Friday, June 18, 2010

I'm Gone on Vacation

My husband and I leaving tomorrow for a three week vacation. We are going to Utah, Arizona and Nevada. This is a picture of a place near the Grand Canyon where we went last year. We unexpectedly fell in love with the desert so we are going back. Bye for now.

Thursday, June 17, 2010


When I first moved to Vancouver, I was not used to seeing so many homeless people and having them ask for money. I gave to every person who asked me, I knew they might buy drugs or booze with it, but they also may have been hungry or in need of clothes. So I gave.

Then the stores in my neighborhood started putting up signs showing where the homeless could eat and sleep for free. They begged us not to give to beggers because they hung around bothering people and it affected their business.

This was a dilemma for me. Jesus said to give to those who ask, but everyone was telling me I was enabling and supplying these people with drugs and drink. I was not helping, they said, I was making things worse. So my mother, (who was living with us at the time), and I made a decision to be good citizens and to stop giving.

I found it very difficult to say no to people. It just hurt my heart. But I figured all the other people must be right. One day we were by the docks and an old man in a wheelchair asked us for a dollar. We knew people in wheelchairs are taken care of by the government, so we said we couldn't give him anything. We walked to the street corner and he wheeled along following us. "Could you spare fifty cents," he asked, as we waited for the light to change. "No," we answered. The next block he asked for a quarter, then a dime and finally a penny! He was so pitiful. My mom and I stopped and looked at each other and gave him all the money we had.

That day I stopped being a good citizen and went back to giving money away to everyone who asked. I felt so much better. Later on, I wondered if that man in the wheelchair was an angel sent to teach me a lesson, for I had prayed about this whole problem. I don't know, but I think it is possible.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Are You the One?

John the Baptist was in prison. While there, doubts came into his mind about Jesus. He sent two of his friends to ask Jesus, "Are you the Expected One, or do we look for someone else?" Luke 7:19

Earlier, John had told the people that Jesus was the Messiah. He had seen the Holy Spirit, in the form of a dove, rest on Jesus after he had baptized him. He said to the people, "I myself have seen, and have testified that this is the Son of God. "What changed John's mind? Why was he so unsure now?

Jesus didn't answer the question immediately. He simply began working with the people. Afterwards, he went to John's friends and said, "Go to John and tell him what you have seen. The blind can see, the lame can walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised and the poor have the good news preached to them."
Then Jesus added, "Blessed is he who does not take offence at me." Luke 7:22,23

How could John, or us for that matter, take offence at Jesus? Why did he now think that Jesus may not be the Messiah? I believe it was because Jesus was not acting the way John thought the Messiah would act. The Jewish people thought the Messiah would overthrow the Romans and become a King bringing prosperity and justice with him. But Jesus wasn't doing this. Even after Jesus had died and risen his followers believed this. They asked him, "Lord, is it at this time you are restoring the kingdom to Isreal?" Acts 1:6

Jesus told the people, "My kingdom is not of this world," but many did not understand. Some did understand and left him. They wanted a King, not a servant, which is what Jesus said about himself.

We also can take offence at God and Jesus when they don't do what we think they should do. We ask, "Why does God allow such suffering? Why does he allow me to go through this? Why does he let evil people rule in some nations?" And we are offended. I was angry at God for some years, but believe me, it gets tiresome. I finally came back to him and read every book I could find on why He allows suffering. Gradually, I came to understand. I have slowly, very slowly, learned to accept life the way it is and not how I want it to be. I hope this acceptance and understanding stays in my heart forever, for I do not trust myself. But I remember what I thought I heard God say to me when I returned to him. "Don't worry. I can take anything you can dish out."

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Where Are You God?

I like reading the Psalms. Those people griped and ranted about everything. They didn't hold back their feelings when talking with God, they were totally honest with him.
"Why do you stand afar off O Lord?" Psalm 10:1
"Give ear to my words, O Lord, consider my groaning." Psa.5:1
"Be gracious to me, O Lord, for I am pining away." Psa.6:2
"How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever? Psa.13:1
And then there is the verse Jesus quoted while hanging on the cross. "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" Psa.22:1

At the end of each Psalm there is an answer to the questions; total trust in God's goodness and power. At the end of the last verse that Jesus quoted it says, "He has not despised the affliction of the afflicted. Nor has he hidden his face from him. But when he cried to him for help, he heard." Ps. 22:24

Jesus felt his father had left him, and sometimes we feel like that too. The thing is, it isn't true, it is just a feeling. The Bible says God was with his son on the cross, but with the sin of the world on him and the suffering he was going through Jesus didn't feel God's presence. Yet just like the Psalms, Jesus died trusting in God the Father's goodness. He said, "Into your hands I give my spirit."

My faith and trust is small. I just pray God will make me be like Jesus who trusted in spite of his sufferings.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

I Would Never Do That

"Do not judge so that you will not be judged. For in the way you judge, you will be judged." Matt: 7:1,2

When I was a new Christian in my twenties and I would hear about something bad that someone had done I would think, "I would never do that!" I was like Peter who said to Jesus, " Even though all may fall away, yet I will not," right before he ran away and left Jesus when he was arrested.

Peter didn't know himself and neither did I. When I found out my first husband was sleeping with the girl who lived downstairs I saw something of what was inside me. I had told him to go tell her he would never see her again or I would leave. I could hear them downstairs start to laugh. I pictured myself getting the biggest knife I had in the kitchen and just ripping into both of them. I then realized I was capable of murder.

Later, after we had separated and my husband had a new girlfriend he would take the kids for the weekend and his girlfriend would stay too. I was horrified and thought once again, "I would never do that to my children." Two years later my new boyfriend was sleeping over and God reminded me of what I had said.

At the time I felt ashamed but I realized later it was a good lesson for me to learn. We really don't know what we might do until we come into a situation that impels us to make a decision. I don't think I have trusted myself again.

I remember being in a church once and everyone was singing, "I will not be shaken," all the while sitting there thinking, "On the other hand, who knows what I will do?" I am trying to learn not to judge people simply by the fact that if I were in their shoes I might be doing the exact same thing.

Friday, June 4, 2010


"When I am afraid I will put my trust in you." Psalm 56:3

What am I afraid of? Many things, but mainly the future. The past is over, and I can't do anything about it, but the future? I always think I can do plenty; maybe if I worry enough things will be alright. Maybe I can arrange things, maybe I can find an easy answer, maybe I can bug God a million times so he will do things my way.

But can I make sure no one in my family gets sick, hurt or dies? Can I make sure my grandson gets a job, pays his rent and stays out of trouble? Can I make everyone love God and be happy? Nope, I can't.

But these are the kinds of things I worry about. Everyone has obstacles in their walk with God and mine is being filled with fear instead of trust in him.

I am slowly learning to leave things with God. One thing that helps me is picturing a person or problem standing before the throne of God. I say, "This person (or problem) belongs to you. I know I need to leave them with you." This image helps me realize God's power and kingship over all things. When I do this I feel a peace and trust I didn't have before.