Sunday, February 27, 2011


Often times in my walk I come reread what God had me write in previous posts. They encourage my soul and I love to hear Him, fresh and new. Most days the original intent of the post is not at all what God has me see when I re read things. I love that about God's word. It's living and active, and I often feel like my words here are for me too.. ok, I feel that a ton.. i'l be honest.

That being said, today's post is straight from my prayer journal back in December. Funny thing is, God spoke again newness into this verse just today while I re read it.  Well, in hopes that I someday look back at this moment between God and I and see it differently.. I'm posting it below. Can I remind you that it's 2:14 in the morning.. and well, at that time my theology might be a bit off.. so no comments on the Judah thing.. apparently it meant something at the time.

My other intended purpose as to publishing something so raw is this..

I listened to a national Christian speaker live, she was taping for her radio show. It was raw and very real. She coughed and cleared her throat. She lost her place and had to ask someone who was following along in their notes where she was. Point being.. here I thought she was a magnificent speaker, but truth is she's not. I don't mean that in a bad way. Her teaching is straight out of the Word, but God in his mercy and grace surrounded her with people who know how to edit. Listening to her in the raw spoke to me. It brought her down from a pedestal that I had unknowingly put her on. People are real. They make mistakes, no big deal. The Word is still preached, and God promises that it will not come back void.


I can't sleep, my mind is racing- floating from one thought to the next- so I thought I'd come here and focus on You- the Great Thought Giver.

Father, I praise you today for Life, You created me. You know me intimately, You alone know of who I was and who I am becoming. The path that I have taken to get here- in this place- haven't all been easy, but You knew them all! How can I ever repay what you do for me?

I ask in these quiet moments that you sanctify me in Truth, for You Word is Truth!

"You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on You. Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord God is as everlasting rock!" Isaiah 26

it's talking about peace, and how God gives it, if we seek it. This particular chapter makes me think of my life actually, kinda strange, but am I not Judah? a land who was captured and over taken by satan- only to be freed by God later with much more knowledge and grace and holiness? 

You have done for us all our works.

I am nothing, consume me, In your name I pray, Amen  I love you!! 

Friday, February 25, 2011

the blessing concert.

It begins softly. A lullaby that caresses your soul. 
Preparing you for something. The something that you just don't know, but you feel.
You start the movement, with a wave of your hand. 
A breathing on of the Holy Sprit is what you pray for. 
Fan the flame. 
Ask, Seek, Knock.
Gently giving thoughts and feelings to the One who can control. 
You embrace the music, hope to get 100 ahead, and He whispers to your soul.

"I got this.. sleep." 

You wake.

Coffee brings the senses to life and you stare at the screen. 
What do you say when your faced with the reality that what your looking at is 
straight from the hand of God?

Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth!
Serve the Lord with gladness! 
Come into His presence with singing!
Psalms 100:1-2

Friends become brothers. 
Friends become sisters.
Strangers pick up the cause.
and overnight, while you slept.
God worked a miracle.
As the music plays, blessings compound and create tears that flow freely.

A minor key starts. 
Forcing your gaze away from the Conductor.
Do you dare believe that God would give such a gift to your son? 
Did you read the post right? Is it really a full scholarship to a music camp? 
Is it crazy to have just spent your day off asking people to join your cause?
You are crazy.. you don't deserve this. 
Doubts flood your mind.. is this the Way in which your supposed to be walking?
You just made a fool of yourself. 

and God grabs your face and begins to sing louder and louder to your soul again and again.

"Rest... i got this."

And the all fuss and doubts wash away in the rhythm of His hand.

The radio station calls.
"Your son is a winner."

and He says...

"Enjoy...I love you." 


Tears are flowing from my eyes as I try to put into meager words the events of the past two days. It was just a scholarship give away on a radio station, but it became so much more. A campaign between friends, family and strangers.  I'm simply amazed at how God works.. sometimes.. you just don't have the appropriate words, at all.. and thats really frustrating to a gal like me.  If you had any part in this movement a thank you just isn't enough, but it's all I got. 

It truly is Another Happy Day.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


"The Lord is near to the brokenhearted 
and saves the crushed in spirit."
Psalm 34:18

Isn't that what we all hate to be? It's what we fear the most. To lose all sense of direction and concreteness about anything. When the questions mount up thick and drip into each other making clarity obsolete. When going through the motions is like murder on your soul and body. People around you stay silent because they don't really know what to say... so they speak no words, making you believe in your broken state that maybe your crazy.. and if you really believed God you'd be ok, because He loves you and knows the plans for you, not to harm or hurt you. You pour scripture into your soul.. hoping beyond reason that maybe something will stick and you will be "better" or maybe get enough courage to at least take a shower.

You are broken.

You yell and question God at these times, "If you really really loved me.. " Feeling dictates your motions and motions dictate your feelings.. it's a never ending cycle of pain, and you just want off. You just want this to be happening to anyone but you.. so you can play the silent one, the one that is oblivious to the pain that you carry. 

And you know deep down that there is joy somewhere, but you can't see it, feel it, even if it came knocking on your door dressed in a maid's outfit ready to scrub toilets you wouldn't see it. 

Joy is illusive. It's so far from the concept of living that you can't even grasp that thought, so you keep walking, feeling, living.. sorda.

There is another side to being broken. The one I can see now. 2 years ago, if you would have told me this I would have told you to "go to hell, and take your cat with you."  

The opposite of broken.. is not fixed.

It's learning. 

Learning to lean on Him, learning that people really do care about you, Learning that everything about anything can be found in the Word. Learning to shower again while crying, Learning that you really are loved so much by a God who created you. Learning that He wants to be your joy. Learning to feel, and move on. Learning to say goodbye to old hurts and hangups. Learning to see Him through different colored glasses. Learning to open your mouth when He wants to feed you. Learning the difference between mercy and grace, joy and pain, obedience and trust. 

Learning that although you are broken.. you have roots that are anchored into a God so big that he'd never let you go. He can't.. He lives inside you. 

It may be the hardest thing you'll ever do. Learning to focus on the learning instead of concentrating on the broken, and you might think I'm losing it, but really.. the bigger picture is that your not totally broken.. your just learning the deep deep things of God, and from someone who has walked through a season of brokeness.. hang on, learn to lean and walk on. I'm thinking God has for you bigger things that what you can even conceive. 

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

maturing approval.

He ran up to me to show me his fingers. 

 Normally he wants nothing to do with my antics to get him involved, but today it's different.
Joy spreads across his face and he yells at his mom, 
who is walking the baby in a stroller around the track while we play. 
"Mom, look at me!" 

and I wonder if those around me can hear my thoughts.

Do we ever stop wanting approval of people who love us?

Do we ever get to old to stop waving our
 smudgy little fingers in the face of those who care..
"Look at me."

Does the need for approval just translate into
 please confirm that you love me? 

or the need to know what your doing is important?

 What does it look like to outgrow this 3 year old "look at me" mentality?
What does a life that looks for no approval actually look like? 

Does God even expect us to live without getting approval from humans no matter what our age?
and the questions keep mounting. 

There was this guy in the Bible, John the Baptist.. you know the one, that guy who dressed funny and ate bugs, and had the awesome responsibility of telling people that the Savior was coming.  Long story very short.. Toward the end of his life on earth he was thrown in prison and it was there in prison he hears through the grapevine that Jesus is walking around raising people from the dead... and John the Baptist wants to know if this is the Savior who he was telling everyone about. So, he sends some folks to go check out the story.

Well, Jesus confirms to John's people that He is the One and then John's messengers high tailed it back to John in prison.  So, after John's people leave.. Jesus says this to those around him.

 "I tell you, among those born of women none is greater than John, 
Yet the one who is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he."
Luke 7:28

Approval. Yes, John you did a great job. I see you, and John didn't even get to hear it..  I'm sure there was but minutes between verses in this book of the Bible. Minutes that would have made a difference between what John's people heard, and what they didn't.. so why didn't God let  them stay long enough to hear Jesus's words about John? 

In the search for answers you stumble on the greatest gift.. the uncovering of something so beautiful that your glad you asked the hard questions.  You find a faith that is living and breathing. A faith in a God who wants to hold you so close that people see Him, not you.. so he gets the glory. God wants us to know that approval is the lesser and  just knowing that Jesus is alive, active and here is enough.

but when your 3, you don't have the maturity to know this...

Monday, February 21, 2011

the limited donkey gig.

Enter: Balaam.   Know him?

He's the man who was riding the donkey who talked in the bible. In the book of Numbers to be exact. Ok, so he was a major fence sitter. Profiting from both good and evil deeds.. a soothsayer. He used words to get his point across. Imagine my surprise when God woke me up out of a dead sleep to remind me that donkey's do indeed talk.

My biggest question was... why do I have to study Balaam? the talking donkey gig is so overused.

A bit perturbed, I go on the hunt.. bring out the big books that the Lead Singer has on the shelves that are full of print that you have to be super human to read it's so small. And I find something so cool.. that I just have to share it with you.

The donkey... was a female.

not what you expected?

Welcome to my world. Here I was hoping that God had this amazing adventure in this story in Numbers, and all I come away with so far is that Balaam's donkey was a girl. God impresses on my heart to dig further.. look closer.

Well, female donkeys are loyal, almost always doing exactly what they are "told." They are hard workers and very very strong. They will do anything for you, even keeping you from harm... they are that loyal, but as far as I know, they don't normally talk.. oh and they are called jennys.

"And the donkey saw the angel of the Lord standing in the road, with a drawn sword in his hand." 
Numbers 22:23

The donkey. She saw and she did something. She ran off the road, she ran into a cliff, she unintentionally hurt the man she carried... to save him from what she thought was a danger.

And Balaam responded in anger, harsh words. physical abuse.

That's when the donkey talked. 

"What have I done to you, 
that you have stuck me these three times?"

and Balaam answered her.

Have you ever thought it weird that Balaam talked back to his donkey? He didn't stop and say.. "Wow my donkey just talked..." Balaam had lost it, he wasn't even thinking clearly.

 God in all his wisdom and glory came and showed Himself strong.

"Then the Lord, opened the eyes of Balaam, 
and and he saw the angel of the Lord 
standing in the way, with his drawn sword in his hand, 
and he bowed down and fell on his face."

It's not as cold outside as it has been, and the snow capped parking lots are melting back into form and function. He has come to make things new. He in His great splendor designed creation so that life wouldn't be a vast tundra of frozen forever. He uses whatever possible to melt whatever He wants.. so that the beauty underneath can be uncovered and seen. He even uses talking donkeys, which I'm certain the sex of the animal is not the point.

The story of Balaam goes on of course, God filled him with His words

Balaam needed a major heart and behavior melt so dramatic that it altered his course so that God could shine His glory. How fun to know that God would use any means possible to get to us. He loves us that much. His Words are that important.

I stand back, looking into the Words of the Creator, and I breathe Him in deep, and my heart melts once again. He would use anything. Anything.

How often do I limit Him?

Sunday, February 20, 2011


I'm not even supposed to be there. My dad wanted to call and tell us to stay home. Ice, sleet, rain, bipolar weather, the game changer? It's Sunday. The day we fellowship on purpose with brothers and sister's who believe and walk the same road. I want to be there, I don't want to miss. I live for the weekly bread that I get to share with my family. 

Two services in, I find myself outside trying yet again to capture Glory in a lens. 

I search. I comb my heart for anything He'd not want to stand next to.  

Stones. Frozen stones that beg me to tell the story that I don't even know myself.  A mini alter to Him? Stones of remembrance? For all I know some child probably was playing and these are stones for a battle, hidden while the enemy lurks about in nearness.

and I want to pick one up and hurl it at him, the enemy. I get so sick of his games. his lies, his tendency to dress things in light only to be uncovered and shown for the crap it really is. I hate that my heart is forced to hate anything so dark. 

My sweet mom used to tell us girls when we'd scream at each other in those years between, "You don't hate anything."  

Yes mom, yes I do.

I hate evil.

I hate what it does to families, to parents,  to churches, to marriages, to siblings, to businesses, to me.

I hate that it hits me when I least expect it and alters my thinking. I hate that it seems to win in those moments.  I hate that feeling of letting God down in the important moments. The moments that matter.

My heart is bare open before Him, the One that matters, and I'm getting a free facial from the ice that is pelting my skin.  "May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience." I step knee deep in a snow drift. 

The reality of my journey is interrupted by the Word from Colossians 1:11.  The Word that loves, the Word that overcame evil, so that we wouldn't have to carry it. Endurance and patience, they go together. They can't be separated. The evidence of maturity. The holding of Love so close that evil has no room to grow. The endurance and patience that holds on even when evil is lurking right around the next isle. 

"For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.. another verse from the same book hits me as I write. We are rescued. Evil has no hold on us... ever. 

This is what my brothers and sister were telling me when the words from their daily bread hit my ears this morning. Walking in the wee morning hours praying, reading and studying prayer, recording truth onto a CD so lives can be changed.. It's all rock throwing at evil... It rings true in my heart and I hear for the umpteenth time that learning to walk this road takes time and energy, a community to belong to,  and of course endurance and patience.

The world needs more rock throwers. 

Saturday, February 19, 2011

the power of touching.

I repeat the mantra a bazillion times during the evening.  I'm just learning. I don't take faces, no worries I didn't get you, smile and nod. No, I have no plans for the images that God paints in front of me. 

I silently pray between the "asks."  
Meet me, open my eyes, let me see You

I say aloud to her. "I just want to be good at something." 
She says at least 10 times back,  "You are good."  

I sink back into that paradigm every time. Not good enough, Not worthy to behold such glory.

Glory that He gives. Glory that I want to capture every time I pick up my camera. Skills desired, to show this image consumed culture what He really looks like. The Word in pictures, and I feel like I fail.. again and again.

Meet me. Let me see. Open my eyes.

Looking into creation that He calls "very good."  Tender songs from a God that loves."Open your eyes, child.. I am here." echo in my ear.  I laugh and joke around, but my heart is in search for that one moment where God shouts.. "Over here! I want you to see this!!"

With one touch He opens my eyes. With a touch reminded again that it's I in need of His touch.

"Someone touched me, 
for I perceive that power has gone out of me."
Luke 8:46

 I stare, wide eyed open into the power of touch, and it consumes me, and I find myself silently changing my prayers to the God that touches.

"Touch them like they are touching others."  

When you are touched.. you can't help but touch others. My old paradigm melts back into that place where it belongs.. and I know I've beheld Glory, touched.

ShineFest is a community network of churches and businesses
 dedicated to improving our community
 in an act of Christian unity and love. 
It's this network that touches because they have been Touched.

Friday, February 18, 2011

repainting the frontline.

Physically there, I had just peeled off all my layers
 after running outside for the first time this year. 
Tired, weary, and sweaty. I sit and join the front line. 

A man walks in carrying a stick, but it  morphs into a sword in my eyes.

 A sword of Truth. 

He speaks, and my senses perk.
 Calling others to a battle, his voice is louder than I have ever heard him use. 


 God given Words, edging their way into my thoughts and I sit captivated.

 We converse. 
Speaking of the Holy, meditating on Him who is in us.  
He fills the canvas.
 A canvas that had been standing empty confident bare.

I leave after just the first hour, filled. 
I giggle aloud in the car on the way home
 if I come to the frontline for Him, or if He comes for me.

The conversation between God and I continues in the wee hours of the morning.

"So the sword is given to be polished, 
that it may be grasped in the hand. 
It is sharpened and polished
 to be given in the hand of the slayer."
Ezekiel 21:11a

Prayer: words that give evil motivation to move out.
 I am a slayer. A Warrior. 
I defeat evil with confidence.

and He gets all the glory... again. 

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

unfolding of a cornerstone.

I stepped across the threshold and I was immediately taken back to high school. The building back then  was a Christian book store and almost every payday I'd jump in my Ford Escort and head to the big city to find a new tape. Music, full of words that drenched my soul in Him. The place where I was standing now, is that place. And I feel Him unfold my thoughts as I fumble with my lens, trying so hard to be good at something.. capturing light in a dark place. 

It's there, in this building that I meet the men that He has chosen to carry the torch forward, and I am in awe of the sparkle of light that I catch in their eyes. Men that see through the darkness surrounding them, wanting once again to offer the Light to souls who come to the city for nourishment. 

I fail miserably at capturing the light with my lens,  but is that my purpose? 

I had come to capture what was in that building. The before. The Light.  

I had come to capture the Word. 

"The unfolding of your words gives light; 
it imparts understanding to the simple." 
 Psalm 119:130

I discover that the Word made flesh is right before my eyes. He has come and the building is twitching with excitement.  Yes, it's in need of great repair. A total makeover. But isn't that what's needed whenever the Word becomes new? 

A fresh drenching of the Light. Washing clean what once was. Giving understanding to the people who thirst. The Word, casting Light in the darkness. It's what captures me. 

And I find myself, bubbling over with anticipation of what will come of this Light to this city, and I want to capture every moment of the transformation. To become part of the movement to establish a place that enables ordinary folks to see, feel, and live in the Light. A place where souls are cared for, tenderly and prayerfully. A place where folks learn to live in the Light.

This building, it's holy ground, and as I walk around, carefully stepping in the darkness that surround me I'm certain I hear God's whisper..

"This Cornerstone.. it's Mine, and I'm drenching it in my Word."

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

risky business.

You get to start with this perfect untouched canvas, and you paint it white. Then you are told step by step how to paint like the master himself, Bob Ross. Tap, tap, tapping your way to what was supposed to become beauty. Every time your brush or that silly butter knife thingy hit the canvas you committed to doing something with the paint.. to form it into something. It was risk upon risk, piled right on top of each other until the Bob Ross in you was showing for all the world to see. 7 hours later, famished and full of oil paint from your head to your toes.. you emerge as a graduate of your very first oil painting experience.

"My soul clings to the dust;
give me life according to your word!"
Psalm 119:25

When you emerge and show people your fruit of the last 7 hours.. they are amazed. "You really did that?"

Yes, and it was easy.. except that it wasn't.

It's the risk upon risk.

The moments when you have to commit to stepping into the Master's plan... you lose all control, and you know it. You know that there is dust left from just living the life you have always known.. why on earth would you want to ruin anything as beautiful as God's canvas with the dust from your messed up life.

But the painting won't get painted without the brush you hold in your hand. The Word that He put there for you to use. It's a huge risk, to lose all control, to abandon what you know and lose yourself in His Plan. To gather enough courage and confidence from Him to commit to painting a new picture.

  A picture that He allows us to sign,
so that when other people look at it  they ask,"You really did that?"
and you get to tell them.. "Nope, God did."
 and you hand them them a brush....