Saturday, December 24, 2011

Hope Misplaced

I look out my window and see a beautiful winter day. Blue sky, no wind, fresh snow sparkling in the sun. It's a trick sometimes to slow down and just savor these sights, especially this time of year when we are so tyrannized by all the "urgent" items on our to-do lists. Today I made myself pause, however, and not just savor the moment, but think about how I can easily miss a multitude of blessings if I lose my focus.

Have you ever had a plan, and pinned all of your hopes on it coming about, and then realized that it may not after all? That happened to me this week. I realized I had been storing all my proverbial eggs in the same basket. Sadly, that basket did not include much thought about what God's plan might be. It only carried my own. The realization that it might not pan out as I had hoped left me teetering, and eventually, seeing my own folly. I had to seek the Lord to help bring me back to a right perspective, one that focuses on Him, and His will, alone. Not that it is wrong to have a plan, but in everything we need to bring it to Him for approval, and be ready to relinquish it if that approval does not come.

This morning as I contemplated these things, I came upon a blog post. I was just randomly checking out a blog from a list that a fellow blogger follows. She had a list a mile long, but for some reason I clicked on this certain one. She had posted a reflection from Oswald Chambers "My Utmost For His Highest" back in June. When I read it, I knew God had led me there. He is so good and kind to us. He didn't get angry with me for putting my plan on a pedestal, He simply reminded me of some wonderful truths. Anyhow, here is that reflection, which I am borrowing....

"I'm determined to be absolutely and entirely for Him and Him alone." Reflection based on Phil. 1:20

Lord so often it seems I come to this crisis of faith. Choosing between your will and my own, seeing barely the first step in yours and the full schematic design in mine. Reason would say to choose me. But reason is at times a liar and so I go with the Holy Spirit that whispers "Surrender. My child I know what's best, lay it down. Light a fire to it and offer it up to me. Fear not for I am with you. I alone am your heart's desire, I alone can quench your thirst. These dreams are all counterfeit if I didn't write them. Lose yourself in me and find me in you."

Thank you Father.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011


Of all the images that surface this time of year, my favourite is the nativity. I love nativity scenes, and the Christmas Story. I love thinking about that time, when Mary gave birth to Jesus; she knew He was special and not just any baby. The angel had come to her and explained what His role would be: “And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name Him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David.” (Luke 1:31-32) Mary’s husband Joseph also had an angelic visitation, in a dream. The angel spoke to reassure him that he should proceed with his marriage to Mary: “She will bear a Son and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.” (Matthew 2: 21) The prophet Isaiah spoke also of Jesus, foretelling His birth: “Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel (God with us)” Isaiah 7:14

Imagine, God coming to us in the form of a tiny baby! But the story does not end at that stable in Bethlehem. We love to gaze on that scene, on baby Jesus, so sweet and helpless. But that babe grew up; a man, yet fully God. He walked with humankind, and experienced life as they did. He was Almighty God, yet left the glory of that position to show us what God is like. Not only that, but He gave His own life in payment for the sins of the world.

We love the warm fuzzies we get when we decorate, hang pretty lights, and listen to Christmas Carols. But there is so much more to the Christmas Story than the babe and the shepherds and the wise men. That baby became a man, died for us, and is now alive in Heaven. He was born, not to give us a reason for a Christmas season, but to make a way for us to be reconciled to God. So when you see him there in the manger, fast forward to our ultimate cause for celebration, God’s great love gift to us: He came to die, so that we might have life.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011


We’ll know You when we see You, Lord
When freed from this life’s hold,
And carried to our final home
To walk on streets of gold.

While in this earthly body now
Our eyes but dimly see.
The beauty that is fully Yours
We’ll view eternally.

For now as in a glass so dim
With feeble sight, in part.
But then full known You’ll be to us,
As us to You now art.

We’ll need no one to introduce us.
Standing at Your throne,
You’ll look at us with that same love
That let us be Your own.

We’ll know You by the wounds You bear.
Though given long ago.
These marks You will forever wear
That all may look and know

The price You paid to set us free,
When led so meek and mild,
You took our place at Calvary
So each would be Your child.

With faith we look to what will be
When we will be transformed.
Completely from all sin set free
Pure worship we’ll perform.

This truth to us an anchor sure
We wait in hope, enduring;
So zealous to have hearts made pure
To show at Your appearing.

All praise and thanks to You we give
For only by Your grace
We have eternal life to live
And strength to run this race.

The here and now is but a taste
Of what You have in store
When not a second will we waste;
We’ll praise forevermore.

So till that time when faith is sight
O Lord be pleased to give
Your grace to make our hearts more right;
Our lives to you we’ll live.

For now we see in a mirror dimly, but
then face to face; now I know in part,
but then I will know fully just as I also
have been fully known. (1Cor 13:12)

Monday, December 5, 2011

A Strong City

The mighty walls, made ready, the gates await the day
When righteousness may enter, and evil fade away.
We trust in Thee, our Saviour, we trust in Thee, our King
To smooth the path before us, that praises we may bring.

Thy Name is our great longing, our best and only rest.
Thy hand has been upon us, our head upon Thy breast.
In perfect peace You keep us, when thoughts we keep on Thee.
We know Thou wilt not leave us, thy faithfulness we see.

Almighty Lord, forever, Thy praises we will sing
In that eternal city, our worship we will bring.
Oh help us make our time here, a monument to Thee
Who brings the righteous homeward; forever Yours we'll be.

(Sung to tune of "Oh Sacred Head, Now Wounded")
Isaiah 26:1-8