Sunday, 30 December 2012

Not Alone

Beyond the pain and suffering there is something deeper, there is Truth.
The God of all joy and peace is found in the tears of the afflicted, for He has endured the greatest pain of all,
He bore all creations suffering on the cross.
He is with us in our screams, His louder than our own.
As we suffer, He suffers.

Father, Son and Holy Ghost.
He is not alone, and neither are we.
Together, with God at our side we face the horrors of hell, knowing He has been victorious!

I hear the Father whisper into my soul "Be at peace and know that you are my chosen beloved."

I AM the eye of the storm,
everything whirls and swirls around you,
in the chaos I bring you peace.

I AM your anchor,
cling to me and I will hold you still, giving you rest.
Be still my dear child and know that I AM your God,
forever and ever.
Amen.


Monday, 24 December 2012

Christmas Madness

God became human
the Creator became the creature
the Word became spoken.

The most powerful being in the whole universe and beyond it, became weak in the form of a little baby human.

Why you ask? for love's sake is the only answer I can come up with.

They say love makes you do crazy things, and it appears to be true even with God.

All love. All mercy. All good. All powerful. Praise be your Holy Name, you picked us to love.

Why? I don't know. There is no rhyme or reason to this madness we call Christmas.

the Word became spoken
the Creator became the creature
God became human...

all for the love of you and me.

Merry Christmas


Thursday, 20 December 2012

Hunger Games - Share the Wealth


I have been reading through the Hunger Games trilogy, I am not going to review the books, all I want say in relation to them is that they have caused me to think a lot about the injustices between the “haves” (which I am one of them) and the “have nots.” I am outraged by the abuses and neglect of the Capitol (for those of you have not read the books they are the “haves”), while coming to the realization of my own participation in these very injustices. How many times have I stuffed my face full to the point of pain and then complained that I feel so fat, while there are millions of people around the world starving to death! Really!? It is one thing to enjoy the blessings God has given me, and quite another to be glutinous. It makes me sick, but yet I still do it. I am so accustomed to my indulgent lifestyle, and I use the excuse that it is not nearly as “bad” as other people, that I often do not even recognize it as a twisted and sick as it is. It took a teen drama to remind me and shake me up a little. There is something so disturbing about seeing yourself in the “villain” characters of book, and what is even more disturbing is when we do not recognize our own evil in them.

OK so this is all sort of depressing. I have been praying about this for the past couple days. I asked God how am I to live knowing there are people dying from hunger? What do I do? and I heard “you are blessed to be a blessing.”

This morning I asked Him “What do I live out ‘blessed to be a blessing’.” I started by making a list of how I am blessed: money, family/home, a voice etc. Then I prayed about how I could use those blessings to bless others: give money, open up my home, speak up against injustices etc. The catch phrase I was left with for me was “share the wealth.” I really recommend you trying this; it was a very helpful exercise for me.

Next I just wrote down some words of encouragement I heard the Lord speaking into my heart:
  • Focus on what I place right in front of you.
  • Do what you can do, do not stress about what you cannot do.
  • Take it all one step at a time, trusting in my faithfulness and goodness.
  • You Maria are not called to save the world, I already did that, it is my job. You are called to follow me, by being me in your little corner of time and space, do not let yourself get overwhelmed, that is a tactic of the enemy to cripple and distract you.
  • You can do this, because in your greatest weakness I am at my greatest strength! Together Maria, you and me. Amen.

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

An Explanation


I think my last posting may require an explanation. All I can really say is I am struggling, wrestling really. Because if you have not noticed we live in a broken world, and I feel this very strongly, not just around me, but in myself! Which may be the hardest part, knowing that there is more, better, yet still being dragged down by the bitter darkness that I know Jesus has already conquered…

I am frustrated; the post was me kind of screaming… I am in a stormy place, but God is comforting me, with the constant reminders of his love and nearness, but things are still hard, living in between times is hard, the here but not yet kingdom! In my post I was letting out some of my frustration… I thought maybe someone out there could relate, life is not all sunshine and rainbows, but God is still good, all the time! I believe this, I know he is my hope, but often my knowing of the sunshine gets clouded by my feelings...

I am restless because this world is not a place of peace, I feel the brokenness and my soul cries out in frustration! Come Lord Jesus Come! Jesus does give me rest, but I think I am meant to feel and experience this frustration, I am not satisfied, nor should I be, I think I will never be completely at rest or satisfied till he returns...

I do not think any of this is a bad thing; actually I am convinced that this struggle is part of God’s refining process. This does not change how much it hurts, but it gives me hope and a certain sense of peace that I am the clay in the Potter’s hands; it is all going to be OK, actually better than OK it is going to be amazing… divine… holy! PRAISE THE LORD ON HIGH.

Please don't be too concerned, just keep praying for me.

God bless you all. Amen

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Need


Disclaimer: Life is a b!tch and then you die! Yet, God is good all the time, so I will praise His Holy Name for He alone is worthy. Amen.

I need thee, I NEEEEED…
broken, lost, angry, confused, happy, and at peace. I live in a paradox and call it life?
Whose life is this? NO, it can’t be mine… can it?
Full, abundant, and purpose driven.
Not mine.
Empty, abandoned, and mad with envy.
That is who I am.
NO! This just doesn't measure up. WHAT THE F#CK!
God is near,
He is right here, in my heart and my head.
Than how is it that I…
Oh Father, Son, and Holy Ghost please come and rescue this little lost soul, once again,
over and over again.
Like a bad dream. I live life as a single sigh of grief…
NOT SO! Not forever, there is coming a New Day!
I hear the Father whisper into my heart's ear, “hold on tight dear girl…
I am near, I am coming home, I will take you away, I will renew, revive and release,
all will be well with your soul.
Be not in fear anymore for I am with you Maria, till the end of time… and beyond.
You are my girl and I am your Father.
Be loved, by me forever and ever
Amen.” 

Saturday, 27 October 2012

BAM! POW!


The Lord speaks, what is he saying to you today? He speaks in and through all sorts of things and persons…

Creation - the breath taking sunset and the pouring down rain.

Situation - getting a free coffee on your way to work and falling hitting your head on the edge of the coffee table.

Things - that gorgeous new cocktail dress that you saw in the window and a yummy new recipe you made from scratch.

I think you get the idea – This list is as endless as the stars in the sky.

So I ask you again what God could be saying to you, that you are missing?

Situation - Just over a month ago I was getting off the bus coming home from a lovely encouraging dinner with a couple friends. It was a dark wet night, but I was happy, as I bounced off (quite literately I was bouncing) off the bus and making my way up the street POW! Out of nowhere a lady hit me in the face. I was completely blindsided!  I put my hand up to my injured cheek bone and slowly turned around exclaiming “oooooooouuuccch.” I noticed that she was wearing very little in the way of clothing, as she stumbled away not even caring to look back I decided that if she wanted to she could probably beat me up, so still clutching my cheek I walked home bewildered and a little scared.

I am not telling you this to try and make you feel sorry for me or to think I am hard core.  I am also not trying to make any kind of theological argument about “why bad things happen to (relatively) good people” or anything of the likes. I tell you this because it happened to me, and I am choosing to hear God speak to me in it. So what am I hearing you ask?

Although I do not know this woman, and I cannot say anything about her for sure, I can imagine that she in one form or another has been abused, used and beaten down. I am quite sure she was drunk or high or both and probably feeling pretty good or at the very least numb. And then BAM! I enter, in my bright blue pants, blond hair and large hat, into the dark dreary picture chipper and bouncing! Oh gosh can you imagine? I am sure she took one look at me and thought “what the fuck is she doing in my neighbourhood?” In many ways I probably represent all that has been stolen from her, through the years of misuse and neglect. I do not blame her; I think in a small way I understand why she would have lashed out at me in anger, and ultimately pain.\

I believe through this situation God is teaching me how to love my neighbours. That is a pretty broad statement, so let me break it down for you. I am a loud and vibrant woman, both in volume and presences.  This is how God created me, and I know that this is not a negative thing. That being said I stick out in the DTES like a sore thumb. Not only do my bright pink and fancy hats shout out but also the way I carry myself with confidences and I’ll bet some pride.  As I walk these streets I can only imagine how I am perceived by those around me. I represent wealth and power. I represent the world that has rejected and even worse stomped all over them. I know God is not asking me to erase my personality, but I do think he is asking me to lay down my right (to be flamboyant) for the sake of my neighbour. I hear God asking me to walk these streets in humility and respect, to have a quiet and gentle spirit that welcomes people in, not one that is loud and pushy. I think I have been walking these streets offensively. I am still wearing my pink and hats, but I am trying to tone it down when I am walking the streets of the DTES. With the help of God I am walking with humility, praying as I go, trying to not yell out “I am here! Look at me go! Aren't I fabulous?” I believe that in this way I will walk theses streets in love. 

Jesus you hear us, you see us, you love us, please by the grace of your Holy Spirit give us your eyes and ears, please teach us to walk these street on which you have placed us with joy, love, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, faithfulness, goodness, and self-control. Amen.

Friday, 31 August 2012

OK What Does That Even Mean?

It is by grace that we are saved… so that no one can boast (Ephesians 2:8).

OK what does that even mean? This is a question I have been asking on and off for the past several years, and theologians have been exploring for centuries! So I am think if it so important I think I should go to The One for the answer.

Jesus, grace? What does that really mean? How do we live it out in this fallen and broken world?

The first thought I “heard” was “that it is only in this fallen and broken world that you need grace.” So it could be argued that it is only as we are fallen and broken people that grace makes any sense to us. Can I please get all the fallen and broken people to raise their hands? (Mine is the first to go up!) Oh Jesus knows that no matter how hard I try I keep falling; I am often like a broken record, repeating my sins over and over again! AH!

This brings another thought to my heart, “When you are weak I AM strong” (2 Corinthians 12:9, 10). So it could be argued that it is only when I am weak in my falling and brokenness that Jesus displays Himself strong in me. So I may just need to be weak, in order to have it be true that He is working in me giving me the desire and power to do what pleases the Father (Philippians 2:13).

Maybe if I am not weak, and I try and be perfect on my own He does not show up in my weakness and than I do not have the desire or the power to do what pleases the Father?

Maybe?

I don’t think I have “answered” my first question, but I do hope I have gone deeper into the Truth, the Way and the Life (John 14:6), and this has not have been by anything I have done, but all from by grace, so that I can not boast. Amen.

Praises be to the LORD God Almighty for He alone is worthy of all I say, think, and breath. Amen

Friday, 17 August 2012

The End is Here

This is my last War College blog: http://www.thewarcollege.com/?p=2553

I plan on bloging here again, as soon as I get settled into the school year :)

Stay posted!

Thursday, 3 May 2012

Why Not?

My Mom is smart: http://www.thewarcollege.com/?p=2418

Self Prep


I have been working on Self Prep for my summer position with YouthWorks. Below is what I journal (organized a little, so that it makes sense, I hope):

What is your prayer for the summer?

Me: "Jesus what do you want to do with me this summer?"

JC: “I want to change you Maria.”

Me: “Well that is quite obvious, you always want to change me Jesus, that is the business you are in, reconciling and transforming. How specifically do you want to change me this summer Jesus?”

JC: “I want take all the wrong thinking you have about yourself and about me and replace it with my living Truth, that will live and breathe in and through you, I want to make you holy, I want to make you into the living example, the prophet that I have been intending you to be, but it will not be like you think Maria. It is thought the day in and the day out, the tough and mundane, being faithful in the littler things so that I can give you the bigger things, this summer is just the start, be faithful in this summer and I will move you further into your destiny, but don’t worry Maria I am with you, I will never leave and Holy Spirit is working in you giving you the desire and the power to all this! It is going to be a great summer. Stay in prayer, stay focused on ME, not yourself, not your staff, not the task at hand, but place me first, and all else will be given to you Maria. Make me the filter through which you see people and work.”

Amen.

Why are you doing a YouthWorks summer?

Because I have a passion for the church, specifically for the “sleepy” church, the comfortable and complacent church, I want to call the church out of their pews and into the streets to love on “the lest of theses.” I was a youth of the church, and God woke me up through something similar to YW, and I love seeing youth “get it,” it is so exciting to see them catch the fire of God’s love for the broken, hurting people that the rest of the world passes by. There are people that need to be loved right here, you don’t have to go to Mexico or Africa to love people; you can love them right where you are. I am passionate about showing young people that their lives are a mission field, and that it is about living the Gospel right where they are, in their schools, churches, on their streets and in their homes.

At the end of the summer on YW staff, what goals are you hoping to have accomplished? In what areas would you like to grow this summer?

I hope to have grown in my leadership abilities and to have come to know who I am in Christ in a deeper way. I want to learn how to trust in God, trust I am who He says I am, and to trust that that He is alive in me, working all things out. I want to learn how to abide in Jesus, in and through it all, everyday life, no separation between sacred and secular. I want to be His and Him mine. I want to be deeper in love with Jesus. I want to be set ablaze for Him. I want to have no other concerns beside Him and His Good News. I want to be completely sold out for my King, Saviour, Lord and Father. I want to be holy as He is. Amen.

Thursday, 26 April 2012

A Fresh Revelation

The Miraculous: http://www.thewarcollege.com/?p=2388

Update


I have been thinking that I owe you all an update. I apologize for the lack of communication; you know how living life can get in the way! Haha

OK first things first, a part of The War College is to do a 2 month summer placement. I asked if I could have a paid placement (for reasons that I will explain next) and my principle said yes! To make a long story short I applied for a summer staff position with YouthWorks and got the Summer Site Director position for in Vancouver! YouthWorks' core purpose is to provide life-changing, Christ-centered mission trips. YouthWorks offers over 76 mission trip opportunities in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico.

This is quite extraordinary for a number of reasons. One of the reasons is that before coming to The War College I was applying to do an internship with a similar organization, but while I was filling out the application I heard God whisper to me “War College.” I gave up my dream, to follow what God asked me to do. Now He has given me my dream back! and far bigger and better than I had been planning for.

This morning Jesus was telling me “I love you Maria more than you even love yourself, and I know you better than you know yourself.” Amen! This is the truth I see in this experience. God knows the dreams, hopes, and desires of our hearts, and as we trust in Him He fulfils them in His perfect timing. He knew that I need to come to The War College, but He also gave me the desire to work with youth in intercity missions, so He gave me both! I am so thankful that I have a Heavenly Father that is looking out for me, all I have to do is listen to him and do what He says, and He will work all things out for my good. Thank you Jesus, thank you! Amen.

Next, in January I heard a small whisper say “You should go to Regent.” Regent College is a graduate school of theology in Vancouver. They offer Christ-centred graduate programs and courses bringing together vibrant evangelical faith and rigorous academics.  My initial thought was “no!” I had a plan; it did not involve going back into fulltime academic education. I wanted to move back to Victoria, get a job and start establishing community. But I had heard this small whisper before (the same one said “War College” to me just over a year ago) and I had had a similar reaction, I had a plan and it did not include The War College. Never the less I am in The War College, so this time having learned my lesson I did not rule it out right away. I went into prayer. I asked some wise council to pray for me. After some time, a lot of thought, prayer and conversation, I have decided to attend Regent College in September.

This means I will not be moving back to Victoria. God asked me “Maria are you willing to give up your desire to move back to Victoria to do what I am asking you to do?” I said “yes.” I believe that God wants to use Regent to further equip me for the work He has for me in His Kingdom. This decision was just another step of me dieing to my dreams, plans and will and submitting to His. I know from my experience with The War College, to die (to my plans) is to truly live (in His perfect plans). Please know that it is by no means all sunshine and rainbows, but it is worth it. Even more than that it is the only way to be truly living!

Please be praying for me. I need a lot of prayer.

My position this summer comes with a lot of responsibility, more than I have ever had before. I can only lead out of my own natural ability so far. I need Holy Spirit to be my guide, teacher, and counsellor. I also need Him to produce the fruit of the Spirit (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control) in me all summer long, in abundance!

Regent is not cheap. I need money. I believe that God is asking me to go to Regent so I trust He will provide. Please pray for the His continued provision (this paid placement is part of His faithful provision, thank you Jesus Amen).

I am filled with joy over the abundance of blessings that He has poured out over me. I praise your Name Jesus, thank you for loving me to the core, for transforming me, for not leaving me where I am at, but taking be deeper into your truth and grace. All my blessings come from you Jesus, thank you! Praise be to your Holy Name, King of kings, may my life glorify you in all, for you alone are worthy of it all. Amen.

Friday, 20 April 2012

Amen

To close my eyes is to see you
Being opened like a book before you is the only way for me to be me
No longer can I deny you oh God lover of our empty souls
Forgive me Holy Father Thank you King Jesus THANK YOU
Let us praise His Holy Name unto the ends of the earth be meganified in ALL
I ask I ask I ask please may I be made holy as you Jesus are Holy
I am at the end of my ends you are it
Beside you there is NO other none besides YOU Jesus King of kings
May this be so.

Thursday, 19 April 2012

My Top 10(ish)

Do you want to know the top things that have been happening in my life since starting The War College? Then read this: http://www.thewarcollege.com/?p=2366

Thursday, 12 April 2012

The Loonie

Hey gang, this is a pretty awesome (true) story that happened to me this past weekend: http://www.thewarcollege.com/?p=2337

Please check it out :)

Thursday, 29 March 2012

Cud

I have decided to start reading 1 Psalm a day. I started with Psalms 1, imagine that! Not a very long Psalm, compared to 119, but it is filled full with insight and wisdom.  The three points that I reflected on are:

Refuse to follow the moral orientation (lifestyle) of the world. Be different, set apart, live a prophetic life style saying that there is another way, a better and healthier way and His name is Jesus. (Please note this is NOT an eaiser way, in fact the opposite is true it will be harder, tougher and rougher but it is the only way to life everlasting. Amen).

Mediate: mutter to yourself in pursuit of insight (to know and follow God’s Word). I love the imagery of this, Christians just going through out their day muttering scripture under their breath over and over again, like a cow chewing it’s cud.

I am blessed to be a blessing: a tree bears fruit not for its self, but for others (This metaphor really made me think).

I would suggest chewing on that for a day: you are blessed not for yourself but for others.

Ready and Willing? Really? Are YOU?

It has been a while... http://www.thewarcollege.com/?p=2328

Thursday, 1 March 2012

There are a row of house in San Francisco called the Painted Sisters. These house reminded me of the Painted Sisters, only aged and in disrepair. They made me sad. Shortly after taking this picture, I found out that the leaders of 614 had bought the middle house, and had plans to someday maybe have all three! Oh what hope, these old ladies soon will have new life in them!


My Rock

In the darkness I see no Light. Where are you?
In the chaos I hear no Peace.
Where are you?
In the pain I feel no Hope.
Where are you?
In the fear I am consumed by doubt. I have lost Joy.
Where are you?

I have not forgotten the Truth, I only cannot find Him.

Goodbye sanity, goodbye blue bird. My prayer is that someday soon you will return to me with an olive branch, and then I will once again see the Son, I will feel the warmth of hope on my face and peace will fill me.

I long for that day, when I no longer will be bond by this mortal body with its evil desires. I will at last be free, completely free to be truly human, fully human, no longer a shadow in this waste land.

I will be a real live girl in a whole new world.

Oh what a moment that will be! I must feast on this vision, never letting it slip far from my heart or I will lost, forever.

The assurances that there is more, better greater, far superior, absolutely mind blowing is the thread that keeps me from unravelling into the abyss of never ending sorrows, of hell.

Hold onto, cling to with your dear life, never let go.

We each get one chance to eternal freedom, eternal bliss. All this can only and will only be found in the man who is God, Jesus Christ, my Lord and Saviour, the Lover of our broken souls, the Rock on which I stand today declaring that He alone is worthy of all our praise, honour and glory.

Bonhoeffer's Life Together

This past week was Reading Week and we actually were given books to read! Imagine that reading on Reading Break hahaha. Jonathan took the time to pray and pick out a specific book for each of us. I appreciate the thought and time that went into this process, because I trust that the book selection was one inspired by my Father. I have included an extended version of my book report. Please do not think reading this report excuses you from reading it yourself. I recommend you read Life Together by Dietrich Bonhoeffer, especially if you live in intentional community or desire to someday.
Life Together is a book written by Dietrich Bonhoeffer In which he explores what it means to be a Christian community through and in Jesus Christ. Life Together is a significant exploration of the Christian faith lived out in Christian community. Bonhoeffer argues that Christian community is not an ideal, but a divine reality, and it is a spiritual reality not a psychic reality.

To read the full report: http://www.thewarcollege.com/?p=2317

Thursday, 9 February 2012

The View

This is the view from my room in the slum hotel, The Empress.
Take a moment to look out your window, What is your view?

Really Really Really

There was a little girl who had big dreams, really good dreams of becoming a doctor, traveling the world and helping all the little children.

As this little girl grew she worked really hard in school, getting good grades, and she volunteered with charity groups. She sat on the student council, and she was valedictorian at her grade 12 graduations. Her parents were so proud of their little girl, because she was such a good girl; she worked so hard she deserved all the good things in her life.

This not so little girl anymore, went to college and then to medical school. The whole time she worked even harder than before, she never partied and she still made time to volunteer. She was a good person.

One day this now a women graduated from medical school, she was now a doctor, all her hard work paid off.  This doctor joined Doctors Without Borders, she travelled the world helping all the little children.

Many many many years later this doctor had become a little old lady. She no longer was a traveling doctor, she no longer could practise medicine, she no longer was helping all the little children, and she no longer could volunteer. This little old lady sat in her rocking chair, rocking back and forth back and forth, day after day. She thought about all the good things she had done. This little old lady thought about how she had lived out her really good big dream, she had gotten all she had ever wanted.   Now this little old lady sat all alone in her big house, rocking in her chair. She had no family or friends, there had never been time for such things, she had been busy being a really good person. As the little old lady sat and thought about her life gone by, she started to think about what would happen after she died. She had never given much thought to death or afterlife, because she had been too busy saving the lives of all the little children. This little old lady decided that if there were a Heaven she would be going there for sure, because she was a really really really good person. 

A short time later, while she peacefully slept in her comfy bed, this little old lady took her last breath.

When she opened her eyes she saw a great bright light. From the light came a voice that sounded like a roaring lion. She fell to her face and began to weep. The voice asked her “who do you say I am?” In between sobs she explained that she was a really really really good person, she had never done anything bad, she was valedictorian, she volunteered her whole life, she was a Doctor Without Borders… the voice cut her off and said “Away from me, for I never knew you.”

The end.

WHAT!?

Does this upset you? It should! She is a really really really good little old lady, why did she not get into Heaven?

We can only get into Heaven by accepting the gift of God through our belief in Jesus. There is nothing you can do to earn this, even if you are a really really really good person, it is a gift from God (Ephesians 2:8).

I have some really really really good news for you: God loved the world (that includes you) so much that he gave his only Son (aka Jesus), so that whoever believes in Jesus will not be cast away but instead will get eternal life! God did not send Jesus to condemn the world (that includes you), but instead so that the world (again you) might be saved through Jesus! (John 3:16-17).

Do you know Jesus? Does he know you?

Who Do You Say I AM?

Who is Jesus? http://www.thewarcollege.com/?p=2308

Thursday, 2 February 2012

Save-On-Meats


Save-On-Meats is my favourite restaurant here in the DTES. If you visit me we will go there (just ask people who have visited me, it is yummy and cheap!) I am not jumping on to any bandwagon, I was a frequent customer before Oprah found out about them. Here is an article about them: http://life.nationalpost.com/2012/01/19/gastown-gamble-shows-a-new-brand-of-business/

Be like Bob

I met Bob a couple weeks ago. Bob is probably in his sixties. Bob has been living here in the DTES since the 70s. Bob is battling his addictions. Bob is blind (I have a soft spot in my heart for people who are blind, I like them). Bob believes in God. Bob is not sure about Jesus and Christianity. Bob thinks he may die soon. I asked Bob if he believes in heaven and hell. He said he was not sure, but he thinks there could be. Bob said that he is still trying to figure things out. He said that he talks to God. I suggested to Bob "you probably should figure out what you believe about heaven and hell soon, because you don't want to die and than realize it to late!" Bob agreed and said that he would be thinking about it. I encouraged Bob to ask lots of questions of God and people that he trusted. I really like Bob. I want Bob to know the Truth, the Way, and the Life. I am excited that Bob is asking questions. I believe that if Bob keeps asking questions and looking for the truth he will find it and the Truth will set him free. God loves Bob. God wants Bob to know the Truth. God bless my new friend Bob.

Do you believe in heaven and hell? Are you completely sure? You do not want to figure out things to late. Be like Bob, asks questions, seek truth. God loves you. God wants you to know the Truth.

Letting Our Light Shine

This the latest from me in the DTES: http://www.thewarcollege.com/?p=2270

Thursday, 26 January 2012

The Magic School Bus

There are kids in the DTES. We have the fun of getting to walk some of them twice a week from thier school to a free music school (St. James Musical Academy) run by one of the communities down here in the DTES. We are called the walking school bus. It really is a lovely change of pace, to get 15 mins just walking and chatting with these kids, I always walk away with a smile and a prayer on my lips. Please pray for the children in the DTES, they are so vulnerable, but I do believe that our Father can protect them and reach them before the enemy does, I have to believe that He will save them from all the evils of this neighbourhood. They are truly a light here in the darkness, God bless them. Amen

Fasting or Feasting?


Do we need to fast? Should we fast? Is fasting required for breakthrough? Why do we fast? Did Jesus say we needed to fast? Will I be spiritually stunted if I do not fast? These are some questions I have been asking the Lord, friends, wise council, reading commentaries and the Bible, and I have also been practising it a little bit.

Here is a video that presented some ideas that were new to me, and I found them quite surprising. I want to share it with you in the hopes of causing you to explore the topic from maybe a new perspective and also to open up discussion.

I do not necessarily agree or disagree with what John is saying.

Meet Jesus

War College blog: http://www.thewarcollege.com/?p=2244

Thursday, 19 January 2012

Does God Love You?

Do you know that God loves you?

I do. In my head, and sometimes in my heart, but mostly I only know that Jesus loves me because the Bible tells me so.
Since coming to this revelation, that I head know God’s love for me but do not heart know, I have been on a journey with God into His love for me, not God so loves the whole world, nope just me, I want to know that I know that I know God so loves Maria.
Something that I read in a book gave me the idea of making a list every day of how I have seen Father God love me. I have not been faithfully make a list every day, but I did post a note beside my mirror saying “how has Father loved you today?” and well brushing my teeth I reflect on my day. I have actually found it quite helpful in recognizing how God is active in my life.
I encourage you to take sometime and make a list of all the ways you have seen God’s love towards you over the past couple weeks. Even if you know that you knoe that you know God loves you, I think it can be a encouraging exercise to recognize specifically how your Father God activily loves you each day.
This is my list:
The day I was leaving Victoria to come back to the DTES I was physically sick with anxiety and heart broken to be leaving my home. Father God carried me back, I really did not want to come back, but He gave me just enough strength to get on to the boat. The last couple days at home I was praying that He would prepare me to leave, on the day I was praying for the courage and joy to return. It was as if He was hugging me the whole way back. Then He loved me through my session mates, when I was back in the DTES, by them welcoming me home with screams, hugs and laughter. As we sat on the couch catching up, He filled me with joy, I was happy to be back.
Last week Thursday I was really wanting sometime in praise. In our allotted time, that did not happen. In the evening after Knee Drill (kind of like church) I asked my session mates if they wanted to come and spend some time praising the Lord, some said no, a couple said “OK, a few songs.” In the end all eight of us gathered in the guys’ room and spent a couple hours praising Jesus and praying for each other. It was beautiful. A couple times I laughed out loud at God’s goodness towards me; it was exactly what my heart needed. I kept crying because I was overwhelmed with the love of my Father.
I find great joy in the sunshine. I also love going for walks outside in the fresh air with the birds singing and the sun shining, it is one way I experience the beauty and warmth of my Father’s love. It is almost as if I can feel God smiling down on me and hear Him singing over me.  I do not think Father God created the sunshine just for me, but over the past couple weeks I do think He has provided me with the time to go for walks with Him in the sunshine.
Last week Saturday Father God loved me through my friend. We had not seen each other for over a month. We only had a short time together, but in that time God used her to encourage and challenge me. She is one of Father God’s many gifts to me, and I thank Him for her in my life.
This is just a short list, there is more, there is always more with Father God!
Father God please open my eyes to how you love mw on a daily bases, I want to have a deeper more intimate revelation of your love for me, so that I can be even more transformed into the likeness of your son., also so that I can have a stronger and more secure faith in you. Please. Amen.
I believe I “heard” Father God say to me:
I love you more than… my love is like a rushing wave, all consuming… you are my precious beautiful daughter, I picked you out, I made you to be just as you are, I love you Maria.
Amen.

Slay the Dragons

This is the latest for War College blog: http://www.thewarcollege.com/?p=2223

Thursday, 12 January 2012

Sad Beauty

This is a window on East Hastings. This sad lady caught my attention. There is a lot of sad ladies in this neighbourhood. She is beautiful. There is a lot of beautiful ladies in this neighbourhood.

I Pinky Swear

If there is no man in the sky, why do I hold my head up so high?

High to see the sky bright blue, with fluffy white sheep skipping across the field.

High to bathe in the rays of joy streaming down on me from a star that is not to far but not to close.

This world we skip, jump, dance and sometimes sing in is held together by a perfect string

One thing off and poof, bang, alakazam! We are no more.

Is there a God? How should I know? Do I look like a woman with all the answers?

Oh but, yes there is a God

A BIG one, and just one at that.

He or rather she or wait a minute God has no gender or sex or sexual orientation for that matter

He is far above all that, yet He is… oh look there I am using pronouns again.

Please excuse me, I’m not perfect. Are you?

God is, yup perfect in all ways, not one mistake, not one.

That includes you, you my friend are no mistake, you are a well thought out plan.

From the start God dreament you up, so long ago, before the ground you walk on was down, before the stars burned in the night sky, even before the very first kiss, you were the twinkle in God’s eye.

You are special, so very special, no matter how low you go or high you rise, you will never ever be out of the reach of God’s loving embrace.

This is not science paper or theological debate, this is not even a poem, here you have some late night ramblings, all to tell you that GOD LOVES YOU!

I pinky swear.

Tummy Aches, Dragons, and Family

My first War College blog in a month, and since getting back from my break: http://www.thewarcollege.com/?p=2180