Tuesday, February 27, 2007

I feel like I am going to explode

No joke. That's how incredible I feel...excited, terrified, unsure, sure, overwhelmed, unworthy, blessed....whoa. Like I said...

Please be praying for me. There is a lot that I am learning and wrestling with. Please pray that the Holy Spirit would guide me to live boldly for the name of Jesus. I don't want to exist. I want to live--wherever that might take me.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

I will go

Give me ears to hear Your Spirit
Give me feet to follow through
Give me hands to touch the hurting
And the faith to follow You

Give me grace to be a servant
Give me mercy for the lost
Give me passion for Your glory
Give me passion for the cross

And I will go where there are no easy roads
Leave the comforts that I know
I will go and let this journey be my home
I will go
I will go

I'll let go of my ambition
Cut the roots that run too deep
I will learn to give away
What I cannot really keep
What I cannot really keep

Help me see with eyes of faith
Give me strength to run this race

I will go Lord where Your glory is unknown
I will live for You alone
I will go because my life is not my own
I will go
I will go
I will go

Grace Upon Grace


Friday, February 23, 2007

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Beyond the Blue Horizon

Had I not seen the sun
I could have borne the shade;
But light a newer wilderness
My wilderness has made

-Emily Dickinson

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Saturday, February 17, 2007

I saw Jesus today

Today I went and studied in Borders for a few hours. I got interrupted by an elderly man who noticed I was reading "The Good Book." I was in John. Soon he sat down and started rattling off all kinds of things about God, Christ, the Holy Spirit, the Church, the Believer (which he was).
His name was Robert. I spent two hours talking with Robert about the Bible...the "amazing story" as He called it. I agreed with most of what he said, though there were a few things that I'm not too sure about. He practically has the whole thing memorized. It was incredible.
He lives on the streets and in shelters. You wouldn't think it when you first look at him. Robert is clean. His close are clean, his hair is clean. He is shaven. But if you look closely...you see that his teeth are almost all rotten. He smells. He has no money...he made 75 cents while I was with him going to buy a newspaper for another man who wanted it. He's been doing this for 20+ years. He said God told him to live like Jesus...and to follow Him wherever it might take him. So he "lost" everything and moved to the streets of Chicago. He knows the other homeless people by name. He smiles at them--he says, "to a homeless person, the most powerful thing is when someone waves, smiles, or talks with them...not handing out food or tracts."
He challenged me a lot about what I believe...especially about the Spirit and the work of sanctification. It was amazing.
As I got up to leave, he called me over to his table. He stood up by me, turned me around and put his hand on my arm. He leaned in and started speaking softly. His breath was awful. "See that big man with the blue sweatshirt over there (he had just taken the seat I had been sitting in)? His name is Dave. He sleeps in doorways. The little old guy next to him with the black hat is Walt, we call him the little leprechaun. The black guy with the headphones is addicted to drugs. He has been in my shelter for years. The guy reading the newspaper is Mike. He sleeps on the streets and sometimes in the shelter." All these men had been sitting around me. I wanted to weep. I can't explain why but I just did. Robert put his hand on my arm and said, "just love these people." He told me I probably wouldn't group him with them (which I wouldn't have...he looked so put together!)...but he said, "I've just decided not to compromise. I found the one shelter around here with a washer and so I do my laundry. I have shared the gospel with them, but they don't always listen. I could continue preaching to them but soon the words 'holier than thou?' come into my mind...and the Lord sort of just tells me to shut my mouth and love them. Say hello. Talk to them. Eat with them, sleep with them. Most of all, pray for them. So I spend my days in prayer for them, and I walk around the city and go into shops and cafes to talk to people. Sometimes I meet other believers, like you, and sometimes I share my faith and it is new to someone. Oftentimes people will tell me to get out of their face, even the ones reading their Bibles. Jesus just says, be persistent, be persistent, be persistent. And so I pray."

Wow. I was blown away. On my way out, the young guy in front of me on the escalator turned around and said, "So he preached to you too, huh?" I laughed. "Well, sort of. He saw me reading my Bible and so we talked for a couple hours. It was really good." "Oh," He said. "So you're into that, too?" I laughed again. "Well, I'm not sure what you mean by 'into that' but I agree with him on some things, yes." We walked through the store and then stopped by the door and talked for a while. He's getting his masters at DePaul (but he didn't look that old at all). He's in the Catholic Church but "keeps himself open to a lot of ideas." We talked a lot about Moody. He said he has seen it lots of times but doesn't know anything about it. I told him. I told him what I want to do, etc., and about PCM and how excited I get to spend time in the city (like just sitting there in Borders watching people). He agreed, but said it is sometimes distracting. I laughed. We talked briefly about what it means to just love people and be involved in their lives. He said, "I'm fairly liberal on a lot of things but I think we would agree on some." I think he's probably right. That's interesting. It's also exciting. When I told him it's exciting to share with people a lasting hope he said, "Oh, I know. But sometimes I have no hope." He talked about how he tries, though. He used to want to be a preacher but he's not sure now. We didn't talk much longer...He asked my name, I asked his (it's George...please pray for him!) He asked me if I studied much at Borders. I said this was my first time but I probably will more...I like to get away from campus. We agreed we would bump into each other again someday and perhaps talk some more.
It was so neat. I didn't have to explain theology to him. I didn't have to explain a lot to him. It's easy to think "I should've said this, or I should've done that." All I can do is pray. "Lord, start a work in this young man's life! Take a hold of George's restless heart and bring it to you."

God is so incredible. He is the Everlasting and the Neverending. I have been thinking about these two names for Him. It blows my mind when I really begin to wrap my mind around it. Almighty, you are so high above, and yet you sent your Son down here....?

I was struck by a couple things today: The power of the Word (I need to be a diligent student of the Scriptures.) and second, I just need to love people in the simple way that is me. Don't try to be someone or something...just be kind, be wise, be loving. The Holy Spirit is in me and empowers me to do His work. Wow. Thank you, Holy God. Help my unbelief!

Wednesday, February 14, 2007


The indwelling of the Holy Spirit

The filling of the Holy Spirit

.....I'm doing lots of thinking/studying....

any thoughts?

Monday, February 12, 2007

Hey, it's your birthday! We're gonna party, like it's your birthday!

Today is Abraham Lincoln's birthday. We had a party. It was SO FUN. Some girls on my hall have been planning it for a while. We went to Michael's North for dinner and then went to Lincoln Park to celebrate. Kjieri climbed up on the statue and delivered the Gettysburg Address (complete with top hat, thanks to Wendy's use of construction paper). Brittney made cupcakes!! We all wore red white and blue. We sang happy birthday to the statue and left a cupcake. Alyse wrote happy birthday in the snow at his feet. It was goofy but so much fun!!

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

If it wasn't for the night

I don't have a lot to say. I am tired. Not really sleepy tired...just incredibly exhausted emotionally. It's been a hard week. I don't feel rested coming back, I feel drained. I don't have immediate homework but I have a lot of long term stuff I need to be working on. The problem is, I'm either too tired or distracted to work on it or I am spending time with others...all my "free time" this week is filled up. I have sessions, meals, and bonding dates with friends. Don't get me wrong, I am super glad to be spending time with some real quality girls...It's exciting. I had an AMAZING short time with Stacey (Brogan) this afternoon. We are finding out more and more that we are a lot alike. It's really neat :) We were able to share frustrations and struggles and then pray together. It was much needed. Tomorrow I am running errands with Melissa. Woohoo. I love that girl. Thursday Wendy and I FINALLY set a bonding date. I am so excited. She's amazing. I want to get to know her better so badly!!

The sessions have been good so far. Tonight's wasn't that great. He gave kind of a crazy altar call (i'm not a huge fan...). I like walking to and from Moody Church with the BroSis...through the snow in the sub-zero weather. Crazy fun. It's a mile each way...4 times a day. Lot's of exercise! Lot's of fun conversation :) I love my BroSis!!

Anyway...all this to say...I am thrilled with these growing relationships. I am, however, feeling somewhat overwhelmed...or something. It's hard to explain. I don't really want to try to explain it to you because I feel like it would not do it justice. It's all just stuff Christ is teaching me. I guess perhaps it's better left between me and Him. But I would ask for your prayer...just simply that I would love God with all my heart, mind, and strength; and that I would dwell on His word and sit in quietness at His feet to rest.

I really love this song. I just like David Wilcox a ton. His lyrics are really great.

If it wasn't for the night 
So cold this time of year 
The stars would never shine so bright 
So beautiful and clear 

I have walked this road alone 
My thin coat against the chill 
When the light in me was gone 
And my winter house was stilled 

When I grieved for all I'd made
Out of all I had to give
On the eve of Christmas day
With no reason left to live

Even then somehow in the bitter wind and cold
Impossibly strong I know
Even then a bloom as tender as a rose
Was breaking through the snow
In the dark night of the soul
In the dark night of the soul

If it wasn't for the babe
Lying helpless on the straw
There would be no Christmas day
And the night would just go on

When it seem that death has won
Buried deep beneath the snow
Where the summer leaves have gone
The seed of hope will grow
Things to look forward to:
-Night at the Cheesecake Factory (thursday)
-Lincoln's Bday Bash (Monday)
-BroSis Ice Skating! (the 17th)
-Open House (the 18th)

Monday, February 05, 2007

Numero Uno

What can I say about a man who has blessed me beyond words? How can I express how much I respect him?
He is a man of great honor. He is my Papa, my teacher, and my friend. He is my "Uno." He showed me what it means to be a person of love, kindness, and integrity. He taught me what it means to treat others highly. He proved to me the strength in and value of a gentle and quiet spirit.
He gave me another "undo dowg" when I begged him for it. He let me pile my stuffed animals high up on his lap, and sat patiently as I introduced him to each one. He let me style his hair any way I wanted. He told me stories...over, and over, and over when asked. He taught me every card game worth playing. He was my partner in crime during raspberry season. We would fill a tupperware container full of fat, juicy berries and eat them all up before anyone else got a chance! We encouraged each others' addiction to Grandma's home-made chex-mix, always refilling the bowl in the kitchen and spoiling our appetites for dinner. On pasty night he would always say, "Gee, have some pasty with your ketchup, would ya!" During our visits to the U.P, he and I would exchange messages and pictures on the dry erase board in the kitchen. He sent me notes in college--reminding me to be safe and encouraging me to get, not a 4.0, but a 5.0! My life was richer because of Papa. I think I thought he was super human.
Even after all these things--all these "words"--they still don't seem like enough. These memories don't seem to go far enough. My thoughts don't seem to reach deep enough--these words just don't seem "real" enough. I miss him--a lot--and it hurts bad. There are, however, a few things that do seem to be "enough" right now--a few things I'm sure of. God is good. He has blessed this world with my Papa. He has blessed my life with my Papa. I thank Him so much for that. My comfort is found in Christ alone, and the words of the old hymn, "Great is Thy Faithfulness, O God my Father, there is no shadow of turning with Thee..."