Wednesday, November 30, 2011

We Should Get Jerseys...
Cause We Make a Good Team!

On Sunday evening my wonderful boyfriend, Luke, showed up at my door to take me on a date! And he had a plan! Putting the effort in to make a plan beforehand always makes me feel extra cared for. And, as usual, Luke went above and beyond! He didn't just have any plan... he had a well thought out plan to help me accomplish #4 on my bucket list! Complete with telling me to wear the right shoes to walk to the light rail without hurting my feet! A great reflection of Christ's love toward me, Luke knows me and pursues my heart with intentionality! And he does so really well!

However, as great of a pursuer as he is, Luke is not Christ. I like fairy tales, but Luke is not the one designed to "complete me." I can't look to Luke to make sense of my world! To expect him to do so is to put pressure on him that he was not designed to carry.

I hate to admit this, but sometimes I find myself putting him on this pedestal. And those are the times that he epically fails at living up to my unspoken and unrealistic expectations! Not to mention the times that I wind up working so hard to gain his attention and approval that I end up exhausted, insecure, and empty!

To make Luke my god is to forfeit the grace and rest (Jonah 2:8) that comes from being perfectly pursued by my first love (Revelation 2:4). Unconditional (Psalm 36:7, Psalm 48:9) and eternal (Psalm 52:8), God's love is SO much more satisfying.

In Christ alone, my hope is found.
He is my light, my strength, my song.
This cornerstone, this solid ground,
Firm through the fiercest drought and storm.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

I have a friend, LeAnne Rice, who recently wrote a book called "Untangling Christmas!" A guide to planning the holidays with Christ at the center! Check it out here:

Monday, November 28, 2011

This just in: I am going to Senegal, Africa this summer as a summer project director! Cannot WAIT! Who wants to come with me??

The goal of missions is the global worship of Jesus by his redeemed people from every tribe, tongue, and nation. The outcome of missions is all peoples delighting to praise Jesus. And the motivation for missions is the enjoyment that his people have in him. Missions aims at, brings about, and is fueled by the worship of Jesus!
-David Mathis in Holy Ambition
I was in Argentina for a mission trip and I had simply been walking to campus to share the gospel with college students, when I noticed an odd stoplight on the side of a garage door. It wasn't directing traffic so I asked, "What is that stoplight for?" The answer literally brought me to my knees and I kneeled there in the middle of the crowded street, weeping and praying while passerby's just gawked at me, a crazy American. It was a brothel; the light was directing traffic of a much different kind.

It was on that crowded street in Argentina that my heart first broke for women trapped by the sex-trafficking industry. Only a sophomore in college at the time, I couldn't even begin to see the enormity of the situation. In fact, it was my first encounter with any information regarding sex slavery. And so, I prayed for God to eliminate sex-trafficking. To abolish human slavery today.

Later, I learned that there are 1.39 million victims of commercial sex trafficking worldwide and that human trafficking for sexual exploitation generates approximately 27.8 billion USD per year (

Somewhere in the 4 years since that moment, I picked up the lie that eliminating sex-trafficking is impossible, and so I stopped praying. I stopped believing that THE GOD OF THE UNIVERSE can actually do something about this situation. I am thought to be a "super Christian", so it's hard to confess that to the millions of people that read my blog (okay, 8 people). But I have been recently reminded that if I really believed that God is really real and omnipotent, I would be bold to ask for the elimination of the sex trade industry. I may be overwhelmed at the details involved in that, but God is not.

Listen, the Lord's hand is not so short that it cannot save; Nor is His ear so dull that it cannot hear (Isaiah 59:1).

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Don't You Dare Close Your Eyes!

"Do you trust me? Do you trust me?" Aladdin's eyes invite Jasmine to place her confidence in him. As she hesitantly chooses to place her hand in his, my heart silently applauds.

Women, isn't it interesting that our hearts applaud trust in fairytales but has the opposite reaction in real life? In real life, my heart fights and screams and says, "No! Don't trust! This is dangerous and risky! This could hurt! You could FALL OFF that carpet!"

When I think to the heart applause during that moment of the romantic Disney movie, I realize that we are CREATED to trust (Proverbs 3:5). Originally, God designed for us to be able to trust Him and to trust each other (Genesis 2:25). But sin makes that difficult. Past hurt makes that difficult. And each time our trust is wrongly placed or taken advantage of, we become more jaded. Walls go up where they were never intended to be.

What would it look like for me to place my hand in His and risk getting on the carpet? A small and hesitant voice from Jasmine, "yes," reminds me that it is all worth the risk! Don't you dare close your eyes- open them wide and step with wisdom and confidence onto the carpet God is laying out ahead of you!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Girl's Night Out

"Earlier today, at least half of you enjoyed a tall vanilla skinny latte from Starbucks. Much like the cup that you threw away, you may have picked up a label somewhere along this journey through life that said you are 'usable,' that you can be consumed and used, only to be left broken with shame as your only companion."

Marion Jordan's words hit straight to the heart. As 120 women from UNCC rolled into Rowe 130 from 6 different sororities, we were ALL squirming. As much as we would hate to admit it, we've been that coffee cup. We have experienced the loneliness that comes from rejection, and the shame that comes from being “thrown away.”

Often I do one of two things with those wounds. I either isolate, vowing to never let anyone else close enough to cause that sort of pain again, or I let myself grow apathetic and numb. In numbness, I let myself be used as the coffee cup. I claim, “Whatever. Use me. I don’t care. Why should I care?” Thoughts which couldn't be farther from the truth.

Whether in isolation or apathy, my heart desperately longs to hear, “You matter way more than you think you do (Genesis 2:7). You are worth far more than you think you are (John 3:16). I accept you just the way you are, and I love you enough to carry you somewhere better (Hebrews 10:22).”

Saturday, November 12, 2011

There's a Hole in the Bucket, Dear Henry.

I may be a little behind on the Bucket List Craze... For a little while, I thought it might be sacrilegious to have playful goals other than to Love God and Love People (Luke 10:27). However, upon further review, I believe I can do all things to God's glory (Colossians 3:23). I'll start with these things:

1) Visit all 50 states in the US
2) Learn to ballroom dance, salsa dance, and swing dance.
3) See the Rockefeller Christmas tree in New York
4) Ride the light rail in Charlotte
5) Backpack across Europe and share the gospel
6) Learn a foreign language fluently
7) Take my children to a Disney fireworks show
8) Memorize an entire book of the Bible
9) Read the entire Chronicles of Narnia
10) Spend a year or more in overseas missions
11) Watch Providence choir perform at the Blumenthal Performing Arts Center
12) Run a half marathon
13) Learn to cook an entire Thanksgiving meal from scratch, like my mom can!
14) Learn to play Bridge
15) Learn to play Penuckle
16) Make a legit piece of pottery
17) Go to graduate school
18) Refinish a piece of furniture
19) Own a dog and name him Leviticus
20) Own a bonsai tree
21) Buy a rundown house and fix it up to live in
22) See a broadway play
23) Learn to snowboard

“If we consider the unblushing promises of reward and the staggering nature of the rewards promised in the Gospels, it would seem that Our Lord finds our desire not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, we are like ignorant children who want to continue making mud pies in a slum because we cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a vacation at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.” - CS Lewis

Garments of Praise-

I went shopping with Alexa and my mom yesterday and was struck by the materialism in my world. We were stopped by a foreign man wanting desperately to sell a straightener. Each time I would refuse to buy, he would lower the price a little more to keep me interested. I wondered to myself, "How low would this price continue to go just to keep me here?" When he got to his lowest offered price he begged me not to tell my friends.

Faith isn't cheap (Hebrews 11:17-19). God doesn't lower the price for me (Hebrews 12:3-4) and tell me not to tell my friends. In fact, He asks me to give EVERYTHING I have, and tell everyone I know (Mark 16:15-16)! I don't have to pretend that accepting Christ is easy or cheap. It isn't cheap for me (Romans 13:11-14), and it wasn't cheap for Christ (John 19:30).

Don't offer to God that which costs you nothing (2 Samuel 24:24).

“Cheap grace is the grace we bestow on ourselves. Cheap grace is the preaching of forgiveness without requiring repentance, baptism without church discipline, Communion without confession.... Cheap grace is grace without discipleship, grace without the cross, grace without Jesus Christ, living and incarnate.”
Dietrich Bonhoeffer, The Cost of Discipleship