Old Doors

proverbs-24-3-4In 2015, I was convinced that we would be making a major move to the west coast.  The feeling was so overpowering that as I packed away our Christmas decorations at the end of that year, I wept because I thought it would be the last Christmas spent in this house.  I remembered all the memories we had built up over twenty-two years here.  I was overwhelmed by the melancholy, but also wrestled with the feeling of excitement of moving somewhere new.  I’m not a fan of change, but I was so convinced that we were moving soon, I started the process of downsizing and packing some things away.

When we made a trip to the coast in late June of 2016, I fully expected my husband and I would find our new abode and make the big move away from Alberta to Vancouver Island in the early fall.  We prayed for God’s direction as we set out to find a new home and I specifically prayed that God would open and close doors as necessary for us to move or stay.

He answered that prayer: “Stay.”

He didn’t answer audibly, but His answer was still unmistakable by the way He changed our hearts.

I was both relieved and somewhat confused, when we came home from our west coast trip, having found no place comparable to our “old” home.  Although there were countless houses for sale, none seemed to catch or maintain our interest.  In fact, instead of being determined to relocate, we both felt completely cold about the prospect of moving away from our home in Alberta.  God had completely removed the feeling of wanderlust in both of us and replaced it instead with a renewed sense of purpose and belonging to stay put in our “old” home.  Even more astonishing, He restored the passion we once had for our homestead, and to see it in a “new” light, so to speak.

Before Christmas, we welcomed a new grandbaby into the family and as I held that little miracle in my arms, I thought about how wonderful it was to make new memories here once again.  I saw my home with new eyes, appreciating our view even more than I had ever done before.  I was reconnecting with all the familiar sights around me!  Walking through each room with a thankful heart, I was even taking renewed interest in cleaning, dusting and vacuuming them!  Talk about a miraculous change of heart!

Over the past month, my husband and I have “reclaimed” our home again.  We have been redecorating and doing some early spring cleaning so we can thoroughly enjoy our space once more, and embrace the life God has planned for us right here.

It’s a fresh start, in exactly the same place!  I had prayed God would open doors for us but I will admit I had no idea He would open the old, familiar ones and give us a whole new perspective and direction from there.

Isn’t God surprising?

 

 

 

 

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March for Life

I will never forget what it felt like to hold my son for the very first time.  He was born on a Sunday but I didn’t get to hold him until the next day and when he was placed in my arms it was love at first sight!  After two traumatic miscarriages and the doctors telling me I would likely never have another baby after the birth of my first daughter, adoption became our only option to have another child.  By God’s design, our son became our chosen child, born to a young unwed teen mom.  She could have chosen an abortion, but instead she made the tough, courageous decision to give her child up for adoption.  Her selflessness allowed us to parent our precious son to adulthood, and allowed our older daughter, who was eight when he was born, to be a “big sister”.  That God blessed me with a baby girl three years after our son was born, proving the doctors wrong about me carrying another child, was just another example of God’s grace to me.  My three children are my greatest gifts from God and just five weeks ago my son and his wife blessed us with a new grandson!  Our third grandbaby!

When my son was a young child, I became involved with the Crisis Pregnancy Centre in our small town.  They asked if we would open our home up to have an unwed teen mom live with us.  Scared and ostracized by her family, she became one of several young moms whom we cared for through their pregnancies.  Two of the girls elected to parent their babies, another opted for adoption.  In each case, I grew to have compassion and great love for the girls and an even greater appreciation for the young woman who chose life for our son.

In 2010, I published my first book, Shoot the Wounded, and one of the themes focuses on a young, unwed teen mom.  Ronnie’s character is a tapestry of the teen moms we have known and loved through the years.

As I was holding my new grandson, shortly after he was born, I couldn’t help but wonder how he will fit into God’s Great Big Story.  As I posted yesterday, 60 million babies never had the chance to live but neither did the millions of offspring THEY might have had!  Again, I feel an overwhelming sense of loss!

So, this past week I have been trying to raise awareness of those precious babies who cannot speak for themselves.  Abortion ends their hopes and dreams forever; not only theirs but THEIR children!

This past week, I came across a Facebook post that had me weeping with joy as I read it.  I’ve asked Heidi if I might share it:

“So I typically keep things pretty light on Facebook but I have something weighing heavy on my heart:

I have been watching, on all platforms of social media, the #womensmarch that has literally broken records and brought so many together. I have felt proud to be a woman and yet in a way I’ve never felt more disconnected from my fellow womankind.

You see, while I agree that women should have equal rights to vote and live and work and enjoy life, the “right to choose” is one that is tough for me.

The picture on this post is of my grandma and I (just after her 80th birthday). My grandma is a very kind and generous woman who has blessed many lives. My grandma is also a strong woman. My grandma is a fighter. My grandma is a miracle.

My grandma is a failed abortion.

In May 1935 my grandma was aborted at about 26 weeks. When my great-grandmother was induced and birthed my grandma live, the doctors and nurses told her that this fetus would not survive… she did!
My grandma has 2 of her own living children, 6 grandchildren (me included) and 7 great-grandchildren who are alive today because it turns out she was a baby girl who would become a woman; and she had to fight for her right, not just to choose, but her right to live.
I’m so grateful she had the strength to survive and thrive.

(Before you react or comment, please understand I’m only sharing my story. I’m not judging others, nor can I begin to comprehend the vast circumstances and life experiences of the potential readers. I just felt compelled to share my heart.)

I am blessed to have strong women in my life. If you are a woman reading this, thanks for sharing in my journey. Let me know how I can support you in yours.”

To all my Journey Thoughts readers but especially to all women, if you must march for something that will make a real difference in this generation and the next, March for Life on Friday, January 27 in Washington, D.C.  In Canada, the Campaign Life Coalition has information about marches for life that are held throughout the year in each of the different provinces.

March to honour the 60 million babies who were never born, and march for the ones who still have a chance to live and to discover their unique place and purpose in God’s Big Story.

2103marchforlife

 

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Mourning 60 Million Lives

hats-cropped-newOn January 22, 1973, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down its landmark decision in the case of Roe v. Wade, which recognized that the constitutional right to privacy extends to a woman’s right to make her own personal medical decisions — including the decision to have an abortion.  Forty-four years and 60 million abortions later, this “landmark” decision continues to divide women, physicians and politicians based on their belief about how old a child needs to be in the womb before it is considered a viable human-being.  In other words, does abortion kill an innocent human being? If not, then there is no moral or ethical problem. If however, abortion represents the killing of an innocent member of the human family, it is immoral, unethical and cannot be justified. There is no such thing as a right to kill innocent people.  So the question is, at what age, or at what point after conception is a baby considered an “innocent member of the human family”?

As a Christian, the answer is an easy one: “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,
before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”  (Jeremiah 1:5)  The Lord is speaking to Jeremiah in particular here, but the implication is for any and everyone…

The Lord knew us before we were even conceived!

It also alludes to the fact that God had a purpose in mind for all of us before we were even conceived.  Let that sink in.  Every single human being has a purpose that fits into God’s Big Story before we were even conceived.  Our journey after birth is discovering our place in God’s Story!

What an adventure!

And yet…

Since the Roe v. Wade decision, 60 million little ones never even had a chance to discover their purpose and place in God’s Story.

Let me try to paint a picture so you can visualize in your minds what it means to lose 60 million little lives of potential forever.  If you read my post from the other day: “I Am Woman, Hear Me Roar!” about the Women’s March world-wide, there are estimates that four to five million women protested around the world and in Washington D.C. alone there may have been close to five hundred thousand.  These women, as you know from my post, were marching for pro-choice rights (the right to abort), as well as spewing profanities at the current government(s).  Most of them wore pink-knitted toques (I’m Canadianizing them a bit), but they were supposed to represent women’s genitalia.  I know, pretty disgusting.  So, picture the streets littered with all those toques lying side-by-side had the women chosen to cast them aside like trash.  It would have been quite a sight!

Now picture 60 million little knitted baby caps like they give to all the newborns in the hospitals.  Pink for girls and blue for boys and gender-neutral colours of yellow and green.  Picture them littering the streets cast aside like trash.  60 million little caps, representing 60 million little babies who never got to wear their cap.  60 million little souls who never got to experience life and find their place in God’s big wide world.  60 million children who never got to play, sing, and experience the wonders of Creation around them.  60 million teenagers who never got the chance to work, to love, to grasp the realities of life.  60 million people who never got to discover who they are and who they could be in God’s Big Story.

It is too tragic to comprehend.

 

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I Am Woman, Hear Me Roar!

“I Am Woman, Hear Me Roar!”  That was the battle-cry of women in the 70’s, a Helen Reddy song released in 1971 and one that I sung with all the gusto a 13 year-old girl could muster that year.  It was all about equal rights for women, equal pay for equal work, believing that girls could do anything just as well and maybe even better than boys!

Rather than sign up for the girl’s sewing and cooking options in my high school, my three friends and I signed up for shop class and we became the first girls in our school to do something so radical.  We were ridiculed and bullied for that “rebelliousness” not only by the boys who did not like seeing girls in the shop class, but also by the girls who thought us “freaks” and tomboys.  Still, undaunted, we took apart and rebuilt an old Briggs and Stratton lawn mower engine, tried our hands at welding and participated in metal working and at the end of the year felt like we had actually accomplished something huge for the feminist movement.

That was then…

In 1977, I met the love of my life and we married two years later.  He led me to the Lord and together we became a dynamic duo that raised three children to adulthood and we are now involved in the lives of three, wonderful grandbabies.  Over these close to forty years, I have learned the true meaning of being a strong, powerful woman not by the world’s standards but in being “submissive” (1 Peter 3: 1-2) to my Godly husband.  That word has not threatened my femininity one bit because it draws me into rightful obedience to God.  My husband is the Spiritual Leader in my home, and rightly so!  He is the head of our household.  (Ephesians 5:23)  He does not dominate me, he cares and loves me as Christ loves His church.  I am proud that I am striving to become a Proverbs 31: 10-31 woman, because I am more valued and respected now than I ever was during those Feminine Mystique years!

This is now…

This past weekend I witnessed what was touted as “an inclusive event and everyone who supports women’s rights are welcome.”  It could have been an historical event to support women of all races, religions and cultures.  To rally behind the disenfranchised, to show love and unity and let our voices send messages of peace and hope to those who do not have a voice.  However, as I have learned over these few days, what actually transpired was a monumental lie.  It was an inclusive event only if you were pro-choice, and shared the liberal, cultural feminism that pervades our society today.  Women who shared different opinions, who were Pro-life advocates, and held mostly conservative views were not allowed to march.  Instead, they were turned away, ridiculed and even bullied.  In a documented incident here in Alberta, a woman reporter was actually punched by a man as she tried to cover the Edmonton rally.

That absolutely sickens me.

I was appalled by the pictures of women wearing women genitalia masks and the profane-laced vulgarity they displayed on their posters and spewed into microphones to rally those gathered into supporting their hate-filled cause.  That kind of pornographic diatribe was not fit to show, let alone support!

Instead, they ostracized more men and women with their vindictive slogans and venom-filled agenda than they managed to win to their cause.  I, for one, felt violated, horrified and ashamed by what transpired there in Washington and around the world, and I wish the images on T.V. and on social media could be erased from my memory forever.

women-of-god

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Who Reads What and Why? – Fake News

Today is the Inauguration of Donald Trump as President of the U.S. of A.  Media will cover this historic event from every angle (we hope) and will let all bias slide (we hope), but just in case, here’s what you need to know so you can keep informed today and going forward.

This is meant to be a Friday Funny 🙂

1.The Wall Street Journal is read by the people who run the country.

2.The Washington Post is read by people who think they run the country.

3.The New York Times is read by people who think they should run the country, and who are very good at crossword puzzles.

4. USA Today is read by people who think they ought to run the country but don’t really understand The New York Times. They do, however, like their statistics shown in pie charts.

5.The Los Angeles Times is read by people who wouldn’t mind running the country, if they could find the time — and if they didn’t have to leave Southern California to do it.

6.The Boston Globe is read by people whose parents used to run the country and did a poor job of it, thank you very much.

7.The New York Daily News is read by people who aren’t too sure who’s running the country and don’t really care as long as they can get a seat on the train.

8.The New York Post is read by people who don’t care who is running the country as long as they do something really scandalous, preferably while intoxicated.

9.The Miami Herald is read by people who are running another country, but need the baseball scores.

10.The San Francisco Chronicle is read by people who aren’t sure if there is a country or that anyone is running it; but if so, they oppose all that they stand for. There are occasional exceptions if the leaders are handicapped, minority, feminist, atheist dwarfs who also happen to be illegal aliens from any other country or galaxy, provided of course, that they are not Republicans.

11.The National Enquirer is read by people trapped in line at the grocery store.

12.The Key West Citizen is read by people who have recently caught a fish and need something to wrap it in.

(I decided to add a few of my own…so that Canadians don’t feel left out.)

13. The Vancouver Sun is read by people who like to keep up with all the tree-hugging protests in Canada and think they run the country.

14. The Calgary Herald is read by people who like to keep up with all the tree-hugging protests in British Columbia that may interfere with the oil sands project and who know they run the country.

15.  The Winnipeg Free Press is read by people who like to keep up with the weather.

16.  The Toronto Globe and Mail is read by people who use the newspaper as a blanket when they can’t get into a homeless shelter at night.

17.  The Ottawa Citizen is read by Ottawa Senator fans only who look up hockey scores only.

18.  The Montreal Gazette is read by Quebecers scouring the “Help Wanted” ads for jobs in Alberta.

19.  People from New Brunswick, P.E.I. and Nova Scotia read any of the newspapers previously listed that were accidently left behind by tourists.

20.  People from Newfoundland get newspaper delivery a half an hour later than any one else in Canada so they could care less what is written because it’s always “old news” when it gets to them anyway.

(I will now be shunned by the entire newspaper industry…I could do worse :))

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Bugged!

Several years ago, my daughter, Laurelle was discovering the joys and challenges of living in a much warmer climate than she had ever been used to here in sunny Alberta, Canada.  She and her husband moved to go to seminary in Kentucky, and she was faced with stifling heat of 42 degrees celcius – in comparison to a warm day in Alberta of 32 degrees celcius.  Alberta can get above 40 degrees but it’s certainly not the norm for this northern climate.  Along with the temperature and humidity, Laurelle was also dealing with a variety of creepy crawlies and I’m not talking about my grandbaby, Jaxon 🙂 .

Laurelle has never been a fan of bugs in general.  Alberta knows how to grow moths and mosquitoes!  We get the occasional spider crawl up our walls here.  Beetles and ants and grasshoppers abound, but the cold climate manages to decimate them pretty quickly once the first frost hits in late September.  Still, I’ve known my girl to run screaming from a room if she discovered a moth flitting about.  I think she exaggerates when she says they are as “big as bats”!

In Kentucky, I assume the climate brings out the bug beasts in a variety of shapes and sizes that Laurelle had never encountered before.  I was on Facetime with her one day and had to laugh when in mid sentence she was suddenly screaming and running around the house having just seen a “spider-cricket” the size of a “horse” on a basement wall.  Her gallant husband captured the bug in a plastic cup and then with an evil glint in his eye, crossed the street to his neighbours’ (the Whitford family who traveled from Cochrane to Kentucky to attend seminary there as well); then smirking with delight, my son-in-law unceremoniously placed the cup in their mailbox!  It was the start of a host of practical jokes played out on each other that year!

When my daughter discovered another Kentucky bug in her basement she threatened to forsake ever going into the basement again to avoid dealing with those bugs there in her new home.  Since the laundry machines were also in the basement, I think it was just another excuse to avoid doing the wash! 🙂

It got me thinking though about all the things that “bug” me (and I don’t mean the creepy crawlies either).  Things that “bug” me enough so I don’t want to “stay the course” or I run screaming from the room so I don’t have to face it anymore.  I have a long list of things that stress me out, that bug me so much I don’t function well while I’m having to deal with those “bugs”.  Here are just a few:

1.  People – yes, sometimes people bug me.  What’s that saying? – “Hurt people hurt people!”  It is hard to deal with unpleasant, hurt people.  Anyone who has ever been in ministry is shouting giving me a “thumbs up” sign!  But scripture is clear:  “But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. If someone strikes you on one cheek, turn to him the other also. If someone takes your cloak, do not stop him from taking your tunic. Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back.  Do to others as you would have them do to you.”  Luke 6:27-31

2.  Circumstances – whether you are healthy or not, financially stable or not, happy or not…sometimes circumstances will “bug” you to a point where you feel overwhelmed and depressed.  Just ask any young Mom of a toddler, or parents of a rebellious teen, or a man who has lost his job, or a woman struggling with breast cancer.  If you allow your circumstances to rob you of joy, you are allowing the enemy to gain a foothold in your life that may cause you to one day run screaming from the room trying to escape your circumstances.  “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”  Deuteronomy 31:6

3.  Unfulfilled Expectations – we all have them, I call them the “what ifs” in life.  You’re bugged because life just didn’t turn out the way you thought it would.  You’re either constantly looking back, wishing the past had been different, or you are looking forward, hoping the future will be better.  You’re not living in the NOW and therefore not enjoying the blessings of each given day!  “The Lord will guide you continually, and satisfy your needs in parched places, and make your bones strong, and you shall be like a  watered garden, like a spring of water, whose waters never fail.”  Isaiah 58:11

4.  The Reflection in the Mirror – this is the toughest “bug” to let go of – dissatisfaction with oneself; not liking the person in the mirror.  I am constantly shocked, when working with youth especially, how so many of them feel unworthy, unloved, ugly, and stupid.  Certainly there are those that may be egotistical to a fault too, but the majority of people I know, (young and old) are dealing with bitterness, abandonment, unresolved hurt and conflict, sin and guilt that hampers them from becoming the beautifully created men and women that God intended them to be.  Whenever I find myself being dissatisfied with my reflection in the mirror, I like to read Psalm 139 to remind myself how much God loves me “bugs” and all!  “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.”  Psalm 139:14

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Worst Author Ever!

darkstormynight-696x436While I was busily writing my third and final book of my “Wounded Trilogy” – Love the Wounded.  It was a bit of a struggle to write, not necessarily because I was experiencing “writer’s block”, back in 2011, but the fact that I could not put a concerted amount of time into writing it.  I was enjoying being a new Grandma and spending as much time as I could with my new Grandbaby, Jaxon.  It was a tough year of distractions, and writing.  I would find myself many times staring at a blank page struggling with choosing the right words.

In high school, my biology teacher, Mr. Slater, called me the “only literary biologist I know”.  I tended to use a lot of unnecessary verbiage to write out my scientific observations.  I suppose, according to him, there were only so many ways you could describe a dissected fetal pig.  Anyway, I couldn’t help but laugh when in the middle of my writing doldrums way back in 2011, I read about the winner of the Bulwer-Lytton “Worst Writer ” award.

The  contest challenges entrants to compose bad opening sentences to  imaginary novels that takes its name from the Victorian novelist Edward George Bulwer-Lytton, who began his Paul Clifford with “It was a dark and stormy night.”

The winner in 2011 was, Sue Fondrie, who described herself then as “a full-time teacher of teachers and part-time awful prose writer”.  It was the first time I had heard of this contest and I will admit it was just the catalyst I needed to complete my book and ensure it was completely and properly edited!

At  26 words, Prof. Fondrie’s submission in 2011 was the shortest grand prize winner in Contest history, proving that bad writing need not be prolix, or even very wordy:

Cheryl’s mind turned like the vanes of a wind-powered turbine, chopping her sparrow-like thoughts into  bloody pieces that fell onto a growing pile of forgotten memories.

Too fun.

Since 2011, I still enjoy checking in to see who the winners are each year.  In 2016, the winner was William “Barry” Brockett of Tallahassee, Florida, a 55-year-old building contractor who has specialized in additions, home makeovers, and bathroom/kitchen remodels for about twenty years.  His winning entry makes me guffaw my way through the expository verbiage of unparalleled mediocrity…(how’s that, Mr. Slater?)

Even from the hall, the overpowering stench told me the dingy caramel glow in his office would be from a ten-thousand-cigarette layer of nicotine baked on a naked bulb hanging from a frayed wire in the center of a likely cracked and water-stained ceiling, but I was broke, he was cheap, and I had to find her.

I thought it might be fun to get the word “juices” flowing and have some of my author/writer friends and writer wannabes try their hand at writing an “awful” opening sentence.  Leave a comment with your sentence, and if I get twenty or more participants, I might even make this into a real contest.

Just like the Bulwer-Lytton contest promised to Sue Fondrie in 2011, I may offer “a pittance” to whoever writes the “worst” sentence here on Journey Thoughts!

I leave you with the circumlocution, diffuseness, prolixity, surplusage, verbiage, periphrasis, redundance, tautology, verbosity, pleonasm, redundancy, tediousness, and wordiness needed to win this prestigious contest!

Happy Writing!

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Journey Thoughts is Now Part of the Bible Gateway Blogger Grid (BG2)

bg-blogger-badge-500x500-e1387301563797Can I get a big Whoo Hooo???  Maybe a little Happy Dance will suffice, but I am thrilled that today I was invited to be a part of the Bible Gateway Blogger Grid (BG2)! 

For this small-town, Canadian Gal, this is a big deal.  For those of you who are not familiar with Bible Gateway, it’s the most visited Christian website in the world, with 150 million views per month, 885,000+ Facebook fans, 394,000 Google+ followers, and 110,000+ Twitter followers. The Bible Gateway Blog registers 500,000+ views per month. Founded in 1993, Bible Gateway is the original multilingual online Bible resource. It empowers global users to freely read, hear, search, study, compare, and share the Bible in 200+ versions and 70+ languages, using their desktops, laptops, tablets, ereaders, or smartphones. 

It will come as no surprise, that my #1 online resource is BibleGateway.com so I can hear, search, study, compare and ultimately share the Bible with my Journey Thoughts readers.  You will note that over the next few weeks, I will be going through my past blog postings and ensure my scripture verses are linked with BibleGateway.com .  As I have said, time and again in my blog postings, it is imperative that my readers not just read individual verses, but read the verses in context!  Linking to BibleGateway.com , will allow you to do just that!

Since 2009, I have been writing my little musings on Journey Thoughts.  Originally it was to promote my books and build my author platform, but God had a different purpose in mind.  It has since grown to be a ministry I never imagined.  With over 9 million hits and followers from around the world, I am humbled by its outreach.  Truly this in itself shows that God is able to do immeasurably more than all we could ever ask or imagine according to His power that is at work within us!  (Ephesians 3:20)  I give all the Glory to Him Who is able!

Readers, you have the opportunity too in seeing that the Word of God is spread world-wide.  I am asking that if you “like” what you read on Journey Thoughts that you will freely “like” “follow” AND “share” it on social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.)  I thank-you in advance for partnering with me in this way!  Join my Facebook page(s): Lynn Dove -author page; Encouraging Bible Verses and Quotes; and Word Salt.  I would also appreciate you following me on Twitter @LynnIDove .  I also want to ensure that you check out BibleGateway.com and follow Bible Gateway on social networks as well.

Lastly, I covet the prayers of the faithful.  I know that the enemy prowls around like a roaring lion waiting to devour. (1 Peter 5:8)  I feel a burden to speak (write) the Truth in love and that can lead to spiritual attack and discouragement from the enemy who always wants to thwart the plans of Bible-believing Christians.  The many bloggers on the Bible Gateway Blogger Grid (BG2) need your ongoing prayers. I am also so thankful to be a member of the InScribe Writers here in Canada. Just this past week, (Jan. 7) I received an email from Connie Inglis (InScribe’s Spiritual Advisor) saying that she prayed Isaiah 43:16-21 for me.

In light of the events of this past week, I can’t help but feel even more blessed and encouraged by her prayers and these words from Scripture.

“This is what the Lord says— he who made a way through the sea, a path through the mighty waters, who drew out the chariots and horses, the army and reinforcements together, and they lay there, never to rise again, extinguished, snuffed out like a wick:  “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing!  Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland. The wild animals honor me, the jackals and the owls, because I provide water in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland, to give drink to my people, my chosen, the people I formed for myself that they may proclaim my praise.”  (Isaiah 43:16-21)

To God Be the Glory, Great Things He Hath Done!

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Vilification and the Golden Globes

l_f8cefcb0-7450-11e1-99ef-6f1e72500004I will admit it right out…I get star struck at times.  Being a writer, I have often wondered about having my Wounded Trilogy made into a movie and what “star(s)” would take on the character roles.  I can’t imagine what it must feel like to have your written work immortalized on the small and big screen but for this small-town Canadian girl, it would be a dream come true.  That said, there is so much about Hollywood that glitters like gold, and so much more that is rusty and tarnished.

The entertainment industry seems to go out of its way to shock and glorify lifestyles and despicable morality that flies in the face of Biblical Christianity.  Hollywood models the kind of “Christianity” that espouses that there are hundreds of different ways to God, that it’s okay to walk the wide path and to forget the scripture that says the narrow path is the better way and that Jesus is the ONLY Way, Truth and Life.  That’s the modern feel-good, “Christianity”, where everything is acceptable because God loves everybody and as long as you’re not hurting anybody else you can do as you please without fear of judgment.  That’s Hollywood’s Christianity…and they’ve got it wrong.

That kind of secular, worldly, tolerant “Christianity” is not Biblical Christianity.  It’s false teaching.  It may appeal to a wide audience because people are not held accountable for their sin.  There is no repentance, sanctification, or justification.  People wallow in their sin, are even applauded for their “courage”, and any one who tries to tell them their way is NOT God’s way, is labeled bigoted, intolerant and mostly ignored or openly vilified.

I have noticed that in this secular society we now live in, a society that prides itself on freedom of speech, press, and religion, that one is only “free” if they do not attempt to say anything that goes contrary to the popular way of thinking.  There is an anti-Christian sentiment running rampant in our world today but perhaps more prevalent now than at any other time in history right here in Canada and the U.S.A.  Although Canadian and American Christians may not be physically tortured or persecuted per se, listen to a Middle Eastern underground house church leader: “Persecution is easier to understand when it’s physical: torture, death, imprisonment….American persecution is like an advanced stage of cancer; it eats away at you, yet you cannot feel it. This is the worst kind of persecution.”

Bible-believing Christians are attacked online, in the Press, in schools, colleges and yes, even in Hollywood.  We are bullied, harassed and ridiculed by the so-called tolerant masses.  We do not have “freedom” to speak what the Bible clearly teaches as Truth because it goes contrary to what people want to hear.  This is a society that has been turned on its side, abandoning what’s right in favour of what’s clearly wrong.  In nations that once professed to be God-fearing, Canada and the U.S. have turned their backs on Christian ideals.

We are legalizing sin.

Let’s call it what it is!  We are allowing people to murder their babies, euthanize their sick loved ones all in the name of “freedom”.  We are abandoning traditional marriage and family values in favour of alternative lifestyles.  It’s okay to foster multiculturalism and ethnic diversity in our schools but then openly taunt and jeer students who bring a Bible into a classroom.  There is no clear differentiation now between the male and female genders and that’s totally acceptable.  We’ve become so “free” that rules no longer apply and we are sinking lower and lower into our base depravity that the wicked prosper and the “good” are bullied into silence.  There are no absolute truths and we are seeing suicide rates rise, crime rates rise and our children are leaving the church in droves because they are confused by the messages they see showcased in Hollywood.  They are sucked into believing the lies spread by the secular society around them because we are failing as Bible-believing Christians to boldly teach them the Truth of the Gospel.

Finally, seeing the woes of this world get worse rather than better because of our out-of-control liberalism, we as nations, divided under God, desperately cry out to be saved from the ills around us but refuse to listen to the only One Who can truly save us if we heed the warnings from His Word.

We wonder why the Voice from Heaven is silent.

Jesus said it best: “A prophet is not without honor except in his own town, among his relatives and in his own home.” He could not do any miracles there, except lay his hands on a few sick people and heal them. He was amazed at their lack of faith.  (Mark 6: 4-6)

He was amazed at their lack of faith…  He could say the same thing of us today.

Hollywood mirrors the hearts and minds of society around it.  Last night as I watched the Golden Globes from the comfort of my living room, I was struck by the real sense of foreboding this industry of imagination is now dealing with.  The acceptance speech of Meryl Streep may have been poignant but it was filled with fear.  America, (and Canada) are under attack from the enemy without and within as the two nations deal with their lack of faith.  We have no faith in our politicians, in the economy, in our military, police and any others in authority and, it is obvious we have no faith in any kind of god.  In a room filled with dreamers, revolutionaries, pro-active thinkers and activists, they looked utterly dejected having run out of hope-filled ideas to change the world for the better.  All the tinsel and glitter and haute couture fashion could not mask the fear in that room.  Not one of them would acknowledge that much of their doom and gloom is due to their lack of faith.  Faith and Fear cannot co-exist.  You either have one or the other.

If they had any kind of faith they would know God is in control and they would not be fearful of the future.  Faith shows us that God has not abandoned His children, no matter how wayward they have become.  The Lord says, “Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.’ (Jeremiah 33:3) He calls for us to repent of our sins, seek Him with all our hearts, and He will save us if we have faith in HIM!  Faith drives out the fear.  I pray Hollywood gets that message loud and clear…

Can you imagine the amazing T.V. shows and movies that would come out of a faith-filled Hollywood?

Can I get an AMEN?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Proverbs 16:9 - Journey Thoughts | Tagged , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Happy New Year, and Welcome to 2017!

1-thess-5-18We’ve been buried under snow and experiencing bitter cold temperatures for the past week.  Still, once Christmas is over and New Year’s Eve’s come and gone, I immediately go into a looking-forward-to-Spring mode.  I took down the tree on the 2nd and put away all the decorations for another year, and I always feel like the house looks so much more open and refreshing afterwards.  Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE Christmas and decking the halls and all, but it’s nice to go back to normal.  I let my Feng Shui OCD take hold of me as I put my house in order again.

Lucy Maude Montgomery in her classic, Anne of Green Gables book said, ““Isn’t it nice to think that tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it yet?”  There is a sense of expectation each New Year that we’re starting the year fresh with no mistakes to account for…yet.  My most popular blog post over the past three years has been https://lynndove.com/2013/01/01/25-encouraging-scripture-verses-for-the-new-year/ that particular post gets at least 25,000 hits in one day!  Just seems that so many people want to start the New Year off right with encouragement from the Word.

I have been pondering upon each of those verses over the past few days, letting God’s Word wash over me.  So many unknowns this year, but God never changes.  He is the same today, tomorrow and for eternity.  His mercies are new EVERY morning.  We are incredibly arrogant to think that we can change what God has allowed to happen in the past, present and into the future.  He is not surprised by world events, or world leaders; He tells us HE is in control and He will always be in control!  The challenge is to be content, knowing He is in control in the midst of all circumstances.

But am I?

Am I content when the New Year has Albertans seeing gas prices jump at the pump, and home heating bills rise, and numerous other costs we need to consider now that we have a new carbon tax in the province?  Am I content knowing that Canada will also be affected when a new U.S. president is inaugurated?  Am I content or am I worried?

Merriam-Webster defines contentment as: freedom from worry or restlessness :  peaceful satisfaction.  If I believe God is in control do I actually experience that kind of “freedom” from worry and luxuriate in peaceful satisfaction?  Honestly…it’s tough.

Still, God is teaching me through His Word and through practical application that I need to let go of worry and try to experience contentment in all circumstances – known and unknown.

Last Sunday morning, on the first day of this New Year, I was privileged to witness one of my former students get baptized.  I wept when she sang her own version of “Amazing Grace” because she has embraced what it means to be content no matter her circumstances.  Not an easy thing to do when only five years ago she was a carefree, girl of nine and now she is blind and mostly confined to a wheelchair due to a traumatic brain injury five years ago.

I didn’t really know much about Hope Peacock before her injury other than maybe bumping into her at the school I taught in.  At that time I was teaching in the Junior High wing and she and her sister were in the Elementary wing.  Her father, Trevor is the Pastor of Harvest Bible Chapel Calgary where my daughter and son-in-law attend.  The first time I officially met Hope was at my grandson’s baby shower.  She and her little sister, Gabi cuddled a little with my grandson and then retreated to play with the other girls who had come with their mothers’ to the shower.  Several months later, I got an urgent message from my daughter to pray for her Pastor and his family when Hope had gone into the hospital for a routine tonsillectomy and through a series of unfortunate complications was having serious, life-threatening seizures.  (If interested, my readers can read about Hope’s journey through her blog: http://prayingforhopepeacock.blogspot.ca/ )

I immediately put out an appeal to pray for her and her family through our church’s prayer chain and later through my blog: https://lynndove.com/2012/02/08/praying-for-hope/  We were praying at school, at church, at home, and Hope’s mom, Heather kept us all updated on Hope’s condition.  There have been real miracles throughout these five years, and doctors have been baffled at times with her progress, but there have also been heart-wrenching discouragements too.  Many times I have questioned why God has not chosen to fully restore Hope to full health, but I know He is still in control!

Three years ago, in the midst of her medical challenges, Hope opted to join my Creative Writing class at school.  I wondered if her brain injury would impact her ability to perform well in class.  I need not have feared.  With the help of her terrific aid, who transcribed all of Hope’s stories and poems onto a computer, Hope became one of my most prolific and inspiring writers.  She seemed to find her voice through writing!  Every writing assignment I gave the class that year, Hope eagerly accepted and completed.  I told her that even though I would not be teaching her the following year, she could send me her writing any time.  Last year she shared this acrostic poem with me:

Wheelchair – by Hope Peacock

W – “Wanna go for a stroll, Hope?” says my wheelchair to me.

H – Happily Hope replies, “What would I do without you?!

E – Everywhere I go, you keep me company, my friend.

E – Eyeballs stare as we go past, maybe wondering how we met.

L – Living with you can be hard at times, cause I’d rather use my feet, but I like that you carry me through.

C – Comfortable sitting on your cushy seat carries me to a fluffy cloud of heavenly bliss.

H – Helping me everyday to get from here to there.

A – Able to get through my day, because you bear my weight.

I – I love you, my wheelchair friend, even though you bring me pain and grief.

R – Riding along, you will be a part of the story God is writing for me.”

I wept when I read it then and I still tear up when I read it!  She has learned in five short years, what has taken, and is still taking me a lifetime to figure out, to be content in all circumstances.

Last Sunday, as I watched her Dad gently lift her from the confines of her wheelchair to enter the waters of baptism, I remembered the last line of her poem.  God is writing Hope’s story, and He’s using her wheelchair and personal testimony for His Glory!  Amen and Amen.

 

 

 

Posted in Proverbs 16:9 - Journey Thoughts | Tagged , , , , , , | 4 Comments