Mar 21, 2009

The Motives of Our Hearts...

Proverbs 21:2
“All a man’s ways seem right to him, but the LORD weighs his heart.”


God looks at the motives and intentions in our hearts that guide and motivate our decisions and the directions we take. He looks at the purity of our hearts and why we choose to do certain things or go certain places. It can be very easy for us to justify our actions or desires, especially if we want them bad enough. However, that doesn’t make them right.
There has to be a proverbial “yard stick” or measurement for truth and the distinction between right and wrong. This verse says that “all a man’s ways seem right to him,” however, that is impossible. It is impossible that all his ways are right. As humans we are born imperfect, therefore, it is impossible that 100% of all we do is right. That may be our subjective, and somewhat delusional, opinion about our behaviour, but it is not fact and it is not reality from God’s perspective. And that is the one perspective that should matter most, especially in the life of a believer.

It only stands to reason that where there is right, its opposite; wrong, must also be present. We know that man and his ways are not perfect (always and completely right), for if a man or woman claims to be perfect, then he or she is only fooling themselves and calling God a liar (1 John 1:8-10). Our sense of morality guides and shapes what is right and wrong to us. Our ways and our morality go hand in hand, like a game of “Follow the Leader.” Our sense of morality will define our ways. Morals precede our ways or actions.

The above verse says “seem right to him…” If something “seems[1],” then it is not necessarily what it appears or claims to be all the time. Things can seem right to us and we do them, but to someone else our actions may appear strange or unwise. Because of this, it must be God, the Perfect Judge (2 Timothy 4:8), and not solely ourselves, who evaluates, sanctions and ultimately judges our ways. God and his truth are the proverbial “yard stick” or standard of measurement by which we judge and validate our ways. That is why the verse says, “the LORD weighs[2] [a man’s] heart.” God alone has the complete ability and right to guide us and give sanction or not to the decisions and directions we make or take in our lives. Be assured that God judges fairly (Revelation 19:11).

If we go solely by what seems right to us or what we want, then we are asking for trouble because, apart from God and His ways, man knows not on his own the best ways to go. The state of our society today is living proof of that. Validate and confirm your “seemingly right ways” against God’s truth and guidance. If you get a green light from Him, then you’re ok. If you don’t, then there must be a reason. Trust Him and let Him guide you today.

[1] SEEM[S]: To suit or fit. To give the impression of being right, to appear to be true, to appear to one’s own mind or opinion. From Old Norse meaning, “to conform to.” Prov. 21:2 ~ “All a man’s ways [conform to, suit, fit] what is right to him…”


[2] WEIGHS: To evaluate… Prov.21:2 ~ “the LORD [evaluates a man’s] heart.

Jun 21, 2008

Ukraine...The second time around...




Hi everyone!!

It's so good to be able to write you all again after so long!! Things continue to be busy and time continues to tick on.


Since I last wrote on here, I had the chance to visit the Ukraine again. Our team, which consisted of 7 people, left Montreal on June 4th and returned on June the 19th. This was my second time visiting and working in the city of Dnepropetrovsk (south east of Kiev).

The majority of the work done there happened in orphanges. We got the opportunity to spend time with some amazing young people from 5 different orphanages in the city. There are easily 20 orphanages (perhaps more) in the city of Dnepropetrovsk alone. Unlike Canada, Ukraine does not have a fully functioning foster care system. As a result, thousands of babies, children and teenagers are living out their childhoods in institutions. It is a sad reality for many of them. However, I should make mention that while there we did meet and see with our own eyes some wonderdful places where the workers genuinely care and look after the children there.
The girl in the photo (above left) is named Leana. She, along with her younger brother Vitalic, were abandoned by their mother at the orphanage back in March. The day we came, she was telling our translator how sad and abandoned she felt. I held her and hugged her and told her that although she may have felt abandoned and worthless, nothing could be further from the truth. I tried to encouraged her with the truth and reality that she was special and viable eventhough her circumstances would show her otherwise.
Leana's situation is sad but not uncommon in Ukraine. Many children and babies are abandoned or left for a time in orphanages by their parents for various reasons. For some it is simply because they are sadly not wanted by their parents. Some parents struggle with alcohol or drug addictions, and taking care of a child is a nusance, not a joy. For other parents, poverty and joblessness haunt their every step, leaving them with little resources to properly take care of their children. They place them or leave them in the orphanage because they feel it is the only way that their child will have a chance to survive and be clothed and fed. Some times families are reunited, and sometimes they are not. Please pray along with me that Leana will be reunited with her family one day and will not be hurt or warped by the pain she feels right now. I am praying that God will take what is happening to her and shelter her through it and make her a stronger young woman and draw her closer to Him in the process. God is a God of second chances and redemption. He takes ashes and gives us beauty for them, and I pray He does that for Leana and other orphans in their pain.


When we would visit the children, we would begin with some Christian children's songs that had high energy movements to them. Then one of the men on the team (Cosimo) would lead the children in a musical activity using Orff instruments. They would recreate a thunder storm. The point of the actvity was to relay to the children that even when storms come into their lives, God can still bring something beautiful out of it. After this, myself or another team member (Sheila) would have a short 5 minute teaching about an important truth from the Bible. Then we would finish things off with a craft and then we would hand out gifts that we brought with us for them and the workers.

video


The teaching I shared with the children was based upon Ephesians 2:10 where it says, "For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago." I began by showing the children a picture of the Mona Lisa and asking them if they knew who this was. Then I asked them what a masterpiece was and then relayed to them the fact that they are just as much a masterpeice as the Mona Lisa if not more! God had created them all and they were all his best work and the best and most favored of all creation. Afterward, as a craft, we handed out pictures we had taken of the children, and had them make photo frames for their photos. The photos were to be a reminder to them that they are God's masterpiece and most cherished possession in all creation. The kids were thrilled to receive a photo of themselves and their friends because it is very rare that they get to have personalized photos.

My heart was especially touched and compelled when I shared this message at the handicapped orphanage. The handicapped in Ukraine are not afforded the rights and respect that the disabled in Canada are shown. Many public facilities are without ramps or amenities to help them. Those in the orphanage who reach 18 are promptly sent to an old folks home where they waste away the remainder of their days forgotten and alone. These young people needed to hear this message and be told that they were special and of worth no matter their physical state. I am praying that God takes the little we were able to offer them in word and deed, and do something powerful and life changing in and through them.


Finally, one thing that God has made me aware of through being on this trip, is that those who are most unlovable are the ones that need to be loved the most. Love and mercy need to trump everything else because when a person acts aweful, it's because there are deep hurts that need addressing and that are causing the unlovable behavior. Only giving them unconditional love, mercy and understanding will help. It chips away slowly at their defenses and gets to them in a way that attacking their character will not. It softens them and cares for them at the core of their hurt. It speaks to them long before anything else. Showing them this kind of love will eventually produce in them a self motivated, genuine sorrow and repentance for their behavior and all the hate they were harboring. Being given love when we are unlovable awakens in us a sense of brokenness. We become aware of our hurtful, aweful behavior, and are then so touched and struck by the show of genuine love and understanding, that it compels us to become genuinely sorrowful for our behavior and repent of it.
That's about it for me right now. I am hoping to write again soon and truely appreciate all of your thoughts and prayers for me through this adjusment time. May God richly bless and encourage and challenge you in your faith, so that you can be an even more effective witness for Him tomorrow than you are today!!
Me and Alyssa trying to look like Babushkas(Russian grandmas)

May 13, 2008

The end of a thing can only mean a new beginning...



As some of you may or may not know, I was appointed as a Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada (PAOC) missionary to work with Next Level International (NLI) within their Leadership Training Department. In mid-February of this year, I received a phone call from the individual who recruited me. In that phone call he informed me that NLI was undergoing some major changes in terms of their goals. This required some substantial restructuring. My department, in particular, seemed to receive some of the larger changes. The missionary who requested I come and work with him, and who was also the head of the Leadership Development Department, was affected by the restructuring, and has since moved on from NLI. As a result, the ministry opportunity that he created for me was ultimately affected by this change, and I will not be working with NLI at least for the present time. Since this occurred, I have been in the process of getting more information from NLI concerning these events and talking with key leaders at the PAOC head office in order to tie up any lose ends related to this matter. This is why you have not received any news about this until now.

Although it seems, at least for the foreseeable future, that I will not be doing missions in a long-term capacity overseas, I do still plan on getting involved where I can. In June 2008, I will be returning to my beloved Ukraine for two weeks inorder to return to where my heart is truly at: orphanage work. I will be going with a team of 6 people on behalf of a wonderful non-profit Christian organization called Bearers of Love International (http://www.bearersoflove.org/). Their goal is to provide for the financial and practical needs of orphans, the homeless, and handicapped of Ukraine. It is with this organization that I received my first taste of Ukraine in 2006. I have not been able to forget it since and it has deeply impacted my life and engrained itself in my heart. I am praying to have a greater implication in this country in the future.

At the current moment, I am working as a substitute teacher and at my church’s office as a part time receptionist. I am praying for a full time teaching contract come the fall, and look forward to knowing God more as I digest all that I have learned and experienced in this last year and a half.

It touches my heart so deeply when I think of the time you have spent praying for me and the finances you have invested in me. As a young woman, who felt led to step out in faith for God, I am truly humbled by the great show of belief, love and support that came from you for me. Please know that my not going overseas was not of my own choosing. I feel as though the rug was pulled out from underneath me so to speak. I feel it wise and prudent of me to re-evaluate where I am at right now, not make any rash decisions and simply BREATHE. Whatever my next move is I want to know that it is God who is leading me to do it, and not simply my own efforts trying to mend this situation.

I am so grateful for your financial commitment. Your gifts have ensured that my expenses during the fundraising term were cared for and the costs related to my upcoming trip to the Ukraine this summer are covered. Thank you for your sacrifice and support. It is important that you contact Charlene Mitchell (cmmitchell@paoc.org) in the Missions Department of The Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada IF you arranged monthly pre-authorized donations towards my budget and request that they be stopped. You can email Charlene or call her at 1.905.542.7400.

At the moment, I am projecting a small surplus in my missionary account. I will be consulting with my leaders at PAOC to ensure the remaining funds are distributed fairly.

Once again, thank you so very much. I trust we can stay in touch because I do still believe that our meeting was strategic and Kingdom led. Until we talk again, may God richly grow and challenge you in your faith so that you may be a greater and more effective witness for Jesus tomorrow than you are today!

Mar 8, 2008

I know not, but You do Lord....

HI EVERYONE!!

Man has it ever been a while since I last wrote you all here! Life certainly becomes an interesting journey when we let God take the wheel and lead the way! I recently had a scripture verse come to my rememberance, and it caused me to think. Has that ever happened to you? As a result I wrote down a few thoughts related to this verse. Hope it sparks something in you!


“Many are the plans in a man's heart, but it is the LORD's purpose that prevails.”

Proverbs 19:21


Our lives are never a “3 step” easy plan, but they’re definitely worth the journey. Like any good tour through uncharted territory, a guide is essential. Trusting and believing the information and facts that the guide shares with you is also a crucial part of enjoying and getting the most out of your tour through the new and unknown. If ever you get lost or are unsure about what to do, your guide is the best person to consult in order to get informed, helpful advice and directions.


Unfortunately, all too often in life, we face decisions and situations that confront us like road blocks or unexpected turns, and we inevitably stand there dumbfounded, surprised and perhaps even bewildered. We don’t know what to do with these unforeseen circumstances and get frustrated because they detract and take away from the plans we had and the course we had set ourselves on. We wish we had a guide to steer us through the mess because our sunny, picture perfect plans seem dashed. Indeed, many are the plans in a man or woman’s heart. We can plan and organize and dream and prepare all we want, but for all our good intentions and efforts, we cannot guarantee that any of it will come to pass. A lack of a guarantee is perhaps why taking risks is such a hard thing to do.


As Christians, stepping out in faith has the potential to be as equally hard, if it were not for God’s faithfulness and all knowingness through it all. There are times in our lives where we could have sworn that we were in the heart and centre of God’s will, and yet despite that, the end destination we were focused on and the things we desired to receive and experience never materialized. Times like this are delicate because, if handled and processed improperly, have the potential to kill our dreams, dash our hopes and send us spiralling into a vortex of doubt, anger and despair.


Even at the most secure and routine times in our lives there are no guarantees. Things can fall apart and unravel in a second. A lot can change in a day, for better or worse. Ecclesiastes 6:12 says, “In the few days of our meaningless lives, who knows how our days can best be spent? Our lives are like a shadow. Who can tell what will happen on this earth after we are gone?” That statement is enough to make me realize that I need to and want to make the days I have count. I need to be on the best path for me at this point in my life.


WHO KNOWS HOW OUR DAYS CAN BEST BE SPENT? Duh…GOD! I have been asking God, “What is your purpose here in my life? Tell me what it is so that we can cut to the chase and just get to the point.” I don’t want to try my own suggestions and waste time when I could just ask God what he wants and what is best and get to the point of my life. Some would think that is being narrow minded or even mindless, but I have come to learn that I don’t always know what is best for me and I need God’s guidance and understanding to lead me forward. It doesn’t mean that I am a mindless robot that just walks around wherever God points me. He can show me the right and most profitable way, but I ULTIMATELY HAVE THE DECISION TO FOLLOW IT OR NOT. I personally think it would be pure foolishness not to follow God’s guiding and leading. He honestly knows best and I am wanting to trust him with all I am.


Matthew 11:19 and Luke 7:35 both make mention of the reality and powerful truth that as we are lead by God’s wisdom, no matter how unconventional or strange it may seem, what results from it will speak for itself. Wisdom is shown to be right by the lives of those who live it and by what results from it. I may make certain decisions that seem strange, but I don’t mind doing so if I am being lead by God’s guidance and his wisdom. With time my decision to do so will yield results that will speak for themselves and prove for themselves that the decision I made to walk in God’s wisdom was the right one.


It’s amazing how quickly things change. It’s amazing how even when you are in God’s will and heading in the direction you sense Him leading you, things can change 180 degrees and you’re left wondering why you headed down your previous path to begin with. The funny thing is that, as far as I know, I was not in the wrong in terms of the direction I was heading into and the things I chose to pursue or let go of this past year. There has been a lot of good that has come out of it. God had his purpose for leading me in this way. It was a means to an end that I could not see on my own.


The way God works is fascinating and His sequence of things is sometimes unfathomable. Isaiah 55:8-11(MSG version) says this:
“I don't think the way you think. The way you work isn't the way I work. For as the sky soars high above earth, so the way I work surpasses the way you work, and the way I think is beyond the way you think. Just as rain and snow descend from the skies and don't go back until they've watered the earth, doing their work of making things grow and blossom, producing seed for farmers and food for the hungry, so will the words that come out of my mouth not come back empty-handed. They'll do the work I sent them to do, they'll complete the assignment I gave them.”

Within this scripture there is proof and reassurance of the fact that there is fruit in what I have done, been, and accomplished for the sake of God’s kingdom in this last year. I can’t understand the latest turn of events; they don’t make sense from a human stand point. Yet I stand determined nonetheless, knowing in His good timing God will do something great and help me fulfill my call. In the meantime I must trust, not always understanding or knowing why, but remembering and clinging to the truth that ALL THINGS (good and bad!!) work for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose (Romans 8:28).


SO… once again LORD my question to You is this, “What is your purpose God? What is it that you need from me? What is it that you want to prevail?” At times, there may seem like there is no rhyme or reason for the latest turn of events. Life is certainly unpredictable, but I thank God so much for being there for me and being my most amazing, loving and knowledgeable guide ever! I cannot understand anything that is happening Jesus, but I trust you. In some strange, eyes of faith way, I can see that something is working itself through in the course of these events. I am learning to grow and trust you through all this. I am learning to walk by faith and not sight and that is so cool! “It's what we trust in but don't yet see that keeps us going. Do you suppose a few ruts in the road or rocks in the path are going to stop us?” (2 Corinthians 5:7-8 MSG)

Jan 23, 2008

A Calmer Frame of Mind....

As of late, it has truely beem a time of pacing myself, breathing deep and enjoying where I am and where I am coming from. Being in Amqui, Quebec for five days certainly helped to put me in a calmer frame of mind. While I may not be gone yet, whatever has been lacking in money is made up for in character building experinces and life lessons along this journey.


One thing I am learning is that this whole process and journey is not about the money. Every group I have spoken at, every person I have met, every chance I have had to share my heart for Europe, to share Christ's hope and purpose with people.... all these things have ultimately not been done or come around for solely a financial windfall (at least not in its entirety). God encouraged my heart the other day that any of this "waiting around before I leave" time has not been because there was a lack of money. This whole proces has not been about money, but rather my character, integrity and maturity as a Christian.



I am learning as I go, that God has a way of changing us and smartening us up as we walk more fully in His direction for our lives (Romans 8:28). I have learned so much in the way of patience, faith, and many other areas of my mind and life from experiencing all I have since I first embarked on this path one year ago.



_----___-----_____---___---___---___---___---__---____

On another note, I spent 5 days last week (Jan 17-21) in Amqui, Quebec. For those of you who don't know where it is rest assured that you are not the only one. I too was unfamiliar with it, or the fact that it takes a 9-10 hour long bus ride to get there! But the quiet time in the bus was a great way to reposition my mind and rest my body.


I had the chance to speak at a youth rally out there and then to preach on the Sunday morning. I am trusting God that He used my life and the words He gave me to challenge and inspire a lot of them. We need to be shakin out of our everyday thinking and move in the extraordianry! God blessed me and my budget through these people's generosity and I am truely thankful!
I am still looking for monthly sponsors to help me make it out to Eastern Europe and see lives transformed and living for God's purposes! Can you help me get there. Even a small gift of $50 per month (tax receiptable) can help make the difference in my budget to help me get there!



Below are a list of different events that I am speaking at in the next few weeks. If you are able to I would love to have you come out and be a part of it!
  • January 25th.... Youth rally in Drummondville, QC 7:30 pm 284 ST MARCELDRUMMONDVILLE, QC (819) 474-7350

  • January 27.... Evangel Church service....9am & 11am ..... 1235 Lambert-Closse MTL


  • January 31.... Trinity Church Women's Gathering.... 7 pm.... 7780 Champlain Blvd Lasalle


  • February 9.... ConneXion... 6:30 pm....2152 St.Catherine O, MTL... I'm speaking on "Kicking the Prodigal Mindset...Running toward Maturity"


  • February 9....Women of Action Conference... 2152 St.Catherine O... 10 am-12:30pm

  • February 15.... Youth group in Drummondville...DETAILS TO COME....

Jan 9, 2008

Getting over being a "Know-It-All" . . .

Sometimes the things you need to hear the most come from places you least expect, and from people you're not expecting God to use to speak to you. Just last night I was at a prayer meeting for ConneXion, the new church plant that my home church has helped to launch (check out the link to their website on my main page). This coming Saturday will mark the one year anniversary of ConneXion, and so we decided to take the time to pray for God 's direction for this brand new year.

One thing I find difficult, is when you want to pray for something or someone, but you can't seem to do it right cause your mind and /or heart is preoccupied with something else. In my case, my heart and mind can, from time to time, wander and dwell on the financial pressures and questions that arise from my moving overseas. I don't wake up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat over it, but it overshadows my thoughts sometimes more than I would care to admit. Beacuse of this, I struggle to whole heartedly give my mind and heart over to God in prayer.



Getting back to the point of this story (LOL!!), last night at the prayer meeting, we all took the time to be silent before God and listen out for what He would want to tell us. One young woman who was there with us said she sensed the Lord speak a word of encouragement or a reminder into her heart for all of us. By clicking on the video below, you can hear what she shared with us from God's heart.





video



Personally, I was most struck by the line that said, "I know that you think you know, but really you don't need to worry." I will be honest... Sometimes I can be a real "Little Miss Know-It -All" whether or not you may have ever noticed. I struggle with that mentality, especially when it comes to things that I have heard dozens of times, or things that once made such sense to me, but have lost their meaning over the years.



Throughout this whole transition time and process of moving into missions, I have told myself that God is sovreign and will make it all happen. One of the things most frequently told to me by others is that "God will provide". I'm not trying to be rude, but sometimes I just want to tell people to shut up...like I haven't heard that one fifty million times before! Is saying that going to help me get to where I am going faster? Is it going to put more cash into my budget so that I can finally leave? No!



HOWEVER, contrary to what my impatient and "know-it-all" flesh would like to think, hearing that God will provide IS going to help me get there. It might not physically get me overseas as quickly as I would like, but it is going to remind to get back to a place in my spirit where nothing is impossible for God! It WILL bring me to a place where I am reminded that God is in control and no matter what things look like now, I DON'T HAVE TO WORRY!.



So as much as I think I know.....I really don't. And so thank you to all of you who continue to encourage me along thins tiresome but exciting journey into the heart of God's will for me. I am never going to need to stop hearing from you all, but especially from God. May I encourage you all to not hesitate to speak into someone's life if you sense that God is wanting to tell them something. HOWEVER, JUST MAKE SURE IT'S GOD AND NOT YOUR OWN OPINION OR TWO CENTS!!



Please continue to keep me in your prayers. I am not sure of all the details as of yet, but it looks like I am off to Gaspe next weekend (Jan 17-21) and then to Drummondville (Jan 25-26). Please pray along with me that God would use my life powerfully to impact many young lives to live for Him and His kingdom, and that monthly financial supporters would come from encounetrs in these parts of Quebec. Please pray also that God grant me favor and open doors in other parts of this country for monthly sponsorship.



Thank you all so, so much!!! I couldn't do this without God and you!! :))

Jan 4, 2008

Being a Leader...

Hebrews 12:12-13

“So take a new grip with your tired hands and stand firm on your shaky legs. Mark out a straight path for your feet. Then those who follow you, though they are weak and lame, will not stumble and fall but will become strong.”



What a privilege it is to be a leader! That is something I think of every now and then. To have the ability to shape and mold young lives for God’s purpose and for His acclaim. However, it isn’t always easy, as one of Matt Janes’ messages reminded me. We easily can get “tired hands” and “shaky feet” doing what we do (along with fifty other things on our plates!). But one thing God has encouraged my heart about is to take a new grip…whether it be believing God to move in young peoples' lives or anything else that we’ve been becoming weary in. In spite of our shakiness and tiredness God wants us to take a firm grip again on the things He’s called us to be and do in the lives of those around us and in the ministries we are a part of.



“Mark out a straight path” reminds me that we are to set a precedence for these people. In Matthew 7:14 it says, “But the gateway to life is small, and the road is narrow, and only a few ever find it.” We as leaders have to mark that straight or narrow path out in order to set the example. We have a chance to help “a few” find it by doing this! As leaders we are never free of prying eyes and influencing the young. We need to walk it in order for them to Lord willing follow it. I love the promise at the end of Hebrews 12: 12-13.



The whole point of being a leader, in God's service, is to see the Lord strengthen, challenge and grow those we mentor and lead. If we stand in God’s strength, helping each other to stand, and if we mark out and walk in that straight path, then God PROMISES that He WILL make strong those who are weak and lame (spiritually or otherwise, those who follow us, those who we shepherd. ISN’T THAT THE WHOLE REASON WE ARE DOING WITH THEM WHAT WE ARE DOING?? To see them grow strong not in our strength, but in God’s mighty POWER?! Thank you for being with me through this journey. God is doing great things, and I’m praying that He continue to help us and compel us to stand in the gap for those around us. They are our friends, family, co-workers, etc, and to know them and serve them is an amazing privelege!!

Young men from a village orphanage in Ukraine. They are the future leaders of Europe.

Dec 31, 2007

Burning with a passion...

Passion is an extraordinary thing. Pair it with selflessness and amazing things can happen. I just finished watching the movie "Amazing Grace" (which I HIGHLY recommend renting and purchasing) and was left with an awesome sense of passion and the need to make an impact for something that matters. It reinforced the fact that I want to live beyond myself. I want my life to count for something more than me.

The movie essentially chronicles a 20 year period in the life of William Wilberforce, who had a personal and powerful relationship with God, and who persevered many obstacles inorder to abolish slavery in his country in the 1800's. What was extraordinary about this man is two fold. Number one, he knew what his giftings and passions were, so he combined them and used them not only to honor God but to make a life chaging difference in many others' lives. Number two, he was relentless in pursuing that which he knew was his purpose and passion in life. He spent most of his adult life fighting to free slaves. It wasn't until 3 days before his death that this became a reality! Imagine having that much persistence and passion right up until the end!

I couldn't help but be reduced to tears by the end of it because, at least for me, there is nothing more compelling and powerful then to witness someone live powerfully for God, in a way that honors Him, while also leaving an incredibly life changing legacy behind you.


With regard to the issue of slavery, Wilberforce once said, "Having heard all of this you may choose to look the other way... but you can never say again that you did not know." In Christ, we have the power to help empower and change lives not just on a practical and physical level, but also on a deeper and more meaningful eternal level. Make every day you live a time where you can leave God's hand print on society. Make every moment possible one that counts for eternity's sake. That way, those you have come in contact with will have seen or heard the truth and can never say they did not know.

I want to burn with a passion for something that will transform lives and last beyond me. I want to burn with a passion for Christ that out lives my time on this Earth and that rocks the very foundations of people's lives.

That is my aim and that is my heart in going to work in Eastern Europe. Could you find it within yourself to do what you can and to do what it takes to help get me there so that I can, like William Wilberforce, undoubtedly change lives for the better and for eternity's sake?!


video

Dec 22, 2007

Where's the "Easy Button"??

I'd be lying if I said I haven't been frustrated and stressed and angry along the way with this whole undertaking. Of course I could put on a happy face and say something like "All is well with my soul", but I would by lying. I trust God and I continue to because He truely is my only hope and the source of all that I am. I just feel the need to be candid with all of you and let you know that no matter who we are or what we do, we're still human and because of this we are prone to bouts of frustration and fear or discouragement no matter how much faith we have. It just sometimes feels like too much and I wish there really was an "Easy Button" I could push and fast forward to the point in time where I am living the dream.
The great and faithful thing about God is that He still hears us and sees us in the midst of these bouts of frustration and comes along in the little things and in the unexpected things to reassure us and show Himself strong. Just yesterday, I was speaking at a youth group in Riviere des Prairies called Jeunesse en Action (check out their Facebook page). God used this group to encourage and reassure me.

Toward the end of the evening, the group took the time to pray for me. As they gathered around me and started to pray, it felt like their words and petitions to God for me were a soothing ointment to my tired and strained body and spirit. Then they all began to sing "God you are there". As they sang, I felt like they were singing for me. They were speaking out what my spirit wanted to say and affirm but was too tired to do. I was weary but God used them to help pick me up and send me forward. Afterward, many of them came up to me to offer more words of encouragement and even inquiries on how to help me financially. They are a phenomenal group who are truely being led by God's Spirit and are sensitive to His leading. Their leaders (Mathieu and Sophie Briand) are a great and beautiful young couple who are richly gifted and humble. They were very warm and inviting and are helping to raise up a great group of young people who are gonna change the world around them for God's glory! I thank them all so much!! :))

SO... in the end, who needs an "Easy Button" when God provides you with such great and caring people like those at Jeunesse en Action! Weary moments are sometimes inevitable and when they come they're not fun. But it is simply amazing to see how God comes through each time and infuses us in the exact ways we need, inorder to help us keep going forward for Him.

Until next time, that's where things are at and where they're headed. Continue to keep me in prayer and all those in Eastern Europe who are still without hope. Blessings on you guys and love you!!

Dec 16, 2007

Slowing down, but getting there...

Hey everyone!

Its been a while since I last wrote something.Needless to say that is because things have been so insanely BUSY for me. Between teaching full time in a high school, speaking to different groups on the weekend, and being a part of the huge Christmas production at my church I have bitten off almost more than I can chew! But thankfully things are quieting down now. Right now I am just wanting to relax and enjoy my time with my family and friends before I leave.

Yesterday, I celebrated my 25th birthday. It was quite a surprise and I was very thankful to see all my friends there to support me and show their love. I got some wonderful cards with some very sweet and heart felt messages. The funniest gift was a massive Toblerone chocolate that was given to me by an old friend. We have had an ongoing joke that involves a Toblerone, so getting this massive one was hilarious! Check out the video to see how big it was!


video


I also received some generous monetary donations which are going toward my budget for the work I am doing in Eastern Europe. Recently, I received some news about my budget from the organztion that is sending me overseas. I was told that in order for me to leave I need to raise at least 75% of my total budget. Also, this 75% must be in the form of monthly donations.


So here are things as they stand now:


Total budget for the year: ~$46,000


75% of Total budget: ~$34,000


Amount I have so far in monthly support: ~$15,000


SO...how can you help? Good question! By having roughly 30 more individuals or groups sponsoring me for $50 per month or more I will hit that 75% mark pretty quick. In my last post (dated October 30th 2007) I outlined how you could donate to me. I had anticipated leaving by January 2008, but unless more people sacrificially step up to the plate for me and help by committing what they can monthly, my mission has to be put onhold for a while.


Would you please consider how you could help me make my dream and call a reality. I want this so bad but I can't do it without all of you! You can help make this happen today for me! Please contact me to let me know.


I want to wish everyone who visits this site an awesome Christmas season. Thank God for all of you who are supporing me in everyway you possibly can, whether it be through prayer, words of encouragement, money or your love! I need it all and thank you all so very very much!!!