Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Getting old? Cool.

I thought I had arrived at the age in which you no longer enjoy getting older, but for some strange reason I still do. It doesn't bother me that I've now entered my "late" twenties. I look at my life and feel thankful at everything the Lord has allowed me to do, to be a part of, to experience. Growing older simply feels like maturing more into who I was meant to be. And maturing does not mean becoming boring: it takes maturity to truly be child-like because you maintain who you are while being lost in the freedom, trust, and joy of a child. It is the childish who always want to act older or  younger than they are. It is the child-like who don't give thought to their age but just be--just play, just think, just act, just be sincere. Here's to 27: may it be a year of learning to walk more and more as both a child and a woman of God.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Dear Readers,

Dear Readers,
I never really thought I had any readers. I am only recently discovering that there are a few of you out there. I just wanted to say thanks--thank you for stopping by! Seeing how a blog is supposedly an "online journal" (I think), mine has been quite random. I don't think that will change; nevertheless, I am remembering my original purpose for this particular blog. I titled it "Hidden Royalty" because I really wanted to write to inspire and encourage people to discover the greatest and truest identity for which they were created and designed. No matter what you are doing and how you are living, no matter if you feel you are lacking or you feel on top of the world, you were meant for more--for even more! Let's think about that today and let's turn to the One who really does know our potential.
Wow, and I am going to go celebrate the fact that I just wrote a blog that actually said something and was also short, hooray for me! I'm in the process too.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Rights and Duty

In the United Sates of America, we are blessed to live in a nation built upon the rights of people, the rights of human beings created equal in the image of God. These rights were won for us by the blood of our forefathers who laid down their lives for our freedom. For this, I am profoundly grateful. This is good. This is worth protecting. This is worth fighting for.

Now, in the Kingdom of Heaven, we are blessed to be citizens under a King of perfect justice, perfect righteousness, and perfect love. We are indeed created in His image, AND we are being restored to that image daily, from glory to glory. This Kingdom is also built upon rights--rights won back for us by the blood of the Lamb who laid down His life for our freedom from sin and death. It is our right to be called the children of the Most High God. It is our right to be holy and righteouss, the stains of our past completely washed away. Though the enemy desires to deceive us and make us believe we are still bound by the contracts of this world, it is our right to truly walk in righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. This is our right as citizens of Heaven.

Now, when we let our guard down, it is easy to be deceived. It is easy to let these lines of alleigence blurr. We must be grateful, faithful, and responsible citizens of our natural country; yet, we must remember that the Kingdom of God is our own true country. And the Kingdom is not a democracy; the Kingdom is the realm of the King, the place of His rule and reign.

Now, from this point I could go into a thousand directions, but this is what is on my heart now concerning living in this Kingdom: how we handle and understand our rights.

In the U.S., we covet our pursuit of happiness. In the Kingdom, we are instructed to pursue "righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, [and] gentleness" (I Timothy 6: 11). Through our terrible history in America of slavery, we fervently uphold our right of personal freedom and determine ourselves to fight against continuing forms of slavery in our day (may the Lord give us grace and boldness to continue to fight and defend the weak). This is also our cause in the Kingdom of God; however, we must remember one vital difference: As we give our lives to defend the helpless, we must lay down our own rights and count ourselves as bondservents for the work of the Lord. We must never relenquish our right to live as children of God, but we must lay down every right afforded to us by the world for we are not of this world. Where our lives are concerned, when the world would cry out "injustice!," we must take up our cross and follow Jesus in every way. Today, I was reading in I Timothy, and this is what really struck me and spoke to me:

"Let as many bondservants as are under the yoke count their own masters worthy of all honor, so that the name of God and His doctrine may not be blasphemed. And those who have believing masters, let them not despise them because they are brethren, but rather serve them because those who are benefited are believers and beloved. Teach and exhort these things" (I Timothy 6:1-2).

Wow, this is challenging. We know that the Bible commands us to honor those in authority, but here, He is talking about a more painful situation, when one of our own brothers or sisters holds us as slaves or servants. What? I thought the Body of Christ was supposed to forgive each other our debts and serve one-another. This is easy enough to accept as long as it is going both ways, but here Paul is speaking to people who live in real-life servitude. In a day when there were masters and slaves, what happened as not only the slaves became Christians, but also the masters? I think this situation gets at the very heart of the Kingdom. Jesus's disciples were at first looking for Him to come as the triumphal and militant King who would subdue all their enemies and raise their cultural status as rulers in this new Kingdom; however, He surprised them indeed as He went to the cross and gave up His life. He is the King of Kings, but He came to lay down His life, to suffer, and to be the sacrifice for us all, to give us the best rights and freedom--the right to be transformed into His image and the freedom from the slavery of sin. Now, as the Gospel was preached and men and women began to be saved, they had to learn the way of this Kingdom. Though free from the bondages of this world, they must lay down their lives and serve this world. Though called to a higher standard as citizens of Heaven, they must be willing to love and bear long with one-another with patience and holy love.

We MUST love one-another. The Body of Christ is being perfected, but through the process, we must learn to love each other according to the end promise, not according to our present actions. For believing slaves with believing masters, this lesson must have come at great struggle, but imagine the victory won when they could choose to serve their masters, not only through obedience to honor, but through true brotherly love. Though treated as inferior, they must love as dear brothers. I believe that as these men and women began to grasp this commandment and obey, that they must have gained a reward so rich in Heaven and a joy on earth that went beyond human understanding.

For us today, we may not be enslaved by our brothers in Christ, but we may be treated injustly or uncharitably by some. What must our response be? Should we rise up and assert our rights? Should we demand apologies and proper respect? No. We cannot demand and please the Father. In doing so, we are taking a step backwards and, in that moment, actually giving up our greater rights--our rights of righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. Here is Paul's warning if we do not serve with love and even joy at blessing our brothers and sisters:

"If anyone teaches otherwise and does not consent to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which accords us godliness, he is proud, knowing nothing, but is obsessed with disputes and arguments over words, from which come envy, strife, reviling, evil suspicions, useless wranglings of men of corrupt minds and destitue of the truth, who suppose that godliness is a means of gain. From such withdraw yourself." And here is an incredible verse: "Now godliness with contentment is great gain." And it continues, "For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content." (I Timothy 6: 3-8) Godliness is not to be viewed as our ticket to gain and success; godliness is to be our gain and success.

In the United States, there are citizens and military. It is the job of the military to lay down their lives to protect the rights of the citizens. In the Kingdom of God, every citizen is a part of the army of God. It is not the clergy and ministers alone who must live according to a higher standard and defend the rest of the believers. No, it is the duty of every believer in Jesus to follow His example in battle. It is each of our duty to lay down our life to protect and serve our brothers and sisters. We are truly a class of warrior prince and princesses--the highest identity as co-heirs with Christ, the highest cost of committing to the war, to every battle big and small.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Germany 2010

Good news! We are keeping a running blog during our time in Herrnhut and Germany. Please follow this link to the blog to follow along:

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Berlin and Baby

I have gotten a bit behind on the blog. When you are travelling from place to place, writing a blog seems like it will take up all your time in that place. I guess I'm just making excuses though. I must say that the rest of my time with Kendra was just so special. I am so thankful that she got to see places in Germany that are so special to me. I am glad I got to share that with a family member. Our time in Berlin was doubly special because we got to be with my dear dear friend since 10th grade, Bethany Lankenau and her precious new baby, the lovely Lily. Matt was away in Romania preaching up a storm so Kendra and I stayed with Beth and Lily and helped them beat the heat.
There was definitely a heat wave in Berlin and it felt like Texas, only without the air conditioner. It was great having a Starbucks down the road though with air con and free wifi, oh yeah. Kendra and I experiemented and became champs at making the cheapest drinks really yummy. That's the great thing about coffee. It doesn't have to be fancy to be good.
This was my first visit to Berlin with Bethany not working and it was soooooo wonderful to spend all that time with her! I am so extremely proud of my friend. She is a missionary, living in a new place surrounded by a new language. She walks up and down 4 flights of stairs every time she has to take the dog out or go to the store. She is a wonderful mother. Kendra and I loved watching her talk to Lily.
Lily is a doll, such a beautiful baby. She was really taken with Kendra and was always looking at her. It was so cute. She was cooing and smiling all the time, and she looooves her mommy.
The main jist of our time in Berlin was just hanging out. Old friends, cool city, cozy apartment. We did get out and see a bit, but our favorite thing was definitely just talking with each other. Kendra did get the amazing opportunity to go to museums for three days in a row. They have an amazing student discount, just fyi. I went to one museum on the first day and loved it. I really love seeing art and history. I feel like I have had so many "cultured" moments with Kendra, she's so great.

Sunday, July 18, 2010


After Prague, Kendra and I headed accross the length of Germany and crossed into France for our visit to Strasbourg to see our dear friend Faith Collins. We had to change trains 5 times, but everything went so smoothly! One train was significantly delayed so we got there late, but we had nice seats and easy transitions, praise the Lord. Strasbourg is a beautiful city! And even though we were right on the border with Germany, we definitely felt like we were in France.

Faith is a law student at Regent University, and I am proud to be friends with such a dedicated and passionate student who I know will be used mightily for justice in this world. She is doing two summer programs abroad this summer--she just finished one in Israel and now is in Strasbourg. It was exciting to catch up and hear all that God is doing in Faith's life. It is clear that the favor of the Lord rests upon her. It was also a relaxing time. We were only there for a few days, but they were so wonderful.

One day we got to go to Faith's classes with her--my day in Law School! I really enjoyed that. Most of you know what a nerd I am and how much I LOVE school and learning. We got to sit through a class with the former U.S.A. Attorney General and Missouri state Governeor, John Ashcroft. Then we got to hear from a guest lecturer, a magistrate from Italy who has been the cheif counsel on an important case regarding religous expression in Italy. And then we got to hear from another great professor whose name I can't remember at the moment. It was really fascinating and i felt good whenever I was able to follow along somewhat.

We spent some of the time just walking around a bit and seeing the town. It was really enjoyable. I love seeing cathedrals and so enjoyed walking in and looking at everything. We also greatly enjoyed our pastry's from the famous Paul's bakery.

We really enjoyed hanging around the courtyard of the dorm and getting to know the other students, most from Regent, others from Liberty, Ave Maria, and other Christian universities. It really felt like an open door from the Lord to be able to share some of my heart and the things the Lord has been speaking to me so recently. The timing was amazing. I love meeting other believers who are pursing what God has placed on their hearts. We can be such a mutual blessing to one-another. And it was a great privalege for us to be able to answer some of their questions regarding the Holy Spirit, Israel, and Church unity. And I was blessed to see people working so hard and really giving their lives for something greater.
All in all, our time in France was tres magnifique.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Prague--and the scary blog that mom's shouldn't read

After saying goodbye to Maria in Bratislava, we settled in for our journey to Prague. That morning I woke up not feeling so great. I felt slightly feverish, my glands were swollen, and my neck was stiff. I am very happy to say that the feverish feeling left soon enough. I don't remember if I was able to sleep on the train or not. When we arrived in Prague I was feeling a little bit better. We put our bags in the lockers at the train station and set forth to walk around the city for a few hours. It was really enjoyable to just be at our leisure and go wherever we wanted without worrying about a bunch of people. We went to Wencesles Square, walked in a few circles through the maze-like yet enchanting streets, crossed Charles Bridge and walked up towards the castle. Prague is such an amazing city because the charm just does not end. After we made it back to our bags and got on the train to Uvaly we were spent.

We had a little confusion on what stop to get off. We ended up going two stops too far. When we got off finally it was dark and we were in a desolate place with no station, just a platform. We had to cross the tracks in order to get to the platform on the other side. No one was around but a few interesting individuals sitting by the tracks smoking. One of them came running over to us and carried my roller bag accross the tracks and we made it just before the next train. It was such a funny situation; Kendra and I were both glad we were with someone who doesn't freak out easily--and that we were not alone. My advice to the young traveller: use wisdom, be smart, but if you are forced in a situation just know that people are not always what they seem and God is looking out for you. This man got us on the right train and tried really hard through a language barrier to make sure we knew where we were going.

When we arrived in Uvaly we started walking the wrong way (totally my fault--I know I have never had a great sense of direction and should not rely on my memory from a year ago). We decided to turn around and go to the hotel by the train station to use the phone. When we passed the station, we saw Kelsie there looking for us. She had been driving to the train station every half hour to see if we were there. Because we missed our stop and were coming from the opposite direction, the times were off so she didn't see us when we first arrived. We were so glad to find her, especially after she told us that the hotel we were going to try to go use the phone was a lot like the Adam's family.

It was SO nice to arrive at the Mullen's house. We sat at the table for a bit and John kept getting up and bringing more food to the table. I kept saying I was satisfied, but the more food he brought the more I ate. Needless to say, we slept really good that night. When we woke up the first thing we heard was one of the boys telling us he made us breakfast! It was so sweet and great. He had made us eggs and they were already on plates on the table. This day was so nice. Unfortunately, I felt even more sick and spent most of the day napping. Kendra and I both really enjoyed being in a family home and just resting and having conversation--I loved talking with the boys, they are great at conversation. We had planned on going into the city with Kelsie to meet up a team who has been travelling and ministering, but we were so exhausted and my head was so cloudy that we decided to stay at the house. That night we watched "Miss Potter" with the kids--I LOVE that movie. The next morning we got up early to catch the train. We were SO blessed by John and Kelsie's hospitality. Kelsie packed us a "sack lunch" which was A-MA-zing. It consisted of breakfast, two sandwiches for lunch, and several snacks, even two bars of white chocolate. This was such a blessing and really carried us through our day of 5 different trains en route to Strasbourg, France. A big thank you to the Mullen family! We love you guys.

Thursday, July 15, 2010


Here are some highlights I haven't blogged about yet:
  • Prayer meeting at Father Peter's house: On Friday night (July 2) Kendra and I cooked Shabbat dinner for Mike and Beryl and Fr. Peter. This was really fun. Afterwards, several  young people from Slovakia came over for the friday night prayer meeting. This was really special. We got meet such great people--really special  young people who have such a heart for the Lord and to pray in His purposes. I was very blessed to be able to share a little bit of my journey with the Lord and with Gateways and then to join in prayer ministry. The Lord gave me some pictures and words for a few of them and I was so encouraged by seeing what great purposes He has for each of these amazing sisters and brothers in the Lord.

  • Other fun things we did included some gardening and seeing the castle ruins at the top of the mountain overlooking the village. From up there we could see Slovakia and the castle in Bratislava. From up there, Kendra and I were able to pray over the city and the region. This is a place with a long history of great bloodshed and we believe that where the enemy has tried to reign, God will have greater glory.
  • July 4th celbration! We had the unique experience of celebrating our American Independence day with a few of our British friends :). It was a grand time. Sister Mary Paul is also from Texas, so she, Kendra, and I prepared the feast. We tried to make it as American as possible with hamburgers, potato salad, apple pie, and chocolate chip cookies--yum! We were half American and half British (3:3) yet all was civil and joyful. We prayed for true freedom through Jesus throughout the world. I made everyone watch a you tube video of John Wayne doing a poetic tribute to beautiful America. After dinner we had a time of prayer. They all prayed for Kendra and I and blessed us before we headed out the next morning, and we had the opportunity to pray over each of them. All in all, it was a holiday to remember.

  • After saying goodbye to everyone in Hainburg, Kendra and I took the bus into Bratislava. There we were met by Maria, a girl our age who has just completed medical school. We met on Friday night at the prayer meeting and decided to spend a little bit of time together before we caught our train to Prague. We had coffee together and had such a nice time. Maria has a beautiful heart before the Lord and so much passion. We were really blessed by this new friendship. After a few hours together, Kendra and I hopped aboard our next train to Prague.

Here are some more pictures from our time in Hainburg: