Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Girls Getaway

In January, the Female Student Leaders from our Navigators ministry headed out for a 4 hour drive towards King's Fold Retreat Center for a weekend of meeting with the Lord and fellowship together.

There were 9 of us in total-everyone was able to make it, the 1st of many God-things :) We had all come to realize that many (if not all) of us have been dealing with really big and difficult things in our lives, and, for the most part had been keeping to ourselves about it...

What is it about humans that we think we need to struggle along, alone and independently striving to solve things that only the Lord's Hands are big enough to handle?? Well, as a group of friends we decided to take up the challenge of being real with each other, about the Lies that Satan has had us chained too, and come together to speak the Truth of Jesus to one another.

I had the privilege of leading the girls through some Scripture, Music, and Discussion that the Lord had laid on my heart for the weekend. You, see, the Lord has been doing His own work in me for the past 6-8 month in the areas of Freedom, Identity in Christ, Forgiveness, and growing me in Love for our Savior. These are some of the areas that He wanted us, collectively to confront in this weekend together. Just as promised, the Lord greatly made is Presence known and moved among us. I thoroughly enjoyed the weekend, but not in the "fun retreat" sorta way, but in the opportunity to watch God work in the minds and hearts of these girls that I love. There were tears, of course...we are a group of girls after all, great times of prayer, and a real sense of Christ-like, agape, love for each other.

Now, needless to say, our enemy (Satan) was less than thrilled that he was 'loosing ground' in our lives, and on more than one occasion tried to desperately to intervene that weekend. Actually, I need to ask for your prayers even now, almost a month after the fact, as he is still fighting... We have gotten together as a group since the retreat to see how things have been going, how our times with Lord have been, and if we have been having victory with Jesus over some of the specific things that He pointed out to us that weekend. I firmly believe that God will win the WAR in the end, but there are battles that Satan has had victory in, in all of our lives. We need your prayers (in whatever way they are theologically effective--my personal disclaimer as I have not yet come to a live-able conclusion until I can ask Him in person :) We have all been battling discouragement and apathy in our relationships with the Lord. As you may be able to relate, growth is a good thing conceptually, but very emotionally exhausting to face head on, and God, being rich in love and patience, will not force us to change... He wants our willingness and submission - on this we need prayer.

I would like to share a quote with you, from Philip Yancy's most recent book, "Prayer: does it make any difference?" (p.42&44) I found it very powerful and convicting... perhaps the Lord may use it in your life too...

"It occurred to me one day that though I often worry about whether or not I sense the presence of God, I give little thought to whether or not God senses the presence of me. When I come to God in prayer, do I bare the deepest, most hidden parts of myself? Only when I do so will I discover myself as I truly am, for nothing short of God's light can reveal that. I feel stripped before that light seeing a person far different from the image I cultivate for myself and everyone around me.
God alone knows the selfish motives behind my every act, the vipers' tangle of lust and ambition, the unhealed wounds that paradoxically drive me to appear whole. Prayer invites me to bring my whole life into God's presence for cleansing and restoration. Self-exposure is never easy, but when I dot it I learn that underneath the layers of grime lies a damaged work of art that God longs to repair... I realize that my image of God, more than anything else, determines my degree of honesty in prayer. Do I trust God with my naked self? Foolishly, I hide myself in fear that God will be displeased, though in fact the hiding my be what displeases God most. From my side, the wall seems like self-protection; from God's side it looks like lack of trust. In either case, the wall will keep us apart until I acknowledge my need and God's surpassing desire
to meet it."

"Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is Freedom. And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord's glory, are being transformed into His likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit."
2 Corinthians 3:17-18

Friday, February 16, 2007

The Open Gate

Our Church, for as long as I can remember, has met in Fall River's Jr. High School Gym, and now, after all these years, we have a ministry center! It is one of those "modular home" types (I still don't really get how it works), but it comes in pieces! It's a beautiful building and a wonderful opportunity to have people in the community come and be apart of the programs and get to know our church community... I'm so excited for the church family and the opportunities the Lord has in store! (Jay this post is mostly for you... wanted you to see the new place, and I threw in explanations for everyone else that might see it)This is Judy, our secretary :) She is lots of fun and her desk is right inside the front door. She is the best person to welcome people! Every time I came into the Open Gate while I was at home, Judy had at least 2 people talking at her desk and laughing...
This is a room set up for Bible studies and stuff, really comfy couches, a piano, soon to be a fireplace, and a TV. It's a beautiful room. Oh, and this is John Bryant ("cousin") playing his guitar :D
This is the Mom's And Tot's room. A few days every week, Janice Ching and a few other women run this program with mom's in the community.
This is the Youth Room... nice couches, bean bag chairs, Foozball, games... :D This room is upstairs along with the kitchen, Jer's Office, and a big open room (the one we had the church potluck in after the New Year's skate). That window looks out across the street to the lake... I sat in that window and read my Bible for a long time one after noon, it was great!
And this is Jeremy's Office (Youth Pastor)! He is holding a birthday gift from Sarah (his wife). His office joins by a glass door to the youth lounge, and he's got bean bag chairs in his office too... for all those troubled youth coming in to seek his council :) ...much like I did while I was home :) I think he's pretty excited about his own space, then again the whole church, and especially the elders all look like "kids in a candy store" when they enter this building! Come to think of it, I didn't get a picture of the outside! Good heavens! Well, it's red with white trim... how is that for a mental picture...it's the best I can come up with for now :) So, there you have it... this is our Open Gate Ministry Center :)

Sunday, February 04, 2007


What does God ultimately seek...above all else?? I know what I think, but I want to know what you think... Above all else, what does He want?

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Fun, Food, & Friends :)

I love being home... have I said that lately?? I LOVE being HOME :D It was so good for my heart to be with friends that I've missed for so long...

One night a few of us went out for Ethiopian food in Halifax. It just so happened that that night there were torrential rains, down pour, deluge... undo waters!!! (that's for you Jay ;) We were in the middle of eating and some one barged in the restaurant doors proclaiming that we were the only ones with power on the whole street!--the whole street was black, except us in our little Ethiopian Restaurant. I have to say, I was really impressed with these guys, cause they ate a lot of the food (this little place was no Langano Skies like the one in Edmonton...I have to say... I wouldn't really go back :S). They even ate the ingera that was made out of 100% teff... this is quite a feat-I struggle and I've been eating it for 2 1/2 years! Well, good food or not, we had fun running through the rain to get back to our cars! :D

Another day I went to Peggy's Cove with Julia :) Now, Peggy's is usually one of my first stops when I get home, but this Christmas was so busy that it took me a almost 3 weeks before I finally got there! It's amazing how cold Peggy's Cove is in the winter... even when it's sunny! Jules and I were SO cold... my feet started to go numb after we'd sat and talked for a bit... so we headed inside for some yummy seafood chowder and tea :D

It's amazing how even just the drive to this place energizes my soul, makes me breath deeply and, and makes my heart happy.

The exact same thing can be said of Malagash however...

Another day, Jenn and I headed off in the van, full of music and lots to talk about, for the 2 hour drive towards camp :) We stopped in Tatamagouche - the town near by that we at camp lovingly refer to as "Tatty"- for lunch at my favorite place for fish and chips... ummm.

At camp we went for a nice walk on the beach, down to the Jordan river, which was really high and fast! When trying to cross the "Pond Recreation Area", and show Jenn how easy it would be to jump over, I totally got stuck in, like, quicksand! It was so funny, I almost peed my pants, and Jenn just stood on the bank doubled over laughing at me trying to get un-stuck!

Anyway, it was a nice afternoon, just talking, spending time with the Lord, reminiscing about camp times, walking in the sand...

There were even dear in the graveyard... two in fact! Oh--and for you westerners...THIS is was sea glass looks like :) ...

Ahhh, I love this place. There truly are places on this earth that I feel the Lord gives more of His Presence too than others... Malagash is one of them.

I have been so blessed by the people the Lord has brought into my life. I love my friends. I love spending time them. I love making memories... thanks you guys... I love you :D

Birthday Party for 5 :)

January is a big Birthday month in our family! Dad's is January the 12th, Auntie Paula the 14th, Steph Esson (Fox) on the 19th, Pappy the 21st, and mine the 24th... Mom's comes soon after that on February 2nd!! This year, we decided to celebrate all of the birthdays together! So, Nanny & Pappy, A. Paula & U. Ron & Luke, all come over to NS for the big bash :) It was a really nice weekend, bonding with the cuz, shopping with the women (who practically bought out Danier Leather with all the deals! :P) and making the inaugural trip to Cost-co. They bought Pappy a really nice leather coat, but just couldn't convince him to keep it, no matter how good it looked on him! :) We also ate our family's (the Fox's) traditional Birthday meal for Dad and I... it's called "Malaysian Dinner"... my Grammie got it from some missionary friend decades ago and it's been a family favorite ever since I can remember! My mother is soooo good to me, she even made me icecream cake! I haven' t been home for a birthday in 6 years, this party was pretty special... to share it with the people I love :D