Monday, September 26, 2016
1.Taking the ferry boat to the Toronto Islands.
The Toronto Islands are popular in the summer but my favorite time to visit the islands is in the fall when it's a lot less busy out there. I love strolling in the parks on the islands with family and friends and enjoying the beautiful views of the city.
2. Going hiking.
I love being able to enjoy hiking again as the fall arrives. Nature only gets more and more beautiful as the trees start to change colors.
3. The clothes.
Finally it's cold enough outside to wear jeans again (my favorite piece of clothing) and to cozy up with long tights and sweatshirts. Today it's rainy outside and I plan to spend my evening relaxing with a cup of my favorite tea and lit a few candles. Did I mention that I love living in a country with 4 different seasons and that fall happens to be my favorite season of all? :)
Why should I read the Bible? The Bible is more than 2000 years old, how could this book possibly have anything relevant to teach me today? These are some common questions surrounding the Bible. On the other hand, it's quite fascinating that a book that is more than two thousand years old is still a bestseller today. This book is not 100 or 500 years old but 2000 years old, that in itself is pretty incredible to me. Every time I read through one of the books in the Bible I'm surprised by how little has changed over the past 20 centuries. We still have the same problems. Us humans have a tendency to be self-centered and foolish, which leads us to repeat the same mistakes over and over again, century after century.
People in the Bible hurt each other through wars, cheating, stealing, murder etc. and we do the same things today. It's the human condition. When we try to rule the world all by ourselves we quickly get led astray by greed, selfishness and pride. You could say we do a terrible job when we try to take God's role in the universe. We aren't very good at loving each other and getting along. It makes sense I guess. Imagine you let your children live all by themselves without the help and guidance from their parents, they would self-destruct pretty quickly. In the end we are all children in a big universe and on our own we are lost and helpless. Whether we like to admit it to ourselves or not, we need God.
When I read through the whole Bible for the first time I was annoyed by how stupid the people where in my opinion. It's easy to look back at history and see how the people should have done this instead of that and so on. It's a whole different story to make the right choices in your own life. The wonderful thing with the Bible is that it's full of people who made foolish choices and ended up in big trouble as a result of that, but God had mercy on them and as they turned back to God and cried out to him for mercy he saved them and put their broken lives back together.
The good news is that although nothing has changed when it comes to our human problems neither has God changed. Twenty centuries may sound like a long time for us humans but it's not a long time for God. God is still the same today and he offers us the same love, mercy and grace as he offered the people back in Israel many generations ago. When we come to Him he starts to soften our hardened hearts and he starts to heal what's broken inside of us piece by piece.
God's love for each one of us is the most beautiful thing we can experience during a lifetime on this Earth, no love is greater than this. No matter what we have done or where we have been we are never too broken or too far gone for God. Our Father in heaven loves each one of us with an unfailing unconditional love. He can restore anything that is broken and redeem anything that was once lost. Having seen these sentences become true in their own lives is what makes people raise their hands and sing really loud in churches all around the world.
Thursday, September 22, 2016
We took a drive to Toronto Premium Outlets, we watched the Finland-Sweden hockey game at Air Canada Center and we took the ferryboat to the Toronto Islands. It's been so much fun to have Mom and Dad visit us in Toronto for the past two weeks. Their visit made me realize how much I love and appreciate my family and how wonderful it is that I can be friends with my parents as an adult. As a child I grew up watching my Mom and Dad have a close friendship with my Grandfather and Grandmother and today my husband and I have a similar friendship with my Mom and Dad. Life is so short and I want to make sure I value all the time I get with my loved ones. During these past two weeks we have made many wonderful memories that I will treasure forever.
The Word of God gives me peace and wisdom, it anchors my soul on days when I feel stressed, confused, insecure or worried. Here are three of my favorite passages from my Bible readings this week:
For the LORD your God is living among you. He is a mighty savior. He will take delight in you with gladness. With his love, he will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.
Zephaniah 3:17 NLT
How great is the goodness you have stored up for those who fear you. You lavish it on those who come to you for protection, blessing them before the watching world. You hide them in the shelter of your presence, safe from those who conspire against them. You shelter them in your presence, far from accusing tongues.
Psalm 31:19-20 NLT
The LORD says, "I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you."
Psalm 32:8 NLT
Ever since I moved to Toronto six years ago walks in nature have become one of my favorite ways to relax. I strive towards getting 2-3 nature walks into my schedule each week. Time spent in nature helps me stay balanced and feeds my soul.
My husband and I dream of buying kayaks one day. I feel like going kayaking together would be a fun and relaxing way to spend time together as a couple. I doubt we will prioritize buying the kayaks this year but it is fun to dream about the future, for now we will stick to nature walks, biking and hiking.
Monday, September 19, 2016
Coryn Epps shares her story at Oasis Church in Los Angeles. Coryn talks about how she spent many years of her life building her identity based on the praises and attention she got from other people. Coryn was chasing happiness in all the wrong places and over time she ended up in a hopeless place. Coryn developed an eating disorder and depression and was wondering what her purpose was in life. After learning about Jesus everything changed and Coryn was able to take the same passion she had felt toward pursuing success and apply it toward loving other people.