Monday, April 26, 2010

Grace Of My Life

Grace Of My Life is a song by Brian Littrell.  While the song is about his wife, I can so resonate with the lyrics as they relate to my hubby!  He is the greatest gift that God has given to me --- he is the one whom my soul loves!!!  Here's a video and the lyrics follow... (Please pause the Playlist on the sidebar as you watch this video.)

Grace Of My Life

I lie awake so often at night
With something to read or something to write
In the silence my mind is free
To think of the ways that God has blessed me

It's easy to see how He's been so kind
Any proof I might need is right here by my side

You are the grace of my life
So tender, so undeserved
Hard to believe you're my wife {husband :-)}
Even harder to put what I feel into words
If I need evidence God is good
Just looking at you is enough
You are the grace of my life
For you grace my life with your love

Love that is pure, so faithful and strong
You forgive me when I do you wrong
I've seen in you time after time
A picture on earth of love so divine

Oh, I am amazed for how can it be
That someone like you would love someone like me

You are the grace of my life
So tender, so undeserved
Hard to believe you're my wife {husband :-)}
Even harder to put what I feel into words
If I need evidence God is good
Just looking at you is enough
You are the grace of my life
For you grace my life with your love

Joining God

Happy Monday, everyone!  Wow, April's been busy!!!  I can tell because of the number of blog posts on here for this month... this one will only be the fourth.  It's been busy indeed... not only tangible busy-ness but also in my soul.  God's been stirring me...

So, rewind back to Living Proof Live back in March.  The main theme verses were from Isaiah 43: 18-19 and they are:
Forget the former things;
do not dwell on the past. 
See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the desert
and streams in the wasteland. 
Originally, I made up my mind that God was using these verses to speak to me about another situation in my life.  As the hours after the conference turned into days and weeks, it became increasingly clear to me that HE is speaking to me about something else!  Duh... I can be so clueless sometimes!

Beth Moore explained that the "former things" being referred to in the verse is a good thing --- it was the parting of the Red Sea!  So, why were the Israelites being commanded to "forget the former things" and "not dwell on the past"?  It is because God is "doing a new thing"!  And if we keep living in the past, we wouldn't be able to "perceive it".  This new thing will be different --- "a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland" as opposed to a way through the waters (Red Sea) and dry ground on the sea bed.

You see... God is showing me that the "former things" in my life is my job!  I've been working at this job for close to 10 years now.  It is a good thing in my life... extra income, health benefits, part-time, work-from-home allowing me to be here for my kids!  The "new thing" is an opportunity to join God in the larger church-planting work here in the GTA using my administrative gifts!

This past week, initial steps have been taken to make this transition happen and they have been positive!  I would job share with a friend --- taking me down to 15 hours/week at my job.  I would then use my afternoons for this "new thing".  I am excited and scared both at the same time... and taking this one step at a time as God opens the doors.

This morning, my devotional reading was entitled When God Calls A Woman!  How appropriate, I thought jokingly!  I didn't know how appropriate it really was until I actually read it.  Here's a portion of it:
What's more, God knew what He was getting when He called you, too—someone about your size, with your heart, your personality, your accent, your background, your talents, and even your flaws. God looked you over good and said, "Yep, she'll make a fine partner! Someone who recognizes the reality of that statement understands that they are not working for God but with God. There is a huge difference. 

Fear, worry, and anxiety are symptoms of doubt. Doubt often means our focus is on self instead of God. When we trust God to do what we can't, it takes the burden off us and places it on Him. Then, as we look to God, we see reflected in His eyes great potential that only He can accomplish as we join Him.
My prayer is that I can give my fear, worry and anxiety over to God --- that all I will feel about this "new thing" is excitement!  The devotional ended with a prayer and here it is:
Dear Lord, I don't always see the obvious — Your provision; but I trust it's there to empower and guide me beyond my imagination. I'm placing my fear aside today and saying "yes" to whatever You have for me. Lead the way with assurance and clarity. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
That is my prayer too!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Team Haiti

Today, I am blogging to share an awesome mission opportunity in which you can be involved.  As we all know, on January 12 of this year, a devastating earthquake hit Haiti.  This event affected Haiti in ways that words can't even express... the situation in this island nation went from being bad to worse.

Haiti has been in my heart since this earthquake struck and I have already blogged about this situation a couple times over the last few months... those posts can be found here and here.  Well, I am excited to tell you about yet another way in which to help Haiti.

The network of churches in which our church is a part of is sending a team, TEAM HAITI, to Haiti towards the end of May (next month!).  You can read updates on a blog written by a Team Haiti member who is already on the ground in Haiti.  Team Haiti's main project will be to build a cistern in the community of Baie d'Orange, a very poor area near Jacmel.

This mission trip is especially near and dear to my heart because a couple from our congregation, my dear friend K and her husband S, will be going with Team Haiti.  I am expectant of the great things that God has in store for them to experience in and through this trip!

This is where YOU and I enter the picture... there are two ways in which we can be a real part of this endeavour:

PRAY: please join me as I launch into a month of prayer for Team Haiti!  For the whole month of May... some time each day will be spent in prayer specifically for this project.  My prayer is that God will use this team for His purpose and for His glory.

GIVE: please consider giving towards Team Haiti.  K and S are personally covering the cost of their flight, food and lodging therefore 100% of your donation will go directly towards relief efforts and towards the needs in the community of Baie d'Orange.  

How to give:
~ Cheques can be made out to The Sanctuary Pickering (indicate Team Haiti on the memo line) and a charitable receipt will be issued for tax purposes.  The church's mailing address is P.O. Box 147, Pickering, Ontario L1V 2R2.
~ You can also give online through The Sanctuary Pickering's website.  Charitable receipts for tax purposes will also be issued for online donations.  Click on the "DONATE" button and you will be redirected to PayPal's secure online donation processing site.  Please make sure to click "Message to The Sanctuary Pickering" before you finalize your donation and indicate "Team Haiti" in the message box that comes up so that your donation can be designated accordingly.

Well, blog readers --- the challenge in on!  Please prayerfully consider giving generously towards this very worthwhile cause.  I know that God's heart will smile when you do!  Thank you.

Matthew 25:34-40 (NLT)
Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the creation of the world. For I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home. I was naked, and you gave me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you visited me.’

Then these righteous ones will reply, ‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry and feed you? Or thirsty and give you something to drink?  Or a stranger and show you hospitality? Or naked and give you clothing? When did we ever see you sick or in prison and visit you?’

And the King will say, ‘I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!’

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Lots Going On... ?

These days, time seems to run away from me!  I wonder if I'm the only one that happens to?  I bet not... :-)  We live in this fast-paced society; running around like chickens with heads cut off; and, most days, it seems like there's lots going on but we've accomplished nothing important... just mundane everyday things.

A few weeks ago, hubby and I saw a TV commercial about Manitoba.  It said something about life being s-l-o-w-e-r in Manitoba.  We both looked at each other thinking: "Hmmm... that sounds appealing!" --- the s-l-o-w-n-e-s-s is appealing, not Manitoba!  Just in case you're wondering...

It really is an intentional act to slow down in this society, isn't it?  Everything around us screams the opposite.  It's always been a habit of our family to inventory the "activities" that we participate in... mind you, we've not always been successful at weeding things out but I think we've done a good job at it.

Speaking of weeding things out... I've managed to offload 5-10 hours of work each week.  This month is a transition month as my boss sorts out who will do what... things should start to fall into place by the start of May.  I'm looking forward to it.  I might be getting less pay from now on but I am thrilled to be able to focus on more things that have eternal value!  This was totally a God-thing... an answered prayer.  Thank you God!

This verse comes to mind right now... from Psalm 37:4 (NIV): "Delight yourself in the LORD and He will give you the desires of your heart."  So very true!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Easter Weekend

It's been a busy past couple of weeks and this blog has become a stranger to me!  Well, I'm back... and, I can't believe it's already April.  Where has this year gone to???

Well, it's almost midnight on Monday evening and it's the end of the Easter long weekend.  Throughout this weekend, the song 'Mighty to Save' by Hillsong kept repeating in my head.  I just love the lyrics... 

"Forever, author of salvation.  He rose and conquered the grave.  Jesus conquered the grave.  Shine your light and let the whole world see.  We're singing for the glory of the Risen King.  Saviour, He can move the mountains.  My God is mighty to save.  He is mighty to save!" ♫♫

These lyrics are so relevant to reflect upon for Easter.  As I sit here reflecting upon the magnitude of what Jesus did for me that very first Easter... I am extremely humbled, I am utterly amazed!  It is absolutely mind-boggling that the God of the universe loves me that much!  My son's devotions from Easter Sunday said: "You know, if you had been the only person in the world, Jesus would have died just for you."  That is mind-boggling, isn't it?

Hubby and I decided that this is the year we would show our kids the uncut version of Mel Gibson's movie 'The Passion of the Christ (2004)' so we watched it together on Saturday.  Both our kids were deeply moved... it is truly very different to see Jesus Christ's suffering being depicted graphically on screen versus just reading the story as it is printed on the Holy Bible's pages.  I believe that it is now even more real to my children than it ever was before... all four of us were in tears... deeply, deeply moved; utterly, utterly grateful for God's grace and His mercy!

My prayer is that my family will never (ever!) take Christ's sacrifice lightly; that we will shine our light and let the whole world see; we're singing for the glory of the Risen King!  Not only at Easter... but every single day, may we continue to live missionally as those who are 'sent' by the Risen King to effect change in this world in which we live!  

For His glory!