Posted in Uncategorized

Easter – Springtime in my Soul

My husband and I are away at a resort for the long weekend and will not be attending an Easter service this year. There will be no gathering with the family and Easter egg hunts for the children.

I pause and ask myself the question, “What does Easter mean to me?” What does it mean to the people around me?

Easter is a distinctly Christian celebration commemorating the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus, the Son of God. It is the pivotal centre of the Christian faith, without which there would be no Christianity as we know it today. There may still be followers of Christ, the teacher or prophet, but not disciples of Christ, the Son of God.

So what difference does all of this make in my life?

DSC00646I have memories of my Sunday School class joining other children and performing during an Easter Service in church. Neighbours had introduced me to church. Back then my parents didn’t attend church. With my whole heart I sang, “Up from the gravy arose, with a mighty triumph o’er his foes.” I was caught up in the exultant worship experience and for years was completely unaware of the disconnect of my words.

As an eight year old, something about church attracted me and I would walk several blocks to church with my brother and sister. One particularly lovely Sunday morning, wearing a pretty dress and my new knee socks and shiny patent leather shoes, I tripped on a ridge on the sidewalk and fell and skinned my knee. The sight of the blood overwhelmed me and we had to turn and head back home.

On another Sunday I was very excited because my parents had told me that they were going to church that morning. After Sunday School my brother and sister and I headed for the main sanctuary to find our parents. We walked up and down the middle isle until an usher caught up to us and assisted us in our search. It was all very intimidating, the adults staring at us, the long isle, all those wooden benches, but I was determined to find them. Finally, convinced that they weren’t there, we went home. When we arrived at home I discovered that my parents had gone to a different church. Apparently they had a church of their own.

My memories of walking to church are memories of Springtime–robins hopping on the grass, tulips bursting into bloom, warm sunshine and soft breezes, puddles and earthworms.

Growing up with harsh Manitoba winters, I have a passionate affection for Spring. As a girl I would kick apart the remaining clumps of snow in the front yard, trying to hurry the melting of the snow and the arrival of Spring.

As long as I am breathing, I know I will revel in the invigorating freshness of Spring. Spring revives my heart.

I would like to offer every chid and adult the experience of walking to church as an eight year old in the Spring, and discovering a new dimension, that of God and worship. Easter to me symbolizes new life, new beginnings, new hope. Jesus, the central figure of Easter, said, “I am come that you might have live, and that you might have it more abundantly.” Because of His resurrection I can experience Springtime in my soul.

 

 

 

Posted in Home

My Home, My Refuge

Home is a special place to me. It is my refuge.

Early in my marriage I ran across a very significant piece of advice that has guided my life. I don’t recall the source but the advice was simply this: Always welcome members of your family cheerfully when they come home, and always part with kind words. That way they will have a good memory when they leave and they will look forward to returning home.

6bb9d75cbaf935a805f9e392b3bbfb04There are numerous ways to create a home that is a refuge. Just being conscious of the fact that our actions and words can make a huge difference in the feeling of our home will be a significant beginning. When we study how to do this we are making it a priority and a goal. We are conscious of looking for harmonious solutions. We seek ways to encourage each other. We express our vision for our home and enlist the cooperation of others.

I also like my home to be clean, organized and tastefully decorated. I admit this takes considerable effort and planning but it is well worth it and of course the result is appreciated by the others in the home as well.

Another thing that contributes to my home as a refuge is a peaceful spirit. In our home we try to resolve conflicts quickly. I spend regular time in prayer and find that I am uplifted by guidance from my (almost) daily Bible reading. Trusting in the goodness of God gives me peace. I believe my home is my refuge because God is at the centre of it.

Photo found on houseofturquoise.com

Posted in Marriage & Family

That Still Small Voice

I was passing out tiny eclairs and mini cupcakes with icing and sprinkles. Smiling faces and eager fingers greeted me, with one exception, a girl in a jogging suit.

crave-this-30She is the still small voice in the back of my mind. The one that mostly gets drowned out.

I like to go where the party is happening, and so do most other people. We say things to each other like, “Chocolate is good for you, according to recent research.” “Comfort food is important.” “You might get stomach trouble from stress if you’re too strict with yourself.” “Alcohol (or fill in the blank) takes the edge off.” “It’s such a social thing, food.”

What would you choose? To be the lonely jogger, or to join the party?

There are so many voices today calling us to party with the “anything goes” crowd. For instance, I read a sign at a bus stop this week, advertising a radio station, stating “You can’t be a virgin forever.” It was referring to another station named Virgin. A misnomer of course.

Have you noticed the pressure to engage in sex, pre-marital, extra-marital, same sex–you name it? And have you noticed that there are names for people that don’t participate, and maybe don’t endorse this lifestyle?

Some Christian colleges, believe it or not, still have a clause in their student handbook that requires abstinence from pre-marital sexual activity. You’re probably saying, how archaic is that?

Well, for your information, this week Trinity Western University, BC, Canada, will be challenged in court by special interest groups that are demanding the university’s recently granted privilege to teach law be overturned because of the said  “discriminatory” statement in their student handbook. The Law School of Upper Canada, in Ontario, is now questioning the “standards of learning, professional competency and professional conduct” of a university that discourages sexual activity among unmarried students. See TWU.

The BC Ministry of Advanced Education and the Federation of Law Societies of Canada have both approved the law school of TWU, but individual provinces are now protesting and threatening not to accept graduates of the TWU School of Law. Many people are applauding this objection.

We all know this isn’t about pre-marital sex. It is about biblical teaching regarding same sex relationships. The courts will decide whether we as a country will have the freedom to abide by, and teach, our religious convictions or whether we will all have to conform to the current political correctness agenda.

In every secular college and university in the country there is full liberty for every kind of sexual expression, still it has become necessary to single out and “censor” a relatively small Christian school and declare it to be “politically unacceptable,” a “threat” that needs to be “suppressed.” This is from the definition of censorship, but actual words to this effect have been used.

And to what end? Will everybody be happy when that still small voice is silenced? I don’t think so.

photo credit:  Emily

P.S. The vote by the Law Society of British Columbia this week was 20 to 6 in favour of TWU’s law school. We will continue to have options in this lovely country.

P.S.2 April 30. Ontario and New Brunswick lawyers have voted to refuse to accredit the TWU law school, thereby forbidding graduates the right to practice law in the two provinces. Nova Scotia lawyers will cast their votes in June.