Thursday, December 23, 2010

Writing on the Run

This year was the first year I have worked almost full time, have a broken foot, and finishing a class, while trying to accomplish Christmas season tasks. Really this has been a journey of learning balance and creative ways to get things done or undone if that is the solution!  I have never baked butter tarts at six in the morning before, and I must say I actually enjoyed the peace and pleasure in creating something wonderfully sweet first thing in the morning. 

During my baking time, I prayed, enjoyed the silence of my home, and felt an urge to write! So here I am, writing on the run (or multi-tasking) between baking tarts and getting ready for work. My home now smells like sugar and butter.

What started this urge was a thought from simple living.  Following the picture below are the ideas I had after musing over the the simple thought.  I would enjoy reading your comments on the picture and quote.


"A home without a grandmother is like an egg without salt." 
Florance King

When I first started to follow Christ, the church I was part of at the time was mainly a body of believers between the ages of 20 to 45.  Often I heard from other women that something was missing, we had no mentors, older women to teach the younger ones the way of wisdom.  My heart cry and prayer during this season was also to find an older woman who would come along side and share her journey.  God answered this heart desire in numerous ways.

Titus 2 has this to say about older women and younger women:  “Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good.  Then they can train the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.” 

For us today this passage might seem irrelevant for our culture during the first read through.  However, this passage has great wisdom hidden within the words that are timeless. I could write pages on the truth that is found in this passage of scripture. Two truths: Older women need to be wise in how they lead their life, others are watching, and following.  Younger women need to be encouraged to search their hearts for what matters, and to nurture those whom God has placed in their life. 

Now fourteen years after I asked God to place wise older women in my life, he answered this prayer with abundance.  I am the director for seniors’ ministries in my church, and I now have so many mentors and encouragers on my faith journey.  And I am finding that I am now an older woman who can make a difference in a younger woman’s life. 

If you are an older woman, who could you encourage today or who could you journey along side?

If you are a younger woman, and you have no older women in your life have you asked God to bring an older person into your life? 

Men also need older men to come along side them and to encourage them...men who are your mentors or who are you mentoring?

Oh, for the writers who are reading this, what creative ways are you inspired to write during this Christmas season?  

Love to all…
Robin

P.S. The writing urge is huge…there will be more posts to come! And...The butter tarts are amazing. Now I am off to work.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

a winter paradise in Saskatchewan



A few weeks ago, my husband and I took a retreat away from the city to a cabin in the woods, by a lake--sounds like a strange thing to desire in the midst of winter, but is was truly amazing. I would take up the challenge again.

Heating the cabin with a wood stove was interesting, we are not used to it and were concerned that if we let the fire go out the cabin would be to cold. It was so hot I could not sleep, and my husband did not sleep due to stoking the fire all night. Next time we will let the cabin become cold! Maybe we will try hot water bottles at the end of our bed.

My husband had a hard time with no noise, for him it was way to quiet. I enjoyed the peace and stillness.

The music in this video is choppy, the pictures, however are amazing. The music is by John Friesen.

Love to all,
Robin

P.S I was tried of the brown blog...I was into having a new skin...here we go! Bright and joyful!

I am starting again!

 Hi Everyone,

I sure have not been faithful to writing on my blog.  I have been learning about silence and it seems to have rubbed off on my writing.  In November I hurt my foot, and life went into a whirl, tonight is the first time since October I have been on my blog.  It does feel good to write.  Thanks Angel for the invite to visit your blog, which lead me to finding The Robin Nest.  Robin is giving away free items on her blog, if you are interested visit her blog.  Even if you are not interested in free things this blog is worth visiting especially if you are the crafty type! 

Blessings and love,
Robin

Monday, October 04, 2010

Ministering

          

           Ministering               
Henri J.M. Nouwen
The question is not to prepare [for ministry] but to live in a state of ongoing preparedness so that, when someone who is drowning in the world comes into your world, you are ready to reach out and help. It may be at four o'clock, six o'clock, or nine o'clock. One time you call it preaching, the next time teaching, then counseling, or later administration. But let them be part of your life in God--that's ministering.

Source: Time Enough to Minister in the journal Leadership (Spring 1982)

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Update on Robin's Travels

The last three month's have been full of wonder, travel, learning, engaging in new conversations, and enjoying the beauty found in this world. 

Last week while at Carey Theological College on the UBC campus, a professor played a piece of music by cellist John Friesen, it is absolutely beautiful.  Somehow, I wanted to share what I have seen, touched, and heard, so...I created a You Tube video with a few pictures from my travels this summer combined with the beautiful music by John Friesen.

If you have 5 minutes, listen to the beautiful music below on the You Tube video.  Sit back and let the music speak to your soul.  I did not place words within video so the pictures and music could lead.

I am off on another adventure in 5 hours and will be back after Thanksgiving.  I hope to have more time to write when I get back. I have been completely blessed over the last three month's with all of the new adventures that have come my way. 

Love to all...

Robin

Be sure to check out the inspirational writings at Spiritual Sundays. Thanks to Ginger and Charlotte for hosting this site and encouraging us today to seek the Lord. Also Check out the High Calling Blogs.

Monday, July 12, 2010

I can do this!

 Picture was taken by the south Saskatchewan River

Over the last six month's numerous task, responsibilities, and request were added to my already full day-timer, which left me longing for a break in routine. Longing to have moments even days to focus only my relationship with God.

Now my balance is completely off and trying to be in the moment is hard to accomplish.  The break is nice, and time to write is relaxing, however I am experiencing out of balance feelings and not knowing if I have the strength to enter another season of ministry.

Why I am writing this today is to say, God has amazing ways of speaking to us when it is hard to get balanced or when life seems to moving to fast. I opened an email today which blessed, encouraged, and inspired me to write this post. The email was from Day Spring writer Holly Gerth. Hope her words inspires you also...

You can do this - I know it
Hey, you. Yep, you. The one feeling a little weary.
Carrying that load. Fighting this battle.

You're amazing, you know that? It's true.

And you can do this with Him. I know it. I feel it. Keep going.

It feels like your strength is small. But it's not. It's BIG.
World changing big.
Make-it-over-that-mountain big.
Big enough to do what you need to do.
Because your strength is as big as the GOD in you.

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
Philippians 4:13

He sees you, loves you, will carry you through... and I'm cheering for you too.
- Holley Gerth, DaySpring Writer

Love to all...
It amazing how our God inspired words can encourage others to continue on even when their journey is hard.  Heaven's strength is BIG enough for me to carry on.

Robin

Monday, May 17, 2010

"I will Never!"


Picture from Simple Living

"I will never"...were the words that flooded my mind when I first thought of the idea of actually speaking on a Sunday morning in my Church.

First, I really never thought I would be asked. Secondly, I did not believe I could actually speak without throwing up or completely shaking in my shoes or shuddering uncontrollably. Thirdly, I did not believe I would have anything to say that someone would want to listen to.

Well, I have learned not to say, "I will never!"

I was completely wrong about all three of my assumptions. I was asked to speak for the seniors Sunday on May 16, it was totally appropriate considering I am on staff and the director for seniors ministry in my church.

Secondly, I did not even feel like throwing up and I hardly shook at all. God has really been revealing to me that I have nothing to fear except for Him. Fear of man can paralyze a persons soul stopping them from being authentic and real. It does not matter what others believe or think, it matters that I am who God has created me to be, that He is always my first focus, that I follow His path by His Spirit, and that I write/speak what is on my heart.

Thirdly, from what I can figure out, no one went to sleep as I spoke. I have had that happen numerous times at the Caleb Chapel in the seniors home, so I am used to it if it does happen.

A few lessons learned from this speaking experience: God is faithful, and the gift of peace was constant through this experience. Little sayings came my way to keep me focused, like: "When you doubt yourself, you are really doubting God." "Learn to be who you are, don't try to become who you are not." "Enjoy the journey!" (All are my paraphrase.)

What do you believe will never transpire in your life? A word of warning it just might transpire when you least expect it!

Note: As my previous post have mentioned, life has been rather full and writing online was not an option or indulgence I could take pleasure in. Today, is the first day I did not have a deadline to meet or a paper to write! It was good to indulge myself in an hour of creative writing! It is a desire to spend more moments over the summer taking time to indulge myself.

Love Robin

Saturday, April 03, 2010

The Resurrection



Picture is a Robin Original
Concluding thought from my sermon on the Resurrection: Then and Now.
All of the authors that I have read over the last few weeks agree that if there was no resurrection there would be no story, it is as simple as that. Without the resurrection Jesus would have been like other messianic pretenders and would have simply died, end of story. Throughout history faithful witnesses have confessed God’s plan of salvation through Jesus death and resurrection. The central part and core of the Christian faith is the resurrection of Christ.
In Closing I would like to conclude with a thought on how we need to share the light of Christ with not only those within our church, but with the world in which we have influence:
“On Good Friday evening, Greek Orthodox churches have a service. Afterward, the holy picture that represents Christ, decorated with flowers and candles, is brought to the village square. A solemn procession comes from each church; and a brief service is held. Then, on Saturday night, a second service is held. Just before midnight, the church is plunged into darkness. Suddenly, one lighted candle appears in the sanctuary. The worshipers light their own candles from it and pass on the fire to others. Bells ring. Fireworks greet the resurrection. Each person carries his light home. (Ought we all not carry the light of the resurrection and the gospel into our daily lives?) Then, on Sunday morning, another procession retraces the steps of the previous Friday night. This time, it is no flower-covered coffin, but a picture of the risen Lord that is carried. The music is joyful and triumphant. Christ is alive forevermore! The parallels are obvious. With a dead Christ, we are sad; and we live our lives in darkness. With a risen Christ, we are joyful; and we live our lives in the light. It is a light that cannot be kept at church but must be carried home. It is a light that cannot be selfishly hoarded but must be shared with others.” [1]

Happy Easter everyone, blessings and love,
Robin

[1] http://www.dabar.org/Homiletics/Resurrection/illustrations.htm




Please check out other post on Spiritual Sundays. I am apologize to everyone on Spiritual Sundays and High Calling Blogs for being gone for so long.

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Good Friday Reflection: Mary's Journey


Picture: Dieric Bouts's Sorrowing Madonna

As I entered Mary’s story, the Mother of Jesus, and reflected upon her mother’s heart and considered how she must of felt watching her son be crucified, my own mother’s heart broke.

What mother could bear the pain and suffering of watching helplessly as people mocked, ridiculed, spit upon, and tortured their precious child?

Somehow, I thought Mary would have been spared some of the anguish most parents face. However, her anguish and body numbing pain, was the kind that cuts deep into the heart and soul. Mary’s story is one of incredible faith and trust, in the midst of immense mystery, rejection, humiliation, suffering, and sorrow.

Numerous times throughout Mary’s life journey she pondered and treasured within her heart all the events that took place.

The words spoken by the angel Gabriel concerning how she had found favour with God, that she was not to be afraid, she would give birth to a son, he would be great and would be called Son of the Most High. His kingdom would never end, and with God all things are possible.

When Jesus went missing and after his return, he said to her that he was doing his fathers business, her heart was broken, he had disappeared, and he was gone for days.

It was in this moment, the sword the old man Simeon had predicted started to prick her heart.

When Jesus left her home and entered his ministry she knew the long years of silence where coming to an end. Mary saw and heard how he was rejected by her own people.

She now had to relate to her child not just as an adult, but as “Immanuel” God with us. Her role as mother had now moved into a role as a disciple and follower of Christ.

At the wedding at Cana, Jesus asked the question, “Dear woman why do you involve me?” That must have hurt! Really, really hurt!

Another prick from the sword Simeon predicted.

When Mary went to look for him, he had asked the crowd, “Who is my mother, brothers and sisters?” What a crazy question to ask! Deeper the sword went leaving an invisible wound no one could see but a mother could totally feel.

Mary was at the cross, she did not leave. She stood silently as the sword cut her heart entirely. She stood there, lost in grief, with sorrow covering every part of her mind, body, and soul.

Then the words came from her son’s mouth, “It is finished.”

The sword went completely into her heart breaking her spirit totally.

Then she remembered Jesus speaking words from the cross that comforted her soul: “Dear woman, here is your son,” and to John he said, “Here is your mother.”

In these last words Jesus’ love for her covered all the wounds from the predicted invisible sword.

Jesus gift to his mother was to restore her role as mother in a new way. Feelings of rejection and humiliation were removed completely from her soul. Mary never gave up. She pushed through the rejection and pain and quietly followed her son. She knew within her mother’s heart Jesus was born for greatness.

She pondered and treasured within her heart Simeon’s words of praise, “My eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the sight of all people, a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel.”

This part of the journey was finished, but Mary knew this was just the beginning of a new God story and with him all things are possible.

Jesus’ kingdom will never end.

Scripture Passages for Reflection: Luke 1-2; John 2:1-11; Mark 3:31-35; John 19:27

Love to All,
Robin

Monday, March 29, 2010

Wierd!

I know it has been a long time since I have posted. I am three days away from being completely finished! The amazing thing is it is right before Good Friday. I will be moving into April paper free! The last three month's were very interesting, and full.

I have a question to those among us who know blogger well. It seems like the pictures I have downloaded onto blogger have disappeared or are not able to be seen.

Has this happened to anyone else?

I can not wait to start writing for fun!

Love Robin

P.S. I am going to leave this post, but now my pictures are showing up.

Okay, here are my conclusions:

One: The pop-up blocker on my computer was not letting the pictures load.
Two: My computer knows when I am in hurry and decides to be completely slow moving. Three: A complete attack from the enemy of my soul (this happens often when I am writing.)
Four: I am extremely impatient!

I am working on all of these.

Monday, February 01, 2010

Stuck was the Theme Word

Picture and Quote from Living Simply

“Remember, we all stumble, every one of us.
That’s why it’s a comfort to go hand in hand.”
–Emily Kimbrough

I really did not have time to post today, but felt I needed to share a part of my journey from last week.

Have you noticed that when God wants to bring a revelation and if you are willing to except it, everywhere you go or look there are points along the way to reflect upon as you journey towards having a revolution of changing heart desires. My journey started with the word stuck last week at the grief share class I facilitate every Monday. As I journeyed through the week this word and theme kept coming up to my catch my attention.


I read both the gospels of Mark and Luke, pages from a history text, and a book by Kathleen Norris, titled Acedia & Me. As I read through each of these books, the word “stuck” stood out even more and became even clearer. I would like to share a prayer that came out of last Monday night’s grief share group. I am still pushing into finishing my classes, the stuck feelings I have personally been experiencing are lifting which has been refreshing. Thank you to all who left comments on Saturday to cheer me on this journey.


If you are feeling stuck today, my desire is that you will embrace the comfort and love God is pouring out upon you.


Prayer Father God, the idea of being stuck, is real and touched home on many points. One thing that was clear is that Jesus is the one who heals our hearts, minds, bodies, and souls. Jesus your desire is that we trust you with all of our being even when the grief we are experiencing is overwhelming, we can trust that you know us completely.


Forgive us if we refuse your comfort. Take us we ask, to a place where we can rest in your promises receiving comfort for the healing we need. Help us to grow through the grief we might be experiencing. If we are stuck, not knowing how to get back up from deep places of despair, of not caring, or whatever it is, help us we ask to have a revelation and understanding for the reason we have become stuck. Have mercy Lord, and reveal the root cause. As you reveal the reason lead us into a place that we are able to rest in your comfort, and mercy. Let us grieve in a healthy ways not taking up unhealthy habits. Help us not to become lazy in moving on or staying stuck in despair, but to stand firm in truth doing the work that needs to grow.


Thank you Father for the grace and strength you are pouring out upon us daily. Thank you Jesus for walking along side us through the grieving process we have entered. Thank you for sending your Holy Spirit to guide us and to show us the way through the darkness and shadows, back into the light of life.


As we journey through the season of loss help us to recognize the goodness and sweet mercies that come into our life daily. Help us to fill our minds with positive words and thoughts. Release into our life creative ways to plant new healthy seeds that bring life and steady growth.


Daily bring to remembrance that we are a child of the King of kings, and Lord of lords. Help us to know our identity in Christ not a false identity in grief. Jesus you are the one who defines us. Thank you for desiring that we will have a personal relationship with you.


Hope is found in Your name Jesus. Amen.


Note: (This prayer was written during a grief share class from the thoughts expressed on the video. I personally gleaned ways of how to raise up out of feeling stuck from this unit, even though I am not grieving a loss of loved one.)

Pax,

Robin



Sorry for this post being long!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Moving on Slowly

(Picture from Simple Living)
“In faith there is enough light for those who want to believe
and enough shadows to blind those who don’t.” ―Blaise Pascal
Over the last month, I have had numerous tasks that needed to be finished and attended to. I am currently on a steady but slow pace towards a finish line of completing two classes with a final destination of receiving a diploma in Pastoral Ministry.

I feel like a tortoise with a heavy shell, slowly moving forward, while others have long finished this race. However, I am going to finish this journey well!

Following are a few thoughts from my journey this week:

If you feel stuck, stop and spend time with Jesus. He will encourage your soul, and grant the strength you need to keep moving forward.

If you feel like me and have a heavy load on your back, keep going one step at a time, looking to Christ who is our hope.

If the circumstances are causing fear, unbelief, or anxious feelings, ask Jesus to help you rise above and rest in his peace. Don't be afraid to ask Him for help!

I could not load a YouTube video, if you have a moment check out the Serenity Prayer, to bring you back to center.

I WILL be completely finished by March 15, when that day comes I will be writing often, and hopefully will become prolific with my thoughts! ~My husband and I are planning a party!

Love and peace,
From Robin (who is getting back to the task at hand!)

Be sure to check out the inspirational writings at Spiritual Sundays. Thanks to Ginger and Charlotte for hosting this site and encouraging us today to seek the Lord. Also Check out the High Calling Blogs.

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Prayer for the Military

I do not even know how to begin to express what I am feeling and experiencing within my mind, heart, body, and soul as I write this post. Today, at 6 am I watched my son board an Air Canada plane, his destination Fort Jean Quebec to complete his training in the Canadian Armed Forces. As a mother I am sensitive to the topic of praying for our troops over seas. I have been teary all day.

When we are sensitive to a topic it seems everywhere you look there are signs and information on how to pray or signs of what the spiritual climate might be. It is like when you are pregnant you see all of the pregnant women everywhere.

I know many who read my blog are from the US, but I would say the following article applies for your troops over seas also. I am sad today, and uncertain what my son's future might hold, one thing I have and know without a doubt is that God knows my heart and hears my prayers for my son. This article just arrived in my mail box...so I am posting it. Please comment and sorry this post is long.



Canada's military is missing its spiritual armour


Lorna Dueck

From Friday's Globe and Mail Published on Thursday, Jan. 07, 2010 6:01PM EST Last updated on Friday, Jan. 08, 2010 2:55AM EST

Something significant is missing in Canada's battle for liberty in Afghanistan. It is the spiritual armour our military should be getting from the front lines of the Canadian church.

This may not be the polite time to raise this issue, as mourners overflow clergy-led funerals for fallen soldiers, but we desperately need to awaken to the reality that our spiritual truths exist for more than burying the dead.

The homecoming military caskets are symbols of the vulnerability and apparent hopelessness in which the nation is engaged. How bad is it? Appalling. The recent deaths of four soldiers and a journalist happened not in a battle zone, but near Canada's model village of reconstruction just outside Kandahar.

Even there, for security reasons, Afghan reporters remained unnamed as they wrote for The Globe and Mail describing the bomb blast. They reported that a lone man placed wires in the mud and sat down behind a crumbling wall, waiting for soldiers. He watched for the perfect target and, with his device of wires, a small battery and a bomb that probably cost less than $100 to make, he shook confidence in the Canadian sacrifice of eight years and millions of dollars in military and aid supplies.

Jesus challenged his followers to love so deeply that they would be willing to die for the well-being of others. It is a seldom-practised doctrine, but in times of war, it is the doctrine to lean on, a rationale to assure us that life-risking efforts have been inspired by the highest ideal.

When Christ called for that level of sacrifice, it was in the context of an interconnected group of followers. It's easy to lose sight that the interconnection applied today means that it's not just government and soldiers in fatigues who should be carrying the burden in Afghanistan, but all Christians.

There is no doubt that love for others is what inspired the Canadian Council of Churches to get involved in this difficult issue. The ecumenical group, which represents 85 per cent of Canadian Christians, presented a brief last month to the federal government's Special Committee on the Canadian Mission in Afghanistan and appealed to the Prime Minister to do something about what it called a “hurting stalemate.”

These Christian leaders urge that human security, not anti-terrorism and national security, become the focus of Canada's efforts. They say we should support Afghans in local reconciliations and our influence should be used to promote diplomacy and negotiations aimed at ending the conflict.

However, with all the evidence that the world's strongest or most clever physical resources are not adequate for this war, the Canadian church still fails to fully mobilize its best weapon: sustained ardent prayer that “extinguishes evil.”

Why are we so quiet about praying for our soldiers in Afghanistan?

First, we do not have a national church. What we have instead are individual groups of varying sizes and agendas all across Canada focused on countless micro-battles to improve personal lives. Because of that, our belief that prayer does something we cannot has been weakened and we are ill practised at believing that prayer can be engaged for combatting systemic sin. We tend to operate without mystery, acting as though it is all about human efforts, leaving us too busy to schedule time and space to just sit and appeal to God for help.

Let's admit that engaging in a war imbued with a religious reality complicates our timid political correctness. Rather, let's believe Canadian Muslims when they say they are as appalled as we are by the Taliban hijacking Islam, and let's have both faith groups launch prayer for change.

Community prayer for our military was a practice of old, when wars were waged with a higher death count and the nation was more practised at knowing that faith was for more than just funerals. It's time to bring it back.

Lorna Dueck is executive producer of Listen Up TV.


I have been carrying around a burden that our churches are not praying for those who fight for their country. This article has awaken within my heart to do something about it. On January 31 in Canada, many will be meeting in Ottawa to pray please check out this poster, and please if you feel nudged to pray for our men and women who serve this country pray God will awaken his church to plead and cover them in protection.

Be sure to check out the inspirational writings at Spiritual Sundays. Thanks to Ginger and Charlotte for hosting this site and encouraging us today to seek the Lord. Also Check out the High Calling Blogs.