Tuesday, February 28, 2006

You Are My Prince of Peace

It's funny how sometimes in this life we just want to go, go, go...not taking the time to rest adequately when we need to, not realizing when we need to come to a complete stop because of illness or other events and on the list goes. This might not be the case for you, but I know it is for me...having my kids home with me, I've put the bar extremely high and seem to try and reach and maintain it, no matter what the consequences. Yesterday and today I've finally given in and said, "I need to rest to get better...there will be other days to teach and it will do us all a world of good to get healthy!" I feel guilty doing this, but deep down, I know I have to rest or I'm going to be in worse shape and that's just not worth it!

I'm just posting a song and then I'm going to lay back down and try to rest...I hope you all have a great rest of the week...we'll talk to you soon!

You Are My Prince of Peace
You are my Prince of Peace
And my Majesty
You'll live with me,

I'll raise my life to you.
And give you all of me!
My Abba Father,
My truest love.
In all my storms of life,
I'll call out to you.
Abba Father,
My precious King.

Because you're my Prince of Peace,
And my Majesty.
You'll live with me,

In every part of me,
Let your spirit breath.
Draw me closer,
To your love.
May I be the clay,
And you the Potter.
Mold me Father,
Make me truly yours.

Oh, I love you, my precious Father,
You are my God and I love you.
I give you everything, every part of me,
Make me truly yours today.

Because you're my Prince of Peace,
And my Majesty.
Come live with me,
Please come live with me, Forever!

"This is what I have asked of God for you: that you will be encouraged and knit together by strong ties of love, and that you will have the rich experience of knowing Christ with real certainty and clear understanding. For God's secret plan, now at last made known, is Christ himself."

~Colossians 2:2 (TLB)

Friday, February 24, 2006

"Who Am I" or "Whose Am I?"

Okay, so I said I wasn't posting until I got back! But I received this via email from a friend this morning and I thought it was worth posting! A little while back a friend made a post talking about a short quote at http://northvus.blogspot.com/2006/02/shortword11.html, and it seemed to work really well for my title...this friend has a knack for getting me really thinking and searching deep down...quite a few of you do that and that's a good thing!

This poem I received this morning got me thinking, about the fact that, "Yes!" I am a child of God, a Christ follower, but I'm not perfect and this really shouted to me that it's okay to not be perfect...he loves us where we are, he doesn't expect us to reach a certain point, he simply meets us where we are and walks with us along this journey of life. There might be ups and downs, mountains and valleys, good and bad days, but no matter what, he's only a breath away. He's ready to walk and run with us when that's where we're at and also ready to stop, pick us up and carry us when we're at that point. At the end of the day he still loves us, no matter what point we're at, because we're all a continual work in progress and he's okay with that! It's truly by His amazing grace that we are able to go through this life and live for Him...praise God!

Christians - By Maya Angelou
When I say... "I am a Christian"
I'm not shouting "I'm clean livin'."
I'm whispering "I was lost,
Now I'm found and forgiven."

When I say... "I am a Christian"
I don't speak of this with pride.
I'm confessing that I stumble
And need Christ to be my guide.

When I say... "I am a Christian"
I'm not trying to be strong.
I'm professing that I'm weak
And need His strength to carry on!

When I say... "I am a Christian"
I'm not bragging of success.
I'm admitting I have failed
And need God to clean my mess.

When I say... "I am a Christian"
I'm not claiming to be perfect,
My flaws are far too visible
But, God believes I am worth it.

When I say... "I am a Christian"
I still feel the sting of pain.
I have my share of heartaches
So I call upon His name.

When I say... "I am a Christian"
I'm not holier than thou,
I'm just a simple sinner
Who received God's good grace, somehow.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Hey there everyone…this is an untitled post, as technology is not co-operating with me today and I am bound and determined to get this post up...I hope your weeks are all going well! This was orginally going to be a comment to everyone in my comment box, but then it started to shape up to be a post. I’ve been thinking a lot on that checklist this week and the worship music from Sunday has permeated my soul and has continually come into my head throughout the days…it’s brought such peace and a filling of His Holy Spirit throughout this week.

I think what I’ve got out of my thinking so far this week is that things don’t and probably won’t change overnight, and it’ll probably happen in baby steps, but that’s okay! Our pastor made a comment on Sunday which has stayed with me this week…he said that a lot of times we put everything into boxes…our family time box, our work box, our friend box, our God box, etc. and that in the church during Christ’s time, God was just in every aspect of life. That got me thinking, especially about “Every week I take at least one full day as a “personal Sabbath” to restore my energy”…if I’m able to put aside a whole day and get some good time with God during that day to pray and be with him, but it also includes time with my family, tobogganning, going bike riding, going for a walk, etc., isn’t that still a time of rest, and also enjoying the blessings which he’s bestowed upon me? I still have a lot of thinking and praying to do on this one!

“God’s will and purpose is the determining factor as to how I spend my time.” I’m trying to do this more than I was, and am finding that some of the things I was chosing to spend my time on aren’t nearly as important as they were before…I am assuming I’m going to continue to see changes in this area as I become more purposeful in doing this on a daily, hourly, every minute and every second basis!

“In a typical week I involve others in helping me be the person God is calling me to be and to do the things God asks of me.” Someone said to me last night that they did eventually come to the realization of knowing that it’s okay to call upon others when you need that help to become the person God wants you to be. I’m really struggling with this one…I always let my friends know that I’m there for them, whenever they need me and that they can come to me anytime they need to…but in the same sense, I’m always “scared” that I’m going to be a bother to someone or be known as someone who’s pestering people with their problems and burdens, so I tend to keeps things to myself and inside, which I know is the wrong thing to do…but once you have done something so long, it’s a really long and hard process to reverse!

I’m going to be working on all five aspects of the list, but I’m going to focus on a handful of them for the time-being and take it in smaller steps, as for me, it won’t be so overwhelming! I’m going to sign-off with a scripture passage I read yesterday…I’m reading through a one-year Bible plan which has you reading from 7 different parts of the bible…one part for each week…I’m a little behind and in catch-up mode, but I’m getting so much out of it, which is a really good thing. I won’t probably be posting again until Monday, as we are leaving tomorrow to go and see my parents…we haven’t seen them since Christmas (which is a long time for us) and we are going to be enjoying a weekend with my parents and my sister, who is also travelling up…it will be full of family time and a weekend which will hopefully be free of stress, especially free of the everyday demands of life and hopefully a weekend full of rest, relaxation and a time to re-energize…I hope you’ll all have a very blessed weekend full of Christ’s love and protection…I’ll be back next week!

Romans 12 (The Message)
Place Your Life Before God

So here's what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life--your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life--and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don't become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You'll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.

I'm speaking to you out of deep gratitude for all that God has given me, and especially as I have responsibilities in relation to you. Living then, as every one of you does, in pure grace, it's important that you not misinterpret yourselves as people who are bringing this goodness to God. No, God brings it all to you. The only accurate way to understand ourselves is by what God is and by what he does for us, not by what we are and what we do for him.

In this way we are like the various parts of a human body. Each part gets its meaning from the body as a whole, not the other way around. The body we're talking about is Christ's body of chosen people. Each of us finds our meaning and function as a part of his body. But as a chopped-off finger or cut-off toe we wouldn't amount to much, would we? So since we find ourselves fashioned into all these excellently formed and marvelously functioning parts in Christ's body, let's just go ahead and be what we were made to be, without enviously or pridefully comparing ourselves with each other, or trying to be something we aren't.

If you preach, just preach God's Message, nothing else; if you help, just help, don't take over; if you teach, stick to your teaching; if you give encouraging guidance, be careful that you don't get bossy; if you're put in charge, don't manipulate; if you're called to give aid to people in distress, keep your eyes open and be quick to respond; if you work with the disadvantaged, don't let yourself get irritated with them or depressed by them. Keep a smile on your face. Love from the center of who you are; don't fake it. Run for dear life from evil; hold on for dear life to good. Be good friends who love deeply; practice playing second fiddle.

Don't burn out; keep yourselves fueled and aflame. Be alert servants of the Master, cheerfully expectant. Don't quit in hard times; pray all the harder.

Monday, February 20, 2006

One Way, The Only Way...Do We Truly Allow This?

It's been an interesting month...due to a sick kid and ministry, I haven't been able to "catch" a sermon since the end of January. This Sunday, I got to go and teach during the together time with our older kids...we talked about the lame man and how his friends never gave up in terms of getting him to Jesus. We talked about how we all know people who are sick, or need God's love and even though things may seem impossible by ourselves, if we all grab a corner of the blanket or cot and work together, we can accomplish things and get them to Jesus. I'm always pumped after coming out from teaching the kids...they have such amazing faith, energy and love for God...and I went down there pumped, because I was singing on the worship team and the songs chosen for yesterday spoke so deeply to me...I felt truly engulfed by His spirit!

I picked up what I thought were the sermon notes for yesterday's sermon (as I was late getting back to the service and didn't get yesterday's), but they were actually from last week's, which I missed. There was a checklist and I just got around to reading it and it now has me really thinking...this is what it said:

Check the statements that are true of you:
- God's will and purpose is the determining factor as to how I spend my time.
- I pray, read scripture and listen for God's response before I make major decisions.
- In a typical week I involve others in helping me to be the person God is calling me to be and to do the things God asks of me.
- I factor into my schedule specific measures to assist me in growing in (mastering) my pursuit of God.
- Every week I take at least one full day as a "personal Sabbath" to restore my energy.

By faith and with God as my helper, I will commit to making the following changes:

I've got a lot of thinking to do over this next week...I'm always afraid of burdening people with things in my life, when they're so busy with their lives. I'm glad to have Mr. Cinder by my side, as right now, besides him, I don't really have anyone else I truly answer each week in accountability. Do I truly take a full day as a "personal Sabbath" and is there ever really much time where it's just me and God, just me trying to restore my energy? I'm taking the songs from yesterday with me into this week and am going to finish with parts from them.

Give Me Jesus (Fanny Crosby)
In the morning when I rise
Give me Jesus

And when I am alone
Give me Jesus

And when I come to die
Give me Jesus

Give me Jesus
Give me Jesus
You can have all this world
But give me Jesus

More Then Life
Stand by everything you said
Stand by the promises we made
Let go of everything I've done
I'll run into your open arms
And all I know

Fall back on everything you've done
Fall back on everlasting arms
When all the world is swept away
You are all the things I need
You're the air I breathe

I love you more then life
I love you more then life

How can it be
You were the one on the cross
Lifted for all our shame?
How can it be
The scars in your hands are for me?
You are the king of all

Jesus, You Alone (Tim Hughes)
Jesus, you alone shall be my first love
The secret place and highest praise shall be yours
To your throne I'll bring devotion
May it be the sweetest sound
Lord this heart is reaching for you now

Day and night I'll lift my eyes to seek you
Hungry for a glimpse of you in glory

So I'll set my sights upon you
Set my life upon your praise
Never looking to another way - Father
You alone will be my passion
Jesus you will be my song
You will find me longing after you

One Way (J. Douglass/J. Houston)
I lay my life down at your feet
You're the only one I need
I turn to you and you are always there
In troubled times it's you I seek
I put you first - that's all I need
I humble all I am, all to you

One way, Jesus, You're the only one that I could live for
One way, Jesus, You're the only one that I could live for

You are always always there
Every how and everywhere
Your grace abounds so deeply within me
You will never ever change
Yesterday, today the same
Forever til forever meets no end

You are the way the truth and the life
We live by faith and not by sight
For you - we're living all for you

Friday, February 17, 2006

I've Been Tagged

I've been tagged by following the herd and found it got me thinking! Here's the deal: Remove the blog in the top spot from the following list and bump everyone up one place. Then add your blog to the bottom slot, like so:

Pink Cupcake
Queen of West Procrastination
following the herd

Next select five people to tag:

I orginally did have people listed, but noticed on another site that this was just left open and have decided to do the same. If you want to take the challenge, feel free to do so!

What were you doing 10 years ago?

Ten years ago, I was 6 months away from becoming Mr. Cinder's wife...so was busy taking pre-marital classes, making wedding invitations and doing wedding planning. I was laid up in bed with mono...spent all of February and part of March in bed and a long time afterwards gaining my strength back.

What were you doing 1 year ago?

One year ago, I was enjoying doing life with God, Mr. Cinder, our kids and our friends and family. I was working as a Pastoral Admin. Assistant, was busy with various different ministry areas and was also busy taking kids to school, music lessons, beavers, etc. and dating Mr. Cinder and doing things with friends in what little spare time I had.

Five snacks you enjoy:

- Apples with Caramel Dipping Sauce
- Popcorn with butter and popcorn seasoning (especially Dill Pickle)
- Spinach Dip
- Celery and Carrot Sticks
- Anything chocolate

Five songs to which you know all the lyrics:

- Arthur Fartie's Yodelling Party (Swirling Eddies)
- Shout to the Lord
- Lifesong (Casting Crowns)
- Hound Dog (Elvis)
- Amazing Grace

Five things you would do if you were a millionaire:(I'm giving my top 6)

- Give money to Northview
- Pay off our house and any debt we have
- Put money towards education for me to get either a two year bachelor of theology program or a pastoral degree and for my hubby to stay educated and current in his line of work
- Take my family overseas and do mission work
- Give money to help the churches in Sri Lanka
- Give money to our parents in return for all they've done for us

Five bad habits:

- Procrastination
- Lack of patience and a bit of a temper, especially with my family
- Tendency to be too inwardly focused
- Drowning my sorrows by eating tons of chocolate
- I am one of the worst housekeepers Mr. Cinder could have gotten

Five things you like doing: (I'm giving 6 again)

- Serving God and those around me
- Date nights with my hubby--cuddling on the couch by the fireplace, watching a really good movie
- Hugs and kisses from my family
- Tobogganning with my family
- Worship singing
- Reading & writing poetry and songs

Five things you would never wear again:

- Bikini
- My grad dress
- My black spandex pants from junior high
- Big hair
- Big glasses

Favourite toys:

- My guitar and piano
- My giant teddy bear I got when I was 3 months old
- Mickey Mouse record player
- Lite Brite
- Hungry, Hungry Hippos

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Happy Valentine's Day

Happy Valentine's Day everyone! This is one day which I have to say Mr. Cinder and I haven't really put a huge amount of effort into...we've always just tried to celebrate our love throughout the entire year...we do something, but some people might not think it's much. But this year I'm feeling a little different for one reason or another...my blogging friend Audrey posted a very special Valentine's message on her blog Marvellous and it made me think about the fact that I'm not just celebrating love from my family, but I'm also supposed to take time this day to celebrate the love of God and praise him for all he's done and going to do in my life and my family! You can see this special Valentine's message at http://yinaudrey.blogspot.com/2006/02/happy-valentines-day.html .

I hope you will all have an amazing day and a week full of his love and blessings...I was listening to this song yesterday...it was the song I walked down the aisle to at my wedding. The song spoke exactly what I wanted people to know our love was going to grow to be...yesterday this song spoke mountains to me as I reflected on all the roads we've already gone down and as I look to the future and what roads we might go down next. This is definitely known as a "wedding song" for very good reasons!

Jesus in Your Eyes
by Julie Miller, Orphans and Angels

Oh, look at where we are
God has brought us both so far
We've been delivered by his hand
And brought to the place where we now stand

Love is patient and love is kind
Love comes through every time
Always protects hopes and trusts
Keeps on believing and it never gives up

In my life I have seen so many things
But nothing has touched me so deep inside
As when I see Jesus in your eyes

In my heart I'm very sure
In His love ours will endure
Loving Him by loving you
In serving Jesus, I will serve you too

For His glory we will live
He has given us love to give
I am with you heart and soul
Where ever He leads together we will go

In my life I have see so many things
But nothing has touched me so deep inside
As when I see Jesus in your eyes

I am so in love with life, God, Mr. Cinder, my kids, my family and friends....praise God...I am blessed beyond measure to share my life with such an incredible man, to share three beautiful blessings from our love and to be able to walk through this life together, serving God together! Love is truly so amazing!

Monday, February 13, 2006

Road Trip

On Saturday, I went on an afternoon and evening road trip, back to my old stomping grounds. The real reason behind this little road trip was the fact that my sweetie is worried about me...he said that he feels I'm burning out and haven't been talking with him about it, so he just wanted me to do something which would allow me access to someone to talk with, allow me some time to rest and refocus on life and this is exactly what happened! We did manage to talk through things before I left and especially after I came back (I have been withdrawing from people and now know that I really need to be putting myself out there instead). It's a two and a half hour drive to get there and another two and a half hours back, so it gave me an amazing time of prayer and contemplation, a time to listen to beautiful music which spoke deeply to my heart, mind and soul and to just have quiet to reflect on the past 5 months...where I came from, the changes which occurred, what battles I've faced and might continue to face currently and to focus and anticipate on where God's calling and leading me to go in the next 5 months to a year.

This was such a refreshing time for me, as he revealed the fact that even though I've given some things over to him and was feeling some peace, I was still trying to take control over certain things, especially those pertaining to my kids with discipline, homeschooling, family life, etc. He also showed me that I'd taken things into my own hands essentially in some areas of ministry...I've been suppressing ministry ideas and not continuing to write them out as I usually would, as I didn't think they meant anything now that I'm at a different church. In the end, I told Him that I would continue to write down the ministry ideas, the poetry and song ideas and that I would plain be open and listening for His direction in all areas of my life, instead of only some.

I was blessed to have a two hour window to just talk with one of my closest friends...I miss her so much...we've got that really unique friendship in terms of knowing each other are being thought of, prayed for and loved, regardless of whether we are able to talk everyday, once a week or every few weeks. She is such a blessing to me...I can be so completely raw and real and know that I'll be loved and looked upon in the same way when the day's completed. This time with her, along with my prayer time, brought me to a completely new place in terms of life. I felt the layers falling off and realized that I cannot continue to live in the past, but need to look forward and celebrate the future. For the first time, I left these old stomping grounds without tears, because I wasn't yearning to be back there. I was leaving my friend's city and it was great to visit her, but when I left, I was grateful to be coming back to my husband, my children, my church, in my city...because it's home and where God wants us to be and I'm anticipating where he's planning to take us this year...life with Christ at the realm is truly an adventure and I wouldn't ask for my life to be any different!

I listened to a song this fall, which I felt was fitting to how I truly feel in terms of my friends and their families and that I know they feel for me and my family. The only difference is that they know our family still loves them and we know they still love us, but that they also realize that we live our lives following Christ's leading and that will always allow for the possibility of going down different roads of life, but still being with each other in mind and spirit, because we are all ultimately family in the awesome family of God!

I Wish (by JoDee Messina)

It's not easy saying this to you
It's the hardest thing I've ever had to do
But boy before you go
I want you to know

I wish you strength
When times are hard
Oh I wish with all my heart you find what you're looking for
I wish you joy
I wish you peace
And that every star you see's within your reach
And I wish you still loved me

I wish things were different you know that
But still I'm happy for the time we had
You mean the world to me
Baby please believe

Losing you is tearing me apart
But a part of me will be with you
No matter where you are

I'm praising God today for who he is and for what he's done, what he's continuing to do and what he plans to do in my life, in my marriage, in my family, in my church and in the lives of all my friends. He is so amazing and continually faithful...he truly is the air I breathe and always only a pray or thought away...Shalom!

Psalm 96

Sing GOD a brand-new song! Earth and everyone in it, sing!
Sing to GOD-worship GOD!
Shout the news of his victory from sea to sea,
Take the news of his glory to the lost,
News of his wonders to one and all!

For GOD is great, and worth a thousand Hallelujahs.
His terrible beauty makes the gods look cheap;
Pagan gods are mere tatters and rags.
GOD made the heavens--
Royal splendor radiates from him,
A powerful beauty sets him apart.

Bravo, GOD, Bravo!
Everyone join in the great shout: Encore!
In awe before the beauty, in awe before the might.

Bring gifts and celebrate,
Bow before the beauty of GOD,
Then to your knees--everyone worship!

Get out the message--GOD Rules!
He put the world on a firm foundation;
He treats everyone fair and square.

Let's hear it from Sky,
With Earth joining in,
And a huge round of applause from Sea.

Let Wilderness turn cartwheels,
Animals, come dance,
Put every tree of the forest in the choir--

An extravaganza before GOD as he comes,
As he comes to set everything right on earth,
Set everything right, treat everyone fair.

Friday, February 10, 2006


I wasn't planning on posting daily, but my blog wasn't working this morning, so this is a test to see if things will post. I'm simply posting a couple of my poems...they are both letters of praise and thanksgiving for Christ's sacrifice...sometimes I sing this one, but as usual, the music's in my head and not down on paper!

If there’s no tomorrow,
I know I’ll have you.
You are always with me,
No matter what I do.

Your love is so amazing,
So gracious and free.
You died on Calvary’s cross,
To save a wretch like me.

I know I can’t repay you,
No earthly act comes close.
To the sacrifical love you showed,
As your loving eyes drew closed.

I live to see tomorrow,
Because of your love shown.
I can only pray to heaven,
I’ll make my Savior known.

This poem was written on one of those days when you just want to go back to bed and wake up the next day and start afresh...I'm not feeling that way today, but parts of this poem are like a daily prayer, in terms of remembering to share God's grace with everyone around me...not just those I see when out and about, but especially my kids and my husband. Sometimes it's really easy to remember to show His grace to strangers, but not to show it to those who are closest to us!

Frustration fills my heart,
Nobody’s listening!
This high-paced society causes so much anxiety,
Stressful issues appearing around every corner!
Where can I turn?
Where can I go?

To you Lord,
I lay my fears and anxieties at your loving feet.
Your loving fatherly arms wrap around me like a father does his hurting child,
Your love pours out to me.
A sense of peace fills my heart,
You are my sanctuary in times of stress and trouble.

Lord, please mold me into a more faithful person,
Help me to turn to you before things become unmanageable.
I pray your presence will be with me every moment of the day,
Your peace will allow me to be a more patient and loving person,
Allow your kindness to always shine through me,
I pray I’ll show your grace to others whenever possible.

Blood pouring down your head, hands and feet,
Tears of pain and hurt trickled from your eyes.
You showed your amazing love for me,
By dying such a painfully slow death!
A death I so deserved to have,
But you took my place for me!

Lord, I pray that picture will be in my mind always,
When things feel too hard to handle.
When I just want to crawl into bed and put the blankets over my head,
I pray I’ll remember your love for me!
The nails pounded in your hands and feet,
A crown of thorns upon your head.

Hurtful insults yelled at you,
Ungrateful people spitting in your face.
You hung on that tree for us with such amazing love and grace,
I can only pray I’ll show that same grace to all who come my way today.
Allow your love and kindness to shine through me always,
Thank you Father, for being my loving King!

Thursday, February 09, 2006

The Table of Grace

I have been going through an interesting time in life lately...I don't recall ever being spiritually battled to the extent that I've been in the last months. I am so thankful to be a part of our church's intercessors team...we meet weekly to pray together...there have been quite a few times in the past little while where I haven't wanted to go, but once there, was extremely prompted by what someone prayed or just by the Holy Spirit in general. Last night I was prompted about the fact I have been filled with so much anxiety and anger and I've bought into the fact that I can hide behind these and that I think it's perfectly okay for me to have these emotions. But really, I was prompted that I don't have any real concrete reasons to be anxious or saddened or angry, but that I should really feel blessed for the fact that I have the Lord by my side through everything...he's always there, no matter what the time of the day, no matter what the situation, he's there, listening, engulfing my life with his love and protection! I could not imagine living this life without him being with me...that's just unimaginable. I know that despite what's happening now, that he'll never allow me to go through something which I can't handle and I also know that not all happenings in life are tests and trials from God, some are strong battles from Satan.

I'm so thankful to have him in my life today and forever...I've been listening a couple of my favorite music groups the last couple of weeks. Phillips, Craig and Dean have some truly amazing songs...they are three pastors who formed a singing group and some of the songs which come from them cause me to really think and be thankful and appreciate God's grace and love. One song they've wrote is based on Matthew 11:28-30(KJV)...it's a daily reminder to me of God's love and grace.

Table of Grace
Phillips, Craig and Dean, Restoration

Hear the good news
You've been invited
No matter what others may say
Your darkest sins
Will be forgiven
And you will always have a place

At the table of grace
The cup's never empty
The plate's always full
And it's never too late
To come and be filled
With love never ending
You're always welcome at the table of grace

So come you weak and heavy hearted
Don't try to hide
Your earthly scars
In His eyes, we all are equal
Don't be afraid
Come as you are

So let the first become the last
Let the poor put kings to shame
Their willing hearts will be their treasure
By the power of Jesus' name

Everyone's welcome at the table of grace

Being in a new place has caused me to be so afraid...I'm a different person right now than I was this time last year....I'm so worried at times about what people will think of me to know I'm struggling with life, that things aren't always perfect. Even though I know most people don't ever expect perfection from anyone, as we're human with human tendencies, but my human nature tends to take my eyes off of God for a brief instant and deflect my view to what I think others around me expect to be.

So come you weak and heavy hearted
Don't try to hide
Your earthly scars

He knows we're not perfect and that we go through times when we are weak and when ours hearts are burdened and heavy. He doesn't want us to mask what we're feeling or our past...he doesn't want us to put on an act for those around us...he truly loves us where we're at, not expecting us to get to a certain point, but simply meeting us where we're at!

In His eyes, we all are equal
Don't be afraid
Come as you are

I am so thankful for the fact we all are equal in His eyes...that his love transcends through the family of Christ...it doesn't matter where we go, when you meet up with other Christ followers, there is just an underlying love which is always there, because we have common ground...His grace and love! That's such a comfort to know that the family of Christ will come alongside and comfort those around them, because that's what he does and what he wants us to do.

Their willing hearts will be their treasure
By the power of Jesus' name...Everyone's welcome at the table of grace!

I pray I will always have a willing heart to love Him, to serve Him and to follow his leading, no matter where it might take me. It's an amazing thing to realize that we are all welcome at his table, no matter where we are...it's never to late to come and you'll always walk away being refreshed and refilled. A friend made a post which simply stated whether the question is, "Who am I?" or is it really, "Whose am I?" I am His forever and that is the biggest comfort and blessing to know this. Life might be full of curves and turns, hills and mountains, valleys and deserts, but each one of those allows us the chance to grow as a person and in our walk with Christ. As hard as trials, tests and battles might be, I come out of each of them stronger in my faith, in my love for Christ and those around me and more concreted in knowing whose I truly am...I am His!

Matthew 11:28-30 (King James Version)
Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

My Favorite Scripture

I'm just going to post my favorite scripture...this is the scripture on my bible cover...Mr. Cinder read this scripture to me at my baptism (a whole another post for another day)...it was given to him at his baptism and is a scripture which we look to a lot. We have it on a few walls in our house in different forms and we have a lot of eagles throughout our house. When I look at an eagle figurine or picture, I think about this verse. It's so comforting to know that he's never going to tire and get weary and that he's always there to listen, to pick us up and to help us renew our strength when it's completely gone. It's an awesome feeling to feel him pick you up, to feel like you truly are soaring on wings like eagles and that even when you don't think you can go another step, that he gives you this amazing strength and perservance to keep going with him through the bends and curves of life!

Isaiah 40:28-31 (NIV)
Do you not know? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom.

He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.

Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall;

but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Oh Boy!

This is called, "Don't let Cinder use the computer before she's totally awake!" Never crossed my mind that I should copy all my links, BEFORE I changed the look of my blog...so don't be alarmed that I all of a sudden decided to take your link off...it wasn't intentional and I'll be working to get everything back up how it was before!

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Your Blogging Type is Kind and Harmonious
You're an approachable blogger who tends to have many online friends.People new to your blogging circle know they can count on you for support.You tend to mediate fighting and drama. You set a cooperative tone.You have a great eye for design - and your blog tends to be the best looking on the block!

You have a great eye for design...and your blog tends to be the best looking on the block! LOL :) , that line is so far from the truth, BUT despite that last line, I found this quite interesting...it actually gives a pretty accurate picture of how I am wired in real life, especially when life is on a more even and smoother road! I just wanted to thank everyone for your comments on the previous post...I tend to have some issues when I'm not getting sleep...go figure that everyday life as a stay-at-home, homeschooling mommy and wife would get a little tense and more difficult when you aren't able to get more than 5 hours of sleep for 5 or 6 days in a row and am starting to feel sick. Praise God that last night I was able to sleep for almost 8 hours straight...I feel refreshed this morning and that in itself took away some of the anxiety, grouchiness, and whines that I was feeling!

I wanted to simply direct you to some really good posts I've come upon the last couple of days. Curious Servant just put up a new post http://jobstale.blogspot.com/2006/02/echoes.html. The last few posts have been very thought provoking...please continue to remember Curious Servant and his family in prayer.

After working for a pastor for two years before our move, something which has come to play in my life is what do I call him now that I'm away and we're no longer sidekicks in the pastoral staff area of life! Ricochet is a very good post about this...you can find it at http://e-pistles.blogspot.com/2006/01/ricochet.html.

I have read a few articles in the last little while about shalom and found them to be very educational in giving me a good overview about what shalom is. You can find these at http://northvus.blogspot.com/2006/01/shalom-baby.html, http://sheffield.typepad.com/dansheffield/2006/01/describing_shal.html and http://sheffield.typepad.com/dansheffield/2006/01/missional_commu_1.html.

This one is about my church...what an amazing group of people (our new church family) that Mr. Cinder and I have been blessed with...words cannot adequately describe or give justice to how God-loving, God-driven and supportive they are! This post talks about an amazing work of art on the back wall of the church and now another work in the basement on the youth room wall...you can see the pic at http://northvus.blogspot.com/2006/01/bombing-church-for-gods-glory.html.

Kc has a post which will direct you to some more good sites: http://justsoyouallknow.blogspot.com/2006/02/few-things.html.

These posts from Following the Herd, Corry, Jackie, and Pia are really interesting:




http://myblog2002.blogspot.com/2006/01/marzipan-babies.html and http://myblog2002.blogspot.com/2006/02/my-anime.html

I hope you all have a God-blessed day and rest of the week!

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Spiritual Battle

I guess before I even start, I should warn you that this probably ranks as one of the the darkest entries I've written so far...there's not a lot of fluffiness in this one...hopefully in the near future, I'll be back posting my poetry and happy thoughts, but for now, this is where I'm at! I know I said I was going to take a break from the blogging action, but after talking via email with a friend, they have me convinced that just altering the way I do my blogging vs. quitting altogether may be the better route for me to go. Honestly, it was a mind-boggling weekend in a lot of ways and I think I am still processing everything...yesterday my kids were acting like they ate the contents of a whole candy store and I'm still recovering from that. So for now I simply won't be posting as much...I might post something I've corresponded via email, as some of my emails turn very bloggish, very fast...I'm just plain long-winded sometimes!

This weekend Mr. Cinder and I got to attend a Freedom in Christ seminar, as we are going to be co-leading a small group and will be teaching Beta. It was an eye-opening seminar for me...I honestly didn't think I'd take as much away from it as I did. I had never went through the steps to freedom and worked to make time for this, as a way to start my week. I also attended a heart-wrenching funeral Saturday night (was there to support my friend, who was helping with the sound/music portion)...a precious baby girl, who was carried to full term, but once born, never took a breath. I can't even imagine...Mr. Cinder would have had to carry me to the funeral if it was my child...it was stressful enough for me to be consider high-risk, as I had low platlets and there was always a chance of me bleeding out...we had what the doctor considered to be fairly major medical problems during my pregnancy and delivery of our little girl, but it all seems trivial after this weekend and I feel so very blessed. Please remember this family in prayer if you have a chance...they will need all the blessings, strength and encouragement from the Lord they can have!

Yesterday was "get your act together so as not to scare people half to death" day at our house, and it allowed me an almost two hour slot to sit and pray through all the steps...it was a weird feeling to feel the spiritual battle which engaged and interesting to see the times they appeared throughout that time period. Some of the steps went like clockwork and I had uninterrupted time...but when I got to the one step which I thought might cause problems, I hit a huge roadblock, even though I was already at peace with knowing that I will ultimately win the battle.

You see, I'm pretty sure that I'm suffering from depression at least in a mild to moderate state...I have most of the tell-tale symptoms...there are a few dark times, when I get low enough, that I am overcome with a feeling of inadequacy as a wife, parent, friend, even though Mr. Cinder says that's so, so not true! I feel apprehension so heavy that I can't even explain it, feelings of hopelessness and feelings that my family and friends would be better off with me not here, that they'd be better off with someone who had it more together. I have to praise God that even during these times, I know it's a spiritual battle going on inside of me and that I'm a child of God and that he, my family and my friends love me where I'm at and that the thoughts and feelings are lies from Satan...even though during those times of the thoughts of maybe I should finish things and spare people the burden of where I'm at, I have never and will never give in or follow through with that...suicide, in terms of my life, to me would be letting Satan have the victory and I'm not willing to do that. As I began to pray through the specific prayer regarding suicidal tendencies, I had distractions...for at least at 10 minute window...got me off track and then took time, but eventually it went through...that was such an amazing experience...I shed a lot of tears yesterday in happiness and today I've shed a lot of tears in frustration, but things will eventually look up, that's something I'm totally certain of and take a lot of comfort in right now!

I talked with my friend via email about the fear of telling people, especially a pastor or people I'm trying to make friendships with...it's a fear of what they'll perceive me as, a fear that once out, I'll be seen as unfit to serve in ministry, deemed unworthy or not good enough to be a friend...I know deep down that this isn't true, but sometimes what you know deep down and what you choose to believe at any given moment are two very different things! It was alluded to in the emailing that maybe it's a pride thing...it definitely is a pride thing...not in terms of me thinking I'm above being afflicted with something, more so ashamed and not wanting people to know...worry about what they'll think, about possible accusations of me not having my life together enough and that if I was trusting him enough, that things would be non-existent. This is a relatively new issue in my life, being in the background for a couple of years, but only recently been playing the lead fiddle in my life...there's always that voice which creeps up when you think of letting a wall down...it tries to say people won't accept you/begin and grow friendships with you, people won't see you the same or treat you the same and even though that's usually not true, it seems to take a long time for things to work through.

I'm reading one of two books I picked up Saturday...it's funny how sometimes you tell people the books you're getting and other times you hide them fast, praying no one will see them, 'cause they might drag your butt into the pastor's office...it had an evaluation which allowed you to look at whether you need to be seeking outside counsel...I was in the area where I don't need to seek counsel and should be able to work things through on my own, with the aid of the book...I don't know if I mid-lined some answers to achieve those results...I do know that things are improving, with some pitfalls, but overall are improving...taking the evaluation in December though would have been a completely different line of ducks...December was a really rough month for me emotionally and mentally.

The book is called, "Overcoming Depression" by Neil and Joanne Anderson...it talked about the fact that you can fix a symptom but it doesn't necessarily fix the problem...I've had a lot of people say, go get medicated and that will fix everything, but Mr. Cinder's stood behind me in knowing that that's not going to fix the crap which comes into my head sometimes and continues to help me to try and find the root cause of what's truly going on...in the same sense, I feel at times that I'm being a hypocrite by not allowing people to see that side of me. The people who I know will look at me the same when I'm in the lowest possible point, they know what's going on, because honestly, the fact of feeling God's presence more clearly than ever during those times and knowing I can turn somewhere is what saves me...I do renounce things at those times, even if it does only bandaid the issue...it's crucial...those points are coming fewer and farther and that's truly a blessing from him. I think that's what made the move this fall the hardest...having my support-system ripped away and not wanting to burden anyone in the new setting. It's definitely one of those pride things, where you want to make friends but not have them see the bad and the ugly right away...just let them see the good and okay side and give them the facade that you have it all together, even though you don't!

I am going to continue to be blogging...I will be reading and leaving occasional comments here and there, but will probably be cutting down the time I spend at it for now, so I can concentrate on getting Cinder where she needs to be, so I can be the best wife, mom, friend and most importantly, Child of God that I can be!

"Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit."

Romans 15:13