Tuesday, July 14, 2015


I was at my family’s place in Nashville around the fourth of July this year. They graciously moved up our family get together by a day since I was traveling to Canada the actual holiday. But as the food kept coming, kids running around everywhere, laughter, singing, music playing… I was taken back to when I was a kid and our family get together’s.
The smells of Thai food wafted through the entire house combined with a little this and a little that. All of us salivating and ready to bless the food and EAT! Looking at the array of food presented before us- pesto pizza, Thai chicken BBQ, mac-n-cheese, potato salad, quinoa salad, broccoli salad, berries & whipped cream, Oreo chocolate chip brownie (its like crack!), chocolate pie, peach cobbler, and I am sure I missed some things
The feast before us… We were reminded of the feast waiting for us in heaven. The banquet table, the wedding feast, our Father has prepared for us will be beyond what we could ever imagine. We all can’t wait to partake!
After dinner, we gathered all the kids in the front yard. Adults were plopped in their chairs- drinks in hand- kids running in the big front yard, soaked from the days rain.
Uncle Dave has the fireworks set up in the yard.
Bottle rockets, sparklers, long sparklers, big boomers, whistlers, and more were set up waiting for the kiddos to come- the only time for adult supervised playing with fire.  I am not sure who is more excited- the kids or Dave!
Eyes wide- glows of sparklers flying everywhere- clouds of colored smoke- kids squealing- adults laughing…

I was standing back with my cousin watching everything play out- almost in slow motion…
As I watched Dave playing with the kids I was reminded how he use to take the time and do this with us when we were kids. He hasn’t changed in this for 20 years. His eyes light up with the same amount of joy & a smile is plastered across his face while he gets to experience the pleasure and excitement with each kid as they hold sparklers.
“Isn’t it neat that even though 2 decades have passed, Dave is still just as excited to do fireworks just like when we were kids? I am not sure who is more excited… Dave or the kids.”
How refreshing it is to see an adult who understands the capacity to be as a child. If only more of us could play as a child plays, sing like a child sings, dance like a child dances, love as a child loves, and believe as a child believes… unashamed & uninhibited by what people think. Isn’t that what we are told in scripture- “unless you change & become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Anyone who becomes as humble as this little child is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven.” “Anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.”

What if we became more childlike… had

childlike faith... how would it look… what would change…

Monday, July 6, 2015

awakened to pray

I was awakened with a shove in the middle of the night. Slightly frightened but somewhat confused, I looked around. No one. My clock read 3am.
What could He want? “Yes Holy Spirit?”
I took my earplugs out to see if I was missing something.
I heard it.
Loud and clear…
The memory of laying in Jerusalem every night listening to the same thing at the same hour came to me. I was woken an hour before the call to pray. In Jerusalem, a mainly Jewish & Christian nation, there was a tension in the air. Knowing the Muslims were in constant turmoil with Jews & Christians- you could feel the angst that was created when Ramadan was being celebrated.
In Jos, Nigeria, I did not find this same angst or atmosphere. Jos is predominantly a Muslim nation & it is Ramadan.
During Ramadan, practicing Muslims will fast and pray all day. Then all night they eat & celebrate. This is done for a month.
3am… I heard the call to precursor to the call to prayer… and some celebrating music in the background. I knew what the Holy Spirit wanted.
I wasn’t sure what to pray
So I listened… prayed in the Spirit… then felt the urge to thank God for being who He was.
Lord- you are the God of all languages. The One who knows our hearts & speaks to all hearts. Thank you that You are Omnipotent- Omnipresent- and never slumber. I do not know the hearts of Muslims nor will I try to imagine- but You do. I ask that you speak to their hearts as You know they need- that they would know You as their only God- that they would know Jesus as their Lord and Savior- dying for each life to live in eternity with You. Thank You that nothing is too big for You & that You long for their hearts to be Yours more than I. Be ever present in their minds- giving them dreams & visions of who You are. That they would believe in You- that they would love You- that they would seek only You- and that You would respond to the them like I know You desire. Thank You for each and every life that You created. To You be all glory and honor.

I am amazed that He would ask me a year later then remind me of a year past- to pray for a nation, to pray for a people group that He so desperately desires to know Him. This is who He is. The Creator of all things, having all power in His hands- yet giving man the free will to chose who his heart will love, who his heart will follow.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

mourning to joy

Isaiah 63: 7
“I will tell of the kindness of the Lord, the deeds for which he is to be praised, according to all the Lord has done for ME- yes, the many good things he has done for ME, according to his compassion and many kindnesses.”

My heart if overwhelmed by your kindness & compassion. I think about 2.5 years ago being here on this land in Nigeria- what my heart felt, the emotions I experienced & expressed moment by moment. How different time has changed that. How much You have changed that. Just as in the aging of skin on a face, the aging of a building, the growth of a child, the overgrowth of greenery in an area… that change has happened in my heart.
Oh if I could only put to words the feeling my heart has, the joy within my soul for how the Lord held me, prepared me, ministered to me, spoke to me, molding every portion of my mind & heart… to love, to wait, to be still with Him
Isaiah 64:4 “since ancient times no one has heard, no ear has perceived, no eye has seen any God besides you, who acts on behalf of those who wait.”

You acted on my behalf in my waiting
People say- how do you see it that way? Your husband took everything from you… your stuff, your money, your dreams, even your dog. How has the Lord acted on your behalf in this? If anything, He has stood by watching the worst be done to you.
When the enemy plotted & schemed, taking what was a covenant & good, twisting thoughts & words to deceive a man who chose a different path leading away from God & all that is good & righteous- God did not just stand by.
Psalm 16:1-2
“keep me safe, my God, for in you I take refuge. I say to the Lord, you are my Lord, apart from you I have nothing.”
Psalm 23:4
“even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me.”
Psalm 25:4
“Show me your ways, Lord, teach me your paths. Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long.”
Psalm 27:1-9
“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? When the wicked come to devour me, it is my enemies & my foes who will stumble and fall… though war break out against me, even then I will be confident. One thing I ask from the Lord, that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the Lord and seek him in his temple. For in the day of trouble he will keep me safe in his dwelling; he will hide me in the shelter of his sacred tent & at his sacred tent I will sacrifice with shouts of joy; I will sing and make music to the Lord…”
Psalm 30:2
“Lord my God, I called to you for help, and you healed me.”

Isaiah 54
“Sing, barren woman, you who never bore a child; burst into song, shout for joy, you who were never in labor; because many are the children of the desolate woman than of her who has a husband. Enlarge the place of your tent, stretch your tent curtains wide, do not hold back; lengthen your cords, strengthen your stakes. For you will spread out to the right and to the left; your descendants will dispossess nations and settle in their desolate cities. Do not be afraid; you will not be put to shame. Do not fear disgrace; you will not be humiliated. You will forget the shame of your youth and remember no more the reproach of your widowhood. For your Maker is your husband- the Lord Almighty is his name- the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer; he is called the God of all the earth. The Lord will call you back as if you were a wife deserted and distressed in spirit- a wife who married young, only to be rejected, says your God… though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed… all your children will be taught by the Lord, and great will be their peace. In righteousness you will be established… whoever attacks you will surrender to you… no weapon formed against you will prevail… this is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and this is their vindication from me, declares the Lord.”

His mighty wings have overcome me- the protection of my King, my Lover, my Friend, my Daddy…
He rescued me day in & day out, leading me, some days, moment-by-moment, breath-by-breath
My heart broken into a million pieces, yet He caught each piece
His love being the glue I needed to put it back together
The process- the walking out of my salvation & God’s love- the waiting… was exactly what I needed.
My heart even now is being healed of ischemic areas I allowed- but He is the Heart Surgeon
Isaiah 61
“The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion- to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor.  They will rebuild the ancient ruins & restore the places long devastated; they will renew the ruined cities that have been devastated for generations. Strangers will shepherd your flocks; foreigners will work your fields and vineyards. And you will be called priests of the Lord, you will be named ministers of our God. You will feed on the wealth of nations, and in their riches you will boast. Instead of your shame you will receive a double portion and instead of disgrace you will rejoice in your inheritance. And so you will inherit a double portion in your land, and everlasting joy will be yours. For I, the Lord, love justice; I hate robbery and wrongdoing. In my faithfulness I will reward my people and make an everlasting covenant with them. Their descendants will be known among the nations, and their offspring among the peoples. All who see them will acknowledge that they are a people the Lord has blessed. I delight greatly in the Lord; my soul rejoices in my God. For he has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of his righteousness, as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest, and a bride adorns her head with her jewels. For as the soil makes the sprout come up and a garden causes seeds to grow, righteousness and praise spring up before all nations.”

Only He can restore
Only He can renew
Only He can take ashes and make beauty- just like He took the dirt of the ground and created man. Knowing each intricate detail needed- leaving nothing unfinished and nothing left to waste