Sunday, August 22, 2010

Today was just one more evidence that the Lord's hand is protecting and providing for me! After church this morning, I went to pick up my sister, Melinda, to get lunch. As I was just about to cross through an intersection, a Mountaineer made a left hand turn right in front of me. My brakes were unable to stop us in time and we crashed headlong into the right rear panel of the vehicle. Melinda and I watched as the hood of my car crumpled up in front of us, but even though we were badly shaken we were mostly unharmed. There were so many wonderful people surrounding us and helping the whole time! The Lord placed just the right people around us (including an off duty EMT) to help us physically and emotionally. Melinda did have some neck pain and tingling in her arms and legs, so after filling out all the paperwork, I went with her in the ambulance to the hospital just to make sure she was ok. She was kept for observation for a short while, but was released within the hour with just a prescription for pain medication. I'm sure both of us will be incredibly sore tomorrow and through the following week, but we're both so thankful to be alright!

I would ask for your prayers for limited whiplash and quick healing for both of us.
It appears that my car is totaled, but we'll decide for sure what to do in the coming week. Please also pray especially for wisdom, strength, and patience as we work out details with the insurance company (praise God the other driver was insured!!)

My God has never failed to provide for me and protect me, and now I have one more story as proof!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Wondrous Love

This is just a little something I wrote over 2 years ago, but when I found it again, I was so encouraged by the truth of God's love for me all over again. I hope that you will be too!

O Love That Will Not Let Me Go

O Love, that will not let me go,
I rest my weary soul in Thee;
I give Thee back the life I owe,
that in thine ocean depths its flow
may richer, fuller be, may richer, fuller be,
May richer, fuller be!

O Light that followest all my way,
I yield my flickering torch to Thee;
my heart restores its borrowed ray,
that in thy sunshine's blaze its day
may brighter, fairer be, may brighter fairer be,
May brighter, fairer be!

O Joy, that seekest me through pain,
I cannot close my heart to thee;
I trace the rainbow through the rain,
and feel the promise is not vain
that morn shall tearless be, that morn shall tearless be,
That morn shall tearless be!

O cross that liftest up my head,
I dare not ask to fly from thee;
I lay in dust life's glory dead,
from the ground the promise said
that life shall endless be, that life shall endless be,
That life shall endless be!

I think God's key word for me right now is love. Such a simple word to describe such a extraordinary action. I've grown up hearing over and over again, "God loves you!" I've said it time and time again, but do I know what it means? Not yet. I catch glimpses of the magnitude and brilliance of His love, and oh! I treasure the thought of exploring its depths for an eternity!

Isn't is amazing that the greatest understanding of God's love comes out of our sin and suffering? Until I felt the weight, hopelessness, and disgust in myself of habitual sin, I did not feel the ecstasy of the the enveloping warmth of God's unconditional love for me. ME. the chief of sinners. the one who has turned my back on Him time and time again to pursue my own desires and worldly pleasures. If only I knew the immensity of His love for me. If only that knowledge would keep me from turning from Him. And yet, He loves me. Every time I plug my ears to His gentle voice calling my name, and I reject His love yet again, still He pours forth gentle streams, then coursing currents, and crashing falls of all-consuming love.

My God, my God, how can You love one such as I? When You know my every wicked thought, and every evil deed, How do You yet wrap me in Your tender arms? When You have felt the sting of my betrayal, and grieved over my rebellion, do You yet draw me close? Oh, what wondrous love is this! This Love that will not let me go!

Friday, August 13, 2010

The days have just been flying by like crazy!! The past month has contained so many blessings and challenges, it would be nearly impossible to list them all, but here a just a couple:

1st blessing: I need only 20% more of my monthly commitments before I can buy my ticket to Uganda! I have had several new families join my team, and each one is such an incredible encouragement to me.

2nd: Each of the churches I have visited have been uniquely encouraging. I have been so blessed by each individual's response to the work of God in Uganda and my life, and each pastor has blessed me both by his preaching and personal encouragement.

3rd: My brother, Matthew, returns tonight from a fruitful missions trip to Croatia. How exciting it is to me to see my siblings reaching out past their comfort zones to expand the Kingdom of God! With my passion for cross-cultural ministry, it's so exciting for me to watch them get involved with ministry overseas! It's a wonderful reminder to me to keep the goal in sight and not become discouraged along my own path to live in Uganda.

4th: I have been meeting regularly with several young women, and have been so blessed by their ministry to me, as well as the opportunity to speak into their lives. Since I am preparing for ministry in Uganda which will include leading and counseling young women, these opportunities Stateside are an incredible blessing as I learn how to communicate effectively, care deeply, and love practically with each of these precious gals.

1st challenge: Many members of my immediate and extended family have been under intense spiritual warfare. As I talk with them and pray for them, it becomes even more difficult for me to face the reality of leaving them. I know that when I am gone, I can still pray for them and talk to them, but I feel the burden that physical distance will put on our relationships. I so want to be here for them, to encourage them, pray for them, or even just offer that much needed hug. I know that I must even now surrender them to the One who heals and defends. Please pray that I would take advantage of every opportunity now to speak the Lord's healing truth to them while I am here, trusting that the Lord is their protector whether I am here to remind them or not.

2nd: With every person I talk to, and every church I visit, I see areas where I lack wisdom. I know that if this is the case here in my own culture among people who care about me, then when I'm in a foreign culture, I will have an even greater need for wisdom. Although I have been constantly clinging to God's promise that He will give wisdom to those who ask, I also need your prayers!!

3rd: For a long while I have been wanting to record some of my piano pieces before I leave the country. Since I may not have access to a fully functional piano in Uganda, I wanted to document where the Lord has brought me, before I lose a lot of my skill. I also desired to leave something that would provide encouragement and comfort to my family and close friends while I'm away. However, I have been unable to find the necessary resources to actually make this happen.

Prayer points:

1. For my spiritual sensitivity and wisdom and a growing passion for the Lord and His Word
2. For the the Lord to continue to teach and prepare me now for all He would have me to do here and in Uganda.
3. For the rest of my monthly commitments to come in quickly!
4. For the Lord to continue burdening the hearts of His people with this ministry, and drawing them to prayer.
5. For spiritual encouragement and victory for my family.
6. For guidance and provision for a piano recording.