Uproot for fruit.

This time last year I began NaNoWriMo, a month of daily writing towards a novel. I reached 7000 words and gave up. I love starting things…

This year I’m trying something different. NaBloPoMo.

NaBloPoMo November 2013

A blog a day to encourage and develop creativity and writing practice – and no doubt post pictures when my words fail. So, for those of you who have signed up for my blog posts. Thank you. Especially for your grace as my posts sweep daily through your inbox. I do hope you will benefit somewhat from my writing experiment.

Day One.

Last weekend was our Women’s Encounter God retreat. I have written about Encounter God in previous posts, click here for a more in-depth description. We are passionate about Jesus healing and freeing the whole person.

As Phil and I walked on Black Mountain on Monday I saw this.

IMG_3354If the root remains. So do the pains.

Last year I wrote a blog about roots, here’s a snippet:

‘A few years 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 darkness, 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.

These God given roots of characteristic need to be straightened, healed and freed.

Back to this week…

Then there are other roots, sin, pain, abuse, un-forgiveness of others and self – these need to be uprooted to bring transformation. If they are not uprooted, unhealthy growth occurs – those same patterns, behaviour and habits.

But how Michelle? How do I uproot? My own experience has been to revisit the pain. In going back to that place where the pain was formed. The 10 year old girl whose trust was betrayed. Revisiting that wound allowed me to fully forgive. I found that when the pain was revisited, I was able to not only forgive but also picture Jesus standing besides me while the wrong was taking place, and more importantly think about how He felt about what happened. That is when the healing came. This isn’t to revisit the same physical place but rather the memories a place in my mind where the pain took place.

And then following the uprooting, that wide, raw, gaping place. Jesus pours in His love…and we begin to change, forming new behaviour and habits.

‘Should we not see that our root is right, before expecting flowers and fruit?’ Scraps, Amy Carmichael

Uprooting, though painful, brings transformation.

Encounter God is not a ‘one weekend fixes all’ event, how could it?

Encounter God gives us the tools to live in a daily place of confession, repentance and deliverance. With one another – in community.

If we confess our sins to God, we are forgiven but James 5:16 says ‘confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.’

As ever, the stories that came from this retreat were beautiful, many healings – especially when people forgave themselves.

IMG_3346A Golden Fleece in Black Mountain.

 Verses to encourage you:

 ‘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

‘But blessed is the man who trusts me, God, 
the woman who sticks with God. They’re like trees replanted in Eden,
 putting down roots near the rivers. Never a worry through the hottest of summers,
 never dropping a leaf,
 serene and calm through droughts,
bearing fresh fruit every season.’ Jeremiah 17:8

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 

And a final challenge…

‘If we are to be anything, we must bury ourselves deeply, and let Jesus take complete control.’ Andy Donaldson, Church Planter, Theologian.

See you tomorrow!

Michelle xoxo

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