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How Do You Use Your Magnifying Glass?-by Heidi McLaughlin

Posted: February 18, 2018

It happens so fast we don’t recognize it. You’re sitting with a group of friends having your favourite coffee and tea, and then it starts. All politicians are horrible, everyone you know has cancer, and all hair dyes or cough syrups will give you cancer or a stroke. You can’t trust anyone; all foods have too many contaminants and then it starts on the topic of GMO’s. Oh boy, it’s time to shut it down. The conversation is spiralling into darkness and you’ll walk away feeling defeated, negative and grumpy with words swirling around your head: This world is going to hell in a hand basket. Something happens within us when we focus or obsess over something.   Like a magnifying glass, that thing, gets bigger and bigger. Many of our friends and families are going through difficult seasons of grief, disappointments and other tough hardships. I am not saying…

Posted in: circumstances, Hope, Jesus, Lord, Making Wise Choices, Overcoming Stuggles, power of words, praise, thanksgiving, worship

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Why It Takes Grit to Hope-by Heidi McLaughlin

Posted: January 28, 2018

  We all know the searing pain of disappointment. I was nine when I experienced the raw feeling of being forgotten. Left on the side of the road by my older cousins while they spent the day at the fairgrounds. My tender, young heart never forgot that horrible, no good day, and disappointment became a reality that turned into a false belief. It felt cruel to disappoint my own children or friends. Most of my adult life it felt like I was skating on thin ice to protect others and myself from disappointment. So what happens when you become a Christian and put your hope in a loving God? When life doesn’t work out. Or, in fact when life hits you in the gut? One of my words for 2017 was HOPE. It was the year where I needed something good to happen. I was in deep grief, crushed, physically…

Posted in: disappointment, Expectations, False Belief Systems, grit, Heavenly Father, Hope, Prayer, victory

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Jesus, Do You Care?-By Kathy Collard Miller

Posted: January 16, 2018

Today, my guest blogger is Kathy Collard Miller, the author of her latest book Pure Hearted. Kathy is making available  a copy of Pure-Hearted to the winner of a book drawing. Enter to win by leaving a comment on this blog.  The winner will be drawn on January 22, 2018 (US addresses only can win.) Jesus, Do You Really Care? My lack of emotional strength often results from my desires demanding affirmation of my value, assurance I’m loved, and attention so that I’m not ignored. If I don’t direct my “wanting” to trusting God’s supply, I crumble emotionally. That’s what happened to the disciples. On that day, when evening had come, he [Jesus] said to them, “Let us go across to the other side.” And leaving the crowd, they took him with them in the boat, just as he was. And other boats were with him. And a great windstorm arose, and the…

Posted in: blessings, care, glory, storm

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Love Never Fails-Heidi McLaughlin

Posted: December 3, 2017

Since I’ve come back from Romania many people have presented a valuable question. “So Heidi, what difference do you think you made over in Romania?” Initially this question caught me off guard and I responded with the most obvious answers, “Well, we helped clean a church, put on Ladies Teas and handed out gift bags, and helped create an atmosphere for a Canadian Thanksgiving.” Upon reflection I realize I did not change the world with those helpful gestures. I simply took two weeks out of my luxurious life to try to show God’s love to an impoverished country through acts and words of love and kindness. In the last three days I’ve taken long walks and asked God this puzzling question, “God, how did I make a difference?” Today the answer came as clear as though it was written on a banner in front of my eyes. “LOVE NEVER FAILS”…

Posted in: Encouragement, generosity, God' Love, Kindness, love, relationships, Romania

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Finding Unshakeable Joy

Posted: November 13, 2017

These are the dark days of remembering. The paramedics revived my beloved Jack’s heart on November 11, but then he died November 15th. Yesterday (November 11th) one of my children asked, “Mom, what did you think about when you first work up this morning? I responded, “My house full of paramedics, machines, frenzied and hushed conversations and a lot of thumping.” But as the day evolved, the images changed from the horror of that day, to the beauty found in the valley of pain. My two words for 2017 are hope and healing. For the past year those two words were on my prayer sheet, and the lenses through which I sought God to birth fruit to meaningless words on paper. However, those words became alive through my faith, family and friends. Faith: Faith is my top spiritual gift, but it didn’t feel like it during the dark and lonely…

Posted in: Faith, Families, friends, happiness, healing, Hope, joy, laughter, love, pain, pray

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When the Lights Go Out-Heidi McLaughlin

Posted: October 15, 2017

“Let’s look at it like an adventure,” my daughter Michelle and I said to each other. The freakish Southern Alberta snowstorm that shut down the highways, lost all electricity and closed the schools soon turned the experience from grins to groans. We made the best of no school, no heat, no showers and no dishwasher for almost three days. There was plenty of wood for the fireplace, a gas top stove to heat up food and lots of snow for forts and snow angels. It was all good; until it got dark. Yes there were plenty of candles, story telling and laughter but it all felt different, strange and unfamiliar. Darkness feels different and unfamiliar. Walls felt closer, steps steeper and hallways longer. I thought I knew the distance from the bedroom to the bathroom or the length of the family room. But in the dark everything feels distorted and…

Posted in: darkness, Faith, Jesus, light, Overcoming Struggles, Prayer, trauma

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When Worry Doesn’t Remove Anxiety-Heidi McLaughlin

Posted: September 11, 2017

I’m not prone to worry or struggle with anxiety. The only times I’ve felt anxious is moments before I step onto a platform with a large audience or waiting for biopsy reports. For thirty years I’ve taught people to find “the peace that surpasses all unde rstanding” (Phil. 4:6,7) by changing their worry words into prayer words. It looks something like this. Instead of worrying about a huge problem at work, change your words into a prayer: “Heavenly Father, You know that by tomorrow I have to resolve (the problem).   I confess that I don’t know what to do. I ask that when I wake up tomorrow you will guide me to the right people, the necessary paperwork and give me wisdom to resolve the issue. I thank you in advance for how You will work this out. Thank You, Amen.” In the last thirty years God answered this prayer…

Posted in: counsellor, Faith, friends, isolated, Jesus, joy, Peace, pray, Prayer, trust, unanswered prayer

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“If Only…” by Heidi McLaughlin

Posted: August 27, 2017

Those haunting raw words keep us awake at night, encrust our hearts and trap us in the “City of Regret.” If only the ambulance arrived sooner. If only I saw symptoms. If only I hadn’t opened that cash drawer. If only I hadn’t said that, done that, ignored that. If only I hadn’t started gambling, drinking, overeating. The pain gnaws at our soul and accuses of us failure and forbids us to move forward in freedom. What I’ve learned in the last few months is that resurrection life isn’t just about what happens after we die, it’s what happens while we live. Fully alive! Right now my darling Jack is experiencing resurrection life in ways our human minds cannot even imagine. I miss him dreadfully and can’t even comprehend the joy he experiencing. But resurrection life starts in our spirit when we receive Christ as our Saviour and is completed…

Posted in: death, Freedom, grief, if only, Jesus, joy, pain, regret, resurrection, unbelief

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7 Ways to Prepare for Trouble

Posted: July 30, 2017

Two weeks ago I had the privilege of having a conversation with Don Piper, the author of the book and movie, 90 MINUTES ON HEAVEN. His gentle and kind words comforted me, gave me wisdom and put a smile on my face. His trouble came on a bridge, when his car collided with a semi-tractor truck and Don was pronounced dead. Ninety minutes later someone prayed over him, started singing a song, and soon Don sang along with him. His recovery was dreadfully painful and in the first year he had thirty-four surgeries.   We will all face trouble, and sometimes within seconds we feel helpless when our lives change. The Bible says, “In this world you will have trouble” (John 16:33). My latest trouble came last November when my darling Jack, my second husband, dropped dead going for a cup of coffee. We don’t have a checklist on how…

Posted in: community, crisis, death, decisions, Faith, finances, grief, Hope, Jesus, love, Making Wise Choices, Overcoming Struggles, relationships, troubles, Uncategorized

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When God Doesn’t Answer Prayers

Posted: June 29, 2017

We don’t like to talk about unanswered prayer, we prefer miraculous stories of where the blind can see and the lame can walk. Don’t get me wrong, I love prayer. I have been a prayer advocate and warrior for over thirty years but often God has not answered my prayers. He’s not answered the ones where, years later, I saw evidence of how God protected me from harm or pain because He had something better in store for me. I get that. But sometimes, unanswered prayers change our lives dramatically in ways we didn’t choose or ask for. And it’s hard to live with the fallout. The Bible says we are to pray and believe, and that’s what I did. In fact, when Jack had his heart attack and they brought back a pulse, thousands of people were praying for his healing. Friends and family all over America and even…

Posted in: endurance, Faith, grief, Jesus, joy, Prayer, troubles, unanswered prayer

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