Musings

/Musings
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Sometimes Quiet is Violent

I remember sitting with Luke on the steps to the alleyway last semester. He was dying inside for lack of peace. Over the next few weeks, we talked and prayed and cried out to God together. I fervently read the Psalms with him. We’d eat french fries and wonder when God would respond.

We didn’t doubt, we just wondered.

I’ve been confronted with the idea that God suffers inconsolably with us, and that discontent breeds love, so we all must be discontent, including God. That he’s impatiently pacing back and forth, waiting for the day when perfection can be restored in heaven. Eden made us lose our innocence, and now we have to face the tragedies and sufferings that accompany knowledge of good and evil. He’s going to wipe our tears away, but I denote a problem with this image of a suffering God who is out of control, doesn’t understand, and doesn’t

Trending

The cross is an instrument of torture. It’s the symbol of who we are in Christ, God’s love, his sacrifice, his awesome grace and cleansing blood.  We wear it around our necks, paste it to our walls, build wooden versions of it on our church steeples. We see it so much….have we forgotten what it means?

Bible studies, sermons, small groups, fellowship, even communion and baptism….we have become desensitized to their significance and purpose. Our society has gripped the church and turned it into a selfish, experience-driven buffet that seeks to stuff us with bloated, boring, banal.

We are tired. We refuse to admit it. We are hungry. We don’t know why.

Oh, how the American church has lost its focus! Who can ascend the holy hill of the Lord anymore, as the Psalmist cried out?

Do we pray for Paul’s words to be true in our lives, that we might count everything as loss compared

T-minus

Year 3 is flashing a cruel smile of daunting proportions.

The City has welcomed me back with its usual carelessness. My friends, and Bible College as a whole, however, have been shining the light of Christlike encouragement back into my heart. I am not alone, and am surrounded by precious souls, kids, really, seeking to minister to the broken and chase after the face of our Lord.

I am eager to dig in. I am frightened about what I have to do. I am delighted in what papers, what research, and what projects I have before me. I want to crawl in a hole and let someone else do them for me. I don’t want to have to do an internship. I’m scared.

At the end of summer, and the beginning of a new chapter in my life, God led me to Paul’s words in 2 Corinthians. Sitting here and feeling unprepared, insufficient,

Wanted: a way to see beyond my sunglasses

Everyone wears sunglasses of perspective.

It’s hard to value your own at times. The big trendy thing to do is to take pictures with kids in Africa and/or post a Bible verse/indie song lyric on Facebook with a #vscocam landscape photo of some obscure beach. Meanwhile, back in the backwoods, God is moving quietly and has me singing in church on Sundays, hosting a couple ladies’ breakfasts, and selling toys in the next tourist town over.

Is this as exciting as spending my summer feeding widows in Guatemala or travelling the Southeast putting on Gospel camps for kids? Is it as meaningful as interning at a megachurch co-leading worship or studying abroad in the Mediterranean or serving at a family camp in Michigan?

God’s Word tells me the answer is yes. When I started working fast food at age 14, this was a verse I quickly memorized and treasured:

“Whatever you do, work at it

Wanted: balance between relying on God for my future and going after it myself

I want to do well. I don’t do things halfway. I want to be known as someone who is reliable, able, competent.

A drive for excellence is still important — wanting to do well, putting all our effort into a task, seeking to honor God by giving him our best — but we must pray for discernment and conviction t0 make sure these things do not morph into idols of perfectionism.

Especially in a ministry setting, I’ve realized that this can be an iron wall: wanting to do your best, but relying on the Lord means that it’s not in your own power. Add in the the fact that there’s always going to be someone who is “better” than you (read: with writing, teaching, knowledge, gentleness, hospitality, Scripture memorization, master of the Greek text, everyone they talk to gets magically saved and you can’t even manage to effectively communicate your college major

Drinking root beer and hanging with pastors on a Friday night

How can we not be excited about God?

I’ve been working on a short message from Ephesians 1:3-10 that I’m teaching on at our church’s monthly ladies’ breakfast. As I prayed about what to discuss, this subject kept floating back into my head: regaining our awe and wonder of God. Enter in the magnificent blessings we have in Christ.

The apathy is easy. The laziness is easy. Skipping our faithful reading of the Word is easy. And then we grow numb and forget who our Lord is and what exactly he has done for us. No wonder the Israelites were commanded to REMEMBER HIM:

“Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that

We’re having leftovers for dinner tonight

There is so much left to know about God.

Until about two years ago, I was sort of “yeah-okay-cool” about reading the Bible; I was frustrated that I had a hard time reading it, and I dutifully tried my best to please God by reading it. I didn’t really “study” a whole bunch. I didn’t invest a lot of time into thinking about what I had read, how it affected my beliefs, and what it all meant for reality, for life.

After all, growing up in church, I had essentially heard it all before. Right?

I think that, all too often, we as Christians forget about why we do what we do. Why do you read the Bible? Why do I?

“…that I may know Him,” wrote Paul in Phil 3:10. For too long, I was really only reading the Bible to check it off a list, to feel better, to assuage my own personal

Brink

Sitting in the campus coffee shop with Corbin the Class President and studying for final exams is a strange deal. As I reflect on the ending of Year 2 and rain flops into the plaza, I’m reminded again of how time always flies too fast.

You blink, and it’s gone.

I’ve got several topics swirling around my mind: how we systematize too much, beauty as gift, intercessory prayer, motivations, grad school, frappuccinos. I’m thinking how adult I don’t feel even though I’m halfway done with Bible college and taking on more responsibility every moment. I’m memorizing the facial expressions and vocal inflections of those who are moving on. I’m praying that I may know Christ more each day.

Sometimes, I feel like this is a joke, or like I’m still 10 years old and will wake up in my pink Barbie nightgown one of these days to my dad making cinnamon raisin toast. There are

“Don’t You Know Who I Think I Am?” and the Slump

They say quitters never win, says the song I’m listening to at this moment.

Tex and I grabbed milkshakes last night. Again, this brother in the Lord preached the Gospel back to me and reminded me of much.

I’ve been up and down this semester; I’m dubbing it a slump, because I’ve found myself questioning a lot and feeling in a funk quite often. Part of it is the weighty amount of, “Kaitlyn, I need you to pray for me right now” and, “Kaitlyn, where is God in my pain? Why won’t he bring peace?” The other part is simply Year 2: too far from the beginning to remember why I started and too far from the end to see the light of God’s future ministry for me.

Tex is one of those people who can genuinely encourage. The Spirit working through him lifted my heart and made me rethink my outlook on

“Space Oddity” and the Resurrection

I spent the weekend up in my Northwoods with a merry bunch of travelers.

Yes, our theme song was the infamous David Bowie track. Yes, we ate fish fry, walked in the woods, and stepped out onto the frozen lake near the house. Yes, we celebrated the merciful, amazing miracle of our Lord Jesus Messiah’s resurrection.

Death, where’s the sting now when the designer of all history and sustainer of the universe himself defeated you?

Returning back to campus for the final six weeks is going to be a long run, but reflecting on what Jesus did out of love for us is fuel and joy and motivation that yes, sin is conquered and can be overcome; yes, there is hope; and yes, there is victory.

My favorite account of his resurrection is in the book of John because of what happens to Mary Magdalene. She was redeemed at the Lord’s hand from tortuous