“The wind fascinates me,” she said. “You can’t see it or hold it. If someone asks for a bucket of rain water, I could get it for them but I can’t collect a bucket of wind.”
Gathering the wind was something I’d never thought about before.
Although the wind itself can’t be seen, its effects can. I enjoy the feel of a gentle, refreshing breeze on a hot summer day. The area I reside in has Chinook winds that blow over the mountains in the winter and raise the temperatures enough to melt the snow. There are also strong, powerful winds that hit with a destructive force.
These are only a few of the types of wind we can experience.
For me, the wind makes a perfect analogy for my belief in the Holy Spirit. I have never seen him but know he is real. His effect on my life is something I can feel and see.
The Holy Spirit guides my life as the wind guides a sailboat. Sometimes he is as gentle as the breeze that whispers my name. When I go off course his influence becomes stronger to ensure I’m not going into perilous waters.
Jesus said that in his name the Holy Spirit would be sent. His purpose is to teach me and remind me of the words of Jesus. I don’t have to see him to feel safe and protected. All I need do is trust in his power within me.
The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.” John 3:8 NIV
But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. John 14:26 NIV
Three women were visiting and the conversation turned to summer clothing. We talked about shopping for sun dresses and the fact that many of them had ruffles.
We all agreed that this was not a style we felt comfortable in. As we parted ways, one turned and said, “I guess we’re just not easily ruffled!”
The play on words brought laughter but the phrase stuck in my mind.
If I am easily ruffled that means I get it doesn’t take much to get me upset. The definition for ruffle is to destroy the smoothness or evenness of …
When I take on too many things or don’t allow myself enough time the smoothness of my life becomes disturbed. In other words, I become ruffled. This is a position I find myself in more often that I like to admit.
The best way to combat this is to slow down and re-evaluate what is important in my life. I have found that I can achieve this by starting each day with Jesus. His love is at work in my life and when I am in harmony with him things flow much more smoothly. By letting him guide me I will not be easily ruffled.
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. (Romans 12:2 NIV)
I’ve just returned from a conference in another city. This is a city I don’t normally drive in so didn’t know my way around. While there I had to find my way to three destinations, all in different parts of the city. This was accomplished with the help of a navigation system.
I had gone online and printed out directions, but since I was traveling alone it was difficult to read them while driving. The navigation system took much of the stress out of driving in an unfamiliar area. In a calm, clear voice, it would let me know when my turn was coming up and which way I would be turning. All I had to do was enter my destination into the system and it took care of the rest for me.
On my drive home I reflected on this navigation system and realized that I have a constant one in my life. Jesus not only guides me, he knows the destination before I do. My role in this is to stay tuned into him and to follow the directions he gives me. By coming to him frequently in prayer he will lead me in the best route from my life. He constantly watches over me so I know that even if I make a wrong turn, he will navigate me safely back to where I need to be.
The Lord says, “I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you. Psalm 32:8 NLT
My husband and I had a unique experience on New Year’s Eve. We stood outside in a park watching a fireworks display while snow was falling all around us. The snowfall didn’t deter the large crowd gathered to enjoy the fireworks display. Somehow, it added an almost magical quality to the experience.
The exploding bursts of colour in the sky were lovely to watch. Just as much fun for me, was observing and listening to the children around us. There were many “oohs” and “awes” and a few “oh wows”.
Not everyone was standing outside. Some had arrived early enough to get a good parking place so they could remain in their vehicles and still watch the spectacle. Nearby I heard children excitedly commenting. Turning to see them, I realized that they were not looking at the sky at all, but were leaning out of an open car window, eating snow they were scooping off of the side of the car!
This made me think of the wonders and blessings that God has provided for me. Often they are right before me; all I need to do is turn and look. Instead I busy myself with little pleasures of my own making. I settle for crumbs when God has prepared a feast for me. This year I am going to consciously seek the good things that the Lord longs to provide for me.
Make your ways known to me, O Lord, and teach me your paths. Lead me in your truth and teach me because you are God, my savior. I wait all day long for you. Psalm 25:4-5 God’s Word Translation
The cold weather we were experiencing reminded me that I am not yet thinking like a native of Alberta, my adopted province. My car had been parked in the garage at home for 3 days. The next day I drove to work and parked in the employee parking at the rear of the building. With wind chill, the temperature had dipped to -40°C. My car was parked outside for close to 12 hours. When it came time to go home, I discovered that it would not start. I felt terrible calling my husband and my son out into the frigid night to rescue me.
A simple way I could have avoided this situation would have been to use my remote start and let my car run for a few minutes during the day. It was something that never occurred to me as I went about my busy day at work. In Vancouver, where I come from, such a thing is not needed. After several winters here, I should have learned what is necessary to keep my vehicle running safely. My mind slipped back into old patterns however, and I forgot about the measures I needed to take.
I know there is a deeper lesson here for me. No matter how good my intentions are, sometimes I slip back into old patterns that are not beneficial. When I busy myself with many other things and don’t spend time connecting with God, my life also grows cold. The longer I spend in the cold, the more difficult it is to get going again. There is a simple preventative measure for this. Connecting with God in prayer throughout the day gives me the power I need to keep moving forward. He is always there to guide me into a more purposeful life and there is nothing remote about His kind of start.
Pray in the Spirit in every situation. Use every kind of prayer and request there is. For the same reason be alert. Use every kind of effort and make every kind of request for all of God’s people. Ephesians 6:18 God’s Word Translation
Be inspired today.
As we carefully crossed the snowy church parking lot we saw a sign by the door that said “Watch Your Step”. This was very appropriate for the weather but since there was also a scripture reference written at the bottom, I knew that there was more to this message than I saw at first glance.
Watch your step is good advice in many areas of my life, not just when walking along slippery surfaces. There are many things in life that can trip me up if I’m not careful. When I want to be like someone else or have what others have, I am not watching the steps that God has dictated for my life. Also, there may be others watching the steps I take. Part of my life purpose is to gently lead others and to make a positive difference in their lives. This can only happen if I am authentic.
God has a wonderful plan for my life and not only do I need to let him guide my steps, I need to be intentional about them. It is only by spending time with God that I will be able to achieve this.
Guard your steps when you go to the house of God. Go near to listen rather than to offer the sacrifice of fools, who do not know that they do wrong. Ecclesiastes 4:5 NIV
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11 NIV
Be inspired today.
We had our 4 year old granddaughters here for a sleepover. Early in the morning we were awakened to the sounds of giggles and whispers. We enjoyed the happy sounds and realized that they had no idea we could hear them. Their lively chatter made us smile. Soon that changed as one got upset, started to cry and appeared at our bedroom door. I held out my arms and she rushed into my comforting embrace. It wasn’t long before everything was right in her world again.
This is similar to my relationship with God. I carry on with my day, sometimes forgetting that he hears everything I say. He enjoys hearing my laughter and happy conversations. Most of my words please him but there are others that cause concern. When I am upset he is always there to give me comfort and set my world right again.
The important thing for me to remember is that even when I am not consciously aware of it, God is always with me. When the communication between us flows freely, my life is so much smoother.
But you, O Lord, are a compassionate and merciful God. You are patient, always faithful and ready to forgive. Psalm 86:15 God’s Word Translation
Consider this: The Father has given us his love. He loves us so much that we are actually called God’s dear children. And that’s what we are. 1 John 3:1 God’s Word Translation
It must have been part of a dream that I don’t quite remember, but I woke up thinking about dancing. The thoughts drifted in and out of my mind all day long. The more I thought about it, the more convinced I became that my life is like being at a dance.
Sometimes my life is in measured steps, like a technical dance routine. Everything seems to be choreographed and I need to pay careful attention to keep up with it.
Other times it is slow and sweet, as I move in perfect harmony with my partner. These steps need to be savored as the dance is ever changing.
Next I get to the dance of frenzied activity. The movements are energetic and enjoyable, but it’s a pace I can’t keep up for extended periods.
There are also times when it feels like I am out of step, and just not quite in synch with those around me. Do I stress about this or realize that perhaps this is a dance I need to sit out and just observe.
The music changes and a new dance begins. There are challenging new steps to master. It’s all part of the adventure. As long as I keep in step with God, my life will be a dance to honor him.
Praise his name with dancing, accompanied by tambourine and harp. Psalm 149:3 NLT
While driving on a highway that is a major trucking route, something unusual caught my attention. It was an empty flat deck trailer that had a few of its wheels raised off of the road. After pointing this out to my husband, he told me that if I watched, I would see more of these. I soon noticed this on other big rigs as well, not just on flat decks.
He explained to me that without a heavy load, not all of the wheels were needed, so some were raised up to save wear and tear on them. In this way they would be in better condition when they were needed to support the load.
Not only was I impressed with this clever idea; it was also something I could relate to everyday life. There are times in life when we carry heavy loads and need all of our strength to keep moving. At other times our load is light and we should conserve our energy for the next time it will be needed. Just as not all trucks have the ability to lift their wheels, neither do all people have the ability to preserve their strength. It is by trusting in God and giving him the control of our lives that we receive this gift. He knows what is in store for us and gives us exactly what we need to get through whatever situation we are in.
For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you to bear is light. Matthew 11:30 (NLT)
Be inspired this week!
There are many disasters that we hear of in the news. Most of these take place far from our homes and those of our loved ones. This week it hit close to home for us. Heavy rains caused massive flooding in Southern Alberta. Streets were turned into raging rivers. The downtown core of a major city was evacuated as the water rose. Bridges and highways were washed out. The number of people evacuated from their homes in many cities and towns was staggering. Most people could not prepare for the flooding as it hit so fast that there was little or no notice.
As I think about the little time we have to escape the raging storms that come our way, I wonder if I am doing enough to shore up my life. Have I taken the time, put in the work, to ensure I will make it through the storms? When the waves of adversity hit, as they do to all of us at some point, will I be swept away?
The assurance that I count on comes from my faith in Jesus. He hasn’t promised that there will be no more storms in my life, but he has promised to walk with me as I go through them. He is my refuge and my strength, an ever-present help in times of trouble. This is the assurance that I need.
When you go through the sea, I am with you. When you go through rivers, they will not sweep you away. When you walk through fire, you will not be burned, and the flames will not harm you. Isaiah 43:2
God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Psalm 46:1