Saturday, March 27, 2010

DRENCHED


Today I was watching a Rob Bell video, one of the few I haven’t seen. He was giving all of these incredible facts about the universe. He had a huge whiteboard in front of him where he’d write all of his numbers and draw pictures to try to illustrate what he was saying so everyone could kind of comprehend all the massive amounts of information he was piling in our brains. I learned a lot, but I don’t know how he remembers it all. There were so many numbers, and he knew them all down to the last digits. I learned there are about 1 billion galaxies that we’ve actually discovered. He made jokes about how people actually counted these crazy big numbers. The whole time I was thinking, yeah, but you remembered them. He told everyone if we were to put all of our cells into a straight line, it would reach to the sun and back to the earth, 400 times. He started getting into atoms. I’m taking Chemistry this year so at first all that he was saying was a review. Then he started talking about people splitting atoms again and again until you couldn’t anymore. He talked about these crazy things called Quarks. They don’t travel. They just disappear, and then reappear again in someplace new. Kind of like magic, crazy, and insane. He talked about splitting an atom and putting half of it in New York and the other half in San Francisco. If you changed the electron rotation of the half in New York it would automatically change the other half in San Francisco. Pretty crazy. I didn’t even finish the whole video, didn’t even get half way. But I didn’t need to, I get the point.
Everything is connected to spirituality.
Obviously atoms are a God made design. Look at how they work. God had to have thought them out. If atoms reveal God, and atoms make up everything, then where isn’t God in this world? He’s everywhere! Everything we look at is in a way, related to God. Where does laughter come from? What about peace and joy? How do children grow up? Who provides our food? Who allows water to bless the earth with it’s presence so that our crops may grow?
A missionary goes out into the world to “bring people Jesus.” But are they really “bringing” Him anywhere? He’s already present in their midst. The missionaries job then isn’t to “bring” Jesus, rather than to point Him out. Their job is to teach people to recognize what has been there all along. We’re so blind to the obvious: our world is drenched in God.

Friday, March 26, 2010

The Call of Starfish


It’s spring break and there’s been a lot of mission trips taking place these past couple weeks. My sister left for India again, and my best friends are experiencing their first mission work in Borneo. For some of the kids it’s the first time they’ve left the country, for others it’s the second time they’ve gone on the trip. What’s the point of these trips? They want to make a difference in the world, and they figure going half way across the world to build a couple churches will make that difference.
Ok, maybe not. They know it won’t change the WHOLE world, but it’ll make a difference for the town they go to. Not only for the people in that town today, but also for years and years afterwards.

There was this boy walking across the beach. This beach was covered in starfish, everywhere, packed on top of each other, covering the whole shore. He would bend down, pick up a starfish and throw it as far as he could into the ocean. This repeated motion appeared to not tire him. An old man was walking behind him, and when he caught up with the boy he called out to him, “Do you really think you’ll be able to save all of these starfish? Why are you even trying? Do you really think it‘ll make a difference? Give up and go home.” The boy turned around to face the man. He picked up a starfish, looked at it, and threw it into the ocean. Then he looked back at the man. “It made a difference for that one.”

I’ve heard this story more times than I can remember, but I absolutely love it. These missionaries are making a difference. They do matter. God is calling them to give. Give of their time, their energy and efforts for His work. I admire all of those who don’t abandon that call, and go out into the world to make a difference.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Something Bigger


Yesterday I was sitting in the car waiting for my mom to get out of a meeting. It was getting pretty warm just sitting there with all the windows rolled up. Unfortunately I didn’t have the keys. I was finishing a great book, “Velvet Elvis” by Rob Bell, definitely a keeper. I opened up my door to let the wind sweep fresh air in, and I decided to put down my book and just sit there. I thought about where I was last year at this time. I remember it so distinctly, feels like yesterday. I remember one day I sat in that same parking lot with both the car doors open, and a warm, gentle, breeze rushing straight through. It was near the end of the day and the sun was getting ready to set. We had just got done with a hike, me and a group of friends, and we were all exhausted, but refreshed. Everyone had already left, but I was still waiting for my ride. It was just me and a good friend. We just sat there together in silence, the good kind of silence, the peaceful silence, the silence that doesn’t need words to fill a void. “Wow,” is all he said. I knew what he meant. He sensed it too. It was like something bigger was taking place. Like I was experiencing something, but REALLY experiencing it. I was soaking in the moment. For some reason something made it beautiful. Something made it memorable. It was nothing special, but at the same time it was.
It was one of those moments. One of those moments hard to describe. Where it seems there’s something bigger going on. Something is happening.
I’m sure everyone has had moments like these. Like something bigger than ourselves is taking place and we can’t even begin to describe it. Where we feel the presence of warmth, security, comfort, safety, love… something so… good, so right. Maybe you could call it awe.

What is it about certain events that trigger something inside?

Is that Something actually Someone?

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Wrestle


Think, question, seek, doubt, get angry, pray, ponder, test, probe, cry, give up. It’s OK. That’s the only way we’re going to really KNOW God. He’s infinite! He’s almighty, all-powerful, all-knowing! Does that sound easy to understand?

After wrestling with God, we’ll gain more knowledge, more experiences. Ultimately that will lead to truly knowing God. Which will lead to understanding God, loving God, living God.

In Genesis 32 Jacob literally wrestles with God. A man came and fought with Jacob early in the morning before the sun was up. After fighting for quite a while, this man knew he couldn’t win, so he used his heavenly power and struck Jacob on the hip, which threw it out of joint. “They kept on wrestling until the man said, ‘Let go of me! It’s almost daylight.’ ‘You can’t go until you bless me,’ Jacob replied. Then the man asked, ‘What is your name?’ ‘Jacob,’ he answered. The man said, ‘Your name will no longer be Jacob. You have wrestled with God and with men, and you have won. That’s why your name will be Israel.’ Jacob said, ‘Now tell me your name.’ ‘Don’t you know who I am?’ he asked. And he blessed Jacob. Jacob said, ‘I have seen God face to face, and I am still alive.’ So he named the place Peniel (which means “face of God”). He was limping because he had been struck on the hip, and the muscle on his hip joint had been injured.”

Yeah, when we wrestle with God we’re going to get injured. It’s exhausting and sometimes it might hurt. We’ll walk away with a limp. Some people have no limp, because they have never wrestled. The ones who have, have encountered an indescribable experience with the living God. The ones that have will grow, get stronger, trust, learn, live.

Reap the benefits.

Wrestle.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Torture

Why do You taunt me?
It seems like every time I get my hopes up, a moment later they’re crushed. It seems so clear, the answer is yes, and I thank You. I am happy. But all too soon everything changes. Why? Why do You play this game with me? It’s not fun. It’s as though You are my teacher handing out a test. You lay my paper on my desk and I see a circled A… but then You take Your red pen and mark a gigantic F across the page. Everything is shattered.
Why do You taunt me?
You are a baker. You pull out a steaming apple pie from the oven and cut me a slice. You serve it to me, the steam rolls up into the air and the delicious scent drifts to my nose. My hunger is intensified and I lick my lips anxiously. As I reach down to dive my fork into the crumbling piece of pie, You pull it away just before I reach it. You tell me it’s not healthy and not good for me. You toss the whole pie out.
Why do You taunt me?
Stop playing with my heart. It’s sore from all this pushing and pulling. Just let me be. Give me a solid answer. None of this yes, woops change my mind, no business. Give it up. I’m done playing.

Written 3/15/10

This Battle is Not my Own


I want to change the world, but instead, it’s changed me. It’s shaped me. I am what the world has decided. All the experiences thrown at me have molded who I am.
I have this idea of who I want to be. HOW, I want to be… Time and again I’m given the opportunity to fight off the world’s force, but I find I am to weak to hear even my own small voice. I cannot depend on myself to win this battle any longer. The chance to change is lost. I am defeated.
I’ve grown accustomed to the world, and its view of things. I am comfortable. But I am not satisfied.
I’ve been listening and I can finally hear a loud, powerful voice that cannot be drowned out by the empty space of the world.
The war for change is NOW.
The world doesn’t realize that the past it’s given to me has taught me a few things. I’ve learned endurance, determination and exercised strength. I am ready. Ready to fight. Ready to win.
I am small, but my faith is big.
My weakness’ are made perfect in Your strength.
With Him I am able to stand. We are unconquerable. We will overcome.

Written 3/12/10

FAIL

I just got back from failing a test, and surprisingly I’m not devastated. Maybe it’s because I haven’t literally seen the big red F mark across my paper. After my last test I could barely make it out of the Ad building before the tears started falling. I thought my life was over. I knew I had failed. Come to find out Monday I hadn’t. I received a low B-… what a relief, so much better than the F I expected. Today, as I made my way down the hall and out the door my thoughts were different from last time. Not because I figured I wouldn’t get a F, I wholeheartedly believe I will (Chemistry is a mix of science and math which are the two worst things in life, put them together and you’ve made death), but because I’ve come to realize something. It’s not the end of the world. All my energy for the past 3 years has gone into getting a 4.0, and I’ve come to realize, that’s not what is going to make me happy. Grades aren’t the most important thing in life. For 3 years I’ve kept my grades high, the pressure is on now more than ever. Life is more than stressful and hectic. There’s nothing I can change about the situation now. The second I stepped foot out of that classroom it was over. I can’t go back. I failed. But I have to keep moving. What next? What can I learn from this? Time will keep moving on, and I will be ok. The disappointment that comes with this lesson will end. Life will go on.
Events we experience help us grow, and make us better people. Sometimes it takes failing, and imperfection to gain a perspective from the other side of the world.

Written 2/26/10

Dry Skin

Slowly but surely my outer layer is coming off… I’ve decided to dig deep. I want to find out what I’m all about. Who I really am. I want to see myself through another pair of eyes. If I could do that, what would I find? What would I change about myself? But digging deeper, I want to go beyond what others see. What’s my substance? What holds up this fragile, frail self? I’m not talking skin and bones, I’m talking deep, in my core. No one knows what’s there, and that’s what I’m trying to understand.
I’m changing my perspective on the world before my perspective changes me.
I’ve been pondering a lot of questions lately, trying to figure out exactly who this Karalee Rhuman really is. What’s behind the make-up, smile, good grades and dig deeper. Peal off that dry flakey skin and get underneath. I have a feeling that what I’ll find will be less artificial beauty and a whole lot prettier. I want fresh, clean, clear, beautiful new skin. I want to love the skin I’m in. First, I ask myself questions:
What’s the core of my being? What does it say about my character?
What SHOULD the core of my being be?
What has shaped me to be the way I am today?
What influences do I need to get rid of? What influences have benefited me?
Who has been a spiritual leader in my life?
Who can I tell anything and everything to? How have they affected me?
What relationships need more time? How can I contribute to making that reality?
Are my priorities set in the right order?

I’ve had a drastic perspective change on the world. Hear are the beginnings of my new ideas:
Possessions- Are they really that important?
God- Not just a friendship, he’s deeper and more intimate, he’s a lover.
Family- They accept and love you for exactly what and who you are- no strings attached. They support.
Friends- Having popular friends has no benefit to you if they aren’t true friends. Friends listen. They support and care. They’re there for you no matter the circumstances. Friendship is the most important thing in life.
Teachers- Don’t just teach you classes, they can teach you valuable life lessons. Watch them closely and learn from their character, stories, and actions.
Strangers- Don’t judge. “Weird” looking people could be your best friend if you gave them a chance.
School- I don’t do school because it’s forced upon me, I’ve decided I want to do it because it’s preparing me for the future. It makes my life worth living. It keeps me occupied (sometimes I feel too busy), but with that comes more lessons and adventures to tell.
Home- Is no longer a little bit dreaded. It’s safe. It’s relaxing. It’s love. It’s home.
Church- Friends and Fellowship are good, but, I want to be so wrapped up in my passionate, intimate relationship with Jesus, that all my thoughts are focused on Him. It’s a date!
Time- I know time flies, it’s important that I know how to spend my time wisely. I have to set my priorities straight.
Sins-Lessons learned, not to be repeated.
Exercise- To benefit my health, keep me happy and stress-free, not to look good.
Food- I eat in order to survive, not for taste.
Health- Not that I’ll live longer if I take care of myself, but I’ll just be happier today!
Jobs- Jobs aren’t all about the money, they teach you so many life lessons, and they give you new experiences.
Clothes- Fashion is good. When I dress up, I feel better about myself, and it puts me in a better mood. I don’t keep up with fashion to impress everyone else.
Sports- I don’t do them because they’re expected of me, I do them because I love them, right?
Grades- Important because it’s the outcome of trying my best- not to gain recognition or a sense of worth.
Dating- I’m wiping my slate clean, getting rid of all my ideas and bias opinions. I know nothing about it.

I’m getting past the reputation I’ve set for myself as having everything under control and figured out. That’s what others think, but I know the truth. These thoughts are just the beginning of having things figured out. They’re getting me started. They need to be tested. I have so much more in life to experience to help me learn about myself and the world. As of now, the dry skin has come off, I’m starting new.
Written 2/21/10