Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Moving Time

Dear Friends,
Thank you so much for visiting my blog. I have been wanting to improve this blog for a while now, so I am excited to tell you that I have just updated my blog and moved it to a new site. Please come and visit me at I look forward to connecting again on my new site.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Something Radical

What has begun as a very personal work in my life has deepened into a cry for breakthrough for my generation. I believe that God desires to do something completely radical that goes against our cultural and empirical instincts, a drastic stance that will unlock our destiny. This something is called trust.

Three years ago I read this scripture while sitting in an airport, and it has not stopped speaking to me since: “Commit your way to the LORD, trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass. He shall bring forth your righteousness as the light, and your justice as the noonday” (Psalm 37:5-6). The word “commit” was marked by a note in the margin saying “roll off onto.” BAM! I felt the impact.

Imagine pushing a huge rock over the top of a hill. You are in control until that one moment when you have crossed the point of no return and the stone builds momentum as it bounds down the hill and there is no getting it back. This picture provokes my imagination to the implications of trust. I can either fully commit everything to the Lord and roll my cares off onto Him, or I can try to manage control myself until I become so weary that the stone rolls back on me and I am crushed.

read full article here.

Saturday, June 2, 2012


Today, June 2nd, is my grandmother's birthday. When we said goodbye to her in the hospital 7 years ago, it was such a hard, surreal, and uncharted experience. It came so unnexpectedly as she had not been sick for a long time; yet, we were together as a family, aunts, uncles, cousins, brothers and sisters. I remember the hardest part was when I had to call work to let them know that I would not be coming in. Something about actually saying the words that she had passed away unlocked the emotions like a flood.

The next week was painful as again and again the realization of what I had lost came like a wave; but it was also a beautiful time. Family coming together, going through boxes of pictures and putting together a slideshow of her life. The memorial service was so special and such a time of honoring her life--her love, how she brought together family, the legacy that she left behind.

Looking back at her life, there were so many beautiful and joyful times to celebrate, but also some really difficult and painful seasons that she had to walk through. But this is where the comfort came the greatest, the knowledge that now all of her tears were being wiped away. All of the pain and dissappointments were swallowed up in joy. She is in the very presence of her Creator. Can you imagine?! I think almost everyone has experienced rejection in his or her life and knows that pain. Now think about being introduced to someone who not only chose to love you, but the very one who purposed you into being. The one who decided that the world was not quite complete without you. The one that does not just accept you the way you are but made you the way you are! It is such an incredible thought, and it's not just an idea but the truth.

When I remember my grandma now, that pain and empty feeling has been healed. I think back and smile and my heart grows warm. I remember her smile and her voice. I remember her snack drawer and legos. I remember riding in the car with her to pick up my cousin Lacy from school. I remember how much she loved to be surrounded by her family on holidays. I remember her generosity with all that she crochetted for people. I remember her committment to the Dallas Cowboys and Texas Rangers. She was so cute on Sundays sitting in her comfy pink chair with a large afghan on her lap that she was crochetting and her notebook near by to keep stats of the game.

And then my thoughts always move to her in Heaven and I can only get joyful. I have lost something so special; but when I think about what she has gained, I can't help but rejoice. She loved to listen to old hymns and gospel music. My mom's favorite hymn "In the Garden" has this chorus: "And He walks with me and He talks with me, and He tells me I am His own. And the joy we share as we tarry there, none other has ever known." That is the joy that my precious grandma now fully knows.

I want to share the memory of my favorite season with my grandma. In 11th grade my family moved from Grand Prairie to Roanoke. My sisters and I wanted to go ahead and start school in our new school distract at the beginning of the year even though our house was not yet ready to be moved into. So, the first six weeks of the school year we lived with my grandma in Justin so we would be closer to our schools. Every morning, I would wake up and get ready first. Then my sisters would wake up and get ready and I would sit on the front porch with my grandma and we would drink our morning coffee together. She lived in a small mobile home at the bottom of a hill on my aunt and uncle's ranch. I love the country and it was so beautiful. I remember one particular morning that was just breathtaking and so perfect it was funny. There we were, my grandma and I, sitting and chatting with our hot coffee. The sun was rising over the hill and suddenly the horses began to frolick about and were literally playing with each other. It seemed like a movie. We just sat there in awe enjoying it together. It was lovely. Wherever she lived, I remember my grandma always having hummingbird feeders out. I also loved to watch the hummingbirds with her.

My other favorite memory related to my grandmother happened when she was not even with me. I was in Missouri and was visiting my aunts church. This old man came up to me smiling and said in his shaky but sweet voice, "you look just like this girl I went to school with--Zelna Ola." "That's my grandma," I replied and we both smiled really big. Here I was a stranger, and I look so much like my grandma that this man recognized her face in mine after probably over 60  years. That is still one of my proudest moments in life. I love my grandma and am proud to look like her. I am so thankful that she was such a good mom and gave me my mom. I am so grateful that she was such a caring and loving grandmother. Most of all, I am so thankful that she loved Jesus and that she chose to make Him Lord of her life. Beyond the legacy of facial features, of family, of love; the greatest legacy of her life is her faith.

Zelna Welker can now boast 5 children, 17 grandchildren, 10 great grandchildren and counting. I love you Grandma. Thank you for being such a special grandmother and giving me so much love. Enjoy the Father's love and all the wonders He shows you, and when I see a hummingbird I will think of you and how you are more free and joyful now than even the hummingbird.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Love's Invasion

Show me Your glory, Father, so I can see the brightness of Your unimaginable beauty. Wrapped in mystery, You come to me—call me to turn and set my gaze on You.

I’m afraid of the Light, a penetrating laser into my life. The rooms of my heart stand trembling—shaking—bolted doors rattling, hidden stairways faltering.

Something knows, in the hidden place, the secret rooms of unknown space are facing, bracing—for the gates are sure to be flung open, not able to withstand invasion, devastation, a flood of love, a surge of life. A squall to overcome this fleshly strife.

The cities I’ve built within my heart, the faulty foundations, the chipping facades; the alleys and highways on which my thoughts fly and creep, the dull rooms in which I fall asleep.

Who I am is hiding in these corners, finding meaning through cracks in doors. Then suddenly—

As if being called from death, I turn and face a light and feel Your breath. You’re at my door, Your wanting in. You wait for me; yet I know, if I open, I will explode.

My carefully built city is beginning to falter, but still I know I am its master. My palms are sweating, my heart beats fast. Do I run to You or hold myself back?

And then I hear it, a mysterious sound; You are singing a song familiar and I am found enraptured, captured; as if my very DNA is reverberating a long ago dance it was meant to know.

I ask for grace to respond, to open the door and let the music resound.

Come like a flood! I surrender.

The city I have built is falling to the floor. I’d rather gaze on the One I adore and be melted than wander around in safe control of a house of wax.

I hear You knock again and now I respond. Lord come, I want to hear Your song. I want to see Your eyes. I want to be acquainted with Your smile. Come love me. Come devastate me.

Your flood will destroy my town of wax and in the rubble something precious will be found: the seed of me, my true identity. You’ll breathe Your breath and life will be born in me.

On Your rock, my only solid, I’ll grow and blossom as You sing over me. You’ll wash away all the debris and pick me up and dance with me.

And I’ll know Your truth and the promise that You’ll never leave. You’ll never forget or count me a bother. You’ll proudly bring me to Your Father.

You’ll introduce me to Your Spirit. You’ll be gentle and firm in Your steadfast love and you’ll never be fooled if I attempt a fa├žade.

I’ll be a precious stone and a seal on Your arm, and as You become my master, I’ll find true freedom as I’m carried in Your Love.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Salt's no good on the Shelf

God has been showing me how incredibly simple it is to be salt and light as we go.

On almost every plane and train that I have been on in the last 4 1/2 months, there has been an open door with the person next to me that led to an opportunity to encourage and many times pray.

On my flight back to the States for Christmas, I was amazed at how people in the airports opened up about the difficult situations they were facing with terminal illness, in either their own lives or a loved one. I was humbled to see how many hurting people are all around us and how easy it is to never see them if we don’t look, or don’t open our mouths to say hello.

In deed, I feel that we are at a moment of great opportunity for these encounters. We have become so isolated and digitized in our communication, that people hunger for real interest and interaction. They long to tell their story and to have someone really listen.

The Incarnation is the miracle of miracles--that the Creator God became flesh and dwelt among men. Yet so often in our own lives we are careless of this gift. We create a castle of personal entertainment or polite small talk to hide behind rather than choosing to be flesh and blood to the people around us. We've forgotten that salt doesn't do any good when it sits on the shelf.  

I don't say this in judgment, for I am as guilty as anyone. But, I am desperate for the truth of the Gospel. I simply want to be more like Jesus, and He loves people. He sees people. As He walked this earth, He was among the people. He was so far past a "comfort zone" that He sacrificed His dignity, His popularity, His very life. As He hung naked on a cross, discolored and unrecognizable from abuse, He was so much more than among the people; He was drenched in their sin, their shame, their very stench.

He did all of this not out of self-righteous pity, but because He knew that when He paid the ultimate price, His coming resurrection would mean salvation for the world. Death was swallowed up in His victory, and He bought for us our freedom: righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit.

As we go about our day, let us ask the Holy Spirit to give us eyes to see. Let's train our hearts to compassion by our daily choices. Let's look beyond our need to feel good about ourselves and be motivated instead by love and obedience. And let's not be fooled by the lie that says we are being hypocritical if we don't "feel like it." The sweetest and most fruitful encounters usually come when we certainly don't feel like it.

"These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full. This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's life for his friends" (John 15:11-13).

Thursday, January 12, 2012

The Apprenticeship...completed

Dear friends,

Well, the Herrnhuter Star apprenticeship has come to an end, and I am very pleased to report that I finally finished my star! As it turned out, it was quite fortunate that I was so slow at my star crafting because, little did I know, my sister had planned to fly me home to surprise my family for Christmas!! Probably my best Christmas present ever. You see, if I had been faster at building my star, I would have had to leave it in Herrnhut because there would have been no way to transport it safely with me on the plane. As it was, I was able to bring all of the paper points, or cones, and the round frame with me in a box in my carry on, and then assemble it together at home to give to my family as a Christmas gift.

It was so nice. I stayed up all night on Christmas Eve while the rest of my family was in bed. I glued the whole thing together that night, and finished at 4:30am. So on Christmas morning when everyone woke up and came downstairs, my star was hanging by the tree all lit up :). It was the best way to enjoy my first handcrafted-by-moi Moravian Star.

Here are the pictures of the last stage and the final product. The pictures with the star lit up are way brighter than in real life. I promise the star is not blindingly bright, only in the pictures. Next project I guess should be improving my photography skills.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Happy thoughts for a New Year

Sitting in my room my second night back in Herrnhut--having just unpacked and re-organized everything--I sip tea from my beautiful chinese teapot I finally brought with me from home, and think happily on the blessings of books, lovely music, warm thoughts of family, and a beautiful new year before me.

I don't know what's in store, but I hope that it plunders the depths of my heart. Should there be grief, I hope that I may feel it to the depth of His comfort. Should there be joy, I hope that I may know it in its boundless possibilities. Should there be trials, I hope that I may run face-forward to the challenge. Should there be victory, I hope that in His grace I will triumph. Should there be dissappointment, I hope to be vulnerable in His presence. Should there be comfort, I hope to find joy in the sharing. And should there be love, I hope to give a heart that is whole; a heart that has chosen the depths--to give every ounce and to recieve, unapologetically, all that Love Himself shall give.

Twelve is a good number: 12 tribes, 12 apostles, a dozen eggs, a dozen roses. It sounds complete, doesn't it? It's a full number, good and round. More then ten, it just feels like an overflow. Let's give it all this time around. I'm not talking about running away with your emotions, but embracing the depths of real life. Forget the pixilated stampede of endless notifications. Let's be generous in real time. Have an interesting conversation and ask some real questions. If you found that you have neglected someone, turn around and go back. When you realize you are having a truly grateful moment, take it further and do something to make someone else thankful. When you've done wrong, make it right; and when you've done right, make it better.

Be inspired and inspire others. It's what breathing's all about: taking it in and giving it out. And remember that man's first breath was the breath of God. Maybe we should start that way each day.

So for all of us out there in the bumper cars of life, remember, it's more fun to drive around and get hit than to sit in the corner.

Happy 2012!!!