Monday, November 19, 2007

I'm alive...I think

Siestas and miestas,

I'll refrain from writing much, b/c I still don't make much sense to my own self, and I can't even type without having to hit 'delete' from the number of typos I keep making! BUT, I wanted to say hello, and let you know that I've been absent from blog world b/c I've been sick for about 2 weeks now. Booh for colds and booh for stomach viruses, especially when they come at the same time.

1) I've been sick.
2) I've slept a LOT.
3) I've slept a LOT.
4) Gatorade has become a dear friend again.
5) Nate is wonderful to me. We couldn't see each other over Thanksgiving as had originally planned, so he hopped on a plane last weekend to surprise me with a visit. The boy knows my love language is quality-time, and despite my low-energy state, he made the visit great.
5) I have 3 weeks before the semester ends to get all of my work done. (WAIT...Lemme go try not to fall out over that one. THREE WEEKS! Hmm...prayer for the sickly child who hasn't been able to do her work).
6) Snow fell this morning. I thought someone had spray painted an area of our driveway with white spray paint; I was so flustered that they didn't evenly distribute it (in my Type A Personality self). It was 70 back in GA. Can you tell I've never seen snow fall before? Yep...

Okay...I'm delirious. And done! Happy Turkey Day sweet sisters. Do take the time to reflect over the faithfulness of the Lord upon your lives this past year. It so overwhelmed me. He is such the One to be praised.
From Nate's visit:

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Set apart for The King

1 Samuel 8:4-20 “…they (the Israelites) said to him, “Behold, you (Samuel) have grown old, and your sons do not walk in your ways. Now appoint a king for us to judge us like all the nations. But the thing was displeasing in the sight of Samuel when they said, “Give us a king to judge us.’ … The LORD said to Samuel, “Listen to the voice of the people in regard to all that they say to you, for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected Me from being king over them…The people refused to listen to the voice of Samuel, and they said, “No, but there shall be a king over us, that we also may be like all the nations, that our king may judge us and go our before us and fight our battles.”

The dark period of the judges exuded a signal of hope when God raised Samuel as a prophet, priest, and judge. Samuel, though imperfect, was committed to keeping the ways of His Lord. Though Samuel was appointed as a mediator to the Israelites' true King, they began to plead for an earthly king. They begged for one to rule over them in order that they may “be like all the nations.” They wanted a judge, one to go before them, and someone to fight their battles. Samuel was no longer enough, and as they cast their glances of comparison at their enemy nations, they opted that they too needed a king.

In 1 Samuel 8:11 – 17, Samuel told them of the LORD's words regarding the negative repercussions that would follow from them gaining a king. What would it look like for the Israelites to have a king? Here are some of the things the LORD said: he will reign over you, he will take your sons and they will run before his chariots, he will take your daughters for perfumers and cooks and bakers, he will take the best of your fields, he will take a tenth of your seed, he will also take your male and female servants and use them for his work, he will take a tenth of your flocks, and you yourselves will become his servants.

“Then you will cry out in that day because of your king whom you have chosen for yourselves, but the LORD will not answer you in that day.” (1 Samuel 8:18)

In His permissive will, God allowed the Israelites to obtain that for which they wished. Samuel appointed a man named Saul as the earthly king over the Israelites. Saul failed to obey the commands of the Lord, missing the mark towards the victorious king for which the Israelites had hoped. Nonetheless, a system of earthly kings ruling over the people of Israel had been established. All the kings to follow would be unsuccessful in meeting the Israelites' hopeful expectations.

Even in the midst of the Israelites' plea, which was actually a rejection of Yahweh, God's glory is not reduced. He does not fight for His rightful lordship over His chosen ones, but sets the stage for the completion of the Gospel by using the lineage of the kingship that He permitted. For in the disobedience and failings of Saul and all future kings, the kingdom clock ticked to display one who would disrobe His divine kingly garment. And this One would be the fulfillment of all that the earthly kings lacked. Samuel was a prophet, priest, and judge. Christ is the fulfillment of the prophecies, the Great High Priest, and the Judge. Christ is King. Christ is Lord. Christ is Master. Christ does indeed judge, go before them, and fight their battles. And His glory is made known.

It seems dumbfounding that the Israelites would know ahead of time the harmful consequences (v. 11-17) of their getting the king for which they asked and yet still plead for one! They would lose sons and daughters to the king’s service, he would reign over them, and even they themselves would become his servants. Yet they continued to ask, thereby rejecting the LORD.

And yet, don’t we do the same sisters? Do we not knowingly sometimes reject the LORD as Lord over our lives, searching and pleading for another ‘king’ to rule over us? We want to be like “all the others” even though the God of the Universe has called you unto Himself, chosen you for Himself, and declared that He would be YOUR King (Ezekiel 37:27). He would be YOUR Deliverer (Romans 11:26). He WOULD lead you in triumphal procession (2 Cor. 2:14). He WOULD love you with an everlasting satisfying love.

Sisters, when we forsake the Kingship of the Lord over our lives, we are allowing another to rule over us. It is not that there is a void on the throne of our hearts. Someone or something takes reign. Sometimes it is a relationship, sometimes it is a materialistic goal, sometimes it is the hope of a future job, move, or image. Sometimes it is even ourselves. Sadly, it often takes us too long to see the sin that results. In our rejecting His Kingship, we will set ourselves up for loosing our 'sons and daughters and the ‘best’ of our income and goods' to the false king. In allowing an idol to reign, we have become its servants. The thing we think we are in control of, or have by the reigns, likely has us in its grips if it is anything less than the complete freeing rule of Jesus Christ.

Sister, I love you too much to share only the ‘feel-good’ truth of His Word with you. If you feel that the reign of your Lord is constricting over your life, then tell Him. I assure you He can handle it. But if you could dare put any weight in these words of a sinner saved by grace, then I need you to know that His laws of perfect liberty really do set you free. His Kingship is of a perfect Kingdom that endures, that wins, and that goes before all things. For in Him, all things hold together. He is all that you could ever ask or imagine.

You are not supposed to be “like all the others.” You are called to be set apart (1 Peter 2:9). Choose Christ for yourselves dear one. “For the LORD will not abandon His people on account of His great name, because the LORD has been pleased to make you a people for Himself.” (1 Samuel 12:22). I beg you not to miss the beauty and freedom of Christ as King over your life in exchange for another earthly king. He is pleased to make you His own. I believe wholeheartedly that He is pleased when you make Him your own. Beloved, go for it.

PS - If you want to know what's been going on in my life lately, and ensure that I haven't fallen into permanent osmosis with my Greek textbook, go here :) I love you all!

Greek by osmosis...or so I wish sometimes

My sweet sisters, misters, and favored lurkers

(Longest preface I think I’ve ever written: The first thing I want you to know is how much I ache in not being able to keep up with your lives, blogs, and hearts better than I have. The Lord has recently convicted me in my own lack of posting (because it is such a thing between He and I), so I am doing my best to honor His ways for me. I want you to know that if I ever get a spare second, I’ll do my best to stop by your blog. You are so important to me, and I really want to show that better than I have been able to. For now though, the best way I can let you know how important you are to me though is to honor Him through these posts!)

Okay, so forgive me for how lame I am about to be, but I’m going to have to use list-format to update y’all. (PS – Did y’all know that they allow the use of ‘y’all’ in Greek, and consider it to even be proper! I just knew I should not have been ashamed of my southern language! Lol).

I 1) I'm LOVING my classes. Did you get that? LOVING. My favorites right now are Greek and an introductory New Testament course. As for Greek, it is just the Lord’s grace that I enjoy it, because for as much time as I have to spend in it, I’d probably have to drop out of school if I didn’t like it! J The author of my textbook is William D. Mounce. I have often told Nate that he should know that I am seeing someone else other than him…because Dr. Mounce and I have regular dates! As for the New Testament class, I don’t even have words to describe to you how incredible this class is. I am either so overwhelmed that I can’t even make myself take notes, or I am so digging everything He’s saying that my hand hurts from trying to get it all down. Y’all should know that as emotionally wired as I may be, I’m not one to just cry all the time. But I end up in tears every stinking time I attend this class (Praise the Lord it’s only once a week). The Lord just so overwhelms me in it, I leave speechless and in awe of who He is.

2) 2) I started a nanny position with my roomie about 3 weeks ago. She watches the little boy who is almost two years old. And I keep the little girl who is about 9 weeks old now. We have lots of fun, and they are just a hoot, who continually keep us on our toes. Not to mention they’re about the cutest things ever.

3) I have never encountered the season of fall until now. I wish you ladies could have seen the display of His splendor in the gorgeous leaves up here. Breathtaking… The sun coming in my window wakes me up in the mornings, and there is this beautiful tree right outside with bright red and deep orange leaves. I’d stare out at it, squinting my eyes with the strong reflection of the sun’s rays bouncing off of the bright colors, feel that Jesus must love me an awful lot, and plop back down into my pillow (where I usually would then be running late for class).

4) Should we insert panic now? Because I kind of feel like I should. Can someone please explain to me how it is already the beginning of November!? I’m going to need someone to tell me how I am about 6 weeks away from completing my first semester here. And while you’re at it, if you’d like to help me do any of my work, that’d be just fine too!

5) And I’ll close with telling you spiritual mamas out there that Nate and I are doing really well. It’s not always easy being so far apart, but we’re just really trusting the waysM and timing of the Lord to keep us walking abundantly despite being away from one another. Sometimes he’s more pitiful. Sometimes I am. But we trust Him. And yes, he’s treating me as wonderfully as ever. He’s leading me, protecting me, and sending me flowers to come home to when I’ve been gone (and we know that’s always a good thing. Wink wink!).

I could go on and on, so I’ll stop and just show you some pictures of my life up here the past month or so! I love you dearly girlfriend.

Mandy and I

Stephanie (a friend from back home in GA), me, and Mandy in New Hampshire

Me, Natalie, and Teal (my roomie) at a 'Vine & Cheese' Party that our dorm hosted!

PS - Did y'all know I am about to have a fit over the wacky lay-out of this respective post. I don't know why it's got the funk. But I give up. Please pardon the awkward spacing for those of you who are Type A's out there!