Sunday, January 31, 2010

Helping Hand

"Your right hand has held me up, Your gentleness has made me great." Psalm 35:18

A grandpa and his grandson. Gentleness and a helping hand!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Unclean Spirits

I'm pondering Matthew 12:43-45 this morning. It's about unclean spirits leaving and then returning to someone with more spirits making him worse than he was before.

And I'm imagining how this might be relevant today. I'm thinking of bad habits or addictions. Drugs, gambling, shopping, eating for examples. One manages to give up the addiction, maybe "find Jesus" in the process or even just renew their faith and find strength thru their faith and feel confident that they are over this addiction.

Eventually that demon of addiction comes back, sees you all cleaned up and realizes that addiction alone won't be enough this time.

So he's goes out and gets the demon of self doubt, the demon of temptation, the demon of complacency and they tag team together at once.

Confidence falls first and then with the temptation in front of you it suddenly doesn't look so bad. Couldn't be wrong just to try it one more time... and before you know it, good ol' Addiction gets to slide back in to his old home making room for his helpful new buddies.

While you're already down the demon of depression easily moves in helping Self Doubt make you feel worse than before and the battle to fight them off is a bigger fight than before.

All analogies of course but this is how I interpret these verses as how they could be happening in our lives today.

The battle for our souls wages on empowered by our freedom of choice and our sinful nature. But I try to remember too that there are more ANGELS battling for us than there are demons against us. Even just considering the numbers should help boost my confidence that this is a battle we can WIN!

- Posted by Becky using BlogPress from my iPhone

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Blessed Be Your Name

Blessed Be Your Name

Blessed be Your name in the land that is plentiful
Where Your streams of abundance flow
Blessed be Your name

And blessed be Your name when I'm found in the desert place
Though I walk through the wilderness
Blessed be Your name

Every blessing You pour out I'll turn back to praise
And when the darkness closes in Lord

Still I will say

Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your name
Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your glorious 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

And blessed be Your name on the road marked with suffering
Though there's pain in the offering
Blessed be Your name

Every blessing You pour out I'll turn back to praise
And when the darkness closes in Lord
Still I will say

Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your name
Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your glorious name

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

All month this song has been going through my head. Parts of it playing over & over while I ponder what has happened over the past few months & the 'giving & taking away' that has seemed to be repetetive for the last year. But I was struggling with the last lines of the song "My heart will choose to say Lord Blessed Be Your Name". I wasn't getting over the 'taking away' of things and wanting to praise after the darkness of things. Too often it felt like 'ok kids, here you go, enjoy this great gift... followed by a "just kidding'"!!

Its hard to feel like God is just toying with you. I just don't understand it. Sort of like Job... why was Satan allowed to torment him like that while God watched on? Taking away everything only to give it back later. I just don't know what point that proved, other than to Satan that Job was faithful & could tolerate the worst he dealt out. But why, why did he have to if he was such a faithful man. Why was he involved in the game? Some things God does, I'll never understand. We're not all as strong as Job. I know I'm not. I can't always find the praise in me after the crummy stuff happens.

I get that Satan's demons are around us, trying to sway us in any way possible from our faith, from doing good, from being a witness, from praying... from all things holy & praiseful. And its obvious how well they are suceeding looking at the world around us... or even just looking at the Christians around us, but mostly just looking within, at myself. A few moments of bitterness can build to many moments and push out all desire to pray, praise or even see the blessings that are still surrounding us.

So, I gratefully keep this song in my heart, in my head, and sing it out loud when I can, to remind myself to praise Him in the good & bad times, in the bright & dark times, in the giving AND taking away!

Friday, January 22, 2010


Can this really be January??

"...knock and it will be opened to you.". ~ Matthew 7:7

So perhaps God is going to open some doors to us afterall this month. It may not be the ones we were hoping for or expecting. But perhaps something greater than our expectations. And wouldn't that be amazing.

It's funny (or not so funny) how one can get jaded after so many failed desires and expectations. It's hard to have joy or excitement when you're always waiting for the other shoe to drop. But trying despite past disappointments regardless.

The house viewing didn't go as we hoped but it was ok. That home and property was clearly not for us. We'll keep looking though as we work thru this other opportunity.

I'm just trying to have faith that God is God and He always knows what He's doing.

"But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added to you. ~ Matthew 6:33

Posted by Becky using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Heart's Desires

"Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart. " Psalm 37:4

I often cling to this verse when there is something I want badly. Like by reading it to myself over & over I convince myself that I will have what I want because it is 'the desire of my heart'. And then when that thing that I want is denied to me, or worse, taken away, then I scowl inwardly & wonder why I'm being denied my heart's desires.

As I mature in my faith (which I readily admit matures and regresses often in waves) I remember that there are many verses SURROUNDING this one. For example, verse 3 says "Trust in the Lord, and do good.." oh yeah, TRUST... Do Good! Um, sort of ignored that part. And then that verse following it.. .verse 5 "Commit your way to the Lord. (oops) Trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass." Right... sorry Lord. I guess I need to do a bit more reading before I get too wrapped up in the way things are worded assuming its all for my benefit.

But, here I am again today. Having another new desire in my heart. You see that photo above. Its of a property that we discovered on the real estate market today. A lovely acreage, with its own creek running thru it. Is it a desire given by God? or by man? A place where we might belong? Or not yet where the Lord wants us to be. The only way I can know it is if I Trust & Commit to see if its a God given desire. And then of course, we wait... verse 7. "Rest in the Lord, and wait paitiently for Him" Really... you know patience is not one of my virtues Lord.

If you don't know by now, we are hoping to move. Our house has been for sale for almost a year, and it starting to get discouraging. Over the past year, a few other homes/properties have popped up that we thought we wanted and for one reason or another, did not come to pass for us. Some reasons were obvious, others were strangely unobvious. We continued to wait & pray for God to give us a big obvious sign of where He wanted us. But we found Him to be silent. So we took that as a sign that we needed to keep waiting.

We're still not sure how long we are to wait. Nothing has peaked our interest for months. But... just today, the desire for a new place was rekindled.

And I will read ALL of Psalm 37 over & over while we wait, not clinging to one verse to be fulfilled and if this isn't the time or place... we will keep looking because

"The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, and He delights in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down; for the Lord upholds him with His hand." Psalm 37:23-24

Monday, January 18, 2010

Lazy Blogging :)

A strange thing happens when your computer dies... You find new and easier ways to keep the status quo!

My laptop croaked on the weekend and I was lamenting it's death and wondering how I could continue to blog. My friend Barb came for a lovely visit today and "showed me the way"!! Hello iPhone blogging!!

So as I type this I am comfortably laying in my bed all cozy and feeling oh-so lazy.
I will get back to posting a more thoughtful post soon but just had to try out this comfy new style of blogging before I force myself to sit up and pull out my Bible!!

In the meantime here's a quick snapshot of the joy of my heart riding his bike this morning.

Wishing you all cozy lazy ways to blog. Goodnight.

- Posted by Becky using BlogPress from my iPhone

Thursday, January 14, 2010


"He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world." 1 John 4:4

I'm still reading This Present Darkness this week, as time allows. And I think it has been a very good way to start my year. Not only has it got me thinking about prayer constantly, but it really has made me aware of the spiritual battle that is constantly going on around us.

And while its not a new concept to me, I'm really starting to discover how OFTEN in the Bible we are told to be aware of it, to pray for intercession and reminded that we have the power & authority to do something about it and be involved.

While I've spent many moments in dark days of the past clinging to verses about God's protection on me, I seem to skip over the verses about the enemy's hold & dominion on this world and how we are to be fighting against it.

I'm reminding, reading this book, that God has given us the Holy Spirit so that we have the authority WITHIN us, far greater that we often realize to rebuke, withstand, cast out, resist the evils of this world.

Day by day I'm going to be trying to find these verses and learn them to remind myself that we are not only gifted with this great authority & power, but that we are asked to use it wisely. This will go hand in hand with my desire for prayer this year as I learn to pray in ways we are asked to do so.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Prayer - 2010

I read on another blog today (CraftTeaLady here) about having a 'word of the year' (as detailed here) A word that you can focus on for the year, reflect on and impress on your daily life. I wondered what my word would be, given the stuff I've been thinking about in the first few days of this year, and the thoughts I've had these past few days. No other word would come to my mind except "prayer". 2010 is my year to learn to pray again.

It is true what I said... about my imagination carrying on into my dreams and how I am usually careful of what I see/read before bed. Luckily, although I was reading This Present Darkness before I went to bed lastnight, I also was watching Under the Tuscan Sun - a movie that is one of my favourites because I really loved visiting Italy. So, I didnt' sleep that well, thinking of Italy half the night. However, when my son woke in the night around 2am and I nursed him back to sleep, that was when my thoughts turned to the things I read in the book, thoughts of evil spirits & heavenly hosts, and sitting in the dark actually made me somewhat nervous lastnight, so I prayed. I cuddled my son and I prayed.

This afternoon, it seemed like a 'series of unfortunate events' unfurled in front of me as one upsetting thing after another happened to me in less than an hour. My first instinct was to raise my fist to Heaven and lament 'why me, Lord? Hasnt' my week been bad enough?' but then I thought of the other side of the battle. The side of evil throwing all these awful things into my path causing me sadness & weariness & feelings of defeat all so close together. Ah ha, I thought, you start to learn more about the spiritual realm & their affects on the world and they see fit to up the anti and pounce you a little harder. And so I prayed!

I must confess the 'unfortunate events' didn't stop at that prayer! Next, I dropped a jar of Ragu in the grocery aisle, shattering the glass, splattering a huge mess & making me feel humiliated and near tears, but suceeded to make it home before bursting into a sob & pouring a glass of wine. But shortly after my outburst, I could only look back on the past hour or so and laugh. What a mess of nasty things trying to ruin my afternoon one after another!! And why? I had moments of anger, embarassment, sadness & defeat all within the span of 90 minutes!! Talk about kicking me while I'm down.

But here I am, smiling about it and clinging to my new word of the year "prayer". And I don't think I chose this word lightly or that it will be easy. Learning to pray is actually a big deal, a task that will require me to think about it daily, to make an effort to do. One too easy to forget, too easy to ignore but too important to survive.

So, I will pray. I will learn to pray. I will try to pray. And I will see what becomes of 2010.

Saturday, January 09, 2010

This Present Darkness

"For we are not contending against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world rulers or this present darkness..." Ephesians 6:12 (RSV)

So out of sheer boredom lastnight (and being trapped in the livingroom for a few moments) I picked up "This Present Darkness" by Frank Peretti. Its been on my shelf for some time. Always with intentions of getting read but unfortunately, I only have time to read at night. My mom read the series years ago & thought it was great and encouraged me to read it... in the day time. heheh Because, I have always posessed a vivid imagination that carries thru into my dreams. For this reason, I do not watch scary or suspenseful shows at night... or read scarey or suspenseful BOOKS at night. Because inevitably, they make their way into my dreams.

However, I feel like I'm ready to read this book. It took me several tries to 'get into it'. I like a book that can hook me in the first few paragraphs... this one failed to do so. (What can I say, I read the Twilight series like every other tween and stay-at-home mom... they were gripping! LOL)

But somewhere around page 45 it finally got my interest... when the warriors of heaven were introduced!! Amazing! So I read on. And in just a few short pages I am overwhelmed with the reminder of how much prayer can intercede for us. And how little of this type of praying I've ever done in my life... especially for anyone else.

I think many Christians don't spend much time thinking about the spiritual battle that is warring on every side of them 24-7. The world likes the airy-fairy thoughts of guardian angels, some nicey-nice creature that prevented them from slipping on the ice, or getting hit by a rogue driver. Sure... I buy that. I think they are there doing that for us as well. But that's definitely the easiest part of their jobs. And I'm pretty sure the images of chubby cherubs or whispy fairies with wings makes these mammoth warriors roll their eyes & draw their swords. No, I don't think our guardian angels are meek & mild, but fierce, powerful and strong.

However... should we just be content knowing that they are there, fighting the battles while we carry on our lives, unimpressed by their presence? Again I wonder, what is our roll in this battle that surrounds us daily? How do we fight the battle we can't see with our eyes? How do we survive spiritual warfare when we hardly take the time to acknowledge that it exists?

We all read about the "Armour of God" in Sunday School like its some childish costume to be adorned. I picture a shield with the word "faith" etched into the steel ... but I don't consider a way to strengthen my faith. And the sword of the spirit? How can I wield the weapon with any usefulness if I can't pull my strength from the Spirit of God... and so on with each part of armour.

I might as well be going to battle naked & unarmed because that is how little I know of fighting a spiritual battle.

Ahh, but the most important piece of armour that I can wield at any time and again is prayer. The piece that I most often forget. It can be a whisper for a protection from an evil presence... or a shout, commanding them to flee before Jesus' name.

Lately, my prayers have been "all about me", asking a lot of questions, mostly 'why' and 'when'. Wondering, hoping, straining to listen for the replies. Forgetting the battle around me, around us all, forgetting anyone else, the rest of us, the rest of you, intercession, or praise. Forgetting that I'm called to be a warrior as well, not just standing on the side, high-fiving my 'guardian' for fighting my battle and assuming he will always win it for me.

I underlined one line in the book tonight and that is when I paused my reading to come here. When the 'praying pastor' is being encouraged to give up because he might not survive what could come next and he says this: "maybe I won't come out alive. But God didn't tell me I'd come out alive; he just told me to stay and fight."

Stay and fight, friends!

Friday, January 08, 2010

So its been a while...

Its been quite a long time since I blogged. Over a year obviously. I don't know if anyone reads this anymore and that's ok. Just sort of needed to get it going again to filter some of my own thoughts.

2009 was both wonderful & tough on us. Many wonderful moments spent with the joy of our lives, our blessing, our son, Ethan. He fills every corner of our home with love, laughter & smiles. Who could ask for more?

But we've had some frustrating moments, some stressful moments & some sad moments too. And while 2009 ended on a high & happy note, 2010 has started on a sad one. And it has left us confused, angry, and wondering what the whole year has in store from us when it starts this way.
We know we want to move in this year, we hope that we can sell our house & finally move on as 2009 felt like a LOT of waiting in limbo, discontentment and wondering where we will go next.
It really feels like God has been silent to us for a long time. While we know we are surrounded by His blessings daily, I can't help but sing the words "He gives & takes away" over & over a lot lately. I get the giving... I don't get the taking away, the silence, the leaving us wondering! Its easy to get wrapped up in the silence & the taking away or the denying. I know the blessings are there too. I see it in the precious blue eyes of my child 100x a day, in the smile of my husband, in the coziness & love that flows thru our little house. I feel it in our bubble... but it feels like it too could be gone in a heartbeat, in a whisper, in a blink if I'm not greatful for it every minute. And I am. But... it seems the desires of our hearts are getting squashed over & over again. We are afraid to want. Afraid to dream. Afraid to make new goals. Afraid of the 'taking away'
I'm not as strong as Job. I'm having a hard time 'praising in the storm'. My patience for many things is getting weaker & weaker. I suppose its forcing me to live in and love the moment. But the future is out there, whether we plan or dream about it or not.
And what's in the future. Inevitable world suffering, sin, death, plagues, disturbances, terrorism, destruction... it seems so bleak. Not that I would give up the present knowing what's in store for this earth in the future but it does make me stop & take stock. What should our next step be as Christians? How should we be preparing for this coming future? Sitting in a pew singing songs? On bended knee praying for peace? Or preparing for the battle that is to be ours? I think we're asked to prepare. Praying is part of it for sure... but peace is not what we should be asking for, I think we need to be asking for strength and wisdom. The only peace will come much later. I don't think Christians will have a meek roll in these coming times. I don't think our God calls us to be armed only with a message of salvation.
See, so many thoughts of the future coupled with living in the present. It feels so contradictory. Lawrence & I talk about THAT future a lot & wonder what our roll will be when the going starts to get really tough for this planet. And yet... we face daily battles in our present and seek out our daily blessings to keep us focused on the good instead of just the bad.
So, I guess I'm just thinking about this coming year, hoping for clarity, hoping for God's voice, His direction and less of His silence. We've asked for Him in 2009 to shout at us, we've listened for the quiet voice and heard neither. So, I guess I need to find a new way to listen in 2010.