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Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Most Joyful Post Ever

This will probably be my most joyful blog post ever. I am truly grateful for the holy community that surrounds and undergirds me. This community’s extravagant love exceeds all my expectations. Due to this consistent love and support, I am only a month from graduation. I will humbly grasp that diploma, knowing I share this victory with others. I couldn’t have accomplished this achievement without Taylor University’s forbearance. They made concessions for my chronic health issues and relentlessly nurtured my talent.

As an example of this elaborate love, I wish to share a testimony. I have been driving the same car for too long. It was reaching its last leg. This was a concern because I knew I would need a reliable car to secure a decent job after graduation. My old car had several idiosyncrasies, which added unneeded stress to my life. The windshield wipers were bent, the windshield was cracked, and the car-locks randomly malfunctioned. I had to use my high beams at night because the low beams didn’t provide enough light. The problem list is longer, but I won’t bother you with the gory details.

I made the decision to take the car into the shop to check a problem, only to discover that the brakes were in terrible condition. Apparently, I was leaking break fluid and didn’t even know it. The cost to repair everything exceeded $1,000. I knew this day would eventually come: the car repairs exceeded the worth of the car. I would be forced to sell my car for parts. The estimation for those parts was a measly $250. Not very impressive numbers for a poor college student who needs a reliable car. I made the decision to sell the car for parts, but then I got an unexpected phone call from the car shop. A man backed his car into my driver’s side door, totaling my vehicle. The insurance paid me $977 for the damages. If that wasn’t enough, the Manning family and Daphna Tobey graciously gave me additional cash for the car as a graduation present. I didn’t even have to go through the laborious task of finding a suitable car. Since I know little to nothing about cars, the Manning family went car shopping for me! I am currently driving a beautifully crafted ride. Now I feel far more able to chauffeur my friends and drive the highways.

While my old car was depreciating, I kept reminding myself to surrender my cares to the Lord. He has proven to be a provider time and again. The Manning family and Daphna own a generous spirit that testifies to the goodness of God. I am thankful for their support and overwhelmed by their consistent love and empowerment. I am thankful to have a car, but I am even more thankful that I have spent these precious years with them. I also want to thank Bill Heth for letting me borrow his car while I transferred from one car to the other. Without that gift, I wouldn’t have completed my practicum hours. I am ready for the next journey. Keep me in your prayers as I transition to the next phase of my life. Please pray for the Bill Heth, the Manning family, and Daphna as well. I want God to heap some major blessings upon them in the coming years.




Thursday, March 22, 2018

Every Knee





I was trying to do some research for a college project. I got distracted by social media. There is a growing heat in media circles. Polarization and hatred dominates the conversation. War and terror is on the rise. I found this picture, and it settled my heart. Jesus is the Prince of Peace.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Sick Disunity



1 Corinthians 11: 27-34
27 So then, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord. 28 Everyone ought to examine themselves before they eat of the bread and drink from the cup. 29 For those who eat and drink without discerning the body of Christ eat and drink judgment on themselves.30 That is why many among you are weak and sick, and a number of you have fallen asleep. 31 But if we were more discerning with regard to ourselves, we would not come under such judgment. 32 Nevertheless, when we are judged in this way by the Lord, we are being disciplined so that we will not be finally condemned with the world. 33 So then, my brothers and sisters, when you gather to eat, you should all eat together. 34 Anyone who is hungry should eat something at home,so that when you meet together it may not result in judgment.


This scripture feels exceptionally relevant to me this week. Disunity is the plague of the masses. When the body of Christ lacks discernment, people become sick. Faith or lack of faith has implications beyond individuals. When one man sins, the entire body suffers. Taylor University is battling a strong spirit of division. It reminds me of my last few weeks at the University of Evansville. UE held a unity service, but it failed to address the strong divisions on campus. Whenever, disunity finds its way into the body of Christ, people suffer physically and emotionally. I want better things for my friends, family, and churches. I believe some of my illness is directly correlated to disunity.

As a body, let's commit to honoring others higher than ourselves. Let's love each other beyond our fleeting opinions. Let's exult Christ, trusting Him as the Head. If everyone around you is suffering, overwhelmed, or broken...perhaps there is a demonic power who seeks to divide us. Don't give it permission. After the Lord's discipline, we will not be condemned. We will be saved and glorified and unified.

Friday, March 09, 2018

Reckless Love



I wanted to research Reckless Love by Cory Asbury. I wanted to know what inspired him to write the song. Unfortunately, I was taken down a rabbit hole. I fell unwillingly. Apparently, there is a controversy brewing around the song. Certain people take issue with the word "reckless". They suggest it is an improper, non-biblical expression of God/God's love. I had to simply shake my head. Why do members of the church stir division and welcome divisiveness over the smallest matters?  Maybe "reckless" wasn't the perfect word to describe God's love. However, it is Cory's song. We should love him and welcome his choice, especially since his intent was pure. Listening to him explain why he wrote the song confirms that he understands the Gospel.

Satan wants to distract us. He wants us fighting and debating. He wants us to lose hope. He wants us to expect disappointment. Today, I experienced that disappointment. If church members keep squelching the movement of the Spirit, why would God continue to fan the flame? If the church craves division over unity, why waste my time trying to convince the church to LOVE one another? If we are nasty to one another in public, why would the nonbeliever seek redemption in Christ? There are so many conflicting and divisive narratives out there. How can my voice change any of that? Will my desire for unity ever be realized?

I had to force these negative thoughts out of my heart. I had to silence the accuser. Jesus prayed for unity. It will come to pass. We are already unified; we just need to work hard to preserve the bond of peace. I decided that I needed to ignore the negativity and turn my eyes upward. Suddenly, the disappointment vanished. My father is a good father. I don't need to fear man. God is over all. I don't need to welcome despair or tolerate division. I can pray. I can encourage the church. I can do what God has called me to do. I can ignore the accuser of the brethren and sing, "He's coming after me!" I want a God with reckless love.

Saturday, February 24, 2018

God Moves


This final semester of my college career is filled with beauty and wisdom. I am currently in a historical play about Christian who risked their lives to end the Nazi regime. I will be presenting a staged reading of an original play written by me, which addresses the evils of abortion. Instead of taking two more semesters of Greek, I was given permission to do an intensive study of Ephesians (my favorite Epistle). This semester is full of opportunity and challenge; I am grateful for the experience.
I feel far more prepared for a career in the arts. However, there is a hunger that has been suppressed during my college years, which is resurfacing now that graduation is coming. When people ask me what I want to do after graduation, I answer with my career goal: "I want to join an organization committed to justice, create a script to perform, present that play and raise money and awareness of the organizations's endeavors."  This is an honest answer because this is assuredly my goal. However, I have another more compelling answer that I don't always share. When someone asks what I want to do after I graduate, I should respond, "I want to pray again." I miss the wholeness I feel when I pray and worship in community. I made the decision to leave Fort Wayne, Indiana so I could gain a degree. It was a hard decision because I had to leave my spiritual community. I attempted to find a spiritual community in Upland, but never felt like I belonged. Now as I am considering graduation, I realize it is indeed possible for me to return to Fort Wayne and commit to building a house of prayer in our community. I have more confidence that God wants His people to commune with Him. Honestly, even though I knew I needed to attend college, my college career feels more like a detour. I don't regret my decision to attend college! I can't even describe how much I have been changed for the better. However, as this time come to a close, I feel a great expectation in the Spirit for the fulfillment of promises. He is a restorer, and I am ready to sing and talk with my first love again.