Saturday, October 29, 2011

thankfulness... slow and steady

a quick, 3am thank you to jesus for the body of christ. praise him for unity, grace and the interconnectedness of the lives of his people! in our city, the christian climate can often be one of cutthroat competition (ridiculous) and carelessness towards other congregations... but we are all, together, the body of christ.

tonight on the love bus, i felt what i feel like is a small piece of the joy that awaits us in heaven where we are freed from sin and, finally, truly unified. no doctrinal disputes or conservative conundrums, no emerging this and beware of that... just free, unadulterated worship to our father. the love bus was an awesome experience tonight. people from 4 different representative bodies from the city of regina came to love on the people and worship the lord; in doing so, they loved on each other.

there are some amazing hearts for jesus in this city! i am blown away by the selflessness of those who give their late night hours on the love bus to serve others. we had some amazing conversations with people who came on the bus tonight, from suicides and abortions to kids taken away and broken marriages.

i'm often reminded that issues never come in a certain package. we've all got them. it doesn't matter if you shower once a week or once a day, you're human, flawed and in need of a savior.

i'm really thankful tonight for people who love jesus in this city and are obedient to play their part, the part god has given them to play at this particular moment in time. for his glory.

Monday, October 24, 2011

so the last week i'm going to call a day (i can do that, right? i mean, it's my blog, after all!)... maybe i should make this 30 entries thankful, rather than 30 days thankful!

anyways, i'm going to call the last week a day and say that i am incredibly thankful for my relationship with jesus. he is the rock that is higher than i. he is unchanging, never failing, full of love... sacrificial, caring, genuine, real... he gave his life for me. i honestly don't know where i'd be or how i'd be able to function without him.

it's a weird thing to ponder... why do i love jesus? it seems so sunday school... "because he died on the cross for me"... but it's literally that simple. he died on the cross for me because i'm separated by my sin from god. god is full of love, yes, but he's also just. and in his justice, he cannot tolerate sin. but jesus' life, death and resurrection can pay the penalty on my behalf.

it's so much more though... it's a daily life of relationship, it's a walk, a journey. unlike our fellow man, jesus never fails us. he never stops loving, he's always perfect, he never lets us down. he's an incredible friend, brother and god. he is worthy of all of our hearts and the depths of our souls. we can trust him with everything. the more i know him, the more i love him. the more i love him, the more i trust him.

through christ, we are disciplined by the father because he loves us. uggh, discipline is hard. but it produces a harvest! it grows our character... it creates in us avenues to be like christ that would never be there apart from him.

life is hard sometimes. life is hard. but i trust jesus. i love him.

this week i'm thankful for jesus... the author and perfector of our faith. faith... a gift. unmerited, yet freely given.

faith... grace... jesus.

incredible gifts.

thank you, father!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

day 13

somehow i put day 9 as day 12 below... not sure what happened there.

anyways... today was a tough day to be thankful. i just wasn't feelin it!

but, as always, the lord is good and showed up in unexpected ways.

i'm especially grateful for the way the lord creates community and the fellowship that takes places over a good meal. i had a great meal tonight and it was a most unexpected invitation, but one that i'm very grateful for! i love my community and the wonderful people that continually shower me with love and god's blessing.

i even ate a whole piece of steak! and it was delish!

thanks, r & c. :)

Monday, October 17, 2011

thankful three days

short and sweet synopsis...

friday - sweet, honest friends

saturday - hockey: play, watch, get involved

sunday - afternoon naps


Friday, October 14, 2011

day 12

grace has been pressed upon me.

grace is incredible. it's free, it's unearned, you can't earn it, actually. never can. it's unlimited. unwavering. unfathomable.

i struggle to believe everyday that i am truly saved by grace and that i do not have to earn my standing before god. how many days do i feign to remember that, oh yes, chelsa, you are, indeed, saved! you are redeemed! you are loved unconditionally! all this "stuff" you're caught up in... simply details in light of grace and jesus!

i'm really thankful not only that jesus gives me his grace in unlimited amounts, but that he calls his community to live within the bounds of this grace. you see, i'm super messed up. i don't know about you, but i am. well, i do know about you. you're just as messed as i am... perhaps you haven't realized it yet! haha. who am i kidding. you know. we all do. but do you know you need a savior?

it's so easy for me to see my sin, failings, the ways that i hurt people, fail to uphold the gospel calling, etc, etc, etc. but then i have to remember... that these things are WORKS, not grace, and that i am no longer held under the law but under grace.

praise JESUS!

jesus calls his community to live under grace and extend this grace to one another... not one time, or even 7 times, but 70 times 7... an amount we could never count! i'm thankful for family that extends me grace, for sisters and brothers in christ who love me like a sister and accept me as i am, for boyfriends (oh wait, make that boyfriend) that allow forgiveness and healing in a relationship... all as a reflection of the cross and the grace that we live under.

jesus... you blow my mind.

i guess in being thankful for grace today, i'm thankful for the cross, the resurrection, and the mystery of the lord that leaves many things unexplainable.

would they really be that great if simple me could figure them out?

Thursday, October 13, 2011

day 8

today i'm thankful for positive, supportive and inspirational role models in my life.

this might sound strange, but one of mine is a 64 year old professor who also happens to be the advising faculty for my internship. he is just a downright wonderful person. i've been having a pretty rough september/october, and today he met me at the high school just to chat and see how he might be able to help.

he's great for many reasons. he's extremely smart and very sharp. despite the head knowledge, he cares about people. and you know it. you're not just a number to him, you're a person with a life and a heart and he cares about how you're doing. he's dedicated his life to helping students, helping teachers and trying to make education better. he taught me to pay yourself first... something i will take with me for the rest of my life as a key personal finance principle! among many other things. :) he doesn't judge. someone else might have condemned me or judged me today. or just not cared.

our brief, 45 minute chat, was a huge encouragement to me today.

thanks, cyril. i'm thankful for you.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

one week thankful

wow. tonight i'm super thankful. tonight it's easier to be thankful in terms of the feeling, rather than the choice. doesn't that always seem to be the case when circumstances are tougher... being thankful is tougher, too?

i'm extremely grateful that the lord love us like he does. and in that great and perfect love, love that is so great that it seeks out the best and the good in everything, there is discipline.

And have you forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons?

"My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord,
nor be weary when reproved by him.
For the Lord disciplines the one he loves,
and chastises every son whom he receives."

It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline?

Hebrews 12:5-7


Besides this, we have had earthly fathers who disciplined us and we respected them. Shall we not much more be subject to the Father of spirits and live? For they disciplined us for a short time as it seemed best to them, but he disciplines us for our good that we may share his holiness. For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.

Hebrews 12:9-11

the lord knows what he's doing. and he disciplines us because he loves us. we all know how annoying and obnoxious the spoiled kid is whose parents never discipline him. god has better for all of us and demonstrates his love for us in his discipline. he desires that we would be different, that we would be shaped by his hand and not by our own fleshly desires.

discipline sucks, honestly, in the moment. it's hard. it's painful. but it's good.

i'm thankful the lord loves me enough to bless me with his discipline.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Days 5 + 6

i posted this yesterday on my fb, but i'll repost it here. because, yes, sometimes i'm a legalist and i have to follow the rules (the calendar doesn't skip day 5 so how could i?!). ridiculous, i know.

happy thanksgiving! the greatest thing i'm thankful for is jesus. he puts thankfulness into a whole new context.

that was it... short and sweet.

i've been thinking a lot today about what i'm thankful for. i could prattle off a few different options, but i'll save those for another day and list. not that i'll run out of things to be thankful for by any means.

i went for a long run today (with a fabulous friend... who i'm VERY thankful for, btw) and i was struck by the beauty of the park as we ran. the leaves were hues of orange, red, gold and green. there were so many times when both of us exclaimed "that's a perfect picture right there!" as we saw a man on a park bench looking out at the water, his bike parked behind him. or the way the trees folded perfectly over the path in a leafy cascade of colours over our heads.

my eyes were overwhelmed with the beauty i saw around me. but as i took a deep breath and inhaled the aroma of fall, with the fresh, yet decaying scent of life and death, mixing into a surprisingly delicious assault on the senses, i became less aware of what i could see and more aware of how i felt.

there is something incredible about fresh breath in your nostrils, the invigorating taste of outside air in your lungs. as i breathed, a sense of calm, freedom and excitement coursed through my veins. it made me feel free from the burdens on my heart, in my mind and the incessant ticking of the clock in my brain.

i'm so thankful for the outdoors, for fresh, clean air and the beauty that surrounds us. i'm thankful, too, that the lord doesn't limit his interaction with us to the way we often see it: stuffy pews in a church, solitary prayer, institutions. no, he's way bigger than that. he's in the air we breathe and the beauty around us. he made it, he loves it; just like he loves us.

simple exercise, a run in the park on a path, in nature, and beauty and the brilliance of our maker. he met me there and i laid my burdens at his feet as we ran together.

today i got to experience him.

that's what i'm thankful for.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

thankful day 4...

i have the most amazing parents. they are extremely generous, loving and thoughtful towards me.

the amazing thing about parents, is it doesn't matter how you treat them, what you've done or where you've been (or go), they are faithful and loving. i realize this isn't the case for everyone, which only makes me increasingly thankful that the ones that i have are, and are such a representation of the unconditional love that we are given by the Father.

whether things in my life are going smoothly or terribly, mom and dad are faithful to stick by me and be increasingly supportive.

today i'm so grateful for my parents. they are gems and i love them. one day i hope to be the kind of parent to my kids that they've been to me!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

thankful day 3

today i'm thankful for the rain.

it was just what my heart needed.

i'll leave it at that.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

thankful day 2

today's thankful piece is easy. i'm at school (the high school, that is) all day... as i have been the past month... everyday. i'm learning what it means to be a teacher and discovering that the disjointed experience of university is nothing like high school. somehow i forgot that. maybe it was the 8 years between now and then or maybe it's just my selective memory.

but today i was really hit with what a community exists within the walls of this building. there are so many things going on... ideas, knowledge, relationship, friendships and family. we celebrated the birthday of our elder, who works with the teen moms at the shirley schneider centre, and it was awesome to see all these babies/infants and their mothers celebrate 70 years for norma jean. what a neat picture of a family!

i also had a wonderful period with my grade 9s. we did an activity for the hour that the students really go into. what a satisfying feeling!

so today, i am thankful for schools and teachers and students and everything that happens within the walls of this building. there are a lot of wonderful people that really care about others. and that is what i want to spend my life doing!

30 days thankful

i'm going to make it my goal over the next 30 days to select one thing that i'm thankful for each day and post it here.

because in general, i have not had an overly thankful heart, and especially as of late in my life. and i have much to be grateful for!

tonight i am extremely thankful for community. i have enjoyed living in sweet, rich and honest community in the two years since i've moved home from europe. in times of need especially, i have seen this community rise up and love, pray and accept me and those around me. all for jesus and centred on the cross.

in our competitive and self-centred world, real community is refreshing.

it's a huge blessing to me and i'm extremely thankful for it!