The first time I met Angie Smith was in the middle of the first service I attended at C3KW. I was crying during worship, and she calmly and confidently tapped my shoulder and asked if she could pray for me. I didn’t quite know how […]
This past Wednesday, May 22nd, I embarked upon a journey that changed my life, and that I will never forget. This time last year, my dear friend and pastor, Nat, came home from a mystery excursion to the Muskokas raving about his experience, and telling […]
Does winter get anyone else down in the dumps?
I’m not trying to blame my attitude on the cold, because I know that owning my attitude is always my responsibility. But man… I really, really hate the cold.
It is one sensation I can think of that makes me truly ANGRY.
It makes every activity more difficult. Like today, thinking about leaving the house for the different things on my agenda, from a meeting at my pastors’ house with their kids, which is one my favourite parts of my week, to a coffee and study date with beautiful Mary, to shopping, all things I love and have a generally positive attitude about– the cold weather can literally be enough to almost keep me inside.
Always “almost”… it’s never actually kept me inside, that I can recall.
But the severity of my disliking toward cold weather makes me wonder why we have it in the first place.
And then it makes me reflect why we have much bigger, truly problematic situations present in the world, hardships and fighting and poverty and greed.
More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. Romans 5:3-5
Now, I am a baby and out of line to liken dealing with the cold as a very privileged Western person as “suffering.” But my internal and external struggles with it reminded me of the promise of this verse in Romans. Suffering, hardships, difficult times, and struggles… they are part of the Gospel. They themselves produce endurance, which produces character, which produces hope in God’s love, NO MATTER WHAT.
So, to my friend struggling… with ANYTHING…
God knows you. Inside and out. And He hears your silent prayer. Bring it to Him, for real, and entrust it to Him. Know that He has deeper plans for every trial, and that an attitude that says, “This hardship will produce endurance, which will produce character, which will produce hope in the ONE THING that will never fail” is one God calls you to.
Don’t judge me, but I’m still gonna go into the cold with an attitude that says that God is gonna use the chill in my bones to produce endurance, character, and hope… and honestly, He does. He uses everything.
My Sweet, special sister, 18 never looked so beautiful. My sweet pea, you have such a fiercely loving heart. You have always had this beautiful compassion for people that translates to the way you interact with people. I have watched you feel so deeply and […]
Much of today’s musings are inspired by a wonderful message preached by Pastor Mike Rutledge
at Risen City church yesterday, where Jesus met me in my own worries, stress, and anxieties and revealed newness to me as His Spirit does, starting when I so loudly heard His voice that it was deafening, above all and any other sound: “I have promises I’m in the middle of working out.”
Now, to get very real here, when I say I so loudly heard His voice, I don’t mean I heard an audible-to-the-ears sound. I mean His Spirit, unlike mine, but that I could physically feel the presence of, as well as spiritually, convicted my heart of this matter to the point that I felt I couldn’t stand. I sat to pray and as I did I only heard more from Jesus, who promises His Spirit is no different from the living Jesus, whose presence is palpable and who promises to show up where two or more call on His name with genuine hearts.
Gently I received the peace of Truths I did not deserve to hear. About what He is in the middle of doing, in His timing. That when I feel like something has been “missed out” on, Jesus never missed it. That very thought of Him “missing” or “forgetting about” something part of His creation is laughable!
Healing and miracles and even more simply clarity don’t always look the way we think we want them to. If you have ever been swayed from reaching out to the Creator of the Universe because you feel like “He hasn’t done anything for you,” a good place to start would be asking yourself what gave you the right to take such a position of deserving.
The Christian faith is about believing that Jesus came when He didn’t have to to suffer in this life and death on the cross because He loved us. To pay the penalty that should have been ours. In His perfection, He suffered the penalty for sin, and, in being God, He owes us absolutely no promises, and no miracles. And yet, because of the very nature of our gracious God, promises and miracles He chooses to bestow.
So after receiving from Him a little nudge that, No, He hadn’t forgotten about xyz, He was working it out in His timing and all I needed to do was give Him space and trust Him, I experienced weight rising off my shoulders as I scribbled down the prayers and promises.
And after hearing from the Spirit, Mike delivered the message on his heart for the church about the waiting periods in our life, how we often question them, and how, really, they’re such a part of the healing. In fact, they are the healing.
Maybe God is in the middle of completing your testimony because His plan for someone else is to learn from some of your stories.
Maybe He’s about to initiate change that wouldn’t have been possible if it weren’t for the trial.
But here’s the maybe not: the definitely not: Since He’s God of the universe, He has not forgotten about xyz, kicked it/you aside, or grumbled, “ah, well, they missed their chance.”
Frankly: God and His Kingdom came much before you, and you were created to submit to Him for a greater purpose. Not to pose of Him that He submits to you.
He only asks of us that we trust Him, engage in relationship with Him, and follow Him.
It’s the only life to live!
Hello Friends!! Long time no blog. I have missed sitting to write. How I feel my soul has been needing to sit and let the words flow in pen and paper. Or, more accurately, finger tip and keyboard. And, friends, this song share is my […]
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
I’ve been thinking a lot about the Biblical merit for not being in “comfort” zones.
What is “comfort?”
The Word says that HE is my comfort (Jeremiah 8:18). So my ideal “comfort zone” is at His feet, in His arms, walking with Jesus. Equally, this means that we are often out of contrived and worldly “comfort” zones; the things that give temporary pleasure but don’t benefit our neighbours or His Kingdom; the things we may be conditioned to turn to in times of struggle or pain that “feel good,” but don’t have any Truth or power to actually help us or anyone.
So, my TRUE COMFORTER will take me out of FAKE COMFORT ZONES (I can list some of mine in my head right now– can you list yours?) and it might “feel” icky and uncomfortable; but since He’s the True Comforter, it will ALWAYS be good and right.
Maybe that is in the form of ridding rules and restrictions that you unhealthily have around areas of your life. They are habits that feel so comfortable; but on the basis of what truth? And who are they actually helping?
Maybe that is the form of less selfishness and more selflessness– going out of your way for other people; working with the Spirit of God to see those around you who need love, positivity, and hope.
Maybe that is in the form of asking questions, picking up your Bible, or praying. Checking out a church, or calling up an old friend.
Whatever it is, it starts with Him, in prayer and thought. He answers prayers, and He is with you in the uncomfortable change, ALWAYS. It is so often the things that seem scariest in life that end up being the things that He uses to save and redeem.
After I gave up food rules after years of stubborn eating disorders, I wrote this post
to put some words to the amazing process that Jesus had brought me through in healing. It didn’t come from striving. It was not my fault that I had these brutal mental illnesses, nor was it my choice to heal from them. It was, however, my choice to spend more time in the Word of God and with His Spirit– the Spirit that healed me.
Is Jesus calling your name and softening your heart to follow Him to a place that feels uncomfortable, and you just need to trust Him?