Wednesday, December 28, 2011

December: God of God

Merry Christmas!
What is the first thought that pops into your head when that phrase is spoken? Could it be shopping, presents, Christmas trees, lights? Or could it be family, food, football, basketball? 
There's nothing wrong with any of theses, but what we often forget is why we, as christians, celebrate Christmas. 

This month, I chose Enfield's God of God. This song embodies not only our Savior's birth, but tells the story from the prophet Isaiah, leads to His death on the cross: the reason why Christ was born, and his resurrection. 

Deep in the prophets’ sacred page,
Grand in the poets’ winged word,
Slowly in type, from age to age,
Nations beheld their coming Lord;
Till through the deep Judean night
Rang out the song, Good will to men!
Hymned by the first born sons of light,
Re-echoed now, Good will! Amen.

Born to reign in us forever,
Born a child and yet a king
Born His people to deliver
Let us all in anthem sing,
"Hallelujah, the Messiah has come!"

That life of truth, those deeds of love,
That death of pain ’mid hate and scorn,
These all are past, and now above
He reigns our King, once crowned with thorn.
To Him who sits upon the throne,
The Lamb once slain for sinful men,
Be honor, might, all by Him won,
Glory and praise! Amen! Amen!

O God of God! O Light of Light!
Thou Prince of Peace, Thou King of kings,
To Thee, where angels know no night,
The song of praise forever rings!

Christ was born. Christ was born so that he could deliver a sinful race: to die for a filthy people and make them right with God. Since God is a holy God, He and sin are separate. They cannot be mixed. And since God is a just God, sin must also be punished. Apart from God, we are sinful men and we are condemned and His wrath is all we deserve, "but God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ - by grace you have been saved-" (Ephesians 2:5-6). 

This is why we celebrate Christmas :)

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Chaos: Temporarily Closed

Praise the Lord that this semester is over!

This semester has been one of the craziest I've been through. 

I can't thank the Lord enough for sustaining me through this chaotic semester. He has really taught me to trust in Him to provide for my needs. My studies were taking a toll on me and I really wanted to just stop. Stress is no fun. My nose was literally in a book everywhere I went (or in my laptop writing research papers). The last three weeks were the most chaotic. An online class that I had neglected due to another online class has finally caught up to me. Professors in all classes were assigning last minute projects. So in total, I had three weeks to complete 10 exams, write 6 papers, 3 presentations and study for 5 finals. Praise the Lord for giving me the strength and endurance to finish strong. 
A trial that I went through in the last couple weeks and still am going through is getting my classes for the following semester. It's been crazy. Not only has tuition gone up nine percent, but we have been limited to 15 units maximum. Along side this cap, we also have fewer classes with fewer seats. I felt threatened. I had a really late registration date and I couldn't do anything about getting my much needed seat in my much needed classes. I sat back and watched my classes fill up. 
Prior to my registration date, I have sent all my possible future professors multiple emails, letting them know about my unfortunate position. There were so many hoops I had to jump through. Trusting the Lord was a difficult thing to do. It was all there: I knew I had to trust in the Lord to provide, but applying it was a whole other issue. I know that no matter where God puts me, He'll be glorified best. I realized that this was super similar to my housing situation last August. The Lord is good and He'll provide for his children. May I continue to praise Him despite my own circumstance.

James 1: 2-4
Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

Throughout it all, the Lord has provided me with encouragement and much support from the lovely people in my lives. I thank you all so much for your prayers, love, and keeping me focused on Christ. It means the world to me. I can't thank you enough. 

Aside from this hot mess... a lot of fun happened too.

1 Corinthians 10:31
So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.