Monday, May 31, 2010

Women Who Show Up... for Life (1)

Isn't it amazing that God, Who never changes - Who is the same yesterday, today and forever - is all about change... in us?  And isn't it also thought provoking, that while mankind is out to change the world, God would desire change in mankind first.  God is not limited by our finite understanding, yet it seems apparent that before He moves to change our circumstances, He moves first to change our hearts and minds.  What eternal value would be gleaned from our circumstances being changed for the better, if we were to only remain in the same state, unchanged in heart and mind?  God never wastes a thing, and most often it is through our circumstances that He sets about to accomplish the most amazing change of all.

I've heard it said, and I believe it to be true, that God's purpose in our lives is not to make us comfortable but rather to make us conformable. This conforming that He desires is intended to bring about the most wonderful of changes... the conforming of the human mind and heart into the image of Christ (Romans 8:29) - the character of the Son of God found evident in the children of God.

I've been thinking recently about the words that I place here, in the main room of Pure Grace, and about those of you who happen to drop by from time to time.  I've also been thinking quite a bit about the topic of Women Who Show Up... for Life, and like any Biblical study that I have ever done and then taught - the lesson itself must first go deeply within me, and that's exactly what's been happening over the past few months.  I would not be a woman who is showing up for Life if I was to begin 'playing to an audience' when I share my thoughts here at Pure Grace.  God's Word is powerful, it is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart (Hebrews 4:12).  It has the power to go out and accomplish all that the Lord intended it to -  every single time.  It is my intent to always share with others what the Lord has so graciously given to me and to not try to repackage the offering in a way that will somehow make it more palatable to all people, at all times... that would be nothing more than an exercise in absolute futility and put me in the unenviable position of being a 'people pleaser'.

Women Who Show Up... for Life, are women that have heard and received the Invitation of God.  Perhaps you are just at the stage of Showing Up, or maybe you've just received the Invite to show up.  Any way you look at it, one thing is certain - no matter what kind of circumstance you may find yourself in today, The Invitation of Life has been sent out - and those who receive this Invitation and show up for The Life extended by it, are changed... for Life and through Life.

Isn't it amazing that God, Who never changes - Who is the same yesterday, today and forever - is all about change... in us?

Monday, May 24, 2010

Sniffle, Sniffle

This sudden shift in the weather, to cold winds and rain, has blown a cold my way... three tissue boxes worth!  I thought a full day of exercise, out in the fresh air, would rid me of my malady, but it looks like it will take another day or so until it bids me adieu, so-o-o, I've decided to take advantage of this unexpected visitor by having it join me in my Little French Sewing Room today to sew together a quilt that I've been working on - and once this cold blows off (so to speak) I'll have a completed quilt to show for time well spent.

My Monday Musing for today... give thanks in all things!
...sniffle, sniffle...

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Welcome to Hope!

At my dental appointment yesterday I noticed posters and pamphlets promoting the wonders of Botox injections which are now available and given by my dentist, upon request.  As I asked around it quickly became apparent that every one of the girl's in the office had had it done and were regaling it's benefits.  The receptionist told me that, "Women have been hoping for years for something like this and now here it is and it's readily available and affordable for everyone!"

Later, my dentist and I were having a general discussion regarding the world in general and the difficulty facing young people in trying to navigate their way through life, and all the information thrown at them from every possible direction.  My dentist is a Christian woman and understood when I said what a comfort and assurance we have in Jesus, Who is our wisdom and our discernment and how living out our faith before others points them to Jesus as well.  I cannot remember how it came about, but as she was leaving to attend to another patient, my parting words to her were, "We live in Beautiful Hope".

A few moments later I found myself sitting up, while my mouth was being meticulously filled, by the hygienist, with trays of pink goop that I was told would turn magically white and solidify within mere minutes if I did not move.  While this procedure was being carried out she was chattering on about what a long trip I had taken to come to the dental office that morning....what?  Was I going to be spending time in town for a few days before heading home?...What?  Was there not a dentist in Hope that I felt comfortable with?  Again...What?  She chattered on about having once driven through Hope and though lovely, she would not want to live there... wha? it!

My brows furrowed and I gently shook my head to show her that she had misinterpreted what she had overheard me say.  Misunderstanding the universal language of a non-botoxed forehead furrowed in expression, she nodded while saying that because I lived in Hope and that it was my hometown, of course I was partial to it just as she is to the lower mainland.  Get this goop out of my mouth!

After she had removed the trays and as I quickly wiped my mouth, I was able to explain to her that I do not live in Hope the place, but rather I live in HOPE The Person... and right there and then that hygienist was pointed to Jesus.  I have another appointment next week and she has requested that she be scheduled as my hygienist that day.

Welcome to Hope!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Go Be That Woman!

This Mother's Day Weekend, the message of what I wrote last year still rings true in my heart, and so, I offer it here again in the hopes that it will bless and encourage you...

Mothers...the one thing we all have in common is...we all have one! Mothers come in all shapes, sizes and nationalities...some are good, some are bad, some are indifferent. Biological motherhood is not a given to all women...some cannot, some will not, some simply long to be. Some mothers are ready and some mothers are ill-prepared.

This weekend we will be celebrating Mother's Day, not the day, but the women each one of us have come through. For many of us, this will simply be a time to remember...for others of us, it will be a time to make phone calls, send flowers, buy gifts, write out cards, perhaps take our mothers out for brunch or dinner. We will probably find that our attempts to communicate our love will seem so little, but to a mom...well, a little is HUGE!

Mother's Day can also be a time to honor those women who did not give birth to us physically, but who have loved us and poured into our lives as if we were their own.

In Exodus 20:12 we are told to "Honor our father and mother...", of course the original intention was not just one day a year, but every day! This word honor carries with it the meaning of 'giving place to'. We are to give our mothers 'place' in our lives, we can do this in a variety of ways, and yet there are some that have mothers, that to give physical place to them would be unsafe and can still 'honor' your mother and give place to her by thoughtfully and faithfully praying for her.

I think it is telling that the original meaning of the word "mother" is... "a point of departure or division; one who gives birth to; one who gives rise to".

From the moment that a mother gives birth to her child she herself, has begun the journey of learning to let them go. Birth itself is twofold, the birth of a new life...and the birth of a new mom! Once the "departure or division" has occurred through birth, next comes the mother's responsibility of "giving rise" to that child. Needless to say, mothers need the wisdom of God in the "rising" or "raising" of their children!

We women can all be mothers, in the sense that we can all, pour into the lives of those around us...we can give "birth to" and "give rise" to many. Has there been a woman, perhaps your own mother, who has poured into your life that, which has given you rise? Then tell her, share with others and pass the blessing along! Today, give thanks to the woman or women that have given birth to and continue to give rise to you, and perhaps be determined to be that woman, to another...someone whom God has placed in your circle of influence...pouring into their lives all that the Lord has poured into you!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Women Who Show Up... for Life

I was recently at a church ministry meeting and during the course of conversation I happened to use the phrase, "Women who show up..." I was using it in the context of women who are available for, and women who are available to, Jesus. This phrase has stayed with me over this past week and I am presently still in the 'musing' stage.

'Women Who Show Up... for Life', are women who show up for Jesus. What exactly does this mean and what are the implications and applications in our every day life? As I have been looking through God's Word, I realize that He has a lot to say to us regarding this subject and so, this morning, I wanted to ask you a question... as I continue to look further into what it means to be 'A Woman Who Shows up... for Life', would you be interested, over the course of the next few weeks, in me sharing with you what I have found?

Hoping to hear your thoughts on this...

with love,


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