I hope you had a blessed Christmas with your family and friends—fun, rest, and profound reflection! On New Year’s Eve, I attended Les Miserables, this is a profound story of grace.
It reminded me of something I witnessed in November. I had the privilege of joining our ministry team— reaching out to women in prison. Grace was the evening’s topic. There were five volunteers and twenty-five women residents present. Suddenly, a woman interrupted our discussion:
She announced she was forgiving everyone in the room and especially a particular inmate and she looked right at her. The forgiven inmate began to laugh and she explained that she had done nothing but bully the woman since she arrived. Then, the “bully” began to confess that she did not know why she treated people that way and she was sorry. The woman forgiving stood up, walked across the room in front of everyone and gave the “bully” a hug. The “bully” then turned to the leader and said “sorry, we are little off topic!” We did not think so — everyone in the room witnessed “grace.” It was beautiful.
When Jesus is present, His Kingdom thrives: the blind see, the deaf hear, the mute speak, the broken are healed, and the captives are delivered. Sometimes, we are looking for Him and He is in our midst—working miraculously in our presence!
For 2013, my prayer for all of us is that we would be faithful and fearless (not discouraged or disheartened; but rather resolutely courageous) in our pursuit of God and praying His Kingdom will come and His will be done among those we are seeking to reach. Jesus came—now, He sends us, His faithful ambassadors, to share His story and His love…so the blind will see and the deaf will hear, the brokenhearted will be healed, the captives will be set free, those who mourn will be comforted, and there will be beauty instead of ashes.
May you experience His amazing grace and abundant blessing for 2013. Happy New Year!
Verse of the Month
“Jesus answered and said …‘Go and tell John the things you have seen and heard: that the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, the poor have the gospel preached to them.’” (Luke 7:22, NKJV).
Video of the Month
Watch this video. Francis Chan shows us how life is like a small red piece of tape a the end of a long rope of eternity. Which part are you living for?
Connecting Streams Expands to Saskatoon!
We are excited to be expanding in Saskatoon and look forward to working with you to connect the church to the hurting world in your local community. Are you ready to accept the challenge, become a leader in ministry, and follow where Jesus is leading you? Answer the Call – at the Saskatoon Leadership Event on February 5th, 2013.
A note from Wilna, Connecting Streams Leader in Saskatoon
It’s been a month since our first announcement regarding Connecting Streams Saskatoon, and many of you have connected with me since then! Time certainly flies and this reminded me that: We were all born for such a TIME as this and for this very occasion (Esther 4:14). This means you and I live here and now, for a reason and a purpose! God made all men/women to settle on the face of the earth, having definitely determined their allotted periods of TIME and the fixed boundaries of their habitations (Acts 17:26). He is waiting for us to answer and respond to the divine CALLING which we all have received (Eph 4:4).
Testimony from Linda Elving
As Inger and I entered the prison compound our prayer was directed for the staff and then it was answered by the guard who clears us to enter and to leave.
Please tell me why do you come? What do you do? I don’t get it, please explain to me…was her remarks as we were leaving the institution.
How wonderful that someone inquires why….so we proceeded to tell her what the girls say in our presence…
Devotional – He has a Plan
It does not, therefore, depend on human desire or effort, but on God’s mercy. For Scripture says to Pharaoh: “I raised you up for this very purpose, that I might display my power in you and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.” Therefore God has mercy on whom he wants to have mercy, and he hardens whom he wants to harden. – Romans 9:16-18
Does that passage bother you? Do you struggle with the statement that God raised Pharaoh up to do what he did? Pharaoh stood up against God. He caused great suffering; not only on the Isrealites, but on his own people too… and he certainly caused Moses significant grief! He was the nation’s leader and he abused his power! That just seems wrong to me. Yet, God doesn’t apologize…. He doesn’t make mistakes. He doesn’t make people wrong or put anyone in the wrong places… His plan is intricate and does not require adjustments because nothing that happens ever takes Him by surprise.
Saskatoon Leadership Event: February 5th at the Rock of Ages Church (130 Kingsmere Place, Saskatoon) 7:00PM. Click here for more information.
Connecting Streams Volunteer Training Event: March 16th at Sherwood Park Alliance Church (1011 Cloverbar Road, Sherwood Park, AB) 9:00am-12:00pm. Click here for more information.
Life Changing Opportunities
Would you like to get more involved with Connecting Streams? We have an awesome opportunity that will give you a life-changing experience, while making a life-changing difference for many others too!
Answer the call and help Connecting Streams by donating some of your time. We have all kinds of jobs, big and small, that will fit into your lifestyle and include: administration, organizing volunteers, and team leadership roles. We’re looking for people the Lord is stirring to arise and go! (Ezra 1) Will you help?
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.