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.

 

 

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Summer Summary.

A summer of…

Mommy did you see me. Watch me, watch me. Mommy…mommy!  Time me. Catch me.

Of Somersaults and splits. Cartwheels and headstands.
Of Wiggly teeth. Wobbly emotions.

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Of God chasing wonder. Anchored faith. Heart lake community capturing her heart. Junior leaders. Prayers answered. Life friendships forged.

Of too many sleepovers. I give in when those visiting mascara laden, cropped top wearing, fragile ones whisper ‘please Mama Collins’.

Of befriending King David. What did he teach me?
That the opposite of fear isn’t courage, it’s trust.
That friendship is built on a safe place. Envy and jealousy will eat you up and Worship is at the heart of who we should be.
That a heart after god is integrity, love and humility.
That none of us can afford to be complacent with our holiness. Listen to our summer series here.

Of understanding myself like never before, accepting that it can often feel like a burden and envisioning a redeemed version.

Of blog posts that open eyes and offer understanding.
And…understanding that occasionally the posts I throw out fast are the ones heaven throws a flashlight on.

Of my new fave place in Vancouver. Kitsilano. Rock pool exploring and sushi on the beach. Mesmerizing sunsets and flexible people.

photoSunset on Kitsilano Beach

Of training for the Kelowna Wine Country half. September 7th is.next.week. Why didn’t you tell me we’re nearly at the end of August?

2846420a0aab11e3aaa822000a1fb0dd_7Cheered on by these views during training

Of family visiting. Respite and insight, acceptance and grace. Mom and D loving Kelowna, establishing friendships, praying with locals on street corners, encouraging at the hope centre, worshipping with the young adults.

Image 3Mom and D – a colourful couple. 

Of Green Bay bible camp. We enjoyed our week there and met some great people, the campers loved Phil’s speaking.
It was here I saw daily miracles in her. I saw a new freedom – restoring the years. Swinging high, star gazing, losing fears.

Of our new car. Everyday I drive this car I thank God for his goodness. For the prayers of a six year old and for those who listened to the whisper.

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So, as we draw to a close and the Collins clan squeeze the last drops of summer in Seattle.
I am thankful.
I know that all good gifts come from my Father in heaven.

IMG_2527Seattle from the top of space needle. Photo creds. Emily Collins.

This is my summer highlight reel.
And we know not to compare our behind the scenes with others highlight reels don’t we friends?! I will take you behind the scenes soon enough, just need to spend some time there – on my own…

Now, let me know some of your summer highlights.

I can hear September revving up.
I am not ready… but I will be next week.
Embrace the remaining summer days.

Love, Michelle xoxo

Forebodings and Feasting.

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“I am an old man and have known a great many troubles, but most of them never happened.” Mark Twain

Proverbs 15:15 sets the scene for this regularly visited, now edited blog post ‘All the days of the desponding and afflicted are made evil [by anxious thoughts and forebodings], but he who has a glad heart has a continual feast [regardless of circumstances]’.

What if my child gets sick?

What is a foreboding? The dictionary describes ‘a feeling that evil is impending or that something bad is going to happen’.

Ever had that? Have that?

It can often happen when you have experienced disappointment. The habit of waiting for the next bad thing, or, on the other hand I speak to some who feel so blessed, and things are going so well, their mind hovers around ‘things are so good something will go wrong soon enough’.

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I find evil forebodings can be constant, an irritation, a dripping tap of what ifs and dread. You know the storm will come, it’s just when.

What if it happens again?

That familiar, subtle presence hovering over and gnawing at our everyday existence. Solomon exhorts us to ‘Catch the little foxes that are ruining your vineyard’.

Catch them. Name them. In this case evil forebodings.

What if they reject me?

You need to know I am not one to give ‘the obvious’ Christian answers, you know by now that I’ve known and still the know the reality of struggle and darkness in my family – but I do know the freedom of God’s promises.

What if nothing.ever.changes?

Isaiah 30:18 says: “Therefore the Lord [earnestly] waits [expecting, looking, and longing] to be gracious to you; and therefore He lifts Himself up, that He may have mercy on you and show loving-kindness to you…. Blessed (happy, fortunate, to be envied) are all those who [earnestly] wait for Him, who expect and look and long for Him….”

Joyce Meyer writes ‘God is looking and longing for someone who’s waiting for Him to be good to them. God wants to be good to you, but you have to be expecting Him to move in your life’.

What if he doesn’t get better? What if….? What if….? Arggghhhh. 

Again, the other half of the verse says ‘he who has a glad heart has a continual feast (regardless of circumstances).

You might feel like it would be easier to paddle board across Niagara Falls than find a glad heart status and if this resonates with you and the forebodings are something you are experiencing ask someone to pray with you, to speak life over you and remind yourself of God’s word for your life.

We were not meant to handle life alone, I love the power of community.R

Remember this…‘fear fears community‘. 

Does this verse speak to you?

Have you been able to recognize the forebodings that gnaw at you, the little foxes destroying?

Do you need to be reminded of God’s promise again today?

 

I’d love to hear from you – leave me a comment.

Enjoy a feasting weekend, love Michelle xoxo

 

Look at the Birds.

Five minute Friday word prompt ‘View’ although I must confess it has become 30 minute Monday…

Phil, Emily and Jessica went to see Mumford and Sons in concert on Friday. The biggest headlining gig they’ve ever played with 25,000 gathered in Holland Park in Surrey, BC. Besides the one guy waving his lighter in the air, iPods and iPhones were held high, capturing the moments.

There’s nothing like playing back a concert on your Apple device is there? Reminding yourself how much fun you had recording the concert of that artist you love enough to pay money to see live. I speak from experience having recording a good amount of Coldplay last year. Have I watched back the footage? *cough*

984229_577719888916236_35385453_nA great view!

Bella enjoyed her first ballet show this weekend. Creators Arts Centre put on an awesome show ‘A Time to Dance’ leading us through a journey of time – from birth to death, from spring to winter, from morning to night.

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Bella has to win the smiliest dancer award.

My view. There are two cherry trees outside my bedroom window. Established, strong, currently producing tiny green cherries, soon enough we’ll be harvesting the red beauties. Hard to believe just a few months ago the tree was pruned to what I thought was its death.

Pruning has a way of making you believe that.

Our tree house sits in the cherry tree and few weeks ago a friendly robin decided it liked the look of it, so with a delusion of grandeur decided to set up home.

‘Look at the birds of the air’ Jesus said.

I had this lovely idea that I would capture the next few weeks of robin nesting. The first two weeks were great Spring-watch activity with Bella and Josiah creeping up to watch the progress.

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I think we’ll stop at 4. 

But now those babes are born.

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Proud parents. 

When I go anyway near, they swoop, they squawk and they dive bomb.

My yard is not a safe place to be right now.

Forget Mamma Bear…Mamma Bird is out there.

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I see provision. I see protection. I see care. I see God.

 And finally

I asked my friend John, what do Jesus words ‘look at the birds of the air’ mean to you?

His view. John’s physical view is a parking lot. The view from his van where he lives might not be one that he’d choose, but as he acknowledged, it’s a roof over his head.

John grew up with 24 people in his home including 8 brothers and 11 foster kids.

John was a wealthy businessman, married, generous.

When his wife left, his business continued to prosper for a while. Then his life hit a dark time and for 18 years he became drug and alcohol dependant. He almost lost his life 7 times, and as he lay in a hospital bed yet again. A friend walked in and said some simple words ‘this is your last chance.’

John heard these words and they hit him. His spiritual ears heard them, but more than that he realised the love of his heavenly Father.

John had watched his Mom get up at 5am everyday to pray in the daily bread, he would often see people arrive with 15 chickens or sacks of potatoes. This lifestyle is now one that he lives, he believes that God is teaching him continually about faith.

He describes looking at a $80k car, knowing that once upon a time he could afford it.

And at that moment he looked down and in the snow was $5, just what he needed right then. He tells many stories of daily bread.

‘Look at the birds of the air’ Jesus said. I’m sure when John looks at the birds from his van.

Those words fly.

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life.

Matthew 6:25

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What a freeing truth this heart attitude is, as the message puts it let’s become ‘careless in the cares of God’.

Seems like a good week for bird watching!

Love, Michelle xoxo

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A bird ballet | Music Video from Neels CASTILLON on Vimeo.

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

On Dr. Martens and Friendship.

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I chatted to my friend this week in the UK.
She said she keeps up with my blog and I said I’d give her a mention.
Who knew that five minute Friday would be the word ‘Friend’ so I have 5 minutes to write – no editing no backtracking *cough*.
Remember:
When we were in school together…and you spelt your name with a ‘y’. So cool.
We topped and tailed in my little single bed. A lot.
When my side the friendship talked the other into taking a day off school. Hmmm.
When I required big scrunched hair, you were my scruncher – diffuser and all.
When you saw my home as yours. My family as yours. That was good.
When we decided to say yes to the Jesus who invaded our lives with love and freedom.
Our mature years (late teens) – of even bigger hair and such sensible clothes, Benny Hinn and dwelling in four dwellings.
And then the wandering and wondering and meeting up again.
And all those babies.
And now…
Your eldest sits his leaving exams and my littlest sits his weekly spellings.
Your eldest says ‘Mom, I want physics and psychology and art.’
And my littlest goes to bed asking ‘Is it OK if I just tell God  He’s cool because of His superpowers.’ We’re doing a great job!

You’re more than my mate Kayt, your my sis.

Nearly 3 years ago, I stepped off a plane and had to start friend making again. And that’s been hard. It takes time doesn’t it?
Time. Energy. Effort. Courage…there’s that word again.
We are all meant to be friends with someone. We cannot do this life alone.

Jesus loves friendship.

I spent my Thursday at the Hope Centre.
I chatted with my biker tattooed bro with his UK imported Dr. Martens. I let him know his boots were having a major fashion moment in the UK. That kids, teens and Moms alike were wearing them with pride. The boot, designed after a ski injury back in the 60’s has made its air cushioned sole through decades of punks and skinheads to style mags and catwalks.
(I was the 9 year old skinhead down the Lye with waist long hair and docs) Seriously.

My Hope Centre friend. He told me he wasn’t sure if he fit in there because he was so different. ‘I mean, just look at me’ he said.
I told him everyone in the Hope Centre was different so he would fit in just fine.
As he was leaving he came up to me and said
‘Hey, English. I had a great morning.’

I could say its because of the Patti’s sandwiches or my excellent coffee or Esther’s hospitable skills. But I think it’s more than that.
You see there’s something that connects us all.
Whether homeless, happy, frantic, fed. We are made for connection.
For friendship. For community.
Whether living life together day by day, a weekly visit to the Hope Centre or friendship across the pond.

Friendship, is gift to be treasured and not taken for granted.

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(not the boots HC bro was wearing, the boots I would wear;)

My prayer is that you will find courage to allow yourself to find and to be a friend.

Yes courage.

‘The root of the word courage is cor—the Latin word for heart. In one of its earliest forms, the word courage literally had a very different definition than it does today. Courage originally meant “To speak one’s mind by telling all one’s heart.” Over time, this definition has actually changed, and today, courage is synonymous with being heroic or performing brave deeds.
Heroics and bravery are important, but I think we’ve lost touch with the idea that speaking honestly and openly about who we and about our experiences (good and bad) is the ultimate act of courage. Heroics is often about putting your life on the line. Ordinary courage is about putting your vulnerability on the line. In today’s world, that’s pretty extraordinary’ Thoughts of Brene Brown.

And finally…
Back to my mate kayt. She wears docs.

Have a great weekend friends!
Love,  Michelle. xoxo

“Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art… It has no survival value; rather it is one of those things that give value to survival.” CS Lewis.

Five Minute Friday

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“…The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid. I know you are looking for Jesus Who was nailed to the cross. He is not here! He has risen from the dead as He said He would. Come and see the place where the Lord lay. Run fast and tell His followers that He is risen from the dead. He is going before you to the country of Galilee. You will see Him there as I have told you.” They went away from the grave in a hurry. They were afraid and yet had much joy. They ran to tell the news to His followers. As they went to tell the followers, Jesus met them and said hello to them. They came and held His feet and worshiped Him. Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell My followers to go to Galilee. They will see Me there.” Matthew 28:5

C.S Lewis calls it ‘The Strangest Story of all’

The Easter Story.

It’s all about stories.

Those ordinary ones who put him there that day. The men who went home to their wives making dinner, to their kids. Pilate…Caiaphas…Soldiers…those doing their job.

The nameless carpenter who crafted the cross. Doing his job.

These ordinaries remind me of the destructive darkness that lies deep… that we are all capable of.

I am reminded that the cross dealt with that darkness and if I don’t deal with it.

It deals with me.

It’s all about stories.

Your story, His story.

What will you do with your story? Do you live it for yourself. Or do you occasionally allow God an appearance.  Or do you take your story and fully immerse into God’s story.

What a God we have! And how fortunate we are to have him, this Father of our Master Jesus! Because Jesus was raised from the dead, we’ve been given a brand-new life and have everything to live for, including a future in heaven—and the future starts now! God is keeping careful watch over us and the future. The Day is coming when you’ll have it all—life healed and whole. 1 Peter 1:3 MSG

Yet…

Most of human life is Holy Saturday, a few days of life are Good Friday, but there only needs to be one single Easter Sunday for us to know the final and eternal pattern. We now live inside of such cosmic hope. Jesus trusted enough to outstare the darkness, to outstare the void, to hold out for the resurrection of the forever-awaited “third day,” and not to try to manufacture His own. That is how God stretches and expands the soul, and makes it big enough to include God.  Richard Rohr.

Today you are invited into the story of the resurrected life.

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‘But Michelle –  It’s fine for you to talk of this resurrected life, but really, is this story the answer to my life that feels so dead and dark? How do I leave my Holy Saturday life. How do I leave a tomb life. A life of darkness that I can’t see my way out of…?’

Invite Him in.

Invite Jesus into your tomb – your mess – your dark – your dead.

Allow him to lead you out. You might sprint. You might take small steps.

A resurrected life awaits you, a life of life.

Happy Easter.

Love, Michelle xoxo

 

Friday Faves: My Cloud

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Yes, it’s Friday Faves my weekly mashup. (Click on the highlighted words to link!)

Interesting articles:

Why Marcus Mumford’s take on the “Christian” label doesn’t hold up. In Relevant magazine here

The not-so-perfect pastors family, thoughts by a couple of PK’s in Christianity today.

Six reasons young Christians leave the church. Do you agree with this?

Fave podcast:

Brene Brown on Oprah. I love Brene and her message. Feel free to make yourself a cuppa click here and watch the interview. Very liberating.

Here is a free book I’ve downloaded but not read yet by Hugh Halter.

I’m reading a dialogue feast for my course: On Beauty by Zadie Smith, various screenplays inc.Waiting for Godot, Ernest Hemingway’s Short Story Collection and Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf.

I’ve had my head (and camera) in the clouds this week.

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“And the LORD went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud, to lead them the way…”

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“If the clouds be full of rain, they empty themselves on the earth…” Ecclesiastes 3:11      Wesley says ‘Learn the practice of liberality from the clouds; which when they are filled with water, do not hoard it up, but plentifully pour it forth for the refreshment both of the fruitful field and the barren wilderness’.

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Receive refreshing. Be refreshing.

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In this time of need look up and know ‘every good and perfect gift is from above’.

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Emily and Phil climbed Black Mountain on the first day of spring.

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Passed his Masters in Applied Theology!

Brilliant news, so proud of my man. 

Keep looking up,

Love, Michelle xoxo

Friday Faves: New things.

It’s new…It’s Friday Faves!

A mash up of my faves of the week. Photos, snippets, books, quotes etc – you get the idea. Hopefully, there will be something for everyone. Particularly for those friends and family who, for the most part haven’t a clue what I am writing about.

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I started my new module. Focusing on dialogue, script and screenplay. Loving the subject and having the actors staying with us this week – bonus!

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Josiah learned to ski!

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I tried snowshoeing  (accompanied by the famous DR)

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Phil – When in Canada!

Loved Searchlight’s show ‘Chariot’. Their idea of using church based actors worked brilliantly – particularly with our talented bunch at Willow Park.

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Love this pic from the show. Check out more of Chad’s work at ChadPerryPhotography

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And…as the Big White cloud cleared.

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A new cloud appeared. 

Praying. 

Isaiah 43:19

See, I am doing a new thing!
    Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness
    and streams in the wasteland.

Enjoy your weekend!

Love, Michelle xoxo

 

A Quacking Mess.

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I like my ducks in row – lined up and looking lovely. So when I go down the road of vulnerability (new word alert…) of Encounter God retreats and counselling – those ducks start fighting, crapping and generally going haywire.

Thankfully, I continue to live my calling amongst the quacking mess.

In my last post I talked about vulnerability, some were concerned that a little too much dirty laundry might not be useful for someone in ‘my position.’

The Encounter God weekend was good. It led me to feeling bare, wide open.

It left me feeling…vulnerable.

But isn’t that exactly what you were shouting from the rooftops last week?!

Yes, I still am. But this week from a different posture – on my face.

Where silent hurts are finally given a voice, taking new form in words.

Only this time they are clothed in love, grace and redemption.

Encounter God retreat. The word retreat was used to draw us. It wasn’t a retreat that you might be imagining. There were no spas or treatments!

The weekend consisted of 8 sessions.

  1. Spiritual warfare
  2. Darkness to light (There is no neutral ground in the universe, every square inch, every spilt second is claimed by God and counterclaims by Satan. C.S. Lewis)
  3. From impure to pure.
  4. The Cross
  5. Destructive Attitudes and Actions
  6. Inner Healing
  7. Generational Healing
  8. Holy Spirit.

No retreat..lots of surrender.

Each session was taught then we would spilt into our ‘triads’ (a term I’ve only ever associated with Jackie Pullinger…)

In our triad, following each session, we would work through a list of areas of possible struggle, sin, behaviour. Confessing to one another and praying a praying a prayer forgiveness.

My group were relieved to not to have to say after a short while  ‘so, there’s no judgement here, right?’

We were reminded of the truth of the cross as we meditated on scenes from the Passion of the Christ, kneeling at the cross and taking communion.

Tears flowed as we were reminded of the sacrifice made. Reminded that we do not have to walk around with our collection of hurts. God has given us a way to get healed and clear the junk from our lives. We have grace through the Blood of Jesus. His mercy endures forever, and His victory is sure. We can exchange our hurts and even the consequences of things over which we had no control at the Cross.

Inner healing came. In this session we were asked to wait and listen. To see what the Lord highlighted and the area of soul sickness He wanted to heal. Many in the room were reminded of distant pains – wounds, abuse, hurts. Words and events that had defined and shaped us since childhood. When reminded of these, we were encouraged to invite Christ into those scenes.

We know the past hasn’t changed. The past has passed.

For some, there was an instant redemption of that dark place, others, the beginning of a transforming, healing process.

Jesus my redeemer. Name above all names.

So, we journeyed on into our worlds, some in cars, me on a Greyhound. My first greyhound journey – it was here I was reminded that this is not just a quick fix weekend, it is a daily choice to apply these truths.

I like what this does for a church community who take this journey together, beyond Sunday morning niceties to real raw living.

My kind of church.

 “You’re blessed when you get your inside world—your mind and heart—put right. Then you can see God in the outside world ” Matthew 5:8 MSG.

And finally.

Did you know swans belong to the duck family? They are protected by royalty…

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Have a great week,

Throw me some bread in the comments,

Love, Michelle xo