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

 

He comforts to the point of strength

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I have no words yet I have all the words. Death seems to have a way of breathing new life into our bones and shifting our focus on the eternal. Thank you all for your love, prayers and messages these past few weeks. We have felt it. God has wrapped us up in His love. For those who are new here. Here’s the link to our journey over the past while.

I have been meditating on the valley… because it is a familiar place to us at the moment. It would appear this valley here is no sprint – but what I do know is that ‘even though I walk through the darkest valley.’

THROUGH. Phew

 Rick Warren describes the valley as : Inevitable /\Unpredictable/\Impartial/\Temporary

Valleys happen, they are no respecter of persons and never happen at a good time – read more of his devotional here  – he ends it with this ‘…There is an eternal glory. This is important. Pain can be productive. There will be a benefit for our problems if we respond in the right way. While we have the temporary hassles there is long term, eternal benefit when you go through a valley and respond to it correctly.’

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Our God the comfort, He comforts well – to the point of strength. That’s our promise even when emotions weigh us down and grief gets in the bones. Even in the darkest valley moments. There’s always, ALWAYS light.

Because of promise. Because He is light. And there is no darkness in Him. And at times like these. When we’re fighting for the day. There is a community that rises up. With encouragement and food, and cakes (because sweet things are comforting ;)) meals out and a whole lot of love. Thank you.

….and today I am procrastinating on a uni assignment because I seem to have misplaced creativity. I am supposed to be writing a Fantasy story for 7-9 year olds – so I decided to ‘winterize’ the (neglected) veggie patch instead.

As I begin to turn it over, and weed – I pull up a whole harvest of misshaped carrots – I find monster zucchini hidden under shrivelled leaves – and an abundance of tomatoes desperately crawling on the ground. Yes, there is still fruit – even when it appears we’re not on top of things. There is harvest in this mess.

And a surprise selection of sunflowers grow tall. Facing light.

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After my gardening today I came in for tea and (more) cake and read an article by Danny Silk.  ‘Your life is a gift from God to you. It has infinite value to him, which he communicates to you in all the many ways He loves you…healthy relationships grow between people who have embraced their individual responsibility to tend to their own gardens. …You have to take care of yourself before you can take care of someone else. If you have ever been on a plane, you have been subjected to the flight attendants’ spiel about what to do if the cabin loses pressure. They explain that oxygen masks will fall from the ceiling and show you how to put them on. Every time, they remind you that if you are traveling with a child or someone else in need of assistance, you must be sure to put your mask on before you try to help anyone else. The implication is clear. If you don’t take care of yourself, then you won’t be able to care for anyone else. (Thanks Danny!)

So as we walk through the valley we care for ourselves, we hide in the rock, and hear Jesus whisper ‘get up’…. and we take a few more steps.

And even in these past few weeks loved ones near and far have faced their own valley –unexpected news, accident, illness and loss.

Friends: God is near to you – He is near to the broken hearted He rescues those who are crushed in spirit – He prays for us. What a perfect opportunity for the Holy Spirit to meet us in our weakness and pray on our behalf. He knows us.

That’s all for now!

Love, Michelle xo

 

A few days before we returned UK Phil preached on the book of Job – little did we know we’d practicing what he preached… you can listen to it here.

 

Chapter One of the Great Story

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“All their life in this world and all their adventures had only been the cover and the title page: now at last they were beginning Chapter One of the Great Story which no one on earth has read: which goes on for ever: in which every chapter is better than the one before.” C.S. Lewis, The Last Battle.

When we followed God’s call across the pond. We knew there’d be some sacrifice involved and knew there would be times when that call happens. Last week we heard Phil’s Grandfather (Pop) had deteriorated in health and was in his last days and asked the Lord to grace us with time with him. So we flew on a cramped flight, the Collins clan scattered around the plane.

We spent his last days with him. Talked about his life, about heaven, we prayed, cried, laughed. Pop slept through it all but we know he was listening.  And as Phil sat with his Pop on Monday evening, his final breaths were woven with Phil praying the Lord’s Prayer, until his last breath came with Phil’s ‘Amen.’

 

We woke yesterday to beautiful skies – reminded that his mercies are new every morning. We enjoyed a drive out to Church Stretton, and a beautiful walk over Carding Mill Valley in the Long Mynd. I love to listen to whisper of God in nature. And as I breathed the wonderful air I invited heaven to speak. The stunning landscape changed with the weather as clouds rolled in, the wind blew and sunshine surprised. CS Lewis wrote ‘grief is like a long valley, a winding valley where any bend may reveal a totally new landscape.’

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I looked at my family and rejoiced in the knowledge of a living, loving Christ holding us up.

We reached the top and made our way across heather-covered hills, within moments sheets of rain fell curtain-like around us. The promise of stunning views of the Welsh Hills were wrapped in fog.

I was absorbed by the grey beauty of the valley.

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And paused in His presence.

We walked from the hill, down into the valley, into the pain of more loss. Phil’s mom,Val, suddenly and unexpectedly passed away. Her pilgrimage here on earth over.  As we sat with her and prayed her into Jesus’ presence – the tangible love of God filled the room. Holy. So holy.

How she loved the Lord – feisty and stubborn, beautiful and childlike. A colourful rich soul.

In our disorientated state of grief. With weary heads and bodies, we are thankful for your love, near and far – we love how God uses people to heal people.

We are amazed with the favour of God’s timing. A friend described it as a ‘perfectly orchestrated piece of a very sad song.’

Pray for us, especially Phil, as we enter into a week of funerals and travel once more across the world to our other home, community and life.

We grieve with hope – knowing there’s no real end.

‘Til heaven – Nanny Val and Pop.

Love, Michelle xo

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Psalm 23

The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.

He makes me lie down in green pastures,

he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul.

He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake.

Even though I walk through the darkest valley,

I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.

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.

 

 

21 days of prayer: A hard slog and a breakthrough

 

 

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We kicked off the New Year with 21 days of prayer and fasting – a first for Willow Park. We opened up a prayer room and saw a constant stream of people going through, enjoying the many creative ways to pray.

The biggest request being ‘can we keep the prayer room open after the 21 days of prayer’?!

For some of us our 21 days of prayer and fasting was a hard slog and for others a time of breakthrough and the rest of us… both.

Doesn’t that sum it up well?

What we do know is that from the moment we set ourselves to pray our prayers were heard – not a prayer is wasted.

We listened to testimonies at our prayer gathering. I love hearing Jesus stories! We heard of a sudden onset of mysterious sickness during the fasting time, after hospital stays, tests and a ton of prayer this young adult testified that the pain disappeared and the tests were clear. We heard of lives committed to Jesus once more, of hearts on fire for him, of a man who after a long time of feeling out of sorts with the church decided to let go of issues and return to church family.

I loved the story of a gorgeous senior lady who came and shared how she was deaf in one ear. She had asked her friends to pray for her (making the point to surround yourself with praying friends)

She ended the testimony with ‘I can hear perfectly now’

Wow!

Did someone lay hands on her? Or command deaf ears to open?

Not this time – her friend advised her on a new place to get a hearing aid and she can now hear perfectly.

God loves to answer prayer. Yes He can open deaf ears and blind eyes. He also gives us wisdom and answers often come in surprising and mysterious ways.

We also heard today of a lady who was prayed for at the Willow One gathering and was healed from 8 years and 4 months of back and nerve pain.

His ways are not ours!

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My poetic prayer is for those who cannot see the way forward…

Wait. Be still.

Don’t be afraid

You promise

That you’ll act on our behalf

And when we cant see the way

And darkness closes in

You remind us again

Be still

We hear

Whispered reassurance

I will prepare the way

I will part the way

My love fights for you

My passion a hurricane

To a standing ovation

Of parted waters

Know this beloved

I will drown the onslaught

You will move past your enemies

You will be hope filled

Open your eyes

You will see the goodness of God

In the land of the living

I am your salvation

Wait. Be still.

Bless you!

Love, Michelle

Prophetic Mashup 2016

 

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For the past few years I have gathered and collated prophetic words for the year ahead and condensed them into a ‘mash-up.’ Usually the words have a theme or thread – the themes this year are varied with many beginning with ‘2016: The year of the ….’ One thing I have learned is ‘every prophetic word is subject to the will of the listener. The work is His but the willingness must be ours.’

As you read through these words and thoughts I pray you have ears to hear what the Spirit is saying and that your heart will respond to that which is for you, your family and your community.

Grab a cuppa, a journal and find some gold…

The Year the Tide turns 

Isaiah 59:19, ‘When the enemy comes in like a flood, the Lord will raise up a standard.’ Many people get stuck when the flood comes, but they forget that God is raising up a standard. I want to encourage you, some of you right now are going through a challenging time, but I promise you that God is working on your behalf. The enemy may be coming in trying to overwhelm you, trying to make you feel like you are flooded by problems and adversities. But don’t pray complaining prayers; pray faith-filled prayers, saying that you trust the Lord, that He is going to cause you to triumph, He’s going to cause you to overcome. And I want to promise you the tide will turn.

Unlocking

‘I am coming like the lightning to unlock every circumstance that’s been held up. I am coming in power, and I am coming quickly. I am bringing it from Heaven to earth. In these next six weeks, I am coming in power, and I will unlock that which has been locked! Do not expect anything to feel the same as you go forward. Don’t expect the things that you have done for years to even feel the same. This will be a time that you will look at everything that is happening with fresh eyes and new eyes. Rejoice in this and know that I will not let you stay in the same place. I have brought you too far to let you stay where you don’t belong anymore.’

The Ground

We are seeing everything that has built up in 2015 come to a complete tipping point. For the bowls of prayer, petitions, and decrees have come before the Lord and the Lord is about to move on behalf of His people. The events, even the tests and trials that were experienced during this phase, have been the ground for that which the Lord is establishing now. ‘For now the dry ground is about to become your watered garden. The harvest will be like nothing you have seen in times past. For this is a part of the accelerated course that has come upon the land, and there will be rapid growth in this season.’ The ground of peoples’ hearts, the ground of peoples’ minds, and the ground of peoples’ spirits will be cleansed. The land will be cleansed with My love, mercy, and purity of purpose that will be planted into the ground. It will purge and uproot that which was sown by the enemy. This is a time and an hour for a great cleansing to take place: unto the people, unto the land, and unto the Church. This cleansing will cause a re-turning and a changing; and in that turning and that changing, My people will be delivered, healed, and prepared.’

The Process of Restoration

‘There will be a restoration, a return to the place of original intent, and a return back to ground that needs to be taken in the realm of the spirit. There will be a return back to those things that I have called My people to accomplish. I will work generationally, and I will take My people into a deeper depth of the anointing and into the power of My grace in My love. For this will be a part of that which I have placed upon them that they may grow.

‘I will even take this season of restoration and will unveil the seedlings within the plant of its origin, and you will see My purpose purify the hearts and minds of My people. They will become ready, they will come forth, and they will move forth to do the things that I have called them to do in this season. Then you will understand the re-digging of the wells and the replanting of My Word, as it called to take root and bear fruit as My plan becomes activated in this hour.’

Tipping Point

Watch how when the efforts of many move together a tsunami wave of momentum is created, having much impact. It will begin in January and go throughout the year. You will see people connecting people, purpose, time, and energy along with great moves of God’s glory touching others on new levels. There will be those who will be carriers of the glory realm coming together.

The bowls of the prayers of the saints will be tipped over, taking others into greater realms of prayer movements. People will be gathering together with a hunger for His presence and hearts crying out for transformation, and it will take place in the house both apostolically and prophetically. In many ways God will see to it that things fall into their proper place.

The Year of the Slipstream

Slipstream: ‘the airstream generating reduced air pressure and forward suction directly behind a rapidly moving vehicle.’ The year 2015 has been a year of intense pressure, intense stretching, intense opposition, and contending. I believe in 2016 there is an invitation into a divine slipstream. The wind of the Spirit is moving in great acceleration, but the Lord is calling us to a ‘positioning’ of greater rest. This invitation will require a greater trust in the Lord and His timing and ways. These slipstreams are going to go in different directions in some ways to how many have anticipated He is going to move and ‘when,’ but as the people of God allow the wind of the Spirit to carry them in this slipstream, there is going to be greater ground taken, greater manifestations of His power and Spirit, greater fruit for less effort. This divine slipstream is going to see many get a rest from the hard toiling of 2015, where things will begin to flow in 2016, as the manifested winds of grace land in lives in greater ways. Abundance, provision, and manifested blessing are going to break through in 2016 in exponential ways.

Year of the Pioneer

Pioneers have been through intense trials, opposition, weariness, hardship, and fire. In the year of 2016, a great vindication is coming over the pioneers. It will be like Joseph, when there was great favor over his life and it was evident that the Lord was with him as all he touched prospered. Favor is going to be poured over the pioneers in 2016 in greater ways, especially as they have sown, stewarded, and forged forward when no one was looking, no one was cheering, no fruit was manifesting, but they continued obedience to Him and to the vision the Lord had given them; they will be rewarded, many openly and publicly in 2016, and put in charge to oversee much more. Much more will be added to them and placed into their hands as they have stewarded well and served the Lord faithfully.

Pioneers, don’t give up! The year 2016 will see everything fall into place and an extension of time and space for increase, divine suddenlies, and turnarounds. The Lord is going to do things in a 24-hour period in and through the lives of the pioneers in 2016, which is not humanly possible, that will restore, refresh and fill the pioneers with renewed hope, expectation, and new levels of faith, and they will bring the Body of Christ to a whole new level of faith and hopeful, joyful, confident expectation in the timing, ways, vision, goodness, and provision of the Lord.

2016: Abundance, Overflow, and Fruitfulness

‘Agree with the decree.’ You must hear what Heaven is saying and echo and speak and decree that here. You have to be moved by what you hear. Regardless of circumstances and situations, you have to agree with that decree. Your season may be contrary to the rest of what is going on around you. The Lord said the season you are going to be in is three big words: abundance, overflow, and fruitfulness. The fruitfulness only comes after cutting back the vine. God cuts back and prunes the branches, and only then can much fruit come forth. It is one thing to bear fruit, but the Lord is glorified in much fruit. We are moving from fruit to much fruit. I see the end of pruning and cutting away, so that much fruit can come forth.

Redeeming Time

C.S. Lewis said about redeeming the time, ‘We can actually buy back times in our past when we have felt abandoned, abused, betrayed, and fearful. We as Believers cannot only be forgiven of our past but we can travel back in time with God and see God as an ever present help in that situation in the future.’

A Year of Favor

Favor is hard to define but not very difficult to describe. Favor is an invitation into God’s shalom—his peace, wholeness, fullness, kindness, abundance, and well-being. It’s an assurance that he is with us and looks kindly on us—that his people live under his smile. It means he is uniquely disposed to pour out his grace on all who will receive it, that he is the wind in our sails, that his promises are “yes and amen,” that the God of glory is on our side, and that none of our obstacles or opposition are any match for him. Favor assures us that it’s not irresponsible to put the weight of our hardships on him and refuse to feel the burden of them ourselves. It means even our problems will work out for our advancement. It tells us it’s okay to laugh today. As much as we want. It also means I’m his favorite. You are too.

A Season of Light

The Lord says that, ‘The enemy has been bringing a spiritual fog into your spiritual atmosphere. This has caused you to be unable to see clearly. It has created doubt around the things that you are making decisions for. It has caused you to be unclear about that which you are to pray and that which you are to do.” But, the Lord says, ‘Watch now, for I bring My wind, and I will remove the fog, which has encased you. I will remove from you the obstruction that has kept you from seeing clearly. You are now entering into the season of light, and the glory of this season shall come with great clarity, great purpose of mind and the greatness of strength of the anointing of My Spirit. Expect Me to clear the atmosphere that has hindered you so that you may see clearly all things,’ says the Almighty. God is now bringing His wind to remove the fog, which has kept you from seeing clearly. This will continue into the spring of the year and then He will bring His spiritual rain to wash away the dust (defilement) left by satan’s attacks.

I (M) believe that the secret place is key to all of these words – that lives must be from intimacy with Christ. It is there you will hear for your own life. I love this line ‘Don’t go to your assignments without God’s blessing. Passion isn’t permission – presence is.’

 I pray Psalm 27 over your life…that you will know the Lord as your strength and salvation. That you will know a year of freedom from fear and as you seek Him – the ONE – you will know who you are created to be. I pray God’s purposes will be clear. That when those days of trouble come you will know Him as your safe place. I pray as you wait you will be strong. That you will know and remain confident of this – you will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Amen!

and finally…

We are called to be the uncontainable aroma of Christ.

Love, Michelle xo

(Words collated from the Canadian Prophetic Council, Stacey Campbell, Lana Vawser, Bill and Marsha Burns, Phyllis Ford, Kathy Pelton and can be read in their entirety on Elijah List and Lana Vawser’s website Oh and me – MC 😉 )

The Blues?

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We’re told it’s the most depressing day of the year otherwise known as Blue Monday…

The darkest day. Gloomy grey.

Malaise motivation. Happy hibernation.

Christmas is over. The goals are waning.

You’re tired. Your credit card bills are in.

Days are short. Nights are long.

Melatonin confused.

For many this is winter blues, let us use the word blues rather than the word depression. “True clinical depression (as opposed to a post-Christmas slump) is a far more complex condition that is affected by many factors, chronic and temporary, internal and external,” wrote Dean Burnett, Psychiatry Lecturer in an editorial for the Guardian.

Here is the British mental-health facility’s tongue-in-cheek formula: (W+D-d)xTQ÷MNa W = weather conditions. D = debt. d = ability to pay off debt. T = time passed since Christmas. Q = time passed since breaking New Year’s resolution. M = motivation levels Na = need to take action.

Action! 

For us it’s living simply, keeping out the Christmas board games, finding colour in your day, embracing the season – skating, skiing, sledding, being creative,  giving to others and of course – exercise…

With all that said, here’s a few funnies (you’ve read before I know) to brighten up your day!

Church bulletin mistakes…

*Don’t let worry kill you – let the church help.

*Thursday night – Potluck supper. Prayer and medication to follow.

*Remember in prayer the many who are sick of our church and community. Smile at someone who is hard to love. Say “hell” to someone who doesn’t care much about you.

*For those of you who have children and don’t know it, we have a nursery downstairs.

*The rosebud on the alter this morning is to announce the birth of David Alan Belzer, the sin of Rev. and Mrs. Julius Belzer.

*This afternoon there will be a meeting in the South and North ends of the church. Children will be baptized at both ends.

*Tuesday at 4:00 pm there will be an ice cream social. All ladies giving milk will please come early.

*Wednesday the ladies liturgy will meet. Mrs. Johnson will sing “Put me in my little bed accompanied by the pastor.”

*Thursday at 5:00 pm there will be a meeting of the Little Mothers Club. All ladies wishing to be “Little Mothers” will meet with the Pastor in his study.

*This being Easter Sunday, we will ask Mrs. Lewis to come forward and lay an egg on the altar.

*The service will close with “Little Drops of Water.” One of the ladies will start quietly and the rest of the congregation will join in.

*Next Sunday a special collection will be taken to defray the cost of the new carpet. All those wishing to do something on the new carpet will come forward and do so.

*The ladies of the church have cast off clothing of every kind. They can be seen in the church basement Saturday.

*At the evening service tonight, the sermon topic will be “What is Hell?” Come early and listen to our choir practice.

*Ladies Bible Study will be held Thursday morning at 10. All ladies are invited to lunch in the Fellowship Hall after the B.S. is done.

*The pastor would appreciate it if the ladies of the congregation would lend him their electric girdles for the pancake breakfast next Sunday morning.

*Low Self Esteem Support Group will meet Thursday at 7 p.m. Please use the back door.

*The pastor will preach his farewell message, after which the choir will sing, “Break Forth Into Joy.”

*The eighth graders will be presenting Shakespeare’s Hamlet in the Church basement Friday at 7p.m. The Congregation is invited to attend this tragedy.

*Weight Watchers will meet at 7 pm at the First Presbyterian Church. Please use large double door at the side entrance.

*Mrs. Johnson will be entering the hospital this week for testes.

*Please join us as we show our support for Amy and Alan who are preparing for the girth of their first child.

*The Lutheran Men’s group will meet at 6 PM. Steak, mashed potatoes, green beans, bread and dessert will be served for a nominal feel.

*The Associate Minister unveiled the church’s new tithing campaign slogan last Sunday: “I Upped My Pledge – Up Yours.”

*Our next song is “Angels We Have Heard Get High.”

*Eight new choir robes are currently needed, due to the addition of several new members and to the deterioration of some older ones.

*The senior choir invites any member of the congregation who enjoys sinning to join the choir.

*The outreach committee has enlisted 25 visitors to make calls on people who are not afflicted with any church.

*During the absence of our pastor, we enjoyed the rare privilege of hearing a good sermon when J.F. Stubbs supplied our pulpit.

*Due to the Rector’s illness, Wednesday’s healing services will be discontinued until further notice.

*The concert held in Fellowship Hall was a great success. Special thanks are due to the minister’s daughter, who labored the whole evening at the piano, which as usual fell upon her.

*22 members were present at the church meeting held at the home of Mrs. Marsha Crutchfield last evening. Mrs. Crutchfield and Mrs. Rankin sang a duet, The Lord Knows Why.

*Pastor is on vacation. Massages can be given to church secretary.

*Bertha Belch, a missionary from Africa will be speaking tonight at Calvary Memorial Church in Racine. Come tonight and hear Bertha Belch all the way from Africa.

*Ladies, don’t forget the rummage sale. It’s a chance to get rid of those things not worth keeping around the house. Don’t forget your husbands.

*Next Thursday there will be tryouts for the choir. They need all the help they can get.

*Barbara remains in the hospital and needs blood donors for more transfusions. She is also having trouble sleeping and requests tapes of Pastor Jack’s sermons.

*Irving Benson and Jessie Carter were married on October 24 in the church. So ends a friendship that began in their school days.

*Attend and you will hear an excellent speaker and heave a healthy lunch.

*The cost for attending the Fasting and Prayer conference includes meals.

*Youth basketball team is back in action Wednesday at 8 pm in the recreation hall. Come out and watch us kill Christ the King.

*Miss Charlene Mason sang “I Will Not Pass This Way Again,” giving obvious pleasure to the congregation.

*The church will host an evening of fine dining, superb entertainment, and gracious hostility.

*This evening at 7 pm there will be a hymn sing in the park across from the Church. Bring a blanket and come prepared to sin.

Happy Monday friends.

‘May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope’ 

   ‘….Go home and prepare a feast, holiday food and drink; and share it with those who don’t have anything: This day is holy to God. Don’t feel bad. The joy of God is your strength!’ 

Love Michelle xo

 

Sweet 2016

Hello again, Happy New Year from our family to yours!

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Having spent a wonderful three weeks over Christmas in Stourbridge our hometown we are now back home to Kelowna and excited for the New Year…. and the snow.

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Christmas saw us celebrating Phil’s 50th UK style, our 18th wedding anniversary, Bella’s 13th birthday and a memorable trip to London. Phil walked the Worcestershire way in one day with his friends – 35 miles of English countryside. Not quite the 2-day ramble Phil and I completed a couple of years ago (Read about that one here) We enjoyed a few days away with our fave friends who were visiting from Brisbane. Not to mention Christmas and New Year celebrations… I think I need a holiday! So blessed to know the love of family and friends on both sides of the pond.

Onto 2016!

I am currently collating prophetic words for 2016 and look forward to posting my annual mashup over the next week or two. Here is the post 2015 – in order to look ahead at all God wants to do it is important to acknowledge all that God has done.

There is excitement in the air at Willow Park Church as we head into a focused period of 21 days prayer and fasting. In addition, we have an ongoing prayer room for the next week at Highway 33 where you can creatively pray and join with others. This is a significant time for our church and the city of Kelowna. Leave your prayer requests in comments and I can post them in our prayer room walls.

Prayer Changes Things

As ever, I challenged my friends to think of their word for 2016. My word for 2015 was LAUGHTER… I realize as an INFJ I seem to laugh more on the inside and smile on the outside! #lil

My word for the year is BELOVED.

That I would always know I am His beloved and the fullness of that.

That I would see everyone I meet as His beloved.

And because of that – those I meet would know they are His beloved.

“When we claim and constantly reclaim the truth of being the chosen ones, we soon discover within ourselves a deep desire to reveal to others their own chosenness. Instead of making us feel that we are better, more precious or valuable than others, our awareness of being chosen opens our eyes to the chosenness of others. That is the great joy of being chosen: the discovery that others are chosen as well. In the house of God there are many mansions. There is a place for everyone – a unique, special place. Once we deeply trust that we ourselves are precious in God’s eyes, we are able to recognize the preciousness of others and their unique places in God’s heart.” Henri Nouwen.

What is your word for the year ahead?

That’s all for now – let me know your prayer requests and your word.

I’ll be back with my prophetic mashup soon,

Love, Michelle xo

Sign up here for 21 days of prayer and fasting devotionals from Willow Park Church.

Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7

Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Romans 12:12

 

Our Promise Be

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Our Promise. Be.

Where words fail.

Faces pale.

Find us in groans of grief.

Our Promise.

Wonderful CounselorBe.

Wild fear, smothered in dark.

Tormented.

Too painful, just. too. hard.

Our promise.

Mighty GodBe.

In the empty, the void.

In the missing voice. No choice.

In loss like no other.

Our Promise.

Everlasting FatherBe.

Restless sunset.

A world making us wince.

Lost innocence.

Our promise.

Prince of PeaceBe.

O come, O come Emmanuel.

Be. With. Us.

Praying for you on this Christmas Eve… Rest and Remember.

Love, Michelle

Do it Again!

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O my soul, come, praise the Eternal

with all that is in me—body, emotions, mind, and will—every part of who I am— praise His holy name.

O my soul, come, praise the Eternal;

sing a song from a grateful heart;

sing and never forget all the good He has done. Psalm 103.

 

When people hear about what God used to do, one of the things they say is: ‘Oh, that was a very long while ago.” . . . I thought it was God that did it. Has God changed? Is he not an immutable God, the same yesterday, today and forever? Does not that furnish an argument to prove that what God has done at one time he can do at another? No, I think I may push it a little further and say what he has done once is a prophecy of what he intends to do again. . . . Whatever God has done . . . is to be looked upon as a precedent. . . . [Let us] with earnestness seek that God would restore to us the faith of the men of old, that we may richly enjoy his grace as in the days of old’ Charles Spurgeon

This week we gathered a group of friends at our home to pray. We sat around and told stories of God’s goodness, of answered prayers. Raw and often desperate prayers were also prayed (because that’s the reality) Situations that can only be changed by the hand of God, dark journeys of grief that need Christ’s comfort, of dry valleys where the presence of God is promised.

We gathered around the fire of the spirit burning – with each testimony sparking a flame of faith. Stories of unexpected gifts of salvation, physical healing and God answering long prayed prayers.

We shared testimonies of today miracles and the room filled with a declaration of ‘do it again Lord’.

We are encouraged to tell God stories, to declare the works of the Lord, to not forget His benefits!

You will know the power of testimony as it prophesies the possibilities of God to others, it wages war on darkness, the power of testimony reveals the reality of God and brings the spirit of celebration.

Then those whose lives honored God got together and talked it over. God saw what they were doing and listened in. Malachi 3:16

God is trusting us to have a testimony that will strengthen others, impact  others, give hope to others, and comfort others.

Let us be sharing our stories and see what the Lord will do!

Love, Michelle