Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Calling Her Blessed

This is for my Mommy - one of the most beautiful, giving women I know. I am so thankful for my wonderful mother! Why am I thankful for her? Well, let me put it this way...

When God gives good gifts some come in great numbers and some are so precious there is only ONE. So far, God has given me approximately 9 ,125 sunrises and more exciting , magical moments than I can possibly remember. But I have only ONE mother. Put in poetic words...
Hundreds of dewdrops to greet the dawn,
Hundreds of bees in the purple clover,
Hundreds of butterflies on the lawn,
But only one mother the wide world over.
~George Cooper
I love my one and only mother. Quite a lot!

I love that she let us have chickens, ducks and bunnies when we were kids.

I love how she would lay her cool hand on my forehead when I was feeling sick.

I love how she read me stories of missionaries and took me to South America to experience service.

I love that she can fix toilets, wire plug-ins, hang sheet-rock and anything you could possibly think of! (Her best kept secret...She is Superwoman!)
I love how her "Mom-hugs" comfort me when I'm coming unglued and how her shoulder is always there to lean on.

I love that she reminds me to pray when I lose my keys or am struggling to make a big life decision.

I love how she sings "The Joy Of The Lord Is My Strength" to herself when she's having a hard day.

I love that she thinks I'm funny and laughs at the silly details of life.

I love that her favorite place to be is the woods with binoculars around her neck and a bird book within reach.

I love that she is the best road-trip buddy I've ever found - always up for the "road-less-traveled" kind of adventure.

...I love so many things about her!

Here is the best part! Her love is unconditional! She dealt with my annoying childish habits, nursed me through several bouts of stomach flu and has seen me make a fool of myself on more than one occasion. Still, she loves me. There is no question. I'm the blessed one. Proverbs 31:28

Friday, November 9, 2012

Thursday, November 8, 2012

To Live : In Praise

You know those days when everything goes wrong? One of those days came my way recently. I had just left the doctors office after being told I need to keep off my foot for several weeks. While trying to find my way through Jacksonville's confusing interstate system I was pulled over. As soon as the officer let me go I sought refuge in the nearest parking lot. Checking my email, I found 6 more job application rejections. It was too much. I leaned my head back and closed my eyes. "What is going on God?! What am I supposed to do?"

Over the course of the last week God has answered that prayer, but I was not expecting the answer He gave. "Praise. Praise Me". He wasn't asking me to try harder or scheme longer. In the midst of all the confusion and uncertainty God wanted me to sit back in awe of Him and give thanks.

One morning He took me to Psalm 67 and the quote "The Privilege of Praise" in Patriarchs & Prophets page 289. Yet another morning He led me to Mary's praise session in Luke 1 : 45-55.
"My soul magnifies the Lord and my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior...For He who is mighty has done great things for me."
I realized Mary probably still had questions and fears, but she praised God in faith of what He had promised. Powerful.

What would it be like to serve as a continual fountain of adoration and praise?...praise that is neither dependent on situations or circumstance? When I think of living in praise I think of a shelter. I think of it as a place of joy that "no power of hell nor scheme of man" can disturb. I think of a flower with its face turned to the sun. I think of a mind kept in perfect peace as the thoughts are centered on Him who is worthy of all praise and worship.

Beautiful concept isn't it? But concepts stay concepts unless there are practical ways to bring them to life. Here are a few ideas on how to live in praise...

- Count blessings instead of sheep when you fall asleep

- Look through a photo album or journal and remember. He has been faithful!

- Sing a song of praise in the car

- Notice the small, everyday miracles (i.e. I'm breathing!)

- Post up a quote or Bible verse that inspires you to give thanks

-Behold God. His tender heart. His creativity. His mercy. The natural reaction will be a life of praise.

Friday, November 2, 2012

E is for ...

E M I L Y !

I happen to be housemates with a real "keeper" kind of friend!

Eating Breakfast

Grocery shopping at Publix

Riding in the car

Leading Juniors SS Songservice's all more fun when she's around!

Whether we're chatting about our day or each curled up in our own corner of the living-room listening to an AudioVerse sermon, she's pretty nice to be with.

When I count my blessings instead of sheep tonight, she'll be one of them.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The Best Is Yet To Come

Imagine you're sitting around a table loaded with good food. After prayer the salad is passed around, fresh and colorful. Looking around the table you see all the good and wholesome things coming your way. Everything seems more delicious than the last, but just when you think it couldn't get any better someone says "Save some room because the best is yet to come!"

The week has been long and hectic. Projects took longer than you thought, you're behind on your schedule and unexpected events turned everything on its ear. Then you glance at your phone...4:32 pm, Friday. You smile. Just a few more hours before the "day of rest and gladness" arrives. There is no question in your mind... the best is yet to come!

An elderly couple approach newlyweds who still cant say the word "marriage" without smiling. They congratulate them and share a few funny stories of their first years as a couple. As they walk off hand in hand the old man calls over his shoulder "If you kids think you're in love now, just you wait! The best is yet to come!"

I could go on and on. There are countless examples of the better things to come. But
sometimes I wonder, "Can it really be true?". In the moment, the future can look foggy and unfamiliar. All I have is the happy memories of the past. But, here is the beauty! It IS true! Even though I cannot see the future I can roll out of bed with a smile knowing the best is yet to come!

It's such a great feeling! Ultimately, life on this earth is not where it all ends. In a huge, gigantic way, Heaven is the ultimate "best" to look forward to. Even in the earth made new I expect we will be saying "the best is yet to come". Every day spent in God's presence will be sweeter, our knowledge of his love deeper, our appreciation of beauty fuller. No matter what joy or sorrow comes our way in this life, we have a beautiful, brighter day to look forward to!

Now I can live so much more joyfully in the present! It's great to live in anticipation of good things!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Gift of Pain

Pain. It is like a dark and lonely room full of shadows. Sometimes we stay awhile. Sometime we only pass through. We may experience it together or be utterly and completely alone. It comes in as many shades and forms as there are people on the planet. Every person has , is or will travel through their own "shadowlands" - One of the few guarantees in this unpredictable world.

Pain. It wracks bodies , breaks hearts , and defies expression , often running so deep we are left wordless. It stuns. It overwhelms. It inspires fear , guilt , or just pure anguish. This is pain.

Pain has been on my mind. It's been on my mind because I don't understand why...why all this pain? This weekend I sat with my arm around the shoulders of a dear friend , able to protect her slightly from the cold , but unable to shield her from the disease ravaging her body. Days ago my vivacious 2nd cousin, Randa, died suddenly of a brain aneurysm, leaving a heart-broken fiance. Yesterday I received an email from a missionary in Tchad I've never met , who is reaching out for comfort as we both grieve the death of a mutual friend.

Pain is real. It stares you in the face and cannot be ignored. Have you ever wished you could fix it? The current pain in my foot is fixable. I've made an appointment at the Doctor's office and have full expectation he will make my foot better. Using this logic wouldn't it make sense for God to take our pain away? He has the power. He loves us. Isn't he the great Physician? Isn't pain the enemy?

This is where God has been teaching me new things. Could pain possibly be a gift? My first thought is "How revolting! There is no way this awful pain could be a good gift!" But it has started to dawn on me, slowly... Pain takes away my self-sufficiency. Pain pulls me to my knees. Pain presses me deeper into God's heart as I cry "WHY?!". Pain leads me to greater surrender. Pain requires greater trust. Pain gives me compassion for those hurting. Pain is a purifying fire... Pain is a gift. Anything that draws me closer to the Lover of my soul is a gift, no matter how painful. As a favorite hymn says "Nearer my God to Thee, nearer to Thee, Even though it be a cross that raiseth me."

While pain is a gift, it is only a gift for a time and season. There will come a day when it will have used up its usefulness. In that beautiful day, we will set aside the gift of these broken and wounded hearts. In the words of a song...
* "We'll see how the tears that have fallen
Were caught in the palms
Of the Giver of love and the Lover of all
And we'll look back on these tears as old tales"

I will never fully understand the "why" behind pain and loss and brokenness. But one thing I know. We can take either joy or pain as from a Father's hand. It's a gift and God only gives good ones.
(James 1: 17, Matthew 7: 11)

* After The Last Tear Falls - Andrew Peterson
You Are Good (last verse) - Nicole Nordeman
It Is Well (instrumental) - Josh Wilson
Before The Morning (acoustic)- Josh Wilson
Blessings - Laura Story
Day by Day - Hymn 532
Nearer My God To Thee - Hymn 473

Friday, October 19, 2012

Family and Fall

Clarisa and her boyfriend Alex enjoying our hike.

The trees are gloriously beautiful!

Two of my "most favorite" people in the entire world! They're pretty special.

We went camping near Lake Ocoee. The sky was clear and full of stars, but later on dumped torrential rains on us. Still had a fantastic time!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

5K = Conquered

I'm not a runner. I always thought running felt free and fun, but my knees have never agreed with me. My first year at SAU I tried intermittent (jogging/walking) training for 30 minutes on our nice cushioned track. I regretted it for the next 2 weeks as my knees creaked and crackled all the way up the girl's dorm stairway. From that point on I decided...running and I just can't be friends. So I would only watch with longing as my friends trained for marathons, mid-night races, or even 50 mile trail runs (incomprehensible!).

Now that you have the background, you can fully appreciate my feelings when Emily ask me if I wanted to do the Pink Army 5K fundraiser her hospital was sponsoring. I'm not a runner, I'm a walker, and I informed her of this with much conviction. She assured me walkers were welcome so I agreed to go along and give support.

As the race began I decided I would jog along with Emily til I couldn't keep up. We picked a nice slow, easy pace. After about 10 minutes I excitedly informed Emily that I had set a lifetime record already! From then on out I just kept thinking "I could go a little longer...". I had set my goal as the halfway mark, but when we approached it Emily turned on her highly persuasive motivating skills. "Come on Heather, you've already come half-way! You can do this! Just think how great it will feel to say you ran the WHOLE WAY!" I was easily convinced. Just then, we passed the water station and a bunch of enthusiastic ladies (one was wearing a flamingo hat - it was spectacular!) yelled encouragement. As we headed back toward the finish line one of them called out "We're all survivors!" It was then Emily and I realized the entire water station was manned by cancer survivors. For the next half mile we discussed what they had been through. I realized the heat and sore muscles I was feeling was nothing compared to what they had suffered through. I could still breath so I could still run.

The last 4th of the race was the hardest, as Emily predicted, but the sprint to the finish felt epic. I couldn't believe I had jogged for more than 10 minutes, much less the entire 5K! Oh the feeling of accomplishment! I was exhausted but still managed to have energy for the above victory shots. It has yet to be seen if this "walker" is going to be using a walker in the next couple days, but I'm still thrilled to have conquered something I've avoided for years! It really made a few Bible verse come alive to me.

"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us."
~ Hebrews 12:1

“All athletes are disciplined in their training. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize. So I run with purpose in every step. I am not just shadowboxing. I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should."
~ 1 Corinthians 9:25-27

The one I'm personally claiming..."Strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees." Hebrews 12:12. So thankful feeble, weak knees don't keep me from running the race of faith!

Thursday, October 11, 2012


Although I am not at all sure if this conference is even a feasible part of my future, I was inspired by watching this promotional video. We ARE the revolution! The revolt against the lukewarm, mediocre christian existence. My hope and prayer is that we all catch the vision and passion for a sold-out, set-apart, Christ-empowered life! Let Jesus be lifted up, the Holy Spirit poured out and this world will be shaken with a tsunami of God's saving power! I want to be a part of that!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Soundtrack for Dreaming...

 This is but an add-on to the previous post. Despite the winter pictures, this song makes me think of Fall and Thanksgiving...which I might add, is only a little over a month away. That's a happy thought!


Our air conditioner has died a dramatic death. First it froze us, necessitating long sleeves and hot drinks. Then it just kicked the bucket, leaving us in 87 F humidity with no fans in the house. If I ever took Mr. A/C for granted I repent. I miss him oh so very much! At night I have resorted to curling up on the carpet in front of my window just to get some sleep. It's almost like camping...almost. I've done everything I can think of to help me think "cooler" thoughts : play christmas music, drink ice water, change my computer wallpaper to a winter scene etc. Then I got the above instagram pic from my sister showing the ice they have in Aspen. It's hard not to be envious of a place that's a good 40 degrees cooler. But rather than envy, I have decided to dream about it, which is much more positive! The beach is lovely and the Florida greenery is very nice, but just for a nostalgic moment or two I'm allowing myself to dream of Fall.
I'm dreaming of making apple sauce and of home-made apple cider. There is nothing like the smell it has as it simmers on the stove, with a cloved orange bobbing around in it. Can't hardly think of that smell without also thinking of the smell of bonfires I often sit around while drinking that same delicious autumn drink.
I'm dreaming of those crisp mornings when I first break out my wool coat and cozy scarves. Usually that evening, almost without fail, I also break out the yarn basket and start crocheting yet another scarf to add to my collection. I find it so comforting how scarves wrap around my neck, ears and nose. It's almost like they are hugging me.
I'm dreaming of those times when I round a curve in the road and suddenly have a terrible time keeping my eyes on the road because the trees are just so BEAUTIFUL! When the evening sun shines through them they glow like chinese lanterns! Such luminescence! Watching leaves fall is one of those "predictable/unpredictable" things in life that quiets the soul, like falling rain, flickering fires or crashing waves. Love how they dance and sail around, each with it's own style. If any of you haven't tried catching a leaf as it falls, I challenge you! Try it! I've done it, but it took a lot of running around!

Well, that was a happy time of dreaming...Now I think I'll go enjoy my Floridian weather with yet another walk on the beach. Life is good.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

The Greater Gift

I find waiting hard. Despite all the many chances I've had to wait on the Lord in the past, somehow its never easy to do in the present. However, looking back on all the miraculous ways God has moved in the past does give me confidence in His wisdom, perfect timing and goodness.

God has been sending me many reminders lately to wait on Him. The latest one came from a poem a friend posted on their blog. It talks about someone who is praying for something specific and claiming God's promises in faith. They become impatient and discontent with God's constant answer of "Wait". In the last part of the poem God explains how He is able to send signs and move mountains, but how we would miss the most important lesson of all if we never had to wait on Him.

...“You would know that I give, and I save, for a start,
But you’d not know the depth of the beat of My heart.

“The glow of my comfort late into the night,
The faith that I give when you walk without sight.
The depth that’s beyond getting just what you ask
From an infinite God who makes what you have last.

“You’d never know, should your pain quickly flee,
What it means that My grace is sufficient for thee.
Yes, your dearest dreams overnight would come true,
But, oh, the loss, if you missed what I’m doing in you.

“So, be silent, my child, and in time you will see
That the greatest of gifts is to truly know me.
And though oft My answers seem terribly late,
My most precious answer of all is still . . . Wait.”

Author: Russell Kelfer

I was convicted with the truth of it...the greatest gift is to know God our Father! Nothing else compares. God hears our prayers but, in His tender love and wisdom, He sees our need of Him as greater than our need for immediate answers. He will not ignore our fervent petitions for healing , jobs , relationships or whatever may be pressing on our mind. In His perfect time He will move. But we have the more precious gift in the meantime...more Of Him!

Friday, October 5, 2012


October 1 Emily and I went to the beach to watch sunrise, eat breakfast and read the Word. It was the best possible way to start the month! I am beyond blessed to have an encouraging, adventurous and godly housemate like her! Thank you Jesus!
Vilano Beach is a 15 minute drive from the apartment. This was a particularly windy evening around sunset. Every time the waves crashed my face was misted with ocean spray. I enjoyed that.
Friday night Bible Study at Panera Bread. Good food, meeting new friends and diving into God's Word! What could be better! I was really inspired by our study. Notice all the notes written on napkins.
Meet Tammie! She is one of my newest and most smiley friends! We were both really excited about the amazing salad she was working on.
We took a walk after lunch on a boardwalk near the Paris' home. Saw a small army of little crabs crossing the mud flats and was only mildly unnerved by the poisonous snake warning signs. We came out unscathed. :)
One day this week I ran into some bad traffic during a run to the post office. So I just took a detour over to the beach for a nice long walk as I waited for St. Augustine rush hour to die down. If only that was always an option when confronted with traffic jams!!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Promise Keeper

Picture a father tossing his kid up in the air as they giggle and laugh. Every time he throws his child into the air he makes a promise. The promise is this : "I will catch you". Every time the child lands safely back in his strong arms his promise is kept. He is a promise keeper and the little child knows it. Willingly, they continue free-falling into his arms, full of trust.

Recently God has been showing me how He is the ultimate Promise Keeper. Scripture is chalk full of promises! Promise upon promise! We are promised salvation , grace , wisdom , forgiveness , words in season , perfect peace , strength and more. I am well acquainted with many of these promises , however God has to take me back to spiritual kindergarten sometimes. This is the simple , yet profound thought God has been teaching me lately.

It is not I but Christ. Everything. Every single thing. I am helpless. There is no good thing in me. The only good thing in me is Jesus. He is my salvation , my joy , my life. As the verse says in Galatians 2: 20 "it is no longer I who lives, but Christ lives in me". It is by His power and sacrifice that I am both saved AND kept.

In Jeremiah 31: 33 God promises to write His law on our minds and make it part of our being. In Leviticus 20: 8 He says He will sanctify us. In Jude verse 24 He promises to keep us from falling into sin. Similarly, 1 John 3: 9 promises that if we are abiding in Christ we cannot sin...we CAN NOT be snatched out of His hand. Our victory is assured.

Now, if God is the Promise Maker, doesn't it make sense He would be the Promise Keeper? When I honestly evaluate my thoughts, actions and motives I realize how often I try to keep the promises God makes. Eagerly I commit myself whole-heartedly to Him and head out to "finish" His work in the world and my life. If only I would recognize the impossibility of this. Maybe then I would be reminded to seek constant connection to my only Source of Power and Victory.

I cannot save a soul...apart from the Savior. I cannot live victoriously...apart from the Victor. No more than a branch can continue living when cut off from the tree. I am nothing. It is literally God dwelling in me, doing the impossible.
To the end of time, He will be my everything. My fate will be eternally secure only because I have settled into my dependence on Christ and cannot be moved from my place of refuge.

Yes, I am ask to free-fall into my Heavenly Father's arms, but He has kept every promise He ever made. He is the Promise Keeper and He's got me.

Psalm 4 : 8

photo credit: stock.xchng

Monday, September 24, 2012

New Digs

As promised to some friends, here is a look at my new apartment.

View from my window. See the pretty water?!
This is our very own "Lake of Shining Waters", in the words of Anne Shirley. ;)
I'm pretty happy with it!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Recent Adventures

A few pic's from the recent family trips to Colorado and Jekyll Island.

My beautiful mother!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Packing Fatigue

Moving is hard. Sorting and packing has me a little ragged. I need to remember Who is in control and has my back. This song always calms me and reminds me of my ultimate Comforter. I put up a pic of my dog because she often lays her head on my chest and heaves a big sigh, which makes me think of this song for obvious reasons.

I Am

Oh gently lay your head
Upon my chest
And I will comfort you
Like a mother while you rest
The tide can change so fast,
But I will stay
The same through the past,
The same in future, same today

I am constant; I am near
I am peace that shatters all your secret fears
I am holy; I am wise
I'm the only one who knows your heart's desires
Your heart's desires

Oh weary, tired and worn,
Let out your sighs
And drop that heavy load you hold
Cause Mine is light

I know you through and through;
There's no need to hide
I want to show you love
That is deep and high and wide

by Jill Phillips

Friday, September 7, 2012

Hot and Cold

I'm sick. Every other moment I'm either diving under piles of blankets or crawling out sweltering hot! There is nothing lukewarm about it. It's not a very stellar feeling at all. Sometimes I think I feel both hot AND cold. My body can't seem to decided.

Just this morning I was reading Revelation 3 about the lukewarm church. God said He would prefer them to be either hot or cold. Guess God decided to allow me to have a real life example of what it feels like. It's intense!

Although I am REALLY hoping not to stay feverish physically, I want to be all the way "hot" for God.

Monday, September 3, 2012


Recently I went on a early morning hike up a mountain with a group of youth to watch the sunrise. I remember the moment I caught sight of the horizon...I was amazed. There are no words at those moments, just worshipful amazement and wonder.

I am amazed and in wonder of many thing about my God. His love is almost incomprehensible and His surprise gifts so unexplainable. The ways God directs my path is unbelievable, but the record is there to prove it is in fact believable. Daily , God's providence astounds me. My mind can't fully grasp it, but I am content to remain in wonder of the mystery.

"Truth in Christ and through Christ is measureless...The most diligent searcher will see before him a boundless, shoreless sea. The truth as it is in Jesus can be experienced, but never explained. It's height and breadth, and depth pass our knowledge."
~ EGW COL 128, 129

This quote makes me feel wonder and awe. In the walk of faith we, finite beings, are constantly in the presence of the Infinite and in communion with the Beginning and Ending of all things. Amazement, wonder, unbelievable, else can I express the mystery , love and truth of our God?!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Glory in the Cross

To remove the cross from the Christian would be like blotting the sun from the sky. The cross brings us near to God, reconciling us to Him. ...Through the cross we learn that the heavenly Father loves us with a love that is infinite. Can we wonder that Paul exclaimed, "God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ" (Galatians 6:14) It is our privilege also to glory in the cross, our privilege to give ourselves wholly to Him who gave Himself for us. Then, with the light that streams from Calvary shining in our faces, we may go forth to reveal this light to those in darkness. -- Ellen White, Acts of the Apostles 209, 210

Saturday, August 25, 2012

To Live : Authentically

Authentic: " Not false or copied ; genuine...real"*
What does it mean to live authentically? This morning I was reading in Hosea 10 when I came across this sad commentary:
Israel empties his vine;
He brings forth fruit for himself.
According to the multitude of his fruit
He has increased the altars;
According to the bounty of his land
They have embellished his sacred pillars...[but]
...Their heart is divided.

No matter how showy and outwardly religious the appearance, nothing could cover up a divided heart. What looked like worship and praise turned out being false because there was no authenticity.

How can I be an authentic follower of Christ?
According to this verse, the key to authenticity lies in the undivided heart.

Many times when I am in the middle of a song service, I am suddenly struck by the powerful implications of the words I am singing. At those moments I wonder if my life authentically exemplifies "All to Jesus, I surrender..." or "Take the world but give me Jesus". Do my daily choices shout that God is my "all in all" and that "my soul longeth after" Him?

To be practical, how can I live authentically with an undivided heart? How to live like God is everything, not just a part?
We humans love lists. I could make a list including good principles such as...
1) put God first
2) Honor Him in all decisions.
Both are true. But instead, I think the foundation to authenticity is love. That's right. The most basic of basic principles.

I don't know what it means to love God...REALLY love God, but I want to. My finite idea of love has barely scratched the surface of a boundless reality. Christ lived the most authentic life ever lived. When I choose to pursue Him and make all my choices to love Him better, only then will I be authentic : genuinely authentic.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Continual Conversation

Our prayers will take the form of a conversation with God as we would talk with a friend. He will speak His mysteries to us personally... ~~ Ellen White
"There is not in the world a kind of life more sweet and delightful than that of a continual conversation with God. ~~ Brother Lawrence
Prayer is not monologue, but dialogue; God’s voice is its most essential part. Listening to God’s voice is the secret of the assurance that He will listen to mine. ~~ Andrew Murray

Friday, August 17, 2012


The spiritual walk has become a run. No more "turtle speed" gear. Now is the time of the "galloping rabbit" gear. What to do with this new velocity? There are two options. Hurdle away from or into the heart of God. Decisions and choices have never mattered so much. They control the rudder of life and fix the trajectory. Where will I run?

It is a sobering question. I can either be terrified by the possibility of falling away or be excited by the prospects of rushing headlong into the depths of Christ. I choose the latter. By the grace of God, I purpose to run to Christ, seek His heart with abandon, and steer my life straight into Him.

"Come, and let us return to the Lord;
For He has torn, but He will heal us;
He has stricken, but He will bind us up.
After two days He will revive us;
On the third day He will raise us up,
That we may live in His sight.
Let us know,
Let us pursue the knowledge of the Lord.
His going forth is established as the morning;
He will come to us like the rain,
Like the latter and former rain to the earth.”

Hosea 6: 1-3

Wednesday, August 8, 2012


These are the words of my good friend Minnie. In life she spoke inspirational word to me as I lay sick with malaria or as we walked under the stars. In death her words still inspire me to follow hard after the Lover of my soul.

Except from her Blog:

"I rose up and spent the rest of the night in communion with our LORD. After reading a chapter from Psalms, I proceeded to read in one of the Books of the Gospel. At this time I was reading from Luke 12. Reaching and reading verses 32 and 37, my eyes suddenly well up and tears started flowing down my cheeks. Sobbing and in tears, I couldn’t help but utter these words, “My GOD, why are you so nice to me?”

All my life, I felt that GOD has lavished me with His love, despite my sinfulness, and many times falling and failing as I journeyed along life’s way… And like David, I see myself and say that my sins are ever before me…

This kind of love that I have received and continue to receive from our loving and gracious GOD, I feel I do not deserve… For what good have I done to deserve His love?! Nothing, really… For while I was yet a sinner, He already loved me… and even gave His life for me.

Continuing in life, I keep falling and failing, sometimes submerged and steeped in the mire of sin, and He sends His sweet Spirit to reach out to me, lift me up from my fallen state, and patiently work in my life and my heart that I may be cleansed of all my impurities and defects of mind and character.

Not only that, my LORD is even up there in heaven, interceding continually in my behalf and your behalf before the Father, that we may be reconciled and abide in a loving relationship with our gracious and merciful GOD…

Such love is too awesome, too high and lofty, I cannot comprehend it… And this kind of love breaks my heart of stone, changing it into a heart of flesh that desires to love Him back sincerely, purely and faithfully… and out of sheer gratitude, share His loving acceptance and unconditional love with others met along life’s way…

How much pleasure and joy it gives as hearts respond with the desire to love back, springing with loving gestures and expressions that make up and establish a friendship and loving relationship which I look forward to last till eternity…"

~ Minnie Pardillo, Blog July 6 2012. Died August 5 2012 from cerebral malaria while serving God in Chad, Africa.

Sunday, August 5, 2012


Minnie Pardillo. Yet another dedicated missionary who gave the last full measure in the service of the Lord. The world has lost a kind, unselfish and devoted woman of God. Its hard for me to understand why it was her and not me. I have a hard time understanding why God chose not to bring about immediate healing. There are many things I don't understand. Nevertheless God is good. God is faithful.

Job said "Though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him". Daniels three friends said "...but if not" and meant it. I can't help but look forward to the day when my prayer for immediate healing for Minnie will be answered at Christ's coming.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Do they know?

Think of the people that inspire you. Maybe they inspire you with their kindness or unselfishness. Maybe they did some small thing that made a difference for you. Perhaps you notice their untiring service or the way they spread joy wherever they go. Maybe you don't even know them very well or have much interaction with them, but are encouraged by their Christian example. Do they know? Do they know you thank God for them? Do they know you care?

I have been blessed with many inspirational friends and family in my life. Often I have thought to myself how much I appreciate and admire a certain friend or acquaintance, but keep it to myself. I'm either too busy or preoccupied to put any encouragement on paper or appreciation into action. At times my inner thoughts even go like this, "I should tell him/her sometime if I get a chance". So then I wait for there to be a good time and only hope I remember. But what if that time never comes?

Encouragement is wonderful. A word of appreciation can be like a rain shower for the desert. We seldom know the struggles and challenges others are going through and how welcome a kind word would be. The Bible speaks about the art of encouragement. In Isaiah 50:4 the prophet writes, "The Lord GOD has given me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him that is weary". Another version says "The Almighty LORD will teach me what to say, so I will know how to encourage weary people." I have personally experienced the result of a word spoken in season. It is powerful. Uplifting.

There is a friend of mine in Africa. I just heard she is critically ill. Over the year I have known this woman she has been an inspiration of Christian love and unselfish service. When I had malaria she cooked me food, rubbed my back and look after me devotedly. Often I have thought of her kindness and sweet spirit with admiration. She works in a very challenging environment where discouragement, illness and burn-out are common, but I have missed many opportunities to encourage her with an email or text message. Now I am wishing I had taken the 5 minutes to email her every time I thought of it.

Some of the most haunting things in life are words you wished you would have said but didn't. Never again do I want to look back with regret. I want to take every opportunity I have to encourage and appreciate. A word, a card, a text, an email...whatever form it takes, it will make a difference.

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