But seek first His kingdom

Haven’t posted the last few days. I feel like I’ve had lots to say, just never took the time to sit down and put it on this thing.

Something that has been lingering in my mind the past few days is Saturday. I talked in an earlier post about our college group really trying to get out there and make a difference. We wanted to start a ministry based off Matthew 25:40. Saturday was trial one. Four of us made 24 lunches and set out with about 10 to try and find hungry people. We were a little worried because we had not seen many people out that day. The first try was just a stop at a stop light, rolled the window down, gave him some food and a card about Milwood, didn’t really make much of a connection. But it was successful. He had food. The next guy we decided to do the one on one approach. Worked really well. Izak got out and started talking to him…then brought him over to the van to come talk to us. His name is Michael and he lives with his cat in a tent in a patch of trees in North Austin. He talked and talked and talked about his story and who he was, where he’s been. He was a veteran displaced from New Orleans after Katrina.  He kept telling us over and over “Thank You, You are beautiful”. I wish we could have given him more. We sat with him for probably half an hour. Prayed a few times and then left him to go back to his life. The other three guys we gave lunches to were pretty non-confrontational. Which is completely fine. At least we showed them some love.

Hearing Michael’s story made me so grateful to have all the things I do have. I think we often take for granted what God blesses us with and don’t thank him nearly enough.

Whether we gave out 5 or 24 lunches I think it was a success. I think ways to improve it would be trying a week day so that we could reach more people.

I’m still frustrated with finding a job. I’m ready for work. This whole not working thing is making me really uneasy and stressed out. Saturday I was reading through Matthew and came across this

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. There for do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Matthew 6:33

Story of my life. I’ve been so worried about getting a job that I have not given it to God to take care of. I’m trying to let go and put God in charge of it all. Where ever I find work is where God put me. Those people are being prepared for me to share His love and grace with them and He is preparing me to take on that challenge. It is a cycle like Beth Moore was talking about at Passion. He is always equipping us for what is coming by preparing, adjusting, reparing, and filling us to be emptied out again.

I’m off to an interview. Will probably post again later. Meeting with the college group tonight to talk about Salvation. Good conversation and coffee are two of my favorite things.

You are Savior, Messiah, Redeemer and Friend

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First Day

Well, it’s all real now. No turning back, I’ve had my first day at Austin Community College. It was rather uneventful…minus the fact that I was changing some of my registration at the Cypress campus and thought that my Pre Cal class was at Northridge. Drove all the way over to Northridge to realize that my class was really at Cypress. Drove back to Cypress and was 30 min late to class.

At least it was my only class of the day.

It’s weird being at a new school again. I feel like the new kid…even though no one even knows my story I feel like I’m screaming “I AM NEW HERE!! LOOK AT ME AND JUDGE ME BECAUSE I DIDN’T MAKE IT ALL THE WAY THROUGH A NORMAL UNIVERSITY WITH OUT TAKING A BREAK FROM IT” 

Dumb. I know. You don’t have to tell me twice. It’s all in my head. No one is really doing that. I just feel that way. I really should get over myself. This is my mission field now. I need to use it and let it teach me something. God will teach me in my studies, in my relationships and in the attitudes I approach the semester with.

What’s my outlook on this semester?

Do all things for the Glory of God…which means no mediocrity. I don’t want to be content just being average at everything I do. I want to focus on my music and continue to really develop it. I want to make all A’s not just some. I want to work as hard as I can to make it back to Baylor debt free in the fall. I want to be a servant of God and love everyone I come in contact with in a contagious way.

Our college group from Milwood met tonight. It makes me really excited to be here when I’m with those people. We are coming onto something that has the ability to set fire to Milwood. I pray that it does. We are going out and doing. We are in the early stages of creating a ministry based on Matthew 25:40 “I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these, you did for me.” We will be bagging lunches together and going out in small groups to deliver them to the homeless people in Austin. Doing this we will build relationships with these people and maybe give them a sense of hope. I pray that this leads to bigger things. We, as college students, are capable of so much. Lets use it all.

No update on Jess. I received an email from her the day after she left saying she was in Jo’Burg and watching beautiful sunsets. I’m jealous. But she is so brave. Pray for her.

Erin and Natalie came to see me yesterday. That was so great. I needed that. I’ve been feeling somewhat a lone since Jessica left. It was refreshing to get a little taste of Waco. They came to Austin just to see me! It really meant a lot. They are the kind of friends you don’t find often. I think I’ll keep them around. I’m not sure they really know how much their visit meant to me.

Continue to pray for Haiti. They still need help. Pray that the adopted orphans are brought safely to their parents. Pray that the people receive the supplies they need to survive. Pray that families that have lost loved ones find hope and grace in God. Pray that the people who are tediously working to give aid keep their strength. Pray that disease does not continue to spread. Pray that panick is contained and eased. Pray that people turn to God for help and not resent Him because of the natural disaster. Pray for Haiti.

All glory and honor and praise

My Heart is Heavy

This week has been a week for the books, in all kinds of ways.

If you haven’t heard already, I’m not returning to Baylor this semester. I’ll be back in the fall. This is by my own choosing. I still have a lot of financial responsibilities to Baylor and I would not have been able to meet them if I continued on in the Spring semester. I would have been working way to much to try and support myself and make the grades I need.

Yes, I could have gone to numerous family/friend resources to see if they would bail me out and pay for everything just like I did last semester. But I would be lowering myself to someone I vowed I would never be again. I want to work for the things I do and not knock people around and run over them just to get what I want. Sacrificing one semester at Baylor is something I have to do to stay true to who I want to be. It is a good feeling but still a little bittersweet because I’m not at Baylor this semester.

So what is the game plan?

Well, I’m staying in Austin with my dad and going to Austin Community College and working as much as I possibly can. I have 15 hours of non-music courses that I still have to take AND that will transfer right into Baylor. So I’m not wasting any time. I’ll still be taking lessons and doing my music thing. I just won’t be taking music classes like usual. Talk about culture shock. Now I have to take real classes like history and english. Who does that?

The job hunt is in full swing. Had a decent day today. Will hopefully be getting some interviews in the next few days. If you know of anything in the Austin area I’d REALLY appreciate the help.

This move is going to take a lot of adjustments for me and my family. They have to learn to live with me and I have to learn to live with them again. It’s not the easiest thing ever but it is so worth it. I’m looking forward to building these relationship better and stronger than they every have been.  But it is not easy.

In a way I feel like I failed. There is this expectation that you stay at the same university and graduate in 4 years. I just can’t stay at Baylor. As much as I want to, I can’t. And who actually graduates if 4 years anyway? But I guess I’m just disappointed in myself. But this is the right thing to do. I miss my people though and my school. I belong there, as much as I didn’t want to believe it when God made it perfectly clear Baylor was where I was going. I belong there. I miss my friends. You guys are the greatest and I’ll be back. Please don’t forget about me while I’m gone haha

Yesterday was hard.

My best friend Jessica left to go on a mission trip to Uganda until June. OH MY GOODNESS! I am so happy and excited for her but at the same time my little selfish self says “What about me? What am I going to do with out her?” I keep reminding myself  that she is going out into the world and doing what God tells us to do. GO and make Disciples of all nations. She is on a beautiful adventure and will get to see God’s glory in so many awesome ways that a lot of us will never see because we do not have the guts to drop everything and follow him.

I helped her pack her bags. Let me tell you, it was a challenge. She can only take 30 kilos with amounts to about 66lbs. 66 pounds of stuff is all she gets for 6 months in AFRICA?? Yeah, crazy I know. So we sorted and weighed and purged as much as we thought she could hoping to be under the weight limit. At check in we weighed her bags…65.5lbs! We pretty much screamed. It was quite a victory.

I miss her already. I missed her the second I got in the car to leave the airport.

Yesterday was hard.

All of my decisions for the semester were catching up to me and becoming real and I needed Jessica and I couldn’t have her because God has her and I needed my boyfriend because I didn’t have my best friend and he is 1700 miles away  and I was stuck inside on a dismal rainy day. By myself.

I prayed to God to take it all from me. These are all selfish feelings.

Then I started looking at the tragedy that is Haiti right now. My small little moment of self pity seemed so insignificant to what is happening there.

Yesterday was hard.

Yesterday was hard because God put the people of Haiti on my heart. They are suffering and dying and so many of them do not know the Lord. The photos of people crushed by rubble and sleeping on the streets away from buildings in fear of them falling down are so sad. These people need strength and hope that they will be taken care of. My prayer is that they are shown God’s grace through the outpouring of love, support and aid that is being rushed to them.

Say a prayer for Haiti.

Here are some places to donate money. They can use all that they can get.

Help Haiti Shirts $25 a piece and 100% of the money goes directly to a relief fund

Compassion International Disaster Relief – $35 will pay for a weeks worth of food, water, shelter.

If you are in Austin the Hope for Haiti Benefit concert is $10 and has a lot of great music happening.

Also text “Haiti” to 9099 to donate $10 to the Red Cross relief efforts. It will come out on your phone bill at the end of the month

Pray for Haiti and their healing

My heart is heavy for the people of Haiti. I hope people still pour themselves over Haiti after the media stops streaming it 24 hours a day. Haiti has a lot of healing to do and it will take a massive amount of time and care to get them there.

Break my heart for what breaks yours

When We are Most Satisfied in Him

Let me start off by saying, Passion was probably one of the best experiences of my life. If you let it, it could have definitely been life changing.

The worship, speakers, ways to get involved, community groups, everything was just amazing.

Andy Stanley’s talk was probably one of the most influential of all the presentations.

“It is always a mistake to decide what you want to do before you decide who you want to be”

I thought about that for a while. So many people say that they think that God is telling them to do this or calling them to do that or they want to change the world this way. That is great. But in order for that to be significant in anyway, you have to know who you are. I know I don’t want to be remembered just for being a great musician, or a great “insert profession here”.

Andy suggested going through the minds of people in your life writing down what you want said about you at your funeral. To me, that was a little crazy to think about. I’m not sure I’m completely comfortable with that one. Maybe I’ll just think about what I want them to think when they hear my name or something less vulgar. But I do think it is something to do to figure out who you want to be.

So many people say I want to be a “good” person. What does “good” even mean anymore? What are those standards? It means something different to everyone. When you define who you are it creates an invisible perimeter for your behavior. Something defined to stand on in every situation you find yourself in.

“Daniel showed that he could do the work better than the other supervisors and governors, so the king planned to put Daniel in charge of the whole kingdom. Because of this, the other supervisors and governors tried to find reasons to accuse Daniel about his work int he government. But they could not find anything wrong with him or any reason to accuse him, because he was trustworthy and not lazy or dishonest. Finally these men said, “We will never find any reason to accuse Daniel unless it is about the law of his God.” Daniel 6:3-5

Daniel lived exactly as he saw fit to follow God and was known for that. He was not just known for being the best at his job. He was known for his Godliness.

We were discussing what we took away from Passion on the way home form Atlanta and Michael said something that made me think. He said that if we are just following the Holy Spirit in the here and now we will do the things that glorify God. If that means sitting in a new classroom full of people you don’t know, how are you going to glorify God in that moment. Who you choose to be, puts in jeopardy how you handle these situations and if you follow the Holy Spirit.

Who am I going to be?

John Piper blew everyone’s mind. I’m not sure I am qualified to blog a single word about what he said. I’ll just throw up some of my notes and revisit my thoughts sometime when they are fully pulled together. I plan to read his essay on this again so I can be more direct with my thoughts.

The issue is: God is an Egomaniac. Worship, Love, Praise Me!

Not only you live for God’s glory but God lives for God’s glory.

We were made to stand on top of mountains and be stunned by majesty.

John 17:24 Magnify God’s glory in the capstone of our joy.

Romans 3:23 God put Christ forward to absorb his wrath against our belittling sin. This was to show God’s righteousness.

He vindicated His name and our forgiveness is secured.

The cross should remind us of God’s righteousness and passionate commitment to his glory not us.

In discussion about this, sin was brought up. Why would God allow sin to get in the way of His glory? I think it could be that sin, in a twisted way, makes us see that we are not strong enough to deal with it on our own. God needed sin to glorify Himself by loving us enough to save us from sin so that we can glorify Him by trying to understand why we need to worship, love, and praise Him when we are not worthy of Him at all.

God is the one being in the universe with whom self glorification is not a needy act of ego but an infinite expression of generosity.

God is most glorified when we are most satisfied in Him.

Wow. Those are all over the place and I don’t have the energy to go through everything and spell out my thoughts right now because it is 2:15 in the morning and today has been along day. BUT, there are some mind blowing ideas there that we should all think about.

I still can’t figure out why Hillsong United was some of the best worship I have EVER experienced. It was on another level of anything I have been a part of. Going back to the Holy Spirit thing, that seems like an easy answer for it. They are just following the Holy Spirit and going where ever it leads. Once again, they do it to give honor and praise to God. Not to receive anything in turn.

Not to say that none of that was paired with great talent and hard work. They are great musicians and phenomenal song writers. If I am ever half a musician/writer as they are, I’ll still be in a pretty great place.

And now after almost a thousand words I’ll say goodnight.

I love you people!

I will sing praise. I will sing praise. No weapons formed against me shall remain

All Glory and Honor

Passion 2010. Wow. I can’t believe it is only the second day of this conference and we still have two more to go.

The theme this year is Awaken. Louie Giglio walked us through Lazarus’ story in John 11.  

Die to whatever the world tells us to do and awaken to Jesus. Die to GLORIFY His name.

Jesus moves the stone to awaken Lazarus from the dead. He is not afraid of the smell of rotting flesh, of our fears, our struggles, our sin. Jesus is not afraid of our humanity. He frees us from it as long as we choose to whole heartedly die to our worldly selves and live for him. We are apart of a bigger pictures. Something greater than us is telling a better story.

If anyone serves me he must follow me, and where I am, there will be my servant also. If anyone serves me the Father will honor him  John 12:25-26

This morning Beth Moore took us through Hebrews 13.

We are here to do some good.

And God equips us for every encounter we have in life. Every hardship and every celebration.

He Prepares

He Adjusts

He Repairs

He Fills

This is how he equips us to face the hard things. We will always be prepared

This evening Francis Chan taught us that we can have a new start. We just have to repent. The challenge is that our nature needs to change to truly be free from our sin. Instead of being a slave to sin we need to be a slave for righteousness.

But this is the one to whom I look: he who is humble  and contrite in spirit and trembles at my word. Isaiah 66:2

If we are humble and tremble at God’s word our nature can be transformed from not just a human being but a servant for Christ.

While the message and the worship were great at the main sessions. I’d been looking forward to seeing Hillsong United lead us in an extra late night service.

It was unbelievable! They are some of the greatest song writers in the Church right now so I knew it would be pretty awesome. But I don’t think I was fully prepared to experience tonight.

It was so beautiful. There were 15,000 people with their hands raised singing to our amazing God. The last song we sang was With Everything There is a simple melody at the end that everyone sings on the syllable “Oh”

Everyone in this worship place was singing to Heaven. I began to wonder what it must be like to hear thousands and thousands of college students singing to the glory and honor of our Savior in Heaven.Looking around at the hands raised and the people shouting praises to God, I bet all the angels were singing with us and God was greatly glorified. I would have loved to be there. It was probably ten million times better than it was here on Earth, and it was pretty amazing in that arena. 

Words do not do justice to the glorious sound of the end of this day. It was definitely one of those moments that has been imprinted on my heart forever.   

I can’t believe we have another full day and a half left of Passion 2010! Please pray for us as we continue on this journey to awaken to the beauty, grace, love, and might of the God we live for.

 

Photo by Louie Giglio

These are just some of my thoughts and notes. If you would like to watch the Main Sessions of Passion 2010 check out http://www.268generation.com/passion2010/ 

This makes my official debut into the blog world. I just needed to get this out. More to come on my reasons for falling into the trend of blogging.

We lift up our eyes, lift up our eyes, You’re the giver of life.