Sunday, 27 March 2016

Resurrecting



Today is the most important day on the Christian Calendar. I do not believe that this was necessarily the exact day that Jesus rose from the grave so many years ago, but today is the day we choose to celebrate it. And that is important. If Jesus had not risen from the dead then His death on the cross would have meant nothing. But He did. He rose again and that is why I have life and that is why I have hope. 

I believe that not only did Jesus raise from the dead Himself, He also raises us from the dead. When we give our lives to Him he takes them, our dead lives, our dead circumstances, and he raises them back to life. True life. Abundant, joy-filled, never ending life.  I believe that no matter what your circumstances are, whether you are suffering from physical or emotional pain, whether you are stuck in a pattern of sin, whether your marriage is falling apart, whether you are feeling like your life is meaningless, or you are waiting for something that you have been desiring, God can breath life into it all. He resurrects us! You don't need to live in a place of defeat. Give Him your life, give it all to Him and watch what He does. He is amazing! He is a miracle worker! He makes ALL things work together for our good! I led this song in church this morning and I believe that it is a beautiful declaration of what today is all about. Happy Easter. 






Tuesday, 15 March 2016

Where You Are


Living in the big city is hard for me sometimes. I grew up in Kelowna BC and moved to Edmonton just about 3 and a half years ago. Life in Edmonton is very different than life in Kelowna. There are some obvious reasons like the fact that I am married now and a part of a different church and have mostly different friends. But there are some other, more difficult differences. Kelowna is nestled in a beautiful valley surrounded by mountains. There is a big lake with a lovely beach right in the heart of downtown and a never-ending amount of trails and scenic routes to explore. I love being outside. Outside is my favourite thing. I used to spend hours and hours at the beach almost every day and went camping regularly with friends and went on walks. A lot of walks. That has changed a lot since I moved to Edmonton. In Edmonton outside is not my favourite thing. Most of the year outside hurts my face. And then the rest of the year it is beautifully scorching hot (which is almost wonderful except that there is no lake to jump into for relief). All this is not to say that I do not like Edmonton. There are some very awesome things about Edmonton, but that is not the topic of this blog post. 

Outside is where I always find God. I used to go on long walks and find a rock or something to sit on and stare at the trees and just talk to God about how beautiful He is and just delight in His glorious creation. This was a big part of my life. Any time I was feeling particularly overwhelmed or sad I would leave the house and just walk (or run, back when my body allowed it) and sing and talk to my Father. I was never worried that I wouldn't find God outside. He was always outside. Oh, how I long for those days. I yearn for them. More often than not, where I am living now, I find myself asking God where He is. I look at all the tall buildings and the cement that surrounds me and I wonder "where are You, Father?". I am afraid that He is nowhere to be found in a place like this. I struggle a lot with feeling like I need to be in a certain type of place, with the right kind of ambiance, and the right kind of music, to experience God's presence. I know that there are a lot of people that feel the same way. For me, it's in nature that I feel closest to God. For you it may be alone in your bedroom with the lights turned out, or in church when the worship music is blaring and lights are shining and there is smoke filling the room, or maybe you feel the closest to God when you are reading the Bible or listening to a sermon podcast. Whatever it is, if you are anything like me, and you find that you can't seem to find God anywhere else, then this is for you. 

I believe that in response to my question "Where are You, Father?", God would say to all of us today "I am WHERE YOU ARE". He promised He would be. He told us He would never leave us. Never. No matter where we go. Never ever leave us. That means that no matter if you feel Him or not where you are right now, He is still there anyways. So this is good news. This means that exactly where I am right now, sitting on the couch in my living room, without a tree or flower in sight, I can spend time in God's presence. And maybe this is old news to you and you are reading this like "duh, of course God is always with you", and maybe sometimes I might say the same thing. But right now, in the season I am in, I need to be reminded. And maybe you do to. 

So I encourage you, no matter where you are right now (and I literally mean no matter where), God is there with you and if you speak to Him, He will hear you.