Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Time To Share

I had the most exciting thing happen yesterday...it was scary...but good. So, I thought I would share with my trusty peeps in blog world.

I'm going to start waaaaaaayyyyy back:

July 19, 1985 I was kicked out of my house. I can't for a minute say that I was innocent...in fact, the opposite was true. I was a chronic runaway from the time I was about 12 and basically lived my own life. I had no rules, certainly had no morals or even boundaries for that matter, and at best, all the people in charge of me could do was keep me out in the country...away from society, only problem with that was the school bus. I was out of control. Well, on this fine day...my birthday, I decided I wanted to hang out with my friends and was told that if I left I was to never come back. I left that day and never returned. I lived on the streets and slept in parks (near my friends homes in case I didn't wake up...someone would recognize me). The Lord ALWAYS protected me...I was never bothered and I made some great squatter friends who helped me learn to live on my own. Well, one day I ran into a substitute teacher whom I adored, and through a course of events I ended up at the Lighthouse for Girls in Gem, KS. It was a home for homeless and "throw away" teens.
My experience at the Lighthouse was awesome. Of course, it was hard having rules and schedules and all...especially after being a wild child, but I loved it...and I was loved. Since that time I have always wanted to open a home for homeless teens...and well, I was kick started into the beginning of the process in '03. Now, though somewhat terrified in stepping out, I am going to run with it.
Saturday, my dad traveled back here for some doctors visits and I knew this was going to be my time to tell him...I just didn't know how or when. Of course when he arrived, I was grilled with questions on what I was doing, how are my finances, how long has it been since I've had a good meal (to which I replied "this morning...thanks for buying" hee hee...please...do I look like I don't eat...uh...I don't think so), and where I was looking for jobs (my job ended back in August), so I told him everything he asked, but somehow I couldn't get to the organization part...he worries sooo much and I just knew he would go off on a tangent about religion, doctrine, government, and money to support the place (in that order too). He despises what he calls "beg-a-thon's" and other attempts ministries make at fundraising. I was at a place where I felt I had to answer for something and my insides tightened because I just wanted to say "I believe in miracles, I believe God has my back, and I believe in my purpose in life." All I really could say is "all this stuff doesn't make any difference, and there has never been a time when I have been without. None of this matters to me...I can loose it all and it doesn't matter." To which he replied "*sigh* I know...I just don't see how you can be so calm in the middle of this." Later he called my mom and my sister and told all...ahhh gotta love family. He had not heard the best yet though.
Last night he was standing in the kitchen and looked over at the computer and said "is that you?" I said "yeah, it's my MySpace page" and he asked if he could read it...I said of course...I don't have anything to hide...why not. So he came over and sat down and started reading it...I forgot I had written on it that I am hoping to open a home for homeless teens and such. He started talking about "the business" and I just said...it's my ministry. I told him I had been working on it a while...let me tell you I was trembling soooooo hard on the inside, and then I showed him the web site I am working on and also told him I was planning on launching it in two weeks. He was silent for a moment, made sure I was aware that "unfortunately, those kinds of organizations are solely supported through fund raising" paused, and then said "if that is what God wants you to do, then do it." I WAS SHOCKED! OOOOOHHHHHH YYYYYEEEEAAAAAHHH. I wanted to dance around the kitchen, but I kept a straight face and went to my room and did a YES-THANK-YOU-LORD dive onto my bed. I really can't tell you why it means so much to have his approval, but it does and I can't tell you how free I feel now.

So, the home is called Destiny's Refuge...it's going to take a miracle, but I know where to go for them. I am finishing up my final class at CCU and at the end of the class I hope to launch my website (destinysrefuge.org).

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Psalm 115 - Trusting God

I wrote this before today, and was just drawn back to it because I am ever so aware of how much I need to trust God right now...these are tough times, but not too tough for the Lord if we will seek Him...and trust. I thought I might share it with you all (I hope it's not too long for you all...I tried to shorten it.):

Historically, Psalm 115 was written as a song of trust in God. This particular psalm pulls in every aspect one needs to know about trusting in God. It guides, teaches, and portrays a historical paradigm of trust. One major literary feature is its element of worship which was captured in a musical refrain reminding them that “he is their help and shield” (v 9-11). Today we are faced with idols and lack of trust just as in the days of old. Our minds are bombarded with every worldly ritual imaginable. May this psalm find its way into the hearts and minds of individuals that hunger and thirst for truth; for God is truth, there is nothing that compares with His greatness, and this psalm is crying out for us to lay aside all that holds us back and trust once again.
This psalm of trust was David’s cry to Israel to turn back to God from what they were worshiping. At the time of Exile from Egypt, God had showed Himself mighty and merciful among the Israelites. This psalm begins with acknowledgement and praise of God who has never left them or even ceased to love them. The Israelites were God’s chosen people regardless of their many attempts to stray from Him. However, when Moses had gone to the mountain to converse with God, the people panicked and believed they needed a god to serve, and there erected an image that they believed would go to God for them. Idolatry kept them from receiving the Promised Land until the original generation had passed on. The Israelites were aware of the destruction that idol worship brings, and in this psalm, David speaks of the things the others love about their god and questions their taunting. It wasn’t just being made fun of that was upsetting, though no one appreciated that even when they are confident of their ways; it was that God was excluded from the lives of people in idolatry. Essentially, all their god had to offer them was something they could touch. He speaks of their worthless features, the powerlessness, and the inability those idols have to help the people; however, this wasn’t a contest about whose god was bigger than the other because it was obvious that God had showed himself strong, personal, and ever present. What could he do but to again praise God for His greatness and power and life?
David stated that God was a God to trust and called out for each “house” of Israel to trust him, even those who were not a part of a specific Israelite group “[y]ou who fear him, trust in the Lord – he is their help and shield” (v 11 NIV). There was no bias, anyone who feared God was called to again trust in Him rather than the ways of man which were ever present. There was a promise that David was aware of, that when their trust was placed in the Lord, there would be blessings on everyone, “small and great.” David knew that those who may have been looked upon with fewer honors than royalty were no less than royalty in the eyes of God, which was and still is additional proof of a steadfast and loving God.
The literary features of this psalm are a paradigm, taking the reader through an active act of trust by informing the reader how, what, and why they should trust. David’s plea was that the Israelites would be more God-like. In order for that to happen, David created steps through his example and through the words of this song. In verse 1 David gave Glory to God erasing himself from any thought of pride, claiming God as the one he trusts. He then called the other houses to join him in that worship. In this portion of the psalm, worship was captured in the musical refrain “he is their help and shield,” uplifting them as he drew them in. The psalm then sings blessings over them that fear the Lord, “The Lord remembers us and will bless us; He will bless the house of Israel, he will bless the house of Aaron, he will bless those who fear the Lord – small and great alike.” (v 12) He then brings them to pledge to praise and trust in God forever, and closes with “Praise the Lord.” (v.18)
Idols are as prominent today, if not more than biblical times. The extent of idolatry today rests in the fact that so many people are deceived into believing that they are “few and far between” in our society simply because we are not building “gods” and passing them around for people to worship. Today, many don’t understand what idolatry is. Merriam-Webster defines idolatry as “1: the worship of a physical object as a god; 2: immoderate attachment or devotion to something.” Statues of “has been” gods are defined as art, and the food offerings laid at their feet are expressions of tradition. Television is ritualistically watched on football evenings, sick drama mamas and reality TV are all conversation can hold the next day at work. There seems to be no regard to the lives around desiring true fellowship or intimacy. Family time is a movie night, that lacks in deep conversation if any conversation at all. There are far too many idols in this day to list. To call on our true and loving and merciful God today would be met with jeering as well. Christian endeavors are overlooked and mocked, and the Christians themselves are labeled “intolerant.” People flock to know God when tragedy strikes, but are easily sucked back into what is comfortable to them, something they can touch for immediate reassurance; a god of gold that when spent calms the anxieties within for but a moment.
Trust is so lacking today. Most can’t recall ever having seen God bring them through, and have been too busy to listen to their grandparents stories. God’s faithfulness has always been passed down from generation to generation with respect and regard to all He has done; very few know of that faithfulness. Words in the Bible are just stories heard in Sunday school classes with as much value to them as the flannel they are recited with. The lack is in knowing a God of love and mercy experientially. Testimony time in church would always involve a story of how God brought someone through. Grandmother didn’t have groceries and opened her door one morning to find not only what she needed, but also extras for the kids. That’s the point when God's provision, while appreciated, created a sense of pride in individuals to do everything in their power to never have to rely on God or man to take care of them. Women became men, providing for themselves, men raced for power and wealth, and God was forgotten. Society says everyone is to look out for oneself, and trust in the accomplishments made along the way, making sure there will always be a cushion on which to fall back. Society needs to trust in God again. One can’t determine the course of each day or even if the sunlight will peer through their bedroom window to greet the new day, only God can. One can’t bless himself either; there has to be understanding that trust in God brings about blessings like joy, peace, and love. To catch this idea would potentially remove blinders from eyes and give a new Red Sea and Jericho experience that would be the highlight for the next generation.
As David trusted in God and left a legacy for all to follow in remembering what God has brought us through, so we need to trust in God knowing that He is the same yesterday, today and forever. We have reasons to look to God rather than looking to that which is comfortable to us, sometimes even idolatrous to us. We have a call, as in the days of old, to trust God, forget what lies behind and press forward, because in that pressing is blessing that no man can provide, only God. As David said, so I say also . . . Praise the Lord!

Sunday, January 4, 2009


Gotta love these things.

7 Random/Weird facts about...uh...me:

1. I have a high tolerance for physical pain, but will cry rivers at a sad movie.

2. I was kidnapped from my foster home at 4 and grew up with the alias Kathy Jones; thus, I despise being called Kathy.

3. I have issues with cutting my hair short (I cry if it is cut above my shoulders), but I often think that my 40th birthday will spur me on to shorter hair...that's the year I'll be mature...lol.

4. I was adopted as an adult.

5. October 9, 2003 I was given just a few hours to live (see #1; I ignored my pain for a year)...I'm still alive.

6. Isaiah 54 is my favorite chapter in the bible.

7. My goal this year is to have my long awaited home for homeless teens fully functioning...stay tuned. ;)

I don't really know 7 taggable people, so I will just have to break the rules and say...if you stop by, play along.