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?