Monday, October 31, 2011
Thursday, October 6, 2011
"All flesh is like grass and all its glory like the flower of grass. The grass withers, and the flower falls, but the word of the Lord remains forever."
I'm in a time of intense transition... my time with the Navy is coming to an end and with that comes opportunities that make me want to jump up and down for sheer JOY and other times make me want to hide under the covers in fear of the tremendous responsibility and inevitable consequences of every choice and sadness at the closing of a wonderful season.
As I consider my purpose, my giftings, my passions, the work of God in my life, I ask God "What do you want me to do? How can I serve you? What really matters?"
So for now, the answer he's given me is what really matters is His Word. I can't bring my family to heaven, my nursing skills, the patients I've met, the coworkers I've grown to love, my car, my books... all I can bring is the Word of the Lord. So that is where I will begin as I continue to seek him and ask him for direction, for peace, for purpose, for obedience, for adventure, for my dreams, for his will, for his love....influenced by the greats... Abraham, Sarah, Joshua, Ruth, David, Jeremiah, Nehemiah, Mary, Paul, Peter, and Jesus himself in the form of man... my mentors are incredible people to learn about how God works in our lives.
And hopefully in focusing on his Word, my seeking will turn away from asking for things but rather just being.... being with the Father who knows me perfectly and intimately and has the whole world in his hands:)
Thursday, July 21, 2011
Sunday, May 8, 2011
Thursday, May 5, 2011
Sunday, March 13, 2011
When I tell friends about my younger sister Lucy I tell them, "She's the coolest girl you'll ever meet. She is absolutely selfless, she rides a Kawasaki, she plays guitar, she goes dirt biking, she loves the Packers, loves the Cardinals, can follow the game and doesn't fall asleep during them, played hockey most of her life, loves adventure..." Those are just her interests and the things she can do... her inner person? She is so loyal, so thoughtful, so witty, so funny, so confident, so innocent, so selfless, so generous, so pure, so full of life. She can make friends and strike up conversation with anyone. Whenever she wasn't dating a guy, I sure couldn't figure out why her many friends hadn't swept her off her feet already. The man who wins Lucy heart will have her whole heart, she'll be absolutely faithful, sacrificial, fun, thoughtful, and the greatest friend he could ever have.
The man who won Lucy's heart? Mr. Kyle Kerns. Now to be perfectly honest... this man was my arch enemy for a bit as I struggled with hearing Lucy talk of falling in love with a man that I had never met and didn't trust. Here my sister is 1000's of miles away from my protective questions, discernment and influence over the guys she's dating! But with time, visits to San Diego by him, visits home by me, texts and phone calls... I am ready to call him brother. He is a man who has shown me that he has one thing down: He loves Lucy. He loves her by opening the door for her, complimenting her on her beauty, holding her hand, he spends time with her, he shares his interests with her, he is patient with her, he lets her live her dreams, he lasted through a rough summer of separation as Lucy lived her dream of working at camp, he's prepared to provide for her, he has studied book after book about preparing to be a prayerful and faithful husband, he's not afraid to ask hard questions.... He's a man that I have learned to trust. He rides dirt bikes and rides fast on ice during winter!!!
Together, they get to walk hand in hand through life....I can't even imagine the struggles and joys that they will go through together, but I can imagine the blanket of protection and covering they have as they enter into this relationship as a man and woman of faith. A man and woman who have put their faith in Jesus Christ, who have faithfully prayed over one another and their marriage, who have sought advice and wisdom from other couples who have stood the test of time, who have had to work through difficult separations, and miscommunications already.
Next week, we will hold up a big "Welcome Love" sign to the Love of Lucy and Kyle and we will cheer for them as they walk under it and into a life together. And then we will join together and pray and celebrate the miracle of God bringing two sinful souls together to join into a holy relationship reflecting an incredible relationship that beckons every person on Earth to say "Hello", sit down and invest in something miraculous and unfathomable.
Wednesday, February 23, 2011
Saturday, January 15, 2011
As I reflect on the gigantic step of faith that my sister Katie and soon to be brother-in-law Luke are about to take in one week, I am amazed at their courage. Courage to commit to one person for the rest of their lives, to commit to walking through life's mountains and valleys, endure sickness and health, wealth and poverty, love and contempt... all in pursuit of working through the one type of relationship that Satan has targeted to destroy.
"We must never be naïve enough to think of marriage as a safe harbor from the Fall... The deepest struggles of life will occur in the most primary relationship affected by the Fall: marriage." -Dan Allender & Tremper Longman III
I look at Luke Patterson and see a man who is passionate about God's work. He has a desire to walk in obedience to God. From his commitment to volunteering at church to committing a year of discipleship training and missions... he loves the Lord. He has pursued Katie since her sophomore year of high school(that I can remember). Even when their friendship hit rocks, he remained a loyal friend who walked through difficulties of life with her despite an 8 hour distance when she went to school in Indiana. He is a man with many friends... good friends... true friends because he is a true friend...willing to drop everything to help someone out. He is not afraid of differences between people, not afraid to question a person, or call someone out. He's kind and thoughtful. He listens well and is considerate. He is courageous and I completely trust him to love Katie, work through differences, forgive her, help her, teach her, learn from her, respect her, and have fun with her.
Katie... when I think about what I'm thankful for about her, I am at a loss for words. She is the most beautiful girl. She's such a thoughtful sister. I remember when she was little, I told mom "You need to talk to Katie... she is the most selfish girl in the whole world." I laugh thinking about that. Katie has shown me so much about selflessness, humility, and service. She is so loving to people who are difficult to love. She has an ability to look past their shortcomings and have incredible empathy for them. She is always looking for her purpose in life... not wanting to waste the gifts God has given her. She is always up to have fun... sledding in snow, going to the humane society and walking puppies, going shopping, line dancing, shopping at Von Maur, dressing up, playing with make up, laughing at old videos, playing games... she is just someone that you would always want to have around.
Monday, January 3, 2011
The first night I was home from the Philippines as I laid down to go to sleep and began to worry about getting everything done on my checklist... I wished to go back to the Philippines where I didn't worry about the next day. As I examined why that was, I realized that I didn't need to worry about tomorrow b/c someone else had that figured out. All I had to do was go to sleep and then check in with one of my leaders when I woke up and I would get my assignment for the day.
I had the simple realization that life here is the same! I don't need to worry about tomorrow. I just lay my head down and make sure I check in with My Savior and Father when I wake up. He'll make sure he gives me my assignment and he had the entire day figured out.
When I woke up and began to go about my day... a day that began with a dead car battery and a saint of a woman who jumped it for me... I remembered to check in with God. Everything got done and more... It was sweet.
We went to a Catholic school and had one hour to share testimonies, play games, sing or just encourage the students. After singing and testimonies, my teammate and I had the students write down questions. It could be about God, America, teenage life, school, etc.... anything! Here were some of the questions:
1. Who is Jesus to you?
2. If you wronged someone and apologized but they didn't accept it, who committed the sin?
3. How do you know God deeply?
4. Give me one situation that strengthened your faith in God.
5. Do the Americans love Filipino people like they love Jesus?
6. What makes you think that God really loves us?
7. How would you show love to Jesus to other people?
8. Is there a time when you get angry with God?
Do you hear the curiosity? The hunger for something more? The desire for a deeper relationship? The longing for love, acceptance and assurance?
These students were ready to be discipled... ready to be brought into a small group and learn about the relationship they can each have with Jesus. We could only bring them encouragement for an hour, pray with them and guide them to scriptures to read... our time was short.
What they need is mentors who are willing to discuss hard questions, Scripture explained and revealed to them, and a filling of the Holy Spirit. We can pray that someone would go and begin to harvest... or we can say "I'll go, send me." Which one will you be?
During our bus ride to the island from the airport in the Philippines, we stopped at a rest stop frequented by tourists. Out of the corner of our eyes we saw some children reaching their little hands through the holes of a fence with big eyes that begged for attention. Moving closer we found two chickens and a make shift 3 walled shelter about the size of a bathroom and the height of 3 feet positioned under a tree.
Their clothes were tattered and I kept looking for parents to come and protect them from the strange foreigners. They didn't speak a bit of English and so we pulled Sherlyn (our team leader and a Filipina herself) into the conversation and she shared the Gospel with them. They prayed with Sherlyn and their smiles may have been a bit brighter. Sherlyn explained to us that they don't have parents and they are living off of begging from the tourists at the rest stop. There were 9 kids and the oldest didn't look 11.
That hurts. But it should. And so ask yourself if your heart hurts at the thought of 9 kids fending for themselves... with no parents to give them hugs, reassure them that the monster under the bed is not bigger than daddy, tuck them in at night, make sure they shower, have clean clothes, read to them, teach them, affirm them... the list could go on and on. Does it hurt your heart?