Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Angel Wars: The Messengers

A new Christian bookstore opened up in our area this past weekend. We went to check it out! Lo and behold, on the children's DVD display was the newest Angel Wars film, The Messengers. The look on my son's face said it all --- "Can we get it, Mom?" --- and we did! We came home and spent part of Saturday afternoon watching it together as a family.

I decided that it wasn't going to benefit me much, after all it's a boy-kind-of-movie (you know, the Star Wars kind)... in the end, I was surprised at how much it actually did speak to me. God never ceases to surprise me, I tell ya!

In a nutshell, this is the story (summary taken from the DVD cover):
In a city of darkness, they are the light. It is the adventure of two young angel warriors (Kira and Eli) in the battle between the forces of good and evil. Faced with the responsibility of delivering hope to a lost city, they must learn to work
together to drive back the soldiers of darkness and grow into the warriors they are destined to become.

There were a couple of things God wanted to remind me of through this film:

1. When HOPE is delivered to a lost city, the forces of evil (demons) scatter. They run away. God was telling me that we are on the right track with the church plant's vision --- to be an indispensable channel of HOPE and help to the families of Pickering, Durham Region and beyond!

2. One line in the movie jumped out at me --- "nothing worth fighting for is ever easy" --- and it moved me to tears, it is so true! Church planting, we have since realized, is HARD WORK --- physically, emotionally, spiritually challenging. At the same time, it is because of the challenge that we are stretched and we GROW. God was reminding me of that truth through this film.

So, it was a good buy --- I totally recommend it to young and old alike. Okay, maybe not for kids younger than 6!!!

Memory Verse Monday #16

One day late... but better late than never! :-) Here is this week's verse for Memory Verse Monday, it is from:

John 16:24 (NIV)
Until now you have not asked for anything in My name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete.

Complete joy... that is bliss!

Friday, April 24, 2009

The Most Important Place On Earth, Part 2

Here's more on the book I'm reading, The Most Important Place On Earth: What a Christian Home Looks Like and How to Build One by Robert Wolgemuth.

From Chapter 5: The Power of Words... Real bullets at home; and from Chapter 6: The Power of Words, Part II... The Family Vitamins.

Your home --- must be a place of true words. Accurate words. Your home has to be a place where people treat words as valuable and precious... and they must speak them precisely. Broken promises and treating words as worthless are no laughing matter. Failure to use words to speak truth has brought people plenty of anguish. Treat words as what they are: treasures. Each one spoken must be true. Thoughtful. Precise. The children in your Christian home need to experience the great gift of learning how to use - and treasure - words this way. They need to understand, from your example, that words are not blanks. They're not simple noise. Spoken words are powerful. They have consequences. Their impact is mighty.

Words are vitamins you speak: potent phrases for you and your family. Vitamin #1: I love you. Vitamin #2: I need your love. Vitamin #3: I'm sorry; I was wrong. Will you please forgive me? Vitamin #4: May I Help? Vitamin #5: Thank you.

From Chapter 7: Just For Laughs... The best medicine of all.
The most important place on earth must include this magic elixir. Rules for laughter: laugh at yourself; have homemade laughter; laugh with your kids, never at them; sarcastic humor and cynicism are poison.
A few more chapters to go... off to read some more.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Memory Verse Monday #15

As part of his Sunday message yesterday, our Pastor gave us homework! We are to look up verses in the Bible containing the phrase "stand firm" and study them. So, to make it easier for me (I am very grateful for BibleGateway right now...), I am going to post those verses right here on my blog for Memory Verse Monday!

Here are quite a few of them:

Exodus 14:13
Moses answered the people, "Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today.

2 Chronicles 20:17
You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the Lord will give you, O Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Go out to face them tomorrow, and the Lord will be with you.


Job 11:13-19 (I think this is my favourite one!)
Yet if you devote your heart to Him and stretch out your hands to Him, if you put away the sin that is in your hand and allow no evil to dwell in your tent, then you will lift up your face without shame; you will stand firm and without fear. You will surely forget your trouble, recalling it only as waters gone by. Life will be brighter than noonday, and darkness will become like morning. You will be secure, because there is hope; you will look about you and take your rest in safety. You will lie down, with no one to make you afraid, and many will court your favor.

Psalm 20:7-8
Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God. They are brought to their knees and fall, but we rise up and stand firm.

Proverbs 10:24

When the storm has swept by, the wicked are gone, but the righteous stand firm forever.

Isaiah 7:9 (This one is very convicting!)
If you do not stand firm in your faith, you will not stand at all.


Matthew 10:22

All men will hate you because of Me, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved.

Luke 21:19

By standing firm you will gain life.

1 Corinthians 15:58
Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.

1 Corinthians 16:13
Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong.

2 Corinthians 1:21-22 (I'm glad God is the one helping me to stand firm!)
Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us, set His seal of ownership on us, and put His Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.

2 Corinthians 1:24
...because it is by faith you stand firm.

Galatians 5:1
It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.

Ephesians 6:14
Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.

Philippians 1:27-28
Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. Then, whether I come and see you or only hear about you in my absence, I will know that you stand firm in one spirit, contending as one man for the faith of the gospel without being frightened in any way by those who oppose you.

Philippians 4:1
Therefore, my brothers, you whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, that is how you should stand firm in the Lord, dear friends!

Colossians 4:12
...that you may stand firm in all the will of God, mature and fully assured.

1 Thessalonians 3:8
For now we really live, since you are standing firm in the Lord.

2 Thessalonians 2:15
So then, brothers, stand firm and hold to the teachings we passed on to you, ...

James 5:8
You too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord's coming is near.

1 Peter 5:8-9
Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings.

Friday, April 17, 2009

The Most Important Place On Earth

I am currently reading the book The Most Important Place On Earth: What A Christian Home Looks Like and How To Build One by Robert Wolgemuth.

Here are some things that stood out for me:

From Chapter 2: A God Place... God lives in your home. What does this mean?

From the time children are small, they need to hear you say something like, "Wow, would you look at that sunset? God is such a great artist!" Or you can stop to watch ants following each other in a continuous single-file parade along the sidewalk: "Can you believe that God gave these little critters the ability to follow each other to the food? Isn't He amazing?" In our home, we didn't belabor the point and try to draw some three-point conclusion or recite a Bible verse; we just left it at that. Our children and yours can get the idea that God is a part of our lives when we mention Him in everyday conversation.
From Chapter 3: The Most Important People In The Most Important Place... What's it like to walk into your home?

This parenting thing is serious business, and there's no one on earth in a better position - or better qualified - than you and me to do it right. What good is it if the most important person in the world walks into an empty house? If there is a way for either one of you to be there with your children when they're small... to be home when your kids' feet cross the threshold... then do it. You do not get a do-over.

When our Missy was in third grade, her teacher asked the students what their favourite thing was about their mothers. Missy could have mentioned a number of wonderful things that my wife had done for her. But when it was her turn, she told her class that the best thing about her mother was "When I come home from school, my Mom says 'Hi, Missy.'" The daunting list of sacrifices, favorite toys bought, school room-mother activites, and homemade Halloween costumes didn't make it to the number-one spot. It was just "Hi, Missy." See what counts to your child? It's your presence. That doesn't sound too complicated, does it?

From Chapter 4: Amazing Grace... It's what sets your home apart.
In a Christian home there's something special. It's called grace. Grace is the one thing that sets your home apart from all the rest. A Christian home is a place adorned by people of grace. It's a place where grace is conspicuous, a place where the "scoreboard" that compares a stellar performance to a substandard one is unplugged. Fill your Christian home - the most important place on earth - with repentance and forgiveness, gratitude, tenderness, and generosity. Amazing grace.
Truly words of wisdom... now, on to reading more of the book.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Simple, Yet Profound

I read something quite simple, yet profound, while blog-hopping this morning. It is from a blog called Holy Experience --- it is just what I needed to read. Here it is:
"Lord, why is it that when I pry open my hand to let go of life, more of life can fill my palm stretched-out? Funny, how I forget that. What could I let go of today?"
See? Simple, yet profound!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Memory Verse Monday #14

This past week was a difficult week, but celebrating Easter and hearing our pastor's Easter message on Sunday has got me moving forward! Go God!!! So, in light of all that has transpired, today's verse for Memory Verse Monday is from...

1 Corinthians 15:58 (NLT)
So, my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and immovable. Always work enthusiastically for the Lord, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless.

It is hard to believe that it was only a little over a year ago, on Easter Sunday 2008, when we were commissioned as a church planting team by our parent church. Much has changed over this past year, it has been a wild ride complete with its peaks and valleys... but one thing is certain --- "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever." (Hebrews 13:8 NIV)

He Is Risen Indeed!

Happy Easter! The passage of Scripture from 1 Corinthians 15:51-58 (NIV) has always summarized Easter for me quite profoundly.

Here it is:

Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed— in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.

For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: "Death has been swallowed up in victory."

"Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?"

The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

God Knows Better Than I

I watched the movie Joseph, King of Dreams on DVD tonight with hubby and the kids. The song in the movie entitled "Better Than I" made me cry --- and I am not one who cries easily! This week has been a very difficult week --- many questions, many what-ifs, many emotions.

But I know that God is in all our circumstances and He is never far away. Like He had with Joseph back then, He has a plan and a purpose for each of our lives today.

Here's the song (please pause the playlist on the sidebar):



Joshua 1:9 (NIV) --- Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Memory Verse Monday #13

It is Monday... today I'm feeling a bit blue, a lot tired, a bit somber, and a lot reflective. A series of events that happened over the weekend resulted in this mood of mine. It sure doesn't help that it is rainy, gloomy and cold outside today!

But, I can't lose heart and I can't lose focus. Today's verse for Memory Verse Monday helps to remind me of that. It is from...

Matthew 6:33 (NIV)
But seek first HIS kingdom and HIS righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

This is one of the two memory verses for Unit 3: Growing with God of The Journey: Your Walk With God.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

The Shack

I recently read 'The Shack' by William Paul Young. It is a very good read --- very thought-provoking; an excellent work of fiction! I couldn't put the book down --- finished reading it in one sitting!

Here are a few quotes from it that jumped out at me:
Papa said: "A bird is defined not by being grounded but by his ability to fly. Remember this, humans are defined not by their limitations, but by the intentions I have for them; not by what they seem to be, but by everything it means to be created in my image."

Sarayu said: "You must give up your right to decide what is good and evil on your own terms. That is a hard pill to swallow - choosing to live only in me. To do that, you must know me enough to trust me and learn to rest in my inherent goodness."

Papa said: "I don't just want a piece of you and a piece of your life. Even if you were able, which you are not, to give me the biggest piece, that is not what I want. I want all of you and all of every part of you and your day."

Jesus said: "I don't want to be first among a list of values; I want to be at the center of everything. When I live in you, then together we can live through everything that happens to you. Rather than the top of a pyramid, I want to be the center of a mobile, where everything in your life - your friends, family, occupation, thoughts, activities - is connected to me but moves with the wind, in and out and back and forth, in an incredible dance of being."

Sarayu said: "And I am the wind."

Willie said: "If you ever get a chance to hang out with Mack, you will soon learn that he's hoping for a new revolution, one of love and kindness - a revolution that revolves around Jesus and what he did for us all and what he continues to do in anyone who has a hunger for reconciliation and a place to call home. This is not a revolution that will overthrow anything, or if it does, it will do so in ways we could never contrive in advance. Instead, it will be the quiet daily powers of dying and serving and loving and laughing, of simple tenderness and unseen kindness, because if anything matters, then everything matters. And one day, when all is revealed, every one of us will bow our knees and confess in the power of Sarayu that Jesus is the Lord of all creation, to the glory of Papa."
It's a book I would recommend to anyone. Happy reading!!!