Tuesday, November 30, 2004

And Then It Snowed

Yes, I am aware of life outside of my college. I just haven't been very good at keeping up with it. Thanksgiving was awesome, I got to spend some great time with my great friends, spent some time hanging out at the station, helping with their mailing, spent some good time with family, spent some very little time sleeping, and of course spent lots of time holding the babies. I ended up having about 4 Thanksgiving meals I think, so I'm a little turkeyed out for now.

It was such a huge relief to come back to school and know there were only 3 weeks left and then I could go home again. I hope to stop in Alec and see some of you peoples on my way home. I don't have a very heavy load up until finals week, which is very nice. Finals might be rough but I think I'll make it ok. We're doing lots of work in the darkroom coming up in Photography the next two weeks and that's a great thing to look forward to.

Other than that, I'm just enjoying having shorter hair and being reminded every day that God is sovereign and watching over me. His mercies are new every morning and His blessings are far beyond what I deserve.

Oh yeah, It finally snowed! I threw a snowball yesterday, it was wonderful. I like my scarves and red mittens.

Saturday, November 20, 2004

I Am Resting

When I awoke yesterday morning and realized it was Friday I said a prayer of Thanksgiving to God for getting me through the week. I remember praying late last Sunday night as I tried to finish 3 of my many things due this week for God to just get me through the week. I asked for diligence and enough rest. Good grades would be wonderful but just making it would be enough. So when I awoke yesterday morning I was so grateful for Friday.

Not only did I just make it through the week, I did it rather respectively. I received a 95 on my history paper, as well as a B on my history test. The rest of the tests and projects I feel fairly good about. Maybe when I get them back I won't, but for now I do.

Yesterday evening I was invited to the Bob and Mrs. Johnson's for dinner. Bob is a Older student and Mrs. Johnson works on campus. Which is why I can call him Bob and have to call her Mrs. Johnson. Anyway, they are wonderful and their daughter was home along with their other daughter and her family. We had a great homemade meal and I spent some time chasing 2 year-old Jacob around. We watched a movie and I left feeling so warm and loved. Today was super relaxing with some shopping done, some painting at the church, and a great Mexican dinner out with friends. All the makings for a great weekend.

And yet, tonight I'm listening to a song shared with me by Holly entitled "Jesus I Am Resting" and thinking how much I still have to rest in Jesus. The last month or so has been chaos, and lots of work so I didn't have any choice but to simply trust Jesus to get me through every day. But I still have to trust the same. It's easy even in the good times to be tired and let things discourage us. That's when I still have to trust and rest.

Not only rest and trust, but rejoice. The chorus goes as such: "Jesus, I am resting, resting, In the joy of what Thou art; I am finding out the greatness Of Thy loving heart."

So tonight, I rejoice in God's greatness and take joy in who He is. I hope you do the same.

Saturday, November 13, 2004

If Only I Were A Poet...

If only I were a poet I would write some ode to a research paper. Alas, I am not a poet therefore I will spare you any attempt on my part to do so.

I am in the midst of the throngs of writing a paper for history. Not exactly the way I would choose to spend my Saturday afternoon, but it's my lot nonetheless. I am planning on taking a minor break to teach Gianni to drive a stick shift. Which is somewhat humorous if you take into account the fact that I still have not mastered it myself. Ah well...my chiropractor needs some business anyway.

The sun is out in abundance here today and I am very appreciative of it. However, I'm still holding out hope for snow before Thanksgiving. It's a little hard to get into the Christmas spirit when there is no snow to be seen anywhere. Maybe some twinkle lights will help...hmm...

Thursday, November 11, 2004


I feel as though I've been allowed to briefly come up for air before being plunged back into the furry of the waves again.

I have made it through this week with alive but very much sleep deprived. As I sit here all I want to do is go to bed. Seriously, I might sleep for the entire Thanksgiving break. I have written several papers and projects, taken several brutal and one easy test, and managed to not die in the process. Next week is going to be worse however, and I hope to prepare for it by working really hard this weekend. Whether or not it will work is yet to be known. Although I am very tempted to simply sleep all day Saturday. But alas, the library opens at 11 and I shall be here studying away soon after. A very ugly looking History of Civilization paper is facing me for Monday along with a huge reading project for Counseling and another project in Old Testament.

Lest I sound like I'm complaining let it be known that I love my classes for the most part and am learning so much. But I still have one question to be answered, WHY MUST ALL THESE THINGS HAPPEN AT ONCE?! Ah well, it's not a conspiracy but sometimes it feels like it. Amazingly however, although I have been tired this week, I have seen God work mightily and sustain me through the week. I have not had strong claustrophobic feelings of not being able to accomplish everything, but rather have sensed God helping me through every moment of each day.

On a somewhat more somber note, today is Veteran's Day. I'm sure you are aware of this, but I thought I would bring it up myself. I'm working on a little something in honor of Veteran's Day, but it might take a while to bring forth to even blog publishing quality. It might even be Memorial Day before it's done, but this should keep you in suspense until then. I would like to take advantage of this very moment to say thank you to all the veterans and current soldiers. We have not forgotten your sacrifice, and for what it's worth, there is at least one teenager who is immensely grateful for your sacrifice.

With that, I shall return to my 100 pages of reading and hope to actually accomplish something of value this evening. Although my bed is very tempting. But we have a dorm meeting tonight and that is required attendance so I must stay awake until 11pm at least.

Monday, November 08, 2004

Friends In All Shapes, Sizes, and Stripes

Ah the guilt of posting when I have a huge paper and test looming over my head. That sentence means that this will be short and to the point.

I love my friends. I miss talking to Annymae...oh where, oh where have you been my dear Annymae? I know, I haven't called you either. Hopefully you're now reading this and overcome with guilt that you will now use to call me.

Seriously though, our friends provide us with a little extra flavor and chaos in our lives. We learn from them, we make mistakes with them, we go astray because of them, we experience joy, we have the kind of laughter that is understood only to those it involves, we experience pain, we experience loss, and we experience LIFE because of them.

Tonight it's comforting to me that as I sit in a very quiet library on a very small Christian college campus that I have friends all over the place. These are the kind of people that friends are made of. There are those long-time friends who call to check up on me and are awaiting my return at Thanksgiving. Yes, some of them now have husbands and babies, but they're still my great friends. I have a wonderful friend in PA that I've known for over 4 years now. There are times when we don't talk for several months, but we can always pick back up where we left off. I have a great gang of friends in Alexandria. Several of whom I'd like to keep forever. I have my best friends who are away at their own respective colleges. While the times may come and go, they're still my most trusted buddies ever. I've lost and gained their trust and they still love me. I have friends here at school. While we're still working out kinks and still learning to be friends, I do have pals. I have my parents, who are some of the greatest friends I could ever have. These are the people that make up my well, my me. These are the friends that we refer to do in our daily lives and that are always popping up in our memories and prayers.

So tonight I thank the Lord for you, my friends. I know I'm not great about keeping in touch more than once a week. Ok, every two weeks. But you mean the world to me. You've been there for me in the past, and I see the future as a lonely place without you. Thanks for being my buds.

Above all, friends may come and go, they may use us, abuse our friendship, love us, care more than we deserve, and oftentimes they may leave. Overall though, those friends that make up the "good stuff" in life are those who've been there through the good and the bad, and still love us. So here's to my friends who have stuck it out, and even those who haven't. I've loved, learned, and even lost because of you. I wouldn't trade that for all the Cherry Coke in the world.

And Annymae, Call ME!

Friday, November 05, 2004

Is Double Always Better?

There are approximately 150 high-school students on campus right now. They are here for the yearly choral festival which Pillsbury hosts. This is a great ministry and a fun time, but it's also a lot of extra people around. Some good things include better food in the dining hall and no assigned seating in chapel this morning. To be taken into consideration is that fact that this student body is only around 180 so in one day the number of people on campus has basically doubled. While this provides no lack of entertainment it also provides lack of sleep. Evenings tend to be loud anyway, but as a general rule college students are pretty much zombies in the morning. However I was awakened at 6:00 this morning by several shrieks in the hallway. Not a normal occurrence but a humorous one nonetheless. Ahh such is the life of a campus suddenly doubled in size.

I'm looking at a weekend filled with homework as the onslaught begins again next week. However I had several good talks with two of my professors yesterday and that was very encouraging. It's hard to believe but we all received our pre-registration packets yesterday for next-semester. It's so crazy to realize how fast the semester has gone. I'm very excited looking at next semester and figuring out my classes. Not quite as many freshman classes and I still get to take a class from Mr. Hudson. But there's still plenty of this semester to get through and lots of stuff to work on. So I'm off for a power-nap before work.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

The End Of The Beginning, Or The Beginning Of The End?

Bush has won. That is all I have to say. The beginning is over, or else the end is just beginning. Whichever way you look at it, I'm just glad it's over. Now we get to listen to people gripe about it and state even more ridiculous reasons as to why the country is going downhill. Ahh yes...freedom of speech.

I should be reading right now. For class that is. Better yet I should be letting the word of God flood into my weary soul. That isn't a bad idea.

Life. What a strange, wonderful, terrifying, and miraculous concept.

Monday, November 01, 2004

When We Blind Ourselves

I had a wonderful weekend at home. Lots of good preaching thanks to the pastoral candidate and lots of good food thanks to the ladies in my church. I left feeling as though I hadn't gotten to spend anywhere near enough time with my parents though. But I really did. I had an amazing conversation with my dad, one that I will not soon forget. That's all I can say about that. My mom and I had some good talks as well. Nothing earth shattering, but the stuff that builds your love for each other even more. I returned very reluctantly to school and feeling odd. I couldn't put my finger on it until this evening. And all I really even know right now is that I'm different. I'm not the same person that drove away from this campus on Friday evening. I don’t exactly know what the difference is, but I know it’s there. As I sit here in the library reading a well-known blog I’m suddenly struck by what has disturbed me for many months. I see mistakes I made this summer, big mistakes, and I ache. I read about what unfortunately is increasingly becoming the norm for our “Christian” world.

When I was younger, somewhere between 1st and 6th grade, my junior church teacher started teaching us about the blind community. She was preparing us for a visit we would have from her niece who was blind. In order to do that she told us as much as she could about what to expect and what life was really like for blind people. She told us in order to know what it feels like we should go home, shut our eyes, and try to walk around the house. I decided to try this myself. Unfortunately, my teacher had not counted on my mom having gone grocery shopping and in my enthusiasm to walk "blind”, I would go too far and step all over my mom's bread. Needless to say, my mom was less than pleased and couldn't understand why I would go around walking with my eyes closed. I was to embarrassed to explain it to her.

I tell you this story to draw some application for our world from it. So many of our preachers and Christian leaders are walking blind. So many of us are walking blind. All across this country “Christian” colleges are teaching students to continue walking blindly. Yet all we have to do is open our eyes. We are not truly blind but we walk as though we are. God has given us His word, and it is void of errors. There is absolute truth in the world. God is a God of love, but He is also righteous and holy. Heaven and Hell do exist, and are very real places. Human beings will be sent to hell, not because God wishes them to perish, but because they do not accept His plan of Salvation. The ONLY way to get to heaven is by believing on Jesus Christ. Not just believing that He existed/exists, but that He was fully God and fully man, He came to earth to die for our sins, which He did, and He rose again on the third day. He is alive sitting at the right hand of the Father in Heaven.

We so often talk about our “freedom in Christ” and the responsibility to be open minded enough to be able to combat bad logic. This is true, but we take it too far. I have been challenged before to move beyond my simple thinking of faith and really be able to defend it. This is true for the most part. As a Christian I have the responsibility to know what the Bible teaches and to be able to defend my beliefs. However, childlike faith is something that we should all strive for. I have heard the “reasoning” that a person is simply a skeptic that needs proof or that they simply wanting to be able to fully believe without reservation. Well, let me tell you about faith, better yet, let me let God tell you out of Matthew chapter 11.

25 “At that time Jesus answered and said, "I thank You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and prudent and have revealed them to babes (children). 26Even so, Father, for so it seemed good in Your sight. 27All things have been delivered to Me by My Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father. Nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and the one to whom the Son wills to reveal Him. 28Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30For My yoke is easy and My burden is light."

To have faith like is a child is something that we should all want. Yes, read your books, learn to defend your faith, and make sure it is right. But when you stand before the eternal God someday He will want to hear more than “Well God, it just didn’t make sense.” Have you ever prayed for faith? God doesn’t just grant us grace as Ephesians 2:8-9 says, but He also grants us the faith to believe. Not only is grace not of ourselves, but the faith to believe comes from God as well.

Tonight I ache for those who have chosen to be “blind” in this world. Those who have twisted the scripture or flat out refuse to believe that scripture is true no matter how hard it is to swallow. So what if we cannot swallow it? If it all made sense to me, I would either be exalting myself to God’s thinking or lowering God to my thinking. I pray for those who cannot find faith in God. I ache for those who go through life so consumed with their own lives and what God needs to prove to them that they miss the treasure of having simple childlike faith. I realize it’s not easy and that we have different personalities, but scripture isn’t relative. God’s truth applies to all of us.

So tonight, I pray that if you are seeking truth, that you will seek it in the God who is truth. I do not wish to say that I have achieved this all, or that if you are struggling with belief that you are somewhere lower on God’s pedestal. Just the opposite, you are the one God is reaching out to and wishes to welcome home. I struggle everyday. At those times, I must read the rest of that passage in Matthew 11. Not only should we have childlike faith, but when we truly come to Christ, we will receive rest. Our searching souls can find rest everyday in the truth that God is truth.

If we have received salvation from Christ, we are no longer truly blind. We can open our eyes and stop wandering blindly about this life. Let us forsake the imitation truth and really see the truth of scripture. Let us stop shutting our eyes and realize that we have an incredible gift of faith that we are trampling on in our blindness.