Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Figuring Things Out, God's Way

I'm not a dreamer. I was so frustrated when I took ap psych in high school and we had to keep a dream diary. Allegedly, everyone dreams, but a lot of people just don't remember theirs. I rarely remember any of mine, but when I do, maybe just a few times a year, they're really important ones.

So when faced with a spiritual battle that wasn't quite over when I thought it was, I cleared my schedule for a night when it became obvious that I needed time with my Savior to figure things out. I was sitting in prayer, and almost right away, I started getting all of these sleeping verses. I felt the Spirit leading me to go to sleep, though I wasn't at all tired enough. After just a few minutes, I fell asleep and was immediately pulled into the inner courts. It's hard to even describe what I was feeling. I literally encountered Jesus one on one, face to face, and He just poured Himself into me. He told me, "You are weak and empty right now, and that's just where I needed you to be. My Spirit will be leading you in more powerful ways than ever before, and giving you the strength that you've been looking for. You know what it is to be tired and broken, now feel vibrance and strength"


Thank You, Lord, for meeting me where I am, and in ways I don't always understand or expect. Your ways are higher, Lord Jesus, and I will exalt You forevermore.

And afterward, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions. Joel 2:28 (also in Acts 2:17)

And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws. Ezekiel 36:27

For I will pour water on the thirsty land, and streams on the dry ground; I will pour out my Spirit on your offspring, and my blessing on your descendants. Isaiah 44:3

He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water. John 7:38

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Sovereignty and Sickness

I had every intention of going to church this morning. My dad dropped me off and I walked him out, and went upstairs to get ready. I was feeling ill, but I really wanted to go anyway. Since my usual ride was still home for Thanksgiving, I had arranged for my pastor's wife to come pick me up right before the service. However, by the time she arrived, I was feeling so awful I could barely stay standing. I had a splitting headache, fever, and sore throat yesterday, and though the fever had gone and the sore throat had lessened, the headache had actually gotten worse. My body is so fatigued right now, and no matter what I take, I can't get any relief from this headache. It hurts all the way around my entire head, down through my neck and shoulders.

I really hate being sick. I protest with every fiber of my being. It takes a lot for me to admit it. But right now, I've surrendered. I told my pastor's wife I was sorry she had driven out of the way, but I really needed to go back to bed. I changed out of my dress and tights and threw on soft leggings, fuzzy socks, and a giant sweater. I crawled into bed and put a sermon on that I'd downloaded from the internet. And do you know what, as I write this as church is getting out, I'm really glad I didn't go. My body needed this. I firmly believe that if it was in God's will for me to be well, I would be. But since I'm not, there's a reason He wanted me to stay home and just be, today. There is work the Spirit needs to do in my body that involves me taking it easy for the time being.

Jesus shows His love for me daily, by providing exactly what I need. He conquers my flesh and gets me to be quiet and listen to Him.

Lord, how blessed I am to have a Savior who delights in me, who daily takes my filth and washes me in His blood. I love You, forever and always.

For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps:
“ Who committed no sin,
Nor was deceit found in His mouth”;
who, when He was reviled, did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten, but committed Himself to Him who judges righteously; who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness—by whose stripes you were healed. For you were like sheep going astray, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls. 1 Peter 1:21-25

The LORD your God in your midst,
The Mighty One, will save;
He will rejoice over you with gladness,
He will quiet you with His love,
He will rejoice over you with singing. Zephaniah 3:17

Sunday, November 20, 2011

We Are Barabbas

Imagine it. You're a lying, cheating, thief who's been caught one too many times. You sit in prison, awaiting your penalty. This time, it's death by crucifixion. But then, the guards come in and tell you that you're free to go. Some guy you've never met who really hasn't done anything wrong is going to be taking your place; you are released.

That's exactly where our friend Barabbas found himself on that fateful day. Pilate had given the choice over to the crowds: release Jesus the Christ, or Barabbas. The people cried out for Barabbas to be released, and just like that, he was granted his freedom.

I want to say I can't imagine what that would feel like, but the moment that I understood grace, I knew. I knew what it was like to be bound in my chains, completely centered on my self, enslaved to my pride. I was there. But when I truly, one hundred percent came to know the Jesus took my place. He went to the cross when it should've been me. Barabbas knew that. I wonder if he looked up at that cross thinking, "That's supposed to be me". Relief, gratitude, unbelief, sadness, wonder, awe. I bet he felt all of those things and much more. I know I do when I gaze upon the cross.

When we look to the cross, we have to see it for all of its is. All of the pain and all of the joy. If we forget the sadness, we lose the sacrifice. What is love if it costs nothing? No, it was the highest price ever paid. And if we forget the be joyful, we lose the knowledge and confidence that we are free forver.

Click here to listen to an awesome song. (Side note: I'm not actually on myspace, it's just the only place I could find the whole cut)

The governor answered and said to them, “Which of the two do you want me to release to you?” They said, “Barabbas!” Pilate said to them, “What then shall I do with Jesus who is called Christ?” They all said to him, “Let Him be crucified!” Then the governor said, “Why, what evil has He done?” But they cried out all the more, saying, “Let Him be crucified!” When Pilate saw that he could not prevail at all, but rather that a tumult was rising, he took water and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, “I am innocent of the blood of this just Person. You see to it.” And all the people answered and said, “His blood be on us and on our children.” Then he released Barabbas to them; and when he had scourged Jesus, he delivered Him to be crucified.
Matthew 27:21-26

But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior, that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life. Titus 3:4-7

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Confessions of a DD

"Hey Kate, what are you doing Saturday night?"

"To be determined."

"Do you think you could be the designated driver for a car for Eck's (our coach) 11/11/11 party?"


When I said yes, I honestly didn't know what I was getting myself into. Usually things at our coach's house are pretty chill. There are people drinking, but they're not sloppy; it's just people hanging out and talking, and is over by midnight or so. But I forgot the extent of our coach's 11 obsession and the fact that a ton of alumni were there, ready to get this party started. I drove a car of 3 girlfriends and 1 of the girl's boyfriend to the party around 8:30, and the first part was pretty enjoyable. People were drinking, yes, but no one was trashed and it gave me a chance to catch up with some old friends. I even did some dancing.

Things took a turn for the worse just before midnight, when it was decided that pants were to come off, and people were dancing around in their underwear. By this point, many were totally wasted, and clothing kept coming off until it was just underwear (and bras for girls). Our coach was also drunk. Now, as I watched the scene steadily declining, with all its perversion and suggestive dance moves, I felt embarrassed to be there. It was appalling. I am adamantly against drunk driving, though, and there are multiple reasons I'm sure God had me there (that I won't go into in detail about here).

My four drunken passengers were ready to go around 2:30am, and one passed out in the car on the way home. I was thanked profusely for driving, and again this morning, but I still feel ill about it. I didn't do anything, but I'm still carrying a sense of shame and a heavy heart. And now this morning, I'm going to go try to meet with the Lord and His saints, but I feel so dirty. I know all the verses about being washed and forgiven and clean, but only time devoted to Jesus will heal this broken heart right now.

Lord, tell me again that I'm innocent. I don't believe in right now, and I need You so badly. I'm crying out to You, Father. You amaze me, and I believe this is Your way of showing me a new dimension of Your amazing grace. In Jesus' name, Amen

Come now, and let us reason together,”
Says the LORD,

“ Though your sins are like scarlet,
They shall be as white as snow;
Though they are red like crimson,
They shall be as wool. Isaiah 1:18

Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean;
Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Psalm 51:7

Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed. John 8:36

As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us. Psalm 103:12

I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more. Isaiah 43:25

Friday, November 11, 2011

Intimacy With Jesus

What can I do with my obsession
With the things I can not see
It's a madness in my being
It's the wind that blows the tree
Sometimes you're further than the moon
Sometimes you're closer than my skin
You surround me like a winter fall
You come and burn me with a kiss

And my heart burns for you
And my heart burns for you

Song lyrics. What kind of song do you think this is? If I told you it was from one of the greatest worship bands ever, does it change your mind?

I was struck by the pure, raw, holy intimacy captured in this song. It takes my breath away to think that this is a depiction of the relationship between the singer and the Savior. It just makes be want to know Jesus more, to be present at His feet, to love as He loves. In fact, I hear Him calling me now :)

Now as they went on their way, Jesus entered a village. And a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord's feet and listened to his teaching. Luke 10:38

But from there you will seek the LORD your God, and you will find Him if you seek Him with all your heart and with all your soul. When you are in distress, and all these things come upon you in the latter days, when you turn to the LORD your God and obey His voice for the LORD your God is a merciful God, He will not forsake you nor destroy you, nor forget the covenant of your fathers which He swore to them. Deuteronomy 4:29-32

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Where The Spirit of the Lord Is

Wow, I just got home from InterVarsity Fall Conference, and I had an amazing time. It was a totally different experience from last year. I was in the interecessors track, which meant that I prayed...a lot. There are 100 little moments that I could share about, and probably another 200 that I don't know about (yet).

Beyond all else, though, I learned two big things. I learned the power of presence. Just being can be a prayer; words aren't always necessary. In some ways, this enables us to better hear the Lord. I had an experience during large group worship (think 1,000 people) where it was as though everything fell silent around me - all the music, all the worship-ers - and I heard the cries of individual broken hearts, with their struggles, fears, desires and hopes. Though it was loud all around me, I was brought into a silent state to actually hear and know the heart of Jesus.

The second thing came from a word that I got very early on Saturday morning, about freedom in the Spirit of the Lord brought to us through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Freedom and the joy we experience therein quickly became a focus of our prayers; it came up over and over throughout the day as we prayed for people, for the different tracks, for the worship team and speakers, through the large group room, the conference as a whole, and each other. This came through when different people sat with us or came in and listened to the worship music I played on my guitar - people I didn't know, but still felt connected to because we all wanted to sit at the cross.

Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 1 Corinthians 3:17

For with You is the fountain of life;
In Your light we see light. Psalm 36:9

There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism; 6 one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you[a] all. Ephesians 4:4-6

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Love Takes Time

I was at the library with a teammate and we were talking about the fact that we were tired. I shared that I'm currently participating in a night watch - where people take shifts praying for our nation throughout the night - and that I get up and pray from 3:00-3:30 in the morning. Now, the getting up in the middle of the night part went mostly unnoticed as he said, "You can pray for a half hour straight? I feel like I'd run out of things to say"

A half hour seems so short to me! I treasure whatever time I can get, but the longer the better :) During my regular morning quiet times, I have to set an alarm so that I remember to go to class, etc. Time with my Savior is the most enjoyable part of my day, and it's constant. I know that I can come to His cross and hear His voice, and that He will hear mine. It's nothing to me to wait upon the One I love, to really get to know His heart.

One of the most commonly expressed ideas in the Christian community is that's it's a religion and not a relationship. But I think we do a really poor job of showing what that actually means. If it's a relationship, we have to put time into it, and not just that we have to, but we should want to. I can imagine that if I was learning to fall in love with a guy, I'd want to spend time talking with him and just finding out more about who he is. So why shouldn't I be willing to do the same for Jesus?

Our society isn't conditioned to wait patiently. Eric and Leslie Ludy write in Meet Mr. Smith"We live in a fast-food, microwavable, Internet-downloadable society and the idea of waiting for anything is tantamount to returning to cooking over an open fire and pacing in front of dial-up modems. But waiting is the chief ingredient in every great romantic tale. For it is through cherishing the ‘waiting’ seasons of life that we learn to fully appreciate and take delight in the ‘receiving’ seasons” (Page 103, in case anyone's fact-checking me). The same way that we might wait for an earthly prince, we need to devote ourselves to knowledge of the Lord. It's a process, and it takes some patience.

Lord, how I love You and time in Your presence. There is no such thing as too much time at Your feet!

Continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it with thanksgiving Colossians 4:2

Scarcely had I passed by them,
When I found the one I love.
I held him and would not let him go,
Until I had brought him to the house of my mother,
And into the chamber of her who conceived me. Song of Solomon 3:4

Jesus Paid It All

Thank You Lord Jesus for rescuing me out of my deep depravity of sin. Oh, how dark I realized I was the moment I truly grasped Your light. Your holiness illuminates my impurities. Which is why You took to the cross and suffered in anguish as God's wrath - everything that I deserved - was instead placed on You. And then You have called me to live in You that I too may be holy, not in my righteousness but in Yours. You O Lord are good when there's nothing good in me. For that I praise You; You came to my rescue.

If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not be guilty of sin; but now they have no excuse for their sin. John 15:22

And there is salvation in and through no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by and in which me must be saved. Acts 4:12

Come now, and let us reason together,”
Says the LORD,

“ Though your sins are like scarlet,
They shall be as white as snow;
Though they are red like crimson,
They shall be as wool. Isaiah 1:18

But He was wounded for our transgressions,
He was bruised for our iniquities;
The chastisement for our peace was upon Him,
And by His stripes we are healed. Isaiah 53:5

Wednesday, November 2, 2011


I've been really high the past few days; just really enjoying the Lord and the direction He's taking me. I wanted to share this poem with you. It's by an unknown author

God's Boxes

I have in my hands two boxes,
Which God gave me to hold.
He said, "Put all your sorrows in the black box,
And all your joys in the gold."

I heeded His words, and in the two boxes,
Both my joys and sorrows I stored,
But though the gold became heavier each day,
The black was as light as before.
With curiosity, I opened the black,
I wanted to find out why,
And I saw, in the base of the box, a hole,
Which my sorrows had fallen out by.

I showed the hole to God, and mused,
"I wonder where my sorrows could be!"
He smiled a gentle smile and said,
"My child, they're all here with me.."
I asked God, why He gave me the boxes,
Why the gold and the black with the hole?
"My child, the gold is for you to count your blessings,
The black is for you to let go."

I feel so blessed that through the cross, God has set me free from my pains and instead multiplied my blessings.

For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery. Galatians 5:1