Sabbatical thoughts: Part One.

Hello!

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We are on sabbatical! A gift of time given to Phil this Summer, after 7 years at Willow Park. A time to refresh, rest and study for the next season of ministry. If you follow our Monday funday life you’ll know that Phil and I sabbath well and this has transferred into an extended period.

In addition, Phil is studying to provide the church with new resources around the subjects of general anxiety and helping families with loved ones with cancer and dementia. Phil began his time with a 5 day hike along the famous West Coast Trail with our good friend Lyndon who flew in from the UK. A challenging 75 km hike between Port Renfrew and Bamfield on the West Coast of Vancouver Island.

June also saw a great visit from Mom, Dion and Charl.

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Em and Jess’ graduation!

…and end of school and awards nights for Josiah and Bella. Into July we see Em return from Watson Lake in the Yukon where the team ran a great youth camp with our Watson family. Ark started this past week with our Josiah heading off for the first time. He loved every minute. You can watch their first week recap here.

I am busy with Pursuit School. We have students applying and I’m currently finalizing curriculum for the school and organising speakers. Go like our Facebook page and cheer us on! It’s not too late to apply, or you might know someone who would like to attend an awesome school of evangelism and mission based out of Willow Park Church in Kelowna.  

As an INFJ and a journaler I often pour out creative expression privately. Over the last months I have resorted to private expression, rather than posting, a few reasons but I do know that we all do our best creative best work when we’re doing it in front of somebody else. So bare with me as I write the mundane, the ordinary and practice taking my voice from private to public, from page to post once more.

July Journal entry

….I woke this morning early. English tea in my oversized starbucks cup (half tsp sugar) followed by coffee in a small cup (no sugar) It’s 8am and I decide to exercise before the forecasted 30+ hits. No make up, scraped hair and podcasts lined up I hit the orchards for my daily 6km loop. I walk uphill, run down around the orchards. I am rejoicing with morning creation, joining into God’s work that I’m called to enjoy and share and develop. Sunbeams dart through the forest trees. I stop. A few minutes later two fawns slow my steps. Sunny (our rusty whoodle) is frozen with excitement. The deer saunter towards us and Sunny can’t contain herself any longer, letting out a strange hunting squeal, they leap away, through the woods. Free.

We live in God; we move in God; we exist in God. Acts 17:28

The Jewish name for God – Yahweh – was not spoken, but breathed. Its correct pronunciation is an attempt to imitate the sound of inhalation and exhalation. We do that every moment: our first and last word as we enter and leave the world…. The one thing we do every moment of our lives is therefore to speak the name of God. This makes it our first and our last word as we enter and leave the world (Richard Rohr)

I run on, breathing. I love that in spite of ourselves and our pain, by breathing we are speaking the name of God, taking time with eternity. We see the breath of God in everything – through scripture – throughout nature.

Inhaling I ask the Spirit to take control

Exhaling confession

Inhale forgiveness

Exhale gratitude.

Inhale grace

I see in a blink, a spectrum of light dance through water spraying over the orchards.

I’m reminded of the promise of His presence,

I pray, Emmanuel, be with…

Dear friends who have lost everything to fire,  

Raging forest fires,

A precious newborn who needs miracle,

Good friends traveling for life changing treatment,

Our pastor’s, their families and our church family,

And for you in impossible situations I pray you know your loving Father, who breathed His life into your being, who promises His presence.

Love, Michelle xo

more sabbatical thoughts soon 🙂

 

I’m stuck in Hope

Hey y’all  – a quick check in from the land of Hope!

Pursuit School of Evangelism was prayed for and commissioned yesterday at the Multiply conference in Vancouver with Luis Palau. Excited to see where God takes this vision!

I am sitting here in a terracotta colored motel room in a town called Hope, BC. Perhaps not our first choice of vacay but the Coquihalla is closed due to multiple accidents and severe weather warnings. In fact, it’s the first time in many years that all roads between the Coast and the Interior are closed. We are often involved in firsts.

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So we end up in Hope where Rambo was filmed! There are a few more visitors tonight as sleepy motels fill up #quietatmosphere

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It brings me to thinking about… wait for it…Hope!

I reposted a blog yesterday, which told the story of my baby bro – here it is. It was read and shared more than ever. Always thankful for hope being shared and the power of prayer realized.

I was thinking about some of my old Hope posts and remembered ‘Camp Hope’ from 2010. Can you remember the emotional scene as we watched 33 Chilean miners rise in the Phoenix capsule, following the natural response of family, friends and strangers setting up an actual ‘Camp Hope.’ Above ground. Waiting.

I love hope, not wishful thinking hope but a confident expectation kind of hope.

I spend a lot of time in Camp Hope. Praying and believing for those trapped, blinded by the dark and awaiting rescue. I’ll wait in Camp Hope for as long as it takes – until I see the Phoenix. We all have our role in the camp, some keep spirits high, some cry, some keep order and some can’t find words  and that’s ok too.

‘The moment we get tired in waiting, God’s Spirit is right alongside helping us along. If we don’t know how or what to pray, it doesn’t matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans’ Romans 8:28

Hope is faith holding out its hand in the dark.

My favorite quote is in a letter written by 19-year-old Chilean miner Jimmy Sanchez? ‘There are actually 34 of us, because God has never left us down here’

And then there’s Jacob (Joseph’s Father) in the Old Testament.

On reaching Jacob they told him, ‘Joseph is still alive! In fact, he is ruler of all Egypt. Jacob was stunned; he did not believe them’ Genesis 45:26

This far surpassed any news he could have expected – in fact – the King James Bible says he fainted. Of course he did! He had concluded that Joseph was dead – therefore he was unable to conceive any alternative.

God loves to break in far beyond our imagination, far beyond our expectations and our conclusions and surprise us.

Let’s allow our imagination to run wild and find our faith extreme.

I’m staying in Hope,

Love, Michelle x

 

Some call it a day off…

One of the things Phil and I have always been strict with throughout the many years of leading church is our day off. We have always made sure we spend that day together – often including a nice breakfast somewhere and an ADVENTURE – now known as Monday Funday.

With the constant awareness of ministry needs, the many conversations, being mindful of our community – we ensure that Sabbath is taken. Because so often pouring out means we need to find some pouring in.

For us that means stepping out of our everyday world and finding space, exploring new and changing our landscape.

Finding a thin place to commune with our Creator

Mondays become a pilgrimage where we catch up, pray for our family near and far and dream big for our community.

Finding a creative space that walking inevitably offers

Today was ‘Enderby’ the home of the River float, Fish n chips, Drive in theater… and Enderby Cliffs.

 

We began our 2200ft trek and the first section led us to a cross. carved by the villagers of Oberammergau, Germany. A clear symbol at the beginning of the journey, one adorned with expressions of young love and graffiti.

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We began winding our way through shaded forests of birch and fir, switching back and forth up the mountainside. Invisible insects high in the trees, clapping their wings – the forest applauding.

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I took a bow, caught my breath and walked on, bumping into a silent snake and a distracted bee.

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Two hours of ascent brought us to sub-alpine meadows covered in Arrowleaf Balsamroot and Glacier Lilies.

The hike was well worth the view from the 180-degree viewpoint. A perfect blue sky dotted with storybook clouds offered views far south to Okanagan Lake and Vernon and as far north as Salmon Arm and Shuwsap Lake. As we sat in silence on the cliff-side ledge we ate our picnic, drank sweet English tea from plastic cups and ducked as swooping swallows swished passed our heads.

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After a while, we made our way down and our journey ended as it began – at the cross, we stopped again and I noticed a child’s scribble ‘Jesus was here.’

Hope you enjoyed a little glimpse of our life!

Blessings on your week,

Love, Michelle x

Isaiah 35 Voice – FOR YOU

Imagine the wilderness whooping for joy,
 the desert’s unbridled happiness with its spring flowers.

It will happen! The deserts will come alive with new growth budding and blooming,
 singing and celebrating with sheer delight.
…

So, with confidence and hope in this message, strengthen those with feeble hands, shore up the weak-kneed and weary.

Tell those who worry, the anxious and fearful, ‘Take strength; have courage! There’s nothing to fear.

Look, here—your God! Right here is your God!

The balance is shifting; God will right all wrongs.

None other than God will give you success. He is coming to make you safe.

 

 

In the Summertime.

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Hello! It’s been a while… summer livin’ and all. I’m excited today to introduce a fresh new look to my blog (thank you lovely Bethany from our For the Love launch team) On the subject of For the Love by Jen Hatmaker – don’t forget to pre order here… review coming soon.

For the next week or so I am joining up with Blogging 101 on WordPress to give us writers a blogging boost. Assignments and changes on the blog everyday for a few weeks. Today is finding a new theme – I’m such a good student. Thanks WordPress!

For those new around here the reason I write my blog? I love stories and putting faith words to life. My favourite posts are those that give you a glimpse of life of this British family pastoring and adventuring in Kelowna, BC alongside offering words of encouragement to you on your journey, ‘bringing God colours into the mundane and miraculous.’

The blogging world is saturated with blogs of this same genre particularly in North America – and I don’t even offer recipes! So I could ask, is it worth it? But we don’t all read every blog. We read a blog we are interested in, and that we have connection with – and for me that’s enough, so I blog on! Oh and it helps because I am working on a Creative Writing degree.

The biggest comments I have are those of thank you for the encouragement and also apologies for not ‘actually’ commenting on the blog itself. Ah yes the whole commenting thing! I’m told I should leave the blog with a question to encourage you to comment. I’m learning…

Family news. You might remember I mentioned we were waiting to hear from Canadian government that Phil is ‘the man for the job’ we were pleased to hear a YES from them and now wait to be invited to apply for Permanent Residence soon!

We enjoyed a week on Kitsilano beach, catching beautiful sunsets, absorbing vitamin sea and enjoying the beauty of Vancouver. They tell me it rains there but I don’t believe them.

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Bella and I enjoyed a girly 24 hours and went to see Taylor Swift in concert. That girl can sing and dance for hours! Taylor is pretty special too.

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As I wrote on my last post – summer is busy with visitors and camps. Jess has been away for almost a month and returns this weekend. Emily and Bella are currently at the Ark, Emily cooking and Bella having the time of her life, although I’m sure the kitchen is fun too! That leaves Josiah to watch movies and play games with his lovely cousin Charlotte. We all head to family camp at Green Bay next week where Phil will be teaching for the week.

Nanny Sue and Dion are in town, making Kelowna their home for a month!

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So, there’s a little catch up.

I was challenged to publish something on my blog that I haven’t done before so here is a poem I wrote – rewritten from one of my favorite Psalms. My lecturer did challenge me on attempting to rewrite something famous that couldn’t be improved upon but I offer my reflection anyway!

The Invite.

Spoken and silent needs, you know them well,

Your voice settles my soul.

I roll in verdant meadows, in carefree rest.

Stagnant sea, parts to a grace oasis,

I drink in the life of silent streams.

In deep valleys, you whisper echoes,

on weathered trails and sunless paths.

I’m invited! Your guest to sit and feast.

To face my enemies, who watch and mock,

my head spins again under their scorn.

I’m invited! My saporous spread.

I’m invited! My paradise picnic.

Your healing oil cascades over my head,

fresh fragrance flows, I carry your balm.

My darling, ever-present Companion,

You have pursued me well, I will abide,

where the feast never ends. It never ends.

 

Time to hear from you…

Describe your summer so far in a few words…

and/or

What can I pray for you?

Thanks for reading!

Love, Michelle.

 

 

On the Road

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This time last year Phil and I walked the Worcestershire Way. You can read about it here. This year we are road trippin’ Here’s my road trip musings – part uni exercise – part fill in my non-social media peeps. This trip was planned for last August but life postponed it until now. This time we made it – minus 2 of our kids who are, as I write, feeding hungry people on Venice Beach.

Phil finished work at noon on Sunday and drove 8 hours from Kelowna to Olympia on Sunday afternoon. Rain pelted relentlessly, winds blew fierce and puddles deluged our Jeep, they’re hardy little things the Jeep. Thank you Chrysler.

The kids traveled dreamlike with gadgets and DVDs, one after the other. Not forgetting of course car bingo, which took them all the way over the bridge in Kelowna. Note to self, start playing the game on the Coquihalla where visibility is non-existent and the game is a tad more challenging.

The border is always a challenge for us; I demand silence in the car, behaving like we are doing a drug run to Mexico. ‘Any food in the car’ asks the officer ‘Just some cucumber’ I stammer. ‘Did you know you’re in the oversized vehicle lane’ she asks. ‘We are so, so sorry, we didn’t see the sign’ I feel like I could cry. She laughs. ‘No worries guys’.

Cue Phil to become best friends with our officer. ‘No, Phil’ my inside voice says ‘Quit while you’re ahead’.

The Ramada hotel in Olympia is our first stop. Landing in at around 10.30. Kids are happy for the 24-hour pool and decide swimming races with Daddy are in order. I judge from the hot tub. Winner.

Josiah begins talking about the endless buffet breakfast at 11.30pm and resumes the same conversation at 7am. Josiah enjoys a breakfast for kings (involving gravy, so wrong) then a nice 3-hour drive to Astoria through Seaside onto Cannon Beach. The clouds clear as the rain finally gives way to blue skies. This helps this white-knuckle traveller no end, I am a terrible passenger as many know. I try to let go, but my imaginary steering wheel seems to work so well, as do the brakes.

So after a few days here are my Cannon Beach highlights :

We had no idea Cannon Beach is a honeymoon destination and should have booked adjoining rooms with our littles, join in the spirit of the place. Loved up couples everywhere you turn. Bless. For now, we sleep in queen beds side by side watching High School Musical 3. Fabulous.

Haystack Rock is a 235-foot sea stack on Cannon Beach, sometimes claimed locally to be the third-tallest intertidal structure in the world and is the most photographed landmark on the Coast.

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Each day we enjoy a treasure hunt of driftwood, shells and tide pools. As the tide goes further out and we enjoy this marine garden of sea anemone, star fish and sand dollars.

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Sunset on the beach. Enough said.

IMG_1077 DSC07680 IMG_1081Indian Beach, in Ecola State Park.Wrapping around Tillamook Head, between Seaside and Cannon Beach, Ecola State Park stretches along 9 miles of coastline. Stunning. Seriously. It’s March.

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The town itself has a very laid back feel. ‘Do you have wifi?’ ‘Err, no, aren’t you on vacation’? Opening hours ‘around 10ish if we feel like it’ – lots of trinket shops, art galleries and antique shops. It always makes me smile when I browse antique shops in North America and basically see my Nan’s living room. I could buy an oceanfront apartment through selling her knives and forks around these parts – and maybe a few pieces of Aynsley china cottage garden.

We do love Cannon Beach – and can see why it becomes a fave place to holiday. Who knows, it might become ours… but there’s more to explore!

Our road trip continues, a short stop in Portland (nice vibe) and a visit to the largest new and used bookstore in the WORLD, Powell’s City of Books. We found our way out (eventually) then drove for hours on the I-5.

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We planned on seeing the Redwoods but bypassed them this time and found ourselves in Redding, Cali.

More to tell as the story unfolds… HAPPY SPRING!

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Love, Michelle x

Exhale

10350423_616549235118564_4597499449421779246_nVernon from the High Rim Trail

Hi friends,

Phil’s run went well, thanks for your interest. Here’s a little write up from him: Thank you so much for your support on my recent High Rim Trail run. How did this start? I sat one crystal clear evening, listening to the many news reports and I felt powerless over the Syrian crisis – I was a viewing participant but that was it. Then, a compulsion to act – a long distance run/walk flooded into my mind. So I did it! At least I could identify in the smallest of ways, focus my prayers, as each step became more uncomfortable, with those brief moments of isolation, disorientation (I did get completely lost three times). My toe nails, my muscles and the patterns of well placed mosquito bites testify that it was no walk in the park.This all fades into insignificance compared to the displacement of millions of little souls. The path runs north, but in reality twists, tears and lacerates its way through the deep shadows of the forest, with the occasional pairs of green eyes glowing, moving in a cycle from stunning old cedars, to crowds of antagonistic pines, the odd flower filled high meadow, to logged desolation. Relentlessly, the forest works to reclaim this path and stop its travellers. Fallen trees obstructing the way that one has to jump over, climb or bow down on all fours, the shadows seemed to smile at our endless genuflection. Deer paths confused us, thunderstorms and 2 hours of rain stole warmth, but we were encouraged by the many chortling creeks leaping between boulders, high above the Okanagan valley. We only met one other chatty traveller, trying to complete the High Rim Trail himself, he joined us for 30 minutes but soon called for a ride, we left him by the side of a random logging road. I explained to him that last time I looked $6000 had been raised for refugees – so I was willing to crawl to the finish. John Bunyan smiled. Thank you for your support!

In other news. The lost luggage miraculously returned, that’s another story…but needless to say we saw the suitcase miracle. Not because of the importance of clothes, insurance covers that, but the importance of a loving, caring God easing torment.

and breathe…

Todays word prompt ‘exhale’.

I love the image of Gods name…’Yahweh’ being not so much a word but a breath sound. Inhale ‘yah’ and Exhale ‘weh’. Just by breathing we praise the Lord. I love that in spite of ourselves and our pain, by breathing we are speaking the name of God. His name is on our lips! We see the breath of God in everything – through scripture – throughout nature.

Screen Shot 2014-07-02 at 8.00.06 PMWe saw a crazy storm this week in Kelowna!

DSC01723…after the Storm.

“We live in God; we move in God; we exist in God… we are indeed God’s children.” Acts 17:28

Inhaling we are asking the Spirit to take control.

Exhaling we are releasing what the living God breathes into you.

Exhaling is living in a place of confession, short accounts and forgiveness.

Letting go, releasing.

and breathe….

I can’t end this little musing without a thought about Mom. We laugh a lot my Mom and I. A study from Oxford University found that laughter releases pain relieving endorphins, a critical factor and not just a feel good effect. Laughter boosts endorphins and eases pain. It’s not just a giggle here and there, if you want the full effects of laughter it needs to be a full belly laugh that involves the eyes, without eye involvement the benefits do not accrue according to the research. The reason why a full belly laugh has this effect according to researchers is that when humans laugh properly and deeply, we exhale repeatedly without drawing breath! By releasing endorphins you feel a greater sense of well being and that encourages you to be more at ease with lowered defences.

I love that laughter eases pain.

Laughter!Belly laughs.

Praying that as you breathe you find God’s name on your lips,

That you find a belly laugh here and there,

That you know God in your midst.

Love, Michelle xo

Speak to him thou for He hears, and Spirit with Spirit can meet.

Closer is He than breathing, nearer than hands and feet. Tennyson.

 

Five Minute Friday kinda

PS. Thanks Barb x

Saturday Soup 4: Wear Love.

This week was birthday week for the Collins men.

I whisked Phil away for a night to the Sparkling Hills Resort in Vernon (of course a night feels like a week in parenting years.)

Seriously, what’s not to love about Sparkling Hills?

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Beautiful food, stunning views and cleansing spas.

Coolness of waterfalls. Warmth of fireplaces. 3.5 million Swarovski crystals in virtually every element of the property, many crystals have a permanent coating know as AB, this gives off the rainbow effect as they emanate light and color every where you turn.

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Rainbows of living colour.

Hiding in our own Aurora Borealis.

A tiny glimpse of paradise? 

Allow me to share a couple of things I learned:

*European hour doesn’t mean you have to be European to attend. ‘Oh, Hi pastor Phil’

*Just because there’s a gorgeous bath for two in the window… Doesn’t mean the windows are tinted.

You’re welcome.

I love to celebrate birthdays. Henri Nouwen wrote this.

‘Celebrating a birthday reminds us of the goodness of life, and in this spirit we really need to celebrate people’s birthdays every day, by showing gratitude, kindness, forgiveness, gentleness, and affection. These are ways of saying: ‘It’s good that you are alive; it’s good that you are walking with me on earth. Let’s be glad and rejoice. This is the day that God has made for us to be and to be together.’

As we return from Sparkling Hills to foggy trails we celebrate Josiah’s 7th birthday.

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Energyplex noise, so many toys, and a bunch of handsome boys!

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And yes… ‘Show me the boy at 7 and I will show you the man’.

In 2024, lookout for the man who is a great friend. Understands women.  Who has no fear. Continually questions …and is the best hugger. Yep. Josiah will be that man.

Back to that permanent coat to reflect color…

I’ve been meditating on this verse.

‘So, chosen by God for this new life of love, dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you: compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline. Be even-tempered, content with second place, quick to forgive an offense. Forgive as quickly and completely as the Master forgave you. And regardless of what else you put on, wear love. It’s your basic, all-purpose garment. Never be without it.’ Colossians 3:14

Don’t you think by choosing to wear this new wardrobe we reflect God and his promises?

Have a great week.

Wear love, it looks good on you 😉

Michelle xoxo

Bethel, Beach and Bond.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bethel.

IMG_2634Bethel music came to Kelowna this week for an evening of worship. We were invited to dinner with the band to share what is happening in Kelowna and to pray with them before the evening. They are a great group of people, serving graciously, living within a culture of honour and genuine worshippers. I love their humble heart and their desire for people to enter into true worship.

We have a lot to be thankful for with Bethel music. For me especially, when I hear their music playing from downstairs in the teenage department!

Hundreds of people packed out the church, worshippers of all denominations. Corporate worship is a heavenly concept and one we are all called to engage in. God loves those who worship in spirit and truth. Not because we sing in a certain way. Or we say particular spiritual words. Or raise our hands at that moment.

No. Worship is a heart response, and when the worshippers gather in all of their styles and expressions – Heaven is released.

We… our cities are changed.

Worshipping together. Let us not forsake it.

Beach.

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Phil and I sat on a deserted beach this week to pray – because that’s what we do.  The still water, dancing with diamonds and our ever present mountains provided an inspiring backdrop as we prayed for our families, church, city, YOU...As much as corporate prayer and worship is essential, so is individual. Investing our lives in prayer and listening to God, changes us and our world.

It needs to be our priority. Let us not forsake it.

Bond. 

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The rather well known British secret service agent made an appearance at our church kickoff this week.

1234114_653672487990977_272162032_nBond. Arriving in style on the 1967 50cc.

I love kickoff and the re-dedication alongside the new. This year will see a house of prayer, pursuing His presence, seeking inner transformation. It all sounds very inward Michelle…We believe that a life of serving and loving and outward living is the true response of  worship, personal prayer and inner transformation.

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1235172_653703914654501_670248027_nBond was challenged by YWAM natives who had taken over the island.

1185175_653676901323869_1021930713_nBaptisms in the lake – loving the joy here.

1239875_653676571323902_1688963978_nGiving Dad a hug after being baptised.

IMG_2739Pastor Steve baptising his wife Candace.

14513_653680687990157_1888150247_nGlen believes that Phil needs to be re-baptised.

1231702_653680721323487_1721902415_n…and there he goes.

1235260_653681641323395_800866601_n‘Mommy, I love church on the beach’

 

Thanks for reading – hope you found some inspiration in there!

Have a blessed week – gotta fly – 007 needs me.

Mx

 

PS. WillowOne, kickoff pics were taken by Chad Perry. Enjoy more of his work here. 

Songbird.

Our week in Kelowna. The Collins Clan drove down to Omak, Washington and drove back over the Canadian border within 24 hours. With one purpose – to renew our visa.

A couple of hours, lots of questions and obstacles overcome.

We were granted 3 more years. Our adventure continues!

A friend of our Hope Centre is having twins and before she heads off to Vancouver to deliver her babes – we threw her a baby shower. Love to bless!

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We held a day of service on Thursday with Heritage Christian School Grade 8’s who served the church with great hearts and attitude. It wasn’t all hard work though, when our youth and children’s department get involved so do water guns, cotton candy machines and slurpees. Thank you again Heritage.

We hit the skate park with Josiah and Bella. Heart in mouth – need knee pads.

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The fair came to town. Oh yes it’s ‘Maydays’ which brings excitement to our home. As the twins were doing there own fair thing. We took the little people and to Josiah’s delight he was allowed on the ‘scary’ rides which he took on without fear.

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Bella and Josiah on the ‘stomach left somewhere in the sky ride.’

With my Friday Faves done, you don’t mind if I squeeze in a five minute Friday do you? Ah good.

The word for this week is ‘Song’. There are so many paths I’d like to travel down with this word. But I have 5 minutes and I’m heading down a muddy path to find a song.

START.

They call it a dawn chorus. It’s more like a rock opera outside my window every morning, and it begins at 4am. Our lives are surrounded by songs. This week I reminisced as I listened to songs from my teens. Then I cried as I listened to one particular song as I thought of my Dad’s funeral service, then remembered it was actually from Mom’s wedding. Tears soon turned to laughter.  I’m sure there’s a song attached to every month of my life. I love music.

Then…

I meet you with no song. Friends who’ve lost their song.

Who cry out as David did in Psalm 40. I waited…I’m waiting patiently, expectantly for the Lord.

How long Lord?

You cry out in your waiting and veiled silence.

How long?

Patience, while positive, isn’t pretty.

Singing from pits echoes your own voice as you strive to hear another.

Steve Bell wrote this piece last weekend. An image of freedom, and the often painful road we need to take to reach it.

‘Today I freed a songbird who was trapped in our garage

And flapped against the pane that rendered freedom a mirage

I had to further terrorise the frantic feathered beast

Who could not know that capture was the terms of her release.’

Psalm 40 continues…

‘At last he looked; finally he listened.

He lifted me out of the ditch, pulled me from deep mud.

He stood me up on a solid rock to make sure I wouldn’t slip.

He taught me how to sing the latest God-song, a praise-song to our God.

More and more people are seeing this: they enter the mystery, abandoning themselves to God.’

Whether you are in the pits, or on the rock – here’s a truth to absorb.

For the LORD your God is living among you. He is a mighty saviour. He will take delight in you with gladness. With his love, he will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.” Zephaniah 3:17

The Hebrew word used here to describe how Father sings is ‘rinnah’. It means to express a ringing cry, a loud shout, a proclamation of extreme joy and an expression of gladness.

Wow!

Praying you a hear His song over you this weekend,

Love, Michelle xoxo

STOP

Five Minute Friday

Rainbow Falls

“The heavens declare the glory of God;

the skies proclaim the work of his hands.

Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge.

There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard” Psalm 19

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Our view.

Phil and I have just returned from a few days at the beautiful Harrison Hot Springs. Phil spoke at the ‘Pastor and Spouse retreat’ with 250 from our BCMB family. We got to meet and hang out with some brilliant pastors, church planters and ministers, and felt very welcome. It was great to see how the conference really look after and care for their pastors.

We also got to hang out with some of our staff team, which we loved of course!

One of my highlights was renting a boat with our crew for an hour and heading out onto Harrison Lake. After half an hour we came across ‘Rainbow Falls.’

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We disembarked our Glastron and looked for adventure.

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We walked the well worn path into the Northern rain forest. Enormous trees chopped down decades ago to make way for explorers. Mist and sunlight drifted through the trees and ferns. We marveled at the life filled scene which appeared to be set on Instagram  Xpro II. As our magical path turned a corner, it was easy to imagine the Sasquatch right at home, lounging on a cushion of moss.

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Instead, we faced a different giant. Rainbow Falls. The deafening waterfall cascaded, pushing and heaving, forced into the river below.

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We were drawn to the moment. That deep response we feel in our soul? It has to be a deep stirring of spiritual awe for the Creator, God.

Making Himself known. 

Creation singing His story. 

Have you known that response?

In Psalm 42, David asks questions of himself, his soul – his evident depression. He understands the intensity of the imagery of the waterfall before him as wave upon wave figuratively pounds upon him, cascading over his soul, pushing him deeper.

At this point of tumultuous torrents, the Psalmist acknowledges that deep calls to deep. We can know the deeper we go down, that God meets us, having known deeper still.

The Hebrew word for deep is “tehowm,” which refers to a deep place, an abyss (an immeasurable deep chasm, depth, or void). The Hebrew word for calls is “qara” which means to call unto, to summon, to invite.

The Strong’s concordance says that “qara” also conveys the idea of someone accosting you by boldly and aggressively calling you to come closer and meet.

Deep calls to deep.

Our depths are quickened to life. And we hear the whisper. I am here.

A couple of final thoughts on my waterfall musings… The closer I got, the power of the waterfall reverberated and the area took on new life.

There is a richness that is produced when we hit the depths and it’s not just about you, when we can bring forth riches from the depths of our inner life, we will find that other lives will be deeply affected.

The closer we got we caught glimpses of rainbows. Sometimes just momentarily. We needed to be in the right position to catch that glimpse.

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The rainbow? It’s there…

As you know, I am a rainbow chaser. I challenge you to look out for rainbows this week, sometimes it’s simply about altering our perspective.

Be encouraged!

Love, Michelle xoxo