Tag Archives: grace

Why I Just Can’t

I can’t possibly write a blog because:
– My computer was reformatted and I can’t find the disc for the program I used to write my blogs and keep them organized.
– I can’t find Adobe Photoshop so I can’t make a new less Toronto-y banner.
– I used to have files filled with random pictures and I lost most of them, blogs need pictures.
– I don’t have enough crazy little children running around to inspire me.
– I have ZERO drive.
Never mind the fact that:
– I used to write everything on Notepad.
– I used to make anything I wanted with Microsoft Paint.
– I have a fully functioning camera.
– I have never been so amazed at my God’s awesome power and creativity as I am in watching my beautiful little niece grow.
– I have always had zero drive. Yet this is my sixtieth post. He’s strong in my weakness and through His strength I can do anything.

Anything?
Even write a blog?
Yeah, I guess I can.

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. -2 Corinthians 12:9 (NIV)


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Unconditionally.

My roommate Sarah and I were talking the other day about the love God’s given us for our kids. They can be so mean. But we love them so much. It seems like a mini reflection of the way He loves us.

I’m guessing that any parent can relate.

The kids love can be so conditional. They love you when you give them a huge high five as they walk in the door. They hate you five minutes later as you interrupt their game of Spiderman and peel them off the walls.

You love them anyways.

Your usually friendly neighborhood spiderman.

Yesterday My Little Best Friend was climbing on a table then making a snarky comment to another leader. “That looks like a time out to me buddy.” I told him, as he’d already had two warnings. Another leader lead him off to time out room but I was soon called in to explain the time out to my supervisor, Hosanna.

It turns out the little guy knew exactly why he was on time out. So I started to ask him:

“Do you think it’s ok how you’ve been talking to your leaders today? I heard you shushing them… Even calling someone a jerk?”

“I was singing a song.”

“Well, if someone thought you were singing it to them don’t you think it would hurt their feelings?”

“Yeah.” he said vaguely.

“Are you listening to Rumour?” Hosanna asked, “She loves you and she’s trying to help you.”

“Yeah buddy, I love you very much. I don’t just lecture you for no reason.”

“We really do love you around here.”

After a second of thought he asked, “If you guys love me, why do you give me suspensions?”

“Well.” I started.

Hosanna jumped in, “I’ll let Rumour answer that one.” And went off to make sure my program was running smoothly. I was glad for his confidence in me.

“When you are eighteen years old.” I started again, “And you go up to a police officer and call him a jerk, and disrespect him like you’re disrespecting leaders today, what’s going to happen.”

“I’ll go to jail.” He said, not sounding the slightest bit worried.

“I don’t want that for you. You know, my brother’s in jail and…”

“Your brother’s in jail?”

“Yes. And I wish that when David was little – ”

“His name is David?”

“Yes… Not David from YMAD, but his name is David. And I wish that when he was a little boy he had lots of leaders to give him warnings for doing all the bad things that he seems to think are ok now. ” Dave was eight when my parents adopted him. Only a year younger than my Little Best Friend is now. From that point on I can think of great leaders he had, especially my parents, but there was something that my brother is lacking that my little friend has. Jesus.

“Why did he go to jail, stealing from someone?”

“I think maybe he stole from lots of people.”

“How long is he in jail for?”

“Well he’s been in jail lots of times, but it might be two whole years this time. So, if I come back to see your mom in ten years I don’t want her to be telling me that her son made bad choices and went to jail. That would break my heart. For real break my heart, I’m not kidding this time. But you know what, I don’t think that’s going to happen, because you’ve got Jesus in your heart and He’s going to help you.”

“He doesn’t have Jesus in his heart?”

“No. We pray for him all the time, we love him and he needs Jesus a lot.”

“Five minutes are over.”

“You would get me chatting for your whole time out wouldn’t you?”

I love that little man.
Even when he kicks me.
But, when he does kick me, I will suspend him,
Because… I love that little man.

Speaking of unconditional love. Do my parents ever love that boy of theirs. I love him too, he’s my big brother. If only he’d made the decision to accept Christ when he came to us at 8 years old! The very same age that this little buddy of mine accepted Christ. His life would be so different now. He’s twenty-six now, but we’re not giving up hope. Keep praying.

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That your faith may not fail.

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“Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift you as wheat. But I prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.”

But he replied, “Lord, I am ready to go with you to prison and to death.”

Jesus answered, “I tell you, Peter, before the rooster crows today, you will deny three times that you know me.”

Luke 22:31-34 NIV

Then seizing him, they led him away and took him into the house of the high priest. Peter followed at a distance. But when they had kindled a fire in the middle of the courtyard and had sat down together, Peter sat down with them. A servant girl saw him seated there in the firelight. She looked closely at him and said, “This man was with him.”

But he denied it, “Woman, I don’t know him,” he said.

A little later someone else saw him and said, ” You also are one of them.”

“Man, I am not!” Peter replied.

About an hour later another asserted, “Certainly this fellow was with him, for he is a Galilean.”

Peter replied, “Man, I don’t know what you’re talking about!” Just as he was speaking, the rooster crowed. The Lord turned and looked straight at Peter. Then Peter remembered the word of the Lord spoken to him: “Before the rooster crows today you will disown me three times.”

And he went outside and wept bitterly.

Luke 22:54-62 NIV

He seemed to like her so much, she liked him too. But she loved Him so much, and he didn’t seem to love Him at all. She did not know what to do.

She told everyone that she would never do it. She told Him that she would be strong and hold back. But she was sinking. And He wasn’t the one that she was holding on to.

He told her once.

He told her twice.

He told her a third time: “Don’t let that man near you until you know that he loves Me with all his heart.”

She wanted to listen. But she didn’t.

Most would say she was falling in love. She knew she was falling away from Love.

I waited patiently for the Lord;
He turned to me and he heard my cry.
He lifted me out of the slimy pit,
Out of the mud and the mire;
He set my feet on a rock
And gave me a firm place to stand.
He put a new song in my mouth,
A hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear
And put their trust in the Lord.
(Psalm 40:1-3)

“Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift you as wheat. But I prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.”

The Lord turned and looked straight at Peter.

And he went outside and wept bitterly.

“And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.”

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A Letter,

God showed me something on the Muskoka retreat and even though the message was to me I’d like to share it with you.  I’ll tell you as if it was a letter.  Not because God spoke to me with specific words, but because that’s the easiest way I can think of to communicate the things He wrote on my heart.

My dearest Ruthmary,

I see the ways you’re hurting and as always I see a way to bring good from this.

You miss your friend. You went from seeing her everyday to writing her messages on the internet every few days. You went from a deep and intimate relationship to one that requires much work in order to keep it alive.  You miss hearing about her daily life and sharing your daily life with her. You miss her quirks. Her strength. Her presence.

Now I’ll ask you to recall that time in our relationship where you let your shame separate you from me. I can see the pang of guilt swelling up as you think of it – and I tell you to send it away. Here in the sadness of missing your friend I would like to reveal a bit of my heart to you. So remember that time for a moment. You know I was there with you,  for I will never leave you. Still although we were together you felt as if we were apart. Our conversations were few and far between. You allowed the shame you felt to make you feel as if I were oceans away from you. My child,  through the sacrifice of my son it is your sins that were oceans away from you. I missed you. I missed your praises as you walked to the bus stop in the morning. I missed hearing about your days, and your struggles. I missed your relying on my strength. I missed the days you sought to be in my presence.

And I rejoiced the day that you realized that my GRACE pours down on you like rain and only I can get you through.

Now I’d like to go a little further here. Let’s look at another relationship of yours.  A friend you’re blessed to still see daily. I noticed the other day that you sent her a message, it said ‘I miss you.’ Now you’d only been away from her a few hours but of course I understand. You’d both been lost in your busy schedules and it had been far too long since you had sat down and really talked to each other.

I love it when you thank me for each morning, and pray for the children you walk by in your community. I love that you talk to me throughout your day. I love that you thank me and make requests of me. I love that you ask me for direction. These are important, I’m always there and I always listen. But I miss you.

You need to set aside time to talk to me.

I want you to pour out your heart to me. I want you to go deeper when you pray for others, let my spirit guide you and make requests through Him. I want to spend time with you. Most importantly I want you to listen to me. Pray without ceasing – but also talk to me in a quiet place where you can stop and you can listen to what I am telling you.

Remember what I’ve told you through Jeremiah:
You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.

Love from,
Your Father, your Friend, the one and only true God.

I thank Him for creating us in His image so that we can see glimpses of Him through each other and in parts of ourselves.

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