Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Are you living your Destiny?

Over tea the other day a friend of mine shared a story of a pastor. A pastor that was once a homeless person, an addict, and committed felonies. A homeless person that received a hug.

One hug that changed his life.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Just a girl figuring out God and life

We were flying steady. I was sitting in the first row of the small passenger plane. The door to the cockpit was open and  I could see my earthly dad in the pilot seat, his thick white hair just touching the collar of his jean shirt. 

Suddenly I gripped the arm rest, the plane rocking from turbulence. And then we were turning, but not the nose of the plane from right to left. Instead the right wing was reaching upward to the sky, and the left wing downward until both wings evened out east and west again.

And we were flying completely upside down.  

Thankfully my earthly dad found a way that I do not understand, to maneuver that plane, to right us in the sky.

But instead of continuing to our destination, he decided to make an emergency landing.

Later I stood gazing at the plane, the door still open where just moments before we exited onto this rural highway, a bridge just meters behind. 

Don't ask me how we missed that bridge when landing. God only knows.

And then I woke up. 

And wondered, what was that all about? 

What was God trying to tell me? Or was He trying to tell me something? 

Does God even speak to us through our dreams? 

So later that day, I hit google and typed in "does God speak to us through dreams?" 

What I read in many biblical websites is that God does not speak to us through our dreams today as He did in biblical times. 

But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said "Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 
Matthew 1:20

During the night Paul had a vision of a man of Macedonia standing and begging him, "Come over to Macedonia and help us." 
Acts 16:10

Joseph had a dream, and when he told it to his brothers, they hated him even more. He said to them, "Listen to this dream I had: We were binding sheaves of grain out in the field when suddenly my sheaf rose and stood upright, while your sheaves gathered around mine and bowed down to it." 
Genesis 37: 5-7

And we do not need to go beyond His word to know our purpose. 

All scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. 
2 Timothy 3:16-17

Yet, even knowing all of the above, I found myself hitting the google tab again and typing in 'plane going upside-down and emergency landing dream interpretation.' 

One interpretation of going upside down explained I was out of control.

And the emergency landing (or being grounded), another interpretation explained, meant I was flying toward a new destination but didn't feel I had the skills yet to reach it, so needed to be grounded for awhile to learn. That was interesting as I have taken this year to move toward building a dream which means taking time to master my skills, and figuring out what to keep doing, and what to let go of. And I was about to launch into something new. Was God telling me to gather more skills before taking that leap? 

A Christian sister told me a story recently on how God gave her peace through an answer delivered to her through a dream. 

Now what? The information began to conflict. 

So I decided to check out what BILLY GRAHAM ORG had to say about dreams.

The Bible indicates that God revealed His will to selected people through dreams or visions in Scriptures such as Genesis 37:5-10; 1 Kings 3:5-15; Daniel, chapters 2 and 7; Matthew 1:20; 2:13,19; and Acts 10:9-16; 16:9.

God may communicate through dreams or visions even today, but we need to carefully check any such guidance we receive with Scripture and godly counsel to be sure it is from the Lord. Anything which contradicts Scripture is not from God. Our minds and even Satan are capable of producing great deception in such subjective areas.

I must admit I liked this answer the best. It still put God's word first, but did not dismiss dreams and visions being a place where God can speak.

So my conclusion in all this? Do I believe that my dream was God speaking to me or do I not?

As a girl trying to figure out God and life, maybe it is not about worrying what I should or should not do.

Maybe it is just applying Jesus' Greatest Commandment to every decision, to every choice, to every moment. 

Jesus replied: "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbour as yourself.' 
Matthew 22:37

For me, like in my dream, loving God means getting 'grounded' in Him, and mastering my creative skills to love on my neighbour using the gifts He is has given me. And taking flight, taking soaring action, and trusting He will let me know when I got it 'upside down' but will always 'right' me again. And land me safely. 

What action in your life is showing Jesus' Greatest Commandment? 

Monday, January 18, 2016

Guest Post by Author Tandy Balson and Give-away!

We are blessed to have author and blogger, Tandy Balson, guest post for us today.  I have known Tandy for almost two years now, and her and her husband Brian have become friends and mentors to me. Their faith and love for others shine through in all that they do, inspiring others to live their God-breathed purpose. 

Learning to Wait

Waiting isn’t easy.  Like most people I want answers or results immediately. Most of the time this isn’t the way life works.

I have recently seen the results of a project that forced me to have patience.

On the first of October 2014 I submitted a meditation to a magazine for potential publication.  The next day I received an email saying they wanted to hold it for future consideration.  I was thrilled at the possibility of being published in this international magazine.

Late February in 2015 I received notification that my story had been chosen to appear in the January/February 2016 issue.  As exciting as this news was, I still had to wait for a year to see my words in print.

The meditation appeared earlier this month.  I’ve received over 50 comments from subscribers.  Many thanked me and some told me why these words were just what they needed on that day.  One man said that my words gave him the answer to a prayer he had made the previous day!

There’s no way I could have orchestrated this perfect timing.  An experience from many years before had inspired the story.  God prompted me to write the words had them released at just the right time.

Learning to wait had reminded me that God’s timing is perfect.

Tandy Balson is a mother, grandmother, friend, volunteer and observer of life.  She is the author of Inspirations From The Everyday and Dragonflies, Snowdrifts & Spice Cake.  Tandy also blogs twice a week and is a sought-after inspirational speaker.  

Find out more at TIME WITH TANDY

Books can be purchased through my website www.timewithtandy.com/books.php

(Hard and soft cover less expensive from me than Amazon!)

Friesen Press has the links to all of the ebook locations

Tandy is giving away an e-book (itunes/ibook) of Dragonflies, Snowdrifts,& Spice Cake to one of you! Just leave a comment and next week I will let you know if you are the lucky recipient of of this collection of stories to inspire your days.

(an extra note for you--I love Tandy's books! These one page stories add vibrant colour to our everyday moments, and are a complementary addition to my morning routine of prayer and journal writing.) 



Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Beautiful Risks

"True enough: Sometimes, our worst fears come to pass. Sometimes, things break. Sometimes, we ourselves are the most broken things of all.
But that’s the thing. To live a beautiful life, we have to take the risk. To live a beautiful life, we have to lose the fear of stepping across the threshold." INCOURGARE (by jennifer dukes lee)

It's only one year, she says. She raises her coffee cup up in the air, like an athlete with the winning trophy, daring me to raise my own. My fingers entwine the warm handle, and I raise up my now empty cup, tap hers with mine, my lips a closed tentative smile. 
Only one year, her words echoing in my mind like stadium applause when the game is over. 
Yes, just one year. 
I think back on why in the previous years I have shrunk back from taking the risk. The risk of focus that means choosing to let go of those things that may be good, but do not move.  Those good things that take your time yet you stay in the same place, year after year.  Kind of like your favorite sports team that places second years in a row, and with frustration you complain. "Get rid of the coach!" you say. 
A new strategy is needed, to make a change.
But bringing in a new coach may not mean the team will win the next year. They may even place third or worse that year. Yet, the new coach is not fired. As leaders know learning new strategies takes time. And third place, although worse than the year before, is a change.  
And change is growth.
Change is movement. 
And even though it might not be in the right direction at first, we have taken the risk to learn, to grow, and to move and change. 
We may even fail but have learned what does not work.
So there really is no failure in taking a risk, and begins with a step of change.
Just one year, she repeats. 
And somehow the risk wrinkles. A year of letting go, building an etched road in time paved with experience in the field where I have picked the identical flower, only the locus changing. 
And things may break, beams may split, turfs may plummet. 
That is the risk. 
Along with the risk of new strategies erupting, new plays to practice for years to come, victorious and conquering. 

And picking beautiful, novel flowers along the way.

Is it time for you to take that risk, embrace that God-nudge of change, or to unfasten from infertile ground? 


Faith is the willingness to risk anything on God. Jack Hyles

Friday, January 8, 2016

Let the fun begin....2016!

It’s almost the end of the first week of January. And, although I do not want to put a lot of pressure on myself so soon, it is a week that begins to set the tone, the momentum for achieving intentions and goals.
It is the week of reflecting on the past year, measuring what I did accomplish and what I may have let slide away.
Sometimes though, what we slide away from does not mean we did not achieve the goal. It just means our values may be higher elsewhere. Read more HERE

Monday, January 4, 2016

Invention of Beautiful and Exalted Things


"For nothing is pleasing to God except the invention of beautiful and exalted things." William Blake

"I see movies in my head."

My dinner partner's eyebrows raise. He puts his fork down, leans back, glances away to his right, and back at me. 

I wait. Is he going to call me crazy?

"I'm envious," he says to me. 

This time my eyebrows shoot up in question. Envious? I don't think he understands. I was called 'spacey,' a daydreamer often in my early years of elementary school. And shy. Lost in my thoughts, in the stories in my head, in the movies that played there, sometimes of real past events, and other times imaginations. I appeared to others as quiet, reserved, and shy. But really all I was doing was checking things out. 

Seeing the world in picture stories.

Pausing before reacting.

It's how God made me.

But I did begin to take the labels of 'shy' and 'spacey' on. And began to see these traits as shameful, and the movies that played in my head as 'weird.' 

However, there were those that crossed my path and encouraged my deep and reflective ways. Elementary school teachers that saw something in my writings, a college professor at a night class I was taking who told me to never stop writing and an abundant of encouraging friends. 

I did though. I did stop writing. Oh...I would dabble in writing courses, started a couple of times toward a University Degree as an adult, but never finished. 

I mean, really, could I be a writer? On the jacket covers of books in the About The Author column I would read of lives so different than mine. 

Yet, God says to do our best, not compare. 

Let everyone be sure to do his very best, for then he will have the personal satisfaction of work well done and won't need to compare himself with someone else. Galatians 6:4 LB

And a past writer I take encouragement reminds us we are all original. 

Everybody is original, if he tells the truth, if he speaks from himself. But it must be from his true self and not from the self he should be. 
Brenda Ueland from If You Want to Write

My dinner partner friend leans in toward me, like he is about to tell me a secret. "My song-writing teacher said she knows many writers that see movies in their head. I create but don't see movies. Consider yourself blessed. It's a gift." And in his eyes I could see his thoughts unsaid, 'Don't squander it!"

I pause and reflect. 

And see myself at my keyboard, my laptop screen filling with words as I run the movie of our conversation as I write. 

Have you accepted the gifts God has blessed you with to invent beautiful and exalted things? Are you letting your original self be seen by the world? 

1 Peter 4:10-11 God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another. Do you have the gift of speaking? Then speak as though God himself were speaking through you. Do you have the gift of helping others? Do it with all the strength and energy that God supplies. Then everything you do will bring glory to God through Jesus Christ. All glory and power to him forever and ever! Amen.

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Ten Thankful Moments of Two Thousand and Fifteen

"Gratitude is an offering precious in the sight of God, and it is one that the poorest of us can make and be not poorer but richer for having made it."
--A.W. Tozer (1897-1963),

Each year I choose a word for my year. My word for 2015 is Content. On this last day of 2015, I reflect back on the last 12 month and chose 10 moments of gratitude to share where contentment filled me (and there were so many more than 10).

1. A moment of warmth on a cold January winter day at the Muttart Conservatory.

2. A moment of coffee sipped from a thermal mug during a 4 am snowy drive to the airport.

3. A moment of gazing from the window on the 15th floor room of my hotel in downtown Vancouver.

4. A moment of 90 smiles I see through my camera lens at a weekend retreat.

5. A moment of prairie beauty seen from a highway in Saskatchewan.

6. A moment of smiles in the rain while in the mountains with my daughters, sister and neice celebrating my 50th birthday.

7. A moment of sadness, of grace, of love, of remembrance and prayer witnessing a letting go of my best friend, a mom, a wife, a daughter, and cancer fighter for 4 years.

8. A moment of gazing on God's beauty on a wooden picnic bench at a newly discovered place that I would come back to many times over.

9. A moment of walking in a world wonder in Iceland where the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates meet and separate two continents.  - Mid Atlantic Ridge

10. A moment of a song shared from a daughter to her performer dad witnessed by 60 of my friends gathered together to for a fund-raising event for Hope Mission. (must watch!) 

Can you list 10 thankful moments of 2015?

Happy New Year!

Love you,