Thursday, December 15, 2016

It's All About the Context

It’s getting close to Christmas.  Here where we live we just had the worst snow storm in a decade.  A snow storm here in a place where it almost never snows.  Now it is cold, well below freezing, and we have lots of snow on the ground.  People in other parts of Canada laugh at us because we declare “Snowmagedon” when temperatures hit freezing and a few snow flakes fall.  No sympathy at all!

How we feel about things is all about context.  Our context here is that it rains a lot and almost never snows.  The temperature is almost always above freezing.  Snow and cold are not normal so we don’t know what to do when we get winter weather which is normal in the rest of Canada.  Context is important in our lives.  Most people live pretty insulated lives, making their own decisions, doing what they want, trying to make the best of things.  Christmas is a time when I am reminded that there is a lot bigger context than my own life.  There is a God who formed the universe.  There is a Saviour who was born in Bethlehem.  He came to earth to die as a sacrifice, to die for me, to restore my relationship with God.  When I accepted that relationship which was offered to me through Jesus my context instantly changed.  Life is no longer about just me, but about how God want’s to use me to help others. 

For me, Christmas truly is about Jesus’ birth, the gift of salvation he offered me and which I received.  Christmas is about family, all of us together in Jesus, loving one another, loving our Saviour and serving Him.  Christmas is about Joy.  Merry Christmas.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

In the Storm

The wind is wild today.  Some places near us it is blowing over 100 kilometres per hour.  Power is out in many places, trees are down across the roads.  I just heard from staff at the mountain where we ski and they said all the chairlifts are closed today because it is too windy to operate.  The crazy thing is that outside it is fairly bright, the sun shining through a layer of very thin clouds. It looks great outside at first glance, then you realize it’s so windy you don’t want to be outdoors.

Life sometimes gets this way.  All around everyone is going about their normal routine, all appears well, but your life is in turmoil.  At first glace people think you are fine, but when they stop and talk they notice something isn’t right.  Life can be like a whirlwind.  Events happen, good and bad, and leave us reeling, trying to catch our breath, not knowing what to do.  When those violent winds of pressure and change come into my life, that’s when I am glad for the close friends who are always around to help.  When things get tough I can count on them.  More importantly, I can always go to Jesus and always count on Him to be there for me.  My Lord will always help and will send others into my life to help, no matter the problem.

It’s windy today so I am hunkered down indoors, waiting for the storm to pass.  I’ll ski tomorrow when it is calm.  In the storms of life I will hunker down with Jesus and the friends He sends to help me.  Storms pass, calm returns, life goes on.  Thank you Jesus.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Let's Party!

A couple of weeks ago we attended our nephew’s wedding, a weekend event, a huge party.  We have parties to celebrate wonderful things in our lives.  We have birthday parties, New Year’s parties, even Christmas parties.  We have parties to celebrate graduation, a new job, a promotion. People like parties.

Yesterday I was reading in the Bible about a huge party thrown by King David.  It celebrated God and His goodness. David, the king, wrote a special song for the occasion.  It was a huge event.  Then I asked myself, how often do we have a party to celebrate Jesus?  We sort of do at Christmas, although many of the Christmas parties I attend don’t say too much about Jesus.  No, how often do we really celebrate God and His goodness?  How often do we have all our friends over to celebrate the great things God has done for us?  How often does the church have a huge party to celebrate Jesus and all He has done for them. 

I think we need to party more, celebrate God more, get more excited about our Saviour.  Other people celebrate the causes which are important to them, I think it is time for us to celebrate the One who is everything to us.  Have a Jesus Party.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Secure in the Tempest

Last week a friend e-mailed me a picture of waves crashing against a lighthouse.  Standing at the door was a lone person, protected from the immense crashing waves by the solid, immoveable structure of the lighthouse.  It reminded me of how alone we can feel when struggling with some huge event or illness in life, with work which seems to engulf us, a situation which seems hopeless or when we are overwhelmed by a deluge of things spinning around us.

Do you ever feel like that?  Do you ever feel that you can hardly hang on, that you have been totally engulfed by the things happening around you?  Do you ever feel like the person in the picture of the lighthouse?  As I looked at that picture I once again realized how incredible it is to have Jesus in my life, my Saviour and protector, my constant stalwart companion.  When I am overwhelmed by the stress and troubles of life He is always with me, always has His arms wrapped around me, is my shelter in the storm and He is my strength.  Life can be tough, life can throw some horrible trials at us, but in the arms of Jesus there is security.

Like the person at the door of the lighthouse, I know I am always safe.  My Saviour is holding me and nothing can sweep me away as long as I cling to Him.  Praise God, Jesus is my salvation and my refuge.