Personal testimonies are worth their weight in gold. They're powerful, they're encouraging. Why? Because if all else about my faith is dismissed or scorned, one still can't deny that something happened in my life that changed me. And you can't take that experience away, ever.
10:30 pm note follows : Do not think that just because you didn't have a near-death experience which you were saved from that your testimony is not as powerful as someone else's, who did have to go through an ordeal like that in their past. What you've gone through in your life could speak to someone else who's going through the same thing now, no matter how big or small the circumstance. (And this pretty much applies to everybody - I think that's why support groups are such a big thing to a lot of folks.)
Well, okay, so do guys, but in their own way. *grin*
Since the guys went on a camping trip this weekend, the girls got together for a sleepover at the church last night. (And who said Christians can't have some clean fun?)
Junk food galore, serious talks about boys in general, playing hide and seek in the dark (which can sometimes be pretty scary if you don't really know your way around the building), and just being with the other gals. FunfunFUN!
I was a little curious about dating at one time and asked a bunch of my friends about this sometimes tedious subject. Not that it was tedious in a boring way, but with some folks, especially Christians, dating can get pretty controversial. What should be considered a date? Why is pre-marital sex a no-no? What are my boundaries on a date? Do I have boundaries?
Last Tuesday night we did something that I think was pretty neat - we prayed for our future spouses, whoever they may be, wherever they may be right now. Then last night our youth pastor dropped in for a couple hours and talked with us about guys, from a guy's perspective. (Now I wonder if his wife will be doing the same thing with the boys, only on girls from a woman's perspective, sometime soon?) He gave us a few dating tips and told us a little about his background when it came to being in a relationship, and actually, I'm glad he did.
One thing I did learn from last night, however : some past relationships will leave scars - perhaps not only emotional scars, but physical scars, too. Scars do not hurt, but they remind you of what's been done and help you avoid a repeat in the future.
You're talking to someone who's never been on a date before and has never had a boyfriend. Until He brings that special someone into my life, I am not gonna worry about being the only single chick out there . . . but that doesn't mean I will not heed advice on dating until that time comes.
verses of the week : "where can I go from your Spirit? where can I flee from your presence? if I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. if I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast." psalm 139 : 7 - 10
blog of the week : Jish (This dude lives a shuttle and bus ride away from me, were I in S.F. right now . . . scary!)
quote of the week : "Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that." - Martin Luther King, Jr.
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I seriously can't wait for school to start . . .
On a completely different note, I can't seem to concentrate on one thing right now - my attention's divided and focused on four different things scattered all over the place, which is frustrating because I can't get anything done!
Less distracted today, but in a good way, I think. Quietly joyful, you can say. I hope it lasts 'til the day ends. Or 'til the week's over. Yeah, that sounds better . . .
If I were a stone, I would be topaz.
I'm distracted by . . . nothing. And yet I still feel distracted, restless. Argh.
Strip me of myself
I have mixed feelings about tonight's meeting. Tonight was the last night the college group met. Next week is a Ladies' Night, so most of the gals (including me) will be going there. The boys, I hear, might be having a tailgate party at an A's game.
It's not that I'm putting any dependence on these guys when it comes to how close I grow to God, but they've been such a big help and encouragement to me this summer.
I don't wanna fall again.
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A big thing with me during camp was the crying thing. See, I don't like crying in front of others; I get embarrassed and pretty messy, and that o' course, leads to crying even more. Ya know what, though? God messed me up big time from Sunday night to Friday when it came to weeping openly. My eyes felt like they'd burn forever after every service, it seemed. For the most part, crying was a good thing. Sometimes . . . sometimes it was the only way I could pray.
A notable contrast between the movie Enemy at the Gates and the book : the movie focuses on a conflict that ultimately involves four people during the Battle of Stalingrad. This conflict, however, is only mentioned in passing in the book. Both are worth watching and reading, though. (And it's based on a true story, too.)
To L.A.T., on your B-Day :
The Untold StoryMany Happy B-Day wishes to ye, friend. Go on, take a bow!
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The memory that best describes camp is Monday night, when he seemed to totally blow us away during the altar call. It's been such a long time since I've seen a sixteen-year-old teenage boy get on his knees and weep. (And they say real men don't cry. *snort* YOU get real.) Gather together about fifty kids between the ages of twelve and twenty-one all doing the same thing in your living room, and you've pretty much got the scene from a visit from God himself.
Sunday night, the stage was set for the visit. We had an "everybody-introduce-yourself" session, but instead of telling everyone some basics about yourself ("Hi, I'm Sarah, I'm 21, I go to S.F. State, yadda yadda yadda"), you told everyone your needs.
As in, "Hi, I'm Sarah, Big Lare's quiet big sister, and I need to work on my self-discipline. I also need boldness, esp. when it comes to saying what God wants me to say."
By Friday, most of these kids were not afraid to pray for each other, not afraid to worship, not afraid to weep. That's just too koo-el for words.
Whoa - Rich dished out something wonderful for today. I come back from camp and I get such a tasty treat!
On Thursday we went to a lake to swim, water ski, go tubing, kneeboarding, wakeboarding, whatever your preference was. Mine was either stay onshore or get in the boat, and I did do both. We were s'posed to have three boats, but one broke down in the water and had to be towed back to shore; that was okie, though, because we all had tremendous fun with the two that were left.
I did get something of a scare that day, though. I can swim, but I don't like staying in the deep end too much because I tire easily after swimming for so long - well, I was kawazy enough to drift out on a tube into the middle of the cove that we were picnicking in, and I suddenly slipped one way into the water. The tube flipped over with me. I think I floated there in the water for 20 minutes, clinging to the tube as if my life depended on it (well, it did) and wondering what the heck I was gonna do. I called twice for one of my friends to come help me out, but I guess he'd gone to the other side of the cove. Yes, I prayed (try a three-word prayer : "God, help me!"), and the next thing I know, several little waves are pushing me towards shore.
I seriously need to swim more often.