Thursday, October 28, 2010

Busy, Busy

Well, I thought that when homecoming week ended that I would get some time to breathe. I thought wrongly. I'm not as busy as I was last week, but I'm still busy. I was up until two this morning working on a paper and studying for a test I have in about 40 minutes. I woke up sleepy, which I still am now, and not wanting to do anything. But I'm not as sleepy as I was this morning.

But God did something really cool for me today in spite of crazy schedule. On Thursdays I have class have at 8 a.m., have a break, class again at 11 a.m., another break, and then class again at 2. Well, my professor for my 11 o'clock canceled class today and so that gave me more time to read through the material for my 2 o'clock test. Our professor didn't warn us in advance how much there was to study. I know some of that is my fault, but I just haven't had the time to study.

Then, by tomorrow, I'm supposed to finish and then read again a certain chapter for a certain class that is 45 pages long. Not looking forward to that, nor do I know how I'm going to pull that off. I'm also going to a banquet tonight. Then I might go to some friends' house after that. I hope to go work out sometime today, and then I have to write a case study and a research report for one of my classes for tomorrow. I also have an interview today for a story I'm writing for the paper. I have another interview tomorrow morning; then I'll have class. After class gets done at one, I'll come back to the newspaper office and write three stories, maybe have time to go back to the room and chill, and then I'm going to a Halloween Party/Fundraiser.

So that is my life for the next 24 hours. Sounds like a party. Just pray that I stay sane, am able to carve out time to be in God's word, and that I can manage ways to work out and sleep. Those are all good things I need to do.

Oh, and I don't think I've mentioned this yet, but I'm finally moving off-campus next semester. I'm super excited. I'm living with some friends who I love very much, and I know my soon-to-be roommate very well. God worked it out wonderfully. And it will save on money a ton.

Despite the craziness of my schedule, we have three and a half weeks until Thanksgiving Break and then two more weeks of classes after that. So, we're past the half-way point. Yay!!! And God is helping me through every minute of it. More like he's getting me through every minute of it. He's so good, so patient, and constantly shows me how much he loves me. I love him so much.

Well, I must go to class and take my test.

Until next time,
God Bless

Friday, October 22, 2010

Putting me in my place

You know how every once in a while whether you want this to happen or not a pity-party just kind of sneaks up on you?

Well, that happened to me tonight. I know it's probably because I've had a lot going on this week, and I've been under a lot of stress, and once that stress builds up to a certain point, it needs somewhere to go. So I went and worked out for about an hour and a half and that helped. But I had plans on watching a movie with a friend tonight. That didn't work out, and when I found out it wasn't going to happen, the pity-party began. I had all this stuff I wanted to get off my mind and talk about with my friend, but she had been gone and wasn't getting back to her place until later than she planned. So I just stayed in my room and knitted while watching a movie. (My one month without movies ended a little earlier than intended.)

And then I got on Facebook and checked some messages that I had waiting for me. Earlier this week, I had sent out a few messages to some friends asking if they would support me on my mission trip to South Asia in January. Well, one of my friends from high school said she'd been praying about it and that she wants to give $10 a month until I leave for the trip. How awesome is that?

And with that message, God kind of jerked my attention away from me and all the petty things I had been dwelling on tonight and back to his awesome glory. He reassured me how much He's already taken care of this trip. He showed me how much He loves me.

I am so shallow sometimes. I think I have this image of God sometimes that He's mad at me or upset with me or doesn't want to show me favor because I mess up all the time. But that's not God at all. God loves me know matter what I do. He's not mad at me; He finds joy in me. He wants to be with me . . . all the time. He's not upset with me. I know He wants more of my time all the time, but He's not sitting in heaven waiting for moments to strike bad things into my life. The Bible says ask and by faith you will receive. I prayed the other night that God would show me favor in my fundraising. I prayed that He would reveal to my heart what He has planned for my future. I know God wants me to trust Him more. He wants me to keep in my heart constantly how much He loves me. God doesn't want me to forget that.

So yes, I did have a pity-party tonight, but it didn't last long. God put me in my place, and I am better for it. Satan finds little ways to get in our heads and psych us out about stuff that shouldn't matter, but in the moment does matter. But God has better ways of bringing us back to reality and reminding us of what truly does matter. God is good, all the time, rain or shine, no matter what.

Until next time,
God Bless

Monday, October 18, 2010

South Asia Bound

In January of 2011, I will be returning to South Asia for a two week long trip with my church in the town I go to college in. We will be working with a church planter, sharing the gospel and ministering to a widow's colony.

The team consists of six individuals including myself. Each person on the team is responsible for raising $2,000.00. This is high due to fuel and food costs.

If you or anyone you know of would like to help me go to South Asia, please leave a comment on my blog with your email address, and I will email you more details about how to donate.

The donation is tax deductible, so keep that in mind.

More importantly, God's word will be spread even further with any little donation you can give.

God Bless.

21 Anyone?

So 21 is finally here. Today is my birthday. It's kind of funny though how the older you get birthdays seem to be less of a big deal. Maybe it's because this is my 21st one of these suckers. Or maybe it's because I've realized that even though, yes, today I am 21, it doesn't mean life revolves around me for a day. Life is still about God.

Our society implants this lie into our heads that on our birthday we should be pampered and praised. And don't get me wrong, it's nice to have people tell me "Happy Birthday," but shouldn't the praise go to God? He's the one who's got me through these 21 years. If it weren't for Him, I wouldn't be where I am today. He has blessed me more than I could ever imagine.

So today is not about me. Yes, it is my birthday, but praise God. Praise God that he has seen fit to let me live this long. Praise God that, by faith, He has more years for me to live. I wouldn't be having a birthday if weren't for God.

So 21, what's next?

Friday, October 8, 2010

Fighting Back

(Warning: this is a long post.)

I posted a few days ago that I was giving up television and movies for a month. So far, it's been a week since I've watched any serious TV or watched a movie. Sometimes if I'm at someone's house, they'll have the TV or something, but I make a point not to focus on it or engage in conversation with someone. Tonight, I really wanted to watch a movie with my roommie, but we ended up walking around campus instead. It was so much fun. And it's amazing how much one can get done, especially homework, when one is not glued to a computer or TV screen.

When I returned from the retreat this last weekend, God showed me so much in my life that needs to change. A lot of it can change with my actions, but a lot with my though processes as well.

I know a lot of people in my stage of life, thinking about the future and all, we want to make sure the choices we make fall into the will of God. But think about that statement. God's will for our lives has been in place since the beginning of time. He knows what we're going to do every day for the rest of our lives. Tons of ideas bounce around in my head concerning a career and the future. I could graduate and get a job teaching high school English. I could stay in school and get my master's degree. I could teach English overseas and use that as a mission opportunity. So many options lay before me, but I'm not worried about what I'm supposed to do. God has it already figured out. He just wants me to pick one. The speaker at our retreat last weekend made a good statement. He said that God isn't so much concerned about geography, but that we have a heart willing to go anywhere.

Our speaker also talked about marriage a lot, go figure, since he does a lot of marriage counseling. He talked about how so many young people are worried about whom God has for them to marry. But we shouldn't, nor do we have any right, to worry. God already has that person set in stone. He knows who it is. What we should focus on, instead of that person we've never met, is ourselves. We should be focusing on becoming the person of God we are supposed to be for that person God has for us. Yes, we can pray for our future spouses and ask that God prepares them for marriage, but worrying about them is not going to change anything. What we can change are our sinful ways.

Some of the practical applications that really touched me were how much time and money I spend on myself. I haven't gone shopping as much as I used to. It's just so hard for me to spend money on myself, especially for clothes and things I don't need, when kids starve all over the world and they have nothing. I have enough clothes; I have enough food; God has blessed me with everything I need. So cutting back on spending is really one that spoke to me. Another was the whole TV and movies thing, which I had already given up for one month.

One thing the speaker said that stood out to me was "Fall in love with making other people happy more than yourself." How often do I live by this? How often do I lay my own selfish desires at the feet of the cross and serve others?

One opportunity God has provided for me to serve is tomorrow. An organization will be at our local YMCA called Convoy of Hope. They set up and allow underprivileged families the chance to come in and receive free dental work, free photographs, free haircuts, free food, a chance to hear the gospel and a place for kids to lose their minds and go crazy. So I'm helping with the kids zone tomorrow from 7-4. I'm excited. It will be fun to get more involved with the people of this community.

And another way God has allowed me to serve is that I'm returning to South Asia this January. God is so infinitely good. When I found out this past week, I just wanted to cry with joy. I had a pretty good hunch I would get to go, but when I got the okay, I was ecstatic.

But with all these changes with my actions and my thought and prayer life, I've felt the heat from the enemy. One day this past week, I was in one of my classes, and I was a little frustrated just because of certain things taking place. When I returned to the dorm, I was just so upset and I ended up calling my dad. He had me talk through what was going on, and he made me feel a lot better. I was blowing a little bitty problem out of proportion, and by the time I had that class later in the week, it was much better. I've been extraordinarily busy with the paper and trying to get articles and interviews done, but I'm also thankful for this job. I've met so many people through interviews that I never would've elsewhere. I'm on staff with nine other Christian girls who are so fun to be around and so uplifting. We really do have a fun time in that office.

So yes, the old saying that when you grow closer to God, Satan fights a little harder. Well, I can fight back too. I can fight with prayer and getting in the Word and surrounding myself with people who can encourage me. I've been able to really plug in with my church and my college pastor and his wife. His wife and I have been able to hang out more, and I'm teaching her how to knit so that has allowed us to bond there as well.

Next weekend I'm going home to celebrate my 21st birthday. That just DOES NOT seem possible. I'm bringing one of my best friends home with me, and I'm super stoked. She's amazing and she makes me laugh so much. God has truly blessed me to put her in my life.

So yes, life is busy and crazy and classes are hard and I have a ton of work due this next week, but God is so good. He's absolutely amazing, and if he's taught me one thing this past week, he's taught me that He is enough above all else. He loves me more than I can ever imagine, and I desire to love him even more.

Well, now that I've written half a book, I'll bid you goodnight.
God Bless.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Dying to Self

This weekend I'm going on a fall retreat with the church I attend. It's a college retreat, and it's the first of anything like this I've ever gone on, with college students anyway. I can't wait to see what God is going to do. I've learned so much already this semester from college Bible study, Sunday sermons, life groups, and my personal time with God, that I know God is going to do great things this weekend.

One thing God has constantly been hammering into my heart and head is the verse in Luke 9:23. It says, "If any one would come after me, he must deny himself, take up his cross daily and follow me." Deny himself. Not sort of, kind of deny himself, but wholehearted denial to the flesh. Andrew Murray, one of the most awesome authors of his day, says it like this, "We are either denying self or denying Christ." I don't want to deny Christ. Peter denied Christ three times, and until he came to the end of himself, he didn't truly realize what dying to self meant.

I think I've heard the phrase "take up your cross daily" my whole life, but never until now have I understood what it means. It's just another example of how we die to self. Jesus took up his cross and died for our sins. When we take up our crosses, it should be to die to our sins as well, every single day.

Lately, it seems my days are so routine, routine with busy schedules for work and school, but still routine. I've also noticed that I spend too much time watching TV shows and movies. Well, God spoke to me the other day. I was reading an article at, a wonderful site by the way, and it just hit me so hard how much time I waste. I could spend that time in the Word or ministering to others. Yet I sit on my butt watching things that most of the time aren't even that great. So I've decided to go a month with no TV and no movies. Yeah, it seems a little over the top, but this needs to happen. I started this adventure two days ago, and I will be sure to let you know how it proceeds.

God has called me to more than just the mediocre Christian existence. I don't want to look back on this part of my life when I'm 45 and wonder what happened. I don't want to just go to church and play "Christian." God keeps telling me over and over again, "It's not about you." Something will happen with school work, "It's not about you." I'll get stressed over the newspaper, "It's not about you." I'll find that I haven't had quite as much sleep as I had wanted, and I'm a little cranky; "It's not about you."

This is not an easy lesson to learn, especially in a culture that tells us every day that life is about us. But Jesus did not come to the earth for himself, and we are to live a life that mirrors his, then our existence here should not be about ourselves either. You can't get around that.

So as I go on this retreat this weekend, I hope God just rocks my world. I know he will because I have the faith that he will. He's such a big God.

If you don't mind, I have a few things you can pray about this weekend:
1. Pray that the students going on this retreat will see God move and hear his voice in a way they never have. Pray they are open to the Holy Spirit and what He wants to do in their lives.

2. Pray for me because I kind of have the whole nasal/sinus inflammation thing going on, and I don't want to get worse over the weekend. I'm also leading a small group over the weekend, so pray that God equips me for that.

3. I know God has called me to return to South Asia, and I'm hoping it's in January. Our college pastor hasn't given us a final team list yet, but pray that if it is God's will, I would be able to go. That place has a hold on my heart, and I'm ready to go.

God Bless