Tuesday, April 26, 2011

A Sudden Urge

سلام لكم في هذا اليوم
Have you ever gotten an overwhelming urge to do something, and you don't understand why? I'm not talking about some ordinary urge, like to go check out the fridge for snacks. I do that all the time. I'm talking about some deep desire, some inner compunction to pray for someone, to love someone, to...I don't know.

But I experienced that tonight.

I don't know who this woman is. She's some random Malaysian woman that this lady took a picture of. The only reason I was in her photo album was because she tagged a picture of one of my friends who is on the Race (who I miss desperately by the way...I could really use a Chelsea-hug about now...).

But I stopped for a moment and prayed for this woman tonight. Because it just seemed like something I needed to do.

Anyway. I just wanted to share my odd moment for the night.


Friday, April 22, 2011

The Psalms

سلام لكم في هذا اليوم

I love the Psalms. They're my favorite part of the Bible, except possibly John's four books. It's probably because, no matter what I'm going through, there's a Psalm for it. And anyway, who can't love passages like these?

"The Lord is m light and my salvation: whom shall I fear? the Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?"
(Psalm 27:1)

"The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise him."
(Psalm 28:7)

"I will love thee, O Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust: my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower. I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from my enemies."
(Psalm 18:1-3)

"For the oppression of the poor, for the sighing of the needy, now will I arise, saith the Lord; I will set him in safety from him that puffeth at him. The words of the Lord are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. Thou shalt keep them, O Lord, thou shalt preserve them from this generation forever."
(Psalm 12:5-7)

Yes, there are many great verses in the Bible that aren't contained in Psalms. But I love Psalms nontheless. Because it is beautiful.


Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Me and my "Fancy" teeth

سلام لكم في هذا اليوم

Cass, I hope you're happy. LOL

More like 'totally jacked-up teeth', but meh. There are my braces. I can't wait for them to be off.

Actually, in all honesty, it hasn't been that bad. The soreness hasn't been as bad as I thought it'd be, and the only thing that's really annoying is these bite block things they put in to keep me from biting down and messing up the progress my teeth are making. They make it impossible for my teeth to come together at all which, obviously, means I can't chew.

That's pure torture when you love to eat.

But ah well. I suppose I shall adapt. In just a bit I'm going back in so they can put a covering on these two little spring thingies they've put in to force two teeth apart so we can pull forward two of my teeth, one on the top, one on the bottom. They hurt like crazy. So yeah. Fun, fun.

Edited to add: Take a peek at the girl on the unreached people's widget on my sidebar for today....is she not the most beautiful thing ever?


Monday, April 18, 2011


سلام لكم في هذا اليوم
So, I know I'm like basically serial-posting. You don't mind, right? This is important.

Okay, maybe not.

I now have braces.

And they hurt like craziness.

And they're annoying.

And I don't know how I'm going to survive the next couple years.

Because this stinks.

Anyway. Just thought you might like to know.


Crazy Coincidences

سلام لكم في هذا اليوم
There's this interesting thing about God. He always knows what we need to hear.

Yesterday was the first day of a 'revival meeting' at our church. The evangelist told us yestermorn that last night's message would be the best. (Of course, he then informed us that tonight's will be even better, but I digress.) Yesterday afternoon, I was Facebook chatting with one of my friends who I do a Good News Club with. We were talking about my China funds, and how much I still need, and how I'm sort of freaking out. She told me that she was sure God would provide, and that I didn't need to worry.

Fast-forward to Sunday night. The evangelist was preaching out of Daniel 2, which is the account of Nebuchadnezzar's dream. The preacher focused on verse 21.
Daniel answered in the presence of the king, and said, The secret which the king hath demanded cannot the wise men, the astrologers, the magicians, the soothsayers, shew unto the king; But there is a God in heaven that revealeth secrets...
His whole message was about how we shouldn't worry about things because there is a God in Heaven. And, predictably, he got on the subject of financial things. And God simply reminded me of Haggai 2:8.
The gold is mine, and the silver is mine, saith the Lord of hosts.
That was God, not-so-subtly pointing out that he's got everything under control. That I don't have to worry. That he's still in heaven. That everything belongs to him.

Don't you love those crazy coincidences?


Sunday, April 17, 2011

Strengthen My Hands

سلام لكم في هذا اليوم
Sometimes, the Old Testament can be really annoying for me. It's all about the Jewish people and their ridiculous cycle of fail-repent-fail. The law was a killer system, and it killed a lot. A lot of it is just flat depressing. I have to admit I'm sort of dreading reading through the minor prophets again. I just did that.

But there is one very important thing we can learn from the old testament, and that is that God will never fail us. Even when it seems like everything is going completely wrong, God knows. He has a plan. And yes, he might have to send us through something terrible to get our attention, but he'll be right there all the time.

Anyway. Today I finished up Ezra and went into Nehemiah. These two books are...pretty boring. I'm looking forward to reading Esther tomorrow. Esther is one of my favorite Bible people. Anywho.

To give you the context of Nehemiah: the Jewish people have been taken captive into Babylon. Several years pass, and the Jews are informally set free, though many of them decide to stay put in their cushy Babylonian/Persian homes. During this time, Queen Esther reigns in Persia with her husband, Xerxes/Ahasuerus. So Nehemiah hears from somebody that Ezra has rebuilt the temple, but that it's unprotected, because the walls of Jerusalem have been completely broken down. So Nehemiah gets into his head that that sounds like something he could do.

He asks for permission to go build it, the king gives it, and Nehemiah heads off. After a rather boring catalogue of everybody who was working on the wall, Nehemiah proceeds to tell about the many setbacks that came their way, mostly instigated by the neighboring kingdoms who, understandably, were a bit upset about this ancient superpower trying to make a comeback. In chapter 6, Sanballat the Horonite decides he's going to start spreading some nasty rumors, in the hopes that the Persian king will shut Nehemiah's building efforts down.
Then I sent unto him, saying, There are no such things done as thou sayest, but thou feignest them out of thine own heart. For they all made us afraid, saying, Their hands shall be weakened from the work, that it be not done. Now therefore, O God, strengthen my hands.
I can't help but appreciate that stubborn response. Nehemiah basically says - "Okay, Sanballat. You're saying we're going to fail. You're saying my God can't succeed. Well, sir, sit back and watch my God work."

Sometimes, we need to pray for God to strengthen our hands, our minds, our bodies to stand up to things that are going on. I know that I do. And God has never ceased to be faithful when I ask.

This is very disjointed, I know. I don't think I got across fully what I was trying to say. But take from it what you will.


Saturday, April 16, 2011

A Dash of Randomness

سلام لكم في هذا اليوم
I now know how to make white chocolate-raspberry scones, thanks to Jordyn who directed my attention to this link. Seriously. Most. Amazing. Sweets. Ever. You think I'm joking. They are epic. They are the height of epic.

For now. Until I discover some new treat that's even better.

I'll just stick to my scones for the moment. :D

Last night, my youth group took an hour-long trip to go to a youth rally in a (sort of) neighboring town. After a bit of disappointment because the speaker we had been told would be attending wouldn't be (he preached at summer camp last year), we had tons of fun.

By the way: earnest junior highers being scared witless = most hilarious thing I've seen all month. And that's so mean. But it's true.

The speaker taught on how, even though we can feel as if we don't belong anywhere, and that God couldn't use us, he created us for a specific purpose. Because, after all, God uses the least, the littlest, and the last.

God uses those who think they're nobody compared to so-and-so. God uses those who believe that they are so low God can't use them.

God uses the littlest, those who believe they have no ability to offer God.

God uses the last, the ones who are willing to go behind others, to lift others up, to help others get ahead before themselves.


Saturday, April 9, 2011

Everything to Me

سلام لكم في هذا اليوم
Today I'm going to a teacher appreciation dinner at our local CEF office. That's right. I'm a teacher, and I'm going to be appreciated. They luffles me.

LOL, not really. I am a teacher, and that's how I got an invitation to this deal, but there are also going to be 39 other CEF teachers there. So it's not all for me. Though one of my friends did bake cupcakes for the event, and those are mostly for me.

I got volunteered to sing a song at this deal, along with another lady. We're singing "Everything to Me," and it's been sort of stuck in my head for the past half-week. So I thought, hey, don't let a good idea go to waste, so I'm going to blog about it.
You're everything to me, You're more than a story, more than words on a page of history. You're the air that I breathe, the water I thirst for, and the ground beneath my feet...You're everything to me, Lord, You're everything to me.
These lyrics encompass everything the Christian life is supposed to mean. It's not supposed to be about us, it's not supposed to be about our wants, needs, desires. It's supposed to be about the One who died for us. It's supposed to be about the one who makes the sun rise and the stars to shine. Our whole lives are supposed to be about magnifying and glorifying him.

Last night I was thinking about that verse that talks about abiding in Jesus Christ. I find it interesting that it doesn't talk about Jesus Christ indwelling me. It talks about me abiding in him.

To me, that means that I'm supposed to, quite literally, be the body of Jesus Christ. My feet are no longer mine, they are his. My hands are no longer my own, they are his. My heart should beat in time with his, and break over everything that hurts him.

I think that might be one of the problems in America today. Christians have forgotten what it means to be the body of Christ. They've stopped letting Christ be everything to them, and have gotten sidetracked on all these other things. They've forgotten what it means to abide, to have the world see Christ instead of them.

So yeah. Just my thoughts for this morning. They're a little deep for 9:30. But that's okay.


Thursday, April 7, 2011

Lessons Africa Taught Me

سلام لكم في هذا اليوم


children die every day in Africa.

They are killed by starvation.

Unsafe water.


Diseases that have been eradicated in the Western world.



25% of African children born will die before they reach the age of five.

Every 30 seconds, an African child dies from malaria alone. And that's just the children.

That isn't counting the millions of adults who are currently infected with HIV/AIDS and will die within the year. That isn't counting the millions who will die from starvation, war, disease in the next day.

But what is amazing about Africa is not so much that the people are suffering. Suffering is a human condition, it affects every part of human life, no matter where we live or who we are or how much money we have.

What is amazing about Africa is how wonderful the people are. In a place where people should be in the depths of despair...
They're happy.

In a place where people should be bemoaning their lack...
They are glad for what they have.

So why then is it that I, who have so much, can't get over my perceived lack? I suppose humans will always want more, and since I'm human, I guess I'm the same. But I don't want to be that way anymore.

Because I don't want to forget the lessons Africa taught me.

爱於耶穌, ~Liberty

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

One Day Without Shoes

سلام لكم في هذا اليوم
So today is the annual "Day Without Shoes" that TOMS, the popular charity shoe manufacturer, puts on. And, since all I have to do today is go to a Good News Club and visitation (at church), I'm going to try it this year. :D

Should be fun!


Monday, April 4, 2011

Liquid Sunshine Blog Party

سلام لكم في هذا اليوم

Liquid Sunshine @ HorseFeathers
I'm joining in. Why? Well, I really want a certain brown purse. Or a pretty piece of jewelry. Hence, I'm joining. Oh, and I like to do quizzes. Yet another reason. And sunshine is awesome. So, without further ado:
Favorite season, and why?

Probably spring. I don't know why. Maybe because it's such a growing sort of season. The world is coming alive.

How would you describe your personal style?

I don't know that I really have one. I usually wear jeans and t-shirts. Sometimes I'll slip on a chitenge over my jeans if they're dirty, but that's about it.

What's one weird thing you can do? (The stranger the better!

I whisper when I read. Like, literally, whisper out loud along with what I'm reading. It drives my little sister crazy. v.v

Rain or shine?

In between. I like nice, cloudy, cool days where the sun just sometimes peeps out from behind a cloud, and occasionally a mist will come up. I'm weird, what can I say?

Confession time... what's a flaw of yours?

A propensity to not listen to advice or concerns from others. Yes, I am quite guilty of that, particularly when those concerns touch upon other failures of mine.

Favorite music?

I like hymns and classical, but I'm also quite a fan of contemporary Christian.

Have you ever made a decision you instantly regretted? What was it?

I can't think of anything right off the top of my head. I'm sure there's something, and if it were 3am, I could tell you a million things. But as it is currently 1 in the afternoon, my brain won't let me access those memories. And I'm okay with that.

Who do you admire/look up to?

Lots of people. Some of them dead, some of them living. One of my heroes is Gladys Aylward. She was a missionary to China in the early 1900's. She was told by a missions organization when she was in her mid-20s that she was "too old" to learn Mandarin. She went on to become the first foreigner to become a Chinese citizen.

You've just won an unlimited lifetime supply of... what?

Books. And airline fares, so that I can go places without having to raise so much money to go on missions trips. XD

If you were an animal, what would you be?

Probably a bird of some type.

If you knew you were going to die in a year, what would you do?

Oh my. I'd probably make the rounds of restricted-access nations, not caring what happened to me, because I was going to die anyway. And I'd tell as many people as possible about Jesus.

You are a now a gazillionaire... where do you go to spend your money?

A gazillion? Well, most of it would probably either go to current missionaries on the field, or go to finance my future missions trips. (What were you saying about needing a job, mom?) Then I'd by books. And a new house for my family - a huge house, a millionaire's house, with many bedrooms and bathrooms - and then I'd buy more books. And yeah. Then I'd create scholarships for kids to go to CYIA, and I'd end world hunger, and...

Classical music: love it or hate it?

Love it sometimes. Sometimes I can't stand it. It depends on what kind of classical, too - fast, slow, mournful, whatever.


Fear itself. And roaches.

Hop on a plane and go live somewhere for a year... where is it, and why?

I'd probably be more likely to go do the World Race than go live in one place. But if I had to choose one place...China, or Thailand.

Are you an extrovert or an introvert?

It depends on where I am and who I'm with.

Would you/do you perform on stage?

Hahaha...I'm not an actress. At all. In no conceivable universe could I be an actress.



Sunday, April 3, 2011

Living Vicariously

سلام لكم في هذا اليوم

It's how I cope, sometimes. I'm feeling discouraged in my fundraising, or I've had a hard day at a Good News Club, or things just aren't going how I feel like they should. So I go to the World Race website. And I open up the most recent blog posts. And as I immerse myself in the last one hundred updates from Racers all over the world - posts about spiritual insights, pictures of people thousands of miles away - I find myself living vicariously.

I find a little bit of myself going to those people, being with them as they experience this journey. I don't know them, but I'm content to sit here and observe the Race through their eyes. In fact, while I want to go do the Race someday, it's sort of a distant thing, something I'll do one of these days, when I get the money, and I grow up, and I'm wiser, and I'll be able to pour out my own spiritual revelations.

I'm finding that vicarious living is kind of draining.

This morning, our youth pastor taught on people who don't want to grow up. Part of it was about how we should avoid "defaulting" into life. He used his iPhone as an example. There's a button on there that you can use to return your phone to the factory presets: every original setting that was put into place by a programmer in some distant Apple factory, every picture, every minute detail, will return to what it was before you took it up in your hand. And sometimes, we can do that. We can hit some mental button in our mind and "default" our lives. Or as my pastor put it this evening: we just coast along. Instead of running our race, we've decided it would be a lot easier to put on roller skates and let our momentum carry us along lazily, in no particular direction.

Some of us don't pay any attention to those who are doing things. They're the crazies, those radicals who actually take things like "Rescue the Perishing" and such things seriously. Some say they're just running on emotion, that what they have isn't real, that once they get home, they'll peter out and never be heard from again. Might that be true for some? Most certainly. But not for all.

And are we any better? We've consigned ourselves to living vicariously. We let what others do be enough for us. Yes, we have spurts of activity where we try to meet the mark for the Perfect Christian. We go to church more, we participate in more church activities, we might even go door-knocking or help out with children's ministry. We'll join the choir, or help out with making meals for a sick family. We'll commit to reading through our Bible in a year, and start out great.

But then we'll start looking around, and see Bro. Jack, who is so perfect. He goes on visitation not once but twice a week. He goes door-knocking on Sunday afternoons, and has a Saturday night ministry to those who go downtown. His wife is perfect, his teenagers are both trendy, modest, and great Christians. So we stop doing what we're doing, telling ourselves, "Well, I can't really be a good Christian, because I'm not as good as Bro. Jack. And anyway, since Bro. Jack is doing all that, why should I do anything? I'll just watch him, maybe learn a little, then someday I'll get out there."

So we hit the default button, strap on our roller skates, and start living vicariously.

We've become a whole church of people who live vicariously.

We let others live out the life of a Christian. We dream of what it would look like to be a member of an "Acts church," but we do nothing about it. We schedule revivals in the hope that the Holy Spirit will come upon us, though we don't let him guide us. I've decided that isn't enough for me anymore.

I don't want to live vicariously anymore.

I don't want to hit the default button.

I don't want to strap on my skates and take the easy way.

I don't want to watch others do, I want to do myself!

Is there anything wrong with taking wisdom from those who are learning so much? Of course not. The problem comes when that's all I'm doing, when I'm not reaching out myself to the poor and hungry and broken.

The problem comes when I'm not doing my part for the Kingdom.

The problem comes when it doesn't hurt me to think about those who are dying, lost in their sins.

The problem comes when I can quietly sit down, read about the great things being done for God, and not be moved and heartbroken and convicted and urged to go and do and be!

The problem comes when we're content to live vicariously, when we don't notice it, and it doesn't bother us. When we can sit back and live a normal life, and never feel an inner conviction of what we should be doing.

Our pastor continued this evening, talking about Paul. In the beginning of Romans 9, Paul is talking about his greatest sorrow. Verse 3 says:

For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren...

Paul's burden was so great, that he would have been willing to cast himself away from Christ for the sake of the lost. Why, then, do I make such a big deal about my little comforts? Why is it that I'm content to sit here and live vicariously, never thinking of others?

Let me never be content to live vicariously.

Let me take life as it comes.

Let me be guided by the Holy Spirit that dwells within me.

Let me make my own life

And may it be a life worthy of my king.