Pomegranates by Chanan Mazal

Pomegranates by Chanan Mazal

Thursday, 14 July 2016

Marmalade and Moccasins

There is a couple from our church who I absolutely adore.  I call them Mr and Mrs C.  They are actually the parents of my brother in law. 

There was a story that Mrs. C shared many years ago that stuck with me.  It was about her labour of love.  

This labour of love entailed making homemade marmalade for her husband.

Making this delectable fruit preserve is not a quick process.  I researched a number of recipes on line and I now realize why she called it a labour of love.  I saw one recipe that gave a time of 25 hours and forty five minutes to complete this process.  Seriously...you really have to love your husband to make this spreadable delight.

What made this gesture so sweet was when she confessed that making marmalade was not something she particularly enjoyed, yet this did not seem to stop her. 

To this day I am still unsure if it was the taste of the marmalade itself that she did not like or if it was the chore of making it.

Perhaps it was both.

This act of kindness was her way of demonstrating love toward her husband.

The other day I felt like I had a marmalade moment of my own - except it had nothing to do with any condiments.

Ken came home the other evening and told me to close my eyes.

When I opened my eyes there before me stood my old pair of beloved moccasins made "almost" brand new.

Many well meaning loved ones in my life had attempted interventions of sorts to try to convince me that it was time to lay these moccasins to rest.  The threads had come undone around the toes so that the front of my shoes would flap wide open with every step.

I knew they were right, but I could not seem to part with these shoes.  Not only is it difficult for me to find a comfortable pair of walking shoes, but these moccasins had travelled everywhere with me.

These shoes had been to Colombia, Italy, Newfoundland and throughout the States.  There was something nostalgic about the memories associated with these well worn shoes.

Now I realize Ken did not exactly labour and hand stitch my old moccasins back together, but he did thoughtfully take the time to surprise me by having them repaired.

When I put them back on my feet the story of Mr and Mrs C and the marmalade came flooding back.

It is often the smallest acts of kindness that can have the most profound impact on others.

Is there someone you know who could use an act of kindness this week?  It might be your spouse, a friend, a colleague, parent or neighbour.

Why not demonstrate the love of Christ and make someone's day with a marmalade & moccasin moment!


Thank you for resurrecting my moccasins back to life!

I know I have not learned how to make you marmalade from scratch like Mrs. C, but hopefully you enjoyed the homemade preserve that was purchased with love!

Sunday, 3 July 2016

Wonders Great and Small

It has been six months now since I began my rule of life.  

Despite great intentions to live intentionally awake in Christ (pardon the pun) - I confess that I am a slow learner!

I remind myself that it is not about perfection or judging my own spiritual progress.  Nor is it about living in self condemnation over my apparent lack of progress...it is about the relationship.

The spiritual practise of being attentive to the beauty and wonder of Christ has been a vital part of deepening this bond of love.

It is true this discipline helps to foster a heart of gratitude for the beauty and wonder of God's gifts.  However, I have also discovered that it is about understanding the Father's heart toward us.

God longs and desires to make Himself known to us.  He is constantly drawing us to Himself out of His great love for us.

So what better way to capture the wonder of God's love than by celebrating Canada's birthday visiting one of the most spectacular and famous wonders of the world?

Ken and I spent the holiday with my sister, niece and nephews at the Falls and the Butterfly Conservatory in Niagara. It was certainly a day full of wonders - both great and small.

Glimpses of weekend wonders of love...

When I walked into the conservatory I was mesmerized by the beauty and flutter of each unique winged creature. God's word came alive.  They spread their stunning wings wide open revealing the glorious handiwork of the Father...

"under His wings you may seek refuge; His faithfulness is a shield and bulwark. 
Psalm 91:4

The fragility of the butterflies reminded me of the birds of the air; 

"they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?" 
 Matthew 6:26

God is a skillful architect.  He hand designs each intricate detail and pattern that is brushed on every tiny wing.  He is the one who thought to form and shape us. He knows and deeply cares about the smallest details of our lives.

 "I am fearfully and wonderfully made, your works are wonderful.  I know that full well."  
Psalm 139:14

Photo - taken by Janis Jones - thanks sister - love this shot!

If you want to bring out your inner child may I suggest you wander around a butterfly conservatory for a little while. Like little children we would smile, giggle and take selfies when the butterflies would land on us.

Photo taken by:  Janis Jones

Wonder is a gift that is meant to be shared.

Wonder is also infectious.

I watched the sheer joy and excitement through the eyes of my nephews each time they spotted one of the magnificent blue butterflies.  Xander would shout "look Aunt Nicole - there's another blue one!" 

This one particular blue species stopped to bathe in the warmth of the sun reminding me that God delights to cover us in His light.  He longs for us to rest in Him.  Thanks be to God for long weekends!

I was struck with both awe and fear as I stood at the ledge of the Falls listening to the roar of the cascading ice blue water.  The raging waters testified to the powerful hand of God. The overflow and plunging depths reminded me of the abundant generosity of our Father.  His resources never end. He is our hope and source for streams of living water.

I never grow tired of seeing the mystery of a colourful arch suspended in the sky.  The misty array of colour speaks to the wonder of the promises of God.  He is faithful to keep His promises.  He will never forget, disappoint or fail us. Our Father is fully trustworthy.

Photo - taken by Janis Jones - my sis!

As evening approached a glorious display of fireworks lit up the sky.  As the enamoured crowd cheered at the brilliant light show above I couldn't help but wonder what it will be like when every knee bows and exalts Jesus, the true light of the world.

I am reminded that we too have been given the very light of Christ to illuminate the darkness.  We are given the honour and privilege of spreading the glory of our Father of lights for all the world to see.

Photo taken by:  Emily Jones - my niece who happens to be a firework enthusiast!

May your weekend be filled with wonder both great and small as the Father of Lights reveals His love for you.

Rocks Of Remembrance

"When the whole nation had finished crossing the Jordan, the Lord said to Joshua,   “Choose twelve men from among the people, one fr...