Saturday, December 31, 2005


"Today, I think forced proselytizing causes much harm for the kingdom of God. Yet sadly, we have become a Christian society offering a "fast food" mentality on salvation--get everyone through the line as quickly as possible and hope they order a combo. This isn't evangelism. This is a cheap, franchised form of Christianity that churches today still try to utilize to bring people to Jesus. I have a sincere desire for all people to hear the saving message of Jesus Christ, but I've learned that building relationships is the key, not crazy one-a-day plans to ensure people say the words of the sinner's prayer.

If salvation truly is the most important decision that an individual can make, and I firmly believe it is, then Christians need to be wiser about how we go about telling people about Jesus. The son of God is the most compelling, attractive, and offensive individual to have every walked the earth, and He spent time building relationships with people. It's extremely important for the Church to connect with the lost, but sometimes our current "get everybody to the altar" tactics aren't doing it. In order to reach people, we need authentic lovers of Christ willing to walk through the trenches and meet people in their personal habitat..."

***Need more be said? As Christians we are called to be slaves to love. We're called to LOVE, not to bang someone over the head with culturally driven rules and regs about what it means to be a follower of Jesus Christ. Friends, this is WHY people are so screwed up in the first place. Something as precious as LOVE gets twisted. The absence of love in people's lives drives them to despair and desperate acts. This is, at least, my story.

Friday, December 30, 2005


I still have yet to hear back from our Pastor but my anxiety has decreased substancially. It seems there is just a lot of stuff to do and I can't be bothered with whatever the answer will be. I'm here...I'm gonna serve those I love...God has a plan...God is life is pretty cool too just to even have been asked to apply.

My thoughts have turned to "what's next, God?" I just feel in my bones that 2006 is gonna rock.

I made contact with the pastor and his wife who so touched my heart a few years back and helped put me on my journey back to Christ. Praise God for these lovely people. They are the aunt and uncle of my ex-boyfriend. They, along with my ex's mother very gently witnessed to me over about a 2 year period and had a substantial impact me. I don't even wanna think about where I'd be now without them. Thank you, Lord!

Wednesday, December 28, 2005


My all women's group begins next week. I'm really looking forward to it. I am praying for new women to join us who are searching to grow closer to the Lord. For such a long time I desired for mature Christians to join our small group but I have begun to feel differently. I'd like for anyone searching for love and kindnesss to join us. I believe Christ will meet them here. So now, I'm praying that God will send whoever needs to be here.

The ladies from my co-ed group will be joining me and all seem very excited. I'm not sure what our first study will be. Going to look into this over the next few days.

I'm trying to remain upbeat about my new women's group, etc. but I am feeling a bit of anxiety lately. I doubt I will hear back from our pastor for at least another week regarding whether or not I should apply for the church position. I am already coaching about a dozen small group leaders in a volunteer position and my concern is that they will remove those groups from under my care because of the 2-year "clause" (for lack of a better word). I wrote the following on a scrap of paper at work today and stuck it in my pocket:

"My heart tells me that I have a long spiritual journey ahead of me and that the details regarding this journey are kept by God. But God desires for me to share my journey and remain in His fold. God does not call the equipped. He equips those He calls and I feel my life has been building up to these these events now leading me into ministry and servanthood."

I know that I am not as spiritually mature as some. I have so much to learn. I ask my heart: do you really feel you are ready to lead, Danielle? (this is not the same question as: do you want to lead?) And I feel I AM ready to serve at the capacity for which I am applying. BUT...there is probably something here that I am unwilling to see.

I liken my desire to enter ministry to falling in love with a man. Am I ready for marriage or do I need to be courted a while longer? I feel I've found the "man of my dreams"...but maybe it isn't time for isn't time to serve. I agree that if I were to wait another six months I will be stronger and more prepared. (sigh) So maybe that is what I need to do. Wait. Just be patient and wait. Lord, you have a plan...I pray that you will strengthen my soul with patience and fortitude.

"Waiting does not diminish us, any more than waiting diminishes a pregnant mother. We are enlarged in the waiting. We, of course, don't see what is enlarging us. But the longer we wait, the larger we become, and the more joyful our expectancy." -- Romans 8:24-25

(Paul, you continue to ROCK...)

Tuesday, December 27, 2005


Over the holiday I reviewed the application materials from my church a bit more. There's a question they ask on the very first page...

"Is there anything in your life presently or in your recent past (2 years or less) that might be viewed by other believers as contrary to Biblical teachings?"

Yes. There is and I'm not sure if our Pastor knows about this but it isn't something I've kept just never came up and I didn't realize they would ask this, however, I completely understand.

Until I returned to Christ I was living with my ex-boyfriend. I moved out roughly 17 months ago. I began attending church a few months before we parted and, honestly, my renewed faith in God is part of what made my break-up so much easier. I mean, it was tough...but much easier than I imagined it would be because I really felt God had a plan for my life and although I was afraid and leaving that relationship hurt, I knew I needed to move forward.

When I left, I left. I asked for minimal contact so that I would not be tempted to backslide into anything with him and he was very respectful. I just pushed on and prayed a lot and here I am.

I emailed our Pastor today to let him know all of this and we'll see what he says. I believe God will have a hand in the answer. Our Pastor already knows I love the Lord and want to serve but if I have to wait...then I have to wait. God's timing is perfect.

"We refuse to wear masks and play games. We don't maneuver and manipulate behind the scenes. And we don't twist God's Word to suit ourselves. Rather, we keep everything we do and say out in the open, the whole truth on display, so that those who want to can see and judge for themselves in the presence of God." --2 Corinthians 4:2 (MSG)

Monday, December 26, 2005

"Everyday people are straying away from the church and going back to God." Lenny Bruce

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Possible site of Christ's birth. From RBC Ministries website. Enjoy a little history! And Merry Christmas.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

(From the Southern Baptist Convention 2005)

God alone is Lord of the conscience, and He has left it free from the doctrines and commandments of men which are contrary to His Word or not contained in it. CHURCH AND STATE SHOULD BE SEPARATE. The state owes to every church protection and full freedom in the pursuit of its spiritual ends. In providing for such freedom no ecclesiastical group or denomination should be favored by the state more than others. Civil government being ordained by God, it is the duty of Christians to render loyal obedience thereto in all things not contrary to the revealed will of God. The church should not resort to the civil power to carry on its work. The gospel of Christ contemplates spiritual means alone for the pursuit of its ends. The state has no right to impose penalties for religious opinions of any kind. The state has no right to impose taxes for the support of any form of religion. A free church in a free state is the Christian ideal, and this implies the right of free and unhindered access to God on the part of all men, and the right to form and propagate opinions in the sphere or religion without interference by the civil power.

This is cool.


Paul writes to the Romans...

"So why do you condemn another Christian? Why do you look down on another Christian? Remember, each of us will stand personally before the judgment seat of God. For the Scriptures say,

As surely as I live, says the Lord
every knee will bow to me
and every tongue will confess allegiance to God

Yes, each of us will have to give a personal account to God. So don't condemn each other anymore. Decide instead to live in such a way that you will not put an obstacle in another Christian's path." Romans 14:10-13 NLT

You know, I love Paul. He is so wise. In my mind, he's like this big brother who gives the best advice. And in the Bible, Paul teaches us that basically nothing has changed for 2000 years. Christians are still arguing amongst themselves. The wise continue to warn us of these sneaky obstacles to love.

As the New Year approches I am surveying my own life to root out the obstacles I face to loving others more deeply. Friends, I have an incredible amount of pride and I need to let it GO. This is my New Year's prayer for all of you as well.

2006 needs to be full o' love!! So let's get to it!

Friday, December 23, 2005


It just happened like that. I was so afraid to make that call. I emailed a few people whom I trust to ask for prayer and then dialed.

My father answered the phone. He told me that the last time we spoke (in December of 1999) I told him I'd call him when I returned from Las Vegas. Of course, we never spoke after that. Thinking back to that time in my life...eish...I was a mess. He was a mess...Lord, I thank you for carrying me and my father this far.

He was very kind to me and shared openly about his life now with his new wife. He is living in Texas and working for Wal Mart. It was touching to hear of his life and how he loved his animals and his wife. I told him that I like to cook fish and he gave me this short recipe:

A couple of rainbow trout
3 eggs

Blend the eggs and add a little water to them. Dip the trout in the eggs and then drag through some breadcrumbs. You can season the crumbs with the dill, salt and/or pepper. Add a pat of butter inside each trout and then bake until skin is crispy.

It feels good to share what he shared with me. I feel like crying...I can't stop crying tears of joy.

Please stay tuned...

"Praise you God of earth and sky
How beautiful is your unfailing love...

And you never change
God you remain
the Holy One
and my unfailing love..." --Chris Tomlin
Praise God! I just received an email from a man I worked with on my last contract job. He let me know that he has returned to his faith and thanked me for encouraging him. This really warms my heart and comes at a time when I need the pick-me-up.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Me at the wedding this past weekend.

On Sunday our pastor handed me the application materials for the ministry position I am considering. It is part time and I would have to work my regular job a bit don't have to ask me twice.

I will be asked to express my views on a few topics including:

Women in the church
Speaking in tongues

and a few other things.

I am excited to express my heart's thoughts on these matters. Homosexuality is a big issue these days - especially in churches. I won't go into a huge dissertation here but my initial thoughts are that as a Christian, I am called to love my neighbors. It is God's place to judge - not mine. I don't feel it was God's plan for men to be with men and women to be with women. But, you know, it doesn't surprise me that a man would love a man in a romantic way or that a woman would love a woman. How is it that we are able to love those who have harmed us? I can't say. I don't totally understand love but the older I get, the more I see how deeply complicated it is.

I have been reading the blog of a pastor in Texas. His site is and his essays on homosexuality and the Body of Christ are good food for thought on this matter.

I'll move into how I feel on the other subjects later.

This application is my first step into something I've been considering for the past year. It's like I always knew I'd be here. This feels so familiar to me. Strange. But really beautiful too.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005


(goofy...I know...but it made me laugh!)
I sit around watching life go by
wasting precious time
Lord I need your hand to guide
Will you carry me along?

Oh yes...Adam Watts WILL do in a pinch.

It's days like these I want to "punch a higher floor" as Prince would say. This translates into me asking myself, YET AGAIN...What are you doing with yourself, Danielle? My ears are ringing - my head is spining - my heart is breaking and I am new in Christ. I sometimes wonder what the point is of doing anything else. I always worried I was borderline NUTS. I think I'm over the edge right now thinking about a life of complete surrender. I just wanted to sit home today, drink coffee and read my Bible. Is this the same as staying home, cozy in bed with the man you love? Can I say this? (of course I can, it's my blog...)

Spent time on the phone tonight discussing a ministry opportunity for another friend of mine. She's nervous. She's happy. She's crazy about it. And YOU KNOW WHY??? Because it feels great when God calls you.

Monday, December 19, 2005


"Examine me, GOD, from head to foot,
order your battery of tests.
Make sure I'm fit
inside and out." ---- Psalm 26:2

BN, you are lovely to me
Beautiful lady of strength
Beautiful creature of God
You hold me close
You understand
and I am not alone

BN, your love majestic
Brilliant in my eyes
Lovely single mom
Lovely friend to me
You understand
and I am inspired

"Don't hit back; discover beauty in everyone. If you've got it in you, get along with everybody." --Romans 12:17-18 (MSG)

Tonight I consider reuniting with my father whom I haven't spoken to in six years. I've spent most of my life estranged from him and wonder why. Why did God plan this for me?

My father did not chose to leave us. My father was addicted to heroine and it seems stupid for me now to blame him for his absence in my life. He was weak. He was under the grip of addiction. It was better, I often tell myself, that he was not present during my childhood.

We tried to reconcile when I was a teenager. By then, I believe he was off drugs but he told me many lies. For years I was frightened of contact with him, considering him too angry, too toxic to be around. I still have this fear - the fear that he's still so messed up that his problems will spill over into my life.

But where is God in this fear?

"At day's end I am ready for sound sleep. For you, God, have put my life back together..." --Psalm 4:8 (MSG)

If I want to enter ministry I have to surrender. Surrender everything and I am afraid tonight that I am too weak. I'm afraid that I can't do it. I'm afraid that it is too easy to give to strangers...too difficult to turn and face my father...too hard to be graceful and loving to the one who has hurt me the most. I say I have forgiven him in my heart but if I have, then why can't I express this to him in letter, in a phone call?

If I want to more fully know God, I have to surrender - forget my concerns regarding ministry. God is calling my heart. I promised never to walk away. But this is so hard for me. I'm terrified. But I need to do this or I cannot serve. I cannot lead. I cannot, with an honest heart, say that I trust God with my life. I am still holding back.

"You're blessed when you get your inside world -- your mind and heart -- put right. Then you can see God in the outside world." -- Matthew 5:8 (MSG)
I'm pretty exhausted right now but wanted to write. This past weekend was quite busy for myself and for my group. I was blessed to have been chosen to be the birthcoach for one of my small group members. Her water broke on Friday and we left immediately for the hospital. I was with my friend all night but could not stay for the actual delivery on Saturday because I was due to be a bridesmaid in the wedding of another small group member! It was a crazy, yet blessed weekend! A wedding and a birth on the same day! Praise God. These are the joys of serving a small group. They make up for the many trials!

Our pastor has asked that I consider coming to work for our church. This is my dream. To enter ministry. I would like to eventually attend seminary but am not sure how to juggle a house payment, raising my son, ministry, etc. I want to surrender it all to God. I'm sorry that I just bought a home recently. How fortunate I am to have had the means to buy but I feel trapped, at times, by the obligation. God has a plan. I need to stay the course.

I have asked that our pastor talk to my son to see how he feels about me entering ministry. Sometimes, I feel I am over-committed. I don't constantly GIVE of myself to people but I realize stuff gets dropped when others are in need. This is tough for my son to always understand. My son has expressed an interest in entering ministry himself. So, the question is, do I lead him by example and surrender myself to the opportunity? Or am I somehow risking?

Also, I feel inadequate right now as a leader. I knew in my heart months ago that I could not lead men and still, I kept them in the group. This was wrong of me. I can go through the excuses. But I feel miserable. I hope the pastor will not hold this against me. He is a very understanding man. I want him to be "hard" on me. I want to do this right.

I trust God. He is my stronghold.

You are blessed when you stay on course,
walking steadily on the road revealed by God.
You are blessed when you follow his directions,
doing your best to find him.
That's right--you don't go off on your own;
you walk straight along the road he set ----Psalm 119:1-3 (MSG)

Monday, December 12, 2005

Dear Lord,

Thank you for making this year such a wonderful one. Thank you for blessing me with so many hearts to serve. I could not imagine a year ago this is what you had planned for my life. I pray that you will use me. I pray that you will use every last bit and breath of my soul. I was made to serve and love you.

Father, you are awesome.

Wow! My first comment. Thanks BJK.

To truly lead is to serve. This is what I remind myself of whenever I am weary or anxious about leading a group or working in ministry. To lead is to serve. I asked myself how best do I serve this person who has developed feelings for me? I spoke with this man again and reiterated that I do not share his feelings that we should date. I reminded him that God honors honesty and truthfulness. I told him that it is time for him to move forward into another group.

I pray that God will bless this man and bring him the love he so desires. But it is hard, you know, to express a sisterly love and not feel that it will translate to romantic love to this person.

Meanwhile, I was able to speak with MY leader this evening. Her words were encouraging. I have decided it is time to lead an all womens group. This matter (the matter of leading a mixed group alone --without a male co-leader--) has been taking its toll on me. I don't know if the other group members realized how this has taxed me emotionally. I feel God's timing is perfect. This was a tough situation but when lifted to God - he blessed it.

I press on and look to the next challenge. I pray for my friend and for the other man in my group whom I am asking to move forward. God has a plan for all of us. We must be brave.

I am looking forward to the new year and the new group dynamic.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Tommorow I will make a follow up call to the man in my group who has developed an interest in me. I will be asking him to move to another group. I'm sure this will disappoint him but I feel that if he remains he will live on "hope." Eish. I speak from experience. One difficult lesson I've learned is that men cannot shepard women and vice versa. It creates a strange dependency. This situation will have to be dealt with carefully. I'm a little disappointed. I phoned my leader a few days ago with (what I felt was) a pretty urgent plea to give me a call. No call. (sigh) I would love some good advice right about now...

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Okay, I'll get right into things. I lead a mixed small group -- that means guys and gals all partcipating in a Bible study. I lead the study and I've had roughly 30 people come and go from this group over the last 9 months or so. I love all members of the group - I do my best to show Christ's love but that can sometimes erroneously translate into romantic love to some of the men. It has been tough for me to know what to do. I try to be as clear and honest with these guys as I possibly can but it seems no matter how hard I try - every now and then I am faced with this uncomfortable question from a guy whom I just think of as my brother - who asks if I'm interested in dating him. I feel terrible right now. My friend is interested in me but I have no desire whatsoever in him.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Hello. This is my first entry into my new blog. Or should I say, my first entry into my FIRST blog. Recently, I tossed out some 20 years of journals and diaries. They detailed my life from roughly age 17 through age 34. This year has been a new year for me and one that I'd prefer to journal about openly. The past is something I would like to share but no longer cared to keep wrapped and packaged in old dusty journals. There were a lot of lost, depressing moments detailed in those books. A lot of details about a life wasted because I did not know Jesus Christ. I hope this blog will provide hope and encouragement for any of you who are struggling with what life means and where yours is headed. I'll share more details about my odd life and my journey home to Christ as the weeks unfold. Thanks for stopping by!