I have a new favorite song. My favorite song is known to change weekly, but this one is really good, so I had to share it. I just love thinking about the words, and I like the song itself too. I've liked Matt Wertz's stuff for a long time, and I'm so glad he keeps making good music even though he still hasn't made it big.

I will not take my love away
When praises cease and seasons change
while the whole world turns the other way
I will not take my love away
I will not leave you all alone
When striving leads you far from home
And there's no yield for what you've sown
I will not leave you all alone
I will give you what you need
In plenty or in poverty
Forever, always, look to me
And I will give you what you need
I will not take my love away

John 10:27 My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. 28 I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father's hand. 30 I and the Father are one."


The Weak and Fatherless

Psalm 82:3-4 Defend the cause of the weak and fatherless; maintain the rights of the poor and oppressed. Rescue the weak and needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked.

Lately I have often made Asaph's cry to God my own as I see the hurt that is going on in this world. My eyes have been opened through movies like Trade, Australia, and Boy in the Striped Pajamas. They've also been opened through my personal experiences-- seeing abuse marks on the cutest little kids in Bolivia, talking with my campers this summer, and working with the homeless here in Minneapolis. My own heart hurts when I see the hurts of others.

I have been realizing that I can't live my life they way much of the world does, turning a blind eye to all that goes on. It's not that I can't ever be happy or that I have to deprive myself of every good thing, but I want to remember every day that I am very blessed to have the life that I do, and that God wants to use me to reach the poor, oppressed, weak, and fatherless. He cares for them just as He cares for me. I may be going to school now, but that doesn't mean that I need to live my life here without doing anything for those hurting around me. I need to reach out to the many hurting people in Minneapolis, in my little suburb, and even at my school. My ministry doesn't stop just because during this time in my life I am being filled and trained. I am learning to teach others, and I'm being loved to love others.

I can't cure the world of its hurt, and nothing that I do would be even worthwhile except that God has called to me to reach out to those who are hurt, and He will use me to do that as long as I allow Him to work in me and follow His leading. I have no hope of ever really seeing a world that is happy and without war or hunger, but I do have the hope that some people can be shown that they can rise above their circumstances. I do have hope that some of the injustice happening in the world can be stopped. I have hope that God's light can be shone on those who need Him, and that those who are hurting can find healing in His arms.


Amor inexplicable

This is what I feel for Spanish. A love that I can't explain. I just finished reading my story that I have to do an assignment on for next week, and I wish I could explain how it gives me happiness to know that I just read and understood a story in a different language, that I worked through the parts that I don't know, and that God has given me the privilege of loving every minute of what some people really dread.
Actually, maybe that's just what I feel for language. Tonight I'm going to go sit in on my school's Chinese class, and I'm pretty pumped for that. I know like three phrases in Chinese, and I hope to maybe learn it soonish.
Words are powerful, and God is allowing me to go to school to learn how they are used across cultures and how their intricacies have been designed, not so much intentionally by us, but to some extent innately (or by God's leading). I don't understand how it all works even, and I am blown away by it. May I glorify Him in my study.


Where does time go?

Spring break is over and I'm back at school, ready (or not so ready) to start again tomorrow. I was home for all of the break, and I got some good things done, but I also wasted a lot of time. Sure, my teeth hurt and I did need rest, but I kind of overdid the sitting on the couch thing.
As I come back to school, I'm coming back to a crazy schedule and a lot of things going on. My question is, how am I going to spend my free time? I have been praying for at least the last year that God would cause me to really hunger and thirst for Him, and I do more than I did, but my times in His precious Word have been way too shallow lately. I want to dive deep into His waters and have my thirst satiated. I want devotion to Him. I want to not be able to get enough. I realize that I contradicted myself there, but I guess what I mean is that I want to be so satisfied with God's word when I'm reading it, and then when I'm not reading it I NEED it.
May God teach me what it is to truly follow Him.



My grandma has this pretty sweet deal with her grandchildren. She is not in good health, so she can't do a lot of things on her own and needs someone around at least once every other day to get stuff done and help her out. It therefore falls upon a few of her nice grandchildren to help her, which I think for the most part we would be happy to do. My grandma, though, is so proud and stubborn that she won't let us help her for nothing, she feels offended by that and has enough money to pay for help. So, she will only let us help her if she can "gift" us money for doing so. This works out pretty nicely since it's pretty spendy for me to drive home for the weekend from school, so if I help her out once while I'm home, my gas needs are taken care of.
The problem in working for my grandma is that she's in constant pain because of her arthritis, so once in a while she gets grumpy. Today was kind of one of those days. I got chewed out for running the garbage disposal when my sister had just done it yesterday. She mis-added one of her lines in her checkbook and started crying. I was brushing her dentures and she started crying (no idea why). I went in to help out in the morning for a few hours and ended up staying well into the afternoon. There were times today when I was just frustrated with her and rolled my eyes when I turned my back.
I do lots of jobs for my grandma that aren't pleasant, and it's true that sometimes I'd rather be elsewhere, and that sometimes I can't figure her out. There's something, though, that is so nice about just loving someone who needs you. Loving them with your thoughts, actions, and words. Trying to be a reflection of the Savior that they so need. Even when it means scrubbing things I'd rather not, I'm glad God allows me to meet needs for Him in this world.


I realize that it's been over a month since my last blog, and that they've been pretty few and far between lately, but I'm realizing how much it helps me to think through things when I write in here and deciding to make my posts more frequent. I'm not sure how frequent they will be, but at least for the next week they will show up very often since I'm on spring break and I have lots of time to think.

I got my wisdom teeth out yesterday, and I look like a complete chipmunk. My face hit a new degree of swollenness a few hours ago, and nothing has changed since then.
This is actually before it got bad. :(
As I sit in my comfy bed and ice my cheeks, I think about what a wimp I am. I'm not in that much pain, and I'm trying to avoid painkillers, but about an hour ago it got to be too much for me and I succumbed to the temptation of (yet another) ibuprofen. I got my teeth out yesterday morning, and apart from one trip to my friend's house and one walk around the block, I have done nothing much but sit on the couch and watch movies.
Thinking about my complete lack of toughness makes my heart go out to those around the world who endure much more pain than I do. I think about Christians tortured for their faith. I bet some of their mouths have swollen up more than mine is, and no mommy was there to comfort them and make them yummy soup. There are many people without good dental care who, rather than getting problem teeth romoved or fixed, live much of their lives in worse pain than I am in. Or even those who have dental care may be exposed to way more bacteria than I am or have to handle tooth extraction without sedatives. I was out before they even opened my mouth!
I don't think that God brings these things to my mind so that I feel guilty about the treatment I received; I think He makes me think about it so that I have compassion on those less fortunate than I am. Rather than moving me to shame for the cost of my "extraction (I hate this word)", it should move me to action! What am I doing to make this world a better place for the least of these? Based on my aversion to any kind of mouthwork, I don't feel strongly called to a dental ministry, but what kind of attitude do I have during my job teaching Spanish to little kids? How am I spending my free time? When given any choice, do I automatically choose what's "good for me?" Am I a slave to the world or a slave to God?
May God keep me in a state of discomfort (hopefully not mouth pain, but a more emotional discomfort) so that I don't forget that I have a mission in this world, and it is not to please myself.