Saturday, April 30, 2011


Wow, I seriously don't know what to write about today. At all.

So, I'll let you in on an organization I have been interested in:

In case you don't know me, or don't know me all that well, my heartbreak is for human trafficking. The only way I know how to answer the question, "why human trafficking," is by telling you it is my worst fear. I mean think about it. The scenario for these victims usually consists of some or all of these:

-They were sold by a loved one.
-Or they are orphans to begin with.
-They were deceived by an employer to leave their homes and families.
-They are drugged.
-They are beaten.
-They never stay in the same place for too long.
-They usually never know where exactly they are.
-They usually can't speak the language of the country they're in nor can they attempt to communicate with people outside to get help.
-And if they take the chance to get help, law enforcement often mistake trafficked victims as illegal aliens.
-They THINK their family is counting on this twisted form of work.
-Culture has taught them that leaving a job would dishonor their family so they never try to leave even though it's a sick, twisted way of making money that doesn't actually make them or their family any money.
-They are forced into hard labor.
-They are raped repeatedly, every single day... by up to 4 clients in a single hour for God only knows how many hours a day.
-Half of these 27 million slaves are experiencing this in their childhood.

... Let that all sink in.

Makes you angry doesn't it? Me too.

The A21 Campaign, though I have yet to work with them myself, seems to be very thorough in the way they approach this issue. I appreciate that a lot because, in my opinion, there are too many organizations out there who stop at awareness. Education is extremely important, but it's almost useless. If an organization has enough resources to be large and well known, why not expand it to be even more effective? Awareness without direct action to fix the problem is... Well, it eventually becomes stagnant. Its power only goes so far. Meanwhile, slaves aren't being rescued, they aren't being cared for or rehabilitated and the Johns, kiln owners, crop owners, etc. never get persecuted.

Phew. Like I said, it makes me angry.

What am I doing about it? Well, maybe tomorrow I'll talk about how I am all talk and no action.
In the meantime, check out A21's website at the link above. Pray for those living enslaved in this very moment- that the Lord would be near to them and remind them of His True Love and justice.

I'm out.


Yep, I am about to jump on board with the Royal Wedding talk in 5, 4, 3, 2, 1:

(For the sake of getting pettiness out of the way: Kate Middleton's dress=love. Trees inside Westminster Abbey= loved equally or greater than said dress. David Beckham's suit= epitome of gentlemanly style. & HATS!!= Why can't we wear hats?! I want to wear hats!)

Ahem. Moving on!

Quoted in the Bishop of London's speech delivered during the ceremony:

"Be who God meant you to be and you will set the world on fire."
-St. Catherine of Siena.

As I watched CNN's build up to the Royal Wedding via DVR this afternoon, it stirred up some discontentedness and curiosity inside. As I have questioned before, I began to wonder why God placed me here, in this country, with this heritage, with this family and these experiences. How does He even begin to choose and design other individuals with full knowledge that one day they will be kings and queens or even paupers or orphans?

Then I came back for my day 5 session on Malachi. The study led me to God's perfect answer:

"On the contrary, who are you, O man, who answers back to God? The thing molded will not say to the molder, "Why did you make me like this," will it?

Or does not the potter have a right over the clay, to make from the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for common use?"

-Romans 9:20-21

Great imagery, isn't it?
These verses make such a good point. Though I am content overall with my circumstances and self, I do fall into wanting to change myself to be more like others. Sometimes I wish I was stronger, smarter, faster, even funnier!

But who am I to say, "God, why?"
"Why does Kate Middleton get to be Duchess of Cambridge and I don't?"
"How come I am so fortunate while others live without?"
The longer I live the more I see how God places me in circumstances that I don't actually feel qualified for on purpose. I am the fool meant to shame the wise. I am the weak chosen to shame the strong.

Regardless of my ranking or understanding, I have purpose. People are easily inspired; I can inspire people.

Though I live in utter dependency rather than lavish wealth, I must not forget: I too am royalty.
My inheritance is the Kingdom that will outdo every kingdom in world history.
I will bear a crown, though it will be at my King's feet and not atop my head.
His aura of prestige, romance, majesty and awe is so incomparably great.
The Great King addresses me as, "friend."

Whoever you are, wherever you are, rich, poor, or somewhere in between- you have a platform to fill. Whether we gain worldwide media attention or not, we impress something on every person we come across. That is a great responsibility. How do you inspire the world?

"From everyone who has been given much, much will be required; and to whom they entrusted much, of him they will ask all the more."
-Luke 12:48b

"Be who God MEANT you to be," not, who you think you are supposed to be or who people say you should be. When you fulfill the purpose God designed in you to fulfill, THEN you will set the world on fire. You may not see the fire spread, but it starts with your spark and travels from person to person; nation to nation.

Father, I pray over the now Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. May they draw near to You so You will draw near to them. Let intimacy with You rule the hearts of every leader in the Western world. I pray our world leaders would practice lordship to You alone so they may be granted wisdom, knowledge, and understanding of how to build the future of our nations for Your glory. Be Lord of us "commoners," as well. Remind us that we are not all that common. You built us with unique purpose. I pray we would not wait for the spark of our leaders. Let us set the world ablaze: person to person each and every day. Teach us how to love. God, I pray these in faith with the knowledge that when we turn our hearts to You, You turn your face toward us. In seeking You, we will be empowered and equipped to reach out to the poor and helpless. Be near, O God.

In Jesus' Name,

Thursday, April 28, 2011


Philippians 2:5-8 (New American Standard Bible)

5 Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus,

6 who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped,

7 but [a]emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men.

8 Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.

Philippians 2:7 I.e. laid aside His privileges

Something to meditate on for the day...

Wednesday, April 27, 2011


The more humility this season asks of me, the more I recognize what a vicious monster pride can be.

Trying to start something over is the most painful, up-hill, internal battle I can think of... at least for me.
I used to be clueless about how training in anything made a difference. It all seemed to come so easily that I took my fitness for granted. Now that I have nearly lost it all I can recognize what I once had.

Am I the only one who has ever wanted something so bad that I don't want it at all?

I am not a perfectionist all around. However, there is one thing, maybe a few unsurfaced things, in life that I struggle to want to be any part of if I can't do it perfectly. Because I have gone backwards from where I once was, the moving forward to something different carries more appeal: less pain, less humility. There is no fighting involved, just adapting.

But, the war keeps raging. I keep wondering, is it simply that I don't want to or am I just embarrassed by my current state? is this really not a good fit for me or do I need to ask God for a change of heart?

Some of the best things I have done in life were things I was originally repulsed by... Sigh.

Lord, please grant me wisdom. I know you won't condemn me, but I want to do my best for you. Only you are worthy of my best. So if I am hoarding it all away to myself and becoming fruitless, change my heart. Sustain me, Father, I have casted my cares upon you.

In Jesus' Name,

Oof. I had been so riled up at all these thoughts earlier that I blasted and sang this song in the car- my favorite Paramore song. Haha, such an awesome way to release stress.

Also, check back to this post and read up on the thoughts going on in the comment section. Your participation is always encouraged!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011


A couple videos I literally just watched:


And second:

Timothy Keller's writings are still on my long list of books to read so I suppose this is a good way to get my feet wet. :)

Monday, April 25, 2011


Another rainy day...

Coming down from Easter weekend, I had no inclination to move quickly on anything today, really. As long as certain things got done that was all that mattered.

One thing I did not prioritize for today was getting into the presence of the Lord. Mainly, I fed myself with other things: food and a movie. Time was closing in toward the Bible Study I attend. Today was the first real day of my first ever inductive Bible study, but I just did not feel like going. It has been one of those days I just wanted be in a cave and talk to nobody. I had been content all day with the thoughts whirling in my brain... definitely in no place to want to talk to anyone or even smile for that matter.

Maybe I'll just send an e-mail to say I can't make it...

Among the billions of reasons why I love my dad, I am thankful he said something to me that I once thought aloud to him:

"Usually when you have the most struggle to go are the times God particularly wants to meet with you."

Of course I gave a lazy, joking response, but ended up going anyway.

Our inductive study is in the book of Malachi... not a very popular book nor one that any of us had really studied before. It's different, that is for sure... yet convicting, of course.

Arriving late, I walked in quietly during the worship music, wishing to be invisible. I felt the weight of so many lies being spoken into my mind as the music played. Something like, "always/easily replaceable," was the theme of these lies. Worthlessness.

(Sidenote confession: a line from a song I have listened to quite a bit recently has been repeating over and over again in my head & it is difficult to not believe it, though I know it is unhealthy and a lie. It goes, "I won't let you close enough to hurt me, no I won't let you...")

My insides nearly crumbled by the time I sat down at the table to start. I forced a smile and brushed through conversation at first. It was so hard even to look these women in the eyes because of the shame this mental war had produced.

But my, oh my. What healing water the Word of God is! Even an Old Testament text as foreign and dark as Malachi; the further we read, the deeper we studied, the more my soul came back to life.

Sigh. Why on earth do I deprive myself of His presence? When will I steady myself in consistency of reading His word and seeking Him first in every day? Nothing ever fills me like He does. My belief in self-sufficiency only wrings me out like wet dish rag being hung up to dry.

Everything about His presence changes everything about my day: my attitude, joy, even the expression on my face and body language; how I interact around people and the esteem I have for myself and others.

I need Thee, Lord. Every hour, I need Thee.
I was made for intimacy.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Esteem vs. Redeem

Oof. Trying to do this quick. Easter Sunday/holidays in general are not the easiest days to blog.

Not gonna lie, blogging everyday has been getting a little more difficult lately. But I shall persevere!

So I am going to introduce a thought that a family friend brought up during conversation today. It went something like this:

We shouldn't have self-esteem because we are redeemed people.

I never thought about it like that before, but I believe she is on to something... I will give more thoughts to come.

My apologies if my blogs have not been as thought through as of late. Doing this as one of the last things at the end of the night or in between hanging out is obviously not the most effective method for writing.

In the meantime, enjoy this song:

Biting My Tongue.

Today has been one of those days when I find myself overflowing with things I want to say yet knowing not much of it is worth saying.


Yet another day of being utterly dependent on the LORD.

Like that old song goes, "If you see me on my knees, it's not because I'm weak, I'm getting stronger."

And another song to explain it all:
"I need you, Jesus, to come to my rescue. Where else can I go?"

What can I say, just one more song:

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Friday, April 22, 2011


Been chewing on Romans 1:20 and its context today. It could create some major drama that's fa sho. All I want to end with is one question:

What truths about God have we traded for lies?

Father, please reveal that to us and restore us to the truth about who You are.
In Jesus' Name,

Thursday, April 21, 2011


A friend of mine just sent me (this video) tonight:

Sigh ... so true, so true.

I would dare to even say we need men to exceed King David's legacy!
One man living with the consequences of adultery and murder should be enough for all men to learn from.
(It should also be enough to recognize how abundant God's grace is for Him to still call an adulterous murderer, "a man after My own heart." So if you've messed up or struggling. Get up. Leave the sinful crap behind and start walking again in Jesus' name. You've been redeemed!)

Don't worry guys, I'm not hating on you without recognizing that women have our own issues to work out too.

We all have got to WAKE UP and STEP UP
and live out the purpose... the original intent... we were given.

So many of us go around whining about how nobody really knows what it means to be a man or a woman so we can't really do anything about it and blah, blah, blah...

Or what's worse, some don't even think about it! Men and women alike just go with the flow of whatever they see/hear/watch or are taught and never stop to ask questions.

And some just shrug. Wallowing in his or her own despair, s/he thinks, "My father/mother was never there to teach me how to be a wo/man. I'll always be swallowed in this struggle."

This is our God.

I don't know how much of a difference there is between seeking to discover gender identity and seeking wisdom...

And guess what?! God LOVES when we ask for wisdom!! So much so that He will give it freely if we have faith.

Why would we have to ask God?
Hm, I don't know, maybe because He created us.
He is the only one that knows the complexity of our wiring because He is the Inventor of man.
If you want to know how something works, ask the one who built it! Right?

There is so much freedom, security, comfort, and joy in letting God teach us. By allowing Him to be our teacher, we can be restored to our authentic definition. While seeking wisdom, we will realize that the wisdom God bestows ushers us into true masculinity or femininity.

We were made for Him; we were made for each other.
Not to dominate each other, but to complement and support one another.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011


Today has brought about a few instances where the concept of trust has crossed my mind. As scary as trusting is, we sell our relationships short on a daily basis by our lack of trust. For example, I was watching an episode of Community where Jeff Winger asks an engaged woman about her prenuptial agreements before taking her vows. He sounded so casual and presented it like it is the wisest decision she could make. Anyone who has seen any common show on cable today has probably heard this kind of dialogue being exchanged. Prenuptial agreements have seemingly become as much a part of the dating/engagement/marriage process as a man proposing with a diamond ring!

What kind of foundation is that?!
It's practically telling the person straight up, "I don't trust you."

I get it, relationships are scary. People take a huge risk by to joining his or her life with someone else's.
But instead of each choosing to be more trustworthy and demanding the same kind of integrity from another, we decide we cannot possibly change ourselves and instead, change the law.

I think I'll call the disinterest in changing one's character, "laziness of the will."

Even when used for the sake of protecting family wealth... it all boils down to trust, or the lack thereof.

And God.

Of course I have to bring up God! Silly.

It is so sneaky a moment when I develop my own expectations and set my heart on one aim. In that moment the unraveling begins and what started out as a tightly woven, carefully crafted knit of trust in the Lord comes undone.

No, no, no.
Trust in the LORD!
With all your heart.
And stop leaning on your own understanding!

That is how so many safeguards are created- we stop trusting in the Lord, as a nation or as individuals, and we lean on our own understanding of how the world works, how it should be structured; how our hearts should be guarded and our livelihood protected.

What we really need is the LORD.
He promises to direct us if we would only seek to genuinely know Him for ourselves.
Plus, all of His other promises support us in all the other things we worry about!
Promises made from the most Trustworthy of all.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


“The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by hands. And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything, because he himself gives all men life and breath and everything else. From one man he made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live. God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us. ‘For in him we live and move and have our being.’ As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.’

“Therefore since we are God’s offspring, we should not think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone—an image made by man’s design and skill. In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent. For he has set a day when he will judge the world with justice by the man he has appointed. He has given proof of this to all men by raising him from the dead.”

~Acts 17:24-31

Come, let us return to the Lord.
Oh rebellious nation, return your face to the LORD.

Monday, April 18, 2011


Random revelation for the day:

Today I was talking to someone who recommended an employment position to me. Coming from my perspective, I can't say I have had much prior knowledge of the way this particular industry worked and what I was qualified for. In my mind I always thought to apply for the position requiring the least qualifications. At the mention of this thought, she immediately said, "Nooo, no, no. You have your degree! You shouldn't take that position, psh that job is all tension and no pay. Here's what you should apply for..."

Suddenly, I came to the realization that often times we don't recognize what we are capable or worthy of until someone tells us or shows us.
It's easy to go through life with this "poverty mindset," isn't it?
We keep ourselves down because of this mentality!

I'm glad there are people in life who teach me how to grow so I don't continue to shrink back in fear and timidity.

I'm glad I serve a God who reminds me of my worth everyday. He says I am more than a conqueror, a princess, and co-heir of the same inheritance as Jesus Christ himself.

Dang. I have a lot more to offer than I have let myself believe.
... and so do you.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Amazing Grace.

Please, read the following slowly:

Amazing Grace

John Newton (1725-1807)
Stanza 6 anon.

Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.

T'was Grace that taught my heart to fear.
And Grace, my fears relieved.
How precious did that Grace appear
The hour I first believed.

Through many dangers, toils and snares
I have already come;
'Tis Grace that brought me safe thus far
and Grace will lead me home.

The Lord has promised good to me.
His word my hope secures.
He will my shield and portion be,
As long as life endures.

Yea, when this flesh and heart shall fail,
And mortal life shall cease,
I shall possess within the veil,
A life of joy and peace.

When we've been here ten thousand years
Bright shining as the sun.
We've no less days to sing God's praise
Than when we've first begun.

... Such powerful words written during such a historical time by a man, once sinful, now redeemed.

I feel like I am about to ruin the beauty of the lyrics above by saying I just finished watching the movie Amazing Grace. Nevertheless, it was the inspiration for this post so I will own up to it.

This movie, among other things, inspired my admiration for William Wilberforce. Though I still have much research and reading to do on his life, I am mostly impacted by the fact that his story is true. The man, William Wilberforce, is not just a character in a movie, but lived, breathed, and fought and was victorious in ending the Trans-Atlantic slave trade.

However, the pangs in my heart remain as I now think of the thriving slave trade that exists today- one even larger than that of the past. It is not much different than the trade of the past, except in its discreet nature.


More on this to come.

Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.

Saturday, April 16, 2011


Okay, as promised, today I am blogging about the book I have been reading lately:

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Radical by David Platt from Taylor Robinson on Vimeo.

... pretty epic video, huh?

The book is not as compelling emotionally. But spiritually, there is a sense of undoing inside as I have been reading this book. The beginning does truly tug at everything inside as Platt paints a vivid picture of The Church overseas and what The Church looks like here in America.

There is so much to this book, it has rendered me speechless! Let me keep trying...

David Platt dissects the American church, rule by rule; norm by norm. He compares these things to the basic foundation of biblical Christianity- The Great Commission. As chapters pass, every standard and rule pales by comparison to what scripture actually says.

Platt is throwing off the American Church's rose colored glasses much to the relief of my spirit and that of the world's heart cry, I am sure.

I still have four of the nine chapters to finish and may post on this again after I finish it completely. Please, buy it and read it! Whether you've been a Christian all your life, new to the faith, or were simply raised in the church, this book is a breath of fresh air.

Though only half way through, I am already challenged to be more dependent on God and His Word in order to be more effective as His disciple.


On a different note, I've been listening to this album again today & enjoy sharing it with the world. This is Robert's first album, but it is excellent. I am excited for him and what is to come for his career. Enjoy!

Friday, April 15, 2011


Today I watched this sermon:

It's old but great. So much wisdom to chew on. This wasn't the first time I've listened to this sermon, but I have gotten more out of it listening to it again.

A verse Dr. Munroe brings up constantly is Proverbs 19:21.
This verse has been on my mind constantly over the last year, but I have finally gotten down to the original Hebrew and it makes even more sense than before.

Many | רב
plans | מחשבה
are in a man's | איש
heart | לב
but the counsel | עצה
of the LORD | יהוה
will stand. | קום

I wanted to focus on two words: "counsel" and "stand."

The word "counsel" isn't used in the more common versions like NIV, NLT, or ESV. But the Hebrew 'etsah stands for counsel, advice or purpose.

"Stand" is also commonly replaced with the word "prevail." To better describe the word, is the Hebrew (obviously) quwm (said like küm). It means to maintain itself, be established or confirmed, stand, endure, be fixed, valid, proven fulfilled; to persist, to be set or fixed.

I don't know if you're beginning to see what I am now seeing. I guess I just wasn't getting the same message from "the LORD's purpose will prevail," at least in my mind. I had seeing it as 'Oh ultimately/eventually the Lord's purpose wins out; He'll use the circumstance for what He meant it for,' which is true to a degree, but going to the base makes it richer.

Now I find this scripture saying, "Look, you can plan all you want according to what you feel is right or where your inclinations are taking you in this moment. However, as you pursue these things, you are going to realize that the advice (through His Spirit and the Word) the LORD is trying to impress upon you along the way will always trump your human propensity."

Make sense?

Anyway, that's enough for today. What a good day. Thank God for the stability He brings to our lives when we simply make time to spend with Him. Ahh, so good.

Be blessed to be a blessing!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Blogging is Good for my "Input" Mind.

"But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that."
-1 Timothy 6:6-8

Just some food for thought today...

Also, a highlight from this book I'm reading. I've been talking about it and badly want to blog about it, but I still haven't had a chance to finish it! It's making me crazy but I am setting my mind on getting it done and writing about it two blog posts from now. In the meantime, enjoy this hard-hitting excerpt:

"Because if "God loves me" is the message of Christianity, then who is the object of Christianity?
God loves me.
Christianity's object is me.
... But it is not biblical Christianity.
The message of biblical Christianity is not "God loves me, period," as if we were the objects of our own faith. The message of biblical Christianity is "God loves me so that I might make him- his ways, his salvation, his glory, and his greatness- known among all nations." Now God is the object of our faith, and Christianity centers around him. We are not the end of the gospel; God is."

What a healthy, necessary rebuke to the church today. More to come!

Lastly, I just listened to a radio interview with Jeromy and Jennifer Deibler of FFH now that they have "returned to the scene" of the music biz after a 3 year break/sabbatical. It wasn't hard to tell how much the Lord has molded them in the time off they spent serving in South Africa and regaining balance in their marriage and family life. This song is a reflection of it as well and really penetrated my heart, especially at the chorus:

Oh and if you don't know what I mean by "input," you can learn about it here.
Enjoy this beautiful day!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


... Say what?!

Today was fun. Lookie what I got to do!:

This beautiful baby lamb is only one week old... so adorable. She followed me around the barn after I set her down. Can't say I've held any sheep before but this one snuggled her way into my heart the minute she tried to lay a wet one on me. I loved being around all the livestock, kittens, and dog. Granted, I know being a farmer isn't about hanging on to your animals, but knowing how to manage them.

Being on a farm today gave me a more real understanding of what God meant when He gave us dominion over the earth. We aren't meant to dominate each other, but the resources God has already supplied us. It was amazing to see the way every sheep, cow, pig, and pet responded to the farmer. They knew who the master was immediately! To "be fruitful and multiply," makes a whole lot of sense and seems much more feasible when we know what has been put into our care and how to manage it.

And another encouraging part of my day:

Skyping with my friend Christy! She is such an encouragement and an example to me of what it means to faithfully follow the Lord's call for our lives. I am so impressed with the courage she shows every day to be faithful to The Great Commission. It is empowering to hear how God has provided for her every need as she has remained faithful to Him.

Love it. I love how much easier it seems to stay in touch with my friends across the world. Kind of funny how that is, but I enjoy it nonetheless. It's like I get to see a new nation without all the expenses, travel time and jet lag! Those things will never stop me from actually traveling though, that is for sure!

Ahhh, what an inspiring day. The Lord is teaching me to selah.


Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Patriotic? Me?

One of those days I'm tired early and not sure what to write.

I've been reading a lot today! Opening a book my brother bought just to "see what the first chapter is like," turned into devouring the first third. My hope was to finish the book today, but I'm not a crazy fast reader and life around family causes things to come up pretty quickly. It's okay, we'll see if I can stay awake past this post.

Today a new realization surfaced as I took my dog on a nice little walk:
I am glad I was brought up in America!

Pretty sure all of cyber space just raised an eyebrow at me.

I know that sounds strange, but yes it had to be a conscious realization for me. I think that is more common among those of us who fall under the category of first-generation immigrant.

I think I look at the world from a different angle than those who's families have lived in their same nation for several generations. All of this cultural-consciousness must have stemmed from a recent trip I took to Texas, but that is for a later day. I have always had a very international outlook on the the world. My first trip overseas was at 2 years old for goodness sake! Being internationally wired is not only in my blood though, it's in my heart.

So stating that I'm glad to be American is a pretty big deal! As a first-generation, my loyalty is pretty evenly split three ways, culturally speaking. Personally, I love hopping the pond as often as the green light turns on. As of late the idea that immigrating elsewhere is a possibility has surfaced in my mind pretty frequently (to clarify: I am not taking active steps toward that). I only say this because I'm trying to make the point that I tend to put the USA on a more level playing field with the rest of the world than I think most Americans do in their everyday, normal lives or thought processes.

But as I continue learning about other nations and cultures, I find even more assurance that this big ol' melting pot, tossed salad, land of the free, home of the brave type of place spells out four letters across my heart: H-O-M-E.

Granted if I got a call from God to plant roots elsewhere, well, I better do just that. As for today: I am here, savoring every single day in the US of A.

(Insert "Proud to Be An American" song here)

HA! Yeah, right. You didn't expect me to be that cheesy did you?

Just an overall good song for any subject:

(Love that: "The Stability of our times will be the Rock that is higher.")

Monday, April 11, 2011


I am so thankful to the Lord and how faithful He is.
I have been so happy these last few days! Practically giddy,
and the only thing I can pin it on is the Lord.
Only He satisfies like this.
When He says, "I'll never leave you nor forsake you," He lives up to it.
Always there, Unfailing Love...

... but when it comes to people, believing in their faithfulness tends to be a gamble.

I keep chewing on these few verses in Job chapter 6 because- although I have NO sense of just how much Job suffered in physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual pain- I can at least relate to him for three verses:

"A despairing man should have the devotion of his friends, even though he forsakes the fear of the Almighty.
But my brothers are as undependable as intermittent streams,
as the streams that overflow when darkened by thawing ice and swollen with melting snow,
but that cease to flow in the dry season and in the heat vanish from their channels."
-Job 6:14-17

I have lots of friends and love them, probably more than they realize.
Having friends was never the easiest thing growing up,
maybe you can relate.

Year after year, through adolescence, I most eagerly put my heart in my palms and held it out for all to know.
And then you discover, year after year,
that nobody knows how to handle the human heart.

We all have one!
Yet that seems to make it more complicated, not less.

Then, come the people who undo the tangles.
They break down the barriers you built over the years
and pour forth sunshine.

Even then, sometimes sunshine comes with rain.

What I have found is, those who say, "I promise" or flattering, loving words are the first to forget what any of it means.
And those who say nothing, promise nothing, but still show up are the ones who endure.

Why do we do this to each other?
We already know what the remedy is... each other!
Give and take.
We make it seem like such a burden, such an undertaking, as if our journey goes beyond the mile.
Not a mile is our journey, but half.

Oh, and life.
Life usually does not make it easier, but harder to try.
Each life walks its own road, winding farther and closer and farther again
to roads once new, now familiar, seldom intersecting.

But the thing about life is,
comparing it to a road is not eternally precise.
Every man is a compilation of his or her preference.

And though burdens once shared seem parlous at first,
the strength of four hands, exceed that of a pair.

Father, thank you that I am so satisfied in You.
All things that happen around or even to me do not define me.
You bring contentment that runs deep.
Though flesh and heart may fail, You are the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
Bless the LORD, oh my soul, and all that is within me, bless His holy name.

Sunday, April 10, 2011


Before officially beginning this post, I just want to say THANK. THE LORD.
The first 85˚F day of the year!!!
Sigh. I felt like this day would never come. :)
I just cleared off & plugged in my fan, which has been doubling as a hat rack all winter long. They will probably end up back on there tomorrow, but tomorrow doesn't matter just yet...

Okay, moving on!

Tonight I watched the recent version of "Karate Kid" for the first time and it unexpectedly tied in with what I hoped to blog about tonight!

So, we all know this song:

And... we all know this song:

Let me preface that I realize this can be taken sensitively from my brothers and sisters. But also, I'm assuming the point that I am going to make only goes so far. So here it is:

How are songs like this not written by/for the "Christian Industry"?

"I never thought I could feel this power.
I never thought that I could feel this free.
I'm strong enough to climb the highest tower.
And I'm fast enough to run across the sea."

Why have we failed to be this confident?

"Do you know that there's still a chance for you
Cause there's a spark in you

You just gotta ignite the light
And let it shine
Just own the night
Like the Fourth of July

Cause baby you're a firework
Come on show 'em what you're worth
Make 'em go "Oh, oh, oh!"
As you shoot across the sky"

Have we forgotten how powerful our words are?

"I gotta be the best, and yes
We're the flyest.
Like David and Goliath,
I conquered the giant.
So now I got the world in my hand,
I was born from two stars
So the moon's where I land.

I will never say never! (I will fight)
I will fight till forever! (make it right)
Whenever you knock me down,
I will not stay on the ground.
Pick it up,(x3)
Pick it up, up, up,
And never say never."

There is so much power in those songs, it is no wonder Katy Perry and Justin Bieber are so established and successful.
I feel like, more often than not, we mistake weakness for humility.
We get so spoiled by the facets of grace and unconditional love that we forget excellence and discipline.
It seems easier to work by the power and might of our own emotions rather than by His Spirit. (Zech. 4:6)
So what do our songs pour forth, but a spirit that sounds like a hurting, helpless victim and not an untouchable warrior?

I don't mean to bash so hard, I promise I am scolding myself more than anyone else here.
It's just that my struggle is with the fact that we seek the God of creativity.
The God of invention; of music and sound!
The God of language and influence.
The God of ability, potential, and will power.
Shouldn't we be tapping into this boundless resource a LOT more?

I hate how much I have lived like I am defeated. I have literally given up things I used to love and slowly struggle to re-train myself in hopes of being excellent at something for a change.

I was made uniquely and to fulfill a unique purpose on this earth.
It's time to start living like it.

Saturday, April 09, 2011


Woops, almost forgot to blog today!

Hm, I may keep this one short with a question or two.

I was wondering earlier today... is it wrong to care more about the success of others than your own?
Sometimes I feel that way.
Actually, I feel that way a lot of the time.
And trust me, I am not "explana-bragging" (for all you Community fans out there!) nor attempting to build my own pedestal...

It's not that I don't enjoy my own personal success,
but I almost feel healthier and even more alive when I support someone else along the way toward their endeavors.

When I watch my awesomely, creative and talented friends complete a project or establish a career, I am thrilled! Even if they aren't my core, closest, "bestest" friend, if I know them and love their work I will probably be equally as enamored.

Hm, maybe that's my female, natural "helper" wiring showing through. shrugs.
Or is this part of my gifting?
As you all know, I am on the hunt to find my gift and it is only getting closer!
Ha, it has probably been right under my nose all this time.
I can feel God smiling at me right now. (A colon/single parenthesis smiley face isn't sufficient for this sentence.)

Welp, that is all I got for tonight. Though I did think of talking more about relating to Job's life just now, it is nearly midnight so it is going to have to wait.

Til tomorrow then!

(I only WISH I knew Tyler Ward– that would justify my adoration for him! ; D)

More on this song tomorrow too!

Friday, April 08, 2011


Months and months ago, (anywhere from 6-18??) a friend of mine really encouraged me to read the book of Job. (Wow, I move like a snail...) She expressed some confusion and struggle with the image of God displayed through Job's circumstance. Obviously, I could not be of much help at the time since all I could reference was the Sunday School version of his life. Clearly, I am no theologian.

Please keep that in mind as you continue reading... :)

The further in to this book I go, the more I can understand her difficulty. At first I finished chapter 6 today feeling like it all went over my head. So I read it again. Utilizing a Student Bible and some pre-reading prayer gave me a new sense of understanding.

I have read through to chapter 6 at this point. Chapters 4-6 are when the story really begins to move away from the average Sunday School version. I think what made this study initially difficult was trying to read it like I typically read the Bible.

You know... the way we meditate on scripture?
"The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want..."
We memorize it. We remind ourselves of it when our faith falters.
We take it as instruction.
I am not sure we can do that with Job...

For example, chapters 4-6 is a conversation held by normal people; not God/man like Jesus, just ordinary folk. Job's buddies are visiting him while he is in this desperate state. Like any of us, his friends try to offer their thoughts as to why Job is in this state. Poor guy.

So Eliphaz steps up to the plate. His thoughts sound relatively sensitive, thought through, even spiritual.

Sometimes I think we grow so used to certain spiritual concepts that we make them logical... does that make sense?

Take 4:7-8 for example,
"Consider now: Who, being innocent, has ever perished? As I have observed, those who plow evil and those who sow trouble reap it."

Eliphaz is assuming based on what he has seen or observed.
Did he acknowledge God before he spoke?
To the point I have read so far, scripture does not say anything about these friends prior to their gathering together.

Eliphaz sort of diagnoses Job's "problem" with religion because why would a loving God let a good man go through such suffering?

That question has never ceased to be asked by man, in every generation since, I am sure.

To try and tie this up rather swiftly, I will proceed with two verses that came to mind as I wrote:

"That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day. For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever."
-2 Corinthians 4:16-18 (NLT)


"For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places."
-Ephesians 6:12 (NLT)

Job understood what his friends did not- that God is God regardless of what he did not see and struggled to comprehend with his mind. He practiced treating God with true lordship. Though all this pain and suffering came upon him, he knew his place before the God of the universe and would not for one second curse his Master and Creator. He even had the boldness to correct Eliphaz in chapter 6 and challenged Eliphaz to think, just think about who he is...

“But now be so kind as to look at me.
Would I lie to your face?
Relent, do not be unjust;
reconsider, for my integrity is at stake.
Is there any wickedness on my lips?
Can my mouth not discern malice?"

Terrible how easy it is to do the opposite, isn't it?
How comfortably I point my finger at God with frustration,
how swiftly I puff myself up. In my anger, suddenly, I become lord over my circumstances.

But He is Lord, my friends. He is LORD,
and He can injure us or heal us for His glory's sake...
because He is the one, true God.

Yeah, that is somewhat a scary thought that makes you feel like you have lost control. However, the more you learn about who this God is, the less scared you become because you know He is for you and not against you. He is all knowing, all wisdom, and unconditionally loving. Even beyond your ability to receive love, He loves you still.

Thursday, April 07, 2011


So many topics to process today, I am not even sure how to start!

I think over all, each topic kind of relates in terms of one main hope I have.
I hope we can finally get to the meat of our pursuits!

More reading on the system of charity and I cannot help but wonder, will we ever be able to incentivize employees and minimize corruption enough to actually eradicate hunger, homelessness, poverty, and at least the already curable diseases?
This book is all about how the system of charity is ineffective and how they should have the same system as for-profits in order to gain the results we all seem to want- resolved world issues.
That is what we want, is it not?
Or do we support causes for the sake of comforting our own conscience?
If a charity never closes its doors as a result of meeting the need, we probably would not notice, would we?

Oooooh, I promise I am not making any accusations!!
Simply thinking aloud...
So I am going to take that thought further...
If we really, truly, passionately cared about resolving an issue in the world, would our resolve be to donate money or would it look like some way else?

I know an Indian woman residing in the U.S. when she learned about the sex trafficking industry. One day, she told her husband, "I'm moving back to India and helping these girls!" At first he sort of laughed it off. Until he realized she would go whether he came with her or not! Fortunately he could continue his career from India so now there they are... running a safe house in one of the nations where human trafficking is most vibrant.

I like to think I write rather bravely... perhaps preparing my mind is moving me forward toward better action.
What I am trying to say is- I am preaching to myself.

That was another thought process today- I, ME, MYSELF.
Writing a blog everyday makes me feel overwhelmed with how many times a day, or per post, I use the word "I" or any first person possessive pronouns scattered into the paragraphs. This thought was totally drilled in deeper today when I listened to a podcast by Andy Stanley called "Balanced: Developing a Plan."

This sermon brought me back to conversations about stewardship I had with friends recently. Along with it, Luke 16:10-12,

"Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much. So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches? And if you have not been trustworthy with someone else's property, who will give you property of your own?"

Again, one of those passages I wish we did not edit out so often! I am sure we have all heard the first thirteen words at some point. But the last half of that sentence really drives home the point! And I do not know why Sunday school teachers and parents omit from teaching verse 12 to their children because SHOOT, that verse is so striking for a son or daughter whether they have left the nest or not!

At one point Andy Stanley said something like this: "God's saying the battle isn't even between Him and Satan! Your servitude is either to God or Money!

If I am unable to manage the responsibility of tangible things, I am not yet fit to pour my life into being a leader of Kingdom responsibilities.

Which leads me to the third big thought of the day... the Gospel of the Kingdom.

Another sermon listened to today... and I am still trying to digest it.
But it was interesting and definitely worth listening to again for further ponderation.
He made so many good statements I am not sure how to narrow it...

"We do not worship Paul, but Jesus....
Always study scripture in context. What is context? Pre-text, post-text, and text...
Jesus didn't go around preaching Himself! Jesus is not the Gospel! The Kingdom is the Gospel..."

He totally took an ax to the base of the Christian "system" without moving away from scripture or manipulating it to reach his angle.
Needless to say, it is transforming the way I believe what I believe and how I will go about preaching it.

PHEW! Blogging is good for a brain's digestive system.
Ew, I just realized how gross that metaphor is.
Haha, whatever.

Final note- here is the cause I came across today. I am not well researched on the issues of Congo, but this was an interesting introduction and here is a song related to the same cause:

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, April 06, 2011


Man, I am so tired today, it was a battle to get myself to write something.
Today is one of those early nights in...

What a weird day...
I do not like days like this,
I have seen many of them over the last 10 months.

I will have a really great peaceful week, month, or even just a few days...
Finally, I gain a sense of sanity in this insecure season... like riding a roller coaster when it reaches the top.
There is a pause- just long enough to take in a breath and a glimpse of the vast horizon before-
Click, click, click... WOOSH!

I have to go running tomorrow.
It is my fault I get this stressed and I know it.
Every time I turn in job applications I get stressed like this.
Whether I applied to a large corporation or a store in a shopping center.
I become such a slave to my potential employer internally.
Suddenly my sense of worth has shifted palms as I retract my self-esteem from the Lord's hands to someone else's.

LORD, renew my mind...
I put so much hope in man even when I do not mean to or want to.
Rewire my inward being to know You as my Provider so much so that I do not worry who studies my "qualifications."
My worth has always come from You, not my résumé.
Your provisions are timely.
Your timing, perfect.

In Jesus' Name,

Not sure why I make myself stay up when I'm tired early, but I suppose finding this video made it worthwhile!

Tuesday, April 05, 2011


"Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus."
-Philippians 3:13-14

On the drive home this afternoon, I heard Dr. Tony Evans elaborate on this verse with a thought like this:

Paul had to forget his murderous past to become an apostle; to write 13 books of the New Testament!

The timing of his sermon today was funny (in a "coincidental" kind of way, if you know what I mean ;D ). I woke up this morning to a dream about two things from my past that I love deeply. Well, two places is more accurate to say. It was kind of a sad way to wake up because I was suddenly starting this beautiful day with longing, sadness, confusion, and some regret as I sat in bed mulling over the past.

Sometimes forgetting is a blessing.
I do not mean that we should lose sight of everything and everywhere we have been before, but they need to be left in their proper place- behind.

What is ahead of us is GREATER than what is behind.

I know I keep quoting this book, but I really can't help it! Haha:
"God never remains impressed at what you have accomplished. God is concerned that you are celebrating history so much that you do not have a future."
-In Charge, Dr. Myles Munroe

I just want to lose sight of this sadness.
I want to lose all sense of the control that runs through my veins when I think of my permanently fixed past.
I just want to forget so I can move forward.

Monday, April 04, 2011


Just finished watching Spider-Man 3... haven't seen that movie in quite a while!

I love the message this story portrays about revenge and how the desire for it can take over you and cause you to lose yourself in the process. We all have a choice to do what is right or what is not. We can choose to forgive those who wrong us or enter into the deep spiral of bitterness and the domino effect that takes place from our actions or words.

It was hard to see Topher Grace's character, Eddie Brock, fall into the confusion of what the "venom" offered him- a sense of power and pride. Yet he did not recognize what Spider-Man was trying to tell him: "You'll lose yourself."

This reminds me of some thoughts I have been tossing around over the last several months- reconciliation and forgiveness. What does it mean to be a peacemaker to someone who's wronged you?

My current philosophy is this: to be at peace with someone does not necessarily mean rebuilding what was lost. Sometimes it means communicating a mutual forgiveness and release of what was and moving forward in your own separate lives.

Do you agree or disagree?
I am not 100% sold on this theory just yet and would be curious to hear what you think being a peacemaker means!

Sunday, April 03, 2011


That word seems to be surrounding my thoughts as of late.

...Sorry, I will not be able to continue in complete thoughts until this song is done playing:

Hehe though I wouldn't say what she says verbatim, this song sure gives some sense of release :D

Ahem.... Potential.

The books I am currently reading- In Charge and Uncharitable -scream this word between every line. One, the potential of every person on this planet and just how much of our potential we take to the grave if we neglect to pursue it in life. The second, how the world of charity exists within a system that actually works against itself and does not live up to its true capabilities.

"True Leadership is not a product of a course of study, but a course in self-discovery."

I know people twice, almost three times, my age still trying to find themselves.
I don't want to wait. (♩ ♪ for our lives to be over... ♩ ♪)

; )

"God has a plan for you, and He already gave you the potential to fulfill it. He gave you what it takes to claim your leadership spot. He built the capacity into you. He has high expectations for you, so He gave you the ability to carry them out. He designed you for leadership."

Nor do I want to wait for my industry to catch up with the ambitions of my generation.

"Thus, the term "nonprofit" means, literally, nonprogress... It apologizes for itself before it begins. It seems to understand only what it is against and is rudderless with respect to what it is for. It is from this starting position that we attempt to transform society or, put more accurately, do not attempt it, under the false impression that we do...

So we have to ask ourselves, Why do things seem to stay pretty much the same? Why have our cancer charities not found a cure for cancer? Why have our homeless shelters not solved the problem of homelessness? Why do children still go hungry on the streets of America? Why have the pictures of starving children in Africa not changed in five decades? Why, in this age of incredible affluence, do we seem unable to close the gaps that divide those who live in comfort and those who suffer?"

We are all capable of meeting a need in our world. The question is, will we?
I doubt we even recognize how much we are capable of.

" will be called Repairer of Broken Walls, Restorer of Streets with Dwellings."
-Isaiah 58:12b

Saturday, April 02, 2011


"Don't let what God has called you to do distract you from what God has called you to do." (Part 1)

Words I never heard anyone utter.

When I first started listening to this podcast, I assumed in my mind that Brian Houston would be preaching about how our work can distract us from loving people. Makes sense, doesn't it? God made us to love Him and to love people!

Then Houston takes the message in a whole different direction: sometimes people can distract you from your purpose. Sometimes their opinions can hinder you from growing into your calling.


"So if you're going to follow Jesus that means your life is going to be going somewhere. And if your life is going somewhere, I will guarantee it, not everybody around you is going to like it. And we're all about the people around us! Everything that we are alive for, everything that you save for relates to the people around us. But you can't let the people around you distract you from reaching the people around you."

Wow. He just called my bluff.

In my top 5 themes of StrengthsFinder , is a theme called, "Harmony." That means I seek to be at peace with everyone. Now, I do not always consider myself a people pleaser, but when it comes to key people, I am.

Funny how this ties in with yesterday's post.
Over the last 10 months I think God has been showing me a bit of why I have struggled to launch into adult life.

I listen to everybody I trust!
Seeking counsel is not wholly a bad thing (Proverbs 11:14).
But (and here's the tie in), my advisors do not have equal or greater sovereignty in my life over the Lord and His Spirit.

All this time I would go to my parents and they would say one thing. Then I go to my best friends and they say another. My mentor will say another. My sister and brother will give me polar opposite opinions from each other.

Everyone has something different to say! But I know, deep down, when I am truly honest with myself, what is being spoken into my heart. Some people said similar things & others did not.
It is the standing up for "myself" that has proven to be the problem.

Do you know your purpose?
Do you know what God has called you to do?
What is the gift God gave you to serve to the world?

These questions have been haunting me through this season.

I am confident that I am called to make an impact for the kingdom of God.
But I feel like a slug trying to get there when I have no idea which way is up.
Like being caught up in the tumble of a wave- dizzy, yet moving, not because I am moving myself but because the opinions of those around me swept me up into motion.

It needs to stop. It has to stop. Today.
I cannot keep living for others or I will never truly live for my Heavenly Father.
All I've been doing is walking, only to realize I've been walking on a treadmill the entire time!
Never truly arriving.

I throw off the opinion of man and run to God, my Refuge and Strength.
My ever-present Help.
The Lord of my life...

If He is truly Lord, what will I do differently today?

Friday, April 01, 2011


Today I started reading the book of Job. Honestly, I cannot remember if or when I really dove in to study this book of the Bible so I am very curious as to how this journey will go.

The first chapter alone is so powerful, I have to let the story line marinate in my soul.

Job was the wealthiest man in his region. His family lacked nothing...
Suddenly, he seemed to lack everything- his wealth was stolen, his children died beneath a collapsed home.
Tragedy is the best word I can think of to describe this, utter tragedy!

What I stand in awe of is the wisdom Job displayed in verse 21. He said:

"Naked I came from my mother's womb and naked I will depart.
The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away,
may the name of the LORD be praised."

Would that be your first reaction? Psh, I know that has not been my response to life circumstances and I have experienced nothing even comparable to Job's!

I think a lot of us are familiar with the statement, "The LORD gives and takes away."
I wish it was not edited that way.
So much is being said in the first half!

"Naked I came from my mother's womb and naked I will depart."


"Naked I came from my mother's womb and naked I will depart."

Job recognized that he was created and born into the world without anything- his home, wealth, even his family. Though he was living "the dream" full of material wealth, he could still separate out what was lasting and what was temporary.

It is not that he did not grieve- the man shaved his head and tore his clothes!
Yet he controlled himself with the knowledge of who God is- His sovereignty, His knowledge, and His steadfastness.

All the things I hold on to so tightly are the things that Job lost. It makes me recognize how much I have made my family my foundation to stand on. My possessions, I cling to them and never wish them away. In my lust, I only seek after more.

But what are they? What is their actual value?
Please do not hear me incorrectly, I absolutely love my family more than words can describe.
However, they are not worthy of the same sovereignty that God is worthy of in my life.
Though, much too often, I give them and others the authority that solely belongs to Christ.

God, you are so good. I can already sense change coming into my heart. Be Sovereign God of my heart, of my life.
You deserve all glory and praise.
In Jesus' name,