Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Wednesday's Voice - Colombia

Christians taken hostage in Colombia

Sixteen Christians belonging to the Kogui indigenous people group in Colombia are being held captive on their reserve in an attempt to force them to renounce Christianity. The group of believers, which includes men, women and three babies, was captured during a meeting called by the Kogui governor. Community leaders shouted abuses at the believers through the night. They were later taken to a remote area of the reserve and told they would not be freed until they renounced their faith in Christ. At last report, two of the kidnapped infants were seriously ill. The governor and his allies also humiliated non-Christian leaders who had supported the Christians in the community and protected them from being expelled. The governor reportedly intends to capture remaining Christians and force them to renounce their faith. (Source: Christian Solidarity Worldwide)

Pray for the release of these believers.
Pray that their captors will see the love of Christ, repent and come to trust in Jesus.
Pray for other Christian members of the Kogui community under fire in Colombia.
Monday, November 23, 2009

Music Monday -

I finally found something to do on Mondays. Music Monday is hosted by Shawntele at Saved by Grace. I love music. I always have the radio going with either old dance music (disco is great for cleaning) or praise music (obvious).



This week I'm posting He Reigns by Newsboys. This song is loved by my daughter and I. We love to sing it in the van on the way to Church Sunday mornings. I can't wait until we all sing "He Reigns!"



It’s the song of the redeemed
Rising from the African plain
It’s the song of the forgiven
Drowning out the Amazon rain
The song of Asian believers
Filled with God’s holy fire
It’s every tribe, every tongue, every nation
A love song born of a grateful choir

It’s all God’s children singing
Glory, glory, hallelujah
He reigns, He reigns
It’s all God’s children singing
Glory, glory, hallelujah
He reigns, He reigns

Let it rise about the four winds
Caught up in the heavenly sound
Let praises echo from the towers of cathedrals
To the faithful gathered underground
Of all the songs sung from the dawn of creation
Some were meant to persist
Of all the bells rung from a thousand steeples
None rings truer than this

And all the powers of darkness
Tremble at what they’ve just heard
‘Cause all the powers of darkness
Can’t drown out a single word

When all God’s children sing out
Glory, glory, hallelujah
He reigns, He reigns
All God’s people singing
Glory, glory, hallelujah
He reigns, He reigns

Now post you're favourite song and post it on Shawntele's blog.
Saturday, November 21, 2009

Sacred in the Ordinary - Twilight

I am tempted to search for the extraordinary. I catch myself longing for the incredible. I fight the urge to notice the spectacular. In doing so, I risk missing the most extraordinary, incredible and spectacular of all... the sacred in the ordinary.

My Moment....

Normally by this time of year we are already covered in a layer of snow and hitting highs of -10 C. However, November has been quite warm. The lowest it has been is -6 C. This Tuesday we were breaking records. It reached 13 C. However, I didn't get to enjoy it as my daughter was off school that day due to a cold. It was the second day she was home and by dinner Tuesday I was feeling a little stir crazy.

I have my life pretty scheduled and am usually on the go or having someone over. Due to 'Coles cold, I was home for two days. Around 4:30 pm I went upstairs and started getting dinner ready and was having a pity party for myself. On the radio they kept talking about the beautiful sunset we were having. After hearing about this for 15 minutes, I finally went to our front window and looked out. It was like the sky was on fire. It was amazing. I ran and got my camera and prayed I could capture the beauty before my eyes. I was reminded that God is with us in all our moods. When we're feeling a little sorry for ourselves, he ignites a fire within us and gets us going, bringing us joy in the simple things, like a sunset.

This was the view outside my door.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Sacred in the Ordinary - First Tooth

I am tempted to search for the extraordinary. I catch myself longing for the incredible. I fight the urge to notice the spectacular. In doing so, I risk missing the most extraordinary, incredible and spectacular of all... the sacred in the ordinary.

My Moment

My little guy turned 8 months today and two days ago he finally cut his first tooth. I was very excited as it has been something we have been waiting for for awhile (lots of miserable days). Something so simple, so painful and yet so profound. Another check in his chart; another moment to remember; and another step away from me.



We are given these gifts from God to prepare them for the world, but we just want to hold onto them and keep them little. Yet, they continue to grow and we continue to be amazed by their achievements no matter how large or little, like a first tooth.

Check out My Quiet Corner for more Sacred in the Ordinary.
Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Remembrance Day

Today is Remembrance Day in Canada, Veteran's Day in the US. It is the day that we are to stop and remember the men and woman who gave the ultimate sacrifice for our freedoms. It is also the day that we remember those who serve our countries knowing the sacrifices that they give and that they may have to give.

I come from a long line of people who have given to and for our country. My great-grandmother knitted socks for the soldiers in the trenches during World War I. She received a certificate for her work and I remember being in awe of this certificate as a child.

My grandmother had 3 uncles who served during World War II. We were very blessed with the fact that they all returned home safetly (including one with wife in tow). One of my great-great-uncles survived the beaches of Normandy. He lay on the beach wounded until the battle had been won.

My grandfather joined the military as soon as he was old enough. His first stint was in Korea during the war. The only thing he would talk about during the war was two things: ( 1) his first job was to take the wounded soldiers from the front lines away from the battle fields and (2) the group of soldiers that would **** you if your boots weren't tied the right way. He said he learned quickly to tie up his boots. I don't know if the last one was a tale to scare a little girl from asking the tough questions or reality. After the war, my grandfather was released, but a few years later rejoined and was posted to Germany during the early Cold War years. He returned to Canada where he met my grandmother. They were married for 33 years before he died.

My sister at a young age felt the call to serve. At 17 she joined the Canadian Reserves. First as an infantry personnel and then later training as a cook. At 23, she joined the Canadian Forces as cook and was posted on a Naval Ship which served in the Persian Gulf shortly after 2001. She is now on a land posting and has come very close to going to Afghanistan 2 times. She longs to be able to serve her country and to use the training that she has.

My step-father joined the military shortly after marrying my mother. He was a stoker on a naval vessel for 11 years. He, also, served in the Persian Gulf after 2001. Two years ago he retrained and moved to the Air Force as a Helicopter Technician. On October 30, he left for Afghanistan. We are sadden to see him there and very worried for him. However, we are so proud.

This past week as my daughter was practicing for her Rememberance Day ceremony, I spoke to her about Remembrance Day. I reminded her that yes we honour those who gave their lives for us, but we also remember those who continue to give including her Papa.

Please pray for those who served and sacrificed selflessly for our freedoms.

Please pray daily for those men and woman who continue to give everything to our countries and for their families who wait for them.

Wednesday's Voice - Yemen

Update: Day of prayer and fasting called for kidnapped foreigners

Four months after their abduction, there continues to be no reliable news on the condition of the remaining six expatriate Christians kidnapped in mid-June by unknown assailants in Yemen On June 12, nine foreign Christians were abducted -- four German adults, three small German children, a British man and a South Korean woman -- after they ventured outside the city of Sa'ada. All of them worked at a hospital in the city. Shortly afterwards, Rita Stumpp (26) and Anita Gruenwald (24), German nurses in training, and Eom Young-sun (33) of South Korea were killed and their bodies found by local shepherds. Still missing are German doctor Johannes (36), his wife Sabine (36), their three children Lydia (4), Anna (3) and Simon (1) and British engineer Anthony S. Their whereabouts and condition remain unknown. Anthony is married but his wife did not accompany him on this trip.

As Middle East Concern (MEC) has noted, the work of the hospital where they worked has been severely reduced as a result, affecting the city and the wider area. No one has claimed responsibility for the abductions and killings, which MEC notes is "unusual within Yemeni culture, and heightens the concern and anxiety." The search for the missing has been greatly hindered by the intense fighting between the government forces and the Houthi armed group in Sa'ada province, which has flared up again since June.

Thank the Lord for the faithful life and work of those killed.

Pray that the remaining hostages will be released.

Ask God to fill those in mourning with a peace that surpasses understanding in the midst of their grief (Philippians 4:7).and for endurance and wisdom for those serving the Lord in Yemen
Sunday, November 8, 2009

Sacred in the Ordinary - The Princess

I am tempted to search for the extraordinary. I catch myself longing for the incredible. I fight the urge to notice the spectacular. In doing so, I risk missing the most extraordinary, incredible and spectacular of all... the sacred in the ordinary.

My Moment...

Last week my daughter went Trick-R-Treating as Belle from Beauty and the Beast. My Grandmother made the costume. To many it may have been a simple costume, but it was made with love for Our Princess. My grandmother painstakingly dealt with the Tulle (those of you who sew will know how difficult that is). She even lined the inside of the dress.

One of our friends exclaimed that the dress was good enough to wear to a wedding. When I mentioned this to my Grandmother, she informed me that "Nothing was too good for her Granddaughter!" I felt the love and pride in her voice and not in regards to the costume, but in that little girl who is truly a "Princess" in our eyes.
Friday, November 6, 2009

Liz is Coming, Liz is Coming.......


I am so excited! This weekend I get to go see Liz Curtis Higgs. She is actually coming to Saskatchewan. Ever since I found out she was coming our way, I have been sooooooo excited. I had to go see her. She will be speaking at a woman's conference that is held annually in Saskatoon, Woman's Journey of Faith. I am a little sad that I don't get to go Friday night (the baby wouldn't last the night). But I do get to go Saturday and hear her speak and minister to all the woman in attendance.

When I first became a Christian 9 years ago, the first Christian book I ever read, or wanted to read, was Bad Girl of the Bible. I didn't know there were any Bad Girls in the Bible. The woman of the Bible that I knew were Eve and Mary and Mary and Mary and Martha, and Moses' family thanks to the Ten Commandments. There was something perverse about the title that intrigued and called to me. As a former Bad Girl myself (another post, another day), I wanted to see what her perspective was. I was all ready to see what some Good Girl had to say about Bad Girls. Was I wrong!

As you know, if you have read the book and if not, why not, she starts off telling a story about a bad girl in a bad situation. It really called to me as I had been in similar situations. Then she admits that it was her. She really knew where I was coming. That I needed to hear that no matter what bad thing I had done, that I could learn from my mistakes and that I could be forgiven. I loved learning about women like Tamar, Rahab, Jael and the woman at the well. I didn't even know that these woman had existed. The Bad Girls of the Bible was my starting point in reading the Bible and wanting to learn more.

When the second book, Really Bad Girls of the Bible, came out I immediately went out and purchased it. I enjoyed it as much as I enjoyed the first one. I then found Liz's books about Jacob, Rose and Leah. I devoured them and loved them. Just before I moved I lent these books out and sadly, never received them back. However, I know that the person I was lending them too needed to hear and embrace the message in the books as I had done when I first read them.

Liz became a hero to me. Someone who knew what it was like to be "bad" and be reformed in grace. I am so excited to meet her finally after all these years that I will probably be floating on cloud 9 for weeks and I'm sure that I will embarrass my friends when we go (sorry Andrea).


Monday, November 2, 2009

Good things come to those who wait!

This weekend I was speaking to my mother who was waiting for a phone call. My step-dad had left for Afghanistan on Friday at 6 pm and my mom thought that less than 16 hours later he would call her. I think the flight itself was 14 hours. I told her I wasn't surprised she hadn't heard from him and that he would call her when he could. He is in the military and can't just do anything without permission.

I know where I get it from. I'm a very impatient person. I hate not knowing things, hate uncertainty, like to know things in definite terms. To quote the rock band, Queen - " I want it all and I want it NOW!"

The last few months we have been waiting for Thomas to get into speech and hearing assessment. We finally saw the speech therapist two weeks ago who advised that she thought his issues were hearing. As we had not heard from the audiologist, we called them only to find out that he wouldn't get in until at least 4 months from date of referral (the end of December or beginning of January). We couldn't wait that long, so we went to a private clinic last Thursday. We were hoping for definitive answers, but alas we are still waiting. The audiologist told us that this would be a process. The only good answer we received is that there was no blockage and that the pressure in his ears were fine. Now comes a series of test to see if he can't hear certain pitches. UGGGGGGGGGH For a person who hates waiting this is not good.

Through all of this I felt God calling me to do a study about waiting. We wait for a lot of things that are trivial - dinner, books we ordered. But are we truly waiting?

In Luke 2 (v 25 - 38), we read about Simeon and Anna. Two seniors (in fact, we are told that Anna "was very old; she had lived with her husband seven years after her marriage, and then was a widow until she was eighty-four (v 36b-37 NIV)), who lived in expectancy of God's promise. We read that Simeon lived "in prayerful expectancy" (Msg) and Anna never left the temple, but worship day and night. These two individuals were waiting patiently for God's promised Messiah. Simeon had been told that he would live until he say the Messiah and trusted in this promise. I don't think I would have been so patient. I would have been like the little kid in the car - Is he here yet? But Simeon embraced the promised, he prayed daily for the promise and waited........
What are you waiting for?What is your attitude while you are waiting?
Are you like Simeon and Anna or more like me and my mother?
Are you living in "prayerful expectancy" for all of God's promises to you?

Just before our verses, we read that Mary and Joseph took Jesus to the temple on his 8th day to be.....while you know. At the same time, the Holy Spirit led Simeon to the temple. Simeon immediately saw the child and recognized his Messiah. He immediately took the child in his arms and praised and worshiped him. The Bible says Mary and Joseph were "shocked" at this. Simeon then went and blessed them advising them of Jesus' future relationship with Isreal. I personally continue to be amazed when people bless my children. As a parent there is no greater gift. However, knowing you that you were the parents of the Messiah, what a great responsibility.

What blessings of God surprise you?
While Simeon was blessing them, Anna, a prophetess who never left the temple, but worshiped and prayed continually, came up to them. Giving thanks to God for his promised Messiah. As I previously wrote, Anna was 84. She lived in the temple, which was not like staying at the Hilton. While she was there she prayed and worshiped daily, we are also told she fasted. She gave up comfort, never complaining, even in her old age, but lived in worship. I have a lot to learn from Anna. She waited patiently and while she waited she worshiped. As a result of her faithfulness, she saw the Messiah. The promised Savior of Isreal. God had come through with His promises as Anna was a "good and faithful servant."

Do you pray, worship and fast regularly?
Do you worship and praise God for what He has given you?

I'm still waiting. But now I'm praising. Praising God for the gift of my son. For all the joy he brings to our family. I know that God has a plan for Thomas and that if I let go, His promises for Thomas will come. We, all, need to remember that all of God's gifts and promises will come in His time. While we are waiting we need to worship and praise God for what he has given us, not we are waiting for.

Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, that He may life you up in DUE TIME! (1Peter 5:6-7)
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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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