SST 2009 Thoughts & Testimony

I'd really like to start compiling one large testimony of God's goodness together in a big document.  A testimony of how God has changed my life drastically over the past few years.  I have journals of conversations with God....journals of thoughts....journals of life changes.  I was reminded today of THIS memory.

June 12, 2009 ---

"God sure has a way of humbling even the proudest of people.  At the beginning of this summer I asked God to grant me humility.  Well, of course--he's gonna throw situations with MY pride at me to teach me HOW to be humble.  It's been interesting.

Last Friday (6/12) we had an event for the Staff called "SOLO".  It's a 4 hour time where Staff goes out alone and prays, reads the Bible, and spends some personal time with God.  I spent my first hour with my Pop, because I hadn't seen him in 2 weeks--so it was great to get together and talk.  The next hour I just wandered around, reading some Scripture, but not really getting much out of it.  I traveled up to the Chapel then, because the bugs were really annoying me, and I couldn’t concentrate.  In the past I had always had my greatest "God experiences" in the Chapel--so I decided to go there.

I got down on my knees and just sat there praying to God.  But once again, I didn't feel close to God at all.  I sat there for awhile, and finally asked God to come to me in this place.  In this secret quiet place.  Let me tell you something.  GOD DID.  If you ask God, He will!

We kinda had a little conversation together.  It was BEAUTIFUL!  I was just sitting there thinking about all this sin that I've been dealing with the last 2 months.  The mess I am in.  And I looked at God in shame a bit.  I began to sing the song "Lead Me to the Cross" silently in my head, and then headed over to the piano...

"Savior, I come...Quiet my soul.  Remember redemption's hill, where your blood spilled for my ransom!"

I began to sing it, quietly.  Then I came to the verse that says "You were as I, tempted and tried. Human"   and I grew angry in my heart.   I called out to God and said, "Jesus Christ NEVER was tempted in the way I was!"

God silently spoke to me--"Jesus Christ was tempted by Satan to worship him before Me.  You were worshipping your pleasures and desires for me.  That IS the same thing." 

All of a sudden I realized how wrong I was to make such an accusation.  My heart because quiet, and I sat there staring at a piano book that was on the piano.  The words said,
"Ashamed I hear my mocking voice call out among the scoffers.  It was my sin that held Him there until it was accomplished.  His dying breath has brought me life...I know that it is finished."

I began to silently weep.  Not cry, weep.  For the first time in my entire life, I TRULY realized that Jesus Christ did for my sin.   He did.  My mind processed ALL of this in about 5 seconds:

When God chose me and called me to Him on that stage at LLBC's chapel, God didn't look at me and see a small, innocent 9 year old girl--  He saw my whole life.  He saw me as I sinned at 12.  He saw me when I screwed up at age 14.  He saw me when I feel into a mess at 17.  He saw me through college. And guess what?    He STILL decided to save me!!!!!

My sin.  Gosh, have I screwed up!  I began to weep and sat there for 5 minutes just speaking over and over, "Oh my God!  Oh my God!"  I called on His name, in shame--my head hanging low.   Finally I lifted my eyes up in tears--"You KNEW I would sin.  You knew what I would do!  And yet you still saved me?   Why?"   I was in such a broken state.  I couldn't believe it.   For a half an hour I sat there crying, and soon after realized that there was NO song that could fully describe His ultimate love for us.  No song could put into words His sacrifice.  And it's kind of crazy, because now everything I sing a song, I realize that there really is no context to His great power.  We can't describe it!

I began to write my own personal song in the midst of my tears.  The beginning starts as:

“There is not a single song that explains the power of it all.
I have sung a thousand other words...None can compare to His power and His worth.
Saved without a second thought, though You knew my future plans
You died to watch me come to You, though I'm just of sinful man.
You beckon me with tear-filled eyes, as You're holding out Your hand
"I knew you'd turn away and sin, but I'm still offering this chance."

After that I felt so close to God.  I made a commitment to throw away everything I had been dealing with the last 2 months.  It was so hard to give it up, but I did.  And God and I just sat and talked.  Really.  He was there.  It was like I was with the man I LOVE.  I was so in love with God.  In fact, I was so in love that I was content being single!  I couldn't wait to see what God had yet in store for me.   I wrote down some of the conversation God and I had, and I love going back and reading it!

Well, so many other things have been humbling me this week, but I have to leave for Activity Class.  I just wanted to update real quick on last Friday."


Seeds & Tears

One thing God has spoken, two things have I heard: that you, O God, are strong, and that you, O Lord, are loving... -Psalm 62:11-12

I am staring at my baby plants as I sit here on the floor with a gulp in my throat. This last year has brought about so many changes in my attitude & character. I am learning what makes me cry. I am learning what gives me joy. I am learning more of who He is, so that I can be more like Him.

I have learned that two things will bring immediate tears to my eyes & sorrow to my heart. The first is when I disobey His commands & His will. This one has been a challenge to me - learning how to love, live, accept forgiveness, and learn from it.

But the second has been hard: I hurt the most when I hurt other people.

It is a true statement. We are called to love & serve (Mark 10:45). God is love & we know this love and show this love. We build character by following His example & testing it in our daily walk. We use godly character to exhibit our love.

Now I can be pretty forgiving if I fail in my godly character against myself. I know its between God & me - and that He is mighty to save & forgive - and He is faithful to love.

But when I fail in my godly character to love another? That hurts me a lot. Because not only is it now between me & God - but me & another.

I planted seeds last week. Yesterday I noticed they were just sprouting! 19 little plants popped out of the soil! They looked so strong and healthy. But you know, I came home today & noticed that all of the plants were bent toward the sun. Some of the plants were so thin & tiny - they looked like they would fall over! But all plants have one goal - to make food from the sun. I turned the pot so that the plants would "reach for the sun" from the other side, to avoid them from breaking & tipping.

An hour later, I looked at my plants again. The stems (in just one hour!) had completely turned toward the sun again! What great strength, desire, and passion these plants had to face the sun. It is a beautiful thing that God has created.

Somedays I still feel like a small seedling. I reach for the Son - desire for His ways, but outside forces "spin me around". They tempt, they twist, they confuse, and if I don't adjust to focus on HIM alone - my Sun - then I will fall over. And how important it is to stay focused on His love through tough times.

This week has been a heck of a week for me. Ups, downs, emotions, situations - but I look back to Psalm 62 and see that our God is STRONG and our God is LOVING.

Praise God for His forgiveness, praise God for His people who seek His will, praise God for those He has placed in my life to love, and for those who continually encourage me - despite my weaknesses.

I love you, O LORD, my strength.

Camp Updates

For those of you "following" my blog (I don't know why you would?) I started my summer camp blog. Because I have been SO involved in the winter/spring time as well - I changed it into a Lake Lundgren Blog for now. Updates are there from this last winter season. You can click on the link to the right (camp 2011 updates) or click on my link below.

Summer 2011 planning starts now, with verses to memorize, letter to write, people to contact, knowledge to learn. So please be praying that I am prepared in my heart & mind for camp this summer! Thank you!

Lake Lundgren - Get a Clue 2011 blog here!

The Doctrine of Election

For the last two years or so, I have heard many of my good friends and family discussing the doctrine of election, Calvinism, Arminianism, and theology. I enjoy a good theological discussion, but in the past have avoided a real answer by saying that “God is infinite, and therefore we as humans with our finite minds can never understand His mysteries or comprehend His judgment.”

In a sense, it is true. “Who can fathom the mysteries of God? Can you probe the limits of the Almighty?”(Job 11:7) But I do believe God has given us these mysteries so that we can search him out more to get a clue. In Ephesians 3, we see that Paul explains that mysteries that were once unexplainable (ones the rabbis would discuss about Gentiles being included in the new covenant) are now being revealed to both the Jews & the Gentiles. We, in a same sense, need to seek out and search mysteries. We may not find the perfect answer we are looking for, but when we look for him with all of our heart and soul, we will find HIM. (Deut 4:29)

So I would like to briefly discuss the topic of election. Not necessarily “the Five Points of Calvinism” but just some brief things I have been learning related to election. I am not a seminary student, I don’t suppose to know everything, and I know I am putting myself out on a limb for even writing about such things. I’m sure Kirk & Geoff will have their good say about the things I post.


“I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature.” –Romans 7:18

I have often heard people say that God cannot just choose and pick whom should or shouldn’t be saved. I have heard that this idea is unjust. And since God is just and loving – then he would not just choose and pick certain people.

But let us see what is more just and loving – 1. That humans can create their own sense of faith, choose to believe in Him with their own free will, and take part in the process of salvation, or 2. That He saved us while we were yet sinners and to gave us the gift of salvation & faith in order that we may believe.

I believe the latter. How can I, (in which there is no good, Rom 7:18) be capable of understanding and believing in a God that is holy & perfect? As it is written in Romans 3, “There is no one righteous; not even one; there is no one who understands, no one who seeks God. "

If no one seeks God, then how can I choose to believe in Him? If no one seeks God, how can we secure our salvation through faith in Jesus Christ? He once said, “No one comes to the Father except through Me…For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life." We get that. We know it is through Christ Jesus that we are saved. But Jesus also quoted later – “No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent me draws him…” (John 6)

Okay. So we’ve got to establish that God chose me, called me in with his kindness, led me to repentance (Rom 2:4), has given me a faith not of myself but a gift of grace from God (Eph 2:8) and unconditionally loves me.

But you still say, “It’s not fair. What about the people God doesn’t choose? Why is he so unjust to not choose some and only choose others?”
This is more than likely a simple human argument. And I'll admit - I’ve been there too. Why would some be condemned to hell, but others be called to eternal life? How unfair!

But then I look upon His grace and think in praise – “Why would He, a holy and perfect God, WANT to save or call ME, while I was still a sinner?”

That’s what really makes no sense.

He shouldn’t save us sinful, ungodly, unruly people. It doesn’t make sense. He is holy, and we are filth.

But He did. (!)

And now that we are a saved group of people, the body of Christ, holy and without fault before Him through our Lord Jesus Christ – we stand here asking “What about that guy? Or that girl over there? Why isn’t she saved?”

So let me ask -- Why is it that before we’re saved, we so perfectly understand that we are in need of a Savior, but then turn around later and question God as to why He won’t save someone? Here’s a personal question –

Before you were saved:
Did you think it was unfair that God saved some and not others? Did that even cross your mind? Were you upset that He would choose Megan, but not Tom? He would choose Billy, but not Jason? Did it bother you that God was perfectly sovereign over their lives?

Before we are called to Him, we see NO REASON to need a Savior. We have no understanding of how low we are. We just live life – and think that’s the way it works.

Then we start seeing things. Differences. Lives being changed. People caring & loving. Why did this “all-of-a-sudden-I-notice-things” start happening? Do you think there’s a magical time in our life that we start noticing Christians around us seeming “different”? The Church has been around since your birth. If you were saved at 12, why did you not notice His love at 8? If you were saved at 30, why did you not notice His grace at 15?

We have to be called. He has to summon us into His presence – the Holy Spirit – begins to guide our hearts and our minds.

Who knows if my view will be molded and changed in the next year or so. This is my first time ever REALLY thinking hard about this topic – and my first time sharing about it. If you have any questions, disagree with me, want to mold my ideas, PLEASE send me an email ( or message on FB.


Metaphor in a Metaphor

More recently, my friend and I have been studying one chapter of Proverbs every night. More of a difficult book to “study” per se, but nice to read the wisdom and compare it to other Scriptures.

As we were reading, I got to thinking about how God loves to use metaphors in Proverbs for us to better understand something. Better yet? I ran into a metaphor inside a metaphor. Check this out:

Proverbs 5:14-20
15 Drink water from your own cistern,
running water from your own well.
16 Should your springs overflow in the streets,
your streams of water in the public squares?
17 Let them be yours alone,
never to be shared with strangers.
18 May your fountain be blessed,
and may you rejoice in the wife of your youth.
19 A loving doe, a graceful deer—
may her breasts satisfy you always,
may you ever be captivated by her love.
20 Why be captivated, my son, by an adulteress?
Why embrace the bosom of another man's wife?

Often, commentaries will discuss that this is a passage of Scripture convincing the son that he needs to refrain from sexual immorality and adultery. And how true!
Here lies the first metaphor “Drink from your own cistern, running water from your own well.”

Water is necessary and the source of life. But in Scriptural times, getting your water was a difficult thing. You had to walk all the way to your family’s well (possibly the village you lived in) to retrieve your water. Then you had to pull it up and then carry it all the way back home. Often you would go early in the morning, before the day began. You had to be determined and devoted to working hard for your water every morning.

Now what if you weren’t determined or devoted? You just decided, “Oh today I’m not going to get water or work for it. I’ll go see if my neighbor next door has water later today, or maybe I’ll go to that closer well in the town of Samaria, even though we don’t go there because they are not our people.”

Now compare this to your sexual purity and devotion to your spouse. Everyday you live with your spouse. Everyday you have to work hard to keep that relationship growing – whether it be in communication, love, sex, and family. You can’t just wake up in the morning and say “I don’t have the time or effort to love my spouse today. I need a day off.” You can’t wake up and say, “I’m bored with my spouse today, so I’ll just go try another person to excite me.” No! You must be devoted to that water. You must not drink from another’s cistern. As the Proverb continues on – “May you ever be captivated by her love.”
EVER. always. CAPTIVATED. in awe. LOVE. commitment.
So I’m hoping you understand this metaphor, right?

Because, I believe there’s ANOTHER metaphor in this passage.

If you look at the first nine chapters of Proverbs, Solomon is continually reminding the son that he needs to stay focused on wisdom, on the knowledge of God, and to pay attention to instruction. He reminds the son never to turn away and follow the evil-doers. He says that Wisdom is best, and to never forsake HER. He instructs not to follow Deceit and her adulterous ways. So Solomon has been quietly working in another metaphor. (After the first 9 chapters, Solomon just gives little 1 sentence proverbs. I like to call these text proverbs because they’re usually 140 characters or less. :) hehe)

Chapters 1-9 are about wisdom and folly. We don’t even get to “avoid adultery” until Chapter 7. So why would Solomon throw the previous passage (Proverbs 5:15-20) right in the midst of discussing wisdom and evil? Why would he throw in Chapter 7 and choose “adultery” as the one sin to focus on?

It’s another metaphor.

We in our sinful nature have a choice to make everyday to “drink of our own cistern”. To follow God and God alone. To understand and seek His righteous ways and to put no other gods before us. It’s almost as if Solomon is saying “You can’t devote your time, love, energy, and life into another god or idol in your life…I want you to devote everything to your FIRST love. Your only Love.”

For the first nine chapters, there’s almost this insinuation that if we are not focusing and following God’s wisdom and yearning for His knowledge – we are just as sinful as one committing adultery. We follow sinful ways, we seek evil, and we may even do think things in our hearts that push God to the side. We put our love and passion toward other “lovers” and not God alone.

The point stands that this passage does use a water metaphor to say-- “Do not commit adultery. Be warned about adultery.”
But what do I see? A beautiful metaphor of marital faithfulness saying, “You are my love. I want you and you alone. You don’t even deserve my love, and yet I love you more than money, drugs, sex, television, and games could ever satisfy. Love Me only. For I am a jealous God.” (Deuteronomy 4:23-24)

“And may you ever be captivated by His love.”
EVER. always. CAPTIVATED. in awe. LOVE. commitment.

Childlike Faith

I started school this week. Not high school. Not college.

I started Kindergarten.

I am currently working in a school district with a full-time job. It is the strangest new experience of mine. I feel like I often live two lives. During the day, I am a mature school faculty member who encourages good behavior and sits in the teacher lounge. On the weekends I work at Lake Lundgren Bible Camp with minor staff, missionary staff and SSTers - exuberating a great joy and love to be wild! One life of a mature 19 year-old woman, and another life of a crazy 19 year-old girl.

But in the midst of my teaching, I have started to understand a biblical term coined "faith like a child".

Look at some important points here:
1. Children have unconditional love. They will hug you after you yell at them. They will blow kisses when you've finished reprimanding their behavior.
2. Children know your discipline is for the good. Though they may pout a little, they DO learn from discipline. At a young age, children are so moldable and can be easily persuaded to do good and not evil.
3. Children ask for help. It takes 2 seconds for a kid to ask you to open their milk, tie their shoes, or button their jacket. They're not afraid to ask for help when they fail.
4. Children believe without seeing tangible evidence. If you tell a kid "Being a bully is bad", and then ask them "Is being a bully good?"-- they will instantly respond "NO!" They didn't have to experience or see it, they believe you.

This is just a small list (because I need to get offline) but look back at those four. Think about your relationship with Christ. Do we LOVE him with everything? do we learn from His discipline? Do we ask for help when we can't seem to make it through? Do we believe in faith?

Be a child once again.


"God has been faithful. He will be again. His love & compassion? It has no end." –Sara Groves

It's so crazy that one minute you can be laughing and praising God, and then the next minute you feel so pressured by different worries in your life! It's funny –cuz I'm never worried or upset about anything in life. Except money. Because I never really have any.

I've been giving plasma now since January, which brings in a nice profit to use for gas. And I occasionally like to buy Kelly & others something special. Trips to Wausau are expensive, so gas money is needed for my classes. Well, I had 6 plasma dates set up for the rest of May, which would put me at having about $120 for gas and end-of-the-year gifts. All set and ready, I made sure I had tithed and even gave a little extra toward camp ministry. I felt financially secure. That was Tuesday.

Wednesday I went to give plasma. What happens? I get deferred. Never again will I be able to give plasma or blood. I'm 18 years old and I'm off the list FOREVER. That's a hard word to grasp until something that big comes up. FOREVER.

I was ready to cry Wednesday night. Crying. And I wasn't crying because I was out of money. I cried because of that word. Forever. I have sooo many more years ahead of me, but now I'll never be able to give plasma. Gone forever.

I got to thinking Thursday morning. Our name is written on another list forever. A heavenly list. If we make a choice to follow Him, God has written our names in the Book of Life. FOREVER. And funny as it is, the word "forever" isn't hitting me as hard as the giving blood thing. God & Forever? That's still AMAZING though. Forever. And now this made me cry in happiness. A beautiful forever.

Tonight has been a little tougher for me. I'm beginning to realize I want money for a few friends' weddings and I need to make 2 trips to Wausau before I leave GB and the church I attend is about a 30 minute drive there & back. (I think?) Thanks Trucky for your lack of gas milage.
And I'm out of my interpreting job this summer. Just camp. But that will be MORE than worth it.

Best part about it all? God has been faithful in the past. He has ALWAYS provided. He will again. He will again & again & again. Praise God.

So God? What's next in this step of faith?