There were several things at church yesterday, that really “jived” for me, so I think it deserves a post! (Haven’t you missed me?)

The first thing requires some background. A few days ago when looking for something else, I discovered that I have some burlap, in my box of scrap materials. So after doing a search on Pinterest, I’m in love with decorating using burlap! (Any kind of decorations, not just Christmas.) It’s that natural, rustic look that is so appealing to me.

When we arrived at church for the morning service, one of the first things you notice is the very tasteful Christmas decorations, using lots of burlap! The other two materials used: wood branches and white mini-lights.

The other “jivey” things:

  • Liturgy: The Met did not “do” Advent candles last year, but they are doing them this year! Including a reading while one of the families of the church lights the candle. As well as the banners (burlap) with each week’s theme printed on them. It was just a couple of days ago that we were talking about how little liturgy our new church uses (which is both good and bad), so I personally, was very glad to see this! Even when we sang one Advent hymn in particular, we just knew our former church of 35 years in Toronto, was probably singing the same one that very morning! :D
  • Speaking of “jiving”, I’m always one who can’t keep still during the worship music. I sometimes worry that it’s driving the people around me a little crazy. But yesterday morning, the guy in front of me was jiggling away, and another lady in front of him was jumping… guess I finally found the right section to sit in!
  • Not only that, but several people around me were also using their phones and pads, whatever, to follow the sermon (on The Met’s app, making notes, reading the scripture). So for once I didn’t have to wonder if someone was watching me do it and thinking “she shouldn’t be on her phone during the sermon!”
  • The sermon theme was “Hope”, in which he talked about Jesus’ first coming, and looking forward to his second coming. He used a “hope tank” illustration, in which a see-through “tank” was filled with red and gold Christmas tree balls. Red and gold happens to be my tree theme this year; RED stands for Jesus’ first coming, when he shed his blood, GOLD stands for his second coming, when he will be crowned King of All! (And I didn’t just think of that now!)

On to sermon notes. (After all, I should be allowed to make up for all those days I haven’t posted!!) I think it can be summed up briefly enough, though. Our interim pastor is continuing his series from 2 Peter for his Advent sermons. (This week, 2 Peter 3:1-8)

How to keep your “hope tank” filled? Pastor Tim placed a lot of importance on reading God’s Word. (Our church’s full name is “The Metropolitan Bible Church”.) He spent some time showing how there is so much evidence for scripture; which we appreciate, because you can’t just say to people “believe it because the Bible says so”, and not know that there is this evidence. Once you know the Bible is true, you need to read it! Because it’s so easy to get distracted by the culture, and become hazy in your knowledge of what’s true. And there are so many God-promises to fill up your hope!

We should also “fill our hope tank” by contemplating Jesus’ second coming: 1) Watch for it actively, 2) Wait for it patiently (realizing that some of those God-promises are yet-to-come), 3) Work for it by using the talents God has given you, and by recognizing God’s work in you and in the world around you.


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God, “You are my strength; I wait for you to rescue me”–from all the things that would sap me of my own strength. When there are things to fear, you are my Fortress of Protection. Your unfailing love stands with me, so that in the end, you “will let me look down in triumph on all my enemies”–the enemies that tell lies, that tempt me away from you. Victory! They (and me!) are staggered with your power, and brought to our knees.

You are my Strength, my Refuge! You fill me daily with song, about your love and power! (Psalm 59)


When things are difficult, rushed, help us to keep that one thing highest on the priority list: to be living with You daily, meditating and delighting in Your perfections–in other words, may we never forsake Worship. Remind us, teach us, that this is a way to be protected from troubles, to be able to stand above them “on a high rock”. (Ps. 27:4-5)


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finishing up fall

Quick, quick! One more Fall poem before the Christmas things start up! (Would you believe, I’m to begin the Christmas Story for the 3-year olds next Wednesday?! And yes, I’ve switched to the 3-year olds, for my Wednesday morning volunteering.)

Well, after all, I do see a few snowflakes on the rooftops this morning. Just a very few! AND–Santa Claus Parade tomorrow!!

Among the Rocks, by Robert Browning, 1864

Oh, good gigantic smile o’ the brown old earth,
This autumn morning! How he sets his bones
To bask i’ the sun, and thrusts out knees and feet
For the ripple to run over in its mirth;
Listening the while, where on the heap of stones
The white breast of the sea-lark twitters sweet.

That is the doctrine, simple, ancient, true;
Such is life’s trial, as old earth smiles and knows.
If you loved only what were worth your love,
Love were clear gain, and wholly well for you:
Make the low nature better by your throes!
Give earth yourself, go up for gain above!


Now to get all the Fall tasks done, like washing the wood floors, bringing in the long winter matt, and raking up the leaves. Even though our front yard maple tree had all its leaves blown away (SO thankful!) there are a lot of backyard trees. I try not to be too fussy about them, but not sure what would happen if we left them there on the brick, and rocks. The Oak tree is finally empty of leaves, now for the Smoke!


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Stop, Listen

There are not enough posts in my blog for the “fall” tag to show up, so here’s another Fall poem:

O wild West Wind, thou breath of Autumn’s being,
Thou, from whose unseen presence the leaves dead
Are driven, like ghosts from an enchanter fleeing,

Yellow, and black, and pale, and hectic red,
Pestilence-stricken multitudes: O thou,
Who chariotest to their dark wintry bed

The winged seeds, where they lie cold and low,
Each like a corpse within its grave, until
Thine azure sister of the Spring shall blow

Her clarion o’er the dreaming earth, and fill
(Driving sweet buds like flocks to feed in air)
With living hues and odours plain and hill:

Wild Spirit, which art moving everywhere;
Destroyer and preserver; hear, oh hear!

That’s only the first part of the poem! It’s called “Ode to the West Wind”, and it’s by Percy Bysshe Shelley, in 1820!

Speaking of tags and categories…

You know that a favourite subject of mine is “worship”, and we happened to be talking about that at our small group the other day. Some people find it harder to do than others, but I feel that we need reminding that it’s not all about emotion. I think it’s more about distraction!

You can read the Bible for hours and hours, and still never worship. You can fill your time with hard work “for God”, but still never worship. Let me explain.

I’m sure everyone has had times when they read, and have to go back and re-read because they weren’t paying attention–I’ve done it even when reading out loud to someone else! And it happens with more things than reading of course. Lately, I’ve taken to reminding myself to concentrate on enjoying something (like our daily 20 minutes in the hot tub for example), rather than being so distracted that you hardly know you’ve done it!

I think worship simply means being intentional about noticing God’s hand in the world around you, in the small moments of the day. So intentional that you can’t help but respond in prayer, even if it’s just a sentence or two (but try for often, and try it for a kick-start to other kinds of prayer). I can’t even listen to worship music unless I’m able to pay attention to the words, that’s just my habit. And of course, there is a TON of scripture that can spur you to worship!

In fact, I think I’ve mentioned my “Scripture Prayer” category. Perhaps it is selfish of me to keep most of the posts private; I’m thinking of stopping that, even though they don’t have to be cross-posted to Facebook. Maybe I’ll even go back and “un-private” some of them.

So if you’re looking for something to help you pray, come back sometime, scroll down to the category list on the right, and click on “Scripture Prayer”.


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I’m so overwhelmed by your love! To think that you keep track of each tear, every toss and turn, every ache marked down in your ledger! (Ps. 56:8) How amazing to know that you are on my side! I can be totally fearless, as I trust in you. “What can mere mortals do to me?”  You always do everything you promised, and I can “stroll at leisure with God in the sunlit fields of life.” psalm 56

Thank you that as we worship you, you confide in us. (ps 25:14)



Show us how you work, God; may we always be open to be schooled in your ways. Even if we have to be taken by the hand and led down the path of truth–save us from being deceived with untruth! May we always submit to your correction. Help us to recognize and confess our wrongs quickly. Remind us that you are fair and just, and that you plan only the best for us. If we keep our eyes on you, we won’t trip over our own feet. Urge us to run to you to be put back together, give us patience to wait to see your finished product. (psalm 25)

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“enjoy God forever”

There are some sermon notes that have been sitting around here for a few weeks, because the sermon was so good that I just can’t bear to get rid of them… so I think they need to be transferred here.

This young pastor expressed some nervousness, but he actually seemed very natural–and he’s an excellent speaker! I forget if it’s the Youth or the Young Adults that he works with at our church, but the Usual Pastor was away, so Matt was on for that Sunday. He said we were going to talk about some truths about God to enjoy, and we did enjoy them! :) Of course, my brief notes don’t really do justice to the sermon, but they jog my own memory anyway.

His text was the story in the Gospel about the Pharisees trying to trip up Jesus by asking him if they should pay taxes. Caesar was considered a god, so agreeing to pay him might be like worshiping another god; and of course not paying gets you in trouble as well. Jesus had them stuck for words by holding up a coin and asking them whose image was on it, and then saying “Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.” (Trick answer really, since everything belongs to God!)

Matt went from this to an illustration from Toy Story: the toys knew who they belonged to by looking at an image that was stamped on the bottom of their feet, or whatever. The same terminology for “image” that Jesus used, was used in Genesis where it says that we are made in God’s image… so who do we belong to? :) “We were made to relate to God.”

Matt also reminded us that salvation is more than guilt and forgiveness, in the same way that adoption is more than paperwork.

And I’m not fitting it in properly the way Matt did, but one key point he made, is that “the more you see of God, the more you worship”. So my mind carries this out to–how do we see more of God? Through the people he has made (those who just shine, as well as our family, friends, loved ones), through things like worship music (or even just excellent music), and of course through nature. (I’m sure I’m missing some things here… OH, the Bible of course too!)

One of Matt’s closing points was certainly a truth to inspire one to worship. He brought up the time that Jesus was asked what the most important commandment is. The very most important commandment is to love God… in the end, all God really wants is our love!

(You can bring that out to be a little more complicated than that, but on the other hand, sometimes the answer is just… simple.)

fall profile blog

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“Here in this great gathering for worship..” thank You for the MET, where “Down-and-outers sit at God’s table and eat their fill.” Thank you that “from the four corners of the earth people are coming to their senses, running back to God.” Praise the One who is in charge, who has the last word, and from “power mongers” to “poor and powerless”, all will one day worship you!! “God does what he says”!! (Psalm 22)


Help all of us to be in Your Word, so that we can be warned of danger and directed to hidden treasure. “Otherwise how will we find our way?” We wouldn’t even recognize that we were “playing the fool”. May we turn to you for a clean slate, to start each day fresh, “sun-washed, scrubbed free of the grime of sin”. Keep us from stupid sins, and from thinking we can take over your work. (Ps. 19:11-14)

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My mind is always boggled by politics. The candidates always sound great, each with their own side of the argument. And you just never know who to believe! That’s why I generally look to my various intelligent friends, and try to go by what they say.

Not that there isn’t some very intelligent thinking that goes on in my own house. For example, Sam reminded me that we as humans, have proven to be very poor judges of character. Like me… I wanted to vote for our area Liberal guy because he “looks” so honest. But I don’t have a good feeling about Trudeau.

So instead, we should vote for the platform (Conservative, Liberal, NDP). My tendency here, is to stick with what looks like the most traditional values. Sam knew right away what issues in particular I might be thinking about, and managed to give me another very reasonable argument.

He was your typical Radical-type College kid, and I know there are still some of those ideas that seem quite wild to me. But lately I’m thinking: he’s way past that stage, I need to give him way more credit. If I can say that I trust God to lead me who to… well, who to think “looks” like the one I should vote for (*embarrassed grin*), why shouldn’t I trust that God has placed me in this family, and is able to lead the intelligent minds I live with? After all, they are also Upstanding Christians.

So yeah, maybe I’ll vote differently this year…

fall profile blog

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I’m so thankful that whenever I’m in a mess, I need only yell to you for help and you put me back together/pull me “out of the grave”. Praise you for “another chance at life”! What a joy to join the saints in singing out our hearts to God! Though you “get angry once in awhile, across a lifetime there is only love…. nights of crying your eyes out give way to days of laughter.” Hallelujah!  (Psalm 30)


Lord, remind me to “place all the pieces before you”, so that you can “make my life complete”; to “get my act together” so that you can give me a fresh start. Then I’ll be alert to your ways, and won’t take you for granted. May I always know that I need to “review the ways he works” every. day. “When I open the book of my heart to his eyes”, you can “rewrite the text of my life”. (“plot twist”, lol!) Ps. 18:20-24


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all chattery

We’ve known for at least a year, if not more, that this time was coming. So when the latest update for my computer was finished, and the dreaded message came that meant I could no longer open Photoshop, I couldn’t complain, because They’d told me long ago that this would happen. Too expensive to buy another Photoshop like that one, so I’d have to find another program.

My experience with learning new programs (for whatever) in the past hasn’t been the best. There are always several things that you can no longer do in the new program, etc. Several things that are not as good as they were, many new things that seem to take ages to learn. And jumping over huge hurdles to make former things fit. But to start, trying to figure out which program would be the best! My son always does the research for stuff (that’s his “household chore”), but how could I expect him to really know which photo program is the best?

However, since it just seemed too complicated to look over photo programs myself, I decided just to trust what he’d found–this is what most of the journalists were using. Surprise!! It works great!!! Pixelmator, in fact, looks uncannily like a child of Photoshop! It makes you wonder if they are secretly owned by the same people! Of course, I’m sure that much of what I learned over the years in Photoshop, stood me in good stead for any photo program.

I’m still exploring it, and there are definitely a couple of things that are not quite as good as Photoshop. But I’m so amazed that many things are actually better! Yay!

Now, add to that the fact that I finally got my Fall decorating done yesterday; and that today I went off the chart “excellent” with my fitness test (see my Fitness Notes page if you like), and I’m feeling pretty good! :)

One more thing (since I don’t post very often… at least, that’s my excuse): we had an excellent guest speaker at church yesterday, who happened to be the former pastor-before-the-latest one, who was pastor there for 12 years or something (Rick Reed). He was talking about how God’s love changes us, which is exactly what Pastor Tim said recently, when he highlighted the value of “experiencing” God’s love. For me, it’s just another reminder that WORSHIP is so important.

When you worship and experience that love, it inspires–not a strong enough word… it fills you with a strong desire... to be the person He wants you to be. The other two things that yesterday’s speaker mentioned that serve to “urge you strongly”? to never give up on getting better, are: knowing your identity (a child of God), and your destiny (a forever life with God).

“What marvelous love the Father has extended to us! Just look at it–we’re called children of God! That’s who we really are.” (1 John 3:1)

This photo-pair is NOT made with the new program, but I love-love-LOVE Fall, my New Home, the Trails around my new home… etc. etc.!!

leaves h2 i walk tg 2 2014

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