Monday, December 31, 2012

Looking back

              When looking at back at the end of each year, I am floored by all that God has done in my life that year (and am continual amazement in all that He has done for me in my life)! At the mountain tops and the lowest points of the valley of each and every year, He has been faithful to carry me through it all. And this year has been no different!I look forward to what He has in store for 2013 with great anticipation!!

Spiritual lesson of 2012: I am underservingly covered by His grace (though I already knew this..God pressed this lesson into me through Bible studies, BSF, and the Lightbearers Institute)

Some highlights of my personal life in 2012:
- I finally finished my degree at the University of Arkansas in April of this year...A HUGE HUGE THANK-YOU to all of those who pushed me & encouraged me to make that finish!!
- I went on a mission trip to Haiti in July where we saw 80+ give their lives to Christ!!!!
- started training for a half-marathon (hampered by various things) but am now starting that training again...
- I started enjoying cooking, trying new recipes, & sort of inventing new recipes of my own...
- I learned how to (and still learning) knit!!
- my friends have been beyond awesome to me and being there for me through it all!

Thankful for all God has done in this last year & I hope that as this year comes to a close (literally in 2.5 hours) that you will pause to praise God for all that He has done for you this year and all that He will do for you in 2013!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

struggles & comfort

           I have fought writing this blog entry for the last few days but I know that it is one that God wants me to write.
           I have struggled my whole life with being vulnerable. Mostly because I hate being the center of attention. But yet I know that being vulnerable can help one deal with things & it can help others who dealing with similar things. So here I am writing this entry, praying that God will use it for His glory and along the way that it will help someone who has dealt with similar things as I have.
             As many of you know my dad passed away almost a year and half ago from the complications of many health problems. I have come to realize that I suppressed a lot of my emotions during the holidays last year. Honestly, I think I tried to push my dad's death to the furthest corner of my mind as I could and tried not to think about last year during the holiday season. Well since the one year anniversary of my dad's death in July, my mom & dad's anniversary on Veteran's Day, Thanksgiving, and now Christmas I have had a very hard time dealing with his death. When trying to deal with his death and some other things a couple of weeks ago, I spent some time praying and listening to the song Lead Me to the Cross. I prayed that the Lord would lead me to the Jesus & the cross in dealing with my emotions. I had been reading the book of Matthew in my quiet times. Well yesterday I finished reading the book of Matthew. The very last verse of the last chapter, which says "And behold, I am with you always to the end of the age," stuck out to me. Because Jesus came to this earth as a baby, lived a perfect life, and died on the cross He is always with me in the form of the Holy Spirit. This Christmas (and everyday after that) I am thankful for the reminder that God came to the earth as a baby so that He could be Emanuel "God with us." Oh what comfort this is as I deal with my dad's death and other things that I face in life.
         I pray that this has been a comfort for those who have lost loved ones & struggle with their loss at any point in their life. I also pray that this is a reminder for others what Christmas is really about.

P.S. My dad died a believer so praise Jesus my dad no longer suffers & I get to see him again one day in Heaven!!

Friday, December 14, 2012


 Tonight my heart is broken and at a lost for words for what happened in Connecticut today. I  pray for those directly and indirectly effected by the horrific tragedy that they would be held in the arms of Jesus as they try to understand, just as I try to, what has happened. I'm sure there are a lot of opinions on things should be handled or what needs to be done to prevent this from happening. I am staying away from that. I do encourage you to 1) pray for all involved 2) continue to pray for & share the Gospel with lost people in your life (it can & will have a lasting impact on tragedies like this) 3) make sure to let loved ones & friends know how much you love,cherish, & appreciate them
  I will leave with the words to the chorus of the song "Our God":
 "Our God is greater, our God is stronger, God you are higher than any other.
  Our God is Healer, Awesome in Power, Our God! Our God!"

Needed to write this post because my thoughts were too long to tweet or to post on facebook

Monday, November 12, 2012

Weighty issue

   Since I started studying the book of Genesis in BSF this year, the tie between sin and its effects has weighed heavily on my heart. (Not that I've never recognized sin and its effects before..that is one of the first steps to becoming a believer). The very first sin changed the course of history (there is now death, natural disasters, there is sickness & disease, etc), as does sin in our lives. Sin can and will drastically alter our lives. Just as God has shown me the weightiness of sin, God has shown me the vastness of His mercy! He was merciful to Adam & Eve when He removed them from the place where sin occurred and took them out of the garden. He was merciful to Cain when He would allow no one to kill him after he had killed his own brother. He has also shown mercy to me at the Cross and allowed me to have life when I deserve death! And even more incredible He makes those mercies a new everyday from Lamentations 3:22-23 (which He reminded me of tonight) and allows me to have a relationship with Him and u no longer have to be seperated from Hum because of my sin!

Just wanted to share what God had been teaching me recently :-)

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

A new hobby...

            Recently I have started cooking a lot of my meals. Partially to be more frugal with my money and partially to be more healthy I rarely even use the microwave except to reheat leftovers. That sentence alone would not have existed in my vocabulary six months ago. I used to eat anything and everything that was microwavable and never had leftovers to eat because I never cooked! Anyways, this cooking of my meals has led me to venture out and try new recipes. A good friend of mine told me of this website and how all their recipes were easy and healthy! So I've tried a few things from there: such as
Kale Chips

Garlic Roasted Cauliflower w/ Toasted Asaigo Cheese Breadcrumbs
Stuffed Pepper Soup

I have also made things such as lasagna and homemade waffles.  I am not at all trying to say look at what I have done....I just find it amusing (at least to me it is) that I suddenly enjoy cooking and when I get spare time I'm anxious to try find a new recipe to try making. I like seeing (and tasting!) the end results and knowing exactly what I have put into my food that I am eating. Just a new thing I like to do that I thought I'd share..

P.S. the next new thing that needs to follow is collecting these recipes in one spot (:

Tuesday, September 11, 2012


       As summer has been winding down (like officially ten days left..I think), I began to think & ponder on the goals that I set as summer was starting. To give you an update..I did well on drinking on water for a while (I got up to 8-10cups a day) and I got up to running 6-7miles. I never learned how to ride a bike..[but it can still happen :-)... ]
       But after getting so far in reaching two of my goals, I tailored off. I was thinking about why that happened today and I came to two conclusions. The first answer was pride. At church for the last two weeks we have been in a mini-sermon series on pride & how it destroys. I had reached my goal for water and I was able to run 6-7miles. But that was it. I was doing it. I wasn't giving God the glory for it and I wasn't asking God to give me strength to continue in both goals. The second answer is God wanted me to rest and rest in Him. Over the last three weeks, I have broken my pinky toe, probably had strep, had a bad bout with allergies, and if that wasn't enough to slow me down, I started this weekend to have trouble with my asthma and one of my knees. I do not at all share these problems with you for sympathy, but to show you how God was trying to get me to slow down and not become consumed with "good things" such as running and drinking water but to be consumed by Him and Him alone. So I haven't given up on these goals or just ended them because the summer season is over but instead am excited to continue this fall. But this time with a new mindset and heart. I want to these things to bring God glory. Drinking water can bring God glory because it shows that we are taking care of the body that He entrusted us with. My running can bring Him glory because it will be by His power alone that I am able to do it. But if He wants me to slow down with running and to take a break, I need to be okay with that and not become prideful & consumed with I think I can do but rest in what God wants me to do.
     I am adding a new goal to my list. Tonight I started back at BSF and we are going through the book of Genesis this year. My goal is to do my lessons daily as they are designed and not to put them off to the last minute. I know that this will be not only crucial in my participation on Tuesday evenings, but will also help me learn on a deeper level about my Creator (and I'm so excited about it this year!!)
     I know that in my power I will fail, but it is my prayer that I just rest in what God wants me to do this fall.


Saturday, August 11, 2012

what happens at the kitchen table (a few Haiti memories)

              What happens at the kitchen table? Most people eat meals there, you would say. One of my roommates just moved a kitchen table into our apartment a week ago. Tonight as I was eating dinner there, I was reminded of how memories are made there as well. I was reminded of memories made at the table during my journey to Haiti.
              For every meal (breakfast, lunch, & dinner) all five of us plus Norma (most of the time) & some of the JoyHouse staff would eat together at the table. I really enjoyed this because it made us feel like family and I really got to know my teammates (because we were spending quality time with each other) or I got to know more about the Haitian culture. This is something I want to carry on here in the States. I want to make sure that I am spending quality time with others and not just rushing off to the next thing. Another memory that thinking about the table brought back was the food we ate while in Haiti. We ate a lot of fresh fruit while were there. In fact we had fresh fruit at every meal. My favorite was the watermelon and the mango.
           My memories of Haiti also included how God showed how big He is through the way He blew our minds away with the number of salvations, number of people we saw at the medical clinic, and the number of kids that we saw come to VBS (which I wrote about in the last blogpost).I am so thankful for what God did on this journey to Haiti. I am also thankful for how God used this journey to open the door for conversations about Him & His Son. Before I even left, I got to share with two gas station attendants (at a gas station near my job that I go to every day if not every other day) about what I would be doing and thus opened the door to talk them about my faith in God. Also one of the plane rides (from Miami to Port-au-Prince) I sat next to Haitian who asked me why I was going to Haiti. I told him about what I was doing in Haiti. It then opened the door for him to ask questions about how the Trinity was possible or for us talk about what happens when we die. For him things needed to be logical and scientifically proven. By the end of the conversation he was asking me how he could have faith in God like I did. I got to lead him through Romans & pray for him that God would reveal himself to him!!
             I am thankful that God uses all things, like the kitchen table and my journey to Haiti, for His glory!! I can't wait to share more memories of what God did in my journey to Haiti. (I am still working on going through all my pictures & journal and hope to have some more daily memories up soon!!)

****Please continue to pray for Alex (the guy that I talked to on the flight from Miami to Port-au-Prince) that God would continue to reveal Himself to Alex
***also please continue to pray for the support I need to pay for this journey to Haiti. The last count I had was that I still needed about $1400..Please let me know if you are interested in supporting me financially & I will let you know how to do that.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

My God is not dead: Overview of Journey to Haiti

            I've been home for a couple of days & have had time to think about all that God did on this journey to Haiti. I plan on doing a blog entry of the day by day stuff we did in Haiti but for now I will give you a brief overview.
            I met my team members a week before we were to go on the journey & from the start it was evident that it was a team put together by God! We worked so well together and by the end of the trip we were like family. We were a small team of 5. But our team of 5 with the help of JoyHouse staff & members of the church were able to see a total of 82 salvations (8 at church, 2 at first morning of preventative medical clinic, 15 at second morning of medical clinic, & 57 at three days of VBS..)!! We helped do two preventative medical clinics (saw 40 patients at the first one we did & 80 patients at the second one). We hosted VBS for at risk street kids. We expected to have between 75-90 kids. We had an average of 150 street kids each of the three days & 50 church kids each of the three days come (for a total of 200 kids). So with the stats about VBS & number of salvations...1/3 of our VBS street kids came to know Christ. It was only in Christ alone that these things were accomplished!!!
           God also taught me many things through this journey (which I will detail in another blogpost)..One thing I know for sure is that God is not dead!! He is alive!! Without Him nothing would have been accomplished & we would not have seen His glory put on display the way we did with Him blowing our minds away!!

I have put many pics up on facebook & will try to post the rest over the course of the next few days AND will fill you in on other details of the trip over the next few days.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Freedom in Christ


        Have you ever had one of those weeks,weekends, days, etc where it feels like God is pounding something into you? The same lesson comes up at church in the sermon, in your quiet times, in conversations... Definitely happened to me this last week (and weekend.)
          Every year (and this happens at other times as well) during the time surround the 4th of July, I am always reminded to be thankful for the freedom I have to choose to worship God (because others around the world do not have that freedom) and to be thankful for the men and women who fight (or have fought ) for that freedom I have. This year, however, the Lord brought it a little closer to home and asked me "What am I doing with that freedom?" This weekend I got to go visit my friend in her hometown. (side note: I enjoyed that time!! We swam, ate together, went to the park with her kids, and got to do some catching up.)  At her church this morning the sermon was on the freedom of Christ according to the apostle Paul. One thing that really resonated with me was: How am I using my freedom in Christ to glorify God? I am free to worship, share the Gospel with others, go to church...the list goes on. During my quiet time before church this morning I was reflecting on the same what I'm doing with my time/energy/possessions glorifying Christ? During my driving time this weekend, the Lord kept bringing that to mind as well. He kept asking me am I doing everything I can to glorify Him in every part of my life or am I holding back in any areas?
   Another thing the Lord taught me on Saturday during my quiet time on Saturday was that He is in control & I need to just walk by faith. There are several areas of my life that I layed at Jesus' feet on Saturday and He remind of me the verse in Psalms that says "Be still and know that I am God." I need to just recognize that He is God and has everything under control.
This ties together in that in areas of my life that I struggle with, I can glorify Christ by recognizing His control over everything and I can use those things to glorify Him by sharing with others what He has done for me.

 *** look for a blog post in the next couple of days in what God is already doing in & through my journey to Haiti that is less than two weeks away now ;-)

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Haiti, VBX, Half-marathon training,

   It's been a while since I've posted a blog entry...
 A couple of weeks ago at church we had VBX and I worked with the 2-3yr olds. Let me take a side-step and say it was so much fun watching the preschoolers learn about the greatness of God. One thing that completely warmed my heart was when we did "offering time" each night, the kids would get so excited about giving their money to help others. The other thing that was a blessing was seeing kids worship with their families on the last night of VBX (family night.) 
     Last week was a particularly hard week in the training for the half marathon and the giving up of the mountain dew. I have to be honest that there times when I was ready to give up on both simply because both were hard. But God brought to mind Philippians 4:13 which says "I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength." I kept praying God give me the strength. On Saturday I was able to run five miles (without stopping) and as of right now as I am sitting here typing this blog, I have only had one caffeinated beverage (and yes it was a diet mountain dew) today. This journey of giving up the diet mountain dew will continue to be hard but I know that God will give me the strength to do what He has called me to do! (and he will do it for you to if you just ask for it!!)
   Next update: HAITI...Can't believe it's so soon!!! I leave in 23 days (in just over 3 weeks)!! I am so excited about what God is going to do there!! Here's how you can pray for this journey to Haiti:
        1) pray for protection of the team members (physical & spiritual)
        2) pray that we would all be able to raise the amount of financial
             support necessary...
        3) that God would be begin to soften & prepare the lives to be
            changed by the Gospel


Saturday, June 9, 2012

Update on Summer goals/plans

     I love how the LORD likes to use analogies in my life. For example, as I was running today I was focused on making it to running for thirty minutes without stopping. I ran on a treadmill and throughout the run I kept looking at the screen to see if I had reached my endpoint. As I was reflecting on my run today Philippians 3:14, which says "I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call in God in Christ Jesus," came to mind. The analogy, which is a very commonly known one, that the Lord reminded me of was that this life is like running a race and that we press on toward a prize (in running the finish line and in the Christian life it's Heaven.) Yes, I am beyond excited that I have reached the first part of my goal in the half-marathon training in being able to run thirty minutes without stopping. I am also thankful how the Lord is teaching/reminding me of scripture as I work toward the goal.
     As for "water goal", the drinking more water and reducing the amount of Diet Dew I drink is going. I've slowly increased the amount of water that I drink but the amount of Diet Dew is not decreasing.
    I have picked back up on my reading through the Bible in a year this week. The Lord has used this as well to teach/speak to me. I am reading a chronological plan and right now I'm towards the end of the book of Job. Each of Job's friends try to offer explanation to Job for the suffering that he is going through. One thing I've noticed is that his friends are not edifying, or building up, Job in his faith. As I reflected about how this applied in my life two things came to mine 1) I pray that I am edifying to my friends in their faith and that the Lord would show me how to be better at this and 2) I am thankful for the friends God has placed in my life who speak truth to me but at the same time edify me in my faith.

  As for a Haiti update: I am working on & hope to have my support letters out this weekend. I can't believe that journey is only six weeks away!!! Please begin to pray with me for Gospel opportunities & for changed lives.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

"I can do nothing without Christ"

           My main purpose when I decided on my goals for the summer were to glorify the Lord with what I was doing. Little did I know that He was going to be teaching me lessons through them. I have started running (my goal is to get to 30 min of running without stopping this week so that I can start a half-marathon running plan next week) and it has been hard. It has been hard on the endurance part. I get five minutes in & I feel like I just want to give up. My goal of cutting back on the Diet Mountain Dew and drinking more water has been hard. The Lord has shown me why it has been hard. That is because I try to do all these things in my own strength. One of my favorite verses is Philippians 4:13 which says "I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength." If you think of that verse in opposite terms "I can do nothing without Christ," it makes one think of what Philippians 4:13 is talking about...Everything I set out to do can only be done with the strength that Christ gives me to it with, NOT WITH MY OWN STRENGTH! Something that I am going start praying is "God give me the strength to accomplish these tasks & remind me when I am trying to do it on my own strength." 

Though it's been hard, I am thankful that the LORD is teaching me the lesson of "I can do nothing without Christ!"

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

New summer plans & new summer goal

               In the last blogpost I posted about three goals I had for this summer. In addition to those goals, I've added one more goal. I've decided that I want to by mid-August have the number of Diet Mountain Dews I drink to 1-2 (it is currently at 7-8 a day) a day and I want to drink 8-10 cups of water a day by mid-August. I want to do this so that I can be more healthy but most of all to glorify God with what I put in to my body.
                I also have a huge praise to share with you all. Since finding out about a month ago that I would not be going to Malawi this summer, I have prayed that God would show me the next steps I am to be taking in regards to mission. Very specifically in the last week, I have been praying that God would show me what (& if I'm supposed) short term mission trip I'm supposed go on this year. (CrossChurch is having a campaign of having people go on a short-term mission journey during the 2012 year & I know that I'm supposed to participate in that.) This last Friday I had a conversation with a friend about the possibility of going to Haiti at the end of July for a week.I told her that I was going to spend the weekend praying about it & would have answer give answer today (so that I could get the ball rolling with everything if it was the Lord's will.) I am confident that the Lord wants me to go to Haiti at the end of July. As I prayed this weekend, I kept trying to talk myself out of going or would try to come up with excuses as to why I shouldn't go. This was especially true Sunday night when I woke up after midnight and couldn't go back to sleep/didn't have peace until I said "yes Lord, I will go." I am reminded of the passage in Isaiah 6 when Isaiah says, "Here am I send me." I want to be like that and go wherever the Lord would have me go. I would greatly appreciate your prayers, as this journey is only seven weeks away!!! the following is a list of things you can be praying for me about regarding the trip:

  1. satan would be bound from attacking me or the team
  2. that I would be able to raise the support needed to make the journey (the journey costs $1600-1800, I only have seven weeks to raise it, & the financial aspect of a trip always scares me (this is from satan I know and I need to rest solely about Christ)
  3. that God would put together the team that He would have to go on this particular journey to Hait

I am thankful for how the Lord continues to show & reveal to me the plans He has for me this summer!! I want to leave you with the verse that I am encouraged with & that is Jeremiah 29:11 "For I know the plans I have for you"

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Summer Goals

                Every year people come up with New Year Resolutions, but I've decided to be different and come up with Summer 2012 resolutions.

  1.  I want to start my reading through the Bible through a year plan & stay on track with it. I've tried so many times but let worldly things get in the way. I want to do this to continue to get the big picture & a bigger picture of who God is
  2. You may laugh at this one but I want to learn how to ride a bike. Yes, it's confession time. I don't know how to ride a bike. But I've decided I really want to do this.
  3. I want to start training for a half marathon again. I started training a few years ago but stopped because I got sick & never got back up to full speed. I enjoy running but enjoy running distances even more (I know that sounds crazy but it's true.) I also feel like it will help teach me Biblical lessons such as discipline, endurance, relying on the Lord for strength when I don't feel like keep going, etc.

Though I don't know what this summer will bring these are some of my goals that I thought I'd share.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Step by Step

                 What? When? How? Where? Why? All common questions that we (myself included) ask God. We live in an age where we want to know and we want to know now. God doesn't always tell us now. Sometimes He makes wait a day, a week, a month, a year, a decade. In the meantime God wants us to walk step by step glorifying and making His name known and seeking Him in all that we do. Everything else will fall into place as we seek those two things. He will guide our each and every step and with the Holy Spirit in us, He will stop us when something is not His will. This is something that the Lord has been teaching me as I wait and seek what is next for me. 

Saturday, May 12, 2012

The Words I Would Say

    Since finding out a couple of weeks ago that I would not be going to Malawi this summer, I have been praying that God would help me understand what He has planned for me this summer. He has been faithful to reveal a few details (and those details won't be easy but I know that they are a part of God's plan). God has also used the following song to speak to me:

Towards the end of the song there a couple of lines that go "But don't forget why you're here, take your time and pray, Thank God for each day." As much as I would like to know every detail for this summer, the Lord has reminded me to just take time to pray everyday over this summer. I don't know what it holds, but He does and I need to thank Him for each day that He gives me because it is 1) a day that I'm not guaranteed and 2) a day that will be used for my good. This song also talks a lot about not giving up hope. Though I've written before about never giving up, the Lord continues to show me where I've given up. The one thing I have to remember about not being able to go to Malawi this summer is that it doesn't mean I won't ever be able to go back (I'm just not supposed to go right now) and that the LORD will accomplish big things in and through my life (and He will do it in your life too!!) but I can NOT give up hope (and I highly encourage you not to give up hope either...just take your time and pray!!)

Another thing that the LORD has been teaching me is to take it one day at a time. So often I want to plan for the future and get so caught up in worrying about the future that I miss what the LORD has given to me that day.  Besides not being guaranteed tomorrow, we miss out on seeing what God has blessed us with that day.

This may have sounded completely scatterbrained but I really felt like it was something the Lord wanted me to share.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

An update/ encouragment

                   For those of you that haven't noticed, I did change the name of my blog (and might change it again if I can think of a more creative name.) The reason for this is that I will no longer be journeying back to Malawi (at least for this summer.) By Thursday April 26th, I needed to raise $3000 to meet my first financial deadline for the journey and to purchase the airline ticket. Only half the support needed was there on Thursday. Therefore, I will not be going to Malawi this summer. I am super sad about this, but I also know that the LORD is in control! I also know that it was not necessarily a "no" to going to Malawi but it was a "not now." I appreciate all everyone's prayers. I am praying through what my next step will be and am anxious about what that will be.
                    I still want to blog on a regular basis to keep you updated about what is going on in my life and to share what God is teaching me. I want to share with you whatever the LORD leads me to share and it is my prayer that 1) I only write what the Lord has me to & that it glorifies Him and 2) that it encourages/ challenges you in your walk with Christ (and if you aren't walking with Christ...please ask me and I will share with you how you can begin to walk with Christ today!)
        I wanted to leave you with a couple of things that have encouraged/challenged me over the last several days in my quiet times. I am beyond grateful for the friends that the Lord has given me. When I have needed encouragement, prayer, or somebody would simply be there to listen over the last several weeks, the LORD has given me an incredible Godly group of friends who have done that for me and beyond. The thing that I have been challenged with is: Am I doing those things for friends whom the Lord has given me? The Bible, especially in Proverbs, talks a lot about what Biblical friendship looks like and I pray that I am being a Biblical friend like my friends have been to me. The final bit of encouragement are verses from His word that the Lord has used in my life the last several days:

  • Jeremiah 29:11 "For I know the plans I have for you."
  • Psalm 46:10 "Be still and know that I am God."
  • Isaiah 55:9  "For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts."
  • Romans 8:28 "And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them."

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Encouraging Words/ Songs of Hope

Tonight I just wanted to leave you with some encouragement that the Lord gave me....

The first is a song that the Lord led me to listen is called "You are Good" by Point of Grace...Despite a couple of weeks when things haven't always been easy...the Lord reminded me of His goodness!!

The next song is what the Lord had me listen to next. Although a very familiar song, there was a line in there that struck me..The song is "How Deep the Father's Love" by Joy Williams and the line that struck me was the one that says "His wounds have paid my ransom." God's gift of salvation is free to us but was paid for by the wounds of His Son..

Next the Lord brought to me the following in Scripture:

"The steps of a man are established by the Lord, when he delights in his way; though he fall, he shall not be cast headlong, for the Lord upholds his hand."                                           ~ Psalm 37:23-24

Though a familiar passage this passage brought me much comfort.

I will leave you with the song that the Lord left me with tonight:

Saturday, April 21, 2012

"Never Give Up!"

              As I'm sure it has been for most of you, this last week has been absolutely crazy for me! I spent a lot of time doing assignments and studying for my online class. And as a praise to God as of Thursday, I am done with that class and done with school! After spending what seemed like a lifetime in school, it seems so weird to think I'm out! I'm done! But then I thought about it, and it hit me that my entire Christian life and walk with Christ will be a lifelong "schooling," or learning process. God is always teaching me new things and today I wanted to share with you some of those things that God is teaching me.
          I mentioned it in my last post, but the first thing that God is teaching me is to never give up! After being school for what seemed like an eternity, I can not tell you how many times I've wanted to give up and call it quits. But God has always been faithful in those moments to send encouragement either through His Word or through a sweet friend to keep me trekking on. There are also moments (many of them), when I worry about the amount that I still have to raise in support for me to be able to make the journey back to Malawi this summer and I (in the flesh) want to give up. But in those moments the LORD gently whispers to me "Never give up!" I encourage you to turn to Him in prayer and His Word, when you feel like giving up. I also encourage you to have someone pray for you in those moments.
         The other thing that the Lord has been teaching me goes along with what I mentioned above. The Lord has been teaching me to rely solely on Him for everything! Whether it is strength to make it through day because I was up late the night before doing homework or if I feel lonely or if it is  for the financial support that I still need for my journey back to Malawi. The list could go on. But two Bible verses that the Lord brings to mind are

  • Philippians 4:6-7

    English Standard Version (ESV)
     do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
  • Philippians 4:13

    English Standard Version (ESV)
    13 I can do all things through him who strengthens me. 

I pray that these verses would encourage you to rely on Him and to never give up as they have me. And as I quoted my friend in the last blog post, I will leave you with that piece of encouragement in this blog "No matter what obstacle gets thrown your way, pray through it and don't give up on it!"

ways to continue to pray for me

  • pray for the $3000 that I need to raise by Thurs April 26th to be able to make this journey back to Malawi (see  for more details on how you can support me)
  • continue to pray for the people of Malawi as they are in a time of transition & for the fuel shortage problem

Friday, April 13, 2012

"A Mighty Fortress is Our God"

            As I reflecting tonight on my week and really the last couple of weeks on the drive home tonight, the song “A Mighty Fortress” came on the radio. It was then that I realized what God had been teaching me (more like trying to hammer into me)for the last several weeks as I’ve been preparing to go back to Malawi and that was the following two lines of the song:
            “A mighty fortress is our God /  A sacred refuge is Your Name
            I had been worrying about things that needed to be done before I go to Malawi. On some of those things (and some other things in life), I had wanted to give up. A dear friend of mine told me “No matter what obstacles get thrown in your way, pray through it and don’t give on it!” She had encouraged me to seek God in prayer. A couple of weeks later, the same friend told me (in a conversation about prayer) “The devil loves us at our weak points. He hates it when we seek help and prayer.” I realized at the moment and when reflecting tonight, that the Lord was showing me through my friend and the song that came on the radio that He would be my refuge (and my strength) when I sought His sacred Name! And my friend is right the devil hates it when we seek refuge in our God because God gets the glory and not him. Satan can not be the mighty the fortress that God is and he will do everything at his power to keep you from seeking the power that is in God’s name! So, if we give up on prayer (seeking God) the enemy is happy. We must not let satan have this victory! We should not give up on prayer (or asking others to pray for us) because then God wins, and satan is defeated!
            I am thankful for what God taught me through my sweet friend and through the song. I am also thankful that if I have a hard week or if I want to give up on things like school (which prayerfully I will be taking my final next week) that He is and will be my mighty fortress. I pray that this would encourage you as well to continue to seek God in prayer at all times.

Ways to pray for me:
-      -    That I’d continue to remember the truth about prayer and what He has taught me
-       -   My final that I will take next week
-        -  Please pray for the amount that I still need to raise in the next 13 days
-         = That God would continue to prepare my heart & the people of Malawi for what He has in store 
=       for the summer

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Break my heart for what breaks yours

              This weekend I was able to reflect on my relationship with Christ and to rejoice in the fact that because He has risen, I get to have eternal life with Him. But as I sat through the sermon at the church, the Lord began to burden me with the lost in the world. For those who didn't get to rejoice in the risen Savior because they don't even know who He is. I remember praying at some point during the weekend for the Lord to break my heart for what breaks His. His heart is broken for the lost in the world who will spend eternity apart from Him and this broke my heart. On Friday I went to Taco Bell and I had a conversation with the lady (who knows me by name) who took my order. At first we were just chatting about Easter Plans. Then I invited her to church. That's when she told me that she does not go to church because she's an aethiest. Her own mom, who professes to be a believer, had turned her off from the church and Christ because she had been hypocritical in the way she treated her. For some reason this has stayed with me all weekend! I've prayed for more opportunities to go back and share with her or for someone to come into her life that would lead her to Christ. The Lord has used this lady and other people in my life who are not believers to break my heart for the lost. The Lord has broken my heart over other stuff as well but the greatest burden has been for the lost. 
                No this post doesn't have anything to do with my personal journey to Malawi but I'm sure He will use it when I go...I just had to share what was on my heart tonight.

Friday, April 6, 2012

The Cross was enough

                  This last week has been exactly what the title of my last post was...overwhelming! I have been overwhelmed with trying to finish up my online class, with things at work, and with life in general. I also found out that because of the fuel shortage problems in Malawi that the price for my ticket is going to be significantly more than what we planned for. But I've also been overwhelmed in a very good way...for which I can't express enough gratitude for!! In the midst of a crazy week, I've had some friends who have prayed for me, encouraged me, and won't let me give up. They have pointed me back to the Bible and the Cross. The Lord is always faithful in knowing what I need when I need it and giving it to me in His timing!
                    Also for the last several weeks at church, we have been singing this song called Jesus, Son of God. In it there is a line that says "the Cross was enough." As I have been thinking about everything I need to get done in the next several weeks or about things that overwhelm me, I think about how what Jesus did on the cross should be exactly enough for me. Enough to encourage me when I feel like I can't keep on and enough to motivate me to keep marching on with His calling in my life. The Cross was enough to make a relationship with God possible and it should be enough for everything else. I hope this encourages everyone who is reading this to know that His work on the Cross was (and is) enough. And if anyone who is reading this doesn't know why the cross was enough..please message me AND I would be more than happy to talk to you about it!
                   I wanted to leave with you a story from my journey to Malawi in August about how the Cross was exactly what someone needed. We were going hut-to-hut sharing the gospel in a village about a thirty minute walk from Esther's House. I met a lady, who was very sick from malaria, who was at the same time raising her two grandkids. I shared the Gospel with her (and prayed for healing for her from the malaria). She was very eager to invite Christ into her life! She was more excited to know that the Cross was enough for the forgiveness of her sins than she was about being prayed over for healing from the malaria.

ways that you can pray for me:
- pray for the country of Malawi & specifically the fuel shortage as it is causing a lot of ripple problems for the country
- pray that I am diligent in getting things done that I need to get done
- pray that God provides the necessary support to be able to journey to Malawi..I have my first deadline in the support raising process of April 25th. That deadline is so that my airline ticket can be purchased..see for more details on how you can support me

Sunday, April 1, 2012


     As we stop this Resurrection week to reflect on what Jesus did on the cross for us and we reflect on the power of His resurrection, I am overwhelmed by His love me. "he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed." (Isaiah 53:5) He took the punishment for my sin by death on the cross and then three days later He arose from the dead so that I could have eternal life!! These facts alone overwhelm me (and I feel so unworthy yet He does love me & you)  and make me eternally grateful!! I pray that this week that you will reflect on the power & significance of what HE did on the cross. I also pray that He would overwhelm you like He has me with His love..
     I can't believe that there are only ten weeks left until I leave for my two and half month journey to Malawi. I am so excited yet so overwhelmed that God would choose to let me go to share His love...

There are a few ways that you all can be praying for my journey:
- please pray for the fuel shortage problem occurring in Malawi
- please pray for the people that I will be interacting with
- please pray that I am diligent in the preparations that I must make before I go
- please pray for the financial support that I must raise to be able to make the journey (see for details)

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Finding Purpose

                  A few weeks ago, a friend lent me the book Kisses from Katie by Katie Davis. She knew that I had a heart for Africa and told me I would enjoy the book.I'm so thankful that the LORD had her lend me the book! Even though I'm only a few chapters in, the LORD has used the book not only in my personal life, but has used it to reveal my purpose in going to Malawi this summer. In the book, Katie talks about how when she first went to Uganda that she struggled in why the Lord would choose to send her halfway across the world at such a young age. The reason that the LORD gave her was to love others with the love of God. When I read that the section today, it hit me that the reason is choosing to send me half way across the world this summer to Malawi for extended period is to love others with God's love. Whether it be by loving on the orphans or widows that are a part of the program at Esther's House, sharing the Gospel with someone in nearby villages, or helping with administrative tasks, I am showing the love of God to others. I've known for sometime now that I was supposed to go back to Malawi this summer for extended stay, but now I know the purpose of me going back to Malawi this summer.
                   As for an update for where I am in preparing for my journey back to Malawi, I have just started the support-raising aspect of the journey. To learn more about Pure Mission/ Esther's House and how you can support me click on the following link I will meet soon with people in charge at Pure Mission to find out my specific tasks to accomplish while I am over there this summer. I've completed basic training for the trip, but will soon start training with others that will be coming over while I am in Malawi this summer. 

Saturday, March 17, 2012


      Over the last several weeks, there is something else that the LORD has been teaching me both in life and through preparing for my journey back to Malawi. He has been teaching me about surrendering all to Christ and about praying specific prayers.
     About a month ago, during a sermon at church Pastor Nick Floyd encouraged us to pray specific prayers and to watch for and praise God for the specific answers that God gave us. One of my recent prayers has been that God would help me to be diligent with my online class (only class left to have my degree completed). Many of my close friends have prayed (and have been sweet to encourage me along the way) this along with me. The last couple of weeks have been very busy for me but the LORD has helped me to get a lot done with the class!! My specific prayer is that the LORD would help me to get the class done by May 1. And I know that He will be faithful to answer that prayer! My next specific prayer has been what areas of my life do I need to surrender to Him fully that I have not already surrendered to Him. 
    There were several areas of my life that the LORD showed me that I had not surrendered fully to Him. Some of those areas that are related to going to Malawi this summer included things like surrendering my comforts (like my favorite foods, Diet Mountain Dew, my car), my family, and the cost of the trip of the journey. I pray that my response to ALL the things that the LORD revealed to me that I needed to surrender would be giving them to Him with open hands with no grip on ANYTHING! I know that this will be hard but with God all things are possible.
     I encourage you to pray specifically & to watch and praise God for how HE answers those prayers!!

Specific prayer requests that I have for the upcoming week (related to my journey back to Malawi) are: 

  •  that I would surrender all to God
  •  that I would trust Him for the amount that I need to raise
  • that I would continue to seek God for specific things & praise Him when he provides specific answers


Sunday, March 11, 2012

a bit of encouragement

so I started this blog so that I could let others in on my journey back to Malawi. Most of these blog posts will have to do with things related to my journey back to Malawi; both before and during the journey. Sometimes it may be about the things God is doing in my daily life that is preparing me for what lies ahead.

Tonight I heard something at church that I wanted to share with y'all. We talked about discouragement. Specifically we talked about how living from the inside out will lead you through discouragement. We were in the book of Nehemiah. Man, did I need this sermon! One of the ways that satan tried to discourage Nehemiah was by distractions. satan has tried to discourage me through distractions in many ways over the last few weeks by being sick (mostly asthma & allergy problems), through busyness of life, and by trying to give me distracting thoughts. The way Nehemiah handled the distractions was focusing and completing the task at hand. I have a task at hand right now and that is preparing for what is to come this summer in Malawi. There are tasks that need to be completed before that and I pray that God would help me to stay focused on those tasks and the call He has placed on my life for the summer. I also pray that this would encourage you to focus on what God wants you to be doing and that you would look to God and His word when you feel discouraged and distracted from the plan He has for your life!