Life is a season of starts and ends. Starts and ends come with numerous whatifs and anxieties about what will happen next. It happens to all of us – young and old alike.
The end of summer break ushers the start of a new school year, of autumn, and of cooler months ahead. For some it may mean starting in a new school, a new job, a new state of health – improved or otherwise – for yourself or loved ones. For others it could be the start of a married life while starting it in a brand new place far from family and friends.
What can get us through all the nerve-racking anticipation of changes and challenges is to trust in someone who has a handle in all of it. Isaiah 26:3 says, “You will keep in perfect peace Him whose mind is steadfast because he trusts in you.” Lean persistently on the Lord and live peacefully in Him.
May you find comfort and confidence in the Lord in the season of your starts and ends.
“Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from him. Truly he is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken. My salvation and my honor depend on God; he is my mighty rock, my refuge. Trust in him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge.” – Psalm 62:5-8 (NIV)
Our family chose the “plaid-themed” outfit as one of our rare Christmas coordinated attire this year. As I looked at this picture it made me think of how life can be like the lines that criss-cross this design on our shirts. Lines that may be seen on smooth, ironed-out places, lines that wrinkle around the armpits, my little Gianna’s cuffs that constantly got stained on because of her wiping the chocolates off of her mouth, etc.
Funny how life can be seen as a plaid shirt….life can sometimes be (or most of the time) the way that we’d like it to be – smooth-sailing and just right. At other times, we see wrinkles (problems that come along), around the armpits life may even stink. At times, bigger problems come “dashing through” and they almost stain our lives as if they’re there to stay. Life is a mixture of stuff and we all know that. However, as I look closely at this picture, no matter how many “criss-crossing” of lines we go through in life, one thing remains – God intends our lives to be a beautiful photo – one that we can always look at with sentiment and say, “It was all worth it!”
Written by Thess Bernardo-Isidro – guest blogger
“In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’” – Acts 20:35
I remember how the observance of Halloween around our Castlebridge community was so different this year than it was last year. First of all, the preparations we made last year were just phenomenal. I recall how we went all out decorating the gym at the school like it was a one-day VBS. We led everyone in singing and played games where prizes were given out to the winners. Our church members heartily donated chocolates, candies, and even little toys imagining what it would be like for even the kid at heart to receive such treats.
“You were cleansed from your sins when you obeyed the truth, so now you must show sincere love to each other as brothers and sisters. Love each other deeply with all your heart.” – 1 Peter 1:22
Full tank of gas — $40. Total US highway tolls paid going to Atlanta — $6.25. Two dozen Jim N’ Nick’s cheese biscuits — $10.46. Brothers forged in the Lord for each other and for God’s work — priceless. Cheesy introduction? Maybe. But that pretty much sums up our experience at the Catalyst Conference in Atlanta.
“So guard yourselves and God’s people. Feed and shepherd God’s flock—his church, purchased with his own blood—over which the Holy Spirit has appointed you as leaders.” – Acts 20:28 (NLT)
As some of you may know, your pastoral staff will be attending a leadership conference entitled “Catalyst” in Atlanta, Georgia next week. This opportunity came by way of GCF Peel’s earnest pursuit to emphasize leadership development, and the generous donation of the Catalyst conference organizers to provide our church with complimentary tickets. Also, we personally thank the kindness of a generous donor who covered the remaining cost of the trip, which would have otherwise been carried by the pastoral staff. We credit this all, of course, to God, who richly provides our needs through the charity of His people.