Time for Something New

Growth is painful. Change is painful. But nothing is as painful as staying stuck somewhere you don’t belong.

-Mandy Hale

If you ever followed my blog closely, you may be wondering why I’ve been dormant the last several months. 

No, I haven’t stopped writing, it was simply time for a change. This blog carried me through high school and the remainder of my teen years, but around early summer, I realized I just didn’t fit it anymore. It was like pulling on the pair of jeans you’ve owned for years, and for the first time it stopped at your hips and that was that. I struggled to force myself in with a few last scattered posts, but the time came and I moved on. 
I’ve actually been writing in my new blog for a while, but I decided not to publicize it until I grew more comfortable with it. 

A lot has changed for me. I used to write this blog “Thoughts From Hazel” in a sort of ambiguous way, detaching myself from most of the writing for effect. However, I have developed a much more direct way of writing, and I’m enjoying it. My new blog is much more personal, it has deeper roots in my adventures as well as my emotions and I’m excited about it. This old blog got me through a lot throughout the last several years. However, another story is starting and has already begun.

During this time, I co-led a campus ministry on Cerritos college for a while and now I’m involved in a “marketplace ministry” at the Long Beach Town Center until I finish raising support to go to the Philippines as a long term missionary. I started dating and incredible man of God and have walked with wonderful women of the same heart and purpose.

If you are interested in following my writing from here on, this is the link to my new blog:

Tortles.wordpress.com
And if you are interested and able to help support my venture to the Philippines, here is that link:

Gofundme.com/toriphilippines
Thank you for all of your support through the last several years, and especially if you continue to hold to that. It has been quite the adventure so far. 

We’re not falling down

We are stronger now

Dreaming out loud

Breathe easy now

-Breathe Easy ~Mree

 
Here’s to the journey.

-Tori Lynn

Trip to Manila

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Update: Life has been quite the whirlwind as of late, but I have an amazing opportunity ahead and I need your help!

Isaiah 51:4-5 “Listen to me, my people;
    hear me, my nation:
Instruction will go out from me;
    my justice will become a light to the nations.
My righteousness draws near speedily,
    my salvation is on the way,
    and my arm will bring justice to the nations.
The islands will look to me
    and wait in hope for my arm.

That’s right!  As I mentioned before, we had the incredible opportunity to help send out a church to the Philippines and my boyfriend was a part of the team.  Now, as their inaugural (Sort of like a grand-opening service) approaches, I would love to be able to go.

Since I moved to California over a year and a half ago, I’ve had incredible opportunities and experiences.  I’ve been able to study the Bible with amazing women and be a part of their baptisms, and I’ve also learned more about the Bible than I’ve ever known.  However, world evangelism never left my heart as I’ve been working on evangelizing the Long Beach area.  The more I hear about Metro Manila, the deeper the desire grows in my heart to visit and see what we’re doing in our international churches.

The team was sent out a couple weeks ago and already their campus ministry is setting in with Bible studies. I would love to be a part of this and I need your help.

I’ve raised about a fifth of what I need to order my plane tickets and the prices are going up every day. My boss has agreed to give me the time off, so now I’m asking out of faith for your help. If you can give a dollar, or if you can help me finish my goal, every little bit helps and I am extremely grateful. The link is right below this paragraph.

Click here to give!
If you have any questions or concerns, please contact me at tori.lynn.wallace@gmail.com

Thank you so very much.


To God be the glory.

-Tori Lynn

Special Missions (Please Help)

Manila Mission Team Sendoff

It’s been a while since I’ve given a ministry update, so here goes.

Romans 10:18 But I ask: Did they not hear? Of course they did: “Their voice has gone out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world.”

The last few months we’ve been working hard to raise a large amount of money to further our global mission teams.  We usually hold a “special missions contribution” twice a year to go into this.  Through this fund, we’re able to reach out to new countries by planting new churches and supporting full time interns for the church.  The most recent two sent out are Moscow, Russia and Metro Manila, Philippines.  My boyfriend actually went with the Metro Manila team this past Monday and will be there long term, and a large amount of close friends of mine went to Moscow this past December.  As dear as both of these teams are to my heart, we also have many more plantings around the world that are supported by this fund.  In addition to that, Johannesburg, Cairo and Hong Kong are on the map for the next couple of years.  These aren’t just short-term trips, but many people go on these teams with intentions of never returning to the states, or being gone up to a year.  It is also in my hopes to be able to join the Manila team eventually, but for the time being I will continue to work hard to further God’s kingdom in Long Beach, particularly at Cerritos College.

Johnny being sent out

Johnny being sent out

Manila Mission Team

Metro Manila Mission Team

Manila Mission Team Sendoff

Metro Manila Mission Team Sendoff

Moscow Mission Team

Moscow Mission Team Sendoff (December 2014)

Now, you may be wondering why I’m bringing this up.  See, we’re trying to raise over $30,000 in our congregation alone, and all help is appreciated.  It’s not an easy undertaking, but by the grace of God we’re over halfway at this point.  Many of you have supported my endeavors in the past, and I’m asking again, pleading with you, there is a lost world out there and we’re doing something about it.  This project has been going since 2009, starting with Santiago, Chile.

So here is my plea, please help support us.  If you have more questions, feel free to contact my via email, Facebook, phone or even on here.  I would be glad to hear from you.

1 Timothy 6:17-19 Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.

Surely, in America we are much richer than those around the world.  I beg of you, please be generous and help if you are able.  Our shepherd, Lance Underhill has been hosting our gofundme account so that we have an easy way of transferring the money. If you are able to even give $5, please do.  Any amount will help.  http://www.gofundme.com/r8zbg8wc

If you have any questions, feel free to email me at Tori.lynn.wallace@gmail.com or ask for my phone number.
Thank you very much, I hope to hear from you soon.

To God be the glory.

~Tori Lynn

Happy Easter(?)

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I’m not that big on religious Holidays.  Not that I’ll protest them or even really express any particular dislike for them, but they’re just not a huge deal to me.  If anything, the day after them is really when everything sets in.  How many people will talk about Jesus’ birth the day after Christmas?  In this case, how many of the multitudes will study the Bible the week after their yearly “return to church” on Easter Sunday?  I don’t mean to be cynical, if anything I want to solicit a reaction.  Will you study the Bible, or will you just let this pass by like another event?

Romans 6:3-4 Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.

Even though Easter is celebrated as Resurrection Day, I’m continually grateful for the great joy I’ve had to share in His resurrection through baptism. Yesterday, countless people who never set foot in a church the rest of the year attended, many people who never speak of God posted scriptures on their social networks and talked about how grateful they are for the cross. However, in this time of hypocritical spirituality, very few are willing to truly study the Bible out and change their lives.

I’ve reflected on what the cross means to me, and it drives me to work harder everyday.  As the new churches are preparing to be planted and the Bible studies are picking up, I couldn’t be more grateful for the life I’ve been given.  If you’re interested in what I’ve been up to, an update is coming soon.  However, I would love to hear from you.  Make a comment, send me an email or even give me a call if you want to know more or just want to catch up.  Hope to hear from you soon.

~Tori Lynn

Drafts Need Endings

If I could turn these letters into coherent thoughts and tie the stars together to form constellations, I would feel much more at ease.  The truth is, I’m not really on much of a writing hiatus at all.  Instead, I’ve been collecting fragments and scattered ideas to form something that will hopefully make sense in the end.  I’ve been building deep studies and piecing together the puzzle of my heart.  It’s been a rather messy process and I think my hands have come out with quite a few cuts and bruises, but I’m excited about the outcome of it all.

It’s much like cultivating an old garden.  I’ve been working the ground for a while now, but I’m finally starting to get to the end of all the rusty pieces and broken pottery.  Flowers are bursting forth, and it’s time to write their story.  My mind is full of eraser crumbs and scratched out ideas, but the horizon is endless and I can barely catch my breath as we dance through the sunset of this chapter.

Santa Monica Pier, March 2015

 

~Tori Lynn

Five Years

Five years ago, I started my journey in writing.

At times it’s been a skip through the briars, and others a hike through the meadows, but I think I’m finally starting to get a grip of what it means to climb mountains.  What I mean by that, is simply explained through the first Rule of Writing,

“Write to Discover.”

And while I could diverge on the other rules of writing, such as “There is no greater discovery than love.”  I would rather hone in on some of the less obvious discoveries I’ve made in my journey.  When I first started, my writing was sloppy and overzealous a best, I poured intense amounts of character into stories with no landscape and rants with no backbone.  Is this to say it was all pointless?  By no means.  I had to discover the follies of my thoughts and misplaced imageries.  The crusty wallpapers came down to reveal quite a different landscape of my own mind.

I’m rather certain that five years ago, I never would have imagined myself here, and by here I don’t only mean Southern California.  I had a rather dull view of happiness, thinking that it would be satisfied in finding “The” relationship and flying off to another country in glamour, letting God spill out His direction like shimmering jewels every time I doubted His existence.  I couldn’t quite recap the events or words that led to such a dream, but the glowing fields I painted in my head were covered in shards of glass such as depression, deep-seated hatred, ungratefulness, and a load of selfish ambition.  It’s sort of embarrassing to divulge the true state of my heart at times, but only through writing have I really been able to come to terms with it all.  Though I haven’t written near as much on here, I haven’t stopped journalling since then, and I’m at the point where I almost fill an entire notebook every month.

However, I’ve made many other discoveries as well.  Vulnerability has helped me uncover the wildflowers of my past, to stumble upon abandoned coves and open up brand new horizons that are awaiting their own sunsets.

I’ve been thinking a lot about how long I’ll retain this blog, and I suppose now is as good a time as ever to announce that there may be some pretty big changes on the horizon.  After five years of pouring out the treasures and thorns from my journey, I have much hope for the future.  I can’t imagine what has kept you all so attentive to these words for so long, but I hope that you find encouragement in this.

Romans 5:3-4 Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.

I’m truly happy.

The trek up the mountain of life has become rather challenging, and I love it.  The new directions and hopes have opened up broadened skies and I feel so free.  The truth is freeing, but it’s the kind of medicine that stings on the way down, and if you aren’t willing to take it, you’ll end up much like a child skipping barefoot through fields of glass, claiming them to be flowers.  Trust me, it doesn’t end well.

For the time being, I will continue to post my discoveries here, but don’t be surprised when bigger changes come this way.  Thank you for bearing with me! (Happy five years!!)

~Tori Lynn

Radiance

Psalm 34:5 Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame. 

Radiance is something I never knew before. At best my face would give adull glow, but since I’ve looked to him, I can’t shake it. When people tell me things like, 

“You look so happy!”

It brings a smile to my face, for I’m sure I do. I no longer have to wear shame on my face, because my God doesn’t disappoint. 

So if you aren’t feeling radiant, perhaps it’s time for an eye exam. Are you really looking to Him? Because my awesome Bible says that if you are, your face will never be covered with shame. And I can tell you, the moment you set your eyes on anything else, worse things than shame can befall you. Keep your eyes set on the One that can deliver you from death.

Ephesians 5:10  and find out what pleases the Lord.

~Tori Lynn