Friday, October 16, 2009

back to euro!

my life is raaaandom - and i love it!

a new adventure looms on the horizon... the very near horizon, that is! in less than 2 weeks i'm hopping on a jet plane, with my gal pal arielle schade, bound for prague, czech republic! what on earth, you say?!.... yep, true story.

this time, instead of playing with the czechs, i'll be suiting up for team Turkey at the european cup. last year we beat this team quite handily (i won't remind you of the painful, imbalanced score but you can go through the archives to check it out if you're really curious!) but let's just say it was decently lopsided - a gross understatement. last year the turks flew in some foreigners from canada, sweden and finland, so this year arielle and i thought we'd do some marketing of ourselves to see if turkey would be interested in us being the imports that would join their squad for the tourney. having seen both of us play last year, they were interested and within a weeks time had all the details ironed out between hockey canada and the turkish ice hockey federation. so my player card officially belongs to the turkish ice hockey federation for this season. that's almost comical to think about!

october 27th we depart for two weeks of life on the other side of the atlantic, yet again. i'm looking SO forward to being back in prague - a city i love dearly - seeing people who have become like family in my time overseas and friends i'll never forget! we'll have 4 days with the turkish team and the rest of our time will be up to us to fill... which i'm sure we'll have no problem doing. even if i sit in the old square for a whole day and just people watch, sip a mug of czech beer (definitely staropramen!!) and contemplate life, i will be utterly satisfied!

god is so good - and his timing is AWESOME. and i feel SO blessed to have this incredible opportunity!

oak trees and the "eff" train

i'm reading a book right now titled "I really want to change... so help me God", by James McDonald. i admit, the title is cheesy and sounds like a self-help book. on a strong recommendation from my sister, i decided to give it a shot and it's been an awesome journey the past few weeks! the book is anti-self and pro-Jesus. i can work with that!

the current chapter is entitled, "I'm dead to that" and i want to share an illustration on man and sin that i think is so accurate, a great picture, and helps give some perspective to overcoming sin. i think one of the hardest things about personal change is the time it takes... we are one impatient culture and we want things now. i really might as well just substitute "I" for "we" in that cause i'm talking about myself.

the subheading on this one: don't trust feelings (good already, right?!)

When Christ stepped out of that tomb on that first Easter morning, the power of sin was broken. Sin can no longer take control of you if you are in Christ. It can't tell you what to do. It can't boss you around. Its power is broken.

"I don't feel like it's broken," you say. Don't trust your feelings! It's the same as when you came to Christ; at first maybe you didn't feel as though anything great had happened, but you believed the Word of God and acted upon it. As you look back, you know you haven't been the same since that moment. In the same way, if you, by faith, accept the truth that the power of sin is broken in you, you might not feel different, but over time you will be different.

"Well, why do I still feel so alive to the power of sin?" you ask. Picture a very tall oak tree in the centre of a park. The whole park is full of oak trees. And the tallest one - the strongest one - in the centre has a big, tall trunk extending up into the sky. It's a beautiful oak tree. But planted at the base of the oak tree is a strong, thick vine. It's been there for many years; in fact, the vine has grown up and wrapped its way around the trunk of that oak tree and out along the branches. Now, after many years, the entire tree is covered by that vine.

Now imagine for a moment that your life represents the oak tree, and the vine represents sin. When you came to Christ, it's as though God Almighty took an ax to the base of that vine and cut that thing off. And let me tell you something: The vine is dead! You say, "It doesn't feel dead. It is still all over me!" Right. And if you will begin to cooperate with God and do what you are about to learn, that old vine can be cast off in your life and you will begin to experience the victory that is rightfully yours.

that's James McDonald and i would definitely recommend his book to all looking to break free from the power of sin... ok, so everyone should read it!

it makes me think of another great thing i learned last year (the eff train)... it even has alliteration, which brings me joy in and of itself:

fact, faith, feeling

the idea being to keep it in that order!

cool stuff... tough, but so glad it's not up to me on my own!!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

but look for christ

give up yourself, and you will find your real self. lose your life and you will save it. submit to death, death of your ambitions and favorite wishes everyday and death of your whole body in the end. submit with every fibre of your being, and you will find eternal life. keep back nothing. nothing that you have not given away will be really yours. nothing in you that has not died will ever be raised from the dead. look for yourself, and you will find in the long run only hatred, loneliness, despair, rage, ruin and decay. but look for christ and you will find him, and with him, everything else thrown in.

cs lewis

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

inconvenient, yet highly enjoyable, outbursts of laughter

i don't know if anyone else from the compass ever reads my blog (other than blair), but just in case you do...

since 'catchphrase' on saturday night, i cannot shake from my memory the chaos that ensued during that game... what blair and murray looked like as they screamed, shouted, sometimes shook with intensity... the guys cheating (admit it, you cheated boys!)... joel skipping over numerous words that clearly were not that difficult to describe... danielle trying to control jon's hand actions to no avail... and so many other things. the ridiculous thing is these mental images keep popping into my head at random moments and i burst out into giggles. i mean really, not a bad problem to have, but it does earn a girl some strange looks! haha.

good times in community on saturday night! looking forward to the next shin-dig... more fun will ensue, i'm sure of it!


Monday, October 5, 2009

independent woman...

i realized last night how much i've been trying to do life on my own lately. the past few days have been tough as i battle through sins the lord is showing me - some new discoveries, some not so new - this being a request i asked of him! but now that i'm seeing all this stuff and realizing just how messed up i am - and i know this doesn't even scratch the surface let alone touch on what i'm capable of - god's love is even more incredible to me and christ's death is even greater. because it's not a matter of the lord being tolerant of my sin. he HATES it. but he sees me through christ and that's the hand that's holding me from his wrath.

yesterday at the compass, we heard about the incomprehensible humility of christ. at one point in the service, i felt the iron hand of my pride slap me in the face. i don't really think of myself as a prideful person, but i'm deceiving myself. and it's got to stop! i get into this habit of comparing myself to people around me instead of that of christ through the word. blair cut to the reality of the situation with this sentence we each wrote down in our notes: i murdered jesus.

awkward silence?

have you ever thought about it that way? i think i have, but yesterday i felt it and it was AWFUL. especially as i'm sitting there hearing about the humility of christ - all of a sudden this divine being who died a few millennium ago has my name fused to the brutal death he endured. no, not his death - his murder. but it's true. how dare we think of it any other way!

when i think about the humility of christ, his absolute surrender of ALL his rights for my sin - despite his impeccable track record of human living - it's convicting. in a good way. how can i do life on my own when it's impossible to be truly humble without christ? how much time do i waste thinking about things that are not pure, lovely, admirable? thinking about myself? trying to plan out my future and get life done on my own? how could i try to do these things knowing what christ has done for me?? knowing his humility in life AND in death.

i want to be a radical follower of christ! i know my heart is already aching for heaven where there will be no pain, no suffering, no pride. but humility is possible in this life, through surrender to jesus, by immersion in the word and letting that alone transform my life.

the words, the rest of my life, are overwhelming in and of themselves... but if i stop and reflect on it, i'd much rather do that and enjoy the victory, freedom and fullness of christ than do life selfishly on my own just because it's easier. ya, easier for sure, but empty!

is a humble christian a paradox in our society? not if we listen to scripture and strive to live out this humility we see in true life with jesus!