Tag Archive | joy

Kodak Moments

To me remains nor place, nor time;
My country is in every clime;
I can be calm and free from care
On any shore, since God is there.

After  settling back into our non-routine routine life, I finally found made some time to compile a little photo log of our journey over the past several weeks; or, one might call it, “really great excuses as to why I haven’t been blogging.”  I think my husband’s seven-year old Kodak 612Z camera still does a pretty good job capturing and highlighting our days.

After Easter, we moved out of our cute little spot in Ottawa.

Then we stayed on the “other” side of the Ottawa River a while with friends:

with dear friend, Elaine!

and moved our “schtuff” into their basement…

Guess I got a little too comfortable in their basement!

Then, it was time to say “See you later” (not goodbye), to some friends…

With Mitch at the Coffee House (JRCM)

Dave speaking at Jericho Road Coffee House

Kim’s surprise party was a success!! ♪ Happy 50th Birthday dear Friend ♪ !!

Last day–Brunch with Mack, Ray, Gloria, JL, and Charlene (taking the pic)

As we headed out of town, some colourful tulips peaking through the snow caught our eye.

At Dow’s Lake, these early blooms held up well to the late snow

Delicate, but tough

Then we drove south, and south, and east a bit…to enjoy an extended stay in Virginia Beach for my mom’s 80th birthday celebration, shared with our daughters and grandkids!  These are just a few pics of all that were taken from our blessed time together:

With my beautiful mom. Willa

With my mom, Hope (& her baby-to-be), and Gracey!

Joy, my mom, Grace with Eva, and moi

All smiles with Gracey and Joy (and her baby-to-be)

Sisters with child(ren)

Say Cheese!! Grace, Joy, Steve, and Eva!

Cousins get reacquainted

Protected and Protector

On stage at the Kid’s Place

Eva is a star too!!

Busch Gardens with Hope, Jon and Andrew

Joy and Eva are not persuaded that the ponies are entirely safe at the Petting Zoo 🙂

John Deere meets John and Jon!

Wrapping up a morning at the Petting Zoo

Time for piggies in the sand!

The whole world’s a Beach for Poppop and Jonathan

Eva’s beach time with Pop-Pop

A few minutes of relaxin’ for lovely Nurse Grace

All done….

After spending time with our blessings, it was time to meet the road again.

highway to the hills

As Bilbo sang in The Hobbit,

Roads go ever ever on,

Over rock and under tree,

By caves where never sun has shone,

By streams that never find the sea;

Over snow by winter sown,

And through the merry flowers of June,

Over grass and over stone,

And under mountains in the moon.

So we return, for a bit, to our hollow in the hills, giving praise to the Lord for His lovingkindness, and seeking Him for whatever lies ahead.

Your decrees have been the theme of my songs wherever I have lived. Psalm 119:5

While place we seek, or place we shun,
The soul finds happiness in none;
But with a God to guide our way,
“tis equal joy to go or stay.

Jeanne Marie Guyon, 1722

What have you been up to lately?

Easter better than Christmas??

Is it not strange, the darkest hour
That ever dawned on sinful earth,
Should touch the heart with softer power,
For comfort, than an angel’s mirth?
 That to the Cross the mourner’s eye should turn,
Sooner that where the stars of Bethlehem burn?

John Keble, Good Friday

As much as I LOVE Christmas, this season of Jesus’ death and resurrection brings me even greater tidings of comfort and joy!   Jesus birth was a glorious and beautiful foretaste of what He actually Finished at Calvary and the surprising dawn of His Resurrection.  And though there’s nothing quite like the all-cozy-inside feeling I have when I hear Christmas carols, the hymns and praise of Easter ring out assurances of Hope, Love, and eternal Life!

~~

I serve a Risen Saviour! Christ the Lord is risen today!! Hallelujah!! Hallelujah!!  Because He lives I can face tomorrow!  He’s Alive! He’s Alive!  Arise, My Soul, Arise!!

~~

I shared the last song, by Charles Wesley, under a different post, melody and musicians.  Today’s rendition is compliments of Sovereign Grace Music (where you can purchase their newest CD for only $5)!   The tune is new, soulful, and brilliant!  But the classic words and message remind us that we are ever inscribed on Christ’s hands and forever accepted in the Beloved!

~~

Arise, my Soul, Arise

by Charles Wesley

Arise, my soul, arise
Shake off your guilty fears
The bleeding sacrifice
On my behalf appears
Before the throne my surety stands
Before the throne my surety stands
My name is written on His hands
~~
He ever lives above
For me to intercede
His all redeeming love
His precious blood to plead
His blood atoned for every race
His blood atoned for every race
And sprinkles now the throne of grace
~~
CHORUS
~~
O my soul, arise
Behold the risen Christ
Your Great High Priest
Your spotless sacrifice
O my soul, arise
God owns you as His child
Shake off your guilty fears
My soul, arise
~~
Five bleeding wounds He bears
Received on Calvary
They pour effectual prayers
They strongly plead for me:
“Forgive him, O forgive,” they cry
“Forgive him, O forgive,” they cry
“Don’t let that ransomed sinner die!”
~~
My God is reconciled
His pard’ning voice I hear
He owns me as His child
I can no longer fear
With confidence I now draw nigh
With confidence I now draw nigh
And “Father, Abba, Father,” cry.
~~
from From Age to Age, released 10 April 2012 .Verses by Charles Wesley (1742), music and additional words by Eric McAllister © 2012 Sovereign Grace Worship (ASCAP)
~~
And
 If you want to read another beautiful Easter poem, check Beth Stone’s blog for an amazing Love poem by C.S. Lewis.  It is simply, profoundly…beautiful.

Love’s as warm as tears,  Love  is tears….

What special song or poem speaks to you about Christ’s love, Easter, and His Resurrection?

Happiness Strikes

What a delight this video is!  Coca-Cola is doing this ‘thing’ called Happiness Strikes, blessing random people with random happy events.  This video follows three sweet people from the Philippines living in the United States, who are reunited with their familes through the efforts of the Coca-Cola Company.

Of course, while I believe Jesus Christ alone made the ultimate “Happiness Strike” by becoming a child–

..made a little lower than the angels, now crowned with glory and honor because he suffered death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone….

–the giant beverage company does a fair job bringing a smile to many, and tears to these eyes.

I dedicate this to my long-distance, grace-filled and beautiful Filipino friend, Lidia, who blogs at Crown of Beauty.   This is sent with love and prayers for you, dear sister, and a desire for the good news of Jesus to resound and be received by many precious Filipino people, reconciling them to our loving Father and striking them with Joy unspeakable and full of glory!  Love you Lidia!

~~~

 

The Todd for whom we Prayed

“Our days on earth are like grass; like wildflowers, we bloom and die.  The wind blows, and we are gone—as though we had never been here.  But the love of the Lord remains forever with those who fear him. His salvation extends to the children’s children.” 
Psalm 103:15-17

A few weeks ago, I wrote about the joyous news of Kate McRae’s present progress in her battle with cancer. And we continue to pray she will remain cancer-free, so every day of her life will glorify the Lord. 

Well, another precious one we’ve been praying for is cancer-free too, except his pathway to healing was a little different.  Todd passed away Saturday night and is now present with the Lord. His life and faith truly brought glory to the Lord, and his faith has become sight!

If you’ve been praying for Todd, or want to know more about someone who demonstrated joy in sorrow, hope through despair, and unfailing love in His God and Saviour, even when obstacles became bigger than life–then please go to Beth’s Blog, HERE.  

Please remember to keep Todd’s family, his wife and two children, parents, and many dear friends, in prayer as they face the future without him, but never without our loving Lord.  Thank you!

In honour of Todd, here is an encouraging excerpt from The Pilgrim’s Progress, as Christian enters the Celestial City:

The Shining Ones answered, “You must receive the comforts of all your toil and have joy for all your sorrow; you must reap what you have sown, even the fruit of all your prayers, tears, and sufferings in your journey for the King….”

“These are the men who have loved our Lord when they were in the world and who have left all for His holy name….”

O by what tongue or pen can their glorious joy be expressed!! 

 

Remember to visit Beth Stone’s Blog  to learn more about Todd.  Additionally, you can read about his testimony and funeral service details HERE.

The Value of Restored Joy

“I waited patiently for the Lord, and He inclined to me and heard my cry.  He drew me up from the pit of destruction, out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure.  He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God.   Many will see and fear, and will trust in the Lord.”      Psalm 40:1-3

 

What price can be set on restored joy?

What value is the heart of one set free to sing a new song to God?

The Lord spares no expense as He reaches out  to restore  joy, to set free, and to draw the one to Himself.   Jesus taught and illustrated the value He places on one restored life:

     Leaving the 99 sheep for the 1

     Making a clean sweep of the house to find 1 coin

     Watching, waiting, months, perhaps years, for the 1 son

“What a waste!”  thought the religious leaders surrounding Jesus. 

Why this waste?”  wondered the onlookers as the woman poured out the costly perfume over Jesus’ head and feet.

It’s apparent Jesus had fundamentally different values than those around him…and us.  The world blatantly advertises its values–appearance, youth, security, success, pleasure, and achievement.   Then there’s my own little world or kingdom, with my personal investments in comfort, security, avoidance of conflict, and validity or acceptance from others.  

But God’s kingdom is righteousness, peace, and joy.  His kingdom is where one matters as much as many, the poor in spirit are rich, mourning turns to joy, beauty to ashes, meekness becomes honour, and being spent or giving away, means great gain.   My kingdom is seen, light-weight and temporal.  His kingdom is unseen, weighty and eternal.  Lasting.  Enduring. 

His kingdom is marked by extravagant love, mercy, kindness and grace.  No holding back…even bordering on the appearance of wastefulness.  So whose values are skewed?  Mine or God’s?  The answer is obvious and it’s where I am both challenged, and hopefully, growing in daily.  Through extravagant choices and “wasteful” decisions, the Lord has graciously allowed me to see restoration unfold in someone’s life, with joy and a new song in their heart!

So, back to the original question:

Of what value is the heart of one restored, or the joy of a new song in one’s life? 

The Psalm above says, when joy is restored in one….many will see, and trust in the Lord.

How much is THAT worth?!

Christmas Perks

I’m a Christmas person. 

As a Christian, this fact may be easily understood, because Christmas is a time when it seems like everyone is celebrating our Lord’s birth.  Of course, we know that’s not true.  But we can dream…pray…believe.

But I also love Christmas for the perks that happen only at this  time of year.

The Utmost Perks:

1.  First and foremost.  Christmas music.  Hymns mostly, Handel’s Messiah, and Charlie Brown music 🙂

2.  December weather…snow, cold nights, fireplaces, and winter sports.

3.  Christmas goodies.  I make fudge, almond macaroons, thumbprint cookies, and may, on occasion, dust off my cookie press–but only at Christmas.  And all the stores–especially military commissaries–carry unique items that are only displayed and sold between Thanksgiving Halloween and New Year’s Day.

4.  Christmas lights, especially the little white ones, subtly peeking out from cozy houses, shop windows, winter branches, fence posts, and odd places, like the auto parts store.

5.  Christmas movies.   Everyone has their favourites.  The two that top my list are, It’s a Wonderful Life, and A Christmas Carolthe 1951 version of Dickens’ book, starring  Alistair Simms.   Other faves include all the other Dicken’s adaptation on film and Charlie Brown’s Christmas Special (the original).

During this ‘festive time of year’, I hope to share some of these perks with you!  These may include uploaded Christmas music, YouTube excerpts, lyrics and history of a hymn or two, and maybe even a recipe!  And if you look carefully, there’s already some snow flakes falling across the page (thanks to the folks at WordPress!)

Periodically, check the blue Music box for uploaded Christmas tunes.  Today’s addition is “Joy to the World“, from Casting Crowns’ Christmas CD entitiled Peace on Earth.

And now, a grand-daughter!

Eva Joy joined our family early Tuesday morning!  Welcome to our family, and the world, little one!  You will be in our prayers everyday, without exaggeration!

I will post photos as soon as we have some!  John is ‘chomping at the bit’ to start filling up the memory sticks with pictures of his ‘bunny’s bunny!”  SOON!