Thursday, January 27, 2011

Out My Front Door

Today is a storm day. Again. Since the week between Christmas and New Year's, it seems as though we've had a snow storm at least once a week. One day a week ago, we also had a day of freezing rain, which also closed things down.

Schools are closed. Several business and work places are closed. Roads are bad.

I've seen the snow plow go down our street (and back up) once. The plow that also comes to do our driveway (and pretty well everyone else's on the street too) has been around once, just after the street plow came around. Since then, the wind has picked up and there is a great deal of blowing snow and poor visability.

This photo (above) is looking out my front door. It's part of the street (we are on a bend) looking up to another street. You can see the stop sign and the house on the other side of that street. What you can't see is the street. You can see the high snow banks from the previous storms where the plows have pushed the snow off the roads. The tree at the bottom is just a new one planted this fall, but the snow is up high on the trunk. To be fair, it's also at the road so a lot of the snow is from the snowbank.

The wind wasn't as strong at that point (it's picked up since I took the picture), but you can get the feeling from the photo that it is storming.

The photo to the right was taken at the same time, and looks over to the park beside the house. Still lots of snow and blowing snow. The graininess of the photo is actually snow.

I am thankful for snow days like this. I don't particularly care for the snow (or winter and cold in general) - which might seem odd since I live in Canada...

But, I am thankful that I have shelter from the storm. I am thankful to be in a house with heat to keep me warm from the storm.

I am thankful for the beauty in nature - the snow, when it is on the evergreen trees, looks so pretty.

I am thankful that I live in a part of the world that actually has four different seasons.

I am thankful that the country I live in is free, and I have freedom. I am thankful this freedom allows me to worship and praise the Lord in public, in my home, in the homes of others, in my church - and I don't have to worry and fear of being imprisoned or tortured or killed for my faith.

So, today is a day that I am going to try and focus on being thankful for what I have. What are you thankful for today?

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

And They Were All Filled With the Holy Spirit

First of all, let me apologize for such a long absence. Just a day or so after my previous post I began experiencing problems with my computer. It turns out that the hard drive on my lap top decided to crash, or whatever it does. It took me nearly a month to get it fixed (had to get paid first). I was also having problems with our main computer, the one the modem and wireless router are hooked up to. For that problem, we discovered (after getting the electrician to come in for another issue and getting him to look at that plug/socket) the socket in which the computer and router were plugged into wasn't working.  So, to make a long story short, everything seems to be in working order now.

Recently, I began reading the book of Acts, which I haven't done for some time. As I read, a thought/question popped into my mind - and it's still there, since I'm not sure if I can answer it, or if anyone can.  Let me explain:

In the book of Acts, we read about how the apostles received the promised Holy Spirit. Acts 2:3-4 states:

And there appeard to them tongues as of fire distributing themselves, and they rested on each one of them, and they were all filled with the Holly Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit was giving them utterance."

In chapter 3 we read about Peter and John healing the lame beggar, and chapter 12 tells the account of Peter's miraculous release from jail. I should note that I'm not finished reading Acts yet, so these are the only miracles I've included in this post.

Anyway, in today's society, it seems that there are no miracles taking place after people receive the Holy Spirit (i.e. the tongues of fire appearing upon receipt of the Holy Spirit, no speaking in tongues, no healings, etc.). It makes me wonder if these particular signs and wonders were only relevant in those days. Why don't we hear of more miracles happening that help lead others to Christ (as mentioned in Acts)? Was this something that needed to be done in the early days of the church? Are they no longer applicable to us today?

Do miracles (those mentioned in Acts) happen a great deal more than we realize or know, and we just have become so skeptical about them (due to those who perform false miracles and claim they are from the Lord, when in fact no miracle has actually taken place)? Or, are we just not as "in tune" with the Lord as we think we are?

Have we become complacent (if that's the right word) in our walk, or are these signs and wonders - these miracles - just not applicable to us? In other words, were these things only gifted to the apostles/disciples who walked with Jesus when He walked the earth?

The Bible tells us that every one of God's children has received spiritual gifts (1 Corinthians 12), but why does it seem as though they aren't being used? Are they (the gifts) only used to build up the church, only for those who have already accpeted Christ as Savior to see/hear? Why do we not hear of hundreds or thousands coming to Christ when someone speaks about Jesus, and that many signs and wonders/miracles being performed among them at these times?

I know, lots of questions. And, I'm not even sure if they make any sense. All I know was that as I read these chapters, I thought of how exciting it must have been, how awesome to be in a crowd where everyone was speaking in each others tongue (and even being accused of being drunk by others because of it), and having the others understand what was being said.

Yes, I know the gifts are for edifying the church/body of Christ, but it just seems to me that these amazing things just don't seem to happen when people receive the Holy Spirit now...or do they, and it just isn't mentioned?

So, I would love to hear your thoughts on this. Have you had any experiences as is mentioned in the Book of Acts? Have you had similar questions that you've had answered by your pastor, and if so, how were they answered?