November 21, 2014

Some Dance to Remember, Some Dance to Forget * Jocelyn Faire

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Some Dance to Remember, Some dance to forget *

Remember the Good Things                                               


Forgetting what lies behind ....
I have struggled with that verse, and with the next part about straining to that which lies ahead.
(Philippians 3:13)

How does one let go of the past pains to prevent them from staining the future?
And how do I keep those block-buster God moments on my forehead for the next time when the dark thoughts weigh heavy? What does joyful anticipation look like?

Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. ...(NIV)
        -I can clearly see that I have not quite taken hold of this either.
but one thing I do [it is my one aspiration]: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead... (Amplified)
~ ~ ~~~ ~ ~~~ ~ ~~~ ~ ~~~ ~ ~~
Dominique is a young Afrikaans woman I met while working as a nurse in a drug rehab clinic in Western Australia. Her childhood tale of sexual abuse, parental neglect, self harm and addiction tore my hear in two. So much trauma had been done to her as a child, I wondered if she could ever make it.
Her and I met for our first coffee in the fall of 2009, shortly before her 34th birthday. The founder of the clinic asked if I could spend some time with her. That short walk to the local coffee shop began a most challenging and fulfilling relationship. Initially, I thought I could help her, fix her, evangelize her ... and after two years I realized that what was most important, was just to love her. She had been a project for enough people. 
Bit by bit, she let out pieces of her story ... how she found her mother on the floor after an overdose ... How her uncle had taken her and her sister to a black township, where she had seen a man doused with gasoline, then lit. How she could still vividly recall her uncle in her bedroom ... her heart pounding with fear ... the footsteps of her mother coming towards the door, surely to her rescue ... only to hear the pause and the sound of those same footsteps retreat. And in that moment, the reality that she knew that she knew.
She despised her own life of addiction, and I wish I could say that Christ has miraculously healed her, but it has not happened yet. Various psychologists, therapists, Christians and psychiatrists have analyzed, scrutinized and project-size disappointed her.
So I struggle as I read Philippians 3:13 &14, about letting go of the past and pressing on to the goal of knowing the prize. How can she forget and strive for what lies ahead when there is no earthly reason to believe it will be any better than the horror that has kept her awake at night for years? And how do I encourage and love my friend who doesn't fully understand the True Prize? Often I feel that my own uncertainties make me a strange guide, and yet I know that it is because of my own questions that we connect. 

Mirrors on the ceiling,
The pink champagne on ice
And she said "We are all just prisoners here, of our own device" ...
You can check-out any time you like,
But you can never leave! " *

And I pray as I think of Dominique as she drug dances to forget.


* song lyrics from
Hotel California released by The Eagles, Feb 1977 ...

Although people have interpreted the song in many ways apparently,

In the 2013 documentary History of the Eagles, Henley said that the song was about "a journey from innocence to experience...that's all".[2] From Wikipedia

Jocelyn blogs at:  http://whoistalking.wordpress.com
 

November 20, 2014

Leaving a Legacy - Joylene M. Bailey

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The words “Leaving a Legacy” bring up an instant image for me. 

I was about 8 or 9 years old on a visit to Grandpa and Grandma in Swift Current, Saskatchewan.  Getting up in what seemed like the middle of the night to use the bathroom wasn’t scary because everything about Grandma & Grandpa’s house felt cozy and safe. Leftover smells of veranika and farmer sausage, the carpeted hallway, Grandma's sewing room walls covered with pictures of cousins, aunts, uncles and other relatives in outdated clothing, the mantel clock on Grandpa’s desk that chimed the quarter hours like a guardian angel. All added to the embrace that was Grandpa & Grandma’s house.  So it didn’t frighten me to hear voices murmuring when the house should have been dark and quiet.

Grandpa & Grandma’s bedroom was across from mine, and that night as I padded to the bathroom there they were.  In their pajamas, kneeling by their bed, side-by-side, backs towards me, praying - in Low German with smatterings of English. 

In that brief moment I heard them pray for their children, their grandchildren, their great-grandchildren, and future generations to come.  In my 8-year-old head it was just Grandma & Grandpa praying, but that image was burned into my brain.


When I think about it now I see the significance of this seemingly simple vignette.  First of all, I know without a doubt that this wasn’t a one-time thing. It was something they did every night.  And, I am humbled and overjoyed to realize that those many many years ago they were praying for my grandson, whose first birthday is today.  Their prayers still cover my family. My prayers will join theirs as I pray for my children, grandchildren, and generations to come.   


Thank you Grandma & Grandpa. What a legacy!

November 18, 2014

A Legacy Lost and Found by Gloria Guest

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      I have moved a lot in my lifetime. By the time I was twenty-one I had lived in over twenty-five houses in various towns, cities and provinces. So it became my dream to one day raise my own family in one house. I was convinced that it was a necessity for a child's welfare to wake each morning in the same bedroom, in the same community and to grow up with the same school friends.
      Reality was that it never happened. My husband’s elderly parents whom we farmed with, showed no interest in leaving the farm. So instead we bounced from rental house to rental house in the small village near the farm, waiting for the day that they would be ready to move.
      Finally, due to the stress of our disintegrating relationship with my in-laws and a struggling farm economy we packed up our family once again and moved to an entirely different community, leaving our dreams of farming behind and my dream to raise my children in one home in one community. Our dreams had ended in a pile of dust, or shall I say, moving boxes?
    Yet as I think back I realize that in all of those places we lived God had somehow given me the grace to turn each house into a comfortable home for my family, no matter how I disliked the new residence or how short our stay. Pictures went over cracked walls, rugs over worn floors, paint brightened up a dingy room; an ability passed on by my own mother who also turned every house we ever lived in, no matter how dilapidated, into a home.
   Therein lies the legacy. I hope that I have left to my children, amidst all the chaos and disarray, not a life of perfect circumstances or unchanging, easy childhood days as I once wished for them, but a legacy of learning to adapt to whatever life brings their way.
     When I look at my sons now, as grown young men, I can’t help but see how God has worked through our circumstances to help mold their characters.
     Our youngest son, who serves in the Canadian Armed Forces needs to know how to adapt to many circumstances and has expressed to me that he feels his childhood spent dealing with new situations helped prepare him for that.
      Our older son has recently purchased the family farm that we left and is planning on one day raising his own family there. He too has told me that his years spent in a different community were invaluable to him in learning new things and dealing with different situations.
      In my own life I can now see how many of my toughest experiences are what has made me stronger. I tend to lean heavily on those trials in my writing; sharing hope and encouragement with my readers in the many columns, devotionals and blogs that I have written. Currently I am working on a memoir of my life in which I hope to share some of those moments and leave a lasting legacy for my family and others of God’s amazing grace in my life.
    A favorite verse has always been, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28 (NIV). That is the legacy I hope and strive to leave my family and those who read my words; a deep belief that God can and will bring good out of all the circumstances in their lives.


November 17, 2014

IN TIME OF NEED Bryan Norford

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Ann and I felt a call of God into full time ministry which eventually culminated in pastoring churches in Burnaby, British Columbia. But to do that, we also felt the need to take some full time training, and I attended Regent College in Vancouver for over two years to achieve a Master of Divinity degree. My wife, and life’s closest companion, Ann, provided indispensable support and assistance.
Our plans were to finance ourselves for at least two years by selling our home, but the house was slow selling. We needed a temporary home in Vancouver, and found a low rental apartment in False Creek Close to kindergarten. Our youngest daughter, Alexandra, was four years old. It wasn’t long before we ran short of the cash we had on hand.
God provided for us in two surprising ways. One of the instructors at the Regent College was moving out of a house he had rented for some time and suggested we might rent it. It was close to the new school Alexandra was ready to attend. The owners were Christians and rented it to us for a generously low figure. Then, Ann was led to a buyer in Vancouver for our house on the prairies, who bought it privately, sight unseen, just as our funds dried up.


The equity we obtained from the house sale enabled us to invest in guaranteed investment certificates for two years. The timing of that investment was remarkable. Interest rates in 1980 had climbed to record highs, mortgage rates reaching 20% and higher. We received interest of over 16%. Compare that to today’s 2%!
The very next day after making that investment, interest rates began a fast free fall to much lower levels; we had received a peak yield from our investment. With money Ann was able to make by running her own small secretarial business and over $600 per month return on our investment, we had sufficient funds to see us through our time at college. God provided for us for our entire period of financial need.
Wouldn’t we all like to forecast markets like that? A risky business for us, but God used His foreknowledge to His advantage and our need. And we still had our capital to invest in a home once I was working again—this time in full-time ministry.
In common with other InScriber stories to date, and numerous other great and small interventions in our life, we constantly gather further proof of God’s continued grace and care throughout life. If we can trust Him here, we can trust Him for eternity. What a blessed hope.
Bryan Norford