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Monthly Archives: January 2009

Video Testimony

This will soon be in video form on the CTI website. So look for it soon.

 

One Way

One Way

 

 

One of the songs we’ve been singing all year is Derek Webb’s Take to the World. and there’s one line in there that I absolutely love, it says, He uses all, even you. The Lord has proven that true for me in so many ways in the past 6 months. I actually have Cystic Fibrosis (which is a chronic lung disease) so, that has been one of my big challenges during this year. Even when I was deciding whether or not to do CTI I was thinking, Lord how is this going to work? I’m just a weak little girl with nothing to offer you. I’m just going to be a bother. And the Lord really spoke to me and said, Gretchen, I’m not concerned with what you have to offer me, I just want you to trust me and follow where I lead you. So, I did, I took that step of faith and came on a year long team with CTI, and I have never seen the Lord move like he has through this team and this ministry.

I was giving a testimony at youth concert a few weeks ago and I was thinking the whole time, I have absolutely no idea what I’m saying…this is pointless, no one is listening to me. I’m a fool But after the concert I had 4 individuals come to me separately and tell me that they thought my testimony was specifically for them and that the Lord was definitely speaking to them through that. I thought, “wow, the Lord really does use all…even me”. 

There is no other place on earth that I would rather be right now than right here and so I just want to thank each and every one of you that make that possible. Please know that your partnership with CTI (in whatever capacity that may be) is helping change lives all over the world.

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Posted by on January 29, 2009 in Uncategorized

 

The Ocean

Island of Tingo, PIThere’s something about the ocean that makes me feel so…insignificant, yet satisfied all at once. I think it’s satisfying because I’m reminded of all the good gifts the LORD shares for our enjoyment…and to help us see Him as He really is. My feelings of insignificance come at the realization of how vast the ocean is, and how much wonder is encompassed there. How the ocean does exactly what it was created to do (rushing to His feet)…and here I am just a little girl on the shore, next to a billion other little girls, wondering what she was created to do.

 
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Posted by on January 26, 2009 in "Debriefings"

 

Journal Excerpt

 

I’ve been struggling with a few things this past week. Feeling really weak in my faith. LIke I should be stronger; more mature; more faithful. 12-12-08-020This morning I was reading in Romans and a couple verses really spoke to me; bringing peace. The first section is 3-5. It says this: More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.

That is so wonderful. How freeing to remember that there will be sufferings in this life. I’m not failing just because I’m suffering. This is expected. Moreover…there is a purpose; it’s not just random. While there are probably a million different reasons for this, if it were only to produce endurance, character and hope, that would be enough. And the Lord is with me. I am not going to be left out here to drown. God’s love is poured out over me. That is all I need. My sin will not lead to death anymore. Praise Jesus!

And it hit me: it’s like what I sing about every day! Sometimes…I fall, sometimes I lose my way, but when I fall I fall into grace. How true that is. Crazy how something that’s right in front of my face every single day can go unnoticed until the exact moment it’s needed to be brought to light. It’s funny because I talk about this very thing before we sing this song (or Carrie talks about it) but today it’s doing the work in me that I hope it does in the people who come to our concerts.

 
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Posted by on January 20, 2009 in Just thinking

 

I know I’m a delinquent

At least in posting blogs lately. 

 

Seattle Concert

Seattle Concert

 

 

I figured, since not much is going on in my life except music and ministry (which is actually a lot but not very easy to write about) I would post something a little differently this time. If you were at one of our concerts and I was giving the testimony for that night, this might be something that you would hear. You have quite an advantage in hearing one of my testimonies this way actually because you get to be in the comfort and quiet of your own home (or office…or wherever you’re reading this) instead of in a sea of people.

Anyway, here it goes:

 

I want to share with you about a good friend of mine. I’m going to change her name to Emily just for her sake but um….Emily and i were good friends in high school. Actually she was a year older than me so I was a senior and she had just graduated and I remember all I wanted was to be like her. She was the coolest Christian I knew. she had tons of friends and started bible studies all over the place and prayed for people; she was on the college-age worship team; she was a high school leader; she went on all these mission trips…she was just amazing. 

Have any of you ever had people in your life like that? People that just make you want to be better than you are? Emily did that….in a good way though…she spurred me on to grow more intimate with the Lord and to be confidently passionate. 

She’s incredible really. 

So…unfortunately,we haven’t really been in touch over the past couple years because she’s been in school and I’ve been traveling with CTI and stuff like that. But I just heard from her a couple months ago and what she said was probably the biggest shock of my life thus far. 

Apparently, one of the reasons why she had not been in touch with any of us back home is because she got caught up in the wrong crowd and eventually got pregnant and decided to have an abortion. 

When I heard that my heart broke completely. I just could not fathom how someone so on fire for the Lord; so sincere in her faith; so “spiritually strong” could fall in such a devastating way. And the thought that immediately popped into my head was, “How could she be so stupid? We’re nothing alike anymore; I’m the farthest thing from her”. And the thing I felt the Lord speaking to me directly following was, “Oh really Gretchen? Remember David!”

Do you guys remember David from The Old Testament? Both 1 Samuel and Acts refer to David as a man after God’s own heart. A man appointed by God to be leader of His people. And I remembered David’s adulatory in 2 Sam. 11. 

Here’s this man who defeated Goliath with a sling shot and raw faith, chosen by God to lead the entire Israelite army….half the psalms are written by him…and he has an affair! And THEN..he has the husband of the woman he had an affair with killed in order  to cover up his mistake!  

In remembering David, I also realized that I am NOT too far from devastation. If a man after God’s own heart can fall so far from God in a single instant…surely I can as well. Moreover…it’s not that I am “Such a good Christian” or “So close to God” that I am incapable of making decisions like my friend Emily….it’s ALL by grace that I am not in the position she’s in. The Lord has spared me my Bathsheba for the moment. 

How humbling. 

And so I began to pray for Emily, and for myself….that we would see and acknowledge the depth of our sin. Not so that we can beat ourselves up over it or spend the rest of our lives trying to do something to earn back the favor of God. But so that in our recognizing the depth of our sin, we might also recognize the depth of Christs mercy; and know all that His blood has covered over. 

My encouragement to you is 2 fold, and it applies to me as well. 

On one hand I want to encourage you to have mercy on people who have disappointed you, or have found themselves in the midst of terrible consequences because you are not above that. 

And on the other hand I want us to look at all of the things that we have done in our life. All of the mistakes we’ve made…and remember and rejoice in the fact that Christ died for those choices; his blood is the reason that God sees a clean record instead of our iniquity. 

Romans 8:1 says “There is now therefore no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus”. 

 
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Posted by on January 15, 2009 in Uncategorized