to sleep. One year we helped serve dinner to the needy and lonely at the local Catholic church on Christmas day, but they have stopped that wonderful extension of God's love. We are looking for another way to serve this year.

It has become our tradition to donate to worthy causes in the names of our loved ones instead of purchasing expensive gifts. We then give them trinkets with notes informing them of how others benefited in their honour. Perhaps sharing the love of God with those in need is the greatest tradition of all.

Why don't you join us at the Internet Cafe and let us know how you celebrate!

18 November 2008

My Ten Things for Tuesday November 18

XBOX Wife Ten Things Tuesday
  1. Today I am thankful that I have these few minutes to join in the chorus of thanks
  2. Today I am thankful to be able to arrange and rearrange my schedule so I am able to attend so many of the revival meetings that are being held in town.
  3. Today I am thankful that God has touched my heart in a way that makes me desire to attend as many meetings as possible.
  4. Today I am thankful that our precious Lord Jesus is a gentleman and will not force anything upon us, but rather waits with exquisite patience for us to welcome Him into each and every area of our hearts.
  5. Today I am thankful for the teaching, preaching, praying and exhorting that God's servants have been led to share in obedience
  6. Today I am thankful for all of those who have given of their time and services to attend to all of the various ministries of helps that are needed when the body comes together day after day, night after night.
  7. Today I am thankful and blessed to have opportunity to be counted among those who have served.
  8. Today I am thankful for the hungry spirit God has placed inside of me. My prayer is that I never reach a point of satisfaction but continue to seek Him, asking for more.
  9. Today I am thankful for my beloved husband who feels called as well to seek for more and more and more of all the things God wants to show us.
  10. Today I am thankful for the promise in Jeremiah 29:13 "And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart."
What are you thankful for today? Visit Jill at Xbox-Wife to join in the circle of thanksgiving.

14 November 2008

Missing In Action

Greetings. Hello. Hi there. Remember me?

It's hard for me to be away from reading and writing in blog land. It seems I have had very few free moments. We have revival meetings going on in town for a few weeks and I have wanted to take in as much as possible.

So between work, studying, and being in church I've had little chance to be here.

I'm sure that all that I am soaking in and absorbing right now will spill out on these pages in the days ahead.

Until then, keep me in your prayers as you remain in mine.

08 November 2008

Cafe Chat - Week of November 8

Kim asked the following thought provoking question this week at Café Chat:
Some of my favorite “Saints” are Christ’s disciples/apostles, saying that, which of the 12 disciples/apostles do you relate to the most, and why?
I believe it’s best to trust one’s first impulse in things like this, and the disciple/apostle that rose in my thoughts and spirit was Peter.
Like Peter I am passionate about and devoted to Jesus. Like Peter I have declared who Jesus Is:
“But what about you?" he asked. "Who do you say I am?" Simon Peter answered, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." Jesus replied, "Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in heaven.” Matthew 16:15-17
Like Peter I hunger to be close to Jesus and attempt to put feet to my faith:
“During the fourth watch of the night Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. "It's a ghost," they said, and cried out in fear. But Jesus immediately said to them: "Take courage! It is I. Don't be afraid." "Lord, if it's you," Peter replied, "tell me to come to you on the water." "Come," he said.” Matthew 14:25-29
And like Peter, when I take my eyes off Jesus and look at what surrounds me I open myself up to fear and doubt:
“Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, "Lord, save me!" Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. "You of little faith," he said, "why did you doubt?"” Matthew 14:30-31
Like Peter I am human and flawed. I have vowed to never do or say anything that would hurt the cause of Christ:
“Peter replied, "Even if all fall away on account of you, I never will."” Matthew 26:33
And like Peter, I have failed to keep that promise. My heart has been pierced and convicted by the Holy Spirit as He revealed my sins. And I have wept as Peter did when he heard that rooster crow for the third time:
“Immediately a rooster crowed. Then Peter remembered the word Jesus had spoken: "Before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times." And he went outside and wept bitterly.” Matthew 26:75
I rejoice with Peter that I serve a King like no other King, a God like no other god. Jesus is love and He forgives us again and again and again. I am always moved by the scene of Peter’s reconciliation and reinstatement on the seashore:
"When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, "Simon son of John, do you truly love me more than these?" "Yes, Lord," he said, "you know that I love you." Jesus said, "Feed my lambs." Again Jesus said, "Simon son of John, do you truly love me?" He answered, "Yes, Lord, you know that I love you." Jesus said, "Take care of my sheep." The third time he said to him, "Simon son of John, do you love me?" Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, "Do you love me?" He said, "Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you." Jesus said, "Feed my sheep. I tell you the truth, when you were younger you dressed yourself and went where you wanted; but when you are old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go." Jesus said this to indicate the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God. Then he said to him, "Follow me!"" Matthew 21:15-19

Peter had walked in the shame of knowing he had denied Christ, and yet Jesus forgave him, loved him still and Peter went on to serve and advance the Kingdom of God. My prayer is that as I submit all of my faults to my risen Lord, my life too may be used for His glory.

Join us at Café Chat this week to add your thoughts and read the responses of others.

Another Flickering FireFly

Shining His Light
It's time to give out another Flickering FireFly. To read about the latest recipient of this blessing go to The Power of Your Love where I join with Beth and others to praise our Lord.

04 November 2008

My Ten Things for Tuesday November 4

XBOX Wife Ten Things Tuesday

  1. Today I am thankful to serve a God Who chooses to speak to His children in dreams, words and visions. To read what He showed me this morning look here
  2. Today I am thankful for the warm and wonderful weekend weather we enjoyed
  3. Today I am thankful for Beth Moore's study on the life of Daniel. This is a moment in time when we need to know how to live with integrity.
  4. Today I am thankful to know that whatever the future brings I will not walk through it alone, for my Lord promises in His Word "Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the LORD your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you." Deuteronomy 31:6
  5. Today I am thankful for words. Words that worship. Words that praise. Words that can tell the world about the God I love.
  6. Today I am thankful for those whom God chooses to share His secrets with who then can teach those truths to others
  7. Today I am thankful that my beloed and I walk the narrow road together
  8. Today I am thankful to walk the streets of a land at peace
  9. Today I am thankful that nothing I can do will make God love me more than He does at this moment, and nothing I can do will make Him love me less.
  10. Today I am thankful for the precious gift of the Holy Spirit that lives in me.

Our amazing God loves a thankful heart. What are you thankful for today? Join Jill at Xbox Wife and share your list of gratitude.

Morning vision

Driving into town this morning for work, I was praying in the spirit, after a restless night of waking many times to pray.

Suddenly the Lord began to unfold a vision before me. What I was seeing was a make shift hospital, like the tents that are used on battlefields. The cots were filled with wounded. They were groaning, weeping and crying out. I could see blood and bandages.

I sensed that the Lord was saying "there WILL be a battle, there WILL be casualties, and His church will be called upon to be the medics that step in to help the wounded and broken ones. We must be prepared. We must be ready."

As I was letting His words sink in, the vision continued to expand. The rows of cots went on and on endlessly into the distance. I thought "Lord, there are too many of them" and I heard myself say "Lord, I don't want to see this".

I sensed Him saying "I need to show you. My people need to know. You need to prepare, for it is through you that healing will come."