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

 

A Chat with my Blogging Muse.

Delicious Autumn!

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Thankfully my muse arrived for a chat…

So, Michelle, where have you been?

I could ask you the same question!

What happened to blogging everyday in October?

I had all good intentions until day six and realized the goal was unrealistic. We had a Phil’s 50th birthday to celebrate (I’m 44 – have I mentioned that?) The celebration began with an open house at our place for two days when 200 lovely church members dropped by to wish the main man a happy birthday. Great to connect with so many Willow Park people. Many cups of tea later we drove up to Sparkling Hill (on our own!) The celebrations continued with a week of fun times with friends and family. We quickly moved on to celebrate Josiah’s 9th birthday. Josiah did wonder why Phil was getting all the attention – after all 9 is a great age…

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AND during all the celebrations I had a 3000-word essay to complete.

So I did write everyday – I just didn’t blog everyday.

Remind us again of why you write…

Communication and connectedness are my strengths. I love to be able to weave and paint a picture with words. I am startled by beauty and the experience of finding grace everyday. I am predisposed to see the world sacramentally and I love to share these glimpses. I carry hope and for me writing is the best avenue for this. My ultimate passion is to tell other peoples stories of hope and of finding true faith in tough places.

I am reminded again today that to write well I must fully embrace living.

Live first, create second. Art is born from life.

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How is your creative writing degree?

It moves slowly, but doesn’t stop and that’s the main thing!

I have learned that writers need to be readers. That I can’t be a writer if I’m not a reader – writers teach us how to write – or how not to.

What are you reading?

I am currently reading for an essay I am writing.

‘Wild’ by Cheryl Strayed, ‘Into the Wild’ by Jon Krakauer, ‘Walden’ by Thoreau and ‘Walking Home: The Poets Journey’ by Simon Armitage. Lots of creative non-fiction – I find myself on the pathways of the Pacific Crest Trail, the raw beauty of Alaska or crying with Chris McCandless mother on a green abandoned bus on the Stampede Trail. I have yet to join the poet on the Pennine Way.

Have you had time for anything else?!

Of course…

As you know my passion is our Hope Centre, we are currently re-imagining what this ministry looks like. Realizing what we are not as much as anything else, focusing on what we can do well and how we can best serve our wider community.

We just held another Encounter God – the God given vision to see a community transformed, made whole and living out a listening life is happening in our church.

This past week we attended the Hope International Development Agency Film Premiere and Dinner with our life long friend Lowell Sheppard who is Asia Pacific Director for HOPE. I was moved by the story of Chan whose life was changed by the provision of a water well though HOPE. She has seen the health of her family improve; her children attend education and food security in growing and selling vegetables. All through the gift of clean water. Her words ‘we now have everything we need’ on are on repeat in my mind.

Last night we met with a group of our adults who are passionate about prayer. It was a moment when God was smiling. A moment to mark as we discussed prayer rooms, a week of constant prayer in January and 21 day focused time of prayer and fasting. Watch this space!

What are you excited about?

Christmas of course! It’s the first time since we moved to Canada that we’ll be in Stourbridge (our hometown) for Christmas. I CANNOT WAIT to spend time with my loved ones.

So that’s me! Thanks for reading.

Praying that you’ll know God’s wrap around presence, protection and peace over your life.

Stay in touch,

Love, Michelle x

Bloom where you’re planted.

Canada 893Walks in our Canadian garden.

During worship in church a couple of weeks ago I saw a garden where God walked among us. As I watched him walk, I began to see us – his children – in different scenarios.

The first scene I saw was people sat in tangled weeds and undergrowth – head in hands not knowing where to begin.

The next I saw were people hiding behind trees, glancing out occasionally but hiding.

The next I saw were people who had climbed up trees… familiar story?

I looked across and saw people tending a section of garden, beautiful flowers, vibrant colours – this group had their backs turned to the rest of those in the garden.

There were people wandering around the garden and not settling.

Then there were many giving out from their areas.

The beauty of this picture was as the Lord walked amongst us in our own space – there was no condemnation. He walked as a friend, drawing us, wooing us, pursuing – he had gentleness in His eyes and oozed love.

God walks amongst us.

His presence …

will address any alienation or isolation we might feel.

will pour out love over fear.

will strengthen us to find our way out of the weeds.

will call us to make our home in Him.

will call us to face one another in true community.

This speaks of intimacy – God is calling us to a new intimacy in Him.

The book of Songs is where I am camping out at the moment… I think I’ll be here a while. As we acknowledge our place in the garden. The Lord is speaking this word from Song of Solomon 2:14 “…Let me see your face, let me hear your voice; for your voice is sweet, and your face is lovely.”

Let him see your face. The real you. Let him hear your voice. He is interested in all you have to say.

This isn’t about sitting pretty in our gardens,

‘It is time to bloom where you’re planted..then you and those around you will know the sweet fragrance of Christ’

SAM_0909Walks in our English garden.

‘Keep your eyes open for God, watch for his works; be alert for signs of his presence. Psalm 105:4

‘My lover is already on his way to his garden, to browse among the flowers, touching the colors and form. I am my lover’s and my lover is mine. He caresses the sweet-smelling flowers’. Song of Songs. 6:2

N.T Wright writes ‘If you don’t want your garden to grow weeds, one of the best ways is to keep it well stocked with strong, sturdy flowers and shrubs. If you don’t want your mind and heart to go wandering off into the realms of darkness, one of the best ways is to keep them well stocked with wise and thankful themes’.

Hope these words of encouragement bless you – you are loved – you have a place. Let Him see your face and hear your voice.

Stay in touch,

Love, Michelle

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Matt’s story: ‘Your prayer has been heard’

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About my little bro Matt…

He was 19 when he was diagnosed with paranoid Schizophrenia. For those who have known this illness, you know it’s not a quick visit to your local GP and an off the bat diagnosis. No, this came following years of pain, torment, violence, and imprisonment.

We were told these words. ‘Prepare yourselves for him to be institutionalized for the rest of his life’.

The 23 years that have followed have been both stable and tumultuous. As pray-ers we’ve wrestled with how to pray, with the dark feel of mental illness, the spiritual influence that accompanies, and the voices that have called us out.

We have seen God answer many prayers. We’ve fasted; we’ve travailed and cried as the pain of unanswered prayer pushes us to breakthrough for his life. When the time came for hi-security rehab for a while, we prayed and he received the best care. When certain medical intervention was/is needed we pray. When wisdom is needed over meds we pray. We refused to believe what had been spoken and saw the dedication of faithful people praying God’s word. All wrapped in the beauty of a Mom and Dad pouring out unconditional love.

Why do I tell you this? I love to tell God stories. He’s a good, good Father… Love this song. On repeat.

Matt knows God’s love and forgiveness. He has broken free from many addictions. He’s realized the dark influence of occult practices and disposed of anything attached to it. A good friend has been and prayed through his apartment, yes, Matt’s apartment – because he lives independently now. Shopping, cooking, paying his bills. Matt’s an encourager, he has the gift of generosity, he’s a great Dad. He’s currently serving at our old church in Stourbridge – Chawn Hill. Helping to cook meals at Alpha and helping with the Diners club – where a group of guys cook a meal and eat together. There’s the table again.

I tell a snippet of Matt’s story to encourage praying parents, siblings and carers and of course those who are affected by mental illness. Please understand I am not making light of a desperate situation by suggesting a quick fix prayer. I understand the depth of pain. What I do know is that God hears your prayers, every one of them, spoken and not. He sees your desperation. God is committed to answer your prayers. He is committed to show you His heart, He is for you. Remind Him of His promises, stop and listen to Him – He is faithful.

For the moments when you ask why.  The real Jesus turns to our questions of why, why this sickness, who is to blame — and he says it like a caress to the aching,“You’re asking the wrong question. You’re looking for someone to blame. There is no such cause-effect here.” (John 9:3 MSG)… “This happened so the power of God could be seen in him” (John 9:5 NLT). Anne Voskamp.

…and if you’ve run out of faith and hope – tell God that too and find a community who will support you. He gives strength to the weary. When the angel spoke to Zechariah he said ‘Do not be afraid; your prayer has been heardLuke 1:13 If you study this word it actually means ‘the prayers that you no longer pray have been heard’. I love that.

Prayer changes things. Answers to prayer reveal God’s love.

Matt’s life is a beautiful testimony of this.

And we are thankful.

Jesus: ‘Remember, what is humanly impossible is possible with God.’ Luke 18:27

‘I am the Lord, the God of all mankind. Is anything too hard for me?’ Jeremiah 32:27 

‘For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Eternal, “plans for peace, not evil, to give you a future and hope—never forget that.’Jeremiah 29:11

‘The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it.’ 1 Thessalonians 5:24

Love, Michelle x

(Written with permission – thanks lil’ bro)

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I Dare You.

Five minute Friday – Word prompt DARE

 

Josiah John,

You are 8!

I looked at pics from this past year. WOW.

I saw you….

Hiking Revelstoke.

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Skiing Big White.

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Fishing in Kedelston.

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Water skiing and tubing on Kalamalka Lake.

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Planting seeds

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Walking with Mommy

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Kicking soccer balls.

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Visiting museums

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Concentrating on art

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Walking English paths

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Dancing with Nanny

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Swimming in a Glacier Lake.

Watching endless Dr Who with Dad,

Reading many books,

Asking many questions,

Cliff jumping into cold creeks,

Flying on planes,

Did I mention asking many questions?

I saw you…

Living and loving life well.

 

I dare you to pursue adventure and life,

Most of all I dare you to know the very best God has for you – to know who God has created you to be.

….I know how you love dares!

Here’s to being 8!

Love from your biggest fans.

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Mommy, Daddy, Em, Jess, Bella xx

…and the rest of your lovely fam


Search for:

‘There is Love in our home now’

 

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It’s Saturday, 10am and 65 ladies slowly arrive.

They are dressed in their brightest and boldest, dresses and scarves flow, some even bridesmaid-esque.

The guests arrive by foot, ferry and dula dula.

There’s a feeling of celebration is in the air.

It’s time for our women’s seminar!

New notepads and expectancy are in hand … not forgetting the introduction of the ‘door prize’.

The first sessions explored what it means to live in intimacy with God and the life we are promised in doing so.

The team shared during the afternoon session – we had spoken of intimacy, so naturally spoke of the fruit produced and how that might look in our own lives.

Testimonies flowed. As did tears. Women are women.

One of my favorite parts of the day was the lunch we provided for these lovelies.

Served by the men. Yes the men.

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One lady commented how the food was like that served at a wedding.

A wonderful prophetic sign.

“He has taken me to the banquet hall, and his banner over me is love.” Song of Solomon 2:4

God had clearly ordained this time for these women – to be spoiled and cared for – for feasting and fun.

We declared the goodness of God and the banner of love waved high.

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As the day went on, we heard stories and we became friends I was reminded of my other favourite feast – of Psalm 23.

‘You spread out a table before me, provisions in the midst of attack from my enemies, You care for all my needs, anointing my head with soothing, fragrant oil, filling my cup again and again with Your grace’

God promises a feast set in the midst of a battlefield. Undaunted by evil or troubles. A feast prepared for these women in the midst of their enemies.

Their enemies?

Many the same as mine and yours. Many not.

Marriage problems, making ends meet, concerns for future, health issues.

There was much darkness to overcome, vivid nightmares to battle and the influence of witch doctors to flee.

These women saw a reprieve from their battles, as we declared the goodness of God enabling them to see the banner of love waving more once.

In addition to great food –  we feasted on the provision of promise, the sustenance of comfort – rest – peace – friendship – hugs – hope for another day…

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Psalm 23 speaks of the word ‘table’, you spread out a table – meaning to grow long, reach, spread and stretch forth. My prayer for these women as we sat together was that the provision and sustenance would go far beyond what we could see.

On our final morning a Living Waters watchman came to tell us that his wife had been at the seminar and had met Jesus.

His words were enough ‘there is love in our home now’…

Yes!

I just read this prayer today… for my sisters in Africa and for you wherever you are.

Join me in praying?

Lord, look…

Marriage & kids & relationships & people are ridiculously hard…. and they can make our hearts grow hard & our legs go soft & bottom line: we have no idea how to keep going on.

And You hearten us, Your Word breathing fresh hope into our bones:

“Be brave. Be strong. Don’t give up….

Become wise; point your life in the right direction…

You’re so steady & determined in your faith despite all the hard times that have come down on you…” 


That’s all Lord.

Make the bruised, brave.

Make the wounded, wise. 


Make the daunted, determined.

In the name of the only One who loved us to death & back to the real & forever life… In Jesus’ name,

Amen.

More soon,

Love, Michelle

 

 

These Days.

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These days…

Of sunshine and turquoise lakes

Of tangible care and an overflowing table.

These days…

Of grief, and heavy hearts,

Of tests and waiting.

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These days…

Of sunsets and supermoons,

Of dancing flames and shooting stars.

These days…

Of my well organised plans not being His,

Of weariness and wakefulness.

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Of hikes to hidden places,

Of awe-owned words.

These days…

Of His wrap around presence on stormy waters,

Of His word breathing over the poem of our lives.

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These days…

Of energetic children drinking every drop of life,

Of exhausted children despairing over life,

These days…

You are God.

These days…

You.are.God.

‘Be saturated in prayer throughout each day, offering your faith-filled requests before God with overflowing gratitude. Tell Him every detail of your life, then God’s wonderful peace that transcends human understanding, will make the answers known to you through Jesus Christ.’

Compelled by Love.

IMG_4253How’s your January going? I have read a lot over the past two weeks of the destiny over 2014. ‘Watch closely: I am preparing something new; it’s happening now, even as I speak, and you’re about to see it. I am preparing a way through the desert; Waters will flow where there had been none.’ I am already seeing these waters and I’m jumping in…you?

My mind whirls and I want to write – but I don’t know where to start, so I start right here. Write here. Phew. They say just keep writing. Right? Write.

My poetry module is progressing, although I find it challenging, when is the piece complete? I sent an assignment to my tutor this week – so I’m sure he will let me know!

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This week was the ‘Kelowna Week of Prayer’ it kicked off at Church@33 – what a great evening of churches praying in unity.

We look forward to Searchlight theatre in Kelowna this month too. Don’t miss the world premiere of this WWII adaptation of the bestselling classic novel “The Pilgrim’s Progress” by John Bunyan. Reserve tickets here. It’s always a treat to welcome these guys to Kelowna. Don’t forget my chocolate DR!

Today’s musings are from these words from the ‘Signature of Jesus’ by Brennan Manning.

Laugh with me! Death is dead! Fear is no more! There is only life! There is only laughter! If the darkest night is upon you as you read these words, know that the risen Jesus is wild about you even if you can’t feel it. Listen beneath your pain for the voice of Abba God.

‘Make ready for the Christ, Whose smile, like lightning, Sets free the song of everlasting glory that now sleeps in your paper flesh, like dynamite.’ Thomas Merton.

There is a wonderful Saviour wild about you, with a smile like lightening. Powerful, drawing you, reassuring, loving YOU. Reaching deeper than your darkest.

Yes! I hear some say. I am in that place…Then I know for others it’s as if you are living in a constant stress dream, where you are shouting and screaming but the words just.won’t.come.out.

Be encouraged today with this.

‘The moment we get tired in the 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. He knows us far better than we know ourselves, knows our pregnant condition, and keeps us present before God. That’s why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good.’ Romans 8:26 The Message.

The relief I have found in this verse. When my deepest soul cannot find words as I think of loved ones and situations around me. Heaven goes deeper than our darkest…

CompelledCoverLogo2Back to smiles like lightening. I watched ‘Compelled by Love’ last week, this feature-length biography traces the journey of Heidi and Rolland Baker, Heidi is often described as a modern day Mother Theresa. Their pursuit of the presence of God has transformed a poverty-stricken and war torn 
Mozambique through love in action. Shot on the run over a period of 20 years, in 10 countries and on 4 continents in war zones, brothels, and Ivy League campuses, from Hollywood to Mozambique. The film chronicles the power of one life fully yielded to God and the truth that love wins: One life surrendered, one nation transformed…

The truth of one in love with Jesus, who said yes and who encourages us to step into our yes.

The pain of living through harrowing Mozambique, one of the poorest nations is clear. Heidi shares how she lets her Mozambican children inside her house to replace their “orphan spirit” with a “spirit of adoption”. Allowing them to eat her food, to celebrate being family. Unconditional love evident.

I loved this movie; a reminder of what Jesus can do in your life when you say yes. Yes to the gospel. To His love. Yes to being Him right where you are. I loved to watch Heidi – she emanates love. One of my favourite lines was this – ‘Fruitfulness flows from intimacy’ and one word I know I’m chasing in 2014 is intimacy. Jesus is calling us to intimacy. His presence.

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Our response when we see this love, is to be compelled to say ‘send me Lord’ and to know that sometimes ‘send me Lord’ starts right where you are.

Are you compelled by His love?

Love, Michelle xo