Can I be in your Shelfie?

Straight up, I have a lot of books. That shouldn’t come as much of a surprise to many of you. At Christmas, most of my presents are fresh printer-and-ink-smelling rectangles in tacky Christmas wrap, simply because I make it easy for my husband to guess what I want by constantly adding a pile of Marissa Meyer, Veronica Roth, Marie Lu, Lindsay Cummings, Kate Quinn, and Kiera Cass volumes to my Amazon Wishlist, along with the random other authors I decide to obsess over. And don’t even get me started on my Bill Johnson collection.

With technology and self-checkout robots dominating society, I’m relieved that real books with paper pages are still a thing. Gone are the days where Christmas shopping was as easy as purchasing a CD, or a DVD that you knew someone liked. Now with Spotify and Netflix, who needs stuff like that?

And now here comes Kindles and e-books, rising up from the guts of the literary world with its robot tentacles to scoop up as many of us as they can. Some people love reading on a Kindle or their phone, and I’m sure that’s where the future is headed. But it’s just not my thing.

Don’t go dying on me book-lovers. We need our libraries to live on!

In the midst of the buzzing technology that runs this world, I find my happiest place is still sitting by the window in a plush chair, with a cup of something only slightly less hot than burn-your-mouth temperature, with all the other sounds turned off, holding open a book and getting lost in a great story. And since moments of rest are sort of God’s thing, something He holds high on the list of valuable things for your life, I hope some day I can be responsible for the story that brings someone else into a place of peace.

Because, really. After all these years of raising babies, it’s about time I kick-start my writing career, wouldn’t you say? I’ve been telling stories since I was a little girl, and now that I have kids of my own I want them to go on adventures and live a life with all the magic of getting carried away into other worlds. So please pray for me, friends! Shoot one into the air right now if you can. I need all the faith-fuel I can get as I start to send proposals to literary agencies. And you can bet your buttocks I’ll keep you in the loop as much as I can!

Now tell me, what kind of story would you want to read about?

  1. Parallel universes on the brink of war with a psychologically unstable (but hilarious) female lead that has totally fallen head-over-heels for a guy who hates her guts.
  2. A chilly Christmas tale that forces an uncoordinated faithless female protagonist to face off with villains from old Christmas legends.
  3. A fairy-tale retelling with a twist that pits two sisters against each other in a dangerous competition to hunt down the greatest threats their historians have ever recorded.

Let me know! I’m sharpening my pencils to take notes…

 

 

Catching the Fire of Revival – Part III

Today is the second day that I have been praying for a revival to break out in Canada. Far-fetched, you think? It’s not as unrealistic of a prayer as you realize.

In 1904, a revival took place in Wales. A man named Evan Roberts had prayed for ten years that the people of Wales would come to know Jesus, and even when years went by and there were no results, he kept praying for his country, because why not?

When the revival broke out, it was characterized by prayer, praise, joy and victory, as the people of Wales re-discovered the Holy Spirit. In six months 100,000 people came to Jesus. Yes, I did say 100,000, not 100, or 1000, but ONE HUNDRED THOUSAND people of Wales came to know Jesus as their savior and dedicated their lives to living for His Kingdom.

Evan Roberts, just a man who prayed for his country.

At any point Evan Roberts could have deemed his prayers useless or bent to the lie that his country was not going to turn from their beliefs and come home to their Father. But every day, he prayed, no matter how he felt. And 100,000 people was the prize for not giving up.

When I learn about things like this, my immediate thought is, I want that for Canada! But then I think about it more and I say to myself, “Well, Canada is a lot bigger than Wales. And with all the different cultures, there are so many language barriers. And these days our government doesn’t care a whole lot about God. Our situation is much different, it’s unlikely that a revival would happen here.”

Wrong. All wrong. Actually, this is EXACTLY where a revival should happen.

If you have read any of my past Catching the Fire of Revival posts, you already know that a revival doesn’t take place on “green grass” or in an area that already has it all together. A revival needs something to revive. A revival occurs so that the dead grass comes back to life. When the people in the grittiest battles finally decide to lay down their weapons and surrender. A revival comes when things are not all good.

All over this country I have heard of churches closing down, denominations dying out, schools that once thrived in sharing the love of Jesus becoming a place where the name of Jesus is only used as a cuss word, and Christians everywhere battling depression, disunity, and destroyed relationships in their own homes and families. But this is not God’s plan for this country. It is never God’s wish that His people live under a cloud, depressed and quiet. My prayer is that this revival happens first with the Christians laying down their battle uniforms and no longer picking sides, and coming together as one congregation under God’s leading, and getting on their knees in a quiet place instead of raising their voices in public. I don’t believe that a revival happens where there isn’t first surrender, and confession. As a result of personal cleansing, love pours out from all the people involved, spilling out into their atmosphere, affecting those in their circles and communities, drawing in crowds and changing other hearts.

(And trust me, our Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has more of a history of encountering the Holy Spirit in his own life than you think. Pray that he remembers those moments from his past.)

Let’s just be real for a moment. I can think of many much more strenuous things I would do in order to see a revival come to this country, and see thousands come to know the Lord, than pray for my country for a couple of years. That seems like a no-brainer to me. All I’m asking is that you would pray with me, whenever you remember. Put a post-it note on your mirror in the bathroom so that you remember to say a thirty-second prayer in the morning while you get ready for your day.

This is not a long blog post, and I know I haven’t written for a while, but this is present on my heart and totally applicable to what the Lord is doing right now. In my former Catching the Fire of Revival posts, I have referenced the book The Calvary Road by Roy Hession, and I have based the previous posts on that incredible little book. I still recommend that you read this book if you want to know what revival is and how to get it in your heart. And trust me, it’s not a “bad time” for you, nor are you “not in the right head space” to experience a revival. It really doesn’t matter if you haven’t talked to God in a while either.

Thank you, God, that your love is unconditional. We suck.

As I have said before, God is on the move. Let’s get in on the action.

Catching the Fire of Revival Part I
Catching the Fire of Revival Part II

Clear Skies Ahead

There’s a grey sky outside clobbering the morning with unwelcome shadows but just beyond it I can see a vibrant blue rolling in. This will be a bright morning after all.

It’s been a little bit of time since I’ve graced you all with pretty words and mildly inappropriate humour, but there’s been a lot going on. First, I had to endure the first trimester of pregnancy. If you don’t know what a “first trimester” is, Google will tell you that it’s one of Mother Nature’s cruelest practical jokes. She plays a lot of these on us women. I won’t start making a list or you will lose your breakfast, but just know that only God in Heaven has the infinite power to get us through certain seasons.

Thankfully I’m over all that garbage. First trimester is long behind me and I’m standing under that ravishing warm blue, kissing those pesky rainclouds goodbye. Thank you Jesus that I’m not going to experience morning sickness throughout my entire pregnancy like so many others. Let’s have a moment of silence to honour those poor souls that do.

Anyway, it’s hard to entirely forget about the upcoming torture, which scholars like to call “labour”, but at least I have a break before then to remember what the world is actually like. Apparently it’s not all made up of repulsive foods and bad smells. Suddenly I’m craving a whole variety of cultural cuisine. Like Taco Bell. I haven’t touched a morsel of food from Taco Bell since…well since my last pregnancy actually. There’s just something about their Loaded Cheese Fries Supreme that would make me cringe on any normal day, but during pregnancy it suddenly becomes the meal that makes you feel like you are eating at the Lord’s table.

In addition to being pregnant and getting to experience the giddy joys of feeling something kicking against my insides and busting holes through my innocent ribs, I’ve also been preoccupied with building a house. Well, obviously I’m not building it. I couldn’t find the appropriate drill bit if my life depended on it. But my husband and some of his honorable allies are throwing the thing together. If you pray and stuff, then please be praying with me that this process of getting permits and the whole building process goes so much faster than we expect. I don’t particularly want to add the experience of “going through labour + moving into a new house at the same time” to my resume. It’s not exactly on my bucket list.

Something that should be on your bucket list, however, is to read CINDER by Marissa Meyer, the first installment in The Lunar Chronicles. If you like gritty young adult commercial fiction, fairy tales, fantasy, and sci-fi, with just a hint of added man-meets-machine genetics, then you will probably fall in love with this writer’s stuff. Might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but I’m into this sorta thing. It’s been a thoroughly entertaining way to endure the pregnancy drama.

Okay, enough random. Apart from checking in just for the sake of it, I also came across a verse that has been on my mind a lot that I wanted to chuck into the world so that everyone else could benefit from it too. Unfortunately, one of the hardships of becoming a parent is that we suddenly have to live with this fear that something terrible could happen to our kids that is completely out of our control. Does anyone else face this monster? For me it hits at night, in those last few moments right before I’m about to fall asleep. Suddenly I see this image of some random thing happening to my son that is awful, and somehow every night my mind creates a different way for him to suffer, completely against my will. What a torturous way to lay awake at night. All I can do is squeeze my eyes shut, and beg Jesus to take the images away. The ironic thing, the thing that I have to remember in these moments, is that Fear is a coward.

Yes. The “Fear Monster”, is a coward.

The Spirit of Fear will run away scared like a little pansy the moment we tell it to leave in the name of Jesus.

This brings me back to the BRAVE Conference from a few years back, where the testimonies and teaching got planted into my brain so deeply that it’s still what I go to when fear presents itself. Fear cannot stand up to Jesus. It runs and flees the second the presence of Jesus is present. Our job is to cast it out, using the tools that God gave us to fight the enemy. All it takes is a simple, “Fear, leave in the name of Jesus.” Sometimes you tell it to once and it leaves forever. Sometimes you have to do it every night (until you are delivered of the thing that is causing it to manifest). But no matter what, it hikes up it’s pants and runs for it’s life.

So my verse is found in 2 Timothy 1:7. “For God gave us a spirit not of fear, but of power and love and self-control.”

God gave us a spirit of power. And a spirit of love. And self-control. Fear does not come from God. So be afraid, Fear. We’re coming to deal with you.

‘Nuff said.

Thanks for reading.

Hunt Your Dragons before You Come

It only makes sense. As children of a Holy King we are fully equipped to be dragon slayers.

One of the hard things I’ve had to learn in my twinkling twenties is that dragging around baggage into areas where the love of Jesus is supposed to shine is inappropriate, un-classy, and just plain bothersome. In order to walk in freedom we need to release those things into the hands of our all-powerful Commander of Angel Armies.

I am the first name on this “guilty” list. I have done this too many times, especially when I was just starting to fine tune my spiritual ears to hear the voice of God, because before my twenties I didn’t even really understanding what listening was. I was what I like to call, a “RUSHER”. Everything must be done instantly. The moment I got a vision, I believed it was only going to work if it happened overnight.

Well that doesn’t leave God any time to move, now does it?

I have learned a couple of times over that God prefers to drag things out, not to torture those of us who are impatient, but so He can teach us things along the way. There are hidden treasures in this, worthy of discovering. Things that will change our lives. Things that will turn out to be the solutions to other unrelated problems if we let God work. Things we will take with us for the rest of our days so we are stronger and can do more. These little gems are what I believe Heaven’s storehouses are bulging with. And if we are patiently looking for them we will find them. If we are not then we are no different than crazy children running around and grabbing candy at Halloween. After we consume it all we will probably feel sick.

I don’t think there’s a Christian on the planet who isn’t guilty of bag-dragging. It’s really hard not to bring our inner conflict with us everywhere, our negative mind-dialogue, and our limb-flailing fears. But God’s plan isn’t for us to walk while pulling seven or eight hefty bags behind us through the dirt, rather, it’s His plan that we walk freely. It’s His plan that we trust in Him for what we need, because if we need it He will provide it, and if He doesn’t provide it, it’s probably because we are delusional about what we need.

In every situation, whether you are on your way to church or on your way to work or on your way to a family gathering, its best to spend five minutes (it literally doesn’t take more than that) by yourself and say to God, “I give you all of these things.” If you know what your dragons are, speak them out, hand them over and take away their power. If you don’t know why you are feeling like garbage and want to pound on the walls, you are probably PMS-ing. Just kidding. You’re probably dealing with something deeper than surface level issues. But I promise you that even if you can’t exactly pin point what your problem is, God knows what it is. Ask Him to take it. Then invite the love of Jesus to come in and fill you. Trust me, if you head out of your house this way you will have a much better time and all the people who you want to karate chop off a cliff will suddenly be much less horrifying.

The love of Jesus conquers all. Every time.

No dragon is bigger than the Holy Army Commander. So take that mighty sword and chop off that ugly dragon’s head. Hiya!!!

This might seem obvious and simple, but I went a long time before coming to this conclusion. And now it’s my go-to. Even on good days I try to remember to do this, because it makes my heart so much bulgier. And everyone wants a bulgy heart.

That’s what I wanted to share today. Bless you all!

Christmas in July?

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Sure. Why the heck not?

I’ve had something brewing the last little while like a hot cup of slightly overcooked, grind infested java. Okay, minus the grind infested because apart from being mildly over analyzed, this idea doesn’t have major grinds.

Yes. Call me a weirdo. Everyone else probably does. But I’ve been dilly dallying here and there putting sparkly, vibrant, and vastly absurd ideas into a story.

About Christmas.

What?

….Yes, I said Christmas. And I didn’t stutter. That’s impossible on here.

I know its not typically where our minds go this time of year, but for whatever reason I was inspired; enough so that I got up off of my butt and just did it. Now my novel is complete, slapped together from the scraps my brain spewed, and I’m rather fond of the thing. Sometimes I write novels and I deem them equivalent to garbage, so I never try to make anything of them until years later when I rediscover their magic and redirect the course of the story to make them something exciting. Other ones I’ve written are a bizarre combination of my nerves prancing into existence because I took some odd risks, and my pride beaming out of my face because I think its probably the best thing I’ve ever created.

It’s probably not. But I always think it is at first.

This is somewhere around my thirty fifth novel that I’ve written just for kicks (this is not a brag, its more of an embarrassment actually because I have that many in existence and I’ve never truly set out to do anything with them), but I think it took me that many to get to a place where I feel I can write moderately better than rotten garbage.

Anyway, literary agents take half of eternity to get back to us hopeful beggars, so you aren’t going to get any juicy news about this for a long time. Sorry. Pray for me. I probably need it and stuff.

Thanks, people I know and random others I don’t. I hope the peace of God finds you today. Remember that loving God and knowing Him will get you further than anything else in this life.

Kropf out.

The War Ship

It really is like a ship, spearing through the darkest oceans, going to war on behalf of its Captain. I’m talking about worship. Which cleverly, sounds a lot like “War Ship”.

How perfect.

Worship was never meant to be just singing songs for the sake of singing songs. Goodness, how bored I would be. I’ve only seen people fall asleep in church a few times and I’ll admit that every time it was basically hilarious, especially when they grunt a little while they wake up, but I can’t imagine being able to stay awake myself if I went into worship without the intent of really giving glory to the King of Kings and embracing the presence of my Creator.

If I was the Captain of a ship, which I dare say would be just fancy, I don’t think I would want to simply glide along on a sailboat. Too easy. Too dull. And this isn’t because I find sailing to be dull. But if I was a Captain with all the potential to take my vessel on wild adventures sanctioned by the King and wage wars against the most frightening enemies, and all I did was glide along…man. The King of my country would be disappointed in me. I would be disappointed in myself.

Worship can be so much more than we commonly let it be in our lives. Not only is it a way to step into an atmosphere of the Holy Spirit while He is moving and give honour to the one who loves us beyond measure, but it is also a battle cry.

Life sucks? Okay. Go worship.

Terrified of something? Okay. Go worship.

Suffering from pain? Go worship.

Fell empty? Lonely? Tired? Overworked? Jealous? Hurt? Worship.

There are a lot of tragedies in this world. Unfortunately that’s probably not going to change. But when we rise from our circumstances regardless of what they are and start to sing a chorus of “Hallelujahs” unto the King, something starts to shift in the spiritual realm and strongholds begin to break.

This is what God has been showing me. That I am to praise Him in whatever state of mind, health or emotion that I’m in. And what happens is a change of heart and an opening of my eyes.

Wow. His glory. Wow.

There is a record of history in the Bible about David, who was heading out to war. He could have stuck his most chiseled, scruffy, ruthless war heroes at the front of his army to intimidate his enemies. But instead he sent the choir, in full hallelujah-swing, ahead of his army. He was striking at the darkness, not with spears and swords, but with worship.

And yes, David was infinitely known for crushing his enemies. His passion to pursue and understand God’s heart was invaluable to his reign as King. Just a harpist, a worshipper, stepped forwards and killed a giant when he was a boy that everyone else was living in fear of. His worship was what also chased away the darkness that was tormenting King Saul.

My weapon of choice, is worship.

The enemy can’t stand up to worship.

Our God is a great God. I’m so happy that he is taking me on this adventure, charging my ship to sail into war against the darkness. He has been showing me so much about love, compassion, and boldness in these times of simply praising him.

I hope that you try this – to respond to any hardships by praising the King. Because He is still faithful in the good times and in the bad.

Peace out.

A Glimpse of Rome Through Geeky Glasses

Dreams. Dreamy dreams. Dreaming of dreamy dreams.

We all have that one dream, the one that never goes away, even if life provides a heaping pile of lofty distractions. Occasionally something reminds us of it and we pause to go back to dreamland for a moment. We let out a long dramatic sigh and for a split second that thing we want the most is so close we can almost taste it.

Nice, isn’t it? To experience it for just a moment? If only everything were possible and we had unlimited amounts of money and each of us possessed our favourite super power.

Really, there is only one conclusion. Dreams suck. Yep. It’s official. We always take it too far by adding on new branches to our dream tree and suddenly what started as a small dream turns into a completely ridiculous impossible venture.

Go us.

I happen to be incredibly guilty of being a ‘brain-wanderer’ (yes I made that term up which is why it’s lame) which leaves me staring off at nothing for long periods of time, getting lost in non-existent worlds or situations. I can sure dream up some funky dreams. Some of them are probably attainable. But I’ll be honest, most of them aren’t.

My biggest dream though is one that doesn’t seem to want to scamper off, even when I try to ignore it, forget about it, or even beat it down. Realistically there is no reason for me to want to get rid of it, except for personal insecurities, but there are always loads of excuses to. For example, I’m a mamma now. Most of my time is already spoken for by a little stump of a creature who doesn’t even know he’s needy. I love him to death quite frankly. Which presents a problem when the opportunity comes around for me to be selfish and take some time for myself. All I want to do with my time is help him, make sure he’s full, gotten his sleep, isn’t afraid, doesn’t feel alone, has clothes to wear, has food to eat and sing adorable songs to gently put him to sleep. It sure makes it hard for me to want to take off and live out my dreams when I care for him so stinking much. He rules my world. What a little punk. It’s like he’s already got me all figured out.

I’ve always wanted to get published and write novels full time as my career. I have many dreams, some you would laugh at because they are so far fetched, but this one trumps them all. I picture myself sitting in some little hole-in-the wall apartment in Rome, Italy, finishing off an epic sci-fi novel that will leave the world with their jaws hanging open in anticipation of what happens next.

This might sound strange. I don’t exactly come off as the well-spoken type. I’m one of those people that can write something that sounds pretty, but the moment I open my mouth I sound like I’ve stuffed my vocabulary into a blender and failed English seventeen times.

No, I don’t want to live in Rome. But some day I would love to travel there and sit with an unhealthy-sized cup of coffee and write an action packed book with just enough romance that all the saps out there buy into the story too. I would wear geeky glasses and everything, just to make it all feel legit.

Pffffft. Ridiculous. Who has the money for that? Or even the time? Seems like a lot of work to make this dream come true. I’m probably better off to stuff it into my “maybe later” box and never think of it again.

If I’m being honest though, I don’t think God gives us dreams for no reason. His reasons though, are likely not always what we think. Maybe He just wants to see if we are willing to give them up to follow Him. Now whether we are willing to give up our dreams for Him, that is the biggest test. It really doesn’t matter where they come from, God or us, we aren’t called to chase after fantasies, even if it would be incredible to wind up in history-splattered Rome with my nerd-glasses and an armful of notebooks with endless ideas.

We just need to praise Him, no matter what we are doing with our lives currently. I think the praises that come directly from the surrendered most abandoned hearts in those face-in-the-mud moments are the most touching to Him. Even if the songs aren’t that greatly written, sung or played. He just wants our true feelings, our true love, scribbled down on a cola stained napkin, and expressed to Him our very best.

I think the little drummer boy had it right.

Peace out.