Friday, January 30, 2009

Chapter Eleven in the Gospel of Luke

1Now Jesus was praying in a certain place, and when he finished, one of his disciples said to him, "Lord, teach us to pray"...

5And he said to them, "Which of you who has a friend will go to him at midnight and say to him, 'Friend, lend me three loaves, 6for a friend of mine has arrived on a journey, and I have nothing to set before him'; 7and he will answer from within,
'Do not bother me; the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed. I cannot get up and give you anything'?
8I tell you, though he will not get up and give him anything because he is his friend, yet because of his impudence [boldness, persistence, insistence, importunity, shamelessness, and shameless audacity] he will rise and give him whatever he needs.

9And I tell you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 10For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened.

11What father among you, if his son asks for a fish, will instead of a fish give him a serpent; 12or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? 13If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!"

I like this passage. Verses 2-4, which I did not include here, is part of the "Lord's Prayer". I think too many people focus on that part of Jesus' answer than this part. Books upon books have been written on the Lord's Prayer, and yet I feel the next part of the chapter is what gets to me. I have heard one sermon on this passage years ago, and it still sticks with me.

If we are passive when we go to Christ with our needs and concerns, we may not get didily squat. As in this passage... if you go and ask once and don't get an answer right away, or even a "no", don't quit. Don't stop asking. Don't give up because you think it's a hopeless cause. Stand out in the street in the middle of the night, banging on Christ's door begging for whatever you may need. I believe Christ will honor our persistence... as this is how He told us to pray.

Christ is unchanging, yes. But that does not mean that He can't change a "no" to a "yes". That does not change who He is. And above all, His will shall be done, I understand that. But taking that into consideration, I do not believe we should go passively before our God just because, ultimately, His will will be done. We need to be bold, and have shameless audacity before His throne. We need to get on our knees and beg.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

John 16:33

Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.

In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.

In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world."

In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."

In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world."

In this godless world you will continue to experience difficulties. But take heart! I've conquered the world."

In the world you have tribulation and trials and distress and frustration; but be of good cheer [take courage; be confident, certain, undaunted]! For I have overcome the world. [I have deprived it of power to harm you and have conquered it for you.]

While you are in the world, you will have to suffer. But cheer up! I have defeated the world.

In this world you will have trouble, but be brave! I have defeated the world."

You will have suffering in this world. Be courageous! I have conquered the world."

In this world you will have trouble. But cheer up! I have won the battle over the world."

The world will trouble you much. But be glad. I have power over the world.'

Put it all together:

In this world you will experience trials and sorrow, trouble, tribulation, difficulties, distress and frustration, you will have to suffer... but take heart and be of good cheer, be couragous and confident, certain and undaunted, be brave, and be glad because Christ has overcome and conquered the world... He has defeated and won the battle over the world. Cheer up! For it is He who holds all the power over the world.

I realize that you can't just do this to scripture, but I just did. I think it adds so much meaning to the verse... it's probably something like what the Message would say, ha.

This verse is what our three week series at youth group is on. It's pretty intense. Everyone can relate to trials... For everyone has gone through them, is going through them, or will go through them... many I'd say fall into all three catergorizes.

gotta love grandma's couch patterns...

Sunday, January 25, 2009

my car, the weatherman

It was the fall of my junior year of high school when I was blessed with the most weird looking car that ever did exist. One night while talking online to my friends Charles Eiden and Nathan Strom I asked them each for a name, one gave me the name "Harvey" the other "Winslow" -- thus Harvey Winslow became the name of my tiny car.

I live in Minnesota... always have. It gets cold here. Lately, it has gotten extremely cold... I haven't thought it's been that bad, if we're being serious. But apparently we've hit a few record lows. All this to say, I wouldn't know it's cold outside if I didn't watch the forcast [which rarely happens]. I realize that for the past few weeks it's been below zero, but beyond that I wouldn't know-- it all feels the same to me.

Now, "How do these two things relate?" you may ask. Let me tell you... my car lets me know if it's cold out or not.

If it's -5 or above: you don't have to let it warm up... it won't even make that high-pitched noise when you turn it on... it's a good little car like that... minnesotan, no doubt.
If it's -10 or below: the automatic locks no longer work [they try -- it sounds like they are unlocking, but are most definately not].
If it's -20 or below: if you don't let it warm up, take into consideration that the brakes are frozen and won't work [you can push all you want, but they aren't budging] for awhile, so be sure to let it warm up.
If it's -35 or below: don't drive. the little car still turns on and will run [it's very good like that - most people's cars won't start. mine... always starts.] but even though it will still run, there is no need to be outside in that weather.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

--on the perfect church--

“If I had never joined a church till I had found one that was perfect, I should never have joined one at all; and the moment I did join it, if I had found one, I should have spoiled it, for it would not have been a perfect church after I had become a member of it.
Still, imperfect as it is, it is the dearest place on earth to us.
-- Charles Spurgeon --

the joy of finding things you didn't even know were lost

so i found five dollars just now, and my first thought to myself was, "I'M RICH!"

...and that is how i know i'm still in college.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

by your side

why are you still searching... as if i'm not enough...

these lyrics resonated with me tonight. i do not think that they describe me at this time, but nonetheless... they are powerful i do believe.

Friday, January 09, 2009

somewhere over the rainbow

I think I have come to terms with the fact that for some reason [completely unknown to me] this is one of my favorite songs.
Now, this song has been redone hundreds of times. I do not like all the versions. On the contrary, I only like a few.
The few that are my favorites are as follows:

Israel Kamakawiwo'Ole:
[He was a large Hawaiian man who had the most beautiful voice... In his version he added a few verses, but nonetheless, love the song.]

Jason Castro:
[He is just a white boy with some cool dreads. I think he was on 2008 American Idol. Didn't win, but left me with this wonderful version of the song. It seems to me that he tried to copy Israel's version of the song, yet stuck with the original lyrics.]

Shawn McDonald:
[He is a phenomenal musician all around, at least in my opinion. He too changes the lyrics, but only slightly, to go with his style of music.]

Me First and the Gimme Gimmes:
[This is one of my favorite versions, hah. I don't know how I originally got it, I've just had it on my computers since I was in middle school. Maybe Heath downloaded it at one point and I got hooked, not sure.]

Judy Garland, on the other hand, is not one of my favorite singers of the song. I can't stand her version... even though it was technically the first, being as the song was originally written for the movie The Wizard of Oz... she just doesn't cut it.

The original lyrics to...
Somewhere Over the Rainbow by Harold Arlen
...lyrics by E.Y. Harburg

Somewhere over the rainbow
Way up high
There's a land that I heard of once in a lullaby

Somewhere over the rainbow
Skies are blue
And the dreams that you dare to dream really do come true

Someday I'll wish upon a star and wake up where the clouds are far behind me
Where troubles melt like lemon drops way up above the chimney tops
Thats where you'll find me

Somewhere over the rainbow
Blue birds fly
Birds fly over the rainbow
Why then, oh why can't I

If happy little blue birds fly across the rainbow
Why oh why can't I

Monday, January 05, 2009

new years resolutions

I loath new years resolutions... with everything that's in me.
I realize that many people do not share my thoughts on the issue, and I am completely fine with that. I'm fine with other people having new years resolutions, but they are not for me.
I realized yesturday that last year I actually made a new years resolution, and to my great surprise, I actually made it the entire year and followed it! Blew my mind when I realized this.

I like buying clothes... and since I'm a bargain shopper, I never thought it was that big of a deal that i bought a lot of clothes. But when you put a lot of bargains together, they start to add up. Last year about this time I realized that and decided that I wasn't going to buy any clothes the entire year.
Now, realize that I already have plenty of clothes for all seasons, because of how much I loved to buy clothes... so this was a very realistic goal. Realistic in the sense that it was possible, but definately not plausible. I set the goal, knowing I couldn't follow it... nothing like setting yourself up for failure.
But here's the thing... I bought three articles of clothing last year. THREE. That's it! I still count that as succeeding in my goal, because come on, in all years previous I'd buy on average three things a week. Now, in my two things, I am not counting clothes for work or school, because those are neccesities that I wouldn't buy if I didn't have to, but I think that is legit.
Also, I think my three things were reasonable:
One: I camp sweatshirt. It was my 50% off item, so it was only like 10 bucks. And it'd almost be stupid not to buy something at fifty percent off.
Two: Camp sweat-pant shorts. Unneccesary, I will admit, so I'll leave it at that. BUT I do wear them a lot and love them... if that's any consolation.
Three: Jean shorts. It was towards the end of the summer, and at that point I always feel like a slob, because I've been wearing camp clothes all summer and that makes one feel gross. So I bought them to remind myself that I'm a girl and can look cute in summer clothes.

The end.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

I think they call it "break"

Most people call this time around Christmas a "break", but for me it is never really feels that way. It was good to get to go home for like five days, but it also would have been nice if it had been a bit longer. But then the day after Christmas I was right back to school... not that I don't enjoy it, but come on, you can't beat no school.

Eight things that happened over my "break":

1. The day of my last final I drove home and then proceeded over to my brothers house... where we played new-school [as opposed to old-school] sonic the hedgehog. It is way different then it used to be. I like the old-school one so much more. He also showed me his under-water computer, which took me a long time to actually believe. But then Hannah came home and she brought me to Overflow, which was cool, being as I'd never been there before. I thoroughly enjoyed my time with my siblings over break. I wish we got more time together. I miss them a lot.
2. Several times while I was home I went to what they call "trivia" with the boys [and sometimes Emily]. Although I've spent many summers with Rich and Taco, I still feel like I don't really know them... and yet those few nights we got to spend together were really nice to see them in a different context, I guess. They are a couple of amazing guys. And of course Matt was there too... and it always makes my day to be around him... always.
3. Christmas: was amazing. Very possibly the best Christmas I've ever experienced. My family does this thing called Minneapolis Miracle down in the cities... and this year, it was just better than before. It was incredibly fun, and I loved it. I think it's the best way possible to spend Christmas day... serving people... serving people in need. Not that I hadn't enjoyed it before, but I don't know... it was just amazing.
4. I know Christmas isn't about what you get, but this year, I felt more blessed then before. That might just be part of my selfishness coming out, but seriously... I felt truly blest. Maybe it's because this year I did not feel worthy of any gifts, or becuase I know my parents aren't as financially able as they have been in the past... but I was truly overwhelmed with what was given to me, regarless.
5. Then it was back up to school I go. Hockey started, and thus, I started. It has been really fun though, the girls are great, and I completely enjoy the trainers that I work with as well. And it's probably good that we have morning practices, so it keeps me on a semi-regular schedule as well.
6. One Sunday a few of my friends and I went snowboarding... I ended the night with broken bindings, and in the ER. Those two things were not related. In short: I broke my bindings, and Ryan broke his face. Basically, he went off a jump, and instead of landing with his board, he landed with his face, and because it was especially icy that day, consequently tore some of his face off. Thankfully, after only four hours of sitting in the ER, they decided that Ryan would live, and he has been doing quite well ever since. Although we all only got about 5 runs in at the slopes before we had to leave rather quickly, the night didn't turn out so bad. The ER visit was actually quite entertaining. I had the privilege of waiting in the [kids] waiting room with two of the funniest guys I know... and finally saw the movie Peter Pan for the first time ever. Also, I was able to get my bindings fixed free of charge, due to the fact it was a manufacturing mistake, which was a sweet deal.
7. New Years Eve: It was the first year in like seven years that I was not in Upsala for new years eve. Not gonna lie, going into the night, I was unsure at how it would go... I didn't really know how to spend a new years eve not at the all-nighter in upsala. But it turned into a very amazing night. My youth group had a party, in which I of course attended, and had a blast. My girls are entirely amazing, and I love getting to know them more on a friend basis. I loved it. So much fun.
8. New Years Day after practice [yes we had early morning practice -- that was enjoyable] when I realized that I had almost 24 hours off from school, as I didn't have to go in until the evening the following day, I packed up and headed to Upsala to hang out with one of my favorite people in the world... if I'm allowed to say that... I had a blast, like usual... we didn't do much, but we always have fun just sitting there talking, so I'm cool with that... it's actually comical to me how much of nothing we do together and we both enjoy it entirely. I just like hanging out with her, I guess, no matter what we do. Then we finally decided what we wanted to do at like 11pm, which was going on a road trip, hah. That was exciting. And consequently made for another late night. I love Hannah.

So that is my "break" in a nutshell. I actually just found out yesturday that classes don't start again until next week. So I get another week "off" which is nice. Although I still have school every day, hockey is so much better than classes. Hands down.