Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Summer Adventures - Part 3

This past weekend's outing took us to the far away City of Mississauga to visit family. :-) We say Mississauga is far away because to get from here to there, we have to cross over the huge City of Toronto, driving through the very busy Highway 401, which always seems to be congested no matter what time of day it is!

We had lots of fun there as we visited a local splash park! An added delight was to see some friends join us for the day as well. Here are some photos:


Our second outing of the weekend was a trek to the Toronto Zoo. The Great Barrier Reef exhibit just opened recently and we were eager to check it out. Here are some photos:


"How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity!"
---Psalm 133:1 NIV

"You are to bring into the ark two of all living creatures, male and female, to keep them alive with you. Two of every kind of bird, of every kind of animal and of every kind of creature that moves along the ground will come to you to be kept alive."
---Genesis 6:19-20 NIV

Summer Adventures - Part 2

Two weekends ago, we headed out to Great Wolf Lodge in Niagara Falls, Ontario. We went together with our neighbours from across the street. We had a great time --- lots of fun for all. We do not have any photos to share because if one wants to truly have lots of fun in a waterpark, one should not bring their camera with them! So, we decided to leave our camera in the lodge room and never did take any shots for the duration of the whole trip.

The greatest "adventure" of this trip happened when we were about to leave for home. After checking out of our room, we decided to pay our neighbours a visit at their room in order to say goodbye as they were staying one night more. The adults (and my daughter) ended up chatting out on the balcony while the younger children stayed inside the room watching TV. I guess watching TV wasn't entertaining enough so they decided that they would play "hide-and-seek" in the dark!

We knew they were playing that game and we actually thought it was quite fun! All of a sudden, our neighbour's daughter came out onto the balcony screaming: "HELP, TV, FALL!!!" We all hurry into the room to find my son stuck under the TV and the TV stand!!! My heart stopped for a moment as we rescued him out from under the mess! While under there, he wasn't crying nor did he make any noise. I thought for a moment that he was surely dead! Turns out, he didn't cry because he wasn't hurt at all --- not a cut, not a bruise, not a scratch!

God surely protected my son from serious injury or even death that day! For that, I am truly grateful to HIM! So, the natural question would be how did it all happen? Well, no ones knows! My son was walking in front of the TV when it suddenly falls over. In his recollection of the events, he now thinks that the bottom drawer of the TV stand was ajar. In the darkness, he couldn't see where he was walking and might have stepped into the drawer, triggering the TV and the stand to fall on him. A possible explanation because as we examined the TV and the stand after the incident, it was very top heavy and tips quite easily with just a little shove.

Anyway, right after the accident, I recalled a conversation I had with my son just days earlier. He told me that he doesn't think God performs miracles anymore today --- miracles like healing the blind and parting the Red Sea. I explained to him how God still performs miracles today, gave him several examples to go with my explanation, but his logical mind just would not come to believe me.

So, when we got into our car to start our drive home, I asked my son if he still thinks that God doesn't perform miracles anymore today. He said he believes now. The look in his eyes told me that he is convinced! Praise God for another teachable moment. If it took this accident to convince my son that his God is believable, then it's all worth it! I want so much for my children to believe God, not just to merely believe in God. Know what I mean? I think that this "adventure" will surely be etched in my son's mind for a long time to come, if not forever. I know it will be in mine!

Fast forward to this past Sunday. The kids' Sunday school lesson was on Psalm 23 --- the Lord is my Shepherd. At the end of the lesson, each child had the opportunity to say a prayer and thank God for being their Shepherd. My son's small group teacher told me afterwards that he prayed and thanked God that he didn't die when the TV unit fell on him. The small group teacher asked him to share his testimony with the other children after prayer time and he did! If you know my son, that is huge for him --- to pray out loud in public and to share his testimony. So, I praise God for allowing the accident to happen --- it surely has been a learning and growing experience for my son in more ways than one.

"The Lord will keep you from all harm — He will watch over your life; the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore."
---Psalm 121:7-8 NIV

Summer Adventures - Part 1

I've been meaning to post an entry for a few days now but time has been scarce! One of my loyal blog readers not-so-subtly reminded me this morning that it's time to update my blog! ;-) So, here I am!

The saying "time flies when you're having fun" really does have some truth to it, doesn't it? This summer has just been zooming by like a bullet train! I can't believe that it's already half over. Well, I have some summer adventures to blog about, for sure!

Our first summer outing was to the newly renovated Royal Ontario Museum. This piece of architecture is truly a lesson in "don't judge a book by its cover". From the outside, the Michael Lee-Chin Crystal addition to the museum, in my opinion, does not do justice to the old historic ROM building. But upon entering the space and seeing the exhibits in this new architecture, I must say that I'm totally impressed. Here are a few photos:


Exterior showing where the old meets the new.

Inside the new building; "Dinos Are Back" exhibit.

"Stairwell of Wonder" model soldiers collection.

"Stairwell of Wonder" from the very top.

One of the many nooks and crannies in the new building.

We had a fun day at the museum. The exhibits we saw triggered multiple discussions about God and His awesome creation. It truly was a learning experience dotted with a few teachable moments!

Next stop: Great Wolf Lodge. That adventure warrants its very own blog post for sure! Stay tuned.

"For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities — His eternal power and divine nature — have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse."
---Romans 1:20 NIV

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Gentleness Bows

Just one more post before I start my work day...

My Bible study group just finished Week 9 of Beth Moore's Living Beyond Yourself --- entitled 'Gentle Giants' and it is on the eighth characteristic of the fruit of the Spirit, gentleness. I must say that this was one of the hardest sessions we have had as a group. There was a lot of emotion, rawness, pain, coming to terms with...it was hard! But, it was all good --- on the whole, we all realized that gentleness bows because the result is a life healed by God, bearing the marks of grace and trust!

So, in a nutshell, gentleness is...

~ an inward grace of the soul, calmness towards God in particular. It is the acceptance of God's dealings with us considering them as good in that they enhance the closeness of our relationship with Him.

~ to stop fighting God. It is not weakness. It is the power and strength created from submitting to God's will. It is riding the wind of God's will and setting sail toward the remote island of intimacy.

~ modesty toward self and piety toward God. It results from emptying ourselves of self. It is the correct estimation of ourselves which results from a correct estimation of our God.

~ being willing and anxious to learn, regardless of who He chooses as our unlikely teacher. It is also the embodiment of the pure, unadultered power of the Holy Spirit and one who knows what to do with it. God's teachers are not called to wield the Word of God like a baseball bat. The Sword of the Spirit is to injure Satan, not the body of Christ. It is becoming a servant-teacher, one who teaches with humility, with an attitude of submission, with an awareness of our own sins and a forgetfulness toward the sins of the flock, leaving condemnation to God and conviction to the Holy Spirit.

Again, without fail, lots and lots to digest and to mull over! Personally, this study has been awesome for me. It surely doesn't seem like I've done this study once before already...new lessons each time! Thank you, God.

"Be still, and know that I am God; ..."
---Psalm 46:10 NIV

Psalm 63

Yesterday I was reading through the Psalms. Psalm 63 jumped out at me. Maybe it was because of verse 2, which says: "I have seen you in the sanctuary and beheld your power and your glory." :-)

"O God, you are my God, earnestly I seek You; my soul thirsts for You, my body longs for You, in a dry and weary land where there is no water.

I have seen You in the sanctuary and beheld Your power and Your glory.

Because Your love is better than life, my lips will glorify You. I will praise You as long as I live, and in Your name I will lift up my hands. My soul will be satisfied as with the richest of foods; with singing lips my mouth will praise You. On my bed I remember You; I think of You through the watches of the night. Because You are my help, I sing in the shadow of Your wings. My soul clings to You; Your right hand upholds me.

They who seek my life will be destroyed; they will go down to the depths of the earth. They will be given over to the sword and become food for jackals. But the king will rejoice in God; all who swear by God's name will praise Him, while the mouths of liars will be silenced."
---Psalm 63 NIV

It has been an amazing journey of faith since our family became a part of The Sanctuary Pickering. I can with certainty say that we have seen Him in The Sanctuary and beheld His power (what He does) and His glory (who He is) in a way that we have never experienced before. And for that, I praise Him. Thank you God for leading us into this journey of faith!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Totally Random

This post will be totally random ... I have a ton of stuff to post about but don't have enough time to spare, so I thought I'd just type away and see where this will lead me.

~ Since my last blog post, I'm still deep in thought about faith. Today, my kids' Sunday school lesson was on faith and their memory verse is from Matthew 17:20 --- "...if you had faith even as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it would move. Nothing would be impossible." Got me thinking ... a mustard seed is soooo small. Just imagine having a giant faith ... God would be able to use me for soooo much more!

~ God is good! He has shown us as a church planting team that He is always faithful. He is God, our Provider. He provided for our Canada Day event, for our immediate financial needs, new families to visit/join the church plant, a great first week of ignition, our 8-week summer sports day camp initiative!

~ This blog is now one year old! My first post was just over a year ago on July 2, 2007. I am now just realizing that soooo much has changed in just a year. It's great to be able to come online and read about everything that has happened. Great reminder of God's faithfulness!

~ WALL-E is a great movie! Both kids loved it. Hubby and I enjoyed it as well.

~ My daughter went away to overnight camp last week. She had a blast! While she was away, my son had a friend over for the whole week! He had a blast as well. He and his friend both attended ignition. They had lots of fun learning how to play soccer and baseball better.

~ Today at church, through our pastor's message, God reminded me of Joshua 1:9 once again. "This is my command — be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go." I guess this is reminder #6!!!

~ This coming week is packed with activities! I am gearing up for it --- volunteering at ignition, working, both kids will be home, we have something booked for each night!, a birthday party on Thursday, decorating for our friends' wedding on Friday, planning on an outing with the kids on Saturday, going away on Sunday night! Phew...summer is flying by!

Well, I think that is all for my random post. Logging off to catch some zzzzz's now!

"...the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore."
---Psalm 121:8 NIV