Tuesday, December 1
This question has been circulating in my mind consistently for maybe two weeks now. I’ve been getting better at doing devotions – try accountability partners if you’re having a hard time. When someone asks you every day if you’ve read, it puts the pressure on. I love it. :)
But God’s been showing me that He’s on my side. He loves me so much. Why? He created me! How can He NOT love me? It’s like when my dog Savannah chews up my third pair of headphones and I get so mad! How could she chew up another pair of MY headphones?! But….she’s so cute, and she just…nuzzles her head into my lap, longing to be loved. How precious. God loves to do that to me. Not the getting mad part – I’m not sure how He initially responds when I snooze away my morning devo, but I do know that He just wants me to sit in His presence, and in essence, nuzzle my head into His lap just to spend time with Him and to love on Him, just like Savannah does me.
Last year we had a guest speaker, Brennan Manning, come to school for a week-long chapel series. An incredible man of God, Brennan Manning explained the simplest, but most profound thing that has taken me this long to just mull over: God loves me as I am, not as I should be.
What does that mean? God’s love is unconditional. He sees me through the blood of Jesus Christ, who sanctifies me, makes me holy, and provides a way for me to relate directly with God Himself.
For that simple reason alone, God chooses to bless me, to pour out His Spirit on me, to fill me with joy, to work things out for me. I’d be a fool to not invest my time in Him because He clearly can satisfy me and cause me to be content. Where else should I be but in Him? He loves me as I am, not as I should be.
Tuesday, November 24
Amazing. You should read them.
It's pretty incredible to think about how God can change the life of an individual so drastically. God is so faithful to reward us and to truly work all things together for good for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose. Even when life's circumstances look bleak, He is there, He is in control, and He has a plan.
I love it.
Saturday, November 14
Beyond that, I wanted to give you all a fun update. Just about a week ago I and my fellow Ocean Hills people participated in our annual Mall Hunt extravaganza, and most of us leaders are pictured below as we prepared to head out to the Spectrum:
Yes, I pushed myself slightly by changing myself completely - don't worry, I got my hands later too, but the brown tends to come off on everything, so I did my hands last. :)
Let's be real - it was an intense night at the Spectrum because there were two other church groups there doing the same kind of event, which made it even more fun to mess with them. HA! Maybe I'm a horrible person, but bear with me for a moment. Obviously I was kind of conspicuous due to the big hair, but I was sitting at a table, and this group of young girls comes close to me.....and one girl comes even closer and dares to say, "Excuse me, are you my mommy?" Glaring at her, I said, "Excuse me? No. I'm not your mommy." They asked, of course, as sort of a code word between them. Well, throughout the night I was asked the same question 7-8 times and I finally stared a mom (who was chaperoning a group) down and said, "No, I'm not. Stop asking me that." On another occasion I intimidated a little boy who told me that I was fake. What a wonderful night. Haha! I will not soon forget it. I was found by 3 out of 4 of our groups, but it was still quite exciting.
Prior to that night, I had been preparing with my wig and soon discovered that my little bro Stephen and I really do look that much alike. He agreed to wear one of my other wigs while I sported a fro, just so we could have a photograph to record our strikingly similar features. Ah, we ARE related! :)
The wig trend later continued as my Great-Grandmother Genevieve came over to play some Scrabble with my mom and to visit the rest of us. What a sport - 95 years old and she still let me take a picture of her like this! :)
In other news, it was announced that the Vanguard Singers and Band, which I'm a part of, will be travelling to China in May after school lets out on an outreach-geared concert tour! Woo! I'm so excited - I think it's a great opportunity and I can't wait! I have to raise my support, though, so if you guys have any good fundraising ideas, please feel free to send them my way!!
Sing It Out:
I'm on the run, I'm on the ropes this time
Where is my song?
I've lost the song of my soul tonight
Sing it out, sing it out
Take what is left of me, make it a melody
Sing it out, sing out loud
I can't find the words to sing, You be my remedy
My song, my song
I sing with what's left of me
Where is the sun?
Feel like a ghost this time
Where have You gone?
I need Your breath in my lungs tonight
I'm holding on, holding on to You
The world is wrong, my world is a lie that's come true
And I fall in love with the ones that run me through
When all I need is You
I love it!
I'm also working on some new music stuff of my own, which I'm kind of excited about. I'm busy! But I've got so much to think about and write about....it's insane. Over and over again, though, I'm reminded of God's faithfulness and forgiveness. How incredible. :) Hope you guys can realize that too and live in the freedom that He gives.
Tuesday, October 27
- In Calculus, Ryan sneezed. Immediately our professor, with a stern look, rebuked him saying, "Don't do that. Don't you know germs from a sneeze travel 30 feet? That's why they taught us to sneeze in our elbows or into our shoulders."
Observation: This flu season is ridiculous. It's like it's normal to be a germophobe right now.
- In Computer Programming, my fellow two pupils, my professor, and I enjoyed a discussion about postmodernism and its effects on our justice system. Adam deemed those who embrace postmodernism as "pomos" (thanks to Professor Rybarczyk). After discovering that Rachel was operating on little to no sleep and realizing that we all had much better things to do than to study MATlab, Dr. Lee said, "Well....I got a lot to do. Wanna cancel class?" Obviously we didn't say no.
Observation: Thank you Lord for small classes that get out after 35 minutes.
- In Target today, I was on a mission. I had found my items so that I'm ready for an epic battle of dodgeball in Frequency tomorrow night, and I was headed toward the front of the store to check out. Little did I know, some sly little demon had left a present for me on my way back.
I was about to pass a lady who was walking on the other side of the aisle, and exactly as our paths crossed, I fell. As in, I....fell. Obviously embarrassed to have fallen over what seemed like nothing, I hopped right back up with my knee throbbing in pain. To my dismay, I loooked down to see a discreet puddle of water directly in the pathway that I had JUST walked. She said, "wow, are you okay?" Naturally, I laughed it off and continued on my route.
Observation: Next time I gotta report it. I could have gotten a free movie or something. Maybe.
- While I was sitting here working on my essay for tomorrow, I hear the garage door open and I hear the dogs bark for a few seconds. They stopped, so I figured that my dad had come home since everyone else is gone. Didn't think much of it until...after about three minutes, my dad comes in yelling, "IS ANYONE HOME?!" Thinking he was in a great mood and just looking for company, I said "POPS! I'm here!" Unfortunately, the door leading to the garage had been open and our three dogs had bolted out as soon as he had opened the big garage door. Of course, timing was impeccable and a woman was walking her dogs past our house as they ran out. Jack "attacked" them in his Pomeranian way and the poor woman got mad. (She probably was just so startled to see 3 dogs come out of one house that she got freaked out...) Poor dad had to grab Savannah and Da Wuff and bring them in. That's when he had yelled in to find out if anyone else could help him track down Jack. So I came to the rescue, naturally, and ran with Pops as we found our little dog, who can run super fast. What a day.
Observation: Make sure that I close the door leading out to the garage every time I leave. Today wasn't my fault, but maybe another time it could be and I do not want to be held responsible.
Friday, October 23
It only takes one call to ruin a movie.
It also only takes one chatterbox to make me regret paying to see the movie.
Fortunately, tonight my mom and I were feeling bold enough to ask them politely to stop talking after the first three minutes of small talk during the movie. The best part: their 3-minute disruptive conversation was about some boy not texting them back.
Anybody want to get on that new theater line idea? :)
Tuesday, September 29
Monday, September 21
Well let's just say that Francine is only one of a few female heroes that I look up to.
This next hero of mine is simply a musical icon. She writes some of the most dynamic worship songs I have ever heard - full of theology and praise, but easy to sing and easy to memorize....so impactful. Not only is she a songwriter but she has an incredible voice - consistent and pure. I knew that she was amazing a couple years ago, but not until recently did I realize that she updates her own website and blog consistently, giving advice to readers and aspiring songwriters as well as sharing what God is doing in her life.
The Lord truly has gifted her with incredible music talent. And an accent. And she wears scarves a lot. Her name is Brooke Fraser.
Can I get an amen?
Tuesday, September 8
Well that's on my mind because a song that we're doing at school talks about just that - how the Lord forgets about our sins and transgressions, putting them as far as the east is from the west. How far is that? Maybe it's just the mathematician in me that wants to fathom HOW FAR that really is. Like, really. How far is it. But the great thing about God is that it's farther than I could ever imagine. I can't fathom it. Just like I can't fathom eternity, untainted love, immeasurable grace....I can't fathom how far the east is from the west.
That's so cool.
I've been thinking lately, too, about the richness of words, specifically in the text of some of the most precious hymns ever written. Words like:
"When peace, like a river, attendeth my ways; When sorrows like sea billows roll....WHATEVER my lot, Thou hast TAUGHT me to say: It is well, It is well with my soul."
How absolutely precious are those words. So rich, so deep. I love it.
I have other lighter news to share as well, but I'm off to Computer Programming. :)
Friday, August 28
Sunday, August 16
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Wednesday, August 5
Until this point, my favorite book has been the classic Pride and Prejudice; I doubt that Jane Austen's masterpiece shall be dethroned from number one in my mind any time soon.
Secondly, I just finished "The Atonement Child," which deals with the arguments regarding abortion, but in a very real, challenging situation: the life of a college student. The way that Francine Rivers writes causes her readers to be caught up in every moment of the book. I honestly finished the book in only a few hours because it was so incredibly engaging. The storyline involves not only hard decisions but it also deals with unspoken sins, bitterness, envy, legalism, and so many prevalent issues that must be dealt with today. Especially family quarrels and disagreements, misguided counseling, and so many other things that undermine our freedom as Christians come to light in this book.
Thursday, July 30
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Monday, July 27
When you buy cheap heels that cut into your feet, use leather softener.
It helps if you have brothers that play baseball and have leather softener handy to soften their gloves and such...and it works like a charm. Rub the softener along the outside of the heels and allow it to soak in. Even if the heels are not truly made out of leather, it creates a more cushy environment for you to enjoy. :-)
Friday, July 24
Some good bonding time with Josh and Cole. =)
A close up of Cole, who is probably the only cat that will ever actually curl up on my lap and cuddle with me. haha!
I love this picture simply because it is the epitome of how I thought Texas would be everywhere...this is the sign showing how tall kids need to be in order to ride the rollar coaster at the Kemah Boardwalk.
And finally, this is a shout out for ya'll who maybe don't travel a lot or just need some travelling tips. A seat in the emergency exit aisle = leg room galore. :-)
That's all for now...I'm excited for Bailey's shower that's happening tomorrow, and I'm even further excited about heading back to Ocean Hills on Sunday! God is good!
Tuesday, July 21
and understand God's ways,
live a life of steady goodness
so that only good deeds will pour forth.
AND if you don't brag about the GOOD you do,
you will truly be wise!
But if you are bitterly jealous and there is selfish ambition
in your hearts, don't brag about being wise.
That is the worst kind of lie.
For jealousy and selfishness are not God's kind of wisdom.
Such things are earthly, unspiritual, and motivaed
For wherever there is jealousy and selfish ambition, there you will find
DISORDER and EVERY kind of evil.
BUT the wisdom that comes FROM heaven
is first of all Pure.
It is also Peace Loving,
Gentle at all times,
and WILLING to Yield to others.
It is full of Mercy AND Good Deeds.
It shows NO partiality and is always Sincere.
And those who are peacemakers will plant
SEEDS of Peace
Reap a harvest of goodness."
Wednesday, July 15
A tall, tall, tall H2.
The coffee shop (which is legit):
Higher grounds (clever).
So tonight we had the midweek study at Calvary Houston, which was really good. It's weird to actually sit in a service. But I definitely needed it. :-)
After service we went out to eat again, even though we went to Sprinkles Frozen Yogurt before church, too. The after service choice was a Mexican restaurant called Luna's, which was actually pretty delicious! Reminds me of a more authentic El Torito. :-) Then everyone came over again to the Ryding house, where ping pong ensued for several hours. Since I figured I need to improve my ping pong skills anyway, I applied myself tonight and learned different spins to put on the ball. :-) Amy and I both needed to learn, so John taught me, then I taught Amy. Amy and I played for a while just trying out different spins and returns...it was fun! It's very relaxed and laid back this week, which is great!
Josh got off the next couple days, so even though we've pulled some late nights, we're gonna hit "the town" and see if we can't find something to do tomorrow. :-)
God's really blessed me so far here with some good time of restoration and I feel really refreshed - it's amazing!
And finally, HAPPY BIRTHDAY STEVE!!! He's 14 today! AND he got called up to play on the Varsity team this weekend!! Woohoo!! I'm so proud of you!!
I grew up with them and I'm so happy to be spending some quality time with them for a week here in Houston. I got in yesterday after some flight delays and stuff, and went straight to Calvary Houston to lead worship with Josh for their service called "Overflow." It was phenomenal and an awesome blessing for me to be a part of it. Since then, I feel like I'm just a part of their group here. Everyone at their church is extremely welcoming and extremely nice. They have made me feel right at home and pretty much accepted me just as another Ryding family member. Last night we went out to dinner with everyone afterward, just like we tend to do at Ocean Hills, except we stayed until about midnight, then headed home.
Their house is so gorgeous...the carpet is my favorite. :)
Today we mostly just spent the day here at the house hanging out...I got to talk a lot with Sam and my aunt Mae, and somewhat Chris too. We just got to catch up and chat and have fun and relax. It was fun!
Later on Sam, Josh, me, and their friend J.R. went to Galveston Island, which is their beach. Quite different from our beach, but we had a good time looking around in a little souvenir shop, just hanging out. The whole town is still kind of devastated from hurricane Ike, which came through about 9 months ago, so there were some piers apparently in Galveston that are not there anymore.
So then tonight four of the guys from their church came over, and we all just hung out in the loft upstairs playing ping pong, watching videos and stuff, and just chatting. It was a lot of fun! I feel like I know them better than some of my own friends at home. Weird. But I feel great about it and I'm excited to be here for a while longer!
Friday, July 10
Also I found a little bit of my wild side as we walked down the street....
Friday, April 24
Yes, I experienced one of those moments yesterday with about 25 or more of my peers in class. Professor Austring, during his lecture, decided to draw a circle on the whiteboard to demonstrate a valuable lesson, and...to all of our surprise, the circle was nearly perfect. Let's read that again....nearly perfect. If you were previously unaware, circles are extremely difficult to draw on a flat surface, let alone a whiteboard. According to Professor Austring, is skills can be attributed to endless doodling.
I realize the circle is nearly impossible to see due to my low-quality phone-camera shot, but I thought I would do my best to share the moment. I suggest clicking on the image below and trying hard to focus in on the black line....
Hopefully you can find it as entertaining and "ahh"ing as we all did in class.
Wednesday, April 22
That's what Anika asked for earlier today, and I started thinking, actually...I would love it if time could just stand still. If I could do an hour's worth of work/play/fun/life and not lose any time. How glorious would that be? Or if time could just slow....I could do an hour's worth of life in maybe only 15 minutes. What a fabulous thought.
Ah yes, but unfortunately God has called us to live in this time zone, and I am currently just about pooped. Actually....I am. When I stop and think about it, I think...holy cow, what in the world is going on around me? I feel like I'm barely keeping up with the things that I want to do because of other obligations. What a tragedy! Is this what life is about? Going, doing, making, participating, collaborating....separately they're all great, but man. Everything at once is just getting to me. I feel that Jesus should return soon. Like tomorrow, before I have to give an oral presentation that I'm totally unprepared for. Tiny things like that...I just have no motivation for because I'm exhausted.
But tonight I started thinking...okay, it's only a season. It's only a season.
So....since it's only a season...I decided to share with you all a little girly thing about me since I don't often have indulgent moments. Now mind you I did not purchase these but I coveted a little in my heart. Believe it or not, I just like heels. I just like them. I don't wear them often because I can't be diverse in them and flexible and I can't run as well and...they don't really go with most of my clothes because I'm mostly casual. BUT I like them. They make me feel tall. And I think they're just fun to walk in. Anyways, I saw these beauties at Target and almost purchased them until I thought..."Bri, we're in a recession. You clearly do not need those." So I settled for a picture.
Also, I am pleased with the American Idol results that were displayed tonight. I feel they are just.
And...Billy and I are visiting his parents next weekend, maybe a break to this never ending rat race? :-) Sounds fabulous.
Tuesday, April 7
Tuesday, March 31
Tuesday, March 10
In the Cove at school, I often purchase this delectable treat with my salad and drink for lunch. Why? White chocolate! Marcela, my lovely lady friend who works at the Cove, tells me that there are only two people on campus that buy this candy bar regularly, and because of us, they continue to keep it stocked. So the result then, is that I feel obligated to buy it. Do I feel guilty? No, I love it.
Just thought I would share.
Also, Spring Break is next week.
Thursday, March 5
Implication: People are more attracted to visual aids and images instead of words.
Conclusion: Use more pictures.
For the following post I will use fragments to describe pictures in an attempt to get your attention. Please excuse me as I overlook grammatical structure.
At Disneyland, adorable man
Disneyland, Toy Story, high scores, adorable man wins
Bailey's bday trip, Huntington Library/Gardens
Fulfilled dream, weeping willow
Fish lips, fish eye lens, Batstone not so much
Children's tunnel, good times
More professional pics at Bailey's blog.
It's been a crazy week and the weekend is practically upon us once again. Also, I can't believe we're already changing our clocks again on Saturday....Hope you guys are doing well!