Who Can Compare?

January 6, 2011

Your love is better than all that life can give me.

Your joy is my strength.

Where can I go where Your Presence is not there?

I have sought and I have found that there is none like You.

I want to spend my life and my days seeking after You.

For deep inside lies a Treasure that satisfies my hungry soul.


Recently, I have been feeling an ache in my soul that is so deep I don’t even know how far it goes. It’s a longing for more of God. I have felt so distant from Him even in the going about my Christian day to day life. Don’t get me wrong, I spend time with the Lord, talk about Him a lot, sing to Him, write songs to Him, and hear the Word of God preached.

Yet, within in me, I feel a deep calling unto deep that is requiring more. I feel there is more revelation of His heart and His love and just want as much as He will give me. There are so many things I want to see for the year 2011 but one thing is for sure, I want to know more of God! I want to know His heart! I want to know what He is saying! I want to see as He sees! I want to have an understanding of  His love for me and the world! I have tried the things of this world and I have experienced the highs of Christian charisma. I have seen miracles.

I have seen the Holy Spirit move in powerful ways. I have had amazing fellowship with brothers and sisters in the Lord. I have seen revival and many people get saved and delivered and it has been awesome to see the Lord move in those incredible ways. Yet, I find myself this evening crying out just to hear His heart. I just want to be with Him! I want to know and experience His love in a deeper way. Yesterday’s manna will not satisfy  me anymore. I need the new wine. I need the new of Himself because there is more than I what I have tasted. So come Lord and fill this hungry soul!!!


Letting Go…

March 15, 2009

I’m letting go of what I know for Something that is greater,
I’m looking to the hills for my Someone who is better.
I’m counting it all as loss and clinging to what is real,
I’m looking to a higher place for the One who truly heals.

I will see Him on a road that I have never taken,
I will find a faith within me that can never be shaken.
I will find Him wrapped in colors that I have never dreamed,
And will see Him in a way that no man has ever seen.

I’m letting go of what I know for Something that is greater,
I’m looking to the hills for my Someone who is better.
I am going to find the One who truly does satisfy,
For I will be revealed a Love that never dies.
I will find a Garden with a River that never runs dry,
I will find a hope that I can’t escape even if I tried.

I’m letting go of what I know for Something that is greater,
I’m looking to the hills for my Someone who is better.

He Loves Me…

February 22, 2009

“He loves me, He loves me not, He loves me, He loves me not.” Isn’t this just how our life is in God? Pulling off the rose petals and hoping that the last petal we pull will be “He loves me!” We have such a hard time understanding that He does indeed love us! Over the past month, this is what God has been trying to show me over and over again. I guess I just have a hard time getting it.

I have been back in America for one week and wow what an adjustment it has been. Reverse culture shock and back to “real life” I guess you could say? It’s been a few days, but I couldn’t evade the last part of my journey to the Middle East. The last day of my trip was probably one of the most culminating parts of the whole time as the Lord revealed to me so much more of His heart.

I arrived at the airport to leave for Germany at 2:00 in the morning for an early flight and I felt prepared to say goodbye. However, when I arrived, I discovered that they had canceled the flight and were not going to be sending me to Germany that morning. I felt my heart drop to the bottom of my stomach and prayed that the Lord would work something out. I was desperate!

Dan Wickwire translated these words for me from the woman at the desk, “There are no flights leaving directly from Germany to the U.S. until Tuesday, which is 4 days away, so you could spend a night in Germany later today, stay in a hotel, and fly out tomorrow morning to America.”

Flustered, I responded with,”What? Oh man, I can’t do that. I am by myself? I don’t know the language and I don’t have enough money to stay in a European hotel. I just don’t know.” Dan responded with, “What if they could pay for you to stay at a hotel?” That’s where it all started, my next exciting adventure!

Therefore, we went back to Dan and Devri’s house, I spent 3 more hours of sleep, awakened for one last Middle Eastern breakfast, and we left from there. I was thankful for that time with them for Devri prayed for me that God would cover me the whole time and give me wisdom on my next journey. She said, “If the devil can’t get you coming over, he’ll try to get you on the way home. Stay strong in the Lord.”

So I was off on my way a few hours later than planned and was at the gate. Dan said goodbye to me and I took one last look. I found myself taking another last look at Dan and felt some comfort that he was there to make sure I was safe. I was also reminded of the whole trip feeling covered and protected the whole time. I was still a little fearful but asked the Lord if He would give me just one friend who spoke English to help me.

No later than 30 minutes, while I was waiting for our gate to open I saw a girl with blonde hair and blue eyes and she kept looking at me and I kept doing the same thing with her. I guess we were trying to figure out if each of us spoke English. I then asked, “Do you speak English?” I was so relieved to find her next answer. “Yes, I do, you too!”

We quickly became acquainted with on another and talked for a long time. She happened to be from South Carolina and was living in Frankfurt, Germany with her husband, but she had been living in the Middle East for 4 months working with their government. She knew German and was going to be able to help me when I arrived at Frankfurt. I was thankful.

As if it could not have become better, this 3 hour flight to Germany became even more amazing! I quickly found my seat number and began to get settled in. I had an aisle seat and made myself a little more comfortable as is my usual routine on planes. I got my I-pod out and was ready to either sleep, or get enthralled into the “writing zone” of journaling while the music inspired the words to go forth!

In the midst of my “world,” a young boy of about sixteen years tapped me on the shoulder. “May I ask where you are from?” he said. I quickly responded with a smile and thought the conversation would not go any further, however, it did!

I have to be honest, within myself, I was thinking, “God, can I please just be left alone for now, so that I can just have my own time to chill after an intense trip?” Yet, I felt the Holy Spirit saying to me, “You know that’s not going to happen.”

This is because just about every time I get on a plane, the Lord wants me to prophesy, pray, or minister to someone I am sitting by. I have a great history of seeing God move powerfully on planes. Why was I being so stubborn? Didn’t I want to see God move? I was being a little selfish.

This boy began telling me his life story and opened up about some deep wounds he had for years. Why did he feel the need to share so much? I wondered, but I knew the Lord was highlighting something specific. God eventually gave me the opportunity to share.

After about the 5th time I saw this boy try to cover up the fact that he had tears in his eyes, I said, “You know, I hear all the pain you are facing.” He said, “Yeah, I guess that’s my life.” I said, “No, that’s not the rest of your life. I don’t know what I would do without God in my life. I have faced trial after trial and without Jesus helping me, I couldn’t do it. You can have this same hope and this same assurance.”

He responded with, “I don’t know if I believe in God. I go to a German school in the Middle East, and all of my teachers say that there is no God.” I asked him the question, “What do you believe?” He said, “I don’t know. I guess I am searching.” I responded with, “You know if you ask the Lord to reveal Himself to you, He will? I promise you He will. He’s real and I know Him.”

His eyes were completely fixed on mine and I knew the Holy Spirit was working. It was one of those moments where there was no doubt if he was listening. I knew he was, and so it began. I said, “I want to prove to you that the Lord is real. Jesus speaks to me and He has already told me things about you and your life that, without Jesus, I wouldn’t know these things.”

I began to prophesy over him about the gift he had of being an artist and many other things. I told him, “You have nightmares don’t you? They are pretty intense huh? The enemy is trying to steal from you, but the Lord has a plan and a purpose for your life. He has a plan for you to live and have joy, peace, and a future!”

With tears in his eyes, he said, “How do you know these things?” I said, “Because the Lord Jesus and because He loves you, I say these things to you today, this very moment.” To be continued…

I Will Never Forget You…

February 9, 2009

Sometimes pictures are worth a thousand words. This was a moment in history that I will never forget. I love these people and this little girl to me will always be in my memory.

As I walked through the village and took a look at these ancient doors, the ancient ruins you may call them, I couldn’t help but think of the promises in Isaiah 61:4. I also thought about Jeremiah 33 for He truly is a God of restoration.

Here in this village which overlooks the downtown city, there lives behind these walls a loving people. They are hard workers trying to earn their wage by selling what they can with the beautiful things they have made with their own hands. It is amazing.

I fell in love with a little girl who was there trying to sell me jewelry that her mother had made. She was cute so I could understand why her mother sent her out to sell them. Possibly her little smile would encourage a person to buy the products her mother had made. Perhaps, with her, there was a better chance for her family to earn a good daily wage.

I was also delighted to actually be able to have a small conversation with her because I have learned a few more words in this language. In order to snatch a picture of her, I was encouraged by Josh to purchase something. Therefore, I ended up buying a precious little bracelet for about 45 American cents. However, this picture below is absolutely priceless!

As soon as we arrived in this peaceful little place, we drew a small crowd of people. We also began taking pictures of these pieces of history and moments in time. As we began to be noticed, small children rushed to the windows of their homes to see us, other children rushed outside of their homes to talk to us. Most of them were trying to sell things and earn 50 cents or so, maybe even one whole dollar!

As I walked through these narrow roads through the village, I was also reminded of the powerful 3 days we were able to experience this week. God did so many amazing things. One of them being God giving me the ability to play the piano during a prayer set that was not planned.

Darren Davis came with Matt Reed for a few days for this Pastor’s Conference we had here at the Church. Darren’s teaching was soooo amazing! The Lord spoke through him in fire! God really touched many people in power during the ministry time after his teaching.

It was really encouraging having them here as it was a piece of home away from home. It was also so good to laugh and enjoy the time with tasty treats which Darren loved so much. He made sure he always had his share of snacks everyday! He is also known as “Daddy D” to me as he has been a spiritual father to me for over 6 years. Darren also brought some teachings and music from our church to encourage me.

From the moment, I listened to the CD he gave me of a prayer service from The Harbour, tears welled up in my eyes. I couldn’t believe how much I truly missed the music ministry at The Harbour. We really have something that is so rare and so awesome! I love it here and I love helping with the music ministry at this church as well, but I have been missing receiving from the Holy Spirit in powerful ways through music.

As I was going to sleep last night, I was listening to the music from the prayer time where a good friend was singing and for the first time in 4 weeks, I had a good cry with the Lord. It feels so good when we can just cast our cares upon Him and weep in a good way. The CDs were a great encouragement for me during this time.

The conference was really interesting and I feel the people who came received beneficial information regarding Church leadership. This is really good because many people who are new Christian converts never grew up in the Church and have a limited understanding of how leadership works in a Biblical way.

Another powerful moment for me was meeting 4 brothers who were Iranian refugees Darren asked them to come up yesterday and as he prayed for them, I felt such an anointing over their lives. It was so powerful as they have endured many tribulations. They became Christians after they left Iran 4 years ago but I could sense that they are so hungry for the deep things of God.

I have noticed this in many of the recent converts here who were once Muslims and have suffered greatly. They have a love for God’s Word that is so strong! Jesus says: “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness for they will be filled.” I can see this in their lives and it is incredible to see!

In closing, I have been so blessed to meet these wonderful people! What a rare experience this has been for me and God has been so faithful to bring me here
to see His heart for the restoration of these Muslim nations. He will rebuild what has been destroyed through the generations. I am sad to say that I have one more week here in the Middle East, yet I am still in great expectation of what He is going to do next. Blessings!

Simple but Profound…

February 2, 2009

Like I’ve said before many times, the struggles you have right now, you take with you wherever you go. You can even fly to another country, but that doesn’t mean your problems will disappear. I know this sounds daunting and very un-optimistic as opposed to my other posts. This trip has been amazing and full of joy and new adventures.

However, as I sit here this night in my little room in the basement looking out the small window at the moon, I realize how disconnected I have felt from the Lord with these same issues that have faced me for years. I can’t run away from them as they are even in my dreams. Do not be discouraged, these issues are issues of my heart that the Lord is trying to highlight in me. Yet, in my dreams, He is reminding me that I have to deal with them face to face even in a far away land.

I also said, previously, that I felt this was going to be a trip where the Lord was going to heal me in many ways. Maybe not in the ways I was even expecting, but I know He is healing, most importantly, my heart. I had a precious moment with the Lord tonight and just talked with Him about things that I have been asking for throughout many years. There are deep things I have been longing for even regarding healing in my body.

“Lord, I have asked you to heal me before and I have cried over these issues for many years. Will you not come? Are you not faithful?” I said to the Lord. I thought about even the men throughout the Bible who petitioned the Lord over and over again about their issues and He even said no a few times. Yet, the friends of God persisted and kept asking. I thought, “Why not me? Lord, I am Your friend and I am asking again in hopes You will respond.”

Ali Amja has prophesied over me two times on this powerful trip and both times were great. However, the second one was the most incredible to me. During a prayer meeting last week, Ali came up to me specifically and laid his hands on my head.

Just that very night, I wanted to ask for prayer, but didn’t have the guts to open my mouth. Speaking in his language, Josh translated it all for me. I am telling you that the very thoughts I had in my head that evening, Ali petitioned the Lord for! I could not believe it! God cared enough for me to hear those words from Ali so that I could be encouraged in this place of waiting!

I have a purpose here to serve this family, this I know, but at the same time, God is surprising me in these very rare, quiet moments, like right before I go to bed. Wham! Jehovah Sneaky will throw His sneak attack and meet with me in a profound way! I have to be honest, my times with the Lord have been very Brother Lawrence like and I’ve had to practice the presence of God even in the busiest days with the children.

I feel Him in cleaning poopy diapers, cleaning up chili off of a one year old little boy’s face, trying to break up fights over toys, etc. Practicing the presence of God is something I am used to doing here, but I am missing the quiet times with the Lord where I can just get a good cry in and let it all out. I picture myself just crying on His shoulder and letting Him love on me.

All this to say, the Lord met with me tonight and He didn’t tell me I need to fast more, or pray more, or read the Word more. No, He told me that He loved me. Very simply, “I love you Mary Katherine and you are worth the good gifts I have for you.” Even as I type this, I feel His presence so strongly and I am being brought to tears yet again. It’s those simple words from Him alone that can heal any soul. I pray I may abide in His love all my days and I pray you will do the same. Blessings from the Middle East.

I Saw Jesus Today…

February 1, 2009

I saw Jesus today. You know He dwells inside of each of us if we know Him and His Spirit is always moving. He moves all over the world. I saw Him touch a young girl whose mother had a brain injury and has been in a coma for one month now. It was her first time entering into a Christian church. I also saw tears stream down her face as she met Him for the very first time. It was a miracle I saw with my very own eyes.

I also saw a grandmother searching for healing for her daughter and seeking Jesus, the only One who can truly heal. I saw Him move in her life. She was on a quest to find hope, true hope, the hope that will last and not fade away. In the midst of her search, I saw with my eyes, her demeanor change with the love of God surrounding her. She felt something different and it was noticeable to all.

I saw Jesus as I helped with singing worship songs in another language and didn’t know how to do it. I saw Him as He gave me the words to sing and the ways to sing them. I felt Him as we sang praises to His throne in a language foreign to me, but not to Him. We were one in that place.

I saw Jesus in the midst of the congregation as we longed to meet with Him. Truth is, however, He has always desired to meet with us even more so. I’ve seen Him here. I see Him everyday as I meet someone new in this country. I see Him in this nation and I feel His heart for these people. I am in awe of His faithfulness and that He, the Creator of all things, would desire to meet with me, to meet with us. He is good.

Part 2 of Ephesus!

January 30, 2009

We took a stop by the “Seven Sleepers” ruins where there is a story that 7 Christian martyrs were murdered and buried, but when people came to uncover the graves, the people rose from their graves and were resurrected from the dead! There are no bones in those graves and there is proof!

We finally made it back to our village where we were staying and finished our evening with a stroll through town and a little shopping! Of course in every store we stopped in, it was always a long process. The sellers invite you in for tea, get to know you, and hope you will give them some business as well. The last place we went to was a rug shop where we were greeted by a man in his twenties who worked with his brother.

They talked us into having some tea and a “chat” and tried to talk us into buying a rug. It was too expensive for me! Once they realized we weren’t going to buy, they relaxed and started up conversation. The youngest brother played the folk guitar for us and sang a folk song for my trusty webcam. It was VERY entertaining to say the least! He proposed to me a few times before we left, jokingly, of course. It was just good fun!

We ended the day back at the hostel to get rest for another well-deserved, restful day! Tomorrow, we plan on drinking tea, walking, sitting, chatting, meeting new people, drinking more tea, and sitting even more! What a day! I love it here! Did I mention, that I love it? Blessings and stay tuned for more stories…

I am falling in love with the Middle East! Last night, the power went off as it frequently does here so it was somewhat difficult to pack for our next destination. I was somewhat fearful if I would awaken on time to make it to our plane. However, thanks to the 6 a.m. Call to Prayer the Muslims have here, I awakened just in time to pack my suitcase and discover that the power had been recovered in the house! I had a good 45 minutes to pack and pull my hair back for another adventure!

Julie and I barely made it in time for our plane and got there 5 minutes before our plane was due to take off! When we arrived to Ephesus and the jet plane landed, I had a feeling that this was going to be another exciting trip of new experiences! I was right! This day was a day to rest from the children and to just chill out! We landed not having a reservation for a hotel or anything, but we took a taxi to another city which then led us to another bus that led us to a cute little village near Ephesus that I have fallen in love with!

It was love at first sight for sure! Let me also say the bus ride was absolutely beautiful and the people here love Americans! We got way more stares than usual and many people tried to talk to us in English to get to know us. Everyone I have met has been so friendly! A day that was expected to thunderstorm all day, ended up becoming a day full of sunshine, cool breezes, and warmer weather!

This place was surrounded by mountains and I absolutely could not take my eyes off of them! It turned out that this was an off season and not many tourists were in our part of town. When we arrived from our bus ride, we were greeted by many men trying to sell us bus tickets speaking to us in broken English trying to “get to know us.”

I had a backpack, my camera bag, and a suitcase to haul around town until we found the perfect place to rest for the night. We walked across the street from the bus station and found the cozy little hostel where we could sleep that was great! We were greeted by three brothers who spoke English with Australian accents because many Aussies visit this part of town quite often. It was really interesting. They gave us our price which was reasonable for 2 people so we decided to stay!

Besides the freezing cold water in the shower, the place was a hit for us and it was my first experience staying in a hostel. Pretty fun! Afterwards, the manager of the hostel wanted to escort us through the town to show us a great place to get a quick bite to eat. We ended up eating Doners (sandwiches that are rolled up in soft pita bread with meat and cheese depending on how you get it) at a cute little cafe on the corner.

Our new friend ended up eating lunch with us as well and then escorted us to our driver who drove us to Ephesus. It is one of the oldest cities in the world and it is where the Apostle Paul preached and got the boot in the famous Coliseum which we got to see firsthand. These ancient ruins were stunning! It was also incredible being able to walk down marbled streets that had been around for about one thousand years!

In addition to the Coliseum, we saw one of the ancient library ruins as well. We also had a guide to walk us through so he taught us many things regarding the history. The tour ended with us going through the ancient ruins of the very first church in the city called “The Church of Mary.” What a fun name! This place was surrounded by majestic mountains as well and I couldn’t help but rejoice at the Lord’s goodness for all that He had done in this place!

After a long trek through the ruins, we built up quite an appetite and were ready to eat some more food! We discovered a restaurant nearby with a table on the ground and cushions all around. I think we were the only people who weren’t smoking in that place, but I just breathed through my mouth and tried not to smell it.

They gave us more pita bread sandwiches that came fresh out of their stone oven. It was yet another amazing meal! I have also yet to be disappointed by anything I’ve eaten so far! Blessings and stay tuned for part 2 of vacation time in Ephesus…