Monday, February 25, 2013
Wednesday, February 13, 2013
Thursday, November 01, 2012
It sounds like a gunshot. The report, echoing back from the marble walls, is the sound of a single soldier coming to attention. The sound comes from the sole of his boot as it strikes the floor in the Memorial Chamber on the second level of the Peace Tower in the Ottawa Parliament Buildings. The soldier salutes, bows, stands in silence for a moment and then opens a glass case in front of him. Carefully he reaches in and turns the page of a large book. Then he closes the case and moves on. There are seven cases, each containing a large book. The soldier comes to attention, salutes and bows at each one. This process is repeated every day at eleven o’clock. The seven books contain the names of the thousands of men and women, Canadians, who have died at war.
It took several artists many years to create the books, which are decorated with heraldic illumination and calligraphy. The paper and binding used were specially made. The steps and stand on which they rest are made of marble imported from the quarries of Flanders Fields. They are embedded with brass plates hand-crafted from the shell casings retrieved from battlefields and bearing the names of the major battles in which Canadians took part. All the symbolism and ceremony surrounding the Six Books of Remembrance is meant to honour those men and women, some long dead, for their sacrifice and acts of valour.
But there are more than seven Books of Remembrance. Revelation 20:11-15 tells us there are books in heaven, too. The exiled Apostle John described them as he saw them in his vision. He wrote: “And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne and books were opened. Another book was opened which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. (v.12) .... If anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.” (v.15)
There will no doubt also be great ceremony, great honour, but also great disgrace associated with the books of remembrance in heaven. That final judgement will herald a new beginning for all of God’s creation. For some, those whose names are written in the book of life, it will be the beginning of an eternity lived in the presence of God. For others, those whose names are not in that book, it will be the beginning of an eternity lived in the absence of God.
But there will be a difference between the ceremony in heaven and the one that is conducted on earth. The ceremony in heaven will happen in the presence of those people. They will be there to see the books opened and to hear their names called. Whose names will be written in the book of life? Jesus tells us - “I tell you the truth, he who believes has everlasting life.” (John 6:47)
Watch a video of the ceremony in the Memorial Chamber.
Visit Marcia's Website to learn more about her writing and speaking ministry
Thursday, September 13, 2012
Sunday, August 12, 2012
Tuesday, July 31, 2012
The Reader Appreciation Award
I am honoured & humbled that Lynn Dove, nominated me to receive The Reader Appreciation Award.
Thank you, Lynn, for nominating The Spur for this award. There are a few guidelines for accepting this award: 1. Acknowledge the giver of the award and provide a link to his or her blog site. 2. Copy and paste the award to your blog. 3. Pass the award to up to ten bloggers. 4. Notify your selected bloggers that you have nominated them.
Accordingly, I am nominating the following bloggers for The Reader Appreciation Award:
Laura Davis - Learning from the Master - shares her thoughts on faith
Glynis Belec - her personal blog about life and cancer
Stephen Berg - Grow Mercy - insightful thoughts on faith, life and culture
Violet Nesdoly - Promptings - thoughts on life and aging
Kimberley Payne - devotional thoughts on life and faith
Janet Sketchley - Devotional thoughts and book reviews
Karen Toews - Real Food Matters - health and food info.
Mary Waind - Beech Croft Tales - backyard musings
Brenda Wood - Heartfelt devotionals
Bonnie Way - balancing life as a mother and writer
Sunday, April 01, 2012
I just finished my last treatment and am feeling good but it has been a year full of challenges - days of having to face a reality I did not want to know, days of such bone-deep weariness that I just wanted to hold my breath and wake up in heaven, days when I rejoiced if I could put my clothes on without panting.
I learned a few things along the way - these are some of them:
I learned that you can be terrified of walking through a door and still turn the knob.
I learned that you can feel tiny and alone and helpless until you look into the faces of the other people in that hospital waiting room who are bandaged, bald and draped in hospital gowns but still manage to smile at you. Their strength feeds you.
I learned there are a lot of people out there who know how to love in practical ways. There are people who are brave enough to care for the desperately ill in ways that shout the word grace into a needy world.
I learned that doctors don't know everything but most are genuine in their quest to do their best to help.
I learned that when all you can do is howl in the middle of a hospital corridor there will be someone there who says it's okay, go ahead and do it.
I learned that being surrounded by suffering can reveal all that is noble and wise and beautiful in humanity. Seeing it is worth the cost of being there.
I learned that when you know there will be things to laugh about in the day, it's not so hard to get out of bed.
I learned that when you are in a place of having always to receive there is a desperate need to give.
I learned there is time to cherish life even when you feel that it's ebbing away from you.
I learned that when God's voice is silent, if you are willing to open your eyes you will see his face, weeping with you. Sometimes the face looks a lot like members of your own family or a friend.
I learned that God may seem indifferent until your eyes open to see a beam of light pulsing along the tendril of a spider plant, making its blossoms glow. Hope is a dimension of light.