Friday, September 24, 2010

A Wild, Romantic Undertaking

So, I am reading this book called "To the Golden Shore," a biography of Adoniram Judson. It's an intense 500 pages, but I would recommend it. He was one of the first missionaries sent out of America back in the 1700s. There is a lot of rich theology and interesting perspectives to be had in this book, and if I could quote the whole thing, surely that would happen, but lets not get crazy. 

I briefly wanted to share a letter that Adoniram Judson wrote to the father of a woman he is interested in, asking him for permission and favor regarding their hopeful relationship. Mind you, this is before Judson has left to go to Burma and in consideration of all the hardships that will be. The title of the chapter is "A Wild, Romantic Undertaking," and I thought it would be fitting. Read on.
"I have to ask, whether you can consent to part with your daughter early next spring, to see her no more in this world; whether you can consent to her departure, and he subjection to the hardships and sufferings of a missionary life; whether you can consent to her exposure to the dangers of the ocean; to the fatal influence of the southern climate of India; to every kind of want a distress; to degradation, insult, persecution, and perhaps a violent death. Can you consent to all this, for the sake of him to left his heavenly home, and died for her and for you; for the sake of perishing, immortal souls; for the sake of Zion, and the glory of God? Can you consent to all this, in hope of soon meeting your daughter in the world of glory, with the crown of righteousness, brightened with the acclamations of praise which shall redound to her Saviour from heathens saved, through her means, from eternal woe and despair?" (pg 83)

Dang son. "To see her no more in this world."

This brings tears to my eyes as I think about the outlook Judson has about life, and how often I might not think this way, but hold onto this life like it's all I have. I love my family, I love my friends and my church, and there is nothing wrong with that. But to choose to see them no more in this world? This world is nothing compared to the next, and any sacrifice to share this news- it is worth it. Even if we arent personally considering overseas missions work, it is still a world view to be challenged by. How are we living this out? 

Im not typically a fan of taking one little verse out of its context, but I think Colossians 3:2, and its surrounding context really fit into this post. The whole chapter three is basically defined by verse two:

"Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things." 

I love how it goes on to say that we live this way by loving and forgiving. Missions work, or really any true, daily Christian living is nothing close to a romanticized picture, but it is indeed a wild undertaking, a worthwhile, wild undertaking that has to do with a love like no other. 

What do you think?

Thursday, September 23, 2010

The lone Biking Viking

A few weeks ago I acquired a brand new mountain bike. It's a 26 inch cruiser mountain bike, chosen for low price, comfort, rust resistance, and agility.  I had been pining over one since the beginning of the summer. It was a blessing to have my grandparents come all the way to Rhode Island to pick it up from the Walmart in Warwick and bring it back to my apartment.  Hehehe, thats not really why they came, but it sure was a added bonus to seeing their wonderful faces this side of the north east.
The first time I took the beaut out, Hannah and I went 5 miles, all over Smith Hill, down through Eagle Square, to Elmhurst, and back to Jewett st. I was dying by mile two, but Hannah pushed me to keep going! It was great. Ive even ridden it all the way to the Broadway area, discovering quick little routes through fun neighborhoods. Providence even has more bike lanes and paths than you would think! 

The past few times Ive ridden down by the Woonasquatucket River, and its a beautiful urban trail with a hint of nature mixed in. 

Last night, I decided to take her out at midnight, a common theme starting to pop up! (Yes I am being safe, dont worry.) I rode to Nathaniel Greene middle school and back down Chalkstone for a quick but invigorating two miles. Its been fun to explore new places and get my work out on at the same time. Sometimes walking can get a little boring, and I am ten time more excited to hop on my bike and go!

In middle school and early highschool some friends, my sister, and I would get on our bikes and just go all over Lockport. We explored every path, every creek trail, every creepy wooded shortcut through neighborhoods, we rode hundreds of laps around the local high school track, and had tons of fun weaving in and around cars. We actually called ourselves the "Biking Vikings," with the motto "If you are going to get hit by a car, make sure it's an expensive one you you can collect alot of insurance money." Ok ok, I know, but we were 14 years old. I remember being able to hop on our bikes and just go, the feeling of freedom before one knows what its like to have a car. 

Everyone seems to be getting a bike these days, so it looks like my adventures wont have to be lone ranger for much longer! Yay!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Senior Year Crazies

Today is the first day of my senior year of college. Time flies by!

Last night was the Student Activities Fair for all the incoming freshmen and transfers to check out all the Clubs and Organizations on campus and see if there is anything they want to get involved in. I am the President of the Christian Student Fellowship this year, and I thought our booth was quite legit! Here is Travis, Jake, and Jasmine folding some flyers. We even had cups with our logo and info on them. Legit I tell you.
At the end of the night we had passed out over 200 cups and received over 70 filled out info cards. I was also surprised at the amount of students coming up to us as asking us for information about finding a local church. I hope they follow through and put their money where their mouth is, so to speak. I also hope we can help them all get connected with local bodies. 

This year we are strategically looking at our ministry from all angles. We know we have about two years with most students. Travis, the campus minister, has come up with a list of topics we are going to focus on and disciple people through. We realized that by the time a student has graduated, we want them to have grown in these areas (condensed version):
  • Discipleship (we want them to be discipled, and be able to disciple)
  • Missions (thinking about long term and short term missions, how to get involved)
  • Biblical Manhood and Womanhood (what is it, how to grow in these areas, also dating and marriage)
  • Love for the local church (we want them to understand the importance of the local church and being a member of one )
  • Christian World view (this affects all aspects of life)
  • Evangelism
God has truly blessed me by bringing this ministry into my life freshman year and allowing me to grow alongside such wonderful people.

The classes on my roster this trimester are: 
  • Intro to Psychology
  • American Government
  • Financing the Entrepreneurial Venture
  • Career Capstone
  • Statistics
For some reason I was so pumped about my major classes that left all my liberal arts classes until my last year. Which doesn't make for a very exciting senior year, let me tell you. Haha. Though my last trimester does include some travel tidbits. This is also the first year in the past two years that I will be doing academics all the way through, instead of two trimesters of academics and then one of an internship of some kind. Boring! Trust me if I could find a way, I would maneuver a way out of class, but no loop holes this year. Get in, get out, get my degree!

Otherwise this trimester I am busy working in the University Info Center answering tons of crazy phone calls ("my daughter blah blah blah late for class blah blah professor is wrong to do that blah blah blah.."). Busy living in a crazy community of awesome Christians. Busy trying to wake up at 5am and get to my 710zm classes and probably not get home until 10 pm. Busy trying to keep up with everyone from home and from RI and Russia and all over. 

By the way, I have no idea what I am going to do when I graduate, in case you were wondering. But I am not worried at all really. God is sovereign, Jesus was a hobo and the sparrows are taken care of. No idea what that really means, but basically I find no reason to fret. 

Ive thought about (and started applying to) seminaries. Gordon-Conwell in Boston and Southern in Louisville top out my list and both have pros and cons. Some sort of masters in Biblical Counseling would probably be my education path. Maybe I will get a job at the Southern New England AAA. Maybe I will move to Russia. Maybe I will vagabond across Asia. Its all up in the air :)  I am pursuing God, Im surrounding myself with wise people, and thats what really matters.

So yeah. One year left, lets make it a good one. 

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Blessings of Singleness?

So I stumbled upon this series on "Singleness Suffering," and I just "couldn't put it down." I've compiled it and hope you too can benefit from some of the interesting and powerful perspectives. Some of the titles confused me, I mean come on, a blessing of singleness to be loneliness? But you will understand by the end, and certain attitudes will definitely be challenged.

 Let me know what you think if you happen to read any of them. Under the link there are little clips to peak your interest :)    Enjoy...

Blessings of Singleness#1: Loneliness
 "...Loneliness is rooted in the pain of never feeling truly known; not having anyone who shares my deepest fears, dreams or longings.  And the fraudulent reality that singles sometimes believe is that no one has even attempted to know us.  We feel alone in decisions.  We feel alone in our fears.  We feel alone in our dreams.  The weird thing about singleness is that no one is supposed to know us in the deepest ways.  I am in a season of life where God has declared that no mortal being will know me intimately.  And that’s lonely...."

Blessings of Singleness #2: The Pain of Freedom
"Okay – this may be a hard sell – but there is a unique pain in singleness in what the world affectionately calls ‘freedom’."

Blessings of Singleness #3: Losing Control
"...I still cling to the lie that I have control over certain things in my life.  I believe I have control over my schedule and my day and my life.  The pain of losing control in singleness constantly reels me back in from my imaginary world where I can make anything happen that I want."

Blessings of Singleness#4: The Pain of Rejection
"Jesus talks about the danger of receiving affirmation from people in such a way that it adds something to you.  People’s instinct is to assure you that it’s valid to want or even need affirmation from other people, but Jesus says otherwise.  He says that affirmation and love from another human being should not be wanted or even received in such a way that it fills deficiency in us.  He says that when affirmation from people adds to our sense of self and security, it robs us of the ability to be satisfied in Him."

Blessings of Singleness #5: Lack of Physical Intimacy
"Part of why it’s been so painful is it is probably the struggle that has confused me most.  It’s been (and is) a pretty hard sell to get my body on board with the idea that I’m not missing out on what I was created for.  It’s challenging to not feel entitled."

Blessings of Singleness #6: The Pain of Misplaced Shame "Every single in the world knows what I’m taking about.  It’s the shame you feel when someone exclaims out loud ‘why are you still single???’ and inside your head comes the shame: people are only single if they have some flaw.  what’s mine?"

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

8 Days Straight

I know exhaustion clouds my mind when I get the urge to update this thing and I type in '" instead of just the regular url. Haha.

Last night I stayed up talking with my roommate Niki until the wee hour of 3am. Lately we have been doing that pretty often. It has been good as we have grown together as friends, roommates, and church members. This summer has fostered some wonderful and deep relationships, which I think especially of Hannah, Jake, Sarah, Sherita, Travis and Rebecca. Anyways, Niki and I took a short nap and went to pick up our friend Jake and take him to work at 4:30am. Then it was another short nap and off to work for me at 8.

The past few weeks have been a whirlwind of activity and crazy times- calendar wise, spiritually, mentally, physically. I want to sleep, 8 regular hours, or maybe just 8 days straight. Sleep has been a theme of my thought life this summer, and not in any sort of productive way. More to come on that later I think.

Here are some of the events from this summer that Ive lacked in detailing:
-Drove to Allentown PA for my roommates wedding
-Last minute road trip to Washington DC
-Finished my internship at the travel agency
-Went home to Buffalo for a few days
-Had a good visit with Grandparents and cousin in RI
-Went to Maine for Entrust student leadership retreat
-Learned a lot about confession of sin and community
-Bought a bike and rode a lot
-Read some awesome books
-Struggled with watering both my garden and my faith
-Rhode Island Balloon Festival
-Said goodbye to roommates Sarah, Niki, and Emily and said hello to Niki again and Katie.
-Hannah and I bought Neti pots. Thats noteworthy :)

So its been an intense summer, and this is my last week of it. My last week ever of "summer vacation" as I head into my senior year of college.

Crazy times.
Let's do this.