Abiding not Striving.

It’s time for a catch up!

Summer in Kelowna saw bible camps, road trips, hikes, praying mantis finds and speedboat thrills.

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Summer in Kelowna was a houseful of the loveliest ones in our lives, alongside ‘one thing after the other’ … ending with an ‘all clear’ following my mammograms, ultrasound and biopsy. Thank you Jesus.

Nanny Pop (Phil’s Grandma) passed away which led the Collins clan back to Stourbridge where Phil led her funeral service, as the family were able to remember together. Sad days, walked out on Clent hills, with the best of friends in hidden caves and great pub grub.

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We enjoyed a God given moment as we left Pop’s house. His tears flowing in his grief – 73 years is a long time. Phil, myself and the children prayed for Pop, the comfort of God was present in the room – and in Pops heart.

And here we are at the end of September! We have just seen the end to our teachers strike so look forward to the twins starting their new school on Monday. We also have a Korean student, Chloe (12) with us for the school year. We recently enjoyed Korean Thanksgiving where samgyupsal, jjimdak, kimchi and dukboekki ’ were devoured by all!

The church enters a new season – our kickoff happened last weekend where all of our congregations joined our downtown service. A beautiful evening of worship, baptisms and community.

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We have Philip Yancey and Searchlight theatre with us this weekend at Willow Park Church for a time of understanding ‘What’s so Amazing about Grace’.

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As the children head back to school on Monday, I head to Mwanza, Tanzania on Tuesday.

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Phil and I have been involved with Living Waters for many years and I look forward to visiting there again with a group of women from our church. We will be involved in many activities – schools work, assemblies, helping in the children’s home, involved in the feeding program, leading a women’s seminar… and singing in a village church 😉

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Now those are our plans – we are excited for those, also for the surprises God has in store for us. We want to be love poured out to the lovely community in Mwanza, blessing the ministry that is established there.

More on that over the next couple of weeks, I will attempt to write and post pics as and when possible. Please pray for us – safety, health, for our families at home, for anxiety to calm, and for God to use us mightily!

But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth. Acts 1:8

A couple of months ago I started to ask God for a message to carry. It was no surprise when the Lord began to weave scripture together, confirming it each and every way I turned – everything I read, listened to and watched.

The message began as I browsed through my first bible. Remember those big NKJ bibles, enclosed in a burgundy leather case, complete with gold edge indexing? This bible is dated, underlined and highlighted in many places – the joy of my salvation jumping out in yellow marker. It’s a verse I underlined during my first year of giving my life to Jesus – the days where the presence was tangible and His whisper wild. It’s good to be reminded of those promises. To smile at those fulfilled and to question why some struggles remain the same.

It was this verse…

“But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, 
 whose trust is in Him. They will be like a tree planted by the water
 that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; 
its leaves are always green.
 It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.” Jeremiah 17:7

I was promised drought will come…but that fruit will be produced.

The underlining is not just a cheesy exercise – it’s a lifeline – a promise.

A river in the drought.

God knew to highlight that verse to me in those early days. He knew that life would hurt me, that death would affect me, that I would despair for loved ones, that Christians….

He knew I would always go back to the promise, that even in that season there is fruit. I have a choice to make. It is easy in difficult times to put it down to a ‘season’ – dark, winter times when God feels absent.

This verse tells me another story. It tells me I am a tree planted by Gods river and that I can bear fruit 12 months of the year. The promise of nourishment. The person who trusts in the Lord is like a tree planted by a stream. The roots make their way to the fresh and nutritious flow. The tree will never lack for food. The promise of protection. The heat comes, but the tree by the stream is appropriately shielded. So the believer will experience heat through various circumstances and challenges. We need some heat to make us grow. But God will always be there to protect us. The promise of fruit. Dry times come. But the tree planted by the stream has everything it needs to bear fruit.

The beginning of the verse says ‘blessed is the person who trusts’ TRUST, a word that comes from a root word meaning ‘to lean on, feel safe or secure, to be confident, to find refuge and security’ It involves an act of the heart and will and weaves wonderfully with John 15 and abiding.

I have just written the seminar for the women’s day we are leading in Tanzania on Intimacy and Fruitfulness. So excited for this!  1 John 3:1 says ‘How great is love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God’ Lavish is an incredibly rich word. It means over the top – more than you can I imagine. Giving us the beautiful title of Son or Daughter!

Heidi Baker says  ‘We cannot create fruit, but we can live in intimacy!  A tree produces fruit by simply abiding, not striving’

Intimacy. But how? What does that look like? What is this fruit? I have gathered my thoughts from friends who live this out and will write a post on this in the next week.

Meanwhile I need to pack!!

I will leave you with a couple of questions:

What is the message you are currently carrying?

God has spoken promises over you – which one do you need to be reminded of today?

Love, Michelle xo

PS. Good to be back.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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3 thoughts on “Abiding not Striving.

  1. The verse you shared brought me to tears, and has touched me deeply. Thank you for sharing your experiences, thank you for continuing your blog.

  2. I will be praying for you daily while you ladies are away. Praying blessing flows out of you, fruit is seen before your eyes… wishing I could be along for the ride.

  3. I love these words that you have written here Shell and remember so well God giving you that promise all those years ago….and looking back have seen the fruit of it evolving throughout your life. Where would we be without His promises…..among many promises that I stand on and speak out…the one engrained on my heart (as well as my arm😘) is Proverbs 3 vs 5 -6 …. Trust in the Lord with all your heart, lean not on your own understanding…in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths……it’s the only way! Xxx

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