Friday, December 28, 2007

Gods that can be stolen...

"And now, though thou wouldest needs be gone, because thou sore longedst after thy father's house, yet wherefore hast thou stolen my gods?" Genesis 31:30

Raphael and I have been going through the book of Genesis, and we are reading about Jacob, his wives, sons, uncle/father-in-law... and stolen gods! If you don't know the story you can go here. It's an interesting story about twin brothers, sisters, love, lies, children, God and much more. Where we are right now in our reading we see in chapter 31 that Jacob left the place where he was living, took his wives, children, animals and... something else. Laban, his uncle/father-in-law/boss, didn't know he had left, so when he realized that Jacob was gone, had taken everyone and everything with him, and that his gods were missing, he was furious and pursued Jacob. When he finally met up with Jacob he told him how angry he was that Jacob had left like this, and in the above verse tells him that even though he knows Jacob wanted to return to his father's house, why would he steal his gods? Jacob didn't steal the gods, it was his wife Rachel... but that's not where I want to go. Isn't it a funny thought that Laban's gods could be stolen? As I was listening to a message this morning the pastor chuckled a bit as he mentions that Labans gods were stolen...but I have been thinking about it all day.

Can you if imagine if someone would tell you that God was stolen? That He was nowhere to be found? What kind of a god is it that it would let itself be stolen? That just implies that the one who stole the god is greater than the god. No? To some of you the concept of bowing to a little statue is foreign and a bit crazy... but to many people this is still a reality. They worship gods that were made by men, gods that don't see or hear and can be stolen. Others may not worship little statues, but they worship Mammon... money...glitter and gold. Or people... singing idols, movie starts. It's easy for me to look at people sometimes and judge them... and when it's easy to do so I know I have to examine my heart because I'm probably doing the same thing. Our jobs, our houses, a boyfriend or girlfriend, our bank account, our little electric gadgets could be our gods... I just had to picture how I would feel if the things/people I treasure were stolen or taken from me... would I feel like I had lost my gods? Would I feel hopeless? Would I pursue them without rest?

I'm happy to say that I too chuckled with the pastor because I know the God I serve can not be moved... but I have to make sure I keep Him as my only God. I can be thankful for the many blessings He has given me... but they are not my gods, they won't save me. Let's remember who holds our lives in His hands.

"...and thou hast praised the gods of silver, and gold, of brass, iron, wood, and stone, which see not, nor hear, nor know: and the God in whose hand thy breath is, and whose are all thy ways, hast thou not glorified:" Daniel 5:23

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before...

“It came without ribbons! It came without tags! It came without packages, boxes or bags! And he puzzled three hours, till his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before! ‘Maybe Christmas,’ he thought, ‘doesn’t come from a store. Maybe Christmas . . . perhaps . . . means a little bit more!’

"Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel." -Isaiah 7:14

"For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace." —Isaiah 9:6

"Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying. Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us." - Matthew 1:22-24

"Maybe Christmas . . . perhaps . . . means a little bit more!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Fun with Colours and Red Hat

Just for fun!

I thought I would share what my husband and I have been doing these last two days. He usually asks me what I want to do in the afternoons, so I told him I wanted to draw and colour with him. He said he wasn't very good at it at all... but he would do it anyway. I'm not very very good at it either, but I still love to play with colours and draw and pretend that I'm good. So I told him that our first exercise would be to share a big sheet of paper and start drawing whatever comes to mind. We could draw anywhere on the paper, and even change each others drawings. It was funny because the first line he drew was pointy and mine was curvy. At the end he told me that he tends to draw the same things he drew as a child, and that even though he really enjoyed it as a child he got much negative criticism from his teachers, because they didn't think he was good... so he just stopped drawing. I told him I wasn't going to criticize his art and that it was just fun to do something with him, and to allow him to use "my space" on the page, and even change what I did. It's not something that is always easy.

The next day he asked if I wanted to draw something with him... :D... I said yes of course. This time I told him that he should draw something that he had never drawn before. He thought for a long while. I sensed it was kind of a hard thing to do, so I gave him another option. I told him to just pick up a pencil and start scribbling a line on the page without lifting the pencil until he had finished. He scribbled for a while, and then we were to draw what we saw in the shapes the line made. So we looked at them for a while and soon enough he saw a head, I saw a hat, and a building and hair. He saw flowers and mountains and a sun...and it was just a lot of fun again. Here are some pictures we took. It was so nice for me to see that he was into it and having fun and using colours with me. I was very thankful afterwards for the fun time we had doing this. What a blessing marriages can be when we see that we are to be a gift to our spouse...and when they see you as a gift as well.

Saturday: First drawing we made

Sunday: Me colouring the red hat...

Raphael very concentrated...


Voila!
The black lines on her face are some funky glasses that Raphael gave her...
I'm still not too sure about that, but ok.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

How do they know?

There are about four posts that I have written for my blog in my head, but as I haven't taken the time to "post" them they will probably never get posted, but I thought I would take the time today to write a post... I have been quite busy in a physical, mental and spiritual way the last two weeks... I turned 30 about two weeks ago, and it has somehow slowed me down and is causing me to think about what it means to be 30, and if it really even matters. I don't feel old... I don't think I look old, but the problem is (and by the way, I am not saying at all that 30 year olds and above are old), but the problem is that I don't feel like I grow up. Just early this morning I was prancing about the house, collecting laundry in my new Dora bathrobe! And then I thought, "Wait a minute, you're 30 and you're wearing an electric blue Dora bathrobe with a pink belt? The one you just got last night! When you were already 30?! Why?"

Well, for one it fits me (kind of), and it's hard to find things that fit me, two, ... it was in a pile of good usable things for sale, and I wanted a bathrobe, and I love turquoise... and the pink belt that didn't originally go with it looks super cool. But wearing this doesn't make me look my age... not that I would go out like that, but "What would people think?" ..........
....
"Who cares?" you might think, but I do... I care about what people think, simply because they are thinking, and what people think shapes them... makes them who they are, and if people are going to think about us, then I want to give them something good to think about. Let's forget about the turquoise bathrobe with pink belt... who cares... and bear with me, I've been gone for two weeks and I'm 30 now!

A long time ago when I was 18 years old I went to India. I was not there by choice. Because of my illness, being paralyzed, learning to walk again, and not being fully recovered, my dad decided that we should go to India to see a famous guru that did miracles, and perhaps he could heal me. I was already a Christian and believed that there was only one God, one Savior, and that I was not to bow down before any god... so seeing the guru and being healed by him was not something I wanted to do even if it meant living the rest of my life as a handicap, but on the other hand there was my dad... a medical doctor that could not heal his own daughter because of this weird illness and was looking for any other way to bringing her back to how she was. That doesn't really matter, but I still felt like I had to obey him as he was my father and go with him. So I did, not easily but I did.

My dad and I stayed in a little village-like place where thousands of people from all over the world were coming daily to be near/see/talk to this guru. This guru had his own little airport, the place where we were staying had bakeries, shops, restaurants... it was alive. My eyes were wide open.Their logo... the five religious symbols in one... in other words, all religions are the same. As a 18 year old, and pretty much a young Christian I was determined to share with all about my faith and to let them know that I was not like them, and my God was not this guru. So I would go out looking for people to talk to, and tell them who and what I was, and guess what I heard? "You are a Christian? Oh, me too!" (big smile) The first time I heard this I thought "Really? Are you also here on an undercover mission like moi?" - but see... this is what I heard each time. We are all one and the same thing, serving One and the same God in different forms. There were times when my stomach just wanted to cry out (I feel in my stomach first, then my heart)... "no you are not, if you were you wouldn't be here serving this god." So, I had a dilemma, everywhere I went, I was just like everyone else and saying that I was a Christians made no difference, they were all "Christians" too. I had to wear the same kind of clothes as they did when I was there, and even if I walked around with my Bible I knew I wasn't standing out, so I cried out to God and said "Lord, if you are the one and only true God, and if those who trust in You are your followers, there must be a difference between your followers and those who don't follow you! Doing good, is not it, because all these people are trying to be good people. Eternal salvation is the difference but when you share and you hear that we are all Christians, and they all believe they will go to heaven... what is it that makes the difference?" Thinking that I was right and they were wrong was not good either. I didn't get an answer that night...

I wasn't really into Indian food because it was a bit too spicy for me, so everyday I would go out and eat at a hotel where they served fried rice with mushrooms. It goes like this... you go to a restaurant and you find a seat. It doesn't matter if there are three people you don't know at the table... if you found a seat sit down. So one day I went and found a seat at a table where there was an old lady. She was probably around 58 but I was 18 so that made her old to me back then. She was eating so I quietly sat across from her, and said "Enjoy you meal." She said "Thank you". When she got up to leave I got my fried rice and she said "Enjoy your meal too." and I said "Thank you." I ate, paid and left. The next day I went back to the restaurant with my dad. We were talking when this same lady came up to us and asked if she could sit with us. She told us her name, that she was Australian and that she spent all night thinking about me. She said there was something that made her think about me and she was trying to figure out what it was. When it hit her that it was love. She said that she knew I loved God and that I had love. I was shocked... I hadn't shared many words with her the day before, and she was telling us this. I told her that she was right, that I loved God. I didn't know much, I didn't do things right all the time, I wasn't perfect, but I did love God. We told her why we were there, that I wasn't a follower of this guru, and we shared about the struggles that we were having because of this. She was a guru follower. After our meal I left back to our room and my heart felt like it was 4 times bigger and faster. Somebody saw a difference, my prayer was answered. I jumped on my bed and opened my NIV Bible that I had at the time. I didn't know my Bible very well so I was going through the gospels, when I came upon this verses for the first time.
" A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another." John 13:35
I read it over and over, seeing the word love and remembering what this lady said, and again feeling like the Lord was near... with me.

I spent a whole month in India, met many people, had many great experiences, and left being in love with the place and people. On the day I left India there was a prayer that the Lord had not yet answered. Before going to India and while I was there, I was praying for the Lord to show me a real Christian in India. I wanted to meet a Christian while I was there. On our way to the airport, as I looked out the window and saw all the people, the shops, the dresses for sale, the elephants on the road, we slowed down a bit and passed a market where there were table after table covered with little Hindu gods... and in the middle of this line of tables I saw a man, walking with a wooden board on his shoulder and a white T-shirt that said, "Jesus is the way"... I just rested back on the seat having seen enough, and believing by faith that God had just answered my last prayer once again.

What does all this have to with a turquoise Dora bathrobe? I guess that even if we do our best to dress nicely for God's glory, try to look, walk, talk, and live in a good way... which is all good mind you... it's our heart that matters. People will judge us by our words, actions, physical appearance... and we can all try to control these areas, but God looks at our hearts, and there is something that people both young and old are sensitive to... it is "love"... real love, the kind that I believe can only come from above...

If you don't know Jesus... let me tell you that His life is the best love story ever told, an eternal one that involves you and your story too... As Christmas approaches remember how Jesus came in a humble way as a child, so we could all approach Him and not be ashamed... The rich and poor, the well educated and the not so well educated, young and old, the sick and the healthy, found their answers in Him... He is the way, come and see...

(P.S.) You can pat yourself in the back if you got this far ;)

Sunday, December 02, 2007

7 weird things?

Well, Jessica just tagged me and as she is the first person to ever tag me I thought I would go ahead and do it. I have to write 7 random or weird things about me... I guess it's a good way of getting to know people a bit better. I can't think of weird things about myself, but I'm sure if I were to ask my brothers they would have plenty to say. Maybe even my husband.... hmmmm

Ok here we go:

1. My husband thinks it's weird I can't find anything weird about myself....okay

2. When I was 19 years old I was learning to fly a Cessna plane and tower control.

3. At 17 years of age, after being paralyzed due to TM, I had to learn to walk all over again.

4. I've been to Canada, the U.S., Mexico, Colombia, Venezuela, Peru, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Aruba, Curacao, Bonaire, St. Martin, the U.K., the Netherlands, Germany, Belgium, France, Italy, Spain, Monaco, Luxembourg, Austria, India... I've lived in 6 of these countries.

5. I love to travel, and would love to go to New Zealand, Australia, Israel, Brazil, Chile, Ireland, Norway, Russia, Finland, Sweden, Burundi... and many many more places.

6. I can read my husband's mind.

7. I wrote a story called "The One-eyed Princess" after dreaming it up.

Now, that I started I could probably go on as so many random and weird things are coming to mind... but I think that one of the weirdest things about myself... in the eyes of many people I have met and family even, is my faith in Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. Yes, I believe that He is THE way, the truth and the life... weird?... maybe to some... but I don't want to live any other way.

Thank you Jessica for tagging me... that was a first for me. I have to tag 7 other people, but the ones I would tag have already been tagged or would not like to be tagged so that just leaves you Doug ;) .... hehe

Blessings to all...