Monday, February 25, 2013

One Thousand Gifts (continued)

"Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another- and all the more as you see the Day approaching" (Hebrews 10:25).

I smile as I listen to their conversations.  I am in the kitchen preparing a meal for our new friends from church.  Five men, new to the church, some new to the Christian faith, are sitting in my living room discussing church and doctrine.  They question each other and challenge each other.  I smile because these are the conversations that I love to hear.  Not gossip, not slander, but faith talk.  I realize myself how infrequently I talk about my faith.  I also realize how little I know about our denomination.  As a result, I did some research about the Christian Reformed Church.

In a nutshell, this is what it says on their website:

"We call ourselves the Christian Reformed Church in North America. What does that mean?
 ▪ We call ourselves Christian because we are followers of Jesus Christ. We believe that Jesus was the Son of God and that he is the center of human history.
 ▪ We’re called Reformed because we grow on a branch of the church tree that emerged from the Protestant Reformation in sixteenth-century Europe.
▪ We’re a Church because we believe God has called us together to be a people who belong to him and live for him.
▪ North America tells you where we are situated; but it also tells you we’re connected with other Reformed denominations in other places around the globe.

 Our emblem is the cross in a triangle. The triangle represents the Trinity, our belief in the one God we know as three persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The cross symbolizes our belief in Jesus Christ's sacrificial death for our salvation."
I want my words and conversations to be pleasing to my heavenly Father.  I want to talk about my faith and share my faith.  I want my faith to grow and I want to keep learning more and more about my awesome, loving, forgiving, powerful Father.

Continuing to give thanks...
-for conversations that make me smile
-for conversations that make my Father in heaven smile
-for conversations that help my faith grow
-for conversations that encourage me to research what I believe in
-spontaneous meal plans
-friends that share their faith
-our Christian School
-our church and it's deep history

-for all the great memories and the legacy that he left behind

Monday, February 18, 2013

One Thousand Gifts (continued)

"Finally, all of you , live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble" 
(1 Peter 3:8).
Deborah's tender heart and demonstration of empathy:
"He's sad."

"That's better."

Definition of EMPATHY:
The ability to understand and share the feelings of another

It is so easy to focus on ourselves and our own feelings.  I am so grateful for my children's tender hearts and their ability to "understand and share the feelings of another" (even if it is just an innate object)!!

Continuing to give thanks:

-her demonstration of empathy
-little gifts of love on Valentine's Day
-God's love- the greatest gift of all
-a fun LONG weekend
-when one sibling speaks of another sibling and says, "We're being real tight today".

-her agility and love for movement

-Curtis' class assembly and the reaffirmation of why we send our children to a Christian School
-a wonderful, Godly grade three teacher

-enjoying another P.D. day

-wipe outs
-no injuries

-lots of smiles and laughter

-our great Canadian winter weather
-backyard hills (even if it takes 15 min to walk to)

-cousins and buddies

-enjoying "Family Day"
-fun memories of sledding down the same hill as a child
-children free from injuries (not quite the same is true for the adults)
-how she loves the small hills as well as the big hills
-that she was not with him when he wiped out
-that his injuries are not worse than they are

-a joy for learning
-filled with excitement as he performs his science experiment testing different bearings

Monday, February 11, 2013

One Thousand Gifts (Continued)

 "Love is patient, love is kind.  It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres"
(1 Corinthians 13:4-7).

This was the theme verse at the women's conference that I attended this weekend with my dear friends. The conference was entitled "Lead with Love".  These words from 1 Corinthians were read a few times over the course of the weekend. Whenever I hear this passage, I am reminded of a challenge given to me once- to replace the word "love" with my name.  It is a difficult thing to do, and one that cannot be done on our own.  I need God's help and His loving forgiveness when I fail so often.  I was blessed to spend time with my friends this past weekend and to be challenged to "lead with love" in all areas and relationships in my life.  I was reminded again of the ultimate gift of love: Christ's love for us as He gave His life as an atonement for all of our sins.

Continuing to give thanks...

-Christ's love for us
-spending time with my friends
-worshiping with hundreds of other women and followers of Christ
-the wisdom and humour of Dr. Kevin Leman
-the ministry of Crossroads
-fellowship and dining with friends
-movie night at our house with friends from church
-laughter and the perfect date night with my hubby (couples night out)

-how he gets so absorbed in his books
-his love for books

-taking time to sew a few projects

-enjoying Soupfest with my brothers and my hubby while supporting a great cause

-advanced notice of the upcoming storm (TWO read warnings!)

 -another snow day
-excited children
-Deborah, thrilled to have her siblings home for another day

 -safety on the roads when travelling Friday night

-the beautiful blanket of snow

 -how they can get along so well at times

 -not letting the snow stop a good game of basketball

-the children's excitement when their Dad brings home the snow blower
 -getting outdoors and blown by the snow from the snow blower
-LOTS of snow to play in

-how he enjoys everything that he does

-how the children all take turns playing with her

 -evening skating

Monday, February 4, 2013

One Thousand Gifts (Continued)

"God, who has called you into fellowship with His Son Jesus Christ our Lord is faithful" 
(1 Corinthians 1:9). 

 It is good to look back at the past to see how God has brought you ahead to the present! I was reading some old journal entries today and I smiled as I thought about how God has never let go of my hand. When things seemed to be pretty rough, He was there. I am able to look back on those difficult times now and see how God has led me through those storms and has never left my side. He is so faithful!!

Continuing to give thanks...
-His faithfulness
-how he has brought me through the storms
-His never failing love

-His beautiful creation
-cool rapid waters

-enjoying nature on a hike with some students
-hiking with my brother
-learning historical facts on our hike

-Ancient Greece day
-appreciating other cultures and history

-the anticipation and excitement that her teacher brought leading to Ancient Greece Day
-her hard work preparing for her project and Ancient Greece Day

-Sunday afternoon naps on the recliner

-when he excitedly says, "Mom, come take a picture of the huge piece of ice!"
-unplanned cousin sleep over

-how she gets all the paint supplies on her own

-her silly character and the many laughs she brings to our family

-a surprise phone call from our niece who lives on the west coast
-how our niece's pregnancy is going so well
-their excitement to meet their little one
-skating after school
-how he takes his little sister on the ice rink
-my many helpers when I was sick for a day
-watching our nephew play hockey in Buffalo and making fun memories