Tuesday, July 31, 2007
Sunday, July 29, 2007
Wednesday, July 25, 2007
Friday, July 20, 2007
I do believe that my desire to disentangle myself from these things caused me to lean over towards God more and more and rely on myself less and less and eventually, I just fell over into his arms and the chains broke. In one instance, I was alone at home, another time I was falling asleep, and most recently, I was in a crowd. No matter what situation I find myself in, if I just turn towards him, He is always there, more willing to engage with me than I could ever fathom.
Thursday, July 19, 2007
This is me after my haircut today. Yes, I am obsessed with hair which is probably why lopping off of a good portion of it (just over 8 inches this time) is healthy for me and my sense of identity.
I have been trying to stand and sit straight for the past week. Not as easy as it sounds. My osteopath suggested that some of my shoulder issues might be more easily resolved if I took more care with my posture. Yes, I am a notorious sloucher. Part of it is because whenever I am cold, my whole body tries to curl up into itself. Another factor is that when I am tired, I just tend to sag all over the furniture I am sitting on. Nevertheless, I believe the major reason for slouching is that I don't like to thrust my shoulders back and chest out. My osteophath told me that breasts are something God gave us and we should not try to hide them. The same could probably be said in some way about how I view my long hair - I hide behind it in some way, trying to cover those things I am not quite comfortable with, like the imperfections in my face, or not wanting to draw attention to myself which is just another identity issue in reverse. Come to think of it, any change to someone's body usually rings loud alarm bells in their head! Somehow we have entangled our physicalness so closely with who we are that we tend to think the two are the same, but we are so much more than just a body.
Hiding our real self behind our body is just such a bad idea. Adam and Eve hid from God and it was evidence of a badly broken relationship as they decided not to take God at his word. Just over a year ago God convicted me of hiding my beauty and I suppose the lessons in that department of accepting and celebrating the person God made me to be are not quite finished as I fall into old habits sometimes and let myself lapse into the slouch of distrust. Putting myself into a correct posture of confident acceptance and trust of all that God has seen fit to put into my life and body is probably more important than I know. I have already seen my shoulder start to ache less and move more freely, my clothes seem to fit better for some reason, my attitude is more positive in general, and I think I look good everytime I look in a mirror!
Don't be ashamed! God made you exactly this way because he wanted it so. Celebrate God's excellent taste and incredible creativity and stand tall! Shoulders back, chest out, deep breath, and SMILE!
Monday, July 16, 2007
Saturday, July 14, 2007
This photo was taken in South Africa during a round of poker.
Thursday, July 12, 2007
Jaclyn is a miracle. She is the only child her mother managed to carry to full term, and perhaps that has something to do with her determination and commitment. She is not a dabbler. She is not indecisive. She is willing to try anything that rings true and is a willing servant, living with conviction and confidence and a sense of fun. She is a woman of her word and has no falseness or pretence about her. She does not run from a challenge and never complains about hardship. She is real and I really like her.
Here we are pretending to be models and pointing uber excitedly at nothing whatsoever but hey, it looks cool! Photo credit to Greg.
Monday, July 09, 2007
Saturday, July 07, 2007
Wednesday, July 04, 2007
Monday, July 02, 2007
We went to Ottawa on July 1 to catch some of the Canada Day celebrations. Here is our Prime Minister delivering his address to the crowd. Thanks to Andreas, my new friend from BC, for the use of this picture since I forgot my camera at home; plus he is just a lot taller than I am and actually managed to get shots of something other than the backs of people's heads. Yep, we were that close!
This afternoon I had another one of those interesting phone calls that only church administrators seem to get. A man called me to ask if our church was holy because he was looking for a holy church. I wasn't sure what he was looking for (what does holiness look like at first glance?). I suspect that though he will find our variegated group is far from perfect, he will be able to see Jesus and His holiness if he looks, because we make it a point to invite Jesus into our midst to change us and make us more like him.
Since I refused to give him a straight answer he asked if the pastor was a holy man, and when I mentioned that it was my husband and myself that pastor the church, he wanted to know what translation of the bible the pastor preached from. Why do I not see the connection between holiness and a particular translation? I should have perhaps let him know that I like to refer to the original Greek as much as possible or asked him, "Would that be a French or English bible you are asking about?" Unfortunately, all my good retorts only occurred to me an hour after I hung up the phone. I told him I was currently reading The Message but I had many versions of the Bible in my home that I refer to.
He said he would see me in two weeks and he would know a holy church when he sees it. Well, that makes one of us. Dean said I should have just answered, "No!" and left it at that. I am not sure what God wants to do for that man, but I do hope he encounters Jesus when he comes to visit our group, like I hope everyone does that walks into the room.
I find criticism of leaders all too common in our country and in our churches. Not that I want to be free from honest and corrective communication - not at all. In fact, if you know anything about me it is that I am always willing to learn and change. But we were not put on earth to correct one another or evaluate one another. We have mistaken criticism for that rare gift called discernment. Discernment separates life from death, truth from perversion, flesh from spirit. Criticism just points out shortcomings and does nothing about it. Any 5 year-old can do that.
I admire my husband who is a dynamic and wise leader. I respect PM Stephen Harper who is an honest and straightforward and often refreshing politician. God grant us all the grace to walk in integrity and offer encouragement and hope to each other instead of empty criticism.