Friday, December 9, 2011

All Things New

I love history and traveling and seeing old buildings, it's fascinating! I believe one of the reasons traveling to new places intrigues me is because I can walk where people have been walking for years. I can tour buildings that have been standing for hundreds of years, and touch the old bricks and imagine what life was like when they were put into place. Also, I love to know the history of the building. Yes, today, it might be a museum or a library, and maybe even a grocery store, but what was it originally?

When the architects drew up the plans for the building what was their intentions? What was the purpose of the building?

Russia has a lot of old buildings, and many of them were built during the old Soviet days. Most of these Soviet buildings aren't what I'd consider beautiful, but they do intrigue me, even though I see no aesthetic beauty in them. I love their history. Most of these old buildings were built so people could use them to spread Communism.

The school where I am living and working was actually built back in the Soviet days. The campus was used for youth camps where children were forced to attend each summer so they could be indoctrinated with Communist ideology.

About 11 years ago, Korean missionaries bought the land and buildings and turned it into a Christian International school. I love how something that was made to spread the old Soviet ways is being used to spread the Truth.

If God can do this with old buildings, what can He do with you?

Saturday, October 22, 2011

His Gracious Provision

Lately, I've been conflicted on what comes next in life. Yes, I know that my last blog post also talked about this, so as you can see, it's really been on my mind.

Some things are becoming clearer, and it has been made evidently clear to me that I needed to get out of Dodge! God wanted me to get away. I needed a time to heal, a time to restore my spirit, and God in His abundant goodness, foresaw everything in the future, and laid this dream of returning to Russia on my heart long before I ever foresaw the need to retreat. How amazing is the Father to provide for His children, and to prepare well in advance a course for them that provides protection and a chance to renew their spirit?! Sitting here typing this, I am amazed at the Father, and am so grateful. He knew what I needed when I had no idea what to do next. He knew and He provided.

Why didn't I seek God when I needed help? For about a year now, I've been reading through the Old Testament, and time and time again, I've read how God provided for His people. He provided, even when they didn't deserve it, even when they didn't seek or trust Him. He is definitely more patience than I ever would be, and because of His patience, I am seeing a difference in myself. I'm healing and thankfully there won't be a horrible scar left on my soul, and the wound isn't festering with bitterness anymore.

Thank you God for your provision, for knowing what I need when I don't even know I need it yet!

Because He has been gracious with me in this, I'm putting more faith in Him for my future, there will be less doubting taking place in this heart!

Psalm 147
He Heals the Brokenhearted
"1 Praise the LORD! For it is good to sing praises to our God;
for it is pleasant, and a song of praise is fitting.

2The LORD builds up Jerusalem;
he gathers the outcasts of Israel.
3He heals the brokenhearted
and binds up their wounds.
4He determines the number of the stars;
he gives to all of them their names.
5 Great is our Lord, and abundant in power;
his understanding is beyond measure.

6The LORD lifts up the humble;
he casts the wicked to the ground.

7 Sing to the LORD with thanksgiving;
make melody to our God on the lyre!
8He covers the heavens with clouds;
he prepares rain for the earth;
he makes grass grow on the hills.
9He gives to the beasts their food,
and to the young ravens that cry.

10His delight is not in the strength of the horse,
nor his pleasure in the legs of a man,
11but the LORD takes pleasure in those who fear him,
in those who hope in his steadfast love..."

Monday, October 10, 2011

Leaping Into The Unknown

It's hard to have faith. Oh it's easy to talk about, and it's easy to claim that you have it, but it's a lot harder when you have to step out in it. It's hard when you have to trust God and you need to make bold moves without complete assurance.

Lately, I've been questioning what comes next in my life. The last two decisions to live in Russia came pretty easily, but not always quickly. The first time, I heard God calling me to come to Russia, it took me about 10 years to get here! But, I knew my calling, it was clear, and God affirmed it several times, in several different ways. Then the second time, it was also clear and God provided everything, and thankfully it didn't take me nearly as long to get back here.

For this next chapter of life, I'm not really sure what to do. I have a general idea, but it seems almost impossible! It's going to take a lot of faith.

Faith to rely on God and His will for my life. Faith to know what I am desiring comes from God. Faith to be obedient and to take that huge leap into unknown territory.

So, I guess I'm asking for prayers that my desires are God's desires. Also, I want to be obedient and take that huge leap, even though I have no idea where I'm going to land!

Sunday, September 11, 2011


It's amazing how God can use two blisters to bring you closer to a prickly co-worker. Friday, I decided to wear this pair of cute flats to work, by the middle of the morning, I knew it was a mistake. I had a blister on each heel.

My days are pretty much packed with one class after another, and I knew I didnt have time to run back to my room to change my shoes. When my next class arrived, my prickly co-worker also arrived with them. As we were working together in the classroom, I decided to ask her if the school doctor had any band aids, and from there we started talking about shoes and wearing high heels (both of us hate them). We found something in common, and by the end of the class, we were smiling and laughing. I never thought I would be thankful for blisters!

This was a little victory, because I know that come Monday, there is a good chance that it might not be all smiles and laughter, but I will continue to pray for her. I want her to know the joy that only comes from God! I want her to be able to find joy in her life as it is now, even though it isn't what she has always dreamed and longed for. I pray for her to have peace and to thrive in the place that God has planted her!

Will you please pray this for my prickly co-worker as well? Let's see what happens when "two or more are gathered in His name".

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


So, I've been back in Russia for about a week, and I've had to remind myself several times that life moves at a different pace around here. It's not that anything bad as happened, it's just that things don't happen when I want them to! Ha, imagine that, life moving on and advancing at it's own pace without our approval or input!

I have enjoyed being back in Russia, but it has been different. I'm in a new location, working with a new set of people, and about a 10 to 15 minute hike to the nearest bus stop, and then to top it all off, about a 30 minute or an hour (depends on the traffic) drive into the city.

All this to say, life is good, but different. I really do like my new apartment and the new situation that God has placed me in, but it is different. Although, if it wasn't different, I wouldn't have sought the Father like I have, and I wouldn't have found the assurance of knowing this is exactly where God has placed me for the next couple of months.

Friday, June 3, 2011


Why do we settle? Why do we choose second best?

Whether it’s picking your life mate, buying a car, or making every day decisions, why do we choose second best?

Because at the time, it seems easier! It seems easier to settle for the man that is a good guy, yet isn’t God’s choice for you. It’s easier to buy that car that is cheaper, yet you know its lesser quality and won’t last as long. It’s easier to choose to hang out with those friends and go to that party, instead of spending the night with your family.

But where do these easier choices get us? Most of the time, we find ourselves unhappily legally bound, frustrated and broke, dissatisfied and lonely.

So, how do we know what is God’s best for our lives? It’s by spending time with God daily and reading the Word and talking with Him. It’s not hard! It’s really quite simple, yet most of us are too lazy to do it every day. Hey, this is another one of those settling areas! We settle for a mediocre relationship with God, when we could have an intimate thriving relationship with a magnificent and glorious Creator of the Universe!

Stop settling! Start seeking the Savior for advice! It’s simple!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Love Your Neighbor As Yourself

"Love your neighbor as yourself."

These are great words, and I believe in them fully, but I'm not going to lie, they are a little hard to act out when you're talking about an unlovable person. How do you "love you neighbor as yourself" when that neighbor has been rude and has said and did many hurtful things to you. Do you have to turn the other cheek?? According to the Bible, you should. But what about that neighbor? If they claim to be a Christian, shouldn't they be held accountable for their words and actions? Aren't we as believers supposed to hold each other accountable?

This is something that I have been struggling with for almost the past two years! It's been a hard struggle and many times I've not wanted to forgive this neighbor. But, as you might guess, being a believer, I get convicted by my attitude and thoughts towards that person, and I forgive them. I needed and still need to do that daily because of the memories that satan keeps bringing to mind. How many times have I forgiven this neighbor?? I know it's been many, but not quite close to the "seventy times seven".

So my questions are the the following: Should my neighbor be held accountable for their actions? Should I be the one that says something to them, or is it my place to keep my mouth shut and to continue to forgive?

No matter what, I will continue to forgive, "seventy time seven", because I do not need this festering in me. I am not seeking an opportunity to talk with this person, but I know they are with me. So, I need prayers, I need grace and I need above all to remember that this is my neighbor and I am to "love my neighbor as myself".

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