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Archive for August, 2009

Forgiven.

Some days I listen to Air1 at work, and today I heard this song by Sanctus Real for the first time. I’ve heard it twice today actually. And it was like God wrote this song for me to sing. This is where I am right now. It’s fairly new, and I wanted to share it with whoever stumbles across this. It’s called “Forgiven”:

Well the past is playing with my head
And failure knocks me down again
I am reminded of the wrong that I have said and done
And that devil just won’t let me forget

In this life I know what I’ve been
But here in Your arms I know what I am
I’m forgiven I’m forgiven
I don’t have to carry the weight of who
I’ve been ’cause I’m forgiven

And my mistakes are running through my mind
And I relive my days in the middle of the night
And I struggle with my pain
And wrestle with my pride

Sometimes I feel alone and I cry
When I don’t fit in and I don’t feel like I belong anywhere
When I don’t measure up to much in this life
Oh, I’m a treasure in the arms of Christ ‘Cause ….

In this life I know what I’ve been
But here in Your arms I know what I am
I’m forgiven I’m forgiven
I don’t have to carry the weight of who
I’ve been ’cause I’m forgiven

Praise my Jesus for never letting me go, ’cause I sure as heck have deserved it time and again by earthly standards.

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Welcome Week Withdrawl.

August 21, 2009 1 comment

This morning I woke up, glad for it to be Friday. But on this particular Friday, I was hit hard by a realization: this is the first UK move-in day in 4 years that I will not be on campus, either moving in, or helping freshman moving in. You’re probably saying, oh geez, why does that even matter. But my very sentimental self is having trouble with it, especially considering I’m sitting only a few miles from campus at my big girl full-time job. When I was in school, I used to look forward so much to BCM Welcome Week, I could have peed my pants. It was always crazy busy – just the way I like it. Friday & Saturday were Freshmen Move-in Days followed by hanging out at night. Sunday was my favorite – Progressive dinner, Monday – Coffee House or something similar, Tuesday – first TNT, Wednesday – classes started, and Thursday – huge cookout and Bible studies. I LOVED it. Seeing people after a long summer away, meeting new freshman, watching them be awkward, and wondering who’ll stick around and make the BCM better.

So here’s to great memories, growing up, and never forgetting my first real home: the Baptist Campus Ministries of the University of Kentucky:

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moving in my freshman year – Patterson Hall

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my first year on Leadership Council – 2006

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Hanging Around the BCM – 2006

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Freshman Move-in 2007

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Leadership Council – 2007

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Cooking pancakes for first Midnight Pancakes – Welcome Week 2008

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Leadership Council my senior year – 2008

My Weekend to Rob Bell.

August 18, 2009 2 comments

When I finally sat down in the second row of Mars Hill Bible Church, exhausted by the 8 hour trip and sleeping on a friend of a friend’s floor, I had no idea what to expect. The church was very inconspicuous, with no signs on the building so as we drove right past it. After 15 minutes of taking in the surroundings and watching the warehouse-type room fill up around the stage in the center, I looked up and suddenly saw Rob Bell and 2 other guys walk on stage. For a second, I got caught in the “holy crap, that’s Rob Bell 10 feet from me,” but I quickly recovered. The announcement guy said this week was gonna be special: they weren’t going to have any music (to my immense disappointment) but instead were giving the whole service to Rob to speak (to my immense pleasure). And then the next 75ish minutes were pretty cool.

[Let me preface this with the fact that I am not a huge Rob Bell fan. I enjoy NOOMA videos a lot, but do not necessarily like his writings, and am not very pro-Rob Bell doctrine/theology. That, however, did not stop me from going on this trip, or listening with an open heart and mind for what God had to tell me. And it was quite a bit.]

Rob began in Genesis 1 & 2, talking about how the earth was before sin aka how God intended it to be. He talked about us producing, ruling, subduing, and living in a blessed place. In these chapters, the earth is not a place to escape. The story starts here. Then he moved to Revelation 21 & 22, showing how when Christ comes back, He is bringing the Heavenly realm HERE; God dwells HERE. The story ends here. So many times, he said, we tell the story in relation to Genesis 3 (the Fall). Starting the story there concentrates on removing sin, on what we aren’t, and on evacuating from earth. But that’s not necessarily how it should be. Starting the story in Genesis 1 & 2 concentrates on restoration, what we are, and participating in creation.

And this all determines how WE share the story.

…the story is about Jesus’ resurrection beginning a new creation right here in the midst of the old one, about God reaffirming the goodness of creation, about anticipating the coming day when heaven & earth are one again (Rob Bell).

What I realized the most is that my hope as a follower of Christ should not be in escaping this world, but reclaiming it & overcoming it. My hope needs a good solid dose of perspective. Thanks, Rob Bell.

So while I spent 16 hours in the car and only 14 hours in Grand Rapids, I did come away with some great memories & experiences that only a ridiculous road trip with 5 friends can offer. And it was quite reaffirming that Rob Bell said God loves OCD people. 🙂

No longer with my ‘Elijah’.

Oswald Chambers is one smart man. This is what I read yesterday morning:

It is not wrong for you to depend on your “Elijah” for as long as God gives him to you. But remember that the time will come when he must leave and will no longer be your guide and your leader, because God does not intend for him to stay…

Alone at Your “Jordan” The Jordan River represents the type of separation where you have no fellowship with anyone else, and where no one else can take your responsibility from you. You have been to the Jordan over and over again with Elijah, but now you are facing it alone. There is no use in saying that you cannot go— the experience is here, and you must go. If you truly want to know whether or not God is the God your faith believes Him to be, then go through your “Jordan” alone.

Alone at Your “Bethel” At your “Bethel” you will find yourself at your wits’ end but at the beginning of God’s wisdom. When you come to your wits’ end and feel inclined to panic— don’t! Stand true to God and He will bring out His truth in a way that will make your life an expression of worship. Put into practice what you learned while with your “Elijah”— use his mantle and pray. Make a determination to trust in God, and do not even look for Elijah anymore.

(My Utmost for His Highest, August 11)

My Elijah was my planned future. You know: high school to college, college to camp, camp back to Lexington. But now there is nothing. My “Elijah” has left, as God has willed it. No more parental financial support, no fall back of “being a college student”. And now that I’ve been back in Lexington for a week, my faith is being pushed. Will I fall back into my same habits? My same friends? My same struggles?

God has called me somewhere not here. And I’m starting to make concrete plans to make it happen. But I don’t have the support of those I need most. They have given me questions: “How are you going to make enough money to live?” “You don’t know anyone, how will you deal with being alone?” “Why would you want to leave the great job and life you have in Lexington?” And now these questions have become my questions, when in the beginning, they weren’t.

And this is the question I’ve finally come to: Where is the balance between being realistic and stepping out in faith? Because realistically, you have to factor in money, finding a job, the logistics of a situation. And I have a lot of that to consider. But also, don’t I have to just step out first and then let God catch me? I’ve been listening to stories of my friend Kyle and Chris that took an insane cross country road trip without plans, but trusting God would take care of them. And He did. Is my situation any different? I no longer have a plan, should I go ahead and keep moving forward? I know God will take care of it all, but I don’t want a comfortable life. No Christian should settle for that. And I feel like Lexington would be doing that. I’m comfortable here. It’s easy here.

I don’t want a comfortable life. That would be like staying with Elijah.

A Lesson from Race Across the Creek

August 7, 2009 1 comment

Today I got to looking at pictures on Facebook of a relay race I was apart of at camp this summer: the First Annual Race Across the Creek. It was one of the most challenging things I’ve ever done, along with one of the most unique experiences of community I’ve had. I remember how difficult it was to get out of bed knowing what I was heading toward, but when it was over, I knew it was the right decision. That being said, I realize that the time I spent that day with Grace and Allison may be an example of a bigger step to take place in my life in a few short months.

heading to the starting line of Race Across the Creek

heading to the starting line of Race Across the Creek

I got to thinking tonight about how amazingly at home I feel here in Lexington. I know I’ve only been here for 2 days, but I feel better here these two days than I did most of my previous 4 years. I know things may change once school starts, but I finally feel like I have a life. My church family has provided me with a free place to live (with wonderful friends, nonetheless!) and a wonderful job. I’m going to start another job in a month or so, and my best friends move back this weekend. But even with all this, I know I’m not meant to stay in Lexington. God has been preparing me for something else, and I may have figured it out. The thing is, it’s going to be a lot like doing the Race Across the Creek.

I’m going to have to leave the comfort of Lexington and go somewhere and do something more challenging than I’ve ever done in my life.

It’s going to be so hard to leave. I have been praying for the strength to be able to up and go when the time comes. One of my best friends said to me the other day, “You knew it would happen. We all struggle with [our focus]. God may ask you to give up a good life to go where He’s called you.”