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A Quick Reminder to Remember

21 Mar

Lately I’m finding that I’m a little more forgetful than I should be. I think we all suffer from a little memory loss every now and then. No matter how old we are or what type Omega 3 fatty acids (what is a “fatty acid” anyway?) we take, it still happens.

I’m reading through Exodus right now, and as I read I wonder how the Israelites could so quickly forget all the miraculous events that surrounded their escape from Egypt. I find myself thinking, “How could they watch the Red Sea split open as they walked through it, and then shortly after be grumbling about food? Seriously?” They were no longer oppressed slaves, and yet still felt the need to question God, the One who saved them. I have all these thoughts about the Israelites as I read, and then realize that lately I’ve been doing the exact same thing. Just because I don’t directly question God when things don’t go as planned, doesn’t mean I’m innocent when I grumble about my circumstances.

Being frustrated and complaining about circumstances shows a lack of understanding who God is as the Creator and Master of the Universe. Either that or I’ve forgotten the millions of things that God has done in my life, in the lives of those around me, and throughout history. So, this is just a quick reminder to remember.

“Beware lest you say in your heart, ‘My power and the might of my hand have gotten me this wealth.’ You shall remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you power to get wealth, that he may confirm his covenant that he swore to your fathers, as it is this day.” Deuteronomy 8:17-18

Remember the wondrous works that he has done, his miracles and the judgements he uttered.” 1 Chronicles 16:12

Remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.” Ephesians 2:12-13

Remember Jesus Christ, risen from the dead, the offspring of David, as preached in my gospel, for which I am suffering, bound with chains as a criminal. But the word of God is not bound!” 2 Timothy 2:8-9

Back to the Leafs

While we’re on the topic of remembering, let’s take a look back and remember what our team is really capable of doing, because we haven’t been fortunate enough to see any of that lately. Enjoy the video; I know I sure did!

Entitlement and Our Responsibility

14 Mar

Entitlement – even though we all struggle with it at times, we all generally know it’s not the right attitude to have. The idea that as citizens we are entitled to any number of things from external government services, takes the focus away from our responsibility as Christians to serve our communities and those around us that are in need. I recently read a great post on Tim Challies’ blog on entitlement, which touched on the same idea. More and more these days society expects that teachers and other community professionals take on responsibilities that were never meant to be theirs to begin with. Where is this coming from? We can all probably list a million reasons why we struggle with this attitude at times, but I want to focus to two things. First, we are all prone to think we’re better than we really are, and this is the very thought that leads to feeling entitled to something more than what we deserve. I have families come into the office and the children often sit in front of their parents and make huge demands that they genuinely feel their parents owe them (cars, electronics, trips etc.). Many times they are there because the children have made some pretty big mistakes, and you would think that they would be hanging their heads in shame, but it’s quite the opposite. We all behave that way sometimes; sinners deserving nothing, yet expecting everything. Second, we live in a selfish society, and it’s hard to escape this mentality when we are surrounded by it. Unless we are constantly doing some Jonathan Edwards’ style self-examination, we can easily be sucked into this same entitled pattern of living, and not even realize it. Sure, children need to be taught more than the core subjects, people struggling financially need support, and people seeking help need to be helped. Whose responsibility is it to meet these needs? Let’s look to Christ as the ultimate example. We all know that Jesus spent so much of his time with the poor, the sick, and the vulnerable, ministering to them and meeting their spiritual, physical, and practical needs. So, this is a challenge to myself and anyone who would like to join me: I will make a conscious effort to step outside of myself, outside of my own needs, and work at getting to know people around me a little more in order to understand how I can better serve them. The struggle is that we live in a self-motivated and self-centred society, so how can I keep from getting trapped. Unless there is a conscious choice to die to myself and serve others daily, then I can easily begin to justify putting my own needs first and expecting that external resources help “the others” and me because after all, we deserve it – faulty thinking is easily perpetuated if not extinguished by a reality check. We all know very well what we truly deserve, and if it weren’t for Grace we would all be heading down that path. So with that in mind daily, I will try to not behave like a spoiled brat when things do not go my way, and instead support others in my church and in my community by giving my time and resources which God has blessed me with. We begin a destructive cycle when we don’t step up and take responsibility for that which is ours, and instead expect that government services take on the role that was originally meant to be ours.

“As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace: whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies – in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever Amen.” 1 Peter 4: 10-11

Lessons from the Leafs

We can all stand to learn a few things from the Leafs, and as promised before, I won’t do this every time, but it seems fitting today. In my opinion, each team in the NHL has its own personality and plays with a certain style. Since today’s post is on entitlement, I’d like us to turn our thoughts to the Leafs and consider their hard work and motivation. At times, things go really well for them, and like any team they’ve had their rough patches as well. Despite being attacked by Gionta’s cheap shot to their star goalie who was then injured, and seems to have not been able to fully recover since the hit, they continue to press on with good attitudes and minds fixed on their main goal. With every difficult patch they’ve hit whether tough losing streaks, injuries, Burke failing to do everything in his power to get Nash, coaching changes, they do not stop working hard and fighting to move up the standings. This can’t be said for all teams (*cough Canucks cough*); some teams play with a sense of entitlement. They let the puck in the net once, and sticks start flying on the ice. A linesman or ref makes one bad call, and curse words start shooting out of their mouths (grow up Luongo, Bieksa, and Kesler and quit throwing temper tantrums during games cough*). Some teams play as though they deserve more, regardless of what they are willing to put forth. I’m thankful that we back a team that plays with integrity and is motivated to put in the hard work in order to achieve what they are looking for. In my heart, I still believe this might be the year, but whether it’s this year or next, it will come, and it will have been well worth the wait.

Another Introduction

7 Mar

So how does one begin an intro blog post? I think I need a quick tutorial, because there is no way this is the right way to do it – here goes. My name is Amy. I am a 27 year old child of God, daughter, sister, friend, – excited to say- member of the Grace Chapel family, major Toronto Maple Leafs fan, and full time social worker. I think that pretty much sums it up.

I checked my email a few weeks ago, and I was so pumped to see an email from my good friend Maja titled, “A proposition”. As I read it I became even more excited to accept her proposal to team up with three women I respect and admire a great deal. The idea was to join Maja’s existing blog and take turns writing about topics that are important to us. I have been following This Passing Life since it began, and it has been such a blessing to me over the years; so there was no way I was going to turn down the opportunity to contribute to this blog by sharing some fun and challenging topics along with my friends.

My job allows me the privilege and opportunity to speak to various people from different walks of life, different life stages, different problems, perspectives, ideas, and worries. I love being able to have a job that provides support to people who need it, and are willing to engage in conversation, one hour at a time with a complete stranger. In the process of supporting, I end up learning so much about myself, relational interactions, families, societal expectations, social problems, and the list goes on. I often find myself working to figure out what the Bible has to say about these lessons that arise from my daily conversations. As I share some of my thoughts and readings, I promise to do my best not to relate every post to the Leafs, but quite frankly, I do believe that most life lessons can be directly linked to the Leafs’ journey over the years. So, while our home team works hard and presses on towards the playoffs, I will try to do the same in my contributions to this blog. I am excited to learn more and grow as I follow along with the other posts and contribute my own, and I hope the same for anyone else who may be following along with This Passing Life.