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brave hearts in 09

strengthen weak arms and feeble knees

come and see

Maria DeeAnn



March 21st, 2011

A Lent Without Facebook

Well, for Lent this year I rather spontaneously decided to give up Facebook. It’s a move I’m still questioning as I find myself daily more cut off from what my friends and coworkers are talking about.

The intent here is twofold:

1) I need to limit my time there.

All too often I find myself reading about the lives of strangers, while finding myself wishing I were more like them. And in taking the time to read, I’m actually giving myself less time to create that life for myself! After this season of Lent, I hope to have a more balanced approach to Facebook—i.e., not checking it compulsively all day long.

2) I am trying to focus on being a content producer, rather than a content consumer.

That’s part of the reason I’m writing here. :) I need to pay attention to the thoughts begging to be processed inside my own head rather than continuing to add more input to an already clogged brain.

Hopefully there will be more to come here as I start thinking my own thoughts instead of merely responding to the thoughts of others. :)

December 8th, 2008

(no subject)

I realized today what I guess I must have known:

I have grown a lot this year.

Looking at some of my emails from this time last year, I can see that I have grown leaps and bounds professionally, emotionally, and spiritually.

Some of us are slower than others (and I'm the slowest I know), but I'll get there. By His grace, I will get there.

October 21st, 2008

(no subject)

If you like fun, danceable electronic indie pop AT ALL (along the lines of Mates of State?), you should really get the new Seedy Seeds album.

I can't. Stop. Listening.

September 28th, 2008

(no subject)

I've been reading a lot of Elisabeth Elliot lately and realizing how brilliant she is.

Here are some passages I have found exceedingly helpful as of late (from Keep a Quiet Heart):

"Winter comes, and the vine is cut back to the very stem (I had not know, as John and Jesus and Basil knew, how terrible drastic is the pruning process), 'despoiled, disfigured, left a leafless stock, alone through all the dark days that shall come.'

While the vine undergoes this death, the wine it has produced is gladdening the heart of man. Have you, perhaps, like the vine, given happiness to others, yet found yourself seemingly forsaken? Has it made you bitter?...

"Jesus' word 'remain' or 'abide' (in Him, in His love), repeated ten times in John 15, means being at home with Him, living constantly in His presence and in harmony with His will. It does not at all mean unmitigated suffering (the vine isn't cut back every day!). For those of us who are not at the moment in pain, may we not let slip any cross Jesus may present to us, any little way of letting go of ourselves, any smallest task to do with gladness and humility, and disappointment accepted with grace and silence. These are His appointments. If we miss them here, we'll not find them again in this world or in any other."


"Is anything offered to Christ ever wasted?"


"If resurrection is a fact--and there would be no Easter if it were not--then there is no situation so hopeless, no horizon so black, that God cannot there 'find His glory.' The truth is that without those ruined hopes, without that death, without the suffering that He called inevitable, the glory itself would be impossible. Why the universe is so arranged we must leave to the One who arranged it, but that it is so we are bound to believe.

And when we find ourselves most hopeless, the road most taxing, we may also find that is then that the Risen Christ catches up to us on the way, better than our dreams, beyond all our hopes. For it is He--not His gifts, not His power, not what He can do for us, but He Himself--who comes and makes Himself known to us. And this is the one pure joy for those who sorrow."

August 24th, 2008

Food for thought

Here's the question: Do you feel more loved by God when he makes much of you, or when he bears the pain it takes to enable you to enjoy making much of him forever? My generation has told you in a thousand ways--inside and outside the church--that being loved means being made much of.

Some of you can't even conceive or feel any other way of being loved. You have sought this all your life. And now I am telling you: if you find it, it won't be love. At this moment I am speaking a foreign language to you unless the Holy Spirit wakens you to a new reality. And that new reality is this: You were made to feast on the holiness of God. Psalm 65:4, "We shall be satisfied with the goodness of your house, the holiness of your temple!"

You were created to be satisfied with the absolute uniqueness of God's moral perfection. You exist to treasure with joy the infinite value of God above all other things. Philippians 3:8 says, "I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ."

And who is this Christ? He is "The Holy One of God" (Mark 1:24). He is the holiness of God made accessible. He is the perfection of God made visible. He is the infinite value of God made knowable. "If you have seen me you have seen the Father" (John 14:9). "We beheld his glory--the radiance of divine holiness--glory as of the only begotten of the Father" (see John 1:14). "In him dwells all the fullness of deity bodily" (Colossians 2:9).

"Whoever receives me receives him who sent me" (Luke 9:48). You were made to feast on the holiness of God. Jesus is the Holy One of God. Therefore you were made to feast on Christ. To be satisfied with him. To treasure his infinite value. To enjoy making much of him all your days. Here is your fullness of joy and pleasures forevermore. Not in being made much of, but in making much of him.

Therefore what is the love of God? It is the preservation and the exaltation of his own holiness for your enjoyment forever. And what is it then to be loved by this God? It is not to be made much of, but to be given the ability, by the death and resurrection of Jesus, to enjoy making much of him forever.

God loves me when he helps me be satisfied in God and not in me. God loves me when he helps me forget about me and be thrilled with Christ. God loves me when he dies in my place that I might know him and be satisfied with all that he is for me in Jesus. God loves me when he makes me passionate for his holiness.

God's love for me is holy love. Therefore it exalts the infinite worth of God. It is radically God-centered. Don't make the mistake we made. Don't put yourself at the center of the Gospel. Put God at the center and make his holiness your passion."

--John Piper

July 23rd, 2008

(no subject)

There is so much change in my life right now. I know it will ultimately end up being good for me, but I just really hate it.

April 18th, 2008


I felt my first (small) earthquake this morning at 5:45! The shaking woke me up and for a few moments I thought the house was falling down. Hehe.

March 13th, 2008

(no subject)


You Are An ISFJ

The Nurturer

You have a strong need to belong, and you very loyal.

A good listener, you excel at helping others in practical ways.

In your spare time, you enjoy engaging your senses through art, cooking, and music.

You find it easy to be devoted to one person, who you do special things for.

In love, you express your emotions through actions.

Taking care of someone is how you love them. And you do it well!

At work, you do well in a structured environment. You complete tasks well and on time.

You would make a good interior designer, chef, or child psychologist.

How you see yourself: Competent, dependable, and detail oriented

When other people don't get you, they see you as: Boring, dominant, and stuck in a rut

February 12th, 2008

(no subject)

I'm going to Muncie this weekend to visit Carolyn, and I'm SO EXCITED.

January 14th, 2008

The Call

Do not quench the Spirit;
do not despise prophetic utterances.
But examine everything carefully;
hold fast to that which is good;
abstain from every form of evil.
1 Thessalonians 5:19-22

Thanks to all who left comments on my previous blog.

I did attend the Call on Saturday. I was only there for three of the 12 hours, so I'm not sure I have a completely accurate picture, but I think I got a decent glimpse of the rhythm of that day.

I attended with my friend Eric, a fellow "open skeptic." When we walked into the arena about an hour into the gathering, it was actually much more soothing than I expected. People were on their knees singing, with not a lot of other noise to distract. It was a nice time to join in.

Shortly after, after a couple more worship songs, things got a bit more intense. As expected, there was a lot of passionate yelling, which actually made it extremely difficult to hear what was being said. In addition, the band continued to play LOUDLY in the background, which also made it difficult to pray.

We were encouraged to grab people and confess our sins. Not really down with this intensity yet, Eric and I sat and read our Bibles. In a spirit of trying to participate in prayer and confession, I read a few passages aloud and really tried to center myself. We then sang "When I Survey the Wondrous Cross," which I very much enjoyed.

However, at this point I began to feel concerned that there was very little Scripture being used in worship--it seemed like it would have been especially timely during absolution. I heard a few mentions of Joel 2, and a few other verses being quoted, but in the three hours I was there I didn't see a Bible opened or a verse on the screen.

It was also at this point that I began to experience a deep sense of loneliness. I couldn't feel the Spirit of God, which I expected to be so strong. I couldn't tell whether it was my hesitations that were making it difficult to engage or whether it was the event itself. As we moved into deeper intercession for various topics, I felt more divided from the Body of Christ than I've ever felt; it seemed as though everyone else was sharing something intimate and intense that I was being left out of. I also felt threatened--and I know the Holy Spirit is not normally threatening. I began to feel deep sadness, and began to pray for the Church, this movement, and the people there.

Many things being brought before the group were things I don't really believe in: "a divine spirit of revelation," etc. Though it was never really talked about, the things being yelled by Lou Engle very much led me to believe that this movement is at least *influenced* by Latter Rain theology.

Going into my issues with the Latter Rain movement would require another post. Here's a quick summary from apologeticsindex.org:

We can sum up the Latter Rain or Dominion teaching this way:
--the Church must be restored and equipped to rule by the five-fold ministries [apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers].
--it must come to perfection and complete visible UNITY.
--out of the purified church will come a spiritual elite corps, a Corporate Christ who possess the
Spirit without measure
--they will purge the earth of all wickedness and rebellion
--they will judge the apostate Church
--they will redeem all creation, and restore the earth
--they will eventually overcome death itself in a counterfeit of the Rapture
--the Church will thus inherit the earth, and rule over it from the Throne of Christ.
Tricia Tillin, 1997, "The New Thing"

The intensity of the gathering continued to increase, though rather than praying with groups I continued to pray alone (until a guy grabbed me who was speaking in tongues--which wasn't really alarming, though I admit I doubted his authenticity). I started to shut down emotionally during this time and my introvert level went WAY UP. The format became really distracting for me: a couple worship songs, intercession, testimonies... it was constantly changing. I could really have gone for an hour of teaching, an hour of prayer, and an hour of solid worship. No luck! Maybe it's just my learning style.

I did appreciate some of the testimonies that were shared, particularly one about slavery. One man had brought a cooking pot his forefathers used to pray into on their faces at night so they would not be heard and beaten. Their prayers for their grandchildren to be free were realized and the pot has been passed down from generation to generation as a symbol and reminder. The speaker brought the pot on stage to remind us that there's a bowl in heaven collecting our prayers.

As we delved more deeply into intercession on the topics of race, pornography, and sexual abuse, I started to shut down. I knew abortion would come next and remembering all the Rock for Life videos I've seen, I knew I had to get out. I don't need to be convinced of that evil to pray for its end. I heard later that adoption was majorly emphasized and a lot of neat stories were shared by adopted children and adoptive parents. I also learned that there was more worship at the end of the gathering, which would have been nice to participate in.

I left the gathering feeling educated, confused, and spent. I literally had to crawl into bed under the covers and pray for a half hour just to recover! I saw enough to feel concerned about this movement--especially about the kids who follow it around. These leaders people believe worship is our highest call--which I agree with--but there are so many ways to worship, and some of those ways include solitude, quietness, and service. I do believe we're supposed to bring heaven to earth now, but if we're consumed with trying to worship like we're in heaven already and neglecting the Great Commission and *getting* people there (yes, I'm still an evangelical), it seems we're missing the point.

All in all: I'm sure many people were there simply to worship, or as my roommate admitted, to "get a God fix." I'm sure they got something out of it (especially extroverts, who get charged off these gatherings). It's hard for me to believe that any prayer is bad, and it's difficult to criticize people who are fasting. I think I secretly hoped for something life-altering to happen to me, but I was probably too defensive to hear whatever God was trying to say or just couldn't hear and respond in that kind of environment. I do think there are elements of this campaign that are dangerous, but that goes for the other organizations associated with it too. That's a shame, because I really appreciate that these people are creating a place for people to pray and worship for extended periods of time. I do hope to visit an IHOP in the near future, as I'm sure that will be a lot more chilled out. In the meantime, this has been a good reminder to pray and has sparked plenty of good discussion among my household and friends regarding the Holy Spirit!
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