Thursday, December 25, 2008

"all things were made and came into existence through Him; and without Him was not even one thing made that has come into being. In Him was life and the life was the light of men. And the light shines on in the darkness, for the darkness has never overpowered it [ put it out or absorbed it or appropriated it, and is even unreceptive to it]."
John 1: 3 - 5 (Amplified Bible)
It's Christmas once again, and in the Christian circles around the globe, the birth of Christ is celebrated. We know and understand that this is not a true representation of Christ's birth, but that it was a chosen time on the calender, which has caused much disagreement throughout history.
Hanukkah started on Dec. 22, this year and i bless my Jewish friends to have some wonderful time with family and tradition.
i didn't grow up with much tradition outside of the usual, family time, church, a meal, presents (which seemed to take the forefront).
Then God chased me down and got my full attention when i was 18, all these things began to change and it was not about me anymore and what i could get out of it. Slowly little things began to happen on a regular basis around and leading up to Christmas. There was ministry to the less fortunate, visiting at the jail, going about doing what we could for others with whatever means we had available. My children learnt to appreciate the fact that Christmas meant family and friends and helping others. Then there were small things we did as a family that became tradition, like opening one gift each Christmas eve after church service and a special breakfast in the morning. Where we lived it was always a white Christmas, so skating and sledding were enjoyed. And of course a grand turkey dinner with all the trimmings.
There has always been the battle of light and darkness surrounding anything that has to do with Jesus, no matter what time of year it is. But two thousand years later and the light has not been extinguished and never will be.
Before the crucifixion, the Jewish leaders met and spoke about Jesus ministry like it was going to be a flash in the pan, they had seen these things before. History reminds us of all the dictators who have risen and fallen trying to snuff out the message from God. Think of all the regimes around the globe and find one that still remains today, (outside of religion), and there isn't one. Why do you think that is?
Religious tradition is probably the strongest element to every culture that keeps men focused on something. It's a necessary part of our make-up. If you're not spiritual, then you have religious ritual in some other form, something your heart is overtaken by, sports, which has numerous dimensions is i think the most prevalent. So you see, if it ain't Jesus it's a substitute in one form or another.
Another thing present in all cultures are the stories between good and evil or light and darkness if you please. It goes on and on and we all love the stories. What is one of the most popular today and making it's way around the globe but Harry Potter, books and films. There's another light and darkness phenomenon?
Anyway, it's Christmas, and we enjoyed our traditions. My first with new wife and family, having a special waffle breakfast, prepared by her, (i do most all cooking) with blackberries, homemade maple syrup, flavoured coffee and rejoicing in God. Then we were trying to come up with a movie and it so happened Casablanca was on TV, (i know it's not about Christmas) and we watched the entire movie uninterrupted, so maybe that's something new for us.
The only thing i really missed this year because of financial strain was assisting someone less fortunate than myself. At least not so far this season.
The absolute best thing of all, is that before this whole world began, far far before he knew me and knew my name and loved me enough then to prepare life for me, and i've hardly scratched the surface of this miraculous truth.
Now, go figure that one out!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Wintery Wonderful

The beautiful white covers us again, only earlier and more this year.
A white Christmas for sure.
This year for the first time in the last 10, i don't have to worry about the weather, the road conditions and other winter storms throughout CDA and the US.
i am home, nice and warm and comfortable. There is only one exception i'm not working, due to an injury. So as comforted as i am about not driving about the countryside, i sit with pain shooting through my left hip, leg and foot.
But! it's not deterring my enjoyment of Christmas. Our home is festively decorated, gifts under the tree, and since my sweetie is out working very hard for us, i transformed the house for her. i even have the miniature village on display, adding a few new pieces also.
Tomorrow is Christmas eve, and family time with one side, then our first Christmas morning as husband and wife. Then hopefully a trip up to the valley to share and visit with my family, and granddaughter who is about to be 2 in February.
Also more excitement coming in February as another expected grandchild for the Mrs.
Lots of excitement in the air, and new expectation as we wait on God to unveil some new plans for .09.
So i wish and pray blessings on all, with safe journeys and happy memories.
Merry Christmas!
(photo by me)

Saturday, December 13, 2008

in life unlived
such tragedy give,
the uses all used
all graces abused
trying tears
on falling faces
spilled in all
awkward of places,
unending steps toward
a slippery goal
bent over bent forward
bent and bent
unable to contend,
walking and talking
running into walls
onto the streets
into the falls
faces turned down
sorrows we crown,
smoldering ash
nights turned
and days past
calendars reminder
into shallow words
all the unkinder,
holding hard
against the wind
rice paper walls
ever thinned
holding ever holding
onto the closing dawn
to curtains torn
and curtains drawn
to frowns on faces
all over time
these are the faces
clocks and time
hands and spaces
our lives unlived
such tragedy
we give.

Life Unlived

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Taking off our Heads

We are so full of information and well meaning things, with today's access to info from around the world and every conceivable thing at our fingertips, literally.
From a Christian perspective of teaching, studying, ideas flowing from every corner of the globe.
We think and therefore we believe we are informed. But if we approach God only on an intellectual level, we will miss him completely.
The word of God clearly states that He is Spirit, and we must come to him in spirit and in truth.
It also says that we are made in his image. To be spiritual beings.
We somehow miss this step in his plan for us and try instead to reach him through a number of other means.
I'm not suggesting mysticism, eastern religions have that covered, overwhelming us with the practice of enlightenment in numerous forms, but only leading to another realm of emptiness.
Our minds are well trained, full, imagination and so on. From the artistic, scientific, logic, and the great thinkers of our time and times past.
Consider the mind likened to an electrical grid. There is always power flowing. From the power station it is directed to the recipients. There will be areas where the power needs to be increased or decreased according to the need. Now when we are in our home we have no problem flicking the switch and believe the light will illuminate the room. We have faith in the system and unless there is a failure with the bulb, fuse, breaker, power line in etc., everything will work.
We get the voltage necessary for the light and toaster and so on. Other appliances may require more voltage which is arranged at the junction panel and special wiring, such as the dryer and stove. These things we understand and take for granted.
Let me suggest that we take the Spirit of God for granted. God has given us the person of the Holy Spirit to dwell within us. Why? We needed a regulator for the power of God to pass through and into our spirit. Notice i didn't say mind, because we simply cannot comprehend God with our mind.Remember He is Spirit.
Earlier i mentioned our imagination as part of our make-up. Some believe we can have an overactive imagination when it pertains to the things of God.
So, God himself initiates the person of the Holy Spirit, who is a part of himself, to be joined with us who are also a part of himself. (made in his image) Then Jesus, who is also a part of God, is the viaduct to God.
No problem, right?
Big problem, we are using our mind as the chief principle for understanding the things of God. We want to control the thinking and imagination and bypass the spirit. We are not just body, where the mind resides, nor soul, seat of the emotions, but spirit also where we are joined to God.
The body is temporary, the soul and spirit are designed for eternity to be in communication with an eternal God. He designed us this way.
God has wired us for his glory to reside, so what's the problem. Partly, the Word is Spirit breathed, and we are still trying to respond with the mind.
His Spirit, His power is available, then there must be a wiring malfunction.
(1) The wires are not connected to the panel.
(2) Wrong, bad, or old wiring and needs a change.
(3) The main switch was never turned on.
(4) The people inside the house are in rebellion that the power even exists.
(5) The people have turned on the power and all the lights but live in denial and fear of the dark, living and existing with selfish motives.
(6) The people believe that they have created the power by their own means and doing and that is all there is to it, enjoying it for themselves for the moment because it might be gone tomorrow.
(7) They are living outside the grid and stealing the power and hiding from everyone but believing that they are justified.
Paul writes to us in these books, Romans, Ephesians, Galatians, "to live by and walk in, and pray in the Spirit."
So, God might say to us something like this, "take off your head and let me replace it with one that I have made especially for you. One that thinks my thoughts and is joined to me, one that is readily made of Spirit material and wired to receive my power more readily."
Why don't we want to believe it?
Perhaps it is because we are proud of what goes on inside our head?

Friday, December 5, 2008

Being Known

It always amazes me when out of the blue, God shows up and changes the scenery.
We are most often unaware of his presence, like a father tip-toeing into the bedroom to check on the sleeping child.
In this particular instance he called my family name in a crowd of about 600 people, in a special church service with a well known and respected teacher and prophet, Larry Randolph, who was one of the instrumental persons used during the Toronto blessing.
It was Friday evening a few weeks ago and at the end of his message he directed some uplifting words to a select few and then asked for us by our family name. He spoke directly to our hearts and situation, but that is just the way God is, always aiming at the heart.
Our hearts are the most vulnerable part of our make-up of body, soul and spirit, because how we have been treated, spoken to, taught, believe, absorb life will be reflected through our hearts.
Jesus said, "out of the overflow (abundance) of the heart the mouth speaks."
We are to have a treasure of life filling up our hearts, so that at any given moment we can be a blessing of life to others. Living water flowing like a river to give life.
I've been reading a book called, Waking The Dead, by author John Eldredge. He is a wonderful writer using many antidotes and pieces from different movies such as, Gladiator, Lord of The Rings, and some of C.S. Lewis. He has a significantly different approach that is very refreshing, real and right where we live.
Getting back to God, speaking to our hearts. I have been on this journey of unwanted pain for about 2 1/2 months now, and it is around the new job i have. It has caused me to dig deep for strength and faith, and i have awakened in the middle of the night to pray and pursue God, and get in his face. Part of this word to us was the fact that i am a bulldozer, and i know how to push, but that i have been up against something that requires some divine intervention, that he is going to assist me with. How cool is that!
Thank you God my awesome friend and Father.