I have been flooded with Scripture tonight! God is truly awesome - as I have sat in awe for several minutes at His blessing me with more of Him, I received so much more than I actually sought after.

As I was working on a special project of mine that deals with something for which I have prayed almost six years now, I was looking for Proverbs 16:9, thinking it was in Psalms somewhere.  (I've already been working on this mess of knowing that "it's there somewhere," yet not being able to find it...still working.)

So in my flipping through Psalms, thinking I knew the location on the page to find the underlined verse I gleaned these other verses:

86:11 "Teach me Your way, O Lord, that I may walk in Your truth; unite my heart to fear Your name."
73:16, 17 "But when I thought how to understand this, it seemed to me a wearisome task, until I went into the sanctuary of God; then I discerned their end."
 73:23-26 "Nevertheless, I am continually with You; You hold my right hand.  You guide me with Your counsel, and afterward you will receive me to glory.  Whom have I in heaven but You? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides You.  My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever."
71:14 "But I will hope continually and will praise You yet more and more."
71:5 "For You, O Lord, are my Hope, my Trust, O Lord, from my youth."
65:5-8 "By awesome deeds You answer us with righteousness, O God of our salvation, the Hope of all the ends of the earth and of the farthest seas; the One Who by His strength established the mountains, being girded with might; Who stills the roaring of the seas, the roaring of their waves, the tumult of the peoples, so that those who dwell at the ends of the earth are in awe at Your signs.  You make the going out of the morning and the evening to shout for joy."
62:5, 8 "For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from Him.  Trust in Him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us."
55:22 "Cast your burden on the Lord and He will sustain you; He will never permit the righteous to be moved."
 52:8-9 "But I am like a green olive tree in the house of God.  I trust in the steadfast love of God forever and ever.  I will thank You forever, because You have done it.  I will wait for Your name, for it is good, in the presence of the godly."
51:6 "Behold, You delight in truth in the inward being, and You teach me wisdom in the secret heart."
 40:16 "But may all who seek You rejoice and be glad in You; may those who love Your salvation say continually 'Great is the Lord!'"
40:8 "'I delight to do Your will, O my God; Your law is within my heart.'"
40:4 "Blessed is the man who makes the Lord his Trust"
40:1 "I waited patiently for the Lord; He inclined to me and heart my cry."
 39:7 "'And now, O Lord, for what do I wait? My hope is in You.'"
37:3-7 "Trust in the Lord, and do good; dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness.  Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.  Commit your way to the Lord; trust in Him, and he will act.  He will bring forth your righteousness as the light, and your justice as the noonday.  Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for Him."
 33:20-22 "Our soul waits for the Lord; He is our Help and our Shield.  For our heart is glad in Him, because we trust in His holy name.  Let Your steadfast love, O Lord, be upon us, even as we hope in You."
33:11 "The counsel of the Lord stands forever, the plans of His heart to all generations."
32:8 "I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you." 
31:24 "Be strong, and let your heart take courage, all you who wait for the Lord!"
 31:14-15 "But I trust in You, O Lord; I say, 'You are my God.'  My times are in Your hand."
27:14 "Wait for the Lord; be strong and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!"
 27:8 "You have said 'Seek my face.'  My heart says to You, 'Your face, Lord, do I seek.'"
26:1-3 "Vindicate me, O Lord, for I have walked in integrity, and I have trusted in the Lord without wavering.  Prove me, O Lord, and try me; test my heart and my mind.  For Your steadfast love is before my eyes, and I walk in Your faithfulness."
 25:21 "May integrity and uprightness preserve me, for I wait for You."
25:12 "Who is the man who fears the Lord? Him will He instruct in the way that He should choose."
 25:9-10 "He leads the humble in what is right, and teaches the humble His way.  All the paths of the Lord are steadfast love and faithfulness, for those who keep His covenant and His testimonies."
25:4-5 "Make me to know Your ways, O Lord; teach me Your paths.  Lead me in Your truth and teach me, for You are the God of my salvation; for You I wait all the day long."
 18:30 "This God—His way is perfect, the Word of the Lord proves true; He is a Shield for all those who take refuge in Him."
8:3-4 "When I look at Your heavens, the works of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You have set in place, what is man that You are mindful of him, and the son of man that You care for him?"
 4:3 "But know that the Lord has set apart the godly for Himself; the Lord hears when I call to Him."

Finally, I found the verse I first sought "The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps." (Prov. 16:9) Oh the stories I desire to write about publicly - one day I may be able to, but not yet. :)

Those of you who may know about *what it is I write* know the significance of these verses at this time.

God is faithfulI was totally blown away by how much He gave me to dwell on in the midst of my attempts to honor Him, it is He Who will glorify Himself.  Should I make myself available, He will glorify Himself through me and *this*.

May it be so, Lord, for the sake of Your Kingdom.  Your will be done, not mine.


Will You guide me?

Be Thou my Vision, O Lord of my heart;
Nought be all else to me, save that Thou art-
Thou my best thought, by day or by night,
Waking or sleeping, Thy presence my light.

Be Thou my Wisdom, and Thou my true Word;
I ever with Thee and Thou with me, Lord;
Thou my great Father, I Thy true son;
Thou in me dwelling, and I with Thee one.

Riches I heed not, nor man's empty praise,
Thou mine inheritance, now and always:
Thou and Thou only, first in my heart,
High King of Heaven, my Treasure Thou art.

High King of Heaven, my victory won,
May I reach Heaven's joy, O bright Heaven's Sun!
Heart of my own heart, whatever befall,
Still be my Vision, O Ruler of all.

**Will You guide me when I can't see?
Please, Lord, lead me; You're all that I need.**


How do you explain

I have the privilege of caring for two special kids for 2-1/2 hours four nights a week. These two precious children, given to a friend of mine, can attempt many things to evade homework. Tuesday evening, however, the questions that came shooting out were permissible for a delay in homework. As well phrased as a six- and seven-year old could, they began asking about basic theology. How do you explain to children who have not grown up in church what sin is and what it means to be separated from God? How do you help them begin to understand what it meant for Jesus to die on the cross and how that it is they who are guilty and deserving of death, yet only He alone is worthy? I answered them, by the grace of God, only to be pegged with questions of what happens when you die....

Wednesday's series of questions came as a result of my appearance. Red, wet eyes begged the question "why?" and I tried to answer simply. The simple answers will not quiet the minds of those most curious. As I attempted to explain that something very sad had happened, I knew that I should have turned my words around.

See, these kids don't know Jesus. They don't understand what "glory" means, yet my response to the death of my sponsored child can make a difference. I tried to explain how that my little girl loved Jesus and she was happier now in His presence than she could ever have been with all the toys in the world. Why? How? Because Jesus is God. And God is holy, just, glorious, majestic, loving, and more than words can express - He is what our soul craves and the only One to fully satisfy.

I'm trying to keep my mind focused on things above. My life has been impacted greatly by Jacqueline's entrance to Heaven. Yes, I know I made a difference in her life, but she's not here anymore. I write to my kids every week, and I often begin my letters with something like "I continue to trust our awesome Savior to keep you safe and healthy, as He is able." He is able - still; and I trust Him - still.

Sponsor a kid through Compassion International. It will change the life of a child, a family, a community, and the one who is willing to help make that change.


First couple stories

First off, my apologies to any of you who checked my blog and were disappointed at finding there were no updates during my time in PNG. I thought that I would have more opportunity to access internet, but I did not. Once I did have internet it was costly and I would have had to update from my iPod (I saved you the horror of multiple, unintentional spelling errors, so thank me).

I have no idea how I'm going to fill you in on everything that happened, so don't expect it all at once. For now, I'm just going to use my journal as a guide and hit on a few highlights every couple of days or something. There is a lot to get done with classes around the corner and my having been out of country for 8 weeks....

June 8 we (the Discovery team of 10) arrived in Port Moresby (the capital of PNG) and stayed there for two nights at a missionary guesthouse. It was nice to not have much to occupy those first couple days since we were getting over jetlag. (PNG is 14 hours ahead of Virginia.) We went out to look at the market and gained a few ideas for souvenirs; most of us were frustrated because we had not yet exchanged money and had to reject everyone's offer to sell. The following day we went to BTA (Bible Translation Association), a translation organization operated by nationals. They shared a few video clips with us and we heard a couple short testimonies. One of the Papua New Guineans emphasized the need to have Scripture in the heart language because even though they may have learned another language that had God's Word, they still had to be taught what those other words meant.

After our two nights in Port Moresby, we flew to Madang to begin our orientation. POC (Pacific Orientation Course) was wonderful! We really began to bond as a team with our being thrown into learning Tok Pisin (trade language of PNG) together and more deeply during our team meetings each evening when we would have times of sharing testimonies, worship, and prayer. POC was very busy - most of my journal entries are cut off or interrupted, a true reflection of all that went on. Even as I glance at our schedule, it seems as though we were busier than it shows.

While at POC, there was this exciting time of pulling laundry off the line that’s right outside our rooms. One night, I was getting my towel so I could shower, when I saw “a mommy gecko carrying a baby gecko.” I immediately informed my roommate of this, as it startled me. She came out and didn’t scream, but kinda stepped back and said “that’s not a gecko.” I looked at the “not a gecko” from a new angle this time and saw what she saw – a snake eating a gecko. ☺ It was great! Two of the guys came rushing out with cameras; one was determined to take it down and chop its head off. I was determined that we get Papa Ray (director of POC) before anything was done. Papa Ray’s been a missionary to PNG for 30+ years, so he could tell us that the snake was not poisonous. Instead of chopping the snake’s head off, one of the guys carried it over to the bush to release it.

During our orientation we had several hikes, all of which were great – some more wearying than others. But the activities more exciting than hiking were those of going to Jais Aben. I’m not much of a swimmer by any means (just learned how to swim last year), but I did go snorkeling for the first time – in PNG! Very exciting for me! There were four of us who were going out together. Two had gone ahead and one was nice enough to stick with me. ☺ There were lots of coral and more fish than I would ever be able to recall and identify. We had been given a tok save (informational talk) about the different sea creatures we may encounter. We were warned about the sea urchins, blue striped octopuses, and jellyfish. The sea urchins were plentiful, but it’s kind of obvious how to avoid them and they don’t come after you. Jellyfish, however, swim beside you. Not. Cool. At. All. I was blessed with the awesome experience of spotting the team’s first jellyfish. Because there were no solid rocks for me to stop on and the jellyfish was inches away from where I was swimming; there were branches on one side, and I couldn’t escape that direction…so I head for the nearest person, my awesome brother Jason! Haha – he was safely standing on rocks between sea urchins when I reached him, the jellyfish still close behind me. In my “freaking out,” he grabbed me and all I could do was laugh, without telling him exactly why I was freaking out. Thankfully, his rescue did not result in his stepping on a sea urchin, but my freaking out did result in some coral cuts to my knee and toes…could have been worse.

More to come…hopefully!


2 days, 10.6 hrs

About three years ago I had begun making preparations for a trip to PNG that would last a year - my anticipation grew with each phone call of preparation until that one day...for some reason I was no longer needed. Disappointed? Yeah, that's an understatement. I built myself up for this, so excited for the opportunity to FINALLY work firsthand with people in remote villages and survey some of the 820 languages accounted for. It just wasn't the time.

Sometime in March, while deciding which schools I would apply to (last minute, of course) I also started looking at the possibility of doing something overseas. I was browsing several organizations' trips for the summer and some that were longer when I came across Wycliffe's Discovery trips, of which included an eight-week trip to Papua New Guinea. From the beginning I was skeptical about my acceptance. Yes, I "technically" met the requirements, but I have no linguistic experience, save independent study of Hawaiian, Hebrew, and Farsi. Well...I got an email from Ryan, the state-side coordinator, informing me that I had been accepted, but the language positions for the PNG trip were full. There were support areas still needing to be filled for PNG, or I could go to Uganda for a trip focusing on literacy. The prereq's for Uganda were far above my experience, so I was steering away from that. I REALLY, REALLY wanted to go to PNG and experience work with languages there. PNG is one of the coolest places on earth - not only are there hundreds of languages, but the microbes there are pretty crazy and all the wildlife, too.

In effort to discern where God was directing me, I began to pray more fervently, making known to Him the desires of my heart. He knows them far better than I do anyway, I just sought Him with humbleness, asking for clarity for the decision I needed to make. He heard me, AND He gave me the desires of my heart! Ryan emailed me stating "the PNG folks worked really hard and opened up a language assignment." I had to read his email a couple times just to make sure I understood what he was saying. The more I considered what must have transpired, the more intimidated I grew.

The cost was more than any other trip I've taken, but considering this was eight weeks long, it wasn't so bad. From the beginning, it was clear to me that I was not to touch any of my own money to pay for this trip. As letters were sent and I grew more confident in hope, money came in. At first a little, then a lot, then a little bit more...came to five days before the deadline and I still needed $800 - I started praying differently, without that confidence I had during the initial stages. My mind started going back to the "failed" trip from years ago, and I started coping with the possibility that I might end up not going to PNG. Long story short, the money came in three days before deadline, and I ended up with $211 over the needed funds. :) My God is amazing, isn't He?!

Why in the world would this have come to pass? I kept saying to myself, "this doesn't just happen." From that first notice of my acceptance into the language position in PNG to huge donations from those who have little to give, I began to learn humbleness on a greater scale. Every step of the way, God has done what ONLY He can do. I've learned to expect bigger things from Him because He is an infinite God, doing "far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us."

"To Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen!"