Friday, December 25, 2009

HALLELUJAH!

Peering over the edge of heaven, their eyes widening as the Star appeared over the lowly town of Bethlehem, the Angels probably could barely control their excitement, or anticipation for that matter. All this time they had watched Man struggle...their hearts broken and shattered. "The fullness of time has not yet come" He must have told them. ...and they had to wonder, "What will He do? How will He who sits on the throne fix what Man has done?"

And then, amidst the silence that cloaked the past 400 years in despair and doubt, they heard it. A baby's cry. Perhaps they looked in unison to the throne and held their breath at seeing no One at the Father's right hand. A thrill of hope. A deep breath. They couldn't believe it. He had come. The Light of Heaven entered the dark gray earth.

I so love this day. This story. He is HERE. Emmanuel. Angels exalting. Hearts rejoicing. THE PROMISE delivered. The head crusher, Burden bearer, Soul healer, Liberator, Kingdom bringer....has come. Light from heaven ushers into earth and shines through the cracks of broken hearts. Love has come. Hallelujah!

Friday, December 18, 2009

"mirror mirror..."

God's original intent according to A.W. Tozer has held me captive and caused me not to just glance at these words but turn to the Word of God and see that yes, I have been made to behold the glory of God and reflect it to all the earth. Yet, that mirror shattered at the Fall and we have been scrambling to reflect something of ourselves to the world ever since...

"Man's supreme function through all eternity is to reflect God's highest glory, and that God might look into the mirror called man and see His own glory shining there. Through man, God could reflect His glory to all creation."

Friday, November 20, 2009

In her own words.

Irina is one of the girls I have gotten to know best during my time in Moldova. Watch her tell her story here.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

"Queens" of the Dance.

Some of the girls put together a little dance in honor of the Cameron's Scottish roots...when you know where and what these girls have come from seeing things like this is, well, miraculous.


Tuesday, November 17, 2009

enjoy the ride.

"What's the driving like in Moldova?" you may ask...well, let me show you. Feel free to put your hands up and scream "WEEEEE!" at any time. Enjoy the ride.


So, as you can tell, it could very possibly be the ride of your life. My fellow Uganda go-ers may beg to differ, but I did not experience being ejected from my seat in Uganda, and here it has happened...at least 3 times. [Sidenote: there are no real "traffic laws" in Moldova and I suppose that explains the numerous graves (yes, graves not memorials) that are on the side of the road complete with etchings of said deceased's face.]

triumphant testimonies.

Stella's House in the midst of releasing a DVD with all the girls telling their stories along with a CD they have recorded. While I have been here the girls have been videotaped telling their stories, some for the first time. Tonight, Luida,one of the girls who speaks very good english, helped translate Stella's story- one full of scenes of abuse and abandonment. During the translating process Stella burst into tears and ran into another room. She told us that she did not want to tell her story. She was ashamed, and said she did not want people in America to hear it. Immediately, Mr. Cameron took her aside and spoke to her from scripture...

"We have conquered Satan by...the word of our testimony..." Revelation 12:11

How true it is. The story of God working in our lives is all we need to prove Satan wrong on all counts of condemnation he sends our way. It was so beautiful to see this 15 year old girl smile and nod realizing this truth for the first time and being set free to tell her story and rejoice in the pain and suffering she has endured to point people to Jesus-the One who has transferred her from the dominion of darkness, into the kingdom of light and into the arms of Jesus.


Sunday, November 15, 2009

miracles.

The past couple of days have come to be one of the biggest blessing I've received. I am so grateful to here, hearing the stories and seeing the miracles God is doing within this ministry. I have seen the gospel changing lives as an obedient and called people say "Yes" to the vision birthed out of concern God has put in their hearts. It is bigger than any of those involved and is a picture of what it means to be totally dependent on God. Knowing that if He doesn't come through...it's all over. The good news is He has come through (He always does) and continues to come through. Over and over I have seen with my own eyes the reality of God's promises....

"A father of the fatherless and a judge and protector of the widows is God in His holy habitation. God places the solitary in families and gives the desolate a home in which to dwell." Ps. 68:5-6

As orphans in a corrupted country like Moldova, these children grow up in conditions that could be likened to a third world country. One shower. Cold water streaming from a hose. Hard beds. A hole for a bathroom. Corruption within the child protection services. The list goes on and on. Nothing is as hearbreaking as knowing they never heard the words, "I love you." As I have heard the stories (which i would love to share with you) and seen what God is doing in the lives of these girls, as they have literally become part of a family that loves them dearly, I am reminded that every human life has purpose and potential.

They are...
Artists.

Music makers.
Dancers.
Singers.
Leaders.
Writers.
Dreamers...

They are now in an atmosphere where they can flourish into the women God has made them to be, without the suppression that evil (the orphanages, the traffikers, the abusive parent...) brings about. It is a beautiful thing to see them embracing Jesus, their talents and each other. My words can not yet convey what I have seen and heard from some of these girls (I am still processing how to best put it into words). Everyday they spend here is a miracle. And the miracle happens in the mundane. Things like cooking, cleaning, homework, warm food, smiles, bursts of laughter and countless other things we all take for granted everyday.

After all I have heard and seen in the past 5 days comes down to the one reality none of us can escape...

JESUS.
His rescue.
His sacrifice.
His love.
His abundance.
His LIFE.
His redemption.
His story.
HIMSELF.



Thursday, November 12, 2009

so far.

My time here has been busy already....here are some brief blips about what it's been like so far...(more in-depth analysis later :) )

After almost 24 hours of flying in an airplanes and waiting in airports, we made it to Moldova.

If Drive Shaft (shoutout to LOST fans) was a real band, I definitely would have sat next to them on the plane. Let's just say a party was happening on aisle 46...the whole 8 hours.

Frankfurt airport = most confusing airport ever

Europe smells funny...what is that???

Cigs here, cigs there, cigs everywhere

Needless to say, I don't speak Romanian. I'm getting really good at charades.

It's freezing outside.

The mafia. Next door. Enough said.

A rooster never fails to doodle dee do every hour or so...I kind of like it.

Orphans singing praises....beautiful.

We spent the morning unloading a truck of a 4 month supply of basic supplies...the govt. has cut off aid to the orphanages here. Which has put the orphans of Moldova in quite a predicament...thankfully we will deliver shampoo, soap, toothpaste, and other things to the orphanages tomorrow.

Swine flu frenzy is here. Everyone has a mask and the girls are out of school for 2 weeks. Crazy.

McDonalds at 1 a.m. turned out to be quite the experience as inebriated locals jamboreed around our van. It was one of many Culture lessons.

These girls are precious. Their stories are heartbreaking, but their hope is secure. Many of them have come to know Jesus and it is a joy to be here experiencing love, hope and LIFE with them. Many of them have seen parents murdered, experienced abuse, lived on the street or known only a filthy orphange as home. They have been told they are nothing, that no one will want them and that their children will one day sleep in their beds. But that is no longer their reality. They have been rescued. The Cameron's have selflessly brought into their family, and into what it means to be loved and love. Something they have never known. Their laughter is contagious and their love for one another reflects something pure and real. I'm reminded that we need people. We need love. Love is here. Love saves... and always wins.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Moldova.

Some of the girls who live at Stella's House. To learn more about Moldova click here

I was given an opportunity last week to go to Moldova with a family who has an amazing ministry there that my church supports. I found out Wednesday that I would be leaving this Tuesday and coming back the 21st! So, it looks like this time next week I will be in a country I didn't know existed 3 months ago with people I have not even met. I'm excited and looking forward to the adventure. Most importantly, I am expectant for what God is going to do during my time there. I am specifically praying about how God can use me to partner with them for his glory in the lives of these precious women in a dreary land. I'd appreciate your prayers as well!

It's very difficult for me to put into words what they are doing, but watch the video I promise it's worth the 6 minutes...

If you're like me, you may have had no idea where Moldova is...I had never heard of it until I read Not For Sale by David Batstone - a book about the horror of human traffiking. Moldova is one of the primary countries for traffiking and is one of the poorest in all of Europe. Most people are unaware of the thousands of orphans who are thrown out on the streets at the age of 16 and trapped into the sex trade (some orphange directors even work with traffikers to make a buck or two) which is one of the most profitable crimes...raking in a grand total of 31 billion annually. The girls I will be with have been rescued by the Cameron family and brought into a home and family they call their own. Their stories are stories of beautiful redemption and a picture of the gospel of grace. I can't wait to share more with you.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

straight off the shelf.

"Ada had to admit that, at least now and again, just saying what your heart felt, straight and simple and unguarded, could be more useful than four thousand lines of John Keats. She had never been able to do it in her whole life, but she thought she would like to learn how."

-Cold Mountain

Monday, November 2, 2009

torches.


We are torch bearers of the Life signaling light of the gospel.
Asking what this means in the places I am and beginning to see what happens when we walk into the dark and remember what we hold in our hands...

"For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus' sake. For God who said, 'Let light shine out of darkness,' has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ." 2 cor. 4: 5-6

"Men die in darkness at your side,
Without a hope to cheer the tomb;
Take up the torch and wave it wide,
The torch that lights time's thickest gloom."
-H. Bonar

what i love about monday's....





I used to not be a fan of Monday, but things have changed.
I made a decision a few months ago since I was going to be in Montgomery for this period of time, I was going to BE THERE--meaning I was going to make the most of my time here and not sit around and wait for something to happen. The biggest blessing by far has been my time tutoring kids at Common Ground http://www.cgmal.org/ I spend at least 2 days a week at their office in the heart of the gump helping kids learn to read, calling out spelling words (c-a-t) and trying to remember how to do 5th grade math (ha!) My favorite moments by far have been talking to them about what they want to be when they grow up (Minnie Mouse was my favorite answer), their favorite memories and what they like. Many of their stories are heart breaking and I leave in tears almost every day, but it's the simple conversations, hugs, listening to their "raps" and learning the latest dance moves that God has given me a glimpse of what it means to dream like a child and have faith like a child-regardless of my circumstances. I had no idea I was going to love it as much as I have...Here's a little peek into what I love about Monday's....

Thursday, September 10, 2009

today.

"The way of trust is a movement into obscurity, into the undefined, into ambiguity, not into some pre-determined, clearly delineated plan for the future. The next step discloses itself only out of discernment of God acting in… the present moment. The reality of naked trust is the life of a pilgrim who leaves what is nailed down, obvious and secure, and walks into the unknown without any rational explanation to justify the decision or guarantee the future. Why? Because God has signaled the movement and offered his presence and his promise."
:brennan manning::

bursts of glory.


what an amazing thing we have in the hubble telescope. you have to think, david only saw the stars, but now we see this and it seems to crank psalm 19 up a notch.

He made this. He sustains this. By his WORD. (Hebrews 1) This burst of glory leaves me speechless.



Wednesday, September 2, 2009

snapshots of grace

today i saw these geese at the lake near my house. when they spread their wings and dove down into the water something caught in my chest, and right then i saw Him. i saw His beauty in their form and His grace in their soft, yet confident approach into the water.

i'm looking for more of these. these snapshots of grace.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

" quotable "

"Men die in darkness at your side,
Without a hope to cheer the tomb;
Take up the torch and wave it wide,
The torch that lights time's thickest gloom."
-H. Bonar
{ as quoted in Hudson Taylor's Spiritual Secret }

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

dig in!

the israelites asked the question, and so i asked too...
"Can the Lord spread a table in the wilderness?"

{ i.e. Can God really make "something" out of this time in this place? }

But, before i could fully finish my thought- i remembered. John 6-the fish, the loaves and the whole she-bang that went down on that hillside with 5,000 + hungry people with not much food in sight. He made a whole lotta somethin' out of a whole lotta nothin'. Why? Because he can.


So, I see there is a table is being set and a feast in order. it's time to take my place at the table...and dig in!

jacaranda





 But what I don't say 
What I can't say Is that with this joy 
Comes a mourning 
Something left behind 
Blue lined, teary
 Mingled I move on 
All things will change
 We wait for the rain
 And the promise remains 
Live life fully 
-josh garrels-
"jacaranda"

Sunday, August 23, 2009

semmering


"Between Austria and Italy, there is a section of the Alps called the Semmering. It is an impossibly steep, very high part of the mountains. They built a train track over these Alps to connect Vienna and Venice. They built these tracks even before there was a train in existence that could make the trip. They built it because they knew some day, the train would come." Under the Tuscan Sun

it was about faith. it was about belief. it was about everything i want to be about in these days. to step out. make some plans, and move forward. it's about"long obedience in the same direction." giving yourself fully to the one thing that ensures everything else of great value-Jesus. knowing that he will fulfill his promises for us, for many such things are in his mind (job said that somewhere...)whether we see it today,or the howl of the train is somewhere off in the distance, it doesn't really matter. the trains a comin'.

the river.


"Eventually all things merge into one, and a river runs through it." 

last night my family and i shared leftover banana pudding, coffee and some tears as we watched the 1992 classic, "a river runs through it" the last line reminded me something that i often forget...and i took a deep breath.
i was reminded that in the end, that last line is indeed true. 

1Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb 2down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. Revelation 22

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

a word for the word.

thankful for the Word of God, the way it comes alive and the Story it tells. 

"Let this be written for a future generation; So that a people not yet born may praise the LORD:

That he looked down from his holy height;
(from heaven the Lord looked at the earth!)
to hear the groans of the prisoners,
to set free those who were doomed to die,
{why?} >>so they may declare in Zion the name of the LORD
and in Jerusalem his praise,
when peoples gather together,
and kingdoms, to worship the LORD."
psalm 102:18-22

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

step into my office...





work. work. work.


Here's where I spend my days...
typing
writing
editing
list-ing
filing
stacking
facebook-ing
twittering....etc. etc.

there's a coffee shop around the corner so I'm happy about that :)

It's been great experience. Learning alot.  One thing in particular: I need a job that keeps me moving and around people. A desk for 8 hours is somewhat difficult, but now at least I know what it's like. Regardless, I'm so thankful for a job and a good boss ;) aka: my dad. 

Saturday, June 6, 2009

one thing

There is only one thing i need to know: His love exceeds all reason. 






Tuesday, June 2, 2009

daydreams


 Today at work I started daydreaming....about driving a 1959 red Corvette somewhere awesome. Cliche? Maybe, but hey, this would be legit.
 
So, as rando as that is...there you have it. Maybe it says something about my personality I don't know, but I do know that this would be incredible. I mean, just look at that. How fun would that be?!?
  

Saturday, May 23, 2009

bluegrass special.



  This morning, me and two friends went downtown to Old Alabama town for Bluegrass Jam Session. These guys range in age from 24-87 and play the banjo, fiddle, cello, and evenmake their own guitars. It was raining, so they were all up on the porch of an old house and we were up there with them.  Let me add-we were the only ones who came out in the torrential downpour that happened this morning.  They even let us sing with them! 

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

someone else says it better....


"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do.  So throw off the bowlines.  Sail away from the safe harbor.  Catch the trade winds in your sails.  Explore. Dream. Discover."
-Mark Twain

Saturday, May 16, 2009

beloved community.


Martin Luther King Jr. dreamt of something he called, "The Beloved Community." In one of his first published articles, he said that the purpose of the Montgomery Bus Boycott was "reconciliation, redemption and the creation of the beloved community."

I love that. When I put this up against the backdrop of the Kingdom of God and what He's doing this is where it took me:
As we discover we are individually reconciled and redeemed we discover Love in its truest form. We discover we are the Beloved. As Henri Nouwen says, "being the beloved expresses the true core of our existence." When we grasp onto this ourselves and come together with others who have had the same revelation, something beautiful manifests itself. The Beloved Community.

Sometimes I wonder, what if people actually got that? What kind of force would the recognition of our identity being wrapped up in being the Beloved of the Father produce as people make that declaration to the world together? I think the search for meaning and existence would be over. We exist to BE LOVED AND LOVE to the praise of His glory and grace.

My heart is for this idea of a Beloved Community- a people who corporately acknowledge their Beloved-ness and love out of the overflow of that recognition. I long to be a part of the Body that breathes Life into dead bones that people may truly live. A force is emerging. One that is ready to stand on their feet and live. An exceedingly great army. Warriors of light making the darkness tremble.

I want to see a Beloved Community rise from ruins. For together its people will radiate the life-signaling light into the darkness. They will arise and shine for their Light has come and the glory of the Lord has risen upon them. Though darkness covered them it is forced to yield to the glory of God. Nations will come to its light and kings to the brightness of its rising (Isaiah 60). For the people who walked in darkness have seen a great light and those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness on them a light has shined (Isaiah 42). For together, we are the light of the world, a city on a hill cannot be hidden. His Life has become our life and together we are a force that calls forth His kingdom of light to come establish itself among the dominion of darkness.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

adios 354!



I moved out of my beloved house on Gay Street. It's weird to know I'm not going to be living in Auburn, but here's to a good two years of late night front porch swingin', roommate dinners, saturday tailgating, and mornings on the porch. 


Tuesday, May 12, 2009

ragamuffin gospel.


I read "The Ragamuffin Gospel" right before I went to college and I found it the other day in a box and decided it would be appropriate to read it again.  Wow. I didn't realize how absolutely dazzling this book is.  If you haven't read it you should. The beauty of the gospel of grace drips from the pages never ceasing to amaze and astound.  



"The Good News of the gospel of grace cries out: we are all equally, privileged but unentitled beggars at the door of God's mercy!" -Brennan Manning




the thing about titles

Coming up with a title for the things I write is my least favorite part of the writing process.  I'm a journalism major and every time I have to write a title I spend hours, sometimes days trying to think of the perfect title.  The title encompasses the whole of the story you're trying to tell and since I have no idea where this is going the titling process presents me with a slight dilemma. Maybe I'm thinking too hard...but who knows where this story will go?

So, when I finally come up with a title...it will have a post all its own.

new: adj. not existing before; introduced now for the first time.


i like starting over. 
a new place in life calls for new things.
so, i deleted my old blog and started a new one.. 

i want to resolve to actually be good at this whole blogging thing, which means i felt like a brand new blog with a brand new name was in order.  So here it is. Let's see where this new thing goes...