I am alive in Christ

{June 30, 2009}   for you…

I have no words for how I feel, but I had a request for an update, so I’m updating in the words of This Providence…who can always describe how I feel

Our Flag is White

i’ll run and hide under my bed
you’re calling my name from outside my door but i’m not ready yet
for a revolution to start in me

’cause i’m just scared of losing control
i’m terrified of who i’ll become with you
i’m just scared
the world hates you and it’s gonna hate me too

a cry for help rings in your ear
i’m calling your name from inside this hole that i’ve dug myself into
it’s so wrong
my self-centered prayers as if you don’t care for anyone but me
give me a day
that’s all it takes for me to turn my back on you

’cause i’m just scared of losing control
i’m terrified of who i’ll become with you
i’m just scared
the world hates you and it’s gonna hate me too

the whole world hates us
the whole world hates our song
but still we sing
but still we sing along

so here i am
a wary heart and trembling hands
waiting for the words to leave your lips
so here i am
a wary heart and trembling hands
waiting for the words to leave your lips

(this could be the hardest step that i’ll take)

here i am
a wary heart and trembling hands
waiting for the words to leave your lips
(this could be the hardest step that i’ll take)

the whole world hates us
the whole world hates our song
but still we sing
but still we sing along
(’cause i’m just scared of losing control
i’m terrified of who i’ll become with you
i’m just scared
the world hates you and it’s gonna hate me too)

{February 23, 2009}   Perelandara

Perelandara is one of my favorite books. It’s by C.S. Lewis (you know, the guy who wrote Chronicles of Narnia). This book is classified as science-fiction (which I usually don’t enjoy), but I like it for it’s spiritual depth.

Perelandara is the second book in a trilogy that focuses on the lead character, Ransom. In the first book, Ransom is taken to Mars against his will; the last book focuses on Earth. This book focuses on the planet Venus. Ransom is sent to Venus, by God, to complete a task. He is not told what this task is.

When Ransom lands on Venus, he finds the planet maily uninhabited. He eventually meets a woman (who is green); she is searching for her king. Through conversation, Ransom realizes that this woman and the king are the only inhabitants of this island. He has been sent to a planet that is at his beginning. This beginning almost directly parallels the garden of Eden. The green lady has been given only one commandment by God; she is not to ever sleep on the mainland, but rather spend her days on the ever-abundant floating islands. These islands are paradise. There is no shortage of food, nor water, and there are several species of animals that do her bidding. Although she is not allowed to stay on the mainland, she is able to visit it. Ransom and she go to the mainland, where Ransom discovers the man who had kidnapped him and taken him to Mars. This  man is a ruthless scientist, who believes in the furtherance of the human race, no matter what the cost to other planets. Ransom feels the need to protect the green lady, so he  convinces her to go back to an island.

Ransom and Weston have a long conversation. Weston relays his belief in a ‘higher power’ that is giving him strength and bidding him to explore new planets. Ransom tries to convince Weston that not all higher powers or spirits are good, and that it sounds like he’s working for the devil. Weston, in his attempt to prove his stance, calls the spirit to come fully into him. It is at this point that Weston changes dramatically. His movements become wooden, and artificial. His face has a weird expression; he never ‘looks quite right’. He is possesed.

What follows is an intense struggle as Ransom tries to counteract the lies with which the now possesed Weston, the Un-Man, tries to poison the lady of Venus. This continues for countless days and nights in which the Un-Man tries to convince the Lady to go to and stay on the fixed land. The Un-Man is very cunning and and nearly convinces the Lady to listen to him. My favorite part of this argument is when Ransom tries to explain the garden of Eden to the Lady to convince her that the Un-Man did not have her best interest at heart. The Un-Man tries to convince her that the Fall had its advantages by telling her that God himself came down as a man, and how could she not want that? Ransom lost his temper. “why don’t you tell her about that day when he died? why don’t you tell her how that made you feel? About how he defeated you and you no longer have the power you once did?!”

Throughout this time, Ransom is continually thinking to himself that this can’t go on. Then God confirms this in an almost audible voice. He feels God telling him to end this, to end the Un-Man. The devil’s only foothold in this place, was his invitation from Weston. If Weston were elminated, the problem would be too. He is of course, relcutant to do this. The Un-Man already made him nervous, the idea of touching it repulsed him. The idea of fighting it, trying to kill it, was almost too much for him to bear. He decided to disobey and beg for forgiveness later. There was no way he could handle this. Then from, the stillness of the night he hears a whisper, “It’s not for nothing you were named Ransom.” Being a philologist, Ransom always thought his name was a coincidence. He knew where it stemmed from; he could trace the history of the word. The thought that God ordained his name, even ordained how it would shape and change into a word that meant what it did, was an incredible thought to him.

“My name is Ransom too”.He heard the voice again.  Then it occurred to him. If he did not end this, if the green lady gave in, a similar effect would occurr as did on earth (The Fall). And a similar redemption would occur. As he pondered this more and more, he started to see that not everything was the same here as the garden of Eden. Would then, perhaps, the redemption be different? Could it even be worse? Of course that must be it… How could he leave this task and ask his Savior to endure a second time? He set his mind to complete this task. God reminded him He would not leave him. So Ransom set out to kill the Un-Man…

This whole book is a reminder to me of God’s sovereignty. It’s also a good reminder of how important obedience is. I’m always so quick to ignore a command from God, knowing that I’ll be forgiven later. There are indeed consquences to our actions, much like Ransom was able to see when he heard from God. I love C.S. Lewis’ works. I always feel the need to read them over ad over again, because there is always something to be seen the second, third or even fourth time you pick up one of his books again. I recommend that you read Perelandara (even if you don’t want to read the whole series). The spiritual lessons that can be learned from this book are innumerable. The contrast between light and darkness is a recurrent theme in Lewis’ books, and, I believe, a very important thing to study.

{February 21, 2009}   rambling thoughts

There are a few blogs that I read religiously. One being www.modesty.blogspot.com . This is written by one of my favorite authors (he’s also a musician). His latest post is on the connection between trials and who we are today. What happens to us shapes how we react to the world around us, and trials and hardships are no different. Without them perhaps we would not be as able to sympathize, empathize or even just ‘give a damn’. I can see how true this is in my own life.

My sisters and I regularly discuss the time my family took in foster children. This was such a heartbreaking, emotionally turbulent time for all of us. A conclusion that we have drawn is that you can’t understand how that season of life felt to us, unless you’ve been through it yourself. That is one of the reasons I believe God allows us to go through trials. Because of tough times, we are able to relate to, and consequently encourage, those who go through similarly trying times.

I’m a huge fan of the book Peter Pan by J. M. Barrie. I feel that this book perfectly captures what it means to be a child, and how one’s imagination works, even as an adult. In one of my favorite scenes, Peter is fighting with Captain Hook and Hook starts ‘fighting dirty’, that is breaking the rules of a fair fight. In this poignant scene, Peter is shocked by this. The idea that anyone can break a rule, that to him seemed fundamental, was unthinkable to him. I believe that this is the loss of innocence. There is no turning back from this point. Knowing that sin exists, that there are bad things out there, illuminates the world like never before, though not in an appealing manner (similar to the Garden of Eden and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil). The beauty of the child known as Peter Pan is that he instantly forgets this. The ‘first time’ he encounters unfairness is repeated, again and again, because his mind is incapable of remembering it. This, I believe is an essential lesson to be learned, one I’m still trying to grasp. Even when life throws us a curve, even when it feels like everything is going wrong, we need to almost ‘forget’ that bad things happen and move on. Dwelling on that which haunts us, only makes matters worse…

I’m not saying to see the world through rose colored glasses, to pretend that all is always well when it’s not, but I do believe that there is a time when we can move forward with our life, and see the good that exists. To hold our heads high and say, “yeah, life can get me down, yeah, it’s going to happen again and again, but I’m going to act as if it won’t, i’m going to keep living and hope for the best, knowing that the worst can happen, and choosing to ignore that”.

Or as Chris (www.askheychris.livejournal.com) puts it: “I have three things for the machine: two swear fingers and a smile”

{February 17, 2009}   directionless…

I write and I write
seemingly to no one
but also to everyone

some sit in my journal
in the permanency of ink
on the frailty of paper

some are sent into cyber space
where the reverberations are seldom felt

some are spoken through tears
some are whispered
some are said through fits of giggles

some are never shared
they sit in my mind
what shouldn’t be thought
and should never ever be shared

all my thoughts and feelings overwhelm
as if the very air I breathe is drowning my lungs in my own incapabilities
my incapacity to choose

suspended between two worlds
never committing
between waking and sleeping, I’ve found my place

{July 12, 2008}   July 12th

So, its been another year. I love looking back over years in my life, seeing how much I’ve grown, how much I haven’t grown, what I’ve accomplished (if anything).

I’ve had this blog for over a year now; that’s a weird thought. In this time, I’ve had 3 jobs (at least), I’ve graduated from Harford (finally!) and I’ve actually gone on my own cell phone plan. (!)

A few days ago I stumbled upon another blog I had for a little while. I mainly whined and moaned on that blog; I never shared it with anyone as it was more of an online journal. Anyway, some of the stuff bothering me then, still bothers me today. But I feel like I have more justification these days to be unhappy compared to a year ago. This of course is my pride in thinking my life sucks more and that my whining is ‘more mature’ as compared to then (does that even make logical sense? whining being mature?).

On the bright side, God has matured me in a few areas, and that gives me hope that I can still turn my life around. He’s also blessed me with closer friends than I had before (see previous post).

I’m grateful God has stretched me. Sure it’s tough as hell sometimes, but God is growing me into something beautiful. And that encourages me.

So in looking over the past year, being a pessimist, I see the bad. Life has been difficult. But I also see the good. God has been incredibly faithful to me. He has “never left me, nor forsaken me”.

It’s also ironic that the verses I put on my first post, are verses I still cling to. (Phil 1:6, Jer 29:11)

God’s doing a lot, he always is, even if we can’t see it. I’m just grateful for milestones like birthdays that make us look back and reevaluate what has happenned in the past year. It’s something I need to do more often.

{June 30, 2008}   hm…

“Call me or text me anytime”

You don’t know how much that phrase means to me.  You don’t know how happy it makes me to hear it from several different people. I don’t know what I’d do without you guys (you know who you are).

In the times when my life feels like it’s falling apart, you guys are there to help me pull it back together, to pick the broken pieces up and move on.

There were times in my life when I felt completely alone. You guys remind me that I’m not. God has blessed me with your friendship and I thank him for you.

I hope I can help you as much as you’ve help me. I’m here for you too, k? Love you guys!

On a completely different note, I’ve been listening to this song on repeat. It’s one of my favorites and incredibly enncouraging to me. Interestingly enough, when I first heard the album this song is on, this was not one of my favorites, but the lyrics have taken on their own meaning in my life. I hope you like them as much as I do.

“To Whom It May Concern”

So hold your head up high and know it’s not the end of the road
Walk down this beaten path before you pack your things and head home
At the end of the road you’ll find what you’ve been longing for

I know ’cause my feet have scars to show
I was lost with vague direction and no place to call home

It’s time for you to press on
This is not your war
Set your sights to North and press on
This is not your escape
Wash away what they thought of you
Because in this place, we’re all as good as dead
…end cycle…

Behind the mask you’ll find yourself alone
It’s not the end of the road for you…

Sarah and Hannah babysit the cutest little kid. His name is Julian, but they call him Jujubee. He’s only 5. Today Sarah woke me up and asked me if I could watch him because she needed to do something and, like the responsible babysitter that she is, she didn’t want to leave him alone. (She’s still in the house by the way, it’s not like she just up and went to see a movie).

So I got out of bed, half asleep to watch a very much awake 5 year old boy. I took him on the porch and he immediately saw our hammock.

“What’s that?”

“A hammock”

He then tried unsuccessfully to get on it. “I don’t think I can get on”


I didn’t realize that that was his way of asking for help.

Two minutes later he was back by the hammock, trying to get back on. He looked quite frightened. So I went over to him.

“Okay, I can help you get on. Look, I’m holding it, so it won’t rock. Now just get on with your back first, then swing your legs around. No, onto the hammock, yeah, there you go. Now you’re on!!”

After exactly 1 minute of rocking and asking me a billion questions he decided he was bored.

This little conversation really struck me. How many times does God ask us to do something and we need help with it, but won’t ask him? Or he gives us directions, but we doubt them? Or how many times do we misinterpret his directions, and try to get on a hammock feet first? Or we doubt that God really has the situation under control (like when I held the hammock for Jujubee).

How great is is that we have a God who is very patient and will give us all we need to follow him! He will never leave us or forsake us! I find great comfort in that.

{June 3, 2008}   Thoughts on fear

Fear is a funny thing. It can be extremely paralyzing. In His Word, God calls us to not fear. Before NA 08, I really felt God calling me to give my fear to him. He’s been laying his hand on this issue in my heart and I really hope to grow in this over the next couple of months. Two truths that God has given me to cling to (and that I hope to memorize) are:

2 Timothy 2:7: For God gave us not a spirit of fear, but of power and love and self-control.


1 John 4:18: There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear.

While at NA, God also reminded me of his faithfulness. Look at all he has saved me from!! He has always been there for me, He has never let me down, so why do I not have cause to trust Him?

As God calls me to follow him in this short journey called life, I have to be aware of the fact that he will ask me to do hard things for his name’s sake, but I have to be even more aware of the fact that he will be with me every step of the way, that his grace will carry me, that he will never give me more than I can handle, that he WILL be faithful to me.

How amazing is it that we have a sovereign God!?!

{June 2, 2008}   New Attitude 2008

God did amazing things!!

Okay, background:

The messages I heard at New Attitude 2007 changed my life, but not during that weekend. Let me explain. When I went to New Attitude 2007 I was into a very negative music scene (see my 2 first posts), I did not want to be there and I was very depressed and suicidal. While at NA 07 I felt God calling me to give all of that up and follow him. I was not obedient to that command for a very long time and I entered one of the darkest, godless times of my life. Through my care group and the faithfulness of God, and intense struggle, God had allowed me to take the beginning steps to kill this sin in my life.

Fast forward to NA 08. I felt God reminding me of his faithfulness. Last year, I hated being there, this year I went with anticipation. God had so much in store for me!! Last year, I couldn’t worship because I was focused on myself. This year I was excited to praise my God, I never wanted it to end, and was moved to tears on an almost regular basis. I was most struck by a pattern in the lyrics. A common theme was the fact that if God hadn’t moved, I would never follow him. That was so true in my life!!! He reached into the depths of my depression and pulled me out, kicking and screaming, to bring me to Himself. How kind of Him, to save me, a sinner! If not for him, I wouldn’t be here, as I already had specific plans to end my life. I’m so incredibly amazed that God would want to save me, not for what I’ve done, but because He chose me. Glory be to God because it all belongs to him!!

While at NA 08, I could finally feel God’s presence again. You see, I have always been afraid of getting close to God, specifically of hearing from him in supernatural ways. At a young age, God blessed me with a few prophecies, as well as allowing me to speak in tongues. Through my sinful fear, I asked God to give me space because I thought all of this was too much for me. Running from God’s presence eventually caught up with me and I’m now trying, by his grace, to run towards him. This has involved working towards giving up my fear and trusting in him. This is a hard step for me, but I feel God moving me towards this. My sisters encouraged me to stop fearing God. They pointed out to me how silly that is. I mean, think about it, really think about it. That is such a false thing to feel. God is my salvation. Look at all he’s done for me. As it says in Romans(8:32): If he did not spare his Only Son, how will He not also with Him, graciously give us all things. What do I have to fear? I have the Almighty God on my side!! Well, I felt God returning my gifts to me, he laid a burden on my heart that one of my friends was struggling with something, so, with his strength, I stepped out in faith and asked her. I shouldn’t have doubted God, because this impression was right and I had the privilege of praying for her, as well as another friend of mine! How great is His faithfulness!!

I was also extremely blessed to talk with my friend Bethany Davis. (You can read her story on her blog: http://notwsetapart.wordpress.com/). We share a common burden to do great things for the Lord, to proclaim his name in nontraditional, very specific ways.  As she was sharing her burdens, I got a specific impression, and, once again, it was what she was feeling. I felt so blessed to be able to share all of this with her! To share my crazy ideas, my crazy ways I want to reach the world for Christ. (I don’t know if I want to share them with the world yet, maybe eventually…). I feel God wants to use me, as he wants to use all of us, and I feel very excited and lucky to be able to proclaim his name for his glory.

So, as I left NA, as I looked back, I was overwhelmed with God’s kindness, and excited to follow him. I was also aware that I could definitely go back home and forget it all, how easy (but hard in the end) it could be to not apply any of it. But I remember how life changing last year’s messages were and I can’t wait to experience that type of grace again. So, I want to apply all I learned, I want to seek accountability to change, and I want to grow closer to my amazing Savior!!

What did YOU learn at NA 08? Please, I want to hear your story!

Silhouettes, they all show…

This will pass like yesterday,
The rain will come and wash away,
And fill me with your sweet sweet air,
I cried out and you were there,

Like the wind that I cannot see,
But I know it’s there right in front of me,
You’re everywhere, oh oh oh,
You’re everywhere…

I cried wolf to you again,
And then denied this in my head,
Cause I ran to the other side,
Only to then change my mind

Like the wind that I cannot see,
But I know it’s there right in front of me,
You’re everywhere, oh oh oh,
You’re everywhere,
What if I follow?
What if I break?
I’m living my life so I’ll make my mistakes,
You’re everywhere, oh oh oh,
You’re everywhere

Silhouettes, they all show…

I’m losing myself again,
And your patient with me,
I’m building these walls again,
Please rescue me,

Silhouettes, they all show,
Silhouettes, would you let me know?

Like the wind that I cannot see,
But I know it’s there right in front of me,
You’re everywhere, oh oh oh,
You’re everywhere,
What if I follow?
What if I break?
I’m living my life, I will make my mistakes,
You’re everywhere, oh oh oh,
You’re everywhere,

Oh, oh,

Silhouettes, they all show…

et cetera