Wednesday, February 11, 2015

The Blessing of Prayer

There is a special gift
That God gave to man;
Something that one’s soul can lift—
Something that lifts to the Lamb.

This special gift can strengthen,
Those journey worn souls
Whose trials seem to lengthen,
And bring them down into the hole.

This gift can be used for thankfulness,
For bountiful blessings shed,
For the Lifegiver’s faithfulness,
And for the light that has led.

This gift can be used for others,
So to share that life-giving power;
Our families—our sisters and brothers,
So Christ’s love on them may shower.

This gift is a special one,
Not to be used with disheartened care,
We must use it reverently, and not shun,
This special gift called Prayer.

Tuesday nights at the college there is a prayer meeting, where we get together and sing and pray. It is always a blessing to be able to put studies and homework aside and spend time in fellowship praying with one another.

Last night was especially a blessing for me--it seems that every song that was picked was meant for me, and spending time in prayer was so refreshing.  I was also reminded how privileged I am to be able to talk to the King of the universe--yet sometimes I get so busy with my every day activities that I don't spend enough time praying.  Prayer is really a gift to us, and I want to take every opportunity I have to be able to talk to Jesus!

I was also reminded how Jesus spent whole nights in prayer.  If prayer was that important for Christ, how much more important should it be for us?  "It was in hours of solitary prayer that Jesus in His earth-life received wisdom and power.  Let the youth follow His example in finding at dawn and twilight a quiet season for communion with their Father in heaven.  And throughout the day let them lift up their hearts to God" (CG 525.2).

I came back last night so refreshed, that I have recommitted to praying more often--even if it means laying aside an important assignment in order to spend time with Jesus.  Here is one of the songs that really blessed me last night.  Try to focus on the words--I hope it can be a blessing for you too!

Sweet hour of prayer, sweet hour of prayer,
That calls me from a world of care,
And bids me, at my Father's throne,
Make all my wants and wishes known!
In seasons of distress and grief,
My soul has often found relief.
And oft escaped the tempters snare,
By thy return, sweet hour of prayer.

Sweet hour of prayer! sweet hour of prayer!
Thy wings shall my petition bear
To Him whose truth and faithfulness
Engage the waiting soul to bless.
And since He bids me seek His face,
Believe His word, and trust His grace,
I'll cast on Him my every care,
And wait for thee, sweet hour of prayer.

Sweet hour of prayer! sweet hour of prayer!
May I thy consolation share
Till from Mount Pisgah's lofty height
I view my home and take my flight.
In my immortal flesh I'll rise
To seize the everlasting prize.
And shout while passing through the air,
"Farewell, farewell, sweet hour of prayer!"

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Running a 10k

Wow, what a fun day!

For the past three weeks, a friend and I have been training for a 10k (6.3 miles)--I know that sounds like not enough time, but we decided last minute.  But I have enjoyed every bit of it.  And there were two things that kept me going as well: first, I live where it is higher elevation, and the race took place in lower elevation; and second, I trained where there were hills, and in Sacramento, there are no hills. ;)

We trained almost every day that we could.  We would end our run by going up a steep hill, and it paid off!  This morning we left at 5am and headed to Davis, CA where the race was.  Quite a few other people from the college went as well.

Elias, Rahel & Me

More people from the college

Just before the race begins

Lining up! We started the race at 8am.  Our goal was to end in less than an hour.  We ran the whole way without stopping--in a rainstorm. :)

We made it!  58 minutes, 9.2 min/mi

I had an awesome day, and as soon as Rahel and I are not sore anymore, we are going to start training for a half marathon. :)

Here's a little thought that today reminded of--let's not forget that we have a race everyday, and that we need to keep our eyes focused continually on Christ!

"Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God."  Hebrews 12:1, 2

Thursday, February 5, 2015

School Days...

School has been so busy!  I have many more papers to write this semester than last semester, but thankfully, I have been able to get some of them done ahead of time.

I have really been enjoying my classes too.  I think I might have mentioned this before, but I am taking an  Intro to Teaching class, to see if teaching is something I would enjoy.  We have to spend a couple hours each week observing at the academy and elementary schools here.  We have to decide by Monday where we want to plant ourselves for the rest of the semester.  I think I will try elementary this time.  :) I went observing at the elementary school one day last week, and we took a hike for their break.  I also had meant to take some pictures of the classroom, but I completely forgot! Oh well, here are some pictures of their hike to the swing.

Esther is doing her student teaching.

I have been reading through Psalms for my devotions, and I wanted to share a little thought here before I close.  It was a good reminder to me to be more thankful for all of God's blessings that He gives me each and every day. I hope it will be a blessing to you too!

"Bless the Lord, O my soul:
and all that is within me, bless his holy name.
 Bless the Lord, O my soul,
and forget not all his benefits:
 Who forgiveth all thine iniquities;
who healeth all thy diseases;
 Who redeemeth thy life from destruction;
who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies;
 Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things;
so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle's."
Psalm 103:1-5