We’re loving our neighbour’s big tree on the front lawn with all the decorations in it! Toronto, from November to February, is not known for it’s sunny days – so it was great to be able to capture some of the decorations with blue sky and sunshine! This festive season isn’t festive for everyone as we continue to remember some of friends and co-workers who are struggling with serious health issues.
Yesterday at lunch one of the people who I have come to know and enjoy at work told me her brother died on Friday suddenly of a heart attack. Since he lives in Sri Lanka she could not attend the funeral nor does she have many family members here. However, she assured me that God is her comfort and strength – a very present help in trouble. Her faith is inspiring.
One final thought – in this season of gift giving – I would be remiss if I didn’t say again how grateful I am for our two boys, their wonderful wives – our parents, brothers and sisters and of course now Rachel. I might not have much money in the bank but I think of myself as a very rich man.
I continue to believe that it is in giving, not getting, that we find real joy, lasting satisfaction, and deep and lasting human connection. And yet, nothing has granted me greater insight into my own life and in finding real joy in life than in receiving God’s gift of Jesus in my life.
I’ve been accused, more than once, of being too religious on my blog. Reallly? I’m too religious? From the outside that may seem true. From the inside I desire a deeper relationship with God, a closer walk with Jesus, a more powerful filling of the Holy Spirit. I’m still wanting for a greater sense that God’s work in me continues, not so I can be more religious – but so I can be more of what God wants for me.
I am more and more aware that what God wants for me – and you – is a deeper Holiness. He wants to protect us from all the harm sin does, and He wants to grant us freedom from self incrimination, self doubt and self sacrifice to live a life, as Jesus puts it – a life of abundance.
So why shouldn’t we decorate the trees and light up our homes. God’s gift of light is real – and ready to do for us what we can’t do for ourselves. There is no self salvation!