Thursday, April 28, 2011

O The Blood

Especially when I was young - a new Christian, the thought of Jesus' blood covering me to make me clean really grossed me out. I thought that was so freaky! As I studied the Bible more, I saw in the Old Testament the necessity of a blood sacrifice. Then I saw how Jesus was that perfect sacrificial Lamb. I also dealt with the reality of sin, and how we need some other way to be seen by God. If the Lord were to judge just me, I'd be in trouble. There's no way I would be declared righteous enough to be in His presence.

Which is why words can't express my thankfulness for Jesus Christ. Because through His death on the cross, God looks at me as holy and clean. I can call on the name of Jesus and it is in Him I can do all things in freedom.

That's why I'm proud to say that I'm washed by Christ's blood. It is so precious, so incredible, so marvelous.

Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. Isaiah 1:18

The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world. John 1:29

And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death. Revelation 12:11


When I was a gymnast, there was a poem that hung in our gym, and I would read it every single day before I left. I remember it to this day; here's the beginning, "Patience is a virtue, or so the saying goes. A gymnast must have said it, for a gymnast surely knows that in this funny sport of ours, discouragement runs high, and at times the very best may find this virtue's passed them by". Well, once you reach a certain level in the sport, you will always have some gymnast in you.

Last night, I was feeling disappointed with the track practice I'd had, and I was praying about it. God gave me a verse that I'm pretty familiar with, it even hangs on my wall:

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Hebrews 12:1

But I had the King James Version of the Bible in my bed, so I flipped to the page to see what it said:

Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us.

Do you see the big difference there? Perseverance vs. Patience. I'd never heard the "patience" translation before. I was absolutely blown away. God wanted to reassure me, saying not that I needed to push through or work harder, but that I need to relax and wait on His timing. So beautiful! I will wait upon the Lord.

But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint. Isaiah 40:31

Tuesday, April 26, 2011


Learning to play guitar has been a complete joy for me. It is such a sincere expression of my worship. I love taking the time to learn a song, and then play it for the Lord. I also help lead worship at InterVarsity. This has been a tremendous learning opportunity for me. God has used this to speak so deeply to my heart.

Like last week's fellowship. I knew I was playing that night; my friend and I had picked out the songs and practiced the night before as usual. I got there and she had decided not to play. No big. She printed off copies of the lyrics as I tuned my guitar and strummed a little when I realized: I didn't have the chords. Silly me, how did I forget the very thing that tells me what to play? The Lord was very faithful and helped remind me how the songs went, and everything was beautiful. We lifted our voices and hearts up to Him, and praise was what we gave Him.

The evening served to remind me that all I can give to the Lord is my life and my heart; He has no need for the things of this world. I don't need to worry about what it sounds like or if it's perfect, so long as it reminds my soul of the glory of Jesus Christ. So praise is the offering we can bring to Him.

For the LORD is great and greatly to be praised;He is also to be feared above all gods. 1 Chronicles 16:25

I will declare Your name to My brethren; in the midst of the assembly I will sing praise to You. Hebrews 2:12

I will sing to the LORD as long as I live; I will sing praise to my God while I have my being. Psalm 104:33

Let my mouth be filled with Your praise and with Your glory all the day. But I will hope continually, and will praise You yet more and more. Psalm 71:8, 14

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Christ Is Risen!

Easter is easily my favorite holiday, because it celebrates the life and freedom we have in Christ alone. Last night, I was trying to imagine what it must have been like for Jesus' followers. Their Lord had just been slain, and they were left alone, with no true leadership or authority. What were they supposed to do? What a dark day that must have been. Their God was dead! How depressing.


The next morning, the tomb was empty. Matthew 28:6 reads, He is not here; for He is risen, as He said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.

The Jewish people would have been familiar with God's promises, and the fact that He always does what He says He will. So for the doubters who still didn't recognize Jesus as God, and for the followers seeking confirmation, this was the greatest miracle of all time.

Today, we celebrate our risen Lord, who forgives our sins and redeems us into a new life in Him.

“ O Death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory?” The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Corinthians 15:55-57

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Experience Jesus

Today in one of my classes, we did a little role play. Half of us were the early Christians, and the other half were pagans of the Roman Empire. The early Christians were acting as Paul and the apostles who traveled, spreading the Gospel and winning converts. As we talked to our pagan neighbors, we saw how difficult it was to convince someone to abandon all of their beliefs and everything they'd ever known. By the end of the exercise, we were all wondering what Paul must have said in order to get these people to follow Jesus. We came to the conclusion that someone has to really experience Jesus before deciding to follow Him. You don't hear about Christ and just go, "Ok, sounds good". No, it is a full knowing of His reality and His work.

Do you remember that when you put yourself under Christ's Lordship? You didn't decide to follow Jesus because your parents or your church told you so. I bet you decided to follow Him because you just knew it was the only way. Once you know the Lord, it's impossible to turn back.

And once you know God, you're completely unstoppable; you reside in His strength, which is simply matchless on earth.

I say to the Lord, "You are my God". Listen, Lord, to my cry for help. Lord God, my strong Savior, You shield my head on the day of battle. Psalm 140:6-7

For “whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved.” Romans 10:13

Monday, April 18, 2011

God Is Enough

I know you all have probably missed updates from my pole vault saga. Today was the first day I'd vaulted in quite awhile; on my little vacation I ran a little through Colorado, and danced, but no poles. I went from my full step for the first time in over a month. I couldn't believe how long it had been. It was so amazing.

Unfortunately, the excitement didn't last. After several great jumps, I froze again. Short step - no problem; full step - ugh. I was thinking about it on my way to grab dinner, and I was trying to figure out who I wanted to talk to about this. I went through my mental list and was scrolling through my phone, when I realized that there was only One who would fulfill me and give me the peace and healing I was craving. And He's so much bigger than any of my failures, so much stronger than my sin; the love of God is much deeper than the ocean.

That Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height— to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen. Ephesians 3:17-21

Never Let Go

The youngest girls I was with threw me a tea party sendoff, with snacks so I wouldn't get hungry on the plane. They're 3, 6, and 9, as fond of me as I am of them. I love them so much, and saying goodbye was a challenge. As I was preparing to leave, they wrapped their arms around me, and wouldn't let go. This made getting my shoes on and suitcase upstairs quite challenging, but I didn't mind because I was so aware of their love for me.

And also made aware of the incredible faithful love the Lord has for me. I could hear Him speaking through their actions, that He never lets go of me, and He goes where I go. The kind of love that I felt from His precious princesses is magnified infinitely in the grace of Jesus Christ.

God has such a hold on us, He never lets go.

Psalm 23 :)

And this is the verse my friend got for me: The one who breaks open will come up before them; They will break out, Pass through the gate, And go out by it; Their king will pass before them, With the LORD at their head. Micah 2:13

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Thinking About The Lord

What a stunning week I had. Truly matchless. I was completely surrounded in Christ's love. There were happy tears, working through hard things tears, laughter, teasing, caffeine highs, lack of sleep craziness, and whatever elese can get crammed into a week.

The wedding I was at was beautiful, and a tremendous blessing. The morning of, I was the first person the bride saw, and she was simply glowing. Her and her new husband are now enjoying their honeymoon and start of their married life that has been orchestrated by the one and only Lord of all.

But it was more the company I kept that helped me think about the Lord. My friend and I would laugh because for several days in a row, we'd wake up with the same song stuck in our heads. On the day she and I drove from New Mexico to Colorado Springs, it was "When I Think About The Lord". We were just so amazed at everything God had been doing in the week that we'd been together again. Being surrounded by people who were all meditating on God's goodness was a tremendous blessing.

This is a video I took from the wedding. The singer, Annie, is Kelsey's sister. There's a brief shot of Kelsey and Isaac after they've taken communion.

Heavenly Father, You are oh so good to me. Every time I stop and consider Your wonders, I am amazed by Your indescribable gifts. I praise You with my whole heart, Lord. Amen.

O God, You are my God;
Early will I seek You;
My soul thirsts for You;
My flesh longs for You
In a dry and thirsty land
Where there is no water.
So I have looked for You in the sanctuary,
To see Your power and Your glory.
Because Your lovingkindness is better than life,
My lips shall praise You.
Thus I will bless You while I live;
I will lift up my hands in Your name.
My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness,
And my mouth shall praise You with joyful lips.
Psalm 63:1-5

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Always Fitting

I just got back from a weekend at home with some very high highs and some equally low lows but through it all the Lord is still faithful and sovereign. I've got too many thoughts that aren't forming words, so here's a song that always makes sense to sing.

Lord, You are always there and always sovereign. Whether I am in the storm or the calm or the desert or lush garden, You are still You. What Jesus did 2,000 years ago is still there, and the love You've always felt for me never fades. I lift all of my joys, all of my concerns up to You, because You're the One who elevates them and uses them as a part of something much bigger than I can comprehend. All of my life, in every season, You are still God; I have a reason to sing. i have a reason to worship. And that's what I will continue to do all my life. Love You. Amen

But You, Lord, are a shield around me, my glory, and the One who lifts up my head. Psalm 3:3

Look unto Me and be saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else. Isaiah 45:22

My soul, praise the Lord! Lord my God, You are very great; You are clothed with majesty and splendor. He wraps Himself in light as if it were a robe, spreading out the sky like a canopy. Psalm 104:1-2

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Can I Just Say Wow!?

So pole vaulting has been such a struggle for me lately. I've been leaving practice frustrated and generally in a bad mood. Today was the biggest breakthrough I've had in such a long time though. I had an incredible practice, and I was just glowing. My teammates and coaches could see how happy I was. It felt so awesome to finally be free.

Right before practice, I did a few things. The first was to re-read my information on mental blocks. It said to come up with a word that would be a sign of strength, and calm confidence. I was thinking of what my word would be, and it hit me, "indescribable". If you remember some of the lines of that song, it says, "From the highest of heights to the depths of the seas...You are amazing God". "Indescribable" instantly brought me to the cross, which is exactly where I needed to be. The other thing I did was grab my guitar and play the song "I Will Lift My Eyes". The line I focused on was, "I will lift my eyes to the Maker of the mountains I can't climb" I guess I just needed to really own the fact that Christ's strength is really all I need. To Him, I am worthy of love and strength and power, that He gives to me. He has won all of my battles for me, and through Him I can do all things.

Jesus is Victor, and He shares that victory with me, so long as I abide in Him. Praise to our Father, Amen!

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13

The LORD will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace. Exodus 14:14

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Mistress to Bride

I love the book of Hosea. Well I love the whole Bible, but I don't want this post to be a novel, so I'm going to focus.

In case you don't remember, this is the account of the Lord asking Hosea to take a promiscuous woman as his wife. Hosea's a pretty good guy, and loves God with all he is. If I were him, I'd be pretty confused. But he's obedient and marries her anyway. Well it's no surprise that she is unfaithful to him in their marriage. In Old Testament times, this was grounds for divorce. Hosea easily could've said, "I tried, but it's just not worth it". But he doesn't. He continues to extend faithful love to her, though she mocks their marriage and the Lord by sleeping with other men.

I hope you know me well enough by now to know where this is going. Jesus Christ somehow is able to put up with us, and the ways we mock Him. Every time we lash out at someone, we have failed Him. Every time we look to someone or thing other than our Father to please us, we have failed Him. We perpetually fail Jesus and fall short of His glory, but still our God relentlessly pursues us (Isaiah 41:4). If only we could learn to accepted ourselves as His Beloved.

I will take you to be My wife forever. I will take you to be My wife in righteousness, justice, love, and compassion. I will take you to be My wife in faithfulness, and you will know the Lord. I will sow her in the land for Myself, and I will have compassion on No Compassion; I will say to Not My People: You are My people, and he will say: You are My God. Hosea 2:19-20, 23

But you must return to your God. Maintain love and justice, and always put your hope in God. Hosea 12:6

Sunday, April 3, 2011


Sometimes it's easy to get back in the gym after a bad meet. Today, however, was not one of those days. I dragged myself there because I know what I need to do and I'm the kind of person who just gets it done. I was just going through the motions when I got the idea to pray over my pole. I've been having such a rough time with it and it's really been wearing me down. It sounds a little weird for me to say out loud, but I want Christ to rule over every part of my life, and I want to invite Him in to consume all of me.

As I prayed, the Lord was working in my heart. When a vaulter makes a good height, people look at him or her. The pole literally gets thrown to the ground and ignored. But without the pole, the vaulter wouldn't have gone much of anywhere. God is my pole. Sometimes it looks like I'm doing something well, but really I'm nothing without His Spirit reigning over my body. All the glory truly belongs to Him, and I exist to show more of HIs love and sovereignty to the world.

I want to feel that all-consuming fire burning deep within my soul. I want to burn for the Lord Savior Jesus Christ. I want Him to take me further than I think I can go, and I want to do more than just go through the motions.

Lord, I want to feel You so far deep within me, moving me wherever You want me to go. You are everything that I need, and Your passion for me is matchless. Help me to love You more.

For the LORD your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God. Deuteronomy 4:24