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Saturday, 28 February 2009

lessons of life through lessons in skiing

Some of you were there many years ago when I tried skiing the last time. Thank you Mark Lundeen for the lessons! Well, here I am, a stone's throw from the Swiss Alps and in the almost four years that I have lived here, I have never tried skiing. Crazy!

With the visit of my brother Michael, I thought it was a good chance to experience skiing in the Swiss Alps. Michael is a good skier and my friend Brad is a good skier and between the two of them, I was fairly certain that I would survive and even re-learn the things Mark taught me so long ago. Was that 6 years ago? 5? 7? a long time no doubt.

Here are Michael and I. He took photos.. and video.. not sure I want to share those.. I really don't like looking like an idiot. But maybe I will share them when he gets the photos to me.of my trying to learn to ski again.. by the end I was pretty comfortable.. isn't that the way it goes? We were up in the Swiss Alps of Adelboden. It was beautiful and warm. And this group was enjoying a snowball fight after lunch. All these people enjoying the skiing, snowboarding, the weather and the amazing mountains.. and I had to wonder if they thought about the amazing Creator who provided this setting? I was in awe of His beauty and creation once again.Learning to ski for me is always a lesson in trust. Trust in my own instincts. Trust in the people who are teaching me. Why do I second guess my instincts? Why is it so hard to trust? Brad told me that I needed to stop looking at the ends of my skis and just look at him. That I was so focused on not crossing my skis that I was crossing them. He told me a few times that I need to trust my instincts and not panic. And both Brad and Michael saw a look in my eyes of wanting to give up after the first couple times. But they were so encouraging and patient.

Between Brad, Michael and the T-bar lift guy... I learned a lot.

Things like this are a great lesson for me as I maneuver this course of life. Do I trust the instincts God has given me? Do I trust the poeple He has put in my life? Do I walk in faith? Do I give up when it is hard or do I keep trying? Do I accept the help of those who know more? Do I ask for help?

There is a quote that I have held close to my heart for over 10 years now... "Fight the tendency to prefer security to availability. In other words, quite hanging on to today's comfort. It will keep you from anticipating tomorrow's challenge."

That requires a lot of trust.

Wednesday, 4 February 2009

did I miss a whole month?

How often do you find yourself in awe of God? What causes you to stop in wonder at who God is or what God has created?

Last week I was in Dublin Ireland for a meeting with most everyone who is leading the movements to reach the 14-25 year old students of their country with the hope of Jesus Christ. I love these moments! One night we prayed for each other personally and for what God is doing in our countries. Much time was spent thinking together as this photo illustrates. Germany, Finland, Portugal, Ireland... I love seeing us all work together like this for a common purpose.
We praised God together for the students who have come know Jesus as their personal savior this past year. We praised God together for those students who are showing a passion to live their lives sharing this gospel message with others. And we learned again that we are always in need of the Gospel in our lives.

After the meetings, Deb and I drove up to Northern Ireland to an area called Giant's Causeway. Legend has it, that the giant Finn MacCool built it to reach Scotland... which you can see from the shore... if you click on the name Giant's Causeway in this paragraph you can read all about it.
Early in the morning Deb and I hiked along the cliffs and then took a looong staircase down to the lower path to see the Giant's Causeway. We walked along marveling at the beautiful creation... we walked past the area called the Organ... can you see why it is called that? :-)

I walked on ahead a bit through this opening in the columns and once I came to the other side, I stared in amazement. my mouth literally dropped open. I wandered around with praises to God falling out of my mouth. So incredible! on the other side, are these columns at various levels. they are all perfectly shaped hexagonal columns. I wandered through them thinking... how could anyone think that a creative designer did not do this? Is there anything in this world that is not based on the original creation? Any colour or shape that God did not design?
As I walked along in amazement, I was struck again by how amazing God is. When was the last time you were in awe of God?
Was it something you saw that reminded you of God's beauty? Was it someway that you saw God's love for you displayed in a way that you could not miss it? Was it a verse or chapter of the Bible that leaped out at you in a fresh and new way?

My time at the causeway, was precious and amazing. Literally, praises to God were falling out of my mouth! oh to live like that every day!