Tuesday, December 4, 2007

What have you said today?

Has someone been blessed because of the encouragement and love you have shared in simple words?

Or has someone been torn apart because of angry, careless talk?

"May the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be pleasing to you oh God."

Monday, November 5, 2007

Most days I wake up and think "Man if I could just roll over and pull the covers up over my head and stay right here everything would be wonderful!". And most of my life I have blamed this on the fact that I am NOT a morning person. Or the fact that I am just too tired. Or the fact that it is too cold to get out from under the covers. Sure those factors might play into it a little......

BUT lately I have realized something else. I tend to be a morning person, and I don't seem all that tired, and it really doesn't seem too cold to get out of bed on certain days. Like say it's Christmas morning, or I am meeting someone to go shopping or I am going to see my fiance. YEAH!

Recently I have realized that the issue to getting out of bed is a little deeper and carries over into much more of my life......basically it all comes down to the fact that I am human.

I am human.....I think about myself a lot. I don't want to get out of bed because I want to enjoy the moment and feel good.

I am human.....I want things to go my way. If I get out of bed something bad might happen or the day might not go the way I want it to. So why not just avoid it?

I am human.....I don't care that much about others. People sometimes annoy me and I just don't want to have to put up with them. So I'll stay in bed so I don't have to be around anyone or put up with anyone.

I am human......I am weak. I have to act like I am awake and full of energy as I head into my job when in reality I am tired of doing and giving.

Yeah I think that tends to be the problem most mornings when I don't want to push back those covers.

AND I think that tends to be the problem most days when I don't want to push myself out of the way and really live my life for Christ rather than myself.

There will be days when I am tired but a mulitude of people (students) will be before me waiting to learn something......God I need Your strength.

There will be days when I want to be alone but will be surrounded by others needing someone to listen.......God I need your patience and kindness.

There will be days when I will want things to go my way.........God I need your understanding in every situation.

There will be days when I want to do something for ME...........God remind me what life is really about.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Conspicuous holiness ought to be the mark of the church of God.....Would God that whenever they speak of you or me they may have no evil thing to say of us unless they lie.

C.H. Spurgeon

Monday, October 22, 2007

"Peace will never come from clutching many things but only from letting go of all but one thing - Jesus". Steven James

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Why must I suffer?

Lately I have just continued to ask God......WHY? Why must I suffer? Why must I hurt so much? Why do I have to be a part of this situation?

And I was reminded yesterday of all the lies Satan is feeding me. God doesn't WANT me to suffer. He doesn't WANT me to have to go through these circumstances. And He really doesn't WANT me to hurt.

BUT He does WANT me to be drawn to Him, to grow closer to Him, and to ultimately be more like Him.

And well I can see it. These momements of "unpleasentness" are drawing me closer to Him and closer to who He wants me to be. So right now I am looking at my circumstances as a blessing and joy to be closer to my God.

Romans 8:17 "If we are God's children, we will receive blessings from God together with Christ. But we must suffer as Christ suffered so that we will have glory as Christ has glory".

Tuesday, September 25, 2007


So Troy and I are starting to work on a wedding powerpoint to show the best we can visually of how our lives came together over the last 28-32 years:) (32 being Troy's years.) lol. Looking through lots of old pictures wonderful memories have come up and sometimes I think I even wish just for 1 hour I could go back and spend a moment in those times again. Just to remember the joyfulness of my childhood and all the wonderful times.

But instead I will just take a moment to post this picture and share some simple childhood memories.......pink fuzzy slippers, two pigtails on either side of my head tied with fuzzy ribbons, a small toy piano to amuse myself for hours in my room, Strawberry Shortcake sheets, and my little pony dolls.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Thinking upon God's love

The other day I was reminded of the depths of God's love through the love of His creation (other humans).

It all hit me as I sang the lyrics to a popular praise song.

"You see the depths of my heart and you love me the same"

"You are amazing God"

There are times when I feel that those close to me put up with a lot. I might be grumpy one day, or I might just lie around and complain and moan other days and somedays I might be just plain out mean.

What do I really deserve? Surely not their love. And yet I get it.

And many days I am nowhere near a point of deserving God's love but He graciously bestows it upon me no matter what.

God's love is truly amazing and I am humbled by it and I am also humbled by those who love me through this same kind of love reminding me of the true source of where it comes.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

The end of summer

So I realized just the other day that summer is over.

Labor Day has come and gone, I started my first day of teaching, and it is getting dark around 8pm:(

Summer has come and gone and so much has happened.

And since I posted at the beginning of the summer expressing the excitement over what God would bring in during this season of my life, I suppose I should take a minute and share.

My sister came and spent much of the summer with me, which is always nice since I don't see her much during the year.

Love you sis!

I finished my last summer of graduate classes at Penn State University and only have to finish my graduate research project within the next 3 years to complete my masters.

Lots of work but so worth it in the long run.

I learned how to play guitar hero and became an expert:) Several hours of practice until 1am can be a lot of fun.

And I became the fiancé of the most wonderful man in the whole world, bought a wedding dress, and began planning for a very special day when I will be able to wear that dress.

The beauty and warmth of summer brought much warmth and beauty to my heart this year and I am thankful for the creator of summer and the creator of me for all of the wonderful blessings He has shone down on me.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Saturday - August 18th, 2007
Happy Birthday!

Friday, August 17, 2007

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

The Last Day

The day is finally here!!! My last day of graduate classes at Penn State University. It seems like just yesterday that I was coming up to start (actually 4 years ago). I sit here before heading to my last two classes excited for sure, to get sleep that has been neglected the last 3 weeks and to relax before starting another school year. But there is a slight emotion of sadness hanging around me too. Each summer that I have attended classes I have left energized and excited to teach another school year. I have learned so much about myself and my teaching and have really come to understand how to impact my students even more with music. I will miss these inspiring summers. But I will remember how they have encouraged me and how learning has brought me rejuvination and I will continue to strive for that in my future. And who knows, maybe someday my brother won't be the only Dr. in the family. But I won't discuss that much now because I need a BREAK!

Thursday, July 19, 2007


Two days ago I sat on the bus ready to go home from a long day of classes at PSU. I was tired, had a million things to do when I got home and sat in a half being sort of state with only a few stops to go. That's when a girl got on the bus who I couldn't help but notice. It was obvious she had been crying and as I looked at where she had just come from I began to think of her reasons for crying (the bursor's office). Maybe she had just found out she had a bill she couldn't pay and couldn't come back to school. Or maybe she had found out she had just failed a class and had to pay for it all over again. The possibilites kept coming and I thought to myself that she looks like she needs someone to talk to about it.

BUT then my bus stop was there and I got off with thoughts of her following me like the fumes of the bus as it pulled away.

Yesterday I sat on the bus in pretty much the identical situation. Long day of classes, ready to go home, half being state of mind. I looked up this time and saw a girl holding a Bible. I wanted to ask her what she had been reading, what God had been teaching her, did she even believe in God?, why was she carrying her Bible -- for a class or herself?

BUT then my bus stop was there and I got off with thoughts of her following me like the fumes of the bus as it pulled away.

So now there is today. These fumes (thoughts) are still in my head. I am thinking how many times there are so many things going on around me that I think I miss as I am in a tired, half being, selfish state of mind. I think of how Jesus must have felt after a long day of teaching and doing miracles but still always had time for the people around him. I am thinking about why God allowed me to see these two as I obviously pass so many other by without even looking. And I am wondering how to step out of my comfort zone and actually verbalize the thoughts that come into my mind in these situations.

So I will be getting on the bus again soon, and today I am looking a little closer and hopefully will the hear the Spirit's leading a little clearer as to what to do with what I see.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

I saw God today.......

(in the purring of my cat sitting beside me)

(in the bloom of a summer daisy)

(in a baby's smiling eyes)

..........and He is beyond beautiful.

A Poem

Someday I'll sit by the ocean

Someday I'll sit by the sea

And Jesus will sit beside me

With answers, truth and peace.

Today I sit by the ocean

Today I sit by the sea

And the waves come crashing around me

Washing away truth and peace.

Friday, July 6, 2007

The new look

Yeah I know the new look is pretty cool on my blog huh? Thanks to my amazing, creative boyfriend I now have this amazing new header. Thanks Troy!!! :)

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Walk with Jesus

I was sitting on the steps of the federal building in downtown Harrisburg the other day looking at people walk by when I saw a lady silently walking and carrying a sign that said "Walk with Jesus". She was just walking, not talking to anyone, not really even smiling but just walking and holding this sign out in front of her. I wanted to go after her and find out what she was doing. If she was raising money for some organization, if she was just trying to witness by holding this sign, or if she was on some spiritual journey of learning how to walk with Jesus.

After she had passed I sat there awhile thinking. What were others thinking when they saw her walk by? Were they thinking "Jesus freak"? Were they inspired like me by her openness to proclaim Jesus' name? Or did they even see the sign as they passed by?

Then I started thinking do I need to carry a sign to have people see that I walk with Jesus? Of course sometimes I feel like I am not doing a very good job walking with Jesus anyway. Sometimes I fail to remember that He is right there and I just need to turn and ask Him for direction. And sometimes I fail to remember that He is right there and all I need to do is reach out and grab His hand for comfort. And sometimes I fail to remember that He is right there and I just need to turn and talk to Him.

I think if I remembered to turn to Him and really walk with Him at all times I wouldn't need a sign. People would see that I "Walk with Jesus". And people might be encouraged, and people might be inspired or people might ignore it and not see it .

But what would really matter in it all........I would be "Walking with Jesus."

The good in the bad

Tonight I realized once again how certain I am of God's hand in my relationship with the love of my life. Over the last two weeks I would say that probably 7 of the 14 days have brought up hard issues between us. Questions, doubts, fears, insecurities and trust issues. Today brought another one (which I take total credit for). When the hard issue arouse my intitial reaction was I just want to escape. I did not want to deal with it. I wanted out.

I prayed though because usually I realize this is the only thing that makes any sense, the only thing that will bring PEACE from the Prince of Peace and the only thing that will make things right.

And then I waited.

And soon I was sitting with the love of my life talking our way through all the hard stuff. Loving each other through things that could have caused pain and hurt but were worked through with the covering of our love for God and our love for each other.

And it has been this way each and everytime the hard issues have arouse. We are open with each other, we talk and God works in our hearts to bring us closer to Him and each other. I am thankful for the hard because of the Joy and Peace it gives me and for the fullness and closeness it brings me towards Troy.

As Troy said tonight "Are you going to stop praying for hard things anytime soon?" (I have been praying the God would bring out the hard questions we need to ask each other now.)

I don't know I seem to remember some verses in the Bible about sufferings building character and Christ-likeness;). So maybe prayers of hard will continue.

All I know is that I am thankful for the hard and for the good and love it brings. And I am thankful for a boy who talks and works through it all with me with the help and guidance of the Lord of our lives.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Lessons from Louisiana

Just a week ago I was in Louisiana standing next to some soap and bleach filled tubs washing juice boxes. Yeah you are probably thinking what in the world were you doing washing juice boxes in Louisiana? Aren't there houses that need to be rebuilt, painted and repaired? Aren't there people that have so many needs that need to be met even 2 years after the disaster of Katrina?

Yeah those were the questions that seemed to float through my head while I was scrubbing away. Why did God have me travel over 1100 miles to wash banana boxes full of juice boxes and spend my mornings playing with 3 years olds at Vacation Bible School?

At first it was a bit hard for me as I stood in the humid heat hands deep in the soapy water. I had assumed that going to Louisiana I would be doing the expected - rebuilding houses, meeting people who survived the storm and showing them the love of Christ by serving them.

I had thoughts that somehow those that got to go out and do the "expected" work were somehow getting a better deal than me. I felt like I was not really doing anything that would help anyone and my trip was somewhat of a waste. These horrible thoughts flooded my head and made me feel worthless and really be worthless to those around me. Thoughts not of the Spirit but of the voice of lies. And for awhile I let them win out.

Finally though I let myself hear the Spirit. Sadly it wasn't until the last day there so my lessons did not have much impact on my time there. But the lessons I learned are not ones limited to any time or place. And so I share them with you now knowing that they are lessons I need to keep hearing and keep learning and keep applying to my everday life in the midst of the mundane.
The first thing God showed me was that my duties and assignments in Louisiana did have impact. I remember one day playing outside with the children, looking around and realizing I was the only one there supervising 8 litte tots. I was needed and not just for looking after them but for the opporutunity to speak truth into their lives in the times when they needed to learn how to share and love one another. My duty of washing juice boxes was also just as important, as the task I was able to complete with several others in one week would have taken much longer for the two indiviuals who needed to get it done originally.
God also showed me that my task was important to the body as a whole because the juice boxes I cleaned filled the thirsty mouths of those who went out to work sites. A simple reminder to me of the many parts of the body of Christ needed to work together as one.
And finally my biggest reminder was that I need to open my eyes to God being everywhere. I think I really expected to really be "with" God by going out and working on a house and serving people in Louisiana.
And this is a lesson I need to learn daily. God is everwhere. He is with me at every moment and I just need to be open. He was there with me when I was playing with those kids and I could have been serving Him and worshipping Him just as easily there if my heart and attitude were right than I do in a Sunday church service. As Joanna Weaver says in Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World "What a goal! That the moments of our lives, no matter how mundane, become aflame with the divine."
I am thankful for juice boxes, little kids and a God who is bigger and mightier than to just be with those building houses:)

Sunday, June 3, 2007

The BEGINNING of Summer

While summer did begin on Friday, for me it will officially begin tomorrow morning at 8am when I am still sleeping because I don't have school for 2 whole months!!!

This summer brings much excitment for me for several reasons: It is the first summer I have someone special to go on picnics with and to sit under the stars with on beautiful summer nights. I will also be fininshing my grad classes after 4 long summers of studying and work. YEAH!

And who knows maybe by the END of summer even more exciting things will have happened! I will be sure to post The END of Summer blog to let you know:)

Enjoy the sun and your summer!

Thursday, May 31, 2007

When, what, where?

I don't know...........

But what I do know.....................the joy of knowing God will bring all things together in His perfect timing.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007


Have you ever had feelings that you don't want but just keep struggling with to let go of?

For me it is bad feelings towards another who has not wronged me in any way and has no idea that I might have these feelings Rather the feelings come from insecure and jealous thoughts within my own mind that have created emotional anger within me towards this person. I take these thoughts and twist them so much within my brain that I come up with scenerios that my mind tells me could really be realities that then cause the feelings to become deeper.

What is left is a twisted web and mess much like a knotted and twisted ball of yarn. I want the string to be loose and free between me and that person but I feel like I have twisted and tied so many knots in our connection that all that is left between us is this huge twisted ball. And when I think of this person or am with this person I can't really see that person or know them because they are hidden behind this massive ball that I can't seem to move.

And it's true I can't move it. It is too heavy for me to bear. And I can't take every knot and analyze it and untie it. It would be too hard to do and take too much time and most likely just end up in even more of a knotted mess. There is just no way for me to humanly get around it.

I know without a doubt the only way for it to be free and untied is for me to place it in God's hands. To let the Spirit control and free my thoughts and to turn the sinful feelings and emotions over to God as soon as they come. It is much easier to say than to do but I know it is a process. With each step a knot will be undone through the Spirit till there is nothing but the freedom of a connection to this person through God's love.

You, my brother, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature rather serve one another in love. The entire law is summed up in a single command Love your neighbor as yourself. If you keep on biting and devouring each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.

>>Galation 5:13-15>>

God please grant me this desire and freedom which is only possible through your power.

Monday, May 7, 2007

The joys of love

I had the joy this past weekend of going to one of my best friend's weddings. We really have not been able to see each other much in the years since college because of distance and everday life, but as I sat in the pew during the cermony I felt like it had only been days since the nights we would sit around and talk about this very moment (falling in love and getting married). It seems like just yesterday that she was listening to my wailings of hopeless crushes and comforting me in the thoughts that someday God would bring that special man created just for me into my life. It would happen at just the right time and at just the right moment when I would be ready to share a life-time of love and happiness built on both of our loves for Christ.

In all actuality it has been 6 years since those late night talks. And I'm sure if I asked my friend if during those 6 years if felt like time was flying until she met her future husband she would say something like "I never thought this moment would come". I know I have felt that way many times in my years as a single adult since college graduation. But sitting there watching that beautiful moment with my friend smiling into the eyes of her love, tears filled my eyes. Because I knew that sometimes the greatest joys, the most beautiful blessings come after WAITING. What may seem like endless years of loneliness or hopelesness to us are just passing days brining us closer to that long awaited answer to prayer. And just passing moments growing us into the person we are meant to be when that day does arrive.
As I continue to wait for that day when my life is joined with another in a life-time of love I know 6,7 or 8 years will be nothing. I have these years to become the person God wants me to be. And I know without a doubt that waiting on God's hand and not my own to bring a human love into my life is worth every minute of waiting. Because on Saturday I saw not only my friend happy about having found her boy but a beautiful woman ready to spend a life-time of love with the man God made for her.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

.......I desire light over darkness.................
.................beauty over evil..........................
..............and purity over sin. .........................

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Psalm 73:25-26

"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."

You are God in heaven

And here am I on earth

So I'll let my words be few.......

Jesus I am so in love with You.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

A Beautiful Promise

"Ask and it shall be given unto you"
"Seek and ye shall find"
"Knock and the door shall be opened unto you"
Matthew 7:7

Sometimes you feel sick of asking,
sometimes your eyes are heavy from seeking,
and sometimes you are just too weak to even raise your hand to knock.

But the promise is there................

Somehow in someway it will be given to you
Someday you will find it
And sometime you will walk through the door

.....................And the waiting will all be worth it

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

My GOD of miracles

I was standing in the shower the other morning and I suddenly realized "I can see".
.................................Everything was clear.
I stood there amazed, confused, and in awe for a second because I thought that I had been miraculously healed. Normally when I don't have my contacts in everything within a foot of me is blurry, but here I was reading words on the shampoo bottle for the first time in my life.
Then the doubt started to set and I analyzed that most likely I had just been too tired the night before and hadn't taken my contacts out like I normally do.
BUT still having a little faith in my GOD of miracles I put some eyedrops in my eyes just to make sure my contacts were really in there.........sadly they were.
As a sat around thinking about this event later, the following thought occured to me. If God had healed me, I would have ran around my place screaming at the the top of my lungs and praising God with dance, singing and shouts of joy! I would have been filled with the need to share the miracle with others and to have them marvel in the miraculous One with me. I would have knelt in awe as never before unto the almighty and glorious Lord.
But then I became a little sad because I thought "Why would it take something so miraculous for me to do these things?" God is constantly doing miraculous things all around me yet I fail to really receive them as I should.
I should be dancing before the beauty of His creation.
I should be singing His praise for the ability to see beauty.
I should be telling others of the things He has brought me through in my life so that they can be blessed in the process too.
I should be kneeling in awe that I have been chosen to be a child of His.
And as I sang the words to the following song today I sang knelt in awe of my GOD of miracles.
You dance over me, While I am unaware
You sing all around, But I never hear the sound
Lord I'm amazed by You
Lord I'm amazed by You
Lord I'm amazed by You
How You love me
You paint the morning sky, with miracles in mind
My hope will always stand, For You hold me in Your hand
Lord I'm amazed by You
Lord I'm amazed by You
Lord I'm amazed by You
How You love me
"Amazed" Jared Anderson 2004

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

"My soul finds rest in God alone, my salvation comes from Him. He alone is my rock and my salvation, He is my fortress, I will never be shaken."
"Find rest O my soul in God alone, my hope comes from Him. He alone is my rock and my salvation, He is my fortress I will not be shaken."
"Trust in Him at all times, O people, POUR out your hearts to Him, for God is our refuge."
Psalm 62 excerpts
When I am troubled, confused, frightened, worried.......let me look to YOU my God.
YOU will give me rest......YOU will give me peace.....YOU will give me hope........YOU will give me strength.
The rock of my salvation will stand firm when the things around seem to be falling.

Monday, March 26, 2007

The wisdom I desire........

"But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure: then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere."

James 3:17

My heart

Thursday, March 22, 2007


This shows how I am feeling today..............floating in a wonderful world of color.
Maybe because I am totally exhausted OR maybe for some other reason?

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

God Bless the Broken Road
by Rascal Flatts

I set out on a narrow way, many years ago
Hoping I would find true love along the broken road
But I got lost a time or two
Wiped my brow and kept pushing through
I couldn't see how every sign pointed straight to you

Every long lost dream
Lead me to where you are
Others who broke my heart
They were like northern stars
Pointing me on my way
Into your loving arms
This much I know is true
That God blessed the broken road
That led me straight to you.

I think about the years I spent
just passing through
I'd like to have the time I lost
and give it back to you
but you just smile and take my hand
You been there, you understand
It's all part of a grander plan
that is coming true.

Now I'm just rolling home
into my lovers arms
this much i know is true
that God blessed the broken road
that led me straight to you

That god blessed the broken road
that led me straight to you

Monday, March 19, 2007

Some days I feel so unworthy of the place God has me in, in my life right now.

It is hard to go in before a room full of kids and feel like I have ANYTHING to give them......let alone be a witness and example of Christ.
Many times as I stand in the front of that room I feel so weak and insufficient.
Sometimes I even feel like I am getting in the way of God and not really being the instrument in the Maker's hands.
BUT when we are weak HE is strong........so i am praying for strength right now.......and for wisdom.......and leaning on the WORD that He has given me today.......
2 Corinthians 6:3-10
We put no stumbling block in anyone's path, so that our ministry will not be discredited. Rather, as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way, in great endurance, in troubles, hardships, and distresses; in beatings, imprisonments and riots; in hard work, sleepless nights and hunger; in purity, understanding, patience and kindness; in the Holy Spirit and in sincere love; in truthful speech and in the power of God; with weapons of righteousness in the right hand and in the left; through glory and dishonor, bad report and good report; genuine, yet regarded as impostors; known, yet regarded as unknown; dying, and yet we live on; beaten, and yet not killed; sorrowful, yet always rejoicing, poor, yet making many rich; having nothing and yet possessing everything.

Friday, March 16, 2007

I took this picture several months ago while in Florida.....and I have finally gotten the chance to really take a look at it. In fact I have been looking at it a lot tonight and have been reminded of several things through the beauty God has given in this picture.
GOD'S LOVE IS SOOOOO BIG!!! When I look at the ocean in this picture I am reminded of the song I sang with MUCH enthusiasm as a child "Deep and Wide" and the phrase in another children's song "Your love is deeper than the ocean." Wow God's love is amazing!
Also could anything be more beautiful than light breaking through the darkness? It reminds me of so many things in life. Truth in the midst of lies, Joy in the midst of pain, Peace in the midst of the storm............

Monday, March 12, 2007

All around joy


In having another encourage you

In the blessings and gifts God has given you

In sharing God's love with another

In bad circumstances:)

What a JOY to know Christ and to live with Him each day through it all!

Friday, March 9, 2007

The beauty of peace

I needed a moment of peace. And for me that is sometimes accomplished by listening to a beautiful piece of music, or sitting in silence or looking at a beautiful piece of artwork or nature. It just reminds me of the peacefulness that surrounds me and that is in me. Maybe these pictures will just give you a sense of peace today.

Monday, March 5, 2007


Sharing life with another............

Sharing yourself with another.............

Sharing joys...................

Sharing pain..................

Share with another today!

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Let my actions speak of You

I've been reading through 1st John at the recommendation of my boyfriend and today the following verse stuck out to me.

"Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth." I John 4:18

My first thought was "Phewww". This is good. I am not good with expressing my love to others through my words so I can do this! I can show love through my actions.

However the next thought that quickly came was "man I can totally screw up with my actions too." Like when I am cranky and I just can't help not doing things without complaining inside OR outwardly. Or when my body is just too tired to even give one last ounce of outward energy towards another.

But this word from I John is so true as to how we need to show the love of Christ to others. So I am going to continually pray for spirit-controlled actions in my life that will let others see the love and truth of Christ because I don't want ME to get in the way of Him.

May His love be shown in you too!

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Book review

Somewhere near the beginning of last month God led me into the library of my home church. I scanned the shelves looking for a “pretty” book. To be honest a lot of times I judge a book by its cover! So when I saw a beautiful light orange color on the binding of a thin book, I quickly pulled it out. And when I saw the beautiful nature scene on the front, I of course was drawn even more to it.

BUT then I read the title……….. “Brokenness”?

Why this beautiful scene with a title like that.

Did I really want to read a book about brokenness?

Brokenness made me think of weakness.

Brokenness made me think of sadness.

Brokenness made me think of something I did not want to be.

BUT in reality I had been feeling somewhat broken recently, which just drew me deeper to the idea that I probably needed to read this book.

And so I did.

And then I bought the book.

And then I bought the whole series of books written by the author.

And then I read them all……….and have a lot to share about all of them.

So let me say first that if you want to read some beautiful, challenging, life-changing writing take a look at these books by Nancy Leigh DeMoss.

But only read them if you really want to be challenged and are willing to listen to what the Spirit wants to teach you through them.

And here is just a little piece from what I am currently learning from the book “Holiness” in this book series.

God has called me to live a holy life.

When I say this it overwhelms me because I feel so unholy most days.
I want everything to go MY way.
I wake up and just want to go back to bed and not have to face a day of service for my Lord.
Someone calls me because they need to talk and I don’t want to even answer the phone because it is taking away from a moment that I can relax.
I have a meeting to discuss church stuff, but I can’t help thinking “do I really have to do this, I could be doing so many other things”.
I am a selfish, sinful person……….how can I possibly achieve this calling of holiness to which God has called me?

“For He chose us in Him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in His sight”

And then the Spirit gently nudges me and says “I did not ask you to do this on your own, learn from my holiness, let me guide you in holiness.”
And I remember that I have the pure and spotless lamb living in me, guiding and leading me towards holiness if I just look to Him. Only when I look to the holiness of the perfect, holy ONE will I see my unholiness and be lead towards true holiness.

So let me leave you with some scripture that Nancy points out in her book, that speaks to me about holiness in my own life……………may it speak to yours………………….

I Peter 1:15-16
“But as He who called you is holy
You also be holy in all your conduct
Since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy”.

Ephesians 1:4
“For He chose us in Him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in His sight”

I John 1:6-7
“If we claim to have fellowship with Him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth. But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, His Son, Purifies us from all sin.”

Monday, February 19, 2007

My praise

"Come and listen all you who fear God,
Let me tell you what He has done for me
I cried out to Him with my mouth
His praise was on my tongue
If I had cherished sin in my heart
The Lord would not have listened
But God has surely listened
And heard my voice in prayer.
Praise be to God
who has not rejected my prayer
Or withheld His love from me
. "

Psalm 66:16-20

Thursday, February 15, 2007

The final game

So the HCS varsity girls basketball team had their last game of the season this past week. For those of you that don't know why this is important to me, I happen to be the head coach.

I would like to say that we ended the season at 500, won our last game, and went to the district playoffs.

But none of that is true.......and it is ok!

Because a lot more happened this season to impact me, more than any of the above things could have. And while there may be too many lessons for me to share in a simple blog I am going to try and express just a couple of the valuable LIFE lessons that I learned from a group of beautiful, high school girls. And it is my prayer that God used the season to teach them many valuable lessons as well.


In over 50% of our 16 games this season the girls were trailing by at least 8 points or more by halftime. As a coach it was sometimes hard for me to go into that halftime locker room "pep" talk knowing what to say, how to encourage them, and how to lift their spirits to perservere through. And it was even harder for me to think about going back to a second half of "torture" (ok I am being a bit dramatic).

But what I saw each time, after a time of reflection during the "pep talk", was a team that came out the second half and played harder then ever. What a joy as a coach to see girls not get down because they were facing defeat, but to try even harder. And what a reminder that no matter how rough things may be in life, if we just take that time to rest and reflect we can receive power and strength to perservere through anything.


Many times during a time out huddle on the sidelines I would ask the girls, "What do you think you need to be doing better out there?". (As a teacher you learn rather than just tell them, let them figure it out. Plus half the time what you tell them just goes in one ear and out the other. At least if they come up with it it has a better chance of staying in there). Almost everytime I presented this question to them the first comment they would respond with is "We need to talk more!".

Then we would break from the huddle ("Go Warriors"), they would go out on the court, start communicating and start playing better. But then they would forget the communication thing after a couple of minutes and not play as a team again. So then the next time out would come and I would say "Didn't we just talk about communicating more?" And they would say "Yes". And I would say "Well I haven't been seeing it enough"'. And they would agree. And we would break the huddle ("Go Warriors") and the cycle would continue.

Communication........no communication......communication......no communication.

BUT through it all I saw from the sidelines a valuable truth. When there was open and clear communication they would play as a team, working together, encouraging one another, and playing as one. And when I look at life no matter what the relationship is whether with a parent, a boss, a co-worker, a spouse, or a friend, these relationships can be just like my basketball team. When there is open and clear communication in relationships there is a unity and sense of oneness but when there is a lack of communication things can start to fall apart and players may get frustrated. Clear communication is key to so much in life.


One final lesson I would like to share came through me making mistakes as a coach. My goal every year as a coach is to not only teach the girls lessons about the game of basketball but about life. How to play with good attitudes no matter what is a big lesson I encourage as well as playing their hardest no matter what the scoreboard says and also being commited to the team and one another through practices and games.

And partly because of these "strong" coaching goals and partly because of me not being careful enough with my tongue, I had two instances that really made me aware of how words can hurt even when the mouth that utters them may mean them differently than they are taken.

The first lesson came when a girl showed up in my classroom with her ankle wrapped after a gym class incident, the day of a big game where we had a good chance of winning. My first thought when I saw her was man we really needed her in this game because she is a strong player. So what came out of my mouth was "Well I guess if we lose the game it will be your fault." Meaning to convey that we had really needed her in the game and it was a bummer that she couldn't play. But the words that I choose were not the words that I needed to say to show my heart. And what came out of my mouth was not taken well by her as she had taken my goal of commitment to practices and games very seriously and felt like she was letting me down. After a little crying and hugging and talking with her over my words, I came away realizing that the gentleness and encouragement that I had meant in my heart needed to come across better on the outside.

I learned this same lesson several weeks later when I got an email from a parent concerned not only with her child not playing much but her child's self-esteem. And as I read the email I began to think did I say or do anything that could have brought down this girl's well-being? Because as a coach I should have been doing nothing but encouraging her to grow and get better. And while I may have desired to do that in my heart I fear that my words may not have fully expressed exactly how I felt. My words of "I really know you can play harder than that" and "you played well but I know you can play even harder" may not have been the right approach or the words she really needed to hear. Words of gentleness and encouragement that I had in my heart needed to be said. And so I learned that I needed to really express clearly to others my heart through my words and actions. To show them the love that really lay behind all the coach talk.

So from a season record of 3-13 came a much better season of learning for a high school girl's basketball coach.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Beauty within

Beauty within....

shining through your eyes

Beauty within......

in a burst of joy and smile

Beauty within......

through a tender, falling tear

Beauty within......

from the truest source of light

Sunday, February 11, 2007


Mark 8:22-26

A man blind, maybe from birth or maybe from a disease or accident later in life, is brought to Jesus to be healed.

Jesus spits on his hands and places them over the man's eyes.

When they are opened and the man is asked what he sees he responds "I see people, they look like trees walking around."

So Jesus once again places his hands on the man's eyes and they are opened and he can see completly.


Several things stike me about this passage of scripture. First of all why wasn't the man healed completly the first time Jesus put his hands on him? I don't think it was because Jesus was too weak to completly heal the man the first time he covered his eyes. God in the flesh not powerful enough to heal a blind man on the first attempt? NO........I think maybe instead that the man did not have complete faith the first time Jesus placed his hands on him. The man was brought before Jesus by others. He did not willingly come himself and maybe it took that first "fuzzy" openness of the eyes for the man to really believe that Jesus could heal him. It is also encouraging to see that Jesus does heal him completly even after that first intitial lack of faith. God is gracious even when we doubt and are weak.

The second thing that strikes me is the man's response as to what he sees when his eyes are opened. The first response he has even when his vision is still fuzzy is "people". Not the sky, not a building, but people. I think sometimes I need to pray more for my blindness. All to often I am just as blind as the man in this story. I fail to really see the people around me and to see them clearly! Caught up in my own little world I walk around in blindness not able to see those around me as they need to be seen.

Jesus is willing to heal and open our eyes and really let us see if we only let him.

Thursday, February 8, 2007


I have heard countless sermons and devotionals on how Jesus feels our pain. He understands and knows how we are feeling when we suffer because he went through the same things when he was here on earth. And I know many times upon hearing those messages I thought "Does Jesus really know?" Could he have possibily felt EXACTLY what I am feeling in my particular situation? And since he was God he probably didn't feel nearly as much pain because God is strong!

But Jesus was human too and he felt a lot!

As I read Matthew 26:69-75 last night I knew Jesus felt a lot pain in his life here on earth.

This scripture passage speaks of when Peter, a close friend and disciple of Jesus, denies that he even knows Jesus. I could almost feel the slap that Jesus must have felt across his face the first time Peter said "I don't know the man". I could almost feel that sharp pain in my chest that Jesus must have felt the second time Peter said "I don't know the man". And I could almost feel the sickness in my stomach and the shortness of breath that Jesus must have felt on that final blow " I don't know the man".

Have you ever had someone say hurtful things about you? PAIN
Have you ever had someone you love leave your side? PAIN
Have you ever had someone look at you like they don't even know you? PAIN
Have you ever had someone deny they even know you because it might be embarassing? PAIN
Have you ever just felt alone like no one is there to stand beside you? PAIN

No matter what your pain.......Jesus felt that pain and wants you to turn to Him for comfort.

Let Him be your healing in the pain.

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Broken and Contrite

Isaiah 57:15

"I dwell in the high and holy place
With him who has a contrite and humble spirit"

Psalm 51:17

"The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit
A broken and contrite heart"

1. Forcibly separated into two or more pieces; fractured

2. weakened in strength, spirit, etc

1. Feeling regret and sorrow for one's sins or offenses
2. Filled with a sense of guilt and the desire for atonement

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Shine on me

Psalm 4:6

"Many are asking, "Who can show us any good?"
Let the light of your face shine upon us, O LORD."

Shine On Us - Phillips, Craig & Dean
Lord, let Your light
Light of Your face
Shine on us
That we may be saved
That we may have life
To find our way in the darkest night
Let your light shine on us
Lord, let Your grace
Grace from Your hand
Fall on us
That we may be saved
That we may have life
To find our way in the darkest night
Let Your grace fall on us
Lord, let Your love
Love with no end
Come over us
That we may be saved
That we may have life
To find our way in the darkest night
Let Your love come over us
Let Your light shine on us

Monday, February 5, 2007

Frozen pipes

So I just got home a couple hours ago and went to turn on my water........but nothing.............no drip, no dribble............nothing.

Then it registered "you idiot". (I'm talking to myself at this point). "You forgot to leave the water running a little this morning. See when it gets really cold out (like the below 0 weather we have been having lately) I need to let my water run a little so the pipes don't freeze.

Well I forgot.

So I call my landlord, feeling like a complete dope, and say "Um.....I forgot to leave my water run and now I don't have any. Is there anything you can do?" So he comes up and starts working.

And what do I do? Well I could have gone out in my pajamas and watched him work on thawing the pipes, or I could have sat inside and watched 24, but instead I started praying. Because I remembered my post that I want to have "prayers that move mountains" or that break the ice out of pipes!! So I start praying and in a matter of about 8 minutes of me pleading to God for water (because I surely couldn't do anything to get the water back) water started pouring out!!!!

So did I learn my lesson? Yes the water is going to be running all night and all day tomorrow!

But more important it made me think of something else. As I sat there praying and thinking about the ice that could be blocking the pipes and not letting water pass I thought of how easy it is to become like those frozen pipes. How often do I let bitterness, jealousy, pride, anger harden like ice inside of me? Not allowing for the river of life to flow through me and in me?

I challenge myslef and you with the words to a favorite song of my students!

I've got a river of life flowing out of me
Makes the lame to walk and the blind to see
Opens prison doors sets the captive free
I've got a river of lie flowing out of me
Spring up oh well, within my soul
Spring up oh well, and make me whole
Spring up oh well, and give to me
That life abundantly

The Journey of Life is like a Trail.

It has a beginning.......
We are definetly energetic as we begin taking our first steps down the trail. We look expectently forward, wondering what lies ahead. Many times we want to run to see what lies ahead. BUT when we do this we sometimes miss what is going on around us. There may be a beautiful view we fail to see and appreciate or a fellow hiker passing by in need of a drink.

And then there are the stumps and the fallen logs........
The annoyances that get in the way of our journey. Some make us fall, some make us angry, and some make us look behind us, wishing we could go back to the beginning of the trail where we had that excitment and happiness. BUT many times if we hurdle these obstacles, we come out feeling accomplishment and joy and can continue down the trail stronger than when we started.

And then there is the divided path which we come upon......
Which way should we go? Of course we want the way that will be the easiest and will have beauty all around it. BUT in the end is that the best choice or will it just lead to a dead end or a steep incline? We don't know so we choose and take our steps asking for guidance each step of the way.

And then there are the moments of sheer beauty .......
Moments with a gorgeous view, bright sunlight and a refreshing breeze. Moments that bring us peace unlike any we have ever experienced. These are the moments we love and must hold on to as we walk through the deep, dark paths of the forest, hoping for that beautiful moment that may lie right behind the next bend.

Keep on the trail!