Sunday, December 21, 2008

God With Us

"All right then, the Lord himself will give you the sign. Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son and will call him Immanuel (which means ‘God is with us’)." (Isaiah 7:14)

God with us.

One of the most stunning truths about the Christmas story to me can be summed up in three words: God with us.

The same God who was the mastermind behind creation confined Himself to a baby's body. The same God who ruled over creation was content to be brought up by human parents. The same God who is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords was willing to humble Himself to die for those very beings who refused to worship and obey. God with us.

When we're tired. When we're discouraged. When we don't feel like we can make it through another day. God with us.

I can see evidence of God with me everyday. I see it in the sunrise that streaks across the sky. I see it in the music that moves my soul with every note. I see it in the people He sends across my path just when I need them. I see it in the circumstances He orchestrates into a brilliant set of events, otherwise known as my life story. God with us.

Not just today. Not just tomorrow, but forever. No matter what life events arise. No matter what our days hold, we've got God with us and that fact changes everything.

It puts the hope in the hopeless. The peace in the turmoil. And the love in what otherwise would have been lonely. God with us.

That's the Christmas story. Not just sheep and wiseman, but what the birth set in motion. Events that had been contrived by the ultimate God of love. A gateway for all mankind to enter that would allow them to once again fellowship with the Father. The ultimate story of Redemption.

This Christmas as we laugh, eat, and exchange gifts, let's remember God with us. Not just today, but for all eternity. We're not alone and never will be and that eternal presence of God is worth recognizing and celebrating.

Merry Christmas.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Christmas Prayer

In preparation for the ever so quickly approaching Christmas day, I thought I'd share a prayer with you that I found online. It was written by Henri Nouwen. He prayed:

"Lord Jesus, master of both the light and the darkness, send your Holy Spirit upon our preparations for Christmas. We who have so much to do seek quiet spaces to hear your voice each day. We who are anxious over many things look forward to your coming among us. We who are blessed in so many ways long for the complete joy of your kingdom. We whose hearts are heavy seek the joy of your presence. We are your people, walking in darkness, yet seeking the light. To you we say, "Come Lord Jesus!"

As I look at the packed calendar, busy stores, and crazy next couple of days as I travel out of town, that prayer is on my heart and my mind. In the busyness, I truly desire to seek quietness and I pray that in the midst of all the distractions, we all can see Him clearly this Christmas season.

Monday, December 08, 2008

City of the Year

GQ has named Chicago it's City of the Year. I couldn't agree more.

I've always been somewhat fascinated by the city and after visiting Chicago this past summer, that fascination has grew into a slight obsession. I cannot say enough good things about the city. The people, the scenery, the parks, the architecture, the food, the shopping, I could go on and on and on.

Out of the places I've been to, it's by far my favorite city and I'd love to go back. In fact I've already started giving subtle hints to the rest of the family that I think we should go back there this summer. I can dream, can't I?

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Politics, Politics

Politics can be a dirty business, but I don't think that I've ever seen as dirty of a move as what's been going down in the Canadian parliament these days.

We just had an election in October. The Canadian people had spoken. The Conservatives were given a mandate to be the leading political party. And now three other parties are crying foul and deciding to go through the backdoor in an attempt to grab power.

A lot of things bother me about this situation and what it says about democracy, but one of the things that bother me the most is the lack of respect being shown for the voters choice. Not to mention those who voted for the Conservatives, but even for those who voted for the NDP and the Bloq. They voted NDP and Bloq for a reason- they had different beliefs in what's best for the country than the Liberals or Conservatives do. But in one swift move, the leaders of those parties are trying to take the votes that were given to them and are trying to hand them to another party. That's essentially what is happening.

What does that say about democracy? When we went to the polls in October, all voters knew that whatever party had the majority of the seats would lead our country. The voters gave the Conservative Party the most seats. Love them or hate them, that's what happened. So now to go and try to reverse that at some attempt to align parties that couldn't be more opposite looks like nothing more than a desperate attempt to grab power.

As much as I would have said a few weeks ago that I wouldn't want another election, I really believe that's the only option we have if we hold democracy dearly. But that choice belongs to the Governor General. And whatever the Governor General ends up deciding, I do believe that this is an attempt that in the end will backfire. Anyone who voted NDP or Bloq will probably think twice about voting that way in the future because look what happened to their vote.

Oh the messes we make...