Thursday, September 29, 2011

Never Too Bad

I read through Psalm 136 today, at the suggestion of a friend. Go read it, but read it out loud. It's so powerful that way. The verse covers all these different circumstances in life, good, bad, hard times where it's confusing why God does or allows things, when He provides, etc. but after each part all you see is His love endures forever. And it's this beautiful reminder that He will always love us, no matter what. 

That reminds me of the video we watched last night at Cru, Katherine mentioned it in her post. I think the most powerful part of that video, or at least one of them, was when the speaker talked about how so many people who say that they don't believe in God are using that as a defense mechanism, an excuse, because really they think that God doesn't believe in them, that God doesn't love them, or want them. And the way this girl was saved, was through the diligent love of a Christian girl who was non-judgmental, and simply loved her, cared for her, and wanted to be her friend. Had a relationship with this girl with no strings attached, no hidden agendas.

It's so easy to fall into the trap of being friends with someone with the purpose of bringing them to Christ. That should never be the goal, we should never have that agenda. We should desire to share the love of Christ with others, but not to "convert them." We should share this love because it is such an integral part of our being that it is absolutely impossible to separate ourselves from this great love that has made us into who we are. But it should never be shoved in someone's face, never forced down their throats, we shouldn't make them swallow it like sticky pink cough syrup or children's medicine.

Our goal should simply be to love. Our agenda, to care. To have a relationship with someone, without expecting anything in return. People should see that we are different and wonder why, and then realize that we're different because of one simple thing, we know that Jesus loves us and we love Him back. And our lives should be about showing others that love, letting them know that Jesus simply loves them. Loves them without expectations or desires, without report cards or To Do lists, that He loves them no matter how screwed up they are, no matter what they've done. And that not only does He love them, but He has forgiven it all, and given His life as a ransom for theirs.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

One Day

"...rejoicing because they had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name."

That's something to aspire to, not only to suffer for Jesus, but to rejoice in those trials. He's worth it.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Loving Arms

Tonight is the annual DU camp-out for hockey tickets. It's weird to realize that it has been an entire year since I've been a college student. Everything was still so new and overwhelming then, but wonderful and free at the same time. Of course there are still new and overwhelming bits this year (maybe lots of overwhelming parts!), but it definitely feels like a home.

At last year's camp-out I met my friend Andy and hung out with him and his friends almost all night. Now he's one of my best friends!

But that's not what I remember the most about this time last year, what I remember most is the morning after the camp-out.

I'd been having a, well let's just say a difficult time with a family member around this time last year. The problem had spanned throughout the summer, causing a lot of agony, tears, and hurt relationship. Though the problem seemed to have been decently resolved, I received a text Friday night saying it had possibly resurfaced. The pain rushed back, only to be squashed back down as I chose to ignore the emotions until I wasn't around other people.

The next morning I was preparing to make a very awkward and painful phone call, ready to confront the individual. I was beyond nervous, praying that I would be able to calmly and lovingly discuss the issue, and that I wouldn't simply dissolve in anger and tears.

So I sat there, on a bench outside the Richie Center. The September sun beat down, bright and warming, slightly blocked by the small tree's branches above me. It was an absolutely beautiful day, the sort that should be filled with smiling and songs, maybe a little skipping, or just a long walk. It shouldn't have been a teary day. But I sat there under the tree, closed my eyes, and ignored the world. I don' really remember what I prayed, probably just for wisdom and the ability to forgive, to be respectful in my confrontation of someone so much older than me and in a position of authority over me. I don't really know. That's not what matters.

Here's what matters. Here's what made that day, that warm September Saturday about a year ago, so wonderful.

As I sat there, I felt Him, and I heard Him, and I was truly comforted by Him. My eyes closed, curled up in a ball with my arms around my knees, I could hear Jesus simply saying, over and over, "I love you, I'm here for you, everything is going to be okay." Over, and over. I could feel His loving arms wrapped around me, as He told me again, and again that He loved me, and it would be okay.

And it was one of the best, most beautiful days of my life.

Sunday, September 18, 2011


I miss Alex.

Twenty-Four Hours of Random Things You May Not Have Noticed

This is for an art project. We were assigned to document 24 hours in whatever way we chose. I used a camera. Rather than documenting the obvious things, i.e. where I went, classes, people I talked to, etc, I took close-up photos of all the small, random, generally unnoticed or discounted things I saw. Welcome to my 24 hours.