27 December 2008

Recipe as requested

FireFly’s FireCracker (Hot Pepper) Jelly

½ cup hot peppers ground or chopped very fine
½ cup bell peppers ground or chopped vey fine
6 cups sugar
1 -1/2 cups white vinegar
6 ounces liquid Certo
Few drops red or green food colouring

Mix sugar and vinegar, bring to a rolling boil. Remove from heat and add Certo, peppers and food colouring. Stir for one minute. Ladle into hot sterilized jars. Process in boiling water bath for 10 minutes. Makes 8 or 9 half pint jars.

If using red peppers, use red food colouring, or green food colouring for green peppers.

Cafe Chat Week of December 27

Kim's question this week again takes much thought to answer:

What is one thing you will commit to do in 2009 that will draw you closer to Jesus? (This is not a New Year’s Resolution)

This year I have committed to learn
Learn more about who God is (Exodus 34:6)
Learn more about who I am in Christ (Romans 8:1, 2 Corinthians 5:17)
Learn more about how to accept Christ's invitation to abide in Him (John 15:4)
Learn more about how to allow His love to move through me to touch others (John 13:34)
Learn more about how to be still and know that He is God (Psalm 46:10)
Learn more about to love God with all my heart, soul, mind and strength (Luke 10:27)

Join us at Cafe Chat and add your answer this week.

24 December 2008

Merry Christmas

From our home to yours, may the dawning of Christmas morning fill your hearts with the wonder of God's great love.

"For God so loved the world that He gave His only-begotten [or, unique] Son, so that every [one] believing [or, trusting] in Him shall not perish, _but_ shall be having eternal life!
John 3:16

19 December 2008

Cafe - Holiday Recipe Bazaar

This week we're sharing favorite holiday recipes, and the one that first came to mind for me was Fresh Cranberry Relish. I was never a lover of cooked cranberry sauce, whether jellied or not, but when I found this recipe on an OceanSpray cranberry bag I had to try it. It is ridiculously simple to prepare and goes well besides meats, over ice cream or even mixed into vanilla yogurt for a heathy snack!

Take 1 bag fresh cranberries, 1 orange (with peel) cut in quarters, 1/2 cup sugar and mix in food processor. Add more sugar to taste and mix again.

That's it. Couldn't be any easier could it?

I'm sorry that I don't have any pictures, so you will just have to imagine the sparkling ruby colour of this tasty delight. Or make it, and see for yourself!

For more tasty reading, join us at the Internet Cafe

13 December 2008

Cafe Chat Week of December 13

This week Jill asks:

What are you currently doing (or can start to do) to put the focus of Christmas on Jesus?

I find that I am able to align my heart and mind with the true reason for this holiday season when I spend time in the Word. For as John tells us in his version of the Gospel, Jesus Himself Is the Word!

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it." John 1:1-5

"The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth." John 1:14

During this season I enjoy reading the accounts of Jesus birth, my favourite being in Luke 2.

I just finshed writing out our Christmas cards and we have made a tradition of asking the Lord to give us a scripture to declare over each of our friends and to write inside their card. This way we can all be blessed by His truth!

My prayer for all of you is that you remain firmly rooted and grounded in His love, and that this season draws you ever closer to the heart of Jesus.

11 December 2008

And the winner is.....

It's time to announce the winner of my Holiday Expo Gift Giveaway. There were twenty-six wonderful women that left comments. I used a random number generator and #15 was selected:

"sailorcross said...
Oh~~you know how i love music--God speaking to me through music. I almost rear ended someone the other day because I forgot and closed my eyes in prayer while listening to a song!! Not a good combination!! I can't say I have a very worship song or artist--I love so many!! Right now I'm listening to MercyMe--Spoken For. And also, Adonai--love that one!! My list could fill all the available space left on your computer!! So, I'll stop with those two. Wonderful giveaway!! Beth"

Congratulations Beth! I will be sending out your copy of "Hear My Cry" by Todd and Melanie Toews straight away. May you be blessed as they lead you into the throne room of our God.

Holiday Home Tour

This week we are taking a tour around the internet world to peek in on how we have decorated our homes for Christmas. To check on all the other homes click here.

Welcome to snowy Manitoba. It certainly has begun to look like Christmas this week!
Our front yardOur back yard

This year's tree

Nativity scene from last year's trip to UgandaMay peace fill your homes and may the Holy Spirit fill your hearts with the love of God this Christmas and always. "And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us." Romans 5:5

09 December 2008

My Ten Things for Tuesday December 9

XBOX Wife Ten Things Tuesday

Paul taught us "give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus" 1 Thessalonians 5:18, so in the midst of a nagging illness I present my list of gratitude.
  1. Today I am thankful for cough drops that give me momentary periods of relief
  2. Today I am thankful for a reliable furnace and electricity to keep my home warm
  3. Today I am thankful for a husband who starts my vehicle in the morning and cleans the snow and ice off the windshield. I guess Rick is my own sort of remote-start!
  4. Today I am thankful again to live in a rural area where the fresh fallen snow stays clean and white
  5. Today I am thankful that my parents have lived to see their 61st wedding anniversary. What wonderful role models of making a marriage work.
  6. Today I am thankful for Christmas lights shining brightly in the darkness, reminding me of the One true Light and His call on us to shine as well
  7. Today I am thankful that God blesses obedience as I responded to His call to resign from my job, in faith, not knowing what lies ahead, but throwing myself into His hands
  8. Today I am thankful for the sense of relief and peace that flooded me as soon as I emailed in that letter of resignation this morning.
  9. Today I am thankful that God promises in His Word "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future" Jeremiah 29:11
  10. Today I am thankful for love, His abundant, extravagant love.

What are you thnakful for? Join Jill at Xbox Wife and share your 10 things.

06 December 2008

Cafe Chat December 6

This week Kim asked us "If money were no option, what gift would you give to who and why?"

I have been pondering this question all morning, and I cannot think of a thing I could buy that would be more valuable than the gift I have finally chosen, I gift I truly wish I give to all, including myself.

If I could, I would give a pair of spectacles that would allow the person wearing them to see themselves the way God sees them. If only for a moment we could truly know how precious we are in His sight our day to day walk in the world would never be the same.

I cannot give such a grand gift as that, but I can pray that our eyes would be opened and that God would pour out fresh revelation about the great love He holds for each one of us.

Let the truth of His Word saturate you today:

“The LORD your God in your midst, The Mighty One, will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing” Zephaniah 3:17

“I have loved you with an everlasting love” Jeremiah 31:3

God's love is a gift we must learn to receive before we can give it away.

Come join us at Cafe Chat and share your answer to this week's question.

03 December 2008

Holiday Expo

It's an exciting time at the Internet Cafe holiday expo gift giveaway this week!

I have chosen to give away a worship CD titled "Hear My Cry" written and recorded by Todd and Melanie Toews. Todd and Melanie are gifted prophetic minstrels and their music will lead you straight into the heart of God.

Here's the rules:

Leave me a comment telling us about your favourite worship music. Make sure to leave a name and email address or link and check back after December 12th at the Internet Cafe to see if you are the lucky winner.

Winner must reside in North America and will be picked at random.

Only one entry per person please.

Why not join the rest of the fun at the Internet Cafe this holiday season?

02 December 2008

My Ten Things for Tuesday December 2

XBOX Wife Ten Things Tuesday

  1. Celestial Seasonings Bengal Spice Tea, hot and strong with a splash of milk
  2. The birds that have chosen to feed in our yard for the winter. Their beauty and antics add life and colour to what could be a much duller view from our kitchen window. It is well worth the cost of feed and suet and seed bells to care for these creatures God created.
  3. Kleenex! I'm not sure how many boxes I've used in the past week fighting a head/chest cold. Never mind that I already go through so much because of the tender heart God gave me that weeps without a moment's notice.
  4. Cough syrup that helps me rest through the night.
  5. A loving husband who agreed it was a good idea for me to take a "sick-day" today and stay home to rest, heal and study.
  6. 3 - 1/2 weeks of revival meetings ended Sunday night. Now we have time to process all that God was trying to say and do in our lives and communities. Though I will miss the nightly gatherings, I am thankful for the time to get on with what God is asking us to do next. My prayer is that we do not simply return to "business as usual".
  7. God accepts us just as we are, but He loves us too much to let us remain that way. "But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord." 2 Corinthians 3:18
  8. Life in a free nation. In the midst of turmoil (see here) I have liberty to state my opinions without fear of persecution. I pray that I would be as bold even if the stakes were higher.
  9. The approaching Christmas season. This is the one time of year I can say God bless to you to everyone and no one seems to take offense!
  10. Snow crystals that sparkle like diamonds in our headlights as we drive down our lane coming home at night. They remind me that I am nothing but a lump of coal that God is continually working on to create a thing of beauty that reflects His light.

What things are you thankful for today? Join Jill at Xbox Wife to share your list.

A Nation Shakes

Nine years ago God called me to Canada, not only to be united in marriage with my beloved Rick, but also to stand on guard as a watchman for this nation.

These last days the news headlines seem ridiculous and disturbing.

Liberals, NDP, Bloc sign deal on proposed coalition

I emailed the following letter to various National and local newspapers yesterday:

"The thought of another election so soon after the last is appalling, yet not nearly as disturbing to me as the political games being played by the opposition. Mr. Layton and Mr. Dion are not representing the people. The people voiced their opinion with their votes on October 14th, and from what I have been reading about recent polls, the people are not in any way favourable toward the moves the opposition is attempting. As for the Bloc, they will help to support anyone who can suit their purposes at the moment.

I believe in a unified Canada. I pray for a unified Canada. If games such as this are allowed to prevail, the only thing I have left to hold on to is my belief that God is in control. With people’s lives hanging in the balance, I can only say God help us. God help Canada."

For news and prayer points visit 4MyCanada

22 November 2008

Building Traditions

The first week of this holiday carnival of posts is a difficult one for me, not only because I have had limited time to write, but because we actually have very few traditions. Let me explain:

I grew up in a Jewish home and family. We celebrated Hannukah instead of Christmas. I always felt like there was something missing (not knowing at the time what was missing was Jesus!). As I grew into young adulthood my parents somehow respected my choice to open gifts with them on December 25th, wrapped in Christmas paper and all the trimmings. I would spend the day with families of friends, just to have a little bit of Christmas, but always yearned to have my own family to celebrate with.

When I gave my heart and life to Jesus in the autumn of 1999 I was invited to spend the holiday season with the family that led me to my Lord. It was a time of learning, rejoicing, and my baptism on Boxing Day. I still hoped and prayed that one day I would have traditions of my own.

When I married my beloved Rick we would spend Chistmas with his family. It was always a cold, hard, non-Christian Christmas. There might have been Jesus on greeting cards, but not in the hearts of anyone but us. The holiday was about little more than food and presents.

We are trying to build our own traditions now, as each year we try to find other loving Christians to celebrate Jesus with. Our decorations begin early in November and remain through January. The house looks so lovely I hate to take them down. The first thing put out id the manger scene, reminding us what it is we are celebrating. Crystal angels, birds of peace, and other favourite trinkets sprinkle the tree. The best part of Christmas is joining with others to sing, rejoice and remember, so we never miss our Christmas Eve service. We exchange a small gift with each other before going to sleep. One year we helped serve dinner to the needy and lonely at the local Catholic church on Christmas day, but they have stopped that wonderful extension of God's love. We are looking for another way to serve this year.

It has become our tradition to donate to worthy causes in the names of our loved ones instead of purchasing expensive gifts. We then give them trinkets with notes informing them of how others benefited in their honour. Perhaps sharing the love of God with those in need is the greatest tradition of all.

Why don't you join us at the Internet Cafe and let us know how you celebrate!

18 November 2008

My Ten Things for Tuesday November 18

XBOX Wife Ten Things Tuesday
  1. Today I am thankful that I have these few minutes to join in the chorus of thanks
  2. Today I am thankful to be able to arrange and rearrange my schedule so I am able to attend so many of the revival meetings that are being held in town.
  3. Today I am thankful that God has touched my heart in a way that makes me desire to attend as many meetings as possible.
  4. Today I am thankful that our precious Lord Jesus is a gentleman and will not force anything upon us, but rather waits with exquisite patience for us to welcome Him into each and every area of our hearts.
  5. Today I am thankful for the teaching, preaching, praying and exhorting that God's servants have been led to share in obedience
  6. Today I am thankful for all of those who have given of their time and services to attend to all of the various ministries of helps that are needed when the body comes together day after day, night after night.
  7. Today I am thankful and blessed to have opportunity to be counted among those who have served.
  8. Today I am thankful for the hungry spirit God has placed inside of me. My prayer is that I never reach a point of satisfaction but continue to seek Him, asking for more.
  9. Today I am thankful for my beloved husband who feels called as well to seek for more and more and more of all the things God wants to show us.
  10. Today I am thankful for the promise in Jeremiah 29:13 "And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart."
What are you thankful for today? Visit Jill at Xbox-Wife to join in the circle of thanksgiving.

14 November 2008

Missing In Action

Greetings. Hello. Hi there. Remember me?

It's hard for me to be away from reading and writing in blog land. It seems I have had very few free moments. We have revival meetings going on in town for a few weeks and I have wanted to take in as much as possible.

So between work, studying, and being in church I've had little chance to be here.

I'm sure that all that I am soaking in and absorbing right now will spill out on these pages in the days ahead.

Until then, keep me in your prayers as you remain in mine.

08 November 2008

Cafe Chat - Week of November 8

Kim asked the following thought provoking question this week at Café Chat:
Some of my favorite “Saints” are Christ’s disciples/apostles, saying that, which of the 12 disciples/apostles do you relate to the most, and why?
I believe it’s best to trust one’s first impulse in things like this, and the disciple/apostle that rose in my thoughts and spirit was Peter.
Like Peter I am passionate about and devoted to Jesus. Like Peter I have declared who Jesus Is:
“But what about you?" he asked. "Who do you say I am?" Simon Peter answered, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." Jesus replied, "Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in heaven.” Matthew 16:15-17
Like Peter I hunger to be close to Jesus and attempt to put feet to my faith:
“During the fourth watch of the night Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. "It's a ghost," they said, and cried out in fear. But Jesus immediately said to them: "Take courage! It is I. Don't be afraid." "Lord, if it's you," Peter replied, "tell me to come to you on the water." "Come," he said.” Matthew 14:25-29
And like Peter, when I take my eyes off Jesus and look at what surrounds me I open myself up to fear and doubt:
“Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, "Lord, save me!" Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. "You of little faith," he said, "why did you doubt?"” Matthew 14:30-31
Like Peter I am human and flawed. I have vowed to never do or say anything that would hurt the cause of Christ:
“Peter replied, "Even if all fall away on account of you, I never will."” Matthew 26:33
And like Peter, I have failed to keep that promise. My heart has been pierced and convicted by the Holy Spirit as He revealed my sins. And I have wept as Peter did when he heard that rooster crow for the third time:
“Immediately a rooster crowed. Then Peter remembered the word Jesus had spoken: "Before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times." And he went outside and wept bitterly.” Matthew 26:75
I rejoice with Peter that I serve a King like no other King, a God like no other god. Jesus is love and He forgives us again and again and again. I am always moved by the scene of Peter’s reconciliation and reinstatement on the seashore:
"When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, "Simon son of John, do you truly love me more than these?" "Yes, Lord," he said, "you know that I love you." Jesus said, "Feed my lambs." Again Jesus said, "Simon son of John, do you truly love me?" He answered, "Yes, Lord, you know that I love you." Jesus said, "Take care of my sheep." The third time he said to him, "Simon son of John, do you love me?" Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, "Do you love me?" He said, "Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you." Jesus said, "Feed my sheep. I tell you the truth, when you were younger you dressed yourself and went where you wanted; but when you are old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go." Jesus said this to indicate the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God. Then he said to him, "Follow me!"" Matthew 21:15-19

Peter had walked in the shame of knowing he had denied Christ, and yet Jesus forgave him, loved him still and Peter went on to serve and advance the Kingdom of God. My prayer is that as I submit all of my faults to my risen Lord, my life too may be used for His glory.

Join us at Café Chat this week to add your thoughts and read the responses of others.

Another Flickering FireFly

Shining His Light
It's time to give out another Flickering FireFly. To read about the latest recipient of this blessing go to The Power of Your Love where I join with Beth and others to praise our Lord.

04 November 2008

My Ten Things for Tuesday November 4

XBOX Wife Ten Things Tuesday

  1. Today I am thankful to serve a God Who chooses to speak to His children in dreams, words and visions. To read what He showed me this morning look here
  2. Today I am thankful for the warm and wonderful weekend weather we enjoyed
  3. Today I am thankful for Beth Moore's study on the life of Daniel. This is a moment in time when we need to know how to live with integrity.
  4. Today I am thankful to know that whatever the future brings I will not walk through it alone, for my Lord promises in His Word "Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the LORD your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you." Deuteronomy 31:6
  5. Today I am thankful for words. Words that worship. Words that praise. Words that can tell the world about the God I love.
  6. Today I am thankful for those whom God chooses to share His secrets with who then can teach those truths to others
  7. Today I am thankful that my beloed and I walk the narrow road together
  8. Today I am thankful to walk the streets of a land at peace
  9. Today I am thankful that nothing I can do will make God love me more than He does at this moment, and nothing I can do will make Him love me less.
  10. Today I am thankful for the precious gift of the Holy Spirit that lives in me.

Our amazing God loves a thankful heart. What are you thankful for today? Join Jill at Xbox Wife and share your list of gratitude.

Morning vision

Driving into town this morning for work, I was praying in the spirit, after a restless night of waking many times to pray.

Suddenly the Lord began to unfold a vision before me. What I was seeing was a make shift hospital, like the tents that are used on battlefields. The cots were filled with wounded. They were groaning, weeping and crying out. I could see blood and bandages.

I sensed that the Lord was saying "there WILL be a battle, there WILL be casualties, and His church will be called upon to be the medics that step in to help the wounded and broken ones. We must be prepared. We must be ready."

As I was letting His words sink in, the vision continued to expand. The rows of cots went on and on endlessly into the distance. I thought "Lord, there are too many of them" and I heard myself say "Lord, I don't want to see this".

I sensed Him saying "I need to show you. My people need to know. You need to prepare, for it is through you that healing will come."

28 October 2008

My Ten Things for Tuesday October 28

XBOX Wife Ten Things Tuesday

  1. Today I am thankful to be back here posting My Ten Things
  2. Today I am thankful for no travel for work in the near future
  3. Today I am thankful for the "A" I received on my last course
  4. Today I am thankful that my next course is already on it's way to me
  5. Today I am thankful to serve a sovereign God "Praise be to the name of God for ever and ever; wisdom and power are his. He changes times and seasons; he sets up kings and deposes them. He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the discerning. He reveals deep and hidden things; he knows what lies in darkness,and light dwells with him." Daniel 2:20-22
  6. Today I am thankful for friends who listen for God's words and are willing to share them
  7. Today I am thankful for the freedom to worship without fear of harm. This is a right we so often take for granted. Please remember the persecuted church in your prayers.
  8. Today I am thankful for the diagnostic imaging that caught a malignancy in my mother's breast when it was very, very small so they can perform a lumpectomy instead of more extensive surgery
  9. Today I am thankful I remembered to put our heated mattress pad on yesterday. What a treat to climb into a warm bed on a cold night
  10. Today I am thankful for my beloved Rick who shares that bed with me!

What are you thankful for today? Join Jill at Xbox Wife and share your gratitude.

26 October 2008

Psalm 91

I have been meditating and praying these days about time spent in the "secret place" with my God, and was led to create a Wordle of Psalm 91.

He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High
Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress;
My God, in Him I will trust.”
Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler
And from the perilous pestilence.
He shall cover you with His feathers,
And under His wings you shall take refuge;
His truth shall be your shield and buckler.
You shall not be afraid of the terror by night,
Nor of the arrow that flies by day,
Nor of the pestilence that walks in darkness,
Nor of the destruction that lays waste at noonday.
A thousand may fall at your side,
And ten thousand at your right hand;
But it shall not come near you.
Only with your eyes shall you look,
And see the reward of the wicked.
Because you have made the LORD, who is my refuge,
Even the Most High, your dwelling place,
No evil shall befall you,
Nor shall any plague come near your dwelling;
For He shall give His angels charge over you,
To keep you in all your ways.
In their hands they shall bear you up,
Lest you dash your foot against a stone.
You shall tread upon the lion and the cobra,
The young lion and the serpent you shall trample underfoot.
“Because he has set his love upon Me, therefore I will deliver him;
I will set him on high, because he has known My name.
He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble;
I will deliver him and honor him.
With long life I will satisfy him,
And show him My salvation.”

18 October 2008

Cafe Chat Week of October 18

Kim asked another great question this week at Café Chat:

What is something in your life that was a “good” thing, but as in the verse in 1 Corinthians states was something that although good, was not beneficial or constructive for you?

"Everything is permissible"—but not everything is beneficial. "Everything is permissible"—but not everything is constructive.” 1 Corinthians 10:23 (NIV)

As Christians we cherish the Word of God. The Bible is indeed our centre, our manual for life, the answer to our questions and the greatest love story we could ever read. I would never have thought that reading His Word could be anything but beneficial. If some is good, more is better, right? My husband and I choose a reading plan to work through the entire Bible for each new year as it begins. Each year has a different style, a different structure and we usually pick a different version each year as well. We have grown used to this discipline, perhaps, I am sad to say, even taking great pride in our reading.

I believe that the Lord is trying to teach me that more is not always better, for in one of my “Naturally Supernatural” course assignments I completed the following journaling session:

"Lord, talk to me about what true Bible study is to be like. Is it what I have been doing? Are there any ways You want my process of Bible study to deepen? If so, how? Thank You, Lord, for what you say.

I Am My Word and when you step into the Word, you step into Me and allow Me to penetrate your heart and spirit. To simply read the Word is touching Me with your mind only. My desire is total communion. We have talked much lately of abiding and this is another door into Me. I long to reveal truth to you in new ways, and all you need do is ask and listen. You do this, but often you are too impatient, child.

In some ways, you take bites of My Word that are too big for one swallow, even too big to chew. Let’s think about smaller pieces at one time. I know you are hungry, but more will always be there. Instead of stuffing yourself in one big meal, think of grazing throughout the day. This is the way to more complete digestion and will give us time to discover new truths together.

Thank You, Lord. I confess that I have been very rigid, even legalistic about the discipline of Bible reading, following a reading plan and listening to the plan instead of Your Spirit. Help me to stay more in tune with where You choose to lead me."

I would never disagree with Paul as he taught the following to Timothy:

“Every Scripture is God-breathed (given by His inspiration) and profitable for instruction, for reproof and conviction of sin, for correction of error and discipline in obedience, [and] for training in righteousness (in holy living, in conformity to God's will in thought, purpose, and action), So that the man of God may be complete and proficient, well fitted and thoroughly equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:16-17 Amplified

It is not the Word itself that is not beneficial for me, it was my approach to reading it that was getting out of hand. This year, as my Lord suggested, I will be taking smaller bites, chewing on them longer and instead of following my own plans I choose to ask His Holy Spirit to guide me.

Join us at Cafe Chat and add your response to this week's question.

17 October 2008

I've Been Tagged - 5 for 5

Beth, at warmHarte, has invited me to join in on a tag. The rules are that I have to list 5 things about me in the following 5 categories:

10 Years Ago:
I was a self-employed personal trainer and exercise instructor
My life was purely physical
I was not interested in love or commitment, just pleasure
I lived for the moment with no plans for the future
I did not know that Jesus loved me

Today's "To-Do" List:
Relax for the first time all week
Spend time in the “secret place”
Study before final exam for “Naturally Supernatural”
Catch up on blogging
Cook something yummy for dinner for my beloved husband

Snacks I Enjoy:
Stone Ground Wheat Crackers
Harvest Crunch Cereal

Things I Would Do If I Were a Millionaire:
Give the glory to God
Pay off the remainder of our mortgage
Pay off car loan
Thank God that we have no other debt!
Devote more time to missions work

Places I Have Lived:
Chicago, Illinois, USA
Evanston, Illinois, USA
Des Plaines, Illinois, USA
Dauphin, Manitoba, Canada
Gilbert Plains, Manitoba, Canada

Jobs I Have Had (or still have):
Candy girl at cheap movie theatre
Administrative assistant at Northwestern University
Personal Trainer/Fitness Instructor
Cashier at Safeway
Regional Coordinator Alzheimer Society Manitoba

Now it's my turn to tag 5 more people:
Jill at Xbox Wife
Sharon at Resevoir
Mzzterry at Mzterryz
Jendi at Jendi's Journal
Kipi at In My Own Little Corner

Leave me a comment and link back to this post. Be blessed and have fun!

14 October 2008

My Ten Things for Tuesday October 14

XBOX Wife Ten Things Tuesday

  1. I'm away in the city for two days of meetings, but I'm thankful I have my laptop and can post My Ten Things.
  2. I am thankful for brief hotel stays with high speed internet access so I can update and upgrade my computer and view things people have sent me that are too big to view at home on our slow, slow dial-up.
  3. I am thankful that I can fly into the city instead of making a 4-1/2 hour drive.
  4. I am thankful for God's protection as I travel.
  5. I am thankful for a taxi driver who knew where he was going and didn't feel the need to make conversation when I was feeling like being quiet.
  6. I am thankful for my cell phone that keeps me connected to my beloved, even when work puts distance between us.
  7. I am thankful for the cleanliness and comfort of this hotel room and it's king sized bed.
  8. I am thankful that tomorrow night I will again sleep in Rick's arms, snuggled in our queen sized bed.
  9. I am thankfuk for the fellowship I shared with co-workers over dinner.
  10. I am thankful for the truth of Psalm 91:1 "He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty" and that the Lord is teaching me how to enter into that secret place.
What are you thakful for? Join Jill and the rest of us at Xbox Wife and share your ten things.

Election Day

It is election day in Canada and I am in a hotel room watching returns and praying that all God's people will be willing and able to honour, respect and pray for which ever party and leaders win, believing the Word which clearly states:

"Therefore he who resists and sets himself up against the authorities resists what God has appointed and arranged [in divine order]. And those who resist will bring down judgment upon themselves [receiving the penalty due them].
For civil authorities are not a terror to [people of] good conduct, but to [those of] bad behavior. Would you have no dread of him who is in authority? Then do what is right and you will receive his approval and commendation.
For he is God's servant for your good. But if you do wrong, [you should dread him and] be afraid, for he does not bear and wear the sword for nothing. He is God's servant to execute His wrath (punishment, vengeance) on the wrongdoer." Romans 13:2-4 Amplified

We may not understand or agree with every choice our leaders make, but it is God who is in control and has chosen them to serve. Our prayers and obedience honour our Lord.

11 October 2008

No more heart of stone

Let me obey.... let me obey... whatever Your will… whatever You say
let me be true to Your Sprit in me
and walk in Your love and set captives free
open my eyes and my ears and my heart
remove any blinders that sin can impart
let me close any doors that have let evil in
repent for my part, repent from my heart
let my tears wash the feet of the One I adore
I want more I want more I want more.
I am Yours, Father God, I belong to Your Son
wash me clean, leave me spotless
the expectant bride
I know He has always been here at my side
it is I who have wandered
and been led astray
when deep in my spirt, I still knew The Way
I will run to Your arms
and there I will stay
and go when You send me and do what You say
it's a vow I have spoken and a vow I will keep
to wait on Your will
and Your will alone
thank You for replacing my heart of stone
for a heart of flesh, as You said in Your Word
and this heart understands
and this heart has heard
and I wait with great wonder for what lies in store
I want more I want more I want more!

"A new heart I will give you, and a new spirit I will put within you; and I will take out of your flesh the heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh." Ezekiel 36:26

07 October 2008

My Ten Things for Tuesday October 7

XBOX Wife Ten Things Tuesday
Once again, it's Ten Things Tuesday. This feels like more of a stretch for me than most weeks. I am tired, indeed weary to the bone. Not because of my weekend away, but because I would prefer to not return to my day to day work life. It is good for me to take a moment to recall all I have to be thankful for.

1 -- I am a child of the Most High God.

2 -- God is most IN control when I am out of control.

3 -- This is Day 30 of the 30 Day Encourage Your Husband Challenge and not only have Rick and I grown closer, I have spent the month counting my blessings because I never had to struggle a bit to think of positive things to say about my beloved!

4 -- God is painting the landscape in new ways every morning and evening. Sunrises and sunsets are brief this time of year, and all the more precious in their glory. "The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands." Psalm 19:1

5 -- I have shelter from any storm, both in the natural and spiritual realm.

6 -- Our weekend travel was safe, with no snags or delays. I am always blessed by the favour we have with customs, immigration and security officials, no matter where we go.

7 -- My nephew is now beginning a new season of his life as a married man. I was able to be a witness to their vows and celebrate with family the joy of their union.

8 -- Once again I rejoice in the healing and restoration God worked between my brother and myself. We are able to truly enjoy each other. Our time together this weekend was wonderful. We laughed and cried and laughed some more.

9 -- Faith has a safe place to stay when we travel. I am excited to pick her up this afternoon and receive all the dog kisses I've missed since Thursday.

10 -- The peace of God. "Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:7 New Living Translation

What are you thankful for? Join Jill and the rest of us here to add your own list of gratitude!

01 October 2008

Another Flickering FireFly Award

It's time for me to announce the next recipient of the Flickering FireFly Award, a award to recognize bloggers who shine the light of Christ for a watching world.

Shining For Christ

Kathy at Blessed Builder is certainly shining brightly. Check out her blog and see her love for our Lord. Congratulations Kathy, snag this little picture for your blog, give it away to others who are lighting the way with a link back to me, please, and shine, girl, shine!

29 September 2008

Listing "L" and My Ten Things for Tuesday September 30

XBOX Wife Ten Things Tuesday

Mrs. Brownstone posted last Saturday “Brainstorming B” about a game where you receive a letter of the alphabet and have to list ten things you love in your life that begin with that letter.

She challenged me with the letter “L”.

Since tomorrow is Tuesday, I am combining this game with “My Ten Things” and listing 10 things I love and am thankful for, all beginning with the letter “L

Life! Wonderful, precious, God given life! Life in all forms and all stages. To read about how God moved me from “pro-choice” to “no-choice – pro-life” go here.

Light. God made the sun and the moon and the stars, all as lights to guide our way. More than that, He Himself is the real light that shines upon us to direct our steps!

Love. God IS love. Jesus is our example and our model of true love. There is no better teacher.

Lessons. I am always learning. Often I have to learn “the hard way” through tests and trials, but I am thankful that God loves me so much that He is not content for me to remain the way I am, but desires that I grow and move from glory to glory.

Ladies’ Ministry Nights. We have begun what promises to be a powerful and impactful study by Beth Moore on the life of Daniel. Though I may miss several of the session, I am expecting great things. We have a truly awesome group of women involved. Considering that in the past I never enjoyed the company of women, this is a remarkable statement for me.

Land. I was born, raised and lived 43 years as an urbanite. Now I cannot find words to express the joy of living on 20 acres of Canadian prairie land.

Letters! I know that now most communication I receive is by email, but when they are from friends, they are letters none-the-less and a joy to read.

Lentil Soup. Red lentils, onion, garlic, tomatoes, butter and a touch of dill. Slow cooked until transformed into a total body warming pot of deliciousness. If you want the recipe, just ask.

Lilacs. I like the look of them and love the scent of them and plan to plant some near the house eventually.

Lazy days. Sometimes, and more and more often, I enjoy a day of doing nothing but resting in the arms of my Father, worshipping Jesus, learning to abide and receive all that He longs to pour into my life.

Join us at X-Box Wife and add your “Ten Things”

27 September 2008

Cafe Chat Week of September 27

This week Kim asked us "In what ways have you “conformed to this world” in your own life? Then, share the story of how God worked through you to “renew your mind” in that situation."

For some reason, though I don't often rhyme, this is what got stirred up in me this morning:

The world is quick to panic, to worry and to fret
About things that have happened
Or haven’t happened yet
And I myself would follow, with lack of faith, in fear
Of all those things around the bend
That might never appear
And then the Holy Spirit, with patience, love and grace
Did a great transforming work
That put things in their place
Now when troubles threaten, instead of getting stressed
I simply run to Jesus
And in Him always find rest.

"He will have no fear of bad news; his heart is steadfast, trusting in the LORD." Psalm 112:7

Join us at Cafe Chat and share your answer to this weeks question.

26 September 2008

Time of Transition

"To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven" Ecc 3:1

There is something unique and soul stirring about seasons changing. I seem to find myself trying to hang on to the good parts of what is passing away, while at the same time trying to leap into the best of what is to come. I know that God has me in a time of transition as well, and although I do not know what lies ahead I choose to embrace whatever changes He will bring.

Usually Rick is my photographer, yet I took a walk around the yard today, camera in hand, to capture myself what late September looks like this year.

Rick is in the middle of his fall cleanup of the gardens, removing the weeds so that the soil will be prepared for next spring's seeding. What a prophetic picture of the work God does in us.

We have already had frost, the leaves are turning colour, drying, falling and piling up, yet the grass is still green and flowers still retain some glorious blooms. I can't help but see His hand in all of this. Creation itself declares His wonder and majesty. Today I want to add my voice to the chorus, saying "Indeed our God is an awesome God"

23 September 2008

Ten Things Tuesday for September 23

XBOX Wife Ten Things Tuesday

This week I thought I would take a moment to thank God for things that I usually seem to take for granted, forgetting that each are a special gift from Him.

  1. He has given me eyes to see the beauty that surrounds me. "Light is sweet, and it pleases the eyes to see the sun." Ecclesiastes 11:7
  2. He has given me ears to hear, a cry, a laugh, a whisper, the call of a bird, the beat of a drum, a chorus of praise. "But blessed are your eyes because they see, and your ears because they hear." Matthew 13:16
  3. He has given me the sense of taste, salty, sweet, bitter, what would food be without this one? "Eat honey, my son, for it is good; honey from the comb is sweet to your taste." Proverbs 24:13
  4. He has given me a nose that smells, and those smells all seem to link up with memories. "If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be?" 1 Corinthians 12:17
  5. He has given me the sense of touch, hard, soft, smooth, hot, cold, all these sensations that connect me to life on this earth. "That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched—this we proclaim concerning the Word of life." John 1:1
  6. He has given me a tongue to speak and language skills to express myself. "The mouth of the righteous man utters wisdom, and his tongue speaks what is just." Psalm 37:30
  7. He has given me emotions so that I may feel, joy, sorrow, pain and love. "I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh." Ezekiel 36:26
  8. He has given me feet to stand and to walk. "My feet stand on level ground; in the great assembly I will praise the LORD." Psalm 26:12
  9. He has given me hands that I can lift to Him in worship. "I will praise you as long as I live, and in your name I will lift up my hands." Psalm 63:4
  10. He has given me my husband Rick who also has received al the gifts above and shares them with me. "My beloved is mine, and I am his." Song of Solomon 2:16a

Join us at Xbox Wife and share your ten things!

22 September 2008

Feeling the Lord's Presence

Beth at The Power of Your Love asked the following question:

"Have you ever really felt the Lord's presence? Really known for sure that He was nearby?"

I replied in a comment on her original post:

"I have felt His presence on rare occasions, and I belive I will write a post about the same, either here or at Flickers.

But please know also that I believe we need to acknowledge His presence whether we "feel" it or not. That's the faith part. We can't trust our own feelings anyway.

Father God, we choose this day to worship and adore You. We admit Lord God that at times we stumble in the dark, unable to see You or hear You or feel Your presence. But this day, Lord God, we choose to declare that You are here, in all of Your power, Your glory and Your love. Thank You for being You, in Jesus name."

Here is the rest of the post I promised:

One might expect God to speak in an audible, thundering voice, but for most people this doesn’t occur. The voice of God is most often experienced as a fleeting, spontaneous thought, in many ways much less dramatic than one would imagine, but no less powerful.

God also speaks through His written Word when it suddenly seems alive in a new way, speaking His truth into situations in your life. I have had words seem to leap off the page and felt a “YES” in my spirit, amazed that it was exactly what I needed to hear at that moment. That same “YES” in my spirit accompanies His voice, no matter what form it has taken. Although He will often speak to me in a style similar to my own, He speaks things I know I would not have thought of in my own mind. He doesn’t seem rushed. There is no sense of pressure. In fact, in my experience, if there is a sense of urgency, or pressure to act immediately I am almost always sure it is NOT God speaking, but the enemy.

His voice, whether audible, seen (as in dreams and visions), or sensed, will always line up with His Word, the Bible.

I have only heard His audible voice once. One morning, I was still in bed, in my quiet time of prayer, and my husband was down the hall in the den checking mail on the computer and preparing for work. I heard a male voice speak my name “Karin”. I shouted down the hall “Yes, what do you want”. My husband said “What do you mean?” I said “You called me.” He insisted that he had not spoken. “But I heard my name” I said “and there is no one in the house but you, me and the cats”. He then wisely recalled the story of Eli and Samuel in 1 Samuel 3:9 and said to me “The next time you hear, say “speak Lord, your servant is listening””. All I could do was pause in wonder, thanking the Lord that He would regard me.

I had been praying one night, asking the Lord to show me His love in a tangible way. The next morning, while still in bed, again during my quiet time of prayer, with one of my cats curled up beside me, I could feel God’s arm around me. I remember telling the cat “We’re not going to move, God is holding us.” Some years later I was talking with the Lord and reminded Him about how He put His arm around me. I could sense Him laughing as He replied “My arm? My child, that was just my little finger.” I thought, of course, He is so very big, I would fit in the palm of His hand.

Some years ago, I began to hear a quiet, gentle, metallic tinkling sound like wind chimes. This could happen anywhere, and there were no chimes present. After the chimes I would sense a thought from God, a short word of comfort, encouragement or direction. This happened so often that I began to realize that He had gifted me with the sound of chimes as a sign that He wanted to speak to me, so each time I head them I would become silent and still, waiting in faith for Him to speak. He never disappointed me. I regret that in the busyness of life I often miss hearing and have even totally forgotten the chimes for long periods of time. When I remember and mention to the Lord in prayer that I have not heard the chimes or His voice, I sense Him saying simply “You have not been listening”.

21 September 2008

Learning to Abide - Part 3 - Conclusion

I have often read Jesus teaching about the vine and the branches, but this was the first time that it was revealed to me that just as the branch is nothing without the vine, the vine is also nothing without the branch. How astounding to think that Christ is nothing without His people on earth. The vine cannot bear fruit, only the branches have that ability. The vine exists to serve the branches. This is the vine’s only purpose. The branches exist only to serve the vine by bearing its fruit, and they only survive because the vine exists to nourish them. I need not worry or strive to bear this fruit on my own, the Father, referred to as “the husbandman” tends to both the vine and the branches. It is His desire that I bear good fruit, and He will do what must be done to assure that this comes to pass. The more a branch is pruned, the more fruit it soon brings forth. It has become my desire to submit willingly, even eagerly to this cutting away. At times this seems painful, more so when situations are beyond my current understanding. Again it comes back to a matter of faith. I must rest in my belief that the Lord Himself is doing a work in me, knows exactly what He is doing, and that all will be revealed to me when I am ready to receive the understanding. I have often used the expression “hindsight is 20/20 vision” and so it is with the pruning God has done in my life. I can look back and see why He needed to cut away and remove certain things from my life and also see the resulting new growth that has occurred. This fruitfulness is all to glorify the Lord, and my heart’s cry is that indeed He will be glorified.

I have learned that I need not spend my time fretting about how to abide for the long term. All I have is each moment, and in each moment I can choose to abide in Him. Whenever the thought arises “abide in Me” (prompted by the Holy Spirit, no doubt) I can say “Yes Lord”, again and again and again. I can only live each moment for itself and the next moment and the next after will take care of themselves. Much like Jesus taught His disciples, of which I may be counted:

“So never worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." Matthew 6:34 International Standard Version

By meditating on, pondering and absorbing the revelation of truths in this book, I have noticed increasing joy in my spirit. I would also say there is a greater sense of peace than I have previously known. I pray that in time I will be better able to articulate all I have learned. Even so, I will continue to surrender each moment, and continue in faith to declare, “Lord Jesus, I abide in You”.

20 September 2008

Learning to Abide - Part 2

I can only abide in Christ because He calls me to. I can not do this in my own power, but instead it is an act of faith and an act of choice. I must simply believe and declare that I choose to abide in Him and trust that He will make it so. This is all beyond reason. I was one who struggled long and hard with the call to salvation, for my rational mind could not conceive of the promises God was whispering to me. Even the basic truths of the “good news” I could not reconcile with what my reason was telling me. It was only when a precious friend told me that I had to leave reason behind that I was able to learn what faith truly meant, believing what I could not see.

"Now faith is [the] assurance [or, substance] of [things] being hoped for [or, being confidently expected], [the] confident assurance [or, proof] of things not seen." (Hebrews 11:1) Analytical-Literal Translation

I had to walk into salvation, taking a step into the unknown, with faith that God would catch me. The same is true of abiding. I do abide in Christ because I believe I abide in Christ. The rational mind says it cannot be that simple. Human reasoning makes things much more complicated than they actually are. What joy to learn that it is not in my hands at all, but because Christ calls me. And as for joy, boundless joy, it too is found as I abide. Jesus spoke that truth to me directly as I was journaling:

“Lord, in a dream or vision this morning I saw two brightly wrapped gift boxes. At first, I thought these were gifts I was late in giving to others, but a bit later the thought dropped into my spirit that these were gifts You had given to me but I had forgotten, put aside and had not opened yet. I am so sorry Lord God if I have ignored what You have so freely given. I do not wish to take anything from You for granted, not a single blessing should remain without thanks and praises to You. Can You tell me Lord which gifts I have left unopened? I feel like a child on Christmas morning, expecting great treasures, hungry to learn what I have been given, over anxious with greed, but greedy for You alone, my Lord.

Rightly you saw two boxes, for I say I have given to you new gifts in these days. These have not been sitting ignored or wasted, but freshly given to you, My beloved child. Both of these gifts are meant to be opened again and again. The first is wisdom, new each day as you allow My Spirit to reveal truth to your spirit. Wisdom you cannot obtain from the world. It is My wisdom, given as you need it and as you are prepared to receive it.

The second gift is My daily invitation to come away with Me. Come away in Me. It is the invitation to abide. The invitation to My bride.

Open these with greedy hands, yes, and a greedy heart, for I so long to see the joy they give you. Abide in Me, where Our joy is complete.”

All that Jesus is, I can be also, through Him, as I begin to abide. All that He possesses is then at my disposal as well. As I abide in Christ I will also have His heart for the lost, not because of any striving on my part, but out of the abiding and communion with Him where His heart becomes my heart. This is in fact what I have been praying for; to hear His heartbeat, feel His heartbeat. Without having words for it, I have for a long while been crying out for and aching to abide, but didn’t know I could, and didn’t know how.

I have known there must be less of me and more of Him, but I have learned there must be none of me and ALL of Him! I cannot fully abide in Christ until there is no me, no self left at all. Then all that I am is all that He Is. Is this possible? To my natural mind it seems impossible to die to myself completely, it is not a natural act or process however, it is supernatural and can only be possible because of the Holy Spirit that indwells and guides me. My natural man fears death of self while my spirit man hungers for the same, to be totally lost and then totally found in Jesus.

Cafe Chat Week of September 20th

Kim posed another good question this week:

Colossians 3:23-24 states, “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.”

This verse is the inspiration for today’s question.

How would your life look differently if you embraced and believed fully what the verse in Colossians states? If the truth above is something you already believe and actively live out, how does this truth make a difference in your life?

A few years ago, I was so struck by this scripture that I printed it out in a fancy font, framed it and have it hanging behind my desk at work. I truly do believe that my God wants me to know I make a difference in the world. I need not seek man's approval for I already have the approval of my Father. I am working for Jesus, whether I am doing a fund raising project, giving counsel and support to a weary caregiver, speaking about various aspects of dementia, serving in church, or taking care of my home. All things and everything I do, I do for Him.

I need to remember that when I am tired and don't really want to do the job anymore it is God who placed me here. In obedience, I will continue to attempt to bloom where He has planted me. Even when I don't understand, I will trust that He knows exactly what He's doing.

Join us at Cafe Chat and share your answer to this weeks questions.

19 September 2008

Learning to abide - Part 1

I have just completed a paper for my Naturally Supernatural course at Christian Leadership University on truths I learned from Andrew Murray's book Abide In Christ. It is somewhat lengthy, so I shall share it in parts.

When I refer to journaling session, note that the words in regular type are mine and the words in italics are those I sense the Lord saying back to me.

I have been learning to seek the Lord at all times, for all things, so while I was preparing to begin this paper, I had the following journaling session:

“Lord God, I have just finished reading Abide In Christ and now my assignment is to write a paper about the truths I have learned and how they have impacted my life. I ask Lord God which revelations and truths You would have me focus on. How would You like me to write this paper?

I see us sitting together on a leather sofa, like friends who have just completed the same book and want to share their thoughts. Then I see You patting the seat right next to You, calling me to come closer.

Yes, I am saying “Rest”. Come closer, perhaps closer than ever before, closer than what would feel comfortable to natural man. “How close?” you ask. Where skin is no boundary, flesh no barrier. I am calling you to step into Me. There you can and do abide, if only you believe it to be so. Faith is key here, little one, believing it is so. “Against all odds, He still loves me” is what you are thinking, and love you I do. Can you find rest in that? Can you find peace in that? Joy?
Come to a place of belief, even when you do not understand. Just like your earthly parents spoke when you were a child, as My child there are some things you must believe simply because “I said so”
You have the right to abide in Me. My invitation is for you now, not for some future time of perfection. You can’t find perfection without that abiding, no matter how long you struggle. It will only be found in surrender, for in abiding you are who I Am, and I Am perfect.
I Am not too lofty a goal. You can attain Me for I Myself call to you, reach to you and bring you to Myself. Yes, into Myself. And as I absorb you, so you also absorb all that I Am. That is life – spirit to Spirit. Let Me be glorified in you.

There were many truths that touched me and changed me, some in ways I likely do not yet perceive. I felt that so much was being poured into me that I could not contain it all. I had a sense of over fullness, a sense of overflow. I have been trying to relate what I am learning to those around me, praying that God would be glorified through my words, but others are having difficulty understanding what I’m trying to share. It seems that without time spent with the Holy Spirit revealing these truths they are almost impossible to grasp.

The Flickering FireFly Award

Have you ever wondered why my name is FireFly or HisFireFly? As we were getting to know each other (very quickly, may I add, but that is another story, for another time) my beloved Rick began to call me FireFly. When I asked him why, he said that God gave him that name for me because I reflect His light. Of course I fell in love with it instantly and have been FireFly ever since. The name HisFireFly marks me as belonging both to God and to my husband.

After much time of praying and asking the Lord, I felt I was to create The Flickering FireFly Award.

Shining For Christ

This award is to recognize bloggers who shine the light of Christ for a watching world.

The very first winner of this new award is Beth at warmHarte and The Power of Your Love

Beth is an amazing example of not hiding one's light under a bushel. Congratulations Beth, snag this little picture for your blog, give it away to others who are lighting the way with a link back to me, please.

And Beth, keep on, keep on shining!

18 September 2008

Word Art

My friend Beth at warmHarte and The Power of Your Love posted a "wordle" on her sight and it was so lovely I had to try it myself.

This was created from the words in an assignment I wrote about what it means for me to live in Christ.
Try creating your own word art at wordle. Be blessed and please share!

17 September 2008

Change of seasons

I feel a deep chill in the air today and I know that there is no denying that summer has indeed ended and even our autumn may soon be over. Winter can come ferociously and without warning here in Manitoba.

Yes, I know there will yet be some warmer days, but for now, my thoughts are of curling up under a blanket with a cup of hot tea; heating the house with an oven busy baking breads and other tasty treats; pots of soup or stew on the stove; watching the wind take the dying leaves for a dizzying flight outside my window.

This is a time to be thankful for all that God Is and all He has provided for us:

We continue to process the fruits of our garden.
We have a home that can be made fast against the storms of winter.
We know the God that Daniel wrote of:

"He changes times and seasons; he sets up kings and deposes them. He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the discerning." Daniel 2:21

16 September 2008

My Ten Things for Tuesday September 16

XBOX Wife Ten Things Tuesday

I am amazed how quickly it is Tuesday again. Time seems to have wings.

I am learning more each day the importance of what Paul taught us "give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." 1 Thessalonians 5:18

Here's my list for this week:

  1. The rains have stopped, the temperatures have moderated and the farmers are back out on the fields trying to complete the harvest before cold and snow close in. Yes, it can happen this early in Manitoba.
  2. I have been invited to contribute to the new blog started by Sailorcross called The Power of Your Love
  3. The harvest from our garden has been extravagant. I will have much to give away.
  4. I was finally able to get the grass cut on Friday. I could probably bale it and have a hay ride with what's lying on the ground now.
  5. Rick had his regular day off yesterday instead of having to work overtime, and got much done in the garden.
  6. I finished reading "Abide in Christ" and now can write the paper that completes my current assignment. There is so much to absorb about the truths revealed in Jesus simple invitation "abide in Me"
  7. I am being taken out for a belated birthday lunch today by a very dear friend.
  8. God's love endures forever.
  9. I have food and shelter and love surrounding me when so many must find a way to live without any of these things.
  10. No matter what tomorrow brings, God is in control

What are you thankful for today? Join us here and add your list.

13 September 2008

Celebrating my husband!

This is Day 6 of my comittment to the 30-Day Encourage Your Husband Challenge and I have enjoyed asking the Lord to give me new words to speak life into my beloved. In the process I am finding more and more reasons to appreciate him as the man God created him to be.

For Rick's part, I believe he is beginning to think of himself in new ways too. If I can help him see himself through God's eyes, then I will have accomplished what I have been called to do.

Today, I rejoice in Rick's ability to capture life on film (or these days, should I say, in digital images). His talent creates a permanent visual record of our journey through this world and his unique way of perceiving it.
God knows exactly what He is doing when he joins two people together. He knows what skills and abilities He has placed in each, and how together two can be more than the sum of one plus one. My prayer is that as Rick and I continue to grow closer to Christ and to each other, our lives will glorify our God.

Cafe Chat Week of September 13

Kim’s question this week is one many of us have answered before at various stages in our lives. It would be quite interesting if we had records of previous responses just to see how we have changed over the years.

"If you were deserted on an island for 1 year with absolutely no connection to the outside world (not even one person), what 3 things would you bring with you?"

This question arises at the perfect time for me, as I am busy studying and meditating on “Abiding in Christ”. To be stranded on that island sounds like just what I need to complete my lessons, having no one but my Lord to keep company with and nothing to distract me from His presence.

I can answer quickly, with no doubt or wavering. I would have with me a Bible, a journal and a pen.

I have proven through times of prolonged prayer and fasting that I can survive without eating. His written Word is what I desire to live and feed on, for as it says in Deuteronomy 8:3:

“And He humbled you and allowed you to hunger and fed you with manna, which you did not know nor did your fathers know, that He might make you recognize and personally know that man does not live by bread only, but man lives by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of the Lord.” Amplified Version

The journal and pen are to record what He speaks, reveals and teaches, and to write down prayers, answers and praises to He Who alone is worthy of such!

What would you bring with you? Join us at Cafe Chat and share your answers.

09 September 2008

Ten Things Tuesday September 9

XBOX Wife Ten Things Tuesday

This week my 10 things is dedicated to my husband Rick. I am so abundantly blessed that our Lord placed him in my life.

Elizabeth Barrett Browning penned: "How do I love thee? Let me count the ways."

Let me take a bit of creative license here and say: "Why do I thank God for Rick? Let me count the ways."
  1. Rick loves God above all else. That keeps his other priorities aligned.
  2. Rick is not afraid to say "I'm sorry"
  3. Rick has the same quirky sense of humour I do. We laugh often.
  4. Rick is a lifelong learner.
  5. Rick is quick to encourage and support me in whatever I believe God is asking me to do.
  6. Rick's bag of tricks, his knowledge and abilities fill in the gaps and compliment my own.
  7. Rick has a heart that has been kneaded, molded and softened by the Lord.
  8. Rick always finds new ways to surprise me with his kindness.
  9. Rick handles our finances with skill and Kingdom mindedness.
  10. Rick is Rick! He is exactly who God created him to be but open to the Lord's ongoing and never ending work in his life. God is taking him from glory to glory, and I get to come along for the ride.

What are you thankful for today? Join us at My Ten Things and share your blessings.

08 September 2008

30 Day Challenge

After reading snips about it on many blogging friends pages, I have decided to accept the 30-Day Husband Encouragement Challenge offered at Revive Our Hearts

Here's the challenge :

  • For the next 30 days I can not say anything negative about my husband. Neither to my husband directly, nor to anyone else.
  • For each of those same 30 days I will say something that I admire or appreciate about my husband, both to my husband directly and to someone else.

So, today, Day 1, I would like to tell you all that I have been blessed with a husband who has a heart to know God more deeply with each passing day. I am not only joined with him in marriage, but we are also best friends. Together we attempt to display to the world the truth of Ecclesiastes 4:9-12:

"Two are better than one, Because they have a good reward for their labor. For if they fall, one will lift up his companion. But woe to him who is alone when he falls, For he has no one to help him up. Again, if two lie down together, they will keep warm; But how can one be warm alone? Though one may be overpowered by another, two can withstand him. And a threefold cord is not quickly broken." New King James Version

Creating Woman

I received this via email a few days ago. I rarely post things that are not my own words, but this is just too good to keep to myself. I will be sharing it tomorrow night at our Fall Kick-off for Women's Ministries which is a campfire here at our place. Our new name is W.O.W. standing for Women Of Worth. Do you think this fits in?

When God created a woman, He was working late on the 6th day. An angel came by and said, ''Why spend so much time on that one?''

And the Lord answered, ''Have you seen all the specifications I had to meet to shape her? She must be washable, but not made of plastic, have more than 200 moving parts which all must be replaceable and she must function on all kinds of food, she must be able to embrace several kids at the same time, give a hug that can heal anything from a bruised knee to a broken heart and she must do all these with only two hands.”

The angel was impressed, ''Just two hands?..impossible! And this is the standard model!?! Too much work for one day..wait until tomorrow and complete her.''

''I will not.'' said the Lord. ''I am so close to complete this creation, which will be the favourite of my heart. She cures herself when sick and she can work 18hrs a day.''

The angel came nearer and touched the woman. ''But my Lord, you have made her soft.''

''She is soft” said the Lord. ''But I've also made her strong. You can imagine what she can endure and overcome''

''Can she think?'' the angel asked.

The Lord answered, ''Not only can she think she can also reason and negotiate.''

The angel touches the woman's cheek... ''Lord, it seems this creation is leaking! You have put too much burdens on her.''

''She's not leaking...it's a tear.'' The Lord corrected the angel.'

'What is it for?'' asked the angel.

And the Lord said, ''Tears are her way of expressing grief, her doubts, her love, her loneliness, her suffering and her pride.''

This made a very big impression on the angel. ''Lord, you are a genius. You thought of everything. The woman is indeed marvelous!''

Indeed she is!

A woman has strengths that amaze man. She can handle trouble and carry heavy burdens. She holds happiness, love and opinions. She smiles when feeling like screaming. She sighs when she feels like crying, cries when she is happy and laughs when she is afraid. She fights for what she believes in. She stands up against injustice. She doesn't take 'no' for an answer. She gives herself so that her family can thrive. She takes her friend to the doctors if she is afraid. Her love is unconditional. She cries when her kids are victorious. She's happy when her friends do well. She's glad when she hears of a birth or a wedding. Her heart is broken when a next of kin or friend dies. But she finds the strength to get on with life. She knows that a kiss and a hug can heal a broken heart.

But there's only one thing wrong with her...


06 September 2008

No Words?

I've been back home from holidays for almost a week and the time has simply rushed away from me. We have been blessed with abundant harvest from our vegetable garden which leaves me busy canning and freezing. September is always a busy time at work with the annual Alzheimer Coffee Break taking place. Next week I host a gathering for our Women's Ministries group here and have cleaning and prep work to do after being away. I also have much studying left to do to complete my curent course by the end of this month. (Okay, take a breath.)

My class is called Naturally Supernatural and it is all about learning how to abide in Christ, and in the midst of all the hurry, hurry, Jesus is telling me what He desires is for me to simply rest in Him. What an amazing idea! In fact, it's my heart's desire too. All I have wanted to do is just snuggle up with Jesus in my Father's arms. When I give time to that pursuit, He seems to multiply the remaining time so I can accomplish all that is set before me.

Yesterday I was working on a journaling session for class where I was to ask the Lord what His vision for my life was. One of the things He clearly said was "You will hear My words and you will speak My words, both with your tongue and with your pen. Boldness will be there for you to draw upon when I call you to speak hard truths. Love will be available for you to share when the oil of healing is needed."

Funny thing is, I haven't been able to write since....

I think I'll go rest and listen.

02 September 2008

My Ten Things for Tuesday September 2nd

XBOX Wife Ten Things Tuesday

1) Today I am thankful for the truth of Hebrews 13:8 "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever." Whatever comes, I know that He is in control.

2) Today I am thankful for safe air travel to and from Chicago, favour with customs and immigration staff, and no delays.

3) Today I am thankful for wonderful time spent with family but also for time to spend alone with Rick exploring new locations like the Milwaukee Zoo.

4) Today I am thankful we were able to attend church Sunday morning at my old church and meet people who remember me and are interested in what God has been doing in my life.

5) Today I am thankful for the message preached on Sunday about facing fears. Our mighty God always knows exactly what we need to hear.

6) Today I am thankful that even away on holidays God gave me the time and desire to complete my lessons for the week and stay on schedule.

7) Today I am thankful that I am blessed to have a job, even if I would rather be at home today and not here at work.

8) Today I am thankful for the rain that keeps falling and falling and falling. It's abundance is overwhelming and ill timed for the harvesting farmers, but I know that God must have a plan even if we don't understand it yet.

9) Today I am thankful, joyously thankful, that God has placed me exactly where He wants me, here in rural Manitoba, and that I love to come home.

10) Today I am thankful that in a few hours I can pick up my beloved Faith from the kennel. I have been "Faithless" for more than a week while we were away and need a big dose of her unconditional dog love.

What are you thankful for today? Go to X-Box wife and join us!

28 August 2008


Just a brief hello for those of you that might be missing me and wondering where we are. Was I ever really a Chicago girl?

This now country girl is back in the city on holidays, thanking her Lord that He has so changed her life in the past eight years. (Hmmmmmmmm, 8, new beginnings again)

The pace of life here is absurdly fast for no good reason. I feel like I need to catch my breath.

We spent last night on Navy Pier. Ride on the giant ferris wheel where Rick was able to shoot these pictures, dinner, Cirque Shanghai then fireworks.
Yes, it's a very nice place to visit, but how did I ever live here?