Archive for November, 2010

Bought & sold!

Many of you already know LAST week we finally sold our house! Well I have more good news, we also purchased a house THIS week!

The story behind how this happened is amazing. So allow me to share it with you. About 2 weeks ago on a Sunday we had an open house on our property in Whitby from 2-4pm so we had to find something to do during that time. So after having lunch [again eating out…uggh] we decided to drive around the area of Mississauga we wanted to hopefully live in. We found a few open houses as we were driving so we decided to check them out when Faith woke up. She finally woke up but we only looked at one of the houses. It happened to be the one we bought. But I am getting ahead of myself.

So fast forward to to last week…as you know we sold our house and immediately we set-up showings on 10 house in 2 days (we viewed the open house as well). None of the houses really “spoke” to De-Ann, so we decided to put an offer in on the open house. [One thing you need to know, this house was priced way to high because there was a house on that same court that sold a lot cheaper with a finished basement. This house didn’t have a finished basement]. So we asked our real estate agent to ask them to drop the price and then we would put an offer in. Their real estate agent refused but told us that they were looking at any offers. We decided not to put in an offer afterall because their house was priced 10-15 thousand too much. So we decided to wait.

On Wednesday of this past week, I got texts and voicemail messages from De-Ann telling me to get back to her ASAP. Apparently the house price had been changed and there was already an offer on it. Get this, their real estate agent called ours to ask if we were still interested, and to possibly put in an offer. So we did and believe it or not they took our offer and accepted it, after some negotiating, mind you. I don’t think the people who put in the first offer were too impressed. But I think the sellers were hoping for a quick closing and no conditions. So we were able to get the house because the only condition we had was inspection and we also wanted a very quick closing.

So as of yesterday , November 26, we are the proud owners of a home in Mississauga. We could be living there as early as late January. Now the “fun” begins…packing, cleaning and moving!!! [note the sarcasm…haha!]

Thank you for all your prayers, emails, notes and comments of excitement for us! You all are very special too us!!!

November 27, 2010 at 9:16 AM 1 comment

Day 45…Genesis 49:

Genesis 49: Jacob’s final words & his death

v.1-27, Jacob gathers his sons around him and predicts what will happen to them in the future. The Bible says “I will tell you what will happen to you…” which tells you Jacob had a vision from God what was going to happen to his children. Here is what he told them in my own words [DEG]…

Rueben – even though you are my firstborn, you will loose your rank because you slept with my wife [actually his concubine Bilhah] and dishonoured her and my marriage bed.

Simeon & Levi (2 of a kind as brothers) – men of violence that use swords to kill men and animals in the anger or at their own whim, not justice. Your anger and wrath will be cursed.

Judah – you are like a lion among your enemies and your brothers who will praise you. You will always be a ruler and your descendants after you and people will obey you…until the Messiah comes to take the scepter from you where there will abundance in everything–grapevines, wine and milk.

Zebulun – you will live by the sea and you will be a safe harbour for ships all the way to Sidon.

Issachar – you are a tough donkey that will give up your freedom to work for others as a slave because you like the country they live in.

Dan – you are suppose to provide justice for your people however you are more like a snake that sits at the side of the road that choose treachery over justice.

Jacob interjects a little prayer in v.18 to remind his sons of their need for dependence on God. If he needed HIM, they definitely did. And he can’t wait to finally come “home” with HIM.

Gad – even though your enemies will attack you, you will still win in the end.

Asher – you will become famous for the treats and food you will grow from your land, fit even for a king.

Naphtali – you will have prosperity and abundance.

Joseph [of course Jacob bestows the greatest blessing on Joseph] – you were attacked by envy, revenge, temptation, ingratitude; yet still, by the grace of God, you triumphed over all opposition, so that you became the sustainer of Israel (and then Jacob proceeds to shower blessings of every kind upon the head of this favorite son. The history of the tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh shows how fully these blessings were realized).

Benjamin – you are like a ravenous wolf who eats his prey and then divides up what is left over for others.

[It is obvious from Jacob’s comments that he is more so talking about his sons tribes then they themselves–good indication is how he refers to his beloved Benjamin. If he had been talking about him, he would have been more loving in his “blessing.” BTW history shows that Jacob’s words of prophecy came true in all of the 12 tribes.]

v.28, All of these are the 12 tribes of Israel and this is what Israel said to his sons as a blessing to each one.

v.29-33, Jacob instructs his sons what to do with his body once he dies (bury him in the cave with his fathers and wife in the field of Machpelah in Canaan NOT Egypt). Jacob lived 147 years and then finally died.

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN TO ME? What goes around, comes around. I think Jacob is saying that because of the way his sons lived, it has and will affect not only their future but the tribes they represents future–in other words their descendants. So watch how you live now because even if you think you are getting away with it now, it will catch up to you.

WHAT AM I GOING TO DO ABOUT IT? This reminds me of a saying I heard all the time growing up: “your sins will find you out.” I remember thinking that every time I thought I got away with doing something wrong. But eventually I got caught and had to own up to my sin. The lesson I get from this is live my life as if someone were watching every moment of every day. There is…God!

November 25, 2010 at 9:00 AM Leave a comment

Day 44…Genesis 48:

Genesis 48: Jacob blesses Ephraim over Manasseh

v.1-7, it’s amazing Jacob still hasn’t died and Joseph gets word he is on his last legs so Joseph along with his two sons go to visit Jacob. During the visit  Jacob shares with Joseph a vision he rec’d from God while at Luz in the land of Canaan:

‘I will make you fertile and increase the number of your descendants so that you will become a community of people. I will give this land to your descendants as a permanent possession.’ – GWT

Jacob then told Joseph that your two sons [Ephraim & Manasseh] will become his sons (he’s adopting them) as if they his sons like Reuben and Simeon. They have equal status to his own blood-children. But other sons born to Joseph in the future will be his own, they will receive an inheritance after their older brothers Ephraim and Manasseh. Then Jacob told Joseph of his mother’s (Rachel) death and burial beside the road to Ephrath (Bethlehem).

v.8-11, at that moment Jacob notices Joseph’s sons and asked who they were. [He was almost completely blind by this time]. Of course Joseph introduced his sons to Jacob and Jacob was overjoyed at the sight of them and wanted to bless them. Because Jacob could barely see, Joseph brought his sons closes to Jacob and Jacob kissed and hugged them and then he said…

“I never expected to see your face again, and now God has let me see your children as well!”– MSG

v.12-16, then Joseph took his boys in front of his Dad. One on the right (Manasseh) and one of the left (Ephraim). But Jacob crossed his arms and put opposite hands on the heads of Joseph’s sons (this was significant because the first-born should always be on the right for a blessing–greater privilege in inheritance for the first-born) then he blessed them and said…

“May the God before whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac walked faithfully, the God who has been my shepherd all my life to this day, the Angel who has delivered me from all harm —may he bless these boys. May they be called by my name and the names of my fathers Abraham and Isaac, and may they increase greatly on the earth.” – NIV

v.17-22, when Joseph saw his father had placed his right hand on Ephraim’s head instead of Manasseh’s he was upset and tried to move his hand to the right son. He told his Dad you got the wrong son. But Jacob refused and said “I know what I am doing, he will be great too but his younger brother will be greater and his families will become a great nation!” – DEG. Then he blessed them and said

“In your name will Israel pronounce this blessing:
‘May God make you like Ephraim and Manasseh.’”
– NIV

So Jacob put Ephraim (youngest) ahead of Manasseh (eldest) [as had happened in the past..Issac over Ishmael, Jacob over Esau, Joseph over all his brothers and now Ephraim over Manasseh]. Then Jacob as he was about to die told Joseph he was going to give him an extra portion of land (mountain ridge – GWT) than his brothers, that he took from the Amorites.

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN TO ME? Why would Jacob bless the younger over the eldest? I think this is an example of God’s ways are not ours. Or his timetable is not ours. Even though I don’t completely understand why God allowed this to happen, not just in this incident but all the way through this family line, I do have to realize it was best for those God was using. It just makes me realize more and more I have to trust God that he actually knows what he is doing.

WHAT AM I GOING TO DO ABOUT IT? To simply trust God with my life and my families life, because he really does know what is best even if it is not the way I would do things. I think about where I am now and how amazing it is to work and worship here at City Centre. But the way I got here was so difficult and painful. I would have chose a more direct route and less painful, that’s for sure. But again I need to trust God that he has my best interest in mind. Who knows, maybe I needed to learn a few lessons along the way. I’ll tell you this much I am much wiser because of what I have been through.

November 24, 2010 at 10:00 AM Leave a comment

Vblogs…

So I am going to start to add video blogs (aka…vblogs) to my blog in the next few weeks, I thought I would show you a few vblogs I did at my former church. A few of them I wasn’t even in them, I was behind the “camera” and I also did the updates on the final cut. Check out some of the examples below…

Note: I did this vblog with one of the students in grade 11 and we only did 3 takes and got it right. It was fun preparing for the “taping” beforehand.

Note: I did this vblog from my truck as I was driving. My laptop was on my armrest. Lots of fun multitasking. haha.

Note: for this vblog all I did was set up the laptop and let the students do their “thing.” I think they did a fantastic job.

Note: this last vblog was me doing a tutorial on the website I designed many years ago (almost 4 years now), again when I was at my former church. BTW this clip starts with a great little dance number from my daughter in De-Ann’s arms. She is very musical and has great rhythm, unlike her Daddy. And finishes with Faith saying good-bye. She’s such a cutie!!!

November 22, 2010 at 9:00 AM Leave a comment

Day 43…Genesis 47:

Genesis 47: Joseph & the famine

v.1-4, Joseph along with 5 of his brothers go to Pharaoh and tell him his family has arrived in Goshen. That they have come with all their possession, specifically their flocks and herds. Pharaoh asked them what their occupation was. Unfortunately the 5 brothers told Pharaoh they were shepherds and ignored Joseph’s advice in chapter 46 to down play that they were sheepherders and focus on the cattle part of their job [stubborn to the end]. They also requested permission to stay in the land in the form of a plea…”no pasture in Canaan…the famine is severe there.”

v.5-6, it’s almost as if Pharaoh ignored their plea and went on to talk to Joseph about his family and told him they can choose any where they want in the land…best of the land of Egypt. And if any of his family/bros have special skills, they can be in charge of HIS livestock–managers!

v.7-12, then Joseph brought his Dad to see Pharaoh. Jacob blessed him, not once but twice. They had a chat about his life, age (130) and travels. Then Joseph gave the best of the land of Egypt (region of Rameses) to his Dad and family as commanded by Pharaoh. Joseph provided food for all his family, right down to the youngest baby.

MEANWHILE…the famine gets worse

v.13-22, the food was all used up in Egypt and people were starving. By selling food (grain) to all the people in Egypt during the famine Joseph had collected ALL the MONEY in the land (both Egypt & Canaan). Now the money had run out they came to Joseph hungry and wanting food. They told him they needed food but had no money to pay for it. So Joseph told them to bring their livestock to trade for the food–that only lasted another year..then the were back. They told Joseph now they have nothing to barter with…money’s gone, foods gone! They only had their bodies and their land. So they bartered their land and their bodies as slaves to Pharaoh so they could have grain to live on. So Joseph took all the people and all the land and EVERYTHING belonged to Pharaoh except the land of the Priests and the Priests themselves. The Priests rec’d food and a salary from Pharaoh so they didn’t need to sell their land.

v.23-26, Joseph told the people that since he owned them and all their land [Actually Pharaoh did]. He will provide them with seed to grow crops and in exchange they have to give Pharaoh 1/5 of their crops to Pharaoh and they can live on the rest (4/5). They were so thankful and were pleased to be Pharaoh’s servants because Joseph had saved their lives! So Joseph issued a law in Egypt (still in effect today) that for now on Pharaoh should receive 1/5 of all crops grown in Egypt, except for the Priests land.

MEANWHILE…

v.27-31, Jacob and his family (children of Israel) settled in Goshen and they acquired lots of property and their population grew rapidly. Jacob lived for 17 years after his arrival in Egypt. As he was ready to “go” he sent for Joseph and told him to promise to bury him in Canaan with the rest of his family. “Don’t bury me in Egypt. When I die, please take my body out of Egypt and bury me with my ancestors.” – NLT.

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN TO ME? Even though Joseph had every right to treat the people of Egypt as dirt or low life he continued to provide for them. Even after they had no money, livestock and land he continued to provide for them so that they could survive. I think he treated them with dignity and showed them respect most overlords wouldn’t show to their subjects. Even when they were Pharaoh’s slaves he gave them a reasonable way of paying Pharaoh so that they could live off the land. It’s kind of like the tithe we give God.

WHAT AM I GOING TO DO ABOUT IT? I am continually happily surprised at Joseph’s treatment of those who doesn’t deserve it. He is a true man of grace. I want to be that man. No matter what people truly deserve I want to extend grace every time.

November 21, 2010 at 2:36 PM 2 comments

Day 42…Genesis 46:

Genesis 46: Jacob & family travel to Egypt

v.1-4, After finally believing Joseph was definitely alive and in Egypt Jacob (Israel) sets out for Egypt with all his possessions. He stopped for the night in Beersheba and offered a sacrifice to God. During the night he had a dream/vision…

God said, “I am the God of your father. Don’t be afraid of going down to Egypt. I’m going to make you a great nation there. I’ll go with you down to Egypt; I’ll also bring you back here. And when you die, Joseph will be with you; with his own hand he’ll close your eyes.” – MSG

v.5-7, Jacob left Beersheba to go to Egypt with all his possessions, family and livestock–the things they acquired will living in Canaan. They travelled in the wagons Pharaoh gave them.

v.8-27, these verse state Jacob’s descendants who went to Egypt with him. The total number of descendants that went with Jacob to Egypt, not counting his sons’ wives was 66 and Joseph had two sons born in Egypt. So altogether there were 70** members of Jacob’s family in the land of Egypt. **this number probably included Joseph’s grandsons from Ephraim & Manasseh**

v.28-30, as they were getting close to Goshen Jacob sent Judah ahead to get Joseph and get directions to this region. When the finally arrived Joseph  had already left by way of his own chariot to meet them. He embraced his father and cried holding him for a very long time. Then Jacob said to Joseph he was now ready to DIE since he had seen his son’s face and knows he is alive!

v.31-34, Joseph then told his whole family that he is going to tell Pharaoh they are all here in Egypt to live for good and that they are shepherds and they have brought their own flock along with everything they own. Then Joseph warned his family that when Pharaoh asks what kind of work they do to tell him they have always kept livestock for as long as they can remember–as their parents have and their parents’ parents–long time. Then Pharaoh will let them stay in Goshen because the Egyptians hate shepherds. Joseph’s advice was both a warning about the Egyptians attitude towards strangers and a way of not upsetting the customs of the Egyptians. So he told his family to de-emphasize that they were sheepherders but that they were cattle ranchers and they were not an ambitious group that wished to rise above their occupation.

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN TO ME? God again reminds Jacob that he is going to make him a great nation and it happens to be exactly where he is uprooting his family to–Egypt. God continues to make his promise or oath a reality in Jacob’s life. God shows great care for Jacob and his family every step of the way from Abraham, to Issac and now Jacob.

WHAT AM I GOING TO DO ABOUT IT? This lets me know that God will continue to keep his promises to me and he cares for not just me, but my whole family–De-Ann and Faith and my family I grew up with. I know this is true because he has proved himself so many times. And I need to say thank you over and over again.

Thank you God for constantly providing for us as a family and thank you for selling our home. I am so glad I am your child.

November 20, 2010 at 10:50 PM Leave a comment

SOLD!

Yesterday, Friday, November 19 we had a conditional offer (finances & inspection) on our house presented to us. And within an hour or so we accepted it. So it finally sold!!! Yeah!!! For in the next ten days the conditionals will be met hopefully without any issues.

Now the fun part [insert sarcasm] looking for houses. Which is what we spent most of today doing. But don’t get me wrong we are very happy to finally sell our house.

Thank you to all of you for your prayers, emails and encouragements. They all meant so much. Please continue to pray that the right house comes along as we look.

Many of you said it only takes one offer, and you were right. Praise God!

November 20, 2010 at 6:18 PM 2 comments

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