Family’s home


Good day friends! I pray your week and weekend went well.


We just returned home from visiting my husband’s father and step-mother in New Brunswick. What a joyous time with family!

I love being with family. I especially love when our children, spouses/partners and grandchild come home. It may be busy and chaotic but it is among the most treasured activities I experience. I would bet this is how God feels when we go to his house.

Let’s top up our coffees and unpack this thought….

Family’s home


The Fellowship of the Believers: They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favour of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved. Acts 2:42-47

Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God….  be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Ephesians 5:1-2, 18b-20

img_3154.jpgOur eldest son lives in Toronto, a couple hundred kilometers from us. We see him about once a month. When I receive his homecoming text, “Hey Mom, I’m coming home next weekend,” I usually text the others to invite them for a family dinner during one of the evenings he is home. It doesn’t take long for the replies to come and in minutes, a family gathering has been arranged.

For me, having the whole family together is such a joy; it literally warms my heart. I am finding that it is not only the joy of having them all home enjoying my meals, but seeing the joy they have in seeing each other. I love listening to them catch up, giggle together, poke at each other, and reminisce – which usually includes poking fun at my husband or me.

church3How the Lord must love when His children come together to be with Him in Worship and Praise but also as they come together to catch up on their own lives with each other, and care for and love each other. It must thoroughly warm His heart. However, do we see going to church in this light? Although God extends the family invitation every week, how often do we see it as an invitation or privilege to be in His presence and the presence of our brothers and sisters?

When our children were young and asked, “Why do we have to go to church?” I would respond, “We don’t have to go, but we need to go, and I want to go. It’s no different than if Grammie asked us to come for a dinner and visit; would we not want to go? Would we tell her ‘No, we don’t want to?’ Absolutely not! It’s the same with God. He has invited us to be with Him and the family that we will be spending eternity with. It is our privilege and honour to spend time with Him and his family at His house.

church5You are a very loved member of the family of God and missed when you are not present to share in the worship, fellowship and praise to our Heavenly Father, where He also bestows blessing and peace, comfort and wisdom to you at each visit. It’s always nice to have our daily individual chats and devotions with Him, but there is something holy about the whole family coming together hearing the family stories of how salvation was attained for us, receiving His blessings and sharing in His love for us. He is extending the invitation: Do you want to go to Dad’s this week for a visit? The whole family will be there!

church4Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for my family and the cherished memories we have. Thank-you for inviting me to be with You and my brothers- and sisters-in-Christ. Forgive me when I take Your invitation for granted or disregard it. Please help me to be thankful for the opportunity to come and be spiritually fed by You and to share in the lives of Your whole family. In Jesus’ name I pray. AMEN!

Reflection: Reflect on how you view attending worship. Do you have a church home? If not, perhaps it’s time you find a church home, or attend with a friend that does. The invitation is always open. If so, do you feel like you are with family when you attend worship? Why or why not? Pray for your church family. How can you help make your church members see and feel like they are part of the family of God: His children.

Time to Rest – Spring Break

restGood day friends! I pray your week and weekend went well!

Well it is the start of our Spring Break and for anyone involved in the Canadian Elementary and Secondary school systems, it is a much anticipated time. Although we no longer have children in the school system, as teachers, my husband and I continue to look forward to March Break with great anticipation.

It is a time of rest, a time to recoup as we anticipate the upcoming spring weather and the long, cold, dark winter coming to an end. Taking time to rest is important. However, God has given us the ultimate rest for our souls, as we walk these earthly days, through the gift of reconciliation; the act of giving and receiving forgiveness. Reconciliation with himself and with one another.

I know this may seem like a big leap but let’s top up our coffees and bear with me as I try to explain my thoughts…

Time To Rest – Reconciliation

This, then, is how you should pray: “‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. Matthew 6:9-13

[Jesus said,] “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30

So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. 2 Corinthians 5:16-21

dandilion1When I was a little girl, when the dandelions had turned into big fluff balls, I would pick one of those puff balls, blow over it, and watch the individual sprigs of fluff gently float up and up and up. I loved that little activity with nature. To me it seemed so freeing. The fullness of the fluff, released and carried away.

Receiving forgiveness is the same thing, except that the burden of sin is much heavier than a ball of fluff. In fact, the burden of sin and guilt can be extremely heavy to carry, and with it there is no rest. It can weigh down so many aspects of our life: our mental state, our emotional state, our physical state, and even our spiritual state. Sin can crush us. However, the gift of reconciliation that God has given us can release all that burden and turmoil, and bring true rest to our soul.

at the crossGod doesn’t take sin lightly. It is because of the seriousness of sin that Christ paid the

price for our sins and reconciled us to God our Father. This reconciliation has reunited us with the Lord of Lords, and healed us, for eternity – though daily repentance and renewal is an ongoing practice this side of heaven.

In the same way, reconciliation between one another is healing and freeing. If we’ve done something against someone, God has shown us the importance of going and asking for forgiveness, and having the other state their forgiveness over us. Receiving the simple act of forgiveness is like God blowing our heavy burden into the wind. The heaviness and weight of that burden of sin is gone instantly. It amazes me how something so heavy and overwhelming can vanish with five little words: “I’m sorry” and “I forgive you”. Yet we find it so very difficult to take that first step: to personally and privately approach the one we’ve offended and to say, “I’m sorry”. How great our pride is, to fear the vulnerability of humbling ourselves. For many, we would rather live under the burden of sin than actually admit we were wrong. This is grievous!


How many days have been wasted living under this dark, overwhelming weight? God desires more for you. God desires you to live in His joy and grace. Do not let sin separate you from God or others and crush you. In fact, Christ took that sin whether yours or the other person’s with Him to the cross. He died for that sin. He knows that sin. He desires you to release that sin to Him and then with the other person. “Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.”


I can bet that not only you are feeling the burden but also that other person is feeling it as well. So give them the opportunity to extend their forgiveness to you. Reconciliation is an act that touches the soul, for all parties, and extends eternal peace and rest. I can’t explain how that happens, but it does.

So, whether you have wronged someone or have been wronged, may I encourage you to seek out reconciliation with that person. Let it go! If it seems too hard of a task, ask God for courage to be able to humble yourself and take that first step. Not only will your relationship with that person be restored, but you will restore your soul and feel as light as air, instantly. Life is too short to be burdened with guilt and sin!


Life is too short to let Satan keep us hostage in our sin and conviction, especially when Christ already paid the price for that sin, and has shown us the way out. Replace your burden with Christ’s freedom for it is light, light as fluff in the wind, and you will find the ultimate rest for your soul.

prayer1PRAYER: Dear Heavenly Father, thank-you so much for the blessed gift of reconciliation. Thank-you that you have reconciled us to yourself through the punishment, death and resurrection of Christ. Without Him we would continue to be separated and estranged from you. But your love is so deep for us that you would have your own Son pay our penalty. In the same way, Lord, when I wrong someone, help me to sacrifice myself; my pride and self-righteousness, to repent and reconcile myself to them, your beloved children. If they don’t know you, may they see the depth of your love for them through this act of reconciliation. In Jesus’ name alone I pray. AMEN!

Reflection: Have you laid your sin before God in repentance, with the knowledge and trust that Christ paid the full penalty that it deserves. Bask in the reality of being reconciled to our gracious God.

Has someone wronged you? Have you wronged someone? Reflect on the circumstance surrounding the occurrence of that sin. Now try and put yourself in the other person’s shoes, understanding where they were/are at. Now give God the situation, the burden, and the resolve. Pray for courage to make it right; to reconcile. Pray that God is stirring the heart of the other person to be desirous of reconciliation. Then pray for the opportunity to meet in private to speak with the other. This may take some time but do not let it go. Also, I do not recommend extending the process electronically. You could do so to make a time to meet, but begin the process in person, or over the phone if need be. There is too much misinterpretation in written communication, and this is too precious to be misinterpreted. Continue praying for guidance.

A Lenten Journey


Good day friends! I pray your week and weekend went well!

Well, for a couple of weeks now, we have been in the season of Lent – the six weeks leading up to Easter. On February 13th we celebrated Shrove Tuesday (Pancake Tuesday) followed by Ash Wednesday, which begins the Lenten season.


pancakesash-wednesday.jpgHave you ever thought about why we have Shrove Tuesday? It’s the indulging oneself before the time of denying oneself; it’s the feast before the time of self-sacrifice, reflection and penitence. Although, I enjoy an annual feast of pancakes on Shrove Tuesday, my heart longs for Lent. In short, I love the season of Lent!

Let’s top up our coffees and I will share why…

A Lenten Journey

journey4For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. Ephesians 2:8-9

When one of the Pharisees invited Jesus to have dinner with him, he went to the Pharisee’s house and reclined at the table. A woman in that town who lived a sinful life learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee’s house, so she came there with an alabaster jar of perfume. As she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them.

When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would know who is touching him and what kind of woman she is—that she is a sinner.”

Jesus answered him, “Simon, I have something to tell you.”

“Tell me, teacher,” he said.

“Two people owed money to a certain moneylender. One owed him five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. Neither of them had the money to pay him back, so he forgave the debts of both. Now which of them will love him more?”

Simon replied, “I suppose the one who had the bigger debt forgiven.”

“You have judged correctly,” Jesus said.

Then he turned toward the woman and said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I came into your house. You did not give me any water for my feet, but she wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. You did not give me a kiss, but this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing my feet. You did not put oil on my head, but she has poured perfume on my feet. Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—as her great love has shown. But whoever has been forgiven little loves little.”

Then Jesus said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.”

The other guests began to say among themselves, “Who is this who even forgives sins?”

Jesus said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.” Luke 7: 36-50 

journey5I love Lent. I love Lenten hymns. I love the time of solemn reflection. I love pondering the depth of Christ’s sacrifice just because of His deep love for me, for you! It’s a time of reverent reflection on the greatest love story of which I am, you are, the beloved! It’s a time when I imagine being the woman in the above story from Luke 7. It’s also a time where I consider sacrificing something in my life in order to experience – vaguely- the sacrifice that Christ made on my behalf; not because I have to do it, but because, for me, it is part of my friendship, offering, worship and thanksgiving back to the Lord.

Please don’t misunderstand. I don’t do very well. In fact, most years I don’t make it past a week. One year I decided to remove sugar from my coffee for Lent. Upon final reflection, I realized I had simply replaced the one little teaspoon of sugar that I normally would have with a whole sweet of some sort – donut, square, muffin. How pathetic am I! Another year, unknown to anyone else, I decided to remove the word ‘no’ from my vocabulary for the season of Lent. At the time, I was a mom of preteens with a full-time job, and felt that I was always saying ‘no’ to the kids; It really is a quick and easy response. Well that Lenten sacrifice went better than the above mentioned one, but let me tell you, I learned a lot of phrases and words that were synonymous to ‘no’. It just took a lot more effort on my part.

journey6The point is that the time spent in private self-sacrifice –no one needs to know- can deepen the depth of appreciation for the massive sacrifice that Christ made for you and me. It has made me personally and intimately aware of how difficult it is to follow through with meaningless tasks. They are minuscule in relation to the task of the cross which our Saviour willingly endured, despite His own desire to ‘remove the cup’. However His love for us was greater, is greater, than the pain of thorns and whips and nails and death. What greater love is there than this?

crucifixAlso, the Lenten sacrifice has shown me the depth of my weakness and inability. Again, His love for us is greater than all the pain and ridicule He willingly endured, and yet my love for sugar in my coffee broke me! Oh what a wretched one am I! On our own, if we are weak and incapable of following through with such meaningless activities, how then can mankind ever have the audacity to think we offer anything towards our own salvation. We are weak. It is only He who is strong. Christ did it all! And because of the depth of this realization, I am in greater awe and thanksgiving for all He has done for me – for us-  because He loves us and desires us to be in His presence for Eternity!

journey2So, perhaps consider sacrificing something for this Lenten season as your personal offering to the Lord. Whether you succeed at it or not, is not the point. It is the journey of yourself that you will personally endure, and a greater depth of all that Christ has done for you because of His great love for you.

Prayer: Dear Lord, You willingly walked to the cross despite the pain and torture that you would endure, knowing it was the road to your death. It pleased you to do so because of your love for me. Please forgive me – a poor wretched, sinful soul. Help me to walk in your love, strengthened to be whom you desire me to be for your glory and the sake of those in my life. In Jesus’ name I pray! AMEN!

Reflection: Have you given yourself a sacrifice this Lenten season, or have you made Lenten sacrifices in the past? Reflect on them. How successful were you? Are/did these actions help draw you closer to the Lord? Explain why or why not? Give thanks for Christ’s willingness to walk the road of the cross because of His love for you. Live in His strength and forgiveness!

Olympics: The Best of the Best

Olympic medalGood day friends! I pray your week and weekend went well!

Well the 2018 Winter Olympics has come to an end and we wait patiently for the 2018 Winter Paralympics to begin. What an exciting time! I just love the Olympics: the competition,  the emotional roller coaster of each event, the National unity of its people, but most of all I love the outstanding ability of all the athletes and their dedication to their sport and team. These athletes are the best of the best!

As I reflect upon the events of these past few days, I can’t help but think that we are all in our own race. Let’s top up our coffees and I’ll share my thoughts…

Olympics: Best of the Best

Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. 1 Corinthians 9:24-25

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing. 2 Timothy 4:7-8

And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. Hebrews 12:1-3 

As I listened to the background stories of the different athletes and watched the races and games unfold, I couldn’t help but be in awe of all the athletes, whether Canadian or not, whether medalist or not. I found myself in tears of joy for other countries’ athletes at the completion of a routine where they succeeded at flawlessly executing a move that had stretched them outside of their comfort zone and ability, and where they too were brought to tears of joy and accomplishment for doing so. Whether they placed on the podium or not, that was a personal best for them, and I felt myself rejoicing with them.

trainingTo become an athlete of this caliber, there is sacrifice, self-discipline, dedication, hours of training, and a support system that encourages him/her on the days where defeat is felt. There is failure and practice and practice and more practice, until success is attained. The depth of this degree of ability is not something they are born with, but it is the focus of their days and the purpose behind all that they do in preparation for being the best that they can be and hopefully one day attaining  a medal.

shining crossIn faith, we are all in our own race. We are headed towards a finish line where we too will win a prize, the prize of eternity, a prize that has been won for us. For you see, Jesus was the only one who ran this race perfectly, he executed his routine flawlessly despite others falling all around him while even others tried to run him off course. He stayed focus on the finish line; a finish line not where he attained the prize, but a finish line where he attained our prize. And because of all he has done, a torch has been lit within us, a passion and love for serving our Lord, with a finish line in Eternity.

runningWe are running a race, dancing a routine, skiing a course where we need to stay focused on the finish line. Where each day we are racing against the devil, the world, and even our sinful selves. We are beaten down by tiredness, temptation, and apathy. But throw all these things aside. Focus your eyes on the goal of winning the race. Let your participation in this pairs event be your personal best, for you have the one on your team who is the best of the best. An athlete does not say, “I do not have to practice or strive or keep myself in great condition because my team mate will win it for me.” No, this athlete trains even harder and is more disciplined to be the best he/she can be in order not to let his/her partner down. They work together, help each other get better, and they win together. In the same way, run your race with your eyes constantly on the prize of eternity, with the constant help of your partner, Jesus. Study his technique book and put into practice all it says. Try and try again. Do not give up. You’ve got this! You can do it!

prayingPrayer: Dear Lord, please forgive my apathy and laziness towards serving you and running this race of faith. There are so many things of this world that pull me away, and I so easily give in to them. Forgive me. Please help me stay focussed on you, the author and perfecter of my faith. You have prepared good works in advance for me to do, help me to prepare my body, and mind to be open and able to full-fill them to my personal best. Guide me in my day, and strengthen me to stand firm and strong in your truth. In Jesus’ name I pray. AMEN!

Reflection: Reflect on an Olympic event. Which one would you choose to be your sport? If it is a team sport, envision Jesus as your captain. Who else in your life would be your teams members; who works with and supports you in your life of faith? Let these people know they are on your team and competing in a race of a lifetime.

If you compete alone, envision Jesus as your coach; guiding, coaching, working and rejoicing with you each step of the way. He’s yelling your name down the course, “You can do it,  (insert name)! You can do it! I know you can! I’ve got the prize waiting for you!”


Life: A Balancing Act

tightrope2Good day friends! I pray your week and weekend went well.

Well, today is Family Day in most of Canada. It’s a day to set aside the busyness of life and give thanks for and spend time with our loved ones. It is very appropriate that this week’s devotion is on the importance of having balance in our life.

Let’s top up our coffee and reflect on this thing we call ‘balance’…

Life: A Balancing Act

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens. Ecclesiastes 3:1

 “I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”—but not everything is constructive. No one should seek their own good, but the good of others. 1 Corinthians 10:23-24

Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans. Proverbs 16:3

yunukshuk2Balance. Life is a balancing act! Work and home; personal activities and family; fun and discipline; responsibilities and play, and the list goes on and on. When one area gets too much attention, another is neglected. Where can we find balance?

God says all things are permissible but not all things are beneficial. Therefore, even though our days can be filled with things we love or feel we need to do, if we are stressed out, anxious, snapping at the ones we love, then our life is probably out of balance.

Whether this is you or not, it is good to reflect regularly on where you are emotionally, and on where and how you spend your time – remembering that the most important things are relational: first God, then family – spouse and children. If in all your doings, you are neglecting or being short with these individuals and relationships, then you need to take it to the Lord in prayer and ask for assistance to create a proper balance. You then may need to look at your list of activities and adjust or step back from one or two or a few of them.

balance2God does not desire for anything to separate your marriage or be detrimental to your children or other relationships. He desires your life’s balance to allow you to seek him and to be content, and for you to be all whom you need to be for those he puts in your life; remembering that work, recreational activities and the like have their important place in our lives, but are tools in life’s endeavours, not the goals. Therefore, to bring balance may require you to be content with working towards and obtaining what you need and forgoing – for now- things you want, for the sake of these relationships, as well as, your own peace and contentment. May God give you the wisdom to find balance between family, friends, work, and play; and peace in all areas as you seek him and that balance through his guidance.

Prayer: Dear Lord, Thank-you for your blessings! Thank-you for my family and friends, for the work I have in my day, and the activities I enjoy. Please help me to put all these in balance and to help me commit my day to seeking you and to giving my spouse and family the priority these relationships require. Thank-you for the income I receive and the shelter we have. Please help me not to give greater importance to these activities and ‘things’ than those you have placed in my life. Help me to create and maintain a balance in all areas of my life.


Reflection: Reflect on areas of your life that seem out of balance or the things in life that are causing you, your family or those closest to you stress and discontentment. Are there things that are creating an imbalance with your family time or God time. Write them down and pray that God help bring them into balance in your life and if it requires you to change your mindset, that He help you make that change and to be content and at peace. This change may mean eliminating something from your schedule. Start with one change at a time and focus on God’s will for your life and His guiding you to find that balance and joy in life with those you love.

To Each Their Own Toil

Occupation 5.jpgGood day friends! I pray your week and weekend went well!

At the time of writing this devotion, I am experiencing a snow day in my school board with cancelled buses due to the cold, snowy, blowy weather out here in our rural community. After a bit of arranging for coverage by our local urban teaching staff, I sit here pondering the extent of my career and my importance to the programs and learners to which I dedicate my work day.  I find myself reflecting on such a thing after spending a weekend with wonderful friends, most of whom are now retired, except for my husband and I, and one other friend. In fact, it is this friend that has got me thinking about people’s toil, as well as, my recent readings through Ecclesiastes whose verses keep mulling around in my mind.

Let’s top up our coffee’s and I will share my thoughts…

To Each Their Own Toil

“Meaningless! Meaningless!” says the Teacher,“Utterly meaningless!  Everything is meaningless.” What do people gain from all their labors at which they toil under the sun?… No one remembers the former generations, and even those yet to come will not be remembered by those who follow them. Ecclesiastes 1:2-3..11


A person can do nothing better than to eat and drink and find satisfaction in their own toil. This too, I see, is from the hand of God, for without him, who can eat or find enjoyment?  Ecclesiastes 2:24-25

My toil – my work- is not overly difficult. I am not highly important, and the programs I serve would continue without me… and I am okay with that. I do not mind enjoying a snow day every now and again.

In fact, I am very thankful for my work. I am thankful for the opportunity to teach adults. I am thankful for the administration duties I have been given. I am thankful for the times I can encourage both learners and colleagues in their toil and endeavours. I am thankful for my work’s flexibility and the amazing staff that I am a part of. And of course, I am thankful for the wage I receive in order to work and serve in such a rewarding occupation. I guess you can say that I am finding satisfaction in my toil, as is stated above by Solomon in Ecclesiastes 2.

occupation 7However, what about all those other jobs in the world that need to be done but that I wouldn’t want to do. What about those jobs that are in big urban, congested cities where travelling to and from work is a major part of your day and add on many hours to the work week. Or what about those jobs where you are basically on your own all day with no other person or daylight in site. Or what about those jobs that would have you managing many people and businesses, that require you to be indispensable due to the running of the businesses for consumers’ sake, where you are required to respond to emails and calls regularly, even while on vacation, because if you don’t, you could never catch up when you returned to the office the next business day.  For me, I would not want any of those jobs. I would not find satisfaction in the toil of any of them. However, someone has to do those jobs. People do do those jobs. In fact, it is the latter job that our friend, the other non-retired one, toils with.

occupatin 4As our group of four couples were preparing to head out for an evening-on-the town, I watched our friend as he finished up responding to a couple emails. Knowing the corporation he manages, I was thankful for his dedication and pride to the company, and his care and support of those he manages and serves. I wouldn’t want to be that needed, but for him, he is finding satisfaction in his toilsome labour. Yes, I know we need to think about balance in life – which is actually next week’s devotion – but he and his amazingly understanding wife make it work. She loves the company as much as he does and in their conversations, you can tell she supports him fully.

So although it may be very easy for people to judge others in the work they do or where they do it, or how much is required of them, I feel we need to give thanks for those individuals who do the work we do not want to do. We need to pray for them that they are finding satisfaction in their toilsome labour while still enjoying ‘eating and drinking’ with the ones they love. And maybe, just maybe, we could extend some people/companies some grace when things are a bit behind or overly hectic, in order to help make their toil a bit more satisfying.

Occupation 2Ultimately, Mankind has created these huge urban centres that take forever to get from one place to another, and these franchises that need to meet such high expectations from their customers – that’s you and me. So maybe next time, when we demand five star treatment and yet think to judge our neighbour because she’s walking around with a bluetooth stuck to her ear, we should think about the possibility that she may be the upper-management that the front desk clerk, to whom we’ve just made a request, has contacted in order to give us the 5 star immediate service we are expecting. Instead of judging, let’s extend a prayer on their behalf; a prayer of thanksgiving that they are doing such a job and a prayer for their personal satisfaction in their toil. We need people to toil in all god-pleasing occupations under the sun. No one toil is more precious than the other in God’s site. May God supply you with the satisfaction in all your toil. ….and Thank-you!

occupation 3.jpgPrayer: Dear Lord, may my toil be pleasing to you. Help me to see the joy and importance in my toil. Although I am serving others and at times it can be overly mundane or overwhelming, help me to see that in all my toil I am serving you. Bless my toil and grant me a feeling of satisfaction in all I do. In Jesus’ name I pray. AMEN!

Reflection: Take time to think about the work and activities you have planned in your week ahead. Give thanks for them, and keep your eyes open to the blessings of contentment and satisfaction in your work. Also, as you go out and about, take notice of other people and their toil. Say a prayer of thanksgiving and God’s blessings over them as they cross your path throughout the week.


holding handsGood day friends! I pray your week and weekend went well!

Last week we spent time together going over the order of relationships within a family: God, spouse, then children. The relationship that is the toughest for many to nurture, and easy to take for granted, is the relationship of husband and wife; one’s marriage. That is why I have come to believe that it is essential for every married couple to take time in their week do go on a date, in order to nurture and strengthen their God-given relationship.

Let’s top up our coffees and I’ll explain…


Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral. Hebrews 13:4

 Go, eat your food with gladness, and drink your wine with a joyful heart, for God has already approved what you do.  Always be clothed in white, and always anoint your head with oil.  Enjoy life with your wife, whom you love, all the days of this meaningless life that God has given you under the sun—all your meaningless days. Ecclesiastes 9:7-9


I think most of us know that when it comes to relationships the order should be God first and children to follow, but somehow our relationship with our spouse gets misplaced. Happy, life-long marriages don’t just happen. No relationship just happens and continues without any effort on each participant’s part. I don’t know about you, but I want to enjoy my spouse and have a strong marriage, especially at this stage when my children are grown, family members are passing on, and he’s the only constant person around. Therefore, to keep a marriage strong, to keep your relationship with your spouse strong, it takes effort, intentional nurturing, and commitment.

pillow fightI remember the busyness of young children, then school-agers and then teenagers. All stages were crazy busy. In all honesty, when the children were very young, I can’t remember regular date nights out of the house, and I probably didn’t focus as much on our marriage as I could have. Although, there are two things we did that stand out to me during those times. We attended worship together on Sundays, and relaxed on the couch, once the children were in bed, in the evenings…. and believe me, I was big on having a scheduled bedtime. So at least, most Sundays and most evenings, we had some time together.

Then, as our eldest got to the age where he could oversee the others for an hour or so, we added to our schedule an inexpensive Saturday morning breakfast as our weekly date. It wasn’t a big, elaborate, expensive time away, but it was a time we both looked forward to in our week, to focus just on each other and our marriage, and it didn’t break the bank. I’m not saying that these little dates eliminated issues in our life and marriage. By no means! We have had our issues, our times of miscommunication and non-communications. However, these dates kept our friendship strong and our paths united.

happy old couplePeople change over the years and spending time with each other helps you to see and to know and to love those changes in your spouse and he/she in yours, and to continue to walk and grow and change together. Without making the effort to continue to nurture your marriage and learn of each other, it is so easy to grow apart; to think that the grass is greener and life more exciting somewhere, or with someone, else. Especially after the busyness of raising children is done, it is easy to feel like you’re left all alone with a stranger. However, don’t despair. It is never too late to get to know your spouse and begin the courting and dating all over again. And you may just find that the desires and changes you are seeking in your life, are the same desires and changes (s)he wants too. It just takes an open and honest conversation – or two or three – to share your feelings and dreams, to learn where each of you are at, and to begin to make those changes, together.

Today, take some time to reflect on where you are at in your marriage? When do/could you and your spouse schedule a two-hour slot in your week to spend together, just being together? Do you know your spouse’s most current dream or desire? What is yours? Does your spouse know this about you? Then pray that God guide your hearts to grow together in love and faithfulness towards Him, and love and faithfulness towards one another, and that he guide your conversations and activities with open-mindedness and compassion.

footprintsGod instituted marriage; the joining of one man and one woman to become one, until death. In the midst of new, young love and the honey-moon stage, marriage is easy. However, since each spouse keeps their own uniqueness, our days and life’s trail may look different than our spouse’s. Therefore, it is important to take the time to ensure you are both walking down the same path of life together even though there are two unique sets of footprints, which at times are going in opposite directions. Dates provide those times when you can both get back on the path ahead and walk side by side, together as one, as your union was created to be.

heart handsPrayer: Dear Heavenly Father, You desire to be my closest friend and my spouse to be my earthly life’s partner and closest friend. Please help me to give the attention to ____________ and our marriage that it deserves. Help me to be the spouse you so desire me to be and __________ to be the spouse you so desire him/her to be. Help us to share and listen to each other, and to grow and change together, one day at a time. Guide us this day. In Jesus’ name I pray. AMEN!

Reflection: At some point this week, plan a little date. Then take some time to think about the blessings that your spouse brings to your life. At some point, perhaps on your date, share these qualities and ask what (s)he feels is his/her greatest desire at this stage in his/her life. Then share your greatest desire with him/her. If you are both open, reflect upon and share two positive adjectives to describe the qualities in the other person. Have fun!

Family – The Order of Things

Good Day Friends! I pray your week and weekend went well! Did you have the opportunity to share some of your time this past week with your parent(s): both earthly and heavenly? (An action item from last week’s devotion.)

familyLast week, I began sharing about my reflections on family. I spoke about the depth of a parent’s love for their child. Although the love of a parent for a child may be the deepest, it is not the relationship that should be the primary focus within a family.

Let’s top up our coffee’s and I’ll explain….

The Order of Things

 …A man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh. Genesis 2:24

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. Deuteronomy 6:5

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

The righteous lead blameless lives; blessed are their children after them. Proverbs 20:7

At this point in my life, both of my parents are with the Lord, as well as two of my siblings. My children are grown and building their own lives and families. Many days it is just Rick and I, and I am so thankful for his companionship. However, kids youngwhen our children were young, it was easy to get caught up in the craziness of their lives and well beings. Time spent on our marriage could have easily been spent on the kids and other family obligations. In fact, some moms, whom I knew with children the same age as ours, focused strictly on the responsibility of raising their children. They felt their relationship and responsibility to their children was the top priority, and their relationship with their husband was secondary; that their marriage would ‘just happen’. Unfortunately, this way of thinking is not healthy for you, your marriage, your children, nor your relationship with the Lord. In fact, God commands us to first and foremost love and nurture our relationship with Him above all things. Then if we are married and have children, we are to love our spouses and nurture our marriages, and finally, together, love and nurture our children.

Bible with coffeeFirst of all, by personally loving the Lord first you are nurturing your relationship with Him. You are seeking His will for your life, your marriage, your spouse’s life, your children’s lives and seeking God’s guidance on being the spouse and parent He desires you to be. Your time dedicated to the Lord – devotions, corporate worship services, group Bible studies, prayer meetings or private conversations throughout the day – are all opportunities to entrust your life to Him. In this seeking, He always blesses.

couple.jpgSecondly, the commitment to marriage and family is first a commitment to God. To deny your commitment to them is to deny your commitment to God. Worshiping the Lord as a couple is so beneficial for each of you, your marriage, and your children. In so doing, you also witness to others the intimate bond of God’s grace in your own life and in your family’s life. Then, by nurturing your relationship with your spouse, you are building that bond and union of friendship and commitment to tackle whatever life may throw at you and your family. You and your spouse are on the same team, although at times it may not seem that way with miscommunication, disagreements, frustration and opposing opinions. It is actually during these times of discourse and resolve, when you and your spouse display the gifts of repentance and forgiveness; that your children observe and learn of unconditional love from an objective view point. Your relationship with your spouse and with the Lord is a witness to those around you but especially to your children. It is in these times that you are teaching them some of the hardest and most important lessons of life. Arguments happen. Sinful acts happen. But it is our response to each other in the midst of these events from which our children see and learn how to respond to similar situations in their own life.

So many people give up when things get tough in a marriage. It is easier to give up. However, by taking your concerns to the Lord, communicating with your spouse, making each other accountable, seeking help, and working through things, you are teaching your children what it means to be a Godly spouse and parent, and it involves love, grace, and in times of arguments, mercy, repentance, empathy and forgiveness. You are teaching them perseverance, self-sacrifice, and joy in the midst of suffering. There is no relationship you will have that will affect your children more than your relationship with your spouse.

disney-dinner2.jpgFinally, in raising your children, there is no better way than to know God is guiding your decisions. In those times where you fall short, He forgives you your shortcomings, and in His humility, you are able to seek your children’s forgiveness. Also, by having a united front with your spouse, as best as possible on this side of heaven, you can raise your children to the best of your combined ability in everyday tasks, as well as, raise them to see God active in your life as your friend and Saviour. There is no better witness that encourages them to seek the Lord, and walk securely in their own relationship with the Lord, than watching you quietly walking with and trusting Him daily.

Putting God, spouse, and children in their rightful order in your life nurtures and strengthens all these relationships for their good. May God bless you as you do so!

Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, you have given me instructions for the order of relationships in my life. You desire me to seek You first above all things, and I know that there is no better, trustworthy, faithful friend than You. Help me to grow in that trust, and to seek you throughout my day. Also, help me to love my spouse and to be his/her support and partner this day in whatever may arise. Finally, help us together, to be whom you need us to be for our children, …. and our family and friends. Guide our hearts and minds to be one with You. In Jesus’ Name I pray. AMEN!

Reflection: If you currently are out of sync with any or all of these relationships, take time to reflect on one thing you, personally, can do to begin making things right. Begin with a change that involves only you. Do not force any change upon any of your family members. Right now this is between you and God, and He will affect others according to His will. Pray for His guidance as you try to make this change.



child & parentGood day Friends! I pray your week and weekend went well!

Last weekend we surprised my Mother-in-law with a surprise gathering for her 75th Birthday. It was an intimate gathering with having her husband and two children – my husband and his sister, their spouses, and those of their children that could make it, as well as Mom’s two siblings and their spouses. There were only a total 16 of us. Yes, we were few in number, as parties go, but boy was it special.

Over this past weekend, I experienced family members doing things and using their abilities to show their love to this very special woman who wears many names: Sis, Mom, Grammie, Gi-Gi, and I’m sure the list goes on and on. This family, like any other, is no extraordinary family. We all work hard or enjoy retirement, live with aches and pains, have difficult times and disagreements. We are just the average Joe family, however, this past weekend I saw a kingdom that was rich with love, joy, and care. No where on earth can a display of pure joy and celebration be as strong as with one’s ‘family’.

This unit of people called ‘family’ is so uniquely tied together with its genealogical history, shared experiences of life’s highs and lows, and personal sacrifices for the others. I believe, one’s family is the set of closest human relationships that we can have that depict God’s relationship with us, in particular, that of our parents.

Let’s top up our coffees and I’ll start sharing my thoughts…


 “Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you. Exodus 20:12

If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.Matthew 7:11-12

Oh how parents love their children; they rejoice with them and their accomplishments, they cry with them when they cry, they cry for them when they endure difficult times, and they desire to shower them with blessings. There is no siblingsgreater love that someone can experience than that of a parent. There is the countless learning opportunities parents take to teach their children to be good citizens, to get a long with and treat well their siblings and others. Then there is the display of unconditional love that a parent gives with every stupid, unthoughtful, humanly innate sinful act of selfish disobedience that children commit, and although rightfully given consequences, they continue to be loved and supported. Finally, there is tough love; those times when parents stand back and watch their child experience something they desire, but where they will experience pain and/or disappointment, in order that a lesson is learned. Tough love is also those times when a parent must discipline and stand firm for their child’s own good.


Have you ever thought about it? As a parent, have you ever thought about the depth of sacrifice you have endured for your child? Have you calculated the countless time, money and emotional sacrifice that you have spent on behalf of your child? No, because it doesn’t matter. As parents, we do what needs to be done. We love unconditionally our children.

sadThen again, have you ever thought about how much joy you feel when your child accomplishes something, or when they are simply happy. When their life is blessed, our life is blessed. Yet, conversely, when they endure pain and tough times, our hearts are burdened as if it is our own pain. I believe, there is no other relationship where the depth of this emotional transference is as deep as a parent with their child.

Finally, have you ever thought about how much it hurts when your child doesn’t come to visit you, or you don’t get phone calls, or when they can’t talk when you do call? It hurts. It hurts a lot!

There is no greater love among humans than that of a parent for their child. In the same way, our heavenly Father loves us, yet a cajillion times deeper and 100% perfectly. Even in our own sinfulness and limitations, we bless, train, care for and love our children, and we desire to share in their lives and their love. So, how much more does God do for you and desire from you, his child?

Now, let’s go over the Have you ever thought about it points by making some personal substitutions:

Have you ever thought about:

  • the depth of sacrifice God has endured for me, insert your name?
  • the countless time, money and emotional sacrifice that God has extended on my behalf?
  • how much joy God feels when I accomplish something, or when I am simply happy. When my life is blessed, God is blessed. Yet, conversely, when I endure pain and tough times, God’s heart is burdened as if it is his own pain.
  • how much it hurts God when I don’t come to visit him (in worship), or He doesn’t get calls from me (prayers), or when I can’t talk when he does call (knockings on my heart by the Holy Spirit)? It hurts. It hurts a lot!

worshipGod desires his children – you and me- to seek him, to acknowledge him as the giver of blessings, to share our ups and your downs of life, to learn of him through his Word, and to join him and his other children in worship, as one enjoys a family gathering. He died to redeem you from an everlasting separation from him, and he wants you to hold fast to the reality that Christ’s sacrifice has given you a heavenly home.

Only in the love of a parent can we come close to experiencing the love that God has for us, and it is just a drop in the ocean of the depth of love God has for each of us- for you and me. Thanks be to God for parents!

Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, thank-you for my parents. Thank-you for their love, support and (add your own personal details)…. Help me to always remember and to be grateful for all they did/do for me. Help me to take the time to show them my love and appreciation. Thank-you for being my heavenly parent; for loving and blessing me, guiding and watching over me. Thank-you for redeeming me from an eternity in hell, that my sins would have condemned me to, if it wasn’t for the sacrifice of Jesus. Thank-you for making me your child! Help be to always remember and be grateful. In Jesus’ name I pray. AMEN!

Reflection/Action: Contact your parents sometime this week just to tell them you love them and to thank them for all they have done/ are doing for you. If your parents have passed on, or if your parent(s) were not able to give you the love and support you so desired as you were growing up, know that God loves you now and unconditionally.  Go to God, lay your grief and depth of sadness and pain at being denied the personal love of a parent and let God heal you. Let him fill your life with all he has for you in Christ’s redemption. Then forgive your parent. Forgive them as a fellow sinner who had/has struggles and burdens of their own that enveloped them and kept them from being whom they needed to be for you. Finally, if you are the child that is caught up in life that keeps you from personally acknowledging your love and care for your parents, first turn to your heavenly father. Seek him and a change of heart. Then, do one thing – phone, text, email, visit, etc.- to show your love and gratitude for all your parents did for you growing up, and be their friend.


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