Glacier Travel

Glacier Travel

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Back Together Again we are. Emily and I just got back from courses and this is the first night we have seen each other/communicated in any way for an entire month. WAY TOO LONG! I have one final week left at SROM for the summer and Emily has 3 weeks. There is a vast list of lessons, revelations, and other blessings from the Lord that Emily and I have both walked through while being on various courses that we are still contemplating, digesting and processing. We want to articulate these incredible and life-changing experiences, but still need a little more time to do so. For now, we leave you with the knowledge that we will both be in Laramie for an entire WEEEEEEK!! Get excited for some rich posts chalked full of hilarious events, sweet moves of the Lord in our lives, and what we're going to do in the fall. I know one thing, we're better when we're together. Therefore Emily is scouting the job market in Conway, Arkansas. Sorry Bryan. Anyways, hold us to the promise that you will soon hear from us in detail and depth. You rock. I hope we can hang out soon. Kumbaya.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

removing crutches, oil for my lamp

I was at morning prayer a couple Fridays ago at the SROM building. Because of my struggle with headaches, my SROM family was praying over me for healing. Just as the Bible says, I was anointed with oil and the elders prayed for a healing miracle. During this prayer time a fellow instructor, Jay Johnson, received a word from God. He looked at me and said, “Emily, you are enough, and God has had you in a time where he has been removing the crutches that hold you up. Those things that you cling to and hold you up are gone, but He will bring you out of this time”.  This past semester I experienced exactly what he had just spoken. I felt so many things in my life that could hold me up (straight A’s, friends, position as a worship leader, even my health) had been taken away. How did Jay know? Only by the revelation of the Lord.

So the removal of crutches continues… We are in the middle of the summer frenzy. Almost all of our instructors are out on course, which means ALL the girl instructors are gone. When I come back to town from course I have had no female companionship. For a few weeks I have been feeling this lack of community, lack of fellowship and have been not so happy with the Lord about it. BUT I finally realized it was just part of the Lord’s plan of removing crutches in order to capture my full attention.

If you have read Matt 25: 1-13 you know the parable of the 10 virgins. If you have not read it, I recommend you take out your Bibles and read it now. In this parable, there are 10 virgins carrying lamps, and they go out to meet with Jesus (because he is returning!!). Of the 10 virgins, 5 are ready for his coming (the wise virgins) and 5 are not (the foolish virgins). The wise virgins brought oil in order to keep their lamps burning while the foolish ones did not bring extra oil. Upon the return of Jesus at midnight, the darkest hour, the virgins rise and trim (prepare) their lamps. The 5 foolish virgins ask the wise virgins for more oil. The 5 wise virgins cannot give away their oil, for there is just enough for their own lamps. The foolish ones have to go away to buy more oil. During this time Jesus comes for His bride. The wise virgins, by the light of their lamps, are brought into the wedding feast and the foolish are shut out. The foolish ones try to beg their way into the wedding feast, but Jesus says He does not know them.  Now, a little extra info for a deeper understanding of this parable: 1. This type of lamp used by the virgins denotes a “torch” that needed to be fed FREQUENTLY with oil in order to keep burning and producing light. 2. The Oil is a symbol of the Holy Spirit.

Through this parable the Lord opened by eyes. I cannot be one who depends on anyone or anything else for my oil (Holy Spirit, that which keeps me fed and prepared for the coming of the Lord). I cannot use another’s oil. I must have oil of my own, enough to replenish my lamp while I wait for my King to return. So the question I ask you and myself is, “When all the props go away, when our crutches (what we lean on spiritually and depend on for our filling – pastors, friends, community, church, etc-) are gone, what is left? Where is my heart? Where is your heart? Are we getting filled by the Lord, Holy Spirit, His presence and the word alone? Or are we asking to use someone else’s oil?

Challenge: Dive in, dig deep for yourself. Picture yourself fully humbled, face in the dirt, before the Throne of God. Now you are in the presence of God upon His Holy Throne where he is constantly praised by ones saying, “Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord GOD ALMIGHTY…” (REVELATION 4:1-11 – read this). Now, in the midst of God and his constant heavenly praise, it’s your turn. WORSHIP HIM – in fear- with all of who you are. GIVE HIM GLORY. (Rev 14:6-7) Then, receive from Him (Rev 22: 1-5 and Ezek 47), for from His throne flows a river of living water, “Wherever the river goes…so everything will live…and on the banks…there will grow all kinds of trees for food. Their leaves will not whither nor their fruit fail…because the water for them flows from the sanctuary”.

Sow FREQUENTLY into your personal relationship with Jesus and receive the much needed (and desired) oil and living river water (which is Holy Spirit). Be ready.

with love,

More wildflowers from the Wind River Range in western Wyoming. :)

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Good Game, Hit the 20 days (From Becs)

Well, I'm off. Tomorrow I'm off for 3 weeks in the wilderness of Wyoming. I have 6 beautiful 15-17 year old young ladies: Magnificent Maddie, Mighty Mary Ellen, Rapid Raven, Happy Harmony, Excited Elissa, Beastly Bethany and then my co-instructor: Rowing Rachel. The first 8 days will be comprised of rockclimbing/backpacking in Vedauwoo, then we have a travel day and for the next 11 day we will be back packing throughout the Wind River Range. I am attaching a spot locator link so that you can follow us via google earth if you wish! Earlier today we read through Romans 1:20, "For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities -- his eternal power and divine nature -- has been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made , so that people are without excuse." I seriously pray that these girls know God at a much deeper level because they are seeking up in the context of what HE created and not through man-made institutions and objects. I want them to whose they are. I am full of immense anticipation, excitement, expectation and hope for glory. I have so much more to say, but my clarity is running thin. PLEASE be in prayer. I will absolutely have an update for you all in 3 weeks. Be blessed. I love you all so much.


Link for spot locator: 

Monday, June 27, 2011

What paradigms have shifted thus far...

Faithful followers. You are so good to us. We have not done a joint post in a while and thought, well, it's about that time. I (Becs) leave for course on Friday for 3 weeks and I (Emily) go out on Sunday for a week long course. Before we go our separate ways for a time, we wanted to share with you what we have collectively learned about SROM and Laramie.

1) An 8:30 staff meeting means 8:45...or 9:00.
2) The coffee pot never runs dry. We proclaim coffee/caffeine as the only permissible christian addiction. Too far?
3) We need more staff. Literally, after I (Becs) leave, we will have only full-time staff and Emily left at the building. Anyone need a job?
4) You can leave for lunch whenever you want and no one asks any questions. also, same goes for coffee runs.
5) You can make appointments during the workday and no one furrows their brow. Haircut at 9:30am? Don't mind if I do.
6) Coal Creek has the most eclectic performers we've ever listened to. You never know what to expect when it's an open mic night. Also, their coffee is delicioso...but extremely expensive. 
7) If there is ever a guess as to where a business or restaurant is located, you can guess Grand or 3rd street and will most likely find what you're looking for.
8) Boys are more inclined to date/be married than the women. The west is different than that south, that's for sure.
9)" Don't pick your face, don't bite your sores." - Me to Emily
10) Buena Vista, Colorado is exactly 4 hours from Laramie.
11) Branson, Missouri is 13 and a half hours from Laramie.
12) "I eat because I'm fat and I'm fat because I eat...wait that's not how it goes is it." -Emily shoving her face with popcorn while watching Braveheart. She claims it's because she was nervous....
13) University of Wyoming (which hails here in Laramie) students are some of the most legit individuals on the planet. aka: Rachel Dowd and Angela Peterson...just to name a few.
14) It is always...and I mean ALWAYS windy. 
15) No one has AC here. They only have heaters. In the summer, even if it reaches 90 degrees, they just open their windows and the breeze cools their homes.
16) everyone, i mean EVERYONE drives a subaru. and its not fair. i want i want i need i need!
17) Also, everyone owns a dog. We call them sons at SROM. But seriously. Dogs...everywhere.
18) Sunsets in laramie are breathtaking. literally. flabergasting.
19) At SROM the appropriate response to pain or misfortune is to shout KUMBAYA!!
20) Don't go to Denver when you don't know what festivals are going on and subsequently what streets will be marked off or not.
21) On the Denver tangent, Walter's Pizzeria on Pearl street is absolutely delicious.
22) We've have never been on a run here where I have not been whistled at, hollered at, or had a phone number shouted out the window for me to dial. Maybe I'll make that phone call.
23) Atmosphere. Go there. Don't even ask why. You'll know when you walk through the door. Bring dog treats and a bottle of guinness and you'll be treated well.
24) Playing music at night drowns out the sound of the trains. hooray for iron and wine sweetly lulling us to sleep into the deep recesses of the night.
25) I actually like the sound of trains. (Becs) i hate it. (Ems)
26) P90x work outs at 5:30 in the morning will leave you questioning your life. I alive right now...if so, why?
27) most quoted quote at SROM: "WHYYY MOSES WHY?!?"
28) Don't go there. Just don't. Don't even think about it. If you're asking where 'there''ve become too curious and have already gone to far. Stop. Turn around. Elevate.
29) Safeway announces when they are closing. the second. "Attention Safeway customers we will be closing in 3 minutes and 47 seconds." Not kidding.

Have you grown weary of our recent competencies in Laramie? Have you learned anything yourself? Do you want to visit us yet? Well..there are plenty more nuggets for you to enjoy, but we will save them for another time..another post. You (whoever you are reading this) are awesome. We're serious about that. Lurv ya.

EMs and BECs

...creepy wink #)

Friday, June 24, 2011

He Always Makes A Way (from Becs)

The phrase, "calm before the storm" is only too fitting for my current state. Up until this week, in preparing for my 20 day/20 night course, all arrangements were going almost too smoothly. Quantity of gear, food, travel itineraries etc. seemed to be coming together like butta. Then suddenly this Tuesday, every area that seemed concrete became fluid and constantly changing. 1 of our girls informed us that after going in for her physical, her doctor told her she had acute patella femoral syndrome, most likely caused by the heavy amount of mileage that Kenzie clocks every week. She called this morning confirming that she wouldn't be able to come this year. Our girl Maddie from Australia has a severe case of influenza. She is supposed to fly to the States on Sunday (our Saturday) but right now her condition is such that flying across the world would be extremely detrimental to her already fragile health. We are still waiting to hear her final decision on attending the course or not. Also on Tuesday, two girls from Colorado Springs signed up to go. Their mom was desperate for her oldest girls (Alyssa-15 and Bethany-17) to experience our Father's love in the context of the wilderness. However, funds are low, finances are tight and there seems to be a small possibility that they will actually come out on course. It is a week before the course leaves and there is too much chaos, too many unanswered questions, and too much desperation in my spirit to know what to do really. Limbo. I am in serious limbo. I love and hate when the Lord leads us through a season or experience that necessitates and demands full dependence, reliance and trust on Him and His proven character.

I received an encouraging email yesterday that sums up the state of my heart as well as gives me truth and peace to rest in:
I had a vision of a work of the enemy that comes like a whirlwind or tornado. There are darts and arrows in the force of the whirlwind that are designed to pierce those who are caught in its storm. The purpose of this attack is to bring fear, confusion and a sense of helplessness. You can recognize this work by the chaos that tries to engulf your mind and emotions. Refuse to succumb to this force of darkness, and stand firm in your faith that I am with you to bring you through to complete victory. Stand still and see the deliverance that I will bring forth, says the Lord.

Attached to this word was Exodus 14:13-14. "Moses answered the people, "Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.

Early in the passage the Israelites were complaining to Moses because the Promised Land was not what they expected. Even though they had been delivered from the Egyptians, the aftermath and desert state they were in caused them to complain and question whether God was truly sovereign.
---this passage could not be a better description of how I catch my reaction towards His works and provision. The Lord is so faithful, His mercies are new every morning, His plans are to prosper and not to harm, He wants to give us a hope and a future, our current sufferings are nothing in comparison to the surpassing glory that is in store, He gave His own son over to death on a cross for ME. All of these blessings, and yet I still question the Lord when, a week out from my course, everything seems to be falling apart and impossible to put back together.

I told my co-instructor that I've been praying for an increase in faith, so this whole situation was my fault :) I continue to trust in the Lord, His timing, and that He is completely capable of making a way when there seems to be no way. My heart is desperate for Him, desperate for His living water and bread of life. I know he will not disappoint nor forsake. But walking this faith journey out, in more areas than I have alluded to in this post, is more painful and exhausting than I could've prepared for. My flesh is weak,  but thank the Lord that His strength is NOT subject to change nor determined by my lacking and falling short. The Lord is good. And being sanctified daily is worth it. He is worth it. It is no cost to die to myself everyday. Because where there is death there is also life. Death unto life. Kumbaya.

Major tangent: I received my ice axe yesterday. It is beautiful, and I wanted to share my excitement with you.

Friday, June 17, 2011

EVEN NOW (from Ems)

just take a minute to read through these lyrics.

It doesn't always work like I've planned it
I've seen a lot of good things, a lot of things been out of my hands
Even when I don't understand it
We have all got choices to make
And this one is mine

Even now, here's my heart God

Seems like all You do is so hidden
Sometimes I'm led to wonder are You working at all?
But even in the darkness I'm listening
For Your still small voice in the distance I hear You call

Even now here's my heart God
I'm in love

Runnin' out of reasons to doubt You
Can't live another day here without You

Even now here's my heart God
I'm in love

Your love is sweeter than honey
Your love is stronger than death
Your love lifts me of my burdens
And teaches me to dance

I left for a course last saturday. it was the first course of the season. i was so excited. this is what i had been preparing for. this is what i had been longing for all year. i was finally taking a group of students into a wilderness setting to MEET WITH GOD. the week before was filled with preparations. paperwork. throwing food. collecting gear. preparing evening devotionals. planning our route. reading topographic maps. building an itinerary. thinking of creative ways to teach these students about servant leadership and the kingdom of God. finally our beautiful students arrived and we were off to vedauwoo, wyoming. the first day was great. we taught our students how to safely climb and belay each other and headed off to climb. half way through the day while cheering on my girls it hit me. i noticed the initial dull pain in my head. i optimistically deemed the pain as a result of mild dehydration and started monitoring my water intake. i was hoping this would be the remedy. unfortunately a few hours later when we were hiking back to our campsite the pain in my head had only sharpened, deepened. nausea was surfacing. this was the last thing i wanted to happen. why now? why the first day of my first course of the summer? we gave the students some free time and i decided i would nap the headache off. surely that would do the trick. false. when i awoke for dinner my head hurt worse and the nausea was almost overwhelming. i sat with my cook group and started preparations for dinner. then the smell of the food hit me...and i booked it to the nearest tree. thus began my stomach's attempt to purge itself of everything i'd consumed for the past three years (too graphic?). Unfortunately the throwing up didn't stop. when it turned 12 am and i was still throwing up, my co-instructor made the executive decision that it was time to call SROM. by 2:20 am i had been evacuated from the field and driven back to laramie. that was it. a day into my trip and i was evacuated. when i woke the next morning my headache had that was progress, but that couldn't take back the fact that i was pulled off the course. for two days i was filled with shame, guilt, and confusion. i was embarrassed to show my face to the other instructors. no one wants to be the instructor who gets pulled off course. i was angry i wasn't able to give the love of Jesus to my students. i felt guilty for not "finishing well". i was discouraged that i still had not been healed of my headaches. "Lord," i asked, "why?? why in your sovereignty and power and might did you let this happen? why did i get pulled off course? why can't i minister to the girls on my course? why havent you healed me??!!" my mind and heart felt the pull to be buried by these dark thoughts, but i fought for the faith to believe all this had occurred in his goodness towards me. i knew the thoughts of condemnation, guilt, and shame were not from Jesus. "there is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus." - Romans 8:1. i still don't quite understand. but this song has given me great hope and confidence in Jesus. even when i don't understand it. even when things don't turn out like ive planned it. even when things fall apart. even when i am listening for His voice from the darkness. even when i am in pain. even when i am throwing up for hours. even when it seems like there is no hope for healing... even then. even now. we all have choices to make. this one is mine. here's my heart God.

                                           wildflowers in the wind river range in wyoming

Walking in the Light (from Becs)

You guys. What up? I just read this incredible article about the importance of being broken for others. It's called, "Walking in the Light" by F. Kefa Sempangi. All that I'll say about this article is that it has completely busted my paradigm that I previously had about communion. Also, it has convicted and prompted me to reconcile some key relationships in my life in order that I may continue to progress in my relationship with that I can continue to go deeper. and ultimately more like Him. I strongly encourage you to look this full article up, but for now I will give you a small excerpt:
"We must remember that, before we are a light to our neighbors and to the world, we are first a light to the home. Unless we are a light to one another -- to our families and to the body of believers to which we belong -- we will not shine at all. The light that is in us will turn to darkness. If we are to avoid the futility which comes when the blind lead the blind, if we are truly to walk in the with one another, we must first be broken.
There is a popular expression among the Revival Fellowship that describes this disposition in the life of an individual. The Ugandan word is Okumenyeka. There is no word just like it in English. It is a "broken" individual. To be broken is to have no pride, for where there is pride, there is no confession and no forgiveness. To heal a broken relationship , one must be broken; one must be willing to "give in;" one must not find his or her identity in always being in the right.
When Jesus fed the five thousand, he took five loaves of bread, blessed them, broke them, and gave them to the disciples to give away (Matthew 14:19). One brother of the Revival read this verse and then looked at me. "Until God breaks your will, he will never use you," he said. "You will only remain a nice loaf of bread." What Jesus did in feeding the multitude was very symbolic of what was going to happen to his body. To his own disciples he said, "This is my body which is broken for you.'
Unless we are broken, we are of no use to God. And unless we are broken, we are of no use to the community of believers of which we are a part. Hardly any of us can go to his own Christian community and say, "This is my body which is broken for you. I am laying all my professional skills, abilities, and economic resources at your disposal. Take them and use them as you see fit." We cannot say this, because we are not broken. We are too proud to give our lives to people who are not perfect. We want to find the perfect person and the perfect community, but we never find them. 
So, like Judas, we make only a partial commitment to the body of believers to which we belong , and we find our identity in our rebellion from them.

...I am learning more and more everyday what it truly means to be broken for the body of believers...the body of Christ. Man, God is so patient with me. 

I'll leave you with 4 pictures from today:
My co-instructors, Rachel's, bernese mountain pup. He remained in this position most of the working morning. Somehow he thought this was comfortable. I tend to disagree.
I receive a 15x20 photoprint of Walter (second from the left) and his best friends Dakota, Tyler and Will today. It is now hanging in my shed/bunkhouse/cabin/suite. Yea...what a goober.
I'll allow you to make up your own opinion as to the quality of this a Capella group. Strange poster at D&L music store that I captured earlier this evening.
And last but not least, tonight's sunset of which this image does not do near the justice it deserves. Wyoming sunsets mayyyyybe better than Oklahoma's. I never thought I would say that. But, there ya go.