Tuesday, April 21, 2015

The Visioning Process

by contributing writer, Kristina Dyck

On Sunday morning Jason talked about vision, about our core values and about the things we still need to figure out while we go through this visioning process. One of the next steps, he said, is figuring out who we are, what makes HMC unique. I have blogged about this a bit in the past on my own blog, but this got me thinking again about the beauty of our small piece of the body and I wanted to share it with you.

I am still a newer part of this church. I don't really consider myself to be new anymore but compared to a lot of you I am. I have been part of this church for almost four years. Before that I was a part of or a long-term visitor at about nine other churches (over my lifetime and mostly due to moving great distances) and there is something beautifully unique about HMC that I haven't seen at other churches.

HMC is a mix of many different theologies, many different backgrounds, many different preferences but we all fellowship together and worship together because we all worship the same God and we all want to serve Him. Some of us come from Baptist backgrounds, some from Brethren, some from Pentecostal, some from Catholic, Salvation Army, Charismatic, Non Denomination, Methodist, Mennonite and I am sure I am missing a lot.

We all have different backgrounds, different views but we agree on the really important stuff. We all love the same Jesus. We are all saved by grace through faith in Him - not by anything we have done or could do - and we all look forward to being with Him in Heaven; and so we worship our God together.

It is a beautiful thing. It is something that I so greatly appreciate about HMC and I think it is what makes us unique and very special.

I am so interested to hear what others see in us that is unique and where this visioning process will take us as we reevaluate ourselves and prepare for the next step of serving our awesome God together.

Kristina Dyck currently lives in Durham with her family. She is a missionary kid who married another missionary kid and wants to serve the Lord wherever He leads which is in Grey Bruce right now.  She has been an active part of HMC for 3 years. She is a photographer, birth doula, and art enthusiast. You can find her over on her own blog, Unashamed Grace

Friday, April 17, 2015

Incest & Murder: the unraveling of a family (yikes!) - 2 Samuel 13-14

by contributing writer Kristen Webb

The sermon on Sunday was about King David's messed up family.  (You can watch a YouTube video of the sermon here.)  It reads like a soup opera or a talk show -  so much drama and so much sin.  I have found that sin always leads to drama one way or another!  It may strike a chord with the world, but is it relevant to us church going folks?  Incest or any form of sexual abuse is something we would hope God would protect us from, especially in our Christian circles.  But my heart can't help hurting for Tamar who experienced such horrible things because of her brothers sin.    Despite my church going status, God has brought  many people into my life who have experienced the damage of being wronged in this way.  It appears that being a Christian does not grant you immunity from being harmed by others who choose to do the unthinkable.   I have to be honest: this has torn my heart apart and caused me to doubt God's goodness and faithfulness.

What is God doing about this heinous problem - where is He?

This year my doubt met it's match when I took The Wounded Heart program.  The Wounded Heart is offered by our church for victims of childhood sexual abuse.  I had felt that God was prompting me to take it for a number of years now.  However, my abuse was pretty minor compared to what Tamar and many of my friends had endured and was not inflicted by a family member, so I did not think the abuse was effecting me.  But God still kept whispering whenever I would hear it promoted.  Finally, this year I signed up for The Wounded Heart and I went.  It has been the most life-changing thing ever!  My doubt and pain has been met head-on by the Creator of the Universe and the lover of my messed up soul.

Before I took The Wounded Heart, I was single-handedly trying to wrangle all the crazy emotions that are a natural result of being wronged in such a deep way.  I felt overwhelmed and condemned for having such strong and dark feelings and, because I was ashamed, I buried them.

Now if you asked me about how I was coping, I would proudly tell you how I was learning to live above my feelings. I would probably even offer to teach you how to do it too.  But really it was just a way of saying I was in denial.

Denial is not healthy and oh how I know that now!  The fall-out of 30 odd years of denial was far worse than the damage done by the initial abuse.  If only  I had immediately brought my pain and brokenness to God and trusted Him with it instead of trying to pretend it did not bother me and I was fine!  But I listened to Satan when he whispered in my ear that I was weak for feeling such emotions and God wanted me to buck up and just get over it.  I felt like I was an object of condemnation and I did not deserve to be blessed or happy anymore.  I was mad at myself for feeling and so I tried to teach myself how to ignore my feelings.  Emotions were seen as invalid or maybe even sinful.

God was longing to wrap me in His arms and comfort me as only He can but I couldn't go to Him because I thought I needed to fix this myself.   So as the years went by my doubt and frustration with God grew - although I did not admit this to anyone.  I was desperately trying to fix this hurt deep in my soul and the method I picked was trying to be a good Christian girl.  I decided that if I could just be perfect maybe whatever was wrong with me would go away.   If I could just please everyone in my life maybe then the depression and despair I lived with on a daily basis would finally disappear. You don't need to be a rocket scientist to see this was not a great solution.  But I was so messed up inside at this point that I was not seeing things clearly.   God wanted to comfort me and bring healing but the lies I was believing prevented me from  trusting Him and giving Him control.  I was shooting myself in the foot over and over but blaming God for my pain.

But then I finally listened to His gentle voice and took the Wounded Heart.  Through it I realized that it is not that God was not strong enough to heal me - I was preventing Him from doing so.   Through this group I was able to uncover some of the lies that had got me to such a horrible place.  I was able to see that God loves me and is not disappointed in me.   He was feeling compassion and fierce love for me when I was abused - not expecting me to forgive instantly and stop being so emotional about it all.  He wanted to hold me in His arms and soothe me and fill the hole that had been ripped in my soul.  I have value and I am a cherished child of the King.  He wants to bless me and I don't have to endlessly make up for my deficiencies.  He accepts me now despite all the sin I ended up getting into by not trusting Him.  I do not have to be perfect before I can rest in Him and rejoice.   My healing process has started and I have hope that was completely missing from my life before.  

I am now halfway through the Wounded Heart program and am looking forward to all the awesome things God is still going to do.   I can trust God to continue my healing as my brain gets a complete overhaul.  My mind needs to be renewed in a big way but I have a big God.  I have a faithful, good God who loves me and that changes everything!

I don't know how to express my Thanks to all the leaders of Wounded Heart so I will just ask God to personally bless them in one of the many creative ways at His disposal.

 Kristen Webb boards horses in the country with her husband and three daughters - one of whom has special needs. She has been part of the HMC congregation for almost eighteen years.   You can find her over at her own blog, My Wild Ride Through The Door Of Faith

Thursday, April 9, 2015

An Easter Story

by contributing writer, Kristina Dyck

An Easter Story by Kristina Dyck
A roosters crow pierced the darkness and she woke with a start. Another restless night spent tossing and turning. When she had finally fallen asleep the dreams were heartbreaking. The rooster crowed again and it all came back to her. It wasn’t a dream. He was gone. Her friend, her messiah, beaten, crucified, killed.

She slowly pushed back the blankets and the cold air hit her, it was still dark. Would it ever be light again?

They had taken down his body and put him in a tomb, but no one had really cared for him yet. Passover had been long and agonizing, full of grieving and helplessness as she and her close friends waited for the hour they could at last go to him and care for his body. It wasn’t much but after all he had done for her brother, her family – she had to do something.

She pulled together the oils and spices and slipped out in to the twilight where her friends were waiting. No on spoke on the walk to the garden, the path was winding and narrow, the only sound was their muffled steps on the damp ground.

The first rays of colour were just peaking the horizon when she saw it up ahead. The tomb was beautiful. Joseph had surprised them all by giving up his own tomb for Jesus; none of them could have paid for anything like it.

She glanced up at the beginnings of a beautiful sunrise but felt only numbness. How would they push away the stone? Why had they not thought of this before? She should have asked Peter or Thomas to come with them but in her grief it hadn’t even crossed her mind. She should go back but she couldn’t stop her feet moving forward.

Salome stopped so suddenly in front of her that she nearly walked right into her. What was wrong? Then she saw it. The stone had already been rolled away. How? She hardly had time to consider as she rushed forward and inside, and then her heart stopped. Her body heaved. She fell to the ground and began weeping more deeply than she ever had. Why? After all they had already done to him, why this? Her friends were crying too but were desperately searching the cave.

She heard her friend’s voice saying, “maybe there is another cavern, maybe we have the wrong tomb.” The grave clothes were right there. This was the right tomb; his body was gone.

All the sorrow and helplessness of the past week crashed down on her. She couldn’t bear another moment; she stood to leave and began to run. She didn’t know where, just away.
Suddenly right in her path, a man. The gardener. She stumbled and tripped to keep from crashing into him.

“Woman, why are you crying?”

She could hardly see through her swollen, tear filled eyes. Her words came out in a desperate shriek.

“Was it you”? “Someone took him and I don’t know where his body is. Please tell me where he is so I can care for him!” Her whole body was shaking now as she sobbed.


That voice. She knew that voice, the sobbing turned to laughing. “Rabboni! Teacher!” She was on her feet now hugging him, still weeping but now they were tears of joy.

“Mary. Go tell my brothers.”

Reluctantly she let go of him. She ran to the disciples as fast as her feet would carry her.

The colours in the sky were now at their most brilliant, had there ever been a more beautiful sunrise? Her tears dried in the breeze but her smile could not stop. He is not dead! He is alive! He is alive!

Kristina Dyck currently lives in Durham with her family. She is a missionary kid who married another missionary kid and wants to serve the Lord wherever He leads which is in Grey Bruce right now.  She has been an active part of HMC for 3 years. She is a photographer, birth doula, and art enthusiast. You can find her over on her own blog, Unashamed Grace

Easter - Wanting To See Jesus - Sermon Video

Watch on YouTube...