Nurturing the Caregiver in your child

caregiver

My middle son is the kind of boy that always wants to help, but never wants anyone to look directly at him. I can envision him being the man that sets up the classrooms every Sunday but never wants to be on stage. I have a sneaky suspicion that he is going to connect with God best through serving, through being a Caregiver. Caregivers are those that give immediate care to those in need.  Do you have a child that is naturally inclined this way? Maybe they’re the first to rush in with a hug when someone is hurt or they love baking cookies for the neighbours. The very best thing you can do to help them nurture that gift as a way to minister to people AND to connect with God, is to live out a Caregiver lifestyle yourself. I’ve struggled in the past with how to help my … Read More

When God’s answers aren’t good

Devotional thoughts on the life of Abraham

Imagine with me… a friend has stage 4 cancer. Daily, hourly, you plead with God for her life. That he might heal her. That he might give her a hope and a future. At the last possible moment, she is miraculously healed. Joy flies high, beyond the stars. Gratitude is poured out in pounding rivers. Her life, her future, has been saved from the brink of destruction and your prayers are responsible.Fast forward twenty years. She has a son now, a child born out of flying joy and pounding gratitude. But her son begins to hurt your child. When their paths cross, pain flies high and hatred is poured out in pounding rivers. Fast forward forty years. She has a granddaughter now. Her granddaughter carries nothing but loathing for your grandchild. Generational hatred and pain are the result of your prayers for healing. If you could climb into a machine … Read More

When cleaning becomes worship

How to worship God in the mundane details of life.

  In my series on Sacred Pathways for moms, today we talk about how to connect with God while serving others in the nitty-gritty, repetitive details of life.   I had another moment with God tonight. It wasn’t nearly as wonderful as the one that occurred out on the open ocean, nor did it feel particularly profound.Honestly? I was cleaning up poop. All my kids seem to have this penchant for pooping in the tub, which makes for some super nasty and extensive clean-up. As I was gagging and scrubbing my hands repeatedly, I thought back to what I’d been reading less than 5 minutes before this poop-splosion. It is one thing to say we believe; it’s another to show compassion to others, to inconvenience ourselves because we believe. While such care is incumbent on every believer, some Christians will have a particular gift and calling for this type of service. … Read More

Experiencing God through standing up for others

Worshipping God through activism

In my series on Sacred Pathways for moms, today we talk about how being an activist can draw you closer (or further!) from God. Is it even possible to be an activist while being tied to the routines of a mom-life? I tend to post a fair amount on my private Facebook page about politics during an election, particularly if all I can see is hypocrisy, fear-mongering, or corruption coming from our politicians. But don’t worry, I’m not going to tell you who to vote for in any elections, because that’s not what this post about. Nor is it even about politics! What it IS about is activism. Are you an activist? Do you feel a burning passion calling you to make a difference in Aboriginal affairs? In the pro-life movement? In poverty? In the fight against slavery? In standing up for refugees? In standing against multi-national corporations? In the growing prevalence of pornography? … Read More

Connecting With God Through Nature

Beautiful nature scene to connect with God

Connecting with God through nature doesn’t need to be scary or mysterious. Let God draw you in through his incredible creation! Wind whipped our hair as we stood on the top level of the boat. The boat cut through the choppy water, leaving our wake splashing behind us. I licked my lips, salty from the spray. Large tree-covered islands mounded up from the ocean floor. My husband and I had finally gotten away for a few days (for the first time since having kids!) and we were whale watching on the Juan de Fuca Straight on the West Coast of Canada. “Thank you God for this beauty,” I whispered. Suddenly I was overcome with an overwhelming sense of awe. Just beneath us was an entirely different world, where strange creatures breathed easily in a medium that would destroy our lungs in seconds. This was a world where gigantic animals were … Read More

Why can’t I seem to worship exuberantly?

worshipping God in spirit

When you think about how you worship God, would you categorize yourself as an enthusiast? The enthusiast Christian loves God with all their being and shows it with with excitement. They live on a rollercoaster ride of “letting go and letting God.” They dream big dreams, pray big prayers, worship with their whole bodies, and create with inspiration. Perhaps you’re just the opposite – maybe the thought of attending a 2-hour long worship service with singing and dancing to be more like hell than heaven! Or, perhaps as I described the enthusiast Christian you thought I meant that all Christians must be that way – that if you aren’t finding yourself connecting with God, it’s because you’re not enthusiastic enough. That’s not where I’m going with this at all. In fact, being an “Enthusiast” is simply one of nine different ways of connecting with God described by Gary Thomas in his … Read More

How to start hearing from God

How to start hearing from God

Have you ever wondered why God doesn’t speak to you like He speaks to me? Or like He speaks to your friend, or spouse, or that famous speaker? I’ve had many conversations about this, since I feel like God has spoken to me in somewhat more “mystical” ways than people generally hear his voice. When I bring up these experiences, others often end up wondering why God hasn’t spoken to them in the same way So why is your experience so different from mine?  Do you long to connect with God but feel like he’s ignoring you? Do you try to do your prescribed 30 minute devotions every day, only to fall asleep or have your mind wander for 29.5 of those minutes? Do you struggle to concentrate during sermons, or find zero connection God via singing? I have good news for you, right from the pages of the early … Read More

when your faith just isn’t enough

When your faith isn't enough

Has anyone ever said to you, “you must not have had enough faith”? Have you ever heard someone say, “I just don’t have enough faith”, or “I can’t possibly have faith like that”? What is faith? Is it a desperate screwing up of your eyes and crossing of your fingers as you jump headlong across a pit of unknown length in the dark? Maybe. There’s something to be said for “blind faith” or “taking a leap of faith”. But I just read something in Acts that reminded me of another aspect of faith. Faith doesn’t come from within myself. “By faith in the name of Jesus, this man whom you see and know was made strong. It is Jesus’ name and the faith that comes through him that has completely healed him, as you can all see.” Acts 3:16 I can’t manufacture faith. I can’t force myself to have faith … Read More

what the use of incense in ancient worship means for you

Frankincense

I recently bought a kit of essential oils, and one of the ones in the package was frankincense. Have you ever smelled it? I bought some of the resin for a children’s ministry project once, but never have I smelled the distilled essential oil. I started looking it up online because I knew there were several references to it in the Bible. Of course, the most memorable reference to it is as one of the gifts of the magi. Frankincense was likely brought to Jesus because it was a symbol of his priestly role. The job of the priests was to go between the people and God, offering sacrifices and burning incense to God on their behalf. The people could not access God on their own, they needed this intermediary. Frankincense was also a huge part of the temple rituals. Exodus 30 details the building of the altar of incense, which … Read More

The Surprisingly Modern Lesson We Learn From This Ancient King

King Asa

King Asa was a rock star. He “did what was good and right in the eyes of the LORD his God.” (2 Chronicles 14:2) He got rid of most of the idolatry in Judah. He built up and protected towns. And when he was attacked by an army much larger than his own, he prayed a powerful prayer to which God responded with a BANG. (as in a “bang your enemies are annihilated!”) Prophets spoke to him positively, exhorting him to continue to seek God. He purged the land of idols again. He held a great assembly in Jerusalem and moved the people to renew their covenant with God. He must have been a powerful leader because this was a true revival, not a half-hearted hurrah. “They took an oath to the LORD with loud acclamation, with shouting and with trumpets and horns. All Judah rejoiced about the oath because … Read More