Friday, September 30, 2011

Your Name Is Safe

Proverbs 16:28 A perverse person stirs up conflict, 
and a gossip separates close friends.

My friend Stephanie posted this on her Facebook wall today, and I made this sign. One for her to add her family name to. (If anyone wants one just message me and I'll email you one).  She and I were talking about it and I said I had to blog it.  Here it is...

Your name is safe in our house.  Think about what that means. Your name, what you leave with us when you are not physically there, is safe when you are not physically there.  No gossip, not judgement, no talking about you behind your back.

Your name. Your reputation. Your life. Your story. Your confidences. Your choices. Nothing will be said about you that would not be said to you.  What kind of commitment would that take for your family? 

Gossip is one of the single most destructive things we believers engage in.  We do it freely and so often without conscious malice but it is gossip all the same.  It is judgmental, it is critical, it is divisive and it is wrong.  

When someone is welcome in your home their name should be safe when they are not there.  

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Praying in Line

Waiting in line. It can be a test. But I wonder why?  It doesn't have to be. Those moments when we are angry at being behind someone or status-updating in frustration and wondering why other people are in our way are perfect opportunities to take a deep breath, and pray.

Yeah, pray. Pray for that slow clerk - it could be her first day, or her last or her hardest.  Pray for that slow driver - he could be losing his licence, or have lost her husband or losing their life.  Pray for that person who takes 20 items to the 15 or less lane - maybe there is a sick baby at home, or a sick husband or they are so tired they didn't see.

Which of these people deserves grace less than you?  Which of these people are unworthy of a caring word and a prayer? None! Not a single one.

Matthew 25:40 40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

What would it take for you to slow down and instead of being angry or frustrated to offer a prayer?  What would it take for you to say thanks, or offer some kindness in your busy day?  Are we more important than our brothers and sisters in Christ? I don't think so.  Actually I know we are not!  God doesn't play favorites, why should we?  Grace is free.  Share some!

1 Timothy 2:1-2 1 I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— 2 for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.

Pray for each other. Offer the people you see to the Lord, direct the shower of grace to them.  

It isn't easy, I know. We are encouraged to be first, fastest and best.  We need to be encouraged to slow down and pray. We need to be encouraged to show grace and love, to pray for each other. 

I'm praying for you, as you read this, I've asked God that when you get here that He shower you with grace for your day. Bright blessings, always and in all ways!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

And the award goes to...

Debbie, from Writin' 4 Him Cafe, nominated me for three blogger awards. I am just blown away, and humbled that she put me amongst the wonderful bloggers she choose, a number of which I cannot nominate now because she beat me to it! *smiles*.  

In keeping with the requirements of the awards I am going to be doing my own nominating and sharing. Thank you to everyone who inspires us, drives us and especially those who link, share and leave their comments. Your time in encouraging us is a blessing you cannot even know the measure of! It overflows in grace. Thank you.
1. Thank and link to the person who nominates you
2. Share seven random facts about you
3. Pass this Award along to 15 recently discovered blogs and let them know about it!
1. Thank and link to the person who nominates you
2. Pass this Award along to 15 recently discovered blogs and let them know about it!
  • (Given to those with fewer than 300 followers) When you receive the award, thank the blogger who gave it to you and link back to them.
  • Copy and paste the award on your blog.
  • Choose three to five blogs that deserve a bigger following, give them the Liebster Award, and let them know you’ve done so by leaving a comment on their blog.

Here are my seven random fun facts 
  1. I was baptized in a river, in the high plains foothills near the mountains in SW Alberta
  2. When I'm not writing or scrapbooking, I'm taking photographs, playing with my son or the animals on our ranch
  3. I love living in the country and could not handle the city, even town, life. Our road is too busy for me most days
  4. I've dipped my toes in the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, I can sing but rarely sing with an audience
  5. I believe we can be blessings and we can be blessed, and that the two are not mutually inclusive
  6. Coffee is a life saving device in my home, don't ask morning questions without making me some unless it is an emergency
  7. My favorite animals are wolves, horses, dogs, frogs, toads, birds and salamanders!
Many of the blogs I wish I could nominate for these awards already have been nominated either on this email or previously on others. Therefore I'm going to combine them, and share some little know blogs with you to explore, experience and some new friends to meet.
And for the Liebster Award:

Monday, September 19, 2011

The people you pass by

3 John 1:5 Dear friend, you are faithful in what you are doing for the brothers, even though they are strangers to you.

Have you ever prayed for people as you drove? Stood in line? Got passed on the shoulder? Maybe experienced someone honking their horn or washing your windows at a red light?  Have you ever thought about praying for them?

My husband phoned to tell me this story today, "I was driving and I saw a woman, with her life in her car and U-haul. Stuffed animals on the dash, dog on the front seat, and she was on the move.  I thought about her, and said a prayer for her to have a safe journey and that she finds what she needs when she gets to there.  I wonder if someone prayed for you, dear, when you ran away to start your life again? Maybe we need to pray more for the people we pass by in life."

Maybe we need to pray more for the people we pass by in life.

The frustrated bus driver. The horn honking road rager. The slow checker at the express lane. The server who needs to ask again what you ordered. The red faced Mama and the screaming tired babe.  The sad boy watching Daddy go to work. The dog owner putting up posters for their lost friend. The pastor with dwindling flock and confidence. For the police officer on their way to a call. For the farmer in the field.

Who did you pass by today?  Perhaps they were an angel, they could have been a brother or sister in Christ. They could have been at the well looking for water that soothes a soul's thirst.

Instead of watching the world go by, what if we prayed it along the way?  

Radical grace. Loving grace. Children of a loving, living God can we do any thing less?

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Two Days Later

Ten years ago the face of the world changed.  For many of us it changed in a way that haunts us still.  There are people who only think of the DAY - 9/11 and remember it for all the horror that it was.  For all the hope that withered and the heroism that inspires us.

John 15:13 "Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends."

For me the days before and the days after have the biggest impact.  They are the ones that bring me to prayer in gratitude and intercession.  They are the ones that I won't forget.

Two days before I was in New York, in Manhattan, with the Fire Marshalls.  We ate lunch, we drove around, we talked about coming together the following spring for a training exchange.  We laughed about family, life and how different it was for a Canadian fire fighter from the prairies and for the high rise smoke eaters of NYC.  It was a meeting of two different worlds. It was a meeting of common ground.  It was the beginning of friendships.

The day after 9/11 I waited to hear who made it out and we mourned who didn't.  We set up chat rooms and we talked long into the night. We all couldn't go to be there and help but we found ways to support each other across the miles.  We found ways to pray and share and stick together.

Those waiting days, hours, were accented by the silent skies above.  Heightened security.  Crazy fears. Silent skies. No jet streams. no flights that were not military. It was so frightening to think the world could be suddenly so changed.

Raising money for families, sharing stories, sending love and support. Listening to the darkness of the days when hope withered away.  There is nothing worse for the responder community.  We serve, we protect, we pull life from the wreckage. There was so little to do, everyone was ready and prepared but nothing prepared us for this.

Jesus rose on the third day.  I cannot help but think that His people felt like we did.  The world was changed forever. The curtain ripped, the sky darkened, the Beloved entombed.  No washing of feet, no gentle lessons. Nothing but silent skies and darkness.

Nothing Jesus could do or say was enough preparation for His death.  Nothing Jesus could promise or paint with words could express their amazement at His resurrection. 

Faith sometimes requires us to take the darkest, most silent path and in that journey we find not only the light within, but also the light of God without.  On those dark days we walked around by feel and there were a lot of tears, some dark gallows humor and tons of prayers.  We connected in ways that brought us closer.  It didn't matter where you were from.  It mattered that you knew the smell of smoke and understood the call that brought us all to serve in ways big and small.

Why can't we, as sisters and brothers in Christ, do the same?  We know the stain of sin and the miracle of redemption.  We are His people, living in wonderful grace.  We, who have so much, need to take a few lessons from the open hands of those who had nothing to give but their bodies for people they did not know but loved all the same.

1 John 3:16 "This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to laydown our lives for our brothers and sisters."

Trust me, the best friend you never knew you had is the one who pulls you from the fire. From the wreckage. From the disaster. From your doom. Everyone who reaches out and finds a hand grasping theirs knows it.  It doesn't matter whose hand it is, it matters that we reach out. That we keep reaching. We keep loving. Praying. Believing. Being.

Where did your hands reach today?  Was it with God's love and grace they were filled?  Fists cannot give or receive anything but pain and fear. Open hands can reach, grasp, pull and hold. They give, and receive. Jesus's hands were open for us. How can ours be anything less?

(Kelty, Bill, Frank, Ron - miss you my friends, praying for your families and you. Proud to call you  and all who responded in every way the could brothers and sisters.)

Friday, September 9, 2011

in real life

Five Minute Friday
Five minutes of writing, no edits, no second thoughts, then you stop. Five minutes. Got it? Go! real life...

In my real life there are no commercial breaks and no one looks like some sort of model.  Unless we are a model for dog hair, muddy faces, wandering cows, or elbow deep in fresh salsa!

In my real life I work, play, love, laugh, freak out, get frustrated, try not to succumb to hate and I pray some more and then I pray.  In real life we miss Daddy and love summer. In real life family and friends are what you have and you make of them what you can because that's what God blessed you with.

In real life I'm a little crazy and that's okay.  In real life I'm so not in control but God is. And that's okay too. That's more thank okay, that's the way it should be!

In real life I should be asleep hours ago and instead I'm sadly wide awake.  In real life I'm just one Mama loving one Daddy and one Boy.  In real life I wish I had five more minutes to tell you how much better real life is than fiction! 

In real life there are real dreams, real poems, real tears and fears, real faith and real miracles. Real blessings and real friends. In real life there is more than a sound bite.  In real life the dogs bark silly and the boy dreams wildly. In real life I leave the dishes on the counter and in real life I'm okay.

Are you linking up at The Gypsy Mama for Five Minute Friday?

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Grace abundant

When the daughter turns away grace is abundant.
When she has the babe and shares months later grace is abundant.
When the boundaries for safety and sanity are stepped back from grace is abundant.

Grace is abundant in tears of hurt and frustration.  Grace is abundant in times when it hurts with 'might have beens'.  Grace is abundant when prayers and mercy come hard and the only thing to do is love.

No sense in wasting love in anger nor is there time to be lost feeling the ache of 'what if'.  Grace flows abundant in tears of fear, pain and joy.

What if she came tomorrow or what if she never comes.  What if we never see or hear more than what we dream of and pray.  Grace stays abundant. Grace stays. Grace.

No one earns it.  Not one is worthy of it. And yet it rains down abundant upon us all.  When the cloak of it all is love and the love is woven in grace then grace is over, under, around and through. 

In the breath that catches.

In the wish that dies upon silent lips.

In the words that never fly spoken.

In the heart that reaches and reaches.

Grace calls us to love. Grace calls us.  Grace calls.  Grace.

She knows who she is, and while she may never read these words God knows they are my prayer for her, for the babe, for them and our families.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011


My dear husband gave me the most amazing gift!

An Etch-A-Sketch!  I always wanted one, and finally I have one.  They mezmerize me.  I'm totally intrigued with them.  I could do mazes and paths on them for hours.

The other day I was having trouble.  I couldn't get my mind to settle down so I could really pray and I really wanted to.  So I picked up my Etch-A-Sketch and I started to draw some intricate patterns.  Each line became part of my prayers.

I prayed on the straight lines.

I prayed on the turns.

I prayed on the shapes.

I was so able to focus on my prayers it felt amazing!  I totally understand how people can be so helped with prayer beads and other prayer tools!

Mine is just a red plastic box with two white knobs.  Turn each one alone and you can go up or down and turn the other to go side to side.

We talk to God, we talk about God.

But when we use both knobs we can make so many shapes, we can create images and designs.

We can talk with God, we can walk with God.

When we use the gifts He blessed us with we become more than what we appear.

I encourage you to read 1 Corinthians 12 today. Live it today. Be blessed knowing this: 

"There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit.  There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord.  There are different kinds of working, but the same God works all of them in all men." v. 4, 5

Isn't it wonderful to know that you are exactly who He made you to be, now use those gifts to be a blessing!  Share, serve, love and be filled with grace.