March 29, 2018

Famous Lasting Words by Bob Jones

Mel Gibson used his cinematic license to frame the last words of Scotland’s William Wallace in the 1995 movie Braveheart. After experiencing gruesome torture as a traitor to England, his executioner suggests that if he would just beg for mercy, his pain would end quickly. The English crowd, once thrilled to see their enemy in agony, picks up the escalating chant of “Mercy,” urging him on. Wallace gathers his strength and stuns the crowd by screaming out one last time his rallying cry, “Freedom!”

Good theatre? Yes.
Great history? Probably not.
Aside from the fact that Gibson lessens the actual horror of the violence done to Wallace, history does not record his last words.

It’s been said that the final moments of one’s life provide a snapshot or an MRI into that entire life. Some last words become immortalized. None are so succinct and historically accurate as what are known as the seven last “words” of Jesus Christ.

The “words” of Jesus, spoken from the Cross are actually seven short phrases. To find all seven you must read all the gospels, since none of the writers records all seven. The words, uttered over the span of six hours, and remembered by his mother, and disciple, John, follow in chronological order:

“Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” (Luke 23:34)
“Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise.” (Luke 23:43)
“Woman, behold your son. Son, behold your mother.” (John 19:26–27)
“My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?” (Mark 15:34)
“I thirst.” (John 19:28)
“It is finished.” (John 19:30)
“Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.” (Luke 23:46)

His final words are laced with phrases from Psalm 22, Psalm 31, and Psalm 69. The Psalms were woven in the fabric of Jesus’ life, as they would be in any devoted Jew. What once gave his life context now provided Him comfort and a prophetic platform to declare His Father’s plan.

When darkness prevails in life, it takes faith even to talk to God - even if it’s to complain to Him. These final words of Jesus show his absolute trust in God. “Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.”

He did not whisper in defeat as He slipped silently in to the night. He is immortalized shouting – “crying with a loud voice” - his defiance and defeat of death and His victory over sin.

Jesus’ shout has been termed a model of prayer for anyone when afraid, sick, or facing death. It says in effect: "I commit myself to you, O God. In my living. And in my dying. In the good times and in the bad. Whatever I am and have, I place in your hands, Lord, for your glory.”

What are you facing this Easter?

Do you need forgiveness?
Feeling forsaken or forgotten by God?
Wrestling with doubts about your faith?
Battling cancer or disease?
Facing a prognosis of death?

Find your hope and courage in the eternal words of Jesus. Commend your life to God’s hands. Declare your freedom.

“He has done it.” Psalm 22:31 
Bob is a recovering perfectionist, who collects Coca-Cola memorabilia and drinks Iced Tea. His office walls are adorned with his sons’ framed football jerseys, and his library shelves, with soul food. He writes to inspire people to be real, grow an authentic faith in Jesus, enjoy healthy relationships and discover their life purpose.

Follow his writing at Pointes Of View.

March 26, 2018

White as Snow - Marnie Pohlmann

The little girl skipped out of the house into the yard. She wore a new dress, a white Easter dress. In her curly hair was a white ribbon. On her feet were white knee-high socks and polished white Mary Jane's with the slightest heel that tapped when she walked on hard floors, which is why she was sent outside.
"Stay clean," Mama directed. "No hanging upside down from the cherry tree!"
Trying to be obedient, she tap-tapped her way down the paved driveway and onto the sidewalk. She twirled, enjoying how her beautiful new dress flared open like a flower blooming.
Suddenly, she was pushed from behind. She hadn't seen the bully approach. He always seemed to take pleasure in tormenting her and she didn't know why. She was off balance from twirling when he shoved her, so she landed hard, right in a mud puddle beside the sidewalk. Thick brown water climbed onto her lap.
"Why?!" she demanded.
He shrugged his shoulders and smirked an ugly grin. "I like it," was all he would say.
"Well, I don't!" she retorted.
"So, I'm bigger and I like it!" He laughed and walked away.
There was no tap-tapping as she shuffled back home. She knew Mama would be angry. Her new dress was ruined. She knew she would be the one to be punished, and he would not.
Opening the door, she slowly tip-toed to the kitchen where Mama was busy slicking back the rooster tail above her brother's pouting face. Mama turned to look at her.
"We're not quite ready to go yet, honey. Go back outside for a bit more."
Mama didn't notice the ugly stains? She looked down at herself, confirming the mud did show. But all Mama did was give her a hug and steer her gently back outside. Outside where the bully was.
He was still there, standing beside another mud puddle. Where had the mud come from? Before she had only noticed blue sky, birds singing in the trees, the green grass, and the start of Spring flowers in Mama’s garden. But sure enough, muddy water rested in pools throughout the neighbourhood.
She watched as he jumped in one, glorying at how the mud sprayed up around him. He hadn't noticed her yet, but his splashing threw up more mud; this time it reached her face and hair ribbon.
He seemed to be having so much fun jumping in the mud, and Mama had not even noticed the stains on her, she thought. "And he's just going to push me into the mud again anyway," she reasoned.
She stepped into the nearest puddle and sat down. She gathered mud around her, bathing in the dirt to cover herself before he threw more at her. She knew it was wrong. She knew she was ruining her pretty Easter dress. Yet somehow, she liked the squish of mud as it seeped inside her shoes when she stood up to run from puddle to puddle. The tap-tapping had turned to squelch-squelching.
"Let's go," called Mom. Climbing into the back seat of the station wagon, she huddled against the far door, expecting at any moment that a brother would tattle about her being so dirty.
No one noticed her, though. She was confused. Wasn't the sight and stench of the mud obvious? Couldn’t they see it covering everything?
At the Easter church service, she saw the other girls, all dressed in new dresses, soft shades of pink and green, and white. "If I stand beside them someone will certainly notice how dirty I am," she thought, so she stayed close to her mom, trying to hide in the shadows.
In the sermon, the minister described how the Jews had been slaves for hundreds of years in Egypt, and how God told them to mark their doors with the blood of a pure lamb.
“God said, ‘Eat standing up, with your coat on, ready to leave for the Promised Land.’” She remembered the story from Sunday School. The Angel of Death came that night to kill the oldest boy in each house, but not in the houses marked with blood. The blood showed the angel all the families who believed God could and would rescue them.
The minister then described the week leading up to the death of Jesus on the cross. How Jesus was beaten, with blood pouring over his face from a wretched thorny crown forced onto his head. And then they put him on the cross to die. The minister paused and turned to the wooden cross hanging on the wall behind him. It was draped with a black cloth.
She looked down at her dress and saw the mud had dried to a colour that matched the cloth on the cross. The minister pointed to the cloth and her eyes grew wide as he looked directly at her.
"That black cloth is your sin," he exclaimed. "The sin of history, the sin that has been thrown at you through circumstances, and the sin you have chosen yourself." She lowered her eyes in shame.
Tears streaked over the mud on her cheeks. She wiped her eyes trying to wash her face but knew she was just mixing the dirt around more. She quietly tried to wipe her face on her short puffy sleeves, but the material was already soaked through with dirt and wasn't helping at all. Being sorry was not enough.
The minister's voice had become quiet and she looked up to see him draping another cloth over the black one. This cloth was a deep red. He made sure it covered every bit of the black cloth.
"You don't have to stay in sin. Remember the blood of the lambs at Passover? It was the blood of a sacrificed lamb painted on the door that showed the Angel of Death who believed God could rescue them. Jesus gave himself on the cross as that sacrifice, at the exact time it was needed in the world because he was the perfect sacrifice. His blood can be poured over you just as it was on the doors so long ago. Do you believe God can and will rescue you from sin? Will you ask God to allow the sacrifice of Jesus to be accepted in your place?"
"Oh, yes," she whispered. "I would rather be covered with Jesus' blood than with all this mud. Then God will see the blood and know I believe He will rescue me."
The minister continued. “It doesn’t end there. Jesus’ blood covers the sin that keeps us from God, but then Jesus did even more. He rose from the grave. He conquered death so we can live for eternity with God. Hallelujah! Isaiah says, 'though your sin be as scarlet,' yes, even as your sin is covered with Jesus' blood, 'it will be white as snow.' Jesus' blood washes us clean. Jesus makes us white as snow so we can live in the presence of God. Do you believe?"
The minister paused as he hung another cloth over the red one. This cloth was white. It did not cover the red but seemed to be framed by the red cloth, as if tucked into and protected by the blood sacrifice.
“Only by the blood of Jesus can we live today, tomorrow, and for eternity in holiness, washed as white as snow.”
Her heart filled with wonder that God could cover her with Jesus’ blood to make her white as snow. She looked down again and fingered her lacey white Easter dress.
"Look, Mama, I'm white as snow."

This Lent season, Marnie Pohlmann is reflecting on the seasons of winter, mud, and spring, and how Christ's blood washes us white as snow to give new life, even though we have jumped into mud puddles of selfishness and sin. Read her blog, Phosphorescent, to see how God continues to teach her of His presence and love.

March 22, 2018

Lenten Reflections of a Broken Wanderer by Alan Anderson

This post is shorter than my other posts but I hope you find it meaningful.

During the first week of March I began a series on grief for a local wellness business. I entitled the first presentation, Grief: The Calling of Wounded Healers. I first read the term “wounded healer,” in a book by the same name written by Henri Nouwen. Wounded healers are people who are acquainted with personal grief and recognize pain or brokenness as part of their life journey. Wounded healers are aware of the scars of their own grief.

I am a wounded healer. I am more than aware of my personal brokenness. I bear the scars of my own woundedness. At times they still sting. Life can indeed bruise a person.

As a wounded healer I am drawn to the significance of the Lenten season and in it find deep meaning and true healing. Lent is about the One bruised for my iniquities. Lent is about the One who heals us.

“But He was wounded for our transgressions,
He was bruised for our iniquities;
The chastisement for our peace was upon Him,
And by His stripes we are healed” (Isaiah 53:5).

I am also a "broken wanderer." My wife and I believe we are coming to the end of a spiritual journey we have been on for a few years. It has led us, by God’s grace, to embracing the beliefs of Eastern Orthodox Christianity. To eastern Orthodoxy the church body is more like a hospital than anything else. We can come as wounded healers and receive healing for our souls. We love the fellowship of the people of the church we are joining. We are also more aware of the healing found in God.

Our wilderness wandering is over. We are home. This journey includes experiencing Lent like never before. In an article I read in preparation for this post the author says,

“For Orthodox, the Lenten period is a time characterized by "joyful sorrow" or "bright sadness." The constant contemplation of Christ's crucifixion, along with the self -denial and struggle is overshadowed by the certainty of His coming Resurrection” (Evagelos Sotiropoulos,Clean Monday, 2016).

Dear readers, I have no idea if any of you relate to being a wounded healer or a broken wanderer. Perhaps you resonate more with being a wounded healer. Whatever the case, please know your journey will lead you to the Resurrection. Healing will come. Your wandering will come to an end and rest will be found. The best is yet to come.

I look for the resurrection of the dead,
and the life of the world to come” (The Creed of Nicea and Constantinople).



March 21, 2018

The EASTER STING ... by Jocelyn Faire

My church background did not focus on the Lent season ... other than the Holy Week. Each year I ponder anew the central meaning of the resurrection and what does that mean for me, for my daughter who works as a missionary in a hostile environment, for people bereaved, for the big picture of humanity. Is it possible to harness that resurrection power and how does that translate into reality in our wanderings of faith?
This year on a fast paced walk with my sister-in-law, I told her I needed a poem for Easter ... I'd already purchased two new poetry books at the thrift store. A cup of coffee and further conversation at her house followed our walk. As the last drops were sipped, she said, here I think this is for you, and she handed me Malcolm Guite's book of Poetry and Lenten readings; a poem-a-day with explanations. Thank you Lord, for the way you move in your people. The daily poetry has brought a new freshness to the Lent season for me. Not only that, some poetic writing resulted ... The topic of reflections initiated ideas both of mirror images and of bending back what has been sent to the recipient. Many of my thoughts originated while walking along a river where thin sheets of ice break, rise up and for a brief moment the broken edges shine brilliantly as they turn over. I love the idea that a mirror image reflects what it is shown, while a prism bends the light.

Do I reflect back to you what you reflect to me?
And if not, why not?
Can the fractured glass hold back its prismatic beauty?
Catching the rainbows
as the Light shines upon it.
Waters dark and deep glisten in the rays
The echo returns not a new song, but a muted variation of what has been heard.
If the truth be that I only know what I've been shown,
would there be a point to the search,
or is the journey of the question,
the quest causes our hearts to burn within us?
John Donne said in his poem:
... and mysteries
Are like the sun, dazzling, yet plain to all eyes.

Open the eyes of my heart Lord.

Death and resurrection are powerful and painful thoughts focused on before Easter. This next poem recalls the Easter thirteen years ago, when that resurrection promise did little to alleviate the painful loss of two children. I have long given up the giving up for the lent season, I struggle with the inner heaviness. For bereaved people the Lent is too long. This is part of the reason I do not feel a need to become heavier in my Lenten contemplations, I long to experience the joy of Easter.

The Easter Sting
I recall that Easter years ago
When thoughts that the promise of resurrection 
would be the comfort, the
Power to overcome the weight of grief ...
     Vanity of vanities, All is vanity

Death, where is thy sting?
Where is thy sting?
     Who dares ask me that question?
That sting
Is in my heart
It relentlessly courses down my cheeks
It darkens a sunny day
It knots my stomach tight
It robs my sleep of dreams by day or night.
Powerfully absent that Victory o'er the grave,
The grave too fresh, too wrong, two young the body
My numbed heart shrouded in death's dark vale.
      Vanity of Vanities
      All was vanity

And so as time heals all wounds,
It also wounds all heals
As it wears down the sharp edge of the grave
It also mutes the vibrancy of the spring flowers

Victory, when will you come?
When will you thaw grieved hearts?
When will spring resurrect dreams of life?
     Is it all vanity? ...

(The silent church pause) 
The heavens remained quiet
Victory comes in battle, it skirmishes the mind
It cries out in the night, cries out to those seemingly silent heavens
It pleads the prayers of resurrection.
Greater things than these shall you also do ...
Overcoming sorrow by
Hope-filled prayers in the night,
by candles lit, by songs sung
by moments of awareness as our
H-hearts are
   O-open and the
      P-power of the risen Christ
         E-envelops our stricken souls

May it be as you have said ... (I believe) help me in my unbelief ...

Jocelyn is the author of Who is Talking Out of My Head? Grief as an out of Body Experience.
 During the month of March and April she is offering a free copy of her book to Inscribe writers. If interested please contact me at and I will mail you a copy. People that bought the book, have told me it has been a powerful help for understanding deep grief. If you know someone who has lost a child, it may be beneficial for them. 
Photography by Jocelyn

March 17, 2018

It's All In The Details - Lynn Dove

As a writer, I tend to constantly strive to put as much detail into an article as I can.  I don't want my reader to misinterpret or misunderstand my intent and I'm not one for leaving anything to my reader's imagination.  That's not always a good thing, I'll admit that, especially when I write to a young adult audience. Being detailed is one thing, but readers should also be allowed to add their own "spin" based on their own experiences to fully appreciate and connect with a piece of writing.  Sometimes adding too much detail has left my readers cold.  So, I'm learning to write with more balance between detail and allowing the reader to use their imagination to fill in some of the blanks.  That said, I have discovered in reading Scripture, however, the Lord was all about the details!

I am constantly amazed by the complexity and purposefulness of Scripture.  The writers, inspired by the Holy Spirit, captured the imagination of their listeners and readers, not by the withholding of detail, but by the meticulous telling of each story, event and Word spoken by the Lord.  For example:
Moses was given very specific, detailed instructions by God on how to build the Tabernacle, the Ark (of the Covenant), the Table, and the Lampstand that were to be put in the Tabernacle in Exodus 25.  God's intricate architectural specifications and furniture designs were to be followed to the letter.  Nothing was left to chance.

As I become more and more familiar and enthralled with the study of it, I come to realize that not one Word in the Bible is used frivolously or without purpose.  God pieces together each word, phrase, line, and story so that they masterfully interweave and connect without error or misinterpretation. The joy is in reading a passage of Scripture over and over again, and having the Lord reveal something new and thought-provoking each time.

I am reading the Passion of Christ in the Book of Matthew and Mark this Easter season, and focusing on the details this year.  I am not just reading the Story itself, but reading how Jesus' Great Sacrifice for us, was foretold in great detail in the Old Testament first.  We have the benefit of having both the Old and New Testaments to see how God's plan of salvation for us was in His heart from the very beginning of time.  We cannot merely read the New Testament, without reading how the prophets wrote about the coming Messiah in their writings.  It adds the extraordinary and profound context and detail to the Easter Story!

As you celebrate the Easter season with your friends and family, ask the Lord to reveal Himself to you even more than He has done previously, by reading once again the familiar Passion story and focus particularly on the glorious Resurrection.  Read it anew and immerse yourself in the details and be blessed!

Lynn Dove is the award-winning author, of the YA “Wounded Trilogy”- a contemporary Christian fiction series with coming-of-age themes.  A wife, mom, grandmother, and free-lance writer with articles published in several magazines and anthologies including Chicken Soup for the Soul books, her blog, “Journey Thoughts” is a Canadian Christian Writing Award winner.  Readers may connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, and at  

March 16, 2018

My Journey With Jesus by Nina Faye Morey

The story of the two men “On the Road to Emmaus” reflects the journey that many of us experience in our walk with Jesus (Luke 24:13-32). They were preoccupied with feelings of sadness, grief, and disappointment because of their own failure and their leaders’ betrayal of their Lord. They neither recognized Jesus nor realized the true meaning of His crucifixion. They’d hoped that Jesus was the Messiah who would redeem the Israelites from Roman rule. They failed to comprehend the spiritual significance that His death and reported resurrection held for the remission of sins (Matthew 26:28). They hadn’t yet connected all the dots between the events they’d just witnessed and what Jesus had revealed to them through His teachings.

Just as Jesus came to meet and walk beside these downcast men on the road to Emmaus, Jesus comes to walk alongside many of us on our painful journeys through darkness and despair. We’ve all walked this road to Emmaus at least once during our lifetime. We’ve all experienced fear, failure, disappointment, sadness, hopelessness, uncertainty, and death. And just as He did for these men, Jesus comes to us and opens our eyes to reveal Himself as our true Lord and Saviour. The road to Emmaus is whatever road we’re trudging down when we encounter Jesus, resolve to walk and talk with Him, and open ourselves up to His radical transformation of our lives. It may be a calm experience like the one described in Luke, or it may be a more dramatic encounter like Paul’s on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:3-9).

As we travel life’s road, Jesus joins us on our journey even though we may fail to recognize Him. It is His Spirit who arouses our curiosity and draws us towards Him. Like Moses, wonderstruck over the miracle of the Burning Bush, we find ourselves drawn aside from our usual path by a deep desire to explore a slow-burning but imperishable fascination with a spiritual world that’s difficult to fathom (Exodus 3:1-3). Our curiosity to know more about God leads us on an incessant spiritual quest. We find ourselves seeking fellowship with Him through His Word, prayer, devotionals, and meditative readings.

It’s at this point in our spiritual journey that we discover God is not some unseen, passive, “abstract” deity, but a very real and holy being who demands our complete loyalty, commitment, and devotion. Like Peter, it’s the crucial moment when we decide to “drop our nets,” to leave our former lives behind, and commit ourselves to Him (Matthew 4:18-20). It’s the moment when we open ourselves up to spiritual change.

At this stage in our spiritual development, we come to realize that this new life to which God is calling us is not only full of promises, but it’s also full of demands. We have not only accepted Christ, but the bonds, vows, and responsibilities that come with our spiritual conversion. God desires us to be active and fruitful in our spiritual lives. He’s given us gifts that He wants us to use to help and encourage others, open their hearts and minds to Him, and help direct them down the path in life that He’s chosen for them.

The Lenten season allows me to set aside extra time to walk and talk with Jesus. It enables me to focus more fully on my risen Lord and Saviour, reflecting on and renewing my relationship with Him. Lenten practices like Bible study and prayer open my eyes, move my heart, deepen my faith, and help me grow on my spiritual journey. Above all, Lent is a time for me to meditate on the profound meaning of Christ’s sacrifice and celebrate His eternal victory over sin and death.

Photos: Pixabay

March 15, 2018

The Road to Emmaus - Tracy Krauss

The story of the two travellers on the road to Emmaus found in Luke 24 has special significance for me. Several years ago I was asked to speak at a women's retreat at a beautiful place called Camp Sagitawa, The key passage for the weekend was this very scripture from Luke.

Never one to waste good material, I reused the things I had shared in a series of blog posts. Then I got the idea to revamp the entire presentation into a devotional book - my first non-fiction publication. The result was a little book called LIFE IS A HIGHWAY: Advice and Reflections on Navigating the Road of Life. It contains detailed scripture analysis, anecdotal stories, and questions for reflection at the end of each chapter. 

About a year later, I was asked to contribute to another devotional book featuring several Canadian authors. I was honoured to be among Murray Pura, Tony Hilling, and InScribe's own Ruth L. Snyder, Marcia Laycock, and Janice Dick. My contributions were shortened devotionals from the original book above. Although out of print on most platforms, Uplifting Devotionals III is still available as a paperback through Amazon on a limited basis.

Below is one of the devotionals from that book:

God With Us Everyday
Luke 24: 13 – 15: And behold, two of them were going that very day to a village named Emmaus, which was about seven miles from Jerusalem. And they were conversing with each other about all these things which had taken place. And it came about that while they were conversing and discussing, Jesus Himself approached and began travelling with them.

God meets with us in the everyday, ordinary experiences of our lives. Often we don’t even recognize that we’ve had a ‘God moment’ until much later. Sure he can meet us during the ‘big events’ too, but more often than not, He wants to meet with us during our day-to-day life. In the passage above, two men were on a road trip, travelling from Jerusalem to Emmaus, which was about seven miles. At first that doesn’t sound very far, but remember, they were on foot. While they walked, they were talking about the latest ‘news’, namely Jesus’ crucifixion.
I want you to think for a moment about times in your life when God met with you in simple, everyday ways. We tend to over look these moments, but I believe that God can speak to us profoundly through our everyday experiences. I’ve moved more times than I have digits and I’ve lived in some very remote places. Each time, God was faithful in providing just the right housing, just the right job, at the just the right time. I’ve experienced times of poverty and I’ve also had times of plenty. From flat tires on deserted dirt highways, to getting stranded on the tundra in the middle of polar beat season, I’ve had a few adventures, too. God brought me through each one of these but He’s also been there during the mundane and ordinary. Allow God to speak to you each day through the highs and the lows.

Excerpted from LIFE IS A HIGHWAY – Advice and Reflections On Navigating the Road of Life. Copyright Tracy Krauss 2013.

Scripture references from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE, copyright 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by the Lockman Foundation. Used with permission.

Tracy Krauss is the current Vice President of InScribe and writes from her home in northern BC. Website:

March 14, 2018

Prayer, Purpose, and Peace - Ruth L. Snyder

In January I shared how God led me NOT to set goals for 2018. It continues to be an interesting challenge that is drawing me closer to God, my family, and my church. I have found my priorities shifting.

In many ways I have been encouraged:

  • Peace is more consistent in my life, freeing me to focus on what is happening in the moment.
  • Conversations with God are happening throughout the day. My prayers have been deeply affected as I work my way through Power Praying: Hearing Jesus' Spirit By Praying Jesus' Prayer. 
  • I'm spending less time on the computer. When someone comes to talk to me while I am working on the computer, I consciously turn away from the computer and towards them, giving them my full attention. This is one of the reminders I picked up from The Lifegiving Home: Creating a Place of Belonging & Becoming
  • I have enjoyed and been challenged by many deeper discussions with friends. We are skipping past the superficial and sharing our heart struggles, and how God is meeting us in the midst of our struggles.
  • My Pastor encouraged me and is supporting me in hosting a monthly prayer meeting. I started out thinking this prayer meeting would only be for women, but the men are also asking to come :)
  • God used my need for fellowship to spur me into starting a monthly get together for women where we have fun, laugh, and share.
  • In January I was elected onto the board of Inclusion St. Paul, which works under Inclusion Alberta. This group works to raise awareness of the benefits of including all children and adults in the normative path of life, and to advocate for children and adults with disabilities to be included in every sphere. 
Along with the positives, there have also been some struggles:
  • My spiritual warfare book has been put on hold. In fact, I have done very little writing in the last few months. At times this bothers me. However, I continue to remind myself to trust God and wait for His timing.
  • Some days I feel like I get nothing done. However, when I look back at the day I see that I used my time wisely. I'm learning to do what I can and trust God.
  • I still struggle with not making lists. I am an organizer by nature. But for this season God is telling me to put less energy into organizing and more energy into being the person He wants me to be.
  • I am having to say "No" to some things I enjoy. As a peacemaker, this is difficult for me.
As we celebrate the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, let's set our minds to seek God. Let's confess our sin to Him and walk in step with HIM each day, minute by minute. Let's listen and obey, praying for His will to be done on earth as it is in Heaven.

What has our Heavenly Father been teaching you lately? How will you celebrate Jesus's death and resurrection—not only at Easter, but throughout the coming year?

March 13, 2018

New Birth: New Love - Wendy Macdonald

New birth is all around us during springtime
 and it reminds me of something I appreciate about our Heavenly Father.

While I was recently feeding my newborn grandson a bottle of his mother’s milk, I whispered a prayer he would love the Lord with all his heart, mind, soul and strength when he is old enough to believe and trust in Jesus.

I know more than ever how important it is to believe, trust, and love God if we hope to shine a born-again light to those around us. And I suspect it was a dip in my passion for the Lord that precipitated my latest relationship stumble. For if I loved God more than anything—more than anyone else—All. The. Time.—I would have heeded the warning to bite my tongue when fear riled up my adrenaline.

God’s Spirit is love—not fear.

At first I complained to God about how quiet His whisper was: “Hey, Lord, couldn’t You slap a hand over my mouth whenever I’m tempted to say something stupid?”

But God has given us freewill; we must cover our own mouths.

When we love and cherish someone, we listen to them well. When my grandson makes little noises and looks around the room, I smile, lean in close, and listen. I inhale his delicious newborn scent. Oh, that I would consistently pay attention to the Holy Spirit as devotedly as I watched my grandchild.

But after I stumbled, I went to God and asked for forgiveness. And according to His promises, He forgave me, cleansed me, and used my fumble for the furtherance of His kingdom. Because He is God, and He is the Master of creating goodness from our messes.

When Jesus was mocked by a thief hanging near His cross, goodness came from this situation, too, when a second thief rebuked the first one. The second thief told the first thief they deserved to die, and he said Jesus didn’t deserve to because the Lord hadn’t done anything wrong. Then the second thief asked Jesus if He would remember him when He went to His kingdom.

And here’s where I share the wonderful thing spring reminds me of about God—newness—second chances—a fresh start. Jesus said yes to the second thief.

 He accepted the thief’s confession and profession of faith in Christ. 

The thief was saved from eternal separation from God; Jesus told him he would be with him in Paradise, not because the thief was baptised by full immersion, graduated from confirmation classes, or went forward at a Billy Graham Crusade—he was saved because he trusted Jesus to save him.

Jesus paid it all.
 Jesus paid it all for us too. 
He is the author of a born-again life. 

He’s not going to give up on any of us either. His salvation is an all-the-way-to-Heaven’s-gate rescue, because He’s not a quitter and He’s making something new in each of His followers. He won’t give up because He is love.

I love my grandson—a lot—but our Father loves us even more than we love our loved ones. That’s why Easter happened. That’s why I will keep praying for my family members and friends to know God’s amazing love.

This is love: not that we loved God,
 but that he loved us and sent his Son 
as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 
1 John 4:10 NIV

I’m nosey-to-know what favourite thing Easter and spring remind you of?                  

March 11, 2018

Walking With Jesus - Carol Harrison

 Church attendance has been part of my life since before I can remember. I always looked forward to the Christmas and Easter seasons. Christmas had concerts, special music, choir numbers as well as the beautiful decorations which filled the church.

Easter, although so triumphant, had less outward abundance of special features such as decorations and yet the music filled my heart with wonder as we sang of Jesus' death and resurrection. The words to old hymns such as Up From the Grave He Arose and He Lives filled my heart and mind with the triumphant Jesus conquering the grave, sin and death. Yet despite the anticipation of celebration with music and Biblical stories and teachings, the forty day Lenten season was not part of the package in my youth or adulthood.

The church I presently attend has chosen, in the last few years, to reflect on this forty day season in several ways. This year it is devotionals each day and prayer requests to pray for our city, our community of neighbours and ourselves. Some years it has been forty days of fasting and prayer by the congregation where people could sign up for a day of fasting and prayer until all forty days had been covered.  Even with this new aspect to my church life, I have not always taken part in the specific, extra time to reflect, fast, and pray for myself, for others, for our leaders and our land to the depth I could have. At times the Lenten season passes me by even as I think ahead to the Easter celebration.

As I write this I wonder what God would have me focus on in my life, my writing, my community. How can I develop an ear attuned to His words, an eye to see the needs as He would have me see them and hands willing to help others?

We live in a broken world, surrounded by hurting people, ourselves included. Sadness, confusion, disappointment, disillusionment, and despair hold our hearts in their grasp and blind our eyes to the victory of Jesus through his death and resurrection. The two disciples on the road to Emmaus felt those same emotions the day Jesus joined them on their journey. They had the chance to physically walk with Jesus, listen to His words and marvel at them, even though their eyes were blinded to who he was. But Jesus allowed them to see Him and they recognized him as He broke bread with them. They knew they had been with Jesus and their day ended in joy, excitement and true devotion.

How often in the midst of the despair or the busyness of life when I don't take the extra time to reflect during the Lenten season do I forget that I can talk to Jesus at any time through prayer. Oh what a sweet privilege to walk with Him each day and read His words or be still and listen to his still small voice whispering His love for me. Like those two disciples who walked with Jesus on the Road to Emmaus, I pray I will have open eyes to see and know His presence in my daily life.

Life happens to all of us and I have had my share of eventful, unexpected twists and turns to my life that threaten to take my eyes off Jesus. Some days I despair of hearing God's still small voice. Easter is coming. We celebrate the victory of Jesus over sin and death in song and reading the Scriptures.
I pray that I will remember Jesus is ever present in my life and longs for me to come and spend time with him.

As we reflect on the meaning of Easter, sing the songs of joy and triumph, may their meaning burn deep into our hearts  and be reflected in our everyday actions.

As a speaker, published author and storyteller, Carol Harrison is passionate about mentoring people of all ages and abilities to help them find their voice and reach their fullest potential. She shares from her heart, telling stories from real life experiences and God’s Word to encourage people and help them find a glimmer of hope no matter what the circumstances. She believes we need to continuously grow in our walk with God and lives out her storytelling passion by speaking at women’s events and retreats, Bible Camps as well as school assemblies and church events. Carol is a wife, mother of four adult children and grandmother to twelve. She makes her home is Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada.