Saturday, October 30, 2010

Precious.

Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints.
(Psalm 116:15)


A beautiful verse, read today at the funeral service for Bethany (Kroeze) Beckett.

"Death". Without any words at all, the reality and solemnity of death spoke bold and clear, as we stood by the casket and silently viewed the remains of this young woman. In his message to the audience, Shad Kember reminded us that as each of us have a day when we are born as sinners into this world, so we each are appointed a day of death.

"The death of His saints". The message of the gospel was presented with fervour and urgency. Do we choose Christ and His death on the cross to save us from a life of sin and eternal judgement? Or do we reject Him, and pass from this life to endure the wrath of God forever? Will we experience death as a saint, or as a sinner? A solemn choice.

"In His sight". What a comfort it was to be reminded that, in the face of death today, the Lord was looking on. He was quietly standing by, beholding our sorrow, and He was touched by the feeling of our infirmities.

"Precious". Why would the death of His saints be so precious to the Lord? Because their work for Him on earth is completed. Because they have finished their course with joy. And because they have landed safely on the eternal shores of their heavenly home. Precious.

Today, as I ached for the family passing through this tremendous trial, I prayed earnestly for them in their grief. And with such a large number of unsaved in attendance at the service, I prayed earnestly that in hearing the clear message of the gospel, lost souls would acknowledge their sin, and trust Christ for salvation.

Beautiful memories were shared of a young woman who had a deep desire to tell others about the Lord Jesus. A young woman with a kind heart and a spirit of meekness. A young woman who loved and willingly served her husband of four months. And as Bethany's earthly body was laid to rest, there was much weeping and many tears. Hugs were shared and words were spoken in an effort to soothe and ease the physical pain of loss and separation.

But there was One looking on.
One, who was touched by our sorrow.
One, who alone is the Giver of divine peace.
So amid the grief, there was comfort.

Comfort in knowing that, at 12 years of age, Bethany had trusted Christ and received eternal life. (John 3:16)
Comfort in knowing that, a day shy of her 24th birthday, Bethany had kept the faith, and finished her course with joy. (2 Timothy 4:7)
Comfort in knowing that now and forever, Bethany is with Christ, which is far better. (Philippians 1:23)

Precious.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

More Grief and Mourning.

Another shock. Another tragedy. Another death.

Many of us were stunned, and are still reeling from yesterday's news of the sudden passing of Bethany. A young missionary, serving the Lord in Mexico, working alongside her husband of four months. Today is her birthday. She would have been 24 years old.

But instead of a birthday celebration, there is overwhelming sadness. A husband, parents, innumerable family and friends, grieving with heavy hearts.

But for Beth in the presence of her Saviour, what heavenly joy contrasts our earthly pain. Here we shed tears of sorrow; there - the tears are wiped away. Here is the valley of the shadow of death; there - are the streets of gold.

Thou wilt show me the path of life;
in Thy presence is fulness of joy,
at Thy right hand there are pleasures for ever more.
Psalm 16:10-11

Bethany's brief path of life has been completed. She been called to her heavenly home.

For the family mourning her loss, may they receive the strength and comfort that only the eternal Comforter can give.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Faith.

I've been looking at the subject of "faith" with a little more interest these days, since having decided to study Hebrews 11 with my Sunday School class.

FAITH. What is it? Often explained with the acronym, "forsaking all I trust Him", and an appropriate definition that is, too.

What was Abel's faith? He trusted God with obedience in offering the best from his flock, disregarding his brother's idea of a sacrifice.

What was Enoch's faith? He trusted God day by day, making communion with Him, and not others, his priority.

What was Noah's faith? He trusted God by building the ark and believing God, that he and his family would be saved from a destruction that had never before been seen on the earth.

Abraham also displayed all three of these faith attributes: obedience, communion and believing God despite the unseen.

But this is the thought that has struck me this week.

Old Testament faith is not described by SEEING God's promises fulfilled, but by simply BELIEVING that God will fulfill His promises.

Abel never lived to see the man who was offered as the One Sacrifice for sins for ever.

Abraham never lived to see the innumerable descendants from his seed that were promised to him.

What about me. Am I taken up with the things of time, and living for reward and fulfillment in this life? Or do I look for the heavenly city, as Abraham did? Am I waiting, in keen anticipation of the promise of His coming, knowing that, when I see Him, I shall be like Him, and be with Him for all eternity?

What a day that will be, when my Jesus I shall see,
When I look upon His face, the One who saved me by His grace;
When He takes me by the hand and leads me to the promised land;
What a day, glorious day, that will be!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Life is Short.

Just over a year ago, our lives came to an abrupt halt. Grief and sorrow consumed us as we received the shocking news. The sudden and tragic death of a young friend.

Douglas Harold Hanna.

Fondly known to us as Doug, had passed from this life into eternity beyond.

We miss him still. Miss him wandering into our house with his warm smile on the evenings he'd spend at our place, pre-hockey. Miss him taking time for our girls and making them feel special. Miss him being goofy. He was good at that, as in such a moment captured above. A lanky, six-foot kid on a tricycle. Miss him making us laugh.

We wept that day, then wept some more. We questioned the whys and hows. We grieved over the many troubles and challenges Doug had to face in his short life.

Yet, in all of our sorrow, there was hope.

The most important day in Doug's life is recorded in the Book of Life. A day in August 2008 when he trusted Christ, and received eternal life. And today he's in the presence of his Saviour, where there is fullness of joy.

Just think about that... fullness of joy.

Too young to die, you say, and yes, perhaps he was. But being ready to face death is what matters most in life. And Doug faced death with God's promise of eternal life.

Are you ready to face life after death?

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Vanilla Bean Scones.

If you've never baked Pioneer Woman's Vanilla Bean Scones before, you'll find it difficult to avoid baking them again and again. As I have.


You'll find her recipe here. These little pieces of goodness are simple to make, and you probably already have all the ingredients on hand.

Saying nothing about the fat content, because hey, who's counting calories.

Put on a pot of coffee and dig in.

One with your cuppa just won't be enough. Don't say I didn't warn you.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Hola October.

What to blog and where to start?

The weather here has been G.L.O.R.I.O.U.S. So glorious, in fact, that we've been walking to school. Brisk mornings, sunny afternoons. Love days like this, when God's handiwork glistens in all its wonder and amazement.

No winter on the mountains yet, but the colour of fall surrounds us.

And every day the warm sun and crunchy leaves beckon to us after school, making the idea of staying indoors to do homework seem completely unreasonable.

So outside we go.

Oh the fun.

video




But the rain is coming and apparently plans to visit us for a while. This is Vancouver, after all. And rain'll be fine. We've got three days of Thanksgiving Conference ahead of us in a beautiful big auditorium that has oodles of interior roaming space. No need for me to be worrying about the rain.

In Grade 4 Music this year, Alana's learning to play the violin. Which, in these early stages, means listening to ten minutes of string-picking practice every night.

Not exactly therapeutic.

But last night, in the process of trying to block out the noise, I recognized the tune. Good King Wenceslas. Ah. I love that guy. And Stephen too. And the jolly season they bring. Good progress, Lannie.


Monday was a Grade 4 Class field trip to a local nature park, coinciding with their study of Habitats and Food Chains. Educational, and I think the kids really enjoyed the hands-on outdoor activities.

The young program host, however, NOT being from this country and therefore NOT having English as her first language, had an unusual accent and often mispronounced words during the classroom presentation. Definitely added an element of entertainment for me (come on, I'm sure you've done it too.... and I'm pretty certain that lots of folks chuckled at me and my odd Spanish this summer in Nicaragua!). But we were taught how "CORNivores SERVive in a predoMENTly meat-INhabITed enveerOment". It was comical.

The worst part was that her spelling lacked, despite the fact that she had the correctly spelled words on a printed sheet in front of her. Bad spelling bothers me. Especially in a teaching environment.

Nor was she too favorable to the polite one-on-one correction from the classroom teacher.

Honestly. Some people.


A few of the students even noticed her misspelled words. Which, I guess, was a good thing.

As most families do, we've had a double dose of kid challenges in our family lately. The spirit of self-will has raised its ugly head and is running rampant, so we're back to basics again. The importance of putting others first. Effectively resolving conflict. Confessing to wrong-doing, which appears to be, ahem, a big one. "Wasn't me!". Really? Anyways, all of this calls for varying levels of discipline and a temporary loss of privileges. One of the little ladies in our house has earned herself some cardinal punishment this week. Hopefully change ensues. Positive change. Fast. Because I'm truly weary.

Subsequently, I'm enrolled to attend an autism training session in a few weeks and was discussing this with Stew one night after supper. Kayleigh, overhearing part of the conversation, stares at me in sheer disbelief and asks, "Mom, you're gonna go to school for five days and learn how to deal with kids?!" Um, uh-huh. That's exactly what I'm going to do.

And maybe five days isn't enough.

See this guy? Love, l.o.v.e. him.


He did the grocery shopping for me this week when I was stressin'. Replenished the fridge with the basic necessities, and bought us some bread. Filled the fruit bowl with yummy fall apples. Thanks babe! You're the best. Love the goodies and love you.

Homework definitely seems to be on the increase this year, so our evenings have become more busy than usual. And tiring. Good thing the idea of grilled cheese sandwiches for supper flies around here. And cereal. Because our dinner menus these days are definitely NOT gourmet.

Today is Thursday, and we're school-free. Tomorrow too. Love those Pro-D days.

Then a three-day weekend for Thanksgiving.

Bliss.