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Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Father, Thank You!

Psalm 30:11-12 Thou hast turned for me my mourning into dancing: thou hast put off my sackcloth, and girded me with gladness; To the end that my glory may sing praise to thee, and not be silent. O LORD my God, I will give thanks unto thee for ever.

Hello, friends!
I promise I am still alive, contrary to all appearances. :) The last few weeks have been a crazy whirlwind of activity, most all of it good, but still...not too much free time to blog lately. ;)

November is a month of thanksgiving. A month of praising God for His grace, mercy, and bountiful goodness to us. Today, I would like to give thanks to Him for the many things he has done for me just in the past couple of weeks, and the opportunities to come in the next few.

In October, some friends from Alaska came to Wenatchee for several days for a family conference. The services were so good, and the fellowship was sweet. I was able to go to Leavenworth with some of the lovely Humphrey ladies (missed you, Aimee and Krista!! :'(. The fall colors were in full swing as we walked the gorgeous trails in the area, drank some awesome coffee, and ate Bavarian pastries. ;) No matter how many times I've been to Leavenworth, it never gets old. :)

After that, Bro. Doug Hammet and his wife came for a visit. Bro. Doug has been a good friend and mentor to our family and church for a long time, but I didn't remember meeting him in person. (Although apparently I met him at 4 or 5 years old? ;) Anyway, it was a blessing having them stay in our home and being able to talk with them about their amazing ministry to southern Africa. 

This past week, we went over to Oak Harbor for our annual missions conference. As always, it was an absolute highlight of the year! Convicting messages each night, and special missions forums every afternoon were a great challenge to me, especially in the area of personal evangelism. This is one area I very much tend to fail in unless I am actively seeking ways to build good habits. I want to be so much more faithful and bold in this area! I also got to practice tons of music with the group that is going to Fiji. There are 11 of us total, 10 who are singing, so it was really special to sing with them and get ready to minister to the brethren we will meet on the trip. 

One area of this year's conference was difficult, in that my great grandma went home to be with The Lord. She was 97, and had been a faithful Christian for many years. My mom was not able to make it to most of the conference due to being there with her, but I am so glad she was able to! I think it was truly important that she be there. I am deeply thankful to The Lord for making a way through His blood for me to see her again! Even though it hurts and there are tears now, I know that this is not a final separation. In a week and a half, we will be heading up to Canada for her memorial service, and I'll be heading straight from there to Oak Harbor in preparation for the Fiji trip!!

That means I have 11 days from right now to get ready for three weeks overseas. 10, if you are reading this on email. I can NOT believe it's so close!! I'm so excited for this incredible opportunity to return to the South Pacific and be a blessing in every way I am able! We will be attending a 4 day conference, as well as going to a couple of different churches for the guys to preach in different areas. We will be singing a lot as a group and in smaller duets and trios. It will be interesting seeing how everything works out, as many details can't be planned out until we are there. If then. ;) I think a lot of more minor things will just be done on the fly. Which is cool with me! International travel is unpredictable and just a bit scary anyway, a few more little unknowns aren't going to make a difference. ;P I will be away for 3 full weeks, (Thanksgiving Day through December 14th), so the blog may be neglected unless I can get some good Samaritans to send me a guest post. Ahem. Any volunteers? ;) 

A few more things I am super thankful for this month...

Hot soup on cold days. Huge sweaters and steaming coffee. My new job at a Sew and Vac store!! Long late night phone calls. Snail mail letters that make me laugh. My new tangerine clove candle that smells like Christmas. My Peaceful Guitar playlist on Spotify (so nice to fall asleep to!). Autumn colors blazing on the trees. Driving through the Cascades and being blown away by the majesty of them for the thousandth time. Cozy socks. Folding fat quarters at work. :) Christmas coming up. Siblings' birthdays. 

What are you grateful for? <3 Have a blessed Thanksgiving if I'm unable to post again before then!! Love,

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Growing! (Hopefully ;)

Hello, all my wonderful readers!
Today instead of an actual post, I have a few quick announcements/favors to ask of you. :) 

First off, I want to say thank you so much to all of you who take the time to read, comment, and repost things from this really means a lot to me. I don't have a huge reader base, but I didn't start this blog to get massive amounts of readers, I just wanted to be a blessing to someone! :) That being said, I have been trying lately to think of some ways I can refresh or restyle things every now and then. I want to make sure that my content is not only God-honoring, but also pleasant to read and relevant to my readers. 

So, I made a little poll on the sidebar of the blog. If you read my posts via email, (which I think many of you do), would you mind just hopping onto the web version and voting really quick? A desktop or laptop is the most user friendly, but you can do it on your mobile device as well by scrolling to the very bottom of the web page and clicking "View Web Version". It will probably be pretty small, but you can then zoom in and vote that way. It would help me out a ton! :)

Also, if there are any of you that are interested in guest posting for me sometime, I would love it if you'd contact me by my blog email:

Lastly, I just wanted to let you all know, I've been putting content on my YouTube channel a bit more regularly lately. I have had some time to record a few of my original songs, as well as a couple of piano improv/solos. I don't have a regular upload schedule or anything like that, but you can find the latest videos here

Again, I want to make the content on here a joy to read for you all! If at any point you feel like you just aren't getting much out of the posts, or there are too many emails coming in, or anything like that, don't hesitate to either let me know, or simply unsubscribe! I'll never be offended at something like that. ;) 

Thank you again for your time and your feedback, I truly appreciate it! Have a wonderful week. <3

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Voluntary Faithfulness

Their deep voices rolled over my 8 year old head in more ways than one. I sat on my living room floor, listening as my preacher father talked to a preacher friend. I remember thinking how much I enjoyed listening to their "doctrinal discourse", as I called it...I'm sure I just heard the phrase somewhere and thought it was neat. ;) Many of the things they talked about I couldn't understand very well, even having grown up in church under good preaching. How smart my dad must be to know so much about God and His Word! As a young child, I thought he must know more than anyone else in the world. 

Time passed, and seasons melted one into the next as the years went by. More preaching, more doctrinal discourse. I accepted The Lord as my personal Saviour at age 10, and began to grow in knowledge. Still, my convictions were formed based on my parents thoughts and study of God's Word. They taught me right and wrong, and why we believed certain ways about certain things. They wanted me to have wisdom and discernment about issues such as modesty, music, friendships, relationships, Godly leaders, role models, and entertainment. As a child, it was enough for me to know that they knew.

At some point, however, a shift had to happen. A change had to be made. I was growing up, as were my siblings, and soon--very soon, that would no longer be enough. As we grew older and made several moves in my teen years, we began to have more exposure to the world and the sparkly but lethal attractions it offered. I can't tell you the day or moment it happened, but all at once, I had to make choices on my own whether or not to chase after those attractions. 

There had to be a change of heart from me holding my parents' beliefs because they said so, and me holding those beliefs because I myself believed they were true. They had to become MY convictions. When you face a strong temptation, it doesn't work very well to say, "Oh, parents say that's not a good thing to do..." No. There is a huge fall coming for someone who does that. 

Thank God, that change happened. I don't know the day or the moment, but in His infinite grace, He brought me into firm convictions about the truth of principles in His Word. I no longer hold to what my parents believe simply because they say so (though I am so deeply grateful for their teaching in my life!!!)...I do it because I truly want to follow the ways of God myself. I want to live out His Word in my life, with all my heart. And I fail, oh, I fail so often! But I can't express in words how thankful I am that God is willing to take me back and show me the way over and over. To cleanse me when I mess up yet again. 

Here is the heartbreaking part of this, though. I have many dear friends who have never made this choice. All through their teen years, they still served God like their parents did, but only because they had to. Once they turned 18, they had no reason to stay because their parents' faith had never become theirs. These are people that I love and care about, that I grew up with for a good piece of my life! I am thinking through name after name in my head as I write this...Over a dozen names of people I was close to at one time. Now, they have left church and their families. Some of them are married to or dating people they should never be involved with at all. Some of them are into drugs. Some are simply not interested in the things of God anymore...they have much more important things to think about and work towards, in their eyes. And when I think of and pray for them, it hurts so much, because I know how they once were. On fire for God, serving Him, and following His way, but never on their own. They never made the choice to grow towards God in their own lives, even if everyone around them were to fall away. And as a result, they themselves fell away, dragging many others with them. They have hurt the name of Christ, caused heartache and pain to their families, friends, and leadership, and discouraged others around them, all because they didn't make the shift from mandatory to voluntary faithfulness. God is able to draw them home and bring redemption in their lives. I know this, and I pray so often for it to be done. However, how many broken, wasted years have already gone by! And how many more will pass before they come back to the sheep fold!

I truly hope and pray that every one of us, myself most of all, will strive after the things of God. Not just because others say to, but because we truly want to be good soldiers ourselves. I know how hard it is sometimes to keep up the good fight. Things get discouraging. Times get tough, and the grass on the other side of the fence looks so much more appealing than the path God has us walking at this moment. But think of the reward! Think of hearing Jesus say "Well done, thou good and faithful servant"! Is it worth it to walk away? To drift around, not knowing your own convictions and beliefs? Think about it...your stand for Christ will ALWAYS be rewarded and blessed. Your stand against Him will only cause pain, grief, and heartbreak. By the grace of God, may we make the right choice!

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

The Power of Music

Psalm 100:2 Serve the LORD with gladness: come before his presence with singing. 

To say that I love music would be a severe understatement. I am passionate about it. Music is such a huge and important part of my life, I can't imagine what my day to day life would look without it. (Just look at the name of my blog! :)

Whether I am driving, washing dishes, cleaning, doing laundry, cooking, working out, writing, reading, or just lying on my bed thinking, I will usually have music playing, or be singing myself. Just ask my is a part of just about every waking moment of my day. ;)

Music is fascinating, powerful, and entirely underestimated by many people. Let me say it again, because it is so true:

Music. Has. Power.

Music can inspire, encourage, and brighten a day. Conversely, it can cause depression, frustration, stress, and dark thoughts when used for evil. My entire mood can be changed for better or worse, depending on what music I am around. Don't get me wrong, I am always responsible to act and react in a Godly way, no matter the surroundings. However, music has such a great propensity to affect even the little areas of life!

Because music holds such power, we need to be very, very careful with it. The Almighty Himself is musical; He proves it in the nearly 600 Scripture references to songs, singing, music, instruments, and musicians. Music is a good and holy thing when used in a Godly manner. 

However, for every good thing God has given us, Satan has made an evil counterfeit. So called "Contemporary Christian Music", or "Christian Rock", or any other form of worldly music tweaked the tiniest bit to sound spiritual, is not Christian. In any way, shape, or form. I'm being blunt here, but it's true. When all you do is take the world's fleshly music and change the words, there is no difference. I have seen videos of "Christian" concerts, that literally looked like a heavy metal performance. NO discernible difference, except you could maybe catch a random reference to God scattered through all the screaming, pounding thrashing drummers, and lights wild enough to give you an instantaneous migraine. It's really sad to me that so many Christians are fooled into thinking this is right and good. In Isaiah 5:20, it says, "Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!" What better example of this verse than music that feeds the old man, the unregenerate flesh, and calls it a holy thing!

As followers of Christ, it is our responsibility to discern between good and evil. To walk in the Spirit, not in the flesh. I realize that many who are deceived by the modern "Christian" music movement are sincere in trying to worship God. However, you can be sincere in doing something, but be sincerely wrong in doing it. Music is something that has led many people astray, because it is important to us as humans. We are made in the image of God, and God loves music. Because of that, we are born with an innate appreciation for beautiful melodies and harmonies. Just watch a small child when there is music playing. They will almost always be wiggling or singing or banging along! Music is so close to our hearts that it's easy to become caught up in the emotional side of it without stopping to think about whether or not it is truly honoring to God. 

An interesting thing to consider about the relationship between music and the way we were created by God: Just as God has three parts (Father, Son, and Holy Ghost), so we have three parts--Spirit, Soul, and Body. The melody (tune) of music appeals to the spirit, the harmony (chords) to the soul, and the rhythm (beat) to the body. Satan's counterfeit godly music is dominated by the rhythm. The goal is to stimulate the flesh, not the soul or the spirit. True Godly music does have a rhythm, (obviously! ;), but it is not rhythm dominant. The goal of Godly music is to bring glory and praise to God, and to refresh and uplift the spirit. (Not the flesh). 

Here are some important questions to ask yourself, with an open heart, about the music you listen to on a regular basis:
1. Does the Holy Spirit lead you to listen to this music? Rom. 8:14
2. Can you pray while listening to this music? 1 Thess. 5:17
3. Does it bring glory to God? 1 Cor. 10:31
4. Does it offend other Christians or cause them to stumble in any way? 1 Cor. 8:13
5. Does this music appeal to the flesh, or to the soul and spirit? What draws you to it? Rom. 8:5
6. Does this music create Godly joy in your life? Isaiah 51:11
7. Would you be comfortable letting your pastor, your parents, and the most Godly Christians you know sit down and listen to this music? (Wow, that's a hard hit!) Heb. 13:17, Prov. 24:6
8. What doctrines are being taught through this music? Titus 2:1

It is my sincere hope that you will prayerfully consider these thoughts. Please know that my purpose was not to offend anyone through this post, but if you are offended...maybe there might be something you need to change? Believe me, I KNOW this is a delicate subject, and it can be difficult to let go of long-held beliefs (or lack thereof), on the subject of what is or is not Godly music. I have faced struggles with this at various times in my life, and sometimes it is not easy even to discuss it with people, because it seems that there are so many different opinions on the topic! However, in James 1:5 God promises that He will give His wisdom to those who ask for it with unwavering faith. He will guide and direct your steps! 

May the music we listen to, write, sing, and play be a source of encouragement and blessing to everyone around us. Especially The God who created music for us to enjoy!

Friday, September 29, 2017

Fun Post: August and September Favorites

Hooray! Another Favorites post! :) Also, Happy National Coffee day to all my followers. May your coffee be strong, dark, creamy and satisfying. ;)

I like to do favorites posts once a month, but as it was around September 15th before I realized that I hadn't done one for August, I decided to postpone it. ;) My next few months are going to be insanely busy, (more on that to come), so I may end up posting much less frequently even than I did in the summer. I hope not, but it may turn out that way. :/ Thank you for understanding!! Without further ado, some of my summer favorites! I've been:

Emily of New Moon by L.M. Montgomery. (She is most known for her Anne of Green Gables series). Personally, though so far I've only read the first book in this trilogy, I'm not sure why the Emily books are not considered as much of a classic as the Anne books are! Sweet, relatable characters, awesome vocabulary, fantastic plots...what more can you ask for? ;)

The Walls are Talking by former abortion clinic worker, Abby Johnson. This book is heartbreaking in every way. And yet so, so important. Though this book is grievous to read at any age, I don't recommend it for younger readers. It is a collection of stories from many different clinic workers who left their work after realizing the horrors of what actually goes on inside those walls. They share their stories in honest, open ways, revealing from an insider's point of view how the abortion industry destroys and shatters the lives of the women it claims to be helping. I pray that the women who were brave enough to contribute find healing and redemption through Christ! Some already have, and it is so precious to hear their testimonies.

I started reading a few other books, but can't really recommend any of them, as I'm either not finished, or they turned out to be not my style. ;P

My kayak!! I got a used one from Craigslist, and have SO much enjoyed paddling down the Columbia. :) Wenatchee has TONS of riverfront parks open to the public, so it's easy to drop it in and run it down river a few miles, and just get picked up at another park dock! I enjoy being on the river so much. It is peaceful and quiet, (I stay fairly near the shore so there's no crazy currents ;). I love to stop paddling and just drift along for a while, enjoying the beauty. The kids have really loved being able to borrow it for rides as well!

Not as much as I should be. If I could, I would be working on my projects all day, but a little thing called life gets in the way. ;) I hope to tell you more about said projects soon, though!

Hanging out with...
Wolves. Yes, wolves. We took a trip to the fair on family day when most of the kids got in for free, and there was an animal show there. The guy had snakes, lizards, marsupials, birds of prey, and a cage with three wolves in it. He asked for a volunteer and I raised my hand. When he called me up there, he said, "Go get in the wolf cage." Allllrighty then. On it. ;P They do play rougher than dogs, which is to be expected, but what cooler way to have a hole torn in your skirt than by a wolf? :'D They had very beautiful eyes, and super soft, thick fur. It was definitely a fun thing to experience! Kourage enjoyed holding a few snakes, my mom and I got kissed by a lizard, and Malachi held a giant lizard. :) Pretty cool all around!

Travelling to...
Sumas, Washington for a ladies' retreat with my church women. Last year it was so fun and special, so I had high expectations for this year. I was not disappointed! From absolutely decadent food, to Garden of Eden worthy landscape, trails, and flowers at the retreat center, to staying up until 3:15 talking, to convicting was amazing. It was such a blessing to spend time with friends and sisters in Christ, some of whom I only see a few times a year. Even the long drive over was fun, being able to talk with the ladies from Blessed Hope without small ones around. ;) Plus, my grandma was in Canada at the time, only 8 miles from the retreat center, and was able to stop in for a couple hours!! I hope this retreat goes on to become a cherished tradition! :)

Excited (over the moon, elated, thrilled, exuberant) about...
The missions trip coming up. ;) I am so happy to see things coming together, tickets have been purchased, and music is being prepared. Also coming up in the next couple months are the following: my 21st birthday (on Wednesday! ;), Family Conference with some friends from Alaska, my parents travelling to a conference in North Dakota, the missions conference in Oak Harbor (a highlight of every year!), a missionary friend visiting and preaching for us, and Thanksgiving--early, since I'll be leaving for Fiji on Thanksgiving day. Whew! All of these things are so exciting! I am praying that God will do great things through them, and most of all, that I will keep the right focus through all of it. And that I won't become stressed or worried about the future. (Anyone else struggle with that?) I am truly looking forward to seeing how He will work in the many adventures that are coming up. :)

Going through...
God's Word in 90 days. As a countdown for the trip, I am going through the Bible in 3 months. Last year I did it in one, (see this post), and although I enjoyed doing that, it definitely is a bit easier going through it slower! :) I'm reading 15-20 chapters a day instead of around 35. I love the feeling of accomplishment as each book moves into the next, and reading about the thread of God's love and redemption plan that runs through the whole Bible. 

Thankful for...
Some extra work on the side with Amazon. That will be so helpful for the trip! God's guidance and direction. Good, uplifting music. A short camping trip with the family. Apples--tart, sweet, and crunchy. Marco's a video message app, and it's been so special for keeping in touch with my friend Kimberly, who is living in Taiwan until February!! :O Late night talks with friends. Somehow knowing that you can talk for a long time is so precious. :) Photoshoots with Miriam. I promise you, at least 75% of my phone pictures involve her in some way. ;P She's so CUTE though!!! Heavy blankets, as the nights are already getting chilly here. (I'm still not quite ready to let go of summer, though. October 1, I might pull out my boots. I renounce those people who start shrieking about pumpkin spice when it's still 80 degrees outside. XD) 

Well, that's it for today! What are some of your highlights from the last couple of months? Hope you have a lovely weekend! 

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Boldness to Enter

John 1:36 And looking upon Jesus as he walked, he saith, Behold the Lamb of God!

Matthew 27:51 And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent;

The priests in the temple were quietly, reverently going about their duties in the temple that day. There was a high Sabbath, the Passover, the very next day, and preparations were being made for the holy celebration of the Jews' deliverance from Egypt. Perfect lambs would have their blood shed and poured out for the sins of others. Unleavened bread and bitter herbs would fill the mouths of devout Jews all over Jerusalem, the very next day.

None of the people could come into God's presence freely, to pour out their hearts in praise and worship, because the way was not yet made into that Holy of Holies. A thick, impenetrable curtain hung in the temple, a visible, tangible separation between the sons of men and the holy presence of God. 

Until that day. As the priests prepared the altar for the lambs of sacrifice the next day, just outside the city, God's Perfect Lamb was being killed. As the bitter herbs were gathered, the Messiah was tasting the bitterness of death. As the unleavened bread was to be broken, the Living Bread himself was being broken and His blood poured out for the sins of the entire world. 

So few realized how holy, how perfect, how just was the sacrifice happening on this day! To the spectators standing by, it was either a day of great joy that the man who had caused so much chaos was finally gone; or a day of deepest grief that the Saviour was being crucified. I wonder if any person watching the crucifixion of our Lord realized that the way was being paved, the door to the very presence of Almighty God was being torn open by the death of the One on the middle cross!

In the dim silence of the temple, the earth began to shake. Faint tremors at first, but building, growing, until it seemed as if the very skies themselves must be falling, crushing the fragile world to pieces. 

The temple was no longer silent. The roar of the earth, crying out at the death of its Creator, echoed through the massive halls. Pottery shattered, metal instruments and vessels clashed to the floor, and priests and worshippers alike scrambled for cover from falling dust and rubble.

And then, as the precious Lamb took His last breath, it happened.

The veil, the wall that none dared to touch or pass--even the high priest could be struck dead on the one day a year he entered into it--tore apart from top to bottom. Can you imagine the sound it must have made as the separation between man and God's holy presence was ripped in two? Historical records indicate that the veil was at least 4 inches thick, woven of thick, strong materials, and so heavy it took 300 men to move it. This in itself is an amazing thing--it could not have been torn simply from the earthquake. It was the hand of God, removing the barrier and opening the way to His throne because of the sacrificial death of His only Son. It is so powerful to hear of this act of God...It demonstrates so clearly that the work of salvation truly was complete. When Christ said, "It is Finished", it was. Forever.

Praise God that we no longer need to live under the bondage of the law, offering sacrifices for sin day by day! I am so thankful that I can now come boldly before the throne of grace! I can talk to God any time of day, wherever I am, with the knowledge that through Christ, I am enabled to do so. What a wonderful God we serve!

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

The Mind Stayed on Jehovah

Isaiah 26:3-4 Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. Trust ye in the LORD for ever: for in the LORD JEHOVAH is everlasting strength:

These verses are fairly well known, so much so that I feel we tend to overlook them sometimes. Just because a verse is embedded in your mind does not diminish its power! 

One important thing I have noticed recently is the word "mind" in verse 3. 

Who will The Lord keep in perfect peace and give everlasting strength to? The one whose mind is stayed on Him. The man or woman who chooses to make their thoughts be focused on the things of God instead of the world. The one who has temptation come knocking and turns from it with the knowledge that to succumb would be to grieve the heart of a holy God. The one who keeps their thoughts from straying to places they should not go. 

When all is said and done, where does every sin start? In the mind. You can't steal something before you think about stealing something. You can't lie without creating the lie in your mind first. You can't become bitter and angry at someone unless you first thought over your perceived wrongs from them and chose not to deal properly with the anger. 

When your mind is stayed and fixed on the Most High, low thoughts have no place. When you are focused on the Holiest of the Holy, unholy thoughts can't enter. When you are trusting the One whose perfect compassion and love redeemed you from eternal death, how can hateful or unloving thoughts take root? 

To the one whose mind is stayed on God, there is promised perfect peace. Freedom from turmoil and unrest. A place of refuge under the shadow of His mighty wings. There is also promised everlasting strength. Strength to fight against the temptation that pounds in from all sides. Strength to stand when others are falling into sin. Strength to walk in His footsteps even when the path becomes rough and jagged. 

It takes faith and purpose of heart to keep our minds stayed on Jehovah. It's not something that will happen in one instant. But how worthwhile it is when more and more of our time is spent meditating on the things of God and on His Word, instead of filling our minds with the things of earth! How precious it is when the love of Christ begins to overshadow the temptations that come, giving us strength to endure and resist them! Is it not worth the effort? If we love Him, we should be keeping His commandments, and they are not grievous! 

This week, I want to focus my heart and mind on the King who saved me, turning away from the chaos of a wicked world. I want to fight in the strength of The Lord against the temptation that will come. I want to reach out to the lost around me with love, knowing that in Christ lies the peace that they seek.

Will you join me?