Let’s Be Neighbours

Just after the Canada vs. Russia Hockey Summit Series in 1972, our favourite Social Studies teacher, Mr. Scrase, bravely took a class of Grade Nine students from Sooke, B.C. to Seattle on an overnight field trip.  For many of us, myself included, we had never crossed the border into the United States before this trip.  It was going to be an adventure I would remember for my entire life.

I will admit leading up to this great adventure, my biggest concern was getting carsick, something that was a distinct possibility and something I already had a reputation for doing.  A few of my classmates still remembered all too vividly the infamous bus incident in Grade Seven, where I puked all over several of them returning home from a field trip in Vancouver.  I promised myself that on this trip, I would steer clear of any foods, like cotton-candy, that would upset my tummy.  My friends were grateful for that.

My group of friends, who I now refer to as the “Babes of ’58”, planned for weeks what to wear, what to bring, but mostly how we could show our nationalistic pride to our American neighbours.  For our little group, the 70’s was a time of great patriotism probably sparked by the Hockey Summit Series.  After we decorated the back window of the bus with a huge maple leaf flag and the words emblazoned around it: WE ARE CANADIAN and PROUD OF IT, we were ready to travel into our first “foreign” country.

We posed together for pictures on the ferry from Vancouver Island to the mainland.  We were impacted by the traffic, the strange currency and the red, white and blue flags flying everywhere.  We visited the Science Centre in Seattle, bought ridiculous looking, hippy-styled floppy hats as souvenirs, and toured around the city waving our Canadian flags at all passersby.  In one of the more enlightening exercises that Mr. Scrase had organized for our group, we spent a memorable afternoon interviewing people on the street asking them how much they knew about their “neighbour to the North”.  As it turned out the rather simple question of “Who is the current Prime Minister of Canada?” brought about some hilarious responses that indicated to us that many of those we interviewed did not know much about Canada.  In fact, just for fun, we even convinced an incredibly gullible person that Canada was indeed a frozen wasteland, with all the citizens living in igloos, and polar bears roaming freely on the streets.  That said, when we were summarily quizzed back about our knowledge of the U.S. of A., we were just as ignorant of their way of life despite Mr. Scrase’s repeated lessons leading up to the field trip about our “neighbour to the South”.  The most important lesson I learned on that first trip to the States was to be respectful of one another’s differences, embrace our similarities, and not take our neighbourly friendliness towards one another for granted.

Canada and the U.S. have a healthy rivalry when it comes to hockey and other team sports.  Over the years, although Canada once dominated winning Gold medals in international hockey competition, it is no longer guaranteed.  It makes for great hockey!  Having traveled to the U.S. many times after that first trip in Grade Nine, I have appreciated the beauty of both countries, and the hospitality I’ve enjoyed when in the U.S.  Except for one major faux pas I made by wearing an Arkansas Razorback jersey when visiting Tulsa, Oklahoma, I’ve always tried to show proper respect while visiting the U.S.!  (Note: never wear a rival football jersey in any American city…they take their football VERY seriously!)

I am saddened this week to see that the convivial relationship we have always shared with our neighbour to the south is being stretched by trade barriers, tariffs and childish bickering between political leaders in both countries.  Name-calling on both sides of the border breaks down communication and does nothing to resolve disputes.  I’m not a politician, I do not pretend to understand the political fencing that goes on around the world, but I do know that when two sides disagree, tension prevails.  Trust is lost.  Even if they can come together again in some kind of mutual cooperation and agreement, it will take time to regain that trust.

Given the current circumstances, there is much to discuss and amend to allow real healing to take place in both of our nations.  To mend the relationship between the USA and Canada requires diplomacy and tact, not to mention the absolute need for both nations to draw near to God; repent of sins that go against Him and His Word, and pray earnestly that God would hear from Heaven and restore our lands.

God Keep Our Land and In God We Trust!

 

 

 

 

 

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25 Encouraging Bible Verses About Marriage

On June 2nd, my husband and I will celebrate another wedding anniversary!  We never take for granted “what God has joined together”!  We are very much aware that we live in a world that wants to redefine marriage.  Society today wants to trivialize the covenant relationship between God and a man and a woman, so we believe it is more important than ever for couples to embrace God’s plan for marriage.  Allow these verses to encourage you if you are recently engaged, newlywed, or celebrating many years of wedded bliss!

Genesis 2:22-24  “Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.  The man said, “This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called ‘woman,’ for she was taken out of man.”  That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.”

Matthew 19:4-6 “Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’?   So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”

Ruth 1:16-17  “But Ruth replied, “Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God.  Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the Lord deal with me, be it ever so severely, if even death separates you and me.”

Ephesians 5:22-33  “Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.  Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.  In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.  After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church— for we are members of his body.  “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.”  This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church.  However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.”

Colossians 3:1-19  “Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.  Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.  For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.  When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.  Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry.  Because of these, the wrath of God is coming.  You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived.  But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips.  Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator.  Here there is no Gentile or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all.  Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.  Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.  And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.  Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.  Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts.  And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.  Wives, submit yourselves to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.  Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them.”

Colossians 3:14  “And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.”

1 Corinthians 13:4-13  “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.  Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears.  When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me.  For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.  And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.”

John 15:12  “My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.”

Ephesians 4:2-3  “Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.  Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.”

Malachi 2:14-15  “You ask, “Why?” It is because the Lord is the witness between you and the wife of your youth. You have been unfaithful to her, though she is your partner, the wife of your marriage covenant.  Has not the one God made you? You belong to him in body and spirit. And what does the one God seek? Godly offspring.  So be on your guard, and do not be unfaithful to the wife of your youth.

Proverbs 5:18-19  “May your fountain be blessed, and may you rejoice in the wife of your youth. A loving doe, a graceful deer—may her breasts satisfy you always, may you ever be intoxicated with her love.”

Hebrews 13:4-7  “Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral.  Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”  So we say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid.  What can mere mortals do to me?”  Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith.”

Ecclesiastes 4:9-12  “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.  Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm.  But how can one keep warm alone?  Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves.  A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.”

Psalm 143:8  “Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I entrust my life.”

1 Peter 4:8  “Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.”

Proverbs 3:3-4  “Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. Then you will win favor and a good name in the sight of God and man.”

Proverbs 31: 10-31  “A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies.  Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value.  She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life.  She selects wool and flax and works with eager hands.  She is like the merchant ships, bringing her food from afar.  She gets up while it is still night; she provides food for her family and portions for her female servants.  She considers a field and buys it; out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.  She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks.  She sees that her trading is profitable, and her lamp does not go out at night.  In her hand she holds the distaff and grasps the spindle with her fingers.  She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy.  When it snows, she has no fear for her household; for all of them are clothed in scarlet.  She makes coverings for her bed; she is clothed in fine linen and purple.  Her husband is respected at the city gate, where he takes his seat among the elders of the land.  She makes linen garments and sells them, and supplies the merchants with sashes.  She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come.  She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue.  She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.  Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: “Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.”  Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. Honor her for all that her hands have done, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.”

Proverbs 18:22  “He who finds a wife finds what is good and receives favor from the Lord.”

Proverbs 19:14  “Houses and wealth are inherited from parents, but a prudent wife is from the Lord.”

1 Peter 3:7  “Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers.”

Ephesians 4:32  “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”

Romans 12:10  “Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.”

Hebrews 10:24-25  “And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”

Proverbs 24:3-4  “By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established; through knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures.”

Isaiah 62:5  “As a young man marries a young woman, so will your Builder marry you; as a bridegroom rejoices over his bride, so will your God rejoice over you.”

 

All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide. www.zondervan.com The “NIV” and “New International Version” are trademarks registered in the United States Patent and Trademark Office by Biblica, Inc.™

 

 

 

 

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Grandma Life

We welcomed our fourth grandbaby into the family on May 25th.  My son and daughter-in-love will be very busy with raising two little boys born only seventeen months apart.  I think about how hectic their life will be and I am immediately tired thinking about it!  There is good reason why children are born to us at an early stage of life.  I just don’t have that kind of energy as I did in my twenties, but I’m okay with that!  I love the Grandma Life just fine!

My kids complained when my first grandbaby was born that all the framed family photos of them as children had suddenly disappeared and been replaced with pictures of my grandson.  I’ve already started to amass a pictorial shrine to my latest grandson, and he’s not even a week old yet!  As I look about me today, I will admit that there may be an inordinate amount of photographs of my grandchildren around the house…I even have a framed picture of my grandpup, Mila…

Okay, they may have a valid argument.

There is no sweeter music to my ears than the melodic sound of “Grandma!” yelled in my general direction when my grandbabies come to visit.  They know that I will meet them with a big hug and a kiss placed strategically somewhere on their upturned faces.  Try as he might, my oldest grandson can’t duck and weave fast enough, but if he does manage to scoot past me, I don’t have to wait long before he comes back willingly to be caught up in my arms.  He may think he’s too big for Grandma’s hugs, but he keeps coming back for more!

I am blessed that all of my children and grandchildren, live within ten minutes of me.  I know that is not something to be taken for granted.  My grandparents lived in Denmark and I only saw them a handful of times before they passed away.  There was no internet to stay in touch with them through social media or Facetime, so I never grew up to interact with or get to know them at all.  It is something I missed out on as a child.  Studies show that there are numerous advantages in fostering close emotional relationships between grandparents and grandchildren that ultimately benefit both the children and the adults.  I have the benefit of having all my babies close by to love on and spoil.  It does my heart good to have them visit regularly.  My kids benefit from having us close by so we can babysit fairly regularly.  It allows my children to have some alone time, or to go to the movies, or on a dinner date with their spouses.  That’s a good thing.  The grandbabies get some major spoiling at Grandma and Grandpa’s so they enjoy that, and we benefit from the one on one time with each grandchild.  It is exhausting, exhilarating, and keeps us active!  It is a win-win-win situation all around!

My sweet granddaughter, Kharis is outnumbered by the boys 3:1 now.  She doesn’t seem to mind.  At four years old, she bosses the boys around like a mother hen.  It’s fun to watch.  She has, of course, completely stolen her grandpa’s heart.  Granddaughters tend to do that I guess.  Although she can hold her own with the boy’s rough-housing, Grandpa treats her like the princess she is with all the respect and privileges that title deserves.  Time stands still.  Nothing matters except being in the moment with her and watching her reign over her little kingdom with self-assured authority and diva-ness,

Paxton at seventeen months old likes to sit on the steps and have long “conversations” with his Grandma.  When he wants to sit on the steps with me, I stay with him for as long as his attention span allows.  Time stands still.  Nothing matters except sitting with Paxton and being in the moment with him.  Don’t ask me why he prefers sitting on the steps with me, it must be something inherited, because his Dad did the exact same thing with HIS grandmother when he was that age!

Jaxon, at seven years old, is all about his action figures and building Lego sets.  As a result, I have built countless Lego castles with him.  When we interact, time stands still and it’s all about being in that moment with him.  I know every Super Hero name, their super power, and I have watched every Marvel movie with the boy.  No doubt when he starts playing some team sports soon, I’ll be right there on the sidelines cheering him on.  In my mind’s eye he’ll be the kid wearing a super-hero cape and leaping all the tall Lego buildings in a single bound.  He’s my “super” kid!

With his larger than life name, Atticus is his big brother, Paxton’s mirror-image.  I forget how quickly my grandbabies have grown up until I am holding a newborn.  Every coo, every squirm sets my heart to fluttering.  Time stands still.  Nothing matters except cuddling and being in the moment with him.  I can’t grasp how it is that my heart seems to expand wider with each new grandbaby.  I thought it was all full up after one, and then it grew with two, and then seemed full to the brim with three.  That’s the amazing thing about Grandma Life, love multiplies exponentially with each new grandchild added to the family.

Proverbs 17:6  “Children’s children are a crown to the aged, and parents are the pride of their children.”

Grandma Life.  Time stands still.  Nothing matters except loving my kids and my grandbabies and being in the moment with them.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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