Monday, December 5, 2011


God has endless ways to allow His truth to be spoken into our lives which become some of the most precious moments in life. Today, like most Mondays, I went to RE Bennett, where I received a lesson that encompassed joy, hardship, and simplicity. While processing today's time at RE Bennett, I am once again reminded that I am blessed to know my Father, Jesus Christ, and to be able to encounter Him in such a raw and real way. Perspective.

I spent the first half hour of my weekly visit in the classroom. Returning back to the room of my first and second grade teacher, I was allowed to be able to go around and help the kids. It's such a priviledge to be able to go into an area of my past but with such a different perspective. Already more than ten years ago, I now sympathize as I was once one of those students to be overwhelmed, confused, and greatly frustrated with the complexity that appeared with double digit subtraction. As I watched these kids try their best to do the mathematical exercises, I realized something greater. Perspective.

Once the first half hour ended, the second was filled with total excitement during my favorite part of my Mondays: Recess. During the thirty minutes of chaos, so many different things routinely happen. Kids are yelling for my attention, longing to hold my hand, waiting for a hug, antagonistically egging me on in a Tetherball battle, wanting me to listen, or simple yearning to be with me. At one point, a boy named Jonah came up to me saying, "Kari, I really need to talk to you." Perspective.

There was no hesitation. I wanted to hear all that he had to say. Admist the craziness, I stepped out of the current game of "ICE." (Oh the games I am slowly learning.) As I asked him what was up, he shared as his eyes began to display the reality of his emotions through the tears that threatened to roll down his face. "I was playing with those boys...over there...and they were just being mean...and they wouldn't let me play because they were always getting me out and so as soon as I got in to play...they would  get me out because they just want to play with all their friends and they don't let me play long enough and I'm not having fun...and I don't like it and I want to play and I want to have fun and then...we did 'Rock, Paper, Scissors' and I put a paper and then he put a dynamite and...that wasn't fair because we were playing 'Rock, Paper, Scissors'......and there's no dynamite in 'Rock, Paper, Scissors" and so they just kept playing and it wasn't fair and I want to have fun." Perspective.

After assembling a small group of six other kids to join Jonah and I to play the game he so badly wanted to, Jonah's eyes were no longer reflecting pain but joy...and so much of it. Perspective.

As I drove away, having said my 'goodbyes,' I was overwhelmed with God's joy, His sovereignty, and the realization that I am so much like these kids. I have recently been overwhelmed, confused, and greatly frustrated. Currently, I have a lot of thoughts about life and my life in particular. There are questions I'm asking and things that are happening in life that are comparably resulting the frustration that come with double digit subtraction and kids not playing fair at recess. However, God reminded me today that currently, previously, always, and forevermore, He looks at me with a far greater compassion than I will ever have in my heart for these kids as I watch them encounter their daily hardships. Perspective.

With a greater perspective, I can count frustrations, hardships, confusion, and trials all joy. God is the Almighty. He is in control. Jesus has asked for me to follow Him. He has invited me to a newness of life that is full and complete in Him. My Lord, Jesus Christ, knows all.

What am I doing with my life? Where am I going? How will I do it? What will my life look like? Who will I be? Why am I here? How can I add a single day to my life by worrying about the unknown? Perspective.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Hosea and Gomer

Hosea and Gomer
By John Piper. © Desiring God. Website:

The old man and his wife sat by
The winter fire and looked out high
Above the plains of Ephraim,
And saw around the last regime
Of Israel the shadows snake
Their way from east to west and take
Possession of Samaria.
"How long until Assyria,'
They thought, "would break Hoshea's rod,
And violate the wife of God?"

But strange as it may seem, the doom
They saw across the land left room
For hope. And when they looked into
Each other's eyes, as they would do
At night, they knew, as none could know
But they, that God would bend his bow
Against the charms of foreign men,
And take his faithless wife again.
They knew it could and would be done,
As surely as the rising sun
Drives darkness back unerringly,
And drowns it in the western sea.
They knew, because they had rehearsed
The tragedy and played it first
Themselves with passion and deceit.

"It's true that life is far more sweet,"
Hosea thought, "when it is lost,
Then bought again at dreadful cost;
And love grows strong when it must wait,
And deep when it is almost hate."

Such things as these he often said
To Gomer as they watched the red
And crimson echoes of the sky
Descend Mount Tabor's cliffs and die
In darkness far below. And she
Would say to him, "Your love for me
Was like a mountain waterfall,
And I the jagged stone. Of all
The knives and hammers once applied
None made me smooth or clean. They tried,
But harlotry was in my blood,
Until your love became a flood
Cascading over my crude life
And kept me as your only wife."

They knew as none but they could know
What it would mean that long ago
The Lord allowed his love to swell,
And married faithless Israel.

The passing of the years now found
The children grown and gathered 'round
This night: Jezreel and Loammi,
Hosea's sons, and at his knee
Loruhamah. The room was sweet
With memories, and each replete
With pleasure and with ample pain.
Among the memories one main
Experience above the rest
Embraced them all. It was the best;
Indeed it was the mountain spring
Of every happy stream from which
The family ever drank, and rich
With hope. It was Hosea's love.
The children stood in wonder of
The way he loved, and Gomer too.
But this had not always been true.

Hosea used to say, "It's hard
To be a seer, and prophet bard.
The price is high when he must sing
A song of ruin over everything
In lyrics written with his life
And lose his children and his wife."

And so it was, Hosea heard
The Lord. It was the strangest word
A holy prophet ever got:
And every pointed precept shot
Like arrows at Hosea's life:
"Go take a harlot for your wife,"
Thus says the Lord, "And feel with me
The grief and pain of harlotry.
Her father's name is Diblaim;
He makes fertility with cream
And raisin cakes. He will not see
Her go without a price, for she
Has brought him profits from her trade.
Now go, and let her price be paid;
And bring her back and let her bear
Your son. Call him Jezreel. For there
Is coming soon a day when I
Will strike and break the bloody thigh
Of Jehu's brutal house, and seal
With blood the valley of Jezreel.

And after that, though she's defiled.
Go in, and get another child,
And make your tender face like rock.
Call her Loruahmah and lock
Your heart against all sympathy:
`Not pitied' is her name. No plea
From faithless Israel will wake
My sympathy till I forsake
My daughter in the wilderness.

Now multiply once more distress:
Hosea, go beget a son,
For there is yet one child to shun,
And call him Loammi, in shame,
For `Not My People' is his name."

Hosea used to walk along
The Jordan rim and sing the song
His father Beeri used to sing.
Sometimes the tune and truth would bring
Him peace, and he would pause and look
At all the turns the Jordan took,
To make its way down to the sea,
And he would chant from memory:
Think not, my son, that God's great river
Of love flows simply to the sea,
He aims not straight, but to deliver
The wayward soul like you and me.
Follow the current where it goes,
With love and grace it ever flows.
The years went by, the children grew,
The river bent and Gomer knew
A dozen men. And finally
She left and traveled to the sea,
And sold herself to foreign priests
Who made the children serve at feasts
Until they had no shame.
And then
The God of grace came down again,
And said, "Hosea, go, embrace
Your wife beside the sea. And place
Your hand with blessing on the head
Of Loammi, and raise the dead
Loruhamah to life in me,
And tell Jezreel that I will be
For him a seed of hope to sow
In righteousness. Hosea, go,
The gracious river bends once more."

And so the prophet loved these four
Again, and sought them by the sea,
And bought them with the equity
Of everything he owned.
That was
The memory tonight, because
Hosea loved beyond the way
Of mortal man. What man would say,
"Love grows more strong when it must wait,
And deeper when it's almost hate."

Jezreel spoke softly for the rest,
"Father, once more let us be blessed.
What were the words from long ago
That gave you strength to love us so?
Would you please bless us with your rhyme,
And sing it for us one more time?"
"Think not, my son, that God's great river
Of love flows simply to the sea,
He aims not straight, but to deliver
The wayward soul like you and me.
Follow the current where it goes.
With love and grace it ever flows."
"And children," Gomer said with tears,
"Mark this, the miracle of years."
She looked Hosea in the face
And said, "Hosea, man of grace,
Dark harlotry was in my blood,
Until your love became a flood
Cascading over my crude life
And kept me as your only wife.
I love the very ground you trod,
And most of all I love your God."

This is the lamp of candle four:
A bride made ready at the door.
A shabby slave waits her embrace,
Blood-bought and beautified by grace.
© Desiring God

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Seek the things that are above

Keeping our eyes fixed on Him transforms our lives. As we continue to grow into His knowledge and truth, we grow more into the identity of who we are in Christ. As we abide in Him, the more we, and the rest of this world, realize how we are not of this world. With the joy of the Lord, placing our hope and trust in Him alone, we are able to rejoice through the good times and the bad because we know that God is able to work out all things for His glory.

Through this *rad "Lifespan Psychology" class that I'm taking online, I've actually found a lot of things that reflect the truth of our flesh. Recently, I've been more aware of the internal battle between my flesh and the Spirit within me. One of the lastest lectures in my class discussed different mindsets. The two described were a fixed and a growth mindset.
*Note sarcasim

Check this out:

Fixed Mindset:
-Avoid challenge
-Get defensive or give up easily
-See efforts as fruitless or worse- a sign of failure
-Ignore useful negative feedback/constructive criticism
-Feel threatened by success of others

On the contrary...

Growth Mindset:
-Embrace challenges
-Persist in the face of setbacks
-See effort at the path to mastery
-Learn from criticism
-Find lessons and inspiration in the success of others

I'm blow away with these set descriptions or characteristics of each mindset. The correlation between the fixed mindset to our flesh and the correlation between the growth mindset to our spirit is ridiculous. In reading the fixed mindset descriptions, it reminded me of my character flaws and the path of life lived when we choose to ignore the fullness of life that Christ has extended to us. When I read the descriptions of the growth mindset, I was challenged. So often, I found myself having the fixed mindset descriptions evident in my life rather than those that display a growth mindset.

I'm challenged by this because it gives me a different perspective in observing life living in my flesh versus living in His Spirit. I want to grow fully into the identity that God intends for me. Hoping that when I stand before the throne of God in heaven or when I look to Jesus Christ, I have been made whole, being made complete in Him, knowing that He who began a good work in me has indeed completed it by the day of Jesus Christ.  1 Corinthians 13:12, "For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face."

I want to embrace and endure hardships, giving Him all the glory. I want to have perservance despite any setbacks. I want to fix my eyes on Christ, knowing that He is the way, the truth, and the life. I want to be able to receive reprove and rebuke with a humble heart. I want to grow with the body of Christ and my heart to be stirred, finding lessons and inspirations in others' testamonies of God's goodness. Psalms 112:7-8 "He is not afraid of bad news; his heart is firm, trusting in the LORD. His heart is steady; he will not be afraid..."

I desire more in life. Only He can satisfy.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

There's Joy in Unity

Today I went to RE Bennett and experienced something close to what I would describe the best day of my life (hmmm, well...). I went to go play with my 7-9 year old friends during one of the recesses for the second and third graders. It was simply epic. EPIC.

After asking a group of kids, including three girls and two boys, if we could play "Follow the Leader" and receiving approval, something awesome began to happen. As soon as we started, kids were joining us and soon enough, we had at least ten kids that were excited to be playing this game. It was at this point that I shared with the kids my dream for this Thursday afternoon recess. "Oh my, you guys, can you imagine if we had everyone playing with us?!! It'd be a dream come true!" All of the kids just stood there...contemplating the idea. Maybe they even began to dream it too...

As we continued to play, more and more kids would join us. We were quite the scene. The duties (playground supervisors) didn't know what to think. Eventually, there were easily over thirty kids that were playing "Follow the Leader."

Sure, not all the kids were playing, but with the large group of kids that were playing, they made my day. I can't share how much I love unity. If only I could play a video of the thirty-minutes that I spent at the school today. I don't think I'll ever forget the overflowing amount of joy that I was exposed to, let alone feeling, in that quick bit of time.

There's joy in unity. That game of "Follow the Leader" was only a small glimpse of the overflowing joy that comes when the body of Christ is in unity, following their Saviour, Jesus Christ.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Broken Pen

I have this pen that's slowly falling apart. Just yesterday, the cap of the pen got lost and I have no clue where it is now. The ink seemed to be running out and this morning as I was journaling, it seemed as though I'd be searching my house to find another working pen (a difficult task; trust me). As I continued to jot down some thoughts in my journal, the covering of the pen's tip fell off. But after this happened, the pen started to work way better than it ever had.

Maybe it's an odd stretch, but it reflected a concept much greater than a working pen...

Sometimes, we think that there are things in our life that we need, so we hold on to it or maybe freak out when it is taken away from us. However, God uses these loses or brokennesses to bring us back to the simplicity of the gospel of Jesus Christ. The fact is, we need Jesus Christ. From there on out, He takes care of us. Matthew 6:33 has a new, revived, deeper meaning to me. God wants us to fix our eyes on Him and ALL will fall into place. Does that mean that we won't have sufferings? Does that mean that we will get whatever we want? No. But as we continue to abide in Him, our hearts will transform into His heart and He will be given all glory, honor and praise due to His name.

Being a self-center human, it's easy to focus on my situation rather than the greater perspective and the One who has control over it. When we step out of our circumstances and step before His throne, He is able to reveal His victorious reign through His Son, Jesus Christ. As we look at our current situations with the Almighty God, it's impossible to remain worried, stressed, concerned, hurt, or depressed. When we allow ourselves to become humble before the Lord during the trials that so often bring hardships, our loses become gains for His glory. Before His throne, we no longer have worries, stresses, concerns, hurts, or depression.

God works all things for the good for those who love Him. When the things we think are necessary to our life are taken away, we are given an opportunity to draw near to Him and enter into His presence with confidence. Be encouraged for the next time that you encounter an obstacle, a trial, or a hardship, to go before the throne of God and realize the truth and power in the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

A Recent Prayer

I've had a hard time finding the right words to start this blog off. Granted, I've never been one to accurately articulate myself, however, I will still attempt to.

I have become even more aware of the little that I know of God and the immense amount of love He constantly pours into my life. Throughout the last few days, I have experienced the truth of His love to have placed peace, patience, and joy in my heart. And He has only just begun.

I'm excited to continue to walk in my relationship with God and discover more of who He is. Jesus Christ is radically changing my heart according to His will. With every conviciton and impression that the Holy Spirit stirs within me, I am gaining more and more clarity in the woman God intended for me to be.

Abide. God continues to softened my heart to long for His presence with every day that He chooses to give me. I am blessed to have a personal relationship with Him. Outside of Him, I am nothing. Abiding in Him places me in His presence. And in His presence is where I shall be. Only in His presence can I fully embrace who He intends for me to be.

I pray that everyone would abide in Him. His plans and desires for every single person exceeds all we could ever plan for ourselves. I am praying for you and I. I am praying that our hearts may be stirred to receive His love and that in response to His love, we would put off our old selves, and live in such a way that is worthy of the calling to which we have been called, worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel, fully pleasing to Him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God. (Eph. 4:1,22; Phl 1:27; Col 1:10 ESV)

Embrace the gospel of Jesus Christ. Abide in Him.

Friday, August 12, 2011

A Disconnect

Since I believe some of the followers to my blog secretly hope for me to become a nifty science geek, I will be using a big word in hopes of impressing those described.

In the last few weeks, may be it's more accurate to say in the last few months, I have been slowly adapting to a horrible form of guaifenesin within my life. Now, for all you future medical students, you may be confused. And for all you "regular" people out there (I'm praying that you've caught on to my humor...), you may be thinking, "Guaf what?!" Perfect. So now that I may have people confused on what I'm saying, maybe you'll finish reading this and hear what I have to say.

Guaifenesin is actually a drug used to help loosen congestion in your chest and throat. When you have pneumonia, the truth of guaifenesin is quite the contrary to my earlier statement of "having a horrible form of guaifenesin within my life." As guaifenesin is more naturally presented in a drug form, this form is very helpful. But when it comes to the form of guaifenesin that was introduced to my life prior to my pneumonia, this form is no bueno. For all you unexposed, "no bueno" is Spanish for "not good."

Unfortunately for me, my flesh and spirit continue to fight an ongoing war. Despite the victory that I have in Jesus Christ, my flesh is foolish enough to believe that it still needs to go on its own strength. I started working all the time and I allowed less time for God. Slowly, my time was beginning to only be spent working and sleeping and occasionally socializing. My own form of guaifenesin was the busyness of what I thought was important. It was loosening my perspective on the greater things of His kingdom and separating me from the most important time ever, which is devotional/quiet times with God. And then during the times that I would read my Bible, God would send words of painful truth that I needed more than ever. Ephesians 5:16, "...making the best use of time, because the days are evil..." and Colossians 4:5, "Walk in wisdom towards outsiders, making the best use of time." Rushing through reading my Bible as if it were some "to-do" chore on a checklist is probably one the worst ways I could spend my time. And with this odd form of guaifenesin in my life, my priorities where being loosen and I was trying to bombard His truth. As the words of truth seemed to hit harder and sharper, the faster I wanted to escape the conviction. Rather than spending time to repent and ask God to renew my mind, I spent no consistent time with Him at all.

However, God is faithful and He is more than good. 1 Corinthians 10:12-13, "Therefore, let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall. No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and He will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation He will also provide the way of escape that you may be able to endure it."

A brief disconnect brought on what was probably the best recovery plan ever. Sometimes I allow myself to become a busy body and lose focus on the One who brings complete fullness and purpose into all that I do. I can do nothing apart from Christ. Pneumonia may have been that "escape" that I needed in order to endure it. God has opened my eyes to my weakness and I have been reminded of my greater need for Him, once again.

Once again, ABIDE. As I abide in Him,  He abides in me. As I abide in Him, I am in awe and reverence. As I abide in Him, I learn more and more of the godhead, three in one: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

I am so thankful for having been reduced to such a low energy level. I am so grateful for seeing that I have no strength of my own to draw from. I am so glad that God is the only One to allow me to wake up every day that I do. I am so encouraged to be reminded that He is the One in-control. Blessed be the Lord, Our Father. Hallowed be Thy name. Glory to God, forever and ever.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

I Love

God is good, all the time. All the time, God is good.

I love how regardless I may feel, God remains true to His word. I love how He remains merciful despite my countless imperfections.

I love how God is God. He is the Potter and I am the clay.

I love how He can make me complete.

I thought I understood my greater need for the Lord. I thought I understood who I was without Jesus Christ. I thought I understood how weak I was, how selfish I was, how lazy I was apart from Christ. I thought I understood what this flesh was all about. I thought I understood the power that comes with abiding in Him.

It seems that convictions are appearing more frequently in my life. It seems that I am confined when I look to my own resources. It seems that I really don't know all the things that He has planned.

He continues to expand my view on everything that He encompasses and will continue to do so till the day I return home with Him.

God is showing me how I need Him more with everyday. I can do nothing without Him.

Only through Jesus Christ may I bring glory and praise to His name. Only through Jesus Christ may I be made complete. Only through Jesus Christ may I abide in Him.

I love how God willingly helps me when I come before Him. I love how God eagerly answers my prayers for transformation. I love how God constantly stirs my heart to fix my eyes on Him. I love how God relentlessly pursues me on a daily basis.

Simply, I love Thee.

Friday, May 13, 2011

My Family

I love my family. Maybe some of you have been able to understand/experience/witness the strange complexity of my family. If that's the case, well, aren't you a blessed soul?

Infact, these people are the few people I know that either make me laugh the most or laugh at me the most. Regardless, it's a pretty good set of dynamics.

Last week we had a birthday dinner for Andrew. Seated at the table, I found myself surrounded by some of my favorite people: Andrew, Michal, Staci, Mom, and Dad. Michal had prepared the meal in order to improve upon the last attempt on which my dad had disapproved. I found out that during the time that I was gone, she had made the awful mistake of using beets in a meal for my family. My dad hates beets. Unfortunately, I have previously made the same mistake. However, I have not arranged a second attempt for approval nor am I considering to plan for one. Needlesstosay, the dinner that Michal prepared was delectable. Michal and I are now sisters no matter what you want to say. And the reality of that was reflected when the sibling rivalry filled me with jealousy, as she lovingly said, "Kari, Dad LOVED my meal!!" I love that woman, Michal Paige. She is so dear to my heart.

Although the dinner itself was a highlight of the evening, the dynamics of our family relationships (Andrew and Michal included) mixed with our distinct Andersen quirkiness brought the satiety of the meal. At one point during this dinner, Staci and Dad enlightened us all with an original skit that was inspired by the 18th century. The witty conversation surrounding the dinner table made the meal complete. Then my dad started "the wave," which circulated several times around the small dinner table. Then, in congratulating Andrew's accomplishment in another year of life, we did our own rendition of the "Miss Congeniality wine glass act." We also celebrated Michal's success in impressing Dad with a long series of shouts, "Yay! Go Michal!," claps, and many other things I'm not even sure how I can describe. Sometimes....Most times, my family and I are out of control. It's great!

It's good to be back home. My family makes me laugh. Hard. Sometimes I end up in tears because I cannot contain the joy they bring to my life. My family. Quirky. Clever. Witty. Original. Strange. Awesome. Crude. Ridiculous. Undescribeable. The Andersens.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Happy Happy Joy Joy!!!

A refreshing NEW blog coming SOON!! Stay tune folks....this one is going to be epic......

Now there are great expectations! YES!!

Friday, April 29, 2011

Sharing Is Caring

I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the live I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. (Gal. 2:20 ESV)
The Devotion

There is a difference between devotion to principles and devotion to a person. Hundreds of people today are devoting themselves to phases of truth, to causes. Jesus Christ never asks us to devote ourselves to a cause or a creed; he asks us to devote ourselves to him, to sign away the right to ourselves and yield to him absolutely, and take up that cross daily. The cross Jesus asks us to take up cannot be suffering for conviction's sake, because a man will suffer for conviction's sake whether he is a Christian or not. Neither can it be suffering for conscience' sake, because a man will go to martyrdom for his principles without having one spark of the grace of God in his heart. Paul says, "If I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing" (1 Cor. 13:3). What then is our cross? Our cross is something that comes only with the peculiar relationship of a disciple to Jesus. It is the sign that we have denied our right to ourselves and are determined to manifest that we are no longer our own; we have given away forever our right to ourselves to Jesus Christ.

The characteristic of the cross we carry daily is that we have been "crucified with Christ." Galatians 2:20 does not refer merely to the fact that our "old man" has been crucified with Christ; it refers to the glorious liberty we have of sacrificing ourselves for Jesus Christ every day we live. What is sacrifice? Giving back to God the best I have in order that he may make it an eternal possession of his and mine forever.

But something must happen first. The meaning of salvation and sanctification is not only the removal of the wrong disposition, but the radical alteration of identity. Paul says that his destiny is no longer self-realization, but Christ-identity; "It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me." We need to remember that we cannot train ourselves to be Christians; we cannot discipline ourselves to be saints; we cannot bend ourselves to the will of God: we have to be broken to the will of God. There must be a break with the dominant ruler. We may be clean and upright and religious; we may be Christian workers and have been mightily used of God; but if the bedrock of self-realization has not been blasted out by our own free choice at the cross of Christ, shipwreck is the only thing in the end. We enter into the kingdom of God through the cross of Jesus Christ, and self-realization cannot get through with us; it must be left outside. We must be broken from self-realization; immediately that point is reached the reality of the supernatural identification with the death of Jesus Christ takes place, and the witness of the Spirit is unmistakable-"I have been crucified with Christ."

Jesus Christ can take the man who has been broken by sin and twisted with wrongdoing and can reinstate him, not as an angel, thank God, but as a man, and present him before the throne of God without blemish, through the sheer omnipotence of his atonement.

[Oswald Chambers, Facing Reality]

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Lots of Lard

It's crazy how despite six intense months of God revealing so much about my character flaws and His more than sufficient grace, I still have such a vast amount of learning that remains about the infinite God I love. Yep, despite doing a DTS (Discipleship Training School) and becoming a member of the influential YWAM (Youth With A Mission) family, I'm still human. And yet as I enter back home refreshed and renewed by a recently revised relationship with God, I continue to see that God is more than willing to strengthen the convictions He has begun to instill in me. With God continuing to immerse me into different situations, I'm able to see the reality of the issues that He has already begun to stir in my heart.

The last blog I wrote was my response to a personal conviction. As I remain a human-being short of His glory, I attempted to summon up the heaviness the Holy Spirit pressed into me in regards to the two simple, overlooked words-->spiritual and ministry<--. The conviction remains and God's passion for this generation is abiding deeper into my heart. Were I to recall in the short time that I have been back home how many times I have used these two words, I have most likely run out of tallies to make for them to be accounted for. It wasn't until this past week where I opened my eyes to see, once again, God convicting me of the disgusting misrepresentation, or rather misuse, of these two words. And in contradiction to what I had had my eyes opened up to, I was just as guilty of using words in such an insincere way.

The day before I flew back home, I was able to see the sights of Dresden, Germany with some friends from my DTS and I had the privilege to get a finer experience of traditional German food. In preparing me for what was to come, my friend told me about the appetizer that was going to be brought out. When she told me, I was disgusted. It was a platter of different slices of bread served with a spread. Sounds great, right? Well, the spread was the kicker. They made it by placing chopped up onions, corn, spices, and herbs into a small bowl and then threw in old grease from previously cooked meats only to let it sit and harden to be served as a butter-like spread. After the appetizer plate came, what did I do? I took a piece of bread and shyly put a little of this lard on. Seriously. My friend had just explained to me what the spread was less than ten minutes prior to eating it. Here's the best part. After eating the first piece of bread, I had a second piece of bread with even more of the lard junk! I can hardly write this now without stopping to take a deep breath and checking to see if my heart is still beating. Okay, I'm exaggerating, but SERIOUSLY???!!! That spread was lard. That lard was gnarly and nasty...and I ate it.

This is the part where I turn this fun anecdote into a "spiritual" lesson in hopes of encouraging those in "ministry." Do you see what it is like? My dear friend, Jesus Christ, gave me a MAJOR download of all the ingredients that are going into these once precious and powerful words and yet I continue to eat them up in their pitiful and pathetic distorted definition that many Christians are applying to these words.

Less than a month of being back home, I see the reality of what I accepted into my body-which was lard. More importantly, I see the reality of my contribution to this process of misusing words, resulting in a deteriorating demonstration of truth and instilling a false definition of "spiritual" and "ministry." Hmmm....we don't need a new definition of these two words much like we don't need a new definition of Christianity. We need a new demonstration.

To put it shortly, I'm still learning and that makes me psyched! God desires more for my life than I can imagine. Since He has to bring more correction into my life through the Holy Spirit in order to make me more and more like the woman He desires for me to be, I pray for Him to continue to open my eyes to all the other lard I've been eating from this broken world because I'm hungry for something else.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Unexcusable Acceptance

Acts is such an amazing book! In fact, every book of the Bible is pretty great. The other day, I finished Isaiah. Really, I just got a glimpse of it. In Isaiah, there's so many parts that you could elaborate on and really study it in depth. I'm fascinated by the illustrations of God's justice whilst still stretching out His loving and righteous hands to all the nations.

But this entry wasn't intended for sharing about Isaiah or Acts. Actually, I just wanted to write something while on the plane ride back to Germany while listening to my ipod. Something I've been thinking a lot about has been the words--> "spiritual" and "ministry." These words leave a bitter taste in my mouth. Why? Because these two words have become the source of distortion for the meaning of Christianity and sets unreached people to have hardened hearts with an untrue, distorted image of God; an unexcusable acceptance.

Sometime around 2006 or 2007, I remember going to a youth rally in my hometown called "Ready to Move." I specifically remember seating in a session with Dustin Bates speaking. I can remember it so well because God spoke to me through the message that day using the conviction of the Holy Spirit. The message was about shattering the different compartments in our lives and creating Christ as THEE foundation. Not just as a good feature, carry the "Christian" label around to feel good about yourself, but to set out in life with a higher purpose; having life built upon the most firm foundation this world only dreams of finding. The reality of it is that the world will NEVER know that life of freedom built on the everlasting Rock until they see that that life is in realizing that Jesus Christ must be the foundation in every aspect of each and every persons' life.

When we place the word "spiritual" amongst the question of "How are you physically, mentally, emotionally?" we are taking a foolish step to add another aspect of life as if it's okay to split our lives up into compartments which end up in giving Christ a half-ass surrender to Him and giving Him "this area of my life." So does that mean that after being saved from the eternal flames of hell, we give our Saviour a fourth of our life? Wow, truly generous on our behalf...That's a twisted, mangled up, sorry response for a sacrifice that deserves more than we could and ever will comprehend.

I'm just sick of the word spiritual. It's an add on. It's a word that the world digests as why I'm happy or having a good life. Hate to break it to you, but Jesus Christ has given me His everything and I have given Him more than just a safe compartment in my life-->spiritual. No. Christ gave me His all in hopes that I may give Him my whole life to see of all the greater things that I can witness of all that Christ is. He is more than my life will ever get to experience, but I'd much rather open my whole life to His invasion than limit what of God would be revealed to me. Rather than picking and choosing where I give God the control in my life, I've choosen to submit it all so that I will know "what is the surpassing greatness of His power" (Romans 2:19). By giving God a part of my life, I'm missing out on the fullness of life Christ died to give me. That's a sad story. At twenty-one years old, I've experienced God in ways to testify for myself that words don't contain His power or His relentlessness in pursuing a personal relationship with me.

Now we can move on to the second word I really dislike--> "ministry." "Well Kari, isn't ministry a biblical term? Why would you dislike it?" I'll tell you why. The word "ministry" has been mutated into a word that is just as disgusting as "spiritual," only it's worse. WAY worse. I'm talking about the way we, as Christians, label our time. The fact that we place possession on time is crazy in itself. Much like the word spiritual, we define "ministry time" as time that we act like Christians and do what Christ has asked us to do. As a result, another separation/compartment is happening once again in our lives. Where in the Bible does it say to spend time as I, Kari Lea Andersen, want to but make sure to take the Christian label out occassionally and do a good Christian deed? As I mentioned earlier, we obtain a fullness in life when we surrender all to Him. Okay, well looking back to what I wrote, I haven't exactly said that yet, but I have attempted to aim at that; to build our foundation on Christ, we have to take the first step of fully surrendering our lives to Him in response to the greatest demonstration of love-->The Cross. Boy, do I write run-on sentences like it's nobody's business. :-) So, if we truly are buliding upon Jesus Christ as our foundation, then all time is His time. Our lives always need to be reflecting the freedom Jesus Christ has given us. This should destroy the presently destructible way of thinking "ministry time" vs. "my time."

When we stress "ministry time," I think it just exhausts us because we place ourselves in an unnatural time of  playing out what we think Christians should be doing and often times those things we do during "ministry time" are rarely lived out during our own lives.

Let's go back several years to elementary school when our teachers, or our parents for those homeschoolers out there, encouraged us with impactful phrases. Remember? "The Golden Rule: treat others the way you want to be treated." Or how about, "Be Yourself!" Without Christ, we all know how awful it would be to follow those instructions from our own selfishness. However, Christ has renewed our identity to be transformed by the love He demonstrated to use. Therefore, we have Christ dwelling within us and filling us up with a true, pure, everlasting love that this world is desperately searching for.

I'm sure this is a little unclear as I am having thoughts whiz like mad in my head. Let me try to sort this out. We have set "ministry time" as if it's separate from every day life. I'm sorry to ask but does the Holy Spirit come for "ministry time" and then leave saying, "See you next time you feel like being a Christian!" Maybe this seems like an over-exaggerated rant, but I've seen this mindset, even in my own life. I've seen Christians living for God one day and then the next day we just want to do nothing because we did our good deed the day before. One of the things I've seen that helps aid this falseness of thinking has been how we define "ministry time." We look at great, well-known missionaries that do "radical" things, choose that it's too much for the average Christian and end up down playing the potential that Christ is awaiting to hand us from His throne of authority and power. What we have defined as ministry has once again added to another way that we attempt to limit the unlimited God. Now we look at godly men and women who pursue Him, living daily for Him, and loving others as Christ, yet because they didn't plant a church, get sent to jail during an evanglism event, or something radical, we don't see that as minstry because it's not "ministry" as we have defined it.How many people do you thing pay more attention to our "ministry time" than our personal life?-->"my time." I'm going to take another bold statement and say that the same amount of people, if not more people, attentively watch your life more than your times of "ministry."

Here's what I'm excited for: pursuing God on a daily basis that it ruins me for His glory. I want to move on from what Christ did for me on the cross and look to the question of what I can do for Him daily. I'm excited for people to no longer feel the need of asking me what's on my heart or what God's teaching and that their eyes would see how God is using me. I'm excited to never again describe how I'm doing spiritually, but that the world would see that my words are useless to describe the fullness of life that Christ gives me when I live for Him. I'm excited to walk with Him daily and let His love reflect in my life.

And this isn't just a desire for myself. I desire it for everyone amongst the body of Christ. Let's allow Christ's love for us to pour down into receiving hearts so that we may  live the live that God intended and desired for each and every person. I desire for Christians to no longer have limited definitions for spiritual and ministry. All things are possible with God who is endless. I desire for lives to be fully submitted to Christ and that we may be able to say, "whatever I do in word or deeds, I do all in the name of the LORD Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father" (Col. 3:17).

I want to see this generation, my generation, rise up to all that He desires for us. If He wants to give us life and live abundantly (Jn 10:10), why don't we fully surrender our lives to Him? How about we correctly demonstration the definition of Christianity to this broker world and start to see peoples amongst all the nations receive life and life abundantly from Him by living for Him? Sound good? If you say yes, then I'm excited for you and I pray that you will do everything for the glory of God, in whatever you do. If you say no, then you can testify that human words lack the conviction that only the Holy Spirit has. If you're still thinking about it, great! I would encourage you to think amongst yourself and others; the body of Christ extends beyond ourselves for a reason.

Cool beans! Well, that's all I wanted to say, or rather have chosen to say and share. Love you all! Go and "whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the LORD rather than for men" (Col. 3:23).

An Awful Attempt

I feel like I'm attempting the impossible: blogging about my outreach thus far. The strange part is that I really can't blog including specific locations, I can't really use names, and I'm in a loss of words to even try to share my experience with you. In short, my words are limited to even scratch the surface of what I've been up to for the last two months or so. But what I can share is what I've learned and what I'm eager to do with all of His teachings.But before we go into the more important things, let's chat about some fun stuff. Yay!!!

Did you know that Africa...Afrika is a big continent? I've only been to three of its countries. Yep, that right, three. On our flight to Kenya, we had a longer than expected layover. However, I was stoked, especially when the plane out of our layover was delayed, because we had our layover in Ethiopia! For all of you that may not understand why that's so exciting, maybe you're lucky or really missing out. Ethiopia! Awe, Ethiopia has a special spot in my heart (still don't understand why, but that's okay). And the third country I've been to has been Uganda.

I've been able to eat chapatis, rolexes, samosas, green goo (that's what it looks like, forgot the name), liver, heart, sheep, traditional ugali with beans, and I'm sure I've ate a few things I never want to truly identify. One of my favorite things has been this unfamiliar object in the sky. Some scientists say that it effects the temperature of the earth. I believe those scientists because it is always hot and sunny! Gotta love the African sun. In fact, I think it likes me too.

Before I started to write this, I thought it would be a great idea to go through my journal and grab different experiences to share. Horrible idea. I'm overwhelmed with all the amazing goodness I've been able to experience.Rather than going into full detail about all the ministries we did, sharing the neat stories of people I talked to and prayed for, or talking about how different Africa is compared to America, I'm going to share  just a glimpse of what God did throughout this whole experience.

It all started in October. At the beginning of my DTS, I wrote out my required "expectation letter" which soon turned into a prayer of mine for this time during my DTS. I'd like to share it:


Dear Kari,
You've just completed six months of your life. How was it? Sitting here, six months before you read this, you were in anticipation, eagerly awaiting to see what God would teach you; how He would use you. I wonder if the desires of your heart and His will for your life finally matched up. Or did God completely throw you for the most adventureous loop of your life, just like He always does? Hmmm....Well, about six months ago from today, you had a few hopes and expectations for this school....

To start off with, you wanted to know God more. You were craving to have a more intimate relationship with Him. You wanted to learn to walk with Him daily, to recognize His voice, to rely on Him to give you your Helper, the Holy Spirit, during all times of witnessing. You wanted to start communicating with Him better. You wanted to learn more of His ways. You wanted the Bible to reflect your life. You wanted to thrist for His word. You wanted Him to carry you through challenges, scares, worries, fears, troubles, hurts, and all the hardships you may have faced. You desired Him. He was your ultimate focus, your one true desire: God.

And how about what you wanted to learn about others? You wanted to see God's love and mercy provide comfort to your Mom and Dad. You wanted your sister to find rest in God's calling for her life. You wanted your friends to grow as well and take your blogs as encouragements/prayer requests.

And what about your DTS team? You wanted to be filled with God's love, immersed in the body of Christ, living amongst your brothers and sisters. You wanted to have them stretch you and you wanted to challenge them as well. You wanted to watch a wave of God's boldness restore and renew inside of them all like a contagious fire: A fire within them that only God could ignite; a flame that destroys all falseness, timidity, and pride. You wanted to learn to have grace and compassion on them during the most stressful times. You wanted to see true men and women of God start racing towards God's upright hand. You wanted to move around from city to city, during lecture phase, with the body of Jesus Christ that remained unified in God's most perfect LOVE. Did you do that?

And there was one specific expectation you had. Right? Maybe you remember it. Maybe He answered or maybe you now have even more questions, but at the very beginning you shared with others and you prayed to God that you wanted Him to bring clarity into your life about His calling for your life. Interesting. Only time will tell and then we'll see if more and more, as God continues to break you, mold you, and make you more and more who He has desired for you to be and what He has planned out for your life from the time before your mother and father found out you were being formed. Kari, God wants to make you into a beautiful woman of God. I hope you remember how precious you are to Him. He wants all of you so you can fully receive what He wants to give you to use for His glory.

In regards to outreach, you didn't even know the options at the point that you wrote this, but at the time, you strongly believed that God has placed Ethiopia on your heart. You wanted to go to Ethiopia. During outreach, you wanted to see more of God's love. You wanted to see with His eyes. You wanted to weep over the lost and desire for them to hear God's word. You wanted to see hope in the Lord and see nations sing praise to the Lord, rejoicing in Him. During outreach, you wanted to hear God's voice better than a close friend.

You wanted to pray for the nations more than you ever had or thought you would. You wanted to be challenged, broken, humiliated, scared, embarrassed, ridiculed, and persecuted to the point where God was the absolute, One and Only, God Almighty One to turn to and be embraced by.

Kari, I hope you've grown in God's word, Spirit, and peace. A lot of people have been praying for you and are awaiting for your return home. Hopefully God is letting you return to "home" where another new exciting adventure awaits you.

God is SO good. He has such a specific plan for your life. Whether you know what He has called you to do during this season after your DTS or you have no clue or so many ideas that your exploding with thoughts, know that He is God and He is and forever will be, faithful. God loves you SOO much. His plans are far greater than the ones you could even imagine.

Oh yes! And I'm sure that God provided so many different things that you couldn't have even written in words to describe. God's way bigger than you and I'm sure you've learned, witnessed, and experienced a lot to more clearly see how infinite He is.

Once again, congratulations for living the past six months, but don't let it stop. As far as I know, if you're reading this, you've still got a lot of work to do...So GO! Keep pressing on towards the goal so that you may lay hold of Christ Jesus. Abide in Him and live a life pleasing to God.


Well, there you have it, a few things that I expected. Ephesians 3:20. God went above and beyond all that I could imagine. I guess sharing the moments would be fun and exciting. Don't worry, I plan on unpacking them on people as I share, but the thing is, the stories aren't what it's all about. Don't get me wrong, I have plenty of great stories I want to share with as many people as I can. But really, I must be more focused on the mission that God has given me. These past six months have brought me into even more of an intimate relationship with God. I have such a greater knowledge of His love and my life is slowly starting to become a result of His love. I've said for a while now that I want my life to bring Him glory. And now I want to reflect His love by the way I live.

So as I'm gearing up, ready to get back home, I'm bringing a lot more than I had expected. It's no surprise. God is 100% good!

I'll try to keep you updated despite my lack of "adventures" when I enter the states....Thanks so much for the prayers and words of encouragement. I love you all!