Monday, March 30, 2009

Our Sister, Kaye Harkness - a true prayer warrior!

I've been dreaming up ways that this blog can be of service to our Church and Women's ministry and an idea came to me today as I found this photo I took of Kaye this past winter. THIS is how I see Kaye - I'm sure its how many people do, for Kaye spends a great deal of time right like this. If you lived in her neighborhood you would see her smiling visage come rain or shine, and chances are she would wave at you too!

What you might not know is that Kaye doesn't just see you, she does not even just wave at you - she PRAYS for you. She prays for you, she prays for our community, our country, the government - the world. Kaye was probably the first "prayer warrior" I'd ever met in my life.

Here is some information about our sister, Kaye that she's allowing us to share in:

Kaye is a senior member in our Church and has lived in Osoyoos for 43 years. She's been with our Church for 32 years - what a significant portion of her life! She recieved the Lord into her life at the age of 53 and she says " Loving the Lord Jesus Christ is the BEST THING in the world that can happen to a person. The best blessing of life is to have an intimate walk with Him"

Kaye was married to her husband Bill for 49 years - Bill passed away in 1994. Kaye and Bill had a wonderful marriage and they raised three daughters. Today, those three daughters are married and have blessed Kaye with 11 grandchildren and 4 great-grandchildren.

For years, Kaye has invited ladies into her home to pray on a regular basis. They have been warriors to lift up the needs they had gathered, the needs they could see. If you ever need prayer, just ask Kaye and you know she will intercede.

One day when I spoke with Kaye about what her favorite song might be, she told me it was "On the Wings of a Snow White Dove". The significance of this song was like this. One day while driving down a long winding hill near Salmon Arm, they realized there were cars hemming them in before, behind and passing dangerously close beside them to the point where Kaye feared they would be forced off the road. At once, she became aware of a dove flying beside the car window - and after this, things corrected themselves and they continued their trip in safety. She has no doubt the dove was a sign from the Lord.

Thank you, Kaye, for sharing and for the blessing and example you have been to all of us.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

March 25, 2009 Thoughts on "A Timely Word"

photo credit: greyman@sxc

What a wonderful topic Rose chose for this weeks bible study! I've had some personal experience transpire which demonstrated this very theme in my life.

But first, the immediate example which was presented to me was revealed almost without my specially seeking it. I've been methodically reading through the bible (during my workouts - but that's a story for another day) and I'm currently into Daniel. I'm at the point where Daniel finds out that king 
Nebuchadnezzar has sent someone out to kill him-along with other 'wise men' of Babylon  because the King was angry that none of the wise men were able to interpret his wierd dream.

Now Daniel, when he's approached, doesn't panic when he's informed - instead of panicking (which would be the normal reaction); he does not get mad and rage and say things in anger -instead (as its written in the Bible)
" 14 When Arioch, the commander of the king's guard, had gone out to put to death the wise men of Babylon, Daniel spoke to him with wisdom and tact."
Because Daniel spoke in a 'timely' manner, kept his calm - he was able to have the ear of Arioch, the King's commander, and as it says following: 
"15 He asked the king's officer, "Why did the king issue such a harsh decree?" Arioch then explained the matter to Daniel. 16 At this, Daniel went in to the king and asked for time, so that he might interpret the dream for him."
I think we can safely assume that the way and manner that Daniel went about this by keeping his cool and speaking in a calm and wise way he managed to get the King to give him some time.  The very next thing Daniel did was to give it to God - to ask God to reveal what the dream meant and to ask God to supply him with the words to explain the dream to the King.  
The recipe Daniel uses is one which is still a good plan today - THINK before you speak, TIME your words well and use them sparingly.  Remain calm and trim away all but whats necessary to make your point.  
In my personal life I've applied these very bits of advice in my marriage.  Used to be I'd just open my mouth and let my tongue do the walking.  It did something without checking with my brain sometimes.  I'd not give myself time to think through what I wanted to say - so sometimes what came out of my mouth was like unedited text.  (believe me, these blog posts are much edited!)  Not only was what I said presented in a pretty raw and flawed format, but it was often incorrect.  To top it all off, I'd toss it out to my husband at the oddest of times.  For example, he'd be flying out the door for work and I'd present him with a thought or fact, never considering that a) he did not have time to digest it in that fleeting moment, and b) it put him on the spot.  So, often his instant response would be one of frustration.  Not a huge surprise, but then I never paused to think about this - and would feel hurt he did not take what I'd said to heart.  
I don't know exactly when I 'clued in' but I'm sure glad I did.  I think reading my bible and learning from, for example - Esther - about being meek and being timely and setting the scene BEFORE broaching subjects which we would desire to put across - that I eventually began to test this out on my husband.  It was a truly radical thing that has changed our communication.  In fact, my husband noticed almost immediately and complimented me.  Does it mean I always get my way?  No, but it does give me his ear and attention in a new and positive way. 
A case in point came just yesterday.  We've been meaning to get our passports for quite some time now.  Living on the border it would be a shame to not be able to have the freedom to go south.  My Mother in Law got us the forms, my Sister pointed me to the website online and friends gave us countless 'helpful tips' (DON'T touch any lines when you sign or they will send it back!)  Still, we procrastinated.  Then, we decided it was time we'd better or we would not be able to travel in summer if the whim strikes us, so my husband, bless his heart, patiently filled out the forms.  About 6 times.  Ever notice that as soon as you go to fill out an official form or test paper your hand and mind has no control over that pen in your hand?  Inevitably your arm will get bumped, coffee spilled or the dog will eat that form.  
And - I must insert this amazing fact, that while all this was happening we just HAPPENED to be given a copy of our local newspaper and it just HAPPENED to have an ad in it which said the government was opening a "Mobile Passport Office" in the Penticton Trade and Convention Center" for the next three days - meaning if we could get our forms filled in and ready we could get the processed right away and NOT have to send away our personal I.D. and NOT have to send it registered and also recieve them back quickly too! 
So, my sweet and thoughtful husband actually took me on a date to a local cafe to enjoy a treat while filling them out.  When it came to the section for the gaurentor to sign, I GENTLY asked him if he would phone our guarentor to be sure they were available.  With mild frustration (and a little rolling of the eyes) saying "She will be around, she SAID she would etc..."  and when he wound down a bit " but since you've asked me so nicely I'll phone just to make you happy..."  And when he did it was to discover that she and her husband were JUST seconds away from leaving for a trip to the States.  
Honestly, tempting as it was, the entire time we RUSHED over to her house to catch her - and all the time following, I said NOTHING, tempting as it was.   And this was the second time this had happened to me that morning.   Being humble, using a TIMELY word, increased my ability to communicate with my husband - and I believe his ear is more willingly bent to listen seriously to me in the future. 
Do YOU have an example of a "Timely Word" at work in your life?  
PSALM 19:14
May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer.
I'm looking forward to our time together this Wednesday evening!  If you would like to join, or know more about our Wednesday night Online chat on MSN with our women of the OCC you can email me at
~ Barb

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

A Poem by Marie

photo credit: ba1969@sxc

Just As I Am

I see myself just as I am,
Puffed up in knowledge and pride,
But I am now a creature brand new,
With my Savior, My Lord at my side.

He's my very first thought at the crack of dawn,
He's Lord of my day and my night,
He gives me a song when everything's wrong,
And another when everything's right.

He's Lord of my actions, He's Lord of my words,
He guides; and supplies all my needs.
He prunes me and trims me and lovingly scolds -
I'll follow wherever He leads!

by Marie Primeau

Thank you to Marie for sharing this wonderful poem with us. Be checking back for more over the coming weeks.

Isabelle suggests we read Psalm 111 when we have the time.

Rose has chosen the subject for bible study over the coming two weeks - "A Timely Word" is the subject. We would love to know your thoughts on this topic and welcome any scripture, poems, photos, stories or thoughts which use this theme.

As always, we look forward to connecting on Wednesday evening at 7 for our online meeting.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Visiting Missionaries James and Colleen Guskjolen

photo credit: saavem@sxc

She has a ministry inside a prison in Panama. She tells us these women come from all over the world and the average age is… young. She says that even with a language barrier – that the language of LOVE speaks louder than words ever can.

She tells us about the appalling conditions these women live in. She is very ‘real’ about what its like without making us feel responsible for how it is. Its just the way it is. Working there has changed her life – and has most definitely changed theirs. She says that over time these women have fondly come to call her “Mamma” and love to share a big hug when she spends time amongst them.

Her goal this trip from her visit back here in Canada includes taking a guitar back so she can worship with them – its something which seems to minister in a way that nothing else can.

“She” is Colleen Guskjolen and she with her husband James are LAC Ministries – that's short for Latin American Ministries. They serve the Latin America and Caribbean areas. They left the comfort and security of Canada – sold off all but a few personal possessions to fulfill the desires of their hearts to reach out to those in need.

Must be quite a change for Colleen to find herself ‘behind bars’ when she used to have a good position in the banking industry here in Canada!

Can you imagine, James and Colleen pray for US, here in Canada as well? They tell us that the needs are JUST as important in Canada and sometimes even harder to effect – so they are not looking for us to take our focus off our needs at home. They also do not want us to feel guilt and shame to live in the affluence that we are blessed with – rather they assure us that because we are so blessed we have a power to help and affect others through their ministry! What a unique outlook!

Their communication with us (held in the home of our Pastor) opened our hearts and gave us a new hope in a mission which is radically different from what we suppose is the usual way to reach those in need. To put it in a nutshell, (besides the programs they already have in place to meet the needs of the poor and impoverished) they have a goal to reach the small percentage of ‘haves’ – those people in key positions of power and authority in these impoverished countries, for through a change in the key players (‘movers and shakers’) it will cause a trickle all the way DOWN to those most in need.

See, we always see the very visual need in the masses – the 80% in most countries… and when we help them, we help them for a time, but eventually the cycle starts all over again. The trickle very rarely goes UP! So, though their ministry will continue to help and feed the needy, they will also focus on training and vocation – and to woo and evangelize to the rich and influential. For Jesus did not tell us to go out and make disciples of just the poor …

Matthew 28:19

Therefore go and make disciples of all nations

Sometimes we forget this. Somehow our minds allow us to think the wealthy don’t need anything, or are unwilling to listen.

So it was refreshing to hear James and Colleen’s take on things – to share in their vision of having people come on board whether through finances (which is one way we can all help, this is the power each one of us has) but also through the EXCITING ministries they are working with – such as already established and to be established vocational training institutions and by providing micro-loans to help people start their own businesses.

I could go on, for I am very enthused and encouraged about what they are doing – instead you can find out more about their work by clicking HERE.

The very fact that you are reading this post and live in a country of wealth and comfort may the be very thing which could unlock the gates to assist those less fortunate, by not only helping to feed but to educate and assist. And of course we can all offer up prayer for James and Colleen as they fulfill their ministry.

photo credit: craigPJ@sxc

Miles and I sponsor a little girl in Guatemala its encouraging to know these sorts of things might be available to her as well.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Rose has been thinking on our subject of "compassion" and she shares this thought:

1 Peter 3:8 (New King James Version)

8 Finally, all of you be of one mind,
having compassion for one another;
love as brothers,
be courteous;

2 Corinthians 1:3 (New King James Version)

3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
the Father of mercies and God of all comfort,
4 who comforts us in all our tribulation,
that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble,
with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.

Rose says she felt blessed this past Sunday as Betty shared the encouragement of our accepting of God's pruning of in our lives. It may hurt, but we will grow closer to Jesus as we put away the things in our lives that are not beneficial in our walk with him.

Thanks Rose, for sharing this. Very appropriate being us in the midst of Orchard and Wine country! I took the liberty to find a poem and thought to follow you up, Rose.


It is the branch that bears the fruit
That feels the knife,
To prune it for a larger growth
And fuller life,

Though every budding twig be lopped
And every grace
Of swaying tendril, springing leaf
Be lost a space.

Oh, thou whose life of joy seems reft,
Of beauty shorn,
Whose aspirations lie in dust,
All bruised and torn,

Rejoice, though each desire, each dream, each hope of thine,
Shall fall and fade; it is the hand of love divine

That holds the knife, that cuts and breaks
With tenderest touch,
That thou, whose life hast borne some fruit,
May now bear much.

~By Annie Johnson Flint~

The Lord Jesus said in John 15:1-2

I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.

The word translated, "purgeth" means to "to prune" in the Greek. Many times the hopes and dreams that a Christian may have is not God's will for their lives. We know that God's will is best for He always has the best intentions for us and knows the outcome of every situation. Today, many Christians are running to and fro, pursuing their own dreams but they have yet to understand that as a true Christian, our life is not our own. We have been bought with a price - the precious blood of Christ Jesus!

Poem and insight from Cobblestone Ministries

Looking forward to our meeting, Wednesday night @ 7 for those of you who can make it. Please let me know if you have anything else to post and your prayer requests for this week!

Wednesday, March 11

I thought I would just sneak in here this morning and add a link to a friend's blog as she posted today about... compassion! Alicia always has some good words of wisdom - why don't you check today's post out by clicking HERE.