Archive for the ‘Faith’ Category

Winter tree, snowflakes. Christmas holiday.I have a story that has been weighing heavily on my heart the past few days and I feel that I need to share this. I hope this encourages people whether you are a person of faith or not.

This is the story of the snowflake, an amazing series of events that led up to a miracle. In this season of spiritual dryness I believe that these simple events created a huge event and people were changed. But why contain this experience to just the few people who witnessed this event? Also nobody knows about the perfect scenarios that occured that led to event. So here it is…

It all started in January when my husband located his biological father. Honestly this story has to start here. Finding his other side of the family was a miracle in it’s own but the miracle of the snowflake starts here. Because we met Nick’s other half of the family we became welcomed with open arms and started a brand new journey.  In September we went to his Grandmothers house in Oshawa for “Big Chrtistmas Dinner” And Nick’s dad came all the way from Florida for this so it was awesome. Nick’s Aunt blessed us with a very fun card game. It;s essentially a chineese auction card game and she had gathered all these gifts to use in the game. I had so much fun that I decided I was going to bring this card game to my church’s women’s retreat at the end of September.

A friend of mine quit Avon that month and gave me all her customers. One particular customer ordered late so I had to place an additional avon order…this means I pay for shipping again. But it’s only half as much if my order is over $50 soooo I snatched a few items up for myself. One of these items was a series of glass snowflake ornaments I thought were pretty. They were on sale so I bought a few boxes.

flakeI thought nothing of these snowflakes. I mean really, they were pretty and I looked forward to placing a few on my tree come Christmas time. But they are JUST simple glass snowflakes. When my friend and I started to wrap the little gifts we bought for the card game I grabbed a few boxes, opened them and wrapped the snowflakes thinking nothing of it. I thought nothing of these gifts, i figured it’ll be fun and bring a small amount of joy but surely they won’t be life saving or anything.

The week leading up to retreat was hard for me. I suffered a severe mental breakdown, I won’t go into details but I finally landed myself in the mental hospital for an afternoon. I came home defeated asking God “Why? I was doing so good why did this happen?” But through the week I realized that surely I can make SOMETHING good come out of this so all week I prepared myself to give a testimony at retreat. I needed to give this testimony. Last time I shared a similar testimony I was strengthened and embraced in prayer…I figured that’s what I maybe needed again, let everyone know what I went through so they could keep an eye on me yet again.

The first session was about Winter. A season in the Christian life. Winter is a harsh season. Someone’s winter might be illness, a time of discouragement, a time of pain, hardships etc. Winter is a time where we are supposed to hunker down and hang on to God and his word. Spring will come. If you can learn to trust God in your winter season you can trust him in every season. Winter is probably the hardest time to even reflect on God’s promises, let alone praise His name through it. What a perfect message to start retreat off. So when testimony time came I got right up and I shared…

And it all snowballed from there. I came in as a discouraged, beaten, worthless person. I had been defeated yet again that week…I was ashamed. I poured my heart out anyway. And then a woman whom I did not even know before retreat came up to share…that she too had been going through the same in her life and that her step daughter who just so happened to end up at the retreat last minute needed to hear what I had to say. I was greatly encouraged. I had no idea that my words would impact someone, that someone actually needed to hear MY words. After that so many people poured their hearts out and there was a huge time of prayer. The first night was wonderful.

The next day a few of us ladies got together and played a few rounds of the chineese auction card game. But after a few rounds we still had 40 gifts left over which was enough for everyone at retreat so instead of playing more games my friend and I decided “Hey why not just bless everyone with all these little gifts!” So we lugged the big box of gifts to the meeting room and the speaker discussed the season of Summer which was a time of rest and celebration. A spirit of rest came into the room and everyone was at peace. I’ve never felt such peace.  We all led busy hectic weeks, we needed this rest. My friend got up to testify, this is her first ever testimony and she got the courage to pour her heart out then she grabbed the box and said “We got gifts for EVERYONE!” The time of rest quickly turned into Celebration as everyone laughed, shared joy etc.

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Oh but what about that snowflake? See it turns out our speaker really wanted to bless us all with snowflakes as a reminder of winter…however she never found any. She sat in the back of the room thinking “What would the chances of that one girl we are all pouring our love into getting a snowflake?” Really the odds were slim. But a series of events landed some snowflakes in my box and after 30 or so gifts were handed out and the box got to the back guess who grabbed a wrapped snowflake? I didn’t even know she got a snowflake until the next day.

My church has a wonderful family. I can’t be grateful enough. We truly have a wonderful rare gift. And revival took place at that women’s retreat. I’m not entirely sure how much it’s been talked about. I left out names in my blog because I didn’t want to mention names without permission. What’s important is that there were amazing events at this retreat. The entire weekend was filled with the spirit, it was nothing more than divine. It was life changing. And I pray that when events such as these occur anywhere that they spread…things like this NEED to be talked about. Other believer need to be encouraged. There are so many in a dry season where they are waiting for the rain to pour down, even I have felt that it’s been dry and quiet. Nothing miraculous seems to be happening. But it is, all over the place! God can use something so very small and turn it into something so very huge.

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I’m encouraged. I hope others are too. Because if my God can take a simple glass snowflake and use it to His glory and purposes…then what else can my God do? I’m excited!

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who[a] have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28 

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God's Hands

When asked what my favorite Bible verse is I always say “In the Begining God created the Heavens and the earth” not only do I love this verse but it was the first verse I ever memorized as a child. But some people have issues with this verse or the book of Genesis in general. To some having a creator is deemed offensive or impossible. People throw science around as if it’s the only truth in the world. Science doesn’t contradict the Bible, infact I have found many places in the Bible that Science actually supports. Science is not an enemy it is a tool to our growth and understanding which is why I love science. It was my favorite subject in Highschool, and no it did not lead me astray from God it brought me closer. I thought I’d compile 10 of my favorite facts about Genesis 1-2 that I have learned over the years to help people better understand that the book is not obsolete and that Science and the creator coexist.

1.The book of Genesis is a very ancient document

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The book of Genesis is thousands of years old, it may not have been the first book put into the Bible, scholars actually suspect the first accounts of God were written by Job (But it was so long ago we don’t really know). When you read Genesis consider the historical and cultural background and to whom it was wrtten to. The book was initially written for people in an ancient time, however it’s still applicable today and easy to undrstand even if it is very blunt.

2.The Purpose of Genesis was a Theological account

The book was written in hebrew and it gave the people a foundation for their faith. God set himself from pagan gods and idols, all humans have it in their nature to worship something. It can be idols, money, possessions, someone famous etc but in our souls something makes our gears turn. What sets God apart from idols and other gods is God is an image free idoless God. If you look at all the other gods that have existed they all had images and they all did not last very long. There is a big difference between worhipping a rock or shine and worshiping a living relationship filled God. As for God’s image, it’s not a physical image it’s a spiritual image. Our spiritual make up is God’s image and it sets us all apart from every creature on this planet. The book of Genesis was also written to be understood by all languages and cultures. Many religions, even some today are specific to cultures, however the word of God is for ALL cultures. (This is a HUGE deal as if you think racism and discrimination is bad today it was much much worse during the days the Bible was being penned out yet it managed to speak of a message that all races, languages and tongues were equal)

3. Genesis was meant to record God’s creative account

Genesis was not intended to be an exhaustive account. Honestly if God explained EVERYTHING it would be a very very very big book. There is an outline of events in Genesis and the sequence of events even match scientific theories. There is just enough material in Genesis to support faith. And no, the book does not disprove science nor does science disprove Genesis. Although of course many people both theological and Scientific argue about this book still.

4. there can be Many interpretations

Genesis is one of the hardest books to interpret. It’s so old and there are so many theories out there. It is still a simplistic book but you could take 3 simple words and humans could bend and twist them. But the main point is, every time there is a new discovery about creation…it does not disprove the book of Genesis it actually supports it. People still argue this BUT many look at science in awe and there’s nothing scary about it nor can it impact faith.

5. There was a begining

Science can’t explain the existence of matter. There was a big bang? Where did the particles come from that caused it? Nobody has EVER been able to answer that question. We were either always here OR there was a begining and most scientists agree there was a begining. Well guess what? The Bible starts the creation story with there being a begining.

6. There is no time reference in Genesis 1-2

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Exactly when the begining occured is not specified. We do not know the age of the universe, we can only keep guessing however Genesis did not give us an actual time line. Some people may try to calculate the age of the earth through Geneology but this is still questionable. Christians might worry that perhaps the universe is Billions of years old but what we need to remember is there is nothing to fear, the universe being a Billionyears old or created last week does not matter and should not impact ones faith. God is NOT limited by time like we are.

7. There were at least 2 types of activities by God

“Bara” a Hebrew word is used to describe creating something. This word in the old testament is used ONLY to reference God and is translated to “Create” or “created” (Gen1:1, Gen1:21, Gen1:27, Gen 5:1-2) This refers to the creation of matter, conscious life and creation of creatures and humans.

There are other words too. In Genesis 1:2 to suggest the initial creation was not complete the phrase “Let” or “let there be” is used. God is further shaping and forming the basic created matter after initial creation. This too supports science! Science indicates change happens all the time, well the Bible says so as well. So is evolution possible? Absolutely we can see it in evidence gathered today that change and adaptation happens is animals and plants all the time. It is wonderful that God allowed things to continue to shape and change.

8. There were specific periods (Days) of creative activity

These creative periods provide us with a basic outline of God’s activities. Are these literal 24 hour days? Or could they have been longer periods of time? The Hebrew word used is “yom” and can have several meanings. This includes a 24 hour time period or a period of undetermined length. Scholars can’t determine if the word was used for 24 hours or an unspecified period. All we know is there were time periods for each sequence of event. Even the phrase “Evening and morning” can mean something different. Most would assume 24 hours but it is an idiomic expression to indicate either 24 hours or undetermined but set time. The exact length of these periods is undetermined. We can interpret it any way we like, but in the end who really cares? Does it matter if the universe is a billion years old or 10 000 years old? No! Humans made in God’s image might be only 15 000 or so years old but how long the earth was here before man does not matter.

9.  God created various kinds of living things

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The word Kind is not the same as “Species” and was used to class a group of living things. Science came into play to determine and classify species. The Bible didn’t mention species it just mentioned large groupings of specific creatures (Air, sea, land etc) It’s not important to know what animals lived during those time periods. We find their bones anyways so we don’t need a book to tell us. As for Dinosuars it is probably unlikely they walked on the earth with humans as their biological makeup was different and they would have had a different type of air mass during their time just to breathe, one humans might not have been able to thrive in. Dinosuars died and probably for a purpose. If not for those time periods we would not have plastic, cars etc because we would not have fossil fuels.

10.  Human beings are part of the biological world but bear the likeness/image of God

Genesis tells us that human beings were formed from the dust (gen 2:7). For this reason, our physical makeups are made up of the same elements as other living things as well as non living things such as water, earth, air, stars and planets. Because humans are made of the same elements of the earth as other creations there are certain characteristics we share with other living things. God “Breathed The breath of life” into the man that he had created (Gen 2:7) The term Breath of life is used in reference to other animals as well humans (Gen 7:21-22)> This can be thought as Biological life and something we share with all living things. The cells in our body and chemical make up is similar to other creatures and our biological life ends in death and the physical body returns to the earth.

Unlike all the other creatures Humans were made in the image of God. It is God’s likeness that sets us apart from the Biological world and gives humans a distinction and status in the creation. The image of God we possess gives us the spiritual dimesntion and makes each human being a person similar to the way in which God is a person. Humans are a personal being and have personality because God is a personal being and has personaility. We were created by God with the capacity and responsibility to act morally (Gen 2:16-17) Humans are free moral agents and must make decisions and act according to moral principals. Some may choose to deny this and live as if there is no such thing as right and wrong but it’s their choice.  God didn’t create us to be robots who were enslaved, he created us for relationship purposes. For example if you loved someone it would feel better if they chose to love you back and not feel so great if you forced them to love you back. That’s how God is, we can’t be forced to love him we should chose whether or not to love God.

In Conclusion

I’m always in awe when I read Genesis. There was a time in my walk of faith I used to never mention Genesis because at the time it made no sense. But now that my mind has been open to this book I am very excited and feel that my faith is reassured by the book of Genesis. Growing in my faith I always thought we were physically made in God’s image but being made in His spiritual image makes a whole lot more sense. I don\t believe in a creator because I’m a closed minded person who wants to bash Science, I believe in a creator because too much evidence in my life have pointed out a real living God and not just a God who created us and left it at that but one who is very relationship orientated. I hope that some of the things uncovered in genesis will help answer any questions are help build a stronger faith.

References: Genesis 1-2

                          Does God Exist? May/June 2013 Volume 40 number 3 http://www.doesgodexist.org

I realized I have been too busy to blog lately but today I thought I’d sit down and make a quick update-after all I do have family and friends who read my blog and theres the odd admirer out there. I truly appreciate you all. I am grateful for those who would spend a few moments to read about a complete stranger-sometimes I find myself glancing over blogs dipping into people’s lives even though I have never met them. There’s just so many beautiful people out there and I just love you all.

Anyways I left off with blogs about my child’s birthday bash and my husband locating his biological father. I don;t even know where to begin other than the fact the last 2 months have just been AMAZING! I’ve got stories, I have testimonies and of course no blog would be complete without a few disaster’s right? Guess I’ll start with our amazing trip to Florida to meet our family.

Florida

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Florida was just WOW! We had a safe journey and I must say that there is nothing better than driving down as a family to meet a new family. You hear so many reuniting stories and ours has a very happy ending. The thing is we were all looking-they were looking for a lost son and my husband was searching for a father. It might have taken 25 years just to be united but it has been well worth it and the only thing that matter is Nick is finally united with a lost family and everyone is happy. Above is a picture of us with his dad.

We drove down in our yellow car, the entire way down was sunny. We stayed in North Carolina overnight and I must say that the folks in Carolina are just so lovely. Everyone is so nice and polite. When we entered Florida the first radio station we found was a Christian music station-talk about a sign eh? We were just so overwhealmed. We made it and family was together at last.

Nick’s father has no other kid’s. Nick’s Step Mum was unable to have children so she was thrilled to have a son, daughter in law and Grand Daughter…even though we’re all a little crazy…but I do believe we fit in just perfectly. Together at last.

epcot7Above is a picture of Missy. Aurora calls her Nana Missy 🙂

epcot3A Florida vacation just isn’t complete without a trip to the beach. Missy took us to New Smyrna Beach, the waves were huge but the water so nice. I was afraid to go in too far but I really enjoyed myself.

epcot2We got to go to Disney world twice as well. It was a wonderful opportunity being able to take my daughter to Disney World, something I have always dreamed of. Mum and Dad knew where all the good places were so our experience was phenominal. Father and son at Disney world, nobody is too old for Disney world so it does not matter that Nick went to Disney world with his dad for the very first time at the age of 25. Some of our greatest moments were Nick and Andrew (Nick’s dad) constantly playing pranks. Missy and I had ice tossed down our backs, water dumped on us etc. It was all fun!

But beyond Disney we had many memorable moments. We got to see Gators, we got to eat gator (Yes tastes like chicken) we survived Tropical Storm Andrea, Nick and Andrew almost blew up the backyard with a deep fryer frying a turkey, we got to play with a potato gun, saw the biggest Cyprus tree in the world, went to church with our Aunt and Uncle and met a wonderful church family who made us feel like we were home-they are totally Florida’s version of Norwood Pentecostal Church and that’s saying a lot because Norwood’s church family ROCKS! We got to meet many family members and were truly embraced and loved…there was just soooo much and it was all a wonderful, wonderful experience.

epcot1epcot6epcot5We had a wonderful 2 weeks in Florida, we ended our trip in St. Augustine exploring the wonderful city. We left at 5pm and some how managed to get home in Ontario by 3pm the next day…we got 2 hours sleep and EVERYONE was speeding…we just went with the flow. Oh we almost hot a deer, that was scary but other than that the trip home was good. Back in cold Ontario so that 2 weeks later we could have a heat wave.

Our new Family

999356_10153054011075171_239441934_nSo we now have tonnes of new family members and are trying to keep track of everyone…while still trying to keep track of our own.  We will meet a few family members at “Big Christmas Dinner” in September. Which by the way we managed to get a flight booked for Dad and Mum (By booked, Nana booked it, we just simply talked Dad and Mum into comming hehe) Wish we could spend Christmas down in Florida but September will have to do. Besides we love our Christmas snow.

27126_111327599068531_1723967906_nfamilyNick is a Ginger, most of his family are Ginger…Nick is definately part of the Rodley clan. As for me, I’ll just bring my crazyness in and add it to the family…families are good with more nuts right? I’m a walnut by the way. Or maybe a Pistacio-I like Pistacios 😀

We had a very good family day just recently and finally got to meet Nick’s Cousin Kina! We just Love her! Can not wait to meet again!

Of course storms

Good news: Our car got us to Florida and Back. Bad News, the Transmission went on it recently and now we have to fork out over $1000 to get it fixed. Good news: We are CAA members. Bad News: No vehicle right now. Good news: We can borrow vehicles and well…we’ve gone so long without one it’s no big deal right? Inconvenient yes, a need? Not really. Although why did it have to happen in the middle of a heat wave? I’ll never complain about the winter again! Cra break downs and stuff like that are just a part of life. Challenges will come, but this time I counted my blessing instead of throwing a fit fest over facebook. It is sometimes better to handle situations with grace than to just go mental. Probably good for the heart too 🙂

But then Blessings

I love how God works, it is just beyond amazing. We had our cousin’s best friend move in with us not too long ago and Nick and I got to share the Gospel. She’s kind of wondering why we’re so excited about this but it’s just refreshing to be able to share…with anyone. I feel blessed being able to have civil conversations with atheists even, any opportunity to share my faith and share about why I’m a changed person I’ll take. It has been just amazing, our room mate obviously came here for a divine reason. She walked into our church and was overwhelmed-someone who has hardly any Biblical background walked in and there was a strong spirit presense and she was over taken. Our church has been waiting for revival for so long…maybe we just need a small push, maybe we need to just snowball and turn into Azusa street all over again. God’s presense has NEVER left any church body-I was told the rain was comming and by God LET IT RAIN! (I think I have a blog entry somewhere about the rain I speak of). I would love to have our beautiful Room mate walk into the family of Jesus Christ. Be a part of a wonderful family, she barely knows anything about Baptism yet she’s got what it’s all about 100%. people don’t need a Biblical scholar background they just need Jesus. The rest will unfold. I’m so excited! We all are!

And VBS!

DSCF8171Kingdom Rock VBS this year was amazing. The kid’s learned to Stand Strong. The points durring VBS week was “God’s Love” “Family and Friends” “Prayer” ” Trusting God” and “The Bible” The kids had a blast and learned so much. On the first day they learned about King David and how he was a shepherd before becomming king. Day 2 we were introduced to Queen Ester and how her family helped her stand strong. Day 3 we got to pray with nehemia and build the walls of Jerusalem (Nick got to play Nehemia by the way he LOVED it and the kids enjoyed building a huge wall out of boxes) Day 4 we got to learn about the greatest love ever, God sending his Son Jesus. That was an emotional day, the stage was FILLED with kids accepting Jesus as their saviour. Day 5 the kids got to smash idols. It was so wonderful. I wasn’t a team leader this year but I got to help where needed and it was great. We all came together as a church family and had 160 children registered! Woohoo!

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And that’s my Latest Goslin Disaster Report…More to come 🙂 I’m sure I’ll find time.

Butterfly

Posted: April 25, 2013 in Faith
Tags: , ,

butterflie

Alone I wandered, Completely lost
Selfish I was at any cost.
Needed to make myself feel great,
As I played with the webs of fate.
Destruction appeared at every turn,
Over and over, I never learned.
Hopelessness inside me dwelt,
My soul dying, continued to melt.
Friends I held dear, I simply lost
Then I knew; what would be the cost.
I cried, my heart exploded,
the tears dried, my soul eroded.
As people soon turned against me,
The destruction I caused I could finally see.
Guilt sunk deep, deep inside,
I had no shells left where I could hide.
As I considered ending my life,
Too dull was the blade on my knife.
But as I was falling from Grace,
I saw a flawless, bright face.
I crawled into a cocoon,
Laid there morning, Night and Noon.
I am so horrible, how can I be saved?
Could I change? Or would I just continue my rave?
For all the bad things I’ve done I’m sorry,
for all the bad things I’ve said I’m sorry.
The guilt I face on my chest,
I don’t know how far the east is from the West.
“I’m not worthy!” I said as I fought.
And A voice replied ‘Your right, your not!”
“Your not worthy of my Grace,
not deserving to see my face.
But as you finally accepted The Son,
A victory in your Heart was won.
So exit your cocoon where you lie,
and become New. A Butterfly!”
Grace is not a gift you can earn,
when you know the meaning, each day you learn.
God gave up his only Son for me and you,
so that anyone could become NEW.
Like a butterfly released from a sealed box,
a new foundation is built on the rocks.

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While reading through one of my “Daily Bread” Books I came across a small tidbit about a underwater photojournalist by the name of David Doubilet. Doubilet is best known for his amazing underwater photography, many of these pictures appearing in the National Geographic Magazine. He has recieved honors for his work but at the same time has also faced critisism from environmentalists who accuse him of ignoring the bigger picture being pictures of human destruction in oceans, pollution and dead marine life. But Doubilet belives a better way to get people to care about the environment is to show the beauty of the many  wonderous creatures on this Earth. And there is no doubt much beauty in the many creatures that God has created.

This is so similar to how many Christians act. Some Christians seem to think that the best way to improve the spiritual environment is to point out all the filth and sin in this world. “Look at what so and so is doing, look at the state the world is in…” Even I have fallen into this train of thought where I focus on all the evil in the world while ignoring the big picture which is LOVE. Nothing is more beutiful than love. Nothing is more beautiful than someone reaching out a helping hand to someone. Nothing is more beautiful than a community coming together in love. Nothing is more beautiful when someone cares about the world around them.  The greatest thing the world can offer is LOVE. Love for People and creatures alike.

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“By this all will know that you are my desciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13:35

Christians are more effective witnesses when they become portraits of the beauty God is creating within them than when they paint a bleak picture of human degradation.

We are not meant to judge the world, that is up to God. As Christians our job is to shine our light and let others know about Christ. Just a simple “There is a Saviour and He loves you very much” message will do. There is no need for a hell and brimstone kind of message especially when you tell someone about Christ the first time (Trust me on this, that message is for the believer and not the unbeliever, it’s meant to get believer’s off their pew seat and into the world to spread the message of Jesus Christ) . So many people will reject the words you say but even so a seed is STILL planted and it’s up to God from that point on. The most effective way to teach the Gospel is to SHOW the gospel through your actions and the greatest of these actions is to just simply love one another.

It’s due time to stop focusing on what’s wrong with everything in the world and start SHOWING what’s right in the world. Because when you look at it, there are beautiful and miraculous events happening day to day, lets not be blinded from them by focusing on all the dirty nitty gritties life offers.

water3 “In the end, the best thing one can do is to amaze people.” -David Doubilet

Advent days 19-25

Posted: December 26, 2012 in Faith

Day 19: The Shepherds and Jesus

shepherddI couldn’t think of a more appropriate picture to describe what I’m about to talk about. Some say the above picture was taken of an abandoned dog who found it’s way to a safe place to rest-in Jesus’ manger in a Nativity scene. I’m not sure if the story about his photo is true or not but the photo still depicts a little shepherd puppy sleeping on Jesus’ lap. It’s utterly adorable isn’t it?

The first people to hear about the good news of Jesus’ birth were shepherds. Shepherds were the lowliest of people and practically rejected by society. Day and Night they guard flocks of sheep and were usually alone with those sheep. They wren’t exactly high in society. King David himself started off as a shepherd but he became a great King.

This inspires me this advent season. There are so many people out there who are not “Great” in the eyes of society, myself being one of them. I don’t have a high end career I merely serve coffee and sometimes pump gas for minimum wage but I’m there for a reason. Everyone is where they are for a reason, whether you are a leader or just merely the person who washes the dishes at church. The angels did not appear to the “important” people on earth first making it obvious that God’s idea of perfection and the world views of it are completely different.

“Fear not for I bring you good news”

Day 20: an Outpouring

connectionI love my community and how awesome and loving they are. The above picture is all the stuff some of my congregation members donated to a food/toy drive which will continue into the new year where our church will be able to continue to outpour into the community. Thanks to so many awesome people many children were blessed with Christmas presents that their parents could not afford, many families were given food and supplies as well. Combined with Foodbank hampers these extra hampers were certainly a blessing to many. Within a few seconds my request to get a friend a new pair of shoes was answered 🙂 There really is so much love in this community and it truly inspires me.

Christmas isn’t about how much you get but how many people are blessed. Christmas is a time to show your love for others.

Day 21: The advent candle of love

Which we totally forgot to light >< but we are from a very forgetful family. However our tradition did continue with much love. My husband and I took time to chat to people in the community as we went for a trek in the fresh fallen snow. When my daughter got home from school we spent lots of time with her and explained to her how much she is loved and cherished. She brought home a small tree which was a gift from her teachers and we decorated it and put it in her room. She was very happy to have her very own tree.

This Advent season don’t forget to extend your love for others and not just family and friends, Take some time to let other people know you appreciate them. It can even be as simple as a compliment to someone who provides a service like the lady behind the grocery counter or the person who pumps your gas…let them know that their service is appreciated and I guarantee they willo feel loved.

Day 22: Journey to Bethlehem

donkeyEvery year my church puts on the Journey to Bethlehem which is an interactive journey. Groups get to travel to fill out the census and along the way they get to meet shepherds, the wise men, some bandits, lepers, Roman soldiers, Bethlehem market place, the Inn, some angels and of course Baby Jesus. The journey also includes live animals and people just absolutely LOVE it. Some of the people who come through were brought by family members and didn’t even know about the Christmas story. It was such a priviledge to be a part of this.

In total we had about 400-500 people come through over the weekend and everyone had a wonderful time.

Day 23: A little Christmas joy 

Today I ended up putting together a few small gifts and distributing them to people. I just wanted to show people how much I truly apprecieted them and cherished them 🙂 At Christmas time the small things count, it could be a simple hug or just a small gift or card to let people know you are thinking of them. I don’t have enough money to bless everyone with lavishing gifts but I’m sure they do not mind. I am truly blessed to have these people in my life and I couldn’t ask for a greater gift.

Day 24: A norovirus Christmas eve

jessmessGuess I got my own little shepherd this Christmas. And of course the tradition of one of us being sick on Christmas continues. It was my turn though and I aquired the Stomach flu. So my plans for Christmas even turned into me napping as soon as I got home from work. But I’m so thankful for a loving husband who cuddled with me through it all and for some very loving and cuddly pets. The dog and cat know how to comfort me when I feel ill.

Day 25: CHRISTMAS!

christmasI was overwhelmed by my daughtr’s gratitude with all of her presents…and by all I mean every single last one she was happy about. I’m pretty sure like most 6 year olds she just enjoys opening gifts. Many of the gifts I bought her were under $5 with only 3 over $10. But you know, all it takes is a few small items to make a kid really happy. I’m just glad she hasn’t asked for an iphone yet.

In the afternoon we went and helped out at the community Christmas dinner. Nick helped out in the kitchen and I put pie on plates. I felt fine for a while but then my lovely sickness overcame me and well…after passing out in the bathroom for a brief persiod of time and feeling quite weak and ill I managed to eat a bread roll. No turkey for me. But I did get to spend time with people in the community as well as my friends who were all in good cheer. It’s nice to see them being happy especially after a harsh month…but the outpouring of my great community made them feel loved and they are truly happy that they can get a few small things on boxing day sales. I also got to listen to a few people’s stories and they are heart breaking…but I’m so glad I got to spend some time with these people. There are so many hurting people in my own community and sometimes all they need is ears that just listen. So perhaps I was sick for a reason, I was too weak to chatter but not too weak to listen.

For the remainder of my day I cuddled on the couch and yes we had a very geeky Christmas. My daughter played with her new toys and my husband and I spent the night watching geeky TV shows. It was actually quite nice.

Advent is all over and we now face the start of a brand new year. May 2013 be a year that if filled with much outpouring and love.

also now that Christmas has passed it’s time for me to start hoarding stuff to bless others…and trust me, I ALWAYS lok forward to this 🙂 Sales galore in January ^^ There is no better time than to start buying for Operation Christmas Child and for some of the other awesome community outreach projects.

 

Advent days 16-18

Posted: December 19, 2012 in Faith
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Day 16: Saint Nicholas

saint-nicholas1So who exactly is Santa?

Santa Clause originates from a real person who was born about 280 AD. Nicholas was a devout and faithful follower of Christ and lived out the true Christmas spirit everyday by loving unconditionally, shining Christ’s light and showing love to those who were in need. One legend says that Nicholas gave gold to the father of three sister’s under the cover of darkness because he had fallen on hard times and could not provide for his 3 daughters. He dropped the coins in a window and some fell into a stocking (Socks)…this is where the tradition of Santa filling Sockings comes from.

There are many Legends of Saint Nicholas but one thing is for certain, He was kind hearted, he loved the Gospels and he loved to Shine the light of Jesus. It is even said that he once slapped another Bishop accross the face because he said Jesus wasn’t God’s Son.

Does Santa still bring presents in the dark of the night? Of course he does. So long as the legend goes on Santa is alive even if He doesn’t come down a chimney and bring presents. This Christmas be one of Santa’s helpers and help to carry on the spirit of Saint Nicholas. Buy a gift to a child in need or a gift to someone in need. Be a real blessing to someone this Christmas. Santa’s elves are everywhere, you can be an elf too 🙂

Day 17: An abundance of giving

I dropped off my Blessing box yesterday and the items will reach families in need. I’m not going to say what or how much I gave but I do know that our Pastor’s office was filled with lots and lots of food items, toys etc. It was just absolutely amazing! This inspires me this season because I know that in this world there are kind hearted and selfless people. We all gave annonymously, nobody really knows who gave what or how much (And it really doesn’t matter how much or how little you give) the point is I am just so overwhelmed by everyone’s love.

To all those who selflessly and lovingly give, you inspire me.

Day 18: The third Candle

The third Candle in the advent wreath is the candle of Joy.

Psalm 30:11  You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy,

Luke 1:14  He will be a joy and delight to you, and many will rejoice because of his birth,

Like 2:10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.

John 16:33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

1 Peter 1:8  Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy,

Wow what wonderful news and these are just a few verses on the topic of Joy. What is Joy? And what brings people Joy?

Joy is an  Intense and especially ecstatic or exultant happiness. People can be brought to Joy through happy life events. Maybe the birth of a child, a wedding, a vacation…or in my case a new Hellp kitty T-shirt? I feel very joyful when I wear a Hello Kitty T-shirt, I mean who wouldn’t? Or Batman, Batman brings me joy because Batman is epic!

Things and events last for moments though and my joy in those small moments can be taken away quickly. How does one experience permanent joy? I’ve tried everything and the only time I can even remotely experience Joy is when I am praising and worshipping God. Not only am I comforted in times of trouble I can express Joy through God.

I’ve been through trobled times and I have witnessed others go through some pretty serious times in their life yet they still expressed Joy in Jesus Christ. I’ve faced financial crisis, Family crisis and health crisis and the only comfort and joy I could find through any of these trying times was through Jesus. When I sing I am joyed, when I pray I am joyed, when I just lift my hands and worship even though I’m upset I am joyed. I wouldn’t trade this for the world. I’ve tried to get Joy on my own and have never succeeded. It’s no wonder people turn to God in troubled times. Why would anyone turn to God when he allows tragedies and heartache? Because he brings Joy. When Jesus Christ was born he brought great Joy along with him and this is the meaning of the Christmas Season…JOY. I want others to experience this joy.

But I accept that not everyone wants to accept this Joy…so instead I will bring them joy in other ways…maybe by blessing them with a gift or by lending an ear or just by helping them or supporting them.

Bring Joy not only to yourselves this Advent…you have the ability to provide Joy to so many others. You’d be surprised what can bring others joy…even if only for a temporary time.