Friday, February 26, 2010

World Vision

Tonight I huddled around the laptop with my two daughters beside me. We stared into it's glow, browsing through World Vision's website, ready to choose a child to sponsor. We first searched through pictures of children from Africa. South Africa to be specific. But no one profile seemed to be the right fit. We were looking for a girl, somewhere between the ages of 5 and 7 who we could support monthly and love daily. After flipping though several candidates, the thought occurred to me that we should pray.

Dear Jesus, please lead us to the right girl who you want us to sponsor. Make it obvious. Amen.

My daughters were not feeling any sort of connection with the images we had seen, so I broadened our search to the entire continent of Africa. Girl. Five years old. Search. Again we looked at several profiles. Most of the girls wore short hair cuts shaved closely to their heads. "Is that a boy?" My girls would ask. Sometimes their shirts looked dirty, sometimes their shirts looked clean.

And through my American eyes, I found myself viewing the profiles almost as if I were judging a contest. That one has the cutest smile. That one has the chubbiest cheeks. That one likes art.

But my six year old daughter looked through Jesus' eyes.

"STOP!" She exclaimed. A little girl stared back at us. Her big eyes had dark circles under them. She was nearly bald. She looked very thin.

"That's the one!" My daughter declared.

"How do you know?" I asked, kind of surprised.

"Because she looks like she needs help the most. I want to help her." She voiced with her child like faith.

Suddenly my American faith didn't feel so heroic. I felt small.

I marveled at my daughter's compassion.

And I am happy to say that we did not hesitate in choosing that little girl!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Your Umbrella

I stood in the rain with no clear sense of direction. The clouds hovered low in the sky. Rain poured down.

Until you came along and shared your umbrella with me.

"O Lord, you are my God; I will exalt you and praise your name, for in perfect faithfulness you have done marvelous things, things planned long ago. . . . You have been a refuge for the poor, a refuge for the needy in his distress, a shelter from the storm and a shade from the heat. . . . " -Isaiah 25:1, 4

Wednesday, February 24, 2010


Time tugs at my life like a kid sister, eagerly leading me by the hand.

Bravery pushes me forward like a high school friend shouting, "I dare you!"

Faith stretches out like a shadow-always present, but not always seen.

And God calls with a megaphone to my heart saying, "This is the way; walk in it" (Isaiah 30:21)

. . . All so that I cannot help but feel compelled to go.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The Seasons

When I think of the word "seasons" I first think of the four seasons. But what about the seasons of our lives?

Like winter we have dormant seasons. These are times when part of us hides away from the light. It stays hidden. It slumbers.

But then spring dawns with a new sense of awakening . Hope sprouts up after being summoned by cleansing rains.

And then the sun breaks through, welcoming summer. Suddenly, life is a picnic.

Until a chill forms in the air, ushering in the autumn. And life seems less vibrant. Perhaps even a little dry.

What kind of season are you in today?

"There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven . . . He [God] has made everything beautiful in its time." -Ecclesiastes 3:1, 11

Sunday, February 21, 2010


Sometimes in our circumstances God uses the physical to meet us in the spiritual.

This summer will be the two year mark of having broken my foot in two places after tripping and falling. The doctor ordered complete bed rest in order for my body to heal.

For most of that summer I physically sat in a comfy sofa with a bandaged foot, but spiritually I sat at the feet of Jesus. God, in His sovereignty allowed for that time to not only heal my body, but to heal my soul as well.

"Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you; he rises to show you compassion. For the Lord is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for him!" -Isaiah 30:18

Thursday, February 18, 2010

The Lady in Red

Do you remember when you were a kid, singing in the back seat of your parents' car with the windows rolled down? Your hair blowing in your face. Your voice competing with the wind. I remember singing as loud as I could to Chris DeBurgh's "The Lady in Red." Clearly it was my dad's tape, since at that time I was still jammin' along to the tune of Sesame Street. But when we got in the car to go somewhere, the music played and I imagined myself as The Lady in Red.

Ironically, now I really am The Lady in Red after having come into a relationship with Jesus Christ. Only I am not the romantic lady of a hit song from the 80's, I am a lady who has experienced redemption.

"In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding." -Ephesians 1:7,8

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Once Upon a Time

Once upon a time, I sang a Capella to an audience called "Me". Now I sing Hallelujah to an audience of One.

Once upon a time, the world called me "Daughter". Now I am a Daughter of the King.

Once upon a time, true love was a fairy tale. Now true love is mine.

"I have loved you with an everlasting love . . . " -Jeremiah 31:3

Sunday, February 14, 2010


There is a restlessness beating in every heart that is apart from God's peace. And that beating heart pumps complacency through the blood until it infects the whole body, so that all there is left to do is run. But that kind of running can land you in the belly of a whale.

Are you running today?

If so, stop. God does not want to trap you, he wants to talk with you.

Jonah's Prayer (from the book of Jonah, Chapter 2)

1 From inside the fish Jonah prayed to the LORD his God. 2 He said:
"In my distress I called to the LORD,
and he answered me.
From the depths of the grave [a] I called for help,
and you listened to my cry.

3 You hurled me into the deep,
into the very heart of the seas,
and the currents swirled about me;
all your waves and breakers
swept over me.

4 I said, 'I have been banished
from your sight;
yet I will look again
toward your holy temple.'

5 The engulfing waters threatened me, [b]
the deep surrounded me;
seaweed was wrapped around my head.

6 To the roots of the mountains I sank down;
the earth beneath barred me in forever.
But you brought my life up from the pit,
O LORD my God.

7 "When my life was ebbing away,
I remembered you, LORD,
and my prayer rose to you,
to your holy temple.

8 "Those who cling to worthless idols
forfeit the grace that could be theirs.

9 But I, with a song of thanksgiving,
will sacrifice to you.
What I have vowed I will make good.
Salvation comes from the LORD."

10 And the LORD commanded the fish, and it vomited Jonah onto dry land.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

I would like to hear from you! How has God given you beauty for ashes?

"... and provide for those who grieve in Zion- to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair." -Isaiah 61:3

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Counting the Cost

I first realized the cost of discipleship when I surrendered my life to Christ in October of 1997. I later left a career to follow God's calling into the mission field.

Perhaps the cost of discipleship seems like it carries a hefty price tag, but I can assure you that there is a rich reward for those who count the cost.

On this side of heaven, the choice to leave some of the "comforts" of this world may seem sacrificial at times, but witnessing God change lives for all eternity far outweighs the luxuries of a "comfortable" lifestyle.

Has God been tugging on your heart to do something for His glory that seems a little out of the box?

"'Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.'" -Jesus (Matthew 6:19-21)

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Success and Failure

In life, our ultimate goal should not be to fail or succeed, but to discover the life God planned for each of us to live. It is fun to celebrate our successes and it is good to learn from our failures. Both of these could equally be parts of God's design for our lives. But successes and failures alone should not define our lives as God intended them to be lived.

"'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the Lord, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.'" -Jeremiah 29:11-13

Monday, February 8, 2010


What's in a prayer? Is it something we mumble under our breath before heading out to work in the morning? Is it a plea we make on a whim when things are not going our way?

I believe prayer is talking with God.

If I can be honest with you, when I pray, I don't necessarily picture God sitting on His throne, but rather in a rocking chair by a fireside. His hair is white and his smile kindly invites me to enter into a conversation with him. I am not sure if this vision emerged out of fondness for my grandfather, or out of a nostalgic view of Santa Clause still lingering from childhood. Nevertheless, when I pray, I talk with God, not some character I have conjured up in my imagination.

How about you? Has your prayer life been more like a brief hello or a fireside chat?

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."
-Philippians 4:6,7

Thursday, February 4, 2010


If life were a picture, it would be dull, one-dimensional and centered upon a single moment. Thankfully, life is so much more than that.

So why do we feel disappointed or discontented when our lives seem less than picturesque?

If our lives are messier than photo shoots, then why do we expect our lives to look staged? We are people, not props. Our lives are made to be lived, not simply looked at.

"The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full." -John 10:10

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Facing Trials

Do you feel like you live in an unseen prison? It may be called financial distress. It may look like physical illness. It may feel like emotional pain. Whatever the cause of your pain, whatever the reason for your prison, keep your eyes on Jesus. Then as you "do your time", God does his work in you.

"Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything."
-James 1:2-4

Monday, February 1, 2010

Guard your heart

Do you think we worship our "almighty schedules"? Perhaps not consciously, but subconsciously? Does our prayer life follow a paper trail that leaves us wondering what time we need to be somewhere? Does our day timer dictate our devotion? Maybe it is time we check our hearts instead of our watches? What do you think?

"Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life." -Proverbs 4:23