Sunday, October 30, 2011


Then the time came when the risk it took
To remain tight in a bud was more painful
Than the risk it took to blossom
- Anais Nin

Some things I have been thinking about...

I long to be a part of what God is doing in not only my own life, but in the lives of my family and friends, and in my city and nation. I know that every day God is working out His plan and His love through the power of the Holy Spirit and His people. And that begs the question, are we approaching every day with the mind set that every person and every situation we encounter is an opportunity for us to build into His kingdom? Or are we going through the day just going from one place to another, to class, or to work, and not seeing beyond the every day routine to what God is doing behind the scenes? He is working in people's hearts, tearing down strongholds, planting seeds, convicting and refining, and drawing people to His heart again and again. And His primary way of doing this, is through His word and His church. If we aren't tuning in to this and surrendering our every day to God, we will often miss out on how God wants to use us to build into His kingdom. Wherever we are in life, whether we are students or working, old or young, rich or poor, God has good and perfect plans for us, that He wants to accomplish now - right now. Not 5 or 10 years from now when you finally have a degree, or you are finally settled in a career. He wants you to be buiding His kingdom, loving and serving, and reaching out to those still living in darkness, RIGHT NOW. Every day is a day that  God has made for a purpose... and we need to make sure that we aren't losing sight of that.

It is so easy to get caught up in the day-to-day routine though, and often we end up reserving our 'God time' for right before we go to bed (and often fall asleep without really diving into God's word or prayer), or on Sundays, and for small groups. And I am definetly guilty of this! But those are the places we go to be recharged so that in the day-to -day- ness of life we can spread and shine God's love. What does it mean to go and be the hands and feet of Jesus? What does it really mean to love our neighbours? And for that matter, who is our neighbour? It is certainly not just limited to those we happen to live beside. It is every single person that we interact with throughout our day... God has brought those people into our lives for one reason or another - and though we may not see the full picture, we know that we are called to love them, and to pray for them, and to lead them closer to Jesus.

But we are sinners saved by grace, and thus we often make mistakes, and feel too tired, or too busy, or too grumpy or too ________, to love others the way we know we are called to. And sometimes we are in seasons of our lives where we just need someone to love us... but regardless, we can not love the way we are called to through our own merit, or perserverence, or skills. It is only possible through Christ... because there are some times when I really don't feel like loving someone! But all things are possible through Christ.

I read a verse in Haggai recently that made me think of all of this.
"The Lord Almighty says: These people say, "The time has not yet come for the Lord's house to be built." ...Is it a time for you yourselves to be living in your paneled houses, while this house remains a ruin?" ..."You expected much, but see, it turned out to be little. What you brought home, I blew away. Why?" declares the Lord Almighty. "Because of my house, which remains a ruin, while each of you is busy with his own house...So the Lord stirred up the spirit of Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, and the spirit of Joshua son of Jehozadak, the high priest, and the spirit of the whole  remnant of the people. They came and began to work on the house of the Lord Almighty, their God." - Haggai 1: 2, 4, 9, 14
What really stood out to me is that the people were neglecting the house of God because they were too busy with thier own lives and houses, and God's power was not being displayed in their lives as a consequance. But then, God stirred up their spirits and everything changed. They went to work on the Lord's house, together. If I think about this in terms of my own life, then my prayer is: Lord, stirr up my spirit. Stirr up the spirits of the christians around me - propel us to make Your house and your kingdom the number one priority in our lives, on a day-to-day, right here- right now, basis. Then maybe our lives will shine out the glory and power of God in ways that we can't even imagine!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Life as I Know It

Well, I guess it's about time I give an update on my new university life:) It has been a month and two days since university started, but it sure has felt longer than that. I have had three midterms and three assignments so far, so I guess that must explain why it feels like I have been here for longer - in highschool tests/assignments weren't due until later in the course! For those that don't know I am in the Youth and Children's Studies Program, and this term I am taking: Psychology 101, Child and Youth Studies, Organizational Leadership, Human Rights & Human Diversity, and Social and Political Thought. I was originally planning on going for a Double Major in Child and Youth Studies & Human Rights, but I think I may be changing my mind! Human Rights hasn't exactly been my most favorite class - I like it, but there are times where I am not really a fan. However, I have been loving my Organizational Leadership course - learning about organizations (public, private, non-for-profit, for-profit) and what it takes for organizations to be and remain successful, as well as what it means to be a leader in the context of organizations is fascinating! It is also more practical than Human Rights, and since I do want to continue working with non-for-profits, or NGO's, it is also applicable to my career goals! I can see it becoming my major for sure:)

So, I started attending a church called Evangel - its a Pentecostal church, which ill admit is not usually my forte! But my friend Hannah wanted to check it out and I ended up going with her. It seems like a decent church so far - its not one of those churches where people speak in tongues every day or whatnot, I actually still haven't heard someone speak in tongues. The most charismatic part so far would have to be  that whenever there is scripture we read it out loud all together - and there is nothing wrong with that!:) I am starting to attend their young adults group called R-Life - and I've only been once so far but it seems pretty sweet! I have also joined the campus group called InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, and I attend thier bible study every wednesday night. They use a bible study technique called Manuscripting - which is almost like an intensive, detailed study of a short bible passage - but really paying attention to the text (repitition, main ideas, questions you may have). It's different, not what I am used to, but not necessarily a bad change. It does remind me of reading a textbook though :P

There are also some other christian groups that students from the university attend, but aren't actually a part of the university (not a university club), which are  Campus For Christ (they are meeting at someone's home) and Marked Generation which is run by the Freedom House ( a church). I might check those out at some point as well. I am really hoping to develop a solid community of christians - I want to be in fellowship with other christians, because that has been something I have missed/struggled with in the past.

 I have recently begun volunteering at a non-profit organization called Why Not City Missions that resides downtown Brantford. They are similar to The Living Rock in that they are an inner city ministry - but aside from that, the organizations are quite different! It will be interesting for me to see the differences, and of how I will fit into the mix! I will be volunteering every Thursday, helping out with their Hot-Dog meal program (where we provide hot dogs to any one who wants/needs it - not just youth) and being a Youth Mentor! I am looking forward to working with Why Not for the duration of my time at Laurier - especially because I know that the duration of a relationship with a youth significantly impacts the quality and impact of the relationship itself and any positive outcomes that may occur because of it! (I am currently writing a research paper on Mentoring At-Risk Youth, so I have been evaluating the different models of mentoring relationships etc. )

Living at my dads has been good...a little tough on one hand, because he is in a really bad place financially, and struggles with depression. But I am thankful for the opportunity to get to know him better, strengthen the relationship, and hopefully be a positive person in his life:) Although, I need to work on  my dish-washing work ethic..baha. He really needs to get a job though.... he is doing handy-man work here nad there, but he is getting to the age where it really is taking a toll on his phsyical health - he is always aching and sore, and if he injures himself he will have no way to make an income. So please join me in praying that he will be able to get a job that pays well enough for him to be able to keep his house, but also isn't too physically demanding!!
We have gotten into a routine of watching Criminal Minds, as well as Leaf Games together (Go Leafs Go!), which is good fun:)

well, that is all for now - if there is anything I desire right now its to learn to be content with little, and to learn to be joyful in all circumstances (which can be a dangerous prayer..XD)! I just want to live for Him!