Thursday, August 11, 2011



I've been home from JH a few days now. Such a sweet homecoming. Even though I was coming home, which is usually where you feel the most comfortable.. I had no idea what to expect. After being away 3 months, I had missed out on so much going on at home, and I'm still getting the hang of being in "normal life". Let's face it. The ranch is it's own little holy bubble. But when 100 plus staff depart from the ranch and bring that thick presence of the Lord home.. we can change our cities, our colleges, our friends and family. Anyways, a sweet homecoming. Look at my friends..

I know. Best friends ever. I promise there is a point to this blog. I'm not just celebrating the fact that I'm home with some amazing people.. I want to share what the Lord showed me on the flight home. The four and a half hour flight from Sacramento to Atlanta is a long one. So I had plenty of time to spend with the Lord. And yes, I enjoyed the man next to me watching me journal as I prayed the Lord would speak to Him through my words. So here we go. My journal from August 7, 2011:

Jeremiah 31
they will be my people
I will come to give rest to Israel

We are His sons and daughters and he makes promises to His people. 

"The Lord appeared to us in the past" (v3). He's appeared in the past. He's appeared this summer and spoken so many truths: "I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with lovingkindness" (v3). His promises. 

It goes on in verses 4 and 5 saying Again Israel will do this... Again. "Again you will take up your tambourines and go out and dance with the joyful. Again you will plant vineyards on the hills of Samaria; the famers will plant them and enjoy their fruit." His promises. To do it again. This summer has been full of discovering the Lord, growing. But it doesn't stop there. He'll do it again. In this next season of life, I look back and remember how good the Lord has been, and I know He'll do it again. From glory to glory. 

The Lord says, "sing with joy", "shout", "make your praises heard" (v7). So we aren't called to grow in the Lord then keep it to ourselves. We are called to go. To declare who He is. And when we go, when we declare.. He "will lead them beside streams of water on a level path where they will not stumble" (v9). When we do the great commission, the Lord will work through us to gather His lost sheep. 

The next couple of verses of scripture are the motivation for this lifestyle of going and sharing: "For the Lord will ransom Jacob and redeem them from the hand of those stronger than they. They will come and shout for joy on the heights of Zion; they will rejoice in the bounty of the Lord-- the grain, the new wine, and the oil, the young of the flocks and herds. They will be like a well-watered garden, and they will sorrow no more. Then maidens will dance and be glad, young men and old as well. I will turn their mourning into gladness; I will give them comfort and joy instead of sorrow. I will satisfy the priests with abundance, and my people will be filled with my bounty,' declares the Lord" (v11-14). The Lord gathers us.. then, he redeems us, gives us a bounty, takes away our sorrow, brings gladness, comfort and joy, and satisfies us. So many promises. 

Even with all these promises.. we stray. Like Rachel who "refused to be comforted" (v15) we back away. We don't want to seek the Lord, we want to handle it on our own. But verse 20 reminds us, we are children of God in whom He delights. He has compassion on us! But of course he doesn't want us to stray.. "Set up road signs; put up guideposts. Take note of the highway, the road you take, Return, O Virgin Israel, returns to your towns. How long will you wander, O unfaithful daughter?" (v21-22). Verse 22 hits my hard heart: "How long will you wander, O unfaithful daughter?" Isn't the Lord just pleading that I stop turning from Him. He's wondering why I choose death over life. He says return! Because He knows that what He has to offer. The life He has for You, for me. Is so much better. So why do we wander?

As I return home I am reminded of the Lord's promises, His great love, and compassion. I'm reminded to look back and remember His goodness and to set up road signs to remind me of my direction: I'm living to do work for His Kingdom. I refocus my life on Christ. And I won't stray.. I have a loving, compassionate God watching over His daughter in whom He delights. And I remember His promise that again He will reveal Himself to me.

John 16:33
"I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

this is my prayer

This is my prayer in the desert
When all that's within me feels dry
This is my prayer in my hunger and need
My God is the God who provides

This is my prayer in the fire
In weakness or trial or pain
There is a faith proved
Of more worth than gold
So refine me Lord through the flame

I will bring praise
I will bring praise
No weapon formed against me shall remain
I will rejoice
I will declare
God is my victory and He is here

This is my prayer in the battle
When triumph is still on it's way
I am a conqueror and co-heir with Christ
So firm on His promise I'll stand

All of my life
In every season
You are still God
I have a reason to sing
I have a reason to worship

This is my prayer in the harvest
When favour and providence flow
I know I'm filled to be emptied again
The seed I've received I will sow

in the light of His glory and grace

"People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without selfcontrol, brutal, not lovers of good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God-- having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them." 2 Timothy 3:2-5

"Having a form of godliness but denying its power." Our world is so like that. They believe in God and go to church but they haven't and don't want to access the power. They are content with being good people, going to church, and being kind to others, but they don't want to fully lay down their lives. Remember verse 2? They want to satisfy themselves. They want only a "form of godliness". So they become lovers of money, boastful, proud.. you get it. Not lovers of God. Loving him fully with all our heart is what keeps our eyes turned from ourselves, our desires.

But be encouraged..

"In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, while evil men and imposters will go from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, and how infancy you have known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work." 2 Timothy 3:12-16

Turn your eyes upon Jesus
Look full in His wonderful face
And the things of Earth will grow strangely dim
In the light of His glory and grace