Our Promise. Be.

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Thoughts from Isaiah 9…

 

Our Promise. Be.

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 xo

 

 

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Hiking and Hiding.

Love this time of year… can you smell the lilacs from our garden?

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Time for a catch up.

Baptism… Phil and I were privileged to baptize Emily on Easter Sunday. What a joy to see her say yes to Jesus and own her faith. I just love the model of our youth work.  When we arrived in 2010, the twins were 11 and entering into Juice at youth – it was here they were placed into a care group and allocated care group leaders. These same leaders have been with them through their teen years, supporting mentoring, praying – having a lot of fun, adventures and endless YOLO nights. It was no surprise to see one of her leaders sitting on the steps of the baptism pool cheering her on and the others wait to pour out some love and prayers. It’s no surprise – but I acknowledge the awesome blessing that it is. Our youth pastor Joel and his family, our youth staff and interns need our prayers daily as they give so much week in week out to hundreds of youth in our city.

Immigration…the process continues, we are now proving to Canadian government that Phil is the right man for the job!

For the Love…. I am so excited to be part of a launch team for Jen Hatmaker’s new book ‘For the Love’ which is released in August. EVERY LINE brings a ‘yes’ or an ‘amen’ or ‘I wish id have written that’!!! Watch this space over the next months for a review, endless quotes and no doubt a giveaway when the book is released, preorder here.

Until then here’s a few lines to be going on with.

‘Be Kind. Be You. Love Jesus. That’s about it. Everything else will fall into place’

‘If folks don’t recognize God is good by watching His people, then we have tragically derailed’

‘You know that person who does great things for you and says those things that make you feel so good? Try that on others’!

Spring… has sprung and Phil is starting to work on the veggie garden. We are enjoying a weekly hike on Phil’s day off, choosing a different mountain each week. Our Pastor Gary spoke of life on the mountain this week, you can watch it on the The Abbey Facebook page, our Mountain Monday gives us the view and focus to get back down to the valley for real life.

IMG_1392Hiking on Okanagan Mountain – deer, crane, coyote… and the Ogopogo – can you see it?

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Also, I really like hiking and I really, really like my husband.

On Hiding… I will leave you with this thought. Prompted by the 5 minute Friday word prompt ‘HIDE’.

Hiding often comes easy to me, how about you? I am an INFJ character and often overthinking and sensitivity and the familiar villain of fear can cause me to withdraw into my world where I find encouragement in scripture and in God’s presence, and that alone. Yes, my life is hidden with Christ in God and I live that but as you know one of favorite lines is ‘Created for Community’. I think the enemy of our soul wants nothing more than to isolate us in loneliness – hiding away in a world of silence and unreality. This needs us to make a change – stepping out, being vulnerable and honest, inviting people into our imperfect house and world.

I love the idea of community where are arms are wide open, where judgment is abandoned and encouragement is the norm. Community allows light into the dark places, I’m running after true community.

Jen writes ‘and as we witness this beautiful community, we aren’t just observing vulnerability but rather chains breaking, darkness receding, victory rising… when enough bright places are created, the dark has nowhere else to hide.

To do this we have to be seen.

Love, Michelle x

Exhale

10350423_616549235118564_4597499449421779246_nVernon from the High Rim Trail

Hi friends,

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

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

and breathe…

Todays word prompt ‘exhale’.

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

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

DSC01723…after the Storm.

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

Inhaling we are asking the Spirit to take control.

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

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

Letting go, releasing.

and breathe….

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

I love that laughter eases pain.

Laughter!Belly laughs.

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

That you find a belly laugh here and there,

That you know God in your midst.

Love, Michelle xo

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

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

 

Five Minute Friday kinda

PS. Thanks Barb x

Roots

I write from the hair salon. Yes it’s that time – roots.

‘Whaaaaat I hear you cry, you’re not a natural blonde?’

Yes I am! Or should I say was, when I was 5. And now I just enjoy a little assistance to maintain that natural color.

It’s been a busy couple of weeks with birthdays for the Collins men. A high energy party for Josiah and his friends, a Canadian style meal and a legotastic time!

Love celebrating with my fam.

Phil flew to Vancouver this week where he spoke at a pastor’s conference.  Encouraging them to dream big and firing them up to continue in their God given calling.

Then there was Halloween…

Bella the funky ballerina and Josiah the cowboy hit our busy neighborhood and went trick or treating.

Stop right there Michelle. Aren’t the roots of Halloween dark?

Yes.

But I am not, because my God is not. I believe in opening my door and letting the light out, redeeming the day and introducing a different Spirit.

As Christians we are called to be light right? Then arise shine!

And now a thought to end this writing prompt.

A while ago I went to a friend for counselling and prayer. A line of thought she shared with me has stayed close. It is this.

As one woven by our Creator, we are all designed with specific roots of character which define us. What can happen is that the enemy, choices…. life’s events can take this God given root and twist it.

Here are some examples of twisted roots.

You protect those around you with your silence over challenging behavior. Could this be your God given root of integrity is gnarled.

You are bolshy, even arrogant. Has your root of boldness been twisted?

You fear confrontation, you allow compromise. Has your root of being a peacemaker wandered.

You are a bully. But God’s plan for you was inner strength.

We often think we need to to rip up the roots that define us. Instead maybe those God given roots need to be straightened, healed and freed.

I hope that resonates with some of you.

My counsel for you is simple and straightforward: Just go ahead with what you’ve been given. You received Christ Jesus, the Master; now live him. You’re deeply rooted in him. You’re well constructed upon him. You know your way around the faith. Now do what you’ve been taught. School’s out; quit studying the subject and start living it! And let your living spill over into thanksgiving. Colossians 2:7 

Have a great weekend,

Love, Michelle  xoxo

It’s 5 minute Friday – I’ve been following a word prompt – Roots. Click here to find some encouragement with a group of great bloggers.

Five Minute Friday