Rise up, my Love.

We’re in quite a transition right now. I honestly have so much I want to say and want to share, but I am guarding my tongue. We both feel such an array of emotions right now that we’re trying to balance; controlling them when we need to yet feeling what we need to feel when the time is right.

I’ve really felt blessed lately watching spring rise up, even amidst the snow storms that have been trying to tear it down. I already love spring because there is such a beauty in the transformation of winter into spring. To me, this time it holds an even greater meaning because this time it portrays such a beautiful picture of transition. I feel like it is portraying exactly where Ted and I are right now.

Spring of 2006 I read this verse and it completely changed me and each spring since, I am reminded of this;

My beloved spoke, and said to me:
Rise up, my love, my fair one,
And come away.
For lo, the winter is past,
The rain is over
and gone.
The flowers appear on the earth;
The time of singing has come,
And the voice of the turtledove
Is heard in our land.
The fig tree puts forth her green figs,
And the vines
with the tender grapes
Give a
good smell.
Rise up, my love, my fair one,
And come away!
O my dove, in the clefts of the rock,
In the secret
places of the cliff,
Let me see your face,
Let me hear your voice;
For your voice
is sweet,
And your face
is lovely.

Song of Solomon 2:10-14

We are moving forward remembering this very thing; He is with us. Why should we live in fear? He has given us this dream, this vision. He is with us, calling us to rise up.

We are nervous, and yes sometimes frightened but mostly excited for the next step. We’re stepping out in such a huge way, leaving behind what we know to be comfortable to pursue photography and journalism. To pursue the dream God’s given us. We are feeling led in a different direction regarding training in photojournalism and when I am released to share, I will! Please pray for us for we are about to take the {biggest} leap yet!

I know we aren’t the only ones who have or who are walking through such a difficult transition. Any advice?


Continually.

“Seek the Lord and His strength, seek His face {continually}.”
1 Chronicles 16:11

Continually. For some reason the word continually pops for me in this verse. It could have been written “seek the Lord and His strength, seek his face” but to me the continually that is added says so much. I am by no means a theologian but when I read this I can’t help but think read it and think “Continually! Seek his face DESPITE, AMONG, AMIDST; continually.” Seek His face through thick and thin.

I do not want to “sugar coat” this blog, I just want to be real. With that said, we are struggling, we are tired, we are weary. I don’t know if it’s an attack or what this is but we are really having a difficult time. We are trusting God with our future and stepping out into the unknown but it’s scary (leaving YWAM Denver) We are also young and just now learning how to live as a family, what is important and what is not. Anyways, combined, it’s a lot and we would truly love your prayers. We need your prayers!


Romans 8:24-31 For we were saved in this hope, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance. Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified. What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?

Lately, it has been one thing right after another and we are trusting Him in all thing regardless of how it can be so hard sometimes. We don’t believe God causes these situations but we believe that He can turn ugly ones into something truly beautiful. He’s redemptive like that. :) We are trying to keep positive and make the best of what we have. Perseverance and believe the truth can be so difficult, especially when the times get tough, but we’ve choosing to do both of these because we’ve seen the affects of giving up and believing we are alone, we aren’t good enough, there must be something wrong with us, etc.

When situations arise, persevere and believe the truth.
When we are hurting and feel alone, persevere and believe the truth.
When we don’t understand, persevere and believe truth.
Even if/when some things around us come tumbling down, persevere and believe the truth.

One reason I am writing a blog is to ask for your prayers. On our way home from our Christmas in Ft. Collins, our car broke down.The past few months Ted has put a lot of time and energy and money into our car so this is really, really hard. Please pray that it is not our transmission because if that is the case it will be totaled and we really need our car!

“When life hands you lemons, you make lemon pie.”


I need to go but I will write another update soon but here is a sneak peek. We are about to begin another quarter tomorrow actually. Students begin to come in this week. This will be our last quarter and if it’s anything like the fall quarter, it’s going to be a difficult one. Since we are short on staff, sometimes we get overworked. Meaning, Ted does. This is why I am the one who always writes and lets you know what is going on, not to mention, I LOVE doing this! If you could remember to pray for Ted and strength to get through this next quarter!I wanted to leave on a light note, saying, we are doing great as a family of 3. Chase is quite the amazing little man and brings so much joy into our home. He’s truly a blessing and we are so thankful for his bright little spirit. Hope you can all meet him one day!


We are so thankful for you and your loving support!

Ironicly…

Walking in the spirit will actually help me lose this baby weight!

How funny is that? I just realized that after writing this on my such pretty rain blog. ha ha.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.

Galatians 5:16-23

Self-control in not eating whatever I want whenever I want.

But I Will Also Dance.

To everything there is a season,

A time for every purpose under heaven:
A time to be born,
And a time to die;
A time to plant,
And a time to pluck what is planted;
A time to kill,
And a time to heal;
A time to break down,
And a time to build up;
A time to weep,
And a time to laugh;
A time to mourn,
And a time to dance;
A time to cast away stones,
And a time to gather stones;
A time to embrace,
And a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to gain,
And a time to lose;
A time to keep,
And a time to throw away;
A time to tear,
And a time to sew;
A time to keep silence,
And a time to speak;
A time to love,
And a time to hate;
A time of war,
And a time of peace.
Ecclesiastes 3:1-8


This year I will weep, but I will also laugh.
I will ache, but I know I am healed and I am being healed.
I will grieve, but I will also dance.

Trust in the LORD with all your heart,

And lean not on your own understanding.
Proverbs 3:5

This is a tough day for me and may always be the hardest day to walk through each year.

This year is different though for I am choosing to let go of my understanding and choosing trust and follow you despite everything.



This weekend while at IHOP a sung was sung at church and really spoke to me.
Some of it is out of a passage in Isaiah that I l o v e.
“You Pour Out Mercy”
Luke Wood

You have known our souls in adversity

When we strive against You

You extend Your hand time and time again

From the heights of glory to the depths of my heart

For You have bound Yourself to man

Despite his unfaithfulness


You pour out mercy

You open Your heart

You pour out mercy to

Reveal Your heart

All man’s empty promises

Lie broken at Your feet

But You have never broken one

You open up Your heart Time and time again


You give beauty for ashes, Garments of praise

You give infinite mercy To those who fear Your name

Thank you my Saviour, my Redeemer, my Healer for always walking beside us through the thick and the thin, through times of sorrow and times of joy. Through the good and the awful.

To give them beauty for ashes,
The oil of joy for mourning,
The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness;
That they may be called trees of righteousness,
The planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified.
Isaiah 61:3

The Womb and Some Incredible Verses.

I know I’ve just updated the blog with photos, but I’ve got to share some things that have been on my heart a lot lately. I am subscribed to the Above Rubies email newsletters, and the most recent one talked a little bit about the womb, and I thought this was interesting.

Different meanings for the womb;

“house of life”
“nesting place”
“palace of a child” (This is what it means in Chinese)
“sanctuary”
“the secret place” (from Psalm 139:15)
“cradle of the unborn”
“God’s creative workshop”

Another thing I’ve been looking into is different verses throughout the Bible about children, the womb, God creating, and simple truths. It’s been incredible to read and look into. Some of the following verses I’ve found may be out of context & paraphrased, but really spoke to me about our little love. Here are some of the verses that I really feel for our baby (and if you are prego, and have a child maybe consider some of these verses for your own little one, they are incredible):

You may not know me,
but I know everything about you.
I know when you sit down and when you rise up.
I am familiar with all your ways.
Psalm 139:1-3

Even the very hairs on your head are numbered.
Matthew 10:29-31

For you were made in my image.
Genesis 1:27

In me you live and move and have your being.
Acts 17:28

For you are my offspring.
Acts 17:28

I knew you even before you were conceived.
Jeremiah 1:4-5

You are fearfully and wonderfully made.
Psalm 139:14

I knit you together in your mother’s womb.
Psalm 139:13

And brought you forth on the day you were born.
Psalm 71:6

And it is my desire to lavish my love on you.
1 John 3:1

My plan for your future has always been filled with hope.
Jeremiah 29:11

Because I love you with an everlasting love.
Jeremiah 31:3

My thoughts toward you are countless
as the sand on the seashore.
Psalms 139:17-18

And I rejoice over you with singing.
Zephaniah 3:17

I will never stop doing good to you.
Jeremiah 32:40

I desire to establish you
with all my heart and all my soul.
Jeremiah 32:41

And I want to show you great and marvelous things.
Jeremiah 33:3

I’ve realized lately the importance of prayer for our little love and with each of the verses that I read above, I became more and more excited for this one’s destiny and where God will lead him or her and most importantly His love for our baby. It’s incredible. When I first lay in bed at night, our baby starts it’s squirming and kicking here and there, and it excites me so much. I love just lying there, talking to the baby or singing little songs of how much I love him or her. I felt silly when I first started this, but honestly it helps me to feel really connected with our little love. It’s the most precious thing. Maybe I sound a bit crazy, but I really don’t know if I’ve ever felt this way. I can’t even describe it.

Thanks for listening, once again!!
Love,
Jami & Baby

Do Justly, Love mercy.

“He has shown you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you. But to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with our God…” Micah 6:8
This past Sunday God really spoke to me through this verse, showing me in the most loving way, how often I get caught up on the justice, that I rarely make it to mercy, or even walking humbly with our God.
I know the areas in which I excel in and am gifted in are also my areas of my greatest weakness. I love justice, and am lacking in the area of mercy. You see, if I see something wrong or unjust, I want to see it made right. I want justice, and usually I want it now. I get stuck so much on the justice side of things, that I grow uptight and ultimately merciless.
Synonyms of mercy: compassion, clemency, kindness, understanding, grace, forgiveness…
Antonym: cruelty (yikes!)
I began this week with every intention of loving mercy, and unfortunetly it is harder for me to break this habit. Please pray for me to truly love mercy. To show grace, understanding, and to forgive! I really want to move forward in this, with my whole heart. I need your prayers.

Creative Father.

“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.”
Psalm 139v 13-16
This morning I was reading ‘The Christian Women’s Guide to Childbirth‘ and I came across this chapter of Psalm which encouraged me greatly. I remember when I was younger, my mom would play a song with words that went along with the verse above. I remember this verse from a young age, and I even remember thinking my mom was silly singing that to me! (sorry mom, I appreciate it now!). Now being pregnant with my first and my own child, I become to much in awe of this verse above. In the past year I’ve really come to recognize for me personally, how I am fearfully and wonderfully made in Christ. And I can’t wait to pass along the truth to my children.
I’m just in awe of pregnancy and how we can create a human being, a child of God!
I’m in awe of how specifically God designed the woman’s body for bearing children.
Honestly the more I read the more I see God’s perfect creative design.
What a creative Father we have!

Abundance.

“The thief does not come except to steal, kill, and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it more abundantly.” – John 10:10
We’ve just returned from a wonderful, victorious (& redemptive from the previous) outreach so honestly I expect nothing less from the enemy. His schemes and attempts to get us down, to believe lies, we will not accept.
I am writing for prayer because we really need it right now. I’ve really believed a lot of lies about who I am, the enemy telling me I am like I used to be. It makes me feel as though I am depressed.
I am not and I want to move forward, not take a huge step back, not even a little one.
I have really been doing great in walking in who I am in Christ! So this has been discouraging.
Please pray for Ted and I. Ted’s also struggling too. Please pray for us!
The enemy has been defeated.
Christ came so we may live abundantly, to the full.

Defeated.

Ever since the moment in which we prayed and decided to join the Timothy Team, we have felt the attack of the enemy.
Ted and I have felt the enemy working against our lives, honestly stronger than ever. Pushing from every side, trying to touch us, to harm us. In relationship with others, in working as missionaries, in our marriage, in our finances, in our normal daily activities and responsibilities.
During worship I was feeling the oppression more than ever, the presence of the enemy which made me literally shiver. All I could do was whisper the name of our sweet Saviour Jesus, and that in that moment I realized something so very profound, something I have heard many times before.

The enemy has been defeated.
It hit me all of a sudden, the presence of the enemy is nothing in comparison to the presence of our God. Nothing in comparison! He reminded me again, of what he revealed to me a few weeks before. “I never leave you, or forsake you.” He’s never stepped away from Ted and I, He’s been here all along.
The interesting thing is this: the enemy never actually touched us. God never let us fall down and not stand back up, He never let the enemy touch even a hair on us.
When I realized that we had been recognizing the presence of the enemy more than we had of our God, that was the moment in which I felt peace. Ultimate peace.
I heard this story once before, which rocked my perspective on this subject. A man went to bed one night and as he lay there he could feel the presence of someone or something in the room with him, so he turned to see who it was. He say the enemy standing next to his bed, and stated, “Oh it’s just you.” and rolled over and went to bed.
We don’t need to fear the enemy, we need to recognize he is honestly powerless in our lives if we are in Christ. Even death couldn’t hold Christ down. amen!

What a mighty God we serve!!

Timothy Team.

Alright, well I did have every good intention in writing an updated blog on our newest change of plans, and obviously it has been a while since I’ve done just that! “It’s the thought that counts” right? No, probably not! :) I’m so sorry!

You don’t need to watch suspense movies, just read our blog!
(We are NOT pregnant, although we both would love a baby. Im so sorry if your hopes were up for that! )
What I was referring to is this…about a month ago now, we were asked by the directors of the base, if we would consider joining a leadership team called “Timothy Team“. We both had a feeling this was coming, considering the fact that we’d been on staff two years and maintained a good integrity in leadership which are criteria for joining. We also both thought we knew, that we would be saying no to this opportunity. Why? Because it was a 2 year commitment and we were only planning on staying another year here in Denver.
So Peter Warren asked us to pray about it and gave us 5 days until we needed to let him know. So we were like, “we already know, but we’ll pray anyhow”. So we did just that, and sure enough God changed up our plans of “hitting the road” next year to joining Timothy Team. We were praying all the way up to the moment in which Peter asked us for an update.
We both really had a lot of confirmation through our prayers and the prayers of others. So we decided to stay another year on staff. Which means until March of 2010 we will have a commitment here in Denver.
What is Timothy Team? Well, it is an opportunity for staff, selected by the leadership of the base, to get together and discuss YWAM Denver, potential possibilities and changes, a time of growing together and individually, and a time to ask Peter and Linda questions about the base, why it runs a certain way, etc. The part about the Timothy Team which we love is growing in our leadership skills, having more authority to speak up about certain things, and the opportunities that may come our way with leadership here in Denver.
We wondered and in some ways are still wondering why God would ask us to stay another year, when our heart is to live overseas and to travel. He is slowly opening our eyes to see exactly why He has us here. He’s been challenging us to be a good example to new staff and students, and to raise our standards and integrity to a higher level.
Also, one amazing thing is Peter Warren knows our heart to go “out” and he gave his blessing and said when these two years are up he would love to send us out with a blessing. It was nice to hear!
One verse we got while praying was in Habakuk 2:2-4 which read:
Then the Lord answered me and said:
“Write the vision and make it plain on tablets. That he who reads it may run with it, for the vision is yet for an appointed time but at the end it will speak, and it will not lie. Though it tarries, wait for it, because it will surely come, it will not tarry. Behold the proud His soul is not upright in Him but the just shall live by his faith.”
It was an interesting verse to come upon, because at the time in which we recieved it, sitting in our little apartment just the two of us, we read it and were like “no…surely not” you know?
We read it again later and shared it with others and realized what God was speaking. We actually do not have our vision planned out, we do not actually know exactly where God wants us to be or travel to and from. We feel like God is telling us to stay, really just one more year than we planned, and in that year he will show us and guide us with our vision and dreams. He will not let it tarries. It is yet for an appointed time. We also know God is going to challenge us in many ways, he already has. In our integrity and what we know he has placed in our hearts.
The temptation, is being comfortable with where we are. It’s a fear and temptation we face, sometimes daily. I think the reason why it’s hard for us, it because we are called overseas to raise awareness of the injustices of the world. So for us, this setting here can sometimes be difficult.

For others, it may be their calling or the lifestyle which suits them best. We love how diverse and unique each individual is! God has placed people all over the world, and sometimes the more overseas- minded people forget that America is also apart of the mission field.
Interesting thought huh? I actually have a friend right now that is working in the states at refugee camps. I was so ignorant that I didn’t even realize they had camps here in the states. I couldn’t believe just how naive I really was. Then Ted shared with me about how there are many Afghan families here in Denver, in fact there are 4,000 in Denver alone!
Alright I just saw the time and I need to head out. We love you all very much!
Jami Joann