Friday, July 29, 2005

Remann Hall

For those of you not from Tacoma, Remann Hall is a juvenile detention center here in Tacoma. It is where kids convicted of crimes who are too young for adult prison go to serve their terms. We had something called a flatbed there last night. Just basically an evangelical outreach for the kids. Here is the report I just had to share:

"What a miracle tonight at Remann Hall. We ran out of Bibles to hand out to kids who stood up for Jesus. We literally had 85 kids out of about 90 stand up. It was crazy - we sent people aournd to get names so that we could pray for them and get Bibles to them. We had 20 New Songers + 3 others there to minister and pray. We had 20-30 others praying including Clover Creek Bible Fellowship. It was amazing. What a victory for the King - it didn't matter who was bringing the word - Jesus was there in a huge way."


Well, I am off to a Mariner's game tonight. Never mind that they completely stink this year. It should be fun anyway!

Also, tomorrow heading over to Nate and Cailyn Aune's house to prepare for our trip to London. Did I mention that I leave a WEEK FROM TODAY??!! Woo hoo! I was a bit apprehensive, until I found out that we'd be doing a lot more than just soccer. We also get to play softball. I get to play softball in England! How cool is that? We will be playing sports in the park in the afternoons and inviting the kids who are there to an "evening meeting." How British does that sound? I had to laugh when I heard that! We are also going to get to stay with some families at Christ Church Fulham while we are there. I am so looking forward to getting to know the people and way of life in England.

Things in London are of course very tumultuous right now. According to the Youth Pastor at Christ Church: "As you guys could imagine. The enemy is trying to bring a lot of fearand division to the communities of London over the last two weeks.Through a lot of prayer Jesus is foiling terrorists and aiding thesecuirty services to find and arrest those involved. Be at peace as youcome God is bringing you to advance His kingdom in the lives andfamilies of the gangs who walk in darkness. His protectin over all of usis complete!"

Be praying for our safety and for the Lord's work to be done during the week we are ministering there!
Love you all,

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Christmas in July

Me at Christmas. That is a tree skirt I've got wrapped around me.

It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood

I am having a lot of fun with this blogging stuff. Does the new-ness wear off and it become more than a chore? It feels a lot like journaling to me, and I used to LOVE doing that. I am not entirely sure why I ever stopped, because the last few weeks I have been back to writing, and I am enjoying it immensely.

I am thinking a lot this morning about callings, and why I seem to be struggling to find mine, while others seem to just KNOW what they are called to do. The Lord has spoken some general things about what I'll DO: I am a visionary and strategist, a foundation builder, and teacher. There are even a lot of things that the Lord has revealed about who He has created me to BE: wise, compassionate, and sincere to name a few. But, when I honestly think about looking outside of myself at who I am called TO, I just don't know. I sometimes feel like I ministry hop, trying to find what I am passionate about, and I don't always know.

Tiffani and I were talking while she was in town for the Jesus Ministry Conference and I was talking to her about this issue, and she had some sage advice. She said that sometimes we are called to a thing (teaching, or preaching for example). And, while you aren't called to teach to things, but to people, you sometimes just focus on what you love to do and the Lord will direct you from there. It was and still is an interesting thought. Especially as teaching is one of my loves. It sometimes feels at church, though, as the emphasis is finding the exact group of people you are called to: the homeless, drug addicts, troubled youth, junior highers. And, I have to say, I don't know that I can pinpoint an exact group of people I would be able to say: I am passionate about THEM. I CAN say, that I am passionate about teaching people, anyone who will listen. I love talking about the Lord, who He is, what He does and can do etc. So, how do I look for oportunities to teach within the confines of ministries that are geared towards something different? Do I sign up for the junior high ministry KNOWING that I am not sure I am 100% called to that group? Will the Lord give me a heart for them?

I sometimes wonder if this is just selfishness on my part. Am I so self-focused that I can't find it within my heart to love other people? Is that what is blocking me from moving fully into what the Lord has for me?

Just my thoughts for the morning! By the way, it is glorious here this morning! Mt. Rainier is "out," it is about 75, sunny and just perfect. Have a glorious day yourselves!

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Sing, Sing a song

Written by Erin O
All rights reserved

These chains wrapped tight around me
Holdin' me down
A trouble I couldn't strive my way out
Eternally bound

Til you stepped in
Removed my sin
Threw the chains to the ground.

Cuz I'm free
Freed to dance, freed to sing
I'm free,
Freed to fly, freed to run

The days were dark upon me
Nothing to see.
There didn't seem to be an end in sight
Black as can be

Til you stepped in,
Removed my sin
Took the blinders from me

Cuz I'm free,
Freed to laugh, freed to love
I'm free
Freed to dare, freed to dream

So when the day seems long
and life seems wrong,
He's opened the door.
He'll pick you off the floor,
Of that prison cell
And set you free once more!

Cuz you're free!
Freed to hope, freed to joy
You're free
Freed to grow, freed to live
You're free

A face only a mother could love

Is this the ugliest dog you've ever seen or what?

A better choice

Things have been improving, spiritually, since Tues. of last week. Please pray, though, that as I start to "feel" better, I would not let up in my pursuit of this stronghold. I think that has been part of the pattern in the past is that as I start feeling better, the urgency and desperation lifts, and I quit chasing after the change that I need. I don't want that to happen this time. So, my prayer would be that I would see this through to the end, and not give up until it is a complete work.
I know that feeling down happens sometimes, I am not silly enough to think that victory means that I won't ever be unhappy again. But, I would like healing in my heart to be more than just a "functional" believer!!
Also, if you could pray against distractions, that would be a great thing to include too. That I would not allow other things (boys, ministry, my house, my job, etc.) to get my eyes off of the goal (to have a complete breakthrough). Again, that is part of the pattern....I allow the excitement of something new (a crush, a new ministry, a project at the house, kudos at work) to be my false comfort. I need Jesus completely and only for my significance.
I am really liking the book "Captivating" I am actually reading it at the same time as "the search for significance" Have you ever read S.F.S.? Captivating is speaking to how I was created, but SFS is really ministering to why I have not been able to receive that I have been created in a specific way (i.e. I am having freedom in SFS about why I have felt insignificant, and captivating is replacing those lies with the truth of how significant I was created to be). It has been an interesting experience, to say the least. I am recognising how much I have based my worth on what I do, as opposed to who I am, and filling my heart with the TRUTH of who I am. Quite a ride. I highly recommend SFS for any of your gals struggling with self-hatred/insignificance/insecurity/performanced based love etc. It is filled with freedom stuff.
Interestingly enough, I actually read SFS in college, but was not prepared, really, for what to do. Now, reading it and coupling it with prayer etc., there is much more victory.
I am also being ministered to by a CD I am listening to over and over and over again. Have you heard of Shane and Shane (HIGHLY recommend them, if you haven't heard of them)? They have a newer CD out called "Clean" and there are two songs I am loving right now. Here are the lyrics to them:
Clean I call you
Clean I came to clean you
And it's done
Here's a call to all who've felt
Disqualified to run
Pleasures flowing here and there
From my right hand
hat's mine is yours
Come behold all of who I am
You and I will run
You and I will run, forever
All is done
You and I will run
Come with what you do not have
And buy what's undeserved
Feast and drink,
The bounty's great
I know you hear
But have you heard?
Have you heard?(repeat chorus)
I've called you clean
You are clean
You are clean
"I am dirty"
You are clean"
So unworthy"
You are clean
You are clean
"so dirty"
That's what I'm wanting

And then another one called "Yearn"
Holy design
This place in time
That I might seek and find
My God
Lord I want to yearn for you
I want to burn with passion
Over you, and only you
Lord I want to yearn for you
I want to burn with passion
Over you, and only you
Lord, I want to yearn
Your joy is mine
Yet why am I fine
With all my singing and bringing grain
In light of him(repeat chorus)
Oh you give life and breath
In you we live and move
That's why I sing(repeat chorus)

A stronghold to start with

I just need to write to a friendly "face" today. I am feeling bummed out today, and I just need to write to someone who loves me, as I am feeling unlovable right now. I am having what I will describe as a "hormonal" day today, though I can't exactly tell you what it is about the day that makes me say that other than it's a good description, and I am just feeling sad. It seems the same old stuff, but I am ready to just explode with it today
Just feeling disappointed and discontent with life right now, and for no real good reason. Seems I am taking two steps forward and five steps back with this same battle for the last two plus years, and I am tired of it. I just can't seem to find joy in anything right now, or really even long term for that matter. I have times of joy that only seem to puncutate loooong stretches of unhappiness. And I see how this makes me turn to things to make me feel better, but not much is making me feel "better" these days, and I just want to quit everything.
Things are going so good right church building, fine job, great family, heading off to London, etc. etc. etc. I can list for you everything I should be feeling great about, except I don't feel great about anything, even the stuff I should be excited about. I am getting desperate and tired of this, which is probably exactly where I am supposed to be with this, except all I can see is how I am failing. WHY does this stronghold seem to be so much bigger than me? I know it's not, but breakthrough seems so elusive and just out of reach. Close enough that I can see it, but not actually here. What is it going to take to see this thing through to the end?
And, I am questioning my faith right now. I mean, I know I believe, but am I really saved if I haven't completely surrendered everything to Him?? I mean, I know salvation can't be taken away, but I just know there is MORE!! But it feels so elusive right now. The level of unbelief in my heart is so high that I could choke with it. I am NOT sold out, not the way I should be, or rather could be, and it boils down to not really trusting in the Lord myself! I want out of this rut so bad I could scream, except what I really want to do is cry because I can see what the Lord does through those who totally surrender to Him, but what stops me? I can't seem to see anything but how hurt, and disappointed, and angry I am, and I think bitterness has arisen in my heart, and what right do I have to that? I have GOT to get this wall between the Lord and I broken down and have the joy and peace restored to me that is being robbed. I think I understand how Naomi felt when she changed her name to Mara. I feel forsaken and forgotten about and withheld from even when I know it is what is best for me. I have GOT to reconcile the truth in my head with what I am feeling in my heart.
Pray for me. I have been down this road before, and turned around when I felt it was too hard, and I just want to keep walking this time. I mean, I know work was done, and the path was cleared a little each time I have been down here before, but I want it all taken care of.