OK I have 3 stories...if you have lived in BC for any amount of time and know anything about the islands you will so get this...this is just SO the islands...
1) We went to the local pub to see if we could bring the kids in to have dinner. There aren't many restaurants on the island so we were checking out our options...Shaun walks in. There are 5 waitresses standing around talking. Not one acknowledges him for quite awhile. He tries catching their eye...NOTHING. finally he said "I have some wee ones...can they come in here and eat?" Every single waitress stopped dead and turned and looked at him with real interest. One of them asked him what he had said. So he rephrased it with "I have some small children. Are they allowed to eat here?" They started laughing quite a bit and then one of them said..."We thought you said you had weed! You saw how interested we got."
2) The next morning we went searching for some breakfast out. We went to a cafe and then the grocery store (which the cafe was attached too). It was 9:55 a.m. The gorcery store didn't open until 10 a.m. I finally got the clerks attention through the locked grocery store door. And asked her if there was any place that did breakfast on the island. She paused for awhile and shook her head and said in a long drawn out way, " Nooooo...we don't really do breakfast here." So after the pub and their interest in weed we figured they smoke weed into the wee hours of the morning while munching and just really don't do breakfast. We finally found breakfast at Galiano Inn and it was yummy.
3) There is this land on the East side of Galiano that was sold off by developers...there is a long drawn out story behind this but apparently the Galiano trust changed all the laws after this land was sold so that the people who bought the land cannot build on it because their land size it too small. They have something like 120 acres and you have to have 150 in order to build a house. YEAH! OK so these landowners have been trying to get the laws changed etc. It's been a long drawn out battle and not pretty. The road that runs through their property is the only access to a provincial park that is absolutely stunning (unless you go through Tribal Land...and you have to get permission to do this blah blah blah). SO what the landowners have done is put up a gate across this road so now people cannot access the Provincial park except by boat. Well the thing is I have this husband who figures that any gate is meant to be crossed, especially since he has a 4x4. uh huh...so we drove around the gate in the ditch...it really was no big deal and his cousin followed in his truck (which is a 2x4...so really...NOT a big deal). Now Shaun has done this with his dad, already, on a few occasions but this was the first time I had been here. There is a really nice road that you can drive on all the way up to the park gate. And not a soul around. LOVELY! So off we went. Going around this gate saves you at least an hour of walking on a boring road and makes it possible for families with small children to get to the beauty of the park right away and the beach with only a 30 minute hike. Well we had our nice hike...got back to the car and just as we are opening our car a man, a woman, and 3 dogs walk up from the road. They did not look like they had been walking long. They said "hi". They were looking at us rather curiously. Were very friendly. And then the guy asked "So how did you get it in here". I kind of smirked and said "Oh we have a 4x4". He laughed along with everyone else and said "oh yeah...my dad owns that gate." We sobered up rather quickly. He realized we thought he may be displeased and he quickly reassured us that his dad would find it hilarious and oh by the way he himself owned Bodega Ridge (which we had hiked on the day before) and we had his permission to hike there anytime as well (we had thought it was a Provincial Park...still unclear on that point). He then proceeded to tell us the land story. We told him our breakfast story from that morning and he laughed and said it was true. He ended up being a really nice guy and we saw him putting his girlfriend on the same ferry we left on and he waived and gave us a big smile...never did exchange names but he has a resort there so we know where to kind him and his girlfriend has a white Boxer and she would buy our puppy if one turned out white...nice people.
That's just so the islands...
Wednesday, May 7, 2008
Monday, May 5, 2008
I was reading the introduction to the books of 1 and 2 TThessalonians this evening. I found it rather fascinating considering a journey I had just taken through a book.
Here is what it said,
"The way we conceive the future sculpts the present, gives contour and tone to nearly every action and thought through the day. If our sense of the future is weak, we live listlessly. Much emotional and mental illnesses and most suicides occur among men and women who feel they 'have no future'. "
I just finished a 473 page book entitled Heaven by Randy Alcorn. I have to say it's the best book I have ever read. And I've read A LOT of books. I've even read some of Mr. Alcorn's other books. And they were REALLY good. But this one...well for me it had a major effect on my anticipation of Heaven. I had gone along with our culturally accepted perspective of a very boring place. Who looks forward to an eternity of that? I certainly did not. But I also had never studied what the Bible actually had to say about Heaven. I thought it was pretty vague and we'd know when we died. I still think that we won't know fully (that being the key word in this sentence) until we die...but I heartily disagree, now, that the Bible is unclear about Heaven.
The first half of the book is theology (a study of God's relation to the world) and the second half is a Q & A. I know that sounds boring but it's anything but. I couldn't put it down. To begin with it's such a fascinating topic for everyone. I really grappled with some of the topics presented.
I'll give you just a taste...here is the first paragraph of the introduction!
"The sense that we will live forever somewhere has shaped every civilization in human history. Australian aborigines pictured Heaven as a distant island beyond the western horizon. The early Finns thought it was an island in the faraway east. Mexicans, Peruvians, and Polynesians believed that they went to the sun or the moon after death. Native Americans believed that in the afterlife their spirits would hunt the spirits of buffalo. The Gilgamesh epics, an ancient Babylonian legend, refers to a resting place of heroes and hints at a tree of life. In the pyramids of Egypt, the embalmed bodies had maps placed beside them as guides to the future world. The Romans believed that the righteous would picnic in the Elysian fields while their horses grazed nearby. Seneca, the Roman philosopher, said, 'The day thou fearest as the last is the birthday of eternity.' Although these depictions of the afterlife differ, the unifying testimony of the human heart throughout history is belief in life after death. Anthropological evidence suggests that every culture has a god-given, innate sense of the eternal-that this world is not all there is."
Us humans have a 100% mortality rate...the question is not IF but WHEN are we going to die. The next question is "Then what happens?"
We got to go to Galiano this past weekend. In fact we just got back today because we missed our ferry home last night as it was overbooked...but that's another story.
I love going to Galiano. I will be forever thankful that my in-laws bought a timeshare there. It's one of the most rejuvenating and invigorating places to go. There is so much beauty there.
As I was walking and driving around this time what struck me was the beauty that God created that we just pass by so easily. He created things like many different types of wildflowers that are just stunning...just to be extravagant. I happened to notice them this time. I really started to think about the extravagance of it all. I am such a practical person. I really struggle with buying things that aren't absolutely necessary when I could use that money to give to someone who could feed someone who is starving or give medicine to someone who is dying. But you look around at creation and you will see SUCH extravagance. I mean start with something like colour. God could have made everything with NO colour. Or He could have made everything very boring. But everything is so finely detailed, intricate in design, and beautiful...even the most "simple" of things. I think He enjoys being "Creator". I think it brings a big smile to His face.
But back to extravagance...these wildflowers that I saw were extravagant. And you know, a lot of them had sprung up right in the middle of a path so that it would be easy to trample them. Others had sprung up in out of the way places where not a soul would see them. I guess what I'm trying to say is that I think God takes deep delight in the littlest of things that surprise us with their beauty. I think He was waiting with baited breathe for me to notice those wee little flowers. I think He was watching and when He saw the delight on my face...I know He smiled. Fanciful thinking? Perhaps...but I doubt it.
For me, this extravagance, simply pointed me back to Him. It is a reminder of Him and His extravagant gift of life He holds out to all who will accept.
Here are things the Bible has to say about His extravagance:
Ephesians 3:13-15 "My response is to get down on my knees before the Father, this magnificent Father who parcels out all heaven and earth. I ask him to strengthen you by his Spirit—not a brute strength but a glorious inner strength—that Christ will live in you as you open the door and invite him in. And I ask him that with both feet planted firmly on love, you'll be able to take in with all followers of Jesus the extravagant dimensions of Christ's love. Reach out and experience the breadth! Test its length! Plumb the depths! Rise to the heights! Live full lives, full in the fullness of God."
Romans 11:32-34 "Have you ever come on anything quite like this extravagant generosity of God, this deep, deep wisdom? It's way over our heads. We'll never figure it out. Is there anyone around who can explain God? Anyone smart enough to tell him what to do? Anyone who has done him such a huge favor that God has to ask his advice? Everything comes from him; Everything happens through him; Everything ends up in him. Always glory! Always praise! Yes. Yes. Yes."
Job 37:1-3 "Whenever this happens, my heart stops— I'm stunned, I can't catch my breath. Listen to it! Listen to his thunder, the rolling, rumbling thunder of his voice. He lets loose his lightnings from horizon to horizon, lighting up the earth from pole to pole. In their wake, the thunder echoes his voice, powerful and majestic. He lets out all the stops, he holds nothing back. No one can mistake that voice— His word thundering so wondrously, his mighty acts staggering our understanding. He orders the snow, 'Blanket the earth!' and the rain, 'Soak the whole countryside!' No one can escape the weather—it's there. And no one can escape from God. Wild animals take shelter, crawling into their dens, When blizzards roar out of the north and freezing rain crusts the land. It's God's breath that forms the ice, it's God's breath that turns lakes and rivers solid. And yes, it's God who fills clouds with rainwater and hurls lightning from them every which way. He puts them through their paces—first this way, then that— commands them to do what he says all over the world. Whether for discipline or grace or extravagant love, he makes sure they make their mark."
Romans 5:14-16 "Yet the rescuing gift is not exactly parallel to the death-dealing sin. If one man's sin put crowds of people at the dead-end abyss of separation from God, just think what God's gift poured through one man, Jesus Christ, will do! There's no comparison between that death-dealing sin and this generous, life-giving gift. The verdict on that one sin was the death sentence; the verdict on the many sins that followed was this wonderful life sentence. If death got the upper hand through one man's wrongdoing, can you imagine the breathtaking recovery life makes, sovereign life, in those who grasp with both hands this wildly extravagant life-gift, this grand setting-everything-right, that the one man Jesus Christ provides?"
2 Corinthians 9:7-9 "God can pour on the blessings in astonishing ways so that you're ready for anything and everything, more than just ready to do what needs to be done. As one psalmist puts it, He throws caution to the winds, giving to the needy in reckless abandon. His right-living, right-giving ways never run out, never wear out. This most generous God who gives seed to the farmer that becomes bread for your meals is more than extravagant with you. He gives you something you can then give away, which grows into full-formed lives, robust in God, wealthy in every way, so that you can be generous in every way, producing with us great praise to God."
These things are true. I have witnessed them in my own life. His extravagance from a simple flower to much MUCH bigger things.
Think on Him and His way of doing life today...I don't know a better way.