Friday, June 21, 2013

a few friday things

first.  i don't read ann's blog on a regular basis, but do from time to time.  i saw a link to it this morning and cried as i read a few of her latest posts.  she and some of her family are in uganda meeting the child they've sponsored through compassion international.  her words beautifully reflect their experience:


i would love to meet my roseline in kenya one day!

second.  i am hoping to score a little beach time in before i leave tomorrow.  either this afternoon after work or tomorrow morning or both.  craving time here

three.  the song blurred lines makes me want to dance.  thanks, krissie.  it's been too long since i've been to a good dance party.

four.  speaking of krissie:  hardees trumps burger king.

Thursday, June 20, 2013


the compassion international blogger trip has been in nicaragua this week.  reading the posts has been surreal.  one, i know it.  i know the country and the people and it is familiar and tangible to me.  the dump and the homes and the faces are so similar to the people and places i am connected to.

i especially loved this post

two, i will be there soon.  i'm heading out saturday with a team from my church for eight days.  frankly, i'm anxious. i've never been anxious like this before a mission trip: i've had a headache every day this week, other physical ailments, my sleep has been sub par, and i'm already tired.  i guess you could say the enemy is on the prowl.

1 peter 5.8
be sober minded; be watchful.  your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.

but you know what?  he's not the real lion.  he won't win.  my king will.

revelation 5.5
and one of the elders said to me, "weep not more; behold, the lion of the tribe of judah, the root of david, has conquered, so that he can open the scroll and its seven seals."

new favorites


Wednesday, June 19, 2013

streams in the desert

I've never read Streams in the Desert before, but I was thinking about my verse for the year,

Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?  I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.  
Isaiah 43.93

and thought about streams in the desert...I looked up that devotional for the day and it brought me much encouragement:

Grain is crushed, though one certainly does not thresh it forever. The wheel of one’s wagon rolls over it, but his horses do not crush it. (Isa 28:28)
Many of us cannot be used to become food for the world’s hunger until we are broken in Christ’s hands. “Bread corn is bruised.” Christ’s blessing ofttimes means sorrow, but even sorrow is not too great a price to pay for the privilege of touching other lives with benediction. The sweetest things in this world today have come to us through tears and pain.
—J. R. Miller
God has made me bread for His elect, and if it be needful that the bread must be ground in the teeth of the lion to feed His children, blessed be the name of the Lord.
“We must burn out before we can give out. We cease to bless when we cease to bleed.”
“Poverty, hardship and misfortune have pressed many a life to moral heroism and spiritual greatness. Difficulty challenges energy and perseverance. It calls into activity the strongest qualities of the soul. It was the weights on father’s old clock that kept it going. Many a head wind has been utilized to make port. God has appointed opposition as an incentive to faith and holy activity.
“The most illustrious characters of the Bible were bruised and threshed and ground into bread for the hungry. Abraham’s diploma styles him as ’the father of the faithful.’ That was because he stood at the head of his class in affliction and obedience.
“Jacob suffered severe threshings and grindings. Joseph was bruised and beaten and had to go through Potiphar’s kitchen and Egypt’s prison to get to his throne.
“David, hunted like a partridge on the mountain, bruised, weary and footsore, was ground into bread for a kingdom. Paul never could have been bread for Caesar’s household if he had not endured the bruising, whippings and stonings. He was ground into fine flour for the royal family.”
“Like combat, like victory. If for you He has appointed special trials, be assured that in His heart He has kept for you a special place. A soul sorely bruised is a soul elect.”

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

He wins

I woke up Sunday morning at 6:00 am and couldn't go back to sleep: not exactly my idea of a Sunday Funday.  I realize that I could have spent the next few hours in prayer or reading the Word or something, but all I wanted to do was watch Grey's Anatomy and that is exactly what I did.  By the time I got ready for church, I developed a terrible headache and considered not going, but I went anyway.  I swung through the McDonald's drive thru for a sweet tea and of course it took forever.  I made it to church and my head hurt so bad I thought I was going to throw up.  I sat in the last row, against the wall, in case I needed to excuse myself.

I was in pain and distracted during worship and contemplated bolting.  But I didn't.  And I'm so thankful I stayed: our sermon was just what I needed to hear, I was mentioned in the bulletin under a prophetic word, and we had a beautiful time of praying over each other at the end of our church service, with half the church standing to give and receive prayer.

{totally worth watching the service:}

While the enemy fights hard to distract us and pull us away from the Lord, the Lord fights harder to remind us who He is and how much He loves us.  So grateful!  It was just what I needed to prepare my heart for Nicaragua.

{Oh yeah, I'm heading to Nicaragua this Saturday for eight days.}

Thursday, June 13, 2013


i found myself praying this morning...six simple words.  simple, yet powerful.

i love you...i need you.

over and over again.  rhythmically almost.

i love you as i breathed in.  breathing the lord in.

i need you as i breathed out.  he's the only way i can make it in this world.

fill me up to send me out.

walking in the wilderness

The wilderness.  How many of you have felt like you were in the wilderness?  Each wilderness season looks different for everyone.  Are you waiting for a job?  A spouse?  A child?  A loved one to quit drinking?  A friendship to be restored?  A healing?  Salvation for a loved one?  Is there something you are longing for deep in your bones that you haven’t seen come to fruition yet?  

Paul had a thorn in his side and pleaded with the Lord to remove it; but He did not.  Rather, the Lord said to him, “my grace is sufficient for you; my power is made perfect in weakness.”  But, do we believe that?  Is His grace sufficient in all things?

Proverbs 13:12
Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a desire fulfilled is a tree of life.

Can any of you relate to those words?  I know I can.

I’ve recently been in a wilderness season myself.  My family encountered many hardships, including financial difficulties, health challenges, and the loss of both of my remaining grandparents.  I got my heart broken.  Some friendships needed to change drastically.  I wrestled with my future and the plans the Lord has for me.  In this midst of all this, I moved in with my parents; we live together for the first time in over 11 years.  For those of you who live with your adult children and/or parents - you know what I’m talking about!   ;)  If I had a $1 for every tear shed in this season, I’d be pretty rich.

The wilderness.  It is a time of great challenge.  

His grace is sufficient...

Matthew 3:13 - 4:2
Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to John, to be baptized by him. John would have prevented him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?” But Jesus answered him, “Let it be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he consented. And when Jesus was baptized, immediately he went up from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on him; and behold, a voice from heaven said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.”
Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And after fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry.

This is one of my favorite passages.  We see Jesus being baptized.  We see the Holy Spirit coming down on Jesus!  (And He has not left!)  We see that God the Father tells Jesus he is pleased with him.  The Father is pleased with who Jesus is!  This is before Jesus ever did ministry publicly and the Father is pleased!  These are the greatest blessings we can receive: the presence and power of the Holy Spirit and praises from our Heavenly Father.

And then...then we see that the Holy Spirit led Jesus into the wilderness.  Jesus followed him there, he was obedient - even as it led to a place with hardship and temptation - just like our wilderness experiences do.  The wilderness can feel like the worst place on earth to be, but if the Lord leads you there, it is not.  

The Israelites wandered in the desert for 40 years.  40 years!  Can you imagine?  40 years of waiting.  Mark Batterson said that waiting often leads to spiritual confusion and emotional exhaustion.  I am willing to bet the Israelites felt confused and exhausted.  I know I have!  Have you?!  BUT in the midst of wandering, God was there.  

His grace is sufficient...

Deuteronomy 2:7
For the Lord your God has blessed you in all the work of your hands. He knows you're going through this great wilderness. These forty years the Lord your God has been with you. You have lacked nothing.”’

It doesn’t always feel like you’re lacking nothing, right?  Sometimes it feels like you are lacking everything...

Deuteronomy 8:2-4
And you shall remember the whole way that the Lord your God has led you these forty years in the wilderness, that he might humble you, testing you to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep his commandments or not. And he humbled you and let you hunger and fed you with manna, which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that he might make you know that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord. Your clothing did not wear out on you and your foot did not swell these forty years.

Why does the Lord bring us to the wilderness?  He humbles us.  He tests our hearts.  He sees if we will obey him in all things.  Being humbled and tested isn’t fact, it often hurts a whole lot.  But it is for our good.  God has the power - and I believe he takes delight and great care - to refine us and make us more like Him.  But sometimes that can only be done in the hard places.  

AND he is ALWAYS with us in these places!  He gave the Israelites manna every day so that they had something to eat.  He didn’t give them a great big storehouse of it, but he gave it to them every day so they would have to depend on him for it.  The Lord was gracious to them and did not let their clothes wear out or their shoes.  He provided for them each and every step of the way -- even if it wasn’t the way they wanted him to provide.  Amidst the hardships, there are blessings.  So many blessings and so many things to be thankful for!  I find that gratitude begets gratitude...the more blessings I see, the more I continue to see.

His grace is sufficient...

Hosea 2:14-15
“Therefore, behold, I will allure her, and bring her into the wilderness, and speak tenderly to her. And there I will give her her vineyards and make the Valley of Achor a door of hope. And there she shall answer as in the days of her youth, as at the time when she came out of the land of Egypt.

These verses make me smile.  I love that it says he will allure her...he will pursue her into the wilderness.  For those of you who can relate to the wilderness, it may seem like such a contradiction!  If you love me, why are you taking me into a place of hardship?!?  But it is in the wilderness, that he can speak tenderly to her!  In the wilderness, you are broken enough to listen.  And it is in the wilderness that hope is restored.  

I have to tell you something.  The biggest piece of fruit this wilderness season has produced for me is presence.  Over the past nine(ish) months, the Lord has taught me so much about being in His presence.  When I stepped into the wilderness there were days I just didn’t know what to do.  My heart ached.  Circumstances seemed to be anything but favorable.  I work for a university and there are many I would go to a random building on my lunch break and find a bathroom stall.  I would turn the lights off and sit on the floor in the dark begging God to speak to me; demanding that the Holy Spirit show up!

And you know what?  He did!  I could tangibly feel his presence in there with me!  And He spoke to me - He gave me hope.  He gave me comfort.  He gave me the encouragement I needed to take one more step, to move ahead, to keep trusting him.  Months later, it is my favorite part of the day.  Sometimes I even crawl under the desk in my office, lay down, and wait expectantly on God to show up, to be near to me, and to restore my hope.  

Isaiah 45:3
I will give you treasures of darkness and the hoards in secret places, that you may know that it is I, the Lord, the God of Israel, who call you by name.

Sometimes the secret places are in the bathroom and under pieces of furniture...  

Where are the secret places for you?  If you don’t have one, I challenge you to find one.  Is there some place that you can go where your defenses are down and you are less distracted so that your ears are opened?  Your heart more receptive to the presence and voice of our Lord Jesus?  Mark Batterson says that a change of pace and a change of place equals a change of perspective.  And sometimes a change of perspective is exactly what we need.  

His grace is sufficient...

David Powelson says, The  real  adventure  takes the  path  of  weakness,  struggle,  endurance,  patience,  small  kindnesses  done  well.  The  road  to  excellence  in  wisdom  is unglamorous.  Other  people  might  take  better  vacations  and  have  a  more  thrilling  marriage  than  yours.  The  path  of  Jesus  calls forth  more  grit  than  thrill.  He  needed  endurance  far  more  than  he  needed  excitement.  His  kingdom  might  not  cater  to  our cravings  for  derring-­do  and  thrill-­seeking,  but  "solid  joys  and  lasting  treasures  none  but  Zion’s  children  know."

God the father sent his only son Jesus to this earth to show us how to live, to save us from our sins.  He is the only way to heaven and salvation.  Salvation of our souls and of our lives; Jesus is the only one that can bring us true healing and restoration.  He is the only one who can make us lie down in green pastures and restore our souls.  Jesus came to bring life and life to the fullest!  But sometimes that life is not fun or easy; sometimes it is a daily battle.  

If you are trying to make it day by day, waiting and hoping for an answer, a solution, a peace.  I pray that our God who created the mountains and the seas, who is beyond all time, and able to do anything, who created you and has known you since before you were born, will be near to you.  James tells us to draw near to God and He will draw near to us.  In my trials, my joy has been renewed.  Any joy that I have comes from a dependence on Jesus and being in the presence of the Holy Spirit.  

I am sure that each of us has a story to tell about wandering in the wilderness.

Sometimes you can’t see outside if your circumstances.  Sometimes you can't see out of your prison walls.  Can you relate?  I can.  It does NOT change who he is or the good things he has done!  

Remember what he has done.  What has he done?   I can personally attest to the following:  watching a friend come to know Jesus.  Watching a friend receive the gift of tongues.  Watching someone be healed.  Praying for someone to get pregnant. Hearing a friend talk about being baptized in the Holy Spirit. Having food provided weekly to a ministry I help with.  And many more things.  And I am sure that each of you can attest to things the Lord has done!  Ways you know he is alive and active!

Our circumstances are not how god feels about you.  How god feels about you is the cross!!  His grace is sufficient...

Ephesians 1:3
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places.

If you know Jesus, you have already been blessed with every spiritual blessing!  The Lord is not holding out on you.  Satan and our circumstances may try to tell us otherwise, but the Lord tells us the truth!  It is my prayer that all of us will believe this and live our lives accordingly.  

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

getting goats

By far, the greatest blessing for me in my wilderness season has been hearing from the Lord clearly and personally and being in His presence.  As I've begun walking out of this season (or, it seems that I am and I hope that I am!), it's been a little bit harder for me to hear and feel the Lord.  I know that ebbs and flows in life, but I've missed it when it hasn't been as tangible.

The talk I posted yesterday is so good.  He has another one from the same conference, too.

At one point in the first talk, Your Calling is Calling, Steven talks about how our calling is present not future.  He speaks of the story of the prodigal son.  Regarding the older son - he wanted what he already had: access to his father's abundance.  Often times, we do the same thing: we wait on god to give us something he already has. If the older son wanted a goat, all he had to do was GO GET A GOAT!  Oh, how I needed to hear those words and to be emboldened in my relationship with the Lord.

I was reminded of a new favorite verse, Ephesians 3:1, "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places."  I have already been blessed with every spiritual blessing because of Jesus!  And I should own that!

I spent time with the Lord over my lunch break today, as I do most days.  And there was something I needed an answer to and some things I needed to be reassured about.  You know what?  I wanted some goats and I asked for them and I got them.  I was tempted to believe that I wouldn't hear from the Lord, but I believed that I would.  I asked and I received!  And I had a sweet conversation with the Lord about things that had been running through my head and my heart.

I don't know about you, but I think God is honored by our expectations.  I think satan likes to tempt us with thoughts like, "he won't really answer me," or "I can't expect God to do x,y,z; it isn't polite," or whatever he whispers in our ears to make us think we are not worthy to go before the throne of the King and share our hearts.  Oh, how deceptive is that lie.

Hebrews 4:15-16, "For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need."

If you need a goat, go get a goat!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013


I've thought a lot about calling over the past few months, year, several years?  Haha.  It always seems to be on my mind or in the back of my head a little bit.  What should I be doing?  What am I called to do?  You know the drill.

Just listened to this talk.  Rocked my world.

Monday, June 10, 2013

tail lights

I haven't felt like writing for a long time.  Clearly.  Months have passed without a single post.  And this blog may not be on anyone's radar or reader anymore.  And, that's alright.

I read an email today that had a link to a blog post I'd written a year ago and it caught me by surprise.  One, I didn't know the author of the email ever read my blog.  Two, I read the post and was taken back to a day that seemed like a lifetime ago...the record is nice to have.

I started to post shortly after I read that email, but had nothing to say.  No story to tell.  But, tonight God answered the prayer I didn't put much thought into praying: a story.

I met some friends after work for prayer and such, then ran an errand, and headed to Trader Joe's.  I dashed home for supper and to whip up lunches for the rest of the week.  I started putting laundry away and then finally made it out the door to exercise.  Since my last post, I'd gotten out of running shape and have been doing the Couch to 5k program to get back into it.  So, I headed out the door and was having a decent go of it.

Also since I my last post, I moved in with my parents (yes, it happened).  My roommate situtation needed to change and I need to figure a few things out that didn't include signing a back in with mom and dad for the first time since high school.  When I go running, my dad always asks if I'm staying in the neighborhood or not.  Same thing tonight.  And, I was.

Now, the other thing you should know is that since the last post, I have really been in a war...I'd been in the wilderness, but the volume kept getting turned up on life.  If satan wasn't going after me physically, he came after me emotionally and spiritually.  And, today I felt the mental attacks.  The run was the climax of the attacks.

As I was on my last leg of the run, and it started raining: not too bad at first, but then the rain came down harder and harder and the wind picked me up.  Things were blowing into my person; it got a little crazy!  I put my phone down my shorts and hoped I could make it home.  At one point I thought, "I bet dad will come get me," but I never saw him.  So I figured he wasn't coming.  I was a big girl, I could make it on my own.  And just as I was almost home, I saw the tail lights of his car ... and then I saw him back out of the driveway coming to retrieve me.  Such sweet comfort and gratitude.

And it struck me: I do the same thing with God the Father.  I hope He'll show up, I don't see him when I think he should, and just when I start to think he won't come, he does.  My God comes to rescue those who need rescuing.  And many times that is me.

Psalm 30:1
I will extol you, O Lord, for you have rescued me, and have not let my foes rejoice over me.