Thursday, May 29, 2014

out with Aubrey

The other night, just for fun and because we felt spontaneous, Aubrey and I went out for frozen yogurt. Well, who knew, but froyo place closes at 7pm (keep in mind, current and future Windsor residents!) so we just zipped down the road a-ways to House of Windsor and got ice cream instead. Well, she got ice cream (pistachio and almond) and I got a milkshake (chocolate and peanut butter). 


Then, because we didn't feel like sitting down to eat it, we walked across the parking lot to the park at Windsor Lake and peeked in the windows of the old-fashioned prairie buildings and looked at the trains.

"Do Not Climb."



Shortly after we got back to campus, the sky lit up with one of the most stunning sunsets of the semester. Ellerslie sunsets are not to be compared with, and this one was a DOOZY.




Peter was really after the perfect shot....notice the water level on the cross. In case you're wondering, no, the cross is not supposed to be in the lake *at all*. We've just had some flooding the past week and it happens to be enjoying a little swim at the moment.


Sarah made a bunny friend, "Isaiah Chuckles", who was the life of the party for a few hours. He's back in his natural habitat now, and seems to be doing great.



Okay, I always thought pelicans were near the ocean. But we have like a FLOCK of sixteen or something of them living on Lake Ellerslie right now...they're very interesting.


Hard to believe...only three full days left on this beautiful campus. These seven weeks *flew* by! God has been so faithful to all of us, growing us and shaping us to be more like Him everyday. These are truly precious brothers and sisters - what a joy it has been to grow and challenge each other in the faith these past two months!

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

fairest Lord Jesus

Fairest Lord Jesus! Ruler of all nature!
Son of God and son of man!
  Thee will I cherish, Thee will I honor,
Thou, my soul’s glory, joy, and crown!



Fair are the meadows
  Fairer still the woodlands,
Robed in the blooming garb of spring;
 Jesus is fairer,  Jesus is purer,
Who makes the woeful heart to sing!




Fair is the sunshine,
  Fairer still the moonlight,
And all the twinkling starry host;
 Jesus shines brighter, Jesus shines purer,
Than all the angels heav’n can boast!





Beautiful Savior, Lord of all nations
Son of God and son of man
Glory and honor, praise, adoration
Now and forever more be Thine! 

Saturday, May 24, 2014

the Father Heart of God


The Father Heart of God
saturday reflection - may 24. 2014
this a slightly edited version of the reflection I gave to my class this evening. I pray y'all are blessed and encouraged by it!

I have an amazing, earthly father. He’s my biggest supporter, my best encourager, my most devoted fan. We’re a pretty awesome team, with skills that balance each other out, but we’re also a dangerous one, since we’re both spontaneous, have the same sense of humor, and prone to spill things. The trust I have in my Daddy is unlike any trust I have for any other person in my life, and I know that if I needed anything, or got hurt, or was in some kind of trouble, he’d tear down stone walls, swim oceans, do whatever it took to get to me. In fact, it’s been really hard for both us for me to be in and out of the home this past year. Hard for me to leave him, hard for him to let me go.

These past few weeks, God’s been walking me through surrender. Surrender of my will for His will, my desires for His desires, and taking the good gifts He’s poured out in over abundance on my life and handing them right back to Him. I can’t keep anything, hold anything to myself, cling to anything except Jesus. That means giving up my Daddy too. I’ve come to see that verse in Luke in a whole different light: ““If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple.….So therefore, any one of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple.” - Luke 14

As the Lord’s been walking me through what it means to hate my father and mother and renounce all to follow Him, He showed me oh, so clearly that He can’t use me to fullest for His kingdom if I’m still tied to *anything* here on this earth. “And do not seek what you are to eat and what you are to drink, nor be worried. For all the nations of the world seek after these things, and your Father knows that you need them. Instead, seek his kingdom, and these things will be added to you. Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom. Sell your possessions, and give to the needy. Provide yourselves with moneybags that do not grow old, with a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” - Luke 12

Wait, did you catch that? Twice in that passage it refers to God not just as Jesus’s Father, but as ours. Father. Abba. Daddy. “Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.” Your Father’s good pleasure.

Yes, I still love my Daddy. I still miss him. This new season of being apart has and will continue to be difficult. But the Lord’s not calling me just to give up my family with nothing to replace it. By giving up my earthly Daddy to Jesus, the floodgates are open for me to experience the powerful, jealous, and protective love of my Heavenly Abba more than I ever have before. “If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him.” - Luke 11:13

I want to encourage y’all - God’s calling us to serve Him. Don’t hold onto your life. The more we let go, the emptier we are of ourselves, the more of Himself He can pour into us…and the more we can know the loving care and experience the depths of the heart of our Abba Father.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Lily Lake

Today's student life activity was a drive to Lily Lake and then a few hours to do whatever we wanted - read, journal, hike, take a walk, etc.

Some of us decided to hike. And up we went! Up those trails and rocks, meeting memories along the way and making new ones.



Had to stop and get a picture in the same place we did last summer - almost exactly 11 months ago.



Reaching "peak one" - some decided to stop. 

Yes, there's snow still up in the mountains. We actually got a few inches of snow last week, and it's just melted away.

Morgan said it looked like a turtle. Janna and Carrie said it looked like a gopher. I said it looked a lima bean. You choose.

We might've been content with this view, if it weren't for....

...the Rock. It loomed up in front of us and we looked at each other and thought, "there's probably no way up - but if there was, we'd take it."
And then...
....we saw Robbie and Corbin on the top. Within two minutes, we were off to meet them - scuttling and stumbling over the rocks to the Indiana Jones theme song "Dun-da-dun-da! Dun-da-da..."

It was rough going in spots - lots of rock scrambling...

...and snow drifts that were misleadingly deep. Lots of wet socks and cold ankles for a few minutes.

...so close!

The final few steps up the steep side of the rocks, and a little help from Will

.BOOM.
Worth it.



We stayed up for about ten minutes or so, then had to turn around in order to make it down in time to leave for home. But not after we'd sung a round a few times, praising our God for His glorious and perfect creation and His pure and lovely wonderful-ness!

The way down was rather humorous - someone decided it was "Scottish Saturday"....and that led to all kinds of hilarity. Never a dull moment!


There are some very tame chipmunks at Lily Lake that gave us ample opportunity for some adorable photos while we waited for the last few people to get rounded up to head back to campus.





All in all, a lovely morning. The afternoon was splendid too - with a fun picnic lunch out on the lawn by the Lake House, a spontaneous game of Duck-Duck-Goose (I kid you not) and then relaxing study hours as we finished up our papers for the week (five of five! yay!) and got some things done.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again: God is good. He is Faithful. He gives us what we need, when we need it - food, clothing, people, experiences, and life callings. Nothing He does is a mistake, or an accident, and nothing we do catches Him off-guard. He is sovereign, in control, and watches over all.

And I love Him. 

Friday, May 16, 2014

bragging


Forgive me a moment, while I brag.


Brag on our guys.


Last weekend, they prepared an incredible breakfast for us. From the invitations, to the menus, to the decorations, to the food itself - everything was done with excellence. 


I'm not exaggerating when I say that my crepe was the best I've ever had, and the omelette was second only to Dad's. They truly outdid themselves.


But the best part wasn't really the food, or the decorations, the incredible live background music (our guys are also very musically talented) or even the atmosphere. It was the service. It was the servant's heart that was behind everything, and the joy they had in giving us their very best. I came away feeling so loved, so blessed, so encouraged. 

Saturday, May 10, 2014

hot air balloon




this beauty came sailing over the campus before breakfast this morning - definitely picture worthy!

I feel a little like a hot air balloon this weekend - joyful, thrilled, flying high...but not quite sure where I'm going to land. But unlike a hot balloon, even though it may feel like it, I'm not just being blown about every which way. I know where my confidence lies. I'm excited, a little bit nervous, and expectant. Honestly, I've never been happy and more at rest. Following Jesus is truly the Greatest Adventure - and it lasts to infinity and beyond!

For I know Whom I have believed
And am persuaded that He is able
To keep that which I've committed
Unto Him against that day