Tuesday, December 28, 2010

My Pal Logan

Logan is one of my newer friends, but she and I have been absolutely inseparable ever since we met! This vacation was hard on us; it was our first time apart. Logan is my guitar. Even when I was just practicing chords, I couldn't put her down, and last night I was exhausted after a day of excitement and travel, but still I took time to play a few songs.

One of the biggest reasons I've fallen head over heels for her is the new dimension it brings to worship. There's something so amazing in figuring out how to play a song, working to make it sound good, and coming back to it again and again that is incredibly pure, adding a dimension of vulnerability and personal connection to the music.

I love that I love playing. And I love that God loves it too. I'm not the best, trust me. Many of my readers have heard me sing, and it's not always the prettiest thing. But I enjoy it. It comes from a real place in my heart. And that is simply beautiful.

I've written one song, and I would love to work on writing more as I learn more about what the Lord is teaching me and what Logan can do ;) I've been a poet for a long time, and song writing has a lot of the same characteristics. It's one of the most accurate expressions of what I'm thinking and feeling. Slowly, God has helped me draw it out and share it with others. Because everything we do and everything we are is all for the joy of our Redeemer and Maker.

Father, I'm singing for You and Your glory. I thank You from the bottom of my heart from the gifts I'm reflecting on right now. For my guitar, which has helped me grow to adore and worship You more every day, but even more for Jesus Christ my Savior. That You would come to earth in Your Son to love to the point of death for me, a sinner, is something I will never get over. We were all so desperately in need of that grace, and You provided in the most difficult way possible. You did something we never could in order to save us all and demonstrate the enormity of Your love for us. I could sing of that forever. And I will. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.

And they sang a new song: You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because You were slain, and with Your blood You purchased men for God from every tribe and language and people and nation. Revelation 5:9

I Still Feel Small

This year, I celebrated my first ever Christmas on the beach. The view from the condo we stayed at was stunning - we were right over the ocean, 18 floors up. By stepping outside, we could see a wonderful sunrise, and from our patio a breathaking sunset.

My sister loved physically being on the beach. Any time she could, that's where she was. On Christmas day we went on a dolphin-watching island tour. As I walked the shore of the isalnd, seeing water for miles and miles, I remembered the song, "I Hope You Dance" by Lee Ann Womack. She sings, "I hope you still feel small when you stand beside the ocean" I do.

I wrote in my journal, "I think we all need to find the oceans in our lives, no matter where we live. We need to feel this small so we can begin to see how big God is"

It was certainly one of my favorite celebrations of Christmas. I had to look out and see all that I am not, but then worship the God who IS.

I want more of You, oh Lord. You have created, and You are in control. Even the wind and waves obey You. Let me decrease, so You may increase in my life, God. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Sing to the LORD a new song, His praise from the ends of the earth, you who go down to the sea, and all that is in it, you islands, and all who live in them. Isaiah 42:10

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Hometown Love

For going to school as close as I do, I don't come home very often. I love my family; I'm just that busy.

This weekend I've experienced what I think are some of my favorite things about being in my hometown.I waitressed at a cafe my mom manages, where a semi-regular substitute for my high school came in and recognized me and I was tipped $5 for a latte that cost $3.50. I walked through downtown to the local bookstore,where I bought Amazing Grace: A Vocabulary of Faith on a whim. I saw the horse drawn carriage go by time and time again. I put on a cozy sweater and made tea my parents keep in the house just for me. And every time I was in the car alone, I listened to 105.3 KLOVE

If any of you have been listening to KLOVE within the last couple weeks, you've probably heard JJ Heller's latest, "What Love Really Means". I'd find myself with watering eyes every time I'd hear it. Its message is so simple: The Lord is the one who knows what real love is. We can look for it forever, but He's going to be the One to satisfy our acceptance and true love.

There's something about the combination of being home and hearing that message that was so rich for me. I'm the kind of person who likes to please people, but to hear God telling me He'll love me for me simply takes my breath away.

Father, You leave me speechless. I can't even wrap my head around the kind of love You have for me, for all the earth. It's amazing. Thank You. In Jesus' Name Amen

(I know I've used some of these verse before, but I love them so much!)

This is how God showed His love among us: He sent His one and only Son into the world that we might live through Him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. 1 John 4:9-10,16

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Happy Jesus' Birthday

You knew a Christmas post had to be coming. Let's dive into its meaning, shall we?

At school, Christians are a minority. That being said, you don't hear "Merry Christmans too often" I bet I'd hear it even less if people knew what the words meant: "merry" means "mighty", while "Christmas" translates to "continuous encounters with Christ". So when you wish someone a Merry Christmas, you're really wishing them mighty and continuous encounters with Christ.

Now I'm back home, and I can't express how wonderful it is to be wished Merry Christmas everywhere I go - in town, to visit family, at home. I love it!

Something else I love: I was visiting with my grandma, aunt, uncle, and cousins(ages almost 4 and 2) on Wednesday. I was sitting down and had Caeden in my lap when I felt a tug on my jeans that could only be from tiny two year old hands. Lana doesn't yet say her k's very well, but she got my attention all the same, "Tate! Happy Jesus' Birthday"

Happy Jesus' Birthday, everyone. The baby that would save our souls. He made all the difference in our lives. Let's celebrate His.

I am very sincerely wishing all the earth continuous encounters with Christ, not just this season, but every day we all live.

An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them,“Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; He is the Messiah, the Lord. Luke 2:9-11

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Here Comes The Sun

I don't think it's a secret that I'm a sucker for a sunrise. And maybe it's just because it's the start of winter and I'm temporarily blind to spring, summer, and fall, but today I'm going to say that winter sunrises are the best.

Think about it. Your entire world is dark, but it's covered in snow. Then, in the east, you see just a glow of orange transcending the navy, turning it into an ocean green. I could stare out at that forever. But then, as if it wasn't good enough already, streaks of purple and pink come bursting through the sky. The golden orb is still in its corner, but overhead sparks are flying. As the sun rises, the severity disappears and everything begins to be a blended fading pink as our star wrestles with the blue sky.

I wonder how many people missed it this morning. How many were sleeping; how many simply weren't paying attention?

There's a reason I call it Sunrise with the Savior. Yes it's early, but I don't see how I could ever look at daybreak and not feel the Lord's presence.

This is a song that I often listen to during my morning quiet times. It gives me peace; it calms my storms. And it draws me near to God.

From the rising of the sun to the place where it sets, the name of the LORD is to be praised. Psalm 113:3

The path of the righteous is like the morning sun, shining ever brighter till the full light of day. Proverbs 4:18

Sunday, December 12, 2010

I Love You Because...

I was talking and saying goodbye to a friend. He told me, "I love you because you're a little odd. I love you because you think going for a walk on a freezing snowy evening is magical. I love you because you think spending hours in a library reading random articles and books is fun. I love you because you're strange"

He didn't say "I love you despite" these bizarre quirks he personally doesn't care to partake in; he said, "because". How wonderful is that? Isn't that what we all want, to be loved not despite, but because?

And of course, this got me thinking about God's love for us. Yes, He loves us despite of our sin. But go further; push the envelope a little bit. Why would Jesus love us so much He would die for us?


Because He knows us better than we know ourselves. Because He formed us with His own hands. Because He has a wondrous plan for us that He's been crafting since the foundations of time. Simply put, the Lord loves us because we are His.

And God, the Creator of the Universe, was willing to take this love all the way to Calvary for us. He wanted us to be reunited with Him. The Lord is just, and He extends a pierced hand to pull us out of our shame and sin. He is risen; He has made us more than conquerors. And why?

Because. Because He loves us. Because we are His. Because. Not despite, because.

Lord Jesus, I love You. I love You because You are, and will always be. I love You because You look past my sin and call me Yours. I love that I get to be a daughter of the King of all kings. I love You because, in my heart of heart, You are mine, and I am forever Yours. Amen.

But now thus says the Lord, He who created you, O Jacob, He who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you;I have called you by name, you are Mine. Isaiah 43:1

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Rally Against Low Expectations

I have been blown away by the "bar on the ground" expectations my worlds seems to have of me.

1. When I open a door for someone and let him or her go in front of me, people (especially adults) are taken aback with genuine surprise.
2. I throw together a paper with next to no effort, and hand it in knowing it's not my best work, pretty well convinced I'm getting at best a B. I get an A.
3. I return something I borrow on time, and am met with sincere gratitude and appreciation.
4. I live out my faith and am thanked for it, thanked like it's never been seen before.
5. I do the dishes for my family at home, without being asked, and am showered with praise.

These are just a few examples of what I've noticed moving around in the world lately.

Now, I could sit back and say "Alright, people think I'm doing pretty well here. I'm already exceeding expectations; why should I try any harder?"

That's not what God intended for us all! Looking at the Scriptures, God doesn't go for just good. He doesn't even go for great. He goes beyond what we could imagine in our wildest dreams. He wants to continue to surprise us by His perfection and His holiness. And you know what else, He tells us to do the same (Matthew 5:48).

Hold on here. Be perfect? How can the Lord expect me, a carrier of humanity's sinful natures, with all of my pride, to be perfect?! Perfect is a big word, there, and I, well, I am not.


I know who is. And that's what saves us all. Jesus Christ lived in the world, but did not give way to its ways. He lived a perfect life. And He wants to live that perfect life inside of me. Think about it; it's absolutely mind blowing. By continual surrender to the work Christ literally died to do in me, I can see the greatness of God. Now, I'm human; I can't be perfect. But I can move towards perfection in Christ alone. This work won't be complete until His glorious and triumphant return (Philippians 1:6), so that must mean there's a lot to do.

I'm so glad that the Way is there, leading me and showing me how to rise against my culture. God has so much more He wants to show me.

Lord, Show me a life bigger than the one that's in front of me. Help me to not settle for the world's best, God, but to continually seek more of You and Your glory and perfection. Let Your greatness begin to reveal itself in my life, and help me encourage other people to do the same. I'm a teenager, I'm a girl, I'm a student, and maybe that's why others don't expect much from me. But I am Your daughter, and part of Your body. You, God, ask perfection. And Jesus Christ made the way for us when He died on a cross and rose again. So God, thank You, for never giving up on us and for always having more in store. In Jesus Who Saves, Amen.

Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity. 1 Timothy 4:12

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Hey Kate, I'm Praying For You

I'll give a little background here.

Beloit College is not the easiest place to be a Christian, but it's by no means the most difficult either (Belarus has us beat by a light year!). But yes, being a practicing Christian puts me in a minority. So it was no surprise to find myself the only Christian in my Religious Diversities and Marital Practice course this semester.

I was respected in the class and allowed, and even felt encouraged, to share my opinion. It ended up being one of my favorite courses thus far at Beloit. Well, for our final project, we're doing a museum exhibit on different issues in marriage and partnering.

The names of the exhibits are as follow: "Superfluous Women", "Portrayal of Romance Through the Ages of Cinema", "Shacking Up", "Christ-Centered Marriage", "Equal Sex: The Way One Revolution Sparked Another", "Transgendered Living", "The Rise of 'F-Buddies'", "Stay in the Kitchen, It’s a Man’s World, Buy One Get One Half Off: Classic Ads Enforcing Marriage Roles", "Celebrating Marriage: A View into Cultural Traditions", "A Case for Many Loves: Exploring Polyamory in a Monogamous World", "Complexities of Love". If I need to tell you which one is mine, you should really go back and read more of this blog.

Anyway, our professor sent out a mass email to faculty inviting them to our showing. This morning, I received this email in my box:

I gather by your topic title that you are in favor of a “Christ-centered marriage.” Wow, talk about a voice crying the wilderness. I’ll remember to be praying for you as you let your light “so shine.”

Wow! I mean, I don't have any idea who this staff member is; though I have a vague name recognition. I doubt we've ever met. I don't know him, but he's praying for me. And he wanted to let me know that. I just wanted to scream GOD IS GOOD! This helps me remember I'm not alone here. The Lord has provided everything I need and could ever hope for. And it also affirms me that I'm not insane. I just love Jesus. And apparently, this man does too.

Here, at Beloit, this was a great thing. God is here and He's moving and working on this campus. And I know the best is yet to come. When He says Lord of all lords, He means it. He is the King of everyone; there is none like Him.

Thank You, Lord, for Your faithfulness and the ways You provide. Thank You for these great things and the greater things still to come. Amen

Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. John 14:12

Friday, December 3, 2010


God is so good!!! My heart is squealing with excitement as it jumps for joy.

The Lord tells us that if we earnestly seek Him with all our hearts, we will find Him (Jer. 29:13). But what's even more amazing are the ways He finds us when we're not even looking! These kind of surprises are glorious and leave me awestruck every time.

Last night, I was reading a (Christian) book, and though I'd heard all of it before, I found myself continually pausing. I had some worship music on in the background, and I would end up singing, journaling, and searching through the Bible for the verses on my heart.

I am so desperately in love with how God reveals more of His truth to me in new ways every single day, often multiple times a day. I'm not a naturally excitable person. If I do get excited about something, it fades fairly quickly; I get over it. But the grace presented to me in Jesus Christ is the exception to that rule; in fact it is the only exception. The minute I think about it, my heart comes to life once more. God really knows how to break through all of our walls and reach the hardness of our hearts, no matter how much our sin and love of self has controlled our lives.

I wrote this prayer last night:
God, You truly amaze me. Your love leaves me absolutely dumbfounded. Earlier tonight, when I was reading, I kept stopping because You have such a hold on me, Lord. It's like nothing else I've ever felt! It's incredible to think you would come down here for me. Your one and only precious Son lived a perfect life amidst and entire world of incredibly imperfect people who looked everywhere but at You. And then He died. He died for our sins. He died to save the very people who spat in your face, who mocked and beat You. I thank You for bringing me to the cross right now, not just with my head, but with my heart. I thank You that through Jesus,I can be real before Your throne. And I can't talk about Calvary without the resurrection; I mean wow! What a way to show who's really in charge! Without Jesus, we'd all fear death. But You showed us the Way. You gave us life, and demonstrated your absolute authority over everything. I thank You, Abba Father, for coming down as Jesus to meet humanity in the broken sinful place we all are. And I thank You for Your Spirit that has come tonight to meet me where I am. Your love is shown by its daily renewal in my soul; it's never old, never boring, never overdone. God, I just love being here with you. I love You so, so much, Lord. You are my everything.
In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Come near to God and He will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will lift you up. James 4:8-10

Thursday, December 2, 2010


College is busy. It's about finals time and people are antsy to get home. It seems like the action never stops and all we want to do is go home for Christmas. Keep this in mind as I tell you a little story about the past few days, while attempting to maintain a minimal level of confidentiality (though some of my main readers are involved :) ).

The leadership team for Christian Fellowship meets every Tuesday evening to plan and pray together. One of our members seemed really down, and he expressed himself in prayer. We all had him on our minds that evening as we considered adequate sleep for once. The next morning, when I saw him he honestly seemed depressed, and the other members were in communication about keeping him in prayer.

Well my good friend invited me to join her for a time of prayer over our lunch break. We talked for awhile, and as she started to pray, I became overwhelmed with emotion. My heart was breaking for our friend, but as she prayed over me, I realized I was also overcome with a flooding of the Lord's pure love. See, I've never had a friend who would do something like what we were doing. I'd prayed for a true friend like this for so long, and as her arms wrapped around me, all I could do was admire the presence of the Holy Spirit. The bonds of the precious love of Christ are stronger and more astounding than any other.

How blessed I am to continually be shown examples of the pure love of Christ, in people, and also in events of live. God is mighty to save us, and good to remind us what His love is and means.

Know therefore that the LORD your God, He is God, the faithful God, who keeps His covenant and His lovingkindness to a thousandth generation with those who love Him and keep His commandments. Deuteronomy 7:9