Tuesday, May 29, 2012

An Encouragement and a Challenge...

 "Sorrow looks back........
Worry looks around........ 
Faith looks up!" -Anonymous

"Unless there is within us, that which is above us, we will soon yield to what is around us."  -Alfred Gibbs

Think about those two quotes for a minute, really think about them! They made me ask myself two questions. Where am I looking? And what am I yielding to in life?  The answer to those two questions tells you a lot about a person. It's it a bit frightening, and challenging!

Keep living the life and fighting the fight my friends!


Monday, May 28, 2012

Hey There Strangers!

It's been a while since my last post hasn't it? I've been meaning to write on here for the longest time, as I have been continually encountering funny stories, great pictures, inspiring quotes or simple reflections that make me think about posting. But alas, as you can tell I haven't done very well with the follow through. So tonight I decided to just sit down and write. I apologize in advance for the slight randomness of the post.
Why do I write? I love writing because I have this horrible tendency to forget, in fact my bad memory has become a bit of a running joke in my family. Through writing I can have my thoughts and memories penned down so that even if I forget I can go back and read them later. 
I've also found that as I write I hash out topics in my mind and now I've made a journal of sorts, where I write down those personal lessons, thoughts, quotes and words or stories that inspire or challenge me. Thanks to my memory every time I read them, I am surprised by what was going through my mind and reminded of various lessons, blessings and how God works. As you can tell I use this blog in a similar way, reflections and updates. 

Speaking of updates...
In less then a week my family and I (minus Zeb, Jos and Rayni) will be taking a trip to Colorado. I'll be competing in a national speech and debate tournament there and we also have the wonderful blessing of being able to see friends and family on the trip as well. 
A couple days after we get back from Colorado, my mom and I are heading off to New Zealand to visit family on the Rowe side. It's been five years since I've been to the beautiful country and I am super excited that I get to take the trip with my mom and will be able to see that side of the extended family. 

There has been so much that is going on, so many ways in which God has worked, so many joyful memories, added blessings, and lessons learned, more firsts and more lasts. Our lives are truly a work in progress.

A work in progress...I've been thinking about that phrase for quite a while and each time it comes to mind it seems that new revelation comes.
  - I'm not perfect...
  - But on the road to usefulness...
  - In a form that allows for change...
  - "A work" implies that there is a worker...
  - The worker molds and sculpts ...
  - Which sometimes means adding to or perhaps scraping away...
  - Either way there is change happening...
  - "Progress" implies that this change is for the better...
  - Headed in the right direction...

Just some more thoughts I've been thinking! Does the phrase, verse or picture bring anything to your mind? Sure would love to hear about it!

May God Bless

Monday, April 30, 2012

Just a thought I been' thunking ;-)

"Modern history is once again calling upon men and women to rise up and fulfill their God~given destiny to impact their world. True spiritual leaders do not wring their hands and wistfully recount the better times of days gone by. Genuine leaders understand they have but one life to live and so they expend it with purpose and passion. God placed you on the earth at this particular crossroad in history.
You live in a time of great challenges but enormous opportunity. May you live, and lead, well."
 - Henry and Richard Blackaby in their book "Spiritual Leadership"

I was reading through Henry and Richard Blackaby's book on Spiritual leadership that I borrowed from my brother and found this quote at the end of the first chapter. I love the mentality it challenges Christians to have as genuine leaders; we have but one life to live, so fill that life with purpose and passion and make an impact!

It was a challenge to me, and perhaps it will be for you as well. Do we live our lives with a godly purpose and passion? How so? Do we have have the goal of making an impact? How are we doing so? Are we answering God's call to rise up and live a life that glorifies Him??

Hmmm, just a thought....

Monday, February 20, 2012

A thought to ponder....

Just a thought to ponder...
The road to the Kingdom is not so pleasant, and comfortable, and easy, and flowery, as many dream. It is not a bright sunny avenue of palms. It is not paved with triumph, though it is to end in victory. The termination is glory, honor, and immortality; but on the way, there is the thorn in the flesh, the sackcloth, and the cross. Recompense later; but labor here! Rest later; but weariness here! Joy and security later; but here endurance and watchfulness – the race, the battle, the burden, the stumbling block, and oftentimes the heavy heart. - Horatius Bonar

Life won't be easy, life won't be fair, won't be filled with happiness nor with perfection. As soon as one struggle is dealt with another will come up, we won't ever be perfect nor will those around us be perfect. There will be battles, there will be a current and undertow to fight, and it will not be pure bliss. But...you can make the most of it, you can take joy in it (joy not happiness), rest in Christ's love, make your guide and rock the perfect God, and the omnipotent God your strength. God never told us it would be easy, but he did tell us the reward is better than you can even imagine.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

You lead, I'll follow....

Zeb showed me this song a couple weeks ago, I was listening to it today and really enjoyed it so I figured "why not post it?".
It reminds me of a time I was talking with my brother (same one actually) many years ago. I don't remember how old I was at the time, nor the specific words but I do remember that he was talking about a conversation he and a friend had. It was something along the lines, that as Christians when we give our lives to God, that doesn't mean we put him in the passenger seat and let him watch while we drive the car. But rather we give God the wheel with total trust and dependency and with willingness to follow. He went on to explain that this isn't a one time action either, but rather a position we must yield to God every minute of every week of every year. 
It is a conversation that has stayed with me to this day and that I often think back on. I have found it so very easy to push God in the back seat and take the drivers seat for myself, and so very hard to let God lead me. Not because I'm unsure if God can drive the car, but rather because I don't like not being in control. I have found though, that God is an expert driver. This doesn't mean I never get to bumps in the road, but rather that I can sit back and relax knowing that I can trust the driver to take the best route for me and not to crash while going over those bumps. Not only that, but half the adventure comes, when you don't know where exactly you are going and how you will get there. Think of opening a present and already knowing what it is or watching a new movie after being told the plot and ending. Neither quite as exciting as an unknown gift that is something perfect for you, or a movie with an excellent plot that had you on the edge of your seat. Sure you may still get some enjoyment out of the first two situations, but it isn't nearly as interesting and enjoyable as the third and fourth.
This probably isn't a new concept to you, but no matter how simple, it is one we should constantly be thinking about. We should continually be asking ourselves who's in the drivers seat.  You Lead, I'll follow, Your hands hold my tomorrow!

You Lead - Lyrics
I've got waves that are tossin' me,
Crashin' all over my beliefs,
And in all sincerity, Lord,
I wanna be yours,
So pull me out of this mess I'm in,
Cause I know I'm wanderin'
Lead my soul back home again,
I've always been yours,

And this world may push, may pull,
But your love it never fails,

You lead, I'll follow, Your hands hold my tomorrow,
Your grip, Your grace, You know the way,
You guide me tenderly,
When you lead, I'll follow,
Just light the way and I'll go,
Cause I know what you got for me is more than I can see,
So lead me on, on, on and on,
Just lead me on, on, on and on,

As a child I heard your voice,
But as a girl I made my choice,
There is no other way for me,
I'm devoted to you,
You're my peace on the heavy days,
You're the warmth of an autumn blaze,
Your love carries me away,
And it's never too soon, no...

And this world may push, may pull,
But your mercy never fails,

You lead, I'll follow, Your hands hold my tomorrow,
Your grip, Your grace, You know the way,
You guide me tenderly, yeah,
When you lead, I'll follow,
Just light the way and I'll go,
Cause I know what you got for me is more than I can see,
So lead me on, on, on and on,
Just lead me on, on, on and on,

Sometimes when I wake up, I don't wanna rise up, Out of my bed, too many thoughts in my head,
Don't wanna be who I used to be,
Gonna take the back seat and let you lead,
And I...
Need to stop, need to stop,
Cause I'm going too fast,
And I...
Know my God is still God, And you got my back,

You lead, I'll follow, Your hands hold my tomorrow,
Your grip, Your grace, You know the way,
You guide me tenderly, yeah,
When you lead, I'll follow,
Just light the way and I'll go,
Cause I know what you got for me is more then I can see,
So lead me on...
Lead me on...

And I...
Need to stop, need to stop,
Cause I'm going too fast,
And I...
Know my God is still God, And you got my back,
You got my back,
I know ya got me, I know ya got me,
I know ya got me, Lead me on...

Happy Valentines Day!!

"Families are like fudge - mostly sweet with a few nuts." ~Author Unknown

"The family - that dear octopus from whose tentacles we never quite escape, nor, in our inmost hearts, ever quite wish to." ~Dodie Smith

I honestly don't know what I would do without my family. :-) They are such a wonderful blessing! They've made me laugh, been my guinea pigs, encouraged me to keep living for Christ, and loved me no matter what! They are so very much a wonderful blessing from God.

P.S. the first quote inspired the post and the second I couldn't help but add. I got a few laughs out of both, and I thought you might enjoy them as well. Regardless of what they say and how many nuts I have in my family (haha, just kidding), they sure are all a blessing and I love each and every one.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

A trip to Olympia [Guest Post]...

I was in the midst of making a nice long for ya'all but decided against it, mainly because I saw how much time it would take. So I postponed that post and decided upon this one instead. This is written by a good friend of mine named Matt, on a topic we should all be aware of and he makes an excellent point at the end. I hope you enjoy! 


When we arrived, (around 10:00) we went to the Capitol Building and listened to the opening speech
for Senate Bill 6239 by some pro-equal rights politicians (pro homosexual marriage). Essentially, the
bill will legalize homosexual marriage completely in Washington State (right now we have domestic

In response to the opening speech, many people came up and stated why it was wrong.
Pastors Ken Hutcherson and Joe Fuiton made some REALLY good arguments against the bill as well a
woman from San Diego who has an organization that argues against same-sex marriage.
For example, in the actual text of the bill, Section 7 says that there will be exemptions for religious
groups from being forced to marry homosexuals.

But, in response, antagonists to the bill said that Gregoire could simply "Partial VETO". Which is
exactly right. Because of our state constitution, the governor can accept parts of bills while vetoing other
parts. If the bill was passed all she would have to do would be to partial veto that WHOLE section. And,
because those things said in Section 7 are not really stated anywhere else in the bill, pastors would
essentially be "forced" to marry gay couples. This is a major problem going on in other states. For
example, an Arizonan photographer was sued because he refused to take pictures for a gay couple’s

Another argument that antagonists brought up was Civil Liberties vs. Civil Rights as well as "bigotry".
But both of these arguments are too long for me to explain (though they ARE REALLY good).
After listening to the Senate hearing, we went to a rally on the Capitol Building steps. It was cool (we
sang and listened to speeches) but not very many went to that, maybe 500-1000. This may seem like a
big number, but is actually rather small compared to previous rallies we've gone to where some 10,000
people came.

After that, we went into the "House Building" to listen to yet another bill on Homosexual Marriage.
(though this was like exactly the same as the Senate bill; it even had the same people speak for the bill!
) Even though many protestors for the bills came, the advocates for the bills got enough votes in the
houses, and will most likely vote next month to make it law.

If it becomes law, we will have to get around 250,000 votes around June in order for it to make it on
the 2012 ballot for the people to vote on.

One of the scariest things about this was exemplified by an eighteen year-old girl. When she went
up to state her reasons why she was for gay marriage, she talked about gay marriage saying along the
lines, “Why not have homosexual polygamy etc…?”

It’s not going to stop at just marriage rights. Eventually, it will become polygamous etc... And even
then, it won't stop. Like a proponent for the California gay marriage fight said, after winning the battle on
redefining marriage, "It’s not over until people totally accept what we believe."

To make matters worse, there was another bill we heard about. This bill is called HB2448. Essentially
this bill says, "Public and private early learning providers may apply so long as the program is free from
religious instruction, activities or symbolism, control or influence." So that means the nursery, "kids
church", and day care can't be provided by the church if it uses ANY religious teachings or symbols (like
having a cross in your room)

But anyways, away from the negative. Yes, there may be much against us, we, as Christians HAVE to
stand up!! After all, it says whoever is not with Jesus, is against Him. Yes, the numbers may sound really
bad, but God is not a God of numbers!!! Dozens of battles, for example, in the OT, were won by the
Israelites even though their numbers ere few. Look at Gideon, God gave him victory over the Midianites
with just 300 men. (Judges 7) Or look at Sampson who killed a thousand men with a donkey’s jaw bone,
and at the end of his life, killed more than he had in his whole life combined!

God is ready! He is waiting for us to make that move like Gideon did when he saw the angel. He
wants us to GO OUT/STAND UP!!!! He is OUR VICTOR/our God/our King. As Christians, we don't need
to fret or fear, because GOD HAS THE LAST SAY! not congress, not Washington, not even the U.S.


Since this was written the State Senate passed the bill and Governor Chris Gregoire signed it into law. Washington is now the seventh state in the nation to allow gay and lesbian couples to wed. The law will take affect on June 7th, in order to get a referendum put on the ballot for November we have to get 120,577 signatures by June 6th. "God is ready! He is waiting for us to make that move.....he wants us to go out/stand up!!!!"