Tuesday, August 28, 2012

gifts given and gifts waiting

Posted by Jordyn Williams at 4:26 PM 0 comments
     We are continuing to talk about grace, faith, and forgiveness in Christian Life. Today we focused on what grace and faith mean. I asked this question on my facebook status this morning, "What do you believe God's grace is?" Here were three good answers: 

"He's the God of second chances! You'll be floored at how His love for your life enhances! You can be restored from your darkest circumstances! Our God is a God of second chances!"

"God's grace is never ending. God's grace is bigger than the biggest love in the world. You cannot do ONE thing to make him hate you. Love him."

"God's grace is a gift we can never earn. It is the only way to be saved. By grace alone through faith alone through Christ alone."

     The last comment is closer to what we were discussing in class today. (Of course, all three comments are spot on and correct!) 

Grace is being spared of what we deserve to receive what we do not deserve.

     God has given us the gift of grace. We are all completely spiritually dead. There's no getting around that. We are alive through Christ, yes...but we are all dead spiritually without God. Even if we were 100% willing to be saved, we could do absolutely nothing about it. Why? Because without God's grace, we aren't able to do ANYTHING. We are helpless and hopeless. We are objects of wrath (Ephesians 2:3). We cannot do anything with our spiritual lives on our own. Like a dead corpse can't raise himself or choose to live again. God chooses to intervene and give us the ability to believe. If God chose to not intervene, we would be cut off from Him forever. God enables us with the capacity to accept Christ and to believe. He gives us the gift of grace so that we may be saved. 

     Faith. To be sure of what we hope for and certain of things we do not see (Hebrews 11:1). That's pretty plain and simple.

Faith is complete trust.

     God has given us this gift, as well. How good He is. Without faith...well, we wouldn't believe in anything, would we? We wouldn't believe the sun would come up the next day. We wouldn't believe that we would wake up the next day. Ever think about how much faith goes into each and every day? We do have faith that the sun will come up and that we will wake up with the sun. We have faith that the ground is solid. We have faith that our chairs will hold us. We have faith that the seasons will change. It's such a strong part of life that we don't even realize it. I think faith is incredible and only God could have granted us with this treasure of thinking. 

We are saved by grace through faith. And it is not by our works that we have the ability to have grace and to have faith. It is the grand gift of God (Ephesians 2:8-9).

---

     In Acts, we've obviously been going through the book of Acts. I'm still trying to understand it all myself, but something my professor kept saying was this, "Waiting on God is the hardest thing in the world to do." Yes, it is. This is mainly a reminder to myself. I need to trust that God knows exactly what He's doing, because He does, and to just let Him take control. What I'm waiting for may not come this year or the next or maybe even the next...which is hard to digest, but it's not really up to me, is it? Nope. So then why worry over it? God will deliver precisely when He means to whether I worry and stress about it or not. I can't seek it out.

-jrw

Monday, August 27, 2012

raw

Posted by Jordyn Williams at 12:19 AM 0 comments
     There are just times where your heart, mind, and soul are just so overwhelmed with emotions. But you can't put any of those emotions into words. You can put them to songs, though. That's why I love music so much. Music is a part of me. Plain and simple. Music takes my soul with it. My emotions become raw and it's a beautiful thing.

Listen.
Swimming in a Lovely Sea of You by Michael Whalen

Thursday, August 23, 2012

beloved

Posted by Jordyn Williams at 8:52 PM 0 comments
Daughters of Jerusalem, 
I charge you by the gazelles 
and by the does of the field: 
Do not arouse or awaken love until it so desires.

Song of Songs 2:7, 3:5

grace, faith, forgiveness, and creation

Posted by Jordyn Williams at 7:52 PM 0 comments
     I have a feeling this post is going to be a little incoherent, but please bear with me. I'm just writing out my thoughts...which may be incomplete at the moment.

     My first class at OCC at 7am (hasn't been too horrible...) is Christian Life with Brother Greg Hafer. Our verses for this week were Ephesians 2:1-10, Romans 1:16-17, and 2 Corinthians 5:21. These verses deal with grace, faith, and forgiveness. The Lord has had this planned for me, I'm serious. I need to understand grace, I need to keep up with my faith, and I so need forgiveness.
     Brother Hafer has us reading this book called Radical by David Platt. Yes, this book and this class is what has inspired my blog. In the first chapter, Platt explains how we tend to replace what is radical with what is comfortable. Such as, we have a bad habit of making Jesus into something he's not so it's easier for us to feel comfortable following him. When instead we need to know the Jesus of the BIBLE.
     Another question posed was 'Is His Word enough?' When we take away the sound system, the band, the entertainment, the heated or air-conditioned buildings (Radical, p. 26)...is God's Word enough to satisfy us?

     The perception of man - dead in transgressions and sins. Transgressions are mistakes, false steps, blunders. Sin is missing the mark. We are helpless and hopeless without God. Just a note I made in class that's worth thinking about.

     In History of Ancient Israel 1...oh man. Such a good class. Taught by Brother Woody Wilkinson. He is like all the cool grandpa's combined into one AWESOME grandpa. We've been starting at the beginning of Genesis. We established that:

• Day One: God created Light.
• Day Two: God created Expanse (Firmament).
• Day Three: God created Vegetation (Land).
• Day Four: God created Sun, Moon, and Stars.
• Day Five: God created Birds and Fish.
• Day Six: God created Land Animals and Man.
• Day Seven: God rested. (Or ceased).

     There are some questions Brother Woody has us think about. Such as, on day three when God created vegetation (trees for example), was there age? Were baby trees created as well as old, tall trees?
     Something that was pointed out to me was that light was created BEFORE the sun, moon, and stars were created. It's just interesting to think on the fact that there was light without what is the source of light today. I like to think that that light was the light of God's glory.
     There's a lot of controversy with Young Earth and Old Earth. Personally, I believe in Young Earth. I was talking to a friend about this and he made a good point. Genesis is a history book. We're LEARNING about what had happened. When reading a history book...if they say that this piece of machinery was made in a day...you'd assume that yes, it was made in a 24-hour period. It's the same with Genesis. It's telling us the history of creation. When I read that God made something in a day, I don't think "hm...a day in God's time must be millions of years in our time." No, I truly believe it was in a 24-hour period. Wilbur Fields makes an excellent point in his book, Old Testament History: An Overview of Sacred History & Truth...on page 25 Fields says, "Adam was created on the sixth day. He lived in the garden of Eden through the sixth and seventh days. Some time after the seventh day, he was expelled from the garden. He had two sons. They grew to maturity. Son Cain killed son Able. Still later a third son, Seth, was born. Adam was 130 years old when Seth was born (Gen. 5:3). Plainly, the sixth and seventh days do not refer to periods of time thousands of years long. We assume the word 'day' refers to the same period of time in all the references in Genesis 1." Pretty plain and simple to me, right? Fields makes a lot of other good points concerning this, as well.

     Here are some other questions to think about...
• How long were Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden before they were cast out?

• Did Adam and Eve have children before the Fall?

• Did Adam and Eve have to sleep before the Fall?

• Did they feel pain? Did they bleed?

• Have a belly button?

• Was there death before sin entered the world? If God warned Adam and Eve that eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil would cause them to die...how would they know what death was? Was there any form of death in the Garden for them to understand the concept? Did plants wither away and die after time? Did any animals pass away?

• Was there paradise outside of the Garden of Eden?

• Was female (Eve) created on the sixth day?

• Did the taking of Adam's rib leave a scar on him?

     These were most of my thoughts today. I have some on Acts, as well but I'll leave this post for now. I have one more day left of the first week. I'm ready to have a weekend to get caught up on sleep and some homework.

-jrw


my radical abandonment

Posted by Jordyn Williams at 3:35 PM 0 comments
     My name is Jordyn and I'm 19 years old. I'm a newly transferred sophomore at Ozark Christian College in Joplin, Missouri and studying to get my Associates in Church Music. Last year, I attended Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College. My Major was in Music Theatre and I absolutely loved it. I grew a lot while I attended NEO. Mentally, personally and vocally. Unfortunately, I wasn't growing spiritually and I take the complete blame for that. I fell away from God pretty quick. It wasn't my intention at all, but I let it happen anyways and I didn't do much about it. I was having fun so why change? Well, I got a huge wake up call. Sometimes something awful and heart breaking needs to happen in your life to throw you back onto the right path. I don't regret my close friendships, but there is a time where maybe being separated from someone is better. I think we've all been there. 
     The biggest thing I've learned at OCC so far has been that Jesus calls us to drop everything and follow him. This blog is called 'my radical abandonment' for a reason. Now, I admit that I haven't "radically abandoned" everything in my life, but this is the start of my journey of trying to do so for the glory of God. I have to start somewhere and school just happened to be that somewhere. Even though I loved being at NEO and I met so many absolutely wonderful people, there came a point where I didn't like who I was becoming. At the end of this summer, I woke up one morning and had a conversation with my best friend, Grace, about how I was feeling. Within that conversation, I decided I didn't want to go back to NEO. It's not a bad school, but I knew it was not where I needed to be. I began looking at UCO and NSU. I went to my mom and said, "I don't want to go back to NEO. I don't know where to go, but I can't go back there." My mom was pretty taken aback and I'm not surprised. Then we both decided on OCC. My mom and my dad both attended OCC. That's where they met and got married. My mom also worked in OCC's music department for four years after she graduated. So I grew up knowing about OCC and always thought I'd go there. It was always in the back of my mind and kind of my default college. Well, now here I am. I'm really excited to be here...I've had class for not even a full week and I've already learned enough to last me a month. It's incredible.

     I think this blog will mainly be for my ramblings and thoughts about what I've learned or what I'm going through. Bear with me because it might be a little boring or I might not post all that often, but I do have some things in mind to talk about.

     I'd really appreciate it if you could keep me in your prayers. Even though I love it here, I'm still trying to get used to everything and make friends. I got all of my 100,000,000 syllabi from my classes and I have the biggest work load. If you could pray for me to keep up with my work and that God will definitely work through me so that I might be able to shine His light EVERYWHERE I go.


-jrw
 

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