Friday, 10 March 2017

No Greater Place...

This morning I was reading the story of Stephen in the book of Acts.  "Now Stephen, a man full of God's grace and power, did great wonders and miraculous signs among the people." Opposition arises against him from members of the synagogue and they begin to argue with Stephen and I love what comes next in scripture, "but they could not stand up against his wisdom or the Spirit by whom he spoke."  That same Spirit resides in us who believe!

The men of the synagogue can't stand Stephen, he's making them uncomfortable, challenging them and they're being convicted but don't want any of it and so a false charge is made against him. They seize him and bring him before the Sanhedrin.  "All who were sitting in the Sanhedrin looked intently at Stephen, and they saw his face was like the face of an angel."

Wow...who was this man?

He was a man fully committed to his Lord and he walked fully in who he was called to be.  

Standing before the Sanhedrin he is asked if the charges against him are true to which he replies with an account of the  history of the Israelites from the call of Abram to the death of Jesus.  He shares their life story,  and how it unfolded over the all throughout it God was directing their steps all along the way.  

I admire this man, this fellow brother in Christ...oh he may have lived 2000 years ago but he is now among the great cloud of witnesses.  And I am encouraged to throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and  to run with perseverance that race marked out for me.  To fix my eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of my faith, who for the joy set before Him, did you hear that...the joy...endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider Him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

I am reminded again as I have been numerous times over the past number of weeks in my low moments, when I miss home and all those I love, that there is no greater place than to be in the midst of God's will for my greater place.

I continue on in the book of Acts and read the stoning of Stephen...because that's where it ends and yet begins for him.  I see a man in the midst of God's will for his life...a man glorifying his Saviour to the very end of his earthly life.  A man whose total obedience lead to his death.  A great persecution arises against the church and the believers scatter.  And guess what...they don't scatter and hide...they scatter and preached the Word wherever they went. That is what I want for this heart of mine...this life of mine. I want to live so fully for Him...for His glory...His eternal purposes that no opposition whether internal or external can stop what He has planned and purposed for this life of mine. 

To God be the glory!

Things to be thankful for... 

3135. Visit with an elderly couple
3136. Game night with the guys

3137. God stories shared
3138. Morning chats with my husband
3139. Sunshine warm on my face
3140. Afternoon spent with Jocelyne and Dan

I got to meet and hold a ball python named Bill Murry.
3141. A pot of tulips from Jocelyne

3142. Worship
3143. Potluck lunch after church
3144. Birthday blessings from all the guys to Brian
3145. A new day
3146. Video call with my family
3147. Beautiful pink morning sky
3148. Good dinner time conversation
3149. The men shovelling my driveway
3150. Sunshine after the storm
3151. Refreshing walk

Aren't the children playing signs cute out here.

3152. Great news for one of the men
3153. Gorgeous sunset

3154. God's provision through His people
3155. Woke up to a foot of snow
3156. Guys shovelling my driveway and deck again

My decks and driveway were shovelled probably six or seven times in a span of five days when we had all our snow.  I felt like 'snow white and the seven dwarfs,' every time they came out to shovel :-)

3157. Card game with some of the guys
3158. My husband making me laugh
3159. Nice chat with my sister
3160. A good restful day with my husband
3161. Beautiful morning sunshine

3162. Great message at church
3163. Fun in the snow with Kara and April

I found some little people out here :-)

3164. Chat with mom and dad
3165. Dinner from Erica
3166. Blizzard day

3167. Out in the snow

Haven't seen a drift this size since I was a kid.

I made a little video about the blizzard for my family and friends.  I always hoped for a blizzard as my kids grew up so they could experience it but it never happened so this would have to do :-)

The difference after a few snowstorms.

3168. Beautiful blue skies and sunshine after the storm
3169. Laughter from one of the guys
3170. My husband's care of my heart
3171. Chat with my mom
3172. Facebook video call with friends
3173. Our first piece of snail mail
3174. Connecting
3176. A good day
3177. Nice dinner with the men
3178. More snow
3179. Jocelyne's 25th birthday
3180. Chat with Jocelyne
3181. Card games with the guys
3182. Morning drive with my husband

3183. Kids made it to Florida
3184. Chat with Joce & Charissa
3185. Graduation ceremony for Josh

Josh's graduation was a beautiful service at the Village of Hope.  What a blessing to see a life transformed.

3186. Testimonies shared
3187. Milder day
3188. Charissa is feeling better
3189. Words of affirmation for one of the men on his birthday
3190. Morning sunshine
3191. Cooking in the kitchen with Chad
3192. Matt down for a visit

3193. Kids having a good time in Florida
3194. Visit with Betty-Jo and her mom
3195. Nice day with Matt
3196. Sound of coyotes in the early morning
3197. A drive with Matt to check out some covered bridges

3198. Video call with the kids in Florida
3199. Good nights sleep
3200. Soft pink morning sky
3201. Chat with my dad on his birthday
3202. Beautiful, sunny mild day
3203. Drive with Matt
3204. Call from the kids...laughter
3205. Chat with mom and dad
3206. Kids all home safe
3207. Worship
3208. God's perfect love
3209. Taking pictures in the sugar bush while the guys were tapping trees

3210. Laughter
3211. Honesty
3212. Beautiful sunset
3213. Reading stories with Kara and April
3214. Morning cuddles with April
3215. Beautiful sunny day
3216. Call from a friend
3217. Birthday cards in the mail from family and friends
3218. Cute things kids say
3219. Morning fog over the river
3220. Seeing so many deer while getting the kids from school
3221. Night time stories with the girls
3222. God's provision through His people
3223. Calls from my kids for my birthday
3224. Call from mom and dad
3225. Visit from Jocelyne
3226. Cake and gifts

3227. Birthday card made by Kara, she drew all my animals in it
3228. Kara's words
3229. Call from my sisters
3230. Call from friends
3231. A book gift from Shelley
3232. God's steadfast love
3233. Morning sunlight through the trees
3234. God's word, His truth
3235. A better day
3236. Thank-you from Matt
3237. Nice chat with Charissa
3238. Small group sharing time
3239. More birthday cards in the mail

3240. Beautiful gift from my husband

3241. An act of kindness from a stranger
3242. Gorgeous sunset
3243. Birthday cards and beautiful gift from my sister in the mail

3244. Special gift from two beautiful friends

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