There is a new era in my life; condo living. A few months ago my hubby decided he had enough of house and yard maintenance. What did I think of moving into a condo? Not much, I said. I always thought I would grow old cultivating sweet peas at the edge of my garden and having family BBQs in our backyard. How was I going to fit that into a condo?
If there is one thing I have learned during our many years of marriage it is that Ed does not suggest something life changing without having researched the pros and cons thoroughly. So we snuggled in at our favorite corner table at Tim Horton’s (that’s where we do our most serious talking) and had a go at this.
The outcome was most favorable. I especially remember the suggestion of doing more cruises during the cold snowy winter. The advantage was that we wouldn’t have to cajole our kids into checking our house and shovel our sidewalks while we were sunning somewhere exotic.
And condo life is agreeing with me mostly. Our cruise to the Bahamas is coming up in a few weeks. I haven’t shoveled any driveways or sidewalks this winter. My car is always warm when I step out of the elevator into the parkade. No snow to brush off its roof and no ice to scrape off its windshield.
I enjoy the community life. Ed and I tend to be private people so it has surprised us that we look forward to interacting with many of our neighbors down the hall or on the next floor. My housekeeping duties are cut down to the minimum giving me more time for writing or shopping or my favorite, coffee time with my peers, kids, and grandkids.
Our move reminds me a lot of my spiritual life. I am always moving on, pressing toward the goal. Sometimes I do not want to move ahead with God where He is leading me. Sometimes He does not give me a choice but just puts me in this place. It’s only after I have fully moved in that I realize He is bringing me to a good place; a place closer to Him.
Philippians 3:12-14 (New Living Translation)
12 I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me. 13 No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.
Denise Lorraine Willms was born in Abbotsford, B.C. on June 25th, 1970 to Ed and Ruth Willms. At an early age she accepted Jesus as her Saviour. Denise started kindergarten in Prince George, B.C. and then spent all her school years in Lethbridge, Alberta except for two years in Fort St John, B.C. She began her studies at the University of Lethbridge, eventually getting into the exclusive Education program.
During these years she met BJ Sailer, whom she married on November 13th, 1993. They welcomed their son Darian on February 23rd, 1994. The family moved to Calgary and on August 23rd, 1996 they welcomed their daughter Cassidy. Denise excelled in home schooling both Darian and Cassidy. During these years she also established and operated several successful internet-based businesses. She enjoyed her ministry at Crossroads Community Church; teaching, coordinating, and administering Sunday school curriculum.
Denise enjoyed the peace and quiet at her brother’s property in Kalispell, Montana, visiting as many times as her busy schedule allowed. On a visit to celebrate her 40th birthday Denise became ill. She passed away with BJ and her brother, Michael, at her side at the Kalispell Regional Medical Centre in the early hours of Sunday morning, June 27th, 2010. The family misses her dearly but rejoices that they know she is with the Lord.
Denise leaves to mourn her husband, BJ, their two children, Darian and Cassidy, her parents, Ed and Ruth Willms, her brother, Michael, her nephews, Sam, Jack, and Ben Willms, and their mother, Deanne; her mother-in-law, Dorothy Sailer-Hammett, her paternal grandmother, Martha Dyck, plus numerous aunts and uncles, cousins, and many friends.
When my life and writing get out of control as they have over the last few months, I know it has something to do with my priorities. My circumstances started ruling me instead of me taking charge of them.
To have right priorities in life is to live successfully. The things we do every day become our priorities in life. As Christians we need to know God’s Word in order to know what our priorities should be.
Jesus said the most important priority is to “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and mind.” Then He paired the second with it: “Love your neighbor as much as you love yourself.” (Matthew 22:37-39) Jesus set loving God and loving others as priorities in life.
Remember Dorcas who was always doing kind things for others, especially widows? Dorcas became sick and died. Her friends prepared her body for burial and then called Peter to come to them. When he heard how she loved God and people by sewing clothes for the needy Peter prayed over her body and God restored her to life. She had lived with her priorities right in life. God gave her a second chance because she put Him first.
When our relationship with the Lord has first priority over everything else our priorities will fall in place. They will look different in each person’s life. Hopefully in my life that will mean more writing.
“And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night” — Luke 2:8
“Silent Night, Holy Night” is one of the most popular Christmas carols. And no wonder since it inspires us to worship Jesus along with the shepherds on that holy night ages ago when God became man and was laid in a manger. Just as the shepherds kept watch over their sheep at night, God the Father was keeping watch over God, His Son Jesus, sleeping in heavenly peace.
This is a message we all want to hear especially now with our world in a state of turmoil and uncertainty. God is also keeping watch over us, His children. His glories from heaven afar still stream into our hearts this Christmas season as we walk in God’s pure light. We breathe a sigh of relief remembering that our Savior was born and our hearts and voices break out in the words of this carol that is pure worship.
Silent night, holy night!
All is calm, all is bright.
Round yon Virgin, Mother and Child.
Holy infant so tender and mild,
Sleep in heavenly peace,
Sleep in heavenly peace.
Silent night, holy night!
Shepherds quake at the sight.
Glories stream from heaven afar
Heavenly hosts sing Alleluia,
Christ the Savior is born!
Christ the Savior is born.
Silent night, holy night!
Son of God love’s pure light.
Radiant beams from Thy holy face
With dawn of redeeming grace,
Jesus Lord, at Thy birth.
Jesus Lord, at Thy birth.
The carol found a foothold in Joseph Mohr’s mind when he penned the words in the form of a poem in 1816. He put it aside waiting for the time that would be right for a song to be born from it. It took two years for Mohr to find that perfect melody and it would be in answer to a dilemma; a broken organ.
A travelling group of actors performing the Christmas story came to perform in the little church of St. Nicholas in Oberndorf, a village in the Austrian Alps. Since the organ was broken the assistant pastor, Josef Mohr, invited them to present their drama in a private home. The presentation touched Mohr’s heart so strongly that he couldn’t get it out of his mind.
Meditating on the Christmas play he took the long way home that night by mistake. The longer path led up a hill from which he looked down on the village. Mohr gazed down at the peaceful village covered in snow. The scene made him think of that poem he had penned two years ago. The poem was about shepherds on a peaceful hillside, watching their sheep at night. Their quiet reverie was shattered as suddenly a host of heaven’s angels came upon them proclaiming the birth of Christ.
He knew the poem would make a perfect new song for their Christmas Eve service tomorrow night. But he didn’t have any music for it. He hurried to his friend, the church organist, Franz Xaver Gruber. In a few hours Gruber wrote the music which could be played on a guitar. And so it happened that on Christmas Eve, the Oberndorf congregation was the first church to hear the now beloved, captivating carol Silent Night, Holy Night as these two men sang it to the accompaniment of Gruber’s guitar.
If you are like me you get so busy with work, family, and church (and writing) meeting everyone else’s needs that you begin to neglect the most important thing – your intimacy with God. I found myself praying for everyone else’s needs and studying the Bible more than ever but always for my writing or Bible studies but not to hear God speak to me personally. After doing this for a while I was getting depleted.
I realized I needed more of God in my personal life. The way I am now doing that is by guarding and protecting my relationship with God in prayer. I am going to pray daily about every area on my life so I will be anchored and close to Him. And I am going to share that walk with you so you can join me in it too.
In most of my blogging I have been sharing my knowledge of raising kids for Christ. Now I want to add this new dimension. If we wish to help our kids go deeper with Jesus we as moms and parents have to first go deeper with Him. There are different ways of approaching this but I have chosen the following.
Step One: Just as we get close to the special people in our lives by spending time with them and being open with them we do the same in our relationship with God. This if the only way we can become passionate about Him.
Step Two: We start by asking God to fill us afresh with His Holy Spirit, His power. We pray for His power to transform us and our circumstances.
Step Three: We put our expectations in God and don’t look to people, even the special people in our lives, to meet our needs. God completes us. We move forward in His purpose for our lives.
God’s Promise to us:
“We have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God and not of us.” 2 Corinthians 4:7 KJV
These days I’m enjoying harvesting my garden. Cucumbers, peas, carrots, beets, green beans, and a never ending supply of zucchini and rhubarb. Even the pumpkins look promising. I forewent tending flowers in my back yard this year to growing vegetables although I still get to enjoy the fragrance of the potted flowers growing on our patio and my flowering bushes out front.
There’s something about putting fresh vegetables out for dinner instead of the produce which has been lying on my grocer’s shelves for a few days. Besides, I’m anxious to educate my preschool grandsons about where vegetables come from. And it’s therapeutic and fun!
My mini-harvest reminds me that fall and school are just around the corner. This is a good time to strengthen our relationship with our kids as they head back to the pressures of their peers. One of the best ways I have found is to bless them.
By believing in our kids and encouraging them, we are helping them reach their full potential. There are many ways we can affirm or build up our children.
I like the steps of blessing Gary Smalley and John Trent use in their book, The Blessing. I am going to touch on two today: by using the right words and by placing high value on them. If you’re interested in reading the rest of the book you can go to my resource page to order it http://ruthwillms.com/parentscorner.html
First we bless our kids by using the right words. Like a self-fulfilling prophesy, your child often becomes what you say he will be. If you put him down and say he will never amount to anything, he will begin to believe it. On the other hand, if you build him up and say amazing things about him he will know he can conquer the world.
The second way to bless your children is to place high value on them. Be truthful and realistic with them but be their greatest fans. You can plant seeds in their outlook for life that will help them accomplish the things they really want to. The patriarchs in the Old Testament gave their children – especially their oldest sons – a special family blessing. It confirmed to their children that God had a special plan of blessing for their life too.
Bless your children – literally – when you pray with them-at the end of the day or in the morning- say “the Lord bless you.” Your child hears that you are there for them but if you fail, God has them covered. Everything is possible with God; He never fails. He will see them through in the times when human dads and moms fails. They learn that God is concerned with their life and welfare.
When we affirm our kids’ specialness by blessing them we profoundly impact them forever. The interaction with us will influence not only their self-image, their current relationships, and future relationships, but that all important relationship with God.
What I value most in my friendships is loyalty. I am devoted to my friends and they are devoted to me. Such a friend I find turns out to be a life long friend and stays with me through good times and bad times and even when I mess up in life.
Once upon a time there was a very contented fisherman. Although his parents had died when he was young and he had no siblings, no family, he was happy. He made his living fishing and selling his catch at the local market.
One day when he was fishing from his boat he caught [...]]]>
What do the Presidents of the USA have in common with King David? A lot actually. They sway a lot of power. They are renowned around the world. And mostly, they had to work their way up.
President Ronald Reagan is one of my favorites to compare to King David. Both leaders came [...]]]>
Suddenly out of the corner of his eye he saw movement behind the kitchen door. Was that Abe hiding on him when he was so anxious to be on the road?
The horses were harnessed and Jake was set to ride into town. He planned on getting to town early [...]]]>
He, a brute of a man, stood on the mountain, shouting at the people across the valley, “I dare you! Come fight me! If you kill me, fine, my people will be your slaves. But if I kill you the Israelites will be our slaves!”
Across the valley, the Israelites looked [...]]]>
Determined to see God [...]]]>