Thursday, March 30, 2006

Journal Extracts ... My Heart's Frustration

Warning: The following journal extracts highlight the frustration in my heart of not seeing the abundant fruit of what God wants to do here in this part of Canada. It is a cry for more of God
in this place where religion is the norm and relationship with God is unheard of.

Wed 22 March 06

Dear Daddy,

I am down today. I feel like I’m in a dark and horrible pit and I’m stuck down there and I need you to rescue me and get me out. I feel really disappointed. I feel like I can’t cope anymore dad. I know you promise that you would never give us or let us go through more than we can handle. I honestly feel dad, that I just cannot take any more. I don’t think I can face another day dad, if you don’t do something today. What is the point of me being here? What is the point of any of us being here?

I need so much healing dad. I don’t think that I can minister to another person or do anything else if you don’t show up and heal me. I know that you don’t owe me anything, but you are my dad and you are a perfect father who loves his kids. I know you love me and want the best for me. I need you to come and rescue me. I need you to carry me right now. I know you are love. I know that you are very rich in your grace and mercy, so don’t leave me like this for much longer. Please hurry and rescue me. I feel so stuck. I have no money to run away and go back to England. And even if I did go back, what would I do there? I still wouldn’t have anything to run away to. I would still need you just as much.

Daddy, I know that you are the God of the breakthrough. I really need a breakthrough in my life, in my emotions, in my relationship with you. I’m at the end of myself, yet again dad! I need you so much. I’m desperate for you and I’m so so lost without you Daddy. I need you to be the air that I breathe. Please come through for me Daddy. Please help me! I feel like I want to throw up spiritually. I love you daddy, and I always will. But something has to change.

Psalm 121:1-2 (New International Version)
I lift up my eyes to the hills— where does my help come from?
My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth.

Thurs 23 March 06

Dear Daddy,

I love you so much. Please help me to rest in your presence, to stop striving and to find that place of being in the centre of your love for me. Thank you Daddy for your grace and mercy towards us. Thank you for not abandoning us. Thank you for your love for us which is so patient and kind. Thank you for your faithfulness towards us. Thank you for holding us in your hand and for loving us to life. Please use me to love others to life too. I know I still need a long way to go myself in being loved back to life by you. I love you Daddy.

You are so beautiful and so awesome. Your deeds are so great and wonderful. Your wisdom is so deep and magnificent. Your love is so rich and extravagant. Your heart is so inviting and warm. You are the only true safe place in this messed up world. You exude mercy and peace. Your joy is so intoxicating and contagious. Your eyes are everywhere and so true. Your words are life giving and set people free. Your kisses are so tender and healing. Your fragrance is so sweet and lifting to the spirit. Your touch is so powerful and so gentle. Your plans for us are so heroic and amazing. You’re simply the best!

There is no other God like you. You spoke and the universe came into being. Your comfort is better than any parent’s love. Your tales are far more attention grabbing than any best seller novel. Your presence is so encouraging and so embracing. Where can I possibly go to, but to You and Your arms of love? There is nowhere I can hide. I am haunted by your love. I must have more of you to satisfy this longing in my heart. My heart aches for more of you. Nothing in this world can ever take that place, that you designed for your love to fill. I am so helpless, so broken and so desperate for more of you. I feel so sick without you. I need you to hold me more than I ever did before. I need your embrace and your TLC that can never be manufactured, bought, sold or replicated by anyone or anything. I need you, Daddy.

Thank you, that you’ll never let me go.
Thank you, that you’ll never leave me.
Thank you, that you’ll never abandon me.
Thank you, that you’ll never forsake me.
Thank you, that you believe in me.
Thank you, that you gave up so much for me.
Thank you, that you value and treasure me.
Thank you, that in your love, all my fears are calmed and melt away.
Thank you for restoring trust in my life, for teaching me to trust.
Thank you for including me and not rejecting me.
Thank you for giving me Jesus and the Holy Spirit to help me on my journey to finding you.
Thank you that there is yet, far more to come, than what I have now.
Thank you for filling me with hope.
Thank you that your love is not like the love that this world has to offer.

Thank you that your love is pure and good. It is gentle and kind. It doesn’t give up on me or hold a record of my wrongs. It is so strong and powerful. It is full of healing. It brings restoration. It wakes the dead. It is full of life. It is fun. It forgives the unforgivable. It is so freely given. It is so wild. It never runs out. It doesn’t judge or condemn. It brings freedom, conviction of sins and draws repentance. It purifies and cleanses hearts. It changes lifes and destinies. It shapes characters and overflows to the deepest places. It brings victories and wins battles. It’s unselfish. It brings out the best in people. It changes people and transforms them into angels. It is a light in the darkness, a well in the desert. It restores innocence and it brings humility. It kills pride. It is not shallow or superficial. It is real and explodes in truth. It multiplies and seeks the hungry.

It clothes the poor, shelters the homeless, heals the sick, wakes the dead, feeds the hungry, brings beauty to the ugly, washes the unclean, cheers the miserable, comforts the broken hearted, gives life to the barren. It is playful and full of joyful fun. It restores childhood. It brings maturity and wisdom. It is creative and never boring.

How could I ever escape this kind of love? I have tasted a little and now I am ruined forever. I can never go back to a life without you. I can not ever settle for a life with you and yet not have more of this love. I have to have more. I love you Daddy.

Psalm 25:20 (New International Version)
Guard my life and rescue me; let me not be put to shame, for I take refuge in you.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Daily Devotional

As well as reading 'The Ransomed Heart' by John Eldredge for my daily devotional, I'm also reading a daily devotional from Tommy Tenney (who wrote 'God Chasers').

This is a quote from today's devotional by Tommy Tenney:

"In Real Estate, the driving phrase for maximum value and return on investment is “Location, Location, Location.” In God's Kingdom, the driving phrase for maximum blessing and giving God glory is “Attitude, Attitude, Attitude.”"

I really like that! And how true that is!

PS. If you would like to receive Tommy Tenney's free daily devotional by e-mail, click here and then you can sign up for yourself.

Halifax, Nova Scotia

I am back!

I wasn't in Halifax very long - just four days (three nights). Time went by very quickly and it felt like I was only there for a day. I stayed in a really nice hotel, and God paid for the whole trip so that was really cool. The hotel I stayed in was called The Mariott and it overlooked the harbor which was absolutely beautiful. It also had an indoor glass walkway from the hotel to the shopping mall, so you didn't even need to wear your jacket or go outside once, yet you could still see outside because it was glass. The shops were nice and I was even able to have some Lebanese food and speak to someone in Arabic which was nice. There are loads of Lebanese people in Halifax.

There is actually a Lebanese restaurant here in Yarmouth called 'Little Lebanon' but I still haven't been to it yet. One day I'll go there and that will be another story.

Back to the Halifax, the hotel room that I stayed in was very nice. This is a photo of the bed I slept on! It was very comfortable. Unfortunately, I didn't get much sleep the whole time I was there though.

The room was on the third floor and this was the view from the window:

Isn't that cool? It's an indoor swimming pool and the view just made me want to go for a swim. I didn't though as I hadn't brought my costume with me and I couldn't afford to buy a new one. Never mind though.

The conference itself was great. God's presence was there. I enjoyed all the sessions. The speakers were great. One of them, Alyn was actually on the same ministry school as me a couple of years ago. He was speaking with his lovely wife AJ and they did a marvelous job. It was really nice to see them again and to see how much God was using them in amazing ways.

I also got to see a couple more people that I knew from that school who also came along to the conference. It was especially so wonderful to see my friend Sara who also was on that same school with me. I love Sara very much. She is so awesome and it was so lovely to see her and such a blessing to be able to spend a bit of time with her in Halifax.

This is Sara and I. Isn't Sara lovely? I love you Sara.

The main things the conference was about were the messages that:

  • Forgiveness is so important
  • Father God loves us all very much and is so extravagant in His love for us
  • Jesus is the WAY to the Father
  • Becoming a Christian is just the begining of our spiritual journey to our heavenly Father.
  • God wants to heal us

Speaking of God healing us. God did heal loads of people at the conference which was so cool. My favourite one was of this old lady who was deaf and had to wear a hearing aid. Well God healed her in one of the meetings and the poor lady kept saying how her only complaint now, is that everyone around her is so loud! God is so cool!

On the Sunday morning we went to visit a church in Halifax called 'Real Life Community Church' and it was in one of the university college buildings there, and it was really nice to be there. You definitely could sense the 'community' aspect of the church - it was really cool! So, if you're ever in Halifax, Nova Scotia, give them a visit!

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Going away!

Dear all,

I am so excited, I am going to Halifax tomorrow to attend the 'Father Loves You' conference there. I haven't been away to a conference for over a year now and I'm definitely looking forward, to just having a few days, just to spend with God in His presence. There will also be a few friends I have not seen in a long while there, and it will be nice to see them again and catch up with them.

I have had some really nice quiet times by the lake this week, I even braved a little walk on the frozen lake. I can't believe there was still snow here in March. I say 'was' because it has all melted now. Anyway.. below are some pictures taken earlier this week of the boathouse and the lake where I've had my quiet times.

Jake our dog loves to run down to the lake when I go for my quiet time. He is really funny because he has this football (soccer ball) and he takes it with him wherever we go. He gets desperate for me to tackle him and kick the ball so he can run and get it again. I love Jake. I think I should call him 'soccer dog'.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

International Women's Day

Today is International Women's Day. For some reason, I never saw this day celebrated much by the English when I lived in England. I don't know if Canadians celebrate it. It is celebrated in many countries around the world though. My dad always bought me flowers on this day, he also bought my mum and sisters some flowers. I like that and I miss my dad's flowers this year.
To find out about the signifigance of International Women's Day click here.

For all you beautiful women out there - Happy International Woman's Day!

This is for you!

By the time the Lord made woman, He was into his sixth day of working overtime. An angel appeared and said,"Why are you spending so much time on this one?" And the Lord answered, "Have you seen my spec sheet on her? She has to be completely washable, but not plastic, have over 200 movable parts, all replaceableand able to run on diet coke and leftovers, have a lap that can hold four children at one time, have a kiss that can cure anything from a scraped knee to a broken heart - and she will do everything with only two hands."

The angel was astounded at the requirements. "Only two hands!? No way! And that's just on the standard model? That's too much work for one day. Wait until tomorrow to finish."

"But I won't," the Lord protested." I am so close to finishing this creation that is so close to my own heart. She already heals herself when she is sick AND can work 18 hour days."

The angel moved closer and touched the woman. "But you have made her so soft, Lord."

"She is soft," the Lord agreed, "but I have also made her tough. You have no idea what she can endure or accomplish."

"Will she be able to think?", asked the angel. The Lord replied, "Not only will she be able to think, she will be able to reason and negotiate."

The angel then noticed something, and reaching out, touched the woman's cheek. "Oops, it looks like you have a leak in this model. I told you that you were trying to put too much into this one."

"That's not a leak," the Lord corrected, "that's a tear!"

"What's the tear for?" the angel asked. The Lord said, "The tear is her way of expressing her joy, her sorrow, her pain, her disappointment, her love, her loneliness, her grief and her pride."

The angel was impressed. "You are a genius, Lord. You thought of everything! Woman is truly amazing." And she is!

Women have strengths that amaze men. They bear hardships and they carry burdens, but they hold happiness, love and joy. They smile when they want to scream. They sing when they want to cry. They cry when they are happy and laugh when they are nervous. They fight for what they believe in. They stand up to injustice. They don't take "no" for an answer when they believe there is a better solution. They go without so their family can have. They go to the doctor with a frightened friend. They love unconditionally. They cry when their children excel and cheer when their friends get awards. They are happy when they hear about a birth or a wedding. Their hearts break when a friend dies. They grieve at the loss of a family member, yet they are strong when they think there is no strength left. They know that a hug and a kiss can heal a broken heart. Women come in all shapes, sizes and colors. They'll drive, fly, walk, run or e-mail you to show how much they care about you. They bring joy, hope and love. They have compassion and ideals. They give moral support to their family and friends. Women have vital things to say and everything to give.


Thursday, March 02, 2006

The Ultimate Risk Is To Love

'God's relationship with us and with our world is just that: a relationship. As with every relationship, there's a certain amount of unpredicability, and the ever-present likelihood that you'll get hurt. The ultimate risk anyone ever takes is to love, for as C.S. Lewis says, "Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal." But God does give it, again and again and again, until he is literally bleeding from it all. God's willingness to risk is just astounding - far beyond what any of us would do were we in his position.
Trying to reconcile God's sovereignty and man's free will has stumped the church for ages. We must humbly acknowledge that there's a great deal of mystery involved, but for those aware of the discussion, I am not advocating open theism. Nevertheless, there is definitely something wild in the heart of God.'
(Wild at Heart, 32)

The above was what I read in my quiet time the other day and it is taken from mmmmmmmmm 'The Ransomed Heart - A Collection of Devotional Readings' by John Eldredge.

I keep thinking about that lately.

God takes the risk over and over again to love us.

How many times does He get hurt by us, yet He keeps choosing to love us?

How does God do that?

I started reading this book in the New Year, and God has been really restoring and opening up my heart and making it come more alive each day. I love reading this book, because of what God is doing in my heart. I have so often been asked the question by non-Christians,

"Why does God allow such and such to happen or so and so to live when He knew how much pain would result in doing so - Does He not care?"

It's a good question and I have always answered it with,

"God chose from the begining to give people free will. Some people use their free will to make terrible choices and the consequence of those man made choices result in pain."

That still is my opinion, but I am just overwhelmed with the realisation, that not only do we as humans suffer those awful consequences of our bad decisions, but also each time God does too as God's heart gets broken or wounded.

Yet God still chose to take that risk. He still chooses to take that risk. He still chooses to love us, when we often break his heart over and over again.

As God has been restoring my heart, I have been feeling love for others in a more powerful way, but at the same time, I am also starting to feel the pain of others in a more powerful way. I have been finding myself wanting to cry at times for someone else, as I feel their pain. Life isn't easy with an open heart that is alive, but I sure wouldn't want to go back to life with a dead heart that is incapable of feeling love or pain. God chooses to love us, but with that choice, He takes the risk to feel our pain too.

God could've spared Himself all that heartache and never given us free will. But if He had done that, He would not be able to have a relationship with us that is consistent of love.

God is love. God is so totally wild in His love for us. Isn't that so amazing?

Are we willing to risk so much heartache and love others the way that God loves us?