Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Eastview Christian


I'm so grateful that I've been able to share my story and testimony with so many people. God uses even the difficult times of our life to bring glory to his name.  I'm blessed everyday that I wake up and stand to face a new day.  

Saturday, November 5, 2016

God's Greatest Victory


“Do you want to get well?”

Those are the words that Jesus asks a man who’s been paralyzed for 38 years in the book of John 5. 
As someone who’s been paralyzed, this question that Jesus asks the man seems to be harsh and even could produce anger.  I mean, this man has been paralyzed for 38 years.   For 38 years it says people have rushed by him and never once helped him make it to the healing pool of water.  Everyday he’s reminded of how little he can do on his own as people stronger than him walk by and pass him up. And every day he is reminded of the broken condition that he’s in. How is it that Jesus would have the audacity to ask this man if he wants to get well.  Of course he wants to get well!  I’m sure the only thing this man has ever wanted in his life is to be healed and become well.  

Well, if you read the Bible, you know that when Jesus asks something there is usually a greater meaning behind what he’s asking.  Jesus doesn’t ask this man if he wants to get well as a sarcastic remark.  Rather he asks him if he wants to get well because Jesus knows that if this man is to choose to get well he needs to understand what’s required of him.  It won’t be easy.  Following Christ will cost something.  Choosing not to follow Christ will cost everything though. Miracles are about something deeper.  In vs. 8. Jesus speaks words of life into this paralyzed man.  His words speak deeply into what God wants from this man.  He says, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.”  Jesus wants to do more than just heal this man physically.  Within those eight words are three spiritual truths that Jesus wants the man to live the rest of his life by.  First, he says “get up” or in other words arise.  Jesus is telling him to choose to begin a new life.  Jesus doesn’t help this man up.  He must choose that.  Second, Jesus says “pick up your mat.”  If you are to begin a new life than you must pick up and carry your responsibilities.  I love the saying that to much that’s been given much is expected.  This man is going to be healed if he chooses to get up.  But when he does arise his job in life will be to carry the message of who healed him.  To proclaim the glory of God to those need to hear it.  I love that God doesn’t just tell him to get up.  He gives him a mission.  He gives him direction and what to do so that he isn’t just left staying in the only place he’s known for 38 years.  Sometimes I think that’s true of my life.  I have a story of healing and while I don’t know how God’s always going to use it, I know that I have a responsibility to tell of how God has changed me and done miracles in and through my story.  The third thing Jesus says to him is “walk.”  What does Jesus really mean behind this?  Well I think he means be willing to move where God calls.  This man has lived in the same spot for 38 years.  He knows no other place.  For this man, I’m sure just standing and walking was out of his comfort zone, much less leaving his place of 38 years.  And yet in vs. 14 we read that the man who was once paralyzed had walked to the temple and it was there where Jesus found him.  I truly believe that when Jesus gets a hold of your life and changes you, your way to give back is to worship him and give glory to His name. God gives miracles to help us keep believing.  But he asks us to trust him with or without a miracle.

John 20:31- "These are written so you may beleive that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name."

This man came to Jesus with his heart in pieces, and he found a God with healing in his hands.  He turned to Jesus and left everything behind him.  All 38 years of his past life. Yet, in doing so he found a God who makes ALL things new.  I’m sure he still had many “why” questions.  Yet he trusted a God who holds ALL wisdom.  He stepped out into the unknown as a new person.  A person who had been healed.  From the point on each step he took, God made a way, and he gave God praise because God is, was, and will always be the God of ALL his days.  Because God is a God who relentlessly pursues despite any brokenness we have. 

I don’t think that God’s greatest victories are in the miracles he performed.  But rather, his greatest victory is in the resurrection.  You see, Jesus would rather have people saved than healed because with that comes a promise that one day He will make all things new again.  That’s the hope I claim and find joy every day in.


I pray that’s the message that is portrayed when my story is told today at Eastview. I'm not a great speaker and my words don't always come out right, but whether it be on a big screen projector at Eastview or in small one on one conversations I have with people, I pray God uses my story of healing to bring glory to His name….

Love This Song:  God of All My Days

Friday, November 4, 2016

Teach Them to Fish


Being a teacher is hard.  It's the hardest job out there.  It takes more energy than I can begin to tell.  But it's a job that allows me to live out my mission in life.  That is, I get to love people.  Specifically kids well.  One of my former students has an individual behavior plan and for meeting his goal he got to pick a reward.  He chose to spend time with me.  Now as a teacher, when a student chooses spending time with you over candy, you know you are making an impact.  So when he asked to spend time with me, I thought it would be fun to take him fishing.   After setting up his time with his parents, I picked him up and with some help we went fishing.  To see the joy in his face melted my heart.  I will never forget this special day and the memories we made as we caught fish after fish.  We even caught two massive catfishes.  I am reminded that what's important in life is to love Jesus and in return to love people well.





Monday, October 10, 2016

Visit Family in Charlotte

Spent Columbus Day weekend in Charlotte with my brother and family! 

GO CUBS GO!  I just had to get matching shirts and dress like twins again!





Went to a farm that had animals that literally ate out of your hand.  Kinda cool, kinda scary!

Mom and I checking into the airport.

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Why I Love Beach Glass


Beach glass.....you may not even know what it is.  To me, it's one of the greatest finds there is.  Maybe it's because I love things that have meaning and symbolism to them....beach glass being one of them.  Let me explain....

1.  It's Rare.  In a day and age where recycling and conservation is really promoted, there aren't a lot of people throwing glass bottles over the side of their boats. Thus, there isn't a lot of beach glass washing up on the shores anymore.  So when you do find it, it's rare.  It's like a special find.....it took effort and close observation.   I love the rarity in beach glass.  Doesn't things in life that are rare have such a greater level of appreciation than other things!  Beach glass doesn't just show up everyday.  It takes time to find and persistence to keep looking for.  I've always thought this in life...that the best things to be seen and held in life are rare...but when you do find it, you hold on to it and cherish it.

2.  It Shines.  You know when you have found a piece of beach glass in the water because it shines compared to the rocks or sand it's surrounded by.  I love the metaphor behind this.  I think our lives are meant to be like this.  When surrounded by dull things, we are to be the glass that shines for the world to see the hope that we have.  Beach glass shines in the water even when covered by waves and sand....it always reappears with a sparkle and shine that isn't matched by anything around it.  Like beach glass, I want my life to have that shine to it in a world full of darkness and dullness.

3. It' a Glimpse.  Beach glass makes me wonder.  It's only a fragment of something that once was larger.  It makes me wonder what it originally was....was it a bottle?  And if so, what kind of bottle was it?  It's a glimpse of something much bigger.  Kind of like my life....I'm never given the whole picture of what God's doing....just a glimpse every once in awhile.  Enough to reassure me of something good and enough to keep me wondering what else He's' up to in my life.

4.  It's Broken.  When I look at beach glass, it reminds me of my life.  It's been broken.  I've experienced brokeness in many different ways. I've been through physical brokenness, I've been through relational heartache, I've experienced emotional brokenness and spiritual brokenness.  The truth is, you will never find beach glass in its full original form.  If you did, it wouldn't be beach glass.  Beach glass is only beach glass because it's been broken by the waves and storms set within it's path.  How true of our lives.  In reality, we all are broken people living out our broken lives in a broken world.  We are fragile.  We like to think we are tough and can get through the waves of live unharmed.  We can't.  Even if a glass bottle is thrown to the waters as a whole, it eventually breaks. It's never going to be the same.  But it's ok, because it isn't until something becomes broken that it can start to become beautiful again.  Thus the next reason I love beach glass...

5.  It's Refined.  The longer it's been crushed by waves, the more beautiful it becomes.  Glass just thrown and broken on a street is just sharp and hazardous.  We sweep it up and throw it away.  But glass thrown into the waves of the water and storms starts the process of being refined.  The sharp edges start to wear down and over many many waves the edges start to become smooth and silky.  I want that in my life....I want to know that my storms in life are making me beautiful.  That the waves are causing my character and life to be refined.  I want God to take the sharp jagged edges of my life and smooth them out so that people may look towards a greater beauty at work in me.

6.  It's Family.  I learned how to find beach glass from my mom.  She taught me. Some of my best memories of being at the lake house in Michigan are walking the shore with my mom looking for beach glass.  I've always told her that when (hopefully not soon, lol) she dies, I'll go for prayer walks and look for beach glass.  And when I find one, I'll be reminded of her.  She started the adventure of looking for beach glass and the collection she has is large.  Beach glass reminds me of my mom, and that alone I love.

7.  It's Beautiful.  One piece alone may not look like much, but when you place all the pieces you have in a jar the effect is beautiful.  It's a part of God's creation that tells a story.  I see God's presence in beach glass.  God's story is told through a small piece of glass and it goes like this....."I once was whole, but I was broken for you.  So that you can have a new life that is daily being refined and molded into something more beautiful than it was before."

8.  It Survives.  Wherever the glass is thrown, one thing is true....the glass always makes it to shore eventually.  Maybe not all the pieces, but some.  However deep the water, beach glass makes it shore.  It survives the wind and waves in time.  It's never fast or quick, but eventually it washes up on shore.  What hope that brings.  Life isn't always kind to us....but eventually we see the light.  We become more than conquers....we survive and live as something far different than we were but far more beautiful than we ever could have been without the waves and storms. 

9.  It has a Story.  It shouts the verse Isaiah 43:  "Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine.  When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you.  When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.....See, I am doing a new thing!"

Bike Rides

I love to ride bikes at night.  Right when the sun is setting and the weather is getting cooler.  Put on a shorts and hooded sweatshirt and the journey starts....   The combination of it all makes me so happy. I remember back to after my accident.  Its hard to explain but become a "paraplegic" changed a lot of my identity.  I was adventurous before my accident.  But I remember sitting in my wheelchair one night looking at the sky and thinking how was I ever going to be adventurous again.  The answer I concluded was that I wasn't going to be.  And with that thought a huge part of me died. Part of who I was died.  Not only was I no longer a tumbler, but I felt no longer the adventurous person either.   I didn't know who I was apart from being active and adventurous.  Yet, as I slowly regained movement the pieces of who I once was started to be put back together.  I've realized since then that my identity is rooted in Christ.  But in saying that God is most glorified in me when I am most satisfied in him.  Being adventurous and active allow me to see God's beauty and find joy in those things.  Those are the things that satisfy me.  So reclaiming that part of my life was critical to me in order to feel like I was bringing glory to God.   I remember the night my mom took me to Wal-Mart. She told me that grandpa had wanted to get me a gift to encourage me with my progress.  She said she wanted me to try to ride a bike again.  My first thought was, year right!  I barely have balance standing on two legs much less on a bike.  My ankle has little mobility I didn't believe it was possible.  So here is my mom and I in the middle of Walmart.  Together we are trying to figure out how I can even get on a bike.  I couldn't lift my leg over the bike....so instead we slid the bike between my legs.  Ok, now being on a bike is one thing....starting to move is another.  I was determined that there was no way I had the balance to start peddling and keep the bike upright.  So there we were in Walmart and my mom is holding the bike like you would for a kid who just got rid of training wheels and I'm holding on to the shelves in the aisle to help me stay upright. I'm sure to anyone watching it was a funny sight to see a 21 year old with her mom trying to ride a bike in Walmart.  Needless to say after many tries with mom holding on I completed one pedal around without her helping and me holding on....it was only one revolution before I freaked out and grabbed the side shelving again.  But it was me "pedaling" without assistance. Enough for mom to cheer so loud for the whole store to see and me to be so embarrassed from riding a bike at age 21.  But you know what.....it was something I never thought I'd get to do again in life.  And slowly from that time in Walmart I began to fall in love with bike riding.   Because bike riding meant freedom to me.  And slowly a part of my identity was returning.  Rather a way for me to see the beauty of the world and give God praise for his glory was returning.

Maybe that's why I love to ride my bike so much.  It's freedom to me.  It's my mode to see the world and be active at the same time. I love adventure.  I love feeling active.  I have my mom to thank for that. Yet fast forward 11 years after Walmart to tonight.  Riding a bike tonight was fun.  You can go wherever you want on a bike and explore new areas easily.  I take my bike downtown Chicago and ride all around Lake Michigan.  For me it's healing...to ride a bike next to the same lake that I stared out a hospital window at for 4 months and only dreamed of being like the people I saw from afar.   It's funny how people look at me now and even just today a friend said they saw a car with bike rack and thought of me.  It's become a part of me again and that makes me so happy.

Yet, Sometimes when I'm riding a bike, I wish I had someone like her...someone daring, adventurous, and active.  Sometimes I wonder if God has a guy like that in my future.  I don't need someone super athletic....but I desire someone who can be adventurous.  Even if it's just on a bike.  Someone who will be willing to go places and seek beauty.  Life is like bike right?  No matter what you have to keep peddling and moving forward.  I'm still journeying through life....doing so on a bike from time to time just makes it a little more adventurous. :)


Thursday, June 30, 2016

BeachTime


It's summer time.  If there is one thing I know in life it's that, Angie Boline's heart yearns for summer like weather.  Warm weather changes me.  I come alive.  Maybe my favorite thing about it all is that I get to spend time in the summer in Michigan.  My great grandpa built a house on the lake up there in a Christian community made up of lots of Swedish people.  The Michigan house has become like my second home.  It's there that I find rest and relaxation.  I'm so grateful that God's given me a place in life where I can go and anchor my soul at being in awe of his beauty.