Saturday, 30 June 2007

The McGibbon Titanic and the Worshipping Daughter

About once a week at our house we have what is affectionately known as left overs night. Since we have a larger family there is rarely enough of one thing to feed the entire crew but if you throw a bunch of leftovers together....Voila we have a theme dinner! Well, anyway that is what I tell my kids so they won't complain. The thing about leftover night is everyone gets something different and you never know what it is going to be.
So last week we were having leftover night. For some reason I had to feed the kids first. To be honest I can't remember why but Jason and I had to eat after them. So as the kids started to clean up in the kitchen after their dinner and Jason and I tried to start to eat our dinner (in the dining room) the trouble began. A low rumble started to be audible in the kitchen. It seems not everyone was being helpful in the clean up process. Can you imagine that? The rumble started to grow into a roar so we called our youngest son Liam whose voice was the loudest to come and see us. We had a little chat and sent him back to help. Well, it seems that another one of our children was having a little trouble with the routine. Miss Trinity Joy wanted someone to play with her and she wanted them to do it now! For any of you that have children you can probably start to picture the scene in your mind. All Jay and I want is a little peace and quiet so we can finish our dinner. We don't need total silence and it does not have to be a leisurely dinner but we don't really want to have to wolf down our food and we would like to be able to hear ourselves talk. Well, the situation is deteriorating fast and we as parents are loosing any sense of control that we had fooled ourselves into thinking that we had. There are crying and yelling children, barking dogs who are trying to steal any food that is left unattended and frustrated hungry parents who are about to loose their cool, when through the chaos we hear the faint sounds of someone worshipping....

Caroline is doing the dishes and as she is washing up if we listen hard through all the noise we can hear her singing, "Blessed be the name of the Lord. Blessed be your name. Blessed be the name of the Lord. Blessed be your glorious name." Now if you have ever seen the movie Titanic, there is a scene in which the Titanic is sinking and people are screaming for life rafts and the string quartet is playing beautiful music up on deck. They seem to be totally oblivious to what is happening around them and are content to continue to do their job well up until the end. This is the scene that is playing out before our eyes. There is utter chaos in our house and it seems like the McGibbon ship is about to sink into the depths of the end of the school year kid craziness except there is one who is remembering what is important. Caroline is worshipping the King of Kings as the madness rages on around her. We were created to worship the Lord our God above all else. What a great reminder.

Tuesday, 26 June 2007

The Body of Christ Arrived on a Bus

As the wife of a pastor who has chosen to help start a new church I have experienced many blessings. One of those incrediable blessings came a few weeks ago in the form of a mission team. From the moment I met them in the misty rain on their cool mission bus I was blessed. This small group of teens and there leaders exuded God's light into our community where ever they went. They travelled here all the way from Ashburn, Georgia which is home to this big peanut in the photo. As I talked to them I realized that for some this was their first trip outside of the United States and yet they came here not to see the sights but to come along side us to enable us to spend more time with our community. They delivered hundreds and hundreds of flyers, worked at one of our community groups for children, scraped and painted our clapboard signs and most of all encouraged us with their enthusiasm and love.

When we started at The Sanctuary Milton I really did not have any idea of how difficult it might be to start a new church. I had no idea how hard the days of distraction, discouragement and doubt might be at times. One of those times came right before the Ashburn team got here. The team had no idea but God knew that I was in need of seeing the body of Christ at work to encourage me. Not only did they encourage me, and love our family and other families in our little church and in our town but they inspired me. I will never forget worshipping with them in my living room and hearing their beautiful voices lifted in praise.

Recently someone from our town asked me why would these people come if they did not know us? What was in it for them? What an opportunity I was given to share about living out Jesus' love. What an impact this mission team had on a woman that they never even met while they were here. God's plans are amazing! How big is our God and vast is His Kingdom! Thank-you to my new friends! Thank-you for coming and being God's blessing to me!

Monday, 18 June 2007

Daniel's Baptism

Sunday was Father's Day. It was also my son Daniel's 12th birthday. Daniel has changed and grown so much since the first day we met him. Every day I learn more about my son than I knew the day before. What an amazing gift he is to us.

What I love the most is that Daniel's eyes sparkle when he smiles. It is infectious and it makes me smile too. We both had lots to smile about this past Sunday. My husband Jason had the privilege of baptizing Daniel during our church service. This is what Daniel wanted to do for his birthday. What an amazing moment for his dad.

I tried to take photos between the tears of joy. I remember not knowing how how to pray for Daniel just a few short years ago. I prayed that he would know we loved him with all our hearts and that we would be able to help him grow his own roots in God's love. I prayed that one day he would know Jesus and that he would be able to soar upon his wings to heights that he could never imagine on his own. I remember the day that Daniel started to learn that he could pray to Jesus. I remember watching his face as he was starting to realize that no matter what might be happening in his life that he could talk to Jesus when ever he wanted. I will never forget the day he asked Jesus into his heart and I will never forget this past Father's Day when Daniel decided to let the world know he had come home. Daniel has amazing testimony and I am looking forward to the day when he shares it to proclaim God's Kingdom. Yeah God!! Thank-you for giving us Daniel.

Thursday, 14 June 2007

Temper Tantrums

I have now experienced a right of passage with my youngest daughter, little Miss TJ. She treated me to a full blown screammin' Mimi public temper tantrum a couple of weeks ago. The day had started off well. She had woken up in a great mood. We had gotten out the door at a reasonable hour and headed to a Christian bookstore to pick up a book for a friend. Everything was going well until we got into the store. My darling little Miss wanted to look at all the books on the book shelves and could not understand why I would not let her touch every single one. She also wanted down to walk by herself, she was a big girl and she told me she could do it. "I do it." she kept saying. I had said "no" because frankly there were allot of breakables in this particular store.

The only thing more embarrassing than a public temper tantrum is having to pay for and pick up pieces of broken figurines as your child is still screaming for all she is worth. Putting on my "calm" mom voice I tried hard to reason with my sweet little girl. "T.J. Mommy will give you your book when we get back in the car. These books are for grown-ups not for little girls. They don't have any pictures. You won't like them." "NO MOMMY. NO... LIKE...YOU!." she said loud enough so that even the people in the next store would have heard her. I took a deep breath... "That is too bad. Mommy loves you very much. I will just be one more minute." I said in my best Mom voice.

Now, as every parent knows what I should have done at this point was just leave the store. Why is it that we think we can squeeze another minute out of an already distressed toddler. I have no other time to get this book I reasoned and it needs to be just the right one. Well, little stressed out girls do not understand Mommy's reasoning and you can guess what happened next. As I picked my book and attempted to pay for it I had a screaming, crying, flailing, pterodactyl in my arms instead of my precious cute pigtailed daughter. Trinity did not understand why her Mommy was not listening to her and there were no words that would make her listen. She had hit her breaking point.

Although, I didn't like TJ's behaviour in the store I think I can relate. In fact, I think I can safely say that even as a grown up I have a few temper tantrums myself. Now, maybe I don't have them in public anymore and I think I am a little quieter than my ear piercing daughter but if I am really honest with myself the stompping feet are still the same. Have you ever felt like this? What is it that pushes you over your breaking point? When you have calmed down do you ever look at what led you to that place? For me I find that missed quiet times with the Lord can often be found when I get pushed past my limit. It is not that life is any easier or less stressful but when I start off the morning by myself in God's word and in prayer I start the day with my focus in the right place. Even Jesus needed time by himself to be with His father. "Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed. " Mark 1:35.

So if you find yourself getting pushed past your limit take a deep breath and than at the first chance you get spend some time with the One who loves you no matter what state your heart is in. Tell Jesus everything and He will focus your attention to what is important.

As for Trinity Joy, when we left the store I hugged my little girl, dried her tears and said "It is alright. Mommy loves you even when you are a screammin' Mimi."

Sunday, 10 June 2007

My Life

"Feed the hungry, and help those in trouble. Then your light will shine out from the darkness, and the darkness around you will be as bright as noon. The Lord will guide you continually, giving you water when you are dry and restoring your strength. You will be like a well-watered garden, like an ever-flowing spring." Isaiah 58:10-11

I have been thinking about my "life" alot lately and as I often do when I am thinking about something, I thought I would look it up on Well, for a very short four letter word, life as a noun has alot of definitions. Over 25 to be exact and if you are looking at it as an adjective and/or idiom then you get up to 36! I know, I know... I am amused by strange things.

So the first definition is as follows: 1. the condition that distinguishes organisms from inorganic objects and dead organisms, being manifested by growth through metabolism, reproduction, and the power of adaptation to environment through changes originating internally. Wow, that is mouthful! It is almost as if I need a definition for my definition. Anyway, when I got down to number 11 I was intrigued. Number 11 states: the course of existence or sum of experiences and actions that constitute a person's existence. Now, that was more like it. This is more along the line of what I have been thinking about. What is my life?

Our family is in the process of making some fairly significant decisions that would reshape our life as we currently know it. This unexpected opportunity has led me to ponder how my life became this zoo that I love so much. As I look back I can tell you that as a teenager I did not dream this life for myself. In fact ,I wanted just the opposite. I wanted a fast paced, successful career. I wanted a small family and lots of money for us to travel around the world. I wanted a big house and a cottage on a quiet lake and for my kids to never want for anything. My desire was to have a "successful" life.

Somewhere along the way though Jesus changed my heart's desire. He placed this fabulous man in my life who took my breath away. (My mom actually prayed Jason into my life but that is another post!) He was (and still is) this amazing musician and God had a hold of him and was calling him into ministry and He was my best friend in the whole world. He challenged me with ideas like "If we are Christians shouldn't our lives look so different to the outside world that people ask us why that is?" Well, we married on the happiest day of my life and bought our two crazy dogs and after a couple of years we had a son. His name was Liam. He turned everything upside down. I remember looking at him in the hospital and thinking I can't believe that God would allow us to be responsible to bring up this miracle. It was overwhelming. This little baby opened my eyes and my heart to think about what God considers important in a life and what He would want Liam to learn.

Well, over the years there has been more overwhelming experiences. At Ryerson camp we met all these great kids that were in the foster care system. Many of them did not know who Jesus was and were really not looking start a new relationship. For them relationships meant pain and loss and to talk about how God sent His only Son so that we could have a relationship with Him did not interest most of them a bit. God began to open our eyes to a whole community of children that had broken hearts which could only be repaired by the Creator of the Universe. The problem was that no one was telling them about Jesus in a way in which they would relate. God began to speak to our hearts about how He cares about the children who have no families. We began to see that God's people have the capacity to make a real difference in the lives of these children. So when Liam was three our family grew to include Daniel and Caroline through adoption. The process is an experience that has left us forever changed and forever blessed. The miracles that we have witnessed in our family can only be attributed to a God that loves us all.

Our most recent little addition to the family occurred almost two years ago when Trinity Joy bounced her way into our lives. She might be the smallest in our brood but her vocabulary grows everyday and what she lacks in size she makes up for in volume! From the moment that she was born she has made sure that everyone knows she is here to stay!

So in the midst of all these famly additions we have made some other significant choices. I made the choice to stay home with the kids and devote much of my time to leading worship for At His Feet Ministries. Jason went into full-time ministry as a worship pastor and we moved to Milton in order to be a part of starting a new church called The Sanctuary Milton.

Obviously in this post I can't describe all aspects of my life but as I reminisce and look forward to what could be a new chapter in our lives I am reminded of Psalm 37: 4 which says "Delight yourself in the LORD and He will give you the desires of your heart." My "life" thus far through the sum of my experinces as defined by has given me the desires of my heart. Not the desires I thought they would be as a young teenager but the desires that He has helped me to discover. I am looking forward to what is around the corner!

Wednesday, 6 June 2007

Press to Jesus for One Touch

I have had a few days to try to process all that was said at the Women of Faith Conference that I attended on the weekend. As I had typed in my last post the theme scripture for the conference was John 8:36 "So if the Son has made you free than you will be free indeed."

All the speakers were great but I think the moment that spoke to me the most was when Nicole C. Mullen sang her new song "One Touch". ( then click on her song One Touch to hear it). This song is based on the story of the hemorrhaging woman in scripture. This story can be found in Mark 5:25-34. Mathew 9:20-22 and Luke 43-48.

Over the past few days I had read and re-read these portions of scripture. I have pondered my own issues that have needed healing and I have prayed for those that I know are struggling. I have thanked God for this particular story of encouragement in scripture. Jesus heals. Jesus saves. Jesus sets us free. I have a God who is willing to touch me in my brokenness and who has made me whole. In fact I would dare to say my God would like to see me a little more broken. At times I have bought into the North American dream of Independence. We have much to learn from this scripture and those around us who are willing to expose their brokenness. In my brokenness I am humble and I have a desperate dependence on the grace offered so freely by Jesus. How often though is this truly the case?

The story of the hemorrhaging woman exposes this woman's deep desperation and Jesus reaction to her desperate situation. In reading the story you realize that this woman was more desperate than most of us have ever been and she pressed her way to Jesus with a determined faith that only He was the answer to her situation. Jesus acknowledges her act of faith by not rebuking her. He shows her and us that He is unashamed by her uncleanness. He knew that He would take her uncleanness and all of our shame and sin on the cross at Calvary. Do we who call ourselves followers of Christ really react to others that are that desperate? Are we as unashamed to touch them? To help them press to Jesus? Or is it too uncomfortable for us? Why is that often our reaction if we believe that only the grace of Jesus has saved us?

A good friend of mine posed a question to me on Monday night. She asked "How often are we in North America really in an impossible situation in which only God can be our supply? Does this fact limit our faith? Should we be praying for impossible situations in our lives in which only God can get the glory? Are we really ready to do that??" I have been thinking alot about these question ever since. I thought I would pass it on to see what you thought. I still have lots to think about and will write more later.

Monday, 4 June 2007

We are home!

We are home! It was quite a road trip. God has given me lots to ponder as I settle back into my crazy zoo-like life! The conference was great! Over 10,000 women worshipping the Lord through His words and in song and in dance! Yes, I said dance. We, girls were quite the sight! Although Hip Hop is not our strong suit (yet!), we are resolved to learn! Anyway, I am sure that when the Lord was looking down he saw our hearts dancing for Him and not Cheri elbowing me in the head!

It was truly great to spend time with my friends who know me so well and to watch the impact of His words on all of us. I am looking forward to over the next week processing all that was said and really digging deep on how I am going to respond.

We also got some time to relax, to kick back and to just laugh. And laugh, and laugh and laugh! And laugh just a little bit more!
As promised here are a few pictures of the girls at our favourite restaurant The Cracker Barrel. As you can see we love the rockers. I can see us all in a few years sitting on a porch just like this one. Laughing and worshipping and just being with each other and Jesus. Louise and Michelle will want to play checkers and the rest of us will be making sure that they don't cheat!

Well, over the next couple days I will write more but for now I will just leave you with the scripture verse that was the Amazing Freedom conference theme.

"So if the Son sets you free, You are free indeed." John 8:36 Take some time to meditate on this verse this week. I will write more soon!