Monday, April 19, 2010


Romans is one of the most insightful and profound books in the Bible that I've ever read. Or maybe I'm just at a point in my life that it's really speaking to me. Regardless, I feel that it could have been written yesterday. A lot of times when I read the Bible I get bogged down in all the "foreignness" of it. It's old. The parables don't fit our times. The wording is strange. I can never forget that I'm reading the Bible. It's difficult sometimes, and confusing a lot of the time. It's not like that with Romans. All the points and arguments that Paul uses are so very relevant to our society today. For example:

Romans 3:5-9-"But if our unrighteousness brings out God's righteousness more clearly, what shall we say? That God is unjust in bringing his wrath on us? Certainly not! If that were so, how could God judge the world? Someone might argue, "If my falsehood enhances God's truthfulness and so increases his glory, why am I still condemned as a sinner?" Why not say-as we are being slanderously reported as saying and as some claim we say-"Let us do evil that good may result" Their condemnation is deserved. What shall we conclude then? Are we any better? Not at all! We have already made the charge that Jews and Gentiles alike are all under sin."

So as I write this I feel I should point out that sometimes Romans feels like a tongue twister, or a riddle, but after you read it a few times I believe you'll be as astounded as I am by it's truths.

This morning, as I was having my "quiet time", I came across one of the coolest (and most confusing at times) passages that I've read in a long time. The title at the top of the passage is Death Through Adam, Life Through Christ. It is Romans 5:12-6:4.

Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned— for before the law was given, sin was in the world. But sin is not taken into account when there is no law. Nevertheless, death reigned from the time of Adam to the time of Moses, even over those who did not sin by breaking a command, as did Adam, who was a pattern of the one to come.But the gift is not like the trespass. For if the many died by the trespass of the one man, how much more did God's grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, overflow to the many! Again, the gift of God is not like the result of the one man's sin: The judgment followed one sin and brought condemnation, but the gift followed many trespasses and brought justification. For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God's abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ.Consequently, just as the result of one trespass was condemnation for all men, so also the result of one act of righteousness was justification that brings life for all men. For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous.The law was added so that the trespass might increase. But where sin increased, grace increased all the more, so that, just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? Or don't you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.

I realize that's really really long, but it is such a good passage that makes me think about things in such a different light. I had to read it at least 3 times before I could make it stop sounding like a riddle, but once I did it was fantastic. :)

And one of my favorite verses right now:

Romans 4:7-8-"Blessed are they whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord will never count against him."

That verse just lifts my spirits. We are SO lucky.


Sunday, April 18, 2010

Leadership Retreat

I haven't blogged in a month, mainly because I've been so busy with school and Chi Alpha, but this weekend was so great I can't help but talk about it.

A few weeks ago I was invited to go on the annual Leadership Retreat, meaning my dgroup leaders had decided I was ready for a leadership position with Chi Alpha. I hadn't thought about it much, so I was kind of surprised, but absolutely excited.This last weekend was the retreat, and we set out to camp and float the Buffalo river. Of course it rained the entire time, but we still had a blast. On a completely social side of things, I had so much fun goofing off with friends, old and new. I met so many new people and got to get to know my old friends even better. I typically avoid girls and gravitate toward guys, so this weekend I tried to break that and before we left I could tell you the names of all but a handful of the people there.
It was just so good to see things in a different light. I've always viewed Chi Alpha members as my family, my brothers and sisters, but in our girl time by the fire we discussed what that should look like. If these girls are my sisters, I should trust them. I should confide in them. I should love them unconditionally. But as girls, we really don't trust other girls. Mainly because of our own insecurities. We think they will judge us because we judge them.
And it was amazing to start seeing Chi Alpha as more than just an organization. We have a level of trust and love that is hard to find these days. We truly desire to serve each other and lift each other up. Our guys are such amazing guys. When I go to class and I see other guys who aren't my brothers, I'm simply struck by how awesome our guys really are. How much God's love shines through them and genuinely changes them. I guess this is best summed up in an email I sent to a friend earlier:

"XA is just such an amazing family. Even if I've never met you or I don't know your name, you're still family and I still love you deeply. It's hard to explain or describe if you've never felt it. And our guys are so amazing. Such amazing brothers who love to serve us. Last night while we were having girl time and they were having guy time, they just out of the blue formed this assembly line and brought half the forest up to build our fire. We were SO thankful because it was freezing. That's just a simple example of how they serve us everyday as brothers. That's another thing that's hard to describe if you haven't experienced it. They're so amazing, and not in an "i have a crush on you" way. Apparently this year for Valentines Day all the single guys in leadership made handmade invitations and hand delivered them (dressed up) to invite the single girls to dinner and when the girls showed up they gave them each roses and made them dinner and served it to them. It wasn't a romantic "i'm trying to woo you" was just "you are our sisters and we want you to know how special you are and we didn't want you to be alone."

Just to acknowledge how deep these bonds go and how completely unique and special they are was a wonderful thing to me. I'll never view anyone I see the same again. And I'm really going to try to see all of them as my brothers before I see them as anything else. I have a tendency to "mini-crush". I've never had a godly relationship and now I'm surrounded by dozens of truly wonderful guys and my worldy desire is to fall in love with one of them, but I know that I'm not ready for that and that right now is my time to learn to be completely content on God's love. But even though I know that, I still mini-crush, so my personal goal now is to genuinely view these guys in my life as my brothers, because they absolutely are.

I feel like my words aren't even beginning to describe how I feel and what I realized this weekend, but it will have to do and I'll most definitely try to blog more often, because it's cathartic and I know I'll want to look back in a year from now and see where I was.