Monday, 1 December 2014

I pray for your lyrics...

This month, my prayer has been inspired by the lyrics from the Christmas carols I've been listening too...

...oh, do you hear what I hear? .:.

Yes, there are little feet pattering across the floor... cutlery/toys falling... children arguing... car horns beeping... cash registers closing... a cacophony of sounds... but do you hear the symphony within? Do you hear God calling to you, inviting you closer.. deeper? All He wants for Christmas is you. (see what I did there? lol) I pray your heart would be tuned to His voice, and that you would prioritize seeking Him this season.

...let every heart would prepare him room .:.
I pray you and your kin would make room in your hearts for Him to dwell. He came to Earth and dwelt among us. And now, He dwells in us. I pray for intentionality in this for your family this season.

...a thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices .:.
Oh, dear child of God, this is a wearying time of year. Days are cold, and newscasts cast dark shadows on the light of God at work in this world.... but He is at work in the world. And remembering the birth of the Saviour, His death and resurrection, revives that thrill of hope, so let all within us praise His Holy name!

...He appeared and the soul felt it's worth .:.
I pray this truth would be made all the more real to you this season. You are SO loved, and SO precious, and the Creator, the Author of life itself, the Eternal One gave His only Son to bring you closer, to validate your worth in the face of an enemy trying to make you believe otherwise. I pray your soul absorbs that this Christmas.

...and wonders of His love.:.
Wonder is a default setting for children. I pray that you would learn from your kids in this way this year, that you would catch a glimpse of how wonder can capture your heart and pull you closer to The Beloved. Let questions unfold in your heart about God's amazing love, and how it completely surrounds you... I pray you let Him pursue you this season and allow His love to penetrate new areas of your heart.

It's so easy to let the depth of this season become mundane and to get lost in the surface details of cookie exchanges, bows and parties. I pray that your hearts would pause long enough this month to expand a little further into the amazing depth God has for you in the story of Christmas. He has so much in store for you!

O, Come let us adore Him!

Friday, 31 October 2014

I pray for your Spiritual Run

I'm praying for your run. Now, not all of us are marathon runners but we are all running a race. So I'm praying for...

Your training - Nobody runs a marathon without training first. Likewise, we need to be training in our spiritual journey, constantly refining our techniques. So I pray that you would retain the scriptures you read (Luke 11:8), that you would look to your Heavenly coach for help (Ps 54:4) and that you would find others to train alongside for accountability (1 Thess 5:11).

Your intervals - In training, these are used to build speed and endurance. In our own lives, we have various seasons of intervals - days and weeks that push our heart rates up, and other days that we use for recovery. I pray these would work as intended - to build you up, and not to discourage you. I pray you would feel strong and courageous (Joshua 1:9) in your uphill journeys and that you would drink living water (John 4:14) to keep you refreshed in your recovery.

Target heart rate - In training this is where you'll receive your maximum benefit. In your spiritual run, this is where you are outpouring from your heart in such a way that you are making the most impact for God's Kingdom. I pray you find your niche, and that you continue to stay in your target zone with God's help, in order to share His heart through you (Colossians 3:16).

Your wall - the point during a race when your muscle glycogen stores become depleted and a feeling of fatigue engulfs you. Spiritually, the enemy wants us to feel burnt out on God, on religion, on serving, on reading our Bible and on anything else that keeps us close to God and on the race path. I pray against this temptation. I prat that when the enemy comes and tries to cut you off (Gal 5:7), that you would cling to the truth and throw off all that is trying to hinder you (Hebrews 12:1).  I pray you would push through the weariness and continue to press forward towards the goal (Philippians 3:14).

Your current mile - I pray that you would be equipped with the right gear, that you would be encouraged in your journey and that you would know in your spirit that you are not running alone, but that God is with you, every step of the way (Matthew 28:20).

Your remaining distance - I pray that wherever God is leading you, you would step forward in obedience (Psalm 119:60).

I pray that wherever you are, from the sidelines to water breaks to hills or long distance stretches, that you would be inspired to keep going, and to do so for the glory of our God!

Thursday, 2 October 2014

Talk about Creativity

By Moira Gardener

Usually when we think of creativity we think of fine arts, works of literature, or perhaps a ballet. But take a look at the first chapter of Genesis. If we think about how we are created in God’s image, and God as a creator, we gain a different understanding of creativity. Creativity means more than artistic endeavour, it means to use our imagination to make something unique. It can be physical like art, or abstract like problem solving. If we take a closer look at Genesis 1 we learn a lot from God himself.

The first two things to notice are God begins with problem solving, and Spirit is present. Before He starts he takes a formless void and makes heaven and earth. This solves the problem of what to put his creations on. The second thing we read is “the Spirit of God hovered over the waters” (Genesis 1:2). Spirit is present from the beginning. Creativity is a spiritual act, its anything imagined and unique coming out of us into the world.
But He didn’t stop there, God continued to act. After this preparation of dispelling a void and introducing Spirit, He began the six days of creation starting with something abstract, light. Every individual has something creative in them which needs to come out; nurture it, encourage it. If God did not share creation there would still be a formless void. If Newton didn’t share his thoughts we would not understand gravity. If the entire artistic community kept their work to themselves the world would be a drab place.

Now we come to the days of creation where God continues with: the sky, land, and sea. He added vegetation; complete with seeds and fruit bearing trees. The sun, moon, and stars appeared followed by birds to fill the air and sea creatures to populate the water. It isn’t until day six, after the animals come to move along the land, that He creates mankind.

We are unique, created in God’s own image with not only a body and mind, but a spirit. We have the ability to solve problems and are designed to be creative and as we exercise our creativity it draws us closer to Him.  We’re also given the job of caring for the rest of creation. Now each of these works in the six days built upon the last; until He put everything of himself into the final creation, mankind. Each day He did something unique and at the end of it all God relaxed.

This is a role model for our own creativity. We begin with something formless and external, adding something within ourselves making creativity a spiritual act. And as we proceed with the act of creating things concrete or abstract, with time and perseverance, we have a body of work. And what is imaged becomes something enjoyed by others. 

One key element in creativity often ignored is the seventh day. We must come away from imaging and creating to rest. Rest comes in the form of not simply stopping but in finding recreation or re – creation; anything that fills us up. Creativity is both a filling up and a pouring out. Both must be addressed.          
How does this apply to teaching children about creativity?
1.      Find their unique imagination (concrete or abstract).
2.      Encourage them to act on their creative gift by nurturing and withholding criticism.
3.      Encourage them in an area they enjoy.
4.      Encourage them to persevere.
Basically once the individual’s unique imagination is found nurture it, then; encourage, encourage, encourage. When there is some mastery and the learner is open some structure might be beneficial, with the right mentor.

What: Creativity is anything imaged and unique coming from inside to be shared in community.
When: We create by doing. It is not always something that needs inspiration. We simply act and often it comes out in our action. If we only wait for inspiration, we may never start.
 Where: We create everywhere in our communities. Look around, creativity is in our galleries, our libraries, our buildings, our leaders, our children; especially our children who still have an in tack imagination.
 Who: Everyone who has ever imagined anything.
 How: By finding, nurturing, and encouraging imagination; then acting on it.

 Genesis 1:1 to 2:1 – This is the original acts of God as creator.
 Exodus 1:22 – 2:10 - This is about using imagination to find a solution to a problem.
2 Samuel 23 1-2 - Using imagination to do what it is God created you to do. You are unique.
Matthew 5:14-16 – Using imagination to create more good in the world. You are God’s light.

Monday, 8 September 2014

Talk about Responsibility

By Moira Gardener, Edited by Sarah Davidson

The dictionary definition of responsibility in this article refers to “the opportunity or ability to act independently and make decisions without authorization.” In other words how do we help our children grow up so they are not only independent from us but are a positive influence both towards themselves and others? I believe a large part of this involves ownership of things we actually have control of: our words and actions, and the choices we make. 

      Where do our thoughts and actions come from? They come from the heart. Whatever we plant in our heart will come out our mouth and be reflected in our behaviour. So what we say to our children and how we act around them is what they will absorb and eventually reflect back to us. Therefore it’s important to consider what we wish to plant in those young hearts. What will serve them well?

      A good place to start is reflecting on God’s love, and how He has their best interest at heart. It’s also important they know God doesn’t make junk, and as God breathed beings we are His masterpiece. Each of us is special and has been given talents and gifts to enjoy and share with others. To be created by a loving heavenly father is enough, we are enough right now. God will take us as we are and do great things if we let him. But we have to choose it.

      This brings us to choice. Being responsible is a choice. Choice is the brakes to our thoughts and actions. We may think something unkind for example, but even when we have an unkind thought we choose what we do with it. Teaching the concept of taking every thought captive (2 Cor. 10:5) is a tool for life and a way to be responsible with our thoughts. To apply the brakes of choice when the unkind thought pops into our head prevents hurtful actions. This is not an easy one. It means paying attention and often praying to God to take our hurtful thoughts and replace them with His own. 

      Teaching our children to pray is another tool, continuing with our example- when the tongue gets away on us, pray for its taming. The ultimate goal is to make choices for good and choices for God. Look at it this way. Our life is like building a tree house. We can make plans using the materials given to us, find a suitable tree and build a solid house. Or we chose to slap it together any old way using the first tree we see and then play the blame game when it doesn’t work out. (It’s too easy to blame God or others for giving us junky material to build with.) Another choice would be to walk away never building the house at all, claiming it’s not our responsibility. 

      Each one of us is made for a purpose, and we will not have peace until it’s fulfilled. So we can do life the hard way by blaming or giving up; going our own way mistakenly believing we’re junk. Or we can trust God has a master plan for us and chose His way.

One way to be responsible is to believe God wants the best for us, taking the materials of our life and building a solid tree house filled with good thoughts and actions. The result is forward motion. Trust God for He gives us the right materials at the right time for building solid lives. 

      But how do we plant the seed of responsibility in our lives and the lives around us? By acting responsible ourselves, using words to build up, and having clear boundaries about what is acceptable behaviour. Refuse to believe the lies we’re not good enough, have no talent or gift. Decide not to blame God or others.

      Instead step back and try to see what God sees. Then pick up some nails and a hammer and start building. God has the end in mind so leave it to him and choose words that build up, and actions that demonstrate love. The reward for being responsible is trust and freedom. When we do what we say we will do, we earn trust. Trusted individuals are given greater responsibility. In the end you earn the freedom to act independently making your own decisions which hopefully move you forward and bring you closer to God and those around you.


* Responsibility means owning our words and actions and choosing to do the right thing for a positive outcome.

* We become responsible when we do the small things correctly and then earn the trust that we can be responsible for bigger things. In the end responsibility leads to freedom, maturity, and hopefully healthy relationships with God and human kind.

* Responsibility begins in the heart and becomes thoughts and actions. This is why it’s important to hide God’s word in the heart which becomes love in action poured out for building up ourselves and each other.

* We are responsible for ourselves: So own your thoughts, actions, and choices.

Monday, 1 September 2014

I pray for your feet

Romans says, "As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!” " So this month I pray for your feet! Well, I pray for where your feet take you, and the light that you shine, and the hope that you share along the way.

I pray for the picketing lines you walk; the line ups you stand in at the stores, and the tip toes you stand on to reach the top shelf.

I pray for the house you walk around, the office you stand in and the pedals your feet touch to drive.

I pray for safety; for God-honouring responses (Philippians 1:7); and for strength, peace and boldness for you.

I pray that your feet will be fitted with the readiness of the gospel of peace (Eph 6), and that God uses you wherever you walk, to make a Kingdom difference. I pray that as you walk, you will be His ambassadors, confidently claiming that ground for His Kingdom.

Sunday, 1 June 2014

I pray for your limits

.:. for your limits that are being tested... by children (yours, or those in your classes!), circumstances and pressures beyond what your heart is currently able to hold... I pray for an increasing amount of endurance, patience and a spirit of long-suffering. I pray for peace that surpasses understanding, and joy that arises in spite of circumstance. I pray for a dose of humor to help you balance out your stress, and I pray that you would feel empowered in Christ's strength, realizing that what you face, be it children's tantrums or yet another health/financial concern, you do not face alone.

.:. for your limits that exist only in your mind... that prevent you from taking risks, trying new things, and stepping out in obedience to God's calling on your life. I pray that you would be given a fresh perspective, and a confidence to step out of your comfort zone, and into areas that challenge, and change, you. I pray that you would not allow the lies of the enemy, or your own fears, to limit you in areas where God wants to amaze you.
.:. for your limits that you need to enforce... with people and projects that are demanding much from you. I pray that you would attune yourself to what boundaries you need, and have the confidence to enforce them, with grace, tact and humility.
.:. for your limits that you are pushing, in a good way - from bellies stretching with growing children inside, to goals that you are achieving. I pray that you would find breakthroughs, take time to celebrate, and continue to push forward in what God is calling you to.

I pray that your limits would be balanced and God-honoring.

Thursday, 29 May 2014

Talk about Friendship

By Moira Gardener and Sarah Davidson

Friends, we all need them, but how do we find them? We can act cool and try to break into the ‘in’ crowd, but when we need a real friend, will the ‘in’ crowd be there for us? And how long can we wear the mask we need to wear to be ‘in’, and what if they find out who we really are and reject us? The process sounds pretty stressful to me.

Friends are important because God made us for relationship and who we hang out with does have an impact on us. But God actually intended us to have a close relationship with Him. He wants to be our best friend. He modeled true friendship in the person of Jesus Christ. If we look to people to find our best friend, sometimes the price can be as high as compromising our integrity or values, especially if we’re trying to fake it until we make it. And in those moments, by whose standards are we measuring “making it”?
The most courageous thing we can do is be ourselves. And finding true friends starts by being a real friend. It’s a lot less stressful, and when we make a connection called friendship, chances are it’ll last. Even when it doesn’t, we have Christ who never leaves.

True friendship is a novel concept in our Facebook, tweeting internet society. This begs us to question what real friendship looks like. Making a connection as ourselves (the only thing we have control over) will determine the outcome providing the other person wants our friendship. Let’s turn to Christ for a role model. Christ is kind, trustworthy, loving, forgiving, has clear boundaries, never ditches anyone even when he’s ditched, and always puts the other person first. These are a few of His character qualities.

Being a friend to someone else means practicing all of these things. But I believe it is easier to do when we first have Christ as our best friend and let him help us to grow into the kind of person God wants us to be. Treating others the way we want to be treated is a biblical value and a good place to go after mustering the courage to be ourselves.

Practical qualities for friendship are: agree on how to act towards one another, love each other with a Godly love, welcome each other when you meet, be a trusted confidant, teach and learn from each other, be patient with one another, and adopt a servant’s attitude. This last one means looking out for the others’ best interest and not our own all the time. It’s a pretty tall order!

Even when we have a real friendship, we are human and there are times we will need to forgive each other. Human beings, being imperfect, always let each other down. And when they do, we have a choice to make. Forgiveness is a given if we want to be free of bitterness. But even then do we keep the friendship? It needs to depend on what happened. Do we value the friendship enough to move forward, or do we pick ourselves up and part ways?

Helping children navigate broken friendships can be difficult. Children often make friendships easily. Just spend five minutes at a playground to observe this. We, as adults, could learn a few tips. But when it comes to being hurt by friends, children need our help to walk forgiveness, and to learn how to be a good friend in spite of poor examples.

Another thing about human relationships; even when we are being a friend it doesn’t always mean it will be reciprocated. If the other person doesn’t want to be friends, or treats us poorly we have to be prepared to move on to other people.

But where are friends found? God is aware of our need, and if we prayerfully look to Him, He’ll bring them to us as we live out our lives daily doing activities we love to do. We need to pay attention to those around us looking to meet the needs of others instead of navel gazing.

Bottom Line: Trust God and Christ as our best friend trust he’ll bring the right people into our lives; and be a friend to others.



A friend is someone who is trustworthy and treats others as they wish to be treated.


In God’s timing he will bring human friends, in the meantime learn to be a friend.


Find friends in everyday life doing what you love to do and be aware of others around you instead of navel gazing.


All we have control of is who we are and how we treat others. Christ is our best friend, always there.


We were made for relationship and this is why we need friendships. Once again God desires a relationship with us himself (as best friends).


  • Proverbs 18:21 one good friend is worth more than many who are not. (Paraphrased)
  • 1 Peter 4:8-10 … keep loving on another … welcome one another
  • Ephesians 4:2 …be patient, bearing one another in love.
  • Galatians 5:13 …but through love serve one another.
For more scripture on friendship check

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Talk about Endurance

By Moira Gardener and Sarah Davidson

Boy I sure could use some of this about now. My ‘stick to it mind set has come unstuck. How does this happen? For me it`s rooted in discouragement. So I ask myself if my expectation is realistic. If no, how can I adjust accordingly? If yes, what is stopping me from pressing on? Why has my endurance taken a hike?
The Bible has *89 references about endurance, and encourages us “not to become tired of doing good. At the right time we will gather a crop if we don’t give up” (Galatians 6:9). Endurance is finishing the race, even when the going gets tough. In Wikipedia, endurance is “the ability to exert and remain active for long periods of time, as well as the ability to resist, withstand, recover from and have immunity to trauma, wounds or fatigue.”

After pondering this from a Christian point of view, I believe endurance is choosing to persevere in our faith and trust in God in order to rise above the situation, no matter what life throws at us.

Why not just take the easy way out and quit? After all isn’t there a time when enough is enough? We need to realize God sees the end result while we only see pieces. We can’t see the rewards until we look back after the race is finished. So faith and trust in God is crucial.  When we endure, we’ll gain stronger character qualities like patience, a confident ‘I can do’ attitude, and a closer relationship with God.

Endurance can also be for someone else’s sake, as an act of love. When I think of an enduring individual, I think of the movie “Iron Will”. The move is based on the true story of Will Stoneman who endures a gruelling dog sled race to save the family farm from financial ruin.

One of the greatest love stories about endurance is how Christ endured the crucifixion so we can live with God for eternity.

How can we endure? It begins with trusting and having faith in God’s love for us. He has our best interest at heart, and never leaves us. If we look at the apostle Paul, while in jail he rose above his circumstance by singing praises to the Lord. So, what are some tools we can use when we are in the thick of it?
  • Choose to persevere in our faith and trust in God
  • Believe He works all things for our good
  • Reflect on how far you have come, remembering He is always with us.
  • Choose an attitude of gratitude
  • Try to see things from Gods’ eternal perspective
  • Start with the end in mind and decide if the goal is worthy. If it is, write it down and post it somewhere you can see.
  • It helps when the goal is bigger than ourselves.
  • Think about how the end result will be beneficial to you and others
  • Some circumstances are difficult and others can be excruciatingly hard. And while we do not know the tough roads God has called others to walk, we do know God never gives us more than we can bear and He will provide the way out in His perfect timing. In the end, we will become eternal winners.



    Endurance is the ability to finish when the going gets tough.




    Throughout our lives at work, play, home, everywhere.


    All of us.


    It is God’s building block to:
  • Strengthen character (Ex. patience, confidence … )
  • Bring Wisdom – to learn what to do for next time
  • Increase faith and trust in knowing God sees the end and knows where we are going even when we don’t
  • Build friendship with God as our best friend who is all loving, and yes, sometimes it’s a tough love.
  • To empower us to be a friend to others-walking alongside them while they go through a similar circumstance.

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Talk about Humility

By Moira Gardener and Sarah Davidson

Children automatically know how to be all about themselves and encouraging them to step back to see the bigger pictures is challenging. Humility in our culture is neither encouraged nor looked at as something positive, and is often misconstrued as grovelling. 

In actual fact, humility means being gracious by choosing to put others first and giving up what you think you deserve. It means recognizing that the needs of others are as important as our own and it opens us up to growth and love.

Humble acts come in all sizes and shapes - from the person who stands aside to let the elderly man in line at McDonalds, to the nurse who looks past an inconsiderate patient and does their job with a smile, or a waiter who listens to a customer complaint and cheerfully remedies the situation. Whether the action is small or large the bottom line is that humility is serving others with a good attitude even if they may not appreciate it.
As followers of Jesus the goal is to be like Christ. He knew if he died on the cross, the Holy Spirit would be released giving everyone the option to have Christ’s spirit inside them. He knew his action covered our sin, opening up a direct chat-line to God.

Humility is found when we step back and see things as Christ sees them, on an eternal scale.  When we serve others with kindness and love we are serving God by being his hands and feet.  It’s when we love everyone as much as we love ourselves (Mark 12:31) we can be free to shift our focus from navel gazing to unconditional love in action.

One thing to note: humility is not self-abasement it is acknowledging there is a power greater than ourselves. Humility is not thinking less of yourself, it’s thinking about yourself less.
How can we teach our children this? Model it, talk about it, and pray for it.



Humility is putting others first by giving up what you think you deserve


To become more Christ like and be God’s hands and feet on earth.


Whenever needed




  • Seeing the eternal picture as Christ does.
  • Choosing to do the loving thing
  • Serving others with a good attitude
  • Model it, talk about it, and pray for it.


  • John 18:12 – 20:23 -The Easter Story.
  • Philippians 2:3 -Put others first.
  • Mark 12:31 Love your neighbour as yourself. Note: Your neighbour is everyone
  • Proverbs 15:33 The fear (respect) for God

Thursday, 1 May 2014

I pray for your boxes

I pray for your...

Lunch containers that hold nourishment for your family,
and small containers in your hearts that hold malnourished hopes/plans/dreams.
May you and your family receive the nurturing and nourishment you need physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually.

Jewelry boxes that protect memories held in creative molds
and the boxes in your hearts that hug memories from the past {hugs that squeeze joy from them, or comfort the pain}.
As you reflect on the past, may you remember the many ways the Lord has walked with you, and be encouraged to cherish the treasures of the present.

Tool boxes that help you upkeep your home
and boxes with figurative tools you have to upkeep your heart
and relational tool boxes that you have to help in times of conflict.
I pray you would be equipped to constantly be working to grow, improve and fix yourself and your home.

Storage containers that hold decorations and clothes for other seasons,
and containers in your hearts that are storing emotions and experiences from recent weeks.
May God give you great wisdom and discernment for with what, and how, you fill these.

Donation containers that carry your blessing's overflow to others in need
and the containers of time and resources you draw from within yourself to give to others in the church, community and your family.
May you feel the freedom and joy in the release, and find your personal boxes full to draw from.

"Penalty boxes" that aren't fun to sit in, but do develop character.
Whether you're sending someone (an employee or a child) to one, or are in one yourself in your heart, or in your life's circumstances,
May you have the humility to embrace a lesson, and the fortitude to let the process shape you for the better.

Laundry containers that may look more familiar than your pillow, and the washing and reusing of your own heart's wardrobe.
Our spirituality isn't always new and fresh, sometimes we see old stories and lessons in fresh ways. So like a clean shirt you've worn a dozen times, may you find fresh perspectives in 'old' morals and lessons you have relearned a dozen times.

From matchbox containers and the ignition of new ideas
to jack-in-the-boxes and surprises that will come your way
I pray for your containers - that they hold good, healthy contents
that will not weigh you down, but enable you to make a Kingdom difference, for His glory.

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

I pray for your soils/gardens

As we begin this new season of Spring, Lord, I'm reminded of the importance of the intentional work that goes into gardening... and I recognize that a very similar process must take place, with similar intentionality, in our hearts and lives.
God, as we would cultivate the soil in our yards, please be tilling our hearts. a garden hoe would do in a vegetable garden, please break down any hardness we have in our hearts towards you, or others;
...much like we would remove rocks and other foreign objects that don't belong in our gardens, God I ask that you would remove unnecessary impurities and barricades that block the deepening of your roots in our lives;
...just as we would be intentional about using the right, nutritious soil for our garden beds, infuse and purify the soil of our lives, that our hearts would be a welcome host to your seeds of truth; worms help irrigate the soil in a garden, help us have the humility to welcome good 'bugs' in our lives, those that you place there for our ultimate health, even though we may feel uncomfortable with them.

Father, as we would plant seeds, I pray you would continue to plant your truth deep into our hearts...
...That just as we would plant a variety of colors, we would seek a variety of sources to hear your truth;
...That as we would strategically plant seeds for esthetics and practicality, that you would plant us in the right places to share your light; we would discern plants from weeds, and uproot the latter, that you would grant us discernment between the work you are doing and the work that distracts us, and give us the wisdom to know how to uproot the imposters;
...That as we would intentionally water the soil, and care for the seeds we can't yet see, that we would prioritize time with you and other believers so the seeds you have planted can grow;
...just as plants naturally grow towards the light, Lord I pray we would naturally draw closer and closer to you;
...and thank you, Father, for your rains that water our gardens - our hoses supplement from what you have already provided - how true in our lives as well - you send us what we need all the time!

And still in this spring season, help us to enjoy our heart's harvest as we would enjoy our own gardens... we would sit with friends in our backyards, remind us to sit and commune with you in our heart's garden. we enjoy the fruits of our labor, help us to give glory to you - be it flowers or vegetables, or the many blessings and accomplishments we will see throughout this month; us to work hard and to intentionally take Sabbath rest, seeking to keep a healthy balance in our lives.
...I give you praise and glory for the beauty of the hearts that are represented in this email list - the parents, the children, and the volunteers. I thank you, Lord, for the work you are doing in and through them. 
...and I pray that God would bless any actual gardens you may have, with an abundant harvest.

Sunday, 16 March 2014

Talk about Forgiveness

Written by Moira Gardener / Edited by Sarah Davidson

Kids know when they’ve been wronged. Children have a very strong sense of ‘fair’, especially when they feel they’ve been treated unjustly. Helping children ‘let it go’, forgive and move on is an important step in their development into emotionally mature adults.

Forgiveness means choosing to let go of the bad thoughts and feelings about someone or something that happens. Forgiveness is being truly sorry about an action and having the courage to ask to be let off the hook for what you did; or letting someone else off the hook for something they did to you.
But why forgive? To be free of the anger and ugly emotions that will twist us all up inside turning us into sad angry people. Forgiveness is where healing starts. Once we truly let go of what happened we will feel lighter and be free to heal our hurts.

In a Christian belief system we forgive one another just as Christ forgives us (Ephesians 4:3). Sometimes we get angry at God and blame him for things in our life. It can be hard but we also need to ask God to forgive us for blaming him. God wants the very best for us. God desires to bless us and when we hold onto anger, a grudge, or seek revenge, we don’t receive God’s blessings – instead, we become unhappy and life looks ugly.

Here is a story from the life of a lady named Corrie ten-boom. Corrie was in a prison camp in WW2.  Her sister died in that camp and when the war was over Corrie went home in Holland. One day Corrie gave a talk at church on forgiveness. One of the listeners was the very guard from the prison camp. After the war he’d become a Christian. He came to her when the talk was over and asked her for forgiveness. In her own words this was her experience:

“And still I stood there with the coldness clutching my heart. But forgiveness is not an emotion—I knew that too. Forgiveness is an act of the will, and the will can function regardless of the temperature of the heart. ‘… Help,’ I prayed silently. ‘I can lift my hand. I can do that much. You supply the feeling.’
“… woodenly, mechanically, I thrust my hand into the one stretched out to me. And as I did, an incredible thing took place. The current started in my shoulder, raced down my arm, sprang into our joined hands. And then this healing warmth seemed to flood my whole being, bringing tears to my eyes.

“I forgive you, brother!” I cried, ‘with all my heart!’ (

How could Corrie do this? She chose to, and when she did, it was Corrie who received healing.
Not all acts of forgiveness are this huge, but even in the small things, letting go of angry and vengeful feelings is freeing. It stops us from collecting them all up, making a big anger ball inside that can make us sick.
Forgiveness starts with our will. I will or I will not ask God to forgive me for the nasty thoughts, mistakes and actions that miss the mark He sets out in the Bible. When we do receive God’s forgiveness, we are able to extend the loving act of forgiveness to others.



Forgiveness is a choice. It means “I will let go of …” the bad thoughts and feelings about someone or something that happened.


We forgive because Jesus first forgave us. God is a forgiving God - all we need do is ask. We forgive to be free from bad thoughts and emotions that can eventually, if left unaddressed, take the joy out of life and sometimes make us ill. We forgive to free other people and ourselves.


We forgive everyone, others and ourselves. Sometimes when we hold onto anger towards God we need to ask God to forgive us too. He will.


Start with being sorry for real. Then decide to go to the person we hurt to ask for forgiveness. Let it go and don’t keep bringing it up. Sometimes we need to ask God to help us with forgiveness because it can be really hard.
If you have been hurt and the person is not sorry, forgive them anyway. You may want to ask for God’s help or talk to an adult you trust who can help.


Ephesians 4:3 “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”
Luke 15:1-20 - A series of parables that show God’s love and forgiveness
Luke 15:21-32 -The story of the prodigal son, whose father was so happy to have his son return, forgave him all.
Matthew 18:21-35 – How many times must we forgive?
Matthew 7:1-5 – Judging Others
Luke 19: 1-10 – Jesus befriends the despised tax collector.
Colossians 3:13 – Forgiveness is the way to go.
Article of interest:

Saturday, 1 March 2014

I pray for your doors

This month, I'm praying for your doors. Again, it's sounds like a bit of a strange topic, but let's press in and pray for your doors...
I pray for the doors of opportunity in your lives. As you travel throughout your life, you will be invited into various positions of leadership/power. I'm praying for you, that you would make wise choices when it comes to taking on more responsibility. I'm praying for your protection in those roles you do step into - that they would only solidify the character you already have, and not tempt you to compromise on that. I'm praying that you would have incredible discernment as you decide on which opportunities will consume your gifts, time and energy. I pray that you would be presented with a variety of God-given opportunities that will lead to the furthering of His Kingdom in and through you.
I pray for doors that are shutting in your lives. Whether by choice or not, we all have doors that are closing on good and bad opportunities in our lives (relationships, dreams/hopes, promotions, etc.). It is my prayer that doors that are closing will be for your greater good, and that the doors that have been shut for this reason would remain so. I pray that you would not be tempted to reopen doors that should remain closed. I pray that you would have peace about doors that are currently closing. And I pray for healing in your hearts for those doors that slam closed on you unjustly.
I pray for the the doors in your homes, for each room they lead to, and each hand that touches the handles. Life takes place behind those doors - the fighting, the learning, the growing, stretching and loving. I pray that your doors would be covered in protection and that only good would enter in - I pray for a spiritual barrier against evil in any form that tries to enter through your doors. I pray for the guests that you welcome in - that they would sense something different, positive and safe about your home. I pray for the kids in your home, yours, and the ones they invite over - that as they walk through the doors, they would have confidence in who they are, and would stand taller as a result of walking through that spiritual 'veil'.
I pray for the doors in your heart... that as Christ knocks (Rev 3:20), you would eagerly invite Him in, to permeate every room of your heart - even the darkest crevices of closets long ago forgotten. I pray that you would be intentional in the upkeep of your heart's doors. From the heart the mouth speaks (Mt 12:34), and if good is stored up, good comes out (Luke 6:45), so guard you heart (Prov 4:23) with a good door.
I pray that you would earnestly "make every effort to enter through the narrow door" (Luke 13:24), by cultivating an ever deepening relationship with God and growing in your uncompromised convictions towards a life of prayer and surrender to God.

In Jesus' name, Amen.

.:.When I had my own apartment at Briercrest, the first thing I did after I moved in was to pray over my doors, literally. I encourage you to consider praying over various doors in your lives - from those at your work, to your home and in your heart. Doors are both entrances and exits, and we need to be intentional about who, what and how, we're entertaining and hosting through our doors.:.

Saturday, 8 February 2014

Talk about the Bible

Guest post By Moira Gardener
The Bible is like a treasure map that gives us guidance in our lives.  It is a collection of different books written over a period of 1,000 years by many people who were guided by God. The oldest book is 3,500 years old.  Now that’s old!

The Bible is divided into two parts: the Old Testament and the New Testament.  The Old Testament, written in Israel long ago (with some books written in what is Iran today), tells us about the beginning of the universe, the history of the Jewish people, His message to them and God’s commandments.

The New Testament talks about Jesus’ life, the history of the early church, and the way we receive God’s forgiveness. Some of the books in the New Testament were also written in Israel.  Others were written in what we know today as Greece, Turkey, and maybe even Italy.

By reading the Bible, God’s treasure map, we can learn who God is and what is important to Him.   Reading the many interesting stories will give us practical tips on how to live life – how we should act, do good, pray, comfort others, and how Jesus saves us.  There is enough “treasure” in this book for everyone in the world – young and old, and the more a person studies it, the more treasure can be found.  We also learn about God’s love and life in heaven.  But the most important discovery will be a best friend named Jesus.

Once you find these treasures they can be yours forever and ever.  They cannot be stolen or destroyed.  But they cannot be given to you by another person.  You will need to dig for them yourself by spending time reading the Bible, praying to God and asking Him to show you the treasures He has for you.



  • Collection of books
  • Inspired by God 2 Timothy 3:16-17 Discusses what the bible is and how it can be used


  • Started 3,500 years ago 
  • Written over a period of 1000 years 


  • Old Testament written in ancient Israel and some books in what we know today as Iraq
  • New Testament also written in ancient Israel and in what is known today as Greece, Turkey and maybe even Italy.


  • The Bible is the word of God holding treasure for everyone.
  • Written by people guided by God.

Why read the bible.

… to dig out treasures.
Here are a few, and I’m sure you can add your own:
  • Find out how much God loves you
  • Find out how to pray
  • Find comfort in sad times
  • The biggest reason to read the Bible is to find out for yourself what God has to say and not to hear it second hand.

Check it Out

  • Psalm 19 7-11 discusses many of the treasures we can find.
  • Timothy 3:16-17 tells us who inspired the Bible.
  • James 1: 19-27 Talks about listening to and then doing God’s will.

Talk about Communion

I believe we are called to participate in a believer’s communion – and that means believers of all ages. We will not ever expect a child to partake of the elements, nor will we require that a child reach a predetermined age before they are allowed to participate. Rather, we support you as the parent(s) in explaining and determining whether your child is ready to take this step in their relationship with God.
Children will occasionally stay in the service to observe communion. The celebration of the Lord’s Supper is an essential aspect to a Christian’s walk, and so we want to facilitate the ability for children to observe and/or participate where appropriate. It is also important that children understand their place in the larger community of faith, and allowing them to stay in to observe helps foster a greater understanding of their role and contribution to the local church.
We would like to encourage you to talk to your children about communion, as part of an ongoing faith conversation, and it’s relevance to your child(ren)’s walk with God. Here are some tips on how to begin the conversation at home:
Start by reading 1 Corinthians 11:23-29 together. From there, ask some comprehension questions like, What was Jesus doing? Or What are we to remember? Then review all that communion helps us to remember:
  1. That we are sinners saved by grace.
  2. That Christ died on the cross for our sins because he loves us; that he rose on the third day and is going to return.
  3. That through his sacrifice, he made a way for and wants a personal relationship with us.
  4. That when we partake of the elements, we are to make sure we are not holding any offences with others.
  5. That the elements are not literally his body and blood, nor are the elements a mid-service snack.
Communion is a sacrament we do to remember, but it is also as an act of worship and obedience. Talk to your kids about preparing themselves for participating in communion through the following actions:
  1. We come with a humble and faithful attitude.
  2. We seek forgiveness for our sins.
  3. We reflect on what Christ did and how much he loves us.
  4. We receive with reverence and thanks.
Other key verses to refer to:
  • Luke 22:19-201
  • Corinthians 10:16,17
  • Matthew 26:26
Some things to consider when deciding if your child should participate:
  1. A child who can confidently profess a faith that claims Christ as his/her Savior is welcome to participate in communion. A child who can confidently say he or she is not a Christian should feel comfortable to allow the elements to pass by.
  2. If a child has shown no sign of thinking of themselves as a moral agent before God, it is appropriate to tell the child not to participate. This will differ between every child – we want to see kids understand who they are in relation to God, and be able to make their own decision about Christ. This can happen for some five year olds, and still some eleven year olds may not comprehend this until later.
  3. Children need to be able to profess a faith that includes beliefs that:
    1. God sent his one and only son,
    2. Jesus, to earth as a baby.
    3. Jesus grew up and taught people about God’s love.
    4. Jesus who had never sinned, died on the cross for our sin because he loves us.Jesus rose from the dead and will return.

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

I pray for your beginnings

...the beginning of your days. May you awake each day this year with a deeper awareness of His presence with{in} you. Before you get out of bed, I'm praying that you would awake with a stronger sense of purpose and hope for your days as a result of acknowledging His presence more and more. As your feet hit the floor for the first time each morning, I pray they would be "fitted firmly with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace." (Eph 6:15) I'm praying that as you dress, you would also put on the rest of the armor of God, so that you are adequately prepared for the various battles you will face each day. And I pray that as you eat breakfast, that you would be encouraged to also nourish your soul by reading the Bible.
...the beginning of your projects and plans. You all have tasks that fill your day - be it school, work or both! I'm praying for you as begin new papers, presentations and proposals. May God guide your preparation and delivery - I pray He infuses your work with creativity, confidence and discernment. I also pray for wisdom for you to be a blessing to your peers/colleagues.
...and the beginning of change
~in your goals... May your goals be God-inspired, and may He give you the resources and encouragement to pursue and fulfill them.
~in your unforeseen circumstances... I'm praying that you would know that His grace is sufficient for you (2 Cor. 12:9). When surprising things happen that are difficult, I pray you would draw ever closer to the Anchor during the storm. When unexpected blessings happen I pray you would give credit and thanks to the Father who loves to give good gifts to His children.
~in your hearts... I pray that your hearts would be ever more aligned with God's heart. We all need to keep pressing in, allowing the potter to mold our hearts, so that what comes out of our mouths can be an ever increasing light to others. I pray your hearts would be softened, that you would embrace suffering, and live gratitude, as a means of allowing His transforming power to be unleashed in your heart.