Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Santa

Okay,
For some reason, the whole subject of whether or not I would tell my kids about Santa has arisen twice today. Go figure, but I have thought of it (of course because I have kids....oh wait no) and I cannot decide. I do not feel like my parents lied to me as a child for it, I was not psychologically disturbed afterwards, my parents really did not emphasize it much or overly encourage it, I love those memories. But, I also do not know if I want to lie to my kids knowingly, in the sense knowingly sin. Not to say I would not make Christ the center of Christmas, I don't know, society says one thing, friends say another, Christ doesn't have a "How to deal with Santa" chapter in the Bible. Go Figure.

So I am browsing on Pintrest (my new addiction, I must tread lightly) and I saw "Perfect Letter to give to child to explain Santa" and since today has been all about Santa, I looked at the blog. This is the letter


Dear Lucy,
Thank you for your letter. You asked a very good question: “Are you Santa?”
I know you’ve wanted the answer to this question for a long time, and I’ve had to give it careful thought to know just what to say.
The answer is no. I am not Santa. There is no one Santa.
I am the person who fills your stockings with presents, though. I also choose and wrap the presents under the tree, the same way my mom did for me, and the same way her mom did for her. (And yes, Daddy helps, too.)
I imagine you will someday do this for your children, and I know you will love seeing them run down the stairs on Christmas morning. You will love seeing them sit under the tree, their small faces lit with Christmas lights.
This won’t make you Santa, though.
Santa is bigger than any person, and his work has gone on longer than any of us have lived. What he does is simple, but it is powerful. He teaches children how to have belief in something they can’t see or touch.
It’s a big job, and it’s an important one. Throughout your life, you will need this capacity to believe: in yourself, in your friends, in your talents and in your family. You’ll also need to believe in things you can’t measure or even hold in your hand. Here, I am talking about love, that great power that will light your life from the inside out, even during its darkest, coldest moments.
Santa is a teacher, and I have been his student, and now you know the secret of how he gets down all those chimneys on Christmas Eve: he has help from all the people whose hearts he’s filled with joy.
With full hearts, people like Daddy and me take our turns helping Santa do a job that would otherwise be impossible.
So, no. I am not Santa. Santa is love and magic and hope and happiness. I’m on his team, and now you are, too.
I love you and I always will.
Mama

This mom and daughter had written letters all year and the daughter asked for the truth, is her mom Santa? You can see by the reply that the mom said no, but said Santa is not real. What caught me was this sentence " He teaches children how to have belief in something they can’t see or touch." And my immediate thought was "what a beautiful place to insert Christ, Santa helps us believe, and that Christ is someone we can believe with our whole hearts, because He was a Real Person, we may not see or touch Him, but He is here. I do not know if I will have children, or if I would let them believe about Santa, )don't get me started on what I am going to do about gifts), but if I do, I think this is a wonderful way to experience Christ, through this conversation, because I do not know (and this scares me a lot) if my children will ever accept Christ into their hearts. I desire to teach them constantly about Christ, but at a young age, it is so difficult know if the child really knows about Christ. I think this is a great way to open up that conversation. Who knows, if I have children it would probably be a bunch of really wise kids who will just know that Santa doesn't exist. God will hopefully let me know if this is okay in His eyes, and if it is, I know what I am going to do when they ask me if Santa is real.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Faith, Trust, and Pixie Dust

Well, I feel officially like a college student, I pulled an all-nighter. I seriously never thought that I would do it. I am a girl who loves her sleep, I do not function well without sleep. I had a poster presentation due (I of course procrastinated) and I came to my apartment at around 1:30 in the morning determined to go to sleep for a few hours. I get into and bed and I am turn and I keep thinking "I am not going to sleep tonight" but I argue with myself with the logic that I need sleep to function. I then thought my heart must be unsettled so I start talking things out with God, but I am getting more nervous and fidgety, like I need to work on this project. In desperation I say, "Okay God, if I am to stay up, let me have faith that I will have peace and rest through all of the things I must do."


You know, God is really good about answering prayer, even when we don't think we are saying one. I got up, worked on that poster until right before class, presented, went back to my apartment to finish a paper, and I did not feel tired until I went to my final class of the day. I only had one cup of espresso at 11 last night, which did not keep me awake for that long, I assure you. I realized after class that God had answered the prayer of a selfish, procrastinating, perfectionist child that does not deserve such a loving father as to give her the strength and alertness she needed to get through the day. God, 1 point, Elise, still the fool.

I have been having stomach problems for a year and half and I have become a regular at my Heath Center, being testing every way possible to figure out what is going on. Sadly I have been really frustrated about it, just really wanting some answers. Today I have realized, this is a thorn in my side that I cannot take out, only God can. He will provide the answers when it fits with His plan. I think back on when I stress fractured my foot last fall semester, and not knowing what was wrong for months, it was almost easier to go to God because that pain was constant, nothing I could do would really help it. With my stomach, I feel like it shouldn't be so hard, let's eliminate a food, let this blood work come back with a positive so we know what is going on. If I really think about it, I have been asking God to say "Yes Elise, you have diabetes, yes Elise, you have a thyroid problem, yes Elise, you have h pylori bacteria in your stomach"

Humility is something I ask God for lots and lots, and when He humbles me, I seem to think I did not deserve to be humble this time! When I ask for God for a sign that He is there, He did through an all-nighter. Now I need to in turn have faith that everything will turn out okay, that I will figure out this stomach problem in time, and if not, this is not as bad a thorn in my side. Faith is a constant struggle for me, so this Christmas season my goal is to find faith and look to God for my needs instead of myself.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Works Mean Nothing

Tonight I have been completely convicted. After Cru we went to a volunteer's house and talked about evangelizing. If anyone knows me for a while, they would know my history with evangelizing is not a healthy one.

Growing up, I did not hear a thing about evangelism or what it was about or why we should do it. On a mission trip, some of the people who I went with joked around about evangelism and how horrible it was to go up to strangers and preach the gospel. I took this in and thought "I will only tell people who I know well", actually this did not work, because I did not know how to tell people about Jesus or why we needed Jesus frankly because I did not really know why I should choose Jesus. A year later I was at a bible church youth group and the youth pastor told us the steps to become a Christian via a evangi-cube. He then had us pile into SUVs and go door to door evangelizing. I was completely freaked out and shut down immediately. Through the youth group again, we went on ski trips where the main goal was to evangelize on the lifts. Before the ski trips both times I got very sick, high fever, shivers, etc. just because I was so scared to evangelize. I thought "okay, some people have the gift of evangelism and some people don't, so I am off the hook." Wrong.

Evangelism is not wrong, that is not my point in the story above. Throughout my life, no one mentioned why I personally should do it. People said I should save souls for Christ, but it was always implied that this was a job, not a moving of the spirit.

Fast forward to this summer. I went to Point 11 with the youth group I was interning with, and a speaker came and moved me. He talked about evangelizing like it was breathing, if I did not spread the gospel, how was I growing with God? If I loved God so much, it should overflow and telling others about Christ is that overflow. It made sense to me, I evangelize because God so loved us, why would I want to walk around on this Earth knowing others do not know Him? I was inspired but timid because I knew the Laws of Christ, but I did not know how to go about starting conversations, how do I make the truths flow, etc?

Fast forward to tonight. A woman I look up to greatly had us over and we each gave our 3 minute testimony. I had not thought about it much, but I started making connections from others testimonies and pieces it with my testimony. It was wonderful! I saw how I could tell my story, insert the Gospel, and never make it awkward! We then talked about other ways to go about sharing the Gospel, and throughout the night I kept thinking "Wow, I can do this, I need to do this!" Towards the end, we were joking about abnoxious ways to start conversations! I loved it because I knew God was in it all, He was showing me how much sharing the Gospel is not a job, it is not a burden or a rule, but it is an extension of me, of me loving others and wanting others to know Him ultimately. So I come back and I read Facebook, for some reason lots of theology and opinions are posted about things. None of them talked about loving Christ and spreading the message to others. It was more politics than encouragement.

It really unsettled me, because I too get caught up in the politics of life. If I just do X, then I will grow closer to God. Once I have my testimony memorized and lots of bible verses, then I can share the Gospel to someone. NO! I need to share NOW, I have allowed too many people walk through my life without knowing about Christ. That has to stop. Who cares about politics? Why do we get so caught up in it all? Because in reality it is not involving us. God calls each of us individually to share the GOOD news, not the burdensome news. We are to love ultimately, and sadly I have seen it as a plague, that I cannot do or want to do. So, this blog may seem a little "you heathens!" but in reality, I think we all need to be shaken up and realize that if we are not following the Great Command each and every day, how can we possibly follow the Great Commandments ever? Just a few thoughts floating in my head.

Monday, November 14, 2011

What Am I Doing?

I feel like we all ask this question from time to time, "What am I doing?" Sometimes words are added to the phrase, sometimes the phrase is meant for a specific action, sometimes is it meant for life in general.

As a college student, I am asked "What are You doing?" With my major, with my life, anything. So I too ask myself "What am I doing?"

As a Christian, I ask this question also, "God, what am I to do?"

Life on this Earth is not meant to be easy at all, especially as God's chosen people, yet why do we for some reason always have it in our heads "Once I get to point X, then it will be easier, then I will be better...." frankly the only point where we will be better and life will be easier is when we join our Father in Heaven, until then, trials shall come our way, things will be messy, life will be hard.

The human mind fascinates me, it helps that I am a psychology major, the problem with me is, I see how things should go, if I pray more I shall grow closer to God, trials will not be as difficult, community shall develop. If I stop eating so much, I will lose weight, I shall be able to have more energy to be a better temple for Christ and serve Him better. My brain knows what's up, yet there is the other part of me that gets in the way, my flesh, my sinful nature. For some reason, my brain and flesh are not on the same page, probably because the two are serving different masters, God is my master in my brain and heart and soul, but the Devil is the persuader of the flesh. I would not say the Devil is necessarily the master of my flesh, but it is my sinful nature that the Devil is able to easily persuade, I must battle it with my mind heart and soul that belongs to God so He gets the Eternal Glory.

Instead of asking "What am I doing?" I should ask, "God, what is Your will in my life? Am I doing it?" Sounds about right, now I need to train my brain for the battle of conflict that will ensue when I think "What am I doing?" to turn it to God and be Him Disciple in this life.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Family Ties

My parents just left for home after spending the weekend in Tulsa for Parents Weekend. And I question myself, because since halfway through Spring Semester, I have gotten teary eyed and cried when I leave my parents or when they leave me. The thought of not being able to see Rachel every week makes me uneasy. I keep asking myself why? Why do I get so emotional when I see and leave my family? I have also been lately noticing just how close my family really is. Is this a problem? Why are we so close? Why am I so emotional and do not want to leave my family?

And then I realized, this is how God created us, this is how God wished us to be. Not just nuclear families, but as a body of Christ. God designed us so that we would crave God and one another. From a mate, to a friend, to a body of church members. Yet if you look at each relationship, the more distant people become. Usually one is very open and close with their mate, pretty close with friends, and depending on the friendships, the church body we can or can't be close with. Now, there are of course reasons why one would not be as close with the body of Christ as with a mate, but let's think about family. Why can't the body of Christ be as close as a family?

Imagine it, going to church is like a homecoming, and the people you see you want to spend as much time as possible, when you have to leave, you honestly will miss the people until you see them again, and when you are gone, you keep in contact to make sure they are okay. Wouldn't that be a beautiful group of believers? People would desire to know what it is that made this group of people so close. I truly believe that God made us for that reason. Yet I can also sadly admit that I am not extremely close with First Presbyterian Church (I am with the college students, but even then there is room for improvement) and that unsettles me. So that is a new goal for me, to start trying to have a family relationship with the body of Christ I am involved with. I can't wait for others to come to me because that is like asking God to forgive me my sins but just continuing to sin and waiting for God to take away the sin. I have to be bold in order for others to feel confident to maybe do so also. Family is precious and we can expand that to our churches.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Orphans Kingdom

This evening has been a roller-coaster of emotions! At Cru tonight, Pastor Paul talked about poverty and how Jesus usually was with the impoverished (Luke 5). When Pastor Paul started talking, my mind went to "yes, I know all about poverty in the United States, I took a class on it" and I even had a little debate in my head about his statistics. Then he moved into the passage in Luke, showing how Jesus called fisherman (pretty much the lowest social status job one could have), how he touched a leper and healed him (one would not even stand mere feet from a leper let alone touch someone who had leprosy), how he healed a paralytic, and called Levi (or Matthew) to follow him (a man who was a tax collector and a traitor to his people, for he worked for Rome), and finally when Jesus talks about the sheep and goats in heaven (the sheep fed, clothed, offered hospitality to the lowliest of the low, and when they did that, they served Jesus). Intense stuff, let me break down my thought process for each passage.


Jesus calling Simon and his business partners to follow Him, did not really hit me. I have known that  fishermen are not the highest on the totem pole of jobs to be desired back then, but once again, it is mentioned so many times in the Bible. The men dropped everything and followed Jesus. While yes, fishing is not the loveliest job, it was their livelihood, they had family to provide for, dreams they wished to accomplish, and they left that for Jesus, a man who they hoped and believed and had faith was the Messiah. What if they had been wrong? They lived their lives out with so much faith, so much hope in the times of persecution. I have to ask myself, would I drop everything and go follow someone? Jesus? I admit, I sometimes don't follow Him, where is my faith in that moment? Would I be willing to proclaim His name when it seems like there is no proof, no justification to follow this man, but my faith keeps me grounded? I sometimes question God and demand proof, even though I have a whole book of proof from the Bible! This is my human flesh rebelling against a wonderful God.


The story about the leper is the one that started to make me really dig deep. The leper says "Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean" Did you get that? If, you, are, willing. Many times in the Bible it points to the will of God, and if our hearts are directed to allow His will to be done, He will grant our desired, because we desire His will be done. Do I say that enough to God? Do I mean it enough? I cannot imagine this leper, his skin rotting as he lives. For the first words to be they will be done? Sure, I add that phrase at the end of prayers, but in reality, it is to just appease God. Sometimes yes, I so desire that His will above mine will be in my heart, but many times, I am just saying it to "humble myself" Jesus replies "I am willing" Do I remember the God is part of this ongoing conversation, this ongoing journey? No, sometimes I forget that He is walking, holding, and loving me all through my days and nights. Jesus took that man's leprosy away from Him, He can do all things, there is proof time and time again in the Bible, he served the lowly and the poor. I feel that way sometimes and yet, I feel too unclean for Him to really be able to take away this flesh rotting human nature I have. Sometimes I worry if I believe I am clean, God will just laugh at me and throw me to the wolves. (If you cannot tell, I am trying to work on faith, not a spiritual gift of mine.)

Jesus and the paralytic. What is so fascinating about this piece is the reply Jesus gives to the friends. "Friends, your sins are forgiven" I forget that the world is not just me trying to get through this journey, that other people are walking the same walk and trying to grow in their faith. I deeply struggle with the thought that other people close to me sin. In my mind, I am the one who is sinning horribly, and others, I can forgive their sins without any thought. Jesus says though "Friends, your sins" plural. I need to remember that more.

The Jesus and Levi story was a good summary to the whole point Pastor Paul was trying to make, Levi was not a favorite among the Jews at all, and they despised him for being a tax collector for Rome. Yet he became a disciple of Jesus'. Jesus called Him to join him. I sometimes think "Oh yeah, the disciples were all big shots by just being Jesus' disciples!" No, during that time, they probably lost some status points by following this man who claimed to be the Messiah. People must have hated them, their family may have turned their backs on them. Am I willing to do that for God? Am I willing to accept whatever happens, thy will be done, to take up my cross, leave my possessions and walk with Him in my sight? At times, yes I can, easily. Other times, when things aren't so tough and life seems pretty decent, I would think twice before making that decision.

Finally, the sheep and the goats. I know this passage well, I have most of it underlined in my Bible. Pastor Paul brought up a good point. Many international students at TU feel very lonely, the loneliest they have ever felt. Am I going to the lost people on campus? The impoverished so to speak? No, I am still trying to find my comfort zone, I don't even really think about making too many new friends on campus. But, many people on campus have never even heard the name of Jesus. What a beautiful opportunity to be able to minister to students and grow alongside them! Yet, I hesitate. Because sadly, my human nature is to be a goat, to deny others needs above my own, because I am a sinner. The problem is, I am not actively fighting that nature, I am settling in it. When I have read this passage before I have thought "I am too young, too poor, to be able to really go out and help others who are poor, or imprisoned, or need clothing." Yes Pastor Paul laid it at my feet, there are students living on campus, maybe next door to me, who may not know Christ. I can talk with them. I can make friends, one can never have too many friends, more specifically, and one can never have too many brothers and sisters in Christ. This is what floored me.

For some reason, I think a deep desire of mine is to be a songwriter, problem is, I can't write songs. Every once in a while though, I think of a "lyric" that I think would fit well in a song, and it keeps rotating in my mind. Tonight I had such a moment. I kept thinking this lyric so to speak "How can You even look at me? In this world full of broken dreams, broken hearts, broken souls, I cannot seem to fit Your image." It probably makes no sense, though I hope my rambling about tonight can help paint the picture.

When Pastor Paul was talking about reaching out to the lonely on campus, I was transported back to Point 11 this summer when Keith Chancey talked with such a peace yet passion for spreading the gospel. Like it was as fundamental as learning the ABC's and easy to talk about with anyone! I had thought earlier in the night as we were singing "please God, do not let that moment at Point 11 be a mountain top, but a transformation" and Pastor Paul did that tonight, or rather, God used Pastor Paul to hit me to the core. It made me very quiet. Like my spirit just needed some open, vulnerable time to take it all in. We stood up to sing soon after this revelation, and the first time in my life, I sang solely for God, and it was almost a whisper for the first song, and when I sang the second, it was not full out, showy hand movement humbling experience. It was soaking up that indeed, God is stronger than I am, and He is Lord over all. Not me, not just me, but all, past, present, future, troubles, joys, tribulations, life. All.

Anyway, this is really dense and heavy blog, but I needed to process tonight, but to talk with someone would have been hard, because I felt like God was saying "You and me, process through Me" which is ironic cause my computer would not play any sound, and my thought when I came back to my apartment was "I will listen to music while I type this" and obviously God was saying "No my love, just listen to my spirit and I will be the music in your heart" I am a Child of God trying to grow in Him more, and He definitely stopped me in my tracks tonight!

P.S. The title of this post is based off the song "Orphans, Kingdoms" by Brooke Fraser which I have been listening to all day today! And I think Pastor Paul would agree, the Kingdom of God is for the Orphans of the world. :)

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

A New Beginning for Cru


I just finished my first night of Cru Large Group. I kept thinking and praying “100 people God, you can do it!” And yes, 100 people would have been great, BUT, I sit afterward thinking about why I love Cru so much, and it is the relational aspect of it. Not just growing relationally with Christ, but relationally with everyone in the group. So, God called 20 students to come along with an amazing worship band and two wonderful speakers. Sure, 100 people would have been awesome and a light of His doing, but I think tonight showed His Will, His Desire, His Plan. Once again, I put my plan into his palm and said “I think you can handle this” instead of just praying, “Thy will be done Lord.” Cause in the end, it will be His Will. What was beautiful about tonight were a couple of things.

1.With so few people, we got to start making relationships with those people. 100 people would have been too much and we would have cliques forming.

2.I sang in the crowd. And once again, I wanted everyone to hear me sing, not the gift gave me, or to even try and sing to God. But, God being one to dose out humility a plenty, He knew the set list would humble me. I knew many of the songs, but certain parts really hit home for me and brought me to my knees in front of the Lord. I struggle so much with trying to show people how good I can be instead of trying to point to God in my life. He is helping me with this walk slowly, and this night He humbled me.

3.I got really excited this semester. I have been happy to see people, okay about classes, but tonight I got excited. I saw God’s hand in what He wants me to focus on this semester. I have WANTED to be busy with Cru, I have not had this feeling of the Spirit truly awakening me and giving me a passion. I saw all the students and thought “Please come back, I want you to know God more and for us to grow together!” I have never had that thought before.


 As I got back to my apartment, I picked up Blue Like Jazz. I am just starting to read it and I am beyond excited. But I read something that really humbled me. Donald Miller is telling a testimony about a student he met at Reed College, and the student says “They (other Christians) felt like they had to sell God, as if He were soap or a vacuum cleaner, and it’s like they really weren’t listening to me; they didn’t’ care, they just wanted me to buy the product .” Eeek, that is hard to rebuttal, because, I tried to sell Cru tonight to those students. That is not right. God guided them there; He will work their hearts if He desires them to come back. He showed His awesomeness by bringing a student into the building, she just wanted air. She then felt like she should come to Cru instead of going to another meeting. I asked her afterward if she enjoyed it. Her reply was “I know I was supposed to come here tonight, there is no doubt in my mind.” That is God! He can do that! I couldn’t. I can convince and try and “sell” the idea, but I am just supposed to plant the seed and let God guide her. Reading that exert reminded me that I can’t sell Cru or God for that matter, it just never feels right, I will never leave feeling confident on the situation, I need to listen, encourage, and then allow God space to work in hearts, cause there is no way I can do that job!
All in all, tonight was a beautiful. God’s Will was just right, cause if He started with 100 people, we would want more and more and more (which I totally think He will provide) but, His plan is better, 20 was the perfect amount tonight. J

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Neverland

So, my parents and I just dropped off my little brother to Baylor University, and it feels so weird. I feel like he is just off to camp or something (which is a bit funny because my first two weeks of college I felt like I was at camp.)

Coming back home for the night, I have been feeling melancholy. Like a piece of my childhood is dead with Daniel going to college, we are all growing up. I have not cried yet, but while I was cleaning, I was listening to "Somewhere Only We Know" by the Warblers, and it hit me so hard. I sang this this morning with my dad in the car, but the lyrics hit me really hard.

"Is this the place, we use to love, is this the place that I have been dreaming of? Oh simple thing, where have you gone? I'm getting old and need something to rely, so tell me when you gonna let me in, I'm getting tired and I need somewhere to being.
If you have a minute why don't we go, talk about it somewhere only we know, this could be the end of everything, so why don't we go, somewhere only we know?"

Reality is, my childhood is done with, it has been for a while, but with Daniel and my close friend Sarah still in high school, I felt like I could go "Somewhere Only We Know" and pretend like our childhood was still young and strong! But it isn't, and I hate it. I loved my childhood, God was beyond gracious in giving me and my family so many beautiful memories, and I want it to be that way forever. Mind you, I really want to marry and have kids of my own, but there is just something about being a kid, it is so carefree and such a strong blind faith. I find that I am doubting myself a lot lately and my choices, which is not good at all, God knows what is in store, and worrying is only going to make me want to tear my hair out.

I guess deep down, I want to be like Peter Pan and fly off the Neverland, to have no worries and to be a kid forever. The problem is, Neverland is not real, we all become adults at some point, and that is how God intended it. Because if we stayed kids, we could not evolve with Christ and become closer and learn more as time goes on, we would just blindly trust him all the time, which cannot be because of our human nature of selfish. And I want to be selfish, I want to be a kid forever, I don't want to go to college and grow up because in my mind, at the moment, adults don't do anything as fun as kids. (My rational side assures me, there is plenty of fun things adults do that kids can't) but the child inside me says, "No, please come back, we were safe here" and that is really what is comes down to, I want to feel safe, and since I know the past, the past is safe. The future is not safe, so I don't want to know the future. Anyway, this post is just a little part of me feeling sad that my life is changing so drastically what with Daniel going to college and my sister Rachel just graduating. But, in the end, I know God's plan for my life is beyond what I can ever imagine, even Neverland can't compare.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Fantasy Books

I am an avid reader. (Though I go through phases of reading, then not, then reading, you get the picture). A few weeks ago, a beloved book series was made into a final film. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 came and went. Many people have posted on facebook, blogged, tweeted, and bonded over the end of an era, yet the start of a new generation getting to learn about Harry, Ron, and Hermione.

But, this post is not about lamenting Harry Potter, but looking at books. A good friend of mine posted on facebook a blog about how Harry Potter has Christian undertones. I enjoyed the article, and it got me thinking. Most books that I enjoy have a bit of Christ in them. I had a lightbulb moment, of course you can find Christ in any book, it is not like he is a fictional character! He is everywhere, even if we try and run away from Him, He is in every part of our lives, movies, media, everything! Now, that is not to say that Satan is not everywhere also, because he is the Prince of the Earth. But if one were to knowingly look in say a book, they could see Christ in that book. Legacy Bible, the church that I go to at home, stands on the belief that throughout the ENTIRE Bible, Jesus Christ is in every verse, every book. Now, it is easy to find God in the whole Bible, but Jesus? Our family pastor had us look at the story of Cain and Abel, and it was a little obvious to see Christ in Abel, until he asked us to turn it around and try and find Christ in Cain. That did stump us for a bit. Anyway, the point is, if we can find Christ throughout the Old Testament (before He was even born), God is a big and glorious God to put His Son into our everyday lives (after He died). Anyway,  this was a bit of an "aha!" moment (probably more of a grace moment) that I wished to share to others :)

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

My lovely Seester

I have been thinking about this post for a while now, and I believe this is the perfect time to publish it! A month ago, I was listening to a song I hold very dear to my heart for multiple reasons. The song is "Somethings Are Meant To Be" from the musical Little Women. One reason I love this song is because it is from the first musical I ever saw professionally done (I saw it down in Dallas around the time I was playing the part of Jo March at our community theater) and this is the one song I can still see in my mind. I also love the message the song is saying. Also, I think of my sister and our relationship together. The final reason I love this song, is because I was able to sing this duet with my sister at my senior recital last year. I asked her to sing it with me because it does describe how our relationship use to be, how it is, and probably how it will be in the future.

God blessed me with having Rachel as my big sister, because while our personalities are different (and in any other circumstances, it could be volatile) we get along so extremely well, and we always grow in life and faith.

God's plans are always bigger and better and more grand than anything we can image. If someone had told me 4 years ago when Rachel went off the Belmont, that she would go to Tulsa and be a University Ministries Intern with the college (let alone the church) that I go to, I would have laughed and said "No, she will be off somewhere singing, she would never do that!" And yet, that is where God has called her to be. She just moved in this past weekend, and is embarking on an adventure that I get to watch and see.

The one question most everyone has asked us is, "Are you two going to be living together?" And while I do think we could do that after we are both out of college (if God is calling us to the same town) we have not ever felt like that is something that should happen in Tulsa. I am still a college student who needs to grow in ways that Rachel has already done, she needs to feel freedom in a new town being a graduate of college. That doesn't mean we wont take Tulsa by storm, it just means space is a good thing, we do not want to damage our relationship by being together 24/7!


Anyways, big sisters are the best, especially when mine doesn't always act like the oldest!! I don't think I would want another sister (maybe a sister-in-law many years from now, but we will never pressure Daniel to move on that anytime soon) because that girl would probably be left out, or I would because she and my sister would get along so well. God's plan is good and all knowing, I have to applaud him on the grace he gave me and my sister in our lifetimes, that is for sure. So, to anyone thinking that their sister is not that great, think again, they are the best thing anyone can have. I will end with the lyrics from Some Things Are Meant to Be from Little Women the Musical (some background on the song, this is Jo and Beth at the beach, right before Beth dies) I sang Jo's part, Rachel Beth's part.

Some Things Are Meant To Be
Beth:
Let's pretend we're riding on a kite. Let's imagine we're flying through the air!

Jo:
We'll ascend until we're out of sight. Light as paper, we'll soar!

Beth:
Let's be wild, up high above the sand, feel the wind, the world at our command.
Let's enjoy the view, and never land.

Jo:
Floating far from the shore.

Beth:
Some things are meant to be, the clouds moving fast and free.

Jo:
The sun on a silver sea.

Both:
A sky that's bright and blue.

Beth:
And some things will never end.

Jo:
The thrill of our magic ride.

Beth:
The love that I feel inside for you.

Jo:
We'll climb high beyond the break of day.

Beth:
Sleep on stardust, and dine on bits of moon

Jo:
You and I will find the Milky Way. We'll be mad, and explore.
We'll recline a loft upon the breeze.
Dart about sail on wit with ease.
Pass the days doing only as we please, that's what living is for.

Beth:
We'll be mad, and explore. We'll recline a loft upon the breeze.
Dart about sail on wit with ease.
Pass the days doing only as we please, that's what living is for.
Some things are meant to be, the tide turning endlessly,
the way it takes hold of me, no matter what I do,
and some things will never die, the promise of who you are,
the memories when I am far from you.
All my life, I've lived for loving you; let me go now.

Eternal Life

I am a fan of Christian Romances, partly for the romantic in me, and also for my safety in knowing that my mind is not prone to wander if there are sexual undertones that are not safe for my mind and soul. The final thing is that I can always see God speaking to me through the story I am reading, because usually (not always) the characters walks with Christ are a central point and a learning moment. So, that being said, I have been reading a series by Lori Wick (probably my favorite author in the genre) and I came upon a paragraph that really made me pause. The heroine was talking about how while she may not be rich, she always things about how she has eternal life.

The devil has been making me doubt my future (though I should not worry to begin with, since I do not know God's ultimate and wonderful plan!) especially money. We all are talking about debt and the economy, and what the future holds. I get caught up in the talk and have been thinking about my major and specifically what I wish to do with that major. I am a psychology major and I have been debating whether to get a Ph. D so I can get more money, or just get my masters and while not get more money, still do something I will enjoy. I have been trying to pray to God to guide me, but for some reason, I keep going back to wanting a nice house, being able to afford things for my future kids (meaning I am planning on having a husband, who I have yet to meet). Do you see the pattern? I am worrying and deciding my future without God. The thing is, I do know my future, eternal life. I forget how wonderful and awesome that gift really is. I may not be able to buy TOMS at the moment, but I have eternal life. I may not get into the grad school I want, but I have eternal life. I may mess up and sin everyday of my life, but through Jesus' blood and God's grace, I have eternal life!!! So, I encourage everyone to jump with joy and praise God, because we have eternal life!!! If you do not know God, I want to tell you all about Him!! Happy Afternoon!!!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Just a Downer Day

You remember the book "Alexander and the Horrible, Terrible, No Good, Very Bad Day"? I just lived that experience times ten today! I won't go into details, for indeed, everyone can sit back and think of a really rotten day. Who knows? Maybe today was your day that just stunk! Anyway, the immediate thought with that is, "I should self wallow, I should have ME time!" Because usually, those bad days are because one does not feel like they did anything really wrong, others did! At least I did, though throughout the day, I kept thinking "man, I am in a bad mood!" but the next thought was, "oh those people...." (Note: This day was an onset of hormones, tiredness, stress, people, situations, so many factors, not just one person or thing)

My point is, these bad days just stink! There really isn't a "cure" other than to get some Ben and Jerrys and just have a selfish moment! Sadly, I did not do this, probably because I keep thinking that I should stay away from the ice cream for one, and that having a selfish moment at this time will not help the situation. The day happened, it wasn't the best, it was probably one of the worst, but you know what, God was in those moments, holding my hand (and my temper) and being a balm, and I did not even recognize it!

Funny side point, I was coming home from said bad day, and I heard on the radio "Recent studies show that taking a cold shower can make one happy, endorphines kick in quickly when one takes a cold shower" and my immediate, though sarcastic remark was, "I need a cold shower quick!"

While the joke is funny, it is also true, sometimes I really want a selfish moment, selfish day, heck selfish week! But as a Christian, I have to remind myself, "Jesus did not take a selfish moment, goodness, he would go straight to God if he was feeling afraid or scared" and that is probably my dilema, I am not turning to God in those moments. I am human, and being selfish in nature, I turn to myself. This is not to excuse those moments, but it is a reminder to myself that I need to strive to turn to God in those moments of terrible horribleness, because truly He is the only one who can be the balm in those moments, Ben and Jerry's can only fill the stomache and work its way down to the thighs :)

I apologize for the ramblings on of this note, I haven't had the best day, and it is almost midnight.

So, to anyone out there who has had a terrible, horrible, no good very bad day, I wish to hug you, and to remind you, God is in control, these are fleeting moments in the walk of eternity with God. Kisses!!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Choleric Sanguine

So, since I have been thinking about making a blog, I have also been racking my brain for a name. For some reason, I was so distraught because I thought "I need a good name, so other people will follow it!" Really? Humble pie Elise? So, after a humbling moment of realizing, that the 5 followers that may follow my crazy antics, will probably be more precious to me than 5,000 followers could be (or so I think), the name really shouldn't matter.

Anyway, I could not really think of any names other than Choleric Sanguine, and on thinking about it for the last few hours, I realize, it is the prefect name. Choleric Sanguine is my personality type (based on the temperaments, Personality Plus is a great book to learn all about them!) and I am studying psychology at TU. I also have the tendency to observe new people and find out what their temperament combination. So, in reality, the title of this blog does indeed describe me! So, to everyone (or no one) who ever reads my blog, I am quite excited for this endeavor of blogging! If it is only therapeutic for me, I am okay with that!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Forever the Conformist

I finally did it. I got a blog. Though I feel justified because I did not get on the band wagon until I was in college. So, it was my independent decision! Ha! Though I will say I will not join twitter anytime soon. I facebook stalk, that is the limit, in my opinion. I have opened my horizons though and decided to make a blog. Frankly, I don't really know what this blog will be. I know I will probably put photos up from photo shoots I may do, and little quirky topics here and there. I may offend some people, I may cause controversy, but my main point is, these are my opinions, not fact, this is my opinion on life, not facts about life itself. So, be kind internet and do not scorn me for my ideas on life. Not everyone agrees on everything, but I still love you all!!! Make your own blog if you so feel that I am not doing it justice, I will not be offended. So, I hope to be embraced by the blogging community and shown some grace, as I will try and do to others. (For indeed, the golden rule is a good rule to follow!) So, let the journey of blogging begin!