truth be told

"Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love; Therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you." Jeremiah 31:3 (NKJ)

Sunday, February 27, 2005

a peeping tom...

I was folding laundry in my living room this evening when I realized the man across the street was staring straight into my apartment. At first this didn't really freak me out - we're both on the third floor of our apartment buildings and he is right across the street - but when, after twenty minutes (I'm probably exaggerating a lil'...10 minutes or so), of staring at me in my apartment I got a little bit creeped out! Yeesh! The problem is that I do not have curtains in my living room....I know, I know....not so good! O well. Note to self: Walk around fully dressed at all times and be aware that at any moment someone could be watching....

It actually reminds of an evening last year when I lived with my previous roommate, Laurel. We had a moment of "freedom" and had been dancing like crazy-women in front of our window. Now that I think about it...probably not such a good idea! Anyway, we finished our dance partay and decided to go to 7Eleven for slurpees. When we got back there was a message on our answering machine. The male voice (which we did not recognize) stated in a very freaky tone that he could see in our window and that we had better be careful about what we were doing. We freaked. First of all, who the heck saw us and how the heck did he get our phone number!?!?
After about 10 seconds we realized it was our dance teacher Eddie who just randomly decided to joke about seeing us through the window - He had no idea that we had been dancing. It was quite hilarious!

That's my peeping tom story. I really hope this new peeper doesn't peep anymore. Peeping makes me uncomfortable. Man, that sounds so strange.

O, tomorrow I start my "new position" (of sorts) at the MB Clinic. I work there Monday to Wednesday and then at the Portage Avenue office Thursday and Friday. I'm still doing the same job of being an Admin/Recptionist at the Winnipeg Hearing Centre (just a little advertisement for anyone needing a hearing evaluation - we do not charge for our hearing tests!) I'm thinking this will be a good change. I still get to be downtown two days a week to catch up with the "team" there. At the same time I really like working with the audiologist at MB Clinic.

Lord, Your will be done in my life! I pray that You would direct my path - that I can RUN towards You without hindrances. You are beautiful God! Thank You for all that You have done in my life! You have been so faithful. Continue to teach me how to tell others of Your love and beauty. Amen.

My wonderful friend Rachael came to church with me today. It was great! We had a sleepover together for the first time since grade 8! It was awesome! She is such a beautiful godly woman inside and out! I love it! Plus, church was awesome because we got to talk about our trip to KC. God did such a work in all of our hearts. It was so good to be a part of it. To share. I love community. I love my church. I love what God is doing in my church and I just want MORE!! Come Jesus come!!

Gd'evening everyone! Blessings!

Thursday, February 24, 2005

...Inability to articulate....

This last week has been a myriad of emotions and events.

It started off with housegroup a week from yesterday.
Joel suggested that we worship God with the lights off -somehow darkness seems to diffuse inhibitions and people are more free to worship. God came. He met with us. It was so awesome! I can't imagine what God was feeling, what type of incense was rising to His throne, with all of the prophetic worship and intercession. I know for myself, and a lot of others in that room, it was amazing!

Then on Thursday at 2:00 am I began my travel down to Kansas City with an amazingly awesome bunch of people from Church (mostly worship leaders and such). I had expectations for KC but nothing too specific, besides desiring direction for my life (hee hee). I didn't know that I would leave wrecked - in a good way, I think.

This weekend in KC was really good, somewhat hard and now I'm trying to process. In all the goodness my mind set and heart have been turned upside down and shaken, it seems. Part of it was because we learned so much and I realized again how important learning and loving the Word of God truly is. Different subjects and ideas were revealed to me that I have never even thought about makes your mind reel.

Being in the prayer room was really cool, too! I love that the prayer there is 24/7. It would be awesome to be in that atmosphere or environment for more than just 3 days sometime. The trip itself was awesome! The approx. 15 hour drive went really well, I made a great little friend named Anneka, had a great time in McDonald's (which is rare!), got such encouraging and great prayer, enjoyed meeting God, it was great seeing Joyska again, enjoyed seeing another country with friends and family, and the weather was beautiful! The actual events and memories made were fabulous!!

This whole processing thing is coming a little slow to me, though. I have been unable (for the most part) to put words to what God is doing in, to and through me. All I know is that KC was awesome, I loved getting to know the people in my church community better and I loved what God has started. I'll keep you posted if any other words come to day I hope to articulate what's going on in my heart. Until that day, I just have to be thankful and trust that He is doing a good work in me and will bring it to completion!

(even as I read over this post I know that it doesn't do justice. I could write forever on the details of what we did, where we went, how much fun we had, etc. Or, even more importantly, I could write forever about my journey of processing all of the good stuff that I got out of that weekend. It's all so amazing so I'm just going to leave it at that.... =)

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Please Pray

Yesterday my wonderful friend Christina got in a car accident. She's doing okay now but if ya'll could keep her in your prayers that would be great. She was heading home after dropping me off from coffee last night when she was hit while making a left hand turn onto St. Anne's Rd. Fortunately, she was only two blocks away from my house and someone was able to phone me on their cell phone. I have never run so fast or yelled that loudly in tongues before!

Thankfully, I was able to go with her in the ambulance to the hospital. She's doing alright and I'm so amazed at her strength, courage and perspective. I'm sure she'll update you more on her blog

Christina I love you! I'm so thankful that you are safe! I'm so proud of you for how calm you were, the perspective you had and just in general. You are such a great friend, you're beautiful, smart and wonderful. I feel like I don't have the words to describe how great you are!

God bless you, my friend. Take care and be blessed! Lord, I pray that You'd put a hedge of protection around Christina! That you would guard her heart, mind and physical body. Jesus, bless her. Keep her safe. May she grow more and more every day in Your love! Thank you, Heavenly Father, for all that you are doing in her life.

I love you, Christina!

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

I'm going to Kansas City, Kansas City here we come!

So, today (we'll technically tomorrow at 2:00 am) I'm heading off to KC with a few awesome people from my church. I'm so excited!! We're headed to the International House of Prayer for a weekend of meeting with Jesus, praying and being prayed for! This is my element - I love this!

I'm not quite sure what to expect but I'm so pumped about being able to worship Jesus and receive from Him this weekend (all the time, really). I've been praying for direction, lately. I feel like God's calling me out but I just can't hear or understand where or when or how. I feel like it's coming soon and I don't want to miss what God has for me! Even though I know God is a lot bigger than my uncomprehending! An extra dose of direction would do me good! His grace is so good! Lord, I want to go where You want me. I DESIRE to do YOUR will! Would you show me, speak to me, teach me and LEAD me.

Another part of my excitement would definitely stem from the fact that I can finally say I've spent more than 2 hours outside of Canada. The thought or idea of worshiping my God in another country, with other people who love Him, thrills me!! Maybe this is just the beginning of world-wide adventures of praising and loving God with others !?! That would be great!

Father, I pray for Your protection and grace as we travel. Would you begin to prepare each and everyone of our hearts to worship You, the almighty King!, and to receive from You, as well. Open me Jesus! Open up my heart to receive what You have for me, my mind to understand and know You, my senses that you would speak to me. I love you, Jesus! I am so excited about going to KC! Thank you, Father, for this awesome opportunity! (And the leadership at church!)

So feel free to keep all of us in your prayers...the more the merrier!
God bless and I'll fill you in when I get back!


Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Happy Love Day!

Tonight has been the best Valentine's Day of my life! Not that I've ever celebrated it before, being single and all, but tonight was amazing! God, You are so cool! You are LOVE! You made this love day so wonderful!

This year I thought....hey, why not celebrate singleness. Singleness has been a theme for my wonderful friend Christina and I these last few weeks. We want to love it, celebrate it and learn so much about ourselves and about God while we are single. Heck, why not?!?! Chris and I had decided to go on a date with money we got from baby-sitting for some awesome friends of ours a few weeks ago. Our original plan was to hit up a cafe, go for a walk and chat about life, love and other mysteries (sorry, that was awful). We both wanted to do something creative and super fun but nothing out of the ordinary was popping into our heads until.....

....We decided to buy a dozen roses with our baby-sittin' money and give them away! I love buying flowers to give them away to people. I used to do that when I lived in Steinbach a few years ago. The first time I believe I was in grade 10 and I dragged my friend Lindsay along with me....we randomly knocked on strangers doors, offered them a flower and asked them if we could pray for them. Actually, I don't think we asked everyone if we could pray for them....only those who were receptive to taking the flowers. Anyway, Chris and I headed over to Superstore and picked up the flowers and began our journey....

We prayed for God to direct us to specific people, places and that His divine Will would be done. As I was praying that God would soften our hearts and the hearts of those we would meet (etc.), Christina had the brilliant idea of going to the Riverview Hospital (I believe, or it's an old folks home?) She was a student nurse on that ward and that definitely gave us our in!

We made our way up to the third floor, flowers in hand, praying for God's grace to allow us to do this and make an impact. Chris told the nurses there that she was a student nurse on the ward a few months back and asked if it would be okay if we would hand out flowers to some of the palliative residents. YES! We were allowed! It was great! These people were old, coming to the end of this life and so receptive and thankful to our pitiful gift of a dying rose. It was beautiful! This one couple was having a sleepover! The wife was sick and the husband decided to spend the night...she called him her caretaker! It was so cute to see! Man, some of those patients were on their last breath, it seemed. I just pray that they know the love of Jesus!

At one point, I asked a woman if we could pray for healing for her. She said that she had a pretty crappy day because she was sick and her response to prayer was, "no, I'm okay I already took some meds for that". (not a direct quote. I can't actually remember the words she used right now but it was funny!) What to say then....."Um..kay. I'll keep you in my prayers then" : )

From there we got back into her Civic and headed towards Ellice Avenue. We were looking for the destitute and lonely to bless. Instead we found a Laundromat. Okay, I have a weird obsession with having a photo shoot in a Laundromat! I have wanted to do this for a few years now and tonight was the night! Christina and I took advantage of the practically empty room, besides the washers and dryers! How flippin' fun! We got some great pics! (Maybe Chris will post them on her blog....I'm going to get her to teach me how so stay tuned. There maybe some soon!) It was fantastic!

I really wanted to show the love of Jesus to the prostitutes tonight. There is something so sad about prostitution and the cheapening of love (physical love, in this case) and if God could use a simple rose to show these women how much He loves them then my day would be made! So, we headed over to Main and Sutherland. We got out of the car and met a woman (who was on the job at the time but came across our path) whom we got to give a flower to. She was thankful but distracted because she wasn't looking for two ladies to give her a flower - but she did seem thankful! It was so great being able to bless someone, leave and continue to pray for them. It was just so great!

We headed off again, making our rounds of the city! We stopped in at an "Insta-loans" branch thing on Broadway to give the lonely girl that was working a rose. She had the greatest reaction! She said that was the sweetest thing EVER. Lord, bless her! That made my day, too! This was on our way to drop in on Office night at Starbucks. It was great to see everyone, plus we got to pray for Maria in Starbucks. How bliss is freedom. I want to take advantage and live out this freedom I have in Jesus everyday!

After, Christina and I went out for coffee at Starbucks on Pembina and I had the privilege of chatting with my wonderful, single friend! God, thank you for Christina! Lord, you have an amazing man out there for her who is going to bless her and be so in love with You. They're going to be an awesome, God-loving team for You! But until that time, I just pray that You would bless the socks of Christina! Lord, continue the work that You have started in her and bring it to completion. She has such a genuine heart of love and of searching after You. Bless my single sista-friend!

That was my awesome Love Day celebration! Instead of celebrating my non-existent relationship with a guy, I got to celebrate the greatest love of them all - the Love of my dear Savior! Jesus, You are beautiful and Your love is not fleeting - it never ends and I don't comprehend it! Thank you, Father, for putting this desire in me to go out and celebrate Your love. I love finding out what makes me come alive! I definitely come alive in You and by loving people with and through You! Feel free, actually please, love Your children through me. Please teach me how to love with Your unconditional love. Here I am, Lord. Send me! Amen.

Monday, February 14, 2005

HAPPY 20th BIRTHDAY TO ME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I have had such a freakin' amazing birthday! These last few days have been a rockin' way to end such an incredible year and today has been an amazing start to what, I believe, will be a God-inspired year of amazing stuff! This is how it's been for the last few days and what it will be like for the next week.....

On Wednesday (Feb. 9) my amazing housegroup threw my an awesome surprise party!

On Thursday I had a date with my dad and made some really good chili! We ended up going for a walk at the Forks and realized that I have to take advantage of the times that I do get to spend with him. We had a good time and the good, solid times with my dad are way too few and far between.

On Friday I went out with my sister and had an awesome time with such incredible conversation (I LOVE YOU, KRIS!). We went to see a movie and ended up having coffee at Second Cup (You didn't just read that all you Starbucks junkies ; ) on Osborne and it was great! You're super-fantastic Kris and I couldn't have been blessed with a better sister!

After my date with my sister, my amazing friends Matt and Rachelle picked me up and we grabbed slurpees and candy and went to wash their car. Then we ended up on Home St. watching a 2004 homemade tree planting movie with Matt and his tree planting friends....It was crazy fun and we ended up getting home at 3:30 am. Good times meeting people and hanging out!

Yesterday (Saturday), I went out for lunch/breakfast with my mom at Red Lobster. We celebrated our birthdays together and she bragged to everyone we met about how I was born on her 28th birthdays and it was the best birthday present she could ever have asked for. She's sweet! HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU MOM!!! I love sharing a birthday with you! She wore my birthday lei all day long and I was garbed out with my birthday hat! It was great! Then we, too, went to see a movie. I'm definitely movied-out and all fed-out for a while!

Then that evening I had a birthday date with my dad. Once again, I was truly excited about the good times that we do get to spend together because times aren't always peachy....the night started off really rocky and I was struggling with frustration...rrrr....but it ended up getting better in the end. Thank you, Jesus. We ended up going skating at the Forks and the ice was psycho but I didn't fall once!

After I got home Matt and Rachelle actually came over for a sleepover! It was great! They are the most wonderful married couple in the world! (Except for Kristi and Shane, of course!) It was good to reminisce, chat and get to know them even better as a couple!

This morning (MY 20th BIRTHDAY) my friends Rachelle, Becki and Tenniel came to church with me! Church was great - I got to dance (which was sketchy at first but God is good!), John mentioned my birthday three times during the service which made me laugh and turn red (but I did secretly love it because I love birthdays!) and I got to play with Jacob and Rachel who always make me smile!! I love those kids! After church I got to go out for lunch with Joel and the girls, drink a massive virgin marguerita, buy myself a hat and a bag, have amazing conversation with people I love about God and life, and then get the wind knocked out of me (in such a GREAT way) at church in the evening!

What a great birthday it has been! This next week holds such excitement, as well! Tomorrow I'm going on a hot date ; ) Happy Valentine's day to all of you love birds out there! I won't tell you who I'm going on a date with....I leave you all in suspence!?! Even though some of you already know...oh well. Then on Tuesday I have some friends from Steinbach taking me out for my bday. Yea! Then on Wednesday my housegroup is going out for supper! Yea to ethnic foods. And, last but NOT least, on Thursday at 1:45 in the am I am headed for Kansas City with the worship leaders and such from my church!!!!! I'm super pumped!'s going to be good! God, I already say yes to what you're going to be doing there! Amen.

That has been the amazing last few days of my teen life (sniffle, sniffle....good-bye teens...) and the incredible start to this next year of being 20. Part of me is a tad bit sad...but it's just a freakin' number. I'm super excited about what God is doing in my life and what is in store!

Thank you, Jesus, for these last 20 years. I pray, Father, that you would guide, protect and refine me in these next 20. I pray that this year will be one of such growth, confidence in Your love and such life! I love you, Jesus! Amen! Once more for the road, HAPPY 20th BIRTHDAY TO ME!!!!

Friday, February 11, 2005

Say Cheese!

Quinn, my co-worker, had a little time on his hands this morning...

Check out this awesome picture that he sent around in light of the birthday celebration. I feel so special = () Aren't I the cutest thing?!?! Check out this link.

I think we may have a lil' too much time on our hands!

HAPPY 20th BIRTHDAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!

.......Rachael, my friend! Even though we don't get to see each other all that often, I love you and I think you're great! God's doing (and going to do) amazing things in your life! Yea for almost being twins!!!! ; )
I love you!

Thursday, February 10, 2005

red heart socks, a lei and a birthday hat!!!

I am blessed! I AM SO BLESSED!! You know that heart swelling, going to pop kinda blessed feeling? Well, I got it! I just got home from housegroup and my very own surprise birthday party!! Some very thoughtful and amazing people put together a birthday bash and fooled me into thinking that we were going down into the lower level of the house to pray after housegroup...yea, not so much. We went to party it up!

Christina opened the door and yelled "Happy Birthday" as I walked with my mouth hanging open into a balloon decorated house! I was so surprised!! They even had a painted sign that said, "Happy 20th Steph" strung above the kitchen table! I had no idea what was going on! I was in an excited shocked state for a few overwhelmed with how truly blessed I am to be loved and cared for! (Yeesh...teary-eyed!)

They pulled out a cake, some ice cream and the party hats and we were ready for a real party! For some foreign country's tradition (I'm not sure which country!?!) I had to take a bite of the cake before we sliced it up. It was fun! I had icing up my nose (sorry guys!) and actually made quite a dent in the poor, but amazing, cake! It was a wild time! I'm still wearing my lei and party hat! I just want to revel in this feeling of love and friendship for as long as I can! Not that the love of friends will disappear with the setting sun or discarding (actually saving) of my party hat and accessories, but I am enjoying savoring this moment!

We ended up going back upstairs where Jac had a lovely song picked out for me! None other than the Napoleon Dynamite theme song! And, man, I didn't know that Cam had the moves in him! He was dancing up a storm and doing a mighty fine Napoleon Dynamite impression!! Good on you, Cam! Now all you have to do is bust those moves out at church! = )

Then came the prayer! Wow! Isn't it awesome how God can come and minister so gently and unobtrusively!?! (I don't know if that's the word I'm looking for but I'm too excited and too tired to care) What was prayed over me was bang on and so encouraging! Thank you guys! You have blessed the socks (yes, red hearts socks) right off of me!

So, maybe 20 isn't so bad?!? This has definitely been one of the best birthdays of my life and it has only begun! My birthday isn't until Sunday (Feb 13) and my schedule is full with birthday dinners, lunches and party hat fiesta's! All I have to say is BRING IT ON! Then after the birthday comes Kansas City and a whole lot of GOD! Once again, BRING IT ON!

I AM SO FLIPPIN' BLESSED! The socks, the lei, the hat, the card, the Valentine's card and chocolate bar, the gift certificate to Hulls, the cake and the ice cream mean a whole lot to me! But the friendships that I have found in my church/housegroup amaze me and mean a whole lot more! So, thank you for all that you guys have done for me! I am SO BLESSED! (I wish I had more words to tell you how blessed I am but I'm all out and it's after 12:30 and I work tomorrow, this will have to do!)

Thank you, God, for all that you are doing in my life and for those you have brought into my life! Would you bless them and bring such joy and peace into their lives! THANK YOU GUYS! I love ya'll!!

Friday, February 04, 2005

Just Married

On my way to work I sometimes take a little detour that allows me time to breathe and pray before I face the work day. This morning I did my regular route and walked past a second-hand book store on Carlton (I believe). The book featured in the window was one called "Just Married". I thought to myself, " many just married books are there in this world?!" and then I realized that there were two men on the cover. It was a homosexual just-married self-help book. It kinda knocked the wind out of me. I was stunned.

I know this is kind of a dangerous subject to be touching on...but that's okay. Truth be told!
What angers me the most about the subject of homosexuality is that I know a lot of people who claim to be Christians think that homosexuality is okay. I'm not saying that these people are not Christians, but homosexuality is NOT okay. It is wrong.

I have a homosexual friend whom I totally get along with. He's an awesome guy and I love him but what he is doing is wrong! And God loves him way more than I could ever hope to love him! But God says in His word in 1 Cor. 6:9 "Do you know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolators nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nore the drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God."

So, I don't mean to make this post a harsh condemnation of homosexuals. For there is no condemnation in Christ Jesus. But there is sin, sin is real, and there are consequences for sins. Take note, though, that these sins - be it prostitution, slander, drunks or liars - are all lumped together. Sin is sin. To God all sin is wrong. Be it a really bad sin or just a small, white lie in the world's eye - it's all sin to God. The consequences are just different.

But there is verses 10 + 11 it says, "And this is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God." So, I know that there is hope for me. In all my sin, Jesus has washed me clean. Only by Jesus' love and sacrifice have I been restored.

I am not the judge of man. That is God's job. However, I do not want to be deceived into believing that what God, the ultimate Judge, calls sin isn't sin. God loves every single person that He has created - that being every breathing human on this earth. He loves them unconditionally and much more than we could ever comprehend. (Eph 3:17-19) This does not mean, though, that God loves what we do. God's love is no excuse to live whatever lifestyle suits our fancy or makes us feel "good", or even right.

If God's word is truth, then I want to live my life according to it.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

The Skywalk Movie Star*

So, today on my lunch break I found (what I thought would be) a quiet sky walk that runs from the Winnipeg Convention Center to the Delta Hotel. When I walked into the skywalk it seemed peaceful and calm so I decided to make myself at home (I felt a tiny bit homeless) and I hauled out my Bible and journal. As soon as I did that, of course, the skywalk was bustling with business men/women and the like.

There I stood journaling and reading my Bible (out loud, although quietly) as people swept by me. It was so fun. It was so releasing. I pray that the day will not come when carrying or reading a Bible in public will be illegal. Father, would you pour out your favor and grace! Lord, that we would not have to fear carrying your word with us. Thank you, Jesus! I pray for the persecuted church, God. Would you strengthen your church! Renew our hope of your return! Thank you for the church across the globe. Raise up your army, Father, in strength and love!

I don't want to wrongly take advantage of the freedom I have in proclaiming the name of Jesus! Lord, that I would treasure your word in my heart and learn how to absorb it! Father, would you help me with my memorization skills...(hee hee) Write your words on my heart, O God!

It was a pretty great time in that skywalk! I highly recommend them....

As I was walking towards the doors to get back to work I saw two native men sitting on a ledge. They looked quite familiar...I'm sure I've seen them around or at church. I smiled at them and said hello and the older of the two smiles and says, "Your look like a little movie star." I couldn't help but laugh out loud! A movie star! I've never got that one before!!

God, bless those two! And that was my lunch hour! Good times!