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Late June 2018

Ever been in a place where you feel like there has to be something more to life? Don’t get me wrong, I’m not discounting my faith or doubting my call from God. But sometimes just going through the motions of everyday life gets, well, boring. I have plenty of things to keep me busy, no worries there, I’m just thinking there has to be more that means something. Eternally fulfilling in the day-to-day.

As I write this I can feel the Holy Spirit tugging at my heart. He wants me to listen to Him and talk to Him more. To climb up in the Father’s lap and listen to His heart. Oh that I would slow down and stop busy-ing myself to spend time with Him! Reading His word to learn His heartbeat and see the eternal in everyday things.

I keep having dreams in which I become very bold and evangelistic for Christ. For those who know me personally, you’d probably be surprised to see that come from me. I’m not very verbal with strangers about my faith. I think it’s time for that to change. Just the other day I saw a woman across the restaurant with a hurt leg. Why didn’t I go over and offer to pray for her? I certainly thought about it, but chickened out. What if I had done it? What’s the worst that could happen? She could of rejected me, but she wouldn’t have really been rejecting me but God. She could of welcomed me and gotten saved. What if I missed God on this one by not offering to pray for her? What will I do next time?

One of the reasons the world rejects Christianity is because of Christians. We don’t live what we believe. Yes, we all sin (even though Jesus gave us victory over that and gives us the ability to say no, but that’s another conversation), but I don’t think it’s our sin that makes the world doubt. I think that if we as believers in Christ, really believed He was the only way to Heaven and without Him people go to Hell, why are we not out there trying to tell people with urgency? We have the answer and the way out of the burning building, yet we sit on the curb, watching the flames and people perishing. They see us being casual about it and don’t acknowledge the flames are even there!

But there’s that delicate balance of being evangelistic and being, well, off-putting. We have to know the Lord’s voice and be willing to speak when He says ‘speak’ and go when He says ‘go’. And stop worrying about what people might think of us and worry about where they’re going to spend eternity.

Yet, is it really that easy? Hm. Maybe it should be?

On another note… speaking of going… I’m headed back to Costa Rica in October!! Same people I was with last time, so that’s exciting! If you’re interested in supporting me and my team, each person has to raise $1,500. I have a PayPal account and my email is tammyk777@yahoo.com. Any help will be deeply appreciated! If you’re unable to give at this time and want to be on our prayer team, just email me and let me know!

One final thought… if you’ve read this and don’t know Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior, please, please, seriously consider Him. I would love to chat with you, my email is in the previous paragraph.

Blessings!!

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Beginning April 2018

Hello!!

Good news to report! I had an MRI of my brain and c-spine last month and there were no changes! My last one before that was 2 years ago and if I recall correctly there hadn’t been any changes on that one either… so about 4 years and no changes!! Yeah!! The MS isn’t progressing 🙂

All glory to God, of course, I have no real control over any of that. Managing stress and taking care of myself help, but I haven’t been the best at either of those lately, so I’m just going to give honor to God!

5k this weekend! Ready as I’m going to be, I guess. Been training, but not nearly as much as I had planned. A few dumpy days and a hurt back didn’t help. Neither did the weather. Nor the new blister I have on the bottom of my left big toe. But, hey, I’m not going to let any of that stop me. Just don’t expect much from me Saturday evening, I’ll be resting and recuperating!

6 1/2 weeks of school left! You can tell I’m ready for this part to be over, I’m already behind in an assignment! Ugh. Hope to catch up tomorrow night.

Planning a mission trip for late October 🙂 Lord willing, going back to Costa Rica!

Beside all that, not much going on. Well, a lot going on, just not much more to talk about!

Talk to you all again soon, the countdown to graduation continues, and I’ll let you know when I finish that 5k!

Mid January 2018

Happy New Year!!

Hard to believe my birthday is coming up! Harder to believe I’m going to be 39! 40 is sneaking up quick. I’ve got some ‘I want to (blank) before I turn 40’ things to accomplish this year. Get healthier, graduate, pay off some stuff. Not that 40 is a deadline or anything, just a milestone.

I stepped out in faith today and applied for a masters program. I know, I know, I said I was going to take some time off or not even go for a masters. I don’t know if it’s just fear of having to pay my student loans at the end of the year, but I keep coming back to wanting to further my education and selfishly want a masters and initials after my name! Maybe I’m crazy or maybe I’m just a glutton for punishment and stress. We’re just at the application stage at this time though, not registering for classes or anything like that yet. Oh, it’s a MA in Global Studies.

My Bachelors graduation is in 4 months! Actually 4 months from today I’ll be headed to VA 🙂 We start the 2nd to last class on Monday, and it happens to be Intro to Global Studies. Guess we’ll see how this class goes in determining further studies in this field. I don’t need a Master’s degree to be a missionary, but this might set me up to work for an organization that does mission work.

Also, it’s only a 36 credit hour degree, not 60+, so I’ll graduate faster, will owe a lot less, and I promise to not take out any extra personal loans. I’m starting to just argue with and justify myself now.

Just be praying for me for wisdom if you are so inclined. Thanks!

End of December 2017

It’s not that nothing’s going on, I just haven’t been in the writing mood. But school is out and work is slow, so I thought I’d check in.

Hope everyone had a Merry Christmas!

I’m on break from school! Out until Jan 22, whew! Not doing anything exciting while I’m out, mostly just reading for fun and possibly some art. The next class should be super easy as I’ve already went through the material in another venue, so most of the work is already done. The capstone after that has me a little nervous, but we’ll worry about that in 3 months when I actually take the class. I might take the opportunity to read ahead since the other class will be easy. Oh, and I earned an A in the class that just ended 🙂 My GPA is now 3.31.

My brother and I booked our vacation for May! I’m going to ‘walk’ for my degree graduation and he’s going to support me. We’re spending the next week just hanging out in the Blue Ridge Mts and relaxing. We’ll take a day trip into DC too, but we’re not planning to many other adventures.

Also looking forward to going on a mission trip somewhere next year. Maybe Costa Rica, maybe Nicaragua, maybe Austria, not sure. Leaning towards going back to Costa Rica, but we’ll see. Maybe somewhere else entirely, wherever God leads.

Started see a therapist. I really like her, she seems to get me. We’ve had 3 or 4 sessions so far and I think I’m feeling better. That and the adjustment to my antidepressant was a month ago, so it’s had time to kick in. The depression is still there a little, but things don’t feeling like I’m walking through mud so much.

Looking forward to 2018. I’m going to have a lot going on, as usual. I’ve set some goals because I don’t do resolutions. One of them is to walk a 5k faster than I have before (last one was 1 hour, 15 min and my best time is 57 min). I hope to read 6 books for fun, get to my goal weight, read through the Bible… among others. At least they are measurable goals, not just generic things. I’ve done this over the past few years, I didn’t get much accomplished on my goals for 2017, but that’s what the new year is for, right?

For Christmas I got some camera stuff from my brother. Excited to play with all that soon. He also gave me a book for dummies for my camera model. I realized I bought myself an expensive fun toy that I really have no idea what all it can do. Anxious to start learning more soon!

Things are still going well with my trainer. I’ve deadlifted 175 and squatted 160?, I think. Definitely my favorite love-hate relationship! I had to put my scale in the back of my car. I started focusing on that number again too much and putting it in the closet was deterrent enough. My therapist mentioned giving it to a friend and I could go that far.

Well, that’s about it, I think. Talk to you all again soon!

Beginning March 2017 – 10 years!

10 years! 10 years since I went on my first mission trip. So, it would seem due that I reminisce a little. What have I learned over the last decade? What has God shown me?

First, go! Second, trust! Third, pray! Not in that specific order though J Oh, and why? People!

Going to Mexico the first 3 trips was a no brainer for me. I was visiting a good friend of mine, and I didn’t even know they were considered mission trips. On those trips I was first introduced to a foreign culture, but could see how God was still the same. It was on the way home from the 3rd trip that I realized that doing just that: visiting established missionaries around the world to support and encourage them, was exactly what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. Of course I had no idea how that would all play out and really still don’t.

Scotland was my first trip over an ocean, and I knew no one. When preparing for this trip, I was struggling with my faith, I prayed the God would show Himself to me, and He did. He provided for the trip through avenues I wouldn’t have guessed and showed Himself powerful during the trip. I remember praying with a lady who I could barely understand (super thick Scottish accent) and I just asked God to interpret her tongue for me. He did! I prayed what I heard the Spirit leading and she was blessed. I found a happy place there – a place I visit in my mind when I need peace. In the hills where it’s green and the sheep wander. I was sitting on the hillside admiring God’s creation and thinking about Psalm 23.

Costa Rica was my first trip leading someone and taking her with me. It was a stretch, but at least I wasn’t leading her alone (we were with a group from Denver and Hawaii). The heat and humidity there kind of unnerved me. I wasn’t sure how the MS would be but God was so faithful! I took care of myself and everything went well. On this trip I learned more about the sex trafficking epidemic and that still breaks my heart.

West Africa was probably my favorite so far. 3 countries in 10 days, wow! The people were beautiful, inside and out. We did leadership training there and I learned how people around the world see Americans. Namely they see our tele-evangelists and try to mimic them. Ugh, heartbreaking. The message we shared, on top of our assignment, was to encourage them to be themselves. To let the Gospel shine through their culture, not to be like those they saw on TV. I found another happy-God peace place there on the shore watching the run rise over the Pacific.

China was a possibility the following year, but I wasn’t settled in my heart about it. So that is still on my ‘bucket list’!

Japan was the most recent trip. I visited the friend I had visited 9 years prior. Now she’s married and has two little girls. Japan opened my eyes to people. Because, besides the concrete, Japan is full of people! So few know about Jesus and it’s (also) heartbreaking. There’s so much depression and pressure to succeed, with no hope of eternity.

I have more of an idea of what I’m doing with my life since I started this journey. I’m pursuing my BS is Religion-Christian Counseling and planning on my Masters in Social Work after that. That will help me find resources and be a help and support to those whom I visit.

What’s next? Currently waiting on my new passport and not able to travel this year (new job). However, in 2018, Lord willing, I’m visiting friends in Valencia, Spain and Linz, Austria.

So, why missions? To spread the love of Jesus to the world. Why me? Why not? He called, I listened. Here I am Lord, send me. If He wants you to go, He’ll make a way. And forever change your heart in the process.

Oh, and I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis 10 years ago too. Had a couple rough spots on trips, but God was ever faithful. Don’t let anything stand in the way of what you know God has called you to!!!

Parting note: “For ‘Everyone who calls on the name on the Lord will be saved.’ But how can they call on Him to save them unless they believe in Him? And how can they believe in Him if they have never heard about Him? And how can they hear about Him unless someone tells them? And how will anyone go and tell them without being sent? That is why the Scriptures say, ‘How beautiful are the feet of messengers who bring good news!’” Romans 10:13-15 NLT.

Beginning Oct 2016

Yay! It’s Fall! Well, at least most days. Here in St Louis, it’s supposed to get a little warm again this week, but then drop again. I love this time of year, except the allergies!

Spent last week at my denomination’s district Fall conference. It was so good! We were in Keystone, CO, which was beautiful. The conference was for pastors in the Gateway District of Foursquare. I went to the national/international conference in Hawaii back in May. I love my 4sq family!

So, God spoke to my heart and showed me quite a few things last week. I had this amazing dream (will explain in the next paragraph). I asked Him to see His face and He showed me faces of people in foreign countries and said that was how I would see Him on Earth. A friend of mine received his ordination, and God gave me pictures and words of encouragement for him. God showed me some of the areas He’s moving me into in the near (?) future. Namely becoming a disaster relief chaplain, working more with visual media, and reaching the international people in my city. All such exciting stuff. Not sure how all that fits into my future job (yes, still unemployed!), but can’t wait to see how God works it all out.

The dream… basically everyone on Earth lost their faith. They forgot Who Jesus was and started doing depraved things or simply becoming vegetable-like and just existing. People would worship a god, but didn’t know Who He was. There were 3 of us who still knew Jesus was Lord. And we learned that by speaking the name of Jesus over people or telling them about Jesus, it was like they woke up. They stopped doing the sinful things they were doing, and remembered who Jesus is. Time went by and many were told about Jesus and revival broke out. Unfortunately, over time people started picking and choosing who they would tell and started thinking maybe we had reached enough people. Some still chose not to hear about Jesus because loved ones of theirs had died before hearing the Gospel and they didn’t want to end up in eternity without them.

Wow. Implications? Speak to people about Jesus and they become born again and stop sinning, basically. It’s odd, I’ve been having very evangelistic and spiritual warfare type dreams lately. Ones where I very boldly proclaim Jesus’ name and come against the forces of evil. Honestly, now, I can do those things when I have to, but it’s a little outside my personality/comfort level. But there’s coming a time, and may now be here, when speaking boldly about Jesus and against satan is necessary. Be bold! He is alive and real! The world needs to see His light through us believers, and we need to stop hiding it!

OK, done preaching 🙂 I’m just getting fired up!

In other news, my degree completion plan was slightly modified and now I have another semester to go through. I’ll still graduate in May of 2018 though, just have 2 extra classes to fit in, and 3 that were changed. Still contemplating my Masters, but not sure I want to go that much more into student loan debt. On the other hand, if I stay in school I don’t have to start paying the massive amount back until I’m finished.

Well, I gotta get ready to go to a new doctor. Nothing’s wrong, just that the PCP I had for years is moving out-of-state and I had to find a new one. She’s closer to home, which is nice. Not necessarily looking forward to having to go through my health history, but luckily she’s with the same health care network and should have access to most of my history already. Gotta love technology.

Have a great October, talk to you again soon!

End of May 2016 #Japan

Greetings from Japan! Having a wonderful time with my friends. Spending time with Janine who I’ve known for 17 years, Vicente who is her husband and I’m getting to know, and their beautiful 2 year old daughter. And meeting new friends too! They walk and take trains everywhere, which I’m not used to living in the USA where we take cars everywhere. My feet are blistered and swollen, so they’re having mercy on me today and we’re having a down day. For me at least, they seem to always be on the go!

Next week I’ll be in Honolulu for a church conference. I know, poor me, right? I don’t know if I’ll see the beach much, but I’ll try 🙂 I am looking forward to networking with others from my denomination  (Foursquare) and seeing some old faces.

So I earned an A in my last class! Now taking a class on the book of Acts. Kind of hard to keep up with while traveling, but I’ll do my best.

Well, just wanted to post a quick update.  Talk to you all again soon!