Sunday, December 27, 2009

Quick Update

Well friends life speeds on. I intend to get a real post out sometime in the next few days, but wanted to post briefly about what's going on. Life's been pretty crazy as our lab has now finally moved out of Penn State. We essentially bought the Penn State Creamery out of styrafoam shipping boxes, bought hundreds of pounds of dry ice and loaded an 18-Wheeler Semi with the stuff from our lab. And all of that in spite of teaching my coworkers an ancient American proverb that I know "When in doubt; Throw it out." (HT: Dad).

So here are some pictures of the final product of our lab at University Park:

Ying's Photos of Penn State 137 ASI

And what Yuan was working on as of Tuesday in Athens, GA:

It's getting excited getting ready to move to Athens and I hope to post in the next few days what God's been doing of late!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Interview Season Begins

Well the first interview invite just came in last week, so the season has officially begun. However while I was really excited to receive the invite, I was convicted that in many ways I think that I haven't remembered much of what the Lord was teaching me through the last round of applications.

As much as I want to think I earn my interviews by my sheer awesomeness, every one is from God's grace to me. I haven't earned anything, but rather God is being exceedingly and over-abundantly good to me.

Please continue to pray that I would get more interviews and that they would go well. More so please pray that God, not me, would get the glory through them and that He would teach me to rejoice more at his grace rather than presume upon my imaginary awesomeness.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Athens: Live!

Short post today live from Athens, GA! We're (my lab group) down here checking out our living arrangements before we move down in January. It's really exciting to be here, drive the rental car around enough to begin to know main roads (as apartment hunting takes us all over the place).

And tomorrow I am looking forward to one of God's greatest gifts: Local Coffee shops. I'm taking the morning off, since I already have a place to live to go and finish the last of my medical school applications over some local coffee.

Plus my new roommates seem like pretty cool guys so this is looking up!

God has indeed been good on this trip and you friends can definitely be praying for the rest of our time. Especially pray that either I would be able to tell my coworkers more about Christ and that we would get to know each other better. That is an avenue that I pray will lead to more opportunities to share Christ.

Finally if you're ever in Athens, grab a bite at The Last Resort Grill. Awesome food and supposedly one of the best joints for live music in Athens (no music tonight as it was a Tuesday).

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

DC Peeps and CHBC

I have two dear friends who graduated from Penn State last December and moved to DC to begin their careers. They were also our prime reason for visiting DC two weekends ago. (No offense Jefferson, your library was cool, but fellowship with dear brothers and sisters around Jesus is way better)

But the trip was pretty sweet as it reminded me how, while it is hard to keep up relationships after college, for those in Christ it's easy and incredibly sweet to pick up where we last left off and see how the Lord has been working in our lives. (Unfortunately I have no pictures yet to upload of our escapades though!)

Also this is serving as a shout out to Capitol Hill Baptist Church. My friends both are members there and I've benefited from their podcasts many a afternoon underneath our fume hood. But for all of the good things about CHBC's efforts with IX Marks Ministries, I have to say that it was particularly encouraging to be there on Sunday. The reason it was encouraging was because I was seeing their vision played out. Yeah their church has some influence through their pastors like Dr. Dever, but in the church it was just a regular ol' local church. Dr. Lawrence preached the Gospel, their was uplifting worship and fellowship afterwords. (I mean what local church would be complete without the standby watery coffee and cookies afterwords?) Nothing flashy, nothing fancy. Simply the Gospel in a local church. (I'm sure CHBC has more than enough warts and foibles to go around, but it is clear that the Gospel of Jesus Christ was the center of their church)

It's one thing to hear men preach on a podcast or at conferences about being a part of a local church and hearing the exhortations to be a Gospel preaching, Christ-centered local church, but to live it out is another. So thank you pastors and elders at CHBC for giving the rest of us in local churches around America and the world an example to follow as you follow Christ! And that you especially Christ for being the one who raises and establishes churches and men in your time and by your grace.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Jefferson's Library

So as I noted a few days ago I got to spend the weekend in Washington D.C. with some dear brothers and sisters.

All in all we had a terrific weekend and I might make a few other notes on the trip in another post. However, here I wanted to make a short note about a conversation that we had in the Library of Congress. Overall I have to say that this was probably the prettiest building I've been in in D.C. And the exhibits were great too, not too many to squeeze into a short time span, each was well put together, and none were so exhaustive that it felt like I was reading someone's dissertation on the panel for the exhibit.

I particularly enjoyed the Founding of America exhibit. It had many early documents from the founding fathers of the US, including many that I read in my time as a History minor in college. (Cool Fact: I got to see a real copy of John Adams' "Thoughts on Government" pamphlet that I wrote a term paper on comparing his work to Paine's "Common Sense"!) But the highlight of that exhibit concluded with Thomas Jefferson's whole library. (See below, except in reality the room is much darker). We're talking huge amounts of books. Anyway one of the cool points came when my new friend Michael pointed out that he even had a copy of Calvin's Institutes. So kudos goes to Jefferson for reading awesome books like that. However, as we chatted I remembered that Jefferson was also the guy to basically make his own Bible. I don't remember the specifics either he tore or cut out everything in the Bible that was supernatural or that he didn't like.

As we discussed this and finding a book like the "Institutes" on his shelf we commented on how in spite of all of the books in his library Jefferson in the end was not saved and that reading books like the "Institutes" did him no good. He was merely a visitor reading things he didn't understand, when ultimate truth found in the Scripture was rejected and picked apart by his hard heart. We concluded remembering how God is the one who saves and no amount of human learning, no matter how vast the library, is useless unless God gives life. So I left there thanking God for his work to save sinners like me, and a check to my own heart that loves learning and knowledge about God often more than loving and knowing God. Coincidentally God also determined that this would be in my quiet times during last week too:

Thus says the LORD: "Let not the wise man boast in his wisdom, let not the mighty man boast in his might, let not the rich man boast in his riches, but let him who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows me, that I am the LORD who practices steadfast love, justice and righteousness in the earth. For in these things I delight, declares the LORD." (Jeremiah 9:23-24, ESV)

Monday, October 5, 2009

God At Work [pt. 2]

So a month or so after actually finishing the book, I will now finish the post series too!

Much of the reason why this book was so impacting was that currently it is very tempting to look at my life and think of it as being on hold. It is easy to think that right now I have a "sort-of-vocation." Merely a job that God has placed me in, against my plans and wishes, for the time being and that in some day soon life will resume again.

However, to summarize Veith's main point in "God at Work," God has called us to faithfulness now to love God and serve others in every aspect of the life God has placed us in now. Yes, I can take my MCATs and fill out my med school applications in preparation for hopefully entering next year, but that does not negate the current reality. Every human has a vocation that God has called them to. Today I am a Christian, a member of a Grace Fellowship Church of State College, with a family (parents, brother and extended), a work vocation as a virologist for Dr. He, a citizen of the United States and resident of the community of State College, PA.

These areas and more are where God has called me to today and given me a high, meaningful and joyous vocation that is fulfilled in serving Him. And writing this out is as much of a service to myself to remind myself as it is to encourage you!

A few other quotes that I found very impacting from Veith's work to go along with the previous ones from two posts ago:

  • "Luther makes clear that crosses are never self-chosen...Crosses we choose are not crosses. Things taht go against our will--one might say, things that cross our will--are the crosses we have to bear. These do not have to be major afflictions. The small, mundane annoyances of life may serve just as well." (Veith, "God at Work" Crossway, 2002 pp. 149)
  • Quoting Luther on our freedom to serve the Lord and trust him in our vocations,"Work and let him [God] give the fruits thereof! Rule, and let him prosper it! Battle, and let him give victory! Preach, and let him make hearts devout! Marry, and let him give you children! Eat and drink, and let him give you health and strength. Then it will follow that, whatever we do, he will effect everything through us; and to him alone shall be the glory." (Ibid, 142)
  • "The promised of God's Word and the conviction that right now, where I am, I am in the station--the vocation--where God has placed me--those constitute the basis for confidence and certainty that God has assuredly placed me here and that He is faithful and that He, enven though I cannot see Him, is at work in and through my life." (Ibid, 142)

For more specific encouragement on our vocations in the realms of work, family, citizenship, your local church, the ethics of vocation and the cross in vocation pick up the book (Amazon or WTS Bookstore) or ask to borrow my copy! (HT: Thank you again Josh and Kristen for the book!)

Friday, October 2, 2009

Vacations Are a Good Thing From the Lord

Short post today. I realize that it's been pretty quiet around here lately, but life's gotten pretty crazy. Hopefully I'll be able to get a few posts out in the upcoming weeks.

Anyway, today I'm going on a short vacation to DC to visit friends. It's been a while since I took a weekend off, and I'm realizing that I've really been looking forward to the time to relax and fellowship. So all of that is to say that I think that vacations are one way in which we can follow God's call to trust in him and rest. I've got plenty of things that I could be doing this weekend at home, but now it's nice to take a break, rest in the Lord and rest hard.

Horay for vacations being a good thing from the Lord!

Friday, August 14, 2009

"God At Work"

So I'm currently reading an awesome book by Gene Veith titled "God at Work." The subtitle says more about it, "Your Christian Vocation in All of Life." (HT: Josh for giving me he and Kristen's extra copy)

Basically it's about the Doctrine of Vocation as found in the Bible. I'm in the middle of it so I won't share many reflections yet until I'm done. But the main reason why I'm excited about it is that it's really easy to forget about the big picture that God has for our role as we live in the world and that God is sovereignly in control for our good over where he has us in our current vocation. That's really good and encouraging news to say someone like me who could think that my vocation is away after medical school which I'm not even in yet, but in reality God has called me a vocation right now in my current occupation, as a citizen, a church member and family member. And that is exactly where He intends for me to be.

Two cool quotes that should whet your whistle for later:

"The purpose of vocation is to love and serve one's neighbor. This is the test, the criteriion, and the guide for how to live out each and every vocation anyone can be called to: How does my calling serve my neighbor? Who are my neighbors in my particular vocation, and how can I serve them with the love of God?" (pp. 39-40)


"..., Christians need to realize that the present is the moment in which we are called to be faithful...This means that vocation is played out not just in extraordinary acts - the great things we will do for the Lord, the great success we envision in our careers someday - but in the realms of the ordinary." (pp. 59)

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Responding to Life Being "On Hold"

Well as many of you know I've spent the last few weeks waiting to see if I would be pulled off of a waitlist for medical school. In God's providence however I have not been and now my focus has shifted to reapplication and continuing my research on PIV5.

One of the hardest things about this though is that in the past week Facebook has reminded me that I have many, many dear friends who did get accepted and spent the past week moving in, participating in orientations and attending their "White Coat Ceremonies" (This is where entering first year students "officially" begin med school and receive their white lab coats). In many ways I think that that's been kind of hard because my question is, "Well Lord why have you put my life on hold?"

In many of the same ways the Lord has been using this stage much like when I first started receiving wait-list letters to expose my pride and replace it with a joyful, humble trust in Him. He also ordained that in my quiet times this week one of the Psalms that I would read would be Ps. 107, where the final verse has been life and sustenance for me as I wrestle with my pride:

"Whoever is wise, let him attend to these things;
let them consider the steadfast love of the Lord." (Ps. 107:43 ESV)

The whole beginning on the psalm is a beautiful meditation on the sovereignty, power and mercy of the Lord. It as a whole the Psalmist's meditation and song of his consideration of the steadfast love of the Lord. And then at the end the Psalmist calls the reader then to do likewise: Consider and meditate on the steadfast love of the Lord.

It's not a quick fix, but I want to encourage you all that the Lord has been reminding me of this when I'm frustrated or begin to mull over this when I've got down time or am doing one of the more menial tasks during the day. And instead of this being a moment for wallowing in pride, God has been so merciful to teach me so much about his steadfast love that governs even my medical school reapplication and status that it leads me to praise rather than grumbling.

What other passages or verses have helped you to remember and trust in the Lord when you're tempted to grumble against Him?

Friday, July 17, 2009

Sweaty, Mercy Sweatshirts

One nice thing about being a researcher is that God's given me hours upon hours each week to meditate on sermons and music from great pastors, speakers and artists while I'm on the clock. So this week I was listening to some great audio from the "Marriage and the Mercy of God" conference (audio is in the link).

I am not married, but I think that the teaching was super helpful in thinking about what does it look like to be impacted by the mercy of God to me in all of my everyday relationships. (For which it doesn't matter if you're married or not)

But in Dr. Tripp's message he gave the analogy that we are soaked in God's grace. It's almost like we are soaked to the point of wearing a sweaty, soggy sweatshirt soaked in God's grace and we just need to look around and see how to get other people "wet."

Now apart from the great humor of that image (like me running around my lab here in a sweaty sweatshirt trying to get my coworkers wet), it's a good image. There really is no "trick" to us "doing" mercy to others. God has supremely showered us and shown us mercy in Christ. Being merciful is just showering people with what we've already been showered with.

That's really helpful especially to me as I struggle with how to share the Gospel with my coworkers (and some of us have worked together for a few years now!) I can blame it on the language and cultural barriers, but in the end am I really loving and showing mercy to my coworkers? Would sharing the Gospel with them be more beneficial using mercy shown to them as a starting point?

Just some of my thoughts while I'm on break. I'd also encourage you listening to the messages too (single or married) as the underlying teaching on mercy would edify us all. Plus since I didn't have a transcript and was going off of memory of Dr. Tripp's analogy too I probably butchered it so go and listen to it there for the full analogy!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Really, Really Long Geneologies

While the Bible is God's Word, I have to admit that my devotionals this week have been pretty challenging. For some reason I think that many mornings I would gladly take all of the many passages on various sacrifices in Leviticus to genealogies. I can understand more easily how Leviticus points to God's holiness, than why it is necessary to have excruciating detail the genealogies of 1 Chronicles. There are 9 straight chapters of genealogies, and my struggle this week was asking almost constantly, "Okay God I understand that you are making the point that you are preserving your people, but why such detail? The author himself notes that these genealogies are recorded elsewhere; Why are all of these ones necessarily needed here?"

So my initial reactions are that this is to show how the Lord has gone to great lengths to preserve his people in mercy in spite of their rebellion. By looking at these genealogies we see irrefutable proof of what the Lord has done to preserve his people.

Any one else have any other insights into 1 Chronicles 1-9? What else can we learn from these genealogies?

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Grimmaces, Texting, Long Routes....

So a few weeks ago I asked for prayer for the new students arriving at Penn State. Well the Lord is doing a very good work and we can see how He is bringing many to hear his Word. Even those who are self-proclaimed non-Christians!

But one thought that I wanted to share is that, the Good News of Jesus or even being associated with him really is offensive and the stench of death many whom the Lord has not saved.

This was made very real to a few of us when we were at a table in the one lobby here at Penn State asking students if any of them would like to learn more about the Bible or to get involved in a Christian fellowship. Many took long routes around us when they found out what we were about. Others got very visibly engrossed in a text message. And others actually visibly grimaced and/or wrinkled their noses when we asked them unoffensively if that might be something they would be interested in. Paul said "to one a fragrance from death to death, to the other a fragrance from life to life." 2 Cor. 2:16 (ESV)

It was interesting to actually see it, but Paul was right: To those who are dying the life we have in Christ really does reek of death. Death to self, death to pride, death to our sinful idolatry.

Those of us who are believers however were once no different too! The only reason we don't wrinkle our nose and run away from the Lord is because "6 For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— 8 but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." Romans 5:6-9 (ESV)

Please continue praying for our outreach on campus!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

The Craziness of Life

Well the Lord has been marvelously good. In spite of the craziness of life right now, He has continued to be constant and unchanging, merciful and good. Over the past two weeks two of the schools I was waitlisted at closed their waitlists, leaving only Hershey as a medical school option for Fall 09.

However God has really been good and has been providing for me in ways a year ago I wouldn't have expected! In all of this He has been working this for my good, and ultimately so that I would know Him better.

Many times throughout this process I've been tempted to, or have been relying solely on the surety of some new thing or the waitlists. However, God had been faithful to continue to teach and remind me that He is the only one that I can stand on, not any circumstance or person.

So you can be praying for wisdom for me as I make decisions right now. Also for contentment too please. Especially as one major option is to potentially move to Athens, GA by January 1st. I really would not like to leave my family and friends here in Pennsylvania, but if that is the Lord's will I'm beginning to see how it might be a wonderful thing in His plan. However, bitterness at possibly having to leave will be a sore competitor against contentment in Christ. So please be praying for me!

In what ways have you seen the Lord turn difficult circumstances for an amazingly God glorifying end?

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

It's Summer!


Well it's summer and that means that freshman are again arriving at Penn State. Please be praying that in this new incoming class the Lord would save many and raise up many to glorify His name. Also you can be praying for our outreach efforts and those of the other Christian ministries at Penn State that believers would meet many skeptics and unbelievers and that the Lord would use these believers as tools to bring many to know Jesus.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Still Waiting...

Well friends I once again have to apologize for totally neglecting to post regularly for oh about 2 months. In any case there has been a ton of things happening.

Mostly the biggest thing has been that my medical school application process has taken an unexpected turn. Basically two schools have put me on hold and another has waitlisted me. Other than that, I only have one other concrete decision from my 4 interviews a rejection from Harvard. So basically now that it is after May 15th I am essentially to wait until I am potentially called up to a medical school.

So it's a very weird experience just having to wait and has been pretty hard at times. But God has been using this in my life like 1 Peter 1:3-9, where the temporary trials try and prove the tested genuineness of my faith to God's glory! This has really revealed much about how little I treasure Christ above my circumstances and how He is to be my greatest treasure.

In short please be praying for me that 1) God would continue to use this time for His glory and that I would love Him above all things including circumstances and that 2) I would get accepted somewhere and if not that God would give me wisdom as I make decisions about what to do next year!

Thank you all for praying and I will be going to NEXT this weekend so hopefully I'll get a few posts up to recap that too!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Spring Break Pictures Uploaded!


Here is the link over to my Picassa page for some of my Spring Break pictures. Enjoy the shots!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Back Home in the SC: Spring Break Wrap-Up

Well Faith (the bus' name) by God grace safely brought us home and we are now all back in State College (or Gettysburg for our friend Ali). We were even able to enjoy the seafood and dolphin watching at our annual return trip stop, St. Simon Island, GA! The flounder, cheese grits and coleslaw were as usual excellent, and it is just so great to be able to enjoy for a short time the awesome beauty of God's oceans!

Beyond just safe travel, God has been so, so, so good to all of us. It was especially encouraging to see how the dynamic had changed on the bus for the return trip. I could look around and see the number of great conversations being had, and also everyone enjoying the rest of the people on the trip. Amazing to think that there are a number of us who had never met before last Saturday!

And as I wrote a few days ago, the Lord also blessed us to be able to see how we had an impact on Bible translation around the world. Please be praying that the Lord would raise up more laborers. We were able to help for only a few days, but Wycliffe needs volunteers for more than just a few days and volunteers who'd like to go overseas as well. Please pray that the Lord would raise up these laborers or go here to check their opportunities out for yourself!

This officially wraps up the Spring Break Live Blog. God has been good, merciful, loving and sovereign and we are so appreciative of your prayers. Eventually I will post a link to my Picassa page for those of you looking to see more pictures (I just have to sort and resize them), but in the meantime "The Ninth Floor View" will return to normal mode so stop by now and then to hear about what God's doing here at Penn State and around me!

Thank you all for following along and Soli Deo Gloria!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Day Five: Busch Gardens!

Well today we got to taste a little bit of Heaven. We were able to enjoy the fellowship of dear friends whom the Lord has redeemed and experience the joy and exhilaration of God's great creation to His glory. Thank you for all of your prayers as we had a great trip to Busch Gardens Tampa Bay today.

In fact the longest lines we experienced were 15 minutes long, with most rides allowing us to run around and jump right back on again! So it was indeed a great day to enjoy the marvel of how God has set up the physics of this world as well as his wonderful creations like flamingos, hippos, rhinos, lions, tigers, giraffes, and many other creatures that God wrought out of his awesome imagination.

It has been amazing to see how the Lord has drawn our group together in a week and has been pointing us to Him. Please be praying that our trip home beginning tomorrow would be a safe one and that the conversations and time on the bus would allow us to savor our friendships and the Lord even more.

Please also pray to thank the Lord for the wonderful saints that we have as friends down here. We've labored alongside them, and they have encouraged us so much with their faith. So please join us in praising God for his wonderful work in all of the lives of the saints down here in Orlando. If you're able you can also please pray for our friends the Dillons and Valeu's as they are the only two couples who are year rounders here and they will be losing most of their help soon. Please pray that the Lord would send them laborers and that He would encourage them as many of their friends will be leaving until next year, Lord willing.

Thank you again for all of your prayers friends and please keep us in your prayers as we travel home. This will be my last blog post until I return to State College and internet access again. If you check back on Monday, I should also have a summary reflection post up then too.

It's now time for bed, and we look forward to seeing State College again soon, Lord willing.

Soli Deo Gloria!

P.S. Here's also a clip of that someone else not in our group posted on YouTube of the one crazy coaster at Busch Gardens. I have no clue who he held onto his camera, but this coaster is an awesome example of the awesome gifts that God gives to the world to enjoy:

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Day Four: Mission Accomplished

Well friends, our work down here is done. It's been a hard four days, but our tasks are accomplished. The trees have been planted, cracks sealed, cars (and bus) washed, gardens weeded and mulched and the wall demolished. And through all of this we've been able to help translate the Bible around the world! It has been incredibly encouraging to see how the Lord has knitted our group together through our work and made us a blessing to those around us.

Plus it has also been great to see how encouraged the workers down here have been by us coming down. Everyone has been commenting on how encouraged they are to have us and that we were able to help them out so much in their work to further the Kingdom. But at the same time too we have been so encouraged to know these men and women as well. The Lord has been faithful for decade upon decade to each of these saints to preserve and strengthen their faiths and now when many wind down their lives they are following Paul's exhortation to Timothy to fight the good fight and to finish the race strong. Oh, that the Lord would allow us to be the same way.

Another prayer request for the few of us who have been here all three years and it looks like this will be our last trip. For me it has been quite a melancholy day, because I love the friends that I have down here, but it's hard to think that this may be the last time I will see some of them. Especially some of the men like John, Marlin and Darrell who I've come to know over the years. But our time in 1 Thesselonians has been encouraging on this point. Tonight we were studying chapter 4 where Paul encourages the church that they should not grieve like the world does because of the hope of the Gospel, that even though some of their number have died they will all spend eternity together in heaven with Christ.

So for those of us looking at our potentially last trip for PSU DCF Spring Break, please pray that we would trust in the hope of the Gospel that the goodness that we taste here on earth is just a momentary, dry, bland foretaste of the eternal marriage banquet that we'll enjoy in heaven with Christ and every other believing friend that geography, time or death separates from us for this short, momentary life.

Please also be praying for this last day coming up that we would have safe travel to Busch Gardens, enjoy great fellowship in the park and that our final time with our friends who are snowbirding it down here in Orlando would be God glorifying. Plus while you're praying please thank God for awesome roller coasters, because well they're awesome and only God could think up something so crazy as a roller coaster to give to the minds of men for our enjoyment.

Thank you again for all of your prayers and encouragement!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Day Three: Continued Wall Beasting, Tree Planting and the Heart of Paul for the Thesselonians

Sadly friends we have reached and passed the halfway point of our trip south. It has been so wonderful, but we have all been rather worn down today. From planting numerous 500 odd pound gigantor trees, to continued wall beastage to power washing and crack filling in the sun, everyone is tired. One particularly encouraging thing is that many of these tasks allow us to actually see how we are assisting the Gospel going forward. Even if demolishing a wall is fun, we're also helping to build a building that will be essential to assisting Bible translators around the world. Even powerwashing and crack sealing are essential to keeping up the physical campus that keeps the Stateside part of Gospel translation at work going too! So despite our tiredness, sunburns and soreness God has been so good!

Our continued study through 1 Thesselonians has also allowed us to continue to learn about Paul's care for his church. We were able to learn about how we can impact our relationships here and back home with placing our number one priority on those around us knowing Christ and also going out of our way to encourage and build up one another. Paul went to great lengths to encourage and build up his friends after Christ, which sets the standard for us to follow as we are able by His grace.

So please be praying for tomorrow's last full day of work for us. Please be praying in our last day that we'd finish our projects and have been able to serve the Wycliffe Associates down here. Please also be praying for us as we interact with one another and point one another to Christ.

A final prayer request would be for Bob Oakes' wife (Sue I believe), who has recently this undergone a number of surgeries. The Oakes' have been volunteers here in Orlando for many years and are dear members of the family down here, and it is hard to hear of these difficult surgeries that she's had to undergo. Please also pray for Bob and all of the other volunteers down here that they would know Christ better as they trust in the Lord watching these surgeries and that the Lord would give healing to Bob's wife.

Thank you again for all of your prayers and we eagerly await being able to share with you even more stories, besides these little snapshots when we get home!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Day Two: Trees in Ground and Wall Beasted

Well today has been quite the awesome day. Personally my shoulders and hands are tired since a few of us took the whole day and beasted an outside stucco wall with sledgehammers and crowbars on the second floor of this major building addition. On one hand it weird to think how construction could help translate Bibles, but as we were talking with the John, Darrell and Larry our senior co-workers they were reminding us that God will use these buildings in order to execute the vital support work needed so that the actual translators over there (where ever that may be) can still go forward.

And on top of that the Lord was good enough to allow lots of other tasks to be completed here too! Some were even able to go lend a desperately needed hand over at Wycliffe's neighbor, Campus Crusade for Christ's campus. So not only have we been able to help translate Bibles, but also further the Gospel on other campus too!

Another highlight from today was getting to hear from Sue about the 21 years that she and her husband Peter spent with the Biken (I believe that is the spelling, but could be totally off) people of New Guinea translating the New Testament. It was just awesome to hear how the Lord was faithful over 21 years to faithfully provide a people group with the Gospel in their own language and raise up men and women from the people to be sons and daughters of the King, skilled in the Word and ready to praise, worship, lead and instruct others in knowing Christ.

We were also able to dive further into 1 Thesselonians tonight with chapter 2. It was a great time of learning how Paul, like Christ, invested in this church that he saw as his own children. This also led to a great conversation about how can we be vulnerable and encouraging to each other like Paul in order to image Christ better to each other. Please be praying that as the trip continues we would see fruit of more lives shared with each other and that we would all know Christ more as we
are more vulnerable with each other!

Finally some prayer requests for tomorrow; Please be praying that the Lord would continue to establish the work of our hands to His glory and also for the number of students who get the opportunity to meet with Wycliffe personnel about what does it look like to minister in a variety of different careers. (ie; Nursing, Education, Information Systems, actual Bible Translation, etc.) These students have initiated with interest to find out more and so please be praying that the students would catch an even bigger vision to use their future careers to glorify Christ no matter if they are specifically a missionary or "secular" worker (even though every job is a missionary endeavor, most don't carry that overt "missionary" label on the badge).

Thank you again for your prayers and please continue to pray for us!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Safe Arrival and Day One

Thank you for all of your prayers as we have arrived safely in Orlando. (It just took me a day to get some internet access)

As you can see from the photo, we are all quite excited to arrive in someplace warm and sunny in contrast to the cold and rainy State College that we left behind. But we have all arrived safely in Orlando and it is wonderful to be here.

One of the sweetest things of arriving has been getting to connect with many of our dear friends who serve here year after year. Those of us who have been down here in years past have developed friendships with many of the workers and eagerly anticipate seeing them. From John and Sandy Dillon to Marlin, George and Cathy it has been great to catch up with everyone and hear what God has been doing since we were last here. Please pray that we'd be able to encourage these friends of ours as we share life with him over the next few days and that they would encourage us as to their example of decades upon decades of the Lord's mercy shown to them.

Since this was also our first day much of the day was spent in orientation and touring the museum at Wycliffe. One of our tour guides, Christina (photo of the lady speaking), was actually a translator from Mexico who is back in the States. It was encouraging hearing about her work on languages even still here in North America that need the Word in their own native language. You can be praying that the Lord would enable Christina to be ready to return to the field soon and that He would provide her a coworker too in order to continue her work.

In 1 Thesselonians chapter 1 tonight we also got to discuss and learn from Paul about what it meant to encourage other believers and see the work of the Lord in the hearts of people who were enslaved to idols and rebellion. That's also the work we get to help as we assist translating the Bible into new languages for people around the world to hear the Lord and be transformed by the Holy Spirit (1 Thess. 1:5) like the Thesselonians several centuries ago! Please pray that this time in the Word would continue to encourage us all in the Lord!

Finally, it's been a great joy to get to serve. We've had a variety of projects from weeding and mulching to power washing and sealing cracks in the driveway for the RV park.

It's great getting to serve the Lord through service and you can continue to pray for us as we work. Many of us are in the sun which can be tiring and sun-burning (if that's a word). Plus three of us are demolishing a wall tomorrow (absolutely awesome job) so you can be praying for us as we swing sledge hammers in an active construction zone.

Thank you again for all of your prayers and support!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Live Blogging DCF's Spring Break 09

Over the next week our fellowship, DiscipleMakers Christian Fellowship, will be in Orlando, FL. We'll be ministering alongside the volunteers at Wycliffe Bible Translators at their International Headquarters!

This will be our 3rd trip down and the Lord has used each trip so far to be a wonderful time to bond our fellowship, develop relationships with older brothers and sisters in Christ who are spending their golden years volunteering with manual labor and helping His Word go to the nations.

So The Ninth Floor View for a week will become a place for the live blogging of our trip. I'll be hopefully sharing brief snapshots of what's going on, what God's up to and how you can be partnering with us in prayer!

Plus I hope to get some pictures up so that you can actually see snapshots of the trip too!

Thank you for your prayers!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

God's Timing Is Not Comfortable Timing

Over the past few months I've written about my experiences applying to medical schools. After much thought and prayer I concluded that medical school was what God was calling me to and so I applied.

However, medical school applications are anything but a quick process. My primary applications went off to schools in early September, my interviews were in December and January and now it's March and I still have no clue where I'll be next year. So far the only school to get back to me said that they wanted to keep comparing me to their other interviewees and would not give me a final answer for an undefined period of time.

And for me that is insanely frustrating. Personally I'm a very controlling person, and to know that I can't control when I'll get an answer about med schools means that I feel like I'm just floating helplessly along at the mercy of these arbitrary, often malicious forces (or that's what my mind thinks) known as admissions committees.

But friends God has been so good in this! I may feel like I'm just a helpless toy of the timetables of med schools, but God holds the world and medical schools in the palm of his hand. They do not operate outside of his will and if it is God's time for me to know about my future, then God would make it happen.

God's timing is not comfortable timing for me, but I can know that based on who God is I can wait. Over occupations, security, relationships, medical schools or any good thing in life God has given me Christ and secured for me a place in His Kingdom that cannot be shaken (Heb. 12:28); Even by medical school admissions committees!

You can be praying for me that I would trust God and not freak out about the time that he has me waiting right now. Please pray that as I wait I would know Christ more (Eph. 3:14-21) and to be diligent and finish the race of college well for God's glory instead of freaking out during the time that I have left.

New Attitude is now NEXT!

So you may have noticed that ads have started appearing on the blog at the bottom of each post. And you also may be wondering what in the world NEXT is.

Well I'd encourage you to follow the colorful link below, but essentially NEXT is a totally awesome conference that God has blessed my friend and I with the ability to attend this Memorial Day weekend.

NEXT, formerly known as New Attitude, is a conference for singles of all ages and young couples put on by Sovereign Grace Ministries. This year the theme is also "the person and work of Christ," with main session speakers being CJ Mahaney, Josh Harris, Kevin DeYoung, D.A. Carson and Sinclair Ferguson!

So in a word we're really pumped about this conference for not just the awesome lineup of speakers, but more importantly the chance to spend a whole weekend focused on learning more about our Lord and Savior.

If you're looking for something to do this Memorial Day weekend and would like to learn more about Christ I would encourage you to come on down with us to Baltimore. Plus you can also be praying for my friend and I as we prepare to head down that we would learn much about Jesus and also that God would do a good work to to teach many about his Son!

So take a few seconds and check this conference out:

So apparently I stink at keeping this updated

Well friends I have been doing a pretty poor job at keeping my blog updated and so there hasn't been much of a view for you all from the Ninth Floor here of late.

But God is good and He's been keeping us busy and away from blog posting for good reasons!

You can be praying for our fellowship as we travel to Orlando, FL next week to serve alongside the Wycliffe Bible Translators and offer our service to help out on their grounds. This is such an awesome opportunity to serve the Lord, serve the nations that need to hear His Word and serve our brothers and sisters in Christ.

Please be praying for us for safe travel, that the Lord would bind us in unity, and that he would establish the work of our hands for His glory (Ps. 90)! I hope to write soon with more awesome stuff that God has been doing!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Simple Pleasures

Ever notice how great God is to give us simple pleasures?

We had a snowball fight on Wednesday night followed by having everyone over for hot chocolate and hot cider. It was great fun and wonderful opportunity to just enjoy our friends around us in Tener Hall.

But looking back I was reflecting on how sweet and simple, such a joy it was to be like a kid again playing in the snow with friends. We don't deserve such wonderful joys, yet God gives them to us all over the place if we would just look. Even sleep (Psalm 127:2)!

What are some of the simple pleasures that you can think of?

Thursday, January 8, 2009

The Intangilbes

So it was a pretty long day running around Boston, being interviewed, and learning a new subway system (which is really awesome).

But my faculty interviewer said something that struck home. It went something like this "When choosing a school you have to take into account the intangibles. That's what your decision should come down to."

So I was thinking about it and yep, I don't know if he was a believer, but there's a whole lot of truth in that. I could base my decision solely on the pedigree of the school, but that's not trusting the Lord as to where he's setting up as a perfect school for me.

Making a decision then is all about the intangibles, especially where prayerfully God would lead me to go should I be accepted. I thought that it was just really cool that while most likely he was thinking about things like weather, city atmosphere, etc. my interview had some real truth behind his statement when taken to the Lord.

Be praying for my safe travel home tomorrow!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Traveling 'round

This post is courtesy of the Longwood Inn here in Brookline, MA. Honestly this inn is pretty awesome. The rooms are super nice, I'm right near all of the hospitals, and the rooms and amenities are super. If you ever need a place to stay on the West side (Longwood) of Boston, check this place out.

That said, those pre-Christmas blog posts never came (silly me thinking that I would actually find time to write the days before Christmas). So in the interim, before those recap posts I figured I'd share what's been going on since New Year's.

Medical school interviewing has taken me all across the Eastern US this week, and I just wanted to write today about how amazing God is. To be perfectly honest, the weather this week has been horrible. In the roughly 36 hours that I was in Nashville, it didn't stop pouring rain once and Boston is covered in snow/deep ice. But in the midst of that God has not only answered prayers for safety, but every single plane flight was safe (in the iciest of conditions) and I haven't even experienced a delay.

Plus, even in the rain and cold God even provided an unexpected shuttle for me in Nashville so that I wouldn't have to wait for another!

I want to mention all of this because I normally freak out about all of those things (weather during traveling and mode of transportations like shuttles and subways especially). However God has been showing me so much this week about trusting him and seeing that he controls rain, air traffic patterns, schedules, snow, ice and all of the things that I think that he's forgotten about, plus that he knows exactly what I need, not what I want and that He has my best interest at heart.

If He allows an ice storm to cover the city I'm flying to, it's not just to spite me, but to somehow show great He is, even if I don't see why at the start.

So how have you all seen God provide recently in unexpected ways for His glory and not your comfort?