Monday, April 27, 2009

A Stirring

Antonio Corrandini- Bust of a Veiled Woman (Puritas)

"But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. Now the Lord is the Spirit and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is Spirit."
- II Corinthians 3:16-18

New and exciting things are happening. This new work has nothing to do with my physical surroundings and circumstances, it has to do with my heart. God is once again putting a burden in my heart for those who do not know Christ. To be honest that is what my life use to look like and it saddens me to know that many of my current friends haven't seen that part of me. Evangelism was my passion and I would actively look for opportunities to talk about Christ. However, during my sophomore year of college all of that changed. I had moved to a new state, and started a new school. Despite the fact that I had grown up moving all the time, this time was different. I felt utterly alone and struggled with a variety of issues that year which left me completely focused on myself. I had lost my first love and I had forgotten a calling the Lord had placed on my life...a call to go, and tell.

Despite how lost I felt, God was still doing a work in my heart. He had directed me to study missions in college (which funny enough is all about evangelism). I graduated college with a degree in Christian ministries emphasizing missions. After school I worked at Starbucks (sure it's no Papua New Guinea) but during my time there I was given opportunities to talk with my co-workers about Christ. Once I moved to Louisville I began working at this home for girls and saw the Lord open up a door for me to lead a Bible study with some of the kids. During all of this I felt like something was stirring yet my passion was not there. It was not like things had been in high school (more stories about that some day...maybe). It truly felt like part of me was asleep.

However, since December the embers have been stoked again and this new work has been stirring in my heart. God has been healing old wounds and reminding me of my new life in him! God has worked in my heart removing pride and teaching me how to cultivate humility (which he will continue to do until the day I die). I'm sure there have been a multitude of things that have brought me to this point, which I need write down and explore more but in the end as I watch God's hand working I am utterly amazed. The Gospel has become alive to me, in a way that it never has before. Since the Gospel has rooted itself even deeper into my life I am overwhelmed with the thought of keeping such wonderful freedom and hope to myself.

A few days ago I prayed for the first time in years specifically asking God to bring opportunities for me to share my faith. Lo and behold, I have seen the Lord open up a surprising number of doors to share the Gospel. God has been teaching me more than I can take in. These things I have learned and the opportunities I have been given are so sweet that I can't bear to think of having any less yet they are so daunting that I am struggling to fully trust the Lord's guidance.

So that is the new and exciting work. My heart is stirred to begin more actively sharing my faith. I honestly have no idea what that will end up looking like but these new opportunities are teaching me to always keep my eyes open to what God may have me do. There is much I can write about but right now I just desire prayer that God would continue to do a mighty work and that I would unashamedly share the reason for the hope that I have (I Peter 3:15-16). There is still much fear of man in my heart and a strong sense of inadequacy but thankfully God's grace is sufficient for me and his power is made perfect in weakness!

"The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God." - II Corinthians 4:4

O Father, break our hearts!!
If we truly love and care for them, how could we keep silent?

Monday, April 20, 2009

Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad!!

Two posts in one day...whew. Well I couldn't forget to leave a post for my parents wishing them a happy 29th wedding anniversary!

Mom and Dad,

I love you both so much and am blessed beyond measure to have your godly marriage to look to. Your advice and love over the years has taught me more than I can say. Thank you!! I wish I could be there to celebrate with you but I'm hoping our little gift will help out with that! Have a beautiful day celebrating all the years that God has blessed you with.

Love always,

California Dreaming

There continues to be nothing new and exciting in our neck of the woods. My heart still longs to move on to full time ministry but God is beginning to settle my heart a bit. However I am seriously looking forward to our trip out to California at the end of May. Our flight leaves on either the 21st or 22nd (I can't remember. It's a good thing Jon has all of that under control). We will be out there for a whole week and I can't wait! We'll spend the first couple of days in the LA area with Jon's family for Matthew's graduation and a few days later Jon and I will drive up the pacific coast to San Francisco for an early anniversary celebration. Did I mention that I seriously can't wait for this trip? It is long overdue.

Jon only has a couple weeks of classes left until his spring semester comes to a close and we begin our sprint to the finish. Woohoo!! I know he is excited but also a little overwhelmed because he still has quite a bit to do before he is finished. We are both ready for a change and I think California will do just the trick. Oooo, makes me want to pick and leave right now.

The only new thing with me is that I have finally finished the David Brainerd book (which is an incredible story and well worth the time) and have now moved on to A Chance to Die: The Life and Legacy of Amy Carmichael, written by Elisabeth Elliot. I've really been enjoying reading through biographies of missionaries and I still have a long list of books I would like to read. I'm sure many more will get added to this list.

Hudson Taylor's Spiritual Secret
- Praying Hyde, Apostle of Prayer: The Life Story of John Hyde
- To the Golden Shore: The Life of Adoniram Judson
- Jungle Pilot
- Through Gates of Splendor
- Shadow of the Almighty

Another book I thought looked fascinating is: Eternity in Their Hearts: Startling Evidence of Belief in the One True God in Hundreds of Cultures Throughout the World (written by Don Richardson). He is the same man who wrote Peace Child, an amazing book about his life as a missionary in the jungles of Papua New Guinea and how God broke through to the tribal people he was ministering to.

Anyways, so yeah I'm trying to use this time to stir and prepare my heart for ministry in the coming years. God is continuing to give my heart a burden for missions though I'm still not entirely sure why. I long to be earnest in hearing the heart of my Savior and following his leading. A quote I read from the Amy Carmichael book stood out to me last night, "Satan is so much more in earnest than we are - he buys up the opportunity while we are wondering how much it will cost." I desire know the voice of my Savior so clearly that I will be quick to obey even if I think the cost will be great. My ministry at this point in my life is not exactly what I imagined it but God is moving and I want to continue to live in that moment and not just look forward to something "better." I'm learning, slowly.

A quick aside. This morning at church a song lyric convicted my heart so much so that I couldn't even sing it.

"Break my heart for what breaks yours. Everything I am for your kingdom's cause..."

Do I live like that? Lord stir my heart. Despite how mundane life seems at times God is still moving in a mighty way and I'm thankful. So yeah, that's about it with me. Great is the Lord and most worthy of praise. His greatness no one can fathom!!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Praise God

I was so incredibly humbled today as I heard a beautiful story of God's grace being displayed. Jon and I heard news today that someone our small group had been praying for has accepted Christ! Hearing stories of God drawing people to himself is always utterly amazing to me and I can't help but feel compelled to praise God. Thank you Father!! It puts things in perspective doesn't it?!? It sure does for me.

"If you, O Lord kept a record of sins, O Lord who could stand? But with you their is forgiveness; therefore you are feared."
- Psalm 130:3-4

Friday, April 17, 2009

Looking to Christ

I honestly don't ever feel like I have much to say on this blog. My life seems less than exciting. I guess the content of this blog will get more interesting once Jon nears the end of school or we start our family. Right now the monotany of life leaves me speechless. So I think I'll just catch you up on something the Lord taught me this week.

Lately I've continued to struggle with being content. I'm not sure why my heart seems so set on longing for things other than Christ. It is a frustrating place to live yet I do desire for my heart to rest fully in my Savior. That has been my prayer the past couple of weeks but it has still been a battle nonetheless. The sermon on Sunday was wonderful and one particular picture my pastor painted really stuck out to me. He compared believers to a soldier still waging war against the enemy. The end of the war had been declared but the enemy, still fighting strong, was either not aware of their defeat or did not want to admit the end had come and they had lost. We as Christians continue to fight our battles day to day against the enemy however despite the battles that still wage on in our hearts and lives the ultimate war has already been won! Christ has become victorious over sin and death and we are victorious through him.

"And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, by cancelling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross. He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him." - Colossians 2:13-15

I'm clinging to that truth tonight as I struggle in battle to stay focused on Christ. Praise God who is victorious!!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Christ is Risen!!

Caravaggio- The Doubting of St. Thomas
One thing I have truly enjoyed about working nights is being able to see the beginning of a brand new day especially on days such as today. It is 1:43am on Easter Sunday and I can't help but think what this morning was like over 2,000 years ago. Jesus Christ is risen!! It is through His sinless sacrifice that we are made whole and able to stand guiltless before a holy God. While we were enemies of the cross, steeped in our sin Christ died for us. "For the wages of sin is death but the GIFT of God is eternal life IN Jesus Christ our Lord."

Luke 24: 1-12

"But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they went to the tomb, taking the spices they had prepared. And they found the stone rolled away from the tomb,but when they went in they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were perplexed about this, behold,two men stood by them in dazzling apparel. And as they were frightened and bowed their faces to the ground, the men said to them, "Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen. Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee, that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men and be crucified and on the third day rise." And they remembered his words, and returning from the tomb they told all these things to the eleven and to all the rest. Now it was Mary Magdalene and Joanna and Mary the mother of James and the other women with them who told these things to the apostles, but these words seemed to them an idle tale, and they did not believe them. But Peter rose and ran to the tomb; stooping and looking in, he saw the linen cloths by themselves; and he went home marveling at what had happened."
Cornelis Monsma - Resurrection

Rembrandt - The Resurrection of Christ

William Blake - The Resurrection
There in the ground His body lay,
Light of the world by darkness slain;
Then bursting forth in glorious day,
Up from the grave He rose again!
And as He stands in victory,
Sin's curse has lost its grip on me;
For I am His and He is mine—
Bought with the precious blood of Christ.
- Verse 3 In Christ Alone

Thursday, April 9, 2009


I had a refreshing conversation with my dad today. He is such a blessing to me and often has just the right words to speak to wherever I am. I will be forever grateful for the godly wisdom he has given me over the years. Something he said today got me thinking. A while back I was struggling with feeling content and completely burnt out and for a while that feeling went away. However those strong emotions came back with ferocity these past couple of weeks and I just feel completely overwhelmed. My dad mentioned that I need to find some sort of outlet for all of these emotions and I agree. Dad mentioned that I should get back to writing music...problem is, I have no way to do that. I can write down lyrics until I'm blue in the face but most of my inspiration comes when I sit down at a piano and play. Right now we have a one bedroom apartment with no place for a piano at all so obviously I miss it terribly. A few months ago I went out, played around and picked out the keyboard I want. Here it is and hopefully one day I will be able to buy it.

The Yahama CP33

Here's to dreaming.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Sleep Deprived

Wow, it has been a painful week! I have struggled since Thursday to get enough sleep and I am way behind. These long restless days have left me feeling a lot less like a human and a lot more like a zombie. Geez. I have been irritable, emotional and just plain exhausted. Every time the alarm clock goes off I wake up almost in tears because I want more than anything just to get some more sleep! It has been an uphill battle for me and I think that it all revolves around the fact that I haven't been sleeping enough. 3rd shift is sucking the life out of me.

Okay, there is my complaint. I'll leave it at that. At this very moment a quote from CJ Mahaney is ringing in my ears, "An ungrateful person is a proud person." Ugh. Okay...I know. During these long days I find myself desperately crying out to God, "I need you!" Despite the obvious truth that I am in great need of my Savior I have struggled to live that out. I haven't been joyful in these trying circumstances and my life has not in any way been an offering to the Lord. At this very moment I feel broken.

Despite the difficulties of this past week God has been so gracious and continues to teach me in my weakest moments. I hope to share more about that in the upcoming days but right now I am weary. So I guess I'll close this with a Psalm...I often find that when words are few it is easier for me to pray scripture. I've read through this Psalm a couple of times tonight and have enjoyed its truth. I hope it serves as an encouragement to you.

Psalm 34
"I will bless the LORD at all times; his praise shall continually be in my mouth. My soul makes its boast in the LORD; let the humble hear and be glad. Oh, magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt his name together! I sought the LORD, and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears. Those who look to him are radiant, and their faces shall never be ashamed. This poor man cried, and the LORD heard him and saved him out of all his troubles. The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear him, and delivers them. Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him! Oh, fear the LORD, you his saints, for those who fear him have no lack! The young lions suffer want and hunger; but those who seek the LORD lack no good thing. Come, O children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the LORD. What man is there who desires life and loves many days, that he may see good? Keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking deceit. Turn away from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it. The eyes of the LORD are toward the righteous and his ears toward their cry. The face of the LORD is against those who do evil, to cut off the memory of them from the earth. When the righteous cry for help, the LORD hears and delivers them out of all their troubles. The LORD is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the LORD delivers him out of them all. He keeps all his bones; not one of them is broken. Affliction will slay the wicked, and those who hate the righteous will be condemned. The LORD redeems the life of his servants; none of those who take refuge in him will be condemned."

Friday, April 3, 2009

Pressing On

Often times I feel silly writing about my life because it seems rather boring to me, at least right now. The most eventful thing that has happened this week is that our puppy Paisley went to the vet to have her spay and tack done so she has been out of commission for a few days. As of today Paisley is thankfully getting back to her old self which makes following the doctor's orders of restricted activity difficult to say the least. Oh well. I'll post pictures later this week if I get the chance because Paisley has quite a scar.

Spiritually things have been less consistent than I would like. I was blessed yet again by some true Christian fellowship. I had a wonderful conversation with a friend at church on Sunday that left me feeling so encouraged and refreshed. However once Sunday passed and I headed into another week I was yet again faced with the sin of pride. This time God specifically used my husband Jon to remind me of those areas of my life where pride is still firmly rooted and I am truly thankful for his honesty. There were a couple of rough days (especially on Wednesday) when I really struggled and I remember Jon telling me that I needed to spend time with the Lord. That constant reminder of my need for Christ every single day was incredibly precious. It is good to remember that I am not in any way capable of living a life pleasing to the Lord without relying on his abundant grace and mercy.

With spiritual growth seemingly moving at a snails pace it is good to have an area in my life where I can see more obvious results which is one reason why memorizing scripture has been such a blessing. I have finally memorized the eleven verses out of Philippians 2. If you couldn't already tell I have not really practiced the discipline of memorizing scripture for quite some time. As I finished up the section from Philippians on Monday morning I was elated. However the pride I felt after achieving a relatively small feat was tempered with the sad realization that it took me over 2 weeks to memorize a mere 11 verses. To break that down into even simpler and more humbling terms that equals out to memorizing less than a verse a day. Ouch! I do have to admit that it felt great to memorize a slighty larger portion of scripture. Being able to sit down and recite that passage made me hungry to try something a little more challenging. This is a discipline I would like to continue to cultivate in my life even after this time of lent ends and one that I would like to pass on to my children.

Memory Verse IV:
"I will exalt you, my God the King; I will praise your name for ever and ever. Every day I will praise you and extol your name for ever and ever. Great is the LORD and most worthy of praise; his greatness no one can fathom. One generation will commend your works to another; they will tell of your mighty acts. They will speak of the glorious splendor of your majesty, and I will meditate on your wonderful works. They will tell of the power of your awesome works, and I will proclaim your great deeds. They will celebrate your abundant goodness and joyfully sing of your righteousness. The LORD is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love. The LORD is good to all; he has compassion on all he has made. All you have made will praise you, O LORD; your saints will extol you. They will tell of the glory of your kingdom and speak of your might, so that all men may know of your mighty acts and the glorious splendor of your kingdom. Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and your dominion endures through all generations. The LORD is faithful to all his promises and loving toward all he has made. The LORD upholds all those who fall and lifts up all who are bowed down. The eyes of all look to you, and you give them their food at the proper time. You open your hand and satisfy the desires of every living thing. The LORD is righteous in all his ways and loving toward all he has made. The LORD is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth. He fulfills the desires of those who fear him; he hears their cry and saves them. The LORD watches over all who love him, but all the wicked he will destroy. My mouth will speak in praise of the LORD. Let every creature praise his holy name for ever and ever."
Psalm 145

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Day After Day- West Coast Revival

This song has been blessing me like crazy! What awesome truth! How can I not be completely satisfied in Christ after being reminded that "neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord." Amen!!