Sunday, October 31, 2010

Goodness & Faithfulness

I wrote this paper this week for an online class I'm taking through the International House of Prayer University based in Kansas City. The class has been on the attributes and existence of God; an excellent class that I have greatly enjoyed. And I thought someone out there might enjoy reading my paper. Maybe not, but either way, here it is.

            It has been said that the journey from the head to the heart is one of a thousand miles. I wonder how many times I will make that journey as each time another truth is cemented in my heart. Though I know in my head the attributes of God and could write you a list a page long; the attributes that I know with my heart make a much shorter list. I have walked the thousand miles from head to heart twice to come to truly believe two attributes of the God I love. These have become cornerstones in my heart, pointing to the work of the Lord and who I know Him to be beyond any doubt. These two attributes are His goodness and His faithfulness.  I will define both in light of my experience and then show how they work together in the heart of the God I love and call Daddy.
            I know God is good, not just sort of good or sometimes good. He is always, totally, wholly, good in all He is and does and that goodness is directed towards me. When I asked God to reveal Himself to me and answer my question, “Do You really care about me, personally?”, He did. Day by day, He spoke to my heart through the little things: conversations with friends, a song, pictures in my mind. Until, when I looked back, I could not deny the care and love He had personally shown me. I grew to know His goodness confidently, intimately, as the Lord revealed just how much He has my best at heart and that all He desires for me is good. A. W. Tozer in The Knowledge of the Holy defines the Lord’s goodness not as His holiness or righteousness, but rather His goodness is that force from within Himself and of Himself that causes Him to be kind, gentle, loving, merciful, benevolent, gracious to us (Tozer, 82). “By His nature (i.e. because of His goodness) . . . He takes holy pleasure in the happiness of His people.” (Tozer, 82).  Somewhere in the Bible it says that those who come to the Lord, must believe He is good and a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. If we do not believe Him to be good, how will we ever learn to trust Him? Thus He leads us on the thousand mile journey from head to heart, from intellectually grasping He is good, to knowing by experience that He is good.
            The Psalms proclaim over and over again the goodness of the Lord. Psalm 68:10 says that in His goodness, He provides for the poor. It was the promise of seeing the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living that caused David to not despair in Psalm 27:13. “Good and upright is the Lord”, declares Psalm 25:8a. And Psalm 106, 107, 118, and 136 all say “Oh give thanks to the Lord, for He is good, for His lovingkindness is everlasting.” When a would-be disciple addressed Jesus as “Good Teacher”, Jesus responded by saying “Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone.” (Mark 10:18). In my life, I have tasted and seen – through experiences such as I mentioned above – that God alone is good and His heart towards me is only good. This summer when I was dissatisfied with my job, frustrated with living at home, lonely, and not wanting to be where I was at in life, I cried my hurt and anger on the shoulder of a friend. In that raw moment, she spoke these words, “But do you believe that He is still good?” At first I said, “I don’t know.” Then dialing down into my heart, I looked into who I knew God was and is, I answered, “Yes, yes I believe He is still good”. So when life does not go the way I expect it to or want it to, I know I can declare with David “I would have despaired unless I had believed I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living(Psalm 27:13)”, because His goodness is His promise to me.
            The faithfulness of God results from His immutability. A God who does not change, will be of necessity a faithful God. His faithfulness means that when He speaks we can have confidence because due to His faithfulness He binds Himself to His own words. What He speaks will come to pass. The promises He makes will be fulfilled. Tozer says “Upon God’s faithfulness rests our whole hope of future blessedness. Only as He is faithful will His covenants stand and His promises be honored. Only as we have complete assurance that He is faithful may we live in peace and look forward with assurance to the life to come.” (Tozer, 81) In the last year, God has taken me on the journey of experiencing His faithfulness. Ironically, this journey was not completed by promises being fulfilled, thus proving His faithfulness, but by promises that still remain to see their fulfillment. It has been through Scriptures and His voice repeatedly speaking to my heart, “I am faithful; I will fulfill My promises”, that my heart has gained confidence to stand on the truth of His faithfulness even as desires of my heart remain unfulfilled. To stand on the faithfulness of God is to stand in faith and to live in faith.
            Though many passages praises God’s faithfulness, it was a Scripture that indirectly speaks of God’s faithfulness that took root in my heart as proof of His faithfulness. Isaiah 55:11 says “So will My word be which goes forth from My mouth; It will not return to Me empty, without accomplishing what I desire, and without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it.” With this verse, God stamped His faithfulness upon my heart, saying “If I have spoken it, if I have promised, I will bring it to pass, for every word I speak accomplishes what I desire.” 2 Timothy 2:13 was another verse that spoke strongly to me. I know my own weakness and inability to remain faithful, as the Lord is faithful. But Paul boldy proclaims that “if we are faithless, He remains faithful for He cannot deny Himself.” Thus His faithfulness is not conditional, but arises from within His own heart. In one of the first declarations God makes of Himself, He states: “Know therefore that the Lord your God, He is God, the faithful God, who keeps His covenant and His lovingkindness to a  thousandth generation with those who love Him and keep His commandments (Deuteronomy 7:9).” He states His faithfulness, then gives an example of His faithfulness. Let my heart gain confidence; the One who speaks is faithful!
            If we know God to be good, then of necessity, He must be faithful. For in His goodness, He makes promises to His beloved. And in His faithfulness, He keeps those promises, so as to not suspend the action of His goodness. For how can that which is essentially good also be a wishy-washy waffler bent at every change in the wind? When God makes a promise, because of His essential goodness, we can have confidence that He will be faithful to keep that promise. He is not like men, who in weakness, lacking either goodness or faithfulness or both, will make promises only to change them. He does not speak with ulterior motives, with devious plans, with any imperfection in His heart. When God speaks, we can have confidence it will be good, and it will be for our greatest good. When God speaks, we can have confidence that His word will accomplish every plan He has for it in His timing, even as Isaiah 55:11 declares so poetically. So God’s goodness presupposes His faithfulness, for He cannot be good if He is not faithful to who He is in His goodness. His faithfulness presupposes His goodness; for if He were not good, then He would have no reason or purpose for being faithful. One without the other is useless and meaningless. Together they form a part of the God who is all awesome, powerful, gracious, and loving; the God I have come to call ‘Daddy’.
            To know the goodness of the Lord, I walked the thousand miles in three months. To know the faithfulness of the Lord, it has been almost a year’s journeying to walk the thousand miles with Him. But now having walked those miles, I never have to walk them again. I have experienced His goodness and I have seen His faithfulness; and all doubt is removed. These are my cornerstones. No matter what comes, I can look behind me, point to these stones, and boldly declare “But I know my God is good and I know my God is faithful!” In His goodness, He is always faithful. And in His faithfulness, He always remains good.


Thursday, October 14, 2010

Hunger & Striving

I hunger … I hunger deeply, insatiably, for the Lord … to know Him more … to love Him more …

Somewhere along the line, in my hungering, I start walking in striving …
Striving to love the Lord more … striving to know Him more … striving … spending my time doing the “right” things apart from relationship …

Then I wonder why I’m still hungry … why my hunger is not being satisfied …
But I’ve been attempting to satisfy hunger outside of relationship …

God never allows that … so He waits … patiently … for me to realize that I’ve left Him at the side of the road … that I started journeying on my own …

He waits for me to say, “I’ve missed You, I want to walk with You again.”

And He says, “Be still and know that I am God.”
“That’s it, just be and be still and know and rest in knowing …
“Rest like a weaned child in her mother’s lap … content … peaceful … confident …
“This is your place … don’t leave it, daughter, child, My love …
“Don’t leave this place …”

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Tuesday's Scripture Meditation

PSALM 103 meditations:
"Bless the Lord, O my soul, & all that is within me, bless His holy name!"
My soul will bless; my soul does bless the Lord my God & I glory in Him.
Who is this God on whom I have believed?
He is not like the gods of this world who demand & destroy through fear.
No, He is a God, faithful & true.
"He forgets none of His benefits" (those are to us!).
"He has pardoned our iniquities" with His own life & ultimate sacrifice.
"He heals our diseases" for He is intimately acquainted with our bodies & our spirits & our souls.
He knows the places of our pain.
Not only does He pardon, but He redeems;
"He pulls us up from the pit" of the curse of sin into which we have fallen & sets our feet upon the solid ground of all that He is.
And is this not enough?!
To our God it is not for He is a God of extravagant love.
What other god is like unto Him?
There is none!
"He places lovingkindness & compassion upon us as a crown."
"He satisfies" our desires.
This is more than deservedly is required of Him;
This is more than we could ever hope or dream of.
"Our youth is renewed" by the strength of the Lord.
We may waste our life searching for the fountain of perpetual youth,
But "all our fountains are in Him" & we will never find them in another.
And the psalm continues, extolling the wonders of this God who loves us;
Who loves us with an everlasting, always true, love.
There is none like Him.
When we were dead in sin,
Then He chose to love us & He has never stopped ...
Come, come let us pursue Him.
Come, come let us run into the arms of the one who loves us with such extravagant & outrageous love!

PROVERBS 19:11b meditation:
"It is his glory to overlook a transgression."
How opposite the world's point of view which declares that we must defend ourselves & seek revenge. Defending & maintaining our honor, we say. But God says it is wisdom to overlook an offense & leave the revenge to the Lord. Do I do this? Do I overlook offense & choose to love? And do I do it because I love the Lord & not just because I don't want to make waves or because I'm weak? Heart motive, He always brings the issue back to the heart. We can do all the right things but if our heart is carrying the wrong attitude, it is worthless religion. Give me a right & pure heart that lives from the place of desiring to honor, love, and bless You, Lord, in all I do & say.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Learning Faithfulness

This morning I felt the Lord whispering to me about faithfulness once again. Faithfulness has been a reoccurring theme hightlighted by the Lord over the past year. It was the same this morning as I felt the gentle nudging from the Holy Spirit to purpose once again to pursue faithfulness in my life.

Psalm 37:3b says “Dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness.” Cultivating a garden requires being on our knees and getting our hands dirty. We don’t just wake up one morning and have a garden. It takes work and planning and diligence. In the same way, cultivating faithfulness requires being on our knees before the Lord and getting our hands dirty – being faithful to do the little things the Lord has put before us to do. Likewise, we will never awake one morning to find we have suddenly developed faithfulness. No, it takes diligence, perseverance, trusting the Lord, and daily choosing to be faithful in the little things.

I long to remain faithful to the promise of the Lord in my heart. But I can only do that as I learn to be faithful in the little things. Faithful to love my family. Faithful to serve my family. Faithful to work with excellence. Faithful with my money. Faithful with my body. Faithful to obey the whisper of the Spirit. As I do these things, I learn faithfulness. Psalm 37 goes on to say: “Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.” We like to jump ahead to the promise that the Lord will give us the desires of our hearts. But first we must trust in the Lord and do good, dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness. I see it as this: as we choose to trust, choose to obey, choose to flourish where God has planted us (even if we’d rather be somewhere else), choose to dwell in faithfulness, the God will give us the desires of our hearts.

I choose to be faithful to the promise of the Lord in my heart. But I also choose to be faithful with where I am now and what I have now. I choose to be content in my current position in life, ever laying my desires before the Lord. In this heart attitude I will learn faithfulness as I remain faithful in the little things.

I failed to remain faithful in this past year and I may fail again. But I carry this promise within me: though I am faithless, He remains faithful for He cannot deny Himself! He will be faithful to the promise even if I am not. How comforting! When my faithfulness fails, His remains.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Heart Movements

So I haven't written for a long time & my only excuse is that I've been busy. & Mom would definitely say that was an excuse only. More accurately, I've been using my free time for reading & knitting & my thoughts have not been collected enough to put them on paper.
That's not to say I haven't been thinking. The thoughts are in my heart, just they're not yet in English.
It's hard to explain & it's sorta funny thing. My heart's in this mode of processing where thoughts haven't become words yet, not English ones anyhow or any language for that matter. They're more impressions or movements that at any time will come welling up into my mind & from there to my journal. It normally starts as a slow trickle; some short, schizophrenic conversations with God that probably leave Him scratching His head wondering how my thoughts fit together. But then one day it all just fits together & comes out in a flood of conversation & prayer & dialogue & emotion. Commonly, this happens in my car. & I later wish I had a voice recorder since I am, as yet, unable to drive & write. Maybe someday . . .
So here's the funny thing in this. I'm not doing anything, I can't do anything. It's like this heart processing takes so much energy, I don't have much left over. No, it's not that I don't have energy; it's that my heart's thinking so hard that my head can't do much thinking.
So by this point, if any of my siblings are reading this (Kari or Jordan, I mean you :), they're thinking, "Kendra, you're way over-analyzing!" Sure I am. But the only way for me to begin to translate my heart movements to English is to begin to interpret them as best as I know how. & this is how I do that: I put words together to make sentences to make paragraphs. Eventually, my heart catches on & the trickle becomes a flood until the processing's complete.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

I Choose You

I choose You & only You;

Above all else,
Before all else,
Instead of all else,

I choose You.

Strip all away,
Take all of me.

My hand is open,
My heart is vulnerable;

Strip all away
Until only You remain.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Doug & Becky's

I remember being thrilled when my cousin invited me ...

I remember leaving work that first night ...
I remember wanting to back out and just go home ...
But my cousin was expecting me, so I went.

I remember walking into the quiet room ...
I remember seeing people spread out soaking in the presence of the Lord ...
I remember hunger welling up in my heart and knowing I was where I should be ...
So grateful I had come.

I remember Doug saying that they would pray for me ...
He said they would ask the Lord to give them words of knowledge for me ...
I was excited and scared at the same time ...
What would God tell them about me?

They prayed and one by one shared what God spoke ...
I sat in silence as they spoke about who I was ...
About things that God was placing inside of me ...
They prophesied a gift of healing in my hands.

I remember driving away that night, marveling ...
Their words had touched a deep place in my spirit ...
I remember the hunger to experience more ...
I remember coming back nearly every week for six months.

Doug & Becky are a young couple with a gift for the prophetic. Once a week, they opened their home to young people; it started as people from their church and grew to include others. It was a small, intimate gathering; nothing like anything I had ever experienced. Sometimes Doug would teach; someone played guitar and sang or we listened to CDs of worshipful, "soaking" music; we prayed for each other and learned to recognize the voice of God together.

I remember the night Doug explained what the voice of God can sound like. He said it can be that thought that that comes so quickly and gently into your spirit and mind, that you go "oh, where did that come from?" (Well, something like that; he explained it much better). That was an "ahha" moment: I realized I had heard the voice of God before but never recognized it as His voice. This answered so many questions in my heart. Every week then we would practice hearing or rather recognizing God's voice as we prayed for one another (and any new people who would come) and asked God for words of knowledge for each other.

It was all preparation for and the beginning of the beginning of the walls coming down around my heart. But that didn't happen until I did my Discipleship Training School at Youth With a Mission (YWAM).

Friday, April 9, 2010

The Early Years

So as I promised, I'll now begin to tell my journey with Jesus.

Boring stuff first, well, okay, I shouldn't call it boring, but it doesn't feel unique:
I grew up in a Christian home, a solid Christian home and I am forever grateful for the foundation my parents laid in my life (THANK YOU, Mom and Dad!). At some point before ten years of age, I accepted Christ, prayed the prayer. But my understanding was limited, of course. As my understanding grew, I prayed the prayer a few more times, each time with a fuller knowledge of what I was doing. I spent a great week, each of three summers, at the best camp in the world (here's a shout out to Circle K Camp: you're the best!). There my heart grew in hunger for the Lord and desire to be fully devoted to Him in truth and purity.

However, during my early teenage years, my Christianity took on a strong legalism though I did not recognize it as such at the time. I also placed walls around my heart in an effort to protect it from pain and disappointment.

Legalism: it was born out of a desire to be pleasing to the Lord, but a misunderstanding of how to do this. I did the "right" things out of obligation and to uphold my reputation. I remember consciously "training" myself to walk through a store without moving to the beat of the music playing because it was secular (read: secular equaled bad). I would never say 'dumb' or 'stupid' because those were "bad" words.  And I made other silly rules for myself. I was doing the "right" things, but from a heart of pride. Yes, I was trying to please the Lord, however there was no joy in it. And I was attempting to maintain a reputation of who I thought others thought I should be. It was very unrewarding! And in my heart, I felt the hypocrisy of it.

Walls: early in my teenage years, I experienced some relatively small disappointments. They hurt, more than I expected them to. And I began to question the goodness of God; specifically, the goodness of God towards me ... Could I truly trust Him? So I built walls around my heart to ward off further pain and disappointment. If I didn't have any expectations of God or others and if I held people at arms length (never sharing my heart, who I truly was), I would avoid pain, right?

I spent my adolescence striving to please God on my own strength, yet holding Him at arms length. Were it not for the grace of God on my life and His constant pursuit of me, I don't know where I'd be! Seriously ... God has been so good to me!

There were also precious times when God began to capture my heart and mark me as His own. I read a book called Extreme Godchasers by Tommy Tenney one summer. It ignited a desire to know and experience God. I spent hours every week that summer on my face before the Lord. In that time, I began to sense God's calling on my life though I could not yet verbalize it. I sensed incredible grace being poured out on me and a realization that I was being raised up for something.

Because of times like this, a strong hunger developed in my heart. This hunger kept me pushing forward, because I knew God had a plan for my life. And my heart hungered to experience more of Him. Through conversations, a cousin sensed this hunger in me and invited me to Doug and Becky's. But I will leave that for next time ...

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Never Before ...

Well, I said I was going to start writing about where I've come from in my journey with the Lord, and I will. But tonight, I want to take a few minutes and write about something I'm beginning to walk in now.

I've spent the last seven months reading through my Bible. I'm almost done. I've been in the Word more than ever before. I've been consciously making it a priority to spend more focused time in the Lord's presence. I've been pursuing His face, pursuing His presence, pursuing His heart. And now I'm beginning to sense a change within my heart.

There's a growing sensitivity; a growing tenderness towards the Holy Spirit.

A few weeks ago, I wrote this in my journal:
"Never before has my heart been so tender before the Lord. Last year this time I was coming out of three months of bitterness. Only after three months did the conviction of the Holy Spirit reach my heart that I recognized the bitterness and repented. Now after only a few hours, my heart is repentant before the Lord and the bitterness is laid aside for the grace of the Lord. Thank You for tenderizing my heart. Thank You for pouring Your grace out upon me and Your favor upon my life. Thank You for making me more like You. Thank You for Your love, for the gentle conviction of the Spirit upon my heart. I do love You!"

This morning I came home from work after a frustrating night of work. It wasn't anything big, just little frustrations, little annoyances. As I crawled into bed, my heart cried out. I felt such a hardness and a darkness falling upon my heart as bitterness and resentment festered. I recognized anger and a spirit of offense building within my heart.

In that moment upon my bed, I knew I had a choice. The Holy Spirit was bringing His conviction as I recognized the emotions within my heart. I could have held onto my anger and offense; I could have held onto my rights. But by the grace of God, I released the emotions and asked for forgiveness and cleansing by the blood of the Lamb.

I've experienced bitterness and resentment before. I've held onto them in the past as my right. And I know by experience that I can't grow in the Lord and cling to a spirit of offense at the same time. That is why I am so thankful for the tenderness within my heart to continue to desire the Lord. It's a tenderness that recognizes and responds to conviction by the grace of God.

I pray that as you seek the Lord, He will grow this tenderness within your heart as well. I pray your heart will forever be soft before the conviction of the Holy Spirit.

              ... Kendra Sheree

Friday, April 2, 2010

Last night, I was at Gateway House of Prayer in Ephrata. It was a small crowd, just myself and four other women. Jimmy Nimon came by and ended up ministering prophetically to each of us.

WOW!! Did he hit the nail on the head when he spoke over me! I am so thankful for the ministry of the Holy Spirit. Time and again, the words of others by the insight of the Holy Spirit have pierced to my heart, calling forth truth, boldness, faith, and confirming the things the Lord has been whispering to me.

My heart has been stirred up since last night. The Lord had already been stirring within me, but now it's stronger. The word for the year was boldness; the theme of this year was walking in my calling and destiny. As I stood and shared from my heart to my church nearly two months ago, the only thing I remember is a strong impression that that was NOT the last time I would be sharing my heart in front of others. Jimmy confirmed this last night. It is time for me to open my mouth or let loose my pen as the case may be. And speak and testify to the things the Lord has done in me and has shown me.

So, dear readers, whoever you may be (note: I now have a hit counter on the right, so even if you don't comment, I can still see if you are reading!), over the next few weeks or months, I am going to share the journey the Lord has brought me on. Starting with where I've come from and all He's already done, then where I am at now and what He is doing now, and what I am sensing is coming.

He is so good.  Of this, I am convinced; and my conviction won't be changed. He holds my heart; He is forever trustworthy and faithful. I hope through sharing my walk, you will be encouraged to pursue Him deeper, trust Him stronger, love Him longer, bless Him greater. He is worthy of all glory: anything good in me has come only from Him.

Blessings ...

Thursday, April 1, 2010

A Waltz in the Rain

My responsibility is obedience to the call of God. God's responsibility is everything else.

There's a dream in my heart. It was a dream in God's heart first.

It's not mine to lose if it belongs to God.

It's a lesson I've been learning this year, step by step, moment by moment, as I trust God with the dreams of my heart.

These dreams don't really belong to me.

God dreamed them first ... and then He decided to place them in my heart.

My response is obedience to His leading, His prompting.

Then I let the results in His hands.

The dream was His first ... He wants it more than me.

Trying to manipulate, negotiate, take control will only be to step outside His timing and will never bring the desired result.

These dreams are not mine to lose or gain if they belong to God.

Said another way: When I realize that my heart's dreams where first God's and I let them rest in His hands, it removes all worry, all fear. I can't lose something that doesn't belong to me in the first place.

It's a dance of trust and faith ...

It's a beautiful dance of partnering with Jesus ...

A waltz in the rain with my Love!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Haiti Thoughts

I meant to process these thoughts more and write them out more formally, however, I returned from Haiti over a month ago and still have not rewritten these thoughts.

So here they are for whoever cares to read them in their unedited roughness.

"For such a Time as this ...
Perfect Love casts out Fear ...
The Joy of the Lord is my Strength ...
Destiny ... Calling ...
Know the Depth of the Father's Love ...
Stir up Desire in your Heart ...
Surpassing Righteousness of the Heart ...

For such a time as this ...
For such a time as this, I was called to go to Haiti and I went in obedience knowing that there was an aspect of my destiny that I would find in Haiti. Indeed I did.
For such a time as this, I was created by God, ordained to be His child.
For such a time as this, I was called to fulfill the destiny placed on my life.
For such a time as this, I was called. I have a destiny to fulfill that no one else can fulfill. It's not about me! This is about Jesus and the reward He deserves for His suffering. He asks for all of me and my total surrender. When I hold back, the world looses out more than I do. It's not about me, but about the love in the Father's heart that He longs to reveal through me. Why am I keeping this love for myself? It grows as I give it out! Do I have so small a revelation of this love that I don't share it? Then I need to ask for a greater revelation. The Father won't give me a stone when I ask for bread. Nor will He give me only crumbs. If I am willing, He has a table spread with a feast for me. But will I respond and say for such a time as this I have been created and called?

We are pressed down, but not crushed; persecuted but not abandoned; crushed by not destroyed.

The physical condition of Haiti right now is the spiritual condition of America. And were it not for the grace of God, we would physically look like Haiti. We have a Christian foundation that stays the judgment of Christ, but for how long? For such a time as this, we were born in this nation with the favor and grace of God poured out abundantly upon us. But if we do not become salt and light, that grace will be withdrawn; it's only a matter of time.
There is a spirit of apathy that keeps Haiti in physical poverty. This is the way it's always been, this is the way it will always be. As long as that spirit remains, Haiti will remain in poverty.
We are spiritual poverty living in spiritual apathy. And God's saying I'm longing to do more, but as long as you are content with ankle deep, I can't move you to knee deep. We need to stir up a spirit of discontent and desire in our hearts! Just because this is the way it's always been, doesn't mean this is the way it's meant to be! We need to become dissatisfied, so God can satisfy! We become dissatisfied when we catch the vision of the way God meant something to be. We become dissatisfied when we realize there is more! Oh, God stir up holy dissatisfaction and give us vision of the way you long for things to be!"

Be blessed, be dissatisfied, be hungry, be filled ... for such a time as this you were created and called by the Holy God to bear His glory to a hungry and desperate world!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

January 12th Journal

The Glory of God is man fully alive:
so make us fully alive.
You created us to bear Your glory:
image-bearers, glory-bearers, glory-manifesters!
You said Your glory would cover the earth as the waters cover the seas ...
We are Your glory when we bear Your image.
We will cover the earth.
We will carry Your glory until it covers the earth.
We are Your glory.
You in us is Your glory.
Us alive in You is Your glory.
You came to give us eternal life, abundant life, Glory-filled Life!
This is Your glory for us to be fully alive!

January 5th Journal

You won't relent until You have it all
           My heart is Yours.
I'll set You as a seal upon my arm, as a seal upon my heart . . .
You keep chasing my heart, never stopping, Your desire, Your love as strong as death, Your jealousy as strong as the grave.
You want all of me, as part won't satisfy Your desire for me . . . Only all of me.
And You keep pursuing my heart, never stopping, my heart is Your goal, all of my heart.
You desire me . . . Your daughter, Your creation . . .
You call me beautiful, Your own love . . .
Beulah, Hephzibah . . . married to Him, His desire is for me.
I am my Lover's and He is mine. His desire is for me and mine for Him.
Beautiful and perfect You are, my Lover.
Holy and righteous, worthy of all my heart, all of me.

Monday, March 1, 2010

December 22nd Journal

I am worthy
     Because He says I am worthy.
I have value
     Because He calls me valuable.
I am lovely
     Because He has made me lovely.
Beulah, Hephsibah
     His delight is in me!
I love Him;
     He loves me more.
I desire Him;
     He desires me more
Jealous is He!
     I'm after His heart;
And He is after mine.

And how can the clay say to the Potter,
"You made me wrong, imperfect?"
How can I say to my Maker
"You messed up?"
He has made me Perfect, Beautiful, Lovely.
                     Do I believe this?
Do I believe that He delights in me
                     More than I can ever delight in Him?

My heart & desires are pleasing to Him.
I stop sometimes . . . & think:
                     "Why would He do this for me?"
Why would He not?!
                     Do not believe the lie!

"I delight over you,
      I dance over you.
My desire is for you,
      My heart is for you.
Why would I not give you a good gift?"
                       (But I am so unworthy of my heart's desire . . .)
"No, I have declared you worthy;
       Not because of who you are,
       But who you are in Me,
       Because of My love for you.
I have declared you worthy.
     What I have declared worthy,
     Do not declare unworthy.
You are my daughter,
Desirable, Captivating, Lovely.
Daughter, you capture My heart!
When you dance,
     My eyes sparkle.
When you sing,
     Heaven becomes silent.
When you pray,
    My heart rejoices.

You, My daughter,
Are a blessing to My heart."

Monday, February 8, 2010

Haiti Update #1

This is truly my most real mission trip. there is no unpacking, no getting organized. We are 20+ people living in one home, sharing 2 bathrooms, and an outdoor shower (I haven't used it yet & prolly wont). We sleep on the cement roof on thin air mattresses: men and women together. Talk about getting to know people. fortunately only pastor salik snores. but there's always the donkeys and roosters making noise also. We finally arrived here late Friday night. Saturday, I went out with the medical team that was already here. Didn't see anything real severe. Except that we were in a tent city with a population of 30,000! We drove by the caribbean market that fell killing roughly 200. It still smells horrible and they are only beginning to try to bulldoze it clear. I haven't cried yet. it's all just so big, it's numbing. How do you know where to start? And there was such great need already before the earthquake. And I can only think of how we complain about healthcare and lack of access in the states. We know nothing of lack of healthcare! I felt like all we did as a medical team was put a bandaid on a gaping wound. saw a man being carried on a litter to and from a hospital to have his leg redressed. He had an external fixator (look it up on google images) on his leg! I did almost cry yesterday seeing an 8 month old baby the size of a 3 month old with the emotional response of a 2 month old. So skinny. No smile, no laugh. So malnourished. No teeth either. Heartbreaking, yet all I feel is numbness and an overwhelming sense of hopelessness. Daddy, break my heart with the things that break yours. Just some of my thoughts.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Oh, Haiti!

Haiti . . . that one name now brings many emotions to surface in my heart: compassion, mercy, desire, hope, anticipation, fear.

I am going . . . in 10 days I will be on a plane bound for Port-au-Prince, Haiti, with 6-7 other people. Nearly two months before the earthquake struck, I committed to going to Haiti. I didn't know why at the time, only that I had peace, desire, and an anticipation that God had something for me in Haiti. That anticipation is now even stronger! I cannot shake the sense that God is dancing over us with giddy excitement; He's got something up His sleeve and I can't wait to see what it is!

Yes, I am excited! But there is a little fear mixed in my heart, too. This is Haiti, the poorest nation in the western hemisphere, and it's right after a devastating earthquake that destroyed what little this people had. Everything is in short supply. However, there is enough naivety in me that excitement overrules fear. No, it's not naivety. There's enough faith in the goodness of my Daddy's heart to know that the safest place is the palm of His hand, the center of His will.

Because I am a nurse, I will be working mostly in a hospital, caring for the wounded. I am eager to use my knowledge and skill to care for people who are in desperate need of care. I get frustrated working in a place here where I am easily replaceable and caring for patients who by-and-large are hospitalized due to the direct consequences of life choices. Oh, give me the people who have no one else; the poor, the needy, the wounded and hurt. Let my compassion be even more aroused and awakened!

Though I am a nurse, I know I have so little to give people devastated by loss and injury.

Yet, I am a daughter of the living God, and as such I have much to offer. And it is this that I want to offer.
My hands to be the hands of Christ; my touch to be the healing touch of Jesus; my words to be the love of Christ; my compassion to be the tears of my Daddy; my feet to be the feet that bring good news of great joy: Christ is Risen! and has Conquered ALL sickness, disease, wounds, pain, darkness, sin, evil, fear.

I want to carry the Heart of the Father in my heart . . . to the people of Haiti.