Saturday, March 31, 2007

Loving People is not Efficient

Sharing life is hard. It's hard to be vulnerable when the person on the other end of the conversation doesn't understand the extent of my passion or the depth of my drive. It hurts. But its necessary. This is what I'm learning.

I love my friends. I love them so much--the few that DO understand, to some greater degree, the extent of my passion and the depth of my drive. The Lord alone knows the ultimate extent and the entire depth. But I thank him for friends that know and understand a lot of who I am. These relationships are beautiful. I've decided that I'm an awful lover because I don't express my care and concern very all. Spirit, teach me how! I want to love with purity and honest--deeply as Christ loves me.

I have felt very lonely today as a result of these feelings--like I'm in some sort of glass tube and I can't get through to others and they can't understand me. I guess I'm just feeling like I've shared my heart a lot and its gotten stepped on a bit--or looked over. There is growth in this, I'm sure, but the growth is hard. This moving of the Holy Spirit in me is too deep for words, so its hard to express to others. I don't even understand it fully myself.

I trust in the God who holds my life. I want more of Him. I yearn for more...I want to REALLY know Jesus, and TRULY believe what he says.

He's breaking my heart like I asked. Wow. It hurts. It's an incredible thing to watch happen in me.

I'd appreciate your prayers...that Christ would align my life to his; that my focus would be Jesus; that my vision would be God's; that my heart would be moved by the things that move HIS heart, and that it would break for the things that break His.

Seek hard. Seek really, really hard. This life is so short.

Valley Song

You have led me to the sadness
I have carried this pain
On a back bruised, nearly broken
I'm crying out to you

I will sing of Your mercy
That leads me through valleys of sorrow
To rivers of joy

When death like a Gypsy
Comes to steal what I love
I will still look to the heavens
I will still seek your face

But I fear you aren't listening
Because there are no words
Just the stillness and the hunger
For a faith that assures

While we wait for rescue
With our eyes tightly shut
Face to the ground using our hands
To cover the fatal cut

And though the pain is an ocean
Tossing us around, around, around
You have calmed greater waters
Higher mountains have come down

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

be near me now

do you ever reach a time when you are suddenly so overwhelmed by the fact that no one on this earth KNOWS you? It's kind of a sickening feeling.

I am so sick of hiding things. I am sick of trying to explain things but not ever being able to fully get my point across. I am tired of having to explain why I do things or why I don't do things--why I enjoy one thing but not another. I long for a transparency that allows for true and intimate relationship. Is this even possible on earth? Obviously probably not because of sin. Wretched souls that we are we cannot be completely honest and true. But can't the Spirit move more deeply in me? In us? Won't you, God?

I guess I'm just longing to be known right now. I am longing to be loved deeply and honestly--because of who I am, no other reason.

I suppose the "answer" is that I am looking for this depth of love from creatures that can't give it. It is found only in the arms of the Almighty. But what sort of love and honesty are we to expect from the Body? From each other? What level of intimacy and care?


Blow the dust off my soul. Spirit of God, move in and among us.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Talked with a friend about how hard it will be to come back...

"Come back from Africa with a broken heart and bleed all over us."

Almighty God, help me to spread a passion for a vision of your global work! The world seems so far away...please, God, bring it closer.

Back at School

It's beautiful. 75 degrees today! Wow. I love it. Ultimate frisbee on the beach tonight....yay!

I'm exhausted. Just finished unpacking...about to take a nap!

How was your break??

Thursday, March 22, 2007

deep enough to dream

I ask that God would teach His Church to dream big. I pray that she would learn to love creatively. I pray that you, O Church, would learn to live the gospel imaginatively.

Awake, O Sleeper! Arise from the dead...Christ will shine on you.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Inspired by a Friend

Melissa told me she had read some of my old I decided to do the same. I browsed through the past 3 years of my life in writing. Crazy. It was good. I am still learning a lot of the same things--only God has brought me furthur along on the adventure. And the encouraging thing about looking back like that is that I can see God's work! I have grown...and continue to grow! A few of the posts stood out to me. The thoughts that inspired them are still at work in me now--perhaps they're farther along or perhaps I have a different perspective on things now. God has answered a lot of prayer and a lot of longing. Wow. So amazing.
For the Sake of the Call (Steven Curtis Chapman)
Nobody stood and applauded them
So they knew from the start
This road would not lead to fame
All they really knew for sure was Jesus had called to them
He said "Come follow me" and they came
With reckless abandon they came

Empty nets lying there at the waters edge
Told a story that few could believe
And none could explain
How some crazy fishermen agreed to go where Jesus led
With no thought for what they would gain
For Jesus had called them by name and they answered

We will abandon it all for the sake of the call
No other reason at all but the sake of the call
Wholly devoted to live and to die...


Not for the sake of a creed or a cause
Not for a dream or a promise
Simply because it is Jesus who calls
And if we believe we'll obey
And we'll answer....

We will abandon it all for the sake of the call
No other reason at all but the sake of the call
Wholly devoted to live and to die
For the sake of the call....
Far Too Easily Pleased

"We are halfhearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased." CS Lewis

"'Too busy'--cursed words, those. Father, forgive me for being so academic and material in my outlook, so much feeding of the mind and outer man, so little genuine concern for spiritual things." Jim Elliot

"Father, take my life, yea, my blood if Thou wilt, and consume it with Thine enveloping fire. I would not save it, for it is not mine to save. Have it Lord, have it all. Pour out my life as an oblation for the world. Blood is only of value as it flows before Thine altar." Jim Elliot

Discard the American mindset of walking through life halfheartedly, blind to the infinite joy offered us. Do not be too easily pleased.

Give us a vision for Your work and Your passion, O God. Lead us into Your glory boldly proclaiming the glory of the Lord!
This is a huge one in my life still!!...
"What a ragged, shoddy thing Christianity has come to be, honoring men and means, places and crowds--O Lord, deliver me from the spirit of this faithless generation. How I should long to see the simplicity and powerful beauty of the New Testament fellowship reproduced, but no one seems to be similarly exercised here, so I must wait, O Christ, let me know Thee--let me catch glimpses of Thyself, seated and expectant in glory, let me rest there despite all wrong surging round me. Lead me in the right path, I pray."
Jim Elliot (Shadow of the Almighty)
"I find I must drive myself to study, following the 'ought' of conscience to gain anything at all from the Scripture, lacking any desire at times. it is important to learn respect and obedience to the 'inner must' if godliness is to be a state of soul with me. I may no longer depend on pleasant impulses to bring me before the Lord. I must rather respond to principles I know to be right, whether I feel them to be enjoyable or not." -Jim Elliot

Struggling with feelings of emptiness and dryness, I am beginning to learn respect for the "inner must" and am not expecting shocking and bold revelations from Him, but am training my ears to listen to the still small voice. It's often frustrating but I have found that studying my Bible in such a way leads to a new richness found each day. I'm trying to develop a heart for Christ when, for so long, I have depended on other things...

"Ordinary life for me has been spoiled forever by the prospect of what real living is..."
That's all...just some old thoughts that continually pertain to this life. God is good and He moves in mysterious ways!!

Saturday, March 17, 2007

I think you all have received this in email form but I decided to post it, too.

Dear Friends,

Here's the long-awaited update! Most of you already know my big news, some of you don't (and no, I'm not engaged...why does everybody ask that??). The news is this: I am going to Swaziland, Africa for 6 months with YWAM (Youth with a Mission) beginning in June (till mid November). So, I will not be at Moody for the fall semester, but I will pick up again in the spring. The nice thing is that it won't really put me any farther behind in school. When I transferred from Hillsdale, I got knocked down a little (between my class and the class below me) and so this semester will just put me in the class below me, so I will graduate with all my friends at Moody. The school is really good about sending students out to do various things during their 4 years. Whether it be ministry related (missions, etc), work, or for a wedding, they are really great about allowing you to leave and come back. I will not have to reapply or anything (such a blessing!).
I am so excited about this opportunity! What I am doing is called a DTS (Discipleship Training School). For three months I will be in Mbabane, Swaziland at a base taking classes while working with the local missionary family (a young couple with two super cute kids!) on various projects (this is called the "lecture phase"). After this, we will have three months of outreach. The students are placed into teams of 10-12 and sent out to various locations. For this DTS, the possible outreach locations include local outreach in Swaziland, as well as outreach into South Africa, Mozambique, and possibly Nigeria. The school I will be attending is small--probably only 10-15 students total. The director of the base has told me that I am one of three from America and there are a few from South Africa and Nigeria (so far). I am excited to see how God brings the students together (and from where!).
Swaziland is a really small country (hardly bigger than New Jersey) and is surrounded by South Africa. Swaziland has the highest HIV/AIDS rate of any country in the world--40 percent of the nation is infected. It has been said that in a matter of years, it will be a nation of orphans. Much of our local work will be with those infected with AIDS as well as with the many left orphaned as a result of the desease. I am excited about working with children. I won't know until later what my outreach will look like. The location isn't decided until we've been there for a while.

You're probably wondering at this point how God brought me to this? I don't have one right answer to that question...God has been working really powerfully in my life this past semester, especially this past month. Moody has been so great for me. I can't even express how grateful I am to God for allowing me to be here. He has placed incredible people in my life who have challenged me like no one has challenged me before, and who encourage me to fight the good fight and live radically for the Lord. Long story short, a group of friends and I were challenged by the pastor at our Church not to be complacent. He asked the question: "Are you living or are you existing?" This question really got to me and was on my mind and heart for a long time. God wrestled with me a lot this semester--challenging me to live, not for others, but only for him. He has placed on my heart an urgency to spread His love--among all peoples. He has also placed on my heart the need to wake up, and to wake others up, to the call of Christ. Through all of these things I was (and am) learning, I changed my major. I am now an International Ministry major, hoping to work overseas someday. This opportunity so serve with YWAM will be, I think, a good introduction to the work of overseas missions, as well as a chance to get a firsthand look at what it is like to do a life work overseas. My desire is not to do short term missions but to commit my life to the work of the kingdom long term. I am excited to see where and how God will lead me, and how He is going to use this short experience to prepare my heart for future work.
Exciting things lie ahead! Scary things lie ahead! I rest in the knowledge that God is sovereign. He holds my past, present, and future in His hands. I am eager to follow the leading of the Almighty. I am in awe of Him and all He has taught me this semester. I am astounded at how much the Word has come alive to me, and how much God has used it to grow me. It truly is the Living, breathing Word of God! I am also incredibly thankful to Him for placing people in my life who have a vision for His Kingdom. Wow. This life I live is not my own--He has poured out grace upon grace.

This is a whole new step of faith and I find myself learning more about trust than I have ever learned before. It seems that there are a hundred details that need to be figured out...and you all know that the perfectionist in me sometimes tends to freak out. I have a lot of travel details (passport, visa, plane ticket, etc.) as well as financial details (raising support!). I would greatly appreciate your prayers! One thing God has been teaching me is how absolutely beautiful the Body of Christ is--and what a pleasure and responsibility it is to love and care for one another (through prayer, encouragement, etc.). I ask that you would pray with me and for me, that you would encourage me and stand with me. Ask me questions and challenge my thoughts. Let's join as His body to grow toward him together!

I love you guys. As I have been sharing my heart with some of you, I am blown away by your love and committment to me--as a sister and friend. You have NO idea what it means to me to know your thoughts on this, your willingness to listen, to hear your excitement for me. Wow. This is so exciting. I feel like my life is going to change so much. Sometimes it just hits me--how much I am going to be stretched and how much I am going to learn. I am eager.

Write back with questions or thoughts! I am on spring break right now, spending a week in Philly with Jay and Kristen and then my second week in Harrisburg with Hallie. I would love to hear from you. I am going to be working on a letter soon, so I can start building up a prayer team and a financial team. You get to be a part of this with me! I hope that's an exciting thing for you :) It sure is exciting to me!!
I want to leave you with a verse. I'm not sure which one because there have been a number that have really been on the front of my mind and heart right now. But I think I'll leave you with Haggai chapter one. It's a tough passage. Obviously I won't write out the whole chapter here--you can go read it :) The book of Haggai is about the rebuilding of the temple--and how it symbolized God's restored presence among His people. So here it goes, I'll share a few of the verses that really stand out to me.
"Is it a time for you yourselves to dwell in your paneled houses, while this house lies in ruins?" (1:4)
"Consider your ways. Go up to the hills and bring wood and build the house, that I may take pleasure in it and that I may be glorified, says the Lord. You looked for much, and behold, it came to little. And when you brought it home, I blew it away. Why? declares the Lord of hosts. Becuase of my house that lies in ruins, while each of you busies himself with his own house..." (1:7-9).

This is such a convicting passage. As I think about building God's house, I think about building His kingdom. Israel had busied herself with herself...she had forgotten her purpose in God. I busy myself with myself. I forget about the mandate Jesus gave--to preach his name and live his love to all people. I so often lose sight of this eternal perspective (and this means a vision for God's work in my future but ALSO his work in my present, here at Moody). Lord, don't let it be so! Teach us to Follow you! Teach us to be true Seekers of You and your Word. Enlarge our hearts, God. Widen our love for one another and for You.

Thank you all for being in my life! I love you and look forward to what the future holds. Life in the Almighty is RICH!
In Him,

If you want to be on my email list, let me know!!

Friday, March 16, 2007

I think you should read 1 Peter today

Giving special thought to 1:13-16; 1:22-25; 2:1-5; 2:9-11; 3:13-17.

and 4:19.

Much love to you, friends!

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Girls day out is currently 75 degrees out!! Whooo!! And while Jay was at work, kristen and I decided to drive around a bit. Mom really wanted to be with us we brought her! What a blast. It was quite a lot of fun. AND now, Kristen's nannying job was canceled for the afternoon/evening. I think we might go to Valley Forge. At least somewhere OUTSIDE. wow its beautiful.

The bright sunshine makes me want to where a sundress...and spin around in a big, open field! Kristen and I might make some.

A shout out to melissa--I love you!!!

The pictures of today won't load on'll have to go to my facebook. Sorry.


Currently reading: Holy Spirit Power by Charles Spurgeon; 2 Corinthians
Currently listening to: Ben Harper (Diamonds on the Inside)
Currently thinking about: everything.

It is supposed to be 72 degrees today. Thank you, Lord. It's a chaco day. I am sitting by the window in the morning light and the sun is coming through in a soft yellow. sigh. I had waffles and bacon for breakfast. I slept great last night...after a long conversation late into the night (early morning) with a dear friend. God, you are teaching me so much. Don't ever let my hear grow hard. Don't let the discouragements sent by the enemy distract me from listening to your soft, whispering voice. Tune my ear to listen. Tune my heart to hear. Thank you for friends who challenge, uplift, encourage, confront, embrace, walk beside, and love.

This life I live--it is now my own. Praise be to the Almighty, whose glory is my joy and whose honor is my pleasure. Spirit, teach me to follow.

"Growing in leaps and bounds..." That's the way a friend of mine puts it. I like that picture--and its so true. Wow. God is great.

Live with abandon. Live radically. Live boldly. Remember, when you attempt great things for God you are to expect opposition--all hell pushing back.

God is good. All the time. All the time. God is good.

In Him,

Monday, March 12, 2007

Blessed to be a Witness

corcovado parted the sky
and through the darkness
on us he shined
crucified in stone
still his blood is my own
glory behold all my eyes have seen

i am blessed to be a witness

some have flown away
and can't be with us here today
like the hills of my home
some have crumbled and now are gone
gather around for today won't come again

i am blessed to be a witness

so much sorrow and pain
still i will not live in vain
like good questions never asked
is wisdom wasted on the past
only by the grace of god go i

i am blessed to be a witness
(Ben Harper)

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Fire of God, Undying Flame

Father, our humanity is meant to contain your Deity. Make room in us, O God, by increasing our capacity to contain you. Fill us to overflowing with your Divine Spirit. We come to you admitting our emptiness and longing to absorb the sparkling treasure of your presence in these primitive bodies of ours. Amen.
Bryan Jeffery Leech

"But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us." 2 Cor. 4:7

Breathe on me, Breath of God,
fill me with life anew,
that I may love what thou dost love,
and do what thou wouldst do.

Breathe on me, Breath of God,
until my heart is pure,
until with thee I will one will,
to do and to endure.

Breathe on me, Breath of God,
till I am wholly thine,
till all this earthly part of me
glows with thy fire divine.

Breathe on me, Breath of God,
so shall I never die,
but live with thee the perfect life
of thine eternity.

"So we do not lose heart. Though our outer nature is wasting away, our inner nature is being renewed day by day."
2 Cor. 4:16

Saturday, March 03, 2007

The Almighty moves in mysterious ways

such exciting ways

Thank you, Lord God, for your hand in our lives. Fight for us, that we not drift or lose vision.

The future is bright. God is great.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Your light will shine when all else fades
Never ending
Your glory goes beyond all fame

Your will above all else
My purpose remains
The art
of losing myself
In bringing You praise
Your light will shine when all else fades
Never ending
Your glory goes beyond all fame