God Has You Surrounded!

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

“We’ve got you surrounded!”

This is always a thrilling moment in an action movie: when the authorities announce to the bad guy that he has no way of escape.

Officers are blocking every exit. Will he surrender, or try to fight his way out? (You’ll have to watch the movie to find out!)

Did you know that God has you surrounded, too?

But in a good way!

Our loving Heavenly Father assures us that He has us covered. He is always with us and surrounds us with His love and care.

As we enter a new year, let’s keep in our minds the ways God has promised to be with us. That way, we can take on the challenges ahead of us knowing that God’s got our back, so to speak.

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God With Us

I’m so pleased to share with you another guest post by my friend Veronica Gerber. I know you’ll be blessed by her wisdom!


What’s in a name?

So it’s Christmas time again … when we remember Jesus’ birth:

“For unto us a child is born, to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called Wonderful, Counsellor,
Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9:6)

Do you have a favourite way of addressing God or thinking of Jesus?

I’m quite partial to Emmanuel which means “God with us” … ever alongside those who have eyes to see and ears to hear. It’s all too easy to lose sight, so to speak, of Jesus being with us in the day-to-day, especially during the hustle and bustle of Christmas, wouldn’t you say?

“Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is God with us.” (Matthew 1:23)

C.S. Lewis has written about God’s plan, “The whole thing narrows and narrows, until at last it comes down to a little point, small as the point of a spear—a Jewish girl at her prayers.”

Today as I read the accounts of Jesus’ birth I tremble to think of the fate of the world resting on the responses of two rural teenagers long ago. How many times did Mary review the angel’s words? How many times did Joseph second-guess his own encounter with an angel—“Was it just a dream?”—as he endured the hot shame of living among villagers who could plainly see the changing shape of his fiancée?

Mary, the virgin, whose parenthood was unplanned, had a commendable response to the angel. She heard the angel out, pondered the repercussions, and nonetheless replied:

“I am the Lord’s servant.
May it be to me as you have said.”

Often a work of God comes with two edges, great joy and great pain … as is the joy and travail of giving birth. In Mary’s matter-of-fact response, she embraced both. She was the first person to accept Jesus on his own terms, regardless of the personal cost. An ordinary beginning, an extraordinary journey.

It makes me wonder what work of God hinges on me at my prayers? And on you and your prayers?

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One Hundred Words for Snow (and for God)

Image by Maurizio Ceol, Wikimedia Commons, CC BY 3.0

They say that the Eskimo and Inuit peoples have over 100 words for snow.

Is this actually true, or is it just a cliché?

There has been heated debate on whether the Eskimos really do have that many distinct words for snow. I consulted Giles Whittell’s 2019 book “Snow: A Scientific and Cultural Exploration” for information.

Whittell refers to a recent contribution to the question by the Smithsonian Arctic Studies Center. They determined that in Canada’s Nunavik region, the Inuit there have 53 distinct words for snow; in the Central Siberian Yupik dialect they counted 40.

Among the words listed in the Yupik dictionary are:

“kanevvluk” = fine snow
“navcaq” = snow formation about to collapse
“qanisqineq” = snow floating on water
“utvak” = snow carved in a block, as for an igloo

Clearly, those living in the extreme north do have far more words to describe snow than those who makes their homes farther south.

As Whittell says, “…people learn to describe in greatest detail what matters most to them.”

I suppose that the number of words a culture has to describe something tells us a great deal about the importance they place on it.

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