Tuesday, September 02, 2008

The Crisis of Disaster, The Crisis of Delay

I cannot claim this title as it was from the sermon of our visiting Pastor. This is a precious man in his late 70's/early 80's ... he is our gift during the interim period of waiting for our new senior pastor.

What struck me was the content of his sermon. It is in essence the thesis of a book I am writing and a sermon topic I love to preach on as well. It concentrates on that period of time between fear and faith.

You know ... when something happens ... like awaiting Gustav this weekend ... our first flesh response seems to be fear. Fear is a good thing ... it is an emotion given to us by God for a very specific and useful purpose.


Fear was given to us to cause us to see our inability and to run to His ability.

Let me say that again in full Pastor voice ...

Fear was gven to us ... by God ... to cause us to see our inability ... and to run to His ability.

Our precious Pastor did not go this way with his sermon, and it was a wonderful word full of faithand hope. But God wanted me to concentrate on this one concept. I end up doing a lot of that these days as I attempt to write this book I've been trying to write ...

I want to add something else to it though ... The Crisis of Faith

Think of the last time you felt fear.

A storm;
A near car accident;
Your child was late;
You couldn't find your precious kitten;
You got that diagnosis of cancer.

What happens? You take in a deep breath ... no doubt to prepare your body to run. You go numb as all of your blood is now moved to your head for clear thinking ... then to your heart to prepare you to run and that is all you want to do. This is a normal, healthy, and fantastic response built into our bodies by our Heavenly Father to strengthen us to take flight from an enemy or danger.

That is the same as a stress response or a panic/anxiety attack. However, there usually is not a flesh and blood - or wind and rain - enemy for us to run from these days. The enemy is usually ourselves or the voice of fear ... straight from the pit of hell, but that's another sermon. *grin*

So to whom to we run?
Our spouse? Our best friend? Our Pastor? A therapist?
All those are good places to run as there is wisdom in a multitude of counsellors.

However ...

all of these people need to run with us to the foot of the Father ...

It is there that we will find peace and rest. It is only in faith that the Lord has come, has died, has risen and sits at the right Hand of the Father that we can find the peace and rest. He is always interceeding for us; working things out for our good; preparing; knowing and working his good plans for our lives.

It is such a short journey, but yet such a long one for most of us ... myself included and that's why I spend so much time on this topic ... because we generally take a "Family Circus" type journey from the crisis to the Christ.

That is the crisis of disaster. But what about the crisis of delay? What about when we run to the Father, feeling that we are safe, and yet the wind and the rain continue and the enemy continues to growl in our ear? What about the time it takes from the accident to the healing? That's where the faith comes in big time, isn't it? That's where we press into Christ again .. and again ... and again ... and again until we feel we cannot press in any further . a.n.d. we are concerned that our faith was misplaced.

Ah, the crisis of delay often takes us to the crisis of faith.

Jarius, The woman with the issue of Blood, Peter, John, the rest of the Disciples, the Mary's, Debra, Esther, Moses, Abraham, Sarah, the list goes on. They all had that moment of the crisis of faith.

It is there that the roots are dug deep into the olive branch, the vine ... the Christ. It is there that we find Him.

P.U.S.H. Look up the story ... Pray Until Something Happens. We find Him in the Prayer.

He is good. He is faithful. He is love. He is Peace and Rest for your soul and mine.


Sunday, August 31, 2008

ahhhh, this is the life.

Meet the furfamily!!

Coco Chanel ... part Siamese, the sweetest cat ... so loving.

Meet Austin ... a HUGE Main Coon ... a gentle giant.

Meet Butch. He is our oldest cat - almost 17 and daddy wakes him up to take pictures of him with the plants. Something about to check the size of the bloom.

This is her favourite pose ... I wish I could sleep like her.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

The Beauty of Nature

Labour Day ...

Where did this summer go?

It was so wet for so much of it, seems that we have only been able to enjoy the sun for a few weeks and already the kids are back at school.

Did I tell you that we won "Best Perennial Garden" in our community last year? The Community Association came today to bring Bill's plaque. Oh, I wish you could have been there to see his face! Such pride! He has been so unwell for the last two years, I think he had lost some of his pride in gardening ... and how the Lord has returned to him that delight! He is not well enough at this point to work a lot, but it still looks lovely ...

And now we're looking at the last few weeks to enjoy the warmth and the beauty of pink flowers ... sigh ....

The changing of the seasons - especially from summer to fall - always bring about a certain melancholy for me. Maybe it is getting older and not being so much in the summer of my life but looking at the fall, maybe my bones preferring the warmer weather and longer days ... but this year I am wishing for a longer summer. Maybe the fall with be warm.

The long, lazy days of sitting on the swing in the garden, enjoying my coffee and my devotions with the Lord in the morning on the wicker set watching the birds and the breeze flowing through the plants and with Butchie the cat at my side. There is something so peaceful and sweet about that time of the day. Usually I sit after I've had my morning walk, a new routine I've had to impart upon because of advancing age *grin* and a greater need for dexterity and exercise. It's a sweet time I will miss over the winter.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

In Kentucky??

I drove home from the church last night and was struck with the inevitable grief that I could not call Steph and meet her for a tea. I determined to send her an email and tell her that I was thinking of her.

Upon returning home and logging into the computer, I found a message from her ... they had stopped in Kentucky for the night. God sure knows what we need when we need it. *smile*

We continue to pray for her safety.

Monday, August 25, 2008

The fulfillment of prophecy!

Bill and I were given prophecy over three years ago that we would be spiritual parents to certain young people. We were told that these would come, be mentored and loved, would leave ... some would return, others would embark upon God's plan for their lives and not return. At the time we had no idea how this could have been possible as we had little contact with our own children, none of them at the time in church.

Stephanie blew into our lives just a mere year and a bit ago, stole the heart of my son, stole our hearts, scared him half to death to the point where he ran away! She was a little too close to his calling as a Pastor. We are thankful that she did not run away from us. She became a huge part of our lives, attended church with us, shared many Sunday dinners, blessed us continually with her amazing Spirit. Even though Bill and I have grown children of our own, whom we love with all of our hearts, Steph was our first Spritual daughter together.

During the last year she has embarked upon a journey with the Lord which has taken her from drinking in a bar to receiving ministry at Cleansing Stream, finishing a College diploma in Child and Youth Worker, and now she is travelling all by herself to Georgia (USA) to go to Bible College.

This journey started with a prophet who visited our church on the very first service Stephanie attended. It was her first time in church in a long time. Well, Pastor Zack called her out of the congregation and spoke words over her life that were only from the Lord. My son was also present ... one of the few times we were able to get him to church. The same prophet spoke a powerful word over him as well.

In a little over a year, all prophecies have been fufilled for Steph. Then, earlier this year, another Pastor visited, this time from a Bible College in Georgia. No doubting, no wondering, this was God's call for her life, and she was in the right place at the right time.

Thanks to my son bringing her into our lives. Isn't that awesome!???

I have rarely seen God move so quickly in another person's life and we had the honour of loving and caring for her as spiritual parents. Her own parents do not attend their Catholic church regularly and had no concept of the spiritual journey Steph was travelling. They are awesome parents and have stood by her ... as of tomorrow morning they will be taking the 12 hour drive to the College with them. An amazing answer to prayer and one that Steph would have thought impossible a year ago.

She believes that she will one day marry my son. I know that the Lord showed me that she was the answer to the prayer I have prayed since he was a tiny child ... to bless and care for his future wife. We do not know how this will happen, but we're also glad that it is not up to us to make it happen.

So, we released her tonight. She came for a visit and we sat and prayed over her, cried, and rejoiced in what God is doing in her life.

What awesome honour it is to be part of another person's life and to have had the opportunity to pour into her life and pray with her as God unfolded what He wanted for her. It is very humbling.

And very, very exciting.

Thank You Lord, may You and only You be glorified in Stephanie's life. Thank You for brining her into our lives and allowing us the precious times that we spent together. We release her Lord into Your mighty Hand and trust You to bring her back when the time is right. Bless her, Lord. Strengthen her, build her, mess her up and put her back together again. I ask that You anoint us to minister to her from afar and to be the support in prayer and love that she deserves and more. I pray that You go before her every step of this journey and anoint her to do all that You have called her to do. May the journey be only as difficult as it needs to be to stretch her, but I intercede for her that the time spent away will be fulfilling and exciting as only You can orchestrate. May her days be filled with God Breezes. As you form her into the image of Christ, may she be blessed as much as she is a blessing and more. I thank You for the plans You have for her. In the Precious Name of Jesus I pray. Amen.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Grandkid ;)

Here she is ... our most recent pic. This was taken New Year's Eve on our way out to celebrate by doing a light tour! Here is her school picture:

Tests updates

We had a difficult time getting Bill through to the hospital for a scan of his stomach. First the order was "lost" between our MD and the surgeon - not once but twice - then he finally made it in to see the surgeon and he was going on vacation for a week. *sigh* The OR was closed to elective proceedures so we had to wait a week for that. The surgeon referred us to another one to get it done through emergency and he dropped the ball and booked us for the first day the OR opened again. *ack*

Then the next surgeon only looked at the stomach through the scope and not into the duodenum, which is where the thickening is. He came out to tell us that there is significant ulceration *eek* and that Bill must have been in some serious pain! *yup*

When I asked about the tumour he looked at me with a blank stare. We shared the results of the other tests - ultrasound, CT, etc. - and he left us there to get a copy of the former tests.
An hour later this dear man comes back to say that he should have looked, but now that Bill is out, he cannot put him under anethestic again so we have to wait for a few months to have another scope.

The thickening could be from old gallbladder surgery 30 years ago and made worse by the kidney removal last year or it could be a return of the cancer. They're not sure.

And we have to wait another couple of months.



We are thankful to have the ulcerations diagnosed because Bill has had some pretty severe pain and now he can add some more medication to his cocktail to ease that pain.

I find myself so tired these days and I do not want to whine, but I guess that is what this place is for, if only I read it. I need to press into the Lord even further than before for His strength because it can be so difficult to pour out to clients and church members without having my own batteries recharged.

I'm thinking of going away for a few days to a Catholic retreat center very close to my home and see if some quiet prayer and meditation away from the phones and the temptation to clean or paint will lift my mood.

You know, through it all, God is so very faithful. Thank you for the two faithful friends who dropped in here almost as soon as I posted ... you two are dear, sweet women and I thank you for your sweet comments.


Friday, August 08, 2008

I'm baaaackkkkk

I cannot believe it has been a year since I posted, but when I think of what we've been through in that year, I can understand why.

Dear Bill, my husband, was diagnosed with kidney cancer and had his right kidney removed late April last year. It was a terribly difficult year for us as he recovered. Now, we are faced with another tumour - this time in the duodenum - and another long slew of medical tests and who knows what else. Unfortunately, kidney cancer does not respond well to chemo and radiation, so we're not sure what the future brings.

A lot of other things going on - kids are all ok - so is grandkid :) - and mama (aka meeee) is trudging along faithfully working and praying ...

In short,

God is good.