Set your mind on things above, not on the things that are on earth. For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God.


I don't know

I don't know what to do. In this state of mind I'm stuck. I do know that God is faithful and I need to put my trust in Him. That when I do trust Him, He will give me the desires of my heart, and that the desires of my heart should align with God's agenda. What are the desires of my heart? Dare I dream? Dare I pursue the desires of my heart. My hopes. My dreams and ambitions. Is what I want just an ambition or a calling? How can I know when I feel torn between so many things that I want and that I feel. The spirit is willing but but the flesh is weak, oh how true. Is it wrong to want to do something great instead of just, what I feel, is the average? And is this great thing that I long for just an ambition or destiny? No, it is more then ambition. But how come I can't seem to go towards it? I feel like I should be moving forward to grasping instead of remaining in the same place every day. I want to go out and experience life. What kind of life? The life where I'm not stuck in a day to day schedule. A life where every day is filled with challenges, difficulties, and even danger. Can I have that life here or do I need to go somewhere else? Shouldn't everyday be like that for me in my walk with Christ? Do I make it to easy? Is God teaching me contentment once again...I want to feel the things that are right and moral...if I'm supposed to be content does that mean I'm supposed to settle? Ahhhh this wild passion I have has been contained for so long but recent events have stirred it up again even to a greater burning in my heart. Show me the way to go Heavenly Father. I cry out to You for help. I will do whatever You ask of me, that is and will always be my deepest desire. 


John 17

Jesus' prayer to the Father while He was in the Upper Room. Before his crucifixion. He prayed out loud for the disciples and for future believers, you and me. He prayed for me. I inserted my name into this prayer and reread it, it was so powerful and moves me to tears. Jesus prays for me! Knowing this draws me even more closer to Him. He is my best friend. Read this High Priestly prayer of Jesus using your name, and will no doubt effect you in some way. 

Jesus spoke these words, lifted up His eyes to heaven, and said:

"Father, the hour has come. Glorify Your Son, that Your Son also may glorify You, as You have given Him authority over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as You have given Him. And this is eternal life, that _____ may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent. I have glorified You on the earth. I have finished the work which You have given Me to do. And now, O Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was. I have manifested Your name to _____ who You have given Me out of the world. _____ is Yours, You gave _____ to Me, and _____ has kept Your word. Now _____ has known that all things which You have given Me are from You. For I have given to _____ the words which You have given Me; and _____ has received them, and has known surely that I came forth from You; and _____ has believed that You sent Me. I pray for _____. I do not pray for the world but for _____ who You have given Me, for _____ is Yours. And all Mine are Yours, and Yours are Mine, and I am glorified in _____. Now I am no longer in the world, but _____ is in the world, and I come to You. Holy Father, keep through Your name _____ who You have given Me, that _____ may be one as We are. While I was with _____ in the world, I kept _____ in Your name. _____ who You gave Me I have kept; and none of _____ is lost except the son of perdition, that the Scripture might be fulfilled. But now I come to You, and these things I speak in the world, that _____ may have My joy fulfilled in _____. I have given _____ Your word; and the world has hated _____ because _____ is not of the world, just as I am not of the world. I do not pray that You should take _____ out of the world, but that You should keep _____ from the evil one. _____ is not of the world, just as I am not of the world. Sanctify _____ by Your truth. Your word is truth. As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent _____ into the world. And for _____'s sake I sanctify Myself, that _____ also may be sanctified by the truth. I do not pray for _____ alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me. And the glory which You gave Me I have given _____, that _____ may be one just as We are one: I in _____, and You in Me; that _____ may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved _____ as You have loved Me. Father, I desire that _____ also who You gave Me may be with Me where I am, that _____ may behold My glory which You have given Me; for You loved Me before the foundation of the world. O righteous Father! The world has not known You, but I have known You; and _____ has known that You sent Me. And I have declared to _____ Your name, and will declare it, that the love with which You loved Me may be in _____, and I in _____."


Appreciation: An Expression of Gratitude

224 days. The number of days I spent in South Dakota taking care of grandma and grandpa. 3 times. The number of times I felt appreciated.
This is something I struggled with. I loved being there. Did I love every minute of it? No. Do I regret doing it? No. It is something I will treasure in my heart for the rest of my life...being there for grandpa during the last days of his life. What I struggled with was feeling appreciated. I struggled with this because I felt bad for wanting it. Is it selfish to want to feel wanted and appreciated?
This isn't going to be about grandpa. This is about grandma.
I've talked to a few people who can relate to this. When I was younger I looked up to my grandparents and extended family (aka aunts and uncles) through rose colored glasses. During the time in SD, the glasses came off and I saw my family as people, human beings who aren't perfect. The hardest was Grandma. Mom always told me the Grandma was a hard woman to please. My dad's cousins said when they were younger they were always scared of Aunt LaVernge.
There are 3 times I remember that I felt appreciation from Grandma, now I'm not keeping track and I know that there were other times, but these are the ones that have stuck with me. And on this snowy morning I was just thinking about them. Taking care of Mary Lou there are times when I get flashbacks from caring for grandma and grandpa. Well thats what happened this morning.
The first time was when my aunts had just called grandma and grandpa and told them the news of an assistant living place that they had gotten for them in MN near by my aunt and uncle and that they would be moving there in May. I was in their bedroom making the bed and Grandma came in a told me. Then she said that she was so thankful for me and what I've done for Grandpa. How they never could of stayed on the farm that long through the winter if it wasn't for me. I broke down right there. I had just talked to my mom and told her how I was struggling with grandma and having such a hard time with seeming to please her. It's awesome how God works, eh?
The second time was at the interment. Now it had been a week since grandpa passed away. We had a prayer service one day, the funeral was the next, then the follow day was the interment, then the scattering of grandpa's ashes. By the time we got to the interment I was emotional numb and was determined not to cry at the cemetery. And I was doing a great job of accomplishing this. Towards the end I was standing next to grandma watching the rest of the family throw a handful of dirt into the hole. Grandma suddenly put her arm around me and pulled me closer, very tightly, the emotion was mutual, I felt it. I teared up then. Grandma had never hugged me that tightly.
Then lastly was after Grandma had moved to MN and was all settled in at the assistant living place. I had driven down there for her birthday. My aunt and I had bought cake to bring to celebrate with the other tenants at lunch time. Grandma was sitting at the table and I had come in. I went over to her gave her a hug and said happy birthday. She started crying, then I did too. That moment really told me that she truly did appreciate me. Grandma doesn't really show emotion. She is very held together.
The day Grandpa passed away I was the only one there. I was there when we got the call. I drove her to the nursing home. I was there when we went into the room and she leaned over the bed and heard her deep sobs over her husband of almost 60 years. I won't ever forget that image in my mind. And then that first night without grandpa, when we both stayed up until 2am so we would be tired enough to go to sleep. It was only me and grandma while the rest of the family traveled to the farm for the funeral. It pulled us closer together and I felt like I was there for her. And that she appreciated it.
I love you Grandma.


2AM prayer

Dear Heavenly Father,
You are teaching me so much I long to take it all in and meditate on it for weeks. How is it that my desire is to be closer to You, but can't seem to make time for You? Am I so shallow...can You occupy my deepest emotions, my subconscious thoughts that seem trapped in the filth and dirt of the empty lust and passions of my life? That would be so incredible! My heart if so full just thinking about it! Oh how wonderful that would be! 
There is so much that I want to do, so many wishes and dreams...the thing is that I am scared to write them down, to speak of them aloud, for fear that I will fail, that I can never accomplish those dreams. Are these dreams aligned with Your agenda for my life? Why do I fear to moving forward? Father, You are so faithful to me, You never fail to remind me of Your Sovereignty. I want You to use me for Your work, for Your glory...but I have to much fear. I can't win on my own. Help me to fight this battle and to not give in...I do it everyday! Is my desire strong can I get up and tie my goals deeply, strongly, tightly, to my core values and deepest emotions? At the point I was so fearless a month ago, Satan came in and knocked me down...I'm letting him win, I'm stuck and can't move forward. I don't want him to win. Oh how I long to get back to the fearless passion I had. I really believe in this and know there is so much I can do for You through really help people. But what is stopping me? 
Can I live beyond the past? Will you help me feel like I am worth it? Take all of me. Why did I let Satan win? Why did I give in? How come I let my guard down and throw it all away? You know my heart Lord, oh how You know it. You know where my thinking is regarding starting over. I can't. As of now there is no way I can see anyone seeing me as worth it. I won't do it again. I can't. The irony of it all makes me laugh. Ha! 
But I won't let Satan win! I won't continue living for what was last year. It is passed me now and I resolve to stay as I am, my life is Yours and I am content. And I will be content to be satisfied in You alone and no other person. Now indeed with the clock proceeding into the earliest hours of morning I can now rest in peace. You hear my prayer, You know my heart, and You love me. That is all that matters.



Well, yesterday, March 5, was the one year mark since God told me to go to Africa and I said yes. I still remember it so clearly in my mind, the place, the feeling I was so certain. On that night one year ago I was in South Dakota and I was taking my usually walk at sunset around the farm just talking to God and thoughts going back to the video that I watched about this kid in Africa a few days earlier at a college bible study. It had really gotten to me.
My heart has always longed for mission work overseas since I was 10, but never a specific place. That night it became so clear to me! God wants me in Africa! This is the one thing I am positively certain of! And God-willing I may be there at this time next year. My heart is full, about to burst! It is slowly starting to come together! Even though times may come when it seems uncertain. I will always cling to the day I said yes and go back to March 5, 2009 and remember that night and know with certainty :)


When Parts Become A Whole

The following is written by Rachel Young and Ryan Warnholtz. *Disclaimer* grammer, spelling, punctuation, are not correct, so just bear with us.

When Parts Become A Whole: a tale of valor, trial, and love
In a land beyondth this one there was a fairth maiden who nameth was Lady Rachel. The following begins with letters written between her and Sir Ryan, both faithful followers of the True High King. While Lady Rachel was serving her King she befalls in to the merciless hands of Lord Picklebottom. We find at the beginning or our story her first letter to the brave knight.

Dearest Sir Ryan,
I haveth one lastest journey to maketh. Taketh out the burden of rotted, solied items and throw them into the pit of the stinking stench of death. I fearth that the lions and giants will not let me returnth, for they may capture me and taketh me to Lord Picklebottoms. Who is master over all evil creatures. Thou mayest be my lastest chance to surviveth Sir Ryan.
 Faithful servant of the True High King,
Lady Rachel

Fair Lady Rachel,
Oh dear, this is far worse than even I, the great Sir Ryan could have imagined. I must go fuel up for this journey, to the kitchen! (I've been summoned for eggs and oatmeal).
 Knight of the High King,
Sir Ryan

Dearest Sir Ryan, knight of the True High King,
I haveth beenest captured by Lord Picklebottom's creatures. He hast placed me in the dungeon and charged me with the task of scraping sheet rock off boxes and washing all his sliver and gold. I am keepth under guard by the most terrible beast imaginable. The beast of Utter Despair. I workth night and day with no sleep, or rest, or food. My tears are many. The days seem endless and my heart is failing. This is truly my last farewell. I still clingth to the hopeth that maybeth you may reachth my in time. Alas, it may all beth in vain.
Faithful servant of the True High King,
Lady Rachel

Fair Maiden,
I have returned, with the breakfast of champions! Fear not fair maiden Lady Rachel, for I have mounted my trusty steed and boundeth for the dungeons of the dreaded Lord Picklebottom! I shall not rest until  I reach thee, not eat before I rescue thee! I cometh, with my sword raised high, and shall pierce the hearts of all of the beasts that surroundeth you! Keep hope Lady Rachel, for I am on my way,
Faithful servant of the True High King,
Sir Ryan

Sir Ryan,
My heart has a ray of hope! I will hold strongly to thouest promise that thee will rescue me! Each day still dragth on. Lord Picklebottom has commanded that I be wed to him in a fortnight. I am not distressed for i know that thou will reachest me in time.
Faithful servant of the True High King,
Lady Rachel

Dearest Lady Rachel,
For I am but a breath away, yet you doth not see me... for I ninjaeth amongst these beasts. My trusty steed was not so trusteth, and so I doth taketh an airplane. A magnificent beast that doth soar above the clouds with the greatest of ease! The next time that thou dost hear from me it shall be face to face, for I cometh ever so soon!
Faithful servant of the True High King,
Sir Ryan

*Lots of roaring from hugeeeee beasts! The sound of hearts being pierced, the yells of an injured Knight*

*A hobbling knight enters into your midst!*

Lady Rachel,
For it is I, Sir Ryan. I have cometh to rescue you from this place. But what is this? You have disappeared! Oh no, can it be that I am too late?

Dearest Sir Ryan,
Lord Picklebottm intercepted my last letter so he learned of thou mission to rescue me. He took me awayth to his secret castle and has me locked in the highest tower. My heart the was rejoicing of thou rescuing me is now full of despair. For, alas, Lord Picklebottom has made today the day I weddest him. I write in great haste for his servant soonest come to take me away to my doom. I'm dress in the most beautiful and whitest dress, but the irony of it, I can not bear this. I shall throw myself from the tower before I wed Lord Picklebottom. I fear that there is no way thee can rescue me for only the servants of Lord Picklebottom know of this secret castle. My tears are many and my heart aches for rescue. You must find th True High King and plea with Him to reveal where I am. That is my last request Knight Warnholtz. But you must make haste! Alas! I hear the trod of footsteps in the stairwell!
Servant of the True High King,
Lady Rachel

****In haste, Sir Ryan scours the prison for any hidden clues, secrets that might revealeth this secret location. In Lord Picklebottoms chamber a secret passage is found due to a strange wind that bleweth through the room. Clearly the powers that be wished for this to happen. Sir Ryan crawleth through the passage on his hands and knees until they becometh raw. The pain of the injuries from his victorious battle stinging and the rawness of his knees and hands exuding pain - he began to loseth hope for the fair maiden, Lady Rachel.

However when he thoughteth that all was o'er he saw a light shine through the tunnel, and he saweth that the end was near! He goteth out of the tunnel in the stables of this hidden abode - now to findeth that tower. Ah! There it is, the tower being the biggest he had ever seen! What doth he haveth for options? And then he heard it - the roar of a dragon! With that roar of the dragon, a thought runeth across the mind of Sir Ryan, a thought only knights in desperation would ever consider... but it had to be done, for the fair lady Rachel's life dependeth on it! Full of haste Sir Ryan sprinted to the dragon and after narrowly avoiding death by fire (and losing an eyebrow) he mounted the beast and directed it towards the tower!

Lady Rachel  sent the letter to Sir Ryan in a last act of hope. Alas she heard the approaching footsteps of those who would take her to her doom. She would neverst be weddest to the evil Lord Picklebottom. She threw the bar back from the door that led out to the tower balcony. Stepping carefully onto the railing she paused looking down at the deep water of the moat seeming miles down. If she survived the jump she would still have the crocs to defeat. Breathing deeply she closed her eyes feeling the wind tug at her long hair and play at the white hem of her dress, she was about to step a foot over when the wind change from a peaceful breeze to a raging gust. Opening her eye see sawth Sir Ryan approaching on the back of the dragon of Utter Despair. Just then her captor entered the tower. Her heart gave way as she fell forward. Lord Picklebottom caught her, then called out all his evil servant creatures to finish off Sir Ryan. Flocking around him they pressed in to bring him to his death.

Sir Ryan jumped from the back of the dragon and plunged into the black water of the moat. Lady Rachel awoke just at the moment to see him disappear in the depths. With every onuce of strengh she had left she rung herself from the grasp of her captor and flung herself over the balcony, and submerged beneath the deadly waves of the moat.

After emerging from the cold dark depths of the moat, Sir Ryan heardeth a loud splash behind him. Seeing the alligators on the land nearing the water, Sir Ryan decided to act fast! He doveth into the dark icy depths yet again, in despair that the person in the moat was indeed Lady Rachel, and that she was indeed okay! With a huge breath, Sir Ryan doveth into the depths in search of the fair maiden. Lady Rachel's wedding dress was so white, that it shone even in the darkest of depths, leading Sir Ryan right to her! Lord Picklebottom was an evil man, but without knowing it, he had savethed her life.

Sir Ryan scooped up Lady Rachel and emerged in the presence of burning arrows flying down from the tower! Oh no, they hath archers! Without thinking, Sir Ryan whistled to his new found steed, and the dragon descended with great speed towards Lady Rachel, and Sir Ryan.

Sir Ryan threw Lady Rachel who had not yet revived over the back of his noble steed, then turn to face the dragon, Utter Despair. Taking his sword up in hand with fiery arrows flying past inches of his life. He lunged the sword with all his strengh at the direction of Utter Despair who was diving towards him. The sword found rest in the chest of the huge beast. He plummenth down at such amazing speed Sir Ryan had to jumpth to safetl narrowly being missed by Utter Despair tail. With the beast dead the rest of the evil creatures coward back into the forest and a horrendous screech was heard above Sir Ryan. Lord Picklebottom full of rage swore that he would get his revenge and Lady Rachel would be his. Sir Ryan mounted his noble steed and raced off into the forest holding onto Lady Rachel limp body. They rode at a great pace though the darkest night. A faint glow of torches trailing behind. It was Lord Picklebottom and his army of evil creatures, gaining, gaining. Sir Ryan's noble steed was fainting and Lady Rachel was still unresponsive. Sir Ryan's hope was faltering, but he still press on and on. Deeper through the forest. His heart cried out for help any help.

Galloping faster than ever having to gallop before, Sir Ryans steed stopped suddenly, throwing Sir Ryan and Lady Rachel at the distance of 10 feet. After checking to see if Lady Rachel was okayeth quickly, Sir Ryan went to retrieve his steed. Suddenly the ground crumbled beneath him and he quickly took hold of the end of the cliff he had not seen in the utter darkness of the woods! Hearing screams, footsteps and branches cracking, Sir Ryan pulled himself up. What had just happened? Had this been the reason his trusty steed had stopped so suddenly? If it was, then Lord Picklebottom would possibly plunge to his death if the same thing was to arise! Could this be the only way out for Sir Ryan and Lady Rachel?!

No steed, and Lady Rachel unconcious... was this the end?

Quickly Sir Ryan picked up Lady Rachel and headed into the woods by on foot. It was not the speed of a trusty steed, but he was going to doeth everything within his power to make sure Lady Rachel was to reach safety!

Awakening in and out of conciousness, Lady Rachel was unawareth of the goings on, and the danger her lifeth was in. She suddenly was fully awakened by a constanth jostling and open her eyes to seeth the face of Sir Ryan focused intensly ahead and running at a great pace. Her heart warmed with in her and all the fearth melted away, for she felt safe in the arms of her rescuer. Behind them cameth a great sound of death, for all of Lord Picklebottoms army plummenth down to their doom over the cliff the Sir Ryan's steed had encounterth. Soon the wailngs of the lone Lord Picklebottom were far in the distance and the danger seemth to fade away. Stopping at the top of a mountin range Sir Ryan looked down at Lady Rachel to see she was still unresponsive. He did not know she had awakened beforeth, now she was just asleep from the exhaustion of the last fortnight. Fear grew in his heart. He had saved her from Lord Picklebottom, but had he saved her from her death?

Fainth pink and orange light streaked across the blackth canvas of the night sky. Dawn was coming. Sir Ryan placeth Lady Rachel on a soft patch pf grass and stood up surveying his surroundings. Something seemed familiar. As the sun peaked the first mountian top Sir Ryan recongnizeth that he was in the True King's territory. HOw he had managed to get there he hadth no inkling as to how, but his heart filled with hope once more and he scooped Lady Rachel up and began the acsenth down to the valley where the True King abideth.

Sir Ryan was exhausted, but with one look at the Lady Rachel and one look at where he was, he suddenly felteth like a new man. He was not sure where the new found energy had cometh from but he did not considereth for a moment to pondereth it! He had to rescue the fair Lady! So not a moment longer, Sir Ryan picked up Lady Rachel in his arms and began the trek to the great castle of the True King! It was not that far away, but the path was treacherous, and the mountains steep! Thankfully they had cleared the dark woods, and were safe from the treacherous monsters!

Nearing the peak of the mountain where the True Kings castle layed, Sir Ryan heardeth a louddddd screech from behind he and Lady Rachel! In turning around Sir Ryan to his disbelief saweth Lord Picklebottom riding in with great speed on the back of the biggest dragon he had every layed his eyes on. Quickly Sir Ryan found a safe place for the fair Lady Rachel in a cave, and prepared himself for one last battle. Lord Picklebottom was about to breatheth his last breath, and would no longer wreak havoc on this world!

The dragon Lord Picklebottom rode was the mother of Utter Despair, Fiery Death, and Sir Ryan knew that if he could just get the gold pendant around her neck he would be her new master instead of Lord Picklebottom. This would not be and eay task. For at any moment Fiery Death could blast him into charcoal with on puff. They were bearing down on him and with get hasth Sir Ryan leap into a crevice and squeezeth him self against the jagged rocks. Unseen by the peril that was bearing down on him. At the instant Fiery Death flew by Sir Ryan jumped out a caught hold of the gold chain with the pendant on it. He held on for dear life and tunged with all he was worth at the clasp. it broke free and he fell to the rocky ground.

Lady Rachel awoke in the dark and coldness of the cave all alone. Fearful once again she heard a horrenous roar out the cave entrance. She reached the mouth of the cave in time to see Sir Ryan fall to the ground with the gold pendant. Fiery Death screech to a halt flinging Lord Picklebottom to the edge of a cliff. Lord Picklebottom stood up at the edge and commanded Fiery Death to get him and finish of Sir Ryan. But Fiery Death was no longer his prisioner for when Sir Ryan had take the chain, it had freed her. Before Lord Picklebottom could spit out anouther word of hate he was ashes in the breeze. feiry Death then ascended down and landed where her new master lay unmoving on the rocky terrian.

The True King shielded His eyes against the glint of the sun on the horizon. It had been days since word of Sir Ryan had been heard from. But He knew what was to be for He was, after all, the True King. Then appearing in the distance was a figure of a large dragon. After awhile He could see on the back was Sir Ryan and the fair Lady Rachel.

When they had reached the True King's castle the townspeople were at first terrified, but their fearful hearts and cries soon turn to great noises of celebration, seeing the Knight and the Lady. The two were both in pretty bad shape, but no longer controlled by the fear of the Lord Picklebottom. They were full of joy. They came before the King and He looked at both fondly. He spoke of the great courageious bravery of Sir Ryan, who would have given his life for Lady Rachel...His Daughter! Sir Ryan had no ideath of this and looked greatly surprised. The King chuckled as Lady Rachel kissed Sir Ryan's red cheek. Then he proclaimed thoughout the nation that His daughter was to wed the noble Sir Ryan. And so is was. And they lived... happily ever after, raising a family filled with little Knights and fair ladies. Sir Ryan made sure to teach his little Knights to watch over the fair ladies, and to scare any interested parties away until the age of 18!

And that dost concludeth the tale of the brave Knight Sir Ryan, and his Fair Lady, Lady Rachel.****