Yearly Archives: 2014

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The Reality of Memory

We collect memories every day, not always realizing it. Memories aren’t just vacations, traditions, or major life events; rather, they are also tarnished photographs in the bottom drawer, or a too-small pair of comfy jeans, or the smell of a hospital mixed with Mom’s perfume.

Memories. They are a blessing and a curse, a priceless necklace that is beautiful but sometimes ill-fitting and most certainly nonreturnable. It was just given to us.

The first time I walked into my dorm room, #402. Standing beneath the Eiffel Tower and running down the Seine bank with a crepe in my hand. Trying ketchup for the first time, finding a spider in my bed when I was nine, having a kid in youth group confess a pornography addiction to me, being betrayed by a close friend when I was 17.

I find it interesting that Jesus was human.

Jesus had to redeem all aspects of our humanity,

The Reality of Home

I’m officially finished. 

First semester, check. Off the dashboard. I’m looking forward to heading out tomorrow for my North Woods to see family and favorites.

I made a Chik-fil-A run with Corbin the Class President tonight and then watched “Elf” with the other guys and gals who are still here. I had to say, “See you next year” to some sweet sisters and my wonderful roommate whom I love dearly. Of course, it wouldn’t have been a solid wrap-up without a late-night adventure/conversation with Archie and Co. It’s been a treasured few months. 

Looking back, it’s been a ride. I can’t believe only three and a half months have gone by since I left for my second year at Bible college, suitcases and heart at the ready. The friends (old and new), the

The Reality of Real Life

This morning, at approximately 8am, a man was blowing a rape whistle on the corner of Clark and Randolph. He was holding a sign proclaiming the evils of the government and that they had violated him by refusing to give him his veterans’ benefits.

This morning, at approximately 8am, I was buying a doughnut at the corner of Randolph and Dearborn. I was with my friends celebrating Brynna the RA’s birthday, and we went to this (literal) hole-in-the-wall place in the Loop before finals. 

My life looks very different from that man’s street corner in Daley Plaza. In fact, looking around on the crowded train platform and shuffling down the street, I see a lot of people whose lives are different than mine. I wonder who they are and where they’re going, and whether or not they have

The Reality of Peace


A friend of mine working for Chik-fil-A was out by Michigan Avenue for her usual shift this afternoon. She stands next to a big poster and hands out flyers. I got a text from Tiffany while I was out at a movie that she had to step away from her post due to a semi-heated protest complete with a police escort down the street.

Ferguson pushback.

The whole incident that took place in Missouri remains troubling, but the more troubling part is that peace and justice still cannot be found. It seems that despite the efforts of the court system, local government, and heated public opinion that this issue ceases to rest. Add in explosive responses from cities all over America and dredged-up similar incidents, and we have a case of dynamite on our hands.

The Reality of Relationships

I haven’t had time to do much writing recently, but I have been thinking.

Between working our annual Christmas concerts this past weekend, homework, sleeping, working in general, saving the whales, laundry, life talks, and Thanksgiving, life has been nuts. I’m currently in the library (yes, again) hammering out an exegetical study on Colossians 2:6-8 and listening to 80’s music. And of course, clowning around in between paragraphs with my friends.

What else is new? 

Reading Hebrews 13 lifts the spirits. Verses 15;16 state this: “Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise — the fruit of lips that openly profess his name. And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.”

God

Application and Obligation

I’m sitting in the corner of the library. I’ve been essentially camped out here this entire past weekend, jamming to my “Thoughtful” (ha) playlist, and I’ve been systematically taking apart a passage in 1 Corinthians for a research paper. It’s been awesome to survey the text and interpret the Word of God — and getting a GRADE for it! This is one of the reasons I am so blessed to be in Bible college. 

However, I’ve been realizing more and more how little time I actually have to process the Word of God, differing perspectives, and other things I’ve learned this semester. Life hits hard and fast; it seems to be speeding up every day, and I just don’t have enough time to chew on every conversation, chapel speaker, lecture, and devotion. I think that’s why I’m enjoying this time working on this

Cans and Kool-Aid

From what well are you drinking?

I visited an art exhibit in Millennium Park with some friends featuring special sculptures made out of Red Bull cans. It was pretty cool to see some of the things people had done — a dress, a set of wings, a fish, portraits — using just the metal from energy drink cans. The stories behind some of the pieces included information about the artists. All I could think about was the number of drinks they must have consumed in order to produce so much art on a grand scale.

Everyone runs on something. You drink water, or pop, or coffee. We all refresh ourselves somewhere.

I’ve been thinking about the woman at the well in John 4, Jesus reveals the nature of the Living Water in this

Offerings and Open Palms

“O Lord, I bring an offering to you…”

I deeply appreciate the words of that song. I’m listening to it tonight in our floor lounge. It’s quiet (I mean, hey, it’s 1:00am), and my body is tired from a long day. My heart, though, is peaceful. Much has been getting done. God is at work and teaching me yet again the importance of prayer.

There’s a professor here on campus whose trademark line is about holding things (especially significant others) with an open palm. We joke about it here, mostly because he has the most precious Southern accent and is a bajillion years old.

There is something so symbolic about an open hand facing upwards. It shows surrender. It shows that we’re giving something up that we’ve been holding onto. It shows God

Speaking of Contrast…

Thank the Lord for his blessings in my life. He has given me several reprieves this past week. A paper being finished and turned in. An event off my plate. A test taken. Time with friends and refreshing sleep. Beautiful weather. Dinner at a professor’s house and a successful meeting. Work smoothing out.

I am incredibly unworthy to know God, let alone the fact that he answers my prayers. Jesus has saved me! He extends that salvation to all!

Yet, a contrast looms.

Several friends I know are struggling hard. Stress, death, medical issues, financial problems, family drama, dark depression. God seems far away from them, the Scriptures are dry, and Satan feels like he’s ripping life apart.

Set this against the backdrop of our world, the picture

Speaking of Strength…

Congratulations, stress is officially a thing. 

I’m in the library ignoring all I need to be doing. I’m with two of my friends, evaluating doodles and making fun of an Instagram photo of Archie trying to channel James Dean. There’s much on my mind, and much to be in prayer for. Yet, here I am.

It’s because I can’t mentally do anything right now. And it’s okay.

Homework, work, family stuff, life choices, lack of social time, future plans, and trying to stay refreshed in the Word. Processing emotion instead of stuffing it up. Trying to take care of myself.

Sometimes, that includes eating junk food and listening to alt pop in the back corner of the lower level library. 

God, in his