Category Archives: Love

Don’t Poke the Bear

Image result for don't poke the bear

I prayed about what to write in this post. One side of me is so angry at how people, particularly those in positions of power and authority, mistreat each other. But I realized that if I allow anger to be the “go to” emotion, then I am no better than the ones who are doing the mistreating. The other side of me – the calm and reasonable side (yes, I do have one) – is filled with compassion and even sorrow for those who feel it is their duty to diminish others.

A phrase that comes to mind is, “don’t poke the bear” – a warning to refrain from saying or doing something that might provoke a negative response from someone else. You probably know some of those people. They’re the ones who deem it their right to needlessly provoke, upset, intimidate, or annoy others, sometimes going out of their way to do so and often presenting the action as a joke.

Not funny. And certainly not funny if you’re on the receiving end of the jab.

I think most everyone has engaged in this kind of behaviour at one time or another, not that it makes it right. We lash out at the authority figures who make rules we believe are ridiculous, but we have to abide by them anyway. This is particularly evident during this time of Covid-19 restrictions as social media is overrun with scathing comments, senseless arguments, and cringe-worthy responses. I am saddened when I read some of the words coming from people who should be offering encouragement and hope, but instead are using Facebook as a forum to vent. They’re poking the bear – inciting others to join them in their negative rants.

With empty words. Dangerous words.

1 Timothy 1:5-7 says: For we reach the goal of fulfilling all the commandments when we love others deeply with a pure heart, a clean conscience, and sincere faith.Some believers have been led astray by teachings and speculations that emphasize nothing more than the empty words of men.They presume to be expert teachers of the law, but they don’t have the slightest idea of what they’re talking about and they simply love to argue! (TPT)

I read that and could do nothing but take a good long look at myself. Am I leading people astray by teachings and speculations that emphasize nothing more than empty words? Am I arguing simply because I love to argue? Have I been prodded to poke the bear by reading and listening to others who do so? Lord, forgive me.

My goal, as in the first part of the scripture above, is to fulfill God’s commandments by loving others deeply with a pure heart, a clean conscience, and a sincere faith.

Be encouraged to do the same. The Father is always close by to help.

Leave a comment

Filed under Bible, Christian, decisions, God, Issues, Love

The Puzzle

Image result for puzzle

I am seeing a marked increase in the number of social media posts that openly decry, belittle, and condemn decisions made by our federal and provincial governments, our civic leadership, and law enforcement organizations. No, this isn’t going to be a political post; it’s going to be a concerned one.

The distressing fact is that much of the garbage-spewing I see is coming from Christians. And much of it is garbage.

Here’s the puzzle.

Part 1: My decades of church involvement were sprinkled with ideas/programs/campaigns to get people into the building, as if that feat alone would bring the unsaved into God’s presence and they’d be “set free”. I will say, the odd time it actually worked. But for the most part, the church was a private club for believers. We didn’t bother anyone and most of the time, very few outside our ranks even knew we were there. So, we went along our merry way, having our meetings and clubs and events and services, never giving much thought to our privilege to gather. There was no contingency plan.

Part 2: The year 2020 came along and with it, Covid-19. Businesses closed, workplaces reconfigured, and congregations were unable to meet in their church buildings the way they’d been accustomed. Restrictions varied from one province to another, but everyone was experiencing some degree of shutdown. Oh, the uproar! Those Christians from whom no one had ever heard a peep suddenly spoke up in outrage at the violation of their rights as Canadians. The rest of the country raised an eyebrow and shrugged, so what? And the churches wondered why they weren’t being acknowledged.

This is where pastors and church members start objecting to remind me of all they’ve done to become a valuable presence in their communities. Really? Some have, for sure. I personally know of several churches that have done, and still do the work of Jesus despite the current limitations. They’ve been so creative in their outreach and have developed ways to keep their congregations alive and growing. Is it a coincidence that the ones not spouting off negativity on social media are the churches that are growing exponentially? Nope. They are not the ones I see blasting the governments’ decisions and mandates.

I cringe when I see open criticisms of the people who are doing their best to keep our country safe during this unprecedented time. The point isn’t whether or not the restrictions are warranted. The point isn’t whether or not the medical or government officials are qualified to make decisions. And the point isn’t whether or not you agree with those decisions.

The point is that Christians in general haven’t done a very good job of loving people. We haven’t done a very good job of breaking out of our bless-me clubs to embrace the world around us. We haven’t done a very good job of representing ourselves in civic, provincial, and federal government circles.

So now – now we get angry and whine because we can’t have church as usual. Who’s going to listen? Certainly not the very authorities we’ve mostly kept ourselves separate from. And certainly not the neighbours and acquaintances to whom we’ve neglected to show love.

Do the puzzle.

Find the pieces and put them in right places. It’s not hard. Look for ways to show love to the people around you: the grocery store clerk, the mechanic who fixes your car, the neighbour who shovels your sidewalk, the kid who delivers your paper, your local government representatives. And if your church isn’t meeting right now, start a video bible study or prayer time with a few friends. Look for people to help. It doesn’t take much.

And stop complaining! You’re only hurting yourself.

I read this quote: “It’s not our job to change people, fix people, or judge people. It’s our job to love people.”

That’s all.

No one has ever gazed upon the fullness of God’s splendor. But if we love one another, God makes his permanent home in us, and we make our permanent home in him, and his love is brought to its full expression in us. 1 John 4:12 (TPT)

Leave a comment

Filed under Being Creative, Christian, God, Love

Ancient of Days

Deneo - Ancient of Days | Spinnin' Records

We used to sing a song in our church that started like this:

Blessing and honor, glory and power, be unto the Ancient of Days . . .

Some of you nodding and humming the melody in your heads right now. It was a popular song in Christian circles during the 1990’s, and I still hear it occasionally. One of my favourites.

I hadn’t thought about this song for ages, but the other day I was driving in my car and for some reason, the words just popped into my head. Since then, I have been having conversations with God as to why. I’m certain it wasn’t random.

I wanted to find out where in scripture Ancient of Days was mentioned. Surprising to me, Daniel chapter 7 has the only three references in the entire bible – verses 9, 13, and 22. Okay then. The book of Daniel is primarily a prophetic one and my knowledge of its contents, I’m finding, is rather lacking.

Most commentators say that the Ancient of Days is God, the Father. In Daniel 7:9, He is preparing to judge, seated on a fiery throne wearing a garment white as snow and hair like pure wool. I get why we’d assume that we’re reading about God here. This fits our mental picture of Him, right? But one commentator made a good point. The Ancient of Days can be no other than the Son of Man, Jesus. What? In John 5:22, Jesus says, “For the Father judges no one, but has committed all judgment to the Son.” So, if there is to be judgment, the judging will be done by Jesus Christ.

The following description of Him in the book of Revelation corresponds to the one in Daniel.

When I turned to see the voice that was speaking to me, I saw seven golden lampstands.And walking among the lampstands, I saw someone like a son of man, wearing a full-length robe with a golden sash over his chest. His head and his hair were white like wool – white as glistening snow. And his eyes were like flames of fire!His feet were gleaming like bright metal, as though they were glowing in a fire, and his voice was like the roar of many rushing waters. Revelation 1:12-15 (TPT)

Stay with me here.

Daniel 7:13 and 22 mention the Ancient of Days again, but this time as God the Father. We know that because the Son of Man, Jesus, came to stand near Him. Two separate beings.

What does all of this have to do with anything, you ask?

The title, Ancient of Days, was used interchangeably, I believe, confirming Jesus’ statement in John 10:30; “The Father and I are one.” John 1:1 says, In the beginning was the Word (the Word is Jesus Christ), and the Word (Jesus) was with God, and the Word (Jesus) was God. They are One with the Holy Spirit, just as they are separate.

A lot of stuff in this post, I know, but the Ancient of Days, whether He be the Father or the Son or the Spirit, is everlasting – ancient. Outside of time and space. With complete clarity of the reality of all there is to know. He existed before days even were a thing.

This is what God wanted me to know: That He was here before all and will be here after all. He knows the before and the after and everything in between. About me. About you. His love surrounds us, flows in us, through us, and is for us. His love is ancient. It has never failed and it never will.

For none can compare to Your matchless worth! Sing unto the Ancient of Days.

1 Comment

Filed under Bible, Christ, Christian, Eternity, God, Jesus Christ, Love, Worship

One Another

Image result for one another

Recently, I looked at all the “one another” references in the New Testament. Because there are so many, I realized that God clearly cares about this.

What would happen if we – Christians, followers of Christ, born-again believers – actually regarded one another as outlined in Scripture? Would we . . . could we . . . change the world?

From the NKJV, here’s my list.

  • Mark 9:50  Salt is good, but if the salt loses its flavor, how will you season it? Have salt in yourselves, and have peace with one another.
  • John 13:14  If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet.
  • John 13:34  A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another.
  • John 13:35  By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.
  • John 15:12  This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.
  • John 15:17  These things I command you, that you love one another.
  • Romans 12:5  So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members  of one another.
  • Romans 12:10  Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another;
  • Romans 12:16  Be of the same mind toward one another. Do not set your mind on high things, but associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own opinion.
  • Romans 13:8   Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law.
  • Romans 14:13  Therefore let us not judge one another anymore, but rather resolve this, not to put a stumbling block or a cause to fall in our brother’s way.
  • Romans 14:19  Therefore let us pursue the things which make for peace and the things by which one may edify another.
  • Romans 15:5  Now may the God of patience and comfort grant you to be like-minded toward one another, according to Christ Jesus,
  • Romans 15:7  Therefore receive one another, just as Christ also received us, to the glory of God.
  • Romans 15:14  Now I myself am confident concerning you, my brethren, that you also are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, able also to admonish one another.
  • 1 Cor. 11:33  Therefore, my brethren, when you come together to eat, wait for one another.
  • 1 Cor. 12:25  That there should be no schism in the body, but that the members should have the same care for one another.
  • Galatians 5:13  For you, brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.
  • Galatians 5:15  But if you bite and devour one another, beware lest you be consumed by one another!
  • Galatians 5:26  Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.
  • Galatians 6:2  Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.
  • Eph. 4:2  With all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love,
  • Eph. 4:25  Therefore, putting away lying, “Let each one of you speak truth with his neighbor,” for we are members of one another.
  • Eph. 4:32  And be kind to one another, tender hearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.
  • Eph. 5:19  Speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord,
  • Eph.5:21  Submitting to one another in the fear of God.
  • Col. 3:9  Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds,
  • Col. 3:13  Bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do.
  • Col. 3:16  Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and  admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.
  • 1 Thess. 3:12   And may the Lord make you increase and abound in love to one another and to all, just as we do to you,
  • 1 Thess. 4:9   But concerning brotherly love you have no need that I should write to you, for you yourselves are taught by God to love one another;
  • 1 Thess. 4:18  Therefore comfort one another with these words.
  • 1 Thess. 5:11  Therefore comfort each other and edify one another, just as you also are doing.
  • Heb. 3:13  But exhort one another daily, while it is called “Today,” lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.
  • Heb. 10:24  Let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works,
  • Heb. 10:25  Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.
  • James 4:11  Do not speak evil of one another, brethren. He who speaks evil of a brother and judges his brother, speaks evil of the law and judges the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge.
  • James 5:9   Do not grumble against one another, brethren, lest you be condemned. Behold, the Judge is standing at the door!
  • James 5:16   Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.
  • 1 Peter 1:22  Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart,
  • 1 Peter 3:8  Finally, all of you be of one mind, having compassion for one another; love as brothers, be tender hearted, be courteous;
  • 1 Peter 4:8  And above all things have fervent love for one another, for “love will cover a multitude of sins.”
  • 1 Peter 4:9  Be hospitable to one another without grumbling.
  • 1 Peter 4:10  As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.
  • 1 Peter 5:5  Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders. Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for “God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.”
  • 1 John 1:7   But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.
  • 1 John 3:11   For this is the message that you heard from the beginning, that we should love one another,
  • 1 John 3:23   And this is His commandment: that we should believe on the name of His Son Jesus Christ and love one another, as He gave us commandment.
  • 1 John 4:7  Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.
  • 1 John 4:11   Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.
  • 1 John 4:12   No one has seen God at any time. If we love one another, God abides in us, and His love has been perfected in us.
  • 2 John 1:5   And now I plead with you, lady, not as though I wrote a new commandment to you, but that which we have had from the beginning: that we love one another.

Leave a comment

Filed under God, Jesus Christ, Love, Obedience, Writing



Hit the pause button and sit down with me for a few minutes. This is important.

Too busy, you say? Too bad, I reply. You need to see something.

First, answer this question: When was the last time you experienced God – I mean really felt that God was present with you, hearing you, and showing you how much He loves you? Be honest.

I could venture a guess and say that for most, it’s been a long time. Maybe it’s been weeks or months or years. Maybe never. And that is so incredibly sad, because the Father is all about His sons and daughters experiencing Him. He longs for an intimate relationship with His children.

I’m not going to give you a methodology to cultivate a closer walk with Jesus, if that’s what you’re looking for. I’m also not going to spout doctrine or theology. I’m simply going to tell you that Jesus loves you, really loves you, with a love that cannot be described, explained, dissected, or analyzed. Because He IS love. As a matter of fact, He invented love.

And He is right there loving you whether you like it or not.

Before you start protesting, you need to know that you are good enough. You’re important to Him. He is not disappointed in you. The Father’s love for you is infinite. Jesus is your righteousness and you are complete in Him. Complete! You can’t get any more complete than complete, right? There is no separation between you and the Father. Jesus made that possible. He is in you and you are in Him. As one.

Perhaps you believe that you don’t understand enough about God or the Bible to really experience Him. Perhaps someone convinced you that you weren’t spiritually mature. Let me assure you that even though you may not fully grasp the concept of the love, grace, or goodness of your Father doesn’t mean you can’t experience it.

Just pause.

Close your eyes (unless you’re driving) and think about the Father’s love for you. He made you in His likeness – how awesome! – and that’s who He sees when He looks at you. He just loves you. And you can’t do anything to earn it or diminish it. Ever.

That is truly pause-worthy.

For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:38-39 NKJV)


Leave a comment

Filed under Christ, Christian, God, Hope, Love, Writing

Encourage Your Husband

I read this article here, and thought it worthy of a repost.

8 Ways to Encourage Your Husband

1. Pray for him. Take time out every day to pray for your husband. You can even ask him if there’s anything he wants you to pray about, and let him know that you’re praying. There’s nothing more encouraging than knowing that someone is praying you through a situation.

2. Point out his qualities. A man’s qualities run deeper than the surface work that we see. Whether he has had a productive day or he’s kicking back and relaxing, he possesses certain qualities that make him unique. Some of Michael’s qualities are that he’s a giving person. He’s a good listener. He’s hungry for the Word of God. He’s a man of grace. He’s sensitive. etc. Encourage your husband by affirming his character.

3. Tell him that he’s doing a great job. Let him know that you appreciate what he does for the family.

4. Don’t take his gifts of love for granted. If he does things around the house, thank him. My husband has thanked me for cleaning up every time I do, which means that he’s probably thanked me about  8,670 times. Yes, he thanks me daily. *smile*

5. Listen to him. Take time to listen to him about his day and hear what he’s saying. Sometimes Michael will say to me, “I’m sorry to unload on you, but there’s no one else I can talk to about this…” That makes me wonder how many men out there feel the same way. Do they have someone they can talk to about work issues? Hopefully you will be there to listen and encourage.

6. Share his burden. Offer to help him out when he’s having a busy week. Is there anything you can do to pitch in? Maybe take on a chore you don’t normally do? If so he might appreciate the help and the company.

7. Don’t be the nag who rains on his parade–be the smile that brightens his day. If women didn’t have a tendency to nag like we do, the Bible wouldn’t reference it as often as it does. Unfortunately it can become a bad habit if we don’t learn to control our tongue. Joy on the other hand is encouraging and contagious. Work on keeping a positive attitude not only for yourself, but for the good of your family.

8. Don’t expect him to be your savior. Your husband isn’t Jesus, therefore he isn’t perfect, he can’t read your mind, he will disappoint you at times, and he doesn’t have the patience of Job. He’s simply a man growing in grace and learning to lead. Praise God for the husband you have, imperfections and all.


Filed under Blogging, Christian, Family, Life, Love, Writing

What to Post When You Don’t Feel Like Writing

I haven’t posted anything for four days. Shame on me, I know, but I just can’t think of anything remotely profound or witty or thought-provoking.

Blank brain is no fun.

All that came to mind today were sounds. I heard a bunch of them that I didn’t like.

– Hammers pounding at a construction site down the street from my house.

– The neighbor rolling his trash cans up and down the sidewalk. And it isn’t even garbage pickup day.

– Crows hopping around and pecking at the cedar shingles on our roof. This is irritating, let me tell you.

– Annoying children in the back lane screaming at the top of their lungs for no apparent reason. They do this every summer.

– Static coming from the surround sound system attached to my computer.

Then there were the sounds I love:

– Thundering rumbling in the distance. This was a treat, because we hardly ever hear thunder around here.

– Giggles from my grandsons.

– Oldies playing in the bookstore when I went there for ink/paper/Starbucks aroma therapy.

– My husband’s voice saying, “hello, my love”, when I called him to say I was running away from home. I went to the bookstore instead.

– Birds chirping outside my window early this morning. Of course, this could also be a negative, because it woke me up.

This blog post is finished now. Come back again, and I promise to be more – I don’t know – something.




Filed under Being Creative, Blogging, Life, Love, Writing

On Deck

We just had our very first nice warm weekend of 2012. That means moving out onto the deck and grilling most of our evening meals from now until the end of September. It also means our kids and their kids and often some extra neighbourhood kids come too, creating an atmosphere of complete mayhem. We love it.

Although yesterday was Mother’s Day, our oldest daughter had prepared a lovely celebration meal for the whole family (there are fifteen of us) at her home on Saturday evening. Thanks again, Julie! So last night’s get together on the deck was more of an impromptu, bring-whatever-you-have-in-your-fridge affair. It was amazing what resulted. Pasta salad, fruit salad, grilled sausage and veggies. Yum! I was still recuperating from an unwelcome bout of the stomach flu, otherwise I’m sure I would have indulged much more than I did.

We sat there on the deck for hours.

We were entertained by our son-in-law’s guitar. Love it when he plays.

Little Elijah was giggling at absolutely everything. Love those baby belly laughs.

Watched Caleb (age 8) and Nikolas (age 3) and Jordan (age 29) zoom back and forth in the back alley on scooters. Love seeing Jord try to keep her balance.

Wondered at Reece (age 5) moving his plate of food half a dozen times in order to protect his bounty. Love his thought process.

We talked and laughed and sang and ate. Love it all.

And next weekend we’ll do it again.


Filed under Family, Love, Writing

Reasoning Kids

This is my grandson, Elijah. At fourteen months old, he is exempt from ridicule for needing comfort from a nice warm bottle of milk and for falling asleep in unconventional places. He’s a baby. This kind of behavior is expected from babies. They can do pretty much whatever they want and get away with it.

Another of my grandsons, Reece, is five. He has moved on from the bottles and diapers and is now intent on reasoning out excuses for his behavior. Like yesterday. He whacked his older brother in the head with a baseball bat – it was plastic, so don’t panic. In the midst of his punishment for doing so, Reece explained that he had swung the bat in slow motion so that his brother had ample time to get out of the way. As if that would get him off the hook. Didn’t work. There was no ice cream for Reece last night, poor kid.

Then there is Emily, my only granddaughter. She is ten, and becoming very adept at conversations that leave you wondering if you just unknowingly committed yourself to doing something you didn’t really want to do. Like me, she is an avid reader and will devour any decent work of fiction she can get her hands on. Not long ago, Emily very eloquently informed me that she has a tenth grade reading level, so therefore she should be allowed to read books written for that age group. I knew where this was going. Probably because I had the same conversation with my elders when I was Emily’s age. I told her that just because she has a tenth grade reading level it didn’t necessarily mean she had the corresponding comprehension level. Yes, I used those very words, and Emily assured me that yes, she did have the comprehension. Then I asked her if she knew what age appropriate meant. She did. And there was no more discussion. Yeah – one for the grandma!

How do these anecdotes relate to each other?

They don’t, really.

I was just sitting here, thinking about my seven grandchildren – their startling similarities and their vast differences. What a joy to watch them grow up and to be close enough to love on them whenever I want . . . and to send them home with their parents when the decibel level goes off the charts.

Leave a comment

Filed under Family, Kids, Love, Writing

Saying Goodbye

I am saying goodbye to my grandmother.

She went home to Heaven at midnight and at last, she is with Jesus – her Lord and Savior – the One she has been longing for. I know she will  be full of joy as she is in Glory now, reunited with my grandfather, who was her great love for 64 years.

My grandmother – “Mother”, as we called her – was born on November 22, 1910 in a little town in Manitoba. Her lifetime saw two World Wars and  the Great Depression. Things like cars, telephones, electric appliances, televisions, and computers become commonplace for every home. She raised six children, welcomed and loved fifteen grandchildren, thirty-three great-grandchildren, and at least eighteen great-great-grandchildren (I’ve lost count).

She and my grandfather had one of the greatest love stories of the century. I never tired of listening to her tell of how they met, how much she was not interested in him, and how God put such a love for him in her heart. Mother once told me that even after 60+ years of marriage, her knees still went weak at the sight of her husband. What a rare thing that is.

Mother was an amazing woman. Her mind was sharp to the end and she told me just a few months ago about how she still prayed daily for all of us by name. She said she would “walk” into each one of our homes as she prayed, seeing what God would show her to talk to Him about concerning us. I will miss that, knowing that she was praying for me.

I will remember Mother’s long hugs, and how she would always respond to an I love  you, with I love you more. I will remember Mother’s delicious potato salad (which she showed me how to make) and her sponge cake with custard filling (which I have yet to master). I will remember Mother’s stories of her past and how she could still recite, without hesitation, poetry she had memorized in the first grade. I will remember Mother patiently teaching a fidgety nine-year-old how to crochet because I wanted to make beautiful things like she did. There is evidence of how well I learned everywhere in my home. I will remember Mother scolding me for my many disobediences, giving me advice on everything from dating to marriage to child-raising, and for accepting me just exactly as I was. She has left a treasured legacy of love and faith in Jesus Christ.

Mother, you will be forever loved and always missed.

Until we meet again . . .


Filed under Hope, Jesus Christ, Love, Writing