God’s Breath

My favourite season is Fall, especially when it’s sunny and the skies are a beautiful shade of cyan blue. The air is fresh, and even though it’s a bit nippy, with a warm jacket, a scarf and boots, I feel snuggly warm.

I used walking the dog as an excuse to get my 14 year old to accompany me. Like every teenager, she delights in staying in bed until 11:00 am on weekends. After some insistence along with the promise she can chill and have a lazy Saturday, she agreed.

I love the sight of leaves falling. It creates a breathtakingly beautiful backdrop of yellows, ochre, red and rust. Although all the trees in my neighbourhood are starting to look bare, there is a silent understanding that God’s hand is the maestro behind the intricate design – the masterpiece is called life. For me, it is the profound realization and sense of awesomeness that it is God’s majesty.

God is the Breathe of Life

Then the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being. Genesis 2: 7

I imagine God’s Breath of life upon my birth. This understanding gives me great joy – life is wonderful because God’s Breath (Holy Spirit) was within us from the very beginning.

The realization we all start with God’s Breathe at the onset makes me realize that it’s our choice whether we remain close to Him or not. God’s Breath is free.

I pray to God in thanksgiving for your grace and love. You gave each of us Your Breath of life.

I pray your Holy Spirit continue to guide me throughout my day – filling it with an inner happiness. It is an attestation that life is wonderful.

I pray for those who for whatever reason do not have Your Breath of life. I pray the Holy Spirit opens their heart and fill them with Your abundant Breath, that they may experience the joys in knowing you.

Praise be to God.

Amen

I Believe…

I Believe…

…in God

The Father Almighty

Creator of Heaven and earth

I believe in Jesus Christ, His only Son our Lord

Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit

Born of the Virgin Mary

Suffered under Pontius Pilate

Was crucified, died, and was buried

He descended to the dead

On the third day, He rose again

He ascended to Heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father

He will come again to judge the living and the dead

I believe…

… in the Holy Spirit

The Forgiveness of sins

Praise be to God

Amen

Top photo by me…from my early morning walk. It is a time for my own reflections, prayer and most of all looking at God’s beautiful creation before me – the life He has given to me. Let me embrace the wonder that is created by my God, and let me live each day glorifying His blessings upon my life. No matter the challenges and struggles we face in this world, I live in the knowledge that You keep your people safe and secure in Your Grace.

I reflect on John 19:25-27 and think about the depth of Jesus’ love while on the cross, and, of his abundant love for a sinner like me. Praise be to God for His wonderful gift in His son Jesus! In our world divided by racism and hate, it is only in Christ Jesus that we are one – it is only through Jesus that we are unleashed by the chains of our prejudice and selfishness. We can be confident that through Christ we are one.

My Sway: https://sway.office.com/JKDM96nxsFqXXGYQ

Thy Lovingkindness in the Morning

Thy lovingkindness in the morning;

For I trust in Thee; 

Teach me the way in which I should walk;


For to Thee I lift up my soul.
Psalm 143

I lift up my face, and embrace the warmth of the sun.  I start my day afresh and let go of all the things within my heart that can fill me with discontent.  I let them flow away like the brisk morning breeze.  This is a new day!  I pray that God will guide me each step of the way. With heart felt compassion, I also pray for those around me today…that they may also feel Your lovingkindness.

Bad days exist…especially if I had a bad night. I try to make a habit of letting go of my anger before I go to bed, and as much as I hate to admit it, sometimes I wake up grumpy as a result.

I am imperfect before my God.

Taking a walk this morning helped me embrace the beauty of the morning, and self talk with our Lord Jesus. I let go of all my angry, hearts discontent, and grievances.

It was only after this that I was able to enjoy the wonder of the morning. Yes, I let Christ carry my burdens.

WE are human and have short comings. We are so hard on ourselves and we don’t realize that we end up taking on all the burdens of our workplace, of our family, and of our own world. So many things intersect to create burdens upon us.

Give yourself a break and give it up to Christ. Let Him carry it for you. You only need rely on His strength and peace.

Praise be to God!


Todays photos:  From my early morning walk:)

On Sway: https://sway.office.com/fmgYUQBCX5Gfh47o

Slow down

Something I forget as I time and time again strive at my pace – of stress filled hyperactivity- to slow down and work at Jesus’ pace:

Matthew 11:28-29 International Standard Version

28 “Come to me, all of you who are weary and loaded down with burdens, and I will give you rest. 29 Place my yoke on you and learn from me, because I am gentle and humble,[a]and you will find rest for your souls,[b]

I’ve burnt myself out the pass week – no it’s been months – working myself into a frenzy. Imposing high expectations upon myself.

The truth is if I’m feeling overwhelmed and burdened, then I’m not in step with Jesus. I’m working on my own, and have left Jesus behind.

It’s so easy to fall into this hectic mayhem and let myself become befuddled – so I give my yoke to you Jesus. Take this burden off me. Let me work within your Grace and at your pace.

How?

Have the faith within to know that no matter how crazy, desperate and hectic the situation is, whether it is work related, personal or the family, I must trust that they hand of Jesus in my life will clear a path for me. This can be clearing the mental pathway to think and see clearer, or moving circumstances around us and others – this is His unseen hand at work.

Trust!

❤️

Being Who I Was Created To Be!

Being Who I Was Created to Be

We each have our personal narratives, our personal story that’s filled with our lived experiences…

…This is what makes us each unique.   As each of us are different, we are also one under God.

When I made that decision to follow Jesus, I gave up the ME…and all the Me that was created by the “isms”, structures, framework and models of this world died with me as I gave my life for Christ.

This is a hard idea to grasp, as the world today focuses on “ME”, my individual voice, my cultural and ethnic identity, my race, my social group, and my economic group (the list is endless).  When I think about it, the world has created many different categories for me to exist in.  I call this systematic identification.

“Come, follow me,” Jesus said

If you refuse to take up your cross and follow me, you are not worthy of being mine.  If you cling to your life, you will lose it; but if you give up your life for me, you will find it.

Matthew 10:38-39

  For,

There is one God and one Mediator who can reconcile God and humanity—the man Christ Jesus. He gave his life to purchase freedom for everyone.

This is the message God gave to the world at just the right time.

1 Timothy 2:5-6

How I ask…

How do I let God’s will in me play out?  How do I let God lead me?  So often I have asked myself how I know it is God’s will verse my own.  How do I identify the difference?  First, if I do not know the scripture and what God tells me though it, then I cannot discern.  I know now having walked with God, sometimes closely, and at other times far behind what is his will, and what is mine.   The Holy Spirit working within me guides me and always bring me back to His fold.  Just as I know when I have fallen into the traps of this world, of power play, of sinful thoughts, of the ways of the flesh…there is a gut awareness.  I know!

The challenge is whether I listen to God or not.  God always has a way to nudge me and get me back on the right track.  It can be through a life lesson, or through another person.  Sometimes its’ painful, at other times I can laugh.

Often it is only in after thought that I can recount the many ways the Hand of God has been working to guide me through others, through the Bible, and though my inner sense of right and wrong.   There are times when I am sensitive to His voice, and there are times when I am downright rebellious.  He never forsakes me.  For this I am grateful.  

But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ- by grace you have been saved. Ephesians 2:4-5 

God Bless The Pets We Love

It’s Victoria Day over here in Canada, and today it’s special for our family because our dog – Candy – is 7 years old. That’s middle age in doggie years.

Happy Birthday Candy💕

She’s not our first Keeshond, and I’ve got to say she is stubborn – but fluffy and cute. She suffers from severe allergies, so we are careful what we feed her. For part of the year she has to take allergy medication. She has a fear of other dogs, but love humans. She loves to jump on the sofa even though I’ve told her time and time again – NO! When she hears the word “rice” she goes crazy! It’s her favourite food, so we give her some when we make it. She sits in front of the rice cooker and waits. She even knows it’s rice when we spell it out!

We have always had pets in our family. Over the 30 plus years Daniel and I have been together, we’ve had three dogs, along with pets we’ve fostered. Mathieu use to sleep on Maggie, our Golden Retriever . There was the time Celine the Black Labrador we fostered chewed up all of Meimei’s Barbie dolls. There’s never a dull moment, but loads of wonderful memories. There was also the time Shadow, our first Keeshond went blind and got lost. We panicked and looked for her in my mother-in-laws neighbour, only to find she was able to find her way back. She also climbed up the 3 flights of stairs to her balcony. Surprise can’t even describe how we felt when we opened the patio door and saw her sitting there.

I remember the grieving process when our first two dogs passed away (Daniel cried, while I was much more pragmatic about it). We had sworn we wouldn’t get another pet. Well 7 years ago while our kids were still young we adopted another – Candy.

Just some thoughts on pets as I think about my dog. So a bit of a ramble on my part:) There is a natural affinity within us to love animals big and small. We love them, care for them, and they are a part of our family. They can heal lonely hearts, and also fulfill within us a need to nurture. I adopted Maggie (our Golden Retriever) after seeing her at an animal shelter. She had just had a litter and her previous owners puts her up for adoption. She looked so lonely and sad. I couldn’t help but bring her home. Daniel was away for work at the time. So imagine his surprise upon returning home.

Do animals have a soul? I’ve often wondered about this and looked to the Bible to see what God has to say about it:

Who knoweth the spirit of man that goeth upward, and the spirit of the beast that goeth downward to the earth? Ecclesiastes 3:21

The full verse of Ecclesiastes 3 basically sums up this bond between humans and animals. It’s hard for me to take out one specific verse, as the whole has depth and is meaningful.

I’ve highlighted the following:

18. I said in mine heart concerning the estate of the sons of men, that God might manifest them, and that they might see that they themselves are beasts.

19. For that which befalleth the sons of men befalleth beasts; even one thing befalleth them: as the one dieth, so dieth the other; yea, they have all one breath; so that a man hath no preeminence above a beast: for all is vanity.

20. All go unto one place; all are of the dust, and all turn to dust again.

21. Who knoweth the spirit of man that goeth upward, and the spirit of the beast that goeth downward to the earth?

God loves his creation. God also provides for His creatures. The Psalmist writes about this: He giveth to the beast his food, and to the young ravens which cry. Psalm 147:9

We also see that The young lions roar after their prey, and seek their meat from God. Psalms 104:21

If God loves us and all his creation, how can we also not love animals big and small: Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings, and not one of them is forgotten before God? Luke 12:6

Have a Blessed Day and Happy Victoria Day to those in Canada.

💕

What do we do when there’s nothing we can do?

It’s official….High School for my daughter and son restarts in September.  Today my daughter went to her high school and  collected all her binders, shoes (2+), and all her “junk” (What? 3 bottles of body spray? Really?) from her locker.    My son was still in bed!

Being at home during the COVID-19 pandemic, routines have been a bit off for my children. The tiger mom in me has been lenient. I only ask each child make their own schedule.  The only demand I have comes from Jordan B. Peterson’s 12 Rules for Life An Antidote for Chaos – 1. Make your bed!

I’ve got to say there are many benefits to being a “tiger mom” (coughs, coughs, OK it means I am pretty strict!). My daughter sets aside 6 hours daily to focus on her studies using zoom and other online platform supplied by her school.  She is able to organize and schedule in time for breaks, snacks and working out. My son on the other hand is now a young adult and stays up till the wee hours.  I personally don’t mind his nocturne habits as long as all his school work is done.  As long as he maintains his standards of excellence, I basically don’t need to supervise his study time.

On the weekends they are free to relax and chill, but my favorite time is Sunday morning. We watch an online Sunday Church Service together, and then I cook brunch for the family. These are precious moments for me during our quarantine.

What can we do when there’s nothing we can do about it?

We are all living with some sense of anxiety, challenges and financial fall back. That’s a given!

My sister sent the family a link this morning – How to Persevere in Tough Times by Andy Stanley.

 

It reminds us to make a conscious paradigm shift, and to embrace the trials we have with an attitude of faith.   Yes, our faith in God will be tested, and if we are afraid  – we pray and ask God for wisdom.  Are we strong enough to endure?  I for one can honestly say I can stand strong in the face of chaos only because I know that the Hand of God rests upon me.

1. Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, 2. knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. 5. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

5. But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him. James 1: 1-5 

My personal to do list during COVID-19 stems from not wanting to waste time during my quarantine.   My goal is spiritual growth and reflection upon the grace of God in my life. It’s of trusting God, and stepping outside of my comfort zone. My goal is to motivate my children to want to know more about God. It’s to share the story of Jesus – let them who have ears – hear. I want to share my love for Him. I want to be a living example of someone who lives in with the Holy Spirit in me. Finally, I want them to live mindfully and embrace the daily nuances big or small.

Within all the unknowns around the COVID-19, it is my time to time to “persevere” and trust in God to guide me/us. It is also for me/us to ask for wisdom to think critically and sheive make the right choices.

Let us start each day with a time of silence.  It’s not hard to take 5 to 6 minutes out of our day in quiet prayer with God. 

I pray for the perseverance to to endure.  I pray that my faith grows stronger.  I will stay with God and not quit!

13.Here is something I am still sure of.
    I will see the Lord’s goodness
    while I’m still alive.
14.Wait for the Lord.
    Be strong and don’t lose hope.
    Wait for the Lord. Psalm 27:13-14

I will stay with God, I will not quit!

I will stay with God, I will not quit!

I will stay with God, I will not quit!

I pray that each of you will do the same:

Stay with God, and don’t quit❤️

 

 

Guided Prayers with God

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. John 3:16 KJV

One of the challenges I’ve had is finding time for God each day. Before our national wide shut down and self quarantine, my daily routine was jam packed with family and work. I am a workaholic (OCD) at heart, often time’s I don’t stop till past midnight. I use to joke to my kids I can survive on 4 to 6 hours of sleep🙃

Where is God?

There are a lot of vehicles that can help with our daily worship – from online bible studies to booklets, to more serious discipleship. There is actually something out there to meet our different styles of learning and lifestyles when it comes to drawing nearer to God.

For myself it’s different depending on my mood. There are days I read and contemplate over Gods word. There are days I watch teachings by certain pastors online. Then there are other days I listen to Christian music. There are some days I feel more needy for God.

I think as long as God is in our heart, He will always guide us as we search for truth, and as we strive to deepen our relationship with Him. Keeping it fresh keeps it from becoming a stale relationship.

These days I use the Churchome apps developed by Judah Smith. I first came across this pastor through his book: “Jesus is ________”

The guided prayer in the Churchome apps is a good way to start my day. For myself, since using this apps, not only does it fits into my zany day, but I find my mind drifting back to God. Sometimes it means exploring and reflecting upon a specific incident or memory that require inward reflection and purification (asking for forgiveness and maturity). Some days I dig deeper and read the chapter related to the Bible verse, or I read the whole book from which the verse was drawn.

Gods word is also an inspiration for my daily living. There is immense joy in His words, just as it can trigger a reflection and inward understanding of “self” (ego). Gods’ word can humbled me, give me insight, and open my heart to His immense love.

Why do I like this apps? I like the fact that I can spend 6 to 10 mins each morning in guided prayer with God. It guides us with scripture and prayer to think and meditate upon Gods words. This apps is able to capitalize on technology and embrace God within our popular culture. It’s tech savvy and easy to use. It is a good vehicle in welcoming and sharing the Gospel with the young. It passes on Christianity to the next generation…

There are a lot of online platforms – online Churches using apps and online platforms like YouTube to spread The Gospel. Some are better at reaching our young children and youth than others. Regardless of our prejudices towards technology (especially us older folks) – our youths are immersed in technology – and the only way to reach them is through multimedia platforms that sparkles with their type of hip and flash.

God bless and thanks for reading❤️I think at the end of the day it is personal discernment. I teach my students to use the shopping cart method. There are a lot of different critiques and “isms” out there. Pick and chose those that suit your personal learning style and mind frame. At the end of the day, God will guide you. Ask for His guidance to help you make the right choices.❤️