Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas Eve

Christmas can be an unusual time. For our church/corps family it is most definitely bringing many things.

Yesterday at just before our service/kids Christmas pagent began, one of our members went into hospital and has since given birth to a healthy baby boy. At the same time, there was a fatal shooting out the back of the school where we where having our service yesterday, and the man was a son of another of our members.

Please pray for both of these mothers this Christmas.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

snow snow snow

you may have heard, or you may even be living in it, but Toronto has a big snow storm last sunday. it had been snowing for the few days before and has been a little bit since. but sunday it was crazy. the roads were all completely covered, well, everything was completely covered. it was beautiful and all i wanted to do was go and play in it. i got to drive, and it was a lot of fun, it was kind of like driving in a computer game where you get to slide and stuff. as long as you were being very careful, it wasn't too bad and there weren't many cars on the 'roads' at all.

one thing i have loved about this snow being around, is how people kick in to helpful mode. for example, our neighbours shovelled a little path to our front door and i've seen many random strangers get together to push someone's car that is stuck. ah, the wonders of snow.

i love this snow

matt at our front door

happy matt

happy fee

the view from our front door

matt pushing a random stranger's car

just walking in the snow

this is the view or river st, a busy downtown road...well, usually, when there is no snow...

matt running through the snow

safely inside out of the cold

Saturday, December 15, 2007

12 days till Christmas...?

Well, there's just a little less than 12 days, but I had to share this anyway...

Friday, December 14, 2007

4 weeks. 1 sleep.

That's all I have left in Toronto...for the time being at least. I have stopped trying to predict what the future holds. It's too hard. My plans always seem to get changed anyway.

My emotions are mixed.

I am excited to go home. I am excited for my best friends to meet my husband. I am excited to meet all the new babies my friends have had - especially harriet (merf + rick), josiah (dave and ky) and sienna and amelie (michelle and mike) who were just born this week! I am excited not to have to wear layers and long johns and jackets. I am excited to go swimming in the ocean. I am excited to show Matt my home/city/country.

I am sad to leave behind good friends. I am sad to leave behind my Ignite team. I am sad that I will not see the beauty of snow falling. I am sad to leave behind our regent park community. I am sad that we won't have the motorbike.

All this will happen in 4 weeks. 1 sleep.

(It should also be noted that I am thankful that last week Matt got to go to Newfoundland to see his family, and that on the flight back, he slept! and there was even some turbulance! that's some very good news.)

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

christmas is coming

i am loving christmas this year.

winter Christmas. ha. this is still a phenonemon that i am getting used to. it's not my first. last year i was in seattle. not snowy, but rainy. and then there was those christmasses in scotland when i was a wee girl. but this december is nothing like last year. this december is COLD. and snowing. now, i do get a little excited by this. those carols and christmas songs about snow and cold make more sense.

but i can't tell you how much i am missing outdoor carol services, which you can take a picnic to. annie would be proud of me. she's probably going crazy right aobut now and has all the local services mapped out, so she knows when to go where. i would go to everyone of those with her right now if i could.

and christmas eve carols at the music bowl. i really wish i could be at those. so many good memories. it's so exciting to be there christmas eve.

i am excited about this christmas. not sure why. i don't think it's because it's matt and my's first christmas together - he's working christmas day anyway. i am just really excited about celebrating the birth of Jesus. i have been tuning in to the radio station that plays carols all day long. i am loving it.

hope you are too.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

learning again and again

i've been neglecting my blog over the last 8 days. not intentionally of course. just sometimes life has much more going on than there is time to share it with the world.

one small thing that is currently happening is that matt and i are preparing to leave toronto and make the move to melbourne. it's basically the other side of the world. check toronto and melbourne on the globe and they are pretty much opposite. that's one (or three) long plane ride. there's lot of things to sort out. at least i have a job!

what else have i been doing...

i've been to the dentist - twice. i've been reading dietrich bonhoeffer. i've been playing scrabble online. i've been to the chiropractor (I LOVE HER). i've been to the trading floor at merryl lynch (or however you spell it). i've talked with my girlfriend who's twin girls are due any day now.i've eaten the best crepes with banana and chocolate. i texted another of my girlfriends to wish her a happy 27th birthday. i bought my husbands christmas present, and my nephew and nieces. just to mention a few and keep you in the loop of my life.

one of the lessons i am learning right now is that sometimes, you will never get the glory. now, don't get me wrong, it's not really glory i seek, but sometimes, it's nice to have a little recognition. but, there are times when you work your butt off and you know you are doing the right thing, and good things, but you are never going to get any recognition for it. this is a great lesson to learn. though at times it can be hard. i've also learned that nearly everything, in retrospect, can be made sense of.

ok, so maybe i've learned these lessons before, but i am learning them again.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

miss piggy - singing truth

last night i went with my team to a salvation army home for adults with developmental disabilities, as two of them were leading christian ed. this is the second we've been and i can't help but smile for most of the time i am there. some of these guys have so much joy it's not funny. anyway, i just wanted to share this morning, one specific thing that happened. they love to sing and so we sing. we were singing 'he's got the whole world in his hands' and one of the residents came in late with his worker. he had with him a dvd of the muppets with miss piggy on the front. he joined in the first verse no worries. but then when it got to the second verse, we all started to sing 'he's got the wind and the rain, in his hands', while this one particular resident, who we'll call 'Davie', began to sing, 'he's got miss piggy and davie, in his hands'. it was so funny, his worker laughed a lot, and the rest of us couldn't stop smiling at the least. it got to the third verse, we were all singing 'he's got everybody here, in his hands' and davie started singing, 'he's got davie and paul, in his hands'. now 'paul' was the resident sitting next to him. it really was quite lovely.

i couldn't help but think that 'davie' really did know what he was singing about. he wasn't just singing words, but singing truth that he knew.

Monday, November 19, 2007

tired. but good.

it's late and i should be in bed. because seriously, i am tired right now. in fact i seem to be tired all the time at the moment. i have really been getting enough sleep (though i don't know what has possessed me to stay up late tonight...). maybe it's the cold. maybe there's a lot to do right now. maybe i'm getting old....

anyway, tonight i have no words of wisdom, not even any words of wisdom that i stole from anyone else.

but i do have a list of things that i appreciate

- friends who make me laugh
- friends who i can relax with
- when my husband takes the garbage out (i haven't done it since we've been married!)
- my family
- that i am healthy (even if i am tired)
- warm, no, hot showers
- the odd occassion when my husband does some of the dishes
- icecream
- swimming
- the real ocean (oh i can't wait...)
- warm sunny days
- a good book
- sleep ins (maybe on saturday...)
- running with a friend, or two
- freedom

to name just a few. so i guess that even if i might be tired, i have a lot still to be thankful for.

what are you thankful for today?

Friday, November 16, 2007

2 friends (+ running in the snow...)

today it's a first for the season. it was into the minuses and it snowed. ok, so it was only -1 (i can't believe i just said only) and the snow didn't stick on the ground or anything. but still. and guess what. i went running in it. i met with my friend this morning. and whenever we meet, we usually run. so, i am continuing on with my freak exercising in the winter. i like running with my friend. i will be sad when we can't run together anymore.

then today i bumped into another friend. he really is struggling a lot with health and addiction issues. i love him. i said to him, 'how are you doing?' and not just in a way that you'd say it and not mean it, he looked and me and grabbed me in for a hug and said 'i love you'. it broke my heart. more and more each day, i fear for my friend's life. i pray that he will know God's peace in his life.

two dear friends. i love them both and am so thankful to have met them.

who are you thankful for today?

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

ignite website

some of you may know that a huge part of my job is to run the Ignite program here at 614 in Regent Park. in case you want to know a little more about it - check out our website - - it's just been updated a little and now has a picture of me on it!!!

Friday, November 09, 2007

new cold canadian experiences

i might have mentioned already, but the weather got really cold this week. i have worn my winter jacket all week (you might remember that this time last year i realised that there is more than one type of i know the difference!). i went running twice this week. a very big achievement for three reasons
1) i have been slack and have not run since the half marathon (though i have been doing yoga once a week and i think i made one appearance at the gym...)
2) the weather sucked both times - which links to 3)
3) there was no way i would have gone out and ran in this weather last year...

the first time i went it was freakingly cold. i got warmed up after a few minutes, but my face nearly fell off because it was so cold. i wished i was wearing a balaclava. the second time, tonight with kathy, it was raining lightly when we left, but by the time we got home it was raining pretty bad. but it was a good run. though it was also weird because we went at 6pm, but it was already dark so we ran along the city streets, which was also a new experience.

while we were running, i saw a person, all huddled up in a bus shelter, that was obviously going to be home for the night. not the first time i've seen this. but with the turning of the weather, it means something more. homelessness is something that gets me in the guts, but homelessness in a toronto winter really makes me feel sick. when i think about what some go through in the winter, it makes any complaining that i do about the cold pretty pathetic. whatever my day holds, i have a roof over my head every night, in a home that has heating. i have food to eat, clean clothes to wear and a place where i can shower with warm clean water. i have so much. why do i complain?

Thursday, November 08, 2007

money = freedom

tonight i was sitting listening to an investment broker discuss her job. a statement she made really jumped out at me. she said 'having money is freedom. it means you can do what you want, when you want'. sure, in some ways this statement makes a lot of sense. this woman is no dummie.
but then i started to think about what freedom really is. freedom to me is not about buying what i want, when i want it. but rather being able to be who i was created to be, all the time. and this is something having money or not having money should not affect.
by western world standards, i really don't have much money. by wordly standards, i have so much. freedom to me, has nothing to do with what is in my bank account. to be honest, i have and earn less now than i have in the past, but i am much more free.

Galation 5:1
It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

i don't want to be a liar

following on from my last blog, it turns out that to do this isn't so easy. i have been reading 1 john a lot (well, we were encouraged to study it this week - ie at least read it everyday - at discipleship class last sunday). yesterday i read this 'if anyone says, "I love God," but hates his brother, he is a liar' 1 John 4:20.
sounds good. i agree. but try and put that into practice.

today, shortly after i left my home, i walked past one of the local pimps. i feel anger burning up in me when i see him, especially when he's hanging around alone, as i know that must mean one of his girls is working. there's nothing about this man that makes me want to have anything to do with him. and then the verse jumps into my head - if anyone says 'I love God' but hates his brother, he is a liar. arrgghhh. how am i not going to hate this man. only God in me could ever make that possible.

i think it was worse this morning, as when i passed him, i was on my way to the funeral of a homeless working girl that i kind of knew. the name i know her by is natalie. though others know her by different names. at natalies funeral, there were no family, mainly just local workers from all the local service providers. except for one guy who was there in a suit. he was what appeared to be natalies closest, perhaps only, friend. the only downside to this is that we knew he wasn't just her 'friend'. he was her pimp. again, as a few, who i don't know if they knew his full relationship with natalie, consoled him for his loss, the anger inside me raged. again, the verse came to my mind.

i know, i have blogged about this before. the pimps need God too. but, to share Christ with these people who are completely destroying others lives for their own gain is something i struggle with so much. i wish i could share an amazing story about how God has helped me through this one and how i deal with it, but truth be told, i can't. it's something i need help to understand. so for now, i'll just keep praying that God may show me mercy, for i am a sinner too, and that he may show me how to share his love with ALL. for if i love God, but do not love my brother, i am a liar.

Monday, November 05, 2007


i could blog about yoga, i could blog about the weather, i could blog about things i like about canada, i could blog about things i learnt today about God, i could blog about the vicious elbow in the ribs that i copped last night from my sleeping husband or i could blog about not being able to decide what to blog about.

but instead of blogging about my own thoughts today, i'll share two things that i heard/read yesterday.

first - from Saint Ireneaus "The glory of God is man fully alive"

second - "No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us" 1 John 4:12

If the glory of God is man fully alive, and if God lives in us and is made complete in us when we are loving one another. then it only makes sense that to be fully alive, we must be loving and serving one another. the is no selfishness to be found in a person that is fully alive.
to be alive, to have life, we must have breath. for us to be alive in Christ, we must have the breath of God in us. you can't breathe out if you haven't breathed in. our lives must be constantly refilled, or rebreathed (yes, i know that's not a real word), by God's breath, otherwise we will not be able to be the breath of God in the lives of others. and if we cannot love others, we cannot be fully alive.

be fully alive. breathe God in. breathe Him out. show the glory of God.

Friday, November 02, 2007

straight from the horse's mouth

i've heard a few lines this week

'the Holy Spirit is off his meds' (from a gentleman i know, who also is off his meds). i could go there with this. but not today. it's an interesting thought.

when discussing why the israelites were complaining of having no water in the desert, the logical answer that was given was 'because they were dehydrated'. (from an insightful friend in bible study). it's also an interesting thought.

the next came from an article about the cambodian prime minister who this week disowned his adopted daughter because she is a lesbian. Prime Minister Hun Sen said this (from the article) “I can educate people in the whole country, but I cannot educate my adopted daughter,” he added. “We sent her to study in the US, but she did a bad job. She returned home and took a wife.” However, Mr Hun Sen asked Cambodia's 13 million people to be more tolerant of homosexuals. “I urge parents of gays not to discriminate against them, and do not call them transvestites,” he said.

when some people speak, though they know not what they say, then can be extremely insightful.
when some people speak, they can be extremely logical, though say something most would never have thought of.
when some people speak, they should realise they shouldn't.

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