Ours is a great responsibility not to waste this Advent​ time

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Advent begins…

The gospels are full of waiting people, waiting with promise. Waiting is active, which means we are fully present in the moment. Trusting that something is happening deep in our God-given promise.

Henri Nouwen writes ‘Waiting is essential to the spiritual life. But waiting as a disciple of Jesus is not an empty waiting. We are always waiting, but it is waiting in the conviction that we have already seen God’s footsteps. Waiting for God is an active, alert – yes, joyful – waiting.’

The thrill of HOPE

I am reminded of the hope we have in Christ, who is HOPE, and how this sacred season is perfect for our hearts to awaken. Advent reminds me to stop, to breathe, to wait to wonder, to look, to yearn, to anticipate. Let us join in with the candle lighters, the life declarers, and the hope bringers – believing that God sent his only son as a babe and He made his home on earth and it all fell into place.

Advent is about a bigger picture. It’s about our eyes being opened spiritually, our ears hearing a new sound. To Emmanuel – God with us. How many of us are weary in the waiting, the wondering, and worrying? Advent is not the same old same old.  Advent is a time of change, let us spend time looking at the areas in our lives to be redeemed, recognizing what is holding us in its power

or

maybe catching a tiny spark of wonder, the newest of realizations, or the joy of transformation.

“Advent, like its cousin Lent, is a season for prayer and reformation of our hearts. Since it comes at winter time, fire is a fitting sign to help us celebrate Advent…If Christ is to come more fully into our lives this Christmas, if God is to become really incarnate for us, then fire will have to be present in our prayer. Our worship and devotion will have to stoke the kind of fire in our souls that can truly change our hearts. Ours is a great responsibility not to waste this advent time” Fire of Advent. Edward Hays, A Pilgrim’s Almanac, 

YOU are loved and I pray that God, the source of all hope, will infuse your lives with an abundance of joy and peace in the midst of your faith so that your hope will overflow through the power of the Holy Spirit.

Love, Michelle xo

 

 

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Advent: 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

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

Let us gather this season and tell stories of God’s goodness, of answered prayers. Let us remind each other of Red Sea moments and of dry valleys where the presence of God is promised.

Let us gather around the fire of the spirit burning – our testimonies sparking a flame of faith. Testimonies of today miracles, our homes and hearts filled with a declaration of ‘do it again Lord’. The power of testimony that will prophesy the possibility of God to others, waging war on darkness. The power of testimony that will reveal the reality of God and bring the spirit of celebration.

Let’s share our stories and let God do the rest,

Love, Michelle xo

 

Our Promise. Be.

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Our Promise. Be.

From Isaiah 9

Where words fail.

Faces pale.

Find us in groans of grief.

Our Promise.

Wonderful Counsellor. Be.

Wild fear, smothered in dark.

Tormented.

Too painful, just too hard.

Our promise.

Mighty God. Be.

In the empty, the void.

In the missing voice. No choice.

In loss like no other.

Our Promise.

Everlasting Father. Be.

Restless sunset.

A world making us wince.

Lost innocence.

Our promise.

Prince of Peace. Be.

O come, O come Emmanuel.

Be with us.

Praying this over you today,

Love, Michelle

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

Preparing Him room.

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Hi all.

We have just completed another wonderful Living Nativity at our church. When thousands enter into what is the ‘Kelowna tradition’ and experience the nativity, Bethlehem village, live mannequins and yum treats. 7000 people attended over the 12 shows. 2500 bibles were given. We were able to pray for 577 prayer requests on our prayer tree.

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What a wonderful opportunity to invite our community into God’s story!

 ‘The thrill of hope’

I’m trying to be clever and think of something different to write about, a different advent angle.

Because everything I read says the same thing.

Over and over.

The same message.

It tells me to stop, to breathe, to wait to wonder, to look, to yearn, to anticipate.

That there is hope, there is light.

And the more I read the more I realize of course the message is loud.

It’s the clearest it has ever been.

It is the most wonderful time of the year!

So I will join the advent people because there is no place I’d rather be.

The candle lighters, the life declarers, the hope bringers.

Because I believe that God sent his only son as a babe and He made his home on earth and it all fell into place.

All of this – advent is about a bigger picture. This time. This waiting.

It’s about our eyes being opened spiritually, our ears hearing a new sound.

‘The weary world rejoices’

How many of us are weary in the waiting, the wondering and worrying?

Let us use this time of advent to focus on our dark and say Emmanuel – I cannot do this. Let us invite Him into the places where decay has spread beyond hidden messes in our heart.

Advent is not the ‘same old same old’.  Advent is a time of change.

Let us spend advent looking at the areas in our lives to be redeemed, recognizing what is holding us in its power.

Take a moment to pray…

‘Emmanuel. God with us. With me. What do you want to say to me?’

It could be tiny spark of wonder, the newest of realizations, or the wonder of transformation. He wants to answer you.

 O come, O come Emmanuel’

Lord Jesus,

Master of both the light and the darkness,

send your Holy Spirit upon our preparations for Christmas.

We who have so much to do seek quiet spaces to hear your voice each day.

We who are anxious over many things look forward to you coming among us.

We who are blessed in so many ways long for the complete joy of your kingdom.

We whose hearts are heavy seek the joy of your presence.

We are your people, walking in darkness, yet seeking the light.

To you we say, “Come Lord Jesus!”

—Henri J.M. Nouwen.

‘Let every heart prepare Him room’

 Love, Michelle xo

Our Promise. Be.

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Our Promise. Be.

Where words fail.

Faces pale.

Find us in groans of grief.

Our Promise.

Wonderful Counselor. Be.

Wild fear, smothered in dark.

Tormented.

Too painful, just. too. hard.

Our promise.

Mighty God. Be.

In the empty, the void.

In the missing voice. No choice.

In loss like no other.

Our Promise.

Everlasting Father. Be.

Restless sunset.

A world making us wince.

Lost innocence.

Our promise.

Prince of Peace. Be.

O come, O come Emmanuel.

Be. With. Us.

 Praying this for you,

Love, Michelle xo

Advent*urous thoughts.

Hi all. I’ve missed you! We have just completed another wonderful Living Nativity at our church. When thousands enter into what is the ‘Kelowna tradition’ and experience the nativity, Bethlehem village, live mannequins and yumlish treats.

1476243_697943840230508_696441835_nAngelic Beauty – ChadPerryPhotography

1454684_697952596896299_279524062_nMy Bella the mannequin – ChadPerryPhotography

1426136_697944203563805_1200221222_nWise Guys – ChadPerryPhotography

This year we introduced a prayer tree… to witness our local community lining up to pin their prayers on the tree was beautiful. We pray life and hope and a resounding Amen over those prayers and the courage it took to write them.

 ‘The thrill of hope.’

I’m trying to be clever and think of something different to write about, a different advent angle.

Because everything I read says the same thing.

Over and over.

The same message.

It tells me to stop, to breathe, to wait to wonder, to look, to yearn, to anticipate.

That there is hope, there is light.

And the more I read the more I realize of course the message is loud.

It’s the clearest it has ever been.

It is the most wonderful time of the year!

So I will join the advent people because there is no place I’d rather be.

The candle lighters, the life declarers, the hope bringers.

Because I believe that God sent his only son as a babe and He made his home on earth and it all fell into place.

All of this – advent is about a bigger picture. This time. This waiting.

It’s about our eyes being opened spiritually, our ears hearing a new sound. To Emmanuel – God with us.

 ‘O come, O come Emmanuel, and ransom captive Israel.’

How many of us are weary in the waiting, the wondering and worrying?

Let us use this time of advent to focus on our messes and say Emmanuel – I cannot do this, inviting Him into the places where decay has spread beyond the box in our hearts where we have hidden the mess.

Advent is not the ‘same old same old’.  Advent is a time of change.

Let us  spend advent looking at the areas in our lives to be redeemed, recognizing what is holding us in its power.

Take a moment to pray…

‘Emmanuel. God with us. With me. What do you want to say to me?’

IMG_3795.JPGJosiah the firestarter.

It could be tiny spark of wonder, the newest of realizations, or the wonder of transformation. He wants to answer you.

So that when Dec 25th arrives  – you can say ‘I am changed.’

‘The weary world rejoices.’

This weekend I experienced my boy disappearing in Walmart for the longest 15 minutes OF.MY.LIFE. I have never seen so many potential kidnappers during that time. ‘Code Adam’ bought Josiah back holding a couple of DVDs which he’d like to add to his list. With a familiar hand waving gesture of my father, Josiah decided he’d looked long and hard for me, and that it was me who was lost. He wants Smurfs 2 don’t cha know?

Also, I saw: more sickness, my poetry module arrive, cabin fever, the making of lip scrub, living nativity mannequin prep, the booking of flights, the not wrapping up warm enough. Homesickness. The traffic, the busy, the lost teenager arriving because she had nowhere to go, the homeless saying thank you, Josiah asking why, the presents list added to (again). The ski hill experienced, overdue homework complete, another dinner prepared. The smoothing of my edgy soul as I chatted to a faraway friend.

I saw…and felt -20 therefore I saw a fire roaring, and, and, and….

We all have similar stories of busy, and I know for some it’s more than busy – it’s dark, it’s painful,  it’s a desert, and you feel trapped, defeated.

But let us try and find our moment to breathe the words.

O come, O come Emmanuel.’

……..

‘But if you concentrate just for an instant, far off in the deeps of yourself somewhere you can feel the beating of your heart. For all its madness and lostness, not to mention your own, you can hear the world itself holding its breath.’ Frederick Buechner.

For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son. Whoever puts his trust in God’s Son will not be lost but will have life that lasts forever. John 3:16

Are you ready for your redemptive advent*ure?

Love, Michelle xo