Friday, January 30, 2009


There has been one area in my life that the Lord has outdone Himself. This gift in my life always leaves me very grateful and couting my blessings. This gift the Lord has lavished upon me is the gift and wonderful blessing of godly, Christ-shaped mentors. I honestly don't know what my witness of Christ or my life would look like without mentors in my life. I know this, I would be unrecognizable. Mentors are such a gift of God's infinite grace. I have several but I will only highlight a few here. Truly, I could write volumes about each of these people and how they have shown me Christ. But, I won't do that here. Here we go.

1. Jayma Savage: This is a woman who possesses a tenderness and relentless godliness like I have never known. Every apect of her life just oozes God. I love and deeply respect and admire Jayma's commitment to follow the Lord's commands whatever the cost. She has such a lovely soft gentleness and mercy about her. But, the Lord has also used her in my journey to speak hard truths to me. One thing that I really appreciate about Jayma is her commitment to my character and her desire to see me become the woman the Lord desires me to be. I am so very blessed to have Jayma's influence over my journey toward Jesus.

2. Mark Lewis: Mark is absolutely one of the most genuine disciples I have ever come to know and love. God has given Mark such an authentic and lovely faith. I have never met anyone who has a spirit that is so full of joy, exuberance, grace, and agape love. He possesses such a warm and inviting wisdom. When I think of someone who is completely sold out for God, I immediately think of Mark. He is such a rich and mature example of a godly man. Mark is a man of steadfast faithfulness. I have come to see the face of God through the gift of my relationship with Mark so many times I have lost count. He is a treasure that I am so thankful for.

3. Rebekah Zeller: Rebekah has taught me to love the Word of God in a deep and reverential manner. She has shown me the power that resides in Scripture to bring such richness to my journey. I have learned through her example how the Word of God can impact everyday of my journey if I give the Lord the first fruits of my time and my day. The Lord is still growing and cultivating me in this discipline, but it has been so worth it. I really can tell the difference between a day started offf in the Word and one where I neglect this commitment. Rebekah has such a beautiful way of teaching me what wisdom truly looks like lived out. She has planted a seed in me that has propelled me to want to pursue wisdom and godliness in a reckless way. I want wisdom and godliness to determine everything about who and what I am. I am so very thankful for Rebekah's place in my life.

4. Bob Strader: Bob has shown me how important it is to surround myself with commited, serious, and authentic community that is fully devoted to the ways and character of Jesus. He has also taught me to worship the Lord with everything that I have. Bob has given me a desire to surround my life with kindred people who will take me deeper and higher into the ways of Jesus. He has shown me how costly a journey with Christ is. Bob has exemplified in my life what a truly Spirit-saturated disciple is. These are people who are reckless in the ways they show love, grace, mercy, and kindness. Their relationship with Christ takes presidence over everything else in their lives. Everything they do flows out of their relationships with Jesus. I desire to be that kind of godly woman. I want Jesus and the precious Holy Spirit to be the central focal point of everything about me. I am so thankful for Bob.

5. Rob Cunningham: This is my precious Daddy. It has been such a rich blessing to have such a commited, humble, gentle, authentic, unwavering disciple live under the same roof with me. We don't live together anymore, but boy am I thankful for my daddy's influence, his wisdom, and his beautiful and vibrant faith to look up to. My daddy is truly one of the most precious gifts in my life. His life defines the words integrity, grace, agape love, authentic joy, and peace. He has taught me what being a godly father and husband is all about. It is about loving Jesus more than your family and your partner so that your love for them can flow out of the love of Christ. My daddy has shown me what it means to live a gospel-formed life. I have seen the gospel lived out in his words, in his interactions with others, in the life of our family, and in the life of our precious church. He truly defines and exemplifies what a shepherd is. I am indebted to him for showing me and for pointing me to the Lord. He is quality through and through.

There are five of my mentors. My life has been made so rich because of their examples of faith, grace, love, and truth. God, thank you for your immeasurable gift of mentors. I am richly richly blessed indeed.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Current Loves...

First of all, I must come clean. I am barrowing this idea from my precious friend Chelsie. I haven't done this in a while so I thought I would revisit some of the things I am enjoying at the moment.

1. I am loving being in God's Word everyday. Doing this focuses my day and gives it purpose. Now, by no means am I where I want to be in this discipline. I desire to be a woman of the Word. I want to be challenged in my attitudes, my thinking patterns, and my daily walk with the Lord. Usually I choose one scripture to meditate on. Today it is "Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart." - Psalm 37:4 . I will spend the rest of the day thinking about what it means to fully delight in the Lord before anything else. It has been absolutely wonderful to commit my day to the Lord.

2. I have loved listening to Joyce Meyer teaching CDs. I just finished a teaching called When God When that focused on the concept of waiting on God to manifest His desires as well as my desires in His own good time. I am about to begin a teaching called Holiness by Joyce Meyer. I just really like Joyce Meyer. Sometimes she kicks my butt, sometimes she brings out something I hadn't thought about, but the time I spend listening to her and learning form her always benefits my attitudes and character. I really admire her no nonsense approach. She is one serious and fully devoted disciple. I yearn for that in my relationship with Jesus.

3. I have loved spending time reading. Right now I am reading Ruth Haley Barton's Sacred Rhythms. It is fabulous. I highly recommend it to anyone looking for deeper intimacy with God. It has caused me to think and to re-evaluate my priorites. Some of my favorite authors include Francine Rivers, Beverly Lewis, Jan Karon, and many more. I love getting lost in stories. I would be happy to hunker down in a cozy bookstore and spend the day being enveloped in books.

4. I have loved watching movies. I just purchased Fireproof this week and it is already one of my favorites. It is a powerful movie. I really like love stories, but I enjoy any clean movie really. Some of my all-time favorites are Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe, Father of the Bride, The Notebook, Cindrella, Facing the Giants, and Anne of Green Gables. I have many more. My favorite way to watch a movie is with friends in a cozy home. I have great memories of doing this with my close commuinity of friends at ACU. Fun times for sure.

5. I have loved going to Ladies Bible Class on Tuesday mornings at my church. This has been such a rich blessing. Ladies Bible Class has given me a wonderful opportunity to get to know women who I long to emulate in thier devotion to Christ. Beginning in February, we are going to be studying Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi. The study is called Opening The Windows of Blessing. The study has been written by one of the women in our class. I am really really excited about it. It will be fun to see what the Lord teaches me through this study.

So there you go. There are my five current loves at the moment.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Let Me Be Consecrated...

For the past few months, I have prayed a new prayer. I have voiced a new desire to the Lord. This new desire of mine is this--to live a life that is fully and completely set apart for the Lord's honor and His purposes. I desire my entire being to be consecrated to and given over to the glory of the Father and the inhabitation of the Holy Spirit. I want my days to be totally consumed with agendas prompted by the Spirit. Now, this does not mean that I run away from the world, but rather, to live intentionally and to be sensitively tuned to the spiritual realm. I want to be different. I want people to be able to leave my presence totally drawn to Jesus. I want people to wonder,"Who does she serve?" I know this is a desire that will take time and effort to cultivate. But, I also know that I serve a big, powerful, mighty God who wants me to ask big things of Him. He specializes in bringing to pass big things in our lives. I want to be able to receive all of the blessings the Lord desires to lavish upon me. I don't want to live a mediocre, ordinary life. I want to relentlessly pursue my God. I want to be taken deeper and higher. I want to know all of who my God is so that I can honestly say I know him intricately and intimately. I want to closely and continually dwell in Him so that He is able to dwell in me in richer ways. I want to be able to wash the feet of others, just as Jesus did through my words, actions, and thoughts.

I love how Oswald Chambers defines concecration. This is my desire in its most fundamental and basic form.

Consecration - is a continual seperating myself for one particular thing. I have added some of my own thoughts to the definition. It also means to be fully devoted to the pursuit of one goal; to be wholly given and invested in its cultivation.

Lord, may my entire being be consecrated unto You. May you guide my thoughts, words, the works of my hands, my acts of worship, and the meditations of my heart. I give all of myself over to Your authority. Have Your way in me.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

My Papa...

My mom's dad, who I've known for 26 years as my Papa, is one special guy in my life. He has taught me so many invaluable lessons. I love him for so many reasons. One thing that I have been richly blessed to winess is his 62 year marriage covenant to my Grandma. My Papa is a man who is righteous, God-hungry, Spirit-saturated, compassionate, very, very affectionate, and so faithful. I have seen the face of God through the gift of his witness so many times I can't even count them. Our family has a tradition in which we celebrate birthdays with a brunch. Papa's birthday was actually January 20th, but we celebrated him today. I always LOVE taking part in these cherished celebrations. It is so much fun to celebrate anyone special in my life, but I especially enjoy celebrating my family members and their very treasured places in my life. My precious Papa served as an elder in his church in California for over 40 years before moving to Abilene. Boy am I glad he moved here. I get to enjoy him and my wonderful, lovely Grandma so much and I absolutely love it. Papa has given me many wonderful gifts as his granddaughter. But, I think my most cherished gift I have ever received from him is his strong heritage of faith and his staunch and ever-deepening belief in Jesus Christ. He is also a man who fervently and relentlessly holds to to his belief in the power and presence of the Holy Spirit. I am so thankful for my Papa. I thank the Lord for his influence, his love, his faith, and his joy. My Papa embodies the man of high favor depicted in Psalm 1 in such a lovely way.

"Blessed is the man who walks and lives not in the counsel of the ungodly [following their advice, their plans and purposes], nor stands [submissive and inactive] in the path where sinners walk, nor sits down [to relax and rest] where the scronful and mockers gather. But his delight and desire are in the law of the Lord and on His law (the precepts, the instructions, and the teachings of God) he habitually meditates (ponders and studies) by day and by night. And he shall be like a tree firmly planted and [tended] by the streams of water, ready to bring forth fruit in due season; its leaf also shall not fade or wither; and everything he does shall prosper and come into full and complete maturity." - Psalm 1:1-3

I love you, Papa.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Goodbye Sweet Jenna...

I have to confess something. I don't understand why five-year-olds have to die. My church family and I have been interceding and lifting up a little girl who has had cancer since 2005. I have questioned God, I have cried out to Him concerning this, and I have rested in my belief that He alone is sovereign, He alone is God, and He alone is in complete control of this world. I know God has His reasons, but I still can't wrap my mind around children having to only know pain, suffering, and hurt. I also know with everything in me that God grieves when His children are hurting. He grieves when little children die. I think this is one of those times when I am supposed to just trust in His mystery and realize that I am not supposed to figure everything out about Him or His ways. His ways are higher than mine. His ways are perfect. I lavish praise on Him for this. One of the last emails I got from Jenna's mom was telling me that Jenna had asked all of her immediate family to write a note to take with her to Heaven to give to God. So, as requested, every member of her family wrote a note. I cannot even imagine writing a note like that knowing it is my last for my little girl. When I read that I absolutely sobbed. Praise the Lord Jenna is dancing in His Presence today. Give God a kiss for me little one.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

A Historical Day...

I don't get into politics much, but I will admit, it has been fascinating to witness the inaugural festivities for Barack Obama today. I do have my questions though. For instance, how in the world does the White House staff transfer the incoming President's and his family's many belongings into the living quarters of the White House as they move the former President and First Lady out? I watched the Fox News coverage today with such optimism for our country. I am still amazed to think that we have our first African American President. The United States of America has truly come a long way, but the country still has a long way to go. I couldn't help but remember today as I watched everything unfold, that I as a believer have an obligation and an immense honor to pray for President Obama, his administration, his protection, his family, and for the policies he will sign into laws that will govern our nation. My most fervent prayer comes from 2 Coronicles 7:14-16:

"If my people, who are called by My name, will humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land. Now my eyes will be open and my ears attentive to the prayers offered in this place. I have chosen and consecrated this temple so that My Name may be there forever. My eyes and My heart will always be there."

Almighty Father,
I pray for a spirit of divine wisdom to fall upon President Obama and all of those in his administration who will structure policies that will govern this nation. I boldly ask you to align his presidency with your will. I ask you to cultivate within him a spirit of humility, mercy, gentleness, steadfast trust in You, and an uncomprimising hold to righteousness. Fashion him to be a leader of godliness, faith, love, tenderness, and an unswerving commitment to seeking your face to guide his many decisions. Clothe President Obama, his closest confidantes, and aides, as well as his family members in tenderhearted pity and mercy, kind feeling, a lowly opinion of themselves, gentle ways, and an enduring patience. Give them gentle and forebearing spirits that are very quick to forgive. Clothe them most of all Father, in your love so that they may be able to administer your grace in their daily obligations. Help President Obama to be an imitator of You. May Barack Obama be a man and a President who fully and completely honors Your beautiful name. I ask you, O, Lord to form and shape him more into the image of Jesus Christ so that at the end of four years, and possibly eight, he will come out as a beautiful new reflection of Jesus. Cover him in the blood of Jesus so that he may govern out of a spirit of love, hope, faith, and peace.

I love you Father, because I know that no matter what the outcome of this new administration is, you will still be sovreign, you will still be God, you will still have all the authority, and you will still be a passionate, all-consuming God who pursues and lavishly loves His people and those who don't know you in this world. I give you praise for this Lord. You are so good and so very worthy of all my praise, adoration, all of my heart's affection. I am thankful that I belong to you. Please hear this prayer and attend to these desires on my heart.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Come Quickly...

I love my life. I love the people in it. I have enjoyed a good part of my life's experiences. Notice I said a good part. I am so ready for heaven. My spirit is hungry to see the glory of the Lord. I cannot wait to be able to visualize thousands upon thousands of angels praising God. What a sight that will be. Lately, my heart has been laid out before the Lord in broken pieces. There are so many things I don't understand about this world. It is not my job to understand it all. That's why God is here in the midst of the world trying to pursue the souls of every person in this world. I am reminded of the words of the Lord in Isaiah 55:8-9.

"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, says the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts."

Hallelujah. My job is to trust God in all circumstances and in all seasons and also to remain faithful to Him. In times of joy, refinement, and peace so that He can be the center of who I am. Thank you Lord for being God so that I don't have to. I praise you that I only have to keep my focus fixed and established on You. You have all things under your control and ultimate authority.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

A True Joy...

God gave me a wonderful blessing today. I got to spend the afternoon with my precious grandparents. These are two people who run relentlessly after the Lord. I am always encouraged, challenged, affirmed, and enriched after spending any time at all with them. They have both taught me so much about Who God is. I am taught how to be more devoted to Him by the offerings of their own lives. I am truly thankful and immeasurably blessed to have such a rich faith heritage. I love to learn from them. I am filled with such joy when I get to be around them. They live such a vibrant, life-giving grace and faith.

Jesus, I praise you for placing me in a family that has taught me the fear of the Lord. Thank you for my Christ-honoring home where your Spirit truly resides. It is such a gift to get to witness the lives of my precious family. Through the overflow of their lives, I am charged to be more devoted to you and made more into your likeness. I praise you for the gift and immense blessing of a loving, devoted, faithful family. You are so good and gracious. I love you!

Monday, January 12, 2009

A Gift From Heaven...

This is my sister Laura. She joined our family when she married my brother on December 10, 2005. I thought she was great then, but now, three years after they said their vows to one another, God has allowed me to see the beautiful depths of her character. It has been such a joy to watch the ways God has brought us closer. I am immeasurably blessed to have such a wonderful, kind, humble friend in Laura. She is truly special. The relationship we share holds a very cherished place in my heart. I praise the Lord for her daily.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Faithful Friends: A Gift From God...

What a wonderful gift God gave us when he created within us the need for friends. I honestly don't know what my life would be or what it would look like without this blessing. I have been incredibly fortunate to have many people to help me along the journey to Heaven. True friends are a treasure and I am so thankful I don't have to walk the journey of this life by myself. Here is a list of qualities I look for in my friends:

-devotion to the Lord
-an outgoing spirit
-a great sense of humor
-a steadfast faithfulness
- a person that is not afraid to be vulnerable

When the Lord brings a person into your life that will love you fully and completely for who you are, it is an awesome gift. I am indebted to Him for providing such wonderful examples of Himself through my friends. He is so good. I pray that you will take time to thank God for the friends in your lives, and the ways they show the glory of God.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

A Tidbit of Encouragement...

There is nothing I love more than belonging to Jesus Christ. He truly is the greatest joy of my heart. I will spend the rest of my days praising Him for His infinite love and unparalled goodness. My relationship with the Lord fuels every other part of my life. To know that the Lord is desperately in love with me is just so mind-boggling.

Yesterday at Tuesday morning Ladies Class, our teacher quoted something from Kay Arthur that I loved. It gave me so much joy and hope for the times when I feel that I am not comprehending what the Lord wants to teach me. Father, thank you for loving me when I don't understand. I praise you for giving us the gift of your inspired Word.

"Only the Spirit living in us and through us can help us dicipher God's inspired Word."

I was really encouraged by this and I hope you are too :)

Monday, January 05, 2009

Giving Glory to the Great Physician...

Today has been a splendidly wonderful day. You may be asking yourself, "Why is she so excited about today?" Well, let me tell you why this day is full of utter joy and grace. I had my six-week check-up on my eyes this morning in Dallas. Here is my praise report:

First of all I want to say that ALL of the glory and honor belongs ONLY to my great God. Dr. Beauchamp told me that my eyes look absolutely perfect and he is very very pleased with the outcome and recovery from the surgery. I could not be more excited! It was awesome to look him directly in the eye to allow him to see the fruit of his labor. He told me he had to work extremely hard to find ANYTHING wrong. How good, gracious, and kind is the Lord?! I know exactly who perfected my eyes and who divinely knit my vision back to the way He originallly formed my physical self. I am praising Him and Him alone because only He could perform such a miracle. Dr. Beauchamp said that I will not have to come back AND that I should not have another problem with the stribismus. The Lord is SO good and SO worthy of praise. Blessed be the name of the Lord.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Happy 2009...

Can it really be 2009 already? Every year I am amazed at how quickly time passes. The Lord really knew what He was talking about when He reminded us in Ecclesiastes, that "there is a season for everything under the sun." As I welcomed the new year last night, I was reminded once again how precious everyday of life really is. I have two big goals to accomplish in 2009, Lord willing. I really want to grow in discipline in all areas of my life and I really want to go to the International House of Prayer (IHOP) in Kansas City.

I have been very, very blessed during 2008. The Lord has been so good. My prayer for myself is to use all of my resources, however little they may be, to bless others during 2009. I hope to be ever more intentional in my intercession on behalf of others in my life and in my beloved church. Recently, the Lord has shown me how powerful our Enemy is and how desperately he wants to devour those who are committed to Christ Jesus. Marriages have really been on my intercession radar. It is awesome and comforting to know that Jesus has already defeated the Enemy. That does not mean that we can stop praying and standing in the gap for our brothers and sisters in Christ that are under attack. Sorry, I kind of got off on a tangent. I guess what I'm saying is that the opportunities for intercession concerning marriages are only growing. And I won't stop bringing these petitions before the Throne of Grace. I hope all of you have a blessed 2009 and that you will be open to the opportunities and the promptings of the Spirit that come your way.