Thursday, September 27, 2007
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
WOW!! Upper Room was awesome!!! I wasn't intending on going, but I went. And I am so glad!!!! It was awesome! I have never worshiped God in a more honest, open way. I loved it so much! You could really feel the presence of God. Did I mention that I loved it?!
Monday, September 24, 2007
Sunday, September 23, 2007
Friday, September 21, 2007
I also have another reason for being happy. I got TWO packages from home today!! Yeah, that's right-- two!!! :D I was overjoyed!!! Among other things, she sent dried pineapple (*licks lips*), and a skirt from Christopher & Banks (which I am wearing right now :)!!! My mom definitely knows how to send a care package, that's FOR sure!!
And my RA just dropped off a cookie! How much better can it get?
Sunday, September 16, 2007
|"The secret of my success? It is simple. It is found in the Bible, 'In all thy ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct thy paths.'"|
Friday, September 14, 2007
" When I was still living behind the Iron Curtain, I had met a Russian captain. He loved God, he longed after God, but he had never seen a Bible. He had never attended religious services. He had no religious education, but he loved God without the slightest knowledge of Him.
" I read to him the Sermon on the Mount and the parables of Jesus. After hearing them, he danced around the room in rapturous joy, proclaiming, ‘What a wonderful beauty! How could I live without knowing this Christ?’ It was the first time that I saw someone jubilating in Christ.
" Then I made a mistake. I read to him the passion and crucifixion of Christ, without having prepared him for this. He had not expected it. When he heard how Christ was beaten, how He was crucified, and that in the end He died, he fell in an armchair and began to weep bitterly. He had believed in a Savior and now his Savior was dead!
" I looked at him and was ashamed that I had called myself a Christian and a pastor, a teacher of others. I had never shared the sufferings of Christ as this Russian officer now shared them. Looking at him was, for me, like seeing Mary Magdalene weeping at the foot of the cross or at the empty tomb.
" Then I read to him the story of the resurrection. When he heard this wonderful news, that the Savior arose from the tomb, he slapped his knees, and shouted for joy: ‘He is alive! He is alive!’ Again he danced around the room, overwhelmed with happiness.
" I said to him, ‘Let us pray.’
" He fell on his knees together with me. He did not know our holy phrases. His words of prayer were, ‘O God, what a fine chap You are! If I were You and You were me, I would never have forgiven You Your sins. But You are really a very nice chap! I love You with all my heart.’
" I think that all the angels in heaven stopped what they were doing to listen to this sublime prayer from this Russian officer. When this man received Christ, he knew he would immediately lose his position as an officer, that prison and perhaps death in jail would almost surely follow. He gladly paid the price. He was ready to lose everything."
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
Sunday, September 09, 2007
I took a zillion (okay, 129), but I figured you didn't want to see that many pictures of the Chicago skyline/architecture. Although, if anyone from Judson is reading this, they are probably an architecture student...
Friday, September 07, 2007
A Jesus Freak whose joy overflows is a puzzling thing to a watching world. But that’s not a bad thing. Let your light make ’em curious! Let people see your peace under pressure and wonder what your secret is. Maybe they’ll work up the courage to ask you about it. Joy in the midst of suffering always confounds those who don’t possess it.
One day, on the way to visit some friends, Englishman John Denley was stopped and searched by the authorities, who found his written confession of faith. Denley believed the church was built upon the apostles and prophets, with Christ as its head. He also believed that the present state of the church, the Church of England in the 1500s, was not part of this true Church. At that time, many of its teachings were contrary to the Bible.
For his beliefs he was turned over to a local government official, who turned him over to the bishop for questioning. Denley would not back down from his statement of faith, so he was condemned to die.
Within six weeks he was sent to the stake to be burned. When they lit the wood beneath him, Denley showed no fear. He cheerfully sang a psalm as the flames rose around him. One of his tormentors picked up a piece of wood and threw it at him, hitting him in the face. He hoped to anger or silence Denley, but Denley only responded, "Truly, you have spoiled a good old song." Then he spread his arms again and continued singing until he died.
"Count yourselves blessed every time people put you down or throw you out or speak lies about you to discredit me. What it means is that the truth is too close for comfort and they are uncomfortable. You can be glad when that happens—give a cheer, even!—for though they don’t like it, I do! And all heaven applauds."
Jesus Christ, Matthew 5:11-12 The Message
Another sixteenth-century Englishman also found a reason to rejoice through his hardships. And, like Denley, he was willing to give his life for the sake of the gospel.
John Bradford stood boldly before the Lord Chancellor. "I urge you," the young man said, "don’t condemn the innocent. If you believe I am guilty, you should pass sentence on me. If not, you should set me free."
Bradford, the well-loved pastor of St. Paul’s in London, was thrown into prison for his beliefs that differed from the state church during Queen Mary’s reign. While he was in prison, so many of his congregation came to visit him that he continued to preach twice a day. He also preached weekly to the other men in prison, the thieves and common criminals, exhorting them from the Word of God and often giving them money to buy food.
Bradford’s keepers trusted him so much that he was often allowed to leave the prison unescorted to visit sick members of his congregation. All he had to do was to promise that he would return by a certain hour. He was so careful about keeping his word that he was usually back well before his curfew.
After a year and a half, Bradford was offered a pardon if he would deny his beliefs, but he would not. Then after six more months in prison, the offer was repeated. Again he refused.
"John," his friends warned, "you need to do something to stall for more time. Ask to discuss your religious beliefs with Queen Mary’s learned men. That will take you out of immediate danger."
John replied, "If I did that, the people would think I have begun to doubt the doctrine I confess. I don’t doubt it at all."
"Then they will probably kill you very soon," his friends said sadly.
The very next day John was sentenced to death, and the keeper’s wife came to him with the news: "Tomorrow you will be burned."
Bradford looked to heaven and said, "I thank God for it. I have waited for this for a long time. Lord, make me worthy of this."
Hoping to keep the crowds from knowing what was going on, the guards transferred him to another prison in the middle of the night. But somehow the word got out, and a great multitude came to bid him farewell. Many wept openly as they prayed for him. Bradford, in return, gently said farewell and prayed for them and their future.
At 4 a.m. the next day, a large crowd had gathered at the place where Bradford was to be burned. Finally, at 9 a.m., an unusually large number of heavily armed men brought Bradford out to the stake. With him was John Leaf, a teenager, who also refused to deny his faith. Both men fell flat to the ground and prayed for an hour.
Bradford got up, kissed a piece of firewood, and then kissed the stake itself. In a loud voice he spoke to the crowd: "England, repent of your sins! Beware of idolatry. Beware of false teachers. See they don’t deceive you!" Then he forgave his persecutors and asked the crowd to pray with him.
Turning his head toward John Leaf, he said, "Be of good comfort, brother, for we shall have a merry supper with the Lord tonight!"
What is the difference between joy and happiness?
We are told in Nehemiah 8:10 that God’s joy is our strength. How can joy be strength when all around us is terror or sadness?
Wednesday, September 05, 2007
We had to go around in the building and draw stuff that we saw, but off-center it a little. Then on a sheet of paper, draw nine of those drawings and on the other side of the paper switch the colors (where the marker was you were supposed to leave white and vice versa). Since I couldn't erase stuff, I have a couple errors, but you probably can't see them since it is only a picture of my art. Ha!