Sunday, October 4, 2009


Maybe this is very Junior High of me, but I find myself having the same internal conversations lately--some healthy and some not. In the Bible they frequently document important ideas in a prayer or song. I decided to gather some of the things I am committing to in one document.

Monday, March 9, 2009

thankful, yet again!

Here I sit in Rogue Valley Medical Center. I am thankful and relieved and utterly exhausted. The adeneline has gone and the big unknown is over! Now my body is done with all this excitement.

Mom came through surgery like a champ! The Dr. said that everything went great and all visible signs say that they got everything. They will, of course, test the tumor but all signs point to good health. Thank God!

Friday, March 6, 2009

please pray for my mama

A few quick updates from Tina-Land-

We found out yesterday that my mom has breast cancer. The tumor is small and she faithfully gets her annual mammogram—so we have trust that the cancer will be very treatable. That being said, my mom hates pain and my dad hates Dr’s, pain, my mom’s pain, stress, etc. So this will definitely be a trying time for them—as well as my two brothers and I. She has surgery on Monday to remove the lump and I’m heading home to be with her. Once healed from the surgery, she will start with radiation and we hope that is all she will need. Please commit to praying over the next two months for my mom, Bonnie, and my dad, Jerry. And I have to say that this sure seems like a good reason to be back from El Salvador and not working full-time—I can just hop down to Southern Oregon and be there to support my mom and dad. That is such a good feeling!

Yeah! After a lot of rigamarole—Dave was able to find a pretty cheap and secure way to get me my cashola. So I now have the money to purchase a car. I am looking for a Toyota Corolla somewhere around 2001, with less than 100K, standard transmission. Let me know if you see anything for sale!

We were able to increase my hours at Olio United (looking for a great fairly-made and downright stylish gift, dress or art work? ). This will provide some more consistency to my pay and schedule—and is with some of my best friends! I’m really looking forward to it. This still leaves a lot of hours in the week open—but I have a few opportunities to explore to potentially cover those. Please just keep praying that I can keep living simply and that I will know what opportunities to pursue. Otherwise, I simply trust God to provide—as He always has in the past. I am so blessed!

The above thank yous and prayers, have me pondering the roller coaster of life. Seven years ago I was on quite a ride as I was struggling with the questions of whether God existed or not, and Psalm 46:10 was the spot in the Bible that ended all questions in my mind.
10 "Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth."
These words caused me to pause because I realized that was my ultimate question, “Was there a God and if so, could He really calm the storms in my life and my spirit?” This verse spoke deep to those concerns and has long stayed with me as I continue through my ever twisting path of life. It brings me comfort and peace—and primarily seems to always introduce God into my darkest moments. In Israel a few years back, I bought a ring with this verse written in Hebrew along the band. And when I feel chaos crashing in, I slip this ring on and it speaks to my fears of not knowing the end of the story and offers a solid place to stand—No matter where you are, be still. I am God and I have it all in control! Truly I do! Just wait and see what I am planning!

I know that so many of us are in strange bends in the road currently: career-wise, relationally, spiritually. So I offer this verse as a marker in your road—or maybe a billboard along the way—but definitely a message from God. He is here and He is big enough to be, well all kinds of God-like. I encourage you to invite Him into your current situation—feel free to test Him and scream and yell if you need to—because He is God, He can handle it! I have and I remain strangely in peace and faith amidst another life storm. I have hope for my mom, a job, a car and a great tomorrow. I know it may sound odd, or maybe downright delusional, to say and yet I remain still in this moment, trusting God to just be Himself. And that is enough to make it through to another day with a sense of joyful expectation. I will keep you posted on how He does!

Monday, March 2, 2009

better than lucky number 7

The Year of the LORD's Favor

This January marked my 7th year as a Bible toting Christian. Really there is nothing that I can say about the last year, that isn’t in this chapter of Isaiah. God is good and I am rich. If this poses questions for you, let’s grab coffee & talk about how I see ME in these words. ♥ Tina

Isaiah 61
The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the LORD's favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion—

to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes,
the oil of gladness instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.

They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor. They will rebuild the ancient ruins and restore the places long devastated; they will renew the ruined cities that have been devastated for generations.

Aliens will shepherd your flocks; foreigners will work your fields and vineyards. And you will be called priests of the LORD, you will be named ministers of our God. You will feed on the wealth of nations, and in their riches you will boast. Instead of their shame my people will receive a double portion, and instead of disgrace they will rejoice in their inheritance; and so they will inherit a double portion in their land, and everlasting joy will be theirs. "For I, the LORD, love justice; I hate robbery and iniquity. In my faithfulness I will reward them and make an everlasting covenant with them. Their descendants will be known among the nations and their offspring among the peoples. All who see them will acknowledge that they are a people the LORD has blessed."

I delight greatly in the LORD; my soul rejoices in my God.
For he has clothed me with garments of salvation
and arrayed me in a robe of righteousness,
as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest,
and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.

For as the soil makes the sprout come up and a garden causes seeds to grow, so the Sovereign LORD will make righteousness and praise spring up before all nations.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

who, where, when, what

So many of you have asked me how my return home has been and depending on the day, my answer can vary significantly but I believe the word I have used most consistently is disoriented. Some days are good, some days are less good—but each day I kind of wonder what the heck am I doing? Where I am going? When am I going there? And who will I be in the end? And thus far an answer to even one of those questions seems elusive—nonetheless all of them. And so, I move forward in this somewhat confused, continually wondering state. Along the way God continues to meet my needs and affirm that I am exactly where He wants me and so I am trying to patiently place one foot in front of the other.

And as I speak to friends and family, I realize that I am certainly not alone. We are living in weird times—a fact that the daily news attempts to terrorize us with every day! As I think about it, I barely know anyone that doesn’t feel a bit disheveled these days.

Taking all this internal hoopla into church on Sunday, I sat down in my chair with an air of tension. I sat in the back and was greeted by friend after friend. Then the worship began and as I sang, my spirit softened and I felt a weight lift. My good friend Adam was preaching and he shared funny stories, challenged me and spoke truth. As he spoke I felt a hope revive in my heart—that is the natural response to good truth! And by the closing song I was shaking my hips and singing with a full grin across my face. There really is something, well, spiritual about church. And it’s not about the stained glass or the soulful music—it’s that God dwells in the community of His people. It’s actually a place where you can rub elbows with God and hear His voice and feel His arms as a fellow believer greets you in love. Truly something supernatural can happen there and this Sunday I was keenly reminded of the deep, deep blessing of being able to attend my local Christian church.

Feeling the craziness of our times? My advice is simple: Go sit in your favorite neighborhood church and just see what happens.

A few updates to keep everyone in the loop!

  • THE CAR- Thanks for all your prayers! Teresita, my lovely Landcruiser, has a new owner! Please pray that the check travel from El Salvador to here safely and quickly! (We have friends in the Embassy that are going to send it via US mail, NOT Salvadoran “mail”.) And let me know if you know of any reliable cars available for a good price! I’m particularly interested in Toyota’s and Volvo’s.
  • THE JOB- I’m still looking for a job! But thankfully between my very part-time job at Olio United, another part-time gig helping a friend work on a book and various money making schemes, I am paying the bills. As I have talked to people and considered some of the job opportunities, it’s becoming clearer that this process may take a while and I am just trusting that God will continue to provide for and lead me.
  • SEMINARY- I am still hoping to begin seminary in May, but without any kind of consistent paycheck, I don’t feel like I can take on the additional debt of school. So there is a chance that I may have to postpone for another semester. Please pray that I get a clear direction on when to begin, how to pay, etc. I am so excited about this, but feel like I need to know how the bills will get paid before I sign up for additional expenses!
  • HELPING IN UGANDA?- My roommate, Ginger, is Director of the US side of a nonprofit working with AIDS orphans in Uganda (AOET and is currently in Uganda. We have talked and prayed about opportunities for me to help them with communications over the last few months. In early March, there is an Oregon based marketing firm that has offered to help AOET develop print materials, a video and a new website. Ginger and I think it would be awesome if I could at least be in Uganda with this team to assist in the development of the comm materials—basically to bring my comm developmental and organizational skills to the table for AOET. As of right now, I have the time available—it’s just a matter of funding. It looks like a ticket will cost somewhere between $1500-2000 and some new immunizations will cost around $500. I feel like I have already been given so much from folks over the last few years, that I don’t want to ask for support—and yet, I clearly can’t go without it. So I figure, it’s up to God to provide the dollars if this something that He wants me to do. Please pray that it becomes clear one way or another, what I am supposed to do.

THANKS, AGAIN- And as always, thanks to all of you for your support, caring, encouragement and prayers. Almost every day someone shares a kindness with me and I am a very, very blessed girl to be surrounded by so much love!

Ephesians 3:16-21I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. 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, for ever and ever! Amen.

Oh, and the photo is just of my hair cut from a few weeks back. I thought El
Sal friends might like to see and blogs without any photos are just too many

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Seminary and beyond

Soooo, I did fall of the face of the blogosphere, but I'm going to try to make a comeback!Before I can get deep, thoughtful and all sorts of compelling, let me bring you up to speed:
  • Back in Portland
    Just in case you missed it, I have officially moved back to Portland. I am living in my old house, attending River West and trying to figure out what is the plan now.
  • Looking for A Job
    My time with ENLACE came to an end at the end of 2008, so I am currently looking for a job. If anyone knows of anyone that needs a communications person or administrator or project manager or generally smart and effective lady, please pass on my name and contact info. I will also forward on copies of my resume if anyone has any job leads.
  • Need a Car
    Please join me in praying that my car sells asap in El Salvador. I need the proceeds from that to purchase a car here and to live on if a job doesn't happen soon. If you have a car that I can borrow for a while, please let me know!
  • Starting Seminary
    I am planning on starting a Masters Program at Western Seminary in Portland this summer. I will likely only be able to take a few classes at a time--so it may take a while--but I am so excited to get started. I will be getting a masters in Pastoral Care to Women with separate concentration in intercultural studies and missions. This kind of touches on both of my primary passions, while also allowing me to get some Bible training, mininstry training, etc. Oooo, I wish I could start tomorrow!
Finally thanks to everyone that has been praying, emailing, encouraging, in some cases feeding me as I transition. Your support is so huge to me right now as I continue to move forward wondering what God has next. Following is the verse that is really sustaning me these days.

Psalm 143:8
Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I entrust my life.

Thanks again and stay tuned for more thoughts soon. I have a lot of catching up to do!

Friday, November 7, 2008

and once more...

I swear, I will have words to share soon--lot's of thoughts brewing! Thanks for the prayers!