Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Child Prodigy: Akiane (Ah-Key-Ah-Nah)

EDIT: I finally figured out how to post videos!

For those of you who have not heard of Akiane, you must watch this video, and visit the website. It's a 12 year old prodigal girl who grew up poor and her parents were athiests, and met Jesus through dreams and visions. Warning: This will make you weep.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Sacrificial Love Vs. Obligation: A moment with Henri Nouwen

A 26-page chapter on Solitude and Community in Henri's book, Clowning in Rome, has become possibly my favorite chapter of any book...ever. Now next month, I most likely will no longer agree with that statement, but it is the PERFECT chapter for me in this season of my life. I've read it over, and over and over and I get something new from it every time, it never fails. This week the Holy Spirit was highlighting the affects of solitude and prayer. A bit of the background of this chapter: Nouwen is commenting on the "state of emergency" we are in (this book was actually written in 1978, so how much more now?) with all of the wars, oppression running rampant, suicide seeming like the only option. Darkness is all around us, and it only seems to be increasing. In the midst of this dark world we are invited to live and radiate hope. Nouwen imposes the question, "Can we offer hope, courage and confidence to the people of this era? Do we dare break through our paralyzing fear? Will people say of us, "See how they love each other, how they serve their neighbor, and how they pray to their Lord?. He goes on in the chapter to describe how living in solitude and the overflow of that into how we treat our friends, our neighbors, our enemies and how we pray to our God will affect and give light to the broken world which surrounds us.

So here I am, 24th time reading this chapter and I get to this section on Solitude and Prayer. I am reading through and I feel pain inside of me as I am taken back to a time when I knew prayer to be nothing more than a babbling of words on my part, and a distant, partially inclined ear on God's least thats how I felt. Henri talks about the pressures of living in our society and how it can easily make us feel angry, bitter and resentful towards God. We end up wondering if God really can be trusted and if He really is "close to the broken-hearted" like He says He is. We commit to pray, but have doubts that our prayer will really be answered.
I am reminded of the pain of this.
I am reminded of the pain of praying and wondering if things will really ever change. I remember this oh, so very well, The ache of doubt.
I know whats its like to feel obligated to fast, to feel obligated to pray, to sit in a chair for 5 hours and leave more depressed than when I came. I did it out of obligation, I did not know how to love. I had to plow through my western mindset of unbelief into the knowledge of the love of Jesus Christ dwelling in my heart through faith. Jesus Christ has made a way for us to enter in, and His promises endure forever. His Word will not return to Him void and He desires a people who will sacrificially love. St Theresa of Avila says "A man in love happily fulfills obligations, yes (and this, too, is an act of love" but he is eager to do so much more: he gives the beloved everything and anything that will please her and that lies in his power to give." This is our inheritance, this is our relationship with our Jesus. We realize He is happily in love and we no longer are obligated to love him, we love freely, and we sacrifice freely and joyfully. And Amen. :)

Monday, April 30, 2007

half empty or half full?

who hasn't thought about this question in at least one particular situation in life? or lets just say life in general. maybe not using this exact phrase, but we all think about our future and we either have a positive, hopeful attitude about it.. or we have a discouraged, and downtrodden outlook. The Lord brought this phrase to my attention earlier today and i keep on thinking about it. Ive decided to embrace the fact that the bottle is both half empty and half full.

I mean, really. theres so much i have, and there is SO much to be thankful for. Not only do i have countless blessings in my life..a family that supports what i want to do with my life, even though it goes against everything America tells me will make me financially secure, friends who i can pursue the Lord with like-minds and like-spirits, a nice bed to sleep in at night, and a very comfy one at that..i dont even need it, but its been given to me. But i also have been honored with the greatest spiritual blessings offered by choosing Jesus as Lord over my life. I am a daughter of the most High King and HE desires my beauty (Psalm 45:11). I have been seated in heavenly places with Jesus, even though i was dead in my sins, but now i am alive in Christ! (Eph. 2:6) I am a co-heir with Christ and a child of God (Romans 8:16-17). though my righteousness was like a filthy rag the LORD redeemed me, because He LOVED me and made me all of these things. What more could I ask for, I am SO BLESSED!

I also must choose to see the part of the glass that is half empty as well. There is a world that is desperatly in need of Jesus and His leadership and some dont even know that He is our only hope of this earth ever functioning properly again. There are children in the wombs of mothers that are being neglected and denied the right to life, millions a year. Innocent people all over the world are being forcefully sold into all types of slavery and labor. I live in a nation that has turned their backs on God and are living in blatant sin.

Rather than allowing these things to discourage me, I am strengthened by the promise that the LORD has bound Himself to in His word. He has promised that He will make all things new, and that He will take away all death, and pain and sorrow. (Rev 21:4-5) Although many of these things will have an end through our intercession and help..the only thing that will set us completely free is the return of Jesus Christ to this earth and His humble leadership.

well, i guess i cant say i really see the half empty part of the bottle because even in that there is still hope. And that, my friends, is the beauty of the Lord!ohhhhhh.....He is good!

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

New Posty Post

Though ive devoted a lot more time to my private journal than my online blog, i have not foresaken you!
im loving this whole "get all my thoughts down on paper" thing. Whether you guys get to read about them or not it is truly one of the most liberating things i have done for my heart. ive realized that im certainly not an inward processor. My thoughts get jumbled up in my brain and i find that i often go to say one thing and something completely different will come out. is anyone with me? its like i cant completely organize my thoughts in my head, i need to either talk about it out loud with someone, or just write it down. i dont know why ive been so ignorant to this secret for so long! maybe because ive been a big lazy face.

Here for you, is a simple truth that i personally will eat up for the rest of my life on this earth; God is more commited to answering my prayers than I am to pray them. Oh, if i could only grasp onto this, claim it! believe it! Then i could come before Him with a whole lot more boldness. [Psalm 138:3] says "on the day I called, You answered me; You made me bold with strength in my soul." Not 10 days later, but the very day i cry out! He is so dedicated. God waits for us to ask, because He loves to give! Never, ever should we leave our secret place more discouraged or disappointed because we dont THINK the Lord heard us. Nor shall we think He put our prayers on a shelf to answer in "His perfect timing". Although His timing isss perfect, He always hears our prayers the moment we pray them, and promises to give us strength in our inner man from that moment on. So my exhortatiion to you would be, speak this truth, speak it over yourself everyday. You will be blessed.

Sunday, March 4, 2007


*EDIT* - i thought this post looked really messy with the entire article on display in my blog , so i had to minimize it to a link, easier on the eyes. Sorry, it bothered me, ha!

can someone please slap me in the face and tell me that this guy is a joke? honestly, i have never heard something more mindless and absurd in my life. How has this man made national news!! I have not heard one intelligent word out of his mouth!

check it out :

Friday, February 9, 2007

And That Settles It

Dont you love those days when your driving in your car and there are thousands of thoughts shooting across your mind, yet your not focused on any single thought...and BAM! you turn around the corner to find the most beautiful, scenic picture and its captures your heart. This happens kind of often for me when i drive home from work and i turn into my neighborhood to see the sun just beggining to set and casting an array of the brightest colors in the sky. It makes it even better when im blasting something like phil whickam's divine romance, or sleeping at last's umbrellas just when the symphonic sounding violin part comes in just as i get around the bend to see the sun.

Well i had one of those epiphanies today. It wasnt in the sunset though, it was in the clouds and the bright blue sky. So simple, so mundane, but it spoke multitudes to my heart. I smile and am once again reminded of the majesty and simplicity of God, and when i say simple i dont mean He is simple, because He isnt, BUT He makes it simple to love. How simple it is just to love Him in the beauty of His creation, and He made it that way. Thanks God! for real.

i cannot get it out of my head:


Friday, February 2, 2007

it hurts so good!

And the daily routine goes on...
get home from work, grab the latest book im reading, my journal (or spiral five star notebook-i just cant do the sparkly, flowery, busy journals. i used to, but i discovered that after about 2 weeks i began to hate it, and actually found myself getting angry whenever i would see it, is that wierd?), my bible, and my lovely iBook. The past few days ive certainly spent more time on my laptop reading everyone and their brothers blogs rather than chewing on the thoughts of the brilliant John Stott, The Cross of latest book...incredible. it makes me hurt so good!

i started reading this book with the intentions of not highlighting one thing, and can i say that im the queen of highlighting? (look at my bible). But i came to the conclusion that highlighting my books would take away from what it could speak to me reading it a second time through, it would leave me partial to bring my eyes and thoughts right back to that revelation i'd had 2 years earlier when i had first read the book (maybe i should take this approach with my bible as well, or i could just highlight the whole thing?! im doing it.) I had to cave in, and highlight just one thing though, it was that good! ill share with you guys what it was that struck my heart to the core:

" we too sacrifice Jesus to our greed like Judas, to our envy like the priests, to our ambition like Pilate. "Were you there when they crucified my Lord?" the old negro spiritual asks. And we must answer, "Yes, we were there." Not as spectators only, but as participants, guilty participants, plotting, scheming, betraying, bargaining and handing Him over to be crucified. We may try to wash our hands of responsibility like Pilate. But our attempt will be as futile as his. For there is blood on our hands. Before we can begin to see the cross as something done for us (leading us to faith and worship), we have to see it as something done by us (leading us to repentance). Indeed, "only the man who is prepared to own his share in the guilt of the cross," wrote Peter Green, "my claim his share in its grace".

I remember sharing my testimony when i got to Kansas City and one question each of us interns had to address was this; what is one reality you want to leave here with? I said that i want to cry at the thought of Jesus dying on the cross. i didnt realize then what all the cross truly entailed. My thoughts were that i would be crying with a happy, joy-filled heart, thanking Jesus that He had saved my soul from eternal damnation. This is truth, but there is so much more to it. I was the one that nailed Him there. I was not a spectator, i didnt watch as the centurions mocked Him and beat Him and hated Him. I took part. Now i must come to terms with this actuality. I will find myself weeping at the foot of the cross, not only because He was so gracious to humble Himself and die the most horrible death, but because so often i dont agree with it.

Lord, show me the depth of my depravity. I want to share in Your sufferings just as Paul prayed in Phillipians 3 ( i have a fancy toward Paul, i just like him a lot), to become like You in Your death.

sidenote: to any one of you who has ever shot up a prayer to the Big Guy for me, i just want to say thank you. i feel them.