31 October 2009

The Teacher

October 30, 2009

I cannot even express what an encouragement it is to know that my friends and family are praying for me…and keep praying. God is teaching me so much, but He does not always teach His lessons in quiet, safe classroom settings…no He used storm tossed seas to teach the Disciples about His power and authority, He used hunger to demonstrate His compassion and His Father’s provision, He used sinners to carry out His plan, He used sickness, death and life, sin, sorrow and joy---all to teach His people and bring His Father glory. He sent His followers out as sheep among wolves---they were placed in the world but they were not of it. Jesus asked His Father to protect us---to protect us from the Evil One, not from pain, hurt, suffering, sacrifice, storms, sin, sinners, etc. Our souls---what matters---are safe and secure in Jesus.

These are comforting thoughts for me as I learn these good, tough heart lessons. God has assigned me my portion and my cup---He has placed me with unbelievers 24/7 (for the most part), which can be wearisome for my soul. Pray that I stand firm in Christ---that I remain steadfast to Christ yet follow in His example by being a friend of sinners. Christ will protect my soul, though it is weary, so I entrust it to Him to sustain and strengthen me to do His work---to be Christ to these lost sinners. Pray that I see them through Christ’s eyes, that I’d have the same compassion that Christ had for the “sick” (He did not come to the well, but to the sick---the ones in need), and that I’d leave all in Christ’s hands (worries, fears, etc).

The mission in front of me is not easy (Although I sure wouldn’t want it to be easy in the first place!), but I am spurred on by Christ and His example (Heb. 12:1-3). The joy He supplies me with is like dynamite in my soul and the hope I have in Christ is beyond words---I have the best mission in the world (we all do!) of sharing the best message ever! Christ died for sinners…we can come to the Father by His blood…in Him we can be free…Christ offers us life---ABUNDANT LIFE! Such a message is worth suffering to share, it is worth the weariness, it is worth the loneliness, it is more than worth anything I can undergo. It is message I am unworthy of, but can share because it is not based off my worth, but off Christ’s.

God is giving me opportunities to share my love for Him with the unbelievers around me through my actions and attitudes. More and more though, He is opening up doors of opportunity to share my faith through conversations with the new friends I am making. I struggle, but Christ is so faithful and patient with me. He is leading me by the hand and teaching me every step of the way, how to share Him with my coworkers and unbelieving friends. He is not an easy Teacher, but He is a good Teacher. May I be like Mary of Bethany who sat at Jesus’ feet, learning all she could from Him---may that same soft and teachable spirit be true of me as I continue down this path that God has placed me upon.


October 30, 2009

Yesterday was a momentous day for me…drum roll please. I bought my very own red sleeping bag! It is so pretty and warm---I think it shall serve me well as I take it aboard my cutter with me, which should be happening fairly soon. The latest word is that I’ll be flying out to the Midgett with a handful of other Coasties this Tuesday. We will be flying into San Diego where the Midgett is having its last port call before heading up the coast to “home sweet home”. I’m excited and nervous, but probably more excited. I know two of the other Coasties headed for the Midgett---a fellow non-rate whom I’ve been working with in Port Ops the past two weeks and a Food Service Specialist whom I’ve been sharing a room with the past week. So keep me in your prayers as I head out next week. I won’t be gone long---only 7-10 days---enough to get my feet wet (hopefully, I won’t get sea sick, but we’ll see).

Oh, I forgot to add one thing to my post about my new sleeping bag. It has a name (the sleeping bag that is)---Gertrude. Isn’t it perfect??!! I can’t take the credit though for such a brilliant name. Nope, I had to consult my good friend in California about the perfect name for a red sleeping bag…and Gertrude it was.

29 October 2009

Lord, Grant Me A Heart of Compassion~

October 28, 2009

The past two days, I have spent my time destroying weeds! Quite the difficult and challenging task, but truly enjoyable while out in God’s creation on a nice autumn day. I had plenty of time to think and pray while I was chopping and pulling. I was thinking about weeds and how they are such a good picture of the sin in our lives. We can spend our time, pulling and fighting and destroying sin, but right after uprooting one sin another one shoots up. Only through Christ Jesus do we have a remedy…only by His blood shed on the cross when He took our sin and gave us His righteousness can we properly deal with the sin in our lives. We must confess and trust in Christ Jesus. We could not and cannot take our own sin away---no matter how much chopping and pulling we do, it will never be destroyed---only Christ can remove our sin from us because He became sin for us. These were the thoughts I was mulling over today.

I also enjoyed a nice afternoon out in downtown Seattle today. I stopped at Subway for some dinner and then headed down to Tully’s Coffee for some WI-FI. I checked my e-mail and updated my blog. As I was downtown, my prayer to God was that He would give me a love and compassion for the lost people in this city…that I would not just pass by people and be glad that I’m not in their shoes, but that I’d see deeper beyond what my eyes can see---that I’d see their great need for a Savior and that my heart would be broken that they are lost and without hope. I have true and lasting hope---I know Christ---but I am so unmoved and unconcerned for the soul-condition of people around me. Oh, that my heart would yearn to share the Gospel and long to tell the lost that there is hope---that Christ came to save SINNERS. This is my constant challenge, battle, and longing---that I would have a heart for the lost. I believe I can only accomplish this, as I look unto Jesus, knowing the depth of my sinfulness, the height of His great grace and mercy, and the need to share such wonderful, good news with lost sinners.

Lord, You came to earth to save sinners---You did the unthinkable...You died for SINNERS. Oh, grant me a heart of compassion for the people around me---these desperately lost sinners who need You. Work in me as only You can and give me the same heart You had for the lost, may I be spent reaching sinners with the Gospel, and may I be Your hands and feet here in Seattle.

26 October 2009

Blessed Beyond All Measure

October 25, 2009

My weekend was definitely a whirlwind of fun! God has truly blessed me in ways I never would have imagined. I love the song, “Blessed Be Your Name” (which I got to sing in church today!), especially how it talks about Christians taking every blessing God has given them and turning them back to praise to Him…always keeping in mind that everything God brings into our lives is a blessing---whether we like it or not.

Saturday I slept in till 7am and then headed out to explore Seattle. I made my way by foot and bus to Tully’s Coffee and ordered a large hot cocoa…yum! So I drank my cocoa, checked my e-mail, and did some reading. Next I was off to the library, and let me tell you it is a huge library! Just huge!!! I definitely had an amazing time at the library.

One thing I have come to appreciate more and more is the body of Christ. How wonderful it is to fellowship with fellow Believers! I got to go to a young adult Christian fellowship Saturday evening and then to church Sunday morning. I was encouraged, refreshed, and recharged as I sat in church worshiping the Lord and learning from His Word. I am thoroughly enjoying the church I have attended the past two weeks---Faith Bible Church. They have welcomed me with open arms and made me feel right at home. A dear, sweet older couple---Helen and Jack---invited me over to their home for lunch today. I had an awesome time fellowshipping with them and enjoying their company.

God has definitely blessed me…blessed me with homesickness, new friends, loneliness, a new church family, and new opportunities to grow closer to the Lord. I am blessed beyond all measure!

Lord, blessed be Your name! Your grace and loving-kindness are amazing…Your mercy and love is awesome! I thank you for your blessings---all of them.

24 October 2009

Shining the Light

I have spent the past week doing lots of exploring in downtown Seattle. It's been an exciting, scary, and amazing sort of experience since I have never lived in a big city before. My thoughts today, as I walked around downtown watching everybody rushing by turned to the hope I have in Christ, and how hopeless the people around me truly are. Just walking down the street, I am surrounded by all sorts of people---homeless people, businessmen, tourists, salesmen, street vendors, kids, teenagers, families, all sorts---and all without hope. These people are all searching for the answer to their problems, and what struck me today is the fact that I have the answer! Jesus Christ is the answer---He is what they need to fill the void in their lives and give them hope.

God has placed me here in a dark place. I am to shine the light of the Gospel and be Christ's witness---I can't conceal the joy I have in Christ and I can't hide the salvation He has given me. I have the answer! But that doesn't mean it is easy to shine for Christ---penetrating the darkness is not easy, but with Christ it is possible. As I fix my gaze upon Him, His light shines through me. I am not the light, but only a reflector of the Light. I can't be a witness of my precious Lord and Savior if I am not fixing my eyes and heart upon Him---I can only point to Him as I am looking to Him.

So I am challenged this week to be a reflector of the Light---to point to Jesus Christ and glorify His name. I am nothing---He is everything! May He receive the glory!

Never Get Over God's Grace!

A Glory Hunter: Romans Message #61 October 18, 2009

Never Alone

October 22, 2009

So I just finished eating a delicious treat of Turkish Delight and managed to get myself covered in powdered sugar! Another day down and I am still awaiting the Midgett’s return. I am learning to constantly cast my cares upon my heavenly Father who holds me safely in His hands.

I have been enjoying lots of time to read lately. It’s weird not having little siblings to play with in the evenings)-: But God has given me special times with Him in His Word. I have been reading through John in the evenings and in the mornings, I am making my way through the Prophets. The good, old hymn “What a Friend We Have in Jesus” holds a dearer and more precious meaning to me now that I have tasted what it is like to be in a big city away from friends and family. The truth stands firm that I do have a friend who sticks closer than a brother (Proverbs 17:17)---Jesus is always with me; always at my side. I may be alone, but really, I am NEVER alone.

In this joyous promise---that Christ is always with me---I press on down this path that God has placed me upon. He sends His children joys and sorrows, He gives and takes away, and He is good. I will praise Him in the sunshine and in the rain! Praise Him with me!

October 23, 2009

The weekend has arrived! Now I am doing laundry, cleaning my room, and taking a moment to relax. I definitely feel a lot more comfortable here on base now than I did last week, and believe it or not I think I am finally catching on to saluting officers as I am walking down the street…sometimes I still forget if it’s morning or afternoon---that makes for an awkward pause!

God is so good and faithful to me. I have no right to complain---I can only rejoice in what He is doing in my life. All that to say, I wouldn’t consider it all fun. Living far away from home and missing family and friends is sure not fun, trying to adjust to a new city and job is not fun or easy, but through it all God is leading onward and taking me through each difficulty. He knows I need them and loves me enough to give them to me. So I rejoice that He is working on my character---not my comfort, drawing me closer to Himself---by taking away the props in my life, and showing me the depths of His grace and strength by showing me the depths of my weakness and neediness.

22 October 2009

An Unexpected Ride

October 21, 2009

So today after I got off work, I decided to be adventurous and get off base for awhile. I made my way by foot and by bus to a sub sandwich shop and bought dinner, then down the road to one of my coffee spots where I get free WI-FI. I enjoyed a hot cup of coffee and caught up with my e-mail and blogging.

Then after thoroughly enjoying my time out in downtown Seattle, I began my journey back to base---but things did not go as planned…

I caught a bus that got me part of the way back to base, but had to wait for a second bus to finish my journey. Another bus came around the corner after several minutes of waiting and I hopped on. All was well until it turned down the wrong road and got on the interstate…at this point in time, I realized I had got on the wrong bus. I sat in my seat thinking to myself, “Wow, what do I do now?” think, think, think…

I pondered many options at that moment in time as I watched my base pass by through the window. Panic and fear did enter my mind…I really was hoping I wouldn’t end up too far away. God had everything in His control of course and I made sure to leave that bus behind at the next stop. I called a taxi cab and got a ride back to my barracks.

All in all, I spent a little extra money today that I had not envisioned spending, but got to explore a part of Seattle Ii never would have seen apart from getting on the wrong bus. I was reminded once again of God’s complete and total control in my life and that sometimes His plan (most of the time) is not always the most direct and easy way to the destination we believe He is taking us too.

God definitely throws twists and turns into our lives to cause us to depend upon Him. The Christian life isn’t easy, but it’s worthwhile!

21 October 2009

The Power of Joy...In Christ

~The Power of Joy...In Christ~
October 20, 2009

Another good day of work has come to an end, and now I am off work. God has been teaching me so many things the past several days while I have been here in Seattle. Perhaps the biggest thing He has impressed upon my heart is the power of joy. My days are transformed when I thank God instead of complain, rejoice in Christ instead of finding things to be critical about, and wear a smile on my face instead of a frown. Joy turns an UGLY cloudy day into a BEAUTIFUL cloudy day…it turns a boring day of painting yellow cement posts into a fun project to be accomplished…and perhaps the best part is that joy is contagious! You can’t help but pass it on.

So my challenge from today is to be joyful in all I do and not allow a complaining, critical, and discontented spirit control me. Joy overflows from our hearts as we pour them out in thanksgiving to God. So pour out your heart to God, thanking Him for everything…and be prepared because you may be swept away by the joy that will overflow from your heart once you begin!

More Thoughts from Psalm 27

The LORD is my light and my salvation---whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life---of whom shall I be afraid?
Psalm 27:1

God blessed me with another amazing day…and brought me through my second day on the job. Some of you may wonder what I did, so I’ll tell you all about it, step by step. First, I woke up bright and early (well, it was early---but not so bright) at 5am to read my Bible, eat breakfast, and get ready for the day. Then I headed over to the gym at 6:30 to exercise. At 8am, I began work with some other fellow rookies, painting. We painted up till lunch time then took our lunch break…then continued painting until 3pm. I headed downtown to a nice coffee shop for some hot chocolate and to check my e-mail and face book. After that I headed back to my room and ate dinner (good old’ Mac n cheese!) That was my day!

I’ve been thinking a lot about Psalm 27 lately---I find it so encouraging, challenging, comforting, convicting, etc. Never would I have imagined myself living in a big city like Seattle working in the Coast Guard, but this is where God has placed me. I miss my family and friends back home, and wish I could have brought them all with me! But God has placed me here and so I will rejoice (Pray for me…it’s not always easy to rejoice). I know I am receiving amazing training for the mission field, and in fact have an amazing mission field in front of me with the other Coasties I am working with. I am excited about being here in Seattle…I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world…but also pray that I keep my gaze upon Christ because I know I’ll waste this great opportunity He’s given me if I am not focused on the Lord.

11 October 2009

Now A Guardian

I am finally all finished with boot camp! Oh the lessons God taught me throughout the whole eight weeks is truly amazing. Right now I am home on leave for a few days and then I'll be flying up to where I'll be stationed on the Coast Guard Cutter Midgett in Seattle, Washington. I am savoring every moment I get to be home with my family...it's just amazing!

I'm planning on sharing all about my boot camp experience once I get settled in Seattle, but for now I wanted to share the passage in Scripture that God used to carry me through the past eight weeks. Psalm 27 was never far from my heart and mind especially as I was down in the push up position or lugging my huge sea bag around.

The LORD is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid...Though an army encamp against me, my heart shall not fear; though war arise against me, yet I will be confident. One thing have I asked of the LORD, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to inquire in his temple. For he will hide me in his shelter in the day of trouble; he will conceal me under the cover of his tent; he will lift me high upon a rock...I would have lost heart if I had not believed that I shall see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living! Wait for the LORD; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the LORD! --Select verses from Psalm 27

These verses were constantly running through my thoughts. God was my strength, He was the one sustaining me day by day, and every single day of the past eight weeks I know I have been held and carried by His grace.

Destroying Our Idols

God's Will or Your Own?



Written for my family as they move to Cameroon, Africa to share Jesus love with the people there.

Rejoicing in all God has done.
In your lives, I see Him displayed
As your greatest treasure of all;
Your mission: to proclaim His name.

Fix Your eyes on Christ…Run hard to the goal.
Consider the work He has done, He has saved your souls!

Press on, HOPE IN GOD…IN HIS HANDS you are safe. UNDER HIS WINGS…you are held---
you are HELD BY GRACE.
Take up your cross, follow Christ, let His praises resound.
as you journey HOMEWARD BOUND.

Cheering you on as you go
As you make much of Jesus today,
Considering all else as loss
Compared to the Savior’s name.

Fight the battle of faith…stand firm in Christ.
Trust Him with all of your heart, give Him your life.

Press on, HOPE IN GOD…IN HIS HANDS you are safe. UNDER HIS WINGS…you are held---
you are HELD BY GRACE.
Take up your cross, follow Christ, let His praises resound.
as you journey HOMEWARD BOUND.

Praying for you in my heart.
May God’s sustaining grace push you on
To follow Christ outside of the camp,
Calling the nations to join the song!

Jesus is mighty to save
For while yet sinners He died in our place.
Shout---shout His praise For He has given us grace!

Press on, HOPE IN GOD…IN HIS HANDS you are safe. UNDER HIS WINGS…you are held---
Take up your cross, follow Christ, let His praises resound.
as you journey HOMEWARD BOUND.

Take the Adventure

Waite Memories

More Like Christ Music

More Like Christ Music

A Message All Believers Must Listen To