April 15th, 2007


StS Retreat, Communion, Skating, Struggles

Weekend Retreat with Search the Scriptures, Friday night Ruth.

This weekend was loaded with homework and with fun, too! On Friday, I got to go visit my fellowship at UBF and learn about the book of Ruth with the Young Disciples of Jesus. Fellowship time is always nice, and there were some powerful testimonies shared. There were also jelly beans shared^^ YDJ was, of course, fun :D I was so happy to be studying Ruth some more. It gave me such an appreciation for Boaz. What a gentleman! We also played Bible Jeopardy with women of the Old Testament. I knew some of the answers, but not all that many. In particular, I never seemed to know the answers to the ones when I was up! But my partner, Folake, and I did get one right :D Hooray! The most interesting part was the division into teams by age -- there were so many people who I guessed were either older or younger than they looked. Everybody was surprised to hear how old I was, too^^

Saturday, I spent the day with Search the Scriptures. We first went...ice skating!

I had never been ice skating before this day. I was pretty nervous as I laced up my skates as tightly as I could. Then I wondered how I would stand up on them... o_O But somehow I managed and made it to the ice! The ice was very slippery, so I held the wall for about two laps around the ring. Everyone was giving me helpful advice and encouragement! Ellen and Tommy were showing me how to move my feet and avoid other skaters and June and JP skated by me for a while to keep me company. Finally, I ventured out onto the ice without the support of the wall...and I didn't fall down! After that, I was on my way :D I skated around a whole lot! It was so much fun^^ I even chased Tommy around for a lap or two at the very end before I got tired and quit. I can't wait to go again!!

After this, we got dinner at a Tai restaurant. I had never eaten Tai food before this, either. It was a day of firsts! I got the Deep Sea -- a stir fry mix of vegetables, scallions, shrimp, and squid in a curry sauce with rice. It was a little spicy and very delicious. :p

We finished off the evening with fun and games. Justin had never played Scattergories before, so we gave it a try. It was great! Still, Apples to Apples was even more fun. I won one round thanks to the General Patton card in my hand. Yay! We all laughed so hard - such a good feeling, such good medicine.

Today, we went to June and JP's church. They celebrate the 'Communion' in a unique way. Instead of simply taking the bread and wine, they spend about an hour before this reflecting on Jesus Chirst, singing hymns, and praying. Different people, when they feel the urge, will share something or pray. Not everyone has to participate with words, but it is a very "community"-oriented activity. I enjoyed the experience :) The people I met were all so friendly and devoted to Christ. I am so happy that I have met so many fellow Christians this year ^___^

Now I am working on Java project work. I also have a lot of things to take care of - web development and studying with Jae and other such things. Before I go, though, some serious thoughts follow.

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Daily Bread - Psalm 19:1-14

Daily Bread

Title: Real Testimony
Psalm 19:1-14
Key Verse 7

The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows his handiwork.
There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard.

The beauty of Creation.
Today, the sweeping rain - the heavy falling rain. Rolling grey ranks, phalanx shields of silver march over us and we are subdued. We fall victim to the torrents...and get wet.
By light, the yellow and purple, the orange and red tulips are in bloom. Cherry petals blow about between them and land silently. The mockingbird cries, the goose soars, and the little birds hop about on newly sewn ground. A daily walk to campus and I see an entire world about me!
My words do no justice to it. Words like these are so abstract. Sometimes you just have to reach out and touch creation. You cannot appreciate the texture and weight of the snow until you step and sink into it with a crunch. You cannot appreciate the delicacy of a flower until you rub a petal between your fingers and smell its fragrance. The waters have a clear sound as they rush over slippery rocks. This world is a testimony. It is an experience. It is real and awesome.

The word of God is also a testimony - one which wrestles with us. It is living and active, but only when we take it to heart. Only when we reach out for it and taste it. How can we say we know what ice is unless we have slid about on it and touched its cold surface? How can we claim to understand the fullness of a flower until we have observed it, handled it, painted it, studied its chemistry, and written about it? So with the Bible. How can we claim to know it unless we take it seriously and explore it through study and prayer? I never understood this before last year.

The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple.
God's law gives one a foundation of understanding. It convicts and it inspires. Without it, we assume and simplify and learn nothing. We cannot grow unless we eat.

The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes.
Through Grace, we can find true joy that holds fast in all circumstances. That is because Grace is eternal and unchanging. When we hold to that which is steady and sure, we do not stumble. Righteous and upright paths are straight - they do not meander, they do not bend or fail. Faith is not a temporary thing. We do not serve a temporary or contemporary god.

My God is the everlasting, the Alpha and the Omega.
He gives His testimony to us in word and in deed. What will I do with it?

One Word: Living Testimony

...I made it through one week :D
Through it, I've had a taste of the sweetness of God's word. It is beautiful and powerful, terrifying and comforting. It speaks of reunion and rescue, love and peace.

I want more!