Thursday, April 28, 2011

Last words...

"Beloved, God has never failed to act but in goodness and love. When all means fail—his love prevails. Hold fast to your faith. Stand fast in his Word. There is no other hope in this world."

This was the last sentence of the last blog posting that David Wilkerson would ever write.

This is a man who has influenced and inspired so many people around the world.  He was brave and strong and fought the good fight and because of that, the world is a better place.

I love that the last thing he would ever write to us is so timely.  Even in death, our God never acts out of a place other than goodness and love.  He can't, it's just who He is.  I love that even from heaven tonight Pastor David speaks to us and tells us to grab hold of faith and the Word... the only hope for the world.

Again I am reminded of the question on my heart, "Who do I want to be in this story".  Tonight my heart also asks, "What does my life speak to the world?" 

May his family find comfort in this painful time and prayers go out for his wife who is in critical condition tonight.

Monday, April 18, 2011


I came to Nashville over Valentines Day to visit one of my oldest (as in we've been friends the longest not that she is old) and dearest friends.  Natalie and I have been partners in crime for as long back as I can remember.  She knows the deepest secrets of my heart.

I got to visit her because she moved to Nashville and I was coming here to participate in a conference with a group of volunteers from ROCK of Africa Mission.

I was having some health problems in Zimbabwe that needed to be checked out and I thought I would take the time to do that while I was visiting Natalie.  I scheduled a week for that...two and a half months later and I am STILL here!  I am so grateful that I get to be with my best friend while I walk through this emotional time.

The past couple of weeks I have been faced with some news that these health issues might be more serious that I had originally thought. That quite possibly, I might have a heart problem. I have clung to this verse in the midst of emotional and physical exhaustion:

Psalm 73:25-26 Whom have I in heaven but you? I desire you more than anything on earth.  My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak, but God remains the strength of my heart; He is mine forever.

Having to wrap my mind around what the doctors were saying was an interesting process.  It made me think A LOT about what my heart means to me.  I looked up the definition of heart and this is what I found:

HEART noun /härt/ 
  1. A hollow muscular organ that pumps the blood through the circulatory system by rhythmic contraction and dilation. In vertebrates there may be up to four chambers (as in humans), with two atria and two ventricles
  2. The heart regarded as the center of a person's thoughts and emotions, esp. love or compassion
  3. Courage or enthusiasm 
    People who know me often comment about my heart: my heart for Jesus and for people, my heart for Africa, my heart for the hurting.  They are talking about love and compassion. They are talking about courage and enthusiasm.  But as I start to doubt this hollow muscular organ in my chest, I have started to realize that I take my heart for granted. I can't think of a time in recent months when I have thanked God for my heartbeat.  But today I realize that I have no control over my heart, it's beating or it's functions.  Life in Zimbabwe, when I am faced with the reality of so many who are sick, often makes me grateful for my health.  But lately I have been overlooking these simple things that mean so much-like my heartbeat.
But I am not just grateful for my heartbeat.  I am also grateful for the heart God has given me. These are not just personality traits that have developed over a lifetime, they are the qualities that God gave us when He decided who He would make us to be.  He put a deep desire in each of our hearts, and He gave us qualities that would help us to obtain that desire.  Because of my desire to love and be loved and to share compassion with people around the world, I am living a life greater than I had ever dared to dream.  Today, even after months of doctors appointments, my heart is grateful for this life...because it took a long time for me to figure out that I had the desires of my heart all wrong...

Psalm 37:4 Delight yourself in the Lord and He will grant you the desires of your heart

PS. I do not have a heart problem, the cardiologist gave me a clean bill of health and said my heart (the hollow muscular organ one) is strong and healthy and will absolutely NOT interfere with the desires of this other kind of heart.  PTL <3

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Forgiveness-- who I want to be.

"Life is so much more than mere existence. Faith lifts us above simple existence and gives us true meaning and purpose, ESPECIALLY in times of suffering."  Gayle Haggard from Why I Stayed.
I have been reading a book by Gayle Haggard.  It is the story of her life and marriage.  Her husband Ted, was the center of a very heartbreaking and public betrayal.   Her story of forgiveness is a beautiful picture of how we are all meant to live.  She is inspiring me beyond what I could have ever imagined.

Several times in the books she mentions that on difficult days she would ask herself a question.  "Who do I want to be in this story?"  I have found myself asking this question more and more often lately as well.  And in those moments, my answer always leads me to an action that is loving and kind.  Because the truth of the matter is that I want to be a person that is more like Jesus: loving, gracious, forgiving and kind.  But sometimes I need a reminder, it doesn't always comes naturally!
Gayle also says that Love is forgiveness.  I am holding onto this today.  I want to be a person of forgiveness.
I have loved reading her story, and I have learned so much.  This quote means so much to me because it is true in my life.  My faith has given me a meaning and a purpose.  My faith has given me a LIFE.