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A Psalm of Longing for God

I am weary and worn
unable to do or be
what you've called me to.
Ineffectual
Barren
Caught up in self
in my needs and limitations
Frustrated
Discouraged
So very, very tired.
I can't do this, God!
I need you
to fill me, drive me, energise me
to give me rest
and calm my spirit.
I need you
so I can see others, love others,
engage with others
without withdrawing
without judging
without scepticism, despair, contempt.
I want you, Lord!
I want your peace, your joy,
your contentment
with the way things are:
broken, dirty, messy, incomplete--
not because they are good
but because you are good
because you are present
because you make all things good
in your time.
Fill me with you
so I can wait
for all of you
in all of me.

Debbie Haughland Chan

This Morning in Church

I'm sitting here in church, filled With joy and awe for the people who are around me.  One, with a hectic, grueling schedule, is sitting through the worship music with head bowed, eyes closed, hands laying open on her lap. May God grant her rest and peace.

Two young men greet each other in long embrace of prayer and love with no shame.  Bless them!

A father stands while his two  sons dance around him and use him as a climbing gym. God bless him for being a good and godly father.

A muscle bound biker sits on the front row with both hands raised high above his head. Thank you God for his witness to others.

Another father dances with  his little girl on the low stage at the front.  Thank you God for committed and loving fathers.

Two little boys of different colour and ages join together to share their little cars. Thank you for a church where the children are welcome and free to be kids.

The pastor comes looking for a lone aboriginal woman at the back, hands her a drum stick and in…

My Story

Well, okay. It's only a part of my story but it has changed everything for me.  [I thought I'd posted my sotry when I first started this blog in 2008 and only today have I discovered it remained a draft until now.]
I believe that God uses the sin in our lives to draw us to him. The problem is that we’re ashamed of our sin and so we hide it in a dark corner, furtively bringing it out to play on occassion, but rapidly hiding it again because we dare not let it see the Light. For me, that sin was lesbianism, the hunger and desire for women instead of men. So long as those women were nameless and faceless, I could pretend I didn't have a problem. But that changed 3 ½ years ago when my friendship with Pearl became much more than a friendship.
I was horrified and shocked at what I was capable of and, in what those wiser than me later said was a big mistake, I confessed my thoughts and desires to her. I also confessed to an ex-lesbian who had shared her testimony in the Online …

Stressed by Exodus' Decision

I'm stressed by Exodus International's announcement that they're shutting down. Exodus is the largest Christian organisation whose ministry has been to help those who don't want the same-sex attractions they have. Alan Chambers, the president, has also come out with a big apology to the gay community. In essence, they still agree that homosexual behaviour is a sin but have rethought the whole idea of a person being able to be "ex-gay." 

For myself, I've believed that it doesn't matter: 1. whether a person is born gay or not or 2. whether same-sex attractions can be eradicated or not; we are responsible to obey God and do his will--in both behaviour and attitude. Apparently, up until now, Exodus' stance has been to try to eradicate the desires, making people heterosexual and insisting that homosexuality is the result of things that happened in childhood and thus implicating (and circuitously blaming) parents for their homosexual children's tende…

Alan Chambers and Exodus International Offer Apology to Gay Community

Exodus International is shutting down with an apology to the LGBTQ Community.  Alan Chambers, president of Exodus, writes:

In 1993 I caused a four-car pileup.  In a hurry to get to a friend’s house, I was driving when a bee started buzzing around the inside of my windshield. I hit the bee and it fell on the dashboard. A minute later it started buzzing again with a fury. Trying to swat it again I completely missed the fact that a city bus had stopped three cars in front of me.  I also missed that those three cars were stopping, as well.  Going 40 miles an hour I slammed into the car in front of me causing a chain reaction. I was injured and so were several others.  I never intended for the accident to happen. I would never have knowingly hurt anyone. But I did. And it was my fault. In my rush to get to my destination, fear of being stung by a silly bee, and selfish distraction, I injured others. I have no idea if any of the people injured in that accident have suffered long term effects.…

Reflecting the Real World

Today's Winnipeg Free Press published "Inclusion in the classroom: Teachers support adding sexual-orientation themes to all curricula."  Here is my response:


“...teachers need to know they can reflect the real world without worrying what the school board will do to their careers,” says Nick Martin in “Inclusion in the classroom.” This is a reference to teachers being able to acknowledge the LBGTTQ community in all facets of the education they give but if this is indeed a truth—that teachers need to be able to reflect the real world—then why is a teacher's job threatened if she tries to reflect the real world of Christianity? If “an advanced math class studying string theory might discuss how British mathematician Alan Turing was driven to suicide when his homosexuality was made public,” why might a physics class not discuss Blaise Pascal's Wager?
If the “real world” is to be reflected by teachers in their classrooms, this needs to be done across the board and …

Both Good AND Bad

There once was a king whose son was getting married.  He sent out the invitations and prepared an enormous banquet for this was to be the best event the kingdom had experienced in decades.  On the day of the wedding, he provided limousine service to his guests but when the chauffeurs showed up, the guests refused to go with them.  The king tried again, sending other drivers but this time, although some of the people simply ignored the messengers, others grabbed them and used cruel ways to kill them.

The king was livid!  How dare they!  Not only had he lost valuable servants but this was an insult of the highest order.  Not come to his son's wedding?  It was an honour to be invited and they did this?  In anger he sent out his army to destroy those murderers and their city.

But now what?  He had a small herd of cattle roasting on rotisseries for the past several days and it seemed a shame to let the food go to waste so he sent out the limousines again. This time he told the driver…

To Write or Not

I get very frustrated and discouraged by my chronic lack of energy and am constantly wondering how to cope with it.  I've thought that trying to simplify my life might help--including removing as much from my life as possible that doesn't feed my body, soul and spirit. I narrowed my priorities to three things: Spending time with God, going for long walks (which energise my soul even as they leave my body exhausted afterwards) and interacting with people.  Because it had started to feel like an obligation instead of a joy, I decided that writing was one of the things that I would let go.

At church on Sunday, this seemed to be confirmed when I was convicted that some of the dreams I've had, including writing, have been more about being known, recognised and acclaimed, and thus self-centred, than about edifying God.

Monday, however, I began to rethink this, remembering that when I had asked God, back in January, what three areas he wanted me to grow in this year, one of the…

Be Pruned! Be Fruitful! Remain! Love!

“You have been pruned for greater fruitfulness by the message I have given you” (John 15:3NLT). The fruitfulness he's talking about is what is listed in Galatians 5:22, 23: love, peace, joy, patience, goodness, kindness, gentleness, faithfulness and self-control. These become more fruitful in us when Jesus prunes us. We can't produce this fruit apart from Jesus. We must remain in Jesus and Jesus in us to produce a lot of fruit. We can't just come to him once or twice in our lives or even once or twice a year to produce this fruit. We must remain in him and he must remain in us. Chase him away because of sin in our lives and the fruit withers. Confess our sins and he will forgive us and cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9 NIV) and if we make a habit of this, he will remain in us and we in him.
And the thing is, Jesus prunes us (that is, cuts parts of us off) so we can produce greater fruit than if he left us alone to grow as we want—naturally. This p…

Snow, Storm, Wind and Weather

QUOTE: “Praise the Lord from the earth...snow and storm, wind and weather that obey him....” Psalm 148:7,8 NLT  Winter has been overly long in the Canadian Prairies and the American Mid-west this year.  And yet, even the snow, storm, wind and weather, obey God and praise him.  How much are we praising him in the absence of spring?

How Do We Drink of the Springs?

Jesus said in Revelation 21:6 NLT: “To all who are thirsty, I will give the springs of the water of life without charge!” All we have to do is come and receive them. But most people walk the other way. Many don't come to the springs to drink—even those who call themselves Christians. So, how do we come to the springs of the water of life? I think it's more than praying "the sinner's prayer," and stopping there. It's more than agreeing that Jesus offers these springs of water of life. We must DRINK! And, I would say, we must drink OFTEN! How do we do this, folks?

Drowning Out God with Spiritual Fervor

Acts 7:54-60 describes the stoning of Stephen, the first Christian martyr. The Jewish leaders were godly, holy men. Everyone saw them as such and they also considered themselves to be. In their desire for holiness and purity, they shut their ears to what Stephen said he saw (which was a vision from the God they served), drowned out his voice with their shouts and stoned him to death. In what ways do we who claim to be Christian and spiritual, followers of Jesus, do the same thing? How do we use our spiritual fervor to drown out God?