Thursday, December 27, 2007

Thank you

Thank you for the comments over the past two posts. I am humbled and inspired. Each of you are considered friends and I cherish the relationships we have started. I am no one special, just a guy who really loves the LORD. I hope this page will continue to be a source that is provocative and a blessing. The plan is to get deeper into my devotions over the coming weeks. I encourage your feedback. Some of my thoughts may be controversial to the mainstream. The intention is not to shock but rather to open dialogue and growth, yours and mine. I spend a lot of time in prayer over my studies. I ask that you please do the same. I welcome challenging points of view (Steve) and debate as this is the source of growth and understanding.
Thank you once again, I appreciate each and every one of you.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

The Best Christmas Gift Ever

My only daughter lives 1,ooo miles away with her mom. The last Christmas I spent with her was 16 years ago. For a few years after her mom and I split, I wasback in Canada, I would fly down to Florida after the holiday to spend time with her and my oldest son. I could only charge so many trips before Visa started to get too heavy. If only life were like the commercials. Still every year I shipped boxes of wrapped gifts to the kids. I never received any packages back but then I never expected any.
Last year I received a post card a week after Christmas for a parcel waiting for me at the Post Office depot. Even though I was 41 at the time I was still stoked to be receiving a package. I was pretty certain it wasn't court documents as the hatchet my ex-wife wielded for years had been long buried.
The package was not a court document but rather a box containing a beat up wrapped parcel. I couldn't wait to get home so I ripped the wrapping off in the front seat of my car sitting in the parking lot. Under the colourful paper was the greatest gift I have ever received. It was from my 16 year old daughter. As soon as I saw the gift I knew she really cared about me. It was a demonstration that she actually listened to the silly things I said when we talked about nothing important. The gift wasn't expensive, probably cost more to ship it than to purchase it.
My daughter sent me a box of Cocoa Puffs for Christmas. I loved Cocoa Puffs as a kid. For some reason they stopped selling them in Canada some 20 years ago. Cocoa Puffs represented a cherished memory of my childhood and my daughter recognized that. The box of cereal didn't mean anything, although I enjoyed them immensely. No, the gift wasn't all that important. It was the thought that counted.
Even though you won't be reading this, I want the world to know I love you Baby Girl and I will always cherish that gift. Love you lots, Dad.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Christmas Eve

To me, Christmas Eve is the most special day of the entire season. Everything leads up to this day. It 's the day I love to work most. The one day that coworkers are actually sincere about their best wishes. The day that all the special movies and programs on TV build up for. The day that extended families seem to be a little closer, with a special glint in the eye when they smile and say Merry Christmas before heading for home or off to bed. It's the evening when you go to church and sing the sentimental favourites, the songs that lift your heart a little higher and bring a tear to your eye when you think about your cherished relationship with the LORD.
Tomorrow morning is Christmas Day. The kid's will be up early ripping open the gifts. There will be a buzz as the newness of it all permeates through out the house. There will be phone calls to loved ones in distant places. Hearty laughs will be shared as you reminisce about Christmas' past. The funky sweater vests and Johnny West Corrals.
Then the euphoria slowly dissipates. The frenzy begins as preparations are made for the big dinner. The garbage is picked up and the house straightened up. Everyone eats too much at dinner and then the men retire to watch football and fall asleep in the easy chairs while the women gather in the kitchen to talk about the silly men who are sleeping in front of the TV.
Then Christmas Day comes to a close. It's just not the same as Christmas Eve. The most wonderful day of the most wonderful time of the year.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

A Quiet Anniversary

Today marks my second anniversary as a blogger. I remember vividly sitting on the refinished pew at the dining room table in the house that I put my heart into renovating. It was a beautiful one a half storey century home. Sitting at the old Sony Viao I created a Blogger account and got down to business writing my first post. Nearly 500 posts and half a dozen other blogs I sit at my grandparents refinished drop leaf dining room table in our bedroom. The table opened up to sit 12 of us comfortably. Now with a pair of middle legs removed and the leafs down it makes a comfortable craft table for my wife an adequate writing table for me. Here I sit at my almost brand new Dell laptop writing for the friends I have never met but have grown to hold dear. Friends who are also writers, photographers, spinners, artists all. This newest blog is supposed to be another outlet to work on my writing but also a place to share my studies of the Word of God. I have lots to write, probably enough to take me to a third, fourth maybe even fifth blogging anniversary.
On this milestone occasion I want to thank everyone who has supported me over this period. I appreciate you all.

Friday, December 21, 2007

The Real Meaning of Christmas

Kathy tagged everyone who read her blog to continue this meme.

Here are the instructions for this meme:

1. Make a paragraph next to the last paragraph in the tag that is passed to you “What is Christmas to you” and put your name at the end of it linking back to your site, or the page that answered this tag.

2. You can use a title that will suit your Christmas idea.

3. Then tag as many as you can.

For me, Christmas means HOPE. Always has been, always will be. The fallen world has received the greatest hope of all: the birth of Jesus Christ. And since hope is all around, then it's only normal to see so many acts of kindness around Christmastime. In Indo, we never exchanged Christmas gifts, but now I live in Finland and I start to buy gifts for my loved ones. Christmas also means family gathering for me and candlelight service at church. Plus I get to sing Christmas songs and enjoying a Christmas play and dance. Other than that, for me Christmas also means SERENITY. I can feel a different kind of peace in my heart whenever Christmas comes along. And since Christmas is near New Year, it's also time for reflection for me: reflecting all the blessings that the Lord has given me and then thanking God for everything. - Amel

Christmas, to me, is a day that is set aside to celebrate the birth of God's only son, the Savior and Messiah. We celebrate this special birth by spending time with the people we love the most and giving gifts to each other because God gave to us the greatest gift of all. And it's not only on Christmas Day that we celebrate; we celebrate during the weeks leading up to December 25 by giving gifts to others around us who are in need of basic necessities that we are already blessed to have. We celebrate by listening to and singing Christmas carols that tell about the birth of Jesus. We also celebrate this day by eating special foods that we only have at Christmas time. I love Christmas and meditating on the story in Luke 2 about how it all actually happened. I love spending time with family and friends and the warmth of love that I feel at this time of year. -Kathy

Three or four years ago I began to struggle with the meaning of Christmas. The pagan roots of the holiday, Santa being omniscient and somewhat omnipresent subtly taking over the position of God. The Christmas spirit was growing cold. Then fine December evening my wife and infant son went to a department store in an old mall locally. As I pushed the baby around the aisles of the dated department store while my wife shopped I began to notice the garland hanging from the ceiling. The carols softly floating through the air waxed nostalgic. I was taken back to my childhood when Christmas was special. Christmas to me is a celebration of the birth of Jesus but I celebrate that everyday. I am deeply moved when Mariah Carey sings O Holy Night. But Christmas to me is that feeling that stirs deep within my innards, the same feeling I would get when the big '72 Pontiac rolled over hills when I was small. Christmas is an event where people act like they actually care about each other. I'm naive enough to believe they are being sincere. Christmas is a beautiful time of year and I once again enjoy every minute of it. - -Warren

I would like to take Kathy;s queue and tag everyone who visits this blog from now until Christmas!

I wish everyone the best Christmas ever.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Friday Night Videos on a Thursday

I thought it was Friday night and started setting this up. Oh well, I have a jump on the weekend.

This post was inspired by my good friend WIXY. I listen to this song with the headphones on over and over again on the MP3. It is so simple yet so absolutely beautiful.

Interview Meme

I was tagged by Stacy to do this meme.
Instructions:Remove 1 question from below, and add in your personal question, make it a total of 20 questions, then tag 8 people in your list, list them out at the end of this post. Notify them in their chat box that he/she has been tagged. Whoever does the tag will have blessings from all.
1. At what age do you wish to marry?
Too la;te to answer this question. I'm already married to the most wonderful woman who ever walked the face of the earth.
2. If you have the chance, what would you probably say to your beloved one?
It doesn't matter what I say, it's what I do that matters. I try to show her everyday that I'm blessed to be a part of her life.
3. If you were to be stranded on a desert island, who are the 3 blog buddies you would take with you? Why?
How do I answer this without alienating some of my good friends? On second thought, considering I'm going to be stranded on a deserted island, I'd try to find an boat building blog buddy, a sea faring captain blog buddy and then Stacy to listen to my complain about being stuck on a deserted island and that she's responsible for me being stuck. Ha
4. Where is the place that you want to go the most?
5. If you can have 1 dream to come true, what would it be?
Be a published writer.
6. What's the best compliment you've ever received? (Or you can list some of the memorable ones if it's too hard to pick one)
"My goodness you have a beautiful wife and kids"
7. What are you afraid to lose the most?
.My car keys. It happens all the time.
8. If you win $1 million, what would you do?
Make about five sets of car keys.
9. Warren Peace's question - What would your Rock Star name be?
Since I've already used Warren Peace, I'd go with Rob Banks.
10. List out 3 good points of the person who tagged you.
Stacy publicly respects and builds up her husband, she edifies her friends (me) and her posts make me smile.
11. What are the requirements that you wish from your other half?
Sense of humour, kind, and a really short memeory.
12. Which type of person do you hate the most?
Some people disapoint me but I don't hate anyone. I
13. What is your ambition?
To leave the world a better place than I found it.
14. What is the thing that will make you think he/she is bad?
When they go out of bounds at recess.
15. Christmas is coming, who do you like to celebrate with?
I really wish I could have my enire family together. All my kid's, mom, brothers and cousins. Just like it was when I was a kid.
16. What do you think is the most important thing in your life?
My relationship with Jesus
17. Stacy's Question: If you could have a magical power what would it be? and how would you use it?
I'm not sure it's a magical power or super power but I'd like to be able to fly. How would I use it? Um,. I'd fly.
18. Which actress or actors you would like be?
I'm with Stacy on this one. There are no actors or actresses that inspire me but I too would love to have Julia Roberts hair.
19. It would be 2008 in a few days, do you have a new year’s resolution?
20. Do you have any plans for tomorrow?
I have to work. Woohoo!
As is my tradition I don't tag others. It's not because I don't care but rather I have way too many friends out there and I don't have the time to tag them all. I would like to thank Stacy though, I appreciate the tag, it shows you care.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007


So many choices were before me. As my failing eyes moved across the selections I finally gave in and pulled one of the shelf. Giving myself a mental jab for forgetting my reading glasses I brought the little bottle up to my nose then extended my arm as far as I could. It was no use, here was no way I could read the fine print on the jar of baby food. I was able to make out the 6 on the label. Viewing the other bottles I caught on quickly that the number denoted the age the food was appropriate for. Narrowing down my selections to the jars with the 6 months label made my job much easier. Now to remember my wife's instructions. There were jars of fruit and jars with a mix of lamb, beef or chicken. Cell phones have a definite place in society. A quick call home confirmed that I was to pick the fruit selections.

Buying baby food is one of the greatest joys in my life. As I loaded the little bottles into the cart I couldn't help but think about my kids and how much I love them. The 6 month old is so helpless. I have to pick out the right food for him because he's completely helpless. He isn't even capable of worrying about whether or not he'll be cared for, he just assumes it.

Isn't it wonderful that our LORD loves us even more than we love our precious children. He promises to care for us and take on our needs. As we mature in our relationship with Him the expectations grow just like they do with our kids. I don't pick out the food for my 19 year old anymore. I don't buy him clothes or wash his face after a meal. I do give him money when he's driving into the States to catch a flight to see his mom because he didn't get a passport in time. I love him and want him to be safe. Jesus loves us in the same way. When we get to the point that we should know better, He doesn't shield us from the consequences of stupid actions. He does help bail us out thought when we recognize we were foolish

I am so thankful I am able to praise God in all things even something simple like buying baby food.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007


How good is the LORD? I don't have the time to recount His mercy. Two of my biggest struggles are with pride and fear. As I study, pray and learn simple truths become so evident. Truths were recently demonstrated for me like a drama before my eyes. I was actually a main character in the production. I learned first hand what why acting in fear is so destructive. I witnessed the demise of an institution that was once strong and mighty. It dissolved like a sand castle in the surf in a few swift gentle waves. Before anyone knew it our work of many months was a heap on the ground.
In His infinite mercy he picked me up and showed me the errors that were occurring. I stopped short of pointing an accusing finger because I saw myself to a lesser degree in the mix. God's teaching and instruction is not intended to make our lives miserable. The world, even the church in some circumstances would lead us to believe this. God's ways are bondage and oppression. In reality the gift Jesus gave us unlocks so many freedoms, mortal minds can't begin to comprehend.
He helped me comprehend some of His truths over the past two weeks. I stood nodding affirmation understanding the cause and effect of our actions. Follow self serving means and watch chaos ensue. Follow God's teaching and instruction through the power of Jesus, the incarnate WORD and realize blessings.
How great is our God.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Habitual Friar

It's all about habits. How I react to situations. What I do when I encounter new or existing interactions. Do I follow the teachings and instruction of God or do I revert to my own understanding. If I'm honest, it's usually the later. The LORD's ways seem to always be the exact opposite of my own intuition. When someone relays a juicy tidbit about someone whom I'm not particularly fond of, do I defend the absent one or do I sit and act pious and try to down play the news while inside I'm lapping up the latest dish? Of late I have been making right choices more often than not. It isn't easy taking the righteous road. The benefits are not immediate either. I do know that reverting to human nature ends up kicking me in the pants. Here's the funny thing too. The more I understand the truth the more I'm held accountable. As I practice and develop proper habits the stumbling becomes ever less frequent. When I do fall short however, the ramifications are usually quick and increasing in intensity. I take that to as a sign that I am on the right track.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Embrace Your Foes

"Your enemies will reveal your weaknesses for you." This was a line from a teaching I had on tape by Rabbi Ralph Messer. He taught to listen to those who oppose you for they will teach you what you need to know about yourself. All I can say is, Amen.
Recently I went through a very difficult challenge. I took the challenge on the chin refusing to pull anyone down with me. I have a very hard time with the victim mentality and used everything I had to avoid pointing fingers. It wasn't easy. After much prayer I have found that I may grow from the experience. I say may because it depends on me actually doing something with what I've learned.
One of the biggest struggles I have had to wrangle with is animosity towards individuals whose finger prints are all over the knives that were planted in my back. I am coming to terms with the belief that those foes are simply misled. I also have to come to terms with the fact that there are knives out there with my fingerprints all over them. Those incidents may have been in the past and I didn't see them for being subversive at the time but now I do. If I'm really honest I may see some recent incidents that may be covered with a sense of duty. Maybe there was another way.
I also see that I was judging the current slate of would be assassins before they enacted their deeds. Maybe if I would have washed the blood off my hands I would have viewed them differently. Maybe I would have looked at them with the love that Jesus has for them. I didn't though.
Now I am able to examine my ways and change course when self righteousness starts to creep in. I understand that I have to look through Jesus at every situation I encounter. What would Jesus do indeed. More like what would Jesus have me do to live in obedience to His Word.
At the end of the day the biggest foe I have stares at me every morning when I'm shaving. It would be best to embrace him. I have learned to forgive him, now it's time to start living out the wisdom that has been bestowed.