Thursday, July 20, 2006

Experiencing God

Going deeper with God, finding out how to hear God and know when He speaks lead some women in our community to ask Gwen to lead the 13 week Experiencing God course. The first evening began in the midst of a community tragedy. Two local girls were killed in a tragic accident and were well know by the children of women in the study. Each mother was carrying inside them the pain that they felt for the families loss. It often is events like this that bring us to a crisis of belief – a very real piece of experiencing God. Through the next weeks we wait for God to speak, to experience Holy Presence in a new way, and to step deeper in a life of following Jesus footsteps

The following song was quoted in the workbook for the Experiencing God course and is full of rich pictures for each to hold and wait with:


God’s passion is an endless river
White water running wild
In a restless rushing fury
To see souls reconciled

It reaches wide across forever
It’s dangerous and deep
And while some venture to the shoreline
Some even dare to leap

And the river rages
The river runs all through the ages
Long after I’m gone
There’s a truth I’m finding I can’t ignore
Whether I dive in or stand on the shore
The river keeps rushing on.

All of those who ride the rapids
Have a message they must tell
There’s a joy in being lost in something
That’s bigger than yourself.

And though the current takes you places
Where you learn to lose control
And if you think you’re going under
He’ll never let you go
Never let you go.

Toward some quiet sea somewhere
There’s nothing like the journey there.

From: Experiencing God: Music for Knowing and Doing the Will of God.


Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Lingering in Summer

Summer time has arrived here in the Western Hemisphere, school is out and holiday times are being enjoyed.

Linwood House garden is full of colour in this season, with flowers in full bloom, the tent (Tent of Meeting we call it) adding a whimsical touch at the edge of the garden, umbrellas and garden chairs inviting one to come and linger, and the windows are open inviting the breezes to come in with all the fragrance they hold.

Family come to hang out, grandchildren spend time with Grandpa Ron and Grandma Gwen, and summertime memories are imprinted that will be carried with them all their lives.

As I write that I am aware that it is about relationships – and one of the things about sacred space is the invitation into relationships. Summer is the season for lingering, going slower, spending time, and taking a time out of routine. At least that is how I remember it as a child, and how I look forward to it as an adult. Guests at Linwood House in these months are often coming to linger and go slow. One group of guests had come simply to hang out together and to experience God in whatever way their heart and soul could hear the Almighty. It was beautiful to see them begin to establish relationships together and to experience God.

This is also the space of time where we at Linwood House can relax our schedule a little and enjoy what we are surrounded with. Sometimes in the business we need to be reminded that this is a season to enjoy the good weather, and sit on the front porch and linger. Posted by Picasa


Friday, July 07, 2006

Room at the Table

One of the foundational themes at Linwood House Ministries is unconditional love and grace. Not because they are our theme but rather that they are the Kingdom theme, the heart of God, the message of the Gospel and Jesus.

Mike Todd, Executive Director, has a huge heart for justice, living out this message. Gwen McVicker, President, is passionate about justice – God’s view of justice and freedom for suffering women. Our team in the downtown eastside gives, and gives, and gives, to walk the journey with women they are in relationship with. This is a journey about healing, freedom and justice.

In the kitchen at Linwood House, or the dining room, the theme at the table is also about freedom, healing and justice. I have been reading through Robert C. Morgan’s book “Who’s Coming to Dinner?” The following excerpt from that book seemed to give yet another piece on this subject of meals, justice, and those who with fight for the downtrodden (Jesus theme of ministry):

Words inscribed on the grave of Dag Hammarskjold: “Justice must be done. Every human being deserves justice. Some people are powerless to attain what is equitable and fair in life. It behooves the person of faith and conscience to stand with those who are treated unjustly.”

Robert C. Morgan goes on to say: “I remember singing around the campfire an old spiritual ‘Plenty Good Room.’. The words mean more to me now than they did when I was a teenager. ‘Plenty good room in ma Father’s Kingdom, just choose your seat and sit down.’ The African-American slaves sang the spiritual when they were denied a place in society. They longed for the time when they would have a ‘place at the table.’
Once when Jesus was the dinner guest in the home of a Pharisee, he made known, in dramatic terms, his concern for love and justice.
Late in the afternoon, while Jesus was speaking on the theme of sincerity, he was interrupted by a heckler. The rude heckler was the Pharisee who later that evening because Jesus’ dinner host. Jesus was accustomed to interruptions, but this marked the first time a heckler invited him to supper.”

(Who’s Coming to Dinner? Pg 67/68

The table is indeed sacred – a place where the theme of Jesus heart is to be displayed.

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