Monday, December 31, 2012

To Make Much of Christ in 2013

The weary soldier collapsed on his cot and kicked his battle worn boots on the ground beneath.

The Commander nodded and handed the soldier a pair of new boots  saturated with the aroma of fresh leather.

"Ah! New boots for battle, sir. Thank you, sir."

The optimistic Commander smiled, "Why, not only for battle, chap! These too shall be worn in victory... Great victory that still lies beyond the horizon. It won't be long now. We'll be going home soon."

+++

We stand at the brink of a finish line, and say farewell to another year gone by.

We are battle weary, and wonder when Jesus will call us Home to Glory — when this earthly life shall be no more.

Maybe this year was for you a year of unfulfilled dreams and longings. You are... still... waiting. Waiting for hope, waiting for the fulfillment of your dreams. And maybe your dreams are good, RIGHT things, but they haven't come to fruition and you are frustrated at God. Why isn't Psalms 37:4 coming to pass in your life? "Delight thyself also in the Lord, and he shall give thee the desires [for] thine heart." *italics by me.

Psalms 37:4 and 5 have been my personal life verses since I was in high school. Quite frankly, I am not who I dreamed I would be then. When I was fifteen, I journaled of my hopes to be a Pastor's wife or a missionary one day. When I was eighteen, I liked the idea of being a young wife & mom... still of course, married to a somebody in ministry like, to a missionary in some foreign land like Africa or something.

Years later, today, I am none of those.

Instead, I rent a little place inside someone else's home in Colorado. I work at Chick-fil-A, and I have a part time photography business. (Yeah. I'm not riding elephants in Africa or anything like that!)

Have I unfulfilled dreams? You bet! Are they wrong desires? Not at all. But WHAT am I doing with my dreams?

Just recently, the Lord asked me to bow my knee (once again) in obedience to Him, to whatever He asks, to wherever He wants to send me. 1 Corinthians 6:19, 20 says,"...know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own. For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's."

My life is Christ's. Jesus longs that I would place my expectation & hope in Him. When I love Jesus more than my dreams, and HE is my life, I WILL make MUCH of Christ — no matter what He asks me to do.

I won't lie to you. I am a little nervous about what lies beyond the horizon. I don't know what 2013 will hold. But I'm deciding to let Him handle my unknown. He's big enough! His grace has carried me through 2012, and His grace will be what carries me through 2013  no matter what the days may bring.

My prayer is that 2013 wouldn't be a year filled with my own striving to make MY dreams come to fulfillment, but that it'd be a year to make much of Christ  whether great loss or great gain.

And so my friend, step into the unknown with the Savior who knows all things. Pick up your "new boots" (as the soldier). Receive fresh grace and daily bread from the One who will carry us through all our tomorrows.

Cheer up, dear soul. It won't be long now.

We're going Home soon.



“If God is on our side — and He is — what need do we have for fear?”

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Those Who Have Gone Before

It was December of 1931 when a certain baby girl was born. She was raised in a home of good morals, but not a Christian one. It wasn't until she was eighteen years old that she made a personal decision to put her faith and trust in Christ. So desiring to learn and grow in her Christian walk, she left home and went to Bible school (college) at nineteen years old. In order to help pay for her tuition, she worked as kitchen staff.

Not long after she had been in Bible school, a young man named Roger noticed this classy young lady. She had caught his eye. The Bible school students all sat around a long dinner table, and Roger, being the outgoing young man that he was, stood up and said, "Alright, how about everyone give their names and where they're from." As the students - one by one - began to introduce themselves, all he *really* wanted to know was what HER name was.. and he eagerly listened for her reply. Finally... he found out her name. It was Dolores.

On Labor Day weekend of 1951, Roger walked over to the girl's dormitory (a large, third floor house) to invite one of the young ladies, Naomi, to join him for an evening at the City Wide Crusade. Naomi and Roger were both from the same home church and their Dad's were both Pastor's, so naturally, they were good friends. When Roger inquired for Naomi, he learned that Naomi wasn't around... so he thought to himself , "Why not ask that new girl, Dolores to come with me?" Just then, Dolores came walking down the staircase, dressed in a beautiful plaid skirt & matching sweater. Wow, she looks beautiful, he thought. He asked her if she'd like to join him, and she replied, "Oh, but I'm not appropriately dressed for the service!" He was quick to reply, "You look great to me!"

And so, Roger and Dolores continued to go out on dates and their friendship grew. Infact, things began to go so quickly that Roger began to wonder if it was the right thing. After all, just earlier that year in the Spring, he had broken off his engagement with a young lady who wasn't God's will for him. Maybe he was getting too serious with Dolores too fast. He wanted to make sure he was doing God's will. In November, just before Thanksgiving, Roger told Dolores that they probably better "cool off."

A couple weeks later, Dolores went home for Thanksgiving. Wouldn't you know, Thanksgiving weekend, Roger & the quartet he sang in were going to be singing at a church meeting nearby. Dolores was still interested in Roger and since the young men were going to be representing the Bible school that they all attended, she decided to just go to the meeting.

All this time, Dolores quietly had had her eye on another young man. He was rather good looking, she thought, and he was a nice guy. Wouldn't you know, after the meeting that Roger & his quartet sang in, this "other" young man noticed Dolores standing outside the building, waiting for her ride. He asked her if she needed a ride home, and she thought, "Why not?"

The "other" young man and Dolores were on their drive home and he said, "Hey! Do you want to stop and get a snack?" She said, "Sure!" And so, Dolores & he stopped at a restaurant and found their table inside. Dolores chose a seat facing the front door of the restaurant — then... in walked Roger & his quartet with him! Dolores put her head down and couldn't look up. Roger saw Dolores right away, and noticed how she couldn't make eye contact with him... but he proceeded to sit at his table. It was then that Roger realized that he truly loved Dolores, and it was okay if they continued to step forward in their relationship.

And so, as the story goes, Dolores & Roger got back together again, and about a WEEK later, Roger asked Dolores to marry him! Dolores went to Roger's family's for New Years, and that's where she met her future-in laws.

Dolores was still a new Christian, and Roger felt God's calling to be a Pastor. (His Dad was a Pastor too.) Roger was thrilled to disciple Dolores & teach her the word of God, and she loved learning more of the things of God.

It was a summer day — on June 13, 1952 —  that Roger & Dolores were married.

Over the next few years, Roger pastored at Fennville Bible Church and Chester Gospel Church, both in Michigan. During that time, which, the Lord led Roger & Dolores to become missionaries to Quito, Ecuador.

For several months, Roger and Dolores first lived in San Jose, Costa Rica where they went to language school to learn Spanish, and that is where she gave birth to their second daughter, and third child.

The next two years, Roger & Dolores served as missionaries in Quito, Ecuador where he served at HCJB radio station.

Due to Roger's health, the Lord called their family to move back to the States in 1960.

After they moved back to the States, Roger continued to faithfully Pastor at three different churches over the course of the next several years — Calvary Bible Church (Michigan), Calvary Baptist Church (Maryland), and Calvary Baptist Church (Michigan).

In May of 1982, Roger was diagnosed with Leukemia. He was admitted into the hospital... and he never came out.

As he sat there in his hospital bed, he had his Bible leafed open where he was reading and he said, "I just don't feel like it's my time yet. God still has work for me to do!"

Only six weeks after being diagnosed, at the young age of 50, the Lord called Roger home to glory on June 29th, 1982.

It was his wish for many years that the "Hallelujah Chorus" be played at his funeral... and it was.

This man was... my Grandpa.


I never knew him, for I was not born yet.

Over the years, I've heard countless stories from others about this man of God... a man who loved the Lord and made an impact in others lives. To this day, my Grandma still hears stories from others about how my Grandpa touched their lives, and some, of whom he personally led to Christ.

So you see, I cannot wait to get to glory. Not only and most importantly to see my Savior, but I can't wait to meet my Grandpa with outstretched arms and say, "Thank you for leaving behind a godly legacy."

The challenge for you and I today is to ask ourselves, "What kind of legacy will I leave behind?"

You are choosing TODAY whom you will serve.

"Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith."

—Hebrews 12:1, 2

Friday, December 21, 2012

Merry Christmas!


"The King of kings... In all our trials born to be our Friend.
He knows our need, our weakness is no stranger,
Behold your King! Before Him lowly bend!
...Truly He taught us to love one another,
His law is love and His gospel is peace...
In His name all oppression shall cease.
Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we,
With all our hearts we praise His holy name.
Christ is the Lord!"

—my favorite carol, 'O Holy Night'

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Remembering His Goodness in Mexico

As you are well aware, I went down to southern Mexico for nearly a month this fall. I departed the States on September 19th with plans of photographing a local Pastor's wedding and helping out with any missions work that I could help with. I also ended up helping decorate for the wedding, taking some portraits for another missionary family in the area, teaching some photography classes to my friend Grace, and I went to the rural jungle for two days where I got to take pictures for one of the local missionaries who had installed 30 some cook stoves in local village homes (and he needed pictures to send to the missions organization). When I left the States I honestly imagined I was going to be quite busy, but contrary to my thoughts, my time in Mexico was rather slowed paced and the few events I participated in were sporadic. I went there expecting to bless, but came home blessed instead.

Every morning in Mexico, I would wake up to the sound of the water truck driving by on the cobblestone streets outside, "Agua! ... Agua Fresca!" Without leaving my bed side, I got to spend an hour to an hour and a half in God's Word before breakfast each morning. It was such a blessing not to have rushed quiet time!

There were different days when I shared heart struggles with my friend Grace. Each time she would look me in the eye and say, "Leah, God doesn't need your help." Not only did my friend remind me of the truth that God doesn't need my help to accomplish His will, but she also encouraged me to make certain situations a matter of prayer EVERY DAY. As she shared personal stories & testimonies of God answering prayer in her life, she encouraged, "Leah, give it to God, and He will take care of you. He is a good Father."

One day I was stepping out onto the cobblestone streets in San Cristobal, and one of the missionary wives just blurted out to me, "I used to ask God why I have to be so quiet & shy. My husband is a speaker & preacher. He's outgoing & likes to talk. But then God taught me that being shy is okay because God has brought opportunities for me to minister to the OTHER shy people." She had no idea what an encouragement that was for me to here right at that moment.

On our two day trip into the rural jungle, we had a 3-4 hour drive each way, and during that time, my friends Steven & Grace shared their detailed story of how God brought them together and how the Lord led them to be missionaries in Mexico. Wow, listening to their story encouraged me so much. God worked through so many details and removed obstacles to accomplish His perfect will for them. It encouraged that God is still in the miracle-working business today, and if He can do it for somebody else, He can works wonders on my behalf as well. He is no respecter of persons and nothing is too hard for Him!

Before I knew it, three and half weeks had passed in Mexico, and it was time for me to go back to the States. The night before I left, Pastor Enrique & Maricruz (the couple who's wedding I photographed) came up to my room and gave me some dark roast coffee to take home. As we exchanged goodbyes, I thought I saw their eyes get misty with a tear.. and then it made me want to cry. ;-) "You need to come back! You should come back next summer with a missions team." I said, "Yeah! We'll see what God has in store." They chorused, "No, you NEED to come back." I replied, "Oh, that would be wonderful. If not here, we do know that we'll see each other in glory ... oh that's going to be a wonderful day!" Pastor Enrique then said, "Yes, but we're going to pray we'll see you back here in Mexico first." :-)

The next morning before I left for the airport, all of us (Steven, Grace, Gabby, Mrs. Ozuna, Pastor Enrique and Maricruz) stood in a circle and held hands together as they prayed for my travels home and for God's hand of blessing in my life. My heart was full & blessed. (My eyes were full too - of tears). ;)

As we drove down the winding, twisting mountain roads to the airport, Steven & Grace had one of the Getty's CDs playing in the car. The sun was beginning to rise, and the valley below was covered in a purple, foggy mist. I contemplated the goodness of God over the past month and thanked Him for reminding me once again of who He truly is. 

"May the peace of God, our heav'nly Father, and the grace of Christ, the risen Son, and the fellowship of God the Spirit keep our hearts and minds within His love. And to Him be praise for His glorious reign; From the depths of earth to the heights of heaven, we declare the name of the Lamb once slain— Christ eternal, the King of Kings. May this peace which passes understanding, And this grace which makes us what we are, And this fellowship of His communion, Make us one in spirit and in heart..."

Saturday, December 1, 2012

A Birthday + Heart Meditations on Psalms 16

Today we flipped our calenders to December 1st, and I am another year older. 

The following passage of scripture has been a very near & dear comfort to my heart the last few days, and I close with it,

Preserve me, O God, for in you I take refuge. 
I say to the Lord, “You are my Lord; I have no good apart from you.” 
...The sorrows of those who run after another god shall multiply... 
The Lord is my chosen portion and my cup; you hold my lot. 
...I bless the Lord who gives me counsel;
In the night also my heart instructs me. 
I have set the Lord always before me; 
Because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken. 
Therefore my heart is glad, and my whole being rejoices; 
My flesh also dwells secure. For you will not abandon my soul... 
You make known to me the path of life; 
In your presence there is fullness of joy; 
At your right hand are pleasures forevermore. 
—Psalms 16

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Giving Thanks. In All Things.


Tomorrow will be a day when many across our nation will gather around feast-filled tables with family & friends. Laughter & stories will be shared and belly's will be satisfied with holiday goodness.

Perhaps for some, tomorrow will be a day of loneliness and tears, just another day to be reminded of the brokenness in difficult relationships. For some, it may be a day of prayer, wondering when Daddy will get a job — praying that God would send provision for the next meal, or electric bill.

We flip well worn Bible pages open to 1 Thessalonians where God's word says, "Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God..." 

Wait a second. We're supposed to give God thanks when a boyfriend walks out of our life and says, "I never loved you in the first place"? We're supposed to give God thanks when we have no idea how we're going to pay the next rent bill? We're supposed to give thanks when getting together with family means times of fighting, tension and tears?

Give thanks. 
In ALL things.

You see, this year, God taught me about the Canaanite woman that He referred to as a DOG. Matthew 15:25-28 says, "Then came she and worshipped him, saying, Lord, help me. But he answered and said, It is not meet to take the children's bread, and to cast it to dogs. And she said, Truth, Lord: yet the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their masters' table. Then Jesus answered and said unto her, O woman, great is thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt. And her daughter was made whole from that very hour." The Canaanite woman was going to be grateful for a CRUMB fallen from the Master's table because she realized who her Master is and who she was.

My friend, we are nothing and we deserve nothing without Jesus Christ. If I was alone & abandoned by all, sick with cancer, starving and living in a cardboard box, and then died & went to Heaven to spend eternity with Christ in Heaven  it'd STILL be WAY better than I ever deserve.

Dear friend, instead of demanding MY right to what I should have, lets thank Jesus for crumbs from His table this Thanksgiving. We are blessed!

"It is sweet to be nothing and to have nothing, and to be fed with crumbs from Thy hands." 

Valley of Vision

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Don't Think. Just Trust Me.

A silver spoon clangs against the side of a white, porclein dish, filled with scoops of vanilla ice-cream and crumbles of Reese's pieces... and I think of this little space — this little space called my blog. I really do miss this little corner of my life... what has happened? I don't know, but Jesus has a way of bringing us in and out of seasons, and during this season of life, blogging just isn't a priority in my life.

Last Tuesday evening, you would have found me driving home. I was deep in thought and I felt like a failure as mulled over past events. I called my sister on the telephone, "But I messed up. I should have______. It's my fault. I should have _____ and maybe things wouldn't be the way they are." She said, "Leah, forget about the past. Drop it. Start over." Such simple words, but the truth.

I have good news ya'll. :)
Jesus doesn't need my help.

Since I was in Mexico, I have been telling myself almost every day, Jesus doesn't need my help. Oh yes, we are to live in obedience to all that He asks of us, and at times, He may ask us to step out in mere faith as we trust in His promises, BUT Jesus doesn't need my help to fix things or to make things right again. I so easily and often want to "help God out." But He is All-Powerful, Sovereign God, even in my failures & mistakes. He can accomplish anything with any set of adverse circumstances.

Wednesday (the next morning), I woke up and Jesus said to me so very clearly, "Leah, don't think. Just trust me." 

Maybe it's a female thing, but I think ALOT — and sometimes thinking too much gets me into trouble. ;) I need to STOP thinking about what I should've or could've done. I need to press onto what Jesus has in store for me, learning to live everyday for what it is. "...this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before." Philippians 3:13 

Marked by uncertainty, lonely it may be, and failure it may bring... but one thing IS certain. Jesus IS my certainty, and He is the One who promised to hold my right hand. "For I, the LORD your God, hold your right hand..." Isaiah 41:13 

He is not surprised when I fall flat on my face with another failure.
He is not surprised when I tuck myself into bed and all I can do is weep my heart out.

He is not surprised.

So stop thinking.

Just trust Him.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Home from Chiapas, Mexico!

There is much that COULD be said and much that NEEDS to be said, but for now, I leave you with this verse that came to my mind repeatedly today in route back to the United States.

 "The LORD hath done great things for us; whereof we are glad." —Psalms 126:3

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Another Step In the Journey: Mexico Bound!

The Lord opened up a door of opportunity for me to do some missions photography in San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas, Mexico! ...And I am leaving this Wednesday morning! I will be gone for nearly a month duration. (Returning to the United States on October 14th.)

I am photographing a local Pastor's wedding on Sunday, September 23rd. Please do be praying especially for this day - pray for Pastor Enrique + Maricruz as they join their lives together, pray that the Lord would grant me good health & energy, pray that the Lord would grant wisdom & understanding as I try to communicate with Spanish translator(s), and most importantly, pray that the Lord would be honored & glorified through all that transpires & takes place!

As for the rest of the trip, I will be staying with missionary friends, Steven & Grace, and hopefully help or come alongside with whatever ministry opportunities or needs they have.

May this trip NOT be about "Leah Christine Imagery" or be about picking up new fans or followers, but rather, may God show just how good & great He is.

I have no idea what will transpire in this next month, but I am ready with arms wide open to receive all that He wants to pour down from the windows of heaven.

"...put Me to the test, says the LORD of hosts,
if I will not open the windows of heaven for you
& pour down for you a blessing until there is no more need."

Malachi 3:10

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Vacation Days + Colorado Springs

As you all probably have heard or know by now, I was planning on going to Prince Edward Island the end of August for a roadtrip. With many other times in life, God had other plans in mind, and so I ended up going down to Colorado Springs for a few days & staying with my friend Tosha in her adorable little mountain cabin.

My days in the mountains were lovely... sipping cups of Chai at Agia Sophia's coffee shop, visiting Garden of the gods, watching "Roman Holiday" for the first time, visiting the Glen Eyrie castle on property at "The Navigators" (That was incredible! I felt like I was in a "Jane Eyre" movie set!), seeing the Broadmoor Resort twice, trying Asian "Bubble Tea" for the first time, and visiting IKEA for the first time in Denver on my drive home were just SOME of the things I did!

Here's a whole lotta pictures for you all to feast over. :-)





















































































Wednesday, August 22, 2012

be still my soul.

There is much to be said, but to remain unsaid.

Instead of standing on the coasts of Prince Edward Island this week, I am sitting inside a coffee shop who's walls are painted red, I am sipping Chai Latte from a pottery mug and the sounds of Vivaldi can be heard playing into the atmosphere. There is a man sitting at the table in front of mine, with a french press & a book in hand. It's a cloudy day in Colorado Springs, and I am perfectly contented with that.




Thursday, July 26, 2012

Adventures Coming for Leah Christine Imagery

Lately there have been numerous times that I look over and see my camera sitting by it's lonesome. I miss it, and I miss having adventures with it. But I am SO excited to tell you    bloggie world   that my camera and I are getting ready to be very busy through the fall season! And I am excited out of my mind.

In 3 weeks, I'm going to fly to Detroit and meet up with two other young ladies for a road trip to Prince Edward Island, Boston & Niagara Falls! You see, I grew up watching Anne of Green Gables, Road to Avonlea and Lantern Hill ... movies all filmed or based on Prince Edward Island. This going to be like all of those stories coming alive! I'm already anticipating the feel of white sand beneath my toes, running on red cliffs, eating lobster for the first time on the sea shore and enjoying an enchanting moon next to an Atlantic lighthouse.































In 8 weeks, I will be traveling to San Cristóbal de las Casas, Mexico for a trip duration of nearly a month! I am humbled and so excited to photograph a wedding for a local Pastor and his fiancee. I'm going to stay with a missionary couple (I'm friends with) and help out in ways whatever I can with their ministry through the middle of October.




Right now I'm trying to plan some dates for a trip to southern California for atleast 4 portrait sessions    either the beginning of September or beginning of November. Either way, I'm excited!

Watch the blog over the next couple months, bloggie world, for more adventures & imagery!

Monday, July 23, 2012

What a Friend We Have in Jesus: Hymn Story

Today I decided to post this hymn story of, "What a Friend We Have in Jesus."

Can I just say.... I love, love, love this. It has ministered to me during so many times of blinding tears, disappointment & loneliness. How many times we fail to realize what a friend we have in the Lord.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Yet Will I Trust Him

It's been a season of coming home at 9 o'clock, and eating a bowl of cereal for dinner. I'm so tired, I fumble with the cereal box, it tips over and cereal spills all over. My basement apartment has dead spiders on the floor and live ones crawling on the walls (and it's driving me crazy)  but there's been no time to vacuum. All I want to do is cry in exhaustion.

I lay my head on my pillow, knowing that in six hours the alarm clock with buzz again and all I can do is cry myself to sleep.

"I know this sounds horrible to say so, but I feel like God's forgotten me."
A sister encourages, "Oh, if I were you, I'd just cry out to God. Earnestly pray."
"But truthfully, I don't feel like God cares. I know He said He does, but it doesn't feel like it."

I am in the midst of learning what it means to have FAITH that rises above my feelings. I must cling to Christ for my soul strength. I so often pray that I would know what it means to live in the reality that Christ is my sufficiency, yet when the storms of life rage against my soul, I wonder what on earth God is doing. The truth of it is, these storms and wilderness experiences are there to prove to me that God's promises in His Word are faithful & true. It's in the worst of times that you & I can see that His promises prevail, though all else does not.

My Shepherd has so wisely led thus far, my Pilot has safely navigated to today... why would the Lord fail in the future?

Lord, give me a faith like Job that says, "Though He ______, yet will I trust Him."

+++

"Frodo: I can't do this, Sam. Sam: I know... we shouldn't even be here. But we are. It's like in the great stories, Mr. Frodo. The ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger, they were. And sometimes you didn't want to know the end. Because how could the end be happy? How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad had happened? But in the end, it's only a passing thing, this shadow. Even darkness must pass. A new day will come. And when the sun shines it will shine out the clearer. Those were the stories that stayed with you - that meant something, even if you were too small to understand why. ...Folk in those stories had lots of chances of turning back, only they didn't. They kept going. Because they were holding on to something. There's some good... and it's worth fighting for."
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Two Towers

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Oatmeal & Strawberries + Heart Lessons


I looked down at my steel cut oatmeal slathered in strawberries, brown sugar & walnuts and took another bite.

My friends chorused in unison, "She got good really fast!" I piped in, "I know, and here she started her photography business just 8 months before I did!" Swallowing my bite of warm breakfast & taking a sip of Chai Latte, I sighed and added, "My photography business is definitely not where she is. Sometimes I wish I had such a successful photography business, and enough income from photography alone to be able to afford a little place of my own to decorate so cozily. I wonder how she does it!"

One of my friends spoke up, "But that's not what God had for you."

Those words rang in my ears. And we went on to discuss another topic.

Those words continued to ring in my ears over the new few days.

"...But that's not what God had for you."


+++

Sunday morning, my Pastor spoke on Humility & Pride. I'm ashamed to admit, at the beginning of his message, I thought to myself, "Okay, I don't think I have a pride issue..."

WHAM.
Ouch.

I'm naturally more of a layed back, quiet person, so I shouldn't  have an issue with pride, right? WRONG. My Pastor continued preaching, "Timidity is not to be mistaken for humility." The Lord continued to prick my heart as I sat in those cushioned seats. "Leah, you are prideful to the core when you refuse to let people in your life for fear of getting hurt. That is self-promotion. By blocking people out, you are saying that you are worthy of good... when in reality, you are hell deserving, worthless piece of dust apart from Me. You deserve to be rejected, to be spat upon, to be left alone. And yet instead, I stepped in your place and took every single painful blow for YOU. I want YOU to be that same sacrifice for others. Let man do what he will, and pour yourself out for the good of others."

The truth of it is, I am a flower quickly fading, a breath of wind... I am worthless dust. I deserve nothing good.  And yet, He calls me His. The GOD who created the universe... the GOD who created the hosts of stars and calls them EACH by NAME, created ME with a specific ministry to fulfill and He loves me for who I am. So why do I get so defensive when people mistreat me, or my life doesn't look like their story of success or God doesn't give me what I want?

+++

The Lord reached down and whispered to my heart, "Ah, Leah, you know I didn't call you in April of 2008 to have a big wedding photography business & to have a thousand Facebook fans. I created you to help, to minister... to minister to the least of these. Your photography business/ministry WILL look like failure to others, but that's okay because your photography talents aren't for Your self promotion. Your camera is just a tool and a means to minister to the hearts of those around you. So give your talents back to ME, dear one, and watch me glorify HIS name."

When I look at Your heavens, the work of Your fingers... 

what is man that You are mindful of him, 

and the son of man that You care for him? 

Psalms 8:3,4 ESV


The actual song starts at 3:25. Listen to it. Your heart will be blessed!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Missions Monday | Leaving My Comfort Zone

Sometimes missions means I need to leave the comforts of my safety zone and risk myself - my everything - for the cause of the furtherance of His Gospel, to give the good news to those who are yet walking in darkness.

"Safe?" said Mr. Beaver. "Who said anything about safe? 'Course he isn't safe, but he's good. He's the King, I tell you." ― C. S. Lewis; Chronicles of Narnia





“To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable.” ― C.S. Lewis




"You have listened to fears, Child," said Aslan. "Come, let me breathe on you. Forget them. Are you brave again?" 

Friday, July 6, 2012

Journal Entry From One Year Ago.

One year ago I was sitting on a long, ten hour flight from Salt Lake City to Tokyo, Japan. I was on my way to the Philippines for a week of the most intense evangelism I have ever done in my life. Flying over Pacific Ocean, I took my journal out from the seat pocket in front of me and penned:

July 2011


"...for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. ...Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?" Matthew 6:32+33, 7:7-11

These verses seem to be a recurring theme in my life the last couple of months. How easy it can be for me to doubt the Father's goodness + heart of compassion towards me. Does He really give that which is good? Or at the point of total + absolute surrender will He then give me something that makes me UNHAPPY or something I do NOT like? These questions have been real in my heart. And yet, I know that whatever He gives His children is always for our good + for His glory. Why is it so hard for me to TRUST that completely? Is it lack of total surrender? "Lord, I am willing that THOU shouldest make me willing. TEACH me the way that You want me to walk. Let me abide so close to You that I know Your heart + Your will. Lord, You said in Your word that You have not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, love + a SOUND mind. I don't have to fear - only rest in Your trustworthiness and great faithfulness. You are my sufficiency + my all in all. Teach me to live in the reality of Your sufficiency + help me to rest my heart in You. Help me to be Your hands + feet in the Philippines. Help me to speak words that You would speak. Fill my mouth with Your praise and a testimony of Your greatness + power."

....



















A short video of singing "To God Be the Glory" at church in the Philippines:


Streets of Dumaguete, Negros, Philippines

Monday, June 25, 2012

Missions Monday | Favorite Missions Movies

As a visual person, I actually prefer watching a movie over reading a book. I love being able to SEE a picture. Not to discredit book reading, as I should do more of it.

I've collected a few favorite "Missions" related movies over the years, and today I thought I'd share them with you.



Hudson Taylor  by Ken Anderson Films


"Hudson Taylor" has been a favorite movie of mine for years. The film quality is not the greatest, but I've always been able to look past that. It's very accurate to Hudson Taylor's biography and the movie is filled with many of his wonderful quotes. My personal favorite is, "God gives His very best to those who leave the choice with Him." The movie is focused on Hudson Taylor's younger years of ministry in China, and ends at the death of his own, dear wife, Maria.


Last Flight Out  by Billy Graham Presets


My Grandma (former missionary herself to Quito, Ecuador alongside my deceased Grandpa who was a Pastor for many years) had me watch "Last Flight Out" when I graduated from high school. I remember watching the movie the first time & being totally glued & mesmerized by the story.

"Last Flight Out" is a modern-day missionary story about a single, female missionary doctor in Columbia, South America who is suddenly warned that the local villagers she ministers to, will be forced to work on a coca farm run by local, Colombian terrorists... or else. Because of the danger, her father sends her former boyfriend, a Pilot, down to the jungle to convince her to return home. One of my favorite quotes from the movie, "There is no better place to be than in the center of God's will."

End of the Spear

My Grandma had me watch "End of the Spear" when I lived with her in Michigan for a while after high school. The story of the 5 martyred missionaries has always been especially meaningful to that particular side of my family, as my Grandma personally knew Barbara Youderian (one of the martyred missionary's wives). My Grandmother stood up as a bridesmaid in Roger & Barbara Youderian's wedding  kind of cool, really!

This movie, as you guessed, is about the true story of the 5 missionaries that were martyred in Ecuador, but especially based on missionary pilot, Nate Saint. There are some violent & graphic scenes in this movie, so I caution you to be aware of that. But there are also some touching, gripping, tear jerking scenes in the movie as well! 

As a side note, a missionary friend of mine bought me my copy of the DVD while I was on a missions trip in Thailand. I was very sick with food poisoning & was nearly admitted into the hospital for dehydration. My missionary friend walked down to the local market & bought me the movie for a $1. ;-) So there I layed... in Chiang Rai, Thailand with grape Gatorade, wondering if I was going to make it back to the USA alive and I watched "End of the Spear" ... while my team mates were at a rural Thai village eating dog. LOL!


What are some of YOUR favorite missions movies? Do tell!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Internship Postponed

It's been a hard decision to make, but the Leah Christine Imagery photography Internship is being POSTPONED for another time.

This summer the Lord has provided 2 other jobs (additional to photography) to help me financially, so as you can imagine, my schedule is insanely full.

One of the MAIN REASONS for postponing the Internship is because I need to be out of my basement apartment by August 8th and I MUST start looking for new housing. If you feel so led, please pray the Lord directs me to the right place!

Thank you all so much & I apologize for any inconveniences. Stay tuned for the new Internship dates!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Missions Monday | Be a Missionary. Right Here.

What do YOU think about when you think of the word, 'Missions'?

Automatically, having been to four different foreign countries, I think of people living in card board huts, taking showers in water that smells like sewer (seriously, the showers smelled like sewer in the Philippines...), taking bucket baths in Thailand, having giant beetles land on my shoulder, sweat dripping down my back in the extremes of humidity, eating sticky rice & mangoes at every meal and such things.

Though roughing it at times, I loved the thrill of adventure & surviving in the remote areas of Fiji or Thailand.

In a recent opportunity I had to go to Cambodia as a long term missionary, the Lord let me know that going to Cambodia was not what He has planned for me. I struggled with guilt. "Lord, you need laborers in the harvest! The missionaries in Cambodia are begging for more laborers. I LOVE to help people. But, I'm having to tell them, 'NO, I can't come'? So... am I being selfish by staying here?" I can just see Him looking at me with cocked smile on his face, "So you're willing to follow me anywhere, my daughter? Really? That is wonderful. I want you to stay here."

It seems so much more "spiritual" and glamorous to fly half way around the world to a foreign land with the name tag, "foreign missionary" ... but right now, the Lord wants me to be a missionary in my two part time jobs (Nannying & Chick-fil-A) and in my photography business. Taking a little girl to swimming lessons or her piano lessons, ringing up Chicken sandwiches for customers at Chick-fil-A or photographing a wedding don't seem like glamorous things to do, but it IS missions work. I AM a missionary. I AM a missionary right HERE.

As a Christ follower, I AM the temple of the Holy Ghost. He lives IN me... wherever I am.  I am representing Christ at the gas station, at the grocery store, at the restaurant, at the coffee shop.

Be a "little Christ" today!
[wherever you are.]

Monday, June 11, 2012

Missions Monday | Seeing People As He See's Them

"She's   you know  one of those person's who keeps to herself."

These words echoed in my head & tears stung as I pillowed my head.

The Accuser whispered, "That's why people don't like you. That's why you only had a couple close friends growing up. That's why your relationship ended 3 years ago   he didn't like you because you were too quiet & that's why he married someone else. That's why you're never included in other people's plans. You're a silent, good-for-nothing introvert." 

Our society places such a big emphasis on personality & personality type. Admittedly, I myself am one of those persons who likes to perceive what people are like & stereotype them. Quite honestly, within a short while of meeting someone, I can pretty well tell you what a person's personality type is. "She's definitely an INFJ" or "He's totally a Mr. Steady." (I personally am an INFP.) While it can be beneficial to knowing how that other person is going to relate or how they are going to take information in, stereotyping others can be a dangerous thing because it doesn't give room for God to work in that relationship or situation.

So today's 'Missions Monday' is a reminder to myself and for all of us  to see other's and our own selves as God see's people. Not how we perceive them.

Don't shut people out of your life just because they're different then you are.

"Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good." Genesis 1:31


Saturday, June 2, 2012

Sweet Summertime + Day in the Office

Today is a rainy, overcast day and I am having a day in the photography office   photo editing and catching up on e-mails. Though not officially on the calender, summertime weather has arrived in Northern Colorado and already I have been enjoying days at the pool & cloud watching with the little girl I nanny.

Summertime will be busy & full, and yet, my soul waits on. I am learning more of what it means to trust the heart of my Father, wherever He leads me. The other night, I pillowed my head and the tears just spilled. My life has turned out nothing like I always imagined it would as a little girl, but I can be okay with that as I place my full confidence in my Savior who's ways are much greater than my ways. Just yesterday I thought of a song that I know, "I will follow Thee my Savior, where'er the pathway may go... I rest in Thee, trust in Thee, I place my life in Thy hands... I surrender all, my Savior, I hold no thing back from Thee; Every part is Thine to use, Lord, Thy living sacrifice be." It doesn't matter where I'm at geographically. I can glorify my Father wherever He puts me  whether I'm in the depths of the African jungle or I'm wiping the nose of a toddler in church nursery. But so many times, I want to dictate to God HOW I want to serve Him, but then I plunge into the depths of discouragement when life doesn't go my way. Oh Lord, heal me from my own selfishness, and let my life glorify you   even in the most dull & mundane happenings of life.

"When deep water curls around you and fear replaces faith,
When the floods would seem to overwhelm God's promises of grace,
When the fires seem overtaking, and all seems torn and tossed,
Trust His Word. Oh, truly listen; hear Him say: All is not lost.


Don't be afraid. Don't be afraid.
I have redeemed you; You are Mine. Don't be afraid.
Don't be afraid. Don't be afraid.
You are a precious child to Me. Don't be afraid."

Monday, May 28, 2012

Happy Memorial Day!

Happy Memorial Day from Leah Christine Imagery!

Today I stand grateful for all of those who have given of themselves, so that you and I can enjoy the freedoms we partake of today.


"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."  —Edmund Burke


"Freedom is one generation away from extinction. Freedom is not passed down through the DNA in our blood. If we dont teach our children what freedom is and how many people died for it, we can spend our twilight years tellng our grandchildren what America was like when people used to be free." —Ronald Reagan

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Leah Christine Imagery {Workshop} in Review!

On Saturday, I hosted my first Beginner's Photography Workshop! Leading up to it, I was nervous that I'd say everything backwards — which I did end up doing during the day — but the workshop ended up being a blast, and everything went so well. I am so grateful for the Lord's provision in making this dream of mine become a reality!

Originally, I had 3 or 4 people interested in coming to the workshop, but they all decided they'd prefer having it one-on-one .. so I said, Why not?? Rachel was a great student, and we enjoyed a wonderful time.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Sovereign God. Supreme Lord of My Heart.

The week I cut back my time on the internet to seek the Lord's direction, I heard news that a fellow IPS photography graduate died after falling into a river (from leaning over to take a picture) and he drowned. Though I did not know him personally, I went to his blog and read his very last blog post that he typed out before he died unexpectedly. He said this,

"To surrender a precious dream is a fearful thing, but to pursue anything but the full measure of the glory of God’s love is a wasted life."  Joshua Eddy



As I read the words of this 18 year old young man, a chill ran down my spine. What will my last blog post say, if God should call me home to glory unexpected? Will my blog be all about my own selfish pursuits, or a blog about the marvelous God who owns my life and (should) reign supreme in my heart? Life is too short to spend it frivolously, heaping up treasure for myself, creating idols to worship  whether that be making money, spending too much time on Facebook or Twitter, or looking to human man to satisfy the deepest needs & longings of my heart. An idol can be anything that I place on the throne of my heart! And that, my dear friends, is sobering.

The Lord has tested me in the last week with so many things. Quite honestly, I'm going through a dry season in my Christian life, and that's hard. (Lord, is that at fault of my own?) I want to panic as I see my bank account going dry. I struggle with doubt & lack of trust as God says "no" to one thing  and I wonder what it IS that He DOES want me to do. I've gone through deep times of loneliness, as my dearest friend lives half way around the world now, and I haven't had a real conversation with her since last August ... and another close friend has chosen to take a different walk in life, thus our communication is sporadic and not like it used to be. As an introvert at heart, even though I love to be friendly with everyone, I have just a couple of friends who are especially close to me & I am extremely loyal to them. (Yes, you might say, a "kindred spirit.") To have those who are closest to you, go half way around the world or take a different road in life, is a difficult thing. Do I trust God, even in that? ... or do I run to my own man-made idols?

How quick I am to forget that He is my GOD, God El Roi, the God who SEE'S. He has a purpose in each tear that falls, in every blow to the crushing & broken heart. He knows it all. And it's in those weakest moments,  He wants to step in and show Himself strong as Sovereign God, the Supreme Lord in my life. If He is the Creator & Keeper of the billions of stars ... of the entire universe, can't I trust Him to take care of me?

Monday, May 14, 2012

[the Internship]

So excited to bring to you the Leah Christine Imagery Internship! 

July 2-5, 2012


This fantastic week interning under Leah Christine Imagery will include (but is not limited to) starting your own business blog, working with a LIVE client shoot, and how to do image processing in Adobe Lightroom. While we will be learning details of a photography business, the week will also include some fun - like a day trip to Rocky Mountain National Park for some fabulous landscapes! You also won't want to miss out on an awesome Fireworks display over Lake Loveland on the 4th of July! (They are voted best in Northern Colorado.)

Who can come? Young ladies (preferably under 20 years old) who are new to the photography business
How much? $550

Includes airport pickup & drop off at Denver International Airport, lodging & meals!

Contact Leah

RSVP on the Facebook event page

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

World Changers' Summit 3.0

A little over a week ago, I was asked if I would come to Cambodia and serve in an orphanage on a permanent/long term basis. I agonized over it. I want to be involved in foreign mission work - but is RIGHT NOW the right TIME the Lord wants me to go overseas permanently?

So many thoughts.
So many questions.

Over this time, I was aware of a conference called, World Changers' Summit, coming up in Manitou Springs. A friend of mine started it, so I've heard about it over the last few years and had always wanted to go... so should I go THIS year? After a look at my tight finances with my recent move, my thought was, "No way. Absolutely not." Buuut, there was an old laptop and an antique desk of mine that I had been trying to sell for several weeks. So I casually told God, "Lord, if you want me to be there, let me sell my desk and laptop. That'll cover the registration fee.. and I'll go." Within two days, both items sold. I couldn't believe it. ...However, I chickened out again. "HELLO, I am poorer than a church mouse. I don't know how I'm going to pay for my next rent payment!" But this little voice kept coming back to me, "You really need to go to World Changers' Summit. If nothing else, you NEED the fellowship around like minded people. After all, didn't you say you'd go if you sold your laptop and desk??"

SO, long story short, I went.
And I'm so glad I did.

I sat in soul stirring sessions.

My friend, Tosha, and I talked for two hours straight until a late hour of the night.

I couldn't help but choke up as I shared, "I DO desire that I would be most satisfied in HIM & that He would be glorified in my life as a result... But what about THESE DESIRES that I have? Are they bad?! Do I board a plane and go to Cambodia anyway?"

Throughout the entire week, Jesus kept saying to me, "Leah, this is not even about going to Cambodia. This is about selling out. Are you willing to give me the shelf of your heart? Are you willing get rid of all the idols & things that you hold dear in that heart of yours? SELL OUT to Me. Sell out."

Friday night, the session was on "Staying the Course." The Lord really used that message to "drive in the nail" for me. Dewey Novotny brought up in this session, "Moses' rod was everything in the world to him, and God said, 'Throw it down.' Surrender what's in your hand. ...What's in your hands? Can you throw it down? Can you surrender it?" In those moments, I had a lump in my throat and the tears couldn't help but come, while all the while, Jesus kept tenderly pleading, "Sell out, my daughter. Sell out."

That night I had a 2.5 hour drive home, and it was there along I-25, that I gave God back the rights to everything.
My life, my camera, my photography business, my finances, my car, my desires, everything... it all belongs to Him. 

In the late hour of that night, my heart calmed as a peace washed over it.

Stars shined in their brilliance in the midnight sky as I drove across the Coloradoan plains.

Jesus whispered,

"You're not alone. The Father is with you."

Monday, April 23, 2012

Missions Monday | He Has Promised GOOD



Yesterday morning in my morning haze, I logged on to my e-mail and was "WOWed" to get this message in my box from some missionaries I know who minister from Singapore, the Philippines, and all over Southeast Asia:  "The Lord has opened a wonderful door for you in our orphanage (in Cambodia). [Will] you come?" Not just for a few weeks, or a couple months — but on an indefinite/permanent type basis — and I'd be leaving the States for Cambodia around the first of November.

Quite honestly, as the day progressed, I found myself freaking out in panic & anxiety. So much so, that on an hour long drive home, my Colitis/Crohns "attacked" me pretty bad and I had to pull over for a while. Ridiculous, YES?


"Woah, woah, anxiety is NOT from God," I told myself, "And what hymn were you JUST reminding yourself of yesterday??" It was the words of the hymn in the above picture.


"The Lord has promised good to me, His Word my hope secures. 

He will my shield & portion be, As long as life endures."

—Amazing Grace hymn


So, am I really trusting God that HE has my BEST in mind if He calls me to Cambodia as a lone English speaking, American missionary to minister to orphaned children who are motherless & fatherless?

Psalms 139:10, "Even there Your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me."


It's not that I don't WANT to go — on the contrary — but now it's the hundreds of "what-ifs" scenarios that keep rehearsing in my mind & wondering what it will be like.

This week will be spent heavily in prayer seeking God for His direction for my life and where He's leading me, and I'll most likely be in phone conversation with my missionary friends in southeast Asia to talk over more details. I'm praying for God's peace to prevail if this is direction He wants me to go, and a clear "no" from Him if this isn't His will for me at this time.

Lisa posted some pictures of some of the orphans there in Cambodia.

And these faces with big brown eyes kinda squeeze my heart already... ;-)











Thursday, April 12, 2012

Oh For Grace to Trust Him More

I could talk about a million things  about how wonderful my new home is, how grateful I am for God's great goodness & His provision in providing for my needs, how I still marvel in how He made a way for me to walk "through my Red sea," I could talk of the great roller coaster of "new" emotions I've recently faced since my move (from feeling completely overwhelmed with the prospect of incredible things God has in store ... to thoughts of doubt & unbelief  why would God give a life like MINE something good?)

The fact of the matter is, I don't trust God as trustworthy.

When I look in the mirror, I haven't seen myself as God see's me His daughter clothed in His righteousness, able to accomplish anything through Him. I see a quivering, quiet introvert who finds it difficult to express herself openly & who finds it a challenge to trust people because of traumatic events in my past.

The truth is, I don't trust in my Sovereign God who has ordered every single one of my steps for the purpose of bringing Him glory.

I do know that He wants me to trust Him wholly: through the heartbreaks, through the rejections, through the loss, through the unfulfilled dreams, through the imperfections. Otherwise, I would never know what it means to live in the reality that He is the ultimate Treasure, Lord of All.

I am ever, slowly learning that my Heavenly Father doesn't ask for my perfection in duty   He desires & longs for my HEART. He longs to be intimate with me, and for me to be intimate with Him. He wants me to rest in His All-Sufficiency. He longs for me to spend long hours in His presence, for me to trust His heart, to count on Him as being trustworthy, faithful & loving to do that which is best for me... even if it brings me temporal pain or loss.

"Leah, leave all the garbage of the past behind you. Move beyond it. Arise, my love. Walk forward.

THIS is your story of redemption."

"To Your Spirit I'm drawn like a current at sea, to be where You are, where I am free ...At Your feet I surrender, in Your presence I'm captured, Lord it's here I remember Who You are... You light up my dark like a lamp in the night, revealing the truth, You've opened my eyes, shown me Who You are and all that You see, to You I belong: my Beloved and King..." —Sandy Smith

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Socializing with Other Local Professional Photographers

If you've been following my blog regularly, you'll notice that last month I went to Jasmine Star's theFIX event in Denver.

A group of local photographers and I decided to meet together a few hours earlier & shoot it up together! It is a VERY rare experience for me to be around other professional photographers, and when I do, it's so awesome because we can prattle endlessly with each other about cameras, lenses, hard drives, business, and technie stuff... without getting tired of it. ;-) We just having a great time "feeding off" of each other as photographers.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Missions Monday | Don't Limit God


In 2007, I said: "Photography & missions can't exist together. There's no such thing as a Missions Photographer."

Jesus said, "Oh yeah? Watch what I can do. Anything is possible when it is done to & for the glory of God."

"We often try to put God in a box.
The God who fits in our boxes isn't the God
& Father of our Lord Jesus Christ."
—A.W. Tozer

Monday, April 2, 2012

Missions Monday | Not My Will... | Philippines


Last July, I went to the Philippines and worked under the ministry of Mike Redick. They have an evangelistic campus ministry called, "Student Movement for Christ International." They have a 6 week evangelistic campaign in the Philippines every summer. Teams from all over the world come to join SMCI in reaching school campuses with the Gospel.

Last summer, I went for one week with four other adults from my home church. We literally went from school to school, from classroom to classroom. Each of us team members gave a 20 minute gospel presentation to the students in our classrooms. I think one particular day, I ended up teaching the gospel in 8 different classrooms! Pastor Mike teased me that he was going to turn me into a preaching machine. ;-)

I should maybe back up by saying... how vividly I remember waking up at 2:30am in the morning on Monday - our first day of going into the classrooms - lying there on my cardboard like mattress, and hearing so many international sounds outside my room: a random motocyclist driving by, goats 'bahhh-ing', and men walking by outside - speaking their native Filipino language. The humidity was high, and I was s.o. hot. As I layed there on my bed in the wee hours of the morning, my heart started racing and I wanted to panic. I thought to myself, "What in the world am I doing?!? Why am I here?? I'm half way around the world! I can't back out now! BUT... how in the world am I EVER going to get up in front of a classroom of students and give the gospel?!? I'm not a SPEAKER! I hate getting in front of large crowds of people with dozens of eyes staring at me!" As my heart literally raced, God began to flood, and I mean FLOOD, my mind with scripture. He spoke to my heart, "Leah, Greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world. I will never leave you or forsake you. Through Christ, you can do ALL things." I soon drifted off to sleep, and by 7am, we all had had our fried egg & rice for breakfast (and coffee!) and were on our way to our first school. I'll never forget how the fear left and how an overwhelming joy and peace flooded my heart as 20 kids or more just surrounded me. They shook my hand, hugged me, and pulled out their cell phones to get a picture with me. I remember feeling so overwhelmed & so unworthy to be ABLE to BE in the Philippines to partner in the work of His kingdom and to show His love to this kids. That afternoon, I spoke in my first classroom, and as SOON as I opened my mouth, God gave me His peace, and His enablement to be able to speak for 20 minutes to 60+ students. I remember walking away from that first classroom thinking, "Hey!! That was actually really fun!"

By the end of that ONE week, with many of us teaching & sharing the gospel, thousands of students made decisions to follow Christ. It was the most exhausting & draining ministry I have ever done in my life, but it was so fulfilling to know that it was all of Christ working in and through each one of us there in the Philippines.

Before I moved out & decided to rent a place for the next four months, I was seriously considering going back to southeast Asia, specifically, Singapore to work with the Redick's school evanglism team on a permanent or indefinite basis. Somehow, I just didn't have peace that NOW was the right timing. I so badly wanted to hop on a plane, but I didn't sense God directing me to go right now. Now that I know I will be here in Colorado till atleast August, and I'll be in Mexico over September & October, I have no idea if the Lord will eventually lead me back to southeast Asia or not, but all I can say is, "Not my will, but Thine be done!" Whatever His will is, I know it will be GOOD and best for me.


"Like" Mike Redick on Facebook

"Like" Student Movement For Christ International on Facebook

A really encouraging message by Mike Redick, "Is Anything Too Hard for the Lord?" Listen to it!

Is There Anything Too Hard For God? on Vimeo.