Thursday, April 30, 2009

Thankful Thursday

I am thankful…

…for quiet.
…for words of encouragement.
…that others live out their dreams and include me in them (Inn from the Cold).
…for my family.
…for friends that pray.
…for answered prayers.
…for movie nights.
…for birthday cake.
…for another year.
…for sandal weather.
…for music.
…for grace.

The Rock Works

I’m in the midst of reading Pete Greig’s Red Moon Rising: how the 24-7 prayer is awakening a generation. Chapter eight, ‘Holy Space,’ is a visual tour of an hour in a prayer room. During the walk, you come to a corner with a mock stone wall, each of the ‘bricks’ have a name written on it. “It’s the visual evidence of the heart-cry of others…” After reading a few ‘you’ take one and place it in your pocket. At the end of the ‘tour’ as you reach into pocket for your keys, your fingers brush against the rock -a sudden reminded to pray.

I liked that, so I tried it Tuesday night with the mission team. After we walked through our lesson on “pray P.R.A.Y” We agreed to pray for the person on our left. Everyone was given a rock to help remind. I liked the idea but wasn’t sure how it would go over…that is until the fifth time I reached into my pocket brushed against my rock and said a prayer for my partner.

The rock works.

Quote From Oswald

This stood out to me in my daily dose of Oswald Chambers:

"Spiritual life is the life of a child. We are not uncertain of God, but uncertain of what he is going to do next….when we are rightly related to God, life is full of spontaneous, joyful uncertainty and expectancy."

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

And I Would Walk 500 Miles

Not really 500 miles...I might make 5km (approximately 6600 steps) on a good day.

Did you know the recommended daily step goal for an adult age 20-50 is between 7,000 and 11,000 steps?

I didn’t till this month. Heart and Stroke Nova Scotia has partnered with local library to provided pedometer kits through the Walk About Nova Scotia program. Their purpose is to promote active healthy living through intentional walking. The starting of the program has been perfect for me because my April life style focus was “be healthier.” When I came up with the challenge it’s a little too objective. The pedometer gave me a tangible goal.

I didn’t follow their guidelines the first three weeks. I just set the counter at 0 every morning and walked. At the end of the day I recorded how much I had walked and thought how I could improve the numbers the next day. Most days I was just discouraged because I didn’t even come close to the low end of the projected goal. Last week I reviewed the logbooks guide and found it was actually helpful.

They recommend that the first week you just walk like you normally would (check). Then you average out the week’s steps (check). The next week you add 10% on to your average to have the weeks step goal. Each week you add another 10% till you reach your overall step goal. This chart is all my current walking data:

I have the step counter for another three weeks. My goal is to average 7000 daily by the final week.

Meet Mei (The Panda)

Two years ago, the girls gave me a cute webkinz panda for my birthday. It has sat in my office un-named and un-active ever since. Some of the church children noticed it recently and asked if I had set up my account. So after much encouraging on their part I have officially joined the webkinz world.

This is Mei in her room.

I am eight…with twenty years experience.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Pray P.R.A.Y

"To be a Christian without prayer, is no more possible than to be alive without breathing." -Martin Luther

I met tonight with seven students who are going to Toronto on a mission trip. We were talking about prayer and the need to daily connect with Jesus. Most of them are interested in growing in their relationship with God but not really sure how to pray. After reading from Matthew 6, the Lord’s Prayer, I walked them through the P.R.A.Y method (praise, repent, ask, yield). For a season this was a helpful tool for me to balance my own prayer time. Before I found I would just ask for stuff or not really have anything to say.

I am planning to share with them team devotional and prayer tools over the coming weeks. What methods/disciplines have helped you grown in your faith/prayer life/relationship with Jesus? And how?

Not a Coincidence

I love hearing from a friends I haven’t heard from in awhile. It could be a phone call, card, email, or even just a “hi” on my facebook wall, whatever the means of communication it brightens my day. Today was no exception, only it was bigger. The note was short, just a few lines, from a friend I hadn’t talked with in months.

“Hey there, I just wanted to let you know you came to mind when I was praying this morning and that you were on my heart. I hope life is going well for you down there.”
It changed everything today and reminded me how big God really is. See, my friend had no way of knowing that today my dad was going in for an angiogram. I had only told a few people at my church. I’ve been positive about the whole thing, its pretty common low risk procedure. It wasn’t till I was replying to the note I realized through tears how much it has been worrying me. It wasn’t an accident that I was suddenly on this friends mind. It wasn’t a coincidence they sent me a short message to check it.

Today God both encouraged and reminded me that He is big, in control, and no matter what happens it will be okay.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

28

I love birthdays only the past week I’ve been dreading today. Not because I am a year older but because there were no plans. Three groups of friends were away for an assortment of reasons and going to away was derailed with the need to buy a new car and ministry commitments. I fully expected a dull un-celebratory weekend. My mental picture was me singing myself Happy Birthday over single candle stuck in leftovers while my cats looked on snobbishly.

I am thankful to say that did not happen. After SEED last night (see previous post) we went to one of the performers homes. My friends Brent and Kim attended the Agora when they lived in the city and this was there chance to introduce us to some of their “peace-loving, veggie-eating, artsy” friends. There was cake and nutritional-yeast-popcorn (it’s better than it sounds) and the best multi-harmony version of Happy Birthday I have ever heard.

Just before midnight I called my Mummy to wish her a happy 28th anniversary of our first introduction. We counted down to 1 minute past midnight when we jumped up and down squealing with joy like little piggys. Okay I jumped up and down I am not sure if Mum did too but she did humor me with squeals. Then today during the children’s ministry opening one of the parents surprised me with cake and we had an awesome surprise party. I fisniedh off the day with a nap, dinner out with a friend, followed by the movie “17 Again” and last blogging.

April 26, 2009 = a good day!

SEED @ The Agora

Agora -o·rae (ə-rē') or -o·ras.
1) A place of congregation, especially an ancient Greek marketplace.
2) A church in Halifax.

Yesterday three friends and I traveled up to Halifax “the City” just to relax and clean out my former car. After the errands and a tasty Lebanese supper we went to Sharing Everyone’s Extraordinary Diversity at the Agora. It is a seasonal multi-artistic coffee house that the church uses to connect with the art community in Halifax. The night was great. The set up is 3 musical acts, 2 "other" performance acts, and one visual artist per SEED. The “other” stuff last night was a great short story writer and an African dance. If you were at jesus to the nations it was the same crew. The visual artist shared pieces her journey through Lesotho, Africa.

The whole show was wonderful, like a really good stew, when all the ingredients come together to make a fuller dish. The meal would be less if the carrots, potatoes, or spices were missing. The night made me smile a lot, these girls helped, The Ukeladies . I am looking forward to visiting the Summer SEED.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Thankful Thursday Again

Where did the week go? Everyday I’ve had things to write but said “I’ll do it tomorrow” and here it is Thursday again, time for another thankful post with nothing in between. I will write some of the things I’ve been thinking and accounts of what God is doing…someday. Till then this is what I am thankful for:

-answered prayer
-my family, they are the best!
-friends
-clothes that fit
-clean sheets
-wedding invitations
-extra help and new ministry volunteers
-problems that are bigger than me because I means I need to trust more
-solutions to these big problems in ways I had never expected
-music that lifts the soul
-books that challenge me
-people who are willing to be a close community
-being able to participate in the drop in center
-my new car, yep, Erwin has been replaced HUGE answer to many prayers!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Thankful Thursday

This week has been interesting full of ups and downs. Looking back on it I am thankful that

…I got to preach in big peoples church for Good Friday and God came through for me in awesome ways
…nothing got broken
…people participated at youth –sort of
…the youth listened tonight –sort of
…I had a vehicle this week, it was a rental but still it was a vehicle and it was fun
...two of the students were in a serious accident and no one was hurt
…God moved in a huge way in someone else’s life and let me be a part of the process…God is answering prayers before I ask them
...Becca's roommate decided to follow Jesus!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The Hunt

Erwin, my dear green Hyundai Accent, is on life support. The insurance company has deemed that the cost to repair is greater than my little cars value (I strongly dislike suicidal animals that run in front of innocent cars). I was given a settlement quote yesterday. I am more than a little overwhelmed. Different friends have given advice most of which conflicts with everyone else’s advice. I really wish my dad was in the province so he could take me car shopping. These are moments when I don’t feel like a real adult and therefore not yet qualified to make decision like this but there is no one else around to be the grown up.

Whether I like it or not the great car hunt has been begun...I’m off to do some test driving, it could be fun.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

A Car-less Thankful Thursday

It’s been a trying week full of uncertainty, anxiety, and confusion. In the midst trouble God showed up (not in the sense that he wasn’t there and then was but more I could see prayers answered and feel peace filling me).

So this Thankful Thursday I am blessed by...

  • God’s protection. While my car has seen better days neither my friend or I were hurt Sunday night when an animal ran in front of Erwin (my green Hyundai Accent) on the highway.
  • Numerous prayers answered in clear and specific ways.
  • The belief that God will provided for all the things that are still unresolved.
Also have to say it’s been fun driving the rental…it has a CD player, Erwin doesn’t.

Saturday, April 04, 2009

C is for Cultivating

For 2009 I am intentionally seeking to improve six areas of my life. March was about continuing to think about the challenges. In April, I hope to cultivate patterns that help these areas be more natural. This is the journey thus far…

Connecting (with God) –I am closer to God today than I was yesterday and I will be closer to him tomorrow than I am now. There has been a renewed hunger in me for God and the things of God, for being obedient to him, and for a desire to care about the things he cares about. I believe participating in Lent, Jesus to the Nations, and time with friends last month are directly related to where I am now.

Community –I’ve had the youth group in for a movie night, friends for a meal, and two sleepovers.

Creativity –At the start of the month I made some cards and I’ve been doing a lot of knitting while waiting.

Correspondence –Sending just one card a month is an improvement over last year and now I am sending two or three cards a month and sent five cards this week.

ChallengesThe challenges are hard. Some I am doing better on then others. Reading classical fiction is on the back burner with running 10km while the sending cards and homemade Christmas presents are coming along well.

Commitment –April’s personal growth focus is “being healthy”. I signed out a pedometer from the library. The average active adult should be taking between 7,000 and 11,000 steps a day. Yesterday I managed somewhere between 1,000 & 2,000 (I realized that sitting for awhile it had move and missed all steps in an four hour period). The positive, I can only improve.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Thankful Thursday

I am thankful for...

-a wonderful card from my grandparents that really encouraged me. Thank you so MUCH!
-books. I just read God's Smuggler and Night of a Million Miracles (wow!)
-people who see what I can not
-the stories of other Christians living joyful and strong lives for God
-God's hand moving slowly in the lives of students (even when I can't see it)
-the adults who show leadership each week at youth group