Wednesday, March 23, 2011


Our Lord has graciously bound our hearts to others on this journey. He has promised to never leave or forsake us and many times He keeps His promise through the hearts of dear friends and sweet fellowship.

Today, I am praying for two families on different sides of the world. Please pray for them too.

**One family came into our lives many years ago. They were ending an amazing adventure of Africa travel and they stayed in our home for nearly 6 weeks. We were forging a life and ministry in a difficult place and they came along side and helped in every possible way. They served, traveled, cooked, peeled beans, played cards, laughed, cried and prayed with us.

Chad and Jennifer Huddleston.

God called them to Japan and multiplied their family and His Kingdom in that place.

Today, they walk along-side a people they love so very much, through pain, suffering and unimaginable loss.

Please pray for them today. And the team of Christians who are serving and giving in the wake of disaster. Their website has current updates and information for donations.

**Another family has been so tightly woven into the fabric of our lives, we feel like we are blood kin.

Ben and Trisha Wall.

When we were teenagers, Trisha was a hero for me. I grew up around her and her family. I knew her mostly from summer camp. She loved God. And she inspired others to love God.
I lost track of her for some years, until she and Ben took a job in East Texas. They served at a congregation with my uncle and aunt. My uncle often asked if I had spent much time with Trisha. He said he had a feeling we would be fast friends.
God took us to that congregation in 2002 and not only did Trisha and I quickly bond, but our husbands did too. Both West Coast boys. Both passionate God-followers.
Over the years, God, by His Spirit has anchored us to each other in indescribable ways. Many miles separate us, but His Spirit will not let us part. I am so thankful for this.

Over the last months, Ben and Trisha have labored under the weight of physical illness. Ben's body has suffered and both their spirits, though enduring, are weary.

Ben has surgery today. Pray that beyond the hands of the surgeons, God's healing miracles will defeat this physical malady. Pray for Ben and Trisha's hearts to be stronger, more tuned to God's voice than ever before.

Nine children are represented by these two couples. As Mom and Dad labor for Christ, please pray for Anika, Josiah, Caleb, Katia, Gideon, Alex, Katy, Elijah and Olivia. May their stories explode with relationship with Christ and may their hearts grow fearless in the Love of their Creator.

So today. Two families. Two different worlds.

One Lord. One prayer.

Be glorified, Abba Father. Be glorified!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Proclaiming in the Dark

“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” Eph 6:12

We are told that Satan has dominion in this world. And we can sometimes see signs of his cruel and unjust treatment.

Last night, around midnight, a woman’s cry punched the quiet of our home. The blows of her pain continued for over one hour. No other sound accompanied her shrieks. No other women joined into the chorus, which indicated no physical death.

No shouts or male voices reverberated. No sounds of physical abuse.

Just a wail. Pain.

We prayed. I asked for God’s angels to come and meet her. Free her. I asked for any allegiance in her heart to evil or Satan, to be turned. Confessed. Changed.

I don’t even know her name.

But I heard the bondage of her heart.

She proclaimed her pain into the silent hours of slumber.

Her current truth contrasted neon against the black night.

We had no choice but to hear.

And so we pray.

And we believe.

“…The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work.” 1 John 3: 8b

“The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you.” Romans 16: 20

We proclaim the One who has Overcome the World.

Right out loud, in the dark.


Thursday, March 10, 2011

As Evening Fades...

"Atwooki, Bye!"

Araali's call resonates through the house, signaling the end of the work day. Our compound becomes only ours for a brief respite of time.

I hasten through the food prep eager for a moment outside. During this fleeting moment.

This perfect time of day.

The noisy hordes of school children have passed our fence and found their way home. Dinner warms in the oven. The boys explode outside for a few final hours of running and energy spending in the coolest hours of the day.


The sun begins to lower dramatically over the mountains that sit majestic guard over our town. The sky displays the spectrum of colors our Creator is choosing for this particular evening. Oranges, red, purples, blues. I am awestruck at the visual and breathe deep of the ever cooling air.

6 PM.

In our first year of life in Ft Portal, 6 PM poured loneliness and despair into my soul. The early evening triggered the impulse to meet with others ending their day of work in our home culture. I missed my parents, our friends, restaurants, malls, Mexican food.

In my first year of adjustment to a completely new and uncomfortable way, 6 PM ushered me into enough stillness to remember all that was left behind.

I cried often, then.

And I prayed. Pleading prayers, asking God to make this my home and comfort my soul.

Somewhere around year three of our sojourn here, I realized that my mind was anticipating the evening hour, not dreading it.

My awareness of this miracle shaded over me much as the shifting colors of the sunset. Gradual. Breathtaking. Awesome.

And now. I long for 6PM. I find my walking path, fill my ears with praise music and drink in the abundance of this place and this life.

His plan and purpose for me. All day, I settle quarrels and hug sweaty boys, encourage math prowess and pray long over ministry. I cook food and clean and organize and plan.

But for some minutes as the sun falls, I walk in the cool air and am embraced. By the arms of my Father who designed this painful, healing time, just for me. Because He knows.

The boys scheme grand adventure and ride bicycles around and around. Sweet girl revels in the quiet house and conquers one more chapter of a book. Too, embraced, by a Creator Who loves them well.

Hungry tummies beckon and darkness drives us into the light of the solar bulbs. Fully loved. Fully known.

A perfect moment.

Thursday, March 03, 2011

It's About Time

(Truest of confessions—I have struggled with the tense of this post. Past and present tense verbs have poured from my heart. What I did then. What I am doing now. I have decided to go with present tense. Primarily because I am not writing about a finished process. I am writing about a cycle that my life continues to churn through. It is my deepest desire to live victoriously, in Christ’s power, over the idolatry I have embraced for far too long.)

“Dear children, keep yourselves from idols.” 1John 5:21


Even the word makes me happy. The receiving of it produces in me a high that modesty does not allow expression of.

Approval is as satisfying when received privately as publicly. It is not the attention that draws. Just the validation that someone views Me as worthwhile and important.

I have devoted parents and had devoted grandparents. I have the blessing of gracious friends and family. By most worldly standards, I have been successful.

I have received in roses, awards, words of affirmation and adoring love: Approval.

Healthy and encouraging.

It is in my life as a gift.

But through the years, I fashioned it into a savior.

And I set it above everything else.

Achieving the esteem of my family and peers became an “art” and passion that I reveled in and gained applause for.

I’m not sure the exact moment this seemingly innocuous issue grew fangs and poisonous tentacles.

But, painfully, I began to realize that the quest for approval often ended in disappointment. Other’s disappointment in me. My disappointment in others.

Approval, as a savior, wasn’t so very successful. In fact, instead of saving, the focused quest was defeating me. Over and over again.

It astounds me that such a painful and barbed life mate has remained my adoring pursuit for so very long.

Despite the pain and ineffectual efforts, I continue to tuck the idol away and hallow it in my heart. I allow it sole influence in decision-making and sole judgment on my life choices.
“What does everyone else think?”

Circumstance and life choices inevitably remove the approval of others from my grasp. In painful and heart wrenching developments, I realize that the approval I perceived in relationships was only a fleeting facade. And this breaks me every time. The apparent failure of my well-honed ability to gain (earn) the respect of others is the wound that festers and penetrates my soul. I cannot control what is happening. I am judged.

And my loss closet is opened.

Every moment of just or unjust negative treatment in my life parades in my mind. The precious Word of God surrounds it “Love keeps no record of wrongs…” and I struggle to give His Word sole ownership of my attention.

But the parade marches continual with a drum cadence I do not choose to ignore.

In the defeat of the reminiscing, I cry out to God. (He’s still there)

I repent and confess my self-centeredness. I cry and I mourn the brokenness.

I focus again, on Christ.

I feel the brush of a scar as His hand strokes my cheek and then lifts my chin setting my gaze on His face. To see His eyes. To read His heart. The Heart of God.

This is happening despite me.

Oh, dear friends, how it heals. And hurts.

I have the opportunity, through the wounds of my broken state to have no strength in myself left to even observe the parade of the past. No strength to earn approval back.

The cadence of my parade of loss becomes an annoyance and I crawl into the cocoon of His stillness and peace. I confess and shelter in His Wings.

And the Light shines.

The temptation to focus on other’s thoughts and opinions first, is silenced by the bold and honest voice of a Father Who Knows All Things.

He never compromises the Integrity of His Being to coddle or cajole me. He authentically loves, purifies, illuminates and adores.

I am overwhelmed at how amazing it feels. His Love.

How readily it pours out into broken me. How I am not working or doing or perceiving or knowing. I am just resting. And the love pours excessively into every crack, fissure and open space.

His voice is so much clearer. His Way is bright in front of me. I do not feel sure of the next steps and I must repeatedly confess my worry and anxiety to traverse this road less traveled.

The loud voices are laughing and celebrating and persuading on the other road. The road that I am familiar with. Where approval and accolades and the pleasing of others is an acceptable and expected guiding force. As I turn my head ever so slightly to the recognizable sounds I feel the emptiness expanding. The confusion setting in. The ultimate defeat encroaching.

There is another way.

And I choose.

To hear Only His Voice.

Deliberate and intentional.

And yet, falling short.

I call out to His Spirit, to remind and to teach. (John 14:26) And I step.

I step onto a narrow path, often illuminated one path-stone at a time. And I find there.

Everything. This unknown and unrehearsed walk is the Life I have longed for.

Abundant, thriving Life.

I dance, unencumbered by the pretense that I am in control.

I celebrate, passionate and undignified.


The Light around me warms me as I am held in the knowing gaze of cherished Truth.

My Lord and My God!

He, who delights in me. And fully knows me.

All these years of comprehending Your presence. And yet choosing my own, hard-to-earn self-saving way.

Now, wholly consumed by my One and Only Savior. Truly free.


It’s about time.
"And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in him and he in God. And so we know and rely on the love God has for us...." I John 4:14-16a