Jesus I need you

August 3, 2020

How are you all doing in the midst of the pandemic?  Summer is still in full swing and we are learning how to live and breathe and find life admidst the world’s uncertainty.  I know for myself, I find myself at times uncertain and alone in my thoughts.  At other times, I’m filled with a sense of togetherness and aware of the magnitude of God’s presence.  Today, with a moment’s breather, I’m struck by a profound reality.

Let me share… In John 8, we are introduced to the story of the blind man at the pool of Bethseda.   We read in verses 5-7:

“One man was there who had been an invalid for thirty-eight years.  When Jesus saw him lying there and knew that he had already been there a long time, he said to him, ‘Do you want to be healed?’  The sick man answered him, ‘Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up, and while I am going another steps down before me.”

Notice anything here?  The man came in contact with Jesus and shared how he wasn’t healed yet because no one helped him in the pool.  He infered that he couldn’t get healed because of the inability to get into the pool of Bethseda. What happened next?

We read on in verse 8, Jesus said to him, “‘Get up, take up your bed, and walk.’  Verse 9 And at once the man was healed, and he took up his bed and walked.”  Jesus healed him right there and then!

The man didn’t realize it but he needed Jesus, not the formula of getting into the pool.  He had been an invalid for thirty-eight years we read.  How long must he have waited at the pool of Bethseda we are not sure but it was for a very long time.  Jesus didn’t create a way for him to get into the pool.  He didn’t even refer to the pool at all.  By the command of Jesus, this man was healed.  He needed the healing touch of the Savior.

I don’t know about you, but in this pandemic, admist our move not yet a year ago, our career changes, our shifting changes of our family dynamic, I think sometimes I know the way forward.  But again and again, I am reminded that I need Jesus.  I need Jesus to show us the way, to point to us, to heal us, to guide us, affirm us and protect us.  

What are you currently facing that you need help in? Are you waiting in your suffering? My prayer is that Jesus would show you the way ahead. That you would experience Him leading you, guiding you, healing you and loving you. May your heart be free in this season to declare that you need Him.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=lKM-8CZRplI

Throw your net on the other side…

June 12, 2020

When I spend time searching for answers for our families’ questions in this season, I stumble across John 21 when after the resurrection, Jesus  reveals himself to the 7 disciples.  Remember, the disciples decided to go fishing and spent all night at sea only to catch nothing?

Jesus stands on the shore and encourages them to throw their net on the other side of the boat.  What happens next?  The disciples do this and the net becomes so full of fish, they can’t haul it to shore.  At that moment, when their empty net is full to overflow, they recognize Jesus.  They recognize Jesus.  That’s when we tend to recognize him.  Tough to recognize Him when the net is empty though. But here the disciples do recognize Jesus.  They then manage to get to shore and the net doesn’t break.  This was no small catch.  There were 153 fish in that net!

Jesus has a warm fire awaiting them on the beach.  He said “Come have breakfast.”  Come have breakfast. Can you imagine that invitation?

Here was their leader, their teacher alive and risen, and overwhelming their discouraged hearts with a miracle.  I would of been amazed that morning to be served breakfast by Jesus around the fire by the beach.  Served by Jesus. Filling my empty net.  This is the utter amazing aspect of Jesus – always aware of our humanity.  Sharing a welcomed meal with us.  Inviting us into the warmth of his presence.  That would of been a warm morning.  The sunrise occuring, the fire started and hope alive.  The empty net was full.  Stomachs were being filled.  The void off loss and despair would be replaced with love and joy, community and friendship.

We’ve been praying these days that our net will fill up.  It feels that so much change has come upon us that we need to pray this prayer.  For us with a massive move on all fronts for our family, followed by a pandemic has made for challenging times.  Have we felt the warmth of his presence?  The fullness of being provided for and the hope filling our emptyness?  We need the miracle of Jesus right now.  We need to hear his voice calling us from the beach.  We need to hear his instructions, guiding us to a full net.  We need to be aware of what side we are fishing on – and hear his voice instructing us which side to throw our net. We need to come to the beach of invitation, beauty, warmth and love.  We need him like never before.

❤️Jodi

The blessing….

April 3, 2020

We are away, hibernating during our daughter’s quarantine.  What a gift this is…snugged away on a mountainside overlooking a pristine lake in the interior of BC.  As I write, one of my kids is cooking dinner, the other playing keyboard.  Mike and I are madly studying – Mike more so even than me!  We take each day at a time here, fully aware of the issues we face when we leave. Housing, jobs, future just to name a few. Joseph, is in the UK studying the book of Luke.  It’s incredible that he can continue so far in his studies.  His blog is here: https://josephskipstown.wordpress.com/

My daughter Sarah taught me how to play a song that’s been ringing in my heart these past weeks during the covid pandemic.  What sparked an idea that I could learn some chords, was I felt like if I could reivent myself this year, despite how it’s completely depleted me of extra energy, surley I could learn some chords and for the first time play guitar alongside a favourite worship song.  Well, after a few nights, I have it!  (not mastered at all, but for some good prayer/worship time)

The words….the benediciton and then comes the climax…may His favour be upon you for a thousand generations and your children and their children….

https://www.google.ca/search?q=the+blessing+live+kari+jobe&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&hl=en-ca&client=safari

During this pandemic, some dear friends have had babies, others are planning weddings, only to have to postpone.  (babies come tho!)  But others of us, it’s unbelieveable parenting through this pandemic.  At times we can feel a little lost.  It reminds me of 9/11.  I clearly remember being 8 months pregnant with our third child when 9/11 happened.  I felt lost, and didn’t know how I would parent through this.  I questioned the world I was bringing another child into. Yet, God was faithful then.  And He’s faithful now.  If we are still long enough, we can taste more of His presence.  Let’s face it- this is gonna feel lonely. It’s gonna feel long. May He turn His face toward us and give us peace.  May we see Him at work in all the medical staff and professionals who risk their lives daily to fight this battle.  May we see Him at work in the ICU wards, healing people, helping people, seeing the world come together at such a time as this.

 

The desert

March 31, 2020
Self-isolation …

“Afterward, the Holy Spirit led Jesus into the lonely wilderness in order to reveal his strength against the accuser by going through the ordeal of testing.“

Something that struck me today was reading the words of Richard Rohr…

Regarding pain and suffering he writes, “we simply don’t have time for it. However, by trying to handle all suffering through willpower, denial, medication, or even therapy, we have forgotten something that should be obvious: we do not handle suffering; suffering handles us – in deep and mysterious ways that become the very matrix of life and especially new life.”

This may be a good season to reflect on Jesus’ time in the wilderness. Alone. Without his friends. Without family. Let’s lean into his time there to help us in our time here.

Praying for you all.

The impacts of Covid on our family… a Labun update 💕

March 20, 2020

I lift my eyes up to the mountains, where does my help come from? My help comes from you, maker of heaven, creator of the earth.

We pray for all of you this week as all of our worlds have changed and shifted and we all face different emotions and experiences. We pray that whatever you are facing, that you experience God’s peaceful presence bringing hope and love.

Sam after a hard long year of change was booked to go to the UK and The Netherlands and Wpg the week the global pandemic hit. It was going to be three weeks of adventure with his siblings and connection with friends. Now as the world hunkers down, Sam experiences social distancing in a year that has had isolation. But somehow through this we trust.

Sarah happened to be in Italy on outreach when the pandemic hit Italy. She went into quarantine in Amsterdam and then was able to rejoin her DTS. When I asked her how her four days of isolation were, she replied; “Glorious.” (She’s tested negative for covid)

Everyday this week new changes and decisions came upon us. Two days ago Sarah’s DTS closed and Mike quickly booked her to fly to Kelowna this Saturday. Sarah has used her life savings for this DTS. She adores community and was so looking forward to her outreach in South Africa and Israel. It’s all cancelled. So we wait and we trust.

Joseph so far will stay in the UK at his SBS and Mikayla will stay at her SBS in Amsterdam. Please remember them in your prayers.

My work continues with changes being made as less folks are able to physically come to the funeral home to make arrangements. My prayer is that we will see many healings during this pandemic. That many will turn to see Jesus, our healer and hope.

Mike and I continue to study as our exams are in three weeks! Our apartment gets smaller as Sam is home full-time along with Mike and soon Sarah!

Mike’s classmate however has offered Sarah some artistic space in his apartment down the hall as he has vacated for a few months. This is a HUGE answer to prayer in our 800 square foot space now for 4 of us. God is good.

It’s difficult for us to rest knowing that Mikayla and Joseph are so far away. The window for travel has lessened and the ability for us to quickly respond to them geographically is challenged. We trust, we hope, we wait.

Please pray with us for Sarah as she flies home Saturday. Pray for safety in the airports, planes and in customs. Please pray she’s allowed through with no issues. As we pray for Sarah’s safe arrival, I look forward to the prophetic songs that will birth forth from her during this time. As spring emerges in our earth, what song of hope will the Lord gift us with? We wait, we hope, we pray.

Send us any updates on you and your families!

Praying the peace of Christ over you. Let’s lean into Him like never before.

Forgotten

January 23, 2020

I’ve been musing lately about the curves in the road. Especially in Kelowna, there are twists and turns along mountain roads and until you turn the bend, you can’t see what’s ahead. Last night I went for a walk in the dark mist of the evening, following the curves and bends of the mountain roads.

Often our journeys can feel like a windy road. We can’t see ahead until we turn the corner.

Before we turn, it’s easy to feel despair, lost and without hope.

Jarius, in Mark 5:21-43, must of felt this. Jarius sought Jesus out, fell at his feet and begged Him to heal his 12 year old girl. (All in front of a large crowd). So Jesus went with Jarius. He went with Jarius. He went with Jarius. I love that! (He comes with us too). Hope must of been alive in Jarius. He must of felt alive. Feel familiar?

But then there’s a bend in the road, a turn and a moment in time when Jarius must of felt forgotten. Jesus stops to heal a woman who for 12 years had been bleeding. (same length of time as Jarius’s daughter was alive) Jarius must of felt panic. Fear. Absolute shock. Jesus was pausing in the midst of his urgency. Jesus stops to heal another. After Jesus heals this woman, there is word that Jarius’s daughter has died. This is where the lights must of went out for Jarius. Maybe many of us also relate and can feel like Jarius must of felt – forgotten, alone, without hope.

There’s been times in the last five months that the three of us here feel like our lights have gone out. Despair. Struggle. Alone.

But as many of us know, the story doesn’t end there. Just like all of us, our stories are not over. There will be a turn in the road, just like there was for Jarius. A time where Jarius didn’t know where the bend would take him. For us, there will be a light that will crash through our darkness. A moment that Jesus will say to us, just like he said to Jarius, “Do not fear, only believe.” Jesus went on to heal the young 12 year old. It must of been a joyful, miraculous moment in time for Jarius’s family and the surrounding community. Can you imagine?

Can you hear Jesus speaking to you in your struggle right now? “Do not fear, only believe.” What pain are you experiencing right now that you can fall at the feet of Jesus, like Jarius did? Who cares about the onlookers. Jarius didn’t care, nor should we. He has not forgotten us. He will come with us, just like “he went with Jarius.” And Jesus, in our moment of despair, will say, “Do not fear, only believe.”

Always faithful

January 1, 2020

youtu.be/O_y5IYildqU

As I look out my window this morning, I see a stream and a mountain. It reminds me of the scene we looked out each morning for the last 8 years on Glenwood Cres. I remember wondering what picture we would gaze at when we left Winnipeg. But in His faithfulness, we see otter, deer, birds …and of course joggers and bikers on the trail outside of our apartment.

We say good-bye to 2019…we feel this has been our toughest year yet! Yet in the midst of the changes, we see beauty and love all around us. God is good.

We said good-bye to Sarah on Monday. This was not easy! I was relieved that I was working so Mike could be the parent at the airport bidding Sarah farewell. I knew that my tears could get in the way of her new, exciting adventure! She’s now in the UK with Joseph and Mikayla and will soon travel to Amsterdam to begin her YWAM journey.

I continue to be stirred to see folks encounter the living God. I wonder how this will reveal itself in the months ahead. Every funeral I officiate, every family I encounter, I see glimpses of God’s kingdom breaking through. He is the only one who can bring us hope and light in our journey through life.

The move continues to bring challenges. Pray for Sam as his loss has felt acute as he’s left family, home, community, friends and soccer.

We celebrated New Years yesterday with old friends and new ones- what fun and joy to gather around the table to bring in the New decade together.

Much love to you all as you look ahead to hope and light in 2020.

❤️Jodi


Awake my soul to sing….

December 1, 2019

You taught my feet to dance upon disappointment and I will worship….

Listening to this today while taking in this gift of a sunset was spectacular. I began to pray for all of us feeling disappointed in parts of our season or seasons past. I’ve met a lot of folks this fall who are struck in loss they never imagined. For those folks I pray. For all you my friends who also have experienced loss, and disappointment in life. May the Saviours love crush some of this during this season. May He awake our souls to sing with His breath in us…He can take us and teach our feet to dance…

Chewy ❤️

November 30, 2019

Chewy brings us a lot of joy! She’s been the constant one to welcome us home to our little apartment each day.

We have our ups and downs here…the ups are that Sarah and I are thankful for our jobs! Sarah currently has 3 jobs – she plays music for seniors, teaches swimming to kids and works at toys r us. She’s gearing up to go to ywam in Jan in Amsterdam. In the meantime, she continues to bless the family by making evening meals for us and walking chewy!

My job is rewarding and full. It’s incredible to be able to serve families in one of the most sacred times in their lives. I know I am in the right place at the right time. After work, I have a heavy load of school work as a part of the apprenticeship. Currently I’m in over my head studying for an exam and finishing assignments.

Mikes load is over the top. He’s in a race that doesn’t let up…. we can’t wait to see him once his finals are done mid dec.

Sam is trying to adjust. We are taking this move one day at a time…

We love our little community @KVine. So delightful getting involved there and getting to know folks.

Mikayla and Joseph are loving their time at SBS in Amsterdam and Cambridge England.

More soon!

Miss you all…

Amazing welcome at work

September 28, 2019

For almost 10 days, folks at my new place of employment have been leaving me gifts at my desk…everyday!!

Last week they asked my favourite treat and today this was sprawled in the staff room…

All I can say is … grateful.