Tuesday, November 30, 2010

They Are Living Among Us...

It was one of those days when the strength of my headache overpowered my dislike of costly corporate coffee. I broke down and stood in line at my college’s overpriced bookstore cafĂ©. Surrendering to Starbucks was not a total loss, because I got to see our very attractive resident barista. Somehow the way his charm and rugged good looks lifted my mood made up for my lightened pocketbook.

After I ordered and received my drink, I hung out at the end of the line to fix up my coffee. If I happened to steal glances at the cute barista, well, that would just be a coincidence. As I was standing there, I overheard that same barista speaking to one of his co-workers, only, it did not sound like the same person. His voice took on a more nasally tone that I had not noticed before.

The ruggedly handsome barista was discussing a multiplayer game with his friend, when I finally realized that -twist!- he was a nerd! Don’t get me wrong, I love nerds, being somewhat of a nerd myself, but I was totally not expecting it. This brought up the following question: Did he always talk with that clichĂ© tone of voice, and I just did not hear it before, or was it a voice he put on only when talking to friends who shared his gaming interests? Hmm, maybe I should revisit this cute nerd to investigate—solely for scientific purposes of course.

Monday, November 29, 2010

The Monday Blues

Garfield's not the only one who hates Mondays.

Now I know why I like cats...

Hope you can pick yourself up
and live to fight another Monday.


Sunday, November 28, 2010

Surprise Prayers from a Worship Song

I love our early morning worship service, even on days that I don't love waking up early to go to church. Our worship team is composed of young people that perform contemporary songs. I love it because I already know the songs we sing from listening to them on the car radio.

This morning, a song that I had heard of, but had never really digested, played while the offering plate was going around. The song took me by surprise, because it listed ways to react to different situations in life. This really caught my attention, because I have a bit of a poor memory. I am constantly forgetting how I should pray in different circumstances in order to live the spirit-lived life that Jesus wants for me.

I posted the lyrics here:

The Desert Song Lyrics

Verse 1:
This is my prayer in the desert
When all that's within me feels dry

This is my prayer in the hunger in me

My God is a God who provides

Verse 2:
And this is my prayer in the fire

In weakness or trial or pain

There is a faith proved

Of more worth than gold

So refine me Lord through the flames

And I will bring praise
I will bring praise

No weapon forged against me shall remain

I will rejoice

I will declare

God is my victory and He is here

Verse 3:
And this is my prayer in the battle

And triumph is still on it's way

I am a conqueror and co-heir with Christ

So firm on His promise I'll stand

All of my life

In every season

You are still God

I have a reason to sing

I have a reason to worship

Verse 4:
This is my prayer in the harvest

When favor and providence flow

I know I'm filled to be emptied again

The seed I've received I will sow

That last verse is really my favorite part of the song. When things are going great, I thank God for what is happening, but I forget to bless others with what I've been given. When God gives us talents or a little extra of something, He expects us to turn around and give back to others.

I was amazed to find that my Sunday School lesson was also about giving back. We learned that if we follow Jesus long enough, we will become fishers for Him. It is not something that we do all on our own. Jesus said, "Follow me and I will make you fishers of men."
My prayer is now, "Lord, take all of my talents and failings and make something that can be used for You."

I encourage you to take whichever verse most strikes a cord with you, and add it to your daily prayers. It has already begun to bless me, and I hope it helps you too.


Saturday, November 27, 2010

Beginning the Holiday Season Right

I wonder if I am doomed to blog as often as some people attend church -- a few times a year during holidays or special occasions. This holiday season has hardly begun, but I have noticed that the people around me seem to have already caught the spirit of Thanksgiving and Christmas--gratitude.

Last week, I passed a professor's bulletin board in the hall. Since I had nothing better to do, I paused to look over the collection of political cartoons and articles. Usually these bulletins serve as an example of the professor's political or religious views, so I was surprised at what I found. The article that caught my eye was entitled, "Grateful People Live Longer." There were many tips on being thankful, in order to lead a stress-free life. One idea for fighting stress-induced insomnia was counting blessings instead of sheep.

This advice caught my eye because I had been having trouble sleeping just days earlier. I tossed and turned in bed for hours; I was just so stressed about finishing my research paper in time. After saying numbers in my head, counting forwards and backwards, I was at my wit's end--and still had no sleep. Finally, as a last attempt, I started at 100 and counted backwards, but this time, after each number, I named the first thing that came to my head. It sounded like, 100 classes, 99 finals, 98 essays, 97 days, and so on. Most of what I said aloud was stuff that weighed down my heart and stressed me out. Focusing on the numbers and the random words calmed my heart, and soon I felt myself drifting off to sleep.

A few days later, in the kitchen, my sister and grandma were talking about the movie, White Christmas. My sister remembered the scene where Bing Crosby sang his touching song, "Count Your Blessings (Instead of Sheep)." She loves the uplifting lyrics, which remind us to focus on the good things in life, and to consider how good things really are. Next time I have one of those sleepless nights, I will try to mention good things that happened during my day, while counting backwards. That way, my dreams might be filled with more pleasant things.

I think the only way to really make the most out of potentially trying times, such as sleepless nights or holiday pressures, is by finding a silver lining in every situation. Lord knows that is a tough one for me, as I am often a glass half-empty kind of girl. Instead of getting stressed over my research paper, I need to think about how fortunate I am for even being able to attend college. The holiday season can also be tough for some, but I thank the Lord for all of my loved ones, here and abroad, that can celebrate this time with me.