The saint who quotes Disney

This last Thursday (April 12th) I was awaken at 3:30 in the morning by a former roommate with the scary news that a friend was in the hospital with a brain tumor. My friend (JHK) was placed on life support and the doctors were planning on doing a test to see what level of brain activity she had. At 5:30am my friend called to tell me the sad news.

JHK had died at the age of 25. She had just celebrated her first wedding anniversary a few weeks earlier.  She died so unexpectedly and so quickly that I, my friends, and the campus where we all went to school together are reeling from the shock.

She had a large, cancerous brain tumor that she didn’t know about. It had been causing headaches, but headaches are easy to explain away. We don’t know how long she had it, but we know it took her. Just that Monday she had been out with her husband and another friend to go see a Blazer’s game enjoying life. And that quickly, she’s gone.

It’s hard to wrap one’s mind around it all for numerous reasons.

She was so young.                                                                                                                            It happened so quickly.                                                                                                                                         She had her whole life ahead of her.                                                                                                Did we miss the signs?                                                                                                                   I just saw her!                                                                                                                                      …and so many more…

JHK was a pleasure to know. If you simply mentioned a Disney movie, she would start singing a song from it or quoting a favorite scene. She loved Disney. Between her , my former roommate, and another friend, I started to enjoy it a whole lot more during the 6 years I have gotten to know the three of them.

I don’t recall one time that I was around her that she didn’t have a ready smile. I know she had her bad days, but she was always eager to move onto the good times. She was always willing to be helpful and generous to those around her.

She was going back to school to get her Master’s in Teaching and I know that she would have been a wonderful teacher. She LOVED children. Children loved her. Her natural exuberance swept kids up in the adventures that she created. Her infectious joy forced even the grumpiest person to smile.

She will be greatly missed. Her laughter, her joy, and her love all had a childlike honesty that epitomized who she was, will be missed.

The JHK who lived was a daughter, a sister, a wife, a believer, a recent graduate from a Bible college, a teacher, a graduate student, and a good friend.

The JHK who passed away from this world is now eternally God’s child, a saint who stands before the throne of Christ. She is the saint who we will join in worshipping our God with this coming Sunday. She’s the saint that will be watching what we are doing. She’s the saint who will be praying for us. Because she was a child of the God who died for her, she was welcomed home along with many other saints.

So when it’s your time to go home, she’ll be there welcoming you. Just remember that she’s a good friend. She’ll be the saint who quotes Disney movies.

~JHK- you will be greatly missed- until we meet again! RIP 4/12/12

~ Psalms 56:8- You have collected all my tears and preserved them in your bottle! You have recorded every one in your book.

~Psalm 147:3- He heals the brokenhearted, and binds up their wounds.

From JHK’s favorite Disney movie Aladdin- “You’ve never had a friend like me!”~ The Genie

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Do I believe what I profess?

This question came to mind last night as I attempted to drift off to sleep: Do I believe what I profess?  As I live in a nation that is considered to be Christian by many, but with less than 51% aligning themselves with a Christian affiliation (this includes Protestant, Catholic,  Mormon, Jehovah’s Witness and many other ‘Christian’ denominations), (and only 9% of Americans have stated that religion is the most important thing in their life). Along with the knowledge that many people who call themselves Christian have never stepped foot in a church nor opened their Bibles, what do I mean when I call myself Christian?  Do I truly believe what it means to be Christian? Do I truly believe in the power of God and His written Word?

Yes. This is what I believe:

    1. God- (in Hebrew it is YHWH or Yahweh) is the Creator of the world and the universe as well as everything in between (Genesis 1 and 2; Job 38:1-8; Psalm 8:3-9; Psalm 24:1-2; Psalm 104:14-30; Isaiah 42:5)
    2. Man was made in the image of God (Genesis 1:26 & 27)
    3. Man is inherently evil, because of the Fall of Man (where Adam and Eve disobeyed God when they were told not eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil). We are not born good, but rather in the need of salvation. (Genesis 3, also can be seen in Abel’s murder by his brother Cain in Genesis 4; Romans 3:10& 23)
    4. Because of man’s sin, we are separated from God, who is holy and cannot tolerate sin (Isaiah 59:2; Habakkuk 1:13)
    5. Eternal death is the penalty of that separation from God. Because God is a just and holy God, He must punish every sin. (Romans 6:23)
    6. Humans cannot work for their salvation nor fix that relationship with God by ourselves (Ephesians 2:8-9; Titus 3:5-7; Romans 4:1-5)
    7. God loved us so much that He sent His Son (Jesus Christ) to die for us (John 3:16)
    8. The Messiah- Jesus Christ- was born of a virgin to fulfill certain prophecies (Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:18-25; Luke 2:1-20)
    9. While man was still sinful, Christ, who was sinless, died for us so that our separation from God will be repaired, and we could have eternal life rather than eternal death. (Romans 6:23, 2 Corinthians 5:21; 1 Peter 2:18)
    10.  Christ is the ONLY way to repair our broken relationship with God. By accepting Christ’s sacrificial death upon the cross as well as His resurrection three days later, I call Christ Lord. (Romans 10:9-13)
    11. Because of Jesus Christ, God’s Son, our relationship is restored with God the Father. We accept Jesus’ death as payment for our sins and our slate is wiped clean. (Romans 5:1; 8:1)
    12. I am a sinner, I accept that Christ alone can save me from eternal death.
    13. Through Christ’s death, my relationship is fixed with God the Father, and Christ the Son left the Holy Spirit to guide His people.
    14. There are two commands that Christ left His people to follow, and I attempt with all my heart, soul, and mind to complete these tasks: ‘Love the Lord you God with all heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and love your neighbor as yourself (Luke 10:27).” and “Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. (Matthew 28:19 & 20)”.

This is what I believe, wholeheartedly and without shame, I announce this to the world. This is what I believe being Christian means. It is not a label, it is not a ‘religion’ rather it is a life change. I want people to look at me and see God’s reflection. I want to run full force after God’s heart and shower upon people the blessings and grace that can be found being covered in Christ’s blood.

Romans 1:16- I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile.

Mark 8:38– If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he comes in his Father’s glory with the holy angels.

So- you might wonder. Do I believe what I profess? Yes. I am a Christian.

Do you believe what you profess to the world?

Side Note: I believe that there is one God, existing in three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit– I don’t know how to truly explain it without muddying the waters though, some things you have to take on faith. (also I believe that if anyone tells you they  understand the Trinity completely, run the other way!)