Thursday, December 17, 2009

come Thou long awaited Emmanuel

How sweet are the days when I truly yearn for Christ and His return. May they be more often, may they be deeper. May they compel me to seek, find and enjoy the Lord in joy and love.

come Thou long expected Jesus
born to set Thy people free
from our fears and sins release us
let us find our rest in Thee.

Come Thou long awaited Emmanuel!
Come Thou long awaited Emmanuel!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


My soul waits and longs and hopes for change. Change in the worldly sense has always quickened my heart in excitement; I grow easily bored with circumstances and as I find myself in the midst of one milestone, I am hasting to look to the next one ahead. This has always been the case for me. Whether its going away to college or leaving to study abroad or finishing college hockey or getting married, I continue to look with excitement to the challenges and newness that change brings.

I have seen the capacity for both sin and righteousness to spring from my love of change. As Paul says to "be content in any and every situation, whether living in plenty or in want" (Philippians 4:12), I know I must guard against the discontentedness that is rooted in my joy and hope being in my circumstances and not my Savior. I must also fight the desire to escape present circumstances that are uncomfortable and painful, yet are intended as discipline and santification for my soul. As Job proclaims in the midst of calamity, "Though He slay me, yet will I hope in Him...Indeed, this will turn out for my deliverance" (Job 13:15-16), I long to believe steadfastly in who our God is and the promises He has given us, that I may remain faithful in the midst of trials and be filled with a joy that is found in the presence of God and not the presence of wordly comforts and peace.

I have also seen the good that desire for change brings. It allows me to be open-handed with the present things God is giving me. It allows me to see a vision of what could be and what is to come and to pray with expectation of what the Lord will do. It gives me zeal for the present, knowing that so much must change in me that I might reflect the Lord more fully and remain faithful in any and every circumstance.

This is the change that the Lord is giving me a vision for right now- the change that He promises is His will for me. Sanctification. That I will not remain the same, stuck in my sin, hindered in spiritual progress by the same things over and over again. That as I follow Him, pressing deeper into His Word, being renewed by His mercy and grace morning after morning, and being compelled by His Spirit that dwells within, He promises change. Change of the heart and soul to reflect the Son. Change of the inner person that is more sure than any circumstancial change could be. Sanctification. He promises "that we all, with unveiled face beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another" (2 Corinthians 3:18). That the things I am excited yet feel unprepared to do right now- be a godly wife, love younger women with wisdom, be gracious in relationships, be humble and servant-like, are the product of beholding the glory of God now. Fixing my eyes on Him now. Tasting and seeing the goodness of God now that changes the soul to be more like Jesus to equip me for the future things He has for me.

I pray that we would desire to look more like Jesus, knowing that only He can change us, and that pursuit of His glory is for our joy both now and in the future.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

21 Yet this I call to mind
and therefore I have hope:

22 Because of the LORD's great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.

23 They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.

24 I say to myself, "The LORD is my portion;
therefore I will wait for him."

25 The LORD is good to those whose hope is in him,
to the one who seeks him;

26 it is good to wait quietly
for the salvation of the LORD.

27 It is good for a man to bear the yoke
while he is young.

28 Let him sit alone in silence,
for the LORD has laid it on him.

29 Let him bury his face in the dust—
there may yet be hope.

30 Let him offer his cheek to one who would strike him,
and let him be filled with disgrace.

31 For men are not cast off
by the Lord forever.

32 Though he brings grief, he will show compassion,
so great is his unfailing love.

Lamentations 3:21-32

Thursday, November 19, 2009

"May the living God who is the portion and rest of the saints make these our carnal minds so spiritual and our earthly hearts so heavenly that loving Him and delighting in Him may be the work of our lives." - Richard Baxter

Thursday, October 22, 2009

the rest is loss

whatever was to my profit, i count it all as loss, compared to the surpassing grace of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake i have lost all things.

i read these words today and they cut straight to my heart. thinking about the trivialities of life that my heart gets caught up in, that i am no where near counting these things as unimportant or seeing them with indifference, let alone counting them as loss. paul's words are bold and challenging. what's getting in the way of knowing christ? too much sleep? too little sleep? busyness? relationships? laziness? building a reputation? paul challenges us to count it all as LOSS. to hate it. to repent of it. to see it as the horrific distraction from the REAL TREASURE that is CHRIST HIMSELF. Jonah 2:8 declares that "those who cling to worthless idols forfeit the grace that could be theirs". the grace is Christ himself and the surpassing joy of knowing him. the idols are anything but Christ that distract us and vye for our ultimate affection.

i have to know that paul's words are implying a battle that must be fought. he brings the heat when he says to count these things as loss, to declare them rubbish. there's an intensity in his approach to anything that gets in the way of his affection for Christ. satan must take great joy in satiating me with such easy distractions as my own comfort, legalistic busyness and emotional hangups. its time to hate the ploys that alter my eyes from the true treasure of Christ.

what comfort there is in knowing that we were created by Him and for Him thus anything but Him won't be enough. it makes us search and strive, it makes us long and groan and ache and desire nothing apart from that which can satisfy- we must know and believe that that is Christ himself. our precious Savior is the only one able to combat the sinfulness, the futility, the neediness, the pain, that is our humanity. nothing else will do.

i pray for eyes to see Christ, a heart that longs for Him above all, and the strength to fight for my affections to remain rooted in Him.

Friday, September 25, 2009

’Tis a Point I Long to Know

’Tis a point I long to know,
Oft it causes anxious thought;
Do I love the LORD, or no?
Am I his, or am I not?

If I love, why am I thus?
Why this dull and lifeless frame?
Hardly, sure, can they be worse,
Who have never heard his name!

Could my heart so hard remain,
Prayer a task and burden prove;
Every trifle give me pain,
If I knew a Savior’s love?

When I turn my eyes within,
All is dark, and vain, and wild;
Filled with unbelief and sin,
Can I deem myself a child?

If I pray, or hear, or read,
Sin is mixed with all I do;
You that love the LORD indeed,
Tell me, Is it thus with you?

Yet I mourn my stubborn will,
Find my sin, a grief, and thrall;
Should I grieve for what I feel,
If I did not love at all?

Could I joy his saints to meet,
Choose the ways I once abhorred,
Find, at times, the promise sweet,
If I did not love the LORD?

Lord decide the doubtful case!
Thou who art thy people’s sun;
Shine upon thy work of grace,
If it be indeed begun.

-a hymn by John Newton

Sunday, August 9, 2009


sifting through sin that the Lord's bringing to my attention; seeing, feeling, experiencing the deadness that sin brings.

thanking the Lord that He has made a way for me and that His promises quicken my heart to life from the death i deserve.

he promises newness.

a new heart.
"And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh."
Ezekiel 36:26

a new spirit.
"Cast away from you all the transgressions that you have committed, and make yourselves a new heart and a new spirit! Why will you die, O house of Israel? For I have no pleasure in the death of anyone, declares the Lord GOD; so turn, and live."
Ezekiel 18:31-32

a new song.
"He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear, and put their trust in the LORD."
Psalm 40:3

a new name.
"He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who conquers I will give some of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone, with a new name written on the stone that no one knows except the one who receives it."
Revelation 2:17

a new self.

"Put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness."
Ephesians 4:24

wholly new.
"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come."
2 Corinthians 5:17

i am dead and my life is now hidden with Christ in God. (Colossians 3:2)
HE is making all things NEW. (Revelation 21:5)

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

gospel-centered prayer

JD Greear shares three things he prays every morning to help him stay gospel-centered.

“God, because I am in Christ I know there is nothing I can do today that would make you love me any more, and there is nothing I have done that makes you love me any less.”

“God, your presence and approval is all I need to have joy today.”

“God, everything the gospel tells me about your intentions for my life is TRUE.”

How do you start your day?

Thursday, July 16, 2009

words from the heywood crib

i've been praying that the Lord would give me wisdom. i've been praying this a lot lately. mostly cause i'm seeing all the situations in my life where i'm acting without wisdom and discernment. i've been tossing around james 1:5 in my mind where james says, "if any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault and it will be given him. but when he asks, he must believe and not doubt." praying this scripture in faith has assured me of God's willingness to give wisdom to me as i seek it, its declared to me that the Lord requires us to seek His gifts with a believing heart, but its still left me a bit in the dark about what it looks like to practically seek to walk in wisdom in my daily life.

i recently read an article from a sermon preached by a dude named Josh Harris on Proverbs 1. his 5 points were that:

-God's grace toward sinners gives us confidence to seek wisdom.
-We must choose wisdom.
-Wisdom comes from God. Solomon asked for wisdom, but it is God who bestowed it.
-Wisdom is for living. It is knowledge in action. It is put on display when we make choices and perform actions.
-You are only as wise as your next decision. You prove your wisdom in what you choose today.

this last point challenges me like crazy. i am only as wise as my next decision. whether i decide to sleep in or wake up early, to spend my time selfishly or selflessly, to respond in this or that manner, to read my bible or go on the internet, to give my money away or spend it on myself, wisdom is proven from moment-to-moment. and each decision is a new opportunity to exercise God-glorifying, God-gifted wisdom.

my tendency is to lapse into periods of coasting. as i disengage from intentional living in order to allow myself some laziness and unholy rest, i think i can ride out the past efforts of wise decisions i've made. how foolish this is! yesterday's wise decisions are undone by my next decision. i must choose wisdom for these decisions everyday. and what promise the Lord gives us that He will faithfully provide wisdom to those who seek it.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Guy #3

Guy #3 made this happen. Before him, it was just a couple of crazies breaking it down... then Guy #3 got risky and initiated a dance party. No bravery points for any one after Guy #3.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Back home.

"We must hide our unholiness in the wounds of Christ as Moses hid himself in the cleft of the rock while the glory of God passed by. We must take refuge from God in God. Above all, we must believe that God sees us perfect in His Son while he disciplines and chastens and purges us so that we may be partakers of His holiness." A.W. Tozer

I know that I must preach the gospel to myself everyday.
I must see my deep depravity- and let it drive me to humility, drive me to worship of Him who gave us undeserved mercy and grace.
I must believe that the cross of Christ is the work of justification and propitiation for me. The cross alone. I must believe God loves me enough to see past it all and comfort me despite the ugliness of my sin.
I must believe that My Jesus stands before the Lord, interceding on behalf of my wretched soul, showing the blood He shed to present me pure and blameless and shining with the radiance of the beautiful righteousness of Christ, God in the flesh.
I must see that the discipline of the Lord is a sure pledge of His love for me for He would not be moved to chastise those who are not His.
And I must fix my eyes on the end, in the midst of pain and struggle and discipline, because the Lord's discipline brings us to fear Him, to walk in holiness and godliness and see the fruit that righteousness brings.

I know that I must preach the gospel to myself everyday.
I must preach the gospel to myself everyday.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Columbus to Minneapolis (halfway home)

i drove for 14 hours in my car today. all alone. it was surprisingly wonderful apart from the periodic cramps that wreaked havoc on my legs every 2-3 hours. i became "that girl" doing laps around the sunoco gas station to get the blood flowing. i'm not ashamed. there were a few delirious moments of driving-exhaustion where the only remedy was to crank the local rap station and break it down at the top of my lungs (i usually just sing the duet girl part to be completely honest). the country station is also a sure thing for sing-alongs but sometimes an excess of the crooning of heart-sick hicks makes me a bit nauseous. reading and analyzing ridiculous billboards, bumper stickers, and license plates kept me occupied for a bit and there were a few moments where i just reflected on the joy of the excellence in gas mileage that Coby the Cobalt supplies. 14 hours of a 26 hour journey are now down and the reality of home is setting in. home is wonderful. there's something safe and comforting about being at home with my family. the Lord has used it to revitalize and refresh me in the past, and i have no doubt that He will be faithful in this again. i need rest in Christ. i need renewal in my spirit, in my heart, in my mind. the long drive home has been the start of that as i pull myself away from distractions and busyness and am in solitude before the Lord. i'm in deep need of Christ and i know it.

"Now then, little man, for a short time fly from your business; hide yourself for a moment from your turbulent thoughts. Break off now your troublesome cares, and think less of your laborious occupations. Make a little time for God, and rest for a while in him. Enter into the chamber of your mind, shut out everything but God and whatever helps you to seek him, and, when you have shut the door, seek him. Speak now, O my whole heart, speak now to God: 'I seek thy face; thy face, Lord, do I desire.'"

Anselm of Canterbury (ca. 1033-1109), Proslogion, chapter one.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

i've been working on my tennis game...

and my training hasn't been looking exactly like this...but i have had several break-ins lately to my apartment by the competition, trying to knock me off of my game...

Tuesday, May 26, 2009


i'm praisin God for joy.

i'm praisin Him for life to the full through grace.

i'm praisin Him for friendships that are eternal.

i'm praisin Him for knowing what i need when i don't.

i'm praisin Him for simple joys.

i'm praisin Him for revealing Himself to me through people.

i'm praisin Him for unexpected joys...

and boldness ;)

i'm praisin Him that the mystery has been revealed to us.

i'm praisin Him for a cloud of witnesses.

i'm praisin Him that Canada is always where we'll come home to.

"be joyful always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus"
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Where else??

From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him.

"You do not want to leave too, do you?" Jesus asked the Twelve.

Simon Peter answered him, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We believe and know that you are the Holy One of God."

These words have been coming to me a lot this week. "To whom shall we go?" I am convinced that there is nowhere else to go. That nothing or no one will satisfy and bring life-giving joy but Jesus Christ. I know it in my heart to be true... I just wish and pray that I could align my life with it. I've filled my life with crappy things and been dissatisfied, but I've also filled my life with good things and been dissatisfied. Cause if they aren't Christ, they won't satisfy. They're nothing if I'm trying to make them fill a hole that they weren't shaped to fill. We were made for our Creator and our joy and delight comes from Him alone. I know this to be true. Lord, I pray that You'd work it out in me moment-by-moment.

After tasting in the true freedom and life that comes from Christ, I hate it that I go back to stupid, golden calves that waste my life. I'm a sinner who knows the truth. Praise God for that. I plead the blood of Christ.

Where else will you go?

Thursday, April 30, 2009

“My soul – never be satisfied within a shadowy Christ. … I cannot know Christ through another person’s brains. I cannot love him with another man’s heart, and I cannot see him with another man’s eyes. … I am so afraid of living in a second-hand religion. God forbid that I should get a biographical experience. Lord save us from having borrowed communion. No, I must know him myself. O God, let me not be deceived in this. I must know him without fancy or proxy; I must know him on my own account.”
-Charles Spurgeon

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

I want the real kind.

Lately the Lord's been making alive to me the call to genuine, authentic faith. The kind of faith that proved Abraham to be righteous, the kind of faith that is believing without seeing, the kind of faith that does not waver in unbelief but is strengthened and God-glorifying (Romans 4:20). The kind of faith that must be Spirit-led and not man-labored.
"After beginning with the Spirit are you now trying to attain your goal by human effort? Does God give you his Spirit and work miracles among you because you observe the law or because you believe what you heard?" (Gal. 3:3,5) This is the faith, the real kind of faith, that I desire.

Pseudo faith always arranges a way out to serve in case God fails. Real faith knows only one way and gladly allows itself to be stripped of any second way or makeshift substitutes. For true faith, it is either God or total collapse. And not since Adam first stood up on earth has God failed a single man or woman who trusted Him.

The man of pseudo faith will fight for his verbal creed but refuse flatly to allow himself to get into a predicament where his future must depend upon that creed being true. He always provides himself with secondary ways of escape so he will have a way out if the roof caves in.

The faith of Paul or Luther was a revolutionizing thing. It upset the whole life of the individual and made him into another person altogether. It laid hold on the life and brought it under obedience to Christ. It took up its cross and followed along after Jesus with no intention of going back. It said goodbye to its old friends as certainly as Elijah when he stepped into the fiery chariot and went away in the whirlwind. It had a finality about it … It realigned all life’s actions and brought them into accord with the will of God.

What we need very badly these days is a company of Christians who are prepared to trust God as completely now, as they must do at the last day. For each of us the time is surely coming when we shall have nothing but God! Health and wealth and friends and hiding places will all be swept away and we shall have only God. To the man of pseudo faith that is a terrifying thought, but to real faith it is one of the most comforting thoughts the heart can entertain.

It would be a tragedy indeed to come to the place where we have no other but God and find that we had not really been trusting God during the days of our earthly sojourn. It would be better to invite God now to remove every false trust, to disengage our hearts from all secret hiding places and to bring us out into the open where we can discover for ourselves whether we actually trust Him. This is a harsh cure for our troubles, it is a sure one! Gentler cures may be too weak to do the work. And time is running out on us.

-A.W. Tozer

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Where O Death Is Your Sting?

This weekend, I'm struggling and failing to grasp and cherish what Christ did for me in His submission to death and victory over death. Lord, have mercy on me according to your unfailing love.

This is straight up cut and pasted from John Piper's blog, Desiring God. I read it yesterday morning, then again 10 minutes later, then again in the afternoon, then again 15 minutes later, then again that night.. it pumped me up with some much-needed Truth.

A Conversation with Death on Good Friday


Hello, Death, my old enemy. My old slave-master. Have you come to talk to me again? To frighten me?

I am not the person you think I am. I am not the one you used to talk to. Something has happened. Let me ask you a question, Death.

Where is your sting?

DEATH, sneeringly:

My sting is your sin.


I know that, Death. But that’s not what I asked you. I asked, where is your sting? I know what it is. But tell me where it is.

Why are you fidgeting, Death? Why are you looking away? Why are you turning to go? Wait, Death, you have not answered my question. Where is your sting?

Where is, my sin?

What? You have no answer? But, Death, why do you have no answer? How will you terrify me, if you have no answer?

O Death, I will tell you the answer. Where is your sting? Where is my sin? It is hanging on that tree. God made Christ to be sin—my sin. When he died, the penalty of my sin was paid. The power of it was broken. I bear it no more.

Farewell, Death. You need not show up here again to frighten me. God will tell you when to come next time. And when you come, you will be his servant. For me, you will have no sting.

O death, where is your victory?
O death, where is your sting?
The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law.
But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory
through our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Corinthians 15:55-57)

Friday, April 10, 2009

Some ramblings from an overwhelmed heart

The last couple weeks have been craziness for can be seen by my recent abandonment of my blogging. But I'm still here! And I praise God that my blog-abandonment has come not from having nothing to write about, but because He has been teaching me and showing me so many different things that it's an overwhelming thought to even attempt to put it to words. His sovereign grace and mercy in drawing me to Him continues to be cause for MUCH rejoicing in my heart for I believe that it is "God alone who works in me to will and act according to His good purpose" (Philippians 2:13) and that I come to Him not out of any effort or striving of my own, but that this desire for Him "is not of ourselves- it is a gift of God, so that no one can boast" (Ephesians 2:8). I give glory to God that His merciful love for me continues to set my heart on loving and desiring Him alone, even as my disobedience and fickle heart should dictate that He give up on me and allow me to stray to other things.

As I look back on these past years of following Jesus, I clearly see that the only fitting response to them is praise and adoration for this God who saved me from death by His grace, delivers me from my slavery to sin, sanctifies me through the workings of the Holy Spirit, delivers me to righteousness through the blood of the Son, and lavishes joy and hope upon my heart for the present life of following Him and a future spent in eternity with Him. Wow. What could be greater? How could I do anything but humbly fall before Him in praise and worship? Maybe the more convicting question is WHY don't I fall before Him constantly, incessantly in praise and worship for these things that are far weightier than any worldly blessing that my heart gets hung up on?? I have ALL I NEED in the person of Jesus Christ who paid the debt for my sins on Calvary and delivered me to righteousness through His blood so that I may be blameless in the eyes of the Lord. Ahhh, even typing these truths is blowing me away right now, I'm kinda going crazy at the thought of how SWEET the reality of all of this is.... I pray that these truths would be so deeply set in the heart and soul of Christians today that our JOY is firmly rooted in CHRIST ALONE and that it is not contingent upon worldly circumstances.

Ok enough ramblings (sometimes I'm not sure that my thoughts are even coherent to others so sorry if they're hard to follow!)

Here's a good book I'm reading right now and its free online, yes I said FREE. Pretty much John Piper is the man and everything I've heard him say has blessed my life immensely...the stuff that my limited mind can retain, anyway.

Here are some excerpts that struck a chord in my heart.

Marriage, as we know it in this age, is not the final destiny of any human. In fact, there is some warrant for thinking that the kinds of self-denial involved in singleness could make one a candidate for greater capacities for love in the age to come.
No one has left anything for the sake of the kingdom, says the Lord Jesus, who will not receive back far more (Matthew 19:27-30). Many unmarried people have strengthened their hands with this truth. For example, Trevor Douglas, a single missionary with Regions Beyond Missionary Union, working in the Philippines among the Ifugao people, wrote in 1988:

'In the end, however, Christians know that Jesus will more than make up for every cost incurred by being a single male missionary. As I have applied his promises in Matthew 19:27-30 to myself, I see a tremendous exchange taking place in eternity. The social cost of not fitting in a couple’s world will be exchanged for socializing with Jesus around his throne. I’ll trade the emotional cost of loneliness and the family hurt for companionship with new fathers, mothers, and families. I’ll exchange the physical cost for spiritual children. And when I’m snubbed, I love to think of eternity and the privilege of going from the last of the gospel preachers to the head of the line. The rewards are worth everything.'

That you not assume that secular employment is a greater challenge or a better use of your life than the countless opportunities of service and witness in the home, the neighborhood, the community, the church, and the world; that you not only pose the question: career or full-time homemaker?, but that you ask just as seriously: full-time career or freedom for ministry? That you ask: Which would be greater for the Kingdom- to work for someone who tells you what to do to make his or her business prosper, or to be God’s free agent dreaming your own dream about how your time and your home and
your creativity could make God’s business prosper? And that in all this you make your choices not on the basis of secular trends or upward lifestyle expectations, but on the basis of what will strengthen the faith of the family and advance the cause of Christ.

That you develop a wartime mentality and lifestyle; that you never forget that life is short, that billions of people hang in the balance of heaven and hell every day, that the love of money is spiritual suicide, that the goals of upward mobility (nicer clothes, cars, houses, vacations, food, hobbies) are a poor and dangerous substitute for the goals of living for Christ with all your might and maximizing your joy in ministry to people’s needs.

With half the world’s population outside the reach of indigenous evangelism; with countless other lost people in those societies that have heard the gospel; with the stresses and miseries of sickness, malnutrition, homelessness, illiteracy, ignorance, aging, addiction, crime, incarceration, neuroses, and loneliness, no man or woman who feels a passion from God to make His grace known in word and deed need ever live without a fulfilling ministry for the glory of Christ and the good of this fallen world.

Piper's wisdom on singleness and male/female roles is awesome and very relevant for us as Christians. Hope these bits and pieces will serve to encourage you to read some of his stuff!

Ok, longest blog post ever...finished.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009


"I will go before you and will level the mountains,
I will break down gates of bronze and cut through bars of iron.
I will give you the treasures of darkness,
Riches stored in secret places
So that you may know that
the LORD
who summons YOU by NAME."

Isaiah 45:3

Saturday, March 21, 2009

The Hallway Uncensored

"In Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given us." Romans 12:4-5

The saying goes something like this, "You don't realize what you've got til it's gone". Well, my roomies are gone (don't worry, its only temporary- spring break!) and I've been realizing what I've got: some freaking sweet sisters and friends that I get to do life with everyday. One of my favorite parts of college has been the deep friendships that have grown from living with a variety of people over my five years here. It's been an incredible blessing to learn from different members of the body of Christ and to be able to look back on individuals who have "lived a life worthy of the calling" in such a way that has sharpened my own walk with the Lord (Proverbs 27:17).

With this in mind, I've just gotta say it: my roomies, Whit, Deeds and Mal are beautiful followers of Jesus but they're also pretty quarky gals. I'm gonna take this opportunity to celebrate how freaking great they are.

Whitney is quite possibly the most purposeful woman I've ever met. An illustration: last year I lived in a room underneath her and could hear whenever she walked anywhere in her room. Now this is not an exaggeration- I never once heard her take a hesitant or uncertain footstep the whole year. Every movement was directed at achieving or accomplishing a specific goal from getting a diet coke from the fridge to walking over to her alphabetized filing folders. Speaking of organization, the other day I was hanging some clothes in my closet (haphazardly of course) and I had a fleeting thought to color coordinate (which I almost instantly dismissed) but I know it was Whitney and only Whitney's influence on me. Whit, you'll be happy to know that I did put some of my striped items together. Whit's prowess on the soccer field has also been a source of great joy for me as we are united under the banner of "unskilled, painfully awkward to watch but ridiculously over-confident and outlandishly outspoken" players. Her one and only goal at the ARC soccer fields will forever remain seared in my memory. She also has an uncanny ability to talk to anyone, anywhere about anything and I think most people walk away from a conversation with Whit feeling quite normal and maybe even somewhat boring. She's got some pretty remarkable talents, experiences and fast facts (steer away from politics unless you're well-informed!) but I'm not gonna give them all away. The coolest thing about Whit is her boldness to speak the name of Jesus Christ to all who have ears to listen. She is unashamed in proclaiming the righteousness of our God and in Christ crucified. This has been a source of great conviction and encouragement in my own walk. Whit's hunger for the Word and her giftedness in sharing its infallible Truth with unbelievers and believers alike is amazing.

Deidre Facklis might be the sweetest and most unexpected surprise-friend I've been blessed with this year. What a freaking gem. Some words that come to mind when I think of Deeds: eccentric, astute, messy, brilliant, random, compassionate. Deeds is known as the "constant whistler" in our house and if you're reading this Deeds, I just want to tell you how much I miss the incessant, tuneless whistling coming from the bathroom, stairway and upstairs! Deeds has this shockingly impressive ability to pound ridiculous amounts of food and remain the bean-pole that she is. It makes me proud to be her friend. I consider it pure joy and blessing to watch this girl grow in her love and passion for Jesus. She is taking the Lord at His Word when He says, "You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart" (Jeremiah 29:13) and as He has with all of us, I have been privileged to witness Him "take her back from captivity" (Jeremiah 29:14) and seeing this deliverance has been as watching one come to back to life. Deidre is testament to the sovereign working of the Holy Spirit that transforms the souls and hearts of men and brings them to joy and peace through the cross. Her soft-heart that breaks for the lost, the broken, the unloved, brings me to my knees before God, asking Him to create in me a similar heart of boundless love for His people.

Lastly, where can I even start with Mallory Peckels? Those who know her well know how lucky they are and those who don't should consider their lives, what they're missing out on, and make some immediate steps to reconcile this grave mistake. Don't think I'm kidding. During what I refer to as "The Freedom Years" which are basically the previous four years when Mal and I weren't stricken with lactose intolerance, you could most likely find Mal walking down High Street with 4 cups of UDF ice cream in her hands- Mal is generous and giving, and does not like to eat food alone. Over the years, she's forced large quantities of junk food on me which I usually say "no" to six times and then finally cave on the seventh when she is also raising the spoon or fork to my mouth. Mal is also quite partial to Get Rich Schemes that are offered through sketchy experiments and back-alley offices in the far corners of OSU Campus (consult her for details or if you're interested in getting involved). Pretty Peckels is my partner in intercessory prayer and God has blessed us with a like-mindedness in each other that I have rarely, if ever, experienced in another friendship. Mal walks the road of a humble servant daily, "laying down her life for her friends" (John 15:13). Her self-examination of her life, her sin, her attitudes, her habits, is the unmistakable result of the Holy Spirit's sanctifying work in her life. She has and is being refined into a beautiful child of God. This is evident to all.

It is written, "Let him who boasts boast in the Lord" (1 Corinthians 1:31) and so I boast in the Lord alive and active in the hearts of my roommates. What a cloud of witnesses! I am humbled by these ladies' lives and I praise God that He is a God who creates relationships that are made real and true and life-filled through Him. God is good.

"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider Him who endured such opposition from sinful men so that we will not grow weary and lose heart." Hebrews 12:1-3

Friday, March 20, 2009

Our God.

All the power required to do all that He wills to do lies in undiminished fullness in His own infinite being.

The Presbyterian pastor, A.B. Simpson, approaching middle age, broken in health, deeply despondent and ready to quit the ministry, chanced to hear the simple Negro spiritual,

Nothing is too hard for Jesus,
No man can work like Him.

Its message sped like an arrow to his heart, carrying faith and hope and life for body and soul. He sought a place of retirement and after a season alone with God arose to his feet completely cured, and went forth in fullness of joy to found what has since become one of the largest foreign missionary societies in the world. For thirty-five years after this encounter with God, he labored prodigiously in the service of Christ. His faith in the God of limitless power gave him all the strength he needed to carry on.

The Knowledge of the Holy
A.W. Tozer

Monday, March 16, 2009

Notebook Surprises

It's finals time and for me, that means locking myself up in my room, lighting some candles, listening to internet radio 24/7 and drinking lots and lots of tea. It also eventually leads to one of my favorite activities- tossing all my notes and assignments into the trash (of course, some of them I chose to keep but this is very rare) and walking away in freedom once that final exam has been written. Today I was sorting through my binder and I found a random page of loose leaf that I had written on during one of my oh-so-boring classes (undoubtedly astronomy 162). Here's what it said:

He must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. Luke 9:23

"In every stage of the spiritual life, there is a variety of hindrances to attaining grace or growing in it. Yet, all are resolvable into these general ones: Either we do not deny ourselves or we do not take up our cross." -John Wesley

Where is my denial?
I am permitting all.
Lord, forgive me.

It's funny how the same conviction that led me to write 'I am permitting all" is hitting me just as hard today as it apparently did during this random moment during class. Although God says that "Everything is permissible", sometimes I get carried away and allow this freedom to rule in my life such that I lose sight of the discipline and obedience that flow from a heart set on loving and worshiping God because He is Above all else. Obedience is not legalism when it is Christ-centered and love-filled and sometimes I need the reminder that Yes, Christ has set me free, but now, what will I do with this freedom? Worship Him and not myself. That's the kind of freedom the Lord created us for. I pray that this conviction doesn't get tossed away alongside the rest of my notes but that it stays on my heart and leads me to denial, taking up my cross and following Him daily.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

He Saved Us!

But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of His mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior so that, having been justified by His grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life.
Titus 3:4-7

Friday, March 13, 2009

Romans 2:21

"I do not set aside the grace of God"

I can't grasp it. I can't fathom why I was offered it. I can't value it rightly. I can't understand its completeness.
Yet I cling to it.
Because in all my inability to see it for what it really is, God mercifully causes me to know that its the only thing worth clinging to.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

I Am Second

Why Am I Second? Cause Christ is Everything for me. I can't do anything on my own and I can't live for myself as I have in the past. I've tried so many things to fulfill the need in my life but I am convinced that there is no true joy, no reason, no purpose, no satisfaction apart from Christ.

Friday, March 6, 2009


Alright, I have a public confession to make. This has been on my conscience for about the past day, and I just have to say it.

I know the answer to the economic crisis befalling the USA.

I've known it for awhile, pretty much all my life, but I've been too scared, too timid, to tell my American friends. To share the secret of a land so bountiful that its own inhabitants will not divulge its secrets or all the population of the world might come pouring over its borders in an instant.

The secret, my friends, is one word: Saskatchewan.

Don't believe me?? I speak nothing but the facts when I say that Sask is booming right now.

-over 6000 available jobs
-exports more oil to the US than Kuwait (I have no clue how much oil Kuwait exports, but thats beside the point)
-just discovered one of the largest findings of sweet, light crude oil (again, don't ask me for any details on this point)
-only province reporting a decline in unemployment rates

Just sayin...

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

TVs or Jesus?

We watched this video in one of my business classes the other night as an illustration for a concept we were discussing. I was pretty repulsed when I first saw it, but its fueled a lot of thoughts since then. If you watch the first 30 seconds, that's enough. I warn you that the following video may disturb you but its not graphic.

My initial reaction was to turn to the dude sitting next to me and say, "Are you kidding me? Is this really going on in our country when there are kids starving in Cambodia?" Which I'd say is a natural reaction for most people who have done a bit of traveling and seen the disparities that exist between North America and the rest of the world (or looked down an alley, been in the slums, walked through the projects of their own city compared to their own neighborhood). But looking past the attempts to reconcile our material wealth in light of the extreme poverty elsewhere and the intrinsic sin of loving material wealth and possessions (Matthew 6:19, 6;24) that plagues our nation, I couldn't stop from examining myself and wondering if I am really any different. Conviction. Sigh. Here it is:

As creatures made to worship, how apt I am to worship the things that God has given me and neglect rightful exuberance for Christ himself. People, sports, food, fun...God gives these gifts to us (Matthew 7:11) and yet what a grievance that we become so consumed and excited by these things and our passion for our Savior falls to the wayside in the process. How often do we throw a huge party centered around food, fun and people, mutter a 30 second prayer before we eat, and forget that the greatest enjoyment of life that exists comes from our LORD Himself??? Don't get me wrong, I love enjoying the things that God has blessed me with, but the root of the issue is this- is my delight and enjoyment of these things in right proportion to their true value? Or am I flying off the handle at a Bluejackets game and then barely keeping my eyes open during an hour of prayer?

What would it look like if my exuberance for Christ was proportional to who He is? If we are thinking rightly about God in all His infinite glory, I wonder how such joy and delight would manifest itself in our daily lives. All other worldly joys would be trounced and trampled underfoot as God's vast character transcends all else. Would we even be able to control ourselves from ridiculously bold worship? Maybe we'd look a bit like David who, "danced before the Lord with all his might" (2 Samuel 6:14) and declared "I will celebrate before the LORD. I will become even more undignified than this and I will be humiliated in my own eyes" (2 Samuel 6:21,22). I know those of you who know me well are hoping that I don't bust out any dance moves, but I think God might have His own appreciation for them...or at least the heart behind them. Lol.

I wonder what these Walmart shoppers would look like if their zeal for TVs was redirected at God. They look like pretty passionate people...I think it would be an awesome sight to see.

May our love and delight for God overflow in our lives in a manner that declares that He is Above All.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Weekend Guests!

I have some pretty cool dudes coming to visit me this weekend! My two brothers (one by blood, the other by choice) are gonna be visiting Columbus and beyond over the next few weeks and are stopping in for some much-needed bonding time.

They're a ton of fun and although The Hallway (our less than roomy house) is a bit limited on space, it should be a great time!

Turning in Faith to Him

The upcoming thoughts of graduating from college have produced a lot of different things within me: excitement, anxiety, violent outbursts, fear, joy, sweating blood....there's been a pretty good range of emotions that have played themselves out over the past month or two. The reality of the current economy and my somewhat "complicated" scenario of being an alien in a foreign land (literally) have given me enough reason to feel some stress and pressure for the future. Yet, as in all things, the infinite character of our God continues to comfort me through the ups and downs of uncertainties. Really, what is our life but continual opportunity upon opportunity to be sanctified, to seek to glorify our LORD and to declare His love to the nations?? I know that no matter how uptight this US of America is about letting a little Canadian stick around, no matter how bleak the economy looks, no matter how many doors are closed along the way, I am in the hands of an Almighty God who seeks the good of His people (I have to remember that His "good" is often not the same as my own projections of "good"...but it ends up being much better in the end!)

A.W. Tozer slammed some truth down that really spoke to me:

To believe actively that our Heavenly Father constantly spreads around us providential circumstances that work for our present good and our everlasting well-being brings to the soul a veritable benediction. Most of us go through life praying a little, planning a little, jockeying for position, hoping but never quite certain of anything, and always secretly afraid that we will miss the way. This is a tragic waste of truth and never gives rest to the heart. There is a better way. It is to repudiate our own wisdom and take instead the infinite wisdom of God. Our insistence upon seeing ahead is natural enough, but it is a real hindrance to our spiritual progress. God has charged Himself with full responsibility for our eternal happiness and stands ready to take over the management of our lives the moment we turn in faith to Him. Here is His promise: "And I will bring the blind by a way that they knew not; I will lead them in paths that they have not known: I will make darkness light before them, and crooked things straight. These things will I do unto them, and not forsake them." Isaiah 42:16

Sacrificial Prayer

"I will not sacrifice to the LORD my God burnt offerings that cost me nothing." 2 Samuel 24:24

Intentional, sacrificial prayer has been on my heart for the past 2 weeks.  This is a new thing for me.  It's easy to pray as I walk to and from class, as I exercise, as I sit in the car, as I go about my day, and fit prayer into my schedule as I wish.  But where is the sacrifice involved in that when I conform the Lord to my schedule and find that convenience in my relationship with Him is enough?  Is He not a God that deserves to be glorified and honored?  To be sacrificed for?Giving up something to be completely and utterly alone with God is what I'm talking about.

What a merciful and loving Lord we have that we can seek His face throughout the activity of our day.  He is available to us at all times as we lift our hearts to Him.  As Wesley says, "Prayer continues in the desire of our heart, though the understanding be employed on outward things."  And yet this rich joy that the Lord has been gifting me with lately has come from going one step further and getting alone with Him, getting on my knees before Him, getting silent before Him, saying "no" to something else.  

David said, "I will not sacrifice to the LORD my God burnt offerings that cost me nothing" and God answered his prayer on behalf of the land.  May we not merely offer God a half-hearted and convenient effort in seeking Him in prayer, but give that which costs us something and see our faithful Father move on our behalf. 

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Under Construction!

My blog is currently under some major construction!  For those of you who still check in on it once in awhile, thanks for keeping up with me.  I'll have some new posts coming along asap.