Spiritual Life

Being the Stillness

When you are by yourself what is your tendency – do you crank up the tunes or do you prefer the silence?

I used to be the first.  I’d unwind by turning up the volume in the car & listening to my music as loud as I could bare.  In the past while however, & perhaps because I have two munchkins who love to “chatter” & make noise, I crave silence (& solitude).  There are astounding lessons to be learned from the act of silence (& listening).  God seeks us in our silence & asks us to listen.  Psalm 46:10 (NLT) instructs us to “Be still & know that I am God!”.  To listen you must turn off all outside distractions.  A sacred act of deliberate silence & meaningful pause, listening helps people clear a space in their life, heart & mind in order to simply “be”.

Do you believe God will meet you in your silence?  I challenge you to practice stillness in your prayer life.  Sit quietly & listen longingly to what the Lord may have to say to you today.

Habakkuk 2:20 (NLT): “But the Lord is in His holy Temple.  Let all the earth be silent before Him.”

Val

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Spiritual Life

It Is Well

The other night I pulled into my garage to behold an early birthday present sitting there – a piano!  This piano (although electric it sounds almost like the real thing) is an answer to prayer as I’ve wanted one for a long time but for various reasons it hasn’t become a reality…until now.  As a bit of a sentimentalist this piano holds special value to me because it was my husband’s Grandmother’s (with an upcoming move, there isn’t room for her to take the piano).

I’ve been digging out my music & am enjoying a favourite past time once again.  The piano is linked to many memories for me, including playing in church & listening to my mother play hymns every Sunday afternoon (before we all had to watch “Hymn Sing” on the television).  Yes – I grew up surrounded by those cherished hymns & so (call me sentimental again) I have a number of favourites!  One of my all time favourites is “It Is Well With My Soul”.  I’m not sure why exactly it holds such special value to me, except that the words & harmonies are just so beautiful.  I was intrigued to find out the history of this piece, so I looked it up & like a good book, was captured by the story that goes with the song (excerpt below taken from biblestudycharts.com).

This hymn was written by a Chicago lawyer, Horatio G. Spafford; a man who had suffered almost unimaginable personal tragedy.

Horatio G. Spafford and his wife, Anna, were pretty well-known in 1860’s Chicago.  This was not just because of Horatio’s legal career and business endeavors. The Spaffords were also prominent supporters and close friends of D.L. Moody, the famous preacher. In 1870, however, things started to go wrong. The Spaffords’ only son was killed by scarlet fever at the age of four. A year later, it was fire rather than fever that struck. Horatio had invested heavily in real estate on the shores of Lake Michigan. In 1871, every one of these holdings was wiped out by the great Chicago Fire.

Aware of the toll that these disasters had taken on the family, Horatio decided to take his wife and four daughters on a holiday to England. And, not only did they need the rest — DL Moody needed the help. He was traveling around Britain on one of his great evangelistic campaigns. Horatio and Anna planned to join Moody in late 1873. And so, the Spaffords traveled to New York in November, from where they were to catch the French steamer ‘Ville de Havre’ across the Atlantic. Yet just before they set sail, a last-minute business development forced Horatio to delay. Not wanting to ruin the family holiday, Spafford persuaded his family to go as planned. He would follow on later. With this decided, Anna and her four daughters sailed East to Europe while Spafford returned West to Chicago.

Just nine days later, Spafford received a telegram from his wife in Wales.  It read: “Saved alone.”.

On November 2nd 1873, the ‘Ville de Havre’ had collided with ‘The Lochearn’, an English vessel. It sank in only 12 minutes, claiming the lives of 226 people. Anna Spafford had stood bravely on the deck, with her daughters Annie, Maggie, Bessie and Tanetta clinging desperately to her. Her last memory had been of her baby being torn violently from her arms by the force of the waters. Anna was only saved from the fate of her daughters by a plank which floated beneath her unconscious body and propped her up. When the survivors of the wreck had been rescued, Mrs. Spafford’s first reaction was one of complete despair. Then she heard a voice speak to her, “You were spared for a purpose.” And she immediately recalled the words of a friend, “It’s easy to be grateful and good when you have so much, but take care that you are not a fair-weather friend to God.”

Upon hearing the terrible news, Horatio Spafford boarded the next ship out of New York to join his bereaved wife. Bertha Spafford (the fifth daughter of Horatio and Anna born later) explained that during her father’s voyage, the captain of the ship had called him to the bridge. “A careful reckoning has been made”, he said, “and I believe we are now passing the place where the de Havre was wrecked. The water is three miles deep.” Horatio then returned to his cabin and penned the lyrics of his great hymn.

The words which Spafford wrote that day come from 2 Kings 4:26. They echo the response of the Shunammite woman to the sudden death of her only child. Though we are told “her soul is vexed within her”, she still maintains that “It is well.” And Spafford’s song reveals a man whose trust in the Lord is as unwavering as hers was.

It would be very difficult for any of us to predict how we would react under circumstances similar to those experienced by the Spaffords. But we do know that the God who sustained them would also be with us.  No matter what circumstances overtake us may we be able to say with Horatio Spafford…

When peace like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billow roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

Refrain:

It is well, it is well
With my soul, with my soul
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ hath regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul!

Refrain

My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!
My sin, not in part but the whole,
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!

Refrain

And Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight,
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,
Even so, it is well with my soul.

Val


Spiritual Life

Benefits = Happiness

I do not have a lot of words to share with you today, but I am hoping that it will encourage you to grab hold of your Bible & spend some time with God today.  I came across the following verse this afternoon & immediately knew God was reminding me of the immense value of spending daily time with Him.  James 1:25 (NCV) says: “…the truly happy people are those who carefully study God’s perfect law that makes people free, and they continue to study it.  They do not forget what they heard, but they obey what God’s teaching says.  Those who do this will be made happy.”

I know this verse is loaded & you could pull a lot out of it, but for me – right now – it held the promise of total happiness through Him!  I needed this verse today & know that it’s true.  The more time I spend with God, the better everything seems.

Val

Uncategorized

Need to be Spurred?

Last night I felt very blessed & encouraged after the Women’s Salad Potluck.  I had a fabulous time of getting to know some wonderful gals; we laughed, we shared, we ate (absolutely scrumptious salads & desserts!), and we laughed again!  A few women also shared what has been meaningful to them within Women’s Ministry.  It was so neat to hear the diversity of highlights & on the other hand, there was a commonality of the “joys of connecting with other women” that I heard over & over again.  Anne H. used the word: “Empowered”.  What a fabulously strong word!  I hope that you feel empowered as a woman in all areas of your life.  May I encourage us, as woman, to do as Hebrews 10:24 (NIV) says:

“And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.  Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another – and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”

If you need a little extra spurring, why not check out Church of the Rock (website: http://churchoftherock.ca/) on Monday, Sept 27th @ 7:30pm for a FREE women’s event featuring Angela Thomas , Author of “When Wallflowers Dance” & “Do You Think I’m Beautiful?”, along with Special Guest Musician, Steve Bell.

What can you do today to spur yourself or someone else?

Val

Ministry Info/Events

And the Winner Is…

Thank you to all of you women who stopped by our Women’s Ministry Table last Sunday & entered the draw for a Free Retreat Registration!  We drew the winner yesterday morning in church & the lucky lady is MERRILL UNGER!!  Congratulations Merrill!

Registrations are being accepted in the West Foyer of the church each Sunday until October 17th.  Come stop by to check it out or for more information you may also go to our Ministry Info/Calendar Page to find more retreat details listed.

Val

Ministry Info/Events

Get Your Greens Here!

The annual Salad Potluck is back & you are not going to want to miss out!  

Come join us for a supper made up of scrumptious salads, fresh buns & a little something sweet to finish it off!  This is a casual evening where we (women) will get a chance to connect with one another & maybe meet someone we haven’t met before.  Join us on Monday, Sept 20th @ 6pm & bring a salad (or dessert) to share.  Sign up at the Church Life Centre on Sunday, Sept 19th so that we know how many places to set for.

Val

Spiritual Life

Leading on the Edge of Hope

This was the title of one of the sessions at the Leadership Summit I had the privilege of going to this summer (which I must add was AMAZING!!).  The woman who led this session was Christine Caine – founder of the A21 Campaign, Director of Equip & Empower Ministries, and Pastor & Teacher @ Hillsong Church in Sydney, Australia.  Christine is a passionate, dynamic, authentic & inspirational (just to name a few) woman who has a heart for Jesus, reaching the lost, advocating for justice, strengthening leadership & building up the local church globally.  I was thoroughly engaged in Christine’s session & wanted to hear more of her.  Christine has a fabulous website & blog that I encourage you to check out at http://www.equipandempower.org.   As well, Chris has weekly podcasts called “Coffee with Chris Caine” that are definitely worth listening to.  After hearing Christine speak, I ordered her book “Can I Have (and Do) It All, Please”. A great title for me (the gal who sometimes has trouble saying no & who likes to do it all).  I haven’t had a chance to read it yet, but I’ll be sure to write a review once I have & let you all know.

Christine Caine

As Christine proclaimed at the Summit: “JESUS is our hope & once you have tasted this – you will be passionate about it!”

Val