Sunday, May 22, 2011

Elisabeth Elliot = My Favorite

Over the past six months I've read two of Elisabeth Elliot's books, Passion and Purity and Let Me be a Woman (I'm still reading that one). I want to be just like her when I grow up. Here is an excerpt from Let Me be a Woman:

Elisabeth Elliot is 85 and still writing books 

"If you pour yourself out for the hungry and satisfy the desire of the afflicted, then shall your light rise in the darkness and your gloom be as the noonday. And the LORD will guide you continually and satisfy your desire in scorched places and make your bones strong; and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail. And your ancient ruins shall be rebuilt; you shall raise up the foundations of many generations; you shall be called the repairer of the breach, the restorer of paths leading home." -Isaiah 58:10-12

"Here, I think, lies the answer to the barrenness of a single life, or of a life that might otherwise be selfish or lonely. It is the answer, I have found, to depression as well. You yourself will be given light in exchange for pouring yourself out for the hungry; you yourself will get guidance, the satisfaction of your longings, and strength, when you "pour yourself out." When you make the satisfaction of somebody else's desire your own concern, you yourself will be a source of refreshment, a builder, a leader into healing and rest at a time when things around you seem to have crumbled."
Elliot loving on a Waodoni baby.
Here's another one...

"Single life may be only a stage of life's journey, but even a stage is a gift. God may replace it with another gift, but the receiver accepts His gifts with thanksgiving. This gift for this day. The life of faith is lived one day at a time, and it has to be lived-not always looked forward to as though the "real" living were around the next corner. It is for today we are responsible. God still owns tomorrow." 

So good. Whether you're single or not, ponder that last quote. Are you receiving the gift God is currently giving you with thanksgiving? Whew. Conviction is abundant in my heart right now.

Seek Him right now, you may not get another chance...

 "It is for today we are responsible. God still owns tomorrow."

Coming up to Bat

The following is my first column as Sports Editor for the Murray State News:

In the big leagues, stepping up to bat for the first time has to be scary. You’re anxious, excited, intimidated and maybe a little queasy. 
That’s how I feel about becoming sports editor; it’s as if I’m coming up to bat for the first time and am trying to remember everything I learned in training. 
As I pick up my bat, which is more like a pencil, and head to the plate, which is more like a desk, my mind
reflects on all the people who have helped me reach this position.
Images of my general managers, my mom and dad, float through my mind. If it hadn’t been for them and their
encouragement I never would have made it this far. They are the best coaches I could have ever asked for and I am so thankful for their counsel, wisdom and example.
The photographs in my mind keep cycling as the pre-game jitters continue to work their way through my system. The role of trainer has been filled by Greg Waddell, whose encouragement, patience and guidance has set the foundation for my time on this team. I’m so grateful for his leadership and friendship which has been influential and instrumental in my development and growth.
As I approach the batter’s box, I remember all the time spent in preparation and visions flood my mind of teachers, mentors and friends who make up the coaching staff that has propelled me to this moment.
The walk to the plate seems unusually long as I remember the reason I fell in love with the game of sportswriting in the first place. With words one can capture so fully the raw emotions of a moment in life, the triumph and thrill of victory and the bitter taste of defeat. It has become a passion and a source of adrenaline; I love every part of it. 
Before reaching home plate I look back to the dugout and see the team, comprised of my classmates, peers and fellow staff members from The News. The team offers support, accountability and motivation to persevere even under the most difficult of circumstances. The team pushes you to find a way to win when it seems impossible, to pursue excellence with diligence and to exemplify the characteristics of a champion
at all times. For them I am exceedingly grateful. 
My mind drifts back a few moments when I was in the dugout, waiting to be called to play. Despite the lulls in the game, I enjoyed viewing the game from that perspective. There was a level of safety and ease found in being surrounded by teammates and endless cups of Gatorade.
This new perspective, however, forces me out of my comfort zone and into the exciting world of responsibility
and pressure. Accompanied with that, is the overwhelming fear of letting the team down. Despite the fear, excitement is creeping in my system as my long-held dream of being a sports journalist becomes reality.
Suddenly aware of the crowd, I glance at the faces filling the stadium. Countless people who have impacted my life smile their encouragement and I draw confidence just from their presence. I see my sister and her husband, as well as Kaitlin, Loree and so many others whose footprints on my heart will never be replaced or forgotten. I am so thankful each of you are a part of my life.
However, it is my owner, God, who has my biggest thanks, for it is He who bought me with a price and added me to His eternal team. It is an honor to play for Him.
The journey to the plate is almost complete. As I take the last few steps one goal resonates within me: to  represent my owner and team of Racers well. I may foul and strike out a few times along the way, but I vow to myself and the team to always give the very best effort possible and to share my passion of sports,  particularly Murray State sports, the Olympics and the St. Louis Cardinals, to the best of my ability. 
The slideshow in my head is finished and the nerves have started to subside. Excitement is taking over and a calm spirit has settled within me. My cleats are firmly planted in the dirt and I raise the bat and look to the
pitcher. He takes a sign and throws. I see the ball well and swing hard.
This is going to be a great season.

Quick Update

Six months later I'm writing another blog. 

God has done some huge things since December, here are a few random things that have happened over the last few months...

  • Finished a full year of studies at Murray State.
  • Hired as Sports Editor for the Murray State News.
  • Went to Ecuador, South America for missions.
  • God brought Himself glory through the most embarrassing moment of my life.
  • The Lord has stretched my comfort zone too many ways to list.
  • Adopted a Compassion Child! (Suleiman Ali, he's seven and from Kenya, Africa)
  • Being a sports writer for the newspaper I was able to build relationships with athletes, coaches and sports information people that I never would have been able to, which has led to opportunities to share the Gospel as well as receive more encouragement than I have space to write about from people I would have never expected, including a Green Bay Packer. 
  • God surrounded me with so many amazing friends at Murray and has given me the amazing honor, privilege and responsibility of leading some of the brightest and beautiful girls in the Word and in their walks. So humbling.
  • Did a 'Works of the Flesh' and 'Fruits of the Spirit' study. So powerful.
  • Read 1 & 2 Peter, Deuteronomy, Psalms, Proverbs, Romans, Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, 1 & 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, 1 John, Philemon, James and Isaiah. (Isaiah is my new favorite book of the Bible. SO GOOD!)
  • Went to Passion 2011 with my sister. Too many memories to name... God is so huge! 
  • He redirected my summer plans and placed me in a situation that forced me to seek His advice and approval more than others.
  • Discovered Elisabeth Elliot is my hero (more on this to come). 

I can think of so many others but they all have long stories attached to them and I don't have the time to write all of those out.

Murray State Campus Outreach crew at New Years Conference
This summer I'm staying home and interning at my church, transcribing sermons and organizing a summer discipleship project for the 10-14 year old girls called True Beauty, where we will learn and discuss what a godly woman looks like. From cooking, cleaning and sewing, to etiquette, purity and modesty, we will explore Gospel-centered topics that reveal glimpses of God's heart and desire in designing the complex infrastructure known as the female.

I'm really excited about staying home and being with my family, but I do miss all my Murray friends who are in Orlando for the Campus Outreach Summer Project. So many prayers being lifted up for them! God is going to do huge things for them and I cannot wait to hear about it!

There are so many things that I want to say. So many things God has done that I want to share, but time escapes me and so does the proper amount of space for a blog that will keep people's attention. 

Here is my favorite verse of the moment, dive into this little nugget and swim around in the God's love for awhile:

"Therefore the Lord waits to be gracious to you and therefore He exalts Himself to show mercy to you. For the Lord is a God of justice; blessed are all those who wait for Him." -Isaiah 30:18


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