Friday, September 30, 2011


I woke up with a sore throat.  I had hoped it would get better as the day progressed.  It didn't.  By the middle of the afternoon I sounded like Kermit the frog.


I thought about not going to small group.  It was a 45 minute drive there at the end of rush hour and a 45 minute drive back at 11pm.  I was already exhausted from making that same trek once that morning.  And I was sick.

Do I go and risk infecting other people with this sudden illness?  Do I stay home and try to fight it?

I'm not a "stay home because I have a cold" person.  I get colds a lot, so I'd miss out on a lot of life if I stayed home every time.

So over to the mansion I drove.  When I got there, I learned half of the other people had colds, too.  Last week we were all healthy; this week we had a germ-sharing party.

A sniffler.  A sneezer.  Kermit.  What a choir!

Out came the guitar to sing some praise and worship songs.

Sometimes my speaking voice "frogs" before my singing voice or vice versa.  It's rare they're both nasty at the same time.  But, then again, I don't usually go from fine to Kermit in one day.

I apologized to the girl sitting next to me and tried to sing.  Yup, nothing.

Time to move my lips and life a joyful noise from my heart...

Time to listen.  Losing your normal voice is like being put in time out.  Sometimes it's just not physically possible to speak.  Other times it hurts.  Or you just don't want to hear yourself.

"I'm worshipping YOU, God," I said in my traditional frog-voice campaign.

Listen, God spoke to my heart.

Is this like Guatemala but without the orange paint? I want to sing.

Listen.  You sang on Sunday.

Thank You that I had a voice to participate in such a wonderful, Spirit-filled praise and worship service on Sunday.  I'm sorry it took losing my voice today to be grateful for something I took for granted yesterday.  Lesson learned.  [pause] Can I have it back now?

<>< Kermit

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Bird Brain

A few months ago Rich (Nikki's pastor) awoke to a tap, tap, tap, and some clawing on his bedroom window.  He opened the blinds to find a bird trapped between to panes of glass.

Unfortunately, the exterior pane cannot be opened from the outside.  Instead, he hoped the bird would be patient and stay away from his hands as he opened each pane individually.

You see where this is going?

He opened the interior pane and, sure enough, the bird flew in.  He spent the next half hour trying to get this bird out of the parsonage.

We are that bird.  Some how we've trapped ourselves.  Rather than waiting for God to complete His rescue mission, we escape at the first chance we get, only to realize it's not an escape at all but a larger trap.

Luckily, that's not the end for us.  God's willing to do what it takes to get us, His little birdies, out of the bondage that is our parsonage.

Rich used a broom.
God used Christ.

<>< Katie

Monday, September 26, 2011

Listening Everywhere

Sorry this is late.  Some days unemployment means I sit around bored out of my mind.  Other days it means I run around like a chicken with my head cut off helping everyone and thinking I can do everything because I don't have a job.  Well, it's been a headless chicken weekend.

I love Mondays.

"Sure you do, Katie, you're unemployed and you had a busy weekend."

I heard that.

My busy weekend lasts until tomorrow, thank you.  And I got up earlier today than I did all weekend.

But no, I love Mondays because all of my once-a-week devotions come out on Mondays.  I think weekly devotion writers sit around and think, "Hum, Mondays would be a good day."  I see the logic, but Mondays are a busy reading, inhaling day for me. ;-)

Do you ever have those days (or weeks) where God seems to speak through everything you read, every conversation you have?  Those are my favorite.  When I can sing, "This is My Father's World" and the line, "He speaks to me everywhere" rings true.

But, more often, that line feels like I lie on my lips.  Devotions aren't inspiring, conversations are surface-level, and the world seems dry.

Whose fault is that?  Mine?  God's?  The devotion writer?  All of the above?

Just because what I'm reading doesn't jump off the page/screen and instantly into our hearts doesn't mean it's a waste.  It doesn't mean God isn't using what we read.  Sometimes they just take a little more thought.

I'm learning to ask myself: Why did God put this devotion in my path today?  What does He want me to get from this scripture?  Why is that song stuck in my head even though I haven't heard it in two weeks?

He uses those things we consider worthless or unrelated.  How cool is that?

Learning to listen everywhere,
<>< Katie

Friday, September 23, 2011


I have this bizarre habit that resulted in incessant mocking from my suitemates.  Actually, I have many bizarre habits and sometimes even breathing results in mockery.

However, this one happened every time I entered the apartment.  It didn't matter if I came from class, the caf, or the coffee shop.

The first thing I would do was put my keys on the hook.  We each had hooks by the door with our names on them, hypothetically, so we'd never lose our keys.

Then I'd go in my room, put down my heavy backpack, take off my shoes (and coat), and hit the power button on my computer.

It's what happened next that got me mocked relentlessly.

If someone had started a conversation with me in those first twenty seconds home, I put it on pause until this next step was complete.

I would go into the bathroom and wash my hands.

I knew I did it regularly, but I didn't realize I did it every time I came home until they pointed it out.

The habit is rooted deeply back to elementary school.  My sisters and I would get off the bus and almost immediately were ushered into the bathroom to wash off our school germs.

I have no doubt that this healthy though bizarre habit was why chicken pox started going around my kindergarten class in October but I didn't get it until May.  I'm sure it helped my six year no-puking record, too.

Just from being taught to wash off my school germs as soon as I got home.  And it has become a subconscious habit.

I've got some of the habits Mom and Dad taught us growing up, but I've also got to build my own habits.

I need to be intentional about spending time in God's word.  I need to be conscious of my prayer life.  I really wish I could say they were habits, but they aren't.  They're hard.

The alarm clock says, "Get up! Go! Go! Go!"  The lunch break is short; the boss demanding.  The course load difficult; the homework plenty.  The after school activities are many; the free time is rare.  The days is long, the body exhausted.

I've confessed to you all before that some days I grudgingly read my Bible.  Yet still God works through it.

Soap doesn't only wash off my school germs when I tell it to.  It kills 99.9% of them every time I wash (or so the commercial says).

God doesn't just speak to my heart when I want Him to, when I'm willing to hear what He has to say, or when I have the right attitude.  Of course, those things are beneficial, but they're not necessary.  Sometimes God still speaks when I'm crabby, tired, distracted, or just don't want to be there.

And that makes it worth building the habit.

<>< Katie

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Goal: Prayer Warrior

Sorry to dwell on the whole "Katie doesn't have a job" theme but it's kind of my life right now.  I want to be transparent in this struggle.

A long time ago I realize that if when I make it to the other side of this awful desert, I will be one of two people:
1. A cynical God-hater
2. A prayer warrior

The first one's easy.  It's easy to be mad when you say, "Here I am; send me!" and you're not going anywhere.  It's easy to get frustrated, host pity parties, and play the blame game when doors slam repeatedly.

But lucky for me, I've got friends making sure I come out to be the latter.

Friends all across the country praying me through.  Friends checking up on me to see how I'm doing and encouraging me.  I am blessed.  Plus, I've got friends who serve as great role models for that prayer warrior thing.

Amy: I wish tomorrow was Saturday.
Nikki: No, no, no we're not wishing away days!
Amy: I'm not wishing it away.  I'm wanting two Saturdays in a row.  Let's pray about that.
From the other room, Stacy heard the word "Pray" and came running in.
Stacy: Pray about what?

That's who I want to be: the girl who seeks out and seizes every available opportunity to pray.  Not just at church or small group.  Not just before meals or when people share prayer requests.  Every minute of every day.  Alone, in groups, for needs voiced, and those unspokens.

I remember watching a brother and sister in Christ converse.  He was borderline upset, angry.  She was super upset, teary.  He set aside his own situation to slowly calm her down.  As their conversation drew to a close and her eyes dried, he reached over, grabbed her shoulder, and lifted her concerns to the Lord.

That's who I want to be.  The friend who doesn't just say, "I'll pray for you" but does--right then and there.

I've had the urge to do it yet I've swallowed it.  I want the courage to act on that prompting of the Holy Spirit.

I don't want to be cynical and crabby for the rest of my life.  It'd be too easy.

So instead, I'm going to work on this prayer warrior thing.  It's not a destination but rather a journey.  There will always be room for improvement.  It's hard and uncomfortable.  But it's necessary.

Will you help me practice?  Leave me a prayer request in the comments section (or email it to me or Tweet it or text or your contact method of choice) and you bet it'll be prayed.  Maybe even more than once. ;-)

<>< Katie

Monday, September 19, 2011

Multitudes on Monday

I have made references to it, but I regret never fully explaining.  In her book One Thousand Gifts, Ann Voskamp explains that a friend challenged her to make a list of one thousand blessings/ things she loves/ gifts from God.

In turn, Ann challenges her readers to do the same.  I accepted the challenge and have begun my list (some highlights are below).

In turn, I invite you to join me and do the same.

"It's the art of seeing that makes gratitude possible, and it's the art of gratitude that makes joy possible, and isn’t joy the art of God?" Ann Voskamp

<>< Katie

I am thankful...
1. For Jesus Christ who died and rose again so that I may have hope.
2. For friends who remind me of that hope when I dare to forget.
5. For toilet paper (on the roll).
9. For friends worth visiting.
10. For friends who intentionally leave their Bibles on the kitchen counter open to a specific passage to encourage me.
11. For cold milk in a glass made of glass.
19. For city lights in the dark night sky.
23. For Bible verses and song lyrics that pop into my head bringing the exact message I need to hear.
26. That the coffee I just spilled on my computer did not destroy it.
34. For the iPhone so we can avoid traffic jams.
37. For beautiful views of Your magnificent creation.
41. For encouraging blog comments.
46. For lasagna.
61. For cool nights to snuggle with a homemade quilt, drink in hand, in the jumbo chairs on the deck and watch the sunset with Mom.
70. For pleasant memories and a well-traveled memory lane.
82. For books a'plenty, always books a'plenty.
84. For the deer in the backyard, the oblivious cat, and the analogy You dropped from heaven.
88. For the ability to share my thoughts and realize I am not alone.
91. For the prayers and support of friends around the country.
94. For the promise that spring will come again.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

God of THIS City

A few years ago, my university sent a mission team to San Diego, California.  In their post-trip sharing they said they sang and prayed the song, "God of This City" over San Diego.  Ever since then, that song has been reserved in my head for that city.

Then it was everywhere.

I heard it in the car, at home, and in concerts.  I couldn't escape it, and it always made me think of the San Diego mission team.

Then the pastor at my Baptist church announced that we would be beginning a sermon series focusing on reaching those in our immediate community.  For the next six weeks, we would sing and pray "God of This City" over our city every week in worship.

Beautiful in theory, but the song was becoming overplayed and meaningless.  To me.

Fast forward a few months.  I'm on my way home from a wonderful coffee talk during which we mulled over and discussed some quite serious problems in my Lutheran church.

As I pull into the garage, I tune in to the song on the radio.

"God of This City" by Chris Tomlin

You're the God of this City.
You're the King of these people.
You're the Lord of this nation.
You are.

You're the Light in this darkness.
You're the Hope to the hopeless.
You're the Peace to the restless.
You are.

There is no one like our God.
There is no one like our God.

For greater things have yet to come
And greater things are still to be done in this city.
Greater thing have yet to come
And greater things are still to be done in this city.

Greater things have yet to come,
and greater things are still to be done in this city
Greater things have yet to come,
And greater things are still to be done here

There is no one like our God.
There is no one like You, God.

Will you take a minute right now and pray this over my church? My city? Your church? Your city?


Greater things have yet to come and greater things are still to be done here. I believe that.

<>< Katie

Thursday, September 15, 2011

As the Cat

Sitting down with my lunch at a kitchen table filled with newspapers, I noticed that I was not alone.

Exploring my backyard were three deer.  Two fawns and a doe were enjoying their lunch of plants and apples.

Watching them was peaceful.  They have been added to my list of 1,000 Blessings.  Their brown fur with hints of white spots was a beautiful contrast to the lush green vegetation that hasn't yet admitted that it's fall.

Into our lunch date walked Oscar, the lion-like cat.

Yesterday, Oscar tried to hunt these same deer.  Don't worry, it was through the window.  Not like my ferocious cat had anything on my three deer friends.  As long as no one got hurt, that would be a fun battle to watch.

Instead, I watched Oscar approach the window, waiting for him to see that his prey had returned.  He sat right up against the pane looking off to the left.  I don't what he was looking at, but it wasn't the deer.

He sat right there and didn't see them directly in front of him!  From my seat, I could see both Oscar and the deer in the same line of vision, but Oscar was clueless.  And he's the smarter of our two cats...

I began to wonder why Oscar was missing the deer that he loved yesterday but I could see them clearly.  I drew two possible conclusions.

1. Maybe there's something blocking his view at that perspective (ex: patio furniture).
2. Maybe cats can't see that far.

God spoke.

Not in an audible voice he said, "you're the cat."

"What you see," He explained to my heart, "is not always what I see.  My view goes further and my perspective is clear of obstacles."

"How long, LORD, must I call for help,
but You do not listen?
the LORD’s Answer
'Look at the nations and watch—
and be utterly amazed.
For I am going to do something in your days
that you would not believe,
even if you were told.'"
Habakkuk 1:2, 5

God, I don't want to be Oscar missing the deer right in front of my eyes. I want to gaze straight ahead and see Your mighty power, Your mighty plan, and Your mighty love. I am watching and know I will be utterly amazed with what You are doing in my days. When it becomes time for You to tell me, may I believe. Do something astounding.

<>< Katie

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Peepers the Goose

Grandpa and I were sitting on my Uncle Boris and Aunt Sasha's patio looking over the rolling hills of their farmland, watching the chickens run loose, and Peepers the goose control the roost.

We were teasing about challenging Big "Woman" on Campus Peepers, but we weren't brave enough to actually do it.

Grandma came out.

"Hey, Grandma, go chase Peepers," Grandpa said.

She did.

Grandma ran at Peepers.  Peepers stood still.  Less than three feet from each other, Grandma chickened out, and turned to walk away.

Peepers ran at Grandma.  Grandma screamed.  Uncle Boris came to the rescue.  Grandpa and Katie laughed.

Peepers: 1
Grandma: 0

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Remember Brazil

A few months ago I was felling extremely discouraged.  I had gotten a gut-wrenching rejection for a job I was passionate about at my own alma mater.  I was hosting a pity party.

In the midst of my tears, God whispered, "Remember, Brazil."

Last fall, I applied for a mission trip to Brazil.  I researched the city, borrowed a Portuguese Bible, began fund raising, and prayed for our trip.

All of the sudden, our team's planning came to a screeching hault.

Airline tickets and a Brazilian Visa put a stop to our trip.  It might be an understatement to say our team was extremely discouraged.  Truth be told, I cried at the team meeting when we decided Brazil would not come to fruition.

Several team members jumped ship and pursued other mission opportunities.  No one blamed them.  Those of us who remained spent some time not knowing if we were going to even have a trip.  Never did the thought of changing trips cross my mind.  Never did the thought of not having a trip sink in.

God opened up another opportunity, and on short notice we began to prepare for different destination: Nicaragua.

One student who had not expressed interest in Brazil, applied to go to Nicaragua.  She wanted to practice her Spanish.  I have no doubt she was supposed to be on our trip.

Of all of us, she came home the most changed.  Even others noticed something different about her.  If we had gone to Brazil, this change would not have happened.  Today, her re-birth through baptism, would not have happened.  We went to Nicaragua for her.

We went to Nicaragua for Stephanie, our Nicaraguan interpreter.  After only a few days of traveling with us, Stephanie noticed something was different.  She recognized the Holy Spirit in us and wanted to be filled in the same way.  Right then and there she began a relationship with our Lord and Savior.  If we had been in Brazil, God would not have used us to reach Stephanie.

God rearranged our entire trip for those two daughters.  He changed the plans of thirty plus people in order to change the lives of two.

It's not every day that God rearranges plans for His glory.

Or is it?

A spilled cup of coffee gets you out of the house late to avoid a major traffic jam.

A rejection letter keeps you from a company going bankrupt.

A malfunctioning alarm clock kept you from being in the Twin Towers when they were hit.

God changes our plans for His glory.

Anytime I start to forget: I remember Brazil.

<>< Katie

PS: Everyone has a 9-11-01 story.  Mine is of a selfish seventh grader who just didn't want to be in class.  For a heart-piercing story, check out the blog of Meg Cabot, author of The Princess Diaries.  My heart and prayers are with those affected by the tragedy.  We will never forget.

Friday, September 9, 2011

The Kitchen

Just as a kitchen has a variety of utensils, so does life have a variety of people.

We can't all be forks.  We can't all be ladles.  We can't all be cheese graders. 

Sometimes God asks us to be uncomfortable and fill anothers' role.  At that point, He provides the tools necessary to grow you, stretch you, and complete the job for His glory.  As He always does.

The Ladle
Server.  Serves deep, serves well, serves always.

The Cheese Grader
The block of cheese is a big dream.  I love cheese but a block is not practical.  The cheese grader breaks down the dream into manageable slices in order to make it a reality.  Big dream.  Small pieces.  One step at a time.  Cheese grader.

The Fork
The fork gets the credit but a lot has to happen before everyone sees the fork move from here to there.  The fork's the missionary.  But being a fork isn't always glamorous.  Would you want to be drown in saliva?

What else can we add to the kitchen?

<>< Katie

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Wacky Wednesday

Author's Note: Welcome to Wacky Wednesday! This post is a complication of ridiculous and profound statements made in everyday conversation or literature. We all say stupid stuff. Some of us more than others. Laugh, smile, be challenged. <>< Katie

"As long as thanks is possible, then joy is always possible." - Ann Voskamp, One Thousand Gifts, 33

Mom: If your right turn signal is on, your vehicle should not be veering to the left. Thought I'd bring that to your attention.

"In China, Christians are persecuted with beatings and imprisonment. In the West, Christians are persecuted by the words of other Christians." - Brother Yun, The Heavenly Man, 309

Amber: When are you due?
Bridget: Four months ago.
Amber: No, when is your baby coming?

Laura: It's a good thing I can't form sentences in my brain because otherwise I'd be a really mean person.

"God really is in the business of blessing His people in unusual ways so His goodness and His greatness will be declared among all peoples." - David Platt, Radical, 67

Kevin [20s]: I'm an old man.  I have some gray hair.
Elizabeth: It's time to get a box.
[Awkward pause]
Elizabeth: Of hair dye.
Kevin: Don't lie, you meant a pine box!

"God cannot give us a happiness and peace apart from Himself because it is no there. There is no such thing." - C.S. Lewis

Mom: You put the pregnant fish in the maternity ward and when the babies are born they're sucked up and shot into the fishy nursery.
Katie: As if being born isn't traumatic enough!

Jori [To me]: Oh, ye, writer person!

Laura: Wait, you're not even in the bed anymore, you doofus!

"We learned a lesson that morning. When we arrive at the end of our own strength it is not defeat but the start of tapping into God's boundless resources. It is when we are weak that we are strong in God." - Brother Yun, The Heavenly Man, 194

Mom: Fat!
Katie [fake surprise, panic, excitement]: Where?!

Elizabeth: You know, Katie, I was the first person on University's campus to ever lick you. I take full credit for that.

"Joy is God and God is joy and joy doesn't negate all other emotions--joy transcends all other emotions." - Ann Voskamp, One Thousand Gifts, 176

Mary Beth: You know how there's always that one annoying cousin?
Katie: I only have three cousins.  My dad is that annoying cousin.

Laura: I love old people! This one time this old person did something and it made me laugh
Katie: Great story.

"The Lord has to break us down at the strongest part of our self-life before He can have His own way of blessing with us." - James H. McConkey, Life Talks, 103 (qtd. Ann Voskamp, One Thousand Gifts, 138)

Waitress: What size to go box?
Melia: The little one works.
Waitress: That's what she said.

"But the secret to joy is to keep seeking God where we doubt He is." - Ann Voskamp, One Thousand Gifts, 138

Professor: For Jesus?
Student: Yeah! We go everywhere for Jesus!
Professor: Alright!

"I hunger and thirst for filling in a world that is starved." - Ann Voskamp, One Thousand Gifts, 17

Laura: Sometimes I know I'm saying stupid stuff, but I just keep saying it. It's funnier that way.

Juanita: Vernon! Don't lick my curtains!
Vernon: I wasn't licking them; I was biting them.

"Ultimately, I don't want to miss eternal treasure because I settle for earthly trinkets." - David Platt, Radical, 138

Katie: I don't really use the term "Best friend" because basically if you went to University with me, you're my best friend.

"Having God on our side doesn't mean sailing a boat with no storms; it means sailing a boat no storm can sink." - Unknown

Katie: No, you don't touch the scissors again until I give you further instructions.
Jori: My TA is getting cheeky.
Katie: I'm the brain!

Mom: My fish are eating the cats!

"Anger is the lid that suffocates joy until she lies limp and lifeless." - Ann Voskamp, One Thousand Gifts, 177

Jori: If "biceps" were with an "s" it'd be "bis-eps.
Mike: Maybe that's what I have.

GPS: Recalculating.
Mom: Oh for heaven sakes!  We're just going to McDonald's to pee; you don't have to recalculate!

"But what if we don't need to sit back and wait for a call to foreign missions? What if the very reason we have breath is because we have been saved for a global mission? And what if anything less than passionate involvement in global missions is actually selling God short by frustrating the very purpose for which He created us?" - David Platt, Radical, 75

Michael Tait: Everyone who loves the Lord, shake your bonbons!

Katie: You ok, Dad?
Dad: No. Mom sent half of the water from that faucet up my nose!

"He always enjoyed seeing the happiness that the travelers experienced when, after weeks of yellow sand and blue sky, they first saw the green of the date palms. Maybe God created the desert so that man could appreciate the date trees, he thought." - The Alchemist, 87

Christina: Katie, will you babysit for this kid to show him how nice I really am?

Mom: Good night, Mary Ellen.
Katie: Good night, Jim Bob.
Laura: Good night, Laura.
Mom: Why are you saying goodnight to yourself?  That doesn't work!
Laura: Oh, good night, Suzy.
Mom: No, no, no.
Laura: What? I thought we were just saying good night to people who aren't here.

"Whether it is your family, the government, the religious establishment, or someone else, you will be hated." - David Platt, Radical, 167

Girl [age 14]: This is the first water balloon I've ever tied myself.  I'm going to save it and put it in my scrapbook!

Jori: We could do that.
Katie: Ok, let's do it. Right here on your bed.
["It" was really make peanut brittle]

Katie: I don't want a Tetanus shot.
Christina: Wait!  Are we talking doctor shot or alcohol shot?
Mom: I'm pretty sure there's no alcohol named "Tetanus."

Nurse: You've had so many shots they're blinding me!

"You're not doing the youth ministry until your youth are doing the ministry." - LCMS, Missouri District

Katie: It's a dove, not a kite. You can't tied a string to your dove.

Jori: Ok, I will not leave you.
Katie and Jori: Or forsake you!

"I learned we should never beat the sheep, but [we] must feed them if we want them to follow." - Brother Yun, The Heavenly Man, 174

Katie: He's on his way home.  By "he" I mean Dad.
Mom: I figured Dad was the "he" since he's the only "he" who calls you.

[in China]
Jeremy: Pancakes are just like noodles except not noodles!

"Stress isn't only a joy stealer. The way we respond to it can be sin." - Ann Voskamp, One Thousand Gifts, 146

Katie: I have a Peder CD we could listen to.
Laura: I'm petered out.

Katie: You aren't allowed in there.
Christina: Meh, rules are for sissies.
Katie: Yes, they are, and since you're my sissy you should get out.

"Prayer without ceasing is only possible in a life of continual thanks." - Ann Voskamp, One Thousand Gifts, 60

Dad: I'm going to put on a different shirt.
[He wasn't wearing a shirt]

Emily: Sorry, I guess I just get distracted when my clothes come off.

"Again, we don't think like this: 'If we would all just become like Jesus, the wold would really love us,' he say. The reality is that if we really become like Jesus, the world will hate us. Why? Because the world hated Him." - David Platt, Radical, 167

Katie [Fingerspelled]: Adrenaline.
Amber [Voiced]: I saw koalas.
Katie [Signed]: No, adrenaline. You know, the drug.
Amber [Voiced]: The letter C? I got nothin'!

"I've got to get this thing; what it means to trust, to gut-believe in the good touch of God toward me because it's true: I can't fill with joy until I learn how to trust: 'May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow' (Romans 15:13 NIV). The full life, the own spilling joy and peace, happens only as I come to trust the caress of the Lover, Lover who never burdens His children with shame or self-condemnation but keeps stroking the fears with gentle grace." - Ann Voskamp, One Thousand Gifts, 146

Katie: Forty-nine bottles of beer on the wall?
Mom: No, forty-nine bottles of wine in the hall.

[Chinese people in China]
Sara: In America, this is a very good price.
Jim: In China, I get it for less.
Sara: Then maybe you should go back to China and buy it there.

"He [Jesus] was calling them [the disciples] to abandon their careers. They were reorienting their entire life's work around discipleship of Jesus. Their plans and dreams were now swallowed up in His." - David Platt, Radical, 7

Jori: It flew from my peach!

Katie: I'd rather shoot myself in the face.
Dad: You'd rather ship yourself to Spain?

"Everything in all creation responds in obedience to the Creator... until we get to you and me. We have the audacity to look God in the face and say, 'No.'" - David Platt, Radical, 31

[Over the phone]
Neal: While we were praying it started raining here. Just shows it rains on the righteous and the unrighteous. Me being the latter.
Katie: It's not raining here.
Neal: Does that mean you're in limbo?
Katie: I'm luke-warm, dang it!

Curt: I'm teaching [the topic] strangers, then if I have more time, I'll teach friends, then if I have more time, I'll teach Vernon.

Amber: Katie, your dad is ridiculious. He gets away with things that no other human being would ever get away with.

"In direct contradiction to the American dream, God actually delights in exalting our inability. He intentionally puts His people in situations where they come face to face with their need for Him. In the process He powerfully demonstrates His ability to prove everything His people need in ways they could never have mustered up or imagined." - David Platt, Radical, 47

Monday, September 5, 2011

Believe and Trust

Especially in my last days at school, I spent my share of time crying in Neal's office (our campus minister).  I'd usually go in for chit chat and a hug, the conversation would change, and all of the sudden I was crying... again.  Shortly after that, we'd get to a point in when I no longer had a response, an argument.

I would sit and listen while he encouraged me truths about God.  We both acknowledged they were things I already knew but needed reminding.  I had no choice but to nod and agree as he spoke.  If my voice was strong enough or if I felt like I'd been quiet too long, I'd find the strength to whisper,

"I believe that."

It might have been more to convince myself than to convince him.

A few months later, I learned the New Testament word for believe: pisteuo.  It's a verb that can also be translated, "To put one's faith in" or "to trust."

Looking back, part of me feels like I was lying every time I told Neal, "I believe that."  Sure, I knew the truths he was speaking were indeed true.  I acknowledged them, I accepted them, but I was having a hard time trusting them.

After all, if I weren't struggling with trust, I would not have been in his office in tears.

It's hard to trust God when He's forcing you to give up a place you love long before you feel it's time to leave.  It's hard to trust God has a plan when all you're getting is rejection letters.

Honestly, not knowing what happens immediately after graduation, not having a plan makes me feel like a failure.

Maybe in an earthly sense I am.

But, I am leaning a lot about pisteuo.  A lot about belief and trust.  A lot about hope and peace.  A lot about clinging to God.

And that can never be called "failure."

I believe that!

<>< Katie

PS: I learned the word pisteuo from Ann Voskamp's One Thousand Tomorrows.  If you haven't read it, then I suggest you check it out.

Thursday, September 1, 2011


I had my choice between going to church with Nikki or going to church with Melia.

Really, I was just happy to get to worship with my friends on a Wednesday night.

It was decided I'd go with Nikki so we could spend some extra time together before I had to leave.

The Bible study was good.  I learned.  I saw the congregation's hunger for the Lord, even though they make my grandparents look young.  I enjoyed time with my friend and listening to her pastor teach.  It was good.

When we got home, Melia was in awe of what happened at her church.  The more she spoke, the more I realized I made the wrong decision.  The scripture, the truths, the presentation seemed like God had hand-crafted that sermon for me... and I wasn't there.

I didn't ask why.  Rather, I was upset.

God, why wasn't I there?  You had the power to put me there.  I was torn on which church to attend.  It would have been very easy for the conclusion to have been the opposite, and I would have clearly seen Your hand.

I don't know why I wasn't there.  Maybe because Nikki and I needed some bonding time.  Maybe I needed to be encouraged by the old people eager to hear the Word.  Maybe the they needed to be encouraged by us youngin's.  Maybe "Uncle Bill" needed a new listener for his "the dog ate my hearing aid" story.  Maybe Melia needed to summarize the sermon for me.

Maybe it was selfish for me to have wished the evening had gone differently.

Do you ever do that?  Tell God He's the focus of your night but then get upset when He doesn't do what you wanted Him to do?

<>< Katie

PS: This post has nothing to do with Koolaid.  But it happens to be what I am drinking right now, and I could not come up with a better title.