Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Some fun pics with the trusty 35 mm...the flowers are from the trees at Riverset, my old apt. complex on Mud Island. They were gorgeous. The rest are random shots from the group that visited my dad's house for New Year's. These people are great. I think Lisa Whiffen took all or most of them.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Psalm 73

Asaph is speaking here as an honest minister. He addresses the fact that it bothered him for a bit how godless, worldly people seemed to have it all. He goes on and on about the "advantage" the apathetic seem to have over those, like himself, who are doing their best to be pure in heart as they follow hard after God. I couldn't help but relate as I see today's celebrities seemingly "living the good life". When the names "Paris Hilton" or "Tom Cruise" are mentioned, what comes to mind for you? Do you wonder what their lives are based on? I always do.

If I could interview everyone in the world and ask them all only one question, it would be "What about your life is the last thought at the end of the day that allows you to sleep at night?". It's a simple production of syntax that basically addresses what people feel their purpose is, or what the purpose of life is in general.

But Asaph notices that these wealthy, successful, beautiful, arrogant people seem to be immune to this thought process. And he almost regrets trying to keep himself pure. He wonders if it's been worth it...

Then in verses 16 and 17, illumination comes. He tries to reconcile himself to what he feels is injustice, and when he ends up in mental oppression, he enters the sanctuary of God. Then it all becomes clear. He gets that eternal perspective of which 2 Corinthians 4:18 speaks. His humanness is exposed, and it's ugly to him. The beauty is God's, and He let's Asaph behold it (vs. 24) when he begins to listen.

Verses 25-28 are words to live on. I would suggest committing these to memory. The honesty and clarity with which he speaks them is beautiful...

25 Whom have I in heaven but You?
And earth has nothing I desire besides You.
26 My flesh and my heart may fail,
but God is the strength of my heart
and my portion forever.
27 Those who are far from You will perish;
you destroy all who are unfaithful to You.
28 But as for me, it is good to be near God.
I have made the Sovereign Lord my refuge;
I will tell of all Your deeds.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

My prayer is a simple one...
Grant me authenticity.
Make me wholly and undividedly Yours.
Pour me out;
Fill me up with You.
Melt me down...
'til all that's left is You.
Peel the layers.
Uncloud my soul until I'm transparent.
Make me a mirror that reflects Your glory.
Simplify me.

I was blessed to spend time tonight with some of my friends from college. Like bleach, just the conversation was cleansing, enlightening, and horrifying. I love how old friends come back in during new phases and you have a landmark to show you who you were and who you've become. It's not always a pleasant thing. Being back around the Union environment reminded me of the desperation with which I used to seek obedience to God. As I age, behind my back, roots go down...into plans, into hopes, into expectations that are solely temporal. And it hurts when God answers my prayer to draw me to Him...because He has to rip up the roots. And I'm better for it.

But I'm constantly bound...by desire for control of perceptions, of image, of results. Ultimately I'm deceived...then rendered handicapped for eternal use. The beauty is I wasn't redeemed for the purpose of perfection, but for Him. ONLY for Him. So I'm a wreck, a wretch, and in using me as I am, He is the only possible source and recipient of glory. So goes the story of mankind. Isaiah 55:8-9 will go a long way.

rip up my roots.
I surrender all esteem of man,
others' and my own.
Make my wholly and only Yours.
Cause invisibility to be my desire.
And let me see You.

"Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God." -Matthew 5:8

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

I'm way excited!

I'm going to see "CHICAGO" Friday night at the Orpheum! Once again, my friend Zach has contacted "a man he knows" and gotten tickets. I've never been to the Orpheum. My exposure to plays is pretty much limited to the senior class of Huntingdon High School, a couple of Union shows, Phantom and the Fantastics in NYC in high shool, and one visit to Ford's Theater in DC. So no TPAC or any other TN performances...until now. I'll let you know what I think. Surprised? Me expressing opinion?

And Payten is doing well. She feels fine, which may be the annoying part, but her spleen is still outta control. So I'll keep you posted. At best, she could be well enough to play at tournament time, but we have no way of knowing. Thank you so much for your prayers.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Payten needs prayer...

She found out today that she has mono. She had originally tested negative with the spot test, but her spleen is twice the normal size and all physical activity has been banned. Mom called me crying tonight with the news. This is Paytie's senior year, and she's the leading scorer for the high school basketball team. She will be missing the meat of her last season, because she doesn't want to play in college. She's extremely disappointed as well as my family and her teammates. Please lift her up before our loving Father during this tough time. She's only got a few more months to decide about which college to attend and to take advantage of her last year of high school. Thankfully, she's a solid girl who has a consistent walk with Christ, a great mind, and a fun personality. She'll get through this. Right now she and my family are trying to reconcile themselves to God's ultimate plan in all of this. Pray for more of His grace to be showered in their minds and hearts during this trial.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

I thought I'd give a little update since things are looking so much better than last week. It was my fault. I went into my rotation with a poor attitude, not looking for what I could gain from it. Naturally, I didn't like it. But maybe Sunday, being with the Body- not GBC specifically, but people who know Christ- was the catalyst. God has been slowly pulling me back in through various avenues: my friends exposing areas of deception Satan had me under, seeing my friends respond to God's work in their own lives, seeing God answer prayers, and random times that God reminded me He sees me and loves me. So yesterday went so much better. I really like the new people I've met, the patients and the Walgreen's employees. Also, I'm starting to get excited about the next step after graduation instead of being fearful. There's no telling what it will consist of, but I have more than enough evidence from my past to ensure a full future (John 10:10).

Friday, January 06, 2006

I've become a bloggin' fool! Okay, so it might seem sad, but the reason I've turned to blogging so much lately is due to the loss of an in-the-room-with-me-roommate. Nat's extremely busy, and I never know who specifically to call, so there's no outlet for me...except the trusty blog. And trust me, there needs to be an outlet. 'Cuz it's not like my brain stops...Yeah right, like that's a luxury I've been able to afford. So here's what I got for today...

For those of you who don't know, I've been assigned to "rotate" at a Walgreen's pharmacy downtown. This means I kind-of shadow a pharmacist and get a feel for what he or she does. Well, it hasn't exactly been what I expected. I've been standing in one spot, more or less, for 8 hours at a time, retrieving bottles, scanning, counting, pouring, sticking labels, typing, dealing with customers, etc. for NO PAY. In fact, I come home with aching feet every day to the realization that I'm paying to be there. Nice...only in professional school.

But there's good. I've been overwhelmed lately with the feeling that I don't know anything, that I'm ill-equipped to be a pharmacist, that I've been in school for 3 years now and don't know anything. Every day I want to give customers strong answers to their medication questions, but all that comes is a hopeful suggestion. I've wondered when it would come, if it would come, and if it would be before I graduated. But today, there was a ray of hope. A woman called on the phone with questions about frequent headaches her husband was having. I asked her some specific questions in order to nail down what physiologic process was the most likely cause, and I really felt like I helped her. I could hear in her voice that she was satisfied with the answers she received. When I hung the phone up, I nearly teared up...

Because God is faithful. And once again, He's overcome my doubts, answered my desperate prayers, and shown me His Hand at my back and under my feet. I was also blessed with some kind words from a friend in a divinely-timed phone call. He is faithful. Praise the Lord that He won't let me forget it.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006


And I couldn't be more excited for two people. She and Brad are precious, and their relationship has been such a sweet story. God has definitely had His hand all over and in it. It's definitely a testimony to me. So looks like I've got plans around the middle of July down in Birmingham, AL!

Sunday, January 01, 2006

I am infatuated with people. They are the most exquisite of God's creations. I would like to search and gather various pieces of individuals into a collection that I could have to admire. It would be a smorgasboard of intellects, senses of humor, mannerisms, talents, skills, fears, slices of insight. I truly enjoy exploring new personalities every chance I get. I love to meet people. My appetite for what the next person could be like will never be satisfied. But I like that. It opens me up to new adventures, new loves, new losses, but always new lessons. Cassie Terhune, a wise girl, once pitched the idea to me that if man were created in God's image, that maybe He put a small piece of Himself into each person. The more people you encounter, the greater your understanding of Who He is....Interesting thoughts. I don't know for sure about that, but I know that there are people in my life who give me a bigger view of God by just being in the same room with them. And I love them for that. And I love God for revealing Himself. And it's still so crazy that He first loved us.

Thank you, all of the amazing individuals with which I was blessed to spend New Year's 2006.