Hello from Redding, California!! We're here for a two week worship school at Bethel Church. Okay, I'm only "with the band". James, and our friends (Roman, Tiffany, Thomas & Chenoah) will be doing the school. I'll be doing my school (Pneumatology distance course), blogging, running (we have to go at 6am because it's so hot!!) and resting...and tanning, ha. I have SO much to share with you already (yesterday's church service was AMAZING) but you're going to have to come back tomorrow to learn more because today I have a special guest for you...Jonathan Bryden!

Jonathan is one of my dear friends. We have worked together for a number of years and he's been friends with James longer than I have. The three of us work very well on creative projects. If you know Jon, you know he has a heart of gold for people. He loves people like Jesus loves people. Like, really, really, loves them. Take it away Jon....!

My name is Jonathan, I’m 28 years old and I’m following Jesus.  I’m currently working at Glad Tidings Church in Victoria producing videos and pointing people to Jesus.

People know me in my community as the video guy and the sock guy. 

Why the sock guy you ask?  It’s a name I picked up during my years on the streets of Victoria.  On Thursday nights, some friends and I would go out with a bag of sports socks from Walmart and hand them out to the city’s homeless community.  We did this as an excuse to love people, build relationships, share stories and point people to Jesus.  I’ve led the ministry for seven years, but today I’m putting the socks down.

My word for this season is ‘complete’.

I recently had an experience where I felt the Lord lead me to spend a whole night out on the street.  No sleep, no plan and no one to go with.  It was not something I jumped at.  I wasn’t eager to go, but His pressing kept on and I decided to follow through.  Take the plunge right?  Step out of the boat...

A Friday in early June arrived and the timing seemed right.  I went expecting to see something deep and meaningful.  I went expecting to see God in a really cool way.  I went ready to receive a download from Heaven about the next level of the sock ministry I was leading.  I went to hear from Jesus.

The experience I had that night was challenging, but not in the way I expected.  I met many people, most of whom I knew or had at least already met, but my experience with them was like facing a hall of locked doors.  I felt like I had no way in and when I talked about Jesus, I was mostly met with indifference.

It was unspectacular, frustrating and telling on how weary my heart had become towards the spiritual apathy so prevalent in our city.  In the midst of all this, I heard God speak…


“Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”  Psalm 46:10


And so that’s what I did.  I paused on the side of the street, silent and still.  And I realized that all of this wasn’t about me.  It wasn’t about my efforts, my love, my sacrifice or even my prayers.  It was all about His efforts, His love, His sacrifice and His prayers.  I realized the only difference that would ever be made in the lives of the homeless of our city, would be from the work of God’s Holy Spirit and this alone.


And then I began to remember all those who God led us to love over these last seven years.  All those who trust in Him, yet don’t look like they are following Jesus.  All His people who believe Jesus is their Savior, but have characters and appearances that would never lead you to believe that they are our brothers and our sisters.  I remembered the verse…

“For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.”  Matthew 25:35-36


I realized this has been the success of this ministry.  We got to love Jesus.  We got to love His people.  Though there are countless who are indifferent, there are still some who are His kids.

And so, with the frustration of indifference, the peace in knowing His sovereignty and the gratitude in getting to love His people, a question came to my mind… “Maybe my time on the streets is done.”  And as I asked this question, a sense of release hit me and what I can only describe as a wave of peace overwhelmed my mind.  That night, I went out on the street to hear from God and as far as my faith takes me, I did.


My word for this season of life is ‘complete’, because that’s how I feel about my part in leading a ministry to the homeless community of Victoria BC.  God’s work isn’t done.  He will continue it according to His great plan.  This is all about Him and He will get all the credit for those He rescues from the homeless community downtown.


I want to publicly thank all those who supported me over the years either through prayers, finances, service or donations.  Without your contributions, I wouldn’t have been able to go until my time was done.  Thank you and God bless you as you continue to follow His Son.

I look forward to the future and where the Lord will lead me to serve.  It may be in the lives of the homeless again or it may be to a different community.  Wherever it may be, He is the Lord of the harvest and I am simply thankful to be a part of what He is doing.  Thank you and God bless.

Thank you so much for sharing Jon. Your socks journey has inspired so many and I know God will bless your obedience to Him! Who knows what He has in store for you!! 


Ok friends, I'll be back tomorrow sharing about my Redding adventure. For the mean time, you can follow along on instagram!




I'm very excited to introduce you to one of my favourite people in the world...COURTNEY! I've had the honour of being friends with Courtney for the past four years..the beginning of our friendship was kind of a funny thing but you can read more about it here. Courtney is one of my closest friends and one of the first people I go to for advice, she's crazy wise and just so wonderful so listen up to her one word...!

"I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid." John 14:27  NLT


I started out 2014 with a bang! I turned the big 3-0. And no matter what anyone says, turning 30 does make one look at their life. Most people would head into their thirties thinking about all that they have accomplished and what was in store for the next 30.  However, I was one of those people who started to look at all the things I hadn’t accomplished.  All of the things I had yet to check off as complete.  And then something changed.


When Laura suggested we all pick one word for 2014, I immediately thought my word was “patience”.  I just had to be patient.  If I kept waiting and was patient enough things would fall into place.  Here I was, 30, and there were things in my life I had not yet experienced and its hard not to worry that they never will.  I was convinced I just needed to pray for more patience and to wait for those things to happen. 


It soon became clear that I didn’t need patience.  What I needed was Peace.


Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7   NLT


A few years back I did the Esther bible study by Beth Moore.  There is a verse in Esther 4:14 that ends with the phrase “…for such a time as this.”  That verse has always stuck with me.  I so often look for what is yet to happen, spending time worrying about where I’m “supposed” to be, I was missing out on an amazing portion of my life.  Life isn't a race.  There are no first place ribbons for being the first person with a degree, the first person with a house and yacht or the first married.


A wise person in my life helped me to realize what a blessing it is to be 30 and in my position.  A position of great possibility.  I have dubbed this year, the year of Courtney (and yes this was stolen from a TV show).   Taking time to live in the now.  And I have found the peace that has turned this year into a time of looking at what’s happening right now, instead of what isn’t happening.  I don’t want to miss out on the moments that life is measured by. Moments like when your bestie buys you a present to show you she's proud of you. Or hearing your nephew tell you he loves you 80,260 times to the moon and back just because he actually does. Those are the moments that make my life meaningful, that make it important.


I’m sure I will have my moments of questioning or doubt.  But I need to have remain confident in the fact that I am exactly where I am supposed to be, that I have been called for such a time as this.  



“Now may the Lord of peace himself give you his peace at all times and in every situation. The Lord be with you all.”  Thessalonians 3:16  NLT

Thank you so much for sharing Courtney! You inspire me. Can't wait till we go to SLC in ONE WEEK!!! LOVE YOU GIRRRRRL!

Check out the previous one words- Amy | Sarah | Tiffany | Danae | Nadia | Micaela | Kristy | Julia | Caitlyn | Elijah | Yemisi | Melai | Me |

Stay gold,



Happy Thursday everyone! Today I have a one word post from a very lovely woman in my church. It's greatly impacted me and I know that it probably took a lot of courage for Melai to share her story. Thank you for being brave Melai. xo

BELIEVE. This is the “one word” God has spoken into my heart.


Last year in July 2013, I was diagnosed with GAD (General Anxiety Disorder). It was the worst situation I had gone through. I could go on for days without sleeping. Anxiety attacks happened almost every 5 minutes; my mind was so anxious. It was heart breaking for me to look at my kids and not be able to take care of them. I couldn’t even look after myself. I was scared and thought I was going to lose my mind and die like that. My life was not normal as it was before. It was so dark, and I was helpless.


I remember calling to God in prayer asking Him to heal me, but I confess that those many times that I got on my knees to pray, I was so proud. I questioned the Lord many times because I could not understand why it happened to me. I thought of myself as a victim, deserving to be asked for forgiveness. My heart was full of anger, and the thoughts of my heart wanted revenge.


I had been stuck in the moment of questioning when one night the Lord spoke to me in a poem I was reading in the book called "The Purpose Driven Life".

It read:

"No, that trauma you faced was not easy.

And God wept that it hurt you so;

But it was allowed to shape your heart

So that into his likeness you'd grow."


I cried as I was reading that poem, but at the same time I felt so comforted knowing I was not alone. God was weeping with me, and He understood my pain and hurt. That "trauma I faced" wasn't because I was being punished as I thought, but was rather allowed because God has a good and perfect plan for me.


Though it was hard for me to completely grasp God's good plan for me in that moment, His presence, and His perfect power and love had kept my heart to keep believing His word when He told me "for I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, “plans

to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." (Jer. 29:11)


I fell down on my knees at the altar, and cried out to God, “Lord Jesus, I surrender all. Have mercy on me Lord and take over my life, for it is yours. Forgive all of my sins and help me to forgive. Have mercy O, Lord, please have mercy on me.” Every minute that I felt like I was dying, I realized that I had no control over my life, and that the very breath I had in my being comes from Him. That same night I felt God’s embrace as a father embraces his child. I was welcomed back into the arms of my heavenly Father for “I was dead and is alive again; I was lost and is found”(Luke 15:24). I was deeply comforted. Suddenly there was light, and I was hopeful.


JESUS is my LIGHT, MY HOPE, and MY COMFORT. I believe.


During those many sleepless nights when nothing seemed to work (scented candles, bath soak, comfort food etc.), God’s Word (my Bible) sustained me; even now His word sustains me.


JESUS is my DELIVERER.I believe.


This is one of my favorite verses... “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus”(Philippians 4:6-7).




As I started reading the Gospels, and the stories of miracles that Jesus did, I realized that one thing these people who were healed had in common is that they all had believed –by FAITH they believed that Jesus was able to heal them, and so they were.


I was stumbling in my faith, I had so much unbelief, but JESUS has been MERCIFUL and FORGIVING and PATIENT towards me. It seemed that the Lord was speaking to me directly after I read Mark 9:22-24. I saw myself through the eyes of the man whom Jesus was talking and so I prayed “I believe Lord Jesus, please help my unbelief.”


JESUS is my HELPER. I believe.


In mid-September, my doctor told me that he was very happy with my progress. He actually said that I seemed to get better on my own as it surprised him that he did not have to put me on the whole drug. But the truth is, it wasn’t me but JESUS who had healed me and made me better each passing day.


JESUS is my HEALER. I believe.


I would like to share these verses that God has spoken into my heart. I BELIEVE that JESUS has healed me (Jeremiah 33:6), He has redeemed me and summoned me by name, and I am His (Isaiah 43:1), and that God loves me and calls me His precious daughter (Isaiah 43:4).




My Jesus has transformed my unbelieving heart and made it NEW. Jesus has made me new (2 Cor. 5: 17 ) . It is Christ who lives in me (Gal 2:20), and His Holy Spirit dwells in me (2 Cor 1:22).


Another thing that the Lord has been teaching me is “believing in prayer”. When circumstances cause me any doubt or unbelief, the Holy Spirit reminds me of one man’s humble statement in the Bible when he said, “I believe Lord, help my unbelief!” This became a powerful prayer for me. I believe that God answers prayers, and “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us”(1John 5:14).


I need Jesus every single hour, for “apart from God I can do nothing”(John 15:5). He is the source of everything –all that I am, all that I have. And I am forever grateful for all that Jesus has done for me, and for my church family who have been constantly praying for me. The Lord has heard their prayers and mine.




Had I not become very sick I would not know who Jesus is to me –my Light, Hope, Comfort, and Peace. Jesus is my Merciful, Forgiving God, and Loving Lord God; my Helper, Deliverer, Healer, Redeemer, Compassionate and Gracious Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. JESUS CHRIST has set me free (Galatians 5:1). He is my freedom!

“Everything is possible for one who believes.”(Mark 9:24)

“Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”(Philippians 1:6)


In Jesus Name, I pray for all who are hurting, lonely and depressed, for those who have illnesses, and are going through a difficult time. And I pray for all the Lord's people in Jesus Name, "Grace be to you and peace from God the Father, and from our Lord Jesus Christ."(Gal.1:3)





Thank you Melai for sharing your story. You have encouraged me greatly and I know many others will be encouraged through your testimony!

Check out the previous one words- Amy | Sarah | Tiffany | Danae | Nadia | Micaela | Kristy | Me | Julia | Caitlyn | Elijah | Yemisi

Have a great Thursday everyone!




Today's one word is from one of the lovely youth girls that I lead. I've known Julia for almost two years and I can say for sure, that she knows and loves God. It makes my heart sparkle to see young girls live out their faith. She wants to be a pastor and I truly believe she will be one. (She's one of the reasons why I'm so passionate that about seeing women empowered in the church!!) Take it away lovely Julia...


Laura is an amazing role model to me. I have loved having her guide me and lead me these past couple of years. When I first heard about Laura’s one word idea, I thought it was an interesting approach to goal setting. I’m the kind of person that will write lists upon lists of goals for myself. When reading Laura’s blog, I found it challenging to pick just one word, but before finishing her post, a word popped into my mind instantly. Passion.

I have always seen passion as an amazing characteristic, something people are drawn to...that spreads like a wildfire.

“Passion is energy. Feel the power that comes from focusing on what excites you.”– Oprah Winfrey

I’ve seen what passion does to people, it makes them uniquely excited about a certain thing and it’s impossible to hide. Passion shapes our lives, and when you find someone else that shares the same passions as you, you fit together like a puzzle. Recently I had to memorize a speech from one of Shakespeare’s plays in English class, and I found myself complaining to my brother. He asked me what the difference is between memorizing Shakespeare and memorizing biblical scripture, and I replied, “Because God’s word is what I’m passionate about”. He told me that that makes all the difference. People sometimes say that they ‘wish they could find their passion’, but passion comes when you’re being your authentic self and embracing your heart’s true desires. I feel very fortunate, being a high school student and having so much passion towards what I was created to do. I thank God regularly that I am able to live out my passions every single day. By doing so I feel joy, excitement, and anticipation for what God has in store.

We are so far from perfect, we face trails, heartache and pain, but take a second to praise God that He gave us passion. He blesses us with the opportunity (though sometimes it’s hard) to live every day for Him. God gives us passion in our hearts, and we need to share them with the people around us. That’s what I’m inspired to do


Wow, Julia. So beautiful! And wise beyond your years (she's in grade 10 people!!!) Thank you for sharing your heart and your passion!!! Love you :)

Previous one words- Amy | Sarah | Tiffany | Danae | Nadia | Micaela | Kristy | Me


Hope you all had a wonderful weekend! Mine consisted mainly of homework and running and a few good coffee dates squeezed in, ptL.


Happy Monday!




Today's one word comes from my friend Kristy. Kristy and I have been friends for a number of years. We've been on many adventures together including seeing JT live!! Kristy has a beautiful voice (figuratively and literally)...take it away girl...


I first heard of the “one word” a few years ago with Laura at an amazing women’s conference called “She Loves”. I came away thinking that it was a cool thought but never put much more into it.

However, for some reason this year it's been jumping at me to consider. 

So since Laura’s first post about her “one word brunch,” (which, if you know those ladies, you know it was most definitely as good as it looked in the pictures), I have been seriously giving it some thought and prayer about what my one word would be.

The past couple of years have been ruled by health struggles and more specifically this year, emotional struggles. Through most of it, I took on a “survivor mentality”... not letting anything get me down or stop me from participating or continuing on with life...“eliminating the interruption”. Looking back, I should have allowed myself to be content with the need to rest but I let fears of being forgotten, or left out or missing out get in the way of that much needed rest.

This past fall everything was too much to hold and I broke. I fell into a season of depression, something I never thought I would suffer from. It is not something that is easily understood, and not something that is easily ‘fixed’. And I learned it can take a toll on a lot of things, especially friendships.

It's definitely been a process but I can honestly say, with a smile and giving full credit to God, that I am much further ahead emotionally than I was even a couple of months ago. 


SO — that being said, when considering my one word I thought for sure it was going to be “Joy” or “Hope”. But the word that God gave me was “FEAR”. I know, not too positive but it was followed with “TRUST”.  The word is about facing it, and in turn trust God in the result of facing it.

Once I realized what my one word was, God challenged me on this ‘word’. I had to make a decision to not take part in something this summer that I was really looking forward to, a summer worship school at Bethel Church.

Through conversation, and prayer with leaders, I decided with all that's going on in focusing on getting well etc, that it wasn’t the best timing. AND I also realized that I didn’t have fear in saying yes to the go BUT I was so fearful of saying yes to His no. Fear of what it meant for me in not going, where would leave me in our ministry here at home, as a bunch of my friends from team are heading down, and also fear of missing out in time spent away with friends.

SO— I knew that I had to say no. I had to face those fears, and trust God that he has something for me in my continuous journey of healing.

Ever since realizing that this was my word, I have been challenged in facing other fears. It amazes me how much fear is connected to a lot of other things, like not feeling good enough, and diminishing my capabilities and gifts.

Lately God has been challenging me to write. One way of facing it is with this submission to S.S. Heart. So here I am, facing a fear.


Fear (trust)

“Do not be afraid, you are worth more than many sparrows” - Matt 10:31

"The fear of man brings a snare, but trusting in the Lord will keep you safe." -Proverbs 29:25


Thank you Laura for creating a place for vulnerability and for beautiful hearts to open up.

Thank you Kristy for being vulnerable and sharing your one word!!! xoxo

Check out the past one words ---> Amy  |  Danae  |  Nadia  |  Sarah  | Micaela  | Tiffany  | Laura

If you'd like to submit your one word for 2014 email me at


Happy Monday friends!!