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Mark 1

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I started the reading plan yesterday with Mark 1-2. For the sake of time/space, I’m only blogging my thoughts on certain chapters. So today is Mark 1. General format: first, my answers to those 3 questions, then I go deeper into the chapter and my thoughts.

1) What does this teach me about the character of Jesus?

Jesus loves and proves it. He touched the untouchable. He saw beyond the man’s words, and understood the need. And He met that need.

2) What verse or idea jumped out at me?

Jesus gets an immediate response. Whether good or bad, He gets an immediate response. 

3) How can I apply this verse or idea today? 

Don’t get so rushed that I only hear people’s words rather than understanding their need. And once I know the need, meet it to the best of my ability. 

Also, do I represent Jesus well enough that when people meet me, they have to respond to Him? I don’t think I’m at that point yet. People can meet me without encountering Jesus. But my heart reflects the desire expressed by 21-year-old Jim Elliot in his journal (July, 1948): 

“Father, make of me a crisis man. Bring those I contact to decision. Let me not be a milepost on a single road; make me a fork, that men must turn one way or another on facing Christ in me.”

Thoughts as I read:

vs. 7: “After me comes He who is mightier than I, the strap of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and untie.” I am so unworthy to even touch the sandal of Jesus, yet Jesus “being found in human form, humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross (Phil. 2:8).” Lord, I am so unworthy of You. Thank you for loving me enough to die for me. Amazing, unfathomable love. 

vs. 9-13: Jesus gets baptized by John, the Spirit descends on Jesus, God the Father speaks from heaven, and the Spirit “immediately” drives Him out into the wilderness. If that was me, I would be doubting that the Spirit ever descended, doubting whether I actually heard God speak, and questioning why I was lead from the spotlight to the wilderness. But Jesus is perfect and I’m so clearly not. Jesus endured temptation for 40 days and yet never succumbed to it once. His sustenance was the Word of God. That would be crazy hard for me to do, but I imagine it must have been even harder for Jesus because He knew who He is. He knew He is the Son of God. And He knew that He didn’t deserve to be in the wilderness. He knew what power was at His command. Yet He stayed “with the wild animals” and “the angels were ministering to Him.” I wonder how those angels felt–they too knew who Jesus was. Maybe they had seen Him seated at the right hand of God…yet now they saw the same Jesus living as a human…not in luxury, but in the wilderness. And they had the privilege of ministering to the Son of God. 

vs. 14-15: John was arrested, but the kingdom of God is at hand. There is a gospel (“good news”) to believe.

vs. 16-20: “Jesus said to them ‘Follow me, and I will make you become fishers of men.’ And immediately they left their nets and followed Him…And immediately they left their father Zebedee…and followed Him.” Jesus didn’t explain what “fishers of men” means. He didn’t give them a detailed plan of what was to come. He didn’t offer promises, rewards, bribes, or comfort. He summoned them, and they immediately went. I don’t think I would have done that…I like knowing what to expect. But something in Jesus must have drawn them to Him. I would have never come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ if He hadn’t drawn me to Him. He called and I followed, not because of who I am, but all because of who He is. And daily, I must choose to follow. The initial decision was a lot easier than the daily decisions! But in the words of Elizabeth Elliot:

“One does not surrender a life in an instant. That which is lifelong can only be surrendered in a lifetime.”

vs. 21-22: Jesus spoke with authority. There is power in the name of Jesus.

vs. 23-28: “And immediately there was in their synagogue a man with an unclean spirit…” There’s that word again…immediately. Jesus gets an instant response. He rebukes the unclean spirit and casts it out of the man. People start to notice Jesus and wonder what to make of Him. “And at once His fame spread…” Again, Jesus gets an instant response.

vs. 29-31. Jesus heals Simon’s mother in law. “And He came and took her by the hand and lifter her up, and the fever left her, and she began to serve them.” She meets Jesus and her immediate response is service.

vs. 32-34: Jesus heals more sick people and casts out many demons, but prohibits the demons from speaking and revealing who Jesus is.

vs. 35-39: Jesus rises very early, while it’s still dark…goes off by Himself and prays. He knew the strength He would derive from the Father. Do we value our conversations with God that much? Do we treat speaking to the Father as a quick chore or a treasured necessity? After the search team found him, Jesus set out throughout Galilee, confident about His purpose.

vs. 40-45: POSSIBLY MY FAVORITE MIRACLE EVER. “And a leper came to Him, imploring Him, and kneeling said to Him, ‘If you will, you can make me clean.’ Moved with pity, He stretched out His hand and touched him and said to Him, ‘I will; be clean.’ And immediately the leprosy left him, and he was made clean.” Jesus had the power to speak healing…yet, He touched the leper. He heard the request, but understood the need. This leper had not been touched since the day he discovered the leprosy. Can you imagine the anguish? The pain of seeing disgusted looks? The despair and longing for acceptance? Jesus saw that. He heard the man’s plea coming from those dark places of pain and anguish. He touched him. The Son of God–the holy, pure Son of God–touched the leper. Jesus touched the untouchable. He went there. He got His hands dirty. He didn’t care how that made Him look, what people would think. He cared about that man. And He acted accordingly. Jesus changed the leper’s label: He made him clean and whole. It’s no wonder the man couldn’t keep his mouth shut! And it makes me so excited to serve a God like that.

My God is the one true God who loves the unlovable, touches the untouchable, wants the unwanted, and redeems the unredeemable.

All those “un” prefixes disappear in His presence. The labels change. The unlovable become loved. The untouchable become touched. The unwanted become wanted. The unredeemable become redeemed. Amazing.

God’s grace in my life today:

He hears me, He sees me, He satisfies my needs.

And He changes my label.

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Med School Update + 40 Days

Happy summer, everyone! With summer, comes my obsession with nail polish.

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Sounds good, Ry-guy.

Back to the topics at hand:

Med School Update

For those of you who were wondering what ended up happening with this post and this post, here’s a quick med school recap: 

I was accepted to 3 awesome schools, including one dual degree program with a stipend.

I was hoping for my top campus choice…and I got the one campus I had always flippantly dismissed (that’s what the first linked post is about).

I visited this campus and realized that I should be more discerning about whose opinions I accept as my own. The campus and town pleasantly surprised me (it was gorgeous!), the dean was phenomenal, and I realized I could see myself there…but it was much farther away than I wanted. I really wanted to be closer to family and closer to where my brother lives. 

So I had to decide if I wanted to 1) pick my top school and risk being far away, 2) pick my top school and enter the Second Chance Lottery (details below) but still risk being far away, or 3) pick one of the other two awesome schools. Basically, any option would result in me being a doctor, but each would be a very different path/life for me. 

After a lot of praying/list-making/discussing, I turned down (aka “broke up with”) 2 med schools and decided to take the risk.

I officially chose IUSM as my medical school.

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And I entered the Second Chance Lottery. Basically, that means I sent in a form saying I’m definitely going here, but I want to be transferred to Campus X. It took me forever to decide which campus “X” to choose. And then Friday night (it was due 5 days later on Wednesday), I stayed up really late and prayed that God would counsel me and instruct my heart (Psalm 16:7–current favorite verse). I fell asleep confident about which campus I should choose. And I woke up, prayed, told my family, prayed, and we sent the form.

Then I had to sit and wait. I was told that last year the students received an email around June 7 with the results. We called to make sure my form had been received…and then realized it was received one day past the deadline! Something got messed up with the mail. That’s when I realized how badly I wanted to be transferred to this new campus. I was just so confident that God directed me to choose that campus, so I had this doubt creeping in that maybe I had converted my feelings into God’s leading (pulled the “God card”). But I had just spoken the previous night about not doubting the Lord’s direction in our lives even when circumstance seem to encourage doubt and anxiety. So it was time to put my words into practice! Shortly after reminding myself that my peace rests in a Sovereign God, I found out that my form was still being entered in the lottery. Praise God!

So I was tutoring at a neighbor’s home last Thursday, when my mom called and said I got transferred! It was such an exciting moment for me, especially since I didn’t expect to hear anything until June 7th. I love surprises and I’m so thankful for such a wonderful surprise! So friends, I received the campus I wanted and I’m thrilled to begin medical school there! After the first two years of med school, I will get to do my clinical rotations (last 2 years) in one of my favorite cities 🙂 Yay! Thanks for all your prayers!

40 Days

I’m one of those people who goes 100% on everything.

If you give me a test, I zone in and become completely unaware of my surroundings.

(One time a teacher asked me if I noticed the kid next to me cheating…all I could tell him was that I didn’t even notice the kid there because I get tunnel vision during a test)

If you tell me to relax, I can literally lie on the couch all day.

“When I’m not working, I am the laziest person. I can literally lie on a couch and watch television for 15 hours. I hate people who say, ‘Oh, I’m addicted to working out. ‘I just want to punch those people in the face.”

Right on, J-Law. RIGHT ON.

Currently, I haven’t really “thrown myself” into anything. It’s summer, so I’m enjoying the break from school, and I’m working 32 hours a week. But summer doesn’t last forever…dun dun dun. 

Truly, though, I want to get more disciplined with my time. Basically I want to treat more hours like it’s my favorite TV show hour. 

When one of my favorite TV shows is on, I want everyone to hush and let me watch in peace. The only talking allowed is witty comments (mostly made by me…which means I also need to be surrounded by people who find me witty). I actually tend to watch most of my shows recorded rather than live (goodbye, commercials!)…so this example has sort of gone down the drain. But the point is, I want to have discipline that I’m excited for: time carved out specifically for beneficial activities. 

Here are the two disciplines I’m trying to add this summer: 

1) A consistent workout routine. I’ve got a 60 day gym membership…already missed day 1 haha. But today is a brand new day! Time to get disciplined!

2) Most important: a consistent devotion time. I always read my Bible as soon as I wake up. And I almost always read a verse right before I fall asleep. But I want to get a little more structured in that area. So here’s the plan: go through the Gospels in 40 days. Hello, JESUS/Matthew/Mark/Luke/John. I’ll be using this plan. And I’m going to try to blog about my answers to those 3 questions. So stay tuned for that. 

Now, I’m off to the gym!

God’s grace in my life today:

He’s giving me insight these days. More on that next time…

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The Office

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And the Dundie for Best Series Finale ever goes to…

The Office

The Office

The show was extraordinary because of its ordinariness. 

I love watching TV shows and movies, and my favorites are the ones that seem realistic.

The realistic ones are the ordinary ones, like The Office.

There’s just something about watching ordinary things happen to ordinary characters…it makes me realize how beautiful an ordinary life can be.

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The finale hit home for many reasons:

1) I love the show, stories, and characters

2) It’s how my brother and I got even closer. When my family got robbed in Europe, we lost our laptops (aka any access to TV that wasn’t in German). Before we left for Europe, one of brother’s friends had given him a hard drive with all the current seasons of The Office (this was back in 2009)…so that’s what we watched. We got super invested in the show and even when we came back and I started college, he and I would watch the show together. When he moved away for college, we’d watch the show separately and then talk/text about it. Then he’d come home and we’d re-watch episodes. I’m so glad we watched it together last night. It was an extremely “ordinary” time, but it will be one of my favorite memories of spending time with him…because it was so ordinary. Thanks for waiting until I got home from band practice to watch it with me, bro. Love you.

3) Everything they said about transitions and life in general…man, it hit home! I actually cried! But then I got online and saw that I wasn’t alone in crying 🙂 Always good to know that!

Anyway, here are some of the best quotes from last night:

nup_151640_2026-17d11752b7bab875899701f23545d9e9aab6ed94-s6-c10Jim: “Even if I didn’t love every minute of it, everything I have I owe to this job. This stupid, wonderful, boring, amazing job.”

Pam: “There’s a lot of beauty in ordinary things. Isn’t that kind of the point?”

Jim: “You can’t be anything but happy on your wedding day.”

Pam: “It’s like a long book that you never want to end. And you’re fine with that, because you just never ever want to leave it.”

Pam: “Jim was five feet from my desk, and it took me four years to get to him. It’d be great if people saw this documentary and learned from my mistakes.”

Pam: “It would just make my heart soar if someone out there saw this, and she said to herself, be strong, trust yourself, love yourself, conquer your fears, just go after what you want. And act fast, because life just isn’t that long.”

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Jim: “She pays me back every day, just by being my wife.”

Kevin: If you film anybody long enough, they’re going to do something stupid. It’s only human natural.

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Dwight: Do I get along with my co-workers? First of all, I don’t have co-workers anymore. I have subordinates. So, have I gotten along with my subordinates. Let’s see. My supplier relations rep, Meredith Palmer, is the only person I know who knows how to properly headbang to Motorhead. Oscar Martinez, my accountant, is now godfather to my son. Angela Schrute, my former accountant, is now my wife. My top salesman, Jim Halpert, was best man at my wedding. And office administrator, Pamela 

Beasely Halpert, is my best friend. So yes, I’d say I have gotten along with my 

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subordinates.

 

Andy: I wish there was a way to know you’re in the good old days before you’ve actually left them. Someone should write a song about that.

The last one hit home because it’s something I try to do every day: remember that today will one day be the good old days. No matter what’s happening right now, one day you will look back and remember this as the good old days. 
Love this show!
To end this sappy post, here’s three videos:
Love tho show!
The song Creed sang (All the Faces, an original written by his band!):
Love this show!
The song Andy sang (cover of I Will Remember You): 
Love this show!
The song used in the promos for the finale of The Office (I Lived by OneRepublic): 
Love this show!
God’s grace in my life today:
Because of Him, every day is good.
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Where My Heart Goes

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Where does my heart go When I have a choice to make? Who do I follow When my character’s at stake? Will I run from You or to Your arms? Will I fight to be right where You are? ‘Cause life is pulling me a million different ways

This past weekend, I had the privilege of meeting a family who smiled, laughed, played games, and sang praises to the Lord from the bottom of their hearts…even though they just lost their 13 year old son to a rare disease. I had the privilege of hearing about their son–Jonathan–who loved Jesus and used what little energy he had to play music and praise Him. I had the privilege of seeing Jonathan’s dad sit on the floor with tears streaming down his face as he sang “God is so good. God is so good. God is so good to me.” I had the privilege of seeing Jonathan’s mom and dad hug and kiss their daughter Faith as they celebrated her birthday. This family exuded joy in the midst of extreme grief and pain. They professed the goodness of God in the midst of the sorrows of life. They clinged to their knowledge of the character of God when the circumstances of life left them feeling empty. That kind of reaction doesn’t make sense without the gospel. People can’t fake joy like that.

This is no “health, wealth, and prosperity” skewed version of the gospel. This is gut-wrenching “not my will, but Yours” true version of the gospel.

They had a choice to make and they chose to run to His arms and fight to be where He is. And I had the privilege of seeing the grace of God fully on display in their lives.

This is my song that I sing forever You are my home, You are what I treasure I want You to be where my heart goes And if it all breaks If it goes to pieces You are the one that I will believe in I know You won’t ever let me go (You won’t let me go) I want You to be where my heart goes

I want nothing more than for Jesus to be where my heart always goes. I’m not there yet. There are times when my heart goes to music, school, family, friends, etc. But in those times when my heart goes to Jesus, there is peace. It truly is like coming home. Here’s the thing: I’ve never lived away from home. This fall is going to be a major adjustment for me. I’ll be moving away…3-5 hours away. Not a huge deal to many of you, but it will be a huge deal for me. I’m nervous and if I think too much about how much everything is going to change, I get pretty freaked out. But I’m also excited. This experience–moving away, starting med school, working harder than I ever have in my life–is going to force me to figure out where my heart goes. And I want my heart to go to Jesus. When the workload seems too much, may my heart go to Jesus. When the loneliness threatens to take over, may my heart go to Jesus. When the stress abounds, may my heart go to Jesus. When I get excited meeting new people, may my heart go to Jesus. When I feel the joy of mastering a difficult topic, may my heart go to Jesus. When I see a prayer answered, may my heart go to Jesus. I want Him to be my home.

There’s no denying What this world will promise me But I have decided You are the only thing I need So take everything Take everything Take everything

Sometimes sin looks so good. Scratch that–most of the time, sin looks so good. What the world has to offer can look so good. But Jesus is infinitely better. Even when we don’t feel like He is good, He is still good. Our feelings don’t determine the truth. The truth remains regardless of our circumstances and feelings: Christ is supreme. He is all I need and He has all of me.

This is my song that I sing forever You are my home, You are what I treasure I want You to be where my heart goes And if it all breaks If it goes to pieces You are the one that I will believe in I know You won’t ever let me go (You won’t let me go) I want You to be where my heart

Runs to, clings to Jesus, I so need You I want You to be where my heart goes

Listen to the full song here:

Where My Heart Goes by Colton Dixcon

Med School Update:

I’ve picked a school: IU. It sucked turning down the other two schools. It was like a breakup lol.

“I like you. A LOT. You’re amazing and I’ve enjoyed our time together…but there’s someone else.”

 I almost wanted to say “but we can stay friends…” 

In all seriousness though, I thought about it a lot, prayed, and sought counsel. IU is the school I have the most peace about, even though all 3 are great schools. I still don’t know exactly which campus I will be at: either a campus 5 hours away from home and 3 hours away from my brother OR a campus 3ish hours away from home and about 45 min from my brother. I will know that by June 7 at the latest.

Keep me in your prayers and I hope y’all all join me in making our hearts go to Jesus.

God’s grace in my life today:

As a friend recently told me (I have wise friends), “The will of God is your sanctification.” The decisions that seem so major to me do not faze my sovereign God. His plan will prevail. No matter what I do, His plan will prevail. There’s something so freeing about that. His plan for me is to be sanctified–made more like Jesus. That can happen anywhere I go. The Great Commission to spread the gospel: that can happen anywhere I go. What freedom we have in Christ! And what peace He brings! So no matter where I go, I can be sanctified. No matter where I go, people will need to hear about Jesus. No matter where I go, I get to be a recipient and a part of God’s plan of salvation. That is amazing grace in my life.

J. C. Ryle: “Tell the young, tell the poor, tell the aged, tell the ignorant, tell the sick, tell the dying — tell them all about Christ. Tell them of His power, and tell them of His love; tell them of His doings, and tell them of His feelings; tell them what He has done for the chief of sinners; tell them what He is willing to do until the last day of time; tell it to them over and over again. Never be tired of speaking of Christ. Say to them broadly and fully, freely and unconditionally, unreservedly and undoubtingly, ‘Come unto Christ, as the penitent thief did; come unto Christ, and you shall be saved.'” (Sermon, “Christ’s Greatest Trophy“)

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Ry-guy & Update a la Oscars

In honor of finishing my undergrad career:

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In honor of the fact that the studying will not end for a long time:

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🙂

Yeah, I finished exams on Tuesday…but I’ve been going going going so this is the first time I’m sitting down to think about the fact that I’m done with undergrad! Expect more memes after I graduate next Thursday.

 Anyway…

Guys, this has been my song for the past few weeks. The lyrics totally hit home recently!

“You Are” by Colton Dixon

So in reference to my last post:

I didn’t get what I was praying for specifically 😦

…but the Lord did answer the deeper prayer of my heart. 

I was praying to be placed in a specific campus, and I was placed in the last campus I imagined.

That was tough. I was very disappointed, to say the least.

Some of y’all may be wondering why it’s a big deal at all, but we all know how much it sucks when we get excited about a plan only to see the plan crumble.

It’s not fun. And it takes a while to move on from the plan.

So yeah, that sucked. 

BUT…the good news is that my ultimate prayer in this situation is that I will go where the Lord sends me.

So, I guess He at least ruled out one option for me! 

And although it’s not what I wanted, I’m thankful that He narrowed down my options.

I’m kinda back to square one though because I have three schools (but now 4 potential campuses) and I need to decide which option is the best.

So I would greatly appreciate your prayers.

I want to be wise and open to where God wants me, even if it’s the last place I ever thought I’d be.

‘For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
    neither are your ways My ways,’ declares the Lord.
‘For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
    so are My ways higher than your ways
    and My thoughts than your thoughts.’

-Isaiah 55:8-9

Also, thank you to those of you who have really been there for me through this decision making process.

Let’s do this Oscars acceptance speech style:

Mom and Dad–thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you. Oh and I love you much.

Broski–you’re funny. Love you.

Mrs. B–thank you for calling and asking how I’m doing. Thank you and Pastor G for praying and giving me advice. I’m so blessed to have both of you in my life as role models, mentors, friends, and prayer warriors. 

Mrs. W–thank you for the sweet yet honest text and for being real about your situation. I’m glad we met you and Mr. W and even though I know you didn’t want to move away, I’m biased and I think you moved to the best state in the country…and I can’t wait to come visit 🙂 I appreciate your prayers, encouragement, and texts with Bible verses to point me to the Lord.

Mrs. J–thank you for having me over and talking with me. I enjoyed our walk and I appreciated the questions you asked to get me thinking about what I really want and what God is teaching me. I’m blessed that my mom’s prayer partner has become a prayer warrior for me too.

Various med students I’ve pestered with questions–thanks for helping out and answering my endless questions!

NW & JW–thanks for having me over for dinner last night. It was so refreshing and fun to hang out with the two of you. Your relationship and love is exciting to watch. Thanks for letting me be a part of your lives! JW–I’m so glad we talked and I look forward to many more “girl talks,” nosy questions for each other, and game nights 🙂

Lisa–bestie, thanks for being there. That keychain is a constant reminder of where my heart needs to be. No matter where I end up, I know you will be visiting and that means the world to me. Enough said 🙂

CF–you’re almost CH! Thanks for being patient with me and ridiculously understanding. It really floors me that we’re still friends sometimes 🙂 You are wonderful and I can’t wait to be a part of your big day…and then continue to be a part of your beautiful life.

AS–good thing your middle name isn’t Steven. Just saying. But thanks for your friendship and prayers (…and the midget jokes of course). I’m praying for your decision and I can’t wait to see where the Lord leads you! Maybe one day you’ll go back to “the Garden”…Jai ho. 

Mel–thank you for the blonde joke (Disney left). It made me laugh when I was bummed. Thanks for the godly advice and just for being there. I’m extremely thankful for that week we spent in Indy because that’s when we became best friends (instead of hating each other hahaha)…oh, and that’s when all the awkward moments started. I can’t wait to see how awkward our double date will be. 🙂

Good thing I’ll (probably?) never win an Oscar, because my acceptance speech would be “annoyingly” thankful…

Love you all. 

God’s grace in my life today:

I don’t know where I’m going, but I know that He is going ahead of me and He will be with me.

And that’s more than enough for me!

(although, it would be nice to know where I’m going asap, Lord… haha)