Wednesday, May 11, 2011

New Blog!

Hello blog followers (if there are any of you left out there),

I know I have neglected this blog for some time now, but I am entering into a new phase of writing and the Lord has laid some new thoughts on my heart so it is my earnest desire to be obedient to His calling.

In doing so, I have moved my blog to a new server which you can find at

All of the old blog posts were moved over and since transferring I have added a few new ones. I hope you will subscribe to the new one (a little accountability on my end) and keep in touch with all that the Lord is doing.

Please feel free to email me if you have any questions! Thanks for faithfully sticking with my blog and for always offering words of encouragement.


In Christ alone,

Monday, February 1, 2010


I have often sung the sweet words of Hosanna, which translates to “please save” or “save us now”. It’s what the crowds shouted as Jesus made His triumphal entry into Jerusalem three days before He would rise from the dead and gain victory over sin (Mark 11:9-10). The Pharisees standing near told Jesus to quiet His disciples. He simply replied “I tell you that if these should keep silent, the stones would immediately cry out” (Luke 19:40).

“Heal my heart and make it clean/Open up my eyes to the things unseen/Show me how to love like You have loved me/Break my heart for what breaks Yours/Everything I am for Your kingdom’s cause/As I walk from earth into eternity/Hosanna, Hosanna, Hosanna in the highest.” Last weekend as I sang these sweet words, something changed, and I was filled with such an overwhelming desire for those who don’t know God to truly know Him.

I often pray for anyone who doesn’t know the awesome wonders of the Living God. That night, however, I felt an ache in my core like never before. My heart can never break as the Lord’s does for those who refuse to surrender to Him, but that night I genuinely felt my heart breaking. By following Him, He has made my heart clean, He has opened my eyes to that which He would have me see, He has burdened my heart for those that don’t know Him, and He has taken my life for His kingdom’s work. As I sang, tears came to my eyes and I felt myself yelling the words out as the people did that day in Jerusalem. GOD SAVE US! I knew what Jesus meant; I had such fervency in me that if I quieted myself, the stones of the building around me would have cried out because they couldn’t deny Him. As believers, we know where our eternity stands, but those that don’t know the Lord have no hope of a tomorrow with God. We should be heavily burdened to seek and share a heavenly future.

I often hear people saying it is hypocritical to come to God with sin in their life. What they often don’t’ see is, come to Him or not, He still sees the sin. Nothing is hidden from Him just because they don’t talk to Him or ignore Him. He loves them the same and still seeks to save them. That night, our Pastor told a story of a property owner selling a piece of land and a building. After being destroyed by the previous tenant, the owner was promising to repair the building, the walls, and the broken windows. The potential buyer told him he didn’t care about the building, he was going to bulldoze it to the ground; he simply wanted the land. That is God’s view of us. He doesn’t care about the cracks, breaks, or chips. He plans to bulldoze the old life to the ground and build something in its place that is new, has a strong foundation and a better internal structure.

This should be the cry of our hearts, that He may come in, see the potential of a new life, and take every step to make it His. We should be on our knees praying for the lost, seeking the unsaved, and asking God to burden us with His burdens, that we may see His kingdom’s cause is done. This is my prayer, won’t it be yours?

God, thank You for saving us, for even wanting to save us and for seeing past the cracks, holes, and damage to see the potential of what could be. Thank You for burdening our hearts for the things that burden Yours. Help us to go into all the world in hopes to seek and save the lost.


Sunday, January 24, 2010

Our Deepest Needs

Recently, I was reading about Jacob and his wives Leah and Rachel (Gen. 29:30-30:24). The dynamic of that triad relationship (really a quintet counting Bilhah and Zilpah) was confusing, difficult, and often quarrelsome. While in the middle of a baby war that the two women thought would prove Jacob’s love, Rachel cries out to Jacob saying “Give me children, or else I die!” (Gen. 30:1). I was struck at how often times we look to other people to fulfill our deepest needs when we should be looking to God. We see Rachel’s deepest need (or so she believed) was to have a child. In anguish, she cries out to Jacob to fill this need or she feels she will die. Though Jacob’s response in anger wasn’t the most loving, it was appropriate. Was he God? No. Was he the one that had withheld children from her? No. Could he do anything more than he was already doing to help her bear a child? No. He had no control over her circumstances and yet she blamed him and begged him for an answer that he didn’t have.

So often we look to others in expectation, when we should be looking to God in hope. God has promised He will provide for our every need (Luke 12:22-32), so our faith should be seeking Him to fulfill that promise. When we look to people to fulfill these needs we put heavy demands on them without realizing what it does to that person and to the relationship. We add such an incredible amount of stress and probably don’t realize how frustrating it can be for the other person to watch us wrestle with dissatisfaction.

I know I battle with this. I look to people with the same anticipation that I look to God and usually find myself disappointed. Like the psalmist, the only solution available is for us to “lift our eyes to the hills, from whence comes our help (Ps. 121:1). God is the only one who can lift us up out of the miry clay, set our feet upon the rock of His salvation, and establish our steps (Ps. 40:2). But, the one thing we can rely on other people for, is company for the journey. We can take this trip with those around us who are like minded, those who have the same spirit, the same goals, and the same love of God in their hearts.

We can rely on our brothers and sisters to walk through this life with us, but we should rely on God to walk us through this life.

Lord, thank you that your promises never fail, Your mercies are new every morning, You never leave us, and You have the best in mind for us. Please help me to enjoy this journey with my fellow sojourners and to look to You in the midst of storms.


Monday, October 5, 2009

A Gift Like No Other

Today I turn thirty-two, although I don’t feel thirty-two. I don’t even feel thirty. Although, these days when I look in the mirror, I don’t see the silly young girl that once stared back at me ten years ago. She has been replaced with a woman who stands firm in her beliefs, in her life, and in her faith. There is still a twinkle in the eye and the mouth is still upturned ready to smile without cause. But now there are lines that weren’t there before, a steadfastness that couldn’t be seen, and a hope that has been borne of trials. She is the same but is somehow different. Those that knew her then would never recognize her now and that’s probably the biggest blessing I could ask for.

I don’t put much stock in age; to me it’s the counting of the years of your life. I don’t believe it’s a status symbol or a sign of how mature you are. To me, it’s the number of years I have lived on this earth; it marks the passing of time. What I think matters more is not the number of years spent living, but rather, the manner in which those years have been spent. This past weekend during worship at church, I had the chance to reflect on where I have been—the disaster of a life I came from and where I am now—a life living solely for Jesus. I even took a glimpse of the future—an eternity that Jesus put in my heart on the day He formed it.

As my heart stepped into that special time with Him, I was once again crying out for all of the glory of my life to be to Him alone for He is the one that saved me. I still remember when I first cried out and begged for Him to take my life and let it be all for Him and for His glory, for it to be His life not mine. I knew from that moment that I was made to worship Him. I knew that the reason He gave me breath was to praise His name all of my days. I offered my life that I may continually shout and sing the praises of my King. This weekend as I pondered my life I remembered how lost I had been before He sought me. I was unhappy, unsatisfied, and unfulfilled. I was living for all of the wrong things and couldn’t figure out why nothing ever seemed to fill the void in my life. As those memories came back, I raised my hands and praised God for His faithful and long suffering love that waited for me. I praised God that I am different than I used to be, because He made me different. Christ’s love and sacrifice was able to change this sinner’s path from one of damnation to one of eternity.

I realized that no matter how far I had come I would always need Him, every day, every hour, sometimes, every minute. We all do. There is not a time that we can live without His guidance. The minute we think we can, we are doomed to failure. I cried out to Him to never leave me, because if I took my gaze off of Him, just as Peter did on the sea, I would sink (Matthew 14:29-31). As worship came to an end, I was once again reassured that His amazing grace is such a sweet sound, His amazing love will always flow down. I know that His hands and feet that had been nailed to a tree had allowed His grace to pour down and cover me and my sins.

It was the best birthday present I could have asked for; a sacred moment between the Creator and His creation where He assured me that I had a purpose and it was a big one. Any pains, trials, frustrations, I have felt have had a purpose, to draw me closer to Him. The heartache this life sometimes brings is to assure me that in the midst of those times, I always have arms to run to that are secure and loving because they made me, they know me, and they love me.

So, today I turn thirty-two and I’m great with that. I don’t feel thirty-two, I’m often told I don’t look like I’m thirty-two and I certainly know that I don’t act like I am thirty-two. But what matters to me about this day is that God in His infinite wisdom knit me together fearfully and wonderfully while still in my mother’s womb(Psalm 139:13-14). More important than that is that Christ in His passion and love came to this earth to die for me, because He knew I needed a Savior. The sum of my years doesn’t equal much, but the sum of the desires of my heart to love and follow God equal eternity with Him and that is a gift like no other.

Thank You Lord for special moments where You call my attention towards heaven and towards You. Thank You for making this life that belongs to You, this heart that loves You, and this soul that You call Your own.


Monday, August 24, 2009

Free Indeed

As a believer, forgiveness often seems the hardest thing in our daily walk. I struggle with it continually, but the Lord took me on a journey of forgiveness and revealed that it is one of the easiest things, both asking for it and granting it. Often times, the pride of life stumbles us and we abandon humbleness, which separates us from God (1 John 2:16). Christ came to make us free and in Him we are free indeed (John 8:36), but we must accept it. Sin chains us to a wall like a prisoner, holding us captive, but the work of the cross removes those chains. By His stripes we are healed (Isa. 53:5) and the chains should fall free, but in unforgiveness, it’s as if we grab the chains and hold onto them; in essence holding onto our sin and imprisoning ourselves. 1 John 1:9 tells us that “if we confess our sins He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness,” but notice the words “if we confess.” We have to confess them in order to be made clean; and I can speak from experience that it does make us free indeed.

My journey started with me in chains, but I thought it was due to another person’s sin and God revealed that it was mine. My husband made a choice that devastated me and our marriage. He later asked for forgiveness, and I forgave him so we moved on. The problem was things weren’t getting easier, they were getting harder. My heart still hurt, my pride still hurt, and I didn’t know how to get past it. Without any knowledge of my circumstance a friend stopped to see me one day and said that in a marriage the man has to be the leader and in essence “he is the king”. He wasn’t being sarcastic; he meant the Lord establishes the husband as the leader and head of the family. Like we all do, he said, husbands make mistakes and if they do so against their wife, or if the king falls off his throne, the queen is the only one who can restore him. My heart screamed in protest, because I felt like someone needed to restore me. I felt that I was the one wronged so how could I be the one restoring?

For weeks I struggled, I counseled with friends, I prayed, and in the end I was arguing with God because in my mind I objected “But God, what about me! HE needs to restore ME”. It was then that I felt the Lord saying that I was seeking restoration from the wrong person. It wasn’t my husband’s job to restore me, it was God’s. It wasn’t clear to me until another conversation weeks later when I told a friend about my conflict and waited for her to agree with me. She looked at me and said “this might sound trite, but I think your answer is fairly simple, you have to confess your sin to your husband and ask for forgiveness for the entire span of your relationship.” I was stunned, thinking it was impossible, but it was right. Throughout our relationship I had never truly let my husband lead, I had hammered him into decisions I thought were best, I had criticized him for not leading, criticized him when he tried to lead and made him feel like he was inadequate to lead. Though he was responsible for his choices, I had also made some of my own that had not made it easy for him to become the husband that God was trying to make him. All along I thought it was about him and his sin, when it turned out that it was about me and mine.

I prayed for hours for the courage to repent. As I approached my husband with a humble heart and spirit, I spent what seemed like 10 minutes asking forgiveness for anything I could think of that I had done wrong, thoughts, actions, behavior, all came pouring out and it was like a purging of my soul. In the end, I felt freer than I had in years, and without realizing it, somewhere in the middle, I was restored. All along I thought I had to be restored in order to give forgiveness and I came to realize that I had to be forgiven in order to be restored. Forgiveness came easily, my transgressions were removed as far as the east is to the west, and because of that night, my heart is set on forgiveness.

God tells us we must keep short accounts and seek forgiveness before going into His presence in worship. Inasmuch as we must quickly seek forgiveness, we must also quickly grant it, even if it is not asked for. When someone sins against us, the only way to remain free from the burden of hurt, anger, and bitterness is to free the other person from it and restore them, which in turns frees us and restores us to God.

To me, Psalm 139:23-24 is truly the heart of confession. “Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me and know my anxieties, and see if there is any wicked way in me and lead me in the way everlasting.” We must ask God to truly search us and see where there is wickedness in our hearts and then ask Him to lead us in His everlasting way, the way that was made by the cross. It’s not about what other people do, it never will be. It’s about us and our relationship with God and what He finds in our hearts when He searches it.

They say that confession is good for the soul, and it is, because it’s the only way to restoration with the King.


Sunday, July 5, 2009

The Tools He Uses

Recently, a close friend was going through a difficult trial and many of us were coming alongside her in the journey. As she was in the midst of it, we didn’t understand why she was going through it; often the Lord doesn’t reveal those things. My thoughts were that the trial might not have been about her. While it is a hard place to be, we have to remember that our lives are in the hands of the Master Carpenter and occasionally we are the exact tool that He needs to use in order to move in the life of someone else.

As a new believer I would ask, “why me?” I didn’t understand trials, but as I grew in my faith I realized that after I came through it, often within a short time, I would cross paths with someone in a similar circumstance. I was able to say, “I understand, I have been there.” Those are the most powerful words to be able to tell someone in the midst of an ordeal.

As I continued to grow in my walk with the Lord, I realized that often I needed to step back and understand that there were times the trial had nothing to do with me; I was the tool the Lord chose. I was happy when God was working in my life to move me, but when He was working in another’s life to move them, with me on the chopping block, that was hard. I felt like I got the heartaches but none of the rewards. As my trust deepened, I came to see that though difficult, it was often more of a blessing to be used by God for someone else. It is sacrifice which He says shows no greater love (John 15:13).

Growing up as a contractor’s daughter, my dad had tools. From framing squares to hammers, from nails to saws, I saw all of them as these fantastic things I wanted to touch. But they were tools, not toys, I was reminded. I was not allowed to play with them because they had a purpose. Most of them were tools he had accumulated over the years; a few were passed on from my grandfather and great grandfather. The older ones were weathered and old, the wood faded, the blades dull and rusty. A few of them had scratches and chips; others had gouges deep in the metal. I always knew these were not tools that were for display only; these tools had been used hard and often. They had been used to create something wonderful, whether it was a dollhouse for me or a house to be lived in. They had served their purpose well in the hands of the crafter who knew exactly how to use them.

That’s how it is when we are used by the Lord; at times we take a beating and there are pieces of us gouged out. The marks remain unable to be repaired, unable to be smoothed away. However, once the trial is over the outcome is always something beautiful. We see a life finally surrendered to the Lord, or a heart that had walked away from Him returned to His throne. We witness a relationship mended, a life restored, or a future given hope.

At times we’re sure that the trials are far more than we can bear, but can you visualize Meshach, Shadrach, and Abed-Nego, in the middle of a fiery furnace to get the attention of Nebuchadnezzar (Daniel 3)? Or Job, covered in boils and losing everything to show Satan that he truly was a servant of God (Job 1:22)? Maybe our trials are not as dramatic, but they cut us the same. Our comfort is to know that our lives rest in the hands of a skillful God, who shapes us and molds us as His creation, His masterpiece. Whether the trial is for us or for someone else, we walk away forever changed, closer than before to His image, closer to His heart, and closer to His throne.

Thank You God, for the trials, whether they are about us or not. Thank You for using me in Your master plan, and for taking care of me not only as Your creation, but as one of Your tools. I give my life to the work of Your hands.


Tuesday, June 16, 2009

My Grace Is Sufficient...

Sometimes we find ourselves in prison. Whether an emotional, mental, or even physical cell, they are all the same. At times the prison is of our own doing and sometimes, we are in prison because of the actions or decisions of someone else. Regardless of how we get there, being in prison is one of the most devastating places to be. You feel like a slave to your surroundings and at times there is no hope of liberation. Yesterday in our staff devotions we were blessed to have Pastor Bob Shank visit and teach on the life of Joseph. It is a story that I never tire of hearing. Joseph is an enigma to me, in that, no matter what lot he was handed in life, he took it gratefully, thanked God continually for it, did his best at it, and God was always with him.

Joseph had multiple prisons and sometimes we know how that feels. It’s not just one thing that holds us captive, its multiple things threatening to tear us down and drag us under. Joseph was imprisoned by his dreams that no one else believed, he was imprisoned physically, sold as a slave to Egyptians into Potiphar’s house. He was imprisoned by lies from Potiphar’s wife and then confined to an actual prison cell. I can’t help but think that I would also have felt emotionally incarcerated being hated by all my brothers, being kicked at every turn, and never being able to direct my own path. But Joseph didn’t have that baggage because he knew that though his path was not his own, it was being directed by a God who is faithful and who always remembers His promises to His children.

Sometimes when we are in prison, we can feel like God has forgotten us, like we are there alone in the pit of darkness. But God reminds us that He hasn’t forgotten us, He never would. Heaven reaches down to us and He is there, just as He was in Acts 23:11 with Paul, “But the following night the Lord stood by him and said, “Be of good cheer, Paul…” Nothing can keep us apart from Jesus Christ, as it says in Romans 8:35, 38-39 “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?.......For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Nothing can separate us from Christ’s love and protection or from God’s plan for our life.

Joseph prospered, and repeatedly throughout his story we read “the Lord was with Joseph”. God is always with us and even when we feel like we are perishing and begging God for release, He gently reminds us “Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me. And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:8-9). God’s grace washes over us and can sustain us in any season of life. It can raise us from the dark pits of despair and carry us on wings like eagles. It is the rock on which we can stand and not waiver, because truly He is our God who never waivers.

I think Joseph knew this in His heart and that’s why he was able to succeed, even when there seemed no deliverance in sight. Joseph not only bloomed in the desert as his father’s favorite, he bloomed in the depths of a dark prison cell, surrounded by lies and by people who wanted to keep him there. He bloomed because when we truly realize that God’s grace is enough and that we are covered in His love, it’s like the prison door swings wide open and we are free.

Jesus, thank You that even when I feel alone and imprisoned, You are there with me. Your grace is sufficient for me, and Your love is so strong that it can swing wide even the heaviest and threatening prison door, and I am free.