Friday, May 15, 2015


     Commencement, a term we don't hear often, was used by a member of the faculty at the third year graduation exercises this past week. In high school we looked forward to commencement each year. Awards were given for all different sorts of achievements, but I don't recall anyone commenting on the meaning of the term and I had not really thought about it.

     To finish one course and graduate to another level is great, but a commencement is a whole new beginning. That's exciting! 

     In nature things don't just graduate. The wild flowers produce seeds, drop them to the ground and a wee plant sprouts. In the spirit a new life begins when the seed of God's Word finds good ground in a heart open to His love. Not just a fixed up life, but a totally new one. (2 Corinthians 5:17)

    The person who existed before was crucified with Christ, buried with Him, resurrected with Him and seated with Him in the heavens. (Ephesians 2:6) Every single thing that could have grieved God and bound someone with guilt and condemnation is gone from the record as if it never happened. A new life begins.

    From the moment of our spiritual birth, we have a fresh start. The Gospel is about our future. God's love and mercy is renewed to us each morning. (Lamentations 3:22,23) 

     It's a treat to see little creatures beginning their adventure of living in the spring although we know their lives will just follow a natural cycle. Love that at the end of each day, we can anticipate a commencement in the morning, a brand new beginning with Christ, assured of His mercy and grace for eternity.

(Photos of the barrel cactus and goslings courtesy of Janet Beavers)   

Friday, May 1, 2015


      "You find out who you are in Christ in your first year at Charis." All it took was this simple statement by a graduate student one morning at breakfast. The Holy Spirit used those words and a whole new way of life opened up to me.

     It was July 2014. I had come to Woodland Park, Colorado to attend the Summer Family Bible Conference at Charis Bible College. The teaching was great. I met wonderful people. It was interesting to visit a part of the continent that was new to me, but it was just a visit. Life with family and friends in my Canadian village was good. Ranch land, pine forest, a cabin in the mountains, college at this time in my life... none of this was on my radar.

     In every way all of it has been better than I could have dreamed. Paul tells us no one has seen or heard or even thought of the things God has planned for those who love Him. (I Corinthians 2:9) The preparations are in the works before we are born, throughout our lifetimes and eternity.

     The almost too good to be true news is that God does not love only the ones who love Him. He loves every single person drawing breath. Many are struggling to find what will fulfill and satisfy. Those who choose to receive His love and allow Him to lead them can embark on an adventure they  never could have conceived.

     God knows each of us better than we know ourselves. He knows what will bring us joy and peace. The sun has not set on this precious day of grace. There is still time to enter into the relationship He welcomes, time to come to know and love Him, time to experience life better than we could ever imagine.