My classroom called life…Kingdom lessons

My desire is to abide

Perseverance MUST finish its work… March 22, 2009

Filed under: Revelation and Growth — charredsmore @ 5:43 am


“Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.”

Romans 5:1-5

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”

James 1:2-4

I am learning a LOT about PERSEVERANCE right now through many things.  In training, in health, in healing, in relationships, in teaching, in discipline, in prayer, and in family.

It is always good when you can see GOOD and PURPOSE in the midst of trails.  I am not really going through a ton of trials, just mostly waiting right now for some promises to come through.  I have been let down by people I trust.  People have made promises that are no longer being fulfilled.  I feel like Joseph in a way (a minor way).  He definitely went through it.  He had to WAIT a LONG time for his promises to come through.  I wonder how many times he questions those dreams…”Was that really you Lord?  What do you want me to do in this prison?  How is any of that going to happen?”  I can’t wait to meet him in the Kingdom and ask what was going through his mind during all those years of preparation!  I keep praying and trusting that God is preparing me in the midst of the fire.  The fire refines and purifies.  Amen, that’s what I need.  I guess He is just turning up the heat to “test His Word” and to see where my heart really is at.  When the heat is up, you can really see your true self.  Keep the vision alive in your heart in the midst of the fire.  He is faithful and true and will keep His promises!

Where is my trust?

Where is my hope?

Where is my security?

In You LORD.


“For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

2 Peter 1:5-8


Transformed Communication… March 3, 2009

Filed under: Random,Revelation and Growth — charredsmore @ 3:01 am



This blog is in process, so I will add to it.

Basically my phone is a bit jacked up, so it is getting fixed.  Hmmmm…is there a parallel?  I think so.  In the way I communicate…sometimes jacked up and coming from a place of brokenness.  So I ask forgiveness to all of you that I have hurt, offended, or simply broken trust with because of my words.  This is definitely an area the Lord is fixing.  Sure, I can try to fix it, that wouldn’t go too far either, I am asking that the Holy Spirit guard my words and tongue so that I would only speak loving, kind, and truthful words to people.  Grace and Truth…that balance is not always easy. 


Jesus did a pretty good job at it, and He is alive in me…so there is HOPE!


My phone is getting fixed, so I have a loaner for a couple weeks…it’s not as cool as my phone, but I will survive. Reminds me of Amander’s “humility phone.”  

Please email me: with your phone number.


Otherwise, I will be talking to you in couple weeks.  That’s cool too.  I probably talk too much on my phone.  If you text me, I will probably not know who it is from unless you sign your name.


“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouth, but only what is helpful for building others up, according to their needs that it may be benefit those who listen.”

Ephesians 4:29



The Boomerang Effect January 19, 2009

Filed under: Revelation and Growth,The Word — charredsmore @ 7:45 pm

Lately I have been reading over old blogs, kind of like flipping through old journals.  I recommend it.  It gives you a glimpse into what God has been doing in your own life and the lives around you.  Sometimes I forget those things…I don’t know how…He is so AMAZING!  Forigive me Lord for the wonderful things I neglect to praise and thank you for…Give me a heart of PRAISE!


I wrote this one April 2008…

Seems to be applicable now, in so many ways.  Here I go again, preaching to myself again. 

Have you ever thrown a boomerang in the spirit realm?

I’m talking about releasing our Isaacs. Those dear promises that Father God has promised to us – just as He promised Abraham and Sarah. You know the kind, they are so precious to you that sometimes you don’t even want to speak of them – they may at times seem a bit “out of place” or ridiculous to others. That’s okay. It was ridiculous for Abraham and Sarah to have a child at their age. They laughed. Have you ever laughed at one of God’s promises? As if to say, “God how could THAT ever happen?!?”

“Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.”

Hebrews 11:1

He probably gets a kick out of our reaction, then He boosts up our faith to actually believe it and walk it out.  That’s right, walk it out.  Walk as if you believe the stuff He tells you.  Some may look at you a bit crazy, but hey, Noah got the same reaction. 

“And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him.”
Hebrews 11:6

Boomerang affect.  I am learning how to throw out those promises in prayer, sure I still hold them close to my heart, but I let God take over the outcome.  Sometimes it is all too easy to make things happen all on our own.  I have made up my mind that I would much rather have a testimony of God’s glory being displayed rather than my own. 

Is it hard sometimes? 


Is it rewarding? 


Is it worth it?


He is building faith through this boomerang business.  I throw it out there and watch it come back.  Sometimes it is a bit slow…in my human vision, but always on time.  He is always on time.  He is not a God that is holding out on us. 

He sees us.

He knows us.

We need to yield to His ways, after all they are completely higher than our own.  Our own understanding will only mislead us. 

So, as I practice this boomerang affect, there are a couple Isaacs, okay many Isaacs I have placed on the alter.  He asked me if I loved Him more than His promises. 

“Yes Lord.”

“Show me with your obedience.  Show me by laying them down.  I will fulfill them in my timing and my ways if you hand them over to me.”

Timidly I place those Isaacs on the alter. 

“What if…?  What if…?”

He knows.  He will provide.  He has a plan.

Lord, let me have faith like Abraham.


Expression 58 December 20, 2008


Shawn Boltz…a passionate man called to minister in Hollywood. Watch out, the Holy Spirit is sending a new wave of power, love, compassion, and revival to the Hollywood scene. Sound unlikely? Why wouldn’t the King of Glory transform one of the most INFLUENTIAL mountains of our society. It’s not too big. He’s too big!

Check it…

Shawn and Sally Podcasts (Interviews with Hollywood “missionaries”)

Isaiah 58
“Shout it aloud, do not hold back.
Raise your voice like a trumpet.
Declare to my people their rebellion
and to the house of Jacob their sins.

2 For day after day they seek me out;
they seem eager to know my ways,
as if they were a nation that does what is right
and has not forsaken the commands of its God.
They ask me for just decisions
and seem eager for God to come near them.

3 ‘Why have we fasted,’ they say,
‘and you have not seen it?
Why have we humbled ourselves,
and you have not noticed?’
“Yet on the day of your fasting, you do as you please
and exploit all your workers.

4 Your fasting ends in quarreling and strife,
and in striking each other with wicked fists.
You cannot fast as you do today
and expect your voice to be heard on high.

5 Is this the kind of fast I have chosen,
only a day for a man to humble himself?
Is it only for bowing one’s head like a reed
and for lying on sackcloth and ashes?
Is that what you call a fast,
a day acceptable to the LORD ?

6 “Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen:
to loose the chains of injustice
and untie the cords of the yoke,
to set the oppressed free
and break every yoke?

7 Is it not to share your food with the hungry
and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter—
when you see the naked, to clothe him,
and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?

8 Then your light will break forth like the dawn,
and your healing will quickly appear;
then your righteousness [a] will go before you,
and the glory of the LORD will be your rear guard.

9 Then you will call, and the LORD will answer;
you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I.
“If you do away with the yoke of oppression,
with the pointing finger and malicious talk,

10 and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry
and satisfy the needs of the oppressed,
then your light will rise in the darkness,
and your night will become like the noonday.

11 The LORD will guide you always;
he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land
and will strengthen your frame.
You will be like a well-watered garden,
like a spring whose waters never fail.

12 Your people will rebuild the ancient ruins
and will raise up the age-old foundations;
you will be called Repairer of Broken Walls,
Restorer of Streets with Dwellings.

13 “If you keep your feet from breaking the Sabbath
and from doing as you please on my holy day,
if you call the Sabbath a delight
and the LORD’s holy day honorable,
and if you honor it by not going your own way
and not doing as you please or speaking idle words,

14 then you will find your joy in the LORD,
and I will cause you to ride on the heights of the land
and to feast on the inheritance of your father Jacob.”
The mouth of the LORD has spoken.


Guys and Dolls December 13, 2008

Filed under: Power of Prayer,Relationships,Revelation and Growth,testimony — charredsmore @ 7:49 pm



Recently God has been teaching me a TON about male/female relationships. I don’t even pretend to know a whole lot. Just check out my history…super inappropriate/unhealthy rel. with boys in high school. In college tried to figure out who I was. Became a Christ follower. Rode the fence for a year before taking the plunge into faith. Since then I have tried to remain pure before the Lord – not only in actions, but thoughts and motives as well. After college I was always really involved with different ministries, had a ton of guy friends, and didn’t really date ever. I kind of had this unspoken “rule” or standard that I wasn’t interested in dating until it was the real deal. You see, I had already messed up so much that I wasn’t about to go giving my heart out only to have it ripped out of my chest and crushed…again. Not blaming anyone, it’s totally a two way thing, but I just knew that I wasn’t about to go messing around anymore. What was the point? Really, I was praying for my husband. I wanted to get to know him and not a bunch of other yahoos. Not that men are yahoos, just saying. Thus began the journey of single hood. Little did I know that little “rule” of mine would be taken seriously by God. No guys even persued me! Ha. At times I thought it was pretty cool, I didn’t even have to worry about it. Other times I thought, “What is WRONG with ME?” Knowing full well I had actually prayed this into being…Lord, I don’t want to date or get involved with anyone unless he is my hubby. It’s okay if you think my ideas or convictions are a bit wack, I’ve heard it all. Really I don’t care, because we all have different opinions on the matter, yes even Christians, especially Christians. So, it’s okay if you are starting to question my ability to reason…I probably think you ideas on the matter are a bit out of sync too, I still love you. We can agree to disagree, eh?

Back to the story. In a way I have felt that I have been “hidden”. Really, since moving to Cairo I have not even had much interaction with men my own age that I would even consider friends. You would have to understand Cairo to hear me on this one. Don’t get me wrong there are some wonderful men in this community too. I am not doggin’ on them. God is truly raising them up and doing a new thing with Fathers and Brothers in this place. When I first moved to town I was appalled at the way men would stare, cat call, say TOTALLY inappropriate things to us out of town women.  “Did he just say that out loud?”  I mean come on, who were all these white attractive young women coming in from out of town. Again, you must understand that we stick out like crazy – the population is ONLY about 3,000 (the size of my high school) and everyone knows everyone, not many young adults, and not many whites (80% African American and the white population is mostly elderly). We just plain stick out. At first, interacting with the community, the men, I just wanted to punch them. I mean, who do they think they are? I couldn’t believe some of the things they said out loud. Then I remembered that I had to love them. How in the WORLD do you show the love of Christ without being “too nice” and giving them the wrong idea. Seriously, check out this little story…

One of my good friends had just moved to Cairo (this was before I even got here). She is a friendly person and likes meeting new people, esp. in her new community. While at the grocery store she meets this young man (about her age – a bit younger). They begin to chat about Cairo and why she is here (for MISSION WORK). She invites him over to the house, they only live a block away, to meet her roommate and chat about Cairo. I mean, she just moved in, she wants to know more about the place, the people…totally innocent right?!? He gets to the house and after a bit of chatting he seems confused. He honestly thought that she invited him over for some type of weird sexual escapade. WTH?!?! Okay, ladies, does this make any sense? Guys, what were you thinking? Probably NOT THIS! Unless your mind is totally in the gutter, in which case I will pray for you. That’s what I’m dealin’ with here.

Understand this…since we have moved into town (I have been here 3.5 years) things have changed quite a bit. The men look at us a bit differently. We passed the test. Usually some of the men in town are taking bets as to who can sleep with the newbies first, how long it will take to get them into bed…that sort of thing. We of course didn’t fall into this trap and they now respect us…kind of look at us as sisters. I have seen much growth in this area. For them and me. I have learned to be bold in the love of Christ and also in standing up for myself. One time while serving a meal at the Kitchen Table (with the Nuns) I had a guy totally hitting on me and giving me those “I want to sleep with you eyes”. After composing myself, I just told him to quit.


“You know what. Stop treating me like that. I am a woman of God, and you are NOT going to talk to me like that. Show repsect in this place.”

He looked at me sobered. I think he was in shock that a white woman would just give it to him like that.

Before he left, I told him the potential he had in Christ and the freedom he could experience from all his addictions. Not sure if he heard that part, but he has respected me since.

Ladies, be bold. Don’t be a beyotch, just be bold and stand up for yourself. Love them with the love of Christ. Pray for them. God will give you wisdom on how to deal/communicate in a SPirit of love and not frustration, hate, or bitterness. Trust me, this has been quite the journey. I’m still on it.

This is getting a bit long, there is much more to share…

New Beginnings

I am honestly praying about writing a book on the topic of male/female relationships…singleness…purity…marriage. NOt that there aren’t enough books out there ont his, but I think it is more for my healing process and journey. Cool. Thanks for listening my friends. If you have any questions or comments I am usually open for discussion. Hit me back a comment or email if it is more personal:

*Anyone interested in being my editor?

Forgive me for posting that video, I honestly didn’t watch it, just wanted the song on here…yikes!


Everything I never wanted… November 27, 2008

Filed under: Dreams,Hollywood,Ministry Stuff,Random,Revelation and Growth,testimony — charredsmore @ 9:12 pm

Recently I feel like Jehovah Sneaky is pulling a fast one on me, but I like it!  haha.  Seriously, I don’t even know what is going on with my life anymore.  If you were to ask me five years ago, “Where do you think you will be in five years?”  I NEVER would have thought this place.  But I am SO THANKFUL for where He has brought me.  I never would have chosen this life, but I am glad he has given it to me by His grace.

Here is just a short list of things the Lord is doing in my life right now, that seem totally opposite of what I ever wanted or desired.  But now, I don’t want anything else…but His will!


  • I have been volunteering in the junior high (math classroom) for the past three years.  I wanted to use my degree, but not actually teach.  I NEVER EVER EVER thought I would want to teach in the public school system.  I really didn’t have the confidence or motivation for it.  After graduation I thought I would be on the mission field in some regard.  To bring you up to speed I have recently gotten my substitute teaching license and had my first two days of subbing (in the class I volunteer with) this week.  Guess what?  I LOVED IT!  I love teaching these students math, I love teaching them about life, I love teaching them about character development and life skills, I LOVE IT!  This is not even an easy school to teach in, the students have tons of baggage from their families and bring it all to school with them causing a dysfunctional environment for everyone.  Good thing I serve a BIG God who can take care of that. Check out the school’s report card to get a better picture of where the studetns are at academically.


  • I always told my parents not to expect me to make a lot of money, it has just never been important to me.  I have always wanted a job that was fulfilling and satisfying and more importantly where the Lord wanted me to be.  Of course, this is not always easy and living on faith certainly isn’t either, BUT is causes a deeper dependance on the King of Kings who owns EVERYTHING!  So, I believe I am a missionary here in Cairo getting prepared for the mission field in the marketplace.  I do believe that someday I will be wealthy or influence many wealthy people to GIVE to the KINGDOM (1 Timothy 6:17-19).  No, this is not something I just dreamt up one day, I believe the Lord has spoken it to me and confirmed it many times.  It is really not about the money, more about being a steward of His resources, and that get’s me excited.


  • I have always been more comfortable around the poor, the broken, the “down and out” of society.  Rich, white people kind of intimidate me sometimes.  I know, that sounds silly, considering where I come from (White Bear Lake, MN).  That’s just how I work, I love connecting with and sharing life with these people.  No offense to wealthy whities, I just feel more comfortable around others.  This fits perfectly into what I thought I would be doing – heading straight off to the foreign mission field and ministering to the hungry, the dying, the needy, the thirsty, the naked, the prisoners, the widow, and the orphan.  All was well with Heather’s world, until the Holy Spirit spoke to her last Christmas about ministering in Hollywood.  WHAT?!?!  This was definitely not on my life plan.  That was for other people.  People who are into famous people, people who are into “what’s in and what’s out”, people who are into fashion, people who are knowledgeable about the “industry”, people who really have a heart and burden to reach the lost in one of the wealthiest and most influential places in the world…certainly NOT ME LORD!  I didn’t have a heart for them, usually I didn’t give a rip, or I would judge them based on the little I knew about their lives.  God you want me to do what?  I have always had a pull toward Cali, even ask my mom.  When I was younger I always wanted to go there and eventually live there.  Still not sure how it all works or what it will look like, that doesn’t matter.  What does matter is that God HAS changed my heart towards those rich white folks and the people who are in the industry.  They need Jesus just as much as the Maasai tribe in Kenya, Africa.  The Holy Spirit will take care of the rest.


  • Music.  I have always been self conscious about my singing voice.  It wasn’t until after my first summer with YouthWorks in Bramwell, WV that I realized I could actually sing out loud and people wouldn’t run away screaming covering your ears.  Seriously, I had issues.  Now, I LOVE singing and leading worship.  It is all about Him, not about me.  I am even in the process of recording my first CD.  WHAT?!? Never would I even consider this in the past.  Playing instruments has always been fun to me.  I grew up playing the trumpet from 5th grade to 9th grade, and boy do I wish I would have kept it up.  For all you youngsters out there ready to give up on band, think again.  It is such an amazing skill to have.  Recently, I have gotten back into playing my trumpet and am even helping some of the band students here in Cairo.  I have been playing guitar off and on for about three years.  My friend Anthony in town is teaching me how to play the piano/keyboard.  Praise God!  I felt the Lord speaking to my heart about learning to play many instruments and teaching them to children/teens.  This was totally NOT on my radar.  If anyone reading this would like to donate to the cause, give me a call – I am collecting instruments.

So, next time you say, “Oh, Lord, I will NEVER do _____________________,” think again.  That might be the VERY thing He wants you to do.  He never wants us to rely on our own “skill and gifting” but instead on His Spirit.


Covenant – Two becoming ONE November 5, 2008

Filed under: Newspaper Articles,Revelation and Growth,The Word — charredsmore @ 6:48 pm


What does this even mean?  God has made a new covenant with His people.  People enter into covenant when they choose to marry.  God cut covenant with Abraham when He declared His promises to him and His offspring.  So, what is covenant all about and what is the big deal?

Let me tell you, it IS a big deal.  This is God’s promise to His children.  When the LORD created a covenant with Abraham, he had him cut some animals in half and asked Abraham set the pieces on oposite ends, then He appeared to Abraham as a smoking pot and passed through the pieces.  What is that all about?  Sounds a bit disgusting, huh?  There is purpose in EVERYTHING our God does, even if it is a mystery to us at the time.  His wisdom is far beyond ours, and sometimes appears as foolishness to mortal man.  He was communicating to Abraham the seriousness of His promise to Him (and his offspring, and to those who would be ingrafted into the fam – like me and most of you).   


Here is the LORD’s promise to Abraham:

Genesis 17:1-8

When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the LORD appeared to him and said, “I am God Almighty [a] ; walk before me and be blameless. 2 I will confirm my covenant between me and you and will greatly increase your numbers.”

 3Abram fell facedown, and God said to him, 4 “As for me, this is my covenant with you: You will be the father of many nations. 5 No longer will you be called Abram [b] ; your name will be Abraham, [c] for I have made you a father of many nations. 6 I will make you very fruitful; I will make nations of you, and kings will come from you. 7 I will establish my covenant as an everlasting covenant between me and you and your descendants after you for the generations to come, to be your God and the God of your descendants after you. 8 The whole land of Canaan, where you are now an alien, I will give as an everlasting possession to you and your descendants after you; and I will be their God.”

Genesis 15:9-19

But Abram said, “O Sovereign LORD, how can I know that I will gain possession of it?”

 9 So the LORD said to him, “Bring me a heifer, a goat and a ram, each three years old, along with a dove and a young pigeon.”

 10 Abram brought all these to him, cut them in two and arranged the halves opposite each other; the birds, however, he did not cut in half. 11 Then birds of prey came down on the carcasses, but Abram drove them away.

 12 As the sun was setting, Abram fell into a deep sleep, and a thick and dreadful darkness came over him. 13 Then the LORD said to him, “Know for certain that your descendants will be strangers in a country not their own, and they will be enslaved and mistreated four hundred years. 14 But I will punish the nation they serve as slaves, and afterward they will come out with great possessions. 15 You, however, will go to your fathers in peace and be buried at a good old age. 16In the fourth generation your descendants will come back here, for the sin of the Amorites has not yet reached its full measure.”

 17When the sun had set and darkness had fallen, a smoking firepot with a blazing torch appeared and passed between the pieces. 18 On that day the LORD made a covenant with Abram and said, “To your descendants I give this land, from the river [d] of Egypt to the great river, the Euphrates- 19the land of the Kenites, Kenizzites, Kadmonites, 20Hittites, Perizzites, Rephaites, 21Amorites, Canaanites, Girgashites and Jebusites.”

**Please read through the whole chapters to gain context for the covenant established. 

WOW!  What a promise, and considering the One speaking.  God is setting Abraham and his family apart.  He specifically told Abraham that he would be the father of many, that those who blessed his family would be blessed, those who cursed them would be cursed.  They would inherit the land.  They would be persecuted for a time, but end prosperous and fruitful in the land.  Now that’s a promise to hold onto. 

When we enter into covenant – we are choosing death.  Death to self.  Our identity is changing – we are no longer composed singily of our own DNA, but we have become one with the person we agree to enter into covenant with.  Two becoming one.  Us choosinng to become one with God.  His spirit living in us.  His DNA in us.  His love flowing through our veins.  Yes, this is covenant. 

We are telling Him that He has full access to ALL of us, and we have ALL access to Him.  Who got the short end of this deal?  So often, we take this arrangement for grantid – taking all we can from God, but not giving Him a thing.  I am guilty of this selfishness. 

Forgive me Father. 

My heart says, “YES, I want you to have all of me.” 

My mind is a battlefield.  More and more, let me be transformed Jesus into your likeness. 

More and more let me say, “Yes” to your love.

Have you entered into covenant with the Lord? 

Have you entered into covenant with a spouse? 

I suggest you go back to the roots of that decision and renew your committment. 

There was a sacrafice in entering covenant.  The animals were cut in two.  Sacrafice.  Jesus was pierced and killed (but had the POWER to overcome the grave).  There IS sacrafice in committment.  Jesus sacraficed EVERTHING to enter into covenant with us.  He left paradise and walked the corupt and sinful Earth. 

He laid His life out – slaughtered by the very men He created…all for us to ENTER into covenant. 

Consider His great sacrafice.  Consider His great love. 


**Reflections from a sermon I heard at Faith Center Church in Paducah, KY (Pastor John Aitken)

Faith Center Church



Your Kingdom Come

Filed under: Power of Prayer,Revelation and Growth,The Word — charredsmore @ 6:17 pm

Some put their hope in man, while I choose to put my hope in a LIVING GOD. Some believe that our nation can be turned around by one man. I believe that our nation can be turned by the power of the Spirit.

Our nation is going through the fire right now. There will be things our generation has NEVER experienced, we have no idea the things that are to come. We are living in Matthew 24…prophesy being fulfilled before the King returns to the Earth.

I believe that in the midst of trouble, trials, and tribulation the Kingdom of God can still be flourishing. Yes, I believe that God is raising up His people, the people that are called by His NAME. I do believe that when Jesus taught us to pray, “Your Kingdom Come, Your will be done, on Earth as it IS in Heaven,” He wasn’t messing around. Jesus is not a liar, so I am going to keep praying this prayer, and I suggest you do the same. You see, the Kingdom of God can be flourishing even when the Kingdom of this world is falling apart.

Do not grow weary in well doing brothers and sisters, for in the end we will reap a harvest of righteousness. It’s a promise. Our God doesn’t mess around. Trust in Him alone. He is able.  Raise up Church.  Wake up Bride.  You are royalty, you are called to reign with the King of Glory! 

Let us cry out with ONE voice, “Your Kingdom Come!”

“If my people, who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray, and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and heal their land.”
~1 Chronicles 7:14

A letter to God written by Sara Rust, the night before Elections:

Dear God,

I thank you, Lord for the words of Paul, his consistent confession that he was not eloquent. I think I rarely have moments of eloquence, though I often yearn for them. Especially now a days, Lord. I wish I had all the perfect words and powerful prose to communicate all you put on my heart, but my words are continually feeble. My thoughts seem persistently sparse. I am increasingly becoming a fool to the world.

I pray for our country, Lord. I pray you would teach me how to pray for our new leadership. I feel like I’m watching Israel cry out for a King and wondering if you will answer with a Saul. I long for that day when we won’t have to settle for fallen men to lead us in fallen ways. I long for the day when we won’t be molded by the media to believe whatever it wants us to believe. I long for the day when the church won’t compromise, and she would remember who she is and the authority she has – that she would remember when the righteous rule, everyone is blessed, as Your Word says- and not that it’s about choosing that perfect candidate, but about the church as a body, stepping up to reign with Christ here and now. Remind your bride that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. God, would you raise up someone who fears you, who knows they are not the savior, the answer, but a servant above all.

I know, Lord there is so much that grieves your heart in my country. 50 million little babies gone. I know it’s not just another issue to you, who formed them in their mother’s wombs and knew them before time began. I know Lord it’s not just a pro or con I can weigh in the balances of decision making. It hurts you, It breaks your heart. This hidden holocaust. I’m so sorry, Jesus. I’m so sorry we’ve made it into just another issue with no conviction in our hearts, we go on like nothing has happened because it’s all conveniently out of sight. God would you raise up your bride to be your bride! A new creation, with a citizenship in heaven that she would not operate out of the logic and methods of this world, but walk with the wisdom of God – eyes open, ears open to your Spirit. We look so much like the world, Lord, let us be conformed more and more into your likeness.

So teach me, Lord. Teach me how to pray. Teach me how to be a citizen in heaven, but a participant here on earth. Teach me how to walk according to your Word and for the purposes for Your Kingdom. May my faith not be an extracurricular activity, a half-hearted spiritual luxury. May I walk by faith and not sight. May I esteem no man over you. May I vote and support not based on man’s principles, or to create a “Christian political machine” but simply to honor you, to bless you, to align with Your Kingdom.

I trust you, Lord. You are the only change I can believe in. So I ask tomorrow, Lord that you would bless Israel. That you would remember the unborn. That you would silence the enemies and the lies and confusion he has unleashed on our country. Lift the veil. I’m not asking for a certain candidate, Lord, I’m asking for your will.

Open a door, Lord that many would be saved. Have mercy, bring us to that place of repentance. Let us not build our own kingdoms, but be drawn into Yours. Awaken your bride, Lord.

Sara’s Blog


Reflections of a white woman living in a black community… November 4, 2008


Everyone loves going to the basketball games in Cairo, in fact the school is known for its amazing basketball players. As I sat in the high school gym for my first Cairo ball game I couldn’t help but glance around at the faces in the stands. There were about 10 white people in the entire gym, and I came with five of them. Did this bother me? No, of course I have been in situations where I have been the minority – churches, volunteered at different schools…Was this a problem to me? No. What hit me at that moment was the fact that I had just moved to a community that is predominantly African American, the tables were turned. Now I am was the minority. Let the reader understand I am in NO WAY trying to describe my experience as a parallel to what African Americans (and other minorities) experience every day, and in NO WAY am I saying that I can identify with their struggle. At that moment I had a revelation, I had NOTHING to offer the people in Cairo. Prior to making the move, I was the typical idealistic college grad. Who thought she could conquer the world with Jesus on her side. Jesus gives does give me victory in every area of my life, however I had a bit of pride that needed to be stripped away. I had to see that it wasn’t about my great ideas, my knowledge, my wisdom, my plans, my proposals, my dreams…it was about HIS. And let me tell you, I needed to come to that place of feeling absolutely worthless to the community – without Christ. Questions swirled through my mind as I looked around. This wasn’t just a basketball game, this was my life, this was my community, this was my ministry, this was my new home. I wondered how I could fit in. I wondered how I could identify. I wondered how I could show Christ’s love. I wondered how I could make an impact.


After staying up all night and worshipping with my brothers and sisters at SIU in Carbondale, I decided to get a little sleep before heading off to the Mounds Celebration. Mounds is a little town right next door to Cairo. They have a town parade which travels less than a mile, concluding at the park with vendors, a petting zoo, and games. Usually I don’t go to these types of things alone; it’s just more fun with a group of people. Today was different, I knew that I would go by myself, everyone else was still sleeping. I was determined to cheer on the Cairo Band as well as visit some friends at the park who had booths set up. Since I don’t know many people in Mounds, I parked next to some Cairo-ites and hung out with them during the parade. I snapped a bunch of pictures of the parade and the Cairo Band, hoping that some would be put in the school yearbook. As the band marched on by, my heart was beating along with the deep drums thumping. The energy is contagious. Afterwards I walked to the park to check out the happenings there. I was pleasantly surprised to see some old friends. A couple gals who were involved with the dance team I coached when I first got to Cairo, Coraviece, and Deborah and Johnny, along with some new friends who own horses in Olmsted. It was great reconnecting with people, a blessing to see people I have built relationships with over the past three years of living in Cairo. It was a satisfying afternoon, and I was thankful that I went to the Mounds celebration despite my lack of sleep. As I drove home, I had a flashback of my first Cairo basketball game.

My, how things have changed. My heart and mind have been transformed since moving down here. My perspective has shifted. I no longer see myself as a minority, although this is true, I see myself as part of the whole. I am a member of the Body of Christ.

I need you, you need me.

That’s it.

I praise God for sending me here to Cairo, for it has been a place of refinement and revelation. Thank you God that I truly have NOTHING to offer this community except you in me.


SMG: Day 43 April 4, 2008

Filed under: Revelation and Growth,Surprise Me God — charredsmore @ 8:41 pm

Still rainy, but we still wanted to get out there and hike around.  This group is familiar with many hiking locations in the area (as they live closer), they took us to Burden Falls.  As we drove through the windy dirt road path, I gazed upon the beauty of the Lord.  Once we got out of the car, we all smelled this nasty, rank, rotten scent.  What is that?!?  Someone points to a dead horse.  Yes, I said horse.  Just lying there near the head of the waterfall.  Disgusting.  If you stood just right, and the wind was in your favor, you could avoid the nastiness floating in the air.  Yuck! 

The waterfall was simply beautiful.  Fresh water spilling over the rocks, flowing down into a narrow creek.  The symbolism was striking, there we stood faced with death and life.  It reminded me of the scripture in Deuteronomy 30:15-20

 “See, I set before you today life and prosperity, death and destruction.  For I command you today to love the LORD your God, to walk in his ways, and to keep his commands, decrees and laws; then you will live and increase, and the LORD your God will bless you in the land you are entering to possess.

  But if your heart turns away and you are not obedient, and if you are drawn away to bow down to other gods and worship them, I declare to you this day that you will certainly be destroyed. You will not live long in the land you are crossing the Jordan to enter and possess.

  This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the LORD your God, listen to his voice and hold fast to him. For the LORD is your life, and he will give you many years in the land he swore to give to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.”

  How often is this true in our daily lives?  The option to choose life or death.  In words, in action, in submission, in humility, in relationship, in work, in ministry, in church, in family…choose LIFE.  Today I choose life, I choose you LORD.


We played on the rocks, like little kids in a jungle gym.  Fitting, I guess this is God’s playground.  How fun!  I love bouldering around.  We got some fun pics before heading out on the “trail”.  I guess we made our own trail.  Trailblazers…forerunners.  We just went along the waters edge, hoping along from rock to rock.  I found a rock that resembles the state of MN.  I took it home.  Maybe I’ll paint it.   


These hidden pockets in Southern IL, I need to do more exploring, we have amazing hiking spots around here.