Saturday, December 28, 2013

The Darkness

It is dark, but not Ugandan child sacrifice dark.

It is dark, but not Jordanian Islamic religiosity dark.

It is dark, but not Haitian voodoo and witchcraft dark.

It is dark, but not American consumerism dark.

It is that seemingly impenetrable dark.

It is that darkness that surrounds you and robs you of your peace and contentment.

It is that darkness that won't let you sleep at night because it lingers.

It is that darkness that steals your words of Truth right as they come out of your mouth.

It is that darkness that makes you weep.

It is that darkness that helps you better understand the weight of sin on our Savior.

It is that darkness that makes you fall at your Savior's feet day and night.

It is that darkness that comes to mind when you are on your knees before the Lord.

It is that darkness that radiates the evident need of humans for a savior.

It is that darkness that makes you cry out "LORD LET YOUR KINGDOM COME."

And with a resounding lament, "on earth AS IT IS IN HEAVEN."

 

This darkness is what has kept me from writing these past few weeks. I know many of you have been wondering what is going on in Thailand, and I want to apologize for just now updating you. I simply have not the words to speak about the place we have been in. A few days before Christmas, the Lord drew me into His bosom and allowed me to see the beautiful women we have been loving, as well as the seemingly "nasty" men who use those women. And when I gazed out that window, praying and worshiping over that dark street the Lord so patiently said to them, through me, "I see you." and said to me, "Lauren I see them. I don't just see what they are doing right now. I don't just see the women offering their bodies to these men. I don't just see these men as the dogs it looks like they are, buying these women off of the street. I see my precious daughter, wrapped in the most beautiful robe of righteousness, white as snow. And I see the men, bowing before my throne worshipping me in humble adoration of a King who loved them 'while they were yet sinners' [Romans 5:8]. I rejoice over them and exult over them singing "oh how I love you." and although it doesn't seem like they hear me, deep in their soul I am doing a work in them. Their soul is remembering the singing it is hearing, and it is storing that song in their hearts. One day they WILL receive that song and be set free from this place. Just rejoice my servant, for you too were as they are and now you are free indeed!"

The Light of Christ was the only hope for my lost soul. And this same Light of Christ is the hope of the souls in this beautiful country.

Thankful to be given the opportunity to see God's love poured out over this country. The weight of His Love for these people is unfathommable.

Peace be to you brothers and sisters! Thank you for the prayers.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Number 14,765,456

Thailand

Is it a fear that I will be overcome with a love for another people group?
Is it a fear that my heart will again be burdened for an injustice that seems so impossible to overcome?
Or is it a fear that she will no longer be just a number?

Here they are, all sitting in front of me. One by one, lined up, and forgotten. They are a number. 26,342,567. Slaves. Sex slaves.

And I see that number, number 14,765,456. And I cry out to God for that number.

But in 9 or 10 days that number, number 14,765,456 will become a face. And then, only then, she can no longer be number 14,765,456. Then her face, and her name, and her passions will be written on my heart. Then I will be able to weep with her and cry out to God beside her. But I won't be able to rescue her from where she has been.
Just. Like. With. Ella. Grace.

And that is precisely my greatest fear. I want to rescue them from being just a number. I want to rescue them from becoming one of those numbers. But I can't. I can't. I keep hitting that wall, that wall at the end of the word "can't," the wall at the letter "t." Which very possibly is where the Lord wants me. At the end of myself . And the beginning of Himself, "I can."

"My grace is sufficient, for my power is made perfect in weakness." [2 Corinthians 12:9]

There at the "t" I find my end. The end of my strength, the end of my tears, and the final shattered piece of my heart. There His Spirit, His life, and His Son, Jesus come to life fully inside of me. And there a battle is being won against my flesh. For if there is one thing I have discovered in the past 6 months, it is that once we relinquish it all, then He shows His all-powerful self through us.

And He says, "my daughter, you cannot rescue her from being that number, because sin exists, and death persists, but what you can do, by my grace, is keep her from remaining number 14,765,456. By loving her as Jesus, she will be prevented from remaining number 14,765,456, and her identity will be daughter of the King of Kings, precious in my eyes, honored, and My Beloved. Which is exactly who Ella Grace became, and who she is even now as she rejoices at my throne. It will hurt you my Beloved, because this was never the way it was intended to be, but I promised you, and remind you I AM COMING BACK. And behold, I am with you always to the end of the age."

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Ski lift Loving


We arrive at the ski mountain, ready to tear up the mountain. As we are anxiously awaiting our time to get on the ski lift the Lord causes me to pause and ask Him what He wants out of this day. And His answer was, "I want my glory to be made known on this mountain. I want these people to recognize who I am and why this mountain exists."

"Okay" I say, "I want that as well."

"Then be open and willing to sharing truth with my people who get on the lift with you."

"Yes I will."

What an incredible day it was from that moment on, starting conversations with all of His children, some that know Him and some that don't know Him. But one man in particular grew a liking to me and wanted to continue talking and talking and talking. His name is Joe, and he is from the Washington DC/ New York area. He actually did YWAM's DTS 10 years ago, in Germany. However, now he is Jewish. Why, you ask? Because he felt he didn't find the answers he wanted in Christianity (our God is a mysterious God). The conversation continued as I told him about a dream I had where Jesus came to me and said. "come follow me." He said, "that's great, and if Jesus came to me in a dream I wouldn't ask any more questions."

"Okay," I said excitingly! "Then you are going to have a dream of Jesus because He wants you in His Kingdom, and I am going to pray for that!"

"Well I am pretty set in my ways but whatever you say! I would love prayers!"

We arrived at the top of the mountain shortly after this and decided to hike a few hundred yards to look at the view on the back side of the mountain together.

The view drew deep worship to our Creator out of all three of us, and we stood astounded at the seeming "coincidence" that we ended up meeting each other.

As we walked back we exchanged numbers and said "maybe we will run into each other again." And we did, continuing the conversation about an hour later when we ended up on the lift together again.

Marte and I had a few more conversations about the Gospel with people on the lift. Some of them welcomed the Truth, others despised the Truth. Nevertheless, the people on that mountain which God created from His hands, heard about the Love of Jesus Christ.

Marte and I may never know what fruit will come from us sharing the Gospel on those ski lifts, but what was a self-centered day, turned it to a God-centered day, and was much more satisfying. So I challenge you, to ask God what He wants out of this day and who He wants you to love today.

"All authority in Heaven and on Earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold I am with you always to the end of the age." Matthew 28:18-20

 

Monday, October 28, 2013

My Reputation > Your Salvation.

My reputation is more important than your salvation

Saturday night I was talking to my sweet sister in Christ about why our walks with the Lord are so challenging. She shared with me her frustration in being obedient to the Lord. Not because she doesn't want to be Obedient but because walking with the Lord seems so challenging. "It seems like so much work." My other sweet sister, Alyssa responded and said, "nobody, especially not Christ ever said it would be easy." Then Fee went on to say, "for example the other day we were at Starbucks and I saw these two young girls sitting down and I knew the Lord was calling me to share with them but I denied Him, then when I finally decided to be obedient they were gone."

I kindly responded and said, "why do you think you originally decided to not share with them?"

She said, "I don't know, because I was scared?"

"Yes, because your reputation was more important to you than their salvation. We only are fearful because we are afraid of how people will react, and we are only fearful of how people will react because we don't want to be rejected. However, think of how often Jesus was rejected, and yet he still kept sharing. Fee, God wants you to be obedient because He wants you to join with Him in His heart for the nations to teach you faith."

Jesus Christ's command is clear, "go and make disciples of all nations.." His command is straightforward; the fulfillment of it is challenging. Because we often trade the eternal satisfaction of sharing Christ, for the fleeting satisfaction of maintaining our reputation.

"Sister," I said, "listen to God when He asks you to be obedient, pray without ceasing and abide in Him."

The following day after Fee was tested in her obedience with her finances, we went to the laundromat to wash our clothes. After praying for opportunities to share the Gospel, we walked in and pretty immediately Fee felt the desire to share with two young men who were also washing their clothes. It was time for Fee to make the decision about whether her reputation was more important than their salvation. She decided no.

Although neither one of the guys were interested in hearing the Truth from her (one was an atheist) Fee was set free to enjoy the proud look of a Father to His daughter for her obedience. And there is nothing like the look of a Father's glory being satisfied through His daughter's obedience.

Today it was my turn. While sitting at Chipotle grabbing lunch, I noticed a guy sitting by himself eating. After trying to encourage everybody or anybody at the table to share with him, finally Joe looked at me and said, "Elle, if you want him to hear the Truth so badly why don't you just go share with him?" Although it wasn't the voice of God directly, I knew He was speaking through Joe, and it was my time to be obedient. My friend Steve and I went and sat next to him to start a conversation with him. After talking to him about worshiping the creator through creation, we prayed for him, encouraged him, and he ended up leaving saying "please keep doing what y'all are doing." Although he didn't come to know the Lord, Steve rightly proclaimed, "seed planted."

It's true, it's all about planting seeds, in obedience, by the grace and strength of Jesus Christ inside of you, and for His glory alone.

So, sacrifice your reputation, for the sake of another's salvation. BECAUSE: "when faith becomes obedience then it is true faith indeed" (God's pursuit of Man, Tozer p. 121).


Fee is on the far left and Alyssa is on the far right. Mafe is the one with the white headband, also a faithful Gospel sharer!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

The seeds he thought were never sown..


A farmer went out to farm his field. As he was going about planting seeds he saw this huge wave of water rushing in. As the water drew close, he noticed in the next field over the farmer's (who he competes with) daughter napping on the ground. There his bag of seed lay on the ground. The bag was too heavy to be able to carry it and the little girl. In a moment he needed to make a choice, sacrifice all fo this season's seeds and risk not having an income for a whole season. Tears streamed down his face as he thought of how he wouldn't be able to care for his family if he lost all the seeds. In the following moment he saw his very own daughter on the field and ran to get her just before the wave came crashing down taking the seeds with it. As he ran furiously to his neighbor's house  he squeezed the little girl in his arms and safely arrived at the house. Right after he laid her on the stairs he began to walk away because he didn't want anybody to see him crying. Just then the parents of the little girl ran out of the house weeping for the fear they had lost their one and only daughter. There they found her laying on the stairs and nobody in sight. As the farmer was walking back to his house, tears wept down his face as he thought of how he wouldn't be able to care for his family. Weeks passed by and the farmer looked for work everywhere but nobody needed help. The following day the farmer decided not to get out of bed because he was so ashamed his family was running out of food. All of a sudden his youngest daughter, the one he "saw" in the field when the water was coming, ran into his room saying "daddy daddy, come quick! come look!" Dragging her daddy out of bed, she took him over to the window to see the most lucious, fruitful field he had ever seen. He ran downstairs with his daughter on his back only to find the whole town gathered around looking at his green field. They had never seen a field so green! The farmer then exclaimed, "there's food for everyone!"

To the degree that we understand the Gospel we will also understand this verse,

"do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves."

Because our Father in Heaven lived this out to a degree that we never will be able to live out. In humility he counted us as "more significant" than himself. He in his perfect nature did not count his sinlessness something to be protected, he condescended and came to us from his perfect and holy Throne. He became poor, lived in a sinful world, and dwelt among sinful people. And yet, he came to save those very people, us. He saw his bag of seeds, his security, and then he saw us, trapped, napping in our sin, unaware of the eternal death that lingered. In humility, outside of selfish more significant than his perfect, righteous presence at the right hand of God the Father. So we don't see Jesus as being born when he came out of Mary's womb, instead the moment he came out of Mary's womb was the moment he counted us as more significant than his eternal righteous, existence in Heaven.

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Friday, October 18, 2013

When the tears freeze


When the tears freeze, so does all of me.

All of me standing before the throne of your Holy Presence, on earth as it is in Heaven. All of me and none of me, resurrected to your presence in the fullness of my soul with my flesh left behind. This is all I long for Jesus, to be wholly in your presence and none in the world's. If I could just see your face Lord, behold you for who you are, nothing less and nothing more. Just your magnificent presence in glorious Light, in the Light of your creation. There, there my tears freeze. For a moment in time, physically in the freezing air, and spiritually in the freezing presence of knowing a Holy and Perfect God. Here I find myself being frozen, molded, formed, into the image of a faultless, pure, white creation.
Then, where else would I want to be, but draped in the purest white snow that surrounds me in this moment, walking down the aisle to your glorious face and being. This my Love is why your presence is so imperative for my broken and contrite spirit. To know that as those doors open and I see your face for the first time, my tears freeze, that day, that moment, that time is frozen-in time. Frozen in a place where my tears can no longer fall because you have romanced me into your presence, into a place I can't escape. I can only be, and be and be frozen in your Love, forever. United in Holy matrimony, to a perfect, faultless Man-God.
The unique presence of your Spirit, reminds me of this Holy matrimony, today and forever more.

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Friday, October 11, 2013

Mommy, why do you love me?

I shared my testimony tonight with my friend Isaiah. And as I was talking to him about my current state of mind, and struggles he looked at me straight in the eyes and said, "on behalf of men I'm sorry, you do not deserve that."

We talked back and forth for a few minutes, and then he looked at me and he said, "What if Ella Grace grew up and she came to you one day and said 'mommy, why do you love me?' what would you say in response?"

I tried to form a response but ended up saying, "there is no worldly way why I would love her, I just do." And he said, "imagine Ella Grace asking you again, 'but why mommy? There must be a reason you love me?' You would probably try to come up with some reason why you loved her, but would end up saying, 'because you are my daughter.' Now imagine how you have felt, unworthy of God's love, and you keep asking Him why? Imagine what His response to you would be."

I don't quite understand God's love, but I want to. Its mysterious. Maybe I never will understand why God looked at me and has continued looking at me even with all of my questions and has said, "my precious daughter, 'I love you'" but I know He does. I really really believe that despite all of this pain and suffering - that one day will be redeemed - I still love the Lord and He loves me, unconditionally.

"I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you." Isaiah 31:3

My answer would be, as well I believe the answer my Father has given me:

My sweet Ella Grace, when you came into my arms, there was a love brought over me that was completely unexplainable. That love continued to grow even as I had sleepless nights taking care of you. That love continued to grow even when you screamed out. And that love continued even when you rejected my love. And when somebody else held you if even for a moment I was jealous, I wanted you to myself, and I wanted you to know I would be there for you no matter what. And then that one look you gave me, when I handed you to another person, you didn't have to say the words, but the way you looked at me, I knew you loved me in return.




Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Free-flyin

Somewhere between heaven and the graveyard I found fly-fishing. By God's grace it has been one of the biggest gifts our Heavenly Father has ever given me. There, there on that river the storm ends and peace begins. There on that river my soul finds its rest. And there on that river my mind escapes. Presence is a thing to be grasped but often we cannot find it. We think behind and in front but we don't think now. We can't stay completely and fully in the moment away from the past and the future. Until we find ourselves throwing a fly across a river. There it is we watch and wait patiently for the fish to rise, and in excitement we rejoice when that beautiful rainbow trout bites the fly. The fish sings the glory of our God.

The rhythms of the water drop deep into my soul, uttering the most tangible and softest pattern my heart can fathom. And there, there on the river where my soul finds rest, there it also worships the Creator.

Perhaps they don't understand, they don't believe it's fair, but often there is an adventure out there for everyone we just don't take chances. I don't know what I shall do tomorrow. But I know what I will do today: fish.







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Sunday, September 22, 2013

The darkness

They don't tell you about the darkness do they?


They don't tell you about the nights you will spend with your eyes closed and your mind wide open. They don't tell you that it will be impossible to turn your furiously beating heart down for a little while to find some sense of peace [except when fly-fishing]. They don't tell you that you will feel like you are in a dark hole, trying to climb out but every time you grab the edge the dirt just falls straight on you. They don't tell you that the Light has to enter into the darkness. They don't tell you that fearlessly loving someone means you are more deeply exposed to potential grief and pain when that person leaves you, whether physically or emotionally. They don't tell you that they will ALWAYS LEAVE YOU.

Because death exists. And it sucks. It was never intended. It was never part of the Plan. But it happens.

I just thought I would tell you.

That it hurts. It's more painful than anything you will ever experience physically. It's not eternal but it feels like it. It is deeply rooted into a place you can't even touch, only they can. Only He can. And it affects your every move, your every thought. The questions never end. I'm sorry I wish I could say they do, but they don't. You won't ever forget that person. But you will forgive.

He knows He is mysterious. He knows you have questions. And He knows you are hurting. And He didn't intend for there to be pain. But there is sin. And death exists. And it sucks. And somehow someway this all will be redeemed. I promise. Well, He promised. And He can't break promises like I can and I do.

He knows your mad. He knows you wish you could run away from Him. Go ahead, try.

HE WILL NEVER LEAVE YOU OR FORSAKE YOU.

YOU CANNOT HIDE FROM HIM. [even when you wish you could]

But go ahead and try. You will find yourself back on your knees begging Him for the grace He has already given you.

You are forgiven, eternally. And no, it isn't wrong for you to yell at Him. He knows you are angry, He knows you can't understand His mysterious sovereignty. And NO He doesn't trust you because "he knows you can handle it." YOU CANT. HE CAN. That's the Gospel. That's why we exist.

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Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Why we memorize scripture

Why do we memorize scripture?

We memorize scripture not for the prosperous times when we love being in the Word. We memorize scripture for the days when our hearts struggle to desire the word; looking for Truth in the depth of our souls we call to mind what was joyfully written on and hidden in our hearts when joy was easy to find.

Yesterday while I was crying out to my friend about how angry it makes me that we have to suffer daily by seeing sin all around us and knowing we will not be released from it in this world, I called to mind what Revelation 12:7-12. It would do you good to read it:

Now war arose in heaven, Michael and his angels fighting against the dragon. And the dragon and his angels fought back, but he was defeated, and there was no longer any place for them in heaven. And the great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world—he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him. 10 And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, “Now the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ have come, for the accuser of our brothers has been thrown down, who accuses them day and night before our God. 11 And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death. 12 Therefore, rejoice, O heavens and you who dwell in them! But woe to you, O earth and sea, for the devil has come down to you in great wrath, because he knows that his time is short!”

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Friday, August 23, 2013

Two roads








Two roads diverged on a narrow mountain, 
And I, I took the one less traveled, and it took me to a place of abandonment, 
A dark dark wood cluttered with falsities and lies, 

There I was surrounded, suffocating from the very things 
I thought to be true, good, noble, and worthy. 

There, there I stood longing for the other road, 
the road which ought not lead me to a place of such abandonment, 

But I heard somebody calling from the other side, 
"do not walk this path, it may seem to be brighter over here 
but it is leading to eternal darkness." 

And so I continued, walking the path of pain and suffering, 
barely holding on to the Truth that there will be Redemption.

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1. “Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few. [Matthew 7:13-14]
2. "Surely God is good to Israel, to those who are pure in heart. But as for me, my feet had almost slipped; I had nearly lost my foothold. For I envied the arrogant when I saw the prosperity of the wicked. They have no struggles; their bodies are healthy and strong.  They are free from the burdens common to man; they are not plagued by human ills. Therefore prideis their necklace; they clothe themselves with violence.  From their callous hearts comes iniquity; the evil conceits of their minds know no limits.  They scoff, and speak with malice; in their arrogance they threaten oppression.  Their mouths lay claim to heaven, and their tongues take possession of the earth.  Therefore their people turn to them and drink up waters in abundance.  They say, "How can God know? Does the Most High have knowledge?"  This is what the wicked are like-- always carefree, they increase in wealth.  Surely in vain have I kept my heart pure; in vain have I washed my hands in innocence.  All day long I have been plagued; I have been punished every morning.  If I had said, "I will speak thus," I would have betrayed your children.  When I tried to understand all this, it was oppressive to me  till I entered the sanctuary of God; then I understood their final destiny.  Surely you place them on slippery ground; you cast them down to ruin.  How suddenly are they destroyed, completely swept away by terrors!  As a dream when one awakes, so when you arise, O Lord, you will despise them as fantasies.  When my heart was grieved and my spirit embittered,  I was senseless and ignorant; I was a brute beast before you. Yet I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand.  You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will take me into glory.  Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you.  My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.  Those who are far from you will perish; you destroy all who are unfaithful to you.  But as for me, it is good to be near God. I have made the Sovereign LORD my refuge; I will tell of all your deeds." [Psalm 73]

Monday, August 19, 2013

lost

"If then I am a wrongdoer and have committed anything for which I deserve to die, I do not seek to escape death."

Lost, wandering,
not really sure where is up. Not really sure I believe in Up.

I want to, but I just can't.

Thankful. For the small things:

My time in Colorado.



The people praying for me all over the U.S.A.
The people surrounding me with love and wisdom.
My brother and his new wife, and their beautiful wedding.



An awesome new friend, fishing guide, and wedding date (a great dancer and a Patrick Dempsey look alike).





My family.

Four-wheeling with the famjamily

10 mile bike adventure in the Zirkel wilderness

Rehearsal dinner with the siblings

Some sweet time on the river with my [twin] sister and our three "other brothers."






Dreading every day, waking up to a nightmare of a life.

At the lowest and deepest point of my life thus far. If only I believed the promise that He picks me up from the miry pit.

I delight in knowing that there is something in me which must fall prostrate before God when He reveals Himself to me, and also in knowing that if I am ever to be raised up it must be by the hand of God. God can do nothing for me until I recognize the limits of what is humanely possible, allowing Him to do the impossible. -Chambers



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Saturday, May 25, 2013

Overflowing Images

Our minds see a thousand images a day.

On the way to work, to school, on the way home, billboards, pictures, advertisements.

Everywhere we look our minds are being saturated with images.

Processing a thousand images a second, and we still can't get enough.

 

But how exactly is this affecting our brain? How hard is our brain truly working? Are we able to process the world around us successfully if we are constantly looking at and processing these images?

As we fill our brains with images after images after images, there is a great loving God who just wants us to be still.

He wants us to completely clear our minds and just sit in His presence.

Often when I find myself desiring to solely meet with the Lord, when I am longing to dwell in His presence alone, I cannot get these images out of my mind. My brain is turned On 100 mph when the Lord simply wants it to slow down to 20 mph.

And these images rushing through my head are not inherently evil images, until they take me away from the presence of the Lord. Until they affect the Sporit's ability to bring me to complete silence.

Yesterday evening I went downtown with my sister to do yoga [yes I went to try my hand at flexibility [ask me how that turned out later]]. Anyway, toward the end of our time doing yoga the yoga instructor beckoned us to lay down and relax. She said those 3 words that we all need to remember sometimes [often] BREATHE, BREATHE, BREATHEEEE. Then hastily we sat up with our hands in a prayer position on our chest, as she recited her best line, "let the sun redeem you, let it fill you up again."

Sometimes I wonder how secular people come up with the better 'Christian lines.' because that is what our walk with Christ is all about. It is about ridding ourselves of the images, slowing our brains down, taking the time to BREATHEEEE, and letting the Son redeem you, and fill you up again.

Replace the images on Facebook, instagram, pinterest, TV, your cell phone, and magazines with the Living and abiding Word of God. And as you replace those images with the Word of God, let new, restoring images of His grace pour into you and out of you into the lives of those around you.

 

There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,

the holy habitation of the Most High.

 

God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved;

God will help her when morning dawns.

 

The nations rage, the kingdoms totter;

he utters his voice, the earth melts.

 

The Lord of hosts is with us;

the God of Jacob is our fortress. Selah

Come, behold the works of the Lord,

how he has brought desolations on the earth.

 

He makes wars cease to the end of the earth;

he breaks the bow and shatters the spear;

he burns the chariots with fire.

 

"Be still, and know that I am God.

I will be exalted among the nations,

I will be exalted in the earth!"

 

The Lord of hosts is with us;

the God of Jacob is our fortress. Selah (Psalm 46:4-11 ESV)

 

 

 

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Freedom

30 reasons why I am thankful in April:

I am thankful for freedom.

I am thankful for the freedom of knowing Christ.
I am thankful for the freedom to love others as Christ loves us.
I am thankful for the freedom that I have felt in this last week, as Jesus truly has let me release the burdens that have been upon my back for the past year. I am thankful He has set me free and given me the strength to set my sweet Ella Grace free to enjoy her Savior.


Monday, April 15, 2013

What I never told you

Ella Grace,

There is something I never told you during that day.

When I sat outside those two white doors next to my precious friend Rhyan, and all of the thoughts were running through my head of what could possibly happen
When I heard that Canadian doctor tell me, "what happens happens"
When I sat on that bench with my head on my knees begging the Lord to make sense of it all
When Rhyan looked at me with true, honest, Christ-centered eyes and told me she was there for me
When my heart couldn't stand to be separated from you as your poor little body suffered on that huge hospital bed
When my arms pushed through the doors and ran to hold your tiny little hand again
When I looked at your body and longed to take away the suffering
When you opened your eyes and looked straight into mine

I knew where you were going. 

I knew the Lord had already called you to Himself. I knew that He was holding you rocking you, and teaching you to live in the freedom of knowing Him. I knew that you were in the presence of Jesus because you slept so peacefully with your eyes closed. It was only when you awakened to see this world so full of sin and sorrow that you began to scream and cry. It was only when your eyes saw the deep depths of despair that this world brings that you wanted to return to your sweet slumber.

When I carried you into the Children's room
When I sat next to you on the bed and wondered how long we would have to be in that sorrow-filled room
When my heart couldn't possibly grasp the reality of death

I knew where you were going.

I knew that the weight of God's glory was shining upon your face. I knew that His presence was radiating into your soul. I knew that He was speaking to you. I knew that He was preparing you to enter into eternity.

When I held your lifeless frame
When I looked at my sweet friend Bethany's face, looking for some sort of hope
When she gasped and felt my pain
When I waited as they placed your body in a box
When I walked outside into the sunlight and wondered where the Son was
When I fell down on my knees weeping with an unimaginable pain in my heart
When I cried out to God saying, "eli eli lama sabacthani [my God, my God, why have you forsaken me?]"
When many Haitians gathered around me on that hot pavement
When I began to walk away from that dreadful place
When I held your precious self for hours
When I shed a thousand tears and felt they still weren't enough

I knew where you were.

I knew that Heaven gained a precious soul. I knew that angels upon angels were rejoicing at your still small voice beginning to speak for the first time. I knew that Jesus sought your soul and found you. I knew that He Alone was rescuing you from the grave. I knew that you were in the presence of the Great One.

When we gathered around the hole
When we prayed as sisters and brothers
When I felt the Body of Christ
When we sang "Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me"
When I kissed you for the last time in this world
When we placed you in your earthly dwelling place
When the clouds surrounded the sun and it seemed to shine directly on you
When I planted sunflowers on your grave






I knew where you found rest.

I knew that Jesus had said 2000 years ago that He had gone ahead to prepare a place for us

“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.” [John 14:1-4]



I knew that you had been set free to love Jesus with all He enabled you to love Him with. I knew that you were dancing before Him, with many tribes of people. I knew that they saw you my precious daughter as a perfect representative of your beloved country, Haiti. I knew once you were in the eternal presence of God, you would no longer remember the pain you suffered in this world.

When I didn't sleep for days 
When I was thinking of you every day this past year
When I trembled at the pain of losing you
When Jesus reminded me of His Sacrifice
When our Father reminded me of His Grace
When the Holy Spirit reminded me of His power


I remembered you are in Paradise.

You, my Sister, my beloved Child, the second love of my life, I must set you free to enjoy your Savior. I must set you free that I may live in joy. I must set you free to rejoice in your Father. I must set you free to Dance for all eternity with your Eternal Love.

And O My Precious Love, how I long for that day when I will be reunited with you and my Savior to worship in Freedom and full glorification. 

Jesus, my soul waits longingly, expectantly for your return. Please Jesus may this Word reach the thousands out there who have lost a child, who have suffered the extreme pain that your Father experienced when He saw His Son upon the cross, and heard you cry, "Eli Eli lama sabachthani."

Let me never forget the ultimate Love that was shown upon that Cross.
Oh how great you are my Beloved Jesus.







Sunday, April 14, 2013

Peace

April 11, 12 13, 14

30 Reasons why I am thankful in April

I am thankful for peace. I am thankful for quiet. I am thankful for Jesus' still, strong voice.


Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Accountability

30 reasons why I am thankful in April:

I am thankful for accountability, even if it comes through the phone a few hundred miles away. I am thankful for this sister. I cannot even explain the depth of the Love of our gracious God for calling her to come speak to me, a stranger at the time, two years ago and introduce herself. What a loving sister I have in her. Jesus thank you.

 

Wow, what a faithful sister in Christ.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Spring time

30 reasons why I am thankful in April:

I am thankful for Spring time, for the pollen, the green trees, a picnic in the park, and a hike around the lake, all during a lunch break with one spectacular guy!

P.S. well..honestly I don't know how huge of a fan I am of all this pollen, it seems to be taking over :-/

Sunday, April 7, 2013

An Evangelistic Brother

30 reasons why I am thankful in April:

Day 7: An Evangelistic Brother

I am thankful for my evangelistic brother in Christ, Chase Inman. I am thankful for the marvelous work the Lord has been doing on his heart, and I am thankful to hear of this work daily. I am thankful for the clear love he has been given from the Lord, for sinners, and lost people. And I pray the Lord may also give me an evangelistic heart, that I too may be willing to share the Truth of the Gospel with anybody I come into contact with. I am thankful to do life with this brother and best friend.

And I am thankful for a long walk/run with my mom on Mobile Bay. I am thankful for the precious time I have had with her this weekend.