Thursday, December 31, 2009
i hope you all had a fab 2009 and have a great 2010!
if you want to email me email my mom and she'll let you know my email address
i hope you all have a happy holidays and
will always remember it for a long time.
so have a have a happy holidays!
love you guys so much!
and hope you enjoy this picture of
my funny, lovely family!
and thanks for following my blog
merry christmas and have a wonderful, happy new year!
Wednesday, December 09, 2009
Buy nothing for Christmas
December 5th, 2009
This is something different. It’s similar to the Advent Conspiracy, but I like it because it’s Canadian! What can I say?! I’ve been ecouraged by some of the Canadian sites popping up these days (makes me feel less alone in cyber land lol). Anyhow, my cousin sent to me via facebook. I was looking into it and thought it was interesting. What are your thoughts on it?
Buy Nothing Christmas is a national initiative started by Canadian Mennonites who offer a prophetic “no” to the patterns of over-consumption of middle-class North Americans. They are inviting Christians (and others) all over Canada to join a movement to de-commercialize Christmas and re-design a Christian lifestyle that is richer in meaning, smaller in impact upon the earth, and greater in giving to people less-privileged.
This is an Advent calendar that has a bite to it. On each day of December leading up to Christmas, count the appropriate privilege/blessing and pay the fine. Send the money to a group that fights poverty.
1. 10 ¢ for every hot water tap in your house
2. 75 ¢ for every vehicle your family owns
3. 5 ¢ for every pair of jeans you own
4. 25 ¢ if your family subscribes to the newspaper
5. 5 ¢ for every bed in your house
6. 3 ¢ for every /beauty makeup item you own
7. 3 ¢ for every pair of footwear
8. 3 ¢ for every light switch in your house
9. 20 ¢ for every tub/shower
10. 10 ¢ for every flush toilet
11. 2 ¢ for every bar/dispenser of soap
12. 15 ¢ if you have dishes to eat off of
13. 15 ¢ if you have cooking pots in your cupboards
14. 5 ¢ for every window in your house
15. 10 ¢ for every outside door
16. 20 ¢ for every television in your house
17. 5 ¢ for every magazine subscription
18. 25 ¢ if your family has more than 25 CD’s (music or video)
19. 5 ¢ for every meal you had meat with this past week
20. 10 ¢ for every non-water beverage you drank yesterday
21. 25 ¢ if you have a snow blower or a gas/electric lawn mower
22. 3 ¢ for every item of hair care stuff
23. 15 ¢ for every bedroom in your house
24. 5 ¢ for every blanket in your house
25. 15 ¢ for every gift you received this Christmas
check out their catalogue: http://www.buynothingchristmas.org/catalogue/index.html It’s pretty neat! If nothing else, it sure makes me thankful and feel truly blessed for all that we have!
Wednesday, September 09, 2009
read the following excerpt in Brennan Manning's book, 'The Relentless Tenderness of Jesus', recently:
One hundred years ago in the Deep South, the phrase 'born again' was seldom used. Rather, the words used to describe the breakthrough into a personal relationship with Jesus were, 'I was seized by the power of a great affection.'
have been spending time thinking about my own relationship with Jesus, and whether i would characterize it with similar words. i find it curious that such mystical and deeply emotive language has been lost for so many of us. the common language of being 'born again' isn't entirely wrong or offensive, but in some ways it implies the not-so-practical notion that one's conversion results in an immediate alteration of who we are. theologically, i think our conversion choice does immediately realign us with God's redemptive mercy.
but salvation really is more than just being born; it's a lot like growing up.
and maybe that's why i like the idea of being 'seized' by a 'great (and transformative) affection'...because it implies His inherent work in me despite my best efforts to screw it up...in spite of my consistent languishing and immaturity.
all this brings john wesley's language to mind...how he found his heart 'strangely warmed' when encountering jesus' powerful grace. and today, when it's cold and rainy outside, this is what i seek. i long for the mystery of His love to centre me...to seize me...to warm the cold and inflexible parts of my heart.
i want to trust His mercy more than my own efforts.
Sunday, July 26, 2009
It was unexpected. For us. And for Behruse.
We planned to leave. So did he.
God had different plans. I'm in awe of His timing.
The plan was to find a comfy spot at English Bay in Vancouver to watch night 2 of the Celebration of Lights. It was South Africa's turn to show Vancouver what they've got. The forecast was to be about 29 in the afternoon and 23 in the evening with 10 percent chance of rain. It was to be the perfect night for fireworks. I heard on the radio they were expecting 350,000 people to be there.
After a great supper at SalaThai - yum... It was about 7:30, we walked down to the water and found a nice little spot not right on the beach but with a beautiful view... and then the clouds began rolling in and it started to rain. We kept telling ourselves that it wasn't going to last, we'll wait it out and it seemed to slow down a bit. I got a call from a couple of friends who were going to meet us who decided not to come anymore due to the rain. We talked about it and decided we probably wouldn't stay either. We were soaked and the sun was beginning to go down and we were not prepared to be wet AND cold.
Brian, who was just in a tshirt and shorts thought it would be a good idea to head back home knowing that there are 2 more fireworks shows next week that we could go to. Me being the stubborn girl i am, wanted to stay. I thought we were already wet we were already there, with great seats, and really i just didn't want to be a "quitter"... someone who couldn't handle a little rain. lol. But after talking it out for a bit, we packed up our stuff and began towards our car.
Once we got up to Davie street it continued to rain at a steady pace but we were warming up due to walking so we decided to keep walking down davie towards the water in a different direction and just stick it out. By this time the sun had begun to set, and it was absolutely breathtaking. People were stopped in the rain taking picture after picture. It was thundering and lightening out like crazy, something i don't think i have ever seen/heard since living out here. I kept saying/thinking wow all these people came out to see fireworks and God's like "i'll show you fireworks". It was beautiful.
It was almost 9pm when i got a hankering for yam fries. As we kept walking we found a little restaurant/pub on Davie that had their menu on the steps that had yam fries on it. We tried to get in, but the door was locked and said use other entrance. We were seriously soaking wet and as we tried to find the other entrance we decided we were just too wet and they probably wouldn't want us in there.
This is when we met Beruse.
As we're standing on the crowded street by the pub a man watching the sky turned around towards us and approached us. My immediate judgment I'm sad to say was that he was going to ask for money... although he did not look homeless, then i went on to think maybe he was going to ask if we had any weed... as that's a common occurrence here in Vancouver. Instead the first thing he asked was. "Have you ever seen anything like this before?" Before we had the chance to fully answer he answered his own question saying, "I have lived here for 22 years and I have never seen a sky like this". He went on to say, "I'm not normally a religious man, but this sky is a sign to us, to me, that God is real. That God is with us." He went on very passionately listing different gods and expressing his need for one. He repeated God, Jesus and literally cried out how he needed Him. How he was lost and weak but how he could feel Him inside of him. He cried out to know Him and to see Him and as Behruse was calling towards the beautiful sunset for God lightening would strike. I couldn't help but laugh at God's response!
On the middle of Davie street in the pouring rain surrounded by thousands of people Behruse began to weep as he cried and prayed telling God how he needs Him, how he promises he'll go to church, but only if He will show up like He did tonight. I still can't believe what I witnessed, I don't know how to put it all into words. He spoke out of his heart into the sky through tears his desperate need for a God who knows him and who has chosen him for this moment to be caught off guard and caught in His beauty. He admitted to us his brokenness that for the first time in 6 months he drank alcohol tonight because his cousin had to leave, that he smoked 2 puffs of marijuana, that his wife and daughter who is 14 and son who is 25 isn't with him anymore. He told us that in his country he would be shot dead in the middle of these streets for doing what he was doing now, speaking to us of a God who has caught his attention and stolen his heart. He continued to ask us if we could understand him because his english was normally very poor, but what we heard was extremely eloquent and passionate, He thanked God for that miracle.
I said to him that we were planning to leave earlier, that we weren't really expecting to be down here on davie tonight, but that I was convinced that God had a specific plan for all of us to meet. He also said that he had actually left earlier deciding not to stay but later decided to come back because God wanted him to see this beautiful sign of His beauty. He prayed that he would never forget it and that everyone walking would see what he has seen.
I still am in awe that in hundreds of thousands of people that God connected us to Behruse. Not really to say anything special or to be these great Christians with answers, but simply and majestically to be a witness (as Behruse put it) to this man's first connection to God, the the One who made heaven and earth. To be an ear to hear this man's story, to catch a glimpse of what our desperate need for God looks like.
I was so challenged and encouraged and just knocked to my feet. To find that hunger, to live with that conviction. To see God in everything and let it transform me! I'm so thankful to have been there last night, for God to interrupt our plans.
We ended up just getting to the beach as the fireworks started, and let me say, they were beautiful, but God could not be outdone, he continued to do His light show in the sky that just showed me His awesome power and beauty, how I'm honored to know Him. To be called His daughter.
Saturday, July 25, 2009
I have been reading much
And trying to digest all that I see, feel, and sense.
I have decided that I want to start writing some reflections and invite you to chew a little bit with us.
On what you ask?
We would like to wrestle with who Jesus is and His reality versus what (I said ‘what’ intentionally...keep reading) we have made Him personally...and corporately.
I have blogged my initial thought on our blog: www.jonathanandscott.blogspot.com
I don’t know about you...but before about 6 months ago...i didn’t think about slavery very often. How often do you think about slavery? How often to do you think about it in terms of an issue that we must wrestle with today? Let me talk to you a little about the internal Pandora's box I have opened...
People trafficking is one of the greatest human rights challenges of our time. Millions of people around the world suffer in silence in slave-like conditions of forced labour and sexual exploitation.
In the West, slavery has been outlawed since the early 1800s. But the modern scourge of human trafficking is no less a form of slavery than the one endured by Africans and others at the hands of wealthy merchants and landowners two hundred years ago.
Human trafficking is one of the fastest growing areas of international crime - and, sadly, one of the most lucrative. Worldwide, people traffickers will make between seven and nine billion dollars every year, with very little outlay at all.
In fact, some crime syndicates are now switching their cargo from drugs to human beings, because the potential profits are higher.
According to the UN, there may be as many as four million people trafficked every year, 70 percent of them female and 50 percent children. Both groups are targeted mainly for pornography and prostitution. Yet it's difficult to be precise about the true scale of the problem and teenage boys and men are sometimes victims, too, being trafficked into forced labour.
There are more than 28 million slaves world wide. Perspective? There are more slaves today, by percentage to the worlds population, than at any other time in history.
Victims of people trafficking normally come from developing countries, but trafficking is also a problem for nations like the Canada and the US, where, according to the Justice Dept, as many as 250,000 American/Canadian children may be at risk of being trafficked into the sex industry within our own countries.
The Council of Europe has identified people trafficking as a major problem in Europe, too. It says that trafficking has hit "unprecedented levels" and acknowledges that it really is "a new form of slavery".
Human trafficking seems to flourish in societies that are going through, or have just come out of, long periods of conflict. For example, during the Kosovo conflict, women and girls were often kidnapped by armed gangs or enticed away from refugee camps. Today, the former Yugoslavia has become a primary trafficking destination and an important transit point for European trafficking.
Trafficking also increases when poor countries share borders with richer neighbours. Poor people look at the opportunities over the border and are easily lured by false promises of a richer life on the other side.
What can be done about the stain and horror of international human trafficking?
Some people might argue that since slavery has long been a part of human history, there's not much we can do about it. But we can't afford to be complacent or defeatist in our attitude. Either we shape the future of our world, or someone else's vision of that future will reshape us.
Some global thoughts first.
Governments NEED to maintain humane and sensible immigration policies.
Some people have tried to use trafficking as an excuse for closing borders altogether. But people will always want to migrate, especially if there are better opportunities abroad, and immigration brings many benefits. Denying people access through safe, legal channels only makes it more likely that they will fall for the false promises of the traffickers.
Governments also NEED to courageously tackle the problem of prostitution.
In 1999, the Swedish government made laws prohibiting the purchase of a sexual service, with the penalty of fines or imprisonment.
Since then, there has been a significant drop in the number of women in prostitution and a reduction in the number of men who try to buy their services. The fall in demand has also reduced the number of foreign women who are trafficked into prostitution.
Some governments NEED to reassess how they treat people who've already been trafficked into their nations. It's one thing to free a victim, but then they need to be re-educated, re-housed and basically given a whole new start, one without discrimination or legal hassles.
More Personal thoughts...
We NEED to begin to grapple with how trafficking is linked to economic reform and development programmes. Tragically, there are lots of cases where the sex trade has served foreign aid workers and even peacekeepers.
And we need more research into the factors that fuel the demand for people trafficking -- including the links between migration policies and the demand for cheap labour.
It took more than a generation for William Wilberforce and his colleagues to bring in laws banning slave-trade in the British domain. But their persistence - and their faith - paid off.
Ours is arguably a much more complex world and organized crime is the dark underbelly of globalization. But at ground level, in vulnerable areas, there are still things we can do to guard people -- especially the young -- against trafficking.
There are anti-trafficking charities that community groups can connect with. Some educate children in vulnerable areas, developing skills that will help them to avoid being trafficked. Others work to encourage children to stay in school longer, while create local jobs for when they leave school.
We NEED to be morality driven even in our necessary consumption. Meaning? Where you shop and what you buy has slave trade implications. Do we shop at stores that use Fair Trade goods? These products are traffick-free and buying them helps people to lift themselves out of poverty, making them less vulnerable, as opposed to purchasing and using goods that have used child labour and the slave trade to build their economic prowess.
We NEED volunteer more. For example, choosing to work in one of the projects that helps people find their way out of prostitution. We can donate to support a safe house for trafficking victims.
We NEED to write to local MPs on the issue, to keep the issue front and centre in political terms. Check out the following websites regarding how you can be involved:
EDUCATE YOURSELF. How often do we read stuff that turns our stomachs? How often do we choose to learn or push our way into understanding the dark underbelly of our world? What good is the light if it refuses to be used in darkness? If you would like a list of books that you could read, email me...i have many on this issue.
Finally, we can talk up the whole issue of people trafficking, through letters to local newspapers and the like - and even just in conversation with friends. John Pollock, in his biography of William Wilberforce, wrote that: 'One man can change his times, but he cannot do it alone.'
Like Wilberforce and his abolitionists, we must once again do whatever we can to end a vile trade, by standing for those who cannot stand for themselves...and standing alongside people and organizations who are giving their lives for others freedom.
I wanna change the world.
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
soooooooooooo.... here is our family pics that we got done in may by our dear friends, reilly & miranda of blue olive.
tell me...are these not the coolest, ever!? thanks again R&M... you make us look too cool for school... ;)
click on the link below:
heppner family shoot by blue olive photography
Monday, July 06, 2009
Monday, June 08, 2009
it is there..you see it every day.
its whether or not you choose to actually go thru the door.
you put your ear up to it.
you strain to hear what is on the other side.
it sounds exciting..fun..alive.
yet, risky, uncertain, unknown.
you stand on this side and wonder.
wonder what it could be like.
what it could REALLY be like.
what you THINK it could be like.
yet still, you hesitate.
you hesitate like you have, every other day.
what if there really is nothing on the other side?
what if it's just all in your head?
what if you are disappointed when you open the door?
what to do...do you ever wonder that?
wonder about the possibilities of what is
on the other side of that door?
wonder what life could be like if you walked thru that door?
wonder if you should just stop wondering and just do it?
you put your hand on the knob & can almost feel the anticipation.
you can sense the life.
you know that it is exciting.
yet...you dont turn it.
yes, this door is for you to open every day.
every day it is there, waiting for you.
waiting for you to open it.
waiting for you to walk thru.
waiting for you to embrace all that is on the
the door to your dreams.
what will you do today?
what are you waiting for?
walk thru it.
you have NOTHING to lose.
-tracey heppner, june 8, 2009