Saturday, April 30, 2016

Thinkin' 'Bout Perseverance

Let's take a moment to ponder perseverance. It's the end of the school year -which means cramming, coffee, and finals... life is crazy. all the time. I don't know about you, but I get discouraged and worn down. But how often do we stop to think about perseverance, what it really is (besides that inspirational poster on the wall with a ducky saying "don't give up pal")? According to Webster's Dictionary (1828) it means to pursue steadily or stay fixed and persistent- both of which require active action.

1.Perseverance is a Progression- 2 Peter 1:5-6
       Perseverance and endurance don't come easily- this I found out real quick when I took up running again... In a time when everyone wants instant gratification, we forget patience. Very few things go from 0 to 200 in a matter of seconds (except for race cars and bathroom scales). It's called sanctification; it takes time.

2. Perseverance is Promise-holding- James 5:10-11
       Staying the course means trusting God. Two things: God has a plan, and God is good, all the time.

3. Perseverance is Prayer- Ephesians 6:18
       As you may have noticed, this is the Armor of God passage. You may also notice that Paul doesn't say, " You put on the armor, awesome! Now hang out and look cool." No. He says pray always. How do we expect to stay persistent in a battle without becoming discouraged if we don't talk and interact with our Commander???

Hopefully this is an encouragement to you too! Anyways, just some thinks I've been thinkin bout.
You know what else was perseverance.... getting this picture!

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

The Pew or the Person

                   
 
With Easter this past weekend, I got to thinkin more than usual, especially bout church and why people go and who goes and where they go. It seems to me that the why is the most important question.
  
As I was out adventuring around this weekend with my grandparents, we came across a beautiful church from 1891 I think it was. The inside was beautiful: dozens of paintings covered the walls and ceiling, hard wood pews and confessionals, a large, open balcony.
 However, the where of church doesn't amount to much if there's no why of church. If the focus of my heart  during church (whether Easter, Christmas or any other Sunday of the year) is to be there, sitting in the pew, singing the songs, then my focus is really on the pew (and the fact that I am sitting in it rather than anywhere else I could be). I come. I go. I stay the same because I have missed the purpose.

It reminds me of the verse in 1 Corinthians 13:3 "If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing."
To rephrase it: if I go to church, give an offering, sit there, sing the songs, but don't seek Jesus, I have missed the point.

By shifting the focus off of the pew and onto the Person, church becomes a delight instead of a duty. Christianity blossoms into a relationship rather than a religion.

This also reminds me of one of my favorite quotes from one of my favorite people:
"I believe in Christianity as I believe the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else." - C.S. Lewis

The focus of Christianity is not about persistence in a pew, but rather pursuing a Person.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Ponies and French Toast


  This weekend my Bible study group on campus had a ladies' retreat up at Z5 Ranch, which is a lovely, lovely place and you all should go. I'm glad I'm an early bird, cause I was able to get some nice shots and enjoy the sunrise on my morning walk before the rain hit... But thankfully the rain went away in the afternoon and we were able to get a tour of the ranch and feed horses! :) Which was fabulous cause this country bumkin needed to get out of town... like real bad...





The focus of the retreat was vulnerability, something very applicable to all folks, but especially college people as they try to figure out what they're doing with their lives...


<- this dude is just too cute... also pretty curious about my camera







OVERNIGHT FRENCH TOAST:
8 slices French bread
4 eggs
1 1/4 c. milk
3 T. melted butter
2 T. sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
dash of salt

Mix all ingredients (except for bread) in a bowl. Whisk until fluffy and well combined. Butter a pan and arrange bread slices. Pour wet mixture evenly over bread. Optional: lightly drizzle with maple syrup before baking. Bake at 400* for 25-30 minutes. Serve with berries, syrup, whipped cream, or all of the above!
(I used a 9x9 pan because my 9x13 was already being used. I just had to kinda pile the bread on top of each other, and smoosh them in.)


Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Grace goes to Fort Missoula








I like Fort Missoula because it's out on the edge of town, so in general, it's a pretty quiet place to just walk around. Last semester I interned here, which was pretty fun: lots of field trips and crafts..

Also, it's fun to watch the woodsman's team at practice on the other side of the fence doing crazy cool things with axes and chainsaws :)


Thursday, March 3, 2016

Grace Goes Birding

I'm in an ornithology class this semester, and one of our assignments is to go on a number of birding outings to identify and count birds. So... off to the pond went I this morning in search of birdies. And lo and behold, I found some... lucky for me, I also took my handy dandy camera!

 I didn't see anyone too out of the ordinary: some Canada geese, mallards, sparrows, nuthatches, and black birds.


 I almost didn't get a picture of this dude- he was super fast, or at least faster than me at 8 am...
Honestly, I don't even remember taking this specific picture, I was just snapping them hoping I'd time it right and catch him.














Like I said, some of these guys were pretty speedy, but I got a lot of nice pictures of branches...


Saturday, February 27, 2016

SPRING!



Spring is definitely here!

This was one of those weeks in which dealing with people was just exhausting... patience is a virtue for a reason.

Needless to say, I was itching to get out- away from people and homework and exams and pretty much everything... the mountain was beaconing me up, and I'm not one to say no to that...





I prolly stayed up there too long (if there even is such a thing), but it was worth it... the sunset and the quiet... so worth it.
What a nice reminder that life can get put on hold for an evening.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Why Wildlife Bio?


 



















Usually when people ask me why I'm studying Wildlife Biology, my response is something along the lines of "well I like animals. I like to be outside. I don't really like people." However, that's not actually a splendid answer. It's more of a reflection of my last point there, my inept people skills shining through... I guess a better answer to this question of why Wildlife Bio. goes deeper than 'animals are cool..'. I mean, they are, but not because they're cool all by themselves, but because  of the God who made them. 1) All creation, which includes animals, declares the glory of God, and 2) God cares about His creations, so should I.
 
This year as I have been taking courses like Mammalogy (mammals)  and Ornithology (birds), and even some plant and ecology classes, the intricacy and diversity of living things reminds me daily of Intelligent design. Contrary to popular belief, the world is not made up of little whimsy IKEA organisms- they don't just put themselves together loosely based off an 'outdated' set of instructions. The way I see it, any -ology without the proper theology is kinda hopeless and purposeless if it's not pushing you closer to God. Name any plant, or an animal or a star-yeah, it's cool, and yeah, it's beautiful, but it's temporary.
I call Job 39 the "Wildlife Biology Chapter". It's where I go when I'm feeling discouraged about class or doubting my education/career choices. This chapter, along with ch. 38,  reminds me that we can't know everything, even though people may claim to. It also tells me that God doesn't just create things and let them be for better or for worse, He cares and takes care.
 
"Are not 2 sparrows sold for a copper coin? And not one of them falls to the ground apart from you Father's will... Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows." 'Matthew 10:29,31