Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Wednesday's Voice

CHINA - Prominent Chinese pastor detained by officials

Pastor Hua Huiqi was seized by Chinese officials in Fengtai District in Beijing on September 17, according to a September 17 report from ChinaAid. At approximately 5:30 p.m., Pastor Hua called his wife, Ju Mei, on his cell phone and told her that he had been forced into a Public Security Bureau vehicle while on his way to a dinner meeting. Less than half-an-hour later, Hua phoned his wife again and told her that officials had taken him to an unknown location. The phone line then went dead. When VOMC partners inquired about Hua, officials told them he was in their custody but refused to disclose his condition or location. A week before Pastor Hua's arrest, a vocational training ministry that he is involved in was raided by officials

Pray that Pastor Hua will be released.

Ask God to give comfort and strength to his family in this time.

Pray for spiritual and physical strength for the thousands of Christians in prison for their faith in Christ.
Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Tuesday's Teachings - Signs, Signs, Everywhere Signs

I am so excited this week. I have a guest blogger. I don't have to stress about getting ready this week. As well, I am excited because the guest blogger is my "evil" twin, Debbie.

Debbie is an amazing stay at home mom. She is visually impaired, however, she does not let that stop her. She is Martha and Mary all rolled up into one (I wish I could do that). She is a BSF discussion leader and runs a day home. She always finds times for her friends (except when she is under renovations). I am blessed daily to call this wonder woman of Christ my Best Friend. I hope you are blessed by her words as I daily am.

Jesus did many other miraculous signs in the presence of the disciples which are not recorded in this book,. But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in His name. John 20:30-31
This year, in the Bible study that I go to, we are going to be digging in to the Gospel According to John. To start out we read the entire book over the course of a week. It is a wonderful and easy book to read and if you have never read it all in one shot I highly recommend it! There are things that one can see when it is read all in a piece.

There are several things that I saw, several themes developing. One of the main things John writes about are the miracles of Jesus. Unlike the other gospels, John only includes seven miraculous signs. To explore these miracles in more detail, read the book.

The teaching that struck my head and heart this week is related to the miracles in John, but does not have to do with any of them in particular. (Though I really always enjoy a good read of John 9). John does not call THE MIRACLES Jesus performed miracles, rather he call them signs.

Now you may say, miracles, signs, it is all semantics, and indeed, yes it is. It is very important semantics, John is also all about the Word. When we call a miracle a sign it points to a deeper spiritual meaning. A person may stand and gaze at a miracle for a long time, even a life time. When a person sees a sign it leads them to action, they move past the sign to the place it is pointing.

Another benefit of calling a miraculous event a sign is that you don’t get swamped in discontent. You do not ask, why did I get THAT miracle? Rather you will see each miracle as a sign post that points to another truth about God. To move beyond the physical and see the spiritual event that is behind each miracle is what John does in his Gospel and is what I will be praying for in the weeks to come.

My physical eyes may be flawed beyond repair, but I pray that my Spritual eyes will always be open and fixed on my creator, redeemer and guide.
Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Wednesday's Voice

Laos - Laotian Church leader expelled for refusing to deny Christ

On September 3, Laotian authorities arrested a church leader in Liansai village in Savannakhet province for embracing Christianity, according to reports from Human Rights Watch for Lao Religious Freedom. Authorities arrested Thao Oun, an elder at Boukham Church who came to Christ 10 months ago, in his home and forced him at gunpoint to the Saybounthong district office. Oun was charged with bringing destruction to the Lao nation and government by embracing Christianity, which the officials consider a "foreign religion to be abhorred." He was interrogated for three hours, during which authorities pressured him to sign a document renouncing his Christian faith. When he refused, he was expelled from the village. At last report Oun had sought refuge in a nearby village. On September 6, local officials surrounded the Boukham Church worship site in Saisomboon village and blocked church members from entering for Sunday morning worship.

Pray for strength and protection for Thao Oun amidst his trials of faith.

Pray that he and the other members of the Boukham Church will continue to be attentive to God's will and faithful in His service.

Pray for Christians who continue to face pressure and imprisonment for their faith.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Tuesday's Teachings - Be Careful Little Ears


Be careful little ears what you hear
Be careful little eyes what you see
For the Father up above is looking down with love.
So, be careful little mouths what you say!



I love this children's hymn. It is one of my favourites, as it teaches children that God sees, hears and knows everything they do. Something that I forget from time to time. For example, what I choose to watch when I'm bored and there is nothing on tv.

On the Comedy Network, there is a show called Roast. Comedians and fellow celebrities "roast" the guest Celebrity. These "roasts" get very racy (and that's being polite). The jokes are often off key and offensive. This weekend I watched the Best of these Roasts and laughed myself silly. After watching this show, I read my bible passage for the day - Ephesians 5 v. 1-20. Wow! Was God ever talking to me like a Father should. I could well imagine Him standing over me, with His index finger pointing out - kinda like a Mr. Cleaver would have over Wally or the "Beav."

I know we hear that as Christians we are called to live to a higher standard. But Ephesians 5 v 1-2, states very clearly that we are called to live as Christ by daily giving up ourselves as an offering to God. How do we do this? By giving up everything in our lives to Him. - our dreams, our hopes, the music we listen to, the books we read and the tv we watch. Ultimately, letting God have complete control over our lives.

God calls us to stay away from all impurity. Specifically, sexual immorality, greed, obscenity, and crude jokes (should have read my bible before watching the show). We are not to be led astray or deceived by others who do not follow Christ. Have you ever been in a situation you know was wrong, you felt was wrong, but because you were with others you went ahead and did it anyway. It can be as simple as the cool tv show that everyone is watching and you want to be able to converse with them about it. Is that show's themes and language concurrent with how God wants us to live (check out a soap opera and you'll know what I'm talking about)? Could we talk to God about this show? Probably not. Should we watch it? Probably not.

God calls us His Children of Light. He is the light in the darkness of the world. He directs our path to His light through His Word and leads us from all evil. We are called to be the Light of the World, showing the world His love though our actions. How do we do this? By pursuing what pleases Him and avoiding everything not of God. How do we find out what pleases Him? By daily reading His word and being in daily relationship with Him though prayer.

At the end of the passage, God instructs us how to live:
  • Avoid everything not of God & expose them in truth and love;
  • Be careful how you live, making the most of every opportunity in your lives;
  • Understand the Lord's Will in your life, through study and prayer;
  • Do not get drunk, but be filled by the Spirit; and
  • Sing songs of worship together, always giving thanks to God.
I may not always follow this. I may be lead astray and make wrong decisions. But I have a great and forgiving Father, who when I come to Him in complete repentance, lifts me and hugs me and forgives me.
Friday, September 18, 2009

Caffienated Randomness - The Mop of my Dreams



I have laminate flooring. I don't know about you but I find it streaks horribly. With 3 kids it is sooooo hard to keep clean. I try to mop it with my microfibre mop at least twice a week with vinegar water which lasts for about 1/2 a day. After that the floor looks less than desirable.

Since I have been married (three houses later), I have been looking for mop that "completes" me. I have bought a pva mop from tv; tried the swiffer; used a cotton mop head like my grandmother; had a sponge mop; and now I have worked my way to microfibre mop. Nothing seems to satisfy my floor cleaning needs. I did like the swiffer for a while, but I find that if you use too much of the spray, your floors start to have a residue on them.

This spring my sister in law told me she had bought a steam mop. She said she loved it and didn't know what she would do without. Later this summer I saw an infomercial about a steam mop called H20. I looked amazing and if the promises were true, it may be the mop of my dreams.

This week I saw one on sale at our local Superstore for $49.00. I called my sister in law to see which one she had, it turns out the same one on sale. She paid double for it than the sale price. I think it is fate...........now to ask my hubby if I can purchase yet another mop to see if it is the one I have been looking for. Hopefully the carpet features appeal to him.



Thursday, September 17, 2009

A Few of My Favourite Things - The Spell Check Edition

Filled With Praise


My daughter has started grade 1 this year. I was excited about this, not because I was down 1 child 5/7 days a week, but that she would be starting to read. I can't wait to see what she will be reading and what kind of books she will be drawn to. I still get chills when I hear her reading her leveled readers ( The elephant is big, The horse is big,.....).

However, this week Nicole brought home something that I had purposely pushed from my mind - her first Spelling List. Now it was pretty easy (an, and, am, at, a). I had her practice every night this week and tonight I gave her a mock test, which she aced! She told me it was "easy peesy" (I need to stop letting her watch the Naked Chef with me).

In school I dreaded the weekly spelling test. I hated spelling. I have recently heard that people who are bad at spelling are just "lazy." I wasn't lazy. I studied. I wrote those words out 10 times each. I copied the dictionary meaning of each word to help study. Still, on average I would get at least 3 wrong. Then came this lovely thing called "spell check" in college. I could write a report and then press Ctrl F2 (I preferred WordPerfect to Word back then) and suddenly it would show me the words I had misspelled and then give me a list of possible correct spellings. Now, even as I write this entry, my misspelled words get underlined and when I right click on my mouse I can get the list of possible correct spellings. However, as a Canadian there are words that I have to ignore because of the "ou" rule (ie Favorite/Favourite). There have been times in my life where I have gotten into trouble with spell check (don't ask me what spell check picks up for Whereas...). But for the most part, I have had a long love affair with spell check.

Spell Check - Possibly my favourite thing about computers!
Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Wednesday's Voice - Pakistan

Pakistani Christians killed for refusing to convert

Five Christians were shot and killed by Islamists who opened fire at a laboratory in the city of Quetta, Pakistan on August 28, according to recent reports from local sources in Pakistan. The Christians had reportedly been receiving letters from Islamic militants threatening them with death if they did not convert to Islam. Local Christians suspect that the assailants belonged to the same militant group which killed several Christians and ransacked more than 100 homes in the city of Gojra in early August

Thank the Lord for the lives of these cross-bearing disciples.

Ask God to comfort those who mourn for them.

Pray that Christians in Pakistan will continue to demonstrate Christ's love and hold firmly to faith in Him despite threats of violence and death.
Monday, September 14, 2009

TUESDAY'S TEACHINGS - Prayer Time


I lead a pretty busy life. From Monday to Friday, I have something scheduled. You should see my calendar there are many stickers and different colour markings to remind me what activity is scheduled and who it is for. Everyday I need to be on the move or active. If I have nothing to do, I go stir crazy and make a project for myself for the day (last week I made homemade buns). From the time I'm up to the time I go to bed, I'm doing something; reading something; or watching something.

However, there's one part of my life that I have neglected and not added to my calendar - my prayer life. I make time for friends and family, time for playgroups; times for Bible Studies and board meetings, but do I make time for my most important relationship. NO!! I always mean to. Something always seems to creep up - the phone rings; the baby cries; the older kids want a snack; the laundry needs folding; it's dinner time and I have to start cooking; etc.... If you're a mom, you know the drill. This is no excuse though.

In Mark 1:35, we see Jesus making time for prayer when everyone wanted a "piece of him." Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed. Jesus found the time. He MADE the time to pray. Now I'm not saying that we need to get up very early (I'm a night owl, not an early bird.) but, sometime during the day, we need to set time for our Father. Bringing him our hurts, our sorrows, our requests, our joy, our praise, our worship.

The last two weeks I have made a conscious effort to set a time during the day and pray. Sometimes in the morning, sometimes in the afternoon. There have been days where I haven't prayed (I've noticed the difference), however, like falling off a bike, I get back on and persevere.



Friday, September 11, 2009

Caffienated Randomness - Getting to Know You, Getting to Know All About You...



This Friday we are answering our Caffeinated Chieftain's questions to her Lovelies.

  1. How do you take your coffee? I take it with flavoured coffee creamer. My favourite is Hazelnut. I know these are not good for me, but they sure are yummy!
  2. Shoes or chocolate? Shoes. The more the merrier. However, if Andrea had asked between shoes or purses, I would have said purses. I think I need a new purse...........
  3. I need some new music for my iPod - who do you love to listen to and what is your favorite song by them? It changes daily, however, right now I would recommend anything by Trans Siberian Orchestra. They take classical music and give it a rock twist. The music is amazing and if you're lucky enough to go to one of their shows it is unprecedented. My favourite is from their Beethoven's Last Night CD - After the Fall. I especially love when my 6 year old sings along with it.
  4. You look fabulous - how do you do it? I have an awesome hairdresser, who is helping me with my grey hair (yes at 35 I have a lot of it).
  5. Lastly, what's your favorite thing about fall? I love the falling leaves and the colour they create. The only time I like doing yard work is raking the leaves and then watching the kids jump in them.
Thursday, September 10, 2009

My Few of My Favourite Things - The Fall Edition

Filled With Praise




I love the Fall. It is my favourite time of the year. In celebration, I have decided to blog about my favourite things about Fall.

  1. Activities start. September 1 should actually be New Year's Day. This September, I'm looking forward to Ladies Bible Study, Mom's Group, and starting to teach Children's Church;
  2. Colours. Here in the prairies we have two colours in the fall - Yellow and Brown. However, where I grew up we had a multitude of colours. The leaves on the trees went red, yellow, and orange. It was amazing.
  3. Falling Leaves - I love raking the leaves in our front yard. The kids and I fill up leaf bags and decorate our front yard with them, that is after we have jumped through them and piled them over each other.
  4. The Temperature - Fall is neither too hot nor too cold. It is just right and even if it does get a little chilly, I have a lot of sweaters to cuddle up in while I look out my front window at my leaves.
  5. Harvest - I love reaping the rewards from our garden. This year we harvested 160 lbs of potatoes, I froze 16 bags of beans, a lot of onions and beets. We are still waiting for our tomatoes but they should be ready within the next week.

FALL - A time of dramatic change, A time of harvest, and A time to witness His Glory!
    They will celebrate your abundant goodness and joyfully sing of your righteousness. Pslam 145:7 (NIV)

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Wednesday's Voice

Uzbekistan - Police raid church service, arrest believers in Tashkent, Uzbekistan

On August 23, approximately 20 Uzbek police officials raided the Donam Protestant Church in Tashkent, Uzbekistan during a Sunday worship service, according to an August 26 report from Forum18. The authorities claimed that the service was an "unauthorized" religious meeting and demanded that all those present submit their names and addresses. Although the church leaders presented all the necessary documents proving the church's registered status, the police ignored the documentation and continued with their threats and interrogations. A few hours later, police arrested Pastor Vladimir Tyo and seven other believers. Three of those arrested, were released within 24 hours. The next day, the court sentenced Pastor Tyo and the three others to 15 days in detention and ordered that the Christian literature and videos that were confiscated during the raid be destroyed. This is a significant setback to religious liberty in Uzbekistan as this incident marks the first time a legally registered church has been raided during worship and its leaders arrested.

Pray for persevering faith for these believers.

Pray that Uzbek Christians will continue to courageously serve Christ amid great opposition.

Pray that the government of Uzbekistan will institute true human rights in the country.
Friday, September 4, 2009

Caffiendated Randomness - My Side Table


I rarely read in bed. My favourite spot to read in the house is my red rocker in my living room. I keep all my magazines in a basket on one side and all my books on my side table. I usually have a pile of books on the go. Right now I'm a bit behind on reading and need to catch up. Luckily, I have a long weekend and nothing on TV.

Right now I'm reading :I read the first book Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict. It was OK, however, I do appreciate her acknowledgment of the environment of early 1800's. I am enjoy the sequal more and I have to agree with Andrea that the two books should be in one.

I probably will finish this book tomorrow. I'm enjoying it, but it is typical of her writings.


I love reading historical fiction. It is how I became addicted to anything historical. I would read historical fiction and then research the time and people. This book is about the love story of Katherine Swynford and John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster, set about the time of the beginning of the War of the Roses, a time I haven't really looked at yet.


I really enjoyed the Friday Night Knitting Club series and can't wait to read Comfort Food. Doesn't the title just make you want to wrap yourself in a warm blanket, with a cup of tea and a good book (ok, maybe some cookies too).

This is the study I'm currently working on. It is a study of Hebrews, a book I haven't read before. I love how she sets it up. You read the scripture first, then do the questions and then read the corresponding chapter. It is almost like Bible Study Fellowship.

This is the book for the first Books, Blogs & Brownies this fall. I can't wait to discuss this book with everyone. I hope you'll also join in. I'll bake my brownie bottom cheesecake for the meeting and share the recipe at Cooking With the Evil Twins. Maybe I'll send some you're way Andrea!




Thursday, September 3, 2009

A Few of My Favourite Things: The Heat!!!!

Filled With Praise


We have been hit by a heatwave. Today it felt like the mid 30s (celcius) due to the humidity. Who knew that in the middle of the prairies there would be any moisture around here? I have been trying to go out during the day to anyone and anywhere where there is AC. I actually enjoyed my dental appointment today because it was air conditioned.

However, if this was February I probably would be whining about the cold. This winter we were as low as -45 C with the windchill. But I have to admit, I would rather the cold than the heat. At least in the winter you can snuggle in a blanket, grab a cup of coffee and a good book and feel warm. So today I'm going to praise what I like about the cold:
  1. I can wear my mittens my grandmother knit me. They are blue and don't go with anything I own, but they were knit with love and keep my hands warm;
  2. I have an excuse not to go outside. Nobody else is out. I am a home body and don't really like the sun (it hurts my eyes);
  3. Hot chocolate! Need I say more. By the way if you add a bit of flavoured coffee creamer it is sooooooo yummy!
  4. Christmas. Only comes when it is cold.
  5. I get to wear my nice sweaters and long sleeve shirts (which is pretty much the majority of my wardrobe right now);
  6. Finally, sleeping in on the weekend is so much nicer because you don't feel guilty about wasting the nice day outside.
Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Wednesday's Voice

Egypt

Two Coptic Christian girls were abducted in the city of Alexandria, Egypt in recent weeks, according to a July 30 report from Assyrian International News Agency and Egypt4Christ.

17-year-old Amira Morgan was abducted by Muslims while on her way to work at a plastics factory near her home in Alexandria on July 18. At approximately 10:00 a.m., Amira's mother, Samira Markos received a call from someone who introduced himself as Sheikh Mohammed--a very common name in the area. The caller told Samira that her daughter was fine and that she was converting to Islam. When she began to cry and beg for Amira's return, the caller said that she would see Amira again once the girl had converted to Islam and then ended the call. A few hours later Samira went to the local mosque to enquire about the man who called her. There she was told that if she reported her daughter's abduction to the police, her nine-year-old son would be slaughtered in front of her. She was also told that Amira was going to convert to Islam the following Friday. Fearing for her and her son's safety, Samira and her son then fled the area.

In another incident, 18-year-old Ingy Basta, who is engaged to a Coptic Christian man, went missing while on her way to repair her cell phone at the Nozha Airport on July 22. Her father reported the case the next day but she has not yet been found.

Pray that Amira and Ingy will remain steadfast in faith and be freed by their captors.

Pray that their loved ones will draw near the Lord for encouragement and strength.

Pray for the safety of Christian young people in Egypt and that the authorities will uphold the constitutional freedom of religion.
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Alberta, Canada
I'm a 39 year old (oh yeah I'm telling you my age) Stay at Home mom. A former Bad Girl now reformed sinner, I'm married to my Y2K guy and raising 3 great children from God. Proudly Canadian, however, missing the West Coast, I currently live in the prairies watching the farmers fields produce as I learn how God produces the fruits in me.

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Tormentinator

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Prairie History