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.

Name:
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.

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Summer Break

Praise the Lord! I give Him all the glory, honour and credit for all He has done for me! I am finally finished school now until September. On Friday morning I handed in my assignments. After all the difficulties I had to face this semester including the passing of my Stepfather, the school gave me an extension to finish. This was God's grace.

I am almost settled into my apartment and am seeking a home for my furniture. It is wrapped in plastic in the backyard as it will not fit in this place. I have a tiny basement suite. When the Lord called me here to Alberta, I prayed about what to keep and what to give away. I wanted to keep my bed, dresser, and my big desk. The desk takes up most of my livingroom, LOL, but I call it my Ministry desk. It is great for studying, research, writing and fits my personality! The couch and loveseat were not on that list, and I want to bless a Christian family or organization. Please pray for someone to be blessed!

Now that I have the summer break, I will focus on employment, health, grieving and the Lord. I have not really grieved my losses this year and need the Lord to heal and mend many areas. My stepfather is with the Lord now, and that makes me smile. However, there is so much I need to focus on, allowing the Lord to wrap His loving arms around me, loving and strengthening me.

I am looking forward to writing and reading this summer. There are books that I have wanted to read for awhile, just no time during studies. I anticipate this time with the Lord.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

In the River

Lord,

You are the twinkle in my eye,
You are the love in my heart,
You are the bounce in my step,
You make me shine.

Your word gives me sustenance,
Your Spirit speaks deep wisdom within,
You feed my soul,
You speak whispers of knowledge.

You fill me to overflowing,
Gentle streams gurgling in my laughter,
Rushing rivers pouring forth,
Giving me the ride for eternity.

I am white water rafting in the river of life,
Jesus my friend is with me,
The Holy Spirit is guiding my path,
My Father is Smiling down at me....

I am having the most fulfilling time in my life,
Full of joy and new experiences,
The work on the River is challenging,
It can be hard, but exhilarating....

Wanna come for a ride?

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Remember Jesus

I just finished studying the Pastoral Letters. Actually finished my assignment yesterday. Paul gave Timothy much commands, directions and advice for living out the call God put on his life. One of the things that Paul taught was to remember Jesus.

2 Timothy 2:8-13

8Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, descended from David. This is my gospel, 9for which I am suffering even to the point of being chained like a criminal. But God's word is not chained. 10Therefore I endure everything for the sake of the elect, that they too may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus, with eternal glory.

11Here is a trustworthy saying:

If we died with him,
we will also live with him;
12if we endure,
we will also reign with him.
If we disown him,
he will also disown us;
13if we are faithless,
he will remain faithful,
for he cannot disown himself.

Pretty powerful words from Paul. I wondered why Paul had this teaching in here about remembering Jesus. When you look at the life he led, how could he not remember him? However, when you are enduring hardship for the sake of the gospel it is important to keep Christ the focus. If not, it would be easy to allow suffering to overtake you, giving Satan too much ground. It is when you let your guard down that Satan will attack who the Saviour is, trying with all his might to pull your eyes away from the one that saved you.

Jesus is the way, the truth and the life. There is no other way.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Life is Full of Surprises

I want to thank the Lord, once again for all things that pass my way, good and bad, negative or positive, hardships or blessings.

I have moved into my new place,which has its own comedic set of errors! First of all, and now the second apartment since I moved to this city, my furniture will not fit. So, my couch and loveseat are on the back lawn wrapped in plastic. So, either I sell or give to the Salvation Army. The next few weeks will help out there.

Secondly, on Monday I locked myself out of the apartment. It was about 5- 5:30 in the afternoon. I had no access to a phone, no money, did not know the landlord's number, did not have other numbers handy. So, I thought, I cannot just wait here, this will take forever. So, placed my hand on the door and said Lord, please help me I need a miracle! Then I knocked on the tenants door, I thought they were home as the 2 cats sound like a herd of elephants. No one home. Then went to the shed and grabbed one tool box and my briefcase, hoping that maybe there would be a bobby pin. Worth a shot, I am thinking. Then I remembered I had left the 2 windows open. So, the one side of the house I thought someone would call the cops for sure, as it is wide open. So, I decided to climb through the bush and try the other side of the house. I had to bend and pry the screen open. The opening of the window was 17" wide by 13" height. The drop to the bed was a few feet. Can you imagine I made it through the window with no injury? Afterward, my thumb and wrist hurt a little. So I praised and thank God for the miracle. First of all, that I was not fat, secondly flexible enough to bend through the window like that, thirdly that I did not have to wait for a long period of time for someone to show up. Fourthly, felt relief that knowing if I ever had to make an exit out ofthe window, at least I know I can fit through.

I would like to thank the Lord for His help with my schoolwork. I only have 2 assignments left to do which both have to be completed in the next 6-7 days maximum. It is only by the grace of God that I have managed to do this, move, deal with a relationship break up,etc. ...all at the same time! There are blessings in the adversities of life. We must remember to thank God for all of them!

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Trusting in God

As I go through my journey, I realize this is an area that I am still struggling with. The Lord started teaching me Easter 2004 that I really need to let go and let Him steer the course. Right now I am in the Lord's ship, on his waters, chartered for unknown territory. The Lord is my rudder and is steering my direction. The moment I get worried or anxious about a circumstance in my life, in other words a storm is brewing or I am in the middle of the storm, I grab onto that rudder for dear life and try to steer it myself.

This is the difference between trusting God in all things and not trusting Him to see me through the hard times. I want to be like Jesus, sleeping on the boat, unaware of the storm around me. Why? Because all of my trust is in God. This is a difficult process to learn.

Last night I received that today I should write about trust. I looked through the psalms and found some amazing scriptures I would like to share.


Psa 25:21 May my goodness and honesty preserve me, because I trust in you.


Psa 27:14 Trust in the LORD. Have faith, do not despair. Trust in the LORD.


Psa 28:7 The LORD protects and defends me; I trust in him. He gives me help and makes me glad; I praise him with joyful songs.


Psa 31:14 But my trust is in you, O LORD; you are my God.


Psa 31:19 How wonderful are the good things you keep for those who honor you! Everyone knows how good you are, how securely you protect those who trust you.


Psa 32:10 The wicked will have to suffer, but those who trust in the LORD are protected by his constant love.


Psa 37:5 Give yourself to the LORD; trust in him, and he will help you;


Psa 38:15 But I trust in you, O LORD; and you, O Lord my God, will answer me.


Psa 56:3 When I am afraid, O LORD Almighty, I put my trust in you.


Psa 56:4 I trust in God and am not afraid; I praise him for what he has promised. What can a mere human being do to me?


Psa 62:8 Trust in God at all times, my people. Tell him all your troubles, for he is our refuge.


Psa 84:12 LORD Almighty, how happy are those who trust in you!


Psa 115:11 Trust in the LORD, all you that worship him. He helps you and protects you.


Psa 119:66 Give me wisdom and knowledge, because I trust in your commands.

Psa 143:8 Remind me each morning of your constant love, for I put my trust in you. My prayers go up to you; show me the way I should go.


I chose 15 verses from Psalms in the Good News Bible. There are 134 verses found in the old and new testament of the Good News Bible that menti0n trust. As you can see from these verses alone, there are many positives to trusting God. There is an unshakeable confidence in who God is, that He will always protect and help you. He answers us, guides us to where we should go. Wisdom and knowledge are ours for the taking, he listens to our troubles and answers us. We are happy, filled with gladness and enveloped in His love.

I feel much at peace after reading these pslams. I will continue to read these verses of scripture over the next little while, as I desperately seek to trust Him in all things.

Sunday, May 08, 2005

Mom and I. I want to honour my Mother on this special day. Lord I pray you bless her and fill her with joy. Though we may be far apart geographically, we are not in our hearts. I love you Mom! Posted by Hello

Saturday, May 07, 2005

In Pursuit of Him

For those that may have already read this post, I apologize, I decided to edit and re-publish.

A few days ago, I finally finished the third of three books. Praise the Lord! Now I have to write a 12 page critical book review. This is part of a course I am taking called 'Gospel in Action'. It was also tied into my trip to Vancouver.

As I read this last book, there were many moments I felt the Holy Spirit speaking to me, nudging ever so gently. Reading these books had me reflect on some of the things I have had to endure since following the call of God on my life. One of those areas is in finances. It has been a struggle and is a walk of faith. As I realized how tight things were the other day, I could only make partial payments on some of my bills. I just said, 'I trust you Lord'. I really do. I know you will provide.

I decided to call my Mom to let her know how things were and that I was moving next week for sure. My Brother answered the phone. Of course we got on the subject of finances and I let him know how nice it was that I only had to pay the landlord half of my deposit for now. I mentioned that work was slow, only 16.5 hours this week. Well, later that evening, I found out I will be receiving an early birthday gift to help out with expenses. My birthday is 5 weeks away, but it will be perfect timing. At the end of the month I need $750.00, next week I need well over $300.00. This week I am only made $150.00. Next week, I am scheduled with less hours and will make less than that. Praise the Lord for His provision!

By the way, some of this gift is from my Brother whom is not a Christian, but I believe will be one day. He said that so many times I gave him thought gifts, and told me how much he had appreciated all those times. Now, he was able to do things for me. I write this with tears in my eyes. The Lord has done so many tremendous things with my family. The Lord gave me a dream early 2002 that said I would be bringing my family to the Lord. After that, my Mom and Stepfather both became born again. My Father, although he has not officially become born again, calls Jesus his Lord. I taught him how to pray, and he speaks with blessings toward me, always acknowledging God. My brother asks questions, but has not become born again.

In this dream the Lord gave me in 2002, there had been a great snowstorm. There was ice and lots of snow. My job was to delegate what it is each member of my family had to do in order to save the house. My brother decided to borrow the neighbour's snowblower. It was the middle of the night and he had taken it without permission. We all worked through the night. In the morning, my Brother returned the snowblower to the neighbour and apologized for having taken it without permission. He also offered to replace the gas he had used. The neighbour said, 'Don't worry about it son.' He placed his hand on my brothers's back and then said, 'Let's go catch some fish.'

I cannot even begin to tell you how excited I was when I woke up from my dream. Since then, I have seen radical transformations in my family. Just the other day, after my Dad realized I broke up with my boyfriend, he offered words of comfort. He said, "Don't worry Karen God is with you always." Wow! I sense the power of the Holy Spirit, even now as I write this post. The Lord is doing a beautiful work and I want to glorify His holy name! Thank you Lord!!!

See how the Lord works? I came in to write one thing and it turned into a wonderful testimony! However, I still have it upon my heart to write a couple of paragraphs from the book I just finished reading, which ties into the things you encounter as you pursue the call of God. This book is called, "Churches that Make a Difference - Reaching your Community with Good News and Good Works" by Ronald J. Sider, Philip N. Olson and Heidi Rolland Unruh. I will quote from pages 309-310:

It is no coincidence that many of the great moments in salvation history start out with a trek through the wilderness. Abraham, Moses and the Israelites, and Jesus all found themselves wandering through the desert after responding to God's calling. As your congregation answers God's invitation to join in holistic mission, you can expect to pass through the wilderness. You will most likely encounter the test of inadequate finances, personnel, and space. You will endure temptations to turn aside, turn away, slow down, speed up, and sell out. You will struggle to develop ministry leaders who share the holistic vision, are passionate servants of the Lord, and can work together as a team. As Nehemiah faced the taunts of Sanballat and Tobiah as he worked to rebuild the wall around Jerusalem (Neh.4:1-3), you will experience opposition to the ministry, from outside as well as inside the congregation.

If your congregation (and particularly its leadership) is committed to the Lord, to one another, and to love of neighbour, these trials will not derail God's plan for your church. It is in the desert that the Holy Spirit teaches us key truths, tests our character and purpose, and strengthens us for ministry. God's strength is made perfect in our weakness (2 Cor. 12:9). Through costs, change, and conflict, God pours out onto the church his boundless, all-sufficient love, power and grace - which we then proclaim in our evangelism and demonstrate in our works of compassion and justice. A congregation that ventures into holistic ministry can thus share Paul's confidence "that the one who began a good work among you will bring it to completion by the day of Jesus Christ" (Phil. 1:6).

This book was written to help churches pursue, develop and implement an holistic vision and ministry. There are many aspects of this book that would equally assist you in your pursuit of God. It also opens up your eyes in different areas, stretches you cerebrally to understand the sociological problems we face and how the church is intertwined.

On a final note, I am blessed and thankful for having the opportunity to work on this assignment. If not, I would not have read this book. I am thankful for the encouragement I received. As I walk through my wilderness with the Lord, I will remember some of these words. Now, over the next couple of days, I will trust God as I write my critical book review. I will trust that He will grant me clarity, patience, joy and peace.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

What a Disappointment!


My rant for the day:

I just found out I cannot have the summer intern position I applied for. Instead of homework, I worked on my resume and cover letter as I need the work and the experience. Reason why I could not get the position? I AM TOO OLD! Yikes! I am only 32 years old, but the cut off for the program is 30. The program is government funded. I mentioned to the woman that it was not fair as I was attending school the same as those that are younger.

On a good note, she commended me on the presentation and work on my resume. She told me she would keep it and keep her eyes and ears open to see if anything becomes available in the church. That is good to know! On another good note, when I met her last weekend she must have thought I was younger than 30...tee hee!

Well, I will leave all this in the Lord's hands. Yes, I am disappointed. However, I know God is in control. I am hoping perhaps that He has something in store. He knows I need the work and experience at this time in my life.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

In Our Midst

I woke up this morning with the words from a song, now I cannot even remember the song, but the words consist of the phrase, 'The Lord is a strong tower'. Generally when the Holy Spirit speaks to me in those moments upon awakening and it is with a song, it is always something significant.

This was fitting for the morning. Two of my girlfirends were in from out of town and I came out to where they were camped out in my livingroom, and sang the lyrics. The night before we had decided we would spend the morning in prayer. That we did. We three were tremendously blessed as the Holy Spirit poured out his love, words of prophecy, healing and wisdom.

We wrestled with the issues of fear, doubt, trust, etcetera. This posed questions as to where God fit into these issues. Is God in control or are we? Do we believe all His word tells us or not? Do we walk on God's path or our own? These are difficult questions, particularly if God is not front and centre in all areas of your life.

There are many verses in the bible on dealing with some of these issues; I decided to include 3 for illustration:

1Jo 4:18 There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear, because fear has torment. He who fears has not been perfected in love.

Mar 11:23 For truly I say to you that whoever shall say to this mountain, Be moved and be cast into the sea, and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that what he said shall occur, he shall have whatever he said.

Psa 37:5 Give yourself to the LORD; trust in him, and he will help you;

When we put the Lord ahead of any problem and hand Him complete control of every and any situation, there truly is no room for the angst associated with these issues and questions. God is our strength, our tower in the midst of any situation or place.

As I looked up the definition of a tower to receive clarification, it helped to place a greater understanding on the lyrics of that song. Here are some of the meanings:

  • a building or structure higher than it is wide, either isolated or forming part of a building;
  • such a structure used as or intended for a stronghold, fortress, prison, etc.;
  • a tall, movable structure used in ancient and medieval warfare in storming a fortified place;
  • to rise or extend upward, as a tower; reach or stand high;
  • to rise above or surpass others;

He is our strong tower. Jeremiah knew this:
Jer 16:19a 'GOD, my strength, my stronghold, my safe retreat when trouble descends...'

No matter what may be around, in the greatest of storms or the clearest of skies, as we seek for all the answers, run for cover or do not know where to turn...

In our midst there is God.

Sunday, May 01, 2005

Found a Church Family

I am so glad to report that I found a church I will call home. It is only my second visit there, but it feels like a good fit. I will keep attending and praying and see what God has in store for me. It has been described as inward and outward, with focus on small groups and outreach as well. They are charismatic/mixed. There is a blend amongst the congregation. Very stable, biblically solid. They embrace five fold ministry and believe in utilization of all the gifts.

Two weeks in a row I attended intercessory prayer before the service starts and I am blessed by it. These people are so filled with the Holy Spirit and are lovely to be around. This church has two young adults groups, separated into 2 categories. One is teens to mid-20's. The other is mid-20's to mid-30's approximately. I am so happy for the latter group! Yeah! I find there often are not groups for those in their 30's, or later 20's.

Today I was invited for an incredible lunch. I went with the older young adults group to get to know them better. I met them all today for the first time and they were great! A couple in the church blessed us all. I felt like I was dining in a restaurant. When you are on your own and only have your cat for company at dinner time, it is tremendous fun!

So far, all the people I have met at this church are exhibiting the fruit of the spirit and love in their hearts. I am so impressed! I have met some very strong women in the Lord, who love God passionately! Thank you Lord for this blessing! Also, I have an opportunity to apply for a summer intern position. It will stretch me, but I am sure I would learn a great deal from it.