its not fair…

4 Feb

Saying “it’s not fair” has caused many a girl to toss aside what she knows is right for the temporary thrill of whatever it is that does seem fair. But the next day the sun will rise as it has a habit of doing each day….

Guilt floods her body.
Questions fill her mind.
Self-doubt wrecks her confidence.
And then comes the anger. Anger at herself. Anger at the object of her desire. Anger even at a mighty God who surely could have prevented this.

It’s not fair that others can have this, do this, act this way.
It’s not fair that God won’t let us eat the fruit of the tree in the middle of the garden … one little bit wouldn’t be so bad right?
It’s not fair that I can’t buy that new things I not only want but really feel I need. Just a little debt wouldn’t be so bad, right?
It’s not fair I have this body that requires I watch everything I eat when that girl eats junk and stays a size four. One piece of cheese-cake wouldn’t be so bad, right? ….Our flesh buys right into Satan’s lie that it’s not fair for things to be withheld from us. So we bite into the forbidden fruit and allow Satan to write “shame” across our heart. 

Excerpt from “Made to Crave” page 100 by Lysa TerKeurest.

I certainly have chanted the mantra, “it’s not fair”, have you?

Temptation loves to disguise itself as smooth and harmless. “You deserve it! You’ve been working hard! One taste won’t hurt!” Where is obedience? Where is trust in God’s strength? Where is clinging to the Holy Spirit in the midst of your pity-party? O Lord, let me trust you and not my divided deceptive weak heart.

what are you looking at?

8 May

“The gaze of the eyes determines the focus of our worship.”

“We all worship something. … Whatever we worship, we will also obey”


26 Apr

What do you do when you are discouraged?

humility: a friend with benefits

25 Mar

Have you ever been surprised to find yourself thanking God for something?  Maybe it was with a sigh, you breathed, “Thank you God I’m not feeling well today so I can sleep.”  But what about a time you were thankful for a great loss, or heart-break?

I found myself thanking God for breaking my life and heart over the hard edge of exhaustion and depression – a prayer I only paid lip service to until now. “Thank you Jesus for humbling me.”

The picture of humility as a friend with benefits swarmed my imagination this morning.  I was reading along with Beth Moore in “Breaking Free” on the topic of pride when she asked,

“Do you see pride as an enemy?”

Pride extinguishes and destroys our journey to freedom in Christ. It is evil (Prov 8:13), it leads us to shame (Prov 11:2), conflict (Prov 13:10) and destruction (Prov 16:18) yet all the while, pride covers its face, claiming friendship, security and blessing. Pride says, “I am strong, and untouchable.”  It teaches you to have secrets, to hide weakness, to take no counsel, to cover up the past and deny there are problems. Pride deceives you (Obadiah 1:3).

Do you view pride as a vicious enemy?

What about humility? Beth asked,

“Do you view humility as a friend?”

“Often our society reviles biblical humility as a sign of weakness. Nothing could be further from the truth.  Being filled with pride is easy. It comes naturally.  Humility takes a supply of supernatural strength that comes only to those who are strong enough to admit weaknesses.”1

When I think back over the last three years, I am beginning to see the many benefits of such a painful experience.  In the darkest days, my only thought was, “I can do nothing”.  Nothing like the reality of complete inability to make you wrestle with a truth you may have paid lip service to for years, “God does not require your strength or service, He loves you”, but that is a reflection for another time.  Today’s pondering exposed how this experience taught me to humble myself before other people. The way it taught me to say, “I have nothing to give”, “I am hurting”, “I am lonely”, and “I need help”.

It is true, you can not know the sweetness of grace unless you need it.

Humility before one another, and before God brings the sweet fruit of grace.  And in that way, humility is a true friend. Humility ushers in grace in heaps.

These are the benefits I found myself rejoicing in today as examined my friend humility:

  • acceptance
  • warmth
  • care and concern
  • trust
  • freedom from performance
  • wise counsel
  • soulful connection
  • love
  • liberating grace

And that is a true friend.  A friend, who surprized me today, when I honesty prayed, “Thank you Jesus for humbling me.”

What has been your experience with the destructive and deceiving nature of pride or with the sharp but gentle friend named humility?

1. Beth Moore, Breaking Free. “Week Three: The Obstacle of Pride”

ministry update

22 Mar
The Ministry Adventures of Terra Leavens
Serving with Campus for Christ, Canada
In this episode:
  • personal thoughts on darkness
  • updates on the Reading Week Project
  • exciting news about Sept 2011 & Glasgow, Scotland
  • prayer requests

“Even the darkness is not dark to You”

Two weeks ago I started a video based bible study called “Breaking Free” by Beth Moore. I am delighted by the insights, reminders and challenges it is bringing into my life and soul.  Today’s homework brought me to Psalm 139:7-12 where I was reminded that God’s presence is constant in my life. Especially in view of the trials of the past few years I was blessed to read,

“If I say, “Surely the darkness will overwhelm me, and the light around me will be night,” Even the darkness is not dark to You, and the night is as bright as day, Darkness and light are alike to You”.

I was reminded that as I go through storms and trials Christ is with me in the darkness. His love is strong and though it might not always be palatable I can know that He is with me.
In what ways does the reminder of Christ’s constant presence give you comfort and courage?

(Spring Moon, March 20, 2011, Toronto from Daily Dose of Imagery)

Updates & Up Coming

Scotland Project 2011

As one of the Partnership Directors for our ongoing international partnership with the United Kingdom I am pleased to report that God continues to be moving in this partnership blessing both us as senders and the UK as receivers.  First I share a short letter from Ross & Kat the directors of Student Life (Campus for Christ) in Glasgow on the results of receiving our 5th Reading Break Project. Second I will share some updates on the next steps in this partnership.

Dear friends of Campus for Christ,
We are writing on behalf of your sister ministry, Student Life Glasgow to offer a heartfelt thanks for the prayers and financial giving with which you helped make our recent Canadian Spring break project possible. Thanks to you we received more than double the number of Canadian students compared to the same project this time last year. (my note: actually this is the largest project we have ever sent in one week!) Thanks to you we had an unbelievable week of gospel ministry here in Glasgow. Our movement here in Glasgow is young, less than two years old, and many of our students have until now only had a mental picture of what our movement could look. Your students arrived and gave them a walking, talking demonstration of a student movement committed to sharing the gospel with every student possible, in word and deed.

Thanks to your support we have seen more students come to faith in one week, than in the entire period of our ministry so far in Glasgow (*7). Your Canadian students rode roughshod over a climate of massive apathy and resistance to Christ, and they did it with their faith, hope, love and more joy than we knew what to do with. Our partnership with Canada has become a vital plank in building our movement in Scotland. Thank you sincerely for making it possible for the student/staff you supported to be a part of what God is doing here in Scotland.
Yours sincerely, Ross McCall & Kathryn Dray
Campus Directors, Student Life Glasgow

Read more about the project & learn more about Agape UK here.

STINT 2011 (Short Term International)

STINT stands for Short Term International and is a way for students graduating in our movement and current Campus Staff to give 1 to 2 years of their lives to full-time campus ministry in an international context. In 2008 we sent our first STINT team to Edinburgh, Scotland of which I was the team leader.

This year, we will be sending our second team to the UK to integrate with the local staff in Glasgow, Scotland.  In partnership with the local leadership we will seek to “let Glasgow flourish by the preaching of the Word”.  I am very excited that God continues to answer our prayers to help the UK establish a lasting and effective movements of evangelism, while increasing Canadian students heart for the world. So far, this team consists of a young married Staff couple from Calgary and Joyce Hoogenboom who was on my STINT team in Edinburgh. A few others are in the application process.

Prayer Requests:

  • Coaching – I will be coaching this team as it prepares to go overseas. Pray for wisdom, a calm heart and great connections with the team.
  • Team Formation – Pray for a few more individuals to be accepted to the team to round it out, and for the team to begin bonding.
  • Arrival & Set Up Details – Housing, Support, Team bonding, Cultural Adjustment… you know the drill.

Prayer Items


Thank you so much for your prayers on my behalf as I have struggled this past year to reconcile my love for my new team and role and my need to be in Toronto health-wise.  I have struggled a lot with the desire to be closer to my team (in Guelph,ON) but with the intense feeling that moving to this small family town would prove to be a step backward in my recovery from exhaustion.  After much deliberating and prayer I have determined that as a next step I should pursue moving to North-West Mississauga. This will allow me to remain in the Great Toronto Area, attending church and maintaining my social network, but put me within a 45 minute commute to our Guelph office. So thus begins the hunt!

Pray with me:

  • The Place: in my ideal location, within my budget, with natural light & local amenities
  • To Roommate or not to roommate: Should I seek out a new roommate? Who would this be?
  • A replacement for me in my current apartment: My current roommate, Aban wishes to stay in our place and so I have agreed to help find a roommate to fill my spot. Pray for the right person and the right timing.
  • Timing: I am hoping to move by June 1.
  • Finances. Moving costs money :) and I am anticipating an increase in my car insurance and possibly monthly rent.

Thanks for reading & for your prayers,
Since you are already here, why not leave a comment?

In what specific way are you waiting on God today?


a short thot on revival…

16 Sep

A couple of weeks ago at Rexdale, Sunder shared a message entitled, Jesus the Spirit Baptizer. It was to take us firm in hand and shake us.  We need the Spirit, “for when the Spirit comes, He redefines normal”.  When I read the following quote in my devotional book this morning I was reminded of the sermon.  Perhaps they will be an encouragement to you.

Are you satisfied with the condition of the Church? Are you satisfied with your own condition? You, who believe the truth, you who are evangelical, you who are not a liberal in your theology. That is good, but is that enough? What is our spiritual state and condition in reality? How do we feel when we read the experiences of those apostles, the Apostle Paul and others? Can we say honestly, with him, that we are in a kind of sate of tension, saying That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings… not as though I had already attained… forgetting those things which are behind… I press toward (Philippians 3:10-14)? Do you feel the tension, the concern, the stretching, the pressing on? How much do we know of that? Can we honestly say that we rejoice in the Lord Jesus Christ with a joy unspeakable and full of glory? Can we say with Paul that to us to live is Christ, and to die is gain? That we might be with Christ; which is far better…. Now these are the ways in which we are to test ourselves. There is no hope for true prayer and intercession for revival unless we realize that there is a need. Is all well with us? Can we be satisfied? Can we sit back and fold our arms and say “Things are going marvelously, look at the reports.” Are we like the Israelites at this point, or are we like the Laodiceans saying that we are rich, that we have abundance, that all is well with us, and failing to realize that we are poor and wretched and blind? May God give us grace to examine ourselves, and be honest with ourselves…. My dear friends, the first step is that you and I have to realize these things. We have to be pulled up by them, to begin to think about them, to become concerned about them and have a deep awareness of the position as it is.

Revival by D. Martin Lloyd-Jones, copyright 1987, pages 154-155. Good News Publishers.

Protected: september ministry update

14 Sep

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