Saturday, August 29, 2009

Love is Frozen Kettle Chips and Otterpops

Love is patient, love is kind. Love is sharing a favorite snack, love is gently rubbing a back. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. Love is affirming a saddened heart, love is making silly faces to make a friend smile, love stomps on cool. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love is saying "Good morning," even though your tired, love is making the other person look good. Love is understanding the other side of the story, love is letting go of grudges. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. Love is glad when others are glad and is excited when others win. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love is wiping away someone's tears, love is believing in someone's potential, love is looking past imperfections, love is unconditional. Love never fails. Love is saying everything without saying anything at all.

New Year's Resolutions in August

My friend Alexandra posted about her new year's resolutions about a week or so ago. This inspired me to create some of my own new year's resolutions, but it's August, so I decided to call them "senior year graduation goals:"

  1. Live my life for God's approval not man's

    • Like i said in my last post "Letting Go of Expectations," i choose to live this life for God's love and to be content in knowing that His love in all i need.

  2. Get involved in a supportive small group

    • Since i've been back from camp, i've been struggling with the fact that i don't really have a strong community to lean on for accountability and prayer here in Walnut Creek.

  3. Learn to deal with imperfections

    • Basically, i'm just afraid of being wrong.

  4. Study the whole New Testament intensively

    • i'm tired of knowing my Bible but not knowing my Bible...i tend to know generalities, but i don't always have a chapter and verse to back them up.

  5. Learn to breathe more and stress less

    • My concern for my AP English grade should not interfere with my thirst for Christ.

  6. Be more loving and love deeper

    • This includes those who are lovable and those who are not as lovable; even if this means that i will get hurt.

  7. Consider others as better than myself

    • Think about them more and about me less.

  8. Teach my friends how to play mow

  9. Have a pizookie

  10. Blog at least four times a month

  11. Keep in touch with Wolf Mountain friends

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Letting Go of Expectations

All my life I’ve struggled with this idea of expectations. Everyone wants something different from me, and I’ve thought that I have to make them all happy some how. I stress over little things like writing close to perfect essays, giving the correct answers, and saying memorable and witty phrases so that the people whom I respect and love would also in turn love and respect me.
I’m generally not afraid to be myself or afraid to stand up for what I believe to be right, but I often think, “Will so-and-so approve of this?” or “Will this grab so-and-so’s attention and make them love me more?” This summer, I have decided to live only for God and His expectations for me.
I’m going to live this life for the One who loves me unconditionally, for the One who loves me more than anyone in the world ever could.
Colossians 3:17 “And whatever you do whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.”

Friday, August 21, 2009

Running with Rhinos: Giving My Ambitions to God

In the selection “The Blessedness of Possessing Nothing” found in the book The Pursuit of God by A. W. Towzer, he explains that to be poor in spirit is to give up the things that you desire the most in order to give your whole heart to God. He does this by telling the story of Abraham and Isaac and how much pain it brought Abraham to let Isaac go. Abraham loved his son too much and had let Isaac take over the “shrine” in his heart that God had intended for Himself.

This summer (through out my life really), I’ve begun struggling with what I’m going to do after high school. Unfortunately, I’ve fallen into the mindset that after this year my life will truly be my life. That is a LIE! The life that I am living is not my own; it is God’s. I have all these ambitions for my life: I want to work with Not For Sale and help stop human trafficking, I want to own over four thousand books and live in a nice house, I want to go to graduate school and earn many different degrees, I want to publish a book and be known by the public, I want to do something great! These are the things that I want, but is all this what God wants for my life?

God has given me a heart for the broken, especially children and teens. He has instilled in me a love for His creation and teaching others to appreciate His beauty. He’s given me the gifts of compassion and of teaching. I know God calling me to let Him use this life and the things that He’s given me (along with my strengths, joys, and weakness) to impact other people’s lives. But at the same time, I hear the voices of those around me telling me that I need to do the practical thing and live in the comfort zone or that I should do “more with my life” than what I feel God calling me into. It’s easier to live the life I want to live. I will enjoy life more if I’m doing what I want to do with it. But is that really what life is about? Accepting Christ as my Savior only to live my life as though it’s still mine?


Every year, my school goes on All School Retreat where all of the teachers, students, and faculty go to Jenness Park for three days of campfires and s’mores, fellowship and worship, late nights and Sour Patch Kids.


This year, God knocked me off my feet. During every session with our speaker Ted Montoya and every seminar I attended and every passage of scripture I read, God said, “Marci, give Me your life! Give Me your life! I want to use you! I have things planned for you that you can’t even imagine, but you have to give Me your life!”


I accepted Christ as my Savior when I was in forth grade. At that time, I told God that I committed my life to Him; and in many ways, I did commit my life to Him. I stopped doing many things that I used to do, and I started sharing Christ with others, but I also kept some of my life for myself. I held on to fears and desires and ambitions. Now, none of my ambitions are necessarily wrong; but if I let them get in the way of God’s plan for my life then they become wrong. I could be a missionary in the heart of Uganda freeing young girls from sex trafficking, but if I’m there for personal motives and know that God wants me to be working elsewhere then my “good deeds” in Uganda become blaring disobedience.


During one seminar, Miss Nelson said that committing our lives to Christ is not a metaphor or a euphemism; it’s a real commitment. We are not called to be nice Christian people who live nice Christian lives doing nice Christian things. Each one of us is called to do something specific, to use the gifts that God has given us to His glory, to give up everything for Him.


Like Abraham, we all let things overtake the shrines of our hearts, we all let things push God out of our place of highest esteem, we all let things replace God as whom or what we live for, even after we have accepted Christ and committed our lives to Him.


Once Abraham gave Isaac to the Lord, Towzer explains, that He saw things differently in that he learned to posses nothing. “Now he (Abraham) was a man wholly surrendered, a man utterly obedient, a man who possessed nothing. He had concentrated his all in the person of his dear son, and God had taken it from him. God could have begun out on the margin of Abraham’s life and worked inward to the center. He chose rather to cut quickly to the heart and have it over in one sharp act of separation. In dealing thus, He practiced an economy of means and time. It hurt cruelly, but it was effective.” For us to fully give our lives to Christ, we must give Him the things that we desire most until He alone occupies the shrines of our hearts. This means that we must give up our ambitions and our dreams to Him; He may give them back to us, but we need to let Him control them completely.


At the end of the selection, Towzer gives this prayer: “Father, I want to know Thee, but my cowardly heart fears to give up its toys. I cannot part with them without inward bleeding, and I do not try to hide from Thee the terror of the parting. I come trembling, but I do come. Please root from my heart all those things that I have cherished for so long and which have become a very part of my living self, so that Thou mayest enter and dwell there without a rival…” Let this also be our prayer.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Baby-in-a-Box

Every summer, my aunt, my uncle, and I attend Mount Hermon Family Camp. This summer, my friend Faith came along. Since this was Faith’s first time at Mount Hermon, it was my job to fill her in on all the fun activities and traditions. One such tradition is affectionately known as “Baby-in-a-Box.” To drive to Santa Cruz from Mount Hermon and vice versa, one must pass the Santa Cruz Memorial Cemetery; in this cemetery lays a perfectly preserved baby girl in a glass box full of fluids and chemicals. Legend has it that the baby was the only girl in a family of eight children. The baby girl caught pneumonia and died. The parents were so grieved by the loss of their daughter that they placed her in this glass box so they could see her everyday. Naturally, Faith didn’t believe me, so I took her to see it up close…