Saturday, April 28, 2007
If you don't know her already, meet my future roomie, Alicia Evans...
She's way too much fun, and we always have a blast when we're together!!! Although we only live twenty minutes apart, for the last three years we've traveled eight hours away, twice a year just to see each other!!! We decided at HYC never to do that again!!! We went to TBC and bonded. We saw the "other" more annoying aspects of each other and survived!!! We are gonna have SO much fun at TBC!!!
I LOOK LIKE JOHNNY DEPP!!!!???? Well, if I have to look like a man...at least it's a good-looking one!!! I'm gonna do it again with a straight face later...once I get a picture on my computer with a straight face...that'll be hard!!!! :)
Sunday, April 22, 2007
There is something incredible about this painting. I wish I could have found a larger image of it, but this was all I could find. When I was fifteen, this image was on the cover of the Pentecostal Herald. It caught my eye, and my heart. Yeah, sounds smooshy, but it's totally weird how it worked. I was a very hard-hearted individual, my pastor from Stillwater said of my family just before we left, "Randy is so smart and helpful, Patti is so generous and kind-hearted, Andy's...(oops, I forgot what he said about him)...Staci's so sensitive to God, and Aimi...(he grins and tears a bit)...Aimi's one tough cookie." Then he proceeded to tell how much I'd changed while being there. Luckily. :)
I've never been easy to get at. Or at least it has always appeared so. (I don't always show what I'm feeling. Most of the time, I don't.)
Anyways, when I first glimpsed the magazine laying out on the foyer table, I picked it up, sat in the sanctuary alone and cried. This woman was not a pure and righteous soul. You have to have many issues to be what she was. Hard hearted even. For her to so boldly approach the King in such a fashion of humility and worship, was beyond me. I remember replaying that scene from the Bible. She comes into Simon the leper's house where the Lord is eating.
"[...] And one of the Pharisees desired him that he would eat with him. And he went into the Pharisee’s house, and sat down to meat.
37 And, behold, a woman in the city, which was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at meat in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster box of ointment,
38 And stood at his feet behind him weeping, and began to wash his feet with tears, and did wipe them with the hairs of her head, and kissed his feet, and anointed them with the ointment.
39 Now when the Pharisee which had bidden him saw it, he spake within himself, saying, This man, if he were a prophet, would have known who and what manner of woman this is that toucheth him: for she is a sinner.
40 And Jesus answering said unto him, Simon, I have somewhat to say unto thee. And he saith, Master, say on.
41 There was a certain creditor which had two debtors: the one owed five hundred pence, and the other fifty.
42 And when they had nothing to pay, he frankly forgave them both. Tell me therefore, which of them will love him most?
43 Simon answered and said, I suppose that he, to whom he forgave most. And he said unto him, Thou hast rightly judged.
44 And he turned to the woman, and said unto Simon, Seest thou this woman? I entered into thine house, thou gavest me no water for my feet: but she hath washed my feet with tears, and wiped them with the hairs of her head.
45 Thou gavest me no kiss: but this woman since the time I came in hath not ceased to kiss my feet.
46 My head with oil thou didst not anoint: but this woman hath anointed my feet with ointment.
47 Wherefore I say unto thee, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little.
48 And he said unto her, Thy sins are forgiven.
49 And they that sat at meat with him began to say within themselves, Who is this that forgiveth sins also?
50 And he said to the woman, Thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace. "
This woman, who had been so cold was so touched by God, that she-WITHOUT hesitation, "wasted" her expensive and precious oils on his head, even though others criticized her. She had committed horrible things in her life, but her humility and shame combined with an unexplainable love for the Savior gave her the boldness to give the best she had, though she was not to be considered anything but the lowest form of female life.
She wasn't expecting forgiveness. She wasn't "asking" for anything in return. She knew what she was, but she, nevertheless came and worshipped the Most High.
Others wouldn't believe she had changed. Or that she was even worth anything although she had changed. But she didn't care. She pressed on. That was motivation to try my best even though my family wouldn't believe it right off. I had to show them. So I did.
I remember thinking about the evil things I had done in my life. Rebellion. Hate. On and on. I remember knowing what it felt like to collapse to the ground getting as low as I could because I felt unworthy, but I still felt that God deserved what I could give. My tears. My life. My praise. God DID change me. I have made a 180 degree turn in life. At 15 I decided to give my life to God for WHATEVER He wanted to use it for. It's all I have to give.
I still have that magazine. :)
Tuesday, April 17, 2007
Okay, so we had some pretty freaky weather this past Friday, right? Well, we were supposed to leave around 5pm because that's when Alicia got off work. Coincidentally, that huge storm was passing over at about that time! Talk about cutting it close! Oddly, I wasn't worried about NOT getting to go. I figured if God hadn't wanted us to go, he wouldn't have performed those work miracles for us all.
We all met at Ian's house at five-ish and loaded up the car...(yes, I took ALOT. I wanted options, okay?)...anyway, we loaded up the car, Sister Armstrong pulled me into the house to look at Lindsey's engagement photos...(HA!!! I got to see them before ANYONE ELSE!!!! >:))) then we left around 5:30 or 6 (we said a prayer on the road). Well, the RIDE in itself was fun! Ian was driving, Daniel sat up front with him, and Alicia and I were in the backseat acting like we'd just gotten to heaven or something!!! There was lots of laughter, shared testimonies, and reading of the scripture. It rained on and off throughout our jolly journey, but we didn't really let that bother us AT ALL!!!
We were SUPPOSED to be in some big hurry to get there before midnight, but didn't really rush. We made it seven minutes before twelve!!! We were greeted in the TBC parking lot by a downpour and a new acquaintance, Albert. We did our whole unpacking thing, settled in, and-suddenly-Alicia and I were reminded by our bodies that we had not eaten the whole trip!!! So we ask about leaving campus for some grub...they said the guys could go pick up some food for us, so we called THEM. Ian answers, hears the request, and says "If you're hungry...just go to sleep."
So Alicia and I were on the verge of fleshly panic when Sister Sarah...THE most AWESOME girl AT TBC...saved us!!! She took us to her room and pretty much said, "Pretend like this is your home and eat whatever, I have to go do a room check."
So, Alicia and I chow down on some chocolate almonds and water. At around one-ish, we decide we need showers. So we took one! We got into bed around two thirty and slept hard!
However, my perpetual indulgence of sleep was rudely interrupted by the sound of a monstrous piece of technology that never should have been placed in the hands of a bunch of cantankerous college students!!!
Apparently, the guys pulling the fire alarm each Saturday morning to wake the slumbering gals was almost traditional! I remember swinging my legs over the bed (somehow knowing it wasn't a serious alarm) thinking either it was a poorly timed drill, or a prank. I simply remember yelling, with my super-long hair swinging in front of my face..."Are you SERIOUS!!!!!!!????" Alicia takes one look at me and LAUGHS!!! She, too awakened by the annoyance, had forgotten her bedding and thus had to borrow some from the amiable Sister Sarah. Minus the pillow. And so it was that she had a crick in her neck and was laughing while at the same time trying to remain stationary!!!! Talk about a funny morning!!! I got over my interrupted heaven-like state and prepared to register at nine o'clock...
Alicia go and complete our registry only to find out that we didn't have to be there until 4pm!!! The guy Alicia talked to said 9am. Only, he failed to mention that we had a broad window. So, we didn't really have to leave until Saturday morning. I was kinda glad we didn't wait though.
Anyways, they aren't serving breakfast, so we're starving, hoping the guys are up so we can eat. Right. They were still sleeping peacefully in their warm little beds!!!
So we called them and woke 'em up only to find out that they had gone to Taco Bell after we had spoken to them the previous night!!!
Anyway, that was a super fun first day and that night at around six-thirtyish we found out about Area 39. I'll never forget the students dressed up like FBI agents and scientists as we walked into the darkened cafeteria. The only dull lighting was RED!!! Our sights were blocked by many partitions and the "agents" and "scientists" had us do random things. Alicia had to hold a light bulb, I was interviewed by an "agent" with a squirt gun and we each received either a yellow or a green glow stick. Ian, Alicia, and I got a yellow one and Daniel got a green one. when we stepped into the "chapel" area, the room was lined with tables around a red glowing stage. They had races with remote control cars (Alicia rammed the car into the SAME cone repeatedly), broom and beach ball hockey (Ian broke a broomstick), and limbo(not so great with calve-length skirts on. Then an hour or two later, when the fun was "over", we prayed for the seniors. It. Was. INCREDIBLE. God spoke directly to all four of us each and EVERY service. The next day, of course, was chapel, then church. (There were activities too, but it'll take too long to fill all this in on here. Ask me about it later.) Brother Scoggins is AWESOME. That's all I gotta say. Monday, we went to classes...which, too, were awesome!!! I felt smart, I was doing the SAME worksheets the class was, and I was filling in the blanks CORRECTLY ahead of time!!! I felt like a nerdy third-grader!!! :) Homiletics was THE BEST!!! WE ARE GOING TO HAVE SO MUCH FUN THIS FALL!!!!
Chapel afterwards was VERY incredible. It seemed to be just for me. Then it seemed to be just for Ian. Then for Alicia. It was a very personal time. I cannot explain the feeling. Such tugging. Such battle. Such surrender. Oh wow. If I ever had a single question about going there before, it has forever been banished from my mind. God will make a way. He's already said so.
ALL PRAISES TO GOD...WITHOUT HIM I AM NOTHING!!!
(We had fun singing with Woodlawn Sanctuary choir and Mark Schultz on the way home!!!! :))