January 2010 - further up and further in

Saturday, January 30, 2010

hmm.

Saturday, January 30, 2010 0
hmm.
[Side note: Well, I changed my template around. I've been trying to figure out Blogger's HTML, and it's been quite an experience. I've had a lot of fun today experimenting around with this. I can't decide if I like this template... I mean I do, but there are some things I don't like. What do you think?]

Tonight we went to church, and I got to see a few families who have gotten their children from Haiti! It has been amazing to see how God's sovereignty has prevailed, even in the midst of disaster. My heart is overwhelmed just thinking about His goodness. How great is our God!

The church service was amazing tonight. Oh my goodness. Our pastor's brother spoke, and he had the most encouraging message I've heard in a long time. His topic? Embracing your weakness. This is the key verse he used throughout the sermon, and even though I've read it many times I'm just now seeing it in a new light:


But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. - 1 Corinthians 12:9
Wow. Isn't that powerful? Jesus is able to work through us when we are weak, rather than when we are strong. He wants us to rely on His strength.

God wants us to grow through affliction. Sometimes He will deliver us from it, and sometimes He won't. It's been so hard for me to understand this. Then I realized... Jesus pleaded with His Father before he was going to be crucified, asking if there was any possible way this cup could be taken from Him. God had to say no, so that His perfect plan would prevail.

The speaker shared the story of two pots. One of them was formed perfectly, had no flaws, and always came back from the well full of water. The other was cracked and broken, and had many imperfections. One day, the Master said to the broken pot, "I knew you were cracked and imperfect, and so I took the time to walk behind you and scatter seeds. The water that you leaked was used to let those seeds grow, and now they are the flowers and trees that bring beauty to your path."

Isn't that powerful? I loved that story! This whole concept makes me think of a song my dad has sung to me ever since I was a baby, and you probably know it --

Jesus loves me, this I know
For the Bible tells me so
Little ones to Him belong
They are weak but He is strong
Yes, Jesus loves me
Yes, Jesus loves me
Yes, Jesus loves me
The Bible tells me so

We don't have to be perfect, because God is, and His strength is made perfect in our weakness. How wonderful a thought that is! His grace is sufficient!

These are just a few thoughts that have been floating around in my mind and I just had to articulate them in some way. Feel free to chip in with your thoughts!

[Oh, and on another side note, I am actually kind of looking forward to practicing impromptu speaking in a few days. I'm not dreading it, that's for sure. Thanks Catey!]
His love is yours,
~Kylie

Thursday, January 28, 2010

praises

Thursday, January 28, 2010 1
praises
These lyrics pretty much sum up how I feel right now.

Tears have fallen water beads
Wipe the floor with my regrets
In the crevice tiny seeds
Spring to life from pardoned debts
And all I have, all I have is

Praises on my tongue
From my heart
For our God who became flesh
For us all
Unto you
I will sing my praises
Sing forever

In the quiet I lament
Every nail, my sin did buy
And I wonder why you spent
Lavish blood on such as I
When all I have, all I have is

Praises on my tongue
From my heart
For our God who became flesh
For us all
Unto you
I will sing my praises
sing forever

Oh, for a thousand
Tongues to sing
To sing aloud
Sing aloud
Oh, to the Glory
Of my God and King
To sing aloud
Sing aloud

-- (Praises, by Newsboys)

It's been a rough but good day. I've been feeling horrible physically, and on top of that I've fought some battles today. Spiritual battles... such as whether to forgive, or not to forgive. Did I win? You'll have to wait to read my KOF devo to find out. ;)

Right now, all I have is... praises on my tongue, from my heart, for our God who became flesh, for us all, unto You, I will sing my praises, sing forever...

Praise Him!!!!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

a mess

Tuesday, January 26, 2010 0
a mess
yes, i know i just posted. but i just...feel like writing right now. and for my sanity's sake, there will be no uppercase letters in this post if i can help it. enjoy the imperfection... i just need to write without thinking about the rules.

i've been having trouble being content lately. it's one of those weeks where my hormones are raging, and i really don't feel like being happy. i've been reading in my Bible about joy, and even wrote a devotional about it at beautiful in Christ. but it's been really hard for me to take to heart. i know joy isn't based on circumstances, but i'm trying to figure out how to make it otherwise (at least in my life).

living in the city has been really annoying for me lately, because i want to go out and have adventures. there's not much adventure to find in the city, obviously, unless you want to throw yourself into rush hour traffic (and then again, that's just stupid). also, i've been having trouble finding things to creatively photograph, and because i like creatively photographing things, that's been kind of frustrating. as silly as it sounds, i start feeling really down when i'm not able to be creative. i'm not sure what that's about, but it seems to fit my personality. *shrugs*

i had a good idea for my introduction speech, so i'm going to be working on that. then again, i've also been having issues with procrastination. like, serious procrastination. so, even though i came up with the idea last night, this is actually the first time i've thought about my introduction. *headesk*

i have to get going (sleep is awesome, i'm discovering), but i just have to leave you with this video that i love.




there now. wasn't that sweet? :D

love to you all! remember, His love is yours.

the king of glory

Tuesday, January 26, 2010 1
the king of glory
What a fallen world
Who is this king of glory?
I'm not ashamed
Who is this king of glory?
How can this love be understood?
Oh, this king of glory.

Who can save this world?
The Lord Almighty
Who gives us this message to be spread?
The Lord Almighty
Who can heal these broken shards?
Oh, the king of glory.

Praise Him forever and ever
He is the king of glory
Let Him whisper to your heart
Oh, the king of glory

Who is he, this king of glory?
The Lord Almighty--
He is this king of glory

Praise Him forever and ever
Oh, this king of glory
He is the king of glory.

Monday, January 25, 2010

love beyond all imagining

Monday, January 25, 2010 0
love beyond all imagining
"He died not for men, but for each man. If each man had been the only man made, He would have done no less."— C.S. Lewis

What a wonderful thought -- that Jesus died for each of us, just so we could be with Him, and be His children. The thought that He would have died only for me, when I am far from deserving, is almost beyond my comprehension. The love He showed us on the cross is truly love beyond all imagining.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

our GOD is in control...

Saturday, January 16, 2010 1
our GOD is in control...

Our God is in control!! He hasn't taken His eye off His children in Haiti. He's holding every one of us. We just have to trust Him.






My mom was telling me about the devastation in Haiti, and especially about what's been going on at an orphanage/outreach we support there, called For His Glory. Things aren't looking good, and the situation seemed even worse than I had thought. I felt so helpless... and sorrow overwhelmed me. What could I possibly do? Praying seemed futile at this point, although I knew that was the best thing I could do. Honestly, I wanted to ship my whole family and I out to Haiti!

Then I watched this video (above). The pictures of all the adorable children made me smile, but it almost made me more sad. But as I watched more, I heard the Steven Curtis Chapman song in the background. The lyrics really stood out to me - "Our God is in control."

I realized it isn't up to us to save Haiti. Our God is still watching over Haiti. He hasn't abandoned them. He knows. And He's taking care of all of us... we just can't see it yet. We just have to trust Him... because He knows what He's doing.

So in your prayers and efforts to help, just know that there's more going on here that we can't see. God has a plan, far beyond anything we can understand. He will take care of the people of Haiti. He is taking care of them far better than mere humans ever could. Surrender everything to Him... because He can handle it. He's got it all under control.

Friday, January 15, 2010

praying for haiti

Friday, January 15, 2010 1
praying for haiti
Lord, my heart is sad hearing about the devastation in Haiti. I pray that you would be with the people who are now homeless, wounded, and grieving. Help them to know you are there, and draw them to you. Sustain them, Father... be their hope.

Please join me in praying for those affected by the earthquake in Haiti. At least three million people were affected and Haiti is in desperate need of our prayers, now more than ever. The earthquake has killed so many and left others homeless, injured, and grieving. It has literally devastated their nation. Besides their extreme poverty and malnourishment, the people of Haiti are in need of Jesus. Let us stand and fight for the Haitians in the best way we can.... through prayer.

I encourage you to read my friend Catey's post on this subject. She has more information on the culture and spiritual state of Haiti, as well as a sobering and heartfelt poem.

Come on, prayer warriors. Let's pray.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

who do you follow?

Saturday, January 09, 2010 2
who do you follow?
I want to be in the mountains right now. It's a place of solitude, of rest. I want to be in the quiet, away from just... life. Silence is truly a valued thing, I've learned, especially this week. There's been so much noise and chaos I can hardly feel myself think. Even right now, the sound of a vacuum reverberates in my ears. Sigh.

This has been a harder week. I feel like I've constantly been fighting spiritual battles. I'm getting worn down. In a way, it's interesting to be feeling like I'm in the midst of a battle, but the opposition feels so strong. Sometimes I feel like evil is pressing in on every side. I've found new meaning in the Psalms wrote about being surrounded. I've been trying to remember my spiritual armor (according to Ephesians 6), and that has helped, but I'm still trying to grasp the exact meaning of that. How do you put on spiritual armor? Is it an allegory or word picture? Or actual virtues that we can put into practice that shield us from evil? I'm not sure I really understand that concept... yet.

Tonight at church it became clear for me... what life and our walk with God are all about -- following Jesus. When Jesus called each of His disciples, He said, "Follow me." He didn't say, "Join the church," or "Do this, do that." He didn't even say, "Change your lifestyle." He said, "Follow me." He knew that once someone followed Him, Jesus would naturally become the focus of their lives. Their desires would fall into line with His, and thus reflect His heart. Our focus needs to be Jesus in order for everything else to be right. Christianity is not about figuring out what's right and wrong, it's about following Jesus and letting Him tweak our desires to fit into His plan. When He's our focus, everything else will fall into place. It's that simple.

So, tonight I became a Jesus Follower. I may have been one before, but this year, I'm determined to follow Him even more. I'm praying that He will be my one source, my leader, my guiding light... my King. I know He will be. This year, I want my focus to be Jesus... nothing else. I pray that He is yours too.

(Wow. That went in a totally different direction than I thought it would. It felt so awesome just to write, though. In a way, this blog has been very therapeutic. I know I already posted tonight, but that's bound to happen. I have too many thoughts spilling over. The beauty of journaling, and probably why I enjoy it so much is that there are no rules.)

Oh, one last note - I have my MRI on Monday. I've done one before so I'm not too worried, but maybe a little nervous. I would so appreciate your prayers!

home

Saturday, January 09, 2010 0
home
"If we find ourselves with a desire that nothing in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that we were made for another world."
C.S. Lewis


Sometimes I feel wistful... almost sorrowful in my deep longing for home. I'm constantly homesick, at times more than others.

I miss Jesus. I miss Heaven... my true home.

Friday, January 8, 2010

and it was so {a poem}

Friday, January 08, 2010 1
and it was so {a poem}
The ocean pounds against the sand.
Restless.
Hopeful.
Longing.

Prompted by the wind, the trees clap their hands.
Carefree.
Hopeful.
Longing.

The clouds drift across the sky, subject to the breeze’s whims.
Submitted.
Hopeful.
Longing.

The wind dances through the grass, riffling the blades like a sea of green.
Playful.
Hopeful.
Longing.

Like a sea of glass, the lake waits.
Quiet.
Hopeful.
Longing.

Suddenly, it happens.
Let there be light.
And there was light.

Creation spills from His fingertips.
They all have waited long for this moment.
The trees.
The seas.
The breeze.

Come into being, He whispers.
And it was so.

His world comes to life.
A brilliant landscape, straight from the mind of the King.

The ocean pounds against the sand, beating in tandem with His heartbeat.
Rhythmic.
Vibrant.
Alive.

The trees clap their hands in addition to the ocean’s song, enthusiastic applause for their Maker.
Joyful.
Vibrant.
Alive.

The clouds drift through the sky, subject to the Creator’s whims.
Humble.
Vibrant.
Alive.

The wind dances through the grass, riffling through the blades like a green sea bowing in adoration.
Worshipful.
Vibrant.
Alive.

Like a sea of glass, the lake waits to reflect His image.
Peaceful.
Vibrant.
Alive.

Slowly, it happens.
God saw it, and it was good.
Creation begins to sing.
They have waited long for this moment.
The trees.
The seas.
The breeze.

My delight is in you, He whispers.
And it was so.

Monday, January 4, 2010

prayer request ~ my headaches

Monday, January 04, 2010 0
prayer request ~ my headaches
I just got back from a doctor's appointment. A lot of you may not know this, but I've struggled with headaches for as long as I can remember. We've tried several things to try to get rid of my headaches, but they've never really gone away. Although they vary in intensity and duration, I get these headaches almost everyday and have neck/shoulder/back pain to go on top of it. I try not to let it slow me down, but it can get very frustrating... which is how I feel right now.

Because it's hard for me to find relief, we wanted to follow-up with my doctor to see what else we could do to get to the bottom of this. The appointment went well; he was very listening and just asked us to tell him everything we'd noticed about these headaches. Then we went from there, and he seemed to know what needed to happen next. It was helpful for me to know that he wants to get to the bottom of this too.

Basically, he wants me to try a medication to see if it helps my migraines, and I also have to get an MRI. I'm not too worried about the MRI, since I've done one before, but this time I have to have a dye injected into my veins so they can see my blood vessels better. I wonder if I'll change color? LOL.

Aside from that, I'm going to take some vitamins that are known to help with migraines/headaches. I think that the MRI will help my doctor know which way to go, so that's basically the next step in this process. I do feel better that we are moving closer to finding thecause, and hopefully the cure.

So, I'd like to turn this whole thing into a prayer request. I would appreciate your prayers that God would make it clear to us what we need to do, and that my headaches would go away or at least lessen. Most of all, pray that I would continue to feel His presence in all of this. Thanks so much - I love you all!

Friday, January 1, 2010

God is on the move

Friday, January 01, 2010 0
God is on the move
A cry rises from the ground
As all the earth begins to shake
Can you feel the spirit move you?
Calling all hearts to wake

Life is rising from these graves
A voice breaks the silence
And warms the dying heart
Oh, this is just the start

'Cause we will open heavens
And well start the flame now
All the earth will shake now
As we scream Your name

Arise, heaven open wide
Passion filling every place
And now's the time
So let it move you
Cause something is about to break

We are falling on our face
Searching for movement
Give us fire in these days
Oh Spirit, lead the way

Hallelujah
Singing Hallelujah
Well cry out from our hearts now

(Open Heavens, Barlow Girl)

--

I had this song in my head the whole time we were praying as a family about the new year. I'm not sure why, but this song really stirs something in me. I guess it's because I really desire to be moved by the Spirit in ways I can't understand. As we were praying, I heard many things from God, but one of them was that Hallelujah should be our battle cry. To me, this means that we must be worshipful warriors (term borrowed from my pastor). I pray that I will be able to defend myself from the forces of evil, but that I will also be strong enough to kneel in worship to my King.

These are a few scattered thoughts about the new year, and really, I'm just typing what comes to mind next, so I don't expect anything to make sense. But the one conscious thought I can use to sum up this post is that God is on the move.