Wednesday, December 31, 2008

End of year ramblings

  • Walking by cell phone talkers, I can’t help but notice the drama in their voices. Or maybe I should say in our voices. Person A is always talking about Person B, or Boyfriend A and wondering why they can’t act differently, why does he say this, etc. I wonder if we create our own drama so we don’t have to focus on True Importance: our relationship with the Lord.
  • One of the traps into which I continue to fall is the one where I feel badly about my life because of something that happened in high school, because I wish I had handled a situation differently, haven’t been able to lead friend X to the Lord, etc. These are not bad things to notice. The fact of the matter, though, is that none of my past alters that which is truly important: I am loved by the Lord.
  • The more I learn about the Lord, the less I care about other things. I never thought I’d reach a point in my life where I went five weeks without watching football.
  • With that said, there’s a lot of life to enjoy that isn’t explicitly a “Christian” activity. But I do think you should be seeking the Lord in most everything you do.
  • Pretty much everything that happens in your life is a miracle, not a coincidence. I’ll probably (maybe) expand on that at another time.
  • The moments where my instincts scream at me to control are the moments when I most need to be still.
  • The longer I’ve been a Christian, the more I realize I had no idea what I was getting in to. At an especially overwhelming moment last week, I remembered a quote I’d once heard: being a Christian isn’t just hard. It’s impossible. Thankfully, all things are possible with Him who gives me strength. Sorry it took me so long to understand this.

Interesting thought

So part of the Presidential Inauguration is having the president choose a Bible verse on which to be sworn in. It's not required of the president; it's just that every single one has chosen to use a verse.

Imagine having the entire Bible from which to choose, but you can only go with one verse. Which one would it be for you?

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Pray for the Lamberth family

My friend Heidi posted this on her blog, my heart is breaking for this family.  Our prayers are powerful, please join us in lifting this family up:

Heidi said:
A family in my sister’s small group has experienced an unbelievable tragedy and they are desperatly in need of prayer.  Mark, the dad, was in a terrible dirtbike accident before Christmas.  He suffered severe injury to his brain and has been in the ICU ever since.  The odds are not on his side.  His wife, Angie, and his son, Nolan, are clinging to the hope that our God can and does perform miracles.  To read about his accident and the daily updates on his condition you can go to their blog, Pray For The Lamberths.  This family needs all the prayers they can get.  Please lift them up and pass the word along.  Their family needs a miracle. Angie needs her husband.  Nolan needs his father.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Fall on your knees

Ever take the time to really listen to Christmas song lyrics? My friend Mari and I especially like the ones from "O Holy Night." 

Long lay the world
In sin and error pining
Till he appeared and the soul felt its worth.

Think about that for a second: and the soul felt its worth. The soul felt its worth. We can do that every single moment, every single day. Think about that.

Merry Christmas, everyone!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

It's snowing in Newberg, too.

These are just some photos from my walk home from the coffeeshop this afternoon, and I thought I'd share some photos of my little town with you all.

(This last picture is of my parents' house where I live.)
I think that some people in Beaverton and Portland (and Wisconsin) should upload some pictures of how things look in your neighborhoods. Do it, do it!

Monday, December 15, 2008

"Do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus"

In my day job, I work with students. Something I try to communicate is that you're always interviewing. So, even though you might not be in a constant state of answering a direct "why should we hire you?" question, you are in a constant state of preparing for the interview. That might mean you're doing an internship or volunteer work. That might mean you're struggling with a personal issue which will later turn into an interview answer. Or it could just mean you're maturing as a person; this maturity will be reflected in an interview. Whether you're aware of it or not, you're always interviewing.

I was thinking about this in terms of being a Christian. It occurred to me that we should always be witnessing (note: feel free to include similar Christian buzzword). Whether we're overtly talking about Jesus or simply being thankful in all circumstances, we need to be aware that we're always representing our Lord and Savior (scary as that may be). Again we turn to Colossians 3:17 for our reference:

And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

Sunday, December 14, 2008


Greetings from Portland, Oregon!

...Where two inches of snow has effectively shut down the city. I love days like this, not just because they allow for all sorts of self-indulgent "you call this a storm? Why it snowed 33 inches overnight when I lived in Boston" type comments, but also because if you wake up early enough you can see the snow before anyone else does.

In some slow, peaceful way, being the first one out the door, making the first snow print makes me inch closer to understanding Creation. Looking out the window, the snowflakes slowly descending on trees, the wind gently making me feel more alive, I'm inspired to think of how beautiful Heaven must look.

"God saw everything that he had made, and indeed it was very good." - Genesis 1:31

Friday, December 12, 2008

I love when this happens

With "this" in the above meaning "when your friend Sarah convinces you to substitute carob for chocolate, then you learn that carob is Biblical."

Don't believe me? Check out wikipedia:

[Carob] is probably also mentioned in the New Testament, in which Matthew 3:4 reports that John the Baptist subsisted on "locusts and wild honey"; the Greek word translated "locusts" may refer to carob pods, rather than to grasshoppers.


Thursday, December 11, 2008

Equal rights to verbs

My roommate Zac just went downstairs "to study." As he's not in school or studying for any school admissions exam, I was a bit perplexed. For what else do you study?

Then he said he was studying the Bible. "I would have used the verb 'read'," I told him.

Then we both realized that wasn't fair to the verb "study." Why does it have to be confined to school stuff?

So yeah, we think you should be able to talk about studying the Bible. Or a particular drink recipe. Or fantasy football statistics. Or the history of Batman's sometimes tenuous relationship with Nightwing. Or...whatever.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Love the Lord with all your heart

I’ve been haunted by Deuteronomy 6:5 recently, both in its original place and when quoted the New Testament –

Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.

What haunts me? The fact that I don’t do that. Sure, I have my quiet time with God, I read a Bible chapter or two and sometimes meditate on the Word. But there’s no way I can say I love God with all my heart when I spend so much time in thoughts not about Him. Somehow it’s easier to love a girl, friends and even animals than it is to love my God. I wish this were not the case.

I was thinking about this as I read the tale of Zacchaeus the tax collector today. Zacchaus, a wealthy tax collector who (at least by today’s standards) might not need to meet Jesus was absolutely desperate to do so. Luke 19:4 says Zacchaus “ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree to see him, since Jesus was coming that way.”

Zacchaeus was desperate to see the Lord, so desperate he climbed a tree to do so. He wasn’t climbing the tree out of obligation, habit or because he was monetarily bankrupt. He was desperate for Jesus.

Can I say that about myself? Am I desperate for Jesus? Would I climb a tree (metaphorically) to see Him? If asked, my answer would probably be “sometimes.”

So do I always love the Lord my God with all my heart? Absolutely not…but I’m trying. It's easy to fall into the trap of self-pity based on that answer. I'm not going to do that. Personal transformation -- from loving the world/yourself to loving God -- does not happen overnight. I mean, it's taken me seven years to get to this point. Here’s hoping tomorrow brings me one step closer to loving the Lord with all my heart, all my soul and all my strength.