Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Tuve un sueño

Whenever I'm cold at night, I have bizarre dreams. The first night on my trip to Guatemala was COLD! Of course, I had a strange dream that doesn't make much sense. My mission team was in a large two-story room with a staircase in the middle (mall? airport? I don't know). I was being chased, so I was running down the stairs to where most of the team had gathered. I don't know where Neal was, but he was shouting, telling me to stop running because whoever was chasing me couldn't chase me anymore if I stopped running. I heard him and agreed, but it's easier to run down stairs than it is to walk, so I kept running, and Neal kept yelling. He wasn't necessarily angry, but he wasn't happy either. Eventually I did stop and walk the rest of the way down the stairs. When I got to the bottom, he make me go talk to one of my professors I was arguing with. In reality, I've never had this professor muchless had a problem with her, but in my dream we were fueding, and I woke up before I could figure out why. (It's a dream... it doesn't make sense).

According to my hugenormous trip journal, this dream haunted me for days. To this day Neal gets after me for being mad at him for something he did in a dream. Eventually, I wrote, "I'm not mad at Neal for my dream anymore. I don't think. He was confronting me about an issue and making me take care of it. He was upset (but he wasn't livid) and he was holding me accountable for my actions. We all need people like that, even in our dreams, even when we don't have a clue what we did. I really hope I don't have any more weird dreams."

Fast forward to Thursday. We needed to paint the top corner of the exterior of a building except it was hard to reach with the ladder and there was a huge birds nest and thus an angry momma bird. We girls decided against painting it ourselves and sent a guy up there.

Neal was our lucky victim. He perched himself precariously on an incredibly unsafe ladder contraption (involving a brick, a peice of plywood, a rock, and a sloped sidewalk), and I held the ladder.

Three or four songs from my sign choir played on the radio (ok, iPod), but I couldn't sign them because Neal's life was in my hands.

"God's trying to teach you to listen," he told me.
Eventually, he handed me the paint buck and climbed off the ladder.  I signed with my one free hand.

"Stop it, Katie," he told me again.

I didn't stop instantly because it was my favorite part of the song, but I did stop a few signs later. I was moderately annoyed, but I figured he was probably right. After all, I'm not very good at listening.
For the rest of the work day, I didn't sign and I didn't sing. Under any other circumstances, I probably wouldn't have even considered not singing/signing. Yet I'm so glad I did because while cleaning the bucket that day, I had one of the best conversations with God that I've had in a long time.

In Christ,
<>< Katie

"Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you."
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Friday, April 24, 2009

"I Support InFocus"

On Tuesday, the band was warming up for worship, when a professor came upstairs. Down stairs he had a classroom full of CEOs and other important graduate students who were going nuts with the noise from our practice. He said he was going to try and get them out quickly, but asked that we also keep the noise level down for awhile. He insisted we were just as important as they are, and--after a quick glance to the powerpoint screen--that he "supports InFocus." When he said this, I thought he was joking, so I started to laugh. I'm really glad he wasn't talking to me because it took me a minute to stifle my laughter. InFocus is the name of the company that made our projectors. The projector was starting up when he looked at it to get the name of our organization. He really thought we were an organization called InFocus and insisted he supported us. Really, that's not us at all and he has no idea who we are, but he supports us.

A word to the wise, know what you're supporting. Don't just say things that make people smile. What if the people you're trying to make smile really are participating in something the Bible clearly warns against? Don't agree blindly.

<>< Katie

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Jesus the Flight Attendant

Whenever flights come to a close, the flight attendant walks down the center aisle asking, "Trash, please."
I mean, seriously: Who wants someone else's trash? Who wants to touch all that trash?
Jesus does.
Jesus wants your trash. Will you give it to Him?

<>< Katie

(Short enough?)

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Squirrel Bite

Like I said yesterday, I'm a part of an interpretive dance to the song "Hosanna." There were like 15 of us, and we met for dinner, followed by a time of prayer. During that time we split up into groups of approximately three and God showed up! Our group talked about how we were so uncertain and how it was hard to see God's plans for our lives. I am so grateful God has put such Biblically-grounded people in my life. Before our twenty-minute prayer time was over, we'd all shared Scripture. Nikki (the coordinator) walked in and could just see the look of relief on one girl's face. It was amazing!

After our time of prayer, we headed over to practice with the live band. Ryan and I were walking down the stairs and a squirrel ran in front of us. Well, more like stumbled in front of us. He was walking very weirdly, and I figured he just had an extra leg or a bum leg or something. "Oh, that's weird," and keep going. That was my plan. Well, little did I know that Ryan wants to be a vet. Of course, he wanted to see this poor squirrel as did the rest of the team.
"What are we going to do with this squirrel?"
"He's going into the building!"
"I think he's bloody."
"We can't just leave him here."
"Look, he's stuck!"
"Awe, the poor guy."
"What are we going to for him?"
"Let's call Dr. Jones!"
"Yeah! Call Dr. Jones! He'll know what to do!"

So we called Dr. Jones, and the prognosis for this poor squirrel was grim. As suspected, Dr. Jones recommended putting this squirrel out of his misery. It was at this point that I walked away, knowing that was not going to be fun to watch. Well, they decided the easiest way to do that would be to take the squirrel to Dr. Jones' office (on the other side of campus) and euthanize him (the squirrel).
"How are we going to get this squirrel to Dr. Jones?"
"Anyone have a cardboard box?"
"No, but I have a bag."
"I have paper towel." (Laughter. "I don't know much about squirrels. Just an idea." "Apparently you don't know much about gravity either.")
"I have..."
They concluded a shirt was their best bet. Ryan captured the squirrel with the shirt and Tony was holding the squirrel. I think this squirrel probably could have survived for awhile based on the way he was moving, and he moved right out of the shirt and bit Tony.

Dancer down! Long story short...
"Everything's fine. It's all taken care of. We called 911. Now let's practice."

Ambulance took Tony and the squirrel (who has a name by this point, but I can't remember it) to the ER.

We practiced a bit more and decided Nikki would stand in for Tony. Watching Tony come in the building, talk to Nikki, give her a hug, leave, and Nikki jump up on stage to practice was priceless. All along, Nikki had said she wasn't going to dance. We were worshipping God and she was going to worship Him on the floor. It's not stage fright or anything (she's the director of the drama ministry). It's not that she doesn't know the dance (she performed it two weeks ago). No, she wasn't going to dance. Even if we were one person short; she wasn't going to dance; she'd make Tony do it. Tony's in the back of an ambulance.

Nikki was a little rusty, but she knew the dance. Unfortunately, she wasn't at peace about the situation. In fact, she left in the middle of worship and prayed in the bathroom. Sermon ends, pastor prays, we get on stage, pastor still praying, we get into position, pastor praying, we're ready, pastor's praying... We're all in position (lying on the ground as if we were dead) and I feel someone go past my head. I was the last one on stage. We're all here. I look up. It's Tony!

Tony walked in the room, saw us on stage getting ready and the pastor still praying, so he ran on stage, and still danced. I think Nikki almost cried.

In the case of the squirrel, we were all responsible.
Ryan and I were at fault because we were the first ones to see it.
Caroline was at fault because she called Dr. Jones.
Ryan was at fault because he put it in Tony's hands.
The nursing major was at fault because she witnessed the incident and forced Tony to go to the hospital.
Nikki was at fault because she organized the whole dance day.
All 15 of us claimed responsibility.

Claim responsibility for your actions and watch God work through them. React when you get the "Go" from God. Don't use excuses, Moses, but go.
"We're not called to be successful; we're called to be obedient." - Dimitri

In Christ,
<>< Katie

PS: Tony is fine. The same can not be said for the squirrel...

Monday, April 20, 2009

Explosions and Hosanna

Two funny stories for today:

This afternoon, my friend Brittany and I got our dinners and sat outside on the steps to the chapel. Brittany offered me some of her pudding, and I said I was full; if I ate any more I was going to explode.
"I want to see that," she said. We were teasing about it, and as if it was planned, I burped. "Well, I guess there it was."
"Thanks," I said, looking to the sky. Boy does our God have a sense of humor. :-)

The second story was from last night.
We were practicing and interpretive dance to the song "Hosanna" by Hillsong. During one part, we bow down to the Lord. Well, of course, whenever you get a group of college students together (especially late at night) we get a little silly. While we were bowing, David grabbed a branch he found on the ground. A palm branch. Yes. David bowed to the Lord waving a palm branch and singing "Hosanna." This is the week after Easter not the week before everyone. :-) I still love it!

I also love that Hosanna means "Save now." Not "Save sometime" nor "Saved" nor "Maybe save." No. "Save now." Our God is saving us now. Not past tense. Not future tense. Nothing. Save NOW.

<>< Katie

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Dead Skin

Most embarrassing moment of the week, ready? Along with a promised mission trip story! (Yes, it's long, but it's two stories for the price of one).

On Tuesday, after worship I went to get some snacks. Every week I get whales (goldfish but better); in fact, the snacks folks always know I get whales. Some days I have to ask, but they always have whales even if they're just for me. I'm waiting for the day when there's a cup of whales on the table waiting for me. :-) Last week, they were out of whales and it made me very sad. This week, I was a little over-excited about getting whales...

I galloped to the snacks table, and when I reached across if for an empty cup, I accidental hit some cookies onto the floor. Three valuable cookies fell to their death on the nasty concourse floor. I picked them up right away, and held them in my greasy hand while I talked for a few seconds. Neal picked up the now-empty package and put it under my hand with broken cookies. I took the broken cookies and empty wrappers to the garbage.

"What are you doing with those cookies?" Neal shouted across the concourse to me.
"Throwing them away. Why? You want them?" I asked, realizing that was a dumb question. He's a guy; he's probably going to eat them. I was not going to give him cookies off the floor. Even if the answer was yes, they were going in the garbage.
"Not after they've been mushed in your sweaty hand," he snickered and I pitched them.
"My hand is cleaner than that floor," I informed him.
"Would you bet your salvation on it?" Is my campus minister asking me to bet my salvation on germs?
"No, but God and I both know how often I wash my hands."

Every conversation I have with Neal involves skin cells... I don't talk to anyone else about skin cells, but every time I talk to Neal they come up and he doesn't even know I'm a germophobe. How weird is that? Of course, this conversation morphed to talk about germs, Neal's nurse-wife whose hands bleed every winter because of how often their washed (mine, too), Neal's germophobe son (me, too), and how I once took a shower in Neal dead skin cells.

On our mission trip, Neal sat down next to me and said, "My face is peeling." How do you respond to that? What a great conversation starter!
I said the only logical thing, "Yucky."
"It's not yucky!"
"Well, I don't want your peely skin on me," I told him. What does he proceed to do? Rub his hands over my leg and taunt me with the number of skin cells falling onto me. When he's finished with that, he scoops them up and throws them in my face. Dead Neal cells in my eyes! Yucky!

On Tuesday, he rubbed some more dead skin cells on me, and I told him how hard that was for germophobe me not to freak out. I excepted this confession to result in laughter and more dead skin cells on me.

"I'm sorry. I didn't know it bothered you," he said. Wow. I wasn't expecting that.

Throw someone a curve ball today. Apology when they expect you to laugh.

<>< Katie

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Hand Talk

I went home for Easter and got my hair cut the first morning I was there. While I was getting used to the new length, I was seeing people who hadn't seen me in four months therefore would not notice my hair. Now that I'm used to it, I'm back with people who see me everyday and notice my hair is different. It's a bit weird.

Yesterday I ate dinner with my deaf friend, Renee. While we were sitting there, my friend Kevin walked by and noticed my new haircut. Unfortunately, Kevin doesn't understand "hand talk" (that's what he calls ASL). Kevin used hand gestures to indicate short hair before adding a thumbs up. Obviously, I'm not deaf, so Kevin could have just quickly voiced that he like my hair cut before moving on, yet he didn't. He was respectful to Renee to communicated the best he could with "hand talk".

Normally when we see things we don't know, we shy away from the situation and are uncomfortable. Kevin could have told me later that he noticed my hair, or he could have ignored me all together. He could have voiced his idea. He had plenty of other options, but he opted to do his best and communicate with me in a way that was fair for me and for Renee.

To borrow Neal's words, "Go do the best you can for Jesus. Even if you have to go slowly. Do it for Him."

<>< Katie

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

No Turning Back

I know. Today is Brit's birthday, so she should get a blog post... well, I'm not a very good friend and I'm not following these birthdays very well...
It's not my fault! God told me something to post today.

Today in worship we finished the night with a song that I'd never heard before. Part of it went:
Though none go with me,
Still I will Follow.
No turning back.
No turning back.

How hard is that? Going against the grain. Taking the road not travelled. Keeping on the straight and narrow.

Though none go with me, still I will Follow. No turning back. No turning back.

We have made living for God our goal, and we must follow. There is no turning back. Even though sometimes we go without any earthly help, we go with God and God alone. It's hard. Travelling alone. Yet with God we are never alone.

Though none go with me/ still I will Follow/ No turning back/ No turning back

<>< Katie

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Our Heavenly Father's Voice

This isn't my God-moment, but it really stuck with me, so I thought I'd share.

A few weeks ago, my friend Neal was really sick with a kidney stone. His wife had gone to the pharmacy to pick up his medication, and he was in bed trying to sleep (or at least resting). No one else was home except that his dad was downstairs on the phone with his mom. Neal said whenever he could hear his dad's voice, there was a wave of peace that blew over him. Whenever his dad stopped talking (to let his mom respond), Neal was suddenly aware of the pain again. Even though he couldn't understand the words, hearing his father's voice from the other side of the house brought Neal inexplicable comfort.

Imagine what it's going to be like when we hear our Heavenly Father's voice. Imagine the comfort, peace, and rest His voice will bring us. Think about the peace and rest we can experience knowing He's here with us today.

Go in peace and serve the Lord,
<>< Katie