Sunday, December 12, 2010

euro update

we arrived safely to prague this morning, after a 7 hour journey from martin, slovakia. we had a wonderful week with the slovak girls. my tired mind can't do it justice at this point so i will leave it at that.

i just wanted to stop by and say thanks to all of you for praying. we feel so supported over here, despite the hiccups we've had along the way (mostly with travel stuff... another blog post with be forthcoming).

tomorrow we head to billy and adrianne crossan's - long term missionaries in prague with athletes in action. we'll be teaching english class at the sport university tomorrow night and tuesday afternoon.

i got to see a good friend at church tonight, which was wonderful! we chatted over dinner and got caught up. it only took us about 3 hours! :)

this city is so wonderful. i never get tired of the sights and sounds (only the smells... ewwww), but i can put up with that if it means i'm here!

will check in again... maybe from the canadian side of things. but wanted to say 'hi'.


Sunday, December 5, 2010

gong show

well, we're still in frankfurt. krista found me at about 1pm this afternoon. somewhere along the way, as we waited at our gate, said departure gate changed. and we went to the counter to check in. and realized the gate said munich while our ticket said krakow.

slight problem. we're trying not to stress, but it looks like this is what's happening:

frankfurt->katowice, poland
@ 10pm / arrival in katowice -> 11:30
shuttle from katowice -> krakow
1.5 hours
arrival in krakow -> 1:30am

gonna be a long night. for now, we're trusting god and trying to laugh as much as possible. given that we're both starved for sleep, it hasn't been too difficult.

please pray against discouragement and for good rest, despite cold, hard airport floors.


requesting prayer (i couldn't keep it simple)

hi friends.

well, i'm sitting in the frankfurt airport with approximately 8 hours to burn before my connecting flight to krakow, poland. i caved and bought an internet pass. i figure that between this trip and the return home, i might have need for it. and now that my brain has slowed down a little - err, rather - caught up from the brain drain of school, i'll take some time to pass on some prayer requests to you guys.

[*warning: what proceeds from here turns into a sizable tangent. if you're pressed for time or just don't want to listen to overtired rambling, skip down to the bottom of this posting for specific prayer requests.]

i was feeling kind of overwhelmed as i sat on the flight to frankfurt. but i didn't know it. despite months of anticipation and planning, i wondered what exactly i was doing. i hadn't even caught my breath and here i was on yet another transatlantic flight.

since august 2006, i've made 14 of these long journeys across this ocean. today is my 15th. that's probably more times across that vast body of water than most people will experience in a lifetime. it doesn't really seem like a big deal though. in fact, i like it. i like travelling for 8+ hours on a plane because it forces me to do nothing. nothing but read, write, pray and think. i like to think. i do it a lot. maybe sometimes i do it too much. i'm not sure if that's the plight of a female in general or my disposition in particular. regardless, here i am. in an airport. time to kill. thinking.

i think god has used these transatlantic flights to wake me up. in many cases, dead "airport-land" time has turned to growth time. the same such thing happened on this flight today. back to sitting there in a daze... "what am i doing?"

wait, one more tangent.

yesterday over dinner with my parents, we marvelled at yet another journey far away.

"my life is so random," i remarked to my mom. the sentiment is based on the fact that my life consists of many different seemingly disjoined parts that come together under the single common denominator of the fact of them all belonging to me.

she refuted my statement outright. "your life is extremely purposeful, chelsa, because it's all part of god's plan for you. so don't think it's random."

ahh, my wise mother. so true.

so what am i doing here?

a small but delightful care package from sharon et al gave me a blast of sober-minded thought as i awakened to remembrance of my purpose in life and this trip in particular. i sat on the plane and read the cue card with this quote on it:

"But God is the God of the waves and the billows, and they are still His when they come over us; and again and again, we have proved that the overwhelming thing does not overwhelm. Once more, by His interposition, deliverance came. We were cast down, but not destroyed."

(the words of amy carmichael, who spent 55 years as a missionary in india)

YES. the overwhelming does not overwhelm. i was awash with a wave of emotion as i took in the words and savored their meaning. i pulled up my hood and shed a few tears as i sat there and marveled. then i pulled out my bible and turned to romans, where the gift of faith is given for those who are called into the saving knowledge of christ.

this is my prayer for the girls this week, that they would respond to that call of christ on their lives, and that we would proclaim it boldly, with love and truth. i don't have to say the right words or try and muster up some attractive sounding reason why the girls should give their lives to christ. i just go, in obedience, and share what god is doing in my life. i love the story of nehemiah. he did outrageous things, not because he was particularly cool or good-looking or talented, but because god was working in his life. and he shared about it. and god was before him and moved in the hearts of men.

*prayer requests:

martina - our leader from the Slovak side. pray against the schemes of the enemy, pray for protection of her mind and heart, for words of wisdom and boldness. she will be the greatest influence in these girls lives as we strengthen her ministry this week, and she remains with them after we go.

unity - for krista and i as we lead together on and off the ice. for like-mindedness. for protection against lies and for boldness to preach the gospel. for our own spiritual health and good time with jesus so that our cups are overflowing with the goodness of him (not our own efforts which are folly).

safety - as we travel between krakow, PO; presov and martin, SLO; and prague, CZ.

ftvs - the sport university in prague - that i would see students from when i was on STINT, good turn out for class, be an encouragement to the AIA ministry there.

blessing - pray for blessing on all those who have contributed to this ministry financially and otherwise. they're here, too!

much love.


Saturday, December 4, 2010

parting thoughts

it's almost midnight and i'm in the throes of packing. let me re-phrase that: i haven't started. but i'll be ready come go-time tomorrow!

just a quick note to say that i'll be posting any pics i can, and giving updates on what's happening in euro, hopefully via this url as well as facebook. i might use one to re-direct to the other.

looking so much forward to this journey. it's going to be such a blessing. i don't think i've processed it yet.

thanks for the support, the prayers, the love. you guys are all in this with me and i'm so blessed!

here are the faces of some of the girls i'll be seeing this week. pray for... Jana, Slavka, Martina, Mirka, Tesco and Katka.

lastly, (though firstly) it's about Jesus. pray he would be IT, he would be ALL and everything would be about HIM as we go.

much love.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

thou hast made summer and winter

it's hard to believe it's december 1st already. it seems like i just said that. last year. but here we are. a whole year later. today's a big day. christmas fever, er rather, fervour, is about to set in even moreso than it already has. light 92 starts playing non-stop christmas music. stores begin to stay open for more time than anyone should spend under fluorescent lights. santa's been perched on his throne at the mall for at least a week alrady. and if you were hoping to send packages overseas to loved ones far away before the 25th, you're already too late. ahhh. the season has begun.

sometimes the winter months can feel long. and dark. and cold. not just to the body, but to the mind and the soul. i'm not the only one feeling this way these days, as my girlfriends can attest that we're all feeling a bit bleak.

this morning i opened spurgeon's daily devotional and turned to december 1st. the content couldn't be more fitting for this wintry day, and as i finished reading i decided it was worth passing on to whomever might peruse on by in the blog-o-sphere.

perhaps it will encourage you, as it did me.

My soul, begin this wintry month with thy God. The cold snows and the piercing winds all remind thee that He keeps His covenant with day and night and tend to assure thee that He will also keep that glorious covenant that He has made with thee in the person of Christ Jesus. He who is true to His Word in the revolutions of the seas of this poor sin-polluted world will not prove unfaithful in His dealings with His own well-beloved Son.

Winter in the would is by no means a comfortable season; and if it be upon thee just now, it will be very painful to thee; but there is this comfort, namely, that the Lord makes it. He sends the sharp blasts of adversity to nip the buds of expectation; He scattereth the hoarfrost like ashes over the once verdant meadows of our joy; He casteth forth His ice ilke morsels freezing the streams of our delight. He does it all; He is the great Winter King and rules in the realms of frost; and therefore thou canst not murmur. Loses, crosses, heaviness, sickness, poverty, and a thousand other ills are of the Lord's sending and come to us with wise design. Forsts kill noxious insects and put a bound to raging diseases; they break up the clods and sweeten the soul. O that such good results would always follow our winters of affliction!

How we prize the fire just now! How pleasant is its cheerful glow! Let us in the same manner prize our Lord, who is the constant source of warmth and comfort in every time of trouble. Let us draw nigh to Him and in Him find joy and peace in believing. Let us wrap ourselves in the warm garments of His promises and go forth to labors that befit the season, for it were ill to be as the sluggard who will not plow by reason of the cold; for he shall beg in summer and have nothing.

Monday, November 29, 2010

on saturday i take off for another overseas adventure. 10:15 i leave yqr for calgary, then frankfurt and on to krakow, poland. from krakow we bus to presov, slovakia, to join sarisanka presov for a week of hockey training on and off the ice, chatting, coffees, walking down century old streets, reliving memories from the past and, most importantly, talking about jesus and sharing the gospel.

why is it that doing just that in my regular life seems more difficult? i get into the swing of things with life and my perspective narrows. i see my life, my school, my work, my this, my that, my... ewww. that's a whole lot of ME. lately, as i've been living in tight, real, honest community, i've been thinking about jesus a lot more. or thinking about the fact that i want to be thinking about jesus a lot more. because living in community reminds me that i'm not living for self. rather, that i don't want to be living for self. when i don't hear the gospel, spend time reading and praying, confess sin to my sisters and live life honestly before others, it becomes about me. but i wanna fight that! fight it with love for jesus. it's not about taking my eyes from one thing and keeping them off it; it's about eyes off of self and on to jesus.

is that hard for you? if you said it's not, you're lying. of course it's hard. and how do we do it? the ingredients are so simple... but once you add the flesh in there, everything becomes complicated. but not too complicated for jesus when we stick to repenting, returning and letting him restore us to relationship with him and with community. i feel like i'm a repenting machine. when will this end, lord?? but it won't. that's the hard part. it just won't. and it's not about the eradication of sin. it's about gutting out life here on earth with the time we've been given. and gutting it out with jesus. because this isn't all we're living for. there's so much more.

i want to broaden my perspective every day. i want to return to jesus and let his love, his purpose, his prerogative drive my life.

so it's easier, in some ways, to go overseas and mission it out before man. it's all you have to think about during those times. it's a blessing to go, a privilege to be called in that way. but why can't we see our daily lives as the same kind of privilege with the same kind of purpose? we can... we need only be reminded!



Tuesday, November 16, 2010

ramblings on discipline

this was in a letter i wrote a friend, but i thought really expressed the challenge we were all put before us in truly loving the body of christ and what that looks like. i thought i'd share it (and the friend gave me permission to do so - actually, told me i should!). hope it challenges you. feel free to leave your thoughts...
my heart is heavy about how things are with you. don't stress that i'm stressing about you... i'm not stressed, just heavy hearted for you because this is a tough situation. i'm going to be super honest with you (maybe 'blunter' than usual?? cause i'm a pretty honest person!). last night's sermon and in tonight's small group we were talking about sin in the church. and what do we do with it? and is our standard for the "world" or those who are non-believers outside the church the same as the one that's for the church. it's not. god judges those outside the church; we are to 'judge' one another (we are all saved by jesus through faith, but when it comes to our conduct we are to walk alongside one another and help each other to follow what the bible is calling us to do and live by. we observe one anothers' lives and as we share we help one another to walk in obedience). hope that makes sense. so we were discussing what we're to do if another brother or sister is clearly in sin and must be removed from the church (intense, i know)... but the thing that weighed the heaviest upon me was that it's not a matter of just kicking people out of church community because they're sinful... we're all sinful... but walking through life together and doing so openly enough to share our lives with one another so that we CAN speak truth to each other so we never get to that place of removing a believer from community (if you listen to the sermon from yesterday, this will all make more sense). and that as we see people struggle we help them with what's going on, we love on them, we point them to the bible and verses there to help them through a tough time, we pray for them. i know there have been sins in my life that if not called out, i would have stayed in and it would NOT have been for my good. believe me! i mean, at the time, i was like "whhhat?? this is what i wanna do - i'm not stopping this" but now when i look back i'm like THANK YOU jesus for people who called me out. because otherwise i would have been turned over to my selfish ways... to pursue my own selfishness and sin outside of the church. because if i don't want to be obedient to jesus on big things (that i'm not willing to change in) then why am i doing all this church stuff and why would i want to be there in the first place? ok. i'm rambling.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

life is good... life is good

lately i've been really thankful for my life... there is so much that makes me joyful. you never know when life is going to change... so i wanna enjoy exactly where i'm at right now. and i do have the ultimate source of joy - jesus - but in that i still have a choice. and too often i choose to be stressed, tired and restless instead of peaceful, rested and content in my savior. because joy ain't in circumstances, people! ..."to live is christ, to die is gain"... paul knew what was up. he chose joy even when he was in prison and persecuted - he had NOTHING by the world's standards. in truth, he had EVERYTHING because he had jesus. wootwoot for that!

i'm gonna jazz it up a little today... with some pics. i rarely post any, but thought a little change up might be in order. yay for great people and great experiences. life is so good!

this is in slovakia with some of my gals! i'll be hanging out with them very soon. :)

my slovak sister... martina. jesus made us friends for many reasons.

my wonderful fam. love them!

one of my best friends... miss my bro.

fuuuun gals from my former life... v praze. good times with sonj and schades!

sissy. miss her. a lot.

bestie. can't imagine life without this gal. friendships like this are testaments to god's grace!

i have a ridiculous amount of extremely high quality girlfriends in my life. seriously, it's ridiculous. and i love it. community is wonderful.

mom. :)

dad. gotta love that stash!

GIGGLE! (missing one!)

there she is!

and soon i'll be back here... in czech!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

i brush my teeth...shh-shh-sh-sh-sh-sh-sh-sh-shh

last week, a pal of mine mentioned that he had begun not only brushing his teeth twice a day, but flossing and rinsing as well. he explained the benefits that he's been experiencing since he started this habit a year ago - including his teeth feeling less plaque-covered, whiter and his breath being better - had encouraged him to keep pursuing this habit.

i was so inspired by his honest appraisal of the benefits of flossing and brushing that i decided i would try it as well. since that day, i have been doing the same floss/brush routine that he recommended. my teeth feel freakin' great!!

as many random things tend to inspire in me, the spiritual applications of this situation begun to percolate in my brain. maybe it's not necessarily the actual act of brushing so much as the way the message was delivered. if i had been instructed that i needed to brush my teeth because, say, my breath stunk; or, because my teeth were looking like they had begun to resemble hue-de-smokers-teeth rather than white, i would have been insulted and mortified. i doubt that i would have even heeded my friend's words and i would have been offended. it would have been work to make myself brush and floss accordingly because i'd feel like i was doing it because i HAD to rather than because i WANTED to.

can you tell where i'm going with this?? obviously, my rule-ridden heart with its spin towards flesh rather than spirit rebels against the law. i can think of two applications here: when i am told what i need to do or change in myself, i'm less receptive to the message because my rebellious heart kicks in and i want to fight against that very thing i desire to do (on whatever level i desire to do it at), and secondly, how does this translate to sharing my faith? if i walk around instructing people on how they should be living their lives, rather than sharing honestly and earnestly about what god is doing in my life, i will be offending them thru my self-centred need to share what i think rather than share what god is doing in my life (and thereby giving him the credit and glory) and giving that other person the freedom to hear me rather than rise up in defense.

maybe i'm stretching it here... but every time i floss and brush, i think about freedom now. and i think about jesus.


Friday, November 5, 2010


I came across this article on the 'net from the world juniors last christmas... it made me think about the euro tourney that was held in turkey just last weekend that arielle and i didn't go to this year. but so many great memories!! and wonderful people to meet around the world. here's the story from mr. merk, iihf correspondent.

It's a small world
December 31 / Martin Merk

The 2010 World Juniors have many unexpected connections, even to international women’s hockey.

Chelsa Heywood, a volunteer working in media relations at Regina’s Brandt Centre, was excited to talk to Czech journalists. Prague is one of her favourite cities – for good reason. In Saskatchewan, she used to play for the University of Regina Cougars, but is currently just playing recreational hockey. However, she played a professional season on the Slavia Prague women’s team in 2008-2009, along with her friend from Regina, Arielle Schade. They also competed in the IIHF’s European Women’s Champions Cup, a competition for European club teams that won their respective national leagues.

Although playing professional women’s hockey in Europe isn't the road to riches, it was a chance for both women to see a new country, experience a different culture, and play in a different hockey league.

Earlier this year, the two got the chance to go back to Prague when they emailed the Turkish Ice Hockey Association, asking if they needed reinforcements for the European Women’s Champions Cup. That wound up getting them an invitation to join the Milenyum Ankara team for the tournament in the Czech Republic, including an honorarium and airfare.

That was reason enough for both to join the club,which also featured two Americans. It was an interesting experience for Heywood and Schade, since the Turkish players, all coming from an ice-skating background, were eager to learn from their North American teammates.

Although Milenyum Ankara's best result in three games was a loss by a seven-goal margin, the Saskatchewaners enjoyed their trip, which they extended for a few days to catch up with some good old friends in Prague.

Chelsa Heywood and Arielle Schade in the Milenyum Ankara jersey during the European Women’s Champions Cup in the Czech Republic last autumn. Photo: Slavia Prague

Thursday, November 4, 2010

that dang delicious apple

before i studied my faith in any great detail, before i knew my worldview, before... when i tried to do this following jesus thing on my own with my own knowledge... it was like this...

there's this great big leafy apple tree, tall and strong with extensive branches that stretch out in graceful elegance. the leaves are big and green, the blossoms in the spring are beautiful, fragrant. when the apples come, they grow to be big and bold in appearance and your mouth starts watering just imagining their juicy taste, the crispness as your teeth break through the skin. YUM.

so i approach the apple tree, my eye on this delectable looking fruit hanging above me, juuust low enough that i can reach it. if i jump. many times. one time. i'll get it.

and finally that one time comes, i jump up into the air, extend my arm the furthest it's ever gone, and i pluck that apple from the tree. the way down is like slowmo... i close my eyes and shout for joy as i feel the apple enclosed within the grip of my two hands.

FINALLY! i've reached it!

my feet hit earth and my body swells with the pride of my accomplishment. so many jumps, so much effort, and now, finally, i've done it.

i unclasp my hands from around the apple. and stare into empty palms.

it's not there.

it's gone.

but i just...?

but i finally...?


i look at the tree, motionless beside me, and my eyes run up the bark of the trunk, up through the leaves and back to the place where i first spotted that juicy red apple that shouted my name.

and there is it.

right where it was. right where i left it. before i jumped and got it.

all that work, all those jumps, all that time and in an instant. it was gone.

does your christian walk ever feel like that? you strive, you work, you try with all your might to please the father, to finally do the right thing, get that achievement, be all you know you can be.

and yet you're not satisfied? it's not enough?

i know that struggle. i lived it for too long. i still live it sometimes when my eyes are off of truth and my worldview has shifted back to one of self. of me. of my achievement and my effort.

your life is not about you. jesus isn't saving you because of what you've done or didn't do, will do or could do. he came and died because he loves you - he died and rose for you, living the life you couldn't live - because HE is good enough. not you. you never will be.

you don't have to strive for that apple, because your arms are already full of more apples than you could ever need or want.

the question is, do you have eyes to see them?

Saturday, August 21, 2010

looking back/looking fwd

a few weeks ago my pastor asked me to write a few words for our church website about what god's been doing in my life this past year. i thought i'd pass it on as a bit of a summary... the tip of the iceberg, if you would!
feel free to check out the church website to see what else is going on!

I wasn't sure what life would be like upon returning to Regina. I had been overseas working for Athletes in Action for two years after living in the Queen City my entire life. I knew I had been called back, but to what I wasn't sure.

I had started listening to podcasts while living in Prague, namely by John Piper, Mark Driscoll and Matt Chandler. January of 2009 I started to regularly take in sermons by these pastors; I encountered a new kind of Christianity I had never experienced nor heard of before. I began to pursue reading theology and studying my faith for myself. I began to press into the scriptures and God began to work major changes in my heart. I had no idea that those changes were preparing me for something else very exciting at home.

My sister started attending an Acts 29 church plant in Columbus, OH. Acts 29 is the network started by Mark Driscoll and the staff at Mars Hill Church in Seattle, WA. Through that network she found out about a church plant happening in Regina. I was thrilled. At the same time I didn't know what to expect. Through the webpage, I emailed a guy I didn't know who was starting the church, and showed up at his house for bible study a few weeks later.

On September 13, 2009, we had our first official service as a church - the Compass. Since that day my learning has been substantial. Each Sunday at church I hear truth preached in a purposeful way. It has been said that soft words make for a hard heart, and hard words make for a soft heart. I can definitely attest to this. While it has been my experience in the past that churches are often afraid of, or shy away from, talking about tough subjects, at the Compass the truth is preached regardless of your comfort. It's refreshing. My life is changing because my heart is changing. I can look back a month ago and see ways that my thinking, my heart and my life have changed to more reflect what I'm seeking to pursue in having Christ as first in my life.

I am being challenged to live out of a worldview centred on the cross and not on myself. To put first things first means to put Jesus first. I am learning that community takes work and effort and that God has called us to sacrifice for church. I am learning that life includes suffering, which God calls us into and blesses us in the midst of, simply with the gift of himself. I am hearing the truth preached and it's so applicable to my everyday struggles. I am realizing that life is not my own - it's not about me - and the calling from Jesus everyday is to live missionally and not out of my circumstances. Christ is a rock; I am not. There is no good in me except that for which God gives me out of his merciful grace. I cannot take credit for my faith because it's a gift from God. There is a focus on the person and work of Jesus that is causing me to see my life in terms of his. This worldview shift is huge - all of life flows from the lens in which I look. The question is, what is creating that lens?

I am a messed up sinner with no hope apart from Christ. Maybe that sounds depressing to you, but to me it sounds like freedom. I'm not good enough - even my good deeds are filthy rags in the eyes of God (Isaiah 64:4) - but Jesus has already covered me. Shifting my focus to Jesus and away from self is helping me to overcome sin that has been entrenched in my life for decades and for generations in my family.

We heard from the word and the book of Phillipians in the fall. These words of Paul's keep ringing in my ears: "to live is Christ, to die is gain".

In the end, all we need is Jesus.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

i made up a word for this post...

i've been mulling on the concept of repentance and what that looks like in my life.

let me just say this first: our god is mindblowingly faithful.

i've been reading a lot of spurgeon lately as i've previously shared. reading through his works on his "experiences after conversion", this sentence struck me and i've been chewing on it pretty much non-stop:

"I have found, in my own spiritual life, that the more rules I lay down for myself, the more sins I committ."

i couldn't have said it better myself. i feel like spurgeon had the exact same thought as i'm having - some 150 years earlier. i read that sentence and actually got excited - not because the message is great in an upbeat, pumped for life kind of way, but because i can relate exponentially. i'm a rule maker and list follower - at times i have lists of my "to do" lists - and there's some great structure that's found in these tendencies i have to organization, but there's a lot of potential for legalism, defeat, condemnation and further sin. one stumble into sin often perpetuates a slide into another.

which leads to repentance. today i realized that i kind of have categories for the sins i struggle with - and when i give into sin it's almost like i put it into a category in my mind and repent of that particular sin, praying i will not stumble with that one again - that i will turn from it. but really, i think those categories are "man-made" structures i've erected in my mind; my repentance is not to be categorical, purposed to work in one area independently. rather, my repentance in a moment or time of sin struggle is to move me away from that moment, action, thought, etc so that the rest of the day i'm moving back towards christ with him as my pursuit... my heart is changing and inclining closer and deeper into him.

it's not about behaviour modification. or cleaning up categories of my life. or struggles on an individual basis.

it's about my heart. that deceitful place. that wellspring of life. such a paradoxical concept.

repentance that is purposed to clean up an area of my behaviour only perpetuates the cycle of sin in my life - because repentance is about heart - not action!

my doing flows out of my being. repentance is about my being, not my doing.

our god is mindblowingly faithful.

i'm still mulling it over... and open for thoughts

Friday, May 28, 2010


then abraham waited patiently and he received what god had promised.

hebrews 6:15

i've been mulling over this verse for the past few weeks. it's propped up on my nightstand so i can read it whenever my eye happens to catch it. i noticed tonite as i read it that i'm not sure if i've been really getting what it says. i've been reading it and telling myself, 'be patient and wait on the lord for your hearts desire', but that's in actuality not the message. because gods promises are true, they're real, they're for my good, not to harm me, but to continue the good work he started in me.

what the verse doesn't say is, "then abraham waited patiently and he received what god knew he wanted and because he's good and true would therefore give to him". nuh uhh. that's not the message.

how often do i read my bible, gleaning and glancing and skimming for the words i want to hear?

when i wait patiently, i receive what god has for me. not what i think is good for me. not what i have planned for myself.

cause god knows what is best. he is trustworthy.

the question is, then, do i trust him?

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

insomniatic idiosyncrasy

it's almost 2 am. i can't sleep. obviously. i'm like the queen of rhetorical statements. i think that's a paradox. since i'm devoid of slumber i'm slightly ridiculous. but that's okay. someone who's also ridiculous but in the best way possible and in a way i'd like to be: Charles Haddon Spurgeon. that guy is a dude and a half. here's an excerpt from his autobiographical works i've been mulling over as late:

finally, i bear my witness that he is full of truth. true have his promises been; not one has failed. i have often doubted him - for that i blush. he has never failed me; in this i must rejoice. his promises have been yea and amen. i do but speak the testimony of every believer in christ, though i put it thus personally to make it the more forcible. i bear witness that never servant had such a master as i have; never a brother had such a kinsman as he has been to me; never a spouse had such a husband as christ has been to my soul; never a sinner a better savior; never a solider a better captain; never a mourner a better comforter than christ has been to my spirit. i want none beside him. in life, he is my life, and in death, he shall be the death of death. in poverty, christ is my riches. in sickness, he makes my bed. in darkness, he is my star. and in brightness, he is my sun. by faith i understand that the blessed son of god redeemed my soul with his own heart's blood, and by sweet experience i know that he raised me up from the pit of dark despair and set my feet on the rock. he died for me. this is the root of every satisfaction i have. he put all my transgressions away. he cleansed me with his precious blood; he covered me with his perfect righteousness; he wrapped me up in his own virtues. he has promised to keep me, while i abide in this world, from its temptations and snares. and when i depart from this world, he has already prepared for me a mansion in the heaven of unfading bliss, and a crown of everlasting joy that shall never, never fade away. to me, then, the days or years of my mortal sojourn on this earth are of little moment. nor is the manner of my decease of much consequence. should foemen sentence me to martyrdom or physicians declare that i must soon depart this life, it is all alike.

what more can i wish than that, while my brief term on earth shall last, i should be the servant of him who became the servant of servants for me?

what a guy, what a guy. i want to desire and know my lord with the same vehemence of that of the brother spurgeon.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

waking up

well now, more than 2 months later. i'm back. a few things have changed. school's done (praise the lord), i've increased a number on the year counter (yep, had a bday) and i was MIA from the blogging world for a while... (among many other things).

i think i'm probably blogging today because i woke up today. not literally. i mean, ya, literally. i've been getting up every morning since march 4th (that's the last day i blogged). but today was a different kind of wake up. one of those ones akin to an epiphany whereby it's not the literal opening of the eyes after a night of slumber, but the wakening of the heart (soul?) to a realization.

really, i have been waking up each day - but i've been terribly off course as of late in my rising. see, tonite i was reminded of the basics of life. really, the one basic. the only one that matters. the basic question of "who am i living for today?"... out of that one flows a myriad of questions: is the purpose of my life today for the glory of god or the worship of self? am i going to use today to further the gospel in my life and in the life of others? am i living out of the humble, confident, joy that the gospel graciously allows me to?

we talked about the gospel: what is it? what does it mean? such basic questions. such profound applications. if the fact that jesus came, lived a perfect life - the life we were supposed to live - and did so without sin, then not only died on the cross but rose again, enduring complete separation from the one source of goodness we have on earth in our Father God, and then defeated that sin for us by rising from the dead... if that fact impacts my mind, heart and hands on a daily level... everything changes.

so i've been waking up lately, but the gospel has not been the focus of my heart. in compete honesty... ... my heart has been focused on what Chelsa wants. what's my life lacking? why don't i have it? where am i going to get it? how can i manipulate this situation? this is starting to look a lot like my last posting where by the dog gave me an illustration of the selfishness of my life... guess i just didn't quite get it.

i've been off in left field pursuing the world, so distracted from the one thing worth living for - the one thing that will completely satisfy and answer the questions of my heart.

while today has been hard, full of tears and questions, i'm so thankful that something in me broke. that i woke up after months of thinking i'm fine. here it is again... i'm not!

i am increasingly discovering and realizing the depths of my sinfulness; but as i see this in myself i am also increasing in my realization of how great God's holiness is. and that's the gospel - filling in the gap is the grace that jesus' death provides. he is SO faithful. he is SO good. he never gets too busy to love us. he never stops being full of grace. he is always GOD.

my faith is something i cannot take credit for. it's a gift. so glad i woke up today.

i know how i'm going to choose to wake up tomorrow.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

lessons from the pooch

the dog and i have been spending a lot of time together lately. it's mainly because i'm her sole caregiver in the absence of my parents, rather than because i have some increased affinity for the beast. i don't. she drives me crazy in so many ways. i would choose the cat over the dog any day, without hesitation! yes, the cat is a diva, but she's incredibly more self sufficient.

i decided it would be good for both the dog and i if we went for a few walks/runs in the absence of her regular walk with my mom. when i got home from school on monday, tia was there, waiting with great anticipation as usual. i think this is the part where most people get warm fuzzies towards man's best friend. for me, it begins the "no bark" game as the great pooch won't shut up! it doesn't even matter that we're not even really friends, she can't hold herself back!

so the dog begins the usual charade: whining, hollering, howling, moaning, barking, baying... u name it. the pathetic pooch is making a scene and a half. just because someone arrived home and her long list of needs were about to be met. it's almost as though i could hear her brain flitting back and forth between thoughts... through her barking, this is what i heard:

pay attention to me!
look at me!
touch me!
pet me!
i wanna walk!
i want a treat!
when are we going for a walk?
pet me!
love me!

i rolled my eyes and desperately wished i could just tell her to shut up and hold on for 2 seconds... a walk was just around the corner with all the needed amenities - bathroom break, treats, pets, etc. how could it get that through to her thick, doggy-brained skull?

and then it struck me.

i'm just like the dog.

how often am i pleading with god... please Lord, take this from me? when is this going to happen? when will this change? why is this, that or the other thing happening? can't you just DO something? i want to be here... i want to be there. ME ME ME ME ME!!!

YIKES - i'm just like the dog!!!

god knows what's around the corner for my life. and it's for my good. and his glory.

the parallel just about ends there. in no way, shape or form could this analogy cover the DEPTH and BREADTH of what god has for us... nor the scope of his goodness. i walked the dog out of a sense of duty. god loves us because he made us, he delights in us, we're his children and his plans for us are good. thank jesus for his redeeming work on the cross and the perspective his life gives ours; this whole joy in the circumstances thing is really kicking me in the butt this year!

the dog's whining again... i guess it's time for another walk. :D

Friday, February 19, 2010

lessons from the dancin' guy

if you haven't seen this video on how to create momentum in leadership... you should probably watch this!

go to:

you will not be disappointed!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

sista got hitched!

i just got home from 9 glorious days in columbus, ohio. GOOD TIMES! the reason i was there was my little sister got married. i guess she's not so little anymore since she's married and therefore has to grow up. i'm sure she's loving it though. the wedding was one of the most beautiful things i've ever seen. the sweetest part was that i left feeling encouraged in my faith and like i want to pursue christ with an intensity that i haven't yet before. there are so many things i could say, but i'll just leave it at that and post a few pics. i sure wish i'd taken more!!

Monday, January 25, 2010

i'll never look at bread the same again

today i embarked on a new adventure. well really, it's an old adventure in a new suit. it's that delightful thing those of us consumed with study, paying awfully high amounts of cash to people who don't know how to teach (unless they're education profs, and then they have it down to a science... supplemented with journalling)... and i do believe that tangent proves just that point i'm trying to get at... if i could stop getting distracted... the cat just walked by so i took a few minutes to pet her and now, 45 minutes later, i'm back to the sentence. what is it with students in refining the fine art of delaying the inevitable until the absolute last possible moment, whereby it becomes an emergency that all else in life must stop for?? so i baked some bread today. and i made a bunch of other healthy food for the week... i'm kind of on a whole foods kick, but i'm not going all out into the whole foods world. i've spent wayyy too many years being an all or nothing person, in too many areas of my life - some of which has turned positive results, most of which has served to further confuddle my brain, which is an conundrum unto itself. so i figured that if i went all or nothing on the thinking of being all or nothing that would just negate itself and i'd end up a square one with a whole bunch of wasted time and energy. speaking of time and energy, i baked some bread today. and mmmm, it was gooood. here's a picture of the delightful loaves themselves. the smell in the house was INCREDIBLE. so ya, i procrastinate. but the bread was good!

check out the golden loaves for yourself:

Friday, January 22, 2010

i love fantasy movies. in so many ways it's a chance to escape the realities of daily life and enter into someone else's world for a bit. i'm learning more and more about myself that, although i like to call myself a realist, sometimes i'm an escapist too and it's not always a good thing.

there's some sin in my life - okay, understatement - i'm messed up and struggle - and lately my struggle with sin, some particularly nasty sin at that, has got me looking to relocate. somehow the thought of being in a different space or circumstance has me imaging that things would be different.

in elementary school we used to do these exercises in math using the abbreviation LCD. we'd reduce numbers down to see just how low they could be taken without losing the relative ratio between the two. do you remember what that stands for? LCD is the Lowest Common Denominator.

no matter where my physical body goes, the reality is that I am the lowest common denominator in it all. stripped down to the most basic level of my being, my sin will not change with my circumstances. ya it might look different, but it's still ME and that i cannot escape. and i wasn't made to, because if relocation allowed me to escape, why would i need jesus? i cannot escape myself, because life is about learning to deal with sin and make the choice to say 'yes' to jesus in those times when i really just want to run away from it all.

fantasy movies are fun, they show you what the story teller wants you to see about the characters and the story. but those characters, on some layer, are just like the rest of us. the difference is we get to see a pointed snapshot into their lives.

i love rhyming, so this is what i will end with:

if the LCD is me then i need JC!!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

hockey nation

i love hockey. i love canada. and i LOVE canadian hockey. this year the world junior championships were held in my very own city and i had the chance to watch over 12 games! wootwoot! it was sweet to see so many international players, teams and coaches competing in one place. it was also incredible the way the city of regina worked together to volunteer and to attend the games - even though team canada played all their games in saskatoon. it's hard to sum up what canadian hockey is all about. it's kind of more of a feeling, a lifestyle, something that permeates the canadian psychie. it's a given.

i found this commercial. it gave me goosebumps. it made me giggle. when it comes to hockey, i'm like a kid in a candy shop. i LOVE the game. if you're wondering what all the madness is about... check out the link below. it will explain a lot.

can't wait for vancouver!!