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Showing posts from December, 2011

Reflections on New Year's Eve

By Belinda

Paul and I are at home, keeping New Year's Eve in customary quiet! Come midnight we will both probably be in bed.

But I can't let this evening pass without reflecting on a year almost done. Incidentally, I just noticed that as 2011 comes to an end, there are 2011 blog posts exactly on Whatever He Says (written since June 2006 by yours truly and friends.) I think that's a cool coincidence.  Thank you to all who read here, and for sending encouraging and thought provoking comments or emails now and again--you have no idea how much that means.

I started this year spiritually by giving up the battle to live out my faith by trying harder. Inspired by the writings of Watchman Nee, Oswald Chambers and Andrew Murray, and conversations with our friend Jamie, I realized that the only effort I need to make is to choose surrender and submission to God's agenda daily. I relaxed into the awareness that Jesus did everything to atone for past sin and that his life in me is …

Christmas Traditions

By Belinda

By the afternoon of Christmas Eve this year I was coming apart at the seams.

In the weeks prior to Christmas I had traded away planned days off for pressing priorities at work, but did manage to hold onto one precious day during the week before Christmas. And on that day I went Christmas shopping from early in the morning to late afternoon. At the end of the day I thought I had managed to remember everyone on my list and I carried bags of gifts into our dining room which had been transformed into a one stop wrapping centre, and closed the door.

The next few days were so busy that it wasn't until the afternoon of Christmas Eve that I went back into the room and began to wrap presents. This is when my anxiety, which had been at a notch just below panic until then, really began to grow.  We have 6 grandchildren and 3 God children and a few other young friends we buy small gifts for. I had chosen carefully when shopping, but now, under pressure to wrap before leaving for th…

And Can it Be--Text

Susan looked up the text as per her comment on the hymn below--and she typed it out for those not familiar with the hymn. All the theology anyone would ever need to know is in these words by Charles Wesley! Thank you Susan! :)


And can it be that I should gain An interest in the Saviour’s blood? Died he for me, who caused His pain – For me, who Him to death pursued? Amazing love! How can it be, That Thou, my God shouldst die for me? Amazing love! How can it be  That Thou, my God shouldst die for me?
‘Tis mystery all: th’Immortal dies: Who can explore His strange design? In vain the firstborn seraph tries To sound the depths of love divine. ‘Tis mercy all! Let earth adore, Let angel minds inquire no more. ‘Tis mercy all! Let earth adore, Let angel minds inquire no more.
He left his Father’s throne above So free, so infinite His grace – Emptied Himself of all but love, And bled for Adam’s helpless race: ‘Tis mercy all, immense and free, For O my God, it found out me! ‘Tis mercy all, immen…

And Can it Be

By Belinda

Praying this morning, thanking God that I know him, my favourite hymn, And Can it Be, by Charles Wesley, came to mind. I love that hymn because it expresses the full good news of the gospel with all the passion that it is due. Whenever it is sung as it should be, with no verses cut out, with an organ and with feeling, I am moved to tears and can barely restrain myself from jumping for joy. I have often thought that I would like this song sung at my funeral, but then I wouldn't be able to join in! This version comes closest to the experience I feel when I sing this beautiful song.
By Belinda

This is the best time--this time after Christmas--when all of the craziness that takes over; in spite of perpetual determination that it shall not; is over.

This is when the fridge is full of leftovers and laziness is allowed--mandated even.

Finally the pressing on in spite of exhaustion; the digging down to the bottom of the well, for every kind of resource you didn't know you could find, can cease.

This is the time of reflection, regrouping and renewal.

This is when I echo the cry of the angels:

Luke 2:14 21st Century King James Version (KJ21)
14"Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men!"


The Canadian Blog Awards Round 2

By Belinda

Dear Friends and Readers,
Thank you so much for your support in round 1 of the Canadian Blog Awards. Whatever He Says came first in the Religion Philosophy Category for the first round with 39 votes.

You can vote for round 2 by clicking here and I encourage you to consider voting too, for Shannon’s blog in the Best Blog Post category, for her post, Peace be with You.

Also, friend and faithful reader here, Dave Hingsburger's blog,Rolling Around in My Head, is in the running in the Best Personal Blog and Best Overall.

Every vote counts! Thank you in advance for taking time to vote, if you think us worthy!

Christmas Still

We celebrated Christmas with our family today so it's not over yet. That's why I'm posting this video clip sent by Susan. It is too cool not to:
 The Christmas Story' (2010), as told by the children of St Paul's Church, Auckland, New Zealand. Anyone is welcome to show this film publicly, but not change it in any way, nor make money out of it. Except for Joe. You can buy his music here: http://les-enfants.bandcamp.com/ We also welcome you to view the prequel (2011) Good News of Great Joy

Because of Christmas...

Irish Potato Casserole

By Belinda

My dear friend and fellow writer and blogger, Brenda Wood; asked me for this recipe after I served it at our writers group Christmas dinner. On Brenda's blog, Heartfelt Devotionals, she has a section with some recipes you might want to try too!
Irish Potato Casserole
Recipe shared by: Carolyn Harman, Harrisonburg, Virginia; Parkview Mennonite Church 8-10 medium potatoes, peeled 8 oz package cream cheese 8 oz sour cream (I replace this with 8 oz Greek yogurt) ½ cup melted butter ¼ cup chopped chives or green onions I clove garlic, minced 2 tsp salt Paprika 1.Cook potatoes and mash. (Do not add any liquid.) 2.Beat cream cheese with electric mixer until smooth. Add potatoes and all other ingredients except paprika. Beat until all ingredients have combined. Spoon into lightly greased 2 quart casserole dish. Sprinkle with paprika, cover and refrigerate overnight. 3.Uncover and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until heated through.

Lost December

By Belinda

I got Lost December by Richard Paul Evans, from the library to read over Christmas. It is such a good book I cannot put it down. I am passing on the title in case anyone out there is looking for that next book to read! I can promise you this--you will not be disappointed--and if you get it from the library, don't worry about paying late fees, because you will finish it in no time flat.

The Reason for the Season

This was posted by a commenter, Ginny Saumert Jaques on my friend Janet Sketchley's blog, God With Us; Finding Joy . This is the reason for the season in a nutshell. Belinda

She Said I Would Love It

Susan said I would love this and I did! It's just the ticket for a time when we all feel a little rushed and pressured. Kindness begets kindness. Belinda

The Belle of the Ball

By Belinda

I don't even know her proper name. She's Kevin's grandmother, of proud Russian stock, whom I've really only come to know as Baba. I heard about her long before I met her. She sort of grew into a kind of legend as Brenda came home with tales of Baba and her growing affection for her.

She is formidable and feisty--and, like Brenda, I can't help but love her too.

Can't you just tell from the look in her eye that she is a force to be reckoned with? Since all of my friends fit that description I was predestined to be drawn to her zest and sheer "life!"

Would you guess that she is 87?!

When we were all planning our wedding attire, I asked Tina, Kevin's equally vivacious mom, if Baba had her dress.

She laughed in a way that said there was a story to be told. Sure enough, Baba's dress had hung in her closet for some time, about 50 years! It still had it's original pricey price tag. It had been bought by her own mom-- and never worn. Baba…

It Takes a Team

By Belinda

Saturday, December 17 and the dawn sky was awash with pink. It has been unbelievably mild in Ontario this winter, but a light sprinkling of snow added fresh beauty to the day.

It was the perfect day for Brenda and Kevin's wedding.



I had an early appointment in Barrie for a manicure, hair wash and blow dry. In a plastic bag on the seat beside me in the car was one red shoe to be matched to my nail polish!

Susan had given me a Christmas CD a few days earlier: Peaceful Christmas I hadn't listened to it yet as I had been finishing an amazing Christmas audio story, A Redbird Christmas by Fannie Flagg, but as I drove up the highway, the sky now a cloudless blue; I popped the CD in. The car filled with the strains of the Carol of the Bells with steel drums, and I listened and peace filled the car.

Spring, who was doing my nails, arrived at the same moment I did and we went into a room at the back of the small salon. I took out my shoe and chose the closest match, a polish w…

Something that Made my Day

By Belinda

Okay I should be hitting the road and doing Christmas shopping and I will be--really--soon--but first I just had to share this in case someone has the time tonight to actually go out and do something  other than write out Christmas cards, wrap presents or shop!

I was listening to CBC radio as I got ready for the day--as usual--and heard an interview about Sistema-Toronto.

This is their mission:

"PLAYING TO POTENTIAL"
Mission - VisionOur Mission is to inspire children and youth to achieve their full potential, acquire values that favor their growth, and have a positive impact on both their lives and society.Our Vision is social development through an innovative and hope-instilling music education program that emphasizes the collective practice of music, through symphony orchestras, in order to achieve excellence.

And they have a concert tonight--you can find details on their website. 

The interview included a clip of the children in practice, playing their cellos. The…

A Time to Dance

By Belinda

 My faculties seem to have ground to a halt and I don't think I can string two words together in a coherent sentence, so I thought I would let some photos tell the story for me. It was a time to dance... (more when I have recovered :))
 Ecclesiastes 3:1-4 Amplified Bible (AMP) Ecclesiastes 3

TO EVERYTHING there is a season, and a time for every matter or purpose under heaven: 2A time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to pluck up what is planted,(A) 3A time to kill and a time to heal, a time to break down and a time to build up, 4A time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance,








Coping!

By Belinda

The house is smells like a feast is underway but it's just me, coping with my Mother of the Bride jitters.When I'm tense I work. I had two big parties at our house this week--one involving a turkey and the other a ham--so this afternoon I began simmering a huge turkey roaster full of a ham bone; yellow split peas; carrots; onions and celery, while on the stove, a stock pot holding a turkey carcass; onion and celery, likewise bubbled away.

I made four apple pies once the simmering was underway and I could hear the vacuum running downstairs. Brenda copes with stress by vacuuming!

Later in the evening Susan and Ron dropped off a gorgeous gingerbread church with stained windows made from melted candies. Their daughter Christy makes these fabulous creations and this was a labour of love.

Kevin, Brenda and I took it with us to Sleepy Hollow Golf and Country Club with the other decorations for tomorrow.

Paul was out at a concert that he and the missions committee had organi…

Cell Group Christmas/Birthday Party and Wedding Shower for Kevin and Brenda

To Make You Laugh

Note by Belinda Wayne, who used to be a work colleague, sent me this email. Since I am living  in Suspense at this time of the year, I thought this too funny to keep to myself. I have a few friends who probably think they live in Deepdoodoo.
I have been in many places, but I've never been in Cahoots. Apparently, you can't go alone. You have to be in Cahoots with someone. 


I've also never been in Cognito. I hear no one recognizesyou there. 


I have, however, been in Sane. They don't have an airport;you have to be driven there. 

I have made several trips there, thanks to my friends,family and work. 

I would like to go to Conclusions, but you have to jump, andI'm not too much on physical activity anymore. 


I have also been in Doubt. That is a sad place to go, and Itry not to visit there too often. 

I've been in Flexible, but only when it was very importantto stand firm. 

Sometimes I'm in Capable, and I go there more often as I'mgetting older. 

One of my favorite plac…

Inspiration

By Belinda

I loved this quote when I read it tonight. It was just what I needed to inspire me throughout this busy week. May it do the same for you dear friends! With love!


“Start by doing what's necessary; then do what's possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible.” St Francis of Assissi

Stay Strong

Life is a Team Sport

By Belinda

I am behind the rest of the world, because the phrase, "Life is a Team Sport," is apparently well used (I only know that because I just Googled it.) But I heard it for the first time this afternoon in an audio book I was listening to, In a Dog’s Heart, by Jennifer Arnold. What Jennifer Arnold actually said was, "Life really is a team sport with your dog," but I latched on to the first part and thought what a cool phrase it was.

Because it really is, isn't it? Life--a team sport.

(A brief digression. You may have noticed that the blog template has a wedding motif this week. That is in honour of Brenda and Kevin whose wedding is this Saturday. Marriage is also a great team sport!)

The phrase, "Life is a Team Sport," made me think of something that I loved when I recently read it in the book, First Things First by Stephen R. Covey. He was writing about the difference between time management that focuses on the concept of time as "Chronos&…

Skywatcher

By Belinda

I miss things that others catch.

Paul gazes from the window and notices the crops that neighbouring farmers have planted.

I wonder, "How does he know what is in the field?" I wouldn't know winter wheat from barley, but he does, and he sees a hawk in flight instantly, while I am gazing in vain to spot it.

My friend Susan notices all sorts of things that I am oblivious to--her eyes are tuned to things out of order and she bustles around after cell group, straightening chairs, folding the table liner just so, sweeping the floor if I let her--a labour of love.

But ah, the sky--that I never miss.

"Maybe it's just too big to miss,"  you might laughingly say. Well that is so. The sky is big, a canvas God paints on and speaks to me through all the time!

Yesterday morning I drove to work feeling like a dart speeding through the air to the bulls eyes of tasks waiting.I had deadlines to meet; my priorities were in order. I reached for my CD player to listen…
By Belinda

God has a way of tying so many things together. I love it!

On Friday I wrote a blog post about our agency gala, at which Justin Hines was the guest singer the night before. To share his music I posted two You Tube clips of his songs. One of them was called Courage, which showed people who had faced adversity and had not or were not, giving up. Almost at the end of the clip was a man who was not named, but whose daughter, the caption said, was abducted 12 years ago. It said she was still missing.

That very day, Friday December 2nd, the breaking news was about a man named Joe Chisholm, whose 18 year search for his missing daughter had just come to an end. I didn't it together until tonight, when I listened to the song again and was sure they were the same man. Indeed they are--the song was recorded six years ago, which explains the difference in years!

How wonderful to watch that video clip and see the man, who six years ago didn't know if he would ever see his daught…

Party, Party!

By Belinda

December dawned this week with a wild stretch of parties ahead, starting with our agency's annual Christmas Gala last night.

I had been looking forward to it for months. Back in September I asked my friend Dave if he and Joe might be back in the country in time to be our guests, and to my joy, they said yes! They got back from a trip to England last weekend.

I began anticipating with excitement. Meals--two vegetarian, were ordered. Dress--Dave wondered would he feel out of place if not dressed up to the nines in a suit. Nope, I assured him, it is a dressy event, but people come as they feel comfortable.

Susan's husband Ron loves to dress up in a distinguished looking bow tie. She claims chagrin at this but Ron maintains his steadfast attachment to the bow tie. In honour of Dave dressing down last night however, he wore a plaid shirt to the gala--no bow tie in sight.

As the event was about to begin, Dave and Joe still hadn't arrived so I called them on their cell…