27 February 2010

pointers and life questions

In my programming class, we are talking about pointers. Without getting into too much detail, a pointer is exactly what it sounds like; an arrow pointing to something else. Now you might be thinking that I'm pretty weird and most definitely a nerd (which I kinda am) for talking about my programming class on my blog. But I really do have a point so just stay with me. We're going to talk a  little about programming.

If you were to ask a pointer what its value was, all it would do is point to what the variable that it's pointing to. For example, let's say that a pointer, we shall call it p, is pointing to a variable, called v. And let's also say that v = 25. If we were to ask p what its value was, it would say "whatever v is, that is what i am. My value is 25." In a way, a pointer is an anology for our relationship with Christ.

Every single person has asked the life questions: Why am I here?, What is my purpose?, Where do I belong?. Maybe those questions that don't seem to have an answer are like pointers. Maybe instead of trying to figure out the exact "value" of each question, we need to look to what the questions are pointing at: Jesus.

Why am I here? To point to Jesus.

What is my purpose? To become more like Jesus.

Where do I belong? In Jesus' arms.

2 Corinthians 3:18 says, "So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image." Jesus, I want to reflect Your glory. Help me to be like a pointer and point to You in all that I do.

25 February 2010

power and surrender

I think God is trying to tell me something. There is this certain phrase that keeps coming up again and again in songs. Have you ever experienced that? The hard part is that I don't know what to do about it. The thing that I originally thought it was about, I wouldn't be able to do until two summers from now (2012) and somehow I don't think that is what God has in mind. I guess in a way I'm nervous about what His plan is. I have this inkling that I'm going to have a period of struggle and surrender with Him. Why is it so difficult to surrender completely to God. Is it the idea of giving up control and power? If so, what is so thrilling about having that power and control? I was talking this semester with one of my good guy friends, we shall call him Rhys, about this. One thing that he said that has stuck with me is that for him, its the desire to have influence in people's lives - for people listen to him and do what he asks. But how much more influence could he have if he surrendered that power and control to God. I mean think of Jesus! He had surrendered completely to his Father and look at the power that he was able to use for the glory of his Father (the miracles). Maybe I'm just rambling on and I don't know what I'm talking about. I'm still not sure what total and complete surrender of every part of my life looks like and I'm still not sure what God wants me to do with what he's telling me but I do know that I desire to surrender to Him and to follow his plan.

Here I am, Lord send me. I'll go where you send me.

23 February 2010

midterms and grace

Have you ever had somebody offer you something that you were hoping for but yet you knew was nearly impossible? Yesterday, one of my professors (not one of my favorite ones) extended me grace when I knew I deserved waaaayy less then that. Since then I've been puzzling with it. Why? Why would he do that? Does he actually want students to do well in his class? And then I thought about how in a way it is similar to what Jesus did for us. He gave us grace so that we could "do well in his class of life" and get that "A," eternal life. Isn't it amazing at how God uses everyday situations to show us little glimpses of Him? Thank you Jesus for all the moments during the day that I see your awesomeness and thank you for giving each of us grace when we least deserve it. Help me to pay it forward to those that I interact with in my life. Give me the strength to extend grace to those around me.

21 February 2010

national convention and love

This weekend was National Convention for ADX and it has been a crazy 30 hours so far. 200 girls in close proximity for an entire weekend is kinda overwhelming. Not that I don't love each one of my sisters and love spending time with them but after spending all day with that much estrogen in one room, I am ready for some time around some guys like the ones in our brother fraternity, Alpha Gamma Omega. And just some quiet time with me and God.

Have you ever noticed how finances is such a topic full of conflict? It doesn't matter whether its your immediate family discussing how you're going to pay for college, where the money for high school graduation expenses is coming from, or a national sorority financial update about where the dues go, it is always accompanied by lots of emotions, arguing, and passive aggressiveness. Is it because money really does make the world go round? I, for one, would like to say that's false. Yes, money is important; and yes, it does help when trying to acquire a house or car or even a place to hold an event; but I refuse to believe that it is the most influential thing in our lives. I mean really its just pieces of paper with certain words on it. What if instead of having everything in your life revolve around money, what if we chose to have our lives revolve around God and love and service. What if instead of always having to be paid for doing something, what if we helped each other out just because we care? What kind of change would that make? There are so many passages in the Bible that talk about love. Matthew 22:37-39 says, "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'" I encourage you to make that change. May you stop focusing on money; may you instead choose to live by Matthew 22 and live by love; and may you run after God with all your soul and mind.

17 February 2010

html and surrendering

I've decided having this blog will be fun. Since I got it, I have started learning HTML (way cool!!!). Instead of just being about my travels once I get to Italy, I am now going to just start putting my thoughts here. Hopefully I won't be really boring but then again I don't see this becoming a hugely popular blog so it doesn't really matter whether I am boring or not because those who read this will obviously want to put in the time it takes to read my thoughts.

Today, I went to the Annex for the fourth time ever. I am loving it! After hearing soo much about it all last school year and first semester this school year, I finally took the step and went this semester. Why did it take me so long to go to something that so many of my close friends were encouraging me to go to? Was it because I haven't wanted to go deeper in my relationship with Jesus because I'm fearful of what he has planned for me?
In Oregon, growing up, I was really involved in activities in my church. I was on the worship team, active in my youth group, went to all the youth festivals, helped out with the toddlers, worked with VBS. You name it, I was most likely there. Then when my family moved to CO, we were no longer an integral part of the church. At first when we found our church here, I wasn't involved in church activities because I hadn't met anyone yet. But then a month passed, and another and another and now five years out and nobody in my family is involved in our church. Somewhere along the way, we became the family that just sits in the church pew. 
Since coming to CU and joining Alpha Delta Chi (ADX), my relationship with Jesus has radically changed. I've grown in ways that I never thought I could. I'm finally understanding what it means to pursue God, to run hard and fast towards Him. And yet, I don't think I have truly surrendered to Him. Why else would I have resisted to going to the Annex, a place where I could grow in my faith through getting involved? God, I surrender everything to you. I desire to dig deeper in our relationship. Help me to take the steps to get involved in the Annex.

I'm leaving you with this verse. This is my verse for the day, maybe even the week or the month. May you leave the details of your life at God's feet; may you fix your energy on God; may you be transformed into his image; and may you answer God's call with the speed and urgency that he desires.

"So here's what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don't become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You'll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you."  ~ Romans 12:2 (The Message)

12 February 2010

studying abroad and families

So this coming spring, I am planning on studying abroad in Italy for the semester. I know my family and friends will want to hear about what I'm doing while I am there. That is what this is for. To give those that want to an insight into my life when I am not with them. When I was little, I tried to keep a diary but it epically failed so hopefully I will keep this up.