Tuesday, December 29, 2015


Today I was driving to the airport to drop off a car for a friend who has been out of town for the holidays. I woke up, ready to go because I was excited to see her as well as excited to hang out with another special friend today. As I drove into the airport my chest got tight and I started having cold sweats and before I even got into the parking ramp hit it me...

2 weeks.

In 2 weeks I will be getting on a plane and heading back to Lesotho. That fact, is very overwhelming to me. You see in two weeks I go to my other "home." I feel comfortable in Lesotho. Just like many families I know have a cottage or a summer place they always go to, I head to Africa. I know what I need to bring with me, because it is not there and what I do not need to bring, because I can buy it there. I have people who have become family there waiting for me and a whole lot of beautiful children to wrap my arms around and laugh with. I know all of this, so why did my chest get tight and why did my heart race today?

You see in 2 weeks, even though I know where I am going, I never know what to expect. Every year, or even every day in Lesotho is different and even though it feels like home, I also feel like an emergency room nurse running from one triage to another. For the six months that I am in the United States, I get the opportunity to tell people a lot of stories, but when I am in Lesotho, everyday I experience those stories. Instead of telling people about the darkness and fear in a child's eye when they come to BG, I look into those eyes and hold them and try to comfort them. Instead of talking about the ins and outs of BG, I become a part of the ins and outs of it. Each day the suns comes up and you pray that God will give you everything you need for that day. Not just the strength to get through the tough stuff, but more importantly the clarity and peace to let the millions of joy filled moments overtake your heart. It is a humbling thing.

This year, my time in the United States was different and if I am honest, it felt a lot like Lesotho. There were moments when I felt like I was doing spiritual triage, but then there were millions of moments of pure uninhabited joy, like today sitting in a movie theatre with my arms around two very special boys, just soaking up the love, or belly laughing my way through Target with very close friend. It is days like today that I am so grateful of the opportunity to spend part of my year in Michigan. To simply do life with people and be blessed more abundantly than I think I could ever bless someone else. What I have learned this year, is that every moment of every day, God is writing our stories and if we are lucky enough He will take our story and interweave it with someone else's story. I can only imagine the joy God has when He sees His children's stories come together and simply be. You see friends, a "world changer" doesn't have to travel the world to invoke change, they just need to be willing to be the change for someone else. That person may be right next door, or even in their own house. A world changer is simply someone who is willing to let their story be apart of someone else's story and when stories come together, the world is just plain better.

This year I have had the opportunity to be a part of other people's stories both in Lesotho and in the US and I have to say no story is the same and yet no story is more important than another. Each individual story is a part of God's big eternal redemptive story that started in a garden with a man and a women and seamlessly was woven with billions of other people. If you are willing and bold enough, you too can be a part of this huge eternal story that brings peace in the midst of life's hardest moments. You see when you become a part of someone else's story, they also become a part of yours. So when you are in a car and your chest is tight and your heart is racing, they know exactly what to do to make you feel like everything is going to be okay.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

The Heart Break

Today I woke up to this photo. I cannot explain the heart break that I am feeling as I stare at it. I wish I was at Beautiful Gate. 

These two children came to us over 3 years ago. I remember how the older brother would care for his sister every second. He wouldn't eat until she ate. On the play yard, he would always check to make sure she was safe. She was always looking for him and a lot more reserved. It took her a while to warm up to us, but once she did her silliness came out and her laugh was contagious. Once this happen the older brother became more of a child than a parent. He molded in very well children who were older, younger or his same age. The past two years, he has been one of my assistants. He loved coming to the office and "working" on anything for me. He loved serving. Most of the time when children come to the office with me, they color, snuggle and just hang out. he was different. He wanted to deliver notes or anything to other staff members. He wanted to take the trash out. I loved our trips into town, just him and I. He would help get groceries and then about every third trip, I would get him a little treat, a simple bag of crisps (chips) and a juice box. He treated those treats like someone treats their very first pay check. We would load up the groceries or supplies and then we would sit outside somewhere and enjoy the snack. I loved that time together just him and I. He was a different child when you got him alone. Because he was getting older, at BG he would get bored and then act out a little, but when he was alone, he was great. He would always pray before our snack, thanking Jesus for the day and the treat. I learned so much from him about being truly grateful for the simplest things like crisps or a sweet (sucker). On my last day this year I picked up both of them and gave them a huge hug, knowing that it was most likely going to be my last. A few days before I left I grabbed his hand and we went for a walk together in the community. On our walk we laughed, talked and just enjoyed the one on one time. He is such a special young man! 

Today, these two were reunited with family. There will be no more joking with the little girl on the play yard and hearing her laugh. There will be no more walks or trips to town with a special little boy. I knew this day was coming, but I did not realize how hard it was going to be. 

Father God, please watch over your children today. Wrap your arms of love around them and all them to know they are so incredibly special. May they continue to grow into the people you created them to be. Please do not them your truths leave their precious hearts. Protect them from the ways of the evil one. Father give your love and comfort to the staff at Beautiful Gate. To the BoMe who loved them as their own and the office/maintenance staff and many volunteers who also fell in love with them. May we embrace your peace today. 

Abuti and Ausi, I wish I could have just one more day with each of you. May the Lord bless you and keep you. May he shine his face upon you and give you peace, both now and forever more. May you know that you were created fearfully and wonderfully. May you continue to seek out the only One who will never leave you or forsake you. 

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Reality of Orphan Sunday

This past Sunday was National Orphan Sunday. It is the day set aside for churches to celebrate, pray for and advocate for the children around the world who have been orphaned. I was privileged to pray at my church for the children at Beautiful Gate and others around the world who find themselves labeled fatherless. I saw many many posts of Facebook and Instagram on Sunday regarding orphans and children in foster care. But here the thing that I cannot shake, today that those children are still considered fatherless, but are we still praying for them? As the body of Christ are we still fighting for them or have we checked that of the list of to-dos once orphan Sunday was done?

Today my heart feels the weight and the heaviness of childhood abandonment, orphans and the families who are stuck. You see it is very easy to push people into doing something. It is very easy to make a post about doing something, and I agree, if we all played our part, there would be less children in foster care and orphanages, but my heart is so heavy for the people who are doing something but are just plain stuck. For one Sunday a year they hear all about how they should be doing something to help these precious children, but when the hands on the clock move past midnight, the reality is they so desperately want to do something but they can't. They just have to wait. They are stuck and some where in a different country their child is stuck too.

Friends, orphan Sunday has past, but let's not forget the many children in orphanages that long to have a home. Let us also not forget the many families whose lives feel like they are in limbo because nothing is happening in their cases. Many we not forget to pray everyday for every side of the orphan crisis, for the children and the waiting families. If you know of a family that is currently waiting, send them a note, a card, a hug anything to let them know that you are still supporting them and they are not alone.

Thursday, November 5, 2015



Really God do I have to write about this? His answer was very clear, "YES." A week ago I sat in my room, with many thoughts racing in my head all centered on one thing...forgiveness. The reason why, was because I have had to ask for forgiveness from people recently. As I look joyfully into my last year serving at BG, I cannot help but think about all the changes that go into this. As a reader turns the page of a book to start a new chapter, I feel like I am 10 pages to the end of a chapter. Recently I had feelings of not wanting to read anymore pages to prolong the end, but that is not what God is calling me to do. He is calling me to "read," and "read" well! In doing that though I cannot help but think about the changes that go into a new chapter. The Lord has led my heart to "living together" with those in my path. In doing this, you have to put yourself out there. You need to live honestly and openly for it to work. But in doing this I have discovered that there are things in my life that I do not want to live openly about. There are things from my past that I have held on so tightly to that they have shaped the way that I see things. Here is the thing, living with a tight grip on hurt from the past, only makes your future a little more tainted. You cannot fully embrace the path in front of you if your hand is reaching behind you holding tightly to something from 5 or 10 years prior. At some point in time there is a big distance between you and the hurt that it your hand causes your whole body to turn around see that the hurt from your past is inhibiting you from truly living in the joy of your future. This is where forgiveness comes in.

Seeking out forgiveness, is not easy. It is humbling and down right painful, but the end result is a fuller, richer life with those the Lord places in your path. Forgiveness is so important, that it is what Jesus taught. "He went into all the country around the Jordan preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins." (Luke 3:3) Forgiveness was so important to Jesus that it is what he taught about wherever he went. He wanted people to live without holding on to the past and put focus on what is ahead of us.

Forgiveness is two fold. First you need to seek out forgiveness to those you have wronged. You need to go to them in love and humility and see their forgiveness. Just as Christ forgave us, we also ought to seek out forgiveness from those we have wronged. "Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another as Christ forgave you." (Ephesians 4:32). Second, you need to forgive those in your path that have wronged you. Paul says it this way in 2 Corinthians 2:7-8, "Now instead, you ought to forgive and comfort him so that he will not be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow. I urge you, therefore to reaffirm your love for him." Paul URGES us to not only forgive, but then love. Loving those around us is not an act Christ takes lightly. Our love is what shows him the true desire of our heart.

In Luke 7, we read the story of Jesus at a Pharisee's house and as he was sitting at the table he was anointed by a sinful women. As everyone in the room stood appalled that she came into their party, Jesus looked at her and said, "Therefore I tell you her many sins have been forgiven as her great love has shown. But whoever has been forgiven little loves little." (Luke 7:47). The NIV version says, "she loved much." Jesus forgave her because of how she loved. May we all love much so that forgiveness is the thread of our relationships with others.

A week ago I was talking with a very wise friend about forgiveness. She said something that has become a truth I haven't forgotten. "Grudges are what fuels us when the caffeine runs out." Isn't that the truth. There is a part of us that loves to hold on to our hurts. That part is sin. We want to let others know that we have been hurt and that they should feel sorry for us. Some of us love to just feel like a victim. But here the truth we all need to cling to, God did not create us to be a victim. He created us to be a warrior for him. he created us to go into the battles of life and boldly share his forgiveness. If we are holding onto an old grudge, there is no way we can full fight for God's kingdom. We are not fully affective for him if we are fueled by the things of our past. To me grudges are darkness, I know this because when I hold onto my own grudges, I feel dark. But as the Word says, "This is the message we have heard rom him and declared to you: God is light and in him there is no darkness at all" (1 John 1:5.) In God there is no darkness, which means if God doesn't have grudges we also should not have grudges. We shouldn't hold no to the hurts, because God doesn't hold on to the hurt that we cause him. God wants so desperately to have us live in His light.

His forgiveness for us, is woven into a huge comforting blanket that we can wrap ourselves up in.   But if are holding onto grudges, there are holes in the blanket not because of His lack of love, but because our lack of receiving it fully. Listen to Jesus words as he hung on the cross, waiting for God to take him up to glory, "Father forgive them for they do not know what they are doing" (Luke 23:34.)  Jesus looked out over the people that beat him and nailed him to a cross and pleaded for God to forgive them. As people living with sin in our lives, our grudges are keeping Christ on the cross.

I have written and rewritten this blog over and over for the past week. Ultimately I could not post it until I walked through this myself. I have had to seek forgiveness from others as well as seek forgiveness from God. I write this to not "show off" but to say I understand and am journeying this path with you too. Each day I pray more and more that the Lord shows me His face and I can let go of the grudges in my past and openly place my hands before him asking him to use me wherever he wants me to go. I deeply desire to be wrapped up in God's arm blanket that has no holes in it because of my doubt and the grudges I hold onto.

Take the step friends. Ask God what is in your heart that you need to let go of. After he reveals it, go and act. Do not hold it to yourself. Let go of the hurt and "love much."

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Life Together is Just Plain Fun

For awhile now I have been encouraging you all to go and love others, to simply do life together. Well let me tell you why...

Doing life together is just plain more fun!!! 

There is no other way to put it. Being surrounded by people who you want to serve God with and just do life with you is fun. Here is an example. Every year at this time I try to convince myself that I should watch a scary movie. I am not one for the anything bloody or gory, but I do like a suspenseful movie from time to time. I am partial to M. Night Shyamalan's movies Signs, The Village and The Six Sense. (Seriously friends, who thought the guy was dead the whole movie.) I enjoy a movie that gets your heart pumping. When I was a teenager, I watched Steven King's "The Shining." I remember being so incredibly scared. You guys there were not enough blankets for me to cover my face or pull over my head. The musical score to that movie was so intense, that a times I just watched it with the mute button on. I remember dreaming about that movie for weeks. I would go to bed and once I closed my eyes, BAM there stood the two girls in blue dresses in the corner of my room. My mind had a great way of playing tricks on me. It just creeped me out!!! And as it should have, because that movie has been quoted as one of the scariest films ever made. That movie came to my mind again this week and I thought that I should watch it. Maybe being older would make it easier to watch. If not, I would just hide under the blankets again, hit the mute button and come to the conclusion that I am a big, big wimp. Saturday night, my friend and I curled up on her basement couch to watch it. There was a small part of me that was a little concerned how I would react to the movie and I have to say I was a little nervous that I didn't see any blankets to cover my head with in case I needed them. But then within the first 3 minutes of the movie, my friend and I started laughing and for the next 3 hours, we continued to laugh. Yes there were parts of the movie that were a little creepy, and we would tell the characters out loud that what they were doing was stupid, but my perspective was different. I wasn't alone, I was with a friend.

In life there are things that if we face alone, can make us want to hide under the blankets and never come out. A new diagnosis or the loss of a loved one or the loss of a dream can make us want to retreat from whatever is in front of us and hide until our heart stops beating so fast. There are moments when all we want to do is push the mute button on whatever is ringing in our heads so that we can take a break from the confusion and hurt. But here is the thing, if you face it with a friend, it is easier. I am not saying the pain won't still be there and there still won't be moments when you want to hide under a blanket, but when you do and you look over and see someone else who is willing to crawl under the blanket with you, the burden is lighter. Friends the Lord never created us to do life alone. This truly reminds me of the villages in Lesotho where people simply do life together. One person has a nice garden, another has a cow for milk and another chickens and they all share. Doing life together makes everything just a little lighter. That doctor's appointment that you dread going to, when faced with a friend the time passes quicker and your courage to do whatever the treatment plan is, is bigger. The grief of losing a person you love, if faced with a friend can be a time of celebration through the tears of that person's life and how much they will always mean to you.

When we face hard things in life, we should always turn to God first. He is our ROCK. He is our stronghold. His ways our Sovereign. But we can't stop there, because God uses the people around us to bring His hope. He places people in our paths to explode His joy. He equips others to be His hands and feet to those around them. And each day, He is equipping you to do the same. You see doing life together is two-fold. One, it is opening yourself up to others and allowing people to journey with you. But also it is allowing others to open themselves up to you and allowing God to speak through you in to their lives. If we choose to do life under the covers, not only are we limiting the joy we could be having, but we are limiting the joy that someone else could be having because of our relationship to them.

How are we doing with this? Are we truly openly up our lives to be able to do life together? Are you raising your children to see the value in doing life with trusted friends who become family? Or are you trying to do it alone always making sure there is a blanket or two close by so that you can cover up when things get hard?

Friends life is going to bring rain, there is no doubt in that. There will be moments of great heartache and confusion. There are also moments of great celebration and joy. There will always moments to see God's promises written out for you and those around you. My question is are willing and able to step out in the rain and hold the umbrella for someone else? Are you willing to get wet, knowing that after the rain there are moments of sunshine and rainbows? I truly, truly hope you are, because even in the rain, while holding an umbrella for someone else or letting someone hold one for you, when you are wet and cold and the wind is getting you from every angle, there are moments of pure uninhabited joy. Moments when your heart wants to hit the pause button, because life just can't get any better than this.

Take time today friends, to hold an umbrella for someone else or to allow someone to hold that umbrella for you. Your life will be fuller and richer because of it and it will be a lot more fun than you could imagine it.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Be Imitators

A few weeks ago I gathered with a few dear friends for a worship night. We all had had a long week from the busyness of our lives and came wounded. Some of the wounds were physical, some were emotional, some were spiritual, but none the less, they were wounds and because of them we were ready to just sit and be with Jesus and each other. It was a beautiful fall night in Michigan. The air was crisp, clean and still. You could smell the freshness and newness of the changing of seasons and we all desired some newness in our lives. We gathered our chairs, paper, crayons and musical instruments and sat together. That night we didn't long for a well polished or not so well polished program, we just wanted Jesus. Before going to my friend's house, I sat in my favorite chair at home and prayed out to God. I felt like I had nothing to offer my friends. I was tired. I was weak and I just wanted Jesus. There was no event or innocent that made me that way, it was just a numbness and weakness of my flesh that longed to be with the One who gives me worth and sees me as whole rather than the shatter mess I feel like most days. That night my friends and I let go of whatever was holding us and we just were together with Jesus. The kids colored and played a drum. The adults talked about our days and hurts and every once in a awhile we would find a song to sing and I would play it on the guitar. It wasn't a well practiced choir or worship band, but it was a beautiful chorus and song of surrender to our Abba. The night was filled with conversations of real, raw emotion and confirmed in me that as children of the King we just need to stop and be together more often. None of us had an epiphany when listening to each others hearts, but we all left lighter and more confident in who we were because of our time together. In the beautiful simplicity of the night, we embraced the gentle boldness that God gives us to face the things in our lives that make us feel like we are loosing our minds and ourselves. I personally left that night with a joy in my heart. I felt like I had been with Jesus. I had experienced the church and it was so good.

The next morning a friend that was there sent me a photo of her daughter. The message said "Worshipping before school and she wants to be sure she's playing guitar just like Ms. Christina." My heart felt so many emotions while I starred at that photo. There was joy in remembering the greatness of the night before and then fear because no one should want to mimic me. I am a sinner. I mess up every day and will until I reach heaven. The thoughts in my head are ones of selfish desires and questioning the way God's plan is unfolding. But then I turn to God's word and I see how he sees me...
    I am the salt of the earth (Matthew 5:13)
    I am the light of the world (Matthew 5:14)
    I am a child of God (John 1:12)
    I am a joint heir with Christ, sharing His inheritance with Him (Rom. 8:17)
    I am a temple -- a dwelling place-- of God. His Spirit and life dwell in me (1 Cor 3:16; 6:19)
    I am united to the Lord and am one spirit with Him (1 Cor 6:17)
    I am a member of Christ's body (1 Cor 12:27; Eph 5:30)
    I am a new creation (2 Cor 5:17)

You see, you may see yourself as tainted or so sinful that you have no idea how you can impact the world, but that is not what God sees. He sees His child who He loves so dearly. He sees one who He has given everything for. He sees His inheritance when He sees us. As my friend's daughter wanted to play the guitar just like me, I want to live just like Christ. I want to serve those around me, just like He did. Even when I feel like I am so broken and weak that I have nothing more to give, I want to give, so that His name will be praised. If we all let go of how we think the church should look like and cling to the gospel of truth that says we are the church and we need to simply be together and worship together, I think this world would be a much sweeter and joy filled place. For as the apostle Paul said...

"Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. (Ephesians 5:1-2, ESV)

Thursday, October 8, 2015

His eyes

For months now I have been praying specifically for my eyes. I have been praying that my eyes see people as Jesus does not as I do. Here is the thing people, I am a sinner. I confess to all of you I have a judgmental spirit. It is a hard thing to surrender because it is very easy for me to see people on the surface and ultimately feel like I know them. I am sure because of this I have ruined relationships both personally and professionally. But each and every day I try to place this sin at the cross and live boldly for God doing His will. 

In my last blog I explained my heart's desire to love people like God does. You can imagine how hard this is when you struggle with judgement. Through a lot of time in prayer and with the Word, I feel that with each day the judgement spirit I have is becoming less and less and life is becoming more and more full. Before traveling back to the Unites States this year, I began praying harder to see people with God's eyes. I wanted to not only look past my personal perspective of western culture but also the walls that people hide behind. 

Walls...WE ALL HAVE THEM!!! Be it either humor, a talent or hobby, our cell phones or the way we dress, we all have things we do to hide our insecurities. There is one who can look past the walls we think work and into our heart. Only God can see past our false hopes and into the heart of the issue. One thing that I desire to do is to see people past their wall. I don't care what you are hiding. Whatever it is, I want to love you the way God does and that is life beyond the wall. 

This week I went to ArtPrize with some friends. ArtPrize is a great event that displays hundreds of pieces of art all over downtown Grand Rapids. It was a beautiful day to just walk around and enjoy not only the gift of creativity that God gives people but also just enjoy His creation. As we walked though, my heart got heavier and heavier. With each step, I kept seeing people hiding. The streets were full of people from every demographic. There were business men and women who put on their best power suits and were conquering whatever came in their path. There were many groups of students who were there on school field trips. There were many moms trying to keep count of the students who had no desire to stay close to each other but would rather roll down a hill than look at art. There were people who didn't know the city streets at all and they were people who knew the streets well, because the streets were their home. Every person I saw, I kept thinking "this person is made in God's image." 

The one in the power suit with their face glued to the phone...God's image. 

The child wearing a safety yellow shirt rolling down the hill...God's image.

The mom with her Starbucks cup and clipboard...God's image. 

The man, sitting on streets wearing the clothes he has worn for days and not looking anyone in the eye as they passed him by...God's image. 

As my friend's and I drove home I just couldn't get past what I saw. I didn't see judgement, but God's image. As beautiful as it was, it was also heartbreaking, because I wonder if any of those I saw, saw themselves that way. 

Did the one in the power suit know that their success in life in not measured by their career but by their Abba? 

Did the child rolling down the hill know that God made that hill for them to have fun on? 

Did the mom realize that no matter how many eye rolls she got that day, she was still great in God's eyes? 

Did the man on the street know that their is a mansion waiting for him, if he believes that he a child of God? 

ArtPrize was overwhelming, but I have to say that everyday this week has been like this. Wherever I go, my heart is becoming broken to those around me. I desperately desire for people to see themselves beyond the walls we put up. There is freedom beyond the walls. 

Please hear my heart, I am a sinner. I struggle with earthly issues. I do not have anything figured out and praise God daily for His grace. I just desire to live more simply and see others through the eyes of God. I want to live in the love of my Abba rather than the judgement of my flesh. And I want others to do the same, because when you do life is richer. Yes there are moments when your heart is so heavy it is hard to breath, but then there are moments when you gather with people and you laugh so hard you cry. There are moments when because who you are with time stops. There are moments when because you are loving those around you, you see past whatever journey they are on or struggle they have and you see them as God does, His precious child who He would do anything for so that they can know His joy and love. 

Saturday, September 19, 2015

A New Church

Okay friends, here is the thing, for the past few weeks, I haven't slept much. About a month ago the Lord imprinted something on my heart in a big way and I just haven't been able to shake it. It seems everywhere I go, the people I talk to, the books I read, the verses I dwell on all have one thing in common. So I ask that you hang with me during this blog post. Somethings may make sense, some may not, but I really want to try and express to you my heart and what I have been digesting because I feel an urgency in me to share the truth to those I know because time is precious.

About a month ago I found myself in the back of a limo with a group of friends. We were going to get tattoos and then have dinner. It was a night set aside to celebrate life and be a community. As we were heading home, I took a minute to sit back and observe. My heart was pounding, not out of anxiety but out of joy. I felt like I was at church. That night I posted this on Facebook...

"With each step of the journey, I am discovering that I have over thought what community is. Each day I am learning that community is riding in a limo on a Tuesday night just because you can. It is making memories and starring circumstances in the eye and not allowing them to steal your joy. It is holding your sister's hand no matter what is ahead and never letting go. 

When it comes down to it, it is simply loving God and loving others. Everything else is pointless."

Loving God and loving others. That is what life is all about. Jesus said it over and over again.

"'Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?' And he said to him, 'You shall love the Lord you God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the greatest and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.'" (Matthew 22:36-40, ESV)

The greatest commandment is to love God. The second is like it, love each other.

"A new command I give to you, that you love one another; just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples if you have love for one another." (John 13:34-35, ESV)

People will only know we are God's disciples if we love.

"This is my commandment, that you love another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you. These things I command you, so that you will love one another." (John15:12-17, ESV)

We have been chosen by God to love and in loving it means we will do anything for those around us.

Here is the thing friends, I have been in church my whole life. When things are hard, I go to church. When there are moments to celebrate, I go to church. Friday morning I had some free time and where did I go, you guessed it, church. I sat in the empty sanctuary with a guitar and worshiped. Church is comfort for me, but what I am discovering in myself, is that I have been doing church wrong. I know that "church" is not a building, but the people in it. As a youth pastor, worship leader and missionary, I cannot tell you how many times I have said that and I truly do believe it, but I fear I have been doing things wrong. You see I believe I have made church too complicated. I have striven to make things perfect. I have striven to make relationships perfect. And the truth of the matter is they can't be because of sin. But the one thing that covers up sin is love. The love that came to us from the cross. The love that God commanded us to give to others, yet I have made things too complicated. Church isn't about the programs. Church isn't even about the missionaries or the sermons or the music. Church is about love.

As Christians we do not get to pick and chose our level of service for the King. It is either all in or all out. Jesus said the EVERYTHING depends upon us loving him and loving others. You cannot be a Christian and not be a disciple. You cannot be a disciple without loving God as your Father. You cannot love God if you are not loving those around you. That is what church is. But sometimes the church does a very poor job at being the church. Sometimes we, myself included haven't loved the way we should. We haven't served the way we should. The excuses are as vast as the drops of water in the ocean, but the fact is we have messed up and the reason why I think we have, is because we have made church too complicated and it scares people off. If a person is a little different and they don't fit into a small group or discipleship model, they are turned off. If we are not loving them for who they are and where they are in life we are not showing them Christ.

I know I have written about this before on the blog, but in the past month my heart has become very broken to the hurts around me. Why? Honestly, because I prayed for it to happen and in Mark 10 Jesus said if we pray and believe, it will happen. So from the back seat of a limo, I prayed that God would break my heart for the people in my life. I prayed that I could in someway feel their pain, either physical, spiritual or emotional so that I would know how to better love. And I didn't stop in the limo. Everyday I wake up and pray that God would put someone's pain on my heart so that I would know how to love on them and pray for them. The past week, I have laid in bed at night and wept for people. People I am close with. People I pass on the street. People I don't even know, but the Lord woke me up and asked me to pray. Through it all, yes there have been moments in the day when I feel tired, but more often than not, I feel stronger, because I have figured out a new way to do church.

Church is a large group of firemen, police officers and paramedics, lining the street to give hope and love to a 6 year old boy who has dreamed of being a fireman.

Church is bringing lunch for a friend just because it is Thursday and people need to eat lunch on Thursday.

Church is a car ride. The destination could be an appointment, a hospital, a store, anywhere, but the conversations in the car are ones that include love, because no matter how bumpy the road to the destination is, the journey can be sweet.

Church is going to a park with a friend just to talk while her children play.

Church is going to Target 5 times in 5 days, because there is always someone who needs to go to Target and going with a friend is a lot more fun than going by yourself.

Church is walking into someone's hurt and doing whatever it takes to bring hope, even if it is going through their trash.

Church is what we make it and friends we need to make it about love. Not about judgement. Not about committees. Not about agendas. Not about worship styles or sermon series or youth programs. We need to make it about love. Because when you open your heart up to literally feel someone else's pain you understand the scriptures more clearly. You understand what Jesus meant when he said, "Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends." This could mean physically dying for someone, but more importantly it means walking alongside someone because we all need to be loved. The crazy thing I have learned is that as I love others, I feel God's love more in me. I feel Him loving me more. I don't do this to win a prize or to get a pat on the back from someone, I love because it is what my heart longs to do. We were created for it. We were knit together to allow others to know they matter too.

If you are still reading this, first off thank you for sticking with me, but second you may be thinking, "I already know this. You are preaching to the choir." You may be right and I may have just spent this time writing something we all know, but here is one reason why my heart hurts. We all know it, but do we do it. The fact is I can stand up in front of many people who attend church weekly, and say all this, but some of those people, even though they are at church, won't be in heaven someday, because they missed the fact that they had to love. Some people reading this blog right now, won't get to spend eternity with my Jesus, because they missed the point. No one is exempt from this! No one has a "I don't have to love" card. No matter what age you are or how many times you have done a certain part of ministry, you still need to love!! If we miss this, we miss getting to spend eternity in heaven.

This week I have been reading Joshua. As I soak in the story, I wonder if we church members have something to learn from those we place judgements on. Rahab saw two spies and she took them in and hid them. Did she ask a lot of questions? Did she set up a permission form for them to come in? No welcomed them in and because of that her whole family was saved. What did Rahab do for a living? She was a prostitute. She was someone who in my eyes, needed to be shown love. She was one of those "seekers" that we have programs to reach. But not that day, she showed love by opening up her home to two spies and because of that her name is listed in Hebrews 11, the great chapter of faith.

Here is the thing that I am learning (and please understand I am still learnING. I am not perfect) I have made Christianity too complicated and I am done doing that. Jen Hatmaker in her book, "For the Love" says "If you assume an obedient life requires a thousand moving parts, a bunch of church programs, an international movement, a big fancy ministry or a giant platform, let Jesus' description of the kingdom relieve you: small, invisible, humble, tiny seeds, mostly hidden. Faithfulness is not easy, but it is simple. You are already able, already positioned, already valuable in your moral life on your normal street next to your normal neighbors in your normal work...God is big and good enough to lead us all, and together we just might see his kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven."

I want a new outlook on church. I want to simplify the way I serve. Because when it comes down to it, that only thing that matters is love. If we are not loving, we are not His disciples. I will even take it one step further, if we are not loving we are not His children.

Love God.
Love Others.
Nothing else matters.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015


For the past, I do not know how many years, my path has been intersecting with the path of another person. Through events for common friends or at the church I grew up in, it always seemed that I could count on connecting with my friend Lynette. I have known her for a long time through high school and youth group activities. She was always a welcomed face when I stepped into Community Reformed. A few years ago I was speaking at Community and while I was speaking my eyes connected with hers. I have this a lot during presentations when you can look at someone and see their heart being broken for God's children. I will be honest, it didn't really surprise me, because Lynette is one of those people whose life has been broken and through that, she embraced God's love. I cannot tell you how overjoyed I was when I discovered she was thinking of coming to BG to serve on a team in May of 2016. Seriously when I saw her and another friend of ours Amy at an informational meeting, my heart leaped inside me. I knew that while I was going over some of the things we would do there was something growing in her heart and Amy's. This May they stepped on to BG's campus and served with all they had. In fact most nights they were the last ones back to the house. With every opportunity they had they lavished love on the children, but then they took it one step further, they served the house mothers. One morning I walked into the house they were assigned to and they were scrubbing the kitchen. Amy was standing on the counter scrubbing the top of the cabinets. Lynette was scrubbing the floors in the living area. During this time the house mothers were sitting down and taking a break. It made my heart so happy to see them living kingdom lives. 

As the trip went on a deep friendship was formed. Lynette and I were no longer the type of friends that just said "hi" in passing, but close sisters in Christ. Since being home, Lynette and Amy have continued to serve BG well by using their gifts to help organize a successful 5K (more on this in another blog) and by supporting me and my transition back to Michigan. Lesotho is all about relationships. The Basotho culture care for each other deeply. To me, Lynette is Basotho. Since being home our relationship has grown even deeper through conversations on each other's porches, or at Captain Sundae or a random Saturday drive to Chick Fil A and even a trip to Dutch Village. Lynette is one of those people who looks at you and listens and then prays you through your journey. She continues to blow me away with her faith in the Lord. 

So your question is why am I blogging about her. Honestly I am sure that is her question too and when I see her next she may beat me up for this. Lynette is a survivor. She has beaten breast cancer before and a month ago she found out she has to do it all again after being diagnosed in July. The day she told me, I was pissed and had no issue telling God that either, but since that day, I have been fighting with her, along with many others. You see one should never have to do this thing alone. It was just a few months ago that Lynette was in Lesotho getting her hands dirty for God's Kingdom and through the doctor's appointments and treatments, she still wants to get dirty for the Lord. She didn't want myself and those serving at BG to think they were serving alone. I know and am believing that she will be getting dirty for Jesus for many more years and yes, once again she will be back in Lesotho loving on the kids and staff at BG. 

Lynette and her husband Matt are incredible people. They would stop and help you no matter what. The last thing they want to do is to be served, but now is when they need to be. Many of you have asked what you can do, so I wanted to give you two options. 

1) Pray. It seems simple, but when you take time out of your day to approach our Father and plead for His healing, things happen and I know and believe healing can be done! 

2) Give. An account has been set up for you to donate finically to help cover medical expenses and what I like to call "life" expenses. 100% of the money donated goes directly to the Bell family. Let's come together like the believers in Acts 2 and serve by giving. The link to donate is https://cash.me/$Bellieve. 

Mark 5:36 says, "Do not be afraid. Just believe." That is what I am choosing to do for my sister in Christ, Lynette. As she says, she BELLieves and knows that God is the great healer, provider and her Abba. In Mark 10, Jesus says that if you see a mountain in front of you and have faith your prayers can move it, it will move. Please join me in BELLieving that this mountain will move and God's glory will be seen through the whole Bell family. 

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Fully Worshipping through the Journey

“Stay here with the donkey while I and the boy go over there. We will worship and then we will come back to you” (Genesis 22:5). Listening to God is a journey. Through listening, He leads you to places of great joy, as well as places of hardship. No matter where He leads you must listen. Abraham did not want to give his only son as an offering, but if he didn’t, he would not be obeying God. He told his servants that he and Isaac were going to worship and then would come back. To me, I see Abraham’s obedience as a heart fully worshipping God. If he didn’t offer Isaac, he wouldn’t be worshipping.

For the past three years, I have been on a journey of pure worship. Listening to God’s plan to serve at Beautiful Gate Lesotho wasn’t too difficult. I have always wanted to be in full time ministry and the Lord lined up a role that allowed me to use many of the gifts He has given me to honor Him alone. I am humbled to see how the Lord has used my acts of worship to bring His love and hope into the world. From holding a child who moments before was laying naked next to a river, or leading a team in experiencing Lesotho for the first time, I have embraced God’s grace and goodness every day.

As Abraham listened to God, I must do the same. The Lord is asking me to step away from my role at Beautiful Gate Lesotho, effective December 2016. This is a hard choice for me to make, but I must be obedient and listen to God, otherwise I am not fully worshipping Him. I am looking forward to serving at Beautiful Gate Lesotho for another 18 months. I couldn’t do this journey without all of your prayers and financial support. I still need to fund my last year with Beautiful Gate, so the journey isn’t over yet.

God provided for Abraham on the mountain and Isaac’s life was spared, because of this Abraham called the place “The Lord will provide” (Genesis 22:14). Currently I do not know what is next, but I know the Lord will provide, but only if I remain obedient to Him. He is my Jehovah Jireh. I covet your prayers during this time as I worship and wait for the Lord to show me the next step in His journey for me.

If you have any questions feel free to email me (christina.terpstra@gmail.com). I would love to share with you all the faithfulness of my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Flat or Filled

Yesterday, I woke up ready to face the day. I had a few things on my schedule, but for the most part it was pretty easy day. In the afternoon I went to run some errands, when I left the store I discover, my car had a very flat tire. Let's face it there was no air in it at all. Normally, this would pretty much tick me off. Doesn't my tire know I have places to go and people to see and stuff to get done. I can't just be sitting around waiting for this to get fixed. But yesterday was different. In the morning I spent time reading verses about being still before the Lord. When I picked up my phone to call the tow truck I saw it was 3:45p. I smiled as I felt God's calm rushing over me. The tire was no accidental flat. God needed me to be still. 

A friend of mine was in an appointment at the same time I was waiting in a parking lot for a tow truck. For an hour and a half I was able to sit and pray them through what they were facing. People were texting me asking if I needed a ride, but I was good. I was spending time with my Abba, serving those that needed His strength. After an hour and a half the tow truck came and took me to the tire shop. The best part about it all is I only needed a plug/patch and they didn't even charge me. One more thing that pointed to the tire being flat at that specific time for a specific reason. 

In life there are many things that can knock the wind out of our sails. For me it was a tire. I had a choice. I could let the anxiety and anxiousness overwhelm me and end up getting ticked off, or I could be still. Lately I chose anxiety, but yesterday there wasn't a doubt in my mind why my tire was flat. God needed to still me, so I could serve from my knees. 

Friends, each day we are face with choices. My prayer for you in that you in those moments you choose to be still. It isn't easy, and I will be the first one to tell you I am not good at it, but being still is best. In being still, you are given moments to place your hands before the Lord, completely empty and He will take that offering and fill them. In our moments of "flatness" we cannot only be filled, but overfilled with the peace of Christ. And not only for ourselves, but for others as well. 

"Be still and KNOW that I am God." Psalm 46:10

Tuesday, July 21, 2015


I have been sitting on this post for a few weeks now. I will be honest, there are moments in which it is hard to write about my life and job. It is hard to put into words the thoughts and emotions that I have, but I want to share a story with you all and then present you a way to help.

My last day at BG was full of so many emotions. There was the goodbye ceremony, which is always hard for me. The staff are given a time to speak and to hear how much they love and appreciate me is very overwhelming. Then there was the celebration lunch which included great conversation and delicious food served from the back of a car. The afternoon was full of serving the team that was there as well as soaking in every second I could with the kids. I sat on the garden and snuggled with two of "my" boys. It was a very special time with them. As we were sitting there laughing and enjoying each other, one of them looked right into my eyes and said, "I love you soooo much." My heart leaped with joy and sorrow. I hurt knowing that these little guys would not be sitting on my lap the next day and that my arms would feel so empty, but I also knew that God was speaking through him to say, your life will be different, but it doesn't matter, I love you so much. There was peace in that moment. Peace in the stillness of saying goodbye.

One to the traditions at BG is whenever a volunteer leaves, all the other volunteers share a meal. Before we all left for dinner, I went through all the houses to give the kids a goodnight kiss and hug. While in one house I was spending a little extra time with one of our oldest boys. He and I had a special relationship. Because he was older, the social worker asked me to take him on random trips to town, to just expose him to grocery stores and the outside world. Through these trips, his trust for me grew immensely. As he was sitting on my lap and we were talking about cars, his house mother walked through the room and told him I would be leaving the next day. His looked changed. His eyes filled with tears and his face dropped. I started telling him how much Jesus loved him and how much he was loved at BG. He then looked deep into my eyes and said, "Please, I go to America with you. Please." My heart sank for many reasons. First the Basotho culture rarely says please. They don't have a word that directly translates to it. I have been working on it with him and some of the other kids. For him to use it twice in one sentence was huge. Our time together had weight. Then my heart broke because I know how badly he wants a family. He is older and because of this he goes to a different school than the preschoolers. He sees children and their families. He knows he is different. I wanted so badly in that moment to pick him up and take him with me. I wanted so badly to make the hole in his life filled. I wanted to fix it. But I can't. The very hard thing for me, was I couldn't even tell him that I would see him again, because I don't know. I have told that to kids before to help them and me work through my leaving, only to find they have left BG before I got back. I just couldn't give him false hope again. That night I went to dinner with the other volunteers with a heavy heart. His cry for help echoed through my mind.

I wish you could be here buddy. I really do. I know you are safe at BG and being loved so much by the staff and volunteers. I have know doubt that when I left your day didn't change. You are loved by your house mothers and special friends, but I also know how much you want a family. Keep believing, one day you will understand that you are a part of a huge family and your Abba loves you with a love that will never let you down.

There are so many children like this at BG. Kids waiting for a family. I also know that there are families all over the world who desperately want a child from Lesotho to love. Please join me in praying for both sides of adoption. Each has it's own wait. Each has it's own heartache. Each side is hard, but in the waiting there are moments when you hear God's voice and He says, "I love you so much."

If you know someone on either side of adoption, please send them a note today and let them know that there are other people waiting with them.

Monday, July 6, 2015


I am back in da mitten. I landed Thursday after two great days of travel and hit the ground running right away. My plane touched down at 10:30 and I had a hair cut at 2, that has to be a record.

Currently my head is spinning with Michigan life, but all is well. I am enjoying seeing friends and family and being back with my 4 legged pal Joey. The last week at BG flew by. I was excited to fill my days with a team from Cross Point Church in Chino, California. The team was full of hard working servants. They did whatever needed to be done in record time, including painting a building in 4 hours. There are many things that stand out with this team, but the most was without a doubt the spiritual maturity of the team members. My favorite time was sitting with them in the evenings and hearing their heart's process what they were doing. They truly reminded why I do what I do. Thank you Cross Point. I am excited to see you guys in September where we can continue the journey. Whip it!!!!

I was excited that I made it home in time for my friend Leah's wedding Saturday. It was a picture perfect day on Mackinaw Island. What a day of celebration!!! I was nervous as I got to the island because I was so tired and I didn't know how I was going through the day, but then I saw my friend Leah and my heart filled with joy for her. After our "hello" I no longer was tired, but excited for whatever the day included. Which included lots of laughter and dancing. At the reception, Leah and I owned the dance floor. All those nights of dance parties in our pjs paid off because we had moves BETTER THAN JAGERS!!!!!!!

Today as I sit and think about what the Lord requires of us, I think back to Saturday. It is easy to see what the Lord wants. He wants us to be with those we love and dance through life. There will be days when your head spins and you don't know what to do, but you need to find moments to dance. You need to find moments to let go and just breathe.

Transition isn't easy. I can't even begin to explain how empty my arms feel and how I long to just hold a child right now, but I am pressing on, because the Lord wants me to dance. Right now I feel like I need to take time to be the child and rest in my Abba's arms.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

6 hours

It is winter. The days are cold and more and more children are being referred to BG. In the past 2 weeks we have had six children brought to us, four of which were under a month old. This happens every year. The temperatures go down and the children come in.

Today I went along to pick up a one week old baby. My role was to sit in the back of the car and hold the child. I know what you are thinking, "I have a really hard job." Don't worry, I snuggled him as long as I could. In situations like this, I don't share well.

This child's story is one we have heard time and time again, but because it is winter it gets very serious. This child was abandon shortly after birth and found by two herd boys who brought him to people would could help. The doctor who assessed him knew that the child had to be less than 6 hours old. The reason why "6 hours" is because the child was found naked and could not have survived being outside for any more than 6 hours.

In situations like this I thank God for herd boys who act when they hear a cry. It has happened time and time again where children are found abandoned by herd boys. Even though society views them to have no skill, I see them as acting heroes who are saving the lives of many children.

As we were driving today, our social worker told us a very sad story of the reality of child abandonment. When we passed over a river, she told us that once there was a suit case found floating in it. Inside the suit case were the bodies of three small children. When I hear things like this my heart breaks more and more for the people of Lesotho. I do not know what someone is going through or thinking when they do things like this. All any of us can do is pray. Pray for people to treat their children with worth. Pray that people make good choices if they feel that abandonment is the only option. Lastly pray that more herd boys and/or people walking the roads can find children so they are not out there longer than 6 hours.

Please join me in praying.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015


It is that time of year again folks. The time of year where my head does weird coping mechanisms to try and prove to my heart that I just need to put my head down, do the work and then get on the plane. It is a very hard thing to explain the process that happens every six months. Right now, other than 2 teams, 95% of the work I do is related to my time in North America. For example sending emails to answer questions regarding how to plan a 5K, planning out presentations, making a promo video, booking presentations, flights, etc. All that stuff makes me dream of being in Michigan, so that is when my head starts telling my heart I need to distant myself from everyone here, because it makes the goodbye process easier. If I just put my head down and work in the office all day or at home, then I won't get closer to people and it won't suck as much to say goodbye. I mean really how much could they miss me, most people don't understand my role at BG and think I just go and come back every 6 months. But then my heart says, "You KNOW you really love these kids. You KNOW you really care for the staff" and I remember that any amount of distancing myself never makes the process easier it only makes people upset at me.

The past two days I have been sick and it hasn't been fun. I think everything that we have been facing here finally caught up to me and my physical body said NO MORE!! It isn't fun laying in bed, when you hear the love and laughter of children out the window and you can't play with them or when you hear the other volunteers raving about how good the food is they are eating that just so happened to come from your favorite "restaurant." It is great to be a part of a team that helps each other out in situations like this. I am so grateful that Bryan, Anita and Tyler have been leading the Holland Christian team for me, but it also is tough missing out moments with the team and evening worship times. Through it all I have been reminded that once I leave BG, life still goes on. Teams still come, videos are still made, photos are taken and nothing skips a beat. It is not an easy time, so then I try and focus on Michigan and the good that happens when I see family and friends and I get to worship at my home church. But then my head fills with all the other things that happen while I am home. The amount of traveling that takes place and the new fund raising goals I have for myself that will take a lot of time and energy. Then my heart starts to race because I know that while I have been in Lesotho, life continued to go on in Michigan and when I get home it doesn't mean I will be invited to everything, because sometimes people forget I am home. So then I lay in bed and think of all the things I can do in Michigan to better serve BG and try not to connect to the people there so that in 5 months all this thinking won't occur again. It makes my heart race because it is then 2am and I can't turn my brain off.

Home is a weird term for me now. I really don't know where it is. I know that Heaven is my true home, but there are moments that my earthly body would like a place to settle and not have to live with a suit case always out. But then I remember how easily the children's hands fit right into mine and how the staff trust me with stories about their families and my heart remembers the joy in what I do in Lesotho. And I also remember how great it is to share BG with people in North America and have time with my nephews and nieces as well as be able to worship at my home church and enjoy everything that is North America. So every 5 months I have a few weeks of hard transition and then I get on a plane and try to remain obedient to God's call, even though it means I live in two different worlds at the same time. Over the past few months I have had to tell myself to be still, to not let my emotions and thoughts overtake the reason I know why I have been chosen for this job. In being still I know that God is God (Psalm 46:10) and that He is fighting for me (Exodus 14:14) but I still have moments when all I want to do is run and hide from saying goodbye even though I know there are hellos on the other side of the plane ride.

It is tough, but in the end I know that I have an army praying my through the tough transitions and that makes it a little easier. Thank you all for praying me through the next few weeks.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Kneeling in the Mud

Today was a muddy day.
It was dirty.
It wasn't as I planned it to be.

I woke up early to make sure I had everything in line for the team that is here. I enjoy the few moments I have with Jesus in the quietness of the campus. The morning was very cold, so I went to get the keys to start the cars so that the windshields could defrost and we could go to church. As Anita and I were walking across campus, two Bo Mme came running with a child in their arms that was very limp. The child had vomited and aspirated. My mine flashed to 2 years ago when the same situation happened and the at child didn't make it. Anita and I ran to the Bo Mme and grabbed the child, we quickly got in a car and drove off to the hospital the house mother jumped in the car with us and off we went. By the time we got to the hospital the child was alert, but breathing very fast. As the doctor was assessing the child her heart rate was all over the place, then the is baby's house mother sat down next to her and spoke. The child's ears heard the voice of her "mother" and her heart rate settled. In this situation, the house mother is the hero. Her first aid training came in and she saved this child's life. It didn't matter what needed to happen she did it, including sucking out the babies nose with her mouth so that the child could breath again. This house mother is my hero, her child was sick and she acted. She thought of herself last which included going to the hospital in her only overcoat and shirt. Yes friends she didn't have any pants. When her child was scared, she spoke and calmed her fears. The child is doing well and is back at Beautiful Gate tonight, because the Bo Mme acted so fast. We praise the Lord for His faithfulness.

While I was running to the Bo Mme, I stepped in a mud puddle. Because of this my shoe was full of mud and my pant leg. Sometimes you just need to get dirty so that God's plan can work. I didn't have time to change my pants, because I had a full afternoon planned with the team. Normally I don't like to walk around with mud on me, but today, it didn't matter because the situation could have been a lot worse.

This afternoon with the team, we walked through the neighborhood around Beautiful Gate. It is always an eye opener to see the differences in life from one side of the street to the next. Along the walk, a group of community children gathered and started walking with us. They loved the time spent just being with us and laughing with us. Along the walk we stopped at different points and the children stopped too, taking in any moment they could. We stopped at a BG staff member's house on the way, so she could say hi to the team. Just as we were leaving her house she told me about one of the boys that was walking with us. He is about 7 years old and his father past way that morning. His mother passed away a few years ago. This little boy was all alone and all he wanted to do was be with us. I bent down to his level to talk to him, as I did this he made eye contact and I saw confusion and hurt in his eyes. I put my knee down to the ground so that I could really speak to him. Just as my knee hit the ground, I realized it was resting in a mud puddle, it didn't matter, because this boy needed to know he was loved by someone. Tonight he is sleeping in the house of another community member. I love how this culture takes care of children when they become orphaned. I am not sure what the next step is, but I am going to continue to pray that he knows he is loved.

Kneeling in the mud made me think about life. I will be honest, right now I feel weak, because of the attacks happening, but I know I need to keep going. I can't stop the mission God has me on. His plan is great. Sometime in life you run through mud puddles and you get a little dirty, but you can keep going. Other times in life you kneel in mud puddles, because life is too hard to keep going so you stop and pause and pray. The mud is tough, but the mud is not where we remain. There will be a day when all the mud in life will be gone and we will better because we took time to kneel in the mud, pause and pray.

I may not like to walk around with mud and show the world I am hurting, but right now that doesn't matter. My knees are stained and I am okay with it, because it is in the mud that I discover my Abba Daddy and I realize how much He loves me and that His still small voice can calm my fast beating heart.

Friday, June 5, 2015

Psalm 27

I want to thank you all for the words of encouragement and prayers offered for myself and Bryan and Anita. The battle isn't over, but the great news is, we know who already won. Keep praying and sending notes, they help a lot.

Over the past few days I have cloning to Psalm 27. Read it and claim the promises for you as well.

The Lord is my light and my salvation;
    whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold[a] of my life;
    of whom shall I be afraid?
When evildoers assail me
    to eat up my flesh,
my adversaries and foes,
    it is they who stumble and fall.
Though an army encamp against me,
    my heart shall not fear;
though war arise against me,
    yet[b] I will be confident.
One thing have I asked of the Lord,
    that will I seek after:
that I may dwell in the house of the Lord
    all the days of my life,
to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord
    and to inquire[c] in his temple.
For he will hide me in his shelter
    in the day of trouble;
he will conceal me under the cover of his tent;
    he will lift me high upon a rock.
And now my head shall be lifted up
    above my enemies all around me,
and I will offer in his tent
    sacrifices with shouts of joy;
I will sing and make melody to the Lord.
Hear, O Lord, when I cry aloud;
    be gracious to me and answer me!
You have said, “Seek[d] my face.”
My heart says to you,
    “Your face, Lord, do I seek.”[e]
    Hide not your face from me.
Turn not your servant away in anger,
    O you who have been my help.
Cast me not off; forsake me not,
    O God of my salvation!
10 For my father and my mother have forsaken me,
    but the Lord will take me in.
11 Teach me your way, O Lord,
    and lead me on a level path
    because of my enemies.
12 Give me not up to the will of my adversaries;
    for false witnesses have risen against me,
    and they breathe out violence.
13 I believe[f] that I shall look upon the goodness of the Lord
    in the land of the living!
14 Wait for the Lord;
    be strong, and let your heart take courage;
    wait for the Lord!