Friday, February 24, 2006


I have an aversion to announcing resolutions in January

(which leads to a pet peeve - why is January spelled January while February is spelled February?? I and countless primary students want to know)

The reason I avoid announcing New Year resolutions is because I don't stick to them and that has become an uncomfortable reminder of
  1. my lack of discipline
  2. my inability to resist the popular tide of wishful thinking symbolized by a new year.

Not that I am against New Year's - new month's - new week's - or even new morning's resolutions.

Resolutions are part of our Christian life. We are called to examine our lives (confession) and, with the help of Christ, resolve to change (repentance).

I just have an aversion to announcing them in January.

However I have no such hesitations in February.

The resolution frenzy is over.

So here goes...

I resolved to have a theme in my devotional life this year...

*for one whole year
I am going to
about what it means to
Jesus Christ*

It is nearing the end of Feb. and I am still concentrating on this one theme so it's safe to announce it. Perhaps I will think about it for the rest of my life. It's a rich topic.

I am challenged by this theme - it is easier for me to study the book of Philippians or the sovereignty of God.

This theme is much more than acquiring knowledge about Christ.

This is about intimacy - about contemplation - about transformation.

Moses, the friend of God, was so transformed by his encounter with God that the Israelites could not bear to look at the light on his face. He was radiant with the glory of God.

"How will the ministry of the Spirit not be more glorious?" 2 Cor. 3:8

Doesn't that challenge you? More glorious than Moses who had to hide his face because the light was so unnerving to the Israelites?

The passage goes on to say:
"And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect [or contemplate] the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit." 2 Cor.3:18

We are in a process of transformation.

We are becoming like Jesus-

not waiting for heaven when our transformation will certainly be complete, but ever-increasing - now - this day - this moment - in the reflection of His glory.

Isn't the contemplation of that topic worth one year - worth one lifetime - worth eternity?

I resolve to think so...

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Sweet Symphony

This is my boys band - 1st from the left is my boy #3 and 3ird from the left is my boy # 2 wearing their "trade mark" suits.

If you're Canadian and happen to be watching CBC on Monday night they will be playing in the East Coast Music Awards. They're on first - so you can turn the TV off after and avoid listening to the Trailor Park Boys, the hosts of the show, - who, I'm told, are not polite.

I'm not just writing about them because I'm a proud mom - which I am of course - boy #3 also leads worship and is youth pastor in our church - I'm also very proud of that.

but I am writing about them because

right now

this very moment

they are

practising in the basement

and how could I possibly write about anything else?

the house is vibrating....

My boys have had various bands through out their lives - we're a musical bunch - this is the first serious band and they are getting a lot of good press here. Monday night will be their first national audience. They have a nice sound - pop rock influenced by the Beatles, Coldplay, U2 and the Dave Matthews Band. Sweet harmony from my two boys - there is something about brothers singing together. The electric guitar player is our neighbour - I've known him since he was born. They have "playing together" all their lives. Boy #3 writes all the songs with help from boy #2.

They are hoping to make it big and I have a hard time not to worry about all the dangers...

so I am praying ....

asking the Lord to keep His hand on them and keep them safe and use this band for His glory.

Amen Amen Amen

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

How does your garden grow?

You are a Lily:

You are graceful, gentle, calm, and pure and

perhaps a little shy (though your shyness is

part of your charm). You are a very honorable

person who always wants to do the right

thing. Your calm attitude has a soothing

effect on others.

Symbolism: The lily has long been used as a symbol

of majesty, honor, chastity, and purity of


Which Flower are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

Beauty restored

Is it the nature of my last post - a topic which ranges from black to shades of grey - that leaves me yearning tonight for things of beauty?

for wonder

for quiet paths in leafy woods

for fields of flowers

I find that so many things have the power to give me joy - a baby's hand, a petal, a seashell, a sunrise, music, laughter, poetry, a brook running over stones, a chickadee's call, the hum of bumblebees on a hot day, the mist before dawn, a starlit sky, the sunlight dancing on the water.

I think I could go on forever - I am captivated by the beauty of creation.

Something in me responds with an upward exclamation of praise and wonder. I feel like a child.

Sometimes I think that this sensitivity, which I cherish as a gift from God, also leaves me more vulnerable to darker things.

It's a child-like quality - and like a child I tend to be taken off guard by the harsher realities of life. I don't expect blows although my almost 50 years tells me that I should expect them - I should know better.

"Toughen up" my inner boot camp sergeant orders, "Then life won't hurt so much."

There is a danger in following that course of action - in fact I think that the root problem of depression comes from shutting down emotionally so that life won't hurt so much.

There is another way.

I am learning that in Him I can retain a child-like wonder

in everything that is good, holy and true

because the whole earth is full of His glory.

I do not have to hide, like a child, from the dark. I can view the harsh things of life from my place in Him.

As I remain in Him, He will allow me to face it and not be harmed - grieved yes- as He is grieved - but not harmed.
I do not have to be afraid any longer.

Vulnerability is risky business. It takes courage. Yet I think that only as we are willing to be open and vulnerable will the Lord use us.

I think He longs to take us into the pain of others not so that we feel over-burdened but to be part of His redemptive process,

to see His light shine into the darkness and overcome it.

It is a great privilege to carry that light in His name - to release it in the strong name of Jesus Christ.

It is a thing of wonder to see beauty restored.

to look into eyes, desperate and pleading, like funnels of despair,

and see hope dawn like the sunrise

and mourning turn into laughter.

There is no greater joy than
to join with
Jesus in His ministry.

The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me,
because the LORD has anointed me
to preach good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim freedom for the captives
and release from darkness for the prisoners,

to proclaim the year of the LORD's favor
and the day of vengeance of our God,
to comfort all who mourn,

and provide for those who grieve in Zion— to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendour.

Photo credits - Rinda Dean

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Heaping blame upon pain

Kim tackles the difficult topic of depression and the stigma that, unfortunately, still surrounds it.

Twelve years ago I experienced a clinical depression. I received loving support and also judgement. I might add that it was not always from others - I was my own worst critic, heaping blame upon pain.

I learned much during that dark period and when the Lord rescued me after 3 years and 7 months, I was not the same person that I had been before. I had learned what it is to be held by the Father - to be lifted up out of a pit - to pass through the valley of weeping and to watch my tears become like rain that brings forth fruit. And I am still learning it. This is the redemptive power of our God who has promised to redeem the years that the locusts have eaten. For this I am grateful beyond words.

"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows."

It's a long story and I could write much. However Spurgeon, in this tender and compassionate message, speaks more eloquently than I on behalf of those who go through the "dark night of the soul."

The following by Charles Haddon Spurgeon is from the Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, 1881, vol. 27, p. 1595:

"I know that wise brethren say, ‘You should not give way to feelings of depression.’ … If those who blame quite so furiously could once know what depression is, they would think it cruel to scatter blame where comfort is needed. There are experiences of the children of God which are full of spiritual darkness; and I am almost persuaded that those of God’s servants who have been most highly favoured have, nevertheless, suffered more times of darkness than others.

The covenant is never known to Abraham so well as when a horror of great darkness comes over him, and then he sees the shining lamp moving between the pieces of the sacrifice. A greater than Abraham was early led of the Spirit into the wilderness, and yet again ere He closed His life He was sorrowful and very heavy in the garden.

No sin is necessarily connected with sorrow of heart, for Jesus Christ our Lord once said, ‘My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death.’ There was no sin in Him, and consequently none in His deep depression.

I would, therefore, try to cheer any brother who is sad, for his sadness is not necessarily blameworthy. If his downcast spirit arises from unbelief, let him flog himself, and cry to God to be delivered from it; but if the soul is sighing--‘though he slay me, yet will I trust in him’--its being slain is not a fault.

The way of sorrow is not the way of sin, but a hallowed road sanctified by the prayers of myriads of pilgrims now with God--pilgrims who, passing through the valley of Baca [lit: of weeping], made it a well, the rain also filled the pools: of such it is written: ‘They go from strength to strength, every one of them in Zion appeareth before God.’