The Day I Remembered I Am An Intovert

Time to continue with our adventure in Japan!

Day two of camp arrived. I already shared the devotion I wrote for the students a couple posts ago. In addition, it was seminar day. Students had the opportunity to attend two seminars of their choice. The offerings ranged from Identity in Christ to Preparing for College. Cyrus taught a seminar focused on answering some tough theological questions. I taught on overcoming worry (I plan on sharing more about this later – maybe as a series). We were both privileged to be used in this way!

After the devo time and seminars we broke for lunch and then some afternoon free time.

And that’s when it hit me. I was exhausted. Not physically tired but emotionally and mentally drained. Since we stepped foot in Japan I had been caught up in a whirlwind of introductions, remembering names, and get-to-know-you conversations. I know for some people this is exciting and energizing, but not for me. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy people, but after a while I need a relational rest. I need time for introverted introspection and reflection.

Fortunately, I was able to nab a bit of that time before we were on to the next activity; but I also was reminded of my need to rely on God for strength in the areas of my weakness. It was only by His power that I made it through the next several days with very little introvert time!

And His power at work in me brought joy to my heart. That evening I once again jumped out of my comfort zone and into a post evening session small group. It was an amazing opportunity to witness a small group of High School girls open up with each other about their hurts and convictions. One girl even shared her desire to make a u-turn in life and start living in a way that pleased God – she wanted to recommit to Him!

I absolutely love seeing God moving in people’s lives – no greater joy!

I’ll close this post by sharing Wednesday morning’s devotion with you. May you be encouraged!

No Longer a Child

Bible Reading- Eph.4:14-32

In the world’s eyes you are on the brink of adulthood. Many of you have already made decisions about what you are going to do after high school. You have spent time preparing and growing academically, physically and mentally for what lies ahead. But where do you measure on your Spiritual Growth Chart?

In our reading today we are reminded that it’s time to grow up – spiritually. We all need to grow by being rooted in God’s Word (not swept away by every new idea), by loving others, and by becoming Christ-like. But this growth is not accidental. God works in us as we respond to His Spirit and pursue His Truth.

  1. Just as you purposefully do certain things to grow physically or academically, you can purposefully take action to grow spiritually. What can you start doing, even today, to contribute to your spiritual growth? 
  1. Sometimes we all feel confused or have doubts about God, but it is important to continue to pursue the Truth. If you are confused or doubtful about God, the Bible, or Christianity right now, have you given up pursuing the Truth or are you continuing to seek it? What would it look like for you to pursue God?

Pray – Be honest with God about any doubts you have and ask Him to help you find the Truth! Ask Him to convict you of any areas in your life that you need to start obeying Him.


When a Simple Life Feels Insignificant

Tonight I was talking with God about how tired I am of all the routine, mundane tasks of being mom. Tired of laundry, cooking, cleaning, changing diapers, disciplining….I could go on but you get my point! This is not how I want to be used by God right now. I have other gifts and abilities that could be put to use in more beneficial ways, or so I think.

But as I was communicating all this to God, He reminded me of what He has to remind me of quite frequently – faithfulness isn’t always glamorous or fulfilling.

So here are some words He used to encourage me tonight. I definitely don’t consider myself a poet so I’m kind of going out on a limb by sharing this. But, I felt I needed to pass along the encouragement in case someone else needed to hear it too.

When A Simple Life Feels Insignificant

Keep on doing the little things:

The small things,

The five-minute-here-five-minute-there things.

The things that show you will.

The things that no one sees.


Don’t give up on unnoticed things:

The all lone things,

The chance-for-lots-of-growth things.

The things that show you worthy.

The things that He can see.


He can use the small things

And turn them in to ‘Wow!’ things –

The change-another’s-life things.

He can use a faithful thing,

One small thing at a time.

Gal 6:9 (NASB)

Let us not lose heart in doing good,

for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary.

Eph 4:1  (NASB)

…I…implore you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling

with which you have been called

words and The Word

I had the privilege of writing morning devotionals for the students at Shorebreak. Every morning after breakfast we gathered for a time of music and then everyone got a copy of the devotion for the day and went to find a place of solitude; a place where they could spend quality time with God, without distraction from others.

This was the first devotion of camp and I wrote it to supplement Cyrus’ teaching on the G.O.S.P.E.L. (see the last post for the meaning). I wrote it for a High School audience, but God’s truth surpasses the generational gaps! Oh, and by the way, the theme for the camp was reversal, so I tried to sneak that in there too 😉

May these words and The Word be an an encouragement to you today.

    Once Upon a Time                

Bible Reading – Ephesians 2:1-10

And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest. But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.

Once upon a time mankind was at peace with God. Adam and Eve walked and talked with God. But then they made a decision which caused humanity’s spiritual separation from God. From the moment they ate the forbidden fruit, humanity took a turn down the path of sin and death. So instead of following God, our passage points out that we have been obeying our fleshly desires, the course of the world, and the deceptions of Satan.

But there is such good news! God is rich in love and brought us life in His Son Jesus! We can now walk and talk with God the way He always wanted. We don’t have to go back to obeying the world, our lusts, or Satan. He has given us a great gift and prepared wonderful work for us to do to bring Him glory. Jesus has reversed and for all time demolished the power of death and sin in our lives.

  1. If you have not trusted Jesus as your Savior, will you take time to consider this passage more carefully? Read it a few more times and look for God’s tremendous love for you and His desire to bring you life!
  1. If you are a Christian, are you living in the life of Christ? Are you obeying the world and your own desires, or relishing the gift of God and seeking after those good works that He created and saved you for?

Pray – If you are convinced that you need Jesus as Savior, pray and tell God that you accept His free gift of grace! For those who are saved, ask God to convict you of areas you may need to choose to follow Him instead of your own desires. And ask for His help reverse the sinful directions you are going.

Squid, Anyone????


Jeremiah 17:10a – I, The Lord, search the heart, I test the mind…

Cyrus and I are both passionate about communicating God’s Truth. And Shorebreak (H.S. camp) was no exception. However, we were going with very little knowledge about the students’ hearts. We knew many attended a Cadence run youth group, some were new to living abroad, some had barely set foot in the states, but we had no idea what their relationships with the Lord looked like.

With that in mind, Cyrus determined to start with the essentials and share the message of the G.O.S.P.E.L. over the course of the first two days. Here it is in a nutshell:

G – God created us to be with Him.

O – Our sin separated us from God.

S – Sins cannot be removed by good deeds.

P – Paying the price for sin, Jesus died and rose again.

E – Everyone that believes in Him has eternal life.

L – Life that’s eternal means we will be with Him forever.

Visit to learn more about this acrostic and Dare2Share – a ministry focused on helping students share their faith.

This gave an opportunity for students who didn’t understand the gospel or who had never heard it to see what our Heavenly Father had to offer them! Cyrus also wove in a challenge for re-commitment to Christ.

As with much of ministry, we don’t know all the details of how this teaching impacted each individual student, but we heard several stories that gave us hope that God’s Word was well received! We heard of re-commitments and students having a clearer understanding of the gospel than they ever had before. Most importantly, we rest in the fact that God knows every heart more intimately than we can imagine. And our tiny contribution to His kingdom was used by Him, whether we ever see the results or not. We trust that He is always at work.

Below is a video clip that Cyrus showed to the students, quickly covering the overarching theme of salvation in the Bible. It is powerful – please watch!

In addition to the teaching, Shorebreak was bustling with super fun activities! Here’s a run-down of Monday:

Monday we arrived at Tokashiki Friendship Center, the location of Shorebreak (camp). All the students were divided into one of four colored teams: Pink, Blue, Red, and what morphed in to ‘grellow’ (some identity confusion there J).So after lunch, the team competitions began!

With a relay race. Oh, and the baton? Fresh, live, wiggling, and inking squid!


Squid Relay!

Nothing like seafood to break the ice!

After that the students had some free time before dinner. But not us. Cyrus worked on putting the finishing touches on his first session and I joined the rest of the worship team to practice.

Dinner (I’ll have to tell all about the interesting food another time) came and went and it was session time.

Our program team of Hanz and Franz (also known as Tori and Bjorn) got things off to a great start with a silly game. Each student volunteer had to stand on one leg, bend over, and grab a paper lunch bag with their mouth. Sounds easy, right? You might be surprised! There was far more falling than paper-bag-grabbing. And most of all there was laughter.


Hanz and Franz

The program team had to make some plans on the fly because certain details fell through, but you never would have known; they did a great job.

Worship through music was next. Though behind the scenes this was a bit hectic, everything came together by the grace of God and I truly believe that attention was given to God, not the musicians.

Here is a link to one of the favorite songs of the week:

After that was Cyrus’ first session – the G.O.S. His talk was followed by small group discussion time (probably one of the most beneficial activities of camp).

And to wrap it all up……. Night games, of course! Our game master, Bryce, set up a thrilling battle of capture-the-flag, using glow sticks 🙂

Finally, our evening came to an end. Cyrus and I were fortunate to sleep on beds. Most everyone else had to sleep on bamboo covered floors called tatami mats. I guess sometimes it pays to be among the oldest people around!


Tatami Mat Floors

Next time I will begin to share with you the devotions I wrote for the students’ morning quiet time with God. And of course, there are many more stories to tell!

Thanks for reading. If you have any specific questions, ask away!!!


Finally, we stepped off the airplane and onto the little island of Okinawa – a bit behind schedule. Our new friends Kenji and Heather were there to sweep us away for a quick night’s rest before we were to be ferried away to the even smaller island of Tokashiki.

Easter morning greeted us with early morning sun and warmth as we huddled in a convenience store parking lot. We were about to pile into vans and head for the port when a brief phone call halted us.

Somewhere, in some ocean (I’ll be honest, my geographic knowledge of that part of the world is somewhat lacking), a typhoon was churning  and in turn making our route unsafe for travel.

We really needed this day to get things set up before the students’ arrival on Monday. And we were hoping to have a great time of getting to know the Cadence* staff as well.

But God is good. And He has His own plans.

Though this turn of events threw off many peoples’ plans, I am pleased to report that everyone handled the problem with grace and flexibility, resulting in a unification that otherwise wouldn’t have occurred. The Body of Christ really has an opportunity to shine when faced with difficult circumstances, and this time our group and Cadence staff did just that.

We spent Easter Sunday studying God’s Word, going to sushi, and visiting Cadence run youth groups on a couple different military bases.  This allowed us to get to know some of the staff and students before camp (Shorebreak). Looking back, this was extremely valuable. Relationship building with students got off to an even earlier start than expected!

Monday morning was a repeat of Sunday morning, and this time the route was safe for travel! So our Corban team, the Cadence staff, adult volunteers, and all the students boarded the ferry and arrived on Tokashiki around lunch time. It was a mad dash to get set up, but it happened!


Bare feet required at this sushi restaurant!




Some of the Corban Team (Andrew, Bjorn, Tori, Lisa, and TJ)


On the ferry to Tokashiki

Next blog I hope to share with you more about the specific roles Cyrus and I had for the week. So much more to come!

* Please take a minute to visit to learn more about Cadence International and the wonderful ministry they have with military members and their families. It was a privilege to work alongside them!