*Contemplating the impropriety of people against the perfect grace of Christ

Faith, thoughts

Lately my scripture reading schedule has been dominated by the OT Prophets, so encountering Hebrews this week has been a beautifully simple and refreshing reminder of the goodness of Jesus. I sometimes forget how the bible speaks of Christ’s humanity, and today I was reminded. And I think I really needed to be reminded.

‘For since He Himself was tested and has suffered, He is able to help those who are tested.’ — Hebrews 2:18

I find such rest in this passage! Its so difficult to come to terms with the fact that Jesus truly loves me this much. Enough to want to be there for me and to listen and to forgive me again and again in spite of my selfishness. And honestly, I forget that He does. In His perfectness He wills to come to my level — to anyone’s level, to hear my pleas and to love me in spite of my wretchedness and continuous straying. This is the radical God who loves me. This is the fearfully vast capacity of Christ to allow us to be His children! This is.. astoundingly radical free love from a Father who is full of grace. And yet I take it for granted.

‘For it was fitting, in bringing many sons to glory, that He, for whom and through whom all things exist, should make the source of their salvation perfect through sufferings. For the One who sanctifies and those who are sanctified all have one Father. That is why He is not ashamed to call them brothers, saying: I will proclaim Your name to My brothers; I will sing hymns to You in the congregation. Again, I will trust in Him. And again, Here I am with the children God gave me. ‘ — Hebrews 2:10-13

I am a child of God. Thank you Jesus!

*coming home (saying goodbye) and the rest.

Everyday, My Life

I have of late neglected my little blog due to a certain life event of ours. Yes, there actually is a reason why I have been unpresent for the last three weeks. Rest assured, it is not for lack of wanting to bombard you with the visual content that inspires me on a daily basis, or with the usual snippets of our everyday lives. Rather, for those of you that didn’t already know, I moved back to Calgary at the begining of August. Notwithstanding, the weeks leading up to, and directly following the move were jam packed with seemingly endless logistical obligations including full time work, the completion of my recent body of work, Debutants and Scampswhich opened on August 14th at AVALANCHE!, and many goodbye coffee dates with dear friends from the Island.

Anyways, I should clarify the reason why I left Victoria. The decision to move me back to Calgary came as the result of a somewhat sudden good fortune. This being, me landing a couple of part-time sessional gigs teaching what I love. (Yipee!!!) One at acad, and one at UofC. Trist and I had naively anticipated the prospect of my receiving teaching at the uni-level, even at the cost of having to live apart for a time in order to proverbially ‘get my feet in the door’ of any institution which was willing to extend an opportunity in my direction while T spends the school year finishing up his MFA in Victoria, graduating spring 2016.

And yet, nothing really prepares a person for a 4 month chunk of time spent not getting to see their spouse in person… And now, I’m in that long-distance club seemingly all marriage veterans love to refer to when reminiscing of their newly-wed years.

The decision to haul ass back to Calg and live here without T for 9 months was a tough one for us to make, and even after a week, I miss him profoundly. I knew this woud happen ofcourse.. In saying that though, T is also gonna be hella busy with the completion of his MFA. For what it’s worth, I keep consoling myself by indulging a muddled delusion about how our self-imposed long distance situation is somewhat justified under the pretense that this is perhaps the one time in our lives where we would see rather little of eachother to begin with, even if we lived under the same roof. (Ok, that doesn’t console me at all, lets be honest)… But, while home will never be ‘home’ unless we are both dwelling in the same apartment, its funny how the place where you meet your love sort of always possesses the affect of feeling like your ‘together home’, even when your other half is living on an island that is a plane ride or series of car and ferry-rides away.. And for us, Calgary is that place.

Alas, here I am. Back in the prairies without my love. The dust has finaly settled after spending the first 2 weeks of August unpacking my stuff, indulging a series of much needed visits with family which involved wedding hopping, hiking, very late night libations, amazing catch-up seshes, celebrating our 4-year wedding anniversary *whoot whoot*, and most notably — getting to meet the acquaintance of our treasured three month old baby niece, Lucia, (pictures below). So now, after begining a new serving job, (surprise surprise), I am officially in the midst of the intensive phase that is curricular planning for my new classes.

I had really wanted an opportunity to teach in a more rigorous university setting after working at a very small college, so I’m pretty stoked even though I know that I’m going to spend a zillion hours designing the projects and slideshows for these two new classes as both of them are relatively unrelated to the ones that I taught while in Victoria this past year. Thankfully, I love the content so its pretty enjoyable work and research albeit immensly time-consuming (see’ya in a couple weeks, beloved studio time).

Being as I’m a planner, I’ve been hungry to return to the regularity of a shedule, the reassurance of a regular income, and most of all, the space to reflect after so many major changes have happened since having to part from my sweetheart. Oh my gosh, — and I’m not even kidding you right now — the song ‘How am I Supposed to Live Without You’ by Michael Bolton actually just started blaring over the coffee-shop speakers.. oh man. I guess thats my que to insert dozens of sentimental photos. your welcome.

xx

  
  
  
  

  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  

* sarah & andrew (the big day)

My Life

How does one begin an ode to a best friend, congratulating her on finding the love of her life?

Sarah and Andrew’s wedding was such a special and wonderful celebration. Sarah was the most adorable bride ever, doning a floral print dress (‘ma girl through and through). S & A shared heartfelt vows, and I felt so very privelleged to get to be present to witness one of my dearest friends commit her love to her man. Sarah, I love you so much. Thankyou for letting me have the honor of standing up for you on your wedding day. It meant the world to me. 

xx 

    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
 

*generosity

Faith, thoughts

IMG_2489Today Andy started a new sermon series about generosity that probably couldn’t have been more timely. Listen here!
Lately, I feel God has brought to my heart the notion of contentment. It doesn’t seem that contentment would go hand-in-hand with generosity, but after today’s message — I realized a poignant connection between the two on the basis of merely being grateful.
Now, being grateful and being generous are not one in the same. The two are in fact quite different. Andy made the argument that God challenges us to engage both of these things in order to be content — both with what we have been given, and in the act of blessing others.
It all seems so simple, right?…. But when it really comes down to it — the notion of ‘first fruits giving’ (aka giving before your spend) — is an immense challenge to remain mindful of. To alleviate the stress and guilt which comes implicitly to most of us when considering first fruits giving, Andy began by expressing that the key to begin giving freely is realizing that we are truly rich.
He reminded us that what we have is exponentially more than what most people in the world have access to. And apart from that, (and although we should be thankful for our material comforts), we have Christ! We are rich in that we know a father who loves us deeply and paid the price for our sins. An indescribably abundant, sacrificial love.
Indeed, it does go against our very nature as selfish humans to admit to ourselves that our spiritual condition would enable us to be called rich. Rich is what we call the person whose means out-way our own, and our human lust for ‘stuff’ constantly lies to us telling us we can only be content once we have ______________________. (Insert object of your choosing).
Matthew said: Where your treasure is there your heart will be also. Wow….truth!!
This is what got me thinking about contentment in correlation to generosity. Since becoming deeply intimate with financial stress due to the demands of being a student for what seems to be an entire lifetime along with a few other factors, I have subconsciously began placing weight on hypothetical ‘if I only had ________________’ statements. These conditions (when granted) became the permission for me to feel content. They started pervading my consciousness, telling me that once we became financially stable, or once we stopped being students, or once we know where we were going to settle, or once our dream careers commenced then we would and could be happy. What a dangerous path!
Andy cited Proverbs 18:11 — The wealth of the rich is their fortified city; they imagine it a wall too high to scale. This belief that we can build security through financial gain is the climate of our work-obsessed generation and society, and if we subscribe to this thought pattern — of course our will to bless others will be impeded by our own pursuit of false security.
To help obliterate broken thoughts about what hinges on our own contentment, Andy reminded us that in the Bible Jesus actually speaks more about money than he does Heaven or Hell in terms of a force that is actively competing for our soul… This sobering truth speaks volumes about our obsession with money, and our vulnerability to succumb to leaning on the acquisition of money to feel truly happy. If this is the condition to our contentment, how will we ever feel free to give?
This message was an awesome challenge to me, and I hope it encourages you to take joy in what you have been given and to give freely!

*I no longer live, but Christ lives in me

Faith

T had to work all day on Sunday, so I took in the morning service. This is rare being that I’m someone who really appreciates the 7pm slot. However, there is something to be said for waking up and taking in worship, fellowship, and a solid message first thing in the morning! Indeed, it was a blessed time to be in the midst of a sunny and excited congregation.

This is the passage that Pastor Ron spoke from:
I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live I live by believing in God’s Son, who loved me and took the punishment for my sins. (Galatians 2:20 GWT)
Galations 2:20

Here are my notes! I recommend tuning in to get the real sermon here
*Jesus came looking for you! He does pursue us. He stands at the door of our heart.
…Yet we hesitate.
*We aren’t sure if we should let the Lord into our life because sometimes the house is disorderly and dirty. Yet he comes eagerly on that basis to enter as the Master of the house. Our heart, Christ’s home.
*We offer him our weak wills so he can put steel into them and make them strong.
*Our will is the first thing that Christ makes over when we let him in.
*Deep in the subconscious desires, the indwelling Christ cleans the house when he moves in.
*He comes into your heart not to lounge, but to set to work.
*And as the guest, HE does the most affective cleaning.
*Its not a rebirth unless you have a new will. And the new will loves to do the will of God. And Christ’s nature therefore transforms us!
*Its not that we are not tempted to sin, but we do not want to sin. We strive not too because we love Christ.

If we accept the proposition that Christ liveth in me, there are corollaries:
(A corollary is a proposition that follows from and is often appended to one already proved — forming a proposition that follow from one already proved).
See eight corollaries:

We dwell in the same house.
-From the moment he enters..we live in the same house.
Its His house!
-Jesus’ will and ours blend into one
We experience partnership in His purposes
-When he enters we change our business
-It is our job to offer Him our mind and our creative abilities
-In Christianity you don’t kill your mind, and you don’t kill your creativity. You give them to God so he can use them.
This partnership can do infinitely more
Jesus looked at them and said, “It is impossible for people to save themselves, but everything is possible for God.” (Matthew 19:26 GWT)
Matthew 19:26
His will directs your will
*Expect great things from God, attempt great things for God!*
-What in the heart we call faith in the will we call obedience
Our single job is to listen, and to say yes
-Obey, and bend yourself to deny stubbornness and obstinateness
Blessing is ours
-When your surrender is perfect he enters and fills us with an astonishing sweetness
Interruptions
-But the moment our will revolts against Christ’s will, the sweetness can turn.
-Work on your relationship with Christ
-Indeed Christ will call us to difficulty
-Coming to Christ will bring trials, but the hard place with God is much easier that the hard place without Him.
-The way of the transgressor is severe; if you are not fully following after Christ, your life can get complicated in a hurry (to say it simply)
Christ in us is full of miracles
-When God’s power is in us we can do things we would never otherwise do.
-When he comes in and starts business, you shouldn’t be surprised when remarkable things happen

* 2 years ! !!

My Life

I have a husband who…
always kills the massive spiders wreaking havoc in our apartment because I am way too freeked out to exterminate them.
Who encourages me in so many ways.
Who I am still learning new things about after almost six years.
Who loves Jesus.
Who supports my dreams.
Who is still my best friend after a whole lot of crazy shit.
A whole lottt of crazy, very difficult, painful shit.

I love you Tristan,
Happy Anniversary
13/08/2011 — 13/08/2013

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*Natalia, Ale, and B. visit!

My Life

Oh, hello beauties!!! Speaking of beauty..
These are our friends from Calg. And they brought a little piece of Calg to us a few weeks ago when they so graciously visited us!
And…we did what we like to do when people from the prairies come.
We look at the ocean, consume fresh fish, eat a ton of ice cream, and laugh a lot.
We love these guys and miss ’em a damn lot. Thanks for including us on your west-coast adventure N, A, and B! Love you -T&M

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*Considering the persistent mindset of Paul

Fine Art, Uncategorized

So, I haven’t posted about what the Lord has been teaching me lately because, frankly, life has been hectic. But that is not to say that God hasn’t been moving and unfolding all sorts of new insights. The other factor that has played into my lack of sermon-note taking is due to church services taking on a less conventional format these past few weeks. We had a night dedicated solely to testimonies (amazing!), etc. These things were awesome and I’m excited to see what Andy decides to take up in the next sermon series.

Anyways, last night we had a guest visiting speaker, Christo of the Living God Church in India. He was a really terrific messenger, and his church has an incredible story. Check it out!

Here are my notes from Christo’s talk focused on the apostle Paul’s ‘mind-set’ — namely illuminating the superb importance of his persistence on starting each day fresh, and not holding onto the past:

It’s not that I’ve already reached the goal or have already completed the course. But I run to win that which Jesus Christ has already won for me. Brothers and sisters, I can’t consider myself a winner yet. This is what I do: I don’t look back, I lengthen my stride, and I run straight toward the goal to win the prize that God’s heavenly call offers in Christ Jesus. Whoever has a mature faith should think this way. And if you think differently, God will show you how to think. (Philippians 3:12-15 GWT)

Two lies the enemy will try to tell believers:
God doesn’t love you.
God doesn’t have a plan or a purpose for you, you are merely one among many.
But..
God wants to change your mindset
God calls you by name
When the enemy comes, he is not against you, he is against Jesus
We must ask: who are you God, and what do you want me to do?
You’ve got to deal with your past through the power of the Holy Spirit

Paul was a murderer, guilty of so many things. But God had a purpose for Paul. Paul had a bad past, but had one of the most successful ministries ever. He has one mindset, and that is, I forget my past and I move one. For some people, its your childhood, for some people your past would be last week, for other people your past would be..yesterday. It doesn’t matter what you consider your past to be, stop holding onto these things! When you try to deal with your past with the help of the Holy Spirit you have a great future.

So often we surpass the times in which God has called us to do something.Start fresh every morning! The enemy will throw your past in your face. Your failures both before and after coming to Christ.Yet, the power of Jesus is greater than the power of your past! Fix your eyes on the prize! Paul’s prize was Christ Jesus. Anything else, its not worth it. It will fail you, it will disappoint you.

*He commands us to be happy

Faith

Today I discovered the Desiring God app and took in a sermon by John Piper entitled The Joyful Purpose of God. Some really great words. I highly recommend checking out more by Piper! I know I will be. Here are my notes:

1. The best news in the world is that there is no necessary conflict between our happiness and God’s Holiness.
2. Trusting God for everything brings him honor and us happiness
3. God’s purpose to be glorified and our longing to be satisfied succeed in trusting in the Grace of God. When you trust in God’s grace he gets the glory and you get the joy!

*Baptism is not about salvation it is about identification

Faith

Greetings all! This last Sunday of the month at Adore was truly joyous – celebrating 37 baptisms! Praise God! It was an honor to witness these individuals make a public declaration of their identity with Christ. Andy prefaced the baptisms with a short talk and I have only captured a tiny sliver…so listen or watch here!

He made a brief analogy of what it means to follow Christ by referring to twitter. When using social media, we skim through thousands of voices to choose who we might follow, and for a fleeting moment, we ‘like’ them, click their profile, etc. This temporal commitment also occurs with faith. What does it mean to follow? Is christ in the mix, or simply one voice among many?

“And remember that I am always with you until the end of time.” (Matthew 28:19, 20 GWT)

So consider yourselves dead to sin’s power but living for God in the power Christ Jesus gives you. (Romans 6:11 GWT)

Baptism is not about salvation it is about identification

Then he began to teach them that the Son of Man would have to suffer a lot. He taught them that he would be rejected by the leaders, the chief priests, and the scribes. He would be killed, but after three days he would come back to life. He told them very clearly what he meant. Peter took him aside and objected to this. Jesus turned, looked at his disciples, and objected to what Peter said. Jesus said, “Get out of my way, Satan! You aren’t thinking the way God thinks but the way humans think.” Then Jesus called the crowd to himself along with his disciples. He said to them, “Those who want to follow me must say no to the things they want, pick up their crosses, and follow me. Those who want to save their lives will lose them. But those who lose their lives for me and for the Good News will save them. What good does it do for people to win the whole world yet lose their lives? Or what should a person give in exchange for life? If people are ashamed of me and what I say in this unfaithful and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of those people when he comes with the holy angels in his Father’s glory.” (Mark 8:31-38 GWT)

There was a thief next to Jesus on the cross who asked Christ to remember him. The Thief on the cross was never baptized. Criteria is belief, not baptism. Yet, in our culture we have watered down baptism. To be emerged, to be completely submerged. This is Baptism. If you are a follower, then identify with him. Christ deserves your allegiance.