Sunday, August 29, 2010


I went to Craig and Brett's wedding this evening. It was beautiful. Their smiles, when looking at each other, explained it all: an unexplained or grasped joy for what God has truly brought together. I loved seeing one of my childhood friends marry a man that loved her so much. I remember teasing her about being married especially young when we were respectively thirteen and sixteen. She would always retort with the FACT that she would not marry until she was older--twenty eight or thirty--if she got married at all. Here she is, five years too early for her liking, married and I am rejoicing for them this evening.

Weddings turn my heart upon my own singleness. Previously, new marriage would direct my heart toward my own relationship status in a very sinful and idolizing way. I would imagine what my dress and the day would look like and how perfect my husband would be. I idolized marriage, forsaking the very sanctifying nature of such an institution. I had my marriage all lined out: 4000 square foot house, 8.72 children, husband who worked 9-5 only and came home happy every single day, perfect dinners, perfect discipline, weedless garden, etc. The Lord was so good to cause me to realize how ridiculous my presumptions were about my future through talking with older women in the church. I can now say, in God's grace, that whatever my husband is called to do, I will partner with him in his ministry so as to be a helpmeet. If that means living in a canvas tent in the middle of the Sahara, God's grace is sufficient as is His joy.

My heart longs for marriage. This longing is different than that previously experienced. I long for a husband for the extremely practical side of things: mowing the lawn, killing the cockroaches, packing the car. There is a deeper longing though. It is found in my desire for challenging fellowship. It is found in my desire to have a very present spiritual leader in my life. This is the aspect of marriage that I am most excited about presently. I love the challenge I experience when around one who is more mature in Christ and yet can lead with patience and tenderness. The fellowship I desire can be touched upon in relationships outside of marriage but God designed marriage to exemplify one of the deepest forms of fellowship while on this earth. Oh how I am excited for such things! In His timing, may such things happen--I desire nothing more than this. For now, challenge will come in my friendships and in my relationship with the Lord alone.

The Lord was teaching me much about marriage this past spring and my heart has been dwelling on it once again. May it not become an idol again. The Lord's grace is sufficient to provide patience in this waiting period. And if I am called to singleness, with great rejoicing I will accept such a call, knowing that it would be to your glory and purpose.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Paul Washer Sermon

If Jesus is not enough to motivate you to godly living, you don't know Jesus.

Let's keep it simple, Christ and Christ alone. I have need for nothing else.

It is to put your life at His disposable.

You only have one struggle and it's the one thing that I struggle with too: Are you going to put your life at Christ's disposal? What do You want me to do today? Here I am Lord.

Oh Lord I want to be so active that you have no time to tell me what to do. This is our attitude in the church today.

God will honor a heart that makes any kind of attempt to be at His disposal.

There's one thing my hard head can't pound through: the love of Christ--it knocks me to my knees.

He was poor, many times was tired, many times had anguish but He was never empty because He was putting His life at the will of His Father, at His Father's disposal.

You feel empty. Let a little red flag go up. You need a vacation? You put yourself at the disposal of God and you won't be empty any longer.

He might want you to draw near unto Him and cut half your activities. Ephesians 5:2

If you say you have nothing to give, you're saying God gave you nothing! It's better to say what He hath given me, I shall return.

False humility is a great destroyer of many things.

The times in which I have died to self have been the happiest points in my life. When I put myself before everyone else, those times are the most miserable times in my life.

The thing about it is: DIE.

It's all about Jesus Christ being first, second, third, fourth, and fifth. What I'm trying to say is Jesus Christ is EVERYTHING.

Die to yourself that you might have life.

I have never given anything away that I have felt sorry for. I have never been self-sacrificing and looked back and regretted such things.

Does being theologically correct mean anything if we don't die first?

Are you empty, then die? Are you miserable, then die? Are you feeling icky inside, then die?

In the kingdom, its about going down the ladder not going up it.

It has been a long time since I've listened to a Paul Washer sermon. Oh my, how I had forgotten what I had been missing! These previous notes are from his sermon on Die to Self, Surrender to Him on

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Just a Few Things I Like...

Dance parties in the car.

Challenging discussions about the person of God and how that plays out in this world with my brothers and sisters in Christ.

Having joy that only comes from the Lord, joy that directs my heart and mind back to the gospel.

The realization that the gospel is the only motivation I need in serving Him in whatever capacity it might be whether it be waking up or talking to the person next to me about the great sacrifice made for me on the cross.

Talking to new people.

Finishing a good book.

Finishing a project.

Hearing my sister sing.

Waking up early.

Running [slowly in comparison to most of the running population].

Accomplishing something I didn't think I would be able to do.

Hand-written notes from others where their love for me is obvious.

Writing notes for others because in such circumstances, my focus cannot be on myself.

Biting into a juicy strawberry, plump blackberry, firm raspberry or gigantic blueberry.

Having fresh flowers on my desk or at my kitchen table.

Decorating my home and scheming about what project to start next.

Receiving snail mail.


Stars on a very black night. In the grass.

Sewing. Feeling fabric in my hands.

Seeing a rose blossom over a period of days.

Hardwood floors. For dancing.

Baking bread. In an apron.

Getting muddy.

Talking to brothers and sisters in Christ with whom it is extremely easy to carry on a conversation for hours.

Walking outside at night.

Weeding when I get the entire root.

These things previous are just a few things that I like in this life. The list could go on for quite awhile. May I be thankful in the fact that the Lord has enabled me to enjoy this life. Everything in my life should draw my heart back to the gospel.

This summer, during the C.S. Lewis Transposition talk in Tennessee, we talked about how this earth is a shadow of heaven. Dell discussed church and how many of the things that we do in church are shadows of what we do daily (communion, dinner). Communion and dinner can even be broken down further. Dinner and communion parallel one another: a call to worship (call to dinner), confession (eek...should have taken better notes but I think within the dinner context this was talking about one's day), consecration (prayer for the meal), communion (eating). What I'm trying to get at is the things that I enjoy and the things that I participate in daily should draw me back to the Lord. Dell used the example of a shower. The purpose of a shower is to clean oneself of the dirt, body odor, sweat from the day: a daily shadow of salvation. What if for the fifteen or twenty minutes I spend in the shower, I were to remind myself of my salvation, of how I am justified. I have been made clean by the Only One who can truly clean.

Maybe I'm making too big of a leap but the things that I enjoy should bring me back to Christ and His work in my life because the things that fill our day (i.e. meals, cleaning oneself, work, talking to others) are often shadows of the Lord's work in our life, what He has done on the cross and continues to do in our sanctification. I don't know if I'm making a lot of sense. I am only starting to grasp this in my small mind and so I do not expect any one reading this to be able to make any sense of such things.

Friday, August 13, 2010

The Glory of God is Man Fully Alive

The following dialog is a discussion that the staff had during a lecture in Florida. I remember sitting out on the dock that morning with ten to twelve other staff. It was hot. It was humid. I was so excited to be there and yet I had no idea what to expect. As we began discussing the quote "The glory of God is man fully alive," I felt very challenged. Honestly, discussions like this are a commodity at home. I've maybe delved this deep with other believers five or six times before. I came from that conversation extremely contemplative. I came from that conversation challenged to work toward creating such an environment within Albuquerque with Navigators or simply other believers in general. I experienced one of the truest forms of fellowship (as true as this world can be as it is still tainted by sin) that morning and it was wonderful. It was wonderful to be challenged by the Body. Thank you Lord for such an experience. May Your gospel by my motivation in all that I do.

Glory of God is man fully alive:

Anna: Man fully alive is man fully dead to self.

Micah: Was God not glorified before man was created? God seems dependent on man.

Dayne: God is glorified through his sacrifice that made man alive. So glory still originates with God. No dependence on man.

Anna: Before the Fall was man fully alive?

Justin: What does it mean to be fully alive in a Fallen World?

Hannah: Dell's definition of life was something about pouring out and receiving in.

Jared: Fully alive is Christ and those in heaven. No hint of death. Christ was the only person fully alive.

Anna: Do we experience moments of being fully alive? Glimpses of heaven?

Dayne: we aren't fully alive until heaven when sanctification is complete.

Justin: When does the fully alive process begin? Salvation. So there must be some fruit now.

Sarah: One sounds like a byproduct and one sounds like a manifestation. The act of glorifying becomes glory.

Ian: Glory is in how God perceives us, which is different before and after the Fall. He treats us differently.

Jared: God's glory is independent of man.

Dayne: We aren't adding glory. God is glorified through us.

Justin: But we are told to glorify God.

Jared: But God isn't dependent on man.

Micah: We live to manifest God's glory. We can't add to it.

Lizzie: We glorify God, but God gave us the ability to do that.

Micah: The pagan doesn't intentional glorify God.

Ian: But the pagan at least creates opposed to a stupid Christian that doesn't do anything.

Micah: A Christian composer writes to glorify God.

Justin: Man's fully alive is the radiance of God's glory. And God is glorified in man fully alive.

Dayne: The harlot in Hosea pursued God's blessing a partfrom God. The more knowledge we have of God, the less
tempted we are to playthe harlot. The less tempted we are by the world.

Sarah: God needs rational creatures to contemplate his glory.

Justin: Can God glorify something beside himself in order to receive more glory?

Ian: The nature of glory is that you can't shine it on yourself.

Sarah: The Bible talks about how we will be glorified. The'weight of glory.'

Anna: Let's put this in the context of parent and child...

Justin: Could it be that the most glorifying thing God coulddo is to glorify another?

Dayne: God glorified himself by redeeming something outsideof himself.

Justin: What do you think of when thinking of man fully alive?

Bethany: Living how God intended? That's too easy.

Hannah: The concept is easy. When we have joy in God's work that is a big part of being fully alive.

Lizzie: With the atheist, his art is alive but spiritually dead. To be alive is to be alive in all faculties.

Micah: The exercise of everything that it means to be human.Relationships. Mind .Talent.

Dayne: Man fully reflecting the image of God.

Justin: Is man fully alive a process or an end goal?

Dayne: Is the process the product?

Justin: The journey is the goal.

Micah: The glory of God is man becoming like God. God's greatest glory is many fully alive.

Sarah: Or is God's greatest glory Himself?

Lizzie: 1 Corinthians 11:7

Just as a man takes delight in his wife so the Lord takes glory in the church.

Justin: Our very being is the glory of God.

Every action God does is glorious.

Sarah: We have to get away from the idea that glory is quantitative. It isn't in math.

Justin: Just as Sarah wants to get away from glory as quantitative, also get away from it being competitive. He doesn't lose glory by giving it to us.

Jared: You can't add anything to infinity.

Ian: Infinity isn't a number, but a concept.

Lizzie. What is our glory doing if we aren't adding to anything?

We're the vehicle, not the source.

Bethany: Then why would He create us if he didn't need us?

Hannah: We give Him pleasure.

Sarah: A painter manifests his talent in art. But he doesn't gain talent or glory. God desires creative expression.

We are the creation. The artist still has the glory; we simply manifest it.

Justin: The glory isn't an addition from the outside. Still flowing from the author.

Micah: So God glorifies himself by working in us.

Jared: Do you need the painting to bring glory to the painter?

Sarah: A child is covered in mud and looks nothing like the parent. Glory is sanctification; having God remove the mud of

Then that parent gets to watch the child grow.

Justin: We not only give glory to God but we are the glory of God.

Micah: Interesting that the parent is the one to clean the child..

Sarah was so sweet to take all these notes so that this conversation could be shared among the staff. I took some notes and have added them (italicized) where I think they probably were said.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Reflections on the Summer

It is time for me to write again. I have been home for a week and a couple days.

This summer was amazing. It was full of joy, laughter, sorrow, tears, hugs, vulnerability, fruit, grace, frustration, patience and endurance. I spent eight weeks in the Deep South: Oklahoma, Texas, Mississippi, Florida, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Georgia. For seven of those weeks, I was entrusted with 4-12 girls ages 13-18 years old. I had some weeks in which fruit in my girls was extremely evident and so encouraging. I had some weeks where fruit wasn't visible and thus I had to trust in Him to preserve and grow my girls after they left camp.

I loved having one-on-ones with girls. Small talk and making conversation is extremely difficult for me but I thrived when I was able to sit down with one girl at a time and delve deeper into who they were and what their relationship with our Lord and Savior looked like.

At the beginning of the summer, Randy Sims said, "These [concerning the staff] are going to be some of your best friends after this summer is over; they'll be some of the people in your wedding and some of the first that you will call when your children are born." I turned my nose up at such a statement knowing I had plenty of those people at home. By the end of the summer, I was proved wrong. The staff this summer were such blessings. With eight weeks together, there isn't room to dilly-dawdle with friendships. You either jump in and swim or you just sit there. Vulnerability cannot be avoided. The staff is your local Body for the summer and if you don't rely on them, struggles, trials and triumphs are going to be miserable.

Coming home was extremely difficult. I cried all day Saturday as I got on the plane, landed in Phoenix, waited for the next plane, got on my Albuquerque flight and arrived home. I was a fountain that day. I think that Saturday finally allowed me time to process the summer. Not only was I leaving my Worldview family but I was expressing my overflowing emotional tank for every week of camp that I went through: the joys and sorrows at that point were extremely real and could not be held back any longer.

I learned so many things this summer. A couple things that really stuck with me without my having to look over my journal entries from the summer are dying to self and the Body of Christ. Being on staff with Worldview is a dying to self all the time. While I was with my students during the week my time was not my own. From 1:30 pm on Sunday to 3:30 pm on Friday, I was at camp. I was my students'. I belonged to them. By His grace, I was continually engaging them, asking them questions, finding out what they are passionate about. I was not allowed to talk of myself. There is a paragraph in our Staff Playbook that talks about dying to self. It says, "When you never care to refer to yourself in conversation, or to record your own good works or itch for commendations, when you can truly love to be unknown, that is dying to self." The paragraph talks of many more ways in which dying to self is exemplified but this was the most applicable and memorable point for my summer. I love talking about myself and this summer did not allow for such things to be present. It was so good. It was difficult and frustrating and awkward at times but the call and reward of dying to self, seeing Him glorified, was so much greater than seeing myself glorified at the end of the week. If I gave my students me, they would come home with worthless knowledge and insight. If I gave my students Christ working through me, they would have nothing more priceless.

The second thing that God was so good to reveal to me this summer was concerning the Body of Christ. Oftentimes at home, I feel part of a Body but a small part of me wants more. I never was able to pinpoint why I was discontent in that and why "more" was always on my mind. I spent this summer with 20 or so brothers and sisters in Christ. As I said previously, vulnerability came quickly and the Lord bonded us together in unity in ways that are not normal. It was obviously His doing and not ours. By the end of the summer, one of the staff guys, in answer to a question related to a recent move by his family, said, "I've learned home is where your family is." I never felt displaced this summer with all our travelling and being in and out of dorms and hotels. I never wished that we would just settle down somewhere. I was content in our transient lifestyle. I find my contentment rooted in the fact that my home this summer was where my family was and I was always with my WVA family and thus I was always home.

This summer included conversations about suffering and comfort, about glory, about love and joy. I loved breaking down Scripture and getting to the root of those simple words. This is where true fellowship lies. As I returned home, my heart broke for I had to leave people that I experienced more love for in a short amount of time than anyone else prior. I longed to be where they were. I longed to serve alongside them again. Knowing there most likely will never be a time that we will all be back together again on this earth, I long for heaven when we can rejoice at His great work for the rest of eternity.

I remember sitting in a magnolia tree in Georgia with Lizzie and MK our last week of camp after Monday night staff prayer meeting. We were talking about the guy staff and how parting ways that coming Saturday wouldn't change our relationships with our sisters but the relationships that we developed with our brothers at camp would not be maintained in quite the same way as they were all summer. Marriage and the desire for such things was mentioned. I realized, because of the fellowship experienced with my sisters and brothers this summer, that my desire to be married was much less at that moment. How to explain? I realized that our emotional desire for marriage is fueled out of a longing to be in an intimate relationship with another person. God has been so good to give us the institution of marriage to answer our desire to be in intimate relationships (which I would argue is God-given to begin with but that's a different path). I had always wondered how if I long for marriage in such ways now, how I would not desire such things in heaven. I knew that I wouldn't because discontentment is not something we will be struggling with but how that worked, I could not comprehend. This summer gave me a small peek into the glorious fellowship that we shall experience after this life. I did not desire marriage this summer because intimacy was existent with my brothers and sisters; it was not present in a physical sense but in an emotional sense, it was very present. Marriage, in a way, if a shadow of the intimacy that we should experience with Christ and all believers once in heaven. After that conversation, I found myself longing for heaven more than marriage because in heaven, we are able to have perfect relationships with our sisters and brothers in Christ and with Christ, Glory Himself.

From all of these previous paragraphs concerning the staff this summer, my point is this: there is more to the Body of Christ than that which I had experienced before camp on this earth. I did not know that I could have such deep love for my brothers and sisters and yet this summer gave me a glimpse of that and a hope of that as I return to a new church body here at home. I was so excited to be at church on Sunday, more excited than I ever have been to go to be with the Body.

I feel like I did a poor job explaining my thoughts and feelings toward this summer but as I continue to process and work things out in my head maybe I can make more sense of such things in words.

P.S. Concerning my post on the book I was reading by Francine Rivers and the main characters' headstrong ways: I have since gotten much farther in said book and have found that the main character does not know how to love her enemies. She stands for her own will and desire continually and encourages rebellion within her children. Yes there is a balance, but the main character in said book is a very poor example of such things.