Monday, January 29, 2007

My Lenten Devotion

I wrote this as a contribution for the Lenten Devotion booklet that is put out by the St Olaf Student Congregation:

In the busy-ness of school and work, I too often find myself at a loss for time to spend with just me and Jesus. I'm worrying about earning high marks on homework when I should maybe be focusing a little more on my spiritual life. I'm so busy fussing over how I look to the outside world, how people see me, what they think about me, that I forget to spend time remembering that God loves me just the way I am. I'm so insecure in my daily living, wondering if my friends truly like me or if they're just putting up with me until I go away, that I neglect to pay attention to the voice of the One who never tires of my company, the One who so eagerly longs for the time when I'll return back in prayer.

I go to Church on Sunday, Bible study on Thursday, and I even work part-time at a Christian high school, but still the world has made me feel so far away. And so I pray...

Lord, I ask that You would move in my life again, that You would speak to my heart, my soul
In these days of longing, Lord, I pray to feel Your close presence, to hear Your voice clearly again
I pray, Lord, that You would help me tune out this noisy, distracting world
That You would refocus my energy, my life, into Your service once more
That You might fade away the intrusive pains from my past
And that You would give me the strength to change these mere words into a new day, a renewed life

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Giving as Jesus Gave

I am now over halfway to being a gallon blood donor, but for the first time yesterday morning after donating, something really amazing finally sunk in with me, something I'd thought about before but not really grasped: I realised just how Biblical it is for us as Christians to donate blood. Human blood is a life-giving substance, and human bodies are the only ones able to make it - for as much else as they might be able to do, we don't have machines that can take the place of a human in blood manufacturing. What makes the donation so Biblical is the amazing parallel between Jesus allowing His blood to be shed in order to save us, and now we, too, are able to bleed to help save the lives of others. I might even argue we are called to do so. What better way to truly be Christ to the world? What an awesome way of serving God and caring for others!

Thursday, January 04, 2007

The Year in Review: What 2006 has meant in my life

It's quite odd how life can fluctuate, one day is among the most joyous, and a week later among the most painful. Looking back on the past year I can truly say I've seen the best of times and the worst of times in my life thus far, both on a personal level and in my family as a whole. Rather than try to explain it all in narrative form, I decided it's easier for me as writer to simply write out a list of a portion of what 2006 has meant to me:

- Both Grandma Sue and Grandma Ruth went to live in their eternal Home with Jesus
- Grandpa Ray moved into assisted living
- I worked as Assistant Technical Director for Minnehaha Academy's Madrigal Dinner (
- I finished my second year of college
- Harry Putter auditions began in April, shooting began in June, and we wrapped at the end of August (
- I was an executive producer on the local independent film IceBreaker (
- I wrote a new Technology Request System at Minnehaha from scratch with my newfound skills in PHP and MySQL
- Minnehaha embarked on the voyage of creating a new website... committees happened... we're still working on it as of this writing
- I went on my first ever cruise (it was to the Bahamas)
- I started my third year of college
- Two of my best friends left on a jet plane as part of St Olaf's Global semester abroad (and another went to live in Japan for a year)
- We bought a new used car after my old one died on a freeway entrance ramp (it had been in our family for 13 years, and served us well)
- I was hired to create a website for a local jewelry business (
- God called me to buy a guitar and start learning how to play it
- I moved into my own house a mile away from my parents' (it's a long story to type, but a happy one, so feel free to ask me about it)
- My roommate, Ben, convinced me to buy a new MacBook Pro to replace my PowerBook after he did the same
- I made a number of new friends this year, and greatly strengthened some of my friendships from last year
- I have now finished my foreign language requirement at St Olaf, meaning semester 2, starting in 2007, will be the first time in one and a half years that I won't have a Norwegian class
- I have finished my Computer Science major (except for Senior Capstone next year), and semester 2 will be the first time since I started college that I won't have a Computer Science class (though I guess it could be argued that my Theory of Computation class may be a CS course...)

2006 holds both my fondest memories of my life, and also my darkest and saddest. It's an odd combination, really, but I will always remember this year as a shining highlight in my life; the good has far outweighed the bad.