30 June 2009

Feeling Dry?

We check the weather forecast on the Environment Canada website several times each day, where sometimes it mentions precipitation and sometimes it doesn't. I'm not sure why we look, for no matter what they predict there has not been measurable rain in our area in quite a long time.

It's dry. Very dry. When we drive down our gravel roads the dust rises like clouds around our vehicles. One learns to drive with the windows closed. Hard for things to grow without the nourishing refreshment of rain. Plants being to grow pale, wither and fade in the hot sun.

How does our vegetable garden grow? How do I maintain the bright splashes of colour that flowers provide?
We are blessed to have a very deep well on our property, an endless supply of water, free water. Rick can go out and turn the sprinkler on all night if he needs to, providing the moisture that is so badly needed. Our plants then grow, thrive and produce.

In the same way, our spirits cannot grow when we are dry. We too grow pale, wither and fade. But there is good news! We have an abundant source, an endless supply of everything that we need. The Lord is always there waiting for us to draw upon the resources He so graciously provides.

So often, instead of turning to the only One Who can satisfy, we go our own way, dig our own wells and assume we can handle life in our own power.

"My people have committed a compound sin: they've walked out on me, the fountain of fresh flowing waters, and then dug cisterns— cisterns that leak, cisterns that are no better than sieves" Jeremiah 2:13 The Message Bible

Help us, help me, Lord, to turn to You first and always. You Are Jehovah Jireh, my Provider, in times of lack and in times of plenty. May I always remember to cleave to, trust in and rely on You.

"He who believes in Me [who cleaves to and trusts in and relies on Me] as the Scripture has said, From his innermost being shall flow [continuously] springs and rivers of living water." John 7:30 Amplified

27 June 2009

Too much sun

This was the first year we decided to try growing a few shade plants on the east side of the house where we used to be overrun with hollyhocks. Now, I loved the hollyhocks, which were here when we moved in. They were a variety of almost Victorian pinks, but the last two years some sort of disease had plagued them, so we (okay, Rick) dug deep to remove what traces of them he could find.

We started two different hostas early in the house and they were growing well. We had high hopes that they would thrive where we planted them. It appears however that we get more sun on the east side than we had imagined, and the hostas were not at all happy. Looking at them last night wilting and fading struck something in Rick and though he knows that transplanting can be shocking and often even deadly he dug them out and moved them to a new spot on the north side where we hang begonias and other shade loving flowers. When I took a walk about the house and checked on them this morning they already appeared to be healing.

This leaves me wondering how long some of us tolerate conditions or situations that are harming us simply because we fear that the process of change will be even worse. God didn't design us to merely exist, He desires us to prosper so that we may bear fruit for His glory. He loves us too much to allow us to stay stuck in the scorching sun if shade is what will help us grow. I pray that I become ever more sensitive to His voice as He tries to direct my every step.

"Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, "This is the way; walk in it."" Isaiah 30:21

Jacob's Ladder

This is a picture of the detail God gives to each of His creations! We have masses of these beautiful flowers just outside our back door, all similar, yet each still unique, just like us!

This is my entry in the Nature category of Dawn's photo contest at My Home Sweet Home Check it out and enter your favourite picture.

She captured our hearts

Rick caught the charming face of this little one on a road around Kampala, Uganda in December 2007. We were blessed to be a part of a Global Build Team for Watoto Childcare Ministries. Watoto children were once orphans, and now each have a home with a house mother and 7 other children that become their family for a lifetime. This girl was not a Watoto child, and only God knows her fate.

Dawn is having a photo contest at My Home Sweet Home Check it out and enter your favourite picture.

This is an entry for my beloved husband Rick in the People/Culture category.

25 June 2009

Cafe Chat Thursday

This week, Kim asked "So today, I ask you what does it mean that you are able to call God your Father? Really think about this one, and then just let your words flow from your heart..."

I'm a child of The King, not a king of a country, or region, but King over all things. My King is not hard or cold or cruel, He Is the King of love. He Is love itself, and I am His daughter, a child of love. To be His child then, I must walk in that same love. No, it's not an easy task, not when my flesh cries out for it's own wants, it's own needs. But... I can go see my Dad, and He will supply me again and again with all the love I need. He will fill me to overflowing so I have plenty to pour out on others.

I can run to Him when I'm hurting and He will lift me into His arms, already waiting for me, already knowing I was going to fall before my foot slipped. I can trust that He will rejoice with me in every victory. He knew I would succeed before I began. He knows, He knows all things.

These days my earthly father struggles with memory loss and delusions, and the connection we once had fades with each visit. I pray that he too will feel the love my Daddy God has for him, but he doesn't yet know the way to reach for Him, he doesn't know Jesus as the doorway to the Father's heart.

I know that both my father and My Father love me, and I pray that in His mercy and His grace, they will come to love each other too.

How would you answer Kim's question this week? Join us at Cafe Chat and share your thoughts and your heart.

24 June 2009

Eyes of Faith

Yesterday afternoon I grabbed Rick's camera and headed out to the barn hoping to catch a few pictures of Cream's five kittens. I was unsuccessful in that mission, but did get some lovely shots of our dog Faith. I wonder what the world looks like through those baby blues.

I know that my world certainly looks different when I look through "eyes of faith".

"Through faith we understand that the worlds came into being, and still exist, at the command of God, so that what is seen does not owe its existence to that which is visible." Hebrews 11:3 WNT

23 June 2009

Apple Seeds

Anyone can count the seeds in an apple...
but only God can count the apples in a seed.
-- Author Unknown

This quote arrived in my husband's email this morning and I have been chewing on it for most of the day.

Only God. Those two words speak volumes. Anyone can do some things, but only God can do all things. Many people have knowledge of some things, even profound knowledge about certain things, but only God knows all things. Of course we can count the seeds in the apple, for they are visible to our natural eye, but only God knows the hidden things.

"He reveals deep and hidden things; He knows what lies in darkness,and light dwells with him." Daniel 2:22 NIV

This simple quote reminds me that any wisdom I may have or think I have is even smaller than a single grain of sand compared to the knowledge of our Lord.

“My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the Lord. “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts." Isaiah 55:8-9 NLT

Only God knows the potential that lies within each thing He has created. He doesn't just know how many apples will come from that seed, He also knows what potential waits inside of me. Today I choose to bow in wonder of only God.

Something Rare

I consider this blog to be a place where I share what the Lord has placed on my heart, in the words He gives me to write. But I feel that I MUST share this word by Mark Chironna that was published on Elijah List today. I sense that there are many of us who need to be encouraged by this word from the Lord.

The ElijahList - Mark Chironna: "This Season the Lord is Revealing Hidden Treasures Deep Within Our Hearts and Spirits. Dare to Believe!"

Shared via AddThis

20 June 2009

Cafe Chat Week of June 20th

Kim's question this week is: "Name 3 qualities or characteristics of a good/close friend. Explain why the qualities or characteristics you listed are important to you in your friendships" I wasn't expecting this question to move my heart to dig this deeply, and my reply follows:

Integrity -- "Integrity may be seen as the quality of having a sense of honesty and truthfulness in regard to the motivations for one's actions. The term "hypocrisy" is used in contrast to integrity" from Wikipedia

Transparency -- "Transparency, as used in the humanities and Pilatian theories, when used in a social context, implies openness, communication, and accountability. It is a metaphorical extension of the meaning a "transparent" object is one that can be seen through." from Wikipedia

Love -- "Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres." 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 NIV

It does not seem possible for me to have a genuine friendship if the people involved are not genuine as well. When I invest myself in a relationship I am looking for something more than icing on a cake, I'm looking for bread, for meat, for accountability. I have known many women who I can enjoy spending time with, having fun and sharing a moment, but if it never goes any deeper than that, they may join my list of "girlfriends" but they do not become what I consider a "good friend" or someone I enter into a covenant relationship with.

A covenant friend is consistent and true to who God created them to be, bearing the mark of integrity. A covenant friend will allow me to see who they are, on good days and bad. That kind of transparency builds trust and history. It allows me to heed the words of the Apostle Paul "Rejoice with those who rejoice [sharing others' joy], and weep with those who weep [sharing others' grief]." Romans 12:15 Amplified

A covenant friend will speak to me about the "hard things" in life and because I know they are speaking in love I am able to receive their words. For the same reason, they allow me to speak into their life also.

What qualities do you seek in a "good friend"? Join Kim at Cafe Chat and share your thoughts.

Picture in the clouds

I was driving home Wednesday after a full day of absorbing teaching on discipleship via simulcast of Rick Warren's Purpose Driven Summit. Worship music filled the car and I was singing praises to our mighty God as I gazed out at the beauty of the fields bursting with new growth. Spring was a long time coming to our part of the world this year, but it's finally time to rejoice!

One formation of clouds caught my attention. It appeared to be a small house with a bandaid across it. "How odd" I thought, and then sensed the Lord saying "That is My church and My church is bleeding."

Disunity, strife, striving, grumbling and complaining, all these and more create wounds that the world can see. My heart beats with the desires of the Father to see His church united and at peace. I am thankful for this reminder of this truth as Paul spoke to the Ephesians:

"As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to one hope when you were called— one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all" Ephesians 4:1-6

18 June 2009

His Astounding Creativity

Our jacob's ladders enjoy cool weather and were the first plants in our garden to flower.

"And he dreamed, and behold a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven; and behold the angels of God ascending and descending on it." Genesis 28:12

No, I have not seen the type of vision that Jacob saw, but how can I gaze upon the exquisite beauty of these flowers and not see God's asounding creativity? Every delicate stroke of colour was placed perfectly by His loving hand.

I challenge you to take a walk outside, look around at all He has done and then try to deny His glorious nature.

15 June 2009

Stepping into new shoes

Yesterday morning, we were taking some extra time to laze in bed before getting up for church. These are times that our Lord often shows me pictures that seem silly and meaningless. What I first saw was a small pair of shoes, similar to wooden clogs. "I just saw a pair of shoes" I said to my husband, who said "hmmmm" and went back to sleep.

"Okay Lord" I asked, "what's with the shoes?"

I then began to see a series of shoes, each pair different from the last. The last pair was quite large, and this is when I sensed the Lord begin to speak.

Yes, these shoes do look too big for you. You will feel that they are too big for you. But these are your shoes. This is the pair I want you to step into. These are your shoes. Walk in them.

So, it seems the Lord is about to stretch me again. Yes Lord God, I hear You. Yes Lord, I will be obedient to do as You say. May I boldly step into the new things you are placing before me, standing in faith and knowing that it is Your design.
"and having 'put on your feet as shoes the preparation of the Gospel of peace" (Ephesians 6:15)

12 June 2009

Cleansing Wind

The temperatures here in our little part of the North are finally rising. I replaced the down comforter on our bed with a summer quilt. I moved about the house opening windows that have been shut since last autumn, allowing the wind to stir up the stagnant air that has filled these rooms.

In the same way, my prayer today is that God, by His Holy Spirit will blow gently through our lives, clearing away the dust and cobwebs that have collected over the last little while. May He sift through all of our scattered thoughts and blow away that which is no longer needed. May He remove all of the staleness and release His sweet fragrance, that we would be pleasing unto Him and bring glory to His Name.

"Awake, O north wind; and come, thou south; blow upon my garden, that the spices thereof may flow out. Let my beloved come into his garden, and eat his precious fruits." Song of Solomon 4:16

Refresh us, oh Lord, as You prepare us for the days ahead.

10 June 2009

A Woman Inspired or Ignited?

I have completed three out of four days of the "A Woman Inspired - Ministry Online Conference". Each evening my husband has asked me "What did you learn today?" and I have tried to answer in some sane fashion, while my mind has been spinning with new ideas, concepts and convictions.

I'm learning about how to introduce my Twitter to my Facebook and let them build a relationship of their own. I'm taking tests to determine my personality type. What colours best represent that personality? Who am I trying to reach? How has God gifted me? What am I most passionate about and how can I best share that passion? And more... and more....

It's not about me, it's all about Him, and all that I say, write and do is (or should be) to bring Him glory.

Have I been inspired? I think perhaps it would be better to say I've been ignited! Anyone else feel the same way?

Our 2009 Global Day of Prayer gathering

Here is just a small taste of our worship, rejoicing, prayers and declarations as we joined with the rest of the world in prayer on May 31st. We had people pray in Afrikaans, Nigerian , Korean and Norwegian, as well as Canada's three languages - English, French and the aboriginal Ojibway.

"if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land." 2 Chronicles 7:14

03 June 2009

Global Day of Prayer 2009

10 days of united and focused prayer concluded Sunday evening with our Global Day of Prayer gathering. The Spirit of the Lord was moving in our worship, and in our prayers and declarations. This year I was able to find people to read parts of the "Prayer For The World" in different languages. We began with Afrikaans, to honour the nation of South Africa where the vision was birthed.

I knew that God was at work when unexpectedly an Aboriginal Pastor, his wife and friends joined us. We were blessed to have him pray in Ojibway and release a word about revival over our area.

"I feel the Holy Ghost is in this house. I want you to know, saints of God, the Spirit of Revival is hovering over Dauphin. And each church is going to receive a special visitation by the Spirit of God and everyone's needs are going to be met. The spiritual needs."

With a part of the prayer also being read in French, we had all 3 languages of Canada declared into the heavens!

Prayers were also read in a Nigerian dialect and in Norwegian. A Korean minster was in attendance with a group from another church in our region, and though he did not speak from the pulpit, Asia was also represented through his prayers.

On two occassions we broke off into small groups to spend time in repentence and to pray for the lost. These moments of prayer were intense and powerful, and I wished I didn't need to break them up and call us all back together.

Lord, we love You. Lord, we adore You. Lord, continue to break our hearts over the dis-unity in the Church and lead us along the paths You desire, roads that bring us closer to You and to each other, that we might truly be the Body of Christ, the bride You will return for,

"The one who is testifying to these things says, "Yes, I am coming soon!" Amen! Come, Lord Jesus!" Revelation 22:20