Fighting Fires

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It’s been ‘one of those’ times…where fires are ignited by external events and accidents, by fear and anxiety.

My purse (wallet) disappeared in Walmart. It’s amazing just how much of life I can fit into such a small ‘Fossil’ space. Cards, cash (yes.. it was that one day I carried cash) health cards, driving licence, kitchen sink.

Thankful that money wasn’t spent on my cards. I am slightly obsessive when I lose something – lose sleep obsessive so I had to the necessary cancelling and let.it.go.  Thankful that I have been able to do that.

The next day, after a lovely afternoon with friends, Josiah decided to as he describes ‘try out a new move of a cartwheel into a jump off the diving board which went wrong’ Resulting in hitting his head on the side of the pool. Fire crew, paramedics, and an evening at KGH with the bravest boy and the best Doctor who, as he sewed 10 stitches into Josiah’s forehead said ‘you know Josiah the forehead is the strongest, we’re meant to face life head on’.
Thankful for a friend who was in arms reach of the water and whipped him out fast, for anaesthetic and for a body that heals.

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Then Sunday came and Dion’s baptism. Love the testimony he shared of His healing and power into the darkest of times.

From the waters of baptism to a flooded basement. Thankful we reached it after an hour of the boiler going and that the damage is minimal.

Then we moved onto our week at Green Bay Bible camp. Love this camp and the campers we get to meet every year. Phil does what he does best and preaches it up with passion!

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I had my first mammogram on Monday, I receive a call on Wednesday as further tests are needed. Thankful that it’s low suspicion.

I write this from a beautiful beach, toes in water. I’m surrounded by mountains and the beauty of creation.
Yet.
Smoke is heavy in the valley as the Smith Creek Fires continue to rage. Water bombing planes dip through the lake every 4 minutes. It’s noisy. Fighting fires is hard work, we’re praying for those involved practically. For those evacuated from their homes this morning. For Seniors moved out of their safe place. We pray that the fire will be prevented from spreading near the power lines.

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Rain Lord.

So what do we do as these fires of life rage?
For me I do what I know best. I find God on this journey. Today. I find gratitude at bloody poolsides and flooding basements. I find gratitude in low suspicion call backs. I join my friend on a beauty hunt.

I pursue peace. I pray. I reject fear.

Reign Lord.

I call down the gift of faith in prayer. The Gift of Faith. I dig deep in scripture for it. God’s Word is an indispensable weapon, my shield which extinguishes the fiery darts.  I look back at the extinguished fires of last couple of weeks and I see my heart with a renewed fire for Christ. I’m trying not to live in the ‘could have been‘ or the ‘what might be‘.

I’m living, loving today.

Psalm 23 – in my words. Join me in praying this?

Spoken and silent needs, you know them well,
Your familiar voice settles my soul.
I roll in lush meadows, in carefree rest.
Stagnant sea, parts to a grace oasis,
There I drink in the life of silent streams.
While in deep valleys, your whisper echoes,
Guiding weathered trails, secure sunless paths.
I’m invited! Your guest to sit and feast,
To face my enemies, who watch and scoff,
My head spins again under their mocking.
I’m invited! My delectable 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.

Bless 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