Thursday, April 21, 2011

Revisiting Easter Thoughts

An old post that I still study from at this time of year:

Do You Love Me? John 21:1-18

Simon Peter was a fisherman. It had been his life's work before Jesus called him. This chapter (John 21:1-18) shows us that he and other disciples returned to that familiar lifestyle when things did not turn out as they had hoped and imagined. Jesus was their leader, their Saviour, their Christ; but, to their limited sight at that time, Jesus was dead.

Simon Peter had been so very close with Jesus. He believed he would follow Jesus to the death, if necessary (John 13:37). Instead, he had run away; he had denied Christ; he had failed.

So there they are - fishing. They had been out all night and caught nothing. Does anyone doubt they had spent those hours in misery, focusing on their failure? They couldn't even catch a fish!

And then they see Him on the beach...calling them back, giving them instructions for success. "Put the net on the other side of the boat." Imagine the grumbling! "We are professional fisherman...we have been out here all night and caught is that going to change by moving the net?" It made no sense, but it worked. Success from simple obedience to Jesus.

How many times do we, as His children, run from Him. We return to our old lifestyles; we go back to doing things our way; we fail to follow Him and lay those old sins at the foot of the cross. OR, we lay down one sin, just to pick it back up again! I know I am guilty of this lack of faith, this lack of trust (Isaiah 53:6).

The road to spiritual success is written out clearly for us. We simply need to apply scripture to each and every part of our lives (Colossians 3:17).

1. study

2. examine ourselves

3. obey & change

4. success

Now picture yourself as Peter on the beach (vs. 15-17). "Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me?"

My heart breaks for Peter, who had agonized over his failures. Who had given up all his stated convictions of following Jesus only to return to his old lifestyle. "Yea, Lord, thou knowest that I love thee." Jesus repeats his question to Peter (or imagine it is you) three times - "(Kim), lovest thou me?" And each time He asks, we remember the sins we continue to hold onto. We peek into that closet in our hearts where we think we are hiding those areas of our life that we don't want to analyze through God's eyes. We are grieved because we have returned to our old lifestyle, yet again, instead of following Christ.

He gives us simple instruction, "Feed my sheep."

We can't do Christ's work if we constantly run away from Him. We can't "catch fish" from the side of the boat we have chosen. We can't feed His sheep without a solid, constantly growing relationship with Him. We can find success ONLY in obedience to Him.

Verse 18 shows us the difference. When we were young (unsaved) we did as we wanted. Now we are old (saved, growing) and we must follow where He carries us -- where we would not go on our own.Look at each area of your life and examine it under scriptural lenses - i.e. finances, relationships, employment, health, etc.

Is your 'net' on your side of the boat(worldly)? Are you following Christ all the way to the cross? Are your repeatedly returning to your old lifestyle?

Success will come from simple obedience. Cast your net on the other side.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

A Book Review 3

I just finished this tale of adventure, excitement and perseverance. I loved it!

Unsinkable, written by Abby Sunderland (with Lynn Vincent) is the story of how this remarkable young woman made an attempt to be the youngest person to ever solo circumnavigate the globe, non-stop and unassisted. She was in the news for several months during the early part of 2010 for her the ending should have been rather anti-climatic when it is a real life story - she didn't make it. However, the entire story had me reading each page with delight and feeling some of the excitement, frustration and fear that Abby describes from her travels. Cheering her on a year after her adventure was done.

As a sixteen year old, homeschooled girl there were plenty of trials with which she had to deal from the very moment she sought sponsors for her dream trip. Complete strangers who were critical of her age, her abilities, her intelligence and even her independence - accusing her parents of pushing her into a publicity stunt for money. People from all over chimed in with their expertise on sailing without acknowledging that this young woman was far from being a novice. However, Abby's expertise as sailor is evident in how much she did achieve. Her accomplishment should have silenced the naysayers, but socialists** never admit when their wrong!

Not only did I enjoy this book, I had to compete with my husband to have time to read it. He loved it, too! Next, my 11 yo daughter is looking forward to it. Admittedly, the technical terms tend to drag some of the material down, but I can highly recommend the book.

As a side note, this disclaimer was attached to the book by Booksneeze:

**This title does not contain the amount of faith-focused content as many other books offered on If you prefer Christian Living titles featuring a large amount of faith-centered content, Unsinkable is probably not the best selection for you.

This is something that I found inaccurate. Abby and her family are professing Christians and talk about their faith openly throughout the book. It was faith for real life. Fantastic.

Disclaimer: I receive books from Thomas Nelson Publishers (Booksneeze) free of charge in exchange for my unbiased opinion of them. I am not threatened or rewarded in any way in efforts to encourage me to provide a positive review. All opinions are mine.

**socialist: someone who thinks they know what is best for everyone else, whether they know them or not; also like to call themselves experts

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Norwalking on the Wild Side

Gingerale - check

Good supply of TP - check

Jello - check

Individual buckets to carry around - check

Can you guess what we have been doing in our house for the last week and a half? That's right...the norwalk virus hit like a tornado two Saturday's ago. I remember the moment clearly. Duck looked up at me, with a slight green tinge to her face, and said, "I don't feel very well". Within three minutes the first bucket had been used.

Now Duck had the worst of it. Her vomiting was out of control and we had to take a trip to the hospital for some help to stop it - at least for awhile. They gave her a magic pill that cleared up the nausea for over 4 hours! The next day she was still quite sick and living on the gingerale and jello diet. You see, norwalk may start off with coming 'up', then it moves 'down'. By Monday she was back to a normal colour. Then her little brother followed in her footsteps.

Ever try to explain to a nine month old that throwing up is okay? Hoss was a real trooper, though. His up-chucking stage only lasted part of one day and then we went through a tonne of diapers! The worst part with a little one is how much weight is lost in such a short time. Although the virus passes through quickly, it takes several days to re-train the tummy to eat normally. Almost one full week to get the little guy back to normal portions of formula and food. Plus the long lasting effect would be his new addiction to jello.

Now,infection control is still possible with an 11yo who can use a bucket and wash her hands - it is a different story when a baby is just using me to catch his emesis. So, then it was my turn. There is a question if it was just a coincidence that I spent a day with the bucket as my best friend, though. The night prior, my husband took me out for a nice dinner at a restaurant and I devoured a rack of honey garlic ribs. The garlic was excessive! So there is a question if that was what had me heaving - because that was the only symptom that I suffered. Not that made any difference during the time.

So...the question rises. How do we find something to be thankful about in all of this?

Actually, it wasn't too difficult to answer. You see, the three days prior to Duck becoming ill she spent on vacation with our friends at Niagara Falls Great Wolf Lodge Resort. It is a huge water park resort where they had an incredibly good time. Saturday morning, again before any ugly symptoms arose, she spent the time with her dad at the shooting range. So, we look at the fact that her vacation and daddy date were not hindered by the virus - a blessing to be thankful for indeed.

As for me, this past Saturday was a homeschool conference that I always enjoy attending each spring. Both kids were well enough to spend the day with Auntie L, which gave my husband and I the full day to ourselves. I became ill the day after. Again, a blessing that 'ralph and chuck' didn't ruin my day, either.

When God says 'in eveything give thanks', there really is always something for which to be thankful!

Now was there any other way to describe vomiting that I didn't use?