Showing posts from November, 2011

The Good Cry

By Belinda I'm up to my eyeballs in sugar cookie dough, so I'm sharing "The Good Cry," a post from November 24, 2006. The cool thing in going that far back is that I forget so much of what I've written. I  had completely forgotten this story. I hope you enjoy it: Luke 7:38 (New International Version) New International Version (NIV) Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society 38and 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. Having family in England , I fly home frequently to visit. I always board the plane wondering who will share that cramped space with me for the next seven hours. There are no rules of etiquette to govern relationships with the people you elbow over meals or climb over to get to the washroom. It always seems that we are thrust into a sudden relationship that is somewhat like a blind date. It has the p

Gifts of the Season

One day, on the way into Cora’s restaurant with a friend, while we waited to be seated, I noticed a fundraiser, an auction where guests could bid on a year of breakfasts, one a month. I entered my name on the sheet, with an amount with my guess at what this would be worth; it has always bothered me that people underbid an item’s worth in fundraisers, and I hoped to encourage others to bid high, too. A few weeks later, when I had forgotten about my generous and impulsive bid, I learned that I had “won!” I decided to use the breakfasts for solitary time, once a month, to read or write.  I pull into the plaza in the gray early morning drizzle and see no cars outside Cora's, but the green neon sign in the window says "OPEN." It is 10 to 8 on Sunday morning and inside the restaurant, the young cooks are busy chopping up fresh fruit and vegetables. I see that I am only the second customer to arrive. The waitress leads me to a booth and I slide into a space that feels like

The Church's Hope--Me?

By Belinda Oswald Chambers writes in yesterday's My Utmost for His Highest , of the feebleness of The Church of a century ago. So then, the condition of the Bride of Christ now, is not a new thing. Lord, is this the way it will always be--this pale imitation of your intention? The answer lies within "you" he whispers, for as your condition is, so is that of The Church. It is not then so very mysterious, or impossible to change... Worldly grief produces death. When Ahithophel saw that his counsel was not followed, he saddled his donkey and went off home to his own city. He set his house in order and hanged himself, and he died.—A crushed spirit who can bear? Is there no balm in Gilead? Is there no physician there? Why then has the health of the daughter of my people not been restored?—The  Lord  has anointed me to bring good news to the poor; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,… to comfort all who mourn; to grant to those who mourn in Zion—to give t

The School, the Street and the Saviour

By Belinda Another post from the archives (2008). I've been too busy to write as much as usual, but I enjoy dipping into the past posts from time to time! Happy Advent everyone and a belated Happy Thanksgiving to our friends from the U.S.! ****************** In the spring of the year I turned 9, our family moved to Alvechurch, a small village in the heart of the Worcestershire countryside. The village school was Church of England and connected with the church of St. Laurence, which stood on a hill, keeping watch over the surrounding countryside; a silent guardian; as it had done for at least eight centuries. One day, into the flock of rosy cheeked English children, came a rare bird of exotic species; an American girl! She was a flamingo in a flock of starlings. We all wore school uniform.The boys wore short gray trousers, knee socks, shirts, ties and black blazers and we girls, either red and white, or blue and white striped cotton dresses, with cardigans or blazers. She

Being Real

By Belinda This morning I was searching my blog archives for a poem I wanted to share. I found this first--a post written in April 2007. I felt God's whisper, "Share this." Interestingly, yesterday I took part of a University of Waterloo leadership course that focused on recognizing our strengths and challenged us to not be content with our weaknesses but work on strengthening them.  There is balance in it all. The secret, I  think, is to give ourselves (our poor selves) to God and he will form in us Christ, to give to the world. Yes, we must try to strengthen our weaknesses, but not forget that our true gift is simply Jesus, in the unique package of ourselves. 2 Corinthians 3:2-3 (New Living Translation) 2 The only letter of recommendation we need is you yourselves. Your lives are a letter written in our hearts; everyone can read it and recognize our good work among you. 3 Clearly, you are a letter from Christ showing the result of our ministry among you. This “lett

Trust Him with the Pieces

Note from Belinda: This is from the archives--by Susan in August 2010. When I think back to when it was written, I remember the fire through which she was walking. It means more because of that. There are so many gems in the depths of this blog and they bless me when I read them again. I pray it blesses you today. Susan (with a lot of help from Selah) I had listened to this song a dozen times before the words hit me today. Funny how you can tune your ears to hear things in the valley of suffering that would go right over your head most any other time. Believing that God is working everything together for good is an easy thing to believe and to proclaim when the road is smooth and there are no obstacles in sight. But when God allows the circumstances in our lives to heat up and boil over, it can suddenly become very difficult to accept that he knows exactly what he's doing and has it all under control. These words of Life, favourite scriptures of my Mom's too, on

The Bells of St. Laurence Church Alvechurch

By Belinda Susan emailed me yesterday afternoon with a photograph and mysterious message: If you know what this attached picture is, you'll know what I've spent a very happy hour or so researching and reading about this afternoon.  Not sure why I happened upon this course of study but I did...  and I've enjoyed every minute of it. I emailed her back,  Wheels falling off wagons??? :)   It turned out to be: The bells of Alvechurch  Susan whiled away a few hours on Sunday afternoon doing research on bell ringing! She wrote again later:  I kept reading about "change ringing in the English pattern" and decided I needed to know more about what that is like. I found this video from the Washington Cathedral. I love the description: "Change Ringing is a team sport, a highly coordinated musical performance, an antique art, and a demanding exercise that involves a group of people ringing rhythmically a set of tuned bells through a series of changing se

Less Can be More

By Belinda Paul and I watched the documentary,   God Grew Tired of Us  over the weekend. Click on the link and you can watch it online if interested. It chronicles the story of some of the "Lost Boys of Sudan." in 1987 Sudan's Muslim government pronounced death to all males in the Christian south and a mass migration of boys began into neighbouring Ethiopia, and later, in 1991, to Kenya, by which time their numbers had dwindled through starvation and illness to 12,000. The documentary follows several of the boys eventually accepted into the U.S. as refugees, and one of them,   John Bul Dau , has been on my mind since, I watched it. "I feel I survived because God wants to do something with my life," Dau shares. "I don't want to waste any of the time I have left. So many people are still in Sudan needing clinics, schools, and churches. I cannot forget them." Several things stick with me as a result of watching the documentary. One is the im

Faithful and True

By Belinda Pick up my dog eared and Scotch taped copy of the   Daily Light  and you will be able to trace my family's life in the margins. Countless little notes bear testimony to significant events and as the years go by and our lives continue to unfold, they often grow more precious. What seemed like catastrophe "then" can be seen for the hidden blessing that lay in a turn of events as God continues to plot the course of our lives. This week, two days in a row, there were notations and underlined scriptures. On November 14, a note read, "Brenda, 2005. Lost job at Hollywood Montessori." All of the scriptures for that morning were relevant and encouraging, but the one I underlined was: Proverbs 14:26 New International Version (NIV)   26  Whoever fears the LORD has a secure fortress,    and for their children it will be a refuge. Brenda's spiritual and vocational journey wasn't easy as a result of the school she taught in goi

Further, Fuller, Deeper In

By Belinda In one of the excellent sessions at last week's leadership conference, we learned that it is amazing what you learn from people by asking them to finish a few simple statements: I love... I hate... I dream... I get frustrated when... I feel joy when... I fear when... So this morning when our team of leaders met I handed out pages with these questions on them and asked the team to answer three of their choice. Laughter rippled around the table at some of the answers. Two younger members of my team are "dreaming of" retirement--but I am way ahead of them! My own quickly scribbled answer to that question was: I dream...of being part of God's agenda--more fully than to this point. I often think that we skim the surface of his possibilities. While I didn't word it so well on the spur of the moment, I was trying to express an increasing longing to let go of reason, logic, limitations and dependence on the human perspective on things and tap
By Belinda Tonight at worship practice we learned this beautiful song. Susan and I both said we were putting it in our funeral files on our computers! Yes--we both have one and Susan even remembered an obscure song I once loved and said I wanted sung (what a faithful friend.) My only regret is that I won't be there to enjoy it--but who knows, maybe God will let me hover in the rafters and sing along when the time comes. But I think that by then I will be singing with a choir so amazing that nothing would draw me back to earth--not even my favourite songs! :)  

Under the Cover of Prayer: How to Pray Part 1

Note by Belinda Today I commend to Whatever He Says readers a refreshing and thought provoking post at my friend Jan Cox's blog: Under The Cover of Prayer: How to Pray; Part 1 I will try not to miss a link to part 2 next month!

The Canadian Blog Awards

Whatever He Says has been nominated again this year for the Canadian Blog Awards in the Religion Philosophy category! Last year this blog came second. I would love to do better this year but need your help! Please vote if you enjoy reading here, by going to  Canadian Blog Awards . While there, our friend Dave's blog,  Rolling Around in My Head is nominated for Best Personal Blog and Best Overall. And our other friend Shannon , has been nominated in the category of Best Blog Post for  Half Soled Boots: Peace Be With You  please consider voting for them too. Take time to explore the blogs nominated. It is an excellent way to find some great Canadian blogs. Voting Two rounds of voting will take place with each round lasting 7 days. The first round of voting will include all nominees. The second round of voting will narrow down the list of nominees in each category. The second round shall consist of the top ranking blogs from round 1. Each person gets one vote for their fav
I found this video clip made in 1985 of   David du Plessis  telling of his call, through a prophesy given by Smith Wigglesworth, to a ministry he had not planned--that of taking the baptism in the Holy Spirit to main line churches. I looked him up on Wikipedia and  it was interesting to read how the prophesy was fulfilled in his life. The call he followed was not popular with other some believers and he struggled with it himself, but was faithful to follow God's direction. I loved the story he tells at the end of the clip, in which he talks of the text for which this blog is named--and calls it a recipe for miracles! Listening to this man I could sense his closeness to the Lord and I share it here because others, like me, may not have heard of him. Oh--I came upon the clip because the pastor son of the friend I wrote about yesterday, is being mentored by a 90 year old man who used to be Smith Wigglesworth's driver.

Holy Conversations and other News

By Belinda I'm still working on finding a conversation partner for our cell group study Holy Conversation . Paul and I have one person in mind to ask--and if he says yes, we will ask him if we can share him! He asked me with great interest if I've found my "person" yet, and when I said no, he said "Well, don't give up." Next time I see him I'm going to ask if he wants to be the "person" and whether Paul and I can share him. It sounds rather predatory doesn't it? :) I know there were people who prayed for my brother, Rob, after I wrote about how downhearted he felt when I spoke to him just over a week ago. This past Saturday he was feeling much brighter in spirit--thank you for praying. My nephew John came over every night last week after work to walk Bruce--a big help. I have been checking flights for January and Paul has decided to go with me this time. Rob was so happy to know that we would be there soon. His pain and fatigue are

The Choice

Jeremiah 17:7-8 The Message (MSG) 7-8 But blessed is the man who trusts me, God, the woman who sticks with God. They're like trees replanted in Eden, putting down roots near the rivers— Never a worry through the hottest of summers, never dropping a leaf, Serene and calm through droughts, bearing fresh fruit every season. By Belinda We are back from a three day conference at Geneva Park, just north of Orillia. The time away involved early mornings and late nights and hours in between soaking in information that strengthened our leadership on all sorts of levels. I have so much to process and unpack in my working, spiritual, and personal life. But that's not what I meant to write about--that was just to bring you up to date on where I've been! I led the devotions on Thursday morning and had been praying about what to share for some time. I recruited my colleague Marirose, with her guitar and beautiful voice, to join me at the end in leading a song and what I shared

We Will Remember

By Belinda This morning at Sir William Osler Public school honour was duly shown to the men and women who fought in the First World War and those since. I was there with Brenda because Tippy was a runner up in the Bond Head Lion's Club Peace Poster competition. But sharing this solemn remembrance with children was especially poignant. The young lieutenant who addressed the children, reminded them that no one returns from war unchanged, and spoke of her work with returning veterans, helping them transition back to life in a country at peace after being in combat zones. The children,, after settling to quiet, listened; hushed and grave. Tippy, at 13, is just three years short of the age some boys were, when having lied about their age, they went to war. She is the great granddaughter of one who went. I hope he knows that today, especially, we remembered him, and all who answered a call to fight oppression and evil.


By Belinda We are back from our leadership conference, brimming over with good stuff learned. But tired from three long days in a row,  I went looking for previous Remembrance Day posts and found this one, posted in 2007.  I have edited and updated information but am sharing it again to keep a memory alive. In no way do I wish to detract from the true purpose of Remembrance Day. I am a soldier's daughter and understand the respect due to those who fought on the battlefields of the wars of the last 100 years, but there are those who have fought wars of their own in peacetime; in battlefields constructed of walls and locked doors--and survived against the odds. They are heroes of a different kind of war, but heroes nonetheless. This is a remembrance of one of them: Not knowing its significance to me, she gave it almost as an aside during a meeting at my office. "Miah asked me to give this to you," she said, placing it in my hands. I gasped in recognition of somet

A Student's Stance

By Belinda   (Another archived post from June 17, 2010 this time ) I have a paradox to share today. Thank you in advance for being so patient with my endless epiphanies.:) As I continue to work on carrying out my choice to eschew negative thoughts and words, I find that silencing my mind and being still; not raising my heart or voice against another, creates mental and spiritual space to learn. Negativity and criticism come from a place of pride; listening and learning from a place of humility. It is in observing and listening that learning takes place and too many words and predetermined opinions are blockages to the education others have to offer. The paradox is this: I thought that age was a place of sharing the great wisdom accumulated with many years. Instead I realize more than ever how much there is to learn. We joke about young people's refuting of parental wisdom and how much parents apparently learn by the time their teenagers grow into their twenties. The

How to Be Happy

Another post from the archives; this one by Susan, posted on July 30, 2010. It was a blessing to me, and I hope it will be to you! By Susan If you were to ask what God is teaching me of late in The School of Prayer, I would have to share with you the following individualized course of study.     School of Pra yer HOW TO BE HAPPY Post Grad Cerficate Program Course Outlines: 1.   FORGIVENESS 101:  Set yourself free from the prison of unforgiveness.  You are really no better than anyone else. Your sin nature is capable of every bit as much evil as anyone else's sin nature.  We have all fallen short of God's glory.  Short of his glory is short of his glory.  A little short is of just as much consequence as a great deal short.  Forgive because whatever has been done to you (just like everything you have done to others) has been fully paid for.  God, the Father exacted the price of full justice for the sin perpetrated against you (and by you) on the back of his own

The Shelter

By Belinda This is a very busy week, with a three day work conference to attend, so I went back to the archives and found this post from November 4 last year when I was on my way home from a visit to England.  I enjoyed re-reading it. I hope you don't mind being served some reruns! :) Oh, I just noticed that last year's comments came up too, as I republished! Just in case you wondered where they came from. :) I was going home to Canada and my brother Rob drove me to Birmingham Airport to catch a coach to Manchester, the airport my plane was leaving from. Rob dropped me off half an hour before the coach was due to leave. The clocks had gone back an hour the night before and I was glad for the extra time that morning. I had a large knapsack on my back and from behind me I heard a voice warning me that someone was entering the bus shelter and obviously wanted to avoid me swinging around and hitting him. I turned to see a young man, pulling a small piece of luggage on wheels

What a Friend We Have in Jesus!

By Belinda I was just about to check email one morning last week when the familiar Skype signal started up, with a message that Lijda was calling; Tante Lijda, my dear aunt in Holland. She is just 15 years older than I am and 9 years younger than Mum, her last living sister. She is usually brave; stoic--always exhorting us to "Hou je taai!" Translated from Dutch, that would be, "Hang tough!" or "Never say die." But last week she wasn't hanging tough; the circumstances of her life were weighing heavy on her. She was always fun, a party girl! I remember her always out camping on the beach with her family, or skiing in Austria, but this is a different season for her. I tried to encourage her, and Paul and I have been praying since that call. Then I spoke with Rob and Mum on Saturday, as I always do. Rob too, was feeling discouraged. He lives with chronic fatigue and chronic pain, which is getting worse. Everyone who reads this blog regularly knows how