Monday, December 9, 2013

Coward to Courageous

“But in all his relationships, God reaches for man.
Reaches for you who have fallen and scraped your heart raw, for you who feel the shame of words that have snaked off your tongue and poisoned corners of your life, for you who keep trying to cover up pain with perfectionism.
Three words come through in the thicket of failure:
Where are you?
-The Greatest Gift, Ann Voskamp

Let's take it back a few years, maybe all the way to 8th grade when I really started to learn about God and crave for his relationship, most of all to be a light for him. But I did not know how… or maybe I did I just lacked the courage. As my heart was cowering in the corner peering out at the light that it was afraid to grasp, not because it did not want the light but because my heart knew once it allowed itself to over flow with light then it would have to share it. Let it shine. Speak the truth. Change my life.

Years passed… middle school, high school, college. They all came and went with my heart in the same place, staring at the light from afar not sure what to do with it. Sometimes my heart would move closer and then back off once the fear of earthly failure, the fear of what would happen next sank in, when the words of Satan became too powerful. His words of a haunted past, his words of sins, he would take my heart and scrape it raw with lies that I was never good enough… making my heart cower back in the corner again just looking on, knowing the truth but to afraid to do anything about it.

Then a friend… a friend whom I have had since high school spoke the truth to me. She said I needed to find a mentor, to find a church family with a life group and become a part of it; that I needed to look for more in this life than just attending church and believing. So I began to pray, to pray for a mentor, to pray for a church family that would bring us a life group to gather around us in storms, to be a word of encouragement, to show my husband and I how to take a leap of faith. No more than a month later the prayer was answered.

At this moment so many realities began to sink in… I had been trying to write my own story but God has a bigger one. I thought I was holding the pen that would write a great story of true love and kids and simple life… but then I realized that I was not holding a pen at all. That by trying to be the author in this great story has only caused heartache. God’s heart was breaking as I pushed him away and sought out my own story, and what a mess I had made; pages scribbled on, no plot… characters coming and going. Then I handed my messy book over to the creator of the heavens and earth and begged him to take it from here, "you’re the writer and I am but a character, I am but a small piece in your work of art. But please, please let me be a part of this story". And he has! Oh! He has!

In the past few months I have seen him erasing my scribbles and writing a beautiful story. A story written about a coward finding courage. A story of a lonesome heart finding multiple mentors, women after God’s own heart, a church family and a life group that have been nothing but encouraging to my husband and I and all because we had faith to let go and jump into his everlasting arms.

You see God does not laugh at failures. God does not cast you aside or strike you down. He lifts you up into his arms and says sit at my feet, drink from my cup, and be filled with my love and my light. Let me send you out into this world to show people there is a refuge from this chaos, that there is a peace that surpasses all and you know the provider!

Where Am I?

My heart has jumped into the light, immersed in it like never before. Overwhelmed and overflowing, now its one task is to pour it out, to shine, to be courageous and trust in him… and the journey has already begun.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

I Ain't Into Hiding The Truth...

Day 7
Pray Psalm 79:9-13.
Ask God to save and deliver the persecuted for the glory of his name. Pray that the groans of the prisoners will be heard by him and that God's strong arm will preserve them, so that they can praise God forever.

Romans 14:8 NIV

"So, whether we live or we die, we belong to the Lord."

Philippians 1:18-21
The Message (MSG)
So how am I to respond? I’ve decided that I really don’t care about their motives, whether mixed, bad, or indifferent. Every time one of them opens his mouth, Christ is proclaimed, so I just cheer them on!
And I’m going to keep that celebration going because I know how it’s going to turn out. Through your faithful prayers and the generous response of the Spirit of Jesus Christ, everything he wants to do in and through me will be done. I can hardly wait to continue on my course. I don’t expect to be embarrassed in the least. On the contrary, everything happening to me in this jail only serves to make Christ more accurately known, regardless of whether I live or die. They didn’t shut me up; they gave me a pulpit! Alive, I’m Christ’s messenger; dead, I’m his bounty. Life versus even more life! I can’t lose.

Romans 12:1

Offer your bodies as living sacrifices...

Matthew 5:44 MSG

Love your enemies. Let them bring out the best in you, not the worst. When someone gives you a hard time, respond with the energies of prayer.

This following story, taken from a book called Jesus Freaks, is perfect to remind us how powerful today's prayer is, reminding us of what those who are imprisoned for their faith go through; but God's grace is greater than any pain that persecutors can cause... just read.

Smiling at Her Torturer
Liuba Ganevskaya, U.S.S.R., 1970s

Luiba, arrested for her faith by the Russian Communists, was kept in a solitary cell, starved, and
beaten. Still, she did not deny Jesus or reveal the names of other believers. She patiently suffered for the
sake of the gospel.
One night, when the guard insulted her with foul words and was just about to start beating her, she
somehow saw him differently.
She noticed for the first time that he was as tired of beating her as she was of being beaten. She was
worn out from lack of sleep, and so was he. He was as desperate over not getting any information from
her as she was about suffering for refusing to betray her friends.
A voice told her, “He is so much like you. You are both caught in the same drama of life. You and
your torturers pass through the same vale of tears.”
Liuba looked up at the guard who had already lifted up his whip to beat her. She smiled.
Stunned, he asked, “Why do you smile?”
She replied, “I don’t see you the way a mirror would show you right now. I see you as you surely once
were, a beautiful, innocent child. I see you, too, as I hope you will be. There was once a persecutor
worse than you named Saul of Tarsus. He became an apostle and a saint. What burden so weighs on you
that it drives you to the madness of beating a person who has done you no harm?”
The torturer put down his whip. He left that day a changed man.
“Jesus does not promise that when we bless our enemies and do good to them they will not despise us
and persecute us. They certainly will. But not even that can hurt us or overcome us, so long as we pray
for them. For if we pray for them, we are taking their distress and poverty, guilt and perdition upon
ourselves, and pleading to God for them. It is only when one sees the anger and wrath of God hanging
like grim realities over the head of one’s enemies that one can know something of what it means to love
them and forgive them.” —


God you save and deliver your children from persecution. Just as Liuba saw her persecutor through your eyes and refused to let darkness pass over hers and be blinded by her pain, she sought your truth instead. Through this she was wrapped in your strong arm and was able to pray for her persecutor. In the strength that abounded from you, she spoke. And as she spoke her persecutor listened and heard your words pour out of her mouth.
May many others who are persecuted find that they do not suffer in vain. That their physical brokenness is seen by you and that you long for a continued relationship through prayer. That you hear their pleas, their songs, their soft spoken words and you call out to them, "Well done good and faithful servant... Well done" as you reach down and fill their prison cells with your Holy Spirit, comforting them and opening up their eyes.
To suffer for you in order to one day kneel by your thrown so they can praise you forever is a feat not many people on this earth will ever know. But those who do let them not crumble before they reach your heavenly gates. May they find strength in knowing that they are pleading with you, blessing their enemies, and calling for grace all because something greater than themselves has changed their hearts. All because they want to be like your son. Allowing their enemies to see their best, not their worst as they offer their bodies as living sacrifices.
I just pray that those you deliver from being persecuted do not back down after being freed. That they continue to trust in your ways.

Watch the video! It's a great song to end this 7 day blogging journey! Thanks to everyone who have read and prayed for our persecuted brothers and sisters!

Friday, November 1, 2013

Keep Their Eyes Above the Waves...

Day 6
Pray that a spirit of fellowship will grow between the persecuted church and the free world. Pray that those who worship in freedom will develop a burden to pray for and serve their persecuted brothers and sisters.

Philippians 3:10
I want to know Christ -- yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death.

Tonight I just want to bring worship to this prayer.

"Oceans (Where Feet May Fail)"

You call me [them] out upon the waters
The great unknown where feet may fail
And there I [they] find You in the mystery
In oceans deep
My[Their] faith will stand

And I [they] will call upon Your name
And keep my [their] eyes above the waves
When oceans rise
My [Their] soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am [they are] Yours and You are mine [theirs]

Your grace abounds in deepest waters
Your sovereign hand
Will be my [their] guide
Where feet may fail and fear surrounds me [them]
You've never failed and You won't start now

So I will [when they]  call upon Your name
And keep my [their] eyes above the waves
When oceans rise
My [their] soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am [they are] Yours and You are mine [theirs]

Spirit lead me [them] where my [their] trust is without borders
Let me [them] walk upon the waters
Wherever You would call me [them]
Take me [them] deeper than my [their] feet could ever wander
And my [their] faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my [our] Savior

I will [When they] call upon Your Name
Keep my [their] eyes above the waves
My [Their] soul will rest in Your embrace
I am [They are] Yours and You are mine [theirs]

The words of this song is my prayer tonight, but as I change the words from "I" to "Them" in lifting up my persecuted brothers and sisters, I pray that you hear the words and answer the prayer. For as they have been called by you and follow you that they find freedom in you embrace. In this may they find others that are with them in this time and create a fellowship that lifts them up. For we are not made to be alone in trials, and as you does not want man to be alone, let them know that they are prayed for by thousands of other believers. As we are free to worship may our hearts break and be burdened with their trials so that we will offer our all in this free land and free life to those who have to hide their faith in order to continue sharing it. 
For what a blessing it is to be a light in a dark place. To be called to serve you in that capacity, I can only imagine. 
You have enamored me and taught me that those who are shining your light are filled with your light. Their eyes are healthy and whole making their body full or your love and truth, do not let our eyes or theirs become vain or dark. Allow us to continue to seek the truth and look at you to feed our faith (Matthew 6:22-23). 
I want to be in this with them. With my whole heart and soul. For you are a God of compassion, love, and grace. You want to save your creation from a life of darkness so you send out your disciples among the nations to speak your name. Let these disciples know that they are being loved and cared for through prayer and allow the "free" church to find ways to provide for their physical and tangible needs. 

In your name I pray as I lift these words up with my heart,

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Stephen's Story

Day 5
Pray for the Christians who have been injured because of their faith. Pray for healing of body and soul, and for a forgiving spirit. Pray that they will be restored and be able to continue to provide for their families and pursue a relationship with Jesus.

Psalm 30:1-3
I will exalt you, LORD, for you lifted me out of the depths and did not let my enemies gloat over me. LORD my God, I call to you for help, and you healed me. You, LORD, brought me up from the realm of the dead; you  spared me from going down to the pit.

I love the line in the prayer request, "pray...for a forgiving spirit". It reminds me of a story in the bible of Stephen. Stephen was a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit (Acts 6:5). He spoke the truth and it was difficult for the leaders to oppose the words which flowed from his mouth. Because of this and his love for Jesus he was seized. When asked if the charges were true he did not change his story, he continued to trust in his relationship with Jesus and obey him. So he was persecuted and stoned to death. But in the midst of the stones being hurled at his flesh, he prayed "Lord receive my spirit," then he fell on his knees and cried out, "Lord, do not hold this sin against them."

This was his last act of forgiveness... a true act of a forgiving spirit in times of persecution.

Lord Above,

The beauty of your love is so evident. How your servants serve you, how they are so willing to give their lives for the sake of your name... it means more than anything this world can offer. Your majesty, your strength, your gentleness and your grace are what bring people closer to you. For you are a God who loves his people, who wants them to have an eternal life with you. Yet, the sin of this world is so thick, and because we are sons and daughters of Adam the darkness in this world brings brother against brother. But you have found that when we are filled with your love there is no stopping us from sharing your truth. Your streams of living water flow from within you and into your faithful followers. From this your word is poured out into the nations, into the deep Amazon forests, into the dirty city streets, into cities that despise your name. But being filled with you gives a strength that restores any physical pain caused through persecution. You are the one who brings blind men to see, dumb to speak, dead to life. So I pray that you seek out healing to those who have sacrificed their bodies to physical pain just to shine your light. That through the injuries they sustain their families will not find hatred but beauty in your word because ultimately your son paid the highest price, taking on the sins  of the whole world and all humans that would ever walk it, and then he died with the burden of that darkness on his shoulders. But you are stronger than death, you are greater than any pain, and in that may those who suffer find hope... because it is in you and your Holy Spirit that your son's grave was found empty. It is in you that we have hope for the future, for eternity.

In that Lord, I find beauty in this tragedy.


Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Blessing in the Shadows

Day 4
Pray 1 Peter 3:14-17 for the persecuted. Pray that those undergoing persecution, especially those in prison, will not be overcome by a spirit of fear. Pray that those undergoing interrogation will be given the words to say at the right moment, and that they'll be able to do so with gentleness and respect.

1 Peter 3:14-17
But Even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. "Do not fear their threats; do not be frightened." But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander. For it is better, if it is God's will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil.

When I read 1 Peter, all I can think about is the story that was told on Sunday:

Nearly 200 years ago a revival took place in Wales England. And as a result of this revival many missionaries were called onto foreign mission fields. And many of these missionaries chose as their place of service a place in Northern India, a place known for savages, they were called "head hunters".  Who as a sign of greatness in their tribe they would take the heads of enemies and hang them on their walls. It was into this savage tribe that these missionaries came, and obviously they were not welcome by this tribe. But they knew they were called by God and so they continued to share their faith. And they finally were able to reach out to one family, and they accepted Jesus Christ.

And this man and his wife and his two sons were so contagious about Jesus Christ that they began to lead other members of their tribe to Jesus. And the Chief of their tribe caught wind of their faith and so he called a meeting of the tribe and he captured this man and his family and brought them before the tribe. He said to the man, "Renounce Jesus Christ as your savior or something bad will happen to you. We will kill your two sons." And the man looked down at his sons and he knew he loved them but he could not renounce Jesus Christ, so instead he said the words to this famous song, he said, "I have decided to follow Jesus. No turning back, no turning back." And the archers pulled back their arrows and they shot dead his two sons.

I have decided to follow Jesus,
I have decided to follow Jesus,
I have decided to follow Jesus.
No turning back, no turning back.

And as his sons laid their on the ground before him, dead, the tribal chief said to him, "I am going to give you another chance. Renounce Christ or I am going to kill your wife." And the man looked down at his sons and then looked up at his wife whom he loved so much, his partner in life, but he knew what scripture said, that he needed to acknowledge God, acknowledge Christ before men. And he said the second line to this famous song, he said, "Though none go with me, I still will follow. No turning back. No turning back." And the archers killed his wife.

Though none go with me, still I will follow.
Though none go with me, still I will follow.
Though none go with me, still I will follow.
No turning back. No turning back.

And now with his two sons and his wife lying on the ground in front of him, the tribal chief stood in front of him and said, "Renounce Christ or this time we will kill you." And the man realizing that he had nothing left in this world looked up at heaven and said the last lines to this song, he said, "The cross before me. The world behind me. No turning back, no turning back." And in anger the tribal chief gave the order and the archers killed the man.

The cross before me, the world behind me.
The cross before me, the world behind me.
The cross before me, the world behind me.
No turning back, no turning back.

And now with the man and his two children and his wife dead, the chief stood before this family speechless. He couldn't believe what his eyes had just seen, and he realized that through the faith of this man that this God must be real. This Jesus who this man was willing to die for must be real. And on the spot the reports tell us that this chief accepted Christ as his savior. And through the following weeks other tribes began to accept this Christ as their savior. All because one man and his family were willing to stand up and say "I have decided to follow Jesus, though no one goes with me I am still going to follow, the cross before me, the world behind me. No turning back, no turning back."

My fingers are unable to type the words my heart wants to express. The grief and joy when I hear this story are so intertwined that it is indescribable how I feel. This journey, praying for 7 days, has allowed me to reveal emotions that I did not know I could express to even you. The brokenness, the confusion, it is all from you. As I pray for these people, read about them, think about them... I draw closer to you. I do not understand how the shadows on this earth can be for your will. I do not understand how darkness can produce blessings, how death can bring resurrection, how sacrifice pushes forth grace. Lord your scripture says that "If you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed." But what are all the other moments? What are all the other moments counted as? Are the joyful moments blessings? If death is a blessing, if suffering is a blessing... what are all the other moments? My confusion, my frustration is so raw, so real that I can't help but sit here and cry. I sit here thinking about the people who have been burned, crucified, martyrs. I sit here and think of them, their families, their pain... and then try and call it a blessing. But their faith in you was so strong. They knew exactly what they would say the moment someone asked them why they have hope in you. And is that where the blessings lie? Is the answer what brings forth life changing moments? Is the answer, the strength that you have given your servants? For when they reply, they reply with your grace, your truth, as soft as whisper in the wind. For you are not in the thunder, or the lightening... but in the quietness, the gentle breeze. I pray that all of the people, the family members of Christ whom are in this position have faith to stand in your word. Shield their hearts from the maliciousness this life so quickly brings. Draw them close to you, let them sip out of the cup you have filled for them. Let it pour out into their souls so they will not be thirsty in trying times.

In your name.


(Watch on youtube... but not all mobile devices can show this video so I had to transcribe it)

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

A Lamp Unto My Feet...

About a month ago my new puppy took my bible off of my bed stand and decided to devour the Word of God. She ate the leather cover and tore the thin scripture filled papers into a million pieces. It was beyond repair, and I was seriously devastated. I had underlined, hi-lighted, post-it'ed up that bible for the past eight years and now it was gone. My quick references, vanished... or devoured. But it was easy for me to replace, I just jumped into my car with my husband, drove down to the nearest Christian Book store and picked out a new one.

And as I sit here reading today's prayer topic, I want to laugh at my histerical self a month ago.... it was NOT the end of the world, for me. I have hundreds, if not thousands, of bibles at my hand all I have to do is log into the internet, go to the closest store, look at my bookshelf. Unfortunately, there is no such convenience for those in the persecuted church. Bibles are often smuggled in to these countries, if you're caught with one  your life could easily be on the line. The sad reality is in our over-abundant country our "conveniences are often overlooked when they should be thought of as blessings instead.

Day 3:
Pray for those providing Bibles and Bible training for the persecuted church. Pray that persecuted Christians in remote areas will gain access to the Bible and Scripture training. Pray for safety for those meeting secretly for training and encouragement, and pray that their deeper understanding of Scripture will enable them to reach others for Christ.

2 Timothy 3:16
All Scripture is God-breathed, and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness...


I do not know the feeling of going without your word being tangible, right here at my fingertips. I do not know what it's like to have to hide your word, to really call it sacred because of the scarcity and the repercussions to be caught with it. I have been guilty of taking your word for granted and making its importance non-existent at times. Lord, as you open my eyes to the things unseen from the warmth of my chair, I plead that those who are secretly being trained in your word in dark rooms, that your word is imprinted on their hearts. For their bibles are a luxury, and few and far in between. Lord that your keep the scripture pure in their minds, that it is not tampered with in any way, remembered only as you want it to be known.

As they dive into your word, open their eyes, ears, and hearts to the learning of your word. Let the training come easily for them as they understand your word deeper than they ever thought imaginable. Your word is alive and active, let it penetrate their souls. Allow them access to the knowledge you hold, enough for them to confidently shine your light knowing your word is inside their hearts. God, your word is flawless, and in that it is a shield for those whom take refuge in you.

This I beg of you, be with them in the secret, in the quiet places. Let your word shine for them.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Pray for the families...

Day 2
Pray for the families of those who have been killed, those who are in prison, and those who have suffered harm for their faith. Pray that God will meet their physical, emotional and spiritual needs. Pray also for comfort for those who have lost loved ones.

Psalms 94:16-19
Who will rise up for me against the wicked?
    Who will take a stand for me against evildoers?
Unless the Lord had given me help,
    I would soon have dealt in the silence of death.
When I said "My foot is slipping,"
    Your unfailing love Lord supported me.
When anxiety was great within me,
    your consolation brought me joy.

My heart sank looking at the headlines from K-Love news today...

Morrocan Jailed for being Christian

Christians No Longer Safe in Northern Iraq?

More Persecution for Iranian Christians

...and not to mention the ongoing news on Saeed Abedini, an American Christian Pastor, jailed for over a year now in Iran for expressing his faith.

Father above,

As these family members live with loved ones in chains, behind bars, or at the stake in the sake of your name I pray that you bring peacefulness to their souls in knowing that they are prayed for. That hands are reaching out over them, that thousands of people have them in their thoughts and on their hearts. Lord I pray that you will meet their physical, emotional, and spiritual needs. For Lord you call each of us to serve you and in that you promise to guard the feet of your faithful servants. As we offer up our lives to you, and as many have offered theirs and are living lives that can be taken at any moment, I pray for peace in the thought of serving you and no other God. Serving your Kingdom and not our selfishness, serving your ways and not our own. Lord to serve you is to know you... to be close to you. I pray that these families whom face troubles daily, knowing that blessings come even when they lose someone they love, most dearly, are strengthened in knowing they will be reunited again one day.

Lord my prayer is a cry from my heart, spiritually laboring to beg for you Lord, that if you have to give the attention you offer me and take it to give to these families, to the persecuted, then move swiftly. Let me feel alone, forgotten and afraid, if it makes one of them feel more comfort, more love, and stronger in their faith.

I have my bible. I have my church. I have my husband, my spiritual leader, and my life group to give me support. Lord, take the moments you give me and bless them instead.

I want to remember Paul and Silas.

Lord speak to my heart. Let me know where you want me to stand, what you want me to notice as these 7 days pass.

Lord speak, I want to know your heart.

Let me hear your voice.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

One With Them

Being asked to pray for someone is one thing, being asked to pray for someone who is persecuted daily is another.

Our church has asked us to gather with "The Persecuted Church" - churches around the world, in countries where Christianity is hated and people seek to destroy believers, and just pray for them. "For where two or three gather in my name, there I am with them." Matthew 18:20.

So, I wanted to blog about this 7 day experience of what we are asked to pray about, what emotions flow from this, and the power of prayer when you pray for something greater than yourself.

What is really great about this is before I went to church this morning I sat in my quiet time with God and just asked him to open my heart to what he wants from me. I felt compelled to open to one of my favorite books in the bible, 1 Samuel. As I began to read Chapter 1 my heart began to open to the words God wanted me to read... the first passage is about Hannah and her grief and anguish in her weakness (hers is the inability to have a child). Her misery and despair is evident in her countenance and in that she begins to weep bitterly and seeks after God with raw emotion. As she prays, she prays from her heart, pouring out her soul to the Lord. Through this God showed me how he wants me to pray, that he wants me to be more intimate, more real, more emotional in my prayers with him. Sometimes I put on a presence of strength and even with God I hide my grief... yet he still knows my heart.

In this it was evident that God wants me to be real in this challenge to pray for 7 days for the persecuted church. So I will be sharing my prayers and feelings with you over this journey. If you feel compelled to join in the prayers, I beg you to join in without hesitation. Let's gather together and lift up those who have stepped out for our Lord, those who are brave and seek and desire to please him... even if it means their life is at stake. 

*Day 1*
Pray Matthew 5:11-12, 44-45 for the persecuted church. Pray that those who are persecuted will bless those who insult them and rejoice that they are worthy to suffer for Christs name. Pray that they will love their enemies and pray for them, following Christ's example.

Heavenly Father, 
As I sit here in comfort, in warmth, in safety, I humbly pray for my brothers and sisters in Christ whom are persecuted. Lord you have broken me, my heart, and for that desperate emotion pours forth, urgency arises as I pray from the depths of my heart. 
I pray that through persecution they draw closer to you, although stones are hurled and flesh is beaten, those who seek only to let your name be known find comfort in your arms. Lord, that this worldly selfishness and fear gives way to the strength only your spirit can provide. From the inside out protect them. From their souls, their hearts, their minds. Allow them to fight back with a loving heart, encouraging words, and a light in their eyes that lets others know your spirit has filled them. That through this love, not a worldly love, but a supernatural love, enemies will be brought to their knees, hearts will change, souls will be won over in your name. As they live out your example Lord, loving enemies, serving those who persecute them, that in the end your kingdom is glorified.  
Lord, break our hearts for what breaks yours. Let us feel the burden of their pain and lift them up so that you will allow them to feel the love from other Christians even if it is miles away and from someone they do not know. 
As we gather in your name to pray for spiritual strength and spiritual comfort for those who are persecuted, remind us that there is no one holy like you, that there is no Rock like our God. For you break the bows of warriors, and you bring death and make life. Nothing can hinder you from saving, whether by many or by few Lord. 
I am in this with you Lord, with my whole heart and soul. 

Sunday, September 15, 2013


How do you show mercy to someone who is undeserving?

How do you show mercy when someone has embarrassed you, humiliated you, stepped over their boundaries and is constantly trying to crush you?

How do you identify that God wants you to show love, to be generous, and to show grace and mercy?!

All I can think of is that is exactly what God has done for me. He has shown me grace, mercy, and love when I am least deserving. But he is God! He is capable of such things and I am a human and frustration, anger, and hatred are a quick and easy find. How do you show mercy to someone who is undeserving of even your thoughts or time, or showing someone who would love nothing better than to see you out the door grace? It seems nearly an impossible feat!

I was running today and as I was running up the biggest hill the song "Boasting" by Lecrae came on. I was really listening to the lyrics to get my mind off the burn in my legs and the shortness of breath when I heard

"Glory was solely meant for you, doing what no one else could do.
With All I have to give,  I'll use my life, I'll use my lips. 
I'll only glory in your Word. What gift to me I don't deserve.
I'll live in such a way that it reflects to you my praise."

How is it that God knows exactly what you need to hear, right when you're thirsty for it? I need to live my life in such a way that reflects his praise... I don't deserve his glory but he bestows it on me anyway so I need to turn to him and accept this gift by showing him that I can be a light for him on this Earth, a place full of suffering and darkness, a place where anger is fed and hopelessness quickly devours souls. 

Mercy. compassion or forgiveness shown toward someone whom it is within one's power to punish or harm.
Mercy. Not a feeling. An Action. A verb. 
Mercy. It's what I need to do.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Visiting Orphans

I do not really know what to write about. Maybe that is it. Maybe my heart knows what it wants to write but my mind is still unsure. 

In every persons life there comes  a moment where they are asked to take a leap of faith.  A moment where you almost question yourself because the leap is so big, the drop so deep, and the other edge.... so far. Sometimes this moment may seem  minute to others looking in but to you it's a life pivoting moment and the pressure and stress is overwhelming but the joy that you know it holds is so comfoting.  However,  the other side of that is the what ifs.  

What if I don't do it?

What if I do?

What if it changes who I am?

What if after this moment, I can never go back to who I was, who I have been?

That moment for me is Visiting Orphans International. A mission trip where you travel across land and seas to hold babies in your arms. HOLD BABIES IN YOUR ARMS.

I'm really excited for this, especially since my husband's heart and mine are filled with the hope of one day adopting our own (with or without a disability). 

As I go through this great adventure please say a prayer. That I am landed right where I need to be, right where God wants me.  Please.

Monday, February 25, 2013

the word "in"

Sometimes your days do not turn out like you want them to.

Sometimes life does not either.

Sometimes moments pass us by...

                               while others consume us.

Sometimes tears fall and words fly.

Sometimes forgiveness comes....

                               while other times we let it die inside.

As I sit here in front of this overly bright screen I am pondering this evenings  events, fighting  off medicine that is beckoning sleep,  and trying to sort out the words in the  verse that jumped out at me tonight....

Earlier this evening (okay maybe  30 minutes ago) Adam and I got into a little (way little) tiff that made me upset. I went and sulked in my bed, a big 3 year old I am, and he went and took (and  is still taking) a shower. As I lay in my  bed, brooding over the thoughts of how rude he was and how I just won't talk to him tonight, my  eyes  set gaze on a devotional I picked up at church this past Sunday.

So I opened it up and of course the first line would read in nice bold printed italicized words....

 "Forgiving each other, just as... God forgave you." 

Ugh! Okay... well, I already picked it up might as well finish it... three reads later and a bible open to the actual verse and here I am typing away on my computer.

These are the words that were profound in the devotional:

  • The power of forgiveness is an awesome thing.
  • ...forgiveness sets both sides free...
  • The truth is, it is easier to forgive an enemy you seldom see than a loved one you have to live with every day.
  • with the issue without attacking the person...
Great! Right? No... not even close... the verse blew me away.

Ephesians 4:32 says this... Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

read it again...

Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God  forgave you.


Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as IN Christ God forgave you.


  1. his son's death
  2. his son's torment
  3. torture
  4. the hardest thing a parent could do
IN this.... in all of this God  still forgave you. He forgave you, he forgave me.... and IN THIS... in this.

Tears just pour down my eyes in humiliation, because 1. Adam did hardly anything wrong and 2.... I'm sure I have yet to forgive things not nearly as bad as what God has forgiven me for... for placing my sins on his son, placing my filth, my shame, every sin.  Yet, I sit here forgiven...  without forgiving.

God's compassion, his kindness forgave me for the worst thing that could ever happen... his son's death because of me.

Through this the next verse (Eph. 5:1) says this... "be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love..."
 a life full of love not hate. 
A life that reeks of forgiveness, not bitterness.
A life that bursts at the seems with God's grace.... 


Lord, this is where I have  failed you. I hold bitterness in my heart. I let myself die with it inside, but Lord I want to die to this idea, to a better one. A life of me imitating you... in the workplace, in the home, in the city, and alone. Lord... let me be overwhelmed by your presence and when I am not let me crave it ever more. Your beauty does not fade and your light is not hidden. Shine on me. Shine on me so I can shine onto others because this is where I have failed you. I let darkness overcome but where there is light there is no darkness so shine on me. 

Forgive me, and shine on me.