Delight in the Lord

One of the things that I have seen as a blessing through taking this cross country season off to rest is that I have taken the opportunity to do things that I would not have done if I was training, such as staying up late. There’s no point in not taking advantage of opportunities that come up. Although it’s not what I was used to, why not enjoy the special occasions? The Bible tells us to “make the most of every opportunity” no matter what the circumstances are (Colossians 4:5). Time is something you will never get back, so why not get the most out of it?

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It has amazed me how there are always events happening here on campus. Between constant events and homework, there is rarely to never time to be bored. Some days there are so many options, it actually stresses me out that I don’t know what to choose! One night I had already had a fun day out and about and eating, but the Elam RA’s were hosting a painting night in the lobby. It didn’t start until 10 p.m., but that is something that caught my attention. By the time that I got back to the dorm, changed into my pj’s, and ready to go down to paint, it was almost 11:00, but I really wanted to do it! There were still plenty of people down there and plenty left when I was finished.

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This was one of my latest nights, but it was worth it. I got to talk with new people that I hadn’t met that were basically my neighbors. It was also great to take time to just relax and be creative. Some girls did really elaborate and impressive paintings, but others were simple. Some had words while others were just images.

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It took me a long time to decide, but I choose to make two pictures that were very relevant to where I was at in my life. The Elam residence hall theme for the year is “delight,” using Psalm 37:4, which is also one of my favorite verses. If you take it literally, it will not always come true. But God’s Word is never false, so people say. This is true. This takes a deep understanding of what a life for Christ is about. It’s like a circle of repeating events. The more that you delight in the Lord, the more that becomes what your heart desires. His joy and contentment has no comparison, and nothing else can provide it. When you find this feeling, you begin to want it more and more. Then the desire for the Lord will be filled by Him. That is what I have found in so many circumstances. When I stop focusing on controlling my circumstances and live in the moment, embracing what God has put right in front of me, I have found more joy than when I am focused on what I want to plan.

2016-09-03-23-19-07 This leads me to the second verse that I painted: “Live by faith” (2 Corinthians 5:7). To follow where God leads and to see what He wants you to do requires that you have faith in what He is doing. Now that life here on campus is totally different from my routines at home, faith is something that has repeatedly come to me. Though I do not know what a day will bring, I can live in faith that God is working a good plan. When I put this trust in Him and live in the moment, I find that I am filled with joy and long for more of it.

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Elam has also done a bonfire, Bible studies, cookouts, games, decorating, Tuesday night pancakes and much more, as well as upcoming events like the Halloween Party. Hopefully I will share about some more of these soon!

Has your dorm done any fun or inspiring activities? What are some themes you see reoccurring around you lately? Consider what they may be really trying to say to you.

God is always at work

So many events have occured in my life to really strengthen my faith since I have come to Lipscomb. A major thing that I have seen to be so important is seeing how God is at work in any circumstance. Every moment is an opportunity; we just have to be open and willing to take part in His plan. Keeping track of these little “God moments” is a great way to have things on hand to share with others or to refer back to when in need. He brings a joy that is indescribable, so why not share it? That’s what I want to do with my writing and sharing.
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Simple things that have come to me in the past month is where I will start with this first post. (I also have another blog through blogspot that I have worked with over the past several years if you would like to check that out! I am currently in a class called 21st Century Media, and our major assignment for the semester is to have a blog. The whole class is using WordPress, so this is where I will be for this semester.)

Since the beginning of training camp, a recurring theme of patience was coming to me in the verses of the day on my phone apps, having to wait on people, meals, classes to start, etc. Little did I know at the time that this was foreshadowing to this whole semester. Even a random basket of various verses on an office desk had a verse for me! “Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him.” Psalm 37:7  God was preparing me for having to wait on doctor’s appointments, test results and who-knows-how-long until I am cleared to run again.
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Before even officially getting started here, I had spent a couple days studying Psalm 23 to help calm my anxieties about starting a new life in college. Things were very uncertain, but “I will fear no evil” because He is with me and will “comfort me” (vs. 4). This was the first scripture passage mentioned in Chapel the first Tuesday.

More verses of the day came at just the right time. I didn’t know what the next doctor would say or what I would have to do next, which is a scary thing to anyone. However, seeing God’s word before the day begins is a great way to go into it boldly. Psalm 94:8-9 did just that.
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Difficulties can really challenge us and change us, but whether it is for better or worse is up to how we handle the situation. We have to choose whether we will turn to God to be strengthened or let Satan win the battle.  First, we have to accept that we can’t do it on our own. That’s what God wants us to learn from our trials. “He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is perfected in weakness’…For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

A man came to training camp to do sports massages, but he also gave us help beyond the body and to the soul. With simple little note cards, he lifted my spirit (and I’m sure that of other teammates).
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There are countless “little things” that I have seen, but to sum it up for now, the big thing is people. People are everywhere. You can influence them, or they can influence you, or both. I have realized recently just how blessed I am to be surrounded with the people that I am. This team, my RA, the girls on my hall, the coaching staff, my professors and even others that I don’t personally know that well are all caring, loving and encouraging beyond what I could ever imagine. Encouragement is even still coming from those back home, too. That is the biggest thing that has shaped my heart and faith since school has started. It is an amazing journey, but struggles are sure to occur. Why go through them alone? There is always someone else there who can comfort you and/or has been through something similar. Don’t give up; look up. The Lord will provide.
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If we commit to looking for God’s work in our lives, it becomes much more evident. Ask God, humbly and honestly, to show you His will, and He will open your eyes and heart. No matter what the circumstance, there are always things to be thankful for; God is always there. Here’s a silly little example from this weekend:little-thankful

What events in your life can you change your perspective to see how God may be working for good?