Thursday, December 10, 2009

From the Pages of My Journal

homepageImage.jpgImage via Open Journal Systems

Today I’m filled with so much inspiration. God truly is faithful to bring joy to those who are in the house of prayer (Isaiah 56:7). There’s so many words that are brimming on my lips to express in this moment. Yet only so many can come out. So in asking God to help me choose them, I’m led to just copy the prayer that poured out from my heart and into my journal at the end of my time of soaking in His presence in the prayer room of my beloved Prayer House in Baltimore. Here it goes:

Oh, my soul delights in You alone, my God! I just praise Your Name! Wow, how much Your Word and the power of praise have given me life even during this time where my body’s so weak. You alone are faithful, oh God!

Blessed are those whose help is the God of Jacob,
whose hope is in the LORD their God.

He is the Maker of heaven and earth,
the sea, and everything in them—
he remains faithful forever.

He upholds the cause of the oppressed
and gives food to the hungry.
The LORD sets prisoners free,

the LORD gives sight to the blind,
the LORD lifts up those who are bowed down,
the LORD loves the righteous.

The LORD watches over the foreigner
and sustains the fatherless and the widow,
but he frustrates the ways of the wicked.
Psalm 146:5-9 (TNIV)

Thank You, God! You’re the best company there is. Even when I grown deep within as I’m daily being hidden in You – going against every natural instinct I have to surround myself with people and just be in that “go, go, go” mode, You’ve placed me here to be with You as an Anna, dwelling in Your courts, with no regard to who may or may not be around me. My place is here, and it’s so evident that this is where I belong.

Oh God, continue to strengthen me even as the enemy tries to always bring something else along to steal my time away from this precious place of being with You, hearing Your voice, receiving Your heart, and standing in the gap for those who are in need.

Jesus, thank You for this call. I pray You would have Your way today. May my eyes not turn to the right or to the left, but only stare straight into Yours, for I know You’re looking at me with Your loving gaze. Oh, I feel the warmth of the fire in Your eyes. It’s beautiful, and yet terrible – for Your passion is so consuming.

So consume me, God, and burn up anything that’s not of You. Strengthen me to watch and pray.

I love You.
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Saturday, December 5, 2009

Quick Thoughts about a Long Walk

The ministry I've been getting plugged into in Baltimore City, Maryland has a monthly routine of prayer walking on North Avenue on the last Saturday of each month. I haven't missed a single one since I've started coming up to the city to join them in prayer and intercession for God to turn things around and make this city beautiful again. We're believing for a complete transformation in the hearts and lives of every individual, and in return a massive overhaul in the atmosphere of this city.

Baltimore Eastern District ImageImage via

A perfect picture of the desolation of this city can be seen as you walk down North Avenue. Many blocks of the street still show the painful scars of the riots that took place in 1968 following the death of Martin Luther King, Jr. At that time, the combine efforts of the city, state, and federal government with their police and military forces, could not bring peace. The solution they finally came up with was to ask the drug lord of that day for help in getting peace in the land.

On that day, the authority over the land was transferred – and we still see the effects of that dark leadership. At one community meeting a young person made the comment that they respect their neighborhood drug dealer more than their neighborhood police officer. Something is definitely wrong with that mindset. But sadly, it’s the reality the majority of our city’s young people live in.

As we ventured out on Saturday, November 28, 2009, we proclaimed the same word God gave Joshua before he crossed the Jordan river to take the land that was ruled by evil men:
“I will give you every place where you set your foot…”
Joshua 1:3
The weather was a bit blustery for us that day, but we pressed on. Then, a beautiful thing happened about ¾ of the way down our 5 mile trek of the entire length of North Avenue. I was in the midst of one of my general approaches to prayer – simply asking God what He wanted me to pray and praying it. A simple chorus came to my mind from Misty Edward’s song “Light of Your Face” (that you can download for free by clicking here). I allowed the melody to pour over me, “Let the light of your face shine down on my heart, and let me feel it.”

No sooner did I finish that line did we crest a hill and the sun came shining brilliantly down upon us. My heart was filled with so much joy. I have no doubt that God has a unique destiny for this city. He only asks that we partner with Him in bringing it to pass.

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Thursday, November 19, 2009

Teatime Reflections, part 1

Tea and BiscuitsImage via

Memories of New Zealand stream through my mind as I sit down tonight over a nice hot cup of milk and tea, alongside some nice, crisp cookies—or shall I say, “Biscuits?” This evening is much different than those we Teen Maniac missionaries had on that beautiful island nation. I’m finding myself, yet again, holding the status of a missionary, only now I have a completely new context in which to embody that role.

Oh, how beautiful the path God has brought me on over the last two and a half years. I recall a journal entry I wrote on that first day following my high school graduation ceremony. While on the plane traveling to the missions field, I wrote something along these lines:
Wow! It’s really beginning. No more normality for me. My life in ministry has begun and I’m so excited to have every moment be completely unto God.
Each step I’ve taken since that day has been a step into destiny. After spending a month in New Zealand, I packed my bags and hit the road from my suburban home in Severn, MD to a middle of nowhere town called Garden Valley, TX. Why Garden Valley? Within its bounds lay a campus packed with fiery young adults passionately pursuing a call to reach their generation with the Gospel message of Jesus Christ. This was my heartbeat. In joining the 800 plus interns and staff members that made up Teen Mania Ministries, I not only had the opportunity to be a part of an effort that daily impacts a generation in desperate need of a savior, but also one that manages to nearly double the size of Garden Valley, TX. Did I mention it was a small town?

During my internship I grew leaps and bounds in my relationship with God and developed a greater missional mindset. When my time in Texas was nearly complete, I found myself on a visit to the International House of Prayer-Kansas City Missions Base. Here I was awakened to a new paradigm of ministry – one where everything flowed out of the place of prayer, rather just adding prayer onto all of the other programs already taking place. I was ruined for anything other way of doing things, and as I completed my internship and traveled home, I took hold of the call to intercession.

Many sleepless nights and long days locked up in my room were to follow as God began to birth something inside of me that I could hardly imagine.
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Monday, September 28, 2009

Face to the Floor

“We have nothing to offer these people. Only when we completely humble ourselves and lay our lives down can God then come in.”

These words continue to reverberate through me as I reflect on the events of the last 48 hours.

Candle of LoretoImage by Erunion via Flickr










Last night proved to be an encounter that will continue to mold my view of ministry for the rest of my life.

“If I never get the opportunity to speak to these people and all I do is pray and intercede in that place, then I’ll be happy,” Pastor Don expressed the determination in his heart to us as we traveled the 99 miles in-between Baltimore, MD and Martinsburg, WV to minister to a group of over 100 people who would be gathering that night to pray and seek the Lord. Our team of 6 intercessors rolled across the Appalachians in our 15 passenger van, praying and seeking the Lord on behalf of this congregation that was stumbling to come to the place of obedience to the Lord.

We responded to their plea for guidance by traveling out to lead them in the Sunday evening prayer service they had recently begun after hearing the Lord call them to prayer. After a few songs by the worship leader, our team was introduced. Stacey opened up with a brief prayer and then passed to microphone to Pastor Don, who would give some brief teaching on the subject before we began to engage with the One we had gathered to meet.

Almost as soon as I returned to my seat, I found myself face to the floor, completely consumed by the heart of God for these people. I could not recall much of anything that was said that night-only the trembling that was within my entire being as I allowed the Holy Spirit to make intercession through me.

“The Lord looked and was displeased that there was no justice. He saw that there was no one, he was appalled that there was no one to intervene.” Isaiah 59:15-16

I struggle to put the words together to describe the experience any further. It was such an honor to be in that place – partnering with the Lord’s heart and being one who would intercede.

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Friday, July 3, 2009

Inspired By Birds & Flowers: meditations on Matthew 6

Like the birds of the air
Like the flowers of the field
Fear will never seize me
Of whether I'll live or be killed

My provision comes from above
It's source is solely Love

I won't store up or strive
In order to thrive
In this temporary world

Because my treasure rests in heaven
A place it will never rot away
No one can touch this wealth that I've found
Yet it's the wise I daily confound

I know nothing but Jesus Christ
And it's foolishness I preach
It's foolishness I live
And it's foolishness I teach

For only when I die
Can I truly live
Only when I've lost everything
Can I truly give

My life, my everything
Is dependent on Him
Jesus Christ, be my guide
So this race I will win

Because temptation can so easily come my way
But I focus on you and everything else fades away
Into the oblivion of material worth

I don't give a care to anything but new birth
In you, sweet Jesus, my King, my God
I welcome your ways, your blessings, and yes, even your rod

Because eternity is at hand
And I can't go on living like any normal man

So like the birds of the air
Like the flowers of the field
I surrender everything to Jesus Christ
He's the Onething I can run to to be truly fulfilled.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Exactly How the Lord Wanted It - Baltimore BurnWagon09

The feel as though I could barely put it into language. : ) But here it goes...

It was AMAZING! I would definitely consider it a success. No flashy lights or huge crowds, but people on the streets of my city were reached with the Gospel & His goodness in the midst of their desperate situations. People were encouraged by our prayers & asked us to continue to do what we were doing that night - worshiping in the streets. : )

Something new has begun in this city. I don't even know what that's going to look like or what my part in it will be.

The team that was traveling didn't even make it to the night for worship in the streets. They got a flat tire on their way to our city, which held them up an entire day. But we went through with the program anyways. : P And I think that's exactly how the Lord wanted it - pushing us to the forefront, a place we probably never would have went without His firm nudge.

I stepped out in faith, from the concealment of my secret place of leading worship for an audience of 1 to a public ministry to that same Person. I definitely stumbled through a few songs, but it didn't matter. God was lifted up. I was amazed at some of the compliments too. Scars still remain from times in the past when I've stepped out & been criticized for my lack of professional quality guitar playing. : / I don't even care any more now though. God's given me an assignment, and I'm going to fulfill it. By His grace, He will equip me to do it.

What is that assignment? The faintest glimpse I have of it in this moment is to continue to contend through worship for Baltimore. Going to the parks & playing my guitar, singing my heart out & proclaiming His promises to the land-and the people.

A large picture was painted for us during the service the traveling team did make it to. It was scheduled to be a Prophetic Worship Workshop. More than having a teaching, I think it was beautiful that any agenda for that service was thrown out. But prophetic worship ensued. And rather than taking notes on the "how-to's" of prophetic worshp, we engaged as they lead us in 4 hours of the beautiful, sweet, and yet militant cries of worshipers who know who their God is and know their authority in the spirit realm as His sons & daughters.

I'm excited to head into Baltimore again tonight (because I live in the suburbs right now-40 minutes away) to really pray out all the Lord decreed over us through the BurnWagon team on Monday night. Oh, it was so beautiful! So so beautiful!

Revival is coming! A small remnant has formed who have already taken hold of it. The Lord has a strategy and an army will form. People get ready.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Partnering With The BurnWagon

A few weeks have gone by since my last post and a few ideas have gone through my mind as to what I could write, but then I had to turn around to focus on the task at hand. Letting those thoughts sit on the back burner while I etch away at all the things already loading my plate.

The thing that has tyrannized my time for the last few weeks has been my role as event coordinator for the BurnWagon’s Baltimore event.

Burn [bern], vt. (burning, burnt or burned). to undergo rapid combustion or consume fuel in such a way as to give off heat, gases, and, usually, light; be on fire.

Wagon [wag-uh n], n. any of various kinds of four-wheeled vehicles designed to be pulled or having its own motor and ranging from a child's toy to
a commercial vehicle for the transport of heavy loads, delivery, etc.
Four teams of worshipers in association with Burn24-7, an international prayer and worship ministry, have embarked on a tour of the four corners of the United States. Their purpose: to carry the light of Christ Jesus throughout this nation. They are on fire with a passion for Him and His passion for His people.

These are the kind of people I want to partner with. And so, I’ve connected with them and they want to come to my city (and many of your's) - Baltimore!

The amazing thing is that God has used this whole thing to open me up to a whirlwind of firy individuals who are crying out for Maryland to be transformed by the Gospel. The Baltimore BurnWagon is just one small part of a bigger picture of what the Lord so strongly desires to do in this region. I feel so honored to be a part of it. : )

So as I continue spinning my wheels to get all the logistics figured out for this thing, please check out the Facebook event page I’ve set up (click here).

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Oh, Those Gentle Whispers!

His name was David, an elderly man quietly sitting on a park bench in the suburban city of Columbia, Maryland. I turned my car around the corner and got a quick glimpse of him as I headed home on a route I had not taken before. Ever wonder what God has planned when He gently whispers for you to do something seemingly insignificant? Well, in the moments as I turned out of my office’s parking lot, I can honestly say I didn’t think a thing of it. I just felt stirred in my spirit to go left instead of right, and so I did. Following that voice made my commute home turn into a deeper understanding of the heart of Jesus.

For in the moment David began to reach out towards the shopping cart he kept nearby, my heart leapt outside my chest. This was his poor man’s walker that he would snatch up along his walk from his apartment, past Giant, to the lake and park nearby. Quickly I became aware of the fact that I was to go and love on this man the way Jesus would if He were the one in my being at that moment (of which, He actually was).

When I reached David, I began a conversation, but a look of perplexity came over his face. “No speak English. I Russian,” came out of his mouth. And I sighed in my heart, wishing I had the words to communicate with Him the love of His heavenly Father up above. But what I lacked in language, I resolved to not lack in action. For, as Saint Francis of Assisi’s famous quote alludes, the Gospel should be mainly preached through the way we live our lives in acts of compassion and mercy, and not merely in the words we speak.

That afternoon I spent my time walking beside this man, and the bright smile on his face told me that listening to that still small voice inside was worth it. As I walked with him, engaged with him as he tried to converse with the maybe 10-15 English words he knew, and sang to him, I was silently praying over Him. Wouldn’t the Lord bring a Russian speaking messenger across his path? I believe He will. He sent me David’s way that beautiful summer day. I only pray that whoever is meant to share the Gospel to him with Russian words would be sensitive to that still small voice inside.

As I reflect on these events with you, I don’t want to gloat about how great I am at listening to that voice – for I can admit to many times that I haven’t done so. But in those times we do listen, we’re thankful we did. And the stories are worth telling! I’d love to hear yours!

The world could seriously be changed if we purposed our hearts towards listening to what God has to say to us in each and every moment. I know EVERY moment seems like a tall order, but let me encourage you – most the time what the Spirit is saying simply points to the way Paul encouraged us to live-doing exactly what you’re doing “to the glory of God (1 Cor. 10:31).” – to live the Gospel out in your actions.

“Preach the Gospel at all times and when necessary use words.”
St. Francis of Assisi

Related scriptures: Colossians 3:22-24; Galatians 6:9-10; Galatians 5:22-26

Thursday, March 12, 2009

A Different Kind of Growth

I’m often one who doesn’t really see the growth that’s happening in my life until someone tells me. Recently I had a conversation to that extent.

“It’s a different kind of growth,” said one of my friends over the phone the other day. From over a thousand miles away, she could see the changes happening in my life – while I, standing right beside myself, could not even get a glimpse of it.

There’s something to be said about the transition you go through when you leave an atmosphere drenched in the things of the Lord in small town Texas to urban America. And yet, I often cannot find the words to express what that transition feels like. I suppose it is different for everyone.

For me, I’ve found myself dry and disappointed with my spiritual life. The reality that I’m not in a spiritual incubator anymore has been quite startling at times. Growth came so quickly during my time at Teen Mania, that when I look at my life now, I feel as though nothing whatsoever is happening. So disappointment sets in as all I see in myself is failure.

That’s the place the devil wants us – unsure of our faith, feeling weak and worthless. Yet, he doesn’t realize that in those times the Lord can teach us the most. Because I don’t have it all together, I can find strength in the One who does. We must cling to the truth of God's Word!

It’s not about how fast you think you’re growing in the Lord anyways. Regardless of where you’re at—sitting under a torrent of spiritual teaching each week or hearing only one sermon on Sunday mornings at church, there’s growth to be had.

If you truly think about it, how much “food” you’ve got before doesn’t matter. Just think about the story Jesus told of the wise and foolish builders. One built his house on a rock and was able to ride out any kind of weather. The other built his house on the sand and found his house completely destroyed after the first flood that came his way. This parable wasn’t instructing us on where we should build our houses though. Jesus clearly stated that the one who heard His words and acted on them was counted as a wise builder. The foolish man heard the same things, but walked away unaltered by the power of what was said.

So whatever circumstance you find yourself in today let the Word of God change you. I assure you, if you desire transformation, you’ll get it – regardless if you see it right away or not.
Scripture References: Luke 6:46-49; Isaiah 40:29-31

Monday, February 23, 2009

Is this hope?

I’ve grown akin to listening to NPR (National Public Radio) every now and again as I drive from here to there. Today, on my way home from work, I tuned in to a conversation regarding Marty Gras, the celebration so many will partake in tomorrow night.

As the discussion progressed, a simple statement made a huge impression in my mind. A man from Mobile, AL conveyed what his city will look like tomorrow. And as the description came to an end, he expressed hope for that those carousing on Tuesday. “Hopefully they will find themselves in a church on Wednesday, or at least not indulge themselves as horribly until next year’s celebrations.”

“Yes, they can carouse all night long and then go to church, or sober up a bit until next year and everything will be ok. Just as long as they’re good most of the time, they have hope.”


But yet that is the thought process so many people grab hold to as what will get them by. But it’s a false sense of hope that we can’t cater to. We must let the truth be known – that only through the blood of Jesus Christ can any one of us ever become righteous. It isn’t a simple prayer that we pray, and some Sundays spent in a church. Rather, it’s a commitment to follow Jesus – every moment of every day; listening to His guidance for our lives. He’ll change us as we get to know Him better and surrender our ways for His (Isaiah 55).

Just a small glimpse into such a big conversation that could be had on this topic. If you'd like to discuss more details, feel free to connect with me.

But I'm convinced - true hope must be told – will you share it?

Thursday, January 29, 2009


Pressure. So much pressure to say the right words; to articulate the things on my heart with complete clarity. I can barely compose any outward expression of the things the Lord is doing so deep inside.

This is the place you can find me->Lost in a whirlwind of change. So deep in the torrent that the pen to the paper cannot adequately convey the scene unfolding.

It could be paralleled to what Mary, the mother of Jesus, encountered on that fateful day 2000 years ago. The Lord totally flipped her world upside down. Her path was veered in a direction of which she never expected.

As we survey the record of her experience, we’ll find that she gave a simple response, “May it be as you have said, Lord” (Luke 1:38)

So may it be as you say, Lord! May my life look the way you want it to look. I relinquish the expectations I’ve placed on this all but fleeting moment I have on this earth and surrender them to you. You know better. For, as the prophet Isaiah so candidly puts it: your ways are higher than mine (Isaiah 55:8).

As Mary continued to travel this new path the Lord placed her on, we begin to see even deeper into her response to all these things. She simply treasured them in her heart.

So forgive me if I haven’t posted for a time, but the Lord’s given me a Mary encounter – one that has totally and radically changed the direction of my life. So the pressure’s off. All I need to do right now is simply treasure these things in my heart. The time will come for an expression of these things, but right now, words have no benefit.