Tag Archives: love

Are Letters Becoming a Lost Art?

Letters – Scribble Picnic

There are so many stories about letters that I couldn’t decide at first. After mulling this around I decided on the emotional ones.

l

My Dad and Mom met in 1945 on a blind date in November. By the end of December they were engaged and married in April 1946. My Dad, born in 1910 and my Mom, born in 1917 were the perfect match. I never saw a real argument between them all the time I grew up. My Mom might have what we called “snits” but no cross words were ever heard. It was idyllic.

When they had been married less than two years my Dad had to go away on a business trip. This wasn’t any business trip. He had to fly to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Back then flying that far took quite awhile. No cell phones. He couldn’t even make a phone call from New York.

All communication was by mail. Airmail. Thin letters so it wouldn’t cost too much. On one of the envelopes I saw CR $3.80. (no idea how much that was but I bet it was expensive). He was away for 3 months, from February 29, until May 30, 1948 (that was his last letter and I think it took him almost a week to get home).

lettersI have read through all the letters and made copies for my sister and my 3 kids.

I saw a different side of my Dad while reading these letters.

You could really tell he loved my Mom. I wish I had her letters to him as he answers some of her questions but it is hard to tell exactly what she was asking.

Two months after returning home I was conceived (from counting back from my birth) and when my Mom was 5 months pregnant both Mom and Dad went off to Brazil together. I am sure she enjoyed this a lot more than waiting for my Dad to come home.

Mom would never show us the letters while she was alive.

I knew where they were but I respected her privacy. I do wish she had let us read them so we could have asked all those questions.

My Dad died in 1993 and my Mom lived as a widow for 19 years saying that he was the only man for her. She died in 2012. My sister and I miss them both.

I am so grateful to have these letters and other correspondence as it seems to bring me closer to them, remembering how sweet they were to each other. Okay so this got my tearing up. Time to wrap up so I can finish this post.

You have seen the first sketch. This is the watercolour pencil final.

letters

Here is the sketch with pencil crayons and the original letters so you can see the size of paper I am using . It is in a 9 x 6 Sketch Diary with weight of 94g/m2. It’s fine for watercolour pencils but not for watercolour paints.

letters

Don’t you love the ribbon around them. That’s about 1/2 the letters. And I can tell they have been read many times over the years.

I might now start back into reading the correspondence that my Dad had with his Mom during the war years. My father was a captain in the Canadian artillery. He also wrote some stories of what happened during that time. Thank goodness I can read his writing.

Because yesterday was D-Day and my Dad landed on Juno Beach in the First Wave in 1945, I am finding these memories powerful and emotional. Every year, he always went to Guelph, Ontario, to meet up with his buddies from that time.

Is letter writing becoming a lost art? (tweet this)

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4 Podcasts for Advent

4 Podcasts for Advent

Listen to the 4 pillars of Advent at Hope Stream Radio – 4 Podcasts for Advent.

Hope

Hope now and forever

Love

let's love

Joy

JOY

Peace

Blessings to everyone as we head toward Christmas.

Janis

Listen to 4 podcasts on the 4 pillars of Advent. Join us at Hope Stream Radio. (click to Tweet)

Let’s LOVE- Advent 2

Let’s LOVE- Advent 2

This week is the second week of Advent. Last week I lit the internet candle for HOPE, and now I light it for LOVE. So let’s love this week.

let's love

 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8, NIV).

What more love do we need to see than this? – Christ died for us.

I learned a few things in our sermon last Sunday (they seem to have the order different than my church in Canada. They started with LOVE.

Christmas is the middle of the story. We need to know [the whole story from] the beginning. (sermon)

The story of a baby in the manger is actually rooted in deep sorrow in the heart of God. (sermon)

So we read from Genesis 6:6 and hear the sorrow in God’s voice. Listen to the message version:

 God saw that human evil was out of control. People thought evil, imagined evil—evil, evil, evil from morning to night. God was sorry that he had made the human race in the first place; it broke his heart. God said, “I’ll get rid of my ruined creation, make a clean sweep: people, animals, snakes and bugs, birds—the works. I’m sorry I made them.”

OH my that is sorrow. BUT, he found Noah –

But Noah was different. God liked what he saw in Noah.

And that changed everything.

Because of Noah, the earth got a reprieve.
The plan was in place for the redemption of man by Jesus.
That’s LOVE. (tweet this)

So I quit being a “law man” so that I could be God’s man. Christ’s life showed me how, and enabled me to do it. I identified myself completely with him. Indeed, I have been crucified with Christ. My ego is no longer central. It is no longer important that I appear righteous before you or have your good opinion, and I am no longer driven to impress God. Christ lives in me. The life you see me living is not “mine,” but it is lived by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I am not going to go back on that (Galatians 2:20, The Message)

I had to highlight those words – My ego is no longer central. I pray for a working in that. And Christ lives in me. I know that and praise God for it. I’m learning the phrase: Let’s love.

God made us to love Him,  but we have fallen short of that and replaced the love of God with the love of self. (tweet this)

Me again. I always get in the way. Do you?

I know I can’t change myself but God is doing a work in me. Praise Him. Thank You Jesus.

I’ve been reading A.W. Tozer.

The whole work of God in redemption is to undo the tragic effects of that foul revolt, and to bring us back into right and eternal relationship with Himself (Tozer, The Pursuit of God).

So here I am faced with the amazing love of God and know that I need to learn that love. The world pulls me in other places.

I need to stop and look to God and not the world. I need to be different. I need to learn, let’s love.
(tweet this)

This past week I podcasted on Hope Stream Radio about HOPE – lighting of the first Advent candle. You can listen here. I talk about being counter-cultural. And I think that comes into each of the words of Advent – hope, love, joy and peace.

let's love

Let’s be different. Let’s reach out. Let’s love this Christmas. Let’s be generous. (tweet this)

Let's love

Let’s help out. Let’s smile at one another. Let’s see the 1/2 full glass.
(tweet this)

I think if we can radically love, we can be radically generous of our time and God’s money.

The question is not how much of my money I give to God, but rather how much of God’s money I keep for myself (Le Tourneau).

And then we hear about Aleppo. What can I say but pray and pray some more.

Love isn’t some impossible theory to us but the theology we’re actually called to incarnate ~Ann Voskamp

So people of the world, of all faiths, stand #WithAleppo and call on our governments to take action at an international level, including in the UN General Assembly, to provide practical support to facilitate the delivery of aid to the civilians and children of Aleppo ~ Ann Voskamp A Holy Experience

Personally I am working at “let’s love” by wearing a dress every day so I can fundraise for The Dunamis Foundation and pray for those caught in the evils of human trafficking.

simply-wear-a-dress

I am working on “let’s love” by making dolls to go with my children’s book The Kingdom of Thrim. The money will go to Save the Mothers.

Let's Love

 

I podcasted on LOVE. You can find it at What Does The Love of God Look LIke? (tweet this)

Today is Word of God Speak

Join us with your posts about God.

 


Hope Stream Radio Podcast – Expectancy, heading to Christmas

Hope Stream Radio Podcast – Expectancy, heading to Christmas

Logo-HopeStreamRadioweb

This week on Hope Stream Radio I talk about our Scripture of the week -2 Corinthians 3:17

The Lord is Spirit and where the Spirit of the Lord is there is freedom.

Having the Spirit of the Lord – can that bring a freedom? Can it change lives?

Please listen in to my podcast at Hope Stream Radio Where the Spirit of the Lord is There is Freedom.

Let’s open our eyes to the possibilities of freeing those trapped in slavery and hopefully teaching them the salvation that comes from Jesus.

Check out Ratanak International for a chance to change the world.

Tweetable:

LIsten to Hope Stream Radio Where the Spirit of the Lord is there is Freedom. (tweet this)

Scripture and a Picture – Where Can We Show LOVE this Christmas?

Scripture and a Picture – Where Can We Show LOVE this Christmas?

2 Corinthians 3:17-18

2 Corinthians 3:17-18 from The Message:

 Whenever, though, they turn to face God as Moses did, God removes the veil and there they are—face-to-face! They suddenly recognize that God is a living, personal presence, not a piece of chiseled stone. And when God is personally present, a living Spirit, that old, constricting legislation is recognized as obsolete. We’re free of it! All of us! Nothing between us and God, our faces shining with the brightness of his face. And so we are transfigured much like the Messiah, our lives gradually becoming brighter and more beautiful as God enters our lives and we become like him.

This week we are memorizing this verse from NIV.

Now the Lord is Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.

I see light shining from our faces when we are in Christ. Thank you Jesus.

The LOVE of God who sent his Son to save us. To break down the barrier between God and us. To give us a spirit of freedom.

This is the second Sunday in Advent – LOVE

For many years our family has decided to forgo the family gift giving tradition. We do give small gifts to the grandchildren. Instead of family gifts we use that money to reach out to others and give to our favourite charities.

Where can you show love this Christmas?

Keep your eyes open and your prayers lifted up and God will show you how to love.

Here are some ideas:

  • food banks
  • sponsor a needy family
  • help a neighbour

Personally, here are our favourite charities, after our church:

International Messengers Canada

The Highlands Pregnancy Care Centre

HASP – Haliburton Assistance for Single Parents

Ratanak International (this is the charity that I am working with for December to raise awareness of human trafficking.)

World Vision Child Sponsorship

Hope for Sierra Leone

Prayer:

Heavenly Father, help us to look to you – and absorb the Holy Spirit in order to shine Your light to the world. Help us to think beyond ourselves this Christmas. Help us to help others. In Jesus’ name. Amen

Tweetable:

Where can you show LOVE this Christmas? (tweet this)

I am adding a linky that will be open until Christmas for you to LINK the charities that you sponsor. You may link as many as you like. I will be adding mine too. And in the comments you can explain what reasons you give to certain groups.

ADD your charity LINKS here:
[inlinkz_linkup id=587769 mode=1]

#UTCOP – Praying Through Poetry #2

#UTCOP – Praying Through Poetry #2

by Joy Lenton

Praying-Through-Poetry

Thanks to LadyHeart at Morgue File for the image.

Lord,

You are our Rock, our Strength in times of trouble
through all the length of days, in every struggle

Whenever hardship comes our way You’re there
responding swiftly to our every prayer

Your presence brings a lasting peace
with comfort, reassurance, ease

Even though we often feel alone
You never leave us on our own

Holy Spirit continually reveals
You as the One who saves and heals

The Word made flesh who imparts
truth and hope to weary hearts

So no matter what calamities we will face
may we always rely on Your continual grace

Trust in the message seen and heard
Love poured out in Your written word

To read Joy’s other prayer check her post from September 2.

Tweetable:

Joy Lenton shares her prayer through poetry. (tweet this)

Joy Lenton

Joy's-bio-photo-web

Joy is a grace-dweller and storyteller who weaves words out of the fabric of her days. Her desire is to seek the poetic in the prosaic and look for the eternal in the temporal.

As an M.E and chronic illness sufferer, who is also recovering from a painful past, she writes with a heart for the hurting and to support and encourage others who are struggling with life and faith issues.

She is  a member of the Association of Christian Writers and Fellowship of Christian bloggers.

You can connect with her at her blogs, ‘Words of Joy’ or ‘Poetry Joy’, and on TwitterFacebookGoogle + or Pinterest.

 

Are You Spiritually Obese?

Are you Spiritually Obese?

by Tanya Are-you-spiritually-obese-By-Tanay We sit in church and listen attentively to the wonderful sermon that was preached and feel so refreshed by it. We go online and read a wonderful blog about how some person has been working for the Lord. We read the word of God and gain wonderful insights into the meaning of the passage of scripture.

Yet…we sit and do nothing.

Life happens. Work happens. Children happen . And so you find yourself too tired to play an active role in working for the Lord. And each week you return to church to receive another blessing from the service. And so we take in and take in, but we don’t do any spiritual work.

And so we become…spiritually obese.

Well today, I want to tell us all, to get up and get moving spiritually. Let us work the work of faith.

Let us shake off the spiritual lethargy that has us failing to work in service to God in sharing God’s love with others.

As we receive the truth, let us say like Jesus:

 

I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work (John 9:4, King James Version).

We don’t need any special qualifications to work for God.
We don’t need money to work for God.
We don’t need a special time to work for God.

 

What we need to do is to get up in faith, and share a smile, a word of encouragement, a prayer…

Then it will be that we will stop only being fed, but also share and feed others the spiritual Bread which we have received.

Prayer:

Oh Lord, help us to share Your word with others, that they too may be blessed, as we have been by receiving Your Word. In Jesus’ Name we pray. AMEN.

 Tanya – from God’s Character

Tanya is a child of God, wife, stay at home mom and homeschooler. She loves the Lord and loves telling people about who He is. By God’s grace her husband and she intend to live out Joshua’s statement “but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord”. And so her greatest desire is to see her Lord face to face and along with her family, join in the joyous strains of triumphant voices praising our Lord and King. Check out her blog at God’s Character.

Sunday Stillness – 1 Corinthians 13:8

Sunday Stillness – 1 Corinthians 13:8

1-Cor.-13-8

In all things we need love. That is why love never fails – it never gives up. Jesus taught us that.

However, in this world we get side-tracked into thinking that we can control things; that people must do things our way.

Instead God calls us to do things His way and to delight in it.

I delight to do Thy will, O my God (Psalm 40:8, KJV).

Do you or I foster the “meek and quiet spirit” or a “spirit of self-satisfaction”? (from Oswald Chambers).

Let’s check this week:

      • our mannerisms
      • our attitude
      • our words
      • little things we do for others
      • prayer
      • kindnesses

Are we doing these things? Remember what the Lord requires of us:

To act justly and to love mercy
and to walk humbly with your God (Micah 6:8, NIV).

Here is a worship song that will always remind you that LOVE NEVER FAILS.

It is called One Thing Remains by Bethel Church

We never have to be afraid – one thing remains

Your love never fails, it never gives up.

 

Today is #SundayStillness.

(yes you can use that # hashtag when you tweet your posts).

Tweetable:

In all things we need love. That is why love never fails – it never gives up. (click to tweet)

Do you have a Scripture that spoke to you this week? Please link below. If you post to Twitter use #sundaystillness and @authorjaniscox.

Feel free to pin the picture. Follow me at AuthorJanisCox on Pinterest.

And join me on Facebook at AuthorJanisCox.

Newsletter-signup

Read the Sunday Stillness rules if you are new here.

I would appreciate if you would link only about God’s Word. If you have a linky party that’s okay if it is about the same thing. Please no sales or prizes. I want this to be friendly but I must ask you to abide by the rules. Others want to read God’s Word – and that is what I would like the links to be about. I must take down the links that don’t follow the rules. Thanks so much.

JOIN THE SUNDAY STILLNESS COMMUNITY – 
READ OTHER POSTS AND ENCOURAGE ONE ANOTHER.

Please check out all the places I link to during the week. Thanks to everyone who has joined Sunday Stillness. I do try to get to your posts every week but I admit sometimes I don’t have the time.

Here are my favourite links for Sunday Stillness:

The Sunday Community

Still Saturday

 Sharing His Beauty

Missional Women – Faith Filled Fridays

Scripture and Snapshot

http://christianmommyblogger.com

The Weekend Brew

 
 



Are We Dressed for the Season?

Are We Dressed for the Season?

by Susan Hitchman

Dressed for the Season

Snow has begun to blanket the stately mountains in their winter garb. Early morning drivers peer out through frost-scraped windshields. It’s that season. So it is no surprise that my kids have begun digging through last winter’s snow garb to see what gear will be needed for the whitening slopes.

One pair of outgrown skis will be handed down to the next sibling. One new helmet is needed. Goggles are assessed. A selection of old and not-so-old specimens appear: scratched lenses, disintegrating foam padding, and decaying elastic straps witness to their many years of service. Some things can’t be reused or recycled. They just need replacing.

Jesus experienced a similar phenomenon. Entering His phase of earthly ministry, Jesus’ baptism was followed by a period of prayer and fasting. His objective was to bring about a major transition in human-divine dynamics. The Law of Grace would replace the Law of Judgment. The old garment was torn and in need of replacing.

But as Jesus’ ministry moved among the ranks of the disenfranchised and socially outcast, purveyors of the old tradition recoiled. The Pharisees and the teachers of the law complained:

Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners (Luke 5:30, NIV)?

In other words, why are you breaking with our tradition of exclusivity? The Law of Moses defines us as right and them as wrong.

Jesus’ response, as often was the case, used an illustration. He likely looked around him to find the perfect example. Perhaps He stepped over to a nearby garment vendor. Picking up an old robe discarded by a recent customer He may have fingered the weakened cloth.

 No one tears a piece out of a new garment to patch an old one. Otherwise, they will have torn the new garment, and the patch from the new will not match the old (Luke 5:36, NIV).

Jesus let that thought sink in. The old must make way for the new. It happens with clothes, and it happens in our relationship with God. The plan to transition from a law of legalism to a law of love was not plan B.

It was a change of seasons.
God knew the spiritual climate was ripe for it.

Each day we are faced with the same need to adjust our spiritual garments. We tend to cling to patterns of living that need to be replaced: patterns of bitterness, lack of forgiveness, sharp words and short tempers.

We need to follow Jesus’ example of prayer.

We need to draw apart daily in prayer, fasting from our usual busy-ness, and exchange robes; our weakness for His strength, our impatience for His patience, our anger for His loving-kindness, our pride for His humility. (Read those one more time, slowly now, fingering the garments carefully). The old garb is threadbare. It needs to be replaced.

Are you dressed and ready for today’s season?

Tweetables:

Each day we are faced with the same need to adjust our spiritual garments.

Draw apart daily in prayer, fasting from our usual busy-ness, and exchange robes.

Draw apart daily in prayer, fasting from our usual busy-ness, and exchange our weakness for His strength.

Draw apart daily in prayer, fasting from our usual busy-ness, and exchange our impatience for His patience.

Draw apart daily in prayer, fasting from our usual busy-ness, and exchange  our anger for His loving-kindness.

Draw apart daily in prayer, fasting from our usual busy-ness, and exchange our pride for His humility.

Sue Hitchman

Susan Hitchman

Sue  seeks to integrate the adventure of following Christ with her roles as wife, mother of five, co-leader of a women’s Bible study group and parent prayer group, and retreat speaker.  She is a member of The Word Guild and NCWA. Outdoor pursuits (cycling, gardening, hiking, & kayaking) remind her of God’s creative bent and constant presence. She writes to encourage others in their journey of faith in God.  Visit her blog at: Word Made Flesh

Snatched from Death – My Testimony

We have the privilege of a wonderful testimony by Audrey Charles who writes at Wisdom From the Throne. Please read the whole testimony. It is amazing.

Snatched From Death – My Testimony

by Audrey Charles

I sat on the edge of the bed with a handful of Valium in one hand and a razor blade nearby.

A glass of water to wash down the pills sat on the dresser waiting to do its duty. Night had fallen and my heart was as dark as the sky outside. There was nothing left to live for I thought.

Earlier that evening my estranged husband had brought our 2 year old son back home after spending the afternoon with him. Their parting usually was a happy one, but this time little D cried uncontrollably as he watched his dad’s car drive away. Nothing would console him.“Wanna go with Daddy and my other Mommy!”he cried. Those words hit like daggers.

D was the one ray of sunshine left in my life since the sudden separation had occurred several months before. Now he, too, wanted out. Something snapped in my mind. I heard myself assuring him that from tomorrow he would indeed be with his dad.

As I prepared him for bed D was giggling and happy once again. I rocked him to sleep and when his little body was completely relaxed I kissed him, and gently placed him in his crib. He was a child who slept through the night…and slept very soundly at that, so there was no way he would awaken before morning.

Methodically, mechanically and completely drained from months of trying to hold things together, I began to prepare…packed D’s bag with the things he would need for daycare…put his breakfast dishes on the table…laid his clothes out for the morning…took the lock off the front door so that there would be easy access to get in….poured the glass of water….went to my bedroom…closed the door…found the razor blade…uncapped the bottle of pills…sat on my bed.

Thoughts swirled in my mind – a jumble of memories. All efforts to make life “normal” had added up to one word – failure.

I heard my own voice saying, “God, if you want me to live You’re going to have to stop me.” 

I waited a brief moment. Nothing. With that I poured out a handful of pills and raised my hand to my mouth. The razor blade lay nearby to be used right afterward. Then suddenly the stillness was shattered…

“MOMMY!!!” 

Read the rest of this amazing story at Audrey’s blog.