Monday, September 29, 2008

Hindsight Is 20/20...Or Is It Really?

Today, I caught myself saying that "hindsight is 20/20" in response to a situation that we are currently dealing with. I might not make perfect sense by the end of this post, but I just want to "blog this out" to clear my head...

Anyway, last Friday we suddenly found ourselves in a school "situation" involving our daughter which wasn't our choice nor was it in our control. Things happened and decisions were made, just merely four weeks into the school year, where two of my daughter's classmates (both girls) make the decision to leave the home school and attend an alternative school. This resulted in my daughter now being left in a class of only two (herself included) Grade 6 girls among 20 other children! Mind you, there are three Grade 6 boys in that mix, but the rest of the class are Grade 5 students.

I am not concerned academically at all for I strongly believe that my daughter's teacher is able and willing to program for my daughter's special need, which is intellectual giftedness. I am, however, concerned about the social aspect of this new scenario --- how my daughter will adapt to this sudden and unexpected change, now having to spend this school year with a majority of younger children.

This is where I thought --- "hindsight is 20/20". Way back in June, I could have voiced my opinion when classes were being organized so that my daughter would end up in a totally different class (not with these girls) and we wouldn't be in this mess right now...etc. etc. etc. You know how all the "what ifs" come to mind in times like these?

Well, who would God use to remind me of His faithfulness today but my daughter herself! The very person who is in the middle of all this "change". At lunch today, as we discussed this situation for the umpteenth time (mainly because I want to gauge how she's feeing), she tells me not to worry. She says that she can see the good in this whole thing; that God already knew way back in June what would happen today even when I didn't voice my opinion regarding the class organization; that everything will work out; that this will turn out to be better for her! Well, with advice like that, I guess it's time for me to let go and let God!

Thank you, God, for a daughter who is mature beyond her age; who understands life with a God-perspective; who knows you so intimately; who trusts you with the everyday details of her life! Who am I to worry? Who am I to fret? Who am I to be upset?

Look at these verses from my devotions today, more assurance from my Heavenly Father:

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes?”
--- Matthew 6:25 (NIV)

“But seek His kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.”
---Luke 12:31 (NIV)

So, hindsight really isn't 20/20! What we deem to be 20/20 really isn't what God has in mind. In this particular situation, we have yet to see what God has in store for my daughter as He brings about this sudden change. In the end, I know that it will show me without a doubt that my hindsight isn't 20/20 after all.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

More Answers...

Remember the question I had in my previous post --- when the harvest is plentiful but the workers are few, how can God's work be accomplished? God enlightened me some more this morning through my devotions.

This is what I read: "Sometimes it can be overwhelming to think of Jesus sending us into the world to preach the good news. But it doesn't have to be. When we reach out to just one person in Jesus' name, we change the world."

One person at a time! Now, that's doable for anyone, isn't it?

1 Peter 2:9 (NIV) --- “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His wonderful light.”

James 1:22 (NASB) --- “But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his natural face in a mirror; for once he has looked at himself and gone away, he has immediately forgotten what kind of person he was. But one who looks intently at the perfect law, the law of liberty, and abides by it, not having become a forgetful hearer but an effectual doer, this man will be blessed in what he does.”

Monday, September 22, 2008

Launch Sunday

Launch Sunday for The Sanctuary Pickering has come and gone! As I sit here in front of my computer on this Monday morning reflecting on the past week's events, all I can say is that my God is faithful!

On Saturday night, after all the preparations have been done for Launch Sunday, hubby and I plopped down on our couch to relax. We were both understandably physically tired but incredibly exhilarated spiritually! We were both sooooo excited we couldn't sleep. As we sat there, it felt surreal to be finally on the verge of publicly launching this church plant! It felt like being pregnant for nine months and suddenly the moment has finally come to give birth.

We couldn't help but think back to exactly one year ago, as we sat on the same couch, wondering why God had us in a place where we were at a crossroads; needing to hear a Word from Him as to the direction of our involvement in ministry; desperately agonizing about the "what ifs" and the "why nots"; feeling impatience creep in as God asked us to wait on Him. God asked us to wait, seeking His direction, for a few months before He provided us with an answer --- He was going to send us church planting in the very community where we live, North Pickering!

What a difference one year can make. A year ago we were waiting, today we are going! A year ago we were agonizing, today we are exhilarated! A year ago we were looking for a renewed purpose, today we are working towards a BIG goal! A year ago we were asking questions, today we are seeing answers! A year ago we were in our comfort zone, today we are being stretched and we are growing! Our God is indeed great; our God is indeed good; our God is indeed sovereign!

Launch Sunday went well. New people walked through the doors of The Sanctuary Pickering. There was enough food, the music came together, the children's programmes ran smoothly. The vision was cast. Our team is incredibly encouraged.

But the greatest impact for me wasn't Launch Sunday itself but the whole week leading up to it as we knocked on doors of people's homes. In my previous blog post, I wrote about my desire to see our team let our hearts be broken with the same things that break God's heart. I can tell you one thing: I saw a lot of those things in the faces of the people who opened their doors to take our flyers. The magnitude of the work that still needs to be done here in North Pickering resonated loud and clear in me as I went from door to door to door.

As I think about the harvest being plentiful but the workers being few, I often find myself asking God how His work can be accomplished. God must be chuckling and saying to me: Is that a trick question? He provided me with the answer instantly this morning just as I was starting to ask again: God's work will be accomplished with God's help.

Look at these verses from my devotions this morning:

Joshua 1:5 (NIV) --- “No one will be able to stand up against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you.”

Psalm 146:5-6 (NIV) --- “Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the Lord his God, the Maker of heaven and earth, the sea, and everything in them—the Lord, who remains faithful forever.”

II Timothy 2:13 (NIV) --- “If we are faithless, He will remain faithful, for He cannot disown Himself.”

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

God Of This City

I love Chris Tomlin's new song, God Of This City. The lyrics are especially meaningful to me at this time because our church, The Sanctuary Pickering, is embarking on a very signficant threshold in less than two week's time --- we are finally having our PUBLIC LAUNCH on Sunday, September 21. In this city!

Greater things have yet to come. Greater things are still to be done. In this city. Where glory shines from hearts alive. With praise for you and love for you. In this city.

Wow...this song brings to mind a powerful image! My prayer is that God will use The Sanctuary Pickering to transform this city for Him, that one day glory will shine from each heart with praise and love for Him. In this city!

Many emotions flood my heart and mind as we prepare for Launch Sunday. Many little details still have to come together and those little details are cluttering my mind! Even as we prepare to walk the neighbourhoods and knock on 15,000 homes to invite people out to Launch Sunday, my thoughts range from excitement to anxiety, from being totally confident to feeling inadequate. I am constantly having to remind myself that God is in control. It is HE who led us into this journey, it is HE who will lead us through it! In this city!

What gets to me each time is the realization that if we truly want to impact this city in a God-sized way, there is much work to be done! There isn't time to waste. There isn't a moment to lose. My prayer is that as a church planting team, we will let our hearts be broken with the same things that break God's heart. In this city!

Luke 8:15-16 (NIV) --- "But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop. No one lights a lamp and hides it in a jar or puts it under a bed. Instead, he puts it on a stand, so that those who come in can see the light."

Monday, September 8, 2008

Summer Adventures - Part 4

The second week of school has started. My daughter and son have settled in quite nicely into Grade 6 and Grade 3 and I can't believe that summer is technically over! Well, here's one last blog entry about our summer adventures...

The last couple weeks of summer brought us to the Hockey Hall of Fame, Canada's Wonderland and also to the annual Canadian National Exhibition, more commonly known as The Ex.

Here are some photos from the Hockey Hall of Fame. Everyone needs to wear gloves to touch the Stanley Cup! We went with hubby's dad who is here to visit us:



Now, on the Canada's Wonderland. Let me tell you that our trip to Canada's Wonderland made me realize that I am officially old! You see, this year my daughter is finally tall enough to go on those huge roller coasters. So, being the fun mommy that I am, I agreed to go on the Behemoth with her!!! It is the newest ride at Canada's Wonderland --- just opened this year. All I can say to you is that when we got to the top of the first drop, at 230 feet in the air, I thought to myself: "Is it too late to get off?" --- seriously, I couldn't believe I agreed to go on it! I must admit though, it was a lot of fun.

As a teenager, I used to love roller coasters. As a mommy, I quickly realized that I don't love them as much as I used to anymore. Haha! After getting off the Behemoth, I was sick for almost two hours. Needless to say, that was my first and last ride of the day. Thankfully, hubby's teenage nephew came with us. He went on all the rides with our kids thereafter.

The Ex, on the other hand, was all fun! Here are a couple of photos taken at the Canadian Forces exhibit:



We had a lot of fun eating candy floss and corndogs, playing midway games, watching shows and parades! If only summer would last forever...

But the school year is upon us and we have to get back to routine. In a lot of ways, I welcome this familiar routine but a small part of me have come to love the carefree days of summer. There is always next summer...

"The day is yours, and yours also the night; you established the sun and moon. It was you who set all the boundaries of the earth; you made both summer and winter."
---Psalm 74:16-17 NIV

Friday, September 5, 2008

Eight Years Old!



My handsome little man turned eight yesterday and he's off to Grade 3 this year! Where has the time gone to?!? No matter how big he becomes, in my heart he'll always be...that little boy of mine.

That Little Boy of Mine
By Grace Wolgemuth

Two eyes that shine so bright
Two lips that kiss goodnite
Two arms that hold me tight
That little boy of mine.

No one could ever know, how much your coming has meant
To me you're everything. You're something heaven has sent!!!

You're all the world to me
You climb upon my knee
To me you'll always be
That little boy of mine.

"Sons are a heritage from the Lord, children a reward from Him."
---Psalm 127:3 NIV