Sunday, April 30, 2006

There's nothing like trying to write a paper when your mind is in a hundred other places...

I found out tonight that my great uncle died of a heart attack this morning in the shower. It's weird because I haven't had the chance to spend a lot of time around him...he's my grandma's brother and so we only have seen him at family reunions and some holidays. He was such a wonderful man, though, because he (and his wife) were always SO nice and SO dear to us...we aren't even their grandkids but they love us so much. He was so jolly and friendly and upbeat. He loved family and tradition...and that meant a lot to me.

My grandpa just got out of the hospital and is feeling pretty weak. I love him and my grandma so much. It's sobering to think about my uncle Bob just dying so suddenly...and it makes me want to hold my family so much more closer than I already do. I love them so much.

Anyway...I talked with my family for a while about that...and about this other lady in our church who is in the hospital with cancer. She was doing better for a while but now she is dying. She has a 12 yr old son and a 16 yr old daughter. It's really sad...

And then there was the bad car accident at Taylor University this week and many who died...

Life is a vapor. Father, help us not to waste it. Lord, may we make you our treasure and take your calling and prompting seriously. Teach us to love well.

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Cheese and Apples.....Mmmmm is 12:46 am on Saturday and I have two papers to write by Monday. Huh. Not such a good thing...But its ok. I am going to stay up late tonight (well, LatER) and get as much done as possible before bed. Speaking of bed, mine is definitely calling my name. Sigh...

I had the most wonderful snack of REAL cheese and an apple. YUM! It's one of my favorite snacks :) Now I am listening to Conspiracy Among Friends--Anthem and drinking coffee. Maybe it will help me stay awake? Hopefully, I'm fading fast. This is the last big push, though. After Monday things will get easier. Sure, I have finals but I will have plenty of time to study for them...and no other extra homework.

Anyway. I need to get working. Hope you all have wonderful, restful nights ;)

Oh! P.S. I had my last Sundahl seminar on Thursday. It was weird...its weird to be experiencing these "lasts" now. Sigh...I really enjoyed that class. I really enjoyed having Dr.Sundahl. Here's a picture of our small seminar. Fun group!! :)

Friday, April 28, 2006

Giving Part of Myself Away

"Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket--safe, dark, motionless, airless--it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable." C.S. Lewis (The Four Loves)

What does it mean to love? What does it mean to be loved? It's painful to be vulnerable...its also really wonderful.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Classes that will most likely be in my schedule next year...

MS-100–100 Spiritual Life and Community ............................... 3
MS-100–101 Introduction to Disciplemaking ............................ 2
MS-100–102 Studying and Teaching the Bible ............................ 4
MS-100–103 Christian Missions .................................................. 3

BI-200–270 Life in Bible Times ............................................. 3
BI Bible electives ................................................................... 6

MI-100–106 History of American Urban Diversity ....................... 3
MI-200–208 Urban Issues and the Church ................................... 3
MI-200–216 History and Theology of Urban Ministry ................ 3

MI-100–174 Jewish Culture and Communication .................... 3
MI-200–217 Contemporary Jewish Literature .......................... 3
MI-200–272 Jewish History ........................................................ 3

MI-200–206 Cultural Anthropology (Social Science elective) ......................... 3
MI-200–231 Introduction to Linguistics (language requirement) .................. 3
MI-200–232 Phonetics (language requirement) .............................................. 3

Wow. I'm really excited!

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Keeping with the Music of Derek Webb...

"After ten years in a Christian band, backstage in the music industry and in the hallways of Church buildings across America, my attention as a songwriter has turned to a fresh affection for the Church. it seems we know all too little of who She is, how She should dress, or what She was made for. I have found that Scripture is provocative when it comes to these issues and so these songs are not for the faint of heart. Truth is, God would rather die than be without Her, and she is both wretched and radiant. I'm convinced that there is only one righteousness suitable for Jesus' Bride, and He is jealous for her love. For the believer, truth is freedom. Even truth that is hard to hear. May these songs stir all of us to see, as if for the first time, that we have (still) a great need for a Savior, and a great Savior for our need." (From his album "She Must and Shall Go Free")

I've been thinking about the role in the Church, my duty to the Church, my pleasure in the Church--what it means to be Christ's bride. I've been thinking about the condition of the I can be used, what I can do, where I can go, how I can help administer change. I've been thinking about the Church's a body and unit, in America, in the World, how it ought to preach the Gospel more to much I am in need of hearing the Gospel every minute, every day. He is jealous for my am I living? Is He my treasure? Is He my pleasure?

This song is really beautiful. It is blatant and convicting...

THE CHURCH (by Derek Webb)
i have come with one purpose
to capture for myself a bride
by my life she is lovely
by my death she’s justified

i have always been her husband
though many lovers she has known
so with water i will wash her
and by my word alone

so when you hear the sound of the water
you will know you’re not alone

‘cause i haven’t come for only you
but for my people to pursue
you cannot care for me with no regard for her
if you love me you will love the church

i have long pursued her
as a harlot and a whore
but she will feast upon me
she will drink and thirst no more

so when you taste my flesh and my blood
you will know you’re not alone

there is none that can replace her
though there are many who will try
and though some may be her bridesmaids
they can never be my bride

Monday, April 24, 2006

I Love This Song...

I Want A Broken Heart (Derek Webb)

i've got faith in the bank and money in my heart
i've got a calloused place where your ring used to be, my love
i've traded naked and unashamed
for a better place to hide
for a righteous mask, a suit of fig leaves and lies

i thought the cattle on a thousand hills
was not enough to pay my bills
and i fell in love with those who proved me wrong
and now i want a broken heart
now there's a great pad lock
on the place where i was free
and i'm feeling bad from swallowing that key
now i work real hard but i mostly call in sick
of a broken back from the ground fighting back at me

i cannot look you in the eye
so i check the knots on my disguise
'cause i fell in love with fashion in the dark
and now i want a broken heart

i've got alibis for every crime
a sbustitute to do my time
'cause Your heart breaks enough on both our parts
so now i want a broken heart
now i want a broken heart
now i want a broken heart

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Feeling a Little Funny

...i don't like it...

I am always on the verge of tears. I feel really overwhelmed and heavy...kind of depressed. I think its just because of all that is happening and about to happen in the next few weeks--all the work I have to do that I am not motivated to do, all the things I want to do before I leave but I am panicking about because I don't think I'll have time to do them all...

When I was younger and felt like this, I would tell my mom my "love tank" was empty. We would sit on the couch and talk...or I would cry and we would just snuggle. I miss it. Anyway...I think my love tank is empty...and I need a hug.

I'm trying to get my religion journals finished tonight. I'm not too far away...just unmotivated and REALLY distracted. I have had such a hard time focusing on my work. sigh.

I am up in lane in a classroom with a window facing the street. It has been raining and now the sun is coming out from behind the clouds--it is reflecting in the drops on the trees, making them look like they are dripping with gold. The new spring leaves are bright and looks magical.

Last night I took a walk by myself. It was good to think. My brain is on overload, though--thinking all the time. so I called my parents and talked to them while I sat on a bench in the quad. It was wonderful. Around 10 a bunch of us played capture the flag. It was so much fun...I love my friends so much. sigh.

Alright. I'm going to try to study some more. Oh wait. One more quick thought. Today in Church pastor Kyle referred to the verse in Hebrews about running the race and running for the joy set before. I had such a hard time focusing in Church (partly because I was so sleepy) and I felt really bad about being in such a thoughtful mood because I was so distracted...but this part of his sermon really captured me. So all day now I've been thinking about that--running (living) for the joy set before me. I've been doing a pretty awful job of it. I've really lost focus--in so many ways. I haven't been claiming my time. Anyway, all this to say I felt really convicted and realized how weak I am. Do you ever feel like you are struggling with the Arms of Grace? I guess its kind of like wrestling with God. I sort of feel like I have been wrestling with the Arms of Grace. Not that it is a bad thing. I think it is good. But sometimes I feel like I am making things hard on myself by not fully relying on grace--by not giving up my pride. Hmmm. Perhaps I'm learning the meaning of "when you are weak, then you are made strong"...I don't know. I'm in the middle of a lot of "big" things and it is a good place to be but I just feel so overwhelmed and exhausted. Sort of like I'm falling a part. Like I said, my love tank is empty.

I am sad about leaving but I am really feeling like I need a break. I need to think. I'm looking forward to summer...working, thinking, reading, traveling.

Lastly, I wish I could really tell you guys how much I love you. I love you a whole lot--including all your unique gifts an weird quirks :)

Saturday, April 22, 2006


Thursday, April 20, 2006

The Honeymooners!!

Kristen and Jay are back from Spain and finally emailed me some pictures! They are pretty much the cutest married couple I know :) Enjoy!!

Monday, April 17, 2006

On Beautiful Days Like Today...

...I am in awe of the Lord...and at rest in His love.

I have felt really weird lately...sad, hurt, overwhelmed, tired (physically and emotionally). There's just a lot going on and a lot I'm learning.

Thinking on and wrestling with Psalm 51:6 "Behold, you delight in truth in the inward being, and you teach me wisdom in the secret heart." I love the intimacy of this verse. God is at work in me in ways others are unaware ways I am even unaware of. In MY inward being and MY secret heart he is at work.

I guess I just feel kind of alone right now...going through stuff that no one else really understands. And that's ok, its just hard.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Full Assurance of Hope

As I look ahead to what the future holds--the next few weeks, the end of the semester, the summer, the fall, next school year, etc. I often find bits of lingering doubt and uncertainty in my mind and heart. As I battle for truth and full assurance in the promises of God, I recognize that I am so weak and so incapable of anything on my own. In one instant, I will be looking boldly at what God is planning for me ahead; in another, I will feel afraid, "what if I am not good at linguistics? What if I am not really supposed to go into Bible translation?"
My life and my mind have been a jumbled mess of all these conflicting thoughts and emotions. I am learning to praise God for the grace he has provided me in the past and look forward to the future grace he is going to provide. It is not an easy thing to learn. It is very difficult, actually. I often find my weak and sinful will trying to control my thoughts and emotions, leading me to places where I am confused and exhausted. So I must pray and remember that my help comes from the Lord. I am realizing more and more each day how incredibly helpless I am--able only to wait on the be still and know that HE is hope in the full assurance of His love, His grace and His faithfulness.
I don't really know what the next step is. I wait. I wait with the Lord. Meanwhile redeeming the time, so that my last few weeks here are full and rich and spent wisely--loving the Lord and loving my friends. He might seem silent to me now, but I am learning that it is just a time of waiting. It seems fairly evident that he wants me to be in stillness and quiet, trusting that He will provide and that His timing is perfect.
Here are a few quotes I have come across lately that have been great encouragement and instruction...

"The most fundamental fight of the Christian life is to keep on being satisfied with God. When you look up, to keep on feeling love for the glory of his name. When you look forward, to keep on feeling hope in the greatness of his promises.
Is there a diligence in the Christian life? Is there an earnestness? Is there a fight and a struggle and a zeal and a passion? Yes. But the direct focus of that earnestness is not first on certain behaviors but on God--maintaining the assurance of hope in God and the sweetness of love for his name. All other obedience is a second commandment. And if second things become first things, we may have a rigorous religion, but we will not have evangelical, God-centered, biblical Christianity."
-John Piper

"We are chosen by God, loved by God, forgiven by God, accepted by God, indwelt by God, guided by God, protected by God, strengthened by God—and God is more important than anyone else in the universe. We do not have to feel vulnerable or insecure. We do not have to be self-justifying or self-defensive or self-pitying. We can be quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to anger, as James says (James 1:19). We can be like Paul who said, "When we are reviled, we bless; when we are persecuted, we endure; when we are slandered, we try to conciliate" (1 Corinthians 4:12-13)."
-John Piper

"It is possible for Christians--even those who have drunk for decades at the spring of God's grace--to slowly wander away from the fountain of life. It is possible even in the ministry--the water-carrying business--to stop going back to the spring and settle for pools and puddles down the hill."
-John Piper

"Father, make of me a crisis man. Bring those I contact to decision. Let me not be a milepost on a single road; make me a fork, that men must turn one way or another on facing Christ in me."
-Jim Elliot

That's all for now!...I am thoroughly enjoying springtime in Michigan. The trees are budding and the daffodils are blooming all over the place! It is such a beautiful world :) It is somewhere around 71 degrees outside and I am in the library sitting by a window trying to study. I am skipping classes because i have a really bad cold. I wanted to take the time to catch up on all the work I didn't do while Luke was here--and then take a nap. I have such a stuffy nose and have been coughing so hard I'm pretty sure one of my lungs will pop out soon. gross. My arms feel like they do after I get a shot...weak and sore, numb and kind of limp. Weird. At least the beautiful spring weather is able to cheer up my sick body...and just cheer me up all around. Sigh. I love it. I want to go for a walk. hmm. Maybe I'll do that this afternoon...

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Come Ye Sinners

One of my all time favorite songs done by Indelible Grace. It is so beautiful. I'm learning the truth behind the words: "If you tarry 'til you're better, You will never come at all", "All the fitness He requireth Is to feel your need of Him" and "Venture on Him; venture wholly, Let no other trust intrude." These are wonderful words of truth and encouragement for times like this.

"Come, ye sinners, poor and wretched,
Weak and wounded, sick and sore;
Jesus, ready, stands to save you,
Full of pity, joined with power.
He is able, He is able;
He is willing; doubt no more.

Come ye needy, come, and welcome,
God's free bounty glorify;
True belief and true repentance,
Every grace that brings you nigh.
Without money, without money
Come to Jesus Christ and buy.

Come, ye weary, heavy laden,
Bruised and broken by the fall;
If you tarry 'til you're better,
You will never come at all.
Not the righteous, not the righteous;
Sinners Jesus came to call.

Let not conscience make you linger,
Nor of fitness fondly dream;
All the fitness He requireth
Is to feel your need of Him.
This He gives you, this He gives you,
'Tis the Spirit's rising beam.

Lo! The Incarnate God, ascended;
Pleads the merit of His blood.
Venture on Him; venture wholly,
Let no other trust intrude.
None but Jesus, none but Jesus
Can do helpless sinners good."

Sunday, April 09, 2006

News About Moody

So...I have been waiting and waiting for the letter...and it went to our house in AZ!! ugh!! I was SURE it was coming here. Alas. I am in for the spring semester and on a waiting list for the fall semester. I am 11th on the list and they usually accept anywhere from 10-25 from the list. So i have a REALLY good chance of getting in for the fall semester. If I don't, I will probably just go home for the semester and work...and earn lots of money (maybe think about buying a car). the frustrating part is that I might not find out for a while. The first notice date is June 1st, then mid July, then by the latest Aug. 1st. Sigh...I am learning to trust the Lord and lean on His sovereignty and supremacy. It is such a joy and a hope to know that He is in complete control. I appreciate all of your prayers and ask that you continue to pray for me as I think about wrapping up my time here at Hillsdale. Saying goodbye is not going to be all. God has brought me so far here and taught me so much about Himself (and myself) through my experiences here. I kind of feel like I am leaving a little part of me behind...well, I am. And I am leaving a little part of me with my friends. I continue to be excited and amazed at all God is doing. "Lead on, O King Eternal."

Monday, April 03, 2006

"The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few, therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest." Matthew 9:37, 38

World population
6.5 billion

Programs in progress in languages without
adequate Scripture 1,640

Languages currently spoken in the world
6,912 (current Ethnologue, 15th edition)

Languages that need Bible translation

Languages that have Scripture
2,377; of these, 422 have an adequate
Bible, 1,079 have an adequate New
Testament, and 876 have at least one
book of the Bible.

Number of people without any Scripture
272 million

Sunday, April 02, 2006

The Mystery of Love

"The two were sitting side by side, sad and crushed, as if they had been washed up alone on a deserted shore after a storm. He looked at Sonya and felt how much of her love was on him, and, strangely, he suddenly felt it heavy and painful to be loved like that." (Crime and Punishment)

"But why do they love me so, when I'm unworthy of it! Oh, if only I were alone and no one loved me, and I myself had never loved anyone! None of this would be!" (Crime and Punishment)

I've been thinking a lot lately...about love. Mostly God has been teaching me how to love well. It's super hard. As I constantly fall down and am picked up by my merciful Savior, I begin to understand what a process it is.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
I'd like to share a hymn. I find much strength and joy in this one...

"Savior, like a shepherd lead us, much we need Thy tender care;
In Thy pleasant pastures feed us, for our use Thy folds prepare.
Blessèd Jesus, blessèd Jesus! Thou hast bought us, Thine we are.
Blessèd Jesus, blessèd Jesus! Thou hast bought us, Thine we are.

We are Thine, Thou dost befriend us, be the guardian of our way;
Keep Thy flock, from sin defend us, seek us when we go astray.
Blessèd Jesus, blessèd Jesus! Hear, O hear us when we pray.
Blessèd Jesus, blessèd Jesus! Hear, O hear us when we pray.

Thou hast promised to receive us, poor and sinful though we be;
Thou hast mercy to relieve us, grace to cleanse and power to free.
Blessèd Jesus, blessèd Jesus! We will early turn to Thee.
Blessèd Jesus, blessèd Jesus! We will early turn to Thee.

Early let us seek Thy favor, early let us do Thy will;
Blessèd Lord and only Savior, with Thy love our bosoms fill.
Blessèd Jesus, blessèd Jesus! Thou hast loved us, love us still.
Blessèd Jesus, blessèd Jesus! Thou hast loved us, love us still."