Wednesday, 26 November 2008

What is left?

I think I have become a cynic. I don’t really know how this happened. All I know is I came back to Wainfleet after 3 months away and somehow I was different. I can’t really figure it out; I just see things differently. I find myself thinking things I never thought before. I used to be this feeling driven person and now I’m not so much anymore. I prayed for a long time that my faith would not be based on my feelings; perhaps this is the answer to those prayers? I find myself questioning whether people have “spiritual experiences” because God is really speaking to them or because other people have manipulated a “feel good” experience and so because they feel something then it must be God. I believe God uses our feelings and I believe that we can experience wonderful highs because we met with God in a profound way. However, feelings come and go; they sway like the wind. I know from first hand experience, anyone who knows me real well can testify.

Lately I have begun to break things apart. If we did not have the feeling then would we be left with something concrete? I’m a pastor’s kid and I really love it, most of the time. The problem with being a P.K. who is actually interested in the church is I think about things too much. I question people’s motives and reasoning behind them. I think about what people say and actually consider whether it’s biblical or not. I go home from a Christian event and discuss and think about what the real point of whatever happened was. I think about what a person who doesn’t know Jesus would think if they were to walk into a room. One time I went to this Christian event where the people started confessing the sins of our generation out loud (this was ok) but then people started to get a little freaky, I had been a Christian for a long time and I was super freaked out. All I could think about was what would someone who doesn’t know Jesus think if they walked into this room right now.

I think about bible times. I wonder if they were able to manipulate a feel good experience like we do now? Don’t get me wrong, I’m not feeling bashing here…..I just wonder if we are raising people up to be Christians who only know how to function when everything feels good and who only think God speaks to them through their feelings?

Have you ever been somewhere where God made his presence so known and there was no doubt, no questions, just God. I was at a conference a while ago and I heard a guy speak, he was funny and really knew how to get the crowd going. At the end of his talk he showed this video and narrated through it. It was a story about a man, but the realization was that the story being told was everyone’s story. I don’t think there was anyone in that room, Christian or not, who didn’t know that God was present in that room. I don’t think there was anyone in that room who didn’t realize that despite the crap in this world, the crap in their lives and any uncertainties they had, that God somehow loves them. It was one of those experiences where my heart and my mind met. I felt God’s presence and I knew it too. It wasn’t that guy on that stage; it was Jesus in the room. You can’t manipulate that.

Perhaps this is my own beef. These past few months have been kind of difficult. Things haven’t been like I thought they would and I’ve been discouraged and lonely and disappointed. I think I was disappointed that God wouldn’t give me a quick fix and make everything wonderful. I think I’ve started to realize that I have trouble functioning when things don’t feel good. I think I expect that God should make me feel good, like a puppet, He should act on my command. It’s quite ridiculous really. Perhaps it’s because I have grown up in the church and somehow come to think that if I don’t have the feel good experiences all the time then somehow God is mad or distant. Lies….Lies…..Lies. I hear it…..but I still can’t fully grasp it. I think I need time. I need time to teach myself this truth. Perhaps it’s a point of maturity…..when all of a sudden you realize that life is not a fairy tale and I was not created in order that God would serve me….it’s really vice versa. This is the point where my faith becomes more about truth and what I know rather than what I feel. Feelings do have a place but not the only place. Things even out. Perhaps the words in the bible are so profound and life giving and powerful that God would choose to speak to me through them and somehow it would fill me more than a feel good experience ever could because when you take away the feelings, what is left? I think it’s a good question, perhaps a good tool to get one to think more critically about things?

What is left?

I need to learn a new way.

This is going to be hard.

Wednesday, 10 September 2008

So I Wait Upon You Lord....

It's hard to believe that the summer is over and fall is here and with that comes school, a new ministry season and the departure of my best friend to Haiti. I had a wonderful summer working at Christian Horizons. It was full of learning and growing and being stretched and laughing and crying and meeting so many wonderful people. I don’t think I am able to describe with words what the Lord has been doing in my heart and life this summer but perhaps these things will reveal themselves in my writing in time, I’m not sure. I strongly believe that my capacity to love and care has been stretched. I think that the way I look at things is a little different now.

My theme verse this summer was Ephesians 3:20…

Now glory be to God! By his mighty power at work within us, he is able to accomplish infinitely more than we would ever dare to ask or hope.

I thought of these words often during my summer days. Jesus is able to accomplish INFINITELY more than we would ever DARE to ask or hope. Sometimes I think we don’t ask God for certain things in fear of disappointment. This verse says that he can do more than we would ever even dare to ask or hope. I think this verse reveals that God has surprises in store for us. The things I hope for are things that I love and often desire in the deepest of places. Most people will never know these hopes, but God knows. I like living in the reality that God has wonderful surprises for me.

This summer was one of those wonderful surprises. I would have never guessed that the Lord would bring me to a small, unknown town called Paisley and open my heart to a new world of people. It was just good and I am so thankful.

The summer was great but I'm ready to be home now for a while. I'm ready to be fully present and engaged in things here in Wainfleet.

My best friend, Diana, left yesterday morning for Haiti, for a year. To say the least, it was a rough day. I feel like a piece of me went on that plane to Haiti and now I'm not quite sure what to do. It's a type of grief that I have never experienced before. I have always been the one to go away on adventures and leave my family and friends behind. I have never been the one on the other side. I don't like this side very much. It's quite difficult. I know that the Lord wants Diana in Haiti, I know that this is what's best. I am so excited for her and what this year will do in her life. I'm just trying to figure out what to do now. Diana is the person that is always there. We spend so much time together just talking about everything. We are brutally honest with one another and have one of those 'real' relationships, the kind that you don't find with many people. The realness is when you can be completely honest about where you're at. Di is the person who I call up and say do you just want to get together, I don't know what we'll do but let's just hang out. We discuss books, things we're struggling with, our dreams about where we'll live, who we'll marry, where we'll work, what kind of cars we'll drive and the list goes on. We pray together, laugh together, cry together and so even though we can still email and phone one another it's still hard because she's not here. I never knew I could have a friend like have a friendship like this one has been one of the biggest blessings in my life. Please pray for my kindred spirit Diana as she embarks on this new journey. I have put her blog in my favourite links so you can keep updated with her.

This brings me to I sit here and write with a bit of a heavy heart. I am praying that the Lord would put new and fresh things in my life for this time and that I would be open to these things. I guess it will just take a bit to readjust but I know the Lord is faithful in all these things and that he may just have a few surprises up His sleeve for me.

So I will wait in anticipation.

Sweet Dreams,
The Kindred Spirit

Saturday, 14 June 2008

Saturday Ramblings...

I have made it through my first 2 weeks at CH. My first week was probably one of the hardest weeks ever, it wasn’t bad but it was difficult. I was one on one with a high needs behavioural guest and it was pretty intense at moments. In the middle of the week I really questioned whether this is the right thing for me but somehow amidst the frustration, worry and tiredness I had a peace. I was told that most weeks won’t be as hard as that first one, I am hoping this is true.

This past week I had three male guests…..I worked with one of the male staff to provide care. They were three very sweet men, two of them were deaf and one was deaf in one ear and so I was trying to learn some sign language this week. The three of them loved to sit in the lounge and rock in the chairs, so I would bring my book along and read while they rocked….it was pretty funny. One of my highlights of this past week was the water games activity where I pretty much got thrown into a pool of water and doused with cold water…..however I may have asked for it…lol!

I wrote in my previous blog about the lonliness I was feeling……that is gone now. I am making lots of new friends and everyone is getting to know one another and we are becoming more of a team. There are some wonderful people here, so unique and all here to serve others. In a week or two the highschool students will arrive to work, so I wonder how that will change things?

One thing that I really enjoy about this place is the beauty of it. Paisley is pretty much in the middle of nowhere! It’s about an hour from Owen Sound or 20 minutes from Port Elgin, if you know where that is. It set back in the country amongst rolling hills and trees. If you walk down the camp driveway out to the road you walk down this laneway with trees lining both sides and as soon as you hit the end of the driveway it is like a clearing of open space. The sky opens up and you fill like you have a glimpse of heaven on earth. I sometimes wish I could paint because I would capture that clearing. There is another spot at the camp, which has come to be known by all as ‘Devo Hill’. It is this hill you can walk up and see everything for miles. Apparently it is a good make out spot but I think it’s a good spot to think and reflect on the beauty of God and how I get to be a part of His plan.

This weekend I am staying around this area. I spent last night at the camp and then this afternoon I am going to try to find my way to the Centre For Student Leadership in Clarksburg where a party is being held for a friend of mine who has just gotten his doctorate. Last night a few girls and I watched this movie called ‘Into The Wild’. It’s a very interesting movie. It’s about this guy who basically gets tired of materialism and leaves his family to go into the wild by himself……his only plan is to get to Alaska. He makes it to Alaska and lives in an abandoned bus that he finds. In the end he comes to the conclusion, which I think is the central theme of the film, that happiness is best shared. After living and surviving on his own for almost 2 years he realizes that life is better shared.

God designed us to be in relationship with one another. We need each other. I was talking to a guy this week who describes his Holy Discontent as being North America…..I asked him if he could be more specific and he went on to describe the way a lot of people live their lives in North America. This film made me think about the conversation I had with him. He talked about how people live meaningless lives with the purpose of earning more money. They wake up, go to work, come home, watch tv, go to bed and start all over again the next morning. This reminded me of the thought about people burying their gifts that I have been pondering for the last month or so. I heard once that people are spiritual gifts. We are gifts to one another; we need each other. I believe that there are people who are not burying their gifts because I am witnessing it right now. I also believe that there are some people who are like what the guy described and I believe that God wants more for them. I also wonder what it might look like for those people to live differently? I am not sure. Sometimes I think I fall into the same category of being materialistic.

What does it mean to live simply?

I am not trying to pick on people but I am learning that life holds so much more purpose and fullness when we are open to the more that God has for us. I am learning that God swims in the deep end with us when the water seems over our heads. I wish that more people could really know God because I think our world would look so different.

As I write this I am also reminded that it has to start with me. I have to live this way. I have to be open to the more that God has for me. I have to become less and God more.

I don’t know if I could ever be one of those people who lives with just a backpack in a hut because I live in this culture and I feel blessed. I enjoy having a roof over my head, driving a car, having nice clothes and buying things I like…..but I really think that it’s not one way or the other. I believe you can live in this culture, in North America and still live differently, still live in the more that God has. I am just figuring out what that means…..thankfully along with others too.

I think the key is people. Happiness is best shared. People first. Others first. Loving people where they’re at. Engaging in life with them……wherever they are and whoever they are.

Maybe it’s that simple. Love God and Love people. Maybe if we do that then everything else won’t seem like such a big issue.

I don’t know, these are just my ramblings.

Last thought for this morning…….I am pretty thankful in this moment that God is still working on me because after two weeks of serving I have come to the conclusion that I am utterly selfish. I think my motto must be Love God…….oh and Love people when it’s convenient for me. This must change.

You can pray for me in this. I feel so stretched at times but I just want to keep learning and loving.

I hope you have a wonderful Saturday,

Saturday, May 31, 2008

I have decided to try and blog a bit while I am at camp or while I have my day off on Saturday. However, since I do not have wireless here at camp I will most likely write the blog out and then post it when I do have internet.

As I have already written, I am spending my summer working at one of the Christian Horizons camps located in the thriving metropolis of Paisley, Ontario. If you have never been to Paisley you really should check in out….you can drive through the town in probably 30 seconds! I arrived here on Wednesday and didn’t know what to expect. It takes me about 4 hours to get here. 2 of those hours are a series of highways and the other 2 are a series of back roads….and I mean back roads! The drive feels like a long one but it is very beautiful, I drive right through Mennonite country, which I love. My first few days of staff training were very overwhelming. I cried, more than once…..of course not where anyone could see or hear me. I got here and there were 2 crowds, the leadership team and the EBC students…..I am not either! I know that it takes time to build relationships but I must say loneliness is an awful feeling especially when you are in such an unknown setting. I am starting to get to know people a bit more, which I am so thankful for. Tomorrow the first week of guests start to arrive. The first week are all adults with high needs so I will be one-on-one with a guest. I am quite nervous. I have never done personal care like toileting and showering before so that seems to be at the top of my nervousness. I just want to make sure my guest gets the best care. A lot of the staff are so experienced so hopefully I can learn quickly and it will become easy for me.

When I left my house on Wednesday I felt like the Lord and I were going on a road trip. I felt like I was walking into the complete unknown. I have lived away from home before, when I was a Youthbuilder, but this is different. I am in the complete unknown and I am in this place of complete servanthood. I have been thinking a lot about servanthood this week. I think a lot of us are really into convenient serving, like it’s easy to serve when you are in the comfort zone. You get to leave when you want, if you don’t feel well you can go home, we don’t feel the effects of serving. One of the motto’s here at CH is ‘It’s not about me’ and it totally isn’t. It’s about giving your guests the best vacation and if that means you are up with them in the night because they need you then that’s what you need to do. It can be the kind of serving that takes a toll on your body and your spirit but it’s worth it because you are loving someone in this radical way. Each person that comes in the door is Jesus.

In the first couple days of being at CH I wondered why the Lord wants me here because all along I felt so strongly that this is where he wants me. It’s really easy to want to quit when things don’t feel safe or in your control and you feel so inadequate but that is when you remember that it’s not in your own strength that you can do things but in the Lord’s strength. I am not in this alone. It feels big but God is bigger and even though I feel like I have so little to offer I trust that the Lord has something in store. I want to be in the best place, in the sweet spot of God’s grace. I have said that I want to really know and trust Jesus more, I have said that I want to serve and keep growing and learning how to love people and this summer I get a chance to do that. It’s funny how sometimes we have this picture perfect idea in our minds about how some experience will be and somehow it never turns out to be that way. Sometimes being molded to be more and more like Christ hurts a little and causes you to worry and panic but you just gotta hold onto Him more tightly because you come out stronger, more loving, and with roots that go down a bit deeper.

I wonder if my heart will look a little different after this summer is over….hopefully I make it through….lol!

I have no idea what this week will hold but hopefully I will come out of it with more experience in the area of personal care =) !

Still Trusting Him,

Monday, 26 May 2008

1 Suitcase, 1 Small Tub, 1 Clean Rav and 2 Best Friends...

You know those nights where you just need to write it out......all that stuff in your mind, on your heart and stuffed anywhere else.....the stuff that might just come pouring out if you let it? Tonight seems like one of those nights. I am leaving in 1 day for Christian Horizons so I am trying to do a million things to get ready. I am trying to fit all of my stuff into 1 suitcase and a small'd think after YouthBuilders I may be better at this.....perhaps I am just out of practice. I got directions tonight.....mapped out my's a bit more complicated than I thought. I was sitting at the dinner table with my Dad going over the directions, he kept saying 'just let me show you on the map', I kept saying 'let me write it out first, then show me on the map because I can't read the map while I am driving unless I pull over and I don't want to pull over on the 401' one point I became a total girl and almost started crying because I am really tired and a tad bit stressed! I really appreciate my Dad for sticking it out......he's a great guy! I cleaned and washed my rav this weekend. I vacuumed and dusted it.....hmmmm that sounds like I'm cleaning a house.....anyways I put that stuff on the makes it shine, I can't remember what it's called. I am too poor to afford a car wash so I got a bucket of water and filled it with dish soap, got a rag and scrubbed him. He looked beautiful afterwards, however Diana informed me that I should have 'shimmied him'. Hopefully together, the Rav and I, can make it safely to camp and back!

I have been speaking to the girls at youth for the month of may. Tomorrow night will be our finale of the series. We have been talking about not settling and what that means and looks like. When we settle in who we are, in not really loving who God made us, then it affects everything. We have been exploring some of the lies that we believe and how we put up walls and live in our lies and we don't let any truth get in. We've been looking at the truth of Psalm 139......5 thoughts......I am Seen, I am Knit-Together, I am Complex, I am Blessed and God Thinks About Me. It's been really challenging for me as I have been working through my preparation. On our last Tuesday together we specifically looked at the words complex and blessed. I feel really passionate about this idea of being blessed. Pslam 139 tells us that we are blessed but I believe this word is not a simple one. In 1 Corinthians 12:4-7 it talks about the different gifts that each of us have from God. The crucial part comes in verse 7 where it says that we were given these gifts for the common good, which means when we are not true to how God made us then essentially other people miss out. We were given gifts for the good of other people! So when we choose to settle to not use them then other people miss out. When I think about my life and all of the times that I have been blessed through other people I am overwhelmed. It those people would have chosen to not be true to how God made them than I would have missed out or suffered. We also talked about this idea of 'burying our gifts'. If you look at all the needs in this world and look at all the people with untapped blessing and gifts, you realize that there are some people who are burying some things! It was a great reminder and challenge for me.....perhaps it was for some of the girls as well. You don't want to BURY IT!!!!
Tomorrow night we are wrapping things up with looking at this idea of God thinking about us and how settling in who we are effects all of life.....specifically our relationships with our friends, our family, with boys and in our dreams. I feel a bit scatter brained at the moment so I pray that the Lord would just give me the ideas He wants to communicate and the frame of mind to do it in.

Last weekend was Pitch and Praise in Paris, Ontario. I had a great time, I was thoroughly exhausted afterwards but who isn't after Pitch?!? The speakers were awesome this year, the bands were great. Pillar was there this year.....I must say I love Pillar and it was their best show that I have ever been to.....they sang Smiling Down, which is one of my favourite songs. Amanda Falk was there too.....not as many people had heard about her but my brother Greg and I love her and were super stoked when we heard she was gonna be at Pitch. She sang a song and the words have stayed with me.....'I'd rather be far from anywhere with you than anywhere without you'. I love this thought. I want this to be truth for me.

Last night the girls and I had our last hang-out before I leave. Diana and I were planning on going to a worship night at a church we had never been to before but when we got there we found out it was just for! So we decided to drive to the other side of St. Kitts to go to another church but we got there at like the closing of the service......I really think that there needs to be like a 9:00pm worship service for young adults somewhere! Anyways we decided to go to Starbucks and I wanted to go to a beach somewhere so we headed to The Beacon......a very fancy restaurant with a beautiful marina behind it. We watched the sun set and walked on the rocks and took some beautiful pics. It was such a good was our own worship time! Then we headed to the Zuidersma house to see Vick and took some fun pics with her. I was reminded last night of how blessed I am to have the best friends ever! I love them.....they bring so much joy, laughter and love to my life. Diana is leaving for Haiti in September and I don't want to think about how much I will miss her but I am so thankful to be able to do life with such amazing women of God!

This probably seems like the most random blog thoughts are so scattered tonight.

Last we had staff meeting....we watched one of the newest Nooma's by Rob Bell, it's called Open. It's all about prayer. It's a deep one and watching it somehow takes you to those deep places, sometimes the ones we're afraid to go. I ask a lot of questions, always have, I think I sometimes drive my parents nuts. I want to have answers to my questions. I like to get things, know why things happen the way they do. This sometimes becomes a really big stumbling block for me in my relationship with God because there are some questions that just do not have answers. My mind is too small and God is too big. It seems that the more I get to know God the less I know! It's difficult for me to trust sometimes because trusting involves saying I trust you even though you might act in a way that I don't get and that doesn't make sense to my human mind. I guess it's my point of surrender. It's one thing to say God is good when you seem to understand everything but it's another to say it even when things are cloudy. I don't want to be the type of person the sways when things get hard, I want to love God even if I don't get it all. Rob Bell talked about this idea of prayer not just changing things but prayer changing you.......this connectedness with God and with other people that prayer brings, it can change us. That's the reassuring thing.....even if I don't get it all, I am still connected with God, my heart is still his, nothing can take that away. In retrospect the things that seem so big in my life are probably just a blip on the screen, but God is still in it with me.

I am not in this alone, no matter how far away I may go.

This week I just have to make it to Paisley!

Sweet Dreams,

Thursday, 8 May 2008

Hark....A new blogger has been unleashed!!!!

I just wanted to share quickly about one of my best friend's new blog. Diana Wiebe will be leaving for Haiti at the end of the summer. She will be there for one year serving as a teacher. You can check our her blog at...
Please remember her in your prayers.

Yours Truly,
The Kindred Spirit

Monday, 21 April 2008

A few thoughts...

A few of you have watched the Starving Jesus documentary. I think there are mixed responses. I like the controversy! First of all I think it's a great documentary to get us thinking. The film seems to shift about half-way through and focus more on the struggles of the 40 day fast that these 2 guys are on. It also gives us a deeper look into some of the relational aspects of the friendship of these two guys and how they work out conflict, I found this rather intriguing. The essential message is to get off the pew and start reaching your community. I believe that this is at the core of Jesus' teaching......not so much the pew part but reaching the community, loving people, serving them. These guys are saying that the American church is lazy, maybe they are, but I live in Canada so really I can't speak about America. I think that there are lots of people who are lazy and who would rather be served than serve. I guess we all have our moments living in that mentality. However, I have had a bit of experience trying to recruit volunteers for church stuff and there are those people that serve and serve and serve and then there are those people that take and take and take and never give. I strongly believe that people need to serve. It makes them feel better about themselves and it promotes this feeling of unity, of community, of 'we're all in this together' and I think that's what the church is all about. I think it's easy to get caught up in our 'church' worlds and forget about the needs of people. This seems to be a constant challenge for me especially since I have grown up in the church and in a ministry family. We don't have to go across the world to serve. We can serve right where we are. I am blessed. I don't want that blessing to be wasted.

So do I think that the documentary is worth watching, yes, do I agree with everything in it, no, but watch it and draw your own conclusions.

I had more thoughts to share tonight but I really need to go study for my exam tomorrow.....I will write more later.

Yours Truly,
The Kindred Spirit

Tuesday, 15 April 2008

Are You Starving Jesus?

I just watched an amazing documentary. It's called Starving Jesus. Here's the link...
It's all about getting outta the pew and into the community and serving. It's very thought provoking. I may blog more about it later but I gotta run!

Yours Truly,
The Kindred Spirit

Sunday, 6 April 2008

I'm From...

This is a poem I wrote for one of my classes this term....I thought I'd share it...

I'm From...

I’m from six friendly faces around the dinner table.
I’m from a canopy of dreams.
I’m from a road of changing colours and soothing breezes.
I’m from it’s tearing up my heart when I’m with you.
I’m from 3 steps to church on Sunday.
I’m from tetherball and four square at recess.
I’m from I’m more liable to break a slate over your head carrots.
I’m from heartache at 16.
I’m from picturesque dreams of a black and white Big Ben.
I’m from the land of pretenders.
I’m from 4 walls of sunshine.
I’m from I love you never-ending.
I’m from Chesley Lake summers and cozy up beside the fire winters.
I’m from a place where I belong.

Depending on how well you know could be open for interpretation =),

The Kindred Spirit

Thursday, 3 April 2008

Take Everything I Am...

Well it's been a long night of studying for a test I have tomorrow and I am sure it will only get worse with exams coming in two weeks! I will be glad when school is done for the year. It was a beautiful day today, I was cruising with the window down and loving it and to top it all off the Sens whipped the Leafs just doesn't get any better than that! I recently got the new Starfield CD called "I Will Go" and in case you don't have it yet, I highly recommend it. I have been listening to it all day. There is one song that just really resonates with me....the words are really what I want my life to be about. I will share them with you...

I Will Go...

To the desperate eyes and reaching hands
To the suffering and the lean
To the ones the world has cast aside
Where you want me I will be

I will go
I will go
I will go Lord send me
To the world
To the lost
To the poor and hungry
Take everything I am
clay with in your hands
I will go
I will go
Send me

Let me not be blind with privilege
Give me eyes to seek the pain
Let the blessing You've poured out on me
Not be spent on me in vain
Let this life be used for change

I wanna live for you
Go where you lead me
I wanna follow you

I wanna live for you
Go where you lead me
I wanna follow you

I wanna live for you
Go where you lead me
I wanna follow you

I love those lyrics. I am not really one of those people who has a huge desire or perhaps I don't feel a calling to go and be a missionary in a third world country (at least as of right now) but I have a huge desire to have an impact here in North America to the people around me, to the least of those. The mission field is the ground beneath my two feet...ya know. So when the song talks about the ones the world has cast aside I really want that to be the desire of my heart. Those are the people all around us who perhaps get overlooked or missed but yet have so much to offer. I have been blessed to be in a place of privilege and it is so easy to lose sight of the needs of people, of what their going through. I hope that the Lord will help me to have compassion on those people and those needs and give me eyes to see them.

Matthew 25:44 ~ Then they will reply, "Lord, when did we ever see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and not help you?" And he will answer, "I assure you, when you refused to help the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were refusing to help me."

I get caught up with myself, a lot. I am sure I make other people feel small sometimes and I am sure I overlook people. The very thing that this verse talks about I am guilty of. I want my life to be used for change, even if it's one life. May you give me eyes to see Lord and a heart to go where You want me to go......because I think there are lots of people here, in the Niagara Region, in Wainfleet, at Niagara College, wherever else, that feel small and insignificant and are hurting.

I hope that your prayer tonight is to be the clay within His hands,

Monday, 31 March 2008

It's that time of year again...

As most of you know....PLAYOFFS are almost here....I hope you choose your team wisely! As for me....there is only ONE choice.....LETS GO SENS!!!!

And of course I will be cheering especially for Fisher.....gotta love him!

~Darc =)

Sunday, 30 March 2008

It's a long one...

I can't believe it's basically already April. I really have had no time to blog. I have thought about blogging......but there always seems to be something more important. However, tonight I am in the blogging mood.

Quick update on me: On Friday I met with an awesome guy who runs the Christian Horizons camp in Paisley and it is confirmed that I will be spending most of my summer there working and I am pretty pumped about it! You can check out the Christian Horizons website at I have been pretty busy with school and youth and the kids ministry at Wainfleet BIC and of course trying to get ready for General Conference at the end of June.....these are my legitimate excuses for not blogging.....:)!

I have been reading a book called Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller. I am only half way through it but I highly recommend it for those who like to expand their thinking. There are some really thought provoking things in it. For example:

"I believe that the greatest trick of the devil is not to get us into some sort of evil but rather have us wasting time. This is why the devil tries so hard to get Christians to be religious. If he can sink a man's mind into habit, he will prevent his heart from engaging God."

"I don't have to watch the evening news to see that the world is bad, I only have to look at myself. I am not browbeating myself here; I am only saying that true change, true life-giving, God-honouring change would have to start with the individual. I was the very problem I had been protesting. I wanted to make a sign that read "I AM THE PROBLEM".

These are two statements/quotes so far in my reading that have stuck out. I love this idea about my heart engaging God....I want to understand it more, I want to know what it's like. Engaging God is the difference between religion and relationship in my opinion. It's such a passionate and fulfilling pursuit that I think so many miss out on. People miss the point. I miss the point. I hate that I miss the point. Sometimes I catch a glimpse of someone who isn't missing the point and I just want to get the point. Rob Bell talks about how everything is spiritual in one of his books. Everything is spiritual, everything. I've thought a lot about this. I see it everyday. In one of my classes we have been discussing effective communication, I sat in class and all I could think about was how these very principles are the ones that Jesus taught; everything is spiritual. What is the number one thing that most companies strive to do......serve the customer well. Servanthood....everything is spiritual. I recently stood at the ocean shore and watched the sun rise and the tide come in, I was in awe because everything is spiritual. I can't look at a human being in all our complexity without thinking that everything is spiritual. I am finding that this pursuit of Christ, of engaging God is amazing. It breathes this depth into my life that gives me purpose and this sense of passion. I don't want to lose it. I don't ever want to stop engaging God.

One of the most awesome things about everything being spiritual is that every single person is surrounded by God even if they are unaware. Perhaps this is one of the reasons I enjoy dialoguing with people about "deeper" stuff.....because most people don't naturally think about God outside of "religion" and what that looks like or what it could mean in their lives. I think people are scared to think about stuff that matters because they might have to change.

The second quote talks about how if I want true change, it has to start with me because I AM THE PROBLEM. This is a hard one to grasp.....especially since it seems to be part of our human nature to constantly blame our problems on anyone or anything else, at least it's a problem for me, maybe I'm the only one, but I doubt it. Maybe I should make a sign that says I am the problem and hang it up, just like this guy says. I don't really know what this means yet. I haven't figured it out. How do I get from admitting I am the problem to true change. What does this look like? How do I actually admit that I am the problem and mean it?

Last weekend was Easter. I love Easter. Essentially Easter is the foundational holiday of my faith. We celebrate the cross, how Jesus, this perfect guy who loved people in this radical way decided that he loved people so much that he would take on all our sins, our failures, our dirt, he would take all our crap and put it on himself so that we would have a chance to really live and to engage God. I AM THE PROBLEM. Jesus wasn't the problem. Yet he died for me because I am the problem and he wanted me to have an opportunity to experience true change. I can't comprehend this. How can someone love me this way? Sometimes I think about my life and about who I am and I am ashamed and I wonder if God really loves me as much as he says he does and maybe he would love me more if I could be better. I know the Sunday school answer....but that answer doesn't always ring true in my heart. I hear the voice of condemnation.

Today in church we talked about condemnation.....the voices that discourage us, rob us of joy and peace, hide God and leave us feeling defeated. I hear these voices a lot. I was challenged today with the thought that those voices need to be rebuked or flushed out with the un-condemning voice of Jesus.....he says you are loved, you are forgiven, your are not condemned, you are treasured, I believe in you, I am with you. Hmmmm......these are the words that I need to remember. These are the words that tell me that God loves me as much as he says he does.

So......where does this leave me tonight......after all of my leaves me with the reality of the cross in my life, the reality of the passionate love Jesus has for me and the reality of my desire to engage God in spite of me being the problem.

So is there anyone else out there who think they may be the problem too?
Perhaps you should think about engaging God.

Sweet dreams my friends,
The Kindred Spirit

Sunday, 16 March 2008


This is a pic I took while I was in Myrtle Beach. It's overwhelming to stand by the ocean and reflect that the God who created all of this beauty knows my name and He loves me. Life looks a little different from that perspective!

Saturday, 19 January 2008

Happy Birthday Ben...

I have been thinking a lot lately. About a lot of things really. About life. I have also been reading a lot lately. C.S. Lewis seems to be quickly becoming one of my favourite authors. I think it is so important for us as humans to keep thinking about stuff, no matter what stage of life we may find ourselves in. We need to keep asking questions, keep defining who we are and what we believe and why we believe it. We need to keep changing. I am becoming convinced of this more and more everyday. I look at the world around me, I watch the news, I go to school and I come home and I wonder if there is any good left in this world because somedays it just seems like it's getting worse and worse. The standard of evil just keeps getting pushed more and more. I wonder what the 'norm' will be in 10 years from now. Lord may my light shine. It's so easy to be torn between going with the status quo and choosing to live differently. Somedays I win the battle and somedays I lose. On the days that I lose Lord, may I come on my knees again and ask for courage to live differently tomorrow. It's my battle and no one else can fight it for me. We all have our battles. The ones that we fall prey to. The sin that wages a war against our very souls and our character. This week I sang the words to a song. It's a beautiful song and I pray that these words would become my anthem, the one that stays with me always. I want these to be the words that drive me to let my light shine because this world needs a little light:

My Savior loves, My Savior lives
My Savior's always there for me
My God: He was, my God; He is
My God is always gonna be

These words are simple but the truth in them is life changing. These are the words that make the difference. These are words of promise. Breathe them in, let them fill you up, speak them, and when you are unsure and uncertain whisper them to the deepest places of yourself and hold tightly to them.

About 4 years ago my older brother Ben died. Tonight I miss him, a lot. Tonight I need to whisper those words. Tomorrow is Ben's birthday. He would have been 23. He's in heaven now and I know he doesn't want to come back but sometimes I wish he could just for one day. I have 2 younger brothers names Greg and Josh. Greg plays the guitar, sings, and writes songs among his many other talents. He recently but a poem to music which he sang for me tonight. These are the words:

Miss Me But Let Me Go

When I come to the end of the road
And the sun has set for me
I want no rites in a gloom filled room
Why cry for a soul set free?

Miss me a little, but not for long,
And not with your head bowed low.
Remember the love that we once shared
Miss me but let me go.

For this is a journey
That we all must take
And each must go alone
It's all part of the master's plan
A step on the road to home

When you are lonely and sick of heart
Go to the friends we know
And hurry your sorrow in doing deeds
Miss me, but let me go.

It's beautiful. Miss me but let me go. Much easier said than done I assure you. I'm glad that the Lord walks with us through the hurts. Tomorrow is another day to celebrate Ben's life. He is a brother that I was so blessed to know and love and learn from. His legacy seems to live on in my life especially. Ben had cerebral palsy and he was severely disabled. Ben is the reason that I want to work with and love other people who have disabilities. When I talk to and hang out with people who have developmental disabilities I see a part of Ben in them. I see a part of the story of my family in them. I will forever be grateful for the gentle lessons Ben left me. Upon first glance no one would ever know the kind of influence a boy like Ben would ever have on the many people who walked in and out of his life. It's a powerful testament to the grace of God. So there is a good chance that there may be a few tears tomorrow but the tears can't drown out the joy there is in knowing Ben has been set free!

Sleep well my friends
and please never stop thinking and questioning,

The Kindred Spirit