Monday, July 26, 2010


This morning I attended the citizenship ceremony of a friend from church.  I found it an interesting process.

Before the proceedings began the clerk of the court gave us instructions and an idea of what would be happening during the ceremony.  Some of these instructions were of a serious nature - for instance, each of the people taking the oath had to repeat the affirmation clearly.  The clerk of the court even wandered around a bit during this part of the ceremony looking for anyone who wasn't repeating the words after the judge.  If she had found someone, that person would have been held back after the rest of the ceremony and made to go through it again with the judge individually.

One of the things that I found particularly interesting was that the Honorable Judge who presided over the ceremony was herself an immigrant who is now a Canadian citizen.  I did not catch what country the judge was from but she had quite a thick accent.

This citizenship ceremony reminded me that I have gone through a ceremony that covers my citizenship - not of a country on earth but rather as a citizen of heaven where my Heavenly Father awaits my entrance.  On May 30, 1965, I swore allegiance to my Heavenly Father and became a citizen of heaven.

Philippians 3:20 says, "But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ."

During today's citizenship ceremony 15 countries were represented by 35 adults and children.  There are also people from every tribe, tongue and nation who have made the decision to become a citizen of Heaven.  No one who wants to become a citizen of Heaven will be rejected.

So today I celebrate with my friend as she is now a citizen of Canada.  I also celebrate because both my friend and I are also citizens of a much more important and magnificent place - Heaven.

Celebrate your citizenship today.  I hope you are a dual citizen of a country here on earth and more importantly of heaven.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Growing Lawns and Lives

The other day I heard an advertisement about growing a healthy lawn.  The announcer said that a healthy lawn that is well taken care of will choke out any weeds that try to grow there.  Since I have not done any lawn care or mowing since I left home 30 years ago, I am not really up on the dos and don'ts of growing a healthy lawn.

The comment about the healthy lawn choking out the weeds made me think of a parable in the Bible where Jesus talks about the seeds that fall on various types of soil and what happens to those seeds.

But then I took it further and realized that applying similar principles to my life as a follower of Jesus Christ can help me have a healthy spiritual life that can then produce what it was meant to produce.

If I take care to daily watering my spiritual life by reading my Bible, communing with God, and catching weeds quickly, this will help me to become the person God has planned and purposed for me to be.

However there is one caveat.  Reading my Bible and communing with God should not be done because "I have to" do it.  They should be things that I want to do to further my relationship with my Heavenly Father.  These should be times where I love on Him and He pours His love on me.  God is desperate for me to know that He loves me and how much He loves me.  He wants to have a very special relationship with me and I must desire to have a very special relationship with Him.

As these things become more prominent in my life then when difficult times come it is more instinctual that I would draw closer to God instead of turn away from Him.  The main thing is to continually be growing closer to God and even the difficult times will be bearable because I know I can trust God to help me through.

How is your lawn growing?

Monday, July 19, 2010

Precious Bundle

On Saturday, July 17th, 2010, I got to hold a very precious bundle of joy in my arms.  That was the day that Joseph Timothy Drader joined our family.  He weighed in at 6 pounds 12 ounces and stretched out at 20 inches.  I made sure I counted all his fingers and toes - he has the right amount.

Joseph is my fourth great nephew, the first child of my oldest nephew.  Unlike his father who was born in Yellowknife, NWT and whom I wasn't able to see until he was a month old, Joseph was born in Edmonton so I was able to see him and hold him just hours after he arrived.

As I held Joseph in my arms I couldn't help but thank God for his safe arrival and the fact that we had another addition to our family.  There was a time when it seemed like his mother might not be able to carry a baby.

One of the most precious things in my life have been the arrivals of each of my nephews, nieces, great nephews and great niece.  Being able to hold them in my arms, to watching them grow and mature is something that helps to make my life complete.  I look forward to watching Joseph grow and mature and become the special person God has planned for him to be.  Joseph is now a special work in progress.

Thank you God for this new addition to our family.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Allison and Braden

I have been fortunate enough to have my 15 year old niece and 13 year old nephew spend a few days with me.

The three of us spent Monday together watching movies and marveling over the down pours of rain that came on suddenly and stopped just as suddenly.

After supper on Monday night (which I made with my own two hands), Braden got picked up by one of my sisters.  My sister and brother-in-law were planning to take Braden golfing.

So Tuesday saw Allison and I alone.  We slept in because we had been up late the night before watching "Forrest Gump".  In the afternoon Allison and I went shopping which is one of Allison's favorite things to do.  We lucked out at the Dollarama store but otherwise we just window shopped.

After supper on Tuesday my sister brought Braden back to my place and took Allison to her place.

On Wednesday Braden and I spent part of the afternoon building a hideout using tree branches.  We had a fun time.  We found some "treasures" in the area around our hideout.  We also discovered that our hideout provided pretty good shelter from the rain as a brief shower fell while we were working on the hideout.

My sister picked up Braden after supper on Wednesday.  Then she will meet up with Allison's and Braden's mom on Thursday.

So why am I telling you about this?  Because even though at times the weather prevented us from doing some of the things we had planned, we still had a great time together.  It has been quite a while since I have had Allison and Braden visit me and stay overnight.  Although the kids live only 3 hours away and we talk on the phone at least weekly, I don't get to see them as much as I would like to.

Being with Allison and Braden and doing the things they like to do gives me an opportunity to be a hands on aunt like I was with my older nephews.  Ever since my oldest nephew was born I promised myself that I would be as much a part of his life as I could and that continued as each of the boys came along.

I just want to say "Thank you, Lord, for the opportunity you gave me to spend some special time together with Allison and Braden.  I am proud to be their aunt."

Have you hugged a kid today?