Chicago

/Tag: Chicago

The Heart Pumper

Oftentimes, I feel like there is nothing more to say.

What is the significance of “my contribution” to any of this world? Writing, thoughts, opinions, convictions, definitions, loves, hates?

What on earth do I have to offer? Hasn’t everything already been felt, expressed, acted on enough times?

I am a small woman attempting to serve her Maker. I have been given gifts and circumstances, but everything I am doing is because of God working through me. It is a humbling gestalt to realize that, despite my abilities to create, illumine, influence humans, do a good work here or there–I am incapable of doing anything outside of God, who gives me a breath and a heartbeat, a breath and a heartbeat, but I am furthermore incapable of doing anything to please him unless he changes me and works goodness through me. Praise his name eternally, for he has, by the blood of his Son

The Heart Pumper2019-10-08T02:29:19+00:00

Pieces

Crumbs. Pieces. Fragments. Slices.

The Bible, when you think about it, doesn’t offer us that much. This book is, by its own attestation, God’s complete self-revelation, everything he believes is necessary for us to know about him, ourselves, and this world in order to live the way we were meant to. And all we have? Some history of an obscure people group in the Middle East, poetry, strange prophecies from even stranger times, and some random letters written by preachers on the run. Not much.

But this is everything. Life, truth, light. We can KNOW GOD through these seemingly-random desert scribblings. This is how the Creator and Redeemer of the universe has decreed it, and the fact that he used the vehicle of language is shocking. When you examine the Bible through the lens of humility, of knowing God, this is what you see.

Currently, I am staring at a dusty passage from

Pieces2016-01-29T20:07:41+00:00

Perhaps

“Great is Thy faithfulness,” the congregation sang. Worshiping at a historic church here in the City, I receive a weekly dose of beauty and hymnody. This morning, as I looked another semester square in the face and was wondering how long I’d be able to retain my mental capacities, I joined in singing these words.

“Strength for today, and bright hope for tomorrow…”

Anxiety is a crippling demon that drowns out the truth. Shutting out the reality that God is here and able prevents us, his children, from letting the peace of Christ rule richly in our lives (Col 3:15). We have peace that endureth, and we are united with the One who has bestowed pardon for sin.

The thing is, God always comes through. What does that mean? It means that he never fails and always does what is right. This could mean that he chooses not to rescue us from our

Perhaps2019-10-08T02:29:19+00:00

She had a four-bedroom house once

“I left him four months ago.”

I don’t know how much of it is real, but the Lord has led me to talk and pray with M several times while doing street evangelism. Her life is incredibly broken, marked by abusive relationships and disease and too many children left to fend for themselves while their mother tries to beg a few dollars.

Women like M make me want to curl up and weep. I cannot fix her problems, and so I want to run away. I have none of her problems, and so I feel a sense of shame. But still I sit with my legs politely folded as she updates me: how she might be getting housing soon, how she’s so excited (she then proceeds to pull out photos of her children). And I give her a dollar and encourage her and then our group pulls her into our circle for

She had a four-bedroom house once2019-10-08T02:29:19+00:00

Altar Altercations

It was straight from the Enemy.

Right as communion was about to be served, a commotion began in the front of the sanctuary. A man was yelling something, the worship pastor and the ushers formed a net around him and tried to calm him down until a security officer could escort him out. The organist began to play a tune to smooth everything over. I was dumbfounded as the man continued to put up a fight, shouting, “This church sucks!” as he was led quickly down the main aisle.

Right before the most important celebration believers partake in, when our minds were fully focused on the sacrifice of Christ and the goodness of God. The most holy moment during the entire service. Coincidence? I think not.

How often does a dirty wrench get tossed into our lives right in the middle of sweetness and spiritual growth? Sometimes it’s from the Enemy or our

Altar Altercations2019-10-08T02:29:19+00:00

“Wake Up, You Need to Make Money”

M and her family are missionaries in Africa. Their life has been characterized by moves and shifts, encountering the most broken people, and utter reliance on the Lord.

She didn’t finish her degree at Bible college and is in the process, after almost 20 years, of completing her last two semesters. Because, hey, there was no money, and then they got good jobs and had kids, and then they moved overseas where ministry happened. Now she walks into brothels and shares the Gospel and rescues babies from their pimps and brings them home.

We were eating dinner at Dr. G’s apartment, and I was fascinated by her story. Her husband’s business is what completely supports her ministry to these women, and because of his connections, he’s been able to get them out of trouble on many an occasion.

She said, “What God redeems, he uses.” Her husband’s terrible childhood and exposure to the

“Wake Up, You Need to Make Money”2015-09-28T05:00:25+00:00

Sometimes Quiet is Violent

I remember sitting with Luke on the steps to the alleyway last semester. He was dying inside for lack of peace. Over the next few weeks, we talked and prayed and cried out to God together. I fervently read the Psalms with him. We’d eat french fries and wonder when God would respond.

We didn’t doubt, we just wondered.

I’ve been confronted with the idea that God suffers inconsolably with us, and that discontent breeds love, so we all must be discontent, including God. That he’s impatiently pacing back and forth, waiting for the day when perfection can be restored in heaven. Eden made us lose our innocence, and now we have to face the tragedies and sufferings that accompany knowledge of good and evil. He’s going to wipe our tears away, but I denote a problem with this image of a suffering God who is out of control, doesn’t understand, and doesn’t

Sometimes Quiet is Violent2019-10-08T02:29:19+00:00

Trending

The cross is an instrument of torture. It’s the symbol of who we are in Christ, God’s love, his sacrifice, his awesome grace and cleansing blood.  We wear it around our necks, paste it to our walls, build wooden versions of it on our church steeples. We see it so much….have we forgotten what it means?

Bible studies, sermons, small groups, fellowship, even communion and baptism….we have become desensitized to their significance and purpose. Our society has gripped the church and turned it into a selfish, experience-driven buffet that seeks to stuff us with bloated, boring, banal.

We are tired. We refuse to admit it. We are hungry. We don’t know why.

Oh, how the American church has lost its focus! Who can ascend the holy hill of the Lord anymore, as the Psalmist cried out?

Do we pray for Paul’s words to be true in our lives, that we might count everything as loss compared

Trending2015-08-27T03:12:47+00:00

“Don’t You Know Who I Think I Am?” and the Slump

They say quitters never win, says the song I’m listening to at this moment.

Tex and I grabbed milkshakes last night. Again, this brother in the Lord preached the Gospel back to me and reminded me of much.

I’ve been up and down this semester; I’m dubbing it a slump, because I’ve found myself questioning a lot and feeling in a funk quite often. Part of it is the weighty amount of, “Kaitlyn, I need you to pray for me right now” and, “Kaitlyn, where is God in my pain? Why won’t he bring peace?” The other part is simply Year 2: too far from the beginning to remember why I started and too far from the end to see the light of God’s future ministry for me.

Tex is one of those people who can genuinely encourage. The Spirit working through him lifted my heart and made me rethink my outlook on

“Don’t You Know Who I Think I Am?” and the Slump2019-10-08T02:29:19+00:00

Adventuring

Life has been full of adventures lately. Yet, they’ve all been marked with hard edges.

This past week, I’ve been out multiple times for multiple occasions. It started with a visit to my grandma’s. It was lovely to see her on MLK day, but the lunch was dotted with notes of depression — my grandpa is slowly fading from dementia and lies sleeping in the nursing home down the street. All I could do was hold his hand, really, and sit on the mat next to his bed that the staff keeps there in case he falls. My grandma puts on a brave face, but I know she is crying inside, too.

Donuts and coffee at Glazed and Infused on Friday. Eric from Massachusetts and I needed to catch up on life, and I’ve been trying to grip my mornings with a tighter hand  anyway. We rode the El and it was

Adventuring2015-01-25T03:17:33+00:00