Tuesday, October 23, 2012

This is Africa | Womens Conference, Kids Camp & last day.

Sorry this took so long!

Friday & Saturday: 10 -11 August 2012
Womens Conference & Kids Camp
Friday morning we were able to sleep in a bit and have a slower start, which was so nice because Saturday will start early and end late.
After I showered I found a weird bit on my leg that had rather big blisters. :(
It's so grody. I have no idea what it was or how I got it.
Thankfully on our team we had a nurse and pharmacist, 
I asked both of them to look at it and was able to get some cream to put on it.
I wasn't the only one that woke up with a health issue.
Whitney woke up very ill as well, she was scheduled to speak at the conference on Saturday.
Judah Africa

After getting to the school we got things set up ready for the conference.
The women of Judah Africa worked so hard and the church looked so beautiful! 
Those women know how to decorate a church!
Getting the church ready.

Women lining up for the conference

Getting manicures!
So many volunteers to come and help!

LaNell speaking on the power of the Holy Spirit

Time of worship through song


Michelle Franzen talking about the "Prodigal Daughter"

Thato and ..... (translators) helping k

Friday, October 19, 2012

Fridays Letters

dear emotions I've had about enough of your shenanigans, cut it out you punk! dear God thank you for the opportunities this week. Thank you for working and being faithful even when I act like a crazy person full of doubts. dear H thanks for being my friend, when we both have our "life issues" and need some whatever time I got yo back girlfriend...even if I don't measure when I cook/bake. Don't hate me for being a free spirit! 
dear All Sons & Daughters music I've been enjoying the beauty of God's word in your music! dear rain & wetness please, oh pretty please stay away until tomorrow at like 5pm!!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

a bit of a pouring | emotions & faith

Emotions and faith, do they go together? This is a question I am asking myself regularly, I struggle with this so often. I know the Word of God to be true, however I feel as though I am not seeing anything happen, no feelings of peace or guidance....nothing.
What I know as truth can't seem to be separated from my emotions. Apparently in my mind they exist simultaneously, one can't function without the other. My struggle here is this: I know God is at work (somewhere) but I don't feel it, see it or experience with my senses. 
If I were to rely on emotion alone I fear I would give up because I don't "feel" like anything is happening. If I were to rely on what I know (with no experience) I feel like I would be a cold, robotic, legalistic "Christian". Faith based solely on feelings seems selfish, that kind of faith is all about the experience.
My knowledge of the Bible and my faith in the "reality" (truth) of it as God's word keeps me from giving up and letting go due to the lack of me "seeing/feeling/sensing" the working and presence of God in my own life.
I believe emotions/feelings do play a part in faith. If emotions are removed from faith in Christ the experience is removed. The experience and movement of the Holy Spirit is what convicts and encourages change.
Relying solely on emotions takes the faith part out of being a follower of Christ.
Faith is belief that is not based on proof.
Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. 2 This is what the ancients were commended for. 3 By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.

I have faith that God is real, that His Word is true and good. I have faith and believe what the Bible says... why is it that I struggle so much with feeling like He is actually doing something? My pride and selfishness in wanting to see and do what I want rather then being still to be aware of what God has. I forget all that God has done, the times of unexplainable  peace in the midst of pain and heartbreak. The times where He has provided what I needed, the times of healing from brokenness and freedom from bondage. 

Martin Luther said... We must not judge by what we feel or by what we see before us. The Word must be followed, and we must firmly hold that these truths are to be believed, not experienced; for to believe is not to experience. Not indeed that what we believe is never to be experienced but that faith is to precede experience. And the Word must be believed even when we feel and experience what differs entirely from the Word.

I'll keep crying out to God, believing His word. That He is good and true. That He is working and has a plan; a plan that goes far beyond what I can ask or imagine. I've been reminded of this several times in the last few days, in conversations with friends and family, from lyrics of a song and sweet truths in God's word.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

recognize yall

I've been thinking about a lot lately, probably too much.
My mind runs wild with all the possibilities,
& the unknowns that come with them.
After returning from Africa, 
 adventure & travel was on my mind. 
All I wanted (want) to do is travel, 
focus on photography, art, media & ministry.
I looked into YWAM DTS programs 
(Youth With A Mission; discipleship training school)
that were centered on creative arts,
I found one in Australia that I was very
interested in & was just about to apply for,
then I found out the cost i had been told was only for the first segment.
The 2nd segment would cost another possible $5,000.
(which meant I'd have to raise about $12,000)
Fundraising for ministry is tough, it's how I've grown up.
I know that God is good & if it was His will He would provide.

I feel like something in me changed after I found out that information.
I kept trying to remember Proverbs 3:5-6
"Trust in the Lord with all your heart
 and lean not on your own understanding, 
in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths."

{trust in the Lord with all your heart.....} - I have such a hard time with trusting the Lord; 

I have the head knowledge but my heart/feelings/emotions don't seem to catch on.
I know the Word of the Lord is true, all the time.
Even when I say my thoughts out loud &
compared to the Bible, what I think or say is false.
I continue to move forward & think that way.
Do feelings really have any place in being a follower of Christ?

Sometimes I have a really hard time knowing what "trusting with all your heart" is or what it looks like.

I want to trust God with everything.
want to do what God wants me to do.
want to follow His purpose for me.
want to walk in His ways.
want to live a life that pleases Him.
want my life to be an example.
want others to see Jesus in me.
want to have a humble & contrite heart.
want to be filled with peace & joy.
want to be filled with the Holy Spirit.
want to walk with Jesus.
want to have a personal, intimate relationship with Him.
want to have a heart of son (daughter) ship, not an orphans heart.

....yet it seems the more I cry out,
 the more lost & stuck I feel.

The more I ask for wisdom & guidance, 
the less wise & guided I fee.
I am completely lost & stuck,
 I thought I had no idea what I was doing before...
it's more so now. 
I have no clue, none whatsoever, what God wants me to do, 
where He wants me to go. If He wants me to stay. I am not at peace,
yet crying out is doing nothing but make me more unsure &i miserable.

{...lean not on your own understanding....}
 I am so incredibly imperfect & flawed,
yet I can't let go of what I know & see.
The finite view I am privy to,
that only stretches so far.
...and every time it stops.
can't go any further.

how do I let go of dwelling on my own understanding?
because I want to so badly!

{...in all your ways acknowledge Him...}


  [ak-nol-ij]  means.....
verb (used with object), ac·knowl·edged, ac·knowl·edg·ing.
to admit to be real or true; recognize the existence, truth,or fact of: to acknowledge one's mistakes.
to show or express recognition or realization of: to acknowledge an acquaintance by nodding.
to recognize the authority, validity, or claims of: The students acknowledged the authority of the student council.
to show or express appreciation or gratitude for: to acknowledge a favor.
to indicate or make known the receipt of: to acknowledge letter.

So basically in everything admit the existence of God
& His presence.
Show gratitude & appreciation 
& make known...
{Recognize yall}

By faith. We must repose an entire confidence in the wisdom, power, and goodness of God, assuring ourselves of the extent of his providence to all the creatures and all their actions. 

Those that put themselves under a divine guidance shall always have the benefit of it. God will give them that wisdom which is profitable to direct, so that they shall not turn aside into the by-paths of sin, and then will himself so wisely order the event that it shall be to their mind, or (which is equivalent) for their good. Those that faithfully follow the pillar of cloud and fire shall find that though it may lead them about it leads them the right way and will bring them to Canaan at last

Psalm 99:5-

Exalt the Lord our God, 

and worship at his footstool; 

He is holy.

struggles, ain't no body got time for that...

self consciousness.

I consistently feel these upon my soul.
like arrows being shot at me.
Yesterday afternoon, I went out with some friends for Autumn photo capturing.
However, unlike most other times I was not the picture taker (for the most part)
I was the subject {we were all suppose to get all dolled up but not all of us did}
When I am behind the camera I have confidence, I am not the very best there ever was..
but I know what I am doing.
I can't pose myself, because I can't see myself to pose myself.
....honestly getting my photo taking is possibly the. most. awkward. thing for me....ever.

Insecurity is something I have always struggled with.
How I look is important to me,
sometimes I can be pretty vain & conceited about how I look.
Which doesn't seem to go with the insecurity & self-conscious view of myself.
Pride  is the root of all sin, so in feeling this way I am sinning.
I was asking Jesus yesterday to "hammar" this awful self image to the ground
(no, I didn't spell that wrong, if you don't think it's funny it is because  you don't know my last name...)

When I feel like this, many times the answer I get from others is this...
"you have to just see yourself how God see's you"
 uhh...ok awesome. but HOW?!?!?!?!?!??
I don't know if this is just me but answers like that are as useful to me as American money in Paris.
{I can say that because I've been there & experienced it.}
A constant struggle in my faith is having it.
Taking the head knowledge to heart knowledge.
I believe the Bible is the inspired, true, Word of God.
I know it. I won't deny it,
feeling it & living it is where my problem comes in.
 [i'm getting down to the nitty-gritty now... lol]

this is my daily struggle.
believing God is for real @ work in my life & has a plan.
I know it, but I don't always believe it.
I'm praying for a hunger to overtake me. I'm praying that I won't be blinded but that my heart & eyes would be open to see the good & the ways God is moving.

rain. rain. rain. all day, it is the cause for canceled photo sessions. One today & one tomorrow.
it was a good day. I completed photos for a client! {2 more to go as of now}
I had NO. zero plans today after the photo shoot was rescheduled. drank a lot of coffee &
for once I didn't spill coffee. however, today I did not go to the gym. but instead got dressed, rather cute to go to Best Buy & Family Video. I think I had intentions of going elsewhere but decided if I were to go elsewhere (namely Target) I would spend $$ on the non-important.
so after returning home with several movies. I started editing & watching movies & drinking coffee.

good stuff. I'm thankful for today, a day to catch up & relax.

*this post seems incomplete & wierd, I apologize, I feel that is all though.
(coming soon...thoughts well written on this)

Kari Jobe - Steady My Heart

I love the look of this video, along with the song...

Friday, October 12, 2012

Fridays Letters

dear weather shape up! I need some nice, sun-shiny (non-rainy) weather Sunday & next Saturday.
dear God the weather isn't co-operating, can You please tweak it for a few hours Sunday & next Saturday? dear work I was really irritated & grumpy yesterday, but you were also the same way, please let tonight be a good night & pleasantly not annoying, thanks. dear free Saturday I just met you and this is crazy lets be really productive maybe? dear God I am begging You for some direction, a map, some answers, something. I'm tired of feeling like I'm living in the dark.
dear friends at some point I will write an actual post, I have some legit ideas, but no time to form those legit ideas into words. dear car (Olivia) I'm starting this thing this week called "pick up my trash when exiting the vehicle" sorry you were a little trashed for a bit. dear fall leaves you are beautiful. dear God thank you for the beauty of each season.
(*I feel like there could be a Biblical analogy, I'll work on it..)
dear self seriously get that funky attitude outta here, ain't no body got time for that! Also why so self conscious? Why so insecre? As a great MAD TV (I think) skit once put it "Don't be insecure gurl, you own that (ponytail)!!" dear H&H thanks girls for the afternoon of photo taking, even though I felt so so so awkward & nervous being photographed.


Friday, October 5, 2012

Fridays Letters

dear slow work week you were a welcome break. 
dear starbucks I've made two visits this week, very nice indeed. 
dear editing I feel like I am finally making progress.
dear Jesus I am still in desperate need of wisdom & guidance.
Information came this week that was discouraging, I feel like I am back at square one again.
dear Lecrae/Trip Lee/KB/Andy Mineo I'm so excited about the concert tomorrow!

Monday, October 1, 2012

What now?

Today has been one of those days...
not an awful day, but I've felt...

This morning I woke up & got up early (early being 7:20am)
The sky was pink, orange & blue,
I grabbed my camera & headed outside,
but of course there is no good place in my yard to take a picture of that part of the sky.
Going back inside I felt failure...isn't that silly?
How is it my fault there are trees all over.
I guess I was feeling LAME today.

Then little, unexpected things happened.

Tonight I recieved some information that frustrated me & caused anxiousness.
I'm looking at the possibility of going to a missions school (YWAM) discipleship program for Creative Arts,
it is in Australia and starts in July (2013). I had gotten info about it and have been thinking that I would need around $7,000 tonight the email I recieved said that the figure I was given before was only for the first segment of it and the outreach segment would be another $2,500-$5,000 more.

[ jaw dropped ]

here I was still worried over the possibility of raising $7,000
& not sure about it when the total just about doubles!
This worries me because right now my sister is findraising so she can go to a
YWAM school in Rwanda,
so she is pulling from our local resources,
& my parents are in ministry so they raise support too.
My limited mind can't comprehend where another $12,000 more will come from.
I felt a little unsure before, going back & forth, battling with fears
& now...I feel like I have to do something,
I know that if God wants me to do this $12,000 is nothing for Him.

Pray with me on this,
I am need of some encouragement,
Holy Spirit power,

God I really want to trust You completely.
Give me peace,
guide me to do the right thing.
I know You are a BIG God who does BIG things.
God I am asking for BIG things,
open the doors You want me walking through
& close the ones you don't want me going through.
Give me peace
& favor!
May I live & walk in Your love & grace!