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.