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The Way To Really Conduct A Life?

-Ann Voskamp It was free. And ever since that free concert for kids at the symphony, this is what Malakai’s been doing: going around wildly conducting life. A burst of hands, an exaggerated swoop, then a punctuating of thin air (the drum! the drum!). This makes him happy. He can’t stop smiling. He had leaned over to tell me (we were blessed seatmates because he kept dangling headfirst off the edge of the balcony — only because “Wasn’t it okay to just want to know what’s directly underneath of you?” — much to the fluster of the usher and the blushing embarrassment of his non-adventuring mother, who now held his hand quite dearly and tightly) — He had leaved over and he’d whispered it thick and hot right into my ear there in the dark, “I didn’t know making music was such fun. I thought it was like… practicing the piano.” When the strings were all playing Dvorak strong and my chest was pounding the thrumming hooves of a thousand storming skies and his little hand was sweaty in mine and the feet of hundreds of school kids pattered the floor, coming like a crest of song, a wave of time too, I looked over at him outlined in the dim light of a lifetime of memories – and I remembered her words, “But the biggest mistake I made is the one that most of us make while doing this. I did not live in the moment enough. This is particularly clear now that the moment is gone, captured only in photographs. There is one picture of the three of them sitting in the grass on a quilt in the shadow of the swing set on a summer day, ages 6, 4 and 1. And I wish I could remember what we ate, and what we talked about, and how they sounded, and how they looked when they slept that night. I wish I had not been in such a hurry to get on to the next thing: dinner, bath, book, bed. “I wish I had treasured the doing a little more and the getting it done a little less.” ~Anna Quindlen The drums had crashed. He’d flashed his grin at me and knocked me right over. And I had crescendoed: I want a life that makes music — not just practices the piano. I want the moments enough to let go of the mirages. I want the now, the space that doesn’t hurry, and joy’s the only next thing. I want here with it’s doing because that means living; I don’t need to get there, with it’s getting it all done — because that’s only when it’s all over and you die. He claps, thunder of his own, and I make a point to memorize the way this boy looks as I wake up. That curl swirling at his right temple. How he’s still clapping, smiling, when he turns to me in the shadows and says it too loud, “Did you like it, Mom?” The surprising raspy gravel of his voice. I nod. His voice, that’s what I memorize. And the curve of his eyelashes. And all that light caught, glinting, in his eyes. This… this… this… The way to really conduct a life — the symphony of it all gloriously loud in the ears…. And I can hear it… Our hearts in time with the moment…

Have You Set Your Course? page 2

Four Essentials For A Healthy Church Part Two: Fellowship page 3

Dead to Sin, Alive in Christ Page 6

On Entering the Moment Page 7 page 7

For more from Ann Voskamp, visit her at www.aholyexperience.com

Recommended Reading: Touch the World Through Prayer By Wesley L. Duewel Prayer for the Christian is a most rewarding privilege. It allows the most humble among us to speak to God on behalf of the most important people anywhere in the world. Prayer is strength and nourishment for the person who prays. It is also the door opener and problem solver in everyday issues of life. But prayer, being so spiritual an exercise, is not always easy. This is why Dr. Wesley Duewel’s book is so practical and encouraging. By following the advice in this book you will enter new vistas of encouragement in your own personal prayer life.

January 2012


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-by Kimberly Dawn Rempel

by Pastor Mac Have You Set Your Course? Where there is no prophetic vision the people cast off restraint, but blessed is he who keeps the law. ESV The situation addressed in this verse of Scripture is one in which the Lord has not made His will specifically known. There have been no dreams or visions given to the prophets in order to set the direction of God’s people. When no specific revelation is given people tend to decide for themselves what they should do. Too often the results are the same as trying to take a cat for a walk without a leash. They wander all over the place and all too frequently wind up in trouble. Therefore the writer encourages us to realize that the generally known will of God, recorded in God’s written Word, is sufficient to keep

us on the straight and narrow when no specific vision has been given. As we enter the year 2012, I wonder, have you asked the Lord what He wants you to do this year? Have you even thought about it? A lot of people don’t. This is unfortunate because every Christian holds the treasure of God’s Presence in their earthen vessel (2 Corinthians 4:7), and unless it is invested in something beyond the regular routines of life, only a little glimmer of this glory will be seen. How sad! At this point you may be asking, “What in the world would the Lord want me to do?” It could be a lot of things. Maybe the Lord wants you to spend more time in His Word. Perhaps He would like you to spend more time in prayer for a specific person or mission

organization. The Lord could even desire for you to become involved in a ministry in the church or a community service project. One thing is for certain, if you ask the Lord what He wants you to do, He will show you. What He reveals will then become the guiding vision to help you stay on track. Beloved, please don’t simply wander through this New Year. Let the Lord set your course according to His will. At this time next year you will be amazed at what He will have done through your obedience! Happy New Year! “You can follow Mac online by subscribing to his blog ‘Living in the Reign’ at http://livinginthereign.wordpress.com/, or by following him on Twitter at https:// twitter.com/MacDumcum”

His back toward the building, his sly brown eyes watched around us as we chatted. Adjusting his lowriding pants, he told me of his arrangement to buy a friend’s Ritalin prescription. I wondered what Ritalin would do to someone who didn’t need it. Two years later, I saw him again, in a mall food court. We chatted briefly, the whole time his aged eyes darted from side to side, unable to maintain focus. He squirmed and wiggled on the hard chair like a three year old. It was impossible to carry on any kind of conversation… There was a time when I savoured stillness beneath trees, pondering in the silence. It feels like a life time ago, but I remember dining for the experience – slow selection of each leaf from my salad, entering some other dimension as I fully tasted each morsel… I was thinner then…

Now, should I find myself alone in silence, instead of drifting into some amazing epiphany, the mind fills with … stuff. Lists of things to be done, schedules, the future… they all flip through faster than I can name, and each races to beat some invisible clock. In the car, fingers turn knobs and press buttons; endlessly, constantly adjusting. Move away from commercials, toward a good beat. Turn it up for one song, down for another. … maybe another station is playing something better… click click click. At the desk, fingers tap letters into words. Two paragraphs in, a thoughtful pause allows the mind to wander. Fingers migrate to the mouse to keep pace. Check one site, respond on another. … Maybe something else is more interesting than this… click click click. The body twitches and mind bus-

tles with noise… But sometimes, I’m able to pause to enter the moment and see it – my children laughing and playing, dusk setting tree tops ablaze, white flakes gleaming like gems under a crescent moon. In these moments of full presence, – content – quiet – willingness to be here and nowhere else – the wallpaper of everyday comes alive, and I can touch the joy of it. When I’m fully present I find His presence. Lord, thank you for these precious moments of pause – even in the noise. Teach me to enter into each day with thanks and open eyes. Thank you for this moment, right now, with you. for more, visit Kim at www.fromtheheartonline.ca


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Four Essentials For A Healthy Church Part Two: Fellowship By Gerry Rogers

he true identifying mark of a disciple is loving one another as Jesus has loved us and if that is a reality “all men will know that you are My disciples if you love one another” (John 13: 34). But there is another important teaching the apostles would have shared and put into practice. In John 17: 21, in the high priestly prayer of Jesus, He prayed “that all of them (those who would believe in Him) may be one, Father, just as You are in Me and I am in You. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that You have sent Me.” In verse 23 He prays, “I in them and You in Me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that You sent Me and have loved them even as You have loved Me.” In Acts 2:42 we find another essential activity for a healthy church; devoting ourselves to fellowshipping with one another even as these believers were. Love (God’s love) and unity are essential ingredients of fellowship, which in Greek means koinonia. In Koinonia (fellowship) we are in partnership with God and one another. (Phil 1: 3-7) It also contains the idea of sharing as in II Peter 1: 3-4, it certainly indicates that God has provided everything we need for life and godliness and we also share in His divine nature. We have the responsibility to share, to encourage and minister to one another, after all, we are all members of the same body. In I Peter 4:10 we are told “use whatever gift we have received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.” That’s felHenry Blackaby writes,

by Melissa Doerksen

photo’s courtesy of Lorna Sobering

“…Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life…” Romans 6:3 – 4 Happy New Year! What an incredible way to begin 2012! The congregation at Christian Fellowship was both blessed and privileged to attend and witness a January 1st baptismal service, consisting of eight candidates. These candidates made a public declaration of their faith in Jesus Christ, and pledged full allegiance to Him, by ‘burying’ the previous sinful life and ‘raising up’ to their new life. Pastor Mac spoke briefly on the importance of water baptism, followed by testimonies from each of the candidates. It is exciting to share that Gaylene Broesky, Robin Moore, Ryan & Tina McNamara, Joel Friesen, Riley Sobering, Matt Kornelsen, and Jesse Goertzen, have now all been baptized. On behalf of this group, thank you to additional family members and friends who came out on this blustery morning, to support them. Many thanks to Pastor Mac who then followed up this amazing Baptismal Service with a Communion Service. It is thrilling to think about what the Lord has planned for 2012. Praise the Lord for He is good!

“We must maintain fellowship with God in order to maintain fellowship in the Church. The secret to building deeper relationships in the Church is not more activities; it is not more potlucks, it is not more entertainment and fun. All of these may be a part of a strong church, but fellowship is a byproduct of a vibrant and loving relationship with God through Jesus Christ. Fellowship cannot be conjured up by human activity; the working of the Holy Spirit produces it.” When the local church has genuine fellowship with Christ, the Head, and with one another, then the Father can touch a lost community! Remember (John 13:34-35) if we love one another, as Christ has loved us. ALL men will know that you are my disciples. Also (John.17:21-23) when we are in complete unity of spirit and are one with the Father and Son “may they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me.” These are two powerful promises for a healthy, fellowshipping church.


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Review the Research Dear Dave, I’ve heard you say that people spend more with plastic than with

cash. Exactly what does that ducted a focus group study in their mean? restaurants on credit card users versus cash users. At that time, the -Edmund difference was about 42 percent, Dear Edmund, meaning that a person using cash There have been several studies bought 42 percent less in a fast done in recent years that show food setting than someone paying people spend less money when for their meal with a credit card. On buying with cash as opposed to other, more expensive items, the swiping a credit card. One study in percentage generally drops. But particular conducted by MIT and these studies and others have published in Carnegie Mellon proven that people spend more magazine, indicated through the when using credit cards instead of use of Magnetic Resonance Imag- cold, hard cash. ing (MRI) that the pain centers of See what I mean when I say you the brain are activated when you can’t beat the credit shark at his spend cash. Of course, it depends own game? Even if you’re one of on the item in question and indi- the few who pays their credit card vidual spending patterns as to ex- bills on time every month, you’re actly how much less is spent, but still throwing your money away! the average is between 12 and 18 —Dave percent. For more financial help please visit Want some more information? daveramsey.com. When McDonald’s first began accepting credit cards they con-

Men, mark your calendars! Come out January 28th for coffee and doughnuts, and prepare to be blessed as Pastor Mac speaks on "Fathered by God". Details to follow in the bulletin.

Hospitals Hospitals are establishments which provide medical and surgical aid. They are places of healing and mending where patients are treated by doctors, nurses and people working quietly behind the scenes. Some hospitals, however, have acquired bad reputations for misdiagnosis and poor treatment, and these are naturally avoided. People expect doctors and nurses to look after them - not to hurt them. A church (local and universal), like a hospital, is a place where the spiritually sick and injured come to be healed. Sadly, Christian churches have built a bad reputation as organizations which attack their own wounded. Too often people enter churches seeking aid (grace and compassion) but all they receive is an assault (judging, condemnation, hypocrisy and a list of taboos). No wonder churches have become the last resort for healing in a spiritually sick world. The church was designed as a place of spiritual healing. As church members, we are on the hospital staff and our duty is that of healing and mending. We should treat each person we meet as we would wish to be treated - with grace, compassion, encouragement and mercy. Courtesy of www.freechristianillustrations.com

Focused On Marriage - with John Neufeld

Gifts Every Man Loves loves collecting coins, buy him a book on numismatics. Your interest in his hobbies will give your husband a feeling of pride and make him happy. •Don’t nag, if he gets lost while taking out the family on a road trip. •Send the kids to their grandparents’ or to a family member’s for a sleepover. Then snuggle up to your husband and ask what he would like to do, for the rest of the evening. It's that's season again for finding the perfect gift for your sweetheart. However, some of the best gifts are not under the tree. Here's a baker's dozen - that's 13- ways to give your husband gifts of honor he will enjoy long after the wrapping paper has been hauled away. •Start with a love letter. Remember how eagerly you waited in the early days of your courtship to receive a letter or just a note from each other? Do it again, but this time count all the reasons, which you think make him the best husband. Your man will not only be happy to be reminded of your love but glad to know that he makes you happy as well. •Listen actively. When your husband expresses an opinion or a thought, pay attention. This shows you respect him and his views and nothing pleases a man more.

•Put on your sexiest lingerie and get ready for an intimate evening with your husband. He will be happy to know you still desire him as a lover. •Let him take spiritual leadership even if he does it differently than you do. •Make sure you pay more attention to him than you do the family dogs or pets. Whatever you do, don't confuse their names! •Hold his gaze. When you are speaking to your husband or listening to him, make sure that you keep eye contact. This will assure him of your attention and your respect, which is empowering to any man. •Appreciate his interests. If your husband is into carpentry, praise the bookstand he has made, even if it wobbles just a wee bit. Or if he

•Take care of your appearance. Don’t let yourself go, just because you’ve been married for quite a while. Your husband will be glad to know you still find him worth the effort and time it takes to appear well-groomed. •Stop trying to change your husband into someone else, after all you married him for who he is. •Remind your husband that he is the sexiest man you ever set eyes on. •Go over his high school photos together and remark how handsome he was even all those years back. Well ladies, there it is. Do these sorts of things often and you'll have a very Happy New Year!


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Page 4

Review the Research Dear Dave, I’ve heard you say that people spend more with plastic than with

cash. Exactly what does that ducted a focus group study in their mean? restaurants on credit card users versus cash users. At that time, the -Edmund difference was about 42 percent, Dear Edmund, meaning that a person using cash There have been several studies bought 42 percent less in a fast done in recent years that show food setting than someone paying people spend less money when for their meal with a credit card. On buying with cash as opposed to other, more expensive items, the swiping a credit card. One study in percentage generally drops. But particular conducted by MIT and these studies and others have published in Carnegie Mellon proven that people spend more magazine, indicated through the when using credit cards instead of use of Magnetic Resonance Imag- cold, hard cash. ing (MRI) that the pain centers of See what I mean when I say you the brain are activated when you can’t beat the credit shark at his spend cash. Of course, it depends own game? Even if you’re one of on the item in question and indi- the few who pays their credit card vidual spending patterns as to ex- bills on time every month, you’re actly how much less is spent, but still throwing your money away! the average is between 12 and 18 —Dave percent. For more financial help please visit Want some more information? daveramsey.com. When McDonald’s first began accepting credit cards they con-

Men, mark your calendars! Come out January 28th for coffee and doughnuts, and prepare to be blessed as Pastor Mac speaks on "Fathered by God". Details to follow in the bulletin.

Hospitals Hospitals are establishments which provide medical and surgical aid. They are places of healing and mending where patients are treated by doctors, nurses and people working quietly behind the scenes. Some hospitals, however, have acquired bad reputations for misdiagnosis and poor treatment, and these are naturally avoided. People expect doctors and nurses to look after them - not to hurt them. A church (local and universal), like a hospital, is a place where the spiritually sick and injured come to be healed. Sadly, Christian churches have built a bad reputation as organizations which attack their own wounded. Too often people enter churches seeking aid (grace and compassion) but all they receive is an assault (judging, condemnation, hypocrisy and a list of taboos). No wonder churches have become the last resort for healing in a spiritually sick world. The church was designed as a place of spiritual healing. As church members, we are on the hospital staff and our duty is that of healing and mending. We should treat each person we meet as we would wish to be treated - with grace, compassion, encouragement and mercy. Courtesy of www.freechristianillustrations.com

Focused On Marriage - with John Neufeld

Gifts Every Man Loves loves collecting coins, buy him a book on numismatics. Your interest in his hobbies will give your husband a feeling of pride and make him happy. •Don’t nag, if he gets lost while taking out the family on a road trip. •Send the kids to their grandparents’ or to a family member’s for a sleepover. Then snuggle up to your husband and ask what he would like to do, for the rest of the evening. It's that's season again for finding the perfect gift for your sweetheart. However, some of the best gifts are not under the tree. Here's a baker's dozen - that's 13- ways to give your husband gifts of honor he will enjoy long after the wrapping paper has been hauled away. •Start with a love letter. Remember how eagerly you waited in the early days of your courtship to receive a letter or just a note from each other? Do it again, but this time count all the reasons, which you think make him the best husband. Your man will not only be happy to be reminded of your love but glad to know that he makes you happy as well. •Listen actively. When your husband expresses an opinion or a thought, pay attention. This shows you respect him and his views and nothing pleases a man more.

•Put on your sexiest lingerie and get ready for an intimate evening with your husband. He will be happy to know you still desire him as a lover. •Let him take spiritual leadership even if he does it differently than you do. •Make sure you pay more attention to him than you do the family dogs or pets. Whatever you do, don't confuse their names! •Hold his gaze. When you are speaking to your husband or listening to him, make sure that you keep eye contact. This will assure him of your attention and your respect, which is empowering to any man. •Appreciate his interests. If your husband is into carpentry, praise the bookstand he has made, even if it wobbles just a wee bit. Or if he

•Take care of your appearance. Don’t let yourself go, just because you’ve been married for quite a while. Your husband will be glad to know you still find him worth the effort and time it takes to appear well-groomed. •Stop trying to change your husband into someone else, after all you married him for who he is. •Remind your husband that he is the sexiest man you ever set eyes on. •Go over his high school photos together and remark how handsome he was even all those years back. Well ladies, there it is. Do these sorts of things often and you'll have a very Happy New Year!


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Four Essentials For A Healthy Church Part Two: Fellowship By Gerry Rogers

he true identifying mark of a disciple is loving one another as Jesus has loved us and if that is a reality “all men will know that you are My disciples if you love one another” (John 13: 34). But there is another important teaching the apostles would have shared and put into practice. In John 17: 21, in the high priestly prayer of Jesus, He prayed “that all of them (those who would believe in Him) may be one, Father, just as You are in Me and I am in You. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that You have sent Me.” In verse 23 He prays, “I in them and You in Me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that You sent Me and have loved them even as You have loved Me.” In Acts 2:42 we find another essential activity for a healthy church; devoting ourselves to fellowshipping with one another even as these believers were. Love (God’s love) and unity are essential ingredients of fellowship, which in Greek means koinonia. In Koinonia (fellowship) we are in partnership with God and one another. (Phil 1: 3-7) It also contains the idea of sharing as in II Peter 1: 3-4, it certainly indicates that God has provided everything we need for life and godliness and we also share in His divine nature. We have the responsibility to share, to encourage and minister to one another, after all, we are all members of the same body. In I Peter 4:10 we are told “use whatever gift we have received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.” That’s felHenry Blackaby writes,

by Melissa Doerksen

photo’s courtesy of Lorna Sobering

“…Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life…” Romans 6:3 – 4 Happy New Year! What an incredible way to begin 2012! The congregation at Christian Fellowship was both blessed and privileged to attend and witness a January 1st baptismal service, consisting of eight candidates. These candidates made a public declaration of their faith in Jesus Christ, and pledged full allegiance to Him, by ‘burying’ the previous sinful life and ‘raising up’ to their new life. Pastor Mac spoke briefly on the importance of water baptism, followed by testimonies from each of the candidates. It is exciting to share that Gaylene Broesky, Robin Moore, Ryan & Tina McNamara, Joel Friesen, Riley Sobering, Matt Kornelsen, and Jesse Goertzen, have now all been baptized. On behalf of this group, thank you to additional family members and friends who came out on this blustery morning, to support them. Many thanks to Pastor Mac who then followed up this amazing Baptismal Service with a Communion Service. It is thrilling to think about what the Lord has planned for 2012. Praise the Lord for He is good!

“We must maintain fellowship with God in order to maintain fellowship in the Church. The secret to building deeper relationships in the Church is not more activities; it is not more potlucks, it is not more entertainment and fun. All of these may be a part of a strong church, but fellowship is a byproduct of a vibrant and loving relationship with God through Jesus Christ. Fellowship cannot be conjured up by human activity; the working of the Holy Spirit produces it.” When the local church has genuine fellowship with Christ, the Head, and with one another, then the Father can touch a lost community! Remember (John 13:34-35) if we love one another, as Christ has loved us. ALL men will know that you are my disciples. Also (John.17:21-23) when we are in complete unity of spirit and are one with the Father and Son “may they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me.” These are two powerful promises for a healthy, fellowshipping church.


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-by Kimberly Dawn Rempel

by Pastor Mac Have You Set Your Course? Where there is no prophetic vision the people cast off restraint, but blessed is he who keeps the law. ESV The situation addressed in this verse of Scripture is one in which the Lord has not made His will specifically known. There have been no dreams or visions given to the prophets in order to set the direction of God’s people. When no specific revelation is given people tend to decide for themselves what they should do. Too often the results are the same as trying to take a cat for a walk without a leash. They wander all over the place and all too frequently wind up in trouble. Therefore the writer encourages us to realize that the generally known will of God, recorded in God’s written Word, is sufficient to keep

us on the straight and narrow when no specific vision has been given. As we enter the year 2012, I wonder, have you asked the Lord what He wants you to do this year? Have you even thought about it? A lot of people don’t. This is unfortunate because every Christian holds the treasure of God’s Presence in their earthen vessel (2 Corinthians 4:7), and unless it is invested in something beyond the regular routines of life, only a little glimmer of this glory will be seen. How sad! At this point you may be asking, “What in the world would the Lord want me to do?” It could be a lot of things. Maybe the Lord wants you to spend more time in His Word. Perhaps He would like you to spend more time in prayer for a specific person or mission

organization. The Lord could even desire for you to become involved in a ministry in the church or a community service project. One thing is for certain, if you ask the Lord what He wants you to do, He will show you. What He reveals will then become the guiding vision to help you stay on track. Beloved, please don’t simply wander through this New Year. Let the Lord set your course according to His will. At this time next year you will be amazed at what He will have done through your obedience! Happy New Year! “You can follow Mac online by subscribing to his blog ‘Living in the Reign’ at http://livinginthereign.wordpress.com/, or by following him on Twitter at https:// twitter.com/MacDumcum”

His back toward the building, his sly brown eyes watched around us as we chatted. Adjusting his lowriding pants, he told me of his arrangement to buy a friend’s Ritalin prescription. I wondered what Ritalin would do to someone who didn’t need it. Two years later, I saw him again, in a mall food court. We chatted briefly, the whole time his aged eyes darted from side to side, unable to maintain focus. He squirmed and wiggled on the hard chair like a three year old. It was impossible to carry on any kind of conversation… There was a time when I savoured stillness beneath trees, pondering in the silence. It feels like a life time ago, but I remember dining for the experience – slow selection of each leaf from my salad, entering some other dimension as I fully tasted each morsel… I was thinner then…

Now, should I find myself alone in silence, instead of drifting into some amazing epiphany, the mind fills with … stuff. Lists of things to be done, schedules, the future… they all flip through faster than I can name, and each races to beat some invisible clock. In the car, fingers turn knobs and press buttons; endlessly, constantly adjusting. Move away from commercials, toward a good beat. Turn it up for one song, down for another. … maybe another station is playing something better… click click click. At the desk, fingers tap letters into words. Two paragraphs in, a thoughtful pause allows the mind to wander. Fingers migrate to the mouse to keep pace. Check one site, respond on another. … Maybe something else is more interesting than this… click click click. The body twitches and mind bus-

tles with noise… But sometimes, I’m able to pause to enter the moment and see it – my children laughing and playing, dusk setting tree tops ablaze, white flakes gleaming like gems under a crescent moon. In these moments of full presence, – content – quiet – willingness to be here and nowhere else – the wallpaper of everyday comes alive, and I can touch the joy of it. When I’m fully present I find His presence. Lord, thank you for these precious moments of pause – even in the noise. Teach me to enter into each day with thanks and open eyes. Thank you for this moment, right now, with you. for more, visit Kim at www.fromtheheartonline.ca


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The Way To Really Conduct A Life?

-Ann Voskamp It was free. And ever since that free concert for kids at the symphony, this is what Malakai’s been doing: going around wildly conducting life. A burst of hands, an exaggerated swoop, then a punctuating of thin air (the drum! the drum!). This makes him happy. He can’t stop smiling. He had leaned over to tell me (we were blessed seatmates because he kept dangling headfirst off the edge of the balcony — only because “Wasn’t it okay to just want to know what’s directly underneath of you?” — much to the fluster of the usher and the blushing embarrassment of his non-adventuring mother, who now held his hand quite dearly and tightly) — He had leaved over and he’d whispered it thick and hot right into my ear there in the dark, “I didn’t know making music was such fun. I thought it was like… practicing the piano.” When the strings were all playing Dvorak strong and my chest was pounding the thrumming hooves of a thousand storming skies and his little hand was sweaty in mine and the feet of hundreds of school kids pattered the floor, coming like a crest of song, a wave of time too, I looked over at him outlined in the dim light of a lifetime of memories – and I remembered her words, “But the biggest mistake I made is the one that most of us make while doing this. I did not live in the moment enough. This is particularly clear now that the moment is gone, captured only in photographs. There is one picture of the three of them sitting in the grass on a quilt in the shadow of the swing set on a summer day, ages 6, 4 and 1. And I wish I could remember what we ate, and what we talked about, and how they sounded, and how they looked when they slept that night. I wish I had not been in such a hurry to get on to the next thing: dinner, bath, book, bed. “I wish I had treasured the doing a little more and the getting it done a little less.” ~Anna Quindlen The drums had crashed. He’d flashed his grin at me and knocked me right over. And I had crescendoed: I want a life that makes music — not just practices the piano. I want the moments enough to let go of the mirages. I want the now, the space that doesn’t hurry, and joy’s the only next thing. I want here with it’s doing because that means living; I don’t need to get there, with it’s getting it all done — because that’s only when it’s all over and you die. He claps, thunder of his own, and I make a point to memorize the way this boy looks as I wake up. That curl swirling at his right temple. How he’s still clapping, smiling, when he turns to me in the shadows and says it too loud, “Did you like it, Mom?” The surprising raspy gravel of his voice. I nod. His voice, that’s what I memorize. And the curve of his eyelashes. And all that light caught, glinting, in his eyes. This… this… this… The way to really conduct a life — the symphony of it all gloriously loud in the ears…. And I can hear it… Our hearts in time with the moment…

Have You Set Your Course? page 2

Four Essentials For A Healthy Church Part Two: Fellowship page 3

Dead to Sin, Alive in Christ Page 6

On Entering the Moment Page 7 page 7

For more from Ann Voskamp, visit her at www.aholyexperience.com

Recommended Reading: Touch the World Through Prayer By Wesley L. Duewel Prayer for the Christian is a most rewarding privilege. It allows the most humble among us to speak to God on behalf of the most important people anywhere in the world. Prayer is strength and nourishment for the person who prays. It is also the door opener and problem solver in everyday issues of life. But prayer, being so spiritual an exercise, is not always easy. This is why Dr. Wesley Duewel’s book is so practical and encouraging. By following the advice in this book you will enter new vistas of encouragement in your own personal prayer life.

January 2012

January Connexion  

Newsletter of CFC Steinbach

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