Friday, December 30, 2011

happy new year?

wait, it's almost a new year?!


i'm in the middle of my two busiest weeks of the year thus far.
busy times means lack of sleep.


and lack of sleep means blogging is on the back burner.
without the heat on.



many apologies to my (maybe) five blog readers.

sorry to the 200+ unread blog posts.

maybe i'll have better luck in 2012.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

christmas encouragement

my friend suggested i read a book during the advent season. it's called, come, thou long expected Jesus. it's been good to be reminded daily about what makes christmas so important. the following was from earlier this month and written by martyn lloyd-jones (emphasis added):



"What God did when he sent his Son into the world is an absolute guarantee that he will do everything he has ever promised to do. Look at it in a personal sense: 'All things work together for good to them that love God'-that is a promise-'to them who are called according to his purpose' (Rom. 8:28, KJV). 'But how can I know that is true for me?' asks someone. The answer is the incarnation. God has given the final proof that all his promises are sure, that he is faithful to everything he has ever said. So that promise is sure for you. Whatever your state or condition may be, whatever may happen to you, he has said, 'I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee' (Heb. 13:5, KJV)-and he will not. He has said so, and we have absolute proof that he fulfills his promises. He does not always do it immediately in the way that we think. No, no! But he does it! And he will never fail to do it."

Friday, December 9, 2011

re-focus


the things i've found hard about living back at home have not been what i've expected. at all. ever. materialism, complacency, apathy, and lack of focus. i am grateful that the Lord has me reading 1 John right now and the following passage specifically.



"Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world— the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions—is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever."

1 John 2:15-17



during this season when materialism is on display instead of Christ, i want to fight to do His will, to fight to abide in Christ. may His glory be known through such a fight.


Thursday, December 1, 2011

world AIDS day

today is world AIDS day.



for 16 years we have remembered this day.



and still, i cannot find a prayer guide to share with you.


this is tragic.


so please forgive the rough outline of things to pray for below,
but please, pray with me today.
don't do it simply for emotions sake,
but pray because God is calling people to Himself through this
and because Christ is able to restore both the body and the soul.



pray for those who battle for their lives:
whether they take a strict regimen of medications and have countless doctors appointments, thus altering the normalcy that their life once held.

or whether they have no access to medication, faced with the reality that the diagnosis of AIDS is a physical death sentence and, in many cases, a social death sentence as well.

or whether they live undiagnosed, unaware of the virus reeking havoc within themselves.

or whether life seems normal, with seemingly no battle at all.




for more information about AIDS and its worldwide impact,
kay warren is a good resource. also, check out this site for facts and other info.

Friday, November 25, 2011

christmas music

i'm pretty cynical when it comes to christmas music
(total surprise, huh?)



but i am grateful for bands like this that take something 
that has become so routine and have made it unique.






truly He taught us to love one another
His law is love and His gospel is peace.
chains shall He break, for the slave is our brother.
and in His name all oppression shall cease.
sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we,
let all within us praise His holy name!

 

Monday, November 21, 2011

more stories: taking a break

i'm kind of at a standstill with this series of blogs. 
and blogging in general. 


and i'm waiting for more photos before i can tell more stories
(pun totally intended).




wipe away those tears.
i'll be back.


sooner or later.



Tuesday, November 15, 2011

the basket

matthew 5:14-16

"You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden.  Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven."




i read this while i was with the church on sunday.
the pastor wasn't preaching through this section,
but the Spirit brought it to my attention.


instant conviction.


i have allowed the light of the Lord that dwells in me
to be put under a basket.



the worst part:
i put the basket there myself.



the hard part:
how do i get the basket off?



Lord, by your pefect grace and power, help me take the basket off this light.

Monday, November 14, 2011

more stories: hospital immanuel

while overseas, i had the privilege to visit a baptist hospital.
i knew it was going to have a western influence since the  it had been started by westerners.
it is now nationally run and it has the best reputation in the city.


that day, i donned my nurse hat scrubs
and headed to the hospital on the other side of the city.
i was going to have the chance to tour the hospital and chat with some of the staff.
my friend acted as my translator 
(which, by the way, is difficult when "nursing" is already a second language).


we met with something similar to the nurse educator. 
she had received education from different countries
and was well rounded in her nursing education.
in short, #legit.
she took us on a tour of the facility being sure to visit each unit.
from peds to post-partum,
from clinics to ICU.

ICU was my favorite. the nurses and i talked.
we talked EKG's, post CABG, and ventilators.
my nurse-y heart was happy.
well, over-flowing actually.

[i forgot my camera during this part]


the hospital is in such high demand, they are building a new one.
 pretty cool, eh?



next, i spent some timing talk with some nursing students.
it was a fun exchange, but i felt so inadequate.
their eagerness to learn was exciting.
my inability to answer their questions was ridiculous.


i also talked with some staff members.
it was fun, but once again, humbling.
humbling to see how hard they work, how knowledgeable they are,
and how much they care.
on the left is a nurse who works in the clinic and she's wearing her thursday uniform.
(yes, a uniform for each day of the week)
we were basically instant friends.
next to her is the nurse educator.
as stated before, she is amazing.



overall, it was an amazing experience.
i feel blessed that i was able to experience a place that 
has become a beacon of the love and light of Christ



Ways to Pray:
-pray that this community of nurses would continue to live out the Gospel as they love on the sick and take place in healing
-pray that nurses would be bold in sharing Christ with patients, families, and coworkers.
-pray that God would continue to use this hospital as His vessel to make His name known in this city




Thursday, November 10, 2011

musings

i haven't really felt like blogging lately. there are just so many thoughts in my head that i don't know what to do with them all. last night, i was wide awake in bed, even though i hadn't slept in almost 30 hours. my mind just would not stop. so here are a few things that've been going through my head lately.

  • i really like being a nurse. despite my inadequacies and occasional coworker drama, the Lord affirms over and over again that He has made me for this task. i am overwhelmed when i think how perfect His plan is!
  • half a serving of multi-grain cheerios, half a serving of raisin bran, and a half cup of milk. breakfast of champions
  • i have a hard time accepting that friendship have to change. it takes me a long time to see that they are different (and experience the full gamut of emotions in the process).  but i find hope that in the midst of changes, Father is my constant.
  • i've finally accepted it's close to winter. scarfs and my northface are becoming common place in my wardrobe.  i'm just not ready for christmas. i want to savor thanksgiving, remembering it's a time set aside to praise and thank God. what a blessing that we have a holiday set aside for that!
  • i found out another friend will be moving overseas after the first of the year. i know that the Lord has clearly told me to wait, but my anxious and overly-eager heart wants to go more and more acutely.
  • jergens natural glow lotion. 'nough said.
  • i really want to adopt. lately, the Lord has been putting stories of orphans and orphanages in my path. i just can't get it out of my head.
  • i am getting busy again. i've been over-booking my life, not allowing for set aside time to savor the Lord and His goodness. this is an issue. pray is appreciated in fixing that.


i think that's really it, more or less, at least. this weekend i head down to socal for the second time this month to celebrate with my beautiful friend and sister as she weds an amazing man of God. i love being able to celebrate this special time with my friends!


thanks for reading these simple musings.

Monday, November 7, 2011

More Stories: university

my friend works with university students.
part of her job is to meet and share Truth with them.
one of the days i was there, we hit up some of the universities.
the first university we went to was run by muslims.
we know some bule who work there, so we went and said hello
and then we prayer walked a bit


 we almost walked in the mosque area with our shoes on.
juto for sure.
(ya, i know, juto is nepali. bare with me)


after our time there, we hitched a ride 
to the city's "public" university.
we were meeting up with one of her students, 
but we were early, so we prayer walked.
i love to prayer walk. it's a humbling and Spirit-filled 
way to come before the Throne of Grace.

but i definitely struggled with it this day.
maybe it's that i was "out of practice,"
maybe it was the head cold,
maybe it was the profound darkness that seemed to weigh me down.
not too sure, but gonna go with the latter.


behind and across the road from the university
is a training center.
people go there to practice for the hajj.
you can see the picture of the training center at the 
upper right hand corner of the previous collage.
see the fake kaaba?
  we prayer walked the area.
i don't really have any words to describe it.
dark?
oppressive?
felt lostness?
i think you get the idea.


the saddest part to me is how deeply rooted the darkness is.
as i experience different cultures, 
there seems to be a common thread:
lostness is lostness
and people are so easily blinded and hardened to the darkness.
and by people i mean the human race.


i pray that believers in san mateo, california, and in all the world
would battle against the strong forces of apathy
and face darkness and lostness head on.





join me in prayer:

-pray for the Light of Christ to shine brightly among the few believers who attend these campuses
-pray that stone hearts would be utterly shattered by the truth of the Gospel
-pray that students, professors, and the administration would have dreams and visions of Christ and that they would repent and believe the Gospel
-pray that the training center would be shut down/destroyed and that it would be evident that it was an act of the true God





Friday, November 4, 2011

jams

i recently acquired some new tune-age. 



among this list of songs was hillsong's "sing to the Lord."




honestly, it's great. 
enjoy!






Monday, October 31, 2011

More Stories: Motorcycle

i've always had a fear of riding motorcycles.

i have only rode as a passenger on a motorcycle once.
it was a harley and my uncle was the driver.
and it lasted all of 2 seconds.


when i was getting ready to go overseas,
my friend decided to tell me that i'd have to ride on a motorcycle.

needless to say, i freaked out a bit.
after some prayer and serious pep-talks,
i accepted the fact that i'd have to ride on a motorcycle.




you see, motorcycles are a way of life overseas.
they just make the most sense in terms of travel.


i mean, everyone uses them


but sometimes there are parking issues
(yes, she's praying)


well, anyway, i had to make my first motorbike appearance.
my new friend, Tika, was the brave soul who volunteered 
(yes, volunteered) to take me on my debut.
yea, we're gansters.



actually, i was totally using humor to mask my utter terror.



i survived.
yep, yep i did.
and i even learned to love it.



anticlimactic, huh?




i was excited for my next chance to ride on our 
progressive-like dinner later that week.
 yea, we look horrible, but we had an amazing time nonetheless.



motorcycle fear: conquered


one less obstacle in overseas living.




hope you enjoyed this week's edition of

Saturday, October 29, 2011

real life: part 1B

yes, i'm still struggling with stuff. mere things that are guaranteed to burn when this life is over.


but i find comfort in this song as of late.
be encouraged by its cry




(as always, forgive the cheesy video)

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

real life: part one

prelude:
sometimes i use my blog for serious things and other times just to be ridiculous. but i'm starting a simple "real life" series because real life has been catching up with me. the more i seek the Lord and sit at His feet, the more He brings to light dark areas of my life. although this blog is fairly public (even with its mere five readers) i need to process all that's going on as the Lord does these things. i won't put too much raw process up here, knowing that i need to process and seek the Lord first. but i also want to share what He teaches me, knowing that i'm not the only person who "struggles" with these things.



*  *  *




i'm a big fan of david platt because he preaches and lives out truth. i don't think he is perfect nor do i mean to ever put him on a pedestal. i've been listening to his sermon series on 1 Timothy and the last one i listened to was called "the Gospel and materialism, part 1."  i thought, "hey, it will be a good reminder." i listened. i heard.

i would encourage all believers to listen to this two-part sermon on the gospel and materialism. i'm not accusing others of living in that realm, but materialism so cripples the Gospel, that i must share this with you, brother or sister.


i am guilty of living in materialism. i make more of things than i do of God. this is a sin. i have repented and i ask your forgiveness if this materialistic attitude has caused you to stumble. i know i will be tempted to fall back into this realm daily, so i ask your help. ask me where my heart and desires have been of late and don't let me get away with anything but the truth. pray for me and others, that mere things would not veil the glories of Christ, and that we would feast on the goodness of Christ and be content in all He is. thank you in advance.



"Godliness with contentment is gain." -david platt

Monday, October 24, 2011

More Stories: prayer night

every week, my friend hosts a prayer night at her home.
she's invited some of her students and friends
encouraging them to intercede for the lost in their city.
prayer requests were shared,
tribes reviewed,
translating happened (for my sake).


then we got to business.
we each prayed as the Spirit led,
each in our heart language.
the Holy Spirit moved.
i love praying/worshiping with people in different languages.
it reminds me that God created and understands each language,
and that He desires to and will be worshiped by all tongues.


this is exciting!
the Lord is calling all people to Himself
and every tribe, tongue, and nation will be represented 
in the throne room of the Most Holy.
i felt like a got a very, very small glimpse of what that will be like.
and that, my friends, is something to be thankful for.




"After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude
that no one could number, from every nation, 
from all tribes and peoples and languages, 
standing before the throne and before the Lamb, 
clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, 
and crying out with a loud voice,
'Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, 
and to the Lamb!'" 
Revelation 7:9-10


Monday, October 17, 2011

More Stories: Kampung

the two mondays i was in S.E.A.,
i accompanied my friend and her national
partner to the kampung (COM-poon).
those living in such communities are generally quite poor.
it took us about an hour to get to this specific kampung by ankot.

when we arrived, 
i was surprised to find the village directly on the water.
for reals, westerners would pay big bucks for that kind of property.


the main income for this community is fishing.
fishing boats littered the beach.


there were boardwalks to travel from house to house
for those families living where the tide comes in and out.


it almost made me think of mississippi a bit.
post-katrina, that is.

my friends go to this community because 
they provide a traveling library.
kids in these communities get little to no education
because it isn't deemed important.
i mean, why does someone need to go to school if they are just going to run the family store or be a fisherman?

the kids loved getting the books.
they loved hearing a bule speak their language.
they loved making fun of the bule who couldn't.




these kids face more problems than poverty.
they witness and experience physical, verbal, and sexual abuse.
the violence they display towards one another clearly exhibits
what is being modeled for them.



PRAY:
*for the national worker and my friend to continue to gain favor with the adults in the community
*that the relationships formed will lead to Christ-centered conversations
*for soft and receptive hearts among the adults and children, that the gospel will land on good soil
*as Christ transforms hearts, the community as a whole would be transformed, bringing light to the darkness





Friday, October 14, 2011

You are faithful

i know i've blogged this song before.


but i don't care.


this song reminds me of the promise of God
to never leave or forsake His children,
to never leave me.


even though circumstances change,
friendships change,
expectations change,

my God remains faithful.



be reminded and encouraged in His faithfulness today!






Standing on this mountaintop
Looking just how far we’ve come
Knowing that for every step
You were with us

Kneeling on this battle ground
Seeing just how much You’ve done
Knowing every victory
Was Your power in us

Scars and struggles on the way
But with joy our hearts can say
Yes, our hearts can say

Never once did we ever walk alone
Never once did You leave us on our own
You are faithful, God, You are faithful

Kneeling on this battle ground
Seeing just how much You’ve done
Knowing every victory
Was Your power in us

Scars and struggles on the way
But with joy our hearts can say
Yes, our hearts can say

Never once did we ever walk alone
Never once did You leave us on our own
You are faithful, God, You are faithful
You are faithful, God, You are faithful

Scars and struggles on the way
But with joy our hearts can say
Never once did we ever walk alone
Carried by Your constant grace
Held within Your perfect peace
Never once, no, we never walk alone

Never once did we ever walk alone
Never once did You leave us on our own
You are faithful, God, You are faithful

Every step we are breathing in Your grace
Evermore we’ll be breathing out Your praise
You are faithful, God, You are faithful
You are faithful, God, You are faithful

You are faithful, God, You are faithful
You are faithful, God, You are faithful

Monday, October 10, 2011

More Stories Monday

 i still have so much to process and share about my two weeks overseas, that i'm starting "more stories monday."
essentially, i'll be writing about things that need 
elaboration from my previous blogs 
as well as various prayer requests and pictures.

i hope you will laugh and cry with me,
that you will be encouraged and challenged,
and, ultimately, that Christ will be exalted.

i love new cultures.
there is always something to learn,
something new to experience,
something that seems to catch you off guard.

i tried to capture that attitude in the photos to follow.























  






 hope you enjoed this addition of

Friday, October 7, 2011

update three

even though i'm back in the states, there are a few more days that i wanted to let you know about.

monday, we went back to the "low-income" village and we did some basic health teaching. i was glad to see some familiar faces, but sad when we left, realizing i will probably never see them again. pray that this community would come face to face with their sin in light of the cross, and the kindness of the Lord would lead them to repentance. that night, my friends hosted a worship night at their house. even though i could only make out minimal bahasa (despite the excellent pre-translation), worshipping the Lord Jesus with fellow, like-minded believers in something words cannot describe. i am grateful.



tuesday, we went out to my friend's language teacher's house in hopes of discussing the Scripture with her. my friend was able to share some truth with her, even though the conversation was a bit scattered. then we went to lunch with some english students. it was interesting, to say the least. that afternoon i had the honor of teaching and interacting with nursing students. i was the only bule in site, but i was honored and blessed by the opportunity (more stories to come). that night, my friends and i went for a very tasty dinner and i had my first seafood in the country. once again, interesting.

wednesday was my last day and i was trying not to cry most of the day. after a no-agenda kind of morning, we went to the market. open markets are one of my favorite things about living overseas. (more stories to come). this also started the "eat all the fruit that isn't in america" extravaganza. please believe, it was a lot of fruit. we met up with another friend for lunch, resulting in my second favorite meal while i was there. for reals, i wish i could consume that a weekly. my friend taught that afternoon, so we went to he job and enjoyed some laughter. that night, one of my batak sisters made us chicken-goodness and i said  a few goodbyes. that night, i was able to surprise my giants-loving friend with some giants love (since she's missed the last 2 seasons). my friends joined me in my room as i packed and we sang along to the wicked soundtrack.

on thursday, i tried the remainder of the fruit i hadn't tried yet, made one last stop at the ATM and then the taxi ride to the airport happened. i regret not engaging my friend more in our last half hour or so together, but tears were not being held back well. saying goodbye at the airport was bittersweet; i loved seeing my dear friend and living life with her again, but the Lord had used this time to re-ignite purpose and burdens in my life and i knew i had to go back. 

i made it home safely, but forever changed. i still plead that the Lord will allow me to go overseas for His namesake and i wait for that time all-too impatiently. but i also know there are some serious weaknesses in my life that the Lord has yet to refine before my life can transition to another culture. the coming months will be hard, but He is in control and i rest in His faithfulness and perfect love.


dear friend, thank you again for hosting me and letting me share life with you! it was/is more  of a blessing than i can truly articulate. i pray that we will be able to live life together again at some point in the future.


thank you all, once again, for praying and the encouragement! but i ask you not to stop praying! there are many, many lost sheep in that country and the strongholds of the enemy are deeply rooted. continue to pray that light would shine forth in the darkness.  pray that the workers and national believers would be strengthen and renewed by our Lord.



be sure to stop on by for the "more stories to come."

Sunday, October 2, 2011

mini-update

hey all.

not much to update about, but just wanted to drop a few lines to let you know what we've been up to.

thursday night/early morning friday morning i developed somethin somethin. after being up for a lot of the night, i slept until about 1pm...and then barely woke up the rest of the day. sadly, my friend, her roommate, and members of their team have been sick on and off since friday. your continued prayer for healing and strength from Father are appreciated!

saturday, my friend and i managed to venture out for a couple of hours, after sleeping in of course. coffee shop, public transportation, and a short trip grocery shopping proved sufficient for this venture. we spent the rest of the night just hanging out and having some introvert and Jesus times. 

today, we went to church and took communion. then we went to lunch and i had the absolute thrill of eating with my hands and drinking an almost-mango lassi. and then i rode on the motorcycle with taking my hands off the handles....while moving! it's the little things yea? after a short rest, we had dinner/worship with the team and it was refreshing. worshipping Father in my heart language is something that i take for granted.


in other news, i finished a book i never said i'd read-redeeming love-and am grateful for how Father will continue to use this book in my life as a tool to reveal His perfectly unconditional love for me. the other day, i started reading the heavenly man. honestly, i have never been so convicted with a believer's life outside of scripture. if you have not read it, i'm not asking you to consider reading it, i'm pleading with you to do so! you will only regret it if you don't desire to live whole-heartedly for the King who is worthy of all.


thank you for your continued prayer and encouragement. i have so much to process after this short stent here that i hope you look forward to more blogs to come in the coming months. love you and see some of  you in about a week!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

update two

welp, i've been here a week and it's way hard to believe. i know i'm honeymooning right now, but i can't wait to live in a place like this! yes, life has its difficulties, including prolonged periods of felt darkness, but life here is so simply on so many other levels. 


tuesday:
i went with my friend to her language teacher's house. well, my friend has picked up the language so well, she doesn't have lessons any more, but she takes time to study scriptures with her old language teacher. it was an interesting time. we also went to the post office and the tofu lady. that afternoon, i joined her for two of her english classes which are discussion based. all in all, an interesting day.

wednesday:
we went to visit some other bules (slang for multiple white-ies) and p-walked the university campus that they work on. then we went to another, bigger university and p-walked there. although much joy came from such prayer, the warfare we engaged during those minutes was felt. (more stories to come) we had lunch with one of her former students and went grocery shopping afterward. yes, i saw a whole dragon fruit in real life. #bejealous. well, after some time shopping, what better thing to do then get boba? nothing really, so we got some boba and headed home. that evening was pr@yer night. we watched a sermon about the biggness and personal-ness of Father, ate satay, and prayed for each other and the nations. truly, a time i will never forget. (more stories to come)

thursday:
today, i donned my scrubs and we headed to a hospital run by national believers. i was happy to hear that it was known as the nicest hospital in this city. needless to say, i was on cloud nine the entire time i was there. pretty sure they'd hire me in the icu. #yesplease i felt bad for my friend who had translate for five hours and in medical terms. (more stories to come) we came home exhausted and excited (me more excited then she) and just rested for some time. tonight, we'll skype with some other friends and watch Ellen. basically, cannot wait for a chance to laugh that much.


even more, i plead that you pray for Father to continue to move in this people, for endurance and rest for the few workers who are cultivating an abundant harvest, and for national believers to be set on fire for the gospel.


side note:  i played this song while typing and as the call the prayer rang out around me. #encouraged #humbled

never once did we ever walk alone
never once did you leave us on our own
you are faithful
God you are faithful