Sunday, August 3, 2014

Forks, Sticks and Fires-motivation for the summer

While reading Shadow of the Almighty by Elisabeth Elliot I kept up my usual habit of taking an 8x11 piece of paper to take notes on, folding it in half and tucking it into the book as a marker. 30 pages into the book I realized this piece of paper would not suffice. There are too many good quotes in that book! His journals give the reader a glimpse into his life- the passion that fueled his mission work in Ecuador and the dedication that cost him his life. I decided to compile the quotes here and post them as I'm reading. This book has been a huge encouragement and challenge to me as it's easy to lose that gospel focus during the summer. I hope these quotes encourage and challenge you too!
"God, I pray thee, light these idle sticks of my life and may I burn up for thee. Consume my life, my God, for it is thine. I seek not a long life but a full one, like you, Lord Jesus."

To Elisabeth while they were getting to know each other, "There is within a hunger after God, given of God, filled by God. I can be happy when I am conscious that he is doing what He wills to do within. What makes me tremble is that I might allow something else (you, for example) to take the place my God should have."

"Most laws condemn the soul and pronounce sentence. The result of the law of my God is perfect. It condemns but forgives. It restores-more than abundantly-what it takes away."

"Father, make of me a crisis man. Bring those I contact to decision. Let me not be a milestone on a single road; make me a fork, that men must turn one way or another on facing Christ in me."

And of course the most famous quote-"He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose."

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Responding to Tragedy

The voice of the choir rises and falls in the night air. It's a beautiful, haunting melody. I feel a chill up my spine. Surrounded by a sea of boilermakers the candles illuminating their faces I think about the words of the choir, "Jesus, you are my refuge..." We cling to these words because they give us hope; but I know, and you know that many people at Purdue don't truly believe them. They don't see Jesus as a refuge. In fact, they don't even think he exists. Maybe you don't believe in Jesus. I implore you today to ask yourself: who was Jesus? C.S. Lewis said that he was either a liar, a lunatic, or he truly was the Son of God.

 The Bible says that Jesus is God. You've probably heard Jesus called "the Savior." That begs the question: what do we need saved FROM? God tells us in his word that the we need to be saved from the consequences of our sin. Sin means the things we do, think or say that break God's moral law, kind of like the government's law. However, the moral law applies to EVERYTHING that we do because God sees it all. The Bible says not to steal. Have you stolen anything? Another command is not to lie. Have you lied? Well yeah, we all have. What about lust? I've broken these commandments and so has everyone else in this world. This is evidenced by the hate and brokenness all around us. God sees us as criminals up for trial. Just as breaking the government's law deserves punishment, so does breaking God's law.

God's word tell us "the wages of sin is death." We've earned death-hell. To say we need to be saved from this punishment would be a huge understatement. We're in a plane that's crashing down to the ground. Jesus is our only hope. We might think we're good, nice people, but God says our works can't save us, no matter how hard we try (Ephesians 2:8-9). In fact, even the slightest hint of a sin is still sin. In God's eyes, if you've hated someone, that is as bad as killing them. "Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer...," I John 3:15. I realize this is an extremely sensitive topic in light of today's tragedy, but there is so much at stake here. We need to realize that there is hope! We CAN be saved.

"Most assuredly, he who hears my word and believes in him who sent me has eternal life, and shall not come into judgment but has passed from death to life," John 5:24. Jesus took the punishment for sins on the cross to save those who believe in him! To believe in Jesus is to believe he is who he says he is, to trust that he really is the savior. Lastly, true faith means committing to a lifetime of following him: leaving old sins behind, learning more about him and loving him with all your heart, soul, mind and strength. Sounds like a huge commitment-it is, but it is so worth it.

If you're ready to make that commitment know that you can pray directly to God now. Tell him you're sorry for sins, that you trust in Jesus to forgive these sins and that you want to follow him for life. If you truly are saved, at the end of your life you can stand face to face with Jesus with confidence instead of fear. I pray that you will find your refuge in him. Please contact me if you need further answers or guidance, Laura (317) 800-1855. Also, you have my permission to share this if you'd like.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

To Glorify God and Enjoy Him Forever

I wrote this blog two years ago as a reminder that as Christians, we're living for something greater than ourselves. According to the Shorter Catechism question 1, our main purpose is, "to glorify God and enjoy him forever." God is working at Purdue to bring about this purpose!

The light streams in through the windows onto the tan carpet in apartment 28. Chatter fills the room. Everyone is so different. All boilermakers, they're from NYC, Taiwan, China, Massachuesetts, Kokomo and Indianapolis, to name a few. About twenty of us gather over chili this Sunday afternoon. A few minutes into the meal every conversation has turned to Christ. Some people are sharing their testimonies. Older Christians are searching the scriptures with new believers to answer their questions. I can see the passion and light in their eyes. They have so many stories. Some have known God their whole lives. Others have wandered from God and returned to him. Others have just become Christians in the past year. Nobody had planned that we'd talk about God. It just happened.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

2012-Reading the Bible in a Year

     1, 042 pages, 66 books and 365 days. You probably know what I'm referring to: a read-through-the-Bible in a year plan. I read through the Bible last year. Looking back, I realize this feat was all by God's grace! Life was busy but he provided the time motivation for me to do it. It all began at a church conference I attended last winter when the speaker (Pastor Barry York) challenged my fellow students and I to read the Bible in a year. He provided this reading plan,, among other plans.
     By the way, I highly recommend the above reading chart! It's very doable and the fact that the books are categorized into genres helps one to understand the content. One negative comment: some of the readings are not divided up well, for example, you may have 5 long chapters to read in Numbers one day and 3 chapters to read in Psalms the next day, so consider adjusting the portions so they are more even.
     Overall, reading the Bible in a year went very well and I learned so much! Sometimes I was not diligent. I got behind in my reading, but eventually caught up. The thing you have to realize about reading through the Bible in a year is that you can't go as in depth as you wish. You can't look at it verse by verse because you probably won't have time (praise God if you do!) Instead, you'll learn broad concepts, especially about God's character. Through the year, certain attributes of God became very clear. First, he showed me his justice. In Numbers 15:32-36, God told Moses to kill a man for picking up sticks on the sabbath.
     This example is one of many that shows how severely God hates sin, even the seemingly small sins. Second, I learned about God's love. It seems funny to talk about God's love after talking about his justice but that's exactly what scripture does. It emphasizes how God pours out his justice on sin and sinners, especially those who aren't Christians, as well as how he pours out his love on the saved. Passages like Jeremiah 31:3 come to mind. Jesus said to Israel, "I have loved you with an everlasting love, therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you."
     Just think about that word 'everlasting.' Is that not beautiful??? Thirdly, God's mercy became evident to me. Nearly every Christian hero in the Bible had some glaring sin. Rahab was a prostitute, yet she was in the lineage of Jesus. Jacob was a liar. Paul persecuted Christians, yet God forgave these people and used them in amazing ways! God's justice, love and mercy are only a few of the character qualities which I learned about reading through the Bible in a year. Is God awesome or what??!


Monday, October 22, 2012

Answered Prayers

Two months ago, I faced my first year of college with excitement, but fear also. Now, I'm only halfway through this semester and God's answered all my prayers!

I asked for:
-a Christian roommate
-time to study
-focus on school
-good grades (realizing that faithfulness is more important than success)
-opportunities to share the gospel
-good Christian friends who lead by example
-financial provision for books, homework portals, etc..
-a conveniently located job
-the grace and strength to live like Christ 24/7 (as the whole book of James emphasizes)

God is good, not only because he's blessed me, but because he just is!! Psalm 119:68

Friday, August 10, 2012


      Intense. That’s my summer in one word. It was intensely hard, intensely full and intensely thrilling. From spending 75 hours doing clinicals in an advanced special care unit, to putting in 10 hour days at work, to spending some of the best moments with family and friends during trips all over the midwest, God sustained me. He taught me about loving others, working hard and learning to say, “See ya later.”
        Many of the best experiences of my summer took place at the long term care facility, earning my CNA (Certified Nurse's Assistant) license. At the same time, those days were the hardest. The aging process can be cruel. I stepped in all kinds of body fluids. I was nearly beat up (my CNA took the punch.). I was cussed out. I never cried when I was there, but when I came home, I couldn’t help myself. Despite all of the bad times, I came to love my residents. To this day, I still think of them: their unique personalities, their way of bringing laughter to all the staff, their feet tapping along with the big band music they loved so much.
     Second, God taught me about working hard. 10 hour shifts became the new norm for me, and I knew that as soon as I’d sit down, my feet would throb. Sometimes it was better just to stay standing; but during those shifts at the library and at the long term care facility, Galations 6:9 came to mind, “And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.”
     In between all these commitments, God gave me opportunities to say not goodbye, but see you later to my dear family and friends. Saying see ya later meant slathering on face scrub and topping it off with cucumbers and taking funny pictures with my ‘twin’. Saying see ya later meant dancing to salsa music on the circle in downtown Indianapolis with friends. Saying see ya later meant lying underneath the stars in northern Michigan with my sisters, feeling really, really small.
     For those who’ve claimed Jesus’ promise to forgive repentant sinners, there's eternity to look forward too. This summer, God gave me strength to accomplish the work he’s given me, courage to do what’s right and a vibrant relationship with him through all of the thrilling moments. More than anything else, he showed me my sin through all these stretching experiences. Despite my sin, he wants me to share the gospel-the fact that Jesus' died for sin, with others. Matthew 9:12-13, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. Go and learn what this means, ‘I desire mercy and not sacrifice.’ For I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”

Friday, November 25, 2011


Enough searching, enough restlessness, enough dissatisfaction, enough looking to yourself.

Why do you depend on your own achievements, your own goals to make you happy?

The world says to make goals and dream big. Yet, a dream come true
only leaves you empty, wondering, “Why is it not enough?”

How much do I need to fill this empty feeling? How much hard work? Money? Love?

You’re staring into a dark pit of your own emptiness.

There is only one person who is enough. His name is God.

Rusty nails were pierced through His hands so that one day, you can stand before Him
washed clean, forgiven.

So stop looking to the world for happiness.
Fall on your knees now.

Praise Him. He’s given you everything you need.