Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Wednesday's Voice - Pakistan

Christian man burned alive, wife raped in Pakistan

A Pakistani Christian man passed away on March 22 after he was set on fire by Muslims in Rawalpindi three days earlier. (38) and his wife, Martha (33), had been threatened with "dire consequences" by their employer, Sheikh Mohammad Sultan, unless they agreed to convert to Islam. The couple steadfastly refused.

In the days before the attack, Sultan reported a theft of 500,000 rupees and, although Arshed and Martha were not named as suspects, Sultan offered to drop the case if they renounced Christianity. When they were brought in for questioning, Arshed was assaulted and Martha was raped by police. Arshed was set on fire on March 19 in front of the police station by a group of Muslims, some of whom were reportedly officers and religious leaders. He sustained burns to 80% of his body. The couple's three children -- Mary (12), Nasir (10) and Neha (7) -- were forced to witness the horrific violence against their parents. (Sources: BosNewsLife, AsiaNews, International Christian Concern)

Ask God to comfort this family as only He can.

Pray for God to heal Martha's physical and emotional wounds in the aftermath of these tragic events

Pray that Mary, Nasir and Neha will look to their heavenly Father for all their needs at this time and continue to seek His face (Psalm 68:5). Pray that authorities will act swiftly and justly.
Monday, March 29, 2010

Music Monday - The Wonderful Cross

This last week I've been spending more deliberate prayer and study time with God. I've been trying to prioritize my life as it is totally out of whack! Phones and friends have become my idols over my God and family. Things that I have submitted to lately have let me down. I wonder why?

This Friday we celebrate Good Friday. Really if you think about what's good about it. Jesus was nailed to a cross brutally and deliberately and made to suffer unimaginable pain. It's heard to think about the pain He would have went through. For anyone who has seen the Passion of the Christ you can visualize what He went through. I cried through out that movie as it was placed before me Jesus' trials during his last day.

In Alpha, Nicky Gubel talks about the cross. In fact, he starts off the study regarding the cross wearing a Gallows around his neck. It too was a source of death. He states that "the Cross lies at the heart of the Christian faith." Jesus died as a sacrifice for OUR SINS! Not His, as He was wholly perfect, but ours. And not just Ours, but MINE. My judging nature, my loud mouth ways, my anger, my unforgiveness....(just to name a few)! He died to make me reconciled with God. He died to make me whole! What freedom. What a Wonderful Cross.

When I survey the wondrous cross
On which the Prince of Glory died
My Richest gain I count but loss
And pour contempt on all my pride

See from His head His hands His feet
Sorrow and love flow mingled down
Did e'er such love and sorrow meet
Or thorns compose so rich a crown

Oh the wonderful cross (2x)
Bids me come and die and find
that I may truly live

Oh the wonderful cross (2x)
All who gather here by grace
draw near and bless your name

Were the whole realm of nature mine
That were an off'ring far too small
Love so amazing so divine
Demands my soul, my life, my all

Oh the wonderful cross (2x)
Bids me come and die and find
that I may truly live

Oh the wonderful cross (2x)
All who gather here by grace
draw near and bless your name

Love so amazing, so divine
Demands my soul, my life, my all

and the beauty and the shame
in the glory of His name
Oh the wonderful cross

Oh the wonderful cross (2x)
Bids me come and die and find
that I may truly live

Oh the wonderful cross (2x)
All who gather here by grace
draw near and bless your name

Now go and share with Shawntele your Music Monday!
Thursday, March 18, 2010

Music Monday - Be Thou My Vision

This coming Saturday will by Thomas' 4th Birthday. Its hard to imagine that my little boy is becoming a big boy. Thomas is my "middleman." Thomas sometimes can also be my most challenging child. He is very stubborn and will only do things in his time. He didn't walk until 20 months, crawling was just as good if not quicker at the time. He only in this last year has started talking. We are currently seeing a speech therapist to work on that. Saying all this though, he is the first to hug me every morning and loves to sit on my lap just to give me kisses. How you stay mad at that.

The day I was in labour with Thomas, we told Nicole her little brother was coming. She ran to the front window and informed me that she didn't see the baby coming. She was so happy when she finally got to see him. She wanted to hold him right way and then sang him "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star". Nicole and Thomas continue to share a special bond. They rarely fight and he would follow her to the ends of the earth. I'm so glad that God has blessed my children with siblings who love and care for each other.

Thomas's hymn that we gave him for his baptism was Be Thou My Vision. It was on a Celtic Lullaby cd that my mom purchased just before I had Thomas. In fact, he still goes to sleep listening to it every night. I wanted Thomas to recognize that Jesus should be first in everything he did. That He would be with him no matter what and that he could lean on Jesus for strength and peace when he needed them.

Be Thou my Vision, O Lord of my heart;
Naught be all else to me, save that Thou art.
Thou my best Thought, by day or by night,
Waking or sleeping, Thy presence my light.

Be Thou my Wisdom, and Thou my true Word;
I ever with Thee and Thou with me, Lord;
Thou my great Father, I Thy true son;
Thou in me dwelling, and I with Thee one.

Be Thou my battle Shield, Sword for the fight;
Be Thou my Dignity, Thou my Delight;
Thou my soul’s Shelter, Thou my high Tower:
Raise Thou me heavenward, O Power of my power.

Riches I heed not, nor man’s empty praise,
Thou mine Inheritance, now and always:
Thou and Thou only, first in my heart,
High King of Heaven, my Treasure Thou art.

High King of Heaven, my victory won,
May I reach Heaven’s joys, O bright Heaven’s Sun!
Heart of my own heart, whatever befall,
Still be my Vision, O Ruler of all.

Now go over to Saved by Grace and list your Music Monday with Shawntele.

Tea Talk - 3rd Cup of Coffee

So today while visiting Karinann's site, I discovered Tea Talk with Ruth at Celebrate Friendship. This a weekly meme where everybody shares a quick "tea" break with each other. I'm all for tea breaks or breaks of any kind!

This week, however, I'm on my third cup of coffee. I had one this morning while listening to a webinar with A Woman Inspired and then I had one with the lovely Andrea during Bible Babes. Andrea makes a wonderful cup of coffee.

Today I'm drinking my coffee out of my "I'm Not Wonder Woman but God Made Me Wonderful " mug. It is a tall slender pink striped mug that I purchased 4 years ago at the Woman of Faith Conference. In fact, I purchased the matching bag as well. On the other side of the mug is a good reminder for me -

I will praise you for I am fearfully and wonderfully made!" Psalm 139:14

This has been brought home for me these last couple of days while I have attended the Get Revived Conference through A Woman Inspired. For anyone who hasn't attended a webinar conference I can only say - Why Not! You have to try it. I'm very excited of the things I have learned and I have only listened to 4 of the speakers. I have been convicted of many things in my life because of it. Things like:

  1. In forgiving others, only doing good can subdue or bring the wrong doer over and that I can never make someone feel badly enough about the wrong they have committed.
  2. That if I don't spend time with God, I have nothing to offer.
  3. Behold God so intently that we can't help but to reflect Him!
  4. God's calling is mine alone and different from everybody else's.
These are just a few of things I've learned. Now to put them in to practice...

If I can leave anyone with something to remember and get through the week with it is this:

Its Ok to say No.
It is not Selfish.
Especially if you're protecting your time with God and your family.
Selfishness is demanding what YOU want.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Wednesday's Voice - Nigeria

Christians brutally massacred in Plateau state, Nigeria

Muslims launched deadly attacks on Christians in the three farming villages of Dogo Nahawa, Zot and Rastat in Plateau state near the city of Jos, Nigeria on March 7. The Muslim attackers, members of the Fulani ethnic group, killed hundreds of Christians, many of whom were women and children. The majority of the believers were members of the Berom ethnic group. "We were woken up by gunshots in the middle of the night, and before we knew what was happening, our houses were torched and they started hacking down people," said one survivor. The Muslims rampaged through homes while chanting "Allah Akbar" and brutally attacked people with knives and machetes. They also set fire to houses, burning approximately 75 to the ground. Sources estimate that around 500 people were killed in the violence.

The attack is the latest in several recent religious clashes in the state. While the country is almost evenly divided between Christians and Muslims, the state is predominantly Christian. The Muslim minority has long contested ownership of land in the state, intensifying tension between the two groups. (Source: Compass Direct, Christian Solidarity Worldwide)

Pray that those in turmoil due to these attacks will look to the God of all comfort for strength and peace (2 Corinthians 1).

Pray that violence will not beget violence, but that Christians will demonstrate the love and compassion of Jesus.

Pray that God will advance His peace throughout Nigeria.
Monday, March 15, 2010

Music Monday - How Many Kings

Two summers, I came across this week's song. It stirred my soul immediately. I have reflected upon it at different times. It has become one of my favourites as it reminds me who is my King and what He has done in my life.

It is easy to take everything in our lives for granted from our families, friends and the world around us. We look at the beauty of things and don't realize the cost that was paid on our behalf and that it started with the birth of a baby. A Father's Gift, A Mother's Sacrifice and a Son's Ultimate Surrender for those who don't deserve it.

How Many Kings - Downhere

Follow the star to a place unexpected
Would you believe, after all we've projected,
A child in a manger?
Lowly and small, the weakest of all
Unlikeliest hero, wrapped in his mother's shawl -
Just a child -
Is this who we've waited for? 'cause...

How many kings step down from their thrones?
How many lords have abandoned their homes?
How many greats have become the least for me?
And how many gods have poured out their hearts
To romance a world that is torn all apart
How many fathers gave up their sons for me?

Bringing our gifts for the newborn Savior
All that we have, whether costly or meek
Because we believe.
Gold for his honor, and frankincense for his pleasure
And myrrh for the cross he will suffer
Do you believe?
Is this who we've waited for?

All for me...
All for you..

Now go and share your Music Monday with Shawntele at Saved by Grace.
Friday, March 12, 2010

Caffienated Randomness - The Boots

So I'm sitting here with 7 kids, from 1 year to 6 years old, running around my basement and listening to them play (OK argue). Today I'm at home watching children as my girlfriend has a well deserved day off from her day home. I'm a little stressed about the whole proposition as I had a day home before Thomas was born, so I'm a little rusty. But I have a plan and a schedule! Hopefully they will follow along with it. Big Dreams, I know!!

Two weeks ago I became the proud owner of a lovely pair of Clarks boots. I have fallen in love with Clarks shoes. For those that don't know, they are brand from England that are amazing. Once you have Clarks, you can't go back to any other brand.

My parents were meeting in Scotland for my dad's R&R from Afghanistan. At Christmas, my mom asked me what I would like brought back from Scotland. I didn't want some nick knack as I have a lot already. That night, I went on line and started researching. Then it hit me! I wanted some Clarks shoes so I went to their website and saw MY boots. They were even on sale in Scotland at the time for 50 pounds. My mom said I had to be joking. I told her - NO!

While my parents were in Scotland, I pestered them everyday on Facebook about my boots. I forwarded a picture of my boots. They responded - Did I know how much they were? Yes. One day I asked where my boots were. They responded - At the Store. However, 5 days into their trip I received the joyous news I was waiting form - We have your boots. YIPPEE!!!!!

For the next 3 weeks, I bugged all my friends about the boots. I planned outfits around my boots. I even bought a hat that would match my boots. Andrea can tell you all about it.

When my mom finally came to visit me upon her return home, I don't know who was more excited, the kids or me! When she unpacked my boots, I ran to them and put them on. I walked around the house for an hour in them. I know I annoyed my hubby as they were rather loud on the laminate flooring. I wore them all week long. Everywhere I went, I showed off my new boots. I felt like my daughter with a new toy.

Here is a picture of the boots.
Now you know why I whined like a little kid for them and why I love them so!

Go and share your Randomness with our Caffeinated Chieftain.
Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Wednesday's Voice - Mexico

Christians under attack in Chiapas, Mexico

There were several attacks on believers in Chiapas, Mexico in recent months. Evangelicals in the state face frequent threats and attacks by rebel groups and traditionalist religious groups.

In one incident, a Christian community in the state was attacked by a group of 70 armed rebel sympathizers. Nearly 30 people were injured, including women and children. Seven Christians were kidnapped and one was shot in the back and left for dead.

On February 28, three Christians were shot and wounded on their way home from church services in the region of Mitziton. Rebel group members also reportedly threw rocks at cars and blocked the highway in order to prevent medical aid from reaching those injured.

In the city of Tumbala, rebel sympathizers assaulted approximately 40 Christians who were asleep in their homes. A 49-year-old believer was killed and 20 other Christians were injured. At last report, no suspects had been arrested. (Source: VOM Mexico)

Pray for protection and endurance of faith for these suffering believers.

Pray for healing for those injured.

Pray that followers of Christ in Mexico will be an example of His love and grace, even to their persecutors.
Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Simplifying for Sanity

I haven't been blogging as much as I should, but can you imagine I actually have two posts already this week! :P

While I was catching up on reading everyone's blogs, I noticed something on Lynette's blog. She is Simplifying for Sanity! She is encouraging each of us to pick a room and declutter and clean. It just so happens that I need to do this in my family room / playroom. I am taking part in a used children's clothing/toy sale this Saturday. So I need to go through what I have in the play area and weed out things. As well, as both the boys have birthdays this month, I need to make room for the new toys or games they will likely get.

If you are interested in taking part, check out Lynette's blog for all the rules. Not that they are really rules, they are more like guidelines, and let me know if you're taking part so that I can check out your progress next Monday. Can't wait to let you know about my progress.
Monday, March 8, 2010

Music Monday - Sam

I love Mondays. I look forward to picking out the songs that mean something to me at the time. There are times that I know weeks in advance what song I'm going to pick (like today) or I chose at the last minute because I liked the song we sang at church that week (All Who Are Thirsty) Thank you Shawntele for hosting this meme. I don't think you realize how much it means to all of us.
This coming Sunday, March 14, my baby turns one. I'm sad about how fast this has happened but can't wait to see the little man he will be. He is one of our joys and makes us smile. In fact, I'm smiling now just thinking about him, even though is just crawling around my chair. He is such a flirt (ask Andrea about that). Everybody who sees him just loves him. I'm not just saying that as his mom. Look at him:

I think I'm even more proud of him because of how he came to us. Two years ago, I found out I was pregnant. It was Easter weekend and I couldn't have been more excited. I had told everyone after Thomas, that I was DONE!!! However, I wasn't. We were all happy with the up coming baby. Two months later I had a miscarriage.

Our joy, turned to despair, hurt and sadness. We had to explain to our little girl, who was so looking forward to being a big sister again, that our baby had gone to heaven. At the time I cried out to God. I was angry. It wasn't fair. However, God reminded me that He would be with me through it all and He was.

Two months after my miscarriage, we received a surprise that people said was unlikely - we were expecting again. We were cautious to tell anyone this time, including our daughter. We didn't want to be disappointed again. At our 12 week ultrasound, we were gifted with pictures of our upcoming bundle. It was a beautiful site. He was perfect (we didn't know the sex at the time, because every time we had an ultrasound his legs were crossed).

A year ago, the baby was found to be breech. We found out three weeks before our due date. There was rush to get us booked for an c-section. The night before, Sam decided to spin around and at the hospital we found that he had turned. We were told that we would then have to be induced in case he turned again. My baby was born on March 14, 2009, shortly after midnight. This was our actual due date.

We were so happy. God had blessed us where we had thought we had lost. He had given us a gift that we thought we never would have. God is great!

At each of my older children's baptism's I chose a hymn I wanted to be applied to their life. However, I didn't get the opportunity with Sam. My other children's hymns both started with "B"(you'll have to wait until their birthdays to see what their hymns were). At the baptism the worship team played Be the Center. I reflected on the words and realized that just as God had given us Sam, he also gave Sam his hymn!

Be the Center
Michael Frye

Jesus be the center
Be my source be my light Jesus
Jesus be the center
Be my song Jesus

Be the fire in my heart
Be the wind in my sails
Be the reason that I live

Jesus Jesus
Jesus be my vision
Be my help
Be my guide Jesus

Now go and share your Music Monday with Shawntele at Saved by Grace!
Monday, March 1, 2010

Music Monday - Lord, Have Mercy

Sorry to be so late today, but I've been busy doing things that really didn't matter. Things that could have waited. Things that really shouldn't have a priority in my life (ie. talking on the phone, watching TV). Lately I have found myself prioritizing the wrong things and setting aside things that should have a priority. I have felt like I'm on a roller coaster that won't stop. Sometimes I'm up and sometimes I feel I'm falling. I'm not sure how to stop.

Actually, I know how to stop it. I need to sit down and relax in the presence of God. I need to ask for forgiveness for putting things first before Him. I need to remember that only God can bring me peace and contentment.

For the Lord your God is a merciful God. He will not abandon or destroy you....
Deuteronomy 4:31a

Lord Have Mercy- Michael W. Smith (Amy Grant)

Jesus, I've forgotten the words that You have spoken
Promises that burned within my heart have now grown dim
With a doubting heart I follow the paths of earthly wisdom
Forgive me for my unbelief
Renew the fire again

Lord have mercy
Christ have mercy
Lord have mercy on me

I have built an altar where I worship things of men
I have taken journeys that have drawn me far from You
Now I am returning to Your mercies ever flowing
Pardon my transgressions
Help me love You again

Repeat Chorus

I have longed to know You and Your tender mercies
Like a river of forgiveness ever flowing without end
I bow my heart before You in the goodness of Your presence
Your grace forever shining
Like a beacon in the night

Repeat Chorus 2x

Now go a see Shawntele at Saved by Grace for more Music Mondays.
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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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