Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Finding God Every Day

This will be a short post but one I wanted to share nonetheless. This picture was taken on my ride to work earlier this week. I was stopped at a light (waiting to turn onto the mass ave bridge) and just felt God saying..."look past all of the chaos and you can see me". I love that this picture has a ridiculous amount of signs and distractions that we all see everyday. Instead of seeing them that morning I saw the incredible sunrise and Gods promise of a brand new day.

This picture was taken on my drive home from work this week as well. This sunset was one of the most breathtaking I have ever seen. I kept thinking that science would try and pass this off as some air pressure/weather front change something-or-other, but I know what it really was and who created it.
I have had a pretty incredible week, more on that to come. What I do know is God is always present, every day. We just have to look through the chaos sometimes to see him.
I thought the verse below was fitting for this post.

Psalm 113:3
"From the rising of the sun to the place where it sets, the name of the Lord is to be praised."

Friday, August 15, 2008

Variation on "Footprints"

I have always been moved by the footprints story. Everytime I get to the end and read the line from God that says "During those times of suffering when you see only one set of footprints, it was then that I carried you" I just...ah, I love the imagery! Today I was doing my bible study and read another version from Beth Moore that I loved. The "old" footprints remind me of when I wasn't walking with God, but he still carried me through suffering. Now that I am walking with God I have this "new" footprints to think and pray about, and believe me I haven't stopped thinking about it all day.

"Imagine going to heaven and standing by God as He lovingly shows you the calendar of His plan for your earthly life. It begins on the day you were born. Once you received Christ as savior, every day that follows is outlined in red. You see footprints walking through each day of each week of your life. On many of the days, two sets of footprints appear. You inquire "Father, are those my footprints on the calendar every day and is the second set of prints when you joined me?"
He answers "No, my precious child. The consistent footprints on your calendar are mine. The second set of footprints are when you joined Me."
"Where were you going father?"
"To the destiny I planned for you, hoping you'd follow."
"But, Father, where are my footprints all those times?"
He answers, "Sometimes you went back to look at all old resentments and habits while I was still going forward, hoping you'd join Me. Sometimes, you departed from my path and chose your own calendar instead. Other times, your footprints can even be seen on another persons calendar because you thought you liked their plan better. At other times, you simply stopped because you would not let go of something you could not take to the next day."
"But Father, we ended up OK even if I didn't walk with You every day, didn't we?"
He holds you close and smiles, "Yes Child, we ended up OK. But, you see, OK was never what I had in mind for you."
"Father, what are those golden treasure boxes on certain days?"
"Blessings, My child, I had for you along the way. Those that are open are those you received. Those still closed were days you did not walk with Me."

2 Corinthians 2:14 reads "But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of Him."

I have been realizing recently that I need to surrender myself EVERY day to God. I know there's some inspirational qoute about a life being made up of individual days, but its true. I may stumble, but if I am walking with God I will not fall. I want to walk every day with my savior, thats a pretty awesome way to live if you ask me.

Yesterday I read Isaiah 30:15 "In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength."
I have an application study bible so I read the explanation below the verse. It says "No amount of fast talking or hasty activity could speed up God's grand design. We have nothing to say to God but thank you. Salvation comes from God alone. Because He saved us, we can trust him and be peacefully confident that he will give us strenth to face our difficulties. We should lay aside our busy care and endless effort and allow him to act."

Here's to living life one day at a time...with Him

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


Well its been 3 days since I was baptized and I have just been astounded by God over the last week or so (not that I wasn't before...just especially so recently). Last weekend I was in Martha's Vineyard and on Friday night the stars were the most incredible sight I have ever witnessed...seriously. There were blankets of them, the sky almost looked fake, no artist could ever even imagine recreating it. Every morning and night the sky has been taking my breath away, just its awesomeness. Every breeze and every enormous cloud just seems to echo God's power and love. Today I was sitting in traffic waiting to get on 93 and I looked over to see a beautiful sunset. It was one of those where the sky was blue but the clouds were pink, my explanation just won't do it justice... I said out loud in my car "God, you are just awesome, I love you!" I realized I had never said something out loud like that in such a conversational felt pretty amazing :) I adore God more than I can say and love His creation so much. I can say that this is certainly one of those "mountain top highs" and I am loving every moment while also knowing you need to come off the mountain to be able to spread the word of God, and I fully plan on it. Yesterdays bible study fit right in with a highlight on Isaiah 40:12:
"Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand, or with the breadth of his hand marked off the heavens? Who has held the dust of the earth in a basket, or weighed the mountains on the scales and the hills in a balance?"
This same God calls us to have a personal relationship with him...and I am captivated by this! Music also moves me in incredible ways...always has, pretty sure it always will. Shawn McDonald's song Captivated has basically been on repeat this week in my car (as loud as it goes). I'm putting the lyrics below because songwriters seem to have a way of putting things I want to say into words, and this song is EXACTLY what is in my heart right now.

When I look into the mountains, I see Your fame, when I look into the night sky, it sparkles Your name
the wind in the clouds and the blue in the sky, the sun and the moon and the stars so high that's what draws me to You

[chorus] I am, I'm captivated by You (You know that You do) I am, I'm captivated

when I wake unto the morning, it gives me Your sights, when I look across the ocean, it echoes Your mights
the sand on the shore and the waves in the sea, the air in my lungs and the way You made me that's what draws me to You

The wind in the clouds and the blue in the sky, the sun and the moon and the stars so high, the sand on the shore and the waves in the sea, the air in my lungs and the way You made me, the blood in my veins and my heart You invade, the plants how they grow and the trees in the shade, the way that I feel and the love in my soul, I thank You my God for letting me know

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Sometimes there are no words...

Well I am having one of those days where I have so much going through my head I can't seem to even formulate a post that would make any sense. I was having one of those "off" days yesterday which continued into this morning. I think sometimes it is just plain hard to be a Christian but even amidst troubling times God reveals himself if you just sit quietly and listen. Yesterday morning I was struggling thinking about friendships lost and how hard it is when the door closes on one for good. I walked outside to find a big envelope addressed to me. Inside I found a beautiful poster of Sampson and Delilah and a note from a very special friend. I had mentioned long ago that Sampson and Delilah was my favorite bible story when I was growing up, so much that I wouldn't let my mom read me any other story. This friend remembered this little fact and come to find out she had ordered it almost two weeks ago. She was bummed this birthday gift came late but the timing was just perfect for me! That one sweet gesture made my day and brought such a huge smile to my face. (Shyla~I just love your heart:)
This morning I had a lot on my mind and just couldn't seem to calm my thoughts. I opened my email to find a note from another new friend and also a link to a couple of chapters out of a Max Lucado book she was reading this morning. She thought of me while reading it and I am so incredibly thankful that she shared it with me.(Elyse~thank you so much my friend:) The opening paragraph was this:

"Should you? Can you? Do you dare? Overcoming the past takes faith… and something more. Courage—that’s what it takes to shed the problems and mistakes of the past and to dream again. When shame and darkness hide all glimpses of the future... when relinquishing the past means an uncertain tomorrow... when you’re at the end of yourself and about to give up.. . you can find refuge in the shadow of Jesus. Listen as he gently whispers, “It’s all right, my child. . . I will help you. I will never leave you.” Together with him, you will find the courage to dream again."
The chapters that followed were nearly word for word answers to prayers from just this morning. It is very easy to look into our past and see the sacrifices that come from becoming a Christian, sacrifices that continue to affect us now. Just today I was able to see what an incredible reward I have received because of those sacrifices...friends who know what is in my heart and make me feel so loved. I have the courage to face each day, knowing that I will be rewarded for living this new life in Christ.
One last "timing" thing, because it is always about timing :) My bible study yesterday prepared me for all of this, even if I am only realizing it just now. The days topic was about happiness and joy and how they differ from eachother.
James 1:2-3
"Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance."
I am joyful even during the trials of late, and I can only attribute this joy to knowing God and having faith in Him. I think sometimes it is easy to forget why we do all of this, why we sacrifice so much. The answer is eternal life. With this as our reward how could we NOT do something as simple as face trials with Joy?
"Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything." James 1:4.

Sunday, August 3, 2008


There are times when all of us need a "reality check" and today was one of those times for me. I want to start off with a quick story from yesterday. I was up at Soulfest for the last couple of days with a family that is very special to me. I worked the Mercy Ships tent up there with them and had quite the weekend, although the last 10 minutes may have been the most powerful. This family, in particular Dennis (or "Den" as we all call him) are incredible witnesses to the power of God working. Dennis was adopted as a baby. He has multiple medical issues and "challenges" (Den's mom Kathy would never call them defects). I met Den and his family a little over a year ago when I was his nurse. This family is ultimately the tools God used to bring me to Mercy Ships, and I was excited to spend some time OUTSIDE of the hospital with them!
Last year around this time Den was undergoing one of his 17 neuro-surgeries of the summer. This year the organizers of Soulfest asked him to speak in front of thousands for a "True Love" point. With all of the chaos Den had no time to prepare and with just prayers he went out on stage. I can't explain the faith that this man has, it is astonishing. He shared his "life" verse which sent tears streaming down my cheeks as it had the first time I heard him recite it. His verse is Acts 20:24 "However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given to me-the task of testifying to the gospel of God's grace." I am proud to be considered one of Den's recruits for Mercy Ships, believe me when I tell you I am one of many. He is an avid witness and so wise although often regarded as mentally retarded by people who don't take the time to know to him. He is an example of someone whose life is regarded as pointless or useless in this society, but Jesus refers to him in Luke 9:48 "Whoever welcomes this child in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. For he who is least among you all-he is the greatest." (By the way this was the verse Den's parents read when they were praying about whether or not to adopt a child with special needs)
Now for my reality check...
I have had a long week which included just 4 something hours of sleep last night before a 12 hour shift today. I had one of those days where everything was 10 times harder than it needed to be and I was feeling pretty sorry for myself. I was so exhausted and although I rarely complain out loud, what was going through my head was fairly pathetic. I could not WAIT to get out for the night and go home for a good night's sleep. On my way to the elevators the overhead speakers came on and announced a "code blue" on our neighboring unit which houses the transplant patients. When a code is called the air takes on this charge, almost an electricity, and it is sickening when you realize a child is on the other end of the emergency. I got to the garage and just prayed for everyone, the child, their family, and for wisdom and discretion for the doctors and nurses present at the code. As I was driving I started realizing how devastating this situation is. Imagine waiting for your child to receive an organ that is often their only chance for survival, just to have that promise of a new life taken away. Those kids in particular are really sick, and survival although good, its not 100%. I found myself feeling intense empathy for the parents of the child and other children who don't survive and the word "Why" started creeping into my thoughts. Immediately Psalm 46:10 came to mind. "Be still and know that I am God". We don't understand God's plan, it stretches through eternity, the concept of which we can't even begin to comprehend.
God is present in every moment of every day, He does not turn away from us in times of hardship. During those times sometimes we need to be reminded to "Be still".
Needless to say I felt pretty guilty for my ridiculous self pity earlier in the day. My perspective on life is back in check for now. I'm sure I will always need reality checks, my lesson today was to be open to them so I can learn from them.
The first time I heard Psalm 46:10 was when I heard Den's mom tell me a story. I came in one morning and she told me the night before that Den had been in considerable pain and in the middle of all of it he looked at her and said "Mom, God just told me to be still and know the He is God". This was just weeks before he would start undergoing his 17 surgeries. God is undeniable, none of this can be dismissed as coincidence, we just need to all be open to what He has to share with us and keep life in perspective.