Wednesday, January 13, 2016

He Will Give You the Kingdom

10 days ago it was Sunday morning at GYC in Louisville, Kentucky. (Is it just me, or does it seem like a lot longer than that?)

At 4 o'clock that Sunday morning I rolled out of bed and started to prep for an event I had been looking forward to for six months - the Mission 5K. All weekend I had been making sure to stay hydrated, over Christmas break I had run a couple 5Ks with my dad to make sure I was up to speed (side note: my dad dragged me out in 20 degree weather to run on unplowed, snowy roads with all our snow gear on...I have the coolest dad!), I had brought my favorite running shoes and clothes, and I had arranged to have friends pick me up on the way to the race since I am TERRIBLE with directions... Everything was ready, and I was stoked! 

You see, the Mission 5K was my mile marker of victory. Victory over a debilitating ankle injury that had kept me from running, and sometimes from even walking, for two years. Since my surgery in July I had been learning to stand, to slowly walk, to speed walk, to jog lightly, and finally, in just the last couple weeks, to run and jump freely without pain. And since that surgery I had been counting the weeks till the Mission 5K, tracking my progress, and praying that God would heal me in time. 

Though I'd hardly slept at all the night before, I jumped out of bed on January 3rd praising the Lord for a recovery I had doubted possible, and praying for safety as I would run my first post-injury race. 

But the race didn't happen for me. 

Through a complicated chain of events my friends were unable to pick me up, and I ended up running all over the place looking for the starting line. I desperately cried to God to help me, and truly trusted He would work it all out, until I finally did find the starting line and saw with my own eyes that the race was over. As I stood there and congratulated my many friends who had run, I could barely hold in my tears of bitter heartache and disappointment. 

I ran back to my hotel, and as soon as I was alone the tears and questions came in a flood. 

What was God's purpose in this?
Why didn't my friends come for me?
How could this work out for good? 

In the midst of those questions and the aching of my disappointed heart Jesus came near to me, and His presence brought me joy. 

Not only did He give me His joy, but He also gave me a verse of a poem to encourage me.

That bit of poem led me to search His Word, and that search resulted in more verses of poetry and a refrain.  

Here are some of the passages I studied, and below is the poem He gave me:

  • Phil. 1:28-29
  • Romans 8:17-18, 35-39
  • HDL 27.6-28.1
  • DA 224.4-5
  • Luke 12:22-32

Fear not, 
little flock; 
for it is your Father's good pleasure 
to give you the kingdom. (Luke 12:32)

Though I have no bread for my table
I know I shall not hunger
The Lord who works to feed the birds 
Does neither sleep nor slumber 
If He can feed the sparrows 
And clothe the flow'ring trees
Why should I fear that He'd neglect
To care for all my needs?

Fear not, 
little flock; 
for it is your Father's good pleasure 
to give you the kingdom. (Luke 12:32)

Though all my friends may fail me, 
My Jesus is always near.
Through trial and disappointment, 
My heart has nothing to fear. 
Even deep in the valley 
Of the lonely shadow of death,
My Savior walks beside me
And supplies my every breath.

Fear not, 
little flock; 
for it is your Father's good pleasure 
to give you the kingdom. (Luke 12:32)

Though on this earth a pilgrim 
No fortune to my name
And though to all the watching world
My path is one of shame
My life is not what it appears
I do not walk alone 
I have a treasure no one sees
My heart calls heaven home.

Fear not, 
little flock; 
for it is your Father's good pleasure 
to give you the kingdom. (Luke 12:32)

So seek ye first the kingdom 
though the path be dark with loss
For if with Him we suffer 
and daily bear His cross
Then we can claim His promise 
of constant victory
And glory that cannot compare 
with present agony.  

Fear not, 
little flock; 
for it is your Father's good pleasure 
to give you the kingdom. (Luke 12:32)

Fear not, my friends. In this world we will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, our Jesus has overcome the world (John 16:33). 

Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat; neither for the body, what ye shall put on...But rather seek ye the kingdom of God; and if, as ye seek, ye suffer with Him, so ye may also be glorified with Him. For I consider that our present sufferings cannot even be compared to the glory that will be revealed to us...and all these things shall be added unto you. - (my combination of Luke 12 & Romans 8)

Have no doubt. He will give you the Kingdom. 

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Thoughts on GYC 2016 Called, Chosen, Faithful

Have you heard the voice of Jesus
calling to your heart today? 
Answer Him and join the battle;
march with Him into the fray. 

Do you know that God has chosen,
chosen you, His name to bear? 
Let your light shine for His glory;
give your life His love to share. 

Faithful is our Captain's calling;
faithful, He Who's chosen you;
faithful to fulfill His promise - 
He will keep you faithful too. 

Then through trial and tribulation 
we will finally join the throng 
following the steps of Jesus;
we will sing the victor's song:

Worthy is the Lamb Almighty!
He has set His people free!
King of kings and Lord of lords,
He will reign eternally! 

Friday, July 24, 2015

Lessons From the Horse's Back

My apologies to those of you who don't understand horses...some of this may be confusing to you, but I hope you can still catch the lesson I learned the other day while working with a friend's horse. 


Dia would not move.

I watched her ears and felt her muscles tense and relax under my seat as I tried to understand why she wasn't getting what I was communicating. We had no saddle between us to interfere with my signals, and her hackamore fit just fine. I looked where I wanted to go and asked again. Loose, open reins, a firm but gentle squeeze...nothing. Open reins, squeeze, and a click with my tongue. Her ears flicked back towards me but her feet didn't even shift. Again, but stronger: reins, legs, voice, and seat. Still nothing. 

Being one of my first times working with Dia, I expected that we might have a couple small misunderstandings, but I had thought it would be easier than this. Ground work with her was nearly flawless. She joined up with me pretty well and walked by me like a shadow as we worked in the round pen. I knew there were no physical problems with her as I had just examined her all over and only found a hint of healing thrush in her front hooves. There was no reason for Dia to not be walking forward. 

I decided to try again but added leverage to my list of signals. Sliding my hand down the right rein I pulled Dia's nose toward her shoulder. As her neck curved to the right I gave a slight squeeze with my legs and again used every signal I had to ask her to start walking. 

She took a step! 

...but as soon as I let up on the reins and straightened her out she stopped again. So we did the neck stretch and signal method again but in the other direction. A few more steps. 

Gradually, one step to the right, two steps left, three to the right, one step left, and so on, we started to move forward. 

After a little more work we ended on a good note, I hopped off, and Dia was able to go where she had wanted to go the whole time - back to her hot dusty pasture. 

But I was disappointed. Just down the hill from where we had worked on baby steps was a pond that would have been perfect to take Dia swimming in. It was a hot day, and I knew that both Dia and I love water. If she had only cooperated we could have spent that half hour chilling in the pond together instead of dancing back and forth under the blazing sun.

As I scuffed back to the tack shed a verse drifted through my mind...

"Do not be like the horse or like the mule, which have no understanding, which must be harnessed with bit and bridle, else they will not come near you..." (Ps. 32:9).

If only Dia had understood that I simply wanted her to walk us down the hill to the fresh, cool pond, I know she would have gladly pranced forward. Yet because she didn't know where I wanted to take her, even with a bridle we could only train when I'd had so much planned.

"For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts..." (Is. 55:9).

How often do I behave just like Dia? My God, whose thoughts and plans are far beyond my understanding, works with me daily. He knows everything about me, and He does all He can to communicate with me. Yet sometimes I seem not to hear. My narrow view of life does not include the wonderful ideals and brilliant goals that God wants to attain with me. So when He asks me to move forward, I hesitate, and we start our little dance. He works with me where I will listen and grows me where I will obey until we slowly start to head in the direction He initially intended. 

But do I miss or postpone some of His blessings because of my unwillingness to go forward?

As I watch Dia stand in the sun, swatting pesky flies with her thick tail, I humbly surrender my disappointed heart to my own Master that I'm sure I have disappointed many times. 

"Dear Father, Your patience and love for me amaze me. Your plans are beyond what I can imagine. Though I can't always fathom the full picture, I want to listen and obey immediately the first time You speak. I don't want to be like the horse or mule... I want to follow You to Plan A, not force You to lead me to Plan B... Please, don't stop training me. Keep me in Your fold and under Your care. I love You (because You first loved me). Amen."

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

What Wondrous Love is This!

I came across this quotation yesterday, and was completely amazed. In one sentence, my entire picture of Christ was broadened and ennobled. What wondrous, unfathomable love - that He could love the repentant sinner more than one unfallen!

In March of 1889, Sister White wrote in her diary:

If all who commit wrongs would feel that Jesus loves us more dearly for the temptation that has been yielded to and confessed, than if there had been no error, no breach in the armor! – {1888 273.1}

Praise the Lord! For He loves even me!

Have you made a mistake or tripped up along the way? Have you turned off the upward path, dazzled by the pleasures of the world? In your heart, is there a secret fear that you have gone too far, been too bad, are too defiled to come before your God?

Cast off your fear and run to Jesus, for He loves you! He loves you more dearly now than He ever has before. His arms are open to you, calling you back from the darkness into the glorious hope of His love and light.

What love! That He who gave up all of heaven to live and die miserably, should love us more who caused His pain...

What wondrous love is this! Oh my soul, oh my soul!
What wondrous love is this, oh my soul!
What wondrous love is this
That caused the Lord of bliss
To bear the dreadful curse for my soul, for my soul,
To bear the dreadful curse for my soul!

When I was sinking down, sinking down, sinking down,
When I was sinking down, sinking down, 
When I was sinking down
Beneath God’s righteous frown,
Christ laid aside His crown for my soul for my soul,
Christ laid aside His crown for my soul.

To God and to the Lamb I will sing, I will sing,
To God and to the Lamb I will sing,
To God and to the Lamb, 
Who is the great I AM, 
While millions join the theme, I will sing, I will sing,
While millions join the theme, I will sing.

And when from death I'm free I'll sing on, I'll sing on,
And when from death I'm free I'll sing on,
And when from death I'm free,
I’ll sing His love for me,
And through eternity I’ll sing on, I’ll sing on,
And through eternity I’ll sing on.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

A Poem I Wrote for Easter

Sorry to post so late...I've been busy, but now I'm home for the summer. :) Praise the Lord! 

Upon the cross my Savior bled
He gave His life for me
And by the water and the blood
He sealed the victory. 
But as the sun began to set
They laid Him in a tomb
And sorrow caused them to forget
That He would rise up soon. 

He rested on the Sabbath 'til
He heard the angel's voice
"Come forth, God's Son! Thy Father calls!"
Let all the earth rejoice! 
He broke the chains of death with love 
He conquered every sin
He rose again and reigns above
All glory goes to Him. 

Now all my riches, worldly fame, 
I place upon His cross
With Him I give my self away
I count all things as loss
My life, now hid with Christ in God, 
I press toward the prize
That I may hear the upward call
And with my Savior rise.

Hosanna to the King of kings 
Who rose up from the dead
Where once he wore the cruel thorns
Now victory crowns instead.
All nations now shall bow the knee
And every tongue confess
That Jesus Christ is Lord indeed -
The King of Righteousness.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Thoughts on the Last Supper...

The sun was setting on His life,
The end was coming fast.
He felt the shadow of the cross;
This supper was his last.
With loving hands He acted out,
An illustration clear:
How God had served and given all
To draw the sinner near.

As Peter, John, and Judas fought,
And sought the highest place,
Their Master knelt and washed their feet:
What they had thought disgrace.
His condescension broke their hearts;
They saw their pride and sin.
He washed more than their filthy feet,
He cleansed the heart within.

All twelve disciples were with Christ
For more than three whole years,
And yet they still were subject to
Pride, doubt, and human fears.
We too have seen Christ through His Word,
By faith His name we bear,
But do our hearts reveal His love?
Or is self cherished there?

Let each of us draw near to Christ;
Walk humbly with our God.
He’ll cleanse the temple of our heart;
We’ll walk where He has trod.
Then only are we all prepared
To take the bread and wine,
Christ’s broken body and His blood,
Portrayed in sacred sign.

Christ gave His body for our sins,
His blood was spilled in love;
And by His perfect sacrifice
He’ll carry us above.
Before the Father on His throne
We now stand washed from sin;
Communion then will be restored
As we remember Him.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

GCHEM Devotional 3

My breath seemed to add more clouds to the foggy darkness as I went on my early-morning run. Coming out of the dorm, it had not seemed too dark, and I had left my flashlight behind, but as I emerged from the circles of light that glowed around lampposts and buildings, the darkness and fog closed in thicker than I had anticipated. The paved path blended with the wet ground; only the firmness of the cement assured me of the correct course. I was just starting to pull out my phone to use as a flashlight, when the thumping of my steps turned to crunching. Without even realizing it, I had gone off the path. Quickly, I tapped on my flashlight app, and a bright beam of light showed me my surroundings. Now I easily found my way back to my running rout.
            Without the light, I could not see the way, and I stepped off the path. Without Christ, “the light of the world,”1 I can not see spiritually, and I will step off His path. Throughout the Bible, Christ is referred to as the “light of the world.”2 He brings spiritual sight and understanding to His followers, just as light brings physical sight. He is the One who shows the way to heaven.
            Still, the parallels between Christ and light go deeper. Christ has a dual nature. He is fully human and fully divine. Visible light also has a dual nature: particle and wave. Young’s double-slit experiment is an example of this. Young showed that light has a wave-like nature by shining a single beam of light through a screen containing two slits and on to another screen. When the light passed through the slits it shone a pattern on the last screen. There were alternating bands of light and dark on the screen; called an interference pattern. This can be explained by the wave-like nature of light: where light waves meet trough-to-trough and crest-to-crest when they hit the screen, they amplify each other, but where troughs and crests meet, they cancel each other, causing the dark bands on the screen.3 Yet, on closer examination, Young’s experiment showed the particle nature of light as well.
            Even when only one photon of light at a time is shone at the double-slit screen, over a period of time, the interference pattern still shows up, exemplifying that light behaves as a wave. The only exception to this is when the slits are closely observed to find out which slit each photon passes through. If each photon is watched closely, light stops traveling like a wave and starts traveling like single particles.4 The interference pattern disappears, and only two bands of light show up on the final screen. Simply by close observation, light’s particle properties can be observed, but at the same time, its wave-like properties disappear. Somehow, light is both a wave and a particle, but scientists still do not fully understand how this can be. The whole picture can not be observed or understood all at once.
            Christ’s dual nature is something that we can not fully grasp now either. We can see from His Word that He is fully God and fully man, but how He can be both at the same time is beyond our understanding. As Ellen White says:
“Canst thou by searching find out God? canst thou find out the Almighty unto perfection? It is as high as heaven; what canst thou do? Deeper than hell; what canst thou know?” “My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.” “I am God, and there is none like Me, declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done.” It is impossible for the finite minds of men to fully comprehend the character or the works of the Infinite One. To the keenest intellect, to the most powerful and highly educated mind, that holy Being must ever remain clothed in mystery.”5
            “Now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.”6 Right now, looking through finite eyes of faith, we can not fully know God, but one day, when we see Him face to face, we will know Him with the same depth that He knows us. Yet, even though we can not fully know Him now, just as we do not fully understand light, He is still the only Light that can illuminate our path in this dark world. He is, “the light of the world.”7

1 John 8:12 (King James Version).
2 ibid
3 “Thomas Young’s Double Slit Experiment,” Molecular Expressions, accessed November 3, 2013,
4 “Young Two-Slit Experiment,” University of Oregon online database, accessed November 3, 2013,
5 Ellen G. White, Testimonies to the Church vol. 5, p. 698.2, accessed November 3, 2013,
6 1 Corinthians 13:12 (King James Version).
7 John 8:12 (King James Version).