Monday, May 21, 2007

Loving God

I'm learning that I need to love God. I'm learning that loving God is all I really need to do. If I love God, then good things will stem from that. I am learning to love God. Loving God is what I need to do.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Ramblings of a College Student

As I am sitting at my desk with finals looming dangerously close, I am not studying hard or pulling all-nighters to finish learning about Catherine Mansfield. I am rather fighting off the urge to gouge out my eyes so they will stop itching from allergies. In attempt to not do so, I turn to reflect on some of the things I've learned since moving to college:

Studying is best done late at night when all is quiet
Its actually a good idea to study
Its not a good idea to take up a dare to eat nothing but cereal for a week
Living in community is hard
Impromptu dance parties are always encouraged

This is my roommates dancing (oh yes) on the couch. Constance, Ashley, Danielle, Ariel, and Emily

My bedtime has extended to 1 AM
God is a lot bigger that I ever though
Its hard to find a good church away from home
My laugh sometimes sounds like a machine gun
When your roommate (or you) says the room will be clean by Wednesday, she really means Friday
Don't walk around campus on a weekend night with a red Dixie cup in your hand-you will be accosted by the campus police
Don't star gaze late at night on a Saturday in the main quad, people will think you are passed out drunk
Its never a good idea to leave your glasses at home...100 miles away
Being real and honest with one another is hard and rewarding

This is Danielle and me.

Loving your roommates when its hard is a good thing
Not everyone likes the same music as I do
When asked nicely, almost any Freshman will let you use their ID to get into the cafeteria
Letters from people are defiantly a good thing
Its not a good idea to use air freshener when you will have an allergy attack
Four gallons of water come out of a sink tap every minute
The book of Daniel is a prophecy book
Pizza is a luxury
Moving out of the dorms is a pain in the butt
Avoid the CSA's at all costs
Quarters are like gold
Make friends with the people who work at Starbucks and you can score free drinks
There are no secrets when you live with five other girls
Caroline Ammann knows everyone and everything about them

The woman herself.

People will not like you for being a Christian
Professors will pick fights with you if they know you are a Christian
Movies with sex in them are overrated
Roommates will make or break your college experience
English papers can be written in an hour but it is not recommended
Its important to actually do the reading for class
Having a kitchen is a wonderful thing
Its funny to make faces at people when they are talking in front of a group of people
The 80's was a great to make fun of the dress I mean

The roomies again, we had an 80's birthday party to go to.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Good Gone Bad

Ever since I can remember, I have wanted to grow up and become a mother and a wife. I can recall all the way back to pre-school when i was standing in line to get back from recess, telling the gril in front of me (who was wearing a purple flower dress) that I wanted to grow up and be a mom. The desire has only progressed since I've realized that boy's arent' really all that bad and taht cooties don't exist. My dream has only been confirmed as many people from friends in high school to college roommates and even some people who I have just met tell me that I will be a wonderful mom. One time I have been told otherwise. A good friend gave me a 4 of 10 on the "Wife Scale." Other than the joke, my odds have seemed pretty good.
This is where reality kicks in. I've only had one boyfriend, a whirlwhind of a relationship that only lasted 6 weeks. Its been almost two and a half years sincec, and I'm still single. At times I've been so unhappy and I cannot even begin to count how many times I've told my roommates, "I just want to be married! I"m ready NOW!" It has been something that I've wrongly placed my identity in. What started out as a dream has turned into a monster of a nightmare that I can't escape from.
Things got to the point where I was only counting down the years until I was going to get married. My thoughts would go wild. I daydreamed about our first house and what our children would look like, what pets we would have, the list could only go on. I was living in a dream world that was slowly eating all my thoughts and energy. I liked it there. I like it because while I was there, I was my own god.
Over Christmas break I finally figured out that I was living a lie. I could not go on playing house, for it was drawing me from my relationship with the One True God, the one who actually deserves to be God. I was not placing my hopes and trust in Him, rather in a false idol of hope in my mind. Its name was Marriage.
I realized that I was terrified of the thought of growing old alone and unmarried. Why would God give me such a desire to be married and not follow through? Why would He want to torment His beloved daughter with a life of loneliness? I believe that my idol, like most that men create, was innocent at first. But also like most sin, it started out little and we begin to build an immunity to it, until we fail to recognize it at all. It is only when we are called out on it or when we realize it ourselves that things start to change. The way it starts is when we take something beautiful which the LORD has created and turn it into something which it is not, or when we use it incorrectly. I was using the idea of marriage incorrectly.
So in turn for repentance of my sins, the LORD replaced my fear of loneliness with a peace that passes all understanding. He gave me peace and trust, knowing that no matter if I marry or not, He is with me. A life with God can never be lonely.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

The God Who Suffers

Suffering has often been looked down upon. It is something that nobody wants, and yet everyone has.
It seems as if, especially from the Christian perspective, that if you are suffering it is because you have done something wrong to offend God or that He is trying to show some unmastered sin in your life. Where does this idea come from? Have we not learned from Job? Have we not remembered Paul's sufferings for the early church? Have we even been so blind to forget Christ our Lord? "Now my heart is troubled, and what shall I say? 'Father, Save me from this hour?'" (John 12:27) Christ our Lord suffered much greater than any other man, and what sin did He commit? How did He ever err?
Nowhere in all of scriptures does God promise us a life of wealth, happiness, and prosperity if we follow Him. In fact, He calls us to die to ourselves, to take up our crosses and follow Him. Our God is a God who will ask us to sacrifice ourselves for other people. In order to follow Christ, we must follow in his footsteps. These footsteps did not lead him to comfort, did not lead to temporary happiness, but to death, even the death on a cross. Surely there was joy after this, as Hebrews 2:2 states, "...looking to Jesus as the pioneer and perfect or of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him, endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God."
Jesus goes on to say in John 12:27 "No, it was for this very reason I come to this hour. Father, glorify Thy name!" Why do we not say the same? Father, glorify Thy name in my life. So often we treat God like a generous grandfather, who is once again trying to please his dissatisfied grandchildren. We ask and beg and plead for blessings, forgetting that we must endure temporary suffering so that we may see the joy in the aftermath. Who are we to tell our Creator what is best for us? Does He not know? Does He truly need our counsel in how to direct our lives? Aren't we supposed to be glorifying Him and not the other way around?
God rewards those who lay down their lives. Jesus is proof enough of that. But it is up to us, who claim to be followers and lovers of God, to live for His glory.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

The Hatred of Evil

Yesterday I was reading through Proverbs 8 and I came across verse 13: "The fear of the Lord is hatred of evil. Pride and arrogance and the way of evil and perverted speech I hate." As I pondered on the first half of the verse, I realized that I don't really hate evil. If sin is evil, and if I sin, does that mean that I can truly hate it?
Thinking upon my actions and thoughts, I came to the conclusion that I only hate evil when it is done to me or another person. So often I have turned a blind eye to when I am partaking in an evil and sinful act. How can I proclaim to love the Lord and yet still sin? Have I been so prideful? "Yes!" The resounding answer echoes through my head. By our fallen and sinful nature, humans are prideful and rebellious. It is only when we are called lovingly to humble ourselves before the Lord and admit our evil sins that we become holy as He is holy.
Let us lay aside our selfish, prideful hearts and grow in knowledge of Him. Let us allow him to reveal the sins we hold so dear, let us kill those things that keep us far from the love of the Father. For it is His kindness that leads us to repentance (Romans 2:4) and by His grace that we have been saved (Ephesians 2:5). Let us not accept this grace in vain, but live for others and work out our salvation with fear and trembling (Philippians 2:12). Let us consider our lives and align them ore closely to that of Christ's.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Wisdom's Call

"Does not wisdom call, does not understanding raise her voice? On the heights beside the way, in the paths she takes her stnad; beside the gates in front of the town, at the entrance of the portal she cries..." Proverbs 8:1-3 Wisdom does not call to the poor alone. She does not only delight herself in the elect. Nay, her words are spoken at the city gates, on the top of the mountains, by the roadside beggar. Wisdom, she cries to us all. She asks us to partake in her knowledge, that we may delight in the words of her mouth. We are invited in to listen to words that are true, words tthat will make our souls alive.

Sunday, May 6, 2007

God of Roses


I was on my way to class the other day and I passed a rosebush. Normally I simply glance quickly at the blooms only to continue on my journey without a second thought. But this day was much different than I had expected.
A question entered my mind almost the moment I stepped into the classroom. Why did God create roses? What is so special about them? It seems as if every part of the world, no matter how hot or cold, has a rose. Every major culture seems to have some sort of cliche phrase about them too. Is there significance in this that we are overlooking?
My mind could not focus on the professor. Psychology could not begin to compare with the mystery of the rose. It would not leave, it plagued me like a cold that didn't go away. An answer must be found.
Maybe God created a rose for us to ask the question why. Why would a loving God surround such a thing of beauty with thorns? Maybe so we can liken the rose to our own lives. Maybe God is trying to show a bit of ourselves in His perfect creation. Maybe it is not a mistake. Maybe we are all roses to the Great Gardener.
It is said that every rose has its thorns. The question is not how many or how large they are, but whether or not we are thankful for them. God in no way creates suffering in our lives, but He allows pain to enter so we may be refined. James says that perseverance through trials produces faithfulness and strength. Perhaps the amount of beauty a person possesses depends on the amount of suffering they have endured.
Think again upon the rose. Young buds have no thorns, only the weak beginnings of what may become strong, sharp obstructions protruding from the stems. As the rose matures, its petals grow in size, number, and beauty. Along with the beauty comes mature, thick thorns. The larger the flower, the seemingly more numerous the thorns become.
This leads us to another cliche: there is beauty in the pain. The progression is as thus: as children, we have all tried to handle the rose. Being blinded by the beauty of the blossom, we fail to recognize the pain that will soon occur due to the thorns. We reach for beauty, but we find pain instead. We have now learned a lesson, to examine things carefully before reacting for them. If we try to grasp for the rose again and fail to miss the thorns a second time, we are quickly reminded of our past mistakes. It is now time for us to take it to heart. A lesson was indeed taught, it now must be applied.
As we grow, we can remember where the thorns are in hopes of avoiding them. Sometimes they shift around, sometimes new ones spring up. This is simply a chance for us to learn again. When we are yet even more mature, we have learned where all the thorns reside, and also to double and triple check before reaching out. Our hands have grown tougher, the skin on our fingers thicker. We have learned to admire the beauty of the rose from afar, and to understand the purpose of the thorns. For with the thorns, we learn, in learning we grow. Let us grow in appreciation for the thorns, for they are what teaches us to truly appreciate the bloom.

Saturday, May 5, 2007

Sometimes I think I'm an artist...

This is the fan on the cieling in the Conservatory of Flowers in Golden Gate Park.

This is our friend Kim in some twigs.

On Love

Written 10-06

Meditate on this timeless phrase: All's fair in love and war. All is fair? I'm not sure if either of these things are true. It is common knowledge that very few things in war is fair. It is base, it is horrendous, it is complete destruction. If all were fair in war, there would be no war to have. If anything, the converse of the original statement is true: Not all's fair in love and war. Not all is fair in love because we treat it like a war. We fight and fuss, we are jealous. we are scared to see what will happen if our true emotions are laid on the table, pure and bare. We know that the love of God had originally planned for us as humans was perfect and true, but only a shadow of the real thing exists today. Yet when I think upon the grace that He has lavished upon me, I still fear to taste what he has so graciously set before me. I have tasted fear, I have tasted rejection, I have tasted bitterness. If this is love, I want none of it.
But God promises us a love so unlike anything we have ever experienced, a love that is true, steadfast, unspoiled by sin. And it still remains a swirl of sensations. What am I supposed to feel, and what do I feel? Scriptures say that perfect love casts out all fear. This is a love that restores me when I lose myself. This is a love that makes me realize that I need nothing else. This is the love that we should have for each other, a love devoid of anything but good. A love without the fear of defeat.
So maybe I'm a conformist. I never tought I'd become a blogger, but I guess here I stand corrected.

So I'm an English major and so naturally, I love to write (yes love and not just like). Pretty much its always about God in one way or another. I've been told by many people that people need to see my writing, and so this is a good way to do it other than just passing around my journal. Some of what will go up will be older, and I'll put the date which it was written on on the blog entry.

Here it goes. Another chapter of life. Another blog. Hope you like it.