My Mornings

Having just come back from PEI, I enjoyed waking up with Micah, my brother, and Lindsey and Arden, his wife and daughter, to sit out on the front porch, fresh roasted coffee in hand, overlooking his yard stretching down to a small bridge crossing a small river. While I was there, the bridge was under construction, making lots of noise, and, in spite of this, we would actually sit in the sun, watching and talking, for close to an hour each day.

My mornings here, in Ontario, on the other hand, are hectic, uncomfortable, and stressful. I usually wake up resentfully clinging to a few more moments rest. Then, I struggle dozily out of bed and down the stairs to the computer where I check email for about 10 minutes. I don’t have coffee or breakfast here. I save that to eat at work (usually just a bagel, anyway). I then start daily personal hygiene, like shaving my head and showering. Then, I head back up stairs to my room where I read my Bible for about 20 minutes, alternating Old and New Testament and either Psalms or Proverbs. Then, it’s off to work in Toronto traffic on the 401.

I’ve always said I enjoy the first few moments of the day at work when I just plop down in my seat and nothing’s begging to be done yet. Maybe that’s because it’s my least stressful part of the day…

Would I change things up to achieve mornings like those I had in PEI? Should I? I’m sure it’s not half as great as it seems as I didn’t have work on the horizon of my morning to bother me as I relaxed on the porch. I certainly couldn’t find the same job out there and I don’t think I’d be as satisfied with the work, itself. And what’s a morning, anyway, without people to spend it with? As surely I presently have no one to spend it with anyway.

I guess I will just keep doing my thing. I do have something in mind. I don’t intend to live without attempting to get to a better place. But, for now, I just need to trust God to walk me through.

New Year’s Day 2012

Happy New Year! May your heart warm again to hope by the very sunshine shone forth only from the trust put in Jesus Christ, Saviour of your soul, God, Who knows the good plans He has for you!

Allow me to open 2012 with an old stand by, for the “old school Sanctus Real fans…”

Things were better last year. Things will be better this year.

Thank you, God, for blessing me, thank you for helping me be a blessing, thank you for changing me. You have shown your faithfulness in spite of my unfaithfulness. You have answered my prayers, you have carried me through, you have lead me and guided me according to your Will for me, revealing to me day by day your plans to bless me so incredibly. I am amazed that you care for the things that I care about. Forgive me for having such little faith. I believe, help my unbelief! Thank you for the sacrifice of Your Son on the cross for me, a sinner. May I ever more and ever better be Your servant.

Lord, you know my heart’s desire. Please bless me with opportunities to be a blessing, please bless me with courage and confidence to seize those opportunities, please bless me with Your creativity to create opportunities! I believe your best for me is yet in my future. This I know because I have seen Your great hand at work! I will wait on You, I will trust in You.

The Lord, God, He is Good. Come, Lord Jesus, come.

Selah.

New Year’s Eve 2011

Truly, the light of the Son has shone on each day more wonderfully than the last! These words, penned New Year’s Day 2011 echo back to me from distant memory and remind me of the immediate flood of blessings I have had each day of this year!

Twenty-Eleven began with a running start. In the Fall of 2010 I made a commitment before the Lord, which I am still working through, and hope to do so for the rest of my life. As New Year’s 2011 commenced, my faith, my life, and my hopes were placed in God’s able hands. My commitment was to someone special, my aim to be a blessing to her and her family, my promise before God to remain steadfast to them, my request before God that he bless me so I could be a blessing, and my plea before God to change me – that I would be a better servant to him day by day.

The Lord has answered so many prayers. I am amazed that He hears and not only hears but answers! One of my constant prayers this past year has been that I would be able to see opportunities arising where I could be a blessing, that I would have the courage and confidence to seize those opportunities, and that I would be granted God’s own creativity to create opportunities to be a blessing. God has overflowed me with amazing opportunities and, more surprising still, He has used these opportunities to other ends than I had intended so that I ended up being more incredibly blessed than I would have thought. I am blown away by the way He works. I love His ways!

I have also been learning not simply to hope for good things but to trust God who has planned for our good, if we would only have faith and trust Him and follow Him so that he can carry out in our life something more wonderful than we could ever have dreamed up on our own!

Praise Him, all creatures here below! Praise Him above, ye Heavenly Host! The Lord God, “majestic in holiness, awesome in glorious deeds, doing wonders,” this God, His hand has been on my days, His plans for me from everlasting have been revealed day by day and I am laid low that I have gripped so tightly to fantasies when God’s workings are so much better, so surprisingly delightful, so unexpected and joy abounding!

Praise God, from Whom all blessings flow!

I don’t know about becoming a Cannonball this past year but the Lord has lifted my head, lead me, and carried me forward. I have continued to read His Word on my phone, now using AcroBible NIV. I have abandoned cable television and, with it, The Light, a cable radio station which broadcasts quality Christian music. I have moved to iTunes, mostly, and have found I can get most of the music I want to find. As I talked about in my New Year’s Eve 2010 post, I have stayed with my “christian” playlist and I find there is truth and wisdom and peace in immersing one’s self completely in things good, and pure, and noble.

This year I have been trying to keep a habit of reading a few key, biblical promises, that I first heard from James MacDonald’s series Always True. Listen to the audio series yourself and I think you’ll experience the same uplifting joy I felt coming to understand God’s intention for our blessing! I would read one promise per day, Monday through Friday, in the hope that I’d never forget God’s love and care for me. This year has taught me fully that God is always watching over us, waiting for us to come back to Him, that He could bless all the more being within His Will.

One of my most feared understandings of God is His sovereign Will to humble anyone He so chooses. I have often prayed that He would humble me before I needed to be humbled. One weekend, in particular, turned into such a humbling for me, but the night lasted only so long and joy came with the morning. I understand better, now, what is being said in the beautiful song, Blessed Be Your Name. God is good!

Praise God, from Whom all blessings flow;
Praise Him, all creatures here below;
Praise Him above, ye Heavenly Host;
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Amen.

God is so good!

Blessed Be Your Name
In the land that is plentiful
Where Your streams of abundance flow
Blessed be Your name

Blessed Be Your name
When I’m found in the desert place
Though I walk through the wilderness
Blessed Be Your name

Blessed be Your name
When the sun’s shining down on me
When the world’s ‘all as it should be’
Blessed be Your name

Blessed be Your name
On the road marked with suffering
Though there’s pain in the offering
Blessed be Your name

You give and take away
You give and take away
My heart will choose to say
Lord, blessed be Your name

Selah.

Genesis 1 (What’s it like to read the entire bible? How about we find out?)

Trust God’s Word. Trust God’s Word not because it says so, but because it says so and because it welcomes any and all skepticism with a voracious appetite.

I’m a few chapters into Genesis already but I’ve been finding it difficult to write about what I’ve already read. I had read Genesis 1 and actually had a huge piece written up but it wasn’t really what I wanted it to be. I went real long and in-depth about the importance of the first verse, about cosmologies, creation and evolution, and about approaching Genesis from another angle (which has produced some novel ideas from others). It didn’t feel right, though.

If I’m going to write about reading the bible, I don’t want to get caught up in detailed explanations, theories, wild-goose chases or other tangents. I really want to show readers the best parts, the parts that most show the bible as the solid truth that it is and that most reflect glory upon God.

So let me just get this whole ball rolling…

  1. Genesis 1:1 Is there any more simple, pragmatic way the book could open than this? “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” It’s the perfect introduction to history. There was a beginning to all of this and God was there creating all of it and us.
  2. Origins of the Universe. Look up Russel Humphreys and read up on Starlight and Time. His theory may not stand the test of time but others will take inspiration from his novel approach to the text of Genesis 1.
  3. Creation/Evolution. It may seem to you like there’s no evidence for creation. Mainstream media will rarely report anything to do with creationism, less still in a flattering light, so how would we know? It’s up to every believer to be familiar with the massive field of creationism. Many thousands of believers have spent their lives understanding the Genesis account of creation and going about showing that it is true. Answers in Genesis is an organization which I find provides solid, well-reasoned, rational answers to many of the questions we have about what mainstream science is telling us and what the bible is telling us. Their Get Answers section may help you if you, like many, ask why a biblical creation even matters.
  4. God created you and I, male and female, to have not only amazing relationships with each other, but to know our creator personally. God wants to know you and He wants you to know Him. You just wait. You’re going to learn incredible details about the character of God just by reading His Word.

The bible is jam-packed with goodness but I feel I would detract from it by writing too much so I’ll stop here and give you these points and links to ponder. Let me just say one more thing that came up just now.

As we begin reading the bible I do want to give you one bit of advice. Google is your friend. Wikipedia is your friend. Firefox is your friend. Googlepedia is your friend. Neither of these things has a Christian bent. In fact, Wikipedia can easily lead a weak Christian astray. But let me tell you what just happened while I googled the wiki article for Answers in Genesis, where I knew I was likely to find not only positive views but also criticisms.

What I found was a very unflattering portion of the wiki article entitled Controversy over interview with Richard Dawkins. It painted a very unsavoury picture of Answers in Genesis. Had I stopped right there, I would probably have dismissed Answers in Genesis forever after. But you know there’s always two sides to a story. And you know you have a brain forĀ  a reason. So I went to the Answers in Genesis website and searched for “dawkins response” and their own search results gave me Skeptics choke on Frog, a response to critics about the controversy of the interview.

I hope the lesson is clear. You really need to have more than one side of a story before you can form your own positions.