Archive for November, 2010

Last chance!

That’s right – this Sunday is your last chance to get your tickets to the Annual Women’s Christmas Brunch being held next Saturday, Dec 4th.  This is such a fabulous way to spend time with friends, family, neighbours & other women in the church while getting in the spirit of Christmas.  Not only that, but there is so much scrumptious food (served by some dashing Fort Garry men), beautiful Christmas music, an awesome inspirational speaker (Michelle Sawatzky-Koop) & did I mention all the door prizes?!  At only $5/ticket, this is a great opportunity to invite all those women in your life!

Tickets are on sale in the West Foyer!  If you would like any additional information or have any questions, give Irma a call at 261-8536.  Hope to see you there!

Val

November 26, 2010 at 9:02 am Leave a comment

Traditions

With Advent beginning less than a week from now & the Christmas season quickly approaching, I have begun wondering how I may start to introduce some new family traditions of our own.  I love hearing from others about their family traditions; whether Christmas, birthday, other holidays, vacations, etc.  Some are not great fans of traditions, but I, being somewhat sentimental, believe that there can be great value in having traditions (not that they can’t be broken or changed).  They can be not only fun &/or meaningful, but they become part of our legacies.  I’d like to be a little more intentional this year about why/how we do things, but am feeling a bit overwhelmed, not knowing where to begin.

So today, I would love to hear about your Christmas & Advent traditions & any ideas you may have to pass along to me & all the others readers of this blog.  Perhaps this will encourage us all to be a little more intentional about how we celebrate Christmas & the legacy we are creating.

Val

November 22, 2010 at 3:06 pm Leave a comment

Spiritual Winter

In our Small Group wrap up session of John Ortberg’s book “God is Closer Than You Think”, John spoke about experiencing different seasons in our spiritual life & in particular talked about going through a “kind of winter of the soul”.  Spiritual winter.  Now, I don’t know about you, but I can think of numerous things I associate with winter that I would rather never have to deal with.  Cold.  Snow.  Shovelling snow.  Icy streets.  Windchills.  Bulky clothing.  Frozen fingers & toes.  More snow.  More shovelling.  Well…you get the picture.

There are many examples of people going through a period of wintry spirituality.  Look at Job or at most of the Psalms.  While nobody can say they love going through this type of winter, I think God can redeem it & shows us that it’s not all about us.  We need to depend on Him & this can be a time of super growth.  What was comforting to me was the recognition that we will all experience a spiritual winter of sorts.  It’s normal.  And although it may seem that God is nowhere near, He really is closer than you think & is never absent.  Even Job, in all his oppression & suffering reminds us that “my Redeemer lives, and he will stand upon the earth at last.  And after my body has decayed, yet in my body I will see God!  I will see him for myself.  Yes, I will see him with my own eyes.  I am overwhelmed at the thought!” (Job 19:25-27).

If you are experiencing a spiritual winter, rest assured that God will never leave you & that Spring is just around the corner!

“The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” (Deuteronomy 31:8)

Val

November 18, 2010 at 10:46 pm 1 comment

Fa la la la la, la la la la….

Our annual women’s Christmas Brunch is just around the corner, which means Christmas isn’t that far beyond either (yeah!).  I just love Christmas & the brunch is an awesome way to begin the season!  This is an excellent outreach opportunity to bring friends & neighbours and at only $5/ticket is affordable to invite as many women as you like.  The morning is full of scrumptious food delights, beautiful Christmas touches & music, door prizes extraordinaire, and fabulous fellowship!  We are also extremely delighted to have Michelle Sawatzky-Koop, motivational speaker & former Canadian Volleyball Olympian, come & share her story with us.  This is an event you won’t want to miss!

The Christmas Brunch is being held on Saturday, December 4th @ FGMB with tickets going on sale this Sunday (November 14th).

Hope to see you all there!

Val

November 13, 2010 at 4:14 pm Leave a comment

Discovering Your Unique “All”

Earlier in September I told you about a book I had ordered from Christine Caine titled “Can I Have & Do It All, Please?”.  As I mentioned then, the titled captured me & I was instantly intrigued.  I think that phrase sums up what I feel a lot.  And if the title isn’t enough, here’s the breakdown on the back cover:

“For years, we as women have been told we can have it all, be it all and do it all.  Inevitably, we too have aggressively set out on a pursuit to achieve this utopian “all”.  We roll up our sleeves in true “Rosie the Riveter”style (to reveal our femininely chiseled arms of course) and belt out the lyrics to “I Am Woman Hear Me Roar” in our best Helen Reddy voice.

We get up one hour earlier to exercise, another hour earlier to get the kids ready and packed for school and yet another hour before that to pray.  We are consummate organizers, jugglers and problem solvers as we manage husbands, children, church commitments, friendships, finances, groceries, mealtimes, child taxi service, quiet time with God and whatever else is on the agenda.

Then, we go to bed one hour later to ensure the house is tidy, or another hour later to read a chapter of the latest best seller and another hour later to have time with our husband.  It almost gets to the point where we should forego sleep altogether because the moment our head touches the pillow, it’s time to rise and shine.

Sound familiar?  Well, this book is for every woman looking for answers on how to truly have (and do) it all!”

Although I am only at the beginning I am loving it & wanted to share with you about discovering our unique “all”.  Chris(tine) writes that one of the most fundamental & profound keys that will enable us to have & do it all in life is this: “we must ensure our “all” is actually the purpose God had in mind when He created us.  If you try to pursue any other “all”, you will never be satisfied.” She goes on to say that finding our unique purpose is not really as complex as we may think.  “You’ll find your purpose is normally aligned with your gifts, talents and heart’s desires.”

In order to help you sift through all the desires in your heart & separate the God-given dreams from the “that would be kinda cool” fantasies, Christine gives us 15 questions to ask yourself about what unique gifts you bring to the table of life.  I challenge you to take some time & really think through these.

  1. What is it that I’ve been good at since an early age?
  2. What do others look at me doing that would be hard for them, but seems effortless to me?
  3. What is it that I consistently find myself sharing about or helping others with?
  4. Why do I think God created me?
  5. What am I most passionate about?
  6. What things enrage me and what problems in the world do I have a passion, over and above all others, to solve?
  7. What subjects could I talk about for hours and days without a loss of momentum?
  8. What Scriptural truths and subjects have been those that most bear witness to me and speak life to me?
  9. What have been the biggest struggles I have encountered in life?
  10. What have been my biggest victories and breakthroughs?  Why?
  11. What subjects or topics do I enjoy learning about?
  12. What would I be doing if money wasn’t an issue?
  13. What type of people do I connect with easily or have compassion for?
  14. What were my favorite subjects in high school or college?
  15. What part of the globe or cultures do I have a passion for?

Our unique purpose becomes more defined with each season of life.  Perhaps the above questions will help you discover where your road map is taking you in this life long journey.

Val

November 10, 2010 at 4:56 pm Leave a comment

One for One

If you haven’t heard of TOMS Shoes yet, then here it is!  I was first introduced to TOMS at the Leadership Summit this summer & was immediately enthusiastic to get my hands on a pair of my own.  These shoes are AWESOME & the movement behind them is even more AWESOME (yes, that’s right – I just used “AWESOME” twice…or maybe three times!!)!!

With every pair you purchase, TOMS will give a pair of shoes to a child in need.  One for One.  Pretty cool, eh?  As of September of this year, TOMS, in their fourth year of operation, has given over one million pairs of shoes to needy kids!  That’s phenomenal isn’t it?!!  I love my TOMS so much (they are uber cool & comfortable) that I wish all of you to get a pair (or two).  In fact, I think they would make a great Christmas gift (if any of my family is reading this I’m a size 9).

Check out this clip & then go to their web:

Val

November 5, 2010 at 2:06 pm 1 comment

Leading from Behind

Since our recent women’s retreat, I have not been able to get Isaiah 30:21 out of my mind.  And then, this morning, I came across this verse again in my devotions.  The verse reads: “And when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left, your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.”

As we discussed in our small group at the retreat, the voice is guiding us from behind, as a shepherd who is herding his sheep, therefore, we have to take the initiative & take the first step.  Isaiah 42: 16 goes on to say “I will lead the blind by a road they do not know, by paths they have not known I will guide them.” We have to fully submit to the Father’s guidance & wisdom, for He is the only one who knows the path in which we are going down.  Kind of scary if you ask me, & yet there is a sense of peace, knowing that He (my Father) is familiar with the path & can be completely trusted to get us safely along it, as long as we adhere to his guidance.

We often hear about following the Master’s footsteps or being led by the light, but these verses in Isaiah clearly tell us that that isn’t always the case.  In fact, I really resonate with what the prophet Isaiah is telling us.  Quite often, I feel like I have to step out in faith, not really knowing what may be around the next turn.  I picture this path to be like the road to our cabin; filled with twists & turns, you never know what you’ll encounter around each corner.  You have to be extremely attentive as you drive down this road because you can’t see what lies ahead.  These verses remind & challenge me to make sure that I’m always tuning into the right voice “behind” me, so that I am prepared for whatever comes along the way &/or that I don’t wander off the path.

How about you?  How are you “being led” down your path?  What are you doing to make sure you remain attentive to the Father’s leading?

Val

November 2, 2010 at 7:18 am Leave a comment


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