Wednesday, May 12, 2010

January Depths

O Lord, hear my cry for mercy

Turn a listening ear my way

Save me from my shame and anger

Deliver me from my selfish ambition

You are my faithful friend

The one who never leaves me nor forsakes me

You guard me under your shadow

You have my best in mind

I have chosen to live by my own strength

I make my path and don’t follow yours

My ways are certainly not your ways

My selfish insecurities have turned my heart from you

But, You, O Lord, are my Rock and my Salvation

You have met me in the depths and have urged me into your presence

You are my hope and you provide strength

As much as I turn my back on You, You run towards me

You alone are everlasting love, the one true God

God of my life, deliver me from myself

Come quickly and make your way into my mess

Holy Spirit, shine your light on my dark places

Fasten yourself to my depths and remove my sin

Clean out the junk and restore righteousness

Strengthen me and uphold me in your love

I know you hear my call, you are only faithful

You have not left but given everything to me

I trust in who you are and am assured of your grace

I will tell of your grace, O Lord

I will sing of your faithfulness and your majesty

My heart will cry out the wonders of your name

You steadfast love endures forever

The Holy One of Israel, my beloved Savior

Give my heart words to praise you

Fill my mouth with songs of praise

As you reveal yourself to my weary soul

May your glory be reflected and be made known

Sunday, January 24, 2010


I choose love
Over fear, over hate
I choose love
Over Success, over fame
I choose love
To be less known
I choose love
To endure more pain
I choose love
Joy is on its way
I choose love
To release all shame
I choose love
May judgement fall
I choose love
Stand tall

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Ohh the Latte

I love me some latte! Every time I go to Starbucks I am amazed at the excitement that fills my bones when I hear "Grande Decaf Vanilla Soy Latte for Lily at the bar!" I feel as though I have won the lottery when my drink is called. The contents of the cup and the general company I find myself with on such numerous occasions is a joyous moment each time.
My love for lattes has grown over the years. When I was a senior in college a Starbucks opened in Hilo, HI. A big day for such a small town! On my first visit I remember ordering a Vanilla Cream Frappuccino, the gateway to the endless world of coffee. I remember walking in, not feeling very confident and knowing next to nothing about what ordering a coffee drink was all about. So I didn't order coffee at all! Besides, it was far too overwhelming to have to make that many decisions about so many things that all end up in one cup in 5 seconds flat! A new friend Natalie was there at my first Starbucks experience and we talked together about the joy coffee and Starbucks could bring to little old Hilo.
Well, little did I know that I was walking down a path towards addiction. I soon graduated to coffee flavored Frappuccinos and then onto big kid drinks like Mochas and then my beloved Latte. I even aged in my coffee affections to take on the drip. But, alas, I am not old enough yet to handle black coffee, I need that cream and Splenda! As I drank more coffee, especially my first 2.5 years on Young Life staff I decided that sleep was over rated when there was coffee that was black as tar waiting for me every morning in the office. I would load that cup up with powdered creamer and some sugar and be on my exhausted way! I would get the shakes most days and pass it off as a worth while side effect because of needing constant energy to be with kids.
3 years after I started drinking coffee ferociously I decided I was going to take a week off from drinking it to try to clean my system out and get back to maybe 1 cup a day. Two days into my caffeine freedom, or so I thought, the worst headache of my life came on and didn't go away for a couple days. It was as though a vice was on my head slowly tightening itself around my brain patiently waiting for my head to explode. I was depressed and beat down, all from not having caffeine! So that's when I decided that I was through with this caffeine business!
It's been 2 and a half years since giving up caffeine and now something nes is happening. In the last 3 weeks I have had some caffeinated coffee drinks here and there and my stomach has decided to have a little Rumble in the Bronx every time I drink it. This is a sad day because there will be moments in Young Life when I am going to neeeeed caffeine and I have to way being tired or being sick. Oh the need for energy... Anyway, God bless decaf coffee, because the caffeine is no where near the addiction of the taste for me anymore. So here's to all of the people who love them some Starbucks, we are on the same train together!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Things I Love

I've decided to write about the things in life that I love. This being the first installment of many, I hope.

First off... The iPod. I'm not sure I am exaggerating when I say that the iPod is my most favorite invention of the 21st century. I have owned 5 iPods in 4 years. 2 shuffles (1 was lost in the "shuffle" of a move), 1 iPod mini (sold to an iPod needing friend), one video iPod (I still own it) and of course my beloved iPhone. I am a music hoard. I love music so, so much and having it all on one little machine was my dream come true. I was the kid on the airplane flying back and forth to Hawaii from Colorado carrying around a Case Logic CD case with way too many CD's crammed inside. I had my Discman and was armed with extra batteries all the time. I always had to have ALL of my music with me wherever I went. It didn't matter if I was going to ride the bus for 5 minutes, all of my music was coming with me. Then the iPod came into my life.
When I ordered it online 4 and a half years ago I tracked it as it made it's way to my door. Taiwan, Hong Kong, LA, Memphis, back to LA then Honolulu and then to little Hilo on the Big Island of Hawaii. Oh, how I waited for the FedEx guy to arrive. I spent all week loading all of my CD's into my computer so that when my first iPod finally arrived I would be ready to download all of my music and be on my merry way! Somewhere in my life I still have a bagillion CDs waiting for the resurrection of the Discman.
I now have my shuffle for running, my video iPod kicking it in the dock ready for a listen at anytime and my iPhone that has all of my current favorites on it. I was driving to Tahoe this weekend listening to my iPhone on shuffle realizing my emotions as each song came on. One song would come on that I would start to sing along with and belt it out like I just one American Idol. Another song would come on and I would remember a hard time in life. I love the shuffle function on the iPod because it's a walk down memory lane. My iPods bring me such joy, or better, the contents on my iPods bring me great joy. For this invention I am deeply grateful. Steve Jobs you have won my heart.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Reading Good Writing

I'm a recent subscriber of the New York Times Sunday Edition. With every sentence that my eyes take in I think I can literally feel my brain cells reproducing themselves! Not only are the stories fascinating they are encouraging, challenging and speak to my heart. New insight into world affairs, a delightful story about a dog helping one person love another well, a daughter finding simple ways to show her mom she loves her. For so long I thought the Times, and most papers for that matter, all should be called The Middle East Daily Digest or something because that's all that I thought was in them. I have been proven wrong and have found great anticipation fill my soul as I awake on Sunday morning knowing that all of these peoples lives are waiting for me in a little blue plastic bag. To think that their lives are typed up on paper that later will be incinerated, thrown on the ground with an unknown fate, vulnerable to the elements is far more than can be expected for many of our stories. But their stories are so rich, so beautiful and life giving. I wish my story was left at the bottom of the steps for someone to read...

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Seaside Thinking

Two years passed
Life and light gone so quick
Faithfulness like the crashing of waves
Persistance unchanged

Grief and sorrow
Tears fall like rain
The heart grows as watered with pain
Brokenness produces fruit

Inching closer, the coming tide
Ready to wash away
The power rips the sand away
come closer, so close

Sunday, May 10, 2009


As the Easter season continues our pastors at City Church are talking about resurrection stories found throughout the Bible.  Today was the story about the woman with the issue of blood and Jairus' dughter having died.  Jesus stops to heal the woman who's been bleeding for 12 years rather than rushing to the house of Jairus to help his daughter.  The woman gets healed and Jesus heads off to "awake" the your girl from her sleep.  She is raised from the dead and has new life.  You can imagine Jairus' excitement in light of a second chance that both he and his daughter now have.  
As I was sitting through the service being reminded that we all die I realized that we all experience the consequence of sin being death.  We all experience death.  We all die.  We all lose people.  So though Christ has "saved" us we still experience the consequence of our actions by feeling loss when death occurs in our lives.  There isn't anything that we can do to not ever experience death, thus we always will experience the depth of our depravity.  Our salvation doesn't stop us from feeling the consequences of our sin.  We are still sinful.  We are still more wretched than we can understand and more loved than we can imagine.  Knowing Christ doesn't eradicate the most awful feelings from our lives.  Christ does not make life smooth, nor does positive thinking or any other form of self encouragement.  There are parts of life that are just awful no matter what.  I hate death only for selfish reasons.  I hate that my friend isn't here any more and it's deaths fault.  Therefore I hate death and I hate that I am experiencing the consequence of my sin.
May the unimaginable love win in my heart.  Though I don't think it wins very often.  I cannot escape my depraved humanity not can I perfect it.  Living in it to it's fullest potential is my greatest challenge.  My greatest potential is to love and be loved, I agree with Ewan McGregor's character in Moulin Rouge.  Love is the only thing that matters.  There is nothing else of any worth in comparison to love.