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Friday, September 30, 2011

The Prayer Journey - day 5

Week 1. We Pray for our Community
Day 5: September 30

Read: Romans 12:6
"We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us.  If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith;"

Today we pray for:
Newmarket Ministerial - is an ecumenical association for fellowship, communication and support for community pastors and church leaders.  They also organize things like community prayer walks and joint church services.

And speaking of gifts... I am continuing to be thankful for those who have the gift of praying - as I know people are praying for me.  I'm grateful for those who have the gift of encouragement - speaking words of affirmation into my life.  I'm blessed by those who have the gift of giving - as the money is still coming in for Uganda.  And I'm praying for the gift of steadiness and wisdom for the doctors as they remove my tonsils in one week's time.

Thursday, September 29, 2011


Sunrise off of the back deck

Sunset just down the road
Week 1: We Pray for our Community
Day 4: September 29

Read: Romans 12:4, 5
"For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others."

Today we pray for:
Inn from the Cold - is a non-profit organization manned by trained volunteers, providing emergency food, clothing and shelter to the homeless. 

There are homeless and needy people all over the world.  We must learn to care for all people..

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Pics and Prayer

Freedom from the braids after three weeks.
The Marine Railway in Port Severn.
The Railway takes boats from one lake to another over land.

Celebrating the fall colours.
Rain didn't stop a car ride north to check out the fall colours.  Fall is such a beautiful season, but summer will forever be my favourite.  Port Severn is a gorgeous cottage town, in the middle of the Georgian Bay lake and river system.  Dad and I went to explore a marine railway while Mom attended a meeting in a nearby community centre.  The engineering on the railway is incredible... the boats don't tip at all coming out of the water and over land... two tracks and an incredible pully system.

Week 1. We Pray for our Community
Day 3: September 28

Read: Romans 12:3

"For by grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you."

Today we pray for:
Newmarket Food Bank - food banks every where are in need of food, as they help feed needy families in our local neighbourhoods.  It's always shocking the number of people who actually come to the food bank for supplies. 

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Day 2 - 40 Days of Prayer

Week 1 - We Pray for our Community
Day 2: September 27

Read: Romans 12:2
"Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.  Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is - his good, pleasing, and perfect will."

Today we pray for:

1.  NeighbourLink - is a cross-denominational, charitable organization supported by local churches. Through NeighbourLink these local churches develop a centralized database and telephone resource center to assess peoples' needs, referring them to church volunteers and social service providers.
NeighbourLink is meeting real needs in the lives of real people, such as arranging transportation for doctors' appointment, assisting elderly or disabled with grocery shopping, friendly visiting, or assisting needy families with access to a food local bank.

In 2006-2008 I volunteered for this wonderful agency and for a year I was the Network Coordinator.  It is such a valuable resource in the community and it opened my eyes to the world all around me in suburbia.

2. I am also asking that you pray for a community of churches across Ontario, as their deacons and councils are making decisions as to whether or not to support me on the mission field.  I have been communicating with a lot of churches and am praying that the requests become a reality.  Your prayers are greatly appreciated!

Monday, September 26, 2011

40 Days of Prayer

My church is going through 40 days of prayer, and I want to spend the next 40 days inviting you on this journey with us.  I am going to be quoting the little booklet that was handed out at our church.  So let the journey begin:

Dear Friends,
We are inviting you to pray with us for the following 40 days.  We believe that prayer is the most important part of thanksgiving.  The Heidelberg Catechism asks the question why we should pray in Question 16, the answer is clear:

A: "Because prayer is the most important part of the thankfulness God requires of us"

The answer goes further"

"And also because God gives his grace and Holy Spirit only to those who pray continually and groan inwardly, asking God for these gifts and thanking him for them."

Let us use these 40 days to diligently pray for God's leading during this time of discernment.  We all want the best for Bethel because we all love and care for this church.  Many of you has a lifetime invested in Bethel.  Pray with us for Bethel's future.
But it is important that we pray with the right attitude and purpose:

The core purpose of our journey of discovery and this 40 days of prayer is for each of us to get into a closer walk with God; by dealing with our own brokenness through confessing our sinful nature.  Prayer is to bend the knee and sincerely submit to the Lordship of Jesus Christ in our lives.  It is a time to allow the Holy Spirit to cleanse our lives of what grieves Him and to let the light of God shine in every area of our lives.

These 40 days are most valuable for us as a congregation and every individual to truly deepen our walk with God.

Week 1: We Pray for our Community
Day 1: Monday, September 26

Read Romans 12:1
A Living Sacrifice
"Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God - this is your true and proper worship.

Today we pray for:
Bethel's Share and Care Ministry.  We have a clothing centre in our church - where people can come for free to pick up clothing for the various seasons.  All clothing is donated to the church! 

Green Mailboxes

It was a blessing to be at Bethel CRC on Sunday morning.  We are celebrating 56 years of existance and we had an awesome service of worship and digging into God's Word.  After the service we had a barbeque and chatted with not only fellow church members, but also with guests.  Christian Reformed Home Missions sent us a wonderful lady, Hilda, who is the Ministry Developer for Evangelism and Prayer - to lead us in a time of prayer walking in the community around Bethel and Newmarket.  (Hilda happens to be a person from my past that I used to babysit for, so it was cool to see her again.)

With burgers and hotdogs settling into the depths of our stomachs, a group of us settled into chairs that were dispersed around the fellowship hall.  Hilda led us in a workshop about Prayer Walking - being intentional to pray for people, businesses, sights, and needs around our church and then we were sent out into the community to pray. 

I went out with two friends.  Praying aloud, we walked passed businesses and meandered the sidewalks for a short while.  An unexpected prayer came about when I spotted a set of three older green mailboxes.  More than half of the doors were hanging open, and I felt the Spirit leading me to pray for the shut-ins and the lonely.  Most of the world stays connected through the internet now days, but I know there are still some older generations who would appreciated snail mail, a phonecall, and a visit.  I prayed that God would bring a friend to the shut-ins and open my eyes to the lonely. 

I know that we were stretched as a church yesterday morning, but I'm grateful.  I must admit that my prayer life goes through stages of weak and strong, and it's always good to be reminded of different ways to pray.  We can pray anywhere and for anything - if you are out walking the dog - pray for your neighbours.  Riding the bus - pray for the drivers.  I remember when I used to ride the jeepneys in the Philippines, most Filipinos would make the sign of the cross whenever we passed by a church.  Even if it was a ritual for many of the Filipinos, it often reminded me to pray for the city that I was traveling in. 

Steve Hawthorne says that "Prayer-walking is praying on site with insight."  I hope that your eyes have been opened just a little bit to pray everywhere that you are.  Pray without ceasing.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Never Stop Learning

Today I am trying to learn something new!! This is one of my finished projects and I didn't use the old fashioned scizzors and glue!!
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Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Poetry Readings

Curling up on the cushy couch, I opened my ears to hear the poetry pieces that my friends from the Writer's Nest brought to share.  It has been a long time since I've written poetry, but I found an old journal from college days that had a few hidden treasures.  I'd like to share a few pieces with you.

... written Sunday, November 8, 1998:
It's alright to be a goose.
For then you are a part of a community.
You are never alone.
The leader is strong and breaks the wind.
Others follow behind within the current.
The followers "honk" to encourage the leaders.
How can I HONK?
When one bird gets weak or shot
Two swoop down til one recovers or dies.
Sometimes leaders switch and go to the back.
What can I learn from a goose?

... October 2, 1998
The world in a box,
A preacher once sang to me.
Every person in a box,
Far as the eye could see.
I don't want to be a shape
As all who are the same.
I want to be outstanding
To show my faith no shame.
Red, brown, yellow, black, and white,
Following Jesus is my plight.
I want to be a history maker,
So Lord, please, make me a world shaker!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

A Blessing at Tanglewood

Two weeks ago today, my parents and I decided to spend the afternoon listening to the Boston Symphony.  One of the hottest summer attractions in the Berkshires is a trip to Tanglewood, so I had secretly hoped it would be possible to go to this musical program.
 "The Shed" at Tanglewood hosts over 1200 seats in under a covered roof, but there is also plenty of room on the grass for lawn chairs and picnic blankets.  We didn't buy tickets in advance because we originally thought we would buy the cheapest tickets and sit out on the lawn.  Rain dampened our plans though - we had no idea if tickets were even available or affordable for in the shed. 
Pulling in to the busy parking lot, we spotted many people with umbrellas and lawn chairs.  We were totally unprepared, but started walking towards the ticket booth anyways.  Cars continued to fill the lot behind us, when all of a sudden a lady appeared in front of us.  She quickly asked if we had tickets yet, because a family emergency just came up and she had to go.  She had three tickets and she wanted to give them to us.  "They are probably better seats than the ones you have... I was just going to drop them off at the box office. She said.  Well, we didn't have tickets yet.  She handed me three ticket and I choked when I saw the price.  Sheepishly I asked, "Would you like anything for these tickets?" 
"No, just enjoy the show!"  And off she ran.  Mom and Dad were chatting quickly about how we should run back and at least give her twenty bucks.  I said, "No, that would be insulting, because she just gave us $91 tickets!!"  Wow - three tickets for $91 each. 
Dad's response: "God loves me!!... But we must remember to pray for the family emergency."
 We found ourselves front and centre at the shed.  Just a few rows off from the stage and it was perfect.
 For almost an hour we watched musicians set up their instruments and tune with each other before the show even began.  A completely different culture, and I now have a new appreciation for the orchestra.
 The all Mozart program was phenomenal.  The musicians played with such intensity and passion.  The piano player danced his fingers over the keys and followed the conductor with immense devotion and animation.
Here's the proof... I'm holding one of the ticket blessings.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

The Best of the Berkshires

I had the privilege of going back to the Beautiful Berkshires, and this time I went with my parents.
Dad, Mom, and I at a natural Marble Quarry.
 There is something magical about old covered bridges.
 One day was spent at the famous Fort Ticonderoga in northern New York State.
 African art at The Clark gallery - made out of liquor lids.  Very impressive, yet sad as the story talked about how Europeans brought alcohol to Africa to trade with, addictions happened, slavery began, alcohol went full circle as slaves came to America and were forced to grow that crops that brewed the alcohol... alcohol was shipped to Europe, and Europeans took it back to Africa.
 This is the cute little cottage that we stayed in... perfect for the three of us.  If you ever need a place to stay in the Berkshires... check out this location.
 The cottage is on the property of a family trying to rebuild an old farm.  This used to be one of the largest chicken barns in the State of Massechusetts.  We had a blast touring the farm and getting to the know the family a whole lot better.  I met one of the brothers at the tiny church I attended in June with the Galavanting Gals.
 On Dad's birthday we drove back into New York to explore an Old Stone Fort Museum, but found that we still had a few hours to occupy in the afternoon, so we went to the humorous Secret Caverns.  Deep in the cave there was a 100 ft waterfall... the sound was amazing - in the bowels of the earth.
 Herman Melville was the author of "Moby Dick"... and we were able to tour his homestead.
 The Berkshires is loaded with white steepled churches.
 All week long we could feel the effects of Hurricane Irene in the air... the colours were amazing!
 Back to the top of Mt. Greylock - the highest peak in all of Massechusetts.
 Dad and I climbed up one steep rockface while Mom worried from the ground below.

 Another evening brought us to Monument Mountain - for an incredibly scenic view.
On top of the world!