After reading about 2 police officers being shot in New York and also reading about the abuse of women and children in Iraq and Syria by IS, it is hard to think that there is a God who loves us and is in control, but remember there is.  Some would say that some of the worst violence in history has been perpetrated by those who profess to love God.  In some case they are right.  But what does it mean to love God?

It is easier for many people to love those we see.  To love those that we can see the love physically and tangibly returned to us, and I think that for many people to day we do not always see God at work in our lives and are not taught how to see God at work in our lives. Others may have trouble believing that they can see or relate to God.  Yet God has revealed Himself in Jesus, through the Bible (the inspired word of God), through His Holy Spirit, and through the many miracles that surround us every day. But most of all God has come to those He loves and invites us to love Him.  In the life of Jesus, the aspect that was most troubling about Him was that He was showing God’s love through actions, not through rules.  Yes the rules were still there and Jesus was working within the realm of those rules, but Jesus highlighted the love of God and showed His disciples, the people that He met and those He healed how powerful God’s love was, not how powerful God was, not how quickly God could wipe out a city, or get revenge, how powerful and important the love of God is in our lives.  No it is not going to suddenly take all our problems away. But it is real and it is inviting us to come to Him, to be renewed by Him, to be loved and accepted, and to grow into the people that we are meant to be, not just the people we choose to be or told by our society or culture we are suppose to be.  We are given value and are valued by the creator of the universe, not by a passing fad, not by a prideful culture, not by the majority or the minority, but by God through Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour. God’s love that came down at Christmas, meets where we are at no matter how perfect or messy our situation is, and calls to follow Him, not leaving us where we are at, but bringing us along to something precious because He is precious, because He has loved us and invites us to love Him.  What is stopping us from loving Him with everything that we have?  Is it because we are too busy, too stress, too comfortable, or we are too unsure and we are afraid to commit because what happens if we are wrong?  In the Bible the people are continually pointing to all the things that God has done and is doing.  Why do we now doubt what the Bible says, what our friends and families might say about God and Jesus.  Are we taught to question everything and trust nothing?  If so we are in trouble because we have been taught to trust things that have only been around for a short period of time and doubt what has been tried and true for hundreds of years.  I’m not against change, or science, and I don’t think that science and faith need to battle against each other but I do believe and think that we need to remember to love the one that has loved us for longer than we have been alive.  We need to trust God who seeks to lift us up, not push us down.  We need to trust in the heart of the Gospel, the truth that God has given us in Jesus, and in His Bible, and allow His Holy Spirit to lead us.  We need to allow truth to be real, because in the truth that comes from God is a deeper love than anything or anyone can offer.


As I am sitting here thinking about the message from yesterday, I am contemplating two things.  The first thing is that joy is more of a state of being than a feeling, and the second is that we are taught to not be joyful.

When I read the verse, “Do not grieve, the joy of the LORD is your strength” Nehemiah 8:10b, I can’t help but think that there must be more to joy than just feeling happy.  Nehemiah is talking about being joyful in a time that you could be grieving.  Mary is in a situation where she has gone away, most likely sent away from her immediate family and community while she is pregnant, all because she was faithful and God gave her a child even though she was not married.  She could have done a number of things, bragging about what God has done because she is so good, she could be saying woe is me, but instead she is thankful and is praising God.  In her faithfulness she is still able to praise God, even though things aren’t going as easily as she would want them to and then there is the fact that God has interrupted her life plans, or has He?  She strikes me as someone who had the goal of being faithful to God no matter what.  Would I be that way, am I that way?  The answer to that is some days are better than others.  What about you?

The second part of this is that if we were to live lives filled with the joy of the Lord, which I am seriously doubting our society really wants because if we did, our society and economy would fail.  As I look around I see instances of encouragement to live and experience joy, but this joy is not satisfying, it ends.  If we truly live lives of joy, we would not be constantly trying to get our fix of joy. We would be more thankful, loving, and I think we would look and act more like the people that Jesus talks about when He answered the question about the greatest commandment, “To love the LORD your God with all your heart, mind, body and soul, and the second is like it, to love your neighbour as yourself.”  God wants us to live lives of joy but for some reason we get caught up in dissatisfaction instead of joy.  We covet, we are envious, prideful, and greedy (every one to a different degree) but in our wanting more we move a way from the joyful humility that Jesus displays, lives out and calls us to follow in.  In our strivings are we striving to follow Jesus or to fit in in this world?  Jesus came to bring us and call us into fullness of life but too often we try to fill our life with things that do not bring us Joy.  Maybe we need to be spending more time with Jesus to find out what real joy, a life of joy really is, I bet it is bigger and deeper than many of us can imagine.


If you are looking for a blog on world peace, this is not it.  I like to think about it but I don’t have all the answers to world peace that someone else hasn’t said already.  I can’t say that what I am about to write about is new.  It is my experience of peace that I need to remind myself about and maybe you need the reminder of that also.

Before we go any further, it might be helpful for you to know that yes I am a technophile.  I like technology, I use it everyday.  However I must admit that technology has not brought me the greatest peace that I have felt.  Yes at times, I have used technology to unwind or to relax, but the greatest peace I have experienced has been when technology has either been absent or used to see the intricacies of God’s creation (I do like to take photographs).  I love being out in God’s creation.  Yes some of it scares me, I’m not much for heights even though I do like walking up mountains, I don’t like snakes but I have come to a place where I don’t freeze up and start screaming, but most of God’s creation brings me peace.  Even a few weeks ago when the electricity was out and even though it was cloudy and I couldn’t see the stars, it was a peaceful night for myself and I enjoyed going out for a walk.  My kids and I were not on the same page but I still enjoyed the windy quietness.

The peaceful times of being out in God’s creation without the hum of technology and the brightness of electricity generated lights, have meant a lot to me.  I grew up out in the country and enjoyed walking through the woods, or by streams.  Seeing the animals run through the under brush or sit and try and figure me out while I stood and tried to figure it out.  There is a naturalness to this time together that I believe is stepping closer to God.  Not that a piece of God is in the tree but the tree is also a creation of God.  I also get a similar peaceful feeling when I am with people that are important to me but also people who have God’s supernatural peace about them.  I am privileged to have six kids and there are times when we are together when I can feel the peace of God because we are sharing the love of God.  No matter how much we try to make something special, or our lives more comfortable, if we do not have the love of God in us and are sharing in the love of God, we will never find the depth of peace that God is offering to us.

God demonstrates His love for us through Jesus, and shows us that He is making peace with us.  I don’t think we will ever find the true peace we are looking for until we stop fighting against God, and be at peace with God, because I think this is what we are really looking for deep down even though we don’t always want to admit it.  Come to Jesus and ask for forgiveness and peace and in it you will find the eternal love of God.


I don’t think that I have ever consciously noticed the relationship between patience and hope.  Sometimes what we hope for, we get right away.  Whether we were prompted to hope by someone who was about to give us something, not that we really thought about wanting it before, and then gave it to us.  However, most times that we are hoping, we don’t get what we want right away.  Now we could be impatient and cause ourselves and those around us more and more stress and anxiety.  This time of year whether you are driving through a snow storm or braving crowded stores looking for that perfect gift you could be impatient.  If you choose to be impatient, you may teach those around you strange hand gestures, or strange sounding words followed by wrinkled up facial expressions (strangely enough there is a whole industry to stop wrinkles and it has very little ties to stopping impatience) and people may want to stop being around you.

However patience is tied to the journey of hope.  Without hope, do we have a reason to be patient.  Instead of choosing the impatient actions that seem so easy to choose, we choose to be patient, we are showing love to those around us and seeing value in the journey that we are facing.  Patience shows that you have hope, whether it is for a person or a situation (this then helps other people to hope).  When we are being patient, we are also being loving and showing our faithfulness.  Paul rights in 1 Corinthians 13:13 that faith, hope, and love will last forever, will you live these three out in your life, practising the fine art of patience like Jesus is being patient with you?