Saturday, October 1, 2011

Faith, not Sight

I am so excited because I just got accepted to go to Nepal and India next summer for a mission trip for two months! While I am thrilled, the cost of my trip is so much! At times I doubt God will really do it. Not that He can, but that He will.

You hear stories of people who went on trips like this and they tell you, 'God is faithful. If He calls you to do it, He is going to make a way. God is faithful." But being in the position where you have to trust God, whether financially or in another situation, you began to wonder if God really has called you to something.

Faith is not easy, and most of all I have been learning that it comes from God, only from God. My theme verse for this season in my life is 2 Corinthians 5:7, because I need reminded by my Savior that our relationship has nothing to do with what is seen but what is unseen, and He gives me faith and He will provide all that I need.

So far, He has provided in all sorts of ways, which is why my doubt is even more ridiculous!

This summer I saw no way for myself to counsel at camp: God did and He set the job before me, sustaining me every second of the way.

The summer of 2010 I saw no way I would be able to staff at camp: God did, and He sent me, teaching me what it really means to be a servant.

Last year when I began planning a trip to Jamaica for a mission trip with my mom, we both doubted, assuring ourselves if we couldn't go in 2011, we would go in 2012: God provided every cent, even when we doubted.

When I was accepted to my Nepal-India trip, I was asked to put a $300 deposit in my account. My family does not have that kind of money to spare: But God knew and He always provides, giving me more than that at out fundraising garage sale so that I could not only get my deposit in the bank, but buy stamps to send letters out, sharing what I get to do for my Jesus!

There have been many, many, many, MANY ways in which God has provided, and it would take some time to list every one of them. Needless to say, God does provide and He is always faithful, even when our doubt is great.

I will serve Jesus because this life has nothing to do about me. I will spend my life endeavoring to bring others to the wonderful Kingdom of Christ, and if God sends me, I will ask for the faith it will take for such an assignment from my King. But most of all I will remember this:
For we walk by faith, not by sight! (2 Corinthians 5:7)

Monday, August 29, 2011


Change. Changes in life can sometimes be unwanted, whether it is a friend moving away, the transition from year to year in school, or maybe for some going from school to a graduate.
with every passing year, your life changes. Change can be scary.
When you realize that you are growing up, then it seems like you can't slow down. For my entire life, I've thought how old high school students were. I was in awe of them and thought they were so mature. I couldn't imagine being one! When my sister was in high school, I thought the same thing. Now that I am in high school, I don't feel the same way anymore. I want to hold on to today and not think about the day when I am out of high school, married, etc. Maybe those days won't come, which makes it important not to borrow trouble from tomorrow. I don't have to worry about what is going to happen, but I still dislike change.
Something my dad said once was this, "The only thing that stays constant about life is change."
How true.
But remember as you go through change, no matter what it is, that we get to follow Jesus and shine for Him in whatever place He takes us.
He has a plan for every different point in our life, no matter if that means a lot or a little bit of change. Look to our Creator for peace that only He can grant.
Ecclesiastes 3:1For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:
2a time to be born, and a time to die;a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; 3a time to kill, and a time to heal;a time to break down, and a time to build up; 4a time to weep, and a time to laugh;a time to mourn, and a time to dance; 5a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; 6a time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, ad a time to cast away; 7a time to tear, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; 8a time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Living My Calling

After my trip to Jamaica, I feel reaffirmed that this is the direction in which God is leading me to go. I loved the adventure of sleeping on hard beds and taking cold showers. Having the power surges destroy our pump, making it so showers were not an option. No, not desirable, but since when does the Bible say serving Him is supposed to be comfortable? I am grieved that Mr. Henry has to deal with everything the surging destroyed while the rest of us return to the states, but God is providing and as long as we follow Him, He will lead us where He wants us, whether it's with a broken water pump or not!
I loved the children. They just grabbed my heart the first day I met them. I couldn't wait to see them again the next day and when the last day rolled around, I was sad. God made it so easy for us to go there and love and be loved just because of our skin color. We had such a big ministry opportunity because we were the 'whiteys'. I hope for another chance to go back to Jamaica and see all of the friends I made again. If God doesn't lead me back, I will have the knowledge that He is taking care of Him and be comforted even when I miss the bright faces of the children, or the way they walked up the mountain so we could all walk down to the church together.
I know God calls everyone in different ways, but, like Paul, I urge you to live your life worthy of the calling God gives you. Whatever He asks you to do, do it because it will always be better than our own plans. Being comfortable isn't how I am called to live and I honestly doubt that's how God is calling you to live. But take heart, God gives everyone strength in their weaknesses (2 Corinthians 12:9 Each time he said, "My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness." So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. (NLT))
Remember Paul's words:

Ephesians 4:1 Therefore I, a prisoner for serving the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of your calling, for you have been called by God. (NLT)

Monday, July 18, 2011

Proud in Spirit

Hosea 2:19 “I will betroth you to Me forever;
Yes, I will betroth you to Me in righteousness and in justice,
In lovingkindness and in compassion,
20 And I will betroth you to Me in faithfulness.
Then you will know the LORD.

God's faithfulness surpasses our knowledge. He will 'betroth us to Him forever'. Forever! We get to be His forever. Reading through the first two chapters of Hosea has reopened my eyes to God's faithfulness. Every time I fall, He is there to pick me up. He will betroth me to Him and be faithful when I am faithless. God is so good.
While discussing this with a good friend of mind, I was realizing how faithless I am and how I claim to love God but do I really live it?
When non-believers or new believers get to know me they often think of me as 'perfect' or my sin being not as awful as theirs. It is a hard place to be in and I know in my heart and head that I am not better than them at all. I am just as bad as them and in that way I sympathize. But my pride does not come from 'my sin being better' but rather sense that my relationship with God is better than theirs, thus making me better.
God has renewed me and my relationship with Him is wonderful but that doesn't make my pride in our relationship any better. How silly I am to let my pride overcome me in a way that isn't even noticeable until I examine my heart?

Proverbs 16:18 Pride goes before destruction,
And a haughty spirit before a fall.
19 Better to be of a humble spirit with the lowly,
Than to divide the spoil with the proud.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Unexpected Blessings

On Saturday I returned home after spending two weeks at Kansas Bible Camp, on staff. When I first arrived on a sunny Sunday afternoon, I was soon to discover that every single one of my friends (Minus staff leaders) was counseling. There were a lot of new staffers and I felt very out of place even though I had come to camp before.
Sunday night I spent some time in the newly designed Prayer Closet, just talking to God. I wrote in my journal and what I wrote was a little like this...
"God, you know the desire of my heart, but you also know what is best for me. I would LOVE to counsel next week or sometime this summer, but it is not likely since I have not gone to LTC2- But with you all things are possible. Please just put me where I can serve you the best. I want to go that Lord, much more than my own desires. You always know what is best and you definitely showed me that last year. With you, the impossible becomes simple and very possible.
I love you Lord, these are the desires of my heart, but Your ways are always best. Please help me to be JOYFUL and CONTENT no matter what."
I was a mess, needless to say because I didn't want to staff with people I didn't know very well.
Sunday night I found out that I got to be dish crew leader because I was the one who had done it the longest and knew what to do. I was excited and thankful that God would give me an opportunity like this when I was feeling sorry for myself.
Monday I wasn't very cheerful. I did all the work that I was supposed to, but I moped around and felt sorry for myself. I got to talk to my sister when she came to the main campus for the East Campus' swim time. She basically told me to stop feeling sorry for myself and that God had me where He wanted me. Things I knew, but didn't want to be told. Sometimes I just need my sister to tell me these things though.
I went to chapel and sat down, content to listen. Then one of my friends who was counseling came up behind me and gave me a hug before she had to hurry off.
I smiled and was glad that she did something so impulsively that made my whole day brighter.
Then I was determined to have a good week. I wanted to make it the best staff week I could, no matter how different it was. Sometimes I get way to comfortable and forget that my main purpose is serving.
Monday night and Tuesday morning I had a much better attitude and God just comforted me through the words I read in my quiet time.
Monday afternoon I walked into the room I was sleeping in to find a counselor sleeping on one of the beds, a normal occurrence. But she was not feeling very well and so I quietly left the room to let her sleep and lifted up a prayer for her.
Tuesday morning I got to work on the dishes with the other girls on the crew. About halfway through, Jeremy [the Staff Director] came in and asked to talk to me.
I left to go talk to him and what I heard gave me so many mixed emotions that I can't exactly describe how I felt.
"After we talk, I need you to go right back in there and get all the dishes done."
"Yes, I shall." I smiled reassuringly.
"Rachel is going home sick." He started.
I hadn't known how sick she was and felt sad that she had to go home. But that led me to wonder why he was telling me...
"I'm in need of a counselor to take her place."
I knew where he was headed now and I was too shocked to really speak.
"I know you've never counseled before, and you haven't gone to two LTC's, have you?"
I shook my head and I think I might have let out a 'No.'
"I know you'll do great."
We talked a little longer and then I went back to the dishes. I told the other girls what was happening and they were all excited for me. I don't know how long the rest of the dishes took, but I think I was in too much of a daze to really notice.
When I was done, I found Jeremy and then met up with another girl who I would now be counseling with. Then I moved everything into the dorm and made my bed.
The rest of the week was filled with too much to recount for you here. Let me just say, God was with me every second of the week. Without Him, I am sure I would never have been able to last an hour.

Thing's don't always go as we want them to, and they don't always go as we think they will. God is always going to do what is best. For instance, Rachel didn't want to be sick but she did want God to use the situation for good- and yes He did.
Don't expect to always get what you desire, but rather follow God and trust Him, because regardless of the end result, it is always going to be better.
I don't know if I grew spiritually more before I started counseling or the week I counseled. I learned so much at both times.

God amazes me. Never underestimate Him.

'Wait on the LORD;
Be of good courage,
And He shall strengthen your heart;
Wait, I say, on the LORD!'
Psalm 27:14

Monday, May 23, 2011

Judgement Day?

For those who don't know, the Rapture was predicted to come at 6:00pm May 21st, 2011.

It's May 23rd, 2011 today.

Harold Camping predicted the rapture... for the second time. Apparently, the first time he miscalculated. But, get this:

"The head of Family Radio broadcasting network, which boasts 150 outlets in the United States, has what his website calls "infallible, absolute proof" that there's no point in making plans for Memorial Day weekend. It goes like this:
Camping says that because Jesus was crucified on Friday, April 1, 33 AD, and that it takes exactly 365.2422 days for the earth to complete one orbit of the sun, we can conclude that, on April 1, 2011, Jesus was crucified exactly 722,449.07 days ago. Add 51 days to this to get to May 1, and you get a figure of 722,500.07.
Round that down to the nearest integer, and you get 722,500, which is an important number because it is the square of 5 x 17 x 10 . The number five, says Camping, represents atonement. Ten represents completeness, and 17 represents heaven. Multiply all these together – twice – and you get 722,500. Therefore the apocalypse kicks off on Saturday, May 21."
-Christian Science Monitor 2011 (

Now, I don't know about you, but even after reading that it still doesn't make very much sense. Also, add all the verses from the Bible, such as Matthew 24:36"But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone."

So why make predictions? The answer to this is, I really don't know.

Only God knows when the time is going to come, and the Bible talks plenty about the end for us to know that it's not going to be pretty.

Now, I'm not saying all of this to scoff at Harold Camping, but rather as a warning not to predict the end, because no one but God knows. But if the world were going to end today, would you be ready?

Matthew 25:1"Then the kingdom of heaven will be comparable to ten virgins, who took their amps and went out to meet the bridegroom. 2"Five of them were foolish, and five were prudent. 3"For when the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them, 4but the prudent took oil in flasks along with their lamps. 5"Now while the bridegroom was delaying, they all got drowsy and began to sleep. 6"But at midnight there was a shout, 'Behold, the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.' 7"Then all those virgins rose and trimmed their lamps. 8"The foolish said to the prudent, 'Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.' 9"But the prudent answered, 'No, there will not be enough for us and you too; go instead to the dealers and buy some for yourselves.' 10"And while they were going away to make the purchase, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding feast; and the door was shut. 11"Later the other virgins also came, saying, 'Lord, lord, open up for us.' 12"But he answered, 'Truly I say to you, I do not know you.' 13"Be on the alert then, for you do not know the day nor the hour.”

Friday, May 20, 2011

New Friends and Long Waits

Good friends are a great thing. Or, correction. Good friends with good morals are a great thing.
1 Chorinthians 15:33 Do not be deceived: "Bad company corrupts good morals."

Recently I got to meet three people who are really wonderful. They are all Christians and not only have we had a good conversation about the Bible among other things, we have also had a lot of fun playing games.

But the problem is that they live more than an hour away which means we won't get to see them very often. On Wednesday we got to see them again and we had a cookout. We played games and had a really great time but when it was time to leave, we didn't want to because we wouldn't see them again for what seems like a long time.

These friends are friends with good morals and these friends are worth the wait for a few hours of visiting.

Friendship is a fragile thing. Friends effect your life and who you are. So choose good friends.

As I heard Grandma Duggar say once, "Show me your friends, and I'll show you your future."

Monday, May 16, 2011

An End or a Beginning?

It's May. That means several things. First of all, summer is right around the corner. But also, graduations are happening all the time. It isn't my turn yet, which I am perfectly content with. But now that I am older, I know more and more people who are graduating. Which means, more ceremonies to go to, more parties to attend. But most of all it means goodbye.

Not necessarily to that person, but it means goodbye to this time in our lives. To the years we had when there were very few responsibilities and lots of high school-related get togethers. I will really miss the girls I know who are graduating. Not because I won't ever see them again, but because now things are going to be different.

No more debate class with one of my favorite teachers. No more speech practice with an amazing girl. No more staying up late together the night before we have a test, then studying as hard as we can the next morning. No more getting together for Chemistry and laughing about how similar we all think or how much we 'hate' chemistry.

While it is a little sad to think about, this isn't the end. It's a last, for sure. Maybe this is when it is appropriate to say 'The end is just the beginning.' Because it's true. Everyone who graduates, even me eventually, is just beginning a whole different adventure. Whether its college, or a job or maybe missionary work overseas, or a wedding, It's a whole new adventure and God has great plans for every one of His children.

Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Dedicated to all of the Seniors who are ending one part of their lives to start living in a new way. Dedicated to Caitlin, Mollyanne ,Jennae, Julia, Jannake, Rachel, Miranda and all of my close senior friends that I forgot to mention. I love you all and congrats, grads!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

A Summer of Serving

Galaians 5:13For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. 14For the whole Law is fulfilled in one word, in the statement, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”

We are free. Thank God we are free. He has done so much for us, and when Jesus was here He was all about serving. So lets not let our freedom be used to serve ourselves. Let us have pure JOY. I've heard JOY as an acronym- Jesus first, Others second, Yourself last. Then you can have pure JOY.

Every summer I get the opportunity to go to camp and serve on staff. I get to work in the garden, wash the dishes, clean the bathrooms, dorms, chapel and more. I get to serve the campers food and I get to put a smile on my face and serve. It is my pleasure to serve. When my heart is in the right place, focused on Jesus, then it truly is my pleasure to serve because that was what Jesus would be doing if He was here.

Summer is right around the corner and so my time at camp is coming quicker than I ever imagined. But summer is not the only time I can serve. Where ever I am, whatever I am doing I have a chance to serve others. To smile at them. To pick up dropped toys. To clean up a spill. To hug someone who is discouraged. And above all to constantly be shining for Jesus.

I have freedom. Excessive freedom. And I know I could indulge my fleshy desire and do things that 'feel good' to me. But the truth is, nothing feels better than when I am serving others.

Matthew 22:35One of them, a lawyer, asked Him a question, testing Him, 36"Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?" 37And He said to him, " ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38"This is the great and foremost commandment. 39"The second is like it, 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself..’

Friday, May 13, 2011

Peculiar Treasures

Exodus 19:5 "Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine:"

It's more than slightly difficult to obey God's voice and keep His covenant. Why? Because we are all sinners. But God has redeemed us with the blood of His son, Jesus. Does that mean we should not strive to keep God's commandment and obey His voice? Certainly not.

I once heard this story told, as an analogy for offering (names are fictional):

Matt Johnson and his wife were in need of a babysitter for their two children. When they found Jessica, she agreed to babysit for them when they needed her. They paid he $15.00 an hour. She washed dishes, did laundry and took great care of both children. She was a wonderful babysitter. However, Matt and his wife soon had another baby girl. For the increased amount of work, Matt talked to Jessica about he pay. After asking her what she thought was reasonable for the addition of watching his baby girl, she replied with, "Mr. Johnson, I'll take whatever you will give me."

Did Jessica expect to get less than what she was already receiving for her babysitting job, just because she told him that she would take whatever he gave her? No, she was going to take whatever raise she would be given.

In this case with offering, just because we are no longer required by the Old Covenant to tithe 10% of all the money we receive, that does not mean that God is looking for us to give Him less. We should be striving to give more.

In the same way, we shouldn't live our lives without any regard to our Savior just because we are saved by grace (Ephesians 2:8-10). No, we are not under the law anymore. Jesus made the atonement for our sins and broke us free. But are we going to live our lives obeying God's voice, or will we give less of ourselves, because it's no longer required?