Thursday, December 2, 2010

Cautiously or Radically?

I believe I was a sophomore in high school when I made this life-changing decision. A decision that has, in fact, affected every major decision I've made thereafter.

No, it wasn't the decision to follow Jesus, exactly.

It was the decision to not just live for the Lord, but to live radically for the Lord. During musical worship at a conference, as I was praying, two pictures came into my mind. One picture was of a house on a hill with a fence and a dog in the front yard. The other was a straw hut on a mud road. In my heart I felt that the pictures represent two ways of life. (Note: Don't hear me saying I think having a house on a hill with a fence and a dog is bad or wrong or unspiritual. I don't. At all. And I may very well have one myself someday! If that's all you hear, you'll miss the point.)

To me, the first picture represented living cautiously, while the second represented living radically. Because God knows my heart's language, He used those pictures lead me to a Y in the road on my journey with Him. I decided that night to live each day radically, wanting to live life on the edge.

Right now, I'm trying to figure out what the "each day" part looks like. Moving to Champaign, Ill., to join a church plant team may sound radical, but not to me. It's getting down to the day-by-day details of living radically that has stumped me. My challenge has been to make sure each day is aligning with the larger purpose of living radically, loving radically, and risking radically. And I'm not sure I've been doing that well.

I have a feeling this isn't something I'm going to master anytime soon. It just might take a lifetime.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

That I'm not alone

I found tears running down my cheeks this morning.

I'm not one to cry, really. There are typically two things that bring my internal emotions to my exterior: movies and music. Stop, play and pause buttons can be pushed during movies or songs. There's a clear end, either an hour and 58 minutes or 3 minutes and 28 seconds. I get to decide if I want whatever happens during the movie or song to affect me thereafter.

In real life, not so much (which is why I struggle with emotional connectivity).

But this morning, I had no control. It was as if my heart bypassed my brain.

We had communion at Confluence Church for the first time today. Confluence, a church plant in Champaign, Ill., started meeting in July. Church is held at the pastor's home, and we've been catching the vision, learning about the city, discussing practical ways engage the community, building relationships, listening to the Spirit, and worshiping God since then.

Before church, the kids of the pastor went over to the neighbors' houses to invite them. Two kids came, Niko and Tanea.

For communion, someone read 1 Corinthians 11: 23-34 from The Message version. A plate of bread was passed around to everyone one, and Kevin (the pastor) served everyone the juice saying some variation of "This is the blood of Jesus; He died for you." Even the kids were served.

After that, Kevin asked if anyone felt God tell them anything or if they had any images they wanted to share with the group. (This is very common at Confluence. Sometimes no one has anything; sometimes someone does.) A couple of people said very serious, genuine things that were on their hearts. And then there was some silence.

And now, here comes the reason for this post. This the reason there were tears streaming down my cheeks. After a few moments of silence, Niko, the 10-year-old 5th grader who doesn't really go to church, said with more sincerity than I can write
"I felt God say that I'm not alone."

I am certain, so certain, something is going on in his heart. The Lord is moving and drawing him near. In a room of strangers, primarily adults, this little boy had the courage to share God told him he's not alone.

Oh, and Niko, who decided to not go to children's church but to stay with the adults, also volunteered to help in a service project next weekend.

All my heart could do was smile through tears.

Friday, August 20, 2010

10 Reasons I’m Not Selling Everything I Own and Traveling the World

My love for traveling has taken me many places in my short 24 years of life. I have amazing friends in Mexico I visit at least yearly. I’ve almost been arrested in Athens, Greece, for not validating my metro ticket (three words: bribe the cop). I’ve met Great Britain’s former Prime Minister Gordon Brown outside a hotel on the northern coast of Wales.

The city of Paris still inspires me when I close my eyes and remember walking out of Sacre Coeur and having my senses overcome with awe at the sight, sounds and smells as the chilled night wind blew my scarf into the empty sky behind me and the entire city sparkled just like in the movies. Flipping through a book I bought at the Vatican and remembering Michelangelo’s incredible art encourages me to persevere when a task seems daunting and the end isn’t in sight.

I spent four months living in a real castle nestled in England’s green countryside. Nearly ten years ago in Haiti I met a little boy, T-Jim, whose picture still sits on my desk in a frame that says, “Memories such as these are treasures of the heart.”

I can’t watch the travel channel because it makes me restless. I can’t flip through vacationing magazines because I want to visit everywhere. I can’t save any money because I spend it all on airfare or gasoline.

So you can imagine how hard it was for me to read Elizabeth Gilbert’s New York Times Bestseller “Eat Pray Love.” In fact, I haven’t read it completely. I had to stop after reading of her experiences in Italy. By that point, I’d created an eBay account, Kelly Blue Booked my vehicle’s worth, and searched one-way flights to various cities across Europe. I was ready to sell everything I owned and move to anywhere. It was then I knew I had to put the book down. My heart just couldn’t take it.

Side note for those of you who are out of touch with pop culture: Gilbert’s book is about her experiences spending a year traveling in search of herself and, some would say, spirituality. She spends time in Italy, where she focuses on food, India, where she visits an Ashram and focuses on prayer, and Indonesia, where she focuses on love. Last weekend a movie based on her book was released starring Julia Roberts. (End side note.)

When my best friend, who loves the book, asked me to see the movie with her, I could hardly say no, especially because it stars my favorite actress of all time. (“Pretty Woman” was my favorite movie as a child.) Going into the theater, I gave myself a pep talk, something not uncommon for me.

Just enjoy it. You know you’re supposed to be in Champaign now. You just signed a 12-month lease. This is where the Lord wants you. Just enjoy the movie,” I told myself convincingly.

I did enjoy the movie. But, I’ll admit, there were times, while sitting in that surprisingly comfortable movie theater seat, I would have given all but my last breath to be sitting on the Spanish steps in Rome (something I’ve done before) or walking the beaches of Bali (something I long terribly to do).

That brings me to my main point, the title of this post: 10 Reasons I’m Not Selling Everything I Own and Traveling the World. Truly, I believe these reasons are from my heart. However, I must be more truthful in saying perhaps my heart is trying to convince my head these reasons are valid. Regardless, here are the 10 reasons I’m staying in good, ol’ Midwest and not becoming a globetrotter….right now anyway.

1. I’m not in a financial position to spend a year unemployed.
2. My family would hate me.
3. I just signed a 12-month lease that can’t be broken.
4. Honestly, I believe God has led me to Champaign, Ill.
5. Student loans, need I say more?
6. I plan on going back to school next year (for dental hygiene this time).
7. My camera isn’t good enough to take on that kind of trip.
8. I need to shed some pounds before I can fit in with the rest of the world.
9. I would need to take another self-defense course to brush up my moves, and I don’t have time for that now.
10. The final reason, and probably the one I cling to most, is that book has already been written. I won’t write it again; I’ll write my own.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

I get by with a little help from my friends.

What is it about natural disasters that brings out the best in people? It seems almost odd that something tragic and terrible would bring unity and camaraderie among strangers and neighbors (and strange neighbors). Oh sure, there will always—on this side of Heaven, anyways—be people who are exceptions to the majority. But for the most part, people seem to band together in times of need. And it appears natural, second-nature.

I think about the earthquake in Haiti a few months ago. The world responded. I was proud not only to be an American, but simply to be living and breathing right now on this earth. To be part of a universal society that saw an earthquake completely and utterly destroy a nation and chose to act. The world leaders did not look away burying heads in their own problems (and Lord knows we've all got plenty of them), but rather they responded. They cared. They aided.

While there are many tragedies in which this type of behavior has occurred (Hurricane Katrina in 2005, 9/11, Indiana Ocean Tsunami in 2004, etc.), I choose to downscale to more local disasters.

Visiting Spring Hill, Tenn. this past weekend during the torrential downpours and flash flooding that happened in Middle Tennessee reminded me of the floods that hit my home county two years ago. It was the summer of 2008, and I was actually living in Spring Hill at the time. Back home in Southern Indiana, the northern part of my county was being hammered with rain. Daviess County is a very rural, farming community, and many farmers grow crops near the river. As the rain escalated, people began to prepare for flooding. People in the community helped sand-bag areas and evacuate homes, anticipating the levees breaking.

Being more than four hours away and feeling very helpless, I realized there was nothing I could do to other than solicit prayer, which in itself is far more productive than anything I could possibly do. I sent a message to one of my best friends, who, at the time, was doing an internship with Mercy Ships in Sierra Leone. (Ironically, he's there again right now working full-time for Mercy Ships.) I told Neil about the flooding going on in the community and asked him to pray for the people there.

A few days later, I received a call from my mom, whose natural enthusiasm was magnified. She told me while several people were out sand-bagging, a big truck showed up with a few men who looked slightly uncertain of what to do. They found a deputy (my uncle), and told him they were from Huntingburg, Neil's hometown about two hours away from mine.

It was the mayor of the city and a few other volunteers. Neil had told his mother about the flooding, who contacted someone, who contacted the mayor. And the mayor decided to find others, drive two hours, and help out some strangers.

So I revisit my first question: What is it about natural disasters that brings out the best in people?

I think natural disasters expose the reality that we are all mortal. There is no differentiation between the rich and the poor, the pretty and the ugly, the confident and the timid. Tornadoes don't avoid the biggest homes. Floods don't recede around homeless camps. In the midst of disasters, all people have is each other. And that, my friends, is beautiful. The acknowledgement that life is about people; that situations and circumstances cannot be controlled; that all you really need is love.

When will we grab hold of that beautiful picture of true unity outside of a disaster and live together in community caring for our brothers and sisters? I look forward to that day.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Dancing in Circles

I just wanted to pass along a new song that I think is phenomenal. At first listen, you—like me—might be repulsed by the sort of boy band vibe that comes from the perfect harmonies or by the pop-esque, Rascal Flatts (bleh!) feel. But hang tight and listen to the words. It's quite a lovely song.

It addresses many things going on in our world, and I especially like the references to God. AND it's true. (Sometimes when artists talk about God in their music, what they say isn't exactly true.)

It's called "Dancing in Circles" by Love and Theft. Please, check it out and let me know what you think.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

A near tragic breakup

Recently, I almost ended a long, deep, intimate relationship. It could have been the worst mistake of my life; though, I'm sure it could have been mended, but it probably never would have been the same. I was feeling very deceived. No longer was I sure what I'd relied on, believed in and hoped for was true. For years, I'd trusted. I'd found comfort. I'd found strength. I'd found part of myself. And then, I began to doubt.

I almost broke up with country music.

I know, I know. Perhaps I'm being melodramatic.... Or perhaps I'm not. Perhaps something such as music can have a larger impact than realized or recognized. I am a music freak. I may not be able to tell you who sings every song, what year it was released or on what album (the sports editor I work with can do all of those things; he's a music genius). But I sure can spout lyrics from nearly every genre. My heart opens when I'm listening to music. Sometimes, it's like every part of my being is the song. I am the melody, the harmony, the guitars, the drums, the lyrics. It's everything I want to say or wish I could say. It's what my heart feels.

I listen to lots of music, but I prefer acoustic, singer/songwriter type, modern jazz and country. Country music and I have a rich history. My grandpa listens to the country station The Bullet 106.5 all the time. He never turns his radio off. He has the radio in the kitchen and in the garage on 24/7. When I got my first alarm clock with a radio, he set it to that station. And I fell in love. Reba McEntire, Travis Tritt, Patty Loveless, Tim McGraw, Garth Brooks, Aaron Tippin, all of them.

With the exception of about three or four dark years when I would have rather listen to a chainsaw than to country music (I don't speak of those years often), I've been a fan all my life. It was my comfort and my hope. It seemed more like real life to me.

But then I began to wonder, are those lyrics true? Do people really think those things? Should I find encouragement and strength in this? Am I believing in the words of some far-fetched dream? The questions where there. The doubts. And with the doubts came other radio stations. I gave country music very little airtime. It went from being my primary tunes to being my last resort.

I started thinking about the songs. Hearing "Independence Day" by Martina McBride takes me back to a cab ride back to Harlaxton Manor on the last leg of our Paris trip. Alyse, Beth, Megan and me in Marty's cab with that song cranked up singing at the top of our lungs. Then there's Reba's "Fancy," which I remember watching her perform in a long, red sequency dress when I was in the third grade (a concert my mom surprised me with on a school night). Joey and Rory's "Cheater, Cheater" was a solace to me at one time in my life. And, honestly, I've yet to find a song that fits me, my personality and my desires like Terri Clark's "I Wanna Do It All."

I've lived through country music. There was no way I was going to stop living through it, stop remembering moments in life through it. Heck no.

So tonight, as I was driving home, I knew we'd crossed the valley when I bypassed Lady GaGa and Train for Reba McEntire. Two weeks ago, that never would have happened (I say ashamedly, as if my allegiance to Reba has been slightly tarnished).

All relationships have their ups and downs. It's just a matter of having wisdom and knowing when to trust your heart or your head. Had I ended things with country music, I believe there would be a void not only in my music sphere, but in my life. Country music connects me to my feelings. I guess you could say I'm a cowgirl at heart.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

In my dreams; En mis sueños; Dans mes rêves

Recently, I've had two dreams in which I communicated easily and effectively in other languages.

I've had friends who've dreamt in other languages, but all of those friends actually speak other languages. Me, I don't. Not because of a lack of opportunity. Unfortunately, when I had the opportunity and was enrolled in Spanish courses in college or French classes in high school, I studied only enough to get by, not to learn the language.

The strange part about the dreams is that I have no clue what I was saying. In both dreams I was with people I knew, friends in those countries — Mexico and France. So there I was, just hanging out, laughing and being friends, completely engaging in the conversation. I remember hearing myself say words clearly and without hesitation. I was untroubled by fact I didn't know what I was saying.

I wish learning a language was that easy (I say as I'm sitting on my bed surrounded by my Spanish/English dictionary, picture dictionary and "Daily Spanish for Dummies"). But the dreams encouraged me that perhaps one day I will be able to communicate effectively in another language. Though I'm not holding my breath I'll be able to do it with as much ease as I dreamt.

Friday, March 19, 2010

The New Look

After an intensive and extensive (smiling because both of those words work) search, I decided on a new layout.

I was searching for something that fit me and my posts. There were several layouts that I liked, but they didn't seem to go along with the vibe from the content.

When I saw this one, I immediately liked it. The only thing I don't like is that "Big World" isn't clearly visible at the top. I'm giving it a trial run for a few days and then I'll decide if it's a keeper.

What are your thoughts, friends? Does it work for me?

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Hesitation — The Follow Up

Please, if you're interested, read my previous post before diving into this one.

As I was trying to sleep last night, I realized I didn't touch an important part of my thoughts on hesitation. Inconveniently, I woke up thinking about it too. (I despise my overactive subconscious. As if dealing with an overactive mind all day isn't enough, my subconscious is equally busy, at times making it impossible to actually feel rested.)

I always think if there's no takeaway, no application, no implementation, then what good is the thought. So here is where I'm going.

Hesitation in itself is not wrong. The important thing is to figure out what is causing the fear in the hesitation. After getting to the bottom of the fear—actually coming face-to-face with it—it can be brought before the Lord. Then the fear can be justly weighed.

What I'm getting at is it's important to figure out what the fears are and why they exist. And that's something the Lord can help with.

But don't get me wrong, I'm not suggesting you go through that whole process before crossing an intersection in a vehicle. I say, "Just gun it and go!" :)

Monday, March 8, 2010


Most days, a thought hits me in the morning and clenches its teeth into my brain. All day, it refuses to loosen its jaw clasp around my mind. I spend the day feeling the individual imprint of each tooth, wondering if its really there, if its just my imagination, if I believe in its power. I question the truth of the thought and its applicability in all circumstances.

Here's what held my mind hostage today:
Every hesitation is rooted in a varying degree of fear.

I was hit with that thought while standing in the shower this morning. I wish I could remember the thought process that got me there, but I haven't the slightest idea. But immediately after, I began to question its truth. I tried to think about different types of hesitations and various times I've hesitated to do anything.

My initial link to hesitation was in driving. I don't know statistics, but I'm going out on a limb to say there are lots of accidents that happen because drivers hesitate. The think they have enough time to make it across the intersection. But then they hesitate before proceeding, and that's when a collision occurs. What caused the hesitation? The fear that they might not make it across. And what really caused the accident? The hesitation...rooted in fear.

I'm a rather indecisive person. If I don't see how the decision will play into the big picture of life, then I don't really care; I'm truly indifferent. (I honestly don't care what restaurant we go to!) But if it's a decision that directly affects the big picture of, say, my life, then I care. Example: Upon my college graduation, I was offered a position with a wonderful organization whose purpose I stood beside doing a job I was passion about in a foreign land that captivated me. I hesitated. Man, did I ever. I hesitated to even say I felt swayed one way or the other. My hesitation was rooted in fear—fear of making the wrong decision, fear I'd bypass an opportunity to serve the Lord, fear I'd step out of God's will for my life. I mention this specific time of hesitation to clarify I'm not saying hesitation altogether is wrong. After all, now more than ever I'm confident I'm where I'm supposed to be. (Plainville, Ind., happens to be the ends of the earth for me right now.)

I hesitate before I tell certain people things, hesitation rooted in the fear they my not receive the words the way my heart intends for them to be received. Or the fear they'll misunderstand me. Or the fear they'll disregard or devalue what I'm saying.

I hesitate before sharing the Gospel at times. I hesitate before letting myself care about certain issues or people. I hesitate before following my heart. I hesitate before making decisions that affect my future. I hesitate before doing anything that will make me uncomfortable or vulnerable.

So at the end of the day, as the thought begins to loosen its bite on my mind, I say I believe it: Every hesitation is rooted in a varying degree of fear.

I invite thoughts on this issue.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

I'm gonna burn it down

I'm realizing that the more you try to focus on the Lord, the more you see Him everywhere and in everything. God is doing a work in my life, and if you want to hear about it, Reader, don't hesitate to ask.

I've always been a fan of Pink, even her old school stuff (I say unashamed). In her recent hit "Funhouse" (If you've not heard the song, I recommend listening to it on YouTube before proceeding.), she talks about leaving a place that used to be fun but is now just haunting her. It's about a horrible break-up that caused pain and hurt. The song is chock-full of emotion. She's comparing the relationship to something that was so natural and so normal—like a home. And now, she's trying to rid herself of everything that would remind her of that relationship. She's walking around this "empty house," and there are so many memories. She's not exactly sure where to go from there. She knows it's not where she needs to be now, and the whole house house must be torched.

That is exactly what happens when we become Christians. We must get rid of our old selves and become who we are in Christ. As pre-Christians, our "home" is our flesh. But when we come to know the Lord, our "Funhouse" doesn't seem so fun anymore. It just taunts us. The house of our old selves taunts who we are in Christ. We know, the Holy Spirit lets us know, our keys don't fit that life anymore. And it has to be burned.

This is typically something that takes a lifetime to do. Just when we think we've purged ourselves of our flesh, the day ends, we go to sleep, and we wake up. Our Spirit is in constant battle with our flesh. Every moment of every day, our Spirit is fighting for us. The Holy Spirit is urging us to keep moving forward, to continue fighting, to remain in tune with the Lord.

Our walk with the Lord is about refining who we are in Him for His glory to build His Kingdom.

So, Reader, I say, join me in torching our old homes. Let's trust the Holy Spirit to continue moving us in the right direction. Face it, the keys to that old house are worthless in comparison with the keys to the Kingdom of God.

"Funhouse" by Pink
I dance around this empty house
Tear us down, throw you out
Screaming down the halls
Spinning all around and now we fall

Pictures framing up the past
Your taunting smirk behind the glass
This museum full of ash
Once a tickle, now a rash

This used to be a Funhouse
But now it's full of evil clowns
It's time to start the countdown
I'm gonna burn it down, down, down
I'm gonna burn it down

9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, fun

Echoes knocking on the doors
All the laughter from before
I'd rather live out on the streets
Than in this haunted memory

I've called the movers called the maids
We'll try to exorcise this place
Drag my mattress to the yard
Crumb, tumble house of cards

This used to be a Funhouse
But now it's full of evil clowns
It's time to start the countdown
I'm gonna burn it down, down, down
I'm gonna burn it down

9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, fun

I'm crawling through the doggy door
My keys don't fit my life no more
I'll change the drapes, I'll break the plates
I'll find a new place, burn this fucker down

This used to be a Funhouse
But now it's full of evil clowns
It's time to start the countdown
I'm gonna burn it down, down, down
I'm gonna burn it down

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Waiting room muse

As I was hanging out in the hospital waiting room, I decided to write. It's been a while, and though I've been promising an Everyday Jesus story, you're still waiting. Maybe I'll work on that after this post (that is, if I don't fall asleep).

My Aunt (great aunt, actually) Marsha was admitted to the hospital today. She works at the hospital, which proved convenient when her face went numb, arms started tingling and head started spinning this afternoon. Currently, she is sleeping. Tomorrow will be a day full of tests for her, and hopefully, some answers will come. In the few minutes she was awake while I was in her room, she told me the doctor said it could have been a mini stroke.

Our other family members were here earlier. They left when she started falling asleep around 10:30 p.m. I came to the hospital after work, shortly after 11 p.m., to stay for the night. This isn't the first time I've spent the night in a hospital room or waiting room. A couple of months ago I stayed in my grandma's room with her, and my grandpa spent 21 days in the hospital a couple of years ago. That was a long month—August 2007. (Don't worry, no one stayed the entire time. But my grandma got pretty darn close.)

Every other time I've stayed in a hospital with a friend or family member, the hospital has been quite a ways away. Tonight, that is not the case. And because of that, I can't help but feel judged by the nurses walking by. It's like they're wondering why I'm here.

To be honest, I'm not doing anything. I probably could easily go either home or to a cousin's house in town. But here's why I'm staying: I think that regardless of if I'm in the room with my aunt or not, she knows I'm here, and I give value to that knowledge. I place weight on the fact that she knows someone is waiting here with her. Do I really thing she would care if I went home? No. She told me I didn't have to stay. But possibly by knowing I want to stay will be helpful.

It's more the principle of it. I think there is value in moral building. And if this situation was, God forbid, more serious, I hope that knowing someone stayed all night would be encouraging in some strange way. That's what I want to tell the nurses that keep walking by looking at me strangely.

I could be completely wrong; I have no idea. But I'm still going to stay.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Thursday's thoughts

This morning I was reading in Matthew when Jesus quoted something the Lord says in Isaiah.
These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship of me is made up only of rules taught by men.
-Isaiah 29:13
Where are we taught the rules that make up Christianity? I've had several conversations with a great friend who has the privilege of leading jr. high and high school students in the discovery of Jesus. She has told me the differences in how a relationship with Jesus must be presented at varying ages/maturity levels, and I completely understand that.

I guess my heart just hurts to think that the "dos and don'ts" list sticks after high school. Perhaps because in college, several individuals hibernate their faith (which, let's be honest, isn't really possible). And maybe some of that has to do with the list that's been created. Then when they decide to come out of hibernation, the list still sticks.

There are numerous reasons that could be explored, deconstructed and evaluated. I'm not going to do that. I just want to encourage people to not let their worship of God be made up of ideas and rules taught by man. But rather, seek how Jesus lived and worship like that.

May the Lord grant you faith and courage, put purpose in your day and show you how to serve Him in the most effective way.

P.S.- Everyday Jesus stuff is in the works.

Monday, January 25, 2010

El Roi

El Roi, pronounced el ROY

It means "The God Who Sees Me."

This name of God is used in Psalm 139:7-12:
Where can I go from Your Spirit? Where can I flee from You presence? If I go up to the heavens, You are there; if I make my bed in the depths, You are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there Your hand will guide me, Your right hand will hold me fast. If I say, "Surely the darkness will hide me and the light will become night around me," even the darkness will not be dark to You; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to You.

Though it might seem frightening that the Creator, All-powerful God knows exactly what we're thinking and feeling (the Lord knows there are several things I wish He didn't know), but find comfort in it. There is no temptation or trial that we are going through that Christ Himself hasn't been through. It's like we can talk to someone who's been there before, who understands our feelings and can help us do the next right thing to proceed in life.

He is El Roi, the God who sees us.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Coming soon

I'm starting a blogging project soon. I'm hoping highlight different people I know who are actually taking what Jesus says in the Bible seriously. They're providing shelter for those without it. They're not casting stones when most of the world is. They're seeing what could be when there is currently nothing. Essentially, they're living their lives day-to-day and being obedient to God in everything.

Why am I doing this? Honestly, because I'm trying to figure out what it looks like to live a life of total abandonment and work a job.

It's easy to say, "I'll do that when I'm financially stable" or "I'll serve that way with my spouse whenever I'm married." I believe God wants us to be living in surrender to Him now, in whatever stage of life we're in.

So I guess I'm doing this for me to learn, and my hope is you, gracious reader, will learn something too.

Oh, the project's name is Everyday Jesus.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year! the five people who read my blog. :) (and I'm an optimist.)

My prayer for you is that throughout this year, you'd experience a new characteristic of God. If you've known Him as El Olam, the Everlasting God, may you also know Him as Jehova-Shalom, the Lord is Peace. If you've known Him as Jehovah-Jireh, the Lord will provide, may you know Him as Jehova-Mekaddishkem, the Lord who sanctifies.

That is my prayer for myself, as well. I do not know all the names of God, but I'm trying to learn some because I believe by learning more about God's names, I'll learn more about who He is.

A great resource a friend told me about is a pamphlet called "Names of God." She, being much older and wiser than myself, advised me to read over the pamphlet every day and said, in doing so, I'd grow closer to God and be able to pray using His specific names. I'm not there yet, but it's something to work toward.

I don't know about you, but I'm ready for a great year. 2010 is going to be incredible; I can just feel it.

Here is a link if anyone is interested in purchasing a pamphlet: