Friday, February 29, 2008
i fly out in 10 hours, 8 minutes, and 32 seconds.
i have been in Vancouver for the past couple days and have been able to spend a wee bit of time with my beautiful sister (not near as much as i would like though).
if you know me, you know that i don't particularly like Vancouver. ok, i think i used the word "hate". but my mother taught me better than that. however, i feel like i am warming up to it a bit. i mostly disliked Vancouver, because i had yet to visit here without getting lost by myself . . . for hours. but i didn't this time! i feel like i kind of know where some things are (on the west side anyways . . . never mind the other billion sides . . . like east, south, north . . . central . . . yes. billions.)
i suppose it helped that my travelling buddy, laura, and i went on a four hour walk. its true. she's a sneaky one. i thought that we were planning on just walked for a half hour, so i wore my new leather flip flops. instead, it turned into a hike up mount everest (well, almost.) to say the least . . . my feet will hate me for the rest of my life. it was fun in its own secret way.
except for the part where we walked over the bridge on granville and we gagged from the overpowering smell of urine. just lovely.
so today, we will pack up our stuff, do some more researching (because we still don't know what we are doing or where we are staying HAHA. hint : that was definitely a nervous laugh.) . . . and then i am going to drag laura into town for some bubble tea.
i repeat her blasphemous words "i've never had bubble tea. i just don't understand what all the hype is about" *GASP* i don't know if we can be friends anymore, when we don't agree on one of the most important things in my life.
but i love bubble tea.
i will be on that plane in 9 hours, 4 minutes, and 24 seconds.
oh, but i won't actually be in New Zealand until March 2nd. oooh there is fun to be had on a 15 hour flight. (not.)
did you know that adios stands for :
my Almost Death In Overhead Shuttle. its true!
(ok. not true. but i think i'll petition it. or maybe i'll start a facebook group for all those who agree.)
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
Jesus Christ is the beginning. The first thought, the first word, the first action. Nothing starts without Him or before Him.
Jesus Christ has full ownership of my life, and everything in it. Everything is His to give, His to take away, His to use. I am a living sacrifice to His glory. I will freely give of my talents, time, and finances to the church without worry to my needs. I will not selfishly hold them to myself in an effort of self-preservation, or out of laziness. I will wholeheartedly give of myself . . . even if that opens myself up for hurt.
I am committed. I am consciously making the decision to be here, in body and spirit. God has put me here for a purpose, and I recognize that. I will not shy away from His calling, but drink of the water and grow where I am planted.
We are called to live blamelessly. I choose to hold myself accountable to the truths written in the Word, but also to allow others to be apart of that. I will not hide my weaknesses, my failures or my struggles - if you are able to bear the burden and if the Lord leads, I will openly share. I will not allow pride to rule. In the same way, I will hold you to the standard you claim to live by. I will not be silent in sight of blatant sin . . . I will approach you in love to remind you and to help you if at all possible. I will not condemn you - but I will be honest with you, because I love you and want to see your life bear fruit.
I set aside myself - all my desires, feelings, and preferences. I seek to serve the Lord in every little part of my day. If someone is hungry, we will feed them. If someone is hurting, we will listen to them. If someone is lost, we will speak the truth to them. if someone is happy, we will celebrate with them. if someone is sick, we will pray with them. I am not afraid of the forgotten, menial, difficult tasks . . . I will serve with humility and joy for I am serving the Lord. I am also not afraid of the big, overwhelming tasks . . . for I know it is Him in me who accomplishes all things.
We are a Body, working in unity together. If part of the body is sick, it affects us all. For this, we will strive for health in the body. We want to serve together, love together, worship together . . . we cannot escape our spiritual connection. Our personalities may be different, we may have different opinions, different ways of communicating . . . but our common ground is Christ, and He holds us together. I will use my words and actions to edify the body, not tear it apart.
I believe in one God over all - the maker of everything. I recognize Him as my Lord, Saviour, and Friend . . . He alone is worthy of my worship. I will not worship money, status, relationships, or possessions. Worship is an act between myself and God, but we as a body are blessed by it as well. I will not turn worship into a personal show - may our motivations be pure and wholly focussed on God. Worship is not just singing and music. Nor is it simply dance, art or reverent silence. These are the more obvious, public expressions of worship in which we partake of together. Our private worship is the choice we make every day to walk in obedience.
I believe the Lord when He says we are all given spiritual gifts. No matter what the gift is, or whether it is easily seen or not, it is necessary to the body. I will seek the Lord's wisdom in the use of my gift and will use it as He decides, for His glory. We will not allow spiritual gifts to sit and rot - we will utilize what the Lord has given us, for His glory.
Jesus Christ is the end. He has the last thought, the last word, the last action. Nothing finishes without Him or after Him.
He is the church, to which we have been called.
it has been a week of late nights - trying to do as many things with friends as possible before i leave, and cleaning and packing every minute i get. i am going to breathe one big rib-rattling sigh when i finally sit my butt down on that plane. people just might think its turbulence.
despite the tiredness, and "running around with my head cut off" feeling . . . I AM SO EXCITED! i have the feeling that once i start traveling . . . i'm not going to want to stop.
there is so much to be discovered in this world, so much that i don't understand. i hope that traveling will really open my eyes to the big picture . . . that God would allow me to see things through His eyes, and that I might have a heart for His people all across the globe.
Thursday, February 14, 2008
" . . .It is because we know that
Monday, February 11, 2008
and i broke all the rules pertaining food choices and exercise.
it was nice to have some new subjects for my excessive picture taking (its getting out of hand). I have spent the last few hours fiddling around on photoshop . . . here are some samplings of my play projects.
a photographer is only as good as her subjects.
in other matters . . . i am leaving for new zealand in just two and a half weeks. its hard to believe . . . and at times i feel overwhelmed. have i any idea what i am doing? (ha. i usually don't)
i have been feeling so incredibly blessed by my church here in Sidney. I am starting to get quite attached to it . . . and that scares me a little bit. I have no idea where God will take me next, and I am afraid to leave these people . . . I am afraid of starting all over again in another church.
Friday, February 08, 2008
but really, since living on my own, i have completely gotten stuck in my own routines - stubborn in my own ways.
aren't i too young for this !?!
3 of my roommates from capernwray have come to stay at my house for the weekend . . . which i know is going to be a blast. i love them to pieces. right now, we sit sprawled out in my kitchen, eating the leftovers of last nights pizza and singing out of tune. i am in my favorite spot on top of the dryer, and i can't help but just smile at this scene. its so different to have noise in my house (other than the scrape of Len's walker across the floor above me). . . and oh the mess :)
i have to resist the urge to get up at 2 in the morning to clean my bathroom. i have become quite paranoid about that. the towels have to be hanging striaght, the toothbrushes have to be put away, and the sink has to be clean. and sometimes i want to just cry when i look at the disorder in my room . . . but when i really think about it . . .
i'm thankful for the laughter they bring, the life.
it's good to be broken out of my habits every now and then.
I am reminded that life isn't all about me :)
Tuesday, February 05, 2008
never done it.
growing up, i would listen to my friends complain about how they couldn't eat popcorn or not being able to watch their favorite tv show. i mean come on, can't people be more creative than that? i thought about giving up cleaning my house. or quitting my job. or maybe even, relenquishing my showering routine. no? oh.
in all seriousness . . . i have felt God stirring my heart. I am not going to give up anything really . . . but I am going to be working on a "project" of sorts. i started thinking about it when i read nancy's blog. then sunday night, God gave me an idea that i am quite excited about. in fact, i started lent a few days . . . there aren't rules for this are there? :)
I am on a 40 day mission to discover God's church.
I have had my struggles with the church. there have been times when i have wanted to walk away (and even done so). . . and times where i have longed to stay, but my heart breaks at what i see happening among the people. but more and more, i have a growing desire for change. i'm not looking for some new age movement, or fluffy teaching . . . but i am looking to see the church be everything God wants it to be. that's big i know. but i also know that its possible.God has blessed me with a wonderful, healthy church here in Sidney - with young people who, like me, are seeking to follow God . . . but who don't want to be silent. we have ideas. we have visions. we have energy. we want to start a new kind of church . . .
...no, not a new church. but a renewed church.
in order for the church to reach its full potential . . . we need to know what the focus is. we need to be building on the right foundation, and speaking only from the truth's He has already given to us.
that brings me to my project.
. . . I want to know what He says in His word about what the chruch is to be, what we are supposed to be doing. i'm going to be spending alot of time in the word searching this out, and alot of listening . . . I am asking for His wisdom. along with that . . . I want to talk with people, listen to people - both inside the church and out. i want to know your thoughts about the church . . . things God has shown you, or taught you about community. or even, just things you want to throw out there. do it annonymously if you want :) here are some ideas to get your juices working . . .
what role should the church be playing in our world, in our lives? what is it's purpose?
what do you think the church should do more of, less of?
what do you look for in a church?
in some ways this may seem academic to you. . . but it is anything but that to me. God is doing something in my heart . . . something i can't explain. maybe I will have a better idea at the end of this all.
my desire is to break down every misconception we have of the church. every hurt. every streak of pride, and temple of self-effort. i want to see what the church looks like when it is stripped bare . . . to see what God sees.