Saturday, August 29, 2009


Ramadan started a week ago. although this post is belated in informing about the commencement of the event, maybe you already knew and this is simply a reminder.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

two weeks

i have about two weeks until i migrate south for the last time, God willing. again, i leave the comfort of family, life-long friends, and seventy-degree weather for the world of academia and dry heat without air conditioning. my feelings are more mixed this year than every before, even though i have done this four times previously.

this summer has been incredible! i went to rwanda, africa to kick it off. i learned tons about what grace doesn't look like and what it means to serve God in rough times and areas. then, i went to palm springs for resolved, heard john piper preach and the Holy Spirit speak volumes into my life. next came alaska and washington on a cruise. lesson learned here was that i get sicker than i ever thought on boats, with no regard to size. then came a job working with an elderly jewish woman. i've learned about grace through this position and i hope i am, at long last, no longer afraid to give a bed bath. a trip up to the deteriorating grandma's, my first best-friend's wedding and off campus came next. the ideas of grace and a well-lived life for the cross were emphasized like never before. oregon came last in terms of adventure.

grace, grace, grace

what a theme of a summer! through leaking cars, plane and car rides, carpel tunnel/tendinitis, four states, dad troubles, a broken computer, and just plain ole' days, grace triumphed all. i'm almost scared to leave this fellowship because i don't want the centrality of Christ and the grace found only through Him to leave the for-front of my mind.

at school, i will hopefully, enter my last year (PTL!!). even getting to this point is a grace of God, but with the hardest year yet to complete, some strange and painful ailment, and a good chunk of my friends graduated and moved on, what does this year hold? what beginnings and endings does the Lord have in store? what trials will i endure for His namesake? what blessings will i have the privilege of having so that i may glorify Him? shoot, i have no clue!!! but with some anxoiusness, i'll admit, i pray and pack, remembering and praising God for this summer and longing to do so in the future!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

hitting parked cars

maybe i have eye trouble or maybe i just gravitate towards stationary objects; whatever the case may be, i seem to have a made a habit of hitting parked cars.

when i was about six or seven and learning how to ride a bike, i decided to take the dog for a walk AND ride my hot, pink bike with a cute basket and training wheels. well, when i was almost finished with the block, i lost control of the dog and the bike, and fell into a parked car, leaving quite a scratch. the people who owned this expensive-looking red sports car came out and preceded to tell this already petrified six or seven year old that the scratch looked pretty deep and that they'd need my phone number to talk to my parents about fixing their damaged vehicle. sobbing, i headed home and had never been on a bike since. (the people called a few days later to tell us that they bought some cheap over the counter stuff to take out the scratch. thanks for traumatizing a young girl, folks!)

let's fast-forward about ten years and put a new form of transportation in my hands-a car. as a matter of fact, a red car, but it was far from a sports car. one warm, sunny october day, this seventeen year old girl was driving home from school on a very familiar street. she felt something quite strange on her face, realized it was a bee, and got distracted by this bee. before she knew it, she had air bags in her face and her car horn was blaring. later, she found had she had hit four parked cars and flipped one in her red ford contour. that street is still no my favorite to drive on and i don't like to drive with the windows down around a lot of flowers.

moving on to present day. this girl decides it is about stinkin' time for her to overcome certain gross motor milestones of old and learn how to ride a stinkin' bike! so, on friday, she gets on a bike and starts to pedal. it's not too bad since it's been so long. but with the mantra in mind (speed+confidence=success) she finally rides for a few feet and around the traffic cirlce. sadly, this slight turn gets her off her grove and the terror of old comes back. a car is just to her right and panic sets in. before brakes can be applied, control is lost and she has fallen into the bronze mercedes. "$%#&*!" she screams (oh yes, swearing occured). who cared about the abrassions on her body, it was the potential car that was of prmary concern. her sister assured her that the rider's body had actually hit the car, not the bike, so unless there was a dent from impact, there should be nothing to worry about.

welp, now this girl (obviously me), is getting the hang of riding a bike. after a near fifteen year absense, it's good to be back ;). not to make this cheesy in anyway, but it is truly by the grace of God that i got on that bike again, or that no one was killed in the car accident, or that the scratch came out of the car fifteen years ago. may He be glorified through this milestone "accomplishment."

next goal: guitar.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

the book that never gets old (part II)

so i finally finished the book of acts this morning. it took me a while to get through it, but what a blessing the account of our God working through such men in this book was! i also had the privileged of reading the last few chapters in a new esv study Bible-a grace gift, as i would like to call it. some quick take-aways:

  • -the esv study Bible rocks! typically if i have a question about something in the text, i no longer have to think about getting my concordance and maybe or maybe not looking it up. it's in my Bible, (27:35). so basically, it's the lazy-christian's Bible ;).
  • -when the apostles talk about conversion, it's kinda how we are taught, (at least i hope this is the Biblical model under which our model is formed). the apostles saw who they once were (a hebrew of hebrews, etc), then they say how they met God, (i saw a vision of the Lord), then they proclaim Christ and Him crucified and risen again, and lastely, the need for all to repent and believe. (26:12-23). I do NOT mean to oversimplify or fomulize the beauty of "conversion," but i DO believe that it is simple and seemingly effective, (but that's probably just the Holy Spirit, right? ;) )
  • -courage and boldness are often prayed for. the disciples and apostles know what harsh circumstances lay before them, yet they acknowledge the Lord and pray to be bold and courageous for His namesake.
these are just a very few things to consider and most of them you probably already know. the main takeaway for me, though, was grace. for it was only through grace that the Holy Spirit worked in these men and women; only by grace that they were given courage to speak truth and die for Christ; only by grace that their eyes were opened to the truth; only by grace that God intervened and sent the God-Man.

***side note: God is so faithful! i have been struggling so much with what grace means and what it looks like and He has answered that abundantely for me this summer. i still have lots to learn, and i think i always will, but what a place to start!***

i'm praying a lot about what a church, a body of Christ, should like. acts is definitely a guide to that, but it is more than 2:42, (not just cause i heard a sermon on that last night). i think it is made of up people who live out 20:24, (also, not fully because i recently heard i sermon on this verse, but in some credit to dave johnson, but most credit to the Holy Spirit).

"But I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God."

oh, that the body of Christ we be characterized by this attitude! when we, when i, can do this, then we can do 2:42. when our lives are nothing accept for Christ and being witnesses to His! words cannot describe the wonders that i envision! may we be transformed to be such people of humility and grace!