Thursday, November 02, 2006

Shout out

I have never used my blog for this, but I want the world to know how blessed I feel. I want to give a shout out to a very dear friend of mine, Darcy.

For those of you who know Darcy, this will come as no surprise to you. For those of you who don't know Darcy, I pray that you have someone in your life like her.

Darcy has a HUGE heart! Sometimes I wonder how her petite body can hold such a huge heart. I had a terrible day yesterday, and was at my wits end. I had dealt with a woman who lacks in the heart region and decided to unload on me. This is a woman whom I was doing some business with as well, and she was completely out-of-line with her behavior. I left the place in tears and anger and pure frustration. I didn't know what to do, so I called Darcy.

Darcy was so calm, reassuring, and understanding. I was mad because I didn't handle myself in a "Christ-following" way. Darcy offered words of comfort - I am sure the words were straight from Jesus. I was saddened by the crudeness of the woman I had just dealt with. Darcy assured me that it was not my fault, I had done no wrong.

As I was trying to go to sleep last night, I was replaying the whole afternoon in my head. I couldn't stop thinking about it. I decided to pray. My prayer wasn't that God would punish the crude woman I dealt with. It wasn't that he would make the hurting stop. It wasn't even prayer for a solution to my new dilema. My prayer was a prayer of humble thanks. Thanks for providing me with Darcy.

I pray that each of you has a "Darcy" in your lives. If you do, make sure they know how important they are.

Darcy, YOU ARE A HUGE BLESSING! This is my "shout out" to you! I love ya lots!

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Hanging with Jesus

I must put this disclaimer on here: There are 2 spots where I was going to put pictures in, but my computer is not cooperating. I have had this ready to post for 2 weeks, but I wanted to put the pictures with it. So I appologize for there not being any pictures and I will try to get them on here as soon as my computer lets me.

Wow! Long time, no write. I have really been slacking. I have been slacking in more than just my blogging, but I am getting back together and motivated. I have had lots on my heart to share I just haven't shared for a while. So, today I am going to take some time and tell you about a thought-changing experience I had this summer.

I went to a camp with my youth kids called Jungle Jump Off. It is a missions camp that is part of Wycliffe. We spent a week in the woods camping, cooking, working, and learning about the ministry of Bible translation. We also engaged in several team building activities.

One of the most challenging activities was a high ropes course. It is a challenge course that is 45 feet off the ground with 9 obstacles to complete. This is a huge challenge for someone who is scared to death of heights. My goal was to climb up the first pole and rapel down. I had agreed to be partners with my best friend who went up before me and and was waiting for me on a rope walk. Well, I made it up, cried all the way, tried to quit a few times, but I couldn't disappoint Karissa. We went through the first 2 obstacles together - they were partner work. The next 2 obstacles were individual. I really started to notice the spiritual aspect of the whole thing. Each obstacle began with a 1.5 foot drop down to a rope or swinging aparatus. It took faith: faith to step down, faith that the rope would hold, faith that your safety line would hold if you fell. I truly began to see a correlation between this ropes course and my spiritual walk. How many times do I approach an obstacle that seems impossible? How much faith does it take to walk forward despite the challenge that lies ahead?

The third obstacle was my breaking point. It was swings these swings (INSERT PICTURE). I had to step out onto it. To do that, I had to pull the swing to me, meaning that it would swing out as soon as I stepped. AFter 10-15 minutes of crying and yelling and doubting, I stepped . . . . . . . . and I fell! So, there I am hanging, angry, exhausted, and ready to give up (not caring about the line of people behind me). I was convinced that I was giong to have to have a crane come and get me down because I could not get up. So, I proceeded to just hang there (INSERT PICTURE). I was so angry with God for sending me to the camp, to the ropes course, and mostly for letting me fall. I layed there and argued with Jesus. I could not believe he let me fall like that! I didn't know what else to do so I sobbed and sobbed and sobbed ( for those of you who know me, you can get a good mental picture of this).

Then I heard it . . . . . . a fatherly voice, very stern, "How many times have you fallen in your walk with me? How many times have I left you there to fend for yourself? What happens when you ask for help? Why aren't you asking and BELIEVING?" So, I asked, "Jesus, please help me get back on my feet." Before I knew it, I was standing on the swing. I finished the swings and rapelled down. (I didn't do the whole course because my knee was telling me no more).

I cried to hard when my feet hit the ground. The emotions are hard to describe: exhaustion, happiness, fear, brokenness. Jesus spoke to me through the course. He showed me that I am never alone. First, he is always there to catch me - my safety line. Second, he provides intimate relationships to encourage me - like Karissa. Third, he is ready to pick me up if I would just ask.

With all of that being said, do you find yourself carrying your load or are you hanging with Jesus? Try it. Let me know how it goes.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

The Love of God

The love of God . . . . . .

This is something I have always struggled to understand. I've read scripture that describes this, but never has it seemed to sink in - until this morning.

I am at a camp with my youth group and I am learning so much. In my quite times God has been bombarding me with his love and the scripture that speaks his love to me. I want to share with you my journal from this morning. I pray that God's love will dig into your heart!

"You have stolen my heart, my sister, my bride; you have stolen my heart with one glance of your eyes, with one jewel of your necklace." Song of Songs 4:9

Lord, your words are so beautiful. God you eloquently describe and portray your love for me in a way that I have never known. Jesus, I am beginning to understand the depth of your love. I have never been loved like this and this is just the beginning. Lord, I want you to be the ove of my life, my protector. I wan our love to be more intimate than anything I have ever known! I ask that your love that is shown to me is so evident! I pray that when you are loving me, I would know it is you without a doubt. And Jesus I don't want to keep that love to myself. I want to be so over-flowing with your love that it is passed on to others.

(this is my prayer, let it be yours too)
I love you Lord
and I lift my voice [heart, love]
to worship you
oh my soul, rejoice!
take joy MY KING
in what you hear
may it be a sweet sound
in your ear.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006


It was another busy, but fun, weekend as usual. I went to my mom's Mother Daughter Brunch at her church. It was great to see my mom so happy and proud to be there with her daughter and I know the weekend meant so much to her. There was a guest singer there, Ken Strong, who shared some music and a little bit of his testimony. I was totally encouraged just from listening to his music that praised Jesus and to hear part of his testimony. He talked about how he struggles with being single and that he has gone through times when he is upset with God about it. It was encouraging to know that I am not the only one that struggles with that. At the same time, I was encouraged to see him praise a LIVING GOD as a real person.

So many times we try to put up a front that we are alright. I know I do this a lot because I don't want people to see the real me. Well, it never fails that God will ask me to share a testimony - talking to youth, asking for prayer, falling face down at the feet of Jesus and spilling out my life. And God did just that at youth group Sunday night.

Our youth are studying tea book of John and I was privileged to teach John 11 Sunday night. If you don't' know that chapter, it is when Jesus raised Lazarus from tea dead. I hit the message hard by asking, "how does it feel when someone close to you dies? Why is it so hard when someone dies?" I had tea kids write down their answers. We shared and again I was encouraged. Before me sat 13 teenagers and 2 adults. They shared some tough feelings and some very personal thoughts. It was encouraging because they didn't hold back. They put themselves out there to be real.

As we discussed John 11 I had the kids answer another question, "How do you feel knowing that Jesus died for you?" The answers were rather different than the other questions. This question brought excitement and happiness to the kids. Why shouldn't it? Jesus made it possible for us to spend eternity with him. However, WE are tea reason that he had to suffer. Our sins nailed him to the cross. Our ugliness flogged and ripped his flesh. Our mouths hurled insults at him. But the cool thing is that HIS LOVE saves us from what we deserve.

I was totally encouraged by the lesson. I know that the words were meant for me to hear too. Jesus loves us and wants to show himself to us. We need to look for him in the big things and tea little things. We need to expect GOD-sized things to happen and not be disappointed when the little things don't happen. Mary and Martha were angry that Jesus didn't come to Lazarus right away and heal a sick man. Jesus waited to raise a dead man. That is something that is encouraging.

So many times I ask for things and wait and wait and wait yet nothing ever seems to happen. Maybe Jesus wants to do something bigger than I have asked. How encouraging is that - Jesus wants to "WOW" me! The questions is, do I want to be wowed by Jesus? I think I do ............................................... do you?

Monday, May 01, 2006


I sang in the worship band at church yesterday. It was great as always, but God totally kicked me square in the hind parts during one particular song. What I am about to share is totally from the Lord and it was an amazing experience (once I quit arguing with him) to share this at church yesterday.

I was singing the song Hungry. The chorus goes like this: "I'm falling on my knees, offering all of me. Jesus, you're all this heart is longing for." The Lord totally spoke straight to my heart about Mary Magdelene washing the feet of Jesus with expensive perfume and wiping his feet with her hair.

"Then Mary to about a pint of pure nard, an expensive perfume; she poured it on Jesus' feeet and wiped his feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume." John 12:3

I kept hearing God telling me to share this, but in my stubborness I ignored him. It got to the point that I could barely focus on the words I was singing - this is a song I have led countless times too! We came to an instrumental break and I picked up some shakers to play. Well, in the most audible voice I heard, "Do not ignore me right now!" I listened. I picked up my Bible and told my friend, Tomir, to keep playing. I had a scripture to share.

I searched for the scripture, not knowing exactly where it was, and finally found it. What happened next was totally the Holy Spirit speaking through me. I know this only because it spoke directly to my heart and that just doesn't happen on a person's own account. This is what I learned through the scripture:

We NEED to bring everything to the feet of Jesus. We need to bring our most prized posessions and pour them on the feet of Jesus, regardless of what everyone else will think of us. Jesus deserves our everything. We need to touch him with our tangled messes. More than anything, we need to humble ourselves before the Lord every day, and understand that we are not capable of being in charge.

I leave you with this thought. Will you put yourself at the feet of Jesus? Are you willing to give him the good, bad, and ugly? Will you let him have all of you?

In Christ, Dina

Tuesday, April 18, 2006


(I actually journaled this post on April 14, 2006 )

passion: 1 a strong emotion, as hate, love, etc. 2 an object of strong emotion

I just finshed watching The Passion of the Christ, the movie written and directed by Mel Gibson. My church, Red Zone Christian Church, showed it tonight. As I was viewing this movie for the third time, I had a strong desire to understand the true passion that Christ reveiled in his final hours before enduring the cross.

So many times, to talk about passion might come from watching a movie with an intense love story (The Notebook comes to mind). It may involve a mighty, heart-wrenching battle (Braveheart, Lord of the Rings). It may also be an intense sports story where the underdog makes for an amazing "Cinderella story" (Rudy, Glory Road). I have even heard a husband or wife speak with passion about his/her spouse. We see demonstrations on the evening news where people are "passionate" supporting or protesting the latest political news. But, none of these seemed to compare to the true passion that Jesus Christ showed the world almost 2000 years ago.

Being a young christian (I began my personal relationship with Jesus 8 years ago), I found myself still wondering, "God, wasn't there any other way to save sinners?" I have read the accounts of Jesus' last week, last hours, his ministry and have never been impacted the way I was tonight. Seeing the Savior of my soul beaten, spat on, whipped, flogged, mocked, hated, and finally crucified made me realize just how ugly sin is! My stomach is still churning as I write this and begin to understand, more, the true passion of Jesus.

In Luke 22:44 it says, "And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground." Jesus prayed to God that if there was any other way to save the world to please do it. BUT, more than that, Jesus wanted to submit to the will of his Father. His prayer was so intense that some commentaries will say blood dripped from him due to the level of stress and spiritual warfare that was going on. Jesus sweat blood for me and you! My prayers rarely bring a tear to my eye (and I'm emotional)! Why don't we pray with a passion for the Lord? He is our example and he prayed with a PASSION for each and every one of us. Don't we owe it to God, our Creator, to pray with passion and believe that he is the great I AM?

I look at the definitions of passion (at the beginning of this post) and realize two things. #1 - I need to have a passion for serving Christ and loving others. At the same time, I need to passionately hate satan and be aware of his schemes. #2 - I need to make Jesus, his word, walking in the Spirit my daily passion. How can this be done? I ask myself this and know that i will fail - no matter how much I desire these things for my life, I will fail at times . . . Why? . . . Because I am a sinner and I am selfish.

BUT (this is the great part) Jesus paid my price. And more than that, He came back to life. HE IS ALIVE! And Jesus is seated with God in Heaven waiting for us to come home. If I confess daily and make a choice to follow him and ask for his forgiveness, His blood makes me clean in the eyes of God. Romans 10:9 says, "If you confess with your mouth, 'Jesus is Lord,' and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved." We can eat at the Master's table for eternity!

If you are reading this and want to know more about the passion that I am talking about, read the book of John in the Bible. If that doesn't cut it or you don't have a Bible, visit There is some great material there about what it means to be a christian. If you are reading this and realizing that you are lacking in your walk with Christ, I challenge you to ask yourself, "What am I passionate about? What is my passion?" If you aren't in line with Jesus, you need to do some serious re-evaluating.

Jesus is ready for you! He desires you more than a love story, battle, or winning a game. He wants you to be HIS Cinderella story! Will you let it happen?

I'm back. . .

After slightly ignoring God (okay since my last post) and fighting with my computer, I am back. God and I have had some great chats over the last few months about what it means to be a servant: both to others and of God. A busy schedule is not an excuse, and I have tried to make that my excuse as to why my blog hasn't been updated. There is simply no other reason beyond the fact that I have withheld sharing all that God has placed on my heart to share. So, my next few posts will be some "catching up" on the things God pushed me to share and I ignored (at least the sharing part). The post that is titled "Passion" will be most recent and I will update from there. My sincerest appologies to you all, but most of all to God for being selfish.

I hope you all have a blessed day and grow closer to the Lord Jesus Christ!

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

He Provides

Some of you know that I have been really struggling in my walk lately. I met with my Bible study of high school girls last Friday and it was wonderful just to spend time with them and hear all that God has been doing in their lives. Then, it seemed that we wouldn't be able to meet on our normal night due to schedules. Well, we ended up meeting (just a few of us). I love my girls because God uses them to reach right into my heart. We hung out and talked and had an amazing prayer time together. In the midst of that prayer time I felt so free to be real and just let my emotions pour out of me - all of the sadness and anger and frustrations and questions and happiness - and it felt SUPER good. I never imagined, 2 and a 1/2 years ago, that God would use these girls to touch my life the way HE has.

Also, today, my very best and dearest friend arrived home from a 2 year mission in Zimbabwe. I am ever grateful to our LORD that he has provided me with such a wonderful friend. I just want to praise Him for the love that he has provided this week - HE knew I needed it.

"And God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others." (2 Cor. 9:8)

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Yesterday, Today, and FOREVER

I was listening to The Heart of Worship on PULSE this morning and heard the song, Yesterday, Today, and Forever. They had a short interview with the artist telling why she wrote the song. She had come across Hebrews 13:8 "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever." How cool is that!!!!? No matter what we go through - good or bad or so so - Jesus NEVER changes. It was just something cool that I learned this morning and wanted to share with you all.

Now, I just need to be real (and for those of you that know me, I love to be real). I haven't been obedient lately. God totally put it on my heart to do this blog, and I have ignored him. He has been speaking a lot of things to me to share, but I havent' really felt like it. I have been going through a kind of "self-pity/selfish" stage lately. I just kept asking "why do I need to keep putting myself out there in ministry? why do I have to be a listener? Why can't I just have soemone to listen to me?" And God said, "Because that is not what I want for you right now!" Well, despite all the struggles, some super cool things have been going on. Basketball season is underway (I coach 8th girls). I have had opportunities to share the Gospel and just be a light for some pretty awesome kids. I get to spend lots of time with my dad and live a Jesus life around him as s testimony. I am youth sponsor who is blessed with working with 15-20 FABULOUS young peeps every week. I have gotten to share some amazing scripture with a friend who is going through a separation and divorce (even share some of my testimony).

Through all of this I am constantly asking God, "Why me? Why do I get to be in ministry when I am so selfish?" All I know is that God designed me to be this way. He knew me at the beginning of time. He knew that Dina C. would be a blunt, in-your-face person, he knew that my heart wants to serve him despite all the blemishes that may surface.

People, God is talking - ALL OF THE TIME. He never changes! He wants us to be like his son. and the coolest thing is that once you accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior, you look just like Jesus in God's eyes, because you are covered in blood and made as white as can be.

Listen, I bet God is telling you something. And remember Jesus is the same YESTERDAY, TODAY, AND FOREVER.