Saturday, April 18, 2009

100% plus more!

Today, I received 100% of my financial support for this summer! Praise the Lord! PLUS more financial support that will be put into a scholarship fund for students who are coming on the project that do not reach their full support goal. I'm really excited that the Lord is providing in this way because last summer when I was in Milwaukee as a student for this summer project, I did not reach my full support goal and my support was completed through this scholarship fund. I would not have been able to continue my summer in Milwaukee without reaching my support goal, and probably would not be writing this blog right now if it hadn't been for people giving above and beyond their required support.

So, again, I thank all of you for all of your prayer and financial support! The Lord is moving in great ways!

Monday, April 13, 2009

A Love of a Jealous Kind

Today I have been listening to my pandora (free radio on the internet) and this one song that I have heard before really grabbed my attention today. It's called "Jealous Kind" by Jars of Clay. I've always enjoyed the musical style of the song before but I was really driven to find out more about the lyrics today. They are:

I built another temple to a stranger
I gave away my heart to the rushing wind
I set my course to run right into danger
Sought the company of fools instead of friends

You know I've been unfaithful
Lovers in lines
While you're turning over tables with
the rage of a jealous kind
I chose the gallows to the aisle
Thought that love would never find
Hanging ropes will never keep you
And your love of a jealous kind
Love of a jealous kind

Trying to jump away from rock that keeps on spreading
For solace in the shift of the sinking sand
I'd rather feel the pain all too familiar
Than to be broken by a lover I don't understand
'Cause I don't understand

One hundred other lovers, more, one hundred other altars
If I should slow my pace and finally subject me to grace
And love that shames the wise,
betrays the heart's deceit and lies
And breaks the back of foolish pride

When I read these lyrics through at first, I was still rather confused. But thinking about the heart behind them, I take them as a very intimate and personal wrestling that an individual is having with the Lord.
As humans, we have this nature that causes us to seek after things to fulfill ourselves - the love and attention of other people, success in business, raising healthy children... These things are not bad in themselves, but I think all too easily we put them first, before God. But God is a jealous God - he doesn't want our leftover efforts. He doesn't want to be our second (or third or fourth) love. Jesus took the full wrath of God's justice on himself because he LOVES us! This is a love that truly shames the wise of this world. This is a love that breaks the backs of our foolish pride. This is a love that I am unworthy of. So unworthy.

But so grateful. Thank you, Jesus. Thank you.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Woohoo God!

Wow, I am floored by the Almighty!

This summer I have the incredible opportunity to return to Milwaukee as a student staff member for a summer project through Campus Crusade for Christ. I was on this project as a student last summer and it was one of the most incredible experiences of my life. This whole blog is basically the lovechild of my summer in Milwaukee.

Well, I am "woohooing" God because today I received some support checks in the mail that brought me to the half-way point of my support goal! And I only sent out my support letters last week! It's amazing to see how God is working in people's hearts to give even when it seems money is so tight in the rest of the nation's economy.

Thank you, my supporters!! I am eagerly anticipating being a part of what God is going to do this summer in Milwaukee.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Waiting for My Bridegroom

In Bible study, we're currently looking at Jesus' teachings and what they meant in the context of his surroundings and the historical time period. Something that I found really fascinating was the comparison that Jesus used of himself being a bridegroom who was leaving to prepare a place in his father's house for his bride. In Jewish custom, when a man was ready to marry, his family would gather the resources for him to pay the "bride price" for his bride. He would go to this girl and they would share a glass of wine together signifying the covenant of their future marriage. He would then tell her that he was going back to his father's house to build a place for the two of them to live. While he was away, this girl learned all that she needed to know about being a wife and waited eagerly for the return of her husband. She did not know the exact day of his return, but she was expected to be always ready.
I think this is just a really incredible picture of what God is doing for us, the church - his bride. He has committed himself to us and is at this very moment preparing in heaven a place for us to be with him. Coming to this realization that Jesus loves me so much that the "bride price" he paid for me was his life has made me desire to be constantly preparing myself to be ready for his return. Everything I do on this earth should be in preparation for the kingdom that I will be welcomed into in heaven.
This means that every relationship that I have is an opportunity to share God's love and to build up his kingdom here on earth. My life has purpose and meaning beyond the worldy pursuits of a husband, kids, a good job, retirement, recognition, health... the list could go on. These things are not bad in themselves, but without submitting them to God's will, pursuing them alone will never be fulfilling.