Tuesday, 26 February 2008

go hug a tree!

there are a few trees on campus that i find particularly beautiful! i don't know what they are called, but i love them! i think there are 2 or 3 total, and i absolutely love these trees!!! so, the other day, i decided i was going to be like a lame freshman and take my camera onto campus, and take pictures of this tree. i think there are 2 reasons i like these trees so much:
1) they remind me of the tree of Gondor
2) they remind me of Japanese cherry blossoms
neither of those reasons are particularly impressive...in fact, the first is downright geeky and loser-ish of me. but i must be honest, i do like the lord of the rings (the books and the movies). but either way, when i look at this tree, i feel like i am not in blah college station texas. for those of you who don't know, i have an EXTREMELY active imagination, and use it often...will i ever grow up?!

so, God has been doing a lot of things in my life as of late! i don't quite know where to start - there is so much! He keeps reminding me that i can make plans, but He ultimately guides my path. He is also teaching me a lot about trusting Him when things go wrong. a lot of things have gone wrong, a lot of my plans have been changed (and some changed back)...but through it all He is still good and sovreign! seriously, diving into the Word the first thing in the morning is probably the best thing ever - it just gets my day started off right! i had been one of those people who thought spending time with God at night was fine, until it was revealed to me that when i gave my evenings to God, i was just giving Him what little i had left at the end of the day! God deserves way more than just my leftovers!!!!

He is also working in my relationship with my roommate a lot, and for this I am thankful. I love my roommate to death, and am so blessed to have such a great friend as a roomie! God has been teaching us both about loving each other as He calls us to love everyone! because of this, we never fight, and we don't let ourselves get upset over small things like trash, dishes, or the thermostat. i am excited because i know this is how things are supposed to be - after all, He says the world will know us because of the love we as followers of Christ have for one another!

Monday, 18 February 2008

love as a lifestyle

well, i have so many things to do...so many assignments, lessons to plan, games to come up with, and studying for a HUGE exam (this coming saturday). so naturally, i am not doing any of it...instead i am writing on a blog which all of maybe 2 people read. technically, i am multi-tasking right now - "watching" a video and writing my comments on it...while writing in my beloved blog.

i got a new plant. it's fun. it has no flowers. the leaves are a nice color green along the edges, but are mostly a light pink color. it's cool, kinda like a trippy dalmation plant. i like it! today, i named her wendy. like in peter pan :)

at hope group tonight, tommy (hope group leader) prompted us with a question: "what is the greatest display of love you have seen from one human being to another?" i had a really difficult time with this question because i couldn't really pinpoint just one huge example. for a little while i was getting worried, wondering what the heck was wrong with me. why could i not think of any great examples of love?! all i could think of were the different instances in which Christ scooped me up and rescued me from what i beleived to be certain doom! then i realized later, after much thought on the subject, that where i see love the most (besides my family) is through my friends. when i think of love, i think of the laughter and joys that my friends and i share together - just finding happiness in the simple things. i think of sharing sorrows and bearing each other's burdens. i think of spurring each other toward Christ and love. i think of so many different faces and memories. and to me, that's love.

at the end of the night, 3 conclusions were put forth that stood out to me especially:
1. all the acts of love that were shared were just small manifestations of Christ's love
2. love is completely about the other person and their needs - it has NOTHING to do whatsoever with self. in fact, you must humble yourself and put yourself last in order to truly love others.
3. we should not strive for acts of love, we should strive for a lifestyle of love!

it's so true that love is all about others and nothing about ourselves. i have heard so many people say that you cannot love others unless you love yourself. i am not sure if i subscribe to that theory, but i do know that when you love others, you must consider yourself unimportant! your needs, your desires, your feelings...they must all be disregarded in order to love to the fullest extent. Christ loved us with everything He had - literally. He did not consider His health or wants above His mission..His love for us! as Christians, we should follow in His footsteps and sacrifice ourselves for the sakes of others. why is it so hard to humble yourself? why is it so hard to put yourself last? why is it so hard to consider others more important? even if you understand you are not perfect; even if you are disappointed in yourself as a person...it's still incredibly difficilut to consider others first. why?!

this last point is the one that struck me the hardest. it just seemed the most profound to me! yes, we are called to love others - it truly is a calling! i cannot just love one person one time in one way and say "i have loved like Christ has loved. yes, i have done my duty!" my desire should be to love all people in all ways at all times! this should not just be my desire alone, but it should be all peoples' desire! so from now on, i will strive to live a lifestyle of love. instead of living a selfish lifestyle with the occasional act of love, i will seek to be more like Christ, living TO love.

"If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn't love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God's secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn't love others, I would be nothing. If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it; but if I didn't love others, I would have gained nothing."
- 1 Cor. 13:1-3

"Life a life filled with love, following the example of Christ. He loved us and offered Himself as a sacrifice for us, a pleasing aroma to God."
- Eph. 5:2

Monday, 11 February 2008

God speaks in strange ways...

it's not really a secret, i am a harry potter fan. i have the books, i have the movies. a while back i was really struggling with something and i have always been really independent, so as usual, i told no one. i seem to isolate myself in times of trouble, and it really does no good whatsoever, no matter what i think at the time! well, i was feeling especially alone one day, and i was watching the latest harry potter movie. there is a scene where harry and luna are in the forest talking, and she points out that his enemy, voldemort, probably wants him to feel alone because if he is by himself, he is not as much of a threat. i realized this is true in my life, as well...i think satan wants me to feel alone because alone i am much easier to attack and defeat. i realize accountability is so important in our lives, but i really don't have someone to keep me accountable with everything. it's not that i WANT to be independent, necessarily...it's just the way i have been my whole life. i grew up fighting for myself, and it's really the only way i know how. i also think God speaks to me through dreams...although not the one i had last night! (i dreamt i had to have surgery...and for some reason they had to break my leg. i woke up this morning thinking my leg was broken and that i couldn't walk...) my dreams are so real most of the time, and i do wake up honestly believing they happened a lot of the time. some days it's really hard to get me back into the "real" world. the thing is, i think sometimes God uses my dreams. i know there have been several times where i have dreamed something only for it to come true later. i don't think this is a dejavu, because in a dejavu you just feel like it has happened before...but i can usually tell you what will happen next because i swear i have dreamt it.

so often i wonder what God's plan for my life is...what His purpose is. how am i supposed to use my talents to bring Him glory? how do i even really know what my talents are? is prophecy still a gift? is it possible that i have dreams and visions sent from God? sometimes i think people think i am crazy. i told my mom the other day why i am afraid of the dark - that i sometimes see things that i shouldn't see...and i told her i think that i can sometimes see demons. it's not like i physically see them...it's hard to describe. sometimes i find my eyes open to the room around me, but i see something completely different. i sometimes wonder if my eyes are opened to the spiritual realm sometimes, or if i just imagine things. or maybe i am going crazy. i wonder if something is wrong with me.

one thing i do know is that God is teaching me a lot, and things are changing. and i still don't understand myself at all.
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