in your eyes

If it is true that they eyes are the window to the soul, I feel as if other people's eyes are the window to mine. I see something in somebody else that I don't like, something that rubs me the wrong way and all too soon I realize it is not them at all, but rather my own ugliness staring back at me. C.S. Lewis says, "We frequently see things in other people we don't like about ourselves."
You can tell a lot about a person by looking in their eyes or noticing whether they look into yours. I know, somewhat, what they reveal to me. I often wonder what they reveal about me to the world.


It is a true statement that man's heart is evil before redemption of Christ. I heard a speaker a few days ago and he said, "It is never the case that something comes out of the mouth that is not in the heart." Now, I will preface this with the fact that I love my job. I love that I get to go in to a place void of the love of Jesus and bring it there, walk in it, live it out. I love my kids. They misbehave like its there job, but I love them still. The one thing that is so hard for me to watch day in and day it, the one question that weighs on my heart everyday as I leave that place is, "Why do we hate each other so much?" Why are we so mean to each for every thing. We rip each other apart in every way that is humanly possible as if our survival depended on it. Appearence, personality, weight, speech, everything is a target for ridicule. I had a real honest moment with two of my students on Friday. They are two girls who stick together ALL THE TIME! BFF's would be a good term for it. They whisper to each other and make fun of everyone. I heard them say a bunch of stuff about somebody and finally I went up to them and asked, "What do you gain from constantly tearing other people down?" They weren't phased by the question. This is the least favorite part of my job, watching this happen. It is one thing to watch someone's sin tear up their own life, yet is seems to be something different from watching one person's sin tear up another person. I often think that if I only knew then what I know now, I would have been so different.


the next step

"What if this next step, this leap of blind faith, this starting all over on your own, was the begining of the rest of your life? What if that is exactly where you find your life."

I'll admit, I may seem as if I have it together, that I am okay with move and change and shifting paradigms, but that is not always the case. This decision, this move to Texas, this massive change of all I know has been the hardest step I have ever taken. I was spending time with one of my favorite people in the world back in May (When I was headed to either Denver or Seattle for school) and I was unreservedly expressing my fear of this next step and she said those words above to me. A.J. maybe this is where the rest of your life begins! I have held on to those words tightly. I have clung to them when things have been tough. Focker, you are a very wise woman and I am so proud to call you sister!
When I first got here I found myself looking around saying, "How am I supposed to find life here? Even the grass is dead and crunchy." But slowly, God has been doing something. He has been bringing me back to life. I had no idea how dead I had gotten, how numb, how selfish. God help me if I had gone to one of those other schools. Without fail, everytime I have a bad day here, something happens to encourage me, to make me so, "Okay, I can do this. I can stay." Job offers, scholarships, opportunities, all of it is coming at me and I'm not really sure why. I don't feel like I have done anything to deserve a blessing in a really long time. I am reminded in those moments that God is leading my life. His word says, "Many are a plans in a man's heart, but it is the Lord's purpose that prevails." I get the feeling more and more that being here is a huge part of the rest of my life and I am learning to trust that the One who created me can carry me.


Something I read...

I read this today in a book speaking about suffering and how it forms us. I found it rather intriguing and hit me that in the middle of my own suffering God may just be working out something in me to mature me.

"It would seem that in this situation, feelings of malice, the disturbance of being opressed, aimless hate, irritability, and nervousness ought to mulitply. But you yourself do not notice how, with the impalable flow of time, slavery nurtures in you the shoots of contradictory feelings...
Formerly you never forgave anyone. You judged people without mercy. And you praised people with equal lack of moderation. And now an understanding mildness has become the basis of your uncategorical judgements. You have ocme to realize your own weakness- and you can therefore understand the weaknesses of others...your soul, which formerly was dry, now ripens from suffering."
"Suffering is preparation for ministry in a world of suffering."


i have so much to work on, so much needs to change...


gain in loss

use me, break me, waste me on You, Lord
ruin me, take me, waste me on You
for to die is to live...
to starve is to feast
and less of me is more of Jesus

there is power in the blood
there is victory in Jesus
come in power, wash me clean
overwhelm me with Your presence
there is power in the blood
there is victory in Jesus
help me glory in the cross
help me find my gain in loss

I was listening to this song this morning as I got ready for school. It was one of those mornings that just started slow and less than mediocre. The music was simply in the background and I happened to catch that last line, "help me find my gain in loss." It stopped me in my tracks. I am not there yet. I am nowhere close to being okay with all that I have lost, but that isn't what it is supposed to do. It is simply a prayer asking God to help me get to that place where I consider all loss gain, outside of Christ.


Oh Back to School

So, I have a job now. I am the newest teacher for the after school program at Morningside Middle school. Crazy. I am in the heart of the ghetto teaching everyday for 3 hours. It is a neat program really. I get to teach two classes of my choosing and develop my own curriculum. I am doing one on Creativity/Photography and the other one is a Survivor type theme. It will be about the outdoors and survival. It should be interesting. I have been working for a week here and love it so far. The kids are hard, but they are fun. I really hope that God uses me in huge ways here to impact the lives of these students. They dont' have much and they don't have Jesus.
I am sure I will have many exciting stories coming from here to post and share with you. Look foward to that!


A prayer

When we pray for each other (and we should! it is a sin to not and I am the greatest of these sinners) we should pray this passage. What is point of friendship if this is not our deep desire for those we name as such. Love is not love unless it is wanting what is best for the other person and what is best for a person is for them to want Christ more than they want anything!
Lord help me be this type of friend, help me with all your strength pour out this type of transforming love through prayer!

Prayer for Spiritual Growth

9 For this reason also, since the day we heard this, we haven't stopped praying for you. We are asking (A) that you may be filled with the knowledge (B) of His will (C) in all wisdom and spiritual understanding, 10 so that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing [to Him], bearing fruit in every good work (D) and growing in the knowledge of God. (E) 11 May you be strengthened (F) with all power, (G) according to His glorious (H) might, for all endurance and patience, with joy 12 giving thanks to the Father, who has enabled you [a] to share in the saints' [b] inheritance in the light. (I) 13 He has rescued (J) us from the domain of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom (K) of the Son (L) He loves, (M) 14 in whom we have redemption, [c] the forgiveness of sins.


Inside Out

A thousand times I've failed
Still Your mercy remains And should I stumble again
I'm caught in Your grace
Your will above all else
My purpose remains
The art of losing myself
In bringing You praise

In my heart and my soul
Lord I give You control
Consume me from the inside out
Lord let justice and praise
Become my embrace
To love you from the inside out

Your light will shine when all else fades
Never ending
Your glory goes beyond all fame
And the cry of my heart
Is to bring You praise
From the inside out
Lord my soul cries out
-Hillsong United


Do you ever, in some moments more than others, just feel the depth and weight of The Fall? It is almost overwhelming at times, the sense that at some point we had something, something very significant and then all the sudden it was gone.


You might be at seminary if...

You know you're in seminary when...You sneeze and the whole class stops just to say "Bless you."

I sneezed last night in my class and a chorus of bless you's arose from around the room, all of them turning to look at me as they said it. This was a stout reminder I was no longer at a public university. However brief, it was a rather odd experience.

I am going to start making a list of these, sort of like you might be a redneck ifs. There are things everyday that happen that remind me this is no ordinary place.