100 Days Project – Day 3

When collecting verses for this project, a friend gave me Proverbs 5:6 or something about trusting God… but when I looked it up, this was the result. Taken completely out of context… and I mean really out of context, it reminds me that we don’t always see the path God intends… trusting is difficult! (see what I did there? I looped back to the intended encouragement).

Comment with ideas on naming this tangle please!

100 Day Project – Day 2

Today’s verse is a pretty well-known and often quoted within Christian circles as an encouragement. Here it is with the two versus around it (my journaling Bible is ESV version):
10 For thus says the Lord: When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will visit you, and I will fulfill to you my promise and bring you back to this place. 11 For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare[a] and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. 12 Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you.

The first thing I noticed was “I” – 5 times… and after “says the Lord”, it reminded me to pay attention to what the Lord is saying…

The second thing I noticed was seventy years of exile in Babylon…

Here is my paraphrase – the Lord is saying, after you have lived outside of what you expected or what you were promised for a very long time, then I will visit. While visiting, I will fulfill the promise made because I know more than you do about things. I know what true welfare is and I am future and hope. Knowing this about me, let’s talk – I will listen.

Context makes a difference for sure and I can imagine that I would need to go outside of Jeremiah 29 and even Jeremiah as a book to explore full context. Either way, I am challenged by God speaking. I can think of a handful of times where I was oblivious to God and He did some rather unique things to get my attention.

So… for today’s tangle, I’m calling “Ii” I starting with the capital I and added another and another always branding off the first. Then I added the small i intermingled. This represents God first, me second… but also to be immersed in Him and what He is saying. Additionally, since I was given a list of scripture and colours associated, I intentionally used only black and blue and below is the context for those colours – I highlighted what I thought of for the verses.

I hope that when I hear/read/see/feel “the Lord says”, I am able to take it in and respond with prayer… and that He may speak to you also – moment by moment.

100 Day Project – Day 1

Today marks the first day of a #100daysproject with my cousin-in-law Jacquelyn. I thought it would be a great way for each of us to use our own unique approach to art to intentionally create.

100 Days of Verses Tangled

For awhile I have been thinking about how to incorporate faith and tangling together. To that end, I am using the 100 days to explore the possibility of finding tangles out of versus from the Bible. If I get really creatively stumped, I will use an existing tangle and try to re-imagine it or do what is called a tangleation.

I was very surprised to see how fast a tangle came for day one when I read Psalm 91:1
He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.

I started thinking through and was very drawn to the heading of the psalm at first – as shown in the image below. But soon, I started reflecting on an art class I had with @JessicaRupp this afternoon on positive and negative space and how it relates to how the Father sees us. Shadow can often be seen as dark, but when used on a hot day, it represents shade, or shelter from the draining nature of the sun. Additionally, when I think of Psalm 139:12 and how David says that “even the darkness will not be dark to you”, I remember that God is in the shadow too, not just the light.

I hope to reflect further on what God might be enlightening me to in terms of positive and negative space, refuge and fortress, passive and aggressive… and resting/abiding in His shadow.

If you use the new tangle, let me know and please do comment with some more verses I can use – I only have 5 more ready to go out of 100. 🙂

July 29, 2013 “Faith”

Lately I have been thinking a lot about the word “faith” lately and how it is misused. I am taken back to an English project I did in OAC on the very thing. I spoke about how you can put your faith in different things and what having faith means. Recently, I have heard faith being used in terms of “faith-based” and realized that that version is similar to “inter-faith”. So… long story short, here’s a CCEF blog post that has helped me understand the difference between having faith and having faith in Jesus. Here’s hoping that I use the word “faith” in the context closest to what I believe and not a catch-all for spirituality or multiple religions as it seems it is being used lately.

http://www.ccef.org/blog/what-faith

July 24, 2013 “on the plane”

During my last year of school, I was encouraged by the counsellor to make time to rest and just “be” with God. It has been 2 years and I need to admit that I am still scared to just “be” with God. I’m like Adam and Eve in the garden after they have sinned. I’m hiding from the one who I used to walk out in the open with. It’s ironic because He made me in His image and has reconciled me to Himself through Christ. I KNOW this to be true, I struggle with FEELING that it is true. 

On the way to Seattle, I was sitting on a plane full of people. You would think that the environment would not be conducive to spending time resting in God… However, the man beside me said nothing until the plane landed and everyone else was wrapped up in a movie or sleeping. Though music played in my ears, it disappeared and I just let myself feel. 

Soft tears flowed from my eyes as I began to realize that my father was physically gone but that my adopted Father was present with me. I shared right from the heart that I felt vulnerable, hurt, and scared. And He was faithful. He spoke to the longing to be loved and accepted as I am: His child. I would not have made it through my father’s illness and death without the deep sense of the Father’s presence, the pursuit of Christ, and the sweet whispers of the Holy Spirit giving me the courage to say “I forgive you, I love you, and goodbye”. 

Making space for God when there are so many distractions often feels like an uphill battle. A battle…yes, I need to fight the lies, by the Holy Spirit and God’s word, that say I’m not good enough to just “be” with Him. Lies that say I need to earn God’s favour or that I have lost what favour was there. Lies that say I can somehow control the love shown by God and others. 

I need to just rest in the love and acceptance that has always been there. “I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Your works are wonderful; I know that full well.” Rest in that fullness.

During my last year of school, I was encouraged by the counsellor to make time to rest and just “be” with God. It has been 2 years and I need to admit that I am still scared to just “be” with God. I’m like Adam and Eve in the garden after they have sinned. I’m hiding from the one who I used to walk out in the open with. It’s ironic because He made me in His image and has reconciled me to Himself through Christ. I KNOW this to be true, I struggle with FEELING that it is true.

On the way to Seattle, I was sitting on a plane full of people. You would think that the environment would not be conducive to spending time resting in God… However, the man beside me said nothing until the plane landed and everyone else was wrapped up in a movie or sleeping. Though music played in my ears, it disappeared and I just let myself feel.

Soft tears flowed from my eyes as I began to realize that my father was physically gone but that my adopted Father was present with me. I shared right from the heart that I felt vulnerable, hurt, and scared. And He was faithful. He spoke to the longing to be loved and accepted as I am: His child. I would not have made it through my father’s illness and death without the deep sense of the Father’s presence, the pursuit of Christ, and the sweet whispers of the Holy Spirit giving me the courage to say “I forgive you, I love you, and goodbye”.

Making space for God when there are so many distractions often feels like an uphill battle. A battle…yes, I need to fight the lies, by the Holy Spirit and God’s word, that say I’m not good enough to just “be” with Him. Lies that say I need to earn God’s favour or that I have lost what favour was there. Lies that say I can somehow control the love shown by God and others.

I need to just rest in the love and acceptance that has always been there. “I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Your works are wonderful; I know that full well.” Rest in that fullness.

July 18, 2013 #2 “Another Jonathan & David/Frodo & Sam Moment”

Today I hugged my dear friend Arleen 3x after exchanging some notes for her to take to India with her. I realized that she is about to embark on an adventure in which God will use her so deeply in the lives of the women and children she meets in India. I also realized how much I have missed her not being so accessible.

Like David and Jonathan, there was a time to separate… In the film, Frodo casts Sam off for a time (albeit under the deception of Gollum), but they are reunited after Sam doesn’t give up and injures Shelob.

All the nerdy talk to say that I have enjoyed seeing how God allows friends to carry each other’s burdens and each their own load. I thank God for a friend who helped me learn these necessary boundaries and yet can say “what can I pray for?” at a moments notice and will pray on the spot.

Love you friend! I will wake up early each day you are gone interceding on your behalf before the God that has orchestrated such a beautiful friendship… One that I would not give up for a thousand hours of sleep. 🙂

July 18, 2013 “Waiting on the Lord”

Often I think that it is more difficult to wait on the Lord then it was before. I blame our society of instant gratification as the source for my lack of patience and need to control what happens next. But as I was praying the image of Israel asking for a king came to mind. They did not wait to see that the true king, Jesus was coming. And God gave them a king, Saul, who turned out to not exactly be what they thought… So then came David. Though David was a man after God’s own heart, he still was not the King of Kings.
I soon went back further and realized that the deception of finding our own satisfaction and taking control stemmed from a seed planted by the enemy. “Did God really say?” This question opened up more than just the idea of eating fruit… It opened up the possibility that God’s sovereignty can be questioned and that perhaps He isn’t who He says He is. If that’s the lie I’m going to believe, then yes, I’ll try that fruit. Yes, I’ll take my destiny into my own hands.
Wait! Wait!
He is Sovereign! He is faithful. He will never leave you nor forsake you. He created you in His own image, fearfully and wonderfully! Do you not think He can handle the minor details of life?
Now I ask, what does it look like to wait on the Lord? How do I practically learn when to step forward in something and when to wait? The only idea I have is to be in relationship with the one who made me. Help me to unlearn and break the lie within.

“Our soul waits for The Lord; He is our help and our shield.” Psalm 33:20

June 28, 2013 “Tribute to Dad”

June 24, 2013:
Isaiah 40:31 is highlighted in my Dad’s bible. It has a notation that says “A Williams Father”. When I read this at first I thought it was to describe what a Williams father is like, because it fit my Dad’s character perfectly. He had an unmistakeable amount of resilience through life’s ups and downs or hills and valleys.
Sometimes you think of a parent in one way as a teenager and years later that perception is completely wiped clean. My Dad failed Greek three times and I wondered why he had so much trouble with the course. What I learned from it is that he did not give up. He persevered even to the point of failure… but he got up and tried again. Someday I will conquer Greek for you, Dad, that’s a promise!
But that’s not why I share the first comment… I never would have labeled my Dad an intellectual. Growing up, I knew he had social smarts and could navigate any people interaction you threw his way. We got that characteristic from him. I was reading “The Blind Side”, a football book, and in the middle of the 8th chapter there is a poem, “The Charge of the Light Brigade.” All of a sudden, one particular set of lines stood out to me: “Theirs is not to reason why, Theirs but to do and die,”. My Dad said those lines several times throughout my life whenever I would ask “why?”. Little did I know that my Dad was quoting Tennyson! My Dad, the one who coped with alzheimer’s. Now I look back on the times when I looked at him in bewilderment as he said these lines completely out of context to my “why”s or “why nots”. They never seemed to fit the discussion but I don’t care because I find myself saying them also. They remind me of the Dad that had a knowledge of deeper things but only let you see that when you were really paid attention.
He would always end a conversation with “take care or right you are, bye bye.” I remember thinking, “But Dad, what if the person was wrong?!” He could also talk to anyone anywhere and make them feel noticed and important. Sometimes you weren’t sure of what he was going to say, but you always knew that his love for people was contagious. He and I were on an elevator once and someone else got on. He immediately began a conversation and I found myself getting annoyed and frustrated. As we all left, I realized that I wanted to talk to the new person first! I thank my Dad for teaching me to be like him in this way. He also taught us kids how to communicate with and respect those serving us. To this day, I can’t help but ask a cashier at the grocery store, “how’s your day going?” or “has it been busy?” Many local restaurants that we attended as a family knew us by name and we knew them.
His love of theology and God was evident in how he lived, the number of books he owned, and the way he shared the gospel so freely with others. A guy once came over and my Dad asked him his name and what the chief end of man is? I shook my head at the time, but it taught me his standards. Better that, than “the talk” he gave Sharon’s guy friends. Alongside teaching us about God, he taught us how to pray. At a family reunion, he thanked God for Moses parting the red sea… and though it was a tad elaborate, his passion to speak to God was evident. How he boldly spoke to God throughout our lives was a great example and testimony of his faith.
Growing up in our household, we always came for meals because Dad rang the dinner bell. We were expected to be at the table. The cooking was worth it. Steven enjoyed being in the kitchen with Dad and I got my love seafood from him. Many of our friends came over just to have his homemade popcorn.
A lot of the memories we have with our Dad took place at Stayner Camp. He took us to the beach every day. We think he wore loud Hawaiian shirts not to make a fashion statement, but so we could find him. But really, he was loud, they’re loud, it just made sense. I remember between him and my Mom in church and hearing him sing every hymn like an opera singer. His booming voice and passionate voice combined with my Mom’s equally passionate and yet slightly off-key voice made such a unique sound… and yet it is one that I cherish.
He taught us many things: Sharon learned how to drive from him… and since she’s the only one, he must have poured all his wisdom into her and sealed it from Steve and I. He demonstrated how to look at street signs and remember little pieces of history from where you are at the time. He often told passengers in the cab or limo, things they needed to know or didn’t need to know, about Kitchener.
Steve got his resourcefulness, being able to problem-solve and navigate any situation thrown at him. Dad always had a way of smoothing out situations and accommodating plans to make things more fun. From him, Sharon got her passion to advocate and show empathy to others. Dad sacrificed his own welfare to support others. There were many times when we had little, but he gave from it to see another get through a tough time. While driving cab, he would hire EBC students to work part time for him without hesitation. I got his artistic and creative side. We would work on crafts and art projects throughout my childhood. I owe my love of the arts to Dad. But we all owe our love of movies to him.
Every Christmas “Santa”, who my Dad often looked like, would bring us a new Disney movie. He also introduced us to a lot of classics that we would watch over and over as kids.
Above all, he taught us by how he treated his wife. He did not hesitate to show his love and affection towards our Mom. No matter what occasion, he would put pen to card to express his joy in being husband and companion to our mother. He pursued her when they met at EBC, but didn’t stop just because they got married. He showed us what unconditional love looked like and how to lead as a servant.
My dear Dad, you will be missed by many. The rippling effect of the kind of man you were is shown by the number of faces in this room. Wherever you went, you demonstrated Jesus to others. No one who has met you has not left smiling or even laughing because of the joy and humour you brought to every day life. Your legacy will live on in us and will be remembered so deeply by others. Proverbs 27:19 “As in water face reflects face, so the heart of a man reflects man.” No one has a doubt that your heart was reflected in the life you lived, for God’s glory, for others, and with a deep love for the family He blessed you with. You were and are loved and we thank God that He gave you to us as a husband, a father, and as a friend.
Love your little girl,
Catherine

January 17, 2012 “Battle”

aggressive or not, there simply are some things I would like to stab in the face (see above photo). like anxiety, or fear. guess that explains my word for the year – “freedom” which realizing means freedom from and freedom to – freedom from fear freedom to live and love. well you get the point… of my blade!

I remember a friend preaching a sermon on looking at the armour of God as offensive rather than defensive (Eph 6:10 – 18). It has taken me so long to figure out and/or put into practice what that looks like.

I really do believe that I need a lifestyle overhaul. What do I do when I wake up? Well if this blog is any indication, I grab my laptop and see what I can catch up on… what did I miss overnight? I have a friend who starts each morning with a sermon – maybe that would be a good segway into grabbing the laptop but then having my day start with words of wisdom from Scripture? And of course there are other things.