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Showing posts from 2012

Love Does at Christmastime

“You don't need a plan; you just need to be present.”  Bob Goff
I have been ready to come home since August. Not typically the homebody type, this longing to just sit on my own couch and tell jokes with my siblings was a new one. Don't get me wrong; I love my family! I think for a while I just relied too much on my love for independence as well.
The semester flew by. Lots of changes and challenges came with the new season but nothing was stirring or pushing me outside of my comfort zone. You know that feeling when everyday is routine? 
When sometimes you go to sleep at night unable to recall anything you may have done purposefully that day...
That thought plagued me. I was diving into The Word more, engaging in wonderful, beneficial conversations, stretching myself to draw closer to my grandma, but where was my heart? I think sometimes we get so caught up in the by-products of our faith that sometimes we neglect the Creator who in fact wants to hear from us. 
During this time my pra…

Love Does Part 2/of x

“What I noticed, though, is almost every time I type the word love, it gets changed to the word live… I learned that fully loving and fully living are not only synonymous but the kind of life that Jesus invited us to be part of.” 

So this week whether we are headed to work, to class, to the grocery store, the gas station or home; what is one area that you can take a step in? IF love really does characterize and manifest itself in action, where can love compel to you offer a kind hand or word, or quietly do a deed? When we ask God to show us and then we keep our eyes open, it doesn't fail to become clear.

"In the end, love doesn't just keep thinking about it or keep planning for it. Simply put: love does. Whimsy is a lot that way–it needs to be fully experienced to be fully known.  Whimsy doesn't care if you are the driver or the passenger; all that matters is that you are on the way. You see, God usually chooses ordinary people like us to get things done. "

Love Does Part 1 of #we will see how many#

“Breathe in thankfulness like you’re chain smoking it; breathe out hope”
-Bob Goff, Love Does

There is nothing too great in this world to keep us from living a life characterized by love. There is no trial too great that God will not walk through it with us. There is no pain to great that God will not heal. There is no devastation too great that God cannot be given glory. 

But how do we recognize and remember this when trial, pain and devastation come? How do we show the Love that the Father has enabled us with to those around us that are enduring trials, pain and devastation? I think we start with thankfulness. 

Gratitude doesn't merely think "thanks". True gratitude is a deep, spirit-rumbling desire to express thanks. The expression is action- love doing. Maybe if we started by counting our blessings, the mountains and molehills of circumstances surrounding our dried out river beds of souls will begin to divide. We have no other options but to look to the clouds on the oth…

Being Real in the Kitchen

When I first came to school it amazed me how everything revolved around food. Maybe frustrate is a better word. Why was all fellowship centered around a meal? I still haven't answered that question; but I've come to believe that conversation begins naturally in these settings. It really is quite awesome when we consider it. 

Today my gma and I took to the kitchen. This wasn't our plan, but as I'm heading to sleep tonight I'm dwelling on how thankful I am to have a grandma that shares the same adventurous cooking and baking thrill that I do. 

She has had a rough couple of months and has been enduring more than I would wish upon anyone. Her attitude towards it all shines so gracefully. We've been blessed to be able to open up and talk about the things in our lives. Her 69 years and my 20 don't seem so far apart when I consider the uncertainty and fear that has crept into each of our lives. And yet, we can take to the kitchen and experiment to make Pork Pies, Ap…

Let me Be Real

Christ loved you and gave himself up for you. “Walk in love just as Christ loved you.” The command comes with life-changing truth. “Christ loved you.” At the moment when there is a chance to love and some voice says, “You are not a loving person,” you can say, “Christ’s love for me makes me a new kind of person. His command to love is just as surely possible for me as his promise of love is true for me. -The Chase by Jerry Bridges
C.S. Lewis says in The Weight of Glory, "we meet no ordinary people in our lives". There is an incredible truth in that statement. The lives of those walking across campus, ordering tacos in front of us, and repairing our car brakes....are not "mere mortals". These are souls all the more approaching the day when they too will meet Him face to face. Their stories are writing for them an eternal script. Perhaps they know God, but what if they don't? Perhaps we know ourselves that our lives here do matter, but what if we have lost sight o…

Let's be Real Story #2

My mom is a pretty incredible woman. The last four years she and the rest of my family have gone through some challenges. There were times I feared she would give up, lose faith. But you know... if there is someone who has taught me to hold on, she is the greatest personal example that I have. I'm hoping she sends me some more "stories" but this is a testimony to just a snippet of how God has blessed her and the setting in which she is in for this season.


Every Thursday I leave Monroe at 3 am and make the trek to the Hines VA Hospital in Chicago. It's a long and nasty drive because I don't like the CHI traffic. But the experience makes my week. I've tried to explain it but how does one put into words the feelings invoked by standing and selling for 6 hrs straight. It isn't the unbelievable sales. It isn't the fact that there are only 5 vendors. It's the people. The staff at the VA are so caring and so positive -- from doctors and nurses to therapis…

Let's be Real Story #1

Sharing our story isn't always easy. But the more I think about it, the more I realize how much glory God is given when we open up and show how God has worked and is working.

This November I want to provide a place for testimonies to be shared. One of my best friends since second grade went to a state school up North. She quickly became involved with an on campus ministry and has grown immensely. It's really neat, that for the same reasons I chose my Christian campus, to grow in my relationship with God, she chose her secular campus. When we catch-up on the holidays, it's really amazing to hear her experiences and all the ways in which God is revealing Himself to her as well and challenging her campus. Here is her testimony 2.5 years into this journey.


Jess M’s Story When I first heard about the opportunity to share “my story” I wasn’t going to do it. In a weird way I didn’t think my story was worthy of sharing or that I was in a good enough place to be sharing my life…

Every Hour

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Just a song that has been on my mind. The Selah version is really simple but powerful. Sometimes I think that's how our prayers are too. When we don't even know where to begin, if we draw near, He will draw near.

Lessons from Swimming

This weekend my middle school "kids" had their first swim meet. 

It is pretty hard to believe because nine weeks ago the majority of them couldn't even float. Now, nine weeks of practice...aka lessons later they can race freestyle and backstroke! The other strokes are still in the "learning" phase, but that will come with time.

For my kids, their first meet hosted by a team with national recognition both for their team and for their facility. This was an excellent opportunity to open the eyes of my kids to see what the sport holds. Never having competed, the three-to-four mornings a week that they practice is all they know about the sport.  I however, failed to inform my kids that the measure of their success was not to be found in winning, but in seeing how far they have come. My goals for these guys were to get them all to finish their races legally, without disqualifications. Their goals and the goals of their parents were to "win". 

There is a tremen…

what would IT look like

So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. 1 Corinthians 10:31
What a gorgeous day. Chilly, but gorgeous nonetheless. In lieu of my inaugural Friday posts, I actually have something "new" to present for consideration. It seems as though the events of the last few weeks lead to this next point: something that if we are to truly be known by God we must consider. A few weeks ago, a friend of mine shared that instead of asking God to totally work and change something in an instant, we should approach each day asking that God would reveal Himself in a new and little way each day. I haven't been consistent with that prayer, but this morning as I headed to work I remembered it. These are the thoughts that have followed.
What does it mean to live each moment in the fullest, all for the glory of God?
The world says "don't take a day for granted" and to "live life to the fullest". Non believers have taken the charge, by…

Stillness

"The sound of 'gentle stillness' after all the thunder and wind have passed will the ultimate Word from God."
-Jim Elliot

Where can you be still? When? The thunder and wind will pass. Have a joyful Friday.

Let me be singing when the evening comes...

Here is the latest attempt to put down my thoughts for you all.
Bless the Lord, O my soul O my soul Worship His holy name Sing like never before O my soul I'll worship Your holy name
Two weeks ago a friend attempted to describe to me what feeling God's love was like. Summing her words, when everything is stripped away, there is a peace. And it's just there...thick.
Perhaps you have heard that before, I know I had. 
The sun comes up, it's a new day dawning
It's time to sing Your song again
Whatever may pass, and whatever lies before me
Let me be singing when the evening comes

If you read last Friday's post you might understand some of what's going on, and related in a way. This week was definitely much calmer, not to say easier, but calmer. Uncertainty and loss still lingered in the air, but something remained...something think.
Her words came back to me over and over this week. As God revealed where He was asking me to change, what He wanted me to do next, I learned t…

Rainy Fridays

It's raining. A steady stream of heavy drops are falling and flooding campus. What was once just uneven terrain is now Lake Wilcat. For those paying the big bucks, they can enjoy the exceptional, innovative, and real waterfront experience this week from the comfort of their own dorm lawns.

It's a gorgeous rain, the kind that whispers after a long week. The chalk advertisements and spilled coffees are being washed away from the walkways. I can see the power behind a slope, but after walking back to work following chapel, I saw the power behind the water washing away these things. It's simply beautiful.

This week I have experienced God in a very different way. When I didn't think I could feel God, I knew an incredible sense of His presence. I learned, in some small way, the effect that the enemy can have in our lives when we get stuck in our times of pity, loneliness, or worry. These are not of God. But I don't think I ever understood how much footing that gives the …

Tucked Away

Tonight after reading I noticed that my Bible is stuffed with old papers. Not really sleepy, but knowing I should head to bed, I decided to sift through some of the crinkled sheets. Tucked away, I found a typed outline of my testimony. I vaguely remember giving this at youth group more than three years ago now. Wow, time flies. 
Here is the last chunk. Most of what I'd typed were just bulleted points to touch on, but the last bullet is completely typed out. Maybe I wanted to make sure I didn't forget anything about that particular point.
God is continuing to work and reveal plans. In Jeremiah He says He knows the plans. We just need to trust in Him. God works in His timing and for the good of those who love Him. That's hard for us to accept sometimes- especially when we don't like people to know how we are broken or struggling. But through all my ups and downs I've learned God is a constant and does amazing things. He will use whatever circumstances for His glory.…

As a New School Year Begins...

there are lots of questions to consider. Questions regarding career paths, major selection, grad school options, friendships, goals and priorities can seem overwhelming. It seems as though they all fall in our lap at once and at times that are rather inconvenient: beginning of the semester, middle of the semester, and end of the semester. Can you sense the pattern? Yeah, just about anytime things get busy and "deadlines" draw closer you can expect an anxiousness. 

One thing I've learned this summer, among quite a few things, is that God is always working. It's just a matter of whether or not we are seeking with our whole self, becoming susceptible to plans that may not be like we imagined, while all the more realizing they are better than what we've planned for ourselves.
I've always thought I needed to have my major figured out so that I can correctly chose a career path that would begin by such-and-such time so I can be earning a living in my young 20s, indep…

Restless

It's one of those nights where all you do is toss and turn. I have a habit of going to sleep early when I'm stressed or worried....maybe that's why I can't sleep anymore tonight. I dont want this page to become like my journal, so I hope what I share is beneficial for you, encouraging at least.

With that in mind, I'm posting an entry rather than staring at the ceiling till the sun comes up.
There have been four big things are on heart in the last year and a half, some even longer so than that. 
I'm certain you've felt this way before, where you know you are supposed to do something and you don't. In one or two of these heart burdens I'm finding myself frightened of the costs to be "faithful with the little" I should do. The other two burdens are slipping from beneat my control. 
I think the former's the more dangerous, but if you're like me, the latter is more discouraging and distracting. We like control; we like knowing everything is…