Friday, December 19, 2014


Sometimes I go through old journal entries instead of writing a new one. Remembering God's leading in the past often reminds me of lessons I once learned. Sometimes I need to relearn them. So, the following is adapted from my journal from over a year ago.


It’s something I have a lot of sometimes, and hardly any other times. Sometimes I have it when I shouldn’t, and don’t have it when I need it.

I have confidence that my computer saves files correctly and isn’t going to lose my data. I have confidence that other drivers will stop at a stop light rather than going through and ramming into me. These kinds of things make normal life possible and far more pleasant than if we could not have confidence in anything. (Wait, would life even be possible then?)

But then there’s a deeper type of confidence - confidence in God and His word. And I don’t have enough of it. Sometimes I wonder if I really have any deep confidence in Him. For if I did, why do I so easily question His leading? I’ve often felt that life would be better if God understood my problems the way I understand them.

How arrogant.

What I’m slowly coming to realize is that He understands life's problems better than I do, solutions and all. And I don’t have very much confidence, because as soon as things start to look like they’re not working out right, I run to Him crying. Why are You letting this happen? 

Why? As if a feeble, weak, and struggling human mind could fully comprehend even a fraction of the purposes of the Almighty. He needs give no reason, no justification for His plans. Amazingly, mercifully, often He gives one anyway. But sometimes, He doesn’t, at least not in the moment. And it’s then that we learn whether we really trust Him or not.

He claims us as His own if we hold fast onto the confidence we have in Him, until the end. (Hebrews 3:6) I may not have started well - I’ve made mistakes, and lived my life as if I could be self-sufficient. But I have confidence that He will finish what He started. I have confidence in His plans for me even if they go beyond what I can see. I have confidence in His love. And He will sustain me through it all. Until the end.

Oh, let me run this race all the way to the finish line, and never give up no matter what. There is no other way. I need not ask for You to help - You’ve already promised that. But I ask for the humility to accept Your help.


To approach a battle smiling with the confidence of a thousand victories won already, we must be so accustomed to giving up our own plans and accepting God’s that it will be second nature to do it again.

That’s the recipe for Victory #1001.

Sunday, June 1, 2014


“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?”

Absolutely not. 

“For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

I marvel when I try to contemplate what Paul is saying. We are to be so caught up in the love of God that trials will only draw us closer to Him. Inseparable, for eternity. That's worth any sacrifice, no matter how precious... 

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

This Day

January 22 started out like any other day. The air was cool, crisp, and still as I walked to the truck to leave for school. I wish I had time to stay out here and enjoy it.

As I drove over the gentle prairie hills between Chickasha and Norman, my mind was astir from my morning reading. Persecution. Faithfulness unto death. Changing the world. (I’ve started reading the Great Controversy again.)

I’m not going to pretend. I don’t have that kind of strength. How am I to change the world when I can’t even change myself? The work ahead seemed to rise up as an insurmountable obstacle, a mountain whose summit was very far off and difficult to reach. And who knew what today might bring?

Then I felt a gentle rebuke. 
You’re looking at it from the wrong perspective. Today, I’m only asking you to do one day’s worth of work for Me. Can you do that? Can you give Me today, and let Me handle the future?


We’ll do it together… 


Fast-forward 4 hours…

Computer Organization class had just been dismissed, and several friends and I were talking after class. As we were laughing and talking, I felt a vibration in my pocket. I pulled out my phone to find a new message from “OU Emergency Info.” (OU has a mass alert system that notifies students via text message when there’s an emergency.)

It could not be. It could not be. 

“OU emergency: Shooting on campus. Avoid Gould Hall. Seek immediate shelter in place.”

(Don’t worry - this story has a happy ending. But I didn’t know it at the time.)

My face must have registered my shock, for one of my friends asked me what was wrong. (I was one of the first students to receive the text alert.) I could not speak; instead, I showed my classmates my phone screen. We unanimously decided to stay right where we were, in the 4th floor of a building about 7 minutes’ walk from Gould Hall. An OU official came and told us that the campus was under lockdown, and that we would do best to stay in the classroom until things were sorted out.

It was hard to find up-to-date information on what was going on outside, but we were okay, so we all began calling or texting parents and friends to let them know we were safe. We texted other classmates and friends to see if they were okay. Finally we found a live video stream from a news helicopter, and the four of us gathered around my laptop to watch it. 

What we saw was astonishing. Police cars lined the South Oval and completely blocked the streets. Gould Hall was cordoned off with yellow tape, and police officers were everywhere. SWAT teams were on the scene as well. At one point we saw a group of police and SWAT team members cautiously entering Gould Hall, every one of them carrying an assault rifle.

View from a helicopter (photo: News9)

“I can’t believe this is happening on our campus,” one of my friends commented. “This has happened at other schools, but it seems impossible that it’s happening here.”

This seems so unreal… 

Not your everyday police officers (photo: Tulsa World)

Police cars lining the Oval (photo:

Time passed, and we sifted through the many conflicting reports coming in from the internet. Finally, though, it began to become clear that no shooting had actually occurred. Multiple people had reported hearing gunshots, but no shells or bullet holes were found, no one was injured, and no students were suspects. The lockdown was lifted, and we could finally leave to go eat lunch.

At 1 pm, OU President David Boren announced in a press release that it had been a false alarm. Classes in the afternoon continued as usual, and Gould Hall was reopened. 

(The official OU report is here.)


Driving home that evening, my mind kept replaying the events of the day. There were many things to ponder, but one question stood out. What if it hadn’t been a false alarm? What if one or more of our students had died today?

Life is a gift. Every day is a gift that we must not take for granted. 

This day was a gift… 

And a still, small voice reminded me,
We made it through the day, together. 

Perhaps the best (and most important) moments of life are rarely if ever experienced solo. They are lived together. (With a heavenly Companion, even in absence of human companions.)

I don’t know what the future holds. But be it joy or sorrow, happiness or tears, success or apparent failure, I know one thing. We will do it together. And we will change the world, one day at a time.