Tuesday, March 31, 2009

unearned love

"The unearned love of God can be disturbing." - Brennan Manning

Friday, March 27, 2009

bonds of love

there's just something about family...

repeated by Karev

"People is better than no people." -the dieing Great Aunt

Thursday, March 26, 2009

lending strength

On my counter sits a sparkly, red travel mug. It's been sitting there for a couple of weeks now. Every time I do dishes with all my might I try to get the lid off of it so that I can scour it and put it away. But every time my strength fails me. I was thinking about how awkward it would be if I called upstairs and said, "Hey Angela! Is Trevor home? Can I talk to him, please?" I imagine that after a hesitant "Ok?" Trevor would come to the phone at which time I would say, "Hey Trevor, I need to get this lid off of this cup. Do you think you could come help me?"

Every now and then I am reminded of how we are made to be in community. Not one of us has all the strengths needed to successfully navigate through this life. Though in this culture independence is highly valued, I've come to believe that interdependence is of much greater worth. So, I suppose I should have no problem calling Trevor to ask him to lend his strength. But, for some reason, I will probably leave the cup there for a couple more weeks. Maybe it will loosen up over time... (she laughs).

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


something changed today.

never thought i would say these words!

"I'm not asking.  I'm telling!" - the big daddy

Sunday, March 22, 2009

favorite thing number nineteen

fresh pineapple

true faith

"The beginning of anxiety is the end of faith, and the beginning of true faith is the end of anxiety."
- George Muller

tired of myself

"I've lived a lot of years and have to admit that the longer I live the more tired I am getting of myself. Tired of the insecurities that still hound me, of the sins that still defeat me, of the words I would like to take back. Of the silly often stupid decisions that I have made. I'm tired of thinking way too well of myself only to realize how shallow and fallen I am. And the list goes on.

"But, after all these years I have to tell you, I never get tired of Jesus. I find Jesus more compelling, more adventuresome, more wonderful, more surprising, more troubling in the best sense of the word, more worthy of my admiration and love than ever before."

- Dr. Joseph Stowell, "Confessions and Convictions of a Preacher"

Saturday, March 21, 2009

time to go

i really want to get on a plane or road trip somewhere today. any ideas?

Friday, March 20, 2009

no thank you

"No Thank You John"

I never said I loved you, John:
Why will you tease me day by day,
And wax a weariness to think upon
With always "do" and "pray"?

You know I never loved you, John;
No fault of mine made me your toast:
Why will you haunt me with a face as wan
As shows an hour-old ghost?

I dare say Meg or Moll would take
Pity upon you, if you'd ask:
And pray don't remain single for my sake
Who can't perform that task.

I have no heart?-Perhaps I have not;
But then you're mad to take offense
That I don't give you what I have not got:
Use your own common sense.

Let bygones be bygones:
Don't call me false, who owed not to be true:
I'd rather answer "No" to fifty Johns
Than answer "Yes" to you.

Let's mar our pleasant days no more,
Song-birds of passage, days of youth:
Catch at today, forget the days before:
I'll wink at your untruth.

Let us strike hands as hearty friends;
No more, no less; and friendship's good:
Only don't keep in view ulterior ends,
And points not understood

In open treaty. Rise above
Quibbles and shuffling off and on:
Here's friendship for you if you like; but love,-
No, thank you, John.

-Christina Rossetti

this takes me back to seminary days. how i would love to sit with the retreat house girls and recite this today.

Thursday, March 19, 2009


he's here again. but, he looks a little different this time...

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

really big smile

about 30 girls down the hall singing "Glory, glory, Hallelujah He reigns!" at the top of their lungs mixed with joyful laughter!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

i'm not sure i can do that

She stared at the object of her angst. Fear ripped through her as the scenes from last fall played through her mind. It seemed just a few days had passed, but in reality the snow had come and gone since then. Her black curls swam in the air as the spring breeze made its presence known. Her daddy's hand gently guided her as she took a few steps closer to her purple bike which was also scarred from the accident. Just below the handlebars a scratch drew attention to itself disclosing the shiny metal that was just beneath the surface. With much coaxing, she climbed on the bike believing that the inevitable was about to take place. Tears began to collect in her eyes and with all her might she tried to push them away. Her tight grip on her daddy's hand reduced the blood flow to his fingertips.

"Honey, you have to let go..." a voice whispered in her ear.
"I'm not sure I can do that," she said as hot tears streamed down her face.
The voice repeated, "Honey, you have to let go."
"What if I fall again," she said.
"I'll be here to pick you up," said her father.
"That's not good enough, Daddy. I want you to hold onto me so that I don't fall again!"
"Oh, my beloved daughter," he said with tears in his eyes, "I'm not sure I can do that..."

Monday, March 16, 2009

you can call me ana

i'm changing my name to anameno.

some days are like this

thanks to the Out of Ur blog for this smile.

but i like black and white!

"It feels like living out of relationship -- you know, trusting and talking to you -- is a bit more complicated than just following rules." Mack talking to Sarayu in The Shack

on emotions

"Not much to understand, actually. [Emotions] just are. They are neither bad nor good; they just exist. Here is something that will help you sort this out in your mind, Machenzie. Paradigms power perception and perceptions power emotions. Most emotions are responses to perception--what you think is true about a given situation. If your perception is false, then your emotional response to it will be false too. So check your perceptions, and beyond that check the truthfulness of your paradigms -- what you believe. Just because you believe something firmly doesn't make it true. Be willing to reexamine what you believe. The more you live in the truth, the more your emotions will help you see clearly. But even then, you don't want to trust them more than me." - Sarayu

colors of the soul

"Emotions are the colors of the soul -- they are spectacular and incredible. When you don't feel, the world becomes dull and colorless." - Sarayu

Sunday, March 15, 2009


could my life be any more blessed?

Saturday, March 14, 2009

a year ago today

my life was changed...

a little observation

"Grandpa, your teeth are rusty." - Graham

Friday, March 13, 2009

all will be well

"all will be well
you can ask me how
but only time will tell"
- Gabe Dixon Band

i forgot to ask

"God granted me peace, even though I forgot to ask." - Clay

a weighty sadness

another star on another lapel

to his daughter

"sometimes life is nasty..." - my daddy

Thursday, March 12, 2009

earth has no sorrow that heaven cannot heal

a couple of days ago i posted the lyrics to a hymn that resonated with my heart. today another has found me. i've been thinking about why i love hymns, and i have come to believe that it's because they tell us our story. i could go on and on about how we need to hear our stories again and again. but for the sake of this post, i'll just say that i think God in His great wisdom knew that we would so quickly forget our stories. so, He commanded us to return to them again and again. to tell them, to write them, to live them, to rehearse them. and, i think the great hymn writers knew that. so, as i listen to hymns written years and years ago, i am caught up in the beauty of the poetry that describes just where i am today. here's another one: "Come Ye Disconsolate" which means "Come you who are hopelessly unhappy or you who are deep in despair." and, in case you are wondering, Indelible Grace does have a beautiful arrangement of it which i have been enjoying very much today.

"Come Ye Disconsolate" words by Thomas Moore, 1816

1. Come, ye disconsolate, where'er ye languish,
Come to the mercy seat, fervently kneel.
Here bring your wounded hearts, here tell your anguish;
Earth has no sorrow that heaven cannot heal.

2. Joy of the desolate, light of the straying,
Hope of the penitent, fadeless and pure!
Here speaks the Comforter, tenderly saying,
"Earth has no sorrow that heaven cannot cure."

3. Here see the bread of life, see waters flowing
Forth from the throne of God, pure from above.
Come to the feast of love; come, ever knowing
Earth has no sorrow but heaven can remove.

Come, ye disconsolate, where'er ye languish.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

...Lord willing

michelle: and He's got that one all planned out as well, right?
me: sure does!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

i shall want to go someday

today was one of those days. a day that followed a sleepless night and consequently didn't start until around 11:00 a.m. a day that i learned one of my dear friends had been in a serious accident. a day which held heavy thoughts regarding job. a day of overcast skies and snow. a day when i would prefer to eat just chocolate and peanut butter and skip every meal. a day with a lot of posts all with a tinge of melancholy. a day i don't wish to repeat.

and, after a day like this, i'm thankful for the hymn i've just come across. a hymn that gripped my heart. it doesn't hide from the hurts of this world, but it also holds the glimpse of hope we as Christians know. so,
i close out this day in my pjs with a good book, and with Indelible Grace's version of "Beams of Heaven" written by Charles Albert Tindley (1851-1933).

1. Beams of heaven as I go,
through the wilderness below,
guide my feet in peaceful ways,
turn my midnights into days.
When in the darkness I would grope,
faith always sees a star of hope,
and soon from all life's grief and danger
I shall be free someday.
I shall be free someday.

2. Often times my sky is clear,
joy abounds without a tear;
though a day so bright begun,
clouds may hide tomorrow's sun.
There'll be a day that's always bright,
a day that never yields tonight,
and in its light the streets of glory
I shall behold someday.
I shall behold someday.

3. Harder yet may be the fight;
right may often yield to might;
wickedness a while may reign;
Satan's cause may seem to gain.
But there's a God that rules above
with hand of power and heart of love;
and if I'm right, he'll fight my battle,
I shall have peace someday.
I shall have peace someday.

4. Burdens now may crush me down,
disappointments all around;
troubles speak in mournful sigh,
sorrow through a tear-stained eye.
There is a world where pleasure reigns,
no mourning soul shall roam its plains,
and to that land of peace and glory
I shall want to go someday.
I shall want to go someday.
I shall want to go someday.

building an army

Two days ago I learned of the events that led up to Rev. Fred Winters death on Sunday morning. Last night I read an article about the sad, but true facts concerning Christianity in America. And, just now I read one man's predictions regarding Evangelicalism in these United States. On one hand all of this information makes me sad, but mostly it makes me angry. What has happened to us? What has happened to people setting aside time to be in the Word and passionately pursuing a relationship with Christ? What has happened to the Church? Where are our priorities? Who decided it was more important to be a club that everyone likes instead of an army that proclaims truth? When are we going to get up and start fighting?

I don't know if Michael Spencer's predictions are correct. I don't know if the trends found in the polls will continue to decline. I don't know if there will be more shootings like the one that just took place in Illinois. But, I do know a God who sees this as no surprise, who has all the strategies needed to turn hearts to Him, and who is able to strengthen us to fight this war. I don't know where His sovereignty stops and where our responsibility begins. But, I do know that Scripture blatantly tells us that we will be persecuted if we are following after Christ. And, I trust Him. So, let's get to work friends. Let's put on that whole armor* of God and get ready for what is coming. David Stark recently said, "God is going to build an army, not an audience." And, I for one think he's right.

*13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. 14 Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. 16 In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; 17 and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, 18 praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, 19 and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak. (ESV)

happy all the time

my status: julia guesses that no one is happy all the time...

brian: i would submit that drew barrymore is happy all the time
at least, no one has ever observed evidence of the contrary
me: lol
brian: of course if being happy all the time means being like drew barrymore, then count me out.

here on our own

Are we left here on our own?
Can you feel when your last breath is gone?
Night is weighing heavy now.
Be quiet and wait for a voice that will say...

Come awake,
from sleep arise.

-David Crowder

Monday, March 9, 2009

prayers for the assailant

"We do know hurting people hurt people." - Brian Lowery

no matter what

"When we, like the Israelites, take our eyes off of God and start to look at our circumstances, we begin to fear. But the truth is that our God never fails. Our God is the God of impossibility. Our God is able to keep his own. Our God will never leave us or forsake us. And because of these things, our God is adequate as our God to meet our needs, no matter what the situation or circumstance." - Pastor Nathan (well, one of them)

heartbreaking and tragic

My heart is breaking for the family of Dr. Fred Winters and the congregation of the First Baptist Church in Maryville, IL after the tragic events which happened yesterday morning. I'm encouraged by the words on their website:
In this day, where uncertainty seems to abound creating an environment in which people are vulnerable in doing things they might not do otherwise, one thing is certain, we, as human beings need a foundation upon which we can live our lives. We at First Baptist Maryville, along with other Christian believers, share this conviction: that foundation is God’s Word. In the pages of the Book we call the Bible, we find the pathway for peace, hope, and a quality of living life despite what circumstances we find ourselves in.
In moments like these a short prayer often comes to mind "Do something amazing! Please, Lord, do something amazing." Believing in a God who redeems tragedies and uses evil for good helps me to find peace and hope in the midst of these sorts of situations.

[sitting in silence]

Not wanting to steal any of the attention, I hesitate to even add my own thoughts to this. However, since this is my blog and therefore my perspective, here's a quick blip from me:

This shakes me up a bit. And, as I consider what this may have looked like inside the doors of the building I serve in, specific faces come to mind. And, I would like to note just how dear these faces have become to me. The Lord has blessed me with a wonderful church body to call my family, and I am so thankful. In some strange way, as I sit here and consider dear friends who will soon pack their bags and head halfway across the world to begin a lifelong ministry to a people they dearly love though they haven't met, I am even more confident that where I am is where I need to be. In a place where we have the freedom to worship though little-by-little it isn't as safe as we all thought it would be.

And, I join with the family of believers at First Baptist who invite those of us who believe in the power of prayer to pray with them...

Saturday, March 7, 2009

looking back...

Surely God was in that place.

a line of beauty

falling down's as common as the rain - david wilcox

Friday, March 6, 2009


I'm the kid who has this habit of dreaming
That sometimes gets me in trouble too
But the truth is
I could no more stop dreaming
Than I could make them all come true
- Buddy Mondlock

reminding her of her story

We don't really want what we want. We want to be in touch with the movement of God.

all that we need

"Deep calls to deep
And all that we need
Has been lost in what we've found" -Rich Mullins

Thursday, March 5, 2009

the little blue bottle

God says He will collect our tears in a bottle. He doesn't say "quit crying!"

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

could it be?

it smells like spring! we just might make it!!

take off your shoes

Earth's crammed with heaven
And every common bush afire with God
But only he, who sees, takes off his shoes
The rest sit around and pluck blackberries.
  - Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Tuesday, March 3, 2009


Me: "Mo-om, please can I get it?"
Mom: "Not today, honey."
Me: "But, I want it now!"
Dad: "You don't always get what you want."

standing in the fitness isle at target

"How do you know which one to spend money on? I mean, I don't want to feel like I'm exercising." - a woman in her thirties as she looks at the fitness DVDs

Monday, March 2, 2009

pitching tents

"Alright. I'm here," He thinks as He looks around. The grassy area was covered with tents. He'd known this trip was coming for sometime now. Though He could have hidden all sorts of luxuries in His pack, He'd decided against it. Instead He came with nothing. He found the nearest sports store, chose a commonplace tent, went back to the camping ground and pitched this new, canvas shelter. Just like everyone else, He hammered in each stake ensuring that the elements wouldn't push it over in the middle of the night. When He had finished He stepped back to look at it.

This morning as I read from the first chapter of John, I became intrigued with the Greek word translated dwell. It means to dwell or to pitch a tent. And, as we go back to the Old Testament, God meets with His people by dwelling in a tent. A holy tent. One with specific instructions and regulations as far as its size and shape and the material it was to be made from. But, it was a tent no less. The imagery of Christ pitching a tent to live with us for a while has been dwelling in my thoughts all day.

I love the way the New Testament compliments the Old. I love that we serve a God who was the same yesterday, is the same today, and will be the same tomorrow. And, I love that He cared enough for us that He shed His heavenly mansion to come down and pitch a simple tent just to be with us, just to know what it is like to live in our little campground.

Yeah, that's the God I serve. The one that put skin on for a while. The one that dwelt with us.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

just wondering

what do you think Jesus was writing in the sand when the Jewish authorities brought the adulterous woman before Him?