Saturday, December 22, 2012

God is good!

 ... and I am still alive. :D

Friday, February 17, 2012

The Light

Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” -John 8:12

You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” -Matthew 5:14-16

Father, may I be Your wick, bringing your light to the darkest places as You shine through me.

Friday, May 13, 2011


Probably my biggest struggle this quarter has been dealing with a large amount of change and uncertainty--and the prospect of more--in my life, while at the same time fighting for the right perspective and a clear, coherent vision through it all. I'm still fighting for that, and it's not always easy. In particular, I know I want to follow God and do whatever will honor Him most, but I frankly don't know exactly what that means as far as where I am to be and what exactly I am to be doing.

Sometimes I just want there to be one burning sense of what I am "supposed to" do--a career, a ministry track, a place, something. Up to this point, although I do believe that God has specific good works that He has for me, and probably even a specific place I should be and a specific "job" for me to do (whatever that means), I can't say I see it extremely clearly. This is especially difficult for the long term. I know I don't need to know what my plans are for 10 years down the road, but at the same time I want to set myself up for whatever God is calling me to, not wasting time doing my own thing when I could be following God's call on my life more closely. In this way, even decisions that are "short term" could be huge in how they affect my future. And frankly, that can be unsettling.

This week I got encouraging news when I was offered a teaching fellowship in the city of Milwaukee, where I would teach high school math for three years. It's an opportunity that seems really cool, albeit difficult, and I most likely will accept. The reason it's not a definite "yes" yet is that I want to really bring it before God and just talk things through with others. Rash decisions are dangerous. Also, it's something I'm really interested in and excited about, but to be honest, the prospect is also pretty scary considering I have never had personal classroom teaching experience in my life.

The main issue here, though, is trust. Simply put, I don't know where my life is headed, either short or long term, and that's not comfortable. I think what God wants me to learn, though, is that He knows, He's in control, and He's good. The idea is really simple, but believing it moment to moment is probably one of the hardest lessons I've had to learn (and continue to learn and re-learn). I don't have my future mapped out for me, and I can't say with any certainty what my life will look like in a few years; but God wants me to rest in Him and continue daily in what I'm supposed to do now, trusting that He is in control.

The guy who disciples me here at NU directed me the other day to an awesome Psalm that touches on a lot of the issues here much better than I ever could. Here's a portion of that passage:

10 The LORD foils the plans of the nations;
he thwarts the purposes of the peoples.
11 But the plans of the LORD stand firm forever,
the purposes of his heart through all generations.

12 Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD,
the people he chose for his inheritance.
13 From heaven the LORD looks down
and sees all mankind;
14 from his dwelling place he watches
all who live on earth—
15 he who forms the hearts of all,
who considers everything they do.

16 No king is saved by the size of his army;
no warrior escapes by his great strength.
17 A horse is a vain hope for deliverance;
despite all its great strength it cannot save.
18 But the eyes of the LORD are on those who fear him,
on those whose hope is in his unfailing love,
19 to deliver them from death
and keep them alive in famine.

20 We wait in hope for the LORD;
he is our help and our shield.
21 In him our hearts rejoice,
for we trust in his holy name.
22 May your unfailing love be with us, LORD,
even as we put our hope in you.

I don't need to rejoice in the fact that I have set up the future of my dreams for myself, or the fact that I'm about to get a fancy piece of paper from a fairly prestigious university, or that I'm a generally capable person with a good network of family and friends. If I really understand God's steadfast love for me, I'm going to be rejoicing, even if I don't know what's going on and there's pain mixed in with the happiness of my life. If I realize that the God of the universe loves me sacrificially and is helping me and has good intentions for how my life can be fulfilling and honoring to Him, I have no need to fear. If I really can learn to trust without always seeing, there will be joy on the other side... and even in the midst of the chaos. After all, God has the perspective I need, He is omnipotent, and He works all things together for my good. And with that in mind, it's a lot easier to get pumped about where my Father has me right now, and about what the future holds.

Thursday, April 14, 2011


In the interest of getting back into the groove of blogging more regularly, here's one of my accomplishments of the night (not the only or the most important, but the most satisfying)--listing all 35 countries in the Americas in a minute. Like Bushbuck in days of yore, it is a diversion that I can justify on the grounds that it is educational in addition to being fun. Proof of my success will be seen more clearly if you view a larger version of the following photo; notice that I finished with less than 2 seconds to spare.

Now to bed, to bed for this sleepyhead! Much awaits me in the morn.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Where in the world?

Here are a few places I could be if I try to still pursue a teaching fellowship for next year:

Wilmington, Delaware

Augusta, Georgia

Savannah, Georgia

Milwaukee, Wisconsin


And if I don't pursue a teaching fellowship for this year... who knows?

Tuesday, February 8, 2011


I'm about to get back to studying for my crazy week of midterms. I'm tired, and I just want this week to be over. But I thought I'd drop by and share a little something I found. This was the first Google image that appeared when I searched "midterms":

I wish this were my experience. Maybe I can convince myself... "gimme some of that midterm ice cream goodness!"

Friday, January 7, 2011

I Don't Want to Be a Jerk

I had nearly forgotten I had a blog until I saw something that reminded me of it the other day. After many months of no posts, I think it's high time to write again. The new year will hopefully bring with it more consistent blogging than in the past--though time will tell.

What prompted me to write this particular post was something that initially frustrated me a lot today. As I am cooling down and thinking more about it, though, I think it's something from which I can pull useful points.

Something that has long been a pet peeve of mine is the refusal of some people--usually acquaintances--to acknowledge my glance, smile, or even greeting when I pass them in the hall (or more often, on Sheridan Road). To be clear, I feel no need to greet every person I've ever met or had contact with in my life when I see them. If I knew someone the first week of freshman year and then never talked with them since that time, I don't expect that person to jubilantly greet me when we see each other from afar. That would just be weird. But if I clearly know you, and you clearly know me, and I pass within a foot or so of you, and it's clear that you saw me (even if you're pretending that you didn't), and I say "hi" or wave to you and you act as if you are walking alone in a universe where only you exist--well, that's just really obnoxious. No matter how well-intentioned you may be, acting that way makes you look like this:

Today I saw and greeted at least 4 people who ranged from mild acquaintances to a good friend. My friend (who doesn't even attend Northwestern anymore) greeted me cheerfully. That was cool. The other three absolutely ignored me--I think one tried to get away from me, but that's a story for another day. The really weird thing about this is that I've had fairly in-depth conversations with all of these people. I guess that only one of those people very clearly, deliberately ignored my greeting. The other two seemed to ignore me, but I will give them the benefit of the doubt as I should; I've missed people passing by me and greeting me before, too. I want to put others in the best light possible.

But if I see you, and you know me fairly well, and I greet you (I'm not even saying you need to greet me), I'd really be flattered if you said "hi" or nodded back. It's not really that difficult. Also, it's not about me, although I will say it's not exactly enjoyable to be given the cold shoulder. I'm not that emotionally unstable, so you're not going to ruin my life. The bigger issue is that people matter, and even if they're not people that you particularly know well or care for, you should be enough of a human being to acknowledge that other people exist, and that interacting with them is important. That's all. Basic stuff. And if you ever catch me ignoring you or anyone else, please call me out on it. I will be grateful.

When I started getting over my original indignation at being ignored (just another manifestation of my pride's getting in the way of living life beyond the plane of what other people think of me), it struck me that I sometimes am a poor friend in the same ways I'm accusing others of. To a minor degree, I know that sometimes I just lose contact with people I'd like to be keeping up with--virtually ignoring them even though if I happened to see them I'd say "hello."

More importantly, though, I'm guilty of turning the cold shoulder to God. There are days when I sense Him prompting me to take some time off from whatever it is that I'm doing and get in his Word and delight in the relationship I have with Him. This is not just someone who is my acquaintance, it is someone who sacrificed Himself for my life, who loves me eternally and who always wants to be communicating with me. And my decision to put off or downplay the significance of my relationship with Jesus is simply atrocious.

So if you saw me today and tried to avoid me (which is unlikely if you're someone who cares enough to read this blog :D), don't feel badly. You just helped me to make a connection with the ridiculousness of my own behavior toward God sometimes. So, thank you. I needed that.