Drinking tea in the Presence of God

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This week I sat on my deck, it was 6am, the birds were reminding me of the new day, while my sleeping ones stirred. The sun bounced through the leaves of the lilac tree. I watched the steam swirling from my hot tea and pondered the Holy Place. The place where God dwells and I rejoiced at the knowledge that because of Christ, I can enter into his presence. That no magic tricks are needed, that God has made His home in us. 

And without a doubt, I was there. Loved, heard, reassured. 

No longer are we separated by a veil before the holiest place. No longer is there a barrier to God. When Jesus died, the veil was torn in two. The 60 foot long, 30 feet wide, 4-inch thick veil – a veil that took hundreds of priests to manipulate. 

It was only the one true God who could tear it in two on that day, as He moved from the temple of hands to the temples of heart. 

Naturally, my early morning musings began to swirl into a post to share because I want everyone to know ALL are invited to His presence. I shared my first thoughts on my insta story and, my friend connected with it. Nic, having just returned from Israel, had also had her own moment of pondering access to his presence and she shared her words with me, which meant I didn’t have to write any because she wrote it so well… 

‘We stand behind the wall. 

We’re safe there behind the wall. 

We’ll shuffle up close,

touch it,

lean against it,

hope our prayers will be heard through it. 

But we won’t go past it. 

We’re safe behind the boundary of the wall. 

Fear. 

Fear keeps us, holds us. 

Fear whispers in its lies of deceit that it protects us. 

If we move past the wall, we will tread into the uncomfortable. 

What will be asked of us?

Who might reject us?

What old coat will we be required to shed?

What new clothes will we be asked to wear? 

What if everything we have always known we are asked to leave behind?

What if we enter beyond and into and we die? 

What waits for us behind the wall?

A place where once a curtain hung. 

A curtain that separated heaven and earth, God, and man. 

A curtain that veiled the holy of holies. 

But then in that prophecy fulfilled day, in the heavy blackened darkness, during three holy ordained hours raged the war of all wars battled,

as the King of all kings won the victory of all victories,

that curtain from top to bottom was torn in two. 

Hear the war cry, “It is finished!”

Hear the war cries of, 

Death defeated.

Life redeemed. 

Fear overcome. 

And freedom sings it’s song!

Hear the gentle voice,

“Come, child, fear no more. I destroyed the boundary to the Holy. I flew wide open the gate! 

So why do you stand behind your own made wall? 

Come, my child, walk with me in the garden. I have waited so long. 

Let me take your fear so you can know my love. 

Let me have your faith so I can give you goodness and life. 

Walk with me in the garden, feel the breeze. 

Walk with me in my garden. For no more is there a boundary. 

Look, I stand behind your wall, let me tear down your wall? 

Accept my breath of grace! 

My beloved, come, my darling; 

there are no more walls. 

The winter has passed, and the rains have gone. 

The season of singing has come. 

Arise, come, my beautiful one, come with Me.’ 

by Nicole Richardson, check out more of her words here

I pray you to know the freedom of this truth.  

Love, Michelle xo 

*A few people have asked what the Collins Clan are up to nowadays, so look out for the Collins family news this week! 

Promises, Promises

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Happy Mother’s Day UK!

‘But Mom, we live in Canada,’ declare my children.

‘But I’m English,’ I reply.

Then on May 13, Mother’s Day, Canada. 

‘But Mom, you’re English.’

‘And I live in Canada dear children.’

#win

I am reminded of a post I wrote a while back about my Mom, ‘the laughing, tattooed prayer warrior’ and her love for God’s promises.

Mom’s life view is often from the valley, where mountains loom. But from that place, she always finds God’s promise and knows His presence. Whatever she faces, or we face, she is armed with a dog-eared notebook. This little piece of dynamite is overflowing with promises that God has given her. Verse upon verse, one promise after the other. Mom lives the promises of God, she sees many fulfilled, and some not – yet.

I remember as I went through the medieval torture of delivering twins naturally that Mom and Val played outside of my room. Wheeling one another up and down the halls in wheelchairs, laughing, waiting and no doubt being told off. I remember as Mom walked into the room, now quiet, she looked into my eyes – and hurt for the pain I was in. 

As Moms, we never stop laboring. We never stop delivering.

Jesus promises us, ‘My grace is enough; it’s all you need. My strength comes into its own in your weakness.’ That verse has carried us through it all. Suffering still stings, promised strength is not pain immunity. It’s not positive thinking either. It’s focusing on the One who knows. Who sees us through those battles, one breath, one prayer at a time.

Thank you for showing me how this promise life works Mom, I’m thankful that my today is partly because of your faithful yesterdays – your faithful prayers of promise. You shine Mom – with life, His presence, and of course, a few added sequins,

I encourage you all today, find your promises, read them, memorize them, shout them, whisper them, sing them and cry them.

Let’s not work our problems out but allow His promises in.

Blessings and love, 

Michelle xo

What promise are you standing with today? Need encouragement? Here are a few promises for you…

All your children shall be taught by the Lord,
And great shall be the peace of your children.

Isaiah 54:13.

‘You can’t force these things. They only come about through my Spirit’

Zechariah 4:6

‘Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.’

Matthew 11:28-30

‘No test or temptation that comes your way is beyond the course of what others have had to face. All you need to remember is that God will never let you down; he’ll never let you be pushed past your limit; he’ll always be there to help you come through it.

1 Corinthians 10: 13

 

Search

‘If it was a pound note you’d find it’ – my Dad’s response when I couldn’t find something as a child.

I’m sure in Canada it would be more like  ‘If it was a snake it’d bite you’

How many times a day do you search for something – online or otherwise.

Billions of searches are carried out each day on search engines and networking sites. What is everyone looking for?

In the States the hot google searches today are MLB drafts, Kurtz Busch, Pay Check Fairness Act and Bachelorette.

We are so fascinated by the celebrities with the most searched for person being Justin Bieber, followed by Kim Kardashian. #Nintendo is popular on twitter today, the company at  E3 hoping that the new Wii U will take them to the top again.

I could go on…

Actually, once you to start to search for what is searched its pretty fascinating what fascinates.

The Collins Clan search daily on our preferred google.

In the last few days we have searched for:

Phil’s hotel location, he’s on a retreat in Banff with a few pastors and Bill Hybels (glad I reread – Hybels had changed to hovels)

Trail traffic on Phil’s run in Banff

Volcanoes and Gold facts for school projects. Moshi monsters for Josiah.  And me,  someone just followed me on twitter who confessed to being ‘clourophobic’ I ran to the dictionary search.

But you all know what Clourophobia is right?

Searching, searching….

And as I write, believe it or not. What is playing on the radio? This!

 Oh the mystery of it all…

Alongside Google I spend a lot of time searching for items in my house. Keys mostly. Other regulars are iPods and TV remotes. This is where an OCD tendency would rear its head. I. Can. Not. Stop. Until. Found.

One of the fun things about my blog is the stats section. Here I can find out how many visitors drop by, the countries they visit from (big shout out to my Icelandic readers today) and how they came by my blog. Whether signed up to receive updates, links from other blogs or through searching.

Visitors often arrive from a random search. It’s 50/50, some search ‘Michelle Collins Pastor’s Wife Kelowna’ I’m guessing that’s me or ‘Michelle’s Musings’ Then there are the other half who are mostly looking for Michelle Collins the actress (Coronation Street) in the UK. Everyday someone, somewhere writes ‘Michelle Collins Sex’  – at which they are led to my review of Mark Driscoll’s book on ‘Real Marriage and Sex‘  Not sure that’s what the original search had in mind, then there’s ‘Michelle Collins Ass’ where the searching one is led to my post on ‘Balaam’s Donkey

I’d like to say a Hi to you visitors today who have found my post through various searches. Thank you for visiting, why not leave me a comment or maybe even sign up to receive regular musings.

Who knows where your search might lead.

You can be sure that all of my posts have a common thread.

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(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Found

I found myself off the rails, my head or the planet.

I found myself stumbling in the dark.

I found myself in the early hours of the morning wondering where, actually who am I?

I found myself lost.

Until one night.

I found myself lying on the ground. Bruised. Cut. Shocked.

A crushed car after a head on collision. A crushed me.

I knew it was time to be found.

As God searched for this hiding Eve in the garden.

His grace and mercy shining light on the darkness that had so engulfed.

I allowed myself to be found by His love.

 Psalm 139 for you

God, investigate my life; get all the facts firsthand.

I’m an open book to you;  even from a distance, you know what I’m thinking.

You know when I leave and when I get back; I’m never out of your sight.

You know everything I’m going to say before I start the first sentence.

I look behind me and you’re there, then up ahead and you’re there, too—

Your reassuring presence, coming and going. This is too much, too wonderful—

I can’t take it all in!  Is there anyplace I can go to avoid your Spirit? to be out of your sight?

If I climb to the sky, you’re there!  If I go underground, you’re there!

If I flew on morning’s wings to the far western horizon,

You’d find me in a minute— you’re already there waiting!

Then I said to myself, “Oh, he even sees me in the dark! At night I’m immersed in the light!”

It’s a fact: darkness isn’t dark to you; night and day, darkness and light, they’re all the same to you.

Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out; you formed me in my mother’s womb.

I thank you, High God—you’re breathtaking! Body and soul, I am marvelously made!

I worship in adoration—what a creation!

You know me inside and out, you know every bone in my body;

You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit, how I was sculpted from nothing into something.

Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth;

All the stages of my life were spread out before you,

The days of my life all prepared before I’d even lived one day.

Your thoughts—how rare, how beautiful!  God, I’ll never comprehend them!

I couldn’t even begin to count them— any more than I could count the sand of the sea.

Oh, let me rise in the morning and live always with you!

What was the last thing you searched for online?

Talk to me – answer in comments!