Monday, September 27, 2010

You Never Let Go...

This was one of the titles of the songs we sang at BCM (Baptist Campus Ministries) tonight. We started off the night just like we normally do on Monday nights, but after we sang and talked for a few minutes, our leaders told us we would be doing things a little differently tonight.

We walked to one of the classroom buildings on campus, where there were 6 stations set up throughout the whole building. At each station, was a bible verse, along with a devotional and a few prayer suggestions. We were asked to take our time to thoroughly read the verses and the suggestions written below, then to take a few moments to pray to God for whatever was on our mind. This was repeated at each station.

I was just in awe the whole time at those that had attended tonight. When I stopped to think about that this week is Homecoming Week, as well as the week before mid-terms, each student's homework/stress load has got to be pretty heavy because of everything going on. I know that I'm being tugged in a million different directions with school, homework, family,'s just so hard to balance everything. Yet through it all, these young adults put aside everything for the night just to be together and to pray to God. I just feel so blessed to be a part of such a wonderful group of people on this campus. I pray for everyone who attended tonight, and even those that didn't, that God be with them this week as they get through the stresses of daily life. Also that each day, their "stress slate" be wiped clean so that they may see each day as a blessing from God.

That's one reason why I love the picture I chose to represent this post. God's hands are over all of us and he'll never let go, no matter how hard times may seem...

Why Do Bad Things Happen to Good People?

This was our sermon for this past Sunday, and the last week in our FAQs series. I apologize for not keeping as caught up with these in the past, but I had a special request to post this particular synopsis, so here you go..

To start off the sermon, our pastor began by saying that bad things don't happen to good people, because, well...there are no good people. After this statement, you could look around and see some people who got maybe a little defensive or confused, and for some you could hear gasps. To back up this belief, we turned to Mark 10:17-18, which reads "As Jesus started on his way, a man ran up to him and fell on his knees before him. 'Good teacher,' he asked, 'what must I do to inherit eternal life?' 'Why do you call me good?' Jesus answered. 'No one is good--except God alone.'

This passage pretty much sums that up exactly. None of us are perfect/good except for God. The better question to be asked is, why do bad things happen to people who are 'trying' to be good? Some say that God causes these things to happen to teach us a lesson. Examples of this can be found in Proverbs 3:11-12, as well as Hebrews 12:5-6. Our pastor went on to say that he didn't believe this 100% and that it's probably not a good idea to say that to someone going through a rough situation, because usually we cannot see what God is trying to show us until later on, in hindsight.

It is also say that sometimes bad things just happen, but it's God's nature to bring good things out of them. This is true, however it is mostly because of our sinful human nature and rebellion against God and His will that causes us to be in painful situations. I agree with this completely. I cannot say how many lessons I've learned that could have been so much simpler had I just followed God's will that I felt tugging on my heart. Then again, maybe it's better that I learned the hard way in hopes that I will not repeat my bad decisions from my past.

We were left with this quote: "Jesus didn't suffer so that you won't suffer. He suffered so that when you suffer, you will be more like him."

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Findings continued

Not sure if you remember, but sometime last year, I wrote a blog entitled "Findings of a College Student." It was a pretty lengthy list of a lot of stuff that I've learned since I graduated high school. I have a few more things that I'd like to add to the list. Sorry if it seems like ranting, but when I have the urge to write, I must give in. (It'll have to be quick because I have class in 20 minutes.)

  • Although it's not the most important thing to me, having my own dorm room pretty much rocks...(even if I'm hardly ever in it.) :)
  • Friendships really do make college that much more enjoyable
  • I love the relationship I have with my boyfriend, but friendships should always come first...everything always works itself out so there's time for both ;-)
  • Never forget your family...they'll always be there for you so take care of them.
  • Younger people look up to me a lot more than I thought they did.
  • Even though it's hard to get dressed up @ 7:30 in the morning, it makes you feel soo much better about yourself, lol
  • Friends are friends, no matter their origin. I can use all of them I can get.
  • Holding your feelings inside doesn't do anything, but leave you lonely at night, so share your feelings with those you love.
  • I actually enjoy my filming class waaay more than I thought I would. I'm looking forward to the projects we'll have every few weeks in my class...even if that does mean more work on my end.

There are so many more things I could add to this, but I really am about to be late for class, so this will have to do for now. Until then....keep reading, and keep writing

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Becoming Homeless

This past Friday night, our campus had something called "Homeless Night." We had an event to start off the night that students could receive credit for attending. In this one-hour event, we had 3 speakers who had recently been, or were homeless. Two of our speakers were actually a married couple and talked about their separate experiences, as well as how they met one another. The final speaker was still technically "homeless" because he did not own a home of his own at this time. After the event, there was an opportunity for the campus (whoever wanted to participate), to sleep outside from 10pm - 6am the next morning to get sort of an idea of what it was like to be homeless. A lot of students could receive service credit hours or extra credit for attending also. I didn't have a class to give this such credit, but I still thought it would be an interesting idea so I went with several of my friends.

At 10, I went with about the thirty other students who attended to grab a cardboard box to sleep on. We were allowed to have that box, as well as one blanket for the night. I found a pretty large box that I shared with 2 of my friends. It started off not being so bad, but as the night went on, the box became more damp and uncomfortable. There were bugs, and not to mention the threat of someone just walking up to you while you're sleeping. Luckily we were on campus with security and chaperones, but I can only imagine what someone would have to go through on a daily basis with these less than desirable conditions.

Before I had really gotten into the mindset of a homeless person I found sleeping outside to be quite peaceful. My friends and I had placed ourselves next to the fountain on campus so that we would hear the water as we fell asleep and the weather was nice thankfully. I could not imagine doing that for days, months, or even years as it is with some homeless people. I was only outside for 8 hours and had the privilege of using my dorm's restroom when a real case scenario, this would not have been possible. I experienced waking in the middle of the night shivering from the cold, even though it has not yet reached Fall. I felt very blessed at 6am the next morning to be able to head back to my dorm and climb in to a nice warm bed with a roof above me and a place to stay. I pray for all of those who are in need and for all of the charities and organizations that try to lessen the amount of homelessness we have today.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Red Sky

"Daylight fades into the ground; Oh Lord I need you now. Cover me with a red sky tonight, the promise of a better day to come. Sing over me an angelic symphony, tell me everything will be all right...with a red sky tonight."

This is just a few lines from a really good song I've come to love. When it's posted as my facebook status though, it usually means I'm having a rough time, and yes, it was posted just a few minutes ago. I don't know what's up with me lately, but I'll just go from being so happy and then just kind of have a slump. If this is the devil playing games with me, he needs to now. If it weren't for some really awesome friends I'd have never made it through this year so far alive.

I'm writing this blog in hopes that it will help me sleep. I'm supposed to be having an awesome day on the lake tomorrow with my friends and family so I really could use the rest. I just feel so blessed to have so many people in my life right now who will talk me through these stresses that just keep popping up. Until then, maybe I should try to rest? Sorry for the rambling...goodnight bloggers! :)

The Potters Hand

One of the songs we sang in church this morning was "The Potters Hand." I've always really liked this song, but today after our sermon series, it meant a little something more. The chorus goes like this:

Take me, mould me, use me, fill me
I give my life to the Potter's hand
Call me, guide me, lead me, walk beside me
I give my life to the Potter's hand.

This part really spoke to me after our pastor reminded us that no matter what the world may tell us "this is my body and I can do what I want with it, etc." that as Christians this is "not our body." Christ bought us at a price...a very high price and we are His children. I want to live my life in a way that anyone who meets me, sees me, knows me, etc. knows that I am a child of God and He lives in me.

FAQs Part 1

Today began my church's new series entitled FAQ (frequently asked questions). Our congregation has had the opportunity to submit their own personal questions to the pastor for him to answer as many as possible within the next month.

The first question answered this morning was: Should a Christian have a tattoo? We then turned to Leviticus 19:28, which says "Do not cut your bodies for the dead or put tattoo marks on yourselves. I am Lord." If you look at this passage literally, you would answer the question with no, Christians should not have tattoos. Then again, you would also have to say that Christians should not have pierced ears or any other piercings. My pastor then went on to explain that the Israelites during this time period were surrounded by many different religions and cultures; one of them being Egyptians. Egyptians believed in order for their God to recognize them in the afterlife, that they needed to tattoo their bodies. Taking this into consideration, God was telling the Israelites not to tattoo images of other Gods on their bodies, kind of like the commandment for idolatry. The part of the scripture that refers to "cutting yourself" goes back to the Pagan ritual of them actually cutting themselves to honor the dead.

The second question we came to was: Should a Christian be cremated? The scripture used for this question was Genesis 2:7, and 3:19. There is belief by some that say that when God resurrects our "bodies" after we die, that He won't know where to "find" those who have been cremated. We ended this question by saying that our God is powerful enough to resurrect us from wherever we are, so that cremation did not make us any less of a Christian.

The final question we had time for today was: Is suicide an unforgiveable sin? Our pastor put some statistics on the projector which go as follows: there are 1 million suicide attempts each year, 1 in 15 succeed. This statistic has doubled within the past 10 years. From there we talked about several suicide attempts in the bible. A couple examples are King Saul "fell on his sword," Samson, and Judas. According to Jesus there is only one unforgiveable sin, and that is the sin of blasphemy. The scripture we talked about was Matthew 12:30-32. The sermon was ended by saying that if anyone was in such a dark place as to think about suicide, that not to bet their life on this part of the sermon. Our lives are not our own to take away. Christ bought our bodies at a price and we are forever His.

More Q & A to come next week! Until then, keep reading :)