Thursday, September 30, 2010

Ah Ha! Moments

I love "ah ha!" moments. I've gotten a lot of them since starting college. Sometimes they pertain to the Iliad, sometimes they pertain to my walk with God, sometimes they just pertain to a joke that I was too thick-headed to get until five minutes after the joke was first made...but I still love "ah ha!" moments. Here are my latest...

-When I realized in the middle of the lecture Timothy Goeglein gave tonight why Killer Angels is such an important book. (Apparently Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain was a scholar who read the Great Books, and that helped him form battle tactics so that the 20th Maine could hold their position at the Battle of Gettysburg on Little Rountop...which allowed the Union to win the battle. Who knew that Torrey could connect itself to a seemingly pointless book from my AP U.S. History class?)

-When I heard the song "Before the Throne" in chapel today and realized anew that the "great High Priest whose name is Love" loves me enough to die for me.

-When I looked up the specifics of a sociology major and discovered that it might actually be the perfect major for what I want to do with my life.

-When I realized again why God put certain people in my life. People who finish my sentences, read my mind, and know my heart.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Something Pretty Awesome

Right now I am listening to my high school mentor, Dustin Adams, interview Dr. John Mark Reynolds, the founder of the Torrey Honors Institute. Two of the greatest men in my life talking to each other over the radio. The two men who really get me to think are talking about philosophy. The two men who have taught me the most are sharing ideas. Pure amazingness.

By the way, this is just more evidence that I am a Torrey nerd and proud of it.


I have no idea how many people read my blog. I know there are blogs I "follow" but don't always read, and blogs I read, but don't "follow." So I don't know how many people who read this are my friends on Facebook or how many people check this thing even when I don't post a link on Facebook, but I figured I would put an update here: I have deactivated my Facebook account for a week, possibly longer. I am hoping I have the self-discipline to actually keep it deactivated for a week. I feel like I need time away from the "addiction," so to speak, of Facebook. I spend way too much time on there, and it needs to stop. Plus, I have a load of work that needs to get done, and procrastinating it on Facebook doesn't help.

By no means am I trying to separate myself from the world and disappear into the sphere of Biola. Please call me, text me, e-mail me, come knock on my dorm room door, track me down in the library...I love people, and it's hard knowing that I have severed the only connection I have with some of my friends, but God comes first. Way too much of the time I spend on facebook should be spent focusing on Him. I have come to use Facebook as a relaxation and wind-down time after classes and Torrey sessions. Truly, it needs to be God I go to to rejuvinate me, not a website.

Continue to check back here because I still need a creative place to let loose all my craziness and so far this seems to be working. I will update regularly.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

"Wow, we are SUCH Torrey kids..."

That is probably the single phrase heard most often within our group at any given time.

You hear such a phrase when we get excited about drawing Achilles's shield.

You hear that phrase when we identify where we're sitting in the caf by saying, "The table with all the books. My Bible, Purgatory, and Inferno."

You hear it when we call each other "Miss" or "Mr." outside of Torrey session.

You hear it when you spend the best hours of the day in the library.

You hear it when we make comments involving "What the Hell?!" and instantly know that that person is reading Inferno.

You hear it when we compare Beowulf to Jesus, then Adam, then Jesus again.

You hear it when we give each other dirty looks for mentioning the words fate and destiny together.

You hear it when we argue over who spends more time in the library.

You hear it when you realize the funniest thing you have seen so far is a bust of Plato with a container of play-doh on top of his head in Dr. Reynolds's office.

You hear it when every conversation involves a reference to Narnia, Star Wars, The Lord of the Rings, or Star Trek.

Wow, we are such Torrey kids.

It's 1 a.m. And I'm Awake.

If it was two months ago, this would be a significant event. Now, it's kind of expected. I stay up to the wee hours of the morning reading, writing, talking... Not to mention that I wore two articles of clothing that my high school does not approve of: a bandana and a tank top...I feel like a rebel.

I also tried asparagus and was surprised to discover that taking a bite of Junior and Archibald wasn't as traumatizing as I expected. Maybe that's a sign that I'm growing up.

Another random bit of information: I have totally amazing friends. Who giggle with me in the library when we both know I need to be working but would rather be talking about anything but Dante. Who walk all the way across campus to escort me to my dorm. Who text me just to see how I'm doing. Who make me cupcakes on my birthday (yes, I'm still super excited about that). Who try to teach me to ride a scooter. They're pretty awesome. And I thank God for them everyday.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Early Morning Moments with God

Eight o'clock on a Sunday morning. I love this time of day. My roommate is at home for the weekend, the dorm hall is quiet, and it's cloudy outside. Perfect time to focus.

I flipped though my Bible, looking for something "significant" to learn. My eyes flew over the book of Zephaniah, and I remembered a verse in that book that had changed my life when I was sixteen. Scanning the pages, I found the verse:

"The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you with his love; he will exult over you with loud singing."
-Zephaniah 3:17

When I heard this verse when I was sixteen, it was at a time that I had really been questioning whether God cared about me. Between this verse, the last verse of the song "Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing," and a message given by one of the Bible teachers at my high school, I was shown that God cared about me, His child.

As I reread this verse this morning, I was struck by how little I realize the truth in this verse. Being raised in a Christian home, going to Christian schools, the wonder and joy of the Christian walk has become less of a wonder and a joy. I had a conversation with some friends a couple of nights ago about philosophies of education, and sometimes I wish I had gone to public school my whole life, so that coming to Biola, I could have a deeper appreciation for the Christian community which I have come to take for granted.

I want to rediscover this verse and the joys within this verse. I want to feel the presence of God surrounding me. I want to realize anew the miracle of the cross. I want to dance because I am so overwhelmed with the love of Christ.

But right now I feel like I have lost that wonder.

Now that I think about it...that has been a recurring theme since I started school hear...remembering how to wonder.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

College Rehash

High school, especially the last two years, were some of the best times of my life. So many great memories from classes, friends, Hume Lake trips, debate trips...I didn't think it could get any better. But then I went to college.

It's not that I am so happy because I have different friends, am living in a different place, or even that I'm finally at my dream school. I'm happy because I am being stretched by God to incredible measures. He is bestowing such huge amounts of blessings on me, that I'm not quite sure how to respond. Obviously, I thank Him with my whole heart every day, but other than that, I'm just so astounded that I don't know what to do. I'm almost afraid that it won't last...that it's just a really vivid dream.

Him to whom much is given, much is expected...or something like that. If that's the case, much is expected of me. I have the whole world at my fingertips. I have the opportunity to read some of the greatest books of all time and discuss them with some of the greatest minds of the Christian community (my tutors) and of my generation (my Torrey group). I'm living in a community centered around Christ and His Kingdom. How am I going to live up to my end of the bargain and pay this back to God, so to speak? How am I going to use these blessings for His glory?

So many questions and decisions...

Thursday, September 9, 2010

What Did I Get For My Birthday? A Blown Mind.

I spent my 18th birthday away from home. But, man...was it a good birthday!

My friends sent me numerous texts, Facebook messages, and voicemail messages on my birthday. I went to a concert the night before my birthday. I got sung to in the middle of the caf and in front of the mailboxes. And at the beginning of Dr. Jenson's lecture. I felt loved, and it was great.

The day after my birthday, I had a Torrey session, my first session in a week, and I was looking forward to it. As we sat in our classroom waiting for our tutor, a sophomore poked his head in and asked, "How fast can you run? Because you guys are late for your first Reynolds session."

Naturally, we booked it to Dr. Reynolds's office.

So after we (well, most of us) got seated, Dr. Reynolds walks in with a platter full of cupcakes, made for me for my birthday by the amazing Amanda Viel. And of course, I got sung to. Again.

The session was amazing. For anyone who does not know what Torrey is, I will cut the chit-chat and just say that the discussion we had blew my mind. I cannot even begin to list what we talked about because it all requires so much depth that I am completely inadequate of covering. Suffice it to say that I was humbled, slapped in the face (metaphorically), and thoroughly encouraged...all in three hours. Not to mention that my brain completely exploded from the sheer fascination of it all.

If that wasn't enough, I had a great discussion with some of the people from my group afterwards. I learned how they pulled off the cupcake thing, which I think was so kind of them. I felt incredibly loved. After all, I have known these people less than a month, and they took the time to plan a birthday surprise for me. I know without a doubt that God put me in Quadratus, with this group of people, in Torrey, and at Biola for a reason. God...all I can say is thank You.