Twelve Firemen and Two Girls

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The sirens could be heard blocks away. I waited on my driveway, wondering if my cat, who had quickly slipped past me as I stepped outside just moments before, had found a safe spot away from the smoke.

Hopefully.

The sirens grew louder, and soon two fire engines turned into my narrow street of this small, townhouse condominium complex where I live.

Oh boy. The neighbours are going to start to panic, I thought to myself.

The fire engines stopped in front of my home, and out tumbled two, then four more men, strapping up yellow cover alls, and pulling on helmets. A few had gas masks dangling around their necks. Two were hauling out a fire hose.

A fire hose.

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I turned away, to see the second fire truck, another six men strapping on their gear.

Oh my gosh.

Continue reading “Twelve Firemen and Two Girls”

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The Invitation Re-Visited-Friday’s Video

Are you accepting the invitation, my friend, as His beloved right where you are? There is nothing to do, except to accept.

(This is a re-post of The Invitation first published 10 months ago. The pictures are new and at the end, I’ve added a video blog so you can even skip the words if you like!)

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Imagine this, or maybe you don’t have to imagine. Maybe you have an experience, a point of reference that allows you to dive into this story, in heart, in spirit.

Imagine you are peering into a window of a door that you have been invited to open. The brush of a cool wind, and the smell of the fall season’s leaves entertain your senses. You lift your hand to the door knocker, grasp the brass bar. And halt.

You see through the window a table set for two. But not just a table, but one laden with colors. You see so many jewel colors of blue, red, green, yellows that they blur in a melody like a rainbow in motion!

Continue reading “The Invitation Re-Visited-Friday’s Video”

The Call Part 2-The Present

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“I was very much afraid, but I said to the king, “May the king live forever! Why should my face not look sad when the city where my ancestors are buried lies in ruins, and its gates have been destroyed by fire.” Nehemiah 2:2-3

It was my turn to share. I looked down at my notes. Paused. The circle of friends resting on the grass too, hold pages still for bibles and journals as the breeze played, wait.

Even though Nehemiah was very much afraid, he put himself into action, I read aloud from my journalling notes. Prayed first, always, and then even though afraid, put himself into action. Fear, being afraid is never from God, yet sometimes–truthfully–I see it as a reason to not take action.

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What am I so afraid of?

I look up, my friends locked on me, waiting, whole-heartedly listening, encouraging, and supportive. This is only the first station on this mornings Soul Formation event, the fourth I’ve facilitated from an idea emerged during a leadership course. Four other small groups are also rested on grasses that circle an urban pond, Canada Geese drifting in the waters, some with huddles of goslings following.

Why do I fear following whole-heartedly?

Nehemiah was sad, his heart breaking over the ruins of his city, Jerusalem, and the walls that had not been rebuilt.

His heart breaking, he wept, fasted, prayed.

And then he took action, approaching the king, afraid, but asking him favour to take leave to Judah to rebuild.

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His heart-breaking over a cause, he felt the fear but did not let the fear stop him to take action to rebuild. He refused to allow the fear to become more powerful than God.

He refused to allow the fear to become more powerful than God.

I continue to look down on my journal notes from the first station where we read, reflected, and responded to these passages I had picked in Nehemiah and Chronicles.

In everything that he undertook in the service of God’s temple and in obedience to the law and the commands, he sought his God and worked wholeheartedly. And so he prospered. 2 Chronicles 31:20

A King this time, not an exile, yet also sought God wholeheartedly. Hezekiah, like Nehemiah, fasted, prayed, obeyed and prospered.

And then it happened. The fear exposed, in blue ink, a playful breeze lifting the page corners.

I’m afraid of what prospering is. Feels like a lot of pressure….How will I be taken care of? 

Nehemiah, with guards set up strategically from his enemies, did build that wall. Hezekiah, although at a time did fall into pride, did always turn to obedience and prospered.

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For I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear, I will help you. Isaiah 41:13

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. And those he predestined, he also called, those he called; he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified. Romans 8: 28-30

Called according to his purpose.

Called through the invitation to serve and honour Him, like Nehemiah and Hezekiah, whole-heartedly seeking God’s guidance through prayer, first,  in all things of this world.

Called in the understanding of being predestined through the knowing of God’s love that  changes us with a new perspective, a new mindset and an understanding of security in treasures in heaven, not on earth.

Called to live in the security of God’s love, His wisdom and His protection, always.

Even to your old age and gray hairs
I am he, I am he who will sustain you.
I have made you and I will carry you;
I will sustain you and I will rescue you. Isaiah 46:4

My companions, my friends, these sisters ‘n brothers in Christ, affirm me. They understand the fear that can come from whole-heartedly following a hearts desire to serve in a way that may not prosper in money, in relationships, in treasures on this earth.

It’s a choice to let go, surrender, and do even when afraid.

It’s a choice to let go of pride, repent, and be obedient.

It’s a choice to trust, and follow the call.

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. John 14:27

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We stand, my companions and I, on a solid ground of grass, the breeze rustling leaves in trees of the park. I glance to the pond where a mother goose awaits for one of  her goslings that has drifted behind. Her baby turns in the drift of the pond that leads back to her, and swims.

Is there a step you’ve been called into and like Nehemiah, stand before it afraid? Or like Hezekiah, been called to let go of pride and take a step into seeking His will again for you?

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Call-Part 1. The Past

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It’s been a very full last few months that included new courses and new projects. New projects that I had envisioned and now are seeing come to pass. I still have more, ideas in moving pictures that reel endlessly through my mind.

But today, before sharing all that is new, I’m revisiting the past. Sometimes it’s in the looking back to see how we got to where you are today….

Monday, October 17, 2011

The call?

I must admit to you, I’ve been wrestling lately whether I should continue writing this blog and posting pictures to my 365 blog project on my photography blog. I begin to question what is the purpose? what is the result? is it worth the time spent? is it serving others?

All this wrestling leads me to the deeper questions:

What is God’s purpose for my life?
What is He calling me to do?

Do any of you wrestle with this question?

Now the LORD had said to Abram:
“Get out of your country,
From your family
And from your father’s house,
To a land that I will show you
Genesis 12:1

And Abram went, with his large family and all his friends and herding a bunch of sheep. And on camels and on foot they traveled for 800 miles. And this is the kicker.

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He was 75 years old.

But he went, following God’s call, trusting completely even though he did not feel equipped to do His will, and had no idea where he was going and why he was going there.

How did Abram know it was God’s voice?

I’d love it if God’s voice was as loud as, lets say, the 30,000 or more fans at the Edmonton Eskimo football games I attend yelling “GO ESKS GO!”

Can you imagine? What if you heard a large crowd chanting “Go (your name) Go do (your purpose)?”

Would you go or would you still question? Do I have the right stuff? Am I equipped?

Is this really God’s calling? Some questions you may want to ponder…

1) If God is calling you, you will probably feel unqualified. It is not the qualified that is called, it is the call that qualifies.

2) It feels radical. Like Abraham, you are taking a journey where you do not know the steps on how you will get there. To do this, you can’t weigh the benefits or costs, but step out in complete faith, giving up your own will.

3) You feel useful. God’s call advances others. His blessings on you, blesses others.

4) If it feels predictable and safe, good chance it is not God’s voice being expressed in you.

Personally, I struggle to let go of my worldly pre-conceived ideas on how a plan needs to be in place before taking a step—well, more of a leap I’d say— and my insecurities keep me wrapped around the tree branch on the cliff.

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Are you holding on or letting go?

For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do (Ephesians 2:1).

Linking up with Recharge Wednesday today!  Check out more inspiration by clicking the link below.

 

Soaring with Him Ministries

 If you’d like a taste of my new journal,  Breathing Spaces, come on over to my Facebook and Instagram where I’m posting daily a reflection question and a Breathing Space moment. Have an inspiring day!

A whispers of rest journey

Whispers of Rest

I’ve been blessed to receive an advanced copy of Bonnie Gray’s latest book that is now available to all as just released today!  Whispers of Rest is a 40 day journey and so far my 21 days in has been a rest journey of insights and breathing spaces during a time when my schedule is so full! Yes, rest and transformation even in the fullness of my days…

A taste of my journey:

May 1, 2017 7:32 am, my facebook post for Whispers of Rest Book Launch

I keep thinking about how Peter didn’t think he was good enough when Jesus called him to follow. How often have I not taken steps on the lighted path just due to thinking I wasn’t good enough for the path Jesus has laid out for me? I’m getting in my own way, and what God wants from me, by not remembering how I am His beloved.
Looking forward to all that God will be showing me over these next days on this #whispersofrest journey with the words of Bonnie Gray and her soon to be released new book.

Day 1: Surrendering Your Heart

My journal entry: I don’t want to try so hard anymore!

Day 7: “We don’t have to do more to be more…be His beloved as we are.”  Bonnie Gray

Day 13: When you pass through waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. Isaiah 43:2

Day 14: Choose Grace-Be present, not perfect

YOU MATTER TO GOD. DON’T WAIT UNTIL THE CRITICAL VOICES DIE DOWN.                                                                          DO YOUR ART. BE YOU. NOW. AS IS.                                                                                            Bonnie Gray

Day 19: He also said, “This is what the kingdom of God is like. A man scatters seed on the ground. Night and day, whether he sleeps or gets up, the seed sprouts and grows, though he does not know how. All by itself the soil produces grain–first the stalk, then the head, then the full kernel in the head. As soon as the grain is ripe, he puts the sickle to it, because the harvest has come. Mark 4: 26-29

Journal entry: Maybe I don’t need to know how I will do it….I get filled with doubts. Maybe it is not me to nurture it through? Maybe I am finally beginning to understand that I don’t have to know the how? It’s already there, like a seed beginning to sprout. I really don’t have to try so hard! Instead I can fall into His whispers of rest….

Because I am His Beloved.

Are you wanting to hear His Whispers of Rest?

You can start this 40 day journey of rest, renewal and transformation too at Whispers of Rest. You deserve it, my friend, because you are His beloved.

A quieter voice is calling us to stop–stop worrying and planning for tomorrow as a way of distraction–and listen to what He has to say to us today. Bonnie Gray, Whispers of Rest (2017)

A focused picture journey-

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Over the past couple of weeks I have been doing Bonnie’s Gray’s  Whispers of Rest Challenge in preparation for her soon to be released book Whispers of Rest –a unique 40-day devotional detox that will guide you to a place of intimate rest. 

Today’s challenge is Focus, something that I do struggle with as curious about so many things!

“I run in the path of your commands for you have set my heart free” Psalm 119.
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One of my favourite places to ‘run’ that is close to home is Elk Island National Park. It is also a bison park, so you will see the buffalo roaming free too!  They are free, yet they are also fenced in for protection.

That’s what God does for us too, doesn’t He?

His fences are protection. His commands for us bring freedom. When we focus on His ways and His path, we gain peace by being in the freedom in who He made us to be. We become ourselves, unattached to the shiny things of this world that do not last, and attached to the source that is forever.

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To help focus, I am taking time to listen to God’s whispers more, and pay attention to that unsettling feeling when my focus is off the path of what is best for me, others, and the world. There are so many shiny objects! Yet, there really is only one true Light, isn’t there?

What are the ways that help you stay focused away from the shiny objects and on the Light?

In a couple of weeks, I’ll be launching my new journal-Breathing Spaces, a 21 day journal of rest, reflection, & renewal.

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For the first 21 days of June, I’ll be posting a Breathing Space picture and the day’s reflection question on my Facebook Page  and Instagram. I hope you’ll follow and join us, for one day, or 10 days, or all of them! And even post your own Breathing Spaces pictures using the hashtag #inspiringhopeinyou. We’d love to see your places of rest and renewal!

Did you know that just looking at an image of nature can lower stress levels and increase happiness?

And the smell of coffee? Oh, so glad for that!!
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