Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Don't want my years at EBC to be wasted.

I'm graduating in December from Eternity Bible College where I started auditing classes when I was fifteen. On Tuesday, I picked up my petition to graduate and realized I won't be taking any more classes!!! For years I've done hours of studying; read stacks of books; and wrote piles of papers. I have been blessed to learn under godly professors and teachers who love God with all their hearts, souls and minds; who care more about spiritual growth in their students than fact memorization; who deliberately create assignments that cause incredible spiritual personal experiences with my Lord and Savior. Next semester I won't be in classes that help keep me focused on eternal things or assignments that force me to be in the Word. I don't want to check college off my list, never look back and just go into the next season of my life. One degree, two degrees, ten degrees...they mean nothing if all I gain from them is head knowledge. I want to take with me all I've learned and apply it to bringing God glory. I want to KEEP learning about my Jesus and His Word. I want to become the woman God wants me to be and I want to be used by Him to point others to Him. Please pray for me as I try to die daily to Mary and live for my God and King.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Poverty Simulation Weekend

June 4th-6th, I along with eleven classmates from my Urban Ministry class lived as homeless. We were not given any details about where we were going or what we were doing in order to help us understand what it's like to live minute-by-minute and powerless over what happens throughout the day. We were instructed not to ask the time or any other questions so we could experience the unknown and lack of control.

The first thing we did was shop at the local thrift store to get clothes that looked homeless. Although I tried to get worn and tattered clothing, I came out of there with a newer looking pair of pants and shirt than the ripped, duct-taped jeans and torn shirt I wore in there. Besides the clothes on my back, I was allowed to take four other things. I chose my blanket, a toothbrush, a notebook and my backpack with a few snacks inside which I was allowed to have because of my low blood sugar. One of the objectives was to build a sense of community. Everyone collaborated on their four allowable items. This eliminated us having multiples of some things while we had nothing of other things. I used a classmate's Bible. I shared my blanket and carried my backpack storing things in it for other team members. And I think we all used one toothpaste.

Next we were driven down to the Union Rescue Mission in Los Angeles where we were given cardboard and boxes so we could set up our community. This is where we spent the next two nights. The gentlemen graciously let us females sleep in the elevator shaft which helped block the wind. We were definitely warmer than the guys who were sleeping out in the open. From our roof-top perch, we could see people down below asleep on the streets and up against buildings. Seeing children sleeping in tents while their parent stood watch outside was heart breaking and made me cry. Up on the roof we were able to remain unseen while we watched the street activities below us...drug-dealing, fighting, and the flashing lights of police cars. We saw a man get shot and another man get beat up. He was sitting there doing nothing when someone came up and started kicking him. And those weren't isolated incidents because that kind of thing happens there all the time. How sad that just a few streets over from skid row is the five-star Belmont hotel where people come and go seemingly oblivious that a couple streets away people are starving. I was reminded me of the song "Can Anybody See Her" by Mercy Me. It's about how we go about our lives while those who are drowning in hopelessness are invisible to us.

That night we served in the mission's kitchen. I'm blessed to have Grace Resources, a food shelter in my own town, so I'm use to serving meals. Even though I've served often with that ministry, I was still moved by the broken, hurting people who came to the shelter for a meal and I don't think I ever will get use to their suffering. Although they try to hide their pain, you can see it in their eyes along with shame and embarrassment on their faces. As they came through the line, I could see that some of them had been crying while others had bruises on their face. In the air was a general sense of hopelessness that was "painfully good" for me to witness again. It reminded me that I must keep sharing the love of God and the hope I have within me because only a relationship with Jesus Christ will fill their emptiness and heal their hurts. After the homeless ate, we went through the line and were served food. It was a humbling experience to be on the receiving end. I so wanted to give my food away. I had to force myself to eat and imagine that I was homeless because I knew in a couple days I'd be back home with a roof over my head and more food to eat than I need.

For me, Saturday was the best part of the weekend because we walked around and were able to connect with and talk to people. While we were out on the streets, we had a list of things we were to accomplish... ask someone for a quarter; give something away; dig through the trash for a reusable item and find our own food. The hardest task for me was to ask for a quarter. While it was humbling asking someone I never met for money, it was harder knowing I could be asking someone who really needed that quarter. I ended up asking the man who swept the streets which was easier because I knew he had a job and some income. I didn't want to ask someone for their last quarter.

What an amazing day! Many of the homeless tried to share what little they had with us and told us where we could get free coffee and food. I met several Christians who had lost their jobs, homes and material possessions but not their faith in God. Heart wrenching for me were seeing all the children living on the streets. They are there because their parents have no home for them. Those precious little ones are growing up in poverty and filth with no hope. Looking around, I was reminded that if Jesus were walking the earth today that this is where He'd be found...hanging out with the beggars, prostitutes, and drug-dealers. That is His heart, loving the unlovely and forgotten. Homeless people are treated like scum and rejected by most of society. They don't like digging in the trash, they do it because they are hungry. Jesus would be out there with them on the streets, talking to and loving on them because to Him they are not worthless. They are so valuable to Him that He died for them. It's time for Christians to step up to the plate and start living James 1:27. We need to get out of our comfortable church buildings and go take the salvation message into the ugly, dangerous neighborhoods in our society.

Sunday we attended a Nazarene church. The congregation was alive! Although the choir didn't have much musical talent, they were making a joyful noise unto the Lord. I was blessed by the worship and how excited and how uninhibited they sang praises to God. I think the mainstream evangelical church of today doesn't understand what we are saved from or we'd be full of gratitude and get excited too. I need a Savior every bit as much as the drug-addicted homeless guy I pass on the street. Poverty doesn't increase my need for Christ, it increases my need for Christians to show me the compassion and love of Christ. I was sitting with Darryl, a brother in Christ from class and we were enjoying participating in the worship when an usher tried to get the attention of the man we sat near, so Darryl tapped him on the arm. The man was obviously angry and violent because he told Darryl he would kill him if he touched him again. He had a notebook with him with the word "BLOOD" written on a few pages. I don't know what that man has been through, but I'm praying he comes to know the "One" who loved him so much that He shed His own blood for him.
The weekend was an incredible experience and I will be processing it for a long time. "But a Samaritan, as he journeyed, came to where he was, and when he saw him, he had compassion." Luke 10:33. I am thankful God gave me the opportunity to go to the poor, see them, and feel compassion. I know it is only through Him that I can care about or love anyone. This world is full of hurting people who need to hear about Christ's love for them. Through His power, I want to stay detached from the things of this world, so I can live a radical life reaching out to and loving them for His glory!

Brittany Reinbolt put together these videos of our weekend:

Thursday, June 10, 2010

I count it a major blessing in my life to have known Hazel Castleman and I will miss her more than I have words to express. I thank God for all the time He let me spend with her laughing, eating ice cream, talking pig-Latin and sitting together on the porch looking at the stars. I saw her almost daily for the last couple years. She was always interested in whatever was going on in my life... a mission trip; a project I was crocheting; a 20- page paper I was writing; the little ones I get to serve; getting my driver's license; my classes; the pain in my arm or my friends. No matter what it was, she would ask about it and encourage me in it. One thing we never did was sit and discuss Theology. I attend Bible college and have been blessed to sit under godly men and learn great truths from God's Word. But when I graduate in December, it will be the life lessons I learned from the older saints like Hazel Castleman and Bill Rorick that I will never forget.

Look around the room and our church. We are blessed with godly seniors who have a wealth of wisdom to share. "Wisdom is with the aged, and understanding in length of days" Job 12:12. Go seek them out and get to know them. Ask them questions about their childhood, marriage, and life. Listening to their stories and seeing how God has been faithful throughout their lives will encourage you as it has me.

"What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you." Philippians 4:9

Hazel taught me more than she'll ever know. I love her and will miss her terribly. I'm so happy for her that she is with her Lord and Savior and I know one day we will together in Heaven praising Him.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

What are you willing to sacrifice to protect the name of Jesus?

Sabina Wurmbrand was the young wife of a pastor and mother of a little boy during the Communist takeover in Romania in 1949. While sitting in a pastor's convention listening to one Christian leader after another blaspheme the name of Jesus, she asked her husband, Richard, "Will you not wipe the spit from the face of Christ?" He pointed at the Communist officers in the front row and told her that if said anything that they would kill him. Sabina quickly replied, "I would rather be married to a dead man than a coward." That was the encouragement he needed. He stood up and reminded the 4,000 delegates that their duty was to glorify God and Christ alone.

Didn't Sabina love her husband and son? Oh, yes! But, she loved Jesus even more. And she paid dearly for wanting to see His name glorified. She didn't know whether Richard was dead or alive while he was imprisoned and tortured from 1948-1956 and 1959-1964. She herself was in prison from 1950-1953, while their son survived on the streets. After her release she had to rely on the kindness of others since she wasn't allowed to buy or sell because she was the wife of a pastor. Still, she continued sharing Christ with whoever would listen!!! Jesus was everything to her and she was devoted to Him no matter what the cost.

How important is God's glory to me? Am I willing to lay down my personal joy, happiness and security to protect His precious name?

Want some inspiring reading this summer? I recommend both these books:

Tortured for Christ by Richard Wurmbrand
The Pastor's Wife by Sabina Wurmbrand

Here's a link to their biographies and to get a FREE copy of Tortured for Christ.

Monday, May 25, 2009


I know I'm not suppose to base my actions on how "I'm feeling", but instead should die to myself. And I got lots of practice doing that in Ecuador. For most of my time there, I was sick and felt much worse than I let on to the others on my team. The last thing my flesh wanted to do was to be kind or loving. I was weak and tired and could do nothing in my own strength. I had to rely fully on God. I prayed LOTS! Our leader gave us quiet time each morning from 7-8. It was such a sweet and peaceful time for me with no distractions! The first morning, God lead me to Philippians 2:3,"in humility consider others better than yourself". I quoted that verse over and over in my mind the 10 days I was there. My wise Father gave me the reminder I needed to help me keep my emotions in check. He is SO awesome!

Some of our time we spent in Shandia. It's the village where Jim and Elisabeth Elliot worked, lived and taught. I observed the Christians there living and working with an eternal perspective. It was so encouraging and inspiring to me! Their focus is on the immaterial. They know the things on earth are temporal and it's the relationships you make and the words you say that can make an impact on eternity. I am so thankful to God for allowing me to see those dear people living that out...all day long. They truly know REAL joy. Not the loud, jump up and down excitement, we often confuse for joy. But the quiet inner happiness and contentment that circumstances can't alter. For them, Jesus first. Others second. Yourself last isn't just some catchy acronym for's their lifestyle!

Latin American culture is all about the people. I found that Ecuadorians consider the day lost if they haven't made contact with anyone,even if they worked hard all day and finished the tasks at hand. And if they don't finish their tasks, but had conversations with people, they consider their day successful.

It's no news to anyone that in America, we are the opposite. It’s more about how much money we can make, stuff we can accumulate, or things we can accomplish than about building relationships. God has given us so many resources and instead of using them to bless others, we hoard them. What's worse is we don't worship the One who gave us those blessings! Instead we take them and make them our idols. We worship the gifts instead of the Giver!

Hell is REAL! Those without Christ are going to spend eternity there. If I truly believe that shouldn't I be investing my time and money into warning people?

My trip to Ecuador was an incredible experience where God taught me many things. But, if I resume my life, unchanged, the trip was just a fun experience.

Please pray for me. I don't ever want to forget.

Here are links to photos:

Eucador Experience

Sightseeing in Ecuador

El Refugio Christian Camp in Quito, Ecuador

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Love, Living and Dying

“Love. The word screams at you from the car stereo speakers booming their way through traffic. Love is not, just an emotion, as the world sees it. It is action. While admittedly it does have emotion involved with it, it is not as unstable or changeable as emotions are. Affections come and go, grow and fade, but love does not. It is constant because it is more than an emotion; it is more a constant state of selflessness that produces action.”

That quote was written by a young man named BJ Higgins. It’s from his book, “I Would Die for You.” Much of the book is entries from his journal and they are incredible! In them he shares his struggles and failures as well as what God is showing him through His Word. I was especially encouraged with what he wrote about the armor of God. His love for God and desire to bring Him glory is inspiring! If you want to be challenged and encouraged in your faith, read this book!!!

He also has a blog and here are a few entries from it:

“Living is all for Christ and entails many trials and persecution, and is better for those around you, but dying and going to be the Lord is better for yourself. We need to live with courage and character worthy of citizens of heaven, fight boldly in this spiritual war we are immersed in, and take our suffering boldly, for it is a pleasure to suffer for Christ."
— July 4, 2004

“And so now I challenge you, if you are not involved in missions or supporting missions to do so, for each of us has a different task to do in the body of Christ, as it says in Romans 12, but we are all to work together for the glory of God. And I also challenge and encourage you to continue to grow in Christ, daily reading his Word, praying, worshipping, and fellowshipping. Do not be satisfied with staying the same person and doing the same mundane routine each day, but change, grow closer to God and move deeper than just ankle-deep in him every day you live, for it may very well be your last.” — October 11, 2004

“How often do we really live as Christ? How often do we lay our own dreams and wants down for God? At church camp? On mission trips? Maybe even every Sunday or Wednesday? But Christ says DAILY. Too often do we attempt the whole “Christian living” on Sundays and Wednesdays, and forget the whole “DAILY Christian dying.” Christ calls us to die daily. — August 2, 2005

That last entry was written while he was on a mission trip to Peru. After returning to the states, he became ill and after six weeks of hospitalization died… just 6 days before his 16th birthday.

Like BJ, I may not have tomorrow or I may live to be an old lady. Either way I only have today. My choice is to live it for me... or die to myself and live it for Him. With God's strength and power, I'll live and die for Him.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Valentine's Day

I wrote this a couple years ago. Some of you have read it. I’ve added to it and am re-posting it in hopes that it will encourage someone this Valentine’s week.

Valentine's Day is a day that many singles who aren’t “in a relationship” dread. They feel like everyone is celebrating something they don't have. Something they long for very much. They want to be special to someone... to be valued and loved. They watch others receiving attention and presents and they can't wait for the day to pass.

Even though I’ve never really had a “Valentine”, I’ve listed some of the most commonly exchanged Valentine gifts and guess what? My loving Savior has given me every one of them!

They are beautiful and fragrant. There are so many kinds to choose from but can any of them compare to Jesus?
Song of Solomon 2:1, "I am a rose of Sharon and the lily of the valleys."

It's sweet but nothing like God's Word.
Psalm 119:103, "How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!"

A Love Song
Sure, there are some moving love songs with powerful words that are sung by great voices. But, there is no way they are better than God singing over me! Who could possibly write better music and lyrics or sing more beautifully than God?
Zephaniah 3:1, "The Lord God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness; He will quiet you with His love; He will exult over you with loud singing."

Romantic Dinner
There isn't a chef in any 5-star restaurant that can make a meal that will compare to the one I'll be sharing with Jesus some day.
Revelation 19:9, And the angel said to me, "Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb." And he said to me, "These are the true words of God."

True Love
The gift everyone wants if for somebody to always be there and to always love them. God's love is for eternity and He will never leave me!!
Jeremiah 31:3, "I have loved you with an EVERLASTING love."
Hebrews 13:5, “I will never leave you or forsake you.”

If you have put your faith and trust in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, then you have all these gifts too! You are IN Christ. These past few weeks, I’d been pondering the meaning of those two little words. I’ve used this phrase so often without thinking about its meaning. As God often does when He’s teaching me something, He tells me through multiple sources…probably because I’m so slow in getting it! So, yesterday I received an email on this very topic. I have permission from the author to copy and paste what he wrote, but I am not to use his name. Here it is:

"In Christ" -- what a loaded phrase. I have been marveling at the thought for more than a week now. The love, the fellowship, the promise, the belonging, the righteousness, the holiness, and the power that this little phrase communicates. It makes everything in this world, both that which is real and that which is imagined, pale in comparison. The very best that this world has to offer is vanity and chasing after the wind when set next to the eternal reality of our being "in Christ". He truly is the pearl of inestimable value and we, if we have an ounce of sense, should be "The Pearl" freaks. We should be so wowed by "The Pearl" and our being "in Him" that simply nothing else really matters. In Him alone do we find what we've been looking for, what we've been created for, and what we have become in the heavenly realms.

So, remember that when you are feeling left out or sad about Valentine’s Day…you are “In CHRIST”!!! Be encouraged!

And if you do have a special someone in your life, make sure your focus is on GOD and not your special person. Don't put anyone on the throne of your heart except for HIM.


Thursday, November 27, 2008


Today is Thanksgiving. I have many reasons to be thankful! God gave me parents who love Him, each other and me. He's blessed me with godly friends who encourage me, love me and pray for me. I attend an awesome Bible college where the professors' main concern is the spiritual growth of their students. I attend my local community college where God has given me opportunities to share His love with others. Truth is taught from the pulpit of my church. And its ministries are focused on eternal things not programs. There are so many other things I could put on this list. But the thing I am most thankful for is the work that Jesus did on the cross. I am so glad that He is worthy and was willing to die.

This video clip is from a couple years ago. It seems a fitting song for today. Hallelujah!
Worthy is The Lamb!!
Our Lord God Almighty reigns!!!

Give thanks.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

My Cup Runneth Over!!!

I've been meeting and praying at the AVC flagpole on Wednesdays and Thursdays. The week before I left for camp, four of us were praying when I sensed someone standing behind us. I released the hand of the girl next to me and motioned for this older gentleman to come into the circle. He did. We rejoined hands and continued to pray. He dropped to his knees, sobbing. We continued to pray. I could feel the Holy Spirit so strongly that is was like another person was in our midst. We continued to pray. After about a half-hour, we finished. The man (Bobby) told us he had heard us praying and felt drawn to come over and listen. Right there, he got right with the Lord. It wasn't anything we did. We never spoke to him until we finished praying. That day I witnessed a miracle and I didn't have to travel to some remote place to see it. I saw the power of in Lancaster!

Today, only Bobby showed up to pray. We spent all our prayer time thanking God for who He is. By the time we finished, both of us were crying tears of gratefulness for the sacrifice He made for us on the cross. I can't explain how overwhelmed I felt. It was like my heart was about to burst out of my body. I walked home, thanking God for the privilege of prayer. Mary Bartlett, a small speck on this earth can talk to the ONE true God, Creator of the universe anytime and He's listening! So can you!

Monday, November 3, 2008

It's Not About Me!

Last week at camp I had lots of time alone with God. He showed me that all those little things I choose to do or NOT choose to do, either bring Him... or rob Him of glory. One example is I've never been a big fan of pink anything. But God created the color. So, I will stop being immature about it and wear it with a cheerful attitude and a grateful heart. Because it is not about if I like it or not. It's all about my King and His glory. Another is my hair. He created me with curly hair that I've been told time and time again looks good down. Strangers have come up and paid me compliments on it when it's down. One even said that GOD created a thing of beauty when He made my hair. That was the last thing I wanted to hear! But, I heard God loud and clear last week!!! From now on I'm wearing my hair for HIS glory...not mine. It won't always be down, I'll still wear it in a ponytail or up at times, but not because I resent how God designed it.

And just in case I missed the point. God reminded me again. On Saturday, Pastor Chris said in his sermon, "It's not about you." That same night in Crossroads we talked about our "rights." I've been pondering that and have come to the conclusion that my only "right" is to die to myself in order to bring God glory.

As I go through each day, I've keep reminding myself that "it's not about me". It's already made a big difference in how I see, respond and react to things.

This has been a favorite hat of mine for years.
I pray God continues to show me what it means
to live a life that's not about me.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Happy 80th birthday, Bill Rorick!

Tonight, I had the privilege of attending Bill's 80th birthday dinner. When I walked in his face lit up and he came right over and hugged me really tight. He said if everyone invited had shown up and I didn't he would have been very upset. I wanted to cry, but thankfully I didn't break down. He and Linda had me sit with them at their table. I was so proud as I listened to person after person stand up and testify how God used him in their lives. Then Bill got up and talked about how many times in his life doctors have told him or his parents that he wouldn't live. He shared that God had a purpose for his life and it was to share the Gospel. Someone stood up and said that it was strange to be with Bill at Greenhouse Cafe because if you want to find him you go to Starbucks or Barnes and Noble. There he'll be, deep in conversation with someone...sharing the Lord. Everyone in the banquet room nodded and laughed.

Bill looked tired, but was doing well tonight. He plans to cycle to Solvang at the end of the month. I don't know how long God will let him live, but I do know that Bill will be sharing Christ until his dying breath. I'm so thankful to have him in my life. I will be heartbroken when he dies, but the real heartbreak would be to never have known him. Besides, how can I not want for him to be in the presence of Jesus? That will be a day of celebration!

I know there are many difficult days ahead. To all who are praying, thank you so much and keep praying! God is good even when circumstances are not.

Saturday, September 27, 2008


It's not how good you make me feel. It's denying myself and putting your needs above mine. Love is NOT a feeling. It's a choice. Our hearts are deceitfully wicked. Don't follow your heart...lead it. Those truths, a great story line, good actors and intense fire scenes make Fireproof an AWESOME movie. As Christians we need to support this type of movie. Please go see it. Take lots of people with you!

I came out of this movie more committed than ever to only marry a man who is broken before God, clinging to Him and not too proud to get down on his knees and pray. A servant who loves God more than his own life or than he loves me. I also long for God to mold me into that kind of woman. I want to be a godly wife and have a marriage that brings Him glory.

Here's a trailer for the movie:

To all you guys who have/ do fight fires and rescue people (Pete, Mr. Parsons, Mr. Smith, Josh, Daniel, Woody and others). This movie gave me a glimpse into some of the stress you guys work under. Thank you!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


Bill starting chemo again caused me to think about his life and what he's meant to me. He lives to share Christ and encourages me to do the same. He always wants to know who I've talked to, how he can pray, what I'm learning from the Word, my classes, and what's happening in my life. Whenever I picture him I can see him sitting in a coffee shop or Barnes and Nobles striking up conversations with the people around him, praying with them and telling them about Jesus. People open up to him because they can sense his genuine love for them and that he really believes what he's sharing. No, I don't have him on a pedestal. Only God belongs there and Bill wouldn't want to take His place. But, I am trying to model the way he has intentionally lived his life... being a blessing for God's glory.

Only God knows how long Bill will remain on this earth. All our days are numbered. Not one of us knows if we will be here tomorrow. I know that in the scope of eternity I'm only going to be here a short time. Am I living with an eternal perspective? My heart breaks when I walk around AVC. I see souls everywhere who need a Savior. I've started being more deliberate in how I spend my time. I'm getting to class early, so I have the possibility of sharing Christ. Last night, I had a conversation with a girl and found out she has a passion for special needs children. Since I worked for a couple years in the Creatively Created SS class, I was able to relate to her and how she loves those kids. Next week I'm hoping to ask about her spiritual beliefs and share mine.

I want to leave a legacy like Bill and others like him who didn't waste their lives.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

A Candle Loses Nothing by Lighting Another Candle

This quote was on my calendar and the Lord used it to remind me of a couple things.

First, I need to be sharing the light of Jesus that is within me to a lost world. This weekend Kevin preached a message on The Lost World. He read a quote by Charles Spurgeon that always breaks my heart, " Oh, my brothers and sisters in Christ, if sinners will be damned, at least let them leap to hell over our bodies; and if they will perish, let them perish with our arms about their knees, imploring them to stay, and not madly to destroy themselves. If hell must be filled, at least let it be filled in the teeth of our exertions, and let not one go there unwarned and unprayed for." People are headed to an eternity without God. I MUST speak up and warn them.

The other thing that came to my mind was that I need to look for ways to lighten the lives of my brothers and sisters in Christ. One way I can do this is to encourage them and build them up. Words have a big impact on others. I want mine to bless and not tear down. It encourages me when someone says they are praying for me or that they see Christ working in my life.

"Let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the day drawing near." Hebrews 10:24-25

I want to use my candle to bring light to the lost and to help the found keep burning brightly.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Summer is in full swing. It's nice to have a break from classes, although I am looking forward to them starting up again. I'm especially excited about taking Hebrew! I'll be commuting to that class with a dear sister in Christ. It will be great to have time together every week.

Although I'm not taking any classes this summer, I am learning so much! I am interning in Neenach where I am serving with an amazing team. They love God and reflect Him in their lives. It's inspiring to work along side them. I'm being challenged in my walk, having loads of fun and getting college credit!

I'm trying to be wise in how I spend my time. Yes, I'm having fun but I don't want my summer to fly by and then realize I wasted it. I'm trying to be intentional by memorizing Scripture; reading books that cause me to think; leading a small Bible study with a few friends; and trying to look for ways to bless others, so Christ looks good. It's His glory that matters.

The end of August I start back at Eternity Bible College as a sophomore where I'm working towards an Associates in Biblical studies. After that I may continue on and get a Bachelors in Biblical studies. Whatever God wants. My future is in His hands. All my plans, hopes, dreams and heart's desires. I just want to follow Him. I covet your prayers as I seek His will for my life.

Content in Christ,

Graduation Day Pictures

My graduation day was great! I was surrounded by family and friends who love me, encourage and pray for me.

Thanks mom for also being my teacher.

Bill and Linda Rorick

Missy DeVore

Michelle and Kristin Parsons

Josh DeVore played and sang a song he wrote.

After the graduation ceremony, we had lunch at the Greenhouse Cafe.

My Dad
asking God to bless and guide me.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Central Mexico Trip Spring 2008

Mexico an amazing trip! What a blessing it was to spend time with Cliff and Mary Huffmire. They both love the Lord and it shows in how they live. Mary poured herself out for Him and faithfully served the team in every way she could. Cliff was an encouragement and example to us all. I miss them both. I was also blessed to meet some the dear people from the church in Jiquilpan. You should hear them sing! I loved worshipping with them. Their passion for God and excitement is infectious. I am already looking forward to the next trip!!!
I enjoyed getting to know the members of the team. They were all hard workers with great attitudes. The guys were very patient in showing me the proper way to use the tools. I did a lot of chiseling, hammering and sawing. I even put got to put some pipes together. It was a lot of fun. After working at the site, Jeanny and I would try to help Mary in the kitchen. Those of you who know my lack of skill in that area realize it was easier for me to sling the hammer! I didn’t actually do any of the cooking, but I did help with prep and clean-up.

Obviously, I’m not as strong as the guys on our team. But I tried to work hard and not hinder them. I did lots of praying and listening to God during those hours. I felt Him asking me, “How much do you love me, Mary? Would you really do anything for me?” I said, “Yes.” But my real answer will be revealed in how I respond to disruptions in my plans. Will I view them as God changing my direction and humbly submit? Or will I resist Him and continue on my own path and try to do things my way?

God taught me many things this trip. Real humility is when I see myself simply as a tool designed to bring Him glory. How much I bring Him will depend on whose hands are using me. Tools in my hands on the worksite didn’t have the same result as tools in the guys’ hands. They were more skilled and it showed in their work. If my life is a tool in my own hands, it will never be as effective as a tool in God’s. I need to submit and let Him use me. God says blessed are the meek. Meekness doesn’t mean weakness, but gentleness. It’s controlling your strength and not overpowering someone with it. Proverbs 15:1 says, “A soft answer turns away wrath.” And sometimes the softest answer is silence.

I was blessed to experience many things on my trip. However, being there will not bring any change to my life. How I respond to what I learned will be what changes me. I pray I die to myself and apply what God has shown me. Thank you for all your prayers!

In His grip,

Sunday, February 24, 2008

What Lies Ahead?

"I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you." Psalm 23:8

Although it wasn't a newsflash to me that God sees everything, this verse really spoke to me, especially the part "...with my eye upon you". When I read it I pictured a mother and her children. She is always watching and aware of where they are and what they are doing so she can keep them safe and out of trouble.

"Careful...the floor is wet. Don't touch that it will burn you. Stay out of the street. Time for bed. I can't let you do that because I love you. Don't run with that in your mouth. No more TV. Trust me, it's for your own good. Don't be afraid, I'll catch you. That wasn't kind. I'm making you do that because I love you. No more cookies, your body needs healthy food."

Just like a doting parent , God the perfect parent is saying,
"Mary, trust me. Don't go there. I'm watching you. My timing is perfect. Don't be afraid. Follow me. Be still. Go. Avoid that kind of talk. Don't worry. Look at me. RUN. Stay away from things that distract you. That's not for you. I know what you need. You can do it, I'll help you. Keep your thoughts on me. If you fall, I'll pick you up. I love you."

If it's beneficial for me to heed the advice of my earthly parents because they are wiser and have my best interests at heart, how much better is it for me to follow what the loving Father, Creator and all-knowing God of the universe instructs me to do?

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Yes, I now have a blog.

In order to comment on some of your blogs, I needed to have one. Besides, I am always writing something...


E. Stanley Jones described the effect of prayer on us like this:

"Prayer is not pulling God to my will, but the aligning of my will to the will of God. Aligned to God's redemptive will, anything, everything can happen in character, conduct, and creativeness. The whole person is heightened by that prayer contact. In that contact I find health for my body, illumination for my mind, and moral and spiritual reinforcement for my soul. "Prayer is a time exposure to God," so I expose myself to God for an hour and a half or two hours a day, asking less and less for things and more and more for Himself. For having Him, I have everything. He gives me what I need for character, conduct, and creativeness, so I'm rich with His riches, strong in His strength, pure in His purity, and able in His ability."

This challenged me to spend more time in prayer. Hmmm,...if prayer is a time exposure to God, I want to be overexposed!

We've turned our blessings into our God.

Do we worship the God who blessed us and use His blessings to help others? No! Instead we've made those blessings our gods. Many people around the world die from lack of food or clean water while we think nothing of spending $4 at Starbucks or Jamba Juice. For about what we spend on fast food a month...TWO African high schoolers can receive an education. Thousands in Africa are dying from AIDS. Do we even care?

When Jesus walked this earth He had compassion on the sick and poor. How can we say we love Him while we ignore the sufferings of those made in His image?

"For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also." Luke 12:34

Instead of building bigger and fancier churches, let's set aside the majority of our church budgets for missions. Instead of chasing the American dream and feathering our own nests, let's realize we have ENOUGH...more than enough and start giving to those who don't. Let's be a vessel that channels blessings from God to others.



God's been with me all of my life,
although my heart has often strayed.
I am forever grateful for His love and
for my debt His Son has paid!

He's worthy of all my praise and
I trust Him with all of my heart.
When I live like it's "not about me",
My song is 'How Great Thou Art'.

I want to follow only His path
because He knows what's best for me.
Many signs are along life's road
but it's His direction I long to see.

I know He'll never lead me
where He's not by my side.
I'm stubborn and headstrong,
yet He forgives my sinful pride.


When I'm sad, you gently wipe my tears away.
When I'm anxious, you calm my fears and forgive my distrust.
When I'm lonely, "I'll never leave you", I hear you say.
When I stumble, you never look at me in disgust.

When I'm scared, you hold me close to you.
When I'm stubborn, you show me how to obey.
When I'm discouraged, you always see me through.
When I'm bewildered, you gently lead the way.

Though I'm hopelessly flawed and unfaithful,
You still desire me as your friend.
Why do you love me so?
That, I will never fully comprehend.

Thank you, Jesus!

Everything I Need

When in darkness,
you are my light.

When I'm lost,
you are my compass.

When I'm weary,
you are my strength.

When I'm depressed,
you are my joy.

When I'm lonely,
you are with me.

When I want to talk,
you are listening.

When I’m cold,
you are a crackling fire.

When life's too loud,
you are my silence.

When nobody sees me,
your eyes are watching.

When I'm sad,
you are my happiness.

When everyone forgets me,
I'm on your mind.

When I’m confused,
you are my understanding.

You'll never leave me or forsake me.
Thank you for loving me, Lord!
~Mary 4-20-06

Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day is a day that many singles who aren’t “in a relationship” dread. They feel like everyone is celebrating something they don't have. Something they long for very much. They want to be special to someone. .. to be valued and loved. They watch others receiving attention and presents and they can't wait for the day to pass.

Even though I’ve never really had a “Valentine”, I’ve listed some of the most commonly exchanged Valentine gifts and guess what? My loving Savior has given me every one of them!


They are beautiful and fragrant. There are so many kinds to choose from but can any of them compare to Jesus?

Song of Solomon 2:1, "I am a rose of Sharon and the lily of the valleys."


It's sweet but nothing like God's Word.

Psalm 119:103, "How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!"

A love song

Sure, there are some moving love songs with powerful words that are sung by great voices. But, there is no way they are better than God singing over me! Who could possibly write better music and lyrics or sing more beautifully than God?

Zephaniah 3:1, "The Lord God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness; He will quiet you with His love; He will exult over you with loud singing."

Going out to dinner

There isn't a chef in any 5-star restaurant that can make a meal that will compare to the one I'll be sharing with Jesus some day.

Revelation 19:9, And the angel said to me, "Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb." And he said to me, "These are the true words of God."

True Love

The gift everyone wants if for somebody to always be there and to always love them.
God's love is for eternity and He will never leave me!!

Jeremiah 31:3, "I have loved you with an EVERLASTING love."

Hebrews 13:5, “I will never leave you or forsake you.”

If you have put your faith and trust in Jesus Christ as your Savior then you have all these gifts too! So, remember that when you are feeling left out or sad about Valentine’s Day. Be encouraged!

If you have a special someone in your life, make sure your focus is on God and not your special person. Don't put anyone on the throne of your heart except for HIM.