Tuesday, December 2, 2008

in the silence

God + miranda + guitar + stillness = a good time. :)

ps - if you've never heard it... you should listen to Jason Upton's song... "In the Silence" this song has reopened my heart to God countless times, and just... yea.. it challenges me and renews my spirit every time i listen to it. :) go..... listen!! (now) :)

Monday, November 17, 2008

satan sucks!

ARGH!!!!!! why does satan have to watch us, and know us...? No, he doesn't know us like God knows us.. but... sigh. I don't know, this isn't much of a blog.. but i just needed to yell (or type) about how frustrating it is that when we finally feel like we're starting to get close to the heart of God again..... Satan is right there to say, "hah! you think i'm going tomake it that easy?" and he just works overtime. Not even by tempting us.. but.... just making us doubt, and question, and stealing our joy, and making us feel like god changes because of our circumstances. And.... why does satan have to be so convincing? HUMPH!!!!!

PS- I used "feel" on purpose there, because I know God doesn't change because of/with my circumstances.... but, it feels like that. argh you satan!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

don't split the poles

"don't split the poles".....
Four words, but with such a profound meaning behind them. Tonight I met 'John', a man no more than 30, but with a history as long as America's. A man who's whole world revolved around how he's going to get his next high. A man who wonders where he's going to be able to buy enough drugs to turn around and sell so he can put food on the table for kids that aren't even his,and for a woman whose dominering nature and his own addictions are suffocating him as I write. Yet a man with loyalty that runs so deep, he even tries to protect me and make me understand why this loyalty is so important. Don't split the poles really means.... don't leave our group, don't abandon us.. they'll eat you alive out there if you do (go out there alone)..... it's dangerous on the other side of the pole. And he's right.... for 'John' and so many like him (and for us all, if we're honest), there's danger in being alone. there's danger in succluding ourselves, even if we don't mean to. But there's help, and security (even if it's minimal) in loyalty.

God's been challening my heart with loyalty a lot in this last year. I've had to give a deep look at what I see as loyalty, how I deal with staying loyal even when it's with things I don't agree with, and what type of loyalty I give to the people in my life. I've also had to wrestle with giving people too much loyalty, when I know they're "walking all over me" or when they don't return the loyalty. Now, I'm not saying that all loyalty needs to be returned, at least not in the same way... no, certainly not. But you can't be incredibly loyal to a person who doesn't give two hoots about you.. you just can't... and if you're trying.. it's not healthy. I'm convinced of that, and have been convicted of that lately.

God has used Dan's family, and lately, my Emmaus guys to challenge my heart in the area of loyalty. Things that they didn't get growing up that I did are yes of (some) importance, but I think there's a sense of loyalty and love that maybe i didn't see. A loyalty that runs so deep the bonds of addiction, abuse, jail, "the system".... nothing... can break it. Now, of course, sometimes with things like abuse,it's not healthy, nor good to keep that loyalty. But what I've found is more than not.... this incredible sense of loyalty is a wonderful thing. And sometimes, the only thing that gets people through.

How does this effect us white suburban people....? us middle-class christian people...? well... I'm not sure if it DOES... but it SHOULD impact us profoundly. I think this sense of loyalty is very much lacking in the church of today. Yes, we say we'll "pray for you" and we'll "be thinking of you".....but where does the rubber meet the road... what does that look like to someone trying to kick a meth habit, or someone trying to get out of the cycle of prostitution, or someone dealing with an extremely broken and disfunctional home...... what does our cliche "I'll pray for you" mean..? usually it means just another "institution" letting them down, but this time it's the church. The body of Christ. But that's not true.... or, it shouldn't be true. The body of Christ should rise above. Rise above the labels that are put on us, or the hypocracy that we hate but see all the time in our churches. Rise above and love people. Rise above and ACTUALLY pray. Rise above and see them where they are, desire to see them somewhere else... but take them as they are.... take them as Jesus does.

So how can I... how can you... how are we, as a body of Christ take people as Jesus does.... this week.....? Don't just think about it... do it! :)

Friday, October 3, 2008


not much to say except that I love being a college kid in that we're allowed to do crazy things that no one else would do. I love being spontaneous - it's great! :) also...... God is just... sigh... incredible. :) And we all know that - but isn't it wonderful to have days when you just feel like the entire day is basking in His glory? Not sure why - but I always equate closing my eyes in the warm rays of sunshine with basking in His glory - being in nature. But, idk. today was a day of total amazement and wonder at/in Abba. :) Another great day of being close to His side as his precious daughter - thank you Father!! I love you!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008


OK - here goes... God is amazing... :) commitments that best describe well.. that best describe my commitments to Christ (for lack ofbetter phrasology). :)

~ I'm committed to living a life of telling people about Jesus through vocational ministry
~ I'm committed to living.... being in the place that God has me in... until He says otherwise...

Sounds simple - but... big implications. I'm not writing much today... but I wanted to get this down while it was still fresh in my mind.. not because I will forget it's truth in my heart.. but because I will forget how to phrase it best in my human tongue. That's all.... I love Jesus, and praise Him - He loves me more. :)

Blessings today....

Monday, September 29, 2008


I'll let you know now - this is the longest yet - I'm sorry.... :/ but my heart and spirit needed this....

This has been a week (or so.. a bit longer really) of reminiscing..... missing Asia, missing friends and family in Iowa. And not knowing which is stronger, and not feeling wonderful nor fully plugged in here. Idk. I thought about it tonight as I sat in a room with two girls I didn't know at all, one girl I kind of know, and one girl I know pretty well.... I felt completely out of it per-say... I feel the most complete when I'm alone with God,and yes, that's an oxymoron, but oh well - deal with it! :) And I feel most alone in a crowded room usually. Strange.. and all of this coming from the girl who's supposed to be very outgoing, and loves meeting new people. The relational person.... but there's loneliness in being relational unless they're deep friendships that span time and encounters/experiences and everything that goes along with those two.

I think I need to try harder to befriend girls... i don't know why it's always been so difficult, but argh! it is! I know I need them, but it's hard. I've never related to them as well as guys. I can only be "girly" for so long. And no, that's not something that necessarily needs to be a part of a female friendship - but I think it does have it's time and place. But for me - not very often... that's just not me. I hear girls screeching and giggling loudly in the hall, and I roll my eyes.... But, I'm not usually very good about praying for deep relationships with girls. I do sometimes, but not nearly as often as I should. :/

Anyway.. about reminiscing.. as this crazy scattered blog of mine is titled - I wanted to copy down a few things I wrote while in Cambodia...... oh how I miss it.... so desperately. Dear Lord keep me content... not keep me... MAKE me content Lord. May I know that you DO have me here for a reason.. and if you may be so gracious, show me why that is... why you have me at Moody, in Chicago for this season. And, if you'd also be so willing and gracious, show me how long you want this season to be.... may I feel at complete peace about it all. But.. if it's not your will for me to know... then keep me moving through each day with a love and passion for you so much that it doesn't matter where I long as you are there with me, which.. I know you are Lord. Thank you for that. Thank you for waking up next to me this morning, and going through this day with me. I love you Abba!

The hospital is nothing like what I expected at all. I was expecting an actual building with hallways and rooms connected. But no - well, I guess it's some of that - there are rooms. But they're totally open-air and each room serves as another family's home. Bu they're not in a normal building, it's a slab of dirty concrete - one, big, long lonely slab of a building where they stuck metal frames with thin boards of wood and called them beds, and said this is "home." But home... what does the word home mean for an AIDS family.

For one girl of only 4 years old, it means having a couple take care of her now that both of her parents have died of AIDS within the last 6 months. It means a wife, trying to raise two of her three children while the oldest if off in the world trying to make a way for himself, while she copes with having AIDS herself. But the hardest part - watching her husband, an unfaithful man... the man who's given her this wretched disease - watching him die such a miserable death, knowing it's his fault that she's infected. And knowing she's going to die the same way he is now, the only difference is that he won't be alive to take care of her. She'll be alone.... this is pain. "

and the last one is from the 2nd day in the country - Nov. 29th, 2007
"The face of poverty has already struck me. As I sit in a good room, writing with a good pen, in a good journal, clothed in good clothes, surrounded by good people. I cannot get her pitiful but beautiful face out of my mind. A little girl, no older than seven... who, only four hours ago was begging at my ankles for money. The dirt and grime that covered her soft sweet face remind me...nothing in her life is good....

Yes, the world can look on and say "if only she was in school. If only she didn't have to beg. If only her father was around. If only she wasn't poor. If only, if only......" But my heart cries out - If only she knew such a GOOD God. Not a God who has good, or does good, but who.. in His essance IS good... Then she would have goodness overflowing upon her. My heart breaks for the people of Cambodia. I love them... Christ loves them.... enough to live and die for them." (the rest was about my promise to God for the time that I was there in cambodia..)

THIS... is what I miss. this is what my heart longs for - at least in some sense... Lord, let me be in ministry. I love PCM, and Emmaus - those are the brightest times of my week. I absolutely love them. God, keep me faithful, and content in them... knowing that you have me here to learn too... and much as it's extremely hard for my heart to grasp or like that... it's true. You are amazing Father... remind me of that, so that my heart may be alined with yours. I love you Abba!

Sunday, September 28, 2008


I'm so frustrated with myself!!!!! Why is it that I'm not in complete and total amazement and awe of my Creator? Why is it that I'm not overwhelmed with thankfulness 24/7 that I am joyful always, because of (and in) HIM?!?! Argh! Why am I a stupid human?!? It's so frustrating - and especially lately.. I'm just..I'mnot living in His joy - I'm not living in Him. I'm not daily waking up and making it a point to start out my day praising Him for who He is..... why? Why am I not doing that?
I think a lot of it is that I'm being emotional.... yes, i know.. female, emotional - makes sense.. but no.... that's not what I mean. I can love him when I'm listing to worship music, I can love him when I'm being encouraged in the word during a sermon, or when I'm watching the joy of someone being baptized..... but what's wrong with me? Why am I not loving Him fully when I'm on the El on my way to the store, or when I'm working out, or when I'm...I don't know....
Why am I relying on my feelings to love Him.. that's so wrong of me! God challenged me, and taught me about the fact that He's not a God of circumstances when I was in Asia. But... I think I came back with the mindset of "oh, well God taught me about that - so I'm done with that lesson..." HAH! Who wa I kidding - we're never done learning lessons from God, even if we've learned them 50 times already.
I don't know.. maybe I'll calm down a bit,and know how to explain myself even better later today...... but, for's time to say "thank you Abba!"

Saturday, September 27, 2008


"you are where God wants you- and you will do so much more ministry with education behind it mird- it's asia, pray for asia, stay in the states- finish school...go spread love".....
My best friend sent this to me this morning. There are just times of incredible doubt, challenging, questioning, reasoning..... pleading. Pleading with God to show me that this is where He wants me, for this time, in this season.... asking for clear confirmation. There hasn't been that since Asia. I earnestly seek,but the answers aren't coming. I hate following blindly,and thought sometimes we need to - I don't think God always wants us to. We have to own our faith, and part of that is being in such communion with Christ that we know what He wants for our lives.
Why God....? why am I here...why now.... why chicago.... why moody..... why NOT Asia.... What NOT on the field.... why NOT in ministry? Will I really have to endure four more years....?
There's passion in me.. I know it... somewhere... but, if I'm not passionate about where God has placed me in this season - honestly.... how effective can I be in this place? God show me - teach me - mold me - make me - but right now....... be the reason I live, and therefore, the reason I'm here... be the reason I stay, or go.... be the reason I do everything - for if I don't do it in your love, as 1 Corinthians says - it's worth nothing.
I can't deny that God brought me back home for a specific reason - but did I truly stay because of Him... or did I stay for selfish reasons...? Did i mask my own selfish desire to stay, by saying that God told me to....? Honestly, part of that answer is yes. But, did God still want it..... I don't know.... sigh.. just the ramblings of a life-long student.God show me...... please.....

Sunday, September 21, 2008


a church home.... wow..... something that should take time, and contemplation, and yet something that may be known to your heart in an instant. Finding a new church home has never been a problem for me.... Dad worked in churches, and therefore, that's WHY we were in the places we were, because of the church. We never had to find a new church home (except once when I was too young to know what was going on really).
So now I'm "off to school".... indeed, I'm here, and as any good Christian kid does, I've gone to church nearly every Sunday since I've been here. I've found one that captured my heart from the get go. "But," my father questions me..."...why?" so.... why....? Why do I love New Life so much?
They're rooted in scripture, everything they do, they incorperate it in.... whether it be the sermon, corperate worship, prayer, communion, baptism. And SHOULD be in all these things. But I'm glad they make it a point to do so. They are passionate about God and His people. The community that's felt from the moment you walk in the door is incredible, and it welcomes you into an atmosphere of corperate worship that's permeated with a sense of..."we're all in the same place... broken in front of the cross of Jesus, needing a savior, needing to be renewed once again... we come together in love to our Lord's throne." They're a relational church - they understand the need for discipleship and fellowship. And, the need to feel like you're a part of a body... THE body of Christ....for that's what He says we are. So why not live it out? :) they realize that we'resaved by's been hard for alot of the people, but that makes us realize that we really do need Him!!!
well, it's taken me forever to just get this much done, because I keep getting distracted by things, or people or calls, or well yea.. life.... sigh, such a perfect picture of what SO much of my life has been.... there's always something or someone or some aspect of life to distract me from God. we are so blessed that He is slow to anger and rich in mercy, aren't we?
blessings tonight...

Saturday, September 20, 2008

The Beginning....

Beginnings... what are they? Who are they for? What do they mean? What do they give us? What can we give them? Who knows.....
In my "Christian-kid" mindset, when I think of the word "beginning" I think of Genesis 1:1 - in the beginning God created the Heavens and the Earth. Well I grew up in the church. But there's so much more to that word, aside from the church mentality. It means the start of new life...Beginnings mean the chance for a fresh start.... something that a lot of us need at some point in our lives. It means the opportunity to make a new name for ourselves... to impact another part of this vast world... to be challenged with new things, new disciplines... and yet another opportunity to be still and know that He is God... I guess I didn't have as much as I thought on beginnings... oh well.. forgive me...

What a mighty God we serve, though? I've been thinking lately on His power, and just... his awesomeness.. He's the only truly awesome One... ever.. for we are called to humble ourselves and stand in AWE of who He is. and what a privilage that is... to be called His child. A child.. or the King, of the Creator.. of GOD.... Jahovah Jirah has chosen me to be His beloved can i let a day go by without standing in awe of that?!?! But i do...and shame on me for that. How incredible His creation is... and how often I miss that. The deep velvet red sunset that streamed through my window this evening.... one can't help but stop and stand in awe of such an amazing God.

More to come... the night is wasting away, and I must sleep at some point, I suppose....