Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Testimony of God's Faithfulness

“You have multiplied, O Lord my God, Your wondrous deeds and your thoughts toward us; none can compare with You! I will proclaim and tell of them, yet they are more than can be told.”
Psalm 40:5

I completed my last final exams with the Seminary I used to get nine upper level credits (three courses) and was ready to send in the request for a transcript for the classes to be sent to my college when I found out that the Seminary had switched accreditation services. They no longer were with the place necessary for me to transfer my credits to my college.

I contacted my college. They weren’t going to accept those three courses unless they were approved and sent through the accreditation service the Seminary was originally with.

It was looking grim. I was planning on applying for graduation soon. And if I didn’t finish and apply for graduation by June, I’d have to pay another year of tuition to my college.

My parents and I looked for alternatives. My college wasn’t going to accept the credits but one way. And it didn’t look possible for the Seminary to transfer them that way. I started looking for three courses I could take that would fulfill those three upper level, degree specific classes. Was there any way I could avoid spending the $1,800 it might cost if I took three classes? Was there any way I wouldn’t have to spend the time on those courses, when I had already begun working on post-college work?

I prayed. My parents prayed. I knew that God would work things out for my good, and that if He wanted, He could work a miracle. But I also knew He could have greater plans in this. I couldn’t understand what they would be, but I laid my burden at His feet, and continually prayed that He would somehow allow these courses to be accepted.

My mom reminded us that God wants us to be that dependent on Him daily as we were throughout the day my “college crisis” came up. In times of difficulty we are often drawn to Him because we see our own weakness and hopelessness. We realize we can’t do anything by our own power. But not only should we seek Him in that way when things are going poorly, but all the more when things are going well, and we are more likely to rely on our own self-sufficiency!

The issue was back and forth—at one point it looked hopeful, and then it would seem grim again. I needed to know if any of my credits were going to be accepted because if they weren’t I need to sign up for three courses, and quickly.

In the end, all my courses transferred, but I was two credits short of graduating because two of the courses ended up counted as 2 credit courses instead of 3 credit courses. But they transferred, and I was delighted for that. Thankfully, I only have to take one course instead of three. That is the "Psychology of Personality" course that I mentioned I was taking.

God used this circumstance to remind me that my joy must come from Him alone, and not circumstances. I desperately wanted things to turn out a certain way, but I had to trust that no matter the result, God had sovereignly planned it as the best for me. My post on joy was an overflow of what God had been teaching me. It’s easy to depend on our circumstances as our source of joy, and when problems arise, we then become angry or bitter. But if instead we turn to the Lord and recognize that He alone is our only source of joy, we can face any circumstance with hope.

What a mighty God we serve, a God who hears the prayers of His children and is willing to answer us, and give us so much more than we deserve!

“Trust in Him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before Him”
Psalm 62:8


Friday, April 22, 2011

Good Friday Reflections

In the Old Testament God gave the Jewish people “holidays” like the Passover. On these days they remembered God’s great work in their lives. This week is a special week for Christians. Like the Jewish people, we use the week leading up to Easter to focus Christ’s death and how He bore the wrath of God, and take extra time to ponder what that means. In light of that, I have a couple quotes to share.

Martin Luther expresses, “You must be overwhelmed by the frightful wrath of God who so hated sin that He spared not his only begotten Son. What can the sinner expect if the beloved Son was so afflicted? It must be an inexpressible and unendurable yearning that causes God’s Son Himself so to suffer.” (emphasis mine)

Jesus bore the wrath of God that we might be forgiven. What wondrous love, and our response should be great joy! 
“O Father, who spared not thine only Son that though mightest spare me…O that my every breath might be ecstatic praise, my every step buoyant with delight.” (emphasis mine)
Valley of Vision

Thankfully, because of Christ’s work on the cross and victorious resurrection, we have the ability to come before a holy God, cleansed and justified.


Saturday, April 9, 2011

In the past couple months...

I added two more piano students to my lessons. (Fourteen total now, may add another soon, and loving every minute of teaching!)

My brothers started homeschool baseball.

I did a senior photo shoot, a family photo shoot, two baby photo shoots (combined), and another photo shoot with a friend. And no, I do not have a photography business. But I love it! :)

I had lots of ups and downs regarding the completion of my degree. (for those of you interested, a full post will be devoted to that soon)

I posted a series on bitterness, which is I hope is encouraging and practical.

I judged at a homeschool speech and debate tournament. (which was a lot of fun)

My brother and I helped three families in our church move.

My siblings and I started playing tennis again (for fun, no lessons or official games involved)

I started reading my textbook for my last college course, Psychology of Personality (this should be interesting…I may have to write a post on some of the odd ideas in it)