Friday, January 14, 2011


Ashley's poem reminded me of a poem given to me in eighth grade at a bible camp. Over the years, it has spoken to me countless times, and frequently gotten me through some tough moments. So enjoy! I don't know who originally wrote this, or where it came from, but it is beautuiful. Let God whisper to your heart through it.
~ Amy

I made her. She’s different. She’s unique.
With love I formed her in her mother’s womb. I fashioned her with great joy.
I remember with great pleasure the day I created her.
To me she is beautiful…I love her.
I love her smile. I love her silly ways.
I love to hear her laugh and all the silly things she says and does.
She is herself, and no one else…This is how I made her.

I made her to be pretty but not gorgeous because
I knew her heart and I knew that she would be vain.
I wanted her to search out her heart and learn
That it would be Me in her that would be beautiful
It would be Me in her that would draw friends to her.

I made her in such a way that she would need Me.
I made her a little more lonesome than she would like to be,
Only because I want her to turn to Me in her loneliness
I made her a little more dependent than she would like to be,
Only because I want her to lean and depend on Me.

I know her heart. I know if I had not made her like this
She would go her own chosen way and forget about Me…her Creator
I have given her many good and happy things because I love her.
I have seen her broken heart and the tears she has cried alone.
I have been with her and I have had a broken heart too.

Many times, she has stumbled and fallen alone only because
She would not take my hand. So many lessons she has learned the hard way
Because she would not listen to my voice. So many times I have sat back
And sadly watched her go her merry way alone
Only to watch her return to my arms, sad and broken

And now she is mine again. I made her and then I bought her
I paid a high price for her because I love her.
I have to reshape and remold her to renew her to what I had planned for her
It has not been easy for her…or for Me. I want her to be conformed to my image.
This high goal I have set for her because…
I love her!

Romans 5:8, Mathew 10:30, Psalm 139:13-16

Friday, December 17, 2010

In the Mirror

Our wonderful friend Ashley has kindly allowed us to post her poem, enjoy!

In the Mirror

One day, a girl looked in the mirror,
Like she did habitually,
And she disliked what she saw, she hated it,
For it wasn’t what she wanted to be.

She looked, and started picking
On the things she hated to see.
She wanted them to disappear,
So she could live differently.

Her face is too round; her cheeks too plump,
Her nose turns up at the end.
Her eyes are too close; her ears are too skinny,
And her mouth has a comical bend.

Her arms are too short; her neck too long,
Her legs are gangly too,
Her body is really out of proportion,
And she doesn’t know what to do.

Her hair is an ugly color,
As boring as boring can be.
It has a mind of its own, as well,
And acts up dreadfully.

And her personality is annoying as well,
She wants to be bold, and kind.
She doesn’t want to be shy and quiet,
She wants to speak her mind.

Although the girl is a Christian,
And knows God made her wonderfully,
Deep down, she thinks ‘God made a mistake,
‘I’m the worst piece of junk you ever did see.’

‘My body is wacky, and I’m ever so ugly,
‘My personality’s awkward, too.
‘I wish I could be different than who I am,
‘Because this person is poo.’

And while she’s beating herself up,
Being her own worst enemy,
A small voice speaks in her heart, and says,
“If you don’t want to be you, be me.”

“You know me as your Savior,
“I came to make you free.
“If you honestly want to change,
“Change from being you to being me.”

“Father loves you, He made you,
“He made you the way He wanted you to be
“With a face full of zits, and gangly limbs,
“He made you just right, perfectly.”

“But He has another plan for you,
“He wants you to be free.
“Since I paid the price, He will glorify
“By changing you to be me.”

“If you don’t like what the mirror reflects.
“If you don’t like what you see.
“Change, don’t reflect yourself.
“Change to reflecting me.”

“Take on a whole new outlook,
“And a new personality.
“If you change, you won’t want to go back,
“Because then, you will truly be free.”

The girl stopped and quietly listened,
And then pondered the spoken words.
She prayed, and asked God to change her,
She desperately hoped to be heard.

She asked God to make her like Jesus,
Like the promise she had been told.
She believed in God’s promises,
And hoped she wouldn’t be so cold.

That day, the girl’s outlook was changed.
She didn’t hate how she appeared.
In fact, she didn’t stress it.
It was about other things that she cared.

She cared for the kid in the hall
Who stumbled, dropping his books.
And she cared for the girl in the wheelchair,
Who always got funny looks.

She cared for the overworked temp
Who jostled her while running with full arms.
She cared for the underpaid manager
Who snapped angrily, meaning no harm.

She cared for the CEO,
Who was lonelier than anyone knew.
She cared for the little old lady,
Who was pretty lonely too.

These people really need aid,
They are trapped so helplessly.
The girl is there, to show Christ’s love,
And to show them how to be free.

Now, when she looks in the mirror,
Junk, the girl doesn’t see.
She sees a creation, beautifully made,
Who reflects Christ earnestly.

The girl was changed forever,
She wasn’t embarrassed constantly
About her looks, for Christ had changed her.
Now, she was truly free.

Monday, June 7, 2010

What is "Bad Company"?

It started as a niggling thought as I thumbed through the latest teen releases at the library.
Foolish advisors...give foolish council...need to find verse…
I half-dismissed the thought from my mind and managed to almost forget about it as I made my selection and moved on.
But it wouldn’t go away.
A week later and I was still trying to remember the half-thought that kept forming in my mind.
Foolish councilors? Stay away from bad advice? A friend giving bad advice is a bad idea?
Even to my mind that sounded crazy, but something was bugging me. What was I missing?
Twice I thumbed through my Bible, checked concordances, and pestered my friends. I found lots of great advice against foolishness in Proverbs. Psalms proved a well-spring of life. Paul’s letters were a great review…but nowhere could I find the verse I was hunting for. And what exactly was I looking for anyway?
I didn’t have an answer to that either…until this morning.
Just before church today, I pulled out my devotion and there it was.
1 Corinthians 15:33
“Do not be misled ‘bad company corrupts good character.’”
So? You might ask. If you are anything like me, you have read the verse countless times and never found it to applicable. After all, my human reasoning likes to go; I don’t associate with bad company. If anything, my friends tend to be mature, smart, and Christian. They Do Hard Things and don’t get into trouble.
You will notice, though, that I make an assumption.
I assume the verse applies to my friends.
Certainly, Paul might have been writing to Corinth about keeping bad friends. But that day at the library, I realized something that didn’t make perfect sense until I found the verse.
Bad company could be anything.
It could be the music I listen to, the books I read, or the shows I watch on TV. All of those things influence me, perhaps more than I know. If I am listening to someone swear, albeit ‘in a song,’ how does that differ from a friend who swears? If the TV shows I watch involves lots of sensual behavior, what sort of thing does that encourage my mind to dwell on…even more than the sweet whispers of a friend?
And finally (sadly more close to home), if I am reading novels with swearing, making-out, etc. where does that lead my thought pattern? If I put up walls against possible friends who will be negative influences in my life, yet forget to block the other areas, I am like a city that puts up only one defense against an invading army.
The scary thing is, media and culture can be a whole lot more tempting and influential then we know, or expect. When I started thinking about it, I was shocked at how much ‘bad company’ I unknowingly allowed in my life. What areas of your life need work? Where have you let ‘bad company corrupt good character’?
As the song goes… “O be careful little eyes what you see… O be careful little ears what you hear."


Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Then God Came

We asked our friend Brittany to give some words of encouragement to us girls. This is what she wrote:

“And Jacob was left alone. And a man wrestled with him until the breaking of the day. When the man saw that he did not prevail against Jacob, he touched his hip socket, and Jacob’s hip was put out of joint as he wrestled with Him. Then He said, “Let me go, for the day has broken.” But Jacob said, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.” …And there He blessed him. So Jacob called the name of the place Peniel, saying, “For I have seen God face to face, and yet my life has been delivered.” The sun rose upon him as he passed Peniel, limping because of his hip.” (Genesis 32:24-26, 29-31)

When you read this story, what comes to mind? Do you see it as just another Bible story? Perhaps you see it as strange, or even foolish. (After all, why would Jacob try to wrestle God—the man in this story)? Or maybe you’ve just never thought about it much. Well, I have probably thought one or more of those things at some point, but now this is actually one of my favorite stories in the Bible. I think if we could do what Jacob did, our lives would change. But before I get into that, a little history…

If you read the verses leading up to this section, you’ll find that Jacob was praying. Hard. He was getting ready to face his brother, who was bent on killing Jacob the last time they were together. Now that Jacob is returning with his entire family, he fully expects them all to be wiped out. Talk about problems! I’m sure you have all felt some of the pain Jacob did. You likely have not had the lives of your family threatened. But we all hurt. We all face life. And let’s admit it—life can be hard sometimes. In fact, life can be horrible. There are times when it’s hard to just keep moving and breathing and putting one foot in front of the other. But it is in those times that the miraculous happens.

God shows up.

It’s true. It may be hard to see, but He shows up in our lives today and He showed up in Jacob’s. But did you notice when He came?

“And Jacob was left alone.” It wasn’t when things were going great back at Laban’s house. It wasn’t when his mind was preoccupied with a journey. It wasn’t when he could push his problems to the back of his mind by playing with his kids or something. No. Jacob was at the end of his rope—and alone. There was no more hiding. No more pretending. No more ignoring the truth or hoping for another way out. He was alone, his brother was coming to kill him and his family, and God had been silent to his pleas.

Then God came. That is the beautiful part about God. When you reach the absolute lowest point you can go—God is there. When you can’t imagine another moment of pain or disappointment—God steps in. And when there are no other options available—God supplies your every need.

But there’s another part to this story. You’ll notice that things didn’t immediately turn around for Jacob once God got there. Instead, he spent the night wrestling with God. And this is the lesson that is so valuable. There are times when life becomes so draining or overwhelming that you need God to step in and do something BIG. And God wants more than anything else to do that for you… but He wants you to want it just as much.

And so we must wrestle. Desperately seek His will through His Word and the counsel of others. Beg for His strength and mercy. Live and breathe and eat and drink up Who He is. We must want God more than anything! We have to put our entire beings--everything that we are--into running hard after God. Because it is only when every ounce of our being is focused solely and whole-heartedly on Him that can we can be used the way He wants to use us. Only then can He accomplish His great and perfect will for our lives. Half-hearted prayers and weak desires are not enough. He must bring us to the place where we are desperate for everything He is.

When the sun rose on Jacob that morning, a new day had dawned. He named the place “Peniel,” meaning “face of God.” He had met God face to face, wrestled with Him in desperation and pain, and nothing was the same. He had a new name, a new limp, and a blessing from God. That is what will happen every time we wrestle with God. It will not be easy. It will change who we are. It may leave us scarred. But it will always bring God’s blessing, “a good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over.” (Luke 6:38) And we will never be the same.

Brittany suggests this song to young women, saying that she has found it very powerful in her life:

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Home: Where the Spirit Resides

I am home.
How would you define the word home?
They say home is where your heart is. I guess that is an important thing to know.
For those of you don’t know, I am a Wisconsin girl who is currently on a week-long mission trip to Louisiana. There are about 33 of us who took the 25-hour road trip down to Pointe Aux Chenes, LA, and we are here to clean up “The Island.” The Isle de Jean Charles is more of a peninsula, generally populated by the Biloxi-Chitimacha tribe. After the hurricanes went through, it was pretty much left alone. That is why we are here.
This week will be the fourth time a group from my church has come down to this area, my third year. Most of what we have done down here is rebuilding, everything from gutting a bathroom to fixing a trailer house. This year we will be doing more clean up. The people down here are amazing, especially those connected to “My Father’s House Church”. This remarkable church has helped put us in contact with people, offered us a place to stay, and blessed us beyond words.
I am home. Those words echo through my heart and my head. They beat a familiar rhythm as I look around the sanctuary where I sit. I am home in this church building I know so well. I am home as I joyfully greet old friends. I am home as I delight in the joy of people who recognize me, sometimes even remember my name.
They aren’t afraid of calling us family down here. I cherished being called “Little Sister” last year. I love being part of their jubilant, cultural fellowship.
It occurred to me, though, that this isn’t my only “home”. If home is where your heart is, then My Father’s House Church and Point Aux Chenes are my home. But my home is also in Wisconsin. It is in the numerous states where my friends reside, the front steps of PHC, and even on the Here We Are: Daughters of Love chat with my sister’s in Christ. Home is where the Holy Spirit works.
I remember something a friend once said. Though the exact quote escapes me, it went something like “Isn’t it amazing how you can go to any church, any place, and be surrounded by family?”
Yes, it is cool. Super cool! Home is wherever my friends and Spiritual family gather.
Home is Louisiana.
Home is where the heart is.
Home is the where the Holy Spirit moves.
Today is Sunday; we still have a week of work ahead of us. Please keep the mission trip in your prayers. Truly God has blessed us beyond words and we are eagerly praying He continues to pour out the floodgates of heaven.
God Bless You All.
March 21, 2010

Parent-Child Relationships

We asked a dear friend of ours to write up a post for us. So here is Sarah's thoughts on the subject:

I went through my Bible tonight to find all the parent-child relationship verses I had marked in the past. I was struck by how few there were. “Why,” I asked myself, “didn’t God give us more advice on how teenagers should live with parents?”

Then it occurred to me that God does not believe in teenagers. God addresses children, and adults, young adults it is true, but never this idea we call a “teenager”. 1 Timothy 4:12 “Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity.” Instead of expecting special consideration or allowances in behavior because I am a teenager, I need to be an example of a godly woman. If you are ever frustrated by your parents, do you put the responsibility on them by thinking, “My parents don’t understand.”? Would it not be wiser to ask, “Am I acting like a Christian adult?”

God does give us instructions on how to relate to parents, through his example as our Heavenly Father. How are we to obey our parents? As to the Lord. How do you obey Christ? The relationship you have with God should be template for every other relationship.

Specifically, we are told to obey and honor our parents. Ephesians 6:1 “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. ‘Honor your father and mother’ (this is the first commandment with a promise), ‘that you may live long in the land.’” This is a hard commandment to follow sometimes. As you get older you realize your parents are flawed humans, and it becomes harder to trust them. The good news is – you don’t have to trust them! God promises that if you obey and honor them, unless they want you to sin, that he will take care of you.

I encourage you to try a new mindset. Next time you have a conflict with a parent, take a deep breath, emotionally distance yourself, consider the stresses they may be under, and take the burden of proper communication upon yourself. Identify how a mature Christian adult would respond, and do that. ~ Sarah

Friday, March 12, 2010

Colossians 1:9 ~ For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of His will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding.

The great thing about God is that you never know when He is going to do something unexpected. I, Amy, certainly wasn't expecting anything that Sunday evening when I started recounting some of the crazy things my pastor had done. I remember most clearly, though, that I wanted to tell someone about the idea of an all-night prayer chat.

I, Tori, just happened to be in the Chat room when Amy suddenly blurted out, "Girls, I have this idea." "What?" I asked, not really prepared for what was coming next. "A twenty four hour praise and prayer chat!"
Cue the deer in the headlights look. It wasn't that I didn't like the idea, it was just that it was so large and not quite what I was expecting. "Wow," I probably said as I took in the implications of such a thing. Soon we were talking about it, and came up with the date February 12... just one week from then.

My initial response to the idea of a Prayer and Praise chat was kind of like that really going to happen?" As I, Lydia, got more into it though I realized this could be a wonderful time. I was rather lonely and depressed then and I was longing for some good Christain fellowship. The Prayer and Praise chat was awesome and such a blessing.

Of the twenty-four hour chat, I was able to make it on for about eighteen hours. That made for one very long night! It was worth every moment of it. The chance to fellowship with other teenage girls was something I had subconsciously been thirsting for a long time. There was no doubt in our mind that after that night, we wanted to do this again. Though maybe not for quite so long a time :)

So there the three of us were. We had an amazing and uplifting time. We knew it had to continue. Friday mornings were declared our study day, and for four weeks we met with likeminded Christian girls. But we discovered something in that time. It was needed by more girls than we could have in our little chat room. We needed to expand. And so this blog was created.
Here We Are