the only thing that will ever remain

A shot I took of my dear friend’s hands after serving a summer in Haiti

I’ve been studying Beth Moore’s David A Heart Like His study. Following David’s journey through all the turmoil that pre-existed his reign, how God chose him, and His actual reign is BEYOND challenging. It’s funny how God shows up as I’m studying. I don’t know if any of you have felt this way, but sometimes I’m curious if I’m doing what God wants for me at every moment. Specifically, what to study in my quiet times. I have not had that question at all while studying this. For example, today I was reading 1 Samuel 19:9-18, which is all about Saul’s jealousy and anger toward David. Basically David was in God’s will completely. He was victorious in his battles and well..the dude had joy! Saul’s son Jonathan was right there with David, guarding him from Saul and keeping David safe. Saul’s anger boiled over to him trying to kill David. Jonathan loved David so much and was so in tune with him he constantly attempted to save David from his father, Saul. I like to think that Jonathan was an angel figure. Not literally…but the Spirit of the Lord was so strong in him he was constantly protecting David from harm.

Jonathan had the love of the Father in him. He constantly risked his life by telling David the secrets of Saul. Jon didn’t care at all, David was his soul  brother.

1 Samuel 18:1 “As soon as he had finished speaking to Saul, the soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul.”

I mean soul brother, literally. The love of the Father was in Him so fully, he risked his life. At the end of the insert written by Beth Moore she shared John 15:13. I looked up the full passage and the words I read blew me away.

This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you. These things I command you, so that you will love one another. John 15:12-18

Let’s see how Christ loved..for starters, he bore the slurs and profanity that the people yelled at him while on the cross. He gave up his rights for the world’s freedom’s sake. He held back any harsh and cutting words as the very ones he was dying for tortured him. He saved the sinner that was next to him on the cross. He obeyed his Father. Challenging right? As I was thinking on all of these things, the song “One Thing Remains” begins to play on my iTunes. I love when God does that. It’s a little piece of assurance that this is reading this very passage learning about His very love.

Higher than the mountains that I face
Stronger than the power of the grave
Constant through the trial and the change
One thing remains

Your love never fails it never gives up it never runs out on me
On and one and on and on it goes
It overwhelms and satisfies my soul
And I never ever have to be afraid
One thing remains

In death and in life I’m confident and covered by the power of your great love
My debt is paid there’s nothing that can separate my heart from your great love

Praise you, Father.

in your head

it’s midterm week and i’m feeling a little crazy. One may say like a zombie. Normally, I wouldn’t care too much about midterms because others grades can balance those grades out blah blah blah but this semester both of my midterms count as 1 of 2 grades I will receive in my class. Not just one class is like that, both of my history classes are like that. I have been studying like a maniac which is not normal for me. I’m usually doing art projects for grades!

At Bible Study last night, God reminded me that I’ve got to prioritize right. Nothing that I do with my power can be pointed back to me anyways, so I have got to keep my eyes on him. As I was concluding my quiet time this morning, the story of Peter walking on water was brought to my mind. As long as he kept his eyes on Christ he was secure on a very insecure foundation. Once he began looking down at everything and worrying about what was going to happen he sank. I am Peter. I have to remember to keep my eyes focused on the One who matters rather than the situations around me.

I prayed last night that He would stretch my time out somehow or allow me to wake up earlier than needed and still feel rested. Let me just tell you I popped up this morning at 7:30 wide awake. My alarm isn’t until 9! Warning, do not pray if you do not want your prayer to be answered. I prayed that prayer at 1 a.m. and it was answered only six hours later, with me feeling fully rested. I serve an awesome God.

Here’s a little glimpse of how i’m feeling right about now in terms of school though. Enjoy your week!:)

Ed’s story

[Eng. 2000 essay]

I watched Ed Dobson’s story a few months back skimming through a friends Facebook wall. Ed’s story captivated me for personal reasons and out of curiosity. Ed Dobson was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease eleven years ago. The doctor told him he only had three years to live, but he has avoided death for several years past his due date. I have experienced that terrible disease from a very personal level. Lou Gehrig’s disease took the life of my cousin almost ten years ago. Watching someone’s body and life dwindle from Lou Gehrig’s disease is a terrible thing to witness. There is no cure for the disease and there is no avoiding it. Eventually the victim becomes a prisoner in his body, inevitably suffocating from the paralyses the disease brings.

If it was not for my friends Facebook wall or Vimeo, I would not have found such a compelling story. I would not be captivated by the vigor and the passion that this man has for life. His testimony is such an encouragement to my life and faith. At times, I become bitter towards social media. I feel like social media sites have taken a lot of personal interaction between people and exchanged it with tweets and Facebook shout outs, but this time around I am grateful for those outlets. Social media abused can bring drama, gossip, and broken friendships, but when used correctly it is life-changing and challenging.

gotta have faith

instagram of the day!

What a beautiful day it was today. I started it out with a morning browsing and sampling at the Farmer’s Market with a dear friend. We ate crepes that were to..drool..for. If you know me, you probably already know that I chose the peanut butter, nutella, and banana crepe. You guys it was amazing. That breakfast should have been illegal it was so good. I wanted to stay outside all day so I opted to run the lake, plus those crepes were sitting quite heavily on these hips. I haven’t run the lake in several weeks. I get in workout fads then get bored with them easily. I’ve been doing to elliptical machine for 40 minutes while reading a book. Yeah, I said reading a book; it helps me concentrate!

To switch things up I chose to run today. It’s funny because I always pray before I run..during I run..and usually end the run in me walking in circles and expressing a charismatic thanks to Him (it’s actually quite comical). I dislike running and I’m surprised every time I actually finish running. It hurts my hips and thighs and makes all kinds of things transfer from my nose to my mouth..then to the ground. There is one thing I love though, crisp cold LA air. Weather like today doesn’t come around very often so I took advantage of it. I ran the 4 mile lake in about 35 minutes. Towards the last stretch of pavement, I started freaking out in my head and I wanted to stop. I began rapping whatever Lecrae song I was listening to but I still felt slow. I said a quick “Come on God push me” prayer. Immediately, my volume somehow jumped to full blast. It scared the mess out of me I jerked my arms forward and skipped a few steps. I looked totally spastic. Especially because nobody knew what had just happened. To the outsider I had just experienced the worst twitch of my life. I began laughing hysterically out of embarrassment and the irony of the situation. The jolt of adrenaline sent by that little prank God played on me allowed me to finish my run. When I finally reached my finish mark, I realized a runner and her three-legged dog were following me. Let me just say, If I would have stopped and a three-legged dog would have passed me up, I would totally veto the lake from my life. I would have felt like a total tool! If a three-legged dog can run 4 miles so can this two-legged human!

It’s funny because the lesson I learned today went right along with a passage I read for my quiet time. It comes out of James 1:2-4.

Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.

Endurance is key in almost anything in life. I would have stopped running because I felt slow or tired I would be jipping myself. I would have allowed myself to be a slave to my body. I don’t know what your view on running is but this girls counts it as trouble coming my way. It takes so much out of me just to walk out the door and get myself going. I know the pain and sweat, mentally and physically, that I have to go through, but I also remember how refreshing it is in the end. I feel like I’ve conquered the world. It shows my how faithful He is in the small things. He shows me such a powerful truth through such an everyday thing. I love it.

I hope you give yourself the chance to endure life’s troubles.

just being real.

No doubt Lil Wayne earned the title “Lyrical Genius”, but in recent years he should have stepped off his throne. The last album I bought of his was The Carter III back in 2008. Soon after that, I deleted over 100 of his songs from my iTunes. I began to realize what I was actually putting in my brain and heart by listening to his music. It wasn’t hard to delete that part of my life because, quite frankly, he started to produce crap. Most of it consisted of him yelling and slurring into the microphone. This is not my usual topic of choice. After eliminating his music in my life, I’ve tried to stay away from it all together, but when I saw his most recent video it compelled me. In fact, I watched it three times, trying to figure out what is going on inside his brain.

His choice of lyrics and the content of the video thoroughly impressed me. The song “Mirror” is no the average Lil Wayne junk. He isn’t rapping about lollipops or drugs. I feel like he is actually being real with himself for the first time in years. He has several compelling images within this video. The red paint being violently thrown around, the quick clip of his fear God tattoo, and the painting of his own crucifixion at the end. Bruno Mars and Wayne portray the image of a crucifixion throughout the video. In several cases, their arms stretch out mirroring a crucifixion. Towards the end of the song Wayne raps one of MJ’s famous lyric “Starting with the man in the mirror”. The whole song is about Wayne seeing himself in the mirror and looking at a not-so ideal person.

“I see the truth in your lies”

“I see the guilt beneath the shame”

“I see the scars that remain, I see Wayne”

I guess what I am trying to ask is, What do you think this video means? Check out the video and share your comments/views on it.

{there is some harsh language within this video, you’ve been warned}