Sunday, December 12, 2010

A Tribute to Rick McBay

Rick McBay - the man I asked many years ago to make me a box that I could put under our Christmas tree and it would become 'Uncle Clyde's Treasure Chest.' Rick built me a box - though not a box, but rather a beautiful slatted chest complete with curved lid. Many children had great delight from the simple gift they chose from that box. If you read this and are one of those kids, please add this kind action to the list of good things that Rick McBay did. My tears are for you, Sandy, Brian and Teral and all the rest of the family

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Why Am I Here?

Parts of my life have not been easy. At one point I remember feeling like I was in a deep, dark pit trying desperately to get out. I would claw my way to the top, get my fingers positioned over the edge and feel like I was about to reach freedom when someone would step on them and I would descend once again to the bottom. I remember the beauty that surrounded me on my short drive to my work being completely obliterated by tears while my cry to God was: “Why is this happening to me?’

I also remember the time when I began to realize that it was not all about me - that it was about a cosmic conflict going on out there between God and Satan and I was being used by God in that conflict. And that made me mad!! I remember the feeling, how dare God put me through this in order to win His battle. And, yes, I was mad at God, real mad!! But as I worked it all through in my mind my feeling changed. I felt honoured, chosen by God to accomplish something for Him in this cosmic battle. I have shared this with a few people but mostly the response was not much more than a blank stare. Until now!

I have been using The Renovare Spiritual Formation Bible published in the New Revised Standard Version for my reading. In the introduction to the book of Ephesians, written by a Timothy Brown I read that ‘through a Christ-like lens’ reading of the book of Ephesians will receive the “hardware needed to enter the cosmic conflict around us bequeathed by Christ. “ Eph. 6:24 which says “Grace be to all who have an undying love for Jesus Christ.”

When the vagaries of life hit us it is a time ‘When Only God’s Grace Will Do’ - a time when the ‘hardware’ of God’s grace will keep us out of the pit - when an awareness of the ‘cosmic conflict’ will give meaning to our journey. That He is there doing His work through us and at the same time holding us close is almost beyond our comprehension. ‘God Moves In A Mysterious Way.’ Amen

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Jewels On My Path


“If you had known., especially in this your day, the things that make for your peace.” Luke 19:42

Oh my! Oh my! Who of us are not searching with all our might for the ‘things that make for our peace.’ That precious commodity, the ‘peace that passes understanding.’ Why is it so elusive? Perhaps because we are so often much like the Pharisees of old - looking for it while focused on our own understanding, our own desires, our own concept of how life should work.

Here I am at 7:02 AM at the beginning of “this my day” with the promise that God will scatter the jewels that ‘make for my peace’ along my path. Will my eyes be so fixed on Him that I will see them or will my focus be such that they will be ‘hidden.’ Even legal blindness cannot hide them from me if I choose to see them. This is God’s grace at work. Can you hear my praise?

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

That's It! That's All!

It is 10:30 AM. I am wandering around my house doing this mundane chore and that mundane chore. Already this morning I have heard a man say: “I would like to do great things for God.”
I have heard a woman say: “We are going to ‘such and such’ church but I am not really doing anything for God.”
‘Doing for God.’ How do we do anything for the omniscient, omnipotent One who created us in the first place and everything around us. What does God want from us? Two things, I think. Our love and our trust and that’s it, that’s all. To the degree that we learn to do that He will take the circumstances of our lives and ‘work it all out for good.’ Romans 8:28. And what is the good? We will become more and more like Jesus (Rom. 8:29) and the result will be He will glorify us (Rom. 8:30). Surely, as a person glorified by God I will be a blessing to someone, somewhere, sometime without consciously wishing or worrying that there was something that I could do for God. When I stop trusting Him and Him alone is when it all falls apart. So what can I do for God? I can love Him! I can trust Him! Two full time jobs ----in which no chore is ever mundane!!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

From Sorrow's Heart - A Gift

I just read an article in the London Free Press entitled 'From Sorrow's Heart A Gift.' The request from the family of Fred Preston asking people to make donation to the family of the slain police officer inspired this title. How could it ever be worded in a better way for this tragedy or any of the multiple tragedies and heartaches that come to all of us. It behooves all of us who know this family to do all in our power to help them work through the details of the tragedy in such a way that we will all receive 'a gift from sorrow's heart.' If we don't Satan will win one more battle and more sorrow will be the result. It was Grant Preston, who many years ago, made me aware of the meaning and beauty of 1John Chapter 1. May we all get into the Light, embrace each other as God embraces us, in full and complete love. Love begets love

Friday, March 12, 2010

Gold. So What?

He know the way that I take and when He has tried me, I shall come forth as gold. Job 23:10.

As I sat and contemplated the terrible hurt that often we go through I thought again of this verse. I thought of how important it is in difficulty to beseech God to teach us what He wants us to learn from the situations of our lives. Pain is only ‘hurt’ if we don’t learn something God is trying to teach us in it, it is a bygone experience that fades away and our focus, rather like childbirth, is on the jewel that the pain has produced when we have learned something.

However, this morning my mind meandered down a different path. So? An overweight hunk of gold - what’s the good? I share with you my thoughts. What does gold mean to us? It is a symbol of commitment in the wedding banc and when God has purified us through pain and we see the beauty of that pain because of what God is doing in our lives we will be ever committed to Him. But, also, we wear gold as a thing of beauty added to our person. I wonder , if when we have been purified, when we come forth as gold. do we do the same for God? I pictured in my mind, me worn by God, enhancing His beauty in the eyes of someone who needed that; helping Him in some way in the giant battle that He is in with Satan. Is that what it means to glorify God? In the midst of these thoughts I remembered Isaiah 40:31; “But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint.“ and for the first time in my life I felt transported to that place.

I have to go and walk my dog now. I pray that the rays of the Son will shine on this overweight hunk of gold and cause a sparkle that will bring cheer and comfort to someone else as I go.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Be Still And Know

The first written words that came before me this morning were, "Be still and know that I am God." As I sat and thought about this, thankfulness formy grandchildren and the directions their lives are taking kept coming into my thoughts. But also there was the desire that they might have wisdom to depend on God more each day. So for my grandchildren and all the other grandchildren out there my prayer is that you will "Be still and know that He is God" in the deepest recesses of your heart.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

The Pressure Of My Circumstance

Isaiah said that the Lord spake to him “with a strong hand.” Isaiah 8:11. Oswald Chambers calls this ‘the pressure of our circumstance.’

I have a new friend whose life, a number of years ago, was indeed impacted by ‘the pressure of her circumstance.’ She was a farmer’s wife in a small Ontario town, the mother of three little boys, her life pretty much ordered by the daily demands of her situation. One morning her husband went to the barn to do the morning chores. When he returned to the house he found his wife blind. Their circumstances immediately changed, their faith and attitude toward God did not. They saw this situation as a message from God that would change their lives, though they knew not how.

I don’t know the detail of how they moved from this small Ontario town to a tribal area of Senegal in Africa.. I only know from the story that her husband told that they lived there for 39 years, that they never asked for a dime of support from anyone in all those years, that without medical training he did what he could to help the area sick and without flight training he flew supplies in to the impoverished people that they lived among. He ended his story by telling us that “the Lord gave me my wonderful wife for 49 years but now He has asked for her back”. He was telling us that his wife now had Alzheimer’s and was a resident in the Long Term Care Centre where I visit weekly.

I have come to love this woman dearly. I often find her with a huge laundry basket of cloths - brown cloths, green cloths, gold cloths. She is carefully folding them, stacking them, unfolding them and folding them again and restacking them. All this is done with a quiet concentration and joyful smile. You see, the children will be along soon and will need dry clothes. Do I feel sorry for this woman? Not a bit! Sometimes I have to stretch my imagination to it’s limit to join her in her world but it is always a world full of peace, of generosity, of gratitude for God’s gifts. She is always glad that she was home when I came down her road, that there is a pie on the oven almost done and wi will be able to share a cup of tea and a piece of pie in just a minute or so. There are clean sheets on the bed and if I would like I can spend the night. She has been praying for my boys (how did she know I had boys) and Jim has gone to help some folks but he will be home any minute. I hold her hand and stroke her arm and wander through her world with her, a world so different from many - a world free of discontent, of criticism, of complaint. When I go to leave and give her a hug, she always takes my face in her hands and tells me she will pray for me - often she tells me I am an angel sent from God and she hopes that she is home the next time I come down her road..

Circumstances! Do we see God’s hand in them moving us to places where He wants us to be, to attitudes He wants us to have? Or are they just happenings in our lives to us? This lady’s muddled mind has done more to change my attitude toward what my life is than probably anything over the 70 plus years of my journey. I am so thankful that He saw fit for me to know her............................Wilma Lansdell

P.S. Don’t ask me when or how, but somewhere along her journey her sight was restored.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Goc Versus Paul Newman

The story is told of a woman out shopping on a hot summer’s day. When she passed an ice cream shoppe she decided to treat herself to an ice cream cone in an effort to cool off. She went into the store and ordered her cone. As the clerk was preparing it she became aware of someone standing beside her. She turned and found herself looking into the big blue eyes of Paul Newman. Immediately her neck felt hot and her knees felt weak. About that time, the clerk returned with her cone, set it in the holder on the counter and asked for $1.75. In her befuddled state, trying to pay for her cone, she spilled things from her purse, had trouble finding the right change and became ever more flustered. Finally, she got it all together and left the store. She was only a short way down the street when she realized she had forgotten her cone. She returned to the store only to find Paul Newman standing in the doorway. He said, “Did you forget your cone?” to which she replied, “Yes, I did.” Paul Newman then said, “Well, lady, it is in you purse.”

Recently, I heard a minister begin his sermon with this story. He wasn’t using up his time just to tell a funny story but to try and compare the awe that we sometimes feel for our heroes of any stripe - acting stars, musical stars, sports stars etc. - in comparison to the awe we feel for God. He went so far as to ask, “Whan was the last time an encounter that you had with God cause your knees to feel week?” Thought provoking!

Robert Capon has said the church “is a community of astonished hearts that God has saved them.” One dictionary meaning of astonished is ‘struck dumb with wonder’

Marvin P. Dalton said, “ Oh, what a Savior! Oh, hallelujah! His heart was broken on Calvary; His hands were nail-scarred, His side was riven, He gave His lifeblood for even me.”

Jack Hayford said, “ Majesty, worship His majesty. Unto Jesus be all glory power and praise.”

The writer of Hebrews said, “The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of His being, sustaining all things by His powerful word.”

May we all, as we enter this new year, exalt the God of the universe in our lives and see the icons of this world for what they are - people with a talent different than ours but with no power to bring us lasting joy or peace. We will have a far better 2010 if we do!