May 28, 2009

So_Hard_to_Say_Goodbye_by_lukeroberts

Well the time has come for the final blog. It is crazy to me to look back and see how fast the time has flown. It seems like yesterday I was thinking, what have I gotten myself into, June seems like forever away. And now it is over and I have to say goodbye to the life and the people here that I have grown to love. I just wanted to take this opportunity to say thank you to all of you at engage and at cornerstone in general for welcoming me with open arms into your family. I can’t express what a blessing you have all been in my life. Nowhere have I met a group of people that lives out God’s call for community like you have and to get to be a part of it has been amazing.

Whether it was a deep and meaningful friendship, a single conversation, or just a hug, each and every person I have come into contact with in my time over here has left an imprint and I will be forever grateful to all who took the time to get to know me or even just to check in and see how I was doing. I know that my life will never be the same, you have all had an impact on me in one way or another and the love you have shown has been invaluable. Thank you for being an example of Christ’s love to me.

1 Corinthians 2:9 says, No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him. So keep trusting in him and you will be blown away by the things he has for you. And I pray that you will experience the joy of Christ in all seasons and all circumstances. On that note, I leave you with one of my favorite prayers of blessing:

May all your expectations be frustrated, may all your plans be thwarted, may all your desires be withered to nothingness. That you may experience the powerlessness and the poverty of a child and sing and dance in the love of God. Amen.

~Mikaela

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discipline

May 21, 2009

The last few weeks or so, there seems to be a word that God wants me to grasp in my life: discipline. After spraining my ankle, it was not easy getting back into the habit of running regularly. At the same time, I realized I couldn’t remember the last time I opened my Bible and actually spent time listening to God. And the vicious cycle of disappointed thoughts begins running through my head, reminding me of all the ways I have failed to accomplish the best of intentions that I have deep down. Then I go to home group, and what do we end up talking about? You guessed it: Spiritual Disciplines. Ok, God, I get it. This is an area I need to work on. So why is it so difficult? Why is it always a roller coaster: one week I’m motivated and on a roll, the next I’ve never so lazy or indifferent. And why do I allow myself to constantly be discouraged?

In Romans, Paul talks about this same struggle. He wanted to know the same thing I do, why he continuously was doing the things he shouldn’t while failing to do the things he knew he should. Now if Paul, who wrote most of the New Testament, struggled with this also, it’s clearly a very valid struggle, so I guess I shouldn’t be so hard on myself. He too was like all the other heroes of the Bible: he was a flawed human being, but he had a heart for God. I don’t want to continue living an undisciplined life, but we all fall short of the mark. So how did Paul answer these questions of why it’s so hard to do what we should? He says, if God is for us who can be against us, we are more than conquerors through Christ. Through him we are set free from the law of sin and death that holds us captive in our minds (Romans 7-8). I guess all we can do is accept God’s grace and let that call us to greater things, rather than being discouraged by our failings, realize that God is proud of us no matter what and through him we can do all things.

27387_Discipline_PostersI guess its an appropriate theme for engage this week as exams are here so maybe there are a few of you reading this that share my pain. Discipline isn’t easy or fun, but it is necessary. God calls us to be his disciples; he calls us to extraordinary things, to excellence – things that don’t always come naturally. So let this be an encouragement to stick with it and work hard as if working for the Lord, knowing that all we can do is our best, and God is proud of us no matter what the outcome.

We can’t fail in God’s eyes, so what are we afraid of?

~Mikaela

May 15, 2009

PULSEfor more information about pulse camp please speak to Tim or click on the link below
pulse camp  

Fun in the Rain

May 13, 2009

71619-11-first-taste-of-rainSo last Friday morning, I walked to the office from home. My regular ride in the trusty Berlingo (aka the blue bomber) was unavailable so I began the 15 minute walk that I usually enjoy. It had just stopped raining and the sun was beginning to shine. But lo and behold, as true Irish weather, about two minutes into my walk, it started to pour. Within seconds it was raining cats and dogs, even began hailing violently and I was soaked through very quickly. Just as rapidly my mood began to turn sour as I thought about how miserable I was going to be sitting all day in wet jeans, shoes, etc. In the midst of this, when it seemed it couldn’t get any worse, those awful winds came and threatened to blow me over. To my surprise I suddenly just couldn’t help but chuckle to myself. I don’t know what came over me, but thinking about how pathetic I must have looked just made it impossible not to laugh at myself. I must have looked miserable trying to hide under my hood from the hail pelting my face, hold up my jeans from falling down with the weight of all the water, and not get blown over by the winds. Though I was temporarily miserable, it was just funny.

 I don’t do that often enough – find the joy and humour in the seemingly awful situations. Granted walking in the midst of bad weather is a lot easier than walking through the storms of life, but I’m still going to make the comparison.I love how God gives us the grace to accept those situations that we have no control over and the ability to just laugh, to find the humour in the situation and make the most of it. I think that for me it’s those moments that finally get me to stop and listen to God. Often I pray to hear God’s voice, that I would hear what God is teaching me or saying to me, but then I forget to actually listen for his voice. I get stuck in the routine of life, click on the autopilot and forget to stop and listen. I’m always in such a rush to get out of the rain that I don’t listen for God in the midst of it. It says in John 10:27 ‘My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.’ God knows us, he knows what we need and he will guide us and keep us safe, if we will listen to his voice.

 ~Mikaela

May 7, 2009

sum-of-love-preview

May 6, 2009

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May 1, 2009

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