DAY AWAY

February 27, 2008

Today the RD’s get to go away for the day!  YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Honestly, its difficult to get away from this place.  Often times its my own pride thinking this place or things I am directly responsible for can’t function without me.  Other times it really is because I love the people here.  However, I am thankful for leaders who care enough to get us away as a team – its so fun!  I haven’t always had the best attitude but the Lord has grown me.  I’m realizing and growing more and more in my understanding that it really is more about Christ and the people around me.

We’re riding the metorlink down town and helping Joe do a site inspection for something and just spending the entire morning and afternoon together!  

In a light of all that, I have made a decision about next year but I’m sitting with it for a week and then letting Joe know.  The reason being is I am horrible at making decisions and sometimes I waffle back and forth.  I didn’t want to do that with this decision.  It was difficult but I am confident about it.  The wrestling with the Lord now is not about going back and forth but more about making a comittment and sticking with it, no matter what.  That’s hard, especially when I am so fickle and/or when the Lord’s providence brings about both trials and blessings in ministry or just in life. 

 So, some of you have prayed for me about this and I appreciate it.  I’ll let you know when the time is right =)

Okay, see ya!   

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PROVIDENCE

February 25, 2008

I’ve been thinking a lot about how the Lord has providentially placed particular students in my life.  Its been amazing to wonder about that thinking, “Okay, why was this person in my life or that person?” or “I never thought this person and I would ever get long” but being surprised at the depth of relationship that came of that (reciprocated care and concern, even now).  I also thought, “Wow, this is really difficult with this person”. 

Then I wondered why I made the choices to disciple this particular guy or why I asked this guy to minister with me (or be on staff) or why that guy wanted me to disciple them or why that guy to push away or why I said yes to this guy and no to this other guy or why this guy to be really good friends with and that guy to just laugh with etc.  This made me evaluate how Christ chose His followers and what He did with them and what their relationships were like. 

I wondered what people thought of Him (Jesus) as a result of who was following Him?  Now to be very frank here, I didn’t choose every guy that was in my dorm or on my staff and I had to learn how to adjust to that, it was challenging (but mostly encouraging).  But then there are guys that I did choose to go after, that were challenging as well (but mostly encouraging again).  I wondered what people thought of Christ when they saw His 12 follow Him, be around Him, ministered with Him, make mistakes and sin having been with Him?  I started to think about how that applies to my role here as an RD or just as an older brother in the faith, with younger brothers in the faith or with me as a younger man in the faith with other men in the faith. 

I had a couple of friends ask me, “Ona, why do you have so many punks/arrogant guys in your life?”…they’re not all like that…My initial response is, “Seriously!?”  Then my next, more realistic response is, “Because I am one.”  I know people will go to bat for me and say otherwise, but nonetheless, I have to look at God’s providence in allowing particular (all of them) guys to be in my life for a reason (realated or unrelated to any parallels mentioned). 

We’re coming close to interviews for RAs next year (and the rest of SLS).  So, I’m wondering How the heck do I choose who it will be?  I can’t rely on my tactics or experience or keen sense of wisdom or gifts (mine or theirs) – I can’t rely on the interview alone (though it does reveal alot) and I can’t rely on word of mouth (good or bad – though helpful) and I can’t even rely on the wisdom that comes from the other RDs (that, in essence helps me choose) BUT I have to rely completely on the providence of God.  His Sovereign will, His wisdom from above and ultimately there have been guys in my life, both not of my choosing and within my choosing that God ordained for His purposes, both in their life and mine.  So, I’m thankful!  And I continue to be thankful for what I have been a part of and what I still get to be apart of, in all of the joy, pain and sorrow of this sometimes ridiculous but awesome job of an RD I get to have.   

SUSHI

February 13, 2008

The twins (Thomas & Trenton) & Chris are taking me to Sushi for my birthday (I know my birthday was 3 weeks ago and still they’re wanting to take me out – I think they just want to eat it anyway!  I love sushi and especially when others pay for it and enjoy it as much as I do! My last visit was with Jeff and as a matter of fact he paid for it too =)! 

STUPIDITY & SIN

February 5, 2008

Without going into all the details (or any of it) I’ll just say that being lied to isn’t fun at all.  In the end the Lord used it to expose immature thinking and deception, even in the smallest of moments. 

In short, some of my guys were caught doing something they shouldn’t have done and when asked about it they lied (4 of the 5 guys lied to my face – sad).  Its not fun being the brunt of people’s sin but if it means all of us sitting together in a room (having already finding out they lied) and working through the stupidity of their choices and the seriousness of their lie then its all worth it. 

The saddest part about it was literially watching them lie and fumble and fall.  But the best part was praying at the end and seeing the Lord bring things to light and rejoicing (really) about how the Lord restores – it could’ve been akward but it wasn’t.  They stayed about another 45mins after and just hung out – we talked, laughed, talked some more and laughed some more.  Still there are consequences that will be applied but I don’t understand it entirely, but the Lord’s grace in us every situation in bringing about His glory in our change and growth is astounding to me. 

It made me think about how many times throughout the day, everyday I choose (in the face of my God) my sin and my stupid choices over obedience to Him.  I am moved and very thankful for God allowing me to stay and allowing me to see in very specific and general moments how awesome He is and how great of a privilege it is to live in grace relationship with Him.  I hope and pray I learn that more and more – I’m very far from understanding grace and even further from living in that but in the mean while I’ll fight really hard to move towards that and embrace it as it comes. 

Its quite interesting how much you can learn from being in the middle of people’s sanctification – sometimes its messy, all of the time it’s humbling and the times in between are really enjoyable.  This time was a mixture of both!  While I too have made studpid choices I hope and pray the guys realize that lieing is a sin, dishonors God and compromises integrity!  I hope I realize that as well.