Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Christmas Brunch Wrap-up

Hey...I was thinking that I would take a few min to wrap up about our Christmas Brunch. I took a few pictures, mostly to make you want to come next year :) 

My sister Mercy started the brunch 3 years ago, mostly because she loves to entertain and she has a HUGE heart. The rest of us have really learned to love it and try to use our talents where we can. 

This year we made less verity on of food, mostly because there was so much food leftover in the past and also cause Mercy almost kills herself making all the sweets. 

Mercy is the organizer, food shopper, decorator, makes all the sweets, takes care of drinks (Which included homemade hot chocolate), and serves your food will a smile, she is pretty much the rock star!
Justin did a ton of the decorations, and kept the orders coming in and going out!
Joel and I did the cooking! Joel the french toast and helping if I got behind on orders! We kept 3 griddles going 100% of the time and not an order was forgotten. 
Dad was the key though as he washed all the dishes so that we never got behind and Mom just kept chopping anything we need!
and not forgetting Jacob....I just don't remember what he did! :)

Here is an idea of what our menu was this year:

Pesto on Eggs (Scrambles eggs with pesto served on toast)
Cinnamon French toast
Sourdough French toast
Ultimate Skillet w/ eggs
Others choices:
            Fried Garlic Mashed Potatoes
 Pumpkin Roll
 Fruit salad
Berry Pie

 And here are some pictures:

First order of the day about to go out!

 Joel and his amazing French Toast.
 And the Best part is the friends that we get to see!
As you know I am not a huge Blogger but I really felt like I should blog because I just felt so blessed this Christmas season and I really wanted to let everyone know just how blessed I felt this season. 

I was so blessed to do this with my family as a family, no one looking for the credit, just wanting so much to bless others. Thank you Mercy for letting me do the cooking, I really loved it this year! 

The second blessing I felt Christmas morning was from everyone that came... you may have just come for some great food :) , but you blessed us by coming, spending a little bit of your day with our family and allowing us to show you a little bit of hospitality and love. On a day that is such a big reminder of the amazing love of a savior, WOW what a blessing to show a small amount of love to others with the amazing blessing that Christ daily gives us!!


Wednesday, December 5, 2012


Christmas time is here which most of you know is my most favorite time of the year. One of the things I look forward to on Christmas is the Christmas brunch which my family hosts. This year we have decided (by unanimous vote I might add ;)) to name it after our Uncle Larry who passed away earlier this year. he also loved Christmas and the Christmas brunch. My Uncle Larry loved his family and friends. He was always happy to spend time with them, visiting with them and deepening those relationships. But most importantly he loved his Savior Jesus Christ. He made HIM the most important person in his life and that is what we want to remember each Christmas. We want to be thankful for Jesus in our own lives and in the hearts of our family and friends.

Because I have not blogged in such a long time I thought I would give an update on my life:
This year leading up to Christmas has been so different than the 12 previous. Mostly because I am not in high-school anymore. Even though I am not having to meet due dates on papers and give in-class presentations I have been filling my time with other kinds of activities. I have been teaching 1st and 2nd grade Math, Writing, and Science 2 days a week at Covenant as well helping Mrs. Nielsen with the Choir and Piano Students (one more reason to enjoy Christmas time: Christmas Carols is all we sing :)) I also helped Liberty coach our Varsity Volleyball team this fall... which was a blast :) Now I am playing City League Volleyball with some of the coolest people in the world :) I have also been helping Liberty with JEMfriends and hanging out with my family, especially Josiah, Elysse, and Lucas.

Hope this gives you a taste of what is going on right now... hopefully I will be blogging again soon :)

Mercy Faith

P.S. Jacob gets home in 10 days.... YAY!!!!! ... Please pray for him as he goes into finals week :)

Sunday, August 26, 2012

New Address

I am back at college for my Junior year. This year, I think I am the most nervous and excited I have ever been.

Importantly for you all, I have moved off-campus this year, and my old address is now obsolete.

Please send all packages and letters to my new address:
344 N. West St.
Hillsdale, MI 49242

Feel free to share this new address with anyone that might need it.


Wednesday, August 22, 2012

You know you are a coach when....

So Volleyball has been going on for about 2 1/2 weeks.... This is my first year coaching and I am pretty excited. We have enough girls to have 3 teams, which is kinda challenging on the coaching side as the range is from 4th year players to absolute beginners.

I am still learning what coaching is all about but I thought I would share a few things.

You know you are a coach when...
   ... your whistle is perpetually hanging around your neck
   ... you no longer wear knee pads to practice
   ... you seem to be always looking at a notebook (i.e. practice schedule)
   ... you have written out 3 different serve orders and you are still not sure you have it the way you want it
   ... played coach-on-2, except now you are the one spiking the balls
   ... you can officially add "Volleyball Coaches meeting" to your schedule... which actually means another trip to Starbucks ;)

Hope this made you smile :)


Friday, July 20, 2012

Today was the Graveside Service for my mom's uncle, Larry. One of the songs that was sung was so descriptive of my Uncle and very convicting for me so I thought I would put the words up here...

I then shall live as one who's been forgiven;
I'll walk with joy to know my debts are paid.
I know my name is clear before my Father;
I am His child, and I am not afraid.
So greatly pardoned, I'll forgive my brother;
The law of love I gladly will obey.

I then shall live as one who's learned compassion;
I've been so loved that I'll risk loving, too.
I know how fear builds walls instead of bridges;
I dare to see another's point of view.
And when relationships demand commitment,
Then I'll be there to care and follow through

Your kingdom come around and through and in me,
Your pow'r and glory, let them shine through me;
Your hallowed Name, O may I bear with honor,
And may Your living Kingdom come in me.
The Bread of Life, O may I share with honor,
And may You feed a hungry world through me.

The second and third verses really spoke to me about how I need to live my life and do as Christ would do.

Mercy Faith

Introducing "World Traveler"

This is to introduce you to ... my new 'traveling blog'

Please check it out and follow it :)


Thursday, June 28, 2012

I have had a few thoughts that I really feel like I would like to share...These thoughts all kinds got just started with the question that I got asked when talking about JEMfriends "Do you train your mentors?" The first thought that hit me was, how many people shy away from mentoring because they are not "trained" they don't feel that they "know enough"? These are probable true facts I am sure that there are many that feel this way. I started thinking about how our world has pushed the education, training, certifications, yes you can get mentoring certifications, I just wonder when it comes to mentoring if it has gone to far and we have replaced the biggest part of mentoring...friendship.

I just wonder if we started saying you being you is enough to be mentor, how many more people would make the effort to mentor, how many more kids would walk this world and get noticed.

Thinking about it there are a few reasons that we get trained...
1. To learn to be better at what we do.
2. To be able to do what we do in less amount of time.
3. Cause we love what we do and we want to learn everything that we can about it. 

These are not all wrong reasons especially the 3rd, but they one go so far because mentoring is a time investment, a listening to the heart and a friendship things so hard taught.

You are enough to be a mentor and let your training come from Christ who understands time investment, a listening heart, and the friendship perfectly.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

First day... er... week of work

So I was planning on blogging after my first day of work but things were rather busy.... so here I am after 3 days of work and just now getting this blog together.

I apologize in advance if this blog is super random. I just have not blogged in so long and I have so many thoughts rolling around in my brain ready to spil out it might just come out all jumbled ;).

It was a full moon last night and so the past couple of evenings have been so fantastic getting to see it come off the horizon :)

Last Friday night I was lying awake at like 2:30am complaining to God about some things and as I was praying, thunder rolled and the lighting flashed and the rain poured down in an awesome reminder that God never leaves us... all I could do was go outside and stand in the rain and fog :).... It was definitely the reminder I needed to stop complaining and instead thank God for all he has done for me :)

Speaking of storms there was a really windy thunderstorm on Monday night which I had to drive through to get to choir practice.... avoiding branches in the roadway was kind of an ordeal. Also the storm blew over the grill at the house I was housesitting.... luckily it was my Aunt's house so I was not in too much trouble.

I also got pulled over twice this week... thankfully both times was to let the fire truck go by.... so no speeding tickets.... yet ;)

Work has been pretty much awesome. My first day was on Monday. I get to do all kinds of fun stuff. Pretty much I do whatever Liberty tells me too.... this has mostly involved computer work. I do not have a "title" yet for my job but Liberty is working on coming up with it :) So as soon as I know I will be sure to inform you all :)

Sorry this has been so random but hopefully this shows you my life lately :)

I will try to put together a less nonsensical blog soon.

Mercy Faith

Friday, May 11, 2012

Exodus 15:22-27... some thoughts

 Exodus 15:22-27 "So Moses brought Israel from the Red sea, and they went out into the wilderness of Shur; and they went three days in the wilderness, and found no water.  And when they came to Marah, they could not drink of the waters of Marah, for they were bitter: therefore the name of it was called Marah.  And the people murmured against Moses, saying, What shall we drink?  And he cried unto the Lord; and the Lord shewed him a tree, which when he had cast into the waters, the waters were made sweet: there he made for them a statute and an ordinance, and there he proved them,  And said, If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the Lord thy God, and wilt do that which is right in his sight, and wilt give ear to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I am the Lord that healeth thee.  And they came to Elim, where were twelve wells of water, and threescore and ten palm trees: and they encamped there by the waters."

As you read through the book of Exodus it is easy to start to skim over the passages that just seem to tell the  day-to-day happenings of the Children of Israel's journey to the Promised Land. However, we must remind ourselves that the story of their journey from Egypt to the Promised Land was a physical example of our Spiritual journey from total depravity to life eternal with Jesus. There are many parallels that can be seen throughout the Israelites story but I wish to just touch on the ones I gleaned from this particular passage.

To put this is in context let me just refresh your memory of what was going on in Chapter15. The first part of the chapter is devoted to recording the songs of Moses and Miriam after God miraculously delivered them from the army of Pharaoh and lead them across the Red Sea. After this great celebration with singing and dancing it is time for the Children of Israel to move on. This is where these verses (22-27) enter the story. The Israelites have traveled through the wilderness with no water for 3 days and then when they get to Marah where there finally is water the water is undrinkable (bitter). The people immediately start complaining. Moses cries out to God and God shows him to cast a tree into the water and the waters become sweet. God, through Moses, then promises the people that if they will hear Him and keep His commandments then He will not punish them as He did the Egyptians. After that He leads them to Elim- an oasis.

This passage really spoke to me as it showed it a physical sense our spiritual journeys. God reaches down and brings us out of Egypt (our depraved state) and shows us the path to Eternal life. The journey is not easy, this life is a wilderness full of trials. However, God does not let us face the wilderness alone, if he did we would turn back to Egypt and the our life of sin just as the Israelites wanted to time and time again. Instead, God is not only with us, He is there protecting and leading us as a pillar of fire. 

He is there as we face seeming insurmountable opposition and just as He did with the Red Sea he opens a way for us to walk in the midst of it. It can be scary because even as we can feel the dry land beneath us and see the pillar of fire ahead of us we are tempted to look at the walls of water and think of what would happen if those waters came crashing down on us. Yet we know if we trust in the Lord and look to Him we will make it through this trial and come out on the other side unscathed. After coming through trials that bring us closer to God it is easy in that moment to turn to Him and trust Him with our whole heart. However, our faith will not be measured only by these good times but by the tough times as well. 

After this period of celebration, the Israelites are lead through the wilderness. They are still on their way to the Promised Land but God is testing their endurance. In our spiritual Journey, God will lead us through deserts and these are not to drive us away from Him in despair but are to draw us to Him as we pant for the "living water" of Christ. 

Eventually, the Israelites come upon some water in Marah. The lesson taught here is one not to be missed. After the trials of the wilderness, God has lead us to what we think should be a refreshing spot. But God is here showing us more of His wonder. The cup that he as prepared for us now is one we see as bitter and "unhealthy" yet God in His Providence uses it to pull us to Him. 
 The tree that God shows to Moses to redeem the situation reminds us that when Jesus died on the tree at Calvary, he drank the bitter cup reserved for us. And because of that the waters we are offered are sweet and refreshing. This is a great hope for us. We will never have to drink of the waters of death, Jesus has already taken that for us. 

After this amazing demonstration of God's power, He speaks to us and reminds that He will never leave us or forsake us, that He will never plague us with the plagues of sin (the Egyptians). Yet He also reminds us that  we are to follow His commands. After He has made this promise and the Israelites have accepted the condition, He leads them to an Oasis, a true resting place on the road to Eternal life in the Promised Land.

This Passage as a whole is one filled of Hope as it reminds us to look to God in ANY and ALL situations. God knows us, knows our hearts. He loves us. What may seem to us as bitter cup, He will turn to sweetness. He uses many means to accomplish His goals through us and if we are willing to be an empty vessel that He can fill with His Will, we can accomplish so much more than we could ever dream for His Kingdom

In Christ,
Mercy Faith Barrett

Monday, March 26, 2012

The Great Divide

Written the day after Idaho's Presidential Caucus

There are a few times in my life when I realize how optimistically naive I am sometimes. Last night was one of those cases. I really did think that there were more than 1,766 people in Ada County who cared enough about their freedom to take a few hours out of the routine of their lives and vote for liberty. Unfortunately, I was wrong. Dead wrong.

For whatever multitude of reasons, many of them good ones I’m sure, the 100 people that would have placed Ron Paul and the cause of liberty in 2nd place were not there. I myself know half that number of Ada County Residents who profess with their mouth that they love liberty, but their actions showed otherwise last night. Lest I sound like a sore loser my real heartbreak lies in this unspoken tacit consent that any Republican candidate is better than the Democratic one. It seems as if folks feel like they can take a stand the next time around. Ladies and Gentlemen, there may be no “next time around.”

I know it’s hard to exchange our comfort, security, and seeming peace, but we are paying for these facades of freedom with our liberty and our future. Just think for one moment about what your life would have been like if our founding fathers had said they’d take a stand “the next time around.” You and I would most likely be living in utter poverty in a totally socialistic regime. Thank God for men who did what it took for the cause of liberty. And, we can’t even take 3 or 4 hours to make the statement that needs to be made at this time.

The words of Patrick Henry’s famous speech are echoing in my mind:

“They tell us, sir, that we are weak; unable to cope with so formidable an adversary. But when shall we be stronger? Will it be the next week, or the next year? Will it be when we are totally disarmed, and when a British guard shall be stationed in every house? Shall we gather strength by irresolution and inaction? Shall we acquire the means of effectual resistance, by lying supinely on our backs, and hugging the delusive phantom of hope, until our enemies shall have bound us hand and foot? Sir, we are not weak if we make a proper use of those means which the God of nature hath placed in our power...There is no retreat but in submission and slavery!...Gentlemen may cry, Peace, Peace but there is no peace.”

What will it take to rouse us from our slumber? I would suggest a rallying cry like Paul Revere’s, and if that is what it takes then give me the horse and I will ride and proclaim,

“Awake and to Arms! The redcoats of our day are already amongst us! They try to kill your children and if they can’t then they teach them in the government schools. They tax your money and your property! They invade your privacy. They deface the value of your currency.”

We must fight now or never. There is a great divide between those who care about liberty for now and the next generations, and those who don’t. I fear that it may never be bridged.

We may be tempted to say in our hearts “Peace. Peace.”

But, ladies and gentlemen, there is no peace.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012


Rain.... one simple word can bring up many different pictures in one's mind... for some, days of depression and wishing for the sun; boredom and staying inside all day.... but for others the images are not so dreary.... some see gardens sprouting and flowers blooming.... lightning shows and the roll of thunder.... the feeling of freshness...

Anyone who knows me even a little probably knows that I belong to the latter group and that I absolutely love the rain :). Besides the usual feelings that rain brings as a fore mentioned; rain for me is always a reminder of God's love, mercy, and faithfulness.

Just as there are many types of rain there are many ways God shows us His love.

Sometimes He shows us gently and steadily, just as a drizzle will constantly remind you that the rain is there but will not drive you away.

Sometimes He urges us to search for Him and find Him, just like when you hold out your hands to catch as many raindrops as you can in the lightest of rains.

Sometimes the rain comes with a driving wind that is so powerful we have no choice but to run for shelter. Shelter not from the raindrops of God's love but from the wind of Satan's attacks.... in this situation we can make different choices: we can run for the false shelters we erect out of our own pride and "abilities", we can determine to face the wind alone (another choice made of pride), or we can run for the cleft of the Rock that is named Jesus and there rest in the assurance that as little or as much of the wind that that touches us there is exactly what Jesus knows is the best for us... even when it seems as if we may as well have stayed out in the full wind, the difference being the constant support our Rock gives us continually.

Sometimes the rain will come hard and steady but as there is no wind we stay and bask ourselves in it smiling and laughing and even running through it... a rain that seems to take all your troubles out of your heart and gives them to God.

And sometimes the rain is such that as one stands in it, burdened with more cares than they care to count, with a broken heart and a weary soul, as the tears stream down the sufferers face, the rain mixes with them as a testimony that God hears them and that he breaks with them.... He even cries with them....

Every time I walk out in the rain I hear these words "I am here. I love you. Look to me for your strength and I will give it to you." It is amazing how often I need this reminder, but fortunately God chooses to send the rain just as often :)

I hope that the next time it rains, even if you are not a rain lover, you will reflect on the goodness of God and let go of your burdens, seek God's face and remember that He loves for you, He cares for you, and He will never let you go.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012


An empty well,
A Shallow stream,
What hope does one gain from these?

An empty heart,
A shallow belief,
What hope does one gain from these?

The Father's love,
The Son's embrace,
This brings the hope for all things.

The Spirit's breath
That gives us life,
Fuels the hope for all things.

To gain the love,
To gain the life,
We would gain the hope that is given.

Monday, February 20, 2012


Today I found out what really maters, God and Family. Today a big piece of my heritage was taken home. My Grandpa has left this Far Country for his true home beyond the sea. I had never imagined until now, as I face the reality, that in this life he will not see me graduate, he cannot attend my senior recital, he will never see me walk down the aisle. Yet he will see these things, clearer than any of us here on earth. Tonight was my Senior night basketball game. A game I have looked forward to ever since I begun playing basketball because I knew it would be a special night. Yet tonight was even more special than I could even have imagined because for the first time in the three years I have played, my Grandpa finally got to see me play. For the last few years he has been confined to a wheelchair and this last year confined to his house. I believe he saw one of my volleyball games in 2009 but never a basketball game. And now on the last home game of my career, my Grandpa finally got to see me play. It didn't turn out like I would ever have imagined but even more wonderful. Even though I could not see his face, he was there.


Dear Grandpa,
I miss you so much already, even though it hasn't even been a day. I know you are having such a blessed time with our Lord and Savior.

I know in this life I never expressed very well my gratitude for all you have done for me... let me now do that. Thank you so much for your love, not only for me but for my family and the example you gave me through your love for the Lord. Thank you for raising my dad to be a Christian and preparing him to lead my siblings and I in the way of truth. Thank you for your example of patience, self control, and faithfulness, in these lessons I could not have asked for a better teacher.

I can't wait until I see you again :)
Your Loving Granddaughter,
Mercy Faith


Even as my Grandpa has passed from this life to a far better one, those of us that are left behind are reminded of a few things. First, cherish the time you are given with your loved ones and give them hugs every chance you get. Second, never forget to tell them how much they mean to you cause you never know when you will never have that chance again. And Thirdly, keep all your friends and family in prayer because as we know, we will get to see them again if they accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior. I am so happy that my I will get to see my Grandpa again :)

Prayer is a mighty weapon... let us use it to its fullest...

With an overflowing heart,

Friday, February 17, 2012

Why My Generation isn’t Getting Married, Part 2 OR Relationships, Elysse’s perspective

(written in Summer 2011)

I have been very open and forthright with criticism towards my generation of homeschoolers and their lack of intentionality towards pursuing relationships, getting married, and establishing families. To that end I wrote an article over a year ago entitled: “Why My Generation isn’t getting married...and what to do about it.”

Writing this article and publishing it was a big step of faith. Many misunderstood and thought I was pointing my finger at specific people or situations. That was not my heart or intention, I simply wished to re-center the focus of my generation an encourage them to live in the fullness that the Lord has set before them. On the other hand, I have received emails from several young people (and also sarents) who thanked me for calling things the way I saw them. Since the article was published I even had a few friends who tried my advice and are happily in relationships and on their way to marriage.

I think that actually what scared me the most about writing the article was being afraid of the extra responsibility I was taking on. Not only did I know that I needed to take my own advice and set an example of pursuing every opportunity of meeting Mr. Right, I also needed to pray diligently and faithfully for my friends that are single. If there is one vital lesson I have learned in the ensuing months, it is the power of prayer.

Shortly after publishing the article I joined a few of the online singles websites that I mentioned. Of course my parents knew, and anytime I received an item of noteworthy correspondence I sent it right on to them. I was very careful in my own mindset that even if were pursuing opportunities to find Mr. Right, I was NOT going to be the pursuer. I didn’t want a man that wasn’t willing to pursue me. Additionally, I set myself some ground rules: 1. if I was to meet someone who interested me online, I would give them every means of pursuing me, 2. I wasn’t going to reciprocate affection until I had gotten a solid green light from my parents, and 3. I wasn’t under any circumstances going to get into a relationship until I had met the person face to face. So, I went about the whole process rather clinically.

Frankly, I was extremely disappointed in my whole experience. Both websites are very good in theory, and I appreciate what they have set out to achieve. Perhaps my experience would have been better if I had invested myself more. With one of the sites it was just too complicated and involved, and I didn’t really have anyone take interest, nor did I find anyone of interest. It was less than slim pickin’s. With the second site, I had 3 guys show interest successively. The first one never made time to come and get to know me. He seemed more than content with a casual friendship, and though I am grateful to have friends, that wasn’t my purpose. The second one was a lot more intentional on his part, but he also got cold feet about coming to see me, and it never went further. The 3rd guy was much more serious about a relationship with me than he was to get to know me. So, I took an entire month to pray and to talk to my parents about it, and ended up telling him that I wasn’t comfortable moving forward. At that point, I had reached the end of the end of giving these online sites a chance. I was never in a relationship with any of these men and I logged out, never to return. I know that some people might consider those months a waste of time and a string of failures, but I learned much about myself, about men, and most importantly about Jesus’ faithfulness. I am thankful for that part of my life journey.

Little did I know the wonderful and crazy path that the Lord had me walking in the midst of all this.

I had gone home for a few months to visit with my family and help a friend run for office. And, during that time I had a job interview for my current job, and the decision to make of whether to once again move almost 2,000 miles from ‘home’ for an indefinite period of time. It was a sweet few months at home, sharing time with my family, helping my friend run for office and getting to know him better, and seeing all my hometown people.

Shortly after taking my job and moving to Illinois, guy #3 came on the scene, and I began to really evaluate what I wanted and how this would work - if at all. The more I talked to him and the more I talked to my parents the more unsure I became of it. It was making me physically sick. I had determined to not move forward until we could meet face to face.

And, then, in God’s perfect timing, just as the old year was coming to a close I received a text message from a dear friend that started out: “you’re amazing...” I have to say I was shocked. Totally shocked. Not more than 48 hours before one of my best girl friends had asked me if I ever saw myself in a relationship with him and I said something a long the lines of: “Well...(insert hemming and hawing)...I doubt it...” Oh, God’s amazing sense of humor and irony. This was a man that I respected deeply, admired, and was rather attracted to, but I had guarded my heart so carefully and diligently that I was literally in shock. It was like finding out that the boy next door - one of your best friends - had a crush on you. I told him I needed a few days to think and pray about it and I did just that - talked to my family, and to my Lord. Since I already had a foundation of a friendship with him I was comfortable moving forward.

Just a few days later, he talked to my Dad. Since then we’ve been working hard at communicating and deepening our friendship and he’s been getting to know my family better. And...I’ve been learning several lessons. Lessons I never thought I’d be learning through being in a relationship.

The first lesson I’ve had to learn is repentance. Yes, repentance. I never, ever thought that would be the primary lesson that I’d learn from a relationship. I was the girl whose shoulder OTHER girls cried on. I was always giving a hug and saying, “Don’t worry...God cares more about your love life than you even do. He’s working on Mr. Right as we speak. Be patient. Trust Him!” In fact, I think that I said it so many times that I forgot to believe it for my own life. Somehow I figured that was for everyone else, but not for me. I thought that I’d spot Mr. Right in my own strength. A week or so into this brand-new relationship I was praising God, saying - “Wow! I never saw this coming!” And, I heard the Lord whisper in His ever gentle, but rebuking voice in reply, “You see how I have blessed you in spite of your unbelief?”

Whenever I was punished as I child I would tell my parents how unfair it was that kids got punished, but adults didn’t. Mom would smile and say, “But, honey, that’s not true...parents get spankings from God.” It was at that moment I understood what she meant. I felt like I had just gotten walloped. I, a daughter of the King, had professed with my mouth over and over my fealty and trust, yet I had betrayed Him in my own soul. And still He delighted to bless me with every good thing.

If that doesn’t drive a person to repentance, nothing will.

Secondly, I’ve been learning patience. Yes, I also, thought that was a lesson I’d already learned. But, somehow, being in a relationship with someone who is 1,635 miles away makes patience relevant on a whole new level. There’s so much opportunity for miscommunication...and, the waiting. Waiting for the natural development of a relationship, waiting for parental input and approval, waiting on the Lord. Always waiting. In God’s amazing irony once again, I just happen to be studying Isaiah in my Bible Study. Isaiah 40 has a rich promise for those who wait, specifically on the Lord. This season I’ve been challenged to find and embrace the Biblical promises made to those who wait.

And speaking of seasons, being in a relationship has somehow mysteriously made my time living by myself, far away from family a blessing. I am savoring my peace and quiet, enjoying the time to do reflect, read, be master of my own house and vehicle. Things that before seemed a burden are opportunities to embrace, lessons to learn, and discipline to be mastered. I wouldn’t trade this season.

Thirdly, I’ve once again been powerfully reminded of God’s Sovereignty and timing. It’s one thing to always be talking about it, but quite another to stand back and see Him at work. It fills one with a sense of awe and a sense of smallness. I am almost daily reminded of the hymn that was played at my parents’ wedding - He Makes All Things Beautiful In His Time. He truly does. His fingerprints are everywhere - if only we step back and look.

And, lastly, I’ve been learning ever so much about trust - the importance of trust in a relationship, trust in God, trust in my parents, trust in my boyfriend. Such a small word, and yet so important. I had naively thought that the hard part of trusting God and your parents was before being in relationship. Not so. That’s when its easy because you have nothing to lose. When you’ve entered a serious relationship trust becomes what it is all about - trusting the Lord that He continues to be faithful and work out His plan for good, trust that one’s parents are hearing from the Lord, and trust in the other person’s pure intentions. Another hymn comes to mind, “Trust and Obey...for there’s no other way...”

Since the moment this journey began, I have begged God to be glorified and honored in and through me. That is my only heart’s desire, and yet He has added to me blessings and joy beyond compare.

And, remember that text message I received a few months ago? The truth is that he’s pretty amazing too...and the story has just begun!

To be continued...

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Would you have the Faith to touch Jesus?

Shaking off the distractions of life to even sit down and write a blog can be hard enough…it obviously is for me as have not written one in about a year. This challenge is nothing compared to that which life throws at you to keep you from having deep moment-by-moment relationship with your Savior. The reason that I say "moment-by-moment" is because when you are talking about the Savior of the universe, the one that gives you the strength to take that next step, the one that moves my fingers to type these words and puts my thoughts in a somewhat understandable sequence, WHY would you want anything less?

For the last 2 years of my life I have kind of felt like I have been in a lesson, but never finding the answer. I am still amazed at everything that I've learned, even though I had no clue why I was learning it. Thankfully we have a faithful God that in his timing chooses to show us what we are learning and why we are learning it. I have learned so much, especially around the moment-to-moment relationship that I must have with my Savior.

I must ask you…”why don’t we reach out and touch Jesus and draw our strength from Him?” He is with in reaching distance of all of us yet we choose to act like He is not. Most of us just want to be with Him but sometimes I am afraid we just want to use Him like a name drop. In Mark 5 we are told of the woman who was healed by her “faith”. I used to simply think about this from the stand point of the woman who was sick having the faith that Jesus would heal her if she could JUST touch His robe. Then, I began thinking about this story from the perspective of the crowd. It says the crowd “thronged” which simply means “(of a crowd) Fill or be present in (a place or area), to be present in great numbers."

The questions I ask myself…was no one else who was there injured or sick? Why was there no one else reaching out to touch Jesus, to be healed? I am not saying there was not anyone else that was not trying or that even did and we are not told about it, but this prompted me to ask myself "am I the person so proud of that fact that I am “walking” beside Jesus right there I don’t even consider that I could reach out and touch Him". STOP and THINK about that, put yourself right there! Are you satisfied standing beside Him or do you want to reach out and touch Him? Do you want His healing power to run through you and heal every physical, spiritual, and emotional injury?

I know that for many years of my life I have been the crowd…just believing that I was in a great place because I was walking with Jesus instead of having that FAITH to reach out and touch Him.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Weekly Biblicalview Email: February 6

Biblical Worldview Learning Center Friends:

This week's e-letter is part 4 of my writing Foundational Presuppositions which develops an understanding of worldviews, particularly a Biblical Worldview. Part 4 completes the introductory chapter to the book. This writing will be sent out periodically as further devotional material is developed and written. As those devotionals are produced we will be sending them out in future weekly e-mails.

Foundational Presuppositions, is based upon my seminar presentation of the same name. I do hope to publish the work in the future. If you would be interested in scheduling a single day,weekend, or longer seminar on the Foundational Presuppositions of a Biblical Worldview,arrangements can be made by contacting me at the Biblical Worldview Learning Center.

For the month of February we are making available some very helpful books in the area of Christian Biblical Worldview development. The books we are offering for our February special discount are the following:

Living at the Crossroads: An Introduction to Christian Worldview, by Craig Bartholomew and Michael Goheen. An engaging introduction to the Christian worldview explores how Christians can live faithfully at the crossroads of Scripture and postmodern culture. Ideal for undergraduate students and laypeople. (Retail: 20.00; Special: 16.00)

Think Biblically!: Recovering a Christian Worldview, by John MacArthur. This work guides readers in cultivating a Biblical worldview. John MacArthur and other scholars confront the false worldviews that dominate the postmodern world and provide models for cultivating a Biblical mindset. (Retail: 18.00; Special: 14.40)

Lord of All: Developing a Christian World-and-Life View, by D. James Kennedy and Jerry Newcombe. The authors define this Christian world-and-life view by considering the six main spheres of influence that Christians should be working to strengthen, from the global and national levels down to the church and the family. (Retail: 18.00; Special: 14.40)

Any these books can be ordered simply by requesting them by e-mail, phone, or mail.

For His Kingdom,

David Barrett, Director

Biblical Worldview Learning Center


The Necessity of a Biblical Worldview
Part 4

Consider the following Scriptures:

"In Thy light shall we see light" (Psalm 36:9).

Only within the light of the truth in God's Word are we able to truly see more truth. Outside of His Word we grope in darkness.

"Work out your salvation with fear and trembling" (Philippians 2:12).

This Scripture is addressing the benefits in this life that salvation in Christ can bring. Notice the two key components that are associated with this process:

(1) You are to labor or work in this salvation growth process. It requires an investment
on your part.

(2) It takes a unique quality of character with which this laboring process is to take place
– "fear and trembling."

Yes, a believer is made a joint-heir with Jesus and He has called us "friend," but you are not His equal, you are not even close.

Yes, we are told that we can boldly enter the throne room of God, but we cannot go brashly or carelessly believing we can make demands upon Him.

God's grace is no license for immature behavior or thought patterns. God'grace gives us the promise, that by His means, our thoughts and life can be elevated to a position of pleasing Him.

The following two Scriptures also directly address the necessity of actively shaping a Biblical worldview in our lives:

For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not strong meat. For everyone that useth milk is unskillful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age,even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil. (Hebrews 5:12-14)

And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. (Romans 12:2)

Each of these passages addresses the need to labor at developing a Biblical worldview. Can you see that? The Hebrews passage speaks about a contrast between a baby Christian that understands the simple first principles, or rudiments, of Scripture and a mature Christian. This infant child of God knows he is a sinner and that salvation is by Jesus Christ alone. This is practically all the baby Christian understands and apparently those receiving this epistle were in that condition. But the writer to the Hebrews is not pleased with that infant state of Christianity. He chastises them saying that they should have moved on to the more solid food of Scripture and the Christian life. The "strong meat" of the mature Christian is described in the last proposition of verse 14: "…those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil."

The mature Christian is one who has learned to apply God's Word to his everyday living and actually practiced reasoning from the Word to the situations and issues he faces. The result being, that the Christian learns to discern that which is in agreement with the Word and that which is contrary to Scripture. This is what is meant by the statement "by reason of use have their senses (perceptions) exercised." Christians need to labor to develop a Godly and Biblical perception of the world around them and the issues of their day. The development of the mind to see things as God would see them is not something that naturally develops in the believer. The believer’s mind needs to be made new. That is what the Romans passage cited above is emphasizing.

In Romans chapter 12, Paul once again warns about the dangers of the world’s influence upon the believer's life. He tells the Christian to not be conformed to this world. That is, they are to guard against being formed and fashioned into the way the world wants them to think and live. The word "conformed" conveys the idea of being changed from the outside-in. The Christian
needs to guard against being shaped by worldly pressures. This includes not only peer pressure and lifestyle pressures, but the changes that come into our lives because we gaze so long upon something that we begin to model it. That's what happens when we look upon, and meditate or vegetate, upon the world’s messages through television, movies, music, magazines, internet, and a host of other avenues.

In contrast to this, Paul exhorts the believer to be changed in another way. He says to be transformed by the renewing of the mind. Both the word (transformed) and the place of change (the mind) indicate just the opposite of what we saw concerning the world's impact upon our lives. Paul is telling us that the change is to come from the inside-out. True lasting change begins internally and addresses a change of heart and mind. New presuppositions and new ways of thinking need to be established. Every single one of us, to one degree or another, began in the garbage can of life views. All of us had to be miraculously rescued from our condition of destruction and our daily diet of worldly thinking.

However, the coming to salvation is only the beginning. God, by grace though faith, saves us in an instance. When Jesus Christ returns again, we will all be changed in the twinkling of an eye. However, between these two events, and while we are still alive, we are called to invest ourselves in the process of learning to think and live in ways that are pleasing to God.

"Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 2:5).

"Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind…" (I Peter 1:13a)

These Scriptures and others, along with II Corinthians 10:5, which we looked at earlier, tell us over and over again that we need to learn to think properly in our new life. It is one thing, and the absolute necessary thing, to be rescued out of the garbage can of worldly thinking and living. It is another thing, and equally essential, to get the garbage out of your life. In other words, salvation begins and is secured by the sovereign act of God as He reaches down and pulls you from life’s heap of rubbish. But, if that were all there was to the saved life, then He would take you home the instance He saved you. Yet, for the vast majority of those He saves, He leaves us here on this earth to both share the Good News and to grow in His grace. That growth has nothing to do with our justification before God; that was established at the moment of our salvation. It does, however, have everything to do with our maturing, our sanctification, our becoming more and more into the image of His Son. And, these passages on the mind, including Romans 12:2 tell us that we are to be personally invested in this process.

W.E. Vine in his very helpful work, Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words, gives very instructive insight into the meaning of this passage in Romans 12.

"…a renewal, is used in Rom. 12:2, "the renewing (of your mind)," i.e.,
the adjustment of the moral and spiritual vision and thinking to the mind
of God, which is designed to have a transforming effect upon the life; in
Tit. 3:5, where "the renewing of the Holy Spirit" is not a fresh bestowment
of the Spirit, but a revival of His power, developing the Christian life; this
passage stresses the continual operation of the indwelling Spirit of God; the
Romans passage stresses the willing response on the part of the believer".
(emphasis added)

This brings us back to the very purpose of this book. Every Christian needs a well defined and a well developed Biblical Worldview. None of us can rest on our laurels and say, "Well, I've been saved, there's nothing more for me to concern myself with." I trust all that I have argued above has put that attitude to rest. It's time to invest ourselves in the process of learning view the world as God would want us to and to begin thinking God's thoughts after Him.

The only infallible tool we can use to know how God would want us to think is the revelation of His Truth which is found in His Word, the Bible. It is only there that we can go and know that we are reading exactly what God would want us to know. And it is to His Word that even Christ himself directed us as he prayed for you and me in John chapter 17,

I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast
given me; for they are thine…I have given them thy word; and the world
hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of
the world. I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but
that thou shouldest keep them from the evil. They are not of the world,
even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word
is truth.
(emphasis added)

It is now to that Word, the very Word of God, we will turn to learn what God presents as the Foundational Presuppositions that we are to hold.


February Featured Products

Click on the titles to order.

20% Discount (as Priced)

Living at the Crossroads: An Introduction to Christian Worldview

by Craig G. Bartholomew and Michael W. Goheen

Retail Price: $20.00

February's price: $16.00

This engaging introduction to Christian worldview explores how Christians can live faithfully at the crossroads of Scripture and postmodern culture.

Ideal for undergraduate students and laypeople, Living at the Crossroads first lays out a brief summary of the biblical story and the most fundamental beliefs of Scripture. The book then tells the story of Western culture from the classical period to postmodernity. Authors Michael Goheen and Craig Bartholomew next analyze how Christians live in the tension that exists at the intersection of the biblical and cultural stories. They proceed to tease out the implications for key areas of life, such as education, scholarship, economics, politics, and church. The result is a deeply thoughtful yet approachable text that draws on the rich tradition of Reformational thinking but contextualizes it to a postmodern setting for a contemporary audience.

Readers will emerge from their study and reflection of worldview with renewed hope in the gospel and restored fervor to help meet the tremendous need for justice and mercy in the world.

224 pages • Paperback

Lord of All

by D. James Kennedy

Retail Price: $18.00

June's price: $14.40

In this book, D. James Kennedy and Jerry Newcombe define the Christian's world-and-life view by considering the six main spheres of influence that Christians should be worlking to strengthen, from the global and national levels down to the church and family. Those with anti-Christian worldviews are working hard to push God out of these spheres,and as Christians we are called to reclaim them for Christ. With an unflinching commitment to God's truth, the authors take us through each of these spheres of influence and give us an overview of what has gone wrong and why a biblically informed world-and-life view is essential. They provide us with the tools and guidance we need to begin integrating our faith with every aspect of life.

320 pages • Hardcover

Think Biblically!: Recovering a Christian Worldview

by John MacArthur

Originally $18.00

May's price: $14.40

Now in paperback, this helpful volume by pastor and best-selling author John MacArthur guides readers in cultivating a biblical worldview on a wide range of issues.

What we think shapes who we are. That's why the Bible tells us, "Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind" (Romans 12:2a). In a world of differing voices competing for our allegiance, we must learn to "think biblically" so we can distinguish good from evil. God is the Creator of this world; his voice-his Word-must guide our thoughts and our lives.

With the Bible in their hands, John MacArthur and other scholars and teachers from the Master's College confront the false worldviews that dominate our postmodern world. The authors provide models for cultivating a biblical mind-set on worship, psychology, gender, science, education, history, government, economics, and literature. This book will help anyone who is striving to think biblically in today's culture.

368 pages • Paperback


Tuesday, January 24, 2012

In Defense of Ron Paul

I am voting for Ron Paul in Idaho’s primary caucus on March 6th. Most of my readers will probably not be surprised at that fact. Dr. Voddie Baucham has faithfully expounded the reasons to vote for Dr. Ron Paul, and I encourage you to read his article by clicking here. Like Dr. Baucham many acquaintances have raised questions about Ron Paul that I wish to address.

Lest someone accuse me again of idolatry, I do not think Ron Paul is perfect. His nomination and his election as President will not change our land. Only repentance and self-governance will. That being said, his attitude and manner in treating people is such that he lacks an air of arrogance, which is one of his greatest qualities. He is not a politician; he is a Statesman.

Also, I can not and will not vote for any of the other proposed Republican candidates because I care too much about my children and yours to contribute to the further destruction of our country. I know that I will have to stand before God someday and give account for my vote. I want to do so with a clear conscience. To chose any of the other options before us would be to betray my own conscience.

Foreign Policy

Those who disagree with Ron Paul’s foreign policy do so out of ignorance. His foreign policies are those of our Founding Fathers. They believed we should not meddle in the affairs of other nations, and instead focus on protecting our own land, and having a strong defense (which involved an armed populous with little spending - hence the 2nd Amendment). Congressman Paul is not ignorant about traditional American foreign policy. He’s seen many decades of a failed policy, as a veteran and a 12 term congressman. His opponents style Paul as blind to any threat of terror or war. Quite the contrary, he says we should prepare for just such a season and in the meantime gather our resources from every corner of the world and quit subsidizing foreign powers - either militarily or monetarily, often both.

And, we need to throw out the idea that American threat of violence is a way to win friends and influence people. The only thing it might be is a very temporary and artificial friendship - and that’s the last thing our country needs right now. Our current foreign policy isn’t working. Historically it’s un-American. It turns out to be un-Biblical, since God only directed Israelites to kill in the name of their own promised land not to pursue interests worldwide. God even forbade the Israelites to have chariots, the symbol of military power of the time. God’s sovereign power would otherwise be minimized. All of a sudden, American world hegemony doesn’t seem so biblical, does it?

If you’re not familiar with the Christian Just War Theory I encourage you to research it.


Norma Mcorvey (Jane Roe of Roe vs Wade) just endorsed Ron Paul. She understands that Roe vs. Wade should never have been heard by the federal Supreme Court. The case was outside the jurisdiction of the US Supreme Court, because murder is under state jurisdiction. There is no federal law against murder. Each sovereign state, of the fifty states, is enforce its own laws, like a sovereign nation, as described by Alexis de Tocqueville. The national government, which is the federation of these several united states is only to act in areas specifically listed in the US Constitution, mostly settling disputes between the states. The several states existed before the federal government; they created it. The several states are the creator and the federal government is the creation. By extension, the states are to be the masters and the federal government is to be the slave. If the US Supreme Court had followed the Constitution, refusing to hear Roe v Wade, we would not have the blood of 54 million babies on our hands. God always brings justice to injustice, and He will punish those that broke the contract, ignoring the Constitution. It's a covenant issue. For the pro-life community to continually beg for a federal solution is not only against the structure of our system, but it is another crime against the Constitution.

The Law

Some hold the position that the state sovereignty and federal limitation doctrines of Ron Paul reveal his misunderstanding of law (including Biblical law). As a graduate of a Biblical worldview academy, and the daughter of its headmaster, I disagree thoroughly. Ron Paul has a profound understanding of the different kinds of laws as well as the separation of powers and jurisdictional boundaries.

Christians are often confused about the different kinds of laws God gave in the Old Testament. There are civil laws, laws specific to Israel, and ceremonial laws. Obviously, sodomy is an abomination. Disrespecting one's parents can lead to death. God also commanded men to offer goats and calves for their sins. Some law, like the tenth commandment are purely matters of the heart and could never be legislated, even if we tried. There is a difference between God's law (as written on our hearts and which - as it says in Galatians - we as Christians MUST follow), and Church law, city law, state law, or Federal law. Those laws which a Christian must follow (ie - we should not do drugs because we should not defile the temple of the Holy Spirit MUST be obeyed through self governance even though they are not and/or should not be a federal law.) Traditionally there is a divide between canonical law and civil law. Cannonical law was the jurisdiction of the clergy. The same issue was used by Pilot as a reason why he could not condemn Jesus. Jesus had broken no civil law, only religious law (according to the Pharisees). Pilot was a smart and principled man. He understood his jurisdiction and would not be swayed.

We must recognize that even some laws in the Old Testament did not come with enforceable penalties (such as the law to leave the corners of your field for the strangers to glean). Not only must a person have a profound understanding of different kinds of law, they also need to understand the proper jurisdiction of each government. It is within the Church's jurisdiction to enforce God's law to not forsake the fellowship of believers and to excommunicate those who do. It is within the family's jurisdiction to punish disobedient children, and neither are within the civil government's jurisdiction. In the United States it is within each state's jurisdiction to punish murderers, homosexuals, make drugs legal or illegal, is NOT within the Federal government's jurisdiction. It's the beauty of the way our American system is set up. I think the waters can get very muddied when these two issues are combined and confused and both are very important. If you want to read more on this I recommend Dr. Herb Titus, one of our nation's best Constitutional lawyers and an expert on God's law as well. He was also one of Judge Roy Moore's top attorneys.


There is a radio interview in which Dr. Paul says that he doesn’t know whether homosexuality is a sin. I was certainly disappointed at first. I listened to the whole interview and learned that Dr. Paul believes that homosexuality is a sin, and that it is also not within the purview of federal law. I agree with him. It should be a state issue.

We must also remember that Congressman Paul’s first profession is a Medical Doctor, and so he thinks in those terms. It seems that Dr. Paul is making more of a medical statement than a moral one. He questions whether homosexuality might be connected to a genetic cause. He either thinks it is a genetic disorder or that it might be a normal genetic trait. It is unclear in the interview.

Also, Ron Paul points out that just as bad as homosexuality in the military is heterosexual perversion. That's the greater point he was trying to make. Even in Christian circles, not to mention among pastors of many faiths, sexual sin is prevalent. A bit of humility and taking the beam out of our own eyes before we start digging for specks in the eyes of unbelievers is called for.

Even if you disagree...

If you are not a supporter of Ron Paul, you probably disagree with him on at least one topic. Fair enough. If that’s the case, here’s my challenge to you. Think about the last election cycle, or the cycle before that. Did you disagree with your candidate on anything? But, you still voted for him. Maybe it’s because you thought he was the best person for the job, or maybe because you like the idea of voting for a winner. Whatever the reason, don’t you think you ought to give a Christian man the benefit of the doubt? He has been married to the same wife for 54 years, delivered over 4,000 babies, has been elected 12 times in his district, and he has a 24-year consistent voting record. Could you also extend the same grace to him - though you might disagree with him on one or two points - that you did to the last person you voted for?


I thank God for leaders like Ron Paul who have consistently spoken, voted, and acted in accordance to a Biblical Worldview and the dictates of his conscience. Isn’t it about time that we respect and honor him for his years of service? And, isn’t it time that we raise up some more leaders like Dr. Ron Paul?

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Wait upon the Lord...

If I had to sum up 2011 in one word, the word that would roll off my tongue would be "change", and since as a general rule, change makes me nervous/ overwhelmed/ stressed out, this past year presented many difficulties. But, as the Bible promises us, " that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose." (Romans 8:28) it is amazing to see how God used this change to push me to Him. Because He is the only thing in this whole world that does not change, if we are to find any sanity at all in this crazy life we must turn to Him.

Into 2012, change has continued to hold my hand on this path of life. Most of this is due to the fact that I am staring at a Graduation and a Senior Piano Recital happening in 5 months. With these wonderful milestones showing themselves on the horizon, fear can poke itself into your heart. Fear of the future, fear of failure, and mostly, fear of the unknown. But as we know, "perfect love casteth out fear..." (I John 4:18) and so the only way we can dispel these fears is to give them to God who is that perfect love.

The theme of change has extended into the my family as well. In just the latter half of the year, Josiah moved back, Elysse moved back, Liberty moved out, and we had at least 2 and up to 4 additional guests in our home on any given day.

With my older siblings being very much occupied with making these big decisions, I too felt pressure (mostly of my own making) to make a decision concerning "life after high-school". However, as I sought the Lord and His will, as well as talking to my parents numerous times, I came to the realization that this kind of decision could not be made the same way as you decide what you want for breakfast. Rather, this decision requires the ability to listen to what God says and to do it , even when it is not the answer you want or are expecting. I found that even when I did ask the Lord that He would show me His will and that His will would be done, I was already off thinking of reasons I should follow a certain path and not even attempting to open up my ears to listen to what God was trying to tell me.

One of my favorite songs is by Andrew Peterson entitled "The Silence of God" (If you have the chance I encourage you to look this song up on Youtube and listen to it as well as any and all of Andrew Peterson's songs... they are amazing). When I first sought the Lord, yet was not getting any response, I clung to this song as my answer: "The Silence of God". Yet as I continued on my decision-making path, I realized that sometimes you can make yourself believe God is Silent when you are simply not listening. I believe that somewhere through that journey I had stopped listening to the Silence when the Silence had begun to speak. I was choosing to wallow in the miserable fact that God had hid Himself from me, even as He was revealing Himself. It has been a long journey back, one that is not yet complete. I am still attempting to regain the ground I lost because of my pride in the fact that I could do it myself and my hurt that God would "abandon" me. This second journey has been much different than the first and the difficulties have seemed to come in different areas.

With this journey have come many challenges, challenges that at some points seem almost unconquerable and each time I meet them I am tempted again and again to take the "easy way out" and not meet them at all... and time and time again there is Christ, knocking on the door of my heart with his unmeasurable love that overwhelms me and I realize that I can't conquer anything, only HE can. Yet, once again, it seems that with each one of God's declarations of His faithfulness, the Enemy's sayings that I don't need God seem to become louder and louder. Caught in the middle, knowing exactly what you should do, yet realizing that it is in someways what you don't want to do is quite an interesting experience. To know that what you must do can only be done by surrendering the whole of your being over to Christ once again, but also feeling as if by surrendering you will lose something but knowing that if you don't you will lose something greater....

As I have been working through these thoughts and feelings as specifically relating to my decision, the words that keep running through my head are those of Ecclesiastes 3:1-8,
"To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace"

To everything there is a season....

In this season of my life, I believe that if I do want to accomplish God's plan in my life then I must seek in the Scriptures the promises of God and hold fast to them even as He holds fast to me. One of the promises in Scripture that God brought to my attention early last summer at the end of a day filled with worrying over the future was Isaiah 40:31, "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." This is an amazing promise, one of strength and power in the Lord... yet, it is also a command to "wait" and not wait in any way or on any thing but to "wait upon the Lord" and HE will "renew your strength.".... He is truly the ONLY one who can renew your strength and He will if you but ask and wait on Him... we truly have an AMAZING God!