Thursday, January 28, 2010


I just recently came back from a weekend retreat called Blast at a camp in Wisconsin. I went into it hoping that God would speak something to my heart; I came out crying tears of joy and wonder.

Friday evening, the speaker brought up a point during session that made me stop and think really hard. He said something along the lines of, "Guys, I know many of you have given your life to Christ and say that you have surrendered, but would you really do absolutely everything He asked you to do? Would you say anything He asked you to say? Would you go anywhere in the world He asked you to go?" It scared me a little bit and really caused me to stop and question myself. Doubt began to cloud my mind a little bit. I thought that I had accepted Christ a bit over a year ago and given myself as a complete sacrifice, wholly surrendered, to Him this past summer at Sandblast, another retreat. But little doubts were still creeping around my mind. I didn't know if I would ignore God if I was caught in the moment. I didn't know if I would refuse Him outright if I didn't realize that He was speaking to me at a certain time. It kind of freaked me out a bit because I wanted to give Him my everything. I just didn't know if I really could, and I discovered that at Sandblast I hadn't fully committed myself to His will, just mostly. There was still a part of me holding back.

I shared my insecurity with my small group and I prayed desperately that He would show me a way, that He would help me out with what I was struggling with and help me to commit the rest of myself to Him so that I would do and say everything He wants me to and go wherever He wants me to go. I prayed that He would help me not to fear the outcomes of obeying Him.

Well, the next evening at session was a bombardment of amazingness. We were worshipping to a bunch of songs, and especially when we started singing a song called "I Could Run Away," I just felt God speaking to my heart through the actual song lyrics and through the words that the worship leader added himself. It was a fantastic release, and so beautiful that I couldn't help but cry because of how awesome He is and how crazy awesome it was to see so many people walk to the front of the auditorium to accept Christ and to be prayed for. I completely let go and just worshipped Him and prayed and cried some more. My small group was a bit tearful too, which made me feel way less self-conscious about my situation (even though I wasn't too self-conscious to begin with). I just felt God calling me to really, truly give everything else up to Him, and to stop worrying about how I would provide for myself or what other people would think of me or anything like that. And so I let go. I surrendered, and I pray it's once and for all this time.

We took communion after worship, and me and one of my small group friends just couldn't stop crying the entire time! It was so awesome how touched everyone was by where we were and how we were worshipping with everything we had and how many had come to Christ. During small group time after that, I talked about how God had touched me and let me know that I cannot keep ignoring Him when He whispers to me about traveling to other countries to serve. I had been afraid of really considering it because my mom is against it and because I was not sure whether that was the best decision for me. But duh, of course: You don't know what's best for you, God does! So let Him be the one to lead you!

So on Sunday morning I stepped up to the microphone with tears streaming down my face as I told 500+ people about this covenant I had made, this promise to "do all He asks me to do, say all He asks me to say, and go everywhere He asks me to go." I seriously couldn't stop crying after that, especially when my other emotional friend came to me and hugged me and started crying also and when one of the sophomore guys rested his hand on my shoulder. Even before worship, when the leader was praying for us, I couldn't stop crying, and this guy next to me that I didn't even know put his arm around me and the person on his other side. Of course I ended up crying even harder. I don't even know why; the tears just kept falling. And now that I have time to think about it, I think I was just crazy overwhelmed by how much God was working in me and in everyone around me. How awesome is He!!!

Sunday, January 17, 2010


So today in Promiseland (our children's ministry) I found myself doing something that, had you asked me two months ago, I would have never thought I would ever do. I found myself center-stage, teaching kids about prayer. Talking to God. Addressing one of the biggest questions that kids have about it: How do you talk to the Creator? To the giver of all things good? He's so fantastically amazingly awesome, and don't you just feel somewhat intimidated even thinking about the fact that He's not only bigger than our own Earth, but also our entire galaxy? As I stood up there, smack dab in the center of the stage in front of fifty or so pairs of eyes, talking to these kids about talking to God, it hit me. I don't think I could have kept the expression and awe out of my voice had I tried (which I didn't). God is HUGE! He's the Creator! He's the Giver! He's the Lover! You're not just talking to one of your friends, here; you're talking to the King of all kings! Wow.

Yeah, I have accepted Christ and gotten baptized and surrendered my life to Him and all of that good stuff. Those were amazing moments, don't get me wrong, and they were moments that I'd love to talk more about (and that I might have already talked about; I might have to go back in my blog and see if I have). But that's not my point. Here's the thing: I don't think it has ever really blown my mind how holy He is until today. I don't know why; it just hasn't. But

It leaves me speechless to think that God chose that moment to whisper and say, "Yes, I am Creator. Yes, I am Giver of all that is good. Yes, I am the LORD." Sure, I had heard that and thought about it before. But I had kind of left it in the back of my mind with a sort of "Okay, that's who You are. Now let's move on to what I am and how little I am compared to You and how much I need You." And I'm not saying that that's a bad thing, but do we ever stop and look around us and think, "God, You are the one who decided that we should breathe oxygen. You are the one who decided that we should feel hunger if our bodies need nourishment so that we will stop what we are doing and eat something in order to sustain these bodies." He knows way more than we do about anything we know and everything we don't! How is it that we have come to find acceptance and even love in God's eyes? How is it that He finds an enormous amount of joy in saying "This is my child, in whom I am well pleased" when we choose Him? He's just so vast! How do we deserve this? We don't! We sin every day!

But, as I shared on stage, He wants to know us. He's not that mystery who would rather keep you guessing. He longs for an intimate relationship with us! And one of the best ways to get to know Him is by talking to Him. Just like a friend, or a parent, or a cousin, or a brother, or a husband. Yes, He is our Maker, and should be praised for it (God, You are so amazing and spectacular that my words cannot even begin to encompass all that You are!). But we can share our deepest problems and regrets and hopes and dreams and insecurities and faults and loves and joys with Him, because He already knows. He already knows! He already knew before you were born that you would do that thing or feel that way. He knew you would sin. Heck, He knew what was going to happen with Adam and Eve and even that Satan would break away from Him and fall from his place in Heaven. He already knows! He knew He would have to give Himself as His Son in order to save us. He knew you would turn away from Him again and again to do that thing that you keep saying you've given up. He knows about the fighting that's going on in your house. He knows about the happiness that has been in your life, too. He already knows! But He wants you to go to Him with everything, because talking to Him will deepen your relationship with Him! And all you have to do is open your heart! Pour it out! Know that He is God, the Everlasting, the Beginning and the End, but also know that He is your Father and loves you with an unfailing love and is enthralled by your every word, just as we should be enthralled by His!

I was watching part of a 2007 Christmas service DVD the other day. One of the actors was playing an angel. He said something along the lines of "God has this funny thing for these humans. They've done nothing, and He's crazy about them!" No matter what we do, God will always have a kind of indescribable love for us.

God is love. He loves you. Simple, yes, but definitely true.

Monday, January 11, 2010


Well, I decided about five seconds ago that I wanted to write a blog post, but then I started typing this sentence and realized that I really do not have anything specific in mind to write about. Usually I write with some insight. Today, I feel like being random. Kind of like that bursting-out-into-random-songs-whilst-dancing type of random. Well, not quite exactly like that since I'm lacking energy since finals start tomorrow and I'm trying to cope with the stress of putting finishing touches on some projects and essays, but that's besides the point. You get what I mean.

Speaking of random, though, it's often said that life is random. But in actuality, now that I think about it, it's not, is it? Not when God's in control of it all. He has a purpose for even the most minisule event. Each blade of grass pops up from the ground for a reason (even if that reason is to be eaten by a cow or something like that). He gives us the free will to say things or do things that may seem random to us (i.e. bursting out into song or going out with friends at the last minute), but He always seems to use those things to accomplish something, no matter how small or big the outcome ends up being.

That's strange to think about sometimes. It means that this blog post didn't really, truly, completely randomly happen, since God's using it for a reason (even if that reason is to help me pass time while I wait for videos to upload from my camera so I can finish a video project for school). It's so crazy how big God is, that He could have influence over every area of our lives and yet still give us free decision-making reign!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010


I went back to school after winter break this Monday. These past two days have been some of th most draining days I have ever experienced. If this is how the beginning of the week is going so far, then I wonder how the rest of the week is going to look!

In addition to recieving the immense after-break workload like a slap in the face, I have been struggling with trying to find time to dedicate myself to my resolutions and to simply be with God and acknowledge Him. A lot of this is because the devil has kind of been sneaking around, trying to find ways to breach the barriers I'm trying to set up in my mind. Over winter break, I just started opening my heart to the prospect of dating again (I had been reluctant to the idea since my one and only past relationship). Well, long story short, I'm feeling awfully lousy right now. It kind of stings knowing that the guy who you know liked you and that you have had a crush on for years suddenly decided that he doesn't like you anymore for some strange, unexplainable reason.

One of the thoughts floating around in my head is, "What? Am I not good enough?" And looking on this now, I realize that this thought, this question, is the kind of reaction the devil takes advantage of. In fact, a lot of the time he is the one who puts it there to begin with. It's difficult because I emotionally feel that something's wrong with me since that guy doesn't want to go out with me. But I know in my head, and the truth resounds in my soul, that God never makes a mistake when he makes a person. In fact, God has made us all more than good enough, he has made us great! He has given us plenty of good qualities, and plenty of room to grow. The person who looks past that fact and who doesn't see how wonderful we are is the person who should be prayed for.

And so I pray for those kinds of people, the ones whose eyes are blind and whose ears are deaf and whose hearts are blocked, that they may become aware of God's artistry in making us and giving us our lives. May their lives be shaken up from their monotonous ways of living and may their worlds just be rocked by the amazingness of God's love!

I intend to set aside a couple of hours tonight where I can completely focus on Him without any outside distractions. After reading this, I know I am stressed, especially with finals coming up. I cannot put myself in a position for the devil to try to mess up my life.

I cannot dwell on the things that "could have been." I can think about the things that God has promised, the things that He says He will do.

Reader (if there is anyone reading this, which there possibly might not be, but anyways), know that you were no mistake. You were given what you have for a reason; you were placed in the lives of others for a reason. You cannot go back and change the past, but why would you want to? Things needed to happen that way in order to end up where you are today. If it feels like you've hit rock-bottom, look at it this way: There's only one way to go from here, and that's up.