I’m out of commission.

I have mononucleosis. 

I have three weeks of college left until graduation.

I’m not gonna be posting on here for a while. Check out the blogs on my blog roll. They are full of good stuff.

Published in: on November 21, 2008 at 8:04 am  Comments (1)  

Be Thou My Vision

Be Thou my Vision, O Lord of my heart;
Naught be all else to me, save that Thou art.
Thou my best Thought, by day or by night,
Waking or sleeping, Thy presence my light.

Be Thou my Wisdom, and Thou my true Word;
I ever with Thee and Thou with me, Lord;
Thou my great Father, I Thy true son;
Thou in me dwelling, and I with Thee one.

Be Thou my battle Shield, Sword for the fight;
Be Thou my Dignity, Thou my Delight;
Thou my soul’s Shelter, Thou my high Tower:
Raise Thou me heavenward, O Power of my power.

Riches I heed not, nor man’s empty praise,
Thou mine Inheritance, now and always:
Thou and Thou only, first in my heart,
High King of Heaven, my Treasure Thou art.

High King of Heaven, my victory won,
May I reach Heaven’s joys, O bright Heaven’s Sun!
Heart of my own heart, whatever befall,
Still be my Vision, O Ruler of all.

Published in: on November 12, 2008 at 12:59 pm  Comments (2)  

He is my Strength.

So if you look at the time I’m posting this, it is super late. I know I’ve been talking about this a lot, but my emotions have been kicking my butt lately. So this evening as I was getting ready for bed, I opened my bible and read this:

My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. Psalm 73:26

He is the strength of my heart!

Published in: on November 12, 2008 at 1:04 am  Leave a Comment  

Check this out…

I have written a post as a guest on Everyday Mommy’s blog. It’s my confession as a former Christian culture junkie. Here is a preview: 

I try to dress in a way that shows I put my faith in God. I wear a lot of Christian t-shirts, because that way someone will know I am a Christian without me having to even do anything. It is like free advertisement. I also wear a WWJD bracelet, even though I know it is sort of old and corny! I think it is a great way to remind myself and other people to think about how Jesus would respond in situations that we may find ourselves in.

So click right here to head over to the Everyday Mommy blog to continue reading about my experience with Pop Christianity.

Published in: on November 11, 2008 at 1:00 am  Comments (1)  

Get Up!

Some time later, Jesus went up to Jerusalem for a feast of the Jews. Now there is in Jerusalem near the Sheep Gate a pool, which in Aramaic is called Bethesda and which is surrounded by five covered colonnades. Here a great number of disabled people used to lie—the blind, the lame, the paralyzed. One who was there had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, “Do you want to get well?””Sir,” the invalid replied, “I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me.”

Then Jesus said to him, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.”At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked. The day on which this took place was a Sabbath, and so the Jews said to the man who had been healed, “It is the Sabbath; the law forbids you to carry your mat.”

But he replied, “The man who made me well said to me, ‘Pick up your mat and walk.’ ”

So they asked him, “Who is this fellow who told you to pick it up and walk?”

The man who was healed had no idea who it was, for Jesus had slipped away into the crowd that was there.

Later Jesus found him at the temple and said to him, “See, you are well again. Stop sinning or something worse may happen to you.” The man went away and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had made him well. – John 5:1-15 (NIV)

I’ve been reading through John and I’m noticing things I never noticed before. Here we have a man who has been unable to walk for thirty eight years. Now this man has been hanging out at this pool for a while, because he says that every time he tries to go in, someone else goes ahead of him. Supposedly the deal was that the waters of the pool had healing power whenever an angel would come down and stir the water…but the deal was only good for the first one in and this man was never the first one. So that was his reasoning for not being healed. 

Jesus comes to this place and sees this man hanging out and learns that he has been unable to walk for thirty eight years. I think it is also important to note that “a great number” of people are at the pool. There are many disabled people there, but Jesus approaches one man. One. He asks him a simple question. “Do you want to get well?”

At first I was surprised by the response of the man. I’m thought this dude was crazy. Jesus just asked you if you want to be well. I’d be shouting “YES YES YES!” But this man says, “I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me.” Woe is me. I just can’t seem to get myself healed cause someone else is always jumping ahead of me. 

But here is the thing: this man has no idea that he is speaking to Jesus. He doesn’t know who He is. So, he has no faith in Him and this man’s response to Jesus is probably the same typical response he would give to anyone else who asked him. Jesus responds to the man by commanding him to get up and walk. At once, the man is healed. At that very moment. Jesus said “Get up!” And it was done. He tells the man to pick up his mat and walk and the man picks up his mat and walks. 

Let’s recap from this point:

  1. Jesus asks him if he wants to get well.
  2. The man makes excuses for himself.
  3. Jesus commands him to get up, take his mat and walk.
  4. The man is immediately healed, gets up, takes his mat, and walks.

This in and of itself is amazing. Jesus has healed this man! Why him out of the greater number of people there? He didn’t tell all these people, “hey if you want, I’ll heal you.” He healed a specific man, not because the man said “yes, heal me,” but because He commanded it. “Get up,” is a command. The man doesn’t think about it. At once, everything is changed. 

And so the man is going on about his business, carrying his mat because Jesus told him to do so. And what happens? OH! You can’t do that! It’s the Sabbath! How dare you carry your mat on the Sabbath! I love the way this man responds: “The man who made me well said to me, ‘Pick up your mat and walk.’ ” And he still doesn’t know that ‘the man’ was Jesus. The Jews want to know who this man is that thinks its okay to do this on the Sabbath. And the man doesn’t know because Jesus has slipped away into the crowd. But later, Jesus finds this man at the temple. Jesus finds him. He tells the man, “See, you are well again. Stop sinning or something worse may happen to you.” And the man knows that it is Jesus and he goes and tells the Jews. 

This is how Jesus responds: “I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does. For the Father loves the Son and shows him all he does. Yes, to your amazement he will show him even greater things than these. For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son gives life to whom he is pleased to give it.” (John 5:19-22)

Wow. God does the work through Christ, who will give life to whomever he is pleased to give it. We do not “heal” ourselves and there are many who are ill but God will heal whom He pleases. Ill isn’t the best word, because sin is not an illness. We are dead in our sin (Ephesians 2:9). Dead people only do one thing: be dead. I find it interesting that when Jesus asked this man if he wanted to be well, the man basically says, “can’t do it.” And he is right! He can’t do the work himself. He is unable. But Jesus gives the command and it happens. We are not saved of our own doings. It is God who draws men (John 6).

“I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life. I tell you the truth, a time is coming and has now come when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God and those who hear will live.” (John 5:24-25)

Published in: on November 10, 2008 at 11:56 pm  Leave a Comment  

Give Me All

Christ says, “Give me all. I don’t want so much of your time and so much of your money and so much of your work: I want you.

“I have not come to torment your natural self, but to kill it. No half-measures are any good. I don’t want to cut off a branch here or a branch there, I want to have the whole tree down.

“I don’t want to drill the tooth, or crown it, or stop it, but to have it out.”

-C.S. Lewis

Published in: on November 9, 2008 at 8:16 pm  Leave a Comment  

Dear Emotions, you suck.

Disclaimer: If you are a guy reading this, consider this your warning. You are about to read the emo-packed thoughts of a girl. 

There are times when I find myself overwhelmed with emotion. It always seems to come out of nowhere and then little things in my life are a bit out of balance and the emotions escalate. The smallest things will send me spiraling down until I find myself in tears, asking myself “what is wrong?” The fact that I can’t pinpoint what triggers these emotions furthers my belief that there is no source, but rather an allowance. I allow the emotions to take up residence in my heart and they make themselves at home and invite all their buddies over. Before I know it, I’m a complete mess. This is a problem. One, it sucks big time. Two, it is wrong.

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?

 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Matthew 6:25-34 (NIV)

Worrying is a waste of a time. Letting these thoughts feed on each other is destructive and takes the focus off of Christ and puts the spotlight on my shortcomings as I am incapable of ‘outdoing’ God’s will. For some reason I try to take the reigns of His plan by worrying about how everything will come together. This way of thinking is just wrong! God is sovereign and He is Alpha and Omega. This is the truth and my emotions are often a lie. So which to trust? The answer is obvious. 

“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable — if anything is excellent or praiseworthy — think about such things.” Philippians 4:6-8 (NIV)

Think about such things. How often I let the negative overpower the good things of God. This is something I must be constantly reminded of: to not be anxious but to pray. Why is it that prayer is often Plan B? It should be first! Don’t be anxious about anything, but in EVERYTHING, pray! Prayer shouldn’t be the last resort, it should be the very first action. But when the wheel of emotions is turning, prayer seems like a lost cause because why….because I’ve got the crazy thinking going of “I can handle this better than you, God.” How dare I think such wicked thoughts. 

I’m not sure how many ladies may happen upon this, but how many of you struggle with keeping your emotions at bay?

Published in: on November 5, 2008 at 12:45 am  Comments (4)  

True Excellency

“Christ Jesus has true excellency, so great that when it comes to see it, the mind rests there. It sees a transcendent glory and an ineffable sweetness in him; it sees that till now it has been pursuing shadows, but that now it has found the substance; that before it had been seeking happiness in the stream, but that now it has found the ocean. It is an infinite excellency in which the mind can find no bounds. Every new discovery makes this beauty appear more ravishing; there is room enough for the mind to go deeper and deeper, and never come to the bottom. The soul that comes to Christ, feeds upon this and lives upon it.”

-Jonathan Edwards 

Published in: on November 2, 2008 at 5:39 pm  Leave a Comment