Tuesday, May 31, 2011


This is a mull over blog post.
I'm kind of like a cow, chewing it's cud. I mull something over for a while, put it away, then later on mull it over again some more.

Katie the cow. Chewing her cud. Thinking her thoughts. And blogging.

I just had a thought about photo editing. I like photography, even though I'm not very good or creative with it. It sometimes is a form of worship to me. But that's another blog post.

And thanks to a dear friend, I now have access to some photo editing software. It's fun to edit all my photos to perfection. I can make teeth whiter, I can make colors brighter, I can take out unwanted things. Once, I took a whole porch swing chain out of a family photo for a friend.

 And then it struck me that that's what Jesus does. He helps us edit our lives. He takes out the bad stuff and makes the good stuff better.
It doesn't happen overnight. It takes work.
Just like photo editing takes work.

And in the theme of editing, there's the whole Donald Miller idea of editing your life story. That whole thought is fascinating to me. Donald Miller discusses this most in A Million Miles In A Thousand Years...check it out sometime. It really changed my life as I was caught in a rut and needed to think about what kind of story I was writing with my life.
I want to write a good life story. I want to write an adventurous life story. I want to write a life story with a good ending. And what I realized us that sitting around isn't making a story. It's when you get out and do the hard things, or the difficult things, or the fun things or the active things that make a story.
And that's how you edit your life. Take out the bad stuff, make the good stuff better.

For instance, one way I decided to make my story better was by volunteering once a week at a crisis pregnancy center. My life story at that point was, out of a job, looking, looking, looking, and spending a lot of time online "connecting" with the people around me (i.e. Facebook). That story had a lot of searching and not much action.
When I started volunteering it gave me new things to think about, new people to serve, and new ways to reach out. It stretched me and helped me. There was some action going on.

Sometimes editing my life story is a simple as opening a book and reading and learning.
Sometimes editing my life story is as complex as taking a trip.
Sometimes editing my life story is simply changing the way I think.
Sometimes editing my life story is just reaching out to others instead of focusing on myself.

Taking out the bad stuff, making the good stuff better.

Jesus is our photo/life story editor. He takes out the bad stuff in us by giving us grace and strength to overcome it. He makes the good stuff better when His love shines in us and through us so others can see Him in us.

Saturday, May 28, 2011


It's deep. It's deep inside. So deep it's taken me by surprise and left me scrambling for foot and hand holds as I struggle to climb back up the mountain. Out of the valley.

I have to look for lessons learned and allow the pain to shape me.

Sometimes, I feel ready to rush to the next thing, the next place on the path. Move on and move forward. But you can't rush God. You can just go one step at a time. His pace. Not mine. Or I wish I could go back to a place I was at before. But the adventure of life moves. It's always moving. God is always moving. God is not still. But He is the same. He doesn't change.

So I struggle through the valley. Lifting high the hope I find in Christ to try to light the way.

O God, by whom the meek are guided in judgment, and
light riseth up in darkness for the godly: Grant us, in all
our doubts and uncertainties, the grace to ask what thou
wouldest have us to do, that the Spirit of wisdom may save
us from all false choices, and that in thy light we may see
light, and in thy straight path may not stumble; through
Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Valley Of Vision

When You lead me to the valley of vision
I can see You in the heights
And though my humbling wouldn’t be my decision
It’s here Your glory shines so bright
So let me learn that the cross precedes the crown
To be low is to be high
That the valley’s where You make me more like Christ

Let me find Your grace in the valley
Let me find Your life in my death
Let me find Your joy in my sorrow
Your wealth in my need
That You’re near with every breath
In the valley

In the daytime there are stars in the heavens
But they only shine at night
And the deeper that I go into darkness
The more I see their radiant light
So let me learn that my losses are my gain
To be broken is to heal
That the valley’s where Your power is revealed

Valley of Vision
Sovereign Grace Ministries
Words and Music by Bob Kauflin

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Dark and Light

Darkness seems to be seeping into the corners. Darkness seems to be descending. Darkness closes in and threatens to quench the light.

When darkness comes, light must conquer. Light must shine forth. Light must not let darkness overtake and rule.

When light shines, it brings comprehension. When light shines, it brings direction. When light shines, it spreads and spreads, shedding more and more light, shining brighter and brighter. And darkness is less and less and darkness can not win.

Run to the light. Bask in the light. Spread the light. Help the light to grow and grow and grow until it is blindingly bright.

Light is hope.

Light is

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Focus On The Goal

There is so much hope to be found in Christ.
If I turn to Him. If I trust in Him. If I truly let Him change me and move me and guide me.
I can never fall. I can never be lost. I can never be alone.
Because Christ is there.

This journey of life is such a complex thing it seems. And yet, it's really quite simple. The journey of life is a journey toward Christ. The journey of life is a journey of the soul as I strive to become more like Christ.

The journey of life sifts me. I picture sifting the sugar white sand from our beach and finding the bits and pieces that mar the beauty of the sand left in the sifter. But the sand that has been sifted is more beautiful for the sifting.

The journey of life challenges us. We're challenged to commit to following Christ. We're challenged to run the race, to finish well. We're challenged to grow and change. It's like preparing for a marathon. Muscles ache as we train to run. The pain is there, but it's part of the preparation as we ready for reaching the goal. The goal of becoming Christ-like.

I can let the journey of life over take me. I can grow faint and weary. I can refuse to let myself be challenged. I can refuse to feel the pain. I can refuse to learn and grow. But I must not. I must not turn back. I must not deny Him. I must not lose hope. I must not leave the path. The path toward Christ.


The following is a facebook status from a friend today:
"--- is thankful that Jesus challenges us! Following Jesus means deep commitment and complete willingness. We must daily choose to follow Him if we wish to be His disciples, even if it means "giving up" what's most important to us. The good news is that just as Jesus' early disciples experienced blessing by responding to His challenges, so do we. (Matthew 10:37 & Luke 9:24)

I do not follow Jesus for the blessings that might come from it. I can't fathom giving up what I most wish and hope and dream just because there might be a "blessing" from it. No, I follow Jesus because I know Him. I cannot deny His Love and I respond by obedience. I focus on the goal. And the goal is to become as much like Christ in my life and person and being as I can.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

For Me, To Live Is Christ

This adventure of life leads through a dark way. It leads through the valley of death.
Once again, I am asked to let go of what I wish and desire. Once again, the hopes and dreams must be let go.
Once again, death is required. Death to self. Death to my ideas. Death to my feelings.
Once again, I remind myself that death leads to life. It is the way the world works.
Seeds must be planted to die to produce the plants and fruit.
Souls must die physically to begin to live eternally.
Just as my will must die in order to live for Christ.

Doesn't make it easy.

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith.
Romans 12:1-3

Take Up Your Cross And Follow Me

The cross.
Rough hewn. Splinters. Heavy. Deep breath before I try to lift it. It weighs so much more than I. And now to carry this cross on my shoulder down the path set before me. At first it is easy. The way is pleasant. I can walk, run, even dance all while carrying the cross. There are beautiful places to pass through. But slowly, the way begins to change. The path becomes trecherous, steep. I can barely breathe as I climb the hill which becomes a mountain. Dragging, holding on with all my might to the cross. Gasping for breath in the thin oxygyn. Splinters in my hands. Muscles crying out.
At the top finally, the cross disappears. I'm weightless. I'm flying. I'm surrounded by light.
But actually, I've just gained the strength to carry on.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

James 5:7-8

7 Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, waiting patiently for it until it receives the early and latter rain. 8 You also be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand. James 5:7-8

When I was in Israel, I was present during the olive harvesting season. There were olives waiting to be picked everywhere. They were only waiting for the latter rain, the last rain of the season to plump them up before picking. Cool, huh?