Last night I pulled my grumpy self into bed and flipped off the light only to have my phone promptly ring. Answering I hear the voice of one of my bro’s say “Get outside, you’re going for a drive with me”.  After lamenting that I was already in bed I did grab a sweatshirt and sulked outside, glaring as I climbed into the car. Undaunted by my bad attitude he promptly tells me to be thankful, “As soon as I get a girlfriend I can’t do this anymore.” I was thankful, that I didn’t have to go to bed grumpy, that the Lord sent me a friend, and that I was able to be out in the clean air and see the stars a little while driving. But someone tell me why getting a girlfriend means you can’t be friends with your girl – friends anymore, hhmmm?

The last carton of Icecream that I bought was Organic All Natural Alden’s Chocolate Chocolate Chip, and it was fantastic. I also just finished it which is unfortunate because I don’t get paid till Monday and one of my life goals is to eat ice cream everyday.

I’ve been actively resisting the coming of fall for different reasons. 1)I have really enjoyed this summer 2)I don’t like to be cold 3) I couldn’t remember liking fall. But then I realized that was because I couldn’t remember LAST fall which was strange only until I remembered that LAST fall we were in CA and didn’t experience a midwest fall. Once I pegged the emotion to the fact, I remembered that I DO in fact like fall. I like bonfires and tea, falling leaves and walks, cool evenings and stew and pies and holidays and people. And change. The ending of seasons and beginning of seasons.

Danika brought her espresso machine to my house this morning and I made pancakes. We fellowshipped over latte’s and communed with Holy Spirit as we talked about Him and wanting burning hearts. I want to fellowship with ALL of my friends and have my heart burn.

My guitar sounds better when other people play it. This is a travesty as I am the one who mostly plays it.

A friend of ours is moving to San Diego next week, and my heart goes with her in so many ways. The good news is that she is staying with us for all of THIS week, and we’ve decided to make videos….everyday. We already planned on making a video for annie about the song we sang at her going away party, and shot a Teaser last night.

Friendship revelation of the week: There are people in my life who I have been close to and had fellowship with, and now I am not, and that’s ok. It’s ok  to release  them to whatever else and whoever else may come into their lives.  On the other hand there are people around my life that I want to be friends with because I believe that there COULD be true fellowship, but I can’t make that happen either and each has to be walked out gently, with pure heart motives, and consideration.

Tomorrow morning we are going to the City market to buy blueberries. By morning I mean noon thirty because it’s 3.45 am and I am skyping Annie.

Last week  I bought a couch, and a lamp with vines and leaves on it. I now own a couch. That I bought. And a lamp that I prayed to find and Jesus gave it to me.  Thanks Jesus.


Change is coming

My life schedule has to change. Period.

Because it’s 1 am and I want to be somewhere off Blue River by the lake. Or up at Grace Point. Or down at Shiloh, but I am a girl. And though I am strong willed, I can say boldly that the Lord has done many things in my life over the last 4 years, and a measure of my pride HAS been broken. In saying this I have found myself at the beginning of fall – the most BEAUTIFUL time to be outside late at night – without any late night friends.

Without any late night friends I will stay stuck in my house at 1 am, frustrated because I want to be outside.

My life schedule has to change. Or I need to build a tree house in the backyard….

When You said “Seek my face”

For the past two months I’ve been asking to remember the ways that I used to burn for Him in the middle of the night; what was it that made me walk away from the grandiose plans of my life?

Going about my day trying to get every item marked off on my list, going to the prayer room & then coming home, I find myself in bed at night wondering where my dreams went. I used to have a heart that beat with passion, that bled with each beat, that longed to be a friend to God.

Walking past the map-wall in the prayer room I had a flicker of a memory – like a last flame flying up out of the embers of a burnt out fire. Night after night leaning into the nations & praying for revival with only whispers from a weak heart begging to believe that God would still go to them if I never did. And if all that I did do was pray from that room.

4 years later & the only things I DO know: sleeping on a cot for 6 months didn’t make me any more of a “real missionary”, & finally getting a real mattress didn’t make me less of one. Julie will have a dream whenever big transitions are happening, & it WILL come to pass, & will probably hurt as much as I thought it would when she told us all the dream. I did not loose my life in God by switching off the Nightwatch,  & when I quit singing in March of 08 I had no idea how hard it would be to try & get back on a team when I tried again in August of 09. And when I came to Kansas City, I really did think I was leaving in 3 months.

Nothing ever happens the way that I expect. But when You said “Come seek My face” my heart said “Your face Lord, I WILL SEEK!” And I will. So I’ve rearranged my schedule….again. And I’m playing my guitar everyday,  just so I can sing the word to my soul & to His heart. I’m going to start sieging again & I’m committed for 4 hours every Wednesday night to cry out for California. I’m writing a lot more & sitting outside. And as I’m slowly turning back to the things that made my heart BURN when I got here 4 years ago, I’m starting to see His face again.

Someday I’ll learn to blog briefly

1.50 am.

If I cry after midnight then I am ruined. There is something about tears, trickling slowly out the corners or pouring down my face, either way the release brings awareness, not sleep to my bones

While doing laundry in the silent house it hit me, “I get really grumpy when my foot hurts.” This revelation brought waves of questions, pains and fears related to the whole “foot issue” and instead of dealing with any of them i got on the internet. Joanna has posted some new music and I click on the top one….then replayed it for two hours.

I knew what I was getting into when I called you, and I’m not surprised by you. I knew what I was getting into when I said your name and I said it just the same. I know you better than you do. I knew what I was getting into when I chose you but I chose you still. I  knew what I was getting into, I know your frame, and I remember that you are but dust and I know where this is going…..I don’t regret it.

Really I didn’t cry until hour 2.5 but suddenly that hit me. That line right there, “I remember that you are but dust, but I know where this is going, I don’t regret it”. Because sometimes I regret it. There are times when the battle in my soul is raging and I accuse the Lord of So. Many. Things. When I remember OH how I remember the zeal of my youth and I wonder “just what AM I doing with my life anyway?”

But He knew.

The summer of 2004 found me in San Salvador, El Salvador serving a ministry called Castillo del Rey.There I was first introduced to the concept of 24/7 prayer in their Prayer Tower, where 24 hours a day they housed missionaries who had no part of their ministry, but to pray. Half of the day they sang the bible and worship music and used instruments, but during the night, they chanted the psalms Gregorian monk style: accapella harmonies. In that place I hungered, and I accused God. Sitting on the roof of the building, starring into a pitch black sky shot with shinning stars, the sound of prayer rising up from below I cried out to the Lord, “Why did You make it so hard to love You! Why isn’t there a place in AMERICA where people can go and just love You with all of their hearts?”.

A little over one single year later, and I found myself again in the middle of the night, bitterly weeping. Standing in the back of that brown prayer room, leaning up against a huge map of the world that is the back wall with my hands spread across the nations, knowing that the Lord was inviting me to stay in Kansas City, and do what? Love Him with all of my heart.

How fickle that heart can be.

That morning a few interns gathered to my car for our morning Shiloh-breaking-curfew-ritual and I could feel despair rising in my soul, wondering how I could ever live up to all that God expected when He looked at IHOP, wondering if He ever thought of the Prophetic History and actually saw ANY of us making it. We sat by the frozen lake, silent, as the wind HOWLED around us and suddenly, the sun burst over the horizon and everything was gold.

Grabbing my guitar from the car I walked far enough away to leave them in peace and strummed those 4 chords as hard as I could, mourning with understanding that I would never be what God wanted me to be, never do the things I dreamed for Him. Really I don’t know why, but as quickly as I’d started I stopped and reached down at my feet as though something there could save me. My fingers clasped a broken, frozen lump of clay.  And in that dried up riverbed, the wind roaring all around, my ears heard the words”He remembers…”

You remember that we are but dust, but You know where this is going. And we’re going to like it, and we’re going to REALLY love You when this is over.

“Thoughts on Health care” Out of the Mouth of Randy

Below is an article that my good friend and spiritual leader Randy Bohlender posted recently, if you’d like to read it straight from his page, click here. Other wise enjoy, and let me know what you think 🙂

Thoughts on health care and the church.

Posted on August 11, 2009 by randybohlender

In recent months, I’ve spent more time writing on family issues. That doesn’t mean I’ve kept my head completely in a bucket regarding national events, but they’ve taken a back seat to important things like diapers and destiny. This morning, driving to the prayer room and listening to NPR, diapers, destiny and health care all converged on me.

Let me preface by pointing out the obvious. I’m pretty conservative….particularly for a guy with three earrings. I have very strong political beliefs shaped by my moral beliefs. I think it should be that way. At the same time, I don’t buy into a lot of the conservative rumor mill or radio shows. On the rare opportunities I have to see it, I yell at FOX News as loudly as I do at CNN. I don’t forward emails. I’m pretty sure the President really is a US citizen. My bumper stickers are for things like In-n-Out. I don’t have the energy to listen to conservative talk radio (How can you be that mad every day?). What I do listen to and read usually contradicts what I believe. I’m okay with that. In fact, I do it on purpose. I find it far more interesting.

I’m only offering that snippet to explain that as I start this mini-rant, it’s not because I can’t tolerate to be in a room with a differing opinion . It’s because I fear for the state of the leadership of the church, which seems hell bent on appearing kind, even at the expense of being Godly.

This morning, the radio was doing a spot on a new initiative between President Obama and religious leaders entitled 40 Days for Health Reform. The brief radio piece featured quotes from Soujourner’s Jim Wallis and other religious leaders.

One pastor was quoted as saying – paraphrased here, although I think the quote is about 90% dead on, I was driving and couldn’t write it down – “We need to realize that healthcare is an issue of human rights and pass a healthcare reform bill even if we don’t agree on the details.” It was shortly after this that I attempted to rip the stereo from my truck dash and throw it into the river as I crossed the Red Bridge.

It is false nobility to agree on the broad brush strokes and ignore the details when the things in the details are life and death issues – particularly life and death for the most vulnerable in our society, the unborn and the elderly.

I am not proposing that we do nothing. I don’t know of anyone who thinks the system is working for everyone. Even if it works for most, we do have an obligation to those who are falling through the cracks. I am for caring for people…but I am not willing to become so romantically entagled with the fable of helping people that we ignore the details.

Pastors and leaders, those details that you suggest we gloss over….those details are where the devil dwells.

For thousands of years, he has haunted the details of our narratives and solutions. Satan has never argued with us about who is on the throne, only in how we relate to He who is on the throne. From Genesis, he has convoluted the details. “Did God really say…?” “You shall surely not die….”. His most boldface lies always appear to be slight tweaks of the truth – things that the more reasonable among us would tell us we should look over in the name of making progress or doing good.

Do not become so consumed with the myth that we are making progress on health care if the details of the plan push forward an agenda that has you paying for abortions that you claim to oppose.

Those details are important – perhaps not to you, perhaps not to your fame or the size of your congregation or your desire to appear compassionate – but certainly to the child whose destiny is snuffed out. Certainly to that elderly person whose value might be questioned by a society consumed with the idea of population control and social efficiency.

To roll over and concede on issues like abortion and care of the elderly is to display one of two things: a lack of faith that God can affect real change or the shameful reality that many of us as leaders don’t care enough about these issues to go to the mat on them.

I’m for some form of health care reform…but not reform at any cost. Now is the time for the politicians that the church has been in bed with for so many years to step up with a plan of their own that honors people and God with a healthy regard for life.”

3pm French Press

Today is Friday.  Last night Katrina and I sat on the porch burning through boxes of sparklers and I nearly convinced her to sell everything and move to Africa, but since she didn’t FULLY agree, I think I’ll stay for awhile.

After an eventful & emotional morning of prayer and tears with my housemate, I made it to the office and dove into the fury that is the Media Department at IHOP right now.  At one point I realized that my energy was lagging and looking at the clock I realized it was 3pm and thought “Yup, time for some french press.”

Is it bad that my life has driven me to need 2 cups of strong coffee at 3pm each afternoon? I don’t know, but I just want to state boldly that I as somewhat of a praying monk, I am thankful for that goat herder.

Tonight we have bible study and Joshua is taking us week by week through the chapters of Hebrews which happens to be one of my favorite books. If you’d like to come it starts at 7 and at 9 we are eating pizza. The air outside is delicious, and much as I HATE to see summer coming to a close I can’t deny that I LOVE the smell of fall.

Tomorrow I plan to firs,t work on my tan before my chance is gone, second, try to sell some furniture and third buy a couch. The couch that I’m looking at is a Restoration Hardware piece that’s being sold for $320 (reduced from $500) and I currently have about $275 in my bank account so if anyone wants to donate to the Styles Couch fund, by all means please do!

Happy Friday everyone.  Happy Zack is back with Random Ranting Friday. Happy summer is ending but it’s ok because fall is wonderful. Happy I finally made it through all the purchase orders AND voice mails day. And if your day has been lousy, please take a minute to breathe deeply and call your soul to remember that your Father in heaven DEEPLY loves you and has everything in control.

Oh yeah, and Annie, I still miss you :*

Ps 84 – Found my home

Psalm 84 is always faithful to realign my thoughts and my heart with perspective on what I am doing and where I am going.

This morning was rough. My good friend Annie moved away, I woke to an awesome rainstorm and a terrible migraine, and when I checked my email looking for a response that I’ve been looking for for several weeks now, and still hadn’t received it, I was a little discouraged.

After getting ready for work, making some comida to take with me and losing about half of the things that I needed to have as I walked out the door my flesh began to rise up, MUCH louder than my spirit. As my irritation increased I suddenly stopped and realized that I didn’t want to go to work and the list of things that were waiting for me in that attitude. So laying everything down right by the door, I walked back to my room, shut the door, and picked up my bible and guitar.

Plopping down on the bed my bible literally FELL open to….Ps. 84. I strummed and strummed and began to sing the familiar passage. My home is in Your presence.

Peace washed over me as the Lord reminded me that all those things that matter so much during the day will probably not mean anything in a few weeks, but what will matter forever and what gives me strength to stand today, is that I have been adopted into the Family of God, and my home is where He is. No matter my confusion over my emotions or decisions, no matter who rejects and abandons me, no matter how many things  fall apart and which dreams disappear over the horizon, my hope is in a city where I will live, LIVE, REAL LIFE forever, and the Man who is the King of it all.

And all day long, as things went wrong and I STILL didn’t get on top of my to-do list, or the pile of things waiting on my desk OR the sticky notes calling for my attention OR my inbox OR the voice messages that are STILL blinking at me, I sang in my soul “My home is in Your presence”.

And I was glad that if I can say nothing else about my life, what I am accomplishing or conquering, or who thinks WHAT about me, I can sing to the Lord that I am a sparrow who has found a home, right up next to His alter. And THAT is some real identity, and it’s good enough for me.