SATURDAY MAY 14th FROM 11AM TILL 2PM
CHAPTERS @ 1037 WELLINGTON ROAD
WE LOOK FORWARD TO MEETING YOU.
SATURDAY MAY 14th FROM 11AM TILL 2PM
CHAPTERS @ 1037 WELLINGTON ROAD
WE LOOK FORWARD TO MEETING YOU.
“So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom”
(Psalm 90:12 ESV)
It was September 1977 and life was exciting and scary all at the same time. I was in my first year of high school, I received my first power wheelchair, and our family had started going to a new church.
I started going to youth group at church. It was a fun time to be meeting others my age, but it was a bit intimidating being the only one in a wheelchair. Some people would not talk to me, afraid of the unknown. There were some people who looked beyond my wheelchair and got to know me as a person. One of those people was Jay.
Jay was a good friend. He saw me as a person, not a wheelchair. If there was an event going on he would take me and he would pop my chair in his car after lifting me in. I never felt like a burden for him. Even in high school, Jay put Jesus first in his life. He had a part-time job at our church as a custodian, and one Saturday evening after youth group, a few of us were waiting for Jay to drive us home after he closed up the church. He bounded down the stairs to tell us he was almost done. He wanted to check the baptistery tank, as there were some baptisms Sunday morning. Five minutes later he was sloshing down the steps, wet from the knees down. He started to explain: “It looked so clear I didn’t think there was any water in it.” We all laughed as we got in his car to be driven home by a wet driver.
Jay went on to be a teacher. He married and had three children. Life was busy as we went different directions, but in January 2015 Jay emailed me to see if I would speak at his church for their Father/Daughter banquet. On May 8 Katie drove me to Hamilton to speak at this event. That evening I watched as Jay helped set up, organize, and run the event, I realized he was still very dedicated to his Saviour Jesus. You could see it in his face and hear it in his voice. It was an honour to be a guest speaker at this banquet. I had the privilege of meeting and chatting with his beautiful and only daughter.
December 2, 2015, on Jay’s way home from teaching, he was hit by a car and killed. I know Jay is in heaven with Jesus, not because he was good but because he knew Jesus as Lord and Saviour.
You can know Jesus too. He died for you many years ago on Good Friday. Seek Him while you have life and breath.
“For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain” (Philippians 1:21 ESV)
“As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear Him.” Psalm 103:13
When I was 10 years old my dad wrote this in my autograph book:
Big brown eyes, brown hair too,
Has her lows, lost her shoe,
Has her highs, face just glows,
. . . that’s my Debbie.
Dad was strong in his faith, always putting God first in his life and teaching us to do the same. He always read a Bible story to us at the dinner table despite the many distractions. The phone often rang during devotions. Dad would take it off the hook and stuff it in the towel drawer. He was faithful in his own daily reading of God’s Word.
When I was young, before I received a wheelchair, he carried me everywhere. He was always trying to make my life a little easier. His hands were always big, strong, and rough, and he always smelled of wood. From as far back as I can remember, my dad loved to work with wood—and he could make anything. Because I could not use my hands, I fed myself by bending down and getting the food off my plate with my mouth. One day Dad made me a toast holder out of wood. Another time he made an ice cream cone holder. Sunday evenings were fun. After church he would make milkshakes or ice cream sundaes for all of us. It was the only thing he could make that was not wooden.
Dad always loved me the way I was. He never expected less from me and always encouraged me to be the best I could be. He loved to help me do things that were not expected or accessible. One time at Disney World in Florida, he was so excited that I was able to go on a ride that had been inaccessible the last time we went that he ran with me in my wheelchair towards a moving ramp. My foot plates hit the ramp and I was catapulted out of my chair and onto the moving ramp. I heard a lady yell, “I think she’s dead.” I was still alive and not hurt. The thing I was most upset about was the rip in my shirt.
I am so blessed to have a daddy who was handpicked for me by God. Thank you, Dad, for living for the Lord, for being real, and for showing us how to live for God. Someday in heaven I will dance first with my Lord Jesus, then with my Daddy.
I read this at a Father / Daughter dinner May 8th in Hamilton at West Highland Baptist church, thank you for having me it was great to be with you. As promised I’m posting this for those who wish to have it.
You may not know me,
but I know everything about you.
I know when you sit down and when you rise up.
I am familiar with all your ways.
Even the very hairs on your head are numbered.
For you were made in my image.
In me you live and move and have your being.
For you are my offspring.
I knew you even before you were conceived.
I chose you when I planned creation.
You were not a mistake,
for all your days are written in my book.
I determined the exact time of your birth
and where you would live.
You are fearfully and wonderfully made.
I knit you together in your mother’s womb.
And brought you forth on the day you were born.
I have been misrepresented
by those who don’t know me.
I am not distant and angry,
but am the complete expression of love.
1 John 4:16
And it is my desire to lavish my love on you.
1 John 3:1
Simply because you are my child
and I am your Father.
1 John 3:1
I offer you more than your earthly father ever could.
For I am the perfect father.
Every good gift that you receive comes from my hand.
For I am your provider and I meet all your needs.
My plan for your future has always been filled with hope.
Because I love you with an everlasting love.
My thoughts toward you are countless
as the sand on the seashore.
And I rejoice over you with singing.
I will never stop doing good to you.
For you are my treasured possession.
I desire to establish you
with all my heart and all my soul.
And I want to show you great and marvelous things.
If you seek me with all your heart,
you will find me.
Delight in me and I will give you
the desires of your heart.
For it is I who gave you those desires.
I am able to do more for you
than you could possibly imagine.
For I am your greatest encourager.
2 Thessalonians 2:16-17
I am also the Father who comforts you
in all your troubles.
2 Corinthians 1:3-4
When you are brokenhearted,
I am close to you.
As a shepherd carries a lamb,
I have carried you close to my heart.
One day I will wipe away
every tear from your eyes.
And I’ll take away all the pain
you have suffered on this earth.
I am your Father, and I love you
even as I love my son, Jesus.
For in Jesus, my love for you is revealed.
He is the exact representation of my being.
He came to demonstrate that I am for you,
not against you.
And to tell you that I am not counting your sins.
2 Corinthians 5:18-19
Jesus died so that you and I could be reconciled.
2 Corinthians 5:18-19
His death was the ultimate expression
of my love for you.
1 John 4:10
I gave up everything I loved
that I might gain your love.
If you receive the gift of my son Jesus,
you receive me.
1 John 2:23
And nothing will ever separate you
from my love again.
Come home and I’ll throw the biggest party
heaven has ever seen.
I have always been Father,
and will always be Father.
My question is…
Will you be my child?
I am waiting for you.
Love, Your Dad
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)
Paralympian Debbie Willows and her co-author, Steph Beth Nickel, are holding a book signing at Chapters, 1037 Wellington Road in London on Saturday, September 20, from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Autographed copies of Debbie’s memoir, Living Beyond My Circumstances, will be available.
We hope to see you there.
I have been busy working on finishing up things for my book that is scheduled to be released in January 2014.
Here is a brief tidbit from one of the endorsements.
“Those who endure greater conflict always have something powerful to
say to those who face lesser conflict – and that’s how I look at Deb
Willows. This woman is a rare jewel in Christ’s kingdom, inspiring and
encouraging all those who know her. And I trust you will come to know
her well through her new book, Living beyond My Circumstances. The
book you hold in your hand is filled with nuggets of biblical insight and
wisdom, honed and shaped from years of living with a significant
disability. So be encouraged. Be blessed. And see what wonderful things
the Holy Spirit has to say to you through Deb’s story!” – Joni Eareckson
Tada, the Joni And Friends International Disability Center.
For more about my book check the Book & Contact page.
“Glory to God in the highest heaven, and peace on earth to all whom God favours.”
 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)
Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Philip. 4:6 (NLT)
This week I was anxious. It has been a tough autumn and I did not need another problem or expense. I was not trusting my God.
My service dog Tate was not eating like he should for about three weeks so finally I booked him an appointment with the vet, then I booked my staff to drive us. It snowed overnight. Not being a fan of snow I was not sure we would be able to go. The drive was better then I thought and most of the snow had melted. This was great because it is hard to get through the snow in my wheelchair. Once on the road I began to relax and enjoyed the scenery. It was beautiful, the fresh snow had decorated the trees, each branch was laced with snow.
With anxiousness we met with the vet; I was sure Tate needed a $300 to $400 procedure. Ten minutes later we were leaving the vet and the cost was under twenty dollars!
God knows what we can handle and supplies what we need when we need it. I have been rejoicing ever since, I had taken my eyes off Jesus my savour and king and focused on the problem. Worry shows lack of faith and understanding in God. I have seen His faithfulness over and over in my life; I needed this reminder in this small thing in order that I trust Him in the bigger things that we are dealing with.
And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus. Philip. 4:19 (NLT)