27 January 2008

An update...with pics

Well, I can't remember the last time I updated. It's been a while I know. The internet always has random issues (but thankfully, this past weekend was the most long running bit of internet). I've slept in a little in the mornings, some mornings I've walked over to the building where classes are (SOC) early so I can try to get into the word before class starts. I was hoping that others would want to join, but so far of the few days I've gone, only one other person has showed up--on one occasion. But my morning spurts of internet are short.
Then comes the afternoons-after class there is usually a shower to be taken (if we worked out), or time to work out on my own, dinner to be eaten, groups to meet up for--studying, or the prayer/worship night, or errands to be run (groceries, BX, dry cleaning). So needless to say...it's been busy. And tiring. I've come to the conclusion that ideally I need 8 hours of sleep, and if class starts at 7, I should leave my room around 620 to read in the mornings, so wake up around 530-545...I have to be in bed by 930 or so. Which...is hard. ASBC is all about balance...time management...and prioritizing. That's what I've come to realize.

Below are some pics from our adventures. We've had a lot, and it's been fun.


We had the pleasure of hearing Gene Kranz speak...he's the man from Apollo 13 who was in charge...the one that had all the different vests...this is the man.


We went out to dinner the first weekend---to nothing other than the Olive Garden (yummy!!)


We had some mandatory fun at "Take it the max" free food. We can't complain too much.


Some of the weather officers had a reunion...Mike and Kim drove down to see us. :)


We went to New Orleans to see the sight and sounds, and had to deal with Gene who injured himself the Thursday before we left.

18 January 2008

Getting caught up...

January 18

And seven priests shall bear before the ark seven trumpets of rams’ horns: and the seventh day ye shall compass the city seven times, and the priests shall blow with the trumpets.

Joshua 6:4
The priests, the Ark, and the rams’ horns that were part of the procession around the walls of Jericho all point to Jesus. Even the Sabbath, the seventh day, points to Him for He is our Sabbath rest (Hebrews 4).

Imagine that it’s Valentine’s Day and you walk into your house and see your wife hugging and kissing your picture. “Surprise!” you say as you hold out candy and roses, expecting her to run toward you. But if she remains more infatuated with your picture than with you, you would say, “Why are you so wrapped up with the picture, when the one it portrays is right here?”

So too, were Jesus on the scene in Joshua’s day, He would say, “I am the fulfillment of the Sabbath and of the silver trumpets. I am the fulfillment of the priesthood and of the Ark of the Covenant. They’re just pictures. Focus on Me.” Yet I wonder how many of us are focused on rules, regulations, and religion even in the Promised Land of the Spirit-filled life. I wonder how many of us subconsciously say, “It’s Sunday. That’s a holy day. I’m off to church,” or “It’s morning. I’m disciplined. It’s time for devotions.”

To us, Jesus would say, “Rules, regulations, and rituals are only necessary if I’m not present. But if I’m present, those things are replaced by relationship with Me.” Gang, we know more than the early Church knew about typology and illustrations. The question is, Do we know Who they knew? They knew Jesus. And they responded to His leading moment by moment. We too will be free from religion and predictability, from legalism and traditions, from habits, ruts, and routines to the degree that we realize that the Captain of the host, the Captain of our salvation, Jesus Himself, is in our midst.
-Jon Courson
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It's true that we, even I just the last few days--get so caught up in the legalism, the rules, the HABITS of life, we forget that we're supposed to be seeking him with all of our being. Forgive us father, for losing sight. Give us strength to really seek after you with EVERYTHING of us.

16 January 2008

Finances...

As some of you may (or may not) know, sometimes I get a little nuts with the money. Spend it all in one place; then all my allowance is gone. Or something. So I started subscribing to the Crosswalk Financial devotional (it's a weekly thing)...something this morning caught my eye and I wanted to share...

We are to be diligent in our work (Colossians 3:23-24), wise in our spending (Proverbs 21:20), purposeful in our saving (Proverbs 6:6-8), strategic in our investing (Ecclesiastes 11:2), and generous in our giving (2 Corinthians 9:7).

Encouraging I thought. And a great reminder to keep it posted around.

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Jon Courson devotional

And it came to pass, when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, there stood a man over against him with his sword drawn in his hand . . .

Joshua 5:13 (a)
Throughout the Word, when men find themselves at a crossroads, we see them lifting up their eyes to God in Heaven (Genesis 13:10; 18:2; 24:63; Numbers 24:2; 1 Chronicles 21:16; Daniel 10:5). In this case, Jericho is looming over Joshua. It’s a formidable problem, a massive walled city. Yet Joshua didn’t look down, hide out, or hole up. He lifted his eyes.

As we will see, this Man is none other than a pre-incarnate appearance of Jesus Christ. Because Joshua was on the verge of battle, the Lord appeared to him as a Man of war. On the plains of Mamre, the Lord appeared to Abraham as a traveler because Abraham was a pilgrim (Genesis 18). To His disciples, He appeared as a fellow fisherman cooking fish (John 21:7-9). So too, no matter what Jericho is looming ahead of you, don’t look inward; don’t look down; look up and look around. Watch for the Lord appearing to you in the unexpected time and in the unexpected way through the circumstances and people around you.
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How encouraging is that?! When are at a low point, and we can't see where we are going or what God has planned in all this...we just lift our eyes to heaven and trust in Him...what an awesome God yeah?

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Life is sure busy. Like I probably said earlier, with the classes and the homework, and the practically running everyday with a couple people from my flight...it's been an interesting but seemingly rough start to this 6 week adventure. But then I look and realize, we are almost a third of the way done. AND THAT IS ENCOURAGING. But God has totally been faithful...our prayer and worship night was blessed; I meant another girl who's been married just as long (anniversary the 23rd or the 3rd of June 06)... and hopefully this morning we get to meet up before class to get some study time in the Word downstairs at a little cafe area. It's cool. I'm excited. But with that in mind...I gotta get rolling and ready for the day.

Thank you for the prayers, please remember I have this huge test on Friday...pray that I would be faithful in my studies and academics, and trust in the Lord's provision and deny the lies of Satan about my previous failures.

Aloha and may God be blessed by your life!

14 January 2008

Loving one another...

Jon Courson....


And the people came up out of Jordan on the tenth day of the first month, and encamped in Gilgal, in the east border of Jericho. And those twelve stones, which they took out of Jordan, did Joshua pitch in Gilgal. And he spake unto the children of Israel, saying, When your children shall ask their fathers in time to come, saying, What mean these stones? Then ye shall let your children know, saying, Israel came over this Jordan on dry land. For the LORD your God dried up the waters of Jordan from before you, until ye were passed over, as the LORD your God did to the Red sea, which he dried up from before us, until we were gone over: that all the people of the earth might know the hand of the LORD, that it is mighty: that ye might fear the LORD your God for ever.

Joshua 4:19-24
Paul proclaimed that the three greatest and most important components of life are faith, hope, and love. In the Book of Joshua, we see the people had hearts of hope in chapter 2 when the spies came back and said, “Truly the Lord has delivered the Land into our hands.” In chapter 3, they took steps of faith as they put the soles of their feet into the Jordan River, believing God would meet them in the process. And here we see the third component - a picture of love. Twelve stones stacked together in one monument - twelve stones representing twelve tribes, fit together in unity - would be the sign that the Israelites had crossed over the Jordan, that they had been “baptized” a second time.

Peter says that, as believers, we are living stones that are fit together in unity (1 Peter 2:5). When you come to church, not out of obligation but because you want to be linked together with fellow blockheads and stones, your love for them is a sure sign of your being touched deeply by the Spirit. “All men shall know you are My disciples,” said Jesus. By your speaking in tongues? No. By your gift of healing? No. “They’ll know you are My disciples by your love” (see John 13:35).

In 1 Corinthians 12 and 14, Paul discusses spiritual gifts and their manifestations. But packed between them is chapter 13, a chapter that deals exclusively with love because love is the defining characteristic of one who has had an encounter with the Spirit.

“Father, let them be one,” Jesus prayed in John 17, “that the world might know that I am in You and that You are in Me.” In other words, love within the Body of Christ is proof positive to a world that is skeptical that Jesus is risen and real, alive and well.
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My Utmost for His Highest
Called Of God

"Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me."


od did not address the call to Isaiah; Isaiah overheard God saying, "Who will go for us?" The call of God is not for the special few, it is for everyone. Whether or not I hear God's call depends upon the state of my ears; and what I hear depends upon my disposition. "Many are called but few are chosen," that is, few prove themselves the chosen ones. The chosen ones are those who have come into a relationship with God through Jesus Christ whereby their disposition has been altered and their ears unstopped, and they hear the still small voice questioning all the time, "Who will go for us?" It is not a question of God singling out a man and saying, "Now, you go." God did not lay a strong compulsion on Isaiah; Isaiah was in the presence of God and he overheard the call, and realized that there was nothing else for him but to say, in conscious freedom, "Here am I, send me." Get out of your mind the idea of expecting God to come with compulsions and pleadings. When our Lord called His disciples there was no irresistible compulsion from outside. The quiet passionate insistence of His "Follow Me" was spoken to men with every power wide awake. If we let the Spirit of God bring us face to face with God, we too shall hear something akin to what Isaiah heard, the still small voice of God; and in perfect freedom will say, "Here am I; send me."

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It seems as if there is a common theme in things lately...God sends you where you are for a purpose...it's no accident that I'm at ASBC...there are no coincidences.

What if everyday we looked at life like that. Not just when we go on trips. Everyday we reflected on the fact that there is a reason we are exactly where we are.

That would be interesting.

12 January 2008

My Utmost for His Highest

Have You Ever Been Alone With God?

"When they were alone, He expounded all things to His disciples."

Mark 4:34

Our Solitude with Him.
Jesus does not take us alone and expound things to us all the time; He expounds things to us as we can understand them. Other lives are parables. God is making us spell out our own souls. It is slow work, so slow that it takes God all time and eternity to make a man and woman after His own purpose. The only way we can be of use to God is to let Him take us through the crooks and crannies of our own characters. It is astounding how ignorant we are about ourselves! We do not know envy when we see it, or laziness, or pride. Jesus reveals to us all that this body has been harbouring before His grace began to work. How many of us have learned to look in with courage?
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There is more to it... but this part got to me...just the reminder that little by little he brings us into his world and shows us all sorts of things. It's exciting...it's invigorating...it's scary.

Kind of like ASBC, just the new experiences, the new schedule (craziness) and the new things that are expected of us. Academics is nuts. Crazier than weather class (to me). But the people are great...and I'm excited. So with that said, I'm balancing my laundry...and I gotta hit the books.

If anyone wants to send some lihing sour apples--lemme know I can give you my address.
:)

Trying to love the Lord--



11 January 2008

an update

hey ya'll that check the blog--thanks!

this is gonna be quick and dirty, slept a little later this morning than planned, trying to make it to 0615 bible study before class starts. got my luggage the next evening, so praise God that was cool. have all my stuff now.

seems sometimes the internet is down at night...but the mornings are ok (i heard that it gets overloaded with so many students trying to get on and stuff). hopefully the weekends won't be too bad and i'll get to update...in depth. and morning blogs can be reflections on readings. which the one from last night was cool...but ack-no time.

a guy from my flight and i are aiming to start up a vespers (time of prayer and worship)...monday is looking to be our first night. please pray for it that it would be all about God and worshiping him-and not anything else...thanks!

thank you everyone for your love and support and prayers. it is always appreciated.
sending love-
bren

08 January 2008

In Alabama...

Just thought I'd let ya'll know that I made it here...with only one lost luggage! It is supposed to be here within 24 hours, they said that with all the people traveling to one place, it's likely that this happens. Fortunately I carried on a set of my uniform that I would need for today (praise the Lord) and tomorrow just in case.

My goal while I'm here is to really establish my walk with the Lord, "To fear the Lord is to hate evil; I hate pride and arrogance, evil behavior and perverse speech." Prov 8:13

Here's to seeking the Lord with all of me...

03 January 2008

Hosea...

In my "going through the Bible" that I started...in Fall 2005 I think....I'm in Hosea. And as I'm reading and studying it, I'm so fascinated and excited and blessed by everything that is coming through it. I hope to share some insights with you (whomever you may be).

Hosea 4 (NIV)
v6) my people are destroyed from lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge...because you have ignored the law of your God...
There is no knowledge of God, nor of any sacred thing, nor of their own interest or the danger in which they are exposed to...they walk blindly and will perish... they might have become wise, if they had not disregarded the means the Lord provided for improvement (prophets, teachings)
v14)...a people without understanding will come to ruin!
NASB says are ruined. Meaning thrown down, cast aside, thrust out. What imagery...

These two verses just stuck out to me, since most of the verses you read about wisdom, understanding and knowledge are in Proverbs...but it's cool to see God's word tie into itself.

How about this from Ch 6 that we've heard many times before...(Referenced in Matt 9:13)
v6) For I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings.
NASB: For I delight in loyalty, rather than sacrifice and in the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings.

chapets: to delight in, take pleasure in, desire, to be pleased with
checed: goodness, kindness, faithfulness
da'ath: knowledge, perception

I enjoyed Adam Clarke's commentary about this...
"I taught them righteousness by my prophets, for I desired mercy. I was more willing to save than to destroy; and would rather see them full of penitent and holy resolutions than have the best offerings/victims on my altar"

Holy smokes. This is a God who when there is sin, there must be a sacrifice or a death to cover that sin. And here, He is saying--He would rather have your goodness, kindness, faithfulness, wholehearted desire to see after Him--than a thousand lambs on an altar.

Ch 10
v12) Sow for yourselves righteousness, reap the fruits of unfailing love and break up your unplowed ground; for it is time to seek the Lord, until he comes and showers righteousness on you.
NASB Sow with a view to righteousness, reap in accordance with kindness; break up your fallow ground, for it is time to seek the Lord until he comes to rain righteousness on you.

Adam Clarke applied these 5 steps to the human heart and God's work on it...
Correction, Contrition (sincere and complete remorse), Conversion, Receiving the grace of Christ and Bringing forth fruit. Look back and see how these compare...

Sow righteousness-Correction: if you sow, plant righteousness, your life is being corrected, to be more righteous
Reap the fruits of unfailing love-Contrition: if you fully understand the mercies of God and the hugeness of the gift of forgiveness (the fruits of unfailing love), you will have sincere and complete remorse
Break up your unplowed ground-Conversion: Break up your hardened heart, remember your sin and change it...convert
Seek the Lord-Receiving the grace of Christ: By Christ we are able to have an intimate relationship with our God...seek Him with all your heart and you will find him (You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart Jer 29:13)
Showers of righteousness-Bringing forth fruit: When the Lord blesses you (showers you) you will bear fruit, His fruit

v13b-14a)...Because you have depended on your own strength, and on your many warriors, the roar of battle will rise against your people, so that all your fortresses will be devastated-...
I don't think I need to go into that--it's a warning against us leaning on our own strength (as in Prov 3:5-6: Lean not on your own understanding...) because when you do...battle will rise against you, and your walls of safety will be devastated...hoh, that sucks.

Ch11-God's love for Israel...this chapter is moving and it gives imagery and reminders of God's love for us...consider these:
v2a) But the more I called Israel, the further they went from me.
v3b)...but they did not realize it was I who healed them.
v4b) I lifted the yoke from their neck and bent down to feed them.
v9) I will not carry out my fierce anger...for I am God, and not man-the Holy One among you. I will not come in wrath.

I think it's interesting in the beginning of the chapter God tries to remind us of all the things he has done for us, the things he has done in love to bless us, help us, and get us through. And yet...the further we go from him, we do not realize it is Him who has healed us or what he has done. AND YET--he will not carry out his fierce anger...because Hallelujah he is not man (short tempered--like some of us). He will not come in wrath, he came in love.

I've been blessed. He reminded me that I like to study. I like to converse with Him. and it is an IMPORTANT thing that I take this time daily. More IMPORTANT than urgent things that call for my attention.

Night ya'll.