Friday, December 15, 2006
Have you ever felt you've been pulled back into junior high? Besides the fact that I'll be hanging out with 8th graders every day, all day for 4 months come January, this past week I feel I've nose dived right back into middle school. I strongly believe that some people get so incredibly bored with their lives that they feel the need to create drama simply for their own entertainment and "excitement." I've been able to stay on the outskirts of it all, but MAN... just watching some of this stuff I find myself quite exhausted.
I finished my last class as an undergraduate student yesterday. It's weird. No more Drake college classes for me... ever.
Tonight, Epicenter will be having its last service of 2006. I highly recommend that you all come out. My good friend, and roommate, the beautiful Stephanie Bennett, will be speaking on meeting GOD face to face. And I do believe that He is going to meet with us tomorrow night. He's ready to show up... so come and have your face rocked!
This weekend I'll be flying to Florida to witness and be a part of one of my best friends wedding. I'm so excited... originally her wedding was only going to be family, but about a month ago I got a phone call from her where she told me that she really wanted me there. I've only met her fiancee once, but from seeing them together and hearing the way she talks about him, I couldn't have picked out a more perfect man for her. They are both passionately in love with GOD, He is the center of their relationship, and they want people to walk into their home knowing that the LORD is present. I'm honored to witness [and be apart of] a ceremony for such a pure and GOD-driven couple.
After my quick trip to Florida, I'll be back in Des Moines for a few days... finishing up moving, a nice [early] Christmas dinner with the boy, and turning in the last of my finals... I'll then be headed to one of my favorite places in the world; Colorado. My family and I are spending Christmas at our house in Palisade, Colorado. It's so freaking beautiful there. Middle of the flat top mountains in vineyard country. Amazing. Plus... I'm only about an hour from some of my favorite ski resorts. I can't wait to get back on my board. I'm in withdrawal... 9 months without snowboarding is WAY too long.
OneThing is coming up, and I'm stoked. I've never been before, but I've heard nothing but great things about it. GOD, I know, is going to show up in ways I've never seen before and I'm ready. I'm expecting my GOD to do huge things. And I know He wants to do big things. So if you have December 28 - January 1 free, sign yourself up, head down to Kansas City, and experience GOD in crazy ways.
See that dog at the top of the page? Yeah... I want to own a dog like that one day. I think I'd rather have one that's black, but point being, I just want that kind of dog. They're huge... and it looks like a bear. I love that dog.
And lastly, if anyone wants to get me a Christmas present and is stuck, let me help you out a little... I hear the Burton Feelgood ES 151 board is incredible. I mean it is, "hands down, the highest women's performance snowboard on earth [ever]."
Well there you have it folks... a little randomness before Christmas.
Saturday, December 09, 2006
Monday, December 04, 2006
Every beat of my heart against the inside wall of my chest, screams for something more. Something Bigger. Something Beautiful. Something Great.
Words run rapid through my heart and mind, repeating [only half] truths.
“I trust You completely.”
“I believe that You are going to take care of me.”
“I’m not scared because You’re in charge.”
I hear these words and I know these words, but the more I chew on them, the more their flavor is lost. Food without taste isn’t appetizing… no one craves for a candy bar that tastes like nothing. The moment that gum loses its flavor, it gets tossed into the trash. My words often become empty, meaningless, and flavorless. I say them because I know the taste that they’re supposed to have. I guess you could say that I know how to play “Christian” really well.
But don’t we all to a certain extent? When rough times come our way, we don’t want to hear people give us the same cliché answers and responses over and over again, so we say what we need to in order to stop [the same] advice come from other people. We know what to say in order to get people off our backs.
“I trust Him completely.”
“I believe that He’s going to take care of me.”
“I’m not scared because He’s in charge.”
We’ve lost the fullness of those phrases.
We’ve lost the flavor.
We’ve lost the Truth.
By noon today, I had only been in my car for a total of about 25 minutes, and already I had heard the same song six times. The first two times I heard it, I thought nothing of it. By the third, my heart began to beat a little faster… by the fourth I wanted to cry… and during the fifth and sixth I began to taste again.
“I will walk by faith,
Even when I cannot see…”
I then received an email with this verse attached… faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead (James 2:17)
I will walk by faith… yes, I say that, but it’s not about saying it. Like in James, it’s about saying it, and then taking action in it. It’s about saying it, and then tasting it. It’s about saying it, and meaning it.
This heart was made for more than just repeating cliché Christian words, in order to look like I’ve got it under control. Cause in reality, I don’t...
But the good thing is… GOD is Bigger. GOD is more Powerful. GOD is Stronger. GOD is Perfect. And GOD is inside of this heart, which means that I am being protected.
So do I trust Him completely? Do I believe that he’s going to take care of me? Do I really have no fear simply because He’s the One in charge?
How I wish I could respond with a confident “yes” to each of those questions…
GOD is my refuge and my strength… GOD is the reason I live and breathe… GOD is my everything… yet sadly, I’m still unable to trust completely. When it gets dark, I get scared. When I can’t see the end of the road, I freeze up and question. When I encounter something new, I hesitate to move forward.
This heart was made to Trust. And it will… it will… it will…
This heart was made for something more.
It was made to speak and believe Truth.
"Father, I will trust You completely."
"Father, I will believe that You're going to take care of me."
"Father, I will not be scared because You are in charge."
Saturday, November 18, 2006
AFSP puts on a walk every year called, Out of the Darkness Overnight. This overnight brings together people from all over the country, t help raise money for suicide prevention. This year, it is taking place in New York City. The thousands of people who gather together for this walk, begin walking as the sun goes down, and they walk through the whole night until the sun begins to rise the next morning. This walk symbolizes the hope and light people can see if they walk through their depression [or darkness], even if the darkness never seems to end.
- In the United states alone, there are an average of 30,000 suicides reported a year.
- Suicide is the 3rd leading cause of death for people between the ages of 14 and 25
- A person dies of suicide every 18 minutes
- A person attempts suicide every minute
- There are four male suicides for every female suicide, but twice as many females as males attempt suicid
- Every day, approximately 80 Americans take their own life, and 1,500 more attempt to do so
Thursday, November 16, 2006
Thursday, November 09, 2006
Children... you have stepped into a season of progression. Put aside what you know and prepare for things that are unexplainable to your human understanding. It is time to leave what you know and be immersed into what you do not know. Let no fear capture your attention, for that is only the enemy pressing up against you, hoping to distract you from the words that I have for you. He presses himself up against you whispering lies and false knowledge, but you will know when I speak; My words will be known because you have heard Me in the past, but don't expect to hear Me the way you have before... for My words will come to you in a way that you do not expect, and at first you will be uncertain if you have heard Me. Do not question My voice. Give me your heart... when you do, words will stream over you like a flowing river and no doubt will enter your mind.
I see the tears that fall from your eyes, and the worry that you hold in your heart, but My child, release it. Hand it over to me and dwell on your fears no more. Again, you stand in a season of progression, which calls for you to move forward... advance into My Spirit. I Am waiting for you to trust Me and recognize the courage instilled in you. I have many great things I want to speak... I have many things I want to show... in order to hear and see these things, again, child you must move forward. You must progress in My Spirit. Do not try to understand, for your human mind cannot grasp what I have in store... but instead wait. Instead children, I ask you to just believe and wait expectantly. You will begin to see things you have never seen before, and feel things that are foreign to you. I am blowing my breath over your home preparing you for My Goodness that is coming. No human will be able to understand the Power that is to come, but you will know it is Me. Others will find excuses and come to conclusions that make sense to the world, but do not listen. They are not My children and have said 'no' to me, but you know, for you are Mine beloved.
Let your mind be transformed... do not question Me and My power... again, do not question Me for I Am God. Progress beloved; progress into Me and only Me. It is time...
Friday, November 03, 2006
I'm not really sure what to think. I'm ready to be done, but at the same time, I'm not ready to enter "the real world." The world of no vacations whenever I want... the world of paying for everything, myself (to some this may seem dumb, but I've been lucky and blessed to have parents who help me out in order that I hold no debt)... the world of no homework... the world of going to bed at 10:00 at night and getting up at 5:30 or 6:00 the next morning... the world of being a... responsible adult. Uhh... can I just stay a kid?
I don't feel like an adult. I wish I could get paid to just hang out... travel... sleep. Now that'd be sweet! I know, I know... VERY unrealistic, but honestly, that'd be awesome. Get paid to do whatever the heck I wanted. Now THAT'S when I'll be more then happy to enter the real world.
Though the "official" entering of the real world won't happen until May 12th, 2007, my life as a college student will pretty much be done on December 20th. As an Education major, I will start my student teaching, which is a full time job (where I don't get paid, but rather pay to teach) on January 15th. Since teaching will become my life in January, I have to quit my job at the beautiful Sullivan & Ward, which I have been at for 15 months. It's time, and I'm okay with quitting, but the fact that I will be unemployed... that is, making NO money for four months, terrifies me.
Welcome to the real world I guess... maybe I AM entering the real world sooner than I thought...
Come May though... I have no idea what the heck I'll be doing. Teaching?... maybe. Ministry?... I hope. The LORD has given me some awesome ideas, contacts, and paths to walk down, but He's already spoken that it's not time for me to know what I'll be doing... yet...
I'm currently standing in front of about five different doors right now which I can see in... I can see what's going on behind them and the opportunities and potential that they each hold... but yet have any of these doors opened.
When GOD says "soon" it makes me chuckle. Because the "soon" that I understand, isn't the same "soon" that GOD has in mind. Oh He's a funny one...
Yet despite the fear I have deep within, and the uncertainty, and the nervousness that I feel... GOD is Good. I have the Creator on my side. I have His Spirit living deep within my heart. I have the prayers of His Son being spoken over me. I have favor. And I will wait. I will wait for Him to direct me. I will continue to find Joy during this time that I stand in this waiting room.
...the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23)
No where does it say the Holy Spirit produces nervousness... or fear... or insecurity... GOD's Goodness surpasses all of those things. GOD is Greater and more Powerful then that uncertainty.
I definitely have my "oh my gosh, what am I going to do!" moments... but they're [actually] minimal compared to my "I'm fine, GOD has got my back" moments. And thankfully I have people in my life like my family and my boyfriend and my friends to keep me focused on the Truth.
I will never leave you nor forsake you... never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.
Thank you Father.
Wednesday, October 18, 2006
Thursday, October 12, 2006
But... I will say this... the Bible. I need it. Badly.
I can't get enough of it. I'm captivated by the Truth that He has spoken. I'm captivated by the Words that He releases into my broken heart and my messed up mind as my eyes flow across each page. I'm never short of astonished when healing and freedom over flow my spirit at the sight of a single word or phrase. I'm captivated...
He's doing something huge in this heart. But not only mine, in countless others hearts as well. Daily I'm surrounded by people who are passionately pursuing the Father in ways that leave me in awe. It's not a fluke... it's real. It's radical. It's beautiful. These are ordinary regular people who have accepted the great and powerful assignments the LORD has spoken over them.
Leading ministries, leading worship, starting ministries from scratch, quitting a job simply because the LORD said to, joining prayer houses, becoming missionaries...
I've been reading Joshua recently. I've read about him before, but the past couple days as I've read, I've seen a greatness... a radical ness... emerge from the very sound of his name.
Joshua... since I was little this has always been a name that I've liked. I clearly remember I had a grey pound puppy in which I named Joshua. Perhaps it has always seemed beautiful to me because of its meaning... "Yahweh is Salvation" or "Jehovah Saves"... though, I wasn't aware of what it meant until a couple of years ago. But when I was little, I wanted to name everything Joshua...
And today, all I want to do is tell people that GOD does in fact save. It's interesting though... a while ago I was talking to my mom and found out that Joshua was in fact one of the two names they had picked out for me if I had been a boy (Jacob being the other).
Joshua went from being a servant of Moses, to taking Moses' role when he passed on. GOD rose this boy up into something great because He knew the cry of his heart. I love reading about the ordinary... about the ordinary being called to greatness. And that greatness only occurs when the Father has called the ordinary to step forward.
Again, I think of Joshua (the ordinary) and I think of the people in my life; the ordinary people who have said "yes" and stepped out. The moment they exclaim "yes" is when the ordinary is crossed out and Greatness is written over them. They are no longer ordinary.
I don't quite know the reason of this post, other then to encourage each of you to be great. Often times when I write something and post it, I clearly know why I'm writing. He tells me why and He tells me what needs to be said... but this time, all I hear is "They will be great." So I pray this over you... Greatness. That you would recognize the power that you have within you because of Someone who is in fact the Greatest of all. That you have been made not to remain ordinary, but to rise up and do incredible things for Him, with Him.
Joshua said to the Israelites once they had returned to the land that GOD has promised them, "Make sure you do not associate with the other people still remaining in the land" (23:7).
Church, I call you to no longer remain ordinary. You are to set yourselves apart from those who do not worship Me. You are no longer in the same category as they are. You have made a choice to follow Me and allow My power to be released through you, allowing Greatness to overtake. Stop being lazy and expecting others to do the job that I have assigned to you. If you wish to blend in with the rest of the world, back away from Me and stop pretending that you love Me. I have called you children, and it is time that you decide who you are going to serve.
Wednesday, September 13, 2006
I first went to Romania right after my junior year of high school and then again after I graduated in 2003, but June 2005 was the last time I traveled there. Instead of being a student on the trip [as I was my first two years], in '05 I co-led a group of 10 fabulous high school students, and I can honestly say that it was one of the most amazing trips of my life.
Today is one of those days where I really miss being there. I miss the scenery... I miss seeing the stars... I miss walking everwhere... I miss going into a school and standing up in front of a class telling them about Jesus Christ... I miss going to small villages specifically to lay hands on the families lifting them up in prayer... I miss seeing the miracles that I saw... I miss... GOD speaking to me the way He did when I was there.
My friend Elizabeth went along with us last summer, but instead of coming home with us a month later, she stayed an extra 4 months. She's in this video that gives a brief synopsis of REMM's mission and goal: Romanian Evangelistic Medical Mission.
Getting emails and receiving phone calls from her every few weeks after our team had left to come back home was encouraging... the stories she had... the ways GOD was moving... the vision that was coming together... it all reminded me of how Faithful our Father is. My friend was able to give me intimate and detailed descriptions of what was happening - I felt like I was still standing directly in that battlefield with her. But it's hard some days [like today], where all I have to stay connected to Beius is a newsletter or a video every other month. I wish I could stand in that place again... just for a moment. I wish I had the honor to lay my hands on people with unknown illnesses again, boldly asking the LORD for a miraculous healing right then and there. I wish I could hold the hand of that little gypsy girl again, and tell her once more "Dumnezeu dragoste tu"... and I wish I could see her eyes light up again in awe.
Maybe one day.
As of right now, I don't feel that the LORD has called me to full time missions over in Romania. I absolutely love being there, but I am confident that He only wants me there for a few weeks at a time. Will I go back? I definitely hope He calls me back. I would love it... ideally, I'd love to do short term missions there with my husband, and then maybe again when I have kids.
But as I've been thinking about Romania non-stop today, He quickly reminded me that I am in the battle still. No I'm not standing on Romanian ground, but I'm standing among other intersessors throughout their country and throughout the world who are crying out for a healing to take place.
"Don't you trust that I am doing great things?"
I don't need to be there to see what I saw. I don't need to be there to hear Him the way I heard Him. I don't need to be there to boldly lift up the broken. I don't need to be there. I was priviledged to have been there. GOD needs to be there. And He is. And He's working. And healing. And breaking down the walls. And He's commanding the darkness to leave.
Today I felt a connection with Romania that I haven't felt in ten months. He's so faithful. He'll take you there and show you things without you having to actually be there. He told me some of the things He's doing and what to keep praying for. He reminded me [again] today that He's still speaking... I just need to ask.
Call to Me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.
Wednesday, September 06, 2006
Great lyrics. Great song. Great worship.
It's amazing the things you'll hear from Him when silent. When we find ourselves sitting with hands folded, Bible in front of us, waiting on GOD, we have a burning desire to fill the air with our own voice. Whether that voice be our audible voice or just allowing our mind to run mad. It's quite sickening when you think about it.
Have you ever been able to sit in that complete silence, and truly leave it at that? Have you ever heard nothing? When I say nothing, I don't mean have you ever not heard from GOD, but I mean have you ever not heard... a single thing. No thoughts. No words. No sounds. Nothing. Complete and utter silence.
Have you ever been so in awe of Him, that you find yourself buried deep within the loudest silence that you have ever encountered? Now, that's complete silence. That's where He's calling us to be. That's where we will hear the most direction, and truth, and reassurance, and confirmation, than any other moment in our entire lives. That we would be willing to abandon everything going on around us, in order to passionately pursue our Greatest Lover. To love with complete abandonment... to lose ourselves, and sit in complete silence... to sit with Him in the most intimate place we could ever be...
"I Love you."... the greatest words you can hear while in that silence. They're full of nothing but GOD Himself. That should be enough... it needs to be enough... it is enough.
Enter that silence place.
Fall passionately in Love.
Believe it or not, there's a lot more in that silence than your own voice. There's a lot more than you would ever expect... you might be surprised.
Wednesday, August 16, 2006
The weekend was full of firsts for me... besides wakeboarding, I also experienced the Iowa State Fair for the first time, where there I had my first corn dog. I must say, the fair meets every Iowa stereotype I've ever heard... white trash of America. Seriously... guys walking around with no shirts on, cut off short jean shorts, cow boy hats, missing teeth, girls wearing clothes they shouldn't be, strong southern hick accents, sitting on lawn chairs in front of houses drinking a beer while cussing up a storm at their spouse... it was awesome. I definitely had some great entertainment Friday. Thanks Iowa State Fair.
Classes start up again in 2 weeks... I'm gonna be honest... not really looking forward to it. I don't think this semester is gonna be an easy one.
After 8 months of prayer, I was given a direction to walk in after graduation come May. The Lord has given me a path to walk down and at least pursue [right now]; nothing is for sure - just checking things out. I'm excited, yet terrified at the same time. I'm still looking into a few places... an application process will come this winter, but I'll leave it at that for now. Updates will come as they surface.
So I work with this one lawyer who... how do I put this nicely?... creeps me out and annoys the crap out of me. I don't usually have a hard time loving people, but he is one of the few people who I find extremely hard to love. I don't like it when old men check me out... but besides that creepy factor, here's a guy who will take 30 minutes to tell a 5 minute story. He's extremely smart and remembers really random things (i.e. every teacher he ever had, what he was wearing while he were skiing 30 years ago, etc.), so he feels that it's necessary to include every... single... detail... when he tells me a story. Not to mention he is one of the slowest talkers ever. I'm sorry dude, but I don't want to hear about all the women you hit on, and please please stop looking at me like that. You could at least try to be somewhat discrete... sick.
I fell in love with a comedian this week. Check out Jim Gaffigan. Hilarious.
I'm helping my younger sister settle into her dorm room on Saturday. It's weird... she's going to college. I look at her and I still see a 12 year old little girl. The LORD is going to do big things in her life at Creighton. Plus, I love the fact that she's only 2 hours away from me. Oh how I wish everyone knew Beth; she's amazing (and I'm not just saying that because she's my sister).
The LORD said this recently... It is time to move into the Kingdom, for when you find your kingdom position, you shall enjoy the reality of all that you have read in My word and all that you have experienced. The days of My glory are upon you, and you are changed from glory to glory into My image. These are the times that you have yearned for and prayed for. When the reality of My kingdom becomes a fact in your life, you will experience the joy and peace of the kingdom, and victory will be manifest. Arise and come forth. Make the transition between the old and the new. It is My good pleasure to usher you into the reality of the Kingdom. I delight in you, and My delight is to have you experience that which has been prepared for you. Come forth and abide in the glory of this hour. You have received a foretaste, but now taste and see that which I do, and be satisfied. I pray it speaks truth [to you] in someway.
Wednesday, August 09, 2006
One man: Paul (the former Saul). Talk about a dude who was kick a. But before Saul found GOD, yeah not so much... he was the son of a Pharisee making him too a Pharisee which he boldly lived his life as. He would not accept that Jesus was the Messiah. He persecuted those who followed Christ. He watched, if not participated in the martyr of Stephen. He threatened death on Christ followers, and even went through with murdering some of GOD's children. When you stop there, not so cool...
But something happened. GOD happened. Saul's eyes were finally opened to the Truth. Well... by opened I mean that GOD actually cast him into blindness, telling him to go to a city called Damascs, where he remained blind and was called to fast for 3 days. His sight was then returned to him... but his sight was something new, different... He had the LORD's eyes. This is where he got cool... he became Paul. The man who fell in love with Jesus and did whatever it took for people to hear His name. Preaching left and right whenever he got the chance, Paul walked away from death and became the man that GOD had made him to be.
It didn't stop there... Paul was falsly accused and thrown into prison where he prayed.. and prayed and prayed... if there ever was a prayer warrior, Paul's the man. If I was put it prison for not doing anything wrong, would I be able to sit and sing praises to GOD? Would I be able to find joy during that time? Paul did... and that's astounding. I'll be honest when I say that I don't know if I would find that joy and happiness and praise that Paul did. Dang. Paul trusted GOD more than words can explain... a guy that denied Christ... a guy that hated Christ followers... a guy that murdered the innocent... sat in prison trusting that His GOD would remain faithful to him. We don't deserve GOD to stick with us... His grace blows me away... but Paul, he knew the LORD would come through for him, so that's why he found joy in the hardest of times.
Just a sidenote... I love how people prayed then...
...they will be filled (Matthew 5:6)
...they will be freed (Isaiah 61:1)
They prayed knowing and expecting Him to answer. They didn't say "free them", but they spoke in confidence saying "GOD, you will free them." And that's what Paul did... he believed his Father would come through.
(Read Acts if you want to hear more about Paul's life)
We know that our Father remains faithful no matter what, but why is it so dang hard to remain faithful back? Why do we have such a hard time trusting the only One who will ever love us unconditionally? It just amazes me at how hard it actually is to trust Him. I can easily speak about how simple it is to remain faithful and trust, but man... actually doing it... so freaking hard! I wish that wasn't the case... I wish I could trust Him more. My heart deeply longs to trust Him more... and I know He's calling me to that place.
Paul was incredible because He had GOD living within him; we too can be as incredible as Paul. By become GOD-fearing men and women we have already reached that place; it's about GOD inside of us and once we have that, BAM!... we're breathtaking. We can't put others on a pedestal and stand in awe... GOD needs to be the One that we have our eyes fixed on.
... And thankfully... He remains faithful to me even when I'm being a complete idiot.
Random thought (seeing as it seems to be wedding season...): I was lucky enough to witness the marriage ceremony of my friend Jenny, to the love of her life, Joe, this past weekend. It was an absolutely beautiful ceremony. She looked gorgeous as her father walked her down the aisle... and her smile was indescribable. For the past year I've been able to see this relationship grow into something beautiful. GOD has been the center, and that's the only reason they made it to the chapel. Their hearts long for Jesus, just as His longs for them. I know I'm probably not getting married anytime soon (seeing that I'm not even in a relationship...), but when I get to walk arm in arm with my dad towards that incredible man that I'll spend the rest of my life with (...and he will be incredible no doubt...), it will be one of the most amazing moments ever.
Saturday, July 22, 2006
The recent weeks I've spent in the Iowan country, I'm not necessarily even doing anything, but I've enjoyed not doing anything more than I could ever explain. I've always been captured by GOD's beauty and loved being in His incredible creation, but I'm also always doing something while I'm in the center of nature. When I was growing up, we'd take family vacations up to Northern California or Colorado, and during those countless trips, I'd always have something to do; go snowboarding, hiking, biking, swimming, build a snowman, climb a tree, snowmobiling, throw rocks at squirrels, go boating... the list goes on...
The second I would find myself plopped back down on the log in front of the campfire or back on the couch in the condo, two words would leave my mouth; "I'm bored."
Don't get me wrong, there is absolutely nothing wrong with having activities to keep yourself busy while in the middle of nowhere, but how many times would I stop, look around, and take in everything around me?
Once? Twice maybe? My activities took front seat to praising GOD while submerged in His own masterpiece.
Over the past 6 years since becoming more serious about my faith, I always make sure to set aside at least an hour of my annual Colorado trip time to sit on top of the mountains and gaze out into the landscape, painting pictures of His craft in my head. Yet, even during those times when all I want to do is be worshiping, my "to do" list plants itself in the front of my mind.
I don't like that I always feel like I have to be doing something. Can't I just sit and not feel rushed? Can't I just sit in His presence without having constant thoughts shoot through my head? In the city (and the suburbs) there is always so much going on around me, it's almost impossible for me to ever just sit and not feel antsy. Even when laying by a pool, the things I "need to get done" enter my mind.
But something is happening within me... and even though I don't know how exactly to explain it, I absolutely love it.
Dreams about sitting in the country while doing nothing but listening won't stop... I'm finding myself purposely driving out into the middle of no where to sit and wait... for what? I don't know yet, but I have some ideas... I'm getting caught up in a beauty that I haven't seen before... having the ability to immerse myself in these random places without distraction and interruption is like nothing I've ever experienced before... all I want to do is sit in a field... weird? Quite possibly, but it's proof to me that He's changing the heart within this messed up flesh.
Just thinking about driving out to the country gets my heart pumping... leaving the chaos of a city looks like gold to me right now...
With all this, I'm being called to take some [insane] steps of faith in my prayer life. Scared? No... terrified.
But it's coming from the LORD, so it's the most beautiful terrified ever.
(He spoke this today... "God answered his prayer, and the angel of God appeared once again to his wife as she was sitting in the field...")
Monday, July 10, 2006
It's amazing how many of these big dreams GOD has planted within each of us. But something we realized is that they're all incredibly unrealistic according to the world. We know that through Jesus anything is possible... what is impossible for man is possible through Christ... but then why are we still sitting around only dreaming about these visions?
Are they truly just that, only dreams?
My friend talked about one of his dreams being to open a 24/7 prayer center somewhere... that ain't just a dream. That's GOD. That's big. That's definitely a GOD-sized dream. The LORD has planted that seed deep within my friends heart... and I'm excited to hear about his passion for that vision. But he's stuck on what to do with it.
As for myself, for a while now I've had a dream of selling almost everything I own, packing up a car, traveling to each state spending 2 weeks in a specifically prayed out city, with the intensions of meeting people and pouring out Christ's love on them. In no way am I talking tracks... yes, sharing the gospel would (will) occur, but only when GOD speaks His Words through me. This can't just be a dream... it seems too big. Selling all of my stuff?! Dang. As of right now, I can honestly say that it would be extremely difficult for me to do that, but I pray that if this truly is a GOD-sized dream, my heart will one day be more than willing to give away everything I own. I do long for that day...
It seems that our hesitations to chase after these visions, come down to one thing: fear.
Fear of failure. Fear of disappointment. Fear of being wrong. Fear of being alone. Fear of not being provided for. Fear of death.
We live in the greatest country in the whole world. I'm not trying to be some ignorant proud American, but seriously... the US is freaking awesome. Overall, we have pretty easy lives. We have freedom that a lot of other countries don't have. We're able to talk about Jesus in public. Carry around a Bible. We can wear whatever we want (which by the way isn't always a good thing...). We can get an education. We can travel to almost anywhere we want. All this stuff is great, but is it hindering us from going forth with our "unrealistic dreams"; our GOD-sized dreams? You'd think that because of this freedom we have, we'd run after anything and everything our hearts desire, but instead we've become consumed with being realistic and reasonable. Everything has to make sense and have a formula. We have forgotten Who our Creator is. We have forgotten what He is capable of. We care too much about what other people think of us. We care too much about money and material items. We only care about ourselves... we have to make sure that WE are going to be alright.
We're scared to step out and do something that puts another person first. We're scared to step out and do something that may not be stable. We're scared to let our family and friends down. We're scared to walk in a direction where the end result isn't clear.
So I ask you this...
What would you do if you had no fear?
Stop for a second and seriously think about the things you would do. GOD has planted those "crazy" dreams in you for a reason... but we're too scared. Maybe it's not the right time for some of those dreams, but will you ever allow that time to come?
Will you ever one day actually say "yes" to His visions? What is it going to take? How do we get there? What do we have to let go of?
I pray that one day we are able to live the life we were meant to live. To live completely and utterly for Jesus Christ. To stand up in His promises, grasp these dreams that the world tells us are "ridiculous", and run whole heartedly towards GOD with them, screaming "YES!"
Tuesday, July 04, 2006
Those "forty years" are a constant in our lives. At least for myself, I haven't had just one "forty year desert" experience, but more than I could ever count. And surprisingly, I love that.
Finding myself in that "desert time" [for whatever reason it may be] is always nothing less than difficult and painful... yet there is so much beauty within those deserts. Feeling like I'm going crazy, or a constant flow of tears, or even sometimes the lack of tears, and just complete confusion... my own time in the dusty wilderness leaves me with these symptoms. I will feel unsure, unmotivated, stubborn, disconnected...
Incredibly enough, the one thing I'm never able to lose sight of or deny, is the constant Love poured over me by the only One who is with me every step of the way. Even the moments where I feel that I'm completely alone, He will press His never ending Love on me more... something that brings tears to the Father's eyes is when one of His children feels alone in the world. It breaks His heart. When I see a family member or friend feeling alone or unloved, all I want to do is pour my love into them even more. So just imagine how much more Love your Creator will pour on you when your heart is broken.
Moses reminds us why we enter these "desert times"... why God will allow us to be in a period of uncertainty. The middle of the desert is exactly where the LORD wants us... why? Because it's exactly where He is able to call us back to Him. He absolutely loves seeing you run after Him and call His name... He adores it. The desert is a place where He opens eyes to His mighty power and His never ending faithfulness.
"Even in the midst of your wondering, I Am here to provide. I Am here to protect. I Am here to remind you of Myself."
When we are madly in Love with Jesus, not only is His name imprinted on us, but His heart and commands are placed within us. The desert begins to wash away the old, and instill with us His Words. Finding our way out, our heart is renewed and each time we leave the sand, it can become more and more clear as to what we are chosing to live for... or ever more so, Who we live for.
As important as these deserts are for us, I'm excited to say that I'm in the process of walking on solid ground again. I would never change the most recent desert I've been going through for anything... yes, it's been hard and saddening, but totally worth it. He's captured my heart again, and I can't help but fall more and more in love with Him.
To weep in order to see clearly again? To stand in confusion in order to discover direction? To feel pain in order to be reminded of God's promises? To be "alone" in order to know God?
Yes. I say yes.
"If God can accomplish His promises in this world through a broken heart, then why not thank Him for breaking yours?" --Oswald Chambers--
Sunday, June 25, 2006
I drove down to Ottumwa, Iowa to stay with my friend Abby. I had never been to Ottumwa, so I was quite excited to see what this place was about. I've made some new friends from there over the past few months, so being able to step into their territory was refreshing. It's about an hour and fifteen minute drive and I always feel bad because they always drive out here to hang out... so instead, my friend Steph and I went to them.
While the three of us were hanging out at Abby's, another Ottumwan, Levi, came over. I'm a big fan of Levi. He's quite hilarious if you ask me. But, he also makes me laugh at things that I probably shouldn't laugh at... like if people heard me laughing at the things I was laughing at Friday night, I don't think people would think I was a very nice person... ANYWAYS, it was fun hanging out and talking with three wonderful people.
Here's where things got interesting... Levi had left and Steph was asleep... Abby and I were sitting in her living room talking. Out of no where, a bat comes flopping (yes, flopping) out of her kitchen and into the living room. My first reaction of course is to scream and run to the other side of the room. Abby, being the brave one, throws a blanket on top of it to trap it. For about five minutes we stood there, panicing, trying to figure out what the heck to do. Finally we (aka Abby) take a tennis racket, smacks the top of the blanket to stun the stupid thing, where it then begins to screech and squeal. She quickly lifts the blanket and forces the tennis raquet on top of it. It's trapped, but we watch this thing slither around underneath the racket. We knew we had to kill it somehow, so I suggested get a knife and stab it, but instead Abby took a curtain rod, and smashed it's head. Finally dead, we get it in a plastic bag, took it outside, and I decide to take a hammer to it... just in case the first blow to the head wasn't enough to kill it...
The next morning, Abby and I made out way down to the IHOP (International House of Prayer) in Kansas City. GOD was moving in big ways while we were there (but then again, when is He not moving?!). I've been dealing with a lot the past month and a half, so I had a pretty good amount of stuff to lift up. Graciously, the LORD answered my call and He confirmed a few things for me. I recieved some affirming and encouraging words from my brothers and sisters who were there to speak on GOD's behalf... I even had a 12 year old boy speak GOD's truth over me. It was incredible. The whole time I was there (and still even now) I have been soaking in a Love that I feel like I've been missing for the past month and a half. My heart is glad... and I'm joyful and ready... my passion for Him has erupted at a new level.
I need Him, and only Him. But it's amazing what I have to go through to remind me of that...
Friday, June 09, 2006
I've pretty much been spending every weekend since the beginning of May back home in Chicago. Yet now I'm back to DSM for the rest of the summer, or at least until the end of the month when I head back over to the Windy City, which by the way, Chicago is actually called the Windy City because of the amount of people that flow in and out. Yes it is actually windy there, but that's not the main reason it was labeled "The Windy City." Just a little insight for ya.
Work, classes, volunteering, and a new... friend?... has been taking up all the time that I haven't been in Chicago. I'm only working 24 hours a week, but I'm already sick of it. I miss summer's without work... though I know I need to bring in some income. Classes just started and it's reminded me how much I truly hate school. Or at least hate taking classes that will do nothing for me. I've also started volunteering more with a ministry called Freedom for Youth. This ministry is doing HUGE things in the city and my heart speeds up with excitement thinking about what else GOD is going to be doing. Manual labor for F.F.Y. will begin and I couldn't be more stoked! And my new friend... it came out of no where, totally random, but it's been good. He's a great guy. But, I'll just leave it at that for now. More later as/if things develop.
GOD has been quiet with me lately. It's hard not to associate HIM as a feeling sometimes. I am well aware that my Father has not left me stranded, but instead HE's silenced Himself around me. Though I don't know exactly what, HE's definitely up to something...
I hope to have more time this summer to update this thing with exciting happenings and [hopefully] insightful thoughts, but with more traveling, weddings, more school, etc. I can't promise anything... I always thought summer would bring me more free time, but boy was I wrong...
I pray that your heart is gladdened today. That the Joy of the LORD would rise up within your body and you find yourself doing nothing but singing praises to HIM.
Tuesday, May 23, 2006
Well, over the weekend I was lucky enough to hang out with one of my favorite bands; MuteMath. This was way exciting for me, and honestly it's probably a moment in my life that I'm never going to forget. Sure, famous people are just like everyone else, but there's just something about getting to meet people that you admire and really respect because of what they do. I'm no musician and I'm not inspired by them to go make my own cd, but simply because of the performance they give, where their hearts are in their music, and their creativity, arises something up within me.
I found out about a month ago that my friend Vince's band, fromLove, was going to be opening for MuteMath. Even though the show was in Grand Rapids Michigan (9 hours from Des Moines), I still decided to go. Watch my friend play and then my favorite band? Of course.
I had to bring a bass amp to the show for Vince, so I ended up getting to Grand Rapids at 3:30 in the afternoon (3.5 hours before the show started). During this time I sat outside in the back of the building with the guys of fromLove and watched the different bands go back and forth brining their equipment inside. I don't think I get star struck easily, but I just felt weird being surrounded by all these people who I hear on the radio and see on TV.
Finally I went inside to watch the show... fromLove did awesome, discovered a couple of new bands I really liked, got a couple drinks, and at one point turned around and Greg (the guitarist from MuteMath) was standing right by me. It was weird...
If you haven't heard of MuteMath or haven't seen them live, and you enjoy the industrial/experimental type music, check 'em out. They're incredible. This show was hands down, THE BEST SHOW I have EVER been to. Their energy is insane, the lead singer plays the keytar, the drummer ductapes his headphones on because he headbangs so much, the drummer also broke (no joke) about 20 drum sticks throughout the whole performance, the lead singer ran out into the audience, they make their own instruments... etc. I've never been so captured by a performance before in my life. Plus, the lyrics to all of their songs speak directly to the heart about the greatest Lover of all time. No doubt about it, I see Him in these guys as they share their talent.
So after the show, everyone got kicked out of the... bar/arena?... but because I was "with the band" (fromLove that is) I somehow got to stay. I then proceeded to go backstage with Vince and his band mates to ask them if they'd want to go hang out at Denny's. During this time I got a picture with the drummer Darren (picture above), and started talking with the guitarist, Greg. Myself, Vince, and Greg stood outside in the cold talking about life and music for about half an hour... where Greg gave me one of his picks and then put his jacket on me to wear... I felt like such a girl! I was wearing his jacket...
The rest of MuteMath and fromLove joined us, where we proceeded to Denny's. Since they only had their tour bus, I got to drive Paul Meany (the lead singer) and his wife to the restaurant... now THAT was weird. I admit that I was way nervous because I had this amazing musician in my car and was trying to figure out what music to put on... it was a big decision! Plus, then talking with him for the 20 minute drive was also intimidating...
Overall, I had an amazing time. These guys were exactly what I thought they'd be... super nice, so funny, and each have a heart to reach people and talk about faith with their music. They certainly know that He's given them a gift and they are called to use it to change hearts.
So if/when you ever get to hang out with your favorite band, even when you can keep your cool, inside you may be freaking out, but just go with it. It could be your one time to talk with them. Enjoy it and have fun.
Tuesday, May 16, 2006
Recoperation from wedding. Relaxation.
Truths surface. DTR.
Release of baggage. Beautiful release.
Season of being MIA.
Showered in Love. Filled with Joy.
Beginning of a new chapter. Blank pages.
A new Love story.
A heart being mended. Healing.
Not even half way through 2006, GOD has already put and allowed so many beautiful (and not so beautiful) things, people, oppertunities, experiences, words, etc. to cross my path. I've never in my life felt so challenged, pursued, broken, full of joy, unsure, and confused all at the same time in all my life. But the cool thing is... it's honestly been one of the best seasons of my life; And I know that things are only going to get better as this year [and the rest of my life] continue on.
My 21st year really has been big... HUGE in fact. I've always "known" that turning 21 was big (though I was never really sure why it was such a big deal - because now can order myself a margarita or wine whenever I want?), but I definitely didn't expect everything stated above. My 21st year has been deeper than buying a lotto ticket... deeper than ordering an alcoholic beverage... deeper than "finally feeling like an adult" (which I still don't by the way)... it's been all about Psalm 5:7, 1 Corinthians 5:7, 2 Corinthians 5:7, Hebrews 5:7, James 5:7, and 1 Peter 5:7...
"But I, by your great mercy, will come into your house; in reverence will I bow down toward your Holy Temple"... "Get rid of the old yeast that you may be a new batch without yeast - as you really are"... "We live by faith, not by sight"... "During the days of Jesus' life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with loud cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his relevant submission"... "See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop and how patient he is for the autumn and spring rains"... "Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you"...
Funny how these 6 verses handed to me by Him to represent this year [thus far] all occur in the 7th verse of the 5th chapter of each book. 5:7... 5/7... May 7. Crazy. That is the Hand of GOD.
I'm gonna go a little cheesy on y'all for a second and thank some key people who have been at my side during this painfully and beautiful insane ride... Mama Cav, Rebecca, Bethany, Mel, KDorr, Nic, Amanda, and Button. I don't know how I would have gotten through some of this stuff without each of you. GOD used specifically you to play a major role in my life these past 4 months, and I pray that He continue to have you be heavily involved in my life past this 21st year. You all are amazing examples of what women of GOD should look like. I love each and every one of you more than I could ever explain.
GOD uses people to help us mature and grow in our walk with Him, so find those who encourage you, hold you accountable, call you out, and walk with you no matter what the circumstance.
I pray that the rest of this year for you, whether it's the land mark of your 15th birthday or your 60th birthday, is all about Jesus.
Sunday, May 14, 2006
If you have I'm sure you wished you didn't, but if you haven’t, I'm sure you're now extremely curious and want to know...
David Blaine is a... magician... er... illusionist... er... a dude who uses demons to perform what our world calls "magic tricks." No joke. This dude FREAKS me out. I'd seen a couple of his specials on TV a year ago, but within the last 2 weeks, I can't seem to escape him. Anytime that I turn on the tube, turn on the radio, or hang out with people, David Blaine's name always seems to follow.
I feel like I'm supposed to pray for him or something.
But seriously, if you've never seen any of his specials, I'd recommend taking a look. Specifically to check out how whack this guy is.
Most people who are considered to be "magicians" are in actuality illusionists. They perform illusions, which are only visual tricks of the mind, or slips of the hand. David Copperfield is an example of a very famous illusionist. He has made a space shuttle and the Eiffel Tower "disappear"... but it's all just an illusion.
David Blaine does do some illusions, but his other stuff is nothing but witchcraft.
On a special of his tonight he said, "It's not black magic... I'm just an entertainer... it's only fun..." Sure, it's all fun and games until someone begins to levitate or starts reading somebody’s mind. And might I add, every time after Blaine levitates, which he clearly does (this is all done on the streets; no stage, props, nothing), he suddenly gets nauseated and dizzy for about a minute after landing back on the ground. Perhaps because he had some spirits helping him out? Uh, yes. AND, when he has people think of a number between 1 and 1,000 or has someone think of any object or person that is important to them, he stares intensely into their eyes and often yells "Give it to me! Give it to me!" Seconds after, says exactly what the person was thinking of. Again, demons?
I vote yes. Not only can I see the creepy stuff happening while he does his magic, but just look at his eyes... his face. He once said his tricks can be compared to Voodoo... if I'm not mistaken, that is in fact a form of black magic witchcraft... O-kay DB...
Seriously, this guy is possessed.
On a happier note... I went down to IHOP (International House of Prayer) in Kansas City over the weekend. The LORD and I had some good quality time together, and I also had a few encounters with some angels. It was pretty sweet. But that'll be a different post for a different day…
Angels and demons… real as night and day.