Monday, March 31, 2014

One Thousand Gifts (continued)

"He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds" 
(Psalm 147:3) 

It was heart breaking to see the brokenness.
I had never been inside a jail before.
I also have never been outside of a jail, waiting to visit an inmate.
The brokenness surrounded us.
I was surprised and saddened to see so many young children in the visiting line.
So many broken families.
So much hurt.


Yet, we were encouraged with our visit with our friend (who's in prison for drinking and driving).  He told us how he sees God's grace in tangible ways all the time.
There is "hope for the helpless... love for the broken heart...grace and forgiveness, mercy and healing...cry out to Jesus".

"Cry Out To Jesus" (by Third Day)
 To everyone who's lost someone they love
 Long before it was their time
 You feel like the days you had were not enough
 when you said goodbye

And to all of the people with burdens and pains
 Keeping you back from your life
You believe that there's nothing and there is no one
Who can make it right

There is hope for the helpless
Rest for the weary
Love for the broken heart

There is grace and forgiveness
Mercy and healing
He'll meet you wherever you are
Cry out to Jesus, Cry out to Jesus

For the marriage that's struggling just to hang on
They lost all of their faith in love
They've done all they can to make it right again
Still it's not enough

 For the ones who can't break the addictions and chains
You try to give up but you come back again
Just remember that you're not alone in your shame
And your suffering
When your lonely
And it feels like the whole world is falling on you
You just reach out, you just cry out to Jesus
Cry to Jesus

To the widow who suffers from being alone
Wiping the tears from her eyes
For the children around the world without a home
Say a prayer tonight

Continuing to give thanks...

-God is able to heal the brokenness all around us
-God hears the prayers cried out to Him
-God is able to break the chains of addictions
-He comforts the lonely
-He heals broken marriages
-His grace and forgiveness
-His mercy and healing
-the opportunity to visit our friend in jail
-the letters that our children have written to him and the letters that he has written to us
-his determination to be healed, by God's grace
-his testimony to God's grace
-Paul praying with him through the telephone line
-being stretched in ways we would not have expected

-the joy she brings every day
-singing "Let us have a little talk with Jesus"

-getting together with sister-in-laws, celebrating Diane's birthday
-going out for lunch with my sister, celebrating her birthday

-baking together
-how she decided she needed a rest (and pretended to sleep on the floor)

-how he is learning patience (as he had to wait a long time for his new Rubik cubes to come in the mail)
-learning to use tools (even if they were pink)

-one last skate of the year

-how God kept us from making plans on Saturday night, so that we could be available for a last minute dinner arrangement with a dear friend

Monday, March 24, 2014

One Thousand Gifts (continued)

"Just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in Him, rooted and built up in Him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. 
(Colossians 2:6-7)

I continue to strive (and struggle) to "live in Him, rooted and built up in Him...and overflowing with thankfulness".  It is so easy to be ungrateful when we COMPARE.  We often compare our houses to other houses, or our relationships to others', our children, our jobs, our climate (it's been a rather lengthy winter, but I'm trying not to complain), etc.  When we use the word "IF" and when we compare our lives to what we might think of as something better, we become ungrateful.

Continuing to give thanks (even for our cold weather!)...

-our weather and the beautiful warm sunshine today
-the beautiful flowers that my husband grows, reminding me of spring

-his creative skills, making his own Rubik cube
-his persistence/patience when doing his projects

-the fun she has!
-the fun she had with her friends from church at an indoor play place
-her energy and excitement
-how the two boys laugh so hard, it brings them to tears
-watching a Disney movie with their older cousin
-our awesome sermon last night reminding us of the power and importance of prayer

Monday, March 17, 2014

One Thousand Gifts (continued)

"May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus" (Romans 15:5)

All denominational walls were broken down.
There was definitely a "spirit of unity" among ourselves.
Hundreds of voices were being raised to exalt the name of Jesus and bring praise to His Holy name!
Hands were being raised (even us traditional reformers!!) in honour and glory to Christ Jesus.
I truly think that I experienced a taste of heaven- complete unity and praises to the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
It was a night to remember... the Gaither concert!!

Continuing to give thanks...

-amazing, talented singers
-meaningful, beautiful songs
-praises to the Lord Jesus Christ
-joining our voices 

-a spiritually uplifting night out
-a daughter who also loves Christian music and enjoyed the concert A LOT! (another Gaither fan- yeah!)
-an exceptionally powerful voice singing two particularly powerful songs proclaiming that "He's alive" and a prayer to our Father in heaven

-some humour and lots of laughs
-how he's still able to play the piano and sing with the other groups
-a truly gifted family

-exploring bugs, God's creation, and learning how they are high in protein

-sampling some beetle larvae!! (surprisingly, I was the only one to try it and it was good!)

-visiting and enjoying the many species of beautiful butterflies

-how he so willingly let them land on his shirt

-enjoying the March Break with a fun family outing
-enjoying favourite past times (bowling and mini golf)

-being crafty together and trying my niece, Elise's creative craft idea http://www.moretimetoplay.ca/gallery.php

-trying to enjoy the snow, even though it's March

-getting that one last (hopefully) snowman made

-using some of the March break to help in the greenhouse

-enjoying outdoor activities, despite the snow

-enjoying the warm weather while it lasted

-our magician, hard a work with more new tricks

-not having to go out anywhere during the snow storm

-enjoying fellowship as women, scrap booking together
-play dates over the March Break