Saturday, July 9, 2011

Amazing grace

Too long, O Lord, have I been idle. Too long, O Lord, have I been stale. Too long have I been worked up and worried. Too long have I used many an excuse. Too long have I been fearful. Too long, O Lord, have I been lazy.

Too long, O Lord, have I judged. Too long, O Lord, have I been unwelcoming. Too long have I lacked trust. Too long have I lacked faith. Too long, O Lord, have I left my call unanswered.

My light has grown dim; my life, slowly fading. My love has been selfish and shallow.

"But you, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness."
- Psalm 86:15 (ESV)

peace, love, and one million second chances.
kaeli

Monday, May 16, 2011

Look on with love

So I'm sitting here at 11:06pm on a Monday night after just having read Ephesians 4, and feeling loads of shame and a huge weight on my shoulders. These last two days have been very convicting for me, which is great in one sense because that means I'm listening to the Holy Spirit and His ministry to my spirit, but it sucks on the other hand because it means I slipped up.

I have been battling with depression for years now, but I've never really wanted to call it that in the past because once you hear the word "depression," things automatically become serious. Some of you might not have even suspected it, but I think that's because I have fine-tuned my ability to hide certain things about myself. I have finally gotten to a point in my life where I can call it like it is, but unfortunately it doesn't change the fact that that's what I'm dealing with.

"Now this I say and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds. They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart. The have become callous and have given themselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity. But that is not the way you learned Christ!"
- Ephesians 4:17-20 (ESV)

In trying to cope with my depression, I have used misguided techniques that I have picked up along the way of destruction, one of them being self-abuse. Those with no hope, in the end, resort to hopeless means. But as a believer in Christ, I have hope, right? Well, I would hope so. But in the past, why have I opted to harm my body, or isolate myself, or not seek help? It is a great misfortune in my life that this inflicting pain on myself did not end a year ago like it should have. And here begins my newest moment of transparency.

I didn't do it again for attention. I didn't do it in a visible place. I did it in secret, with a demon hovering nearby and growing more and more exhilarated with every second I spent in that treacherous act against the temple. And I am so ashamed of that.

You see, I know that it didn't solve anything and I know that it certainly made things worse, but I did it anyway. I have taken it before my Father, and He has already forgiven me, glory to God. I will strive to live my life worthy of the calling Christ has given me, and I pray in the name of Jesus that this pattern of self-abuse and self-loathing stops.

"to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness."
- Ephesians 4:22-24 (ESV)

I say all of this as my way of asking for help. I am an exceedingly stubborn person, so for me to even try to ask for help is a big step for me. Some of you may judge me for this, and that's okay, I love you anyway. But I ask that you look on me with love, as someone who needs encouragement, who needs you to be Jesus with skin on in my life, as someone who needs prayer. I know I can defeat this with the strength of my Savior and the love of my friends, and I know God will somehow use my error to glorify Himself in some mighty way. Praise God.

peace, love, and newness.
kaeli

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Somewhere weakness is my strength

I've only just begun day 4 of my 30 day raw vegan experience, and I'm already about to give up. For the last two days I have been saying to myself that I'm just going to end it and deal with failure, but I haven't done that yet, praise God.

This whole thing is showing me how weak I really am, how dependent I am on certain things, how much I need God to make it through.

My body has finally finished detoxing from all the harmful additives in food we digest on a daily basis, which means my headaches are gone and I've stopped shaking. But I'm still having cravings. I really want to devour an entire chocolate cake by myself; I just want a taste of something other than raw fruits and vegetables.

I am having such a hard time with this, but I can't even imagine what it's like for the other four people doing this with me. See, I was a vegetarian already so I'm used to not eating meat. But the others have had to give up way more than me and I can see how hard this is on them.
And not only is it a huge temptation to quit because of the different food I am craving, but it is also starting to become a burden for me financially. I've had to go to the grocery store every day so far, and I've spent over $50 in groceries. Fruits and vegetables don't last long on the freshness side, and I've had to eat more than usual to keep from going hungry.

God has already been teaching me so much through this, and part of me really wants to continue with this adventure and glean everything I can from it. And then there's the part of me that wants to give up so so badly.

I wear a bracelet on my left wrist that has the reference 2 Corinthians 12:9 on one side, and "LIVEWEAK" on the other. This experience is putting a whole new, fresh emphasis on my heart.

peace, love, and attempting perseverance.
kaeli

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Lost

How do I go about doing what I feel God is calling me to do at this particular moment in my life, when my mom doesn't want me to do that? How do I continue to be respectful to her and honor her? Someone, please. If you have an answer, send it my way. I need some direction here.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

In this body, we will live

This is an older post from 2006, I believe. But I really like it, and I've edited it a bit:


I was thinking about the human body, recently. Honestly, I have no idea why. I was just thinking about it. Have you ever realized how completely complex it is? I mean, seriously, how the heck did God come up with that? Mad props to Him. Not only that, but He made two types of the human body: male and female, just to add a mixture of complexity.

Think about it. Men - hunters, pursuers, Mr. Fix-its. Women - emotional range of the atlantic ocean, mysterious, valuable. The two beings fit together perfectly. Who in there right mind could honestly unveil something as insane and amazing as this?

I was at a camp a few years ago and in our seminar time, they kept saying, "God isn't big. He's beyond." That really hit me when I started thinking about how our lungs know to breathe when we are unconcious, how if we've been burned our brain tells our bodies. Or even how our heart knows the right time to beat. Only God could have come up with something like that. God isn't big. He's beyond. God's love is beyond.

God loves us so much. His love is so beyond, that we almost never understand why things are the way they are, or why situations turn out the way they do. The most we can do is love God back.

peace, love, and reflection.
kae. li.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Poetry!

Hello beautiful people.

I have started a new blog which will be nothing but poems I have written. It is a fantastical journey I am ready for, and I hope you will join me.

But fear not! This blog will still exist and I will still be updating it. However, it will be more of an actual blog than a poetry slam.

So to see my poems, you must now go here. And I hope you will, because I am excited about this.

peace, love, and rockets.
kaeli

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

An untitled poem about negative comparison and positive discovery

"How insignificant I seem,"
said the little seed,
"Why do I compare me
to the olive tree?
Nothing comes easy,
not even melodies.
And honestly,
I don't need your sympathy.
Farmers sow and reap -
they like what they see -
but I'm painted in ivory.
My envy screams like a cacophony
but You resist the urge to leave.
You stop and look at me,
the lonely little seed;
You rest me on Your knee
and tell me how I'm lovely.
Then You plant me by the sea
and I have life, suddenly,
like You've handed me an eternal key.
I begin to grow and spring
from the dirt and soiling;
I shower down my many leaves
and they drift off in evening breeze.
I am not an olive tree,
for I have been made differently,
but I am slowly blossoming
into who I was made to be."

peace, love, and uniqueness.
kaeli

Monday, March 21, 2011

Called out

"But when I saw that their conduct was not in step with the truth of the gospel, I said to Cephas before them all, 'If you, though a Jew, live like a Gentile and not like a Jew, how can you force the Gentiles to live like Jews?'"
- Galatians 2:14


At this point, I would like you to picture what I now see in my mind: 

Paul called the Galatians out because their lives didn't look any different from the Gentiles. Jesus died for us so we could live for Him. Are you living in such a way that will lead others to Christ, or does your life look like the rest of the world's?

"and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised."
- 2 Corinthians 5:15


peace, love, and a snarky Paul.
kaeli

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Simple obedience

Ever had a feeling deep down that you needed to do something or be somewhere? I had one of those tonight.

Since Jason and Kristin are in Russia for a missions trip, Journey Group was held at Panera tonight. It ended up just being Billy, Chris, and me but we had a great discussion. Afterward, I had this unexplainable feeling that I just needed to go to Family Christian. It was weird: there weren't any books or CDs I wanted to buy, but I just needed to go.

So I walked in and just started looking around at the different stuff the bookstore has on display. I, of course, first took a look at the discount items - nothing good; then I wandered over to the wall of books. I was just walking along looking at the different books that caught my eye when these two women walked in and were chatting loudly about something. I unintentionally blocked their conversation out because I was reading the intro to one of the books in my hand.

The voices, however, kept getting nearer and nearer until finally, "What do you think about that?" said one of the women. But I realized she wasn't talking to her friend, she was talking to me.

"Sorry, what?" I asked, looking puzzled, I'm sure.

"What do you think about the movie about the Illuminati?" The woman asked again.

"Oh, I haven't seen the movie."

"Have you read the book?"

"No, I didn't even know there was one. But I do believe that the Illuminati exists."

"Oh, really? Doesn't that scare you? I don't want to believe any of that stuff; it's terrifying. What do you think about it?"

"Well, unfortunately, the things you've heard are true. I've done research on it and that stuff does exist and it is scary. I was pretty freaked out at first by the subject, but then I came to the conclusion that God is my Protector. He's taking care of me and watching out for me. Plus, if something does happen to me, it had to have been part of God's plan for my life. I've realized that through all of this, I have no reason to worry about any of that because God's got it under control."

The two women nodded in agreement and expressed aloud how that made sense. I then went on to further sum up my conclusions from my research, and how there's no need to be afraid. The three of us stood there talking for a minute until one of the women said, "Praise Jesus we met you tonight. You have been a very big help to us both." I assured them that it was I who was blessed and shook their hands.

I did end up buying two books (praise God for coupons), but after having that conversation with those women, I knew my purpose in going to Family Christian had been fulfilled.

It's amazing how God can use us when we're willing and obedient. If He's telling you to say something to someone or to go somewhere, then do it. It's a rewarding experience to be able to help someone or encourage them.

peace, love, and God-instilled gut feelings.
kaeli

Friday, March 4, 2011

Buried treasure

I don't understand the value people place on material things. I'm not saying I don't do it too, I just don't understand it. Our true value is found in the King and His Kingdom.

"Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth not rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."
- Matthew 6:19-21

I have found myself lately pulling more and more away from material things. Sure, I like my macbook, my nice clothes, my guitars - but they are starting to lose their original value. Their purposes for me have changed. I have been blessed with these things, so shouldn't I be giving them back to the One who blessed me?

I believe it's okay to have nice things, but I also believe we shouldn't be so wrapped around them that we forget Who gave them to us in the first place. And we should be using what we're given to glorify God.

It just kind of upsets me how many people are focused on this life and not the next. Further the kingdom by using what He's given you. If He asks you to give it all away, could you do that?

peace, love, and a different kind of wealth.
kaeli

Monday, February 28, 2011

Cafe Bohemia


peace, love, and go fish for people.
kaeli

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Don't lose hope

We are all born into sin. Try as we might, we all fall short, we all sin (Romans 3:23). Because of our sin, we deserve death (Romans 6:23). Without Jesus Christ, we are spiritually dead. But once we come to know Him and enter into a relationship with Him, we are no longer spiritually dead; instead, by grace, we are given life; so we die to ourselves daily and are dead to the world, but we are fully alive in Jesus (Ephesians 2:4-5). Essentially, we are dead men, walking.

However, being fully alive in Christ is not simple. It requires transformation (2 Corinthians 5:17). If our natural selves desire sin but we are saved through faith, we are pitted in a constant battle against sin. We are called to die to ourselves (Luke 9:23) - to put down everything our flesh desires, everything that is natural to us - so that we may put on Christ and be justified through Him.

We battle not against flesh and blood (Ephesians 6:12). But even when things are so difficult and temptation is so strong, we must not conform (Romans 12:2). In everything we do, we must lower our pride and surrender it all to the One who saves us (Psalm 55:22). Do not be discouraged in this crusade. The Lord your God is with you wherever you go (Joshua 1:9).

Do not lost hope, brothers and sisters. This battle we face every day is tough and wearing, but we have God on our side. He will pull us through our mud, he will mold us into something beautiful.

peace, love, and life.
kaeli

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Finally, I surrender

God has definitely been working in my life.

It's amazing what can happen once you surrender everything to Him. And I mean everything. I've been learning how to really surrender lately, how to lay it all down.

And now because of that, amazing things have happened: friendships are being restored, new friendships are being made, doors are being opened, hearts are being softened, walls are being broken down.

I am still healing and still relying on God to get me through this heartbreak, but I know that greater things have yet to come. I am excited for everything else God is going to teach me through this.

"Finally, I surrender
All to You, I give it all to You
Finally, I surrender
All I am, I owe it all to You."
("White Flag" by For Today)

peace, love, and restoration.
kaeli

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Brokenness

This is a question a very dear friend of mine asked me, and it is a very complex question. I decided to post it on here because I thought it might be of use to some of you. Maybe you've asked a question like this before. I have made some changes to her question so as to keep her identity between her and myself:

Dear friend,
I write you because you might be able to relate to what I need prayer about. I have felt the last couple of days that God wants me to ask Him to break me. To break me so that I can experience His incomparable love for me. I know that you asked for that in Sweden, and then Sennit went to heaven... So I know that you know the pain that follows that question, "Can you break me?" I am scared because I feel that if I ask God to do it, then it will have something to do with [my boyfriend]. I know that God's love for me is much greater than [his], so why am I scared? I don't feel like I am ready to let go of [him]. I guess I never can be. My problem is that I dont WANT to let go!

Please pray for me... I dont know if I made any sense at all but I have to go now.... I love you. Thank you for being you.

Love, [a dear friend]


My response:


Dear Beloved,
In Sweden, I did ask for God to break me. But I, unlike you, was unaware of the pain that would accompany the question. I cannot deny that it was unbearable at times. I was not ready to let go of Jonathan, and I was definitely not prepared for it. However, God has a way of working things out. After the main portion of my grieving, I was given a joy so indescribable, it could only come from the One True God. Through my time of brokenness, He was restoring me, putting me back together, molding me, all because I was clinging to Him. I asked Him to break me because I knew that my relationship with Him was suffering. God took Sennit home, and the only thing I could do was put all my weight on Him. I didn't want to let go of Jonathan, but I didn't have him to hold onto anymore, I only had Jesus, which ended up being way better than I expected.

My question for you is if you don't want to let go, are you putting your relationship with [your boyfriend] above your relationship with God? It may be that you didn't even realize you were doing that. The thing is, when we ask God to do something like break us down completely, we are asking Him to rearrange our lives to better suit His purposes and His glory. It's going to hurt, but I can assure you that the end result is totally worth it.

Your relationship with [your boyfriend] is something you're going to have to trust God with. Allow Him to do with it as He wills, not as you will.

As always, I will be praying for you, sister. I love you.

Love, Kaeli

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Life would be so simple if we'd all just learn to pray

Prayer is truly an amazing thing. Praise God we have the freedom to pray whenever we please because schedules and life don't always coincide. I really shouldn't be so amazed that prayer does, in fact, work, because God tells us it clearly does. It's like God looks at us and smiles, and then says, "Well, duh" when that happens. Either way, I'm thankful.

Today I had one of those days where I prayed a lot - way more than usual. I was pouring my heart out because it was heavy with sadness and breaking for people I love. There were things I so badly wanted to fix, but it wasn't in my power to do so. Later in the afternoon, I met up with a brother in Christ and we talked about the situation, and prayed together. We could tell as we were praying that God was already at work and was already answering our cries out to Him before we had even finished. There was a huge moment of relief when we relinquished what control we thought we had in what's going on and handed it over to Him. He is the God of our impossible, because what is impossible for us is most definitely possible for Him.

If there's anything going on in your life, don't be afraid to talk to God. He wants you to. He wants you to be open and honest with Him - He wants to know your fears, your frustrations, your joys, and your happiness - He wants it all. God truly taught me a thing or two about prayer today, and I hope He does the same for you.

"pray without ceasing" - 1 Thessalonians 5:17

peace, love, and panera.
kaeli

Valentine's Day doesn't have to suck

I would say that this year's Valentine's Day was the best one I've ever experienced. Let me tell you about it...

Mini rant: Normally, I absolutely despise the 14th of February. Not because I'm almost always single (although that's a tiny factor), but because I don't see the point in setting aside one day out of the year for romance; it should happen spontaneously. Romance should be organic, authentic, real. Not some Hallmark addition to the other holidays. Plus, it's almost always cheesy on Valentine's Day, and I don't do cheesy in relationship-type situations. (Mini rant over.)

However, this Valentine's Day was unlike any other. I was awoken this morning by my cell phone ringing off the hook by a private number. I'm a tad cranky in the morning, so naturally, I didn't answer. I then received a message on Skype from a skype name I didn't recognize. It was really generic, but it just said to go outside. A little freaked out, I decided to check out my window. There wasn't anyone standing down below, so I went down to open my front door. I was completely taken aback by the dozens of rose petals spread out in place of my welcome mat. There was a note resting on top of the velvety petals and I bent down to pick it up. It read:

This is a scavenger hunt. Follow my clues and answer my riddles. Each one will bring you a step closer to finding your secret admirer. Good luck. (By the way, you look great.)


I turned the note over to find my first clue. The answer was easy - it led me to my car where I found another clue and more rose petals on my windshield. The next clue took me to the gazebo in the nearby park. And again I found another clue surrounded by rose petals. There were a total of seventeen clues, all taking me to different places around town - a restaurant, a coffee shop, a movie theater, the beach, and finally back to my home. I opened my front door and there lay a trail of rose petals, so I followed. They led upstairs to my room. Everything was just as I had left it, with the exception of all the petals and heart-shaped boxes of chocolates sitting on my bed. This was obviously someone I knew, otherwise my mom wouldn't have let them in the house while I was gone. I smiled. Amongst the candy, there was one final note. It had my name written sweetly on the outside of the envelope, and I gently opened it, my heart racing in anticipation of what it might read.

The inscription was a beautiful message to me, something I will never forget. I still don't know who my secret admirer is, but I thank you for somewhat thawing my anti-valentine heart of ice. I hope I can meet you one day soon. Until then.

peace, love, and well, more love.
kaeli

Ps. None of this actually happened. Today was just like any other ordinary day. I watched a few episodes of House, ate some cous cous, hung out with friends, and watched a movie with them. Jesus was and will forever be my Valentine - He's the best one I could ever have. I hope you all had a great holiday. Know that you are so valuable and so loved and you don't need to be limited to one day out of the year to hear that. Enjoy the 50% off chocolate tomorrow!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Black socks and white-woolen locks

We've been going through John 10 this week at bible study and I was inspired to write a poem from the perspective of the thief. Here it is:

I am a wolf in sheep's clothing
Passing by the watchmen, on to the herd
Disguised in determination
Waiting for one to be lured
Out by curiosity, or a mere distraction
So I can soon follow that lonely lamb
And satisfy my unending hunger
But suddenly, I hear a crying Man
He's calling out a name
One I do not recognize
And that measly morsel turns around
Leaving me to wallow in my demise
Where the Man now lays His head
I would not think to enter
For I am a god in my own mind
'Pride' some call it (I'm my own center)

peace, love, and perspective.
kaeli

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Scum of the earth

"This is how one should regard us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God...For I think that God has exhibited us apostles as last of all, like men sentenced to death, because we have become a spectacle to the world, to angels, and to men. We are fools for Christ's sake, but you are wise in Christ. We are weak, but you are strong. You are held in honor, but we in disrepute. To the present hour we hunger and thirst, we are poorly dressed and buffeted and homeless, and we labor, working with our own hands. When reviled, we bless; when persecuted, we endure; when slandered, we entreat. We have become, and are still, like the scum of the world, the refuse of all things."
-1 Corinthians 4:1; 9-13 (ESV)

I feel that society has a pretty basic stereotype of what the Church looks like; I'm not saying I like this stereotype, I'm just expressing that there is one: People that wear nicer clothes to the gatherings than the typical weekend-wear, that are able to tithe large sums of money each week, people that are modestly exclusive; a body that has growth, but there is no outreach.

As believers in Christ, we are called to reach the unreached, to love the unloved, to humble ourselves because we are no better than anyone else. We are already outcasts by society's standards, so let us also reach the other types of outcasts: the dropouts, losers, failures, fools, and the lost. (Remember, we were once lost too.) There are already an abundance of people out there that judge; let us be humble ad love people as they come. We are aware of our ever-present need for a Savior for we are the scum of the earth; our job is to shine that Light in other people's darkness, to be love and present an option of New Life.

Inward growth is important - we needn't forget our own relationships with Jesus - but we also need to reflect Him to those that need Him; to be selfless in putting everyone else's needs before our own; to make them feel like they belong for once. It's more than just doing a local outreach: it's building relationships, helping them grow, encouraging them.

There are broken, hurting people out there. What are we doing to express a greater Love to them?

peace, love, and humility.
kaeli

Psalm 139-ish

She releases a slow, soothing sigh as she recollects her not-so-distant past. Reminded of what used to consume her thoughts, she shakes it off, looking forward in hope.

"This heart's been broken many a time," she thought, "but You have set me free."

Before the dust in the air can settle, she jumps to her feet, arms raised in surrender, and cries out to the One who saved her:

"You know who I really am - every part of me - and why I've felt this way. Sometimes it's hard to believe that You understand; I need Your hand to take hold of me. But you see, even before I was a thought in my mother's mind, You saw me intertwined in Your grace; You knelt down and kissed my face. It is almost too much for me, but that is where beauty is found. How can I hide from You when You know exactly where I'll go? If I think I've gone too far, if I'm running scared from the Dark, Your light will break through the night. You pulled me through the eye of a needle, away from isolation; my most secret place is somewhere Your name seeps in. I can do nothing but praise You for this life You've given me. Though I am broken and poured out, Your love rescues me."

She fell to her knees, tears streaming down her face. She knew her Love was near:

"I love it when You whisper in my ear to meet You at the shore. I love it when You call me by name. I love how You hand-picked every star and put each in its perfect place. I love when You wrap Your arms around me and pull me in the biggest embrace, the tightest embrace, the warmest embrace. I cannot wait to finally see You face-to-face. I love that without You I have nothing; I am nothing."

She bowed her head in serenity, though joy and wholeness flooded her soul like a raging river.

peace, love, and identity.
kaeli grace

Monday, February 7, 2011

V is for Vegetarian

I don't even know what to say right now other than I miss my best friend. I know he's better off and I'll see him again. Instead, head over to JJ's blog to read his post about Jonathan and watch the memorial video. He did a much better job than I could right now.

peace, love, and hope.
kaeli

Ps. Does anyone have the photo of me and Sennit riding bikes through Target after his graduation?

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Salvation changes every part of you

God's readiness to give and forgive is now public. Salvation's available for everyone! We're being shown how to turn our backs on a godless, indulgent life, and how to take on a God-filled, God-honoring life. This new life is starting right now, and is whetting our appetites for the glorious day when our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, appears. He offered himself as a sacrifice to free us from a dark, rebellious life into this good, pure life, making us a people he can be proud of, energetic in goodness. ...Pursue a righteous life - a life of wonder, faith, love, steadiness, courtesy. Run hard and fast in the faith. Seize the eternal life, the life you were called to, the life you so fervently embraced in the presence of many witnesses. The steps of a man are established by the LORD, when he delights in his way; though he fall, he shall not be cast headlong, for the LORD upholds his hand.

Titus 2:11-13. 1 Timothy 6:11-12 (The Message). Psalm 37:23-24 (ESV).

peace, love, and faithfulness.
kaeli

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Dust and ash

Oh, how I can taste
Your sweet, saving grace
As it flows like raging rapids
Through my soul; I no longer feel trapped in
This grave that I've made -
In my bed of contentment.
I was a slave bound in chains,
But in You I am resting.
I drink Your words like water;
They refresh me, along with Your other sons and daughters.
I am but clay in my Potter's hands,
Being molded and matured to become a new man.
I am transformed with a naked heart;
Lord, You've been with me from the start.
(My name is Dustin Ashe and here I lie
Dead to the world, but fully alive.)

peace, love, and so much joy.
kaeli

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Community

We are all one body (1 Corinthians 12); one living, breathing community. Well, shouldn't we be acting like it?

"Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him - a threefold cord is not quickly broken."
- Ecclesiastes 4:9-12

We are commanded to love each other (John 13:34). Loving each other requires helping one another out. Helping each other out requires being open and honest with each other. See where I'm going with this?

We, as the Church, are a Community. In a community, there shouldn't be anyone worrying about what people are going to think of them because they don't want to be judged. We are supposed to be there for each other through our struggles, our pain, our joys, our excitement - all of it. Openness and honesty are necessary in community so we can build each other up, pray for each other, and encourage one another (Philippians 4:3-5).

Love people as they come. If someone comes to you with something awesome that happened to them, rejoice with them! If someone is struggling with something, accept that they aren't perfect (and neither are you) and love them for who they are. But love them so much that you can't let them stay that way.

Tonight I was able to enjoy an awesome dinner with four friends I hadn't spent time with in a while. We went out to IHOP and just got to talking. I was able to share with them the amazing journey God has been taking me on (the growth and the pain) and they were able to share what's been going on in their lives. Even though I hadn't really seen them in a while, we were talking as if we saw each other all the time. There was no judgment with what we shared with each other. There was love and understanding. This is one example of how it should be.

In return, when someone is being open and honest with you, don't be afraid to do the same.

Accept the challenge, Church. Be the community we're supposed to be. Love like Christ. Do life together.

peace, love, and done ranting.
kaeli

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Cardigans and coffee

Love everyone. Even the ones that make it difficult to love. Especially them.

peace, love, and rockets.
kaeli

Thursday, January 27, 2011

An Excerpt

"On the other hand, surely what a man does when he is taken off guard is the best evidence for what sort of man he is? Surely what pops out before the man has time to put on a disguise is the truth? If there are rats in a cellar you are most likely to see them if you go in very suddenly. But the suddenness does not create the rats: it only prevents them from hiding. In the same way the suddenness of the provocation does not make me an ill-tempered man; it only shows me what an ill-tempered man I am...After the first few steps in the Christian life we realise that everything which really needs to be done in our souls can be done only by God."

- C.S. Lewis, an excerpt from Mere Christianity.

peace, love, and provoked thoughts.
kaeli

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

An Excuse Overcome

The sun is setting
And the stars are ready
For this day to come to an end
An overtaking night sweeps in
The clouds communicate
Their laughter turns to rain
Gravity pulls the water down
But in stubbornness, turns it back around
A voice is carried down the river by a chilling breeze
Are You its owner, speaking out to me?

I hear You, oh I hear You
But I'm not as obedient as the trees that grow toward You
I need You, You know I need You, Lord
So I'll take that piece of wood and move forward

The buzzing bees and chirping birds ensure
That all is well, yet we still endure
The pain of the day and the cricks in our necks
What's next? Glasses and specs?
The morning grass is wet with dew
And each seed sprouts in the golden hue
I suppose I can't complain
After all, You've given me a name

I hear You, oh I hear You
But I can't speak as well as my brother before You
I need You, my God, I need You
Torn, I'll take up this piece of wood and move forward

peace, love, and originals.
kaeli

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Oooh, an analogy

I've always loved the picture of a potter sitting at his wheel and molding a lump of clay into something beautiful. I realize that this analogy is overdone, but it's amazing nonetheless. A potter can take the clay and change its shape over and over, so long as the clay stays wet. Once it hardens, it can't be changed. It will just be left to dry out and crack if it is not eventually put in the kiln. Sure, you could paint it and try to cover up what's left of it, but underneath it's just an ugly piece of pottery.

What about us?

Following Christ isn't easy; He never said it would be. We all mess up, we all make mistakes, and we can do one of two things: We can ask God to change our hearts and bring back our desire to worship Him. We can still be reshaped, remolded - we just have to let Him work. Or go the other way and harden our hearts. Let's hope it's the former.

God is the ultimate Potter. He can change us, reshape us, mold us, make us stronger, and so much more if we let Him. If we keep trusting in Him, living out His Word, putting Him first, He can make us beautiful pieces of art.

"But now, O LORD, You are our Father; we are the clay, and You are our Potter; we are all the work of Your hand."
- Isaiah 64:8

peace, love, and rockets.
kaeli

Thursday, January 20, 2011

I'll Wake Up

Here is what I have thus far for a song I'm working on called "I'll Wake Up":

The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places
Up til now I wasn't shaken
All this anticipation
Has led to broken endings
Sometimes it's harder to believe
"Oh doubters, come and see"
You are a mystery to me
But I'm not bending (here)

Because Your eyes
See the truth that set me free

But in the mourning I'll wake up
And take a breath of Your love
Because of You I want to dance
Together in this romance

Without You I am nothing but temporary
You give more life than I could hold on my own
And now I've come to the conclusion - it's time to heal
I know You're never letting go
You know my soul and set my feet
You are a hiding place for me
You take my brokenness
And make me whole again

And in the mourning I'll wake up
And take a breath of Your love
Because of You I want to dance
Together in this romance

Happy birthday


Meet Jonathan Sennit. (Photo credit to the lovely Loren Fay.)

I was first introduced to him back in 2005. He started attending FSCC for youth group to help us out as we were beginning a new chapter with the church. He and I quickly became friends. We both loved music and life and most importantly, God. He was the person that was there whenever you needed him, even if you didn’t want him. He was wise in the Word and sought God daily; Jesus Christ is what kept him going each and every day. Yes, he had his downfalls like any other human being, but he was never afraid to admit that and move on, move forward. He was an encourager, a servant. In September 2008 he was diagnosed with brain cancer; February 2009, God called him Home. Through everything he endured, he praised God for it -everything. He is the greatest example of a Christ-follower I have had the honor of knowing; he was one of my best friends.

Today is his birthday; he would’ve been 21 today. I miss him every day, but some days are harder than others. This tiny blog post does not do him justice. All of this to say, I know he is having the best birthday ever - I mean, he is spending it with the Creator of the universe and that’s pretty amazing. Happy birthday, Jonathan. I love you and miss you. Moshpitwarriors forever.


peace, love, and memories.

kaeli

God is faithful

“For your steadfast love is before my eyes, and I walk in your faithfulness.”
- Psalm 26:3

You love me and You are faithful.

“Wait for the LORD; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the LORD!”
- Psalm 27:14

I will wait for You; Your timing is perfect and You alone know what is best for me.

“The LORD is my strength and my shield; in him my heart trusts, and I am helped; my heart exults, and with my song I give thanks to him. The LORD is the strength of his people; he is the saving refuge of his anointed.”
- Psalm 28:7-8

You are my Protector, my Savior, my Strength, and my Love. You will never abandon me.


peace, love, and learning.

kaeli

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Healing begins now

I am so incredibly broken, and I need to be restored. I'm ready to be healed. I've spent a good portion of today in tears, but I can't guarantee that that's over with. I wrote a letter to a friend and spent a lot of time in God's Word. Tonight I'm giving that letter to my friend and I am absolutely terrified because I don't know what the end result will be. Here is a bit of what I read today:

“I love you, O LORD, my strength. The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. I call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised, and I am saved from my enemies.” - Psalm 18:1-3 (ESV)

“In my distress I called upon the LORD; to my God I cried for help. From his temple he heard my voice, and my cry to him reached his ears.” - Psalm 18:6 (ESV)

“For it is you who light my lamp; the LORD my God lightens my darkness. For by you I can run against a troop, and by my God I can leap over a wall. 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.” - Psalm 18:28-30 (ESV)


With Jesus, I can do anything, including giving this letter to my friend. My courage and strength come from Him. Deep breath in... deep breath out...

peace, love, and a little bit of anxiety.
kaeli

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Never Let Go

This week for bible study, we've been looking at John 6. As you can clearly see from my last post, Satan is really trying to get me down (and last night, I let him). I have obviously dealt with little to no self esteem and very poor self image almost my entire life. In fact, it is something I will probably battle with until I am united with my Father in heaven for eternity. Nonetheless, I know God is here with me and He is never letting go.

God really used John 6:37 to speak some major truth to me today. It says:
"All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out." (ESV)

No matter what happens in my life, He has His arms wrapped tightly around me and I forever live in His embrace.

"I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand. I and the Father are one."
- John 10:28-30 (ESV)

I am not alone.

peace, love, and "Never Let Go."
kaeli

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Transparency

Lord, give me strength. Heal me and restore me because I am weak and alone. Or at least I feel that way. I am shivering, crying, and vulnerable. I'm tired of not being good enough. Please, God, be more than enough for me.

All my life I've been treated like I wasn't good enough. I wasn't good enough for my dad so he made comments about my weight. What I want to do with my life isn't good enough for my mom so I have to get a degree and a well-paying job. I wasn't good enough for the lead role so my music director gave it to the person who gets everything. I wasn't good enough for a certain boy so he said he needed to spend more time with God but then he ended up dating someone else. I wasn't good enough for yet another boy so he said he needed to be single for a while, but a short time later, looks like there's an interest in someone else. I'm always the last person to know things. I'm always the last person anyone thinks about. I get a ridiculously painful ovarian cyst and no one goes out of their way to ask me how I'm doing unless I start a conversation with them. I'm tired of falling short. I'm tired of being picked last. I'm tired of all of this.

Why can't I just be good enough for one person?! That's all I ask, God. Send someone my way that will care about me and love me because I am myself and that is enough for them. And please, God, please be more than enough for me.

This is more personal than I was planning on getting, but at this point in my emotions, I don't know how else to say it. I didn't write this to behoove you or to get you to pity me. I wrote this for me, but if it somehow makes you understand how I'm feeling at this particular moment in my life, great. I am broken, shattered even, and only God can put me back together, but don't hesitate for one second to pray for me. I'm not afraid to admit that I need it.

peace, love, and transparency.
humpty dumpty

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Hello McFly

After writing that last blog, I spent a good amount of time reading my bible. I was reading in Matthew 26 and I came to the part where the woman pours her perfume on Jesus' feet and wipes it up with her hair. If you've been a part of the Church for a while, you've most likely heard that story. One of the many things I love about God's Word is that He will continue to make it new to you if you are willing to see it. Here are a few things I noticed this time around...

I guess the first thing I noticed is that the woman must've known that Jesus was, if anything, special. Otherwise I don't think she would've poured a very expensive bottle of perfume on his tootsies. I'm not sure if she knew He is the Messiah or not, but she knew He was Something.

Next I realized how humble she was for doing what she did. Picture your most prized possession (if you don't have one, just pick something and go with it for now). Now ask yourself if you would be able to lay that at Jesus' feet knowing what the woman may or may not have known. To give up something of such high value (for Someone of ultimately higher value) shows humility in my eyes.

Another thing that caught my attention was the disciples' reactions to this act. What blew me away was the fact that they were suggesting she sell the perfume and get money for it! And they knew who Jesus is. I think if I were there when this happened, I would say something along the lines of, "Hello McFly, anybody home?"

Now for the wrap-up. If you've read my last blog, I obviously don't know the details of my future right now. But the most important thing I gleaned from all of this is that no matter what I do, I want to be pouring my life on Jesus' feet each and every day. That is what is most important; God will work everything else out.

peace, love, and great lines from 80's movies.
kaeli

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Clarity

I honestly have no flipping clue where God wants me right now or what He wants me to do with my life. Sometimes I really just wish God would literally open His mouth and speak to me directly and tell me exactly what it is He wants me to do in such a way that I will have no doubt in my mind that it's Him. But it doesn't work like that.

So many opportunities have opened up, but the question is, which one do I take? Do I go back to Sweden and work with teens there sharing with them the love of Christ? Do I go to Russia this spring with my church and be a light there? Do I go away to some college? Do I even go to college? Do I go lead worship at a camp in Washington this summer? Do I get a full time job now, or do I wait? Do I focus all of my attention on starting a band? Oh my goodness.

I wouldn't say I'm necessarily worrying about it, I would just like to know what it is I'm supposed to do. I understand that following Christ is one big galaxy-sized leap of faith, but... Well, there is no "but." That's it, I guess.

All of this to say, I need some direction, and I need to spend some time in prayer about that as well. I would really appreciate it if you all would pray for me too. Maybe God will literally knock me over the head with what He wants me to do, then I'll know for sure.

peace, love, and longing.
kaeli

Monday, January 3, 2011

Cheesy, clichéd blog title about the start of a new year

As those of you who actually read this thing already know, I have massively failed at blogging every day in December. It stopped when I went to North Carolina for Christmas because I didn't have internet for a while, and then I was hanging out with family I didn't get to see very often so I deemed that more important. Then when I got home and finally did have internet, I ended up with a stomach bug that overstayed its welcome (not that it had one in the first place). So, all excuses aside, I'm starting fresh.

I'm very thankful for everything that happened in 2010 - the good, the bad, and the mediocre -because all of it shaped who I am right now. I've definitely grown so much and I have learned so many new things each day. Today I learned that the Caps Lock key also affects punctuation keys - awesome. Here is something I wrote seven months ago which describes where I was. Where I am now is so amazing.

"I want to be holy, but my faith is weak.
I want to be set apart, but unwilling are my feet.
My inclination is to choke, but my desire is to grow.
What is relevant in all I know?
I may be silent, but at least I'm real,
Attempting to reflect the things I feel.
Oh the taste, the taste of Your mercy is bittersweet,
Receiving grace instead of what is truly my defeat.
I want to cry out Your Name, but I've lost my voice.
In the end, this is my choice.
I know I'm meant for something more, but how do I follow the One I adore?"

For now, I'm going to... well, I have no idea. I'll figure something out. I hope each and every one of you are a better person now because of this past year, and that you will continue to move and grow. I love you guys, keep lookin' up.

peace, love, and nostalgia.
kaeli