Monday, February 27, 2012

Austerity Measures

Outside my window... sunny and mild.
I am thinking...I wish I was better organized. I read so many websites about how to do it, print list after list, and then find I’m just too lazy to actually do it. I only ever feel like cleaning once a month or so.
I am daughter hears back about her summer job application. They’ve been checking her references. Good sign.
I am thankful for...the Women of Faith meeting. It went well and we had good discussion, especially about Jacob’s ladder. One of those light bulb moments.
I am wearing...pajamas. About to take a pre-work nap.
From the kitchen... Shrimp scampi, basmati rice, and asparagus.
I am hearing...the dishwasher.
I am reading...In the Shadow of the Sun King, set in Versailles.
Around the house...our girls were both home for a week. I didn’t get as much done as I’d hoped. It’s been two months now, and I’m still keeping up with my Bible reading. I’m in Numbers and Mark. My favourite cousin and his wife were visiting from out of town yesterday, so we went to the Keg for dinner. I wouldn’t have gone out because of our “austerity measures”, but we had a gift card from our future son-in-law at Christmas, so it was almost free. Free is my favourite price. I had steak, shrimp, and scallops, garlic mashed potatoes and Caesar salad. Yum.
One of my favourite things...relatives who are good friends, too.
Some plans for the week... my eleven days off are over. Now I will be working four nights. We are going out for dinner with our Pastor and his wife on Friday night. No plans for the weekend, so far.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Can You Trust God?

Preached by Pastor Brian Robinson on Feb. 26, 2012

1 Kings 12

Can YOU trust God? Can you TRUST God? Can you trust GOD?
Israel was to be a theocracy, but they wanted to have a king, to be like the nations around them.
Saul was chosen, but proved to be unworthy.
David was a man after God’s own heart.
Solomon took Israel to new heights of glory.
His foreign wives turned his heart to other gods.
David reigned 40 years, as did Solomon.
125 years after Israel demanded a king, even though God warned them, they were begging Reheboam to lighten the load.
These events were from the Lord, as judgment. (1 Kings 12:24)
Jereboam was a diligent worker and was promoted.
He was Solomon’s servant.
He did not have royal blood. He had to work hard from a young age.
He was the son of a widow.
He didn’t aspire to be a king.
He is accosted by a prophet.
He is given a warning and a promise.
What does this have to do with trusting God?
If circumstances go against you, can you still trust God?
“Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him.”
Reheboam didn’t follow the advice of the elders, because it had been determined by the LORD.
Reheboam was bothered by the presence of Jereboam.
He put his royal foot down.
He spoke so harshly, he lost his kingdom.
Reheboam becomes the agency of God’s will for Jereboam.
It’s wicked to resist the will of God—it’s rebellion.
Samuel prayed for Saul until God told him to stop praying for him.
Reheboam was going to fight to get his kingdom back, but God told him to stand down.
Jereboam saw that God kept His promise to give him the kingdom, but he didn’t trust Him to keep him.
He took it into his own hands and introduced idols into worship.
Can you trust God in every circumstance?

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Budget Win!

Outside my window... sunny but windy.
I am thinking...Pinterest is so addictive. I just keep pinning new recipes as if I cook more than I do.
I am figure out why I’m so emotional. I’ve been crying so much over little things.
I am thankful for...being well within our budget this first month. It’s good to pay the bills and still have money left over, but it’s a big change in our life style. We were spending too much and eating out a lot. I must say, I need to focus on being content, instead of feeling cheated. Covetousness doesn’t go without a fight, I’m finding.
I am wearing...jeans, a floral top and a navy cardigan.
From the kitchen...frozen pizza.
I am hearing...Downton Abbey Season two finale. I’ve only seen three episodes and I’m hooked. It’s set in England around the end of WW1 in a manor.
I am reading...Canada and Other Matters of Opinion by Rex Murphy. He’s got that east coast satirical wit and humour.
Around the house...organizing our paperwork so my husband can do our taxes.
One of my favourite things...time off, although it’s going fast, as usual.
Some plans for the week... I’m off for one more week. We went wedding dress shopping yesterday. There has been another change in venue for the wedding.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012


Preached by Pastor Brian Robinson on Feb. 18, 2012

Romans 8:12-17

We have an obligation, but not to the sinful nature.
When you see ‘therefore’ in Scripture, ask what the therefores are there for.
It links the thoughts to what preceded it.
Everyone is under obligation. We can’t opt out. We are debtors to the flesh or debtors to God.
Obligation is a compelling word. It implies duty, necessity, requirement.
In Paul’s day, 45% of the population were slaves—they understood what it meant to be under obligation.
Freedom is an illusion; everyone who sins is a slave to sin.
Romans 7 talks about the tug of war that goes on in the heart of the believer.
The old nature will throw a temper tantrum if it’s ignored.
If only our old obligation understood we were not obligated to it.
In the Mortification of Sin by John Owen, he says, “Sin will not spare for one day”, and “It will either prevail or be prevailed upon.”
We all have our own Goliaths. “Is there not a cause?”
We need to learn to say no, and live self controlled lives.
It’s not all negative. We’re not alone. We may get tired, but like Gideon, we are “faint, yet pursuing.”
We may begin to question our salvation.
Tell your Elder Brother you are being bullied.
He didn’t save us to leave us alone, but to indwell us.
It’s not an equal fight, and it’s not meant to be. We have the Omnipotent One on our side.
We have the whole armour of God.
He reminds us of our status in the family of God—heirs, and joint-heirs with Christ.
The promises of God are overwhelming.
He takes us from the guttermost to the uttermost.
We must live up to the family name.

A Turn of Events

Preached by Pastor Brian Robinson Feb. 18, 2012

1 Kings 12

Many may not be familiar with the kings of Israel, other than David or Solomon.
We may be advanced technologically, but they are like us. The God of the Bible is the same. He is still sovereign and immutable.
The Bible is a big book. It’s a bird’s eye view of our world.
We all have a world view. The post modernist says you can’t have an all-encompassing world view, just stories. But the Bible claims to be the only correct world view.
The Bible begins with creation. It is not a fairy tale, but the word of God.
It begins in Paradise, and ends in Paradise.
66 books, 40 authors, yet One Author, written over 1,500 years, yet one theme. No contradictions.
It is the most amazing book in the world.
Our society crushes hope.
The slide began in Israel when the people wanted a king, “to be like the other nations”.
What can we learn from the kings of Israel?
We see the slide into idolatry. We see the remnant preserved because of the promise of a King that would come who would reign on the throne of David forever.

Life in the Spirit

Preached by PastorBrian Robinson on Feb. 11, 2012

Romans 8:9-11

God doesn’t just save us from hell, but He is in the business of transforming us into the likeness of His son—the process of sanctification.
Vs. 1 justification—no condemnation
Vs. 14 sanctification—because of the indwelling Spirit
Vs. 9-11 Paul addresses the readers personally.
A watershed: the destinations are completely different. This is the great divide.
Christianity is radical, revolutionary, supernatural.
It doesn’t just tidy up our morals, it changes our nature.
The Christian swims upstream, fighting against sin; the unbeliever floats downstream, never struggling against his nature.
We are weak and sin and Satan are powerful foes.
In our own strength, we have no strength at all.
With the Spirit, we are Overcomers.
If anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not part of Him.
To have Christ is to have the Spirit; to have the Spirit is to have Christ.
Not for a select few, but for all believers.
How could you live life as a Christian without the Spirit?
You received the Spirit when you first believed.
Not denying the desire for a deeper blessing and relationship with Christ, but you only receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit once, at your conversion, although you can have many fillings afterward.
How? Stick close to the word of God.
We should be amazed that our bodies are the temple of the living God.
Now and not yet.
Paul talks about contrasts; live vs. death, outer man vs. inner man, sinful nature vs. Spirit filled nature, Adam vs. Christ, law vs. grace, physical life vs. spiritual life.

Reheboam; a King without a Kingdom

Preached by Pastor Brian Robinson on Feb. 11, 2012

1 Kings 12:1-17

Other than David or Solomon, the lesser kings are not well known, but they have much to teach us.
We live in an age that does not recognize that we can learn from the past.
We live in an age of anarchy, rebellion, protests, and resistance.
Also an age of the abuse of authority.
We need to learn submission to good authority and resistance to ungodly authority.
Reheboam was the son of Solomon. His mother was an Ammonite
The nation had prospered in every way.
Cracks were developing in the foundation.
Solomon married many foreign wives who brought their gods with them into the marriage. Thus he introduced foreign gods into the life of Israel.

Principles of Leadership
1)Prayer before big decisions. He had the example of his father. Humility and obedience.
2)Fairness. Don’t show favouritism in church, home, or work.
3)Don’t be hasty to make a decision.
4)Look to elders for good advice. When you get it, why go elsewhere? Often the advice that seems best to us is the one that agrees with our idea. We don’t really want advice, we want confirmation.

The result was the schism of Israel. Ten tribes to the north, two to the south.

Monday, February 20, 2012

The Voice of God

“So he said, ‘ I heard your voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; and I hid myself.’” Genesis 3:10

The entrance of sin into the world changed the relationship between God and His creatures. Whereas formerly, they looked forward to fellowship with God, now the sound of His voice struck fear of judgment into their hearts. They knew they were guilty of breaking His commands. When Adam says, ‘heard’, it’s an idiom for obeyed, which is something he did not do.

“And Pharaoh said, ‘Who is the LORD, that I should obey His voice to let Israel go? I do not know the LORD, nor will I let Israel go.’” Exodus 5:2

The voice of the LORD through Moses and Aaron represented His message. Because He is the Lord of heaven and earth is reason enough to obey His voice.

“...and after the earthquake, a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire; and after the fire a still small voice.” 1 Kings 19:12

God often speaks in an unexpected way. The wind, earthquake and fire did not cause Elijah to cover his face in fear, but the still small voice did. Matthew Henry says, “Gracious souls are more affected by the tender mercies of the Lord, than by His terrors.”

“Have you an arm like God? Or can you thunder with a voice like His?” Job 40:9

Here his voice represents His power. Job didn’t yield when his friends reasoned with him, but the voice of the LORD is powerful.

“...Today if you will hear His voice: Do not harden your hearts, as in the rebellion...” Psalm 95:7b,8a

An entreaty. This day of opportunity will not last forever. The sins of others ought to be warnings to us. We must be His willing, obedient people.

“Let me see your face, let me hear your voice; for your voice is sweet, and your face is lovely.” Song of Solomon 2:14b

When we are in a loving relationship, the voice of our beloved is a delight to hear. This verse is attributed to the bridegroom, and he is expressing his joy at his lover’s voice and face. Likewise, we can approach the lover of our souls boldly through prayer. We don’t need to fear to approach Him. We feel safe in his company.

“Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in which all who are in their graves will hear His voice and come forth—those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation.” John 5:28,29

We first hear His voice and wake from spiritual death. At the Resurrection, His voice will wake us from physical death. As God, His voice wakes the dead. All judgment has been committed to the Son.

“And when he brings out his own sheep, he goes before them; and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. Yet they will by no means follow a stranger, but will flee from him; for they do not know the voice of strangers.” John 10:4,5

When we hear His familiar voice, we trust and follow Him. By recognizing the voice of the One we trust, we know how to avoid false teachers.

“And other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they will hear my voice; and there will be one fold and one shepherd.” John 10:16

All followers of Christ; both Jews and Gentiles, follow His voice. He unites us. The Lord knows His followers, and they are sure of Him.

“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.” John 10:26

His voice calls us effectually. Claiming oneness with the Father, He can affirm His ability to keep us eternally.

“Then a voice came from Heaven saying, ‘ I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again’”...”Jesus answered and said, ‘The voice did not become because of Me, but for your sake.’” John 12:28, 30

The Father speaks from Heaven three times in the gospels: at Jesus baptism, at the transfiguration, and here. It is for the benefit of the disciples. His voice and His words reassure us and strengthen our faith. The Father places His seal of approval on Jesus’ work.

“...Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.” John 18:37b

We respond to His voice in salvation, and continue to obey His voice in our Christian walk.

“Behold I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door I will come into him and dine with him and he with Me.” Rev. 3:20

If we are the Elect, we will respond to the gospel call. It will be sweet to our ears. We will see our own sin, agree with God’s righteous judgment against us, see the beauty of Christ and flee to Him for safety. He promises to indwell us. The idea of dining together implies intimate, fulfilling fellowship.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Valentine's Day

Outside my, but finally not as dark as usual. The fresh snowfall this weekend was actually pretty.
I am thinking...I'm working on Valentine's Day, but I don't mind. My husband is sweet to me all year. Some refer to Valentine's Day as S.A.D. or Single's Awareness Day. If I was single that would probably annoy me. I hated every moment of being single. Some are okay with it, others love the freedom. I was lonely. In Finland they refer to this holiday as Friendship Day, which is more all encompassing, because everyone has a friend, even if they don't have romance.
I am get a lot of organizing done around the house when I'm off; maybe one project per day, as well as some writing.
I am thankful for...good health. In spite of being a hypochondriac, I'm not actually sick. :)
I am wearing...jeans, a blue top and a black cardigan.
From the kitchen...haddock, broccoli and cheese, and roasted sweet potato fries. I've never made sweet potatoes that way before. They were a hit.
I am hearing...traffic on the 401 as we wait on a train delay.
I am reading...A Lasting Impression by Tamera Alexander, about an art forger. I just finished Reckless Abandon, by David Sitton. He is a missionary our church supports. He had gone to Papua New Guinea as a young man and now is in Texas. He runs a school for church planting missionaries and goes to unreached people groups in Mexico. The book was challenging and encouraging. Papua New Guinea is a country close to my heart. I hope to go there one day.
Around the house...My girls are working hard at their studies right before reading week. I've been finding many bug related ideas and recipes for our summer DVBS. Our family now has a budget and must live within our means. What a concept, eh? We seem to have forgotten how. We may still meet with a Christian financial advisor. One reason I'd like to see a Christian is they won't tell you to stop giving to church as the first thing to cut back.
One of my favourite things...Pinterest. I know I spend way too much time on it, but I'm getting so many ideas and recipes that I actually use. That's my story.
Some plans for the three nights, then I'm off for 11 days! I wanted it to correspond to my daughters' Spring break. We'll be going wedding dress shopping and do some other planning. Friends are coming over on Friday and Sunday.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

No Labour Disruption!

Outside my window... mild, and no snow.
I am thinking...I can’t tell you how happy I am that there is not going to be a labour disruption with the city workers. That means my husband won’t be locked in at work indefinitely. He was all packed up and told to be ready to come in when called. So stressful. Now we’re so relieved. Funny how you pray for something, and then you’re still surprised when you get an answer.
I am get a handle on some of the wedding plans. They won’t be using the church as they’ll be getting married up in Caledon at Scott Mission Camp, and the reception will be in a barn. That means we’ll have to rent pretty well everything we need, that would have been included in a regular venue. Trying not to stress over the logistics. Deep breath!
I am thankful for...having enough books to read for the next few years, if I can't buy any for a while.
I am wearing...pyjamas. I took a nap and couldn’t seem to recover.
From the kitchen... vegetable and cheese quiche and arugula salad with feta, watermelon and red onion with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. I thought today was a luncheon at church so I made it for that. I brought it home to eat, instead.
I am hearing...the dishwasher. I love my dishwasher. Have I ever mentioned that?
I am reading...Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins. It’s the final book in the Hunger Games trilogy, and the best one so far.
Around the house...It’s Super Bowl Sunday, but it’s not on in our house. No football fans here, just soccer. Also I discovered Downton Abbey, which many of my writer friends were raving about. We attended the planning meeting for our DVBS and it’s going to be a bug theme. I am planning the snacks, prizes and loot bags, so I’ve got to keep an eye out for all things buggy. I already found a few bug themed snack ideas. We went to the bank and I feel better already that we have a plan for undoing the mess I made. I’m amazed at how patient my husband is with me when I mess up, and I really did mess up.
One of my favourite husband. Okay, he’s not a thing, but I love him and I’m so glad he’s in my life.
Some plans for the week... work four nights. No plans for the weekend yet, which is just fine with me. I hope my daughter and her fiancĂ© come over to discuss some plans. I’ll feel less stress if I know what’s happening. I’ve planned many parties so I don’t have a problem with it; I just need to know what I’m working with. Church on Sunday, this time there really is a church supper, so I’ll need to prepare.