2014 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 1,600 times in 2014. If it were a cable car, it would take about 27 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

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Find Rest My Soul

God, you have made us for yourself, and our hearts are restless till they find their rest in you. – Augustine

Until a few years ago when I thought about God giving me “rest” or “sheltering me in the storm of life” I thought of it purely in a physical sense. This lead me to a lot of disappointments in God, I was not happy, because I thought that he was going to make life easy, but I was wrong. God’s plan for us is not an easy life, in fact he says other wise in the Bible, but God promises us a different type of rest. “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden light.” Matthew 11:28-30 (emphasis mine).

What Jesus is talking about there is a rest for our souls. God has given us the Bible for a couple of reasons, to get to know him, to understand that Jesus died for us, and to know that we have eternal life just to name a few. Out of all the things I read in the Bible, most of it is comforting. The New Testament is all about Jesus; what He did, What he is doing, and What he will do. He was born, He lived as a human man, and died on the cross for our sins. Then, He sent the apostles out to make more disciples. The most comforting of these is that He died for us so that we could have eternal life in Heaven, if that is not comforting to you I can’t think of anything that would be.

The comfort and rest that Jesus offers us is not one that will fully be available in this world, we will get a taste of it for sure. An example of that would be, if you would lose your job, but continued to have faith in Jesus, you would find peace and rest in knowing that He has more plans for you, you just need to listen and follow His lead. We will fully receive this reward in Heaven.

Until that time lets remember Psalm 23:4 “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.

The Wide Gate: Did We Walk Through It?

“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.” Matthew 7:13-14.

When I look at the world today it is very easy to see that many will find the path of destruction. The world has seen two things this week that clearly show me that. One is the gunman in Moncton (my prayers go out to all those affected) and the second is the first assisted suicide bill being passed in Quebec. These two things show me that the world is only getting worse as more people choose the path of destruction.

My bigger fear is that we as Christians might find ourselves on that path. Matthew 7:13-14 says that the path to life is narrow and the gate is small, I know in my own life that I have veered from this path and joined the easier path, but because I believe in Jesus and when I take the time to learn more about him I know that he will guide me back to where I belong.

The thing is though that we don’t know where our brothers and sisters in Christ are, we have know way of truly knowing which path they are on( often there are outward signs, but these are not always present). So, I want to ask all of you to join me in a month long challenge of devoting a portion of our prayer time for not only the Christians in our individual churches, but in all the churches. Make sure especially to prayer for church leadership and teachers, that they would get things right and be lantern on the path of life.

“If you look for truth, you may find comfort in the end; if you look for comfort you will not get either comfort or truth only soft soap and wishful thinking to begin, and in the end, despair.” -C.S. Lewis.

Camping this weekend? I think not :P

This weekend has been really strange for me. My initial plans for the weekend were to go camping with my family at a new campsite. I was excited for the first camping weekend of the year, it was going to be filled with good campfire talks, as well as good campfire food. Unfortunately, our kittens decided this would be a good weekend to get sick.

At first we just though they had that gunk in their eyes that baby kittens sometimes get, but as we learned when we had to take them to the vet they actually had a bacterial infection. Two of the kittens had it so bad that they had skin healing on top of the eyeball. Well, the vet took them to the back and cut the skin that was on top of their eyeball, me and my mother sat in the exam room and heard these little kittens crying. The next thing that we had to do is apply antibiotic gel to their eyes twice a day, and if that isn’t enough work I have spent 15 minutes with them every hour for the last two days (every 2 hours at night). I spent this time with them, with a wet napkin in hand and wiped their eyes clean and pried them open so that we could diminish the skin from healing over. So for all of my efforts, the skin is still growing over (which might require them to be cut open again), but on a happy note the rest of the swelling seems to be going down.

Overall the weekend did not go as I had originally planned, but through this experience I think I learned some patience as well as a lesson in a small form of parenting. I now understand how it must feel to care for a sick child. So to all of the parents out there I am grateful for all that you do and all the time you spend with your children.

The weekend isn’t over, but tomorrow won’t be all that more exciting. I have to work on a school assignment. Wish me luck, as there is also an exam coming up in a short while.

Trust in the Lord

Hey everyone,

It has been a while since I posted anything. I would just like to give everyone a brief overview of what has been happening in my life recently. As some of you know March and April are called  “tax season” for me. This year it was busy at work and with school; hence why I have not posted anything in a while. Basically, my life consisted of work, school and being lazy whenever I had a free moment. Recently I have taken up the hobby of painting, I have always loved art, whether that art is on paper, canvas or in the form of music. This has been a source of inspiration for me, because recently I have been so distracted with many different things. Everyday I realize the new things the Devil tries to distract me with. It is hard to resist sometime, and lately I have found it extremely difficult. Continue reading

My Body I Can Do What I Want!

1 Corinthians 6:12-13, 18-20

So often we as humans think that everything is ours; the earth, the money we earn and our bodies to name a few things, but the Bible is clear that our bodies and the things around us are not our own. “”I have the right to do anything,” you say-but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything” -but I will not be mastered by anything. You say, “Food for the stomach and stomach for food, and God will destroy them both.” The body, however, is not meant for sexual immorality but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body.” 1 Corinthians 6:12-13.

This section of 1 Corinthians is specifically about sexual immorality, it goes on to say “Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a person commits are outside the body, but whoever sins sexually, sins against their own body. Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.” 1 Corinthians 18-20 (emphasis mine). When you buy something it is yours right? Well think about what God did, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16. God paid for our sin, He has purchased us, we are His and He is ours. God did this because He loves you, the world will tell you to look for love in other places, the world twists what love is. The world has twisted love into and image that is not pleasing to God and should not be pleasing to us, they portray love as overly physical. God invented sex and made it specifically for married couples, but now we can find it almost anywhere, in movies, pornography, books etc. This is not what God intended and we should not support this. I have said it in previous posts, but I will say it again. We are supposed to live in the world, but not of it, meaning that we are here and there is nothing that we can do about that, but we do not have to follow the examples given to us by the world.

My goal of this is not to make people feel bad for sins they have committed, but to inform them that there is a true love, one that is not sexually immoral, one that is everlasting and will bring joy to those who choose to commit their lives. This love is found in Jesus, who gave up his life so that we could live. We are free of our sins, and we are made new through a commitment to Him. The one thing that was really brought to my attention recently by my pastor is that we are made new, but we will still be tempted. This might happen everyday or maybe just sometimes, but as the Bible says we can overcome these temptations and God is willing to help us! “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.” Romans 8:18.

It is hard to overcome addictions like pornography, drugs or gambling, but with God all things are possible. “Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” Matthew 19:26. Although we think that right now we are in a rut in our lives that we can’t possibly get out of, if we ask God to help us He will! I have seen it in my life and in the lives of others, God will put people in your path that will help you. Sometimes we need to take that first step ourselves and talk to someone.

If you are currently dealing with and addiction of some kind take some time to pray. Pray for forgiveness, pray for strength, pray for courage. When you are done praying for those things talk to someone about it, lean on God for the strength and courage to do this. Make sure that the person you are talking to is someone responsible, older than you and someone you look up to. If you need extra prayer, ask people to pray for you, you don’t have to give them specifics, because God already knows what you are going through, just ask them to pray for strength and courage. Never forget that God loves you and gave the ultimate sacrifice for YOU!

Spring Cleaning God Style!

Recently my sister Alyson got married and moved out of my parents house (where I currently live) I got the chance to take her old room, which I jumped on because it is bigger :). So when we started moving my stuff from the basement to the upstairs room, it was my opportunity to do some spring cleaning, I threw out a lot of old things. This experience got me thinking, God probably wants us to do spring cleaning (more like spring, summer, fall and winter cleaning) of our minds/hearts as well. So I want to search in the Bible with all my readers and discover what the Bible has to say about our job as Christians to make sure our thoughts are pure and remain pure.

Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth.Colossians 3:1-2. This is our goal for our minds. It is clear from these verses that we need to make our goal eternal, not the here and now. God doesn’t leave us hanging there, the Bible is filled with instructions on how to get there. Let’s take a look at a couple of those instructions.

Let’s start with the Bible itself. God gave his children (us) an instruction manual that is more useful than any instruction manual that you have ever come across and it is called the Bible. If you want to keep your thoughts pure and on the truth of the Lord Jesus Christ, the best thing to do is read the Word. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” John 1: 1-5. As I have been learning at SNG (the church service I attend Saturday Night Grace) the writer of this book is extremely intentional in his words and wants to make a point. The point that is being made here is that Jesus is the Word, The Word has always been with God, and is God. Confusing right? it involves the Trinity, which I am do not know everything about, and no one knows everything about God so that is just that. Anyways back to the point I am trying to make. The Word is Jesus, the Word is God, the Word is the Bible. So God has given us Him in the Bible. If that is true which I believe it is, then we must read the Bible in order to “keep our thoughts on things above”.

“This, then, is how you should pray: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.”” Matthew 6:9-13. This is a perfect example of a prayer that would help us to “keep our thoughts on things above”, and as noted above it comes from The Bible. God wants to help us in everyday life and when we pray things like the prayer above, He will.

Finally the last thing I want to just touch on is, we need to take a good look at our playlists, movie choices, and book choices to make sure that we are not stuffing garbage into our mind. Now the thing I want to say about this is that it is not bad to read about fantasy or sci-fi, God gave us our imagination. Just like everything God gave us, Satan likes to use it to twist our mind, but we have to remember that God gave it to us and if we believe in him we can use it for good.

I hope all this made sense. Have a good day and God bless all of you reading.

Marriage “From the Outside Looking In”

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So yesterday my sister Aly and my new brother Tim got married! What an exciting time for not only them but the people that surround them as they embark on this new adventure together. God has been the center of their relationship before their marriage and I imagine that He will be the center of their marriage as well. I decided to do a post about marriage because I wanted to give everyone an idea of what marriage should look like, and what the Bible tells us about it.

Let’s start at the beginning, “The LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him”” Genesis 2:18. So here we see that God wants someone for the man, so what does he do to fulfill his wishes? “Then the LORD made a woman from the rib He had taken out of the man, and He brought her to the man.” Genesis 2:22. Now we see that God makes another human from the man, but this human is different, this human is a woman (Genesis 2:23). From these verses we can see that the idea of marriage came straight from God, there was no thought from the man or the woman. My question is this, why do so many marriages fail? The answer is the same answer that I have been finding to so many of my questions, it is simple answer. We are human, we live in a world consumed by sin, we have failed, how can we expect a covenant designed by God to work without God and in a world filled with sin… We can’t there is no way to make it through a marriage without God. So what does God say about marriages, what are his instructions to us?

The New Testament is what God has given us to guide us in our new lives, after Christ sacrificed his life for us. So what does the New Testament say about marriage? I want to focus on what it says in Ephesians 5. “Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body of which he is the Savior.” Ephesians 5:22-23 (emphasis mine). “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her” Ephesians 5:25 (emphasis mine). Here we see a clear picture of what is expected of a couple, that the wife listen and submit to the husband and in return the husband must love his wife. So what does this mean? So often I hear from people that they think this is a sexist thing to say, but in fact it is not. God created two separate beings as we can see from Genesis 2, he did not intend for both man and woman to have the same functions/roles. The goal of the writer here is to define these two separate roles that have been given to us. Submit does not mean that you are now a slave to your husband, it means that you should trust your husband to know what he is doing and trust that he is being lead by the Lord. The next part is a simple idea, husbands must love their wives. This idea is simple, but it has a broad meaning. When the Bible says love it is not talking about the superficial love that the world has created, no it is talking about love on the scale that God has created. It is talking about a sacrificial love. Finally, because the woman submits to the man he must be Christ centered so he can lead his family in a way pleasing to God.

So now to get back to my Title “Marriage “From the Outside Looking In”” I chose this title for two reasons. One, I am not married so I have no idea what a personal marriage is. Two, I was writing about what a marriage should look like. I say should, because we are not perfect beings and there will be struggles in everything we do, including marriages, but there is hope in Jesus Christ our Savior, and we can be forgiven for our mistakes.

Finally, I want to say that I am extremely proud of Alyson & Tim Neufeld, they have demonstrated what a relationship can look like if it is Christ centered, not saying that they didn’t argue before their marriage, but that they could always come out of an argument knowing more about each other and about their relationship with God. I am extremely excited to see what God will do through them and through their marriage, I will pray for them and support them with kind, encouraging and loving words, as they start this new chapter in their life, I love you guys and will always be here for you!