can i just say something? I HAVE AWESOME FRIENDS!
i take for granted how amazing my friends are, how much they care, and how loving an individual can be. i really enjoy making the Lord the center of my friendships. last night a small group got together once again at nathan and ashleys (our UNIVERSITY leader, not YOUTH...my bad nathan HAHA) and we had another prayer and praise party. i look forward to this night every other week. i am guilty of neglecting my quiet time often and this just allows me to really unwind with the Lord and rest in His presence.
also, another thing. if there is one complement i don't mind taking it is one that i just recently got by a sweet running companion back in indiana. she said that she admires the way i have continued to stay strong in the Lord even through this hard time. please people, don't think that there aren't days i just want to scream! but in all, where ELSE do i have to run to!? who ELSE could love me even despite mistakes!? who ELSE can i please by running!? THE LORD!!!! (that might have sounded like Jesus is my last resort, i hate writing sometimes because i can't convey the emotion i would like to put behind it) but no, Jesus is my driver and i am sitting in the passenger seat along for the ride. i want Him to control my life and i want Him to direct my paths.
okay, loren is doing something crazy incredible for lent this year. she is memorizing a verse each day. wow, this is such a task. if anyone DOESN'T have the gift of memorization, it is me. i am so proud of loren and i admire the way she is challenging herself. last night it was psalm 25:4-5 i think. i also wanted to put myself up to a bit of a similar challenge and tried to memorize ruth 1:16-17. (this is such a wonderful verse and i pray that i can mirror the friendship displayed in this verse) i think it's awesome that the more time you spend in God's word, the more you find yourself WANTING to read more, and MEMORIZING verses. i am trying to just readily recall verses, this is the power of my God working through me. HEY WHO LOVES GOD! I DO AND I WANT TO SHOUT IT FROM THE TOP OF A MOUNTAINNNNN! (or roof top which is more feasible at this point, lol) for lent this year, i am giving up the fear i have of speaking about Christ directly to others. i would say that i am doing an okay job of this right now, but there is ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS room for improvement, i should never be satisfied in this area of praise. i am also giving up grumbling, i will be thankful in every aspect and try to remain positive for the Lord. even though they are more "abstract" ideas, i am still placing just as much emphasis on them as i would giving up chocolate (in which i did last year) also, i am giving up eating any food that i feel i let control my attitude. i am telling you this so you can help keep me accountable on a daily basis.
i wonder what verse i will try to study today. OH HERE IT IS!
"three different times i begged the Lord to take it away. Each time he said, "my gracious favor is all you need. my power works best in your weakness." so now i am glad to boast about my weakness so that the power of Christ may work through me. since i know it is all for Christ's good, i am quite content with my weaknesses, and with insults, hardships, persecutions and calamities. for when i am weak, i am strong." 2 Corinthians 12:8-10
this photo was taken by steven schmidt on a trip to africa. this is the father of my friend, eric schmidt.
the first time i saw this photo, i broke down. just gaze into the lion's eyes. there is something behind then it seems.
the Lion and the Lamb.