Tuesday, April 15, 2014

My Darlin'

My Darlin',

It's your second birthday in Heaven! I miss you more today then I did yesterday but the Lord has been so good to me and given me so much joy today. I had a birthday party for you! Definitely wasn't the same without you here, but I know you received the balloons in Heaven! And I know Jesus held you extra tight today. I can't imagine what it feels like to be held by Him (I'm sure it's much greater then the times I held you :).

It's been two years since I last saw you, and your love is still teaching me things often. When Jesus let me be your mom for the last 6 weeks of your life, He knew what He was doing, and He knew I needed a precious soul like yours in my life. It broke me, but Jesus has made me whole, and I am thankful.

Our Father spoke to me this morning. He told me to believe this truth about you today my darlin':
"What is sown is perishable, what is raised is imperishable. It is sown in dishonor; it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness; it is raised in power. It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body; there is also a spiritual body." [1 Corinthians 15:42-44] You are imperishable! And you are treasured. And I am treasuring His Word today and forever, holding it close to my heart.

He is good.



Happy Birthday my beautiful darlin' Daughter!

Hope you had an extravagant birthday in Heaven with many angels praising our Jesus with you!








To read about the day EG went to be with the Lord: click here
To read about her first birthday in Heaven: click here






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Sunday, April 13, 2014

God's Not Dead

God's Not Dead

Went into this movie not expecting to be challenged so much. However almost immediately after the movie had started the Lord challenged me, "would you be willing to stand in front of this full movie theater and share the Gospel after this movie is over?"

I continued thinking about this question the Lord had asked me, and continued watching the movie.

But He kept stirring my heart and challenging me to love all of those people well by sharing with them.

Then the main character in the movie-Josh- quotes C.S. Lewis,
"Only real risk reveals the quality of one's belief."

"Was it worth the risk Lauren?" the Spirit inside of me asked.



What was I really risking? It's not like I would ever see these people again. No, the risk was nobody responding to the Gospel, nobody responding to what I would say. But the Lord is so good to us, and doesn't hold us responsible for how people respond, just to whether we said it or not.

I do believe that Jesus Christ is the "power of salvation to all who believe" (Romans 1:16). So it was worth the risk.

The movie ended, I went down the stairs and stood in front of everybody, yelling over the music "if anybody wants to know how to know Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior you are welcome to come talk to me and my lovely YWAM friends."

Nobody came, but that wasn't the point right?

The point was for me to be obedient to what Jesus had told me, that is what I will be held accountable to.

That's what we are all held accountable to. Not whether people accept or reject the Gospel, but that we were willing to share it with them in obedience to Christ.

After all, "How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!” (Romans 10:14-15).


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Saturday, April 5, 2014

The impenetrable darkness becomes penetrable

I know what she is doing Lord. She is running away from you. She knows you have found her where she is. She knows you have been waiting for her to come running into your arms. She has been in the dark Lord, indulging in the darkness and the fleeting satisfaction of the world. But in that dark musty dungeon, there is a small amount of light seeping in through the cracks. It's been so long since she has seen the True Light her eyes cannot handle it, so she tries to cover it up. She temporarily covers the hole with her hand while she turns around and refocuses her attention on the gate to the dungeon.

On one hand she wants to escape but she is thinking the way to escape is by enticing the gatekeeper, when in reality the Light that is hurting her eyes is what is going to free her from the dungeon. She is too focused on the world's way of escape to realize that the True Escape is breaking through the walls. Ironically enough we don't think when Peter got out of prison it wasn't because the gate was opened by the guard, it's because the Lord brought him out of there and they simply walked out of the prison.

For the longest time my sweet sister, and every other believer in this world did not know you were imprisoned. But you were imprisoned to the ways of this world. The darkness did not seem as darkness because your indulgences gave you the false promise and temporary light. As long as you were indulging in these things, you didn't know you were in the darkness. Then by God's grace He shined an eternal light (the moon) a slight light for the night to show you the darkness that surrounds you. Then you are AWARE. Then you can see the darkness that you have been entangled in. But just seeing it doesn't free you. You then have to trust that little sliver of light that is seeping through the cracks. Although it hurts, you must trust that it will release you from the dungeon.

And she isn't sure, she hasn't fully trusted that what you are bringing Lord is immeasurably more than what she can imagine.



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Thursday, February 27, 2014

The one.

As I sit here on my couch in a warm cabin with my two puppies, peacefully surrounded by snow, with a full fridge, a warm fire, and a good book I can't help but think about the one.

The one who has a soul. The one who has a Maker. The one who has a Father, earthly and eternal. The one who was created to bring Him glory. The one who seems to have no voice. The one who has long brown hair, big brown eyes, and the most endearing smile you ever could see. The one with the tiny frame but hugely welcoming heart. The one who hides behind the little clothing she has on, when it's feverishly cold outside and she is supposed to be "working."

She looked to be 14 years old when we passed by her as Elizabeth and I were prayer walking through the bar streets in the early afternoon.

"Let's stop and talk to her!"
"Okay!" Elizabeth exclaimed.

Early into the conversation we found out she was sitting outside of the bar waiting for her boss to get there. She looked tired, but was excited to have someone talking to her. After talking to her for a few minutes we managed to tell her in the little english she could understand that we would be back that evening to hang out with her.

The time rolled around for us to leave and go hang out with her. We managed to bring our translator with us, and went straight to the bar where she worked.

We played "bar games" with her (connect four, jenga, and pool) and greatly enjoyed her laughing at how bad we were! After getting to know her on a surface level (where she is from, how old she was-21 not 14, etc.) we begun to ask her about her job, and why she was there..

She wasn't taken.
She wasn't trafficked.
She wasn't drugged.

She was coerced to find a means to take care of herself and her family-by her family. After not being able to find a job with her accounting certificate, her family told her to resort to whatever she had to offer.

And somehow she along with thousands and thousands and thousands of other girls resorted to prostitution with no other choice.

So she is the one. The one many tears have been cried for. The one who the Lord allowed me to suffer this summer for. The one the Lord allowed me to go through 3 months of being showered with love in Denver, Colorado for. The one the Lord allowed Elizabeth and I to travel to the other side of the world for. The one the Lord expanded my heart for. And the one who I can never forget.

She is the one.
The one the Lord proved He so sovereignly had His hand on since the first day she accepted Christ, and the day she walked away from Him. The one the Lord is wooing back to Himself. The one who does not have to live in shame. The one who will be welcomed into the Kingdom with open arms by a Savior whose blood rescued her soul. The one who will be/has been freed from slavery/bondage.

The one who the day after we spoke to her, told us she was going home.

Now you can pray for that one. You can pray that while she is home (right now) that she will be bold and tell her family what she told us when we talked to her (that she didn't want to be doing that, she knew it was wrong, and she didn't think she would ever be forgiven for it). And that her family will not make her return to that work. As well you can pray she will find a job in accounting or be able to go back to school. Thank you for praying with me, and supporting me as I was blessed to be able to meet this one because of your faithful prayers for me.

I don't fully understand God's plans, or how everything connects (more on this later), but I will say I am beyond grateful to have been counted worthy to experience the pain and suffering from this past summer in order for the Lord to get me to Thailand, on that specific street, on that day, to talk to the one. His sovereignty continues to astound me. His grace continues to abound.

Thanks be to Him who deserves all glory and honor and praise.

The one - Peung, perhaps number 14,765,456.
^ "Because You are precious in my eyes and honored, and I love you." [Isaiah 43:4]


Peung, daughter of the most High God that I cannot wait to rejoice in Heaven with someday.

To find out how you can help end modern day slavery go to:

We are in it to end it.




Saturday, December 28, 2013

The Darkness

It is dark, but not Ugandan child sacrifice dark.

It is dark, but not Jordanian Islamic religiosity dark.

It is dark, but not Haitian voodoo and witchcraft dark.

It is dark, but not American consumerism dark.

It is that seemingly impenetrable dark.

It is that darkness that surrounds you and robs you of your peace and contentment.

It is that darkness that won't let you sleep at night because it lingers.

It is that darkness that steals your words of Truth right as they come out of your mouth.

It is that darkness that makes you weep.

It is that darkness that helps you better understand the weight of sin on our Savior.

It is that darkness that makes you fall at your Savior's feet day and night.

It is that darkness that comes to mind when you are on your knees before the Lord.

It is that darkness that radiates the evident need of humans for a savior.

It is that darkness that makes you cry out "LORD LET YOUR KINGDOM COME."

And with a resounding lament, "on earth AS IT IS IN HEAVEN."

 

This darkness is what has kept me from writing these past few weeks. I know many of you have been wondering what is going on in Thailand, and I want to apologize for just now updating you. I simply have not the words to speak about the place we have been in. A few days before Christmas, the Lord drew me into His bosom and allowed me to see the beautiful women we have been loving, as well as the seemingly "nasty" men who use those women. And when I gazed out that window, praying and worshiping over that dark street the Lord so patiently said to them, through me, "I see you." and said to me, "Lauren I see them. I don't just see what they are doing right now. I don't just see the women offering their bodies to these men. I don't just see these men as the dogs it looks like they are, buying these women off of the street. I see my precious daughter, wrapped in the most beautiful robe of righteousness, white as snow. And I see the men, bowing before my throne worshipping me in humble adoration of a King who loved them 'while they were yet sinners' [Romans 5:8]. I rejoice over them and exult over them singing "oh how I love you." and although it doesn't seem like they hear me, deep in their soul I am doing a work in them. Their soul is remembering the singing it is hearing, and it is storing that song in their hearts. One day they WILL receive that song and be set free from this place. Just rejoice my servant, for you too were as they are and now you are free indeed!"

The Light of Christ was the only hope for my lost soul. And this same Light of Christ is the hope of the souls in this beautiful country.

Thankful to be given the opportunity to see God's love poured out over this country. The weight of His Love for these people is unfathommable.

Peace be to you brothers and sisters! Thank you for the prayers.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Number 14,765,456

Thailand

Is it a fear that I will be overcome with a love for another people group?
Is it a fear that my heart will again be burdened for an injustice that seems so impossible to overcome?
Or is it a fear that she will no longer be just a number?

Here they are, all sitting in front of me. One by one, lined up, and forgotten. They are a number. 26,342,567. Slaves. Sex slaves.

And I see that number, number 14,765,456. And I cry out to God for that number.

But in 9 or 10 days that number, number 14,765,456 will become a face. And then, only then, she can no longer be number 14,765,456. Then her face, and her name, and her passions will be written on my heart. Then I will be able to weep with her and cry out to God beside her. But I won't be able to rescue her from where she has been.
Just. Like. With. Ella. Grace.

And that is precisely my greatest fear. I want to rescue them from being just a number. I want to rescue them from becoming one of those numbers. But I can't. I can't. I keep hitting that wall, that wall at the end of the word "can't," the wall at the letter "t." Which very possibly is where the Lord wants me. At the end of myself . And the beginning of Himself, "I can."

"My grace is sufficient, for my power is made perfect in weakness." [2 Corinthians 12:9]

There at the "t" I find my end. The end of my strength, the end of my tears, and the final shattered piece of my heart. There His Spirit, His life, and His Son, Jesus come to life fully inside of me. And there a battle is being won against my flesh. For if there is one thing I have discovered in the past 6 months, it is that once we relinquish it all, then He shows His all-powerful self through us.

And He says, "my daughter, you cannot rescue her from being that number, because sin exists, and death persists, but what you can do, by my grace, is keep her from remaining number 14,765,456. By loving her as Jesus, she will be prevented from remaining number 14,765,456, and her identity will be daughter of the King of Kings, precious in my eyes, honored, and My Beloved. Which is exactly who Ella Grace became, and who she is even now as she rejoices at my throne. It will hurt you my Beloved, because this was never the way it was intended to be, but I promised you, and remind you I AM COMING BACK. And behold, I am with you always to the end of the age."

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Ski lift Loving


We arrive at the ski mountain, ready to tear up the mountain. As we are anxiously awaiting our time to get on the ski lift the Lord causes me to pause and ask Him what He wants out of this day. And His answer was, "I want my glory to be made known on this mountain. I want these people to recognize who I am and why this mountain exists."

"Okay" I say, "I want that as well."

"Then be open and willing to sharing truth with my people who get on the lift with you."

"Yes I will."

What an incredible day it was from that moment on, starting conversations with all of His children, some that know Him and some that don't know Him. But one man in particular grew a liking to me and wanted to continue talking and talking and talking. His name is Joe, and he is from the Washington DC/ New York area. He actually did YWAM's DTS 10 years ago, in Germany. However, now he is Jewish. Why, you ask? Because he felt he didn't find the answers he wanted in Christianity (our God is a mysterious God). The conversation continued as I told him about a dream I had where Jesus came to me and said. "come follow me." He said, "that's great, and if Jesus came to me in a dream I wouldn't ask any more questions."

"Okay," I said excitingly! "Then you are going to have a dream of Jesus because He wants you in His Kingdom, and I am going to pray for that!"

"Well I am pretty set in my ways but whatever you say! I would love prayers!"

We arrived at the top of the mountain shortly after this and decided to hike a few hundred yards to look at the view on the back side of the mountain together.

The view drew deep worship to our Creator out of all three of us, and we stood astounded at the seeming "coincidence" that we ended up meeting each other.

As we walked back we exchanged numbers and said "maybe we will run into each other again." And we did, continuing the conversation about an hour later when we ended up on the lift together again.

Marte and I had a few more conversations about the Gospel with people on the lift. Some of them welcomed the Truth, others despised the Truth. Nevertheless, the people on that mountain which God created from His hands, heard about the Love of Jesus Christ.

Marte and I may never know what fruit will come from us sharing the Gospel on those ski lifts, but what was a self-centered day, turned it to a God-centered day, and was much more satisfying. So I challenge you, to ask God what He wants out of this day and who He wants you to love today.

"All authority in Heaven and on Earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold I am with you always to the end of the age." Matthew 28:18-20