Tuesday, December 16, 2008


Here's a very informal post that I had originally published to my LiveJournal about a week ago but decided it would serve a better purpose here:

i really don't feel good. in any way.

God kinda slapped me in the face with the waffle iron of irony last night. lately i've been depending on music, specifically acoustic music, to get me through everything- it's so raw and i connect to it so well that i was kinda worshipping it, in a sense. it was definitely at the point where i was looking to music instead of God for answers, life and fulfillment. it worked for a little while but then it just kind of collapsed on me on wednesday. so i showed up to youth group not actually wanting to be there because i felt like such crap, which i was. so there i was, cheating on God with acoustic music and then what happens?

the worship team holds an acoustic worship night. they've NEVER done that before.

come on, seriously?? how IRONIC is that??? God says, "okay, you want to put acoustic music before me? i'll get your attention by magnifying Myself through the very thing that is distracting you from Me, the only One who can help you out right now."


i feel like the world's biggest hypocrite. here i am being all involved with the church and looking like a good little Christian when really i couldn't be more unclean. knowing that just really hit me hard last night, right in the gut, right in the chest, right in the head. i tried not to show it because i don't particularly like being pitied in public, but i ended up crying anyways. i managed to hold the worst of it in until i was home alone, thankfully.

lately i've just kinda been saying "SCREW YOU" to myself and my circumstances. i'm tired. i'm tired of getting on these God-highs, hitting rock bottom and then getting another God-high. it's a sick cycle and i'm tired of going through it. it wears me out. everything about trying to live a Christian life wears me out. it would be easier for me to steal a beer from my dad's minifridge and a couple of pills from my mom's cabinet and just go at it for a night. it would be easier for me to get hammered and high than to try to live the way i've chosen to live.
confession: sometimes, i do think about drinking or popping pills. it's just too easy. hey, my parents are out a lot and they don't keep tabs on the liquor. how would they know? and everyone always talks about how those things can take your mind off your problems- why not give it a shot?

but do i do it? no. no matter how much i'm tempted or how badly i think i need it when i'm home alone after a long day, i can't bring myself to do it. and i'm positive that the only thing keeping me from self-destruction is Jesus holding onto my heartstrings, even though i can't feel Him there. there was one acoustic song at worship last night that really stuck with me.

"I can't get away, can't get away,
Can't get away can't get away, I
Can't get away, can't get away
I keep running into You"

and it hit me how true that is. once you've really pledged yourself to God, there's no getting away. He'll get you in one way or another whenever you stray. sometimes i don't like the thought of "brushing my teeth next to the same God every morning." i'm human and i get distracted easily with other shiny objects. but when it comes down to it it's really not possible for me to express my gratitude for a God who will not let me go no matter what i do or what i put before Him. i can really take it for granted that He's always going to be there. but when i do take it in everything falls into perspective.

you know what else i realized? a big part of me being tired is that i'm jumping through hoops to try to live up to this goal i've set for myself. there's a picture of a new and improved Morgan in my head that i want to become. she's attractive, sweet, charismatic, gentle, artistic, talkative, fun, pure, adventurous, interesting, demure, intelligent, and a passionate Christ-loving Christian. she's the picture of a perfect Christian that anyone would fall over themselves to try to get to know and i want to be her so badly. every day i try to live up to that standard, to be her, and i keep failing, failing, failing. she's basically everything i'm not and i can't stand that. it kills me to admit this but i know i'll never live up to that. i can't possibly be all that. i'm only human. for quite a while now i've had this picture of her in my head and kept running after this image, trying to chase her down and embody her. i refused to believe that my version of the perfect Morgan was out of my reach.

but they say that the first step to recovery is getting out of denial, right? well, i've got that down now. i know i can't live up to what i think of as "The Perfect Morgan." and i'm not going to try anymore. i finally figured out that i've been running after the totally wrong image, and it's draining me of everything, EVERYTHING, that i've got. i'm done running after her. after i screamed and cried into my pillow for a good half hour last night as i realized that i was never going to be her, Christ drew me into his arms and, first of all, settled me. then he said that it's no wonder i've been so drained. i've been fighting him and trying to be this warped, make-believe person who is not on the path he's laid out for me. it's not that she's a bad model- it's just that she's the wrong model. it would be easier, he said, if i would quit making up my own versions of my perfect self and just listen to him.

just listen. through listening you learn, through learning you act. through acting you make up your character, and that's who you are. but i haven't been listening to him. i've been listening to the kids at TVHS, to my ipod, to the tv, to the demons who have wormed their way into my head through other means. i've been listening to everything but him- no wonder i haven't been learning the right things.

i still want to grow into another person. but i'm not going to put a face on her or tag her with a certain personality. i have no idea what she looks like or what she's about or what she knows. i'm trusting God with those things. i'm going to start listening and learning so that i can become whatever God needs me to become. in the end that's all i need to do. listen.

Current Mood: awake

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Grateful Ingrate

So, I've been reading this book Girl Meets God, in which the author, a former Jew, relates her walk with God through her early Christian years after her conversion. One sentence struck me as I was reading the other day: "I know what gratitude is, and I know how to talk about it convincingly, but I have only felt gratitude twice."

This, I thought, is something I can relate to. Real, soul-soaking gratitude for whatever God has done is hard to come by sometimes. It can be so ridiculously difficult for humans to fully grasp exactly what Christ did, is doing, and will do for us.

As I was lying in bed last Wednesday night after youth group, kept awake by the persistence of caffeine, gratitude came knocking.

Here was my thought process:

Who would I be, and where would I be going, if God hadn't interceded at the perfect time? I know what road I was going down when He shook me- I was already struggling with pill popping, over-dieting, lust, self hatred, the desire to drink myself to "happiness," and other habits I would rather not even think about. It's a possibility that I might be dead right now- not necessarily from a suicide attempt, but maybe from an accumulation of self-destructive habits. And if not dead, I could be an alcoholic bulimic who used painkillers and sleeping aides to get through the day, or a wanna-be hooker who completely gave herself away to the first guy who asked just to feel worthy of something. Only God knows where I would be, but I have an idea of who I would have been.
Hmm- God has really reached His hands into every single aspect of my life, right down to my makeup. I've never noticed that before. Not only have I handed over the bad habits I had, but I've even done things like changed my makeup to keep it minimal so as not to overpaint "the perfect masterpiece," the face God made for me. The pictures on my walls, the people in them- would they be the same if God hadn't shown me to my amazing, wonderful, loving Christian friends? Would I listen to the same music? Would I be able to save myself for my future husband? Would I be able to appreciate nature and the beauty of life? Would I be able to love and respect my family like I do now? Would I have this incredible joy and peace 24 hours a day, even in the worst times? Would I be so blessed?
Ah- probably not.

That's when the gratitude enveloped me like a spring tide and I shivered with its impact. I would not have this beautiful promise of one day meeting my ultimate Soulmate and being wedded to Him forever. I would be completely lost, always feeling the sting of losing my other half and not even knowing it. It's such a fine line between the old life and the new- I can still see my old life clear as day. But thanks to the ultimate freedom, I don't have to look back on it. I can look ahead and know that no matter what happens in my life that I will, one way or another, end up in Christ's arms.

"Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death."
-Romans 8:1-2

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Martha Or Mary?

Listening to my mom moan and groan over her housechores while I'm sitting in my room learning worship songs on the guitar reminds me of a sermon our pastor gave a little over a year ago.

In a nutshell, the topic was: Are you a Martha or a Mary?

A Martha, he explained, is someone who works their fingers to the bone constantly without acknowledging God in their daily life. They're too busy hustling and bustling around the house or the office to sit at Christ's feet and just listen.

In contrast, a Mary is someone who does take time away to spend with God- maybe a little too much time- to the point where they're alone with God so much it impairs their daily life and effectiveness at reaching others.

Right now, my mom is a Martha. She's tired, achy, and irritated with her housework. I suggested she take a break and read her Bible for a while to chill her out, but this was her response: "I don't have time right now. I have to get this done."

Really, Mom. The antique buffet HAS to be dusted RIGHT NOW? Will the world end if you don't get the dishwasher loaded tonight?

I worry about her, I really do. I know she's just trying to be a good mom and keep the house from spiraling into grime-filled, lime-damaged chaos, but I personally think she takes it too far. She never stops. I help her out when I can, but truth be told I'm almost never around enough. She hasn't picked up her Bible at all lately. I had to give her my notes from Bible study last week just so she could brush up on Philippians. I don't want my mom to be worked to death, doing things around the house that can wait a day. I'm not saying she should be lazy or anything- she's a diligent worker and that's much appreciated- but she told me herself that she puts God inside a box for the day and just doesn't take Him out. I want to see her start putting her work on hold for once for some quality time with God during the day. I don't want her to become a "Sunday morning" Christian.

On the other end of the spectrum, I've put my homework and chores on hold for a few hours while I sit here with my Bible and guitar. Yeah, I'm a procrastinator. I tend to get lazy in my "earthly" work. I'll put my entire life on hold, shut myself in my room for the day, and spend time in the Word. While that sounds like a good thing, there are serious cons to this, too. I don't get out in the world enough. I shut myself in a hole. Sometimes I don't get my work done at all. My relationships with others becomes impaired. This isn't healthy either.
Too often I find myself neglecting the things I need to do to spend time with God.

So this is what I've learned: people need the best of both worlds. We can't work 100% of our lives, but we can't live 100% of our lives physically on our knees, either. God put us on the earth to "be in the world, but not of the world." We have God-given work we need to complete while we're here. He commanded us to work diligently. At the same time, our whole life should be a prayer, an act of worship. Worship and prayer isn't just something that you do in church or in your room. It's bringing constant praise to God in whatever you do and staying in constant communication with God as well. Along with that, we need our quiet alone times with God. In working diligently to glorify God and staying in constant communication with Him, we become the best of Martha and Mary.

We need balance, especially now that school has started. Pray for balance- not only for you, but for those around you as well. Believe me, others need it too.

In Christ always,

Thursday, September 4, 2008

So, There's This Rad Band Called Underoath...

And I personally think they're awesome. Not just because their music is so radical your face almost peels off your skull, but because of who they are and Who they represent.

Most UO fans know that during the 2006 Warped Tour they took a brief "hiatus"... anyone know why?

According to an interview between AP and UO, tensions had finally risen to the surface when a band member admitted his addiction to cocaine to the rest of the group.

Their first reaction? Leave him. Their initial instinct was to call it quits with him. Then someone asked, "Aren't you guys supposed to be 'Christians'? Aren't you supposed to help him instead of leaving him?"

At that point they realized the hypocrisy of it all. From then on they've worked on making their faith more genuine as well as their love for each other.

I think this is an excellent portrayal of Christians in real life. Yes, our ideals are sky-high; and yes, we have a heckuva time living up to our own standards [or rather, God's standards]. For that reason we're often called hypocrites- we say one thing, then do another. But the reality is that NO ONE is perfect, not even Christians. We all screw up. Every. Single. Day. That's a part of being human.


A true Christ-follower acknowledges their hypocrisy; they not only acknowledge it, but work hard to eradicate it. The Pharisees back in Jesus' day were hypocrites, too. But the difference between the Pharisees and true Christ-followers is that the Pharisees had no intention on having a relationship with God or improving their faith- they just enjoyed bullying the other Jews. A true Christian will, however, with the help of God, "throw off the things that hinder and the sin that so easily entangles."

By the way- the guy is still addicted to cocaine. But, just as God promises, he's been staying clean through opportunites God's given him. He loves to tour and play music- it's his God-given passion. And because of that passion and that dream to continue touring, he's stayed clean so that the cocaine won't throw him off. The Bible says, "He will not test you beyond what you can bear" and that He will provide a way for you to avoid that sin. For this guy it's touring. See, Christians still struggle with crap like this, too. I was chin-deep in self-destructive habits well into my 2nd year of accepting Christ. But God kept His promise to me too, and I myself have been "clean" of those self-destructive habits for almost a year now [praise Jesus!!];

So. Underoath is pretty sweet. Even if you don't like their style of music, you've gotta give them respect for staying together and continuing to follow Christ. They're out there representing God and His message. They're glorifying Him. There is no nobler task.
Love always in Christ,

Saturday, August 23, 2008

A Real Man


I can't speak for every Christian girl out there, but I'd have to say that this is THE list of things I'll be looking for when it comes time to start looking for a husband [which won't be for a good while, I can guarantee that ;) ].
Great guys who follow God ARE out there and they CAN be found. Off the top of my head I can think of 14 men [young and old] that are excellent examples of godly leadership and discipleship.
Also realize that I'm not saying that there's such a thing as "the perfect man." Come on. No one can be 100% perfect 100% of the time. But there are men out there who are striving constantly to pursue God's heart- and while they stumble on occasion, we all do, they are the men that will set their standards far above the others and, with God's blessing, live up to them.

At the same time, there are characteristics of women that we can embrace and live up to. Here's the link for that post:

As Christians we are called to live a life that's totally different than what the rest of the world has to offer. These articles are just brief summaries of how we can live that life with humility and grace, and why.
If you can, I also recommend checking out the rest of therebelution.com. It's a great resource and worth paying attention to and discussing.

In Christ,

Monday, August 11, 2008

Psalm 116

i love the Lord, for he heard my voice;
he heard my cry for mercy.
because he turned his ear to me,
i will call on him as long as i live.
the cords of death entangeled me,
the anguish of the grave came upon me;
i was overcome by the trouble and the sorrow.
then i called on the name of the Lord,
"o Lord, save me!"
the Lord is gracious and righteous;
our God is full of compassion.
the Lord protects the simplehearted;
when i was in great need, he saved me.
be at rest once more, o my soul,
for the Lord has been good to you.
for you, o Lord, have delivered my soul from death,
my eyes from tears,
my feet from stumbling,
that i may walk before the Lord
in the land of the living.
i believed; therefore i said,
"i am greatly afflicted."
and in my dismay i said,
"all men are liars."
how can i repay the Lord
for all his goodness to me?
i will lift up the cup of salvation
and call on the name of the Lord.
i will fulfill my vows to the Lord in the presence of all his people.
precious in the sight of the Lord
is the death of his saints.
o Lord, truly i am your servant;
i am your servant, the son of your maidservant;
you have freed me from my chains.
i will sacrifice a thanks offering to you
and call on the name of the Lord.
i will fulfill my vows to the Lord
in the presence of all his people,
in the courts of the house of the Lord--
in your midst, o jerusalem.
praise the Lord.

Sunday, August 10, 2008


Take someone who loves acoustic folk music. Now let's say they have dreams of becoming an abolitionist and humanitartian, traveling around the world at a moment's notice. Maybe we'll throw in the fact that they have a growing fetish for free trade and organic clothing. They enjoy organic health foods, as well. Today's culture of wanting "more, more, more" unappeals to them, especially since what they want is a simple, unmaterialistic life that focuses on things that are unseen. And let's mention that the message of unifying love and peace encompasses their minds.

Really, does that sound like a hippie to you?

To tell you the truth, all the aforementioned qualities describe me to a T- and if you know me personally, would you honestly say that I'm a hippie even in light of these qualities? Most wouldn't; but lately I've been hearing the term "hippie" being tossed around more and more in my presence, and it's usually directed at me. I finally began to wonder why a few people were referring to me as such- and when I asked, they said, "Well, you're all 'Free the slaves, No sweatshops, Stop the traffick, Peace and love!'"

That threw me off a little bit.

In this day and age, I find it really sad that as soon as someone starts to care about issues that are outside of any materialistic bubble, a select few immediately brand them as "hippies" or "dreamers" or even "a reminder of liberals from the 60's." Ridiculous! What a twisted culture we must have, to think that someone who cares about and fights towards freedom for others is an oddball. The self-centeredness of the world today is shown through these comments and assumptions.

But they're halfway right, if nothing else- I definitely don't consider myself a "hippie," but I do feel a growing passion for human rights. And I bet if you did a little research, you would understand why I'm becoming more and more on fire for anti-slavery and anti-trafficking campaigns.

Let's consider the fact that 27 million people, women, children, and men, are currently in slavery- that's more than double the amount of slaves during the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade. Let us also consider the estimation that every two minutes, one child is sold into sexual exploitation alone [that's not even considering other adults sold for other trades]. People all around the world, even in the United States, are being threatened, beaten, and forced into manual labor or a sex trade.

The type of trade that hits closest to my heart [although all slavery churns my stomach with injustice] is the trafficking of children for sex exploitation. You've heard of how rough and horrendous the experience is for rape victims- imagine how horrible it must be for a child prostitute who has to cater to customers from other countries, who can have an average of 8 customers a day, and who have to continue to deal with the ramifications throughout their lives. Some children get pregnant and then are forced to have abortions; others contract disease and, once diagnosed, are thrown out on the streets, rendered useless by their owners.
In the Bible it says that we are all brothers and sisters in Christ. It breaks my heart to think that I have a baby sister in Cambodia who has to feel the touch of horrible naked adults every single day, and she can't do anything to help herself.

One girl who was freed from sexual exploitation a few years ago recalled, "I was in slavery for three years; and for two years, I never saw the light of day. My owners kept me in the dark in a brothel, back in the seedy part of a city in Cambodia."

If that doesn't break your heart, I don't know what will.

I'm not writing this post to scare you, or guilt you into donating a truckload of money to an anti-slavery movement. I'm not trying to do that at all. The purpose of this particular post is to show you why I'm becoming more and more vocal about human rights and to raise awareness in the community. The first step to abolishing slavery is raising awareness- the more people that have injustice brought to their attention, the bigger effect we'll have when we being to take larger steps toward freedom.

I can tell you right now that this won't be the last post I write about slavery. This is a real issue, and it needs to be stopped. Too many people today think that slavery was abolished when the North won the Civil War- but that's all too untrue.

If you would like to know more about anti-slavery movements, here are a few links to some sites you can check out:

"For He will deliver the needy that cry out,
the afflicted who have no one to help.
He will take pity on the weak and the needy
and save the needy from death.
He will rescue them from oppresion and violence,
for precious is their blood in His sight."
Psalm 72:12-14
Let's be the hands and feet of Christ and accomplish the mission He's laid before us: to be salt and light of the world; to preserve the world and show His love until He returns.
Thanks and God bless.

Friday, August 8, 2008

A Renewed Vow

(picture taken from c28.com)

I feel the need to start out this post with an apology:

To any guy I have ever caused to sin because of the way I dress, you don't understand how sorry I am. I've never conciously tried to flaunt anything, but I realize that I've also rarely taken into consideration how simple articles of clothing can affect you. It's time for me to start being aware of how some things, even just a tank top, can take your eyes off of Christ.

Generally I just buy my clothes because I think they're cute and, by my standards, they're modest. But after reading some posts from therebelution.com, I realize that I need to be dressing according to even higher standards than what I've set, even if they're already higher than the world's standards. As your sister in Christ, the last thing I want is to be a stumbling block to any of my brothers. I want to encourage you in every way I can, even if it's just as simple as choosing a normal, loose T-shirt over some sleeveless number.

I'm not doing this just because of the way it will affect guys now, but also because of who God wants me to be and because I will someday [hopefully] have a husband, and I want to save as much of myself as possible for him.

The reason behind my renewed vow of modesty is due to the modesty survey on therebelution.com. It was a survey conducted by the hosts of therebelution.com in order to let guys voice their opinions on several different aspects of modesty and to help Christian girls, or any girls for that matter, decide what attire will help them encourage their fellow menfolk in staying pure.

Here is the link to the survey results: http://www.therebelution.com/modestysurvey/browse

I highly encourage everyone to read through them and reconsider the state of their hearts. And, if you have the means, I also recommend buying Alex and Brett Harris's book, Do Hard Things- it was definitely life-altering for me, but more on that later; that's a different post entirely.

Love always from your sister in Christ,


Friday, August 1, 2008

High Schoooool

Although I don't like to admit it, I'm not very good at looking at things through different perspectives. I'll analyze the bejeezes out of a situation as it comes, and then as soon as the ordeal is over I'll forget about it, never stepping back to take a look at the possible method behind the madness. But as fifteen or so of my fellow high schoolers and I huddled in a group prayer, all covered in the remains of water balloons and shaving cream, I thought ahead to what high school might have in store for myself and everyone else. Then my mind drifted to what the past three years of middle school have meant to me, and I began looking at everything with new eyes.

To be brutally honest, I couldn't stand middle school. I couldn't stand the curriculum, the work, the drama, the fakeness of some of the students, the stereotypes, and on and so forth. I've never been so frustrated as when I was at WCMS. Yes, I'll admit, I did have some great times with friends, but the bad times almost outweigh that. At first thought, I'd really rather forget about it and never look back.

But then came the "new perspective." It hit me that through everything, God had been teaching and molding me, even when I was too ticked off to notice. Everything in my life up until now has been put there in order to help me prepare for the next four years of my life. Through every high and low there has been a lesson learned. Nothing should be forgotten because in one way or another God has used it to help me grow as a Christ-follower. And I'm proud to say that I'm definitely not the same as I was three years ago, or even one year ago. It's becoming a little clearer.

I'm also extremely excited for high school. Not for the work, mind you, but for the things I'm going to experience. Driving, high school youth group, meeting new people, growing in God, and growing as a person. I know there's going to be more problems and that life is definitely not going to be smooth, but focusing on God and being who He created me to be is definitely helping me to prepare for those situations.

I'm just super excited. Like you don't even know.
K goodnight. :]

Monday, July 28, 2008

What Happened To The Love?

Does anybody know? What happened to acceptance?

These days I'm hearing about kids getting completely shunned from everything, everything, because of their orientation, style, race, choice of music, personality, etc. Some of the most awesome people I've met have been closed off and cast out because of who they are and that is SO WRONG I can hardly even articulate right now. Sure, maybe they're shunned because of a continuous sin in their lives, but you know what? Jesus calls us to love them anyways!
Jesus loves the following:
Child abusers
Gay/bisexual people
Sexual abusers
Slave traders and owners
And so many more that I can't even think of right now.
Regardless of what they've done or who they are. Now, does He like what they do? No, not at all! But He loves them unconditionally, even if they don't love Him back.
Jesus has set an example for us- love everyone no matter where they are in life. When Christ saves people, He doesn't say, "Okay, first make yourself perfect and THEN we'll talk about having a relationship and you getting to heaven and whatnot." NO! He says, "I will meet you where you are. Let me love you and I will make you clean if you let me. If you cry out to me for forgiveness, your call won't be unanswered. Let me love you, and we'll talk about the rest later."
For example, when the woman in John 8 was caught DURING sex with a man who was NOT her husband and brought before Christ, did He say, "Get away! I will smite you unless you are perfect before coming to me!" HECK NO! He said, "I do not condemn you- leave your life of sin." First, He showed her complete love and mercy by forgiving her when she came to him. And then He said, "Leave your life of sin." True love comes first at all times. A changed life is a result of that love.
So we need to follow Christ's example. Love the people first with a sincere, steadfast love. It's the greatest need in the world. The changed life because of that love will come later.

Post-Mission Trip Blog

As much as I would love to relay every single detail of my week-long trip on this blog, I really don't want to sit here for two hours of writing.
If you would really like to hear about my trip and the things I experienced, then I would be more than happy to talk to you about it. Because, let's face it- it was freaking awesome. :]
So, I'll give you a summary of the important things.
All through the week God had been using small experiences to mold me and whatnot. By the end of the week I felt like a different person, literally. I mean, I acted basically the same [i.e. dry humor, same manner of talking, personality, and other things of that nature] but the way I thought about things, myself, and other people had totally flipped. And in the back of my mind I realized that each of those amazing experiences I had were connected in some way, but I couldn't quite put my finger on it.
Then Sunday night at 11:15 pm, a full 29 hours after the trip had ended, it hit me-
God had been teaching me to work through the things that hinder me and just live to Him.
I don't know about you but there are several things in my daily life that keep me from living fully and walking with God. Here's a list of the most common of my hindrances and how God used certain times at Navajo to cut them away:
1) Cynicism (not getting attached to people because I would end up having to say goodbye and getting hurt): All through the week I felt God pushing me to take a leap and love everyone without holding back. Normally I would never do that because it always ends in saying goodbye and, being the selfish person I am, I don't want to get hurt. But I decided to take the challenge and I can proudly say that I let myself get attached to the people I met there. It hurt so bad when I had to leave [ask Katie, she was gracious enough to let me bawl my eyes out on her shoulder] but I'm glad I did it. It really is better to have loved and lost.
2) Vanity: Now, I'm not the type of chick who can't go get the mail without putting a pound of makeup on first. I'm also not the type to freak out about not being able to wear Hollister all week [heck, I don't even wear Hollister]. But I do sometimes make vanity a bit of an issue, and staring in the mirror all day typically hinders people from living the life God gave them. Not having a mirror around all week to be checking my hair or clothes or whatever really helped to focus on God and let personality and love shine through more than appearance.
3) Letting go of the past: I do have issues with not being able to let certain aspects of my past go. I dwell on certain things. But being so busy all week and loving on other people didn't exactly give me time to reminisce about stuff, so I got to know what it feels like to let it all go for a little while- which, I must say, is tons better than holding on to something that keeps my focus off of God.
4) Selfishness: God threw tons of little experiences into each day to teach me about honoring others above myself. When I became willing and put others ahead of me it was awesome- totally a God thing. I can't wait to put that into practice here in Loveland.

Anyways those are just the major things that hinder me daily. Moving on.
For the longest time I couldn't figure out why I was having such issues living the way God wanted me to live. Like I said, on Sunday night it dawned on me and I opened my bible to Hebrews 12, which says, "Let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perserverence the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfector of our faith." After reading that I thought, "So THAT'S what He was saying!" Don't ask me why it took such a long time for me to figure out such a simple spiritual truth- maybe I was blinding myself. Who knows. Point is, I've rarely ever been so focused on God or so bold in my faith before. It was during that week when God helped me cast away the things that hinder me that I was really living the way He intended me to. It was so relieving and fulfilling, I can't even describe it. So now that I know what can happen when hindrances are cut away, I'm planning on cutting away some of the things in my daily life to continue living the way He wants me to.
Please pray for me, because this isn't going to be an easy task whatsoever. But I'm willing to "run the race," if you will, and any prayers would be much appreciated.
Thanks and God bless.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Pre-Mission Trip Post

In roughly 13 hours I will be embarking on a 10 hour road trip, in a van with 14 other people and limited air conditioning, speeding towards a culture none of us has ever experienced before.
[That's my epic-sounding intro.]
So, we're about to leave to go drop my stuff off at the church so they can pack it and we can be ready to leave at *gasp* 4 a.m. tomorrow morning. oaweirgjfjgsdjrfsflsdfsljfd.
I'm feeling happy, excited, and nervous all at the same time. I absolutely love to travel and meet new people, so this is kind of my forte. God has been preparing me for this trip and, while I know that in some ways I will be prepared, I'm still anticipating yet another unexpected event that He will throw at me to make me grow into a woman after His own heart. But the jitters are on the verge of being overwhelming at the same time, too.
See, we're going to be doing missions work at a Navajo reservation in northern Arizona. The Navajo culture is very rich, very rigid, and very unlike my own culture. As I was reading over the trip description, I came across a full page of ways that the Navajo pay respect to their community, nature, and each other. I came across guidelines like, "Don't make prolonged eye contact with an elder" and "Enter each house/monument/historical structure quietly and with reverence." The more I thought about it, the more nervous I got. Naturally, I'm sort of a bubbly person- for me to stay quiet when in the community is something that's going to take a miracle. Part of that bubbly nature is also to be confident with people, which includes making eye contact when speaking to someone.
The Navajo have a wonderful culture and way of life- and I'm a little worried that I'll do/say the wrong thing to offend someone, and that's the last thing I want to do.
But, I was reminded that God called me to go on this trip for a reason, and while I don't know that reason is just yet I should have faith that He will take care of things- and even if I do mess up, something good might come from it.
I started thinking about last year's Alamosa trip and what a beautiful thing it was. I can't even describe how life-changing it was- a full year later, I'm still feeling the impact of the trip and applying the lessons I learned from it to my own life. I can't wait to experience Navajo.
Out of the blue, a question popped up in my head: Why did so many people want to go on this trip? It's going to be a lot of hard work with little rest, a lot of loving others, a lot of selflessness, and a lot of self-sacrifice. It's going to be hard. Why would people go through so much trouble just to reach people?
Then David Crowder blared the answer over my speakers: "You're everything we could ever want/You're everything we could ever need/You're the reason we're coming here/You're the reason we're gonna sing/We'll shout it out loud from the rooftops/We won't be quiet/We've fallen for Your heart and we won't stop/We won't deny it."
Why do we go to such lengths to help people? Because we've fallen head-over-heels for God, it turns into love for others, and there is NO WAY we can keep quiet about this amazing love.
Pray for me and the rest of the team, that we'll be able to spread the Gospel effectively and that our efforts will go towards the Kingdom in everything we do.
I love you all. Have a good week.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Stop The Traffick.

"trafficking in human beings” shall mean the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of persons, by means of the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability or of the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, for the purpose of exploitation. exploitation shall include, at a minimum, the exploitation of the prostitution of others or other forms of sexual exploitation, forced labour or services, slavery or practices similar to slavery, servitude or the removal of organs.

Article 3 of the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, Supplementing the United Nations Convention Against Transnational Organised Crime (Palmero Protocol)

Human trafficking is the world's third largest organized crime, surpassed only by weapon and drug trafficking. However, it's quickly picking up speed, generating $7 billion a year in criminal proceeds. The "profession" of trafficking is gaining popularity across the world, due to the fact that little money is needed to start and prosecution for participants in the practice is rare.
Ideal victims for trafficking are either runaways or refugees, no matter their background or race; however, many traffickers hunt for people in ethnic minorities in rural, impovershed areas. According to available statistics, at least 80% of people illegally trafficked are girls and women, primarily due to the fact that sex exploitation is a fiercly growing business. Child traffickers take advantage of families living in poverty, promising good jobs for the children and a regular income if the parents agree to sell the trafficker their children. Sadly, it's not until after the children have been employed and enslaved that the parents realize they have been manipulated and deceived. Although men are slightly less at risk of being bought, sold, and enslaved than women and children, they are often the ones who are given the unskilled manual labor, sold again into sweatshops, or become soldiers in countries foreign to them.
Some causes of human trafficking include lack of employment opportunities, profitability, political and economic instability, high demand for slaves and prostitutes, low prosecution of traffickers, conflict between countries [prompting a high demand for trafficked child soldiers], and social discrimination.
Human trafficking isn't just a distant humanitarian issue- it happens everywhere, including the U.S. These aren't just statistics and numbers we're looking at. These are billions of lives, beating hearts and minds that know nothing but injustice and degradation. Every trafficked human has a story to tell, talents that are untapped and hideously underused, and a body that deserves better treatment than what they're given. Children are being trained to fight and kill enemies without giving a second thought; young women sold as prostitues are becoming mothers as early as age eleven, and some have been sexually abused so much that they are now infertile; men are starved, beaten, and forced to do manual labor in sweatshops.
It has to stop. And you can help. Visit http://stopthetraffick.org/ to find out how you can be a part of a movement to put an end to the illegal trading of humans.
To help employ Ugandan children caught in the political heat of war, visit http://invisiblechildren.com/ and buy a bracelet made by one of hundreds of beneficiaries involved.
Change is possible, but we can't do it alone. Promote Stop The Traffick and Invisible Children and gather your friends and family to help continue the fight together. People shouldn't be bought and sold.


Sunday, July 13, 2008

I must confess...

I really don't want to get old. At all. And for some reason I've been thinking about getting old a lot lately; maybe it's due to the fact that we'll be celebrating my grandparents' 50th wedding anniversary in August [praise God for a wonderful marriage!] or maybe it's because my dad is already sending in my applications for college scholarships and it reminds me of how fast time is going by. Who knows why I've been thinking about it so much. But sometimes, [call me lame], it really stresses me out. Today was one of those times.
However, God found a wonderful means of comforting me. As I was reading one of our church missionary's blogs, I found something she had written a while back:

"A small hand with broken fingers and weathered skin reached up to the sky. A streak of grey ran through her black hair. I could barely see her 4’10” frame around the other people in the church, but her hands stretched upward without regard for anyone around her.
The sights and sounds around me seemed to fade in comparison to this woman. I was close to tears as I watched this seasoned woman hold both hands outstretched for over 20 minutes without so much as a tremble.
This is strength and beauty; a woman whose worn heart is devoted to the Lord. Some see age, the Lord sees a true worshipper. Others see weakness, the Lord sees one who has trusted despite all odds.
As I stood there, I asked the Lord if one day my hands could look like that."

Makes aging sound a lot better, doesn't it?

[blog excerpt taken from jamieeng.blogspot.com]

Saturday, July 12, 2008


diakonos [die-Ah-ka-nose] [Gk]: One who serves the Living God, who feeds the poor, and looks after the flock


Today I had the privilege of meeting the Diakonos church at the "Taste Of Loveland" festival downtown [basically a huge barbeque- competitive grillers come from all over Colorado to promote their food].
Now, the Diakonos are the farthest thing from your conventional Sunday church.
A) They don't have their own building.
B) They don't have a membership.
C) And did I mention? They wear black leather, bandanas, and boots- yes, they are all bikers.

When I first saw their booth I was a little confused. All I could see from the distance was about 20 or so Harleys leaned up against a brick building and just as many bikers running this one bbq stand. I thought, "Cool, bikers." As I drew closer I realized who they were and got extremely excited. Not only were they selling Christ-centered merch smack-dab in the middle of the festival, but they were also giving the Gospel to anyone who would stick around long enough for a biker to get off the grill shift and chat for a couple of minutes.

I can't lie- I almost cried. I felt the tears start swelling and a lump formed in my throat. Good thing I was wearing my Aviators at the time. There are few things that can make me want to cry in a public place, but one of them is seeing fellow brothers and sisters taking a stand for Christ in a place that needs it so much.

The Diakonos church is a prime example of what this world needs now. The members don't have a church building- they are the church. This is what many followers of the early church did- they traveled the streets, declaring God's Word to whoever would hear it and resting only when they needed to. They rarely stay in one place for long- they've traveled all across Colorado and Kansas and are preparing to head off into Wyoming, Nebraska, and California later this year. They reach out to everyone, but the center of their ministry is with, you guessed it, fellow bikers. Their slogan? "Offending the religious, and reaching the lost at any cost." Sounds extremely similar to the evangelists of the early church.

What I really love about them, though, is that when they do outreach, they make it clear that they don't follow religion. Rules and regulations are out of the question. What they focus on is the relationship with Jesus Christ and how to live it out according to His Word. Which is exactly what true Christianity is- no religion, just a relationship. And that is what it's all about. Jesus Himself discredited religion back in the day because religion is man jumping through hoops and rules to get to God. What Christ represented is God reaching us, because there's no way we can reach God on our own.

Needless to say I bought a shirt to support their missions. The logo is just like this only it's not in cursive. And of course it comes in the traditional biker color- black:Photobucket
Please take the time to pray for the Diakonos and their mission. For more information about their ministry and how to support it, please visit www.diakonosbrotherhood.com.

Friday, July 11, 2008

New Blog!

So, I've started a blog. And unlike the blog I had in the past, this blog will be an account of my walk with God as I continue through the notoriously awkward teenage years.

My hope for this blog is that it will always be God's words that reach your eyes and never my own. My purpose is to serve as Christ's ambassador through which He will make His appeal. The title of my blog, "Dry Bones Dancing," is a direct reference to chapter 37 in Ezekiel. God shows Ezekiel a valley of dry bones, and asks if Ezekiel believes the bones can live again. Knowing full well that God can do the impossible, Ezekiel wisely replies, "Only You know."

And God proves to Ezekiel that He can make even the driest bones dance again.

We're all dry bones at some point in our lives. I pray that God will use this blog to remind us that He can always breathe life back into us again.