Friday, August 28, 2009


at this point, i can't decide whether to start a new blog entirely, or just continue to chronicle this semester in Israel here instead. i'm leaning toward the latter--mostly out of laziness. also because life just continues on. chapters are still part of the same book, y'know? they're just... chapters.

a chapter late at night, written two weeks ago: i'm writing this late at night, still a couple days before i fly down to surprise Andrew for his birthday. i'm pretty stoked. also pretty tired from tonight's shift. they've worked me pretty hard this week--i'm looking forward to just shopping & packing tomorrow, and hanging with the fam. of course, that's not the story i gave Andrew tonight. i said i might try to pick up a shift. (but that would be a little silly when i've requested the day off. ha.) i should end this late night chapter soon... i don't want the next chapter to be cranky & sleep-deprived. but a few thoughts first (i know, it kind of can wait--i'm planning on posting this in a couple days to avoid a spoiler. :D)

my life seems to have a lot of chapters. i think it's particularly so while living life between two states, having two homes, two churches, two sets of friends, two lifestyles really. this summer has been a very eclectic chapter--lots of different people, goals, and experiences. this next semester will be a very unique chapter, i'm sure. 29 other people who i'll know so much better by the time we all see Dec. 13th roll around. lots of different locations that will become ours--not just a funny place we try to pronounce every time we read about it in our Bibles. lots of memories and stories, important and interesting mainly to us. i hope this semester's chapter is even more than that, though. i want it to ignite a fire that burns throughout the pages of this book of my life--a fire to love the God of that land, the God of my heart. i want it to be more than a cool semester studying abroad. yes, i'm all about getting incredible pics with incredible people in incredible places doing incredible things. but there's more than that. if it doesn't direct us to God, it's a waste, a sorry waste. really, every day and in every chapter, that's the case. each circumstance and opportunity should be powerfully useful. we should live purposeful lives, and i'm afraid i often don't. it's a paralyzing reality--what have i done with the things i've been given? is it "good and faithful servant" ahead, or "depart from Me; I never knew you."?

these are weighty issues, my friend.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

The Reality of the Gospel

"We think that just because we're safe, hell isn't a burden." This from my Mother, in discussing how many people have expressed amusement at the recent death of Michael Jackson. I don't know, I guess I just find it really disconcerting that while we mourn grandparents who never came to the knowledge of the truth, we will laugh about a man who spent his life buying into lies that Satan propelled toward him all his years on earth.

What is funny about a life spent and wasted?
What is funny about the eternal consequences of sin?
What is funny about a man who never encountered true joy, peace, and love?
What is funny about a man eternally separated from his Creator?

Yet, I also at times forget about sin and hell and death. I am just as capable of finding sin funny and saying things in bad taste.

Bryan Chapell's Holiness By Grace has been reminding me of this truth lately. Though I sin, others do too. This truth keeps me from becoming defeated, thinking I am all alone in the life of faith. It also is humbling, keeping me from thinking that others' sins or wrong responses are theirs alone. I am just as capable of sin and stumbling, of warped thinking or wrong perspective.

Just thoughts. But they're practical thoughts. They lead me back to the cross, back to the gospel. Because I need Christ's sacrifice just as much as anyone.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009


It's strangely silent here in Slight 17, aside from the buzz of my computer which keeps warning me that its days might be quite shortly numbered. That silence may be due to the close proximity to the 1 am hour, considering also the 8 am classes some of my roommates are a part of. It's post session here at The Master's College, also known as the time most people have moved out, while 50 students rapidly work their way to 3-6 units, two weeks at a time. Gone is that last day I'll ever see some people--oh how I hate that part of graduation. I really hate goodbyes, so last week was pretty significantly unfun--particularly when coupled with finals. 

The heat of the Santa Clarita summer sun bakes down on us. Even the winds whirl warmth in every direction. It is in this heat that we grill quesadillas over open flame at 10 pm for dinner, or make hot cocoa over bunson burners, in numerous desperate attempts to make use of food already on hand, and a desire to avoid going out to eat costly food that will only serve to make us fatter than we found ourselves at the end of a long, unhealthy semester.

A couple of us are considering dumpster diving after hours at a local beloved store, as we've heard they sometimes toss wonderful food that isn't fit to be sold (past date) but is still fine to eat. We've pooled resources--sharing milk and the like. We've kiped toaster ovens and microwaves no longer in use from unoccupied areas of the campus. I feel very much like Templeton from Charlotte's Web at times, so ready to scrounge any last beneficial bit from any corner. It's not like we're starving. Just bored and somewhat budgeted.

Conversations range from the dichotomist and trichotomist views of man to vegetarianism to the weird water in this dorm to cute dresses. Weekend plans seem even more significant, in light of the imminent approach of flights home, coupled with the reality of unending homework and unchanging scenery. Everyone seems desperate for some form of diversion, but desperate to avoid any such thing. A restlessly relentless distracted focus seems to have settled upon us all... 

.ah post session.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

i swear

ironic. as we pulled back into the school, we discussed change, the Church, and the gospel. the song switched to "waiting on the world to change" by john mayer. 
i could've sworn the world isn't going to change for the better.
i could've sworn the gospel is more important than... oh, anything.
i could've sworn fellowship is pretty much one of the most seriously encouraging things you can imagine on a friday night.
this is really random and not super specific. but suffice it to say, we really have the one solution for all of mankind. we keep it to ourselves way too often. 

Thursday, February 12, 2009

the department

sisters laughing
aromas wafting
hours fly by
and we hardly realize it

friends coming
flavors pleasing
conversation is enjoyed
and we love it

the family made by studies
enjoying time, enjoying the practice
of lessons learned and memories made

The Chief End...Glorify Him Forever.

Death has really come to life for me lately. The testimony of the death of a friend, Andrew Mark, has really spoken to my soul as I've pondered and prayed for him and his family. Do pray for his wife if you would. I've told some of you about this, but some I haven't. He was 27, and I used to babysit for him and his wife regularly. I wrote out some of their love story from her old journals. I knew their testimonies. I constantly saw Christ's love for His Church as I saw them interact. I held their children in my arms, prayed through the cancer diagnosis with them at our Sunday School table every week, discussed God's sovereignty, discussed infant sleep schedules, ate with them, marvelled at how wonderful they were, did my homework on their couch til they came back from dinner out. And now he's gone. And now he's freed from pain. Because he doesn't have to worry about his cancer spreading, he doesn't have to feel the wound on his neck, he doesn't have to undergo horrid radiation. He doesn't have to fear the valley of the shadow. Our God saves. I just want to say that right now. And I think it's so odd how I can believe the Gospel and still be so sorrowful when a friend is closing his eyes and walking into glory. The last days he was on this earth, suffering in a hospital, it was always on my mind and in my prayers. And then once I knew he was freed, it was like the weight of the world had lifted and I could see it for what it really was. Heaven is real! Christ is on His throne, and Andrew Mark is now able to see Him and worship Him in a glorified state! That's something intensely amazing. I haven't had a lot of experience with death from this perspective. Most of the death I've seen was during my childhood, and I didn't know how to grieve, let alone rejoice in it. Thank God He reveals the truth to His children. He is so good to us. And I'm beginning--just beginning--to realize how it all fits into God being good to Himself. He is so far beyond our understanding of His glory, but He delights to make Himself known as much as we can understand Him, because He gives us the best--He gives us Himself. That's ultimately the most exciting end we could possibly face.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

My Thoughts Right Now (that don't really matter...)

  • I realized tonight that I have readings in 6 books due on Thursday. Plus other homework. 
  • My roomie's desperately trying to get to sleep despite some unintentional caffeine and a cold. I hope she succeeds, poor Beck.
  • Exciting to think it might be possible to finish school next year after all. Just went to the Registrar's yesterday, and made myself a pretty crazy strict plan of action. Can't wait to see if it'll work. Being at IBEX in the Fall will be totally worth the nutty Summer schedule. 
  • It's cold back home. Colder than here. And while I hate the chill in the air (I get wimpier with every semester I live in SoCal), it sounds good to be home and give em all a hug. Not really homesick, I just love them.
  • I like the challenges and blessings involved in homework. Sometimes it forces you to slow down, and sometimes it forces you to get up and do something productive. Interesting how that works.
  • I'm working on my thesis this semester. Not really joking. I'll actually have my undergraduate thesis completed by the end of this semester, Lord willing. At first, I was scared out of my mind. But through Tat's workshop on the topic of Adoption, and the suggestion of a friend, I'm really stoked about this class, because it will provide me with a forum to research something I want to learn about anyway: Adoption & Foster Care. 
  • There have been so many good things spoken into my life lately. College students are selfish. We really are--all our lives are so centered around ourselves (sometimes by necessity, often by choice). We have people cleaning our bathrooms, people cooking our food, and people consistently pouring into our lives. We're crazy blessed, but we can easily think it's all about us and that we deserve it. Not so, little 21 year old... not so. Interesting to see I've bought into the lie. This whole post is kind of. basically. pretty much. completely. all about me. Oh grow up, Kate.
  • God is enormous. But I was just challenged at dinner (by someone pretty wonderful) that we often don't believe what we believe. We don't take our beliefs and realize that they're true. So is God enormous? Is He big enough that I don't have to worry about financial aid? Is He big enough that I can trust even through the late nights, that He's working it all out to somehow glorify Him and bring me good (whatever that looks like)? Is He enormous enough to deserve our uncomplaining, humble, patiently faithful service? Yeah. Though, I must say, often I really don't dish that out. Sometimes it looks like a whiny, thinly veiled false humility that really just wants her own way. right now. But God is really working. I'm confident of that. He's too gracious to forget about completing His work here in me.
  • I'm excited to be seeing Him work in this campus too. Sure, there are sad things you hear. And the more time you spend with people, the more you see their sin. But it's good to see sin so you can all work on it together. Up close and a little too personal for comfort sometimes. I'm blessed and encouraged and also a little wary and fearful at the progress and lack of progress I see in others. But hey, that's where my walk is too at times. "And we urge you, brothers, admonish the idle, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with them all."--1 Thessalonians 5:14 I'm glad Scripture directs us.
  • I don't want to stop writing. It's in my system and I can't stop. But I need to. I have a lot of reading to do. So for now, thanks for reading. goodnight...

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Designed for Glory

Tonight I have about 40 years of homework to complete, but this little paragraph in my Interior Environments textbook made me so excited, I have to share it.

"The following guidelines can help the beginning designer develop a discriminating eye for quality design ... Objects in nature should be carefully observed. Their play of light and shadow, their shape, texture, pattern, and color are fine examples of design."

That made me stop and take a double take. Really? A secular textbook recognizes that:
1) Nature reflects design.
2) Natural design is excellent.
3) Natural design is so excellent, in fact, that we should go to it to learn excellence in all design.

Wow. And how often do I gloss over the fact that the natural world, designed and created by my supernatural God, is there to proclaim His name? As I whine about the heat or the cold, as I tread over fallen leaves, smell the fragrance of the roses, am I deeply and utterly aware of the decibel at which these things shout the glory of their Maker?

Also, another thought: even an unbelieving textbook writer can recognize that we must turn to God to do things excellently. We are dependent on Him for anything good we wish to do. How then, do we learn from Him? By patiently sitting under His lessons. By studying His revelation of Himself. By learning from His beauty about His greatness, and trusting Him for every area of life.

We can--and should--endeavor to seek these things. However, we will never be perfect in them as our Heavenly Father is. How beautiful glory will be when we stand before Him and realize that all we've studied, all we've imagined about Him, is a faint and distant--almost laughable--representation of this intensely magnificent Creator.

So these, dear friends, are the things I'm considering as I go about my homework. No wonder it's taking me so long. But why would I want to speed it up? I mean, really. :)