Organic Faith

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I was driving earlier this week and Casting Crown’s Stained Glass Masquerade started playing on my Ipod. I started to sing along, and got to thinking about the lyrics. Growing up I loved Stained Glass, especially one of the stained class windows in the church I grew up in. But the one thing about Stained Glass is that, while it is beautiful,  you can’t see through it. The song tells about people who hide there faults or weaknesses behind what others might seem as a good life. I know people like that, in fact sometimes I think that I am a person like that.

With out going to far into my personal information,  my life has been far from perfect. I’ve had issues with a eating disorder among other issues all things that I don’t want someone who just sees me to see that about me so I do my best to portray myself as some one who is confidant and has there life all together. I try to hide what I perceive as weaknesses behind all the good things in my life and an at times forced confidence, and I must be doing something right because people I go to school with seem to see me the way I want to be seen,  or at least the way I think I want to be seen.  The thing is I feel guilty, like I’m getting compliments that I don’t deserve,it makes me feel even more that I don’t belong. I’m still not really comfortable sharing my weaknesses with people but I’m trying to at least get to where I don’t feel like I have to hide behind a facade when I’m around other people.

I wrote about this because sometimes it feels like I’m the only person who’s feels like they don’t belong, so I act the way I feel like someone who belongs would act. I fake it in hopes of making it. But lately I feel like  God is telling me that I’m not the only one.  So if you ever feel like you don’t belong and that you need to fake it just remember God made you the way you are, and if you’re in a good place, then God must have a plan for you there so you don’t have to hide who you really are.  Wow I just sounded like my mom. Anyway, if you feel like you don’t belong pray, see what God has to say about the situation, maybe its a situation that God’s using to help you grow, but maybe God will tell you that in his eyes you’re perfect just the way you are, flaws and all.

This picture is from a sunrise in my backyard.  My fiance had just spent the night taking care of me when I was sick and he was still awake when the sun started to rise.   I don’t know why this image has been stuck in my head for this past week.  Just something about it is so hopeful that I cling to it.  Maybe to remind myself that there is always a tomorrow, even if it doesn’t always feel like it.


Anywho, I have an example of the power of prayer.  I struggle with how God would want me to love the homeless.  I don’t like to give them money directly because I don’t know what it will be used for.  So last Sunday night, after feeding some stressed out medical students (I feed about 8 friends before every exam so that they don’t have to stress about time of getting food, etc.) I was walking back to my car.  On the steps of a church I passed  two homeless men.  And I looked at the one sitting on the steps and I was like its now or never.


I took the remaining food I had made (pasta cabonara!) put it on an extra plate and offered it to the man on the steps.


Needless to say he was overjoyed.  He was so excited to have dinner for himself and his brother that night.  And I was overjoyed that God had showed me how to love in a way that I was afraid to do.  The man just kept saying “God Bless you.”


I walked away thanking God for giving me that opportunity to do something to honor His kingdom.  There are so many instances that I fail to bring glory to His name.  In that moment, I wasn’t acting on my own.  It was a moment where God had opened my eyes to see an opportunity to love a stranger who also needed some relief from life’s hardships.  His life is very different from mine but that doesn’t make any type of pick me up any less sweet.


This week in one of my classes we were talking about why we punish criminals. As a class we came up with a list of reasons that are often cited for the various punishments criminals are sentenced to. Part of the class reading for that week was four articles written by four Christian men on Retribution{locking people up, death penalty, forced labor ect.} (one of the reasons why criminals are punished).  They split on whether retribution is a good or a bad thing but they all in some way referenced God’s justice.

That got me to thinking, were do I stand and what would God think about that. I would say that I’m probably in favor of retribution, I see in the news that someone murdered some one I think ‘I hope justice is done and that the murderer gets sent to prison.’ But how often is what I say is retribution something else when the offense is against me or someone close to me. For example someone I know gets attacked and I want the people responsible for it to “get at least as well as they got” on a good day, and to die an agonizingly painful death on days when I’m not feeling so great.  Is what I want retribution or is it revenge? And more importanly is it what God would want?

Once when I was younger I had an issue with someone else in my Youth Group and the youth director suggested that I pray for the person. Now the prayer I wanted to say would probably have been sort of like the prayer that country music artist Jaron is talking about in the song “Pray for You.” I don’t think that, outside of the meeting with my youth director I ever prayed for that person probaly for that reason.

Now I don’t have a crystal ball or some sort of window directly into God’s mind on this specific issue, but the Bible does say that we are to forgive one another and to turn the other cheek and all that Jazz (Matt. 5: 28-42) meaning my response might not actually be (in fact probably isn’t) the kind of response God would approve of.  That being said I do believe that God probably doesn’t have a problem with governments punishing criminals. Just with individual humans being judgemental and vindictive towards each other.

Just incase you’re interested here is a link to the song on Youtube

So, I think I should start with a disclaimer that I’m a Chemistry teacher – so English, not really my thing, and please excuse the many typos/grammar mistakes I am sure to make throughout this journey.

Alrighty, recently my quiet times have been completely overwhelmed with how much I desire a boyfriend. Disguising I know! Not because I think I need a guy to be complete, or that I’m not pretty, or I want someone to cuddle with, or whatever. But because I genuinely want someone to share my life with, and I want to take care of someone. I also should probably go ahead and confess that I have horrible taste in music, and love all those cheesy pop love songs, and listen to them much too loudly, in my car, on repeat. That being said, today I was listening to Taylor Swift’s “That’s the Way I Loved You” and couldn’t help but get mad at her. (Haven’t heard the song? Here’s the youtube)

She is complaining because she is unsatisfied with this guy who is treating her unbelievably well, and wants the old guy who treated her like poop but was exciting. And I’m getting mad because I want the first guy in this FAKE (its so bad I’m desiring imagery people) story.

Now, the central problem in this line of thinking is not once has Jesus – the ultimate lover of my soul – crossed my mind. And I think that speaks to the weakness of my mind’s ability to grasp who Jesus needs to be to me. Hosea is one of my favorite stories in the Bible because God uses the relationship between a real man and women as a metaphor for His relationship with his people. He wants to love us like a husband loves his wife – an intimate, romantic love. So when I’m longing for the good guy in the song I should be desiring Jesus, and depending on Him.

Coming back to Organic Faith, I believe that maybe one of the reasons I don’t first desire Jesus, is because I don’t know Him. I’ve been in many Bible studies, but normally they centered on a book written by someone else – so I’ve been experiencing Jesus through other people – no wonder I don’t feel intimate with Him. To join the theme of committing to an action, I want to commit to spending time getting to know Jesus, His life, His works, Him, and committing some of this to memory so when I hear those cheesy love songs I can fill this place in my heart with Him – immediately. And hopefully that desire to share my life with someone will become a desire to share it with Jesus first.

For this to make sense I should probably fill you in on a couple of things. First I’m a law student at a Christian Law School, I have this habit of procrastinating when I feel like I can actually afford to put something off and this past week I’ve been on a scheduled fall break.

At the beginning of the week I had high hopes that this week off would be both relaxing and productive. However my procrastination got the better of me and this week I’ve done almost nothing productive. I’ve also done almost nothing spiritually. When class is in session there is a devotional before every class and a chapel for law students, not to mention the fact that on my way to class I’ve recently begun listening to a podcast that reads through the New Testament in forty days on my way to and from school. This past week I had none of that and although I had plenty of time to read my Bible or devotion and pray I didn’t. Why? Because I got so caught up in doing nothing that I kept putting it off saying I would get to it later. But sitting here and thinking about this has led to another realization.  Even when I am in school I’m not really setting aside time for God in my schedule, yes I’m going to church and Bible study; Chapel and I’m paying attention in class to the Professor or student led devotions but I’m not spending time where it’s just me and God, where I’m reading and praying and trying to grow in my faith, my schedule has time carved out for it but I don’t think I’ve ever actually used the time for what I originally planned I always used the excuse that I was too busy or that I was too tired, but now looking back over the last week I’m not really sure why my “quiet time” has been overrun by other pursuits like reading for class, or checking out what’s going on Facebook.

So I’ve decided that I’m going to revisit my schedule and see if I can actually stick to it this time, at least as far as having a “quiet time” goes. Who knows maybe it will help me not procrastinate on reading cases.

The days get so busy. I have to make “To Do” lists to get anything done it seems. I have to put “make  a To Do list” on my To Do list.  I know that everyone is busy. Busy, Busy, Busy.  I really dislike that word right now. So it really isn’t a surprise that I often put my faith and worship far down on that  list of things to do.  It’s always easier to get those tangible items crossed off my list in comparison to the items like ” trust God today”, or ” forgive others as the Lord forgave you today”.  How can I honestly cross that off my list? Thus, I typically tackle my laundry first.  When thinking about what to write in this blog, I realized that I struggled to even make time for THINKING about my faith. Now, this is messed up.  How can I let all the trivial, day-to-day tasks take priority over my relationship with God?  I can think of about 15 Bible versus that advise against doing just that.  So, here is the game plan.  My game plan, anyway. In effort to get my priorities straight, I need to start each day off in the right frame of mind. Tomorrow morning I am going to wake up 15 minutes earlier than I normally get up. Sounds CRAZY, right? I know, I can cry about the lack of sleep later, no time right now.  😉 With those 15 extra minutes, I plan to read the Bible. I will sit, read, think, pray, and absorb (hopefully!).  So that’s all for now. That’s a realistic change I can make to my day in effort to cut out the busy madness and focus on growing more in love with Christ each day.  I’ll let you know how it goes….

I’ve been trying to read through the bible cover to cover and it hasn’t exactly been a piece of cake. I sometimes find the Old Testament to be antiquated, which usually prevents me from getting too far. However, last week as I was reading through Exodus something jumped out at me. And it was so on point and speaking exactly to what I was feeling in that moment that I stopped reading so I could just meditate on it.

In Exodus 4 God appears to Moses as a burning bush and tells him he must go to Pharaoh and demand that the Israelites be freed from slavery in Egypt. Moses’ response is something to the effect of  “You must be thinking of someone else for this task, I’m not a powerful speaker, I definitely don’t have what it takes to take on Pharaoh”  God’s response is so simple and yet so powerful He says:

“Who gave man his mouth? Who makes him deaf or mute? Who gives him sight or makes him blind? Is it not I, the Lord? Now go, I will help you speak and will teach you what to say” Exodus 4:11-12

This passage was so convicting for me. For a while now I’ve been feeling God calling me into some type of ministry. I don’t know exactly what, or how in the world I’m going to get there, but I know it’s what I was made to do. I’ve also been feeling Him calling me to live simply. I feel like I was created to serve God’s people and live a basic life, lots of love, joy, and fellowship without luxury.

And theoretically I am so willing and excited to answer that call. I don’t think of myself as someone who is highly materialistic. Honestly, the more stuff I have, the more cluttered my room is and the harder it is for me to think straight. But looking at the prospect of taking a volunteer job where I will be given room and board, and possibly a small stipend but nothing else is quite frightening. My mind is playing this game of “What if”. What if something happens to me and my insurance doesn’t cover medical bills?! What if I move somewhere far away and am homesick and alone but can’t afford a plane ticket home?! What if I leave everything I know and go to a completely new place where the demands are great and the rewards are few?!

And God is saying “Excuse me?!, don’t you realize just who you are dealing with?! I am the creator of all things, the master of the universe, certainly you don’t think that I am unable to handle your little human roadblocks.”

So I don’t know exactly where I’ll be next year, or even next month. But I know that wherever I am, God will be with me, He will go before me and prepare the way, and He will continue to provide for me because I am His child and He loves me.


This past Sunday at church, before the service began, a couple was asked to speak to us.  And they explained how God has changed their lives. Because they trusted Him.  They trusted him with their finances, and he answered.  They began to volunteer, and their lives felt more fulfilled.  All of this because they trusted Him.

Here is a little background on me.  I moved to Norfolk on March 1, 2011 for a job and to be with my fiance.  On March 11, for me, everything changed.  My sister was lost after the Tohuku area of Japan was hit by an earthquake and then tsunami. She was missing for 10 days before they found her body.

So needless to say, I go through some good days and bad days.  Even before Sunday I have been wondering.  Am I trusting God like I should?  I want to and I have the desire, but every time I am about to reach out and give Him my burdens, I recoil.  All I keep thinking about is if one thing I thought I could never lose, is gone, then what’s next?

So I continue to try and let my faith carry me through for “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope: (Romans 15:13).  Because today I may not see the purpose, but tomorrow I hope i do.

As I sat down to write this post I began by looking over a post from my own personal blog for inspiration and this really caught my eye:

“These past few months have been really hectic for me. I quit my job, made a move, and am now working retail, living with my parents, and trying to figure out what my next step is going to be. I’ve been doing a lot of networking which has been super helpful in the job search but also in learning about relationships and generally gaining wisdom from those that have gone before me. With every passing day I have become more certain that I am not yet ready to make a big decision about committing my life to anything. The only thing I can commit to right now is following Christ. I’ve always said that I was following His will for my life. And I always have in a very general way. But if I’m not spending a great deal of time in the word, I can’t discern the specifics of any plan He has for me. So for the next few months. I’m going to keep putting out feelers for jobs, but really focus on my relationship with God. I’m getting plugged in at church and I really feel God moving in my life for the first time in a while. I don’t even begin to understand exactly what He’s doing or where He’s going to take me but I know that he has heard the cries of my heart and is providing me with the community that I need right now, which is super encouraging. ”

I wrote this back in February and looking back it is AMAZING to see how God has worked in my life. I was feeling really alone when I moved back home. I was in my hometown but all of my friends live elsewhere now and I didn’t really have a peer group to hang out with. Since then I have spent a lot of time in the word, in praise, in fellowship and just in various types of communion with God. He has provided me with this incredible small group, friends, and most importantly peace in the knowledge that He is leading my life. He has stepped out and shown up when I felt like things were falling apart and has allowed my faith to grow so that I might trust Him in all things.

It strikes me that this is what it’s really all about isn’t it? It’s not about having everything all figured out. I still don’t know what my  next step is. But it’s about trusting in Him, the provider of all things. I know that whatever my next step is and regardless of how scary or intimidating it might be, He will be with me leading the way.