Saturday, November 1, 2014

This morning I woke up to the sound of a little boy beating a drum with his hands. The rhythm was right on beat but unique as it changed once and then. At first when I saw him and the other boys, I was astonished as their talent in rhythm, and I learned that they learn the drums when they are very young.

We had the immense privilege of hosting some members of the African Children's Choir. Not just any choir, but a group of 18 African children, taken from homes of poverty, and loss. Eighteen beautiful faces, and eighteen beautiful voices all singing and glorifying God.
We had three boys and a chaperone. The boys were a bit shy at first as most children are in a new place, but they quickly warmed up to us, making jokes, asking questions, and as you read above, playing the drums.

After each meal they said "thank you Auntie (or Uncle) for the food". And they helped clear the table. I so wanted to thank them for just being here, because they didn't just come to hang out with us, they came to change things. And they are changing things, one small voice and drum beat at a time. They are showing the world how much one person can do, and living out Jesus every single day, It's amazing to see them dancing and laughing and singing, even though they've done it more than a hundred times, in their costumes and sandals spreading a hope across the room.

When they first all come out to perform they are all shouting and running with their hands stretched out as if running a race. After the concert my mom commented "when they first come out into the room, you get to see real spiritual warfare right there, eighteen lives that come from such a impoverished background, shouting hope, showing the world that Jesus wins." It's true, and you can feel it there, these kids get to change the world.

If you or someone you know is interested in supporting, buying merchandise, or volunteering the African Children's choir, go to

Friday, September 19, 2014

Eyes. By Sharhaiah Chamberlain

One day I looked into your eyes
And I asked you how they came to be
love wanted
long and short stories
some joyful
and some desperately full of sorrow
a hope for tomorrow
to come
to run
to chase you
to the part of the story where
either everything will be alright
or even better than that-
all of your dreams come true
in your eyes of saltwater reflecting the skies

Seagulls chase each other
and waves bring stars, washing upon
your eyes
on the shore where children played
battles were won
some with volleyball nets
over bubbly and sandwiches and others
with guns

Sailors sailed trepid waters
and some just floated on a sunny day

I saw a memory
I saw a battle
I saw something
In your eyes.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Opus 256 million.7

I took a meteor shower
to clean myself
of all the doubts
I'd ever had

A starry sky
that whipped its jewels across
the velvet
playing a movement
Opus 256 million.7

A moment in the world
that no one waits for
taking our breath away
while shoving creation
into our faces

And the summer wind
that blows through our hair
blowing at our hard skins
and blowing all of our skepticism

All of the birds
didn't sound once
but waited and stood nearby
as the doubter stood on the edge
at the gates of heaven

We know they'll come
at least every year they'll come
the stars that ripple
the sky is the ocean

But every year
as street lights flicker in the distance
and life goes hurriedly on
at least once
we wonder
we wonder.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Being Nice to Yourself.

" Be nice to yourself. It's hard to be happy when someone is mean to you all the time."
                                                                                                                -Christine Arylo

I used to get bullied a lot. You probably have never heard this story, even if you know me really well. Everyday I would wake up and it would start all over again. I thought that everyone had it better. I didn't realize how I sounded. I didn't realize how mean they were. Did I say they? I meant I.

Yes I used to look at myself in the mirror and wish I was those other girls. Now that I think of it, I don't even know who those "other girls" exactly were. I have told people this before, but about 2-3 years ago if I knew you and you were female, I was most likely jealous of you in some way. But I have probably only said I was ugly once, not because I had a "tough skin" or "self confidence" because my self confidence was at its all time low back then. I didn't say I was ugly because I decided not to believe it. I would complain about my face or something and my brother would say "You are so beautiful." I would complain about my skin and my mom would say "You are a princess, you are lovely."

One day I realized that I did not want to bully myself anymore. I was tired of looking in the mirror and not liking what I saw. So I started to talk. Every time I looked in the mirror I would say "You are beautiful, you are loved, you are strong, and Jesus loves you." Every time. If I felt overwhelmed at a party or an event I would repeat those words. Because words have so much power in them. I learned to speak words of positivity over myself, and avoid negativity often. It sounds easy, but it wasn't.        I can now stand up and say that I am beautiful, strong, confident. I have my flaws and my moments, but I don't accept them to define every part of me like I used to.

So... here's where I am getting to. It's going to look like a rant, but maybe it's a wakeup call.

People, people, people. Please stop. Please stop showing me what you hate about yourself. Please don't whine about all the clothes you can't fit. Please don't say " I am not good enough." Please do not go on about never having a boyfriend or a girlfriend. Please stop asking me if you look okay. You look more than okay, you look super awesome!!!! Please stop hating yourself. Just the other day you came up to me shining and wonderful, and now where are you? Please do not say "ugh my hair, but your hair is amazing!" NO! I will not stand as your model of comparison. I am insulted that you would compare me to yourself. Because I was there once, I felt the way you do, I know that twinge of jealousy. I will not be the victim of your jealousy. I do not want you comparing yourself to me. Oh yes I am very okay with my confidence, but I will not stand as a girl to point your finger at and say "look at how much better she is, look at her family, or her hair, or her dog, or her job..." Especially if you say ( for example) "look at my legs they are so out of shape" and then if I am more out of shape than you...well thanks for pointing that flaw out. Thanks a lot. No. Stop. You were created for a reason and pointing fingers at your flaws IS NOT A VALID REASON!!! Please I beg of you all, to be kind to yourself. Treat yourself nicely. It breaks my heart to watch people I love walk around beating themselves up.

People who live like bullies do not make very good friends. I was one once, it isn't fun, and I am so glad that I found healing. If you do not have any supportive family around- find some friends or a mentor who can speak life into you, because words have power. Jesus Christ loves you just the way you are. Imagine how much more you could live freely, knowing that you are good. Beautifully and wonderfully made, how much of that do you actually believe for yourself? God made us and said it was good. You are good enough. Everyday. Please try. Be nice to yourself.

Thursday, March 27, 2014


Stretched my branches out across
                            the palace grounds
ground in a battle quietly
                                       lost for words

Eyes across a pile of stories once told
       Who knew that a place of dream
      and fairytales
would place victory upon our heads?

The weight heavy
          and   silver
Rubies and diamonds
 diamonds flashing like the swords in our hands
rubies     like the blood we sweat

Silver like the river
Golden like heroes hearts.

Now we pass over the roots of a letter unfurled

Transparent roots that show and in unison sing

"Here we are
no one told us
but One called us
victory ours
and His the glory."

Rustling branches above our heads
green banners of triumph whipping in the wind

birds of blue
  brown, gray
across the sky                           freedom signs

like us they sing

"Here we are
no one told us
but One called us
victory ours
and His the glory."


Write it on my heartstrings would you.
The theme is love
It starts with my heart.
An innocent object that means I am alive.
With each small breath as an infant
I breathed
I lived
In the thunder
In the rain
In the sun
In the snow
Shaking my heart to and fro
Where will it end up and where will it go?

It's really my heart, my soul
You can't show it off
Can't burn it in coal
Can't wear it on a tshirt
or place it on a pole.
You can't even throw it into the sea
Because it never belonged to me.

I place it in another's hands
To quench it in fire
soak it in water
because I'm a daughter
I pick up my crown
Knowing that someday I'll put it back down.
I won't be alone
there'll be people
There will be others
There I will sit
I will sit
And oh my heart
No one will define
Because in the end, it will not be mine.

Thursday, February 13, 2014


I just want to know- what makes the sad people dance?
When the day is over.
When the rain falls hard.
When the mud drowns all you had left, and all you planted.
When the last check is written.
When all the ones you thought loved you hate your face.
When love is hard to find.
When your friends are few.
When they turn their backs.
When the day is done.
When the last breath is drawn.
And the sky grows dark.
And all love seems dead.

A couple thousand years ago...
The day was over.
The rain fell hard.
The mud seemed to drown all that was left and planted.
The last check was written.
The ones who loved hated.
Love was hard to find.
Friends were few.
They turned their backs.
The day was done.
The last breath was drawn.
The sky grew dark.
All love seemed dead.

But, love was not dead...
The third day- it began!
His rain washed it away!
Out of the earth came new life!
The last check was written- a balance we can never repay!
The ones that hated, began to see.
Love was here.
Friends began to believe.
They turned themselves back.
The day had just begun.
Love was breathing.
The sky was full of hope.
Love was alive! And Jesus rose! He is alive!
Find hope! Find love! Find love in the truth that is Jesus! God will always have the power to turn the most hopeless days into GREAT joys!
That is what makes the sad people dance!!!!