Monday, November 24, 2008

My Jayne


I can't remember really what did it.
What it was that made her say, "Forget what everyone else is doing. I'm following Him."
She didn't care what people thought. She didn't care if that meant she was walking alone.
I wish I knew what made it all click for her.
I wish I would've felt that way when I was in high school.
Maybe then, I could somehow translate it to the high school kids and junior highers
I work with every week.
(Not to say that there aren't those running passionately in 180. There absolutely are.)

I remember when she was going into her freshman year.
She saw and understood so clearly that her purpose for being at that high school
was not just to learn - although I'm pretty sure she's had straight A's all four years -
but it was to be a light in a very dark place.
It was to introduce Jesus to people who are genuinely searching.
Thus, the birth of "Seek".
A place on campus, where people can come and learn who Jesus is.

This past week a new idea was born.
Let's let them ask questions.
Anything they want about Jesus, Christianity, and life.
Then we'll take them to our pastors and leaders and give our peers the answers to their questions.
They had live music, and a table during their lunches where students could ask any question they wanted.
These are the questions that this generation is asking:

  1. General God Questions
    1. How do you KNOW God is real?
    2. How and why is God outside of the time we think of?
    3. Why is God beyond understanding?
    4. Can God make another god?
  1. In the Beginning
    1. How did life begin?
    2. Why were humans created? What is the purpose of life? What is the meaning of life? Why were we made to live this life?
    3. Are there aliens?
    4. Where did evil come from in the beginning? Where did Satan’s pride come from if Heaven is perfect?
    5. How do you believe the flow of time is structured? Is it a predetermined fate or one alterable by the hands of mortal men?
    6. Tell me about the end.
  1. Heaven and Hell
    1. Is there life after death? If there is, how do they know who to put in Heaven or Hell?
    2. How do I know I will truly be SAVED?
    3. Who decides which people get to heaven?
    4. Do people that commit suicide still have a shot at making it to heaven?
    5. Where does Hell exist? If it exists, how was Hell created?
  1. Accuracy of Faith
    1. How do we know what the Bible says is truly God’s word? Why do People say God wrote the Bible, when man did, and don’t give me that s*** answer saying God used them to write it…its hypocrisy. Did Jesus actually write anything?
    2. Why do you discard equally relevant and veritable ancient texts not included in the Bible?
    3. How does one account for extremely similar qualities between the story of Jesus and that of heroes before him (e.g. Dionysus, Mithras)?
  1. Homosexuality
    1. Is homosexuality caused by a chemical imbalance, is it caused by something else, or is it a choice? Why do people love each other?
    2. What is so bad about gay people? Why does the church hate them?
    3. Why do Christians seem to hate gays so much?
    4. Why did God make gay people?
    5. Why do some churches accept homosexuality when the Bible speaks out against it?
    6. What if I like girls even if I know it’s wrong? I want to not but…
  1. Life Application
    1. Why does God give us challenges that we feel we cannot face?
    2. If God really cares about me, then why did he leave me in the dark? I’m closer to death than Him.
    3. How do I know I’m not missing what God’s trying to tell me and what He wants me to do? What do I do about it?
    4. Why will being a servant to God make me truly happy?
  1. Religious Questions
    1. Do you think that other religions are wrong and that they could be condemned for these beliefs?
    2. How do you help your non-Christian friends who are struggling in their faith?
    3. I know I should be having daily devotionals, but I can’t find the motivation. HELP!
    4. What can more people and I do to pronounce our faith and express it in ways that don’t offend other people or religions?
    5. Does everyone have a guardian angel? If so…what do they guard you from?
    6. What is purgatory?
    7. I’m Catholic, but I want to convert. Will I go to hell?
    8. The Ten Commandments say not to kill, but is it okay to kill in war? Or, if that person will kill someone else, is it ok?
  1. Specific Questions
    1. Are things ever going to get better? This has been the worst year of my life and I don’t understand why this is happening?!
    2. Why do people have to ask so many questions? Why aren’t all the answers just there for us?
    3. Why do I NOT have any friends?
    4. Why are people so afraid to ask questions?
    5. Why is Obama president?
    6. What was Jesus’ favorite color?
    7. Can you only see ghosts if you believe in them?
  1. Drugs
    1. What is God’s view on Marijuana and other drugs?
    2. Does Marijuana have harmful effects on the body?
    3. Why did God put weed in this world?
    4. Why is Marajuana illegal?

How amazing!!
High school students want to know.
They're genuinely seeking after truth.

I'm so proud of Jayne.
Proud of her boldness.
Proud of her love for her high school.
Proud of her faith.

If you think about it, would you pray for Jayne and for this whole undertaking.
Pray for wisdom for the pastors and leaders who are going to be answering all of these questions.
Pray that lives would be changed because of it.
And pray, most importantly that eternity would change because of it.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Our First Anniversary

So let me just start off by saying that this has been one of the
most amazing years.
Jesus is so faithful, always, consistently, unwavering.
He chooses things, lots of different things, in our lives to teach us
and to bring us closer to His heart.
Marriage has been one of those things for me.
I was reflecting on this past year in my journal today,
which happens to be our actual anniversary,
and said this,

"I've learned more, died more, loved more, sought more, questioned more,
and believed more, than ever before."

And it's true.
No two years in Master's Commission could have ever taught me
all that I've learned this year.
I stand amazed at the Lord in His purposes for marriage being just one more way
to know Him, see Him, and learn Him, even more.
What's even more beautiful is that I know the best is yet to come.

Now, on to the Bahamas.
The beautiful, amazing, 90 degree Bahamas!

Our first stop was in Freeport. This day wasn't as sunny as we had hoped.
In fact it even rained a little.
But it was beautiful and very warm, nonetheless.
Eric's hair was super curly!
I was asked if wanted my hair braided more times than I can count.

The next day we stopped in Nassau, the capital of the Bahamas.
It was sunny, super humid, and super hot.
As soon as we stepped off the boat we were bombarded
with taxi drivers, jewelry makers, hair braiders...everybody wanting to make a buck.
We weeded our way through them all and found a nice outdoor cafe' to read our
Bibles and get our caffeine fix.
It was way too hot for coffee, but hey we're addicts.
After time with Jesus and some walking around
we headed back to the ship and changed into our beach attire!
Again, as soon as we stepped off the boat we were bombarded once again
but this time with scooter venders!
It wouldn't have surprised me if they started punching each other.
Apparently our business was very valuable.
Oh yes, that's right. We rented a scooter.

It was surreal riding around this beautiful island, our destination being
this even more breathtaking beach.
I've never seen water so blue.
Oh and p.s., they drive on the left side of the road.
So scary! But Eric did great.

Here's Eric in the deep blue sea.
I went for a dip as well a few minutes later, and the water was so warm!Yes folks, that's a hammerhead shark!
But don't worry, it was in it's own separate pool.

We headed back to the ship for formal night, and formal dining, with three
yummy courses.

We wandered over to the theater to catch the show.
Here we are waiting for it to start!

Our ship.

The last day of our week was spent in Orlando. We rented a car and
explored the unknown land.
We only got lost a couple of times, but hey, it's all part of the adventure right?

Plus, look what we found because we got lost!
Who knew?
We had such a great time
and can't wait to see all the great things
God's going to do this year!