Monday, July 30, 2012

McArthur Ridge

This is a 360* view from the top of Tam McArthur ridge where us interns hiked to on Friday. The view is epic which you may be able to tell. The first mountain you see is Mt. Bachelor and then Broken Top and the Three Sisters soon follow :)
video

I can't even begin to describe to you the awesome and wonder of hiking this thing... God is SO SO evident in His creation. Here are some words that I wrote in my journal during solitude upon this glorious mountain.

"I'm sitting here on top of this ridge, looking at Bachelor, the 3 sisters, Tumalo...all these mountains! I just read Psalm 29 about how powerful the voice of the Lord is. Well, He spoke the earth into creation and made these majestic mountains with just His voice. God is all powerful but so so good. One thing Cora shared with us today is that we sometimes think that nature is God's best creation and we marvel at His glory, but God tells us that we are His handiwork, made in His image, and He loves and cares about us. He gives us creation to enjoy and see a different aspect of Himself. How can I look at this and see anything BUT God's glory, it's almost to the point that I don't know what to do because I'm in such awe. The voice of the Lord is powerful and majestic! The last verse of Psalm 29 is so so crazy! God is this God who thunders and speaks with flashes of lightning. He gives strength to us and blesses us with peace. So undeserving we are, but God is so good."


I am convinced there isn't a more gorgeous place than Central Oregon. Takes your breath away amazing.

Snowiness :) IN JULY.

The Three Sisters

Mt. Bachelor!

Yeah that's right.. I climbed this high.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Prayer

This summer has been really really different and challenging. I've always struggled with spending intentional time with God and having a consistent prayer life. This last year has been a real growing experience realizing that I can talk to God any time that I want, my eyes don't have to be closed and my head bowed for God to hear me.  I have learned that when something comes into mind to pray about or someone mentions a prayer request, it's totally easiest to stop right there and just pray at that moment. I have spent more time in solitude with God this summer than ever before, and let me tell you it's amazing and hard. Do you know how much God can speak to you when you just shut up and listen? Do you also know how hard it is for me to turn off my own brain and agendas and let God speak?

Through my various solitude times, praying in the car, and conversations with others I really feel that God has laid intentional prayer in community on my heart. Some people find praying out loud or in groups uncomfortable, but I really love hearing people's hearts and cries to God out loud because it's amazing to realize that other people are struggling/learning/thankful for the same things that I am. I have really come to love other people saying 'Amen' or 'Yes, God' in agreement with other's audible prayers.

God has just confirmed over and over again to me that He is faithful. He will always pursue me when I forget about Him, and He will always have bigger and better plans for me than I have for myself. God commands a lot from us, but He promises to walk by us every step of the way. I have discovered that it is easiest to do what He desire for me if I'm in constant communication with Him. I mean, Jesus was intimately connected to the Father in the trinity, but he still went out alone and prayed and sought God's direction. 

I have this vision for next year that includes meeting for prayer (maybe in the morning?) with the girls in my unit at school. I haven't really run this by them yet, but I definitely will soon. I just really want to be more intentional in prayer and I know what a blessing it can be to pray with others. I can see us all getting together and maybe not even sharing requests, but just praying for each other and our school and spending time together in God's presence. So i'll have to share my ideas with them, but I can really see God blessing this and having it become even bigger than just my vision.

Monday, July 16, 2012

A Trashy Weekend


So this weekend us interns were volunteered to volunteer at Bend's Summerfest. Summerfest is basically like any other outdoor summer event in Bend, OR which involves music, food carts and lots and lots of beer. We were working with C3 event company on a project they have called 'towards Zero waste' which means they're trying to get Bend to be more Portland-y and recycle and compost things. So I spent two 4 hour shifts collecting, sorting, picking up, and dumping out garbage, recyclying and compost items. Did you know they're starting to make cups an cutlery out of corn starch and sugar so that they're compostable? Well, now you do! We manned 'zero waste' stations that educated people who came to throw away their trash that, "Oh hey that can be recycled or composted! Yay you saving the environment!" I used one of those convict looking trash-picker-uppers that people use on the side of the road and walked around wearing this shirt that made people yell "GO GREEN TEAM!" mostly sarcastically I think, although some gave very genuine thanks.

As you can tell, my attitude about this trash-picking was not the best. It was gross and hot and not very intellectually stimulating. But I knew that I was doing it for God's glory and I knew that it would benefit Antioch's Christmas service later this year. Well, when I got back to my host-home after 20 somethings group at church, my host dad had some pretty awesome things to say about it. He quoted MLK Jr. which you can't really go wrong with. This is what MLK Jr. had to say:

“If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music, or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well.”

Umm.. Hello! There's a wake up call! I can honestly say that I did my job well, but I'm really hoping that my heart was in the right place. It was very humbling for sure, and I'm so thankful there are people who do this everyday and take care of our trash and care about the planet enough to do so.. I want the hosts of heaven and earth to be like, wow those streets are CLEAN because some Antioch Interns worked really really hard to make them so.

THEN as if that wasn't enough, my host dad said then said that the Antioch Christmas Eve service that C3 will put on because of our work brings SO many people from the community in who will hear about Jesus for the first time. Through our efforts today picking up trash people will come to know JESUS over Christmas time :) Yes, that makes it all worth it. 


Friday, July 13, 2012

Micah 6:8

This is posted on the wall at the place I'm working this summer.  I feel like there is such a struggle with feeling like we can't solve the world in only one lifetime, but that doesn't mean we can't do our part and try. Remember to always always always do our part for His Kingdom.


Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Is Pain Necessary?

Yesterday in my pulse group, one of the girls randomly decided to read a section of a book she had with her of anecdotes about children who can't feel pain. The stories were pretty gruesome about children who bit their own fingers off or gouged out their eyes because they have an insensitivity to pain. These children don't know when to stop because they don't have the nerve senses that signal pain to their brain. So after being thoroughly grossed out, we started discussing the necessity of pain in our lives.

We decided that physical pain is necessary to stop people from harming themselves. Say, if one were to break their leg, but they couldn't feel pain they would probably just get up and keep walking. Then after awhile, the leg gets infected and doesn't heal right and just imagine where that leads. Or the child who bites their finger keeps on biting and eventually has no more phalanges! Physical pain tells us to take our hands off a burning stove or remove the needle that pricks us while sewing. So while some people argue that pain is the one thing that God messed up in, I would argue that pain is quite necessary for our survival. 


In his book The Knowledge of the Holy, A.W. Tozer says:

"As a child may cry out in pain even when sheltered in its mother's arms, so a Christian may sometimes know what it is to suffer even in the conscious presence of God."

This really helps my understanding of what it feels like to be in pain even though you know God is present and is aware of your pain. 


It's a little harder to accept why God would let us experience emotional pain. Why do we get so emotionally hurt over messy relationships, the death of a close friend or relative, and seeing injustice in the world? Well, if you didn't have an emotional response to any of these things...would you do anything to fix injustices or revive unhealthy relationships? This might be going a little far, but if you didn't emotionally respond to death, would we all just kill everyone else? We wouldn't have empathy to feel for those that are missing lost loved ones, and we wouldn't care that others were dead. If there was no emotional pain would we even know what good was? Would we be able to understand love and sacrifice if there was no pain to off-set these emotions? Ultimately I would argue that we would not understand the love and sacrifice of Christ if there was no emotional pain. Yeah, being upset and hurt and crying is no fun and it frankly sucks. Don't we all wish that God would just take away the hurt and have us be joyful all the time? But what would the death of Christ and all the pain that he went through mean to us if we couldn't empathize with His hurt, if he couldn't empathize with our hurt? 

"But pain insists upon being attended to. God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: it is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world." --C.S. Lewis

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Wisdom

Today at Antioch, Ken preached about creating culture in families and in that creating shared values that your family will abide by. One thing that he said that stuck out to me, so I wrote it down was that there are things in this world that will try to take us away from the Kingdom of God by vying for our attention and distracting us from the things of Christ. These are also known as temptations by most of us. One day when I have my own family, I will have the opportunity, along with my husband, to create a culture for ourselves and our kids that embraces the ways of Christ and shows our kids that the things of the Kingdom are way better than the ways of the world.

More recently today, I was reading A Better Way, which is a book that I'm reading for my internship, and there was a chapter that discussed choosing Wisdom, and referenced Proverbs 7-8 so I decided to pause and read that for awhile. Here are some thoughts that I wrote down in my journal.

When we ignore wisdom, understanding, and God's commands, we open ourselves up to being tempted by the things in life that appeal to our sin nature. We're not only tempted, but we will give in because our eyes are not set upon the ways of God. The youth in Proverbs 7 lacked judgement! He forgot God's commands because it wasn't a part of his culture to know the commands and wisdom of God. We are not to let our heart wander astray and our desires to shift to lust after things we shouldn't. I think God really desires to give us wisdom. He says that if we seek wisdom we can find it and by it we can become prosperous and make good decisions and are able to be righteous and practice justice. Wisdom is the way of God and seeking to obey His ways. 

God does not desire for us to struggle through life without Him. He clearly shows us the way by providing His son Jesus Christ and giving us wisdom to guide us through the messiness that is life. We can seek wisdom to create a culture where we are all after God's heart and we become more and more like Him in how we live our lives.

So yeah, read Proverbs 7-8 and ponder wisdom for awhile :)