World events in the last few weeks have given me cause to wonder. In both positive and negative ways. I’m naturally a reflective person, so any time events happen, my heart turns to mulling over ideas and trying to understand. It’s been heartbreaking to see the response to attacks of terror, especially from those who label themselves Christ-followers or Christians. The response of fear, hatred, anger and venom have reflected something that is very Anti-Christ. It’s completely against the Good News that we are supposed to carry. So, this morning, I just wanted to take a moment and wonder what would be different if we chose to live in a place of wonder. To wonder and reflect on those things that we need to be challenged by and work on, and to wonder and reflect on those things that are brilliant and stunning and beautiful and filled with love and goodness.Read More
Over the past few months, I’ve had a number of guest posts emerge…
But the few over at Squidoo have been my favourites. They’re on gratitude and living lives that reflect gratitude more often.
So if you will, please make sure to go have a look-see. I’m quite proud of them, you know?
The series has been: Cultivating a Lifestyle of Gratitude
Post 3: Be An Encourager
And if you like them, please share the links! I’d love to see more people living out of a place of gratitude instead of worry. Blessings on you this holiday season and watch this space! More coming soon…
Sometimes the world closes in. There’s darkness and despair. A spark of life only seems like a painful burn in the silence. There is so little light and sometimes that light is more like the tracers you see behind your eyelids on a bright day. There one moment, drifting away the next. And you’re left to choose between two horrible things. You can’t see a way of escape.
You want to choose life – but you don’t feel as if you have any life to choose.
And you might not want to right now. Maybe where you are feels safe, it’s known. In your mind, in your heart, you believe that you are precisely where you deserve to be. It’s your very own fault that you stand in the midst of this sea of discontent and unquiet.
Maybe you made bad decisions in the past. You lashed out when you wanted to draw yourself in. Maybe you chased after joy in the small immediate moments, regardless of the cost, because you didn’t believe that the deeper joy was yours to grasp or run to. Maybe you believe deep down that this is the very best that you could hope for.
And it’s not really that bad, after all.
There are moments when you hear your name whispered and it’s like light filtering through the dust and darkness of the closet of your soul. And then there are the fleeting moments of contentment or pleasure that send signals of life through you. And you remember for just a moment what life could be like or have just a moment where everything goes precisely right.
Until it doesn’t…Read More
There’s a chill in the air tonight. The north wind is blowing. It streams down across the harbour and rattles the wind chimes on the neighbour’s balcony. The thin strand of a leafy vine trails down from above, swirling in the air. The sounds on a night like tonight leave me homesick. Not for a place, but for a time. A time when I held Hershey’s chocolate syrup in one hand, a glass in the other. My mum or dad would help me pour the syrup into the glass, one finger, two fingers. Then, the addition of ice-cold milk. As it hit the chocolate, it would dislocate small strands that would slide up along the inside of the glass. Then, teaspoon in hand, we would stir together, scraping the spoon along the sides to catch every last bit of the darkness. It would swirl into a sweet, chocolate treat. Every time it rained.
I’m older now. And the wind is howling. The rain streams past the orange globes of light that illuminate the plate-glass wall of my living room. The wind means that the rain doesn’t fall down, but flurries against the light, like tiny insects striving to be free. The wind traps them. I hold a glass of wine instead of chocolate milk.
And I long for a different time.
A time when chocolate milk was enough.Read More
I’m still not sure why people use the word ‘expecting’ when talking about pregnancy. I know that some of it is societal politeness. It’s true, it does sound a bit better than saying “yeah, she’s preggers.” But honestly, the vagueness of the term disturbs me a bit. Expecting what, exactly? Expecting joy, laughter, pain, sorrow, or perhaps a new financial disaster? I use the word expecting to talk about something I have relative certainty about – I expect that the sun will rise tomorrow. I expect the pedestrian crossing light to turn green when I hit the button (even if I have to punch it about 35 times to achieve that result.) I even expect certain levels of courtesy and respect and care from people I know. But with a baby on the way, what is there to expect with any degree of confidence? Everyone I know has a different storyRead More
Based on the ancient doctor Luke’s telling of the story of the Transfiguration of Jesus:
Read the ancient text here
In this text in Luke, we have the Transfiguration. At first glance, it seems like a simple tale of Jesus’ glory revealed. But as I was trying to read more closely, I noticed a few things.
First, Moses and Elijah don’t just appear to cheer Jesus on. God does that himself a few verses later. Verse 31 talks about an Exodus and fulfillment. Considering that Luke puts this story between two stories about his prediction about his death, this makes a great deal of sense. Because Moses and Elijah are probably the best two people that God could have sent to Jesus to help him understand his mission there.
Moses – the son of unfulfilled promises and Elijah – the son of silence and glory…
A different translation of this text highlights a particular passage in this chapter by formatting. It’s a passage that the ancient scribe quotes from an even more ancient prophet named Micah. The passage in Micah is actually a bit harsher than the one that Matthew gives. In Micah, the prophet indicates that there is a “rising up against” or actually “despising” or “defying” going on. “Neighborhoods and families are falling to pieces. The closer they are—sons, daughters, in-laws—the worse they can be. Your own family is the enemy…”*
I’ve seen what happens when families fall to pieces. The verse isn’t just about families falling apart. It’s about the call and the cost of discipleship.
Jesus has sent out his twelve apprentices to minister to people. This is part of their commission. Jesus makes it clear that it is no longer simply family relationships that define our identity when we choose to follow the call to Light and Love. It seems that he’s saying, “your first call is to me, not your family. Let go of your creature comforts in order to experience the truly unconditional love of Your Divine Parent in Heaven.”
Jesus tells his followers to speak out into the daylight those things that were revealed in hiddenness. The Spirit saying that things have been revealed to the disciples in the quiet places – their personal revelations – and they are now to go out and shout them from the rooftops. I don’t know about you, but my private times with the Divine have normally been precisely that – private. I may journal about them on my own, but “blogging” them places me in complete vulnerability. I have a really beautiful journal full of hand-written prayers and revelations. To bring them out of the hidden places into the glow of my computer monitor is a bit nerve-wracking. What if people think less of me? What if some of what I say leads people to believe that I’m a bit mental? What if they think I’m wrong? What if they stop being my friend because of what they read? And what if this makes my family angry?