Friday, May 27, 2011

Caffeinated Randomness - Happy Birthday Y2K Guy

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Today is my Y2K Guy's Birthday!  How are we celebrating it?  By having a garage sale.  Yes, that's right it's garage sale weekend here this week.   We have spent the last few hours (Thursday evening) moving things into our garage to sell so that we don't have to move them.  I know, I'll have to make up his birthday dinner sometime next week.  

But to celebrate his birthday, I am posting one of our new favourite bands the Sheepdogs.  They are a local band who were the only Canadian band to make it in the Rolling Stone contest for the first unsigned band to make the cover.  They are now in the finals and are one of two who could actually be on the cover of Rolling Stone.  We hadn't heard of this band prior to hearing about the contest on local radio, but we have come to love them.  They are a throwback of the southern rock bands of the 70s.  Something like Lynyrd Skynrd, CCR and the Allman Brothers.  They even look like they are 30 years too late.  Saying all this, I love them.  They play fun, easy going music. The kind of music to listen to on hot summer days during a BBQ.  That's my favourite music. 


Hope you all have a great weekend and come link up with your randomness today.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Wednesday's Voice - China

Update: Shouwang Church in Beijing continues to face opposition
Sources: ChinaAid Association, BBC)

For the sixth straight week, members of Shouwang Church in Beijing, China, have faced opposition from authorities for trying to hold outdoor Sunday worship. On May 15, Beijing police rounded up about 20 church members and roughly 100 church members were confined to their homes to prevent their going to the outdoor worship site. By noon, a few of those taken into police custody were released. Some of the church's leaders, however, including its pastors and elders, have been under extra-judicial house arrest since April 9, the day before the first outdoor worship attempt.

Christians throughout China are advocating for their brothers and sisters belonging to the Shouwang Church, one of Beijing's largest underground churches. The leaders of 17 unofficial Christian churches in China recently appealed to political leaders to protect their right to worship. A petition, addressed to the National People's Congress chairman, has been delivered to parliament, demanding an investigation into the treatment of church members.

Pray for continued resilience of faith for members of the Shouwang Church. Thank the Lord for the many believers willing to stand in solidarity with these suffering believers.

Pray that Chinese authorities will be moved by the witness of Christ's Body and come to justly respect religious freedom.

Pray that the Church in China will continue to show the light of God's love and truth and remain strong amid opposition.
Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Lost & Found Book Club - And Shofar Blew


This was the book that I wanted to do a book club conversation about. 


God summoned the ancient Israelites with the blast of a ram's horn. And he still calls people to action today! Dynamic young preacher Paul Hudson is committed to building his church---but at what cost? As he and his congregation struggle to live out their faith, they must choose between man's will---and God's. 450 pages, softcover from Tyndale.
I know many of you may have already read this novel and if you haven't, you need to.  This novel looks at a dying congregation who brings in a new pastor and how that pastor and congregation start to look at the larger picture and their own ambitions and not on God and His will.

I try to read this book every year.  I've hightlighted and taken notes in it.  I know this isn't a Bible, but it is a book that forces us to reflect on where and what our hearts are focused on when we are in ministry.  Is it God and how what we do reflects him to others?  Or is it we look to others or to the world?  These are things I always ask myself when I am involved in ministry.  For example I love to sing.  It took me three year at our previous church to allow myself to ask if I could join the worship team.  Not because I was unsure of whether I could sing or not, but so I could examine my heart as to my motivation to join.

I love how Francine Rivers tackles some of the questions I have regarding ministry  :

How often do we do things to please others, rather than what God tells us to do.
How do we view our church leaders?
Do we see submission in passive or negative terms?
Are we simplifying our message to assist or deceive?

She may not give us the answers that we want, but she gives us the places to look for those answers, namely God and His word.  She doesn't splice words in this novel, even while cleaning up the ending.  

This book is well written and explores our hearts as Christians and our motivations in our Churches.  I would recommend everyone reading this book not just as an eye opener as the Church today, but also to see what God can do when we do get caught up in us and not Him.


Monday, May 23, 2011

The Good, The Bad, The Clean and the Icky!

This weekend I watched two movies.  These movies together made me think about the choices I have been making regarding my tv/video viewing.  These movies were Letters to Juliet and No Strings Attached.  One I can recommend, the other left me reeling.  Both these movies are advertised as romantic comedies and aimed at the late teenage/college and career age.  But these movies are different as night and day.  One relies on the premises of what if and is light.  The other relies perverse humour to get the laughs.  

I watched No Strings Attached with some friends while I was over at their place for dinner.  I was shocked and repulsed at the movie.  Within the first 5 minutes there was already language that I wouldn't want my child to hear or see.  (I can't believe I said that, I sound like my grandmother).  I felt at one point that we were watching soft core porn.  It was that vivid.  Luckily I had to leave early and didn't watch the rest of the movie.  I still feel a bit shocked and dirty.  But I was more shocked that this movie was being played in front of a 15 year old with no issues about language or content.  

I went home and watched Letters to Juliet and was taken back at the difference of the movies.  I knew how both would end.  Of course, the main characters would end up together, but in the second movie they didn't have to sleep together to do it.  This difference, as well as others, led me to start thinking about what I have been watching lately and are they shows I could watch if my daughter came into the room unexpectedly.  

Most of the shows I watch are pretty clean.  I watch a lot of food shows, home decorating shows, shows on the history channel.  We like to watch Pawn Stars and American Pickers.  We enjoy watching Billy the Exterminator as a family and old Mash episodes.  There are few shows I watch that I don't want my kids to watch namely Glee and Grey's Anatomy.  Both these shows are inappropriate for the kids, but if it's inappropriate for the kids, then why is it ok for me?  These are things I've been thinking about lately.

A few weeks ago I fasted from TV for a week.  It was a struggle, but I learned that I could do it.  That the TV shows didn't need me to continue.  I missed one week of my two favourite shows and I didn't die.
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.    Philippians 4:8 NIV 84
Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.  Colossians 3:1-2 NIV84
Do the things that I read and watch regularly reflect these truths?  No.  Many of the shows and books I read are more "worldly."  The focus on what the "world" says is acceptable, rather than what God says is acceptable.  They focus on many of the issues of the day, but many look at self rather than God for help.  This basic lie that we can rely on ourselves and not God can lead us further from the Father until we don't hear His voice, which is where the enemy wants us.  

I will admit that sometimes I read and watch such things to see what all the "hoopla" was about.  For example the Da Vinci Code.  I hated this book and not because of the premise which was how most of my friends felt about it but because it was a poorly written book.  Did I learn anything from this book - NO.  But reading it did help me to talk to my non-Christian friends about truths.   I am not a believer in banning, but I think we need to discern what we put in ourselves and how it can either educate us or harm us.  If what we are watching or reading will lead us away from God then we need to cease and desist immediately.  We need to match what we are feeding our hearts and minds with Gods word.  

I know this is a struggle that I have.  What's appropriate and what's not.  I think we all do.  But after this weekend I know that if it makes me feel "icky" then it's definitely something that I shouldn't be watching or reading. 
My son, pay attention to what I say; listen closely to my words.
Do not let them out of your sight, keep them within your heart;
for they are life to those who find them and health to a man’s whole body.
Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.
Put away perversity from your mouth; keep corrupt talk far from your lips.
Let your eyes look straight ahead, fix your gaze directly before you.
Make level paths for your feet and take only ways that are firm.
Do not swerve to the right or the left; keep your foot from evil.  Proverbs 4: 20-27
 What are your thoughts?  Is this a struggle you've been having? 

I'm linking up with the Soli Deo Sisterhood today at Finding Heaven.



Friday, May 20, 2011

Caffeinated Randomness - Coffee

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This week I am being completely random.  I took a blog things quiz - What kind of Coffee Girl are you?  I really wanted to know.  Here's what I got.....



You Are a Cappuccino






You're fun, outgoing, and you love to try anything new.

However, you tend to have strong opinions on what you like.

You are a total girly girly at heart - and prefer your coffee with good conversation.

You're the type that seems complex to outsiders, but in reality, you are easy to please


   



I agree with the analysis, but disagree with the type of coffee.  I really don't like cappuccinos, they aren't sweet enough for me and I need all the help I can get. 

By the way, I really am pretty easy to please....

Come join us this week with your randomness and let me know what kind of coffee girl you are.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Lost and Found Book Club - Unplanned

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Last summer I tried to start an on line book club where we would read and review books that we had stacked on our bookshelves.  Those gems that we were drawn to, recommended to, or given that we haven't read.  I know I have a stack of them.  Unfortunately, I only had one person who was interested so I gave up the idea.  However, God has been leading me to re-evaluate the Lost and Found Book Club. 

I believe my guiding to the book club was to share my love of books with everyone.  I read constantly.  I read for pleasure and knowledge.  I also have very eclectic reading habits.  So what do I do with it.  I have felt God telling me to share this love, but in another fashion.  Every Thursday, I am going to post about a book that I have recently read - new or old.  Knowing me though it will rarely be one that just came out.  It will most likely be one that has been out for a while.  I rarely buy new books and I usually wait until all the "hoopla" has calmed down reading a popular book so that I can make my own opinions.  The books I read may not all be spiritual, but they will be books that have encouraged me in my walk and push me to those places I don't want to go. 

Which is where my first book took me -  Unplanned by Abby Johnson.


Here is the publisher's description:
Abby Johnson quit her job in October 2009. That simple act became a national news story because Abby was the director of a Planned Parenthood clinic in Texas who, after participating in her first actual abortion procedure, crossed the line to join the Coalition for Life. Unplanned is a heart stopping personal drama of life-and-death encounters, a courtroom battle, and spiritual transformation that speaks hope and compassion into the political controversy that surrounds this issue. Telling Abby's story from both sides of the abortion clinic property line, this book is a must-have for anyone who cares about the life-versus-rights debate and helping women who face crisis pregnancies.
I first heard about this story during the American Presidential Election.  I was intrigued, but never really looked into it further.  Recently while perusing our audio library system, I came across it and decided to look into it.  I knew this book was endorsed by Focus on the Family, but didn't know if it was just a pro-life story or someone's testimony.  It's about both.

I am familiar with her story of being 18 and ideological.  I was raised in a very liberal home.  I was raised being pro choice and that abortion was ok, especially in cases of rape and incest.  I was raised that no one could tell me what to do with my body, that it was mine and mine alone.  These ideas changed when I had my first ultrasound.  My daughter was 13 weeks.  She was fully developed and looked like a little baby, in fact she was sucking her thumb.  She already was active, it took longer for the ultrasound because she was moving around the whole time.   At that time I could have still had an abortion if I had wanted one.  But the pictures shown to me were of a baby.  I wonder how many women on that same date, pregnant for as long as I made a choice that I could and would never make.  I'll admit that rape and incest were still a grey area for me.  That is until I read this book.  Abby (I hope I can call her that) talks about some instances where women she counseled after rape did not abort and gave their babies up for adoption, these women were able to work through their pain.  

This book is also about her own testimony - about forgivness, the power of prayer and redemption.  Abby went from working for Planned Parenthood to Coalition for Life in one day.  This was after 8 years with Planned Parenthood.  It was also after 8 years of prayers from different persons of Coalition for Life and her family.  God worked in her in so many ways, although it took something drastic for her to listen to Him. 

I would definitely recommend this book to everyone.  It is not an easy book to read as her story is hard and very visual.  She does not mince words regarding the abortion that changed her life forever.  I think though that it's what God wants her to share with all of us.  Just as the Cross was messy, we need to acknowledge what happened to get the full picture of the gift He's given us. 
Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Wedneday's Voice - Syria

Syrian Christians increasingly vulnerable amid power struggle
(Source: Australian Evangelical Alliance Religious Liberty Commission)

Fears for the safety of Syria's Christian population have been on the rise amid the "Arab Spring" -- the pro-democracy uprisings sweeping the Middle East and North Africa since March. The Syrian regime is allied to Shia Iran and Hezbollah; however, the nation's population is 90 percent Sunni Arab, adding to fears that intense sectarian conflict similar to that in Iraq could arise in the country. (The two predominant sects of Islam are Sunni and Shia. A majority of Muslims is Sunni with the smaller percentage of Shia Muslims living in Iran and Iraq.) If such a struggle ensues, Syria's 1.4 million Christians (6.3 percent of the population) could be in the same vulnerable, threatened position as Iraq's now almost annihilated Christian community (In fact, Syria hosts hundreds of thousands of Assyrian and Chaldean Christian refugees from Iraq.)

Consequently, Syrian Christians are maintaining a very low-key approach both politically and religiously. They kept their observance of Easter very quiet this year, cancelling traditional public processions and celebrations. The on-going riots have not been sectarian yet, being rooted in grievances that are social (repression and inequality) and economic (unemployment plus massive fuel and food price hikes).

Ask God to embolden, comfort and encourage all Syria's Christians with His presence.

Pray followers of Christ in Syria will be a strong witness to their family, friends, neighbours, and oppressors;

Pray that Syrian converts to Christianity will be a strong witness to their family, friends and neighbors.
Monday, May 16, 2011

Communities within Community

This past month my church participated in a Natural Church Development Survey.  You know those surveys that ask you how you feel about the worship, what do you think of church leadership, etc..  This last week we met regarding the results.  There were really no surprises, but a lot of concerns.  A major deficit in our church appears to be in the lack thereof or complete disregard of small groups.  One of our council members even acknowledged that they had not focused on small groups in a  long time.  

There was a  lot of discussion and numerous comments regarding the small group dilemma:
  • I meet with three other men over coffee and we have various conversations.  Is that a small group?
  • My small group is not even affiliated with the church.
  • We meet every Sunday after church and hang out
  • Why do we have to sit down and study some book?
  • We should organize people into small groups.
  • Why are we even worried about small groups, they're not even in the Bible?
WHAT!  That last one threw me for a loop.  They are in the Bible.
They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts,  praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved. (Acts 2:42-47 NIV84)
After Pentecost, where the Spirit ignited and moved among the people, 3000 people became new believers.  These people then didn't just sit around either and discuss what should or could be done - they just did.  They met continually with each other in study, in fellowship, in communion and in prayer.  

I know many of us think of small groups traditionally as a group of believers just sitting down with our Beth Moore studies or some book regarding a book of the Bible.  These believers did just that.  They studied the stories of Jesus.  They studied the teachings of the letters of Peter and Paul.  But I think that the study of the teachings doesn't just have to be looking at some book, but by holding each other accountable to the teachings.  Just getting together with a group of men and encouraging and challenging each other in their walks is great spiritual teaching.  Learning from each others' testimonies, trials and triumphs sometimes are the best expressions of God work and those stories stay with us.  In know my Babes do a traditional study, but some of the best lessons I have learned, haven't been from the studies we have done, but have been from watching each of their walks and how God has worked in each of them.
The group of that "hung out" together were the group that didn't want to be pigeonholed into studying.  They just wanted to hang out, play music, have fun.  This is what we are called to do.  To be in fellowship.  To enjoy each others company.  To encourage each other.  To laugh with each other.  To praise God in worship with each other.  However, it can't just become a group where you don't hold each other accountable.  Where you don't question?  We need to support each other, but we also need to ask those tough questions of each other.  When I first went to our church I was part of a Mom's Group, where we did mostly socialize, but we also talked about our struggles - not just as moms and wives, but as daughters of God.  We held each other and prayed for each other.  We did fun things every week, but we also read devotions and encouraged conversations regarding those devotions that challenged each of us.  A group that just "hangs out" is in danger of not "growing" or growing stagnant as the foundation is not there.

The early believers prayed for each other.  In fact, Paul stated:
And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints. Ephesians 6:18 NIV84
We are to lift each other up in prayer and praise.  God wants us to give everything over to Him. Sometimes in our deepest trials, when we feel alone, we need that group of believers around us, interceding on our behalf; saying the words we cannot because we are too broken.  It can also be a group to get down and praise for all that God has done and continues to do in us.  The best example of this is shown in the book series the Yada Yada Sisterhood.  These books describe a group of ladies of different social and economic backgrounds and how they lifted each other up in prayer at all times and in all ways.

Did you also notice that the new believers "broke bread" together.  I know some commentators say this is about eating together.  But another verse also uses the broke bread terminology.
While they were eating, Jesus took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take it; this is my body.” Mark 14:22 NIV84
These believers celebrated what brings us all together in remembrance of Jesus and what he gave us - His Body for our deliverance.  This is something we still do two millennial later.   Many of us do not do this in a small group setting.  I experienced communion during a small group evening with adults with various disabilities.  This still in my memory was the most moving and spiritual times I have ever partaken of communion.  Sharing the gift with people who loved me for just being me; just as God loves me for me. 
I know many people get stuck on the legalities of small groups.  When and how they should meet?  How many people should be in a group?  Should they be in groups based on age, sex or interests?  I think instead of thinking about the schematics, we should look at what they are:  communities within community.  We are not to close ourselves off to the larger community, but we should have a close group of people to share our pains and joys with and to build relationships.  We need to encourage each other to build a community in a way that it strengthens and challenges their walks.  

What does a small group look like to you?

I'm linking up with Soli Deo Gloria Sisterhood at Finding Heaven.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Caffeinated Randomness - Preschool Graduation

Sorry for the delay, but you can blame Blogger......

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So yesterday was Middleman's Preschool Graduation. I have to admit that I was so so about going (sorry Mrs. Muffin). One because I feel so so about those little celebrations. I never cried dropping the Princess at kindergarten on the first day of school. Of course, that could be because of the fight over her shoes before dropping her off. I also know that I have one more year of him being “little” before he hits the big school as we have decided to keep him out of kindergarten one more year while we arrange for therapies to work with his autism.

That “A” word was the other reason I was a little apprehensive about going. Middleman does not do well in large crowds. He doesn't like the noise or that many people around his space. The last time we were in a large group he didn't know, he had a melt down. This is just one of the things we try to avoid. So, as I said I was a little so so about to going.

I'm glad now that we did. They had each of the classes go up to the stage, sing a song and then handed out diplomas. Did I mention that one the Babes made caps for each of the students? They looked so cute in their rainbow caps and their little outfits and frilly dresses. When it was Middleman's classes' turn, he ran up for his cap, which had to be green (I mentioned that to our helpful EA) and then ran back to mom. He was not going up the stage to do any song (this is normal, we're still shocked he went up there for the Christmas concert). He did, however, run up when his name was called for his diploma. He was so happy to get his paper with his name on it. Most of the moms were crying at this time. Not me. I was busy keeping Middleman from melting down from the clapping.

Then one of the parents made a photo montage of all the different classes. She had two songs, one I was unfamiliar with and the other was Vitamin C's Graduation Song. I was listening to the words of the song and the chorus choked me up.

As we go on
We remember
All the times we
Had together
And as our lives change
Come Whatever
We will still be
Friends Forever

Most of the kids at the preschool will be growing up together, going to the same school, being in the same classes. They will most likely know each other at their next graduation in 12 years. Not Middleman. He will be going to a new school and will be making new friends. This does sadden me. This graduation became not just a realization of my child moving from preschool, but that our family is moving and leaving our little community for a new community. I'm excited and scared just as each of these little preschoolers are about kindergarten. What will happen? Will they like me? Will I like them? These are questions our children ask about the big school, but they're also questions and worries I have in the move that we are making. I know and trust though that someone larger than me is leading us and will hold our family in His hands on that first day of “school”.


Come link up with your randomness today!
Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Wednesday's Voice - Mexico

Pastor kidnapped in Mexico
(Source: Compass Direct)

A pastor has been kidnapped by suspected drug traffickers in the city of Lázaro Cárdenas, Mexico. At approximately 8:15 a.m. on April 10, a group of men armed with machine guns barged into the Christian Center El Shaddai where some 500 Christians were gathered for a worship service. The men fired guns into the air and grabbed Pastor Josué Ramírez Santiago. The following day, the pastor's family received news that the criminals wanted a ransom of 20 million pesos (approximately $1.6 million CAD). Even if the family could raise such an immense sum, it is unlikely that payment would secure the pastor's safe return. Local Christians have reported that organized crime syndicates and drug cartels often target Christians because they view churches as revenue centers. "Some 100 Mexican or foreign pastors who lived in Ciudad Juarez have had to abandon the city because of the threats and demands for money," said Arturo Farela, director of the National Fraternity of Evangelical Churches. He also noted that many pastors and their families had been victims of extortion, threats, kidnapping and homicide.

Pray Pastor Josué will be released and safely returned home.

Pray for protection for evangelical Christians suffering persecution. Pray for God's peace to reign in regions of Mexico currently embroiled in violence and crime.

Pray God's people will be equipped and emboldened to serve their Lord faithfully, even amid great opposition.
Monday, May 9, 2011

Carry Each Other

A few weeks ago, I wrote about the "messy Christianity" that we all know about, but do not want to talk about.  Today at Babes, we talked about this.  We all agreed that the church should be the place to share these pains, trials, feelings, struggles, etc...  We should feel able to be open with members of our church family.  Many things prohibit this from happening.  One of the Babes felt that we may not want to hear the truth because we wouldn't know how to respond.  We are all human and suffer from our human frailties of selfishness, weakness, favouritism - namely our worldly nature.

James spoke about how we look at people at church.
Suppose a man comes into your meeting wearing a gold ring and fine clothes, and a poor man in shabby clothes also comes in. If you show special attention to the man wearing fine clothes and say, “Here’s a good seat for you,” but say to the poor man, “You stand there” or “Sit on the floor by my feet,” have you not discriminated among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts? James 2:2-4 NIV 84
Tell me the truth, have you ever judged the person next to you in the pew?  I know I have.  Whether as James talks about the "poor man" or the single mom; the recent divorcee; the immigrant family; the "crusty" old guy, we have each judged the unknown and have chosen not to open our minds or our hearts to learning more about them.  How many of us have really gotten to know those that society or our close circle of friends considers the undesirable?  How many of us turn and thank God that that's not us.  Oh, how easy it would be for God to answer and it wouldn't be the prayer that we were praying, but quite the opposite.  
Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. Galatians 6:2 NIV 84
As a mom, we know a lot about carrying another's loads.  My daughter always trys to get me to carry her backpack when I pick her up after school.  In fact, she often comes out of the classroom and drops the said backpack at my feet.  I know this is different from the burdens Paul was talking about but we are meant to support each other through our trials.  How do we do this?  As simple as praying for each other.  
Is any one of you in trouble? He should pray. Is anyone happy? Let him sing songs of praise. Is any one of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up. If he has sinned, he will be forgiven. Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.   James 5:13-16 NIV 84
Did you notice that we have some ownership to our "messiness."  We need to talk to our "elders of the church".  Many of us keep our burdens to ourselves and we wallow and suffer in silence.  We don't want to share our problems with others or admit our frailties and our imperfections.  But that's exactly what we are called to do.  We don't have to post it in the weekly bulletin or announce it from the pulpit, but we are to share our troubles with fellow believers and pray for redemption and healing.

We were not meant to live alone.  God, felt it was bad and created Eve for Adam.  We were created to be in community with each other.
Two are better than one,
   because they have a good return for their work:
If one falls down,
   his friend can help him up.
But pity the man who falls
   and has no one to help him up!
Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm.
   But how can one keep warm alone?
Though one may be overpowered,
   two can defend themselves.
A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.  Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 NIV 84
We need to pick each other up.  We need to look past our own prejudices and our own pain.  We need to ask the serious questions and expect the honest answers.  We need to be honest with people and not give them stock answers.  It's ok to admit that we hurt or don't have all the answers.  It's at those times we need to bow our heads together and go to the one who does and who can heal us and save us from our trials.

Church was made for community.  We are only as strong as the weakest link.  Go out on a limb today and open yourself up to the community around you.
 
I'm linking up today with Soli Deo Gloria Sisterhood at Finding Heaven.  Come join in and see God at work.


Friday, May 6, 2011

Caffeinated Randomness - ROCKBAND Edition

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I have a dream.  A silly little dream.  It's one which I've had for a long time.  I want to be in a Rock Band.  I don't think I'm the only one.  I had a friend that played piano for our worship team that had the same dream and when she played with the youth team, she finally felt her dream take flight.  
 
I love to sing.  I will sing in the van, in the shower, while walking (ok haven't done this since high school for obvious reasons), at church, in the basement, in the laundry room.  You name it, I've probably sang there.  I always have a song for every occasion (secular and non secular songs).  I love music.  I have never had formal vocal lessons, but I have been told that I have a nice voice.  I did hear from my family though as a kid that the people got paid to sing, as a result I was very self conscious about my voice and my singing.  It wasn't until I hit my first Karaoke night that I really got my groove on.  I actually had people tell other people to be quiet so they could hear me sing and I wasn't singing quietly either.  I actually became a Karaoke Hog, you know the person that doesn't want to hand the mike over.  I loved singing and finally found someplace to do it.  I really want a karaoke machine, but my husband is worried that I wouldn't ever stop singing.  I would have to eventually cook dinner.  

My friend recently got Sing It Disney for her daughter for the Wii, we had to try it out to see if it worked before we gave it too her.  We didn't want it broken  and have her find out on her birthday 3 weeks later.  At least that was what we told ourselves.  We just wanted to sing the songs.  When we were done them, we then went out and rented a RockBand edition so that we could keep singing.  We are now addicted to the RockBand.  When we get together we have to play a few rounds.  We love to dance and ham it up when we are singing.  Our kids even get into the act.  We may have to take our show on the road.  It's too bad that Idol caps their age at 28, I'm sure that we would take it all.  
 
Can you see me on the stage?
 
My Head Banging Dance
 
What's your dream?

Come link up with some caffeinated women today.
 
 
Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Wednesday's Voice - Vietnam

Vietnamese government steps up repression of Christian group
(Source: The Strait Times)

Recently, the Vietnamese government has been increasingly harassing a peaceful group of Montagnard Christians living in the Central Highlands of Vietnam. Although Christian Montagnards have always been a target of persecution, the Vietnamese government has stepped up its repression of this indigenous minority -- forcing hundreds to renounce their religion. According to a report from Human Rights Watch, "the Vietnamese government has increased its harassment of peaceful ethnic minority Christians in the Central Highlands, targeting members of unregistered house churches."

Pray the Lord will protect these believers and give them the strength they need to stay faithful and remain effective witnesses for Christ.

May they rely on the Lord to give them the words to say when they stand before accusing authorities (Matthew 10:19).

Pray for the perpetrators and all those in authority.
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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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