Sisterhood Soul Roots

She stopped me suddenly and clenched my sweaty hands in her strong ones. I’ve come to appreciate the clasp of aged hands; they mean wisdom is being lavished.

Her crystal eyes penetrated with concern. She said, “You are going to burn yourself out if you don’t slow down. I know how it is—you are new and you want to prove you can do it all. Don’t do it! I’ve been there, I’ve experienced it and I don’t want it to happen to you…”

The day before, I sent a quick text asking a friend for help setting up a party. She graciously and wisely said no, and gave a suggestion for another avenue I could take. She knows the voice of Jesus and her highest aim is to walk in obedience to Him. She listens and moves in rhythms of grace and believes Jesus when He says:

“Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me–watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” – MSG

She lives a grace dance with her soul roots stretched in grace ground.

Too often, I have kept moving because I thought I needed to … but I am learning that my utmost need is to be found at the feet of Jesus. Bowed low in surrender, listening, clearing clutter to get close to His heart.

Later that same day, a coffee shop table held cups of conversation –my friend Genny oozed new passion for wholeness and health. Her eyes dazzled as she explained surprises Jesus keeps leaving on her path, like a little girl on a treasure hunt, she described finding shimmering gifts and the joy of abiding.

Prayer before saying “yes”.
Knowing the wise “no”.
Risk-taking boldness.
Accessing The Holy Spirit for strength.

I want to know when to say no.
I want hands hard at work in response to God’s leading and timing.
There is rest here.
There is space to move and breathe and be sustained by Father God.

On October 29th, Sisterhoodyxe presents Restore My Soul, an event where God’s rest and His commission to care can beat together. After all, the world is transformed one heart at a time.

You are invited to participate as we expand, with many hands, the Kingdom of God in our city. Come with expectancy and tampons. (Yes, you read that correctly!) In fact, bring any of the following: tampons, pads, bars of soap, deodorant, small hand sanitizer, package of plain underwear, make-up remover wipes or a $5 Tim Horton’s or McDonalds card. Before the event, we will prepare individual, woman-to-woman, packages for girls in need in our community. These will be distributed through EGADZ Youth Center as a tangible expression of God’s love.

So come, those who are thirsty, and settle your soul roots in grounded grace and let love grow.

 

Walk Slow

Every time He said the name of Jesus, his eyes welled up and tears of sopping gratitude slipped out. A new-comer to Canada, born and raised in India, Ben was on the journey of a lifetime. He told me about dramatically coming to believe in Jesus, in a country where most don’t believe. He had seen family members resurrected and lives completely transformed by the Gospel message.

I was in a rush that morning … and nearly missed this conversation with Ben…

Ben began to sense God urging Him to move to Canada, but that would mean quitting his job, leaving his family and everything He had worked hard to build in India. He was a successful business man there.

Even while He spoke, I kept rudely glancing at my watch…

After several months of stalling, Ben said to God, If you want me to move to Canada, you need to make it blazingly clear today. Before the sun set, a stranger approached Ben’s car, leaned in the window and said, “God has told you many times you need to move to Canada, now go!” 

The next day Ben began making arrangements and searching for work in Canada. Although other lucrative employment opportunities came up in the United States, Ben was committed to following in Faith. God provided a prominent position for Ben in Toronto and continues to lead His feet with purpose as Ben moves in faith…

Finally, my hurried heart settled, in the same way Ben settled his mind to move in step with God’s voice…

After deciding to move to Canada, Ben could not ignore the nagging thought he should be trained in Information Technology. He studied day and night to complete the IT training, and hardly read his Bible or did anything for anyone else during that time. Sometimes, obedience looks like being buried in books. He knew this was exactly what God was asking Him to do, even if it didn’t appear “Spiritual” to anyone else.

My priorities were rearranged that day by Ben’s story, and peace grew and resulted in my life from this conversation. To think, I nearly missed the restorative reminder to listen up, walk slow and live in peace.

Plant Hope

“Justice is what love looks like in public.”

Maggie John is the Senior Executive Producer and host of 100 Huntley Street. She is a respected public figure, a deep God-lover, and a bold groundbreaker! Maggie was recently in Saskatchewan hosting interviews for Huntley’s segments called, Canada’s First People. We talked about God’s heart for all people to have equal opportunity.

Maggie told me when she began working at Huntley, an influx of applications came in of Black Canadian women.

Courage is contagious and many were inspired by Maggie’s presence and position.

God’s heart is the most expansive place of belonging. There is room for all and all are valued. Thank you Maggie, for treading unknown roads, coming to plant hope in Saskatchewan hearts, and leading a nation to truth through your work at Crossroads.

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Creative Chords

Music practice was the norm in my home growing up. Lessons, choir adventures, worship teams, camp jigs and school productions always loosed liveliness in me I can’t explain.

A few years ago, my musical instruments were squeezed out of my agenda and my home – and busyness replaced my love for chords. One day at the end of teaching a frustrating lesson introducing parabolas (frustrating for all of us – this was my first go-around, so students were gracious) I was determined to get more creative about engaging the class – as we were all on “get through the class and get out” mode – and I knew it could be better.

Unfortunately my own creativity was legging because I hadn’t cultivated time and space for rest or rejuvenation for a long time – it takes energy to try something new!

As I thought about the class – what they loved and gushed about, I remembered my own music theory expeditions that felt much like a math class as a kid. That was it! The class was music obsessed. I remembered my own love for chords and words and tones and beautiful sounds and inspiring lyrics – and I found just what I needed in the most reliable place a first-year teacher could – a kijiji keyboard.

Students began coming to class early to show me things on the keyboard – they performed for one another and we constantly connected music to math in the most mystifying and creative ways. Students who thought they hated math loved to meld music with numbers. The sounds of it, the relationships built through it and the courage practiced by those brave to perform and write on the keyboard was motivating. Creativity takes and builds courage and we are called to live cloaked in it.

Watch for those who know King Jesus commissions them for creativity.

Gaze at the eyes set on the cross – free to explore and dabble and try – fail and try again – because they are so secure in unimaginable love.

Bold and Brave.

My kijiji keyboard gets good use these days. I’m continuing to learn that although I don’t have anything directly to show for the time spent with instruments and lyrics – my very character, quality of life, and levels of fulfillment and joy grow. Through it, I grow in worship-oriented living and continually discover that music, the sound of heaven, has the potential to release the best in all of us – creativity, joy and liveliness!

Did you know:

  1. Music practice can significantly increase motor and reasoning skills.
  2. Music can give us physical endurance! When our brain is responding to music – it doesn’t pay as much attention to the signals yelling, I’M TIRED!
  3. Moderate noise levels can enhance creativity
  4. The neuroscience of singing says group singing actually releases oxytocin in your brain – giving a personal a happy high.

Restored

“Bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor.” – Isaiah 61:3

At the Sea of Galilee, there were lapping waves and flittering people, excited to see this sacred place of God. There were stories in the rocks, the waves and the geography that brought the Gospels to life. The lowest freshwater lake on earth is one of high and lofty significance for the Christ-follower. There is nothing outwardly glamorous about this small body of water, by simply taking a peek, you would never know of the supernatural power displayed here many times by God-Man Christ. The lake is only about thirteen by seven miles wide and long. Simple. Unimpressive. This sailboat was reconstructed when pieces were discovered in 1986 and have been replicated to make the “Jesus Boat” – a replica of the sailboat from the scriptures. It took time to restore it, but someone believed it could be done, someone had faith. Sometimes, it’s difficult to have faith. However, God is the faith giver and you and I, like the small sea, have a story marked by the Most High God.

Father, No situation is beyond your hand of ultimate restoration and there is no stronghold stronger than you. Give me faith to believer your rebuilding power, please continue to re-create my God-given story each day.

Be Found

“Peace is not found at a place, but by abiding in a person” – Ann Voskamp.

These words recently spoke to me from a friend’s plain old refrigerator door – how like God to use the ordinary to be extraordinary. So often, I live just wanting to arrive – but where exactly is it that I am trying to get? Daily, I have the choice to believe I am where I need to be – because HE says I am in Him. When I get focused on living and abiding In Him, I forget to worry about scurrying to arrive somewhere. Life becomes fulfilling and enjoyable just in the living. The dripping ice cream cones melt life into my soul and the Barbequed chicken tastes like provision from God. I can see the wonder of spray parks bursting with drops, giggles, and sun-scorched cheeky tikes become evidence of a blessed city. And all begins to feel like gift, and peace pervades, unhindered by wavering circumstances. God’s Spirit gives me power to develop a Godly mindset – and a Godly mindset is the birthplace of a liberated life in Christ.

Father, may your deep peace seep in me today because I am found in the one who formed the world –I can rest there – enjoy the spacious place you have made for me there – and as I find my feet planted In you, all fear fades… because you say it must… and peace remains. This is where I want to be found.

There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. – 1 John 4:18