Mustard Seeds

Mustard Seeds

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Sunday at Home

Only at Stone Creek Bible Church....

*is the whole church laughing hysterically during announcements
*do you get a high five when raising your hands during worship (thank you dad...)
*can you know and have a history with every single person in the room
*does your dad ask, from his seat, if we can sit back down and everyone sits down
*do people get nominated and called on to recite the monthly memory verse
*is Haiti on everyone's heart
*do you sit in the exact same spot every week
*can people yell out sarcastic comments in the middle of the sermon and have everyone laughing
*are jokes made about Bob's hair by the pastor and jokes made about the pastor's sanity by Bob

Oh the beauty of a small church. =)

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Updates and the Funeral

I never gave updates for a lot of the blogs I did about needing prayer... so here are some praises. =)

My Grandma - She is doing well and the eye surgery went as planned. The recovery period is 6 months long so we don't know the final outcome yet but she can already see better then she could after the first surgery.

My Dad - It was refreshing and encouraging to see him this past weekend. We fixed my bike and car to drivable states but they are not completely fixed. Bee is just a little more ghetto and my bike does it's job of getting me to class and work.

The Funeral and the Joseph Family - This morning I went to the funeral for William and there were so many people! He touched so many lives and hearts and it was so cool to see everyone supporting the family and hearing message after message on how William lived for the Lord and wanted everyone in that room to know God. The gospel was shared in such a relatable, joyous way that I loved! Instead of compelling people to consider the Lord through fear of Hell, we saw the importance of knowing God because of Heaven. The gospel was demonstrated through the hope and joy and love William exuded because of his walk with God. It was funny (with the pastor trying his hardest to get our large very white crowd to yell Amen after amazing statements about God and Heaven) and happy. Hearing his kids speak was incredible too. Steven shared how when he started thinking about what he was going to do next he felt an overwhelming sense of peace and knew God had a plan for him and his family. So cool coming from him. Another thing that really spoke to God's power was the music. It was soooo good and worshipful and well just really blessed me. Best rendition of "Because He Lives" ever! =) Overall, I loved the service today. It was amazing to see William's legacy for God in his desire for the Lord to be in control of his life, in his family, and in the way God moved in the room this morning. God is incredible! Heaven is incredible! And I am so stoked that William gets to be with God!

Home For 1.5 Days

I forget how much I love my family till I am home... A few things I have loved so far this weekend:

1. Walking into my room to see a quilt laying on my bed (that I was informed was not for sleeping under... quite understandable) that was made from over 7,600 pieces of fabric. My mom is so cool! The blog for her quilt store is here if you want to see other things she does. The quilt will be up Monday on the blog for the store's third year anniversary. My mom's natural habitat at home:
2. Getting to see my dog Kody (short for Kodiak Bear... our last dog was Grizzly Bear, it's a theme) hates the flash in her eyes so even if you turn it off she won't look at you if you have a camera. I managed to sneak these pictures:
3. Watching a movie with these weirdos and seeing all of Danny and Amanda's b-e-a-utiful faces! =)
4. Eating dinner with my mom in her sewing room (the one in the picture above) while watching updates on the earthquake in Chile, which is insane =(, and the Olympics.
5. Sleeping in my bed. That mattress is heaven.
6. Effectively wrestling Kimbo (who is taller and stronger) and winning-ish.
7. Sitting in the toasty living room admiring the backyard and the pouring rain.
8. Not doing anything. =)

Friday, February 26, 2010

Love this!!!

"Plunged in thy depth of mercy let me die
The death that every soul that lives desires."
- from Madame Guion

Give it a couple reads. It gets better every time you read it. =)

Thursday, February 25, 2010

In Anticipation

This weekend I am going home for William's funeral. And I feel like I am going to be walking into a grief-stricken place full of spiritual warfare come Saturday. This makes me nervous but at the same time I keep remembering how celebratory this can be. He is in such a better place! Lately I have been getting excited for Heaven at random moments. And even with my extremely narrow idea of what Heaven is it is sometimes overwhelming. It makes me smile uncontrollably, dance (when alone or worshiping =), and sing loudly.

Thinking of all this excitement, I feel that I have discovered a little of what it means to have an eternal perspective. The long list of essays I have to write, the hoops I have to jump through in my job, and the struggles I see my friends going through are not insignificant, but they pale in comparison to what we get to do for eternity. I want to one day spend every second worshiping God (not that I shouldn't do this now but I let so much get in the way). I want to sing purely with all of my attention focused on the Lord and none on myself. Ahhh! I am getting stoked just thinking about this. =)

So, I am no where near where I wanted to go with this post but I won't erase the side note and I will just finish my original thought... I am praying hard that when I step into that group of my loved ones (my church family since I was born) all grieving in different ways I will have hope. I am praying for joy and peace and for God to help me process this earthly loss with Himself as the focus. I have confidence in the fact that this is not my home just as much as this was not William's home. Willie is rejoicing where he is right now and I want to rejoice with him this weekend. I will cry, that's almost guaranteed, but I will not be crushed by this because the Lord is my strength. We lost a great man on this earth but we can celebrate his life and join in encouraging each other. I am glad that I can be a member of this community this weekend and be able to see God in all of this. But I am going to keep praying that God will help me sustain my focus on Him because when it comes to the funeral service on Saturday I might begin to be burdened in an unhealthy way like I am prone to do. Let me end these ramblings with this:

Psalm 28:6-9
"Praise be to the LORD,
       for he has heard my cry for mercy.
The LORD is my strength and my shield;
       my heart trusts in him, and I am helped.
       My heart leaps for joy
       and I will give thanks to him in song.
 The LORD is the strength of his people,
       a fortress of salvation for his anointed one.
 Save your people and bless your inheritance;
       be their shepherd and carry them forever."

Monday, February 22, 2010

C.S. Lewis on Suffering

A quote on suffering and how committed we really are to God:

"God has not been trying an experiment on my faith or love in order to find out their quality. He knew it already. It was I who didn't. [...] He always knew that my temple was a house of cards. His only way of making me realize the fact was to knock it down." - C.S. Lewis, "A Grief Observed"

Friday, February 19, 2010

In Memory

Work (at a customer service job) is not the time to grieve and yet that is what I find myself doing. So I am going to write about it instead of crying in this dang parking booth. I can process that part of my reaction later. Blogging will hopefully keep me composed for the time being. So, yesterday my dad's great/my family's close friend William passed away. Being such a big part of our small church and family made him incredibly dear to my heart as well.

I can say so many things about him and his heart for the Lord. For one, he was a great friend and in a way a discipler to my dad. He challenged my dad to be bold and they talked about God and how he fit into their lives as men a lot. For me, William was always stoked for my mission trips and whatever else I was up to. I always felt treasured as a daughter by him. He was incredibly encouraging and uplifting to everyone he came into contact with. He worked hard and put 100% of his effort into everything he did, including his family. He was selfless. He has three kids in their 20's and 30's and an amazing wife whom I greatly respect. He taught the youth group at our church on Sundays and he was an elder figure in our congregation. Big Willy was a G. =)

I probably don't even to mention that this situation needs major prayer. This family needs to be swamped by God's peace and love right now and I would love it if you could pray for the Joseph family if you think about it.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Mi Padre

If you hang out with me for more then a minute it is pretty much guaranteed that I will mention my dad. This may seem strange but if you hung out with my dad for more then a minute you would realize that it is impossible not to talk about him. And he is coming up this weekend to fix my car which almost makes me want to thank Cameron for bringing my car back from Reno broken. =) Anyway, I am super excited for Saturday because I get to spend it with my dad, under the hood of my car, learning from his industriousness (as my mom put it), and trying to get some of his sheer epicness for myself through osmosis.

Eye Surgery

On my heart today: my Grandma.

Before thanksgiving my Grandma (who lives in Templeton) had eye surgery and it didn't work. In fact, it made her sight much worse to where the eye they operated on is completely blurry. So she went in for a cornea transplant today at UCLA. According to my dad, who I am on the phone with right now, it went well and she is waiting to see the doctor an hour after the surgery to check things. We don't know if she can see yet since it is all covered up but I am praying that she will have her sight back, she wants it back so badly.

I got to pray with her over the phone last night and it was amazing. I love that she has the Lord to rely on and that he is a God of healing and peace. If you think about it she could use prayer for healing and prayer for the doctor's wisdom in this time of recovery. Also, my Grandma is nervous that she will be seeing through a different person's eye and she is affected by the idea that someone had to die to give her sight. She brought up that she had been thinking of the family of that person and that people could have been affected by that person's death. So prayer for the family of the person who's cornea my Grandma is getting would be appreciated by her as well.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Snow Trip

Meet Spencer. He has a comb over, a mustache, buck teeth, a scandy V-tee, and a sassy arm on his hip. He beats frosty any day.
 We are missing all the snowboarders in the picture below but here is most of our group.
I went with The Rain, a college group with Calvary SLO, to Reno this weekend to stay at Andrew's house and have an amazing weekend in the snow. There are so many things that made the weekend incredible but here are some of them:
1. Epic sledding, snow ball fights, snow men, and Ice Skating!
2. Great food (always a plus)
3. Driving to Tahoe and seeing the lake I grew to love this summer (It made me miss my friends from Summer Project horribly though)
4. Driving in the infamous shuttle bus
5. Time away from my cell phone, school, and work
6. Being with family even though they were not mine. Being accepted into these new families was refreshing for all of us I think.
7. Devotional time in the mornings where God spoke to me exactly where I was at.
8. Worship and the joy behind everyone singing their hearts out to the Lord. It was worshipful just to listen to the group praising God with music.
9. Our sharing time on Sunday night where everyone was vulnerable and encouraging to one another. Most amazing night of community building ever! I was wonderful to see God's body in action as everyone came together and loved on each other even more after people shared their biggest struggles and prayer requests.
10. Time to journal and battle out some things with God. His patience and love saturated my heart this weekend.
11. Getting roses and being serenaded by the guys on valentine's day.
11. Catching up with friends and being able to pray for them over the phone.
12. Crazy long car rides with Arnold Schwarzenegger laugh offs, great music, sketchy gas stations, great conversations with new people, and deep discussions with friends.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

My Poor Finger

I stapled my finger today and boy was that gross to pull back out! It wouldn't have been as bad if I had just poked my finger but to pull the staple back out of my skin was nasty. It reminded me (why weird things remind of so much I don't know) that the things we need to do, the things that are good for us, are not always the easy choices to make. Worth it, yes, but not easy.

Let me take this further, if I may... You staple your finger. Do you leave the staple in and just put a band aid on it? No, you remove the staple and then take care of the problem. Covering up the wound, without removing the cause of the wound, solves nothing. It only increases the pain until you have to take out the staple anyway. By that point infection will have taken over and the process will be more painful then it would have been if you had dealt with the staple when it first got stuck in your finger. The same goes for our sin. If we cover it up it will grow and fester and become hazardous to us and to other people. For me this means looking at myself and identifying those staples and wounds in myself and removing them. It is crazy painful to look at that stuff. It is hard to see that I am not the best listener, that I lack compassion with my closest friends, and that I am prideful about the blessings in my life. It's even harder to be willing to work on those things. I am so comfortable in being self-centered.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Healing Prayer

Caitlin asked me the other day if I would be willing to go on a prayer walk around campus and pray for healing. I thought this was random to be honest but I like the idea of letting God do mighty things. So I have been trying to live in that more. And I have found that praying for healing is incredible! Two examples:
*Rachel's sinus infection/horrible head pain - The worst pain was gone right when I prayed with her over it.
*Kellye's cold - Prayed with her last night so no news yet but laying my hands on and praying for her head was so cool. She was encouraged and I could feel God listening.

Other prayer requests for healing have been popping up too and we have been praying for them but even without instantaneous answers the idea is amazing. God cares about these things and wants us to bring them before him. We shouldn't limit his activity in our lives by not being willing to pray for the miracles he can/will perform. I am not saying everyone we pray for will be healed but healing is possible. So why not ask God to work in that way?
James 5: 13-16
"Is any one of you in trouble? He should pray. Is anyone happy? Let him sing songs of praise. Is any one of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up. If he has sinned, he will be forgiven. Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective."

Friday, February 5, 2010

=) Week

Happy Moments of my week:

*discovering my hair is finally getting to a length I like
*awkward moments with Olivia (and those that Bear made more entertaining)
*getting to talk with the twins and have one on one time with Bailey
*LOTR soundtracks and celtic rock
*starting The Problem of Pain by C.S. Lewis (and my new Piper moleskin from summer project)
*dates with Lisa, Rachel, Kari and Olivia
*seeing God work through my friends
*the Rain (both literally and the college group)
*instantaneous answers to prayer

Thursday, February 4, 2010

I Don't Trust Christ

1. race to my idea of a future and neglect God's ideas for my present.
2. create feelings so I can fit my plans into my life better.
3. fabricate "truth" and purpose where God has already provided a way.
4. fail to see how He is the only reason I am here and how all I have is a gift from Him to be used for Him.
5. repeatedly see things I want and place them above God.
6. fail to see the temporal nature of the things I chase after.
Ecclesiastes 2:3-11
"I tried cheering myself with wine, and embracing folly—my mind still guiding me with wisdom. I wanted to see what was worthwhile for men to do under heaven during the few days of their lives.
I undertook great projects: I built houses for myself and planted vineyards. I made gardens and parks and planted all kinds of fruit trees in them. I made reservoirs to water groves of flourishing trees. I bought male and female slaves and had other slaves who were born in my house. I also owned more herds and flocks than anyone in Jerusalem before me. I amassed silver and gold for myself, and the treasure of kings and provinces. I acquired men and women singers, and a harem as well—the delights of the heart of man. I became greater by far than anyone in Jerusalem before me. In all this my wisdom stayed with me.
 I denied myself nothing my eyes desired;
       I refused my heart no pleasure.
       My heart took delight in all my work,
       and this was the reward for all my labor.
 Yet when I surveyed all that my hands had done
       and what I had toiled to achieve,
       everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind;
       nothing was gained under the sun."