Tuesday, January 31, 2012


Joy is not something that comes from changing an outward circumstance, it is something that happens within. A choice. An agreement with Christ in me. The Holy Spirit at work within me, the "hope of glory" in me, and in all believers, who works joy in us, despite all outward circumstances. Happiness may happen when nice things happen... but true joy is an internal happening, based solely on what Jesus is doing in us and through us.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Beautiful feet.

 Just a thought..

Here in Chile there aren't as many mirrors. There aren't as many magazines. There isn't as much pressure to be small, tan, perfect, and beautiful. Sometimes I feel insecure about my appearance.. especially right now because I have a strange bug-bite/pimple looking lump on my forehead.. and I hope that I look pretty even when I think I am stinky and dirty. But I am learning that true beauty, lasting beauty, really is deeper than I believed it to be back home. It comes from Jesus in me, He is the author and perfecter of beauty.

You know when you walk into a really exquisite looking room, or see an extraordinary piece of art? You know that feeling where you think to yourself, "Oh my goodness, its so beautiful, I'm afraid to touch it."

I think that's what God means in Psalm 139 when he says we are "fearfully and wonderfully made". We are so magnificent it brings fear. I love that.

Sooo, just so you know.. I feel beautiful right not. I am wearing a big pink dirty sweatshirt, a sports-bra (accentuating that, like Shakira, "my breasts are small and humble"), soccer shorts, and a mostly make-up-less face. Somehow though, I feel amazing. Not like a proud, emotional high type of amazing.. more like a peaceful- "I am okay with me" type of amazing. I praise God for freedom and thank any of you who have prayed that I could be free. It is always a battle, but in this moment, I am feeling good.

Praying for freedom for you today.

Isaiah 52:7 (NLT)

 7 How beautiful on the mountains
      are the feet of the messenger who brings good news,
   the good news of peace and salvation,
      the news that the God of Israel reigns!

I think she is just beautiful. 



I'm sitting in Pichilemu, Chile. It's beautiful. We are on a YWAM base near the ocean and we are loving it. Hmm.. I think I smell bad.. or the boy at the computer next to me does... but actually I'm pretty confident its me, because my clothes are pretty dirty. But that's okay. I love it here. Also my Spanish is improving, I can understand quite a lot and everyday I'm learning new things. 

On Monday morning I woke up at 4am and I couldn't move my head. I'm not exaggerating, I literally couldn't move at all, I could not even get out of bed. After 10 minutes of trying I eventually started crying and called for Shaun. He helped lift me out of bed. After 2 rounds of free acupuncture, a few massages, and lots of rest, 4 days later I am still really achy and stiff, but I'm doing A LOT better. 

This morning though I was feeling a bit discouraged because I have not been able to do a lot to help minister here in Chile. Everyone else on the team is working like crazy and I am just slowly trying to get healthy in my neck, shoulders, and arms. I was feeling bummed that I couldn't do more to bless the team and the Chileans.  It was almost a feeling of failure, that I am failing at what I came here to do.

But God is so great. In praying to Him about my yucky feelings I felt Him remind me that He does not think I am failing. He has a greater purpose to work out in me, and He is fully able to do that in my moment of weakness. He is so faithful.

One of the things that I feel Him doing in me is stirring up dreams. I have been praying for vision for a long time and I finally feel like He is going to show me something. A lot of that has to do with the leadership of this campus here in Chile. They are crazy, amazing, and totally outrageous. They make no sense at all. 

Let me give you an example.. Mitch, the base director from America, has lived here in Chile with his family for over 20 years. They literally built this entire campus from nothing. At one point Mitch felt from God that He should build a swimming pool. This would be an awesome idea... except Mitch knows nothing about pools. But he felt a dream from God so he moved towards it... he grabbed a shovel and started digging a hole. He kept digging and digging. Eventually, he and his staff began filling the hole with cement. By hand they laid bags of cement... Today Mitch's Olympic size swimming pool in the nicest in the Chile and annually hosts Chile's largest swimming competition. This all happened because a man had a dream and began to dig. Confident in God, even when it made no sense. 

Early this week Mitch asked that our team pull weeds in a huge forest of a field, because he had a dream to have a big nice soccer field for kids to come play on. Yesterday he said in our morning meeting, "imagine how great it would be to have a few hundred kids here to play soccer?".. we all sat imagining.. then he said.. "I'd love to see that happen by today at 1:00pm. So let's flatten the ground, set up the goal posts, put a fence around it.. and get it painted and ready to go." Haha he is hilarious. He dreams and he follows through. 

We didn't finish the field yesterday by 1.. we are still working on it today.. but we are getting really close. It should be ready to play by Saturday. The funny thing today though was that Mitch decided he wanted it to not only be a soccer field but he wanted us to put in posts for a volleyball net, and also make it possible for the kids to play basketball if they want. Over the last 4 days his dream expanded and now he wants to host games for the youth to get involved in. The awesome thing is that we are actually making this stuff happen.. its not just in our heads. 

We are trusting God, working hard, and watching His dreams become reality. That is the way it is meant to be. We are meant to dream with God and do with God. Both. Both dreaming and doing point to Jesus. 
In Him we can do all that He calls us to do. Without dreaming and doing, we will be missing out on what we were made for. We will be missing a major part of His plan. 

Dreaming lately?


If you don't dream enough, because you are always working on what is right in front of you, you will stay in the same place. You won't move, and you will never reach the fullness of your potential. Without dreams you will remain stagnant.

And yet, if you spend all your life dreaming, and never any time doing, you won't move forward either. You will stay in the "Neverland" of time, with grandiose ideas and nothing to show for them. Floating through life focused on a future that doesn't exist.

God is a dreamer. He is also a doer. He dreamed that the world would exist. Then He made it happen. He dreamed that you would exist. Then He made you happen. He dreamed that you would spend eternity with Him. He saw that your sin was keeping that dream from being fulfilled. So He did what He could to make it happen. Jesus made it happen.

You were created in the image of God. You look like Him. That means... you are a dreamer too. Your ability to dream may be dormant at the moment. Perhaps fear, stress, doubt, or distraction, has kept you from dreaming... but don't be fooled. Your ability to dream is not gone. It has just fallen asleep.

Well little darling... its time to wake up. 

The world needs your dreams. We do. We need you to dream dreams that are too big for you. Dreams that can only be accomplished if God is real. Dreams that require Him to be faithful. We need you to dream bigger than just a cute little home with a picket fence.. bigger than a golden retriever.. and bigger than a quiet life with 2 children. Don't misunderstand me, those things in themselves are not wrong, but there is more to living than just acquiring the "American Dream."

You were created by a God that is supernatural. He has the ability to move mountains, heal diseases, part bodies of water, and feed masses of people. Jesus, the King of Kings can do infinitely more than ALL you ask or imagine. But He needs you to give Him the opportunity.

Unlike some other people you may have encountered in your life, Jesus does not intend to take over your life by force. He is not about to manipulate you, or deceive you into following Him. He does not need to do that. He is not insecure about His leadership. He simply stands at the door of your heart and knocks. He has done everything He possibly can to get your attention, and He will continue. He longs for you to discover the life you were made to live.

In Christ you are able to dream dreams that don't make sense. Its true...

I will post a second blog here soon to continue with this thought. But my encouragement to you is to let yourself go wild for a bit.

Ask yourself... "What would I do if I knew I couldn't fail? What would I do if I knew I had unlimited resources? What would I do if I knew I would never get too stressed, worried, or burnt out to complete it? And finally, what would I do if I knew that my loved ones would support it?"