Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Socially Acceptable

Today I finally decided I needed to get outside of the house for a while, get somewhere different and start enjoying being here. So as I write this I am comfortable situated at a bar table on the back deck of the best coffee shop I have ever been to, Grounds For Coffee, right here in Layton and I can see why it is a local hotspot. I brought along my Bible, journal, and word study tools (aka: my computer with the handy software my dad put on it for me… thanks dad!) and instead of getting the amount of word study done that I was expecting I ended up making some interesting observations thanks to the horses across the street and all of the interesting people I have seen come in and out of this place in the past hour. But first, a little background of where these are coming from:

The story of the past few days has been one of major ups and major downs. Everything from being excited about my little sister asking me to be her maid-of-honor in December and the fun of helping plan her big day, to really missing my companions and fighting tears for two days straight. For the first time since graduation, and since saying goodbye to the people that had become my family I was finally able to really cry. Nobody here understood why, out of nowhere, I would suddenly get very emotional. Just simple things like wandering around the state fair, or hearing a song on the radio could put me over an edge. I was missing “my group” “my guys” “my team” “my gang” and feeling out of place and essentially un-needed and left out.

What God has been revealing to me while I sit here has been not only comforting my heart, but bringing tears anew to my eyes. I have watched the “punk” college kids, the business men all dressed in their suits and ties, the everyday mom and daughter, the retired elderly men, and others come in and out of here, just enjoying a good coffee, mocha, latte or something else that suits their fancy and came to realize that I’m really no different than any of them. It didn’t completely settle in until the horses across the road caught my attention. There is a gorgeous red roan 2 year old, a sorrel mare and a red roan weanling in the pasture that I can see. Each one of them are distinctly different, they look different, act different, and have different purposes and jobs as part of the herd, but they all have one master. They all interact well now, but if you took one from the herd or introduced a new horse then things would be a little rough for a while. Everyone has to learn their place, how things work, who is in charge, and the master decides who goes in what pasture and with which horses. Right now I feel like the horse that has been taken from its old herd, my dearest friends, the comfort zone of who I knew, and placed in a new pasture, with new horses. Right now I am the horse that drives every owner crazy, I pace the fence, whinny and scream, don’t pay a whole lot of attention in the arena or round pen, and works myself into a sweaty tizzy instead of settling in and learning the new herd. All the horses in the herd have the same owner, the same trainer, as do all the people in this world, it’s just whether or not they choose to listen that makes the difference.

So am I going to continue to pace the fence? No. There is a “young adults” home group through our church and my pastor said I would most likely be the youngest there, but with being done with college he figured it would be the best fit for me. Their first group meeting is next Tuesday and I am looking forward to getting to meet some Godly young adults that I can go do things with. Will new friends replace the old ones? Of course not… and with moving into our NEW HOUSE next month, there will be plenty of room for all of the old ones to come visit (hint hint).

(2 hours later) – Wow! I was sitting here writing the above paragraphs when this kid my age showed up with a coffee and a block of wood he was carving and just started chatting. Then this older gentleman joined us and I immediately felt like I was sitting at the knee of my grandfather listening to him tell stories and tell me about all of the great places I need to visit here in Utah. Talk about a crazy turn of events for an afternoon!
Anyway… God bless and I hope my ramblings made as much sense to you as they did to me!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Random Words and Lyrics Spit Out Of Our Mouths Just Like Flaming Fire From a Dragon...

2009 - 2010 FCA Camp and Conferences Work Crew
    The title of this post is a random lyric line from a goofy song that my brother and one of his friends wrote... and basically describes what my life feels like right now. Everybody's favorite question is "So what are you doing now that you're home?" and I am tired of not having a really solid answer. The next question usually is along the lines of "What is God telling you to do?" and I am not completely sure... but I think things are starting to get a little less "foggy."
    This past week both our Sunday morning service and our home group study was on what it means to take care of the widows and orphans. James 1:27 says that "Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, to visit the fatherless and the widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world." The discussion at home group last night turned to how in modern times it isn't just the widows and orphans, but the needy in general, which is also Biblical. James 2:14-20 says "What use is it, my brethren, if someone says he has no works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is without clothing and in need of daily food, and one of you says to them, 'Go in peace, be warmed and be filled,' and yet you do not give them what is necessary for their body, what use is that? Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead, being by itself." When it says faith without works is dead it isn't just a figure of speech. The original Greek literally means "as a corpse", so without acting on your faith you are no different than a dead body for the purpose of Christ.
    An analogy that came to mind when I was laying in bed last night was this: Your faith and relationship with Christ, and a want and hunger for more, is what inspires the works. Like a child who wants to help mom and spend more time with her so the child tries to help fold the laundry, or do the dishes. The child may not do well at first, but the outward action is the proof of the inward love and seeking heart.
    I have been asking God to open a door for me here, and to guide where He sees fit. Through all of the searching what impressed upon my heart the most was what was preached this past week and I believe it is God's way of saying "Here, take this step, I gotcha."
    I say all of that to put into perspective that I am researching and considering applying to several different ranches/residential homes for "at-risk" youth here in Utah. When I was in Mississippi at French Camp Academy I discovered a passion I didn't know I had for these kids and I want to get involved with a similar program out here. Do I still think I will end up back at FCA someday, yeah, but for now I think I will enjoy something similar out here in the west if opportunity arises.

Friday, September 3, 2010

'Cause He Knew The Price That Love Requires And He Laid Down His Own Desires...

    Wow, just earlier tonight I was struggling with a lack of purpose, a lack of passion, a lack of a reason to do basically anything, and then things changed. I took a blanket, my Bible and my journal along with my trusty book light (thank you dad) to the backyard to stare at the stars (one of my favorite pass times) and enjoy some much needed quiet time. After I was out back for about 20 minutes there was a noise between our house and the neighbor's empty house, I assumed it was the loose black lab that has been wandering around and thought nothing of it until I heard voices at the back fence.
Me with my His Way Home sisters at FCA
    I thought nothing of it until I heard a girl crying. Her name is Emily (from what I picked up of the conversation) and she was miserable. She was talking to one of her friends about how her dad doesn't realize how hard it has been growing up without him... he is in prison and she has hardly ever seen him. Her mom doesn't seem to really care and Emily is on drugs to help with her thoughts of suicide. There were several other issues, but those were the main ones that I over-heard from my spot in the backyard.
    It brought me to tears to hear these girls, who couldn't be much older than middle-school, talk about these things. Emily's friend wasn't much of a consolation and I wanted so badly just to give her a hug and talk to her and share the hope and un-dying love of Christ with this child of His. It reminded me of so many of the girls I worked with and talked with at French Camp Academy last year. Before this all came about tonight I had been praying that God would at least crack a door open for me, give me a hint of where I need to go. So for the past 2 hours I have been re-searching Girl's Ranches here in UT, most of them are about 4+ hours from where my parents live. I still think I will end up back in French Camp at some point in the future, but maybe God just intended that as a training ground to do something out here.

Psalms 16:11 - You will make known to me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy; in Your right hand there are pleasures forever.

Sometimes Love - Chris Rice

Is your world spinning backwards?/ What has brought about this change?/ Can't you see that people aren't the same?

I wish I were dreamin and could wake from my sleep/ and find us all the way we used to be.

Cause the love that used to be is dyin/ Is anybody even tryin?/ and I don't know how, I don't know why/ but somethin in my soul is cryin.

Sometimes love has to drive a nail into its own hand/ sometimes love has to drive a nail into its own hand.

One pair of hands broke some break and washed some feet/ opened eyes and soothed an angry soul/ belong to a man who could see our deepest need/ and showed us love the way it has to be.

Cause he knew the price that love requires/ and he laid down his own desires/ he stretched out his hands to save his friends/ and said "no other love is higher"

(Repeat Chorus)

Love can change us/ love can make a way/ Only Jesus' love can change us/ love can make a way

Sometimes love has to drive a nail into its own hand

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Though None Go With Me, Still I Will Follow...

   Things never cease to change around here. Many different opportunities are available for me right now, and trying to pick through them is the most complicated part. Something new that presented itself yesterday was a lead that my dad discovered for me that I was unaware of, The U.S. Army Veterinary Corps. They service all of the military working animals as well the the serviceman's privately owned animals. They have a reservist unit as well as active duty. Considering this option isn't really anything sudden. Since I was young I wanted to be on the canine police corps or something of the like and have actually been looking into search and rescue training to be on our Weber County Search and Rescue squad. I emailed our local recruiter yesterday and am waiting to hear back on whether or not the reserve unit of the veterinary corps would be an option for me. Please pray that God will only open the doors that He wants me to go through.

Lamentations 3:25-28
The Lord is good to those who wait for Him, to the person who seeks Him. It is good that he waits silently for the salvation of the Lord. It is good for a man that he should bear the yoke in his youth.