Monday, March 29, 2010

What I love about Houston

There is one thing I love about Houston. It's not the grotesque traffic or the humidity. Shocking, I know, but the beautiful thing I love is the diversity. You can almost go anywhere in Houston and hear a foreign language. As I sit here in the coffee shop/wine bar, I have heard Russian, Greek (I think), and Spanish. Just the other day, at the grocery store I heard Japanese. Some people might feel strange, but it actually makes me feel more comfortable. I'm not the average white American, so it makes me feel a bit more at home being around different cultures or languages. Hope you can find something you love about the city or town you are in.

Thursday, March 25, 2010


6 years ago, I wrote a song. I don't think I fully realized what the song meant until now. There have been bits and pieces of understanding in the past, but it feels more real today. It applies directly to life as of late. I had actually forgotten about it until last night, when the Lord reminded me. I think I named it "Rest." Here are the lyrics:

Despite my suffering, I will rest in You.
No matter what may lay ahead, I will rest in You.
This peace will flow, although I never know what tomorrow may hold, I just know Your hand is near, holding me, as I rest in You.

Despite my shortcomings, I will rest in You.
When everything falls apart I will rest in You.
This peace will flow, although I never know what tomorrow may hold, I just feel Your strength draw near, when I rest in You.

When I rest, when I rest, when I rest in You, when I rest in You.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


I have been thinking a lot lately about the hope that we have in Christ. Situations have sparked this contemplation. Due to these things, I feel like I am seeing it more clearly than I have before. Each day begins with hoping in Christ, and that day when He will return in all His glory to take His people home. This world is a broken place, and it's not getting any better. I am hoping in the gospel that makes all things new. I am hoping in the day, when all things will be restored to the way they should be, and nothing will be broken.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

a new week

The wedding last week was fantastic! I will confess that I cried a few times. What can I say, if the groom cries, then I cry. It was also great to see friends again and share about our lives. I miss them and wish that they could be closer, but alas that is not reality.

This week is going to be busier than others. There is a new wave of jobs to apply for, which is good. I am praying that one of these will be it. It's time to move on to the next part of life now. You guys can pray with me that one of these jobs will stick.

Saturday, March 13, 2010


Dear Friends,

Have you ever had an experience where the Lord overwhelms you so much that you must cry for joy? Where His beauty becomes so evident that you are left in awe? I think our eyes our so often shielded from the reality and the magnitude of who the LORD really is. I write this now with joyful tears in my eyes and must share with you, because I cannot contain my joy. You must know it too.

Sometimes I practice a form of meditation that Luther wrote about. It involves taking a passage of scripture that you are familiar with and thinking through ACTS. Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, and Supplication. You take each word in the passage and think through it with ACTS. How can I adore the Lord because of _____? What can I confess because of ________? How can I be thankful because of ______? What can I ask the Lord for in light of these things? How does this all tie into the gospel? All this is done in context with what the passage means. This morning I did it with Joshua 1:5-9. Here is the context:

Moses has just died, and Joshua is left in charge of the people. Joshua is afraid because he is now in charge, and because he has to lead the people into the Promised Land. He is afraid of the enemies he will have to fight, and if he is capable of leading successfully. This is part of what the Lord says to him,

"As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you. Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their forefathers to give them. Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave to you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful."

There are two commands. Be strong and courageous, and obey the law. The second command is a stronger exhortation than the first. Which is interesting, the Lord is saying it is more imperative to obey His commands. You should put more emphasis on this than on the future enemies that you will be fighting. It's almost as if He is saying, they aren't the big deal guys. I can take them out, but you must concern yourself with obeying, because disobeying will put you in worse shape than your enemies ever could. That is just crazy to think about. Disobeying the Lord can put us in worse shape than a whole army of enemies.

Then as I meditated on it further, and asked how this ties into the gospel I saw that we cannot always obey the law. I saw that Jesus is the fulfillment of this passage. He was strong and courageous, He did not let the fear of the cross or His enemies rule His life. He completely obeyed the law never straying to the left or the right. He meditated on it day and night. He was the completion of the law. The perfect sacrifice, the High priest, and He was successful in defeating death and sin. Since He defeated death and sin, we have the Holy Spirit with us; we can commune with God without sacrifice or High priests. Therefore, He will never leave us or forsake us. In light of this, we can be strong because of His strength, and we can be courageous because of His courage. We are a set apart people, pain and hardship will come upon us, but we do not need to live in fear of it, because this is not the end. This is not what we live towards. Be strong and courageous. Isn't that beautiful? Now we can be the bearers of glory and of His image on this Earth as a result.

There were others things revealed to me in this time, but this is all I will share today. Thanks for letting me share with you, and I hope that the joy of the Lord is overflowing in your lives today.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

My new love

I love walking the track at Rice University. It's not really a track, it's more like a trail. I am not a good runner, so I power walk it. I love how the trees branches knit together over your head to form a roof of beauty. I love how I now recognize certain people who come at the same time as me everyday. They know my walk, and I know their run. I love how no one feels pressure to go faster than their pace. There is no competition. I love how the pathway is covered with leaves so I feel like a little child kicking them as I walk. I love the random puddles that I have to jump over like a leap frog. I love the sky line of Houston that I see at the beginning of my walk, and the cute little shops that I see near the end. I love how there are kind people who told me that I dropped my keys. I love the squirrels that watch you pass as they nibble on some food. I love the birds that sing their own soundtrack for you. I love the breeze that brushes your faces and cools your body in the Houston humidity. I love seeing the students walking with their backpacks to class. I love the energy I feel after the walk is over and I go on with my day. I love walking the track at Rice University.

*This is a picture of the track.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

It's Tuesday.

We are almost 10 days into March. How crazy is that? At the end of this week, I will fly out to Lubbock, and attend a wedding. It will be the first time I have seen some of these people in almost 2 years. I am pretty excited about it. Then I will be driving back with my friend. We want to road trip it kind of like Elizabethtown, and do random things on our way back to Houston. I plan on taking lots of fun pictures, and am excited to share them with you guys.

I have also given myself a challenge for the day. My challenge is to find a few new ways to serve the people in my community. I think it will be pretty easy to do because there is always someone who can use our help.

Hope you guys are having a lovely week where ever you are.

Sunday, March 7, 2010


Today was a tough day. I have been stressed about a few things lately, but something else got added to the list. Today, a friend hurt me. It was weird, because it is a new friend that I did not even know a month ago. I feel like I always get hurt by the same kinds of people, and frankly, I'm tired of it. It seems that being me just makes it happen, but I don't know how to not be me in these situations. I have no drastic actions in mind, I will still be myself the next time I see my friend. Right now I just feel alone, hurt, and can't seem to shake it. I felt like I was making progress and finding friends, but now I feel like I'm back at square one. Maybe tomorrow will be better.

Friday, March 5, 2010


I got this CD the other week from our old worship leader at the church I go to in Houston. He moved up to Portland to sing in the opera there, he's got a great voice obviously. His CD is in my car, so when I drive anywhere I constantly hear the songs. One particular song has been stuck in my head lately. I think it is more the Lord who placed it there, it comes to me at all times of the day when I am in different situations. It comforts me, and causes me to have less fear in my life. Here are some of the lyrics:

He is there, He is there, when we lose our way.
He will always guide us, through the night or day, He is always there.
He's there with you in your home, you at work, you in your car...couples in love...nations in mourning...people rejoicing....He's God when you win, God when you lose, He is there.
He is there, He is there, when we lose our way.
He will always guide us, through the night or day, He is always there.

There is another song from the CD, that is also impressing itself on my heart, and making me think through the way I live my life. Here are some of it's lyrics:

Take my hands and lift them up, for I have not the strength to praise You well enough.
For I have nothing, I have nothing, without You.
Take my voice, and pour it out, let it the songs of mercy I have found.
For I have nothing, I have nothing, without You.
All my soul needs, is all Your love to cover me, so all the world can see, that I have nothing without You.
Take my body, and build it up, may it be broken as an offering of love.
For I have nothing, I have nothing, without You.....Take my life and let it be consecrated Lord to Thee. Take my moments and my days, let them flow in ceaseless praise, let them flow in ceaseless praise.

So remember this weekend and next week, He is there, and we have nothing without Him.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

The Jungle of Unemployment

Yesterday I was once again inspired, and began writing a sort of essay about my time being unemployed and searching for a job. It's called "The Jungle of Unemployment." Here is an excerpt from it so far:

I try to write this without any hints of bitterness, because if anything, I am not bitter about this time. I may not ever understand it, but I want to learn from it. Living in unemployment is a hard thing to navigate, like the jungle, but there can be beautiful things about it like the jungle as well. If you aren't quite so concerned with rushing through this time, you can stop and notice the beauty around you, the things that require you to slow down.

I sit in a cafe with my dollar cup of tea, and watch the people hurry by. I sit and observe the birds land on the iron hedge, and move their heads from side to side. I watch as the world goes by. I let the sun shine on my face, and enjoy it's rays. Flowers unfold on the branches of the trees that are about to explode with new leaves for spring. A gentle breeze causes the wind chimes to sing a short song. I just sit and let myself be a part of this scene.

Every morning is like a new birth, a new beginning, with endless possibilities for the day. Among all the things swirling around in my subconscious and all that the world throws my way, a small voice has been growing. It comes from within my heart and is relentless for it's size. It only gets louder and places roots in the deepest parts of my soul. The roots begin to grow and flourish into a beautiful great tree. As a result of this growth, the culture falls away, and I am left with the only thing that matters. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and mind. Then love your neighbor as yourself. (Matt. 22:37-39) When I am loving the Lord and loving others, everything else follows. In loving the Lord I can work hard looking for a job, but not worry about it. My heart can wait on the Lord, and trust His timing. I can set aside myself, and help those in need. The gospel can be the foremost thing on my mind, in my heart, and on my tongue.

Despite this growth, I am still human, and sometimes this slow pace is frustrating. Sometimes you just want to make something happen....

*That's the end of my excerpt, hope it can be encouraging to you all.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

How big is your God?

I finished my book this week. It was a sad thing since it was one of those great books that you wish would go on forever. The last chapter was about your view of God. How big is your God? When catastrophe strikes, how big is your God? When you tackle your daily tasks, how big is your God? When you deal with difficult relationships, how big is your God? When it feels like everything is against you, how big is your God?

Do you see God as safe? Does the thought of the Lord leave you in awe? Does the Lord cause you to respond in worship? Do you realize that with God any task is possible? Do you trust Him to do what you need done, or do you try to accomplish it in your own power? Do you realize how much God has already done?

I can say that I do, I know it in the back of my mind, but when the world seems to spin madly, I don't always live that way. Sometimes my heart seems to react correctly, and my faith seems like it could not be knocked over by a bulldozer. Other times, I panic, I look to other things to fix my problems, or satisfy my needs. God tends to be downsized by me. That is why I need to remember what He has done for me, and hear what He does for others. I need to stop and be in awe of the beauty of nature, to remember that He thought it up, He created it. He is the most amazing artist. I need to read my Bible and see God's character in action. I need to envision Him parting the Red Sea, opening the Earth to swallow people, flooding the Earth and then bringing it back to normalcy, suffering on the cross, dying, and then defeating death and sin. I need to "notice" the little things as the day goes on. He causes the sun to rise, the trees to grow, the birds to sing, my heart to beat, my eyes to see, my ears to hear, the wind to blow, the clouds to come and go, the sun to set, the moon to rise, the stars to shine, and our bodies to rest. When I "notice" these things, my heart can respond in worship. When I worship, I can more rightly see how big God is.

How big is your God? What will you trust Him for today?