November 11, 2012

Dear Christian Leaders

Dear Christian leaders,

This is a letter to the spiritual authority of today from the leaders of tomorrow. It is a plea of young adults to the college professors, youth pastors, mentors, and authority figures in Christian schools, churches, and colleges.

We want you to know that we are trying.
Many times hopeful, zealous young people have been dampened by lifeless rules and harsh condemnation. Rules are good and necessary, we understand that. But our Jesus, you see, He taught that rules were never to outweigh love. We want to be guided by you. Not through demerits, warnings, or threats - empty or otherwise, but rather, through the Word of God, through the example you've been called to be. Teach us to love righteousness by being righteous. Encourage us to be holy by portraying holiness. Educate us in the Word by being in the Word.

Bible college and Christian school is not boot camp. It is a training ground for future pastors, missionaries, and Christian servants. No one applies for a Christian school expecting to be belittled, yelled at, and treated poorly. We are saved by the same blood you are and loved by the same Saviour. It's so very hard for us to respect someone who treats us as ignorant, unworthy, unwanted children but most of the time...we really do try.

Now, we understand we make mistakes. We break rules and make stupid choices and sometimes we need to accept consequences. There's no justification for wrong doings but remember there is always glory in mercy.

A Christian education should not begin with a burning desire to serve God and end with a heavy heart laced with bitterness, discouragement, and lack of useful knowledge. Instead, it should give us an incentive to do even more for Christ than we ever intended.

We ask that you teach us how to share the Word through our speech, actions, and lives. Show us how to live as Jesus lived and how to love people as He loved. Those are the things we so desperately long to see in you. Oh, and please, please, please, don't attempt to teach us these through a textbook while seated on an ivory tower you have built for yourself.

We are (sometimes) smarter than you give us credit for. Just as you see clearly our flaws, we see yours too. Please, don't get upset with us for staying up after "lights out" when you sit in the pews with a sour face and refuse to sing the hymns during worship service.

One more small thing, we hate this urge to somehow prove you wrong because you have assumed we know nothing. Could you consider, just once, accepting that maybe, just maybe, we have something to teach you too?

We are grateful for your sacrifice and this isn't a rant, but rather, some thoughts to share. After all, we may someday be in your position and will need the same reminders.

Keep pressing on for Christ.


The Christian Leaders of Tomorrow

P.S. - This has just been heavy on my heart for a very long time. Hopefully no offense is taken by the rather directness of this post and it is in no way meant to be disrespectful. It is meant to only be an encouragement.

Only holy Christians are useful Christians; and the preaching of Christ’s truth must be backed up by the consistent living of Christ’s followers if it is to have its due effect upon the hearts and lives of the ungodly." - C.H.Spurgeon

October 6, 2012

The Death of a Cricket

"Hey guys, look at this cricket!"

As soon as the words left my mouth, I knew I had made a terrible mistake.

To the horror of the cricket, little feet rushed over. A thorough inspection and corresponding oohs and ahhs were in immediate order. The jumping bug was then assaulted by not one, not two, but seven preschoolers. Unfortunately, there was no merciful stomping upon said cricket. Instead, the creature was given a chance to try swimming in the nearest puddle of rain water, smothered between "sharing" exchanges, and given a "house" that consisted of fourteen hands worth of soggy mulch.

The last I saw of the poor cricket, it was missing a leg and scrambling for the nearest escape.

Of course, if I had chosen not to say anything, the cricket could have continued on his merry way without ever having been literally torn to shreds.

How true the same idea rings for the Christian. We are so quick to draw attention to others. To point a finger at the wrongs of the unbeliever, or worse, at the flaws of a brother or sister in Christ. A casual mention of sin in another brings against them swift and heavy condemnation by anyone who will side with us. The gossip chain of a "did you hear about so-and-so" spreads until the wounded soul goes limping away out of sight.

Yet somehow, instead of feeling remorseful over a distinct lack of love, we feel justified. In the darkest part of ourselves we find a sense of satisfaction in seeing a person who has chosen sin brought to their just dues.
After all, that cricket was nothing more than a filthy pest. A bug who should have been stomped into the dust before it turned into a bigger problem.

I am guilty too. Not only of subjecting a cricket to the unknown cruelties of preschoolers, but for condemning someone in the wrong without extending a solution. Like many, I have pointed out flaws in others before examining my own hidden issues.

After all, my friends, we are but lowly crickets too. Filthy and undeserving of the promise of life. Yet our Saviour looked beyond that fault and saw our need. His salvation brings life renewed and in that life, the potential for righteousness, holiness, and...a love for other sinners.Without first recognizing our own desperate need for His forgiveness and restoring love, we cannot look at others with an honest point of view.

More than anything, our mouths must be guarded. What we say regarding others, and who we say it to for that matter, must be matters of careful consideration. Remember that we are to love others simply because Jesus Christ loves us. Instead of criticizing - intercede, instead of gossip - extend grace, and instead of scorn - offer the blessed news of forgiveness. Friends, keep being molded into something more like Him!

(Oh, and the praying mantis who was discovered by the same preschool class the very next day...may it rest in peace.)

"If I belittle those whom I am called to serve, talk of their weak points in contrast perhaps with what I think of as my strong points; if I adopt a superior attitude, forgetting "Who made thee to differ? And what hast thou that thou hast not received?" then I know nothing of Calvary love."
- Amy Carmichael

September 29, 2012


He asked. I said yes. Soon we'll say "I do."

It is crazy how quickly life can change. Not only am I now planning a wedding, but my  wedding, and still beyond that, preparing to build the rest of my life with the man I love.

What's even more mind-boggling than that is how incredibly good God is to those who are willing to wait for Him. I cannot even begin to bless His name enough for the blessings He has bestowed upon me. 

But along with blessings come lessons too.

Because of the direction the Lord has led us, I've found myself confronted with the same struggles I was dealing with at the beginning of this year. The desire to hold on to earthly things and attachments is being tested full-force.


While I've never been especially covetous, I am very sentimental. As boxes of belongings need to be sorted through, this sentimental drive has been beating me up. On one shoulder, the small voice of self whispers, "It's okay to be attached to stuff. It's perfectly normal for a bride-to-be to load up her registry with nice things to make a house a home." On the other side, however, is voice of Jesus Christ saying, "Lay not up for yourselves treasures on the earth...but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven." While gritting my teeth, I put another box of "stuff" in the Goodwill pile. Even though most of these things aren't practical, useful, or especially heart-warming, I still hate to get rid of those extra fiction novels or the clothes I may someday fit into.

I understand there are items we need to live and even things that are acceptable to still hold on to. There is nothing wrong with nice things but the problem arises in the power hold they hold over us. In part, the reason so many of my "things" are not coming with me is because Russell and I simply don't have room in my car or in our apartment for frivolous pretties. Yet, I know within me that the Lord is just teaching me a lesson I'll need for later. Sometime the need to pull this lesson off the shelf will arise and whenever the Lord sends us to the mission field, it will be put again to the test. Better learn it now.

The whole reason the Saviour pleads with us as Christians not to put stock in earthly belongings is simply this: "For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also."

My treasure cannot be found in matching plate sets, white picket fences, or a way of life that culture dictates. Instead, my treasures should be found in memories, people, and experiences and ultimately, those things that bring glory to God. Those are the things that last. There is freedom found in letting go and leaving things behind and turning focus upward and outward.

Thank you all for your support and prayers! I've been wishing for a bit of extra time to sit down a write a blog post and the Lord provided it today!

On December the 8th, I'm going to marry my bestest friend and honestly, the best young man I know. Remember, my friends, that the Lord ALWAYS does exceedingly abundant above what we could ever ask or think!

“Bit by bit treasured keepsakes and souvenirs were being wrested from me. I was being taught to live so that my most treasured mementos took the form of beautiful memories stored in the file of my heart." - Darlene Deibler Rose

August 21, 2012

Giving Away Best Friends: To Esther

I can still see us as a bunch of silly, giggling teenage girls laying on your bed talking about boys and how greatly they were to impact our futures.

We would talk out our "lists" of what qualities were important in a man and what characteristics (shallow and not-so shallow) we would like "the one" to possess. I was always far more embarrassed to share mine than you were. Of course, as often as it was brought up in conversation, it was easy to get over that.

I'm pretty sure the majority of our teenage conversations went something like this:

Esther: "Come on, Beth, who do you like?"
Beth: "Boys are obnoxious. Even if I did like someone, I wouldn't tell."
Esther: "Well, I am getting married someday and you will help and be in my wedding and then I'm going to have twenty-five kids and I really hope my kids have blue eyes."
Beth: "Hmph."
It baffles me how great our God is and how perfect His timing will always be. You've in every way, shape, and form protected your heart and body for the man the heavenly Father has chosen to be your soulmate. You have faithfully prepared to be not only a servant of the living God but also a wonderful wife and mother.

Even though we talked about your wedding day so much growing up, I never could have predicted how your love story would fall together. The thirteen year-old me wouldn't have been able to see the amazing woman you've become and how overwhelming the goodness of God can be.

I have always, always known that you were a real gem and I was not about to let you settle for anything less than you deserve. You know that verse about the virtuous woman? That's you through and through, my dear friend! You work hard at everything you do, you love people, serve God with a pure heart, and simply beam with a beauty that can only come from within. Kevin is lucky to have you. No, actually, Kevin is blessed to have you.

The next few days mark the last of our times as we've always known them. Your husband will become your best friend, your go-to person, and your top priority - and all as it well should be. Part of this selfish heart of mine aches knowing that things won't ever be quite the same again but most of me is inexplicably happy for you. This week, I'm giving my best friend to Kevin. I know the Maker of your heart has chosen him to care for it and that through His grace, your marriage will be molded into something wonderful.

On Saturday, after the flurry of last minute wedding plans and pulling things together, those doors to the church sanctuary will open and you'll stand there as a child of God, my kindred friend, and Kevin's bride. And what a beautiful bride you will be! I cannot even begin to express how hard it'll be for me not to cry up there and you know how much I dislike crying in front of people! But you're worth every tear and every smile in that church building.

I will see you tomorrow and I will cherish every second we spend getting ready for your big day. I love you more than I could ever say! Congratulations, Esther, you deserve nothing less than happily ever after.

“True friends are always together in spirit." ― L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

August 7, 2012

Conflicting Details

You say you're open and honest. You're happy being the person you are and if anyone doesn't like with it. Sure, you mess up but when you do, you boast it nice and loud so everyone knows just how humble you are. After all, you'll readily admit your mistakes unlike cyborg-ish individuals such as myself. You're confident in who you are and in the fact that God loves you as you are.

Where in the Bible does it say being open about who you are is a substitute for being righteous? Please point me to the clause that gives Christians the excuse to slip into worldliness? Can I get blunt for a second?

God doesn't only call you to be honest, He demands you to be holy.

Speaking of honesty, if I were honest with myself, that single word strikes more fear into my being than just about anything else. That "Be ye holy; for I am holy" verse? It is not optional, it is a necessity. The verse before that penned by the apostle Peter says that Christians are to be holy in "all manner of conversation." I am certain that the words "friggin" and "that sucks" do not glorify the God who gave you the ability to speak.

Now please don't think I'm being Pharisaical. I know the Lord loved and still loves the sinners and the outcasts of this world. They are the reason He came in the first place. However, the beauty of our great Saviour is that He loves sinners too much to leave them that way. He reaches out to the sinner with tender mercy and draws them out of a horrible pit to set their feet upon a rock. He puts a new song in the mouth of a newborn saint and gives them the victory to overcome the clutches of the old man. Why are you still looking and sounding like an old man when He has given you the power to be new? Why do you so desperately seek to be approved by a world who scorned Him? We are not called to relate to worldliness but we are called to relay the message of eternity. The words we speak should not be words of compromise but should be sparking conversion through Christ-like conversation. We are to walk as He walked through the paths of righteousness for His name's sake.

I am not perfect. I battle my own flesh every single day. Sometimes I catch myself falling more and more into who I used to be and I hate that. Perhaps my frustration stems from the fact that I am trying to desperately to become more like Christ and everywhere I turn Christians are content to reflect the World.

I'm not funny. I'm not witty. I don't have exceptional class or the superior ability to fit in. More and more I'm coming to realize, though, that none of that matters in light of eternity. Lord Jesus, take me as I am now and change me into someone more like You.

P.S.  - I really am not trying to offend or seem overly harsh. It is not in any way shape or form my intention to say that we should forget about loving people or not forgiving them their faults. I'm just as guilty of this mindset as the next person and would never want to portray a "holier than thou" attitude. I am not ranting at anyone in particular but rather, expressing my sadness over a mindset that starts into Christian's being apathetic and lukewarm. S'all. :]

"Character in a saint means the disposition of Jesus Christ persistently manifested." –Chambers

July 31, 2012

Pride In High Heels

It seems such a  forthright sin but it is very good at camouflaging itself. Sometimes pride is worn like face paint. It's blatantly obvious to everyone else but not realized by the wearer. After some serious examination, or a chance encounter with that reflecting glass in bank windows, it is finally obvious that some humble pie is in order.

The other kind of pride parades itself around wearing a "Sunday best" wardrobe and high heel shoes. It looks really good. It's confident, it's witty, and everyone likes it because hey, this kind of pride is friendly, charming, and has a great Christian image. Watch out though, because this pride sits quite comfortably in church pews. It is eager to help after service, it can quote Scripture, and readily extends a hand to those who are hurting. It's actions outside are in every respect good, right, and moral but if you were to peek inside, it'd resemble stepping into a sarcophagus.

Ouch. How is this possible? How can one be doing everything right and still be full of dead men's bones? An individual may not see their pride and others around them don't see it either. It is a masquerade ball and Pride has arrived in a "good Christian" costume.

Here's the problem: dressed up pride is still pride. Doing all the right things with the motivation of "me" do not equal glorifying God. The reason I can say all this is because I'm guilty too. My cup may look pretty sparkling clean from the outside but often it is filled with soured expectations, negativity, and selfishness. No good!

Those things I do because they're right must be done because the Saviour alone is worthy. Not because Beth deserves to look good, not because it is expected of me by some other person, but because He expects it of me and it is the least I can do for the Lamb that was slain.

The Bible is always true and when the Word says that pride comes before destruction and that haughty spirit before a fall you'd better believe that those fancy heels don't serve so well on the narrow, uphill road Christ has called us to climb. Someday before the throne of the Almighty, when all the pomp and fluff we call our "spirituality" and "service" is stripped away, I believe many of us will be appalled at what we proudly offered to the King of Kings.

Barefoot on holy ground before the Lord is where I can only hope to kneel. As He teaches me and continuously reveals to me the "accessories" of pride I fail to even acknowledge, it is my prayer to be able to honestly know and admit that I have not attained anything apart from His grace.  

"A proud man is always looking down on things and people; and, of course, as long as you are looking down, you cannot see something that is above you." - C.S.Lewis

June 21, 2012

The Year-Ago Me

Tonight, the pavement underneath bare feet is still warm from the sun even though the stars are out. Sweet little fireflies flicker through the trees and the air is so heavy with humidity it feels like a soggy towel. Summer has hit full wave with temperatures edging close to triple digits and I can't help but peer back into the "me" of a year ago.

It is crazy how much can change in such a short amount of time. It is crazy how much doesn't change.

The year-ago me was learning about prayer. Prayer is about an undeserving child pouring out an empty heart to a Father God who, with one drop of heavenly power, can heal the sick, blind, and broken.

A year ago, I was discovering that my plans will never, ever outshine God's. I can make my own way, I can choose what, when, who, or how I want...and it may even appear to "work out" but it cannot be any better than what the Saviour has in store.

A year ago I was standing at the beginning of summer looking into my last year of college. I would lay on the cracked driveway and listen to the stoplight change and wonder what my life would bring.

The today me is still learning about prayer. Day in and day out I am reminded of how far I have to come in my prayer life and how easy it is to forget the incredible power of conversing with the Almighty.

Today I can only smile at how different plans can be. I now know that God makes His way much clearer than I ever gave Him credit for. I know that He works in mysterious ways and I can only eagerly wait for Him to continue working in the manner He does!

The Beth of today is still looking out at the rest of my life and I still wonder what the Lord has in store. I do know, though, that God is so so good and that He has worked on me and in me throughout the past year. I pray that my life only increases in His glory and decreases in mine.

"God never made a promise that was too good to be true." - Dwight L. Moody

June 1, 2012


 May flickered passed like a pebble across a pond.

Graduation from college on May 18 left me closing one chapter and opening another. It feels good to be finished with the schooling aspect of these past years though I know the learning process is far from over.

Speaking of learning, isn't it amazing how you know something in the back of your mind but it hits like a brand new fresh revelation sometimes?

Realization: God does not need your help.

Sure, He gave you an opinion but not to interject against His. He gave you the ability to work and serve Him but not to earn or merit His favor. You can plan out your next step in life and the next few steps to follow but He can see the timeline of life start to finish. His ways are far higher, far better, and far more capable of seeing things through.

The Almighty does not need assistance with being the Almighty.

More and more He has been teaching me to let go of me and let Him do what He does best. He has opened doors and put together things that I could not have orchestrated myself. He has flooded my life with blessings and good and none of it was based on me but all on Him and that's exactly as it should be.

"Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of His understanding."
Isaiah 40:28


"God’s lead­er­ship is the one sig­nif­i­cant fact in hu­man ex­per­i­ence, that it makes no dif­fer­ence how we are led, or whi­ther we are led, so long as we are sure God is lead­ing us. " - Joseph Gilmore

May 12, 2012


Three years have slipped through my fingers like sand.

As I stepped out of graduation practice, the reality of all this change hit me like a brick wall.

The homework, tests, study groups, drama, and pointless trips to Walmart are all over and I am wondering where the time went. Many things through school have molded and changed me into who I am. As a college graduate, I have nothing more to share than the lessons I've learned. Not only do I know about the minor prophets, the 70 weeks of Daniel, and what plenary verbal inspiration means, but more importantly, I've learned much about myself, about God, about life.

1. You do not know it all.

Reality check. Just because you have grown up in Sunday School, carried a 4.0 in college for four semesters, and can rattle off witty answers to just about anything means nothing. Don't ever lose a teachable spirit! The moment you think you've got've lost it.

"For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself."
- Galatians 6:3

2. Keep your mouth shut.

One of the hardest things to do is to listen. Oh, we hear things all the time but listening? Listening requires effort and care and that's sometimes just too much to ask for, right? How much more I could have learned if I'd only listened instead of formulating a response! Brain must always engage in listening and then discern the proper response before the mouth ever begins to open.

"Seest thou a man that is hasty in his words? there is more hope of a fool than of him."
- Proverbs 29:20

3. Words make or break a person.

I've come to discover that what is said influences people in a powerful way. What I may say to or about a person should not be flippantly tossed around. Words effect people greatly.  If what I say in encouragement can bring a person to succeed, Or what is said in disdain can cause them to stumble, how careful I must be about guarding my mouth! The Bible tells us that death and life are in the power of the tongue...and I must be wary and prayerful about how I use it.

"Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth!" - James 3:5

4. What people think about you IS important.

This is one of those pet peeves of mine. "I just don't care what they think about me." Oh, but you should! Two words: reputation and testimony. Testimony is what I am to always uphold, it is the mark of who I am. My reputation is the record of how well that has been done. To all those young people who seem to believe that you are free to whatever you want because you don't care what people think, remember you can never never shake a reputation. What you do, even in those seemingly pointless moments of life, may follow you all your days. Guard your name and what is associated with it!

"A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favour rather than silver and gold." - Proverbs 22:1

5. God knows what He's doing.

So often I try to handle things myself. As the effort to take the world on my shoulders becomes too much, there is the reminder that there is a God who knows better. He has it all under control. Every weave and thread of life is connected to the hand of the Omnipotent. Why borrow trouble from tomorrow with worries and cares? He asks only for us to cast all our care upon Him. Why? Because He cares for you.

"Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of His understanding."
- Isaiah 40:28

"The best education is education in the best things." - C.H. Spurgeon

April 17, 2012

This Peace

       {photo via pinterest}

, n. [L. pax, paco, to appease.] Freedom from agitation or disturbance by the passions, as from fear, terror, anger, anxiety or the like; quietness of mind; tranquility; calmness; quiet of conscience.

The loss of peace is not someone else’s fault.

Peace that is easy come, easy go, has its root in the wrong place.

The kind of peace that lasts beyond a single momentary quiet time is not fickle. It does not get its feathers ruffled with frustrations of the day. Stress does not overwhelm to the point of hindering its work. Bitterness and annoyances do not burrow deep when this peace has its way.

Now, I do not claim to have attained this. In fact, far from it! Often, some person will do something or say something and it will instantly make me upset! Even something as simple as a flippant comment or look will put me on the defensive and I allow it to stew inside for far too long. Here lies the problem, that robbing of peace occurs because of me. It is no one’s fault but my own, or your own, when that inside calm is stripped away.

This peace calmed the storm on the sea, it sustained the martyrs of history, it is mentioned time and again in the letters of the Apostles. This peace is only given through the God of peace. It is not caused by something outside, but rather, by Someone inside.

  “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” – John 14:27

Amy Carmichael said this, “If monotony tries me, and I cannot stand drudgery: if stupid people fret me and little ruffles set me on edge; if I make much of the trifles of life, then I know nothing of Calvary love.”

Did you catch that? Miss Carmichael went as far as to say that when we allow the dramatic to take hold, we do not understand the love that sent Christ to the cross. How silly it is when we allow the small things of this life to whisk away lasting, sustaining rest! After all, doesn’t God’s word assure that “Great peace have they which love Thy law: and nothing shall offend them?” The book of Isaiah also promises, “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on Thee.”

Love His Word and keep your mind steadied on Him and the result will be that quiet, restful spirit that can confidently sing amidst the fires of this world, “When peace like a river attendeth my way, when sorrows like sea billows roll, whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say, it is well, it is well with my soul!”

Yep, I want that.


"God cannot give us a happiness and peace apart from Himself, because it is not there."   -  C. S. Lewis

April 7, 2012


{via pinterest}
I have been trying for months to write this post and even now I fear that all of what needs to be said won't be properly expressed. My apologies for the length of this, I will try my sincere best to keep from rambling, though every last ounce of what's on my heart needs to get out.

One word has plagued my thoughts and mind for months. I have toyed and flirted with it, as many Christians do. I've pulled it out from its cobweb box only to shove it back into the darkness of mediocrity. But I can no longer avoid it. It has haunted every quiet time, every sermon, every deep thought and self-examination.

It is surrender.

Having grown up in a Christian home, I attended numerous camps where this "issue" was preached on and preached on hard. I heard the word riddled through sermons any given Sunday and once in a while someone would casually mention it in conversation. I always said that I had surrendered, that I was willing to do whatever God wanted. To a certain degree, I was surrendered the best I knew how, at least, to the last point I had realized. Now, however, my life has taken a few tumbles and I find myself lying face up at the bottom of a hill...and my only option for the future is this consuming surrender.

I have come to the conclusion that surrendering to God is more than just a one time, "Whatever you want, God." It is a conscious moment when everything that is your life is gathered up and literally placed into the hands of the Father. It is a definite, certain, and continuous giving up of control to God, who is already in control anyway. I find myself constantly cleaning out the rooms and hidden places of my mind and life, sweeping out the dusty corners and often tearfully handing over pieces of me to the One who handles it best. He knows better than I. Always.

Yet I struggle. We struggle. The whole of Christianity wrestles with surrender every day.

Doesn't God call His children to be living sacrifices? The very word 'sacrifice' denotes that it is not a life of fluff and fun. God has never promised anyone a life of self-gain and worldly pleasures. When the Saviour asks you to give up your matching dishes, your pinterest board full of pretty things, your ideal future (you know, the story-book married life with a perfect family in a picket-fenced house with a wrap-around porch), will you say yes? What if He asked you to give up those little phrases and adages that associate you with the "cool" world? What if He pointed His finger to the worst place imaginable and said go? Or perhaps the hardest of them all, what if the Lord directed you to people you don't particularly like and said, "Now, love them as I have loved you."

I cower inside even as I write these words because I know that all of this is what God has called me to do. He has called me to take up a cross. Yes, a cross. It'll be heavy and uncomfortable. It'll be too much to bear and painful at times. However, the cross of self-sacrifice and dying to me comes attached to His life. As self dies, it points to a way of living and a future more abundant than anything I could ever formulate for myself!

Christ gave it all for you and for me. Every part of Himself was poured out as a holy, perfect sacrifice on our behalf. Such a shame it would be, if the children bought with His blood would refuse to sacrifice for Him. This feeble, unworthy life of mine would be such a small offering in comparison to His. How could I not give everything to Him? After all, I'm already bought by Him anyway

A journal entry from a while ago sums it all up, I think.

February 19, 2012
"I have been pouring through the Bible desperately seeking God's will and direction and He keeps bringing me back to this. Do you know what I've discovered? I've found that God does not call His followers to a life of mediocre, lukewarm service to Him. In fact, the very idea of such makes Him sick. God calls those who claim to be His to a life of sold-out, radical abandonment to Him. Where He points the finger, I should jump in ready response to go. What He tells me to give up, I should gratefully place it at His feet.
Well, Beth, can you be His disciple? Can you lay all you had figured and counted on for your life on the altar of sacrifice for the One who sacrificed it all for you? Is it worth it? Can all your hopes, dreams, and plans for your future be crucified and as a completely empty vessel can you honestly say, "Fill me, use me, mold me!"

Does the Bible not say, "If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother...yea, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple?" This service to God, does it not require, "Whosoever will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me?" 

This living for Christ requires one thing - dying to self. And...that's hard."

“To be a follower of the Crucified means, sooner or later, a personal encounter with the cross. And the cross always entails loss.” — Elisabeth Elliot

March 19, 2012

What Next

As I float through my final months of college, the question of "what next" seems to plague daily conversation. Good-meaning people and their curiosities instantly and always make me uncertain. Of course, their intentions aren't to set this over-planning brain into panic mode but that's exactly what occurs. And so, I shrug and give a little chuckle and assure them, as well as myself, that God will direct me and that even though I don't really know where I'm going or what I'm doing, it'll all be okay.

God has not called us to know it all. That's right. This life isn't some quest on the search for omniscience. It is however, a journey of trust and reliance upon the One who understands, realizes, and created the road ahead. As simple as this sounds, the whole unsure part is really hard to swallow.

My grandfather once asked me as a teenager what I planned on doing with my life. As a teen who already had the propensity to plan, this left me fumbling for the right answer, or the one that made the most sense. He just smiled and shrugged, "Don't worry about it, I don't even know what I want to do." This boggled my brain. This man with graying hair and the best grandpa beard ever, this late in his life, was still unsure?

Now I have come to realize that everyone's unsure. The book of James tells us that we have no idea what tomorrow will bring. Therefore, the only day I truly need to worry about

Today, I will finish my coffee, go to class, mull over the sweetness of finding a flower planted last spring sprout up, ponder on John 20 and Psalm 40, and enjoy the beautiful spring atmosphere that my God has created (with a lot of sneezing and itching eyes, unfortunately).

God's teaching me. It's hard sometimes and the majority of the lessons seem to be pieces of a jigsaw puzzle. Still, He's teaching me nonetheless, and it's so so good to know that all my uncertainty can rest in the hands of the All-knowing.

"Restlessness and impatience change nothing except our peace and joy. Peace does not dwell in outward things, but in the heart prepared to wait trustfully and quietly on Him who has all things safely in His hands." -  Elisabeth Elliot

"Blessed are the single-hearted, for they shall enjoy much peace. If you refuse to be hurried and pressed, if you stay your soul on God, nothing can keep you from that clearness of spirit which is life and peace. In that stillness you will know what His will is." – Amy Carmichael

March 1, 2012


Sometimes there are no words. Which would explain why the posts on this blog have been so few and far between. See, when I write on here, I so desperately want to say something from my heart, to transfer a little piece of me into words.

Lately though, every free second my mind is not thinking on school, best friends getting married, and college graduation, my thoughts have been clouded with only one thing. I cannot write about it, because it still tugs at me with a weird intensity and a dull ache of uncertainty and unwillingness. It's a sort of secret battle of the wills going on between this confused child and her heavenly Father.

As the Lord and I work to sort me out, I'm not sure for the moment. Well, that's not true, I am sure, just...uncertain, if that can possibly make any sense.

Therefore, until I can find words to say, I'll share Words from the One who says it best.

February 17, 2012

Draw Nigh

                                                                                                                                      {via pinterest}

Did you ever have a verse chase you around? You know, that one passage that every where you turn it seems to implant itself firmly in front of your face? In class, a professor asked about it, a preacher preached it, a friend pointed to the passage in group devotions, and lo and behold, a letter in the mail from a dear friend had this same verse handwritten in tiny letters at the very bottom of the card. That sealed it. This verse was chasing me. Needless to say, as I sat in the pew reading it, I'm sure my mouth was hanging open wide enough to make a scene. Okay, God, I get it.


Now, this verse is a common one. I've heard it no less than a hundred times, I'm certain! But the Lord has a funny way of bringing things back, reminding again, and teaching a brand new lesson from the familiar. How precious this promise is! How sweet the reminder that the moment we take a step closer to God, how eager He is to fill in the rest of the gap!

As I tumble head first towards graduating college, my heart continues to grow heavier and heavier for the mission field and yet I find myself without a set direction to go. Where's my next footstep going to be, Lord? Where should I go? What should I do? When, why, how, where? I'm torn between a myriad of decisions. I know what I want. But I want what God wants as well.

This leads to a tad bit of turmoil in my over-planning, controlling self. But then there's this beautiful little promise God keeps tossing in front of my distracted focus.

"Hey, Bethany, listen...just come close to Me. Draw nigh, and I'll be close to you. THIS is what I've called you to do first and foremost! The closer to me, those whispers you're waiting for? They will be all the more clear."

So, I read James 4:8 again and smile because this drawing nigh to Him? It kind of feels like coming home.

January 28, 2012


I learned so much in that half an hour.

Her health doesn’t allow her to venture much further than the nursing home across the street to visit the man who shared 56 years of her life. Every day she sits by this man who doesn’t even know who she is. She tells us over and over again that he isn’t her Billie any more. While there, she reaches out to the others in need. The nurses who bustle through the facility with pain in their eyes, she sees them. She prays for them and tells them about God. A God who has the man she adores trapped in a mind she doesn’t recognize. Every night when she returns, she cries, and gets a little angry, and then begs the Lord to take her husband home.

Sitting on her coffee table is her husband's Bible.Small notes from children are tucked between its yellow pages, just as he left it. Its binding is cracked from age and use and its Words are more dear to this woman than the dusty knick-knacks and photo frames surrounding it.

This saint kneels on hobbled 82 year-old knees by her couch in the lamp light on Sundays. The pastor’s voice wavers over the radio as she prays for the world. She prays for a world who doesn’t care and a generation that has turned their back on this sweet warrior of the faith.

She smiles at me, pressing her stub of a hand to her cheek, and she calls me child. “Child,” she says, “You know, God never gives us more than we can bear. Oh, there’s tears…and sorrow. But it always ends up okay and right in the end.” There’s no arguing with a woman who has experienced so much and has touched the hand and heart of God. There’s nothing to be said other than a whispered amen.

“Ms. Alice, can we sing with you? Do you have a favorite?”

Her lips press together and her eyes are bright with life as she replies, “You know an old one? Leave it there? Because when you lay all those burdens at His feet, you know, you aren’t supposed to pick them back up again.”

So we sing and give her a hug and leave her little house and I mostly just want to cry. Because in that half an hour, I feel like maybe I’ve been in the presence of the love of God. The strong, silent sort of love that just keeps on loving despite the fact that it has been chosen to thrive alone, that was her. I pray for her strength and her passion in serving the Saviour to be cultivated in my own childish heart.

God bless you, sweet Alice, for you have taught me much and you are so precious in His sight!

Note: I wrote this post two years ago and just recently dear Alice has slipped on from this world in to the next and in to the presence of the Lord. We know she is now rejoicing in Heaven with her Saviour!


January 19, 2012

Oh, Martha

Martha, I have always empathized with you. I know the panic and pride that squeezed your heart as you felt you were doing it all alone. That finger, calloused from labor, which stretched out to accuse your sister is also my own.

Oh, Martha, I relate to your self-pity. I relate to your frustration as you bustled about. I know the desperation in trying to stick to the plan. You tried to make everything perfect for the Lord but you forgot the most important thing. This Jesus was your Friend, your Saviour, your God, and you failed to take the time to learn and listen from the One who knows your servant's heart best. After all, He formed those talents within you. Christ was not condemning your labor, only your lack of finding rest in Him.

Dear Martha, your service wasn't criticized but your timing. Your holy Friend did not need your hostessing, but rather, your hearing acutely tuned to His words. He did not desire your endless work but your eyes on Him.

Martha, did you learn your lesson? Did your heart sink when the Redeemer turned His eyes on you? As He beckoned you to sit at His feet and just be with Him, did you drop your serving platter to fall on your knees? Or did you turn back to the kitchen with a lump in your throat to cry into the dishwater?

Oh, Martha, your mistake is mine as well. May I continuously remember that God does call me to be in service for Him, but only after I have spent sufficient time at His feet.


"But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? Bid her therefore that she help me. And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things: But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.” - Luke 10:40-42

January 6, 2012

He Did

( via pinterest )

You read every post of theirs on Facebook.

You put up song lyrics in your status thinking of that someone all the while.

You sit there and blabber on about how great so-and-so is and how they bring so much purpose and meaning to your life.

You'd even go as far to sign up for a site like Twitter to follow them.

But how far would you go to follow Christ?

That “interest” of yours, the one you devote all your time and thoughts to, they did not die for your soul. They did not deny their worthiness for respect and awe in order to become despised. They did not lower themselves to the lowest of low to become a sacrifice for you. They did not hang suspended between heaven and earth to call you free. All the weight of sin and the emptiness of death did not bear down upon them while their own Father refused to look because of the shame and anguish. They did not redeem your sin-sick and rotten person and call you a child, a son, a saint, perfect, clean, and ransomed.

He did.

Maybe if we devoted a little more time to seeking to know the One who gave it ALL for us, rather than trying to figure out our next fickle, earthly relationship, we would find the satisfaction and peace we all desire.

I'm not saying that friends and relationships aren't important. They are.

I'm saying this, He is the most important.

Don't let Him take second place to that new guy in your class or to that “cute” someone that you don't even know their name. He knew your name before you were born. He knew who you were when He breathed the universe to life. Don't forget about the Saviour in your endeavors for whatever happiness you think you want.

Disclaimer: Dear sweet teenage girls who are my friends on Facebook, please, don't take offense, this wasn't written against you, only to encourage.