Thursday, August 23, 2012

Just so you know...

I have been updating my blog a post at a time for the last several weeks.  I have a pattern where I revive my blog then leave it for months at a time.  Here at the Program I've been keeping a physical journal, and while I'm still not consistent, I do put the important things in it.  That being said (er...written), I am trying to transfer what I've written in my journal onto my blog.  I'm a little behind, so there may be posts that pop up from "the past" that you haven't seen before. 

Just so you know. ;)

Thursday, August 09, 2012


Remind Me Who I Am - Jason Gray

When I lose my way,
And I forget my name,
Remind me who I am.
In the mirror all I see,
Is who I don't wanna be,
Remind me who I am.
In the loneliest places,
When I can't remember what grace is.

Tell me once again who I am to You,
Who I am to You.
Tell me lest I forget who I am to You,
That I belong to You.
To You.

When my heart is like a stone,
And I'm running far from home,
Remind me who I am.
When I can't receive Your love,
Afraid I'll never be enough,
Remind me who I am.
If I'm Your beloved,
Can You help me believe it.

Tell me once again who I am to You,
Who I am to You, whoa.
Tell me lest I forget who I am to You.
That I belong to You.
To You.

I'm the one you love,
I'm the one you love,
That will be enough,
I'm the one you love.

Tell me once again who I am to You.
Who I am to You.
Tell me lest I forget who I am to You,
That I belong to You, oh.

Tell me once again who I am to You.
Who I am to You.
Tell me lest I forget who I am to You,
That I belong to You.
To You.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

2012 Election

I'm not as much into politics as my family is, though I do have certain opinions about our government that I'm choosing not to discuss here on my blog, but I came across this the other day.  It appealed to the geek in me. :D

Monday, April 02, 2012


I went to the Well again yesterday and heard the man preach about prayer again.  It was better the second time around.  He said something this time that I didn't catch last time: prayer is the admission to God that you can't handle it on your own.  Wow.  That's the first time I've heard soemthing like that and it makes complete sense to me.

It makes sense because I've had a hard time praying all my life and now I know it's because I didn't want to admit that I couldn't do it on my own.  I wnated to be the one to do it all.  I wanted to do God's job, and that is pride.  That puts me in the same position as Lucifer before he fell.  That's a frightening thought and if it weren't for God's incredible love and grace, that would be my fate.

So now I'm all about prayer.  I can't do it on my own.  I need God to get through every day, one day at a time.  He's got to the the one to do it.  Even something so simple as asking Him to wake me up so I can spend time with Him to how He provides for our needs here and then some - He's got it covered and I need to rely on Him.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Sweet Aroma

So this weekend has been a good one for learning about worship (acts of…) and sacraments, but the biggie for me was on Saturday night at The Well Church when a man spoke on prayer.

He said that prayer was very important and he broke it down into four things, two of which stood out to me.  The first is that prayers are stored up in bowls as incense to God and are a sweet aroma to Him.  Wow.  I love that picture and it puts a new perspective on prayer for ne.  A positive one that makes me want to pray.  I have a very hard time praying I’ve had moments where I’ve felt the connection to God as I pray but for the most part, though I believe that He hears me, I feel like I’m talking to myself.  This tells me that I’ve not just talking to myself, but it’s a sweet aroma to Him.

The second thing that he said was that a house that doesn’t pray is not a church.  Basically, what I got from that was that prayer draws people together and to God.  This man had story after story about how prayer, just prayer, brought people to God, even those who didn’t believe.  And he also had stories of churches that fell apart because their members refused to pray together.

At the end of his message, he challenged was all to set aside a time to pray, and he wasn’t talking about a five-minute prayer before we go to sleep. But he said to start with a purposeful half an hour.  While that thought intimidates me, at the same time I’m encouraged because I’ve been wanting to develop my prayer life.  God is telling me that He’s making a ways for me to do that.


Wednesday, February 22, 2012


Today is the first day of Lent.  It’s a Wednesday, the day we have worship here in the morning.  Travis read a devotional that talked about Christ and His time in the desert.   I don’t remember if he read this or if it’s something that occurred to me, but either way it struck me that Christ went through the desert before He fulfilled God’s purpose for His life.  God was preparing Him.

There are several people who went through their “desert” times, sometimes literally – Moses and Joshua immediately come to mind.  And, on a side not, there is something about the number 40, but I don’t know what it is.  Moses spent 40 years as a pampered prince, the next 40 years in a literal desert before God called him.  Joshua spent 40 years wandering the desert with the children of Israel before leading them into the Promised Land.

The point is that they all went through this harsh time before beginning the ministry of God, and God was with them the entire time, though there were times when He was quiet.

This is my desert time.  God has a purpose for me, but right now is the time for preparation.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012


Our chaplain has asked all of us in her life group to journal. Well, it’s not a request, actually, she’s made it a requirement. The two questions are:

1) What new thing have I learned about God this week?
2) What new thing have I learned about myself?


The easy one is what new thing have I learned about God. Travis Vice, the pastor of a church plant I've become involved in called Roots Community Church (which is very involved as a community with The Program here), preached an interesting message this last Sunday. The text was Mark 6, and he was talking about a) how Christ was rejected by His own family, and b) how a person’s faith directly relates to the power of God in his or her life. The “a” part is at the very beginning of Mark 6, and it talks in verse 3 about how they scoffed and refused to believe in Him because He was “just a carpenter, the son of Mary.” They probably also remembered the questionable circumstances of His birth – Jews have long memories. It continues in v. 4 where Jesus replies by saying, “A prophet is honored everywhere except in His own hometown, and among His relatives and family.” (NLT). Here’s what gets me, though: verse 5, “And because of their unbelief, He couldn’t do any miracles among them except to place His hands on a few sick people and heal them. 6 And He was amazed at their unbelief.” (NLT). He couldn’t perform any miracles because they didn’t believe! Their unbelief made Him powerless.

So what does that say about me? For years I struggled with believing that God was there for me. I didn’t see Him moving in my life. Well, duh! It’s because I didn’t believe.
“Believe” is an action word. Having faith is an action. It’s as simple as doing. There’s a saying that God helps those who help themselves. While I have a problem with how that can lead us to a works-oriented religion, it is still true that in a sense. We can help ourselves by simply believing.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

P.S.: R.S.V.P.

Just so you are all aware, while I am here in the Program, I am unable to get on Facebook or Twitter, or even Google+ regularly.  My blog is set up to post automatically on Facebook and Twitter, but I would love it if you came straight to my blog if you have a comment.  That way I can read and respond to everyone. :)

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

New Life

A couple months ago, I posted a rather cryptic post saying that I wouldn't be able to communicate for six weeks. Well, obviously it's been longer than six weeks and I figured that I should tell what's been going on.

On November 8, 2011, I entered a Christ-based, Christ-centered residential facility here in Portland, OR, and began a program called the New Life Recovery Program. The New Life Recovery Program, as defined in the Resident Handbook, is a "four-phase program dedicated to leading women to addictions-free, self-sufficient living." The program itself, again according to the Handbook, consists of three components - spiritual growth, overcoming addictions, and life skills development.

That's the cut-and-dried definition. Let me tell you what it really means. It means that for the first time ever, someone understands me. They understand why I've screwed up my life over and over. They understand why I've done what I've done, and they know or can help me figure out right where I went wrong. Most importantly, they know how to help me.

Now, I know that some of you immediately thought that there was no way I could have been addicted to anything enough that I would seek help. I know some of you are thinking that you knew me better than that. And it's true, that's not totally why I'm here. However, here's the thing about addiction - some addictions are obvious and some are so subtle that even the person has no clue that they could even be addicted to such a thing. I had a couple of the obvious ones, and a few of the subtle ones that I have discovered since I've been here. Another thing I've discovered about myself is that if I'd had the money and the opportunity...well, it's a frightening thought. I just thank God that I didn't.

And I do thank God every single day. He is the one who brought me here. I have no doubt about this. Already, in the last two months, He has changed my life. A woman can't live here without God changing her. This place is completely saturated in Him. All day, every day, my focus is continually pointed to Him by events, staff, and other residents. Every single staff member here is committed to Christ first and foremost, and to the residents and their recovery. I think most of all, for us, they are committed to speaking truth into our lives, whether we want to hear it or not. That means that quite often we have to dig deep into ourselves to "clean house" from all the lies we've believed. What comes up can be pretty disgusting, dark, and dangerous to hold on to. Because God is here, this is the best and safest place for us to deal with it all, and God has placed just the right women here as staff to help us.

There is a resident here whose automatic response to things is to say "Praise God!" If it's something she doesn't like, then it's "Well, praise God, anyway!" It's a good reminder to me that God is in control. He brought me here so He can heal me. I'm going to be a whole person again, and all I want to do is praise Him for it. So, praise God!