Hope you enjoy these cold reflections and the articles for your encouragement. Have a great weekend.
Grace & Peace,
Content: This Week…
In Articles (my curated content just for you)
We were the recipients of -30C weather last week.
It shouldn't have been the shock that it was. Our winters on the Canadian prairies always reach this point. But, December came and went with lovely milder temperatures so it's easy to forget this basic reality.
The cold brings danger, it's often welcome (tropical weather just suits me better), and can seep into our hearts. We become intentional about staying warm and try to remember the refreshment cold can be when we're heated.
The cold penetrates my gloves causing numb fingers while I fiddle with my car keys. Wandering through the parking lot, my eyeballs hurt, my nose hairs stick together and, my skin burns. All these parts of me have gone happily gone unnoticed for months before, yet once the stark, crazy cold touches them I'm suddenly aware.
I consider the danger of frostbite when temperatures dip. Particularly if we're unprepared, without clothing to cover exposed skin, but even wearing gloves the relentless bite of cold comes through.
The sun hasn't risen before my feet hit the floor. That's not difficult to accomplish when the rays only penetrate my window around 8am. But the first morning after the deep freeze, my feet felt colder than usual, even wearing socks. When I acknowledge I felt more chilled than warm, I looked at our thermostat which revealed 18C, and I realized our furnace wasn't running.
On a Sunday morning as we're getting ready for worship, problem solving a critical issue while the wind howls outside is unexpected. We remember when it gets this cold, the humidity inside the vent freezes up and the furnace can't run. The solution for frozen pipes is an extension cord and a blow dryer. A chilly morning indeed.
The coldness of bitter contempt toward others is dangerous for relationships.
Contempt says, "I'm better, you're lesser" or "You've offended me and I won't let you forget it." In the throes of our pain we react, but this bitter pill sticks around longer than the moment and taints all our interactions. People we treat this way aren't likely to stick around.
It's painful to watch this unfold, as it feels very similar to the uncomfortably deep chill in the parking lot.
Paul instructs the Ephesians, to "be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you" (Eph. 4:32). The offences we hold against others can be like the grip of a toddler holding a frog, and unknowingly clutches them so tightly they don't make it. Let's not cling to our frogs.
Playing outdoors in the frigid weather is a balance of right clothing and sustained movement. We keep a fire going near the cabin to warm up while skating or sledding. We've also got Hot Pockets to keep in our shoes or gloves to generate heat when the tips of fingers and toes start to numb. In this weather, it's hard to stay warm.
The church at Laodicea had cooled in doing good for others; what once was warm and vibrant now chilled like a cup of coffee left too long at our desk. The Lord challenges them away from their contentment in riches of the world to be wealthy in the things of God instead, promising when they come to him, he is there.
Perhaps our devotion grows cold at times, as the saints at Laodicea, in the throes of busyness or our own insecurities, but we learn that to keep our faith warm means entering the presence of the heat source, assured that in drawing near to him, he also draws near to us.
"Like the cold of snow in the time of harvest is a faithful messenger to those who send him; he refreshes the soul of his masters" (Prov 25:13).
During a martial arts competition, the gymnasium felt more like a sauna and athletes crowded around the exit for the cool air coming in. Proverbs likens that refreshing coolness with how one feels to ask a faithful person to do something. I think of giving my kids tasks to do around the house and the comforting assurance they can accomplish the task and a contentment in trusting them to do it.
It's also really nice to know you are trusted; to know they value your abilities and believe you're competent. Let's appreciate others for the work they do.
On the Blog
Often our marriages begin wrapped in a cocoon, like plants in a greenhouse, of excitement, romance, and friendship causing the relationship to sprout and start well. As the days of marriage go by, the spark of newness fades and like being set out into the garden, exposed to the reality of the elements.
Discover how the gospel leads us toward connection in conflict and three practical ways you can extend grace.
I help you discover and discern what to put on your shelf next! This month's booklist includes a biography you won't want to miss, topics on friendship and women's ministry, a classic and a couple fiction titles. I hope you find something of interest!
What's on your shelf?
On My Shelf
Still working my way through Endurance. Their Antarctican adventure involves a fair amount of seal hunting and waiting for the weather to change. It's been a slow read.
Also working through Crisis of Confidence by Carl Trueman coming out next month. Should have the review ready for next week!
Seek God's Face Before You Seek His Hand | Sarah Walton
"To seek God‘s face is to seek his character, truth, and presence, whereas to seek his hand, is to seek his provision and circumstantial answers to our prayers, desires, fears, longings, and struggles."
Taylor Swift + Travis Kelce is Good, Actually | Samuel James
I'm not a Swiftie, but I enjoy watching football with my husband (see point #4) and I really enjoyed considering the reasons why their relationship is a good thing!
When You Feel Depleted, Exhausted and Discouraged | Marissa Bondurant
An encouragement to lean on God's promises when we're in the throes of caregiving.
The Importance of Touch | Lindsay Blackburn
As a nurse, I frequently apologizing for my cold hands as I'm starting IVs or changing bandages, a hand on the shoulder letting them know they're not alone or rubbing their back when their head is in a bucket. Let's be wise and discerning in our use of touch, remembering the comfort it provides.
WATCH: How Churches & Missions Can Love MKs Better | Michele Phoenix
If you have missionaries in your church, take some time to listen to Michele's reflections on how MKs are different and what we can do to to help. This was really insightful!
(The cards are still in good condition, we're working up to the next level. Dutch Blitz)
(It was a rough day at work made better by his visit with these sweet treats)
(It's the good ol' hockey game, it's the best game you can play...)
Previously on Mosaic
4 Years Ago
3 Years Ago
2 Years Ago
1 Year Ago