Tuesday, December 21, 2010

hand in hand

there is no where we can go that our God will leave us...
everywhere i go You will guide me, Your right hand will hold me fast.
 Psalm 139:5-12- You hem me in behind and before
and you lay your hand upon me. 
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, 
   too lofty for me to attain.
 Where can I go from your Spirit? 
   Where can I flee from your presence? 
If I go up to the heavens, you are there, 
   if I make my bed in the depths, you are there
If I rise on the wings of the dawn, 
   if I settle on the far side of the sea, 
 even there your hand will guide me, 
   your right hand will hold me fast. 
If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me 
   and the light become night around me,” 
even the darkness will not be dark to you, 
   the night will shine like the day, 
   for darkness is as light to you. 
-God is never unavailable to us, always He remains at my side, always He is there for me.
when we are in great need
when we are trusting
when we are lonely
when we are impatient
when we are faithful
when we have doubts
when we rebel
when we are secure and when we are insecure
when we are in pain
when we are confident
when we push Him aside and when we praise Him
in our victories and our losses
-He holds us tight when we mourn, He remains at our side holding our hand, He wipes our tears, He leads us blindfolded on His paths, He guides us, He satisfies us, He pursues us even into our own rebellious dark paths.
-when we rebel and doubt Him < He continues to pursue us!
         -imagine that! His grace is amazing to me in this: that while He has sent His only son to die the worst death     
          possible for our own sins, still even when the people Jesus died for dont believe in Him and dont believe
          this sacrifice, He continues to pursue them, continues to love them. that is, for lack of a better word,
          indescribable....that IS love.
-He abides in us, before us, beside us, and behind us.
-everyday He is there, it is us who dont see Him sometimes-but He is still there even when we dont see Him.
-so my prayer today would be for us to open our eyes to see Your constant presence, our ears to hear your everlasting word, and our hearts to openly receive Your unending love. that we would see You and find You in the voices around us, the hearts around us, the world around us, that wherever we are and whatever we are doing that we can see YOU. because we know you are there.  
-He is constantly there, and nothing we do can strip Him from our side.
YOU are with me.

Sunday, December 12, 2010


-i have heard many testimonies, all different but very alike in that each revolved around their uncovering of their own package of salvation in their hearts. God is so great that He has made each one of our paths to the same thing so very different and varied. this amazes me. of all the testimonies ive heard no two have been alike. 
we serve a God of creativity. 
- this summer especially, i spent a month hearing the testimonies of my work crew friends, i watched a few of them even share them with the entire camp, i watched testimonies be shared on cardboard pieces in a few simple sentences, and i became comfortable sharing mine with campers and complete strangers.
-He calls us to share our own story for many reasons- one being that there are others that can relate to each of our different journeys. 

anyways- all this being said, i have heard so many stories of abandonment and struggles and the salvation that makes all things new with LIFE, but i have never truly watched a persons testimony as it unfolds..
-until recently... i moved into college at the end of august and i met my roommate, Kaitlyn, when i moved in. we are now sisters in Christ and i couldnt imagine -a better roommate or -my life without her.
-she is now a BEST FRIEND forever. 
Kaitlyn is such a blessing in my life- she has shown me SO much. 
-i watched her leap into the family of Christ with a joyful spirit.
-i watched her be born again completely.
-i watched her relationship with Jesus evolve.
-& i am still watching her everyday..it's a blessing because i am watching her OWN testimony unfold before my very eyes..
-what makes it so amazing to watch is the fact that she is going through so much that could easily break her down and destroy her faith, but instead it is strengthening her faith..
-she is easily one of the strongest women i have ever known personally. and i know this strength is entirely because of God.
she is made strong in her pain, 
but she is guided by the light- <Psalm 27:1 the LORD is my light and my salvation, 
whom shall I fear? the LORD is the strength of my life, 
of whom shall I be afraid?> she has nothing to fear, for she has Him, 
she is guided by His light. 
i see her being guided entirely by that light as she lives each day 
and endures each trial. 
nothing can overcome her if she has Him!
-so whenever i begin to struggle or think things are tough in my life, i think of what she is faced with and how she responds..
-she conveys the strong spirit of someone chasing after Christ full speed. eyes set on the finish line (eternity) and endurance to withstand the obstacles of her race.
-i cant explain what it is like to watch someone be placed in so many trials and tribulations and to see them cling to God. i cant imagine going through what Kaitlyn goes through daily with her family, the only constant she has is God. and the amazing thing is she knows this and lives by this. 
-and this is exactly what He calls us to do, constantly cling to Him. His strength is our strength.
WOW- i get to watch her cling to God like He is her sturdy post in the middle of this hurricane!
like she is living her life by <Deuteronomy 31:6 Be strong and courageous. 
do not be afraid or terrified because of them, 
for the LORD your God goes with you, 
he will never leave you nor forsake you.>
-i know her trust and complete support in God will make her so incredibly strong. and will make her into a woman i am honored to know, honored to be friends with, and honored to have had the privilege to have witnessed her journey to become that STRONG woman of Christ.
-i am so blessed to be able to watch one of the most amazing testimonies i know to this day play out right in front of my very own eyes! 
you are strength, God.

Friday, December 3, 2010


i have been so impacted by reading Matthew recently, especially Matthew 6 & 7
i read them at least once a week it seems like. i just always have the desire to go back and read them because i feel like i take away more every time...
i have been especially captivated with Matthew 6:19-24 - treasures in heaven
it's been so good to my heart recently so im going to share it...
"do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 
but store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 
for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
the eye is the lamp of the body. if your eyes are healthy, your whole body will be full of light. 
but if your eyes are unhealthy, your whole body will be full of darkness. if then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!
no one can serve two masters. either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. you cannot serve both God and money."

i feel like these verses pretty much speak for themselves..i constantly need to be reminded of this..that my treasure is in heaven!!! 
everything here on earth will rot away and die. but what we have in heaven IS eternity...forever!
i strive to truly live these verses out in entirety in my life

"your hope and your future are rooted in heaven, where eternal ecstasy awaits you. nothing can rob you of your inheritance of unimaginable riches and well being. sometimes i grant you glimpses of your glorious future, to encourage you and spur you on. but your main focus should be staying close to Me."
eternity awaits.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

His garden.

my daily devotion for yesterday included this verse from isaiah...
isaiah 58:11
the Lord will guide you always, he will satisfy your needs in a sunscorched land and will strengthen your frame. you will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.

i love this verse,
this metaphor was so striking to me- to think of us as His blossoms, His garden, that He cares for always. we always get sun and we always get rain, the perfect amount of each so that we are alive and growing strong, but only because of the Lord, we would be dead and shriveled in a dark field if it wasnt for His PERFECT care and attentiveness. 
like in life- we live day to day. i try day to day to glorify Him, because i know He keeps up with my care, with sun and water, day to day, never forgetting to water me, never not having time to tend to my needs as a blossoming flower in His garden. 
so how do i tend to fall short and not give Him what He deserves, He cares for me ALWAYS and perfectly, satisfying my every need. He builds us up to be strong but reliant on Him. He is the only reason i could ever be anything at all..
in all circumstances He is there, He never fails.
but i fail. i fail to give Him all that He gives me. 
i need Him. i need His perfect care to survive.

my neediness is extreme in this way. but first i must acknowledge that neediness.
i have been shown my need for Him more and more since starting college- being placed in times when i realize i cant do it without Him..at all! nothing is because of me- everything is because of Him!
He takes us on these journeys where we find our strengths to be of absolutely no value and our weaknesses to be so obvious- and in these journeys He shows us our need for Him, that we must rely on Him because He is all we need. 
in these journeys we grow closer to Him, relying on Him in EVERYTHING- and that is where our faith grows. in needing Him we grow closer personally & intimately with Him.
i love this image- the Lord is my gardener. i know i am nothing without Him, and i know i NEED Him. 
this brings peace- peace in the knowledge that while we are beings that need so much- we have a Lord that will always be there and will always give us everything we need. 
He never fails- this IS peace. 

Thursday, November 25, 2010

give thanks.

usually Thanksgiving makes us think about all the 'things' we are so thankful for in this world, our possessions, our family, our friends: all wonderful blessings we have received undeservingly from our God. but in my recent near thanksgiving services my heart has been hit by thanksgiving in greater ways.
-what comes to mind first when i think about thanksgiving is:
-1 Thessalonians 5:18-give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
-or Ephesians 5:20- giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
-i am to give thanks to God for everything, always, in all circumstances. i somehow got along thinking that it was that simple, although that isnt simple at all, it is much more complex than this..
-i was humbled over the last week, hearing about thankfulness in a new light. while i am quick to be thankful for my family and my house and my school and my materialistic blessings, i spend just as much time being thankful for those as i do my one and only blessing: my salvation. from which all other blessings are rooted from.
-God sent His one and only son, Jesus Christ to die on the cross for me and all of my sins, that is AMAZING, and always will mean just as much as it did the first time i heard it. that is the gospel- and to be thankful for all the other 'things' i must be thankful for this.
-in Colossians 3:15-17 it talks about how we are to be thankful:
-Christ should rule your heart, then your hearts will be set on things above and this is when your minds are set on things above and not on earthly things.
-if your heart is right with God your actions will follow
-col. 15 says "let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. and be thankful."
-we should forgive as we have been forgiven, and live in gratitude because of all you have been forgiven for. we were shown forgiveness in its greatest way-the cross. and because of that we have so much reason to be thankful. in reality that alone is our reason to be thankful.
-the cross reminds us of what we should have received, but instead Christ received for us on the cross. any horrible day on earth, when we let this fact slip past us and we feel as though things cant get worse, is still far better than hell.
- and we deserved hell, but because of the cross i live!
-if we dont remember this it is easy to become ungrateful.
-col. 16 says "let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts."
-grateful hearts are crucial to discipleship.
-remember what we deserve and what we got..and how we got it. now how cant we be grateful??
-its as if you are in court and the judge declares you not guilty, but you are. (Christ paid your debt) but then the judge comes and hugs you...and thats the gospel- we are forgiven!
-col. 17 says "and whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him."
-do ALL deeds in the word of Jesus
-your actions should be grateful.
-you got better than you deserve. so you should live in complete thankfulness for this life and complete forgiveness.

we deserve none of this, and although we are taught to believe in this world that we deserve a great family, friends that are always there for us, a warm house, food...in reality NONE of us deserve any of what we have. we deserve nothing-but we are given so much, while we have done absolutely nothing to deserve life-we are given it..
so let us live in gratefulness of our forgiveness, of our life because of His death. Thank you Jesus!

-in Luke 17:11-19 as Jesus travels to Jerusalem he passes through the border between Samaria and Galilee and goes through a village where ten men with leporasy meet him, he cleanses all of them.
-while all of the ten men were healed, only one returned to Jesus, throwing himself at Jesus' feet thanking him.
-this is also called "a Lepers thanksgiving"
-Luke records this event so we might learn vital things about discipleship.
-we were all healed and still fail daily to run back to him with thanks, i get so caught up in this world that i live with belief that i was blessed and go on my own way..how selfish and ungrateful.
-i have taken you for granted Father and i pray that you can forgive me, i pray that you may put thankfulness in my heart, so that it may show in my life, so that i may speak it, sing it, LIVE it. so it is a visible instead of silent representation of who you have healed.

thanksgiving is a special holiday for us to come together and be thankful as a family in Christ and give thanks, but the truth is we dont need a holiday to be reminded of the gospel, the gospel is our lives, we should live everyday in gratefulness for this life we dont deserve and all of the 'things' we dont deserve- will we be the nine lepers who went on with their life their own way after they were healed by Jesus OR will we be the one leper you was healed and fell to his face at jesus' feet in thankfulness to him?
-the cross reminds me of what i have to be thankful for- the death for my life- my salvation-my forgiveness. for i deserved nothing and was given life.

thank you.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

work crew.

Ephesians 3:16-19 
"I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge- that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God."

I can honestly say that the month I spent at Frontier Ranch on work crew this summer was the BEST month of my life! I feel so blessed to have had the experience and I know God placed me at frontier this summer for a purpose. I trusted God had a marvelous plan for me during this time, although i didn't see it then. After deciding four days prior- I was flown to the beautiful mountains of Buena Vista, Colorado, and placed safely at Frontier Ranch, where i would stay for the next month. 

In this month I saw Christ's beauty in more ways and forms than I have ever seen it before...
i saw Him in the striking beauty of the mountains that surrounded me, in every single person on work crew, in the smiles that appeared in times of exhausting and tiring work, in the laughter of the campers, in the late night heart to hearts with new friends, in the joy of all the staff, in the prayer shared with each other, in the fun we had working 14 long hours a day in the dining hall, in the trust we had in each other, in everything that was shared from the work crew's hearts at the bonfire the last week, in every camper that stood up in a say so and entered into the family of Christ, in our boss's love for us, in beautiful sunrises watched with my best friends from the mountains, in the testimonies shared, in the little surprises we gave each other that meant much more in our hearts, in the sweet voices of praise during work crew nights, in all the feet that were washed by friends, in quiet times filled with prayer, in all the tears and laughter shared with a new family, in 53 new friends that have a special place in my heart forever. 

This time strengthened my faith, strengthened His spirit within me, rooted me with His love, and I saw a small glimpse of how wide, long, high, and deep Christ's love for me is. This love surpasses all earthly wisdom. I am filled with the fullness of Christ!