Wednesday, July 29, 2009

"Awake Us"

I wrote/recorded/performed this for our young adult ministry called, AWAKE

Thursday, July 23, 2009

What Is Your Life Mission Statement?

Yesterday, a friend asked me what my life mission statement was, and although I have one, I took exceptionally long answering her question. I mean, I put together a pretty good life's mission statement a few years ago, tucked it away neatly into one of my journals and slowly... forgot about it. "What do you mean?" I asked my friend. Even though I asked, of course I knew what she meant; she wanted to know who Jesus is to me, what motivates me, what I live by, what my purpose is, what I'm called to do, what I'd like to do, my vision, my dream, values, passion, etc. about and through my life. The more I thought about it, the more I realized how much my old life mission statement has changed.

I found that the older I get and the more I seek the Lord, my heart becomes more pliable and all I want to do is please my heavenly Father. I want to talk about Him and share Him with those who don't know Him like I do. I want to share my life experiences, my testimony because I know that "what is most personal is most universal." Meaning, there's probably nothing I've gone through and have been delivered from that someone else hasn't experienced. And the beauty in that is, the freedom I've found in my testimony and in Christ can always be used to heal other people.

About a year ago, I wrote a poem called, "Whom Love Pursued." It's a poem about my testimony that I turned into a spoken word performance, and I use it as a tool for ministry. I expose the things that used to be hidden in my life, bringing EVERYTHING to light. A portion of that poem is below:

she sits in distress, concerned and under arrest
she sits in her pretty pink dress afraid to tell her mom

because she'd make a mess of things

she's six and he, he cornered her

she's not even old enough to write legible
his decibels rang in her ears, "Touch it!"

she sits in distress, concerned and under arrest

her heart beats out of her chest
she's too young to be shaken from the nest

but satan's jest, was to destroy her...

In conjunction with this poem, I had a conversation with a family member last night about generational issues. And, as painful as that conversation was, I recognized a line of generational issues running through my family that made me want to fight somebody. Seriously. I was so angry at how we can so easily allow, overlook, turn away from, deny, keep secret, lie, not recognize, close our eyes to or refuse to admit generational issues. It's a killer. Really. ...until someone decides to allow God to break every form of bondage, every form of secrecy, every form of generational baggage in their lives, and then refuse to carry it any further. By the end of the conversation, I was even more fired up about how I want to live this life.

So far, here are a few of my life mission sentences: to use my actions, speech and breath to expose darkness and bring it to the light by growing in Jesus and not being afraid to speak His name. i see poetry and media as a creative avenue for me to use my personality to spread the gospel. i dream of being an author, traveling the world speaking to and highlighting the lives of young adults...

What about you? Hope this helps:
  • -What is your life's purpose? Why do you exist? What do you stand for?
  • -What is your calling? Gifts, talents, abilities...
  • -What is your vision, goal? It should be a big one. I once heard this quote, "Your dream should be so big that if God wasn't in it, it'd be doomed to fail."
  • -What is your mission? How are you going to accomplish the above?
Do not cling to events of the past or dwell on what happened long ago. Watch for the new thing I am going to do. It is happening already - you can see it now. Isaiah 43:18, (The Living Bible)

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Favorite Kid Quote of The Day

My friend's 3-year old nephew was talking to his mom, but his mom could not hear him. When she said, "Speak up Benjamin," the 3-year old replied:

"I will not repeat myself. I will speak up so as to be heard!"

Morning Poem


you are like morning
a countless detail in the thread of life
somewhere between mediocre and magnificent is you
a breath of fresh air during sunrise
a reminder of that same air at dusk

you are like morning
new and clear in your convictions
there are no restrictions about who you are

the essence of your character is
like a fresh, blue wind
blue, because you’re royal
blue, because you’re loyal
blue, because your words are baby powder fresh
yes, you are like morning

you, are forever
like the smell of fresh rain
on a cloudy day
like, the ebullient heat from
a sun’s ray

and if you ever feel slightly fatigued
don’t worry, God will be with you
just follow and He'll lead
He’ll replenish your cup and
brush off your knees, He’ll lift you up
above roaring seas – because you are

thank you for dipping into wisdom’s pool
touching the humble hearts of many

thank you for representing our God
with your adjectives because it is clear
that God is a verb, in you

thank you for giving, for listening, for praying,
for laughing, for loving

thank you for being a friend,
dear, morning.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

just what you need, when you need it

Weekend Recap:

Okay, I'll admit it; this week has been pretty tough. I've found myself in tears more often than not because it seemed as if I've been taking one hit after another... all week and all day long. Nevertheless, God knew exactly what I needed, when I needed it...

He is jealous for me
Loves like a hurricane, I am a
Bending beneath the weight of his
wind and mercy.
When all of a sudden,
I am unaware of these
lictions eclipsed by glory,
And I realize just how beautiful You are,
And how great Your affections are for me.
And oh, how He loves us so,
Oh, how
He loves us,
How He loves us all
Yeah, He loves us,
Whoa! how He loves us...
-john mark mcmillan

Just when I thought that there was no hope for my day, I found out that John Mark McMillan was leading a night of worship for a conference near my house. And I've gotta tell ya; there's nothing like a refreshing night of worship to change your perspective on things. It was just what I needed - a chance to release the burdens, anxiety and concerns I carried. A chance to allow God to wash over me with His love. After worship, I drove to the beach and sat on the sand and watched a beautiful, quiet storm until around midnight. I mean, literally, the sky rippled with lightening without sound! Since I live near the beach, I've learned that one of the most beautiful things to see is lightening over the ocean while the sun is setting - AMAZINGLY GORGEOUS! Wow. Friday night turned my not-so-good-day into a good day after all.

And on the 6th day, I rested. Oh, thank the Lord for Saturday! I made SURE to sleep in just a tad bit longer this day because I definitely needed it! Not to mention, I didn't get home the day before until 3a.m.! When I awakened - I did some reading, took a stroll on the beach and then back home for some QT with some friends who stopped by. Ah, what a refreshing day!


Oooooh Sunday, how I love thee! ;) The message at church was all about overcoming limitations and dealing with heart issues. Thought-provoking at the least. Have you ever listened to a speaker and tried to take notes at the same time, but realized that everything the speaker said is something you've wanted to write down but couldn't write fast enough? Well, today I had one of those moments. I just stopped writing and soaked in what I heard. I'll have to go back and listen to the podcast later... After church, I found myself back at the beach for about four hours, hanging with Jenny and then QT with some of my girls...and one guy - Kristin, Jenny and Jon! We got together and cooked dinner (lasagna, fruit salad and garlic bread - YUM-O!), played connect four and watched a movie! Good times!!!

our chef!
concentrating on victory...

best lasagna filling ever...


Even in the little things, God is so awesome to pursue me with just what I need, when I need it. Whether it's a refreshing day at the beach, some QT with friends or a night of beautiful worship, He is faithful.

To you, the reader: I pray that this week you have an amazing week in the Lord. I pray that you experience new things, meet new people and flourish in abundance and favor!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

I Know He's There

A few strands of her brown hair swayed back-and-forth as the wind blew, and Megan sat snug in her puffy white pamper, wading her hands through the sand. Her little legs looked like tiny pillows at the touch as they kicked every time she smiled. Megan seemed happy sitting in the sand; her tiny hands leaving prints and swirls in the space all around her. Every so often, I wondered what she thought when she lifted her head to stare at the ocean. For some reason, the waves crashing against the shore caught her attention a lot faster than the cute, bronze-haired little puppy with the pink collar, running aimlessly in front of her. She often looked back and smiled at whatever, but it was clear that her attention was focused on the sand.

"Ah, there you are, sweetheart!"

Megan kicked, giggled and grasped the sand with her tiny hands as her mom crawled toward her.

"Don't put the sand in your mouth," mom said as Megan began her routine of lifting her left thumb to her mouth. But when mom said ,"no," she started kicking and smiling but this time, funny faces followed. Her mom picked her up and walked toward the ocean. Megan kicked and screamed at first, reaching for the sand, but her sporadic tantrum ended quickly when she realized her mom was carrying her to the water.

I smiled as I watched her mom lift and partially submerge Megan's tiny body in and out of the water. So much joy radiated from her small, round, little face that it probably made others around wish they were playing in the water, too. After about ten minutes of playing at the water's edge, Megan was back on the beach, wading in the sand...

I smiled, plugged in my iPod, sunk deep into my beach chair and purposed to took a brief nap. When I awakened, a nice, golden dust color appeared above the horizon as the sun started to set behind the ocean. This day was moreorless picture-perfect as a full moon shined above. Megan was fast asleep in her mother's lap.

As I began packing away my books, beach chair and towel, I began thinking about the love of our heavenly Father. It made me smile to know that He precedes me and follows me. He knows my every move and He's strategic about my life. I enjoy being alone with Him because there's nothing else competing for my attention. And when he speaks, I may not always like it, but I know His words are life and are for my good. I'm His child and He is familiar with the intricate details of my life. He's even there to say, "Terri, don't put the sand in your mouth!" - like Megan's mom. He's my authority and Shepard. He carries my burdens and concerns. All-in-all, I know He's there.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Morning Song.

Jesus, i love you. let your heart beat within me.
draw near so I can adore you. teach me
obedience so I can prosper. cause my
face to shine as I cling to your life and
your words. I arrest my will to radiate
your deepest beauty, your thoughts and

your life.

Favorite Kid Quote of The Day

Daejah, 5

"Well actually, I didn't want to watch a movie today. I just wanted to read the story of Noah and the animals. I have to know everything about him so I can talk to him when I get to heaven."

Letting Go

An article I wrote about a lesson I learned a while back on letting go...

I guess I got too comfortable. I can’t think of any other reason why there’s been a shift in my relationship with a friend, but I do know one thing: It hurts. About two months have passed since we’ve had one of those good, old-fashioned, long-winded kinds of laughs together. And it seems like ages since our last true non-superficial conversation.

Somewhere down the line, one of us got hurt but we didn’t let the other one know of our feelings, and consequently, our disappointment in each other manifested in hurtful ways. I noticed that my friend began to pull back from our relationship a bit. Phone calls went unanswered. Text messages went unreturned. Our conversations slowly rippled from being fully engaged in each others lives to seemingly strangers passing like ships in the night. And what hurt me the most is when this friend looked me in the eyes and said, “Don’t take this personal, but I just don’t trust you.” I thought, "What?!"

I toiled for a while over the disruption of our friendship, in fact, I found myself in a place of deep sadness. However, in the midst of it all, I did what I always do; I threw myself on “the judgment seat.” I took a hard look at my actions, my words, my body language, and I judged myself. I took some time to sift through my role in the situation versus what I thought the responsibilities were of my friend. And you know what came out of my time in thought? These two words echoed loudly within me: Let go.

We've got to be willing to let people go. I learned that the hard way. You might have heard or read this before, but not everybody belongs in the front row of our lives. Our friendships are for a reason, a season or a lifetime. If your friends choose to walk out of your life, let them go; your destiny was never tied to anyone who left.

However, there is a lesson to be learned in letting go. Picture yourself holding a beautiful flower and then picture yourself smothering that flower. In relationships, we have the responsibility to allow people to grow. We can't smother others with our expectations, personal issues, etc. Nobody can know everything about you accept Christ, so don't expect the people you care about to know you the way you think they should; it's impossible. Allow your loved ones to make mistakes because mistakes will happen. Most importantly, letting go creates a path towards communication. Make it easy for others to approach you about you. Don’t throw away a good person just because they did a bad thing. The sign of a true friend is an honest answer.

The Bible says that many are the plans of a man's heart, but it is the Lord's purpose that will prevail. To me, in this context, that means letting go of something or someone would be your way of telling God that you are no longer in control. And guess what? If that relationship is within God's purpose for your life, it will only strengthen and grow, regardless of misunderstandings, time apart and arguments. God's purpose will prevail and not your own. I think Oswald Chambers captured it best about relationships:

The purposes of God in your life are tied to certain relationships. To succeed, you must learn to recognize them. Remember Jonathan, who loved David even at the cost of his own life? Or Ruth, who loved her widowed mother-in-law, Naomi, and gave her a reason to live again? God has people like that, and you need them. But, some areas may need to be healed before you can enter these relationships. For example, you must learn to differentiate between 'using' relationships and 'heart-ties.' Even blood-ties don't wear as well as heart-ties. Allow God to work on you. When you're ready He'll make all the necessary introductions. In the meantime, get to know Him better. Make His opinion the source of your self worth because it's the only one that really counts. If your last relationship stripped you of your identity and drained you spiritually, use this precious time to get back on your feet. Begin today to love like God loves. He sees your imperfection, handles your rejection and loves you regardless.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Oh, Sluggard

The sluggard craves and gets nothing, but the desires of the diligent are fully satisfied. ~Proverbs 13:4

I read this scripture this morning, and it caught my attention in a huge way. The word "craves" was arresting and it truly hit home in my thought process. The scripture says that the sluggard craves and gets nothing, meaning - all the sluggard does is talk about it and crave it, but never moves forward. A sluggard is a procrastinator, over-analyzer and is short-sighted. He constantly talks of tomorrow but never plans and is always unprepared. The sluggard lacks self-discipline. Wow.

This scripture just reminded me of the countless conversations I've had with people about what they'd like to accomplish in this life. Its easy to talk about the things we want to do, the goals we have, passions and desires; it sounds good to talk about it, but if we're not diligent, those desires will be fruitless and unfulfilling. There are certain things that I use to talk about accomplishing all the time, but the busyness of life have kept me from 'getting' started. When I did find the time to work on specific things, I often opted to use that time to rest, get in a little extra sleep, etc. I opted out of being diligent for something else... I learned the hard way.

Today, I thank God that my lifestyle is not that of a sluggard, but is that of the diligent - one who is faithful in the little things even if it takes time. The scripture says that the desires of the diligent are fully satisfied, and I look forward to being 'full' on a daily basis. Praise'm!