It is Written – A Journey Through the New Testament

religious-christmas-graphics-0027Christmas…’tis the season to be frazzled!

But for the next six weeks, while you’re decking halls, shopping, baking, shopping, caroling, tree-trimming, shopping some more and getting more and more frazzled…take time to concentrate on the “Reason for the Season” and glean some much needed encouragement from Scripture.

Take a pre-Christmas journey with me through the New Testament.

It is Written

Matthew 5:13. “It is written” – I am the salt of the earth.

Matthew 5:14. “It is written” – I am the light of the world.

Matthew 21: 21-22. “It is written” – if I have faith and do not doubt I will not only wilt the fig as He did but I will also say to this mountain that is in my life: be removed and be cast into the sea, and it will be done, and whatever things I ask in prayer, believing, I will receive.

Mark 11:23-24. “It is written” – when I speak according to the word and will of God, Heaven responds.

Mark 16:15. “It is written” – I am to go into all the world and preach the gospel.

Luke 11:9-10. “It is written” – that whatever I ask it will be given to me, that whatever I seek I will find, that whenever I knock on the door it will be opened to me.

John 1:12. “It is written” – since I have received Him into my heart He has given me the right to become a child of God.

John 2:9,10,23. “It is written” – Signs and Miracles are to point to Christ so people will believe.

John 3:16. “It is written” – that He loves me so much that He gave His Son, Jesus Christ, to die as a sacrifice for all my sins so that I could live with Him for eternity.

John 3:18. “It is written” – if I believe in Him I am not condemned.

John 3:21. “It is written” – when I do what His truth says and come to Him who is light then I will escape darkness and condemnation.

John 3:36. “It is written” – I have eternal life.

John 4:50-53. “It is written” – when I believe, trust and obey Jesus’ word I will have what I ask for.

John 5:24. “It is written” – I have passed from death into life.

John 6:29. “It is written” – the work of God is that I believe on Jesus Christ, whom He sent.

John 6:46-51. “It is written” – Jesus is of God and has seen God and if I believe in Jesus I have everlasting life;  He is the bread of life, He is “out of” heaven and has come to earth to deliver me from eternal death.  He is the living bread – the One who gives life to me forever, and He gave His flesh on the cross for the life of the world.

John 7:38. “It is written” – out of my innermost being flows rivers of living water.

John 8:31-32. “It is written” – if I truly believe in Him and continue in His Word then I will know the truth and the truth will set me free.

John 9:7. “It is written” – if I will obey, I will receive.

John 14:12-14. “It is written” – that the works that Jesus did I will do also, and even greater works, because Jesus has gone to the Father and sent His Holy Spirit.

John 14:12-14. “It is written” – that if I ask anything in the name of Jesus that will bring glory to the Father, Jesus will do it.

John 14:12-14. “It is written” – Jesus wants me to do what He did and He has equipped me with his Holy Spirit to do just that.

John 14:20. “It is written” – I am in Christ, and Christ is in me.

John 14:23. “It is written” – if I love Him and keep His words then God will love me and the Father and Son in the Holy Spirit will dwell, remain and habitate with me.

John 14:27. “It is written” – I have peace in Christ.

John 15:9. “It is written” – I am loved by Jesus.

John 15:16. “It is written” – I am chosen and ordained by Jesus to go forth and to bear fruit – fruit that will last.

John 16:27. “It is written” – I am loved by the Father.

John 17:9. “It is written” – I belong to God, I am His.

John 17:13. “It is written” – I have the full joy of Jesus.

John 17:15. “It is written” – I am protected from the evil one.

John 17:18. “It is written” – I have been sent into the world.

John 17:22. “It is written” – I have God’s glory.

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Limitless Possibilities

NanowrimoMy creative writing class is in the middle of NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) with a goal per student of writing 20,000 words or more.  For Junior High School students that is an amazing accomplishment!  As their teacher, I am mostly a spectator/encourager this month as my twenty students spend their class time on  computers tapping out stories, each of them immersed in their own “dream” world.  One student loves poetry and blogging so she is making a compilation work of her poetry and blog posts.  Confined to a wheelchair and blind after a freak complication left her with a brain injury after a routine tonsillectomy three years ago, Hope is an inspiration to me as well as the rest of the class.  I listen to her narrate her poems to Dawn, her teaching aid and “scribe” and I am blown away by her creativity and passion for writing.  They are the only two voices I hear in the classroom.  The only other sound is the tapping of fingers on keyboards, as my young writers determinedly write their own stories.  Once in a while a student will giggle or gasp depending on the plot line they have masterminded.  A student will quickly turn to another student and ask hurriedly, “I need a word!  How do I say….?”  A brief discussion will follow and the tapping will continue.  It’s brilliant!

As a teacher, it’s wonderful to see my students engaged enthusiastically about something in the classroom.  As a writer, my heart is full to see students who love to write!

At the end of the class, I can’t help but eavesdrop at their conversations as they put away their computers.  They share what their fictional characters are about to do next, or how they wrestled with a villain or discovered a secret passage, or had a heart wrenching breakup…bits and pieces of plotlines that pique my interest.  They are future authors, one and all!

Hope passes me and smiles widely as her assistant pushes her wheelchair from the classroom.  “I wrote another poem about horses!” she says.  Writing transports her from the confines of that chair and into a world of limitless possibilities and endless imagination.  I can’t help but feel that I am watching a miracle develop in front of my eyes and I humbly thank God for allowing me the opportunity to witness it first-hand!

In the Shadow of the Crosses

(I wrote this post a couple of years ago and repost it again to remember those men and women who sacrificed so much so we could have so much.)

When I was a little girl I was given an autograph book.  I think they may have gone by the way of the dinosaur, but in those days collecting autographs was a big thing to do.  I remember I first had to ask my mother and father, brother and other family members to “autograph” my book.  For years I collected autographs from friends, sports stars, political figures, special guests at school etc.  I have the autograph of Guy Lafleur, and Yvan Cournoyer when the Canadiens hockey team played an exhibition game in Victoria in the early 70′s.  I have the autograph of Tommy Douglas when he was a guest at our school, and I even have one from King Frederik IX of Denmark …well,  at least a formal letter with the royal seal, written by his Majesty’s private secretary after I sent the King birthday greetings when he turned seventy.    Close enough.

But one of my most  favorite autographs was written by a woman who I considered my Canadian “grandma”.

Dear Lynn,

This I learned from the shadow of the tree, which to and fro swayed upon the lawn.

Your shadowself, your influence, may fall where you can never be.

With Love,

“Nana” Antalfy   (Mar. 15, 1970 – Saseenos, B.C.)

For years I did not honestly know what she meant by those words.  When she moved away I remember sitting out on the steps of our house in Sooke, B.C. and watching how the sumac tree on our front lawn would sway in the breeze.  It was a willowy type of tree and didn’t cast much of shadow at all.  In fact of all the trees in our yard, it was the puniest, and the most unassuming tree amongst them all.

Puzzled, I questioned my mother about what Mrs. Antalfy had meant by “shadowself” and “influence”, and pointed at the sumac tree.  My Mom beckoned for me to stand in the yard and then look at my own shadow.  She then challenged me to try to step on the “head” of my own shadow.  She laughed and cheered me on as I chased my shadow around the yard trying to step on it.  No matter how far I stretched my legs, or how fast I ran, or how high I jumped, it was impossible to catch my shadow.  Then Mom told me to stop moving and calmly came over and stood on top of my shadow, right on my shadow’s head.  “See?” she said.  “Sort of.” I said breathlessly, but really I hadn’t grasped the concept at all.

On November 11 we celebrate Remembrance Day, a day set aside to honour the brave men and women who served Canada in times of war and peace; those who valiantly gave their lives in service to their country.  Whenever I think of their sacrifice, I proudly stand in their shadow and when I wear that little poppy emblem on my lapel, I symbolically stand in the shadow of their crosses.  Their courage, their strength, their fortitude, beats in the hearts of all the family members they have left behind.  Because of their sacrifice on our behalf, we know freedom in this country. 

“On August 4, 1914, Britain declared war on Germany. Canada, as a member of the British Empire, was automatically at war, and its citizens from all across the land responded quickly.  Within three weeks, 45,000 Canadians had rushed to join up. John McCrae was among them.  He was appointed brigade-surgeon to the First Brigade of the Canadian Field Artillery with the rank of Major and second-in-command…In April 1915, John McCrae was in the trenches near Ypres, Belgium, in the area traditionally called Flanders. Some of the heaviest fighting of the First World War took place there during what was known as the Second Battle of Ypres.  The day before he wrote his famous poem, one of McCrae’s closest friends was killed in the fighting and buried in a makeshift grave with a simple wooden cross.  Wild poppies were already beginning to bloom between the crosses marking the many graves.  Unable to help his friend or any of the others who had died, John McCrae gave them a voice through his poem.”  (http://www.vac-acc.gc.ca/general/)

In Flanders Fields by: John McCrae

In Flanders Fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved, and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch, be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields

Lest we forget…

Their “shadowself”, their “influence” continues to fall where they can never be.

Bullycide

In 2011, a family in Pickering, Ontario, Canada was grieving the loss of their child, a victim of “bullycide”.  If you haven’t heard ofJoshua the word, it is because it is relatively new term coined in recent years that describes the act of children who commit suicide because they are bullied.  Mitchell Wilson, an eleven year old boy with muscular dystrophy, suffocated himself after being attacked by a twelve-year-old boy from his school.  The twelve-year-old was arrested for jumping Mitchell while he was out walking and smashing his face and teeth into the pavement and then stealing his iPhone.  Although the boy was charged and removed from the school, Mitchell, according to his father, never fully recovered from the attack.  Apparently Mitchell had been bullied before and this latest attack just made him even more nervous and stressed.

But there is more to this story.  Mitchell lost his mother to skin cancer,and Mitchell, having been diagnosed with muscular dystrophy, found that walking was a means of helping him fight his disease.  Unfortunately after the attack, Mitchell did not feel safe enough to walk outside anymore and when he was scheduled to testify against his attacker in court, family members believe that he just couldn’t handle the stress of the trial and wished to avoid facing his attacker in court.

This should raise the ire of anyone who has children and teenagers, or who works closely with youth.  Bullying is insidious and it is not something that will just go away.  It’s not something one grows out of, adults are bullied or grow up to be bullies.  It must be stopped and one way to do that is to raise awareness against bullying and in this case: bullycide.

My young adult Trilogy: Shoot the Wounded, Heal the Wounded and Love the Wounded addresses bullying and all three books are listed as resources on http://www.bullying.org, one of the largest anti-bullying websites in the world.  For more information on how you can combat bullying and to learn more please refer to another one of my other blog posts: Parenting 101 – What to Do If Your Child is Being Bullied or Help Stop Bullying.

To raise awareness to combat bullying I invite parents, students, teachers and administrators to participate in Bullying Awareness Week, November 16-22.  I am doing my part by blogging about this information and I invite my readers to share this blog and information by reblogging this post and sharing it on Twitter, Facebook, and other social networking sites.

If you are a victim of bullying: Tell a trusted adult and then hide this verse in your heart:

“Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.”   (Deuteronomy 31:6)

 

 

Friday Funnies for Halloween

Last year I wrote a blog on whether or not Christians should participate in Halloween.  You can read my thoughts on that here: http://lynndove.com/2013/10/31/to-trick-or-to-treat-that-is-the-question/

Not only do parents tend to dress up their children (and themselves) to go trick or treating every Halloween, they also love to dress up their fur babies.  So regardless whether or not you are a fan of Halloween, I know you will enjoy these Friday Funnies of pets all dressed up in their costumes.

ZeldaPunkDogCostume

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lobster-dog-costume

 

cat-halloween-costume

 

animals in costume

 

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animal-costumes-29

 

 

Monday is Pun Day!

vh-funny-puns-delete-cookiesIt’s Monday and so I decided to start my week off with PUNS!

For Lexophiles

1. A bicycle can’t stand alone; it is two tired.
2. A will is a dead giveaway.
3. A backward poet writes inverse.
4. A chicken crossing the road: poultry in motion.
5. When a clock is hungry it goes back four seconds.
6. The guy who fell onto an upholstery machine was fully recovered.
7. You are stuck with your debt if you can’t budge it.
8. He broke into song because he couldn’t find the key.
9. A calendar’s days are numbered.
10. A boiled egg is hard to beat.
11. He had a photographic memory which was never developed.
12. The short fortune-teller who escaped from prison: a small medium at large.
13. Those who get too big for their britches will be exposed in the end.
14. When you’ve seen one shopping centre you’ve seen a mall.
15. When she saw her first strands of gray hair, she thought she’d dye.
16. Santa’s helpers are subordinate clauses.
17. Acupuncture: a jab well done.
18. Marathon runners with bad shoes suffer the agony of defeat.
19. I thought I saw an eye doctor on an Alaskan island, but it turned out to be an optical Aleutian.
20. She was only a whiskey maker, but he loved her still.
21. A rubber band pistol was confiscated from algebra class because it was a weapon of math disruption.
22. No matter how much you push the envelope, it’ll still be stationery.
23. A dog gave birth to puppies near the road and was cited for littering.
24. Two silk worms had a race. They ended up in a tie.
25. A hole has been found in the nudist camp wall. The police are looking into it.
26. Atheism is a non-prophet organization.
27. I wondered why the baseball kept getting bigger. Then it hit me.
28. A sign on the lawn at a drug rehab centre said: ‘Keep off the Grass.’
29. A small boy swallowed some coins and was taken to a hospital. When his grandmother telephoned to ask how he was, a nurse said, “No change yet.”
30. The soldier who survived mustard gas and pepper spray is now a seasoned veteran.
31. Don’t join dangerous cults: practice safe sects.

Searing Loss

This past week, I have received emails from several people who have read the passages I posted on Grief a while back.  Truly, when I read their pain of searing loss, I am struck by how there are never enough comforting words to say to those who grieve.

Certainly, our Lord suffered loss.  It gives me comfort to know that God is in control, even in our grief, God is the Great Comforter and He will give us a peace that surpasses understanding.  I don’t know how people survive overwhelming grief without Him.

If you or you know of someone who may be grieving, please read and share these scripture verses: http://lynndove.com/2013/12/06/25-encouraging-scripture-verses-for-those-who-are-grieving/

…and listen to the comforting words of this song.

Matthew 5:4  “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.”