Jul 19, 2003

Okay, my fourth post for the night, but I promise it'll be the last. I was reading The Friday Five to see if I wanted to bother answering, which I don't, but one of the questions made me think of a funny story. Number 4 for this week asked, "When was the last time you broke or vandalized another's property?" While I can't remember a time that I have intentionally done such, I do remember a time for a friend of mine. A certain someone, who shall remain nameless, once became very irritated that her sister continually borrowed her Doc Martin shoes after being told not to. When the shoes were discovered, out of place and slightly stretched, the nameless individual found the nearest black magic-marker and wrote boldly across the sister's white bedroom door "GET YOUR OWN DOCS!!!" The parents were out of town. After many hours (possibly days) and several coats of paint, the door was restored to near perfect condition. The mom, however, didn't really "scold" the nameless individual, since the sister was also in the wrong, and the door was restored. What a great story!
I was looking at my tracking information on ServuStats, and it's funny what people search for and come up with my sight. These are some of the things people wanted to find, but found my sight instead. While most of them are things I have written about, I wonder why they get to my sight rather than a more appropriate one.
-"gap employee discount"
-"ginny owens karaoke if you want me to cd"
-"the galatian people"
-"brooklyn tabernacle blog" (??? they have a blog?)
-"quote if you want to get something done ask a busy person" (I don't believe I ever posted this one!)
BEST of all, I got six hits for "lele sobieski," which was only mentioned once in some song lyrics!
The good news is--I guess it's good news--most people find my sight by looking for Christian song lyrics which I have actually posted. Hopefully I've helped a few of them out in their search. If you're one of the people that has found my blog by using a search engine, please tell me what off-the-wall subject you were actually looking for! I'd love to put a name with a topic! Later.

Jul 18, 2003

"Take me to you, imprison me, for I,
Except you enthrall me, never shall be free,
Nor ever chaste, except you ravish me."

-my favorite lines from Holy Sonnet 14 by John Donne
In my devotions lately, I've been reading in 1 Thessalonians. Tuesday I studied 4:9-12, which I paraphrased like this:
"Paul said, 'I don't even really have to mention that you should love one another because you've pretty well figured that out. I just encourage you to do it more and more. I do remind you to be responsible in all areas of your life and to live honestly so you will be a good witness without being fake.'"
which prompted me to write this as an application:
"Do things, not for the end result, but for the honest desire to do them. Love your neighbor, not so he will think you are a good person, but because God commands us to, and it therefore should become our desire to do so."

This reminds me of a great lesson I learned once while watching an episode of Boy Meets World, which I've been trying to work into my blog for some time, and I finally found a way to make it work! In this particular episode, as usual, Shawn was going through a rough time. I don't remember the specifics. Cory, being the great friend that he is, gave Shawn a basketball as a gift. (The basketball had some significance, but that's one of the specifics I've forgotten.) Shawn, however, was very unappreciative; he was still caught up with the gravity of whatever his current situation was. When Corey realized Shawn's unappreciativeness, he became angry. Mr. Feeny, of course, stepped out his back door in time to realize what was going on, so when Shawn stormed off, Mr. Feeny stepped in with his ever-ready advice-for-life. He reminded Corey that true generosity doesn't do something to receive something in return. Corey, logically, protested, saying that he didn't expect anything in return, only a "thanks." Expecting a "Thank You," however, as Mr. Feeny pointed out, IS expecting SOMETHING in return. It's very humbling to see that TRUE generosity means you don't even take into consideration whether or not the person will appreciate what you do for them. That just about wipes out every time I've ever thought I had been generous in my whole entire life! On the same note, I wrote last week, in reference to 2:1-8, "True discipleship is when you not only teach someone from the word of God, but also pour yourself into that person with the honest desire for their very best. Truely investing in someone's life with no desire for yourself is the most God-like form of love." I pray that I could learn to do things without some hidden selfish motivation. It's a constant decision we must make to lay aside what's best for us for the benifit of others, and mostly the benifit of Christ. It's tough, but I pray that Christ would make it possible for me. We have a glorious hope in Christ. We have not been abandoned. We are not forgotten. He dwells in us and with us, and makes all things possible. How inspiring!

Jul 17, 2003

The David Crowder Band is scheduled to release their new record on September 16... guess who's birthday that is?! MINE!!! Yay!
It's a great day when you get the four new CDs you ordered in the mail, especially when they come sooner than you expected! I got Passion: Our Love is Loud, Chris Tomlin: The Noise We Make, David Crowder: Can You Hear Us?, and Delirious?: Deeper--the Definitive Worship Experience. Good stuff. I'm sure most everyone who is interested in this music has had these CDs for quite a while, and I'm the last to get them! Anyway, I'm off to finish listening to them. Later!

Jul 16, 2003

John Donne's Holy Sonnet X

Death be not proud, though some have called thee
Mighty and dreadful, for, thou art not so,
For, those, whom thou think'st, thou dost overthrow,
Die not, poor death, nor yet canst thou kill me.
From rest and sleep, which but thy pictures be,
Much pleasure, then from thee, much more must flow,
And soonest our best men with thee do go,
Rest of their bones, and soul's delivery.
Thou art slave to fate, chance, kings, and desperate men,
And dost with poison, war, and sickness dwell,
And poppy, or charms can make us sleep as well,
And better than thy strokes; why swell'st thou then?
One short sleep past, we wake eternally,
And death shall be no more; death, thou shalt die.

I have this analogy [this one's for you, Allie]. You and God are in a dark room where you can't see anything. Your goal is to reach out and grab God's hand, but you don't know which direction to go. God has His hand streched out and is calling out to you: "take my hand." You reach out and begin moving in the right direction, but you pause and wonder if it's the right way to go. "It's dark and I can't see, so how do I know where God is?" you ask yourself. You were moving in the right direction, but the darkness threw you off and made you think twice. You can't see God, so how do you know which way to go? Because you can hear Him. You know becausse you can hear Him, Allie. Don't rely on your eyes. Just listen. And usually our first instincts are right anyway.

Jul 15, 2003

Got to see Scott Yirka today! He's my old youth pastor from middle school. Mom and I were out to lunch and saw him and his dad. So good to see him! He is now pastor of his own church, which always was his goal, so it was awesome for him when that actually happened. When I look back at my life and realize how many totally awesome and godly leaders I have known, it blows me away. God's been so good to me. Not much else to say today. I'm just really thankful today for so much. Later.
What a good day! It's just incredible! Starting from the time I got off work, everything has been so amazing for me. It's not like anything huge has happened; it's just a bunch of little things that all seem to fit perfectly. And right now, I just have such a complete peace. I've been praying for some of my friends lately just to have a peace about various situations in their lives, and it's pretty cool that God turns that around and makes it work for me, also. Between the e-mails I got earlier and the conversation I had tonight, there's like a million things on my mind. Usually, this would give me ample "reason" to feel either stressed out or overwhelmed or just to be thinking way too hard about stuff that doesn't really matter currently, but tonight--tonight I'm just at peace and it's really nice.

It would probably be really effective for me just to leave it at that, but like I said, there's a million things on my mind, so I have plenty to say! First of all, to some dear friends of mine who are both dealing with a lot right now (hopefully you know who you are), just know that God already has it all planned out for you--whatever "it" may be. Nextly--if you've never been away for an extended period of time from the people who you've always known, for example going away to college, then you CANNOT understand how much it changes everything about your life. I know I'm not alone when I say this, because it seems to be a common trend among those who go away--more specifically, those who go away and come back. Don't assume that I mean that my life is horrible now, or anything like that. In fact, it's quite the opposite. But never-the-less (that' supposed to be all one word, but it's harder to read that way) my life has been drastically changed by going away and coming back. Like I said, you can't understand unless you've been there. Here's how it is, as best as I can describe it. Every day that I'm here, I'm pining to be back in St. Augustine. The sights, the sounds, the places, the people, my school, my church--everything. I miss it so much. Laci and I talked tonight about how we both have decided that we're ready (with some other girls) to get a place to live down there, which means we would basically stay there permanently, or at least till-we-graduate kind of permanent. And very possibly afterwards, as well. Erin was talking to me last night and she said, "Megan, I don't want you to go back" and added, "you'll come back a lot, right? like every weekend?" I just said, "well....." which implied, "no, not really." That's hard for me to tell people because these are the people I know and love. What, then, you ask, would make me want to leave? Like I said, it's hard to explain. Laci said it's something that gets inside of you and calls you back and makes it impossible for you to stay gone. (I told her that sounded like the theme for a scary movie that we could make!) I guess what it really is, for me at least, is that I know if I stay here, things will always be like they've always been, which isn't horrible, I just feel like it would hold me back from ever reaching my potential, in a way. I'm not quite sure how that all works; it's just how I feel. I feel like getting "my own" place in St. Augustine would be the only way in which I could become a fully independent adult. Somehow I think that if I tried to stay here I would never completely be out on my own. It would always be Sunday dinner at Mom and Dad's, not for the fellowship, but just because it was a free meal. If I move to St.Aug, however, a Sunday dinner with the parents would be a lot more special. Okay, I'm really just rambling at this point, and trying to rationalize why I want to leave all these great people that I have here. Completely unexplainable. It's just something that I feel like I need to do. Maybe I don't need to completely understand it. And I certainly don't believe that I am required to explain it to anyone else. So, to all my friends, let it be known that this very well may be my last summer in Jacksonville. No, I won't completely abandon you; I'll be back for visits. And I'm already planning for Uno nights at "my place" whenever we get an apartment or something. It'll be fun to have a bunch of you guys come down and hang out. On that note, I'm headed for bed. G'night.

Jul 14, 2003

Don't have time to say much because I'm about to head out to the movies with Lace. HAD to post real quick though, because I'm SO excited! First of all, reading my e-mail a few minutes ago was like the most encouraging thing that's happened to me in a week. Had some really nice ones from friends, and some informational ones from my St. Augusine church folks. My St. Augustine church, Anastasia, was starting a new college Bible study right before I left to come home for summer. I knew from the begining that it was eventually going to be huge, and I was so excited about it--kinda sad that I had to come home. Anyway, they've been in the planning stages all summer, and it's really starting to come together. It's called Fusion, and I found out today that some of the people put together a websight. The websight's pretty tight, too! So on top of being excited about that, I got a secod info e-mail, in which I learned that Darrell Evans is going to be at The Edge next month!!! I'm way, way excited! As if I don't get excited about The Edge enough, it's pretty cool to have a "big-name worship leader" coming! Wow. It's such a good day! I'm off to the movies! Later.

The college and career group did "2nd Sunday" tonight, where we all go to somebody's house to hang out and have a little fellowship time. It was really good tonight. We did this "pass the candle" thing, where all the lights were down and we passed the candle as we named someone in the room who had been an encouragement to us. The first person would explain a person who had encouraged him, name the person, and pass the candle to that person. That person, in turn, would do the same and pass it to whomever they named. The whole thing really encouraged me. (I know I've already over-used the word "encouraged"!) For the first minute, when the activity was being explained, I almost struggled to think of someone who had been an encouragement to me, but once we got into the whole thing, I realized more and more that I could have named something about every person in the room that inspires me in a different way. I realized that, in a way, I have too high of standards. Now, don't get me wrong, I think high standards are a good thing; but sometimes I seem to expect people to be perfect, and since no one can live up to that kind of expectation, I miss out on the good in people because I'm too busy looking at the bad. This is horrible of me! I certianly don't think I'm perfect, so why in the world do I expect other people to be? I don't really actually tell myself, "they're a failure because they're not perfect" or anything like that, because obviously I know that people aren't perfect. I guess what the real issue is is that when people struggle in an area that I don't happen to struggle in, I sort of get the mentality of "why can't they get that right? It seems simple to me. They must not care enough to do anything about it." But at the same time, I struggle in areas that they don't struggle in, and they could just as easily say the same thing about me: "why can't she get that right? She must not care enough to do anything about it." People are different and struggle in different areas; therefore, what's easy to one may be hard to another, and vice verca. It's like any part of our lives. For example, me and Laci. Laci is a visual learner and I'm auditory. I'll meet a guy and tell her about him, and she'll want to know what color shirt he had on, what style his pants were, how his hair was comed, and whether or not he wore a watch. How the heck should I know?? It boggles my mind that she can take in all that information! I'll say, "I don't know, but his voice reminds me of so-and-so." "You know people by their voices?" she'll ask me. She can't comprehend how I work, and I can't comprehend how she works. It's not that one of us is better than the other; we're just different. I can also recognize the sound of certain people coming down our hall. I'll say, "Heather's out of class" as if I'm psycic or something, but really I just recognize her sound. You can't explain that to a visual person! Nor can she explain to me how, in two minutes' time, she can memorize every visual detail of someone! I believe it's the same way in our spiritual lives. We're each different, and we often can't even explain "how it is" to someone who hasn't experienced the same thing as we have. We, or I, should learn to appreciate the differences in people because our strengths are in different areas. If we all had the same strength and the same weakness, the Church would be very lop-sided! No one could help us up when we fall because they would all be right down there with us. It's like the discription of the Church as the Body: if we were all hands, we would never get anywhere because none of us were feet. If you're a hand, be thankful for the one who's a foot. If you're an ear, be thankful for the eye [I'm thankful for you, Lace!]. If you're the musician, be thankful for the cheerleader [love you, Al!]. You get the point. We need each other, not necessarily to survive, but definitely to thrive. God has called us to thrive, and not merely survive. Remember to appreciate the strengths of your fellow Christians, and thrive together in the name of Christ. Later.