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Testament (Feb)

Our monthly prayer corner has taken a new life! Say hello to Testament, our monthly journal which features storytelling on how we love and grow together. For an introduction to Testament, please click on the link below. Take a read of the inaugural February issue on “Joy” written by Kathy J. at the link below.

Joy written by Kathy J.

Your pupils dilate and your heart starts to race, as the perceived threat engages a cascade of automatic bodily reactions. Even when the trigger is not personally life-threatening, our reaction can be uncomfortable, so we often choose our preferred, well-worn response to return us to a calmer state. For many of us, we choose C O N T R O L.

Control by another name – “being responsible”, “taking initiative”, “good planning”- are praise-worthy and serve us well. But control also goes by many other names, not all of them so good, that seem obvious when judging others, and less clear when viewing in ourselves. The form of control we take is unique to us. It is spawned through our formative experiences, motivations, and belief system (what we believe is true or should be true, tints our reality or the reality we insist on.) Is there such a place where surrender of control, peace and joy, truly thrive?  

This month, I am grateful to have spent time with a dear community member, considering scripture, talking, and praying.

Psalm 51 (The Voice, select verses) 

1 Look on me with a heart of mercy, O God,
    according to Your generous love…

… You long to enthrone truth throughout my being;
    in unseen places deep within me, You show me wisdom.

Help me hear joy and happiness as my accompaniment,
    so my bones, which You have broken, will dance in delight instead.

10 Create in me a clean heart, O God;
    restore within me a sense of being brand new.

12 Give back to me the deep delight of being saved by You;
    let Your willing Spirit sustain me.

God confronts us with His love. The structure of our lives, we see as essential in our being, He lovingly breaks.  What has served us well, left unrefined, has also damaged us. God has a better way than the bones of C O N T R O L.

“What if… “ is a wonderful phrase to begin our wonderings with – wonderings that are wanderings into streets of gold in a different place. What if, what was accidental or incidental is actually intentional? What if what is accidental or incidental is a gateway to my joy?

She tells me of a time, traveling on the Canada Line with the wrong frame of mind, going to volunteer. Unexpected meetings on the transit platforms before and after, serendipitously bring to mind an image of taking a journey through a dark tunnel. Though the way may be dark, and it may last for quite some time, God knows its beginning and when it will end. God assures, that he will be with her through every shifting shadow.

Over time, the details of the tunnel experience, are watercolor washed-over in meaning. Instead of just facts they are figures pointing to a process that God is taking her through. God wants her to speak to Him about where C O N T R O L comes from, what surrender means at this point in her life, and how the return of joy could be her lived road of faith. She doesn’t have the words yet, it’s still early in the exploration, and she is reluctant to dig up the past. But God is gentle and His timing is just right.

During winter break, there was another image that took hold – one of a bridge, named Control, and Jesus asking her to cross. I am touched to the heart, when she says He isn’t on the other side calling her to come. He is right there with her, walking in tandem. What if the bridge of control is just a mirage? What if holding His hand in ease, is all you need to feel secure, to not just progress and process, but learn to fly?

In all honesty, sometimes she can’t sing the lyrics, “I surrender all”.

And then Pastor Jackey encourages us to live in the round rhythms of abiding in God, through worship and actively obeying Him; in a circular movement that builds within us a stable knowledge of how to (Matthew 6:34) “not worry about tomorrow. But to let tomorrow worry about itself. Living faithfully is a large enough task for today.”   

She is right you know. Worry and control are thieves. J O Y, falls silent as snow in its stead. As we yield control, may God grant her and all of us, his deep delight.

For your eyes, ears and hearts to meditate on: a poem, a piece of art, and a song.

I dwell in Possibility –
A fairer House than Prose –
More numerous of Windows –
Superior – for Doors –

Of Chambers as the Cedars –
Impregnable of Eye –
And for an Everlasting Roof
The Gambrels of the Sky –

Of Visitors – the fairest –
For Occupation – This –
The spreading wide my narrow Hands
To gather Paradise –

By Emily Dickinson

CityAlight – Your Will Be Done (Live) (youtube.com)

Brought to us at Sunday Service on January 21, 2024 by Charlotte Choi

Your will be done, my God and Father
As in Heaven, so on Earth
My heart is drawn to self-exalting
Help me seek Your kingdom first

As Jesus walked, so I shall walk
Held by Your same unchanging love
Be still my soul, O lift your voice and pray
“Father, not my will but Yours be done”

How in that Garden He persisted
I may never fully know
The fearful weight of true obedience
It was held by Him alone

What wondrous faith to bear that cross
To bear my sin, what wondrous love
My hope was sure, when there my Saviour prayed
“Father, not my will but Yours be done”

When I am lost, when I am broken
In the night of fear and doubt
Still, I will trust in my good Father
Yes, to one great King I bow

As Jesus rose, so I shall rise
In ransomed glory at the throne
My heart restored
With all Your saints, I sing
“Father, not my will but Yours be done”

As we go forth, our God and Father
Lead us daily in the fight
That all the world might see Your glory
And Your Name be lifted high

And in this Name we overcome
For You shall see us safely home
Now as Your church, we lift our voice and pray
“Father, not my will but Yours be done”

And in this Name we overcome
For You shall see us safely home
Now as Your church, we lift our voice and pray
“Father, not my will but Yours be done”

Father, not my will but Yours be done
Father, not my will but Yours be done

Songwriters: Rich Thompson / Jonny Robinson