Thursday, January 24, 2008


Not By Might
(by Robin Mark)

No not by might, nor ev - en power,
But by your spir - it O Lord.

Heal - er of hearts, Bind - er of wounds,
Lives that are lost, re - store

Flow through this land, Till eve - ry man
Prai - ses Your name once more.

I sang this song with my worship team a couple of weeks ago. It's been in my mind ever since. Such a strong portrayal of who He is and how much He truly loves us. His deepest desire is for every person to praise His name and know Him deeply. To be in communion with Him and know Him as their healer, restorer, comforter, loving father.

I fail so often, but at the end of day He's there to pick me up. Always by my side, allowing me to live this life with free will, but always willing to grant His mercy.

I'm overwhelmed by this tonight...truly overwhelmed. It's a blessing beyond words or that deserves continuous thanksgiving.

Monday, January 14, 2008

The Time or The Hour

As I sit here typing, my mind's a lot of kilometers away in my home town. My friend and his family and their friends are preparing to say goodbye to their daughter, sister, aunt, friend and everything else she was. See I knew his sister worked with her. We had just recently found each other on Facebook...this online avenue which has become a huge way of reconnection for me with people from the past. A week ago today, she came home, said hello to her family and died.

This event rocked me. Drove home the point of concentrating on what's important, not living with regret or withholding things until tomorrow, because you never know what lies ahead in the future. So as I sit and type, this family is heavy on my heart.

I began the day out reading Chapter 39: Balancing Your Life and Chapter 40: Living With Purpose out of the Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren. There have been a lot of changes already made in my life and our house, in order to try and achieve a better sense of balance and time together. I believe there will always continue to be things that need tweaked and changed, but the important thing is being aware of the fact that will probably have to happen.

I've been thinking a lot about many things read this morning. This passage was one of many which has been at the forefront..."How do you know when God is at the centre of your life? When God's at the centre, you worship. When he's not, you worry. Worry is the warning light that God has been shoved to the sideline. The moment you put him back at the centre, you will have peace again." I shared with friends earlier this week that despite the illness which has been plaguing our family and the busyness of work and life, I'm very much at peace and that's really all that matters.

This week was the first week absent of my previous leadership responsibility and I simply stayed home with my family and it was truly awesome to just be. "If you are a parent, part of your mission is to raise your children to know Christ, to help them understand his purposes for their lives, and to send them out on their mission in the world." I am so thankful for the grace that is offered to me through His amazing love and through the love and devotion of my family. I lost sight of my mission for a bit, but am working to balance things back where they need to be.

For the fact that this life is a continual work in progress...I am very thankful. We learn from the experiences of the past and they build into us, to mold changed thinking towards the future. But at the end of day, it simply matters that you loved and embraced the people He's brought into your life. It simply matters that you tried your best to shine for Him in all circumstances, no matter what they were. We don't know how long our time is here. There's not time to take a second of it for granted.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

A New Day...A New Year

"Listen to your heart, it is speaking God's message to you. A healthy, relaxed, less involved Cinder is more productive then a burnt out Cinder. If you are doing God's work then you don't have to feel guilty when you say you can not do everything that is being asked of you...people burden you with to much, not God! Feel the freedom God is giving you."

I know I haven't been blogging nearly as much as I was this time last year. There's lots of reasons for that one. Life is busier and when I do have down time, I sometimes just want to be with my family, listen to music, be quiet, etc. I haven't had the creative juices flowing either, which makes it difficult for me to sit down and write, because I don't like to force writing. There's no real purpose in that for me. I also have been introduced to the world of Facebook and have been spending time there, as I am communicating and reconnecting with a wide variety of people...old friends from school and youth group, other cities/churches we've lived in and been at, some blogging friends and my current friends and family as well.

Hence where this post is going. One of my good friends sent me a very special New Year's eve gift. This message above came to me in a "hatching egg" egg which eventually hatches out a gift for you (a reindeer was really cute)! It was such a powerful message to receive on the eve of a new year. My friend was in leadership with me and knew that I was waiting on God and trying hard to listen for His guidance regarding this leadership. It's also really hard at this time of year to listen for His guidance and word...things seem to be so hectic and loud...we had 13 people at our house this year, which was a blessing to be able to have everyone here for Christmas, but it's also really hard to find a quiet moment to reflect and listen.

Have you ever had a moment where you thought you had heard what God was saying? And you set your eyes on that and grew the resolve to continue on towards this? See, this is what had happened with me. I felt heavily prompted by God that I would be stepping out of leadership of the teen girls group I was co-leading, but I thought I was supposed to finish out the year and step down in June. It made sense and felt right...I discussed it with Mr. Cinder and we seemed to agree on it as well. So that was the decision made...or so I thought.

When I received this message from my friend, I began to wonder about the decision, but then pushed the thought aside and set my eyes back on the original decision. Our leadership team met the night of New Year's day, as we needed to have some things in place for this week coming up. God moved heavily through that meeting...opening my eyes, prompting my heart, having me see things in a completely different light. By the end of the night, I found myself saying, "I would be stepping out of leadership immediately." As soon as those words came out of my mouth, I felt this huge weight lifted off my shoulders. At that point, I truly knew the right decision had been made.

I mentioned to someone that a lot of times at New Year's, I find myself ringing the year in, overburdened, tired, beaten down, etc. But this year has been different. Yes, I've still been tired, but there's an element of that which happens anyhow at this time of the year...I also have been battling illness and tiredness comes along with that. But, I'm actually coming into this year anticipating what He will lead and do. I'm coming into this year resting in His presence and His love...feels like I'm in the palm of His hand.

I have to say today that I'm so very thankful for the people He has placed around me, to do life together and walk alongside each other...and yes, that includes each of you! I'm thankful for the fact people will say it how it is...speak the truth in love...and at the end of the day, you're still good. I'm thankful for the people He's placed around me, who will listen and offer advice only when necessary. At other times, they don't offer advice, but simply pray and allow me to listen for God and figure things out in my own timing.

Every time you cross my mind, I break out in exclamations of thanks to God. Each exclamation is a trigger to prayer. I find myself praying for you with a glad heart.
~ Philippians 1.3-4

Teach me to do your will, for you are my God; may your good Spirit lead me on level ground.
~Psalm 143:10