Monday, October 05, 2009

Run To Obey

This is from Pastor James Macdonald with Walk In The Word ministries. The strangest thing you might ever hear me say is "I love being obediant." Don't tell my mom!! :) Some friends of mine who aren't Christian will probably read this and think, "huh?!". I don't know. All I can say is, being obediant to God is great. He came to me once, about 7 years ago, asked for one small move in His general direction, and it changed everything. God has changed and is continuing to change everything, and I want more.

Run to Obey

"I will run in the way of your commandments when you enlarge my heart! Teach me, O LORD, the way of your statutes; and I will keep it to the end. Give me understanding, that I may keep your law and observe it with my whole heart. Lead me in the path of your commandments, for I delight in it." - Psalm 119:32-35

Obeying God is a phenomenal thing.

You know you're talking to a baby Christian when you hear things like, "The Bible says to do . . . what? That just doesn't make sense to me," and "Isn't that a little crazy?" When someone new to Christ hears a call that demands him or her to go against the natural human tendency to protect or promote self, the person will sometimes react.

Not so for someone who has walked with God for a long time. We know that every step forward is a step of faith. Obedience to God is not a burden. And once you've done it a few times, you realize how awesome God's program is.

Every time I do what God wants me to do - I get blessed. Every time I humble myself and ask for forgiveness or reach out in relationship or deny my flesh or give to the Lord's work or make the choice to serve or open my mouth and speak for God - I get blessed! Every time! Obeying God always makes things better, even when it's hard. Even when the good outcome takes a while.

The more you get to know the Lord, the more you realize that everything He asks of you is for your good. I'm thinking right now of that amazing pronouncement in Romans 8:28, "And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose." When you get that panorama perspective of life, then obeying God today is not a burden; it's a joy.

Things will always work out for good when I obey God. If I could live my life over again, I wouldn't go back on any of my obedience choices, but I'd go back to some disobedience choices and change them in a hurry.

Today I purpose to obey the first time, every time. Let’s be like David who said, "I will run in the way of your commandments when you enlarge my heart!"

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

A Year Ago...

My dear friend came over to my house, we had dinner together, laughed together, and then she committed relationship suicide and ended our friendship. Thus far to this day, unreconciled. Has it been a year?! On one hand it seems like yesterday, because I'm not fully healed from this- as evidenced by how I still miss her, and my limited ability to forgive. And on the other, it seems like a million years ago, because God has brought me this far, and I love Him and am so grateful for what He has done- and is doing- in my life. This story is still incomplete. The circle hasn't closed yet...


"Life is full of life and shadows.
Oh- the joy and oh- the sorrow.
And yet will He bring day from night,
And yet will He bring dark to light.
When shadows fall on us,
We will not fear- we will remember.
When darkness falls on us,
We will not fear- we will remember.
When all seems lost,
When we're thrown and we're tossed,
We'll remember the cost:
We are resting in the shadow of the Cross."

--David Crowder Band, "Shadows", Church Music.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

It's time.

The letter I sent out this morning- relevant for anyone and everyone who might happen to read my blog (the like 3 of you...). I covet your prayers.

Hi Folks,
A quick note this morning to a short list of people, asking you to please join me in prayer. It’s time to start praying about my plans for going back to PNG long term. I stopped dragging my feet and emailed the school principle out there this morning. Kelly- I don’t have an email address for Mike, but since you (collectively) are my pastor and wonderful source of wise counsel, I’m hoping you don’t mind being added to this list. To fill you in briefly- at this time, I’m praying about and hoping to return to Papua New Guinea to serve as a speech therapist (go figure!) in a missionary school for 2 years, in 2 years.

A few prayer points that’ll cover a lot of what’s to be expected for the next 2 years:
-the sale of my house and the payment of all my student loans.
-housing arrangements for me over there.
-education “brush up” to best serve. Also I may have to take an extensive course offered by the National Institute for Learning Disabilities prior to leaving.
-the process of becoming an official Associate with New Tribes.
-fundraising/ “deputation”- not even close to beginning, but it’s inevitable, and on a MUCH larger scale than for a 6 week trip!
-for my continued obedience, as I am very prone to wandering away to do my own thing, and for general heart protection.

Thank you all so much- for your past support and for your current prayer coverage too. It means the world to me.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Crash Anniversary (short version)

This is details only from the crash. There is more story surrounding that, but will have to get to that later. Stay tuned for an update to this story.

Short version:
5 years ago today, I was leaving a friend’s house in Oviedo around 6:00 in the morning to return to my place in Maitland. Because of Hurricane Charlie, the tolls had been eliminated for a while, and though I’d taken the toll roads to get across town initially, I’d heard on the radio that they’d be turned back on at 6:00 am, Monday morning. So I decided to take the city streets home. I drove down University, to Hall, to the intersection at Aloma…

Also because of Charlie, almost every single stop light was out all over town. TV reporters and even radio hosts made a big point though, of reminding us to treat every single intersection with a light out as though there were 4 way stops. So I did.

Coming up to Aloma on Hall/ Howell Branch, I was in the left lane, and a truck was in the right lane next to me. We both stopped at the intersection, and proceeded through. These next events took maybe about 10-15 seconds total, but everything was so CLEAR as it happened- it’s like it was in slow motion.

So Truck and I are proceeding through the intersection, when I HEAR truck slam on his brakes. I turned to see why, and saw an SUV barreling down Aloma, now coming through the intersection without stopping or slowing at all, and we crashed. A perfect T-bone.

(Here’s where REAL slow motion kicks in) My airbags deployed, punched me in the face, and burned my forearms. There was powder or steam or something, and I couldn’t see for a bit. I thought to myself, “Am I dead? Am I alright?” Then I turned my head to the left, and to my horror, saw the SUV tumbling down the road, rolling over 2 more full times before it came to a stop on the driver’s side.

I kept enough sense in me to grab my cell phone, dial 911, and then I just lost it. I couldn’t figure out how to get out of my car. Not that I was stuck, but I was so panicked I couldn’t get the seat belt off or the door open. When I finally tumbled out onto the street, it did dawn on me that I was able to stand and scream, so I did just that for a bit, while the lady at the 911 center told me to “calm down, or I can’t help you”. She asked me if the other driver was alright, and I realized I hadn’t seen the other driver yet. There was no movement from the other car. And I freaked out again, and refused to go look, afraid of what I might find inside.

Mr. Truck Guy saw everything, and stayed with me till police came. He went to check on the other person and he gave a statement to the police about what happened. I wish I knew who that was…

I walked away from this. I shouldn't have. The front of my care was accordioned. But instead of breaking through the foot well on the driver's side, it cracked the passenger's side, and things that needed to displace did so downward. I walked away with burns on my arms and my face, and a sore neck.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Our Diplomatic Secretary of State.

You have got to be kidding me. THIS is who our President chooses to represent us in the world?! I can't even put into words my disgust over her response here. No diplomacy, no humility, no reasoning, just a whole lot of arrogance and entitlement. Thank you Hillary for doing your very best to represent America abroad.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Not like it's soon or anything...

But this is TOTALLY what I'd want to do at my wedding!! I love it! So Betsy, Christie and Michaela- I'm giving you plenty of notice- better start practicing!! :) Enjoy y'all.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Millstones and Milestones.

July 11.

July 11, 2000- according to a movie ticket stub I found recently, apparently I watched Lethal Weapon 4. I totally don't remember anything about the movie, but I've got the proof I was there!

July 11, 2006- quite a different story. I will probably never forget this day, though I wish every day since that I could... This is the day I willfully walked off a cliff. I started off intentionally, proceeded to the edge, ignored every warning sign, and didn't just walk off the edge- I JUMPED. Back into sin I thought- no swore- was behind me. I also happened to jump into a downward spiral of self-loathing and deprecation, lasting for several months. I couldn't look at myself in a mirror, couldn't hardly make eye contact with most people, and couldn't go for more than maybe 3 hours without crying. I certainly couldn't tell others- not directly at least... I believed I was the biggest phony. I was in shock really! How could I have done this?! HOW did this happen?! I thought I loved God! I thought I was a new person! What about being baptized? What about all those night I'd cry out to God and tell Him how sorry I was for the things in my past- how I was so sorry for how I'd disrespected him for so many years... What ABOUT all that?

I wore that millstone for a long time. Can't say exactly how long, and can't say it's not completely removed now either.

July 11, 2007- One year post, and I could testify already to just how GOOD my Kind Father is. He took me back, and spoke directly to me about His forgiveness. He filled the year with a TON of mercy, and provided me with good distractions to allow for covert healing of my heart and mind. On THIS day, God allowed me to spend this morbid anniversary in my beloved Papua New Guinea, serving. I passed this milestone in the kitchen, on a trail, with wonderful fellowship, and surrounded by nature that literally screams out the glory of God.

July 11, 2009- Three years post now. God has allowed for much healing, and has done AMAZING things in my heart and life between this milestone and the original millstone. I have lower expectations for myself and people in general (for this perfectionist, this is actually a good thing!). I think I have a more realistic view of sin and its grip on us. But I also believe I have a much clearer understanding of grace. CLEARLY it is much more easily comprehended when dealt to you in grand doses. I have a slightly different desire to do what pleases my Kind Father as well. He wants my heart, and I can easily surrender because He took me back. I would give everything in gratitude for just being taken back.

And now, the date has been redeemed. July 11, 2009 I watched my sweet friend Christie walk down the aisle, and NOW this day will forever be her anniversary.

Full circle complete. From death to life. Mourning to dancing. Despair and depression to joy and celebration.

How GREAT is Our God?!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Fast and Famine

I didn't want to post more than a link on the Grace website, because I figured very few people would actually follow a link- probably just the people who know me at Grace, and I didn't want to discourage people...

I didn't get anything at all out of the fast this week. I don't think I was fully on board from the beginning though. I don't know... It's been a looooooong time since God's been clear with me, and I don't like it. It feels like I spend a LOT of time and energy praying for, asking, begging God to open doors for me, do something BIG with/in me, and I'm still in the exact same place I was this time last year. And in 2007. And in 2006. I could go on...

I am done with asking. I can't help but think that "this" is exactly where God wants me, and that I AM doing what He's got for me right now, though His idea of ministry and purpose are vastly different from mine. With all the begging I've done over the last 3+ years for learning and knowing His will, following what He wants for me, I can't help but conclude that I'M THERE. THIS is it. THIS is His "great plan" for me.

The following was originally written in my Bible Journal. Every year I keep a new journal and fill it with verses that stand out to me, a record of what I read throughout the year, and sermon notes. This year it's pretty empty for being the end of May...

I am in a famine. I just didn't want it to be true, especially because it's been soooooo long since I've felt this way, but I can't deny it further- it's pretty clear... I do next to nothing to build my relationship with my Lord. I'll think about it, say stuff like, "Oh, it'd be so nice to spend time with God", and then do nothing. I am all talk and intentions. I chronically waste time at home. I will find ANYTHING to replace God. Right now I think it'd be wrong for me to say "I love the Lord". I give more effort to people I DON'T love than to Him. This book should be over half filled with verses, prayers, thoughts, etc. ... And instead it's just a few pages. The year is half GONE!!

Grace is doing this month-long fast. I signed up, but I'm not excited about it. Everyone's comments are so expectant- like God's going to do some big thing in the next month. And I don't have that certainty or expectancy AT ALL. In fact, I'd rather NOT do it because I just don't want to be let down again. I used to fast- for answers and direction. And sometimes I really thought God was instructing me, guiding me, etc. But in hindsight, it must have been me. Or Satan- I'd even dare say- being very deceptive. I don't know...

I am a glutton. I fed my face all day (Tuesday) when I could have been fasting. And I consumed 3 hours of TV tonight. And now I'm in bed. Wow.

How am I supposed to fast when I can't stop feeding my face and turn off the distractions?! I've been asking for guidance, wisdom, some direction, instruction, etc. for 2+ years now and God hasn't done anything. So what is fasting NOW going to do?

If you've read this much, read a little further. Please pray that God will just show up for once and turn my attitude around, and bring me fully back to loving Him with ALL my heart, and not just 1/3 of it. I "like" God right now. But I can't say more than that and be truthful. I want to desire Him more, want what HE wants for me, and follow obediantly. Even just writing this- the deep truth in my heart starts to surface, and I want to love Him the way He deserves, and serve Him with no second thoughts, no matter what He has for me to do.

Monday, May 11, 2009


I just reconnected with an old friend from grad school, and I can't even tell you how good it was to talk (and by talk I mean facebook chat) with her after all this time!! We'd been study buddies in grad school, and we ended up doing our final externships together. After graduating though, we kind of took different paths, and lost touch, though we did run into each other once downtown at a craft show. And silly as it may sound- though remember, I'm a Loyalist-, I've missed her ever since.

So 6 or so years later, I get a notification that someone else posted a comment on another friend's photo on- you guessed it- FACEBOOK. But the comment isn't about the picture, it's addressing me! And it's this long lost girl, mutually friends with someone else I've known for almost 6 years!

Circles come to mind... But I don't think this circle is completed. I get to see my sweet friend on Sunday, and REALLY talk with her for the first time in 6 years. I can NOT WAIT!

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

ISFJ- Tell me what you think!

According to whatever test I took, my "Meyers-Briggs" results indicate I am an ISFJ. I would say this is fairly right on, with some deviation here and there. I'd love to hear if you think this is an accurate description of me...

Portrait of an ISFJ - Introverted Sensing Feeling Judging
(Introverted Sensing with Extraverted Feeling)

The Nurturer

As an ISFJ, your primary mode of living is focused internally, where you takes things in via your five senses in a literal, concrete fashion. Your secondary mode is external, where you deal with things according to how you feel about them, or how they fit into your personal value system.

ISFJs live in a world that is concrete and kind. They are truly warm and kind-hearted, and want to believe the best of people. They value harmony and cooperation, and are likely to be very sensitive to other people's feelings. People value the ISFJ for their consideration and awareness, and their ability to bring out the best in others by their firm desire to believe the best.

ISFJs have a rich inner world that is not usually obvious to observers. They constantly take in information about people and situations that is personally important to them, and store it away. This tremendous store of information is usually startlingly accurate, because the ISFJ has an exceptional memory about things that are important to their value systems. It would not be uncommon for the ISFJ to remember a particular facial expression or conversation in precise detail years after the event occured, if the situation made an impression on the ISFJ.

ISFJs have a very clear idea of the way things should be, which they strive to attain. They value security and kindness, and respect traditions and laws. They tend to believe that existing systems are there because they work. Therefore, they're not likely to buy into doing things in a new way, unless they're shown in a concrete way why its better than the established method.

ISFJs learn best by doing, rather than by reading about something in a book, or applying theory. For this reason, they are not likely to be found in fields which require a lot of conceptual analysis or theory. They value practical application. Traditional methods of higher education, which require a lot of theorizing and abstraction, are likely to be a chore for the ISFJ. The ISFJ learns a task best by being shown its practical application. Once the task is learned, and its practical importance is understood, the ISFJ will faithfully and tirelessly carry through the task to completion. The ISFJ is extremely dependable.

The ISFJ has an extremely well-developed sense of space, function, and aesthetic appeal. For that reason, they're likely to have beautifully furnished, functional homes. They make extremely good interior decorators. This special ability, combined with their sensitivity to other's feelings and desires, makes them very likely to be great gift-givers - finding the right gift which will be truly appreciated by the recipient.

More so than other types, ISFJs are extremely aware of their own internal feelings, as well as other people's feelings. They do not usually express their own feelings, keeping things inside. If they are negative feelings, they may build up inside the ISFJ until they turn into firm judgments against individuals which are difficult to unseed, once set. Many ISFJs learn to express themselves, and find outlets for their powerful emotions.

Just as the ISFJ is not likely to express their feelings, they are also not likely to let on that they know how others are feeling. However, they will speak up when they feel another individual really needs help, and in such cases they can truly help others become aware of their feelings.

The ISFJ feels a strong sense of responsibility and duty. They take their responsibilities very seriously, and can be counted on to follow through. For this reason, people naturally tend to rely on them. The ISFJ has a difficult time saying "no" when asked to do something, and may become over-burdened. In such cases, the ISFJ does not usually express their difficulties to others, because they intensely dislike conflict, and because they tend to place other people's needs over their own. The ISFJ needs to learn to identify, value, and express their own needs, if they wish to avoid becoming over-worked and taken for granted.

ISFJs need positive feedback from others. In the absence of positive feedback, or in the face of criticism, the ISFJ gets discouraged, and may even become depressed. When down on themselves or under great stress, the ISFJ begins to imagine all of the things that might go critically wrong in their life. They have strong feelings of inadequacy, and become convinced that "everything is all wrong", or "I can't do anything right".

The ISFJ is warm, generous, and dependable. They have many special gifts to offer, in their sensitivity to others, and their strong ability to keep things running smoothly. They need to remember to not be overly critical of themselves, and to give themselves some of the warmth and love which they freely dispense to others.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009


This sermon radically changed and shaped my view on election versus "free will". Enjoy!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Freedom and Bondage

Like a lot of girls, I have "one of THOSE ex's" hanging around in my skeleton closet. (No, I didn't kill him and stuff him in there... but that was by God's grace alone.) I met him, was instantly attracted, quickly grew an intense friendship, and before I could even discern the BEGINNING of it, was bonded, and I remained in such a state for 4 years.

It's been a little over 1.5 years since the end of that, and were you to ask my friends, they'd say I'm a different girl now- happier, free-er (sp?), more open/ transparent, etc. At least that's what they've told me at different times... And I DO feel that. I praise God daily for the distance He has allowed to grow between "then" and "now", the healing He has brought me, and the grace He has permitted to infiltrate. It has been nothing short of amazing to me, and there are no silly words that do justice for an explanation of the gratitude I feel in my heart- both to my God and to my friends who were so persistent and grace-filled and re-accepting. God has healed my heart in so many ways too- so that I could forgive, and not resent, etc. I wouldn't feel uncomfortable or avoidant if I saw him at church, or if he showed up at some mutual friends' party. He ended up marrying a girl who'd been a close friend of mine for years, and then it did get weird, and I felt like I had to avoid BOTH of them again, but maybe for a better reason? I don't know.

A friend happened to mention to me last night that this same ex is moving. I was totally not expecting that, and I could NOT have predicted my reaction. I almost started crying! I couldn't stop smiling and laughing- clearly I'd lost it. Again I find no words to express the RELIEF I felt in that moment. I had no idea one was still there, but I instantly felt like this huge weight had been removed. I will never go to another event and see him, I won't have to worry for a second about running into him somewhere. He will be GONE. Forever.

Talking to God while driving home after having learned this, I asked, "why couldn't this have happened YEARS ago?! There's so much that could have been avoided if only..." But the "why" isn't my responsibility.

I called a friend to share this crazy insane good news with someone, and in the process, asked her, "is it wrong for me to be this happy?" She said no- it wasn't like I was wishing him ill in any way, I was just happy for my own circumstances. But then she said, "It's ok for you to feel this way because clearly this person has a hold of you still for you to react so strongly..." And the freedom I felt transformed into the chains that returned.

The only thing that could come out was, "Really?? Do you really think so?" I would so love to think I'm way more "evolved" than all of this. That I've grown, changed, put aside, moved on, improved, etc. I talked to another friend who was closer to me and knew the situation better too. She assured me that she did see all of that, in spite of my current doubt, but kind of made provision for why it'd be hard for me still... I don't know if I wanted that. I really wanted the truth. And really- in the end, the truth will shine the brightest, even if it's the ugliest.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

"Po Po non-emergency, how can I help you?"

Did I ever tell you the story about the time my exboyfriend had to call the police to come over to my house because I was convinced people were breaking in? Well that's not tonight's story. But I did call the cops.

I had a roommate for January and 1/2 of February. She was the sister of a good friend, and I had a feeling it'd end similar to how it did, but I said she could stay with me anyway. Long story short, it became crystal clear one day that I couldn't allow her to live here anymore. I gave her a week's notice to get out, and thankfully, she was out in less than that. She left behind a few things and didn't pay rent, but didn't destroy anything either, so I was relieved. I felt so unsafe though- I actually had the locks changed.

So today, she started calling me, saying she was passing through town, and wanted to come over and get her suitcase. I wasn't home until later this evening, and told her that'd be the case. I figured she'd just move on. I was scared though, that she'd come over anyway with the guy she'd moved out with- or someone else for that matter. So I put the Po Po non-emergency number on speed dial, and went to bed.

Sure enough, she knocked on my door around 10:15 pm. The nice lady at the station sent over 2 nice officers, and though she left, they stayed. They told me to call her and tell her to come back for the stuff. I texted her, and she was back in a few minutes. She looked a little stunned, and she almost hit my car! But she got her stuff, and told the cops "no sir" when they asked if she thought she'd be back for anything. She said she was on her way to Pensacola to stay with her family. I am seriously glad that is the case. I hope everything works out well for her...

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Negligence and the Island

I’ve been meaning to write more on here recently, but I always seem to find other things that take my time! A TON of ideas have passed thru my mind, and it’d have been good to take advantage of them when the opportunity arose. Oh well… Now you’re stuck reading the mediocre leftovers from my scattered mind.

GETTING REALLY CONFUSING!!! I can’t even say I liked the last episode at all. I was watching with Annie and Brian, and at first we were all making the usual commentary during the show. But then I’m pretty sure the sight of Sawyer with Juliet made us all so sick, we were just quiet the rest of the time. The writers are rushing to finish the story in 1 ½ seasons, and there’s just too much to cover. We get these mega doses of story revelation, and my brain just can’t handle it.

Here are some of my questions:
• Ok, NOW we have Losties mixed in with Dharma people… Are they there when young Ben comes to the island?
• Who are the hostiles a.k.a. Ben’s people? And why is it ok for them to shoot innocent Dharmas, but the Dharmas can’t protect themselves??
• Who the HELL is Richard Alpert? Where did he come from? Is HE really the “man behind the curtain"? Why’s he forever young?
• Who’s the good guy- Ben or Widmore?
• Did Ben kill Penny, and that’s why he was all bloody?
• Did Kate really kill Aaron like I think she did? I REALLY don’t think it’s as simple as she gave him to Claire’s mom.
• Is Kate now pregnant with Jack’s baby- hence taking Claire’s place in the re-enactment of the original flight?
• What ever happened to the whole “everyone’s connected” thing? Is that just not important any more?
• Ok, so they’re now stranded on the island in the 70’s?? What about all the NEW Losties that survived??
• What about the OTHER Losties that got left behind??
• Was Sun with them all in the Dharma van at the end last week? I don’t remember…
• What ever happened to Claire?? She see’s good old dad, and just LEAVES Aaron??
• What about Christian?? We have NO IDEA how he REALLY fits into this whole mess. All we know is he did a John Locke (or is it John pulled a Christian?) by being dead on the plane, and returning to life when on the island. I am totally convinced that Christian is actually alive on the island.
• When are we gonna find out about the Black Rock?
• What the HELL is that crazy smoke monster thing??

I have about 2342 more questions, but I’ll stick with 15 for now… If you have any theories to answer my questions, leave a comment!!

23% or 1.5%... One of the two...

Today kicked off training for the North Face 1/2 marathon I'm doing in June. I ran my first 3 miles- which is 23% of the distance I'll be going on June 6th, OR 1.5% of the total 191 miles I'll be running between now and the finish line.

It's been about 2 months since last my feet moved at such a pace, but it really felt good to be outside and running again! No cramping, and I only stopped to walk (fast) for about 2 minutes. I am REALLY looking forward to getting back into shape after my nice lazy 4 month sabbatical. I'm planning on using "Hal Higdon's" 1/2 marathon novice runner training schedule to prepare. This will translate into running 3-4 times a week, and getting into the gym 3-4 times a week as well. Can you even believe this is coming from me??

I'm even gonna *somewhat* try to eat healthier. Whenever I work out regularly, my appetite is just insatiable! So I've gotten a bunch of healthy things I know I like to munch on constantly.

I am really REALLY excited about all of this! I've been half-heartedly hoping for something to just fall into my lap that could serve as a goal. I always operate best when I have something tangible to look forward to. And this is IT for the next 12 weeks!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


The story of my life. You'll cry if it's your story too...

Thoughts On Prosperity

I HATE IT. With everything inside of me. It makes me literally sick to my stomach. But I'd love your thoughts too!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Sacred Place

My personal prayer...

Come into this sacred place
Come into my heart and
Sing Your song of grace
Pull me safe into the deep
Pull me in to where the
Depths of love meet
Sing, sing over me until dawn
Pull me safe into the deep

Come and carry me away
Come into my heart and
Turn this night to day
Come into this sacred place
Come into my heart and sing

'Cause I can hear You now
And You're the only sound
I give You all my love

You've rescued me
You embrace me,
And You calm me...
You persuade me,
You console me...

He does too, doesn't He...

Sunday, January 11, 2009


Believe it or not (coming from Florida), January 11, 2004 was ICY! We were all attending the very first Revolution Retreat at Southwind in little Ocklawaha, Fl. It was in the mid 30's around 8:00 a.m., and I was up early- I had some reading I wanted to do.

Rewind to early October 2003- I was a few months into a long and very different journey, moving in the general direction of Christ. I was in a very small home group with Casey Johnson, and we were slowly making our way through The Purpose Driven Life. Something from one of the early chapters really shouted out to me: it was the notion that baptism was how you showed the world your intention to follow Christ. I was stunned! Being brought up Lutheran, baptism was always tied to salvation. Hence my earlier infant baptism. I had already dismissed this teaching as untrue/ unbiblical, but I hadn't really dug for the Truth to replace it. Nevertheless, when this notion of baptism as symbol of "follower" came to me, I was quick to decide, "well this is what I need to do!"

Probably as soon as you decide to do anything for God, Satan moves in and tries to plant doubt in your mind. Having been already baptized, I questioned CONSTANTLY- "is this really necessary?" My parents were completely unsupportive, and non-understanding. "You've already been baptized! Why would you do it again?" And I waited. I sat on it... But not for too long. :)

So it's really cold, and it's pretty early, and I'm sitting in a corner of the huge dining room by the fire place (not lit- wish it were). Bible in lap, I looked up every verse listed that touched on baptism. I read about John baptizing people to show they were turning toward the Coming Messiah, Jesus being baptized before starting His ministry... Paul's words spoke the loudest.

"Well then, should we keep on sinning so that God can show us more and more kindness and forgiveness? Of course not! Since we have died to sin, how can we continue to live in it? Or have you forgotten that when we became Christians and were baptized to become one with Christ Jesus, we died with Him? For we died and were buried with Christ by baptism. And just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious power of the Father, now we also may live new lives."


Some time while I was reading all this, a girl approached me- she was who I'd been paired up with to "get to know better", spend some time with, etc. over the weekend. She sat down, asked what I was reading, talked with me for a while, and prayed with me too. The first of many times we'd pray and share scripture together- as this "girl I barely knew" turned into my dear, sweet, wonderful friend Michaela.

I remember standing out by the pool in shorts and a t-shirt, wind blowing, freezing quickly- even with a blanket around me. Two guys were also out there in shorts. We huddled together and prayed for each other- for the lives we wanted to live, and the direction we wanted to intentionally turn toward. I remember the water- INSANELY cold! Casey asked, "are you ready?", and I nodded yes. I remember scanning the crowd at the edge of the pool for one particular person, and becoming almost panicked in my mind, as that person eluded me. (Hindsight makes me eternally grateful for that- but that's a different story for another time) "Emily, I baptize you..."

I remember a moment... And a feeling... Right before going under, time stopped. It was a feeling of panic, and of letting go. Something within me registered that things would be different now. That feeling was of being erased. Everything within me felt erased. I did not come up the same person.

Five years forward- I could not have humanly imagined the life God had/has in store for me. This is not the life I thought I'd lead, and I am eternally grateful for it! God has allowed for so much growth, pain, love, learning... He gave me a family, a church home, a ministry- and an ability to trust Him when those were taken away too. He's given me people to spur me on, and it's their friendship I am most grateful for. I love our Lord.

Happy Rebirthday.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Lyrical Wednesday- For my Dear Friends

Something brought you to my mind today
I thought about the funny ways you make me laugh
And yet I feel like it’s ok to cry with you.
Something about just being with you
When I leave I feel like I’ve been near God
And that’s the way it ought to be.

You had faith when I had none
You prayed God would bring me a brand new song
When I didn’t think I could find the strength to sing
And all the while I’m hoping that I’ll
Do the kind of praying for you that you’ve done for me
And that’s the way it ought to be.

You have carried me.
You have taken upon a burden that wasn’t your own.
May the blessing return to you a hundredfold.

You’ve been more than a friend to me
You fight off my enemies
You’ve spoken truth over my life
You’ll never know what it means to me-
Just to know you’ve been on your knees for me.
You have blessed my life
More than you’ll ever know.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Bena Update

This just in from the Highlands... I could use your prayers today. Not a day goes by when I don't wish I were over there. Life in the States just doesn't have the meaning or purpose that being over there has... The door has pretty much closed for me to return any time soon, but I'm praying so hard that I can return- long term too- in the not too distant future.

"Joyce" in this story was my language helper when I went to Interface as a student, and we remained friends as I returned 2 more times in the following 18 months. She'd call me her daughter, and her son's sister, and I just adored (still adore) her. "Yagaso" was a dear woman, and I remember when a friend called me one morning to tell me she'd passed on last year. Rarely a day goes by when I don't think of her as well.

I can't even say clearly how much these people mean to me... I am so hoping to return...

Just hours into the new year, Tumun entered into the presence of her

Tumun is the Bena woman who has been battling advanced cancer of her
internal organs. She rejected the witch doctors' remedies, and stood firm in
the hope of God's healing. He answered her prayer with 'ultimate healing'.

The village is abuzz over how she died so peacefully, a stark contrast to
the norm. Tumun's testimony has obviously affected her sister, Joyce, in a
tremendous way. Joyce described how, near the end, Tumun uttered the name
'Jesus' and quietly opened her arms to Him. Shortly thereafter, she was
joined by Dawn Foster, missionary to the Bena, who encouraged her with the
thought that her Father was calling her home. Seconds after, she passed

Joyce knows that Tumun was trusting in Jesus, and is convinced that her
sister is in heaven. Seeing her go that way made Joyce feel 'at rest in her
spirit' for her sister's sake. Now we are praying that Joyce will put her
trust in Christ, too. She is definitely pondering Tumun's faith in a new

It was just over a year ago (Dec.16th) that our village grandmother, Yagaso,
also died peacefully. Both these women have caused much discussion in the
village at their death. While we did not have complete assurance of Yagaso's
faith in God, we know without a doubt that Tumun is in heaven!

What a wonderful way to usher in a new year, meeting her Saviour face to

Please pray:

-that Tumun's testimony of faith will draw others to the Saviour

-for our January Interface program beginning in a few hours, that God will
use us and the program to raise up more labourers for the harvest

-that God will continue to add to His Church this year with new tribal
groups hearing His Word for the first time

Emerson and Miriam

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Beyond This Point...

"...Lies The Rest Of The World". So reads this almost overlook-able landmark at Manhattan Beach in LA. It's fitting for today too. I have a lot of hope for this year. 2008 was the absolute worst year of my life, and I KNOW that 2009 is going to be so much better!

Already I’m ahead of where I was this time last year: I have a better job, getting paid more, my boss doesn’t hate me AND she’s a Christian, I am more at peace with pretty much everything right now- I don’t feel like I’m fighting God on anything (at the moment), I have some amazing friends (I did last year too, but I’m even more sure of our love for each other, and probably more grateful now too).

I feel like I’m on a good path right now, though the path itself is kind of hidden. But really, I am OK with not being fully sure of the next step.

The things that I am sure of at the moment: I love the Lord, I’ll be at my current job for a while, I won’t be going back to PNG soon (though I wish this were different), and I really want to listen and be obediant. God’s got me in an interesting place where I’m making some new friends, and coming upon different new opportunities almost weekly. I’m pretty content right now. This is great! May this contentment continue throughout the new year.