Sunday, December 6, 2009

Off I Go...

I was getting used to the stares. White faces were still a bit of a novelty and it wasn’t unusual for me to meet eyes and smile awkwardly as I walked through street markets and squares. But that particular afternoon was different. I found myself deeply aware of a divine transaction taking place in each glance and every smile being exchanged. It was more than politeness or pleasantries. My smile brought life, light, hope. I was a walking, breathing, tangible expression of God’s love to these people, and even in the seemingly casual and insignificant, something miraculous was transpiring.
I have never felt more like Jesus in my entire life
When Christ came and walked this earth, mankind came face to face with the love of God for the very first time. He walked the streets, He looked in their eyes, He smiled, He healed their sickness, He brought truth and hope and life to a people parched for Living Water. And in the nation of China, where the Gospel has been withheld for decades, the people are thirsty.

Dear Friends & Family,

As many of you know, I spent about three weeks in China this summer. I had the privilege of working with the Qingdao (Ching-dow) Church teaching English and preaching every afternoon & evening. It was an incredible time, and several days into the trip I began to sense a pull in my heart. Experiences like the one above caused me to wonder whether God might be asking me to return someday.

Upon returning home, I processed and prayed about going back, and the question that kept coming back to me was this: “Why wouldn’t I go?” I had walked the ripe harvest field Jesus talks about in John 4:35. I had seen the fruit first hand, and it’s ready to pick! People are just waiting for the opportunity to say “yes” to Jesus. I can give them the opportunity.

So, with the support of my family, friends and church, I am moving to Qingdao, China NEXT month. I’ll be going as an English teacher, but I will really be a secret agent for Jesus. Some of my objectives include:

• Building relationships with students & faculty, and their families, in order to share God’s love
• Leading an English Bible study for the Qingdao Church to help equip Chinese Believers
• Strategically praying and preparing the way for God to move in miraculous ways in Qingdao

I want to invite you to join me in my mission. You don’t have to move to Qingdao in order to make an impact (although I’d love the company)! There are two ways you can serve as co-operatives with me:

First, you can pray! Praying for the people, the city, and for me, is the most important & effective way you can partner with me in this assignment.

some specifics:
that I find a job
that relationships form quickly
that hearts are open
for protection & provision

Second, you can give! I will be working while I’m there, but I anticipate additional financial needs that will surpass my monthly income.

the specifics:
one time or regular tax deductible gifts
can be given through New Life Church*
6830 Highland Drive • Everett, WA 98203
*earmark gifts in my name on a separate note

Thank you so much for your friendship, support, prayers, and love. I am humbled that I would be chosen for this assignment, but go confidently, knowing that I am covered and cared for by so many at home. I fly out January 11 and will be sure to keep everyone updated on life & ministry in Qingdao!


Saturday, August 8, 2009


I found myself in tears this morning as I read in Mark 15 the account of Jesus' crucifixion. The magnitude of what Christ suffered overwhelmed my heart as I considered the answer to Pilate's question to the crowd insisting He be crucified: "Why, what evil has He done?"


"For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us..."

This world has seen terrible suffering. People have been tortured and scourged. They've endured horrors unknown, but how many at the hands of their own creation? What Jesus must have been thinking as He was whipped and mocked, knowing the name of each of His afflicters. How He must have cringed knowing the loving way each one was fashioned by their Maker King, only to use the hands He made to beat and torture Him; using the mouth and tongue He gave to hurl insults and accusations at Him. What Jesus suffered was not impersonal, not to Him. He knew every story of every man and woman who cried out mockingly, "Let the Christ, the King of Israel, descend now from the cross, that we may see and believe." He knew every man who spat, every woman who gawked, and they were the reason He didn't come down from that cross. They were the reason He endured, He suffered, He was forsaken. And in the end, when the earth shook and the sky grew dark, when the veil was torn and a way was made, it was His accuser who proclaimed, "Truly this Man was the Son of God!" 

He still knows every story and every name. He still knows each one who rejects, curses and mocks Him. And the love that compelled Him to remain on that cross, compels Him to stay His return. It compels me to make Him known until He comes. It compels me to be the same kind of love He was; to endure whatever may come for the sake of souls He created, longs for and loves - literally to death. It compels me to give my life to see the accuser become the proclaimer; the reviler the reconciled. This life is not my own. He was God and gave His away. Why should I, as His creation expect to do less? 

"For Christ's love compels us, because we are convinced that One died for all, and therefore all died. And He died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for Him who died for them and was raised again... We are therefore Christ's ambassadors, as though God were making His appeal through us. We implore you on Christ's behalf: Be reconciled to God."

Friday, June 12, 2009

China Beach

No. I'm not talking about the awesome 80's TV show.

I'm talking about an actual Chinese beach. Qingdao, to be more specific.

This is where I will spend 12 days interacting in a cultural exchange with 200 Chinese university students. I will teach them American things like hopscotch and coin collecting. I promise to do my best to represent our country well. 

More importantly, this exchange provides an incredible platform for sharing Jesus. While we can't openly preach the Gospel, we can answer questions. And questions they will ask. One of the most frequented topics at these events is the question of God. I so look forward to having conversations and sharing the love of Jesus with these wonderful people.

I also recently discovered (long after signing up for said trip) that we were traveling to a Chinese paradise. Luscious beaches, hot springs, tropical weather, ocean breezes... I didn't know!! I like to think that it's God's graduation gift to me. How fun to get to serve Him in so beautiful and luxurious a place! AND after our time in paradise, we travel to Beijing to enjoy all of the historic sites for four days! God spoils us when we serve Him. I love it. 

My mom also spoils me. Today the UPS man brought to me this most adorable little purple camera, which I will use to capture the white sand beaches, beautiful faces and historic landmarks of China. This camera is SO cool. It has a touch screen, 10 mega pixels... ultra fancy. And it's purple. I heart it. And my mommy. :)

I get back on July 1. I will be sure to provide a thorough update of all my adventures! Pray for me... pray for health (they are quarantining people who have even the tiniest hint of swine flu-y symptoms), cohesiveness within our little team of five, safety, fruit - fruit - fruit, wisdom, confidence & boldness, sensitivity to the Holy Spirit's leading, and anything else that comes to mind. 

Well, I should probably go pack now. It' 8:44PM and I leave my house tomorrow morning at 7:15... haven't packed at all. It's how I roll. Shoot. See you in July!! 

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Graduation Speech

I graduated from Seattle Bible College tonight. I was valedictorian of my class. Here's the speech I gave...

Nearly four years ago I moved from Everett to Seattle to attend SBC. And nearly three years ago I moved back to Everett to continue attending. I remember my first week of school sitting in Pastor Dan Hammer’s Gospel of John class trying to hold back tears as I realized I was finally doing it. I was finally going to Bible College. And I soon realized that I wasn’t going to just any ordinary Bible College. In that same class I saw people miraculously healed, my dear friend, Tiffany make a decision to follow Christ for the first time, and I heard promises from God that spoke directly to my heart about my future. And this was all during second period!

And that is what marks SBC. God will have His way. The evidence of this is in the leadership. Never have I encountered so humble and sacrificial a leader as Dr. Bryan Johnson. He’s been my president, dean, teacher and boss! And in all of these roles he has exemplified what it means to steward faithfully while “holding loosely.” I have been inspired and challenged by how he serves the Lord and it has been an honor to learn from, serve with and submit to his leadership. Thank you, Bryan and Anna for pouring out your lives for us at Seattle Bible College.

I’d also like to take this opportunity to thank the faculty, staff and board members (who I would love to mention all by name, but I only have 2.5 minutes left!) I want to thank you for investing your time, wisdom, experience, passion and hearts into making SBC what it is. You’ve impacted countless lives through the overflow of what you’ve poured out on us students. I am grateful to have been a recipient of your generosity.

To my family & friends, thank you so much for supporting me and cheering me on, and letting me play the “I have homework / I’m a poor college student” card all these years. I don’t think I’ll miss that card so much! And Mom, thank you for letting me move in… and out… and in… and out. I would not be here if it were not for your generous love & sacrifice. I love you very much.

The last four years have afforded me the privilege of exploring the depths of God, of pouring my life into studying His Word and His heart, and yet in four years I know that I have only seen the edges of His ways. I have only heard the faintest whisper of His voice. There’s so much more!

We’re told in I Corinthians that, Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him. But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit.”

God has incredible, unimaginable, but completely available and wonderful plans for each one of us. Today if you’re here, whether or not you know what tomorrow holds, know this: God loves you. He has a purpose for your life that far exceeds even your wildest dreams. He wants to share an adventure with you. Jesus Christ came to bring life… and that MORE abundantly! And that life is available to each one of us who call upon His name.

I want to leave you tonight with this prayer from Ephesians chapter three:

“For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom his whole family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.”

Thank you

Me & my beautiful fellow graduate, Alyssa... I'll have more pictures to share soon! :)

Monday, June 1, 2009


Two days of school left.

Five assignments due.

One hour and forty-eight minutes until bedtime.

Five pictures that make me laugh out loud:

"Put your face in the face hole silly."

Incredible fashion sense.


Typical car ride.

We honestly were not trying to act the way we look. Promise.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Oh Dear...

I am a fashion pack rat. 

Now what I'd like you to think is that I am a neat pack rat; that I have bins of clothing neatly tucked away in my closet full of outdated and under-worn pieces. But, sadly, that is not the case.


In my defense... I am moving soon. So there is an element of "why bother" when it comes to putting things away. I'm just going to pack this stuff up and cart it over to my new home (in a tidy and organized fashion, obviously). But let's be honest. This has been a pattern with me for many years. And what's to blame for such disarray?

My closet, of course. I have had a series of nausea prone closets that seem to consistently project my clothing all about my room. It's not my fault! If only there were a cure for my ailing closet...

Ah, but there is.

The Wonder Hanger. It's like the "Dramamine" of closet organization. Michelle's mom, Linda has generously offered to give me a dozen or so of these miraculous hangers. My plan is to color code and arrange my clothing by season. My closet, roommates and those attempting to navigate the once vast fashion terrain of my room, will forever be indebted to the Wonder Hanger.

But I have been thinking about this pack rat problem and what the root cause might be, and I think I've come to a pretty solid conclusion. Anxiety. I worry that if I get rid of a worn and well-loved article of clothing that I maybe haven't dawned in the last year, that once it's gone it will be the ONLY thing that goes with something I want to wear. 

Point & Case:

This, of course, is an earring. One of two that, before today, I had not worn in at least two years. I have gone back and forth on getting rid of them several times, but this morning, in a moment of inspiration I saw these earrings with new eyes and coupled them with the perfect outfit. What if I had passed them along? What if I had said goodbye? My ears would have been left unadorned (or at least inferiorly so). This cannot nor ever should be.

How do I reconcile this with my need to purge and cleanse my wardrobe (and accessories)? How do I know that the perfect complementary item to some future fashion must-have doesn't, at this very moment, lie crumpled on my floor? The stakes are too high, my friends. And I just don't know that I have the courage it takes to part with such potential. 

What's a girl to do?  

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Bagpipes & Faith

Before I get all theological on you, I just need to say... 

I saw a man playing the bagpipes in his front yard today (the photo to the left is a google images reenactment of the scene). I was driving too fast to tell if he was wearing a kilt, but can we just pretend that he was?

I'm not saying I would purchase bagpipe music, but there is something kind of glorious about it. It makes me think of Braveheart and Scottish funerals - both glorious in their own right. 

Speaking of glorious, I just finished up writing a paper on justification by faith. I am sometimes surprised by the things I write and I like to think I'm humble enough to acknowledge that God is probably responsible for those surprising tidbits. Here are a few I thought I'd share:

"Our culture has forced man to justify himself. It demands that he let the world know why he’s good enough, capable and worthwhile enough to even give a second glance. Why wouldn’t these patterns carry over into man’s relationship with and expectations of God? If everyone else requires him to prove himself, why wouldn’t God also?" 

"Our faith in the crucified Christ and the atoning power of His blood has made a way for us to stand before the Lord and receive perfect and absolute acceptance. It’s hard to believe that this is all God would require. But He knows us so well. He knows our frailty and He loves us so much that He remedied our inability to keep the Law by abolishing its requirements."

"Where culture has imposed justification upon man, God has bestowed it. We are no longer mandated to prove ourselves. There is no code to follow, no ladder to climb, no lifestyle or mantra to lay the path toward righteousness. Just God - just faith in Him and the work of His Son, Jesus Christ. Justification by faith means I can rest in the promises of God. It doesn’t mean I kick up my feet and ride out this life, but it moves me to respond in obedience and gratefulness. I’m motivated by His gift of love and freed from my vain attempts to earn it."

"Justification by faith is mysterious. It’s something God came up with to completely rattle the mindset of man. But He knew it was the only way that we might share relationship and communion with Him."

“But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. And not only that, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation.”
Romans 5:8-11

"That’s how much God wanted us. He took drastic measures to make a way for us and only requires our faith in return. He does not load us down with expectations. Everything He wants from us is just an outflow of His righteousness in us – our reasonable act of worship! Reasonable indeed, considering what He’s done!"

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Britney Spears

I have a suggestion for anyone seeking to have a raspier singing voice.

A sore throat. 

No need for smoking. I'm sure Britney is rich enough to get her hands on some sort of virus she could apply to her throat right before recording. She would achieve the raspy quality without all the wheezing and pesky lung cancer. Win-win.

I sound like a diner waitress right now. "What'll you have, sweetheart?" I began my day with an incredible man voice and it has progressed now to the point where I'm quite certain I could sing along with Tracy Chapman and NOT do high harmony. Feel free to be impressed. I am. 

And I was fortunate enough to obtain my throat virus free of charge. I am so frugal. 


I scarcely think my life is interesting enough to blog about. But at the demands of my best friend I have started this blog - both to satisfy her wrath, and the world's great desire to hear what I have to say. 

I will do my best not to disappoint.