Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Happy Mardi Gras, People.

Yes, Lent starts tomorrow.
No, I'm not going to stay up all night doing the thing that I've decided to give up.
I'm convinced that Lent has turned into simply an excuse to party on a Tuesday.
I didn't grow up in a church that participated in Lent and didn't really have a chance to experience it for myself until my freshman year of college. Even then, I didn't really do it for the sake of giving up something for God, I did it because one of my roommates was Catholic and wanted to try out a bit of church tradition for myself.
Either way, I've decided to keep participating in Lent ever since, but my attitude around it has changed. As far as I understand it, Lent is supposed to be a time (40 days) that you spend in sacrifice of one thing or another that has the chance to lead you away from the Lord. Its an extended period of fasting, but not necessarily from food. My first Lent I somehow convinced a whole bunch of people to give up drinking all liquids save water, which was really hard since I was (and still am) addicted to tea and the chocolate milk in the cafeteria. Sophomore year I gave up bad posture (this was an inspiration from my friend Robbie, he always has immaculate posture). I don't even remember what I gave up last year. But this year I think things will be different.
I'm giving up being busy. I do a lot of things. Not necessarily that they are bad things, but I can get stressed out and forget to rest. We see that rest is a common thing in the Bible, and God even mandates it in one of the Ten Commandments (remember something about the Sabbath? Day of rest? Oh yeah!). I think this is a way that God wants his people to be well taken care of. If we were to just go running around like a chicken with it's head cut off all the time, then we would forget the Lord's goodness and how he cares for us.
So instead of purposefully forgetting to put things on my to-do list, I've decided that I will try to make it more manageable and stop looking at it every hour of the day. I've been learning recently that if we really want God to be moving in our relationships and growing us and others, then we need to have time in our schedules for God to "interrupt" our plans. We should welcome any divine inconvenience that comes our way.
So happy Mardi Gras, and an even happier Lent. May the Lord Jesus Christ bless His people!

"Return, O my soul, to your rest; for the LORD has dealt bountifully with you!" Psalm 116:7

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Meditate Please.

Richard Wurmbrand writes:
"Learn to read the Bible slowly, breathing rhythmically, with pauses to put in the correct accents. In this way you can immerse yourself in the spirit in which the Bible was written, and thus be able to participate in the Oneness which is its essence" (100 Prison Meditations).
How foolish I've been! For years I've expected my daily fulfilment of the Word to come from the five minutes I read while eating my cereal in the morning. I've been reading the Bible all wrong.
The Word gives instruction on itself. One must sit, think, reflect, and meditate on the words of the LORD. Psalm 1 says, "Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners;, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night (vs 1,2).
Pretty sure the last time I meditated on the Word was...um...never.
Sure, I've read some of it over multiple times, studied it, pulled out my Bible dictionary and commentary in hopes of understanding it better. Instead I've cultivated a habit of laziness and spiritual poverty. I've cheated myself of the very thing that brings me closer to Him.
I used to wonder why, when reading of conversion stories in the New Testament, my soul has been so unmoved. Certainly I have experienced this joy and redemption for myself, but why has it not moved me to tell others? Often I've marveled at the story of the Samaritan woman at the well. She experiences Jesus once and tell s the whole town. John recounts this story in his gospel: "Many Samaritans from that city believed in him because of the woman's testimony...(4.39).
Have I not felt the same spirit pull my wicked soul from the depths of Sheol? Have I not too been redeemed? How much more her faith is than mine!
I have been unmoved because I have refused to meditate on the precepts of the LORD. I have expected my cup to be filled with living water, all the while forgetting to dip it into the well.

This is from December! Oops.

I was going through my journal and realized that I hadn't posted this. I think its good, so here it is!

As I reflect back on the past few weeks, I started to realize that I've been crying a lot. Its not because I've been upset or sad, but because I've been grateful for the ways the LORD has been moving in my life. Time and time again the LORD's goodness has overwhelmed me and I cannot hold back the tears.
How good He is to us all! He loves us for who we are, the wretched sinner who everyday betrays her Beloved. I mourn over my sin and weep with gladness at the forgiveness I've found. The LORD is a God of redemption and love, punishing me with grace. In no way do I deserve any of the things which He so abundantly gives. I run and I struggle, kick against the goads, only to find they are keeping me on the narrow and straight. When I see my wounds, He is there to bandage them. When I sin, He is ready to forgive. When I run away, He waits eagerly for my return.
Praise be to God for the forgiveness of sin and redemption of souls! Shout His name with gladness, for His steadfast love is great!

Dear Fellow Blog Stalkers

Hello Friends,

I know its been a while since I've posted last, don't worry, good things will be coming soon. I just need some more time to think about all the things I want to say! I have a running list of topics I want to write on, they are just spending some time marinating at the moment. So for your fun and enjoyment, here are some facts about myself.

1. I have three sisters and we all have blue eyes. So do both our parents.
2. I love being a nerd.
3. I find useless trivia to be one of the best things ever. Also hyperbole.
4. I work at the front desk of the Administration and Finance office at SSU. The full time receptionist, Susan, also sits up here with me. She plays the same online radio station every day. Smooth jazz. Too bad they only have 12 songs that they play over and over and over...
5. I often enjoy asking people to tell me something I don't know when there is a lull in the conversation...its fun to see what they come up with!
6. Even though I am an English major, I really don't know a lot about grammar or have an extensive vocabulary. These are things I am working on.
7. Beverly Hills 90210 is one of my guilty pleasures. Also listening to Beyonce (please don't judge me).
8. I didn't learn how to spell the word "vacuum" until my sophomore year in college. Oops!
9. I don't like eating bananas plain but I really do enjoy them in other food (bread, pancakes, milkshakes, etc.)
10. My favorite punctuation mark is the parentheses.
11. I like to go to bed earlier than the normal college student (10.30 or 11) and then wake up earlier as well (sleeping in is 8).
12. I truly enjoy sarcasm, but my favorite type of humor is wit because it is subtle and you have to pay attention to get it.
13. I quite enjoy going to museums. It doesn't really matter what it is about, I mostly go to art museums.
14. I love Jesus.
15. My favorite comfort foods are biscuit goodie and stinky cheese casserole. Wright family favorites!
16. Cooking is one of my favorite things to do.
17. As much as I know this is completely against any sort of 21st century "I am woman hear me roar" type of thinking, I would love to be a housewife.
18. Aesthetics are extremely important to me. Sometimes I think I'm shallow because of this.
19. I'm completing this thing at work. I get paid to do this. I also get paid to go on adventures with Katelynn (one of the other student assistants). One of our favorite things to do when things are really slow is to sneak off to the Pub on campus and fetch nachos.
20. I really like to write. Sometimes I just sit around and think of cool titles for things and hope that something will come up from that. More often than not I just have a list of cool titles hanging around my desk/journal waiting to be written.
21. I will drive all the way from Rohnert Park CA to go to Leatherby's Ice Cream Parlor. It has been done on several occasions.
22. I really enjoy making strange faces at my friends. But the best thing is when they respond with an equally strange face.
23. I want to be someone who gives away most of the money they make off of their career.
24. I say the word "fabulous" far too much.
25. I am an unashamed blog stalker. Also I stalk people on Facebook. Its just a sign of affection.