Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Jesus loves me SO much. HE IS CRAZY ABOUT ME!
IT IS SO TRUE! It is overwhelming and hard to fathom sometimes (...okay, all the time!), and it is an amazing truth that I am often forgetful or negligent of, something that I don't realize enough.
The cross that Jesus hung on was difficult. That is to say the least. It was like dying slowly by suffocation - excruciatingly painful, as well as humiliating. People were hung by nails and left to be seen, mocked, and ridiculed by the public. Not only that, but think of all the spiritual and emotional battles that Jesus was going through. The perfect Lamb of God, God's SON, being punished for the sins of the world, of people who reject him daily, the burden of which were on his shoulders.
But Jesus endured this cross for the joy awaiting Him on the other side of the cross, something that He was aware of in his divinity, something no human would have seen or understood. What joy? US. We are His joy. He saw past the pain, the hurt, the suffering, the shame, the hostility that awaited Him and saw HOPE. He saw US. Every one of us. Each of our faces. We were worth the pain, the hurt, the suffering, the shame, the hostility, worth bearing the weight of the world's sin. We were worth every lash, every mocking/ridiculing statement, every nail being driven through his body, every second of hanging on the cross. He sees us as WORTHY to DIE for, so that our LIVES are SAVED when we believe. While we were sinners, backs turned against Him, He died for us.

There is so much more that I could say or that I am missing (the resurrection... I know), but I was greatly reminded of the awesome love of Jesus at Large Group last night. God is so GOOD, despite how much I turn from Him.

Listening to: Fence Riders, Jimmy Needham

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

I am unworthy. I am broken. I am sinful. I am prideful. I am selfish. I am unkind. I am unloving. I desire the approval of the world. I glory in my achievements, my qualities. I have priorities that are often mixed up.

But Jesus sees it otherwise -
To him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy— to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen. (Jude 1:24-25)
Despite all these things that I am, things that I don't like, Jesus will present me to His Father without them, along with all my other faults, JOYFULLY. He presents me JOYFULLY. He takes JOY in presenting ME to the Father. ME - with all these qualities that do not please Him.
Furthermore, He keeps me from falling into these things that hold me captive, into death and destruction.

God is good. 

Friday, August 7, 2009

Oh, how He LOVES us!

"He is jealous for me,
loves like a hurricane, I am a tree,
bending beneath the weight of His wind and mercy.
When all of a sudden,
I am unaware of these afflictions eclipsed by glory,
and I realize just how beautiful You are,
and how great Your affections are for me."

David Crowder's new song is good - later, it goes on to say, "So Heaven meets Earth like a sloppy wet kiss, and my heart turns violently inside of my chest. I don’t have time to maintain these regrets, when I think about the way He loves us."
I think the way Jesus loves me, how He loves humanity, is so beautiful and amazingly beyond words. To be washed clean of our sin, our affliction, and of past lives, to be beautiful and important and DEAR to our Father in heaven by the crucifixion and death of Jesus. It's crazy/beautiful/CRAZY how far He brings us when we do life with Him, that past lives/regrets are incomparable (and in a way, forgotten when we live life with Him) to the way He loves us, the new lives we have in Him. Grace is abundant. And clear.
I have huge lumps in my throat thinking about this. Oh, how He loves us.

P.S: Post about the summer to come.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

I do not like the feeling of uncertainty in life, in plans. I like to know, even if it's bad. Sometimes, I feel like life is a dark room or tunnel and I am feeling my way through it blindly, not knowing where I am going.
Which brings me to my next point.
How awesome is it that the God I follow provides guidance and protection? That the God I follow knows me wholly and has the BEST intentions for me already planned out?
Pretty spectacular. :) And comforting.

Awesome, fun summer stuff God has blessed me with so far:
-Chapter camp (in-depth study of the 2nd half of Mark, volleyball, beach, NERTZ domination, star gazing)
-Lake Artemesia picnic date
-Hillsong United concert! Followed by sneaking into Byrd stadium
-Working at the co-op
-Gypsy's wedding

Awesome, fun things I am looking forward to:
-Hopefully some fun concerts
-I'm turning 22.
-Teaching in DC in my very own classroom!
-Possible Assateague trip
-Possible BRLS visitor's day trip
-Dani comes to MD (July)
More adventures to be had.

Neat picture, compliments of that boy I'm dating.

Listening to:
Breakable, Ingrid Michaelson

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Late night musings...

I am coming to realize that I feel let down a lot. Maybe I just expect a lot out of people. I am sorry if I have put that pressure/standard on you.
But this makes me realize more and more that Jesus remains constant and good, even when the world does not feel so.
I am also coming to realize that I have big, big trust issues that are hard for me to let go of.

Listening to: Afterall, William Fitzsimmons

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Man, oh man. So, everyone needs to click on the JJ Heller link in the blogs I read column, because her child is PRECIOUS.

Life is slow but steady; I can't believe there is only a ONE month left of school. Senior year has gone by quickly - what a year it has been.
Things I must accomplish before the school year is over (even though I have one last year, haha; can't be old and do these young, rebellious things):
-Sneaking up to the top of Byrd Stadium
-IV senior dinner
-Last Maryland Day as an undergrad
-Figure out placement preference (low incidence vs. high incidence) for next year

Today was Easter, the celebration of the resurrection of the Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. I wish I thought about the true meaning behind Easter each day; very very empowering and beautiful stuff. Jesus was put to death undeservedly for US (you and me); God punished him for OUR sin. However, He overcomes this death by His raising and in this, grants us access to a living relationship with Him and God the Father through FAITH in HIM. Also, with this belief, we are given the Holy Spirit, whom guides and can act THROUGH us. :) This, I believe and know to be truth with my entire heart.
Something cool I read reading in Velvet Elvis by Rob Bell the other day about Christ's raising: In the Gospel of John, John tells us that Jesus was buried from (and obviously raised from) a garden tomb. Also, when Mary saw Jesus in the tomb, she thought he was the gardener (random? one would think...). What is John trying to say here?
The first place "garden" was mentioned in the Bible was the Garden of Eden, where the first man and woman choose to live OUTSIDE of how God made them to live. They choose to not trust God and thus, lose their place in the garden; death enters and paradise is lost.
There is a connection between the garden tomb Jesus is rising from and the garden of Eden; there is a new Adam on the scene and he is reversing the curse of death by conquering it! He's reclaiming creation; entering into it, restoring it, and renewing God's plans for the world - God's way of refusing to give up on his dream for the world.
What a sweet connection, Rob Bell.

Easter was celebrated with one of my favorites and his family, topped off by an abundance of Easter hugs, an Easter egg hunt and beating a married couple in foosball.

Smiles are in abundance, as is God's love for humanity.

Listening to: Oh Lord, Your Love - Caedmon's Call

Monday, March 2, 2009

I really love that music can change my apathy/complacency to reverence of God and all that He is.

I also think it is very beautiful that God chooses to connect with us through different mediums: conversations, His holy and precious word, prayer, art, music, film, our friends... He is such a big God that can reach us each individually through so many things in this world. He wants to show us Himself. He wants us to see Him.
Sometimes, I wonder if God is up there in heaven, yearning for us to see Him in all His splendor, in the things He has so beautifully created, but we are just too blind to see.

Listening to: Amazed, Jared Anderson

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

I love it when I wake up early in the morning and the first thought is the again realization of how AWESOME Jesus is. Starts the day off just perfectly.

My sweet background:

Listening to:
Fly Away, JJ Heller

Sunday, January 11, 2009

So, since the new year, I have been trying to figure out how to format a post summarizing the old year... Thanks to my dear friend, Megan, I have found such a format, which will include this AND what I will be looking forward to in the new year!

Greats (and some not-so-greats) from '08:
Living in Commons 2405: I absolutely loved living with Laurel, Malisa, and Ashley. Spring semester really solidified our bond - from a crazy trip to the hospital to bonding in the common room to a fantastic end of the semester dinner at Paparazzi full of fun encouragement time, I didn't realize how much a couple of girls can come to mean to me after not even a year of living together or knowing one another (besides Ash). I loved being able to come home and go to Ashley's room and just talk and have someone listen and make time for me, despite all the work a crazy pre-med student can accumulate. It's crazy how when living together, how much time you actually do spend with your roommates, despite crazy schedules. And just how hard it becomes to make time for one another when you don't have living together to fall back on. Despite being deemed the 2nd messiest (which I completely disagree with!), I miss living with them a lot.

Being a CA:
Dang, I really miss this job - being able to do homework on the shift, greeting friends and residents coming in and out, nice friends coming to visit to pass the time, blasting sweet tunes on the job and getting compliments on my cool musical taste... Hah.

Small Group '07-'08: Leading small group was SUCH a sweet experience - I love preparing passages (very plan-oriented, if you know me - hmm, not always a good thing, makes me a crazy lady sometimes) and being completely blown away with bits of insight from friends. These kids love the Lord and it was such an encouragement to me to have such a supportive community.

Student teaching at Rogers Heights Elementary: My little boys and girls from Miss Burton's fourth grade! I worked with 7 students, who all had IEPs, most directly, but taught a couple of lessons to the whole class - all the students in the classroom were on the lower end of the spectrum in terms of academics and curriculum standards (especially reading). I miss them. Learned a lot from the general education classroom - maybe will even consider teaching in general education in the future. Will definitely consider the area (see end of next diddy).

Urban Plunge: The Urban Plunge has been an amazing, amazing experience for me - I was very encouraged seeing how much the trip grew and how many people were so interested in learning more about the city and seeing God's heart for it. For the UP '08, we teamed up with our lovely friends from George Washington University and together, learned from scriptures in Luke and experiences we had the brokenness within the city and God's heart and compassion for it. I was blown away by the things I saw in scripture, with my own eyes. Some of my favorite things that we did were: GED adult tutoring (had a sweet old lady that worked with me and choose me specifically because I was an ed major, haha), going into a DCPS classroom (and being even more blown away than the first time - I was put in a general ed 1st grade classroom - they did nothing, despite spending more per student than most cities do; maybe it was a bad day but I don't think so), interviewing teachers on a panel, walking through DC gentrified areas, study of Luke 16:19-31 (Lazarus and the rich man - awesome study led by Brian; showed me just how neglegient of the Lazaruses we may encounter in our lives we can be, along with many truths). God's really cultivated my heart in these trips, and this year, I made a commitment to God to seek an area intentionally in need when finding a school system to teach in.

Baptism: Proclaimed my faith in Jesus and how much He has transformed me to my closest friends. :)

Chapter Camp!: Spent some sweet time with some ladies at Megan's lake house before the week started; during camp, we studied Genesis with seven ladies and three boys. God touched my heart with some sweet truths, with some of them being very hard to take when relating them to our lives now. I saw much of God's goodness in his Creation and dealings with His people in the scripture, along with his continual provision. We had a pretty intimate group, lots of sharing went down. As for other fun things, we did lots of volleyball (including a sweet tournament), some beach going, some dance partying, sweet quiet times in God's creation, and some star gazing. :)

Summer Camp: Best year of summer camp yet.

Blue Ridge Leaders School: Always an experience. Saw Danae get her sixth year jacket and be nominated for HL!

Small Group '08-'09: I met some sweet ladies and together, we are learning what it means to follow Jesus in our lives and supporting one another in our walks. :) It's fun.

Fall Retreat: One of the best speakers this year! It got my heart and mind thinking about missions and the world, along with other things I am too lazy to type out right now.

Bike accident: Negative Results: 1) Two broken teeth. 2) Tears. Lots of them. 3) Fear of biking. Positive Results: 1) Realization of how much my roommates and friends care for me. Christ's love shown through them. 2) Placing my value and confidence in Jesus. 3) Making light of a bad situation through lots of prayer and seeking God.

Student teaching at Central Elementary: I student-taught in a self-contained classroom in Anne Arundel County with students ranging from 3rd to 5th grade. All were fairly low functioning, but so full of love and joy. Jesus calls us to serve and love the least of these, He came and hung out with the rejects from society. I can definitely see myself doing this type of classroom in the future.

Relationships: Growth in friendships and more. :) Exciting new beginnings and continuations.

Classes: I finally made friends in my classes. YES! We have been having classes together for a year and a half or more; it's been sweet getting to know these ladies (and gent) and being able to let them in more and more. I have been blessed with having such classmates that care so much for students who have special needs; it's been such an encouragment and a motivation to me. Definitely a challenge when the going get tough, but still trying to shine some light in courses. :)

Geez, what a year. I am surprised you got this far.

Shine in '09:
Side note: I AM SO CORNY, I like to make myself laugh.
Don't judge me.
-Spring break in Chicago with ASB
-Summer plans, whatever they may be
-Student teaching
-Growth in relationships! Intentionality in them.
-Chapter Camp
-Classes! I am a dork.

Listening to: Opportunity to Cry, Priscilla Ahn