Tuesday, February 12, 2013
Wednesday, November 14, 2012
I remember that sense of despair as we got back to their house. The probability was next to zero that we’d ever see it again. I tried comforting my mom, who was the one behind the camera, freezing all the moments in time. The video camera wasn’t that important, it was the hours of filming she had done, still in the camera bag. We’d never get to re-live them years down the road.
Around the kitchen sink all of us grabbed hands and prayed. Yes. Even for a video camera. God, if there is any way for us to find this again, please help us. It’s gonna be miracle. Only you can do this.
Wherever I am, God is awake. Prayer is not a formula, it’s not a complex style that you have to stand on one foot and look in one direction. He knows where you at, and He wants to commune with you. “You have not because you ask not.”
Then our friends had an idea. They got up early the next morning and made signs to post in the local diners and coffee shops. If someone had seen it or picked it up, they could call the number. Kind of like a missing cat sign you see on the neighborhood light pole. I thought about the slim chances of anyone being at the lake AND at the restaurant the very next day.
We left Vermont and headed home. While unpacking and settling back in, my dad checked the voicemail messages. It was a man with a deep voice talking about a sign at the diner for a missing camera. He found it at a lake and took it home, hoping to find a way to get it back to the owner. He left his number and said to call him back.
We were all in complete shock.
The probability WAS close to zero, yet God doesn’t look at probabilities. We got our videocamera back and I learned that there is no such thing as a petty prayer. You can come to Him about everything. Prayer is staying connected to Him.
He won’t always answer us the way we think would be best, but the essence of our journey with Him is trust.
A prayerful life is a powerful life.
Tuesday, October 30, 2012
Wednesday, October 17, 2012
150 ladies gathered to worship and dig into the Word with Kari Patterson, our retreat speaker. Let me tell you, even though I am quote ‘ministering’, I am fully receiving. My life is changed so often when we travel to lead worship! Kari is a sharp teacher and I loved getting to know her sweet heart.
One thing God illuminated in me is that I'm prone to worry. And this uncovers a lack of trust. Often times, my mind spins through thoughts of how I can avoid problems. My husband knows how I enjoy being a human calculator, too. If things add up to a good outcome, I'm settled. But if it doesn’t add up ‘my way’, I'm back to worrying. This process began on my flight home to Colorado Springs before I chose to slam on my mental breaks to stop the worrying.
"Do you trust Me?" God prodded. I remembered what Kari said about trust. It's comes down to humility, knowing that God is bigger than me. I need to admit that I can't calculate the future, but that God can. “We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to His purpose.” - Romans 8:28
Now, I can't promise anything that grand ("All Things Work Together", an oldie by Twlia Paris from my iTunes library came on in my ear buds while I flew over the clouds). In my hands things often fall apart. I need to remember how capable God is, and humbly admit how incapable I am to carve out a good path for myself. I need the divine Guide.
This got me thinking about the circumstances that allowed us to travel to Oregon it the first place. Our return to Trail Christian Fellowship to lead worship for the women's retreat was set up through divine navigation. In 2009 my family had a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Maui together. Enjoying the pool at the resort, my parents met a couple from Medford, Oregon who suggested we visit a church in Eagle Point when we were on tour later in 2009. So we did! The friendship we made at Trail was awesome and this summer we remembered our time there.
Recently, seeing a gap in our calendar, Becca asked me, "Do you think Trail would want to have us back some day?" Little did we know that the very day our email was received, the women's director was caught in a bind and needing a worship leader for their retreat coming up in a couple weeks! Perfect timing. We booked our tickets and came to fill the need. God is certainly the best guide we could ever ask for!
I try to entrust so many things to my own care – figuring out finances, health, my calendar, family situations and friends... it's a habit that only through humbling myself I will break. I will give way to the most able Savior, Jesus Christ. “I will say of the Lord, ‘He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust’.” - Psalm 91:2
Wednesday, October 10, 2012
I closed the last page of the book (ok, not really. I read this on my iPad) and felt different. I felt less like a discouraged, disappointed, weak person striving to make something of myself in my own strength, and more like Moses or Esther. They were ordinary people with flaws. However, they trusted and obeyed the words from their Heavenly Father and saw incredible things happen. It’s true; I haven’t spoken before a pharaoh or seen that burning tree in my backyard.
If I just stop and think about incredible things that HAVE happened, small ways I am able to be a part of a supernatural change in someone’s life, then my burning bush isn’t so incomprehensible.
So often we overlook these things in our lives. We’re so busy climbing the mountain we miss the whole point: the journey. Esther was on a journey. Moses was on a (long) journey. God met them on their highways. In Undaunted, I got to see glimpses of Christine’s journey. I was so inspired by her approach to every ginormous obstacle that stood in her path. As if she would say, “Um, my God is bigger!”
All along this journey, keep your eyes open. Burning bushes are all around us. They are signals, signs on the highway that our God is bigger. Don’t give up or slow down! As crazy as it sounds, I believe God speaks to us. If we’ll listen, this journey can be so much more than reaching the top of the mountain. A scrapbook isn’t about the last page. Every page is significant, and leads up to the last page. Each day is like a page in this story God is writing through you. What will it say today?
Monday, October 1, 2012
Then it all happened for me when I walked the streets of El Salvador. Breathing in the air, shaking hands and hugging young ones that came up running.
Recently, after one of our concerts, the Compassion table was buzzing. A little girl urged her mom to let her sponsor a girl from Africa. Though this single mom felt she couldn’t afford it, she decided to trust God to provide. They took the plunge. Her daughter was willing to find some odd jobs to help cover it. I was so amazed when she wrote me just a few weeks later to tell me the miracle. They did find jobs, and earned enough to sponsor for a full year!
I’ve got a basket full of maps in my office…state maps, trail guides, downtown directories... but this map here is different:
Numbers are actually real people, and when we realize that we can touch one life that will cause a ripple effect, these “statistics” become an opportunity for God to surprise us.
Just like that little girl with wide eyes at our Compassion table weeks ago, we can have the faith of a child, and trust that our Father in Heaven will help us as we each take the plunge and sponsor a child.
And could it be that your heart will change? Could it be that your gift to that child will be the greatest blessing in your own life?
Find out more about Compassion.
Tuesday, September 18, 2012
I've spent so much time in the Dallas, TX airport this week that I memorized the place. Got my guitar, iPad in tow and a carry-on roller bag. I think I'll either write a blog or play my guitar for these travel-weary folks!
Preparing for this retreat stirred a lot of thoughts in me about belonging to God. When you think I am _____ what do you feed into the blank? What we do or how we feel is usually the case; lonely, happy, depressed, a student, a friend, singer...
When we fill in the blank do we ever just say I am His?
I'm boarding the plane home with my husband tonight - finally. With hours spent in this airport incurred by multiple flight delays and cancelations, I've had time to encounter a lot of people traveling. A Muslim man in a corner doing his ritual prayers, a business man making transactions on his cell phone, a woman frantically trying to get a standby on our flight. Our identity as a son or daughter of God needs to be the identity most prevalent in our lives so we can reach others and they find freedom in being God's child too.