Sunday, August 30, 2009

Thoughts from Francis Thompson

(In case you're wondering who Francis Thompson is, he was a poet who lived during the late 1800's/early 1900's. I read him in literature this week and thought he was really powerful. This is excerpts from his poem "The Hound of Heaven.")

I fled Him, down the nights and down the days;
I fled Him, down the arches of the years;
I fled Him, down the labyrinthine ways
Of my own mind, and in the mist of tears
I hid from Him...
(For, though I knew His love Who followed
Yet I was sore adread [i.e. very worried]
Lest, having Him, I must have naught besides).
Nigh and nigh [near and nearer] draws the chase,
With unperturbed pace,
Deliberate speed, majestic instancy
And past those noised feet,
A Voice comes yet more fleet
"Lo, naught [nothing] contents thee, who content'st not [is not contented in] Me."
Naked I wait thy Love's uplifted stroke!
My harness piece by piece Thou hast hewn from me,
And smitten me to my knee;
I am defenseless utterly.
Ah! Must Thou char the wood ere Thou canst limn [can write] with it?
Such is, what is to be?
The pulp so bitter, how shall taste the rind?
That Voice is round me like a bursting sea:
"Whom wilt thou find to love ignoble thee,
Save Me, save only Me?
All which I took from thee I did but take,
Not for thy harms [not to hurt you],
But just that thou might seek it in My arms.
All which thy childish mistake
Fancies as lost, I have stored for thee at home:
Rise, clasp My hand, and come!"
Is my gloom after all,
Shade of His hand, outstreached caressingly?
"Ah, fondest, blindest, weakest,
I am He Whom thou seekest!"

Apologies for its length and old English (though this is only a sampling), but I thought it was neat.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Something new to talk about.

Sooo, not too long ago, an online friend of mine was talking to me about comfort zones. We both are members on the Rebelution forums and she wanted to post a thread on this. I helped her a little bit with the questions, though she gets most of the credit. I thought it would be cool to talk about it on my blog. I'd like to hear what others have to say on this. =) Sam, hope you don't mind that I do this!!

Lately I've been thinking about how we, as Rebelutionaries, can miss opportunities that we may not even be looking for. If you're not constantly attempting to stretch yourself, how are you going to grow- spiritually, or personally? Andrew John Harrison makes a good point: "It is only when your leave you comfort zone that you run into your limits."

We have to push ourselves to try new things and step away from the familiar. In doing that we will continue to grow, and learn to do even greater things for God in the future. Because how can you ever realize your limits, if you don't even try to reach them? defines a comfort zone as "The level at which one functions with ease and familiarity."

So, my questions to you are:

-Have you ever turned down an opportunity, and then regretted it, simply because it was out of your comfort zone?

-Have you done anything recently that was out of your comfort zone? Were you able to tell the difference of whether it was a positive, God honoring challenge vs. something you did just for the sake of it?

-Have you ever found yourself feeling uncomfortable, because you were in a situation that you should never have be comfortable with in the first place (i.e. something inappropriate or not honoring God)?
How have you judged between positive vs. negative opportunities to step out of your comfort zone?

-What did you learn from it, and how can you apply that in the future?

-Do you have any suggestions for other Rebelutionaries, should they encounter a similar situation as you?

- Can you think of any Bible verses that talk about comfort zones?

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

DHT chapter 5 questions

“Life is full of scary things,” write Alex and Brett. Most of us can relate! The problem comes when we let fear or discomfort limit what we attempt or dream for our lives. Most teens are afraid to speak in public, try something new, go somewhere new, or meet new people. Interestingly, all these experience usually turn out positively—or at least give us the most interesting stories. If we’re willing to act in spite of fear, risk failure when necessary, and trust God, our lives will change radically for the better. And we’ll accomplish more than we ever could have imagined.

1) Would you say that fear of failure or discomfort affects you (a) not at all, (b) a little, (c) often, or (d) all the time? Talk about your answer.

2) Identify the areas in your life where you try hardest to stay in your “cozy little routines.” In each case, what negative outcome are you most afraid of? What very positive outcome might come about if you took that first scary step despite your fears?

3) Most of us associate words like faith and courage with positive feelings. But Alex and Brett write that many who choose to act out of faith or courage actually experience intensely negative feelings, such as fear, uncertainty,
worry, and doubt. If you have ever made a courageous choice but felt terrible while you were making it, talk about it. What happened? What did you learn?

4) Why might God be able to accomplish more through us when we act in spite of our weaknesses rather than out of our confidence or strength?

5) “Our story started with a simple step into the unknown,” Seth Willard says in this chapter. “But by God’s grace, our story has only just begun.” As you were reading this chapter, did any thoughts come to mind about a step into the unknown you should or could be taking? If so, what is it?

Friday, July 24, 2009


I got this email from Kate Jakubisin today:

Hello Everyone,

My dad talked with Dean this afternoon and wanted to update you on the current situation in Guadalupe and request prayer for the protection of Rancho3m. Dean said the drug wars moved into Guadalupe, two incidents have recently occurred. The first is the owner of the small store close to the Ranch [we went there several times to buy coke] was kidnapped and ransomed for $20,000. Although the money was paid he was murdered leaving behind a wife and three kids. The second incident was the kidnapping of a drugstore owner in the town of Guadalupe. He was ransomed also. After he was beaten they released him. Because of this, the next group, the Sov. Grace Church of Chesapeake, VA, canceled their trip. Thankfully the Cov Life groups were able to go to the Rancho and return home safely. They were able to dry-in the building for the baby home and are planning on sending a group of 40 men back in October to complete the job. Please pray for the violence to end so that the groups (Cov Life and Apex) planned to come in October will be able to.

Please be praying for the protection of the kids and staff at Rancho3m. Dean requested that we especially pray for protection of the staff and kids the week of July 27-August 3 as the Staff leaves for a week long retreat and the kids will be gone on their summer break, some will go home to their families.

Also, Dean said Alan is doing well, please keep praying for him.

-Kate Jakubisin
"I don't know what the future holds, but I know who holds the future"

PLEASE pray for Rancho3M, Dean and his family, the children at the Ranch, the staff members and the people in the surrounding community. This is a very scary and dangerous time right now so all of your prayers help! Thank you so much!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Just plain AWESOME!

Here are some incredible pictures of the universe that point to the AWESOMENESS of our Almighty God!!

Psalm 19:1-4 ~ The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge. There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard. Their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world.

DHT Chapter 4 questions

This chapter starts with the story of Ray, a teen party guy who hasn’t grown up, and isn’t sure he wants to. He’s choosing fun now over the future he says he wants. He’s heading toward what the authors call “a failure to launch.” Why? Because the teen years are like a diving board that, if we land on the right spot, will launch us into our best possible future. If we miss (or don’t even jump), we risk never launching. Most of us know a Ray—a “kidult”—who still hasn’t launched at twenty-five, thirty, or even older. The authors then identify five categories of hard things that promise to deliver high-impact results now and later if we do them.

1) Do you know a “kidult” like Ray? Describe his or her life. Do you think there’s anything that anyone could say to this “Ray” that would motivate him or her to change direction? If so, what? If not, why not?

2) The authors write, “What each of us will become later in life largely depends on what we become now.” Do you agree or disagree? What might a mature adult who knows you well say you are becoming?

3) The “strict training” Alex and Brett talk about doesn’t sound appealing at first. But what might be some payoffs from that kind of discipline in your life now, and your dreams for your future?

4) Which of the five hard things that the authors list motivates you the most? Why?

5) What are some of the hard things you’ve already done in your life? What were the results? What would you say you learned through these experiences?

Monday, July 6, 2009's it going?

I haven't had an accountability post in a while. How are you all doing? What have your struggles been recently? How can we be holding you accountable and praying for you? I'd particularlly like to hear from my past regulars: Mark, Melly, Cara and Kasey(aka Mee). I'd also like to hear from a few of you who I think read, but don't post very often...this may include: Wesley, Hannah and Morgan. :)

Love you all!

DHT Chapter 3 questions

An elephant is an incredibly powerful beast that can be restrained by a piece of twine. (No kidding.) And that powerful animal just might be you, say Alex and Brett. Why? Because teens today buy into “the Myth of Adolescence.” That myth is an assumption that the teen years can’t add up to much and are meant to be spent as some sort of vacation from responsibility. Unfortunately, those low expectations end up trapping and limiting teens for no good reason. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Even the word teenager, the authors point out, is a recent invention. We can choose to live by higher standards. We can leave childish ways behind and grow up. We can decide to do hard things. That, say the twins, is where the Rebelution starts.

1) Have you ever visited a zoo, seen beautiful and powerful animals caged by glass or bars, and felt that something was terribly wrong? If so, talk about it. Why do you think some teens might identify with a wild but caged bird or animal?

2) Do you think that harmless-sounding lies about the teen years could be holding back both you and other teens you know? Talk about it.

3) What was your reaction to the stories of George, David, and Clarissa (pages 31-32)? Have you ever thought you could accomplish a lot more than you are now?

4) What do your parents expect you to do at home in an average week? Do you deliver? Be honest. How much time and effort does it take to do what’s asked of you? Do you think your parents require too much or too little?

5) Have you ever found yourself behaving very differently—and accomplishing a lot more—simply because someone expected you to? Describe the experience.

Friday, July 3, 2009

The balance between doing hard things and just plain busyness

Well, I was telling Cara about this the other day, but I have been thinking much about this and thought I would post on it.

I started this summer off so determined not to waste my summer that I am starting to do just the opposite. I think I have taken on too much. Where now, instead of doing a few things well, I'm doing many things and not doing them the best I could. bottom line: Busyness does not equal fruitfulness

As I read an article by CJ Mahaney today, he said:

  • Busyness does not mean I am diligent
  • Busyness does not mean I am faithful
  • Busyness does not mean I am fruitful
If I'm 'busy', but whatever I'm busy with is not fruitful, then I am wasting my time.

For example. I have not been faithful to reply to the DHT questions. I have been faithful to read the chapters and post the questions. I but I basically read the chapter and then checked it off my list of things to do for the week. So, I haven't really benefited from the study and there hasn't been any fruit.

I think I am going through too many books right now. I'm trying to read throuhg 9 different books(several of them are some type of group study) and instead of growing through these things, it's turning into a very non-productive and unfruitful thing.

If you can't already tell, I'm the type of girl that wants to do everything and wants to be involved in everything. I want to take everything and I want to make everything work. I want to grow spiritually. But, I'm slowly learning that doing a 'hard thing' is not always being busy and being involved in everything. I'm learning that doing a hard thing is to discern when I should participate in something and when I'm just going through the motions with another thing I signed up for or took on.

There is a difference in between doing hard things and just doing too much.

So, I'm going to be praying on what God wants me to focus on. I may have to narrow a few things down, or maybe just push something off until the future. If I don't, I don't think I'm going to be serving God like I could be. I want to to be balanced for the rest of this summer and throught this upcoming school year. As it's only going to get fuller with work and school.

I will continue to post the weekly DHT study questions, but I'm starting to feel led to drop that study for now so I can pursue excellence in other things. I will restart my weekly accountablity posts, as long as someone is growing from them.

Lastly, I would like to see if any of you have thoughts on this topic. Have any of you had this same struggle? How did you narrow things down? After you narrowed things down to what you felt more led to do, did you see more growth? Does anyone have any verses to share that reminds them of this topic?

I apperciate your thoughts and I hope you all undertstand,
Emily Joy