into the world

Mark 16:15
[Jesus] said to them,
"Go into all the world
and preach the good news to all creation."
Maybe I shouldn't admit this, but I often have a hard time going into the world. Truth be told, it's not like I've got my Bible in one hand and gospel tracts in another, hoping to convert the lost. I'm just going about my daily life when the world seems to be coming to me, rather than choosing for myself to head out.

I talk about how I'd like to open up the world of my children, so they're not completely oblivious to the kind of reality that face so many people even in our smallish city. Gavin and I have talked and prayed about doing missions with the kids and we've taken them down to Winnipeg Harvest, to encourage a philanthropic mindset.

Here's the problem: it is often very difficult for me.

Last spring, Cassidy and I took the city bus home from a field trip downtown for her preschool. [Let me spell it out a little more clearly so you can fully appreciate the irony. Cassidy's Montessori program took a trip to the Winnipeg Art Gallery and when I picked her up (after a lovely break at Starbucks) we took the bus home. ] On that very short bus ride, a young woman got on and sat directly across from us with what seemed to be 4 foster children. These kids were probably about 2, 5, 8 and 9 years old and the girl with them seemed to be in her early 20's. She talked alot and very loudly, so we got a pretty clear picture of what life was like for these little kids. It was the girl's mother that was the primary care giver, I guessed, and she didn't seem to be too happy to be toting the charges around. Two of the kids had very obvious 'baby bottle mouth' and the 5 year old was not potty-trained (as the girl loudly announced). The youngest in the stroller stared hard at Cassidy as she munched on organic crackers and drank from her colourful, BPA-free SIGG bottle. I felt a tightness in my chest, and even now as I relive the moment my eyes well up with tears.....

Last week Gavin was looking for some very rare and specific films on DVD that prompted a trip to MovieVillage on Osborne. Cassidy was with us again and had to make a potty-run, so we popped into the Starbucks that is in the same parking lot. Of course, since I was there, I treated myself to a latte and got a smoothie for the sweetie! We sat on a low ledge outside and waited for Gav to finish up. As we sipped, a man in an electric wheelchair came out of the coffee shop and wheeled over to us. I guess he had MS or some other illness that caused him to be unable to walk and slurred his speech. He stopped in front of Cassidy and greeted her, so we said hello and I tried to make some conversation about the weather. After several moments of awkward silence he wished us a good day and rolled on....

Today I had to take the van in for brake repairs and while we had 2 hours to kill, Cassidy and I walked over to Giant Tiger to wander about. Having had 2 big cups of coffee already, I had the pressing urge to visit the rest room, so I asked for it to be opened. I was told someone was in there, so just wait. I waited....and waited.... I was getting a little concerned for myself when the door finally opened. I looked straight into the eyes of a man in our area that is homeless. Oh, how I need more of Jesus in me because my first thought was to forgo using this restroom and run to Tim Hortens's. He held the door open for me and I thanked him. As we closed the door behind us, the overwhelming aroma homelessness caused my stomach to lurch. "Why does it smell so bad in here?" Cassidy questioned.....

Perhaps you wouldn't struggle with these scenarios. Perhaps you would have offered organic crackers to the children on the bus or been better at making conversation with the man at the coffee shop. Maybe you would have had a better answer for the bad smell. I hope I will get to that place. For now I'll settle for still going out, even when I'm tempted to stay home, or stay in places I know are "safe" - I'll be thankful that my heart is moved.

...and I'll pray for opportunity to grow in love and mercy, and to serve in ever-increasing ways.


the right tools

This morning my alarm went off at 7:15am (I've been trying to get up earlier) and I knew my coffee had also just started brewing. I laid in bed trying to get myself to move when I suddenly thought, "I guess I don't need to get up quite this early - I could sleep for another half hour..." I reset my alarm and I suppose I went right back to sleep because I found myself fairly 'alarmed' when the beeping went off again at 7:50am! Once again I learned why you should just get up when your alarm goes off the first time....now I felt worse.

7:51.....7:52....7:53....7:54 - wait a minute - I'm supposed to bring part of the snack for bible study this morning! I had completely forgotten. I spent roughly 40 seconds trying to decide if it were even possible to stop and pick up muffins when I had to drop the kids off at school at 8:50, pick my mother-in-law up at 9am and get to bible study for 9:15. Thankfully, the Lord brought to my mind the big carton of buttermilk I had in the fridge, so I quickly decided to make scones while the kids ate breakfast. Miraculously, it all got done and I wasn't even (too) late for the study!

On the way home from the church, Cassidy asked if she could have a scone for lunch. Of course, the ones I brought for the ladies were all eaten up, but I thought I could quickly make her some before we headed off to preschool. As I measured out the ingredients for the second time in 3 hours, I started to cut in the margarine with my pastry blender. Now maybe it's a little unusual to get excited about kitchen gadgets, but as I pulverized the margarine (to the size of a pea!) I thanked God for this little tool. I had one for years that never really worked very well - especially after the handle broke - so a couple of months ago, I finally cracked out the $4 to get a new one. It's such a delight to use a good tool for it's rightful purpose!

As I've mentioned, the bible study I'm working on with a group of women from the church is The Patriarchs by Beth Moore. Beth has a passion for instructing (particularly women) on the Word of God and a passion for the Word like you don't see every day. She calls women to a deeper walk with God - to invest our lives in what God is already doing around us. To move from knowing about God to knowing God, without forsaking learning more about Him.... wordy to say, but Truth my heart needs to hear!

This is what I want!

When I first began this blog, I showed a picture of a stack of books beside my bed. I love books! But sometimes this love of information and fresh, clean pages of a new book can be my downfall. I like to read the latest author and their take on what Scripture says about life, parenting, marriage, walking with God....

huh? Do you see where I'm going with this?

" 'Everything is permissible' - but not everything is beneficial. 'Everything is permissable' - but not everything is constructive." 1 Corinthians 10:23

Is this an odd verse for this subject? Not to me! God in His great love and grace has given me the only tools I need for growth and a life of devotion to Him: His Word and His Spirit. If I look first to the opinions and knowledge of others and to the Word second (or not at all) I will never know my Saviour in the way that I long to know Him. I will trust in people - not the Spirit, to guide, teach and counsel me day by day.

Of course, I'm not about to clear off the three large bookcases of other people's study that sit behind me at this desk - but I will read discerningly, searching the Word and trusting the Spirit to show me more.

"His divine power has given us EVERYTHING WE NEED for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness."
2 Peter 1:3

Praise the Lord for the right tools!



The other morning Cassidy and I went through some bins in the shed in an effort to collect things for a garage sale at the church. Along with several pairs of hand-me-down knee socks, we came across a collection of 'Little People' (to add to the large collection already in the house).

I guess they had been away long enough that Cassidy didn't really remember ever playing with them. In her mind, the were new toys!

As she told the story of Noah and I sorted laundry, she said, "These are sure some great rememberies!"

Yesterday morning I watched the introduction video to "The Patriarchs" - a bible study by Beth Moore. I love Beth! She's so dynamic and has such a powerful way of communicating the message of the bible. In the intro, she basically outlines the lineage of the primary characters in the book of Genesis and gives hints on the things that we'll be learning. She talks about the importance of Names - particularly the names of God.

I must confess that while I like the idea of history - I don't really enjoy studying it. As I left the church yesterday, I knew I wouldn't stop going to the study (that's just not my style), but I wondered if I would look forward to going each week.

But something about the word 'rememberies' really struck me.

I want to fall deeper in love with the Lord Jesus. I want to know more about God and the way He thinks, so that I can try to think like that too. But how can I rely on memories that I don't have? I need to remind myself (through the study of the Word) who God is and what He's done if I want to have memories to remember.


I hope I don't forget this precious word.....a gift from my Saviour for today.



"Finally, friends, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable- if anything is excellent or praiseworthy- think about such things." Philippians 4:8

...the unending love of the Lord....

...my husband, my best friend....

...three children who love me and reveal what love truly is...

...my family - a heritage of faith and fun...

...friendships that last and impact my life for good...

...salvation, joy and hope for now and forever.
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