August 2008


Just over a year ago, I began reading through the Bible. At first, I was striving to read through it in a year. Then I decided to take more time and read through at a slower pace (actually trying to comprehend what I was reading). I am only through Amos, as of today. Lord willing, I will get into the New Testament within a couple weeks. Honestly, I can’t wait to get into the NT! I just want to read about Christ and His ministry, and I’m really excited. It has been a little difficult getting through the Old Testament. A lot of it is pretty depressing stuff. I feel like every other thing I read is about Israel’s sin and how God is going to punish them for their unfaithfulness to Him. There have been two “themes” that I have seen throughout the Old Testament:

1.) God’s hatred of sin (along with His incredible mercy and forgiveness)

2.) God’s unfailing love for Israel

First of all, I am being constantly reminded of how much God hates sin. It is so evident in just about every book of the Old Testament (if not all of them)! Over and over again, Israel turns away from God. There are very strong words used to depict Israel’s unfaithfulness (harlotry, adultery, etc.). As I’ve mentioned in earlier posts, I have been reading a book called A Fight to the Death, by Wayne and Joshua Mack. Reading through the OT has definitely reinforced what I’ve been reading in this book: sin is serious and God hates it. Yet amid all of the sin portrayed throughout the OT, God’s willingness to forgive and show mercy are never far behind. When I was reading Jeremiah, I was struck by God’s heart for His people to repent. In chapter 3:1-4:1, God says to Israel “Return to Me” or “Return” 5 times. What an amazing God He is! This brings me to the second “theme” I continually see while reading the OT – God’s unfailing love for Israel.

As I keep reading of God’s love for Israel and His promises to her, I am more and more convinced of dispensationalism and premillenialism. I just don’t see how the Church can replace Israel with all the promises that God makes about restoring her as a nation, etc.

So, that’s a little blurb about what I’ve been reading and learning. Also, the more I have read, the more I see how much I don’t know and understand! 🙂 I definitely read Unger’s Bible Handbook right along with Isaiah (and still didn’t understand most of it). I have a whole lot of learning left to do, that’s for sure! 🙂

Here is a quote that I have been thinking about a lot lately:

“Let not our longing slay the appetite of our living.” – Jim Elliot

I am striving to be faithful, thankful, and content with where the Lord has me today. My desires to go to Italy and be in full-time ministry cannot hinder what the Lord has called me to be faithful to this day. Life is about being faithful in the little moments … the mundane, day to day activities.

This past weekend, I had a special visitor. Thomas, a friend from Venice, came into town for a few days. He has been visiting friends on the East Coast, and it worked out for him to come visit me too. It was a fun weekend … with little sleep. 🙂

He came in Friday night, and we just hung out at my friend’s house. The night included cookies, Rock Band (in case anyone needs a vocalist … just ask me. i’m basically amazing), pool, laughter, a movie, and staying up way too late. Saturday, my friend Janelle and I took Thomas to the capitol, Downtown Sacramento, and Old Sac. I think we were all in agreement that it was a hot day. That night a bunch of friends came over and we introduced Thomas to “Apples to Apples” and “Catch Phrase.” We ate some good American snack food and made homemade milkshakes. Sunday was a fun-filled day as well. In between church and Sunday school, some of us made a mad dash for Starbucks (praise the Lord for coffee!). That afternoon we went rafting down the American River with my parents, Janelle, and Doug. This was a blast. Thomas definitely pushed me out of the raft … BUT … I pulled him in with me! 🙂 We wanted to take pictures rafting, but for the safety of our cameras we didn’t take them. So here’s an after rafting picture (while we were enjoying cookies again).

We went back to church that night and enjoyed a great time of communion. We hung out after church with friends. Then, rather last minute, Doug, Allie, and I decided to go to San Francisco with Thomas on Monday. Because of my uncertain work schedule, Thomas had planned to go to San Fran for a couple days by himself. But I really wanted to go and so did a couple of my friends … and it all worked out and we went. After driving around and around the city to find Thomas’ hotel, we walked around the city and had some great times and good oldies (literally – Elvis sang to us on the way home). We went to my favorite bakery and park in North Beach.

 We showed Thomas the sea lions at Pier 39 and ate dinner at Fisherman’s Warf.

 Thomas had his first pasta at an American restaurant. 🙂

We showed him Alcatraz through the fog that had rolled in. Alcatraz really is in this picture – top right hand corner. And all that got cut off was the side of my face and Thomas’ ear – not too bad. 🙂

It was so great to see Thomas and get updates on people back in Italy. It made me miss Italy a lot. I attempted to practice Italian here and there … hhmmm, that was interesting. By Monday it started to come back a little (emphasis on a little). To close this post, here are a few more random pics. I love taking pictures … it’s so fun! 🙂