Tuesday, January 28, 2014


"Through blinding rain,
up rugged terrain;
higher climb!
One more time!
Reach the top,
never stop:
Find the stair
Venture there.
Reaching high,
one last sigh;
Summit now,
I'm here, 
but how?"

So often, just when we think we've gained the top, we find that there are yet trials in the distance: a guarantee of more struggle, more pain, more sweat, more blood. But over-arching every last fear is a sparkling promise that One greater than the storm is by your side. He whose hand created all will not bring you by a way in which you shall fall, never again to rise.

"I perceive the way to life lies here; come, pluck up heart! Let's neither faint nor fear. Better though difficult the right way to go, than broad but easy, where the end is woe!" 
--Pilgrim's Progress

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

I Realized

A chat message popped up on my screen. I scanned it, laughed, and typed a quick reply. The response to my reply produced more giggles, and the conversation lasted but a minute longer. But suddenly, I realized.

I'd found some old mp3s that once had me in stitches. I put them on my phone again, and listened to them at home: just innocent funnyness. And yet, when all was said and done, I felt strange.... And suddenly, I realized.

Crunching through the snow to the top of a hill hidden away in the trees, and then careening down at unprecedented speeds, interrupted by falls, tumbles, and near-misses, I realized, too...

I'm realizing, though I have lots of things that are...well, less than perfect in my life... that I'm really happy. Really blessed. Really living. Distraction free (well, mostly: can someone in my position ever really be distraction free?), free from a life of captivity, free to...

Just be. Be me. It's a novelty.

And I'm loving it.

I realized. I'm happy.

Are there things that would make me happier? Sure. But why dwell on that, when I can dwell on so much more? He's providing life, love, and happiness in such a rich way out here in Inchelium.

That's why I love Him. Why I serve Him.

Because He always takes the broken and makes it beautiful.

Monday, January 13, 2014

How many miles?

As the sanctuary began to empty, I looked around. Kezzia looked at me and then leaned in. "I think we should find other people. Nobody's getting up or doing anything."

I agreed, and she skittered off to see if Jenny had someone. As I turned around, Grandma Phyllis caught my eye. She motioned to me that she'd like to be my partner, and I nodded with a smile. I offered to get the supplies first.

As I came back with a basin and a towel, Grandma finished pulling off her thick socks. She said a few things to me that I don't remember now. I was too busy noticing her feet.

She has tiny feet. And honestly, they aren't exactly pretty. Her toenails are a little discolored, her once-tiny feet have swollen around the ankles, and in some places her veins show through thin skin. But that isn't what struck me.

How many thousands of miles have these little, scarred feet traveled for the love of God?

Grandma used to live in Korea. She taught there, was a missionary. She's been to Africa, and who knows where else. She's raised at least 3 children of her own. How many thousands of miles has she walked because of the love she has for her Lord and those dear to her?

And as I dipped her feet in the water, I wondered. How many miles have I walked for God? For those I love?

I felt humbled when this stooped, aged bit of humanity bent to wash my young, inexperienced feet. And again, I questioned. How many miles?

And then, when she held my strong, young hands in her frail, withered ones and prayed for me... I pled. Lord, help me to walk farther.

How many miles have you walked?

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

I Found

Supper finished, I wandered around the empty house, turning off unneeded lights. I plopped onto the couch, answered a text message with a grin, and then looked over at the cat. "Kitty, this is our last night alone."

Jessica and Kezzia were getting in late that night, and it wasn't quite bedtime yet. So I pulled out my computer and typed away for a little while. That finished, I set it aside and went to look for a book.

My bookshelf is full of books I've read already. Sometimes way more than once. I looked here and there, trying to find something that piqued my interest, and nothing did: except that one paperback that had belonged to my Grandma.

I'd read it months and months before, staying up til midnight to finish. Someone sat down with Bible prophecies and Mrs. White's inspiration and came up with a supposition of what the end of time might be like. Back then, it had awakened in me such a sense of the nearness of Christ's coming and I had embraced the chance to really ponder the blessed event.

Now it stared at me from the shelf, daring me to pick it out of a million others, despite the fact that I'd read it already. It won. I pulled it from the shelf and returned to the living room, settling on the couch in my big green blanket to read.

An hour and a half later I set the book aside and stared at the ceiling. I turned all the lights off and went into my room, where the cat reclined on the bed. He stared at me as only a cat can when I buried myself under the covers and pulled my computer out.

The reawakening to my own condition and the sense of the end so near: I almost couldn't bear it. As I typed my fears and focusings onto the screen before me, I begged God to help me. Begged Him to truly convert my soul so I would be ready. And then it struck me...

How does one become converted anyway? I'm such a hopeless sinner most of the time--evidence of an unconverted heart--but I want to be converted, and to stay that way. Only how?

As I questioned, I heard a voice. No, not a voice, but a voice. Those who have heard it know what I mean. And it simply said, "Steps to Christ."

Was it because I'd noticed that it was on my shelf earlier that week? Was it because I'd read it a couple of years ago and been blessed? Or was it a divine instruction to seek and find the conversion experience I was pleading for?

I put the computer on the floor and pulled the worn old book off the shelf. My grandma read it a thousand times, I'm sure. It's got tape on it and is otherwise falling apart. But I settled down to search.

The amazing thing?

I found.

I've been a Seventh-Day Adventist Christian all my life. I've always believed in God, always knew (with my head) that He loved me, always knew all our doctrines and beliefs.

But I've also always struggled with making Christ my own. Not just my church's, not just my parent's, friend's, or pastor's. Mine. No one ever really told me how, though here and there I got a few ideas on how. Some didn't work at all, others helped. And sometimes it worked completely and I felt God's acceptance and that holy joy that springs from Him alone.

Keeping a hold of that joy, that assurance, is the hard part.

And yet... Is it not so hard as we make it?

I put the book down at 10:30, a third of the way through and seeing with new eyes. I'm going to read it over and over...and over.

One day at a time is all I have. Therefore, one day at a time is all I need to promise.

Realize He loves you...then see and admit your need of Him...then repent of your wickedness and confess your sins specifically...then have faith that He will forgive, because He has promised. There's more to come that I haven't read yet.

How simple.

So, one day at a time. Begin each morning with a simple prayer: "Lord, I am Thine. Take me, all of me, and consecrate me anew."

"You shall seek Me and find Me, when ye shall search for Me with all your heart."