Monday, December 29, 2008

interesting read

OK, I know that it is after Christmas and all that, but I came across this today and I wanted to share it with you. It is the Christmas story "re-written" for modern times. Taking what happened and putting into our modern day. As I read it today, it hit me ina way that the Christmas story has not in a long time.

You can read Part 1 here.
And Part 2 here.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

reflecting on 2008 and looking ahead to 2009

So the other day I started reflecting on the past year - on 2008. It is not quite over yet, but it is getting close. I was not reflecting so much on the events but on what God has been up to in my life in the last year. I pulled out my journal (I write on here, but it is only a snippet of what I write about) and started reading what I had written in the last year. It was amazing to read the stories of what God had been up to in my life. He was definitely at work and I can see now that even in the times when I wondered He was there and He was working.

As I did that I started to move into looking ahead to 2009 with anticipation of what God has in store. If He did all that He did in 2008 in my life, I can only imagine what He will do in the coming year. I am excited to see what He has in store for me! Based on the joys and challenges of this past year, I know that it will not all be easy, but it will be good in the end no matter whether the time is hard or not.

I pray that you would be looking ahead with anticipation as well to the coming year. And I pray that you and I would both be open to whatever God has in store for us in the coming year.

Happy New Year to all!!! (Just in case I do not get around to posting another blog before we move into 2009!)

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

how many kings

I have come across my new favourite song for Christmas. I am not completely sure that it would be classified as a Christmas song and it is not on a Christmas CD, but in my mind it is a Christmas song. I wanted to share it with you because I think the message of the song is important. Enjoy!

Merry Christmas!!!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

what Christmas is all about

I can hardly believe that in a week it will be Christmas day! It really does not seem like that is possible right now. I keep seeing all the Christmas decorations up everywhere and hearing the Christmas music, but I do not seem to think that it could really be Christmas yet.

I guess, if I were to be honest, it is because I have chosen to put that fact out my mind and not allow myself to think about it. I have never been a fan of all of the craziness that typically comes with Christmas . . . and this year I was even less inclined to get into any of it. I just did not see the point. Really, this past fall started off pretty crappy and I have been reeling from it since. It seems that only now I even want to think about Christmas . . . and I realize that I have missed much of what does excite me about it. I still have a week and I anticipate lots of stuff in this time, but I still feel like a part of it all is missing.

Yet, at the same time, I think because I have pretty much ignored the Christmas excess and consumerism happening around me I am thinking more about what this is all supposed to be about in the first place. Christmas is when we celebrate Jesus come to earth . . . it is the beginning of the greatest rescue mission of all times! I wonder if sometimes we lose that in all the decorations, and pageants, and food, and gift buying. I know I often do.

For me this year Christmas is something pretty simple . . . and I find myself looking forward to it all with more anticipation than I have had for Christmas in a long time! It is about celebrating the birth of Christ . . . and doing so with family and good friends. It is about taking time out to remember that my Savior chose to come to this earth so I could be reconciled to Him. It is about Jesus Christ! Nothing more . . . nothing less . . . just Jesus!

May you not forget the true meaning of the season in this next week.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

honest with God

Do you ever find yourself trying to come up with the "right" words to say when you are praying?
Do you avoid praying out loud in a group because you are afraid you will not have the "right" words to say?

God wants for us to be honest with Him . . . and that means telling Him how we really feel - what we are really thinking. But I find that it is not always easy. I get caught up in looking for the words that I think I am supposed to say and often do not even end up saying what I wanted to say. I can use all the "right" words and ask for all the "right" things but that may not be how I am actually feeling or what I am actually wanting to say.

I have been reading in Job lately and the other day I was struck by the utter honesty with which Job talks to God. Job does not look for the "right" words, he just tells God how he feels. There is no holding back on Job's part in what he says. As the reader you know how he feels. Job is honest with God.

I have started to think that this is something we need to do more of (well, at least I do). Rather than trying to find the "right" words, we need to learn to tell God honestly what we feel and what we think. It is not a surprise to God that we feel or think that way so why would we not honestly say it.

In the past few days I have been trying to do this. Believe me . . . it is not proving as easy as it sounds like it should be. I have all these ideas in my head of what I "should" be saying. But, as I have taken the time to practice (for lack of a better word) this I have found an incredible freedom in it. There is something freeing about not trying to say the "right"things all the time.

So, I want to challenge those of you who may be reading this to take some time to reflect on your own prayers to God. Are you honest? Or are you always looking for the "right" words to say? Are there changes that need to be made for you to actually be honest with God when you pray?

over my head

I was reading on another blog earlier today and it talked about a song I had never heard before, but I liked the words. I headed over to YouTube to see if I could find the song because I wanted to share the song with you. May you be encouraged by what you hear.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

deep people

So, I have apparently taken a bit of a hiatus from writing these last couple of weeks . . . and I didn't even realize it until I logged on today. I guess you could say that these last couple of weeks have been a little busy.

Anyways, I read a quote earlier today that really got me thinking.

The doesn't need more busy people, maybe not even more intelligent people.
It needs deep people,
people who know that they need solitude if they are going to find out who they are;
silence, if there words are to mean anything;
reflection, if their actions are to have any significance;
contemplation, if they are to see the world as it really is;
prayer, if they are going to be conscious of God;
if they are to know God and enjoy God forever.
(Richard Foster in Celebration of Discipline)

When I read this it challenged me and got me thinking. Our culture tells us that busy-ness is good and is to be expected. Busy-ness is held up, almost like a badge of honour or significance. But, when we get caught up in it we lose our ability to be "deep people" because we do not have the time for silence, reflection, contemplation, and prayer.

I have been thinking since about my own life and how much time I have for these things. And, really, there is not much. This was the challenge I needed today and maybe it is for you as well. Especially in this Christmas season where there always seems to be so much going on, maybe we need to become intentional about stopping the busy-ness and taking time out to spend with God - afterall, that is what we are supposed to be celebrating this time of year.