Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Breathe You In, God.

The presence of the living God,
Satisfies the depths of my heart
All of me changed when you came,
Iʼm made free by Your glory and grace

I breathe You in God, cause You are thick all around me
I breathe You in God, cause You are thick all around me

You are Good God,
For You are good to me You are Good God,
For You are good to me

The brightness of Your loves pure light,
Pierces through the darkest of nights
Everything is possible now,
For God is here and God is good


When I donʼt understand Iʼll choose You
When I donʼt understand I will choose You God
When I donʼt understand I will choose to Love You God

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Prayer Walks and God Talks.

The painting God gave us of bringing the boldness of the Spirit with us into our next season.

The Lord works in crazy ways.
A few weeks ago, a dear friend who traveled to Africa with me mentioned missing me.
I wasted no time in inviting her to Portland to spend the week with me.
We hadn't spoken much since we had returned to our homes- back to the craziness of life.

But God knew we needed each other this week.
The days have been filled with so much joy.
She has spoken so many words of encouragement and affirmation over me.
So much of God's goodness.

A few nights ago, we decided to go on a prayer walk.
We walked up and down the neighborhood streets praying over each other and our future plans.
And God said, "I have even more for you both."
After our walk, we both talked about how we felt this boldness and power when we were in Kenya that seemed to become weaker when we returned home
We knew this boldness, this power in Jesus name should not stop now that we are back in the States. We want more boldness to bring Kingdom to the nations.

My prayers, and stomping on these streets were heard and are real.
My God still works in me, through me, for me.
And there will be more boldness in my next season.
More growth.
More prayers.
More presence of God.
Only more.
He's going to grow me. Shape me. Stretch me.
He's going to change me.
And I'll be here praising Him, because I know, He makes every single thing absolutely beautiful in His perfect time.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

She Looks to the Sky.

Abba, I belong to you.

A friend sent me a song a few nights ago and said, "I felt like I needed to send this to you tonight."
The lyrics explained how I have felt these past weeks & months.
Choosing to be content in what my God speaks over me. Choosing to rest in His love, His embrace.
Singing my song to Him even when I quake. Listening to His voice. 
Waiting for my King to sweep me away.

They say she is loved by the greatest of all
Who have walked in the world
He lives far away, still she spends all her days
Content with only His words
She often walks alone, but never is she lonely
You can offer her anything
Her affections are all for Him only
She looks to the sky
As if He is coming down through the clouds up above
Though no one has seen Him you cannot deny
She is drenched with His love
She often walks alone, but never is she lonely
You can offer her anything
Her affections are all for Him only
All the day long she sings sweetly
She says He speaks to her mind
She’s only rich with affliction
Yet a bitter word you won’t find
She lives with assurance He loves her too deeply
To let such distance remain
She’s brimming with longing for Him to come calling
And sweep her away

She Looks to the Sky (Sherri Youngward)

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Joy, prayer, HOPE.

It's a daily choice.
Something you choose to walk in.
Something I constantly pray for.
Overwhelming joy.
I want to be filled with joy.
I want it to pour out of me.
I want it to beam out of me.

I want to be faithful in prayer.
To ask and see God move.
To speak and hear God answer.

I want to be patient in affliction.
As He works.
As He prepares my path.

I believe that my God is a God who reigns.
Who gladly gives joy to His children.
He loves us to take joy in Him.
In every circumstance.

He loves us to cry out to Him in prayer.
He desires to hear us.

The coming weeks, months, years, decades will not be easy.
But I believe in a faithful, powerful God.

So here I stand:

Declaring joy.
Taking joy in the hope I have in my King.
Who is alive + moving + working.

Who delivers.
Who is in control.
Who has already won.

Being faithful in prayer.
Powerful, powerful prayer.
What you cannot do, the Lord can.
Don't be afraid to ask Him to do the impossible.
Don't hesitate.
Don't hold back.
Don't fear he won't come through.
When you ask. The Lord answers.
He is good.

Being patient in affliction.
Knowing He is working.
He has a plan. A purpose.
That He is molding and shaping.
Teaching and renewing.
When I don't understand, I will choose Him.

Serving the Lord.
Fervently. Enthusiastically.
Listening and acting on His commands.
Speaking truth.
Loving the unloved.

Honoring others.
Becoming humble.
Fighting for those who cannot fight.
Being devoted to my brothers and sisters in Christ.

Using my gifts.
Using my gifts and talents to serve.
Without fear.
Singing even if I tremble.
Blessing others with what God has given me.

Keeping peace.
Living in harmony.
Loving everyone unconditionally.
Never quarreling. Or harboring bitterness.
Overcoming evil with good.

Sharing with those in need.
Those in the church.
Those outside the church.
The lost. The lonely. The broken.

Choosing everyday to be JOY. To serve the Lord. And to believe in His power.
Less of me, more of you Jesus.
And let's pray.
Romans 12. 

Friday, November 2, 2012

Even me.

If we have spoken lately, I have probably said the two words, "even me" and here is why:

This is my sweet, dear friend Ruth.

I met Ruth in crowded room full of Kenyan children when we took shelter from a downpour of rain following our church service under the tree. Ruth and I ended up sitting on the floor next to one another and we talked for 30 minutes about our favorite things as the rain hit the roof.
We bonded over our mutual favorite color of green and our love for the song "Our God".

She styled my hair, held my hand, and wrote me the most beautiful note I have ever received in my nineteen years of life.

It's hard to explain the impact this 10 year old girl had on my life. We met for moments, but in every second, you could feel the love and life of Jesus pouring out of her. She was radiant and beautiful. As we walked back to the church under the tree, Ruth held my hand and said,
"Jamie, I will never, ever forget you."
I looked down at her beaming smile, and said, "Ruth, I will never forget you."

We went to the church under the tree several times after that; where we had the amazing opportunity to worship and share with the people living in the IDP camp (Internally Displaced Persons). Each time we went however, Ruth's friends informed me that Ruth was in school but that she gave me her greetings.

I spent our last Sunday in Kenya under the tree and sat through church without a sign of Ruth. I was so disappointed that I would be unable to say goodbye to my dear friend. After the service, however, Ruth and I caught each others eye across the field. We ran to greet each other. I hugged her for a long time and said,
"I am so happy to see you today, Ruth!"
"Even me." She replied.
"I was afraid I wasn't going to see you before I went home."
"Even me." She replied again.
I continued to hug her as I told her to always trust the Lord, to hear His voice, and follow His call. And before we left, we stood together and sang,

"Water you turned into wine, opened the eyes of the blind there's no one like you none like You!
Into the darkness you shine out of the ashes we rise there's no one like you none like You! Our God is greater, our God is stronger, God you are higher than any other.Our God is Healer, Awesome in Power, Our God! Our God! And if our God is for us, then who could ever stop us.
And if our God is with us, then what could stand against. Then what could stand against."

As we drove back home that day, I knew that I really could never forget Ruth.
Upon being back in America, I adopted saying "Even me" instead of "Me too" to just about everything.
It was a way of keeping her with me, and reminding me of her radiance. 
(Also, it was fun because no one really understood that "even me" meant "me too")

One day, as I was talking to my friend Lucy, I replied to something she said with "even me!" Lucy was confused and asked what I meant.
I told Lucy Ruth's story and she then proceeded to write this beautiful poem inspired by "even me."
Strangely enough, this poem is perfect for what God has been teaching me since I returned home: to become more like Him, to know His power and love, and to know He is enough. 

Oh God who never sleeps,
Give me endurance.
You lift the sun in the sky,
And pump light through him hourly,
Do so to even me.
Oh God who ceases conflict,
Give me loving eyes.
You orchestrate the peace of oceans,
And calm the tongues of beaches,
Do so to even me.
Oh God of every season,
Give patient faith.
You remind the rain of where to fall,
And remind it to be gentle,
Do so to even me.
Oh God of forgiving power,
Give me purity.
You cover the ground in cleansing snow,
And wash clean the dirty sheen of slopes,
Do so to even me.
Oh God Heavenly laughter,
Give me a joyful spirit.
You cause the fish to leap from their streams,
And the birds to spin in their sky,
Do so to even me.
Oh God of infinite wisdom,
Give me confidence.
You set the river’s flowing course,
And steady him within his banks,
Do so to even me.
Oh God who formed the Earth,
Give me reverent shaking.
You roar power with a voice of thunder,
And yet whisper to my tiny soul,
Do so, always, to even me.

-Lucy Marcella Baldwin

Do so always, to even me Lord. Continue to teach me and show me how to love like You love. And continually bring people like Ruth in my life to show me Your love and light and joy and peace and power. 
And then, do so to even me.