As we continue through difficult days in Ontario, I hope these resources will bring some joy and hope to you.
Let’s begin with this thought about faith (also, being ok doesn’t mean never being sad, hurt or confused):
And on that same point, here is Kristene DiMarco singing “It is well,” a song that reminds us that when we fix our eyes on God, all is well with us (and then morphs into the hymn It is Well With My Soul!):
This lovely reminder of what God says:
This lovely version of Amazing Grace by For King and Country:
As I’m travelling through various social media feeds, I’ve learned to save anything that might be (as one of my friends puts it) – blog fodder. Early in the pandemic, I lost a couple of things that I’d really wanted to blog about. So now, anytime, even if there’s just the slightest chance that I might want to us it in the future, it gets saved. I end up with a lot of stuff on my phone. And sometimes there are themes.
Recently both of these were things I saved:
In light of the storm we’ve been in all year, and the worsening mental health that many may be experiencing, I thought both these reminders were timely.
God is still here, no matter what other (unhelpful) voices are whispering in your ear.
And this will not last forever. (I tell myself that regularly, and it really does help.)
Hold on, dear friends. And when you hold on, hold on to God – not to negative voices, anxiety, depression, fear, stress, and doubt. God is greater than all those other things combined.
Until tomorrow, dear friends, remember that our God is the Everlasting God.
So, throughout the pandemic, we’ve been hearing a lot about mental health issues, addiction issues, worsening general health (ie, with gyms closed, with spending more time at home and therefore, perhaps, turning to food for comfort, etc.), social isolation, and so many other ways that people are suffering.
And there has been lots of advice given by health professionals about what to do to combat these realities, to improve health, to find outlets to socialize safely, to improve one’s self. Far be it from me to argue against any of those things.
But I also think this is vitally important:
This is a slightly different take on self-improvement. It means that my end-goal isn’t to be a better me, but a more-Christ-like me. (Which, of course, is the best me I could be!) It means that my goal won’t be making myself more happy, but finding ways to live out the ethic of love, joy, peace, hope, generosity, kindness, gentleness, self-control – all those things for which Jesus lived and taught, died and rose again.
Finding ways to live The Way of Jesus means that not only will my life be improved – but so will the lives of those I reach out to in love, those that I share generously with, those that are recipients of kindness, those who need a little gentleness. Finding ways to be more like Jesus will alway benefit more than just ME. And that’s why it yields better results.
Until tomorrow, dear friends, may you walk in The Way, may you become more like Jesus.
First, I just want to take a second to say THIS IS MY 300th post in a row! What EVEN?! How did that happen?! I’m kind of addicted to it, now, so you might just be stuck with me for a while. 😉
Next up on the agenda: time to queue the 2021 jokes (you KNEW they were coming after the week we’ve been through!):
And a couple of super hero memes (cause those are always in order!)
This lovely little bit of advice (ok, but don’t gather, people. Send a text. Or sit silently on Zoom. Let’s say safe!):
So. Um. I’m only supposed to make that as a plan when I’m 100 years old? How come it sounds so good at 45?! I’m an overachiever, or…..????:
Ha! (Though Koski seriously had a night of nightmares recently – she kept growling in her sleep, and it totally freaked me out. My dog rarely growls, so I kept thinking there was someone in my condo. SHEESH.):
This is absolutely true, and a needed reminder right now:
And finally, this blessing for your day:
Until tomorrow, dear friends, keep on laughing and thinking and drawing closer to God!
Time to gather some resources to prepare us for worship. We are starting a new series at Graceview tomorrow, entitled “The Struggle is Real.” Because, after the week that has just passed, with the numbers we are seeing in Toronto, with the unrest in the States, we’re probably feeling the struggle right now. So we are going to talk about how to hold to faith in the midst of struggle.
Let’s start with this Hillsong number, “Who You say I am,” that speaks to who God says each of us is:
I found this earlier today, and I just loved it:
This affirmation of faith, that just spoke to me in the week we’ve all been through:
This song by Andrew Peterson about waiting for hope, entitled “The Dark Before the Dawn,”
Until tomorrow, dear friends, hold to hope, hold to faith. God has promised that he will never leave us, never forsake us!
I’m feeling a bit wordless today. I’ve spent a good hour so far trying to come up with words or ideas for today’s posts. In the midst of a week that has seen some seriously upsetting, my creativity is feeling sapped. So today, I just want to pass this on:
And with that, my dog and I are going for a walk, to breathe in the fresh air and the sunshine and find God among a the trees and the river.
Until tomorrow, dear friends – breathe, just breathe.
So I was heartened yesterday, in the midst of the disturbing events taking place in the USA, when one of the former Moderators of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in Canada shared a prayer in the PCC’s facebook group:
I don’t know that I have much to add to that. I have wept for my friends in the States more this year than any year in living memory. I pray that the this latest moment of crisis there would be a catalyst to bring a broken and divided nation to a better, unified, peaceful day.
Until tomorrow, dear friends, may you pray in the Spirit and know God’s peace.