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.