He is….


who He is.

This post in not just for Believers, even though it is about God. It is for Atheists, Agnostics, and all kinds and degrees of believers in God.

If there is a Creator God, then He is who He is regardless of whether we’re okay with that or not, or whether we like some aspects of who He is and don’t like others.

“Remaking” Him to our specifications doesn’t change Him, and choosing not to believe in Him doesn’t change Him. He is who He is.

In fact, when God spoke to Moses at the burning bush to commission him to go back to his people and lead them out of their slavery in Egypt, and Moses asked God’s name, God told Moses His name is: “I am who I am.”  “Say this to the people of Israel,  ‘I Am’ sent me to you” (Exodus 3:14).

So who is God? “I am who I am”. He is who He is.

He is “merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgressions and sin, but who will by no means clear the guilty” (Exodus 34 :6-7).

I was in a congregation once where the speaker had the congregation memorize this Biblical description of God minus the last phrase.

We seem to be fine with some of who God is “merciful, gracious, slow to anger, abounds in steadfast love and faithfulness, forgiving sin”...but not one who “will by no means clear the guilty.”

But God is who He is however we feel about it.

And He is way slower to anger than we are. His steadfast, faithful, patient, forgiving love is quite amazing!

But there is also a point of wrath. He is slow to anger, in fact various psalmists ask “How long, O God is the foe to scoff?” and “Arise, O God, defend your cause, remember how the foolish scoff at you all the day!” (Psalm 75: 10, 22).

To this psalmist, and to many other people, God was too slow to anger. But He does get there.

The thoughts for this blog began when I read these words in the first chapter of Nahum:

The Lord is a jealous and avenging God;
   the Lord is avenging and wrathful;
   the Lord takes vengeance on his adversaries
   and keeps wrath for his enemies.
The Lord is slow to anger and great in power,
   and the Lord will by no means clear the guilty.” (Nahum 1:2-3)

Those verses make me uncomfortable (even though I know that when God exhibits wrath, there is good reason, as verse 38 of Psalm 78 says, “Yet, He, being compassionate, atoned for their iniquity and did not destroy them; He restrained His anger often and did not stir up all His wrath.”

While some verses might make me uncomfortable, God is who He is and my being uncomfortable doesn’t change Him.

If I were suffering under the Nazis in a concentration camp, or undergoing torture under various other regimes, I might not mind these words so much.

In fact as a young girl, I appreciated when my father, who loved me very much, rose up in my defense when someone wronged me; whether it was my friend who threw my hat in the snow on a freezing winter day, or the time when, because a teacher wouldn’t let me go to the bathroom, I wet my pants.

Because of my father’s great love for me, there was his wrath against those who had acted against me.

God is who He is.

Nothing will change that. It is not helpful to live in the non-reality of thinking of Him other than who He is, trying to ignore the parts of Him that don’t suit us. It is not helpful to ignore Him and pretend He doesn’t exist.

The most beneficial thing we can do is to get to know God’s whole character…who He really is. This will affect our lives in innumerable positive ways.


Beautiful! Beautiful!


(This post was written on July 3, 2015)

Yesterday I spent from sun-up to sun-down travelling to a city 4 1/2 hours away, attending my 100-year-old uncle’s funeral, burial, going to the shiva house (where relatives mourn) and making the return 4 1/2 hour return trip (with my son, bless him).

It was a good, sweet, and sad time on many levels.

I have a pile of responsibilities today and and although I don’t really have time to do so I felt compelled to take a walk at a beautiful park 20 minutes away.

I didn’t really have time for this walk, but I felt a strong need after my intense day yesterday, to make the time.

After walking for a while, I began to notice the beauty around me – not just the water, which is why I go to this particular park on the shore of the Ottawa River, but in the grass, the foliage, the flowers. Somehow even as I took a closer look, even the pavement that I was walking on had beauty in its varied shades and shapes in the concrete.

And I thought of my uncle, who passed away in my presence several days ago.

“Beautiful!” is a word he would often say. “Beautiful! Beautiful!” in his wonderful Jewish European accent that my children loved and would imitate to the best of their ability.

What was beautiful to my uncle? A person, music, many things actually. Uncle Sydney seemed to see beauty everywhere.

But where was the beauty in my uncle’s life the last couple of weeks? In his fall. In his pain. In his suffering. I looked. I looked. Had there been any beauty?

There was beauty in his loved ones being there for him – being there in the hospital with him to love him and ensure that he was taken care of. Beauty in that one special, extremely capable, caring, compassionate nurse in Emergency. Beauty that his beloved daughter was right there with him when he passed away.

Many people see the pain, the sorrow, the hardship of life. And that ugliness is there. My uncle saw the beauty.

May I encourage us all to look for the beauty. Find the beauty in your daily life – find it, enjoy it, be thankful for it.

“Beautiful! Beautiful!”

What are some beautiful things in your life?


Unplanned things

RobinChildhood_002_480“I’ve got a crazy idea,” my dad would say on occasion, musingly.

These few words would fill me with excitement: “What? What? Tell us, Daddy. What’s your ‘crazy idea?'”

It might be a drive along the Montreal lake shore, stopping for a picnic of Kentucky Fried Chicken; a drive up to Mount Royal Park or to get an ice cream at a special place we loved.

But whatever it was, it was spontaneous and special. It interrupted the scheduled flow of life. A good time was waiting to be had, when those words were spoken.

It is because I knew from experience that what usually followed my father’s words, “I have a crazy idea,” was something enjoyable that I reacted to them in such a positive way. I loved and trusted my father because I knew he loved me and had my (and the rest of my family’s) best interest at heart.

I have a heavenly Father whom I love and trust because I know He loves me and has my (and the rest of mankind’s) best interest in mind. He is sometimes referred to in the Bible as “The Rock” – He is stable and trustworthy and so even when unplanned things happen I can still be secure and positive and embrace life.


My thoughts on beauty all started with breakfast. Three breakfasts to be exact. My husband Alan and I were staying at some friends, while involved in a homeschool conference in another city. And each of the three mornings we stayed there, our host served us a breakfast that was not only delicious, but also beautiful. A wonderful omelette along with fruit artistically laid out.

I was taking a walk just before setting out on our journey home (after eating the aforementioned breakfast) and I was thinking how the food I had just eaten was not only a feast for my palate, but for my eyes as well. Really a thing of beauty.


As I was walking along, I was appreciating the beautiful blue sky, and then I became aware of a chorus of birds – more beauty for my eyes, for my ears.

There’s a line in a Rich Mullins song that came to mind, “There’s so much beauty around us for just two eyes to see, but everywhere I go, I’m looking” (From “Here in America”).

And I think it’s a good thing to do. Everywhere there is beauty, whether in nature (clouds, sky, trees, water, flowers, sand, fields)…

2014-09-30 17.35.18


In people (smiles, wisdom, warmth, support, encouragement, generosity)…

In smells (fireplaces, flowers, baking)…

Tastes (chocolate, coffee, freshly baked bread, chicken soup)…

Sounds (beautiful music, a baby’s laugh, birds in spring), o2015-02-06 18.04.04r touch (holding the hand of a loved one, hugs, cuddles)…

Sights (a beautiful dancer, gymnast, home run)…

I could write pages on how beauty is everywhere!

As the song says “There’s so much beauty around us for just two eyes to see, but everywhere I go, I’m looking.”

There is also ugliness and sorrow and tragedy in this world. But there IS beauty. And it, too, is everywhere. 2014-10-02 15.45.00

I want to do what I can to make a difference in this world. Several of my adult children are working full time in situations that are dark, such as Sarah working with extremely poor people in Haiti,  Joshua working with the organization, “Strength to Fight” against pornography, Daniel working against Human Trafficking and pornography, or Devorah working to stop the dismemberment of pre-born babies. So besides the news of devastating earthquakes, terrorism, and war, our family knows about darkness.

But the beauty is there as well. All around us. So I would encourage us all to “stop and smell the roses,” so to speak. That is, as you go about your day, notice the beauty that is everywhere. Appreciate it. Contribute to it. It only takes a smile.

Blowing My Mind

Robin_MindBlowing01_480Originally I had another title for this blog post. I would have called it “God Blows My Mind,” but frankly, I thought perhaps a title with the word “God” in it would cause atheists not to read it, and I didn’t want that.

I read the Bible daily; I talk about God;, I talk to God; but sometimes when I stop and actually think about God, it blows my mind!

I was at an intersection the other day when I had a “moment.” Do you ever have these moments? I looked at all the cars, all these people going from here to there, each one with their own story, their own family, their own life, and I was overwhelmed. And then multiply that by all the people in the world!

You see, on a daily basis I am preoccupied with my life, my family’s lives, and the people we come into contact with. I don’t on a regular basis think of everyone I know or have ever known and I certainly don’t think of each individual in the world. But when I do, when I stop to think of each individual as a person like me with their own lives, it blows my mind.

And then to think that God knows – and what’s more – cares for each individual!! – that takes faith and the reason it does is because we are not able to do that. And we tend to think of God as someone like us, just a bit more, like a super-hero.

Another possible title for this blog post was “Is Your God Too Small?” I think that some people react to this mind blowing glimpse of how vast this world is and the people in it by not believing in a God who is the Creator and sustainer of it all, because as I said, they imagine a deity only such as our human mind can fathom. And that God is just not big enough.

Others believe in God, but don’t take the time to contemplate His vastness and end up believing in a God that they “keep in their pocket,” figuratively speaking. Not unlike a genie, this god is there to serve them, get them out of trouble, give them what they want.

And while we might not be able to handle letting our thoughts go to this mind-blowing place all the time, I think we should let our minds go there sometimes, so that we can worship this amazing God as we catch a glimpse of His vastness and can be in awe that He knows each hair on our heads.

I know some people are upset and blame God (the one they don’t believe in) for all the ills of this world, but give all the credit for everything good to mankind.

The time that we are in, our lifespan, is part of a much, much bigger story. When we are looking only at our time in history, it doesn’t make sense, just as one puzzle piece doesn’t make sense by itself.

You have to look at the whole picture. My husband calls this God’s Epic Story. And it starts a long time ago: “In the beginning…”

Guidance from God

Knowing that the God of the universe is interested in each one of us, that we can communicate with Him, and He with us, it has long been my desire, and I have often expressed my wish, that He would communicate with me more.

While God gives us many directives in the Scriptures regarding how to live life (i.e. love, serve, forgive, etc.), I desire specific guidance. I often think that I have too many things to do in a day (or too many things that I want to do) and say, “I wish God would just hand me His ‘to-do’ list for me each morning.”

Yes, I want my wise, all-knowing heavenly Father to guide me.

Earlier this week I had an interesting experience: Several times a week I exercise on our elliptical machine and watch a part of a movie while doing so. I continue the movie where I left off the next time I elliptical, so it takes me two to three sessions of using the elliptical to finish a movie.

In this way, (I have been doing this for around five years), I have watched all the movies we own many, many times and am on the lookout for new movies to borrow from the library, or from friends.

Earlier this week as I exercised, I began watching a movie that I had borrowed. It was a “chick-flick” – a romantic comedy. Not an amazing movie, but enjoyable enough, distracting me from the pain of exertion, which is the point.

After I turned it off, however, I felt a nudge from God that I shouldn’t continue watching it next time I exercised, that I should give it back.


Why ouch? Because I wanted to watch the rest of it. If I walk in on someone watching something (even though I had no previous interest in watching it), I could get sucked in in no time flat, and here was something that I had been watching for forty-five minutes!

But I really felt a nudge from God, so I decided to return the movie to the lender, unfinished. It was a little bit difficult because it went against my desire. But as I struggled with it I thought, “Wait a minute. If the Almighty God wants me to not watch a certain movie, is it really a big thing not to? Seriously?”

So my decision was made.

I did believe that it would be quite all right to look up a brief summary of the story online to see how it ended because knowing the end had nothing to do with why I wasn’t to watch it. So I looked it up on “pluggedin.ca” which gives a summary of movies, and tells of specific content – foul language, sex, violence, and spiritual/religious content.

At this point my struggle began again because the summary/review I read made it sound like quite a nice, harmless movie that had some positive elements. So I thought: “This movie is harmless: maybe I could just finish it.”

But no, I chose to listen to the nudge from God. That still small voice that I am pretty sure is God’s. I have heard it before: sometimes as I am about to open my mouth and say something, that still, small voice tells me that I shouldn’t say what I was about to. Sometimes that voice leads me to do something, i.e. call a certain person.

I can choose to ignore it (and I have, at times). I have heard it said that God wants to communicate with us, He speaks to us, but if we keep on saying ,”No” – ignoring Him – we will stop hearing Him.

There is discernment involved. Every thought or every voice we hear is not necessarily God’s. Knowing God’s written Word  very well (the Bible) is essential to our discerning His voice.

For example, the nudge that I felt was in keeping with God’s Word that says, “Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things” (Phil. 4:8). The movie missed that mark quite a bit.

So I have resolved to continue to say “Yes” to the still, small voice of God, whether He is leading me to do something or not to do something. If I want God to guide me, I should listen when He does.

Don’t you think?