Monday, August 30, 2004

Last night I feel like I experienced God's greatness in such a new way. I love how a worship song can put into words what your own words, thoughts, or emotions could never quite express. That is the beauty and the power of music. I take that back--it's the beauty and power of GOD through the instrument of music. There is no purpose greater than the purpose of glorifying Him. As the following song says, "You put the stars in the sky and you know them by name...You see the depths of my heart and you love me the same." If a God so big, who put the stars into place, knows me inside and out and still loves me the same, despite my sinful human nature, how great is He? He deserves more than what we could ever offer Him even if we gave Him everything! I hope someday you get the chance to sing Him the following two songs of praise--and if you can't sing them someday, here are the lyrics so you can offer them up to him as a gift.

Indescribable by Laura Story

From the highest of heights to the depths of the sea
Creation's revealing Your majesty
From the colors of fall to the fragrance of Spring
Every creature unique in the Song that it sings
All exclaiming

Chorus 1:
Indescribable, uncontainable,
You put the stars in the sky and you know them by name.
You are amazing God!
All powerful, untameable,
Awestruck we fall to our knees and we humbly proclaim
You are amazing God

Verse 2:
Who has told every lightning which way it should go
Or seen heavenly storehouses laden with snow
Who imagined the sun and gave source to its light
Yet conceals it to bring us the coolness of night
None can fathom

Chorus 2:
Indescribable, uncontainable,
You put the stars in the sky and you know them by name.
You are amazing God!
Incomparable, unchangeable
You see the depths of my heart and you love me the same
You are amazing God!

How Great Is Our God by Chris Tomlin, Jesse Reeves, Ed Cash
Verse 1:
The splendor of a King, clothed in majesty,
Let all the earth rejoice, all the earth rejoice.
He wraps Himself in light, and darkness tries to hide
And trembles at His voice, trembles at His voice.
How great is our God, sing with me,
How great is our God, all will see
How great, how great is our God.
Verse 2:
Age to age He stands, and time is in His hands,
Beginning and the end, beginning at the end.
The Godhead, three in one: Father, Spirit, Son,
The Lion and the Lamb, the Lion and the Lamb.
Name above all names,
Worthy of all praise,
My heart will sing
How great is our God.

Friday, August 27, 2004

another Storm's a-brewin'....

Today I have the afternoon off (thank you Dr. Searby!) because of our busy past week in Admissions. It's going to storm so I won't be going to the pool as I became accustomed to during my summer fridays off. I'm not quite sure what to do with the afternoon, but I'll probably include these things:
a nap
working out (haven't done that in SOOOO long)
making snacks for poker night tonight at our apt.

And that's it. I'm super tired. However I'd still like to work out b/c it's something I want to teach myself discipline with. That goes for my reading too. I'm now reading like 5 books and I just can't keep myself into them. I just like to start new books and not finish them for some reason. It's like I'm book commitment-phobic. Or I just don't make time to read...either way. Anyways, here are the books I'm reading:

Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller (just started last night--great book)

A Fish Out of Water by George Barna (awesome book on leadership--oops i almost just typed 'leadersnip'--that's really funny!)

A Childlike Faith by ???--wanna know why I can't remember the author's name? probably b/c I haven't picked up the book in a few weeks!

Faith, God, and Rock & Roll by various musicians--haven't read this in awhile either

Adventures in Missing the Point by Brian McLaren and Tony Campolo - once again, haven't read more than like 3 chapters in this...

And those are my current reading options. I wonder which one I'll finish first. Oh, and I'll be adding like 3 or 4 more books to that when I start my one seminary class next Wednesday--Shaping the Heart of a Leader. Yay! At least it's all good reading!

Have a lovely weekend.

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Careful, the blog you're about to enjoy is extremely silly.

I don't know why I keep getting inspiration of thought from my Starbucks drinks, but there's just something about the words on the cup and lid and the cup holder thingy that keep making me think. So you know the cardboard cupholder thingy that you put around the cup? Well, after I had taken several drinks of my Spiced Chai today and set the cup down, I noticed that the thing said,

"Careful, the beverage you're about to enjoy is extremely hot."

Hm...first of all, it's just funny that it's worded that way as if someone were audibly warning you by saying "Careful!" And who uses that wording anyway? "the beverage you're about to enjoy?" I think they're trying to trick you into thinking you enjoy it. If they wanted to be politically and grammatically correct, shouldn't they say BE careful instead of just 'careful?' I just thought it was really funny and I'm sure you're thinking, "OK Mandy that's enough overanalyzing of the cupholder thingy--that's stupid!" Oh well! I'm just writing down my thoughts as I go here!

Besides, it's not much of a warning anyways...would you actually read the cupholder before you take a drink??? mmmm....probably not. I sure didn't, and that's why my tongue is now burnt. Thanks Starbucks for spending all that money to print the letters on the cupholder that I'd never think to READ before taking a drink. Maybe they should stop doing that and then their drinks wouldn't be so darn expensive...or maybe that lady who sued McDonald's one time for burning herself w/ the hot coffee should have been smarter and known that the coffee was going to be hot, so all these places wouldn't have to warn the rest of the if we're lacking any common sense!

:-) Those are my silly thoughts of the moment. have fun w/ them.

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Well school at LCC has officially started as of 23 minutes ago this morning! We moved all the freshmen in this weekend and everyone is here and back in action. It has been pretty busy and exciting around here.

I do not have much time to write right now but I do want to include a link to this article I read this morning. Go read it when you get a chance. It's some good stuff...good truth.$315

Bless God today!

Monday, August 16, 2004

Oh yeah, and the girl who visited from TX on Friday who wasn't sure whether or not she was going to come to LCC this semester? remember? Yeah, well she IS coming for sure! Just talked to her today. hip hip hooray!
SOLO Traveler?

I was just drinking my Caramel Hazelnut Latte and reading the lid while I swallowed. That's what it said. SOLO Traveler. I's kinda like me! I like that phrase. I especially like what it said on the lid underneath that--"Caution: Contents Hot". Now, that is certainly true isn't it? Haha, just kidding. :-) I'm silly.

Had a great weekend at home--fun times w/ the fam. Some good laughs. Maddy is hilarious and is growing up soooo fast! Cory is such a great mommy w/ her...I love to watch and learn for the future. Cory, David, & I played a fun game of catch the other night and I was laughing so hard that I was coughing...that always happens when I laugh too hard and it happened a lot this weekend. Yesterday we all went to the Mendota Sweet Corn Festival, which makes 2 weekends in a row that I've eaten fair food and had my "fair" share of white-trash America observing. Funniest part of the day, however, was when I heard this hillbilly guy say to someone, "You wanna bowla beans? Ahm gunna get me a bowla beans, you wansum beans?" (if you're trying to pronounce that in the proper way, you gotta say it real fast w/ a hillbilly accent.) It was hilarious. Anyways, w/ that vision in your mind have a wonderful day.

much love.

Friday, August 13, 2004

My color of choice today is bright orange...why? Because it's quite a happy color and I have had a wonderful day. Orange reminds me of bright, happy days that show up after gray, gloomy days, that's what today was. Yesterday was a long and frustrating day in some ways and last night I went to bed hoping today wouldn't be the same. Today was one of those days where I REALLY felt the ministry side of this job. I won't disclose too much information, but basically I had a visit w/ a girl from TX who is planning on coming here next week as a transfer. However, she wasn't for sure and though she knew God was leading her here, Satan was clearly making her doubt in some ways. God was pointing her this direction through so many ways--people, signs, her own journal, etc. It was incredible how many signs she saw and how much peace she felt just being here, and it was just an exciting, yet crazy day here. She left pretty sure that she's coming, and I ask that you'd pray she'll be here in a week. I won't say her name, but God knows who she is.

It has been one of those amazing days where you can see how all the pieces fit together and how God is working specifically in an individual's life. It's so exciting to be a part of the Kingdom! I love it!

Thursday, August 12, 2004

I'm writing in blue today b/c that's how this cold weather makes me feel! I can't believe it! Summer sunshine and 100 degree heat--where have you gone? I miss you lots!

So today was our Faculty/Staff Retreat...I finally officially feel like Staff at LCC, which is quite weird. It was somewhat boring, but there were some good points. Keith Ray (Pres.) mentioned something that gave me chills after we sang in worship this afternoon--His dream is that the community of Lincoln will "hear our songs of praise" and wonder what all the ruckus is about out here on the edge of town! Just thinking about it in that way gave me chills. I wondered what it would be like if our worship could be heard throughout the if the walls and buildings around us didn't exist, and no loudspeaker was needed to amplify our voices. No, this doesn't just mean our voices in singing, but our lives in worship. It would be so awesome if the campus this year lived so loudly that the communities around us were just infected with the love of Christ. I want that for my own life and for Christians everywhere. I hope that our lives AND our words speak loudly to the world.

I've also been thinking about what Chris talked about at Fuel last Sunday night. He was recalling a sermon he heard from Erwin McManus last year. I don't remember everything that he talked about, but what has echoed most in my mind is this: Christians are here for more of a reason than to be just good, moral people. In fact, our lives are defined by our FAITH rather than by moral standards. Too often people assume they're a "good Christian" just because they don't drink, smoke, look at pornography, cuss, gamble, have sex before marriage, etc. Unfortunately both believers and non-believers sometimes judge one's faith on the basis of those kinds of things. While those issues are still issues and are addressed from a Biblical perspective, that's not what Christianity is all about. We're not here to simply follow a set of rules and "do not" lists. We're here because we have faith in something bigger, someONE bigger who has freed us to live for something that lasts beyond this earth and this life. It's about following Christ, who was not a good citizen, but rather he was dangerous! We should be dangerously making ourselves uncomfortable for Him...what does it hurt, really, to open our mouths and tell someone about Christ? Maybe our egos, but those aren't eternal.

So, if you're reading this and you're a Christian, I hope this maybe challenges you to step it up a little. If you're not a Christian, I hope that you see a different side of Christianity than the moral standards that a lot of people assume to define "Christian." It's so much more than that. It's often our fault that we're defined that way, so I apologize.

Well, I'm not trying to preach a sermon through my blog...these things have just been running through my mind this week and I thought I'd share or at least attempt to organize my thoughts more.

Thursday, August 05, 2004

It's amazing the difference in how you feel and how you think when you're spiritually empty and when you've been filled in some way. For a few days I went through some empty time, and I think that's necessary for some short times. Then it always hits me. This splash of inspiration like a bucket of water on my face. Finally, I'm motivated again. I'm reading like heck, and I'm filled w/ all these things I want to share.

Yesterday Nate was talking about George Barna's book "Fish Out of Water" and it sounded like a great perspective on leadership. So I checked it out of the good ol' LCC library and started reading it. Already, only pages into the introduction, I've written down quote after quote about leadership that inspired a lot of thinking. A lot of leadership rests on the simple idea that "actions produce consequences." It's that simple. So when you're a leader, your actions will most likely result in consequences that will influence the actions of other people. And most of us, whether we realize it or not, are leaders. Most people assume that only CEOs, presidents & VPs, men, or paid ministers are leaders. That's a lie. You're probably a leader if your life affects someone else' that includes those who work in McDonald's, mothers, fathers, husbands, wives, little league coaches, grocery store clerks, businesspeople, administrative assistants, interns, etc. If you think you're a follower, you're probably wrong. Leading in any way is a task that carries a heavy weight of responsibility. If your actions & their consequences spur on others' actions and their consequences, and so on...your actions trigger all other actions in the world somehow.

Barna takes it a step further and suggests that "the actions of leaders who are Christian have the most significant consequences because it is our leadership that affects the visible presence of God and his ways in our world." May I make a side-note of this--he words this specifically in saying "leaders WHO ARE CHRISTIAN" rather than saying "Christian leaders"--there's a difference. But that's a loaded task--if you're a leader who is also a Christian, even if you lead in a capacity that has nothing to do w/ Christ or the church, God desires to make himself known through you. You might not think you're good enough, knowledgeable enough, or "Christian enough" but you are! This is how ministry happens outside of the church--that's where it needs to be done more than within the church!

There's so much more I'd love to write about, but another day. For now, I'm pondering these things. How am I a leader? In what capacities? Who could be following me without me even knowing it? Am I choosing actions that result in good consequences? Most importantly, am I making God's presence visible in the world through the way I live?

Join me.

Tuesday, August 03, 2004

That's what it is outside today as well as in the office! It's soooo stinking warm and humid out there and we're on fire in here w/ visits today. We've had like 6 visits in the office today as opposed to the summer zero that I've been used to the past 2 months. Taking people around on tours has been quite warm today, and I probably should have used the popemobile to take them instead of walking...oh well. Anyways, Josh and I have decided we're starting a D.A. file (figure out on your own what that might stand for after I explain) for students who drop in w/o an appointment and say things like "I just wanted to stop in to get an application...for a job." When we replied by asking "Would you like an application for admission or for work?" he answered, "Well, sure, both." As a Computer Science major I'm not sure why he sort of wanted to take classes here at a Bible College that offers nothing in that area. Also when I explained to him that we're a bible college and asked him if he desired to take classes in Bible/Theology & Christian Ministries he said "Sure, I'd be willing to do that..." Hm...I'm not sure, but I don't think he quite caught on. It's visits like that that make the day difficult despite the ones that go well. I'd love to help him out, but to be honest w/ you I don't want to recruit a student who really doesn't want to be here for ministry training. It's quite a challenge. It was a challenge in showing compassion for me, but I think I held up quite well. Anyways, other than that my other visit and a tour for GT's visit went well today! I thought being busy would make the day go by faster, but it still seems like a long day.

I'm extremely tired and I might take another nap tonight after work like I did yesterday. I have been soooo tired lately and I'm hoping there's nothing wrong w/ me. (laugh on those of you who rightly call me a hypochondriac--i know i am!) But I'm just so tired lately! I cannot wake up in the mornings and I'm blaming it on the lack of windows in my bedroom. I wish there was a way I could change that! well the day of work is almost over and I'm out of here in 5 minutes. peace ya'll...

Monday, August 02, 2004

Since my last blog, I have been pretty busy! Wednesday I was out of the office to visit the girls at CIY in Carbondale--another day to tease me and make me want to be there all the time! Thursday was our office retreat, and being only in Elkhart, it felt like we were somewhere out East. It was a really nice place! Friday was the most boring day ever, then I saw the Bourne Supremacy w/ Chels and that was really good! Saturday I had Early Registration here at the school and then headed to Dara & Dion's wedding in Ottawa. It was a great time--lots of dancing! Spent yesterday at home, and we had a nice little cookout and I ate a ton of great food! Went to Fuel last night, and Jacob talked about being distinct as a Christian--not holding the light we have to ourselves but also not being too involved in the world so much that we are unrecognizable. It was a good night at Fuel and a good night of fellowship at DQ afterwards w/ missy, jake, & amanda. good times. well i'll be sure to mark this blog down as the best one in history. i'm sure you all cared to know my daily schedule for the past several days but now you're informed anyways! have a great week!