No Substitutes

My dear young friends,

So excited about what you are learning in your walk with God and that you have chosen to seek him in your youth.  I admit that there are many new things I hear you talk about that I don’t understand, but I will not judge just because I don’t understand.  As your sister in the Lord I may question and discuss.

I will also pray that all the new and mysterious things the Holy Spirit is showing you, will be remembered and draw you into a deeper walk with the Almighty God.  The Israelites saw many things, but soon after their deliverance and miraculous trek across a dry sea bed, they were still more effected by the earthly world around them than what God was wanting to do in their hearts.

I remember as a young girl staying with a favorite older cousin.  She lived in a girls house and they were all attending the Immanuel Church and Bible School in Calgary.  I was amazed at the music and community and what I saw happening in people’s lives.  I wanted very much to have what they had.

Eventually I came to know Jesus Christ, personally.  Thanks to his unfailing love and sacrificial pursuit of my heart, my faith roots continue to grow.   But sadly, years ago I heard the news that my cousin’s marriage dissolved.  My heart broke when I heard the news, and even to this day I grieve for what might have been.  All their dreams and promises, their faith and family, rocked by what the world offers all to often – attractive, temporary substitutes.

Embrace what He is showing you, but do not forget His epic rescue especially once you step into new territory.  Remember there are no substitutes for His love and His truth.

 

 

 

 

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Refind, Reclaim and Frame?

Even my latest “object projects” cannot seem to escape the written word.  The suspended Seagull in a sand colored frame whispers a faded message in the sky.  The World War II Victory collage wouldn’t be as spectacular without the pin dangled message “They’ll always be an England.”  My favorite so far, the vintage hanger with its prize possessions of a broom, coat and bowler hat in retro green – with bubbled captions “charming”, “so pretty” and “adore.”

You can find my latest project sitting on a shelf this weekend at “Refind”, an artsy and hip consignment store in quaint uptown Olds, Alberta.  A hidden treasure from the past found its way into someone’s heart long ago, is it any surprise with a bit of polish and transformation,  it could do so once again? Perhaps at “Ladies’ Night”?   Don’t miss it, this Friday, March 15th at Refind!  See http://www.refindclothing.blogspot.ca for more details.

*$5.00 coupons are available Friday night only, gifted by Cindy and My hometown Framing.  Bring your coupon into the studio and put it towards having a special treasure of your own immortalized behind glass.

And don’t miss all the other surprises Cory has in store!

Thanks to Refind’s very own – Cory,  for this opportunity to be involved with my community and to Karen at Dunrite for her printing services.

Cindy Palin at My hometown Framing – 5406 52st. – Olds, Alberta – http://www.newcindypalin.com

God Forsaken Lonely

Every parent wants to protect their child from the worst pain there is – a broken heart.  But if we think we can protect them from a broken heart, we might as well not have children. It is fair to say that to live is to love and to lose, and to love again, even though there’s nothing fair about it.

I was in love only one other time before I met my husband.  We were in our early twenties when we broke up.  I was moving away to attend College and he didn’t want a long distance relationship.  There was more to it than that, but we’ll leave it there.

One night shortly after our break up I got in my car as if I had a place to go.  We had spent so much time together and now that we had broken up I was lost.  I ended up driving to the city just to turn around and drive back home.  I didn’t have a cell phone then, so I knew I would have to pull over and use a pay-phone if I wanted to reach him.  I just had to hear his voice.  I knew nothing I could say would change his mind, but I kept hoping by some miracle he would take me back.

I pulled off the highway into a gas station and dropped some coin in the outdoor pay-phone.  It was dark and raining, the stars were hidden and even the street lights wouldn’t shine and for the very first time in my life I felt cold to the bone and “God forsaken” lonely.  I questioned why I was born and if I had a future to look forward to?  With no one to share it with, why live it?

It wasn’t long after that rainy night pay-phone call of desperation, that I was to actually meet the King of loneliness, the one person in the whole world who knows “lonely” better than anyone else and all because of love.

Someone must have been praying for me because in the midst of my loneliness I kept hearing this message, not an audible voice, but a message.  It came with pictures.  I saw a cross and consciously tried to avoid looking in the eyes of the man nailed there. I’m not one to remember everything I was taught in Sunday School but I remembered something that this man said just before he took his last breath.

“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46 NIV).  Then it dawned on me.  He was the one who was God forsaken lonely.  He was the one who loved me so much that he risked being rejected by his own Father.  He died that day in order for us to be together, but that isn’t where the story ends.

His blood sacrificed on that cross is my covering, like a robe of love that I wear everyday.  When my Love looks at me, he doesn’t see who I use to be, he sees righteousness.  We spend a lot of time together and he will never break my heart.  We will never separate (see verse below).

This past Friday, when I was working in my shop I was listening to my i-tune folder of favorite love songs, one of which is an old Bryan Adams song.  A specific lyric really stood out.  “The lonely nights have just begun, when you love someone”.  Now that I’ve experienced God’s love I can testify that I still get lonely.  Lonely for him and eternity…. wonder what his face looks like and what his voice sounds like and what his hug is going to feel like.  It isn’t a desperate lonely, it is a hopeful longing for the reunion I’ve been promised.

Yesterday I was sitting in the pew of our church and singing a congregational hymn and this line stood out; “Redeeming love has been my theme and will be ’till I die.”

Christ’s love is different from any other love there is.  It is a redeeming love.  Just like he came to life again and walked out of that cold to the bone – tomb, we too come to life when we fall in love with Him.

He takes you back no matter what you’ve done, no matter how you forsake him and he loves you with a redeeming love…makes you new every morning, every moment.

Eventually my broken heart mended.  I thought for sure I would never love again.  But the lover of my soul knew differently.  When it was time, he brought me someone to love and share my earthly journey with, someone who understood and embraced redeeming love, and the three of us together make a good team, “…a cord of three strands is not quickly broken” (Ecclesiastes 4:12b).

Romans 8:38-39
For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.