Monday, May 23, 2011


Dunamis - doo'nam'is: strength, power, ability; inherent power, power residing in a thing by virtue of its nature, or which a person or thing exerts and puts forth.
My favorite lightning picture. Not from last night, sadly.

Last night, I had the awesome privilege of doing a little storm chasing. A severe thunderstorm watch was in effect for my town and so my friend Scott and I grabbed a camera and headed into the madness.

It didn't take long before we realized how wild this storm really was. We drove carefully through the gusting winds and driving rain until we reached a high point on the outskirts of a new housing development. This is one of my favorite locations to take pictures of storms because there are so few houses around that there is minimal light pollution.

As I attempted to dial in the settings on my camera (which if you're wondering is a low ISO, low f-stop, slow shutter speed), I quickly lost focus on taking some great pictures and focused more on the awesome power of the storm. Lightning was flashing all around, thunder was roaring through the sky, rain was crashing down in sheets, leaves and other light debris swirled around... I was filled with awe.

I fiddled with my camera and attempted to guess the right direction to shoot but continued to miss the biggest flashes. As frustrating as it was, I didn't need to capture it on film because I was capturing it with my eyes. Bolts of lightning would rip across the sky, sometimes so bright that it seemed as if it were noontime. Scott and I would yell in amazement to each other rhetorical questions, "Did you see that!?" How could we miss it?

I'm playing on a soccer team this summer in an adult soccer league. Our team name is Dunamis, which as defined above, means inherent power. I was reminded of the inherent power of nature last night as I fumbled with my camera attempting to capture its ferocity in digital form. I was reminded of the inherent power of God. How much more powerful must the Creator of lightning be? How much more awesome must He be?

Scott made the comment during a brief lull in the storm, "It's funny how today we see storms as so awesome and fun, but back in the day, people used to see them as the worst thing ever..." I think we can forget the power of nature when we aren't regularly subjected to it. I know that as I sit in an air conditioned room with a roof over my head and the blinds shut to keep out the blinding sun, it's easy to forget about nature. People all over the world are constantly being reminded that man cannot control nature. I read that there have been over 1100 tornadoes in the US just this year alone (here) I can't control that.

I think if we could grasp how powerful nature really is, we might begin to grasp how powerful the Creator really is. No one can create something more powerful than their own self. This Creator even has the power to control nature--see Mark 4. Imagine the power of God! I cannot comprehend...

Friday, May 13, 2011

Back to start...

About a week ago... I graduated college.

If you had asked me four years ago what I would be doing in four years, I probably would have said I'd be graduating. However, that might be the only thing I would guess correctly.

I just spent the past 3 days moving out of my house at JMU named Pride Rock. We have a strange tradition at JMU of naming houses. My seven other housemates and I decided on the name Pride Rock after months of debate. We wanted to pay homage to one of our favorite childhood movies, The Lion King, and a house of eight men should obviously be called Pride Rock. Seven of us have all lived together all 3 years that we have been there and we've had a different eighth roommate each year. I have been so blessed to live with those guys and while it hasn't always been easy, I have learned so much from each of them.

As we cleaned the house and moved out and said our good byes, I realized that I wasn't really saying good bye. As cliche as it sounds, I was more saying "see you later" to some of my new best friends. Some I will be living close to next year, some I won't be, but regardless, we all share the past 3 years of our lives in common.

I find myself in a strange position. I am in the process of coming to a close with what my life has been for the past 18 years. I have been an active member of the education system. For 18 years I have been in preschool, elementary, middle, high, and now undergraduate. As I graduate and move into the workforce, I leave behind my school years and begin my professional career.

It is strange to think that I'm really just beginning the majority of my life, God willing. It is really exciting to think about the ways God is going to use me in this new phase of life. I've never worked a full time job before. I've never had a career. There's a lot of things I've never done.

It's this unexpected future that I'm looking forward to. It's strange to think how little I know about my future and yet how certain I am that the Lord will provide all I need. In Matthew 6, Jesus talks about certainty in God's provision. He says to the crowd on the Mount of Beatitudes, “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?" (v 25). If I could completely grasp the love that God has for me, I think I would fully understand what Jesus is talking about here. He continues,

"Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble." (v 26-34)

So simple, so true. I've read this passage a dozen times and each time I am newly convicted of my lack of faith. I want faith. I want faith like Elijah.