Wednesday, December 26, 2012

So much more

Lately, I've been contemplating the first chapter of Counsels on Diet and Foods. There's a lot there. It's easy to take the "health reform" message you've heard spoken of your whole life and just assume it's a beneficial thing and that's about it. Especially if you don't read the message yourself, as in my case. As I've been discovering in this (long) chapter, it's about so much more.

I'd like to just share several gems I found, and let you think on them...


"One reason why we do not enjoy more of the blessing of the Lord is, we do not heed the light which He has been pleased to give us in regard to the laws of life and health" (page 16).

"It is as truly a sin to violate the laws of our being as it is to break the ten commandments. . . . Those who transgress the law of God in their physical organism, will be inclined to violate the law of God spoken from Sinai" (page 17).

"If we weaken these powers of mind or body by wrong habits or indulgence of perverted appetite, it will be impossible for us to honor God as we should" (page 20).

"Oh, what tender mercy that [God] does not refuse the remnant of the abused life of the suffering, repentant sinner!" (page 22)

"It is impossible for those who indulge the appetite to attain to Christian perfection" (page 22).

"Those who would preserve their powers unimpaired for the service of God, must observe strict temperance in the use of His bounties, as well as total abstinence from every injurious or debasing indulgence" (page 29).

"Shall we cheapen our minds and abuse our talents by wrong eating? Shall we transgress God's holy law by following selfish practices? Shall our inconsistency become a byword? Shall we live such unchristianlike lives that the Saviour will be ashamed to call us brethren?" (page 33)

"Far better give up the name of Christian than make a profession and at the same time indulge appetites which strengthen unholy passions" (page 34).

"Men will never be truly temperate until the grace of Christ is an abiding principle in the heart" (page 35).

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Day Ten: I Blessings

Better late than never, right? :-) And since technically every day of the year should be a day of thanksgiving, I'm not too far off target. I start and never finish too many things, but this shall be a project I finish!

Today's theme is blessings that start with the letter I:

Inspiration. There's the inspired Word, yes. And that's such a big blessing. But the kind of inspiration I am really thankful for is the kind that displays itself in my day-to-day work. As a graphic designer, I depend on inspiration for creative ideas. And it is when I am really stuck that I can see just where my inspiration comes from! Though I do have an "inspiration" binder full of pages and brochures and logos and letterhead, no amount of flipping through can give me the idea I need. It's only a fresh idea from God's very hand that is what actually turns out to be the very best! I'm so glad I don't have to depend on my own brain for ideas. :-)

Images. Images are what I do. They're what I play with, work with. Even more than that, they're around me every day. My mind thinks in images. God gives us lessons in images (parables, object lessons). Imagine if life had no images... wow. They're definitely one of the beautiful things in life!

Investments. When you invest your money and/or time in something, you link your life with it. What are you investing in? I'm thankful to have the privilege to invest in the lives of young people here at work. Also, in the life of a little orphan girl in Myanmar, and a missionary in the Philippines. I carry each of these blessings on my heart every day!

Infinite One. He never began, He never ends. He is the word forever, embodied. What a blessing to have an opportunity to be connected personally with such a loving Being!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Day Nine: Difficulties


I did think about blogging, but I had a sermon to finish preparing on Friday evening, and Sabbath evening was busy too. And then Sunday was busy. And Monday was too. So even though today is busy too, I don't really have any excuses to not write again. :-) So, I shall start back up where I left off, and try to catch up as I go.

Today's (er, Friday's) theme: Difficulties God has brought me through.

As I looked back over this year, I realized that I haven't had terribly many difficulties this year. Well, I have, but smaller kinds. So I'll share a few of those seemingly insignificant ones, and how God has, once again, shown His miraculous power in each scenario.

Spiritual down times. These come somewhat often, but each time I can know that God is near me, and that each time teaches me more about Him in a different way. Oh for the day when I have a constant connection, and my selfish heart doesn't get in the way!

Stressful press weeks. Each year we have four of these! I actually enjoy some of the stress that happens during these weeks. But usually at some point, whether at the very beginning when I realize just how much I have to do, or sometime in the middle when I have a late night or two at the office, a different kind of stress envelops me. And at those times, if I choose to let Jesus take control, He will give me perfect peace in my heart, and the strength I need to keep going and get it all done.

Drama. Oh yes. We've had our share of it around here. I can't really go into detail about the drama, but I'm so glad that my God is such a calm one. :-) He's always there with simple solutions, and never-ending grace to make it through emotional trials.

Friends leaving. I've discovered recently, to my chagrin, that I am an extremely nostalgic person. It can't be all bad, but sometime in the middle of this year, I decided that I definitely needed to learn how to get past the "good old times" and live joyously in the present. Two of my close friends have left YD this year (actually, one of those just left yesterday morning), and God has been teaching me through this difficulty that He is always there, and that life ahead will be full of just-as-good times and blessings.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Day Eight: H Blessings

Today: words beginning with H. Only a few, since time is limited.

Home. Surely this has to be on everyone's list! :-) I love home. Very much a home person. But who isn't? It's so wonderful to come back from a long trip (or short, even) and realize that you have reached the place where everything is familiar. Home, sweet home. Soon, too, we will reach our heavenly home! Everything should be familiar there, too!

Heagys. Yep, Heagys are a blessing to me. :-) I love my family!

Health. Often taken for granted, this is a blessing that needs much attention and care. But God wants us to be in good health! I have been learning even more this year about the importance of many different health principles.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Day Seven: T Blessings

T is a good letter. There are plenty of blessing-ful things that start with T. :-) So I shall list them . . .

Tea. Quite nice! I don't drink regular tea but herbal tea is nice. My most recent discovery is rooibos tea, a South African "red bush" tea that is quite tasty. I've already instructed Melissa to bring me back a couple of boxes when she goes over there in a week. :-) There's nothing cozier than a mugful of tea by a crackling fire, or while sitting on a couch with a good book!

Truth. In a class I took once (from Pastor Leroy Moore), I learned the definition of truth: Jesus. The only way to really understand truth is to look to Christ. Truth is what He thinks. Everything He thinks is truth. When He speaks, what He says materializes. God cannot lie! That is such a special thought to me. This means that every promise in the Bible is pure power. God is with me. He will protect me. He will change me. He can do (and will do) all He says He will. What a blessing indeed!

Trust. There's nothing like the knowledge that you are trusted. I have experienced that blessing this year, and I treasure it. Not that I'd intentionally do things that would betray the trust of my friends, but I have learned not to take it for granted. It is something to be guarded carefully, a blessing to hold safe.

Time. It's a blessing that it often seems like there's not enough of. It seems as though I'm constantly re-checking my priorities to make sure that it's not wasted. The time I am given is a gift, and it is needful to use it in the right way. I am thankful for the time I do have!

Thankfulness. Yes, thankfulness itself is something to be thankful for. :-) It gives peace and happiness to my heart. I have a running list on my iPod of those everyday things that bring me joy, and I love looking back at them and being reminded of the happy things in life!

Transformation. I can't change myself, so what a happy thing that God can transform me!

Technical support. As I sit here pattering away on my iPod, my friend Tony is working on my computer. I have a good knowledge of the software that runs on my computer, but the inner workings are a bit of a different story. So, at times like these, I'm thankful for willing friends who gladly fiddle with life before the welcome screen. :-)

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Day Six: Meaningful Lyrics

Today's theme: lyrics that have meant something special to me this year.

I had a couple of top choices, and finally settled on this song. It is such a beautiful song, full of assurance and peace. I have played it again many times this year when wondering just what God was up to. He always reminds me that He is right there, and that no matter what happens, I can completely trust everything He does.

So many things in life change, but God never does. Never, ever.

Your Faithfulness
Brian Doerksen

I don't know what this day will bring
Will it be disappointing, filled with longed for things?
I don't know what tomorrow holds
Still I know I can trust Your faithfulness

I don't know if these clouds mean rain
If they do, will they pour down blessing or pain?
I don't know what the future holds
Still I know I can trust Your faithfulness

Certain as the rivers reach the sea
Certain as the sunrise in the east
I can rest in your faithfulness
Surer than a mother's tender love
Surer than the stars still shine above
I can rest in your faithfulness

I don't know how or when I'll die
Will it be a thief, or will I have a chance to say goodbye?
No, I don't know how much time is left
But in the end, I will know your faithfulness

When darkness overwhelms my soul
When thoughts and storms of doubt
Still I trust You are always faithful, always faithful

Certain as the rivers reach the sea
Certain as the sunrise in the east
I can rest in your faithfulness
Surer than a mother's tender love
Surer than the stars still shine above
I can rest in your faithfulness

I don't know what this day will bring
Will it be disappointing, filled with longed for things?
I don't know what tomorrow holds
Still I know I can trust Your faithfulness

Monday, November 12, 2012

Day Five: Miracles

As I sat down to write for today’s theme, I wondered if I even had any miracles or answered prayers to write about. Of course I have had them, but off the top of my head, I couldn’t think of many. But as my friend Kezzia reminded me, they don’t have to be miracles in the conventional way. Miracles can happen in an instant, or over a long period of time. Sometimes answers to prayer aren’t discernible until the struggle is over. But they are there just the same, and waiting for me to look back and remember them.

This year, I really have had many miracles and answered prayers. They’re more of the less-discernible type, but they’re definitely miracles, and I’m thankful for every one.

Probably the most obvious miracles have to do with my car. My dear (problematic) car has had many issues. I’ve stayed in town more than once waiting for it to get fixed. These experiences with my car have taught me and changed me. I still hate to hear a not-nice sound, but God continues to teach me to rely on Him and rest my thoughts in Him. Recently, I had plans to visit my family for the weekend, to spend time with my mom for her birthday, but my car was making bad noises, so I finally agreed to have my friends look at it. Their diagnosis? I couldn’t make the trip. But I had prayed about it, and God had given me peace for no matter what happened. I made a couple of phone calls, and was (amazingly) able to get my car in that Friday afternoon and get the problem fixed right away. And I was able to go on to my family’s home that day! God had not only given me peace, but He helped me get home. What a special answer that was!

As mentioned in my first post, one of the big blessings this year has been answers to prayers pertaining to future plans and dreams. Those plans are still in the works, and not disclosable until they’re more final, but it has been amazing to see clear answers as to God’s leading.

God has given me the strength needed to lead out in youth outreach activities when a headache made me want to stay in bed instead. He’s opened my eyes to deeper truths in His Word. He’s given me good things to think about when my thoughts wander. He’s designed magazine pages for me when all I had was a blank screen (and brain). God has changed (and is changing) me to be more responsible and disciplined. He’s done these, and so much more.

In order to have answered prayers, prayer itself is essential. I want to keep the way open for God to perform miracles in my life!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Day Four: E Blessings

Some of this year's blessings that begin with the letter E...


Without them, it'd be hard for me to see. And I finally got a new pair this year (plus some contacts, which I actually wear more often, but those don't start with E)! It's so wonderful to be able to see stars, faraway signs, and . . .

Extraordinary mountaintop views.

Views like these make climbing steep hills worth it! Not to mention spending the time up there with good friends. This particular trip, we spent 2-3 hours up there, just talking. :-) Fun times!


Yes, this year has produced much of this, as is usually the case. :-) A new garden, car troubles, another year of figuring out taxes, and many more things have given me experience in these areas. I'm glad I'll know how to work with (and deal with) more things in the future. :-)


No, I'm not one myself. But I have many friends and family around me who are! So I can be thankful, indeed, for those who bring bounciness to my life. :-)

Every moment that makes me think.

Like the time I (finally) re-found the little cemetery out on the prairie where my grandma is buried. The quiet breeze over the tall grass... the small dust-covered stone with roses, engraved on it... made me think about special memories with her. Black nights with twinkling stars overhead... made me remember how tiny I am; how vast God is.


Do workbees ending in a huge bonfire count as exciting? I think so. :-D And excitement about upcoming trips and events, victories achieved... ah. Blessing indeed. :-)

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Day Three: Special Scriptures

It is heading toward the late end of the day, so this won't be terribly long... but I wanted to make sure I didn't miss today's blessing-blog. :-)

The theme of today is Scriptures that have been a special blessing to me this year. There are only a few main ones that come to mind, that have been the subject of much contemplation and encouragement, although I have been blessed by many others during the studies of this year. This particular chapter that I want to share has been referred to and thought about much over the course of the last several months. It is quite encouraging to me! (I've added in a couple of thoughts, in brackets.)

Isaiah 54 
1. Sing, O barren, thou that didst not bear; break forth into singing, and cry aloud, thou that didst not travail with child: for more are the children of the desolate [or single woman] than the children of the married wife, saith the LORD.

2. Enlarge the place of thy tent, and let them stretch forth the curtains of thine habitations: spare not, lengthen thy cords, and strengthen thy stakes;

3. For thou shalt break forth on the right hand and on the left; and thy seed shall inherit the Gentiles, and make the desolate cities to be inhabited.

4. Fear not; for thou shalt not be ashamed: neither be thou confounded; for thou shalt not be put to shame: for thou shalt forget the shame of thy youth, and shalt not remember the reproach of thy widowhood any more.

5. For thy Maker is thine husband; the LORD of hosts is his name; and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; The God of the whole earth shall he be called. [what a husband!]

6. For the LORD hath called thee as a woman forsaken and grieved in spirit, and a wife of youth, when thou wast refused, saith thy God.

7. For a small moment have I forsaken thee; but with great mercies will I gather thee.

8. In a little wrath I hid my face from thee for a moment; but with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee, saith the LORD thy Redeemer.

9. For this is as the waters of Noah unto me: for as I have sworn that the waters of Noah should no more go over the earth; so have I sworn that I would not be wroth with thee, nor rebuke thee.

10. For the mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed; but my kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed, saith the LORD that hath mercy on thee.

11. O thou afflicted, tossed with tempest, and not comforted, behold, I will lay thy stones with fair colours, and lay thy foundations with sapphires.

12. And I will make thy windows of agates, and thy gates of carbuncles, and all thy borders of pleasant stones.

13. And all thy children shall be taught of the LORD; and great shall be the peace of thy children.

14. In righteousness shalt thou be established: thou shalt be far from oppression; for thou shalt not fear: and from terror; for it shall not come near thee.

15. Behold, they shall surely gather together, but not by me: whosoever shall gather together against thee shall fall for thy sake.

16. Behold, I have created the smith that bloweth the coals in the fire, and that bringeth forth an instrument for his work; and I have created the waster to destroy.

17. No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their righteousness is of me, saith the LORD.

What peace, what encouragement this passage provides. God is my Husband; He provides me with children though I have none of my own. He promises that though things at hand seem difficult, He is making something beautiful out of my life. Special thoughts to my heart!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Day Two: Capturing Memories

Do you have a journal?

You should.

I began writing in a journal when I was 12, to record the events of an upcoming family vacation. I'd done a tiny bit of diary-writing before that, but nothing consistent. Since then, I've filled three and a half notebooks and who knows how many computer pages with events of life, miracles from God, lessons learned, and real words. Words that I can write because no one reads them. I don't have to proofread myself, or say words that might sound fluffy and fake. I love it! :-)

However, there's more reason for journaling than to simply vent my feelings or express my hopes and dreams. There's more to it than jotting down the ways God has led me, to make me realize at that moment how He is guiding. It's not just for the current; it's an investment for the future.

Occasionally, as I finish up an entry, I flip or click back towards the beginning and read words written days, weeks, and months before. Sometimes I even pull a box out from under my bed and read pages recorded in years gone by.

The result is the same every time: I am awed by the ways I have grown and the lessons God has taught me.

A few weeks ago, I scrolled through computer journal pages from December, January and February. Wow. Those three months were amazing ones. I realized just how much I had forgotten of the beauty, peace, and joy of that time in life. Here are a few excerpts to give you a peek:

January 1, 2012 - 11:53 a.m.
This blog post (some of my blog posts are actually journal entries).

January 2, 2012 - 8:40 a.m.
Filled. It's the perfect word for what I have experienced in the past few weeks. True, there have been ups and downs, but true to His promise, God has filled me--and is still in the process of filling. I'm sitting here on my couch, thinking of the night [three weeks before] when I was home alone. I experienced God's true peace, and it was the first time in a long time that I surrendered it all. I sat here just in front of the Christmas tree like I'm doing now. And now, I am back at last, filled and desiring more. God is so good. More than good--He's amazing!

January 7, 2012 - 2:51 p.m.
This week I've been discovering just how challenging it is going to be to live completely and fully for Christ--letting Him live through me. When you're back at home where everything is go, go, go… with often no chance to catch your breath, things tend to fall apart. Resolutions fail, schedules stretch, stress rises. It's definitely going to be a challenge. But I want it more than anything! At least, my head does. My heart… it's a little more prone to head the wrong direction. But God is faithful.

January 29, 2012 - 8:18 p.m.
This morning I had an extra-long devotional time, reading from Patriarchs and Prophets and Authentic Beauty. I am realizing more and more the shortness of the time we live in, and feel an intense urge to KNOW God. Really know Him. Time is so short!! I really want to learn to build my entire life around Him. I think I need to think more about what that will really mean for my life today. What do I need to give up in order to truly follow Him?

February 2, 2012 - 1:44 a.m.
Another blog post.

February 3, 2012 - 7:35 a.m.
Something is happening. And it's good. The elders' meeting I was invited to last night.... all about evangelism, doing something we've never done before in our church. Our Friday night youth meetings… all of us searching for meaning, purpose, connection. ____'s burning desire for service. Mr. ____'s burden for souls. My longing to do more. ____'s bold idea to scrap structure and do the work instead. The willingness of youth to actually attend prayer meeting. The realness of the people at GYC. ____'s three apologies, in a quest to draw closer to Jesus. Pastor Folkenberg's genuine appeals to win hearts in UCC. So much is happening, more than I've ever seen before. Surely Jesus is coming soon.... I want to be ready.

February 10, 2012 - 6:25 a.m.
I decided yesterday that we need a picture of Jesus in our office. All the work we do is for Him; why not behold His beautiful face every day as we work?? There is nothing else to remind us of Him. Or maybe I could simply put a picture of Him on my computer, then I could look at Him whenever I wanted. I just feel like the work I do is for Him but I don't think of Him as I do the work.

February 12, 2012 - 9:57 p.m.
Trying to comprehend the infinite love of my heavenly Father... I picture my own daddy. I picture dads of friends who  I consider almost like my own. I think about how my heavenly Father is like that, only better. He loves me just as much, only more....

February 15, 2012 - 7:59 p.m.
Am I willing to be one of God's etceteras? That was an interesting challenge to me as I listened to one of Eric Ludy's Bravehearted Thots this evening. An etcetera. Not a somebody. Not someone whose name is known. Simply an etc. in the list of people who have done the most for God's cause. Am I willing?

Reading these kinds of words, I can't help but be re-inspired to follow Christ more than I ever have before. My heartbeat quickens, my brain begins running in a track. What must I do? How can I do it?

If you don't journal already, I encourage you, go find a notebook or computer notepad and write down what God did for you today. Then do it again tomorrow. And the day after. Your future self will appreciate it, and be changed because of your words today.

(Today's special blessing was supposed to begin with an R - I chose reading my journal. :-)

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Day One: Great Memories & Thankful Things

Great memories. Hm...

I switch over to Google Calendar and click arrows back to January...

* * * * *

Jessica to Do and Dare Camp. Aha! Great memory there - the rest of us girls at home were afraid of getting sick from wintertime bugs that were making their rounds, so we ate a ton of garlic the night that Jessica came home. And then I had to go pick her up from YD... oops. Sorry! ;-)

Or the day I finally sent the Sabbath School bags off to Voice of the Martyrs after a whole year of them sitting in my car, then my room, then the shed, then my car again. What a good feeling to have that done!

An evening meeting with the elders, about evangelism plans for the new year - resulting in a two-quarter-long evangelism training class that I'd been wanting to do for a long time. Exciting things began happening!

A visit to the Martins' home. (Need I say more? It was relaxing and a lot of fun, as usual.)

A trip home to Walla Walla with the girls for my birthday. :) We were surprised with amazing weather for February - at least 60 degrees!

Jury duty day, which resulted in a surprise meet-up with Sammy, and a lunch in the park with her. (She was chosen to be on the jury; I wasn't.)

Planting baby seeds for the first time indoors with grow lights. So much fun to watch them sprout!

The beginnings of Acts memorization. I'm not up to date by any means now, but I learned that it's not hard at all to memorize several chapters within a couple of months! I will be trying that again next year, I'm sure. :-)

Roller skating in Spokane; watching little friends attempt and succeed. And skating around a rink with a little hand hanging on for dear life... special times!

Cami's graduation warranted another Martin visit. (with Brown twins, too!)

A last-minute acceptance of an invitation to Sammy's birthday party. (So glad I could go!)

Cheyenne's surprise visit. Yup. Memories made. ;-)

YD Camp 2012... last fun times with Nathan, and new friends made.

Camping with Melissa and her brother and boyfriend. (Kyle, I think that one went south...)

A last-minute dash to NWYC that resulted in me participating in two nearly-impromptu special musics. Great friends!! :-)

A camping trip with my family to the middle of nowhere.

Looking at stars and galaxies through Josh's telescope. There are some pretty awesome "fuzzies" out there! ;-)

Answered prayers in regards to future plans.

* * * * *

Ah, time does fly. But these memories put a smile on my face! God really has been so good this year, in spiritual matters, and plain old life. :-)

Tuesday, November 6, 2012


I haven't been here since July.

Since then, friends have moved away, magazines have gone to press twice, I've gone on camping and hiking trips, new YD staff have arrived, and the church evangelism training class has ended.

And yet, a little over three months' absence is only a quarter of 2012. Time has dashed by and I don't often get a chance to stop and think about what it has produced.

And so, it's only fitting that I begin blogging again with a time of reflection over the past year. A friend of a friend is leading a blessing-a-day challenge, called GreaThings - two weeks of specifics to ponder and remember.

What has God done for you? Will you join us?

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

It's over

Camp came... and went.


Child Evangelism class

RC Airplanes class

Digital Photography class

Firebuilding class

Health Evangelism class

A few spare minutes...

Unit sharing - each person shares from their devotions 

Line call

Second week campfire

Fishers of Men unit

One of those who caught the fire :)

Sabbath afternoon outreach - Health Evangelism class


Even though I was sequestered away up in my little office on the hill for most of camp, I had a few special opportunities to spend time with campers during the space of two weeks. Choir practice afforded me a spot next to a camper who made a very special decision by the end of the week (see her counselor's post here).  Two nights as a relief counselor put me in the youngest girls' unit one night and the oldest unit the next - very different!  One Friday afternoon I spent some time with the RC Airplanes class. With each wedge into the camp experience, I was able to spend quality time with individuals who were willing to talk and share their heart. It was so special!

Only three nights ago, I sat on a log bench and listened to teen after teen share how much Christ meant to them, how they had been changed because of camp, and how they were going to live their lives differently than before. More than one made a public 100% commitment to Christ - and I could tell they were serious.

Just imagine how quickly God's work could get done with consecrated young people like these sharing with everyone they know! Life is tough, and there are obstacles to overcome. But with God's strength, these youth can go anywhere and do anything for Him! I can't wait to see the way He leads their lives. :)

"With such an army of workers as our youth, rightly trained, might furnish, how soon the message of a crucified, risen, and soon-coming Saviour might be carried to the whole world! How soon might the end come—the end of suffering and sorrow and sin!"*

*Education, page 272
Photos by Jonathan Hill.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Rocks = hearts

On my way back up to my creekside office from Earth Lodge, I often stop at the rock garden, which records campers and counselors from years gone by at Young Disciple Youth Bible Camp. It's a lot of fun to examine the jumbled array of faded names, years, and creativity. Each one prompts a memory of the person it represents.

But when I walked by the other day, a different realization hit me. As I looked over the rocks, it dawned on me...

These represent hearts.

Each rock stands for one young person whose life has been influenced in some way or another by the camp(s) they attended.

It's not just a few rocks, either. There's a whole pile. Think about it: a minimum of 60 campers per week (usually many more than that). Multiply that by the number of camps held at YD since moving to Washington in 1999 (at least 24 if not more). It adds up!

These campers have left their mark at YD, but YD has left its mark on their hearts. And they will never be the same. God spoke to them at camp, and whether they listened or not, they were pointed toward the goal of establishing a living relationship with Jesus. It's our prayer that they will follow after that goal!

In just five days, counselors will arrive to begin orientation, to learn how to reach the hearts of their campers and draw them to Jesus. Pray that they will be able to consecrate their minds and hearts to God so He can use them to change lives.

Pray for the campers. Pray that their hearts will be touched by the words, the actions, the sights, the sounds, the messages of YD Camp. Pray that they won't pass up the opportunity to learn how to live a true, happy, and fulfilled Christian life.

Just pretty rocks? Not at all. They're so much more. And I want to be a part of the influence for eternity!

Won't you pray?

Young Disciple Youth Bible Camp: July 11-29, 2012

Wednesday, June 13, 2012


I wave my little blue keychain across the keypad to deactivate the alarm. Beep! I step inside the office. A stream of sunshine greets me through the window. Setting my bags on the cabinet next to my desk, I slide my notebook out of its case and snap it into the dock. Power on…

So begins my day.

Every so often, I shiver with excitement as I realize a simple fact: I love my job.

It's an amazing combination of creative graphic design and spiritual encouragement for young people. To the casual observer, it might seem like a regular job, but it's not. Not at all. My work has purpose. I don't work for the sake of climbing any corporate ladder, or enticing people through design to buy needless products. I work for a much higher goal:

Inspiring young people to follow Jesus.

Suddenly, I’m no longer sitting in my chair. I’m kneeling by my bed, agonizing—a frustrated 15-year-old at the end of her rope. A longing inside me burns for something that will satisfy my heart, and change me. Nothing is working. I don’t know what to do.

Then I remember. I reach into my bedside drawer, underneath my Bible, and pull out a purple-tinted magazine. I open it to the middle, the Bible lesson. The title: Conversion and Righteousness by Faith. Could this possibly hold what I’m looking for?

And so began my study of the Young Disciple Bible lessons. Each one encouraged me to dig deeper in the Word, and strengthen my connection with Jesus. On the days I spent time studying in the morning, I actually had peace throughout my day.

The memory fades. I lean back in my chair and smile at the sunshine. I smile at the ways God reached me, and I long to be the means to reach other young people who are searching in the same way. The work I do, the work I love, is this means. God not only fills my desire for purpose, but inspires young people to serve Him. Isn't He amazing?

Sunday, April 8, 2012

His dreams

Wow. Talk about inspiration to get out and tell people about Jesus! My friend Sammy showed this video at our church evangelism training class and it re-motivated me to my true purpose in life.

Something I learned while at AFCOE: Once you've learned the principles of evangelism, you can't just go back to your regular job and say that it was a great and awesome experience. You become accountable to use what you learned for the rest of your life. Your calling in life is soul winning. 

You might be a mechanic, a nurse, a designer, a student, a lawyer, a writer, a cashier, an IT, or any number of things, but that is only your way to earn money and survive. Your actual occupation is to be a soul winner.

Don't make the mistake of following your own dreams when God's are so much more grand than you could ever imagine. He has a special work for you to do, even if simply at home, and He will give you the courage and energy to do it. Be prepared for a life of ultimate adventure!

Lord, send me anywhere, only go with me.
Lay any burden on me, only sustain me.
Sever every tie, save the tie that binds me to Thy heart.

Friday, March 9, 2012

The pain of words

"The tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God" (James 3:8, 9).

Oh, to take words back...

I've never considered myself a "speak-before-you-think" person, but lately I find myself wondering. Words can hurt, oh so much. And even though I might think I'm saying the right thing, I find out too late that I said the very worst thing.

My only remaining hope is forgiveness. And if my words of repentance meet with a cold, hurting heart... it's then that I realize the enormity of my quickly-spoken words.

They stare at me, haunt me, make me cry. Why couldn't I see? Why didn't I stop and pray before I spoke? Why didn't I think?

Here is where I realize a fact of life: "Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief" (1 Timothy 1:15). It's me, and no one else. I'm the chief, and He came to save me. Who am I to point out something in someone else when it's me who needs Him the most? People need to know that He died to save, but they're not going to hear it while I see myself as better than them, even if subconsciously.

I am glad that I never meet with coldness in my Father's heart. My words hurt Him, too, but He never turns me away. Oh to be more like Him--to speak, to forgive, to love. He gives peace for the pain, but I will never be the same. It takes a lot of time to heal the wounds from an e-mail written in five minutes.

I'm guessing that healing will be the theme of my prayers for a while. If you think of it, would you pray for it, too?

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Do I mean it?

My eyes fly open. It's time.

I reach for my phone to see what the numbers say…

1:01 AM.

I sigh. Lord, surely You don't mean NOW. I know I told You anytime was fine, but ONE? That's just too much…

I get up, use the restroom, my mind confused. Now what do I do? I told Him I would trust Him… but I can't get (and stay) up now!

I climb onto my bed. Maybe if I go back to sleep, He'll wake me up again at 3 AM. That just sounds way better than one…

Then the thought strikes me: He wants to see if I really mean it.

Do I? Were last night's words genuine or just play?

"Lord, wake me up whenever You want me to. You know how much time I really need to spend with You, so I give you permission to wake me up tomorrow morning. (Only, maybe not at 2? I'll trust what You decide, but it would sure be nice to not be then…)"

A decision must be made.

Do I mean it?

Of course I mean it. But I need a special measure of grace to actually get up…

And He gives it.

Five hours of time with God! What greater blessing?

"The Lord GOD . . . He wakeneth morning by morning, He wakeneth mine ear to hear as the learned" (Isaiah 50:4).

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Discovery of the year

Hello to the new year! Somehow I sense that this year is just going to be the very best ever. I have been inspired and changed by GYC, and I want to carry its principles home with me. I want to work more than ever for God's service. I want my church to be revived. I want prayer to be a huge part of my life. I want to do all I can to reach souls for Jesus. But there's something different than I've had before. Something that's somehow been overlooked, even though it's stood right in front of me for as long as I have known. A requirement that precedes all priorities and desires to do right:

I must constantly be in contact with Jesus and filled with the Holy Spirit's power.

Last year I tried to do all I could to be of service to God. But that's just what happened--it was all that I could do, which isn't worth anything at all! By the end of last year (2011), I was so tired out from everything I was trying to do that I just couldn't grow any more. But I've made the above discovery that was an obvious one. A "duh" moment...

There is NO WAY that I can do any of the things God wants me to do without His strength, and without being filled with His Holy Spirit. I've been a fool to even attempt those things!

This year, 2012, I want to rethink my plans. Over the past week, I have been evaluating the last year and deciding what needs to change. But even now, I'm not so sure that those plans are what God would have me do every day. I pray that as I decide on my goals and aims, the Lord will shape me to be more like Him.

I want to reach my home town. I want to do my utmost best at work. I want my church to experience true revival. I want to entrust my future to my Creator.

And how is this to be done?

Only through the divine strength of the Holy Spirit. Through quality time spent before His throne, in prayer and study of His Word.

A happy new year to you!