Monday, December 19, 2011

What to do, what to do

What do you do when you're wronged? Hurt? I like to call it "slapped in the face." Despite circumstances, someone took something out of your control and pushed it back at you until it injured you.
For me, it happened today. A big, hard, slap. Right on my face.
The worst part is re-living it. Imagining it from their point of view. Almost being tortured by it.
So what do you do? Better question is, what am I going to do now?
I think... I'm just going to live my life. I'm going to laugh my hardest (maybe even cry my hardest at some points), & embrace every aspect of where I am and where I'm going, because God is going to use these moments to form me even more.
So as a broken, open, wounded vessel, I'll say: "Here I am, Lord. You know where I am." And just as every other time, He will embrace me. He will treat me with respect and with care, as if I am the most important human being in the entire world. He will promise me that He will never do anything like what has happened to me. He will never betray me. He will never attack me. He will never misuse my trust or trade my honor for any reason, because I am a treasure.
I am excited for the future. I am hesitant to learn from pain, but I know in the end it only makes me stronger in Him, and that's what I desire more than anything in this world. To be strong in Him and have my strength be reliant upon His.
I love you, Jesus. Arms up, everything cast aside and surrendered, have Your way.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

The output of this weekend would be...

Oh, the irony.
It's time like these that take me back to times like "those." The past. How deep I've gone and how bad it's been. It's a sucky thing to bring up to myself, and oh, how I know it. I strongly dislike when things pop up and ruin a perfectly good semester. I cannot think of a semester in my college history that has been more happy or positive. It has been so distinct that I can't help not notice it. So that's why this weekend has really been a downer in so many ways.
You know when things go wrong, and then more things go wrong, and then more things go wrong?
That's my weekend- Friday and Saturday, summed up. Everything from teachers to school to life situations to relationships, I feel like everything is strained and I'm emotionally exhausted.
When these things come up, my therapy is usually artsy and since I've been feeling exhausted in general, I didn't really leave my room all weekend. The collage on my wall has expanded immensely, along with many other smaller collages and ideas created in helping a friend decorate her room.
Artsy-ness at it's best, friends.
Anyways, I thought I would also let you know that I'm at a complete loss about my future. I don't know what's going to happen or where I'm going to end up. I don't know who I'm going to meet or where I'm going to travel, but you know what I do know?
That I have finals in a week for a 21 credit work load, one 10 page exegesis paper left to write, and a presentation that I must appear prepared for tomorrow morning.
I'm afraid that's all I've had time to think about, and any other thoughts I won't fully comprehend due to how much work is left to be done. It will just overwhelm me and distract me from it.
So I would ask of you, anyone who reads this, please drop any bombs on me in 2 weeks time. I might not like it, and I might still be recovering from finals, but at least I won't have 21 credits to think about on top of it all.
It's days like these that I remember this:
"Trust in, lean on, reply on, and have confidence in Him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts before Him. God is a refuge for us (a fortress and a high tower)." - Psalm 62:8
If I had an acoustic guitar right now, my fingers would be bleeding.

Monday, November 7, 2011


Today? Today I am grateful to be alive.
I feel like during this season many people are falling apart. Those "many people" used to be me. I remember a year ago today and see a stark difference in my life now, and I think to myself, what happened?
What's so different? What changed?
I am literally facing midterm after midterm, assignment after assignment, and paper after paper with barely a flinch. I can feel the stress in my back, but not in my heart or mind. I feel slightly overwhelmed, but not to the point where it's hard to work. All I can say is thank you, Jesus.
Thank you so much, God.
When I used to be screaming in the face of fear and stress, instead I am full of joy and laughter.
When I used to keep myself up to every hour of the night, instead I am cozied up after a good night talk with You.
Instead of being busy as a foundation, I have found worship and prayer have taken their place.
You have rearranged my priorities. You have transformed my habits.
This is not the same Tabatha that walked onto this campus last year at all, and I know it's from You.
Words aren't enough, and if they could be there are not enough of them to possibly contain how much I am learning and growing simply by being with You. I am still wrestling, and I still have troubles, but I'm allowing them to soften me instead of harden me.
I am completely in love with Your presence, God. It's enrapturing. It's honoring to be in. I am learning so much not only from You, but more then ever from Your presence. Once I notice it, tears come to my eyes almost immediately.
What changed, Lord? What happened? I'm not sure, but I want to say thank you.
Thank you, so much.
I remember one year ago this time wondering if anything would ever be better. Wondering if anything would change. Wondering if I would ever feel better. And now it makes sense.
Life is made up of seasons, and I am entering a new one.
Time to put on my running shoes, throw open the door, and embrace running it for all it's worth because I know that seasons don't last forever, and when they're gone they're only memories.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

“Sometimes you may have to go through doors where only one person will fit.”

There's only one me. 
Only one Tabatha Beiser in this entire world (or Tabatha Schmabatha, for that matter). God has created a plan for my life that is specific and unique. No one else has it. No one else can claim it but me. 
I may sometimes get off track or distracted, but His plans and promises won't change. 
The path I'm walking and the places I'm going aren't going to look like anyone else's paths or places, because this plan that God has made for me... no one else has lived it out. 
I'm the only one who gets to do it. 
So when I say that "God has a plan for my life", or "God has a plan for your life", you have to realize that no one else has that plan but me, or you. 
There's only one you. There's only one me. That's it. 

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


I have always respected Jason Upton. It was never about his vocal accuracy or being on point musically for him. Those are all things people aim for and I believe sometimes over-aim. Sure, there needs to be an even level, I understand. But that aside, I've respected that he's always had this intense, noticeable heart cry in all his songs. You just KNOW he's worshipping. You know he's in the presence of God. It's so evident in his voice, in his songs...

Listen to this:

It's blowing my mind. I know what you're thinking, but it really is.
Get to around like 4:50. Go ahead. It's kinda creepy, I know. BUT you know that synth-y noise? Or the 3 part harmony? Or the choir?
Jason Upton was the ONLY one who's microphone was on and being recorded vocally. ALL of those voices came only from his mic, too. Everyone that night heard those voices singing.
There was a kid in the audience who said he saw an angel singing behind Jason Upton. They weren't sure if they were being recorded or not.
It was.
Dude. Angels? Recorded? Brings me chills. Give it a chance.

And I'm probably like 500 years behind on this, but still...

Friday, October 21, 2011

Smile. You're beautiful.

The other day was pretty rough. Nothing majorly wrong happened, it was just a day where I was going nonstop with crazy work! Plus it was dark and grey out, raining everywhere. I ran to the library and as I was heading inside I saw one of my friends on stage playing acoustic guitar. 
I love acoustic guitar. 
I walked over to say hi and he said hello. We’re not that close, but close enough. We’ve had good conversations here and there. I consider him a friend and only that. After a minute or so of him plucking the strings and tuning every now and again and he looked up at me and said: “You know, I don’t know if you’ve heard it lately or in general, but you’re beautiful.”
“What?” I replied. 
“Don’t take this the wrong way, but I was watching you play piano in chapel this morning and it just hit me and I thought to myself: ‘Wow, she’s gorgeous.’”
I said thank you as he jokingly began hitting chords and making up a song with my name in it. I don’t take that the wrong way. I know we’re just friends, and he’s definitely the kind of friend that can get away saying stuff like that. It brought a ray of sunshine through my literally cloudy and rainy day. 
So, I don’t know if anyone’s told you this lately,
but you’re beautiful.
Like gorgeous, amazing, talented, awesome and specifically created to be you.  
Don’t take this as flattery. I'm being honest. 
You’re beautiful. 

Monday, October 3, 2011

Do something.

Have you ever heard God scream?
I have. 
In Malawi, Africa. Every morning when I heard the Africans crying out in blinded deception I heard God scream. I looked at His tear-stained face and saw the very image of pain and agony. 
"Shouldn't your heart break for these people?" He said to me. 

Have you ever heard God scream?
I have.
When I was in Cairo, Egypt.
Where 98% of the 25 million people there are Muslim. Where all of those people then, fasted in order to obtain peace approval from something that wasn't real. 
As someone in the city explained how much closer they felt to their god after fasting I heard the voice of God cry out in pain. He was screaming and weeping. 

Have you ever heard God cry?
I did. 
Today in chapel. I was reminded of how His heart breaks for theirs. Tears flowed down my cheeks and I felt a knot tie itself in the center of my heart as God whispered to me: "Cry for my people, and what you feel will be only a fraction of what is in my heart."
How easily we forget God's heart. 
I can hear the call to go so loudly, it aggravates me to see that some people doubt their presence on a simple missions trip. It aggravates me how much pain and suffering and heartache is taking place and people are sitting down in their living rooms wondering if God wants them to go or not. 
Do you not hear that? Do you not see it? He doesn't have to call you audibly. He doesn't have to pull you physically. 
-Today 24,000 children under five will die of preventable causes such as diarrhoea, malaria and pneumonia.

-Every day, more than 7,500 children under the age of five die as a result of under-nutrition.
-Almost 1 billion people don't have access to safe drinking water and 3.575 million people, mostly children, die every year from water-related diseases.
-The number of us living with HIV today is around 33.4 million, 68% in Sub-Saharan Africa.
- There are about 250,000 children currently serving in armed conflicts for both rebel groups and government forces in various Asian countries, parts of Latin America, the Middle East, Europe and most critically in Africa.

-Between 158 million and 218 million children aged 5 to 14 are engaged in child labour – that’s at least one in six children in our world. At least 126 million of these kids are involved in hazardous work.

-Close to 1 million people commit suicide throughout our world each year which exceeds both annual total homicides and annual deaths by war combined.
-90% of child deaths in Ethiopia alone are preventable
-Pregnancy related deaths are the leading cause of deaths worldwide for girls aged 15 – 19.  

Have you ever heard God cry? 
I want you to. I think it would change you. I know it's changed me.
I think if you heard God weep you would never doubt again doubt your call to help. 
I made this video without fully realizing what it entailed, but now as I look at it I understand better.
This is your call. This is a chance to do something - to change those statistics.
Check this out:
Want other ways to get involved? There are tons, literally. Check some of the links out below.
Don't let this be something you read and then go on with your life as it was.
Do something.

Monday, September 19, 2011

The tug on your t-shirt.

6:04 am. Your alarm goes off. You hit the snooze button.
6:14 am. The alarm persists. You frustratingly look at the ceiling and try to close your eyes and block out all noise. It doesn't work.
You get out of bed and as you pull your bathrobe over your shoulders it's almost like you feel someone tugging at it. But you shrug and continue on with your morning.
Lunch time rolls around and as you're surrounded by crowds of people you feel it again. You think it's peculiar, but many things are peculiar nowadays so you push on and eat your full plate of food, leaving half of the meal on the plate and taking off to your next assignment.
You work all afternoon. You drink bottles of clean water and have the comfort of air conditioning as you drearily complain about the work load or how tired you are, and with every word you speak you feel that tugging again. And again. And again.
You're walking back to your home and as you pull open the front door and think about what you should eat for dinner the pull is so much stronger. It feels like someone tugging at your clothes, trying to get your attention. It's enough that you can ignore it but not enough that you don't notice it.
Because it's there.
You've been around the world.  You've seen many things that people have not had the opportunity to. The images that your eyes have beheld are something that only few get a chance to every venture out and experience firsthand.
And you feel that little hand tugging on your t-shirt. You look down, and there she is.
You remember that face. And as she smiles in a worn-out, old fashioned dress that isn't her size and chases after you with dirty, calloused feet, dust splattered around her face and hair. She still looks up at you and smiles, almost as if she's saying: "Don't forget me, ok?"

I won't forget you.

And there's this other sense you have that someone's not only been following you, but trying to grab your hand. You are a little discomforted, but not put in any physical or emotional pain by this thought.
As you reach for the fridge to get out your dinner he grabs your hand instead.
He won't speak.
He will barely look at you.
He holds your hand. And that's it. That's all he wants.
You look him in the eyes, get down to his level and after many tiring efforts of communication there's a moment where you get him to smile, and when he smiles his eyes light up the world, almost as if the fact that he has no shoes, proper nutrition, or shelter doesn't matter. Because you made him laugh.
He calms down, holds your hand tighter and nervously looks around. When your eyes finally meet it's almost as if they say, "Don't forget me, ok? I'm still here."

I won't forget you.

As you walk to the living room you get a nagging feeling that someone is watching you. You turn around, and there she is. And honestly, I think she just wanted to feel special for once. You could see it in her eyes. So you take her under your wing for the entire remainder of the time you have there, and when you're leaving and everyone begins to bug her and make fun of her, you pick her up and carry her towards the bus. A huge smile crosses her face up as she looks around and sees everyone from your perspective so high up. No shoes, covered in dust, bright smile. She points at your camera as you put her down and as you take a picture and you see this new look about her, you can't help but wondering if she just wanted to be remembered.

I remember you.

Malawi 2011. 

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Exhibit A

In total, this summer I went to 6 different countries. I happened to jet across three continents in three days. That's a lot of time zones.
It almost doesn't seem real, but yesterday it hit me all the amazing things that happened this summer. All the amazing things that God accomplished that I got to see happen in the past few months. There's so much.

Let's start with something that happened at home.
I need to write it down so I don't forget it myself.
Youth camp this summer was amazing in a different way. I didn't fall out or get blasted across the room, but I did have the chance to minister during altar call times through music.

I am hesitant- I guess that's a good way to put it- sometimes about what I can do. I don't like putting it out there. I don't like waiting to be used either though, so it's a lose/lose situation. I feel like if someone else possesses a gift that I have then why should I be used in that gifting? So there was a lot of discouragement that hunkered around my quiet need to be used.
When I left school in May I cried. I cried really, really hard because it was the first time in a long time that I was in the environment that I had always wanted to be in. I was worried that going home, I would lose that sense and I would also be reminded of all these terrible things that had happened that would overtake my new-found placing.

Lots of information, I know. Stick with me. Just giving you some background.
So, while I was leading worship for altar call the first night I was terribly nervous at first.
Terribly, terribly. I didn't want to mess up. It also helped that one of my favorite speakers in the entire world was giving the message.  After most of the songs had happened during the message, the speaker came up to me during the middle of altar call and said: "You're doing phenomenal, you really are. I mean it. I would go to battle with you any day."
I almost started crying right there. Later on he also called me out and said to play something that God had put on my heart. Something that I had played over and over by myself in my room that burned within me.
I knew immediately what song it was. I had played this song numerous times on guitar in my room. It seemed etched inside of my very soul. It was my heart's cry. It was my constant reminder of what my focus was. I changed the chords and the mood shifted inside of my heart. This was my heart's song. The song that whenever I played it the insides of me screamed so loudly and almost vocally that I'm surprised no one heard it.
I played and sang that song in front of everyone that night. The endless hours I had spent being patient to be used, worshipping on my own, and learning the right chords on guitar for it seemed worthless compared to the impact it had the opportunity to make.

Now, my heart can be a funky place at times (yes, I said funky). It's all over the place on certain days, but there are some pretty consistent desires and dreams that I have deeply placed and rooted in my heart. Some of those desires and dreams I have waited and waited for. I have prayed and cried over these dreams and still it seems like they have not happened. Some of the desires in my heart I've had to give up. I've had to let a lot of things and people go. It's deeply etched inside of me: what has been given, what I hold on to, what's been taken away, and what I'm waiting on.
As I looked over the crowds of people in my church being touched by the power of God I felt one of those desires rise. I had always wanted to be apart of something like this. I wanted to see masses get moved by the presence of God. And as I looked over the crowds of people, the desires of my heart that I had to give up or say no to pushed aside, God whispered very quietly to me and said: "See? I do see the desires of your heart."

What I've come to realize is that there are many people who feel forgotten by God. They think that waiting means He isn't true to His word, or that maybe the promises He made weren't important.
But they are. They are so important to Him and God wants the plans He has for your life to come to pass even more then you.

Want to hear something else pretty nifty? Someone once told me a long time ago that I would write songs that people would sing and hear. I had almost forgotten about that until that night where I played a song for altar call that I myself had written. And who would have thought that we played it the next night too? We did. It's definitely not my style to talk about that, but whoever told me I would write music  that people would worship to said it a long time ago. Maybe my last year of junior high kind of long time ago.

But guess what - it happened.

I was going to write about Africa, but I think this post is long enough. Here's a sneak peek for next time :)

PS: I don't steal photos! The pictures taken from youth camp worship are by Lazarus Pachigalla:

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Coming to a computer near you...

Blog people! People who follow my blog! People whom I love and cherish and appreciate!
Things have been hectic! I got back from AFRICA! I've been back from IRELAND! I'm now back in MASSACHUSETTS for college again! I haven't had tons of time to recoup, much less reflect, upload photos, and tell you about it. BUT this post is not about that. This post is to give you hope.
It's coming. A post is on it's way. Once I'm all moved in and some photos are on the computer and my life calms down for the slightest of a minute, you will have an update.
For now?
I'm alive! I'm breathing! I'm not dead! I will update! I do care! :)
You'll be hearing from me very soon!


Sunday, July 31, 2011


"Over and over, when I ask God why all of these injustices are allowed to exist in the world, I can feel the Spirit whisper to me, “You tell me why we allow this to happen. You are my body, my hands, my feet.”"
—Shaine Claiborne, The Irresistible Revolution

Landlocked Malawi ranks among the world's most densely populated and least developed countries.

In 2004 it's said that 54% of the people were under the poverty line.

Malawians deal with hunger and malnutrition on a daily basis. According to USAID 45% of the country’s children underage five are stunted due to the lack of adequate nutrition.

Major infectious diseases include but are not limited to typhoid, malaria and hepatitis C, and the degree of risk is very high.

In 2009 there were estimated to be about 920,000 people diagnosed and living with HIV AIDS, and I've heard from a number of different sources that that number is also estimated to rise higher (the highest I heard was 2 million).

Worldwide, 16 million children have been orphaned by aids, and 14.8 million of these children live in Sub-Saharan Africa, where Malawi is located. In 2009, 650,000 children were orphaned by AIDS in Malawi, and I've heard that number by another source to have gone up to over 1 million in our present time.

This is where I'm leaving to go early Wednesday morning on a missions trip to help repair a Bible school, paint, work, put on services, pray, go to orphanages, bring supplies, evangelize, do outreaches, and anything you can probably think of doing to help out overseas.

From the time I was very little I knew I would someday go back to Africa. I was born in Ivory Coast in 1992 in the middle of a revolution. Going back always seemed like a very far off and distant dream, not really something that would be a reality for a while. I can say that growing up I always felt immensely comforted by the sound of an African speaking English with their accent. It had a soothing effect on me. Although I will not be returning to Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire this time I travel in Africa (I will go back someday), I am extremely excited about reconnecting with part of a culture that I was born into.

I'm Ivorian. I was born in this far away continent, and this will be my first time returning. I am not exactly sure what to expect, and I already know many people have said they've gone to Africa and left their heart there. That once I go I'll never be the same.
I don't want to be the same when I come back, but honestly? I think I was created with a heart for Africa when I was born during that revolution 19 years ago. I think I've always had it and I think that going back for the first time, after all this time, I'll discover it was there all along.

What can you do to help me? If you have a digital camera that I could borrow that would be fantabulous since mine broke :) But really? Pray. Pray hard. Just because we're going, doesn't make it safe, but we're going anyways. There's something about looking adversity in the face and saying "My God is bigger" that empowers you. I can't wait to tell you all about it when I get back.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011


It's like photography and blogging put together! What a fun word.
Who's taken a break from photography? 
Who got an opportunity to jump back on the bandwagon again with a shoot though?

Obviously I jumped. 
I forgot how much I love taking pictures.
It's an opportunity to let someone else see something that you see. 
Honestly, I think of photography and videography as capturing moments that are meant to last longer then they do. Moments should be remembered, and I think there's even something special about taking pictures purposefully and claiming memories. It's exciting and captivating. 
I don't have all the fancy equipment and honestly, I really don't know a lot about the technical side of it all because that's never what it was about for me. It's just something that I really, really, really enjoy doing for fun, for free, and not just for you, for me. (Yup, it rhymed).
And you might be thinking for this pic, "hey, it's not that great". You're probably right, but that's only because this is one of many and I thought it accurately represented the feel for the shoot. :)

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Warning: I am now forming an opinion about my life.

One night I pulled over to the side of the road on my way home. It was dark out, probably around 10:15 pm. I pulled over for a number of reasons: I was crying. I couldn't focus. I couldn't stop crying. I needed to calm down. I needed to focus. I needed to pray. I needed to hear anything from anyone.
That's a pretty dangerous place to be if you ask me.

But I knew who to call, and I called them. Whoever they are isn't really the deal, but I am very, very grateful to the people whom I call when I'm in crisis. The particular people that I called this night I was not expecting an answer. Not because they're mean or rude, unreliable or a judge of bad character, but because they're busy and a family, and I respect their time and schedules. Just because people get busy and schedules get hectic doesn't mean that I don't still call them when I'm having a hard time.

And amazingly, they picked up. Not only did they pick up, but they offered to get in their car and drive to the other side of the city where I was (a twenty plus minute route, I'm sure) and find me.
I knew instantly I had called the right people.

They guided me in the conversation, let me talk, and gave feedback when needed. The thing I enjoy most about these particular people is that they understand me in a sense where I can just listen to them talk and that's ok. I don't have to do all the talking. It's comforting just to listen to people who know you, you know?
Why am I blogging about this?
Because they asked me something. After hearing my story and my thoughts, feeding back here and there, and stating that they clearly understood, they asked me to evaluate and take time to think about a
question: "Tab, what do you want?"
I stopped for a moment. "What?" I asked. They repeated the question.
I took a moment to think and then quickly stuttered: "I don't know. Honestly, I really don't know."
I think that a lot of times I take what other people say so seriously, so close to my heart if they are close to my heart, that what they think about my life becomes what I think about my life. It's not bad. These people are wise. I trust these people who I allow myself to listen to, but at the same time what I was reminded of in this conversation is at the end of the day, at the end of my life, it's my life. I'm the one who lived it the way that I did.
No one else.
This is my life. I choose to give that life to God, but God also chooses to let me live it out.
I'm not saying to go out and make bad choices and justify it by saying it's your life to live, I'm simply mentioning this story to you because I forgot for a while that the life I'm living is the one that God gave to me for me to live. I will held accountable for it. You can't let everyone's opinions become your opinion.
I have a brain too. Honestly, I know it's in there somewhere. I can think too.

I think I might need to start forming my own opinion about my life.

What a statement.

Friday, July 8, 2011


I can't believe my time in Ireland is coming to a close. Really? I've learned so much, been around the greatest people you could ever imagine, and seen God in a brand new way. I've loved it! 
This week was the I ♡ Derry festival and Kids Week, which to say the least made a very hectic week. All the same, it was amazing. I had the opportunity to help a band do music for the kid's services and it was so much fun! I really enjoyed it. About 300 kids showed up each day and with a group of over 100 Americans helping out, the place was pretty full! Here's a glimpse of the service atmosphere:

One of the main things that God has really grown in me this week (and month!) is a love for kids, kid's ministry, and just a new appreciation for being around them. It was therapeutic for me in many ways (also, living with five kids might have helped too). I know that's weird to say, but I think I see it now as necessary and God saw it as necessary and knew exactly why. Isn't He just the best? Some of these kids just really captured my heart. I had this awesome opportunity to speak in kid's church last Sunday in enough time to tell two stories from my life. I knew the kid's really understood and listened because even today I had them coming up to me and talking about the stories, and even asking me questions about them! One of the little girls wanted me to tell them to her again! 

Well... a quick farewell, Ireland. It's been class. I'm scared that if I think about it too much I might get too sad for my own good. See you on Monday, America!  

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Ireland Update #2

Maybe a question you'd ask me is what is Ireland teaching me? What am I learning here so far? What is Ireland doing for you or how is it impacting your life?
Great questions :)
I've seen a lot of ministry being a P.K. A whole lot. I've met a lot of leaders and talked to many pastors. There are very few people whom I talk to that when I leave the conversation I feel honored to have talked to them, but here I feel that way with most the people I'm interacting with on a daily basis. I can't get into all the details, but there have been so many conversations that I've just soaked up so much Godly  wisdom and information. I've simply listened and loved every second of it.

Ireland is awakening in me a ringing noise to remind me why I came here in the first place. Why do I do the things that I do? Why did I travel to a different country by myself for a month? What was I thinking? Everytime I've had a challenging thought such as that, God has placed specific conversations or words or Scriptures that all come down to something very critical and foundational. I've been challenged to hold onto my call with confidence and to think of how it effects my now, not just my later.
To keep it short, simple, and to the point:
In a weird sort of way, Ireland is reminding me of my purpose.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Worth Reading

I think sometimes we get terribly selfish. We go around and think that everything should cater to us, and everyone should remember us. Us. My. Mine. Me. The quote below brings me to tears every time I read it. 
Every time. 
It's worth reading.
Because it reminds me that it's not about me. My call is actually not about me. What I want to do isn't for my own benefit or accord. My call is for others. My traveling and hardships are to be shared. Who am I to forget why I'm actually here? To focus so much on myself that I forget that my ultimate goal isn't to serve myself? 
Honestly? It's not about me. I need to get over myself. 
Anything I do for the call is an opportunity to take part in the heart that God has given me. God gave this to me. God gave me this vision. It isn't mine to hoard, but it is mine to share. God gave me this life. It isn't to serve myself, it's to serve others.  God gave me this heart. It isn't mine to keep, but it is mine to give away.

"You know its not hard to see that there's this great imbalance and that things aren't right. You know I know that, but for me I suppose it really hits home when I stop and think about this moment because it's happening right now. In the same moment you have a generation who are sitting around entertaining themselves watching reality television, which to be honest is anything but real, while you have a child who is being prostituted behind closed doors and robbed of their innocence. It's not fair that we can go about consuming every single material option that comes our way while the widow and orphan are stripped of life's basic dignities because they're victims of a conflict that simply isn't theirs. It's not fair that we have a generation who are choking on their obesity while at the same time there are 30,000 children who die today for lack of food. It’s not fair that we have no problem going about spending $3-4 on what is basically glorified tap water in a bottle with a fancy label while you have entire communities who suffer at the hands of disease because the only water that they have access to is foul and polluted. It's not fair that we can sing and dance and jump around in our freedom and liberty when at the same time the slave remains captive out of sight and out of mind. It’s not fair that we can sit and watch the evening news from the comfort of our living rooms and pity those who lived where the storm hit or where the ground shook or where the waters rose and simply feel sorry for them, and then change the channel and get on with supper. Is it fair to walk past the homeless man and give him nothing in the assumption that he’ll spend it on booze or cigarettes or that you suggest that he goes out and gets a job? I mean, who are we to judge the alcoholic or the prostitute or the addict or the criminal as if we’re any better? Who are we to forget the downtrodden, or the oppressed or the marginalized while we go about chasing the dream? We see this imbalance and we amend “that’s not right, that’s not fair”, but all too often that’s all we do, because for us to do anything more is actually going to cost us something. Perhaps then it's fair to say that when we ignore the prostituted child, we actually lent our hand to their abuse. When we ignore the widow and the orphan in their distress we actually add to their pain. When we ignore the slave that remains captive that it's us who's entrapping them. That when we forget the refugee that it's us who's displacing them. That when we choose not to help the poor and the needy that we actually rob them. Perhaps the only fair thing to say is that when we forsake the lives of others we actually forsake our own." -Joel Houston, I ♥ Revolution

May I take what precious and little I have and throw it all away in order to chase whole-heartedly the purpose that God has set ablaze in my soul. 

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Forrest Beiser

I think a lot of times people think of the word "father" and automatically have a stereotype fill their heads. The word "father" can strike fear into some hearts and warmth into others. Everyone has that different adaptation of the word "father" in their heads based on their own father. I know today is Father's Day and that you are celebrating (depending on who your dad is) your father, but I want to take a moment and tell you about my father. 
And for those of you who don't have a dad or your dad hasn't been the best father, bear with me. You all know that God is the ultimate father, caretaker, and giver for you. If you don't recognize that your father and God aren't the same person, I fear you might go throughout your life with an incorrect representation of who God is. He isn't some angry, bipolar guy who loves you one minute and then despises you the next. He is perfect and loving. He is waiting for you to realize that He's been there all along; that His love never wavered and it's waiting for you. He longs for your embrace. 

Ok. I'll stop preaching. 

My father's name is Forrest Beiser. 
I've gone through my whole life thinking of my dad a certain way, all good things mind you. He was the pastor of my home church(and still is:), but for some reason I never had a hard time deciphering the roles of father and pastor because he was the same at home that he was at church. Both worlds weren't really worlds, they were one, solid living place for me. I grew up on a firm family foundation based strongly in the church. I grew up in ministry, working hard and learning as I grew up. My dad said from the very beginning that he was preparing me for ministry, and I look back and I can see that now. It is because of him that I can do all the things that I can, and that I possess half the talents that I do. He pushed me and pressured me, but because of those things, I grew and flourished. 
But that's not where I wanted to head for this post. 

So, I had this understanding of my dad that changed drastically this past year. Maybe one day I'll be able to go into all the details, but for now I'm sorry if you have a vague understanding of what I'm saying. 
Around September of last year things in my life got really hard. I can't describe exactly what was happening, but I can say that I had never felt more abandoned, hurt, and in complete despair. I don't mean to sound emo or depressed, but honestly, I had never experienced such depths of heartlessness and hopelessness. It felt like my world was literally falling apart. 
God had placed me perfectly where I needed to be at Zion. I think another large part of the reason I made it through was because of Zion. I was growing so much in the middle of that hard place I was in, and I still am growing from it. 
The bottom line of it all was that I was at a loss. I had no one to turn to, and for once in a very long while I felt just completely ... gone. 
There's no other way to describe it. I'm starting to tear up right now even as I type this, because thinking about it is frustratingly hard. The tears are for the frustration at myself, yes, but also at the gratitude that I have for my father during this time.

I called up my dad one night at the height of all my anger, loss, fear, and raw pain. I expected him to yell at me and be completely upset. I deserved it. 
But as I explained to my dad everything that was happening, everything that I was experiencing, and everything I had gone through he didn't yell. 
He didn't scream. 
He didn't scold me. 
He didn't say hurtful things towards me. 
He just... listened. 
And at the end of my heart's outpouring of complete anguish my dad said in a very soft voice: "I'm so sorry, Tabby. I'm so sorry. I love you."
And as I cried on the phone, my dad reassured me of his love for me. He expressed his care and heart. He described the grace, mercy, and love of God and displayed it through his own actions in talking to me. Throughout the next couple of months he continued this attitude. He never rejected me and he never said anything hateful. When I was having one of the hardest times of my life, he was only a phone call away. Consistent. Helpful. Honest. There. Both my parents were. 
A couple of months ago something hard came up again and I told him, and once again, he was there for me and he simply loved me.

My dad is my hero. I honestly am not sure what would have happened this past year if I didn't have him in my life. I am so, so, so thankful and my heart is simply filled to the brim with gratitude and love for him for everything he's done for me and continues to do for me. 

I love you, Papa. In so many ways, you saved me in that phone call last year. I can never be thankful enough. Happy Father's Day to the best Father in the entire world. Others will say their dad is the best, but that's because they never had you for a father. 

Monday, June 13, 2011

Finally! An update about Ireland!

Hello friends! I am currently sitting on a couch in the living room at the Inman's house - a missionary family that lives in Derry, Ireland. It was quite the journey here (with long plane rides and all) but now that I am more or less settled in and almost adjusted to the dramatic time difference, I figured I would tell you what I've been up to! This is almost like a regular blog post! How odd.

What you probably figure about Ireland is only somewhat accurate. It is rather rainy and overcast, but the people here in contrast are very warm and friendly. Everyone is very considerate of each other and the accent is great :) The history of this city, and Northern Ireland in general, is extremely complicated and there's this division between the Protestants and the Catholics, but they are mostly only in a political sense, not necessarily religious. There are Protestant neighborhoods and then there are Catholic neighborhoods. I'm still catching up on it all.
There are some different slangs that I'm getting the hang of, which is class. If you give me a wee bit more time here, I think I might get the crack of things at some point. Like how "chips" are fries and "crips" are chips, or how I just tried to implement some of it in the first two sentences of this paragraph :)

Check out what a lot of planning is going into at the church!

My favorite thing that I've been a part of so far has been an outreach that they do Friday nights called Street Pastors. We set up a table downtown on a busy club street and handed out free tea, coffee, soup, and hot cocoa, talked with people, and just helped in whatever way we could. It was awesome! The pic below is the whole street packed with people at around 2am when the clubs let out. They don't exactly go home... they just kind of hang out and try to get taxis.

Yesterday I went touring with the Inmans at the Giant's Causeway(picture below) and an old castle in ruins by the ocean (the first pic you saw there's some ruins behind my shoulder!). It was really fun! And of course, raining the whole time. Yesterday was church! They hold church service in the downtown center, which is really cool and the pastor spoke about how God is our gardener and He prunes away at us so that we can grow. I really enjoyed the message. Today is my day off and I've pretty much relaxed all day at home, I think I'm still recovering from the midnight to 3am run of street pastors (totally worth it!).

Of course I would leave my cord that connects my canon rebel to my computer back home, but I have been taking pictures. The ones featured in this blog are off of my iPhone. It's amazing to see how long the battery lasts when you don't use cellular service or 3G. I haven't turned it off since I got here, only kept it on airplane mode, and it's just about on half battery now.

Do I have an Irish accent yet? I guess you'll just have to see for yourself when I get back.
Want to talk? Skyping and chat are pretty much the only way, and in Cali the best time is early afternoon like from about 1pm on.
Miss you all, but I'll be back in a jiff.

Oh, and meet one of the five kids I'm living with - Maggie. She's almost two. (:

Friday, June 10, 2011

For the rest of my life

I don't know about you, but there a few songs that I listen to and
I am instantly reminded that I am God's. That He is here. That I am not alone. That His presence can heal any wound. That only He can make me into all that I want to be. 
I read this morning a verse in Psalm 127 that says that if God is not in something, then what's the point (it's the Tabatha translation, or more like paraphrasing...)?
It was such a reminder to me, kind of like the songs. What's the point of me doing something if God's not in it? In that sense, there's no fruit of ultimate benefit for me if my ultimate goal is to be all that God wants me to be. If my ultimate goal is God, why do I base things in my life aside from that goal? If I know the truth what am I doing? 

And as I listen to these songs... as I close my eyes and God gently reminds me that He is at my side (and that's He's never left), I wonder why I forget. I wonder how I forget 
I forget that I'm worth dying for. I forget about the One who proved that I was worth dying for. I wonder why I resist someone so beautiful. As He whispers words of life to my soul (right to my soul), and I come alive in the fullest sense of the word, it's really then and only then that I find who I truly am.
Because my identity is in Christ and when I'm with Him, I'm reminded.
I belong.
My identity is that I am God's. I belong to Him.
And I also realize that that's exactly how I want it to be

"Wind of God come blow up on us
Breath of God come breathe within us now, within us now
Spirit of God come fall upon us
Like a fire, rise within us now, within us now"

{Second photo taken by my brother Isaiah:}
{Just so you know, the song at the bottom of this post inspired the post altogether :)}

Thursday, June 9, 2011

For your eyes only

This post happens to be only for people who follow my blog on their own - without me posting it up somewhere. I need your prayers, guys. It's day three in Ireland and I hurt my back yesterday. I hurt it really, really bad. It hurts to stand up, sit down, bend over... you name it. And you can imagine that when you've travled across the world to work somewhere and then it hurts to work, let alone do anything, it could be frustrating. So please, please, please, please pray for me. I'd really appreciate it. Thank you.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Why hello there

Sometimes, everything just hurts. Really, really bad. Who knows about pain? Heartache?
The real stuff. You want genuine? You want honest? You want the real?
Things hurt. You want specific? People hurt. They hurt me. They hurt you. They just hurt sometimes.
Pain is such a funny thing to inflict on each other, and it burns. It doesn't just come for a minute and then get back in the car and drive away. It doesn't throw a newspaper at your door and then bike off. It likes to slowly wade in while you aren't necessarily prepared for it. It will ring your doorbell, and at the first sight that you have at it you'll double back as if someone punched you in the stomach. You'll try to close the door but you're too weak. Punch after punch after punch. And maybe all this pain and punching in the stomach isn't necessarily relevant to the exact second where Pain's fist collides with your body.

Sometimes the damage that Pain inflicts is joined with his friend, Memories. The two like to gang up together sometimes, of course. They would. They work really well together.

So here you are, caught off guard at your front door with Pain and Memories repeatedly injuring you in the gut. They don't necessarily mean to. It's not completely their fault. You have to feel a little bad for such terrible creatures that create such perfect, awful harmony together. If only their roles could be used for the better. If only the notes that they create music with could end in a happy, positive way instead of a remnant of such heartache. It's the difference between sunshine and rain, good news and bad, a smile or a scowl.
Ah, the controversy of it all!
They mean well, too. They don't always come your way in order to ruin your outlook. They were once really quite innocent when you first had them, maybe even enrapturing. They had you right from the start, but the bad thing about it is that they still have you now.

I'd much rather be happy, friends. If you know me at all you know this to be true. I love to laugh and get excited. I love when it's sunny outside and you can hear the ocean waves in the distance. So I'm looking at Pain and Memories in the face right now and saying: What the heck?!
Not the most poetical of statements, to be sure.
But sometimes you just have to be frustrated at them for coming back to haunt you.
It's natural.
It's understandable.

It's ok to be frustrated.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

"I guess I just want to say that if you ever need someone to keep you company, I’ll be right here."

Thursday, May 26, 2011

So I'm doing stuff with my life

I wrote a post a minute ago and re-read it. It was too generic. Sometimes I speak Christianese.
Don't hate.
It's summer time. Things you need to know about me right now:
1) I leave for Ireland next week and will be there the whole month of June. HOLLA!
2) I come back the second week of July to recoup in San Fran.
3) I'm pretty sure I'm going to Malawi in August (that's in Africa, in case you didn't know). Yup, back to the motherland. It'll be the first time I've been back since I left. If you didn't know, I was born in Africa.

I'm pretty sure I'll be updating from Ireland, but we'll see. There's only so much time an intern has. I'm really, really, really, excited though. Traveling is such a passion- I love experiencing different cultures! It's so weird to think that five years ago I detested the thought of being in missions and going to different countries and now I can't wait to experience it all myself! I'm so passionate about it! My heart starts to beat so loud and fast that I can hear it and then I feel all this excitement rise inside my soul... God is so ironic. And cool. All things that go without saying.

I'm officially a junior in college, btw. This year in college is also the first year I've ever staid at one college, and I loved it, so I'm going back :) Two years at the same college? Weird!
Anyways, that's me for now. Just living and asking and figuring things out. Doing that whole life thing.
I try, I really do. This is me trying and making the best and going forward the best way I know.
There's no point in going back anyways, that's impossible.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

To my heart, from God

Heart, listen to me for a second.
I know you're tired. I know you've had it.
I would know better out of anyone else, right?
I know things seem impossible. I know you feel ripped off.
You have every right to leave. You have every right to be upset.
You could run away, and no one would think it to be unjustified.
The pain that you feel is completely understandable.
No one thinks otherwise.
But here, come here, and listen to me speak to you,
Because I long to pour words of comfort over you.
I long to sit at your side and be the one to hold you together.
Heart, dear, precious heart that I have created and formed for a purpose,
As I stand before you, holding your pieces in my hands
Will you believe me?
Will you trust me?
You never had anything to prove before, and you don't have anything to prove now.
It is not in any way by your power, strength, or will,
It is not because you do things well or good,
It is not because you excel or perform excellently,
It has nothing to do with you, actually.
I had already taken care of everything before you came into existence.
When I said "It is finished" I meant that anything you could do to fix yourself was finished as well.
It is nothing on your own that will ever do you any good,
It is only with me.
Beloved, honored, chosen heart,
I'm right here. You don't need to come back.
I'm never too busy or too ashamed of you.
You've been through so much, do you think I have not seen?
I see you before me now and what I say to you is:

I believed in you in your worst, when everything fell down around you.
I believed in you at your best, when things seemed to go your way.
I believe in you now, as you are before me broken and beautiful.
I have never given up on you.
I have never forsaken you.
I have never walked away.
And I know, I know so well that you are struggling,
I see every tear, every heartache, every sore memory you experience,
I see every glance, every thought,
and I notice every time you wish you could move on but you can't.
I see it all, because I see you.
I know who you are, and I love you exactly as you are.
Never forget who I am.
Do not associate me with the things that you struggle with
Although you can struggle with me, I am not those who have hurt you.
I am not a promise-breaker or a weak link,
I do not run away and I will never abandon you.
When I speak words they will be words of life,
When I make you a promise, I intend to follow through,
and that follow through will come in my timing.
There are no taking back of my words,
There is no changing my mind,
I am faithful, I am present,
I mean what I say,
And I will never bring you back and leave you at the beginning
Because I treasure you.
although what you have experienced is real and genuine,
although your pain is obvious and open,
remember that I am not that. I am who I am.
I will be the one to push it all away
and pull you back together.
I will be the Rock on which you stand
when everything is sinking.
I will be the friend you want to share your life with
when you feel you have no one to talk to.
I will be your strength
when you have none.
Dear, precious heart, as you go through this path
and as you stumble and fall,
I will be right there with you, picking you back up
and reminding you of who you are to me:
Loved, mine, honored, treasured, fragile, important, valuable, called, chosen, and beautiful.
You are so beautiful.
I will be reminding you that it was never by anything you did in the first place,
but everything was through me.
I will be your justice when you feel like fighting.
I will hold your hand, and beg you to never let it go.
I will guide you when all things around you seem bleak. I will come behind you and hold you together when you relapse.

I see the music in your heart and I cannot wait for it to come forth!
I will make you smile when you feel you have no reason to
and I will be your laugh when the joy of this world is fading around you and you must remain strong.
I know that being strong is exhausting,
so use my strength. It is unending and always enough.

I love you more then you will ever know, more then you realize now and more then you will ever come to realize in the future. I see you for who you are right now at this very moment. Your past is gone. You are Mine. No matter what happens on this path you are on, know that you are never, not for one second, alone. Never.
Heart, I'm here.
From God
(your Father, Best Friend, King, Comforter, Counselor and Peace)