Calling.

Hello! Did September just happen??

I’m taking up the 31-day writing challenge for the month of October. There are many ways to join in with this and I’m following Katie Motaungs daily word prompt to free-write for five minutes everyday.

Easy right? Write.

Day One word prompt: CALLING

I remember when I was a 17 year old baby Christian, I was convinced I was ‘called’ to be a Pastors wife. Ahem.

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Evidence here in my first bible, complete with compulsory red leather case and gold edge tabs.

Then years later Phil, my husband, who just so happens to be a Pastor would dream of Canada and after a couple of years I gently asked him to stop telling me because you know, roots and tribe and all. Until, my reaction began to change and one night my resistance (fear) faded and a divine shift happened.

And here we are in Canada…of course we all know just because we say yes to a calling doesn’t mean it’s easy (see most bible characters for details) CS Lewis wrote ‘To follow the vocation does not mean happiness, but once it has been heard, there is no happiness for those who do not follow.’

A calling isn’t glamorous, it’s a response, a yes to a summons. A surrender. To die to past and say yes to the future.

I have found we so often complicate our God given calling, as I get a little older I find the following to be true:

You’re called to the very thing that gets your heart racing, your blood pumping.

You’re called to be the world changer that you secretly know you are.

You’re called to be life to the one in front of you.

For some you are called to raise your kids, to work in Starbucks, to buy dinner for the guy holding the ‘to honest to steal to ugly to whore’ sign.

Others you’re called to work nights, to write those words, to sing those songs.

You are called to live and breathe and scream when life doesn’t make any sense.

You are called to find Christ in the midst of suffering and to invite his Spirit to bring healing.

You are called to be a good friend and LOVE yourself.

To know you are fearfully and wonderfully made…and to bring this truth those you meet.

And.

Before all of that, let’s start in the secret place.

You are called to intimacy with your Maker.

Or as Oswald Chambers puts it…

If we are in fellowship and oneness with God and recognize that He is taking us into His purposes, then we will no longer strive to find out what His purposes are. As we grow in the Christian life, it becomes simpler to us, because we are less inclined to say, “I wonder why God allowed this or that?” And we begin to see that the compelling purpose of God lies behind everything in life, and that God is divinely shaping us into oneness with that purpose. A Christian is someone who trusts in the knowledge and the wisdom of God, not in his own abilities. If we have a purpose of our own, it destroys the simplicity and the calm, relaxed pace which should be characteristic of the children of God.

And if you’re still a little stuck, let’s take this advice from Micah 6:8

‘But he’s already made it plain how to live, what to do, what God is looking for in men and women. It’s quite simple: Do what is fair and just to your neighbour, be compassionate and loyal in your love, And don’t take yourself too seriously—take God seriously.

Thanks for reading and see you tomorrow!

Love, Michelle

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Uncomfortable.

Day 4.

Monday morning in Kelowna.
Monday morning in Kelowna.

Today is a word prompt from my friend Sam.

Uncomfortable. 

“Important in any community of faith is an ever-renewed expectation in what God is doing with our brothers and sisters in the faith. We refuse to label the others as one thing or another. We refuse to predict our brother’s behavior, our sister’s growth. Each person in the community is unique; each is specially loved and particularly led by the Spirit of God. How can I presume to make conclusions about anyone? How can I pretend to know your worth or your place? …A community of faith flourishes when we view each other with this expectancy, wondering what God will do today in this one, in that one.” {Eugene Peterson A Long Obedience in the Same Direction}

The role of Pastors wife brings expectations, I captured thoughts on this in my post ‘Thick skin, Soft heart’ here.

One expectation is sitting on the front row of church, reserved in an unspoken way for the Senior Leader and his family. It has been a while since the Collins 6 have all sat on the front row, the teens like to sit in the balcony, or attend Pursuit on Sunday evenings.

Bella helps in children’s church.

So, it’s my boys and me.

Until Josiah goes to children’s church.

Then it’s Phil and me.

Then Phil gets up to preach.

Leaving me.

On my own.

On a very wide, open pew.

Now, I know that the congregation aren’t looking at me, or what I’m wearing or how I’m worshipping or wondering why I’m on my phone. *cough* YouVersion. (…except for yesterday I was texting my teens.)

The truth is I feel uncomfortable.

At this point I must say that Phil doesn’t mind where I sit in church. Front, back balcony, foyer but I do want to be there cheering him on.

But yes. I’m uncomfortable.

Yesterday I went to church with the above words from Eugene Peterson ringing through my mind.

My plan was to view my community with expectancy.

I met a guy in the foyer while the service was on and knew he was in turmoil. Accusations, pain, lies spinning through his tired mind.

After a while I invited him into church with me.

‘Come on, find some peace’.

We entered to the sounds of  ‘Holy, Holy, Holy’. There were no spaces for us at the back.

‘Looks like we are the front row, it’s a sacred place you know’ I laughed.

My front row discomfort dissolved as I saw him find some peace in his fraught state.

I wanted to be there. He did find a sacred place.

My clan and a few extras joined us for lunch after church at Latin Fiesta and my front row friend joined us.

Two things stick in my busy mind from the lunch. The noise and chaos of my family and their friends. (The face juggler app really is hilarious, you have to download it.)

I apologized for our chaos – how could I excuse noise of family to a man who has no one? He was totally at home.

I then apologized for dragging him to the front row.

‘Oh I loved it’ he said ‘Years ago, before I lost everything, I was an elder in the church, I played worship, I was on ministry teams. I always sat on the front row. It was lovely to sit there today. Thank-you for inviting me’

Ministry is uncomfortable, it always will be – and apparently it’s not about me.

I’m comfortable with that.

See you tomorrow!

Love, Michelle xoxo

*Today I figured how to add Gifs to my blog. Be very prepared.

*I set up a Facebook Page! https://www.facebook.com/pages/Michelles-Musings/570174279704736?fref=ts

Thanks for liking

zoolander

NaBloPoMo November 2013

Rainbow Falls

“The heavens declare the glory of God;

the skies proclaim the work of his hands.

Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge.

There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard” Psalm 19

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Our view.

Phil and I have just returned from a few days at the beautiful Harrison Hot Springs. Phil spoke at the ‘Pastor and Spouse retreat’ with 250 from our BCMB family. We got to meet and hang out with some brilliant pastors, church planters and ministers, and felt very welcome. It was great to see how the conference really look after and care for their pastors.

We also got to hang out with some of our staff team, which we loved of course!

One of my highlights was renting a boat with our crew for an hour and heading out onto Harrison Lake. After half an hour we came across ‘Rainbow Falls.’

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We disembarked our Glastron and looked for adventure.

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We walked the well worn path into the Northern rain forest. Enormous trees chopped down decades ago to make way for explorers. Mist and sunlight drifted through the trees and ferns. We marveled at the life filled scene which appeared to be set on Instagram  Xpro II. As our magical path turned a corner, it was easy to imagine the Sasquatch right at home, lounging on a cushion of moss.

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Instead, we faced a different giant. Rainbow Falls. The deafening waterfall cascaded, pushing and heaving, forced into the river below.

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We were drawn to the moment. That deep response we feel in our soul? It has to be a deep stirring of spiritual awe for the Creator, God.

Making Himself known. 

Creation singing His story. 

Have you known that response?

In Psalm 42, David asks questions of himself, his soul – his evident depression. He understands the intensity of the imagery of the waterfall before him as wave upon wave figuratively pounds upon him, cascading over his soul, pushing him deeper.

At this point of tumultuous torrents, the Psalmist acknowledges that deep calls to deep. We can know the deeper we go down, that God meets us, having known deeper still.

The Hebrew word for deep is “tehowm,” which refers to a deep place, an abyss (an immeasurable deep chasm, depth, or void). The Hebrew word for calls is “qara” which means to call unto, to summon, to invite.

The Strong’s concordance says that “qara” also conveys the idea of someone accosting you by boldly and aggressively calling you to come closer and meet.

Deep calls to deep.

Our depths are quickened to life. And we hear the whisper. I am here.

A couple of final thoughts on my waterfall musings… The closer I got, the power of the waterfall reverberated and the area took on new life.

There is a richness that is produced when we hit the depths and it’s not just about you, when we can bring forth riches from the depths of our inner life, we will find that other lives will be deeply affected.

The closer we got we caught glimpses of rainbows. Sometimes just momentarily. We needed to be in the right position to catch that glimpse.

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The rainbow? It’s there…

As you know, I am a rainbow chaser. I challenge you to look out for rainbows this week, sometimes it’s simply about altering our perspective.

Be encouraged!

Love, Michelle xoxo