Thursday, March 24, 2011


"Let us acknowledge the Lord;
let us press on to acknowledge Him.
As surely as the sun rises,
He will appear,
He will come like the winter rains,
like the spring rains that water the earth"

Hosea 6:3

Rain....I could use some rain right now. Not in the dreary sense, like I am depressed and want to stay holed up in my house, under the covers hiding from the world. In the sense that rain cleanses. Rain purifies. Rain washes us clean and makes all things fresh. I read through Hosea last night. I was looking for a specific verse which turns out wasn't in Hosea after all (On a side note check out Ezekiel 16:8-9) I found this verse, that I must have highlighted sometime ago because I really don't remember ever reading it. I am going through some seriously intense stuff right now and while God is EVER present like I have never experienced before, the pain I am feeling in grossly weighty. I live as is. Daily doing what I need to do to get through the day. But when night time comes and it's time to go to bed, that is when the hard part comes. So I grab my bible, get in bed and go to my Lord. And He meets me.. OH how He meets me.

When I was 13 I went through a phase where I wanted to live in Seattle. I was in the grunge stage of life. Think Kurt Cobain, Pearl Jam and corduroy pants. I felt that Seattle would fit my mood. I was depressed all the time and longed for the rain. I felt it fit my mood, fit who I was. And felt that living somewhere the sun never shined was perfect for me. That is not why I am longing for rain now. Hosea says that that is we pursue God He will come to us like the rain, like the winter rain. The winter rain is meant for plowing and sowing. He has to plow through my life. Plow out the deadness, the decay that has taken up residence in my life for way to long. The shame that has wrapped it's binding claws around heart. He has to sow so He can make way for what comes next. He will also coming to us like the spring rains. The spring rains are what causes the plants to grow. Oh how I want my heart to be plowed, softened, broken up, shaped. So that He can plant the seeds of righteousness that He needs to plant, so that they can sprout up and grow and I can blossom into the woman of faith that He created me to be. A healed woman, a FREE woman and a REDEEMED woman. I want to stand in the pure, clean rain shower of His love, purity and clean holiness right now. His rain that washes everything sin, stain and impurity away.

In Him


Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Knowing God

I have been reading through J.I. Packer's Knowing God for sometime now. It takes me awhile to read through anything these days so when ever I get a free moment to read I relish it. I was waiting outside of Abigail's counseling appointment today reading through the chapter 9 "God only wise" This part struck me square in the jaw I had to come share it with all of you.

"Wisdom without power would be pathetic, a broken reed; power without wisdom would be merely frightening; but in God boundless wisdom and endless power are united and this makes Him utterly worthy of our fullest trust"

God's almighty wisdom is always active, and never fails. All His works of creation and providence and grace display it, and until we can see it in them we are just not seeing them straight. But we cannot recognize God's wisdom unless we know the end for which He is working. Here many go wrong. Misunderstanding what the bible means when it says that God is love (see 1 John 4:8-10), they think that God intends a trouble free life for all, irrespective of their moral and spiritual state, and hence they conclude that anything painful and upsetting (illness, accident, injury, loss of job, the suffering of a loved one) indicates either that God's wisdom, or power, or both, have broken down or that God, after all, does not exist.

But this idea of God's intention is a complete mistake: God's wisdom is not, and never was, pledged to keep a fallen world happy, or to make ungodliness comfortable. Not even to Christians has He promised a trouble free life; rather the reverse. He has other ends in view for life in this world than simply to make it easy for everyone.

What is He after, then? What is His goal? What does He aim at? When He made us, His purpose was that we should love and honor Him, praising Him for the wonderfully ordered complexity and variety of His world, using it according to His will, and so enjoying both it and Him. And though we have fallen, God has not abandoned His first purpose. Still He plans that a great host of humankind should come to love and honor Him. His ultimate objective is to bring them to a state in which they please Him entirely and praise Him adequately, a state in which he is all in all to them, and He and they rejoice continually in the knowledge of each other's love. People rejoicing in the saving love of God, set upon them from all eternity, and God rejoicing in the responsive love of people, drawn out of them by grace through the gospel.

This will be God's glory, and our glory too, in every sense which that weighty word can bear. But it will only be fully realized in the next world, in the context of a transformation of the whole created order. Meanwhile, however, God works steadily toward it. His immediate objectives are to draw individual men and women into a relationship of faith, hope, and love toward Himself, delivering them from sin and showing forth in their lives the power of His grace; to defend His people against the forces of evil; and to spread throughout the world the gospel by means of which He saves.

In the fulfillment of each part of this purpose the Lord Jesus Christ is central, for God has set Him forth both as Savior from sin, whom we mus trust, and as Lord of the church, whom we must obey. We have dwelt on the way in which divine wisdom was manifested in Christ's Incarnation and cross. We would add now that it is in the light of the complex purpose which we have outlined that the wisdom of God in His dealing with individuals is to be seen"

Knowing God, J.I. Packer Pg 91-92

It's a lot I know but it struck me right it what I am dealing with right now I just had to post.

In Him


Saturday, January 22, 2011

Life and Justice

oa new friend of mine and I hit the road early this morning and went to Colorado Springs to the New Life Church where they were having a Life and Justice conference. I had originally heard about this on facebook and thought it might be something goofy but then heard about it again on Klove. When Holly e-mailed me about it, and I read up on it I knew I wanted to go. I heard mass amounts of information today. It was a lot of hard stuff. My heart is still aching from the hard stories I heard about girls being bought and sold in the sex trade, orphans all over the world, girls having abortions because they feel they have no other options and the lost that just need to know that they are too stamped with the image of God. I am still processing what I heard and this fire that has been lit within my soul. I know God wants me to do something, to get involved I just don't quite know how yet. I know things in my life are going to change drastically and this blog is going to be my outlet for that change. I am going to listen for His voice and do what it is He tells me to do. I know my heart is with those that are bought and sold into slavery everyday. It was good to hear this stuff though to open my eyes to the fact that it just doesn't happen "over there" it happens here, in Denver. In our neighborhoods and we MUST be aware so we can be the catalyst for change. It is time to take a stand and really live out a life that really reflects who Jesus was and have some radical faith. That is where I am going with this blog I think. To be out there being radical. This conference really lit a fire in me. And me being the type that wants to go boots to the floor I of course want to start kicking down doors in the brothels and rescuing these girls. I have to take a step back though and remember that I cannot do a cannon ball into the deep end. I HAVE to pray. I have to seek His voice and His will for what He wants me doing in this issue and how to get involved. I know I don't feel as helpless as I did before I went. It still feels overwhelming, but at least now I feel like there is the ability to make change, and be involved. I have a feeling that over the next few months things are going to get very interesting in my life and that my faith is going to start getting wild.

In Him,


Friday, December 31, 2010

2010... So on and so on

So as I sit here on this last day of 2010 with my glass of diet 7-UP watching Diego with Abigail I can't help but feel like I am some kind of strange dream. Like when am I going to wake up from this and realize that none of this really happened. But then I remember that, that February day WAS in fact real (when I gave my life to Christ) and this is in fact my life. I guess I say that because I remember where I was five years ago, even one year ago and it just BLOWS me away what God has done in my life.

New Years Eve 2005 I was pregnant, bar hopping because I didn't want to sit in a motel room by myself. I rang in the new year probably angry and that's how I stayed for the next five years. I lived in a haze. I thought getting saved was the end all be all. God had fixed everything in my salvation moment and I didn't need to do anymore work, I was golden... uh huh yeah. Fast forward to New Years Eve 2009. 2009 was a bad year in every respect of the word bad. I was miserable. In a pit that I for some reason on the surface didn't realize I was in. I was making horrible choices. As a mom I was not who I wanted to be or who God intended for me to be. I was looking for love in none of the places the I needed to be looking for love. I was drifting further and further from the heart of God and sinking further and further into sin. I couldn't see it. Everything around me SUCKED, big time. Although I would tell you that I loved God and that I had hope I don't know if I really believed it. I don't know if I believed anything. I had a foundational experience that planted huge seeds of freedom in my heart in October of 2009 but I wasn't quite ready to say that I was done living the way I, in my flesh wanted to live. I had grown comfortable in my pit and as a victim and didn't want to feel any pain. I knew healing would be hard and I wasn't ready for that yet. I had NO IDEA what God had around the corner for me. 2010 started and I was just stuck. That's the best way to describe it. I knew the end was coming but I didn't know how to climb out of my pit. While I knew that God wanted more for me, I could not on my own break the cycle of sin I was in. I was driving home from work late one night just sobbing because I didn't want to "do it" anymore. I was just tired, done, weary and so tired of fighting God. He told me to e-mail a dear friend of mine and tell her I wanted to be free. I did that and that e-mail set in motion 2010. We started a freedom bible study that UNLEASHED the power of God in my life. That was just the beginning. He has done so much this year. In my heart, in my mind, in my finances, in my parenting. Not to say that I am already where I want to be but I am no where near where I was this time last year. I am FREE. Free from the power of bad decisions and poor choices. FREE from self destruction and addiction. FREE from running from God. He was there, with His arms wide open waiting for me to come home to Him. 2010 was a hard year. I cried a lot of tears. Lost a very dear friend. Processed a lot of anger. But I moved on from a lot of things too. I forgave some things I thought I would never forgive. I let go of some things I thought I would hold on to forever. I laid down some wounds that I thought would never heal. 2010 was victorious. God was faithful, wonderful and gracious. He spoke so many sweet words to this hurting heart. When I didn't think I could keep going He kept me going. Leaving 2010 behind brings peace because I know it was for God's glory. I look forward to what 2011 holds. God's working an eternal plan for my life and it excites me to see what He is doing.

"Leave the broken, irreversible past in God's hands, and step out into the invincible future with Him." Oswald Chambers

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

What if we...

What if we took the steps to be the change that we want to see in our community. What if, instead of just talking about it, or writing notes about it, making status updates about it we actually went out into the community and made change.

What if instead of talking about how bad pornography is, we went and sat out in front of our local adult book store and prayed for the men and women that frequent those places.

What if instead of talking about how much homelessness breaks out hearts, we did something about it and fed them, clothed them, prayed with them, loved them.

What if instead of talking about why someone may have gotten into stripping or prostitution we take Jesus and bibles to the streets and love them like He would.

What if instead of condemning someone else for their life choices we open up our arms and our church doors to show them the love of Christ.

What if we instead of continuing the debate between which is better home school or public school we agree that each parent is responsible to God and their own family first.

What if we instead of continuing to be a nation that values animal life over human life, stood up for voiceless babies and said NO MORE, and really did something about it.

What if we stood up for marriage and family and having values that teach our kids right from wrong. Instead of an anything goes mentality.

What if we stopped looking past the drug addict on the street as someone worthless and unfixable and looked at him or her the way Jesus would, with eyes of love. And realize that each one of us could have been there.

What if we stopped being so lackadaisical in our faith and really lived the way Jesus wants us to live, REALLY!!

What if we gave more and took less.

What if we gave up our TV, internet, Starbucks, movies, pedicures, shopping trips, eating out, luxuries (NOT at all saying all these things need to go, just naming a few things I could certainly do without so I could give more :) )

What if we we spoke the truth in love but lived lives of grace, pure, life altering grace.

What if we were more like Jesus.

What if we were radical, Jesus freaks, BOLD.......

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Going home

I am going home this week. Not home in the sense of where I grew up, or where I currently live. Home in the sense of where I was born, born again that is. It's been 4 years, 7 months, 2 days since I was born into the body of Christ. 4 years, 7 months and 2 days since I died to my flesh and rose again forgiven, redeemed and a new creation. I call it home because it's the beginning, it's the place I was first made alive. It's the place that my life started over. It's the place the God breathed His life giving breath into my body and called me His child and gave me life anew.
I had made my way to Florida by way of Kansas by way of Colorado. The thing is God always knew. God always knew I would be there. He always knew the events would take place that would lead me to where I was when I accepted Him. He had His hand on me even before I knew Him. When I found out I was pregnant in December of 2005 I knew my life was about to change. It was like God Himself said to me "Bethany, I am making a way for you" The circumstances surrounding my pregnancy were not the greatest and I was in no condition to be bringing a baby into this world but I knew, I knew that this baby way going to be the change that I needed. I stayed in the situation I was in until February of 2006 until I could no longer take it. That is when God laid into motion the plan the would up heave EVERYTHING. I had gone to an appointment at a crisis pregnancy center to get set up for parenting classes so I could have some support. My daughters father was not at all wanting to be supportive, even though we were living together. I knew I needed to leave him but I had no money, no where to go and no support. I unloaded everything onto the girl who did my intake. Looking back now, she probably had no idea what to do with me. I literally talked non stop for 45 minutes about how miserable I was and how I just wanted to make a better way for my child. I talked about how I wanted to start going to church, how I wanted to be a healthy mom, how I just wanted to be more for my baby than I could currently be. As I sit here writing this I can see how God was preparing my heart for what He was about to do. Bless her heart, the intake counselor was so sweet. She sat there and listened to me, with all grace that God gave her that day, she let me cry, let me talk and let me just pour my heart out. She gave me some phone numbers for some different church's in the area and when I told her that I needed to leave my daughters father and had no where to go she gave me a number for a house called His Caring Place. Little did I know how my life was about to change. She said she didn't know what the age cut off might be (I was 24) but that if it came down to it to call them and see if they could help me. I don't remember what I was feeling as I drove back to the motel but I imagine I was feeling pretty hopeful, that all changed when I walked through the door. I knew he had been drinking before I even walked in the door. It was just something I could sense. I hated the drinking, but it was something he did everyday and I was powerless to stop him from doing it. It was the middle of the afternoon, he hadn't worked that day and I knew that it was going to be a long night if he was already drunk. If I was lucky he would pass out early was my thought. I don't think I had been in the door for five minutes when we started fighting. It was a big one and I was mad. He was being mean, and I was angry. I grabbed his beer and threw it at him. He came at me and I freaked out. Not my finest moment I realize that now but where I was then it was all I could do. It was then that I knew that I HAD to leave. It was now or never. I grabbed my purse and phone and ran out the door. I got in my van and called the number that the girl from the pregnancy center had given me. Crying I told them my situation. Turns out I had called one of the houses and needed to talk to the director. I called another number, spoke with Pam, who would later become so dear to my heart and told her "I am pregnant, I have nowhere to go, I need a place to stay, can you help me" She told me they weren't a shelter so they couldn't help me that night but that she could meet with me the next day. I left, drove out of the motel parking lot, with him running behind me screaming and left. I didn't know where I was going to spend the night but I knew I wasn't going back. I had tried to leave him before but had always gone back. This time I knew it for good. I drove around that night trying to think of where I was going to stay. I didn't want to go to a shelter. Shelters in South Florida are scary and I really didn't want to go there. I wound up staying with a friend of a friend that only spoke Spanish and had, what seemed like 25 cats living in her apartment. The next morning I woke up, went back to the motel to tell Jeffrey what my plan was, only to find the remnants of his party from the night before. I was broken hearted. I remember feeling so crushed. He slayed my heart. I knew he had, had another girl in the room, I knew he had smoked crack all night. It crushed me. I told him we needed some time apart. That I needed to do this for me and our baby and that I was leaving. I drove around all morning until my meeting with Pam. I went to the 4kids office at 12pm, walked in her office, sat down and begged her to let me in the house. I was older than they normally allow, had been living on my own which they normally don't get and wasn't a teenager which is typically what they see. But I wanted a better life for my child and I told her that. I told her I didn't care what the rules were that I would do WHATEVER they asked me to do. The house was part of the Calvary Chapel down in Ft. Lauderdale so I knew I would be required to go to church and I didn't care. I said I would do ANYTHING. Pam and I wound up talking for FOUR HOURS, FOUR HOURS. She was so gracious with me. Here was my desperate self. Pregnant and lonely with no one who really cared. I just needed someone to listen, someone to tell me that there was hope. I needed someone to look me in the face and tell me that there was something bigger than me in the midst and that I wasn't alone anymore. I went and checked out the house and the decision was made that I would go back to the motel, get my stuff and move in that night. Going back to the motel meant I would have to see Jeffrey again. I didn't really want to do that, well I did but I didn't. I was heartbroken that this was where we had wound up but I was ready to make some changes. I needed things to be different and he just didn't care. I had a check from his boss that I was going to use to pay his rent at the motel. I went back, started packing my stuff, and of course we started fighting. He wanted the money. I knew what he was going to do with it and with everything in me I was not going to let him smoke that money in a pipe. Now we had fought before, and they had gotten physical but when he came at me that last night and hit me with his fists I was stunned. Stunned that the man I had loved for three years could use the hands that loved me to hit me. Even though he had hit me with other things before it was different when it was his hands. I left with my stuff, stunned, angry that this was where it had gone, unsure of where things were going and anxious for the future. I walked into the house with all my baggage, both literal and metaphorical, dropped down on the couch and breathed a heavy sigh. I was home, I just didn't know it. The next week was a new one. I was not accustomed to having a routine, to being told what to do, to having chores and to having an authority figure. I had been on my own for six years. But I did it and slowly but surely came around. I went to the doctor that week and that's when I found out I was having a girl... JOY!!!!! When I called Jeffrey he was not thrilled and what he said I will not post. It broke my heart, but I should have known that he would not share my joy. Saturday February 11, 2006 was the night it all changed. The night that this blog is about. I don't remember anything about the day leading up to church, but I do remember what I was wearing. How funny is that!! We got there late so we sat in the back of the sanctuary. This was only the second service I had been to at Calvary. All week I had been poured into, love and grace and had started asking questions but still knew nothing about salvation and didn't really understand the whole concept. But I was open. I never doubted that God existed, I just doubted He was sovereign and doubted His goodness despite tragedy. Pastor Bob was preaching out of Ruth. Really I don't remember much of what the message was about other than it was about redemption. The was the first time I remember hearing that word. It sounded so sweet, redemption. I wanted that. I wanted to be redeemed. I wanted to be made new. As Pastor Bob started to give the alter call that is when I started to get antsy. He started talking about giving your life to Christ, how Jesus is just there, knocking on the door to your heart, waiting for you to open it. He kept talking about this word redemption and forgiveness, and new life. Finally it was like the damn broke open, the fire was lit, I couldn't stay in my seat. I did not walk to the alter I RAN. I had no idea that I was giving my my life to Christ I just knew I NEEDED to be at that alter. That was it, I was born again. I was a new creation. I had a new life within my being and I was a new life. I gave Him my life that night and He gave me forgiveness, new life and freedom. The breath of life, I was born again.
That is why it feels like I am going home. Back to where I was born. Back to the people who witnessed my birth. Who saw the life in me, who saw God at work. Who saw love being born in my heart. This place, this house holds such a dear place in my heart. The people hold such a dear place in my heart. They are a part of something, a part of me that is big. God is moving mightily in this ministry and is about to do something big. I would ask all of you to pray. Pray for the girls that live there now. Pray that their hearts would be opened to what God wants to do in them. Pray that they would just know without a doubt that God loves them and has a plan for their lives. Oh my heart is just full right now. So full of what God is doing and is getting ready to do. I am expectant of how this event is going to change to ministry and change my heart. I feel so honored to be a part of it and amazed that God saw a pregnant, homeless, junkie and also saw who I am today. One can never doubt the goodness or providence of God....... really.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Who I want to be

I have been thinking a lot lately about the word bold and what it means. I have been thinking a lot about what it would mean in my life to be bold and how it would change things if I were, more often than not. Now I am not shy by any means. I have a big mouth and have been known to talk A LOT. But I would not refer to my self as bold. I guess I should define what I mean by bold. Since I became I Christian I have always wanted to be the girl who would witness to people anywhere, at the store, post office, restaurant. To be so filled with the Holy Spirit that the love of Christ just overwhelms me and I just have to share about Him. Now hear me in this. I do believe there is a way to do this. I don't believe in shoving Jesus down the throats of people but I also believe that we come into contact with people everyday that are hurting that so need to hear about His love and grace and if we would just speak up a little they may, through us get that message. It just takes a little boldness. It took boldness for a nurse at a rehab to share Jesus with me and pray with me even when she probably wasn't supposed to. It was boldness that led a houseful of women to share the love of Christ with me even when I made it abundantly clear I was not about to pray to their God. It was boldness that led a women to tell me to put my big girl panties on and get over it, that put the spark in me to finally want to break free. It was boldness that led them to make those choices, to share those things with me and because of their boldness I am who I am today. My prayer to God since the beginning of my walk with Him has been Lord make me bold, help me step out of my comfort zone and reach those that need to be reached. That is what I really think this is all about. God is asking me as of late to step out of my comfort zone and I have no idea what that looks like but I know it's going to get messy. Messy in a good, God glorifying way but messy indeed. He's asking me to take risks, be fearless when I see someone who looks like they are having a bad day and let them know that someone cares, even if it's just a smile and a nod. Let me tell you a quick story:

I was at Walmart one afternoon, with my daughter. It had been a miserable trip. She was throwing a FIT, I was trying to get her buckled in the carseat but she was doing the whole body clench and I couldn't get her buckled. I finally got her strapped in enough to where she was safe and contained, shut the door and breathed a sighed of relief and did everything I could not to burst into tears. This woman in an SUV had been watching me the whole time and she started to drive over to me. I was just waiting for her to tell me that I needed to spank my kid, or take her to a shrink or some other rude remark like I had been getting over the last couple of weeks (we were having a few weeks of public fit throwing) Anyways she rolled down her window to speak and I held my breath. Then she said the sweetest words to me, "Do you need a hug" I couldn't believe it. No berating my parenting tactics, no telling me to spank my kid, just asking if I needed a hug. She was so sweet. She said she was waiting for her kids and had been watching us. She said she used to have fights like that with her daughter when she was young. she told me I was doing the right thing and that it was all going to be okay. Turns out two months later I was in a bible study with the Walmart parking lot lady..... PRAISE GOD!!!!

It's things like that. Had she not been bold enough to drive over to me, I probably would have stood there in the parking lot feeling like a failure. It had been a miserable few weeks and everywhere we were that my daughter would throw a fit someone would say something to me that would just make it worse. This woman really was Jesus with skin on when she sat with me. That is the kind of woman I want to me. Jesus with skin on. Bold for Him to step out of my comfort zone and reach out to people, to sit with them, on the hilltops or in the gutter. Jesus was bold, John the baptist was bold, Peter was bold and Paul was bold. I want to be like that, I want to be radical, bold, without limits, without bounds, reaching those that may have never heard about Jesus. So that is my prayer..... to be BOLD, to step out of my comfort zone and reach people for Jesus.