Wednesday, 30 November 2016

1230 Posts By Susan L.

  On my way home from Home Church last night, I felt the tender leading of the Lord regarding my blog. A little more than four years ago, I embarked on this journey. It wasn't planned. It wasn't something I'd set out to accomplish. It simply began the moment the internet was available at home via a cell phone.
  This has been a wonderful experience. I've been challenged and encouraged by my readers. To know that people from as far away as Asia, Europe, Africa and South America have visited serves to remind me it's truly a global village, that all of us are united in ways we can't even begin to understand. It has left me feeling humbled and deeply honoured.
  The writing has grounded each day in scriptures. It's been amazing how faithful the Lord has been in leading me to find the right one!
  It's time to take a break, to put the laptop away. For how long, I don't know. The future is like a hilly, winding road. I can see bits of it off in the distance but there's much that is hidden. Whether or not the blog will be part of that future, I don't know.
  Part of surrendering this daily routine is because it is a public forum. I am obligated to censor what is shared to a certain degree for confidentiality reasons. That, and some things are better left to be discussed with my Lord alone in quiet moments of prayer.
  I feel I am being called to go deeper into my faith. This requires complete and often brutal honesty. To do this publicly is impossible. Again, it's about confidentiality. Much of my story I am not at liberty to share.
  It's also about being utterly vulnerable so I can listen, learn and grow as a person and as a follower of Jesus. The partial ability to do this publicly isn't enough right now.
  One of the questions posed at church was the scripture of Jesus asking, "What do you want?"
  I want to go deeper. I want to understand God's love.
  Not doing this every day will take some adjustment. The thought of surrendering the blog has left me both sad and excited because endings are the start of new beginnings. I can't wait to see where it takes me!
  God bless you, dear readers and thank you.
  The End.
  "Then He said to them all, "If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it." Lk 9:23

Tuesday, 29 November 2016

First Day of Advent: Hope by Susan L.

  The following was read at church last Sunday in celebration of Advent. It is being shared on my church's website as well.

The lighthouse perched on world’s end: a constant guide to safe harbours and protection from unforgiving shores.
A window streaming golden light when sunshine rays have vanished:
“I am waiting for you”, it says.
“Welcome home.”
A candle flickering, keeping storm born shadows at bay.
A star of stars in the midnight depths of heaven.
A quest of kings and shepherds.
A Hope beyond all hope waiting to be found.
A Babe born.
The Light of the world. The Saviour. The King of kings.
Lord, You are my Light in the darkness. You are my Guide through the shadows and the storms of this mortal life.
You are my Refuge, my Hope in troubles and in trials.
Let the Light of Hope burn fiercely within me. Let me be Your candle in the night. Help me be a hope bearer for those who have none, who do not know You, who are lost. Help me share the Hope of Christmas that is with me each and every moment of every day I breathe.
 "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life." Jn 3:16

Monday, 28 November 2016

Back It Up by Susan L.

  In carrying my crock pot upstairs at church yesterday, I strained my back. It's so frustrating that such a light object could cause such injury. No matter what position I'm in, it merrily spasms away from my lower back down through my legs.
  The irony in all of this is lunch wasn't pot luck. I'd gone through all the church emails but couldn't find out what was happening. Instead, pizza was brought in. Since I'd skipped the Christmas pot luck party the night before, I decided to leave them for anyone who wanted them. They went over well and gave those who had gluten sensitivities something to eat for lunch. Was it a mix up? Was it meant to be? Or maybe it was the Lord redeeming my mistake.
  He does that frequently.
  After church, a friend came over. We went for a long, leisurely stroll in the park. It helped my back.
  I am blessed by this new friendship far more than because it's walking company. Our conversations range far and deep as we get to know one another and as we share our faith.
  Answered prayers.
  For that I am most thankful. God knows how hard it is for me to develop relationships. Time and again, He has brought someone into my life when I need it the most. Yet, at the same time, it validates my own worth because I can be of some small service for them as well.
  It's hard being vulnerable. Yet an honest relationship cannot be forged otherwise.
  Right now, as the Lord is walking me through another layer of healing grief, I am vulnerable. For the first time, I am okay with that. It's where I need to be.
  I confess it has taken me several weeks to reach this point. Up until now, I'd been running, distracting myself from facing and embracing where the Lord was leading me.
  Keeping the lid on the box, hiding, denying, is exhausting. Exhausted is good. It means there's no choice but to lean on the Lord and trust in His process, His way, His love.
  "I called on Your name, O Lord, from the lowest pit. You have heard my voice: "Do not hide Your ear from my sighing, from my cry for help." You drew near on the day I called on You, and said, "Do not fear!" Lam 3:55-57