Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Be Still

Late last night, I sat in the basement by myself. The house was quiet; I was the only one who remained awake. I was reviewing where I'm at in life and where I want to be. I'm new graduated from nursing school and for the first time in my life, I'm not a student. I'm now a full-time employee at a large hospital and have no other commitments. I don't know what to do next. I have opportunities and interests. But I can't pursue all of them at once and I don't know what to pursue next. Really at the heart of it though what I most want to do is get married and start a family.
I sat on the sofa, wrapped in a blanket, telling God all this. He knows my desire for marriage; he placed it within me. He also knows the timing of that when I do not. I just wanted to know what to do next, what to pursue. I asked him. You desire obedience above sacrifice. Tell me what to do; I'll be obedient. . .
In the stillness of the house, all I heard was the gentle whisper in my heart "Be still and know I am God; be with me".
I am honored and humbled that God wants to be with me. That he asks for my presence. But I don't know HOW to simply be with God. I don't know HOW to be still. I'm a Martha; I know how to do. I'm good at doing. But when the only direction I have is "Be still", I get lost.
I sat there, knowing in my heart that this is truly what God wants from me right now. It's not the first time he has spoken these words in the silence. All I could say was "Daddy, you taught my friend Kathy to be, will you teach me?"
As I crawled into bed a short time later. My mind went back to the verse about God desiring obedience over sacrifice. What if I actually took that verse seriously, at face value? What if I actually started obeying the words of Jesus to pray, to love, to give, to heal, to trust, to pour out my life? What would happen if I was truly obedient?
Daddy, do what you will in my life and with my life. Teach me to be still; teach me to be obedient. I am willing.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

My Civic Duty

Twenty years old & I got called up for jury duty. My parents both have only been called once & both once they were over thirty. I entered the courthouse, not sure what to expect (besides a lot of sitting), yet excited at the same time. I even secretly hoped to get on an actual jury for the experience of it. It may be once in a lifetime.
Well, I got my wish. I sat on a jury for a man charged with sex crimes against a minor. Not exactly the kind of case I was hoping for.
I came home the first day after hearing the two primary witness for the prosecution side. There was a sinking feeling, a knot beginning to form inside, almost sure that we would have to find the defendent guilty.
I had realized half way through the testimonies what an awesome responsibility I had. It actually mattered whether or not I thought this man to be guilty. I had to decide for myself based on the evidence. And my decision could let him walk free or could incarcerate him for many years to come, not to mention ruin his chances of a normal life when he finally got out. I was struck with the weight of the responsibility on my shoulders. And wondered how crazy is the government to allow, or ask a twenty year old to make such a decision?
I expected at least an almost black & white trial; but that was not the case. It could hardly have been grayer. It essentially came down to what the boy said versus what the defendent said. There were no witnesses to collaborate either story. All witnesses collaborating with the victim, were collaborating based on what he had told them. There were contradictions on both sides; stories that didn't line up; dates that changed. At the end of it, we the jury had to decide if the prosecution had proved their case beyond reasonable doubt. We had to judge who was more credible, the boy or the defendent. The defendent was more credible & there were just too many questions in each of our minds that we had reasonable doubt.
We acquitted him, found him not quilty!
Did we make the right decision? I don't know. But we had to make the decision we could live with. I was not convinced enough to send a man to jail. I can live with the fact that we let him go free; I could not live with incarcerating an innocent man.
It was a learning experience to be sure. And I actually hope that I will again have the privilege, honor, & responsibility to serve on a jury. It's not just a duty.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Break Our Hearts

Teach us, oh Lord, what it really means To rend our hearts instead of outer things
Teach us, oh God, what we do not see
About our hearts and of our ways
And Father, deal with our carnal desires
To move in your power but not live the life
And to love our neighbor with all that we have
And keep our tongues from saying things we have not seen

Oh, break our hearts with the things that break yours
If we sow in tears, we will reap in joy
That we might pass through your refining fire
Where brokeness awaits on the other side
Where brokeness awaits on the other side

Raise up an army like Joel saw
Your church that is stronger than ever before
They do not break ranks when they plung through defenses
But the fear of the Lord will be their wisdom
That they might weep as Jesus wept
A fountain of tears for the wounded and lost
Whoever heard of an army of God
That conquered the earth by weeping and mourning and brokeness?

There will be a day when the nations will bow
And our Lord will be King over all the earth
And he will be the only one
And also his name will be the only one.

(Kevin Prosch, c 1991 Mercy Publishing)

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The Next Step

It's been eight months now since I started on one of the most amazing adventures I've had so far in my young life. God planted a desire in my heart and I took a step of faith. Looking back I am still amazed at His faithfulness through the whole experience. He provided even when I seriously had my doubts. And in my weakness He was strong.

Just as this adventure was drawing to a close, God started reawakening my heart's desire and passion for intercession. He seemed to be preparing my heart, whispering "This is what I have for you next." So as I flew over the Atlantic on my way to North Africa, I began to read Red Moon Rising, a book about 24/7 prayer. And my heart started asking "What's this look like in my little world of southern Lancaster? What do You want me to do next?"

And I continued to ask the question as I returned home and started a new job.
In some ways I'm still asking this question.

I've had an opportunity sort of placed in my lap, mine for the taking. Though my vision is by no means clear, I believe God has been preparing me for this. The trip to Africa, that was just so God could prove to me that He is strong in my weakness; that when He calls, He also equips. It's not me; it's Him in me.

So I sit here today with an opportunity to become a leader in a ministry that's in its infancy. I'm scared! But there is a growing confidence in my heart that God is calling me to this. Yet fear raises its ugly head. Me, an intercessor?! Me, leading others in intercession?! Me, head of a prayer room?! Who do I think I am? It's not who I think I am, it's who I know God is.

But if I know only two things right now about my future as a Christian, I know that God has called me to a life of intercession. And I know God has given me the gift of healing.
I know that the gift of healing will only begin to manifest as I answer the call to intercession. I know that these two hands of mine will only heal when they have become the hands of Jesus. And that will only happen as I am on my knees in His presence.

The next step will see me as an intercessor and a partner with City Gate House of Prayer. The next step will lead me into Lancaster City, into the lives of its inhabitants, and out of my own comfort zone. I sense the Spirit moving; I think I can hear, faintly, my Daddy's heartbeat. I pray the next step will take me deeper into the heart and the love of my Father. That my love will truly become His love; that my hands will truly become the hands of Christ; that my words will become His words; in all humility, authenticity, love, purity, and holiness.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Easter & a Poem

I found this in my journal from two years ago. It was Easter and for the first time in my life, I realized all that Jesus went through for me and that whether or not I accepted his gift, his sacrifice, didn't change the fact that he was offering it me.

Thank You for this gift You've given to me.
It cost You everything.
I know . . . I know!
But I love it; and I love You.
I am excited to try this new gift.
And the world asks "What is this gift?
What is is?"
Oh my, how do you explain?
It is life, abundant.
Life that does not end,
Love that does not run out,
Courage that never fails,
Words that are food,
Songs that are more than songs,
Smiles with something behind them,
Peace beyond comprehension,
Joy bubbling inside,
Sorrow that is light.
A Friend who never fails,
A Lover so faithful,
A Father all caring,
A Brother who sticks.

When I look back at all that God has done in me, I am amazed and awed at His graciousness, His faithfulness, His astounding Love! This journey that He is taking me on, that He is walking with me is just so far beyond what I ever imagined. The past few months have been an adventure in trust, in obedience, in faith, in hearing God's voice. I have feared, I have stumbled, I have been shaken, but God has been by my side, holding my hand. I am excited; there is anticipation within my spirit; I can't wait to see what God is going to do next; where He will lead me.

And as Easter is now once again just around the corner. And tomorrow is Good Friday. I remember the only reason I am on this incredible journey. It's because Jesus lived and Jesus laughed and Jesus cried and Jesus prayed and Jesus wept and Jesus died. And Jesus rose again!! I walk with my Daddy, because He gave everything, everything for me, to redeem me, and give me abundant life. That's how much He loves me!

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Reflection & Anticipation

As it is the beginning of a new year, I have spending a lot of time reflecting on the past year and anticipating the one we have just entered.

Last year 'round this time, God told me that 2007 was to be a year of freedom. I didn't fully understand all that He meant by that. Now with hindsight, I can see how true that word was . . . is. I didn't have any amazing breakthrough. But I have learned more about what it means to be free. I've learned more about truth. I've learned more about the truth of who I am, the truth that I have been set free. And I can choose to live in that freedom or remain in bondage.
Now that 2007 is over, I ask myself am I living in freedom? No, I am not completely and totally free; that will be a life-long process. But I am freer than I was a year ago. I have grown. I'm not as hard on myself. I have been stretched and learned to loosen up on my expectations of myself. I have stepped out of my comfort zone on a few occasions. And God has been absolutely amazing!

Now I am excited about this year. I know growth will continue. God's been speaking to me of what this 2008 year holds for me and for others.

The word for this year: Leadership. And all that that entails.

I still don't know all that that word means for me, for this year. I know it means taking initiative with things God places on my heart and leading others in them. For example, I am planning and leading a trip to Morocco for this June. Leadership means servanthood in my family, to my friends, in my work. Leadership means stepping outside my comfort zone in new ways, talking to people I haven't really talked to before, doing things I wouldn't normally do, speaking up with my thoughts.

I'm excited for 2008 for others reasons too. God has something brewing; He's got some big BIG plans and desires for this year. I know He has some things up His sleeve for me, in my world, with my friends and family. But He has big plans outside of that too. Can't you feel His Spirit just brooding with anticipation and the fullness of time? He's up to something; I want to be a part; and that makes me excited.

Sunday, January 6, 2008


"See, how great a LOVE the Father has lavished on us that we would be called children of God . . . the one who does not LOVE his brother is not of God . . . he who does not LOVE abides in death." 1 John 3

It's all about LOVE . . . Life is all about LOVE . . . to LOVE the Lord our God . . . to LOVE our neighbor as ourself . . . I want my life to be characterized by LOVE.

To LOVE means to serve. To LOVE means to deny myself. To LOVE means to think of the other first. To LOVE is to be true, honest, open, vulnerable. To LOVE is to laugh with those who laugh, to smile. To LOVE is to cry for those who hurt, with those who mourn. To LOVE is to hold my tongue and touch with my hands . . . with my heart. This I want to learn.

How can I LOVE others without first loving God?
How can I truly LOVE others without first loving myself?
How can I truly LOVE if I have not received LOVE?
How can I truly LOVE if I have not accepted the LOVE of the Father for me?

LOVE . . . the word we use for a transitory liking of something . . . the word we use for the strongest feeling of life . . . the word that we have forgotten the meaning of is a decision, an act of the will, not merely an emotion. Teach me to LOVE, Daddy. Teach me to LOVE as you have LOVED me.