Monday, May 28, 2012


"Is it only when our lives are emptied that we’re surprised by how truly full our lives were? Instead of filling with expectations, the joy-filled expect nothing—and are filled. This breath! This oak tree! This daisy! This work! This sky! These people! This place! This day! Surprise! C. S. Lewis said he was “surprised by joy.” Perhaps there is no way to discover joy but as surprise? The way the small live. Every day. Yes, the small even have a biblical nomenclature. Doesn’t God call them the humble? The humble live surprised. The humble live by joy. I am ear and Jesus whispers to the surprised, 'God blesses those who are humble, for they will inherit the whole earth' (Matthew 5:5)."
Ann Voskamp
One Thousand Gifts

Saturday, April 7, 2012

I Work For a King

Below is an entry from my journal on January 24, 2012. I read over it again tonight and felt like I had to share:

“I work for a KING. He has put me in charge of His home. When He comes to see how I have managed His possessions, and His children, I do not want to be found wanting. I want to do my BEST. Everything I have is on loan from Him. I have room and board and a job to do, but it is all from Him. Therefore I want to dress my best and do my best in all my work. I also want to be creative, for this is a sincere attempt to glorify Him and His beautiful creation. How I manage my life is a form of worship to Him.” Lydia Sherman

Passion 2012

The quote above hit me hard this morning. I mean, it traveled with me as I got ready for school, as I drank my coffee, as I jumped on the bus, as I sat through class, as I walked home, and finally my only option was to spill out my thoughts about it to my eGroup tonight.The very thought that I serve a KING has continued to be on my heart and mind. So often I think people lose perspective on who they believe God to be. To me, God can be many things - my father, my helper, a comforter, my peace, my brother, my counsel... the list goes on. But how often do I submit to God in the realization that He is the King above all power and authority? How often do I let school, stress, relationships, procrastination, drama, keep me from spending time with the Lord? Yes, he loves it when I spend time with him, but also - He DEMANDS it. It's not just that I serve a King or that I am under his leadership. It's not just that I am privileged enough to be welcomed into his Kingdom and recognized as his own. No- I am STUNNED that my Father is the sovereign king over all creation, and he calls me his DAUGHTER. Yet sometimes, I fail to even acknowledge this sovereign King at all...

Have you ever experienced a dry season in your life where you feel like you can't hear God's voice or you can't sense His presence in your life? Maybe you are slacking on your quiet time with Him. Maybe you're so overwhelmed with everything going on in your life that you have failed to even talk to God at all lately. You're experiencing a dry season. 

"Some of you wandered for years in the desert, looking but not finding a good place to live. Half-starved and parched with thirst, staggering and stumbling, on the brink of exhaustion.Then, in your desperate condition, you called out to God...." - Psalm 107:4-5

Some of you, myself included, find that the only time you come into God's presence is when you are half-starved and parched with thirst and in great need of grace from God. Once you receive that grace and are filled to overflowing, you ride the wave for as long as it lasts. Life circumstances soon take over and suddenly, you become dry yet again in your walk with God. It's a universal routine. I've come to the realization that often, 

Dryness is a lack of perspective of who God is. 

You see, if you TRULY knew who God was - a KING - then you would always give Him your best. 
You would spend every second you could reading His word and listening for His voice. 
You would forgive your friend who hurt you. 
You would work hard at the job that you hate because you know that it's where God has placed you right now. 
You would courageously take on a sickness or an illness because you consider a challenge given to you by the King who knew you could handle it. 
You would fight the good fight in your high school because the King has made you His Commanding Officer and representative there. 
You would dress your best, do your best in all your work, and offer it to Him as a humble small token of your gratitude. 

Dryness in your walk with God is a lack of perspective of who God is. There is always something to be done for the Kingdom, and you get to be a part of it. I get to be a part of it. Don't let this scare you or intimidate you. Let's remember that the very powerful and mighty King that we serve also gave His son up for us. He let His son die so that we may live. He is merciful. He is gracious. He is loving. And He will satisfy our every need because we are special to Him. We should want to do our best for Him because how we manage our lives is a form of worship to the God who created us. What a beautiful reality.

"The LORD will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail." - Isaiah 58:11

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The Orange Code

I wanted to share something that some of the leaders at Elevation: Boone Extension have been meditating on for awhile. We are currently reading The Orange Code by Arkadi Kuhlmann and Bruce Philp. It's actually the book that Elevation Church used to found their code on which they built the church. The book is incredibly strategic in how to create a successful business and how to build strong leadership - I have found it to be absolutely brilliant so far. Our Lead Producer, Matt, shared this quote from Chapter 3 with us tonight and we were all really moved by what it stood for. Suddenly we could see ourselves in the though the "code" was written specific to us and to this ministry we are though we were being told to BRING IT DOWN FROM THE MOUNTAIN.

"What brought us here? Any one of us could make a living a hundred ways - a hundred easier ways. Why did we choose this 'road not taken'? Maybe it's because we each, for our own reasons, WANTED TO MAKE A STAND. Instead of inheriting someone else's vision, someone else's mountain, we wanted to climb our own, so that when we're done, we can look back at the trip and say, 'I did this.'

And here we are. And we realize...
The thing about making our own road is that,
WE CAN NEVER COAST, or we'll just stop. 
This place is our MOUNTAIN.
We have a good idea, something that will help people.
But it's new.
So we have to inspire them.
Every day.
And that is what makes this road so steep…
And why at the end of the day…
 It is one that not everyone is meant to take.
But they say the view is best closest to the edge.
Today, we'll stop and look.
And it will be beautiful
And tomorrow will be another mountain."

I love the way that the Elevation Boone staff and volunteers are making themselves indispensable to the cause. I love the way that we are learning to never be satisfied. We are learning to be grateful for everything, because we have seen God constantly prove Himself faithful. We are learning to brace ourselves for the fight, because we find ourselves up to the challenge. We are never discouraged for we have seen the Lord fighting FOR us. And we are in the midst of finding our one pursuit, our one desire, in relentlessly making God's name and renown famous. 

Thursday, February 2, 2012

It's not about me...

Lately, the Elevation Boone team has really been hit hard by one particular phrase - 
One of my incredibly talented best friends, Cheslie, designed a really awesome graphic to magnify the statement for us: 

Can you imagine a more incredible statement than this? Think about it - IT'S NOT ABOUT ME. It's not about my comfort. It's not about my happiness. It's not about my busy day or busy schedule. It's not about my wants and earthly desires. It's not about ME. It's all about GOD and His glory. Everything God does is so that His glory and renown may be made known. But check this out... God wants for me to GROW in my uncomfortable state. God wants for me to be happy. He wants to ease my mind and hold my busy life in His hands. He wants to fulfill and satisfy my every want and desire. It's all about Him... but God in all of His glory, loves ME. I am completely in awe of this one realization. 

My roommate, Lori, and I loved it so much that we put an "It's not about me" sign on our apartment door. This way, we see it every time we walk outside into the world and into our day.

"I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son, who loved me and gave himself FOR ME." - Galatians 2:20

Monday, January 23, 2012

A Fighter

I saw a quote by Theodore Roosevelt the other day that struck me pretty hard. I suppose it spoke to the fighter/ the warrior inside of me...

"It is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming, but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself for a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat."

I find myself longing to be the one who completely spends myself for a worthy cause- proclaiming Jesus. Who at the end of the day, knows that I fought greatly and bravely and can approach the throne knowing that my fight was not in vain because Jesus already won it for me.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Psalm 90 ...

"Lord, you have been our dwelling place throughout all generations. Before the mountains were born or you brought forth the whole world, from everlasting to everlasting YOU are God..." 
Psalm 90:1-2

"In the morning, it springs up NEW..."
Psalm 90:6a

"Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love, that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days. .."
Psalm 90:14

"May the favor of the Lord our God rest on us; establish the work of our hands for us- yes, establish the work of our hands." 
Psalm 90:17

Thursday, September 15, 2011

"Talitha Koum"

Sometimes it seems like my life is getting pretty crazy... I find myself involved in a lot of different things, keeping up with friends and schoolwork, and trying to still find time for myself and the Lord. Sometimes it's easy for me to lose focus and become overwhelmed by my ever-growing workload. This morning during my quiet time I was humbled as I remembered my Lord’s faithfulness. I love it when God brings me down off of my high horse and reminds me that it's not about me...

This morning I was reading the story of when Jesus restored a dead girl to life in Mark 5:35-43. When Jesus came to the house of the little girl, the daughter of Jairus, he said, “Why all this commotion and wailing? The child is not dead, but asleep.” He then went to the little girl and He said “Talitha koum” which means “little girl rise” in Aramaic. The girl immediately stood up and walked around. Jesus then gave strict orders not to let anyone know about this.

I was thinking about how interesting it was that Jesus didn't want anyone to know about the miracle he had performed. He had raised a little girl up from the dead and it should have been ALL about Him. Day in and day out, I feel like God has to continually raise me up and equip me to handle all that he has placed in my sphere of influence. I know that I am fully capable. I have to keep reminding myself that rather than asking God to lower the load, I need to ask Him to increase my capacity to handle it. Every day God gives me the opportunity to advance His Kingdom through my every action. He says, "Talitha Koum" and expects me to live and breathe every moment for Him. It's not about me. It's all about Him. It's my calling to make His name known by rising every day to bring Him honor and praise.