Thursday, October 29, 2009

Just Ask

There are times when I turn on the webstream to the Prayer Room, and everything turns around. When I'm feeling bogged down, the worship of the Lord happening in that room fills my ears and things change. Some days, it's like a specific gift from the Lord sent from Kansas City, just for me: today Luke Wood sang a song I've been wanting to hear for a long time, and I was convinced Jesus did it just for me. :)

Yesterday, sitting in my office, my heart started that pull down off of joy, and it bobbed right back up as Laura Hackett got on the stage and started singing the songs of the Lord.

There is no pit too deep that Jesus cannot reach
There is no sorrow so strong that could overtake His beloved one.

He's brought me to the wilderness where I will learn to sing.
And He lets me know my barrenness so I will learn to lean.

Beautiful Mercy, do what You have to do.
Jealous Lover, do what You have to do to bring forth love in me.

What do I do here in the waiting?
What do I do with my unsatisfied heart?
What do I do here in the waiting?
Here in the tension of believing again and again and again.

There's a lack, there's a gap in my soul
Between the things that I believe and I know

Holy Spirit, You who fill
All in All, come and fill me
Holy Spirit, come hold me together

I love that last stanza. We so often see the lack, or we become unsatisfied with where our heart is. We know we want more -to be more surrendered, to understanding His love more, whatever it may be- and we know God has more. But I so often forget! When we see this gap, our eyes can turn and see the One who fills all in all. He can fill us, and we must be willing to make space by throwing off "the sin which clings so closely".

He is the Helper -- have you asked Him for help recently?

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Second Thought for the Day. Whoa, I'm on a roll.

My last post may have seemed like one big advertisement, but I promise, I just got a little excited about all these powerful teachings I've been hearing!

Here, now, is my second group of thoughts for today.

I believe it wouldn't be a stretch to come to a conclusion right here and now about college. I know, I know, I'm only about seven weeks in, but here's the deal.

There are many, many subjects you study. You might be in a class about politics, but you'll talk about the global food crisis. You can imagine how many subjects my Suburban/Urban America class has broached.

I know I'm new at this, but it seems to me that the point of studying these problems is two (well, maybe three)-fold. 1) to understand more about the world around you. 2) to identify how they affect you in your own life. and my main thought, number 3) To figure out how maybe we could solve the problem. I mean, who wants to look at (let alone spend thousands of dollars to hear about) a problem and then say "oh well, that's a doozy of a problem. Too bad for the world." Uhhhhhhhhh.

So whenever I look at, or read about, or listen to a lecture about these problems, the wheels of my mind get a'turnin'. They kind of creak out of stillness with this sort of thought: "hmmm...this is a problem. There should be an answer to this problem. I wonder what the answer is..." and then get a good roll started with something like "what if this person changed the way they thought..." See now, this sort of thought only lasts a second or two as it quickly tumbles into: "well, what would the Bible say about how this person could change the way they think?" Which, in turn leads to full speed ahead, race-winning pace thinking that simply goes like this: "They could get SAVED!" It's brilliant. No really, I promise, it's brilliant. And I can say that because I didn't think of it.

It all comes back to Jesus. I dare say there will never be a problem where you can leave God out of the solution. You got a global Food Crisis? Jesus has a plan to come back and establish perfect justice across the world. You got hatred across racial lines? When invited in, Jesus changes everything about the way a person thinks and makes him able to think more highly of his neighbor than of himself. You got a complicated Calculus problem? MAN, God is brilliant, and guess what? He's even orderly in the way He created everything! You know how I know? Math works!

Whenever we step out: into our classrooms, into our workplaces, into our grocery stores, into our pizza parlors, we have to step out with our feet strapped with the readiness that comes from the Gospel of Peace. Glue the Bible to everything you do. Everything. At no point in time will you EVER be going too far by applying the Bible to what you're facing or thinking about. In fact, you're in big trouble if you ever try to separate yourself, your thinking, or your problem-solving from the absolute truth.

Afraid of being a "Bible-thumper"? Knock that fear right out of your head: it's true, you are called to speak in love with grace and gentleness, but you are never, ever, ever called to separate that speech from the Truth. Back-door discipleship -- it's really great, you should try it if you haven't already. You can speak Biblical truths without even saying they're from the Bible! Bit by bit, you'll be speaking truth to deaf ears around you and, the truth will begin setting them free and eventually they'll want to know where (ahem...from WHOM) you get all this truth that makes up a pretty wild way of living. Don't be afraid! Be bold with the fact that you know the answer. Really, it's not prideful to say the way of the Bible, the road that by God's grace you are walking on, is the only way. Because it is. It's the only way, and you don't have any time to waste being afraid that you'll offend people.

Because guess what? No matter how much this world rails against it, what the Bible says is still true, and what it says is going to happen is still going to happen. "When the saints come marching in, I wanna be in the number..." Imagine yourself dumped in the middle of the ocean with a lifeboat, except the people you're with think they can make it to the African coast on their own, just swimming. Are you gonna bail the lifeboat, just because people don't think it's cool? No way! You're going to call to them, and tell them the truth, that the only way they're going to survive is to get in the lifeboat with you. It really is that serious. That person, whoever they may be, that you talk to tomorrow is probably headed to eternal misery, because they don't know what Jesus did for them on that cross.

Maybe you should tell them.

Putting the Pieces Together

I may be putting them together in a blog post, but I'm not necessarily weaving them altogether. Ha.

1. Bob Sorge has been at City Central this weekend, and it has been amazing. There is a power of God on his teaching; he has truly been refined by the fire, and if he's talking, you want to listen. If you have any chance to read what he's written, or listen to his preaching, DO IT! [I just went to his ministry's website for the first time, and they have free sermon downloads! Blog-reading friend, I'm telling you, you will not regret downloading those and learning from this man. His voice was damaged in a surgery 17 years ago, so he can't speak above a whisper and not for very long. It has been the crisis of his life, and there is SUCH FRUIT of the way he has walked with God since.]

It was really exciting to have him and his family here, because it was like I could just look up, and the front row looked like Kansas City! This morning I got to talk with Anna and get caught up on the Kansas City news, and it was wonderful. I LOVE being here in Tacoma, AND I love Kansas City!

2. I've been listening to John Bevere's teaching series on Honor. I am so thankful for all the resources that the family I live with have that I get to share. Messages and's wonderful. :) I am getting blown up by this series! There are principles of honor in the Bible that I have never seen before: like Hannah...when Eli accused her of being drunk, she responded to him with honor. Jesus was limited in what miracles He could do in a place because the people there didn't honor Him. Anyways, yet again...if you can get the book or hear the teachings, do it! I am being so encouraged and challenged! If you're going to listen, be ready to get convicted and repent. :)

3. I have homework. Adios.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

It's not about me. Or you, in fact.

I don't exactly know how to describe the way I feel about Randy & Kelsey Bohlender. They are close friends, but I admire them greatly. They've mentored me in rough moments, but then just poured me fizzy lemonade at others. They basically live the life I want to live. It's true. Getting to run with them in the last year was something the Lord used to put dreams in my heart. I just want to share with you Randy's explanation of why they do what they do. Read it here.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


Funny how I leave Kansas City and...begin learning more from Mike Bickle.

One of the little boys I live with likes to ask me: "Annie, is Mike Bickle at IHOP?" Oh, I wish you could hear his little inflection of "AYE-hop". :)

When I moved here, I obviously started college. One of the phenomenons of college is that all of a sudden, you have no free moment. You might have an hour where nothing is scheduled, but there are two different readings you could be working on then, or you could be practicing piano, or you could be formulating potential research topics for a paper that's not due for two months but your teacher gave you the info sheet yesterday. Yeah, any of those things.

So I move into my house and the amazing (really, she is AMAZING) lady I live with began telling me about Mike's message: "The Power of a Focused Life." You know, there a lot of Mike's messages I flew away from Kansas City never having heard, and that is one of them. So she handed me her iPod and told me to listen to it, and we'd go over my schedule.

It's about living with purpose! Making your time fruitful! Think of that - what if you made a conscious decision to spend your time in a way that bore fruit?! His (and mine now :) action plan is this: write out your LIFE goals (where do you want to be when you're 50) and then out of that draw short term goals, which will help you take steps to fulfill the life goals. Then, of course, your schedule begins to reflect that.

I have life goals that I can't do while I'm in college, but I can start looking at what majors would best prepare and equip me to work towards those goals. So, going on my calendar is a slot of time to sit down with the school bulletin and look at what I could study.

See? Simple as that. Try it!

Monday, October 12, 2009

In which I summarize


My name is Annie, and I do still enjoy blogging.

The past few weeks have been a blur. College!

It's been a very interesting time. It's like I have to remind myself that my identity is not what classes I'm taking or how much homework I should do before I go to sleep. My life is not school. My life is hidden with Christ. My call right now? Be at school, do the work, be a light. But my identity? Daughter of the King.

It's a fight, this college life. I came fully knowing my purpose. In fact, I still know it. Jesus told me to come to this university and tell people about him. Basic, preach the gospel, 101. It's happening. I couldn't tell you all the Divine set-ups, the times the Lord's whispered something only to have it happen, the times He tells me to talk to someone and it bears fruit. He has a plan for this place, for these people, and I know it because He is acting. Friends, I go to one of the most liberal universities in the state of WA (in fact, my school is 6th on the list of prestigious schools with the least amount of Christian representation. SIXTH.) and I am having people I barely know say to me: "Can I come to church with you?" It's wild.

The work is intense, but, big surprise!, it turns out to be a teachable moment in multiple ways. Actually, I may just post a journal entry about that as its own post.

I do miss home; but I'm learning that even as I miss it and stay connected the IHOP family, I must guard my heart from day-dreaming about being back there and losing vision for why I am here.

One comment said that people would like to hear about my classes. French is going well. I'm not fluent yet, but at least I can say "J'adore Jesus." A friend was pointing out to me the other day that I never know when it might be useful to be able to share the gospel in French!

is actually somewhat enjoyable. That's about all there is to say about that, unless you want to know something about taking a stratified sample from a population of mountain goats in Eastern Swaziland.

International Political Economy is in a victory spot at the moment. Today I handed in my first mid-term paper, written on the economic stimulus bill Congress passed this past February. I was part of a group that had to present on the Financial Crisis during these past two weeks, and I'm actually kind of thankful that I learned more than I knew before. What? You actually learn at college? CRAZY!

English is, umm, probably the most difficult class for me. It's not because of the workload, but more because it is the class where I most run into the ideologies that do not submit themselves to Christ. This is the class where I sit and think "Vanity, vanity, all is vanity." There is so much the human mind can choose to think about and dwell on, and let me tell you,fallen men philosophizing and theorizing on their own apart from the Holy Spirit is not very edifying. Today I sat in class and alternated between feeling like my blood was racing through me at triple speed and just laughing to myself, because my views are just so different. We were talking about gender roles today... Our reading was somewhat feminist and quite anti-marriage, and I had to take a break and intake a verse that is now on my list of favorites:

"An excellent wife who can find? She is far more precious than jewels. The heart of her husband trusts in her..." ~Prov. 31

Today I came out with saying that the author was wrong to assume that women from the 1950's were lying when they said they were most fulfilled by spending their lives raising their families and gave what could probably be put down as one of the theses of my life: "I honestly think raising children is one of the most important things you can do." I'm thankful for a friend from that class who, after we moved onto our next class, agreed with me about having a different view: "I know...I'm kind of scared to say that I want to be a mom." What would it take to see a change in what is taught? Salvation. That's what it would take.

It's interesting in my work to get to the point of "yeah, we do have all these problems...but Jesus is coming back and will make all the wrong things right." In a discussion about Political Economy, we were talking about how what would be the right solution doesn't actually always happen because of partisan politics. This made me think (and tweet): one day, Jesus is going to come back and be the perfect King, and rule in absolute righteousness and justice, with no politics or cynicism. I look forward to that day.

So here I am, I'm in college, and the Lord is holding me up. I'm praying for provision (my computer is not very happy), and I'm learning how to walk in my identity in the Lord, and I'm learning how to war for the purposes of the Lord in my life, and I'm learning how to hold up my shield of faith, and I'm learning how to tell people about Jesus... The list could go on and on and on of what God is doing in this season, but MAN! all of it is good.

"He put a new song in my mouth,
a song of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear
and put their trust in the LORD."
~Psalm 40:3