Friday 27 October 2017

Dearest Daughter, Have the Joy of the Lord

This letter is part of series of letters I have written to my daughters. Please read them as though they were for your daughter, or from your mom. There is a downloadable letter at the end of the post that you may print and share with your loved ones.

Dearest Daughter,

What I want you know is that you possess something the world cannot attain-

deep down 


People everywhere want to offer up love to one another,

but the problem is,

when you scratch beyond the surface of their love you will find

hostility, sadness, and fear.

I plead with you to guard yourself from these emotions.

Do not conform to this way of thinking. 

Let your love run deeper.

I pray that below your surface is the joy that only God can give.

Your joy is something that comes from knowing who you are,

and you are,

the daughter of King,

safely bound to him for all eternity.

This world needs your joy, this world needs God’s joy.

You must know with all your heart 

that Satan can crush your body,

but he can



your spirit.

Because of that, you can laugh freely without fear of tomorrow.

You can dance in the midst of your pain knowing it is temporary.

You can sing a joyful song to the Lord of lords and King of kings.

You are his, and he is yours.

My child, hold this tightly.

The freedom you possess while laughing, 

the smile you do not hesitate to reveal 

will be a beacon of light in the dead and despairing world.

They will notice and want what you have.

Let that joy etch itself across your face as you grow.

This world needs to see something they have yet to see.

Joy unspeakable.

Walk confidently my daughter,

laugh in the face of adversity,

and let the joy of the Lord be your strength.



 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God's power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.
1 Peter 1:3-9

Top photo by Bahaa A. Shawqi from Pexels 

Wednesday 25 October 2017

Living in Authentic Faith Even in the Midst of Pain

One quiet day when no one was home I found an old box in our basement. I had just read a story in The Good and Beautiful God of a professor who had his students beat up a box to prove a theological point. I’ll get to the point in second, but let me back up to tell you what happened the day I gave it a go. 

At first I was careful. I gently took a knife and punctured a hole through it. To my surprise tears flooded my eyes. I kept going being less and less gentle with this box. Each rip, each stomp represented something in my life that had changed who I was, something that hurt deeply. Each crumple and each hole was a painful memory from my past. I kicked the box around my kitchen awhile longer thankful that no one was around to watch the spectacle.

So what was the point?

I took my beat-up chunk of cardboard and went to my dark basement. I stuck a light inside the box and stood back to survey the damage. Shining into the darkness was the light that was inside the beaten up box. It occurred to me in that moment that where the most damage had been inflicted was the exact spot that the light could escape more easily and shine the furthest.

How often do we try to the cover the wounds and hurts from our own life? But here’s the thing...when you attempt to cover the rips, the wounds, and the imperfections life has left you on, you deny God the ability to shine through your weakness. 

Living as authentic Christians we don't get to claim we are perfect either in our words, our actions, or by what we keep concealed deep inside. 

You see, on our own, our lives are a dumpy piece of unusable cardboard. But, the moment we invite God to be part of our lives, he enters in and does what he does best. He takes our damaged lives and enters into a union with us so he can shine through our mess into the darkness around us. That's the Good News of our salvation!

There is nothing we can do in our own ability to cause God's hope to shine forth from us. We are not saved by our good deeds. We can only walk out our lives openly and vulnerably in a way that others can see that it is by what Christ has done for us that we find our value. 

We need to stop beating ourselves up to be better tomorrow, continually grasping at being a “perfect” Christian and falling short every time, until defeat swallows you up. It’s time to let perfection go, my friend. Neither you, nor I will make that mark on this side of heaven. 

Remember God’s promise to Paul though? He says that his power is made perfect in our weakness. (2 Cor. 12:9)  He understands we are weak, and imperfect. He weeps for us when we are crushed and damaged by the sin of this world. Then, His strength and power shine brightly out of our wounds and darkness loses the battle once again. 

I encourage you this week to let your guard down and allow God to shine through your weakness spreading hope to those around you.

For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ. But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. (2 Cor 4:6-9)

Monday 16 October 2017

5 Ways my Husband Reflects Christ

Young ladies, if you are at an age where finding a spouse is on your radar, do yourself a favour and find a man who reflects Christ. As we watch marriages crumble all around us, I can't help but to be thankful for a husband who (while he isn't perfect...though I'm no walk in the park either!), certainly works hard to be a reflection of Christ in action and words. Don't settle for anything less than that! 

Here are 5 ways my husband reflects Christ...

1. He loves as my lowest lows.

Last year I struggled against depression after having had what I will just call "2 year long post-partum depression". He fought hard for my health, but what meant the most was that he loved me when I was unlovable. I was angry, sad, anxious, and tired all day, everyday, without a break. He gave me comfort, he reminded me it would have an end point, he never let me think I was going at life alone.

2. He would correct my bad behaviour because he knew I was capable of better.

This is tough one. We often see Jesus as our chummy buddy who loves us without rebuke. No doubt he loves us unconditionally! But the thing is, if he didn’t call on us to be better, our own sinful nature would take over. 

My husband does not scold me, instead he reminds me there are better approaches than the one I just chose. He has seen me in my finest hour and knows what I am capable of. He does not want to see me give way to something less than who I am. It does not come from his own pride and selfish motive, but because he knows I'm worth it. When I am living better, we are living better together. (see point 1 to remember that on my lowest days he still loved me for me.)

3. He can lead well.

It is difficult for us women who have been bombarded with the rise of empowerment for our gender to step back and let our men lead. I, for one, love to see strong men rising up who can take the lead and do it well (can I get an "amen"?!). There is something utterly attractive about a man who can see the needs of his family and meet them through his leadership. I can rest easier in my day knowing that the tasks he does are done well and will benefit our family. I don’t need to think about them, which frees me to do other tasks that I need to do. 

Could I do what he does? Some things (he has a lot more brute strength than me which often comes in handy...especially for pickle jar lids...haha! Kidding dear, I love you for way more than your strength!). But, I don’t need the weight of the world on my shoulders. That’s not for me to carry. 

He has shown me that Jesus leads well and I can trust handing over all aspects of my life to him knowing he has a perfect plan.

4. He knows HOW to love me.

I’m not talking about sex here, it’s way beyond that. He is my greatest lover and knows me intimately. He gives me gifts that mean something to me. He knows my love languages. He thinks of me often through the day and lets me know it in varying ways. I see him across the room and swoon at his presence because out of everyone in that room, only HE knows how to love me in a way that matters to me. He gets me! 

It is this point that he has taught me the most about our Great Lover. Jesus knows each of us so intimately it should make you blush. That’s a lover worth having a  relationship with. 

5. Relationships take effort 

Our relationship has been marked by trials and has put the “worse” part of “for better or for worse” to trial. It takes extraordinary amounts of commitment and intentionality to stay married. We have had to fight for each other on more than one occasion. He for me, and I for him. 

Marriage is not something you should do on a whim and expect great results. It is process of fighting past the temptation to run and handing the relationship over to the hands of God to hold together. 

By my own doing, I will not stay committed to Christ. I am rebellious in nature and, in spite of what I want to believe, my sinner’s body would cause me to become, at the very least, complacent (if not running in the opposite direction altogether). 

Much like my marriage, when I feel myself begin to wander, I place my faith and relationship with Christ back in the hands of God to strengthen it. I fight past the temptations and work at my relationship with Christ remembering all that he is to me.

Married women, in what ways does your spouse reflect Christ? Let's give the young ladies some encouragement!

Saturday 7 October 2017

He Stood Between the Dead and The Living

A short clip on a powerful verse in Numbers about Aaron standing between the dead and the living, and how we are still called to do the same.

Pray on mighty warriors!