Monday, January 25, 2010


Some of my favorite things require a good stir every now and then:

my coffee

a good homemade soup

a fresh can of paint

What about our spirit? I don't know about you, but I certainly require a stirring of my faith from time to time. And what better way to do so than in relationship?

meet Melissa

More often than not, the stirring of our faith comes from doing life with one another... my friendship with Melissa is no different. I am continuously challenged by her faith and by her ability to be vulnerable with God, even in the most bleak of circumstances.

So when you're challenged to stay put instead of moving forward with God, find a stir. You'll probably find it in relationship, if they're Godly.

Life isn't meant to be done alone. And you never know, your journey may be clearing the path for someone else.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

No words

Olive Hope Polinder went home to be with Jesus yesterday evening. Our hearts are filled with such overwhelming sadness as we think about the incredible loss Rusty and Lynette must feel after these long months of strife, heartache, miracles, and prayer. It seems there are not enough words in the universe to describe the impact this little life has had on our personal faith in recent months. I've been grasping for them for hours now, only to find an ocean of tears.

Olive was born at the end of September 2009 to her missionary parents in Chaing Rai, Thailand, at only 28 weeks, and suffered a severe intracranial brain hemorrhage. When we heard of the need for prayer for her life, something captured both Jason and I and latched onto our hearts... Perhaps it was the leading of the Holy Spirit, perhaps it was our sensitivity to these friends and new parents in need as we were desperate to become parents ourselves... probably both. And so we committed ourselves to fasting and prayer for tiny Olive Hope Polinder, oceans away but tied to our hearts in a way that only the love of God can explain.

About a year ago, I was diagnosed with a tumor in my brain that (among other things) the doctors said could keep us from having children. We were devastated. We stated our faith, sought the prayers of friends and family and our church, and kept moving on with life, but in all honesty, it was a battle we sincerely struggled with very privately. Especially me. There were many days that my faith grew weak and my hope diminished, and I angrily stormed the gates of heaven with demands to understand the unfair anguish that had been cast upon us.

And then Fall blew into our lives with its swift, cool winds, and one day we heard the desperate cry for prayer from the Polinder family. We watched our Savior perform miracle after miracle in Olive's body and our faith was strengthened... We were reminded that God can do the impossible. We were reminded of His goodness in all things, even when circumstances cast their dark and eerie shadows. Little did we know that in the very days that we first committed ourselves to prayer and fasting for little Olive Hope, a new life was being conceived within us.

We consider Olive to be such an integral part of our journey over these recent months. Today the words are hard to find and the tears come freely as we celebrate what her life meant to so many. When I meet her in heaven, I can't wait to find out if she knows that she restored faith in my soul and hope for my heart. I can't wait to see her dancing in the streets of heaven next to the life that I am carrying within me.

Olive's life was the perfect example of the very purpose of human creation: She brought glory and honor to God. We will never stop telling her story.

Monday, January 18, 2010

in a flash

July 6, 2006

I was driving home late tonight in the middle of one of the most amazing storms I have seen in quite some time. The lightning was spectacular. Huge raindrops were beating against my windshield and the road had that slick, wet glisten on it that makes it hard to see when it rains at night. But I didn’t mind driving slow—I was enjoying the lightning.

The lightning made me think about God, about the way he shows up in our lives sometimes. As I watched the jet black sky abruptly being lit up by bolts of electricity, I remembered all of the times that God has broken into my world—completely out of nowhere, when everything was dark and the rains poured all around me—unannounced, He was there.

With God, things have the potential to turn around in an instant. As I heard one pastor put it, "Trusting in God changes all the possibilities." I have come to realize that I never know just when an answer to my prayers is going to come. Time and time again, God sweeps in and lights up my world without warning.

I wrote this back in 2006, and while it’s been a while since I’ve seen a good lightning storm, I remember that night vividly. And almost four years later, the simple truth hasn’t changed (and it never will): God is waiting at every turn to break into our world.

So if the rains are pouring down, be encouraged. When the sky is dark, and your journey is slowed by the blinding downpour of life around you, turn on your headlights, watch carefully for glimpses of your Savior, and keep going forward. Trusting in God changes all the possibilities.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Let us not grow weary...

Galatians 6:9 (New International Version)

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.

I couldn't get this verse off my mind today. Much of the reasoning is due to some difficult conversations Jason and I have been having about the struggles of leading a church and dedicating our lives to the calling of God to shepard His sheep. I had never thought before about the fact that shepards live their lives alone with their sheep.


It's such a scary word. We've all been alone before.

As I think about this verse, I think about what it is to be alone, and what it is to be the community of Christ - the Church, to one another. To love, to share, to remember, to encourage. Maybe it's just to BE with someone. To help one another to not grow weary.

I think about Rusty, Lynette, and little Olive, and how they need our prayers just as much today as they did in the first struggling moments of Olive's life (you can read the beginning of Olive's story here).

Let us not become weary in doing good...

Olive, Lynette, and Rusty need us to not grow weary... We must press on. We must pray. Like the lone shepard, let us- the Church- tend to the flock given to us.

(You can read more updates about Olive at


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