Thursday, July 22, 2010

Day 179 - San Jose

Well, I'm in San Jose, CA! It's been a good trip. I wouldn't say a great trip because I'm alone in a beautiful city without Martin. He is hoping to go to Haiti in November so he wanted to save his vacation days for that. I have a beautiful view of the mountains right outside my window. I'm staying in the Fairmont Hotel right in the middle of the city. I've walked around a bit and ate a few different places. My hotel room is on the top floor and it's very spacious so I'm enjoying being alone, reading, and working.

San Jose is a beautiful city but I'm finding that it's got it's fair share of shady characters! I'm used to being in Philly or NYC and being able to blend in. But here, if you are walking alone you are noticed by the shady characters. So for that reason I am happy to be tucked in to my hotel room around 7:30 every night.

As for the conference, I'm loving it! I'm a little fish in a big pond here. Most people are from major universities and schools all over the country. There are IT (tech people) here, faculty, and administrators. And then there is me - I know just enough about everything to be dangerous. I love my job and am so thankful that I've been able to build IJS online from the ground up. I'm learning about all these new little gadgets that I can explore when I get back. The funny thing is - IJS is ahead of the curve. It's so funny. Major universities are just now starting to dabble in distance learning. Their thought process is what our faculty thought process was last year: Will this work? How can I truly communicate and teach through the Internet? All of these are very scary thoughts for a teacher.

One of the things I've battled with here is a desire to go back to school to get my computer science degree. I know I could learn so much from going back to school but I just don't think it's a reality for me now. And is computer science what I would want to major in? I must admit that I have found a love for taking a bunch of nonsense and making it into designs or programs. I guess that's the formula lover in me. I hated math and chemistry but give me a formula (NOT in a word problem!) and I would take up two pages trying to solve it.

But this I know, I have the perfect job right now and Lord willing, we will be working on our adoption process and that on top of being a wife and ministry at church is making my life very full and will continue long after I leave San Jose. And if that desire to go back to school stays and I'm able to - then okay.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Day 169 - I Love Quotes

I just love quotes. I think people can say it better than I can.

Paul Trip, whom I follow on Twitter just tweeted::: Self-righteousness: I am constantly aware of the need for change in others in the very same places where I am blind to needs in myself. Good stuff.

I find myself writing out quotes when I'm listening to sermons. Sometimes I need to write it out so I can read it over and over. One in particular is from David Platt. He's the guy that wrote the book Radical that everyone needs to read. Here it is:::

We do not have time to play games on our lives. And we don't have time to play games in the church. We do not have time to waste our lives on a nice comfortable Christian spin on the American dream. We have a Master who demands radical sacrifice. A mission that warrants radical urgency.

We take Jesus and we twist Him into a nice, middle class American. A Jesus who looks like us and talks like us and here's the danger: As we take Jesus and we craft Him into our own image, then the reality is when we gather together in our churches to sing our songs and lift our hands, we are not lifting up our hands to and worshipping the Jesus of the Bible. We are lifting up our hands to and worshiping ourselves.

We were talking about this yesterday in Sunday School (ABF - whatever, it's the class you go to before service!). We make Jesus into who we want and what we want and we make him very appealing to the masses when in fact, Jesus was hated by the majority when they realized what He was about. "What? You aren't going to FIX my life with the Romans? You want to reveal my heart and sin that is in it?" Those were the thoughts that sent Him to the cross. This is a big part of what the book Radical is about (I'm plugging the poor book everywhere I can!).

I was also reminded yesterday that we should never pass up the opportunity to share the TRUE, unadulterated message of the Gospel. There were people in our class that truly didn't understand the Gospel. I forget that. I used to think that it was overkill to share the Gospel every chance we had. But as God continues to change my view, I see that presenting who we are (sinful humans, thinking we are doing good, infected with the curse of sin, running from God), presenting who Jesus is (God in flesh sent to give His life, which was sinless, as a sacrifice for ours), presenting why God allowed this (because He loves us that much and wants a relationship with us so He sent His innocent Son to die a painful death and raised Him up, so we don't have to die and be separated from Him because of our sin).

I guess it has hit home for me more lately because I was 21 years old when God opened my heart to hear the Gospel. I've struggled lately with the timing. Getting upset with myself and others at the timing of my salvation. Why did I close my heart all those years? Why did I waste so much time? But I am reminded that it was God who opened my heart at a time He saw fit. I lived in a great Christian home where the Christian life was lived out Supernaturally every day by my parents. I probably heard the Gospel over a million times (seriously - I lived in the south people) but it was God who opened my heart when He did.

I was thankful the women spoke up with their questions yesterday. An open atmosphere is exactly what church should be, where we can ask the questions that are stirring in our heart and not feel attacked.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Day 163 - Our Adoption Blog

This is mainly for my mom but it's something we want to share with all - we have an adoption blog I started last month. You can either click HERE or go to "View My Complete Profile" under my gorgeous picture and it will have both of my blogs there.

This is also for my mom - I'm reading Let Me Be A Woman by Elisabeth Elliot. I'll write about it later. I just know my mom will be really impressed to see this. Me simply reading anything by Elisabeth Elliot shows the Holy Spirit is working in my life - right mom?!?!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Day 159 - Kinda Where I Am Right Now

I'm not really sure what's going to happen but God is doing a great work in my heart right now. I really am seeing the evidence of seeking His face. Seeking His Words in Scripture. Seeking His desires. I'm having a hard time putting it into practice around me. I know that God will give me the grace to do this. What I truly need is wisdom and patience and power from the Holy Spirit to respond to not only what God wants but to respond to others correctly. I'm not saying I'm in a higher place than some, just in a different place than what seems like many. I am in war with my flesh and it has never seemed as evident as it is now.

My dad sent me this video and it's David Platt speaking. He's the pastor that wrote the book I recently finished, Radical: Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream. It's not the book that is changing me, it is God. But it is the most practical book I've ever read. Showing me what I've become and the lies I've chosen to follow about the American dream. Click HERE for the link to the video. It's about 2 minutes long.

Hope everyone has an amazing holiday! Martin is headed up to Word of Life in New York to move Pastor Joe and his family. I'm thankful he is able to help. Tyler, (Pastor Joe's son and our temporary roommate) is also going so you would think I would enjoy a nice few days by myself but Dave and Pam, a couple in our church, are coming home from their honeymoon tonight and I'm picking them up at the airport and they are moving into Pastor Joe's home tomorrow (they recently bought it from them). So I am helping, as much as I can without hurting my back. Martin will be home on Sunday and we're hoping to spend a nice relaxing Monday at his parent's house. Then Tuesday, Martin's mom and I are headed to Ocean City to sit at the beach ALL DAY LONG with Danielle who is down there for the week. 93 degrees is the high and the cool, non-BP oil beach will be a perfect place to be. Good location, good friends, good conversations.