Sunday, August 31, 2008

Do You Really Know Me?

I found this amusing today, and I think y'all will enjoy it, too. :-)

There are some people you recognize but don't know their names, some people you know by name only, some people you know a little bit about, and some people whose heart and soul you know. My friend Annie is one of those people that knows me really well. She and I were in the same small group freshman year, and our whole group bonded really well. We had no problem sharing our inner-most thoughts, fears, concerns, prayer requests... We were always really open with each other, and even know, we know there are eight other girls on campus (ok, seven, the brilliant one graduated already) who are willing to be shoulders on which to cry, etc.

I asked my friend Annie to give me a ride to church today, and she willingly agreed. After church we stopped at Wal-mart and on the way home we raced to make it back to campus before the caf closed (we made it with three minutes, thank you very much... and this time Annie didn't run any stop signs and only sped up to barely make it through one yellow light. haha).

At Wal-mart, Annie asked me a question, thinking it was about my major. I was able to answer her question but it stirred a conversation about my major.

In the car on the way back to campus, we were comparing the new church we visited with our home churches. I made some comment about one of my pastors and she looked at me (yes, while driving...) and said, "Wait, I thought your dad was a pastor." Nope. The closest we will ever get to seeing my dad in pastoral garb is... my dad in a toga. :-)

I then said something about a large ministry I was involved in, and she was shocked I didn't know everyone. I told her that was pretty much impossible in a church our size and she thought I was playing a practical joke on her.

She said, "I really thought your dad was the pastor of a church of about 200 or 300 people." Definitely not. Anyone who knows my dad and my church, is probably pretty much rolling on the floor laughing. :-) I told my dad about this and he felt sorry for the 200-300 people he was leading and promsied to buy them all a beer. I love my dad and I love my church but he's definitely not the pastor and it's definitely not only 200-300 people.

How many people do you think you know only to learn you really don't know them as well as you thought you did? How many people have misconceptions about who you are? Are you judging without really knowing? Have you been misinformed about the situation? Do you need discernment? At the same time, are you living under a facade and not allowing people to see your true self?

I should add, I think no less of Annie after this interaction. I see where her misconceptions came from and it's an understandable mistake. I love that she was strong enough to admit she was wrong. :-) I think she and I need to hang out more. Although, now I am kind of curious what other thoughts people have about me (they all already think "Ax" is my last name... and I had a professor ask if I was nondenominational...)

In Christ,
<>< Katie

"Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love." Ephesians 4:2

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Is Your God Big Enough?

I will admit: I have a very hard time keeping a beat. It's been a major downfall in my participation in all things music. I was not born to be a drummer and the rest of the orchestra is thankful for that. At least temporarily, I have given up on playing musical instruments and have resolved myself to partaking in a sign choir.

Basically our amazing Queen Emily (the director) translates songs into American Sign Language, teaches them to us, and we perform them. We've done songs like "God is God" by Steven Curtis Chapman, "Praise You In The Storm" by Casting Crowns, and "My Savior, My God" by Aaron Shust. Right now we're working on "Give Me Your Eyes" by Brandon Heath.

There is a nice musical interlude in the middle of the song during which we keep signing. We sign about getting rid of our view of the world and changing our eyes so we see what God sees. Well, every time we signed this part, I seemed to be a beat ahead of the group. I don't know how it happened, but it did. It always does. I finally figured out I wasn't signing "God" big enough. My God wasn't big enough.

Which led me to thinking: how often to we think our God is too small? How often do we not give Him the benefit of the doubt. Instead of knowing He can do something but has chosen not to, we prefer to think He can't do something.

The ASL sign for God is a flat hand that starts at your waist, travels up above your head, and comes back down in front of your face. Apparently it looks like a reverse candy cane (sometimes I don't quite understand Queen Emily's explanations...). When I signed it, I wasn't signing it high enough in the air, hence becoming a beat ahead of the group. My God wasn't high enough.

Do we lower God to human standards? Do we personify God? He's so much higher and more almighty than we can ever imagine. Why are we making Him low as if we should fit Him into a box. He's the omnipotent, omnipresent, and omniscient God. His ways are not our ways. That's probably a good thing to remember.

In Christ,
<>< Katie

"God's voice thunders in marvelous ways; He does great things beyond our understanding." Job 37:5

Monday, August 25, 2008

"Pick up the Phone, Dummy!"

My grandpa loves to stand on top of something (tree stump, dock, chair, etc.), point his hands in the air, and yell, "For my next dive!" He then pretends he's diving in. Well, my glasses wanted to try that yesterday, but they missed the pretend part. That's right, they sky dived (sky dove?) off my shelf and onto the ground about six-feet below. The first clank told me they hit the floor. It was the second clank that worried me. In the morning, I had to put in my contacts to find my glasses. How funny is that? As it turns out, one of the lenses popped out, but I was able to get it back in! Yay!

This encounter made me think of another famous Grandpa quote. Last summer, my mom called my grandparents, but for some reason the phone wasn't connecting. My family is very prone to phone issues. We've had phone issues ever since my parents went on their honeymoon and a friend had their phone cancelled as a prank... haha

Anyway, this conversation between my grandpa and my mom was your typical:

"Hello? HELLO?! Is anyone there? HELLO?!" Meanwhile, my mom is on the other end screaming that she can hear him, she's really there... but it's not going through. Finally he just got so fed up, he said, "PICK UP THE PHONE, YOU BIG DUMMY!" He then hung up on her.

Obviously he had no idea it was my mom calling and thought she was a telemarketer. Just goes to show you never know the full story. You never know what kind of day someone else has had. Before getting snippy or rude with them, remember maybe today is the day where everything in their life has gone wrong. Even though you weren't being very loud while video chatting in the middle of the afternoon, the neighbors were having a rough day and took it out on you. You never really know what's going on unless you ask (and even then you only know as much as they are willing to tell).

In Christ,
<>< Katie

"A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. " John 13: 34

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Fully Restored

Fully Restored. That sounds like the title of a book. Nope, it's not; just googled it. Maybe someday it will be the title of a book. Can't you hear the big announcer dude going, "And now I present to you Fully Restored by Katie Ax?" Shhhhh, just let me dream big and don't remind me the big announcer dude does movies and sports... not so much books. :-)

Like many other college students, I live in a closet with a roommate. We have three outlets. One in the middle of the room that we share. It's fully with our clocks, bed lamps, fridge, microwave, etc. One on her side of the room that also has my stereo plugged in. At least for today. I'm thinking about moving it to my side of the room because it's kind of inconvenient. Even more inconvenient is the fact that my outlet up and fell off the wall. Just boom. Done. Dangling by two cords.

Fire hazard much? Yeah. We put in a work order for it twenty-four hours ago, and nothing has been done about it. I'm really quite frustrated because I have no tv, dvd player, printer, light, etc. Those things I can really live with out. But when my computer battery dies... or my cell phone? (Both of which died today, imagine that). I kind of feel like I'm living in ancient times over here without any power.

Did you fall off God's wall? Are you dangling by a few random strings? Guess what, He wants you to be fully restored. He's reaching out to you, calling for you, can you hear Him? Will you answer Him? Get plugged back in! (And be faster about it than maintenance is about our fire hazard).

After all, life without Christ is a fire hazard. Sure-fire way to the fire pits of hell. :-) (Ok, it's getting late. I really shouldn't blog late at night... instead I should sleep).

There's a church down the road that had written on their marquee: Eternal Fire Insurance. Available Free Inside". Or something like that.

Have a great night. Thanks for reading my ramblings... More deep thoughts coming soon... (Jesus is also coming soon... we'll see what happens first!)
<>< Katie

"They will throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth." Matthew 13:42

Tuesday, August 19, 2008


I had a very interesting dinner today, and I feel the need to share. :-)

At 5 o'clock, I headed towards the caf out of habit. I stopped in Laura and Becky's room (aka my other room). Laura wasn't there, and Becky was headed to Chic-fil-a. I was going to join her, but then realized I had to be back for CMU stuff, so I didn't go. I wandered to the caf figuring I'd meet up with someone or find some lonely person eating alone. I walk in, and see no one that fits that description. I got a plate of pasta and sat down by myself. I seriously knew NO ONE in the caf and no one was sitting by themselves... I really tried to be outgoing and it failed miserably!

I ate my pasta by myself and got a cookie. Really sitting alone wasn't that bad because I am an introvert and recharge by being by myself, and I was by the door so I got to greet people as they came in. I ate my cookie by myself and got a salad. I was a good majority of the way through my salad when my friend Xan came in and chewed me out for eating by myself. I told her I was almost done and it wasn't a big deal. Then my friend Annie came in a yelled at me for eating by myself. I told her I wasn't eating by myself, I was watching Monk, the news, and ESPN simultaneously. Then my friend Lauren came over and we chatting for awhile.

I had literally two bites left of my salad and Annie came back and forced me to her table. So I finished my salad, put my dishes up, and sat down with Annie and her friends. Annie was telling some story about how a church leader came up to her at the club fair today and invited her to his church. He asked her if she'd ever considered going to church which is really funny because Annie has Bible verses all over her dorm room and we met in small group last year. She finished the story and realized she hadn't prayed. She asked each of us individually if we'd already prayed and we all said yes. I told her I'd pray again with her. We teased around about who would pray and were just being silly. There was minimal praying getting done and my friend Tiffany walked up. I half-jokingly said, "Tiffany, will you pray with us?" She said sure and prayed for us. Then she walked away and Annie was like, "I really don't even know who that was."

I love Christ, sometimes the people He throws at me are just so amazing! The fact that some random person can just jump up and pray at dinner cracks me up!

In Christ,
<>< Katie

Thank for the Noise

Yesterday was my first day to sleep in since the 9th and I took a full opportunity to do it! It would have worked a whole lot better if it weren't move-in day for returning students. Yeah, the brilliant architects who made this building forgot about insulation. I'm not kidding. There are some bullet-sized holes in the wall where we can literally see through into our neighbors' room. So, yesterday I awoke to the banging of desks against the wall, the slamming of drawers, and the building of bunk beds. What a perfect way to start the day. :-)

As luck would have it, I ended the day in the exact same fashion. As I lay there in bed praying midnight would come and visitation hours would end for their male friends with big booming voices would be forced to return home, the air conditioner turned on. That was all God needed to do to get my attention.

You see, my friend Kaitlyn (who I blogged about a few weeks ago) is so sensitive that she can't tolerate ANY noise. The noise of the air conditioner is too loud.

Thank You, God, that I can tolerate a certain level of noise.

Thank You God for the ability to hear.
Even if I'm unintentionally eves dropping.

Take a minute and thank God for those things you often overlook or become annoyed with. The gurgling fridge. The ability to smell, even if it is the garbage. The ability to see, even if you see more than you want to. The ability to touch, too bad you got your fingers stuck together with glue. The ability to talk, even when those crude four-letter words slip out.

<>< Katie

"Pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." 1 Thessalonians 5:17-18

Saturday, August 16, 2008

It's not about me

A few days ago I wrote about the song "How Great is Our God" and how whenever we sing it at church it makes my heart smile. Today we had an outdoor student-led worship event and (since it's a popular song) we sang "How Great is Our God." When I read the song list and saw it on there I had mixed feelings. It makes me happy to sing it but I feel like it's my "home church song" and shouldn't be sung elsewhere.

Eventually we got to "How Great is Our God" and the leader put it in a key right out of my range. Some songs I sing high, some songs I sing low. I prefer to sing high, but I can do both but I can't do the middle. Don't ask me to explain it any better than that because I can't. I know I have the approximate range of the treble clef, but somehow I seem to have this gray-area problem. I don't know but it's annoying.

Anyway, so I was really struggling through "How Great is Our God" and I felt so bad for the people sitting around me because of course I didn't think to sing quietly. Quiet? What's that? I'm singing for God, and He doesn't care.

CLICK! I light bulb in my brain went off as if God said,
"Katie, this isn't about you. It's about Me. I don't care how, where, or when you sing I just care what you're singing about. Why are you trying to please everyone else? Remember why you're singing."

We moved on to the next song and this one I could actually sing. I was sitting on the cement hugging my knees with my eyes closed. All of the sudden I heard this noise next to me and realized everyone in front of me and on my right was standing. Of course, as an instant reaction, I stood up as well. As soon as I hit full height I regreted it. God didn't need a real tree branch to whack me upside the head. There He was again,

"Why does it matter what they're doing? You said you didn't want to be influenced by others. Why are you standing? You're standing because they're standing. I thought you didn't care what others thought of you? Don't be shaped by this world; be your own person. Katie, I created you to be different. You aren't going to blend in with those around you no matter how hard you try. Stop trying and let Me do My work."


In Christ,
<>< Katie

"I cry out to God Most High, to God, who fulfills His purpose for me. " Psalm 57:2

Friday, August 15, 2008

Sad day

It's good to be back to having a social life! Today, during dinner, I got a text message from Melissa that I was answering. Brittany and Nathaniel were deep in some other conversation, and Jonathan was watching the news (on mute) across the caf. Bigfoot's body has been found, someone was raped, and a child was abducted. Quite sad!

"Some football player died," Jonathan said nonchalantly.
"Sad day," I said glancing at the tv before turning back to my phone.
"Did you just hear that conversation?" Nathaniel got really excited.
"What?" I inquired, thinking Brittany had just said something I would need to quote (we had about ten one-liners that hour meal...)
"Jonathan just informed us some football player died, you glanced up said, 'Sad day' and kept right on texting. It's like, 'He's dead. Sad. Text,'" he mocked me. I told him I was fully aware of the conversation and knew exactly what I said.

How often are we unaware of what we say? How often are we not paying any attention to those around us. Sure, we may have heard what they said, but do we hear what they don't say?

Someone is your life is screaming for attention. Are you listening with your heart? Try it tomorrow. Strive to hear the unsaid conversation.

In Christ,
<>< Katie

"Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. " Psalm 139:23

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Assembly Line

We were working hard packing bags getting ready for the arrival of newcomers today! We set up an assembly line that didn't always work the best. One side worked faster than the other. Of course, the slower side ran out of materials more often. Plus, there was minimal transportation from the end of the line to the next section. Every time we got into a routine, it was broken in about four bags when someone felt their job was insignificant and felt their time would be better spent elsewhere. The removal of a single person from a ten-person assembly line really screws things up. Even if they just went to get more materials.

I'm glad we're not on God's assembly line where we're just shuffled haphazardly from one spot to another. Believe it or not, God doesn't just have a people assembly line when He creates us either. Each one of us is hand-crafted by God. We're not generic. God doesn't throw a handful of confidence, a little compassion, and, oops, forgot the charisma into our personalities. He creates each of us individually with specific amounts of everything to be exactly the way He wants us. Thus making each and every one of us different but none more loved than another.

In the words of the David Crowder*Band, "You make everything glorious, and I am Yours. What does that make me?"

My friends Laura and Natalie are on my heart and mind today because I saw Natalie and can't wait to see Laura on Monday! Laura is filled with compassion but sometimes lacks confidence in front of large groups of people. Natalie has no problem speaking in front of people but admits she often fails in the compassion department. (That's why the two of them made such a great team last year! I'm going to miss my small group! :-)) They're two very different people but both of them were hand-crafted by God. If I wanted to know how God can speak through just about anything, I'd ask Natalie. If I wanted to know how to help my hurting friend, Laura's my girl! Two different people, both Godly women. Both stupendous!

You are also hand crafted by God. How cool is that?

<>< Katie

"For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb." Psalm 139:13

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

To Be Loved

I'm back on campus after being gone for the summer. It's kind of weird because most people aren't back yet. My roommate won't be here until Sunday (which is really good because now I have until Sunday to find a place for all of my stuff!). I've seen a few of my friends and we've picked up as if we never left. It's been really great!

But it's weird. This year I'm living in a new building and all that goes along with it. New hall. New room. New roommate. New hallmates. New RA. New ResTech (that reminds me: need to call her... haha). New air conditioner that keeps blowing on me. New just about everything.

I've only seen a handful of my friends because most people aren't back yet. Then there are the friends who aren't coming back. Some graduated. Some transferred. They're still not going to be here, and it's weird. I'm glad there are still people coming because right now I feel like there's a huge hole that needs to be filled! (Get your rear ends here, ladies!)

My parents have been stalling in leaving. I mistakenly allowed them to wander campus unchaperoned while I was in a training session. Luckily, most of the faculty are on a retreat right now so they aren't here to be interrogated. However, my parents went to talk to some people with a real purpose and they ran into the director of my sign choir. They talked to her for about ten minutes before she connected them with me. They said it was like a light bulb went on and she said,
"Oh, Katie! She's one of my girls!" I'm not one of the girls in her choir. I'm one of HER girls. :-) I've heard her refer to some other members in such a fashion, but never me. After all, there are thirty of us, can she really know us all? I figured I can be quiet, I probably slipped through the cracks. Nope, she knows us all. We're her girls. It's a pretty fun feeling.

Imagine what God says about us.
"Oh, Katie! She's one of my girls! I'm especially fond of her. I love her so much." It makes me smile just to think about it. :-)

One of His girls,
<>< Katie

"Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God." John 1:12

How Great is Our God

Last summer the Sunday before I left for college, we sang "How Great is Our God" at church. I was then told that we didn't sing it again until I was home for fall break.

This past Sunday was my last Sunday home before leaving for college again. Go figure, we sang "How Great is Our God." We've sung it periodically throughout the summer, and I haven't thought much about it. It seems to be the song we sing before I leave. It's a good reminder of God's greatness!

"How Great is our God.
Sing with me,
How great is our God.
And all will see,
How great, how great is our God."

Like the talking to a little kid,
"How big is Kayla?"
"SO BIG!" as her arms fly into the air.

"How big is God?"

In Christ,
<>< Katie

Saturday, August 9, 2008


I couple of days ago I found this really cool website with writing prompts. Call me a nerd, I know... I haven't entirely decided what to do with it yet so I haven't closed it. Every time when I log online, it opens up and gives me a new prompt.

"People that irritate me..."

I prefer:
People irritate me.

I realized today that it's not the shopping that I hate, it's the people I run into while I'm shopping. The parents who walk off as their screaming young child struggles to step onto the elevator. The woman who demands a refund because the price she paid was ridiculous. I really don't mean to sound racist, but I feel like nobody speaks English anymore, either.

Then there's my name. Katie. You have no idea how popular it is until it's your name. Everywhere I go I get yelled at because some little kid--who just happens to share my name--is disobeying her parents. I can't go out in public without getting yelled at! It drives me nuts.

OK, so I'm not allowed to blog about shopping anymore because they are never possitive blogs... This was today's rant. I promise, I'll try and make more deep connections, less ranting. I have a sixteen hour drive coming up, that should be plenty of time for God to say something inspiring. :-)

<>< Katie

"Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” Philippians 4:8(RSV)

Thursday, August 7, 2008


Yesterday morning my alarm went off just as a new song started on the radio. I heard the initial chords and got really excited thinking it was "Angels" by Amy Grant. I quickly then remembered that this radio station doesn't play any songs that weren't recorded in 2008. There's so much good music that has been lost by their exclusivity (ok, yes, that really is a word. I had to go check), but that's a whole different story.

Last night, I was listening to my iTunes on Party Shuffle, not really paying any attention. I usually play my iPod because the internet makes noises (the virtual door slam was just a few seconds too early there, oops.) and it drives me nuts. For some reason, this perticular day I had iTunes on instead, but I didn't think much of it until I went to shut down my computer.

Then I heard it. Again. The opening chords to "Angels" by Amy Grant. This time it really was "Angels" by Amy Grant!

So I woke up yesterday morning hoping "Angels" by Amy Grant would be the first song I heard in the morning. Instead, it was the last song I heard at night. Ironic? I think not.

<>< Katie

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Last Pass

A few years ago, a group of us from school went on a mission trip. To burn off some energy after a loooooong car ride (and another long one coming the next day), we played frisbee in the parking lot the first night. Originally it was going to be a large group of us, but wound up being me and like four or five guys. How'd that happen? Ok, I'm not great at sports, and luckily these weren't the jocks, but I was still kind of intimidated. These men have better hand-eye coordination that I do, we'll just leave it at that. (Just nod approvingly, JPR).

We threw the frisbee around for quite awhile before the chaperone called the last throw. Where does the frisbee happen to go on its last throw of the night? Go figure it's flying at me. I was shocked and amazed when it actually landed in my hands instead of bouncing off my nose. I caught the last pass of the night!

Those memories flooded back to me today when our frisbee game was almost over. The game resumed after an injury time out, and my team was about two steps from the end zone (Like that sports lingo, Melissa?). There were three or four of my teammates in the end zone, but I was the closest to the person with the frisbee. Go figure I just far enough away where I could drop it. The frisbee left his hands, glided across the air, and landed gently in my arms. I caught the last toss! I scored the last field goal! It was pretty exciting for uniquely coordinated me.

My youth leader was on the other team, and he'd been teasing me most of the night about my amazing athletic abilities. He came up to me after I caught it. No "nice catch." No "Good game." (He may be uber competitive, but his team whooped the butts of my team). Nope. What do I get? A "Wouldn't it have been funny if you dropped it?" Thanks! I smacked him with the frisbee. :-)

No deep theological connection today. Just connecting frisbee memories with both of my readers. :-)

<>< Katie

"He said to me: 'It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To him who is thirsty I will give to drink without cost from the spring of the water of life.'" Revelation 21:6

Friday, August 1, 2008

God Believes In You

You how when something's bothering you and there's only one thing, person, answer that can make it better? Sometimes you don't even know what the one thing is until it appears. Something like that happened to me today. I was grumpy (no peanut gallery comments), and I nonchalantly excused myself from the kitchen to avoid getting crabbier. Like any normal college student who's been at work all day, I came to the computer and checked my email, facebook, grades, etc.

There it was. Right there inside my inbox.
Subject: God Believes in You
From: Max Lucado

Of course, I read the devotion that went along with it, but really the subject line hit to the heart a whole lot better. I'm keeping it in my inbox. Not because I haven't read it (in fact, I first read same devotion in a book recently) but because sometimes you need that subtle reminder that God believes in you.

In the words of Point of Grace, "When I think I'm all alone and the phone starts to ring: It's just the voice I needed to hear on the other end. You do it again, You do it again. You speak to me just like a friend. You always seem to show up right on time. You do it again, I guess You know when my heart needs to hear Your voice... I could be driving in my car, I turn the radio on. Trying to figure out my thoughts, then I hear the perfect song. I can open up Your Word and not be sure where to turn, but I start to read and it's like You know just what I need."

Hey, God believes in you, too!

In Christ,
<>< Katie

"And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work." 2 Corinthians 9:8