07 May 2016

Isaiah and anxiety

Isaiah 34-35 is highly symbolic. I encourage you to read through these chapters. 
God is bringing judgment to Edom - the symbol for the wicked. He destroys the land and returns it to nothingness again like  in Genesis 1. When he does this he sends the unclean animals there along with sin (symbolized by thorns). This causes the desert to rejoice because it will be cleansed of sin and return to lush land again (like returning to Eden again). The anxious are to take note of this and be encouraged. 

Say to those who have an anxious heart, "Be strong; fear not! Behold, your God will come with vengeance, with the recompense of God. He will come and save you."  - Isaiah 35:4
Anxiety comes for many reasons but I believe the main reason is because we fear something bad will happen again (this is true for me. I've had crippling anxiety for several years and am now coming out of it. This is part of my experience). The anxious are to take note of the redemption God brought to the land because he will do this for us as well. God will bring justice where we are anxious. 

Where do you need to see God's justice and vengeance against the places where sin has taken from you (both your sin and the sin committed against you)?
The next verses in Isaiah 35 go on to say the blind will see, the deaf hear, the lame walk and the mute talk. This is a saying the Jews had. It's like saying you will understand this in your heart for the eyes are the pathway to the soul. You will understand this intellectually for your ears are the pathway to the mind. You will take action and walk again and speak of this as you go because you have been changed by this experience. 

As this happens the desert in our lives will be turned into lush garden once again. We will be renewed and receive back what was lost due to sin. 

And the ransomed of the LORD shall return and come to Zion with singing; everlasting joy shall be upon their heads; they shall obtain gladness and joy, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.  - Isaiah 35:10

30 October 2014


If I'm honest, this had been an incredibly hard year. I have cried more this year than I have in my whole life. I have lost and gained faith more times than I can count, and that was just this week alone. Instead of figuring out who I am or what I'm good at or even my goal in life, this year has showed me a lot of who I am not and with that has shown me how weak I actually am. 

My friends and I joke that we aren't superwoman. We can't stop the atomic bomb. But that doesn't mean we aren't wonderwoman. We're stronger than we think. 

I may have a lot of weakness but that means there is even more room for God to show up because where we are weak He is exceptionally strong. He gets to show up in power when we feel weak because we aren't trying to prove ourselves in those moments. We may be barely holding it together but we are obedient anyway. Our obedience allows His power to show up in some mighty ways. There is nothing that can stop us when God is for us. Poor finances, bad circumstances and big problems don't stand a chance against us when we submit our lives to Jesus and are obedient to His moving. 

That doesn't mean this won't be hard. It will be hard and at times even seemingly unbearable. But that is no reason to give up. We have dreams for a reason. God gives promises so He can fulfil them not so He can watch us squirm. He is faithful. 

When I was wondering if I should even dream a friend told me this verse: May God give you the power to accomplish all the good things your faith prompts you to do. (2 Thessalonians 1:11 NLT)

So what's next? What's that thing you've been avoiding because you're afraid you aren't cut out for anymore? What have you been afraid to consider possible but can't get out of your mind? What do you feel called to do? 

Maybe it's time we start looking at these things and going for them anyway. I know you're scared. I know it doesn't make sense. But what better time is there than now? What better time to go after the things of God's heart and of yours? 

11 August 2014

To Be and Not To Be

In Deuteronomy 31, Moses encourages Israel as they are about to enter into the Promised Land. The last forty years were spent in preparation for this very moment. Now that moment has arrived. Israel stood near the boarder of the desert and their promise. They could see it in the distance. Before them stood Mount Nebo, and beyond that ran the Jordan River and their entrance into the Promised Land. 

Moses, knowing he will die shortly after this, gives a five hour long sermon to encourage and exhort the people he led for the past forty years. Toward the end of this he says, "So be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid and do not panic... For the Lord your God will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you... (Now speaking to Joshua he says) Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord will personally go ahead of you. He will be with you; he will neither fail you nor abandon you" (Deut 31:6,8 NLT). 

There are two things I want to point out here. 

1.  Know your stance. What is your role in this circumstance? What are you to be or do? What are you not to be? For Isarel, their stance was to be one of courage and not of fear or panic. Moses first pointed out their true stance before pointing out their current one. The truth about Israel was that they were brave. They had courage. Now was their chance to try it on and use it. 

2. Know God's role. Who does God want to be for you in this circumstance? As Israel prepared to enter into their land of promise God told them he went before them. He is the Way Maker, and He is present. He promises He will not leave His people nor will he forsake them. This means He is not going to let His people fall. He will not let them shatter. They will not be abandoned or marrooned in a foreign land (or in the desert for that matter). He will not dishearten them but tells them to be the courage people He sees them as not the fearful people they feel like. 

So what is your response? Who does God want to be for you right now and what is your role in all of this? 

God always tells me my stance is as daughter and my role usually isn't as involved as I thought I should be. For example, I often think my role is as the puppet master of my circumstances but God often reminds me my role is to rest or to worship. I may have some practical steps I need to take but I'm not the one who needs to make the impossible happen. 

06 August 2014

Personal Update

Hello to my readers!

I want to thank you so much for visiting my blog. I wanted to give you an update on some exciting news. I have this amazing opportunity to attend King's College in London this fall. I was accepted into their one year biblical studies masters program.

In all honesty this wasn't something I thought I could do. I have some amazing friends who have patiently listened to me and supported me while I tried to figure out if I could go.

So why this degree? One of my dreams is to raise up Bible Study leaders, church planters and missionaries in the church. I want to equip people with the knowledge of the Word of God so they can confidently teach others about the Bible. I am currently part of a group that has a similar vision, and in the evenings we get to learn more about God together. This degree will better equip me and will grow my understanding of the Bible.

Here is a breakdown of expenses with a total of £28,376.

£16,250 tuition
£8,078 housing
£4,048 transportation and livng expenses
£28,376 total

Thank you from the bottom of my heart for supporting me and making this possible. Click here to donate.

28 June 2014

Shipwrecked Hope

We all have been given promises, and we all have hopes and dreams. We long for that moment we will see them fulfilled and for that moment we will feel like we are finally doing what we were created to do. That is all well and good, but what do we do when our dreams are still in the works? There is hard work in dreams and a lot of that is holding onto hope. 
There are times when dreams appear to be shipwrecked. They are dashed on the rocks of disappointment (cliché, I know, but I like the imagery) and we do not know if we can ever rise from that. We are faced with a choice in those moments—we can let go of the last bit of hope we have and float out aimlessly into the stormy sea, or we can hold onto hope like a stranded sailor holds onto driftwood and slowly make our way to shore. The pathway to our dreams never looks like we imagine it would. It can look like island hopping until we reach the Promised Land or it can look like a switchback road through a mountain range.
I am finding life, and dreams for that matter, looks much more like a choose-your-adventure book than a straight path. To go to London proceed to page 50. To learn about family proceed to page 110. Recently, I have been looking back at the mental photobook of my adventures thus far. Each path includes snapshots of random adventures and stories I never thought I could be a part of. It has also taken a lot longer than I think it should. Alexander the Great conquered the known world by the time he was my age. What have I done?
Growing up I heard the stories of the great men and women in the Bible and in history. For some reason pastors and speakers thought it was encouraging to tell us about the people who accomplished great things by the time they were our age. I was told of the great battles Jonathan won when he was fifteen. I learned with slight horror and shock about Mary’s age when she became the mother of Jesus. How could I ever live up to these people? I used to think I peaked in my teens. I have greatness written on my heart yet the greatest thing I have done this far is, well, I do not have an answer for that. I have accomplishments I am proud of but what about great accomplishments? I have never been in a battle much less won one. I have not conquered the known world, though I am working on that. I am not a ninja, though I would count myself as one in training.
I have an epic dream and that means there is an epic story. Epic stories always start with ordinary men destined for greatness, mainly because they are the protagonist of the story. The author chose them to be great. As a writer I get to control the way the story moves and can slow down or speed up a story for the sake of character or plot development. For some reason I often forget God does the same thing. He is the great Author after all.
My roommate Emily often has incredibly profound encouragement for me in the moments I am on the verge of letting go of my driftwood hope. The other day I was grieved at my current place in life’s story and was angry at things that happened in the past and completely unsure of what the future had in store. In other words, I was long overdue for a meltdown. Her response was beautiful: “Courage in battle means not running away. It is planting your feet and standing your ground. Courage in pain means not making assumptions about your identity, who God is or what your future looks like. It means sticking your feet down and not going anywhere.”
Our identity does not change even though our circumstances can be a kaleidoscope of fun—ever rotating, constantly changing yet the same substance. Our identity remains the same but our function within that circumstance changes. It looks different from the previous season. In one season we learn what it is to be a son and in another we learn what it is to be a warrior and yet another what it is to rest. We are still sons and warriors when we rest and still warriors and resters as sons. We are just acting out of a different function depending on the season. As we grow we learn how to go deeper into that and learn new facets and new moves but we still act out of that core identity as a son.
My perspective changes as I realize it is about learning new ways of interacting with God and not about me surviving a circumstance in order to make it to the holy grail of dreams. With all that being said, I want to leave you with a few questions. What is God’s perspective on your circumstances/ dream? What is God teaching you about interacting with Him in this season? What is the reason behind your dream? Why are you holding on? Remember and keep pushing through.