Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Like a child again

I feel like I am a little child again. When I was a child my favourite thing to do was explore. My sense of wonder was alive and well. This sense of adventure lead me to explore the woods and fields around my house, climb trees, and catch every frog, toad and other creature I could find. I explored the beaches, examining everything I saw, from jelly fish to fossils. I can remember looking with reverence at what I now take for granted.

Lately, I have noticed a renewed sense of wonder and awe... and I feel like I have new eyes to see what was always there. But this time, what I see and enjoy, is not the world that I can see and touch.

I'm talking about people. Complex, imperfect, walking wounded, but incredibly beautiful. I wish I could really describe what I am beginning to see.

I think I can trace it to the on-going revelation of God's love for me. The more He reveals it to me, the more I can't help loving Him, and I can't hold back my love for people.

I don't even know if they know it yet. But I see them differently. I've always known my biggest struggle is with being critical and judgmental. I've acknowledged it was wrong, and tried hard to change it. I've tried to "be loving." At best, there were superficial fixes that often failed. But now, I can see how God has been at work, and how He is breaking down strongholds.

I want to see with His eyes... with His love. I can't manufacture it on my own. I am getting tiny glimpses of how He sees people, and when God looks at people there are no losers, no failures, no freaks and no bores. I hunger for more of this- God have Your way!

Like a child I see and marvel. I see good, and rejoice. I see bad, and know that is not all there is. I see a broken person and I see hope. I see God at work, transforming a life, and I am fascinated. I am faced with the intricacy of a personality, and I gaze with reverence at how God has uniquely formed each person.

I have been moved watching the sun set over a pure, peaceful landscape, and inspired by the power of the ocean's crashing waves. Neither one compares with the beauty of any human being.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Some favourite quotes... Malcolm Smith

Just wanted to share some good quotes taken from the website of my favourite Bible teacher, Malcolm Smith (www.malcolmsmith.org):

On forgiveness:
"In His death Christ has paid for all sin- not only mine, but also that of the whole world- and that includes the sin that was committed against me by my neighbor. The Gospel gives me a solid foundation not only for receiving forgiveness, but also for giving it. We can now forgive, knowing that our sense of justice has not been muzzled, but rather vindicated in the finished work of Christ.
"Forgiveness is the choice to agree with God concerning what is due the one who has sinned against me. In the finished work of Christ I hear God say, 'It has been paid for.' To refuse to forgive is to choose to disagree with God, saying that the cross was not enough to deal with all sin."

From God to us:
"My child I am with you; I am not merely alongside you; I am with you and united to you at the core of your being. You will never call upon Me and find that I have left you. I am with you always and answer your faintest cry. Though the darkness menace you, you are bound to Me forever. When you neither see nor hear or feel Me, know My child that I am with you and will never forsake you.I have set my love upon you from before time because of who I am; if I ceased to love you I would cease to be. Do not let your heart be tormented with the fear that you will do something to cause Me to leave you or stand aloof treating you with indifference. You do not control My being with you by your behavior. You can neither summon Me nor dismiss Me by your works. I am free in my love and beyond manipulation by My children. My presence with you is not a deserved reward for your good behavior but is continually poured upon you out from the sheer delight of My love for you. My child I am not merely alongside you; I am with you and united to you at the core of your being. You are bound to Me forever. Let My word be engraved upon your heart and rest."

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

PIONEERS Team Retreat in Muskoka

I have the best co-workers in the world. Last week we went to Muskoka to a cottage for a prayer and planning retreat. It was a great time to spend together in such a beautiful place. We spent the mornings in meetings, going over what has happened in the last year, and looking forward into the next year, seeking to see how God is leading our next steps. I found it quite amazing to see how far we have come, when looking back. We are in a pretty exciting place of growth, and look forward to seeing how God will work as we move ahead.

One thing became clear- we just have to thank and praise God for the work He is doing to draw people to Himself. We are privileged to have a part in seeing people leave their comfort zones and live as salt and light in the darkest places of the world.

Here is a picture that we took at the retreat, so you can see the great folks I work with.

Monday, August 22, 2005

In a sea of uncertainty... and thankful

Everything in my life is uncertain.

If I had been able to have my way in the past few years, this would not be the situation of my life, and these would not be my circumstances. Finding myself here now though, there is no other place I'd rather be.

It is difficult though. I find myself out in the wilderness, with no one, and nothing, that is steady, constant and certain.

At Christmas, while with my family, it hit me hard that NB is no longer my home. I will always be welcome there- will love and be loved- but I don't belong. 2000 km away, I live with various roommates over time (last count 24 in all) and am blessed by each of them. But we each move on into different phases of life. Nothing steady.

For years I held onto "my plans" with a fiery passion. If the people in my life were not constant, at least I had my plans and ambitions to hold onto. Now, all I know is that nothing is certain. Right now, God gives me just enough light to be able to take the next step, not to see into the far-reaching horizon.

This is when I can struggle most with being single: when I can envy my friends who have someone to help them when the car breaks down, to help make financial decisions, and who for better or for worse will be a companion at their side.

But praise God for bringing me here. In this uncertainty, I can only rest where true certainty is found. Drawn away from the safety and security of life in dependence on anyone or anything else, I am forced to find in Him, everything I need.

This is a season of my journey for which I am enormously grateful. I have asked many of you to pray for the refining of my faith, that it would go through the fire and come out purified into something beautiful. I have to admit I winced as I wrote that in my last prayer letter. But greater than the fear of pain in what the answer might mean, I hunger for the fulfillment of its purpose. This is my journey, and I don't want to move up from here unless God is in it.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Introduction to my blog

Hi there...

This is my blog... my first attempt at such a thing... we'll see how it goes...

Since so many of the precious people in my life live so far away from me, and since I am always struggling to keep in touch with you all, I thought this might be a good way to keep you updated on my life, and all God is doing and teaching me. I'm also excited to be able to share pictures with you.

Feel free to comment on here, or drop me an email. I'd love to hear from you!

Your sister and friend,


Posted by Picasa