Saturday, July 29, 2006

Silenced...Accepted or Forsaken??

Silenced
Horror and anger fill the girl's heart,
A secret which she's ashamed of.
Unable to voice her anger and worry,
She's a victim who's been silenced.


I've been thinking about a lot of things this week. As I read this poem, I reflect on whether, even though a person gives everything over to Christ and commits their life to Him, there's sometimes residue which comes along.

So is that residue the result of the person not giving everything completely to Christ? Or when something severely traumatic as this even which occurred, is there the possibility of feelings deep, deep within, lingering despite the salvation which has been accepted? Or does it just take a long and deliberate path in order to completely process and get through things?

I think this mostly has come into my head, as I battle with the fact of needing to get an accountability partner. Throughout our move, my hubby has been my accountability partner and in marriage I think our spouses are that role to a certain extent, just because of the intricate and intimate relationship we share. For me, getting an accountability partner means completely setting down roots. I have to admit this scares me, as every time throughout this journey over the last few years, when I have set down roots and started to dig deep, we've then heard God's voice telling us His plan included us being elsewhere.

I think right now I'm at a point of being so tired, in terms of putting myself out there and then having everything ripped away. Don't get me wrong...every move God has taken us has been a good one and something which caused us to grow and become a little more Christ-like. It's just hard for me to let the walls down and put myself out there, and then when moved, to realize that something which you thought was a tight relationship really wasn't, at least in a lot instances. I know I have to have faith and trust me, my faith is stronger than ever right now. I think I'm just beaten down, because of so many instances in the past where I've been shunned especially because of my past or even for how I choose to live my life for Christ.

I guess that's why Silenced came to mind today. As the church we say we want to be Christ's feet, hands and eyes, but does what we say and what we truly do weave together? Do we actually come alongside people and truly accept them where they are, instead of where we think they should be on a list of preset rules or guidelines? Do we put ourselves out there and meet them where they are, or do we expect them to come to us?
I know what I want to be and I try very hard to do that everyday, but I think that's mostly because I've been on the receiving end of not being met where I was and being looked upon so hard as a result of where my past choices had led me.

Praise God for a handful of very special people, who accepted me for who I was inside, despite all I did in life! It's truly because of how God worked through them that I am where I am today. I don't even want to think about the "what ifs" if things had been handled differently. Today I'm praising God as well, for a church family who truly lives out daily the act of meeting people where they are at, and accepting you for who you are, in spite of where you came from...that's Christianity at it's purest form!

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Do You Have An Open Chair...?





"I love the friends i've gathered together on this thin raft..." (Jim Morrison)



I am pretty empty in the creative department right now. Thanks for all the comments on my new blogskin...I couldn't get it to work properly for me, so for now I've switched back to my old one.


It's funny how "thin" this life really is...how fast life passes us by. I just had an amazing week at Family Camp...here's a picture of one of the many beautiful sunsets we experienced throughout the week. Time at camp allowed me the opportunity to spend time with friends from three different churches. A lot of things happen over the week, especially in terms of seeing how much I've grown in the last little while.

God has taken me through a real pilgrimage of reflection and examination the past few months. I have a feeling that it's not over yet, but that's okay. As a result of this, I have started to look at some things in a real different light. Some things which might not have bugged me much a year or two ago, last week cut through my heart like a double-edged sword. I really think we lose sight of the fact that our words and judgments spoken out are just like taking a knife and stabbing someone with it.

Regardless of what comes down that path of life, I am truly grateful for all the friends which I have in my life. Just like they meet me where I'm at and are gracious to me, in spite of the mountain of imperfections I sometimes portray, I know I need to meet them where they are at and have the same graceful attitude.

One of many things from camp, which is sitting right at the forefront of my brain is a question the speaker asked of the congregation: "Do you have an open-chair at your circle?" Basically, if someone were to come to your house, your church, a gathering of your friends...would they feel welcomed? Would they be made to feel like they have been a part of that circle for longer than they actually have? Or would they feel left out...out of place? Feel like an outsider or spare tire which is dragging along, slowing everything down?

Camp was a truly enlightening and eye-opening experience for me this year, on a variety of levels and aspects of life. I'll try and touch base in the next little while...things are extremely hectic here right now and my posting will most likely be very sporadic. I hope summer's treating you all well and that you are feeling His love, grace, peace, strength and blessing in a very powerful way!


"Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends."

John 15:13

Monday, July 24, 2006

Where O Where Has Cinder Gone??

Hey there everyone...this is just a quick pop in to say hi and let you know I didn't drop off the face of the earth! I might sneak on and try to write something later on in the week, but right now I'm busy preparing to do God's work and most importantly, to allow Him to work through me in whatever way He wants. Things are very busy, but have been fun and are going good!

Blessings to you and yours...we'll talk later...

Friday, July 14, 2006

In "Other" Words...

Well, here is the latest quote from Christian Women Online...I'm loving this, as these quotes so far have hit so close to home, it's uncanny! I'm going away for the next little while, to enjoy time with God, my family, my friends and hopefully to spend some time with myself. So this will be going up early again this week...I hope all is well with your families...we'll talk to you soon. Blessings to you and yours!



"When life whacks you so hard your head flies off, sew it back on and keep going."

~ Mary Pierce ~


I've felt like this so many times...you know those times when it feels like you've been punched and knocked down and while you are down on the ground, you get punched yet again! You don't have a chance to catch your breath before it's knocked out of you. So for me, this quote gives a whole new meaning to this and I can relate to both parts of it.

Really, for me this quote goes hand in hand with the post below this one! When I'm feeling like I've been hit so hard by life, it might knock me down, but I'm now learning to get back up, brush myself off and continue on. As I come out of those times, I usually come out stronger than what I went into them. They "test" me and show what I'm truly made of, where my drive comes from, where my feet are planted and Whom will help me to get back up and keep on going.

I'm very grateful for those "tests" and "spiritual attacks" when they come. Even though they are sometimes very hard to endure, they strengthen my faith and bring me ever closer to my Heavenly Father. I am who I am, because of those times when it feels my head's fallen off as a result of being hit so hard. I am who I am, because of how I've handled myself in those situations and because I'm learning to "sew it back on and keep going".

"You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world."
1 John 4:4 ~ NIV)








Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Spiritual Attack

Five Times You Can Expect Spiritual Attack

1. When you're growing spiritually

2. When you're invading enemy territory

3. When you're exposing the enemy

4. When you're breaking with the world

5. When you're being prepared for God's blessings

--Adapted from the Invisible War by Chip Ingram


This post is going to be short and sweet, as I'm pretty tired. It's been quite the interesting week at our house, equipped with a early morning visit to the ER, new infection battles and some small glitches in our mandate to go missional. The few months worth of stuff...I truly attribute it to a spiritual attack. I'm finding through this though, that you truly do find out what you are made of , what's driving you and where your feet are firmly planted. I am tending to come out of it stronger, more driven to do God's work and with a better sense of clarity and discernment.

All the attacks in the world will not stop me from doing God's kingdom work, because I am His and He who is in me is GREATER than he who is in the world!

Monday, July 10, 2006

Happy Tuesday...A Day Early

So, this is supposed to be posted tomorrow, but because of how life's been the last little while, I'm going to post today and have it be up a day early. Blessings to you!





Happy Tuesday everyone! I was reading on Christian Women Online over the weekend and came across something new they are doing called, "Get Inspired on Fridays, Join Us on Tuesdays". So any Christian women who are reading and might be interested in this, you can simply click on the above link and it will take you to Christian Women Online, where a more indepth explanation is given for what this is!

The basic idea is that a quote will be posted on Friday and if interested, you are encouraged to jot down your ideas about the quote on your blog. So here goes:


"Once in a while you have to take a break and visit yourself ."
- Audrey Giorgi



I actually found this quote to be an interesting one for me to read...for a variety of reasons. Being a wife, mother of three and all the many roles I seem to take on...life can be very hectic and sometimes takes a lot out of me. Maybe this just applies to me, but I think sometimes we are so busy tending to the needs of those around us, that we forget about tending to ourselves. I think when you begin forgetting to tend to yourself or as this quote says, "visit yourself", you tend to lose sight of who you are and as a result begin to breakdown physically, emotionally, spiritually. As I sit here and look at the words I just wrote, I feel some guilt and a feeling of selfishness. But the truth of the matter is that it's not selfish to take time to "visit yourself" and to take time for yourself. It's essential if you expect to be all the things this life is calling you to be. Does it mean you love those around you any less? No, in fact I think it shows how much you truly do love those around you. You love them enough to take time to know who you are as a person and most importantly, as a Child of God! You love them enough to take time out and rest and regain your strength, so as to keep yourself spiritually, physically and emotionally fit!

As I wrote the other day on the NorthVus blog, I've been in a time period lately which has had me being in a "cave
". This is another reason why this quote caught my eye. When you go into a "cave" period of time, you have no choice but to "visit yourself". It's the only way you are able to find out why you are where you are. Being in a "cave" forces you to examine who you are deep down inside...examine what God's speaking to your heart and to find out what's truly driving you and everything that's going on.

I think this quote speaks a lot of importance. I've learned a lot about myself during those times when I "take a break and visit myself"! It's important to know who you are and to make sure you are strong in all aspects of your life and taking that break is really an essential way of doing that. I don't do it often enough and it's usually as a result that I end up being in that "cave"...because I've stretched myself so thin and worked myself to the brink...I end up being at my weakest physically, emotionally and spiritually. It's truly by God's grace that he allows me the opportunity to find the "cave"...that place which I go to and which allows me the time to regain my strength, feel Christ's peace and love, reflect and find clarity in where I am at that time.

I pray that I'll learn to "take the break and find myself" more often and that hopefully I'll visit the "caves" less often, but I'm grateful that the "caves" are there and that it's okay to find them and crawl inside them when you need to...no need to feel ashamed, but instead feel blessed and take advantage of what your learn during those times. The one thing I do know...when I do "visit myself", so does He and I come out with a strengthened sense of faith, peace and His love...that in itself should be the ultimate incentive to do this more often!

"You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world." (1 John 4:4 ~ NIV)


Sunday, July 09, 2006

Food for Thought

Ephesians 4:1-7(The Message)
In light of all this, here's what I want you to do. While I'm locked up here, a prisoner for the Master, I want you to get out there and walk—better yet, run!—on the road God called you to travel. I don't want any of you sitting around on your hands. I don't want anyone strolling off, down some path that goes nowhere. And mark that you do this with humility and discipline—not in fits and starts, but steadily, pouring yourselves out for each other in acts of love, alert at noticing differences and quick at mending fences.

You were all called to travel on the same road and in the same direction, so stay together, both outwardly and inwardly. You have one Master, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who rules over all, works through all, and is present in all. Everything you are and think and do is permeated with Oneness.

But that doesn't mean you should all look and speak and act the same. Out of the generosity of Christ, each of us is given his own gift.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

10 Years...How Time Has Flown By!!

As I woke up 10 years ago, it was like any other day...you open those eyes, put one foot in front of the other and get out of bed, get dressed, eat, etc. The major difference was that I got up and got dressed in my mom's wedding dress (altered to how we thought would be good for me) and I drove with my sister and parents to the photo studio to have pictures with our wedding party and the love of my life, whom would be my husband by later that afternoon. After pictures we went to McDonald's and ate lunch and actually my sister and I then went to the shopping mall and just went walking for an hour or so, purchasing a couple last minute things.

The thing which I remember so very clearly was how calm I was that day. Before Mr. Cinder and I had even started dating, I'd prayed to God and said give me clarity and discernment to know who I'm supposed to be with and he did. So for me, I was pledging my life and me to the man who I knew God had handpicked for me, so there was nothing to be fearful about...I was happy and really excited about that unknown adventure I was about to begin, but I knew our foundation was firm...that no matter what and through everything, He would be leading us in His direction and be with us no matter what!


I knew that there would be certain aspects of our wedding which would be traditional, because there usually are, but we also really wanted our wedding to be our own and yell, "The Cinders". So what were some of those untraditional moments...well the first two caused a huge uproar...LOL...story of my life depending on the day or week!

- Mr. Cinder came with me to make sure the alterations to my mom's dress were exactly as he, my sister and I had talked about.

- We got our pictures taken before the ceremony, as there were 5 other weddings in my small hometown city that day...apparently a few family members would have been willing to pay for a photographer to drive from out-of-town so that we wouldn't have seen each other until after the nuptials!

- We made our own wedding invitations, which wasn't really heard of when we got married. We took pictures, went and got them developed onto CD, made the invitations and then printed and folded them all.

- I was bound and determined to not walk down the isle to as people said, the required song, as I didn't feel it very uplifting to walk down with, "Here comes the bride, big, fat and wide" in my head...wanted something a little more positive!

- Headed straight for 7-11 following the ceremony to get a nice, cold refreshing Super Big Gulp in the nice hot July weather. Then, because we didn't have to rush to pictures, the wedding party high-tailed it back to the hotel and just sat and RELAXED for an hour or so!


There were definitely others, but those stood out. What were some of the most memorable moments of our day?

- Our ringbearer and flower girl getting in a tiff on stage...go figure that would happen with a 2 and 3 year old...if I only knew what I know now...they really were precious, but truthfully they should probably be a lot older.

- Our ringbearer picking his nose through the ceremony!

- The moment I had with my two little second cousins moments before we began the ceremony...they were precious and I have an amazing photo of it.

- The look on the 7-11 clerk's face when we came to the counter to pay for our Super Big Gulps.

- Instead of people trying to calm my nerves, it seemed I was the one calming people's nerves, breaking up a fight between the flower girl and ringbearer right before they headed down the isle.

- The sound system at the reception hall kept cutting in and out, so our bestman dutifully went and helped with trying to fix things. Well, apparently the reception hall also has Bingo nights, so to entertain the crowd while the technical difficulties were fixed, our bestman kept ringing the Bingo siren to keep everyone entertained and laughing.

- Mr. Cinder's brother and our bestman created a new version of the polka...it was catchy and soon the wedding party was out there doing it to...I don't know that those who knew how to truly polka like our version, but it was fun.


I could go on and on, as it was a blast. We wanted that day to fun and memorable, but also realized that it was just the beginning of many days and precious memories with each other. So much has happened in the past 10 years, good and hard...here's just a small glimpse:

- Three amazing blessings created by God...intertwined with bits and pieces of each of us, yet still very much their own person and now growing into young men and woman of God.

- Restructuring and layoff

- 3 church amazing church families and the friendships which come from that

- 1 town and 2 cities which we called home
- 5 houses we've called home, plus 2 other homes which allowed us to stay as we transitioned and found homes in cities during our moves.

- So many poignant experiences which have strengthened us as individuals and also as a couple.

- Stepping out in faith so many times and knowing that God would provide for our family in the exact way He knew we needed...this current mission of faith being embarked on.


Life with you is so amazing. It's been an adventure, at times a learning experience...trial and error, but the truest blessing and one which leaves me speechless. It's funny how when you walk down that isle, 10, 25, 50 years...they seem so far away. Time with you has flown by so fast...it's like we blinked our eyes and WOW...we're now here! When I am weak, you are strong and when you're weak, I'm strong. We truly do complete each other and I couldn't imagine life any other way.

I can't wait for the next decade of life together and each one after that. I've always lived life wanting to dream big and reach for the impossible, because all things are possible with Him. God-willing, 60 years from now, we'll be sitting together, rocking in rocking chairs, celebrating 70 years of marriage, looking back at how God has so richly blessed us and our family and know that we have left our family the strong Godly heritage we always wanted to.

Happy Anniversary sweetie...I love you and I'm truly yours forever and always...hand in hand we'll walk this life together...amazing and breath-taking is what life with you is, each and everyday that's past and every one that's yet to come!

Monday, July 03, 2006

Sri Lanka Mission

I'm taking a couple of minutes to get this post up during my travels today. Thanks to everyone for your comments and prayers in the last couple of weeks. Things are beginning to feel a little more positive...I'm beginning to carve time out for quiet reflection, prayer, spiritual growth and preparation for a couple of major projects which I'm a part of in the next couple of months.

I hope y'all have been enjoying a very good holiday weekend...we actually treated ours as a regular weekend and came back a day early to spend some time together as a family unit, instead of as a huge group of extended family too. But we enjoyed a great time with our extended family...I am truly humbled at how God has been working in my extended family...it's truly unbelievable and a true testament to His love and the power of the Holy Spirit!

I need to thank Jollybeggar who spent time creating an internet-friendly version of our team letter for our missions trip. I know I posted a tidbit the other day, but this is the whole meal deal on what we'll be doing. If you are interested in seeing some pictures of where we'll be going, Jollybeggar was blessed to be able to take this trip last year as well and he has a great blog of his journals and pictures from the trip at www.acts1v8.blogspot.com.

We'll talk to y'all real soon...may God bless you with His richest blessings, love, peace and grace during these summer months!


Cinder



June 5, 2006

Hello friends

It is time to share with you how God has been moving within our church's increasingly globally missional heart. In the last year, God has called our church into an exciting partnership with the Free Methodist movement in Sri Lanka. Global ministries experts have pointed out that missions work does not consist only of evangelism, famine/disaster relief or medical aid. For example, in countries that already have 3% or more of their population evangelized, there is sufficient workforce to reach their countrymen with the gospel. What these countries need from a missional partnership is not evangelists but friends who will walk alongside of them, resourcing them as they seek to further reach their own people for Jesus. The population of Sri Lanka is 3.7% evangelical.

The relationship between our local church and the Free Methodist Church in Sri Lanka began with a "Scout" mission that Pastor Jolly was called to participate in back in August 2005. His role was essentially to participate in the blazing of a trail towards the adventures that God is setting up for Canadian Free Methodists from local churches to become involved in Sri Lanka and the world. The partnership continued with a "“Diplomatic"” mission that Pastor Amigo was called to participate in this past February 2006. On this trip, he built relationships with many of the Sri Lankan pastors, visiting and speaking at many of their churches, as well as bringing moneys raised by our Discoveryland children towards the facility needs of a Sinhala congregation in Colombo. Now this local church's missional odyssey continues with the sending of a four-person team consisting of Pastor Jolly and three others (Cinder and her husband being two of the three) to Sri Lanka in August 2006.

This adventure is especially exciting because it is involving not only pastors but laity...everyday people responding to God's call to actively apply the instruction of Jesus found in Acts 1.8. After all, we all know that there are no 'class distinctions' in God's family...everyone in every station of life is called by Jesus to be his witnesses. The excitement grows further because of the measure of faith required for a local church to send an entire team anywhere to do anything. In truth, when a church sends anyone out, it is as though the whole church is going. However, sending a team involves greater challenges and greater opportunities for the faith of the local church to grow in the process.

Pastor Jolly will be providing teaching and leadership at the Young Adults'’ Camp in early August, and will be leaving on August 4, 2006 ahead of the rest of the team. They will be joined by the Cinders (leaving August 9, 2006) who will be providing children's programming for the Pastors' Family Camp that is to be held the week following. Pastor Jolly and intern will be involved in teaching and leading at this event as well. In addition to these official duties, our team members will also be 'on call'’ to, as Dan Sheffield, Global Ministries coordinator for the Free Methodist Church in Canada has put it, "preach, pray or die (with hopefully a couple minutes notice!)" Although Dan was joking about the last one, the team covets your prayers, as Sri Lanka is spiritually diverse (its population consisting of Hindu, Buddhist, and Muslim resistance to the gospel) and in the throes of civil war.

There are numerous ways that you can participate in this adventure- the first has already been mentioned: fervent prayer. As we seek to glorify God in all things, he often requires us to serve out of our weakness, or at least out of our comfort zones! Please pray for health, peace, and spiritual protection for the members of our team, even in the weeks leading up to the trip of August 4-23, 2006.

The second way to join in is to help with the costs. The cost of this trip for our team will be approximately $10,000 for airfare and other transportation costs plus approximately $1800 for living expenses (about $35/day/person) In addition to this, there is the need for materials for the childrenĂ‚’s programming. We know that God is faithful and He will provide what is needed for us to go. The team members are personally raising funds, but would like to ask you for help in this area. Any financial aid, great or small, that you can provide for this trip will be gratefully accepted because it all adds up. Our church is authorideductiblevide tax-deductable receipts for any financial gift.

Thank you for taking time to prayerfully consider how to take part in this adventure that will take us all to the ends of the earth to be witnesses for Jesus there.

Shalom

the team

*note: if you would like to somehow partner with our team, please email either
cinder at cindertales@hotmail.com or
jollybeggar at jollybegger64@hotmail.com