Monday, November 30, 2009

A Troublesome Beaver

Hair blowing in the wind and eyes eager with anticipation, I waited as my husband carefully guided the boat to a stop at our dock. As I walked up the hill, I pondered the year-end chores needing to be done that weekend. Up on the deck I looked with horror at the poplar tree lying on the ground close to the cottage.

My husband remarked, “It’s the work of a beaver.”

“You mean a beaver climbed up a sixty-foot hill to chop down a poplar tree?” I wailed.

Two weeks later we returned to the cottage and found chew marks on two other poplars by the cottage. One was a huge tree with a diameter of approximately twelve to fifteen inches. I had no idea beavers would dare to tackle such big trees. If that particular tree had fallen toward the lake, it would have landed on top of our roof.

I never did see the beaver guilty of causing such devastation. That beaver reminded me how the effect of our works remains long after we are gone. Paul writes to the Philippians, “I thank my God every time I remember you” (Philippians 1:3, NIV).

How will people remember you after your death? How will they remember me? I hope they remember how much I loved Jesus and trusted him for my eternal salvation. I hope they remember that I walked in obedience to my Lord.

Friday, November 06, 2009

Christian Book Expo

Over thirty Canadian Christian authors are gathering at Faith Family Books, in Scarborough, Ontario, on Friday November 20th from 7 to 9 pm.

Event: Christian Writers of Canada Expo '09
What: Festival
Start Time: Friday, November 20 at 7:00pm
End Time: Friday, November 20 at 9:00pm
Where: Faith Family Books & Gifts (45 Milner Ave., at 401 + McCowan Rd)

If you live nearby, you are invited to come out and get to know some Canadian Christian writers. The Word Guild and Maranatha News support this endeavor.

Check out this link:

See you soon!

Friday, October 09, 2009

The Wary Deer

Head down, my mind wandering with a myriad of thoughts, I walked slowly to my vegetable garden in the back yard. Suddenly I heard the noise of several deer running from my neighbour’s yard. A few weeks later, the same thing happened at the cottage. As soon as I opened the front door, deer scattered into the woods.

Those deer were smart. Wary of danger, they fled as quickly as possible. They were like Joseph, who fled from Potiphar’s wife, rather than give in to temptation or be caught in the sin of adultery.

Paul writes, “Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a man commits are outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body. Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honour God with your body” (1 Corinthians 6:18—20 NIV).

We do well to remember that God bought believers with the precious blood of Jesus. The Holy Spirit is living inside us. Let us be like those deer and flee from any sign of danger.

Friday, July 24, 2009

The Garter Snake

Like a lot of women, I prefer to keep my distance from snakes, the farther away the better. One year this was impossible. A garter snake forced me to walk frequently a few inches from it. This particular snake had made its home underneath a large rock. I understand that is what snakes do. Unfortunately, the chosen rock was at the foot of my stairs. In order to enter or leave my cottage, I had to rest my foot on that rock. Every time I passed by the snake poked its head out and hissed at me. After awhile I began to admire that snake. It stood its ground against intruders.

God exhorts believers to be like that snake. Paul writes, “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his power…Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, and with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace” (Ephesians 6:10, 14, 15 NIV).

As believers God exhorts us to remain strong in the Lord, tenaciously holding to the truth, clinging to what is holy, ready to share the Gospel with others. Are we doing this? Are we like that snake, not willing to give up? Do we stand our ground? Instead do we find it easier to give in to deception or take the easy way out of a situation?

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Maui Memories

When I visited Maui last month, I admired the lush vegetation and beautiful flowers. The impatiens and dusty millar were twice as high as in my garden. I even saw a 100-year-old mango tree. One particular kind of bird intrigued me, however. It looked like a dove with white-tipped wings.

This bird appeared unaware of its surroundings. Once, as my husband and I walked down the concrete pathway to our hotel room, I spotted this bird standing by the nearby wall. Although my husband stepped a few inches from this bird, it never flinched. A few days later the bird looked as if it was waiting for us by our door. It never flew away as we approached and seemed oblivious to a cat peering intently at it several feet away.

This bird reminded me of our spiritual condition before we accept Jesus as our Lord and Saviour. The Bible says that everyone is born spiritually dead. We were born with a sin nature because of Adam and Eve’s rebellion in the Garden of Eden. Since this is true, it does not take very long before we personally commit sin.

Just like that bird, dead people do not react. We are utterly incapable of responding to God and blind to spiritual realities. The Holy Spirit must first lovingly open our hearts to hear the Lord speak through his Word, the Bible. Only by the grace of God do spiritually dead people become alive. What a precious gift of God!

“As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient” (Ephesians 2:1, 2 NIV).

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Waiting on the Lord

After scurrying across the yard, the rabbit plopped down on the driveway. Its ears stood straight and tall, listening for any sign of trouble. For more than five minutes, the rabbit sat still and did not move a muscle.

Several times I left the room and then came back to see if the rabbit was still there. It was. How unlike that rabbit most of us are! We hurry from one activity to another, never stopping to take a break. Life is a rat race, a never-ending whirl of things to do.

We need to sit down like the rabbit and listen to the Lord. The Psalmist writes, “Be still and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10 NIV).

If we take the time to be quiet and hear God in his Word, then we will not be caught off guard or unprepared when the trials of life besiege us. Instead we will draw our strength from the Lord.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Struggling with Sin

Sometimes the changing seasons appear to engage in a tug of war with each other. Are you glad when you see a robin, the first sign of spring? Yet that robin does not necessarily mean the end of winter weather. Less than a week after I saw a robin this year, winter returned with a vengeance. Some communities in southern Ontario received the same amount of snowfall as a January storm.

I do not know how you feel, but I enjoy the opposite—a heat wave in September. It means one more chance to go canoeing or sailing before cold grips the land. In contrast, skiers rejoice when they can ski in April. Others prefer not to have to deal with shoveling more snow. Whatever your preferences, everyone must accept the fact that summer and winter do not usually end abruptly. From a human viewpoint, there is a tug of war between the seasons.

The same situation occurs spiritually. When a person is saved, he or she accepts Jesus as Lord and Saviour. No longer are we legally guilty of our sins because Jesus took the punishment, which we deserve. Nevertheless the long process of sanctification begins. The new nature in Christ struggles to eradicate and replace the old sin nature. What a tug of war spiritually!

The apostle Paul lamented, “I know that nothing good lives in me, that is in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing” (Romans 7:18, 19 NIV).

Paul struggled with sin in his life, just as we do. Thankfully, the Lord continues the painful process of sanctification in believers. He never gave up on Paul. Likewise God will never stop working to make us more like Jesus.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

God's Hidden Handiwork

During the winter snow covers the landscape and hides the dead grass. In the spring the snow melts and reveals dormant plants waiting for warmth to grow again. Sometimes you may notice long wiggly paths imprinted in your yard—the work of voles winding their way over the frozen ground.

I have often looked out the window after a storm to admire the smooth layer of freshly fallen snow. Until recently, it never occurred to me that some animals might be busy going about their business, sight unseen.

God operates like those voles, hidden from view. If you are a believer, he is busy working in your life as well as mine. Often we do not know or understand what is happening. We likely will not fully comprehend everything the Lord has done until we get to heaven. As the hymn writer William Cowper explains, “God moves in a mysterious way his wonders to perform.” We are God’s handiwork. He weaves your life experiences and mine together into a beautiful tapestry.

Perhaps you are experiencing sorrow or heartache today. Take heart. If you belong to God, he is working out everything for your good and for his honour and glory.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

A Winter Wonderland

A thick layer of freshly fallen snow covers the yard like a pure white blanket. Tiny crater-like holes are scattered haphazardly under the trees—the result of snow falling from branches. The tracks of a rabbit cross the backyard. The ditch by the road shows evidence of children tumbling down the incline as they wait for the school bus.

Without the snowfall, I would never have known that a rabbit had scampered through the yard. Without the snowfall, I would not have realized that children liked to slide into the ditch. Free of snow, the trees would not bow down and shed their heavy load.

I was unaware of all these activities taking place in my yard. It took the snowfall to reveal them. Likewise, we are unaware of sin in our lives until we gaze upon the holiness of God. His purity sheds light on our sinfulness. Like Isaiah of old, we will fall down in dismay.

“Woe to me!” I cried. “I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the LORD Almighty” (Isaiah 6:5 NIV).

If you feel like this, do not fear. Jesus paid the penalty for sinners. If you believe that Jesus died for you, then he will remove your guilt. Look to Jesus and live!