Tuesday, September 22, 2009
This last Sunday night we had baptisms at the pool. When I heard about it the previous week, I was so excited and had an excitement in the thought of getting baptized. I got saved when I was 11 and got baptized then, but throughout High School I fell away from the Lord. Even during this time, I felt the Lord's nearness but I was acting out in rebellion and resisting Him. He called me back to Him and changed my heart and its desires. He gave me a heart for ministry and serving Him, and a desire to know Him more through His Word. After going to Peru on a mission's trip in 2005, my Peruvian friend, Lili, told me about Bible College when I was seeking guidance in how to prepare myself for ministry. To be honest, I never hearing of such a thing before, but I started to pray about it that maybe this was what the Lord wanted. I can look back and see the hand of God in how He orchestrated events and what He called me out of/into, and sin He redeemed me from.
This verse kept coming to my heart after hearing about the baptism the coming week:
"Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witness, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us." Hebrews 12:1
I am reminded over and over again how blessed I am to be here studying God's Word, being set apart to be equipped to do God's work. I am so grateful for such a great cloud of witnesses I have around me each day as we all seek to be more like Christ as we die to our flesh. Even last night in my Revelation class in speaking of the seven churches John wrote to, I was so encouraged with the renewed passions to serve as a missionary and sharing my faith!
This last Thursday night, Suzie and I went to her house back in Norco to change environments and get some work done. Well.. we didn't get too much homework done... but we did get to have amazing food and hang out with her family! It's always so fun to be there, laughing and feeling like you are in a TV show! :) We ended up spending the night since it was getting late and her mom made us this amazing gormet breackfast!! Yum!
Check out some pictures from the night and a video of Regina's (from Okinawa) 3 month old baby, Jeremiah, doing a little dance!
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
I know up north we don't have these, but down south there's this place called Chick Fill-A! Yum! j/k some of you have probably heard of it before, but as for people like me, this was a whole new experience. It is a Christian fast food place (kind of like In & Out), but with all chicken and no burgers. So yesterday during morning devotionals, someone made an announcement that Chick Fill-A was giving out free food to anyone that came in wearing a jersey. The girls and I were so thankful for guys that like sports and who were willing to lend out their clothes! FREE FOOD. I'm not trying to say the food here is terrible, but I now appreciate anything off campus!
(The bottom picture in blue is my gangsta door steward, Jenni)
There's 6 of us girls in our dorm room this semester! Mary went home for the weekend to celebrate her parent's 25th anniversary and brought us back cookies that she made! (click on the picture to see a large view of these flower shaped treats... yum!) It is so fun to share a room with a bunch of girls! We have some fun times each night with the giggles and staying up late talking and playing games. Such a blessing to be able to spend a semester growing with them! Here's a picture so you can be praying for them by name and face!
top starting from the left: Mary, Haley, Jenni, Becca (from Okinawa semester)
bottom starting from the left: Me, Kathleen
So there's this thing called cheap seats... it's basically a movie theatre where they show old movies for $4. With our student ID cards at the Bible College we get even more of a discount! What what!!! So on Saturday night a group of us students went and saw the movie 'Up!' I never heard of such a deal! It was so fun to get off campus and be able to hang out with other people on our study break!
At the Bible College in Japan, I got to meet the Dean Missionaries, Josh and Regina. They were in Okinawa the same time I was there for Bible College. I remember Regina telling me I had to meet her sister and get to know her. Well... meet Suzie! I met her back in January at the Mission's Conference here at the school but on the first day or orientation she came up and said hello. We both weren't planning on being here this semester, but the Lord had different plans for both of us! She has been such a blessing and I'm so excited for this semester with her! I'll have to find a better picture of her and post it, but this gives a fun idea of her personality! ;)
"The heart of man plans his way, but the LORD establishes his steps." Provers 16:9
On Friday morning, Chuck Smith came and spoke to the Bible College students on Genesis 1. Chuck Smith is the founder of Calvary Chapel and of the Bible College here in Murrieta. As part of our classes, students listen to audio sermons by Chuck as he goes cover to cover teaching through the Bible. Chuck is good friends with Pastor Tom (picture posted in previous blog post) and it is so fun to hear stories of their time together. I tried to take a picture to give you an idea, but without the flash it was kind of blurry! ops! :)
Thursday, September 3, 2009
Michelle and I were friends both of our first semesters in Peru. She lives in San Diego (about an hour from the campus here) and is heading off for her 3rd semester in Italy! It was so great to see her again today! She came to Murrieta we went off campus to hang out and take advantage of the AC in this 107 degree weather. It always feels like a day has passed since we've seen each other! She is such a blessing and such a light to me and so many! Please be praying for her and she heads off to the Bible College in Italy this Saturday! I know God has some amazing things for her this next semester!
Meet Tom Mauch! He is 79 years old and still teaching here at the Bible College. He is teaching my I, II, III John class as well as my marriage talks class. It is so great sitting in his classes or hearing him speak because his joy is contagious!! He has so much wisdom in all that he says and is so encouraging with the stories that he tells. Today he told a story about his wife of 56 years, and a time he heard her talking in her sleep. He went to her side to hear what she was saying and realized she was praying for her family while sleeping. He has such a passion for the Lord and we learn by example of his lifestyle! I can't help but smile when I am around him! I got to eat lunch with him yesterday and he told me that he could see the joy of the Lord in my smile. It's so amazing what joy enlights in people by just being around him!
It hasn't even been a full week yet in classes, but there have been so many amazing opportunities to fall more in love with the Lord. It's so encouraging walking around campus and seeing people praying for each other, studying together and uplifting one another. As Tom says each day... "iron sharpens iron, what a great way to sharpen each other than to talk about the Lord with our brothers and sisters here." It's definitely blessed me to have such amazing witnesses all around me to sharpen one another!