Thursday, September 24, 2015

"The Clash"

The enemy is furious with the generations of people that are being awoken from their spiritual sleep. An army is rising up and he can foresee his kingdom crumbling. He will trick and cheat the sons and daughters of heaven out of their identity, out of yielding their swords. He will banter lies over them that attempt to cripple what their Father has claimed them to be. Created for fiery boldness he mocks them into shallow graves where they morn what they believe they are not and eat dust as though they are nothing more. Where have these children of Hosanna hid? Behind lies and apathy that tries to scream, " Does He listen?" They are rising with a shout their own screaming, "There is victory in the on who truly knows death; He defeated it." He rose, He is raising them now into a generation that knows, knows how to battle, how to fight, how to follow their King. They won't be defeated. Silence will not win for there is a song rising, a song declaring the glory of their King. A King whom can't be silenced.

Friday, December 12, 2014

It's about Him

"Lately I have been evaluating my relationship with the Lord and just trying to get a realistic perspective. Most of the time I find myself either demeaning the place I am at or over glorifying it. However, I want to have sober judgement. I want to know the "spiritual muscles" that I need to exercise as well as the ones that are strong. I think that being honest with ourselves helps us to be more useful to the body of Christ. In this process of re-evaluating strengths and areas that need strengthening I found myself getting really frustrated. As I identify the areas that seriously need more Jesus I also start to try to seek out ways that I can accept God into those places. This seams to be difficult for  a few reasons. I realize fully and believe with my whole heart that God is more real then life itself. I believe this to the point of frustration because I am also unbearably aware of the fact that I fail at giving my life to God at the same measure as I believe that he is real.

I feel like I am beginning to more fully understand what PAUL? felt when he said his flesh does the very thing he doesn't want to do. I walk through life in a battle desiring to give God more and more of my life and yet my flesh continually gets in the way by searching for things that the world says is important. How do I live outside of myself? Everything screams at me pointing at where I should find fulfillment but my soul knows its not truth. How do I walk away from everything that says joy and fulfillment come from worldly love and gain. Instead I must choose to beat my flesh into obedience to the groaning of my soul that is calling on the name of Jesus. I know it can't come from striving and it can't come from pure emotion so how do I move? Abiding in the Father; but how do you rest in God while still taking action?? Chasing God quickly becomes striving and working to become closer to him. How do you continue in relationship even when it is a choice to love and not an emotion? Does being in that place make it less of an intimate relationship? Is it more so that our definition of relationship is what is messed up? Do we have unrealistic perspective of what "relationship" with God actually looks like? Especially in this place of limited human thinking? Because sin is present in the world our relationships and ability to accept/ experience love and intimacy must also be broken. So in reality, is it even possible to not strive within this broken way relationships function?

You see I am stuck in a place of wanting to do more to give God those weak areas of my character but how do I do it with out striving."

These few paragraphs are something I wrote several months ago that I had totally forgotten about until a few moments ago when I decided I should write another post (It has literally been one day under a year since I last posted.) To my surprise, as I logged on,  I found this partial post and as I read it I had to chuckle. I was coming to jot down my thoughts on what God has been doing this last season in my life. The chuckle from reading this old post came because the things God has been teaching me seem to bring a little clarity to those questions. God is funny like that.

The last year of my life has been crazy to say the least. Most people would probably look at my life and think I am serving God and should always feel close to him and proud of my relationship with him. The questions above should be proof that that isn't always the truth.  After staffing my first DTS and getting back from Costa Rica I had learned so much about God's faithfulness. Over this past  summer I was in a leadership school and God wrecked me in so many ways; I accepted more of my true identity in Christ. Even though these things had been hard and sometimes painful lessons to learn I was being stretched and growing. When this fall rolled around and DTS number 2 was soon approaching I started asking God what this season would be about. He started talking about things like looking to Him as my teacher, learning how to minister to others, as well as following the Holy Spirit. I was so jazzed about these things; they sounded beautiful. However as I started to walk into the season I began to feel floaty. I was wondering how to take that deeper step. I didn't understand why I felt like I was hitting a plato in my relationship with God. I didn't know how to take another step forward. You see for over a year God has been talking to me about taking that step..jumping a level...going deeper with him. But, because I had no idea what that meant I kept saying yes but didn't really see anything change. I think I was confused about what "going deeper" looked like. I thought it actually had something to do with me. I was wrong. By this time I had sorta forgotten about those things God said he wanted to teach me. Several weeks went past and I met with an amazing lady who also works with YWAM and was telling her about this "wanting to go deeper" as well as the floaty season I felt I was in. She told me to ask God what this season was about. Immediately my mind went back to those things God had spoken to me. It was a season for learning from him about ministry in the Holy Spirit.

Jump forward several weeks. God was teaching me things like crazy. I was amazed and loving the things I was learning. During the school we had the wonderful Jackie Pullinger come speak for a week. She brought with her a small ministry team. (If you do not know Jackie I highly suggest reading her book "Chasing the Dragon". She has been a missionary in Hong Kong for 50ish years.) She was speaking on the very things God had been teaching me more about. It was a mind blowing week but I started learning things that I didn't expect God to bring up in the midst of learning about "how to minister in the Holy Spirit. Through Jackie's team God started speaking to me about Love. About his love for me about his love for people. This was awesome but I was kinda like, "okay Jesus I know that one why are you taking me back to that lesson." As I started asking that question I also started wrestling around with accepting more of God's love in my own life. Funny how that happens. I saw the areas where I have yet to let his love permeate. As love became something God was talking to me more and more about I started asking Him how love and walking in the Spirit tied together. One night as I was laying in bed God said this to me, "Knowing the power of the Holy Spirit is Knowing love." My mind was blown. I knew that God used the Holy Spirit to show his love but I never thought about it in the terms of misunderstanding God's love also meant I would misunderstand the working of the Holy spirit.

The Holy Spirit is with us to guide us, to help us lead people to Christ, to help us know God. What Christ did on the cross was the ultimate act of love; God's perfect and ultimate love was poured out on humanity as Jesus died. Of course the Holy Spirit is going to operate in love. The bible even says so; for if you can prophecy but do not love you have nothing (paraphrase) If I want to go further with Jesus. Know God more. Minister in the Holy Spirit. Understand the authority we have...I must know love. I must know and accept God's love. I must give love.

How does this answer all those questions from the old post. Well it isn't ever about MY love. It isn't ever about my capability to love. It isn't even about my ability to grow in my relationship with God. If it were then it is hopeless and pointless. It is still about him, even when it comes to being loved and loving him. We have to know how to look for our Father in every painful situation, in all our failures to love him as he deserves. We must recognize he sent Jesus so that he could place his love, his actions, his righteousness on our tab. He loves and chooses us despite our ability, or lack there of, to love him. Once again I am recked by the conclusion that it is looking to who HE is that transforms us, not by any thing we can muster up. His beauty changes us by just glancing at it. This relationship may be broken by our limited human thinking but in the end it doesn't matter....because it has never nor will it ever be about us. You see, I couldn't take the step deeper into my relationship with God because I  was too focused on how I was suppose to take the step closer to him. I just needed to look back at him instead of looking at the step saying, "how do I do that?" How magnificent is our Father and how powerful his love. It transforms us when we come in contact with it, with Him. 

Friday, December 13, 2013


Life seams to be a bustle of emotion and tasks. People wake up each day, get dressed, drink their coffee, drive to work, either have a "great" day based on the emotions and actions of those around them or a "mood wrecking" day also dependent on how others days are playing out, and how their days play out depends on yet others days and emotions. When does the cycle end? With Jesus.

My coffee spilling, dropped appointments, undependable printers, snow that prolongs the time I spend scraping off my car all are potential day and or mood wreckers if I do not meet with JESUS. I become utterly aware of my own weakness and selfishness when Jesus is not in the picture. His spirit in me enables my life and the everyday "oopses" to become a beautiful adventure. I am obsessed with the realization that Jesus changes everything. My journal, prayers, and even this blog all evidently show this obsession. I simply can't get over it though; it is magical and mysterious and incomprehensible to me.  My salvation, my strength, my ability to be good and selfless are all dependent on one thing. My willingness to lay my life down for the one who died for me. Through his death I received life, through his love I am able to love the unlovable, and only through by looking at his grace can I forgive those whom have committed offences against me. How can one being infect my soul in such a way? There is only one answer; HE is God, He is all powerful, all loving, all knowing, all good, all merciful, full of grace, with love abounding and he has chosen me. Chosen me to be his child. He calls me out of the miry clay, the sin that so easily entangles me and places my feet on solid ground.

I have been realizing more and more my dependency on being perfect. I heap expectation on myself to forgo my need for Jesus; don't spill the coffee, be okay when people cancel on you, give and never take and the list goes on. I want to be able to be good enough. Then Jesus comes and says let go of it all, stop and just watch me. As I relinquish the perfection I chase after I am WRECKED by God's love. His love tastes so good that my failures no longer have any weight. He is the only thing worth anything.

As I have been preparing for the coming DTS that I am staffing it is easy for me to want to walk back into that comfortable place of perfection. The problem is that failure to be perfect is around every corner. Daily God reminds me that his desire is for obedience and intimacy. He calls me to be daughter to the king of kings first and foremost. I feel like a record stuck on repeat. My message to myself and anyone who cares to listen seams to be stuck on this truth. But maybe just maybe if I continue to preach it, we will get it, I will get it.

Saturday, October 26, 2013


What does it mean to live in a place of consistently abiding in the Father? As I have been serving on the base here in Lakeside, God has begun to challenge me to abide in him.

A few weeks ago I listened to a podcast by Andy Byrd (the pioneer of an evangelism ministry within YWAM). He was speaking on this issue of abiding. There was an illustration given within the message that really stuck in my mind. Picture a young father and his precious 3 or 4 year old baby girl. She runs around all day with an outrageous level of energy, as the evening rolls around exhaustion comes over her. Her dad fully knows she desperately needs rest so he scoops her into his arms. All this father desires for his baby girl is for her to rest in his arms but she struggles and fights and squirms, not wanting to give into rest.

 This is exactly what I look like... I run around like a chicken with it's head cut off unwilling to slow down. Exhausted, I become frustrated with how impossible it feels to obtain consistency in my relationship with Jesus. Every other day becomes a battle of spiritual lows and highs. I know it is said that it's impossible to live in a consistent high, yet I can't help but believe there is a point in your faith where you understand and believe so deeply in what Jesus has done that the lows melt away. I have a desire to see christians walk in such freedom that they are unscathed by the circumstances of each day, unmoved by negative emotions, and filled with unshakeable joy. This is what I chase after in my own life yet somehow that striving quickly begins to look like fighting the rest I so desperately need.

So what does chasing after these things have to do with abiding in the father? Well, the reason I desire these things is Jesus. I see people whose lives are characterized by these attributes and it is good. These people live in freedom like I have not seen before, they know their purpose, they know they were not created for this world and they live in a way that changes the world and the society around them. The reason the lives of these people are so attractive is not because they strive for these things the way I so often try to. If we could look into their hearts we would find at the very center of their actions is an overwhelming willingness to abide in the Lord. No matter how amazing these characteristics/truths are they are not going to get me or anyone closer to Him (Jesus). No, instead I must look to Jesus. I must fix my eyes on him; the author and perfecter of my faith.

Abiding in Him is all that God desires for us. YES we have been called to action, but that action absolutely must stem from a place of adoration for God. From a place of being at peace within the presence of the Holy Spirit. When I looked up the word abide this is what I found; to wait, to accept without objection, to remain stable or fixed in a state, to continue in a place, to stay, to have one's abode, dwelling, residing, to continue in a particular condition, lasting, to remain faithful. When I began to think about these more this is what I realized. Abiding has nothing to do with striving.

Abiding is waiting on the Lord. It is accepting his peace without objection, it is remaining stable and fixed in a state of companionship with Jesus, it is dwelling and residing in his presence. It is allowing God to do the things through us and in us that he desires, not striving to fix our own short comings and emotional roller-coasters but waiting in his presence, simply loving him and allowing him to move. It is faith and trust that says, "Jesus YOU are enough and everything else will fall into place if I simply stop fighting, squirming, striving, and just rest in your arms". It is from this place of abiding in Jesus that I gain the ability to be unscathed by circumstances, unmoved by emotions, and filled with joy. It is by resting in him that I will see his kingdom brought to earth, brought to my own life.

Monday, September 16, 2013

One Year

I am amazed at what can happen in just one year.

Yesterday I moved into my new home here on the YWAM Montana base. I began to realize that it was EXACTLY (down to the day) a year ago that I moved onto the YWAM Montana base to begin my Discipleship Training School. Now, one year later, here I am once again this time staffing the school that changed so much in my life.

A year ago, I never thought I would be calling this place my "permanent" home. Now, well, things have changed; this base has become dear to my heart! It isn't the building and land that I love but the hearts of those who live here. There is always encouragement, prayer or friend just around the corner. There is a common goal in the hearts of each staff and student, that goal is JESUS; seeing God move in hearts of the lost and walking out the great commission. There is a mindset in the air that says yes to what God is doing and gives fear and anxiety no place. There is a passion that is contagious; and our hope is that the world will catch it.

A year ago, I never thought I would be putting my occupation to "missionary". THAT is a testament to God moving, I have one life and my desire is to live it for the one who saved it. The gospel is powerful, I desire to allow it to transform my everyday into something that changes this world for God's kingdom, I desire to allow it to transform me into something that looks like Jesus, I desire to share it with others and watch it transform their lives. I am grateful for the courage God has given me to chase after doing something that a year ago I would have thought crazy and impossible. I have been amazed at watching God provide. I am scared I will mess up, but I know that God moves in the weak things. I do not want to move from my own might but from God's unfailing strength. I do not want to counsel from my own knowledge but from God's wisdom. I do not want to live my life with dreams undone but with stories of God's faithfulness.

I am feeling so blessed and in awe of a God who knew from my first day of DTS what he had planned and knows from my first day of staff what he has planned for years to come.

Dare to not only dream, but courageously dive into the empty pool in full faith that God will provide the water to catch you.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Growing Pains

"It is finally starting to hit me that this next chapter is truly beginning. I packed my first box today in preparation for moving onto the YWAM base: a somewhat bittersweet experience. I am so excited to go and start working at YWAM but grasping onto this new thing also means letting go of some old things. Growth pains are beginning and although they can be painful it feels good to know that things are moving along the way God intends them to."

This is a snip-it from an email I sent out this past week, after reading over it again I realized how well it sums up these past weeks. I leave for the YWAM base in exactly a week from today and excitement is beginning to rise; with this excitement, and the boxes that begin to stack up in my room, also comes a huge realization.

God has blessed me with a family who encourages me, makes me laugh consistently, and is always a safe haven. I love our home and the relationships that are built under its roof. I am so excited to go and start this new chapter but my realization is that it means growing up. Just like growing pains I can feel that my spiritual growth and worldly standard of adulthood are in the process of rapidly changing.  For that growth to happen there is also a certain level of ache that comes. The ache I feel is not that of my bones growing but that of letting go of the past. A lesson that God began in me during my DTS was that of letting go. This is one more step in the right direction to be able to let go of the need to control my life. Instead I must wait with open hands for Jesus to place something out of this world in them. Moving out means letting go of a home that I love dearly. I am excited for this change but must learn the meaning of accepting Jesus peace everyday. It is easy for me to get caught up in anxieties that growing up brings but nothing peeks my curiosity more than to realize that life begins when I let go. Discovering all of the adventures God has for my life is something that no anxiety will hold back from me. He is good, and He withholds no good things from those who love Him. THIS is a truth I am still working on. I love him. He has good things planned. Simple as that.

As everything has been falling into place to go on staff I have gotten a small glimpse of the way God uses EVERYTHING to speak to his children and to gain their trust so that they might actually let go of control. Summer jobs, bosses, family, friendships, sun, rain, coffee and finances have been a few tools he has used to work on me.

In my last post I talked about trusting God with my finances to go on staff. Well, God has provided. A week ago I sat on my bed with my calendar in front of me. The fourteen days that were left until the day I am suppose to move stared back at me in a very intimidating way. My heart sank realizing that I only had half of the monthly support I needed. As I breathed out a sigh a released a small prayer, "God, are you going to provide?" He responded with a simple, "Are you going to be patient?" As I closed my calender my phone rang. As I answered a familiar voice came through the earpiece. I smiled as we talked and then came the tears. I couldn't believe what I was hearing. The person on the other end of the phone was telling me they were going to support me and the amount they wanted to give would only leave me with a very small portion still needed. Amazing provision. A few hours later, I was in town running errands when my mom called me telling me that I had received a letter in the mail containing an offering that would complete my monthly support for all two years on staff....

What do I say. There are no words to describe how I feel but, blessed and so loved by a God that is far beyond anything that I can understand. This God is the reason growing pains are worth it; being closer to Him fades any anxiety this world can throw at those who love him. Will you choose to love him? He loves you regardless.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Climbing the Mountain

The most recent of adventures in my life  has brought me to my knees seeking God's guidance and peace. I feel weak, small, and so humbled in the wake of how God has been moving.

I officially have been accepted to be on staff with Youth With a Mission Montana. I will be returning to the YWAM base this September to start a two year commitment in the DTS department. I am so excited to join the other staff members as they strive to know God and make him known to students and the nations. This is a scary step that leaves me feeling as though I may fall but I want to trust that if I lean hard enough on Jesus I will be forced to move when he moves. I know that syncing my heart and actions to Jesus' will allow me to see his love, salvation, and peace brought to this broken world. That is what drives me to take this step. Jesus is worth it. The bible tells us to love God and love one-another and for the time being I feel as though God has led me to live that out by serving in YWAM. I am so far from knowing God fully and yet the small piece of Him I have tasted drives me to desire, no need more of him. He has changed my life and I want nothing more than to be a tool He can use to transform others. I know he does not need me to be able to move in  hearts but it thrills my soul to know he desires to use me.

Although YWAM is a fairly well know international ministry all staff are required to raise their own monthly support; I am no exception. I know nothing is to big for God but some how this still seams like a huge bolder in my path that I have to figure out how to climb over. I like to think I have to do it on my own but I can just picture God sitting there just waiting for me to stop flailing, turn around, and simply say, "Father, help, I am to weak." When I choose to do so not only does he help but also uses the opportunity to teach me some huge lessons in trust.

It is easy to believe for someone else that God will provide but when it comes to myself I seam to forget that truth. Someone told me a little quote that goes like this, "God loves to pay the bill for his will." I easily believe this truth for others but my faith falls short when applying it to my own life. God has used this time in my life to smack me over the head and tell me to trust him.  I have been praying for God's provision and have seen him begin to provide. (To be honest I broke down crying when some family friends told me they wanted to be part of my ministry through monthly support.) It became so real to me that God truly meant that he would provide for ME! I am not the exception to the rule of God's faithfulness but a story of proof. God is as faithful in Billy Grahams life as he is in mine and yours.

There is a song that came on while I was writing this it is called "Nothing I Hold Onto" by Will Reagan. Here are the lyrics:

I lean not on my own understanding
My life is in the hands of the Maker of heaven

I give it all to You God
trusting that you'll make something beautiful out of me

There's nothing I hold on to
There's nothing I hold on to
There's nothing I hold on to
There's nothing I hold on to

I will climb this mountain with my hands wide open

I will climb this mountain with my hands wide open

This is what we must all choose to live like. I cant hold onto fear of anything. God's love is the absent of fear and if my desire is to know him I must choose to trust. I know this next chapter in my life will bring trials, fears, anxiety, probably financial burden at times but i would rather fling my arms wide open in total abandon trusting that God will use my life for something beautiful than to be "safe" and living in control of my life. Every bolder that falls in my path is just another part of the mountain that I am climbing. When I hold onto Jesus alone I will make it to my ultimate destination.