About mittonmusings

A Canadian, lifestyle blog with an inspirational twist!

How to Predict the Future

A few years back, our oldest son was learning magic. We bought kits and trick books and studied the “art of illusion”. He was pretty good at it too. As he was mastering his tricks, we would watch the professionals on YouTube and predicted this or that, or marvel at how good their distraction was as they turned their tricks and slight of hand into entertaining shows. Sometimes we knew how the trick was done, other times we were awestruck along with the audience. The fun was in the allure of the unknown.

Recently, I have been praying along with others, for things unknown. Two friends asked me to pray for upcoming medical appointments. Tests and procedures where the outcomes could be life changing. I pray. But these are the kinds of unknowns that are not so entertaining. These are the kinds of unknowns where we wish we knew the tricks. Where we wish we knew what the future will hold and how the situation will all play out. Will it be good news? News we can handle, and process, and eventually plan for? Or will it be the kind of news that leaves us questioning: “What do we do now?”

Just because we are Jesus followers, doesn’t mean our lives will be easy. We face the same bumps in the road as everyone else does on this journey. We live in a fallen world with unpredictable futures. But. (And I like big butts, I cannot lie…pause for musical interlude to break the tension…) But. We serve a powerful God who does know the future!! How comforting is that?!

My personal readings have led me to the book of Daniel recently. The story begins with one of those life changing situations. King Nebuchadnezzar had trouble sleeping and was bothered by his dreams. None of his wise men could interpret them, and therefore ease his anxiety… so he issues a decree to kill them all off. (Nice, eh?) However, Daniel, through God’s mercy, is able to interpret the dream, and thus save his companions from their untimely deaths:

19 During the night the mystery was revealed to Daniel in a vision. Then Daniel praised the God of heaven 20 and said:
“Praise be to the name of God for ever and ever;
    wisdom and power are his.
21 He changes times and seasons;
    he deposes kings and raises up others.
He gives wisdom to the wise
    and knowledge to the discerning.
22 He reveals deep and hidden things;
    he knows what lies in darkness,
    and light dwells with him.
23 I thank and praise you, God of my ancestors:
    You have given me wisdom and power,
you have made known to me what we asked of you,
    you have made known to us the dream of the king.”

Daniel 2: 19-23 (NIV)

Isn’t that so encouraging?! God knows the future! We simpletons cannot predict how things are going to play out. And so we pray, along with our friends, to help guide us in the paths unknown. To face those unpredictable turns and trials and twists in the journey. My beloveds, if you are facing one of those life changing moments right now, may you be restored in the knowledge that there is One who knows. There is One who loves you so much, that He wants the best for you. He will make it work out according to His plan for you… and we will (eventually) delight in how the mystery is revealed!

Why I Don’t Give to Charity Anymore

Okay, okay… it’s not that I don’t give to charities anymore, it’s just that I am getting slightly overwhelmed with the amount of options now! Halloween is over and boom… the holiday blitz kicks in, and my mailbox is full of charitable gift giving catalogues urging me to give great aunt Lucy a dozen chickens! Forget great aunt Lucy… I want a dozen chickens! (But that’s a different story.)

We attended three charity events last week. Three. We also turned down two more invitations for the same week! Is it just me, or does everybody seem to be raising money for something now? And believe me, we are not being targeted because of our large paycheques. In fact, I work for a charity… so I can give a portion of my paycheck away right from the start! My local cashier has been trained to bequest my donation upon every check out… and my name gets written on the wall for all to see. Sometimes you get more than a token name calling… perhaps you get a free water bottle, or balloon, or keychain or… well, you get my point.

And so I muse… how do we choose? How do I know that my hard earned funds are going to really help people, or the environment, or fight injustices? Do I use my givings simply as a tax break, or an excuse to be greener, or flaunt it in my social media calendar invites to prove I am just so loving? Have we become too accepting of donations that we simply don’t give till it hurts anymore? Or have the bombardments made us callous, so that we are wary of scams and frauds. Or we simply don’t give anymore for fear of having our mailboxes overloaded with letters. Afterall, if they used that mailing budget to fund the charity, more money could be used to help rather than advertise… am I right?

How do you choose your Charity?

My usual quick google search of “charity” leads me to see that it is the “voluntary giving of help, typically in the form of money, to those in need” (Oxford dictionary). Biblical research sends me to 1 Corinthians 13…The “love” chapter. We tend to equate charity with love… especially love towards our fellow humans as a result of our understanding of God’s love and ultimate sacrifice for us on the cross. I get it. But that doesn’t really make it easier to decipher who, why and when and how. Or does it?

Have you ever met someone who exudes Christ’s love? That aura, that persona, that embodiment that just oozes kindness and sincere “charity”? Not because they need to. Not because they have to. Not because they got a catalogue in the mail. They just naturally love the cause, and want to see it flourish and grow. I think that is an example of true charity. Passion. What stirs your heart, my friend? I’m asking myself the same question right now. Hmmmn.

Perhaps I will have to rethink my Christmas gift giving. Perhaps I will need to be more frugal with my wishes. My lines are not drawn on this one quite yet. How do I choose? I’d love to hear your thoughts… drop me a note in the comments below or connect with us on social media!


I’ve mused about this topic before! Check out these posts: Charity on the Refrigerator The Green Debate and Legacies

“Weather” – Or Not

There is a tree that stands just outside our front lawn. It is completely devoid of growth right now and looks barren and forlorn. The leaves are all gone and it is preparing for winter. There have been ads on the radio to remind us that it is time to change into our snow tires. I bought a new winter jacket and snowpants for my daughter today. But I am still wearing sandals on my feet! Our eldest is on the opposite end of the earth right now getting ready for summer! (Wanna read more about my sandals or my son’s adventures? Check out those posts here and here!) Alas, we Canadians are no strangers to weird weather. All four seasons can happen within the same week — and we embrace it! We’ve turned our clocks back this weekend, and put away our gardens, but we hold out for the sunny days of fall and relish the drawbacks of climate change. If you live here, you understand.

photo: quickmeme.com

If you don’t live here and are burdened with tropical sunshine all year long… I’m feeling slightly sorry for you. You will never experience the joy of riding in your car with the butt (seat) warmers on and flip flops on your feet as you drive through the school pick up line. You will more than likely, never have to remind your kids to wear their “toque” and gloves in the morning, only to see them arrive home from school in their gym shorts and t-shirts. You will never have to scrape 6 inches of ice from your lock-frozened vehicle and sweat to death in a classroom whose school boiler is positioned just below their cloakroom. So sorry you have to have only pretty sundresses to wear on special occasions — that don’t have to match your parka. Poor you.

We Canadians are known for our weather. And for how much we talk about it. We love to start our conversations with weather. Be it great weather — or how miserable we are because of what is happening outside at any given moment. We changed our clocks for daylight savings recently … which gave us more excuses to blather on about how we need to adjust to “the time change” and the darkness that envelops us this time of year. Now don’t get me wrong… it’s a real thing… our beings are affected by weather. Which has me musing…

I wonder why we have weather. I wonder why we have seasons and fluxuations and weird temperature changes and storms and natural disasters. Technically, I know why. Without debating the theologies of pre-flood paradise theories, and how sin caused climate change and how environmental disasters are heating up the planet — work with me for a minute — and just take weather for it’s basics. Rain and the sun make the flowers grow. Snow blankets the land allowing for sabbath rest before energy is needed for new life. Winds cleanse the landscape and shape it. Wildlife flourishes in its own environmental element and adapts perfectly to its own space.

Kinda sounds like life, eh? I think God gave us weather as an example of how life ebbs and flows from day to day. We have seasons of growth, and we have seasons of sabbath winter rest. Storms blow in and ravish the land in order to shape and mold it for new growth. Temperatures rise in our lives and we are full of passion and fire. Other times we are cold and indifferent. Sometimes all four seasons seem to come to us in the same week.

It’s no wonder the disciples marveled at Jesus’ reaction to the weather in Mark 4. “Are you not afraid of this storm?” “Don’t you care if we drown?” We ask ourselves the same questions. “Don’t you see what is happening to us down here?” Ahhh… and then the kicker my friends: Jesus rebukes the wind, and calms the storm. Of course we talk about the weather so much! Our human minds are frail, weak and questioning. Our faith is small. We still haven’t learned to trust in the Master and His words. We don’t recognize that He is in control of the ebb and flow of life. Weather — or not.