Monday, April 25, 2016

Embrace the Adventure

I found this item on the International Christian Fiction Writer's blog and was so taken with it, I asked the author, Diane J. Wilson, for permission to share it here.

When you look in the mirror

You see someone small…

You see a body too short

to see out high windows

Hands not strong enough to open doors

Legs that get tired when ‘over there’ is too far from ‘over here’.

But when I look in the mirror,

I see you and Me.

You in Me.

Me in you.

I see We!

What shall we do today, little one?

Come sit on My shoulders, from up here you can see…

Out windows,

Over fields,

Across dim valleys to brighter places that are waiting for our feet.

We can see into Forever.

Those stubborn doors?

No door can resist your hand on Mine,

So pick one!

We will go exploring.

It’s okay if your legs get tired,

we’ll use Mine.

When We look into the mirror, what do We see?

Light-Bearers who shatter darkness

Key-Holders who rescue captives

Love-Healers who fix broken hearts and lives

You in Me

Me in you…


What shall We do today?

Dianne J. Wilson writes novels from her hometown in East London, South Africa, where she lives with her husband and three daughters.

Find her on Facebook Twitter and her sporadic blog Doodles/

Monday, April 18, 2016

What Does Church Look Like?

Since the formation of the Malahat South Mission Study Team, we've been imagining what church might look like.  

For most of us, it looks like this. 

For others, it looks like this.

It could look like  this. 

Or this.

                                                     Or this. 

Or even this

While we consider and seek and pray about what our church might look like in the future, here's a little lesson, as told to the children by my favourite anonymous source.  

The Man who built a Cathedral

Once upon a time a king asked one of his subjects to build a cathedral for him. The king gave the man a large sum of money, but, as the man left the palace, he saw a poor woman with several children and they were hungry so he gave her some of the money.
He saw a beggar man who needed clothes and shoes and he continued to help many more poor people.
Some time later the king asked the man how the work was going. Very well he replied - but he needed more money. He did the same with it as before and he kept coming back to the king for more money.
Finally the king demanded to see how the building was coming on. “Where is my cathedral” he asked.
“It is being built in heaven” the man replied.
At first the king was angry but, being a good man, he understood and realized that this was much better than a monument on earth.
Are we building something beautiful in heaven?
By being kind and thoughtful,
 by loving people and helping them

Jesus said “Don’t store up treasure on earth because it will rust or the moths will eat it. Store up your treasure in 
heaven.”  Matt. 6: 19-20

Monday, April 11, 2016

The Evidence

For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, Romans 1:20

These are the words of St. Paul to the early church in Rome. Surely spring in this part of the world bears witness to their truth.

A walk in the Butchart Gardens last week revealed a symphony of pink and blue and white in tulips, forget-me-nots and hyacinth. 

 Surprises lurked around every corner.  Who knew daffodils came in apricot, with ruffles? Certainly not the visitors from Edmonton who wondered why they saw people in shorts when they got off the plane.

This tiny trout lily, blooming under a rhododendron flaunted its subtle beauty amid the show-offs of the spring flower bed.

On a drive up-Island, dogwood and May trees gleamed white against the conifers.  

Bees buzz in the heather.

The apple blossoms in delicate pink and white shower the earth with petals and the air with sweet fragrance.

As a gardener I wage war on the dandelion, but who can truly hate a flower that looks like the sun and spreads its glory so freely in roadside and meadow, proclaiming to the world that spring has come.
 It invites children to "look for butter under your chin" when you hold the yellow face close to yours.  So generous is the dandelion that a whole schoolroom of children can weave bracelets and coronets without limiting the wild display.

On Good Friday a man from Beijing visited our church.  Coming from a smog-choked  city, he was awestruck by clear air and a blue sky.

Paul goes on to warn that those who "know the truth," as manifest in creation, yet disregard God "have no excuse,"  and will suffer the consequences of their actions.  Do not be among the deniers.  Look about, see the evidence of God's care and abundance.  Rejoice in His gifts.
  "All things bright and beautiful . . . the Lord God made them all."

Monday, April 4, 2016

What's in the Cake?

We had a couple of significant birthdays at church this Sunday.  Yolanda and Royce both celebrated being over 90.  Of course, we had cake.  It was delicious -- lemony with marzipan and lots of icing.

On Good Friday, we heard about another cake with an unusual filling.  Our worship service rested on "The Seven Last Words of Christ,"  by Joseph Haydn.  It is recognized as one of Haydn's most profound works.  Even the composer rated it superior to his oratorios.
DieMahler String Quartet
Yet when it came to payment, the priest who commissioned it, paid Haydn with a cake!  The priest was not as parsimonious as first impressions suggest.  When Hayden cut into the cake, he found it was filled with gold coins!
   So, what's in our cake?  Here's a children's story from my favourite anonymous contributor.

Today we're going to mix up a cake.  (The preacher put sugar, oil, chocolate in a bowl, but he didn't measure or even break open the egg.)
What do you think of our cake so far?  Not much!  We have the right ingredients, but they are not put together properly.

Most of us have many things in life:  food, friends, home, school, clothing, family . . . But it is not enough to have them, you must use them right, just like baking a cake.
   Sad but true, many folk have many wonderful things from God, but they use them all wrong.  They have toys, but treat them roughly and break them; family, but don't treat them with respect; friends, but don't really do what is best for them.
It's not so important what you may or may not have, it is that you use what you have in a right way.
(Back to the muck in the mixing bowl) We have all the right ingredients, but we haven't made a good cake.  So you and I can have many good things in life, but we can ruin them if we don't put them together properly.

Let us ask God to help us use all His wonderful gifts in a good way.

Whoever made the birthday cake we enjoyed on Sunday, used all the ingredients in the right way.  Thank you to them, and to my contributor for making "cake" a metaphor for Christian living.