Monday, April 30, 2007

double date

Bruce wanted to go on a double date last night--bruce and alyse, me and zach. It was a lot of fun. We were going to go out for dinner but couldn't decide on a place. So we went to the grocery store and bought really good bread and fixings for sandwiches. Yum. We took it all down to the lake and had a picnic! It was lots of fun. So fun.

Lacy insisted on taking a picture before we left :) I don't have pictures of the night but Alyse took some...perhaps I'll get some up soon.

P.S. Spring has sprung in Chicago! I'll post pictures soon...the flowers are BEAUTIFUL! Tulips all over. Oh man...and trees blooming like crazy. I love it.

I leave for Africa in barely over a month. That's insane. aaaaahhhhhhhhh

Friday, April 27, 2007


God gives good gifts. I am in awe. I am excited. I am learning a lot. Wow.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

A little bit of an update...

I haven't felt this way in a while. Yesterday was hard. Really hard. I needed to get off campus so badly--away from everyone...everything. So I decided to go to the Chicago Public Library for the first time. I found my new favorite spot. The place is 10 floors. The ninth floor is the "Winter Garden"--a room of windows and skylights with trees growing inside and tables and chairs. I sat for two hours, wrote seven pages in my journal, and read 1, 2 Peter and 1, 2, 3 John. I was thinking a lot about love. 1 Corinthians 13:7 kept coming into my mind. What does it mean that love believes all things? What about hopes all things? And, perhaps harder still, never gives up?

I've been asking God for months to "please, teach me to love people well!" And now, when He is taking me through that process of growth and purification, I freak out and wonder what on earth He's doing. "Why is this so hard and why do I feel overwhelmed...I just want to learn to love. I want the faith that's needed." And His reply is surely "I am teaching you love, you've just closed your eyes."
Please help my unbelief, Lord, and forgive my forgetful heart. I'm learning what a broken lover I am...and how grace swallows my life. Loving people is not efficient--Derek Webb is right. I have found rest in the truth that God takes my cracked, weak, broken love offering and by grace makes it pure and whole. It's a beautiful picture if you think about it. Dare to imagine what it LOOKS like.

I've been asking God to teach me the scandalous work of the Holy Spirit in my life. He's taught me so much about the Holy Spirit already this semester but I pray that He would take me deeper still. Would you encourage me, Spirit? Lead me? Please--guide me in humble obedience...

Obedience. What a word. Obey Me and I get glory. Obey me and you are satisfied. Incredible, isn't He? I am overwhelmed by His deep, deep love. I fall to my knees...He is so faithful.

I pray Ephesians 3:14-19 for you, friends!

Exciting things are happening in my life. Really exciting things. Please pray that in the midst of it all, Christ would be my single passion. Pray for discernment and for an eager and willing heart to do His kingdom work. Please pray for motivation and death to cynicism. Please pray He would continue to prepare my life for Africa...just over a month away! I can't believe it.

Wake up! LIVE.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

God gives good gifts :)

"Friendship arises out of mere companionship when two or more of the companions discover that they have in common some insight or interest or even taste which the others do not share and which, till that moment, each believed to be his own unique treasure (or burden). The typical expression of opening Friendship would be something like, "What? You too? I thought I was the only one." -C.S. Lewis

Friday, April 20, 2007

Love is different...

Well, it looks like five thousand miles broke the camel's back
But it's not as though i had a plan to win you back
Because i don't know what i want
But at least i know that much
Now I'm afraid love came right up
And it slapped me in the face, but i did not know

'Cause love is different than you'd think
It's never in a song or on a TV screen
And love is harder than a word
Said at the right time and everything's alright
Love is different than you think

So I won't expect a postcard from Trafalgar Square
But I'd be lying if i said I didn't care
Because you can't just turn it off
And put a blindfold on your heart
But i'm off to a good start
A continent away, but i do not know

But maybe you're the dream i'm waking from
'Cause I see you everywhere I go
Darlin' you are such a mystery to me, you know

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

1 John 4:18, 19

“To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to 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." -Lewis

"...if we love each other, God lives in us, and his love is brought to full expression in us." 1 John 4:12

" we live in God, our love grows more perfect." 1 John 4:17

"Oh, that we might know the Lord! Let us press on to know him. He will respond to us as surely as the arrival of dawn or the coming of rains in early spring." Hosea 6:3

Sunday, April 15, 2007

This is an emergency

There are tears from the saints
For the lost and unsaved
We’re crying for them come back home
We’re crying for them come back home

✦An estimated 40 million children will be or-
phaned by 2010, one every 14 seconds.*
✦In 11 countries in sub-Saharan African, more
than 15% of all children were orphans in
✦2010, sub-Saharan Africa will be home to an
estimated 50 million orphaned children, and
more than a third will have lost one or both
parents to AIDS.
✦Eight out of every 10 children who have lost
parents to AIDS live in sub-Saharan Africa,
and the number is expected to increase over
the next two decades at least.
✦In 2004, an estimated 3.1 million people in
Sub-Saharan Africa became newly infected. By
comparison, there are 40,000 new HIV/AIDS
infections in the U.S. every year. **
✦Each day, an estimated 1,600 children are
born with HIV; 1,500 of them in sub-Saharan
✦Nine in every 10 newly-infected children live
in sub-Saharan Africa, as do nearly eight out
of every 10 women living with HIV/AIDS.
✦Overall HIV prevalence for pregnant women
in South Africa in 2003 was 27.9%.
✦More than two out of three newly-infected
15 to 24-year olds are female. For adoles-
cents between the ages of 15 and 19, five or
six girls are infected for every boy in worst-
affected areas.
✦South Africa has the highest number of peo-
ple living with AIDS in the world: an esti-
mated 5.3 million people were living with HIV
at the end of 2003.
Source: UN & UNICEF
*Save the Children
**American International AIDS Foundation

And all your children will stretch out their hands
And pick up the crippled man
Father, we will lead them home
Father, we will lead them home

Saturday, April 14, 2007

God has started a revival in my soul...and it hurts

Yesterday was hard. Really hard. I didn't want to be here anymore. Not even necessarily here, Moody, but here, America. I felt for the first time in a long time, not guilty about my desire to be overseas. Could it be that He is preparing my heart? In 54 days I will be on a plane to Africa.

Last night there was a screening of the Invisible Children documentary here at school. After it was over I felt sick at the thought of staying here--on campus, in my room, anywhere. So I left. I went to the chicago/state mcdonald's for almost two hours to read, write, and think. And to get away. It felt good to get away.

I read a lot about hope. I went through the concordance in my Bible and read every entry on hope. Hope is so important. Do we live with hope? Do we live IN hope?

I read through old journal entries. I need to make a better practice of this. I forget things I've been thinking about over the past months. I forget things I've cried out to God for. He is working so much. My hope is revived when I see how he is moving. I forget so easily. What little faith!

I noticed two things in particular while reading. One--I have been asking God an awful lot to give me a sickness of heart that matches that of Nehemiah's for the broken condition of Jerusalem/Israel. I have asked Him to break my heart over the things that break his. Could it be that THAT is the reason I feel so torn up? Or why I feel suffocated when I'm around so much triviality? I wrote in early March that "the things of the world will grow strangely dim..." I think its happening. Wow. Some of this confusion and tension--the disconnect--is because God is dimming the things of the world right before my eyes. He's dimming them in my life as He begins to shine brighter the things that are of lasting importance. I see the light on the horizon. It's on the brink of things. I am waiting. It's hard to wait.

Hebrews 12 has been incredibly powerful right now. I'm running a race. I must have faith, hope, love, peace...Christ initiates and perfects this faith. Wow. Verses 25-29 remind that God is purifying. Verse 11 reminds that this process of disciple is painful. I could have told you that :) Not really...its just a frustrating process sometimes. I think this is because I don't like to think of it as a process. I like to think that soon I will "arrive" at that perfected state. psh. Nope. I think if I had it my way and I did "arrive" I would lose a lot of joy and pleasure. FOR THE JOY SET BEFORE Christ endured the cross. Such hope. Faith in future grace. Work in me for this kind of faith, Jesus!

I had two great conversations last night after my time alone. God gives such good gifts. I am in awe of those He has placed in my life. I am encouraged, challenged, shaken, questioned, loved...toward God. I pray that God would be the center. He is working in so many lives around me. I am astounded.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

"Our young men are going into the professional fields because they don't 'feel called' to the mission field. We don't need a call; we need a kick in the pants. We must begin thinking in terms of 'going out,' and stop weeping because 'they won't come in.' Who wants to step into an igloo? The tombs themselves are not colder than the churches. May God send us forth."
-Jim Elliot

I am going to be honest. I was going to type "I'm sorry ahead of time" but I don't think I actually am. Here it is. I am so sick of hearing these things in response to my decision to go over. And remember, I'm going for 6 months. This really is nothing. People need to MOVE there.

"It takes a special kind of person to do that kind of work. I'm blessed to see God has made you to be that special kind of person."

"God knows I could never do that, but I'm glad you feel called to it."

"Wow. It's neat that this is what you feel God has called you to."

It just makes me feel sort of sick inside.

I know these sorts of things are said by well-meaning people but please, think about these statements. WE ARE ALL CALLED. You either GO and be very serious about it or you stay and SEND and be very serious about it. what else is there and what are we doing about it??

Why are we here? Why are you there, where you are...doing what you're doing? Think about it. This world matters.

I am failing every day at this. I ask the Spirit to hold me up because I am so ridiculously weak. And he reminds me of this: the power that RAISED Christ FROM the DEAD lives in me. Lives in you. What does this MEAN?

The Kingdom of God. What a novel idea. Do I know what it is? Not really. I so desperately want to learn more! It IS the Gospel. Christ's work on earth...the inauguration of the Kingdom. Bring the Kingdom down!! What does it mean?

It means I am a Kingdom worker. It means Christ didn't come simply to die so that I'd be saved and spend eternity with him. He didn't die so that we could exist happily, safely, comfortably, on earth until he comes back (by the way, have you thought about how purposeless this mentality makes life on earth?? No wonder the Church is bored. Where's the excitement, the call the drive the passion the love the ministry?). Why did he die? Who was this Jesus? What work did he leave? What is the Kingdom? What is my job? What is my responsibility? How ought I live? What is my purpose?

Perhaps sometime soon I will post a blog about my thoughts on the Kingdom. I am still learning so much and looking for more...but we've been studying it in Church and that has been incredible. I challenge you to look at it. I challenge you to read the Gospels. Swim in them!
Here's a cool new Piper quote for you: "Don't stop strokes of love, of faith, of joy..." He also said:
Loving Christ is experiencing Christ as precious for all of his character and virtue. Trusting Christ is experiencing him as reliable for all that He has promised and for all his counsel. Joy, then, is the deep, strong, and good feeling of believing in him as reliable and loving him as precious.

This has been a bunch of crazy thoughts....but I haven't really posted any original thoughts lately anyway, so maybe it will be a good change. Maybe they don't make much sense. It has been the ramblings of a learning heart...a weak and broken learner, so there you have it! I love you guys. I pray God challenges you today, and every day, to desire more of him and to seek hard after him. I pray Romans 15:13 for YOU. Go and read it. I ask him to use you. That's a scary thing to requires obedience. Simple obedience (I could write a whole other blog on THIS. oh man. I am thinking way too much :)).

I love you and look forward to seeing some of you soon when I'm back in tucson! Yay. Or maybe for others not for a while. I rest in God's sovereignty. He knows the next time we will meet and I am always eager to hear what is going on in your lives.
God gathers the corners of the earth and gives a wild, shuddering shake.
Fling the dust off!
Send a wild, reviving wind.
Shake to pieces all that is of no substance.
Only the unshakable remains. Ah.
Bright hope.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

We are now faced with the fact that tomorrow is today. We are confronted with the fierce urgency of now. In this unfolding conundrum of life and history there is such a thing as being too late. Procrastination is still the thief of time. Life often leaves us standing bare, naked and dejected with a lost opportunity. The "tide in the affairs of men" does not remain at the flood; it ebbs. We may cry out desperately for time to pause in her passage, but time is deaf to every plea and rushes on. Over the bleached bones and jumbled residue of numerous civilizations are written the pathetic words: "Too late." There is an invisible book of life that faithfully records our vigilance or our neglect. "The moving finger writes, and having writ moves on..." We still have a choice today; nonviolent coexistence or violent co-annihilation.

We must move past indecision to action. We must find new ways to speak for peace...and justice throughout the developing world -- a world that borders on our doors. If we do not act we shall surely be dragged down the long dark and shameful corridors of time reserved for those who possess power without compassion, might without morality, and strength without sight.
-Martin Luther King (A Time to Break Silence)

Monday, April 09, 2007

God gives good gifts.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Dawn has broken

He is risen!

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Man I love them!!

Today was a wonderful day, homework, laughing (a lot), fellowshipping....aaah. It was great. Zach, Melissa and I went off campus to do homework since everything on campus is shut down for the holiday weekend. We tried a few starbucks' but everything was so crowded. We even tried Barnes and Noble--no room. Sad. So we ended up at Einstein Bagel. It was amazing. We had so much fun. I love these friends SO much. I can't even explain is. I'm going to miss you guys so much this fall! oh man, oh man. Here are some of the pictures. We got some great ones...and there are lots. haha

Thursday, April 05, 2007

If you tarry till you're better, you will never come at all!

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.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Suddenly its all so final...and 20x more exciting! Wow.

I received an email from my flight agent guy...with the following words:

"E Ticket has been issued.

Will be in the mail .

Have a safe trip."

I'M GOING TO AFRICA IN 64 DAYS! Is this happening??? yep. What does God have in store for me?! I know not what but I am eager to find out. Almighty, love me wildly and challenge me deeply! Use me. This life is not my own!

oh my goodness. I feel like running around or climbing to the top of a mountain or shouting really loud or hugging anyone and everyone. I am freaking out inside!!!!

Wow. now that that is out of my system. whew.

Grace fills my thoughts

...and oh how its tied to everything! Joy, faith, These are sweet. God, teach me more! Give me eyes to see and ears to hear! Oh, I want more!!

GRACE (phil wickham)
The sky is grey and the light is far
The sea is a rage within my heart
I turn my sight to the crashing waves
I cry in the night just to be saved

I need eyes to be my guide
I need a voice that’s louder than mine
I need hope I need You
Cause I can’t do this alone

Grace I call Your name
Oh won’t Your smile fall over me
I’m cracked and dry on hands and knees
Oh sweet grace rain down on me I need You grace

I pray for dawn a new day to live
I pray for mercy only Jesus gives
Though darkness falls and a million cry
I believe over all there’s a greater light shining for us

Come down and save me

Monday, April 02, 2007

Leave to His sovereign way

It's hard to be silent and trust. It's hard to give it up...

But that's the only answer. Besides, He holds ALL circumstances--whether or not I worry. Job 37 has been a good read for me encouraging reminder of the HEIGHT and DEPTH and WONDER of this God I serve. He is sovereign. Leave it to Him. Trust. How? Look at what He's done. Look at what He's doing. Read Job 37. He commands the intricate goings-on of nature. He is in control of the tiniest detail--how much more does he control the affairs of man!

Praise Him. He is glorious!