Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Arise my soul, arise

Today is picture Tuesday. Don't worry, I haven't forgotten. I have it posted below. I don't know if I'm the only one, but most days, when I get out of bed, thoughts of all I have to do immediately begin to race through my head. All the fears and inadequacies that were forgotten in the bliss of sleep come rising to the surface once again. My heart pounds and I once again wonder how I will ever make it through another day.

Today was no different from any other day for me. I woke up and my brain tried to kill me. I was overwhelmed within the two steps it takes to get to the sink to wash my face. I just sighed and leaned up against the wall. "God, can you help me?" I prayerfully pleaded. I have so much to do and things just keep piling up. After I got out of the shower, I sat down at my desk to have my quiet time. That's when it happened.

Here's what I read today in my devotions: "From the minute you wake up, your mind floods with thoughts of all there is to do and all the pains and inadequacies you feel. Base your life on what you know to be true instead of basing it on those feelings. You do that by preaching to yourself with statements like, 'Arise, my soul, arise! Shake off your guilty fears! The bleeding sacrifice on my behalf appears! Before the throne my [savior] stands!'" (Luke Simmons, Thirsty Ground)

I know that God loves me. And if "he who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?" (Romans 8:32) My feelings will change with circumstances, but the promises of God are constant. Instead of listening to myself, I need to be talking to myself. God calls me his own; from his arms my strength will come.

When the cows come home...

As promised, Picture Tuesday has cows. These people have confused cows with rocks, cars and fido. But as momma always said, "Cows are cows." (Actually, my mother never said that. She didn't really talk about cows too much, except when mentioning her cow-tipping days in passing. Supposedly, she was one of the best in Kansas growing up. They called her the Little Tipper. She once set a record for most cows tipped in a night. Eighteen. Yup, that's a lot of cows. I think one of the reasons she was so good at it is because she didn't tip while drunk. She was committed to the sport and believed that it was an art, not a frat-boy prank. For more info on cow tipping, click here.) Enjoy your Tuesday.

Monday, January 30, 2006

What goes in must come out

A guy with a monkey on his shoulder walks into a bar. As soon as he sits down, the monkey is off his shoulder, going crazy. He eats a bowl of peanuts, and the bartender mentions it.
"Yeah, he eats everything. I'll pay for it."
The monkey runs over to the cocktail olives and eats them all. The bartender gets irate, and again the guy says, "yeah, he eats everything. Sorry, I'll pay for it."
The monkey jumps on a pool table and in one quick motion, snatches up the cueball and swallows it. The bartender yells, and the guy collects his monkey, apologizes and pays for all the stuff.

A week later, the same guy comes in with the monkey, and as soon as he sits down, the monkey is on the bar. He runs over to a bowl of cherries and snatches one up. The bartender watches, disgusted, as the monkey looks at the cherry, sticks it up his bum, pops it out, then eats it. He tells the guy what just happened, and he says, "Yeah, I'm not surprised. Ever since he ate that cue ball, he measures everything first."

Hope your New Year's resolution to watch what you eat is going well.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Riddle me this

Here's a question for you all to ponder: If I post that I'm not going to post today, does that count as a post? And therefor, did I lie? Beats me, but this is all you're getting. Maybe I'll be nice and post on Saturday to make up for today. Probably not. But you can hope. Oh, and on Tuesday, I have some random funny cow pictures. That's right pictures, not picture. It should be a real hoot. Wahoo. Have a safe and sober weekend.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Looks like I might be sticking around...

I think I mentioned this already, but on Sunday I pretty much experienced what most people would call a breakdown. I was stressed out with a number of things, but one of the major issues was the practice MCAT test I had taken the day before. The practice test was designed to give me a baseline score that is supposed to accurately predict how I would do on the test if I were to take it at this point in time. I was worried that I would fail the test and end up an unemployed screen door salesman in Greenland.

You see, the MCAT is essentially the biggest test of my life. It will greatly influence my chances of getting into medical school. To prepare for it, I have forked over a large sum of money to a national company that specializes in helping people do well on the test. The class began on Saturday with a practice test that was only 4 hours long, and then I go to class on Tuesdays and Thursdays for 3 hours until the end of April.

The MCAT itself is about 6 hours long, with a one hour break for lunch in the middle somewhere. It tests on a general knowledge of all the sciences, like O-chem, general chemistry, physics, biology, and physiology, and it also tests critical thinking. They (medical school people) want to know if you know anything, and if you can do anything with the information you have. The highest score possible on the test is a 45. Thirty points is the average for people getting into med-school, 24 is the average on the test. It's designed to weed out those not ready for the rigors of med-school. I'm shooting for a 36.

After taking the practice exam on Saturday, I was terrified. I was pretty sure that I had not done so well on the test (I found out that I was right in my assumption in class on Tuesday). It seemed that it was about time to start making sure my passport was current and that I was up to date on the latest screen door designs. Near the end of class, our instructor announced that she would finally be handing back our tests. First she was going to go over an example test to help us interpret our results.

On the example, the person had scored a 22. She looked up at us after reading that and gave a shrug of her shoulders. She told us that although she hadn't seen the results of the test yet, she guaranteed us that none of us would actually have a score that high; all of us would be below that mark and most of us would be significantly lower. I wrinkled my forehead in thought: who was having the best sale on international flights right now? I tried to remember from all those commercials.

Then our instructor announced that it was okay because the reason we were enrolled in the class was to bring our scores up. That made me happy. I just hoped I wasn't in the "significantly lower" category. Maybe, just maybe I wouldn't have to move to Germany (That's where they train the screen door salesmen before sending them out).

When the tests were finally handed back, I found that I had scored a 23. You can imagine my joy at that moment. I had spent the past 72 hours worrying that I wouldn't get into med-school because I had bombed a practice test. I drove home that night praising God. I still had bombed the test, a 23 is definitely below average and way below the number needed to get into med-school. But, God had found a way to encourage me by letting me exceed even the highest expectations of the instructor. I wasn't so scared about the coming months. If nothing else, I didn't have to try and find my suitcase.

I have my work cut out for me. But God hasn't let me down yet, and whether my actual score in April is high or low, it's wonderful to know that he's looking out for me. When the storm of life raged, and the thunder was all I could hear, He spoke softly to my soul. I guess break downs are a piece of cake for the God of the universe to handle. And I'm sure that if I ever do end up in Greenland, selling screen doors, He'll be there too.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

System overload

I'm under the impression that Tuesdays are now out to kill me, forget about Mondays. I start out the day with class at 8:30 and I finish up the day with SALT ending at 10:30 at night. Once SALT is over with, I usually make it back to my room around 11:30. Now I'm no math major, but I think that works out to be about a 15 hour day. Also, whoever put my schedule together definitely forgot that I need to eat because that just wasn't put on the itinerary. If I didn't have a dinner meeting in there, Tuesday would become a day of fasting for me. I'm not quite sure how I'm going to survive a whole semester of that.

Thankfully yesterday didn't quite do me in. By the time I got back to my room last night, I was swaying on my feet a little, but not completely dead. I guess that's good. I think I'm just exhausted now. I already had my one breakdown for the week on Sunday, so I don't think I'm really allowed to have another one. I am definitely feeling a bit overwhelmed right now. That same person who put my Tuesday schedule together also put together the rest of my semester. I'm a little bit worried about how I'm going to maintain relationships this semester, let alone form new ones.

Of course the good news out of all this is that I'm really having to rely on God to make it through each day. Although my quiet times haven't been as regular as I would like, my prayer life has shown a dramatic improvement. I spend most of my days talking with God. It's pretty wonderful. So I guess that even though life is crazy and seems to want to swallow me whole, God is drawing me closer to him and since life really is all about God, things really are going well out here at Canyon.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

It was the baby's idea... no really

Happy Picture Tuesday everyone. I'm really going to try hard to post this week. But this is shaping up to be one of those weeks where I don't even have time to breathe let alone write. Know that this is one of the last things I give up in a day. I love writing and this is my only creative outlet. Keep me in your prayers, if I can make it to Friday it will be only by a miracle. At least Monday is out of the way.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Poker face

This guy walks into a saloon, and watches with interest a group of men playing poker. Playing poker with the men is a dog.

The guy is transfixed as he watches the dog, and finally he says, "That's a pretty smart dog there!"

"Nah, he ain't so smart," says one of the men. "Whenever he has a good hand he wags his tail."

Friday, January 20, 2006

For those extreme emergencies

Obviously the pictures are working again, so I decided to make today Picture Friday, in honor of Tuesday not being able to make it this week. The Mr. GCU contest was last night, but because I don't have any pictures yet, I will just have to leave you hanging on the results. Since both Monday and Tuesday are feature days, I guess Wednesday will be the day. Have a great weekend.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Streams of mercy never ceasing, call for songs of loudest praise

Am I really desperate for God? Do I really desire him? Is there a passion for him evident in my life? The painting above is probably one of my favorites of all time. It's by Fransisco de Zurbaran, a spanish painter in the early seventeenth century. I love how the man's hands are clasped tightly in ferver and the anguish on his face as he silently cries out to heaven. It portrays the desperation that I want to have for God. I think it would be a lot harder to fall if I just spent more time on my knees. The psalmist talks about how the one thing that he wants it to be able to dwell in God's house forever. I want a passion like that in my soul. That desire to do more than spend a few fleeting minutes with God during quiet times. A desire to spend every waking moment with God, to dread sleep because it keeps me from praising God and spending time with him. If he really is the creator of the universe and if he really did call me out of darkness and hopelessness, then doesn't he deserve everything, especially my time?

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Is Tuesday my new Monday?

I have terrible news. I can't get blogger to host my pictures today for some reason. So Picture Tuesday is being postponed until I can get it to work. Pretty much this is a great ending to a crazy day. Classes went fine, but I just have been running around like a chicken with its head cut off all day long. I seem to have gotten behind in everything even though my day is packed full of running from one thing to the next. My room is a mess, my hair is getting long and I'm behind in my homework. I just don't have time for anything. Hopefully the week will start to slow down here soon, but if not, I'll be checking in to the nearest insane asylum. So if I don't post next week, you'll know where to find me.

Monday, January 16, 2006

U-G-L-Y you ain't got no alibi...

Welcome to the first edition of Laugh Out Loud Monday. These jokes do not necessarily reflect my political or religious beliefs. For the most part, they're plain and simple funny. If it appears here, I laughed out loud when I first read it. I hope you enjoy this new series.

A bus carrying only ugly people crashes into an oncoming truck, and everyone inside dies. They then get to meet their maker, and because of the grief they have experienced; He decides to grant them one wish each, before they enter Paradise.

They're all lined up, and God asks the first one what the wish is. "I want to be gorgeous," and so God snaps His fingers, and it is done.

The second one in line hears this and says "I want to be gorgeous too."

Another snap of His fingers and the wish is granted.
This goes on for a while but when God is halfway down the line, the last guy in line starts laughing. When there are only ten people left, this guy is rolling on the floor, laughing.
Finally, God reaches this guy and asks him what his wish will be.

The guy calms down and says: " Make 'em all ugly again."

Happy Monday you wonderful, beautiful people.

Friday, January 13, 2006

I'm the one taking the picture...

So I didn't get a chance to post any more yesterday, sorry. But if you give me a chance to explain, I think you will understand. Yesterday I was offered a physics internship. For the most part it will be doing data entry in the beginning for about five hours a week. Eventually I should be able to take that data and put it into formulas and then the exciting stuff will start. My professor is working on a new classification system for hurricanes. So my job is to do the boring stuff and then let him interpret my results and become famous. It should be pretty fun. I'm not getting paid, but I will be getting upper division credits for the time I put in, so it seems to be a pretty good trade-off.

Also yesterday I went and talked to my buddy about working at Starbucks to become the next world famous barista. Yay me. If I get the position, I will probably be working on Fridays and Sundays, which are my two days for sleeping in. But right now income is more important than sleep. I'm thinking about picking up the coffee drinking habit again if I get the job. I can't say that I have missed it, but if it helps me stay awake...

So that's what's new in my life. The Mr. GCU dance is pretty funny. It really wasn't all that bad, so I guess I won't be too much of a laughing stock after the competition. Enjoy the long weekend and have a great MLK day.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Got nuthin'

I have been pondering today's topic for some time now. To be honest, I still have no idea what to talk about. So I am going to bore you with a short discussion about my classes this semester. I am taking BioChemistry, Physics, and some weird American Woman in History and Literature or something like that. It's lots of fun. Maybe I will write more later, but I kinda have a busy day ahead of me. Tonight I'm going to be practicing my dance number for the Mr. GCU contest. Wahoo. I do so love to get up in front of people and make a fool out of myself. As they say in show business, hopefully I break a leg...

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

A friendly little reminiscing

First off, I just want to say that I have started working on my future "Laugh Out Loud Monday" posts. Woowee have I got some doozies for you. They are absolutely hilarious. I am so excited for Monday to come around now just so I can start posting them. I know, I just said I can't wait for Monday. It's a little weird to me too. Secondly, today's post is a little long. Sorry. But it has a point. And you'll have to keep reading to see what it is.

I was reflecting on this past semester and I couldn't help but praise God. One of the biggest concerns I had for this past semester was that my support group was mostly gone. My mentors had all moved away and my brother had moved back home. These were the people that I went to when I had problems or needed to bounce ideas off of. This semester I was down to Jamie as my main support. Don't take that wrong, Jamie is amazing and has been wonderfully supportive. In fact, I probably wouldn't have made it without her. But I like to surround myself with people who will back me up when push comes to shove, and I had lost my surroundings.

But God provided. First off, he brought a replacement brother into my life. Now, no one can replace Matty, when you live with someone for 18 years, you kinda develop a few bonds. But, God brought someone to fill that void of brother/ good friend. He brought me another Matt. Matt Rummel is also an RA this year in the dorms and he is my age. He has been someone I can talk to and hang out with and feel comfortable knowing that he will watch my back and protect me, just as I will do the same for him.

Secondly, God brought me some great new sisters. I used to have five. I won't get into why I needed new sisters, but basically, there is a 60% chance that if you meet one of my old sisters, you will wish you hadn't. But that's a story for another day. Mackenzie, Shalyn and Nicole have become my new sisters. Mac and Shalyn were given to me by Canyon. They are also RAs and the three of us were paired up as "brother/sister halls". This means that we are just supposed to do some activities together with our halls, I guess so that the guys and girls are able to meet and hang out in fun ways. We have also become sort of a support group for each other. We meet once a week with the main intent being to plan events. We also have a secondary agenda and that is to listen to each other and encourage. Sometimes there are things that happen as an RA that you feel that no one else will understand what you are feeling. But other RAs know. So it has been good to talk with them.

Then there's Nicole. She and I adopted each other at the beginning of the fall semester in 2004. She is on the Bodybuilder leadership team with me and she works in Res Life. So I get to work with her a lot. She roomed with my real sister (one of the good ones) our freshmen year, so she knows a lot about my family and through talks with her, I have been able to hear a lot about her family. We both come from way different backgrounds, but we still seem to be able to understand each other real well. Our families have gone through some pretty crazy stuff in the past couple of years and it has been good to know someone else has weird problems too.

This is by no means an exhaustive list of the wonderful people in my life. But these are some of the friends who I have become close with over the past semester. They have kept me encouraged and out of trouble. I thought last semester was going to be scary. Instead it turned out to be great. God really knows how to come through. He brought people into my life that I wouldn't have necessarily picked out for myself. But he knew exactly what I needed, and then went above and beyond. If you don't worship the God I do, I truly am sorry. My whole life is a testimony of how good God can be to a wretched sinner. Every day I am so thankful for the gift of salvation he has given me.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Right in the Mickey!

Every job has it's hazards. I still crack up every time I see this picture. Happy Tuesday everyone. And if any crazed, costumed characters come to attack you, you know what to do...

Monday, January 09, 2006

Sola scriptura

I suppose it's about time to reveal the new themed day that I have been promising. Starting next week, Monday will be joke day. The criteria for the jokes is that I have to have laughed out loud after reading them. Since Monday is usually the worst day of the week, I'm hoping that this will improve Monday's reputation. We'll see.

Today's thought is a little melancholy. Last night as Jame and I were sitting in church I began thinking about what I wanted out of a church. At one time, Oneplace seemed to fill that desire. But now, I'm not so sure. I want a church that has great people who are madly in love with the God of the universe and loving towards each other. Oneplace seems to have plenty of those. I want a church that has a great and amazing worship time where people joyfully and intentionally praise and worship the God of the universe. Oneplace does an amazing job of that. I also want a church that preaches about God from the Bible, where the Bible is at least one of the main texts used in the service. There was a time when Oneplace did that. But the past couple of times have not been that way and there doesn't seem to be hope for the immediate future. The pastor has good, relevant things to say. But I want to hear him talk about the Bible. I want to hear his opinions but not so much so that they outweigh the impact of the scripture.

So the question becomes, at what point do I say this is not the place for me and it's time to begin looking for a new church home? I don't know. It's not that I dislike the church. But with all the pouring out of myself that I have done and will do this semester, I need a place that will pour into me. If the law of the Lord is truly my heart's delight, then I want the church to be able to help me delight in it. I'm not sure what the answer is right now, but I crave your prayers for wisdom.

Friday, January 06, 2006

Love languages speak out

For some reason, this past week I had to fill out a form and one of the questions was, "What is your love language?" I think it was some questionnaire or something. I don't remember. But the question stuck out at me because I wasn't quite sure. I went online to look for them and here they are:
1. Words of Affirmation
2. Receiving Gifts
3. Quality Time
4. Acts of Service

5. Physical Touch
According to the site, these are the five main categories by which a person will feel most loved. For example, when some people are given gifts, they feel really loved by the person who gave the gift. But a hug or an encouraging word won't have the same effect. I'm sure they still appreciate it, but for that person, their love language is the key to their heart.

I'm pretty sure my love language is "acts of service." When someone does something for me that I know they went out of their way to do, or it required some sort of sacrifice, then that really touches my heart. Last night my folks drove up to Canyon to visit me. That was really special. My parents have an extremely busy life running their school and right now is the end of the semester for them, so things are especially crazy. So last night when they drove up to GCU to take me out to dinner, I felt really loved. It really meant a lot to me.

Then I got to thinking- How much more should I love Jesus for what he did for me? He performed the ultimate act of service for me. He went out of his way by becoming a man and living here on earth. And then when the time was right, he sacrificed himself so I that I could truly live. God speaks my love language. That's pretty cool. I never really thought about it like that before, but God is incredibly amazing to love me the way that I like to be loved. It's an amazing love and it is more than enough for me.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Welcome back old friend

So, yeah. I took an extended Christmas vacation from blogging. Well, I'm back now and better than ever. We have a pretty exciting line-up of blogs coming up this semester. But since I don't want to ruin the surprise, I'm not going to tell you what they are right now. You will just have to read regularly to see what I have to say. I will let you in on one secret though, Picture Tuesday will be continuing. Wahoo.

Today is the first day of school for Canyon. Most of my guys have moved back in already and it's pretty sad - there just aren't a lot of them left. I think we lost between a fourth and a third of the guys living in the dorms and we only had one new one move in. Now, I'm no business major, but if Grand Canyon loses more students than it brings in, it doesn't sound like a very good business model. Call me weird, but inflow should always exceed outflow in my book. But I guess the powers that be have some crazy master plan to make the school bigger that somehow includes losing a lot of students. I don't understand it. But I guess that's why I'm still a student and they're the businessmen.

I'm glad to be back y'all. I missed you. Don't worry, I'll see you tomorrow. You can count on it.