Reaching for Faith – Stained Glass 2

There are many books that can give you fancy stitches for a variety of looks.  My favourite is

The Needlepoint Book: A Complete Update of the Classic Guide: Jo Ippolito Christensen: 9780684832302: Books.

Sometimes it’s just fun to mix it up!

Reaching - lower right by Carmen CS
Reaching – lower right, a photo by Carmen CS on Flickr.

Prayer: Father, help me to find creative ways to enjoy my life and service.


Favourite Music – Casting Crowns – Somewhere in the Middle

This is an amazing album.  Out of 10 tracks, I give 4 of them 5 stars, and 5 of them 4 stars!  Now that’s what I call listenable! The Altar and the Door: Music.

Somewhere between the wrong and the right
Somewhere between the darkness and the light
Somewhere between who I was and who You’re making me
Somewhere in the middle, You’ll find me

Actually, I was spoiled for choice on lyrics from this song.  I wanted to just grab them all.  Listen!  Listen!

The line that most convicts me though is:

Just how close can I get, Lord, to my surrender without losing all control?


Favourite Movies – Amazing Grace

I first saw this movie last year, and it immediately shot to the top of my favourite movies list. Amazing Grace: Ioan Gruffudd, Romola Garai, Benedict Cumberbatch, Albert Finney, Michael Gambon, Rufus Sewell, Youssou N’Dour, Ciarán Hinds, Toby Jones, Nicholas Farrell, Sylvestra Le Touzel, Jeremy Swift, Stephen Campbell Moore, Bill Paterson, Nicholas Day, Georgie Glen, Nicholas Woodeson, Tom Fisher, Richard Ridings, David Hunt: Movies & TV.

It’s about William Wilberforce, a Christian who was central to getting slavery outlawed throughout the British empire.  I knew almost nothing about him before seeing the movie.  Before our Civil War, he fought for human rights.

The movie is an amazing historical drama.  It’s beautiful, and inspiring.  Wilberforce suffered from chronic illness, and struggled with an addiction to painkillers given to him because of it.  But he did not succumb to discouragement.  He was an amazing fighter.

The movie has  joy,  humor, trouble and  triumph.  It highlights love, faith, seeking one’s way and then sticking to it once it has been found.

Favourite Movies – Love Comes Softly

This is a very sweet movie about finding life and love again after tragedy.  It’s also about an atheist finding faith from the example of a man of great faith.  It’s not an incredibly deep movie, but it is comforting. Love Comes Softly: Katherine Heigl, Dale Midkiff, Corbin Bernsen, Skye McCole Bartusiak, Theresa Russell, Oliver Macready, Tiffany Amber Knight, Adam Loeffler, Nick Scoggin, Jaimz Woolvett, Rutanya Alda, Janet Rotblatt, Michael Landon Jr., Brian Gordon, Faye Schwab, H. Daniel Gross, Kevin Bocarde, Cindy Kelley, Janette Oke: Movies & TV.

My favourite line from the movie is the one which gives it its name: Sometimes love isn’t fireworks, sometimes love just comes softly.

Favourite Books – The Hour That Changes the World

This book was recently recommended to me by my new friend Rose Spillenaar Harmer, who writes, a great Christian blog.  I’m only about 1/3 of the way through it, but it is already revolutionizing the way I pray.  Thanks, Rose!

Hour That Changes the World, The: A Practical Plan for Personal Prayer: Dick Eastman, Joni Tada: 9780800793135: Books.

I will be including some of Dick Eastman’s insights in my Morning Reading posts.  But that venue can’t convey what this book offers.

Mr. Eastman presents a way to pray for an hour each day, using 12 5-minute prayer activities.  The framework provides a rich basis for prayer encompassing praise, confession, supplication, God’s Word, and much more.  And the framework is flexible enough to meet different needs and styles.

He suggests an hour a day as being scripturally based, but encourages the reader to try doing at least 12 minutes to try the process out.

I’m currently doing the first 4 activities: Praise, Waiting, Confession, and God’s Word.  I don’t time myself, but rather do as long as feels right on each activity.  Lovely!

Prayer:  Father, teach us to pray and to explore and expand our relationship with you!

Favourite Movies – The Ultimate Gift

A modern call to service. The Ultimate Gift: Drew Fuller, James Garner, Abigail Breslin, Bill Cobbs, Lee Meriwether, George Lee, Brett Rice, D. David Morin, Ali Hillis, Mircea Monroe, Donna Cherry, Catherine McGoohan, Michael O. Sajbel, Cleve Landsberg, Dave Ross, Jim Van Eerden, John Shepherd, Paul Brooks, Cheryl McKay, Jim Stovall: Movies & TV.

This is a very different movie from my last, Ben-Hur.  It is a modern-day movie following the transformation of a spoiled young man who is clearly bored, into someone called to service and faith.  The catalysts?  His dead grandfather and a young girl dying of cancer.  Fearlessly confronts loss and the moments that go into grasping faith, without being preachy.

Favourite Movies – Ben-Hur

The classic epic on faith. Ben-Hur: 50th Anniversary Edition: Movies & TV.

This is one of my all-time favourite movies.  I watch it at least twice a year – at Easter and Christmas.  And it amazes me how many Christians I’ve met who have never seen it.  I clung to its message even when I was farthest from being a Christian myself.

I’ve heard that people say “It’s called ‘Ben-Hur: A Story of the Christ’ and it isn’t about Christ at all.”  I can’t understand that.  It’s about God’s will working in the world, about turning the other cheek, about the incredible force of Our Lord when He turned His attention on a man.  It’s about faith.


Favourite Movies – Signs

A movie about rediscovering faith… Signs: Mel Gibson, Joaquin Phoenix, Clifford David, Lanny Flaherty, Rory Culkin, Babita Hariani, Cherry Jones, Patricia Kalember, Marion McCorry, Paul L. Nolan, Rhonda Overby, Kevin Pires, Michael Showalter, Ted Sutton, Ukee Washington, Adam Way, Merritt Wever, Greg Wood: Movies & TV.

One of the cool things about M. Night Shyamalan’s movies is that they are often not about what they seem to be on the surface.  Or at least, not just about that.  Signs is ostensibly an alien horror movie.  But it is so much not just that.

It is a movie about faith.

About its loss.

About its rediscovery.

About how hard it is to live without.

After the death of his wife in tragic circumstances, Grahame is determined not to believe any more.

But under pressure, what happens?

Favourite Music – Paul and Rita Baloche – I Will Not Forget You

I will not forget You are my God, my King
And with a thankful heart I bring my offering
And my sacrifice is not what You can give
But what I alone can give to you

A grateful heart I give, A thankful prayer I pray,
A wild dance I dance before you
A loud song I sing, A huge bell I ring,
A life of praise I live before You Iworship 2 (Bonus Dvd): Various Artists: Music.

I just want to open my arms in praise when I hear this song.  Especially, “A wild dance I dance before you” calls out to my heart.  This may be because I always loved dancing and haven’t had the energy for it lately.

The call to give what I alone can give is what NeedlePrayer is about for me.  We each have talents and skills to use for His glory, and I believe it is our calling to find them and exercise them.  In all the little ways that mean so much more than we think.

Favourite Documentary – The Privileged Planet The Privileged Planet: John Rhys-Davies, Lad Allen: Movies & TV.


This is a great documentary which feeds into the Intelligent Design theory.  It explores how many factors affected our world becoming what it is and allowing us to be here.  Then, amazingly, it shows that not only is this world perfect for complex life, but it is also perfect for allowing us to understand natural law.  And this is supposed to have happened by chance?

I found it fascinating.