December 16, 2013

Warrior Strong

Like any normal day, I got on facebook and noticed that someone who had graduated a couple years before me in high school had posted something that had the headline BREAKING NEWS. I glanced at it, then read a little further. There was another school shooting in Colorado?! Reading further to see who was affected, I will never forget that feeling of reading the name of my school: Arapahoe High School. My heart stopped and I frantically clicked on the link to read what was going on. There had been no news. Quickly, I shared the picture and asked for immediate prayers as my mind began praying incessantly. It was unreal. I kept up with the developing story for hours, and I couldn't think of anything else. Names flashed through my head of people I knew at Arapahoe, the faculty, and those of my classmates who had younger siblings at Arapahoe. It was at that moment that I wanted to be back home in Colorado so badly with my warrior family and I knew the only thing I could do here was pray and ask for prayers.

Wow, it's so terrifying when something so awful hits home. It didn't hit close to home, it hit home. My heart continues to break for those who endured that day of terror. I was watching the live video and as the story continued, I saw students being reunited with their parents, scared to death. It brought tears to my eyes. I just could not, and still cannot, imagine what was going through the heads of the students that day. The fear and terror is unimaginable. As the students were evacuated and there was report that the school was secure, I began thinking of my own 4 years at Arapahoe. That school has been such a part of me and I'm always proud to say that I was a Warrior. I look back with fond memories of high school: the friends I made, the teachers I had, swimming with Richmond all four years with the Lady Water Warriors. You never think something so awful will happen to a place that is so close to your heart. My school was so brave that day, you all continue to be brave, and I hope you all know how many prayers are being sent your way.

This has had psychological ramifications on me, and I graduated in 2011 and I'm all the way in Texas. My heart, though, is always in Colorado and I am a proud Colorado girl. Furthermore, I am a proud Arapahoe Warrior. So, here is a message to all you warriors out there: We are a close knit community and we will always take care of one another. If any of you need to talk, need to process, do not hesitate to ask for help. Arapahoe has an outstanding faculty and outstanding students. We will get through this. I was blown away by the support that poured out just over facebook on that day with generations of warriors coming together as one strong community. Prayers are being said for Claire and for the families of Arapahoe High School. God has everything in the palm of His hands and He will take care of you. Do not give up; Warriors, always take care of one another.

"See, the Sovereign Lord comes with power, and he rules with a mighty arm. See, his reward is with him, and his recompense accompanies him. He tends his flock like a shepherd; He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young."
-Isaiah 40:10-11
"He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint."
-Isaiah 40:29-31

December 10, 2013

Are You Willing?

So, over Thanksgiving break, something happened that I've never really seen before. I was sitting at Starbucks with my mom, enjoying my holiday drink, when I overheard some men talking at the table next to me. There were four of them, two on each side of the table, and I noticed that three of them were listening to one of the guys talk. I didn't hear the majority of the conversation, but I heard some things like "Jesus loves you so much" and "He would do that for us". I noticed one of the guys seemed to be listening very intently. I couldn't help but infer that the Gospel was being shared. It made my heart happy and, you know, that's not something you see/hear every day in our society...

I heard something the other day that I had never really thought about before. Let me preface this by saying that many people are out there who choose not to believe in Christ. There are those out there that think there is something, they just don't know what/who. There are people out there who say they follow Christ. And there are people out there that actively follow Him.

The whole thing about Jesus speaking in parables in the Bible seems to be this: that He tells those stories so that only people who are willing to hear Him will understand the message. To everyone else, it just seems like a pointless story. But those who are willing to hear get something out of the "moral of the story" so to speak. Isn't that interesting? Think about it. Only if you're willing to really listen and hear will you understand the message. If you're heart is open to hearing about Christ, if your heart is willing to accept that He is that "something more", you will hear what He has to say. After telling the parable about the sower and the seed (Mark 4:4-9), Jesus says, "Whoever has ears to hear, let them hear." Anyone could have just heard that parable, but Jesus was speaking to those who would hear His message. You can hear the words and just let it go in one ear and out the other, but those who open their ears to Him will hear what the 'moral of the story' is. It may take some practice, sometimes I miss points. However, the fact of the matter is there. You need to hear it in order to feel it, in order to live it.

As a believer, I never really thought about it that way. I've always been to church and I've listened to the messages and tried to take them to heart. This is going to be a relatively short post, but vital to people out there. If people are asking questions, answer them, don't let them wander on their own. You can't change their heart, but if they are becoming inclined to seek Christ, then walk with them.

"'Listen! A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants, so that they did not bear grain. Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up, grew and produced a crop, some multiplying thirty, some sixty, some a hundred times.' Then Jesus said, 'Whoever has ears to hear, let them hear.'"
-Mark 4:3-9

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