Saturday, January 12, 2008

The Truth Project Studies

WOW! WOW! WOW! We just finished our first week of The Truth Project study. It was hard to stop and not keep going with all the videos. :-)

We have about 70 people registered in 4 separate classes from now until the end of April. Each of them will be so blessed. God is going to use this project big time in our community and in our churches. It's so exciting to see the various churches that are represented by the people taking these studies. I know that God is already preparing the hearts of some of these people to take this study back to their homes, their communities and their churches to spread His Truths.

This morning, the verse that I started with today was this: "Send forth your light and your truth, let them guide me; let them bring me to your holy mountain, to the place where you dwell. Then I will go to the altar of God, to God, my joy and my delight." Psalm 43:3-4 NIV This is the bottom line truth - reality from God's perspective. Do I have this perspective - do you have this perspective? Do we see truth as reality from God's perspective? With all that the world bombards us with today, the enemies lies that keep us captive, what do we see? We are filled with lies everyday in our culture. Oh God, transform us with your truth. The lies keep us captive but the truth - your truth God, is what will set us free. I know how desperately I want to live in freedom and the only place to find that freedom is in God and in His Word, the Holy Bible, which is the source of our truth, the source of God's truth.

I know the enemy has been is fighting real hard for this project not to come to our church and community. The day that we brought it to our church was on a Sunday; we woke up hardly being able to move - our bodies had never been that stiff both at the same time before - both Roger and I were so incredibly sore. Then the dog had peed in his kennel - dogs never pee in their kennel - so we had clean up this kennel and bath the dog before we could leave for church which therefore caused us to be late. We had a potluck lunch that day for the kickoff and the dishwasher wouldn't work - the drain hadn't closed so it had emptied out the whole hot water heater in the church so we couldn't even wash the dishes right away. When we got home late that night, our van runner had been taken off - the demons must have had crowbars for that runner and the mud flap to come off cause there's no way that it would just come off on it's own. Then Roger's trying to fix it and he couldn't fix it alone so I had to climb out of my pj's and go help him in the garage at 11 pm at night. That's when I found out that our furnace wasn't working so we had to call a furnace guy at 11:30 pm at night. We didn't get to bed until 1 am in the morning. Do you think the enemy was throwing all sorts of things at us to get us discouraged and want to give up?? I think so.

So, then we come to the first week of the actual study. Well, I tell ya, something happened every day. :-) I just had to keep smiling because it didn't matter what was thrown at me, I was so looking forward to this study, I wasn't gonna let nothing keep me down - especially the devil. So, Sunday we start the study in the evening, but I can hardly move all day - my back and my legs had never been that sore before - I knew it was an attack. Wouldn't you know that after we started the study and prayed all together as a group, the pain eased up significantly. I had a terrible time finding babysitters for the Friday study with young moms - it was unbelievable. On Wednesday morning, when I was on my way to the study with our church staff, I had stopped to pick up capaccino's for them. I had asked a kind man to open my van door for me and as he was walking back to the store from my van, a truck that was driving onto the parking lot hit him. He wasn't hurt but they were both shaken up. The morning of another study, I was waiting at the church for 20 minutes before the doors got opened up and the TV didn't work so we had to use another one, causing me to become quite frantic that morning as well. Another morning of a study, my daughter forgot her homework and I had to bring it to school - causing me to be late for that study and my dog had been relentless in his troublemaking that first hour to get out of the house. :-) Many people that I had registered, had trouble getting onto the website and were getting quite frustrated. Those are just to name a few of the hindrances and attacks for the first week of the studies. Just the 1st week!!!!! But for those 70 people that had gone through the study this 1st week, they were blessed and they were filled with a hunger and a thirst and a desire for more of God's truth. Thank you God!! The enemy will fight hard, but God has already won! Amen!!

So, one of the biggest questions, that came out of this first study was this: DO YOU REALLY BELIEVE THAT WHAT YOU BELIEVE IS REALLY REAL???? Do you?? Do I? If I really believed that what I believe is really real then I would shake the world around me, would I not?? God help me to shake the world around me with your truths.

If you have gone through the Truth Project or are going through it, please leave comments as to how it has worked on your heart, what God has shown you through it. Feel free to check out their website and view the trailers. You can view the short one below.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

A Flash from the Past

The following is an article written by Jennifer Jacoby-Smith for the Living Light News

Photography dream comes into focus for former student

by Jennifer Jacoby-Smith

Many can recall an inspirational teacher from childhood. But few can say they in turn have inspired their teacher.
Six years ago Lisa Braun, her husband Roger and their three children returned to her hometown of Warman, Saskatchewan. While there, Braun picked up a calendar of prairie landscapes and noticed that several of the photographs were credited to Wayne Shiels.
Could this be her favourite teacher from grade six? she wondered. When she discovered Shiels still taught, she went to visit him and shared her own aspirations for photography, a long-time
hobby she was hoping to develop into more.
Shiels was impressed with her work and suggested she enter some of her photographs in a contest. “He really encouraged me,” says Braun. “He got my dream started.”
She received recognition for three of the five photos she entered, and since then her work has appeared in travel brochures and on local websites.
In 2006 Braun was asked by a local printing house to submit photos for a Saskatchewan calendar. This year, two calendars were designed with Braun’s photos, one featuring Scripture verses, a significant element for her.
Since becoming a Christian, Braun’s focus — in life and in photography — has changed. She sees her talent as a tool that God uses to bless others.
“In photography, people often ask me where I learned how to take photos and if I took classes and my answer is always, ‘God gave me a gift and I’m trying to nurture it.’ ” Her personal motto is “Capturing God’s beauty through photography.”
“God is everywhere in nature and I experience Him every time I’m out taking a photograph,” she shares.
Although Braun was raised in a Christian family, she rebelled and left home at age 15. “I made a lot of bad choices,” she admits.
Just before her senior year in high school she attended a Bible camp in northern Saskatchewan, and there she met God in a new way and committed her life to Jesus Christ. “I came to know who God really was. I found out that He was a God of joy. He wanted you to ... enjoy life.”
In her eye for a scenic prairie shot and in the everyday activities of life, Braun doesn’t believe events happen without purpose. “I don’t see anything as coincidence,” she explains. “It’s all God-incidence to me. Nothing is by chance or luck. He knows exactly what’s going to happen each second, each minute, and it’s all under His control.”
When her calendars were a few photos short, Braun’s elementary teacher came to mind and she decided to approach him. What she didn’t realize was how her request would impact Shiels, who had recently accepted Christ as his Saviour. Shiels had always believed in a Divine Creator. However, after enduring serious health problems and depression, he experienced what he calls “a darkness.” He recognized his need for the saving grace of Jesus Christ, and in 2006 he invited Jesus into his heart. “It is by the grace of God and the blood of Jesus that I am here,” he says.
“God gives us many gifts we are to use to glorify His name,” explains Shiels. “Lisa has shown me how photography can do this.”
Braun feels equally blessed. “A teacher who had inspired me, now years later tells me how much I have inspired him,” Braun says. “It blows me away!”
And just as teachers are encouraged when students realize their dreams, so years later Shiels marvels at how his former student’s photos continue to inspire him, and many others as well.
“It’s always been my dream but I never knew how to get started and I didn’t really believe enough in myself that I could do it,” Braun shares. “Well, now I know that I can ... but only with God’s help, never on my own.”
Shiels agrees. “It is rewarding to see Lisa’s passion and confidence grow,” he remarks. “She uses her God-given gift of photography to show God’s creation in ways that clearly speak to people.”

So that's the article. WOW! It continually amazes me how God works and moves around me and in me and through me to accomplish His Plan in and around my life. The following pictures were other fun photos that Wayne's daughter took for me and Wayne - they were fun to do. Great memories and keepsakes. I thank God for my teacher Mr. Wayne Shiels. :-) And for what He has done in Wayne's life and through his life and the impact he has had on so many students and adults. Thank you Wayne, my friend in Christ, I love you. May God bless you richly.