Monthly Archives: August 2003

He "Sees"

I am reading through several parts of the Bible right now – Genesis, Proverbs and Matthew.  Today I read the story of Hagar, Sarai’s servant girl.  Sarai gives her to Abram so he can have an heir – then regrets it when Hagar begins to flaunt her ability to become pregnant. She begins to treat Hagar badly.  So badly that Hagar runs away.  But God, who has made a promise to Abram,  doesn’t let her just disappear from the scene.  And Hagar meets the God who “sees” her. 

In the Old Testament, God is often portryed as a judging, fierce, unapproachable God, destroying enemies, winning battles, etc.  But here He is – watching over a woman.  And not an important woman – just a servant, caught in an unwinnable situation, now being abused by her mistress.  But God “sees” her and gives her a promise and knows all about her misery.  And God does not forget his promises. 

“I have seen the One who sees me!”  Genesis 16: 13

God sees us too.  He knows all about us – our misery and our joy; our feeble attempts to worship him; our attempts to love him back and our ignorance of what he really wants.  Today I go to worship Him along with the congregation.  I want to see the one who sees me.

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Filed under Day to Day

Time Well Spent

 

I know that one of the things we are going to get to share tomorrow is where we saw God this summer.  I can’t share the pictures with everyone but my time at Anglin Lake was a time of meeting with God for me.  It was good.  You can see more of my pictures down under my photos section.

   

In This Place

 

Day slips silently, softly into night.

The night breeze touches my face.

A loons haunting cry echoes between the hills.

Golden fire upon the water

Reflects the setting sun,

Its image undulating

With the small wake of a fishing boat

Coming in to dock.

 

In the beauty of this place,

In the silence of these green hills

And colours of His wild grown garden,

God the Creator, Friend, Sustainer

Sits with me,

Speaks to me,

Filling the empty voids in my spirit

With His.

 

Now, I hope you aren’t tired of my reminiscing about my time at the lake, but all too soon summer is going to be fall and then winter.  I have to store up enough warm experiences to make it through the dark of winter.

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Filed under Travels

The Finals Begin

Today and tomorrow are the two biggest matches of the year for Sara’s soccer team.  They ended up at the top of their league in spite of three very bad injuries to some of the best players.  At the early games down in Swift Current, two players sustained bad knee injuries.  One – Sara’s best friend, just had knee surgery two days ago.  The latest injury came three games ago to their top striker – broken ankle two places and the tibia broken too.  No they have some major obstacles to overcome if they are going to pull off wins today and tomorrow.  Today the game is at 11:00 (Kinsmen Park) and tomorrow we head down to Saskatoon for a game at 3:00 (Newsham Field). 

So this will be a busy long weekend for our family.  I will stay with my son and his wife Sunday and then maybe some wedding dress shopping on Monday. 

My older daughter also wants me to help her with a grant application.  That is going to require an extra measure of patience on my part.  Both because she and I usually clash when we have to do stuff like this together and also because neither of us is gifted when it comes to working with numbers.

This weekend another church family and I are trading childcare responsibilities – for our teenaged daughters.  Just not quite comfortable with leaving them all on their own overnight.  So I get her daughter tonight and she gets one of mine tomorrow.  I had offered to let mine stay with Grandma and Grandpa – somehow she didn’t go for the idea! 

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New Pharisees or New Christians

My reading of Matthew has brought me to chapter 23.  The whole chapter is about the Pharisees and how and why not to be like them.  Jesus exposes their religiosity for what it is – a meaningless show. 

It is easy to read this putting it into it’s historical perspective and criticize them. 

Jesus said: 

“So practice and obey whatever they say to you, butdon’t follow their example.  For they don’t practice what they teach.  They crush you with impossible religious demands and never lift a finger to help ease the burden.”  Matthew 23: 3 and 4

“You look like upright people outwardly, but inside your hearts are filled with hypocrisy and lawlessness.” verse 28

“How terrible it will be for you teachers of religious law and you Pharisees.  Hypocrites!  For you won’t let others enter the Kingdom of Heaven, and you won’t go in yourselves.  Yes, how terrible it will be for you teachers of religious law and you Pharisees.  For you cross land and sea to make one convert, and then you turn him into twice the son of hell as you yourselves are.” verses 13 to 15

But did the Pharisees have a bigger problem with this than we as “conservative” evangelical Christians do now?  Are we – wanting to appear so correctly religious – todays Pharisees?  Are we crushing people with our religious demands and also being crushed by them ourselves (but not admitting it) as we find ourselves unable to live by what we teach?  Are we just nice looking empty shells as we sit politely in our pews on Sunday when on the inside we are filled with stuff we cannot be proud of?  Are we trying to turn the people of the other cultures we encounter into carbon copies of ourselves?  Are we directing others to Christ or to our own preconceived (mostly western/european middle class) notions of what a Christian should be like?

I do not want to be a Pharisee.  I do not want to be holding up a flawed church organization with all it’s built in expectations and unwritten rules as the ideal I point people to.  We need to allow newcomers to this company of faith become new Christians not new Pharisees.

 

God.

Free me from all my own misconceptions of what you are.  Become the centre of my turbulant world – the lifechanging God that you are.  Give me the grace to become more like you – to become more of a mirror where others will see your reflection.  Help me to keep the mirror free from the fog of cultural expectations so that no matter who looks in it, they will see more of you and less of me.  Keep reminding me of this when I tend to fog up the mirror.  And don’t let me rest from this quest even if it stretches me beyond my comfort level.  Keep me in it to the end – please God.

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Filed under Devotional Reading

Listen To Me God!

Listen to Me God!                                             Linea Lanoie

 

Listen to me God!

I guess a woman hardly has the right

To address the Almighty

Like one of her children.

But I would just like to know

Why, when I ask for

The grace to treat others

As if You were the one

Delivering the goods,

I come so far short of doing it!

 

Do You watch me

With amusement or sadness in Your eyes

As I try to emulate Your ways

Like a bird with clipped wings to fly?

I just can’t imagine why,

When I try so hard in all sincerity,

I make such a mess of

Trying to follow You,

Like a child with legs too short

Stumbling in Your steps.

 

Forgive my boldness

But I really would like to achieve

That level of godliness

Reflecting You

That some of Your saints attain.

But the harder it gets as I try.

Is it that the path gets steeper

As I near the top ?

My weary heart asks

Am I close at all?

 

So hold me up Lord

I am tired from the climb

And my spirit thirsts

For answers from You.

There is nowhere else to turn.

And if the answers that You whisper in my ear

Are not clear for now

Help me to believe and follow

So that all my stumbling steps

Stay on Your path for me.

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Filed under Writings

In This Place

 

Day slips silently, softly into night

As the night breeze caresses my face.

A loon’s haunting cry echoes between the hills.

Golden fire upon the water

Reflects the setting sun,

Its image undulating

With the small wake of a fishing boat

Coming in to dock.

 

 

In the beauty of this place,

In the silence of these green hills

And colours of His wild grown garden,

God the Creator, Friend, Sustainer

Sits with me,

Speaks to me,

Filling the empty voids in my spirit

With his.

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Filed under Writings

Deeper

I want to go deeper God.

I want to go in

To the Holy of Holies

To the place where you shine.

And have my face  reflect you.

 

But, I cower in the dimness outside

The veil that you rent.

Too afraid, too tightly

Clinging to my self.

Chains on my feet.

 

If I push the torn curtain aside

Take one faltering step

There’ll be no return

To the familiar dark rooms

Where I’ve been.

 

Held back by my own expectations

All I think I should be

It is hard to imagine

How I would look

Unshackled, free.

 

Oh! Tear the curtain down Lord!

Erase my sin!

Free me from those tainted laws

That bind my feet,

And bring me deeper in.

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