He gave Himself for me

"This is the kind of life you've been invited into, the kind of life Christ lived. He suffered everything that came his way so you would know that it could be done, and also know how to do it, step-by-step.
   He never did one thing wrong,
   Not once said anything amiss.
They called him every name in the book and he said nothing back. He suffered in silence, content to let God set things right. He used his servant body to carry our sins to the Cross so we could be rid of sin, free to live the right way. His wounds became your healing. You were lost sheep with no idea who you were or where you were going. Now you're named and kept for good by the Shepherd of your souls." 
1 Peter 2:21-25

I am called. You are called, to live a life as he did.

What does that really mean? How do I truly take up my cross daily? When people look upon my face do they see my Saviour?

Truth is I don't look a thing like Jesus. I fail every day. I forget that I am called to take up my cross daily. Instead I lay my cross down and run among my own selfish ways. I forsake the one who gave His everything for my freedom. I choose my own path. I dance with my pride, and laugh with my greed. I chose enjoyment over sacrifice. I'm not the only one living this way. I see it all around me. This world is broken. We choose ourselves over ever other person.

I don't want to sin. I try my hardest to live as He did, the problem is without His grace I am nowhere.

Grace: the freely given, unmerited favour and love of God

I am sitting in the garbage can, surrounded by my ugly heart. I am a sinful being. I put Jesus on a cross, for my selfish life, my dirt and filth, my wretchedness, my brokenness. He hung on a cross for this pathetic life I live. For me. Yet Jesus not once chose Himself. He never thought about His own well being. He willingly gave His life. He gave everything for you and me.

How do I take up my cross and follow Him? How do I accept the sufferings I will face and give thanks?
In the traditional Passover supper the head of the household, before they began their meal would ceremoniously wash his hands to show the family that he was clean. Jesus at His final Passover supper with His disciples did not partake in this tradition. Instead,

Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him. 
John 13:3-5
Jesus understood that all the power in earth and in heaven had been given to Him, so He lowered Himself and washed the disciples' feet. What a powerful depiction of His love. Around the table stood a disciple who would hand our Saviour over to his killers, another who would deny knowing our King. Yet still, he knelt down and washed their feet.

So that is who I want to be. I want to kneel down before those who betray me, those who mock me, those who hurt me and those I love and wash their feet. I want to turn the other cheek as they beat me, I want to bless those who persecute me. I want to take up my cross and follow Him. I want to cling to His grace when I'm in those hard places because I am nothing without Him. And clinging to His grace, means I must cling to His cross. And I will fall, but the beauty of grace is that He keeps taking me back, time and time again. So when I stumble, I will once again pick up my cross and try to walk a little further behind my Saviour before stumbling again.

The ultimate sacrifice, for this imperfect life. What love!

How deep the Father's love for us,
How vast beyond all measure
That He should give His only Son
To make a wretch His treasure

How great the pain of searing loss,

The Father turns His face away
As wounds which mar the chosen One,
Bring many sons to glory

Behold the Man upon a cross,

My sin upon His shoulders
Ashamed I hear my mocking voice,
Call out among the scoffers

It was my sin that held Him there

Until it was accomplished
His dying breath has brought me life
I know that it is finished

I will not boast in anything

No gifts, no power, no wisdom
But I will boast in Jesus Christ
His death and resurrection

Why should I gain from His reward?

I cannot give an answer
But this I know with all my heart
His wounds have paid my ransom


My Democratic Right

There is nothing that annoys me more than Canadian politics.

Every time an election rolls around I'm threatened not to vote at all. In fact, there is no point. I live in a riding that is all locked up. Conservative it is, not that I might not vote that way anyways, but it is still frustrating to know that whichever way I vote it will not make a difference.

Elections are the same every time. The last two minority government have been able to do very little, our system is made for a majority government otherwise not much seems to happen. We all smear the current government and the other parties. Yes, the conservatives are guilty of smear campaigns but the "anti-conservatives" (we'll call them) smear the current government just as much.

For me my decision on who to vote for is often who has done the least things I don't like. That is sad, but truly our government system is so flawed at times. Both sides have their fair share of issues, so which one has less?

I hate arguments about whose side is better. I've made my decisions and they are informed even if they are different that yours. Just because I choose to vote for someone different than you does not make me ignorant, or stupid. And no, I'm not just choosing who to vote for based on my Christianity. Does that come into play when I choose who to vote for? Why would it not, it is the basis of how I live my life. But guess what, so does your worldview. You might not acknowledge it as your religion but every ones worldview greatly influences who they vote for. We all have different priorities and different belief. Why do we have to argue and belittle the other side?

Last night my husband kindly reminded me of this thing called democracy that I take for granted.

People my age all of the world have to fight for this right. Some of them sacrifice their lives so that future generations may be able to vote. We've seen this uprising happening in Egypt and Libya. Many of their governments are powered by awful dictators, people who do things that never even compare to the "scandals" of our government.

Would I be willing to give my life to vote?

So in two weeks I will head to the polls. I don't know who I will vote for yet. But I will go thanking the Father for the gift of this country I live in. A country where I'm allowed to freely go to church, where I can share my faith in the workplace, where I have access to jobs, and clean water, and housing. And I will go prayerfully asking for freedom for those under awful governments and also prayerfully asking the Fathers will to be done in this election. I will also go prayerfully anticipating His Perfect Government that will reign eternally!

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end.
He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever.
The zeal of the LORD Almighty will accomplish this.
Isaiah 9:6-7


Diamond Dog - In The Church

This is the greatest song I have ever heard!


Loving Well

This weekend was the women's retreat, the one our great Father forced me to go to.

And now I see why. What a powerful time!

I had an amazing time bonding with some other ladies who serve on the leadership time at youth with me. It was so great to get to know them on a deeper level and learn about their lives and journeys.

I will admit I discovered this weekend that I am getting old. Saturday night our conversation continued until 5 am, at which point we were left with three hours to sleep. I guess if I was really old I would not have made it until 5 am but I sure felt every hour past 10 pm today.  It was a long day at work today and I plan on sleeping in very late tomorrow to make up for the severe lack of sleep.

I also loved getting to know some of the older women in my church.  I loved being reminded that everyone has a story, a way that God has changed them and worked miraculously in their life. After every meal a women shared a “snapshot” of God’s love in their life. It is so powerful to share your story with others. Please if God is calling you to open up I encourage you to do so, God can use our plain old lives to work powerfully in others.

I also got to connect with one of my most favourite adoptive mothers. We share the same heart and I can hardly wait for her to get her third Ethiopian treasure home. It is so nice to have someone to talk to who has been through the adoptive process in Manitoba and who will listen to me whine about wanting my beautiful children now, and can whine back.

Our Beth Moore study this weekend was called “Loving Well.” I’ll admit when the video first came on Beth was wearing a bedazzled matching jean jacket and pants. “What have I gotten myself into,” I thought. But WOW Beth is a woman anointed who can communicate God’s Word extremely effectively. And she is incredibly hilarious! Our abs all hurt a little after the sessions from laughing so hard.

Beth spoke on 1 John 4:7-12

"Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.
This is how we know that we live in him and he in us: He has given us of his Spirit. And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in them and they in God. And so we know and rely on the love God has for us.
   God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus. There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.
 We love because he first loved us. Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen. And he has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister."

What a powerful section of scripture. And it is so relevant into the lives of every Christian.

Some key points.

1. Our love should always be growing

2. God's love does not change, it is not an emotion it is part of his character so it is not influenced by our actions.

3. Anyone who fears is not allowing God's love to complete them.

4. Let's start loving others because we are already loved, not so that we will be loved

5. We must learn to love with God's love

6. God calls us to see hard love as an offering on his alter.

7. Serving the least of these is an opportunity to love without expecting any love in return.

God spoke to me extremely powerfully after our third session. God revealed some deep truths of where my anxiety originated from. You know when you are trying so hard not to cry, but if anyone asks you what is wrong you know the floodgates are going to burst. Well God is whispering to me, "Go ask for prayer" I knew I needed to be prayed for after what God had just revealed. I did not want to ask for prayer. So I did that challenge this again. I told God I would only ask for prayer if a certain person on the prayer team walked about behind me. As I'm walking out I turn around and see her behind me. Crap. I keep walking. "Why didn't you ask?" God whispers. Well she didn't say hi or anything and I wasn't ready to approach the topic. Then as I'm walking back to my bedroom, she is there again and asks me how I'm doing. I choke out a fine and keep walking. "She said hi, "He whispers. Well I figured I would be okay if I just went to the bathroom and cried for a little bit, then I would feel better and wouldn't need to ask for prayer. After crying in the bathroom I still didn't feel peace. So I went to the prayer room and though I could cry and pray there quietly until I felt enough peace to go hang out with my friends. Well I enter the prayer room and there are two amazing women. I figure they are there on their own but no, God had them there waiting for me. They ask me how I was doing and the floodgates burst. See this is the funny thing, as I shared with them about my anxiety and struggle being on anti-depressants they both shared that they had struggled deeply with anxiety and one of them was on anti-depressants. We had a powerful uplifting prayer time and I'm so grateful that God arranged that time together. I felt so incredibly free after. His will is perfect.

The funniest thing about that situation was that God knew I was going to be incredibly stubborn and He knew He was going to have to fight me to get me into that room. He also fought to get me to the retreat in the first place. One of the ladies I was with shared that she was going to take her time coming to the prayer room because no one had come after sessions yet, but for some reason God told her she needed to go now. 

He pursued me in such a deep way. I walked out of the room knowing how great His love truly was for me. His love is so deep. The whole weekend was about filling up on Gods' love so we can love others better and in that moment God had truly filled me with His love.

I had prayed that when I went onto anti-depressants, it would allow me to function enough that God could reveal to me the root of the problem. And that I would be well enough to work through that and find true healing and freedom. This weekend my prayer was answered and now the healing starts. He is a great God!


Kirill's Story

A while ago I face-booked about a beautiful little boy in Russia. His name is Kirill. He has an amazing family who is longing to adopt him but was rejected by the judge as Kirill is not "adaptable to a family" due to his downs syndrome. This family is now appealing the decisions to the Supreme Court of Moscow. This has added about $15 000 worth of costs towards this families adoption that they were not prepared for. Read the rest of the story here.

Several loving blogging families have gotten together and arranged an amazing draw to raise money for the additional funds needed.

Go here to read about the draw along with the amazing prizes!!! Let's surround this family in prayer and financial support. They are fighting against the injustice children with disabilities face all around the world. It will be a beautiful story that these parents will one day tell Kirill how many people prayed and supported his family to bring him home.

Check out this beautiful video of Kirill meeting his mother for the first time.