In The Presence of the Almighty

I started this journal to express the many ways my life has been touched since I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord. I hope to share joys, struggles, testimonies and anything I might receive from the Lord. My prayer is that anyone who reads my entries may receive in a way that is necessary for where they are at in life. May the power of the Holy Spirit fill you as you come along my journey.

Location: Ontario, Canada

I am a full time wife and stay at home Mom. I am married to a man who places the Lord first above all else. I am embracing this season in my life to be a Mom and look forward to having more children. My husband and I will raise them in the ways of the Lord.

Saturday, April 30, 2005

New Beginnings

Today will be a personal post, coming from my heart. My relationship ended this morning with my boyfriend. It was not a hard time to sit down and have the inevitable discussion of our relationship ending. It is actually quite a relief. Not to say that I am not feeling emotional, I just need to be strong and heal. I want the Father's loving arms to consume me.

I want to thank you Lord for preparing my heart and spirit for today. It has not been an easy time and has been even more difficult to finely attune your voice throughout the struggles. I pray Lord that you would heal my mind, body, soul and spirit. Lord teach me to walk wholly in your love and forgiveness.

Lord I know you have set me aside for many things, not just to pursue a calling on my life. I know that you are preparing me for a husband and family. Lord prepare me for all aspects of what you have planned for me in the future. Please provide a man that will understand how you are working in my life and will support my decision to pursue full time ministry. Lord you know my needs, wants and desires greater than I know myself. You formed and molded me in the womb. You are my Creator.

I love you Lord. I embrace this new beginning.

Friday, April 29, 2005

Time of Restoration

I believe the Lord has been trying to speak to me on a particular matter for quite some time. As we struggle between spirit and flesh, it is sometimes difficult to hear the still small voice of the Holy Spirit.

As I have pursued the Lord in prayer, I have received a few words. When I pursued the Lord further, wrestling with Him for understanding, I received greater revelation.

I believe in grace. I also believe that a Father disciplines His children. Like the Israelites that wandered so many years, God poured out His grace and yet removed His blessing from some that wandered so that they may not ever see the promised land.

As the Lord led me to Jeremiah 32 this evening, I was reminded of what the Lord has placed in my spirit over the last few weeks. What gave me hope was the last verse in which the Lord declares He will restore all that is lost.

This is not meant to be taken out of context at all. I need a restoration of my spirit, my passion, my innermost desires. Stepping out in faith to pursue my call has been tough, but I have no regrets. The Lord is teaching me, transforming me and stretching me.

Anyone who has ever seen the movie Braveheart can relate that stretching hurts! This is the kind of spiritual stretching I am referring to. When the Lord is done, I will not fit the same anymore.

Hallelujah! Time to throw out my old wineskin! Lord I want a new wineskin and fresh wine to be poured in. Lord I want to flow to overflowing, to be rich in your fragrant bouquet, to be the most beautiful colour that picks up the natural hues of your love.

I pray for your restoration Lord.

Psalm 51:12
Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Back from Vancouver

Well, it is nice to be back home. I arrived Saturday evening at 7:30pm after being in a crowded van all day and getting up at 4 am. I was so blessed. My landlord and his fiance invited me to have dinner with them and to watch a movie afterward. It was relaxing. We all spent time with my darling cat. They took care of her while I was away. Thank you Lord and bless them for their kindness.

To summarize some of the events, I will return to Thursday. As I mentioned in another post, we all helped out with a food bank for single Mom's. It was incredible to see how much work, organization and planning goes into such a service. We had to unload two truckloads of boxes, then open the boxes, divide/separate goods into different piles and count them. Then we placed buckets and boxes on the floor and distributed items from fresh food, canned goods, to personal hygiene. One day when I have pictures developed, I will post some of them. After that we had class. Then we sat in on a bible study for Young Adults that was happening in the room where we sleep, eat and study. Finally, the moment arrived for us to go downtown at night time.

We drove down to the area of East Hastings and Main. On route, we witnessed a fist fight, the usual number of people doing drugs and some prostitutes. The streets were very quiet which surprised us, even 'Pigeon Park' was empty. Sorry I called the place 'Bird Park' in another post. The guy that took us down there mentioned it was very unusual to be so quiet plus the fact that one whole block was filled with police cars, about 14 of them. Our assumption is that something serious must have happened earlier in the evening. Unfortunately, we did not get out and walk. Some of the students were relieved that decision was made. I was a little disappointed as I wanted to see everything, interact and learn. I wanted to see just how horrible the conditions are and how the action increases in the late hours of the evening. However, I do not need to see more for the compassion in my heart to increase. I wanted to gain a greater understanding of the sub-culture. We took a drive then into the wealthy areas to see where the higher end prostitutes are. We learned a little about the higher and lower end hookers.

To complete the evening, we drove down an area called, 'Kiddy Stroll'. I apologize if that is offensive to some readers, but let's face it folks...this is reality. Kiddy stroll is named because it is the area of the city that someone can hire a child prostitute. I am not sure of the youngest age but it would not surprise me how young some may be. My guess is that between the ages of 8 and 15. It is legal to have sex at the age of 16 in BC, perhaps 14. I would have to check on that. In think we were told 14. The people or parents that are pimping do their business behind closed doors in this area. When the child is needed, they usher them out to the vehicle to the customer. There are some brothels in the area that cater to this, plus any age of prostitution. This area touched me to the inner core. Alongthis last part ofour drive, we did see a young girl standingout at the side of the road. She seemed so pretty, fearful and fragile. We watched her walk, which appeared to all of us that she did so with great difficulty. I can only assume why, but do not want my imagination to think about it. We were informed that Vancouver is the city that caters to your every desire, in Satan's dominion that is.

On Friday we were up bright and early to go and spend the day at Union Gospel Mission again. Some of us were on kitchen duty and some maintenance. I was chosen for the kitchen. I made 128 sandwiches, mixed/prepared drinks, cut desserts and helped out in other areas. It takes a great deal of time, effort and preparation to feed 100's of people a day. We had lunch then prepared to do chapel service. The men, maybe 1-2 women really appreciated the service. They clapped after the one student preached, not because they had to but because they wanted to.

After that we went downtown for dinner. Our teacher took us all out for a great steak dinner. We had enough money left over to treat ourselves. We had managed to save on gas and food throughout the week. Amazing and a blessing, as gas prices were over a dollar a litre there. After dinner I had a great talk with a panhandler. I did not have money for him, but what I did have was a blessing. I spoke with him and treated him as a real person. It put a wonderful smile on his face. Afterward we walked down Grenville and Robson area just for fun. The youth group would be busy until at least 11 pm, so our room would not be available for sleep until after that time.

The other thing perhaps I did not mention was that on Wednesday I saw a woman who was high on drugs, probably heroin or crack. She was in her own world, dancing in a contorted state. She had on only one sock. I saw her inch toward traffic and prayed 'Lord, please don't let her be hit!' We were all standing outside the gospel mission, watching. She turned around and placed her feet inward toward oncoming traffic. I gasped, my body leapt forward and my teacher said something to the effect of..."Karen, don't even think about it!" I was in shock and horrified to see this stoned woman dance blindly in front of traffic. I was almost sick, and so glad she made it across the road. I thanked the Lord! My teacher explained it was not safe for us to help people in this area, even if in broad daylight. We would be putingour lives at risk. Even if we saw her get hit by a car, the best thing we could do for her would be to call 911. Suffice to say, I shed some tears later. I felt frustrated, confused, disgusted...even a little angry at the situation. Such a feeling of helplessness.

My question then was, what would Jesus do? I cannot imagine our Saviour would watch that woman in those circumstances. Would Jesus not help her? What if she had been hit? Would he not go over to her? Lay his hands upon her and heal her? Would he not make sure she was out of harm's way? My head is spinning with thoughts! The response I received was that Jesus did not help every person. He did not heal everybody. I was told it was not my responsibilty to make sure everyone is OK. My intentions are good and my instincts not only honorable, but healthy. Moreover, the discussion led into the scriptures that indicate Jesus healed those that wanted to be well. Hmmmm...scratch my head. Then Grace comes to mind. UNDESERVED FAVOUR...this is the meaning of grace.

I have so many things I want to write about, but this last point is the one burning on my mind. I often try to live my life as biblically as I can. After briefing you on this last scenario, I am curious to know others thoughts. What would you have done? If you are a Christian or Non-Christian I would be interested in your response. Furthermore, how do you think Jesus would have handled the situation?

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Misplaced my Pic

I somehow misplaced my picture that I posted on April 24th. Then to correct, I deleted the pictures. Now, I am placing the same picture in this post. I have downloaded Picasa and Hello but have not figured out how to use them properly. My greatest frustration is that I want my picture on the introductory page, and in my profile. However, I do not know how to do it and have tried several times, thereby making the mistake of losing the picture I posted because I posted it three times in a row. Yikes! If anyone has any helpful suggestions, please let me know. Your help would be greatly appreciated.

I will write my final comments on Vancouver shortly. I did so last night only to lose everything I wrote as AOL shut down. My schoolwork is top priority, however this will help me to keep track of my activities seeing as I have to write a report on my stay in Vancouver.

LOL...I just had to delete this picture I had under this heading because it was blurry. Hopefully the pic under April 26th will turn out!

Karen Posted by Hello

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Pic of me February 2005

Picture of me taken February 2005 Posted by HelloPosted by Hello

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Thursday in Vancouver

Hi Everybody! Well, our time here is almost over. It has been a jam-packed couple of days. Yesterday we went to Union Gospel Mission downtown. We were responsible for giving chapel three times as a group yesterday. People's lives were touched. One person in the afternoon came up for a prayer for healing. He did not even stay for supper which is incredible! He left after receiving prayer. Most are just there for the meal, some really enjoy the services and look forward to them. I had an awesome conversation with one man in particular, and some others too. We helped out doing other things. At the end of the night, I injured myself again. I dropped one of the big plastic beds on my foot/toes and is still sore. Late afterward we came back and had a class. Afterward we received some upsetting news as a class and many of us cried. It was an emotional time. Later, we giggled and laughed late into the night, which helped diffuse the heavy emotion we all felt inside.

In the morning, we woke up to someone's phone. In response to the confusion, one girl fell into me and landed hard into my back. She scraped her elbow pretty hard and was bleeding a bit. She felt bad and we were both pretty sore. Then about an hour later another girl partially stepped on my head. Yikes! Suffice to say, I woke up in a bad mood. I was feeling sorry for myself for awhile. Now, I just choose to have joy and worship God through it all. Today we helped out with a food bank for single Moms. Today and yesterday we made lunches for school kids. Tonight we are going downtown late at night to see the street activity pronounced.

Gotta GO!!! So much i want to write. God Bless. Bye for now.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Tuesday in Vancouver

Well to add on to what we have done since my last writing...

On Monday we went down to the area of East Hastings Street and Main. Here we split into small groups and walked the streets to get a feel for the environment and people. This really tied into our morning lessons on why some people become homeless, society/sociology, and gentrification. It was daytime when we went down but there was still a great deal of activity. It was a common sight to see people doing crack, prostitutes and drug deals. Many sold found or stolen items on the street, selling tickets for upcoming events plus other activities. Our group was approached to buy drugs, showing us the contents openly. The police are busy and not often dealing with the drug problems. Someone kicked a window out of a buiding and there was an issue with a stolen bike from Carnegie Hall (library). We saw the place called, 'Bird Park'. This is an area where people sleep, consistently do drugs, deals, etc. It is an area that is often photographed and used in documentaries to capture the feel of the environment and culture.

After that we went for a drive in some richer areas and into Stanley Park, to get a feel for the contrast in environments within a local region. We got a look at the ocean and mountains from a different perspective. Too bad I did not have my camera. However, it was left behind as we did not want our van broken into.

Class was great this morning and presented itself with some healthy debates on culture and ethnicity. This afternoon we are in charge of cooking beef stew for 100 meals so they can be frozen for the food bank they have here for the locals. It was chaos with all of us in the kitchen. I sliced my finger open moving the lid for the professional cooker we are making the stew in. Ouch!!! The same hand that I injured on Saturday morning.

So, doing homework, blogging, recovering from crying due to the onions in the kitchen and waiting to finish stew. We have been locked out of the kitchen and are awaiting arrival of a key. Hoping the stew does not burn! The next few days will be very busy. Spaghetti duty, making bagged lunches for kids and handing them out. Then ministry downtown, food bank here on Thursday, plus other opportunities. The youth are here late Friday evening, then we will be up 5-7 am to drive back. Then home to do more homework.

Speaking of homework, back to the books!!!

Monday, April 18, 2005

Here in Vancouver

Hi there everyone. It has been an interesting trip thus far. 10 of us total in a small van and cramped spaces. We arrived in Langley, BC and were invited to supper at one of our professor's houses. We are staying in a converted tire factory that is being used for ministry purposes. We are all camping out in one large room in sleeping bags, air mattresses on floor or some couches.

On Saturday we helped out with a kids ministry. We picked up kids in the area and had lessons, teaching, fed food, etcetera. These children were not Christian, perhaps some have become Christian since the ministry started. It was a learning experience as we had to discipline the kids on the bus, of which some were rebellious by nature. While in this role I slammed my fingers in the window because someone would not shut it. Ouch! That hurt! Later on we had ministry with the older girls. It was great to see kids being touched in a gentle and positive manner.

Sunday after church, we decided to take a trip to the waterfront here in Vancouver. It was soooo beautiful. It was the first time I have seen the Pacific Ocean and got a picture of me standing in it. Yeah!!! We took a drive down East Hastings and Main area and saw different ministries and sights. We also went for a walk down Robson Street. Differences in culture shock, yet so close together.

Today we are awaiting our next adventure. We attend classes every morning while here and then the plan is to do ministry in the afternoon. In between we sneak in naps and homework.

I have definitely been challenged and am growing personally since I have come here. I am learning to adapt under difficult circumstances. Being in an environment with communal living has its challenges. I am so thankful to the Lord to be challenged in this manner as it is a preparation for things to come. Thank you Lord!

In addition to your prayers, please pray that the Lord will continue to change me and help me to grow in Him. Pray for the compassion and love of Christ to well up in my heart to overflowing as we go through these next few days of ministry.

God Bless everyone of you.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Going Away

I will be away from the site for awhile as I am going to do inner city missions with my school. I will try to provide updates while I am gone. Please pray for safe and pleasant travelling mercies and that we would all do great things for God. Pray for saved souls!!!!

You are Called

This email came through from a prophetic group I belong to. It really spoke to and encouraged me. It was a gentle reminder to say yes, Karen. Keep driving on toward those things in Christ that God has called you to. Trust in Him. Ride the wave.

This word is from S.B. :

You were called into freedom, accepting the name of Jesus as your savior and lord.You were called from the darkness of the evil one into the purity of new life and light.You were called into the way of truth, moving you aside from the deception.You were called to eat at my table; to have plentyYou were called into new wholeness, a new spiritual health that springs forth from Jesus,Yes, you are the called ones.It is time now to walk in the freedom and liberty you received.It is time to shine forth the true light. Light, my light dispels darkness.It is time to speak forth the truth of my gospel, to release the captives from their traps.It is time to stop hoarding and share from my table.Release fresh bread and pure water into this dying world.I long to flow forth from my people. Allow my Spirit to move freely in power.Yes, you are still called. You are my people. Allow me to prove myself.Stop trusting in the uncertainty, but trust me. I am the truth.You are called to be my witnesses, to attest my ways to the world.You are called to walk in the freedom of doing my ministry.You are called to walk with authority.Release what is holding you back. Learn to walk again.Learn to walk with an ongoing filling of my Spirit.Learn to trust and rely upon that which is my Spirit.You are called to move forth beyond the boundaries you have established.I have promised to cross over ahead of you. Enter into a new way.

Saturday, April 09, 2005

Running with the Horses

As I spent time with the Lord the other night, the Lord led me to Jeremiah. This is part of what I received:

Jer 12:5 Jeremiah, if you get tired in a race against people, how can you possibly run against horses? If you fall in open fields, what will happen in the forest along the Jordan River?

This reminds me that our strength comes from God and God alone. We must trust God fully in all things and be strong in Him. In our weakness He is our strength.

I don' t know about you, but I feel tired running with men at their pace. I would rather allow God to be my strength and stamina and run with the horses. Woo Hoo!!!

I want to feel the wind of the Holy Spirit whipping across my face as I enter into His magnificent power and brilliance.

I want more of you Lord!!!

A Different Perspective

I attended a Christian concert this evening at the church where I attend school. It was a great time. A friend blessed me by picking me up and paid for the evening. There were many kids there under the age of 18. We sang, danced, laughed and had a great time. Coming from a different generation, it is always difficult to try things that do not seem natural. However, we took off our shoes at the end of the night and jumped up and down like crazy kids. We had so much fun. I love to dance in worship but often don't jump up and down, but I will tell you, it is truly exhilarating! I encourage you to try it sometime.

The preacher spoke on Daniel and the den of lions. He spoke about being in the darkness and being in the den of our own lives, of which I can relate. He also spoke of the den being a place of refuge. Here, Daniel was not touched or harmed in any way by the ferocious lions. An angel of the Lord came and prevented the lions from harming Daniel. The power of the Lord turned ferocious hungry lions into tender pussycats. He also said that out of dark places come new birth. Daniel here spurred on revival for Babylon.

To encourage us then, if we are in a dark place, there is hope and a new birth of the Holy Spirit as we come out of that place. In the meantime the Lord is taking care of us no matter the struggle, trial, persecution or situation that we face.

Hallelujah! Lord I look forward to what you will birth in the time to come!

So even now, as I go through an Hebrews Marathon after a busy work week and prepare for an oral presentation on the synagogue...I await your miracles and for you to be glorified Lord during such a period of darkness.

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Thank You Lord

I want to thank you Lord for all the ways you have provided for me.

Thank you Lord for my job. I am tired and my eyes heavy to read, but I wanted to write a note to let you know I appreciate your provision.

Thank you for family. Lord please place a hedge of protection of your ministering angels around my Mom and Brother at this time. Lord provide for all their needs and fill them with joy and wonderful memories as they go through their time of grieving.

Thank you for friends and wonderful brothers and sisters in the Lord.

Thank you for my education, teachers and fellow students.

Thank you Lord for all the things you will bring in the future, including a new church family.

Thank you Lord for all the trials and adversities. Thank you for the pain, tears and heartache. Thank you Lord for in this time you transform me into the woman of God I desire to become.

I love you Lord.

Monday, April 04, 2005

Leave of Absence

Well, due to circumstances in my life I will have to put this journal on hold until I can find time to write. I had a death in my family, plus other urgent circumstances to deal with. I will seek all of God's grace to get me through school at this time. I am concerned about not getting assignments finished.

So...if you are a regular reader, please be patient and pop in evry once in awhile. I am hoping in May orJune I can start this blog again regularly.

Please pray for God's miracles. I believe He can and will help me get through this tough time.