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Wednesday, 27 November 2013

It's Merry Christmas not happy holidays! Really?

I am bemused by the "Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays" debate. Is this the message of Christ mas? Did Christ teach us to defend our rights to celebrate our holidays; did he teach us to protect those rights at the peril of alienating those of other faiths?  

Christ tells us to love, do good, bless, pray for our friends, and those who agree with us? No, but to do these things for our enemies:

 “But I say to you who hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. To one who strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also, and from one who takes away your cloak do not withhold your tunic either. Give to everyone who begs from you, and from the one who takes away your goods do not demand them back.(Luke 6:27-30)

Are we really being attacked, are we really suffering when someone says Happy Holidays instead of Merry Christmas? Are the ones who say Happy Holidays really our enemies? 

There are Christians in other parts of the world who lives are in danger for proclaiming their faith in Christ, and we here in North America are upset because the teller at the bank or the circulation clerk at the library says Happy Holidays instead of Merry Christmas! 

Christ did not die to give us another holiday to celebrate; he died to give us new life. He died because as fun as holidays are, they don't heal men and women's souls. 

He gave us a message to proclaim. The message that Christ has come, Christ has died, Christ has risen and lives today. His message has not changed in over two thousand years; he still proclaims,

"Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls." (Matthew 11:28 & 29)

When someone says "Happy Holidays" this season, bless them. 

O the deep, deep love of Jesus, vast, unmeasured, boundless, free!
Rolling as a mighty ocean in its fullness over me!
Underneath me, all around me, is the current of Thy love
Leading onward, leading homeward to Thy glorious rest above!

O the deep, deep love of Jesus, spread His praise from shore to shore!
How He loveth, ever loveth, changeth never, nevermore!
How He watches o’er His loved ones, died to call them all His own;
How for them He intercedeth, watcheth o’er them from the throne!

O the deep, deep love of Jesus, love of every love the best!
’Tis an ocean full of blessing, ’tis a haven giving rest!
O the deep, deep love of Jesus, ’tis a heaven of heavens to me;
And it lifts me up to glory, for it lifts me up to Thee. (Thomas Williams)

Monday, 29 April 2013


Our loved ones never really leave us; we carry them with us forever.

 I wake up thinking of mom, her smile, her joy at seeing her family arrive unexpectedly in church on Mother's day. I see her outstretched arms as she greets her children and grandchildren. I see her reach way up to give her tall son-in-law and hug.  I can see her fretting around the kitchen on Christmas day. I still feel her pain as I remember her tears as she said good-bye to two sons. The words "he's no longer in pain" ring in my ears, when talking about Paul's death. Her unwavering faith in her Father God's goodness inspires me. Her love and acceptance of others tempers my behaviour.

 I hear a song and it reminds me of Paul, his shy smile, the silly expressions he used like "gaganoons!" and "hold onto your hats we're going for a hay ride!" I remember the joy on his face every month as he received another "book of the month" as a child. I picture us playing games well into the night to ward off the nightmares he experienced. The look of pride on his face as he held his first niece Tina fills my mind. Paul's struggle with mental illness has given me a tender heart toward those who struggle with addictions, depression or other illnesses. It has taught me to realize that often the people the world considers weak or even lazy are anything but.

 Some one tells me about a broken TV and I am instantly reminded of David who could fix almost anything electronic. I remember David running pretty much everywhere as a kid and young man. I think of the funny voices he used at times. How he loved to use our video camera saying " I prefer to be behind the camera not in front of it" in a sort of Groucho Marks voice.  I remember his love for scary movies and anything American. I can see David's enthusiasm for seat belts until it became the law to wear one, then he would mutter "strapped down like an animal!" David's differentness has made me sensitive to those we consider the "other." When I meet someone "different", it reminds of David's longing to be accepted and it influences my attitude.

 Our loved ones never leave us; we carry them with us forever. However, it is more than just memories we carry and our lives are more than just touched by those closest to us; their essence is intertwined with ours. We look at our lives and cannot pull the threads of our loved ones lives from ours.  Their lives mesh with ours and create the tapestry that is life.


Sunday, 28 April 2013

The Father of All fathers

Mother's day is approaching but lately I find myself thinking more about fathers and what that name means.

For some the word father means one who abuses his authority because he can. Most fathers are bigger and stronger than their wives and all tower over their children. Some use their strength to abuse or tyrannize their families. For others the word father means neglect, disinterest, distance and even abandonment. For some father means shame or guilt.

For some the sound of father returning home is not a welcome sound, for some the sound of father's footsteps does not fill them with confidence but dread.

Over the years I have come to know my God as my Heavenly Father. I have discovered him to be the true perfect Father of all fathers. He is fully trustworthy and loving. God my Father wants the best for me and he knows without a doubt what that is. He is the one I can put my full trust in and know that he will never betray or abuse it. He uses his power and authority to do good. He is perfect love.

When I turn to him I find forgiveness and grace. When I come to him with my problems he does not spew out blame or shame he listens and guides me. When I come to him hurting he does not turn his face away but takes me in his arms and says "peace, be still."

I have found peace and rest in my Father.

"See how very much our Father loves us, for He calls us His children, and that is what we are!" 1 John 3 vs. 1

All For Love
by Mia Fieldes

All for love a Father gave.. For only love could make a way... All for love the heavens cried.. For love was crucified.

Oh, how many times have I broken your heart... But still you forgive if only I ask..
And how many times have you heard me pray..Draw near to me..

Everything I need is You
My beginning and forever
Everything I need is You

Let me sing all for love.. I will join the angel song. Ever Holy is the Lord, King of Glory, King of All.

All for love a Saviour prayer.. Abba Father have your way.. Though they know not what they do.. Let the cross draw man to you