Monday, September 16

a word from one of my pastors - on FAITH

I love my church.  Absolutely love it, and thank God for the family of God that we worship with on Sunday mornings.  I am realizing that doing retreat ministry has changed our weekends, or especially MY weekend - a lot - and so I am just delighting in every Sunday that I get to physically sit in the pew.
Today was one of those Sundays.  (next Sunday I will be home with a retreat-er so will not be in church).

Anyhow - the sermon series is called "Essentials by Design" and this Sunday Pastor Delbert spoke on "Faith".  (Last week it was LOVE)  The scripture he used was from 1 Timothy 1: 12-16 where Paul is writing to young Timothy.  Paul talks about how God "considered me trustworthy" or other words would be "judged me" or "sized me up" AND God put Paul into serving Him!! Paul - the one who was the great persecutor of Christians - was stopped dead in his tracks - and for the very first time, with blinded eyes - he (as Delbert put it) "gets to see Jesus!"

Delbert explained the difference between "believing in God" and "faith" which is "acting upon the things you know that are true about who God is!!"  Jesus says - "Joy (insert your name instead) - have faith in me - and that the things I have done for you (going to the cross for your sin) - those things are true!!"

But Delbert also challenged us to move away from "strictly believing" and "act upon what we know!" And also to let Jesus go deeper with us!!  It is important to share our story with others - and "when you tell your story - there is an eruption of praise that comes out of you!!" (as Delbert said it)

An eruption of praise!!
Oh my goodness - what joy - what delight - what praise - all to the One who has redeemed me, and made me one of His own!  A sinner saved by grace.

Somehow - the sermon was so very simple - and yet so very profound!  I left pondering the words that I heard.

I believe that we all have a story.
But perhaps not all of our stories include Jesus Christ - redeemer - Saviour - Rock - Comforter - Counsellor - the great I AM - ....
I am so thankful Lord - that you are my Saviour - my beloved - and you love me SO much.
You have given me a story to tell - and may my life be an eruption of praise!

Sunday, September 15

You Surround Me

For some reason, I was thinking tonight of a song that I loved the first time I heard it!
It is by one of my favorite musicians - Brian Doerksen and the son is called You Surround Me.

Lately, there has been a lot on my/our plate.  
It seems that since January 1 of this year - there has been a lot on everyone's plate.
A buffet of emotions for us to chew on ...
A plate overflowing most of the time.
There has been tons of good stuff
But there has been tons of hard stuff.
Really HARD stuff.

Lately we have been praying hard - for many things
And we have seen God answer in some amazing ways.
But we have also seen people and friends going through some really really tough times

So I am reminded again - YOU O Lord, YOU SURROUND ME!!
You will never let me go
I can't live my life without You

oh such beautiful words
such a timely beautiful reminder

I am glad that I am listening to this song just now - as I get ready to get to sleep
The words can resonate in my being while I fall asleep ... (I especially like the Gaelic)

The words go like this:

You surround meYou indwell meYou're beside meEver present always nearYou're the whisperCalling my name gentlyLove eternalReaching to me jealous for me
(Chorus)I will stay with You foreverArm in arm we'll walk togetherYou will never let me goI can't live my life without YouMy whole will to live is for YouYou've awakened me to know
I can't live my life without YouI can't live my life without YouI can't live my life without You