my dad passed away this weekend

My dad died on Friday evening, having struggled with Alzheimers for a few years.  Here are some great things in my life because of my dad:

  • a love and respect for the Holy Spirit:  my dad has always been super keen to be around the Holy Spirit and had tremendous respect and honor for what the Holy Spirit does and Who the Holy Spirit is
  • a love for beauty and creativity:  my dad has always been super creative & loved art and creative expressions in almost all ways.  To this day, my house is decorated with art that he passed on to me
  • respect for people:  my dad has always loved people and could chat for hours with all kinds of people – people at garage sales, people who would refinish furniture, people in restaurants, at stores, etc;  even if people were grumpy or mean, it didn’t phase my dad because he just liked people
  • hope for the future:  my dad has always been optimistic and had killer strong faith regardless of what he saw or experienced;  he confronted fear in my life when he saw that it was going to debilitate me & he challenged me to not let fear control me or my decisions

There’s TONS more to my dad – way more than a simple blog could express.  But this is a really small glimpse of a really great man.  Thanks heaps and heaps to my church family for being so supportive, gentle and kind to us through this experience.  If you’d like to join us when we celebrate his life, we’ll be having a celebration service on Nov 11 around 6pm at Orchard Road Christian Center

Be Stubborn!! :)

I’ve read lots of things that encourage us to persevere, don’t quit, endure & keep going. The Bible applauds faithfulness & endurance on multiple occasions. But I think that we have to be careful that we don’t let the “endurance” trait to justify being stubborn & refusing to change.
I want to endure & be faithful to Jesus & Give Him the total freedom to change & shape me to be more & more like Him. For me, it’s cool to be stubborn in keeping my relationship with Jesus vibrant but it’s not ok to be stubborn & refuse to change or grow – that kind of stubborn is brittle & very susceptible to being broken 🙂

My lemon cake mistake ,)

I recently made a lemon cake for one of my kid’s birthdays & it didn’t turn out well. Of course, some of the failure was my fault because I didn’t totally follow the directions (the cake didn’t come out of the pan very well). Thankfully, the flavor was ok, but I was still not very happy with the overall outcome – a cake mistake.
When I was thinking about mistakes, I was reading this morning about how God has fearfully & wonderfully made us. When I thought about this, it began to sink into my thinking about how God doesn’t bake or make mistakes. When God does work, His work work is done perfectly, without failures or flaws. Now I’m not saying that we don’t make mistakes but I am saying that we must understand that God has made us & we are not mistakes or failures. Thankfully, God redeems our mistakes but God did not make a mistake when God made you 🙂

Presidential Debate contd

I watched a little bit of the debate last night & then watched some of the observations & reflections on twitter, fb, etc. This election seems to be very polarized & people have extremely strong opinions & feelings about the candidates & their positions.
With these things in mind, here are some things for which I’m thankful:
*I’m thankful for a country that facilitates a peaceful transition between leaders – I’ve visited many countries that have very violent leadership transitions & the populations always suffer tremendous hardships from such unnecessary violence
*I’m thankful that people care, even if they express their opinions in unpleasant ways – apathy doesn’t improve anything
*I’m thankful for the opportunity to participate in the political process
*please vote – the end 🙂

you are beautiful :)

I have the privilege of getting to be around lots of people in a variety of situations and contexts – airports, coffee shops, volunteer opportunities, speaking to various groups, taking classes, grocery shopping, etc.  And I’m frequently amazed by the diversity I see and experience with each person.  When I get the chance to look at individuals and not just groups of people, I see lots of beauty in a variety of ways:  beautiful eyes, smiles, mannerisms, unique noses, creative hair, intelligent expressions, polite help, attentive gazes and so much more.

We are each beautifully and fearfully made in the image of our Creator – you matter and you are beautiful 🙂

storms and success

Feel like you’re in a storm?  Are you having a difficult time with life?  Sometimes we feel like we’re drowning & we’ve neglected to put on our “floaties”.  I go through times like this & feel like I’m going to drown in problems – but here’s some really cool help:

I was thinking about how Peter got out of the boat in a storm & walked with Jesus – such a powerful metaphor for us when our life is stormy.  Jesus’ disciples were in the middle of a storm & were struggling to stay afloat & when Jesus came strolling along in the middle of the storm, walking on the water, they freaked out!!  Peter asked Jesus to get out of the boat & walk to Him – Jesus said, “Yes!”  So here’s some help for you in a storm:  with Jesus, any storm can be a stroll.

Weird people :)

From time to time, I have the opportunity to interact with all different kinds of people & some of them kind be a little tricky. In the past, I used to get more frustrated with people who can be difficult & weird. One of the things that I’m learning is that everyone is important & valuable even if they can be a little strange. I always want to be able to give people the benefit of the doubt & respectful regardless of how difficult they might be. Sometimes I do this better than others. So my take away is that it’s important to go the extra mile & while this can be hard, it’s the better decision than to give back the hardship someone may be giving to you – smile 🙂