A Thousand Words

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The Weight of the Search

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Processed with VSCOcam with t1 presetThe Suffocation of Fear

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Security & Uncertainty

Processed with VSCOcam with 5 presetBeginnings

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Joy in the Familiar

Hope you enjoy some of the most recent images in my photo caché.  I’m really into lifestyle photography right now, and so trying to capture the in the moment feeling, thought, and overall mood of the moment has been a great creative challenge & outlet. Due to this, I’ve paired each image with a word association–feel free to share your own responses & thoughts on each image!

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Be Angry

be angry

Be angry and do not sin.

Be angry at the injustice & corruption of governments, school systems and even churches you see.

Be angry at the amount of poverty you see and the way it steals children’s innocence, forcing them to steal & beg for their pimps or families that know no better.

Be angry that every 7 SECONDS a child is sold into sex slavery.

Be angry that so often the church chooses to listen & submit to the authority of man instead of Scripture.

Be angry that millions of babies are murdered every day, silenced forever because of NOTHING wrong they’ve done.

Be angry that the darkness & evil others choose can affect the entire life of other human beings.

Be angry when you see abuse, alcoholism, & rape.

Be angry.  Weep.  Mourn. Grieve over the things that grieve Yahweh.

But DONT sin.  Don’t let that anger become the means to which you justify your actions. Don’t CHOOSE bitterness like Naomi in the story of Ruth.  Living where I do, I think there hasn’t been a day in which I wasn’t confronted with the majority or even all of these examples. It would be EASY to hide in my room all day. It would be EASY to choose to callous myself to the affects of seeing these things. It would even be EASY to do nothing.

But Yahweh never said I was called to a life of “easy.”

He says be angry. Be affected. “Weep with those who weep.”  Don’t let your spiritual and emotional muscles become atrophied. Be angry at the depravity of the world. Hate sin. Hate evil. Hate the things for which His perfect Son died to eradicate.  Be broken over the state of the world.

But don’t sin.

Know that Yahweh is the ultimate avenger. Find hope in knowing that He will make all things right, lovely, and good.  Take joy in Revelation 7:9-10.

Do something to fight these things. Make your church aware of the evils that pervade the world, for when the church is silent, we falsely portray the image of Christ, Defender of the weak, Father to the orphan, Giver of life, Restorer of souls, the True Judge. Read the book of James & understand what true religion is. Commit to pray that the worldwide child-sex-slavery operation would be shut down (which by the way, is FUNDED BY PORNOGRAPHY). Volunteer at a homeless shelter. Go overseas & see the state of the world outside of the land of the free, home of the brave. Become an advocate for those who have no voice & AWAKEN your church to get involved.

Do something.

Just don’t be neutral.

Don’t choose sin.

Don’t choose apathy.

I used to never understand this verse, but living in South Asia makes a lot of Scripture come alive.  “Be angry & don’t sin; don’t let the sun go down on your anger, and give no opportunity to the devil.” Ephesians 4:26-27

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Bring Me Your Idols

idolsWhat do you fear the most?  The bad opinion of others? Ministry/career failure? Singleness? Retirement? Not having children? Your grown children leaving you?

Living in a country & culture that’s overrun by fear, I’m constantly learning about what it means for me to fear the Lord above all.  It’s crazy, living in the land of over 300 million gods, how much you can learn about what makes a person tick by what they fear the most.  In this country, what you fear determines which idols/gods you worship, and I don’t think us westerners are as far removed from this fact as we’d like to think.  Why? Because my fears place my trust in lies & expose the false gospel I’m believing. Because my fears expose my idols.

For example:

If what I fear the most is ministry failure, then my heaven is ministry success/how I & others define ministry success, and I then become my own functional savior.

If what I fear the most is the bad opinion of others, then my proverbial heaven lies in their good opinion and my savior being their words/actions/thoughts/opinions.

If what I fear the most is singleness, then my heaven is marriage & my functioning savior is my spouse.


The beautiful thing about our fears/our proverbial idols remains that in His perfectly inspired Word, we have our answer & a call.

In the middle of Israel’s idolatry & abandonment of the Lord’s lovingkindness & salvation, Yahweh beckons in Ezekiel 14:4-5:

“Therefore speak to them and say to them, Thus says the Lord God: Any one of the house of Israel who takes his idols into his heart and sets the stumbling block of his iniquity before his face, and yet comes to the prophet, I the Lord will answer him as he comes with the multitude of idols, that I may lay hold of the hearts of the house of Israel, who are all estranged from me through their idols.”

He doesn’t tell me to clean up my act, get rid of my idols, deal with my fear, but instead tells me to BRING THEM.  Why?  Why, in my shame & idolatry, would I come to the one true God, fists clenched & tight lipped?

  1. Because it shows confidence & trust in knowing the Only One who can meet the needs the idols cannot, will not, and have not. (Galatians 3:2-7)
  2. Because it shows my humility & affirmation in the One who can mend what’s been broken, minister the balm of the truth to the scrapes of the lies, & encourage the desperate heart. (James 4:6)
  3. Because He tells me to come, in all my honest mistakes, boldly before the throne room, the place in which I may receive mercy and grace in time of need.  (Hebrews 4)
  4. Because when I come to Him, I see His provision causing my faith, which is of more value than gold or silver, to increase.  (1 Peter 1:7)
  5. Because it proves my readiness to accept my sinful state, moving me closer to a godly grief that leads to repentance and ultimately, salvation. (2 Corinthians 7:10)
  6. Because He doesn’t ask for the clean, perfect, purified hearts but remains most glorified in and through my weaknesses.  (2 Corinthians 12:9)

My earthly, temporal fears preach a false Gospel, pointing me away from the One that made everything, sustaining it by the Word of His power.  When my fears are appropriated in the Gospel, my greatest fear becomes death, which is already defeated by Christ, Himself.  When I fear the Lord, it eclipses and silences all other fears.  When I fear the Lord, I’m given wisdom while simultaneously learning that the One who is Perfect Love casts out all my fear.  When I fear the Lord, my answer stays the same that He told Adam, Abraham, Isaac, David, the disciples:

“I am with you.”


“Always, to the end of the age.”

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Recently, I’ve:

tasted the goodness of Corner Coffee Co., managed rush hour on a South Asian metro, been super encouraged by local believers, made my very first from scratch lemonade & homemade chicken pot pie (at least in South Asia), had the amazing opportunity to visit with like-minded families serving in various parts of South Asia, and shared the Gospel with the two little cuties in the bottom right corner.

The end.

But seriously, it’s been a while since I’ve posted under the instagram category, but I’m super thankful for the busy-ness that my life has been a part of lately.  It’s a blessing, but also a beautiful reminder that I need the strength of Jesus and the encouragement of the body.  Don’t we all?

PS. I’ve got 2 pretty heavy blog posts in the works, so please pray for me as I seek to put words to some things that are pretty weighty on my heart! And as always, thanks SO much for your prayers.

Enjoy the pictures!

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One Year Later

ONE YEAROne year ago, today, I said goodbye to my mom and dad, boarded the first of 3 flights that would eventually take me to the country I’ve called “home” these past 12 months.  It’s been one of the craziest, stretching, sweet, challenging, good years of my 23 year old life.  I’ve lived in my country for one whole year, and all praise goes to the Trinity.  My last post was a plead for prayer & encouragement, and the response I got was utterly overwhelming.  Please believe me when I say that your prayers were more than felt during my week outside of the country.

“When all the nation had finished passing over the Jordan, the Lord said to Joshua, “Take twelve men from the people, from each tribe a man, and command them, saying, ‘Take twelve stones from here out of the midst of the Jordan, from the very place where the priests’ feet stood firmly, and bring them over with you and lay them down in the place where you lodge tonight.’    Joshua 4:1-3

After freeing the Israelites from slavery to the Egyptians, He led them into the wilderness to wander for 40 years.  40 years of hardship, God’s provision, their disobedience, God’s pursuit, and many miracles.

Then Joshua called the twelve men from the people of Israel, whom he had appointed, a man from each tribe. And Joshua said to them, “Pass on before the ark of the Lord your God into the midst of the Jordan, and take up each of you a stone upon his shoulder, according to the number of the tribes of the people of Israel, that this may be a sign among you. When your children ask in time to come, ‘What do those stones mean to you?’ then you shall tell them that the waters of the Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of theLord. When it passed over the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. So these stones shall be to the people of Israel a memorial forever.”      Joshua 4:4-7

In light of this passage, here lie my own stones full of teaching & sanctification in whose purpose is to form an altar of remembrance of the Lord’s faithfulness:

  1. the love of Christ is rich and free fixed on its own eternity
  2. I’ve been given much grace, therefore I GIVE much grace
  3. His favor is not by my own merit or deeds–but because He chose me before the foundations of the world for good works, that I would walk in them
  4. it’s His kindness towards my sin that leads me to repentance
  5. the victory is already won against sin & my flesh–which all ultimately lead to death (death of relationships, ministry, life, etc)
  6. of His mercies He will give, and give, and give again
  7. “Trust in the Lord, and do good; dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness” Psalm 37:3
  8. like Cain, sin is forever crouching at my door with its desire to manipulate, control, have dominion over–but I am NOT its slave
  9. the desert is not purposeless or trivial, but full of sanctification
  10. the answer in the middle of transition & chaos is to press deeper into Christ
  11. “Those who sow in tears shall reap with shouts of joy.” Psalm 126:5
  12. one of the quickest ways to lose heart is to stop beholding His glory


“and he will be the stability of your times, abundance of salvation, wisdom, and knowledge; the fear of the LORD is Zion’s treasure.”            Isaiah 33:6

What are your own stones of memory from this past year?



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It’s Me, & I Need Your Prayer.



I’m leaving for Thailand tonight for the next 8 days.

“Elijah was afraid and ran for his life. When he came to Beersheba in Judah, he left his servant there,  while he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness. He came to a broom bush, sat down under it and prayed that he might die. “I have had enough, Lord,” he said. […]Then he lay down under the bush and fell asleep.”

On April 11 of this year, I will have been in my country for a year.  A year of my senses being utterly shocked with sights, sounds, smells, and feelings that have all been difficult, encouraging, affirming, stretching, convicting, teaching, and altogether good.   The power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ has never seemed more real and prevalent to me as I walk the streets of South Asia.

“All at once an angel touched him and said, “Get up and eat.”  He looked around, and there by his head was some bread baked over hot coals, and a jar of water. He ate and drank and then lay down again.

The angel of the Lord came back a second time and touched him and said, “Get up and eat, for the journey is too much for you.”  So he got up and ate and drank. Strengthened by that food, he traveled forty days and forty nights until he reached Horeb, the mountain of God. There he went into a cave and spent the night.”


I’m going to Thailand, and yet I find myself in this story of Elijah.  The Lord called a discouraged, tired, frustrated man out into the wilderness to beautifully grant perspective, nourishment, and a gentle reminder of who is this intimate Sovereign One.

“And the word of the Lord came to him: “What are you doing here, Elijah?”

I’m excited about this visa run, but I’m asking for your prayers.  Being here for a year means 2 things to me right now: 1) I’ve made it a year! And trust me, I fully know that it’s only by the power of Yahweh that I’ve lived and moved and found my being.  He has graciously sustained, rebuked, worked, and taught me so much.  Praise Him.  2) I have 10 more months here! Different days provoke different tones of voices when I say that statement (all you other M’s on the field know what I’m talking about).  And it’s in these 2 statements that I’m asking for your prayer and encouragement:

“The Lord said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of theLord, for the Lord is about to pass by.”

Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake.  After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper.”

I’ve been so encouraged by everyone’s notes & prayers already, but I desperately asking you to pray the following things for me this week:

1) Pray that the Lord would bring continued vision & endurance to continue living and working in my city.  This includes asking for wisdom in knowing which relationships to continue to pursue.

“When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his faceand went out and stood at the mouth of the cave.

Then a voice said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”

2) Pray that the Lord would provide excitement to return to my country.  In complete honesty, I’m so excited and ready for a break that I fear I won’t want to return.  The beautiful thing to me about the story of Elijah that I resonate so loudly with right now lies in the fact that while the Lord called Elijah out of his area of ministry to minister to, encourage, and grant perspective, He also called Elijah right back to the place and people Elijah left. I ask that you pray not only for the refreshment & encouragement of knowing the Lord, but that He would bring excitement and desire to return.

Thanks so much for your prayers, all of you because trust me, they’re felt. Thank you for all of your encouragement, for the Lord seems to bring them all at the right time as only He can.

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.”  Romans 15:13

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Happy Birthday, Ya Filthy Animal

6a00df352345de88340111688dd0d6970c-800wiRemember when Mom would rent movies from work for us on Friday nights and you would ALWAYS pick either Star Wars or Indiana Jones?

Remember when we convinced our babysitter, “oh yea, our mom let’s us flood the sandbox all the time?”

Remember when we were in high school and you wouldn’t let me in the bathroom because I felt sick so I threw up right by the door so you had to walk over it?

Remember when you and Brett used to always make me judge ya’lls diving contests at the pool?

grayson 6Remember when I left the kitchen drawer open that you were standing on top of and you fell and ended up having to have 26 stitches (I’m sorry, okay??)?

Remember how you ALWAYS begged me to wake you up at 2 am on Christmas morning to open our presents?

Remember how you used to get mad at me in the car when I could memorize a song after listening to it once and you had to listen to it multiple times (thus, I will never, ever, EVER be able to forget the lyrics to Hotel California)?

grayson 2

Remember how we started going to the early service with Becky at church because we wanted to beat the Sunday lunch crowd at Royal Buffet?

Remember when I was so jealous of you for getting to go to school before I did?

Remember when Mom used to make us nachos after school?

Remember when we both worked at camp and everytime Luke would see us together he would yell out “family meeting”?

grayson 7Remember when Mom didn’t believe me that I didn’t feel good and I threw up right beside you in the jeep (I was a very vomit-y kid, okay??)?

Remember that time in high school that we had a snow day and we were in your CJ-7 and we did a doughnut right in the middle of the road and then just kept driving like nothing happened (unless Mom is reading this, then in that case, THIS NEVER HAPPENED)


You’re my favorite brother and I hope you have an AWESOME birthday!

Happy birthday, ya filthy animal, I can’t wait to live it up in Europe with you guys!

P.S. bonus cool points to whoever can guess which SNL skit is pictured at the top of the post bc it definitely explains the theme of the post

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