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, November 01, 2012
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.
Tuesday, February 14, 2012
Monday, February 13, 2012
Wednesday, February 08, 2012
Tuesday, February 07, 2012
1 - the pond across from our house. I've spent many hours watching the kids play hockey or just skate. Especially love the families - dads teaching their little ones warms my heart.
Saturday, February 04, 2012
2 - The pleasure of watering my plants in my own living room.
3 - The joy of discovering my old slippers under my bed, worn and comfortable.
2 - The gift of drawing closer to Jesus myself as I write as He leads
3. The gift of community with other writers of like mind and readers who connect.
Thursday, February 02, 2012
Wednesday, February 01, 2012
Tuesday, January 31, 2012
Thursday, January 26, 2012
Wednesday, January 25, 2012
Tuesday, January 24, 2012
1 - The clear Alberta Sky - I realized I'd been taking it for granted when I asked a Korean exchange student staying with us, What did you notice first about Canada? Her answer - "the sky - it's not grey or yellow with pollution."
Monday, January 23, 2012
Sunday, January 22, 2012
Saturday, January 21, 2012
Friday, January 20, 2012
Thursday, January 19, 2012
A Grace in the kitchen - watching my daughter and son-in-law making dinner together, discussing their day, laughing, hugging. A joy to watch the comfort they share.
A Grace in the weather - ice fog gave me the chance to tell Laura and Ty more about the Yukon, the magic of -60
A Grace that might never have been - my 3 daughters - go here to read about this. I shudder to think what my life would have been like without God's intervention.
Wednesday, January 18, 2012
Tuesday, January 17, 2012
Monday, January 16, 2012
Sunday, January 15, 2012
Saturday, January 14, 2012
Friday, January 13, 2012
The purring of our cat as she sleeps on my husband's chest while he naps.
His laughter as he chats with someone on the phone.
His footsteps on the stairs.
It's so good to be home, if only for the weekend. :)
Thursday, January 12, 2012
Wednesday, January 11, 2012
Three Yellow things that strike me as fresh mercy -
Tuesday, January 10, 2012
Monday, January 09, 2012
a gift in my hand - the small carved wooden pin from Honduras given to me by Pene who is returning there with a medical mission team at the end of this month.
a gift I walked by - the patient room at Tom Baker where the chemo drips from too many IV poles. So glad I'm past that part of this journey.
a gift I sat with - a Muslim woman in the waiting room who picked up the Bible sitting on the coffee table. Perhaps I'll get to chat with her at some point.
Sunday, January 08, 2012
Then, late one afternoon, I opened my eyes. A thin beam of light had pushed through the clouds, through my living room window, and along a slim tendril growing out of my small Spider plant. The tendril had looked so fragile as it reached out, pale and oh so thin. But when that beam of light touched it, it began to glow. Then the light illuminated the tiny white flowers that had just bloomed. The flowers glowed in that ethereal light. It took my breath away. And hope blossomed. I managed to get up off the couch and find my camera. It took a few tries to get a picture that wasn't blurry. But I managed to steady my hands and do it.
Hope. At that moment it was a living dimension - a shaft of real light that slipped into my living room along that tendril of plant at just at the right moment. At just the right moment God reminded me that he was here, watching, waiting with me and smiling as he made that tiny flower glow.
"When Jesus spoke to the people, he said, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life." John 8:12
The light of life, the light of hope. It's Him. Jesus Himself. Right here. Right now.
Saturday, January 07, 2012
I'm a little late getting started on this, but I've decided to that the Joy Dare with Ann Voskamp and many others. I'll be posting here as well as keeping a hand-written journal. So far this is what I've done -
Day One - she picked a hard one to start off - 3 things about myself I'm grateful for -
1 - an ability to adapt and "go with the flow" - most of the time. :)
2 - a willingness to keep trying, even when I blow it badly.
3 - the deep seed of Christian heritage that has kept me rooted in Christ.
Day Two - A gift outside - clear sidewalks; Inside - a clean house, dishes done thanks to my hsuband; On a plate - this one was easy - Turkey! :0
Day three - three lines overheard that were graces - will have to continue to listen for these -
Day four - One gift, old, new, blue
old - my geraniums that just won't quit blooming, even in January
new - the lovely journal I'll use for this project - a gift from my dear friend Pauline
blue - a soft chambray shirt, found on sale. :)
Day five - Something I'm reading - Sutter's Cross - Dale Cramer's first book - have loved some of his others, especially Summer of Light.
Something I'm making - this journal
Something I'm seeing - birds in a tree near the hospital. They made me smile - all grace, singing.
The photo to the left is of a painting done by my daughter, Laura, given to me for Christmas by my daughter Kate. Do you see the bird?
Day six - one thing in my bag - two gift certificates to local bookstores. Have been pondering what books to buy. :)
in my fridge - leftovers - they are always better the second time around.
in my heart - thankfulness for clear roads and sunshine - in January!
Day seven - three graces from people I love -
1 - Laura's spontaneous hugs and kisses that always surprise me
2 - Katie's text messages just to see how I'm doing.
3 - my husband's smile when I arrive back home.