Friday, 16 October 2009

Until that Glorious Day

Last week I attended the burial service of an elderly friend of my mom's.

The burial service happened to take place in the same cemetary as the one my first dad was buried in on October 7th, exactly 30 years ago. For the full story see my previous post about my confusing family tree here.

I had never been to see where he was buried and so my mom took me to find his grave site.

It was rather strange. Due to my Christian faith and personal relationship with Jesus, and my knowledge of my dad's same faith - I know that he is in heaven with Jesus right now. I know that he is a grandfather to our two babies that I lost early on in pregnancy. I know that they, and many other family and friends, are waiting for the return of Christ to earth, and that all of our bodies are like a veiled image of what our glorious resurrected bodies will be. And yet, our earthly bodies - flawed as they are/will be until that day - are still such a personal and important part of who we are. It's how we relate to each other, how we interact with each other, how we know each other, how we show love to each other.
And this is the place where his earthly body was laid to rest, the place where the memory of his earthly life is etched in stone. And so, it is special. Important, yet eternally insignificant at the same time. For there will come a day when we will meet face to face in our glorious resurrection bodies. Our bodies will be unmarred by sickness, death or pain, the lack of any memories on my part will be irrelevant, and our reunion will be joyful and complete. Perhaps he will even get to introduce me to my children. Who knows? The details we may not know. But this we do know - it will be glorious indeed!

What a Day That Will Be - words and music by Jim Hill

There is coming a day when no heartaches shall come
No more clouds in the sky, no more tears to dim the eye.
All is peace forevermore on that happy golden shore,
What a day, glorious day that will be.

What a day that will be when my Jesus I shall see,
And I look upon His face,
The One who saved me by His grace;
When He takes me by the hand
And leads me through the Promised Land,
What a day, glorious day that will be.

There'll be no sorrow there, no more burdens to bear,
No more sickness, no pain, no more parting over there;
And forever I will be with the One who died for me,
What a day, glorious day that will be.

What a day that will be when my Jesus I shall see,
And I look upon His face,
The One who saved me by His grace;
When He takes me by the hand
And leads me through the Promised Land,
What a day, glorious day that will be.
What a day, glorious day that will be!

And until that day comes, I will rejoice in my many blessings. Including the blessing of having two earthly fathers to love me, invest in me and teach me to love my heavenly Father.

Until Then
But until then my heart will go on singing,
Until then with joy I'll carry on,
Until the day my eyes behold the city,
Until the day God calls me home.

Sunday, 11 October 2009


This Thanksgiving weekend I am thankful for....

- a wonderful husband, a servant leader, involved and dedicated father, my best friend, someone who can always make me laugh, my teammate, my soulmate, the love of my life
- 4 amazing children whose energy wears mine out, but whose characters are each unfolding, individually, into beautiful works of art - the responsibility the Potter has given us to help Him shape them is frightening, humbling and exhilarating
- a Saviour whose love overwhelms, whose patience never ends, whose strength never wearies, whose faithfulness reaches to the skies, whose forgiveness is ever merciful, whose justice is sure, whose mercy is indiscriminate, whose power is infinite, whose passion and love for each and every one of us despite His intimate knowledge of our deepest thoughts and feelings is unfathomable and yet gloriously true
- the health of my family
- having a heritage of faith in God
- our house, van, truck, Nathan's job, all the things we've been blessed with
- a wonderful church family to encourage us, uplift us, and hold us accountable

and much, much more!

Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift! 2 Corinthians 9:15

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Friday, 9 October 2009

Friday Faves - TV Shows

I'm participating in Friday Faves over at It's Almost Naptime again today and the topic is favourite TV shows.

You better pour yourself a coffee cause this could get long!

Yep, I admit it - I like TV. Actually, I probably love TV. It's true. TV/computer time - one of my vices. I think it's my only vice, but maybe there's another one I'm just in denial about, who knows?!

And I let my kids watch TV too. Though admittedly I was able to crack down on the time allowed to watch tv over the summer, and so far have been doing great at keeping that up with our school-age children. But with Olivia? I admit to letting her watch tv during the day - trust me, I need my sanity.

So, my favourite shows...

Reality TV
We LOVE reality TV in this house. Here's the ones we watch regularly...

Amazing Race - probably my all time favourite reality show. I'd LOVE to be ON this show - might have to wait awhile though, pretty sure nobody's taking my 4 kids for 6 weeks so I can travel the world. But I digress...

Survivor - faithful followers since mid-way through season one, we're still going strong. I could NOT be on this show, if only because of the gross eating challenges.

Apprentice - I think I actually like the Celebrity Apprentice version better than the regular one - there's a whole lot of fireworks because all of these people are so full of themselves.could never be on this show - mainly because I can't stand Donald Trump. Working for him would likely top my list of things I'd like to do least, and I doubt I'd be able to keep my opinion of his hair to myself, and I would likely vomit after witnessing all the brown-nosing in person.

Dancing with the Stars - this one we don't watch religiously, but if we happen to catch it, we like it. I obviously couldn't be in this one - since I'm not a professional dancer (trust me, not sure you want to witness that) and I'm obviously not a celebrity - not even a B Z list celebrity.

Battle of the Blades - this is a brand new one that has ex-professional hockey players teaming up with professional figure skaters and competing against each other as teams - Dancing with the Stars on ice basically. This looks like it'll be really good.

Non-Reality Shows
The Office - LOVE it! Think it's hilarious - don't miss an episode!!

Criminal Minds - this one probably tops my list of favourite shows in any category. We only started watching it sometime during last season, but we've been doing some major catchup with all the reruns they've been showing on A&E (sometimes 8 episodes per weekend!). We're into 2007 now so we're almost caught up - which will be a little disappointing actually, we've been enjoying watching an episode almost every evening before bed (perhaps not the best time of day to watch some of those episodes!) After being very frustrated trying to figure out who Hotch was, I was relieved when my friend Pam told me that he was Greg in Dharma & Greg.

Law & Order - the original only. We used to watch SVU, but it was getting too political and we needed to cut some shows off of our list!

The Unusuals - we only caught a few episodes last year, and I think they may have pulled the plug on this one - which is too bad as it was very entertaining as well as unusual!

And then of course, there's sports. I like watching hockey and CFL football. I will watch NFL football if it's an important game. That's about it. I may be Canadian but I just can't get into watching curling on TV (or in person for that matter). And, of course, with the Olympics coming up soon that'll up our TV watching quota significantly!!

So there ya have it. Now you know how we waste spend our time once the kiddos are in bed. (though we do admit to letting the kids watch Amazing Race - they love it :)

Can I just say - we heart our PVR!!

Edited to add: I can't believe I forgot one of our all time favourite shows - SEINFELD!! We love watching the reruns, over and over again. And I bet not a week goes by that something doesn't remind me of a Seinfeld episode - just shows that it definitely was a show about "nothing" and everything at the same time.

Thursday, 1 October 2009

Fasting - spiritual or physical?

Something I've been thinking about (and have been asked about) in regards to fasting for weight loss is how that practice would influence fasting for spiritual reasons. I'm not necessarily sure I have all the answers, but I'm going to think out loud here for a bit.

My biggest thought is that it comes down to the motivation behind the fast.

I am rather embarrassed to admit that, along with never having read the Bible all the way through before this year, I have also never fasted for spiritual reasons. I haven't heard much teaching on fasting before, and have never researched it myself and honestly haven't thought much about it at all, until now.

According to Brad Pilon's Eat Stop Eat, there are numerous physical benefits to fasting, including decreased body fat & body weight, decreased blood glucose levels, dereased insulin levels & increased insulin sensitivity, increased lipolysis & fat oxidation, increased growth hormone levels, decreased food related stress and more.

And, of course, there are spiritual "benefits" to fasting as well. The goal of fasting for spiritual reasons is to focus on God, to draw closer to Him, to gain wisdom or guidance before making a decision, to fellowship with God at a deeper level. Fasting does not change God, it changes us.

Here are a few articles I found about fasting.....
Christian Fasting
What does the Bible say?

So, this is why I think it comes down to motivation.....

You can fast without growing closer to God. Fasting for purely physical reasons (to lose weight) is simply not eating. You are not praying instead of eating, you are not focusing on God, you are not growing closer to Him - you are simply. not. eating. That's it. That is what I have been doing these past few weeks - all of my fasts have been purely from a weight loss motivation.

Now, here's the trickier part - can you fast for both physical and spiritual reasons at the same time?

My answer is ..... it depends.

Way to straddle the fence, eh? Stick with me here and I'll explain...

If you are trying to lose weight and gluttony has been an issue in your life, or you have been turning to food instead of to God for any reason, I think it is possible to fast for both spiritual and physical reasons. By doing this you are addressing the root of your weight problem and are drawing closer to God - losing weight (though still intentional) is a result/benefit of your spiritual fasting. I am not familiar with the exact teachings of the Lord's Table bible study and weight loss program - but I would think that this is an excellent example of benefiting from fasting both spiritually and physically.

However, if your desire to lose weight (even if it's a lot of weight) has nothing to do with your desire to grow closer to God, if you have not acknowledged the spiritual roots of your weight issues, then you are fasting for purely physical reasons and will not experience the spiritual benefits of fasting as there is no spiritual motivation/intention behind the fast.

Also - if your relationship with God has no correlation to your desire to lose weight (such as my goal of losing those last few pounds of babyweight), if your motivation for losing those last few pounds is purely physical, then you are also fasting with a physical motivation and not a spiritual motivation and will therefore not experience the spiritual benefits of fasting.

So the hard question is - knowing the physical benefits (weight loss in particular) of fasting, can you/I fast for spiritual reasons only, without having a hidden agenda of losing weight at the same time?

The answer to this question of course, is very personal. Only you (and God, of course!) know your heart and the true motivation behind your decision to fast. But yes, I believe it is possible. If I feel that God is wanting me to fast, or I feel that I need to fast in order to gain insight or to grow closer to God - I can absolutely make a conscious decision to fast for spiritual reasons. If I do so though, my day will look different than if I was fasting for physical reasons. If during this spiritual fast I'm not praying more than I normally would, or reading my Bible more than usual - then my motivation was not spiritual and I will not receive any spiritual benefit from the fast. But if my actions jive with my motivation then I am fasting for truly spiritual reasons and I will receive the spiritual blessings that come with it.

Another questions is - if you fast regularly for physical reasons (like I have been), will it make fasting for spiritual reasons too "easy", or too routine, so that you'll miss the point/benefits for fasting?

This could be a potential problem if the focus of a spiritual fast was on food and not eating it.

Not eating food is the focus of physical fasting.

Growing closer to God is the focus of spiritual fasting.

The truth is, spiritual fasting does not have to involve food at all! In fact, for some people and their health situation, that could be a very unwise decision. You can fast from many things - food, only certain types of food (such as meat), tv, Pepsi, computers, etc. The point of fasting is to give up something physical with the goal of growing closer to God. So, if routine physical fasting has made giving up food too easy - then simply choose another item to give up when you want to fast for spiritual reasons.

In other words, you can't use that as an excuse not to fast for physical reasons. :)

Should Christians be fasting? Yes, absolutely they should be and this is something I have not done, and need to start doing. Consider the following scripture passage (emphasis mine)...

Matthew 6:16-18 When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show men they are fasting. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, so that it will not be obvious to men that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.

The scripture says when, not if. It is not commanded, however it certainly appears to be expected. And with the benefit of growing closer to God, having our will line up with His instead of ours, receiving wisdom and guidance - why we would not?

So, those are some of my thoughts. Agree? Disagree? I'd love to hear your thoughts.


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