Tuesday, January 29, 2008


This is something I wrote off of my notes from our latest series at Oasis. It was only 2 weeks long, but I wish it had been longer. :)
If you don't have the time to read it all at once and really think about it, please break it up into the two parts I've separated by the -----
Sorry about how spaced out it is, Blogger was being annoying.

Purity: God’s Standard For Our Life

“ Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, "You shall be holy, for I am holy." …Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for a sincere brotherly love, love one another earnestly from a pure heart, since you have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God; for
"All flesh is like grass
and all its glory like the flower of grass.
The grass withers,
and the flower falls,
but the word of the Lord remains forever."”

(1 Peter 1:13-16; 22-25a)

Quick definition:
Standard: a set of beliefs that shape your life.

As Christians, we want to live according to God’s standards for our lives. But in order to do so, we must know what God’s standards for us are. Verse sixteen of 1 Peter 1 says “You shall be holy, for I am holy.” God has called us to be holy because He is holy. To be holy is the same as being without sin, without anything cheapening your life. We were created to be without sin, but we fell and cannot reach God’s standard on our own.

Many then think that God has set up do’s and don’t’s for us so we can attempt to reconcile our fall. Do’s and don’t’s just make us push at the boundaries. Instead of looking at what we can’t do, look at God. Turn your back and the hindrances of the world and embrace God for who He is.

But be prepared! Holiness and purity are not of this world.

The people who love purity are God’s children and warriors for the purity they love. We protect family and friends because we love them. If we love our purity, we will protect it. And what must we protect it against? We must protect our purity against the things that are attempting to darken our purity. These things scream at us to be impure like them. Say NO! and look at God.

Do you love your purity? Are you fighting to protect it?


“Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.” (Proverbs 4:23).

So what do we do to protect our purity? The answer is right there in Proverbs 4:23: “Keep your heart with all vigilance.” Some translations say “guard your heart,” which is probably a simpler term than keep your heart. Guarding your heart is like protecting your life, for “from your heart flowers the wellspring of life.” And it’s like a spring of clear water, because if you defile it a little, you defile it all because the sin gets circulated.

To guard your heart with all vigilance, you must ask God what you should and shouldn’t let in, then make sure that only what should go in goes in. Ask yourself two questions:

1. Will this propel me toward holiness or will it slow me down?

2. Does this fit in with my desire to be holy?

As an example of thinking things through, I’m going to use dating.

Quick definition:

Dating: (according to Wikipedia) the act of going out on dates whereby one person socializes with a potential lover using a process that involves scheduled, usually exclusive, meetings of two people with mutual interest in one another.

So what exactly is wrong with dating?

Dating is shaped by culture, media, movies, and untrustworthy influences. People think it will make them happy, so they pursue false relationships. For themselves? False relationships? *warning light*

The two dating have the inability to commit to the situation. They think love is an expression. But love is a commitment. 1 Corinthians 13 love is REAL love – patient, kind, bears all things, is not self-seeking.

Because it’s not real love, the casual expression used when people say “I love you,” while dating is a lie, thus making you a liar.

< The person begins to steal love and affection from you that you should be giving to God.

If you truly love purity, you won’t put yourself in a place where you break it by lying and falsely committing.

The world makes dating seem like a way to “fill” a “need.” If there really is a need, fill it with GOD, not man. Man will leave you more empty than before.

There are two main kinds of relationships in the Bible:

Parents and Children

Husband and wife.

Until we’re ready to be married, we should not even consider dating.

When you are ready to be married, make sure you guard your heart even better.

Keep God first and don’t let those feelings in until it’s time.

Until you can commit to 1 Corinthians 13 love, what the world calls love is just lust. Think about it. Is lusting protecting your purity? NO!

So what do we do instead of dating?

Make the choice of who and when with God and purity as the standard. Put God first.

The world likes to attack us with things like “How are you going to find him?” and “How will you manage talking to him?” (that one’s simple… speak his language and know he exists…).

Answer the world with your faith and trust in God. He’ll take care of everything in His own good time. Don’t expect to pray and then find the guy and be married before you’re 22. It might happen, but often God makes us wait so He may be glorified even more in our lives.

Closing thoughts:
Don’t let the media distract you. BE ON GUARD
If you’ve truly given your heart to God, He has to let you give it to someone else.
Ask questions about all parts of your life, evaluate your desires. Would you do this if Jesus were right by your side?
Opening your heart is like stepping out into an open street. If you don’t go carefully, you’ll be hit hard and ruin your life.
Your heart is precious, but it is capable of evil (Mark 7:21) Keep it from being vulnerable and easily reached.

Be asking yourself:

What does this want in my heart?
What will it do to me?
Is this something I should brush away in my pursuit of God?

What does a pure relationship look like? (whether with opposite genders or the same gender)

What does practically applying purity look like?


"Eew, Sarah, I just ate some of your hair."
"What'd it taste like?"
"Garlic bread."

"So I heard you had a bit of 'Girl Talk' at your Well Group last night."
"Well it wasn't necessarily Girl Talk."
"Then you had some guy talk?"
"Haha, Philip."
"They're opposites..."

Tuesday, January 22, 2008


It's what God's been teaching me about this week, seeing as I've been worrying a lot.
Life's been a little overcrowded balancing school, music, social life, and taking Christine places the past two weeks. Then to add to all that, Monday night started the Perspectives course at Church. It's going to be a great course, but it's intense and long.
We've been working out some summer stuff, Cait and I will [Lord willing!] be going to India over spring break on Surge Serve. And I'll [again Lord willing!] be going to the first session at Csehy All that adds a little stress, trying to get new passports for India and improving as much as I can on oboe before Csehy.

Well, although all this has been fairly small worrying... God's been teaching me a lot about trusting Him...

Although I'm still nervous about camp and being possibly the only oboist, being a newbie there never having played in an orchestra, not knowing how to read music to sing, worried I might not even make it into the orchestra and get stuck in the handbell choir... etc etc etc... God will work everything out and I'll still have a good time.

Although India's a big place and not the safest country and we need new passports, Visas, funds to go... God will provide safety, money, and the time we need.

Although sometimes I want to have control of my future, God's the one who has it all worked out, and I just need to "Trust and obey, cuz there's no other way to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey."

I've started the Perspectives course at Church.
Wow. One week into it and it's already rocking my world. It's intense and it's tough, there's a lot of reading and a lot of stuff to get my head around, but I really like it.

Update: Our passports are being renewed, and they should be done in time for the Surge deadline. :)

Anyway... my week has been normal, dance started up again, sewing's going well, school is eeehhhh... the talk at Oasis was REALLY good, this week I plan to write something off of my notes, basically re-constructing the message. And I can't wait for Monday, Sarah and I have decided that between Perspectives and Oboe while I'm at their house we're going to discuss it within our own personal lives. :)

- Ky

"Okay, so you have magma and the sun. Which one is joy and which one is happiness?"
"The magma is joy because it's inside of you..."
"Okay, what else do we know about magma?"
"It explodes."

E: It has something to do with David.
P: Bathsheba!
Esther: PHILIP!!!
P: Hey, mom, what's the name of that guy... the donkey... you know, stubborn fool?
Mrs. H: Nabal?
E: Isn't that a body part?
P: Wait, how'd we get on this subject?

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

I've been feeling rather cooped up lately. Wednesday there was no rain like there was on Tuesday, so I couldn't go out running in it again (though that was amazingly fun!), but the roads were still flooded in some places so we couldn't really go anywhere.

I've discovered what's bound to be my favorite band, at least musically. Some of their lyrics are pretty, most don't make too much sense and are not secular secular, but not Christian. The band is made up of a cello, guitar, bass, drums, and a keyboard (with vocals, of course).

They're called Broken Iris.

A few of their songs actually sound a bit depressing lyric-wise, but they're absolutely gorgeous. My favorites by them would have to be New Hope, Colorful Mind, and The Scar. Actually one of my most recent favorite quotes is from The Scar: "Never fight unless you're willing to die."
I will warn you, though, much to my surprise, one of their songs (The Eyes of Tomorrow) has a swear word in it.

Wednesday daddy came home from Japan... and guess what he brought back for me?
A 4X4 Rubik's Cube!
Goodness that thing is torture. It's fun, though, just really tricky. I've not gotten past the first layer yet. >.< style="font-style: italic;">The Prydain Chronicles, which arrived with Christine as a VERY late birthday present. Taran Wanderer kind of set off my wandering again, though not really wandering, more of just my cloaked absurdity... I mean, I'm the only person I know who completely loves their music, Rubik's cubes, Lord of the Rings, cloaks, writing, dance, and can be completely drawn back and silent one moment and rather talkative the next.

Thursday morning after school I went with Nate and Candace to the H's for music lessons. I did geometry during their lessons, then Esther and I talked for a little while and she brought out Philip's new cubes (He got a 4X4 the other day, too! And a 2X2). I solved the 2X2, then Philip and I were discussing the 4X4 and he gave me some verbal help. Then mommy dropped me off at the C's for sewing, and afterwards we talked and watched part of the Silver Chair until we went to Oasis... which was just a movie/game night because the bus was canceled because of rain. The movie was Faith Like Potatoes, and I'm still deciding if I want to watch the rest of it or not. Sarah and I watched the first half hour, but then didn't like where it was going and didn't really think it was all that wholesome so we played cards, but a little later kind of started watching again and it looked a little better.

Friday at Church Philip helped me some more with the cube and Sarah, Hannah, Esther and I were playing with the 3X3. In the afternoon I just sat around and cubed (not really getting anywhere), and then we went to volleyball... which was okay on my part, we won our games but not really any thanks to me. Afterwards we talked, played Kent, and Sarah, Philip and I played around with the cube for a while.

afternoon Nate had his first baseball game of the season. He did a wonderful job pitching, but his team didn't win. :( Then we went to Global Village for a while. Global Village is basically a bunch of pavilions with things from all over the world in it. It's really neat just to walk around in, and being outside was really cool. We took a few pictures and videos there, I'll hopefully have them up soon. I got fuzzy toe socks and a Zebra mask.
"What's going on tomorrow?"
"People will be breathing, eating, walking... some will die."

"When you put the mask on, you act like a zebra."

"Madam, I have beautiful material to make ball gown!" (a Pakistani guy in the Pakistan pavilion at Global Village... selling Pakistani material... not at all our idea of "ball gown" :P)

Illiteracy for those who don't see
The gates that untie avid arrogance
Your ground felt so firm I short handed myself
Never again will I give in

Right into hate right into lies
Right back where we've been before
A privilege no more now that we've lost

The Scar buried within mankind
The will that defines all of right from wrong
Now fight unless you're willing to die
None but the obvious state this

Struck with a punishment that would last for an age
Finally it's all black and white
Much more simple to answer

Heroes will rise
Enemies fall
Right back where they've been before
A privelege regained
A gift that you own

Pay no more mind
To the agony from the burn
Let yourself climb
To a height never reached before
Open to find
A path to the pure inside
Now is the time
- The Scar - Broken Iris

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

A rather dreamy all over the place post.

I've been feeling rather like the title up there ^ .

I'll try to compress my thoughts and put them in order enough to make a legible post.

I finally got pictures from Christmas uploaded... here are a few from my Well Group Christmas party.I love the angles on this one... then look at the person in the middle... haha, H!

We were going to take some nice pictures to send to our friend in the states... but...
We did get a few nice ones, but on those ones the lighting on my camera was bad so they didn't turn out too well.

Shall we dance?

Stormy skies... and the Burj Dubai rising above everything else.

It's been raining. And today it's not just been raining, it's been pouring. In some places it's so flooded people are basically unable to go out. Here in the compound there are places the water is ankle deep. I'm so happy that my cloak is waterproof... otherwise mom would have never let me tramp around out there for an hour. It's not quite as exciting and doesn't have nearly as much scope for the imagination as running all over gramma's field does, but 'twas fun nonetheless.

Well Group was canceled because roads were closed because of security because President Bush was in Al Ain coming to Dubai... so instead we went to Festival City and got ice cream at Marble Slab (they had peppermint... yum!) and then went shopping for a little while (ugh for most of it, but there was one store I liked, I got a really nice shirt there for not too much).
Monday we didn't go out at ALL because basically ALL the roads were closed.

Today I've had about 50 story ideas running through my head, jumbling everything up. I know they can all come together in some way, they all have strange cloaked wanderers like myself in them...

Sunday, January 13, 2008

This week has been rather jumbled.
Sunday I woke up with a small flu and slept all day.
Monday I took a nap.
Tuesday I was feeling strong enough to do all of school and went biking.
Wednesday Christine came - she's spending 2 weeks here with us while her school has basically an month of one subject - she's came to do a paper on the Burj Dubai.
Thursday we went out to the desert with the H's. The site was a mess, so we cleaned it up, then I went up on a dune to wait for the H's. Sarah, Esther and I watched the guys play Frisbee for a little while, then went "exploring," striking heroic poses every now and then just for the fun of it. After lunch we climbed back up the dune and made a few plans for possible pranks at the Jr. High campout.
At Oasis Pastor John talked on purity and holiness. It was a really good talk, and I can't wait for his practical application of it all next week.
Friday after Church Mr. K took us out to lunch at Little Caesars and then we came home and I made a cake for Hannah's birthday. After Volleyball we secretly (sneakily) decorated it and then brought it out to sing happy birthday to Hannah.
Saturday (bounces at the memory of Saturday) we went to Mall of the Emirates for a little while. I had Oboe-wan with me because we'd scheduled an oboe lesson for 4:00... so after going in a massage chair and through the black hole in Magic Planet (the black hole is a bridge through a tunnel that there's a screen with moving stars on it... you get REALLy dizzy and feel like you're going to fall off... 'tis fun!) mom picked me up and we drove over there.
And... I loved my lesson! The teacher (mr. Peter) is a great oboist himself, and he's very patient and encouraging... and what I'm really happy about is that I've not been butchering my tone or anything of the sort!

ell, I know this has been short... but today I spent a lot of time practicing music and so I've barely gotten anything apart from school and music done!

- Ky

Monday, January 7, 2008

Desert Challenge 2007 - Renovate - Notes

Well, I finally got around to typing them up. Was gonna do it yesterday but got hit with some sort of flu. Not fun.
Still feeling a little tired and sick, but well enough to practice music and do chores and school rather than sleeping all day.

Desert Challenge 2007 – Renovate – Notes.

Main Sessions:

Opening Session:
Speaker: John Welkner
Passage: Matthew 7:15-29

Renovate: the process of improving a structure.
Follow Jesus’ teaching and your house will be on a rock and you will be wise. Don’t follow his teaching and you become a fool.
When storms in life come, fools will fall apart.

So what’s His teaching?
Examine the fruit of your life. What does it say about you?
v. 21-23 – What if that’s me?
His teaching is the will of the father.
Am I His? Or am I not?
(Deuteronomy 6:5; Matthew 22:37-39)
Love what He loves, hate what He hates, can’t serve two masters.
We want a heart that takes God’s side, admits imperfection, hates sin, and fights the world.
If God hasn’t changed you, He hasn’t saved you.
God is the ONLY renovator of your life. He doesn’t make mistakes or do only half the job. He completes and changes us.
If there’s no renovation, we must repent and believe.
God has to possess your heart before he can change it.
Does He have your heart?
- The world has nothing for me. Only knowing Jesus is my life. –

Main Session One
Speaker: Carlos Devitis
Passage: Ephesians 3:13-21

- You don’t renovate something perfect.
- Peter’s letters are prayers for the Churches.
- Context – gospel is for ALL people everywhere. Groups then were very finite and defined. The Church wasn’t.
- Renovation isn’t something you do alone. We’re renovated together (as iron sharpens iron)
- We claim to love others SO MUCH, but we fight, let others down, etc…

Renovation begins with God’s love and heart for you.
2 Reasons God’s love in Renovation is Good:
1. Because Renovation begins with God, it means we can trust him with EVERYTHING. Proverbs 3:5-6
If we are in control, we let ourselves down. Trust Him with ALL your heart, every single area. When life is critical – every moment – lay down what you want and let someone bigger take control.

2. Because God loves us so deeply, we have incredible purpose, value, and worth. John 3:16 tells us WE MATTER!
If being a part of a sports team matters, being a part of God’s team REALLY MATTERS.

Concluding thoughts: Jesus saved us TO LIFE, not from death. When our identity is wrapped in Christ, we live so much higher than we could on our own. Sure, we may have more pain, but our joy is GREATER!

Main Session Two
Speaker: Carlos Devitis
Passage: Ephesians 3:16-17
Review: Renovation starts with God’s heart for you.
But it’s also your heart for God.

What does someone whose heart is wholly God’s look like? Matthew 14:23-36.
Somebody who sees what God is doing and wants to do it, too.
Peter’s the disciple who really follows God, because he wants to do what Jesus is doing. When he sinks while walking on water, the word Jesus uses for doubt is “why’d you look at me AND the waves?”

- Renovation is obedience.
Jesus is worshiped when we are renovated.
Obedience: what God commands/asks us. What we ask God.

What is God doing around you? The disciples weren’t doing anything, Jesus was.
Renovation continues when you have a heart for God.

Main Session Three
Speaker: Carlos Devitis
Passage: Ephesians 3:20-21, Matthew 5:13-16
- Your Heart for Others -

You have the opportunity to renovate your world.
Get rid of junk before renovation.
We pile brokenness and sin into our backpacks. It circulates over time and causes us to be bitter.
We must get rid of it! What are you carrying around that doesn’t need to be there?
He’s a renovator forever and ever.
If you follow Christ, you need to think you’re always the right person, in the right place, at the right time.
Salt and light = good deeds.
Deeds = anything connected to what you do and how you live.
To renovate – take what we do and put it out front Get creative and take it out.

How you live – explanation and demonstration.

Clearly understand we’re not here to judge

Stop poorly imitating the world and create good.

Closing Session
Speaker: Neil
Passage: Ephesians 4:1
God has a plan for you, even though you’re a mess. Don’t just sit and wait for it. For God to carry out that plan, He needs our hearts.

Even if you’ve stopped believing in yourself, God always believes in you. He’s 100% for you. He’s got a broken world to fix, and through him we can do all things.
What am I doing in my life for the world around me?
Compassion isn’t a project – it’s an act of love until it becomes a lifestyle.

- preach the gospel on all occasions and only sometimes use words.-
John 20:21
You can change the world through Christ.
What are you going to do about it?

Mega Tracks

The Body of Christ
Speaker: Pastor Kyle
Passage: Ephesians 2:19-20

  1. Who we are in Christ.

Who were we BEFORE we came to Christ? Strangers and foreigners. V. 19
Stranger: a person with whom one has had no personal acquaintance.
: a person who comes from a foreign country, who doesn’t owe his allegiance to the country.
We’ve all been strangers and foreigners in the household of God.
Therefore… the rest of the passage speaks of how Jesus’ blood makes us citizens of the household of God.

Citizen: a person entitled to the protection of the country and owing loyalty to that country.
Different backgrounds, different jobs, one body of Christ held together by His cornerstone.

  1. Our role in the Body of Christ.

Build on the foundation Christ has laid. Don’t start a new foundation.

  1. The importance of belonging to the body of Christ. Become a dwelling place for God, corporately and individually. 1 Cor. 6:19 (Mr. Kyle had us all write our names on cups and build a pyramid with them) Alone we’re just a single cup. Together we can start to build something.

We are chosen to belong to one another and to Jesus.
If we can join together, we can do much more.
Join forces and the problem looks smaller.
It doesn’t matter if you don’t get along with them, the citizens of the household of God build on the same foundation.
Joseph was always a servant, even in prison. Understand our role in Christ, understand belonging to Christ. WORK! Things WILL happen!

Value and Worth
Speaker: Amy Kellogg
Passage: Ephesians 2:8-10.
Where do people get their value? (mirror, friends, stuff, achievements, talents, money, popularity).

Our problem is that so many people and commercials tell us that having something, doing something, or relationships make us truly happy. But really those things are temporary and will let you down.

-What’s God’s job in this passage? (He saved us, created us anew, planned things, and gave us things).
- What’s our job in this passage? (believing, not taking credit, doing the things he’s planned for us).
Who comes first? God or you? Sometimes we think we come first, but God made us and we are His masterpiece.
God knew all about us before we were born.
He made us with great care and value. The creator makes a creation valuable, not how it looks.
God gives us a name and makes us just how He wants us. He puts specific things in us so we are UNIQUE.
He wants us to live to the full ability He’s created us to do.
Sometimes we feel like anything BUT a masterpiece. But God’s chipping away at a block of wood to make a full masterpiece.
Michelangelo’s David was once a block of rock.
Pray about what God has put in you.
Then pray about how to testify and live your life.

Surge Tracks:
1. The Family Room – Family Life
Speaker: Donny
Passage: Romans 12:1-3

Relationships are why Jesus died.
Family relationships are important because family knows you best.
God will change a relationship even if you don’t want it to change.
Honor: treat with kindness and care. Doing nothing to harm one’s customs. Accept and think that rules are important.
Relationships aren’t about us.
- call yourself a Christian, how do you relate to your family?

2. The Living Room – Social Life
Speaker: JW
Passage: 1 John 2:15-17
There’s something taking control of our lives.
It’s a battle we fight every day.
What are you letting control you? The fleeting, or the eternal?
Imagine a battle, two sides preparing for war. You’re standing in the middle, both sides groping for you. One side is the world, ads, friends, food… the other side is God, the author of life.
The world is trying to take you away. Fight against the world.

3. The Library – Influences
Speaker: Chris
Passage: Proverbs 1:7, Philippians 4:8, Luke 6:44, Romans 12:2, Matthew 12:35
What influences you and gives you knowledge?
Are we being changed/transformed by the world or God?
These things affect our mind, heart, soul.
Whether you encourage or put down shows your heart. Heart à mouth.
Are your thoughts Philippians 4:8?
Is what your friends online say or what God says more important?
Do you choose your influences by God’s standard (Philippians 4:8) or Man’s standard?

4. The Exercise Room – Our Health and God
Speaker: Brad
Passage: Mark 12:30
What’s the most important thing? Loving God (Deut 6:5).
Offer our bodies as Holy Temples for God.
Choices we make with our physical bodies affect our spiritual lives (lack of sleep = lack of attention to God’s word)
2 Common mistakes – segmenting lives (setting exercise apart from faith), obsessing about exercise (idolizing it).
1 Timothy 4:8 = right perspective.

5. The Bedroom - Secrets
Passage: Hebrews 4:12-16

  1. Hidden sins aren’t secret to Jesus.
  2. Jesus allows our secrets to hurt so he can bring us relief. Forgiving frees you from anger. Not forgiving says you’re greater than Jesus cuz He’s forgiven you.
  3. Relief from Jesus allows His grace and glory to shine in us and through us.

The road to relief is confession and companionship.

6. The Bathroom – Self Image
Speaker: Mr. and Mrs. P
Passage: Luke 15:1-7, Ephesians 2:9-10, Genesis 1:27, Psalm 139:13-14, Galatians 4:6-7.
What words would you use to describe yourself?
We’re individually crafted by God, a masterpiece.
God’s seeking us – we’re sought and bought by Him.
We’re His children – our daddy is the king.
What difference does this make if it’s true?
Make God’s voice bigger than the world’s, it’s what really matters.
Whose voice will you listen to?
Romans 12:2.

7. The Kitchen – Appetites and Desires.
Speaker: Kyle
Passage: Psalm 37:4
It’s possible to have your heart’s desire – if you delight in the Lord.
He will give you Himself – enough to fulfill your desires.
The world makes you think they can give you your heart’s desire. It’s pleasing to the eye, but leads to destruction.

What you put in is what you crave.
Alcoholics crave alcohol, etc…

One side of you desires violence and sin.
The other desires love and joy.
The side you feed gets bigger (Larry Boy and the Big Fib)
If you crave God’s presence, spend time with Him.

Small group notes:
Just a few things I gathered from things Donny said... You can control your influences - if your influence is 10% from God and 90% from the world, the world is going to have a bigger impact.
Make Jesus your best friend, you'll do what He does and go where He'd go. If you're not comfortable going somewhere with your best friend, and Jesus is your best friend, then you'll go where He wants you to go.
We're witnesses - to speak the truth, not to judge or force people to change.

Pegs: People were walking around "pegging" people - a clothespin with a verse written on one side, along with the words "read it, think about it, pass it on!"
These are a few of the references from pegs:
- Leviticus 19:18
- Romans 14:1
- Philippians 4:13
- Titus 4:12
- 1 Corinthians 6:19
- Matthew 5:3-12


Saturday, January 5, 2008

This weekend.

Tomorrow ends Christmas Break.
I'm okay with that.
This break was a good break, fun, albeit busy... which is why I've not gotten DC notes up yet.

Tuesday and Wednesday we didn't do much (leastways, not that I can remember...).
Thursday we went to Safa Park with a bunch of people. The guys (as usual) wanted to play Touch Football, so we tolerated that for a little while, then left the game to play Ultimate Frisbee. We played baseball for a little while, then ate dinner. Jonny had brought his guitar, so we had a short time of worship before we left.
In the evening we went to the Ba's house for Naomi and Jeremy's wedding shower.

Friday after Church and volleyball we went to First Friday Prayer and Praise. Afterwards Cait and I went to the C's for a game night. We walked up to get shwarmas at a nearby cafeteria, then walked back and ate ice cream and played Settlers of Catan... making up sound effects for all of the cards. Sheep was "Maa maa." Wood was "Chop chop." Wheat was "swish swish." And we couldn't think of a good one for ore.

Saturday we went out to the desert with the C's, the M's, Jeremy, Lisa, Chris, and Nathan. After we drove out to the site, we played volleyball for a while, then ate lunch and sat around talking and watching the guys have a melee with the larps. We packed up camp and drove to a big dish-like thing, basically a flat circle on the bottom with steep slopes on 3 1/2 sides. Mr. M took us all out to a ridge and we went over it... the best part was right as you went over the lip and started to dip. (Yes, I rhyme. Some of the time). Then we drove home and I washed the car and got ready for school tomorrow.

URGENT prayer request: You've probably heard about some of the unrest in Kenya... a Kenyan woman in our Church has 2 brothers in Kenya. One was taken by the government (I think) and tortured. They let him go, but he's in pain and really weak - and the hospitals are too full to take him. The other brother was shot a few days ago and is now in the ICU. Please be praying for both of them, as well as the rest of Kenya.

- Ky

Nathan: Aaah, goodness, I keep hitting the ball out of the court.
Philip: Don't you mean more like badness?

Nathan: *sarcastically* You scared the life out of me.
Andrew: So you're a walking corpse?

Lisa: I have a maa maa... will anyone trade me for chop chop or swish swish?

Andrew: Oooh, look, a maa maa and a chop chop. Anyone hungry? Take the maa maa and go chop chop!

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

... *deep breath*...

That's really all that's on my mind right now: wow, God is amazing. Wow, He's given me great friends. Wow, I have so much joy...

Desert Challenge was this weekend, and it was definitely challenging, but in different ways than last year. (DC is a 3-day youth conference for youth in our area. The messages are amazing, worship is really powerful, and this year and last year I strengthened so many relationships - with friends and with God).
Anyway. I guess first I'll tell you what all we did, then I can talk about what God did.

The first day after check-in and orientation we had lunch and chill-out. Various times during chill-out we played signs, mau, Kent, Air Hockey, Uno... Sarah, Vashti and I played around on the piano a few times, just because we missed playing our music. Saturday night was the No-Talent Show, which usually has some really good acts with one or two cheesy No-Talent acts. Cait and I did a dance to the song "Glory to Thee" by Michael Card.
During the Main Session that night, we performed our Candle Dance for everyone... but with it came a bit of learning. All morning we'd been getting frustrated because they hadn't told us when we were doing it, then suddenly we were doing it that evening, didn't have the music, candles, anything for it. So people rushed to the C's to get them... when we were going to do it there was problems with the music which was a major embarrassment, but not anyone's fault. Neil said we'd do it tomorrow and they'd fix the music before then, and within the next ten minutes they'd found it and we were doing it.
I have to say, though, failing so many times and getting so frustrated with it then suddenly getting it and getting it better than any of our practices - brought sooo much more joy on our part.

Sunday we had small groups within our Church group, and a bunch of chill-out, sessions, food, etc... we had Afternoon activities, and I played outside games and then went into the Labyrinth (a prayer room) for the last half-hour. We had Surge Tracks in the late afternoon, which were 8 short, 8-minute talks about different areas of our lives (based on My Heart, Christ's Home).
In the evening the Acoustic Lounge (basically a Talent Show) was running, but we played Kent and other games instead upstairs in Chill-out. After the main session Alicia and I talked for a while, then we prayed with Sarah Y and Vania for a few minutes.

Monday went by quickly, we had small groups again, then a closing session and clean up. We played the cup game for a while after lunch while people were waiting to leave or be picked up. Kianna and I had a really good talk about how we were going to apply what we'd learned.

So, then, what did I learn?
I did get a lot out of the messages, but the 4 main things I learned (about) were:

Worship - Worship, in a way, gained a whole new perspective for me. It became just me and God in a room with music. And I also started worshiping not just through song, but prayer, reading my Bible, and just listening with my heart.

Joy - I can't express the joy God filled me with at DC and continues to fill me with now. I felt so blessed and so loved by Him and knowing all that fills me with incredible joy. I also found how great my joy is when I take the time to sit and be with God. I long to spend time with God every day, but as it says in Romans 7,
"So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand. For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin."

Service - God reminded me to serve my friends and to respect and honor them, not to go overboard in teasing, etc... to serve everyone in every way and at all times, letting Christ's love shine through me by my actions.

Humility - Well, the Candle Dance not working definitely put all four of us down a little. It reminded me to accept circumstances and bear with them... and to live them out. I think (not that we were proud, I didn't see that in Cait, Elisabeth, or Hannah... and I pray it wasn't in me), that we needed a reminder that things can go wrong and God is in control - and we're under Him and need to "Humble [ourselves] in the sight of the Lord."

So how am I going to apply all this? It comes in the form of six New Year's Resolutions:

1. I resolve to spend more time in God's word and being with God, thus spending less time online and in the world. I want my influence to be 100% God, so it is not overrun with the influence of the world.

2. I resolve to strive to do my best in anything and always push myself as high as I can go, be it in school, music, relationships... etcetera.

3. I resolve to serve others more, and serve others for their benefit, not my own.

4. I resolve to not go overboard in anything, especially teasing and be willing to stop an argument when it begins to go too far, even if it may mean a slight defeat.

5. I resolve to let God into all rooms of my heart, not holding anything back from Him.

6. I resolve to grow closer to my family, loving them more and getting to know them better.

Brett Harris's Resolutions from 2005
I think are very good and would encourage you to read them.

For New Years Eve we went to the H's for a game night. We talked for a while, then played Pictionary, Foosball, Pirateer, and Pit. Then we drove to the C's and walked to the beach, where we waded out on a sand bar and watched the fireworks. Sarah wanted to watch the ball drop, so although we didn't have a sparkly pink ball and weren't in Times Square we did it anyway, with a ball of sand.
Johnny was playing his guitar and singing worship songs quietly with Philip, and I spent a few minutes walking on the edge of the water and praying and thinking.

Well, anyway.
Happy 2008. God bless your year!

- Ky

"Being a stranger means... well, you're a stranger."

"You guys have all these funky games... [list of other games] and then there's monopoly meets Hexagon... (Settlers of Catan... :P)"

"If you don't like me, tell me! Don't try to kill me with rubber balls covered in duckies!"

“Being in Church doesn’t make you a Christian any more than being in MacDonald’s makes you a cheeseburger! It’s like walking in and saying, ‘hey everybody, I’m a CHEESEBURGER!’”

"Hey, J, wanna come play Pit with us?"
"If you don't we'll dig you a pit!"
"Wait, can it have water in it? Then I could go swimming..."