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Monthly Archives: October 2008

Ephesians 3:20

Cagayan De Oro, PI

Night Cafe Lights: Cagayan De Oro, PI

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen (NIV).

I used to lose faith over verses like this. I would cry out to God, “why are you doing nothing when I’m asking fervently? Surely you are able to do more than what I’m asking so why are you not answering me?”

But now, in retrospect, all I can say is, “Praise you Lord that you didn’t give me what I so fervently asked for…because this is immeasurably more than all I could ask for or imagine”. 

I’m learning to trust. 

 
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Posted by on October 30, 2008 in Just thinking

 

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Why in the world am I awake right now?

 

Sunrise at Seaside

Sunrise at Seaside

I have been awake since 4:30am. And I’m kinda ticked off about that. Normally, I would attribute it to jet-lag, but I know the real reason is because people have been coming in my room all night long to take my blood pressure and O2 stats and such. VERY annoying! Now I can’t go back to sleep. 

 

As I was laying here, I started thinking, “How did I get here?” Not “how did I get here” like “where do babies come from”? or “how did I get here” like “how did I end up in the hospital”? but more like, “How did I get this incredible LIFE!?”

Seriously, sometimes I just have to stop and be amazed, and let the fact sink in that This is my life. It is one that has been perfectly suited for me. I know I’m only 25, so if some think I haven’t “lived” yet, that’s ok….I’m just going to disagree with them. I may be young (or old…depending how you look at it) but I think the life I’ve had thus far has been well lived. 

Sure I’ve made mistakes and bad choices and have had hard times…but how would I know how wonderful the good parts are if I never saw the bad parts? In all honesty, there is something beautiful in those hard times because those are the times where I see God the most. The times when I am most weak, most confused, and completely empty…those are the times when He comes and He picks me up, He reminds me that He is my strength and that everything I do is because He gives me breath to do it.

I have no money aside from the gifts people give; no purpose except to serve Christ; no direction except the leading He’s given; and no security but that which is in my Precious Jesus. I’m just a girl with nothing of my own; no worth, no talent, no beauty. All that I have is in Christ. He is my worth. He is my talent. He is my beauty; whatever those things look like at any given moment.  

I have been loved. I’ve been deserted. I have made friendships. I’ve lost friendships. I have been well, and I’ve been near death. I have seen the Lord in SO many different ways.  And I don’t know why. I don’t know why the Lord would choose to give me such an amazing life. I don’t know why He would choose to reveal himself to me from my youth. I don’t know why He would spare me from so many horrible things in life and bestow copious amounts of blessing instead. I know I’m not worthy of that, and so….it’s all the more lovely. 

In short: I LOVE the Lord, and I love my life in Him.

 
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Posted by on October 28, 2008 in Uncategorized

 

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To Be Honest

This time away from my team has been really hard for me. It’s been nice to be here with the Lord and to rest up a bit, and to be able to have some debriefing time but…I hate that I’m missing out on stuff. I wasn’t there for the rest of oral debriefing with the team, I missed our first concert back in the states, and I didn’t get to join in on the glory that is Barn Dancing. ::Long sigh::

Oh well, I just have to choose to shrug it off because there is nothing I can do about it.

They did cheer me up a bit when they all came to visit. It was my favorite day. Thanks guys!

 
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Posted by on October 27, 2008 in "Debriefings"

 

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One Story at a Time

I have only been in the hospital for two nights but the Lord has given the opportunity for me to share stories of my Philippine adventures already. The one I’m going to share with you right now seems to be popular around here so maybe it will be popular with you as well, I don’t know.

CTI Philippines

CTI Philippines

 

 

So there we were, on a stage in an brand new amphitheater, about to play the last concert we would ever play in the Philippines, as the great Pacific ocean painted our backdrop. Since this is the tail end of our tour, my lungs are pretty much shot. I mean, I can hardly walk around or talk to people without gasping for air or having a coughing fit. So I’m left wondering if I will be able to make it through this concert, knowing full well that I won’t unless the Lord intercedes and gives me breath. All I could do was pray that the Lord would sustain me and that I wouldn’t have to have Carrie and Sara sing my 5 songs (which they totally could have done…and done very well). 

As I took the stage with my fellow teammates I reminded myself, Gretch, you just have to trust the Lord, there is nothing you can do at this point. Whatever happens happens…Lord I need you! 

Before I knew it the time for me to show all my cards had come. The intro to Set the World on Fire was long over; I stepped forward, opened my mouth, and wimpishly sang the intro. And then something amazing and unforgettable happened…I got to the part of the song that says, I am small but you are big enough. I am weak but you are strong enough. And that was it, my lungs were opened up like never before, a breeze swept across the stage and I knew that the Lord was answering my prayer in a very obvious way. I sang all 4 of my songs without any help from the other girls and I tag-teamed the song we had learned the day before with Sara. It was incredible. Suddenly, I could breathe. Suddenly I saw clearly that the Lord doesn’t need me for anything, but he chooses to use me; to be part of His story, and when he chooses me, he also prepares the way and makes it possible for me to carry out that calling. Hallelujah Jesus! 

Fan Base

Fan Base

 

 

Another really cool thing about this, and this is something that Carl pointed out during our debriefing at CTI, is that during our second week of ministry in the Philippines (on the island of Cebu) our theme became weakness: how we are all week but God is shown to be powerful in that weakness.

Carl and I have been pinned The Dynamic Duo by our team. Why? Because whenever the team is asked to share a message with a church on Sunday mornings, I have recited a passage of scripture and Carl has preached on that passage. It’s really fun and I think we all get a lot out of it. So I think this whole theme emerged after one of these instances when Carl and I were slotted to become that dynamic duo again. I decided I wanted to recite from 2 Corinthians so we did a message based off of 2 Cor. 12:9 which says, But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness” (NIV). 

At first it seemed kind of random for us to have chosen that passage to share with a congregation that we had never met before. But looking back on it, it was the most appropriate thing we could have said. People were coming up to us after the services and saying things like, “wow, that was EXACTLY what I needed to hear. How did you know?” the pastor even said, “That was perfect! We are studying that very passage right now in some of our cell-groups”. 

So, going back to what Carl was pointing out earlier, we started this theme without really even knowing it, and it helped people see the Lord in a way they may not have before. Not only that, but the Lord gave US (as a team) a very real example of how that passage/that theme is revealed in life. We were all so weak in those last days. We were sick, we were exhausted. We were so small in a massive world held together by One God. But that same God that holds the world together with his mighty hand, also has the tenderness to sustain our feeble lives, and use them to do something great in this world….even if that something great is just singing a song.

 
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Posted by on October 25, 2008 in "Debriefings"

 

Good News and Bad News

The good news is: After my safe arrival from the Philippines I was able to take a drive in the Gretch-mobile to the cities. It is absolutely beautiful in Minnesota in the fall. I was seriously in Awe. 

The bad news is: The only reason I got to take such a splendid drive is because I was checking myself into the hospital at U of M. Turns out the air quality in the Philippines was more than I could handle. So I’ll be here for a few days to get back in shape before we head out for Fall-tour.

Don’t worry! There’s more good news: Since I’ll be in here with nothing to do, while my amazing team gets to learn new songs and join the tradition of Barn Dancing…I will more than likely be writing an update (or 2) on my time in the Philippines. 

So see, the good outweighs the bad 🙂

Check back soon!

~Gretch

 
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Posted by on October 24, 2008 in Updates on The Gretch

 

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