Monday, August 22, 2005
www.pathways-to-peace.com - beautiful music put to photography and poems
www.interviewwithgod.com - a wonderful site with beautiful music, photography and a poem about talking to God
www.theinterviewwithgod.com/home.html - a wonderful site with beautiful music, photography and a poem about talking to God
www.inspiringthots.net - a site with music, photography and inspirational poems and thoughts
www.andiesisle.com/imagine.html - site with the song Imagine with photography
www.christiananswers.net - a site with questions and answers on Christianity
www.biblegateway.com - a site for looking up Bible references and devotionals
www.searchgodsword.org - a great site which helps me prepare for Bible Studies and looking up references in the Bible in numerous translations
www.ubdavid.org - Child Evangelism site and the Mailbox Club
www.elcandelero.com - the site of our good friends Larry and Colleen Loewen who are missionaries in Tarija, Bolivia
www.familytv.com - a site for recommending family tv watching
www.pluggedinonline.com - site to check on content of movies, tv shows, music, etc.
www.fotf.ca - Focus on the Family site encouraging family values and morals
www.womensjourneyoffaith.com - a site about the annual conference for women in Saskatoon
www.air1.com - radio station site
www.christianradio.com - radio station site
www.cjtk.com - radio station site
www.chri.ca - radio station site
www.truthorfiction.com - a site to check out all the emails that you get to see if they're for real or not before you pass them on to someone else.
www.cornerstone-church.ca - My home church website, Cornerstone Church in Saskatoon
www.c-stone.blogspot.com - Cornerstone Church youth events and happenings
www.leftbehind.com - a site about the Left Behind book series that I've really enjoyed reading
Here is just a small sample of wedding pictures I've taken. I enjoy taking pictures at weddings, and engagement photos of couples as well as pictures for families, kids, graduation, pets, or other hobbies or interests. I don't have a formal studio - God's creation is my studio - so I take a lot of outdoor photos. I love seeing people smile and capturing wonderful moments in their lives.
When Anne asked me to speak, it was at suppertime on Tuesday November 11. I was preparing supper and thinking about the Brian Doersken concert I was going to that evening. We were talking about other things, said by and hung up. The phone rang a second later and she said “I forgot to ask you something – will you speak at our ladies brunch?” “Okay” I said with no hesitation. I had told God about a year ago that if this was something that he wanted me to start doing, He would have to provide the opportunities and I would do nothing to help them come my way. Well, that’s what He did! I was so busy when she called that I didn’t have time to think about it right away. But at the Brian Doerksen concert God started putting all these words in my heart of things I could share. I got home at 11:00 pm and started writing for an hour. Roger came down and asked me if I was coming to bed so I reluctantly J put my pen down. I knew God wouldn’t take away the words He wanted me to share. Well I got back to it the next day but then not again until a week later and then the rest on Monday. Just as I was finishing up, God gave me more. I can’t wait to get to the end of this speech. My heart was just pumped! He’s so cool! He’s always blessing my socks off! So here goes…..
GOD – THE GIVER OF GIFTS
God has given so many gifts. I’m not talking of spiritual gifts or talents and not necessarily materials gifts either but of the gifts He gives us each day. He loves us so much that He can’t stop giving us gifts. He wants, yearns, to give us our heart’s desire when they fall according to His will. His will, not ours, is a gift. We think we know what we want, what we ‘need’. But truthfully we don’t, only God knows completely what we need. He sees it all, before we were born until after we’re gone, He sees it all. He sees all He has given us and what we have done with those gifts.
God has given me so many gifts – how could I ever pay Him back? I can’t ever, not fully, but I can choose to try and live each day for Him. I can choose each day to look at the good in the day, in my life and to give that as a gift to someone. God gave so much of Himself, what can I give? I can give encouragement, a smile, a hug, a phone call, an I love you, a pat on the back, a thoughtful unexpected card. I can give a ride, a treat, a lunch or just the gift of time. I have so much to give because God gave so much to me.
He gave me this cross that my friend Leslie made for me and gave to each of us ladies in the Bible Study group at my church on Friday mornings. She gave it to us a couple of years ago. I lost it earlier this year. After spending 9 years together in the Bible Study, Leslie passed away at the end of April at 52 years of age. I really wanted to find that cross she gave me but it wasn’t anywhere. The morning after my father-in-law was suddenly taken from us, not being able to sleep anymore in the wee hours of the morning, still dark, I came downstairs and opened my Bible and there was the cross. A gift!! God ever so lovingly reminding me that He is in control. That morning, I read Isaiah 55:8 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” This was another gift God gave me. These verses were read at dad’s funeral a couple of days later – a gift from God.
This Bible Study is a gift. God is so good. A year ago, I stood in this church sharing about how life has come full circle – this was where my journey began over 10 years ago – another gift given to me. It blessed me, challenged me, convicted me and helped me to grow for the 5 years we lived in Dalmeny. I then took what I learnt here and turned around and lead it to another group of ladies in our church. A gift given to me and God had me pass it on to others.
A gift of an old friend God brought back into my life through our husbands and she attends here. A year ago I was invited to come to a ladies night out here at the church. God stirred in my heart to come back to visit and to invite Coreen out as well. So He brought us here together “for such a time as this”. A gift from God – a gift of comfort, of encouragement, of support, of friendship and of seeking God’s word together.
In May, for Mother’s Day, I gave Coreen the Travelling Light for Mothers book. When September came, that was the book you chose to study in this Bible Study group. It was the 23rd Psalm that Pastor Gary read at dad’s graveside. I didn’t know why I decided at the last minute to buy an extra book months before and keep it in my closet but God knew. When Mother’s Day came I knew it was for Coreen. It was a gift to a friend, and God used it. That’s how God uses us when we are not even aware of it.
God shows us His gifts of love and grace each day. Do we share that with others? Or do we bury those gifts? Gifts are meant to be shared. When God gives us a gift, He expects us to pass it along. Maybe not the exact gift in that exact form, but a seed, a lesson learned or blessing received as a result of that gift.
How about my children? They are God’s greatest gifts to me. What am I doing with these gifts? Am I guiding and directing them through prayer and God’s values and morals or am I misusing these gifts and allowing our society guide them? I am giving gifts to my kids when I am praying with them, spending valuable time with them, talking about God with them when we sit down, when we are walking or driving with them, eating with them and when we lay ourselves down to sleep as the Bible teaches us to in Deuteronomy. Teaching them God’s morals and values instead of the ways of the world through our culture and TV. These are gifts that we give to our children – are we blessing them or are we harming them? Most of all, the greatest gift we can give to our children is in striving to set a godly example for them, striving to set a model of Christ for them to follow. Do we fail? Most definitely but God forgives and gives a new day every day to start over and try again and again.
Then there’s my family – my siblings, in-laws, parents…my heritage. Those are gifts from God as well. It doesn’t matter if we don’t see eye to eye, if we always get along, or if they think I’m weird or I think they’re queer… God gave them to me as gifts. It doesn’t matter what wrong they have done me or how badly I think my parents have raised me. God gave them to me as a gift. It is up to me how I react to them and how I pray for them. I can choose to focus on the faults or where things went wrong, or I can choose to see them through God’s eyes and see the good gifts God has blessed them with. As our pastor once put it “You are not a mistake! It took the exact genes, eggs and chromosomes from your parents to create you! It doesn’t matter what your upbringing was or wasn’t – God created you through your parents. You were not a mistake, even if your parents think you were or have told you that you were. It doesn’t even matter what their circumstances were. God does not make mistakes!!! He has created you for a purpose!!” Boy did I need to hear that on that Sunday morning. What a gift from God to ever so gently, from a passionate godly man from the pulpit, to tell me that I was not a mistake and that God has a purpose for me! There is purpose in your life – God has a purpose and that is a gift.
Then there are the gifts that come in disguise. How about those times when someone is critical of you and has very untactful ways of sharing that criticism? I have learnt that those are also gifts. Too many times my first reaction is how dare they or who are they to say that and I can get all huffed up and defensive. But you know, down the road of an hour, a day, a week, a month, or a year, God has taken those opportunities to shape me, mold me and develop my character. At those times we need to ask God what He wants us to learn from it. No matter how hurt I am God has something to show me, to show us, to teach us. That is a gift when we are able to learn and grow during those situations.
Is pain a gift? Tough question I know. But what does pain do to us? It makes us question, it can produce anger, it hurts us. Are we allowing God to reveal Himself to us through that pain? Are we taking His gift of comfort and grace and trust? Pain makes us stop, listen and think. Pain can either make us focus on ourselves and turn away from God or we can take that pain, give it to God and receive His everlasting loving arms to see us through and have faith and trust that He will work “all things together for good for those that love the Lord”. It’s during pain that we grow the most, He has the most to teach us and when He can use us the most. God has so many gifts to give us through pain – let us receive them.
Roger and I have often wondered when and how God would bring the pain of death close to home. When God chose to take his dad first, we were shocked and we had great pain. But as the days continued to come and go (because life doesn’t stop) …and that too is a gift. As days continued, God ever so mercifully revealed gift after gift to us. He had it all planned, all worked out to such incredible detail that it astounded me. What an incredible blessed gift to see the good God was using dad for. God promises in His word that again “in ALL things, He will work together for good to those that love the Lord”. He never does anything to harm us – that’s Satan’s job but God’s job is to take whatever Satan throws at us and turn it around and bring good out of it. A couple months ago Roger met a homeless man, his name is Hans. We’ve seen him many times but have never spoken with him. Roger had an interesting conversation with him and learnt that he was a believer who loved God, doing a work that he felt God had called him to do. Roger gave him a ride to his home - a cab of a truck in an industrial area in Saskatoon. Roger couldn’t believe he lived there. He asked him “What about during the cold winter we had?” Hans told him that God woke him up everyday. They talked about God, their families and what life throws at us. The next time that I saw him was a few days after dad had died. I went and sat at his table and introduced myself as Roger’s wife Lisa – he remembered Roger very well. I told him about dad and it brought tears to his eyes. It was everything I could do not to burst into tears myself. But this man has been praying for my husband, for my family and for our mom. We have so much, too much and this man has nothing but the joy of serving His God and depending wholeheartedly on His provision from day to day. What a gift God gave us by sending this man into our lives. He’s remembered us each time we’ve run into him and we have so much to learn from him and God has so much to teach us through him. Thank you God for sending the gift of this simple man who is serving you in a way that only he can.
How about friends? They are a beautiful gift from God when chosen by Him. Not all friends have been ones that God approves us being with too much although there is always something He can teach us through that person. But to have a friend who is One in Spirit with you and your God is a tremendous blessing. I can’t keep track of how many times when I’m going through difficulties when a friend has called, emailed, dropped in or written at just the right time to say “How’re you doing” or “God put you on my heart and I’m calling to say hello”. Or even those times that I run into someone when I’m out and about and they tell me I’ve been on their mind. What a change that brings to my spirit. (One day I came home and by my door was a container of my favorite coffee mix that hasn’t been in the stores for a long time. A friend had come across some and bought an extra one for me and left it by my door. It was such a special treat!) Have you ever wondered how much of a coincidence it really is when you run into someone or someone comes to your mind completely out of the blue? Do you think it is coincidence or as I call it “God-incidence”? What do we do with those thoughts or those run-ins? We can pray, take action or just let it slide. If you let it slide, you’ve just ignored the gift of the Holy Spirit touching your soul. Allow God to bless you with those gifts and bless others in turn.
Gifts of any kind are ways that we can bless others and not expect anything in return. When we bless each other with these gifts, God blesses us much, much more than 500 people could ever bless us. His rewards and gifts are much more eternal than anything here on earth. On this past Sunday we had a young 20 year old man, Curtis Anderson from Dalmeny here, give his first sermon. He spoke on love and did a tremendous job. He used a wonderful analogy of God pouring down much love on us – us sending back love in return and then from us arrows going out and pouring love on others. There were no arrows returning to us. The gift of love is to be sent out to all of those around us with no expectations, limits, or restrictions. He also said that those that we feel are the least deserving of love deserve it more and likely they’re hurting the most as well. Is that how we treat others with gifts? Do we give a gift in proportion to how we feel the recipient deserves or do we give with unconditional love and not expecting anything back? When I think of how much I deserve and how much God continues to bless me, it brings me to my knees with humble thanksgiving and gratitude. I think of the verse in Matt. 7:11 “If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask Him?”
God sent His greatest gift of all time when He sent down His Son Jesus into this world of sin. John 3:17 says “For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him”. God loves us and wants to bless us and in turn bless those around us. God did not send me to condemn those around me, but to love them, pray for them and be Jesus to them. Many times I fail, but through God’s gift of grace and forgiveness, He picks me up again and again and I keep on trying to do better. “Ask and it will be given to you, seek and you will find; knock and the door will be open unto you. For everyone who asks, receives” Matt. 7:7, 8a. God sent His Son for me, for dad, for the homeless, for all of you and everyone else. An uncle told us after dad passed away, you prayed, you asked, then did you believe? Of course it is God’s will that no one should perish and so when we pray, do we believe? We’ve been praying for dad for years and had all sorts of ideas of how God could answer but we never expected our prayers to be answered in this way. God promises, ask and you will receive. Israel asked God for a deliverer, a Messiah – they just never expected it to be His own Son. There are many who still have not received that Son or have accepted that He was their Messiah. When will they believe? What will it take for them to believe? What does it take for me to believe wholeheartedly when I pray? God gives us a wonderful gift of answering prayer even when we don’t know what and how to ask. He is so faithful! Romans 11:29 says “God’s gifts and His call are irrevocable”. God does not change His mind with reference to His call. He knows what’s best and He works our lives in accordance to His will. Thank you God for the gift of knowing it all and seeing the whole picture. That is a great gift. Let’s leave it in God’s hands and share the many gifts He has for us. That was my ending but…..
As I was finishing up the final touches to this talk a devotional came over the email to me. I receive a new one each day – kind of like the daily bread thing but it’s on the computer. But this one came at the end of the day and they never come so late – they always come at the beginning of the day. It was another God thing. It was just perfect! God has such a great way of confirming what we do for Him. This was His way of giving me confirmation that this was what He wanted me to speak on. He is just so cool! He does this all the time to me. It is exactly what I’m talking on:
VERSE: 1 Samuel 12:24 “Be sure to fear the Lord and serve him faithfully with all your heart; consider what great things he has done for you.”
THOUGHT: God is awesome and mighty. He can do anything he chooses to do. So isn’t it amazing of all the things he could do, he chooses to do one thing especially well: God blesses us! God blesses us with material blessing, he blesses us with spiritual blessings, he blesses us with big things, he blesses us with small things, he blesses us with hope, he blesses us beyond pain, he blesses us now, he blesses us in the future, he blesses us…..
PRAYER: Generous and gracious God, thank you for blessing me in so many ways. Please use my life to be a blessing to others and a glory to you. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen
This devotional blew me away. It made me think of when God told Abraham that he was blessed to be a blessing – so are we. We are blessed to be a blessing. Many times before my children leave for school in the morning, I lay my hands on their heads and ask God to bless them so they may be a blessing to others. God blesses us so we in turn can bless others. Let us do that with God’s blessing! May God bless you all!!
Okay, you thought I was done didn’t you? I thought so too. But here’s another God thing coming up! On Monday night Allison called me to ask what I’d be speaking on so I shared some of my thoughts with her and told her what note I was ending on. Before we hung up, she said, “It’ll be interesting if God will give you any more.” Well… HE DID! On Tuesday morning when I turned my computer on, another devotional came and this is what it said. Check this out! :)
VERSE: 2 Cor. 9:11 “You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.”
THOUGHT: As we examine our blessings and give thanks to God for his wonderful grace, let’s ask why God has blessed us so much. Let’s also remember the primary spiritual principle that God made clear in today’s scripture and also in his call to Abraham in Genesis 12:2: God’s people are blessed to be a blessing. Let’s make sure we are not just recipients of God’s blessings. Let’s commit to be conduits of those blessings to others.
PRAYER: Thank you, generous Father, for giving your many lavish gifts to me. Open my eyes to see how I can pass on those blessings to those around me who need them. As I share the blessings you have so richly given me, may others find their greatest blessing of all – your loving grace – and give thanks to you! In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.
My hearts justa pumpin ladies! That is so amazing? When God puts words into our mouths it’s just incredible! What a God we serve! He is soooo cool and I love Him so much! I like God’s ending better than mine. So on that note, that’s the end. :) I think…
God really blessed me for sharing that day. I'm learning to follow His nudgings and promptings and when I follow through with what I think He wants me to do, I am so blessed. I just have such an awesome feeling of "YES! I listened!" Other times when I haven't listened to what I felt He's wanted me to do, I've really felt terrible - a horrible feeling of knowing I'd missed out on some incredible blessing that God wanted to give me, a road that He had wanted me to take and I didn't go. There've been a few times that I've felt that, and I never want to experience that again. I pray that God has blessed you through reading this.
May God bless you today!
My Sharing with Camp Kadesh Staff July 2003
About a year ago, I began having a desire to share my story with young people. I’ve shared it with many people before, mostly friends and often strangers. But never young people like you. It wouldn’t leave my heart and so I told God, okay, if you want me to do this, it will happen in your time and place and you’ll help me know what to say.
My son went to camp for the first time last summer (I worked that week as well) and the desire to share grew. He went to camp at the Quest – he had gone with a friend. The desire grew greater in my heart and at the back of my mind I wondered if God would ever bring me back here to Kadesh.
Brandon wanted to go to camp again this summer and I encouraged him to try Kadesh. So here we are. This is the first time I’ve been back since the summer of ’86. When Brenda (the speaker this week) shared on Sunday night about the Armour of God, I knew my time had come to share. When she talked about nervousness with me on Monday night and who makes you nervous, I knew again that I would have to share this. Tuesday morning during my devotions God again confirmed that I needed to share with you, so I spoke to Kelly the director and he obviously said yes. J This was the time and place God chose.
So, it was the summer of 1986. I had just finished Gr. 11. I was not living at home – not since Gr. 10. I was not honouring or respecting my parents and I had a confused view of God. I had lived in a couple of different places and my brother had just kicked me out of his home (where I had been living at the time) in a drunken rage. I didn’t know where to go and I felt I couldn’t go back home. I had a very good friend who’s a missionary now. She loved me a lot and so did her parents – I had lived with them for a while. She suggested that I go work at camp, she encouraged me to call the director Dave Harder – she had already spoken to him about me. I phoned and he wanted me to come, so I cam to Kadesh.
That is where my journey began. This place, that summer changed my life. It was a critical point in my life – I was dishonouring God and my parents in the choices I was making. In a sense I knew better but I chose to rebel against what my parents had tried to teach me during my growing up years. They didn’t know what they were talking about and I knew better than them – I knew what I wanted. I chose to do what I wanted. I was a mess – partying, drinking, living away from home, hanging out with the wrong people, dishonouring God with my body and my life. I came here lost and hurt.
When I got here, the director had me memorize the Armour of God scripture in Ephesians. So here I was, the first time ever at camp at the age of 17 – Dining Hall Supervisor over in the Quonset. What a summer of discovering who God really was. Everyone at camp was wonderful – I made great “right” friends and I was part of a great family – I was in a different world. There were many great examples around me and every week testimonies were shared. This was the first place I ever shared my testimony. There was a drama one night about a girl sitting on a fence – on one side was her Bible study group and on the other were her partying friends. It was completely black in the Quonset and a spotlight shone on one group at a time – each trying to convince her which to choose. Then suddenly there was utter darkness and a shrilling scream by the girl – time had run out and she couldn’t choose and now it was too late. That drama impacted me so greatly – that girl was me. I knew I had to choose and that night I chose God. I shared my testimony and rededicated my life to Christ. Afterward I phoned my mom, whom I had hurt deeply, and told her that I was coming home. I told her I had chosen God and I asked for forgiveness. The director had given me his personal Bible to take home with me, which impacted me greatly as well. My missionary friends’ parents asked me to share my testimony in their church when I got home. Wow!
When I got back home to reality, it wasn’t easy in any way. Was life perfect after that? No but it was the beginning of a wonderful journey – a summer I’ll never forget. I came back the next summer for work for 2 weeks and brought a friend with me to work as well.
What I want to say to all of you today is in spite of what you’ve done or where you’re from, God is using you and you are on a journey. Be aware of the example you are to those around you and how you are impacting these lives around you. You are constantly being watched by those near you. Where will you be 15 years from now? How will what you’re doing here this summer impact you and affect your future? No only are you teaching the lives of the campers around you but you are touching and impacting each others lives as well. I don’t know where you’re at or where you’re from but I know that God loves you and is using you right where you’re at today, right now. You’re not perfect and you may be hurting but God is still using you. Someday he will bring your life full circle – from where you began and it will be so wonderful to see how God has moved in your life and how He has used you. I wanted to share this with you in hopes to encourage you and strengthen you in some way. Remember your example and the impact you have on others through the rest of the summer. Be the friend that loves enough to see when your friend needs God and who needs you to bring them to a place like this.
A verse I would like to leave with you is from Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you”, declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
My niece shared this quote with me after reading this testimony:
“If you have an embarrassing past you’ve gained victory over, don’t fear it. Paul had one too; instead of hiding his persecution of the church, he let God use it to bring Him glory. Some may have pointed, but more believed.”
Lord you’ve worked a miracle in my life. Don’t let me be shy in sharing what you’ve done.
Thank you for listening and may God bless you greatly today and the rest of the summer.
After sharing this, one of the cook's shared with me the journey she was taking with her daughter. She said my story really encouraged her and gave her hope as her daughter was not living at home at the time and was very young. I thanked God at that moment that I followed His leading in sharing my story because she may have been the only reason that I shared. Only God knows who my sharing really impacted. Later that day, a worker at the camp also approached me about the journey she had been taking before coming to camp and the wrong choices she had been making. Her and I spent time together talking and praying, she said my story really encouraged her. We still keep in contact with each other, I pray for her when I think of her and we are developing a friendship - she has been a real blessing to me. My niece had also been there with me that week as well looking after my 2 girls as I cooked in the kitchen. It was hard for me to share in front of her because I was revealing details of my life that she'd never seen before, it was very humbling. It was a step out of my comfort zone but God blessed me for it. My niece said things to me that really encouraged me and blessed me. I thanked God for her.
I hope this is an encouragement to you to share your life with others. God directs us in His word to bless others and share with them and encourage them. He always puts people in our lives that are going through challenges in their life that we've already gone through. So many times He's put people in my life that have gone through tough times that I'm going through or have gone through and they've always been such an encouragement to me and many of them have prayed for me. My prayer is that I can be an encouragement to others when I see them going through journeys that I've travelled through before. God is there, He will help you through your journey of life and He will send others to be there alongside you as well. Trust Him.
May God bless you today!
Sunday, August 21, 2005
The 2nd weekend of August each year is the Thickwood Hills Studio Trail in the Shell Lake, SK area. It consists of a self drive tour of various art and craft studios around Shell Lake. This brochure contains a description and a map to follow to the different studios. There is also a section in the Spirit of the Northern Lakes which contains the same info as the brochure. You could also check out the website at www.studiotrail.com
This year, 2005, was the first year that I joined up with this tour. At our house at Shell Lake, I set up my very first Photograph Art Studio. It was very exciting and I enjoyed meeting all the wonderful people (over 350) that took part in the tour. They had a great time meeting all of us on the tour and seeing all the unique works of art that are displayed. Refreshments are served at all the studios and the visiting is great! Be sure to check us out next year!
If you would like any more information, contact the website, anyone on the trail or myself by email.
The Spirit of the Northern Lakes is a magazine that contains information about all the lakes in the area between Blaine Lake to Prince Albert National Park and Prince Albert to Meadow Lake. It is distributed in these areas and is sent out from Spiritwood, SK.
In the 2005 issue, they have displayed a number of my photographs in the Shell Lake section of the magazine as well as my photo on the front cover which is of Memorial Lake, SK taken from on top of Memorial Hill. There is a memorial cross on top of that hill overlooking the lake which I have taken a number of pictures of in all seasons.
If you would like a free copy of this magazine, contact the 1-800 number on the front cover or contact me for more information.
Here is a sample of all the inspirational pocket cards (which are business card size) that I have available for sale. These are also available in greeting cards, various size prints and posters or canvas prints as well.
Please contact me for any additional information or to place an order.
Here are a sample of all the inspirational and regular greeting cards that I have available for sale so far. The inside is blank so that you are able to use them for any occasion. They are also available in various size prints or posters.
Please contact me for any additional info.
This was my first photo that I added scripture to and had printed onto canvas. I love this one! It's my favorite so far - it was very fitting for one of my favorite verses in the Bible.
I took this picture when I was in BC in February visiting my sister. I was there for a week. It was a wonderful time with her and the first time I had ever been on a plane out of the province. A couple of years ago I had the opportunity to go on a floater plane at Christopher Lake with some wonderful people but I had never been on a large plane. It was absolutely breathtaking!
BC has many eagles. I've seen them here in SK too and have taken pictures of them but I loved this one in the tree. It was just so fitting to add this verse from Isaiah. Putting the photo onto canvas just made the picture come alive.
A copy of this photographic canvas print is also hanging in my home church, Cornerstone Church, in Saskatoon displayed above the prayer altar in the sanctuary. It just speaks so clearly of the strength that we have in God, how when we "wait on the Lord we will soar on wings as eagles." What a picture of God's faithful strength that He gives us each day when we pray to Him. The strength, the power, the faith and trust that He gives us through prayer is like no other - no one can give us that but God. He did not put us on this earth to go through life alone, He is there with us each step of the way and our prayers to Him give us what we need each day to make it through the challenging and stressful times of life.
Various size prints of this are available for sale as well as canvas, blank greeting cards and inspirational pocket cards to pass on to encourage others. Please contact me for more info.
If you would like more information about Cornerstone Church, please check out the website at www.cornerstone-church.ca or contact them by email at email@example.com
This is a picture that tells me, and I pray tells others, that the cross is empty but the Son is Alive! That is my theme for this photo. Jesus is no longer on the cross - He is Alive! It is because of that empty cross that we have that confidence of living forever with the Lord if we have accepted Him as our Savior and Lord and are living for Him. Jesus has risen and because of that, we will live with Him forevermore in Eternity when our life on this earth is over. What a promise, what a blessed hope, what confidence of a better life after our lives here have ended.
This picture is hanging in our sanctuary at Cornerstone Church in Saskatoon over our communion table. It's a wonderful reminder of what our Lord has done for us. It is an honor for me to have this photo displayed in my home church.
If you would like to know more about our church, please check out the website at www.cornerstone-church.ca or contact them by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
This photo is available for sale on canvas, various size prints, and blank greeting cards. Contact me for details.
Saturday, August 20, 2005
When I was a young child, I felt different, felt in a sense that I didn’t belong in my family. Many times I didn’t feel wanted or felt I was in the way of everybody else’s lives. I was often told I was the most spoiled and never had to work as hard as everyone else had to. When my parents weren’t at home I would go through their bedroom hoping to find adoption papers so I could go and find my real family. Being the youngest of 7, the older 6 were born in 6 years and I came along 4 years later. My siblings were quite close to each other and went through many hardships growing up. I felt different from them, very apart from them. But God had and still has a purpose for me in my family. God had a purpose for me feeling the way I did. He has a purpose for every one of my siblings and my parents as well. It wasn’t easy growing up in my family. My mother has a mental illness and we never really understood it. Many wonderful aunts and uncles took care of us when we were small because my mother was unable to. I praise and thank God for how we were taken care of. I’ve treated my mother in horrible ways that have ashamed me greatly but we weren’t taught to respect her. There was no respect in our home for each other growing up or for our parents. We all left home at a very young age. I had very bitter feelings against my parents and often towards my siblings. But God had a purpose in each of our lives, including my mom’s. I’ve been told that I should not have been born, that my mother should not have had me. There’ve been circumstances in my life where I could’ve not been here or in my family, but God did not allow that to happen. He has a purpose for me!
Romans 8:28 says “we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose for them.” Everything to work together?? I’ve had a problem with that – I don’t always understand that. Not all good things have happened in my life, in my parents, my siblings, my friend’s lives or my husband’s life. Bad things happen and we get frustrated and don’t understand. But God is able to turn absolutely every circumstance around for His plan and purpose and for our long term good. He knew that all those things were going to happen in my past and He knew the outcome. So what is my purpose through that?? To have faith and to trust God. If I have faith as small as a mustard seed – the smallest seed on earth – that’s all the faith I need for God to move. But He’s shown me over the years to have a much greater faith and when I’ve had that faith, He’s moved mountains in my life.
I do have a good family, I love them all and I pray for them always. God has given me a great love in my heart for them. He has taught me to accept our differences and to appreciate the uniqueness of each of my siblings. But God also has a much larger family in mind for me – His family of believers. I have been adopted – not physically, but spiritually, into the family of God. It amazes me how God intertwines the lives of those who love Him. His Master Plan and purpose is far greater than I can ever imagine. Each day it seems He has me complete another piece of the puzzle of my life.
Life doesn’t happen without pain. God has never promised that life would be easy when you live for Him. The Bible teaches us that the more we live for Christ, the more hardships we may endure. But the more blessings we will receive as well. Wounds hurt and it takes much time to heal from a wound. Some are greater and some are smaller. But God uses those wounds in my life to create a more beautiful person in me. Personally, I’d sometimes rather do without the wounds and I pout and stomp my feet and ask, “Why did you let this happen God?” But He reminds me very quickly that life is not all about me. Life is about Him and all the people around me. Sometimes the wounds in my life have nothing to do with me but what God is working on in the lives of those around me. The pruning on me is to benefit others lives not only my own and at times I am only an instrument of purpose that God is using to prune the life of another.
I am often reminded of the story of Joseph in the Bible. His family never accepted him and a lot of bad things happened to him. He was wounded many times by other people. God had a wonderful plan in mind for him through all those wounds. Joseph relied on God’s strength to get him through some very hard times – years of hard times – and because of his trust in God, Joseph became better, not bitter. What a difference! To become better not bitter through the circumstances in my life, what a goal! God has been teaching me to say “Use me Father, use me and mold me” rather than whining and pouting “why me?” I read in my Bible this week, “wounds and adversities are often blessings in disguise.” How true! To see the tests in our lives as blessings rather than looking at them negatively is truly a gift from God.
God is so faithful! I’ve made so many stupid choices and dumb mistakes in my past – and I often still do. I’ve been so blind to His goodness and extremely selfish at times. My husband, Roger, shared a verse with me that really spoke to him of how he feels about his younger days – the verse really said it for me as well. Jeremiah 31:18-19 “You disciplined me severely, but I deserved it. I was like a calf that needed to be trained for the yoke and plow. Turn me again to you and restore me, for you alone are the Lord my God. I turned away from God, but then I was sorry. I kicked myself for my stupidity! I was thoroughly ashamed of all I did in my younger days.” The Bible is so real it’s amazing! This version (NLT) completely explained the way I feel about my past. God has been so faithful in fulfilling His Purpose in me and He never gives up on me. The worst thing I could do is to give up on myself, or the people around me. Of course that is what the enemy wants to happen – to see myself as a constant failure and to give up. But God promises to never give me any test beyond what I can bear. Any temptations that come my way He always provides a way out but my decision to flee from that temptation has not always happened. I am not strong and the enemy is much stronger than I am and when I try to do it on my own strength, I continually fail. But when I involve God and ask for His strength, He and I are much, much stronger than “he who is in the world” – the enemy the Devil. It has not been easy to forgive myself for the mistakes I’ve made in dishonoring my parents, not honoring God with my body or hurting those around me with words of fire coming from my mouth. But God is faithful and forgiving and when I have drawn on His forgiving mercy, He has helped me and taught me to forgive myself and others on a continual basis and to begin each new day He blesses me with to try again and to forgive again. God has always had a purpose through all the hurt and when I have trusted Him with His plan, He has blessed me far beyond I have ever imagined. His plan is always best, always! He sees the whole picture, the whole puzzle put together. He knows why I was born into the family I’m in. He knows why I had the childhood and teenage years I had and why I made the choices I did. He knew why I needed the wonderful husband that I have and had 3 beautiful children by C-section. He knows why and how I have to grow and learn from my selfishness and human sinfulness. He sees all the pieces to the puzzle of my life and has it all worked out into a grand, master plan. Each day can be so exciting to find out which piece I find next.
So, why would I not trust God and rely on His faithfulness when He promises to complete a good work in me? He is all knowing and present everywhere and He knows exactly what I need today and the experiences I need to go through to mold me into the person He wants me to be and to work me into His perfect, wonderful purpose and plan. My prayer each day is “God, I want to be in Your Will – that’s the best place to be – nowhere else.” That is my greatest desire – my goal in life – to fulfill the Will of God in my life. To seek His purpose for me is my faith journey.
Take me Lord, I will go, I will follow. The best place to be is in Your Will, Your Plan, Your Purpose - not mine. This is my desire, to follow You. Lord with all my heart I worship You. All that is within me, I give You praise, all that I adore, is in You. Lord I give You my heart, I give You my soul. I want to live for You alone. Every breath that I take, every moment I’m awake, Lord have Your way in me.
This last part of Hosea really spoke to me and touched my soul. It's taken from the notes for Chap. 14 verses 3-8:
Thursday, August 18, 2005
I love to photograph my kids. God has blessed us with 3 beautiful children whom we enjoy immensely. The top photo a took in 2000 in the basement of our home when I had just gotten my camera from my husband as a Christmas gift. The bottom photo I took of the kids by the train at the Shell Lake Museum in 2003. They've become very photogenic as their mom is always taking pictures of them. :) I thank God for them and I pray they will always seek God's will for their lives and follow Him.
This little one and I had a fun afternoon. We spent about 1 1/2 hours together and I shot a couple of rolls of film. I got a number of great shots and this one's my favorite. He posed oodles of times, and then it was like he said to me, "Okay lady, one more picture. How 'bout this one?" and he turned his head and looked right at me. Totally adorable! God's created so many animals for us to enjoy. I'll never forget this fella.
This framed photo, various size prints and blank greeting cards are available for sale. Please contact me for more info.
The picture of this fella was taken on Jan. 1/05 on our way up to Memorial Lake. He was sleeping in the tall grass during a snowstorm. My husband stopped on the road and while backing up told me to get my camera out. The sleepy deer put up his head and just watched me - didn't even budge. I got a couple of good shots of him before he sleepily stood up and jumped the fence and wandered away. I think God put him there just for me that morning. Beautiful! The kids were in awe. I was very thankful for being able to capture him so nicely.
This framed photo in barnwood, various size prints and blank greeting cards are available for sale. Please contact me for more info.
Hi! My name is Lisa Braun.
It's always been my desire to share God with others through my passion in photography. That dream is coming true.
I'm on a journey to use my photographs to make inspirational greeting cards, encouragement pocket cards, regular prints, poster size prints and canvas prints.
It's also been my desire to share what God has put on my heart over the years with others.
As you go through this site, my prayer is that you will be blessed, that God will work through what is on this site to be a blessing to others. I have been blessed to be a blessing and it is my desire to follow the Will of God in my life.