community: family by choice


I am very blessed in community.

I know several people who feel like they are all alone in their circumstances or situations, and the reality is: often it’s due to your choices.

We don’t always reach out to show our need nor vulnerability when we can, so we essentially build a wall to block out connection when everything within us may be craving it.

Connection begins with a choice to be vulnerable, and let someone in.

Community happens when hearts are knit together through regular connection.

Family occurs when God blesses community with a love which can only come through weathering the storms arm in arm, knowing your family has your back and won’t leave you on your own.

Jesus modeled this well while He walked among us.

He carried an atmosphere of invitation to those who were outcast and lonely in society, and they came.

The disciples are a perfect example of choosing to connect, seeing what someone is capable of beyond their current situation, becoming community through shared living, and becoming family by choice.

God deliberately chooses to connect with each of us.  He wants us to live in close community with Him, Abba Jesus Holy Spirit.  He wants you to walk knowing you are already in His forever family, even if we aren’t physically there yet.

God didn’t choose those we would automatically assume would be on the inside.

For His community is family by His choice.

●Cain, marked with His divine protection despite his crime.

●Jacob, wrestling with God after stealing his brother’s birthright.

●Saul, more concerned with following his fears than God’s leading.

●David, lacking strong self control over his attraction to women.

●Solomon, who tried everything under the sun to come to the realization that without God, all is futile.

●Paul, murderer of the faithful.

●Moses, the stutterer.

And just so we keep it real, there were also women He chose to include in His community which make us sit up and pay attention:

○Sarai, who laughed off the Promise to come.

○Hagar, who took off when things got tough.

○Pilate’s Roman wife, who had dreams of the Jewish Messiah.

○Elizabeth, barren for so long she must have given up hope of a child, chosen to bear the forerunner to the Messiah. (And her priest husband ●Zachariah, struck dumb when he doubted the angel delivering God’s Good News, in the Holy of Holies!)

○Tamar, who tricked her father-in-law to do the right thing but broke the law to do so.

○The Samaritan woman at the well, with her colourful history, spreading the word about living water.

All of these people are and were part of His story through the family He chose to create.

And we are included.

We have the opportunity to build community and family wherever we are,  for we carry God with us.

The Father who is just waiting for us to come near and join the family.

The Son who is just waiting to connect with us and not only show us who we truly are but help us become whole.

The Holy Spirit who draws us into community, helping us to see beyond our natural sight the Kingdom He is shaping about us.

Community is family by choice.

It has always been God’s choice to choose you.

It is your choice to accept the invitation of life long family and beyond which He has always offered, or stand alone on your own two feet.

Only you can make the decision to move into connection, to stay isolated in your current situation.

Community is family by choice.

7 reasons to be Spirit led

Over the past month, our pastors have been guiding us through the Word and reintroducing us to Holy Spirit.


John 17:13 has been the one verse that has spoken to me more than any, so it was pretty timely of Him to remind me of it yet again this morning through today’s http:// devotion.

Because I need the regular reminder.

I am to be Spirit led.

Not me led.

When I am in control, the further i become ‘unled-ded’, unwilling to be led, and the further I drain myself of my sensitivity to His Presence.

Now, He does not leave His children when they wander or misbehave, but its hard to hear His voice when you aren’t looking His way, isn’t it?

When my kids were distracted when I was trying to speak with them, I used to ask them to look at me before I continued to talk.

Otherwise, my voice was just one noise of many.

I suspect Holy Spirit is a lot like us parents in that way.  He will continue to try & reach us, but may have to use alternate means of doing so when we refuse to turn His way & listen.

Without a tour guide in a foreign country, we can easily get lost or find ourselves somewhere we shouldn’t, facing an avoidable danger we wouldn’t have encountered had we been following our knowledgeable guide.

Our Guide?
8. Knows what is to come.
7. Knows where the Father wants us next to be.
6. Knows how the Son wants to next set us free.
5. Knows when our wounds need to be addressed.
4. Knows who we were designed to be.
3. Knows the whys behind it all.
2. Intimately knows us more than we will ever know ourselves this side of Heaven.

These seven logical reasons are enough to make me want to follow 90% of the time….but honestly? I tend to forget or overlook the number one reason undergirding the other seven as to why I should be led by Holy Spirit…the real heart of the matter.

1. Because He loves me more than life itself.

Jesus went to the cross to show us that great love, because of His passion for His people.

The Father loved/loves us so much He let His Son be separated from Him, covered with all the sin of the world, lifted high for all to see before His heart wrenching death. How hard it is to watch your child suffer? Excruciating.

Holy Spirit removed Himself from the Son due to the stench of our sin, so that Jesus could fulfill the reason we have hope & purpose. Our freedom.

Once and for all, sin was defeated by Jesus,  through His death & rise back to Heaven. Because He loves us so.

Holy Spirit has been given to us to help us overcome, learn, grow & spread God’s love, day in and day out.

Holy Spirit is constantly trying to speak God’s heart to us….through situations, through the Word, right into our hearts & souls & spirits.

When we follow His lead, our heart beats with the Father’s, our eyes are fixed on the Son, and we are empowered by the Spirit.

All things are possible when He is in the lead.

Let’s refuse to become unleaded, but press in to Him & all He has for us, each moment, each day.

Where You lead, my heart’s cry is to follow.

step behind to move forward

Most of us like to lead.
To be in control, to make the decisions, to head up the charge.

As Christians, we need to let go of our desire to lead, and learn to follow.

There is only One Head of the church, and His Name is Jesus.
He laid down His life in order to restore & love her, us. The one He adores.

Not only has He physically earned the right to lead, it is His birthright as the Son. 

The Father has Jesus sitting at His right hand & sharing the throne of Heaven.

Jesus waged the first major battle for His Bride, and came out victorious.

With a battle equipped and ready leader in our corner, why do we struggle so with allowing Him to lead?

Because we forget.

We forget He made us exquisitely complicated & meticulously  detailed to plan by His hand.

We forget He made all things, knows all things, and rules over all.

We forget He has plans for us to prosper, overcome & have a great future.

We forget He is with us, every single moment, intimately a part of our lives when we are His.

God came with the ability to lead hardwired into all He does, based upon His mighty strength, never failing wisdom, and His loving sacrificially servant heart.

We don’t.

Oh some of us have leadership abilities and wonderful talents.  In the Kingdom, He is to lead the way.

We are to follow Him home.

The road ahead will have pitfalls, gains, heartbreak, blessings, pain, joy, and road blocks.

We cannot navigate on our own if we want to make it through victorious.

For the part we cannot always see in full, He walks confidently aware of with the authority He was meant to wear.

The battle is not only waged earth, but in the spiritual realm as well.

Without the head of Heaven fighting for us, we will be damaged, wounded and defeated by the enemy.  Not because God isn’t almighty & capable to defeat him, but because we refused to let God lead.

When we go into the battle without our Shield & Warrior, we become an easy target for enemy snipers.

In Ephesians, we are reminded that most of our weaponry is defensive, made for our protection. 

Our main weapons?

Listening for instruction.
Putting on our armor.
Obeying His commands.
Following where He goes before us.

The only weapons we are to actively use are prayer & Word: both as led by the Spirit, who does all things proclaiming the Lordship of the Son & honoring the plans & Name of the Father.

The Father is the strategist.
The Son is the Warrior.
The Spirit is the Messenger.

We are to live out the message that Jesus saves.

We are to follow where He leads.

We are to remain in Him.

His part is to protect, instruct & guide us to live the lives He desires for each of us.

It is hard to acknowledge you are not meant to be on the front lines 24/7. Because we always think where the visible action is is where we want to be.

Without the reconnaissance of satellites, millions more of our military could walk into unnecessary ambushes & to their deaths.

It’s because of the bigger picture, both the overview complete with the details, which the information gatherers collect, that they are able to know where to head for safety, or where to go to avoid the ambushes & stay on target.

The planning makes the most of the data taken in, and the use of the might at hand as it aims to defeat the enemy.

When we know where best to go & how to fight, the battle is more easily won.

The Father is our satellite,
Jesus is our weapon,
Holy Spirit is the data transmitter.

We are meant to tune in, and follow as God leads.

Some of the battle being fought around us is handled by His angels.  Some through our prayers.

The one common denominator, which leave the enemy quaking in His boots is Jesus.

The One who defeated death & broke the chains forever has already tossed the enemy out of Heaven, and shown Himself the Eternal Victor.

One of the only strategies the enemy has left is to deceive us that we can successfully fight without our Victor.

Take a moment, and acknowledge to Him how much you like to be in control. (Don’t worry, I am repeating this out loud right alongside you! You are not alone.)
Tell Him you want to lay down your right to lead, and invite the One who reigns to take the reins of your life. Pour out your heart and all the burdens you have before Him.  Allow Him to comfort & strengthen you. Put on your custom fitting armor, and get ready for His battle cry to go to war on your behalf. 

Pray, listen obey, repeat.
Move out remaining under His protection, as He leads you to move.
Fall into step behind Him to safely move forward.
Let Him make the way safe before You.
Keep vigilant, and watch Him do what He does best- fight for the one He loves.


when it rains….

There is an awful lot of storming going on around right now.

Chaos attempts to take over previously peaceful shores.

Grey clouds try to block the sun as far as the naked eye can see.

Heavy weights falls on shoulders not strong enough to take the load.

When it rains this kind of rain, we need to drop to our knees.

We cannot break through to the Son until we admit how desperately we need Him at the first glimpse of the storm.

Only He knows whether it’s a hail storm, hurricane, tornado or sun shower headed our way.

Asking for His help ensures we have the One who sees what is up ahead guiding us through what is to come.

Instead of it being a weakness, our bowing down & pressing in close  enables Him to strengthen us beyond our physical abilities.

We can come through and overcome any storm, any rain when God is with us..

All around me, I am seeing pain, hurt, crisis,  instability.

I am also learning to sense God more in the moment, to depend on His rock solid stability, never-changingness, dependability, constant Presence.

The more the storm swirls & rages, the closer I try to be to God. 

Because He is the only anchor that will remain.

For money changes hands in the blink of an eye, physical beauty & health fade over time, losses & grief are inevitable.

Only God remains above, through, in, with and beyond it all.

When the hard times rain, He will fill you with all you need to make it through.

He not only is with us in it, He covers us from its worst.

He alone is our safety & refuge in the storms of life.

Today the rains around me have accelerated into tornado warnings. The winds have picked up over the waves, which are beginning to rock.

I am holding my peace, because I am holding onto the Prince of Peace for dear life.

And He is holding me, my Anchor through the storms, through it all.


the reflection of Love

God loves you.

No only does He love you, but He is Love.

And He is whole.

God’s not broken like you & I, and all those broken ones who love each other in ways that hurt.

For all of us are broken until He makes us whole.

Like He is.

God isn’t broken, so He doesn’t love as broken humanity does.

He loves wholly from who He is, Love itself.

And not only does Love find us, it restores us to wholeness through its continuous outpouring of love.

Love makes us worthy.

My definition of worth?

Worth = the value placed by the purchaser on the object of His desire.

His very Love came down, put on flesh & bone, and lived among us.

Showing us He is Love through the Son.

Even to the cross, taking on our sins…because He desired for us to know our true worth.

God Himself loved us worthy through Jesus’ life & death.

The perfect Lamb, the only One worthy of it all, laid down His worth to show us our value to Him.

God believes us worth His Love.

Worthy of Him.

Not because of anything we could ever do.

Because of the Son.

His Love is Himself, actively pursuing each of us.

He IS Love.

When we spend time in His Presence, we cannot help but soak in that Love.

And we are changed through the Son shining on us.

As we live out our daily lives, something fantastic happens because of our time spent soaking in His Love.

We begin to reflect it.

The Son radiates Himself, love, through us.

The Worthy One uses the ones He made worthy to reach those do not yet know their true worth, and those who need the reminder.

We reflect His Love on all we encounter.

We reflect Him.

With the sun beginning to shine more and more on me here in Southern Ontario with the arrival of spring, it is seen in the new growth, the warmth & the reflection on the water.

May we too reflect His love, Him so that others will grow, find their true Love & see themselves through His eyes: as Beloved.


Sunday Psalm: We Bring You Praise

We bring You praise,
All the honor
belongs only to You.
You alone are worthy
of a complete offering
where we pour ourselves out
like water before You,
a constant stream
of love & adoration
flowing from us to Your throne.

The fragrance
of a heart
100% sold out for You
brings a smile to
Your magnificent face.

Our praise
You do not need,
for You are complete
without us.

But how You long for
Your beloved
to return to Your embrace
like a mother longing to
hold close her children
after a long time apart.

Your heart beats fervently
for Your bride.
For although You were
already complete without her,
You chose to
woo her back to You,
and make the wake for
her return clear & straight,
though at great personal cost
to You.

Such love,
such devotion,
such arduous adoration.

By Your hand, all came to be on the earth, sky, seas, and above.
Because of Your love,
all have a second chance
at our true Home.
Because of You.

We lift You higher & higher
as we praise You for who You are, and all You have done.

You deserve our all,
our best,
our complete devotion
in return.

We bring You praise,
and honor You again, God.

We will never stop
raising Your praise
& proclaiming Your mighty Name!



sea foam break down

As I was walking this morning, I had a mini revelation about my fave colour.

I absolutely love sea foam/pistachio/moss green.

And today, as I was quietly listening to my Abba, I heard about why it is suited to me, why I am drawn to it.

Sea foam is a mix of green (made up of blue & yellow) and gray (black & white).

The blue represents both the ocean of my tears, and my delight at water & sky.  Blue purifies as it flows.

The yellow is the touch of sun my body craves, and the Son-light my entire being longs for.

Green is the life and growth colour, how God can grow new life from the seeds He waters and shines His light on to grow in His Presence.

The black represents the dark places that need to be uprooted, the white the purity God brings to the mix.

And the gray? The times where I could not see beyond the storms, when God broke through and let His light brighten the dark times, and the gray we can find ourselves overwhelmed by when we take our eyes off of Him.

All this makes up my favorite colour. 

When I wear it, I feel more like His daughter. I sense His closeness, and the pleasure He longs to reveal to me, His beloved.

I feel the prettiness and purity God sees when He looks at me.

People around me notice the difference when I wear this color, without knowing why.

So, I will continue to love my favorite color in the various hues I wear or decorate with, for it draws me closer to the One who absolutely adores me, and would do anything for me….which He has, and continues to do.


my favorite purse, on my similarly hued sofa 😉


my fave scarf with one of my two jackets

What colour helps you draw closer to Him?  Have you ever thought about that before?


open arms await at the end of your journey home


The part of the Prodigal son story that really got me in the gut?

The fact the son knew the Father would take him back in.

Now, I know he missed exactly how much his father loved him under the weight of his shame, but he still knew he had a place with God.

So do you and I.

God gets that we will sometimes stray, wander & journey far. He intimately knows each of us, and as our Creator He knew this would be an lasting impact from the fall.

But He never stops waiting for us to come home.

Wherever your journey takes you today, He both waits and keeps watch over you.

His love is radiating out His eyes as He follows your steps.

His heart beats loudly as it yearns for your return.

He doesn’t have servanthood in store for you, but sonship.

He will restore the damages done as you wandered, pilgrim.

Wherever your feet may have strayed.

Come home.

under water

One of my favorite memories as a kid was being by the water. Even better, to be swimming, especially underwater.

Seeing everything so clearly, removing all other distractions. Just me, underwater, awake and aware to the wonder around me.

The thrill when I could first do a somersault underwater, then two in a row, then three.

Learning to hold my breath, and swim back and forth between the sides, all underwater.

Throwing weights then diving off poolside to retrieve them, trying to make as little splash as possible.

The brightness of those memories had faded a bit, hiding in the recesses of my memory, until today.

My cousin posted a few pictures of my beloved goddaughter this morning, and one picture especially caught my eye:


And all the wonder I remember came flooding back in a crashing wave of longing.

I haven’t been swimming for over a year now. I have allowed a few physical setbacks and my own mental mindset of feeling like a beluga on display rob me of that joy of being in the water.

My love for the water was drowning without attracting my attention as it slowly tried silently slipping away.

Our relationship with God can slip away just like that, when we take our eyes off of Him and look at the storm surrounding us, or those we are in the boat with.

He calls us to step out into the water. To wade in to the new depths of relationship He has for us, to trust Him and not focus on the unknown of what may be ahead.
To dive into His love with reckless abandon, no holds back, and find ourselves there, soaking in His presence. New with possibility. Alive and aware of all the wonder happening around us.
Some have been called to walk on the water, to place their trust in God and walk out miracles.

If you are feeling way over your head without a lifeline to reach out to, you are in the wrong pool.

Pools are man made.
God is calling you into His ocean.

Into the love He has for you its foundation.
His support its rocky shores & sandy beaches.
His presence the refreshing waters.

He is all over, around us. Above, below, beside, before, with us. Alive.

The waters in the pool you chose instead will not overtake you if you ask for Him to throw you a life preserver.

He is in the business of new life.

And yours is just waiting.

The Son’s radiance is glinting off the top of the water. You can just hear the murmuring of hope the Spirit is whispering over the crisp air. The love of the Father is drawing you home.

Are you ready to jump into His waters, and all He has for you?