Sunday, July 22, 2018

Time & Rest

Time is a funny thing. Some have said that time is fleeting. Probably because it is here one minute and gone the next. 😉😉 Today is Sunday July 22, and here I sit writing my first blog post in…. how long? I forget! But alas, I find myself sitting at my computer, nursing a cold on a Sunday afternoon, and typing up some thoughts about time; and subsequently, rest.

Today I’m bored, but last week I was rejoicing. Last week, was my final 14 hr day, scanning tickets down at the stampede grounds. I’m grateful for the work, but after doing that for 6 days straight, my body was craving rest. Rest and being able to wear shorts again. HAHAHA!!!

Rewind to a month ago, the middle of June, I was again craving rest. I have been going nonstop since January and at some point in June, I was starting to feel tired. I had been getting enough sleep at night, but during the day, I felt as though my mind was always working. I was in charge of The Outpouring, a once a month worship service for the special needs community at centre street church; I was co-leading a bible study once a week with a fella connected to URSA; I was part of a team of people helping plan a disability ministry conference, and I have recently become a part of Young Life, with plans of working with them starting sometime in the fall.

So if I wasn’t sleeping, my mind was buzzing with ideas for one of those things. Which, I don’t mind
doing (and I’m actually quite excited to be doing those things once again after the summer is over).But if your mind is going all day everyday like that for 6 months, your energy level starts to wane. Now I’m 6 days into my season of rest, and I’m bored. Reflecting on this, it reminds me of the Israelites after they left Egypt. In Egypt, they worked themselves to the bone for 400 years, complaining and praying to God for some relief and freedom from such oppression. A few weeks into the freedom they so desperately craved, they didn’t like it and wanted to go back. (Exodus 16:1-3). HAHA!! I guess it’s true what they say: history repeats itself. 😛

That said, I’m not going to just sit on my butt twiddling my thumbs until September waiting for things to start back up again. Instead, I’m going to fill the time with stuff that will breathe some new life into these bones. The website, Every Day With God has a series of devotionals on resting and other Sabbath related posts. I’m planning on reading those once a day starting tomorrow. My fitness coaches, Jackie and Jamie are running an 8 week fitness challenge using Beachbody’s new workout program, Liift4. That started this past week, and I plan on following through to the end.

With my involvement in Young Life starting in the fall, I was planning on attending my buddy Erik's
“dreaming about and planning for the future” thing him and his wife are hosting next weekend, hoping it would give me some ideas for young life in the fall, but after some prayer and reflection, I decided to not to attend. Young Life may already have things in store for me when I get there. So ill just grace Young Life’s doors with a “ready to learn” attitude instead. Also, my best friend and I are planning on spending a few days in Edmonton this summer too.

Those are just MY plans. Who knows what other adventures I’ll encounter during my season of rest. The proverbs do say, "A man plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps.  (Proverbs 16:9). Whatever happens, I’m ready and willing to embrace it, head on.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Forgiving Our Debts

I heard something interesting last week. In an attempt to boost their economy, The Croatian government is cancelling the debt of over 60,000 of its people.

Croatia’s Deputy Prime Minister says those sixty thousand people, “will be given a chance for a new start without a burden of debt." In the article, an economist says this move is exceptional, and that he couldn’t think of anything to compare it too. But I can.

Deuteronomy 15 says we are to forgive people of their debts once every 7 years:
"At the end of every seven years you must cancel debts. This is how it is to be done: Every creditor shall cancel any loan they have made to a fellow Israelite. They shall not require payment from anyone among their own people, because the Lord’s time for canceling debts has been proclaimed." -- Deuteronomy 15:1-2

The last part of that verse, “the Lord’s time for canceling debts has been proclaimed” reminds me of these lyrics from the song, Jesus Paid it All:

Jesus paid it all,
All to Him I owe;
Sin had left a crimson stain,
He washed it white as snow.

And when before the throne
I stand in Him complete,
Jesus died my soul to save

When I compare my life to that of my Savior’s, there is nothing I can do but admit defeat. Sin has made it impossible for me to have an intimate relationship with God. But Colossians Chapter 2 says different:
"When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross. And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross." --Colossians 2:13-15
That’s why I'm so thankful for things like communion. It reminds me of everything Jesus has done for me. Like the people of Croatia, I am given a chance for a new start without a burden. It helps my soul move from a posture of “woe is me” to one of shouting as loud as I can “O Praise the one who paid my debt and raised this life up from the dead.”

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

My Infamous Walmart Story

It has long been suggested I write some sort of biography about my life and the crazy scenarios I, out of sheer happenstance, get into. Like the time I got a ride to church in the back of police car. Or the time that I was late for a bible study because I was nearly abducted and hit on by a seemingly homeless drunk at the train station. (Those stories each deserve their own post at a later date.)
I don’t have any plans to write such a book in the future, but if I did, the following story would make one of its chapters.
My Infamous Wal-mart Story
For those of you that don’t know, Wal-mart has this sticker on the door that says if you have a disability and need some help shopping, simply pay a visit to customer service and they will find someone to help you.

So anytime I go into Wal-mart that’s what I do. I wait in line at customer service, and ask them to find someone to help me do my shopping. Well, this one time I did that and got some… resistance.
Wal-Mart employee:Hello sir, welcome to Walmart. How can I help you today?”
Me: “Yes, I was wondering if I could get some help doing some of my shopping today”
Employee: “I’m sorry sir, we can’t do that today. In fact we don’t do that here.”
Me: “But you have a sign on the door that says if you have a disability, like me, and need some help, like me, I’m supposed to stand in line at customer service, like I’m doing now, talk to you, and you’ll find someone to help do my shopping.”
Employee: “Okay, hold on a second, let me get my manager.”
Manager: “Yes, how can I help you today?”
Me: “Hi, I was wondering if I could get someone to push a cart for me, or reach for things I can’t while shopping in my wheelchair, please.”
Manager: “I’m sorry sir, we can’t do that today. In fact we don’t do that here.”
At this point, I roll my eyes and wonder if I have to repeat myself. Reluctantly, and a little annoyed, I do. To which the manager responds with:
“I can’t do that sir, I just don’t have the man power. If I do that, I will be a man short. But I do know what will work. Follow me.”
The manager’s alternative was to stick me in one of their electric scooters with a basket on the front.

It wasn’t what I asked for, but she figured I could go around the store, grabbing the things I need and put them in the basket, solving the problem at hand. I cooperated, got in the scooter, left my chair with customer service, and away I went.
Down the milk aisle I grabbed my first item and success! The lady’s idea was working…. Until I started the scooter again. I drove the scooter no less then 50 meters and the battery had died. Great! Now what do I do? I was the only one in the aisle and nobody else wandered down there for quite some time. Knowing my ride home would be coming soon, if I wanted to get my shopping done I couldn’t just sit there. I pulled out my cell phone and called the store.
“Hello, thank you for calling Walmart, how can I help you today?”
Me: “Hi there, this may seem a little odd but, I’m in the milk aisle of your store sitting in one of your scooters and the battery is dead.”
Wal-Mart: “You are? Oh dear! That’s horrible! Okay I will get someone to come find you right away.”
I thank the person on the phone and a few minutes later, a Walmart employee finds me and offers to go grab the other scooter so I can finish my shopping, only to return with news that the other scooter also has a dead battery, and both are out of commission. After we both laugh about it, he offers yet another alternative.
Wal-Mart employee: “Sir? How about I go get your wheelchair, come back with a cart and be kind of like a personal shopper? You tell me what you need and we will go around the store getting it? Sound like a good plan?”
I agree, and as I wait for him to come back with my wheelchair, I laugh about it and think to myself, that’s what I asked for IN THE FIRST PLACE!!!
This happened at least 3 years ago, and I have yet to return to that particular Walmart. But there you have it. This is one of the crazy but true slapstick comedy situations that happen to befall me.

Monday, March 3, 2014

The Doors of Hope?

I took one of those Facebook personality quizzes the other day. This particular one showed you a picture of 10 different doors. When you pick the one you would most likely walk through, it will reveal something about your personality.
I picked door number 8; and here is what it said:
Your fun and playful personality keeps you young and youthful. Although you are easy going, you tend to have lower self-confidence and anxiety about specific things in your life. You are usually unorganized; yet don’t even know where to start to help yourself to fix the messy problem. You are a proud individual but you need to learn to love yourself more. You need to take the time to find yourself through self-expression. How are you currently expressing yourself to the world? Remember that there are people around you that can help you, but you need to let them know you are willing to receive help. Life is easier when you let people in.
The accuracy of the personality description had me genuinely surprised. I constantly make jokes about the things happening around me. Whether it be laughing at conversations overheard while enjoying lunch in a public place, turning the name of a restaurant or business into a pun, or tickling others ribs by sharing one of my slapstick comedic adventures, that’s my fun and playful personality traits... possibly inherited from my goofball father.

What’s also true is my lower self-confidence and tendency to worry about stuff. The lower self-confidence probably explains why I get excited about being asked to do things, especially by God. It tells me that someone sees something in me, that, for some reason, I don’t. I constantly think about what life after 65 is going to be like. It’s something I have wrestled with for ages. It took what seemed like forever for me to settle on a savings plan for retirement. And I still wonder if I did the right thing. My confidence in that is shaken when I read passages from my bible such as Matthew 6:19-21:
“Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be."
I worry about life after 65, but am reminded that God's word says not to worry, but to instead, pray (Philippians 4:6-7). And when I do, the Holy Spirit, and my confidence in God to keep his promises of looking after his beloved restores, or makes up for my lack of confidence. YAY?
It’s not hard to see that I’m messy. The cleanliness of my apartment can attest to that fact, tenfold. But unorganized? I would say not completely. What’s definitely true is not knowing where to start cleaning up a mess. When I clean up my apartment, I have the attention span of a three year old. For example, I’ll put some dirty dishes in the kitchen sink, I’ll turn around, see the microwave, and then grab a cloth and start scrubbing the inside of the microwave. When I’m half done, I’ll see an empty milk jug, stop cleaning the microwave and put the milk jug in recycling. After a quick stop in the bathroom, ill clean the dirty bathroom sink and notice the cup in there needs to be cleaned. I’ll take the cup to the kitchen and pick up a few pieces of garbage on the way. Put those things in their place, turn around and see the microwave is half clean and finish what I started with the microwave half an hour ago. I could go on, but I think you get the picture.
There’s no argument about me being a proud individual. I think I wear that like bumblebees and zebras wear stripes. I think it would be fair to say that it’s sometimes a fault. Which goes along with my need to ask for help. I know help is available but my parents raised me to be a stubborn tryst. As in, try something first. If you need help after trying your best, ask. But not before trying it yourself.
Doing this has peaked a curiosity in me. What door "matches" the people of the bible? Are the personality traits of people like Moses, Adam, Abraham, john the Baptist, Mary Magdalene, the apostle Paul or the like, listed here? It might be a fun pet project to read one of the character descriptions in my study bible and see if they match the descriptions listed in this Facebook personality test. Would any of you who read this blog, like to join me in doing so, and explore how God’s matchless power accomplishes more then we can ask or think, despite our weaknesses? If so, leave a comment here and let me know, blessings, Timbitz

Monday, April 22, 2013

Feed His Sheep

One of my favorite videos of late is The Skit Guys’ retelling of the conversation Jesus had with Peter, after His resurrection, on the shores of Galilee:

Feeling true sorrow for his denial, Peter beats himself with regret for betraying his Lord. The Gospel of John says that if Peter loved Him, Jesus only had one thing to tell Peter that day: Feed His sheep. Jesus’ composure both in scripture and the video is something I admire. Jesus isn’t mulling over the fact that Peter betrayed Him. Nor does He continually draw attention to Peter’s downfall, repeating it over and over again like some angry mob boss trying to “teach him a lesson he will never forget.” Jesus’ response is simply “Feed my sheep.”
In the video, Peter says his actions on the night Jesus was arrested is unforgiveable. As such he doesn’t deserve to be with Jesus any longer. He deserves to be punished, and suffer in some way for abandoning his Lord, when Jesus, perhaps, needed him most.
In the video Jesus says “Enough with this line of thinking!” and reminds Peter that His death changes things. Through Jesus’ one act of Grace Peter can get back on the horse by simply “feeding Christ’s sheep.”
This is something I need to remind myself. When I betray the Lord, give in to temptation and sin, beating myself up over it is one of the worst things I can do. I’m better off to fess up to any wrongs I may have done and, like Peter, get back on the horse and “feed Jesus’ sheep.”
Am I alone in feeling this way, or am I on to something that others, like you, can latch on to?