Saturday, December 24, 2011

The Reason We Celebrate

One of my absolute favourite modern day Christmas songs is "The Night Before Christmas" (see below). I think one of the reasons I love it so much is because it reminds me of the contrast of what our world was like before Jesus came in and what it was like after He took his first breaths as a baby. It also reminds me of the hope and light He brought then and brings now to everyone who believes.

I know my life has drastically changed with His presence in it and so that is what I am celebrating this Christmas. Sure I love having four days off work, yes I enjoy getting together with family and friends, and hey who doesn't love gifts. But in the midst of that I don't want the reason any of us have to celebrate be overshadowed by the celebrations themselves.

Jesus came down to our earth. Emmanuel, God with us. He came not just to die one day for our sins and pave a path between God and mankind; but He also came to bring us calmness in chaos, peace in uncertainty, love to those who feel unlovable and ultimately, light in the darkness.

That is the reason we have to celebrate. And that is something I don't want to lose sight of this season.

Merry Christmas.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011


It's no secret that for many December is the busiest month of the year. And when you ask people why they are so busy, chances are they are going to say it's because they are getting ready for Christmas. And while that's certainly an acceptable answer, let's just think about this for a second.

If every year in December we spend the majority of our time getting ready for Christmas, that means that we're pretty much dedicating one month of the year to it. Which doesn't sound so bad in the grand scheme of one year, but let's break it down further.

If every December we spend most of our time preparing for Christmas and December is one month out of twelve in a year, it's a safe assumption to make that many of us will spend one-twelfth of the free time we have in our entire lives getting ready for a holiday.

Now don't count me out as a Scrooge. Ask anyone around me- I absolutely love Christmas! But what I don't love is when I get so busy with preparing for the occasion that I end up losing Jesus in the middle of meals and presents and baking and parties. If I'm going to spend one-twelfth of the free time in my life on something, I want to make sure I'm spending it on something that is going to count. And if my way of celebrating Christmas and preparing for December 25th is nothing but shopping and to-do lists and obligations, then I'm afraid I'm missing the mark.

However, if my celebrations are centered around Christ and I use this time of year to do the things that He loves best, like:

-reach out to the lonely
-give to the poor
-share His Gospel with those around me

Then not only am I not wasting 1/12 of my life, but I'm actually living out the kind of life that God wants His followers to live. And that's something we would all do good to follow every day of the year, Christmas or not.

“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’" (Matthew 25:34-40)

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Clean Drinking Water

The end of this month brings about the 10th anniversary of the MAD Christian Radio Show. That astounds me- I can't believe I've been doing this for 10 years! In some ways it seems like I just got started yesterday. In others it seems like this is something that has always been part of my life.

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

Creative Approach

I like things that are creative and a little out of the box, which can definitely be said for this video! It's a lego take on TobyMac's song "Tonight"- check it out!

Friday, October 07, 2011


This weekend us Canadians celebrate thanksgiving. Here are a few things that I am thankful for:

-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


Ever since I first heard this song from Lecrae I can't get it out of my head. It's one that I want to be my anthem.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

The Unknown

Today I came across this quote from Theodore Epp:

"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

August Holiday

Our family started a new tradition last year that during the last week of August we all meet up at my aunts cottage for a family vacation. The tradition carried on this year and it's one that I love. Somehow when my family gets all together, we're transported back in time to when we were kids and many memories of the times we spent together growing up emerge.

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

Young Love

I don't often run out and buy an album right on release day, but when it came to Mat Kearney's latest "Young Love" I made an exception and the album didn't disappoint.

Since coming out earlier this month I've been listening to it non-stop and I haven't tired of it yet. The beats are catchy, the lyrics are deep, and the songwriting is original. It's definitely made its way to my top 10 list.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Existing To Live

In her book Cold Tangerines Shauna Niequest wrote:

"I want a life that sizzles and pops and makes me laugh out loud. And I don't want to get to the end, or to tomorrow even, and realize that my life is a collection of meetings and pop cans and errands and receipts and dirty dishes. I want to eat cold tangerines and sing out loud in the car with the windows open and wear pink shoes and stay up all night laughing and paint my walls the exact color of the sky right now. I want to sleep hard on clean white sheets and throw parties and eat ripe tomatoes and read books so good they make me jump up and down, and I want my everyday to make God belly laugh, glad that He gave life to someone who loves the gift."

I resonate so much with that quote because that's the kind of life I'm determined to be living. Ever since my sleep problems started getting better this spring I've been attacking life with a vigor and it's been such an amazing experience that I never want to go back to living to exist rather than existing to live.

I've had such an amazing summer so far packed with experiences that I'll never forget. Going horseback riding and feeling fear with an equal measure of feeling so alive when the horse started to run. Four wheeling through the bush and nearly coming face to face with a bear and her cubs. Kayaking on the lake. Golfing just because the weather was nice and I could. Staying up until all hours of the night talking with friends. Meeting new people and connecting with them on a soul level. Watching my nephew as he experiences so many "firsts". Spending days out by the pool. Reading books that are so good I want to share them with everyone I meet. Taking spontaneous road trips in my suv. The list goes on and on.

Today I'm writing this to reflect and be thankful, but also to remind myself never to get so busy or caught up in the details of life that I forget to really live. And also because I never want to overlook the One who give me this life and the One who I want to honour with every moment that He gives me.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

God's Masterpieces

There are voids in this world that need filling. Did you ever stop and think that maybe you were created to fill one of them?

Ephesisans 2:10 tells us "For we are God's masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things He planned for us long ago."

You are God's masterpiece. Not His mistake. Not His leftovers. His masterpiece.

And He has something planned for your life. Not day after day of mediocrity. But a plan that takes your unique giftings to fill a void that can change lives, and maybe, even maybe change the world.

So what are you waiting for? Get out there! Masterpieces are created to be displayed on the wall, not hidden in a closet where no one can appreciate their beauty.

Monday, August 08, 2011

Recognizing The Sacrifice

Recently I had a rather scary experience. I had canoed out to one of my favourite spots at my aunts cottage and found two dogs on the beach. Before long one of them swam out into the lake and started playing with a buoy in the water. I guess his mistook the buoy for a toy and tried to pull it towards shore. Since the buoy was anchored he couldn't move it and was using up his energy trying to move something that couldn't be moved. Seeing that he was starting to struggle in the water I tried to call him to shore, but he wouldn't come and at the same time was struggling to stay afloat, so I did the only thing I thought I could do- I jumped in the water and swam out to where he was.

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.

Zero Gravity
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

Let Your Life Speak

"If we can learn to read our own responses to our own experience - a text we are writing unconsciously every day we spend on earth - we will receive the guidance we need to live more authentic lives. But if I am to let my life speak things I want to hear, things I would gladly tell others, I must also let it speak things I do not want to hear and would never tell anyone else! My life is not only about my strengths and virtues; it is also about my liabilities and my limits, my trespasses and my shadow. An inevitable though often ignored dimension of the quest for wholeness is that we must embrace what we dislike or find shameful about ourselves as well as what we are confident and proud of."

Parker Palmer (Let Your Life Speak)

Tuesday, June 28, 2011


A few weeks ago I purchased a mobile internet stick, which is basically a fancy way of describing a device that lets you have intenet access on your laptop no matter where you are. For me that has meant freedom because it means I'm no longer tied down to my office or a wireless hot spot when I'm working. So between that and finally having my own vehicle I can work at the park, at the beach, on the road or at the cottage, which is amazing!

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

Looking For One

I was in Sudbury last week and on a recommendation, I picked up the Jake Hamilton album called "Freedom Calling" and I'm really loving it. It reminds me of Jason Upton, mixed with a bit of Hillsong and Kim Walker.

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

Weekend @ the Cottage

Last weekend I jetted out to my aunts cottage to spend my first weekend there this summer. Even though it rained off and on throughout the weekend I still had a fantastic time.

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

Truth from Psalm 40

"I waited patiently for the Lord to help me,
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'm a huge fan of quotes and when I find ones that are inspiring or thought provoking I tend to write them down, resulting in quotes written down all over the place in my house!

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

True Love

If you ever wondered what Easter is really about, or maybe like me, you can use a reminder check out this video:

Monday, April 18, 2011

Cracks In The Foundation

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

Jesus Calling

For a while I've been looking for a good devotional book to start my day with and the search is over. Two weeks ago I picked up "Jesus Calling" by Sarah Young and it's been rocking my world.

It's written very different than most devotional books because it's written in the perspective of God writing to you and while it took a bit of getting used to, it's been amazing. Nearly every day I've been confronted with a profound truth or just something I really needed to hear.

If you're looking for a fresh element to add to your morning devotions, I highly recommend either picking up a copy of the book or downloading the Jesus Calling app in iTunes.

"The only thing you can grasp without damaging your soul is My hand." (Jesus Calling)

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The West Wing

The West Wing moved up to bump the original Practice out of the running as my all-time favorite tv show. Here's why:


I may be a little late to the party, but I absolutely love this show!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

How Good Business Is Done

A few months ago I signed up for a membership with It's a photography website and since I've been wanting to expand on my photo taking abilities and they were giving a great introductory offer, I decided to sign up.

During the first couple of months they had a few roadblocks and delays and instead of just expecting their customers to put up with it, they instead did something unexpected:

And they were good on their word. The day after getting this message I got a notice that my monthly payments to were cancelled and I'm now lucky enough to have a lifetime membership, absolutely free!

And that my friends is how good business is done....

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Eye Opening Article

It's interesting how with all the reports of the nuclear problems Japan is having, officials from the government both there and here insist that things are safe. This is the first article I've read that shows just how unsafe things are and how bad things could get.

The people of Japan truly need our support and prayers!

Friday, March 11, 2011

How Could This Be

Writing is something that I just love to do and my writing takes on a lot of different forms.  Sometimes thoughts or lines will come to me that turn into a devotional, other times a radio ad, other times a chapter for a book and then there are some times that they turn into a potential song.  I say potential because while I can write words that resemble lyrics I lack the musical inclination to turn them into an actual song.  But that is where it pays to have gifted friends :)

To hear one of our recent songs, check out the video.  The lyrics are also posted below.

How Could This Be
By: Julie Bouchard & Kristen McNulty

Moonlight at midnight
All the stars shining bright
Reflections of Your glory
All of heaven tells a story
Seeing just a small glance
Journey of the second chance

Creation redeemed
That's your plan for me
Hearts and lives restored
I'm amazed Lord
How could this be?
How could this be?

Rainbows on a dreary day
Direction when I've lost my way
Light that shines bright inside
Even the darkness can't hide
What a complex mystery
Heaven re-writing our history

That one event changed it all
Jesus Christ, redeemer of the fall
How can it be, how can it be?
Forgiveness and grace are mine
Covered by Your love divine
How can it be, how can it be?

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

The OC Supertones

In high school, which was more years ago than I would care to admit, one of my favorite bands was the OC Supertones. I liked the band because yes, as a trombone player it was one of the few bands that I could play along to, but also because their lyrics had a depth to them that I appreciated.

There wasn't many other bands out there quoting the likes of Schaeffer and encouraging Christians to go beyond the surface of faith.

When the band broke up I was very disappointed that I never had the opportunity to see them in concert, but my hopes were reignited recently when I found out they played a couple concerts on the West Coast last summer. Here's to hoping it won't be the last time the guys get together for a few shows.


Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Crossing Another Item Off

Last weekend I had the chance to scratch another item off of my bucket list- a helicopter ride! I was out of town and they were offering rides, so my sister, sister-in-law and I decided to take advantage of the opportunity.

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

Superbowl Commercials

Maybe it's professional hazard, but I love hearing and watching well-written commercials. So the Superbowl commercials are ones that I look forward to catching, almost as much as I look forward to watching the game.

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

Mountains Move

While I love worship, it is a challenge for me to find worship albums that I can really get into and listen from start to finish over and over again. But I've found one that I'm loving and I thought I'd share it with you all.

It's called Mountains Move and it's from Kristian Stanfill. I highly recommend you check it out!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Your Love

One song I've been listening to a lot lately is "Your Love" by Brandon Heath. The lyrics that stand out to me in particular are:

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

Let Go

Lately I pulled out my copy of "Let Go" by Francois Fenelon.  When I picked it up I thought it would be a quick read because of its small size, but it turned out to be just the opposite.  There is so much wisdom packed into each chapter- most only 3-4 pages long, that you'll find yourself not wanting to read more than a few pages at a time so that you can let it all sink in.  If you haven't read this book yet, I highly recommend picking up a copy. 

"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

Looking Back, Looking Ahead

Last year at this time I was thinking and praying about the year 2010 and while I don't often get messages like this, I believe I got a message loud and clear from God saying that 2010 was going to be a year of change.

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.