Thursday, January 29, 2015

Appearances Can Be Deceiving

Thanks to reality tv shows, we are constantly reminded that what you see isn't necessarily what you get. And yet, we tend to judge just by looking.  Of course when I say we I mean "I."   Someone posted this he other day on Facebook. It is a few years old but a good reminder that appearances can be deceiving...

Thursday, January 22, 2015


One of the greatest frustrations in life has to be when you act on something and it fails.  It is even more frustrating when it feels like God opened the door, only to have it slam in your face before you get to walk through.  How does that make sense?  If the opportunity is there, why doesn't God let you follow through.

I have been reading through the book of Exodus lately and have been reading about Moses.  In Chapter 4:21, God instructs Moses to visit Pharoah and perform some wonders that God has given him the power to do. Then God says that He will harden Pharoah's heart.   The ultimate purpose of the visit is for Pharoah to let the Israelites go right?  Or is it?    Since I was a child I saw this passage as just a neat part of the story.  But recently, I am reading in a different way.  There is a chance that God will send us into a situation knowing that it will be a dead end.  In this case, he sent Moses to Egypt to demand that he let the Israelites go.  But he still sent Moses even though he knew that Pharoah would harden his heart.

I'm wondering if Moses' visit to Pharoah had less to do with Pharoah and more to do with Moses.  If you go back a few chapters, Moses did not believe he could do anything God was asking him to do.  Moses knew God could do anything, but had trouble believing that God could use him to make it happen.  God basically had to take Moses hand walk him through the trip, the wonders, the hardening of Pharoah's heart, just to convince Moses that He would  be true to his word.

I wonder how many doors have been closed in our lives because we don't think God can use us.  He keeps throwing opportunities our way to encourage us to take steps of faith.  Until we do, He can't let us walk through the door until we are ready for what's on the other side.  God had to use baby steps with Moses before parting the Red Sea.  What baby steps are you taking right now with God?  Are you ready to take some bigger steps?

Thursday, January 15, 2015

The Letter

My family just wrapped up a crazy Christmas season.  I know it's crazy for everyone, but in my family we have birthday after birthday after birthday.  Toss in Christmas and New Years and we go non-stop for just over a month.

Now that the cakes have been eaten and the party hats have been put away, I can reflect on the season that was.  My daughter Leah turned 1, I turned 40, my wife Shauna turned %* and my son Aiden is now 4.

As a teenager, adults tell you to enjoy your life because time flies.  It turns out the adults were right. That's a tough thing for any teenager, current or former, to admit.  Now I get the privilege of reliving my childhood through my kids.  Seriously.  Think about it.  If you saw me playing with toys in the front yard, you'd think I was crazy.  But if I am playing with toys in the the front yard with my son, I'm a great dad.  It's funny how that works.

My favourite part of spending time with my four-year-old son Aiden is the conversation.  His perspective on life is funny, intriguing, innocent, intelligent, and humbling.  I guess that's why I found this story so great.  Not only did this four-year-old remind me of my own son with her child like innocence, but also how rewarding life can be when we look at it through the eyes of a child.

Taken from

a 4-year-old's letter to god

A True Story -- Author unknown
There is a kind soul working in the dead letter office of the U.S. Postal Service somewhere...
Our 14 year old dog, Abbey, died last month. The day after she died, my 4-year-old daughter Meredith was crying and talking about how much she missed Abbey. She asked if we could write a letter to God, so that when Abbey got to heaven, God would recognize her. I told her that I thought we could, so she dictated these words:
Dear God,
Will you please take care of my dog? She died yesterday and is with you in heaven. I miss her very much. I am happy that you let me have her as my dog even though she got sick. I hope you will play with her. She likes to play with balls and to swim. I am sending a picture of her so when you see her you will know that she is my dog. I really miss her.
Love, Meredith.
(written by the mother of Mer Claire)
We put the letter in an envelope with a picture of Abbey and Meredith and addressed it to: God in Heaven. We put our return address on it. Then Meredith pasted several stamps on the front of the envelope because she said it would take lots of stamps to get the letter all the way to heaven. That afternoon she dropped it into the letter box at the post office.
A few days later, she asked if God had gotten the letter yet. I told her that I thought He had. Yesterday there was a package wrapped in gold paper on our front porch addressed, "To Meredith" in an unfamiliar hand.
Meredith opened it. Inside was a book by Mr. Rogers, titled, "When a Pet Dies." Taped to the inside front cover was the letter we had written to God in its opened envelope. On the opposite page was the picture of Abbey & Meredith and this note:
Dear Meredith,
Abbey arrived safely in heaven. Having the picture was a big help. I recognized Abbey right away. Abbey isn't sick anymore. Her spirit is here with me just like it stays in your heart. Abbey loved being your dog. Since we don't need our bodies in heaven, I don't have any pockets to keep your picture in, so I am sending it back to you in this little book for you to keep and have something to remember Abbey by.
Thank you for the beautiful letter and thank your mother for helping you write it and sending it to me. What a wonderful mother you have. I picked her especially for you. I send my blessings every day and remember that I love you very much. By the way, I am wherever there is love.
"Love, God"
Inspiring Story

Friday, January 9, 2015

Real Life

Earlier this week, Randy Carlyle was fired as head coach of the Toronto Maple Leafs.  Frustration had been building among fans as the team continued to struggle and often it is the coach that loses his job.

It's times like this when I need to remember that sports is a fantasy life for so many of us.  We want the team to do anything to win (trade the players, pay them more money/less money, fire the coach or general manager).  But the fact is they are real people with real lives and real families.  They often purchased houses, have kids in school, and have established friendships.  All of a sudden it is taken away.

I know I know, they make lots of money so that should ease the pain.  However, it is never fun to lose your job.  Think about how you would feel.  Will you be able to find another job?  Will it pay the same or more than the job you just had?  Will you need to move away?  Will your kids have to leave their friends and move to another school halfway through the year?  These issues are very real.

So, for all Leafs fans.  I know ultimately you want the Leafs to win the Stanley Cup.  But if you could, for a moment, pray for Randy Carlyle and his family.  I don't know where he stands with his relationship with God, but hopefully Randy will reach out to Him in this very difficult time.

Friday, January 2, 2015

A Different Kind Of Fun

They say that age is only a number.  That might be true, but it was probably also said by someone who doesn't have kids under the age of 5.  While many spend New Year's Eve partying until the wee hours of the morning.  My wife and I simply looked at each other after an exhausting day and said a quiet, "Happy New Year."

Don't get me wrong, I know we move through life in stages.  Right now we are in the lack of sleep stage.  A few years down the road we will be picking up our kids from the ,"New Year's Eve Youth Group All Nighter," at church.  But it is kind of fun to look at how the way you live your life changes after kids,  Here are some of the highlights:

  • Dinnertime - A mad dash to feed your kids and try to sit down and eat some of your own food before their food starts to fly because they're finished
  • Sleep - Grab some when you can.  There is no guarantee you will be able to "catch up" tonight or tomorrow morning
  • Pride - Is lost on a continuous basis.  My favourite is showing up to visit someone with food on your shirt that you didn't see before you left thanks to "someone's" hands.

Those are some of the crazy times.  But none of us would trade the best times

  • First smile
  • First roll over
  • First crawl
  • First step
  • First word
  • Conversations.  Nothing beats a conversation with a child.  You never know what they will say and most of the time what they do say it priceless.  

Before my oldest was born, a radio friend in Winnipeg said, "You're gonna love it.  Kids are so much fun."  It's was hard to imagine in the first few weeks with no sleep, but it's true.  You are also reminded, especially going into a new year, that they grow up so fast.

So...enjoy every minute of it.