Endless Knot

#God, #Jesus, Good Friday, sacrificeI wasn’t sure exactly what it was in the box but knew it was unique and beautiful. The sculpture was a large circle with thick glass strands intertwining.

A card inside told me this was an endless knot, representing a never ending connection. It was also a symbol of eternity, harmony and endless love.

This lovely expression of endless love was a gift from family members. I have heard many stories from people who don’t have good relationships with their family. The object I held in my hands represented the blessing of the harmony that exists with my children and grandchildren.

Our lives are intertwined; each being made stronger by the connection with the others. This bond has been passed down through the generations.

As we draw near to Good Friday, the endless love of God is in the forefront of my mind. He showed his love by sending his only Son, Jesus, to atone for our sins and give us eternal life. This act of great sacrifice reaches to all generations, binding us together.

His love has no beginning and no end. He loved us before we knew him and paid the greatest sacrifice of all that our lives may be intertwined with his. For this, I am eternally grateful.

The Lord is good. His mercy endures forever. His faithfulness endures throughout every generation. (Psalm 100:5 NLT)

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16 NIV)

Remembering the Sacrifice

gratitude, honour, heroesNovember 11 is known as Remembrance Day in Canada. This date marks the anniversary of the official end of World War 1in 1918. The day is set aside to honour the brave men and women who serve in the military. Ceremonies are held to commemorate the sacrifices made in armed conflict.

Wearing a poppy and observing two minutes of silence on the eleventh hour of the eleventh month is not enough. They deserve much more than one minute or one day of our thanks. Countless numbers have given their lives and many more have suffered serious injuries and great emotional scars.

These men and women know the risks when they sign up. Out of love for their country and for mankind, they put their lives on the line for us.

Many of us would risk our lives for a family member. Few would do this for people they do not know. Others, like the members of the military, take this on to give us the freedoms that we so often take for granted.
They run into the dangerous situations that the rest of us are fleeing from.

We owe them a debt greater than we can repay. Let us never take our freedom for granted.

My deepest appreciation goes to these true heroes.

“True heroism is remarkably sober, very undramatic. It is not the urge to surpass all others at whatever cost, but the urge to serve others at whatever cost.” Arthur Ash

Bird Fight

Jesus, inspiration, loving, sacrificeWe have been thoroughly entertained by the antics of a few hummingbirds.

Our neighbours have a hummingbird feeder hung on their deck. Lately these tiny birds have been putting on quite a show as they approach it to feed.

There are several spots for the birds to drink nectar from. Despite this, they don’t appear to share very well.

One bird in particular will land but not feed. When others approach it will chase them away. There may be another two or three of these birds flying in circles around the feeder but the one will not let them near enough to land. There is a lot of energy being expended and at what gain?

As unusual as it is to see two feeding at the same time, the attitude of this dominant bird caused me to do some deeper thinking.

Have there been times when I have acted like this bird, not wanting to share with others? Do I hoard what should be freely available because I want to keep it for myself? Am I jealous, not able to see someone else have what I may want later?

These are disturbing thoughts but ones I need to examine. I don’t want to be using my energy fighting to hold onto things I need to be generous with.

Jesus gave his very life for me. He set the example to sacrifice for others. One of the greatest commandments is to love your neighbour as yourself. If I follow this teaching there will be no worry that my attitude won’t be selfish but instead will be loving and giving.

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” (Mark 12:30,31 NIV)

To do what is right and just is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice. (Proverbs 21:3 NIV)

Remembrance Day

Jesus, inspiration, sacrificeToday’s story in honour of Remembrance Day appeared in my book Dragonflies, Snowdrifts and Spice Cake.

November 11 is known as Remembrance Day in Canada. In other countries it is called Armistice Day or Poppy Day. This date marks the anniversary of the official end of World War 1, November 11, 1918. As a holiday the day commemorates the sacrifices made in armed conflicts. Countless numbers have given their lives. Many more have suffered serious injuries and great emotional scars.

The sacrifice that so many have paid to ensure a better life for those who followed is overwhelming. That’s why, on this day and for weeks before, people wears artificial poppies as a symbol of remembrance. There’s also a period of silence at the eleventh hour to remember these sacrifices. Many areas have commemoration ceremonies and military parades.

Those who made the sacrifices are remembered and appreciated. Among those I honour are my father and father-in-law, who both fought in World War 11.

While I’m remembering those sacrifices, I need to remember the greatest sacrifice of all. Jesus gave his life so that I may have the opportunity to spend eternity with him. He paid the penalty for my sins so that I may be forgiven. He knew what the outcome would be but carried it through because of his great love. This is something I didn’t deserve. This gift is something to thank him for each and every day.

“This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.” (1 John 3:16 NIV)

Pocket Full of Rocks

God, Jesus, strength, love, inspirationMy husband and I were out for a walk on a cool morning in early fall. We found a path we’d never taken before and soon were making our way along a rocky lake shore.

The variety of colours, sizes and shapes of the rocks fascinated me. Soon I was picking them up to admire. Initially I had no intention of keeping any. I would just look at them and then put them down and carry on.

Something about these rocks called to me and before long some of them found their way into my jacket pocket. When I ran out of room a few were added to my husband’s pocket! Although these rocks weighed me down, I felt the need to carry them.

Why did these rocks hold such value that I would fill my pocket and struggle to carry the weight of them?

I remembered that in the Bible, God is called rock of my salvation, my rock and my fortress, rock of my strength, rock of refuge. As I thought of the many references to God as a rock, it also came to mind that we are all created in the image of God.

These rocks represented God’s people. We come in all sizes, shapes and colours. No two are completely identical. Although we appear different, we are all created in the image of God, our rock.

Jesus carried a heavy burden when he died so that we may have life abundant. Perhaps this pocket full of rocks was meant to be a reminder of the strength and love shown to mankind. Suddenly my pocket full of rocks doesn’t seem so heavy.

So God created human beings in his own image. In the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. (Genesis 1:27 NLT)

The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my savior; my God is my rock, in whom I find protection. He is my shield, the power that saves me, and my place of safety. (Psalm 18:2 NLT)

Who Wore the Copper Pants?

sacrifice, freedom, Jesus, inspirationMy husband and I were driving through the Selkirk Mountains and stopped at the Roger’s Pass Discovery Centre. This museum has exhibits that tell about the triumphs and tragedies behind the building of Canada’s first trans-continental railway.

In front of the centre there is an interesting sculpture that depicts the lower half of a workman, with a pick axe standing beside him. The pants are copper and shaped so visitors can stand close behind, giving the appearance they are one of the hardworking people who built this pass through the mountains.

As we watched, several people stepped up behind this and gripped the top of the axe to pose for pictures. It was a brief chance to step back into history.

When I looked at the magnificent mountains in the background I was reminded of the danger and toil these men endured to create the safe passageway we now enjoy.

This highway suddenly represented the many things in life that I too easily take for granted. To stop and think of the lives risked for my future comfort was humbling.

This only served to remind me of the greatest sacrifice ever made. Jesus willingly gave his life so that I may be saved. It was nothing I earned or deserved but a gift freely given. This is something I need to thank and praise him for every day.

And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. (Hebrews 10:10 NIV )

Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that openly profess his name. (Hebrews 13:15 NIV)

Remembering

Jesus, inspiration, thank youTomorrow is November 11th, Remembrance Day. This is a day set aside to honour the brave men and women who serve in the military. They deserve so much more than one day of our thanks. A minute of silence to remember them is not enough.

These men and women put their lives on the line for us. This is done out of love for our country and for mankind. They know the risks when they sign up. As we have learned recently, the casualties can be on home soil as well as foreign.
Many of us would risk our lives for a loved one. Few would do this for people they do not know. This is done to give us the freedoms that we so often take for granted.

These brave men and women show a love and dedication that was modeled over 2,000 years ago by Jesus. He also came to serve and gave his life for us. There is no greater love than to sacrifice oneself for another.

Thank you.

For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Mark 10:45 NIV

Remembrance Day

remembrance day photoNovember 11th is known as Remembrance Day in Canada. In other countries it is called Armistice Day or Poppy Day. This date marks the anniversary of the official end of World War 1 on November 11, 1918. As a holiday, the day commemorates the sacrifices made in armed conflicts. Countless numbers have given their lives. Many more have suffered serious injuries and great emotional scars.

The sacrifice that so many have paid to ensure a better life for those who followed is overwhelming. That is why on this day and for weeks before, people can been seen wearing artificial poppies as a symbol of remembrance. There is also a period of silence at the eleventh hour to remember these sacrifices. Many areas have commemoration ceremonies and military parades. Those who made the sacrifices are remembered and appreciated. Among those I will be honoring will be my father and father-in-law, who both fought in World War 2.

While I am remembering those sacrifices, I also need to remember the greatest sacrifice of all. Jesus gave his life so that I may have the opportunity to spend eternity with him. He paid the penalty for my sins so that I may be forgiven. He knew what the outcome would be, but carried it through because of his great love. This is something I did not deserve. This gift is something to thank him for each and every day.

This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. 1 John 3:16 NIV