I Am Not Pregnant

https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1144/1485778585_f6ef2fb3f3_z.jpg?zz=1

Your world view? Or someone else’s?

I have been away from blogging for a while (since I for some inexplicable reason have nothing useful to say right now!) but I have come across something today that really deserves to be brought to attention.

My friend, Mandie (my source of media gems), sent me a link today from the Huffington Post.  It is a post by Jennifer Aniston in which she echoes some of my own sentiments about the disconnect about how the world thinks we should view ourselves and how we should actually view ourselves.

Is marriage or children or having a beautiful body or looking a certain way what’s most important?  And does it matter what people say about me, their comments on what I should or shouldn’t do, their opinion of my life choices?

Please read this blog by Jennifer Aniston and let me know what you think.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/for-the-record_us_57855586e4b03fc3ee4e626f

Is there a happy ending for me other than getting married or having children or looking a certain way?  Quite frankly, yes, there is.  God has much more planned for you than you can ever imagine!  Call on Him for your sense of your worth, for how you should view yourself, for your happy ending.  And ignore those influences around you that really have no place in deciding who you are or who you will be.  The One who created you is all you need.

(PS Really we should call it a ‘happy continuing’ because your life doesn’t end when you’ve found your purpose.  Rather, you continue on in your life with new focus, new life and new joy!).

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GOD’S NOT DEAD

“The truth is like a lion; you don’t have to defend it. Let it loose; it will defend itself.”
St. Augustine

I just watched the movie, God’s Not Dead, and boy was it a good one!  What I particularly liked about the movie was the way that each character did what was right despite their family and friends and what must have seemed like the whole world standing against them.  They spoke the truth.

Cheers to each actor who was in the movie and to each person who has been involved in a similar situation (they’re commoner than you would expect).

I had a professor in my undergraduate science degree who was a Christian in what I would describe as the ‘bastion of atheistic faith’ aka my university (there were not many professors who professed Christianity at this great place of learning).  He was a great teacher but alas I learned later, after finishing the class and moving onward, that he was no longer teaching at my university.  From the rumours, it was because of his stance on creation.

This was confusing to me at the time because our university moto was straight from the Bible:

Finally, brothers and sisters, 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 NIV

My friend, Mandie, also told me that her brother, while in grade school, was asked to write a paper on worshipping the devil.  When he refused he got into a lot of trouble.  Kudos to him for standing up for what he believed in even at such a young age!

Freedom of speech would seem to be withering away in our western world.  Don’t let this be the case!  If the Spirit is telling you to talk, do it.  No one can argue with your testimony–it’s your story.  Tell them how God is not Dead–how could He be?  You just spoke to Him 5 minutes ago!!  Speak Truth and He will defend Himself.

I would probably re-write St. Augustine’s quote:

The Truth IS a lion (the Lion of Judah).  Speak the Truth and He will make His defense.  All you have to do is let Him loose!

Here are the Newsboys, with the heavenly voice of Michael Tait, proclaiming God’s Not Dead! (you just have to love the enthusiasm of the drummer, Duncan Phillips!)

You are not alone! (aka the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics)

You know, I am an Olympi-holic.  All Olympics, all the time!  Specially the Winter Olympics.  And oh, have I had a lot of fun watching all of the events this time around!

COC Photo by Jason Ransom

COC Photo by Jason Ransom

Unlike the Summer Olympics, the Winter Olympics are smaller, easier to keep on top of, easier to watch all of the events and cheer on all of our #TeamCanada Olympians (insert your own team name in at this point 😉 ).

Something struck me the other day as I was watching the free-style ski jumping.  I was thinking about the pressure these athletes are under during their event–all these years of training and focussing and preparing and now it is all on them.  No one can help them now.  They are on their own…

Then, as I was contemplating this, my interest was drawn to the replay of the jump of one of the skiers.  As they showed the jump from a different angle, I could see the athlete’s coach standing off to the side but under the jumper screaming encouragement and advice!  During the entire complicated, crazy flipping, twisting, upside-down time the athlete can hear his coach guiding and encouraging him/her!

What a great example of life as a Christian single and, really, as a married as well.  As we walk through the path that God has laid out for us, as we follow these crazy flipping, twisting, inside-out and upside-down experiences, although it may appear to some that we walk this path alone, the reality is that through every twist and turn our Coach is there with us, encouraging us and providing guidance every crazy step of the way.

What a great lesson to take home from this phenomenal sporting event.  I knew the Olympics couldn’t be just for fun!

Christmas with a Capital C

Yes, I am recovering from my illness, slowly but surely!  I’m not 100% yet but I can’t miss the chance to delight in Christmas.  When else can one walk in the public spaces, malls and schools singing about Christ together with everyone else?  Even when I was in Thailand, a mostly Buddhist country, they had Christian Christmas carols playing everywhere! Amazing.

And yet…there is this battle between “Merry Christmas” vs “Seasons Greetings” or “Happy Holidays.” Why do North Americans insist on taking Christ out of this season?  As  the comedian says in Go Fish’s Christmas With a Capital C, “No one wants to say Merry Christmas because of the name of Christ.  After 2000 years he’s still intimidating people!” (approximate paraphrase!).

8 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven,
and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”  Luke 2:8 – 14 NIV

I could say a lot about Christmas; many have.  But what seems to touch my heart right now is the phrase that the angel said, “Do not be afraid.”

O come, O come, Emmanuel
And ransom captive
Israel
That mourns in lonely exile here
Until the Son of God
appear
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

There are many in the world who are living in exile right now.  When you mention Christmas it reminds them of many things:  they’re away from family, they’re tired, lonely, sad, desperate, lost.  I think for some there is a fear in saying the name of Christ.  There is a power about it.  It makes us feel the depth of our emptiness if we are separate from God.

“Happy Holidays” is easier to say.  There is no suggestion of Lordship or obligation or conviction.  No mysterious sense of missing something.  We don’t have to really love to say “Seasons Greetings”.

I encourage you to remember this season that Christ is the reason for our joy and celebration at this time.  Not what we have or don’t have.  Not where we live or whether we are single or married.  But rather the hope that God promised us all those centuries ago that is fulfilled in His perfect Son, Jesus Christ.  And that this joy is for all people.  Let’s not be afraid!  Let’s love those who are hardest to love.  If God can do it, surely with His help, so can we!  And let’s remind people that this is the season of joy, of Christmas! Of the best gift of all time:  the gift of Christ!

The Boston Marathon

Hi, crew!  I have been helping out with a Silent Auction to raise funds for an orphanage in Kenya so I have been away from my blog for a good reason.  While I’ve been away a few things have happened in the world at large and I do think I should comment on at least one.

As a runner I feel that I must make some comment about the events that occurred around the Boston marathon a few weeks ago.  I have no words to express what I feel.  All I can say is how I am again overwhelmed by the capacity of people to hurt other people.

I have heard so many stories from my friends and colleagues about family or friends that were in Boston at that time.  One of my colleagues had 2 of his friends running in the race. My friend’s daughter lives just blocks from the finish line.  They were all OK but I think we all knew how worried they were until they found out.

I heard some amazing stories about how people chipped in and likely saved lives.  The military “ruckers”, bystanders, runners, police, firefighters, medical personnel.  It’s unfortunate that something this bad has to happen for us to see the truly exceptional that is hiding in our fellow human beings.

As I’ve said before we need to be on our knees in prayer for all those involved:  those who are injured, the families of those killed or injured, those who were witnesses, those who helped the injured and scared.

There is a bigger picture here, though.  What we are feeling now in the aftermath of this disaster in Boston is what some people around the world feel every day.

I was deeply saddened when I saw the following picture on twitter just after the Boston events.

I think while we are on our knees for our neighbours in Boston, we need to pray for those who live daily in a place where peace is not the norm, where heartbreaking violence and loss of life are a part of life, where events like the ones in Boston are common everyday experiences.  Let us not forget that, while we North Americans live in a basically peaceful place, most of the world does not have that reality.

This world needs the peace that only Christ can truly give.

John 16:33 I  have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you  will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the  world.”