Tag Archives: heart

HAHFA – Heart Number 5

HAHFA  – Hands and Hearts for Africa

A few years ago my friend Fran Gray surprised me when she told me she planned to go to Africa on a mission trip. At that time the organization, Hands and Hearts for Africa, HAHFA, had a goal to fundraise for mosquito nets. This intrigued me and I wanted to know more. Since then I have kept in touch with this group and what they have been doing in Malawi, Africa.


Although this group is not a charity they have partnered with others. Here is there introduction.

Our desire is to partner and work in cooperation with two Christian organizations on the ground in Malawi -Emmanuel International and Prison Fellowship Malawi. We are like-minded Christ followers, connected by faith to serve Africans. We come from a variety of backgrounds and churches, but do not represent any one church or denomination. We are all volunteers and receive no remuneration.

I love that they come from different churches. I love that they work together to help communities in Malawi.

They have a Facebook Page and a website.

I know that as we open our hearts and become a generous people God blesses our actions. (tweet this)

Great gifts mean great responsibilities; greater gifts, greater responsibilities! (Luke 12:48, The Message)

Here are some pictures from their recent mission trip to Malawi.


fran-presenting-canadian-pins fran-with-village-chief saving-sawdust word-of-grace-church team-2016-hahfa smiling-kids sewing-machine-tailoring

Have you felt a pull on your heart? Do you want to learn more? Check out Hands and Hearts for Africa’s website. You can donate here.

Heart Message 3 – Heart for Church

My Heart for Church and a Linkup

I started to think about church this morning and all the different questions of why we attend church and how God speaks to me through church involvement. I want to show you my heart for Church.

My church experiences haven’t been without heartache and frustration. But during it all I never stopped going to church and God has been faithful to show me that indeed church is essential to my growth in Him.

My Home Church – Haliburton Unitedheart for church

In Haliburton, Ontario where we live, we attend a small church  (maybe 150 people total) in the village. It is a three pastoral charge which means that most Sundays our minister does three services starting at 8:30 am until about 1pm. We are the last stop on his Morgathon – yes that’s what we call it. Our minister’s name is Rev. Harry Morgan. Only if you have supplied for him would you know the energy it takes to do those services. As I followed Ali Matthews one Sunday when she supplied for Harry, although I didn’t do any preaching – I just greeted and set up and drove, I felt exhausted by 1pm.

Heart for church

Celebrating Communion and Canadian Thanksgiving

heart for church

Stained Glass Windows

Heart for church

Rev. Harry singing with the kids

heart for church

Contemporary Service

heart for church

Decorated Christmas tree

As you can see in the pictures above our church loves to decorate when we celebrate a season.

Once a month we have a contemporary service. Harry plays the guitar so it falls well into his gifts to do this. My hubby and I like the contemporary service. I am an upbeat person and the guitar (and sometimes drums) makes me feel alive. I sing the words and remember them. Our songs have many words taken from Scriptures and this is a good way to memorize God’s Word.

We have attended Haliburton United since 2004 after we moved to the village. As a Bible-based church we focus on God’s Word and our motto is “To Know Christ and Make Him Known”.  My knowledge of the Bible has increased exponentially since we have been going there. Harry encourages us to read and study God’s Word daily – and I do.

What else do I like about our church?

We are community based – we house an Adult Day Care; an Outreach program for moms; we have community dinners, and choirs practice under our roof. We run 2 Bible studies as well.

Our minister holds “Bible Beer and Burgers – BBB” once a month in a restaurant in town bringing people in who won’t necessarily attend church, to ask questions and talk on a certain topic. Everyone is welcome to attend.

Harry also tapes his sermons. You can listen to them here.

Our New Church In Arizona – Via Church

heart for church

Then we leave town in October and head to Arizona. We have attended a number of churches down here over the past 6 years. We haven’t found the “right” one yet. But we are attending a lovely church that might be the “right” one. It is called Via Church. This Sunday we will join a group called Merge to find out more about this church. We enjoy the music and the teachings have been very thorough and pointed about reading God’s Word every day. This church’s goal focuses on reaching out to the community and getting Christ into the community. They are a much bigger church than we are used to in Canada, so it’s hard, as Snowbirds, to get connected. I will be working on it this winter – to actually get connected.

The Pastor also tapes his services. You can see and hear them here.

I attend church regularly because I have a heart for church (tweet this)

In both churches I love the praise and worship time. As we sing to God I feel that I can see Him smiling and saying, “Well done”.

It was Jesus’ habit to attend the synagogue regularly so I know that it must be important.

You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart (Jeremiah 29:13, NIV).

What are your feelings about church? Does church warm your heart? Do you have a heart for church? (tweet this)

Today is Word of God Speak – LINKUP

Heart Message Two

Heart Message Two

Last week I told you what had been on my heart since publishing The Kingdom of Thrim. This week I have written about another heart message.

Heart message

What’s on your heart? Does God give you heart messages? He certainly does talk to us. Last week I told you one heart message. This week is number 2.

Today I want to tell what has been on our hearts (my hubby and myself) for about 4 years. While in Arizona 4 years ago, my hubby read an article in the Arizona Republic newspaper about a charity that helped single moms get an education and become a contributor to society, as well as becoming healthy (mentally, physically and nutritionally), learning about money and studying basic parenting skills. It is called Helping Hands for Single Moms.

After much research we decided to approach CRA (Canada Revenue Agency) to get a charity license. With effort and patience we registered Haliburton Assistance for Single Parents, known as HASP. We established a Board and we began to seek clients. Unlike the program in Arizona, our charity’s focus helps single parents (not just moms).

But, progress was very slow. Much prayer and patience ensued. Then 2 years ago we had our first application. A young mom of 2 desperately needed assistance. She was attending a college in North Bay on line but was having trouble meeting payments  for her rent, her utilities and her food. She had also maxed out her credit card as well she owed money to others. Winter had arrived and she needed wood to fill the stove.

Since she joining HASP, she has finished her schooling with a diploma in Recreation Therapy, obtained a job and become very good at watching how she spends her dollars. She has paid off all debt except for her student loan and car which she is paying off now. She is saving for a house as well. We are extremely proud of her accomplishments.

heart message

I love how God gave us this heart message.

This fall we had our second client – a middle-aged man with kids who needed help to obtain a skilled trade license. He starts his program soon.

We are thrilled the way God has worked through our Board, helping each of us learn new skills, watching great accomplishments of our clients and praying for our next client.

Take delight in the Lord,
    and he will give you the desires of your heart (Psalm 37:4, NIV).

If you are interested in helping HASP, you can find our website here.  We are a registered Canadian charity. Donations can be made by mail or through Canada Helps. See the HASP website for more details.

What is HASP? How can you help? #myHaliburtonHighlands #charity. (tweet this)

Today is Word of God Speak.

How is God speaking to you this week? Join us.

Lord I give you my heart

Creative Tuesdays – Lord, I give you my heart.

With the prompt of “heart” I immediately thought of the song, Lord I give you my heart. Find out more about my faith story.


Lord I give you my heart 2

Today is Creative Tuesdays. Our prompt was:

Home is where the heart is” and “Love will guide you home.” So, for our next theme, I’d like you to add a drawing of a heart that is either depicted like it’s floating or in the air or perhaps on something that’s in the air. (Michael from Creative Tuesdays)

I have been taking a pencil crayon course. So I tried my watercolour pencils today for a little sketch. Not thrilled with the shading or colours but you get the idea. I’m going to try this one again. I used charcoal paper too when I should have used watercolour paper. Back to the drawing board for me.

Here is the picture with just the watercolour pencil crayons. At the bottom of the hand you can see how I started to apply the water with a brush.

Lord I give you my heart

Psalm 17:3 says:

Though you probe my heart,
    though you examine me at night and test me,
you will find that I have planned no evil;
    my mouth has not transgressed

I’m hoping that is so. Sometimes I do have to think back over my day if I am struggling to get to sleep.

Is there something I said, or did? Is there something I omitted doing?

When I “gave my heart” to Jesus, I meant it – very strongly. I meant that I would follow Him, that I would do what He said, where He led.

Since that time, I have really been challenged. I took 5 mission trips to Poland. I started a blog. I started painting. I published a children’s book. I am now podcasting once a week. I really meant it when I said I would do as He asked when I gave Him my heart.

Have you given your heart to Jesus? If you are interested in my faith story check it out. (tweet this)   My Faith Story.

Here are some other scriptures of how you can say, “Lord I give you my heart”:

We are to LOVE with all our hearts (Deuteronomy 6:5)
We are to SERVE with all our hearts  (Deuteronomy 11:13)
We are to OBSERVE with all our hearts (Deuteronomy 26:16)
We WORK with all our hearts (Nehemiah 4:6)
We SEEK with all our hearts (Psalm 119:2)

My favourite has always been:

Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me.

One of my favourite songs:

This is My Desire –  Lord I give you my Heart – sung here by Michael W. Smith.

Download my free ebook Living Life One Word at a Time.

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Living Life One Word at A time by Janis Cox


I shared this with Grace and Truth Linkup – @Arabahjoy

Can Prayer be a Single Word?

Can Prayer be a Single Word?

by Stephanie Nickel


Anyone who knows me, knows I like to talk . . . and talk and talk and talk. I do try to speak only when I have something I feel will add to the conversation – most times, at least.

However, words often seem inadequate when approaching the Throne of Grace. What can I tell the Almighty that He doesn’t already know? What can I ask of Him that He does not already know I need? What eloquence can I use to impress the Creator of all that exists?

Though scripture after scripture urges us to pray without ceasing and persevere in our asking, sometimes the best approach is simply to summarize our heart’s cry.

Below is a list of one-word prayers that sums up how I’ve felt at different times.


Several times a day, the following two words should emerge from my lips . . .

Thank You

And finally, another two words that are meant as 100 percent submission to His will and His ways . . . In saying them, attitude is everything.

Whatever, Lord

This week the topic of persistence in prayer seems to keep reoccurring. Here are a few more articles about being persistent in prayer.

The Power of Perseverance

Widow – Speak by Rev. Harry Morgan (a video)

Persistent Pray-ers by Violet Nesdoly

Steph Beth Nickel

Headshot 1 Stephanie 2013

Steph Beth is a wife of over 30 years and the mother of three grown children. Steph’s eclectic interests include writing, editing, fitness, and childbirth (she is also a labour doula).
Steph’s was honoured to co-author former Paralympian Deb Willows’ memoir. Living Beyond My Circumstances is scheduled for release at the end of November 2013.
Steph edits for Christian Editing Services under the leadership of Karen Burkett. She is a long-time member of The Word Guild and a recent member of InScribe Christian Writers’ Fellowship.

Steph blogs at Steph’s Electic Interests. Her new author website, Steph Beth Nickel , is a work-in-progress.


Simply Saturday

Resource for Canadian flag http://www.webweaver.nu/clipart/canada-day.shtml

The Three H’s by John Maxwell (Wednesday, June 29, 2011)

I have been receiving daily one-minute messages on video by John Maxwell. His snippets of wisdom can really start my day off well.

Watch this:

Today’s (Wednesday) word is COMMUNITY.

In a nutshell John Maxwell says that no matter where we are or where we live, or what circumstances we are in, people respond to three things:

  1. Heart – showing love to one another – and a faith community can do that
  2. Humour – even in different cultures people love to know that you are enjoying yourself with them
  3. Hope – this is what helps us to keep going – press on in our faith. We look forward to our future.

Please watch the video. John says it so much better than I can write it down.

And join his community where you can get his one-minute messages every day.

Do you agree with his message? I know that when I head to Poland on a mission trip in the middle of July I will be holding on to this message. It is exactly what we have been told to remember.

Blessings and Happy Canada Day – yesterday, July 1.



Heart of the Matter

by T. L. Wiens

It is amazing how the similar words from two different people can lead two very different directions. King Saul and King David are a perfect example of similar words, different heart.

In I Samuel 15, Saul has disobeyed the command of the Lord. Instead of destroying everything during a battle against the Amalekites, Saul saves some of the spoils as well as bringing King Agag back alive. Samuel confronts Saul for his disobedience. Then in verses 24-25, we have these words. “I have sinned, for I have transgressed the commandment of the LORD, and thy words: because I feared the people, and obeyed their voice. Now therefore, I pray thee, pardon my sin, and turn again with me, that I may worship the LORD.”

David gets himself in a bad way when he sleeps with another man’s wife. We all know the story of what happens next—David has Uriah killed and takes Bathsheba as his wife. The sin is hidden or so David thinks until he’s confronted by Nathan. In II Samuel 12, we have David’s reaction to his sin. Verse 13a says; “And David said unto Nathan, I have sinned against the LORD.” (In Psalm 51, you can find a longer confession and repentance.)

Both Saul and David confess they have “sinned against the Lord” but God’s reaction is very different. The Spirit leaves Saul and he is rejected by God. David finds mercy. What was the difference? As you read on, it becomes clear that these two men have a very different heart reaction. Saul says the right words but there doesn’t seem to be any sincerity in them. David is truly sorry for his actions and when his son dies, he accepts God’s judgment.

How easy it is to say the right words at the right time! I’m sure both David and Saul found themselves with few options. And if we didn’t have the results in the Bible, we may say these two men did the exact same thing.

It is so important to remember words are only words if they don’t come from the heart. God sees the heart.