3.31.2015

BIBLE READING PLAN HAS BEGUN

so we are trying this. if it fails it fails. i am not afraid to try things and fail. i know i will learn a lot from the journey of it.

i am going to try and read my bible every day and in twenty days read through the book of James. i am wanting to study it with you!! it is only a few verses each day for two reasons.
1. so its not overwhelming and we start with just a few
2. we can focus/meditate/memorize on what we are reading and have the time to comment and share what God has been teaching us!

click here to get all the info, to get the bible reading plan and to comment on what God has been teaching you

below is the jpeg version [ a bit blurry ] but you can click on this - opens a new window so you can print. then you can have it by your bible, in your purse etc so you know what to read each day.


3.30.2015

finally launching the Sisterhood Project


today is the day [insert all the celebration emojis here]

back in october i started thinking about how i could reach more women and how we could better connect.

in november i got the idea to host something on my blog to connect better because i just didn't have enough time to go out on coffee dates every day.

then i chickened out.

in january i felt the Lord nudging me to do something with my blog. i prayed and got back a resounding yes to do something.

but i got scared. what if people sent me hate emails or discouraging messages. i am not a bible teacher - so what if people cut me up on my theology. so i left it.

march first i decided to start working on templates and how it could practically look. this past month i have spent hours upon hours trying to code [which failed] and started praying what an idea/dream would practically look like. i have worked all month on this project, which now has a name! and yet it sat on my laptop 'unpublished' for a week- but now i am launching even though i am still waiting on my domain name. i bought a new domain name last week [still waiting though for it to work - urg] called foreverhis.com so this blog will be easier for people to find and for you to remember.

above [in the black banner] is all the info and pages about the sisterhood project.

so to start click here and i encourage you to watch the video, even though i feel so silly taking videos.. oh well i'll get over it.

thanks for all your support in reading this blog and i look forward to connecting with your through video blogs, mentorship program and reading our bibles together.

if you haven't already, submit your email address over to the right ---> so you can be notified every time i post.

yay yay yay!

xo
mads.


3.29.2015

enough said




enough said.

working on making this truer each of every day.

Lord, teach me to better love like you love me.

3.24.2015

march break camp

if you read this blog often, you know that i am a huge fan of blogging and bloggers and i want you to start your own too.

one of the main reasons i love to write on this blog is that it will always be here.
journals are incredible, but i can't sort them or easily refer back. and i loose journals.

this past week we tried a march break camp at our church. it was a huge success. i don't want to loose these memories that are fresh so i am blogging them too! 

here are some personal highlights of march break camp that happened at Emmanuel Church March 16-20.

kids are so smart
sometimes i default to think that because he is five he can't understand the gospel. this week reminded me how much they get it and how God is working their lives. super encouraging for my faith.

learning how to love them like Jesus and asking the Lord each morning to show me what He sees when He looks at his stunning children

camp ministry has my heart
i have been doing camp ministry since grade nine (took two years off when i went to Africa- but my year in Africa was one big camp) and this will be the first summer i am not. i miss it so much and i know when the summer comes i will miss it more. this week was a precious reminder how much i love the relationships and connections that get built from spending a week together & i am so thankful for this reminder. it also allowed me to love camps at my church and not just up at conestoga lake.

when she sat in my lap and told me about her mommy and daddy getting a divorce and how hard that is for her

kids can worship God too through singing, not just teens and adults
i got to lead the worship songs and found it such a blessing being up on the stage, glancing at 50 beautiful children and watching them worship their creator. 

i thrive off of high stress high impact events
each day was insane. it was go go go all day and then prep all night for the next day. yet i loved it and had such a blast. i love outreach events into the community. yes, it stretches me, but i am being Jesus hands and feet in such a practical way and that is so fulfilling. i can def. do this again.

when she ran up to me in the morning exclaiming how happy she was that i get to be her "teacher"again

when he said "you are my best friend" running away giggling

when my husband shared the gospel message with the campers each day during chapel.
it didn't feel real as i was sitting in the sound booth watching him preach that he is mine. my husband. uhh, i am so blessed. thank you Lord for giving me a man that will do and go anywhere for you. it's all the matters.

playing jumprope and hopscotch with my girls laughing the entire forty-five minutes

listening to them saying their memory verses each morning as they learn God's word
"your word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my faith" Ps 119:105

goodbye hugs that last a few extra seconds

3.17.2015

praying for more good looking high school students….


you know when you joke about something but there is some truth to it… this is one of those situations.

when mark and i started working at the church there wasn't a fifty student youth group with programs and outreaches already running. we were blessed in that too; to get to do our own thing and 'start from scratch' but apart of me wanted to have a fifty student youth group up and running in a few weeks. i know its not about the numbers but i thought the more students we could get out, the more students would hear the gospel and get saved therefore advancing the kingdom. Also more students equals more discipleship moments.

as we dreamed, worked hard and prepared i started 'joking' with people that i was praying for more good looking families to attend the church so more students would come out. i said it to a bunch of people.

then one night i actually prayed it. i prayed for a handsome high school boy who played sports to attend our youth group…not because we don't have a super good looking students now, but i thought more older high school boys would help it grow.

oh maddie, you are so stupid sometimes.

then i studied James 2. wake up call.

it was so convicting. the Spirit spoke so clearly to me, it could have been audible.

"my brethren, do not hold your faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ with an attitude of personal favouritism" - James 2:1

"but if you show partiality, you are committing sin and are convicted by the law as transgressors" James 2:9 

the passage is talking about a rich man coming into church vs a poor man and to not show favouritism to the rich man and only approach him - that is a sin (vs 9).

this passage is also talking about my sinful heart in showing favouritism to the stereotypical popular good looking guy to bring out more of his friends and get more girls coming…

i love that God's word is active and alive, sharper than any two edge sword (Heb 4:12).  i definitely got on my knees and asked for forgiveness for my awful heart in joking about it and even praying about it.

then at the conference one of the points was Isaiah 53:2  which says "He has no stately form or majesty that we should look upon Him, nor appearance that we should be attracted to Him"

aka: Jesus wasn't good-looking, popular, played football etc. the bible actually tells us the opposite. he was average, we shouldn't even be attracted to Him.

then the speaker asked us if we would even notice Jesus today if He was in our midst. the Jews, his chosen people missed Him because they were looking for the stereotypical "King" with robes, chariots and army.

i found so much comfort in this because i so wouldn't want to miss Jesus. i would want to be with Him always and never leave his side.

looks don't matter. popularity doesn't matter. what grade you get or what sport you play doesn't matter. how rich or poor you are doesn't matter. if you dress in designer clothes or not - who cares.

none of it, nothing matters to God (James 2:5)

James 2 is more then clear. God tells His people (Christians) to not show favouritism and to treat everyone equal. Why? Because God doesn't have favourites.

and when Jesus was on earth His appearance was an average joe. the disciples were average and yet God used them to start His church. (ps. Jesus appearance when He returns again is anything than average - read Revelation.. He is coming back in ALL His glory!)

are you showing favouritism in your life?

are you looking to be friends with the right people, look a certain way to fit in?

would you have missed Jesus entertaining the rich and popular?

these are hard questions, and ones that are ongoing but i have stopped praying for more handsome older men to attend youth and am beyond thankful to whoever comes out and our numbers.

in my true bias i think we have the greatest youth ever and they are all super good looking. i am so honoured to serve them each and every day and i am so thankful to see God tangibly working in their lives.


thanks so much for letting me be open and honest about what God has been teaching me.
i hate fake people and i want to be real with you.

xo
maddie

3.09.2015

Life on the Front Lines Vol. 3


this past weekend our church hosted a bible conference with a bunch of churches from all over Ontario.

in short, it was so great.

the conference theme was called "Strengthening Your Faith" and we had Sandy Adams fly in from his home church in Georgia to encourage us.

if i'm honest with you, in this town full of 'Christians' i can often feel 'alone' in my faith. when i read the bible and see what people did for God and the radical faith they had and then look at elmira i often don't see a lot of radical christians living it all for Jesus. it can be discouraging. i am not saying i'm all radical and great.. no, not at all… but i'm all in for Jesus.

& this conference there were so many people who were all in. it was so refreshing. worship on friday night was incredible. i was in the second row and could hear all the voices behind me just praising Jesus. it was just so encouraging to know that these people are all in. they will go anywhere and do anything for the sake of gospel. they weren't fake. the conference was a lot of work but i am so happy our church hosted it.

i took notes throughout the weekend (  surprise!  ) here are some thoughts that convicted/challenged/encouraged me - hopefully it can encourage you too!

 why do bad things happen to good people?
-as Christians it is dangerous to have kindergarten theology and think that bad things happen because God failed or we failed. both weren't true in Job's case.
- Job lost everything not because Job sinned or God failed. God let Satan test Job. All of heaven was watching to see if Job would be faithful to praise Jesus through loosing everything
- Job never got to read Job 1 & 2. Job never found out why he lost everything. its not always up to us to  know why
- virtue doesn't insulate you from pain. only heaven knowns the whole story and God is expecting us to trust Him
- will i fold or be faithful? the stresses in my life may be the test of my faith. all of heaven could be watching!
-can i trust God even when i can't trace Him?
- Job 38. after Job complains God asks Job a set of 70 questions - God puts Job in his place. Example: "were you were you [Job] when I laid the foundation of the earth?"
-3 options when bad things happen to good people
      1. pouting 2. pounding (complaining) 3. praise
- Job never learnt "why" this bad thing happened to him, but he learnt WHO
- When you really know WHO you don't need to know WHY

Isaiah 53
- before John the Baptist heaven had been silent for 400 years
- Isaiah 53 has deep intricate descriptions of Jesus - written 700 years before Jesus. how can i trust the bible? - prophecy. Isaiah gives specific prophecy that comes true 700 years late. unreal.
- vs 2 - Jesus was not good-looking!! - if you would have looked for Jesus for his good looks, popularity, being cool, having it all together - you would have missed your Saviour.
- John 1:11 - "his own didn't even know Him" - the Jews didn't even recognize Jesus. they were looking for a "king"
-does it ever bother me that Jesus isn't concerned about my own ambitions but Jesus is only concerned about my heart?
- the only man made thing in heaven - Jesus scars.

i slept in till ten this morning (mondays are my day off to try not to think or do church work) and it was wonderful.

hope you have a great week.

also i've been praying for this blog and dreaming what it can become. for a few months now things have been stirring up in my heart and mind. stay tuned to some new content, new features…maybe even a new look? yippie!




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