Saturday, December 24, 2011
Wednesday, December 14, 2011
Saturday, November 19, 2011
I wanted to do something special to mark the milestone and since MAD stands for Making A Difference it seemed only suitable to partner with a cause that would allow all the listeners to get involved and be Making A Difference. And the cause that has been on my heart for a long time is bringing clean drinking water to people in Africa.
It's unbelievableto think that something we have such free access to is virtually non-existent in many parts of the world. But thanks to organizations like the Blood:Water Mission it's very easy for you or I to do something about it.
For every dollar we give, they can give someone in Africa clean drinking water for an entire year! If you'd like to give the gift of clean water, click here to donate. Everyone who does using that link not only can make a huge difference, but also will have the chance to win in our 10th Anniversary Giveaway as a way of saying thanks for your generosity!
Wednesday, October 19, 2011
Friday, October 07, 2011
-My family and friends. Over this past year especially I've been realizing just how blessed I am to have the people in my life that I do. I've got an incredibly supportive "home team" and I value each one of them so much.
-My church family. I belong to a great congregation of people and I'm excited about the direction God is leading us in.
-My health. I've struggled quite a bit with health issues over the past 5-6 years and to see healing come in many ways over these past few months has been incredible! I'm so grateful for the improvements and love what feeling better has allowed me to be able to do.
-The MAD Christian Radio Show. I'm floored to think that I've been doing this show for nearly 10 years- that's over 500 shows! But in a lot of ways it feels like it's just getting started.
-New opportunities on the horizon. With my improved health and the changes that have come into my life as a result, I feel like I'm moving into the next stage of my life and while I can't say I know exactly what that's going to look like, the glimpses I've been getting are remarkable. I can't wait for what lies ahead!!!
So happy thanksgiving! I'll leave you with a thanksgiving clip from one of my favorite shows:
Saturday, October 01, 2011
Sunday, September 18, 2011
"As we trust God to give us wisdom for today's decisions, He will lead us a step at a time into what He wants us to be doing in the future."
It hit close to home as over the next couple of months I have some decisions to make about the future. And where before decisions like these would cause me to worry, I find myself feeling kind of excited about them. I never used to be the kind of person who thrived in the unknown, but lately I have been.
But maybe that's because looking back I can see an intricate weaving of events where God had lead me thus far and I can now trust that the things that He has ahead for me are just as good, if not better, than the things I've left behind.
Here's to the unknown!
Saturday, September 10, 2011
This year there was added joy with the new addition to our family, my nephew Timothy, joining us. He's now eight months old and it's amazing to see his personality emerge and our personalities change with him being there. Where before we only knew our mom as a mother, now the Oma (grandmother) side of her has made itself known. I see the changes in my brother as he's a dad and have witnessed the changes in my sister and I as we are now aunts. They say kids change a family and only eight months in, I can attest that it's true and it's a wonderful thing to experience.
It was a fantastic week filled with so many precious moments. A few highlights:
-standing outside with all the lights turned off, looking at the blanket of stars that filled the evening sky. Then being filled with wonder as shooting stars streaked across the night sky.
-playing board games at the kitchen table, teasing each other and laughing so hard that our eyes filled with tears.
-going for bike rides around the lake and being floored with the expanse of God's beautiful creation.
-playing with my nephew and learning what makes him laugh. Having him sit on my lap and mimic my breathing and laughter.
-fishing below the dam and reeling in my catch.
I feel so blessed to be a part of the family that I call mine. While we like any family have had our struggles, the trials that we've gone through have refined us and made us a stronger unit as a result.
In my family I not only have people who love me unconditionally, but a team of people who are extremely protective of me. People who inspire me to dream and believe that I can accomplish great things. Having that kind of home team is something that I used to take for granted, but these days I'm learning to stop and be grateful for what I have.
I'm choosing to allow each moment to truly soak in my heart and soul, to reflect on the goodness of this gift from God and ultimately I'm aspiring to be the best sister, aunt, and daughter that I can be.
Friday, August 26, 2011
Saturday, August 20, 2011
Saturday, August 13, 2011
Monday, August 08, 2011
There I tried to coax him to let go of the buoy but he was panicking and wouldn't let it go. Then I tried to pull him towards shore but he had no collar on so I couldn't get any leverage. I yelled for help but his owners were no where to be found. So after struggling with the dog in the water to no avail I swam to shore and ran up to the nearest cottage to get help. When I got there I found the people who turned out to be his owners I explained in no uncertain terms that their dog was in trouble and needed their help.
Thankfully while this was happening, the dog had come to his senses and released the buoy and I think with the assistance of the other dog, had made it to shore. But these people were not thankful. Anything but. Instead of thanking me for risking myself to save their dog, they were irritated and one of them actually blamed me for the incident. Like I had thrown his dog in the lake or something.
As I canoed back to the cottage I couldn't help but be appalled at their attitude. I mean here I went and put myself in jeopardy for their pet and instead of giving even a thank you, they went so far as to get mad at me for the situation. I admit, I was getting a little self-righteous when God reminded me that this situation is not unique and something He faces on a daily basis.
Just think about it. Jesus came to this earth and paid the ultimate sacrifice for our sins. He actually went the distance and allowed His life to be traded for ours. And instead of accepting His gift and thanking Him for it, the majority of people out there mock His sacrifice in their refusal to accept it. Then if that wasn't bad enough, when life doesn't go their way they actually step out and blame Him for their problems.
And I can say that with certainty because before I finally surrendered at the age of 16 I was one of them.
1 John 4, verses 9 and 10 tell us:
"God showed how much he loved us by sending His only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through Him. This is real love. It is not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins." (1 John 4:9-10)
That was no small sacrifice. Imagine what it took for the Son of God to give up the riches of heaven and the power of a creator and instead confine Himself to a human body, rubbing shoulders with sinners and making a sacrifice that by far is not accepted or appreciated by most?
If you're a Christian like myself we have accepted the sacrifice of His payment for our sins, but if you're anything like me, in time it's easy to forget just what a gift that is. So let this be our reminder to daily go before God and thank Him for what He's done and then honour His sacrifice by how we live.
Friday, July 15, 2011
On Monday I got back after my first week of vacation for the summer and let me say, it was fantastic! Instead of heading far out of town we holed up at a cottage for part of the week, then tried our hands at camping for the second part. The idea was to have a low-key time to recharge and relax. In the end we had lots of that, but some unexpected adventures thrown in as well. Here are some of my highlights from the week:
About halfway through the week my brother, sister-in-law and little nephew came out to join us for the day at the cottage. It was a great time (minus being chased by a guy on a motorcycle, but that's a story for another day) and it was made even greater when we went fishing. My brother took us to a spot he had heard about and while it was quite the trek through the bush to get there, it was worth it. The scenery was beautiful and the fish were really biting. We caught saugers, walleye, and white fish.
It's not secret that I absolutely love to read, but over the past few years I haven't been able to do as much of it as I would have liked to because my sleep issues really effected my memory and memory really effects your reading. But now that my sleep issues are so much better I've been able to start devouring books again. I read a couple fiction books and in the non fiction category I started and finished Bittersweet by Shauna Niequist, which I highly recommend and The Real You by Dr. Kevin Leman, also a great read.
The Great Outdoors
Of course we spent a lot of time in the great outdoors. We did quite a bit of biking and on one of our runs nearly came face to face with a bear! One afternoon we rented a boat and spent some time out on the water. I went swimming, but that fun ended when I had to jump in the lake to try and save a dog that was drowning. In the end the dog was okay, but I'd by lying if I said that experience wasn't somewhat traumatic.
In the past I was never the kind of person who enjoyed lounging. There was always something to do and I wanted to do it, however in recent years I've come to appreciate the art of just being still and that practice becomes even more of an artform when you have a zero gravity chair. There was one at the trailer we were staying at and I could have spent the whole week in it, reading, resting and taking in the sights of the lake. I need to get myself one of these! Or maybe not because my productivity level at home would likely drop drastically.
All in all, it was a fantastic holiday and while it is now over, the summer fun has just started. Later today a friend and I are heading out on a road trip to a nearby town, I've got another week of holidays coming up in August and plan to spend a lot of time playing basketball, lounging by the pool and camping between now and then.
Sunday, July 10, 2011
Parker Palmer (Let Your Life Speak)
Tuesday, June 28, 2011
About a week and a half ago I was driving back from Cochrane with a friend and we saw these guys on the side of the road. Something I definitely wouldn't have seen out my office window:
Tuesday, June 07, 2011
My favorite song on the album is called "Looking For One" and it's really the cry of my heart to be that one who stands in the gap. Listen to the song below and check out the lyrics:
Looking For One
By Jake Hamilton
Jesus came to save the world
Then He let us give it a whirl and we messed it up
But I'm not giving up
Cause as far as I know, mercy still remains
And judgement only comes if we don't remain faithful
You'll find me faithful
Cause you're looking for one
Who can hear Your heart beat
Who can feel when You lead
And the time and the season
You're looking for one
Who will stand in the gap
Who will never look back
Finds Your heart in their freedom
You're looking for one
I've heard it said He hates our show
And all He wants is for us to know justice
And what true love is
Our melodies will never do
And all these programs keeping You distant
Have we missed it
You choose the broken, You choose the weak
You favor the humble, You raise up the meek
Blessed are those who are found poor in spirit
For theres is the kingdom, it's so hard to hear it
You don't shy away from the foolish and fumbling
You're able to use all those tired and stumbling
And just when we think that our work is all done
I hear your heart,
You're looking for one.
Wednesday, June 01, 2011
I did some reading in Andy Stanley's The Principle of the Path, a book that I'm thoroughly enjoying. I did some thinking and praying about the future and the changes that are ahead. I spent time outdoors, enjoying the beauty of God's creation. And in the evenings I wrote a few new devotionals for the MAD Christian Radio Show (which you can find here, along with a new feature that links the devotionals with facebook).
All in all, it was a very peaceful time where I got to clear my head and quiet myself so that I could hear God speak. I left feeling encouraged and excited about the future. Can't wait to spend more time out there this summer!
Monday, May 23, 2011
and he turned to me and heard my cry.
He lifted me out of the pit of despair,
out of the mud and the mire.
He set my feet on solid ground
and steadied me as I walked along.
He has given me a new song to sing,
a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see what he has done and be amazed.
They will put their trust in the Lord." (Psalm 40)
Thursday, May 05, 2011
I thought I'd share a few that have been inspiring me and/or causing me to think lately:
"All endings are also beginnings. We just don't know it at the time." (Mitch Albom, The Five People You Meet In Heaven)
"God asks no one whether he/she will accept life. That is not the choice. You must take it. The only choice is how." (Henry Ward Beecher)
"Death is not the greatest loss in life. The greatest loss is what dies within us while we live." (Norman Cousins)
And a Bible verse that has been on my mind a lot lately:
"Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, 'This is the way; walk in it.'" (Isaiah 30:21)
Thursday, April 21, 2011
Monday, April 18, 2011
Last week I went into the bathroom in our basement downstairs and stepped into some water that shouldn't have been there. At first I thought my mom was a little over zealous when it came to washing the floor, but after some investigation I found out that the water was coming in from outside. And as I talked to different friends and family members it turned out we weren't the only one with this problem.
You see the night before we had a huge downpour and since the ground here was still frozen, the water had no where to go but in the cracks in our foundations and into our basements.
What I found interesting about this all is that most people who had water come in had no idea that there was anything wrong with their foundation. It was only when the storm came that it became obvious something was seriously wrong.
Aren't our lives like that? We can go about our business day after day and call ourselves Christians, go to church and do all the right things and on the surface everything seems fine. But then when the storm comes we realize something is desperately wrong when we're up to our knees in water with no way to stop it from coming gushing in.
Like Jesus taught in Matthew 7:24-27:
"Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock. Though the rain comes in torrents and the floodwaters rise and the winds beat against that house, it won't collapse because it is built on bedrock. But anyone who hears my teaching and doesn't obey it is foolish, like a person who builds a house on sand. When the rains and floods come and the winds beat against that house, it will collapse with a mighty crash."
Wednesday, April 06, 2011
Tuesday, March 29, 2011
Thursday, March 24, 2011
Sunday, March 20, 2011
Friday, March 11, 2011
Wednesday, March 09, 2011
Wednesday, February 16, 2011
It was a thrilling experience to say the least. Although I was the only one who had a helicopter ride on their bucket list, we all had a great time. The take off and landing was so much different than an airplane and the view from the top was incredible. We got to tour the town in style before landing on the ice in the middle of a lake. If you ever get a chance, I highly recommend taking a spin!
Tuesday, February 08, 2011
This year my favorite commercial of the bunch was Chrysler's. I think what I love about it is how they take something basic, the idea that Detroit is an auto manufacturing town, and turn it into a compelling story.
In my opinion it was brilliant.
Saturday, February 05, 2011
It's called Mountains Move and it's from Kristian Stanfill. I highly recommend you check it out!
Friday, January 28, 2011
You're the light when the night is falling
You're the song when my heart is singing
It's Your love
You're the eyes to the blind man
You're the feet to the lame man walking
You're the sound of people singing
It's Your love"
Have you ever experience a love like that? One that fills your heart and changes everything. Giving light to the darkness, hope in the hopeless and peace in the turmoil?
We as humans even on the best of days fall short when it comes to really loving someone else. No matter how hard we try, we do mess up, we do disappoint and we do hurt. We don't meet other peoples needs, we say the wrong things and we are way too quick to jump to conclusions and solutions when all someone else needs is understanding.
But there's another love out there. A love that no matter how hard we try to replicate we'll always fall short of. And it's a love that doesn't need replicating because it's available freely to every one of us and that is the love of God.
Many of us view God as an older gentleman with high standards who makes it impossible to get a stamp of approval from. But that couldn't be further from the truth:
"But you, O Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness." (Psalm 86:1)
"For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life." (John 3:16)
"[Jesus said] as the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love." (John 15:9)
"This is how God showed His love among us: He sent His one and only Son into the world so that we might live through Him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins." (1 John 4:9)
And my personal favorite:
"And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God's love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow- not even the powers of hell can separate us from God's love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below- indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Romans 8:38-39)
Isn't the love of God a truly amazing thing?
Saturday, January 22, 2011
"Tell God all that is in your heart, as one unloads one's heart, its pleasures and its pains, to a dear friend. Tell Him your troubles, that He may comfort you; tell Him your joys, that He may sober them; tell Him your longings, that He may purify them; tell Him your dislikes, that He may help you conquer them; talk to Him of your temptations, that He may shield you from them: show Him the wounds of your heart, that He may heal them; lay bare your indifference to good, your depraved tastes for evil, your instability. Tell Him how self-love makes you unjust to others, how vanity tempts you to be insincere, how pride disguises you to yourself and others." (from Let Go)
Saturday, January 15, 2011
It rang so loudly and seemed so profound that I shared this with a number of people in my life. It's a good thing I did because I wasn't alone in shaking my head in awe as the events of this past year unraveled.
2010 truly was a year of the foundation being shaken up in my life and I experienced major changes in pretty much every area of my life: family, ministry, friendships, health, the list goes on and on.
While knowing in advance that 2010 was going to be a year of change didn't remove the effects that these changes had on my life, it did help to soften the blow because with each change and challenge I was reminded that God saw this coming. He knew what I would be facing this past year and in His grace He was kind enough to give me a heads up.
During one intense period of changes and challenges this spring I was talking with someone I respect very much and he told me that when I climbed out of this valley he believed that I would have a different and deeper relationship with God. To be honest, at the time that wasn't much of a consolation, but today I can see the truth in what he said.
My relationship with God has gone deeper and I see Him very differently than I did even a year ago. I also feel very much loved by Him, which is something that has been so amazing to experience.
As 2011 has arrived I have no idea what the year will bring, but I do know this- no matter what the next year holds, whether they are "Job sized" challenges or abundant blessings, God has His hand on my life. And if this past year has taught me anything it's that He walks with us every single step of the way. During no other time period in my life have I felt the nearness of God and it's been a remarkable thing to experience.