blast from the past


I’m not going to comment about how long it’s been since I’ve last posted because everyone does that (event though I want to)…

I’ve spent some time recently reading old posts and entries and it’s so nice to look back at different phases of my life and how I felt or what I was experiencing. Doing such creates a sense of thankfulness in my heart. I just don’t deserve what I have. What He has given me, and how He continues to pursue me.

A common theme I see is that Christ has carried me. He has carried me since the moment He called me, and as I reflect, there’s just NO WAY I could have survived without Him. He is good in where He has brought me and to where He is leading me. “All I have needed, Your hand has provided. Great is Your faithfulness, Lord, unto me.”

I am about to embark on yet another life transition. After May 18, 2012, I will say, “I’ve been a student for 20 years, and I’m finally done.” And then I move on to start working as a social worker. Just the whole concept of having a 40+ hour/week job, a salary, and full-adult responsibility…without the excuse of “oh, I’m a student” or “I’m still learning, I’m an intern.” Bizarre.

A new element I’ve invested in is RUNNING. Yes, you read this correctly. I am an amateur runner 🙂
My first race is Nov. 19…the LSU BCM’s Run for the Nations 5k. I did a practice 5k yesterday and was happy that I have developed the endurance to run 3.1 miles.

Every time I run (this is not an exaggeration, literally, EVERY TIME) I run, I think about Paul’s illustration of the Christ-follower running towards the prize…finishing the race. Sometimes when I run, I run out of enjoyment. And that is good and necessary at times, BUT if I simply plateau, then I will never get better or reach a higher goal. When I want to get better and increase my endurance, I HAVE TO PUSH MYSELF. Period.
When I want to stop at 2.5 miles, I tell myself, “No, Kayla. You HAVE to keep going. You don’t have a choice. And if you stop now, you’ll HATE yourself for it either later on today or tomorrow.” And I have experienced both…settling for the plateau and pushing myself. It’s difficult, and in the moment, I question myself it it’s really worth that much…

What incredible insight into my spiritual race?!?!

How many times have I settled into a comfortable plateau in my relationship and obedience with Christ? And I KNOW the answers…and I’ve experienced both facets of this in my relationship with Christ. If I am to grow in Christ, LOVE Him more and more with EACH day, REACH more people with His Gospel, then I have no choice. I MUST push myself.

But different from a runner training for marathons, when followers of Christ settle, or fail, or SIN, His grace is there to convict, forgive, heal, pick us up, and push us forward again. So, if you’re on a plateau, have fallen, or just quit running altogether, get up. He has everything you need to keep going and to get better…after all, it is He who changes us and makes us able to run. Thank you, Christ.

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. (2 Corinthians 12:9 ESV)

and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith… (Hebrews 12:1-2 ESV)

Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. (Romans 5:3-5 ESV)


One of many


It has only been 10 days since I have returned from one of the best summers of my life. It exhausts me to remember all the way back to that last week of May when training started for camp. It was really awkward to meet everyone for the first time. I had no clue that a team (as large as we were…33 on our biggest week!) our size would come together so wonderfully and do such great service not only in Charleston, but among ourselves. And trust me, this service did not come from within ourselves, but from the Lord, “who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us.” Eph 3:20

If I could fit the entire summer into one phrase, it would be, “God provides.” In every aspect of camp and beyond, God provided what we/I needed. From encouragement, to special teamers, to site supplies, to specific construction-ish professionals I needed for my ministry site (I’ll get to this later), to SALVATIONS, to food, to physical health…it was all there. At exactly the perfect time.

Our theme for this summer was “Connect” and one of the bible study lessons focused on the connection within the Church, or the body of believers. We focused on passages in Acts 2-4 where Luke describes the Church as being of the “same mind” or “having everything in common.” I would always DRILL into my students’ heads the importance of accountability and growing in our walks with Christ TOGETHER.

Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him–a threefold cord is not quicly broken. Ecclesiastes 4:9-12

Throughout the summer, it was a blessing to have my leadership team and fellow staff members when adults were difficult or nothing seemed to be going smoothly at ministry site or the students were all falling asleep during bible study. It was refreshing and challenging (in a good way) to have my brothers and sisters there to feel what I felt and understand with me, yet encourage me to step up or keep me accountable to pray for and with my students. I have learned that for daily ministry, in general, I need…WE need that threefold cord, that fellow to help us up when we fall or are about to fall. I need my brothers and sisters to help me up. Hear me? I need you, people!

Each time I would explain this to my (precious PRECIOUS) students, the Holy Spirit would remind me of my place back home. What am I to do when I don’t have my 33 member staff to keep my accountable?

My DD, Amy, told me this, “Bloom where you’re planted, but don’t let your roots get so entangled that it’s difficult when the Lord pulls you up.” What a faithful sister to remind me of my responsibilities. You see, my life isn’t at camp or where I might be this year or next. My life is and should be wherever the Lord has me for this season of my life. For this REMARKABLE summer, it was in Charleston. For the next 8 months (for sure, at least. ha!) it’s in Baton Rouge. Therefore, I absolutely NEED my brothers and sisters for this next season. I need you to encourage and challenge me just as I have been encouraged and challenged this summer. I know it’s also important for me to share the love as well! I will be surrounded by some AMAZING women of God in the next few weeks…including my roommate, new classmates, women in my church, and even more I’m sure the Lord will sovereignly send my way…as He seems to do 🙂

Every week, I would give the illustration of a broken ankle. “Ok, so, let’s say I break my ankle. What happens? (long pause…a few answers here and there) Yes! It immediately starts to swell, hurt, bruise. Why? (another long pause…then a few more answers) Yes! My body is rushing to the rescue of my ankle. All the blood and fluid rushes to the broken joint because my brain (which is located in my head) is telling my body that there is a part that is broken and needs healing. It works the SAME way with the Body of Christ! When we see someone who is hurt or struggling in sin, we don’t turn them away! No! We are to rush to them in love and help them, pray for them, lift them up, and allow healing to take place. Just as Christ is the head of His body (the Church), we are to obey Him and rush to our brothers and sisters ready to encourage, challenge, and love one other as we all need.”

This is how the Church ought to behave among itself. It reveals the glory of the Lord through His people. And it’s beautiful.

Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for a sincere brotherly love, love one another earnestly from a pure heart. 1 Peter 1:22

I am so thankful to have been apart of a summer staff where this lesson (among others) were worked out among us. I can’t wait to share other details from my summer. This post is one of many, and I look forward to writing them all in due time 🙂




No Condemnation


For there is therefore now, no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of Life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. Romans 8:1-2

A friend of mine and I have started a 40-day memorization/meditation process through the 8th chapter of Romans. Little did we know, the 8th chapter of Romans is a favorite for BOTH of us! So when we stumbled up on this gem, we said, “Why not?!” Scripture memory is NOT one of my strong spiritual disciplines, but that is still not an excuse to cultivate it, right? So far, I have found it INCREDIBLY encouraging and mind-changing (as it should be).

I love Romans 8 so much because Paul gives a thorough run-down of how Jesus fulfills the old covenant with the new covenant, and then he explains what that means for us who are in Christ Jesus. And he starts by saying that we are NO LONGER in condemnation. Isn’t that wonderful news?! If we, by faith, believe in Jesus Christ as the Messiah, sin no longer holds any judgment over us.

No guilt.


Then in verse 2, Paul begins to explain WHY there is no condemnation. Sin equals death (Rom. 3:23) and the law shows us that we have already sinned EVEN BEFORE we received the law. So, the law shows us that we have sinned and deserve death (Hell; the wrath of God). BUT because of Christ’s death (defeat of sin) and his resurrection (new life), He gives us this same Spirit of Life. Christ has FREED us from death and has given us life. His Spirit. The Spirit of Life. Sin no longer has any right or say-so in our lives. Our God is greater. Sin is defeated! Glory to God!


Kayla Ash, M.S.W. (Insert Position Here)


Decisions! Decisions!

I should be finishing up a project right now, but I just wanted to write a few words. I don’t even know who all reads my posts, so, this may go no farther than my own computer screen. As some of you may know, I am a Social Work student working on my master’s degree. Half of our education is in the classroom while the other half is actually out in practice. We have internships every semester that require us to put in 240 hours…and let me tell you, these are no easy-measley hours! But the opportunities are endless and the experience is one-of-a-kind.

Right now, I am an intern for the Battered Women’s Program and I do everything from crisis calls to case management to advocacy to referrals. Did you know that in the US alone, every 9 seconds a woman is abused by her partner and nearly 60% of homeless families are fleeing domestic violence. Also, Louisiana ranks #2 in the most homicides related to domestic violence and a woman will leave 5-7 times before making that permanent separation from her abuser. The things I encounter every week are mind-blowing and constant reminders of how sin has affected this world. Without Christ, we are completely capable of every form of destruction and evil. If I am honest with myself, I am mostly overwhelmed when I consider my responsibility as a believer to shine the truth and grace of Christ into these dark parts of the world. But I know that Christ is before all things and he sustains all things:

For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. Colossians 1: 16-17

I know that my encounters with those women and children are not by accident. I just pray that I can be bold to share the Gospel with them in every way and to offer the only satisfying comfort that comes from the Lord. My internship at BWP ends in May, and I will have another internship starting in August. And uh…yeah, prayers are greatly appreciated!

This past week, I attended a Field Fair for my internship next August. All of the agencies were there representing and I had some sort of idea for what I wanted to do…but after the fair, I am left confused!  I was considering medical social work, but am now STRONGLY considering school social work. I know that kids at school need SO much support, especially children who are at risk. They have no support system at home and when they come to school, they are looking for an outlet and an escape from what they experience at home. I want to love them, provide support for them. And most importantly, show Christ’s love to them and their families.

My internship for the fall is very serious because it is my last internship before I graduate. So, this decision is VERY important to my future. In light of this, I have decided to bring it before the Lord. (and you are thinking…”duh”) But seriously, when I applied for the internship I have now, I basically read through the descriptions and jotted down a few agencies that interested me. I don’t doubt for one instant that the Lord sovereignly placed me at BWP, and I am thankful.

Friday night, I opened up my bible to John and my eyes were drawn to a verse I had underlined. 6:38, which says:

For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of Him who sent me.

Further down, Jesus explains what His will is:

For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in Him should have eternal life. John 6:40

My prayer is that no matter where I find myself interning, I show Jesus to those I meet so that they might believe in Him and be saved.

I desire to follow the His lead on where I am supposed to be next year, and I am excited to get to it! Not long from now (just 14 months away!), you might be seeing “Kayla Ash, M.S.W. School Social Worker” on my name tag 🙂 Woohoo!

Consider this..


Oh, the great and mighty mercy of an All-Capable Father

That He gives rest to us as sons and daughters

Who without joy trudge, weak and weary,

Through the land. Oh, banish your dreading, fearing

And taste sweet joy as throne bells ring!

By the grace of Jesus-God, Savior, King

“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” Matt. 11:28-30

Operation: Uganda


I was recently given a book called Operation World. It is a guide for how to pray for all the nations of the world. It has every country represented in alphabetical order with all sorts of interesting facts such as population/sq km, percentages of different religions, political history, answers to prayers, and an even longer list of prayer requests. It also recommends different mission organizations that could be of assistance for anyone willing to go to these countries to carry the name of Jesus to the people living there.

The church I attend has partnerships with a few organizations in Uganda and takes trips there every year and a half or so. We receive updates from the missionaries in Uganda, so I was interested to see what this book had to say about this country. Here are a few facts:

Area: 241,551 sq km

Population (2010): 33,796,461 or 140/sq km. 49% of the population is under 15 yrs.

Life expectancy: 52 years

Politics: Under Anarchy rule until the late 80s when a “no-party” democracy was put into place.

Religion: Freedom of religion. Nearly 85% claim Christianity while nearly 12% claim to be Muslim. Of the 85% who claim Christianity, nearly 80% are either Catholic or Anglican. Roughly 10% of those who claim Christianity only do so as a way to say they don’t follow Islam.

Economy: Uganda is blessed with very fertile land and three growing seasons. 80% of the work force is agriculturally based, but because of conflicts in international business communities and the widespread of AIDS, poverty is a MAJOR issue.

Literacy: Only 68% of the population are literate and out of 45 different languages, only 18 of them have translations of the Bible.

Please pray for Uganda and the missionaries there. Pray that the Holy Spirit would unify the growing body of believers there and pray that He would send others to go and minister to and with them. Pray that they people of Uganda would not find a “religion” to suit their personal preferences but that they would find Jesus to be the ONLY TRUTH.

“Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.'” John 14:6