The Ultimate Puzzle

Life is complex and as I get ready to move my whole life, I am in awe of how God has brought me to this place. I like to view my life as a complex puzzle, that God is working on. He knows what the final picture will look like, but all I see is a jumbled mess. A corner piece here, one with a little sky, and mostly pieces that I have no idea where they go or how they fit in. My life to me looks a lot like the picture above, but every once and awhile I get a glimpse of a finished section. Often it takes years to understand why things are working out the way they are, but it is always exciting when a little piece makes sense. I never imagined in a million years that I would one day be moving half way across the world to Australia, and I have no idea what is going to happen when I get there, or how this all fits into the puzzle, but God does.

It is fun to look back though to when I first met Kylie. We both needed a roommate and were basically set up by a mutual friend. We met for jamba juice, because neither one of us drinks coffee and became instant friends. We lived together for over two and a half years and they day we moved out we cried. I figured we would be roommates until one of us got married, but instead we were roommates until she was offered a job in Athens, Greece. In an instant everything changed and I went on to become somewhat of a vagabond moving from place to place, as my new roommates just kept getting married on me, while I continued to date the wrong guy. Kylie and I kept in touch through skype and her visits back to the US. I missed my roommate. While she is in Athens, through divine intervention she meets Alec an Australian via internet dating. They fell in love, she moved to Australia, and they got married. I don’t think either one of us while we were sitting outside drinking our smoothies ever envisioned that we would one day be living in Sydney. Through this whole experience, God is teaching me just how real Ephesians 3:20-21 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.


The Adjustment Bureau

What a weekend! This has been one of the most fun Memorial day weekends that I have had in years. Many thanks to Rachel, who I had many adventures with. Friday: open mic night, Saturday: church, concert and a movie, Sunday: Universal Studios and a dollar theater movie. It would not have nearly been as much fun without her. 🙂

So Sunday night we went to the dollar theater and saw The Adjustment Bureau. For those of you who have yet to see it, I highly recommend it. It has been a long time since I have seen a movie that has made me think.

The whole pretense of the movie ultimately comes down to free will vs God’s will and His plan for your life. In the movie there is a group designated to keeping the people on the “plan” orchestrated by the “chairman”. The whole concept I find fascinating. The reality that in every day life we choose one thing over another. With every decision you make, you are saying yes to something and no to something else.

As a christian, I desire to serve God and follow his plan for my life above all else. What was interesting about this movie is how “The Adjustment Bureau” steps in to reroute ones steps in order to fulfill the “chairman’s” plan.  Interesting concept when taken into a theological standpoint. How much of my life is my decision, vs God’s ultimate design and plan. As Rachel and I were leaving the movie we started talking about all the things that we at one time or place wanted SO badly, and how the fact that we didn’t get our way ended up being the best thing for us. How our “plan” would have been altered if we did get our way, and how different our lives would look.

Both of us could have been married by now, we both knew in these relationships, that though we wanted them with all our hearts, it just wasn’t right. Yet we fought to keep them for far to long. Had I got my way and married  Ryley, had I fought and won, I would not be moving to Sydney, I would not be following my dreams with music, and I would not have the friends that I have now, these friends who make my life better. At the moment, I was so upset that I didn’t get my way. I cried for months. I ended it, knowing that it wasn’t right, yet wanting it so bad to be. I look back now with a thankful heart, because He knows what He is doing. God’s plan is always greater than my own. And as we seek him, our plans become one as our desire aligns with His will. I know that this was just a movie, but sometimes God even uses Hollywood to grab your attention and make you think.

Good Friday

He was perfect, a completely innocent man
Without one blemish on his soul
He was a King, he was THE King
Yet they did not see

They beat Him
They mocked Him
They spit on Him
They crucified Him

He was perfect, a completely innocent man
He could have stopped it
He could have changed it
And He chose not too

I beat Him
I mocked Him
I spit on Him
I crucified Him

He was perfect, a completely innocent man
He sacrificed his life for me, for you, for us
He took all our iniquities upon him
He died…

So that we might live

© 2009 33:3 Publishing

Australia Here I Come!

Reality is beginning to set in that I am actually going to be moving out of my apartment in just 30 days. This is making my international move more of a reality. I have started the visa application process and just today, I rented a storage unit to store my books and random odds and ends that I don’t want to sell quite yet. It is now crunch time. We are out of my apartment on May 21st which means I have 30 days to sell my life…ahhh!! Sometimes I feel like I am crazy for picking up my life and changing everything. Really, what am I thinking?!? I am comfortable here in California. I have great friends, a good job, and wonderful church. Why would I leave? I had a panic moment when I was home in Oregon this weekend. And the thought of its not to late to change my mind popped into my head. I could still try to find a new roommate and just keep living my life here. Nothing would have to change. Truth be told, things could still change to keep me here, I wouldn’t have any furniture, or a place to live, but that can all be fixed. During my moment of freaking out, I was praying for direction. I need to know that I am making the right decision, and not f*ing up my life. After I was done praying, I read my daily devotional from Streams in the Desert and this is what it had to say.

By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going. (Hebrews 11:8)

“Abraham ‘did not know where he was going’ – it simply was enough for him to know he went with God. He did not lean as much on the promises as he did the Promiser. And he did not look at eh difficulties of his circumstances but looked to His King – the eternal, limitless, invisible, wise, and only God – who reached down from His throne to direct his path and who would certainly prove Himself. 

O glorious faith! Your works and possibilites are there: contentment to set sail with the orders still sealed, due to unwavering confidence int eh wisdom of the Lord High Admiral; and a willingness to get up, leave everything, and follow Christ, because of the joyful assurance that earth’s best does not compare with heaven’s least. -F.B. Meyer

In no way is it enough to set out cheerfully with God on any venture of faith. You must also be willing to take your ideas of what the hourney will be like and tear them into tiny pieves, for nothing on the itinerary will happen as you expect.

Your Guide will not keep to any beaten path. He will lead you through ways you would never have dreamed your eyes would see. he knows no fear, and he expects you to fear nothing while He is with you.”

I am so thankful that I serve a God who speaks and who is always present. This is a giant leap of faith and I am being called out to go to a land that I do not know and though it is incredibly exciting, it terrifies me. So let the journey begin and with unsteady legs…I take my first step.

Pray for Japan

I found out about the tradgedy in Japan, Friday morning at 1:30am. I got a txt from my best friend to go to CNN to see what had happened. My heart breaks for the all the people who are dealing with the aftermath of this disaster. I found a great article detailing the events that have been happening in Japan. Click here, to read it. After reading the article, this passage of scripture came to mind Psalm 46.

Psalm 46 (New International Version, ©2011)

For the director of music. Of the Sons of Korah. According to alamoth. A song.

1 God is our refuge and strength,
an ever-present help in trouble.
2 Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
3 though its waters roar and foam
and the mountains quake with their surging.

4 There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
the holy place where the Most High dwells.
5 God is within her, she will not fall;
God will help her at break of day.
6 Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall;
he lifts his voice, the earth melts.

7 The LORD Almighty is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.

8 Come and see what the LORD has done,
the desolations he has brought on the earth.
9 He makes wars cease
to the ends of the earth.
He breaks the bow and shatters the spear;
he burns the shields with fire.
10 He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth.”

11 The LORD Almighty is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.

Streams in the Desert

Jesus did not answer a word.(Matthew 15:23)
He will quiet you with his love.(Zephaniah 3:17)

Are you reading these verses as a child of God who is experiencing a crushing sorrow, a bitter disappointment, or a heart-breaking blow from a totally unexpected place? Are you longing to hear your Master’s voice calling you, saying, “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid” (Matt. 14:27)? Yet only silence, the unknown, and misery confront you—”Jesus did not answer a word.”

God’s tender heart must often ache listening to our sad, complaining cries. Our weak, impatient hearts cry out because we fail to see through our tear-blinded, shortsighted eyes that it is for our own sakes that He does not answer at all or that He answers in a way we believe is less than the best. In fact, the silences of Jesus are as eloquent as His words and may be a sign not of His disapproval but of His approval and His way of providing a deeper blessing for you.

“Why are you downcast, O my soul? . . . I will yet praise him” (Ps. 43:5). Yes, praise Him even for His silence. Let me relate a beautiful old story of how one Christian dreamed she saw three other women in prayer.

When they knelt the Master drew near to them. As He approached the first of the three, He bent over her with tenderness and grace. He smiled with radiant love and spoke to her in tones of pure, sweet music. Upon leaving her, He came to the next but only placed His hand upon her bowed head and gave her one look of loving approval. He passed the third woman almost abruptly, without stopping for a word or a glance.

The woman having the dream said to herself,”How greatly He must love the first woman. The second gained His approval but did not experience the special demonstrations of love He gave the first. But the third woman must have grieved Him deeply, for He gave her no word at all, nor even a passing look.”

She wondered what the third woman must have done to have been treated so differently. As she tried to account for the actions of her Lord, He Himself came and stood beside her. He said to her,”O woman! How wrongly you have interpreted Me! The first kneeling woman needs the full measure of My tenderness and care to keep her feet on My narrow way. She needs My love, thoughts, and help every moment of the day, for without them she would stumble into failure.

“The second woman has stronger faith and deeper love than the first, and I can count on her to trust Me no matter how things may go or whatever people may do. Yet the third woman, whom I seemed not to notice, and even to neglect, has faith and love of the purest quality. I am training her through quick and drastic ways for the highest and holiest service.

“She knows Me so intimately, and trusts Me so completely, that she no longer depends on My voice, loving glances, or other outward signs to know of My approval. She is not dismayed or discouraged by any circumstances I arrange for her to encounter. She trusts Me when common sense, reason, and even every subtle instinct of the natural heart would rebel, knowing that I am preparing her for eternity, and realizing that the understanding of what I do will come later.

“My love is silent because I love beyond the power of words to express it and beyond the understanding of the human heart. Also, it is silent for your sakes—that you may learn to love and trust Me with pure, Spirit-taught, spontaneous responses. I desire for your response to My love to be without the prompting of anything external.”

He “will do wonders never before done” (Ex. 34:10) if you will learn the mystery of His silence and praise Him every time He withdraws His gifts from you. Through this you will better know and love the Giver. selected

Sent from the Streams in the Desert Devotional, by L. B. Cowman. For devotionals like this one for your iPhone, visit us at