Monday, January 31, 2011

New Meaning

The Psalms have always been a place of comfort, a place of prayer, a favorite piece of Scripture that I would turn to at different times of life. However, as I read through the Psalms and pray them for my dear, dear friends in Egypt they have new meaning.

The words of David crying out to God as he was in danger hold new meaning after talking to a friend as he stood on the streets holding a bar and a knife to protect his family and home from the thieves and criminals.

The promise of protection and deliverance bring a new depth after praying them with a sweet friend over the phone as she and the other women in her family sit in the apartment, waiting and praying.

I invite you to pray with me. Pray Psalm 34 for the people of Egypt as they embark on a very important day.

Psalm 34 (NASB)

(A Psalm of David when he feigned madness before Abimelech, who drove him away and he departed. )

I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth.
My soul shall make its boast in the Lord; The humble shall hear it and rejoice.
O magnify the Lord with me; And let us exalt His name together.

I sought the Lord, and He answered me, and delivered me from all my fears.
They looked to Him and were radiant, and their faces shall never be ashamed.
This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him and saved him out of all his troubles.
The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear Him and rescues them.

O taste and see that the Lord is good; How blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him!
O fear the Lord, you His saints; For to those who fear Him there is no want.
The young lions do lack and suffer hunger; But they who seek the Lord shall not be in want of any good thing.
Come, you children, listen to me, I will teach you the fear of the Lord.
Who is the man who desires life and loves the length of days that he may see good?
Keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking deceit.
Depart from evil and do good; Seek peace and pursue it.
The eyes of the Lord are toward the righteous and His ears are open to their cry.
The face of the Lord is against evildoers, to cut off the memory of them from the earth.
The righteous cry, and the Lord hears and delivers them out of all their troubles.
The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.

Many are the afflictions of the righteous, But the Lord delivers him out of them all.
He keeps all his bones, not one of them is broken.
Evil shall slay the wicked, and those who hate the righteous will be condemned.
The Lord redeems the soul of His servants, and none of those who take refuge in Him will be condemned.

As they stand in the trenches, we stand with them: united in Christ and praying His word.


In the same way the Spirit also helps our weaknesses; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groaning too deep for words; and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. Romans 8:26-27 (NASB)

If you have turned on your television to the news or spent time on the internet, you are aware of what is happening in Egypt. In a matter of days, protestors have taken over the streets and a once quiet Cairo has become a picture of unrest.

A few years ago, this would have been a distant news story. One that I may have watched off and on throughout the days. One that takes place in the land of the pyramids. One that was far from home and far from my heart.

However, after spending a few months in Egypt in the summer of 2009 and travelling there other times, this story is heavy on my heart. The streets being shown in the news are streets that I walked to work every day. These are not just thousands of people in the streets. These are the shopkeepers that sold me water, the taxi drivers that took me home, the guards that protected our building. These people are the men and women I walked past each day.

The ones protecting their homes are my friends, my brothers in Christ. The women in the homes are my sisters that I have laughed and cried with. Egypt is no longer a foreign country, a foreign news story, it is home. Their families have invited me into their homes and treated me as family. Egypt is no longer a foreign country, a foreign news story, it is home.

In a time when I have no idea what I should be praying, I rest in this verse. The Holy Spirit intercedes and groans on my behalf. For my brothers on the street that do not know what to pray, the Holy Spirit intercedes. For the women that sit in their homes, the Holy Spirit intercedes.

You may be experiencing something in your life and you do not know how to even begin praying. Rest in knowing the Holy Spirit intercedes for you.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Praying for Egypt

My heart aches for the situation in Egypt. I walked those streets everyday to go to work at the Sports Team office. With no way to contact anyone, all I know to do is pray.

Pray for my friends. Pray for their families. Pray for the people. Pray for the country. Pray for God's glory to be revealed. Pray for His presence. Pray for His peace. Pray for His comfort. Pray for His will.

These are just a few of my sweet Egyptian friends. Friends that I have cried with, laughed with and more importantly, friends that drew me closer to Christ. I ask that you join me in praying. When we do not know the words to pray, the Holy Spirit cries out!

Thursday, January 27, 2011


I am not sure I have ever truly realized and appreciated the depth and importance of community until now. It is often said that you do not realize what you are missing until it is gone. So true!

November 17, 2010 I packed my car and began a new chapter, a new journey. A journey that I knew God was calling me to but did not know what it would hold (not that I ever do). A journey that has proved to cut to the core of who I am as a person. A journey that would reveal things about my character and my life that I would just prefer never know and prefer no one else see and experience. A journey full of tears. A journey full of learning. A journey full of realizing I am nothing without HIM.

This journey is like no other, because it is one where I have found myself completely removed from the community I have known and loved for so many years. A community that has grown together. A community that is full of mistakes, yet full of learning. A community that was not perfect, but was real.

You see, our hearts are created for community. Community with our triune God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The depths of our soul rejoice when we experience community with other believers. But, we are not given the right to community. I am currently reading Life Together: The Classic Exploration of Faith in Community by Dietrich Bonhoeffer and being challenged by every word, every thought.

Community is a privilege, not a right. I am privileged to live in a country where gathering as a community of believers is safe. We can join in a building, publicizing when we will be there and even streaming it live on the internet, if we so desire. But, this is a privilege not a right.

Yes, I miss my community. Yes, I crave time sitting across from my friends and family. Yes, I desire that community here in OKC. But, in the midst of feeling isolated and so alone, I am grateful that I have community, community with Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Crazy Cousins!

I was so blessed to have a weekend at home this past weekend to celebrate a dear friend's wedding. My first stop: hanging out with my three beautiful, fun-loving, crazy nieces. Here are some shots from the evening!

Monday, January 17, 2011


Recently Grandma & I began reading through Paul: 90 Days on His Journey of Faith by Beth Moore. My first month here was a struggle. A struggle being away from my immediate family. A struggle being so isolated from the world outside. A struggle to call and talk to people. A struggle to remain positive. All of this came from my struggle to read Scripture.

I have no good explanation. I simply could not open my Bible, could not write in my journal and could not talk to people that would recognize I was not spending time with my Savior each day. I knew Grandma would love to have me read to her but selfishly, I simply could not bring myself to do it.

I was starving for His Word, starving for His power, starving for HIM.

Time with my sister just after Christmas was refreshing and encouraging. She was a major support as I cried tears of frustration and tears of exhaustion. I missed my family. I missed my friends. I missed community.

Do not misread this... I do love my time with my Grandma and will forever cherish our times of riding around town (just to get out of the house), sitting together in church, enjoying meals together and so much more. But, it has been an adjustment.

After Kathryn returned home, I knew that I had to make changes. There will always be things outside of my control, but it was time I changed what I could change and move forward from there. A friend kept asking what I was reading and I had no answer. Deep within my heart, I wanted to approach His word, but was holding back.

Then during a conversation with Aunt Nancy, she asked how things were going and if Granny and I were reading devotions together. All I could say, No. (Thank you Aunt Nancy for asking.)

We hung up the phone and I was sick of avoiding the thing that I missed so much. I opened Beth Moore's book, grabbed my Bible and sat down with Grandma. We read the suggested Scripture, thought about the questions and read through the thoughts of that day. Immediately, I felt refreshed, filled, no longer starving.

We have continued reading, continued sharing, and because of this, have enjoyed conversations I would have never shared with this woman that has impacted my life so much. One of the questions the other day was about who had impacted your life. She asked who I would say and with a heart full of joy, I was able to share how much her faith has impacted me over the years.

I know God will richly bless our time with Him, our time together as we continue to approach His Word with humble hearts.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Richly Blessed

One thing I have always known and cherished, is Grandma's love for spending time with her church ladies. During my time here with her, many of the ladies called or sent cards. Every one of them talks about how much they adore my grandma... and she adores them.

Each month, she joins with a group of ladies for her Circle Group. They have a time of prayer, devotion and teaching. This Saturday was a great day for Grandma. We laughed and talked before we joined her friends at Ruby's house. On the way there, we shared stories and talked about things we wanted to do.

Ruby, a precious woman that loves Grandma, had set the table with her fine dinner china. Each lady brought a dish... we brought cookies. There is something so special about sharing a meal together. Jesus modeled gathering together around the table with the disciples during His time on earth. Time around the table lends itself to sharing stories, discussing the latest news and sharing what God is doing.

I sat at a small table to the side with a couple of ladies and enjoyed watching from a distance. My time around a dinner table with friends and family is time that I treasure. I pray that I will never stop gathering with those I love around the table.

After the meal, Majorie shared a lesson from the book of Revelation. Her love for Scripture overflowed to those around her. I love this pic of Grandma listening intently.

This is a painting that Marjorie just painted in a paint class. She talked about Jesus knocking at the door of our hearts, waiting to be invited in.

Win and her daughter, Robin. Robin and I have become friends overnight. I had the privilege of making a scrapbook for Win for her 90th birthday. We have also enjoyed talking about travels around the world. I laughed as we sat to the side. It was like being at the kid's table again for a holiday meal.

Grandma and Marjorie... lovely ladies. My prayer is that I always cling to learning Scripture and studying with other women, just as they have.

I am richly blessed.


Not Old At Heart.

The NOAH group at Grandma's church has a gathering once a month. This has always been something Grandma has dearly loved and we were looking forward to joining them as soon as she was feeling better.

This past Thursday the group visited the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum. I have never been but have always seen the sign as we drove into OKC from Texas. I was very excited for many reasons:

1. It had been freezing at the beginning of the week and Granny and I were going stir crazy.
2. She has always loved this group and I knew it would be wonderful for her to be surrounded by friends.
3. Cheat meal!!! We get one cheat meal a week where we do not have to be strict on sodium and we were going to be eating at the cafe in the museum.

So, Thursday morning we rushed around (well... for us it was rushing!) in order to meet the group at the church by ten. There were about 12 of us.

The day was wonderful and we only saw a small portion of the exhibits. In one area there is a town. We joked about taking a series of pics: First, Granny in salloon. Second, Granny in drunk tank. Third, Granny in church. She laughed and thought it was a great idea. However, the lighting was pretty bad. Maybe if we go when Kathryn is here we will use her photog skills to get some pics.

Here are some shots from the day. Our tour guide was 92 years young! The NOAH crew loved having him show them around. He made jokes about not being able to see some of the things in the paintings. We all laughed.

Granny and I are looking forward to the next NOAH outing... until then, we are planning some fun times out!

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