Saturday, 5 November 2011

Brain Day - It's been 3 years

Great is Thy faithfulness, O God my Father;
There is no shadow of turning with Thee;
Thou changest not, Thy compassions, they fail not;
As Thou hast been, Thou forever will be.

Great is Thy faithfulness!
Great is Thy faithfulness!
Morning by morning new mercies I see.
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided;
Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me!


Nov 5th, 2008 - moments before surgery #1

October 2011 - Liam being Liam

There will never be words to describe how grateful I am for all the God has done on our behalf.  His faithfulness is never ever ending. 

Thursday, 3 November 2011

Yesterday I Met Hopelessness

And to love Him with all your heart, with all your understanding, and with all your strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself, is far more [important] than all the burnt offerings and sacrifices.
~ Mark 12:33 
I met him yesterday.  I watched as he tried to speak to people but they either did not hear him or choose to not engage with this troubled man.  His clothes were dirty, ripped and torn,  His shoulders were slumped, his head lowered as he teetered back and forth precariously on the curb.  As I got closer to him I noticed that he wore both a large cross and a pentagram around his neck.  His cheeks were sunken in and he had large sores on his hands and face and I wondered when he had last received any medical attention.  Everything about this man was difficult to look at.  He looked beaten by life and without any source of hope.  I could not understand what he was asking me but then he abruptly stopped and pointed to the word "bible" on my book.  I tried asking him if he had ever read the bible but again incoherent words tumbled from his mouth.  He stopped and I asked him, "What do you need?"  He asked for money, almost falling off the curb and into the parking lot.  "I don't want to give you money but you look like you could use a coffee."  I said.  He still did not look up.  "When was the last time you ate?"  "How about I get you a meal."

When I came out of the store he was not in the same spot that I left him and I wondered if he had moved on.  But a second later I noticed him on the other side of the parking lot this time.   It took me a while to get him to understand that the meal was for him.  I got him to sit down on the curb and as I knelt beside him and opened his coffee lid and got his food ready for him,  I was at a loss as to what else I could do.  I tried again to ask him his name and to talk and ask about the bible hoping that I could offer him some encouragement and hope.  Strange and incoherent words again tumbled from his mouth and I am not sure if they were from his inebriation or if he was also mentally ill.  I finally left him there on the curb, in the sunshine, drinking his coffee and eating his chili.  As I walked away, I was praying that God would have mercy on this man.  Since that meeting yesterday his image is never far from my mind.  I wonder if I could have or should have done more?  Is there a way I could have shared the hope I have for my life that could have broken through his hopelessness?  Again I am left wondering how do I love my neighbour well?

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Shine Your Light 2011

We showed off our new buttons - So fun!
It is the morning after the night before and everyone in my house is sleeping soundly except me.  Maybe I am just too excited to get this post up!

For the last four years in Milton, we have hosted Shine Your Light on October 31st.   So when we thought about what new traditions to serve our neighbours that we would start in our new house and city we decided that this would be an event we would have to continue.

We enlisted some friends from our Milton church and the plans began.  This year we added a new element to our night.  We handed out flyers to let our neighbours know about the event and that we would be collecting for the Mission Services Food Bank.  We also were able to use a popcorn machine and a cotton candy machine courtesy of Toronto Church Planting.  These were great, and a big hit with both kids and parents.  Our friend Annabelle Wilson has her own cake company called Simply Belle.  Well, she out did herself with amazing apple caramel cupcakes and a super fun spooky castle with working lights!  Jason, Liam and I along with our friend Mike played a little music on the front porch under the name the Hammer Hillbillies.  We even had someone ask for us to play one more after we had shut down for the night.  Costumes were a plenty and so was the laughter and smiles.  When all was said and done we had quite a few donations for the food bank and we made some new friends.  I will let the pictures speak for themselves but I think a new tradition has been born!

Michael - Our cotton candy chef

The cutest little cupcake we know!

Annabelle - Not only can she bake everything delicious but she can make popcorn!

Our Hillbilly debut!

Liam and his fav costume of Mr. Orangeman

Really I don't think you can even imagine how good these were!

The Crazy Castle with working lights! - And it tasted just as good as the cupcakes!
People in our neighbourhood
The sugar rush has begun for TJ and Maddi

These big blue eyes just melt my heart!
 Thank-you, thank-you to all our friends, old and new for helping us create a night of memories for our neighbourhood!  We are already thinking about how to make next year's Shine Your Light bigger and better!

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Thankfulness

 I have been trying to get this post up all week.  It is Sunday night and I am determined that before the night is done this will be finished!

Last weekend was Thanksgiving and I have so much for which to be thankful.   We spent a beautiful weekend up at Jason's parent's cottage surrounded by extended family.  The colours on the trees were amazing and to top it off the weather was absolutely gorgeous.  We took our student Soo Gyeong Shin with us and she was very brave to try all sorts of new things, like canoeing, maple fudge, hanging out around the campfire and of course making s'mores.  This was her first Canadian Thanksgiving and I think it was a big hit!
Soo Gyeong's first canoe ride




Yummy Smores!


Last campfire of the season

One of my favourite moments of the weekend was when Jason and I took Soo Gyeong out onto the beach at night to look at the stars.  She was mesmerized.  She told us that in the city where she lives in South Korea that there is too much smog and too many lights to see any stars so she had never really seen them before.  She was enchanted by the night sky.   Her enthusiasm and child-like delight was contagious and I found myself being pulled into her joyful reaction. 


Afterwards, I was reflecting about how great and indescribable God really is.  How the Creator of all of those amazing beautiful stars is even more amazing because He sent His one and only Son as an atonement for the debt that I myself can never pay.  My heart was overwhelmed with thankfulness for that amazing sacrifice but also for all of those who He has placed in my life.


This past week in our family devotions we have been reading in Mark.  We were studying the passage in which Jesus' mother and brothers come looking for him.


Answering them, He said, “Who are My mother and My brothers?” Looking about at those who were sitting around Him, He said, “Behold My mother and My brothers!  For whoever does the will of God, he is My brother and sister and mother.” 
~ Mark 3:33-35



Over the past few years, this scripture passage has been revealed to my heart.  I have always loved my family as I am sure Jesus did too but there is something special about the family that God gives us.    There are those of you that have become that for me.  Some of you I have known for years and some of you I have met only once or twice but we have stayed in touch.  We have served together in church, at camp, in home church, mission trips and in other Kingdom projects.  The gifts and talents that God has blessed you with have inspired me.  We have laughed together, cried together, played together and studied God's word together.  You are my bothers and sisters.  You are a part of our family.  

Many of you have prayed for us.  Some of you I have never met in person but I know you are praying.  We have seen God do amazing things in answer to those prayers.  When Liam was sick in the hospital we would watch his monitors all return to normal readings when we would remind him of who had signed up to pray for him during that specific time.  It was such a miracle that even the nurses began to notice.  We have felt your prayer lately here in Hamilton.  God has been confirming to us that we are exactly where He wants us to be.  Some of you have taken on the responsibility to pray for streets in our neighbourhood and even our own street.  We are seeing Him at work.  (Watch Jason's update post on Tuesday for some exciting news) Your faithfulness to pray is an encouragement to us.  You are my bothers and sisters.  You are a part of our family. 

Some of you have given financially to our ministry.  I can not explain to you how many times we have not know where the money would come from in order to start this new work in Hamilton, or pay a bill, or support an event that we felt God was calling us to do.  We prayed that God would provide and stepped out in faith and God laid it on your hearts to give.  In all honesty, every time it happens I am surprised because you give without us ever telling you about the need.  And every time I am surprised I remind myself that God is working all over the world to bring His plans to fruition. Some of you give faithfully each month and some of you have given for something very specific.  Both of these sacrifices are significant blessings to us.  You are my brothers and sisters.  You are a part of our family.



No mater what role you have played in the body of Christ please know that your role is significant and gives glory to Yahweh.  I am filled to overflowing with thankfulness for each and everyone of you.


Thanksgiving Hike 2011

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Rude Awakenings

There is that blissful moment when you first stir at daybreak.   You know the one where you are not fully awake for your brain to remember the long list of things that you need to accomplish,  or the responsibilities that you have for the day but you are content with the dawning of a new morning that feels like a fresh beginning.  I was reveling in that joyous space this morning when out of nowhere I was jolted awake by a fist in my face.  As the stars started to clear from my vision I remembered that I had been up in the middle of night with my youngest daughter who was having a nightmare.  Finally, in desperation to get a little sleep from the few hours that were left,  I let her sleep on my side of the bed.  Now, I remembered why I only invite her in as a last resort.

I tried to get back to sleep for a while but after the rude awakening it was no use.  I decided to go downstairs and enjoy the quiet with a cup of coffee and my bible.  It was still early when I finished my quiet time and so I thought I would get a few minutes to read the newspaper before everyone else began to stir. 

The Hamilton Spectator had a special report on the city's vital signs.  You can read a copy of that report here.  There was a lot of good news about where the city has improved.  Less seniors now live in poverty.  James St North has a thriving arts community that seems to be picking up momentum.  Crime rates are down and there is progress in the economy.  What I also learned though was another rude awakening about the poverty that plagues the city.   Child poverty continues to exceeds 50% in many neighbourhoods with an child poverty rate of over 26% for the city.  Another shocking statistic is that there is a twenty-one year difference in life expectancy between the poorest and richest neighbourhoods here in Hamilton.  That takes my breath away.  How is that possible when so many of us have so much?

So as my children began to stir,  I was left wondering what children in my neighbourhood were going without breakfast this morning?

 “Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.  For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.’  Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You something to drink?  And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You? When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’  The King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.’
~ Matthew 25: 34-40

We have a lot of work to do here in Hamilton.  Please Lord give us the wisdom to do it well.

Friday, 26 August 2011

Facing My Doubt

This is my second morning sitting on our porch, reading my bible and praying.  I am being drawn out here where I can read God's word and pray.

God is doing something in me and I am restless.  Not only am I restless but I am a bit concerned about where all of this is going to lead.  Have you ever had that feeling?  I can't put down my bible and yet if I am honest with myself there is part of me that wants to put it down because I am afraid of what God will reveal.  You see deep down I like comfort.  I like my life.  I love my kids and my husband and my family.  I have been aware for some time now that the cost for me to follow Christ has not been high.  My parents did not disown me.  I do not fear for my life.  Our Canadian culture, although not joyfully receptive that I follow Christ, does not persecute me because of my profession of faith.  Our family has been free to leave our friends at a church we love in order to move to a new city to start a new church.  Really, in comparison to what others have had to give up in order to follow Jesus, the cost on my life has been minimal.  I love Jesus and my heart's desire is bring glory and honour to Him with my life but I have been wondering as of late if I like my life to look too much like the lives of others?

I am currently reading through Colossians.  Paul is imprisoned in Rome and although he had never met the people of Colossae they are on his heart and he writes them a letter that is speaking to my heart in so many ways.  The city of Colossae reminds me of my new home in Hamilton.  The mixture of backgrounds made that city an interesting cultural centre where all sorts of new ideas and doctrines were discussed, considered and encouraged.  I have found much of that same environment here.

Paul writes, "See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ."(Colossians 2:8)

I am really struggling with that scripture.  At first I thought, "Oh that is not me." but as I have pondered on the rest of the chapter I have realized that God is speaking very clearly to my heart.  By the time I got to the last three verses of the chapter I was beginning to see that I can very easily deceive myself in my relationship with Christ.

"If you have died with Christ to the elementary principles of the world, why, as if you were living in the world, do you submit yourself to decrees, such as, “Do not handle, do not taste, do not touch!”  (which all refer to things destined to perish with use)—in accordance with the commandments and teachings of men? These are matters which have, to be sure, the appearance of wisdom in self-made religion and self-abasement and severe treatment of the body, but are of no value against fleshly indulgence."  ~ Colossians 2:20-23

Ouch that hits home......things that appear and look good and wise to us are of no value?  How have I allowed the world and the expectations of our culture to creep into my relationship with Jesus?  What things do I do that make me look good by the world's standards or even by our Christian culture standards but really do not bring glory to Christ?  What would my faith look like outside of my Canadian culture? All these questions make me a bit nervous and I think David Platt, in his book Radical, really communicates my own fears best.

"I was now confronted with a startling reality: Jesus actually spurned the things that my church culture said were most important.  So what was I to do? I found myself faced with two big questions.  The first was simple.  Was I going to believe Jesus?  Was I going to embrace Jesus even though he said radical things that drove crowds away?  The second was more challenging.  Was I going to obey Jesus? My biggest fear, even now, is that I will hear Jesus words and walk away, content to settle for less than radical obedience to him." ~ David Platt

Yep,  David nails it.  My fear is to really examine if am I believing Jesus and am I obeying Him.  Not a lip service belief and response but a whole hearted absolute surrender to His Will in every aspect of my life all the time.  I want to be radical but I am not sure what that looks like exactly.  I want to live life here on earth always in response to Jesus.  I don't want to blend into the neighbourhood.  I don't want to cling to short-term treasures that I can't keep anyway.  I want every moment of my life to be invested in things that are eternal always keeping mind a mental picture of the day when I will stand before God giving an account of my stewardship of this life.  

So as I sit here I am praying that God will do the impossible and change my heart.  I can't do it.  I am just like the eleven disciples in verse 17 of Matthew 28.  "When they saw Him, They worshiped Him; but some were doubtful." And so, as I start my day, I am hanging on to Jesus' response to their worship and the last words that Matthew records:
"And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit,  teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.





Tuesday, 9 August 2011

I Want to Be Fearless


"For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms."
~ Ephesians 6:12

I didn't notice the broken window or the glass on the ground in the backyard but as I gazed around our living room strewn with the contents of our drawers and shelves and cupboards,  I realized something wasn't right.  Somehow though my brain didn't put two and two together until Jason said to me, "We've been robbed."  What ensued from that point on was lots of emotions, lots of calming our youngest daughter down that the bad guy would not come back, lots of dealing with police and a finger-print expert and a great friend who fixed our window and lots of clean-up.

The next day I posted the above Ephesians scripture on Facebook.  My good friend Anita wrote back right away with this comment.  

"Stand firm girl....shield lifted high, helmet on and sword raised....."

I thought about that comment all day and realized that I had forgotten the context of the scripture that I had posted.  Yes, I had recognized that it was really not about the thief that invaded our house because our struggle is not against flesh and blood but there is more.   What I had neglected to make sure I remembered was,  how was I going to dress for the occasion!  Below is what I need so that I do not allow the enemy to use this to gain a foothold and to discourage me about our safety and security in our house and about our ministry here.   As I read God's words and allowed them to sink in I knew I did not want to go into this battle unprotected.
The Armor of God
 10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.  18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. 19 Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should. 
~ Ephesians 6:10-20

I have to admit that I am a pacifist at heart and I don't like weapons that shoot projectiles of any kind...guns, arrows....automatic nailers!  I don't like shoot 'em up games or knights that fight so it took me a long time to really connect to the whole battle armor imagery in this scripture.  But once I started to see it from a protective point of view that God wants to give us all the resources and tools that we needed to protect ourselves then I really began to dig into this treasure.  I love that the scripture says, "Put on the full armor of God..."  There are different pieces of equipment that I need and they all go together to protect me fully.   If I forget a piece I leave myself vulnerable.  If I am vulnerable I can not be fearless in God's purpose for my life.  I want to be fearless.

You may not have had somebody break into your house lately and steal your things but you may be going through something else that is difficult or is discouraging you.  Don't let it become a stronghold.  As my wise friend Anita says, 

"Stand firm girl....shield lifted high, helmet on and sword raised....."

Thursday, 28 July 2011

What do you think?

My husband Jason posted this question yesterday on his blog and I would really love to know what people think so please comment.  I will concur with Jason that we both continue struggle with this and have not come to a resolution and yet we both feel it is an important question.

So have a read at what he wrote and leave a comment.  We would love to hear your thoughts.

http://jasonmcgibbon.blogspot.com/2011/07/disciples-and-rrsps-any-thoughts.html

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Wednesdays - What's so cool about Hamilton?

We have been trying this summer to get to know our new city a little better.  So each Wednesday I am going to try to post about something cool that we have discovered in Hamilton.

Last week, we had the privilege of hosting a couple of friends who came to visit from North Carolina.  It was fun to take them around town and do some touristy type things.  On Sunday night, we decided to visit the waterfront and to take tour on the Hamilton Waterfront Trolley.  This trackless trolley follows along the 12 kilometers of shoreline of the western part of the harbour.  There is lots to see and the trolley makes twelve stops along the way where you can get off and then back on.  If you stay on the trolley for the whole tour it is about 80 minutes.  Pretty good for the price which is $5.00 for adults and $3.00 for children (4-12) children 3 and under are free!  The trip is suppose to be narrated but our conductor was rather silent.  This was my only disappointment of the night, since we are new to the area it would have been great to hear some commentary about the great view along the way.
 
Shelly and TJ smile as we start on our trip!

Caroline and Kelly sittin' pretty as we depart.

Fantastic murals by local elementary students decorate the docks.

The steel mills loom in the distance

Up close and personal with the SS Haida

I loved all the murals by local students that adorned the warehouses along the docks.  The fantastic colours were a wonderful surprise along the way.  The kids were fascinated with the steel mills and ships in the distance.  I really liked the HMCS Haida which has been named a National Historic Site and is the last remaining example of 27 Tribal Class Destroyer built between 1937 and 1945.  It was huge and driving right up beside this large ship was fascinating.  I wanted a picture of the massive anchor but I was on the wrong side of the trolley so I couldn't get a good shot.  Maybe we will have to tour it at some point so it can have it's own post!

Beautiful scenery along the trail

Heading toward Princess Point

Lots of birds along the way but most were too fast for my camera
 Lush greenery dominated the scene as we made our way to Bayfront Park, Fishway and finally Princess Point.  Wonderful benches, trails, marinas and wildlife were seen along the way.  This looked to be a great place to run, bike or roller blade.  As the sun began to set as we left Princess Point for our return trip home the beauty of this place began to sink in.  Below are my favourite pictures of the night.  The first is of Shelly and TJ looking out over Cootes Paradise and the second is the sun setting near Pier Four.  All in all this was a fabulous way to spend a warm summer night in Hamilton!

Beautiful


Wednesday, 29 June 2011

A Life Update - God is always surprising me

It seems like forever since I have written.  It is not that I have nothing to say but more that life is moving so fast I don't even know where to begin! 

 Daniel turned 16 years old last week.  Yep, I am officially old.  We celebrated by hanging out together as a family and going to get ice cream cones at Hewitt's Dairy Bar.  Yum.  We are so proud of Daniel and the young man that he is becoming.  He leaves this Friday to head out west with his Grandma and Grandpa to go to the Canadian National Baptist Convention and then head to Northern Alberta for his first mission trip.  I have told him not to wonder off as this city boy is not used to bears!
Daniel
Caroline has just finished her bronze star in swimming which she passed with flying colours.  Her goal is to get her NLS when she is 16 and she is well on her way.  I think she wants to guard at Ryerson Camp so she can spend her whole summers there, instead of just a week when we stay there for family camp.   She has made some good friends on our new street so for now she is looking forward to the summer here in the city.  I am looking forward to spending some one on one time with her too.
Caroline
Liam is thrilled to have school all finished for the year and to have summer beginning.  For the past few months, he has been playing drums for our worship team in Milton.   Liam is still playing with us even though our time in Milton has ended.  He came and played with Jason and I on the street corner in Hamilton this past Saturday.  What fun we had playing and giving out candy instead of asking for money.  We are looking forward to spending some time with Liam this summer, as he accompanies Jason and I to Alabama for a global missions celebration where we will play some music and lead a children's program.
Liam
Trinity Joy is so full of life that we can barely keep up!  TJ has been busy this year learning to read and blasting through all her grade 1 school work so she will start grade 2 next year.  She has loved moving and meeting all the new neighbours on our street.  She is still enjoying acting and has been having a great time at auditions and call backs.  In a couple weeks she will be attending a triple threat camp where she gets to sing, dance and act each day for a whole week.  She is off tonight at a birthday party for new friends that she meet on our street.  I asked her if she was nervous because she wouldn't know anyone except her two friends.  Her response was "No way mom, I will have so many friends by the end of the night!"
Trinity Joy
Jason is out tonight shooting a new video with a band he plays with called Before the Flood.  He has been going at the speed of light lately so I don't have new photos of him.  Only this one where he is making fun of his on-screen self at the SBC annual convention.  Honestly, sometimes I think he is the most unlikely missionary there is!  As Caroline says, "He is all him."  We are hoping to play some more on Locke Street this summer and maybe even hit a few open mics at the local venues.  The goal really is to just immerse ourselves in our new community and meet as many people as we can. 
Jason - wondering who made him a poster child?
As for myself, I am getting used to being a city girl.  I like our neighbourhood much more than I thought I would and now I am determined to learn more about our new city.  I have a new buggie cart so I can walk to get my groceries and we just bought a share in a local farm.  It is funny, I used to live closer to the country with farms all around but now I live in a big city and my veggies come each week from a farmer and tomorrow I am going to meet our street's egg man who will deliver each Thursday to our front door.  You would think that in a city with over 500,000 people you wouldn't know your neighbours but they all hang out on their front porches, while the kids play in the street and we see them every night.  Over 20 of our new neighbours came for a BBQ at our house on Sunday.  We had a great time and look forward to getting to know them better. 

So there you have it an official update of what is going on at the McGibbon Zoo which has now moved all the animals to the city.  Yes, it is a big change and change can be scary but change can be good.  So as we look forward to starting summer this week I am a bit shocked that I am not wishing I was back in the familiar, in the ministry that I loved, with my friends who I adore.  I am surprised to find myself looking forward to being here, right where we are.  Hamilton is really not what I expected.  God is always surprising me and I can't wait to see what is around the bend.
Just me

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Church Planting

As I mentioned in my last post,  Jason is in Phoenix, Arizona at the SBC Annual Convention.   Last night,  Jason got a chance to participate in the North American Mission Board Presentation.  He was able to talk a little bit about why we would sell our home, leave a church we love and move our family to a new city.   NAMB created and showed this video about the network of churches we have been involved in over the past ten years and the vision they have to give themselves away to plant other churches.  Lots of great memories.....thanks to all those at NAMB who do so much to help support us in spreading the gospel by telling God's stories.  You all amaze me.


video

Sunday, 12 June 2011

Sometimes I Love Technology



My husband is away this week at the SBC Annual Convention in Phoenix, Arizona and I am in charge of holding down the fort at home.  I was pretty excited to learn that they are live streaming both the pastors conference and the annual meeting.  Yeah!  So even though I am at home I can experience some of the worship and the great speakers right here in my living room!  This is even better news for me as we are being appointed as North American Mission Board Church Planting Missionaries and Jason will be part of the appointment service on Tuesday at about 7:50pm my time.  So now I will get to see that appointment and feel apart of it.   Sometimes I love technology!

If you are interested you can watch too at this link.  Then click on the icon that says watch the event live on the Internet.

The following is who is speaking and when at the Pastor's Conference....

MONDAY MORNING, JUNE 13
Session Length: 8:30am-11:30am (Phoenix Time which is 3 hours behind Hamilton time!)

The Monday morning session will feature music by the ASPIRE Worship Team, video highlights of God’s activity as well as features on church planting in North America. In addition, there will be a special Ministry Development presentation by one of the ASPIRE partners.
This session will include preaching from church planter Paul Gotthardt, church planter Darrin Patrick, Bartholomew Orr and Gregg Matte.
Paul Gotthardt (8:45am)
Darrin Patrick (9:30am)
Bartholomew Orr (10:15am)
Gregg Matte (11:00am)

MONDAY AFTERNOON, JUNE 13
Session Length: 1:30pm-4:00pm (Phoenix time)

The Monday afternoon session will feature music by the ASPIRE Worship Team and Choir, video highlights of God’s activity as well as features on church planting in North America.
This session will include preaching from Afshin Ziafat, Ken Whitten and John Piper.
Afshin Ziafat (1:45pm)
Ken Whitten (2:30pm)
John Piper (3:30pm)

MONDAY EVENING, JUNE 13
Session Length: 6:00pm-8:30pm (Phoenix Time)

The final session of the 2011 Pastors’ Conference will feature music by the ASPIRE Worship Team and Choir, video highlights of God’s activity as well as features on church planting in North America. David Platt will be doing a special appeal for the nations prior to receiving the offering during this session. Following the preaching, Rick Warren will lead us in a special time of commitment and calling for 1000 Pastors/Churches to engage in church planting in the pioneer areas of North America.
This session will include preaching from Louie Giglio and Rick Warren.
Louie Giglio (6:30pm)
Rick Warren (7:40pm)

Friday, 10 June 2011

Feeling Hot Hot Hot!

Okay, so even though spring was a bit of a bust full of rain and down right chilly weather, the last few days have been hot.  Really hot!  I know what my American friends from the south are thinking.  "Oh that silly Canadian girl doesn't know what hot is", but I promise you, if you were here, you would think it was hot too.  We hit a record in Hamilton on Wednesday.  It was 31 degrees Celsius or 87.8 degrees Fahrenheit.  But wait, that is not all we had humidity and LOTS of it.  So factoring that in (which the weatherman loves to do) it was 41 C or 105.8 F!

All this heat prompted the kids to have a water fight on our street with their new friends.  You know who was in the thick of it all.  I have to say that I am really loving the neighbours on our new street.  Everyone knows each other and hangs out on their front porches to watch the kids play.  Very cool. 

Miss TJ ready for action!


Not sure if this is the way to make new friends.....

Only my kids would pose like this.

Front porch fun

A great time was had by all.




Thursday, 9 June 2011

Liam and the Mac Kids Miracle Weekend

It has taken me a week but here are a couple of pics for the Miracle Weekend at Mac Kids.  Liam and Jason were interviewed live on the morning CHCH news.  Pretty good for our first week here!

Mac Kids Miracle Weekend

Liam, Jason, Dr. Singh and Ashley the reporter

They showed excerpts of Liam's documentary during the interview.  Liam was able to talk about how caring all the staff were when he was in the hospital and about how he is doing now.  He talked about playing drums for church and how he wants to go to Alabama with us to meet some friends at another church and play some music.  I guess we will have to let him come now.  Both he and Jason did great jobs and we are very proud of them. 

If you want to know more about Mac Kids please visit their website.   If you live in the area Mac Kids is now a full children's hospital and the emergency room is for kids only.  Good to know in case you need it.  They really do some amazing work.

Thursday, 2 June 2011

Our First Few Days

As I gaze up, there are big puffy white clouds slowly floating in the crystal blue sky over my front porch.  It is an absolutely glorious day and as the cool breeze gently blows and the birds sing, I am amazed that we are now living here in Hamilton.  At this moment, our new street is so peaceful it is hard to believe that we are in the midst of an urban city.  Our covered front porch has already become a favourite place for the kids to work on their school and for us to gather as a family after dinner.  Jason has set up his rocking chair and I am sure his guitar will soon make an appearance.
We made quite a first impression when we arrived on Saturday.  Our truck pulled up, followed by many cars and once everyone got parked they began to systematically carry all of our belongings into our new house.  As we met some of the neighbours they kept asking us in amazement, “Who are all these people?”  It was a wonderful opportunity for us to share that this was our church family.  By 2:30pm we were all moved in and we took a break to eat the wonderful lunch that was prepared again by our church family.  There was so much food that I am surprised any of us were able to move afterwards!   It was during our lunch break that the contractor who had done all the renovations on our house came to pick up some of his tools.  We invited him for lunch and he remarked, “I have never seen so many people or so much food.  They are like an army!”  He could not believe that so many people from our church in another town had come to help us move.  It really was an incredible witness of God’s people working together.  Before dinner these wonderful folks had unpacked my kitchen, set up all our beds, our living room and our dining room table so we would have somewhere to sit, eat and sleep!  We are so thankful for all of the help and for all the wonderful friends that loved us so well!
We are slowly unpacking boxes, getting settled and meeting people in the neighbourhood.  We have already met some great folks and tomorrow morning we will be featured on the city’s morning newscast!  Once again God has given us an opportunity to share on television about Liam’s health journey and our connection to MacKids!  So if you live in the area turn on your TV at about 8:30am and we will be on CHCH Morning Live News!  Not bad for our first week here!
God is good!

Saturday, 28 May 2011

Our New House

Finally, I can post that we have officially bought a new house and after today we should be all moved in!  Well, the house is not really new since it was a built around 1910, but it is going to be our new digs and we are thrilled.  It is in a perfect location for us and we are looking forward to meeting our neighbours and getting to know the area.  We bought the house while it was still being gutted and under renovations, so it has been very exciting.  We were thrilled with all the structural changes and upgrades to the furnace, duct work, wiring, roof and windows and really that is why we bought the house.  We just saw all the finishes on the inside for the first time yesterday and we were blown away as it is so beautiful and much more than we ever could have planned, dreamed or imagined!  It it a beautiful gift that I know only God could have orchestrated and we can not believe that we get to live here!  More pics to come as soon as we get unpacked!

Monday, 23 May 2011

Cottage Bound

We left last Thursday morning.  Six bikes, five bags, four kids, three bags of food, two dogs and one tent trailer all headed up north in search of some sunshine and a view of the lake.  The sun began to peak through the clouds and by the time we were north of Barrie there was blue sky all around! 

A new little lighthouse on the shore

Perspective always changes the view

The first Inukshuk of the summer

Just a great shot

Flying a kite on the beach

Should I be worried that I missed this?

A new friend has moved into the birdhouse
We had three glorious days of rest and relaxation.  There really is nothing better than family devotions in muskoka chairs and singing amongst the trees.  God is good.

Monday, 16 May 2011

Finally Spring has Sprung!

Yellow Double Tulips - So Beautiful

This year the spring has been so slow to arrive that I thought maybe we might miss it altogether.  Finally though we got some sun and things have began to warm up a bit.   Well, it did for a few days when I took these shots.  Since then we have had nothing but cold rain!  But I am not going to dwell on that fact.

I took these shots while the sun was out and I was weeding in my garden.  It was nice to get my hands dirty. 
My Snowball Bush is the only thing I want to see that even resembles snow!

I will miss this tree when we move.  It is so beautiful when it is in bloom.  Round balls of delicate white flowers.  I may just have to plant one at our new house.

These are white trillium that have decided to make an appearance!   
If it ever stops raining I will take another picture of these little ones.  They are in full bloom now and I love them.  So if the sun is out in your neck of the woods take some time to get out and enjoy all the beauty around you. There is so much to see.  God really has outdone Himself.