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Thursday, November 28, 2013

thankful for the random.

Today I'm thankful for:
1. The new-found ability to plow through awkward conversation until it becomes comfortable
2. The beauty of a simplistically designed house
3. Little girls with bows in their hair who remind me that life isn't as serious as I make it out to be
4. Security separate from people's affirmation, appreciation, or affection
5. Pumpkin cheesecake, corn casserole, and mashed potatoes
6. A warm fire, a cheesy movie, four dogs, and family
7. Unfailing love
8. Possibilities
9. The arrival of Christmas decorations
10. Southern accents, sweet tea, and hospitality

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

forever changed

There's a question I've never been able to answer...
"What's your favorite movie?"
Mission accomplished. I have an answer.
It's Elizabethtown. Watch it.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

homeward bound

Because I begin every blog by telling you where I am and what I'm doing, I won't stop now. I'm on my way home for Thanksgiving break, but I couldn't resist the urge to find a spot to read with a Chai latte. Consequently, I'm sitting in a cozy coffee shop/book store on a leather couch, staring out at the wet coldness outside. Have you ever wanted something so bad it almost physically hurts? When it finally happens there is a strange mixture of euphoria and dread all at the same time? Part of you knows it's all wrong, but another side of you doesn't care. If you're still tracking with me, then I just thought I'd share some invaluable information about this condition.
Pray.
That's all you can do. Pray like hell that somehow God changes your mind and your heart. If not, that He would simply take the wheel--rip all control from your hands before you lose all faith that His best is your best.


Wednesday, November 13, 2013

a coffee kind of christianity

Two exams down, a headache from staying up too late, and I'm sitting under a tree. My tree. Yes, I have a tree. It's a beautiful magnolia located right at the center of campus. There's a man in a janitor's uniform trying to hacky sack, but I think he's new at the game. It's almost as if he's desperate to find something he enjoys after a long day at work. I understand. The sun is streaming through a tree with orange leaves and it's casting colorful shadows over my boots causing me to wonder at God's creativity. I had a deep conversation with a dear friend today, and it resounded in my soul and thrust me into thought. Therefore, I naturally wandered to my thinking tree with a cup of coffee and my computer to tell you about these probably not-so-interesting thoughts.
There is a disturbing sect within Christianity today. It's a flannel-wearing, C.S. Lewis reading, coffee shop inhabiting, tattoo acquiring, lets-be-different, outdoor equipment collecting type of Christianity (why you need outdoor equipment to sit in a coffee shop I'll never understand). Dim the lights, light the candles (we must set the mood), sway back and forth as someone leads us in a chorus that repeats itself a million times. Where have we gone wrong? When did the focus shift from daily picking up our cross and following Jesus to comfort and coffee at all costs? When did we begin chasing a feeling rather than the Savior? When did we exchange the doctrine of a holy God and an urgent gospel for the study of complex doctrines and the reading of popular preachers? When did the strangest statements become the "deeper" and more profound? 
None of these things are bad in and of themselves, but combined into a lifestyle they beg a question. Is this attractive? Is this what the world is searching for? Is this what the world needs? The answer is no. No, there is nothing intriguing about this new religion. In fact, it's practically stereotypical. This is a faith that creates a self-centered, self-absorbed, self-help, reflective, introspective type of walk. Wear certain clothes, buy unhealthy amounts of coffee, read the right authors, and have a defense for your position on predestination. If you can check all of this off your list, then congratulations, you made the club. The truth is, this is just another way to live for yourself--it only looks better from the outside. I think Paul would laugh from his prison cell. Jesus is experienced best when we follow his commandments, not when we talk about them. Hardship is guaranteed, but therein true joy is found as we know we do not labor in vain. We don't have to be poor, we don't have to deny our "normal" lives, but we redeem the simple things, we give our all when we don't feel like it, we follow and obey Jesus in the littlest areas of our lives. That is what the world needs--not a faith that causes us to withdraw from our reality, but a faith that practically applies to any and every part of reality. May we begin to live out this faith and show the world the hope we have in Christ. I love C.S. Lewis, coffee shops, flannel, outdoor equipment, new ideas, and, yes, tattoos. So lets enjoy it all, but may the world be struck by our outpouring of love, service, and dedication in all the mundane of the day-to-day. 

Friday, November 8, 2013

friday night

I just finished my classes for the day, and the weekend has officially arrived. I'm not feeling particularly social, but contemplating taking myself out on a date tonight. I bet you're thinking that's really pathetic. Here's the pathetic part: I'm really excited about it...a $7 dinner somewhere old, a good book, and a steaming cup of coffee. That's my kind of Friday night.


I'm thankful for:
1. beautiful fall trees
2. smiles from strangers, 
3. soy milk when you're trying vegan
4. laughter
5. girls who inspire me to dress better
6. clothes 
7. friendly commons employees
8. possibilities
9. friends who care deeply
10. God's sovereignty
11. legs that work
12. diversity and the beauty in every face

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Gratitude

A wise person once said, "gratitude makes everything enough." I feel like this must be true. As Paul sat in prison he said, "in all circumstances, I've learned to be content." How? It can only be the result of perspective. He saw his circumstances in light of eternity. In light of what Jesus accomplished on the cross. In light of who he was in Christ.
Forgiven.
Loved.
Accepted.
Chosen.
Treasured.
A saint.
Guaranteed a future without pain or sorrow.
Beloved.
Yes, in light of this, I can't find much to be negative about. Can you?