Friday, October 31, 2008

Thoughts on Prayer...

Today, I was paging through my journal, re-reading past entries. In doing so, I came across several quotes I had written down from K.P. Yohannan's book, Living in the Light of Eternity. Once again, these words struck a chord in my soul!

"Prayer is one of the most difficult jobs you will ever undertake - but it is the quickest way to get anything done."

"Spiritual breakthroughs will come not as we sit and wish for them to happen, but as we are on our knees."

"God in His incredible wisdom has ordained prayer to be the most powerful weapon of the church. If He had chosen anything else, like preaching, singing, money, or education, many of us could not participate in waging warfare. But prayer requires none of these things. It can take place anywhere, any time, and can be done by anyone. A housewife, a child, a grandfather, a corporate executive - all are able to impact the world and help change the destiny of millions."

What about you? Have you prayed for someone today?

Monday, October 27, 2008

Fulfilling the Ministry

"Take heed to the ministry which thou hast received in the Lord, that thou fulfill it."
- Colossians 4:17

These are the words I read this past Friday morning, the opening day of our last Maiden's Quest retreat. Once again, God's Word has proven itself to be alive and pertinent to the circumstances at hand. I was reminded from this verse to give the last MQ retreat my very best, and to finish well. By God's grace, I am grateful to report that all did indeed go well, and the retreat was a success! Thank you to all who prayed!

Nestled in the Texas hill country, the Purple Sage Ranch was a beautiful setting for this final conference of the year. The Lord blessed us with delicious, crisp, fall weather that made being outdoors simply glorious! With a smaller group of attendees numbering about 45, we really enjoyed getting to know the girls and mothers who came. Many of them, though coming from solid Christian homes, expressed much appreciation for the further encouragement they received to love the Lord, to live a life of purity, and to pursue God's best in every area of life.

Here are a sampling of pictures from the retreat. The rest can be found at:

Welcome to the Purple Sage Ranch

Our Cabin

Adorable, isn't it?

Definitely not the rustic bunk bed I had envisioned. :)

Wild life abounds at the Purple Sage Ranch!

Katelin and Tara rehearse music ahead of time...

Going over last-minute details with the ranch manager.

Our favorite little sister on the team - Elizabeth Riddell - looking the part of a charming maiden.

Jenna and Jaqueline

Jenna is the daughter of the ranch manager, and was my personal assistant the entire weekend. She was the GREATEST help!

Welcoming comments...

The opening session...

Mom enjoyed helping one of the attending mothers with her baby. What a cutie he is!

Another Katrina... :-)

The dining room.

We enjoyed a 4-course meal for dinner, as you can probably tell from all the silverware. :)

The dining room at night.

The ranch at sunset.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Maiden's Quest Report

What a wonderful time we had this past weekend Maiden's-Questing-it again! Thank you for your prayers for the event! The Lord is so good to hear and answer.

He blessed us with a very smooth experience, beautiful weather, good health, safety on the road, wisdom, and a delightful group of maidens and mothers!

Here are few pictures of the weekend. The rest can be found at:

Sunday, October 12, 2008

A Message from the Heart

Since we are a good ways into the new school year, I realize that many of you who are reading this blog are probably experiencing days filled with school assignments, tests, deadlines, projects, home work, music practice, and extra-curricular activities. I would imagine that, as full-time students, your lives are quite busy right now. However, no matter how busy your days may be, no matter how full you feel your life is with the constant pace of school, may I encourage you in something? Make seeking the Lord your top priority. I’m not just speaking of the concept of “having devotions” for a quick 10 minutes in the morning or letting family worship be your only source of spiritual growth. I’m talking about dedicated time alone with God in a quiet place in which you are able to put aside the many things that clamor for your attention and simply focus your mind and heart on Him.

I was a full-time student too, for many years. I know how full the days can feel, and the pressure that can be there to meet deadlines on assignments. I know that the easiest thing to let fall by the wayside is daily quiet time with Jesus. After all, quiet times don’t receive grades and don’t come with fixed deadlines. Therefore, it’s so much easier to give priority to other needs that seem more pressing! But in the light of eternity, what is truly more important?

My friends, there is nothing more important in this life than your relationship with the Lord. And there is nothing that can replace the activity of seeking Him. Reading inspirational books, listening to stirring sermons, participating in family worship, and completing assignments for Bible class are all fine activities. They can even greatly benefit our lives! But they cannot replace time alone in God’s presence.

In the book that He wrote for us, the heart of our God is learned. And He says this:

The Lord looked down from heaven upon the children of men,
to see if there were any that did understand, and seek God.
(Psalm 14:2)

Set your heart and your soul to seek the Lord your God…”
(1 Chronicles 22:19)

Seek the Lord and his strength, seek his face continually.
(1 Chronicles 16:11)

The Lord is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him.
(Lamentations 3:25)

Without a doubt, school work is important. But my encouragement to you is to strive against allowing educational pursuits – or any pursuit for that matter – to receive more priority than Jesus Christ. When I was in high school, I made a commitment to the Lord to spend time with Him every day; praying, reading Scripture, journaling His teachings, and seeking to know Him better. Now, looking back, I truly believe that those daily moments spent in His presence have shaped who I am today and became the foundation upon which my relationship with Jesus continues to be built. The algebra, literature, and science I studied was important, but these subjects do not have much of a lingering effect on my current life. The rewards of seeking Jesus, however, continue to endure.

Thou wilt show me the path of life; in Thy presence is fullness of joy,
at Thy right hand are pleasures forever more. (Psalm 16:11)

If there’s anything Satan especially fights against, it’s our time spent in God’s presence seeking His face. Why? Because he knows that such a Christian will be a radiant and effective vessel of Jesus’ love to this world. Beware of distractions!

Oh my friends - I long to be faithful about seeking the Lord every day. Not because it’s something on my to-do list to be checked off out of obligation. Not because “Bible” is a subject in school that I am studying. But because of love. Because of desire. Because of true devotion to the One who loved me enough to breath life into me.
How about you?

When thou saidst, Seek ye my face;
my heart said unto thee, Thy face, Lord, will I seek.
(Psalm 27:8)

Great Witnessing Stories

Over on Grace Mally's blog (of Bright Lights ministries) are some encouraging witnessing stories! If you want some good ideas for evangelism or would enjoy reading stories of other young women spreading the Gospel, check out

Friday, October 10, 2008

I Know Who Holds Tomorrow

"I don't know about tomorrow,
I just live from day to day.
I don't borrow from its sunshine,
For its skies may turn to gray.
I don't worry o'er the future,
For I know what Jesus said,
And today, I'll walk beside Him,
For He knows what is ahead.

I don't know about tomorrow,
It may bring me poverty;
But the one who feeds the sparrow,
Is the one who stands by me.
And the path that be my portion,
May be through the flame or flood,
But His presence goes before me,
And I'm covered with His blood.

Many things about tomorrow,
I don't seem to understand;
But I know who holds tomorrow,
And I know who holds my hand."

Lyrics by Ira Stanphill

Thursday, October 2, 2008

He's Got the Whole World In His Hands

For my Bible college studies I've been reading the book of Isaiah lately. In the past, I have often gravitated toward Isaiah chapters 40-66 when needing encouragement or direction from God on a particular matter. But I always skipped the first 39 chapters deeming them "dry" and "insignificant" to the moment. This time, as I have read the book of Isaiah from the very beginning, I am realizing just how relevant its passages are to the happenings of the world today.

A little background: the nation of Israel had been divided into two kingdoms; the Northern Kingdom (Israel) and the Southern Kindom (Judah). They were a wayward people caught up in idolatry and immorality, especially in the north where wicked kings reigned. On the rare occasion that a Godly king ruled Judah, the people might temporarily turn back to God in repentance and faith. But as soon as the next evil king sat upon the throne, they were quick to forget Jehovah's goodness and became caught up once again in idolatry. Many times throughout the prophets, God compared His people to an adulterous wife.

In response to the Israelites' unfaithfulness in both kingdoms, God prepared global events to bring judgment and to accomplish His highest purposes. Assyria invaded the northern kingdom and annihilated it. While the southern kingdom lasted a few decades longer, Assyria was still used by God to bring chastisement to His people. However, even though Assyria was used as a tool in God's hand, they were a wicked nation. Therefore, in time, He brought destruction to Assyria as well as an end to the southern kingdom of Judah through Babylon's conquests . While a remnant of Jews was preserved during this time, they were nevertheless taken captive by Babylon and carried out of their beloved country.

Decades later, God judged the wicked nation of Babylon by allowing the mighty empire of Persia to take over the world. Under Persia's rule, Israelite captives were permitted to return to their country, rebuild the Holy City, and establish themselves once again as a God-fearing nation through whom the Messiah was born.

That is a nutshell account of the narrative contained in Isaiah chapters 1-39.

So, why do I bring all this up? Well, in reading Isaiah lately, I couldn't help but think of America. From a human perspective, these are troubling times. We are in the midst of a financial crisis that could be severely detrimental to the entire planet's economy. We are facing an election that could mean the end to freedom as we know it in this country. With marriages being redefined, parental rights being swept away, and government taking more and more control of our lives, the future of America is uncertain at best; disastrous at worst.

But in reading Isaiah, I'm reminded of the wonderful truth that God holds the whole world in His hands. He controls global events to take place exactly as He wants them to unfold for His highest purposes. He used Assyria, Babylon, and Persia to accomplish His will for Israel, even though circumstances at times looked hopeless. I am confident that God is moving and working right now amongst the nations of the world today to bring about His plans. Whether He has judgment or mercy ahead in American's future, we can rest assured that He is in control. No matter what decisions are made in congress, the White House, the voting booth, or the UN, God Almighty ultimately reigns as sovereign King of kings. At the end of His-story, He is the one to whom every knee shall bow.

Meanwhile, let us not lose heart but trust in our Lord and Redeemer to work all things together for the good of His people and the glory of His Name.