Monday, December 27, 2010


I'm feeling just a wee bit of pressure to write something fantastic and profound (or even fantastically profound) for what will most likely be the last entry here for 2010.  But evening is fast approaching and I have a DVD or two to enjoy as I'm on a bit of a holiday until Wednesday and a husband I would like to try to sell on the idea of allowing me a Birthday Eve which would allow me to open my gifts from him early so . . . yeah.  Fantastic and profound will just have to wait until 2011. 

Though I did have an interesting thought/memory last night as I was drifting off to sleep.  I couldn't even tell you what started this particular train of thought, but I was remembering a day from my elementary school years.  It was recess and I had just been unceremoniously informed by some friends I was no longer a member of a club we had formed.  The reasons given have been fuzzed out by time, but I do recall standing in one corner of the playground by the chain link fence feeling very sad and alone and not acceptable.  Unbeknown to me initially, my older sister -- who at that time was at the school which was literally across the street -- saw me and came over to see what was the matter.  I tearfully filled her in and she came to my defense, telling the girls they were being mean.  Or something like that.  Like I said, the memory is fuzzy and I may have added in bits and pieces.  But what mattered, what I still remember, is this:

1.  I was, for all intents and purposes, deemed unacceptable as a member of a club to which my friends belonged.
2.  My older sister stuck up for me.  She let it be known, in her own way, I was acceptable.

And last night I realized God is like my big sister was in that moment.  He is my defender.  He is the One who sticks up for me when no one else (myself included) will, when all are busily pointing out my many faults and shortcomings, sins and failures.  It's not that God doesn't know I mess things up.  It's not that He glosses over my sins.  But He doesn't look at me through that particular lens. As He did with Gideon (Judges 6: 11-16), God sees me with all of the potential, with all of the abundance and fullness and goodness promised in Jeremiah 29: 11-13 (Message):

I know what I'm doing.  I have it all planned out -- plans to take care of you,
not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for.
When you call on me, when  you come and pray to me, I'll listen.
When you come looking for me, you'll find me.

God never abandons us.  He doesn't tell us we're no longer a part of His plan.  We can choose to walk away from Him and that plan, but like the prodigal son discovered (Luke 15: 11-32), when we admit the wrong we've done and ask for His forgiveness, it's given.  And that is something I'll gladly carry with me out of 2010 and into 2011.

I hope you are all able to ring out 2010 and ring in 2011 with people you love.  Thank you for reading!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Under Pressure

Sometimes Facebook really irritates me.  Wait, let me clarify – not Facebook its self, but the status updates that crop up here ‘n’ there that are the equivalent of the E-Mail Forward.  Many of you know what I’m talking about in both cases.  But in case you don’t, here is a brief example:

      1.   The E-Mail Forward:  Often requiring the reader to first scroll through two pages of addresses from all the people who received the e-mail before them, the message often contains an inspiring and/or cautionary tale of some sort with directions to forward the e-mail to ‘x’ number of people.  If the reader does not do this, he or she will end up with ‘x’ number of years of bad luck, small puppies will be kicked, and an entire glacier will melt and flood the North Pole ruining Christmas for everyone.

      2.  The Facebook Status Update:  Involving unverified statistics with no margin of error these updates are probably all posted with the best of intentions.  (In 3% of the cases anyway – the other 97% are just a bunch of pot-stirring yokels.)    These updates ask the reader to repost these status updates if they “love Jesus”, “support people fighting cancer”, or “want to end all the ills in the world”.

Now you may be reading this and wondering why I don’t just delete the e-mails and ignore the status updates.  I mean, what’s it to me if this is what people want to do?  And honestly, I do think most of these things are passed along with the best of intentions.

So again – what’s my problem?  And after some thought and such, I think it’s the underlying guilt trips that come along with these things that so irk me.  As a couple of friends pointed out, such things are ultimately a form of peer pressure.  One wonders if by not forwarding/reposting such things are they showing they are indeed bad, uncaring, puppy-kicking and Jesus-denying people.  (Or maybe it’s just me.  Though I doubt it.)  But seriously -- if people can’t tell I’m a Christian by what I do ‘everyday’ then the last thing I need to be changing is my Facebook status.   And if all the ills of society were cured by the copy & paste function on computers the world over, we’d be living in a utopian society right now. 

Look, I do love Jesus and I know I fall far short of the life He’s called me to live.  And I know several people who have had cancer.  None of them care one whit about people honouring them via e-mail forwards or Facebook status updates.  They're too busy living their lives.

I guess what I’m taking issue with is the fact it’s so easy for me to post something via Facebook or Twitter, to send an e-mail to try to guilt someone to ‘pass it along’ – even with the best of intentions – and quite another to get off my butt and actually do something about the injustices around me.  It’s so very easy to type out “I love Jesus” and quite another to actually tell someone face-to-face about the salvation available only through His death and resurrection.  Only minutes need to be spent in the comfort of my home decrying the hardships of the poor, but it’s another matter entirely to put together a donation for the food bank or to volunteer at a soup kitchen.

I want to stop living a copy & paste life.  How about you?  And if you’re not living that sort of a life, kudos!  What do you do to actually get out there and do something?  Feel free to share below.  I won’t copy & paste it, I promise.  ;-)

Monday, December 13, 2010

This Writer's Life

“A writer is a person for whom writing is more difficult
than most other people.”  -- Thomas Mann

I have been writing in some form or another pretty much since my school days.  Much of my writing during those days was required – stories, book reports, research papers, exams and the like.  What little I did because I wanted to do it was kept to diaries/journals, letters/notes, and the odd silly story during junior high with friends when science class felt a little. . . . dry.  (Hey, at least we weren’t melting Bic pens with the Bunsen burners, Mr. Beazer!)

It wasn’t until I had the notion to write a fan fiction story based on Catherine Marshall’s book Christy that I wrote a story simply because I wanted to write one.  That in turn let to some devotional stories being penned for family members, more fan fiction stories, and eventually two writing courses, a blog, and many National Novel Writing Month entries.  In fact, I don’t think I’ve quit writing since that initial story all those years ago.  Mind you, I’ve debated quitting many times as I’ve questioned if I actually had the ability or was just deluding myself as to my ‘talents’.  Then there are the questions of whether I really have the time to properly devote to such endeavours, and (as a Christian) if this is what God really wants me to be doing, and is there any point to fictional stories (which I truly enjoy working on when not typing up blog entries)?  Then there are the many uncompleted stories I have occupying computer bytes, file folders, and a binder or two. 

Yet here I continue to sit, fingers clicking away on the keyboard and ideas bouncing around in my head.  I think writing is more difficult at times for writers as per Mr. Mann’s quote, but at the same time also find the greater difficulty for myself (and many other writers I would imagine) lies in not writing.  Actually, I think that’s true for anyone’s gifting, or their calling, even, if you will.  We’re all wired a certain way and created on purpose with a purpose to fulfill here on earth.  To not do that, to try to ‘fit’ our selves into something else is like wearing a too-small shoe:  It pinches and makes it difficult to keep moving forward.

I can’t be the only one who thinks on these things – what about you?  What do you think you’re meant to be doing?  And are you doing it?  Maybe we can all encourage each other put on the right pair of shoes for the journey.

Monday, December 6, 2010


Another year is drawing to a close and again I find myself in a reflective mood.  What had I hoped to accomplish in 2010?  Did I accomplish it, any of it?  If yes, what and why?  If not, what and why and what needs to be changed so I don’t keep going in circles?  It is a time to be honest, sometimes painfully so, and sometimes it requires the help of other people as we don’t always see things in us or around us that need to be worked on. 

And again, I find myself chewing on Romans 8:27-28 (Message):

[God’s Spirit] knows us far better than we know ourselves,
knows our pregnant condition, and keeps us present before God.
That’s why we can be so sure that every detail
in our lives of love for God is worked
into something good.

So the things I ‘got right’ this year . . . the things I messed up or completely missed the boat on . . . God can work it into something good.  I can’t do a thing about it, but God . . .  He created the universe out of nothing; by the power of His words He put stars, planets, and so many things into the initially empty, shapeless void, so surely He can create something good out of all the bits ‘n’ pieces of this life. 

Then the next question is where do I go from this point on?