Sunday, March 25

Break my Heart for what breaks Yours

There is a song that has spoken to me lately.  One line especially.  It says "Break my heart for what breaks yours."

Break my heart.
Do you ever pray this?
Do I?
And if so, when is the last time.

I have often prayed that the Lord would let me see people through His eyes.
I remember two distinct times when this happened.
When I knew without a doubt that He was doing exactly what I asked.
One time was when we were doing an outreach event in Toronto's "Cabbage Town" and were taken into what is called the "tenderloin" area.
We were to be open to the Holy Spirit's leading, and to pray with someone if THEY initiated it, or asked.
I will admit, I was a little scared of the surroundings.
I was taken aback by what I saw.
I did not want to just "make something happen" but really wanted to be in tune with the Holy Spirit.
All of a sudden I knew by what I was experiencing/feeling/seeing through different eyes ~ that I was seeing these young male prostitutes and drag queens through the eyes of Jesus.

The other time I truly experienced the same thing
was when I sat in the church foyer of the church we attended for 32 years, and where I pastored for 7
I sat in the foyer with my special friend Barry
He was dirty
Freezing (it was in the deep cold of winter)
and intoxicated.
He was drinking a coffee slowly.
I sat and chatted with him a little.
At one point he said something to me and I had the STRONG sense that in his round a bout way, he wanted prayer.
The Holy Spirit was pushing me.
(and believe me I know that when the HS pushes, you just HAVE to give in!!)
So I asked him, "Barry do you want me to pray with you."
He said YES and immediately bowed his head.
He all of a sudden seemed totally sober.
He was quiet.
I all of a sudden saw this broken and needy man
through the eyes of Jesus.
I prayed.
He got up and said he was going now.
And sauntered out through the crowd of well dress church people, were giving him room to pass through the foyer conversations to the cold outdoors.
I got up and went into the washroom

When I heard this song - it reminded me again.  That we have a responsibility as Christ followers.  It is not a choice really.  It is something Jesus said we should do!  (remember the greatest commandment - Love the Lord your God with all your heart strength and soul and love your neighbour as yourself?"

Matthew 25:44-46: Then they also will answer Him, saying, "Lord, when did we see You hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to You?" Then He will answer them, saying, "Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me." And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.

Oh Jesus ... I pray,  please break my heart for what breaks yours.  Please.  And Holy Spirit - make me in tune to your urges/nudges/convictions to move and act!

Friday, March 23

Happy Birthday to my "baby" girl ~ Ashley Marie

Today - my baby girl turned 27!  So I am thinking it is appropriate to write 27 things about my daughter, as a celebration to her life!  Happy Birthday Ashley!

  1. When I was expecting Ashley - back then we did not have ultrasounds as a normal part of our pregnancy - SO I did not know the sex of the little one I was carrying.  HOWEVER, we had been praying for a little girl, and we ONLY had a girls name picked out.   She (since I was so sure) would be called either ASHLEY MARIE or ASHLEY NICOLE.  And well - you see which second name won out.
  2. Ashley was born only half hour after I got to St. B AND her dad almost missed it while he was parking the car AND my doctor DID miss her birth!   
  3. The first night Ashley was home she slept right through the night.  That was likely the only time - because right up until she was a teenager - she always seemed to wake up about 3
  4. Ashley did alot of sleepwalking.  One time she turned and tumbled all the way down the steps.  By the time Alvin got to her, she was already on her way back up - no injury (thank God for that because it was about 14 steps down) and she didn't miss a beat!
  5. Ashley had a lactose intolerance - but we didn't catch on very quickly.  She could out burp the best of them!  
  6. Ashley always said she was going to be a trucker so that she could eat donuts.  (So glad she changed ideas!)
  7. From the time she could talk - Ashley also sang.  
  8. Ashley joined the Winnipeg Mennonite Children's Choir when she was just 9 and sang joyfully under Mrs. Litz as conductor until Ashley was 18.
  9. Ashley took her first trip when she was 10.  She went with the choir to Israel.
  10. Ashley has also sang and travelled to Israel, South Africa, Germany, England, Ottawa, BC, among many other places.
  11. Ashley was "Belle" in a musical that her elementary school did. 
  12. Ashley took piano lessons for a while.  Later she also played the auto harp and taught herself how to play the guitar.
  13. Ashley loved to sing and play.  Her brother used to tell her to stop singing and stop playing to which she would reply "the 2 things I love to do and Josh wants me to quit!"
  14. Ashley noticed her jaw was changing when she was about 13 and decided to have jaw surgery once she was out of School of Discipleship.  The surgery was major!  She was so brave and taught me alot about courage.
  15. Ashley loves to crochet granny squares into blankets! 
  16. She is an amazing baker!  She has her own blog.
  17. Growing up - some of Ashley's best friends were all guys.  While I sometimes worried about this, she once told me that when you had guys as close friends, there was way less drama!  
  18. Ashley's favorite teacher still calls her by her nickname when he sees her!  
  19. We called Ashley by a couple pet names - although her dad always seemed to add a few more!  We called her Ash, Ashes, Pumpkin, Pumpy, Pookie (just to name a few)
  20. Ashley loves her brother and sister in law - Josh and Leah.  She once told me that she always knew that Josh loved her, but knows that he really LIKES her too - which is so important being family.  
  21. Ashley has amazing BLUE EYES after my dad! (and well - blue does run in our family_
  22. Ashley has a silhouette of a blue jay in  tree, on her right shoulder blade.  It is a tribute to her sweet nephew Jay Benjamin, who is in Heaven.
  23. Ashley went to the School of Discipleship after high school, and then continued on at CMU in Music Therapy.   HOWEVER, she chose not to pursue this career and instead is graduating this April with a Bachelor of Arts with a major in music.  
  24. Ashley LOVES roller coasters
  25. Ashley has served on worship teams in both vocal and/or pianist.  She has written some songs. She uses her musical talent and gifts to soothe souls including her own at times (and mine)
  26. Ashley has 3 blogs!! THREE.
  27. Ashley met Michael, and quickly they realized there was something more.  The first one she told about Michael - was her Grandpa Klassen (who was dying).  She loves to laugh with Michael!  They make a great team.  This year will be their 4th anniversary in Sept.
Ashley - I love you.  You are my daughter - the one that I prayed for.  God truly gave us the desire of our hearts with your birth.  There is so much more to say about you - but we have to keep some things to ourselves!  You always told me that "I love you 5" because you thought 5 was such a big number!!  SO baby - I love you 5!!  I love you to the moon and back!

Happy birthday sweetheart!  May this be a very special year - full of happy times, laughter, family times, music, friends, good recipes, blogging and journalling.  May it be a year that you will always remember as it unfolds!  May this be the best year of your life so far!  I hope God totally surprises you this year!  

LOVE, (more than 5555555555555555555555555555555555555555555555555555555555555!)

Monday, March 19

A Sky-written Reminder!!

It felt like a personal note from God reminding me that He Loves ME!!



On our first day in our house - we went for a walk with Ev - first to the playground and then through the wooded area, and then home.  We heard a plane - and say him beginning to sky write.  As he began we started to guess what he was writing.

What a sweet surprise when we saw the L turn into the L-O-V-E  G-O-D.  It was such a wonderful reminder of HIS presence in my life - no matter where I may go - and it reminded me of Psalm 139.  There is no where that I will be out of his sight, or out of his presence.  All I can say is - What an Amazing GOD!!

Psalm 139

The Message (MSG)
 1-6 God, investigate my life; get all the facts firsthand.
   I'm an open book to you;
      even from a distance, you know what I'm thinking.
   You know when I leave and when I get back;  (or travel to Florida!) (I added this!)
      I'm never out of your sight.
   You know everything I'm going to say
      before I start the first sentence.
   I look behind me and you're there,
      then up ahead and you're there, too—
      your reassuring presence, coming and going.
   This is too much, too wonderful—
      I can't take it all in!

 7-12 Is there anyplace I can go to avoid your Spirit?
      to be out of your sight?
   If I climb to the sky, you're there!
      If I go underground, you're there!
   If I flew on morning's wings
      to the far western horizon,
   You'd find me in a minute—
      you're already there waiting! 

Saturday, March 17

Self-Centeredness at Midnite

The other night - when we got into Orlando - we needed to wait for the shuttle to take us to the hotel for the night.  It was midnite when we got there (Florida time) and both grandsons were fast asleep.  We passed up the first time that the shuttle for Best Western came - because there were more of us than he could take.  Add in the car seat, and the stroller and you have a packed van!

So we waited a little bit longer.  It was absolutely beautiful out.  I love the smell of Florida.  My skin responds well to the humidity in the air.  Even after midnite - it was warm.  Poppa walked with Everett fast alseep in the stroller.  About 20 minutes later, up came the van.  So this is where I observed self-centeredness at work.

During the last 5 minutes of waiting there, along came a young man.  He was standing back, mainly because we were closer to the shuttle stop.  When the van pulled up, (this is when it looked like he was in fast forward!) I watched to see him scoot past everyone in one swift motion (who would dare think that a mom and dad with infant son and toddler should go first?) AND promptly took the seat in the front row and sat there literally like the cat that ate the canary!

Now, if he had been MY son, I would have told him to

  • move right to the back (afterall couldn't he see the Granny who obviously found it harder to get into the back than he would have!)
  • WAIT until the family was in, or at least give them a chance!! OR offer to go in first, and get right to the back
  • perhaps ASK if there is even room for everyone? (maybe he had a mind that could calculate the number of people and the number of seats as he was swiftly finding his own choice seat!)
I will admit - his self-centeredness took me aback.  But then again, it seems that there is alot of it out there.  We had a few moments of "Random Acts of Kindness" while we were waiting in the airport - so perhaps it just seemed appropriate to assume he would act differently!  (NOT)
Maybe I should give him the benefit of the doubt ~ maybe after he almost ran over Leah to get in, maybe he had a second thought!  

Am I being too hard on this guy?  Am I being judgmental?  Am I over-thinking?  PERHAPS.
All I know is that Jesus calls me to LOVE my neighbour as myself!  Sometimes that means letting the other person go first into the van!  

Just a thought!

Sunday, March 11

Transformation - and "CALL" to women's ministry! A YouTube by Kristin

Back in January, I got a call from Kristin Pauls, asking if I would be willing to have her come and film a bit about my life - and why would she be doing this?  Well, originally it was to be one of three video clips that would be shown at the ONE HEART service at the MTS Center.  I was pretty humbled by the request, and wondered what God was up to with this.  However, due to time, the video was cancelled.

Then our church did a series on TRANSFORMATION.  Kristin mentioned to me that one of the pastor's would be using my video clip as part of his sermon.  However, not sure why, but in the end, Dave did not use it.

It is a funny thing - because at the time when she called, I was blown away - and humbled and thought it was truly a God thing - that He would use to let people know about the ministry.  However when it was not used once, and then twice - I had to really wonder?  But who am I to question God.  He makes no mistakes and HIS timing is just right.  SO ...  in the meantime, Kristin told me that I was free to use it however I wanted.

I thought I would share it with you here, on the site about the ministry and also on my personal blog.  I hope it does not look like I am trying to toot my own horn!  Because that is not my intent!  While it is me that she filmed, I want to give all the glory to God.  I am merely the instrument HE is using!

Kristin, thanks for your visit that day - for your filming my story - for allowing me to share what God is up to in my life!  You are such an amazing young woman!  I stand in awe of what God is doing in YOUR life - and I am so blessed to call you my friend!  Here is Kristin's video!

Thursday, March 8

with thanks to Beth Moore

It is still early in the day - not quite 9 am.  I have been up since just after 7.  I want to be an early riser, but honestly, I have to really pray to become one!  It is not my first nature.  However I do know that if I ever DO sleep later (which is a rare moment when you are married to a hard working, get the job done, start off early, EARLY RISER) I always feel like I have squandered the best part of the day away!

ANYHOW ... with breakfast done, and Alvin and Michael are at work already in the house.  I have some alone time, to do my QT with the Lord.

Last night was our second last session of our Study on James ~ James:  Mercy Triumphs by Beth Moore. Last week I had not been able to keep up with the study.  I was just so tired, I kept falling asleep while I tried to do the homework! And it was NOT because of the content.  No, this study is amazing.  Have you ever read through James?  He is quite the guy! And he really just lays it on the line!

But the DVD portion of the study, which we saw last night - was simply amazing!!  It was session 7.  WOW.

At the end of it, we went into our small group time to talk and pray together.  At the end, we looked back onto a quote that Beth had written in the workbook.  THIS (without further words from me) is amazing.
THIS quote is my inspiration for today!  Thanks Beth!!

" If we're willing, God is our song when we are happy, 
our escape when we are tempted, our hope when we're despairing, 
our joy in tribulation, our strength in weakness, 
and our immortality in dying.  Ultimately, He Himself is our health."

O Lord, please, make me willing!!

Wednesday, March 7

tired TIRED tired ... did I say TIRED?

Yesterday I got up and walked on the treadmill.  It felt like forever to walk that mile.
Then I went over to the house and helped Alvin with just one of the doors.  It felt like I did all 30!
I came back, got the lunch ready for the boys (or should I say I put it out for them to warm up) and got ready for work.
As I drove into the city at 10:45 am, it felt like it was 10:45 pm.  And my work day had not yet started.

I drove and tried to evaluate just how I am feeling these days.
Dog tired.
again (sigh)

And well, I don't know if you have experienced this or not - but some of my thoughts went like this ... OR am I just crazy, and is this just "in my head"
what is wrong with me?
The last time I felt like this was after our cruise to Alaska with our friends
And it did feel like that ... only perhaps a little worse.
Then, at that time, my blood was low.  It was 112.  (Can't donate unless it is 125 for women) (I think that is the number!)

I knew there was a way to find out, especially since it was time to donate blood again, I would get the girls to do a test for iron.  SO, Lanie tested me, and looked at me and said, "Oh its low ... it is 111"  And then, as they normally do if the first test is low, she squeezed my finger and took one more drop of precious red blood!  This time she said, "It is 104!"

Darn!  Last time I donated it was 132!
Would not be able to donate if I wanted to.  I would be deferred!
And the reality is, I have begun to wonder if I should not donate every 8 weeks but put more time in between.  Guess I should ask my doctor.
SO ... now I have to get taking the iron stuff from the Health Food Store.

In a weird kind of way, the low blood diagnosis at least made me feel better.
So, the tiredness WAS NOT in my head.
It is my current reality - based on my iron level.

I need to take care of myself - because the reality is, I am needed!!
There are still doors to stain
Walls to wipe down
and other things that I can do in my limited capacity (my FM does not allow me to do much of the work - so I can pray for/support my husband where needed)

Yesterday I thought about Mom Klassen.  Both Alvin and I know that our parents would be so encouraging and supportive of this endeavour that God has called us to.  His mom and dad would have their shirtsleeves rolled up and be working like wild people! I don't know that I know of another couple who who worked so hard and tirelessly PHYSICALLY at whatever they could help with.  I also thought of my Mom and Dad who could not be as physically helpful, but were the prayer warriors behind us all the way!  They passed away before God laid this vision on my heart.  BUT I know they would have been so supportive!

So in the meantime, I will begin the yucky iron supplement, and increase my diet with green leafy veggies, red meat, and prunes!  Gotta get that iron count up!!  It doesn't feel good being tired all the time, and one does start to wonder, but I guess our lives HAVE been a little unsettled for the past, let's see - 20 Months.  But we are getting closer and closer to the end of one thing (the build) and the beginning of another (living the vision out), so I gotta get the strength up!!

I am claiming the scripture found in the Bible, and just LOVE it in the version THE MESSAGE

Matthew 11:28

The Message (MSG)
 28-30"Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you'll recover your life. I'll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won't lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you'll learn to live freely and lightly."