when you feel like the outsider, take another look

Untitled design (78)I used to feel like the black cat in my family. (I prefer to cuddle cats over sheep, so pardon my twist on the expression!)  Like I didn’t fit with everyone else.

In some ways, that is true. I am not gifted in the same way my parents & brother are, nor my husband.

God has been revealing to me thought that feeling like I don’t fit has two aspects to it: one is from Him, the other not.

I always fit in His family, for He made me a perfect fit for the purpose for which He created and called me.

When isolation begins to rear its negative head, God reminds me that I was not meant to be a loner.

This cat may need lots of catnaps and alone time with Him, but she is best when balanced in community.

Now He has placed me in a family which challenges me at times, and I am sure I similarly challenge them with my differences too.

But I would not exchange them for anything.

The more I hang out with my hubby, kids, parents, best friends and extended family?

The more I realize that this fellowship gifted to me by my King, and the more grateful and thankful I become.

I suspect Jesus and I are a lot more alike than I recently came to realize.

We love our family & friends, but also need regular time in His Presence on our own to help keep us focused and on target.

So I have begun to embrace my uniqueness, and instead of comparing myself to others, I have been asking God on how to best compliment the others I am with.

I am excited to share I am shortly heading on vacation to one of my favorite places for a week to reconnect with some of my extended family, and one of my high school besties.

And I am sensing God wants me to put down my keyboard, and be all in. So no writing for me again until July 26th here on the blog.

I will still be posting on my social media accounts ( @HopenHisPresenz on IG, Twitter & FB), but I am giving myself the grace to go with the flow and be fully present wherever I find myself verse posting in a set schedule.

PS> Thank you for your kind comments and encouraging words, friend. You have no idea how timely they have been as He has spoken to me through you!

#community #family #bettertogether

 

 

 

 

live life in community

For many years, I have felt on the outside looking in… maybe you too can relate.

There have been seasons where I was missing having close sisters. That feeling where you long for family beyond the blessings you already have, Where my heart felt lonely despite a loving hubby, great kids, friends & family.

Heart sisters.

And I remember one day praying to Him, and ripping this longing from my heart & offering it to Him.

We were never meant to walk alone.

We are designed for community.

Community for me means walking along side those who share your passion & calling, who will give you a hand up on the hard days, and encourage you to unfurl the dreams yet to fly deep within.

live life in community (1)

We were meant to live life in community, just as our Father, Jesus and Holy Spirit do!

There are three elements of community which God has been revealing to me of late.

1. Come.

If you don’t show up, it isn’t community.  Community gathers regardless of feelings, because it knows we are better together than on our own.  Where we answer the invitation God offers to us all, to come and be.  Be fully present, as you are.

2. Commune.

Also known as family.  Living real lives together.  Accepting us each as works in progress, on a journey towards wholeness:

  • Encouraging one another as we need it
  • Reminding one another to draw closer to Him and our loved ones
  • Giving our best at all times
  • Using our gifts for His glory
  • Praying over & for each other when needs arise
  • Being helping hands when we can meet another’s need
  • Crying together, sharing our brokenness
  • Offering one another a safe place to rest and be refreshed when we are weary

3. Unity.

When we gather with common purpose, somehow our unity makes us stronger, and greater than when we stand alone.  I believe this is the secret to how God is which we gloss over in its complexity: God is three, yet one. Each fully their own person, yet united as One.

Copy of live life in community

In community, we become the one He intended us to be.

Will community always be amazing?  Nope.  There will be hard times when our individuality rears its voice and cries out for attention, when we allow our unhealed places & pain to speak first.

Is community worth it? Always. There will be blessings you cannot yet imagine when we press in and dig deep together.

For me, community involves sisterhood.  I have been so blessed with several heart sisters to live daily life with in the community I live in, here in Ontario. I don’t want to imagine life without them. They bless me more than they know.

But there was still an empty space left in my heart, a longing for more which was yet to come…which I believe we all have deep within.

God led our family to a new home church, and once we worked through our grief of missing where we had been, we found ourselves enveloped in the community He planned for us. Our family, as both a unit & individually, is the stronger & healthier because of it.  Our church is intentional about loving God and loving people, and becoming family.  Family is always welcome, warts and all.

Then He led me to Remade, and Beth Kinder. Beth & I connected, and before I knew it, I had the close sisters my heart had been longing for through their online community. Crossing country borders, denomination, age, race & status.  Ministering, laughing, crying, writing, equipping, challenging, living life together despite the mileage that separates us. And that last longing was put to rest when I was welcomed in, and asked to join this community.

As I have followed His leading, He has blessed me with new friendships, and reawakened a few dreams through growing deeper in the communities He is planting me in.

God can unite us beyond our expectations when we follow His lead.

 

Community is His idea, the expression of how He lives life together as three in one.

Come, commune with Him & become one.  This is the core of community, connected & grounded to God first.

Ask Him to draw you closer to the community He has for you here on earth.

 

Your best ‘you’ comes to life in the community where He waits to make it possible.

If you are intrigued by the concept of an online community, ask God to lead you to the One He has for you.  Feel free to drop by and join the Remade Community on Facebook, for there is always room for one more in His community!

If you too live in Canada, and long to meet with other Christians in the larger church community, Gather Women is crossing Canada and meeting provincially. 

If you too have been lonely for the deeper authenticity and support of community, don’t allow your lack to drive you. Invite Holy Spirit to open your eyes to where He wants you to gather, connect and live in community.

 

Your Kingdom come…

“Break my heart for what breaks Yours. Everything i am for Your Kingdom’s cause as i walk from earth into eternity.” @hillsongunited ⠀

What I have come to realize over these past few weeks of looking at His Kingdom in the Word?

God knew we would need to see glimpses of heaven on earth to help us along our journeys.

For His heart breaks…

  • When marriages disintegrate, addictions escalate and war decimates His creation.
  • When the lonely, hurting, scared and broken are overlooked.
  • When the orphans remain father and/or motherless.
  • When the poor still have empty stomachs.
  • Where sin runs rampant without hindrance.

Friend, His Kingdom will come among us each and every time we invite Him into each moment of our lives, for…

  • He has promised us He is with us.
  • He has proven Himself to be for us.
  • He has given His very life for us.
  • He has forever removed the stain of our sins.
  • He has made us one of His family.
  • He has shown us that His Kingdom can make a lasting impact upon those it comes into contact with.

Because His Kingdom came in love, is infused with mercy and grace, and walks alongside us wherever we go.

His Kingdom comes every single time when we ask Him to show us what to do, reveals to us what to say.

For His love is seen shining through our eyes, words and actions when we love others as He does.

May Your Kingdom continue to shift the atmosphere and draw near as Your people seek You first.

One day, there will be no more…

  • Death.
  • Tears.
  • Pain. 
  • Fear. 
  • Anxiety. 
  • Loneliness.
  • Brokenness. 
  • Destruction.

Let Your Kingdom come soon in its fullness, Lord as You make all things new and perfect in You!

#Kingdomcome #heartcry #homecoming

One more day…

I have been battling working over full time this week with a flaring up inflammed tendon in my right wrist. 

As a result, I am grounding myself offline tonight & heading early to bed so I don’t undo all the work my physio put into my care this morning.

Tomorrow night, I will share my final #Kingdomcome thoughts with you.

May you dream of His Kingdom as you slumber!

#Kingdomcome #finale #tomorrow

(my just over three month old kitten cuddling up with me while I am taking a rest break! 🤓)

the Welcome Home mat

One of my favorite things when I am invited to a house for the first time is feeling welcome even before I even step foot into it. A welcome mat or a lovely pot of flowers can do so, but always best is a smiling face when I ring the doorbell. 

Knowing I am always welcome makes me more likely to return to a home.

But being welcomed in and then being told the home is now partly mine? Even though I contributed nothing to deserve it?

That kind of welcome is rare, but it does happen.

I have evidence of this kind of invitation, and so do you!

The Bible has many places where God shows us how His Kingdom takes the best the world has for us and God amps it up beyond all expectation and imagination!

Colossians 1:13-14 is one such verse….

God rescued us from dead-end alleys and dark dungeons. He’s set us up in the #kingdom of the Son He loves so much, the Son who got us out of the pit we were in, got rid of the sins we were doomed to keep repeating! Colossians 1:13-14 MSG

God rescued us, freed us and cleaned us of our stains but didn’t leave us there. He made us family.

His Kingdom is made up of each one He has done the very same for.

Oh we may have different backgrounds, skill sets and old sin patterns- but in His Kingdom, its not about what you formerly lacked but what you now have.

  • The keys to the Kingdom.
  • A permanent room there.
  • Forever to be in His Presence.
  • Nothing to ever separate us again!

Friend, I challenge you to…

  • Ask God how He wants to show you more of His kingdom in your life.  
  • Seek His presence.
  • Savor His Word.
  • Spend time listening for His voice.

Knowing His kindness, love, mercy and grace never changes, He will always continue to do so for those seeking His Kingdom first.

#Kingdomcome #homecoming

Kingdom come – the expanse of Your heart

May Your Kingdom come & Your will be done as we serve Your heart. Let salvation flow as Your people pray – Lord we long for more… – Hillsong United

Lord, You provided what we needed for us even before we knew we needed it.

A Home. With you.
Forever.

Where we always belong and are always welcome.
Forever Home.

Your Kingdom is way bigger than my mind can grasp.

Your heart’s desire is for EVERY SINGLE ONE of YOUR CHILDREN to come Home to You.

And somehow, Your Home expands to meet Your heart and makes space for each one who answers Your invitation and enters Your Kingdom.

The idea of Camelot was only a glimpse of the Kingdom yet to come.

  • One Table, where all sit as equal family members.
  • Round because You are One and yet Three, complete in a perfect circle of relationship.
  • Constantly expanding with additional leaves to make more seating as needed.
  • Covered with the Feast of the Bridegroom, which supernaturally meets our hunger and thirst.

Where You are waiting to welcome us in person, when we make our way into the Kingdom once and forevermore.

Just as the father continuously kept his eyes on the road looking for his wayward son to come home, even though he had already given him his portion of his inheritance (or kingdom on earth). Despite the fact the son may never return, the father never stopped looking for him.

For love is the driving force of this Kingdom.

Not money. Not power. Not performance.

Not anything other than God’s huge love for each of His creation.
You, and me.

He will never stop looking for the wayward, hurting, lost and confused to return Home.

And will never stop inviting them to do so.

For His Kingdom, this Home, His heart is longing for you to come home.

#Kingdomcome #homecoming

#homecoming 2

Kingdom appetites

Most days, if I am honest, I don’t always think of my walk as being an appetite needing to be fed.

I focus too much at times on what I am about to eat, or what I need to wear, or making sure I work enough to cover my bills.

But just as I would never see one of my kids, family members or friends go hungry, God made us to reflect this characteristic of His – to hunger and thirst for righteousness.

We are meant to feed on His Word.

Drink deep in His Presence.

Soak in His love.

Our appetites were not meant to settle for anything less than the best He has for us.

“God’s kingdom isn’t a matter of what you put in your stomach, for goodness’ sake. It’s what God does with your life as he sets it right, puts it together, and completes it with joy. Your task is to single-mindedly serve Christ. Do that and you’ll kill two birds with one stone: pleasing the God above you and proving your worth to the people around you.” (Romans 14:17-18 MSG)

Not only will He meet our needs, we will be pleasing Him when we seek Him first and foremost each day, and savor His Word like that freshly brewed cuppa coffee first thing in the morning.

What we eat first sets the tone for our appetites throughout the day.

Join me in inviting His Word to “meat” your deepest needs.

Drink in His Holiness.

Savor spending time in His aromatic Presence.

May His love become the tastiest meal you take in, and never take for granted.  The more we eat and drink at His table, the more we will grow into who He designed us to be, and the more His kingdom will be seen in our lives.

#Kingdomcome #homecoming

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step up & steep in the Kingdom

It’s time.

It’s time to step up & steep in the Kingdom, friend.

📖”Steep yourself in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions.”

Our part is to pursue Him:

  • Through worship.
  • Through His Word.
  • In His Presence.
  • Led by His Spirit

When we put Him first, His kingdom comes into greater focus, and we can sense it coming more alive in us.

And when we do?

📖”You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met.”

He promises when we put His kingdom, He will provide for us, because of His great love for us!

📖”Don’t be afraid of missing out. You’re my dearest friends! The Father wants to give you the very #kingdom itself!” 

As His kids, we get to inherit all He has for us….and can begin to unwrap it here!!!!

(Verses in quotes: Luke 12:29-32 MSG)

#Kingdomcome #homecoming 

His Kingdom welcome

​God’s kingdom welcomes the child-like with open arms.

Not because they exhibit childish behaviors, but because of their uncanny ability to see and speak the truth, and their complete focused attention when they zero in on something or someone they are interested in.

Like Jesus.

Who is not only our King, but God’s son.

His child.

Just as we who follow Jesus are now God’s children. Part of His forever family.

And anyone who comes to the realization that they are His?

They are ALWAYS WELCOME:

  • To come to Him. 
  • To be in His Presence. 
  • To sit at His table. 
  • To hang out with Him. 
  • To be touched by Him. 
  • To be heard by Him. 

All of these blessings and so much more are available to His children residing in His kingdom. Now and always.

I believe Jesus fully embrace being His Son, and so is able to fully embrace us as His siblings in the Kingdom.

After making the way clear for us to enter, Jesus reminds us in Matthew 19: 13-15 to not to block or hinder anyone who want to come to Him as His child.

Not only do we see this here in this example of actual children approaching Him, but the heart sick, physically ill, bound, mentally unwell, unclean & poor in spirit?

He welcomed all who sought Him, and not only met their immediate need but also offered each the gift of entering into His kingdom!

Good news, indeed!

#Kingdomcome #homecoming #howHelovesus

why Kingdom stories matter

Jesus loved to tell stories and parables to teach important truths. There are times when a story can climb over a barricade or pierce a hard heart where blunt honesty would be deflected.

I find this truth refreshing, to be honest.

I love to weave stories and song together for Holy Spirit to use, and I believe that is a God given desire.

In this way, I am following in His footsteps.

Everywhere Jesus went, He spoke in parables, using relevant & relatable examples while relying on Holy Spirit to bring revelation to their hearers.

He also used questions when appropriate, and prophetic words as led, depending on the situation.

This Kingdom work isn’t as complicated as I once believed it was.

Every one who follows Him has a story, which when shared will reach the people just waiting to hear from someone further ahead than they are.

Our stories of freedom, restoration & redemption are in fact His Kingdom stories. 

They may not yet be recorded in book format, but every time they are shared?

His Kingdom come is seen.

For it has come in the life of the one sharing their story.

Friend, YOUR STORY MATTERS.

If it doesn’t seem that exciting or relevant to you, let me remind you it is to the One who chased you until He caught you, buying your freedom from the past & radically changing your future.

EVERY THING, EVERYTHING, IS USED FOR HIS GLORY IN YOUR STORY. And mine!

#Kingdomcome #homecoming