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!!!