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! 

On Doughnuts, Being present and Sunsets

It’s Spring Break in Canada. That time when the Collins Clan (-2) load up their coracle (or Honda Odyssey) and see where the wind blows.

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Our first stop was the Moda Centre in Portland, Oregon, to spend a mortgage payment on cheesy nachos and pop and watch the Portland Trailblazers v Cleveland Cavaliers. This game was a big deal! I decided to cheer for the winning Blazers, although, all credit to Lebron crushing a right-handed dunk, drawing gasps from the sold-out arena. They were almost as noisy as our own Heritage School supporters.

We’ve haven’t spent much time in Portland, so, before we continued our journey we caught the MAX light rail into the city and explored for the morning. It was 10.30am and we noticed restaurants rammed with diners – turns out brunch is a big deal in Portland. We decided there was only one place for our brunch and lined up for 30 minutes at the Voodoo doughnut shop – quite the quirky, gliittered walls, cash only, pink experience. We even got to the meet the well-known owner Kenneth “Cat Daddy” Pogson.

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Onto some tax-free shopping and a whole bowl (redemptive) lunch in the square, listening to stories of Bill, and his long history of martial arts, his children, and his knowledge of Jesus. Security moved Bill on as his perceived harassment was an issue.

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As of January 2015, Multnomah County, which includes most of the city, had 3,801 homeless people. Some in temporary, others transitional with more than 1,800 are “unsheltered”—that is, sleeping under bridges, in parks, and on sidewalks. Grateful that Portland has several organisations supporting the homeless,  Portland Rescue Mission, Union gospel mission, R2D2 (right to dream too) 

Our journey continued on Highway 26 to Cannon Beach. With eyes wide open, absorbing the scenery and catching our breath, open fields became tree-lined roads, where we admired the fluorescent green, moss wrapped trees. We were brought to an abrupt stop as one of the first on the scene of a horrific car accident. Phil was able to communicate with emergency services, prise open crumpled cars and help the injured out of their vehicles. The sounds and sights you don’t want anyone to experience or witness. Emergency services eventually arrived and we drove on.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the families who lost their 19-year-old, Kendra and Grandpa, and for those who were airlifted to hospital.

We arrived at our little lodge awaited us in Cannon Beach, the Bible open on my bedside to Psalm 104. Everything I am will praise and bless the Lord! O Lord, my God, your greatness takes my breath away, overwhelming me by your majesty, beauty, and splendor! You wrap yourself with a shimmering, glistening light. You wear sunshine like a garment of glory. You stretch out the starry skies like a tapestry…

….later we walked on the beach with Josiah asking questions, mostly about God being with people in their last moments, and eternity.

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And as the sun began to set, the verse unfolded before us, and we stopped, thankful that God promises to be near, He knows the beginning from the end and every breath we will take.

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You are Loved!

Michelle xo

*all pics mine 😉