Tag Archives: Thanksgiving

Prophetic Words

Dear Friends and Family:IMG_2497

To have people pray over you as they are being led by the Holy Spirit is a life giving experience. The words they say often go deep into our hearts and resonate in our minds. Where do the words come from, which just remain with one, as if they dropped out of heaven? That is exactly where they come from. The Holy Spirit is speaking.IMG_2614

That just happened to Michael and the word given was that he would be ‘winsome’ to draw people to the Lord.

He had to find a Merriam-Webster dictionary to define ‘winsome’, it was not a word he was familiar with, as ‘generally pleasing and engaging often because of a childlike charm and innocence,’ some words related to winsome were listed as, ‘hopeful, optimistic, rosy, animated, lively, sprightly, vivacious and beloved.’

He recognizes these are aspects of his personality which he can have when fully activated in a leadership role but quite often take a back seat in day to day life. The child like nature can be a sword that cuts through pride, fear and unbelief and the activation comes through the presence of the Holy Spirit.IMG_2583

 

We all need words of encouragement spoken over us, whether it is a prayer situation or while we wait for a bus. We know the tongue has the power to build up or destroy. What is spoken over us as children can affect us our whole lives. Working with people who are homeless is an opportunity to speak good words into their lives no matter how brief the interaction. Just asking ‘How are you doing today?’ is a recognition of their humanity and a bridge to normality. If they have been sleeping on the streets their priority is food, the chance of a shower and to get their clothes washed. The material provisions we take for granted; a bed, shelter, food, washrooms and clothes are essential for everyone. But just as significant is a good word spoken into their life, a word of encouragement and of joy. After all Jesus Christ called us ‘beloved’, and he was talking to all of us.

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So when you see homeless person put on that ‘childlike innocence’ that can cut through fear and remember they are also the beloved.

We have the perfect example when God spoke over Jesus Christ encouraging words, [Mathew 17:5]

He was still speaking when, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him.”  IMG_2600

Christine has had a busy month giving a talk to the Church of the Redeemer about icons and what is happening with iconography around the world. She has also had a commission to write a large icon of St Patrick for a church near Palm Beach. She had a wonderful meeting with the priest of the church and several members showing initial drawings and discussing aspects of St Patrick’s life and ministry. The Celtic way of evangelism through building relationships with people and inviting them to come alongside the Christian life was modeled by St Patrick. This is a very wonderful commission for Christine and her heart is really in it.IMG_2650

Michael’s new book, City Green: Public Gardens of New York, will be published in March and he is excited to see it out.  IMG_2607

Please keep us in your prayers and let us know how we can pray for you.

Sending you love and prayers,

Christine and Michael

Mick’s Photography site      Christine’s Icons    American Association of Iconographers

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God is Always Good

Sometimes that is difficult to believe. Especially if we think God is responsible for everything that happens. Bad things definitely do happen so by the above premise, God can not always be good.img_4822

However, God wanted us to have free choice so much, so we are able to choose to love Him without manipulation or litigation, that He choose to not control everything that happens.

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When a grandparent holds an infant baby close to them, the two hearts come together. Trust, fellowship and love flows between the two; the two hearts come together. Both very different in experience and knowledge of life but they come together with the bond of love. One can feel the love flowing between the two independent lives- God given lives loving each other.

Mick Hales photo
photo by Mick Hales
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Photo by Mick Hales

America has just gone through a very divisive election which has even further polarized an already divided nation. The two hearts of this nation could not be further apart. There is no love flowing between the two sides and there certainly is no fruit of the Spirit evident from the candidates. The Christian community is pitched, one against the other, claiming one candidate or another was God’s person. We are in a divided house and it will not stand. The winner is divisiveness itself, the fruit of which is division.

Despite this God is still love, and we are still called to love our neighbors as ourselves. The extraordinary thing about democracy is, we are called to accept a change of leadership through love, to have it work we need to accept the change with love. We have to work together as a nation and as a Christian Community, otherwise we fall divided. Hug a baby today to remember what love feels like. God’s love for us will never change, as a parent loves their child.

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Community Thanksgiving Dinner with First Presbyterian Church, Hudson
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Community Thanksgiving, photo by Mick Hales

Fortunately, November also is blessed with Thanksgiving. We have so much to be grateful for in this country that it is good to be still and go through all the blessings we enjoy. This year we were part of a community Thanksgiving hosted by the First Presbyterian Church in Hudson but held at Christ Church Episcopal. Through various circumstances the two churches came together along with a lot of volunteers from different congregations to serve over 150 Thanksgiving meals. We do have so much to be grateful for and there is no better way to celebrate that than in a community of neighbors.

Christine has an exciting month coming up and is opening her new studio in Hudson for three Saturdays in December. God is always working in ways we often do not see coming and God is always good.

We love you and rejoice in your prayers for us and ours for you.

Photo by Mick Hales
Photo by Mick Hales

Michael and Christine          www.Mickhales.com      www.newchristianicons.com