A Fitting Farewell to Queen Elizabeth II

It is fitting, I suppose, that the heavens have opened today bringing much needed rain. Our hearts, like the weather today, are somber. I watched, like millions of others around the world, the funeral for Queen Elizabeth II. She was my Queen for sixty-four years, the only Queen I will likely have in my lifetime. I can’t say I’m a monarchist, or a royalist, but I truly admired the Queen and the way she dutifully and faithfully served as our Head of State here in Canada and around the Commonwealth. She had a humble dignity about her. She was not haughty, or proud, given to public displays and vulgarity that other celebs of this day tend to boast about on social media. She seemed to lean on her enduring faith in God through personal trials, family upheavals, and political turmoil around her. She lived out her faith in word and deed and I believe she was welcomed into the presence of God, with the words, “Well done, good and faithful servant!” as she traded her earthly crown for her Crown of Righteousness.

I was impressed that the Queen’s funeral service was one filled with Scripture readings, prayers and hymns that focused entirely on the Majesty and Power of Jesus, and the glorious gift of Salvation that comes in having a personal relationship with Him. The Queen understood her relationship with God usurped her earthly reign. Her funeral service reflected that. Unlike the national service in Ottawa that tried to honour the Queen but made little reference to God at all. Unfortunately, I observe with sadness that Canadian politicians and secular leaders seem to place more importance in pandering to the “woke” generation. Canada today allows religious syncretism and spiritualism the prevalent role in our society that ultimately seeks to turn our hearts away from God, rather than unify us in the only way that will really save us: the Gospel Truth of Jesus Christ.

It is obvious the Queen wanted her final farewell to her family, her nation, and to the audience who watched this history-making funeral from the comfort of their own homes, that Jesus was her Lord and Saviour. In Him she found her strength and ultimately her peace. I pray all who watched her memorial service held in London had eyes and ears opened to His Truth today.

* Bible Gateway compiled all the Scripture that was read at Queen Elizabeth’s Funeral Service. https://www.biblegateway.com/blog/2022/09/scripture-read-at-queen-elizabeth-iis-funeral/

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MY Story

I heard their young voices shout, “To infinity and beyond!” as they chased each other around the school yard playground. They were in their imaginary worlds filled with roaring dinosaurs, battle cruisers, dragons, and fairy princesses; a mish mash of every storybook and cartoon character they have known and loved. A child’s imagination abandoning the strongholds of the world, transcending the boundaries of gravity, space and time. Their playful energy and voices carrying their fantastic stories through the air to my listening ears. Their incredible imaginations let loose to travel through the limitless expanses of the universe during a fifteen minute school recess.

Oh to dream the dreams of a child again! To not be weighted down by the cares and concerns of the realities of life. The heaviness that keeps my feet firmly planted on the ground, rather than soaring on those ephemeral wings that children miraculously sprout whenever they wish to leave the confines of the earth’s orbit.

I remember my pretend days. The days I wrapped myself in my creative cocoon to write an adventure of pure make believe. I became immersed in my character’s life. It was like putting on a new skin, seeing the world through new eyes, experiencing sights, and sounds from a perspective I could only imagine in my head. I could be bold, adventurous, and dangerous without leaving my house. I could not only ponder infinity, I could somehow wrap myself in it, around it and through it!

It’s a sorry heart condition when that sense of childlike wonder, and amazement fades and is replaced by adult cynicism. Optimism is replaced by pessimism. Fear freezes the soul, and dark shadows block out the light. I have wrestled with it all.

My second battle with cancer took something precious away from me. A creative spark. The creative pursuits that gave me such joy: writing, reading, painting, and crafting, I’ve struggled to take up again. I haven’t been able to blog regularly, suffering from persistent writer’s block. I’ve even contemplated shutting down “Journey Thoughts”, deleting all content, and fading into the world-wide web oblivion.

It is not a coincidence that over the last month, I have heard three different testimonies from people who have struggled in various ways, but have found their voice to share their God-inspired stories to encourage others. One common theme intertwining their testimonies: we all have a story to tell—-so tell it!

It has challenged me. In order to tell MY story I need to re-ignite my imagination. I need to once again dream the dreams of a child; to go to “infinity and beyond!” MY story is not confined to time and space. MY story was written before I was born. MY story is filled with heroes and soldiers of the faith, of miracles and experiences that defy logical explanation. MY story is about overcoming obstacles, going on quests, battling giants. MY story has no genre, but a combination of all: historical, romantic, fantasy, non-fiction…unique. MY entire story hasn’t been written yet, but God’s working on it. It’s an ongoing, adventurous journey, fraught with ups and downs. Maybe He will allow me to entitle a long chapter of My story: “Pitfalls, Pratfalls, and Pinnacles”. It seems fitting.

One thing I know for sure is I have a story to tell so I must tell it!

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Making Summertime Memories

My husband and I have remarked so very often that we are “summer people”. We often wonder why we have settled in an area that has a winter climate eight months a year, when we seem to love summer so much? I guess that is one reason we try to squeeze every bit of summertime living into those few months, making the most of being outdoors and soaking up all the sunshine and warmth we can before winter is once again upon us.

Our family has grown by one precious granddaughter in July. Our sixth grandbaby. Watching my baby girl with her baby girl fills my heart with joy. The new parents are a team, navigating the first couple of weeks of parenting learning as they go. They will learn as I have that time goes by so swiftly. One minute, I am rocking my child in my arms, the next moment I am rocking her child in my arms! It’s hard to fathom.

It’s like summer. I’m soaking up all that time spent with my children and grandchildren, making memories now, because this season in time is so short.

Wise Solomon wrote these words of wisdom and I ponder them today:

A right time for birth and another for death,
A right time to plant and another to reap,
A right time to kill and another to heal,
A right time to destroy and another to construct,
A right time to cry and another to laugh,
A right time to lament and another to cheer,
A right time to make love and another to abstain,
A right time to embrace and another to part,
A right time to search and another to count your losses,
A right time to hold on and another to let go,
A right time to rip out and another to mend,
A right time to shut up and another to speak up,
A right time to love and another to hate,
A right time to wage war and another to make peace.

There’s an opportune time to do things, a right time for everything on the earth:

But in the end, does it really make a difference what anyone does? I’ve had a good look at what God has given us to do—busywork, mostly. True, God made everything beautiful in itself and in its time—but he’s left us in the dark, so we can never know what God is up to, whether he’s coming or going. I’ve decided that there’s nothing better to do than go ahead and have a good time and get the most we can out of life. That’s it—eat, drink, and make the most of your job. It’s God’s gift.

I’ve also concluded that whatever God does, that’s the way it’s going to be, always. No addition, no subtraction. God’s done it and that’s it. That’s so we’ll quit asking questions and simply worship in holy fear.

Ecclesiastes 3: 1-14 (The Message)

Thank-You, Lord for this choice season!

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