Living life beyond Cerebral Palsy for God's glory.

Archive for the ‘Devotions’ Category

Do you see what I see?

This is the account of the first Christmas: God gave His Son Jesus, the greatest gift of all, to mankind.

 

We read in Luke 2:1-7 …

 

“In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. This was the first registration when Quirinius was governor of Syria. And all went to be registered, each to his own town. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn”ESV

 

 

Christmas is a special time. It is mixed with emotions from excitement to depression and everything in between. We get wrapped up in gift giving and receiving, trying to find the perfect gift—but the perfect gift has already been given. The real meaning of Christmas is Jesus coming to live with the very people He made. He came to live a spotless life so He could give His life for you and me.

 

Do you see what I see? If you know Jesus, then thank Him for giving you His life. If you are not sure of what to do with Jesus, I invite you to explore His story. Read the book of John in the Bible or find a friend who knows Jesus and ask questions. Do not assume what the world tells you is right. If I did that, I would have not done anything with my life.

 

It is my prayer that you see Jesus, God’s gift for you in the manger and upon the cross. If you find Him, you will have the greatest gift of all.

 

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God” (John 3:16-18 ESV)

 

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My Gentle Giant

He was big, black and beautiful. He arrived in my life the day the For Sale sign was hammered into our front lawn. He was as stressed as I was. We were both in transition. He had a new home and a new master, and I was moving from the home I had lived in for 40 years.

Tate, my third service dog, had such a gentle spirit and a great desire to work. He spent six weeks with me in London: watching people pack boxes, seeing them come and go, and learning how to help me. Then we helped each other transition to a new community. Tate picked up his tasks quickly and we were soon working like a well-oiled machine. He knew things I needed before I would ask.

He also was full of mischief. One day I thought he was in my room with the door shut while I was at my brother’s, only to look down the hall and see him standing there wagging his tail. He seemed very proud that he could open the door without me asking.

Tate and I had fun, and though he loved to work, he did not like his working harness. He was very ticklish, and for the first few minutes, it would bug him. But after he got over that, he was ready to go were his job led him.

 

Two years ago, I retired Tate. Yet, he stayed with me. He was happy being at home more but would still want to go with me wherever I went. I would take him in the car for a ride if it was not too cold or too hot, but it got too hard for him to get in and out of the car. After that, he took it upon himself to be at the door to welcome me home with great vitality. Even in retirement, he was a blessing to others by visiting our local hospice, giving hope to those at the end of life.

Last May at Tate’s checkup, the vet found cancer and told me he had about six months to live. That dog loved life and had fun with my new service dog. They became close buddies.

In April I traveled to London for my book launch. Tate came with me and stayed with a friend. On April 23, five days before my second book launch, it was apparent that Tate’s life was ending and the heartbreaking phone call to the vet was made. My brother Dan and his youngest son, Malcolm, dug the hole for Tate to be placed in later that evening.

Life must go on, but there will always be a big hole in my heart for the gentle giant who served me so well.

“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. (James 1:17 ESV).

 

Tate

My favourite picture of Tate he loved snow.

THANKSGIVING

            Enter his gates with thanksgiving;

            go into his courts with praise.

            Give thanks to him and bless his name.    Psalm 100:4

            This is Thanksgiving weekend in Canada; if you lived were I live you would know it was Thanksgiving because of the beautiful leaves on the trees and because of all the people up here enjoying the long weekend.

            These are a few things I am thankful for:

  • That Jesus died in my place
  • God made me for a purpose
  • Life
  • My parents, siblings, nieces & nephews,
  • Eyes to see God’s beauty
  • A wheelchair to get around in
  • Wonderful staff who take care of my daily needs
  • Dogs who help me & make me laugh
  • Insulin
  • Friends
  • A place to live
  • A computer
  • Food & clothing
  • The freedom we have in Canada

      Since everything God created is good, we should not reject any of it. We may receive it gladly, with thankful hearts.  1 Tim. 4:4

      What are you thankful for?

Marilou

“Jesus replied, ‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment” (Matthew 22:37-38 NLT).

My friend Marilou loves Jesus. The verse above was one of her favourites. This past June, Marilou’s life on earth ended. Her last year on this planet was full of pain as cancer was growing throughout her body. When you asked her how she was, she would quickly turn the question around to ask about you or someone else.

Marilou loved to have a good laugh. She loved Mr. Big chocolate bars. And she loved to sing. But helping others gave her joy. Many people had food dropped at their door when their cupboards were bare.

On May 13, 2012 I went to see Marilou. She was in the hospital in palliative care. I knew it would be my last chance to see her on this earth, so I took her something special. Yes, you guessed it; I took her a Mr Big. She had a huge smile on her face and asked how my mom was coping with her chemo treatments. As we held hands before leaving, I said, “We’ll see you soon.”

On June 14, I received the phone call. Jesus had taken Marilou home. Her battle was over. I was sad. I took my dog for a long walk that day, talking to God through tears, telling Him it was hard to say goodbye to friends. (He knows that already but it helped me.) By the time I got home, He had brought this verse to mind, assuring me Marilou was safe at home with Him. What joy filled my heart as I know someday I will see Marilou again.

We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord” (2 Corinthians 5:8 KJV).

 

Faithfulness

            Lord, don’t hold back your tender mercies from me.

            My only hope is in your unfailing love and faithfulness. Psalm 40:11 (NLT)

             March 5th my friend and I were singing “Great is thy Faithfulness” from my hospital bed. The nurses would pop in wondering it was after 11pm and had been a long day.

             Earlier that day I had gone to the E.R. I was not feeling well and I was pretty sure I knew why. The doctors confirmed my thoughts, I had diabetes.  What I did not expect was to be kept in over night.

 These questions kept haunting me. Why now? Why me?  But then the question “Why not me?” would echo back. The God who controls the world was still in control and still faithful. 

It took weeks to get things under control and many trips to the doctor and diabetic clinic but I am feeling better. Great is His faithfulness.

        For your unfailing love is higher than the heavens.

            Your faithfulness reaches to the clouds.   Psalm 108:4 (NLT)

What is Love?

 

“Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13 KJV) .

 

February is the month of “Love”. We buy heart-shaped chocolates, flowers, and cards with hearts on them. Some people even have hearts on their underwear. We all need love: love from our parents, siblings, friends, and husband or wife if we are married. Many look for love in the wrong places.

 

The greatest man to love us was Jesus. He left heaven to come and live as a man on the earth. Why would the king of heaven come to earth? He came because He loved us. We were helpless in our sin, and the only way for us to be forgiven was for Him to die in our place.

 

This Valentine ’s Day take time to think about who you would lay down your life for? More importantly who would lay down their life for you?

 

If you would like to know more about the love Jesus has for you, I encourage you to read the Gospel of John.

 

“For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16 NLT

 

Christmas

“Glory to God in the highest heaven, and peace on earth to all whom God favours.”

[15] When the angels had returned to heaven, the shepherds said to each other, “Come on, let’s go to Bethlehem! Let’s see this wonderful thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.” Luke 2:14-15 (NLT)

It’s Christmas 2011, our world is crazy busy: we have to get gifts, food and decorations to prepare for the big day. These things are not bad but if we let them take our focus off baby Jesus then Christmas is just another day.

Without the baby Jesus in the manger and Jesus the man on the cross we have no hope. Take some time this Christmas between the gifts, food and family gatherings to reflect on the gift of God’s son. He is the hope for the world!

What will you do with God’s gift this Christmas?

God showed how much he loved us by sending his only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him. 1 John 4:9 (NLT)

But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us and to cleanse us from every wrong. 1 John 1:9 (NLT)