He will shepherd me.

The last week…. scratch that, the last few months ….. scratch that. The last few years have been a whirlwind 🙂

Today I hosted a yard/bake sale to raise funds for ATC scholarships. We’ve received so many emails from so many teens across the world in serious situations who are desperate for a touch from God and wanting to come to camp this summer. Our pain is that we can not afford to just “let” them all come, but we want to do whatever we can – thus the fundraiser.

It was thrown together last-minute, but MANY people brought items over in the last 24 hours, enough that my living room was PACKED! I was blessed and excited and ready to go for this morning…. until no one came to help.

There are broken places of my heart that I forget about until moments like that. Suddenly the old wound begins to ache with deep, consuming pain and it seems like nothing that I do will make it stop.

By the grace of the Lord I was able to get everything set up, and one of the new teenagers came for awhile, allowing me to leave and put up signs in the neighborhood. A few people came and some money was raised and I was exceedingly thankful. 5 hours later, hot and emotionally spent I began to pack up and an hour later looked at my yard and realized it was all done. But I did have 5 breakdowns today, complete with sobbing and phone calls to both of my parents.

Tonight I felt the real pain of living 3 hours away from my daddy, and having a car that has been broken for months, leaving me no way to get to him. And I felt the pain of living in a community where I don’t have a direct “pastor” over my life to turn to in season like the one I am currently fighting through.

Our A/C has been off for the last 2 weeks for one silly reason: the filter was filthy and we couldn’t find one that fit. The internet finally helped us to locate a store in the area that carried the right brand, but not having a car that works ….. well let’s just say that not having a car at your disposal makes the simplest of things very, very hard. This evening we bought the correct filters but had the same problem trying to get them in. The old furnace was put together in an odd way leaving a strange space that causes the filter to buckle and keeps it from sliding all the way in. After fighting to the point of tears I began to pray over the furnace. Yup, I’m one of those.

After 5 minutes of tearfully committing our house and the furnace to the Lord I saw a picture in my mind of an ‘L’ shaped ruler, long and skinny & made of metal and instantly knew where it was in the garage. That is nearly impossible because we can’t see where anything is in the garage. But I went upstairs and sure enough it was exactly where I’d seen it. Taking a deep breath I slid the tool inside the furnace, using it as a guide to keep the filter straight and you know what? It worked.

Circling the house to close all of the windows my heart began to sing Grace Kim’s song, “He will lead me to springs of living water, He will shepherd me.”

And it’s true. The spirit of the Living God literally dwells inside of me, and He wants to help me. He is a good counselor, a good friend, and a good Shepherd. He cares about me getting a filter into my furnace so that we can finally have a relief from the heat, and He cares about my daily life.

The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not be in want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside quiet waters, He restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness for His name’s sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil, my cup overflows. Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

Help wake each morning believing that Psalm 23 is true Papa.

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Anniversary

Today was the anniversary of my foot surgery. For those of you that don’t know, I have a Haglund’s Deformity on the back of both heels. Click the link to see a picture, let’s just say that mine is much worse than what you’ll see there, in fact my doctor claims it is “the most perfect Haglund’s Deformity” he’s ever seen and is apparently using my x-rays for training purposes. After about two years of severe pain we decided that something had to be done. A year ago I had surgery on the right heel; the doctor went in on the side, not having to cut through or detach any muscles or tendons, cut off the extra bone, shaved it smooth and stitched me up. It was a fairly simple surgery with no surprises and believe it or not I went home that day.

Two days later I was calling for a change in pain medication (hives aren’t fun) and while on hold turned on the light so that I could write down whatever the good doctor would have to say. As soon as the lights turned on I watched my mother’s eyes grow as big as saucers and I looked down at my foot to see that the entire back of the bandage was completely soaked in blood. Insert a long journey of complications and turmoil.

It’s been a long year. For months I wept in secret, battling through the complications and the persistent and raging pain, wondering if I’d made the wrong choice in having surgery and if my feet were ever going to stop hurting. And more than that, I felt I was fighting for my calling to the Nations. Through many tear, snot soak tissues I would whisper Isaiah 52.7

How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of the messenger who brings good news, the good news of peace and salvation, the news that the God of Israel reigns!

and would sob, “Oh God, give me beautiful feet!”

I hiked around Shiloh today with no pain in my feet. Had I been wearing tennis shoes the right heel would have been tender and the left heel would have throbbed by the time I left, but I wore flipflops, and had no pain.

Katrina and I are reading through The Singer in the evenings, and the chapter we ended with tonight is when He heals the crippled brown-eyed little girl.

The singer knelt beside her in the dust and touched her limpid hand and cried. He drew the cloth away that hid her legs. He reached his calloused hand and touched the small, misshapen foot. “I too was born with scarred feet. See mine!” He said, drawing back the hem of his own robe.

That when I remembered what today was. But my tears didn’t flow until He healed her;

And others came! Untouchables with bandages heard the healing song and came to health. The crippled and the blind, sick of soul, sick of heart, sick of hate, sick of mind. Everywhere the music went, full health came. And all the way, men everywhere were whispering that the long-awaited Troubadour had come.

Years ago on a walk in the middle of the night, while talking of the practicalities of revival a friend made a comment like “The power comes and healing’s will be so common place, we’ll get bored with it by the 5,000 one.” The most insatiable pain rose up in my chest and I found myself declaring, ” No one who is healed from a chronic pain issue will ever, EVER stop marveling at the power of God that stop’s it.” I’m pretty sure I had a migraine that night which increased my zeal…. regardless….

I still believe that power is for my life, that wholeness is my portion. And on this side of eternity,I will NEVER stop marveling at the power of God that set’s our bodies free. Thank You Jesus for this day without pain.

Rustling Leaves

  • I am now cpr, aed and first aid certified through the red cross. Does the fact that I hope to never have to use any of the information I acquired today make anyone feel safer?
  • About 3x a day I’m sad that I buzzed my head, but then I take a breath and remember how hot it is outside and I’m happy.
  • Through all of the turmoil in life, and the turmoil in the lives of the ones that I love I can rest in peace in a love that never fails me. That love is what strengthens my heart to care for those that are broken, and to  pray without ceasing.
  • It’s not that hard to pray without ceasing. If you have people in your life at all, they (if not you!) will constantly be in situations beyond their control.  You are too small to carry life’s pain and will be forced to leave it with Jesus. There, now you’ll never have a reason to stop praying.
  • I’m in awe that I haven’t heard more about the oil spill, the flood’s in Nashville and the severity of the situation between North & South Korea.
  • I dream of things long before their timing. It leaves me aching.
  • Katrina made a statement the other day about life as a Nazarite not being defined so much by the specifics of what we do NOT do, and more by the simple and powerful act of responding to the subtle promptings of the Holy Spirit. I like idea, but it sure is haaaard to walk out. Help us to be faithful to Your voice Lord.
  • Emotions are the overflow of the songs that are heart never stops singing. If you listen you can sing it too.

***an addendum: I have the strangest experiences while walking into Shiloh. I always encounter the most interesting people walking out.***

My fingers are burning

The last two hours I’ve been playing one song. It’s called ‘You’re never giving up” and is written by one of my favorite artists, Jonathan David Helser. You can buy his product and also download all of his chord charts for free on his website,  A Place For the Heart. The song is simple,

You’re love it never fails it never ends

Your love it never quits it never stops chasing my soul

And you’re never giving up on me

Simple and true. Worth spending two hours playing the simple chords and singing the simple words. The thing about repetition is that someday we might actually believe it. I’m amazed at 23 that I’m still learning how to be a daughter, that I’m still fighting daily to believe in the love of my Father.

My friends John & Tracie Loux adopted two toddlers from the Ukraine last March and went through a rough & ragged battle. The broken heart, even the broken heart of a two year old simply can not receive love. Last February Tracie wrote about Emma’s struggles to let them into her heart, fighting with every bit of herself to keep them out. With a lot of prayer, a lot of tears and a lot of consistency love began to break through, and by July they posted this video and blog , the testimony of the transforming power in love. I’ve posted the video below but click on the link above and read what Tracie had to say about it, and you’ll feel the depth of power in those little words.

I think about that video often, about the fight of an adopted child to receive affection, to believe in acceptance, to even receive their new name, and I realize that I’m a lot like Emma. Throwing a tantrum at the sight of what just might invade my soul, what might break down the walls. But I ache for the day when all my inhibitions built from pain are thrown aside and I can dive into the arms of my Father God, knowing that I am fully His.

Those of us claiming “Forerunner” even if only on our good days, are fighting to see Malachi 4:6 alive on the earth. But we’ll not be able to turn hearts to the Father until we are lost in Him, until we believe that we are His.

Epiphany

As of late I have felt a measure of, how do I put it, annoyance….. frustration? No both of those words have too much emotion, maybe irritation? Nope. Vexed, no I haven’t been vexed. Blast, the fight for “precise language”!

Bother. Yeah ok. So as of late I have been found in a repeat situation that leaves me slightly bothered.  First the background; over the past 6 months many, I mean maybe most, of my girlfriends have either gotten engaged or entered into a dating relationship. Now hold up I’m not bitter, I LOVE that! THAT is not what has bothered me. In the midst of the excitement and the changes I have thoroughly enjoyed dialoging, processing and talking through the details of what is changing in their lives, but as time has continued (as it does) the common trend is that nearly every time I talk with these friends the topic conversation has hardly changed.

Chalk it up to being naive on love, I’m ok with that, but I find myself tuning out conversations. Not out of a lack of caring about what is happening in their lives but out of a desire to talk about SOMETHING besides ONLY their significant other. Surely there is something else to talk about….. shouldn’t there be something else to talk about? Again, for the sake of clarity this is a small point, merely a bother, and I am extremely happy for the love that is blooming in the hearts of my friends.

However this line of thinking led me to an Epiphany today (thank you Holy Spirit) and it’s a simply one. People love to talk about the object of their affections.

The scenario lies in this: you feel that your heart has become disconnected from God. You want to know what He cares about, to know the “burdens of His heart”, to be His friend and to feel things about them, you want to hear Him speak but seem to not be hearing His voice.

The Epiphany: Ask Him about the one that His heart loves. The exclamation point: He has much to say about Jerusalem and many emotions towards Israel.

On a journey to become a friend of God, somehow I have never given more than a passing glance to the apple of His eye. How is that possible? Ever longing to dive deeper into His heart I am taking the Bible and am going to read through every mention of Jerusalem, asking simple questions, “what do You feel about Israel, what do You feel about Jerusalem. What do You think about them, what do You think about the Jews?” and see what He has to say. We’ll see just how deep I can go.

Care to read today’s story of power? Joshua 10 – read the whole thing for yourself and see if you don’t feel something. Here’s one of the punch lines

On the day the Lord gave the Amorites over to Israel, Joshua said to the Lord in the presence of Israel: “O sun, stand still over Gibeon, O moon, over the Valley of Aijalon.” So the sun stood still, and the moon stopped, till the nation avenged itself on its enemies, as it is written in the Book of Jashar. The sun stopped in the middle of the sky and delayed going down about a full day. There has never been a day like it before or since, a day when the Lord listened to man. Surely the Lord was fighting for Israel.


1.49am

and my guitar strings are just getting warm.

When You speak my heart just cant help but beat

and when You sing my heart just cant help but sing

and when You move my heart just cant help but change and move with You