Sunday, May 31, 2009

I ♥ Cotton Candy

This week’s been the 77th Apple Blossom Festival. There is a whole week of activities from softball tournaments and art shows to the coronation of Queen Annapolisa and parades (children’s is in the morning and long one in the afternoon).

I made it to the fireworks Friday night in spite of the rain. Saturday morning I was in children’s parade, as Chester Cheetah. My friend works for frito-lay and need someone short enough to fit the costume. I had my step counter on, which I had just recently found under a pile of clothes. The route was about 4,000 steps.

Later, a large group of friends (take just kept growing) and I watched the longer more commercial parade. It was fun, in spite of the rain. Who doesn’t like an afternoon with overpriced junk food, judging floats, bagpipes, two bags of cotton candy, and a chance to make fun of all three provincial parties? (Nova Scotia has an election June 9th and the three major parties all walked in the parade). Another cool thing, Open Arms had a stand and so all my “lunch” spending also helped a ministry I believe it and bought one of their shirts. Check out videos from the festival below.

Best part of the weekend -friends.
Close second -the cotton candy.

My Day As A Cat

I had a friend take pictures of me as Chester. Trouble is she didn’t know it was on the video setting or how to make it normal. And I didn't discover it till later...after I was human again.

This is the best we’ve got till friends post pics on facebook.

Part of the Parade

Marching Bands

Still More Fireworks

More Fireworks

Fireworks

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Thot of the Week

Twice this month Scott has let me write a 'Thot of the Week' for the church e-bulletin. Today’s request was a surprise. I just finished. This was the only “thot” that came to my mind. If you see mistakes or it is dumb please don’t tell me cause it’s already been sent out to the church.

Last night I pulled out a CD I haven’t listened to in a few years. As music filled the space I couldn’t help smiling and in no time I was singing along. Last night I didn’t just listen to CD; I rediscovered one of my favorite bands. How could I have forgotten?

Music isn’t the only thing that is easily forgotten. Remembering God’s truth and promises has always been a struggle for His children. It was a cycle of forgetfulness that lead to most of the Israelites heartaches. It is forgetfulness that has caused me grief as I worry over things God has already promised to take care of. We strive to be mature followers but often forget the foundations of love, grace, forgiveness, trust, and obedience we are to live by. Sara Grove’s song The Word sums it up best in the bridge:


I think it's time I rediscover
All the ground that I have covered,
like Seek Ye first what a verse
We are pressed but not crushed,
perplexed but don't despair.
We are persecuted but not abandoned
We are no longer slaves we are daughters and sons,
and when we are weak we are very strong
And neither death nor life
nor present nor future
nor depth nor height
can keep us from the love of Christ
And the Word I need is the Word
that was who put on flesh to dwell with us.
In the beginning....

As you live out your walk with Jesus what truths do you need to rediscover this week?

Anger Abounds

I was folding laundry early this morning. One of my favourite, simple joys in life, is the smell of freshly clean clothes. There is nothing like it. Back to the story, as I was folding I noticed a new shirt, a shirt I love, a new shirt I love that I “just” bought at the concert I went to…and by just I mean back in March, which is relatively new since I was washing it with free t-shirts from summer camps going back to 02.

The point my new, beloved tee had two, yes two, tiny holes. I was upset and curious how they came to be and yet moved on. Till the next shirt had similar small holes. And the next also had similar small holes. I know it is minor. It’s just clothes. But grrr.

My first guess is the washer. But on my drive to work, which helped me to cool down, I concerned other possibilities: mice, moths, my stupid cats, tiny cotton loving aliens (like some mini crop circles in cloth instead of fields –it’s possible), and my belt. I am going to compare the location of the holes when I get home. I want to blame the waster or dryer but do fear it is all my belt’s fault. Either way my shirt will still have holes and I will be annoyed.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

A Day To Be Thankful

This day was special. It started extra early, I finished a book, had time with God, and as I prepared for the day I heard from God and prepared to obey. The idea is now in action. Left the house early so I could meet up with friends for a Cora’s breakfast. And as I waited I finished Claiborne’s The Irresistible Revolution.

There were encouraging emails in my inbox. More got done this morning that I expected. It was very happy. The sun was shining, also very happy. And I had gelato which makes everything better. Was able to get many errands done before youth night started. Youth happened, not how I expected but it was the best ‘let’s ask questions’ night ever.

All in all I am thankful. God is good.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Monday, May 18, 2009

Last night was the last RITV of the year and it was awesome. The theme of the night was worship. I got to witness and participate in God moving it peoples lives. The whole night flowed into a message of living obedience. There was a student testimony, a pastor/artist sharing about worshipping and listening to God. Then a time of worship plus two stations to write/draw/shout/sing/kneel. In between music three people shared about the purpose of worship, the posture of worship, and prayer in worship. We had five minutes, I was the last; this is what I said (for the most part):

Worship is a lifestyle. We’ve heard tonight that the purpose is to give God glory. And that what we do with our hands or whether we are standing, kneeing, or lay face down before the Lord because what really matters is the condition of our heart. Worship is a lifestyle. When we live as worshippers, we make a commitment to live for an audience of one –to live fully 100% for God.

This choice affect everything we are and everything we do because all we do becomes about God. We choose to put our best in to each and every moment –to live pure, true, honest, good, right so that at all times our lives are giving praise to God. Therefore it doesn’t matter if we are singing with a crowd, painting a picture, hanging out with friends or cleaning the toilet because our mom’s asked us to. Everything is done for the glory of God.

This lifestyle of worship is interconnected with a lifestyle of prayer. The two go hand in hand. Prayer now becomes more than rote graces and duty guilt filled lines whispered as we drift off to sleep. Prayer becomes our daily, ongoing, moment by moment communication with God.

When we speak up or cry out to God –it is an act of worship. We invite God to be apart of our lives. And He listens. When we are still, seeking his will, and listening –it is an act of worship. We are waiting in faith ready to obey. And He answers. When we are open with God speaking honestly about our fears, failures, even our doubts and anger –it is an act of worship. We are living like the shepherd-king David, known as a man after God’s own heart.

This is worship.

Prayer is us asking God, the Creator, to show up in our mundane everyday ordinary activities and be with us. The best and craziest part is HE wants to be involved. When we are joyful he wants to celebrate with us. When we are hurt he wants to comfort us. He’s also given us the invitation to know him. To learn what makes him happy and what breaks his heart.

It is beautiful. It is amazing. It is a God thing and I struggle to express it clearly. The closest I can get is this. Last night just after 11:30, I called my best friend, Steph. And we talked. It was so good to hear her voice. We just shared what has been going on in our lives, the joys and frustrations, the silly things we had done, the shocker from the season finale of our favorite shows. We laughed, we cried…no I don’t think we cried but we would have if that was where the conversation had taken us. More then once we both said wow, its late we should go…but we kept talking. It was just so good talking with her. It was well after 1:30 when I finally hung up. She is my best friend and I could share anything with her. It is wonderful.

And yet our friendship is just a shadow of what it is like when I give my whole self to prayer and trust God to do what he says he will do. Worship and prayer are important because they are primary ways in which we connect to God. I invite you to take the next step in your journey with God. If you’ve been listening tonight you already know it. It is time now to obey. Embrace this lifestyle of worship. After all we are here to pray and thank and praise and invoke and bless and sing and encounter God.

Friday, May 08, 2009

It’s the End of the World…Or Maybe Just Tonight’s Youth Rally

Every year our youth group makes the trip up to Hillside Wesleyan for the ever popular Hillside Rally. This May is no exception. As of last night everything was set, youth were excited, numbers were good, registrations sent in (well mostly sent in, there were two late joiners to the event. I had emailed to confirm them and sent there money only I forgot to put a stamp on the letter. Thankfully Tim, the organizer, is willing to take the money at the door). And the best and most important part -there were enough drivers/chaperons. Everything was perfect.

Everything was perfect until twenty minutes ago when the other driver phoned to say there was an emergency with work he can’t get out of it and won’t be able to go this weekend. PANIC! Finding one adult willing to drive with six weeks notice was a small feat. Finding a driver with six hours notice is going to be a slightly more challenging.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Hanging On

The past month has been full of these great God “ah-ha” moments, answered prayers, and blessings. Yet it the midst of the good it is like the world is also getting darker. There has been struggles, illness, fear, anxiety, conflict, anger in my life. Talking with close friends it has been true from them too.
And tonight I am feel broken.

Youth just ended and it is like everything went wrong. Just when I think I am starting to understand youth ministry and connect with students it seems like the rugs been pulled out from under me. I am not looking for encouragement, pep talks, or praises. I know who I am in Christ and that my perspective isn’t completely accurate. God is still good and in control.

As I hang on to truth I am waiting to see what will come next. Living in the unknown is hard. I thing I am suppose to be discovering the practical side how Jesus followers are to live out “strength in weakness.” At the moment the wisdom I have is…

Life and relationships are messy.
God loves me.
And I am thankful I am not alone.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Strato-terrific

In April a group of children helped me decorate for ou Kidsworld: Easter in Space theme, featuring Jonny Statosphere. This is some of their art work that I finally uploaded.

I love when kids help out!