31 December 2006

Delayed or Immediate Glory?

If there is one female Biblical character I'd like to model my life after, it would have to be Ruth. I used to admire women more like Deborah or Priscilla because they were strong and outspoken leaders -- something I strove to be. Now I begin to realize that my former ambitions and plans for myself were very egotistical.

  • Ruth came from very lowly circumstances -- not only was she a foreigner, but she was also a widow. In every possible way she was an outsider and "didn't belong."
  • She was intimate with pain and sorrow.
  • Ruth was willing to forsake everything for the God of Israel. She spared nothing in her pursuit of God.
  • She was a selfless servant -- Ruth took the lowliest of labor to care for her mother-in-law.
  • Ruth was a hard worker -- she gave 110%.
  • Her reputation spoke for her -- she was known among the Jewish community as a virtuous woman.
  • She "married smart" -- even though Ruth probably could have had any handsome young man she wanted, she chose to marry a godly older man and was blessed through that union.
  • God blessed Ruth because of her obedience and willingness to serve Him.

I personally hadn't paid much attention to Ruth in the past. She immigrated to Israel with her mother-in-law, worked in a field, married a much older man, had a baby... big deal. Ruth didn't do any "glorious" things like assassinate a king (Jael), judge a nation and lead an army into battle (Deborah), nor did she have intellectual conversations with apostles and great teachers (Priscilla). She pretty much lived out her life in humble service. Emphasis is placed on her servant's heart more than anything. No gloriously exciting actions. No "big things."

Or so I thought. But the older I get, the more I realize that my life doesn't have to be filled with big, glorious deeds for God (or myself). He doesn't need my puny trophies. What He wants is for my heart to be fully surrendered to Him and His service. Better that my life be filled with delayed glory (like Ruth's) where my actions reap glory for God for generations to come, rather than immediate glory for myself. Do we ever hear of Deborah's descendants? No, but Ruth became the great-grandmother of King David and was thereby placed directly in Christ's lineage.
I think I'd rather have a life of humble service that has long-term effects.

~ from the pages of Carey's journal

28 December 2006

The Canadian Chronicles, part 1

My first solo international flight... I waited excitedly at my gate for my connecting flight to Chicago. Then it was off to Montreal!

Sarah and I had "met" online through blogging. We immediately hit it off through e-mailing and phone calls and before I knew it, her family extended an invitation to me to stay with them for a week. It took a little coaxing to convince my mom that it would be fine, and in May I purchased my airline tickets to Montreal for the first week of August. Little did I know that week would be life-altering.

01 August 2006

An excrutiatingly long lay-over in Chicago was spent eating Chinese food and people watching. I kept a list in my journal:
Hassidic Jews: 1
Orthodox Jews: 2
People with a limp: 8
Indian people: 3
Non-military people wearing camo: 8
People with wacky hair: 2
Five minutes before my flight was to leave, I discovered I was at the wrong gate (the flight was leaving for Nebraska). In a surge of panic, I called my mom to look online for my proper gate and then bolted towards my correct gate. Fortunately for me, a flight attendant went AWOL and delayed the flight half an hour while the airline acquired a replacement.

I got an entire row to myself and stretched across with a book my mother had given me: A Chance to Die by Elisabeth Elliot. As I read of Amy Carmichael's constant surrender to the Lord, I was convicted that there were areas in my life that I had not surrendered to the Lord. I wanted to live in a constant state of surrender like Amy did and asked the Lord for forgiveness. Right there, in mid-air, I surrendered everything -- all of my plans -- to the Lord. I wrote in my journal:
This is a turning point -- no returns, no regrets. This was my problem -- I was not living surrender. Now I think I shall begin to see the Lord work in mighty ways... and I want more than anything for Him to use me.

There is such a great difference between experiencing moments of surrender and actually living surrender itself. Just what that difference is, I have yet to discover, but I do not think my life will ever be the same after this moment. What changes will I see, I wonder?
Looking back, I can say: many changes. If only I had known what I was praying for!

I went through customs without any trouble (a rare event for me) and found my way to baggage claim. It took a while to find the right baggage claim, but once I did there was no trouble spotting my loud lime green luggage (I did that on purpose). I looked up at the signs for guidance to the exit. It was all in French.

Then the thought occurred to me for the first time: I am in a country I've never been to before where I can't speak their language, looking for people I've never met before and trusting they'll be here to pick me up to stay with them for an entire week. Am I crazy? I dismissed the thought and headed for the exit (best way to find the exit in a foreign country is to follow the crowds).

25 December 2006

Music, Poetry, and Chocolate

For Christmas this year, I asked my family members not to get me the usual practical things like clothing, but to donate money to my "guitar fund." Each donated enough to bestow me with 75% of the needed funds to get a guitar and sturdy case (for travelling). Included with my older brother's donation was a note that said: "The guitar stays in your room." In other words: "Don't you dare practice guitar in the living room and make me suffer, you little hippie." I laughed.

Mom, wanting to contribute something a little extra, presented me with chocolate (a sure-fire winner) and a book... but not just any book. It was a poetry book I've wanted before it was ever published or before anyone knew it was going to be published -- a beautiful leather-bound copy of Tommy Nelson's The Musings of an Evangelical Mind. Years ago, I had told Tommy that if he ever published his poetry, I wanted an autographed copy. It was finally published last year, but I couldn't afford to buy it. But now it sat in my lap. I opened it.
For Carey
Hope this gives you hours of blessing.
Tommy Nelson
I would have cried, but David stopped my sentimental gush with a glare.

Couldn't have asked for better presents: music, poetry, and chocolate (my three passions).

23 December 2006

My Bridegroom

My Lord, my Bridegroom,
Lover of my soul,
Only Thou canst love me,
And make me pure and whole.

I wait for Thee daily,
To return for me, Thy bride,
Preparing as I wait --
Trying not to waste the time.

Come quickly, my Beloved!
The time is drawing near.
I look not to the future
With trembling and fear.

Carey Nofziger
July 2003

Ever Only For Thee

May my love always be
Ever only for my King.
May my passion, constant be,
For Thy glory and majesty.
May my heart, so fragile,
Belong to my Beloved --
Whose heart was pierced for me.
May my life be given freely
To Thee alone, for Thy use.
May my love forever be
Ever only all for Thee.

Carey Nofziger
27 June 2005


'Twas my sin that placed upon
His back those deepn'ing stripes.
'Twas my hatred that pressed upon
His head that crown of thorns.
'Twas my bitter words that spat
Upon His bruised face.
'Twas my hand that nailed His
Upon that wretched cross.
'Twas my selfishness
That drove Him Calv'ry-bound.
'Twas my wretched, sinful heart
That piecered His with a spear.
'Twas His love that washed away
My grievances towrd Him.
'Twas His grace that set me free
To draw me close to Him.

Carey Nofziger
11 April 2005

"Quiet Pool"

Lo, I say to thee, Wait upon ME.
Let thy life be as a deep, quiet pool.
Yea, let thine heart rest in Mine hand as a bird in a nest.
Let thine eyes be still. Let thine hands be free.
For then shall I fill all thy vision,
and then shall I take thine hands into Mine
and My power shall flow forth unto thee.

Only make unto thyself a place apart;
yea, a place removed from the press and turmoil,
and there I will meet thee. Yea I wait thy coming.
For I long to pour out my blessings upon thee,
and I long to give thee of My fulness.
Only be thou still before Me.
Let not the toils and cares of the day
rob thee of this sweet fellowship with Me.

For I know what things ye have need of, and I am
concerned about thine every duty and responsibility.
But thou wilt find thy cares have vanished
and thy load lightened as by an unseen hand.
For I will that ye bring Me thy love,
I shall in turn bring to thee My power,
so that I work for thee in a two-fold measure.

For I give unto thee the power to discharge thy duties with greater efficiency, and I also am actively engaged in working for thee in ways thou canst not see, to make thy path clear, and to bring about things which thou thyself couldst never accomplish, and which would otherwise absorb thine energies and wear out thy patience.

So I say unto thee again... Rest in Me. Wait upon Me. Come apart with Me. Seek My face. Seek My fellowship.


O Lord, what a shame that Thou shouldst need to beg us thus! Sooner might others seek to find us available and be unable because of our occupation with Thee, rather than this -- that we are so slow to come, so dull to hear, so cold of heart, so indolent of soul.
O God, spare us Thy wrath!
Let not Thine anger be kindled against us.
Let us ask but one thing more, and turn not away.
Grant us this one prayer more, O Lord, even that Thou wouldst give to us all that is lacking in us; that Thou wilt make our wills to will; that Thou wilt intensify our hunger and fire our devotion, and take the indifference from our spirits, and have Thy wonderful way and perfect will, O God, we pray.

~ From Come Away My Beloved by Frances J. Roberts

22 December 2006

New installment...

A new installment has finally been added to "Wings of the Wind"...



When will this end?
Where do I start?
I am frightened by
The darkness of my heart.
So easily I slip
Into this death grip.
One moment away from You
Seems like an eternity;
Forever craving Your presence
And longing for Your glory.
I want out of this hole
To bask once more in Your light.
Pull me out of this Despair --
This pit of dark'ning gloom.
I want to see the Sun
And no longer hail the moon.
Oh, for a glimpse of Light!
No more darkness, no more night.
I grow weak outside Your grace;
Give this sin no more place
In my ever-wandering heart.
Lord, deliver me from the Dark.

Carey Nofziger
18 December 2006

"The Darkness of Noise"

The racket of my life
Is drowning out Your voice;
I want to silence it,
But do I have a choice?
I feel myself slipping
Further from Your grace.
So badly... so badly
I long to seek Your face.
The darkness of the Noise
Closes around my soul.
I know I'm not complete;
Without You I'm not whole.
Lord, I beg for Your forgiveness --
Once again, I pray,
Don't leave me in this darkness;
God, I ask You to stay.
I don't understand
Why I cannot see Your hand,
But reveal Yourself to me;
Open my eyes so I can see
Your glorious face
In the light of eternity.

Carey Nofziger
18 December 2006

"Shades of Gray"

I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth. For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing, not realizing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked. (Revelation 3:15-17)So much I see around me,

Painted in shades of gray;
No one knows their purpose,
No one knows the Way.
Pursuing empty dreams,
Expressing empty thoughts;
It's only an illusion -
A facade that was wrought.

Carey Nofziger
21 December 2006

16 December 2006

Abundance and Need

Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me. (Philippians 4:11-13)
Christmas is my favorite time of year. Not because of the decorations and the over-abundance of sugar (which I can't eat anyway). Not because of the cold weather and caroling (although I do like both). Not even because of the tree and the gifts. For me, Christmas is when God's hand is most evidently seen providing in my life... especially this year.

This year the Lord saw it fit to strip me financially (not that finances aren't tight all the time anyway). Most would say that's rough, but I am excited to see how the Lord will provide. All my life, I've seen His hand provide for my family and I have no doubt He will do so again.

My dad called the other day to inform me that my parents' mini-van was on the fritz (yet again). They needed to borrow money to repair it before something exploded. It took most of my savings to cover the costs, but I was just glad we could get it fixed before the van went BOOM. There was just one little problem. The money in savings was for Christmas presents.

"Mom, no rush... but when do you think you'd be able to pay me back? That was Christmas money."

"Umm... January."

"Oh... okay. Well... Merry Christmas! Your van is fixed!"

That leaves very little for parents, siblings, grandmas, nieces, and friends (but maybe I could give them all I.O.U. notes for January). Not a problem, because I know my Heavenly Father will abundantly provide as He always does.