Saturday, February 11, 2017

On Reading Through the Minor Prophets

I've avoided reading the minor prophets for years because I thought they were weird and depressing. It should come as no surprise that a Baptist gets nervous around prophecy and visions (of objects and creatures that fly and have extra eyes and horns nonetheless), or that any person might feel discouraged in amongst vivid descriptions of depravity, famine, violence, and destruction...

I'm not trying to tell you that when I began reading Hosea I did not find all that I just listed, or that it was not hard to read sometimes, or that I didn't occasionally still dread it.

But in this reading two things happened that I don't recall happening before.

First, I developed a new, stronger awareness and appreciation for God's seriousness about the glory of His name and the holiness of the people He has called to be His own. All of the horror He rained on Israel was justly done to them because they chose to live in a way that declared to God, to their brothers, and to the nations around them that the Lord was not worth worshipping or obeying.

Second, when I saw and likened all the righteous anger of the Lord against Israel's unholiness to how He will respond to my sin, I began to look for any shred of hope that might be offered for those sobered by facing His holy wrath. So I clung to the words which He showed me were pointedly and carefully woven as a bright thread into the dark tapestry of destruction, words like: rescue, redeem, deliver, help, restore, bless, overflow, heal, righteous rain, warmly and tenderly compassionate, steadfast love, ransom, gracious and merciful, near, light, vindication, refuge, stronghold, saved, rise, free, rejoice, pure, singing... Most of these words represent what God would do and how He would be to those who would turn to Him by faith; and the others represent what His people of faith would be and do in response.

Even more than that, God also revealed flooring, jaw dropping, eye opening glimpses of Him who would accomplish that rescue of God's chosen people. I saw the Angel of the Lord (who defends His priest and exchanges his filthy garments for pure vestments) and the Righteous Branch in Zechariah, the Cleansing Fountain in Joel and Zechariah, the Booth of David in Amos, the Ruler and Shepherd of Israel born at Bethlehem in Micah, the King of Israel the Lord your God in their midst in Zephaniah, and the Refiner and Cornerstone in Malachi.

So I encourage you, do not shy away from difficult Scripture. Let God show you what He has for you in His Word.

My prayer for you Reader, is that you might walk in obedience to God by hungrily, daily reading every part of the Word He has given to us. 

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Giving Thanks for Christmas

My room has desperately needed to be cleaned for an embarrassingly long time. Being the professional procrastinator that I am, I told myself I just had to start today, then went to my room, lay down on my bed and googled "motivation for cleaning my room." Obvs a lot of people have searched this topic, because Google has motivation tips listed directly on the search results page. O_o 

Their number one suggestion, as well as the number one suggestion of the subsequent article links, was to play music. So of course I pulled up Pandora and clicked on my Traditional Christmas Radio...

(Side Note: I know it's too early for Christmas music. I've even made ranting Facebook posts about this kind of thing before, so if you are feeling miffed, just know I'm also feeling mildly guilty.)

...I needed the cheerful energy of some of my favorite Christmas songs to help me feel more like cleaning. As I listened to the lyrics, "Mild He lays His glory by, born that man no more may die. Born to raise the sons of earth; born to give them second birth;" "Christmas day is in our grasp;" "remember Christ our savior was born upon this day, to save us all...O tidings of comfort and joy;" and others, I began to think about why I love the songs so much, and of course, it's the hope that they make me feel! Even some of the traditional secular songs making no mention of Jesus Christ still convey a powerful gladness and cheer about the season that send my mind hunting down the source of optimism.

In a tumultuous time, both in my own heart and in the world around me, I am reminded: 

Hope is in the Word who put on human skin and came to live right up among us; the One in whom was life, and whose life was the light for each of us; and the Light that came into darkness, and whom the darkness could not overcome. 

The Nearness of God was made visible and touchable. And Christmas music hits me with that reminder in almost every song. 

So happy Thanksgiving to you all. May God remind you of all the blessings He has poured on you and yours, and may He ultimately remind you of the Greatest Blessing.

Love, Lainie


Unrelated Sidenote: The world is broken. I rejoice in its brokenness. Not because of the suffering which it brings, but because in the same way that all men share in the disease, they all may share too in the Remedy. 

Wednesday, November 20, 2013


Waiting on a package to come in the mail has reminded me that waiting can be sweet. When the thing I am waiting on is a good and sure thing to come, the longing ache that tells me I don't have it yet, also reminds me of how wonderful that thing is going to be. That expectation becomes joyful, even giving purpose to days, because its coming is certain. More so than the mail, I ought to wait for Jesus's return with eagerness and hope, allowing that hope to change me, because he says he is coming back, and he has never broken a promise before.

Hebrews 6:17-19 "So when God desired to show more convincingly to the heirs of the promise the unchangeable character of his purpose, he guaranteed it with an oath, so that by two unchangeable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to hold fast to the hope set before us. We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, as hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain."

There, I managed to write a blog update without filling in every detail of my life that has occurred between this and the last post (;

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Three New Things

I would like to introduce you to two new things in my life:
Nursing School and ADD.
Nursing school is quite a challenge. It is highly disorganized, and the expectations are not always clear. Both of which are very difficult for my personality to deal with. It takes up so much of my time, and is extremely demanding. I am learning the meanings of late nights studying and early mornings of clinicals and long days of class time. But the truth is, I know I am meant for this. When I get to work with my patients and feel like I am truely helping them, I feel whole and happy. And I love my nursing class. We have developed into quite an odd family. Shared experiences in class and clinicals, inside jokes, tears, laugher, long talks, huddled study times...They are very dear to me. I don't want to lose any of them. I kinda feel that I would be losing a part of myself.
ADD is kind of a feared thing. But honestly, I am very relieved to discover that I have it. I only recently suspected that I might have it, and saw a doctor on Wednesday. The doctor does think I have it and is sending me for testing. Many things about me and in my life begin to make much more sense in light of ADD. I see the symptoms manifesting themselves far back into my past. They have gotten much worse in the past four years, sending me from the Deans' List my first semester to barely passing in some of my current classes. I am very excited that I may be able to concentrate better and study better with the help of medicine. I am so ready to "thrive, not just survive." I am also hoping that this diagnosis will help me in my relationship with the Lord. Maybe now I can focus during times with the Lord, and maybe I will be slightly more motivated to engage God in the first place...
I am thankful for this season. It is beautiful. God is calling me to rely on his strength. More often than not I try to ignore his voice, thinking, "I got this, I can make it on my own." But my God is willing to call out louder to his children. And in this season, he is calling me. Calling me to be his own, to get to know him, to become holy like him, to trust him, to think of the hard times as joyful times because I get to be closer to him. Pray for me in this season. Pray that my eyes will be turned from my own concerns to knowing and becoming like God. Pray that I will give thanks for the bad and the good, and refuse to grumble about anything. Pray that I will be able to focus on school and give it my best so that God will be glorified. Pray that as I have less and less time to spend with dear friends, I will be content, knowing that God is taking care of them, even when I don't feel like I get to.

Sunday, March 6, 2011


A friend requested that I update my blog, so I thought it might be a good time to do just that.

One reason I have not updated is that I forgot my password. Another reason is that I often try too hard to write something important, and write it perfectly. Sometimes, I suppose I just need to think a bit less, and write a bit more (:

Life's been a battle lately. More so than previous years. I am learning what it means to be a willing part of the process of sanctification, that is, becoming more like Christ through the work of Holy Spirit. This requires a lot of thinking, talking with God, Bible delving, discipline, concentration, and general heart circumcision. It really is much easier and less painful, at present, to avoid thinking and doing that stuff at all, and drown myself in worldly distractions.

But worldly distractions, and the sins I don't want to let go of, just aren't going to get me where I truly want to be. I really want to delight myself in the Lord, and be his tool for reaching the nations. I really want to be ready to marry my husband, honor him with all due unconditional respect and someday bare and raise up his children in godliness.

So here's to a new day and a new hope!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Man and Happiness

Have you ever done something because you thought it would make you happy?

Of course you have. We all have. In fact, every cognizant human being who has ever lived is driven by the desire to be happy. Therefore every human thought, word, and action is thought, spoken, or done in hopes of the immediate or future happiness it will bring.

"All men seek happiness. This is without exception. Whatever different means they employ, they all tend to this end. The cause of some going to war, and others avoiding it, is the same desire in both, attended by different veiws. The will never takes the least step but to this effort. This is the motive of every action of man, even of those who hang themselves." ~Mathematician Blaise Pascal

Rather shocking for us to consider that suicide is the act of someone trying to be happy...But it is so, and sad. We as humans are incredibly driven by the need to be happy and fulfilled and satisfied. Sometimes we become foolishly desperate. If only we were spreading the truth...for in the Gospel there is only hope, and not despair.

God created us to be happy in Him. He designed us to seek happiness and to only be able to find true lasting happiness in Him.

"The chief end of man is to glorify God BY enjoying Him forever." ~Theologian John Piper

There is a direct correlation between our joy and the glory of God. Our only happiness comes from seeing and worshiping and sharing glory. Sadly, man wilfully ignores this design and seeks worldly pleasures.

"Indeed, if we consider the unblushing promises of reward and the staggering nature of the rewards promised us in the Gospels, it would seem that Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mudpies in a slum because he cannot immagine what is meant by a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased." ~Author C. S. Lewis

Lewis' words are quite bold, and quite true. If you play sports or work hard at a job or in school or at religion for that matter for earthly recognition, you work for a recognition that is forgotten before the next game or payday or semester. If you participate in sexual activities outide the boudaries God created for some illicit pleasure, you participate for a pleasure which is gone before the night is over. If you drink or do drugs and party for a good high or to escape reality, you party for a high and an escape that are gone in the morning and replaced with a hangover and disillusionment. Oh, but we as humans have no idea of the genuine happiness that God is offering us!

Look at the sources of joy in the following passages: Pro. 10:28 "The hope of the righteous brings joy." Christ is our hope, which produces our joy. Ps. 71:23 "My lips will shout for joy when I sing praises to you; my soul also, which you have redeemed." Christ is also our redeemer, we are able to have true joy because we have been rescued from sin and death. Ps. 16:11 "You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fulness of joy; at your right hand there are pleasures forevermore." The presence of God produces joy in us! And we are promised eternal pleasure in his presence!

Think on that a while, and please find me if you have anything on your mind. All my love that I can give you.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Learning How To Die

I'm gonna miss you, I'm gonna miss you when you're gone.
She says I love you, I'm gonna miss hearing your songs.

And I said, please don't talk about the end
Don't talk about how every living thing
Goes away. She said, friend

All along, thought I was learning how to take
How to bend not how to break
How to live not how to cry,
But really I've been learning how die,
Been learning how to die.

Hey everyone, I 've got nowhere to go.
The grave is lazy, he takes our bodies slow.

And I said please don't talk about the end
Don't talk about how every living thing goes away
She said friend

All along thought I was learning how to take
How to bend not how to break
How to laugh not how to cry.
But really I've been learning how to die
I've been learning how to die...die...
I've been learning how to die.

Learning How to Die ~ Jon Foreman ~ Winter-EP

Started rubbing sticks together
Thought a spark would take forever
Never dreampt this fire would appear
Moses saw the bush in flames
And heard the branches speak his name
I wonder if he felt this kind of fear?

Cuz I'm burnin'. Yeah I'm burnin'.
And I know I'm gonna blister in these flames.
But I'll stay here till this smoke clears,
And I'll find You in the ashes that remain.

Used to be that I could say
My faith was one arm's length away
From any flame that ever felt to warm
I asked for matches I recieved
A gallon full of gasoline
Now my cozy campfire days are gone.

And I'm burnin'. Yeah I'm burnin'.
And I know I'm gonna blister in these flames
But I'll stay here till this smoke clears,
And I'll find You in the ashes that remain

Knock with caution at the door.
They said, beware of what you're praying for,
So I'll stand with my whole desire
In the middle of this forest fire
Till I've nothing left to show
And new life begins to grow.

Cuz I'm burnin'. Yeah I'm burnin'.
And I know I'm gonna blister in these flames.
But I'll stay here till this smoke clears,
And I'll find You in the ashes that remain.

Burnin' ~ Nichole Nordeman ~ Wide Eyed

These songs have become my spiritual theme songs over the past few weeks. My greatest desire is to be on fire with passion for the glory of Christ, and to do that I know that I will have to die to my old self and have my impurities burned away. I am not satisfied to remain the way I am. Hence "Thought I was learning how to take...but really I've been learning how to die" and "...I'm burnin'. And I know I'm gonna blister in these flames." Both Nichole Nordeman and Jon Foreman have some music that is really good for quiet time preparation. God is really working on me. I am so grateful that He relentlessly pursues me. Even in my wretchedness, He sees only the work of Christ His Son and continues what He began in me.

I feel I ought to mention that (1.) this is finals week, and so is next week. I have it pretty good, none of my classes are terribly difficult or require excessive studying. But please pray for me anyway becuase I am still a bit stressed over it. And (2.) Ecuador is fast approaching. May 22 through June 5 (or possibly 6) are the dates for the trip. If you are interested, please let me know so I can get you in contact with Daddy. My heart is really burdened for the Tsachila. I feel like I have gone on trips to be with friends on the team, but this year, I am really concerned for their salvation. I pray that God will make me useful for His work on this trip. I want my life and my words to shine the light of Christ into the darkness of this people group.

Friday, November 13, 2009

My First Semester

I am happily winding up my first semester at Louisiana College. What a wonderful adventure it has been! I have made lots of new friends, had fun getting to know my professors, discovered beautiful quiet study places on campus, and learned a LOT about Theatre, writing, Algebra, tennis, Earth science, and college life.

I really like college, and I am really starting to get into the fun parts. There's nothing like sitting in an enormous oak tree with a friend and talking about poetry. Or learning how to play tennis. Or eating my sack lunch in a new place or with a new friend on campus.

This coming semester is going to be a little busier; I am taking 16 hours, which is 2 more than last semester. And I think all these classes will be hard work classes. I have worked out my schedule, and will be looking over it with my advisor next week. If it gets approved, I will be taking Intro to Psychology, Elementary Spanish, Intro to Inorganic Chemistry, English Composition 2, Business and Organic Communication, and Personal Fitness. All the classes except Personal Fitness are 3 hours...Yeah, I am going to be busy. But I managed to have all but Elementary Spanish in the early part of the day, I really like having from midafternoon on for homework and freetime.

This summer I will be going to Ecuador. If you are intersted, let me know and I can give you trip dates and information. You can also talk to Dr. Jason Hiles about it. LC is offering credit for the trip. Even if no credit was offered, I'd still be going (: I am ready to see my Tsachila family!

I am really looking forward to the coming semester. All the future semesters for that matter...And I think I would like to see the world during my summers...Big dreams for lots of God glorifying fun! Oh, this life is such a amazing adventure! I don't want to miss a minute!

Friday, August 14, 2009

My First Blog Post

My mind is absolutely overflowing with things to write here on my brand new blog.

I want to use this blog to draw seekers to the truth, bring salvation to the lost, encourage the broken and hurting, make people laugh, make people think, share my sorrows and my joys and the lessons I am learning with my readers, and stir my fellow believers to find outrageously radical faith in God. That is a big aspiration for someone as small and insignificant as I feel. But I am learning about radical faith, and radical faith means that I believe that God can use me to do the things that I just mentioned.

Some posts will be long, some will be short. Some will be shallow, some might be as deep as my finite head can go. Sometimes I will post every day, and sometimes you won't hear from me for months at a time. Sometimes I will strive to put meaning into my words, and I sincerely hope, sometimes you will take meaning from my words.

Like I said, so many things I want to write. But I told a friend I was going to write the first post about the meaning behind the name and web adress of my blog. And that is what I shall do. (:

I chose "Quiet Cricks to Rushing Rivers" because it represents so many aspects of life to me.

Sin: Sin has a way of starting very small. It creeps into your life and you think little of it (no pun intended). But then one day, you find yourself absolutely lost in it.

Words: Well I suppose this is mostly only in my case. I start out with only a very few words whenever I begin to write or speak. But when I am done, I have pages or ears full.

Thoughts: Sometimes I will think of something, and a few minutes later, I am at a loss to tell you how on earth I came from what I was originally thinking of to what my mind is on currently.

Faith and Joy: right now, my faith and joy are small. But only because my perception and understanding of God is small. They are like a tiny crick (to city folks, creek) with it's spring high in the mountains, just enough for me to sip from for now. But someday, as my feeble understanding of God's reality grows, so my faith and joy will grow into a great rushing river, overflowing it's banks like the mighty Mississippi in flood season. It will join with other springs and brooks and flow across every bit of land around it.

Hebrews 11:6 "And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him."

Mark 9:24b "I believe, help my unbelief!"

Matthew 13:44-46 "The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up. Then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls, who on finding one pearl of great value, went and sold all that he had and bought it."

Psalm 100 "Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth! Serve the Lord with gladness! Come into his presence with singing! Know that the Lord, he is God! It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. Enter his courts with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name! For the Lord is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations!"