Friday, May 22, 2009
Sunday, May 17, 2009
In one week, I will be still be 17. In one week, I will still live at home in my same bedroom that I have lived in my whole life. In one week, I will still be the same person. But...
In one week, I am going to graduate high school. In one week, I will be done with high school. In one week, I will no longer be a high school senior. In one week, I will be in "the real world."
It is a weird feeling. It is probably bittersweet. Jonas told me that he misses high school. I am sure that I will miss high school, too. I am excited, because it is the "future". It is...bittersweet is probably the best word.
I would say more, but I can't focus.
Posted by Andra Lauren at 9:29 PM
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
Saturday, May 9, 2009
So I go to Southside to buy some beef jerky (because it is Mother's Day tomorrow) and so I put three little packages of beef jerky on the counter and the checker guy says, "You must really like beef jerky." I say yes and then I say, "But really, how could you not like beef jerky?"
And that was my random conversation for the day. I mean, no one told me that I have nice "vampire" teeth. But, still. There is always tomorrow.
In the mean time, read a book:
Posted by Andra Lauren at 10:34 PM
Tuesday, May 5, 2009
"I have no fear of drowning. It's the breathing that's taking all this work." -Jars of Clay, Work
I am almost done with high school and that thought really hasn't sunk in yet. When I started my senior year, I didn't feel old enough or tall enough. (For some odd reason, whenever I pictured myself as a senior I pictured myself being 5'7" or something less pathetic that my 5'4". Also, when you are young and you look at anyone older than you, they seem so much older than you. And as you get older, they don't seem like they were as old as you remember. Hence, I thought that I would be older. Which is weird, because I am far more mature than other 17-year-olds. Can't you tell by the way I actually used the word "hence"?) Anyway, looking at the date on the calendar (which I can't really do in my room, because I have yet to change my calendar from April to May) I realize that the date is getting closer. I thought I would have saved the world by the time I graduated from high school. (When it says "saved the world" read: "do something that mattered." By something, I mean anything.) I didn't totally take the world by storm. I didn't make a mark on the world by the time I was 18. I didn't even make a tiny mark.
I found out that this is why I don't like my birthday. I used to love my birthday and I constantly encourage other people to love their birthdays. However, for the last two birthdays that I have had, I really didn't want to do anything. I didn't even really want to acknowledge that it was my birthday. I wanted to hide, basically, and do nothing special. Now isn't that a horrible way to spend your 16th and 17th birthday? I did do something, I want to a lame kid's movie one year (even though I do love penguins) and went out to dinner for another. But I didn't do anything special, because I wasn't excited about my birthday. I finally realized why. Because I saw every birthday not as a victory that I survived another year, but as a failure that I didn't accomplish more. A failure because I didn't change the world yet. A failure because I didn't think I grew that much, I didn't think I changed that much. I mean I have been the same height since August 2005, so it was a failure because I didn't get any taller. A failure because I didn't do anything spectular. There are teenagers that are loosening chains and here I have been sitting around, not doing much of anything. Except failure.
I realize that I should change my thinking. I realize that I should see my birthday as a celebration. I should see my birthday as a day to praise God because I am still here. Just my still being here means that God still has a purpose for my life. Just me still breathing every minute means that God cares enough to give me breath and means that He wants me. He want me to be alive. He wants me to be here. He still has a purpose for me to fulfill. Now my birthday isn't for another month (and eleven days), but when it comes and I am sad (like I know I will be) remind me that each birthday is not a failure and that I should see it for what it really is, a victory.
Posted by Andra Lauren at 7:04 AM
Monday, May 4, 2009
I shy away from being called a “preacher.” Whenever Pastor Jeremy or Cole calls me “Pastor Annie,” I probably look down or blush or say, “I’m not a Pastor.” I do that because I am not really a Pastor, I have had no education and really, I am only 17. I feel that my Pastor is a pastor, he is old and wise and has been through seminary. Sometimes when I get up in front of people and deliver a sermon, I don’t call it preaching. Sometimes I just say that I have spoke or I am speaking. However, if I call it preaching or speaking, one thing I am not is a motivational speaker.
I’m not saying that there is anything at all wrong with a motivational speaker. After all, there is a time and a place for motivational speaking. However, I do not want to waste my pulpit. I am not going to get up there and deliver a happy message filled with happiness, cotton candy and to be quite frank, fluff. When I get up and stand behind the pulpit (or the stand, you get the idea) I am going to preach the word. I used to find it really hard to mention the Gospel in my message, but ever since I have really done a lot of putting together sermons, I now find that I cannot preach or write a sermon without telling everyone about the amazing grace and the sacrifice God made for all of our sins.
Delivering a motivational speech is great for people when they are down and it is great for people who want to be encouraged. And don’t get me wrong, I really want to encourage people, but if someone who walks in while I am speaking and has a real problem, like if they are dying of cancer or have just lost a friend to suicide, I want people to realize that there is a God who can save their lives. I don’t just want people to walk out saying, “That was sure nice, I feel great.” Warm, fuzzy feelings are great, but they don’t last. They don’t keep you out of hell.
I am really not trying to be down on motivational speakers, but I just want to make it my mission to never waste an opportunity to preach the Word. I want to preach the Kingdom of God. I want to preach the Cross. I want to preach the Grace that saved me while I was still a wretched sinner. I want everyone to know that Jesus saves. I want everyone to know that they are dying and if they aren’t careful, they are headed straight to hell. And I can’t do that if I am too busy speaking about success or happiness or cotton candy fluffy messages.
(Now I should just find out how to witness without starting with, "You're going to hell.")
Posted by Andra Lauren at 9:37 AM
I bet you didn't realize that I only have three more Mondays left of high school. Then I will never have another Monday of high school again. Yeah, it's a sad thought. Except I don't really like Mondays and I am not that fond of high school, so I am sure there are sadder thoughts.
Remember when I mentioned on my blog a couple days ago that I was exhausted? Well, that was true. But do you know how amazing God is? He knows just what I need. This past weekend, I was at (and spoke at) Unite, which is an event in Watertown. Even though I am Nazarene, it wasn't a Nazarene event. It was actually at a Wesleyan church, but it wasn't a Wesleyan event. Because it was a Christian event. It didn't matter what church we went to, because we all shared a common bond in Christ. And while that is amazing right there, God is even more amazing. It started like most events start. People talking to people that they know, that are in their own group. You know, people not really stretching out and finding an urge to introductions themselves to others. Thanks to a Drama Workshop where we all said our names and two random things about ourselves (My random things were: I cannot swim and I watch the movie credits to look for three letter last names) and thanks to some fun drama games, we loosened up a little bit. We started off sitting and eating by only those that we already knew, but by the end, we were all sitting and eating together. Because that's what happens. We have a bond in Christ and when God unites us, we become friends. We even become family. Because God is amazing.
I was exhausted a couple days ago, but God revived me, rejuvenated me. I know that I was one of the speakers and I think I sort of spoke to myself. (That's good, because that means if I needed to hear it, it was from God. So it really wasn't me speaking at all. I mean, sure, I talked about my experiences, but those were experiences that I experienced because of God. God brought me to this place and God gave me a message to speak. It's really all God. So everyone who thought I did a good job was nice, but wrong, it wasn't me at all. All the glory goes to God.) Sometimes we come into church too full of the things of the world that there is no room for God. I think that is how I have been lately. I have been so full of scholarship deadlines, college finals, getting homework done, and other issues that I haven't realized that I need to praise God no matter what happens, no matter how busy my schedule is, and no matter what the outcomes of my problems are. God is great, no matter what.
We watched Facing the Giants. I have seen it before, but I forgot how great of movie it. I needed to be reminded that we need to praise God in the good times and in the bad times. We need to praise God when we win and when we lose. We need to praise God when everything is going the right way and when everything is going downhill. We just need to praise God. We also need to focus. Anyway, below is a clip of my favorite scene in that movie. I hope you enjoy it as much as I always do.
Posted by Andra Lauren at 6:57 AM
Sunday, May 3, 2009
I have a lot on my mind, so there is more blogage to come. By I want to post this video because it was one of the songs we sang at Unite and I loved this song before and just to sing it and worship with it made me just so amazed at the power of God. Anyway, this song has a cool story.
Posted by Andra Lauren at 10:39 PM