Thursday, December 28, 2006

The Voice Of The Lord

Aren't children too smart? I mean, seriously, how I am supposed to teach my children anything when they have such a brilliant insight, insatiable curiousity, and unquenchable abilitly to think for themselves... what a burden.

For example, this morning at family worship my dear 6 year old daughter came up with this question: If God isn't a human, and doesn't have a body, how can He have a voice? And if He doesn't have a voice, how can He speak to His people? How can I hear Him?

So, first, hurray that she WANTS to hear from Him. Second, hurray that she is worried she might miss it. And third, hurray that she is paying attention in family worship enough to catch that many details about who God is.

No we didn't get into big words like "anthropomorphism",
but we did do our best to explain that the God who could create something out of nothing (everything in fact) could certainly also give Himself a voice that would 'speak' in such a way as to have us 'hear', even if not audibly.

This reminded me of the Experiencing God study ( which stated that God speaks to us by the Holy Spirit through Prayer, His Word, Circumstances, and other People. Often we need to look to many of those things to collaborate each other.

But it also reminded me of Psalm 29:

The Voice of the Lord is upon the waters; The God of glory thunders, the Lord is over many waters. The voice of the Lord is powerful, the voice of the Lord is majestic. The voice of the Lord breaks the cedars; Yes, the Lord breaks in pieces the cedars of Lebanon. And He makes Lebanon skip like a calf, and Sirion like a young wild ox. The voice of the Lord shakes the wilderness; The Lord shakes the wilderness of Kadesh. The voice of the Lord makes the deer to calve, and strips the forests bare, and in His temple everything says "Glory".

Look around you today. Look around with eyes open and see if you can 'hear' the Lord in what you see. Jesus said that His sheep know the voice of the Shepherd. Lord let us be the kind of people who look to see You move and listen to hear Your voice in all that happens around us.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Christmas Story, Daily Truth

Whether you recall Linus' recitation in a Charlie Brown Christmas, or whether you numbly listen to it being read again this Christmas Eve service, Luke 2 is probably pretty familiar territory. Maybe it is so familiar, that like me you have come to only think of those precious words in terms of a quiet stable, a quiet sheepfold, and a baby laying silently in a mound of hay.

Last Sunday, my pastor challenged my understanding, and opened my eyes to a spiritual truth in that simple story that I need to meditate on daily; that if I really grasp it, will change my every moment from here on. (You can listen to his sermon here: but finish reading my blog first!)

In case there is anyone actually reading this blog, outside of the 5 close friends and family that I know check in here periodically, allow me to introduce a bit of my personality to you. I am a woman driven by fear: fear of circumstances, fear of failing, fear of people, fear of man's opinions, fear of all the 'what if's' of this life...Fear.

If the fear of man is a snare, then I am a little fox with her poor ankle smashed nearly irreparably in its hinges. (and no, that does not make me a foxy mama).

But the insight I gained on Sunday may have begun the freedom and release from fear that I need. Let me explain.

Luke 2 finds us out in the field with the shepherds watching over their flocks by night. Sound familiar yet? I'm sure you remember that when the angels appeared, the shepherds were "sore afraid". So what do the angels say? Pretty sensibly, and predictably they say "Fear Not, for I bring you good news of Great Joy that is for all people. For today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior who is Christ the Lord.". Okay. I get that. Angels talking to shepherds 2000 years ago about their immediate need. Doesn't really apply to me.

But our pastor read it this way, "I say to you TODAY "Fear not, for I bring YOU good news of Great Joy, that is for ALL PEOPLE (including you and me). For on THAT DAY in the city of David there has been born for YOU a Savior who is Christ the Lord."

Oh. So something about that baby being born way back then has something to do with me not fearing. Well, sure. I know, He is my Savior so on the Last Day when I stand at Judgement I don't need to fear because Christ saved me from my sins. But what about today? What about everyday between now and then?

The Westminster Cathechism says that Christ has three offices: Prophet, Priest, and King. So on that day in the city of David not only was my Savior born but also my Prophet, Priest and King.

The Cathechism says that I need Christ to be Prophet because I am ignorant; Priest, because I am guilty, and King because I am weak and helpless. Sounds like the roots of all my fears.

So Lord, let me meditate, live in, dwell on, hold fast to, love, and soak in the truth that I can Fear Not. You were born not only to be the Savior from my sins and to free me from the condemnation of Judgement at the Last Day, but also to be the Prophet to teach me the Will of God everyday, the Priest to forgive my sins everyday, and the King to rule and defend me everyday.

That should all add up to a very Merry Christmas, and the happiest of all New Years.

Friday, December 22, 2006


So in those exciting pre-Christmas shopping days, my family and I went to the mall. Mind you we were not shopping for others...oh no; we were quite happily, selfishly buying a new bedspread for the lovely bed my husband just built for us (yeah!).
But I digress; the shopping isn't the point. The shopping is only the reason we happened to be out 'in the world' where homeschooling moms get blasted. You know that verse in Proverbs ("they will praise her in the city gates"...that must not include Sears in Sarnia.)
After beautiful comments on the number and appearance and behaviour of my children, one lady decided to give me her opinion on the fact that we homeschool. Now I'm used to many categories of comments, as I'm sure you are. Typically it is "Oh I could never do that", "You must be so patient and organized", " What about socialization?" and so on. But for what I think was the first time, I heard "What qualifications do you have to teach your children?"
Now after having a few days to think about it, I have some excellent answers: For example, I love my children more than any public school teacher could, no matter how well trained she may be.
However, what I said probably sounded quite pathetic: "Oh, you know, you don't really have to be qualified at all. I mean, the curriculum choices online are amazing and most of them script every word you have to say (which sounds like "I'm really pretty stupid and unable to think on my own, so I need the publisher to tell me how to explain what a noun is."). Then I did try to cover my bases by saying "Well, I did go to university," which seemed to earn me some favour in this lady's eyes.
Still, I have been asking myself since then, what does make me think I am qualified to teach my children? Here is the answer I've come up with: The Lord, who is all wise, chose me to be the mom of these little ones, and it was He who put the burden on my heart to homeschool. If He says so, it must be, that I am able to teach my children.
I usually am not a big fan of those quippy signs in front of churches, but one of those slogans keeps coming to mind in this context: God doesn't call the equipped, He equips those He calls. Sounds like us doesn't it? Do you remember the people being amazed at the apostles' teaching because they were uneducated men? However, because of their skill and ability, and because of their lack of education, the people could then "know" that they had been with the Lord. This is the only qualification I want or need. I want to be the kind of woman, wife, mother, and homeschooler who can stand out in the world as being unqualified, except for having been with the Lord.
Lord, May I spend so much time at Your feet and in Your Word that I am clearly, and visibly trained by You.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Part of the Answer

Sometimes the Lord uses the strangest things to remind us of the Joy of the journey with Him. Here are the lyrics from a song called The Wood Song by the Indigo Girls. They are not a Christian band, and yet this song is full of wisdom. I wish I had written myself. I'm not going to comment on it either. It rather speaks for itself.

The Wood Song

The thin horizon of a plan is almost clear
My friends and I have had a tough time
We're bruising our brains hard up against change
All the old dogs and the magician

Now I see we're in the boat in two by two's
Only the heart that we have for a tool we can use
And the very close quarters are hard to get used to
Love weighs the hull down with its weight

But the wood is tired, and the wood is old
And we'll make it fine if the weather holds
But if the weather holds we'll have missed the point
That's where I need to go

No way construction of this tricky plan
Was built by other than a Greater Hand
With a Love that passes all our understanding
Watching closely over the journey

Yeah, but what it takes to cross the great divide
Seems more than all the courage I can muster up inside
But we get to have some answers when we reach the other side
The prize is always worth the rocky ride

And the wood is tired and the wood is old
And we'll make it fine if the weather holds
But if the weather holds we'll have missed the point
That's where I need to go

Sometimes I ask to sneak a closer look
Skip to the final chapter of the book
And then maybe steer us clear of some of the pain it took
To get us where we are this far, this far

But the question drowns in its futility
And even I have got to laugh at me
Because no one gets to miss the storm of what will be
Just holding on for the ride

But the wood is tired and the wood is old
And we'll make it fine if the weather holds
But if the weather holds we'll have missed the point
That's where I need to go

Friday, December 8, 2006

Consequence Free

So in case anyone was wondering what kinds of things I'd like to do without consequence as hinted at yesterday, let me clarify. I was not talking about wanting to rob a bank and not get caught; nor was I wanting to gorge myself at Christmas and not gain any weight (although that would be nice). No, one of the things I was thinking about was making 'simple' decisions like which church to attend.

Ah, the million dollar question. For 3 years now our family has been trying to settle into a new church home after having moved out of the city of our 'home church' for the better part of 2 decades. Does it matter which church you go to? Are there 'consequences' attached to which one you choose? Believe me, we have swung to both extremes of the pendulum in our search. And yes, I would say there are things that will effect our family dramatically based on which body of believers we join.

For example, at one church our children would grow up thinking that the Holy Spirit doesn't function in the gifts today the way He did in the New Testament. I would have to unteach that at home, and they would not get to exercise their spiritual gifts in the Body.

At another, our children would grow up thinking that God overlooks all kinds of sin because the Ten Commandments don't really apply to Christians today. So again, I would have to unteach that at home, and they would have to close their eyes to all kinds of moral neutrality and depravity within the Body, and wonder why we have a higher standard for them than the other kids have.

At another, our children would grow up thinking that what you do is more important than why you do it. At home I would have to teach that although God really looks at the heart, man looks at the outward appearance so we kind of have to play along with tradition to 'fit in'.

At still another, they would might learn that being busy 'doing church' is the same as being fruitful in the Kingdom, and that church activity = spiritual success.

My husband's Uncle once asked why people find it so hard to find a church when there are "lots of good churches" by which he meant many that have right theology, even if your heart is not engaged.

Why can't we just pick a church, some church, any church, without wondering what effect it might have on us? I don't want to have to worry about what my kids will learn, be influenced by, worry about. I just kind of want to be Joe Christian going to a 'good Church' without stressing over whether or not it is the right church. Don't get me wrong, we have enjoyed parts of every church we've visited, and enjoyed getting to know the people we've met. There have been things to learn at each church too, and we've been grateful for those nuggets of new thought. I am not implying that those churches are "wrong" and we are "right". Others would thrive in these places. They are full of people who love the Lord and want to do His will, just like us. But because I do believe there are 'consequences' to our choices, I have to believe that there is a church for us to join that will come with God's great blessings, an overflow of His love and pleasure for us. That's what I want. Pick one church and just be 'okay'. Pick another and really grow and blossom in the Lord's place for us.

Psalm 38:6-10 speaks very accurately of my experience these last many months: "I am bent over and greatly bowed down; I go mourning all day long. For my loins are filled with burning; and there is no soundness in my flesh. I am benumbed and badly crushed; I groan because of the agitation of my heart. Lord, all my desire is before thee. and my sighing is not hidden from Thee. My heart throbs, my strength fails me; and the light of my eyes, even that has gone from me."

We long to find our new church home so we can finally dig in to what the Lord has planned for our family. We are longing for the community of believers that we've been missing. I am longing for my experience to stop being like Ps.38:6-10 and start being like Ps. 40:1-3.

Come Lord and show us Your plan. Speak clearly, because it seems like we are not quite getting it.

Thursday, December 7, 2006

Puritan Ponderings

This morning at our family worship, my husband read a prayer from a book we love called The Valley of Vision: A Collection of Puritan Prayers and Devotions. Sometimes it is helpful to read what someone else wrote to put words to what you feel, but can't quite express.

This morning's reading really made me think though, and I'm glad it was my husband reading it and not me so that I had time to mull over what I was saying "amen" to.

Listen: "Creator, upholder, and proprietor of all things, We cannot escape from thy presence and control, nor do we desire to do so."

Whoa. So already in the first 3 lines of the prayer I had to say, "Really Lord? If I'm being honest can I always say that I don't desire to escape from Your presence and control?" I think there are many times that we wish we could just duck out for a few minutes and do our own thing without worrying about whether we are now walking in God's blessings or His discipline.

Years ago we knew a young teenage couple who had the foolish idea to have "Sin free days". Not that they would not sin all day long, but that they could choose to sin willingly and pretend that there were no consequences. Great Big Sea even has a song called "Consequence Free". It is quite catchy. But the point is all wrong. I remember thinking how irresponsible to choose to intentionally sin expecting that God would give you a day off from responsible living and natural consequences.

Except now I'm realizing that in my heart, if not in my actions, I am very interested in having the freedom to step out from under God's control on occassion.

Fortunately that is not an option. Imagine how dreadfully I would ruin things.

Thankfully, as I was thinking these things (and the thoughts came quickly!) the prayer continued next to say "Our privilege is to be under the agency of thy omnipotence, righteousness, wisdom, patience, mercy and grace; For thou art Love with more than parental affection."

So it maybe isn't so bad to submit (which my husband discovered one time means to 'get under and wait') when the One I am submitting to only has love for me, even if it feels hard some days. He is all wise, all patient, all merciful, all gracious.
Lord help me to surrender. Not just when you are asking me to do something I would normally do anyway (that's not true obedience), but also when the way looks tough and I am weary. You are good Lord. Thank You for covering me.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Believing Without Seeing

My precious little 5 month old daughter learned to roll over on Saturday. I believe that to be true...even though I didn't actually see it.

I was working in the kitchen knowing that my wee girl was on her mat behind me, laying on her back. The next time I looked, she was on her belly. Shocked, and yet thrilled, I rolled her over and praised her up. Again, in no time, she was on her belly again. I had not seen it happen, and yet clearly the proof is there in the fruit. (and for you sceptics, no her brother did not roll her over!)

Shortly after that I determined that I would see her do it! So, keeping to my work, but with one eye on her mat I did finally see some movement in my peripheral vision that was almost like seeing her roll over....

All this made me think of Job. A passage that has warmed my heart on many occassion is Job 23:8-9. "Behold, I go forward but He is not there, and backward but I cannot perceive Him; when He acts on the left, I cannot behold Him; He turns on the right, I cannot see Him."

This has been my experience on many occassions; have you felt the same? Like you are chasing God but can't find Him? You are waiting to see Him move but you miss Him each time? The doubt in your heart pulls you to believe that He is not there, that He is not moving in your life. But thankfully Job continues:

"But He knows the way I take; when He has tried me, I shall come forth as gold." (vs.10)

When we don't see Him, we need to look for the fruit of His hands and follow that path. The quiet times of not hearing and seeing the Lord are often times of 'trying' and 'purifying' so that we come forth as gold.

I didn't see my baby roll, but I believe she did because of the visible result of her acting. I may not always clearly see the Lord, or sense His presence, or hear His voice, but as clearly as I see the fruit of His acting I will believe He is here.

Friday, November 24, 2006

A Dream I Had

I thought I would put down on virtual paper a dream I had several years ago. It was a remarkable dream to me, one that my husband and I are waiting on to fully come to life.

My husband and I were care givers in a home for young men. These young men, I had the impression, had shady backgrounds or inappropriate past lives. They had been brought to this warehouse to be groomed as slaves. (It felt somewhat like a hospital, somewhat like an orphanage. It looked very much like an airplane hangar.) Part of the grooming was a emasculating process where they were wrapped in full body plaster casts. (In my dream it reminded me of the practice of feet binding on young Chinese girls, in ages past, to keep their feet small and delicate.) The men in their casts were lined up, on mats on the floor, row after row. There were likely some 30 or 40 young men.

So these young men were bound to keep them small and feminine in stature and build. Our job was simply to feed them and give them drink through the opening that was left for their mouths.

In my dream, as we were tending to the young men my husband finally snapped. He began weeping and said "I can't take this anymore" and he at once began picking up these young men in their casts and, wrapping his arms around them as if to hug them, squeezed them until their casts broke off. One by one, he picked up the boys freeing them from their casts, giving them the opportunity to develop into who they were meant to be.

We have been praying about this dream for some time now, and we feel we have several ways of understanding what the Lord intended us to learn by it. My husband's occupation lends him opportunities to work with young men with troubled backgrounds, and in part we feel that may be a meaning to the dream. Still we feel there is more.

I share this for many reasons but one stands out to me right now as I type. The Lord created each of us with a specific end in mind. He has a plan to use us for His glory using the gifts He's given us. Many of us (dare I say all) have to some extent let ourselves be put into a cast (or have put it on ourselves) so that we are limited from being the person He fully intends us to be. May we seek the Lord earnestly for the freedom and release to be willing to go to the places He calls us, and to be willing to do the things He shows us.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

My Kids

I asked my girls what I should write about today and one of them said "Write about how we are the best kids in the world."

Well that's easy enough.

Except maybe I'll digress a little from that original point. I really do have pretty amazing kids. I love being at home and being a busy mom. I love homeschooling them. It was an easy choice to have 6 kids close together because they've all been such a delight. I also felt it was very much what God would have us do as a family. What has not been so easy has been to understand what comes next for our family.

My husband and I had very strong feelings about what God had called us to do in terms of having babies at one point. Now that seems a little less clear. Could it really be that God has changed our hearts because His path for us now is changing? Or am I succumbing to the selfish desires of my heart?

When am I allowed to make 'my own decision' and when do I need an obvious Word from the Lord? When we had chosen to trust God entirely for our family size we were in a much more difficult place financially than we are now, and yet we felt the conviction in our heart and had the faith to wait on Him to provide for all our needs in various ways. Now I know that is still true: the Lord will give me the physical strength and emotional energy to keep up with the work; however, I don't feel the same moral imperative (to have more babies) in my heart that I used to.

When is a girl allowed to say, "I'm done...I think"? We have no desire at this point to be "final" about it, but to what extent am I "allowed" to give myself a break? (can you read my guilt gland acting up between the lines?)

I know if the Lord gave us 6 more children right now that I would be as ga-ga over them as I am over the first 6. I also know that He would provide for us as completely as He has up to this point. But does that mean I have to keep going until menopause kicks in? (okay, slight exaggeration. I can hear my parents and in-laws shaking their heads as they read this).

I've always believed that glorifying God with my children had little to do with how many I had, and much to do with how I raised them. So maybe 6 is enough. Maybe He has more for us. For now I am content to think that our family is full until the Lord changes my heart.
Still, I do find myself wondering if I am walking in the Lord's blessing by saying that, or if I am saying no to the blessings He is holding out to me.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

She Looks Just Like Her Father

A very strange thing happened to me this week. On several occasions, as I was looking at my children intently, or while just catching a glimpse of them, I saw something in them that reminded me of someone else.

Oh I know, people always are quick to point out how much a wee one looks like Uncle So&so, or just like her mom. We've all made comments like that and noted those similarities. But this wasn't like that. The similarities I noticed were not familial. That is I wasn't thinking 'Boy she sure looks like Aunt Whosit, I was thinking ,"Weird. She kind of looks like my next door neighbor." On another occasion "Strange. She reminds me of that person I know from class."

Do you see what I'm saying? Really random, entirely unrelated people were coming to mind as I looked into the faces of my children (who really do look similar one to the next). As I thought about how this could possibly be, one answer popped into my head. With all the billions of people in this world there could surely be only so many combinations of facial features that eventually some would duplicate. ('they' say we all have a twin some where in the world, you know.)

But then that still, quiet voice within me said, "Don't leave Me out of the equation. I made man in My image. You don't look like each other. You look like Me."

If I will choose to remember that we are all created by the same loving Father; if I will choose to see His handiwork in all of us; if I can see that family tie in those I meet along the way, maybe then I will understand how to consistently love my neighbor as myself.

And a little more love is a good way to fuel a fire too.

Thursday, November 16, 2006


I don't really intend on writing twice a day, but I just was walking through my house, room to room and realized that I needed to get something out.

My husband is a really wonderful man.

There I said it. In fact I would go so far as to say that he is the best man in the whole world (our old pastor hinted at that same thing when he was unofficially setting us up).

Let me tell you why I believe he is the best man in the whole world. I cannot walk through a room in my house without seeing his fingerprints. The hand made wooden candlesticks in the dining room and bedroom; the newly finished flooring on the stairs (carefully and meticulously caulked); his photographs in nearly every room (both landscapes and family portraits); his guitar in our living room; his Bible by his chair ever ready to be studied; the toilet that now flushes (!); the trees and flowers planted with care outside; the playground lovingly built for our children with the help of Opa; the pesto and basil-flavoured-walnut oil in my fridge that he let me buy at an expensive store on the anniversary weekend he wanted us to take;...I could go on.

Still the point is this: some of the fingerprints speak to his creativity, some to his practicality, some to his extravagant love for us. He leaves no stone unturned in trying to meet all our needs and to paint a picture of Christ for us.

At our wedding, the same pastor, mentioned above, reminded my husband that although he'd likely never have to take a bullet for me, he would be given the chance to lay down his life for me in the little things every day. This he has done beautifully. Don't get me started on all the things he loves and excels at that he has set aside for this season of life. And then I could write another whole page on how I see his fingerprints (and by that I mean Christ's through him) all over our children!

Now if my husband reads this he would want me to put a disclaimer in saying "he's not perfect". So let me tell you: he's not perfect.

But about that last bit, you can't believe everything you read online.


too slow

Do you ever have that dream where you really need to run fast, because, I don't know, something's chasing you (usually in my dreams someone has stolen my children and I am desperately trying to get them back). And no matter how desperately hard you try, you just can't run fast enough? (sometimes in my dreams I use my hands on the ground too, gorilla style...very attractive).

Today I'm just feeling like my spiritual life is kind of like that. I see where I want to be, need to be, and I just can't run fast enough. I'm not talking about trying to speed through life so that you miss out on 'stopping to smell the roses'. I'm talking about being held back by ''stuff'. Sin. Doubt. Misunderstanding. Circumstances. Sometimes you don't even realize that you are running slow until someone passes you.

Lord give me the freedom to run unhindered. Give me the pace I can sustain. Give me blinders so that I don't compare myself to others or turn to the left or the right.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Tuesday, November 14, 2006 - What's In A Name?
I remember one time several years ago, when my husband and I were facing many questions and decisions with regards to the direction our family was to take. As I sat down to pray and hear from the Lord, I felt that I was supposed to read 2 Samuel 5:16. At the time it seemed like a strange a book to turn to, but I was hopeful for an answer from the Lord.

My countenance fell as I read the text: "Elishama, Eliada, and Eliphelet". Three names? That's it? That was no answer. So I closed my Bible believing I had misheard the Lord. But still it wouldn't go away. There lingered a feeling that there was something for me to understand and learn from that passage. So, I found those names in my husband's concordance. What a surprise to find the meanings of those names to be "The Lord hears, the Lord knows, the Lord will deliver".

What a flood of tears as I was comforted by my Father. He did not give me the plan, did not show me the next step. But He did remind me that He had not forgotten us.

Now that is fuel for a good fire.
• Tuesday, November 14, 2006 - Brick By Brick
It didn't seem right yesterday to mention dear old Nehemiah and then not give him a little more thought...

Consider the state of Nehemiah's problem. His people had been in captivity for decades and precious Jerusalem was in shambles. Not only had they been defeated by their enemies and taken away from their homes, but the remnant who were behind in Jerusalem were entirely unprotected: the walls were broken down and the city was burnt out. They were vulnerable to further attacks, and were the laughing stock of those who looked on.

Nehemiah could not sit by and let this continue. He decided the ruins needed to be rebuilt. Now if this were happening today, a lesser man might have written to ABC. The letter would be as follows: "Dear Extreme Makeover, Old Testament Edition. Our situation is dire. Our people are held captive and our beautiful city is destroyed. Please consider us for your show." And if they were lucky enough to be chosen, Ty Pennington and his crew would come and in 7 days they would have a newly restored city complete with plasma t.v.'s in each bedroom....

Reality check. Nehemiah knew that the wall would only be built brick by brick. Stone-mortar-stone-mortar-stone-mortar and so on until the job was finished. That is where they were at when they were ridiculed in chapter 4. A few stones and some mortar does not look like a wall at first. Small beginnings, remember?

That's what I need to remember in my homeschooling and child-rearing. I pray "Lord give us success in our homeschooling" and then hope in the morning I will awake to find my 7 year old has been miraculously changed in to a eloquent young woman graduating as valedictorian from an elite university. Alas, it is not so. The task is hard, the work is long. Part way through it doesn't always look like much. Part way through it is hard to remember that every brick is a critical part of the wall.

Each time I correct a math quiz, each time I sing a History memory song, each time I teach a new skill it is a litte stone, a little mortar. It may only be kindergarten, grade two, grade five, ...whatever. It is nonetheless part of the building process.

Sara Groves sings a song called "Kingdom Comes" and it is brilliant.( Look for this title on the "Add to the Beauty" Album. The lyrics and a sound bite are there.) Do not let your heart be downcast today as you slowly build into your children's lives.

Lord, let me be like Nehemiah: willing to do the work, willing to value the work, willing to not be distracted from the work, and always looking to You for the strength to accomplish the work.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Monday, November 13, 2006 - Small Beginnings
Amazing, isn't it, how a fire starts? I mean, I suppose there are several tools you can use: the ancient flint and rock, the utilitarian lighter, the elegant long, wooden matchstick, and perhaps the divine lightening bolt. Still it comes down to a single spark. The tool you use is only considered a success if that spark 'catches'.

And then that wee spark is only as successful as the fuel you add to it. A wet log won't suffice. Neither will a substance that will melt instead of burn. Some things burn too quickly to catch into a full fire. Oh to find that perfectly sized and seasoned piece that will start a long slow burn.

And of course you could entirely suffocate that poor spark if you don't adequately add oxygen. Blow to hard and it is extinguished. Blow to lightly, or not at all, and it too expires. Oh to find the right breath and power to sustain the glow.

Of course this is not a new analogy, and even if it were it is not terribly well presented. Still, my hope is that the spark in our home that has been lit by our Heavenly Father will be fed by our study and understanding of His written and spoken Word, and fanned in to an inferno by the Breath of His Holy Spirit. Nothing else will suffice. Every other way will fail.

Our Lord honours the day of small beginnings (see Neh. 4:1-6). The first spark is lit. Lord, give us the wisdom and the perseverance to fan it into flame.