I'm sitting here in the Tutoring Center. It's 7:17 pm, and I am done at 9:00. This is pretty much the easiest job ever because I am getting paid to basically sit here and stare at ESPN online live play-by-plays of the San Francisco 49ers/Atlanta Falcons NFL game, the Baltimore Ravens/New England Patriots NFL game, and the NC State/Clemson basketball game. This is only because not a single person has come in asking for tutoring help, though, which is probably because a) the center just opened today, b) it's not even two weeks into the new semester, and c) it's Sunday. But still, I'm not complaining. In fact, I pretty much love that I'll be making $30 tonight for doing in the library what I'd be doing in my room for free.
Anyway, since I'm sitting here with nothing else to do and I stupidly forgot to bring my headphones with me so I can't listen to music, I figured I might as well kill a little bit of the time that is left and get tonight's blog post out of the way.
Sunday. I love how much I look forward to Sundays now. Only God could do something like this, but I am legitimately excited to get up on Sunday mornings now because I know it means that I get to go and worship at Theater Church. I've started setting an alarm for 6:30 am to get up and take my morning medicine so that it can be regular, because apparently doing it at the exact same time every day is important and I get up at the same time every day during the week, but after I woke up to do that this morning, I laid in bed for another hour before I realized I wasn't going to get back to sleep today. The pain was just that bad. For a split second, I considered telling Elizabeth I wasn't up to going to church because even opening my eyes seemed like a major feat, but something inside of me knew that the enemy would be rejoicing that he'd won, and well, y'all know me. I just can't have THAT happen, so I got up anyway.
And man, let me tell you, I am SO glad that I did. The voices of everyone in that room were on fire for Jesus today, and it was so incredibly uplifting. Music has always moved, but there is something so differently powerful about singing out in praise and honor of the Lord with a room packed full of fellow believers who are there simply because they love Jesus. I sang my heart out today, and it felt so good. And worship practice starts next Sunday after service, with the new worship team set-up with the two services starting the following Sunday, so there's only going to be more of it! Ah! I couldn't be more excited.
One of the reasons that I love having an iPhone is that I can take notes on the sermon each week without having to remember to carry a notebook and pen with me. This is easy for me, and I don't have to worry about anything happening to my notes afterwards! I'm bad at keeping up with things if I don't have a specific place for them to go, like a class binder or whatnot. Now, I'm sitting here looking at the notes I took during today's sermon, and I'm again reminded of just how powerful and deep God's Word is, and how thankful I am to have found a pastor like Sean who can bring it like he does. Not to mention, he's a bit of a Renaissance man; he even joined the worship team for one song today! Our church is blessed by his leadership, no doubt.
Today was the last week in our series on Hebrews 12, and while there was a lot covered, what spoke to me the most focused on verses 28-29: "Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire."
Consuming fire. There's something very deep in that simple two-word phrase, something far beyond the literal. The song Sean joined the worship team for today was "Consuming Fire" by Third Day.
I'd never heard it before today, but I absolutely love the lyrics, especially in the chorus. And yes our God, He is a consuming fire, and the flames burn down deep in my soul. Yes, our God, He is a consuming fire. He reaches inside and He melts down this cold heart of stone. And the realization that that is my life played out in music makes my knees weak. Some of the people who know me better than almost anyone on earth have commented recently just what it's been like to see my life radically flipped upside down by Jesus, and it's made me reflect on just how far I've come and the fact that I've done so by His grace and that alone. The power of His love completely melted the hardness that I had built up in my heart. I'm so thankful that He's moved the way that He has, and I know for sure that I wouldn't have it any other way.
BUT, the way I see it? I didn't really have any choice in the matter. His love is so overwhelming and He has moved in such a huge way in my life in the past year, there was no way that I could ignore Him. Like the song says, He reached down inside of me. He changed my heart and, in the process, my entire life. I'm just sort of along for the ride. And for once, I'm absolutely, completely okay with that. It's way better to give the driving over to the only One who knows what's going on, anyway.
Anyone else thankful for the consuming, overwhelming, constantly burning fire that is the Lord's love for us? I sure am.