Tag Archives: God

So Big, So Strong, So Mighty

28 Aug

This last week has been awesome (for the most part). Summer camp at work ended two Fridays ago, which meant we had no kids at work this week – woohoo!

But the most exciting part is that Matthew and I had the same days off. To most people this isn’t a big deal (at least not big enough to blog about). But to us it’s HUGE. Matthew and I normally work very different schedules leaving us with different days off…and it’s frustrating. So when we got the same days off this week, we weren’t even sure what to do with our time together!

We ended up going to some parks and enjoying the beautiful weather one of the days, which included a delightful, impromptu picnic (and me getting us slightly lost – oops). The second day was spent entirely with Matthew’s brother and his family, who we haven’t seen in a while, up in Renton, WA. We also got to enjoy Sonic for the first time in a year because we finally got one close to us!

It was so nice being able to have 2 consecutive, FULL days to spend with Matthew. What a rare treasure that is for us.

But I hear that all good things must come to an end – and come to an end it did. We both had to go back to work the next day. I love getting all that time with Chewie (Matthew’s nickname), but the more time we’re together, the harder it is to head back to work when it’s over.

Too bad that it’s just a part of growing up – something I’m becoming less and less fond of as of late. 😉 When people used to tell me that being an adult is hard, I never – never – would have imagined it being as hard as it actually is. I think the biggest thing that gets me through is knowing that I don’t rely on my own strength – thank goodness.

After Moses and the Israelites crossed the Red Sea and God destroyed their enemies, they sang this song (Ex.15:1-3):

1 Then Moses and the Israelites sang this song to the LORD : “I will sing to the LORD, for he is highly exalted. The horse and its rider he has hurled into the sea.

2 The LORD is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation. He is my God, and I will praise him, my father’s God, and I will exalt him.

3 The LORD is a warrior; the LORD is his name.

Verse 2 is really what I’m feeling right now. Just like Moses and the Israelites wouldn’t have been able to conquer their enemies without the Lord’s strength, I wouldn’t be able to get through grown-up life (or anything, for that matter) on my own strength. I am so glad that my God is bigger than I am (or ever will be). And I’m so glad that I can rely on him through all of the tough grown-up stuff. What a joy it is to be his child!

“My God is so big, so strong, and so mighty. There’s nothing my God cannot do…for YOU!”

(Insert Clever Title Here)

2 Jun

It’s been forever since I posted – I know.  Don’t be too upset with me, please.  You wouldn’t believe how crazy things are as I get closer to summer.  Sheesh.

Anyway, I’m doing pretty fantastic – I must admit.  Work is great.  Church is great.  Matthew and I are great.  I’m unbelievably joyful right now.  The Lord has been so good.  I try to remind myself periodically of what the Lord has brought me through this last year so that I stay continually thankful for what he’s given me.  It’s incredibly humbling, to be honest.  I feel so undeserving of his blessings, but he pours them out anyway.  What a good God I serve.

One of those blessings is financial.  I’m not saying I’m rich or anything, but God is keeping my head above water, and it’s a wonderful feeling.  After doing some number-crunching and budgeting, I determined that I should be able to be 100% out of debt by January 2011!  I can’t tell you what a joy it is and how excited I am to know such a terrific freedom as being out of debt!  And what a perfect way to start out the new year!

I’m also continually blessed by the Young Women’s Small Group that I lead at church.  My heart smiles when I see their familiar faces every Monday night.  We just started going through the book “Lies Women Believe” by Nancy Leigh DeMoss, and I’m so excited about it!  I think it’s going to be one of those books that finds a way to relate to each of us in one way or another.  Please pray that God will keep our hearts open to the Truth as we forge ahead through this book.

Pretty soon I’ll be taking on a new role at church that is somewhat unfamiliar territory for me, but I’m uber stoked about it.  I wish I could say more, but it’ll have to wait for another time. BUT, you can be in prayer for that, if you don’t mind.

And I have one last thing to mention before I go.  My friend, Jessica, has 2 adorable kiddos, Mattie and Calton – I believe I mentioned them in a previous post.  Anyhow, they’re obsessed with the movie Cars. I’m pretty sure I’ve seen it about a million times since I moved in with them.  Earlier tonight, it was really quiet in the house and I was watching it with Calton (who was on my lap) during the section where Mater and Lightning McQueen are “tractor tipping.”  Lightning revved his engine to scare the tractor – and Calton nearly jumped out of my lap!  He was so startled, and I couldn’t stop laughing.  It was one of those moments that I just had to share!

Blessings All Around

2 Dec

Thanksgiving has come and gone – I can’t believe it.  I was blessed to be able to spend my first Thanksgiving away from home with the Ventura family.  Matthew made a delicious dinner, and I made two decadent chocolate pecan pies.  That afternoon Matthew and I went to see A Christmas Carol in 3D, which was a fun way to end the holiday.  Now it’s time to prepare for the Christmas holiday, and I’m so excited!  Matthew and I went Christmas gift shopping for his nieces and nephews the other day, and it was so fun getting to pick out kid stuff.  And Matthew has a very special surprise for them.  I can’t wait to see their little faces light up!

In other news, I have had several donations for my ministry come in lately.  I feel so blessed to have so many people who support what the Lord is doing through my ministry with YMI.  I’d like to send out a big THANK YOU to each of you who have offered financial and prayer support for me over the last couple of months.

The Lord has been doing so much in my life recently.  Matthew’s dad, Stephen, lent me a book (Handle with Prayer by Charles Stanley) a couple of weeks ago, and it has been transforming my prayer life.  One of the subjects the book talks about is praying with authority.  Specifically, this concept has changed the way I pray about God’s provision.  In Matthew 6:25-34, Jesus tells us not to be anxious because God provides, and  Philippians 4:19-20 says that God will supply our needs.  Therefore, Ishould not pray to God asking him to provide because I know he will; instead, I should thank God for what he has promised me he will provide.  Once I started approaching the “throne of grace with confidence” (Hebrews 4:16) my spirit is completely at peace and does not doubt for a minute that God will do what he has said he will do.

Another thing God has showed me just this morning was related to my thoughts.  The last couple of days I have had a “hunger and thirst for righteousness” (Matthew 5:6) unlike I have ever experienced before.  Several times I have thought to myself that all I really desire right now is to be righteous in the eyes of the Lord.  And then it hit me:

“O LORD, you have searched me and known me!  You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you have discerned my thoughts from afar.” – Psalm 139:1-2 (Special thanks to Matthew who pointed me to these verses when I mentioned all of this to him.)

The Lord knows my thoughts; he knows my heart and my desires.  What an odd moment it was when this truth really sunk in.  I am overjoyed that God knows my innermost thoughts and that he’s listening to them even when I do not realize it.  Praise be to our Creator for intimately knowing his creations!

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30 Days of Thankful

25 Nov

In light of Thanksgiving, I decided to make a list of 30 things/people/whatever I am thankful for – one for every day of the month of November (in random order).  Some are serious; some are…not so serious.

I am thankful for…

  • Matthew – my best friend and incredible boyfriend – for always being there for me, for always laughing at my jokes (no matter how lame they are)and being silly with me, for always getting excited about the things I find exciting (even the seemingly unexciting things), and for countless other reasons.
  • Sweet, selfless prayers from a 9-year-old.
  • New friends and opportunities for fellowship.
  • Good health.
  • Central Baptist Church Hillsboro – for being such an integral part of my spiritual formation throughout jr. high, high school, and college.
  • Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection – because of him I am saved by grace through faith (Eph. 2:8).
  • Naps.
  • My dog, Tex – because he is the best dog in the world.
  • April 19, 1993 – the day my sweet Jesus saved me from myself.
  • Pastor Jamie – for tending to his little flock at FBCPO and for not being afraid to step on some toes, including mine.
  • Sheila & Steve Cochran – my “adopted WA parents,” who love me and take care of me here in WA.
  • Music – especially The Beatles, Coldplay, and Hanson.
  • Hannah – my roommate and friend – for “blessing” me (please excuse the inside joke).
  • 22 years and 9 months of life. (Geez, I’m getting old!)
  • My car (as old and clunky as it is) – for getting me all the way to WA from TX with no problems.
  • My family – for loving and supporting me every step of the way, even when I move 2000 miles away from them.
  • ETBU – for my education and the life lessons it taught me throughout (and even after) the four years I was there.
  • God’s mercy and grace – that they are renewed daily.
  • Ice cream.
  • Youth Missions International – for giving me the opportunity to follow my calling and serve in the Northwest.
  • The library – for providing me with hours upon hours of free entertainment.
  • Weekends.
  • The Jarretts and The Cooks – Hannah’s family – for being awesome and for being great friends to me these last couple of years.
  • God’s faithful and unending provision.
  • First Baptist Church Port Orchard – for lovingly taking me in and making me a part of their family.
  • Kasie, Kenneth, and Kristen – for being the coolest siblings of all time.  OF ALL TIME.
  • Mentors.
  • Babies – for their sweet innocence and fresh life.
  • The Venturas – Matthew’s family – for being my second family.
  • The Greening Family – for being my Texas buddies here in the Northwest.

I hope all of you have just as many reasons (and more) to be thankful.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!!

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ETBU Re-visited

16 Sep

Here I find myself once again on the campus on the hill: ETBU.  I feel like it has been an eternity since I walked these hallowed halls.  But it’s only been a couple of months…

Yet, so much has changed.  I forget that life continued here after I graduated.  There are a million freshmen and a million faces I don’t recognize.  But it’s so good to be back in the community that I called home for four (rather long) years. I attended Release (the Baptist Student Ministry’s weekly worship service) last night, and it was amazing to worship with the body once again.

I’ve seen so many friends that I’ve missed.  It’s so great to catch up with them and see how life is going.

enjoying time with my sister at good ol' ETBU

enjoying time with my sister at good ol' ETBU

Today, I went to chapel and sat outside the cafeteria at lunch to do some promotion for YMI’s college program and had some students who were really interested in what we’ve got going on.  I’m excited for the prospects of what might be.

Tomorrow, I will be attending class.  And I know what you’re thinking, “Didn’t you just graduate and celebrate not going to class anymore?”  Yes, friends, I did.  But, one of my favorite professors, Dr. John Harris, is teaching his Prophets class (my favorite class at ETBU) in the morning, and I’ve decided to attend with Bible and notepad in hand.  I think he will be pleasantly surprised (unless someone spills the beans to him ahead of time – or if he reads this blog).

Being back here is causing a surprising emotion to arise.  I say surprising because I didn’t expect to feel remorse.  Yes, remorse.  Remorse for the time I wasted.  Remorse for not devoting myself to God’s Word consistently.  Remorse for passing up opportunities to serve.  Remorse for not seeing every precious collegiate moment as a blessing.

With that being said, I feel blessed and humbled that God has moved in my life in such a way that I recognize my mistakes and can start anew.  Dear reader, God is good.

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The stars at night are big and bright…

27 Aug

This week is my first Training Camp with YMI.  So far, my first impression is that this is going to be pretty fun.  We are training two teams for next summer: one Tier 2 team that’s going to Brazil and one Tier 3 team that’s going somewhere in Europe.  I think one of the coolest things is to see kids who have just returned from a trip with us to South Korea and other various places come back a few weeks later to train for a trip for next year.  I think it goes to show that God is working in hearts of young people!

Next time I update this blog I will be in the great Lone Star State of Texas.  I can’t believe that there’s less than a week before I leave.  I’m getting more and more excited every day.  I can’t wait to see how God provides and blesses my fund-raising efforts.

As the time draws nearer for my trip to Texas, Hannah and I have been trying to furnish our apartment so that we can move in the week after I return to Washington.  We still need a couch and other living room furnishings, and I’m still working on bedroom stuff.  I have a box spring but still need a mattress, bed frame, and bedding for a full-size bed.  So my eyes are open looking out for these things.

One last thing to mention, I got my financial aid award package from Fuller, and it looks like I’m going to be hauling in some hefty loans for a master’s degree.  It’s a little overwhelming, but I came to this realization: God provided enough money for me to make it through my undergrad degree with less than $2,000 in loans – the rest was all scholarships and grants.  I often wondered why he provided so bountifully for me.  I think he was preparing me for the day when I would be working in a ministry where I raise my own funds and have to take out even bigger loans for another degree.  It’s so cool to see part of his perfect plan come together like this, isn’t it?!

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God in Poker?

22 Jul

Today is a new day, and I’m feeling grand…despite the utter desparation I felt last night. 

Why such desparation?

Last night was our first staff dinner for YMI hosted by El Jefe, Brian Hughes and his lovely, pregnant wife, Ranelle.  We started off with some yummy grub and moved on to game time – my personal favorite. 

The first game we played was Apples to Apples, which you should definitely play if you never have.  This game was so much fun.  I need to own it.  The other game we played was Tripoley.  This game, if you’ve never played, is a somewhat combination of Hearts, Poker, and Michigan Rummy

This is where the desparation comes in.  In order to play each round of Tripoley, you must have nine chips.  *Disclaimer: I have NEVER played this game before in my life.*  We each started out with eleven-ish chips.  So I was fine the first round.  Never again though.  In my desparation I had to plea with my fellow co-workers to loan me chips so that I could continue in the fun. 

i wish i had this many last night.

i wish i had this many last night.

Fortunately, I work with a stellar group of people who were generous enough to hear my cries and fill my needs.  The cool thing is that earlier that morning we read Acts 2:37-47 in our staff devotion, which tells of the early church and their willingness to devote themselves to the Word and to each other.  They were giving to each other whenever someone had a need.  They realized their possessions were not their own and were eagerly willing to give to their brothers and sisters. 

Silly as it is, I thought it was really awesome how my co-workers were doing this very thing around the table last night.  Isn’t it cool how God speaks to us through silly things like card games and poker chips?

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*If you’d like to be added to my email list so you can be notified when I post a new blog, shoot me an email at kendall@ymimissions.org.

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