Saturday, November 06, 2010

Just breathe

I was standing waste deep in water, gasping for breath. I love to swim. It had been a while since I had last swum, and I wanted to go for a long distance. On the last few laps I decided to give it my all and see how fast I could swim the pool. It wasn't very fast, but it certainly winded me, and therefore I was standing in the pool, trying to recover by taking deep gulps of air. I was so thankful for lungs that could fill with the life giving oxygen.

So many times we take air for granted. Breathing comes so naturally that we don't think about it, even though we use air constantly. Certain types of air are irresistible: salty sea air, balsam scented mountain air, and snow laden, crisp winter air. We might not realize how important breathing is until we are limited in our supply. When playing long sections on my oboe, I am so thankful for the composers who leave one or two rests to recuperate my lungs.

I was reading the other day in 1 Thessalonians 5:17 "pray without ceasing". It reminded me of a quote from Ellen G. White
“Prayer is the breath of the soul. It is the secret of spiritual power. No other means of grace can be substituted, and the health of the soul be preserved. Prayer brings the heart into immediate contact with the Well-spring of life, and strengthens the sinew and muscle of the religious experience. Neglect the exercise of prayer, or engage in prayer spasmodically, now and then, as seems convenient, and you lose your hold on God. The spiritual faculties lose their vitality, the religious experience lacks health and vigor.”—Ellen G. White, Gospel Workers, pp. 254, 255
How often do we pray? Do we take long intermissions in our prayer life and end up depleted as I was after swimming? Do we breathe prayer and cleanse our spiritual lungs as often as we cleanse our physical lungs? Without respiration there is no life. Lord, remind me to breathe prayers to You throughout my whole day.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010


Recently my life has consisted of...

I am so thankful for...

But most importantly, I am indebted to...

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Forever student

I love studying biology. Yes, I know I'm a typical biology major, but I feel that the more that I study about biology, the more I realize how little I know, and how much I want to know.

My favorite part of the week is my Vertebrate Natural History lab. Wandering outside looking in crevices for lizards, or peering into streams for fish, is so exciting. The intricacies of the animal kingdom are fascinating.

It's a good thing that I have many more years of study ahead of me, because I doubt that I will ever get my full dose of studying in. I think I will be a professional student.

That's why this morning I was so excited to read this excerpt from EGW's Prophets and Kings. She had been describing heaven in glorious detail:
"There every power will be developed, every capability increased. The grandest enterprises will be carried forward, the loftiest aspirations will be reached, the highest ambitions realized. And still there will appear new heights to surmount, new wonders to admire, new truths to comprehend, fresh objects of study to call forth the powers of body and mind and soul." (PK 731)

Can you imagine? Having our whole, uncompromised minds that can soak up every bit of information that we acquire? The greatest thing to look forward to though, is that the Creator of all living things will be our professor.

Monday, September 13, 2010


Happiness is dating my best friend

Happiness is having God as the center of our relationship, for God is the center of happiness.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Friday, July 09, 2010

The Great General Conference

For the past few weeks I have been working at the 59th General Conference Session in Atlanta Georgia. For those who might not know, the GC is a time for leaders (called delegates) in the Seventh-day Adventist church to get together and vote on different important issues to direct our church. Delegates are not the only ones to go to the sessions though, it is a time for people to come from all over the world and connect with other Adventists, and get spiritual refreshing. In the evenings and mornings, wonderful speakers from all over the world give devotional talks and updates on the missions in their Unions.

I was working with a team of Oakwood students at the information booths for the convention. This gave me a great opportunity to meet new people, as well as see many old friends walking past.

My team at our information booth

One of the many highlights of my time there was people watching. It is so heartwarming to observe people reconnect with those who they haven't seen for 15 years or more, and look at the utter joy on their faces as they embraced for the first time in decades.

Some good friends that were missionaries with us in Malawi

Another highlight was the sheer abundance of nationalities that were present at the meetings. Even though there were so many nationalities, they all were joined together with a bond of brotherly love. It reminded me of the song "red and yellow, black and white, all are precious in God's sight".

Some friends I met in Russia

With 80,000 people together working for the Lord, made my mind turn to Jesus' return. Think of the people from "every nation, tongue, tribe and people" all gathered together in one big "General Conference" in heaven! Not only will we see people who we haven't seen for 15 years, but we will see grandparents, parents, brothers, and sisters who have died long ago. We won't just see famous preachers and evangelists like Mark Finley, we will also see people like Abraham, Joseph, the apostles Peter, John, and Paul. We won't just see musicians like Wintley Phipps, we will also see J. S. Bach, Vivaldi, and Buxtehude. People from every country, every religion, every region of the earth will be living peacefully together, because they all love their Redeemer.

Wintley Phipps

The best part of the great reunion in heaven, will be meeting our greatest Desire: Jesus. Our God who died for us, that we might be together with Him.

We have this hope that burns within our hearts,
Hope in the coming of the Lord
We have this faith that Christ alone imparts
Faith in the promise of His word!

We believe the time is here,
When the nations far and near
Shall awake and shout and sing
Hallelujah, Christ is King!

We have this hope that burns within our hearts!
Hope in the coming of the Lord!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Sharpening knives

Last Saturday night I had nothing to do. This is a very rare occurrence in my life, and I realized that I must quickly fill that vacant block of time with something useful. That is when I came up with the bright idea of sharpening our knives in the kitchen. I pulled out my sharpening stone and blithely began to stroke away. Sharpening dull knives took longer than I had expected. Several hours later, I was getting a little tired of my newfound occupation, but continued on my mission, convinced that sharp knives were well worth the effort.

Standing by the kitchen counter with knives scattered around me made me think of Hebrews 4:12 "For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart." The Bible is a tool that needs to be acuminated through constant use. Through prayer, the Holy Spirit will sharpen the Biblical concepts in our thoughts, making them useful to our lives. Let's not allow our Bibles grow dull with neglect, but continually read and pray for the great Stone to sharpen our spiritual swords.

Monday, June 14, 2010

What many do not know about Maryland

Maryland state bird: Baltimore oriole (it's beautiful to see these bright spots of sunshine in the forest)

Maryland state flower: Black eyed susan

Maryland state crustacean: Blue crab (believe me, if you go swimming in the summer in the Chesapeake Bay, you will understand why this is our state crustacean)

Maryland state insect: Baltimore checkerspot butterfly

Maryland state reptile: Diamondback terrapin (The Terrapins are also the name of Maryland University's basketball team)

Maryland state song: Maryland my Maryland (interestingly, this was written to encourage Maryland to join the Confederate States of America. Lee ordered his troops to sing this song as they marched through Frederick, but were given the cold shoulder since Frederick was staunchly for the Union)

Maryland state tree: White oak (we had the largest white oak tree in America, until it was blown down in 2002)

Maryland state dog: Chesapeake bay retriever

Maryland state boat: Chesapeake bay skipjack (incidentally, these are the last working sailboats in the US)

Maryland state sport: jousting (yes, that's right, baseball is just a little too modern for us)

And to top all
Maryland state dinosaur: Astrodon jonstoni

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Jeremiah and car doors

I shifted uncomfortably from one foot to the other. I was in a parking lot between a proverbial rock and hard place. To be exact, my finger was situated all too snugly between the car door and the frame of the car. We have been using a rental car this weekend that does not have an automatic lock, so each door must be locked separately. Somehow, while locking up the car, I miscalculated the time that it would take for the door to close compared with the time it would take to move my finger from the door frame. So there I was, with finger in a locked door, and no way of escape.

I quickly looked around to see if anyone could lend a hand. The car next to mine had three people gathered around it talking about their vehicle. I gave a pleading gaze their direction and entreated them to lend a hand. One of them (I take to be the car dealer) looked up, gave me a disapproving glare, and then quickly shifted his glance back to the car he was so intent on.

I was quite stuck. I had no way to open the door because of the security of the bolt, I couldn't reach through the opposite door, because I couldn't maneuver myself around with a finger caught in the door, and I couldn't simply press a key to open the lock. I tried pulling and wiggling my finger out, but it wouldn't budge. There was nothing else to do. Then it struck me! I needed to pray.

I have been reading Jeremiah in my devotions recently. Judah was in terrible straits. They had been in the grasp of the Devil for centuries, and they were about to be taken into captivity. God was pleading through Jeremiah for Judah to return their loyalty to God, to leave their dangerous courting with evil, and turn back to God. He promised that if they but showed a desire for God He would "deliver you from the hand of the wicked, and I will redeem you from the grip of the terrible (Jer. 15:21)."

I was not "flirting with the evil" car door, but I certainly felt like I was in "the grip of the terrible" when I cried out to God. I mustered up all my strength and with a mighty pull, I wrenched my finger away from the abominable door.

Though it was a relatively small thing for God to do for me, I was reminded that God can save us when we cry to Him, whether it be something like saving us from cars, or saving us from eternal death. We must never forget to call out to Him in our every need. His promises will always hold true.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Almost done...

Two finals down...



Two more to go...

Issues of natural science and religion...


God is so good!

Friday, January 29, 2010


Basis of Evolution=Selfishness

Basis of Creation=Selflessness