Wednesday, August 28, 2013


I have new determination to fight sin in my life.  He died so I could live.  He was bound on a Cross by His enemies so I could be free.  I want to believe what He says is True and walk in it fully.  17 years into my journey...after years of a million answered prayers and seeing thousands of changed lives and being consumed in the glory of so many things He has done thru us I am fearful.  Fearful that I have somehow thought this has been in some small way because of my goodness or strength added to His righteousness.  I know with my mind that it is Christ plus NOTING but my logic somehow tells me a different story.  

I feel as though my heart is being awakened anew to the mercy and grace found ONLY in His Sacrifice...not even a tiny bit thru my good works or morality. This is causing a deeper worship of my King.  A new determination to fight sin.  Sin and slefish desires are no longer my master.  I have a greater desire to read His Word thru a different lense.  I feel more passion to reach out to the lost with the GREAT news of His Redeeming Power!  So much more compassion for the poor, needy, broken...awwwwww because I am just as poor, needy and broken.  

All the verses I am reading, memorizing, meditating on...they are all tying into Redemption.  As believers we have been redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to us.  It is for freedom that He set us free.  As we throw off every weight, sin and distraction that so eaily entangles us we can run the race marked out for us with pereverance.  We must understand the goal and the great worth of the Prize or why bother to fight when the battle rages on?  We will fizzle out and not finish strong settling into complacency.  LET IT NOT BE SO!

My life may appear more pure and clean on the outside than the days I first believed but it does NOT mean I am any less weak or powerless apart from does not mean that I should  be any less desperate in seeking Him than I was at first.  I am finding the beauty of following Him means we fight harder to see Him as He really is and choose to believe He is who He says He is and that we are who He says we are in Christ.  Seeing Him as He really is surely is our greatest weapen against our temptation to sin.  When we drink from broken cisterns it is because somewhere in our hearts we are not believing that He is the Living Water and that He alone satisfies our thirst.  When we truly believe that His grace is enough and His mercy covers every sin and failure it should lead us to greater obedience AND abandon AND worship AND humble service in HIs Kingdom! Our souls should be at rest in His Presence and alive in His Truth and humbled by His holiness.

I have been incredibly tempted in recent years to place 'good' things on the throne of my heart.  Things, people, ministries that Christ has called me to devote my life to for the sake of His Kingdom have become temptations. When they dominate my thoughts and reign supreme in my affections they become deceitful in my heart. He is speaking loudly to me, in love, that He must reign supreme in my thoughts, affections and heart.  He has an order to things...and He must always be first in that order.  Our first love, our first pursuit, our first cause!  

The battle only grows stronger and the weapons He has called us to fight with are spiritual in nature.  He has won the battle.  If we believe and fight humbled before His mighty hand and with His strength, abandoning our own feeble efforts to His, we will see His glory in the land of the living.  We will see the Reality that HE HAS OVERCOME!  He has TRULY overcome!  His death and resurrection did for us what we can NEVER do for ourselves.  

My heart is humbled, alive, ready and willing to see Him as He reallly is.  Please pray with me that Jesus would reveal Himself to us in a way that causes us to make Him the greatest Treasure and pursuit of our hearts!  Surely this will cause HIs light to shine thru us lighting the way in the darkness for others to see Him too!  

Oh Lord how we love and long for You ALONE!

Friday, July 12, 2013

The Battle for our Hearts

So many people gathered in our home last night as we worshipped the Living Water. The well for our souls that NEVER runs dry. We celebrated the great work God is doing thru Richard Moore III and thanked Jesus for it all! But then I woke up feeling hopelessness and in despair. I looked at all the that needed to be done in my heart and the hearts of those in SL for the nation to REALLY be changed.

 A water well installed is great and should be celebrated....but it will run dry. I knelt on the closet floor that I've been praying and weeping and worshipping in for days and NOTHING. No words could even come into my mind. Then the thoughts came like a flood. What are you even doing thinking you can make a difference? It's too much. It's a mess and will never be undone in your lifetime. Your own heart isn't even pure and you think you can wade thru the mess of the sin in the hearts of so many in a nation who's culture you will never figure out in the 4 mission trips you take each year. You have have a powerful force fighting against you. Your enemies are relentless. Just give up. 

Aawww but then a tiny seed of Hope sprouted up and I just started quietly, slowly whispering all the verses that I KNOW God ordained for me to memorize in past weeks. My faith started growing. I knew He had revealed my own sin and mercy so I could show that mercy to others. So I could hold out Living Hope with passion! He answered my prayer to understand the gospel by first revealing the wickedness and deceit in my own heart and then showed me the power of the gospel in me thru His Cross. The enemy is a Deceiver. Our battle is not against flesh and is against our Enemy  is fought and won in our hearts thru the Cross. THERE IS NO STRONGHOLD HE CAN'T BREAK. NO LIFE HE CAN'T SAVE. NO RUINS HE CAN NOT REVIVE! He CAN use us to make a difference as we humble ourselves and pray, memorize and meditate on His Truth, put it into practice by His power and worship Him thru every trial, attack and persecution with hands lifted high NO MATTER HOW WE FEEL!

Lord, fight for us and they us like the mighty Warrior You are! We want to see Your glory!!!  We give our lives for this!!!!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

What If?

I have worship playing loud on my back porch as I walk around and BEG God for the ruins to come to life! As I BEG God to help me seek Him with my whole heart in private and OUT IN THE OPEN so others might follow me as I follow Him.

What if the 20 people who read my blog and Facebook decide to seek Him with their whole heart?

What if the 15 teenaged girls who sit in my living room each week decide to seek Him with their whole heart?

What if the 20 people that gather on my back porch every Sunday night decide to seek Him with their whole heart? 

What if the 100 kids in an orphanage I visit in Africa decide to seek Him with their whole heart?

What if the 10 ladies in my small group bible study decide to seek Him with their whole heart? 

What if these 7 children I'm raising in my home decide to seek Him with their whole heart? 

Surely if I seek Him with my whole heart in private and OUT IN THE OPEN...And I pour out His life into these precious ones He has called me to shepherd...then they might seek Him with their whole heart ...and also go out and make disciples and lift high His Name...then together we could make Him known so the world could SEE that He truly is Jesus Christ, the Way, the Truth and the Life! 

His Word is True and He is the God who makes impossible things come to pass so I will believe that this is why He has called me! ALL for HIS glory! 

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

He Calls Us Friends!

Jerome typed a rough draft of our financial records...what has come in and gone out thru KOMEO...for our donors and sponsors to see. He also typed up all the needs that have been met since Summer Gordon agreed to be a living sacrifice as our missionary in SL. He sent it to Shana Rutz and i to edit. (He loves Jesus but bless his heart he can't spell very well, we just laugh and blame it on his missing finger!) Shana works full time, runs our non-profit with every other waking moment and as for me, well, i have 7 eventually these will get edited and emailed out. AND I'M SOOOOO EXCITED!!! Here is why....

When looking this over for some reason it makes me cry tears of joy for all He has done thru us, the weak and powerless!!!!  All the attacks, all the persecution, all the fears and anxieties, all the effort, all the time and money, I count it ALL as great joy because I count our lives as NOTHING except knowing Christ and making Him known and living out His commands with all of HIS power which works so powerfully in, the dust that He daily breathes life, the ashes He shows His beauty, the cracked jars of clay that He shines His glory thru. Lord let us lie down low with the orphan, widow, oppressed, thirsty, hungry, poor, broken. Let us suffer with them. Weep with them. Give them food and water and clothes and love and Hope knowing we are really giving those things to YOU! Let us not be strayed from your call to this and let us push every hindrance aside to do Your will with whatever strength, help and resources You provide. Let us have confidence with a clear conscience that one day we will bow before you knowing we lived to carry Your Name in all the earth and do Your will!!!  Thank you precious Lord and King for calling us friends and letting us be a part of Your great work in Sierra Leone as well as our own nation...for such a time as this!!!!

Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. This is my command: Love each other. (John 15:13-17 NIV)

Be encouraged fellow co-laborers. John 15 is what He is enabling every person connected with KOMEO to live out. Every prayer partner, every donor, every sponsor, every encourager, every missionary, every helper. He is bearing much fruit thru HIS ministry. He is using this small Gideon-like army with our fearful, fumbling, imperfect efforts to do great and mighty things that matter in His kingdom! Thank you for loving the least of these along side us with your time, money, prayers, support. You are holding our hands up in the battle!!!!


Sunday, July 7, 2013

Gladly Boasting About My Weaknesses

Let me start by saying that God is so gracious to prepare us for trials and sufferings even before they come.  That is why it is so important to stay connected to a body of believers thru a local church.  His Word says to encourage one another daily so that our hearts are not hardened by sin's deceitfulness.  It is also just as important to spend personal time in His Word and in His Presence to prepare for the opposition that WILL come if you are seeking to do His will. He often leads me to scriptures and messages as a way to speak to my heart to prepare me before a battle begins.  This gives me great courage to fight thru it trusting that if He loved me enough to prepare me He will fight for me as well.  The last sermon series at my church was focused on welcoming failures, trials and persecution as a sign of being in His will as well as rejoicing in sufferings of all kinds as a way of refining us.  These sermons had a theme woven in of thanking God for trying things in ministry and failing and then learning thru our failures instead of not trying at all because we were afraid to fail.  My husband, me and one of our very best friends, Shana Rutz are the co-founders of a non-profit ministry, KOMEO.  Our ministry's focus is taking care of orphans, widows, the poor and needy in Sierra Leone, Africa as a way to further the gospel in this muslim nation.  We have experienced MUCH persecution and many failures as our organization is young, understaffed and going thru growing pains.  Keep this context in mind as you read this post.  

After days of intense pre-Africa warfare (and all the team members are suffering thru this right along side of us) I wake up to yet one more reminder of my clear inability and evident weakness. I dropped to my knees, prayed right there beside my bed, begged God for the strength to boast in my weakness because I could only do what He empowers me to. I Got up, came out side to my porch, pulled up the bible app and what was the verse of the day you ask?

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. (2 Corinthians 12:9 NIV)


So let me do a little glad-boasting about my weaknesses...

I'm laughing at the days to come! The God who cares FAR MORE than me about orphans being fed and having spiritual parents, children wandering from shelter to shelter and house to house instead of being placed in families, the widow being taken care of and her prayerful desires granted, a team of people visiting a Muslim nation to hold out Christ who is the Hope of their country, clean water given to villages who against all hope choose to believe in the Hope of Living Water,  me being a faithful wife and caring mom, my life being holy and transparent with all my weaknesses and inabilities brought daily before Him...HE IS THE GOD who moves mountains for those who believe He can, who acts in behalf of the One who waits on Him, who uses and lets those created from dust boast in their weaknesses, who works all things together for good (including our failures) for those who love Him, who gives us the ability to rejoice in persecution, who is a mighty warrior fighting the battles He's in listed us in as we stand still in His Presence, who is our one Defense against every false assumption or accusation. 

Why do I worry as though something strange were happening to me? Why do I expect that He wants me to be perfect when He, the Perfect One died so I didn't have to be? Can't I look at my life and reason that as time goes on I am putting His Word into practice more and more and rejoice in this? Surely I can look and see that giving away half of my income for the orphan to be cared in a foreign land as well as the gospel going forth in my local church, opening up my home week after week so disciples of all ages and social statuses can be made as an Acts community is formed, having my doors open to the wanderer who needs a place to rest for awhile, adopting fatherless children into my forever family, teaching my children who Christ is and what His ways are like, spending time daily in His Presence worshipping, memorizing, meditating on His Word and crying out for the things I see in Scripture that matter most to His heart, getting on my face in my closet just big enough to lay prostrate before Him and weep over my sin and disobedience as He reveals it to me.  Surely THIS IS WHAT MATTERS most to Him.  Not my perfection.  Surely what matters is seeking Him with all my heart then putting into practice the command to lose my life for His sake the best way I know how with whatever strength and ability He gives.  Surely what matters most is fighting to follow with all my fears and failures ever before me, pushing them aside with all His strength that works so powerfully within me.  Surely what matters most is not the opinion of man or how successful my ministry is in the Christian community or how brilliant my children are in the homeschool circles or how caught up I am on my laundry and how well planned out my meals are for the week or how many followers I have for my blog and how many likes I get on my facebook posts.

He is doing something in me.  Something deep and wonderful and freeing.  I am being refined thru my trials, thru persecution, thru every failure I am getting back up again, thru every accusation I am becoming more embolden instead of bitter, thru each rejection I am sorrowful in a way that leads to rejoicing, in the times I am misunderstood I am counting it joy because I know that He alone knows the way I take and He is who my conscious needs to be clear before.  I am quicker to recognize my sin and see it as being against Him and grieving over this in a way that cleanses and makes me whole. When I hurt someone I feel an ache deep in my heart over this.  I am realizing what it really means to lose my life for His sake and find it. I have NO POWER to do any of this on my own yet  I feel unstoppable.  I feel embolden. I feel empowered. I feel I could scale a mountain and leap up to the high places like a gazelle, no longer being Much-Afraid because He has transformed me into Acceptance-With-Joy.  I feel He is taking every deeply ingrained weakness and turning it into a mighty strength for His glory as He alone is working holiness in my heart. Only Jesus Christ crucified and raised to life alive inside of me could bring me, the chief of all sinners (so I feel) to this place.  And my mind can't even conceive the places He has yet to take me.  I know His Word promises to take us from faith to faith and glory to glory. And ALL HIS PROMISES ARE TRUSTWORTHY AND TRUE!  WOW....His love and power are beyond my comprehension.

I am watching daily for Him, waiting expectantly for Him to take me deeper still despite me being crippled and unable to follow after Him unless He empowers me.  Yet I know He will.  He is my faithful God whom I can place all of my trust in.  He has called me to far too much on purpose so I might never boast in my own strength and ability but only boast in my weakness because it is then that His power will rest upon me.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Waiting on Him

Why do I let the sock tub pile up and put the laundry on hold and ignore the chaos around me and let my kids run on auto pilot to sit on my back porch for hours reading and praying and pondering deeply all things Jesus Christ?  

Because I am desperate.  

I am not good at this thing that Jesus has called me to.  I have anxiety over kids that break down over missed-matched socks.  I have guilt over people God has called me to that slip thru the cracks.  I have frustration over soccer clothes that need to be washed weekly. I have fear over getting on a plane to Africa and leaving my household to be managed without me for 2 weeks.  I carry other people's burdens with me in my thoughts all the way to bed.  I am faced with my selfishness and covet comfort far too much.   I have sinful habits that won't be broken easily and strongholds I can't seem to tear down on my own.  I snap at my next-to-perfect (seriously) husband and see my precious child-blessings as a nuisance at times.  So, I put everything else that seems important aside and choose to seek the Thing that is truly most important I can become like the One that I seek.  I trust all the other things into the hands of the One who holds my heart and waits patiently for me to learn to wait on Him.  

What really matters in this life?  If not Jesus Christ crucified and risen then let's eat, drink and be merry for death is the end.  But what IF He really IS what matters?  What if my attitude and the way I treat people and how I love them because I am conscious of God is the heart of this life inside the gospel.  Then I better spend time with the only One who has the power to change, reshape and mold my heart that is oh-so-deceitful and wants its own way.  The socks, the laundry, the chaos, the kids, the mission work, the endless sea of people to pour into can wait while I wait on the only One who can give me any real power to make an eternal difference in and thru all of those things.  

This morning I once again made a choice.  To lay aside work that needed to be the real  work of sanctification could take place in my heart as I made myself available to Him.  I am watching and waiting at His doorpost knowing that He is coming again soon.  I am so thankful for this life inside of His Son.  All the big tasks and little tasks have eternity in them when I am not living on yesterday's manna.  Daily I will come to Him open-handed waiting hopefully and expectantly for Him to fill me with new hope and strength and mercy for the new day He has set before me!  

Praying for passion with you all to join me in this!

Friday, June 28, 2013

It Is Not a Waste to Follow After You!

This blog was inspired by a line in a worship song that my friend Cristy Cash wrote...

It is not a waste to follow after You my Lord...

My baby is sitting next to me.  The one who has been grafted into my family the way I have been grafted into His.  Her beautiful almond shaped eyes bring me so much joy when I look into them...because I see Him.  She is one of 7 living daily in my home who look to me to be a mommy.  God brings so many others thru my front door and into my heart.  I am not enough.  Never enough.  He keeps me way out in the deep.  I am one person.  One very weak person.  But He lives.  

My life is spent on loving Him because I believe that it is not a waste to follow after my Lord.  I believe He lives thru me...and I see Him living thru so many others.  If His Word is true then my life is found in losing it.  Money and fame and man's approval can not be what my strength is spent must be spent on loving Him.  So in the really hard moments when I see clearly that my strength is feeble and I have failed for the ten thousandth time....I remind myself that He lives. I remind myself that this all matters to Him. He really does consider my service to the least of these as service to Him.  It is precious to Jesus when I hold a child's hand in Africa or put a bandaid on their wound.  He really does care when I stand over the sock tub and make a choice to thank Him for all the big and little feet that are represented.  He cares when I take the time to laugh and play in the water with my 2 year old.  He sees when I excitedly enter into a lengthy bug-conversation with my 4 year old.  He takes delight when I open my home to one-more-child because they do not belong in a shelter but instead a family. When I write an impossible prayer request in my journal for someone I barely know He is moved by my faith and I can be certain He knows that person intimately.  When I fall to my knees on my closet floor desperately asking for help He bends low to listen.  When I weep over the way my sin and selfishness have affected others He weeps with me.  When I memorize His word and meditate on it convinced that this is the way to true freedom He rejoices. When I choose sacrifice over comfort and obedience over self-indulgence and humility over pride I know the Cross and it's power are real.  When I open up my home for people to worship Him and not for my own popularity I have confidence that He also is invited in.  

My life is going fast.  I walk thru my house and think years back.  The rooms have been filled up a million times with so many people that my memory can not contain them all.  But He knows them.  Each and every one.  He has given me honor by allowing me to welcome Him in as I have welcomed each person in. 

Everything is different yet the same.  The same God is moving in the same way as I see He has done for thousands of years in the Scriptures. Yet He is causing me to be different, more like Him. The same mirror over the the same vanity is revealing a reflection with a face that is a little more aged, with a little different glow of His glory.  My house has the same structure yet the rooms are now decorated differently as others have offered me new beauty and inspiration and added space for the ministry He is growing right under my roof.  

I don't have to leave my house to find Him.  He is here.  Always here.  Always with me.  If I want to live for the sake of the gospel...and I do...He meets me here and fills my desires with Himself. 

When I am tempted to believe the lie that peace and quiet are found in my circumstances He shouts out to me in the chaos to still my soul and look for Him.  He is here.  He is real.  I matter to Him.  All the people that come into my home.  They all matter.  Each one is an opportunity for me to serve Him and love Him.  

In three weeks I will get on a plane and fly to a little country in Africa filled with many people I love who look very different from me.  Yet we were all created in the image of the same God. Each time my heart aches to leave all these precious ones right here in my own town nestled comfortably in my own nation many who come right under my own roof so Christ can love them thru me.  Though God has called me to travel to a land very far away 12 other times the sacrifice is always a choice and a struggle.  All the really BIG decisions and the really little decisions (which are really BIG decisions) matter.  Every time I say yes to His will and choose His ways I lose my life to find His and I always realize in those moments that He really is worth it!  So I will not look for my life in a relationship or a circumstance or security.  Life will not be found any of those places because it is only truly found in Him.