Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Been a while

Wow... life goes by pretty quickly. It has been a while since I have written and so much has happened. To bring you up to speed... my dad is in heart failure and battling that daily. God is good in the midst of it all because He is bringing us closer than ever. I had the privilege of chairing the 2008 Children's Miracle Network Celebration which was indescribable. It is such a blessing to raise money for our children right here in East Texas.

I just returned from my second trip to Guatemala. Once again, as I flew home, I left a piece of my heart there. I cannot help but wonder when my next trip there will be. It is definitely my home away from home. I coordinated a team of 20 from across Guate and the States to put on a camp for missionary kids. The children there are amazing! I fell in love with each one and will carry them with me daily. The theme was IGNITE and our key verse was Hebrews 12:29- for our God is a consuming fire. I realized that at times I say He is, but really He is not. I find myself preoccupied with the world around me and not on the Lord. He taught me a lot about my fears this week and fears that I refuse to turn over to HIM completely. I am saddened as I return to be comfortable again. My prayer is that I do not sink back into it. My prayer is that I remember the words, cries and laughs of the kids there. I cannot write enough to really tell you what this trip meant for me. My heart is changed. My heart is sad. My heart wants to go home but I know God has me here for at least another year. More later...

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

A Slave's Choice

Exodus 21:1-6 discusses the time after a slave has served for 6 years. At this time, the master gives the slave the choice to go as a free man or to remain in the master's house. Verse 5 states: But if the slave plainly says, 'I love my master, my wife and my children; I will not go out as a free man.' As I studied the life of a bondservant and researched the origin of this term, this passage of scripture lead me to the answer.

You see, the slave was given a choice just as we are given a choice in who we serve. He could go out as a free man and lead his own life, a life without a master, or choose to be under the headship of his master. We are given that same choice in our lives. We can choose to be our own master or recognize the love our Master has for us and choose a life bound to Christ. The verse specifically says that out of love the slave chose to stay. I wonder if the world truly understood the love of God, how many would choose to be under His Headship instead of leading their own way. We choose our Master because of the Love we witness from Him in our lives and the lives of others. His Love was expressed by the death of His Son on a cross, the peace that we experience in the midst of storms, His provision when we seem like ends will not meet, His guidance when we feel as though we are walking blindly and the list goes on...

Who will you choose? Will you choose to surrender your freedom and serve God, our Master or will you choose life apart from Him? Oh, friend, I pray you choose Him. Life with our Master is so much better than attempting to direct our own steps.

Been a while!

Wow! It has been so long since I posted, that I forgot my password!!!! Not a good sign. I apologize for not writing and have missed my time here. It has been a whirlwind of a month and trust in God seems like the only thing I can hold on to. Today's post will be a little different than most... just sharing what is happening in my life.

I was considering returning to teaching and then felt like God was saying that is your plan, Not Mine. The job I was waiting on was filled and it felt as though God was slamming the door in my face. I was filled with confusion, sadness, fear and relief all at the same time. So, on to the next plan.

I began searching jobs elsewhere and really felt no peace at all in my heart. I have DESPERATELY wanted to move away from Tyler and it seems that God is always saying, not Now My Child, Not now. Frustrating... I just want some ADVENTURE!!!

More has happened... but the biggest is that my Dad has been diagnosed with Congestive Heart Failure once again (he was sick with this 20 years ago). Immediately I was grateful that God was keeping me here to be close to home. The last few days have been full of tears, laughter and prayers. God is good. I must trust in Him. My dad is doing okay and we will roll with the punches. I will write more soon (I PROMISE!!!) I have been studying about Peace for a talk on Thursday and it could not have come at a better time. Right now, in the midst of the storm, HIS PEACE is all we have.

Love you all!!!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008


Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you. Ephesians 4:32
More than likely, you have experienced some type of hurt recently that has been hard to release. Last night I was reminded of a hurt in my life that I just have not been able to completely turn over to God. I say that I have forgiven this person, but at times I am reminded of the hurt and pain and everything comes back. As it came to mind last night, so did this verse.
I am called to forgive not because this person asked for forgiveness or because they deserve it, but because God forgave me. It just so happens that a devotion I read this morning was about hurt and how we deal with it. The author wrote that "it takes two to cause conflict and only one to forgive." My heart is lighter as I learn to forgive those who have wronged my, ask forgiveness when I have wronged someone else, and accept God's forgiveness for the sin in my life.
I invite you to do the same today, even if the person who hurt you has not recognized what he or she has done in your life. I also invite you to seek those you have wronged and ask forgiveness. This life is about love and if we are walking in anger, hurt and bitterness, love will not shine through. His Love allowed us to be forgiven through Jesus Christ.

Saturday, March 15, 2008


There is one body and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all. Ephesians 4:4-6

The word one is used here 7 times in 3 verses. If you read the first three verses of Ephesians chapter 4, Paul is challenging the people of the church to walk in unity and love. As humans, we seem to love divisions. We create new groups, sections or committees for everything that comes our way. The question I ask myself is: "why?" Why do we divide ourselves, as believers, when throughout Scripture we are called to forget the dividing lines and walk in unity?

What would happen to the church if we decided to unite together as denominations and begin spreading the love of Christ as one? What would happen if we focused on the fact that we worship One Lord, One God, One Father instead of worrying about all of the little distinctions between Baptist, Presbyterian, Methodist and the others? What would happen if we told people we were simply followers of Jesus Christ, His disciples, instead of saying I am Southern Baptist or I am Lutheran

We are called to walk in Unity. We are called to walk as One Body. We are called to preserve the Unity of the Spirit (vs. 3).

Friday, March 14, 2008


Remember that you were at that time separate from Christ, excluded from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of the promise, having no hope and without God in the world. Ephesians 2:12

I do not know about you but I never want to lose sight of the emptiness I experienced before I became a follower of Jesus Christ. When I forget who I was, I forget the incredible power of His Saving Grace. I forget that I once walked through each day with no purpose, no hope and no peace. I forget that in a world of darkness, violence, hatred, and sin, that God still reigns.

While I do not think this verse is saying to dwell on our past and hold on to everything we once believed, I do think it is saying to simply remember. When we remember who we once were without Jesus as our Savior and Lord, we remember what it is like to be lost in this world.

Most of us are surrounded by people who have not experienced the extravagant grace of Jesus Christ. They walk through each day with a lack of purpose, a lack of hope and a lack of peace just like each of us once did. If we forget the power of God in our life, it is easy to forget what it is like for them. As we remember, we are able to relate to those around us that are missing out on the greatest relationship ever. As we remember, we are able to relate the change in our lives to them in a way that is meaningful.

I pray that you and I always remember who we once were, give God the praise and thanks for saving us, and share new life with those around us.

Thursday, March 13, 2008


That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him. I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints. Ephesians 1:17-18

What a beautiful prayer! Paul’s prayer for his church family and friends is for wisdom and that their hearts would be enlightened. When I think about why he chose to say hearts here, it is because our heart is the center of our existence. Technically speaking our heart keeps us alive and if our heart is in bad shape, so are we. Spiritually and emotionally speaking we tend to use our heart as the core of all of our thoughts and feelings. Paul is praying that the very core of their lives would be enlightened by God. If our heart knows God and is full of His revelation, knowledge and love then our lives will radiate that same light. My prayer for you today is that you are enlightened by God at the very core of your existence and that will shine in your life! Know that I am praying for you just as Paul prayed for His family and friends!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

An Apostle

Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God… Ephesians 1:1 (NASB)

Paul began his letter to the church in Ephesus by recognizing who he is in relation to God. He could have begun by saying by simply addressing the church, but he knew that everything in his life goes back to God. He introduced himself as an apostle and gave credit to God by saying it is by His will.

I do not know about you but when I am greeting someone new or introducing myself, I do not usually say: “I am Rachel, an apostle of Jesus Christ.” I usually tell them my name and then when asked what I do for a living, my response is church work.

I know you are probably thinking this is not really a big deal or you are asking yourself why I am focusing on this verse. This verse has more importance in our lives than we recognize. His introduction shows that God is Paul’s number one. His introduction tells the church he is writing that he is writing because God is in his life. Think about how much that means to those he is speaking to. They know that Paul cares about them because of Christ is in his life.

I love to read Paul’s letters because I can feel his passion as I am reading and I know that Christ is his number one. If I am being honest with myself, I would not be able to say this. I would not want to introduce myself as “Rachel, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God,” because my life does not always show this. I know that Paul made mistakes after he gave his life over to the Lord but overall his life and his ministry pointed to God.

I want people to look at me and read my writings and say the same things I say about Paul. I want my life to show that I am an apostle of Jesus not just someone that works at the church during the week. I want everything I do to show others who I am following and that I am following God.

I wonder how different my walk would be if I recognized that I am an apostle of Christ and that it is only by the will of God. I wonder how different it would be if I knew in my heart that my purpose is God and church work is just what I am doing right now. Everything in our lives, everything we do should be second to following Jesus Christ.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

created gods

As we journeyed down the streets of Guatemala, the slow pace drew us in step by step. Lucious greenery, cool breezes, bright colors, all showing the beauty of the culture and the people. However, we encounter numerous gods that the people have created to worship and my heart is saddened for many reasons. These statues are incredibly ugly in our standards but beautiful in theirs. First of all, they do not know the One True God but have to create their own to offer sacrifices. Second, as I take in the surroundings of these images, light is shed on the idols and gods I have created in my own life. None of the statues we encountered showed beauty, yet were ugly and distateful in our eyes. My heart broke as I realized I have created these idols in my life that I look at as beautiful but God sees just as I saw the created gods in Guatemala. You see, anything we worship other than God is ugly in His eyes. I have found that I idolize my shopping and having material items. My focus shifted from God in my life to what can I buy next. Any idol in our lives, anything we have created to worship is trash in light of our Lord.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008


I have to be honest with you in saying that over the past year, I have not had a consistent quiet time. I was speaking at a conference this past weekend to women about loving themselves for who God created them to be and finding their confidence in Him. However, if I were truly honest I would say that a lot of the times I seek confidence elsewhere.

Ringing in the new year, I decided I was going to ring in a brand new me. I cut and dyed my hair, bought a new car, joined the gym and got a makeover (yes, the Clinique counter was grateful!). Only I forgot that there are some things I wanted to go back to. Last night as I was reading through Ephesians and chapter 3 really hit home. This letter is one that I read as a new believer and is familiar Scripture that I love returning to from time to time.

Ephesians 3:11-12 says "This was in accordance with the eternal purpose which He carried out in Christ Jesus our Lord, in whom we have boldness and confident access through faith in Him." Wow... the words are so familiar yet so powerful. It seems so easy to say that our confidence is only in Jesus Christ, but if you look closely it does not show in my life. Some of you are probably thinking I am being too hard on myself, but I am just being real with you and with myself.

So much of my time I am seeking to find that boost of confidence in other things... work, friends, family, successes, appearance, material possessions (i LOVE to shop!) instead of spending each day in pursuit of God. I am not saying that those things in life are bad, but this verse does not say our confidence is from the world around us. It says that we have that only through our faith in Jesus.

As I prepare for bed tonight, my heart is heavy and light all at the same time. Heavy because I am saddened that I seek the world over my GOD and light because I know that I am forgiven. I want to wake up tomorrow in pursuit of Him. I want to wake up tomorrow and spend time in prayer with the Lord instead of immediately worrying about what I am going to where and all that other junk. I want to wake up tomorrow and remember that without my faith in Jesus Christ, I would still be that insecure girl that panics about everything and is terrified to speak in front of people.

I miss being completely head over heels in Love with God and I miss spending each day in conversation with Him. That is my goal for tomorrow.

ALICT 2009

ALICT 2009
27 students... 24 nations... 3 months in South Africa


Closing Ceremony

Closing Ceremony
The Joy is in the Journey



It's just juice