Monday, January 28, 2013

Why I love this church

I've been going to Church on the Move now for 5 months. I first discovered it while online in Oregon trying to find Tulsa churches I would like to try out when I got there. I loved watching the online services, but there were a few other churches that impressed me online as well.

When I got to Tulsa, I liked the first few churches I visited, then at the end of September I went to Church on the Move for the first time in person. The atmosphere, worship, and teaching had me sold after one visit and I decided it was the church for me.

Going to this church is the first time I have ever experienced having a sermon that I thought about a lot during the rest of the week. I know the feeling from different powerful church conferences, but I used to listen to a normal Sunday service, and not remember much about it afterwards. That changed when I started going to this church.

One thing I found really different and I really like, is that the tithe and offering is taken at the end of the service. To me, it feels more right. ~We give you this really good lesson, instruct you and challenge you to improve yourself, and then ask you to help us continue our work.~ That's the logic I see.
The church is very big, but they are good about giving it a small, tight knit feeling. After hurricane Sandy, the church took one offering in all 3 of their services, and were able to send $35,000 to churches that were helping victims.

One time back in October, pastor Willie George talked about tithing. I still think about it every time I am hesitant to give money when I feel the notion to.
"Sooner or later, you are going to come to a crossroads, where you have to decide if you are going to put God first in your financial life....Worrying about money is serving money instead of serving God...The more you trust God about money, the more he will trust you with money."

When I got back to Tulsa, after Christmas break in Oregon, my savings was almost totally gone. I knew I needed to get a job, and got very nervous when I found out that not even Walmart was hiring. I had put in several applications at local businesses, and it had been two weeks without hearing a peep.
2 Sundays ago, we were singing in church, "Lord use me,take my life, and lead it your way." With money on my mind, I again thought of the sermon back in October. I knew it was God, telling me to give an offering of my money. I was really hesitant to, because I have such little left, but I remembered those words, "You have to trust God about your money, for God to trust you with money."
I put $5 in a tithe envelope, and wrote a little prayer on the lid, "Lord, I trust you with this money, and I ask you to please help me find a job."

Last Tuesday I was so touched when I logged on to my email, and found I had been contacted by Church on the Move pastoral staff.
Hi Anna, We want you to know that we’ve received your prayer request and we’re standing in faith with you. In Matthew 18:19 Jesus said, “If two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven.” So we join our faith with yours and believe God for you to find favor in the hiring process so that you’ll get the job that you apply for. God bless Anna, and if you have any requests don’t hesitate to let us know.

I was amazed, and could not stop smiling the rest of the day, that they had looked up my email from my "new member card" I filled out in September, and wrote me to let me know they were praying with me for a job.
Then to top it all off, Wednesday I got two calls for interviews, and Friday I was hired on the spot for a waitress job!

Saturday, January 26, 2013

The 7th floor adventure

I have found a fun community here at ORU. There are so many people with the same attitude and likeness as me. Yesterday proved that once again. There is an urban legend on campus. The one building where almost all of classes are, the GC, has a 7th floor which is where Oral Robert's office was in his living years, and where the college president now is. Now and then, while using the elevator in the GC, some very well dressed person will step in and ask, "7 please." and everyone else in the elevator will say with their eyes and quiet gasps, "Oooh seventh floor."
The urban legend is that the 7th floor is where all the important ORU leaders and rich alumni hang out as sort of a "fancy people club".
The rumor is, that when you step off the elevator, there are two security guards, dressed like Men in Black, who ask you for ID, and will have you thrown off school property if you are not on the elite list of names.
Of course, me being me, hearing these rumors and urban legends time and time again, but never meeting someone who had been there, my mind has been screaming at me, "Go! Go! Go!" But I was nervous, very nervous!

I have a very adventurous spirit, but a very non confrontational personality. If I went up to the 7th floor, I stood the risk of facing the men in black if the rumor was true.

Nevertheless, the call to adventure got the best of me. So yesterday, after my last class on the 5th floor, I got on the elevator and hit "7". I wanted to squeal as soon as I felt the elevator start to rise, but I thought if I was going to do this, I had to keep my composure and act like I belong up there.
I heard the ding, signaling that I had reached my destination, and much to my relief, there were no men in black.
Even though there were no men in black, the sight was so beautiful, that I definitely thought I would get in trouble if caught up there. The roof was a colorful oval stained glass, the walls had the gorgeous display of the school's history, and over in the corner I saw the door that said it was the university president's office.
I was very impressed, but still very nervous about getting questioned about being up there. I saw feet coming from around the corner, and I went into panic mode. I saw the fire escape route map on the wall, and tried to hurry to look for stairs I could run down.
Then I felt a tap on my shoulder, and a deep, strange voice said, "Miss, what are you doing up here?"
I slowly turned, then tried to muffle my laughter of great relief, as I saw it was one of my friends.
I asked her, if this meant we were allowed to be up there, and she said, "Oh I have no idea. I just hear about it, so I came up to see it. Been up here a few times, but never seen anyone else, so no one has ever questioned me."

I thought it was hilarious. The exact same time I was feeling adventurous, and exploring a new place I had been told to fear, so was my friend.
We stepped into the restroom which was the fanciest restroom I have ever seen(no we didn't use them, just gawked at them!) We stepped back out and were talking to each other about just how nice the bathroom was, when a man approached us.

I again felt a sense of terror, but he just smiled and said, "First time on the 7th floor?"

He told us a bunch about how it had been renovated in recent years, and some jokes Oral Roberts and current president Mark Rutland had made about the 7th floor.

At the end of the day, I was so glad I went, and I was just tickled by the fact one of my friends followed the urge at the same time as me, totally unplanned!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

My new obsession

The other night, a group of us went out for a late night adventure, star gazing in the wilderness. That night, a new obsession was born in me. The sky was magnificent and we were all filled with ooh's and awe's. But my camera is not very good at taking pictures of the vast amount of stars in the sky. However, while trying to take a picture of the stars, I focused in on the moon, then shrieked when this picture came out.
The moon came in clear and close. I was literally jumping up and down squealing, I was so excited and proud that I had just taken that picture. Now I have been trying to take as many pictures of the moon as I can, and it fills my head with wonder, of what it would be like to wander around up there for a bit. Maybe someday we will make family trips to the moon. Until then, I will just continue trying to get as clear of shots of the moon as I can:

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Happy happenings

School is in full swing, and so is the fun. The weather is AMAZING. It varies from SUPER cold to decent, but the sky is a deep, rich, beautiful blue, and the sun makes me want to smile constantly.
Two weeks ago I was getting concerned with my Africa fun because I was short $1000 for the February 50% deadline. I put another shout out on Facebook, and in 9 days $510 came in. I still have a lot to go, but I am excited to see how God provides it. Our team has been meeting for a lot of prayer time. Praying for our funds, praying for our travels, and praying for the people we will meet in Uganda. I am more and more excited every day. I dreamed of this trip literally all my life, and I could not have asked for a better way for it to come true.
There have been a few people that I had classes with last semester, who I have been hanging out with a lot this semester. We discovered a share love for spontaneous adventure. On one of these adventure, one of the guys led us down and around different stairs and halls, and through a delivery tunnel where.......we discovered ORU's Area 51! This discovery was EXACTLY why I love spontaneous adventure.
Right after this Area 51 discovery, I made another cool discover....Cristina! One of the guys I was with was talking about tornadoes, and one of his other gal friends had joined our group sitting drinking coffee. She spoke up, "Man, I don't get that in Oregon." I gasped and turned to her "What did you just say?!" Christina is the first Oregonian I have met, and she only lived about 10 minutes from me! We looked each other up on Facebook, and we know a bunch of the same people!

Christina has joined our posse of adventurers, and I am JUST about to venture out with them again. This evening our adventure is, driving out to the wilderness to star gaze! :) <3

Sunday, January 6, 2013

I'm gone...and back.

I am back in Tulsa, sitting in my dorm, wrapped in my electric blanket, with Madea on in the background(thanks Jodi!). It's weird for me to think, this morning I was home in Oregon, this evening I am home in Tulsa, and tomorrow I will be back sitting in class.
I feel a strange sense of homelessness. Every place I call home, is all just a sort of visit. Tulsa is my home now...for most of the year, but come May I will be kicked out and not welcome back until August. When I go to Oregon, I say I am back home, but in the same sentence I refer to Tulsa as home. I relate better than ever to the Carrie Underwood song "Temporary Home". Every bed I sleep on, is very temporary. I have never been a fan of change, and every time I have to change living spaces, I feel a strong and stronger desire for something that will be permanent. I am ready for my own bed, my own home, my own family, my own pets. I am SO so looking forward to the day when my life has settled into the long term. Moving to Tulsa was a very good change for me, but I am ready for things to stay the same again.
Visiting home reminded me of why I wanted so badly to leave Oregon. I saw the sun once in 3 weeks, I had to drive if I wanted to go anywhere and everywhere, and there was really not much to do most of the time. I watched so much Netflix that I even started watching foreign films. It was nice though, taking a break to do almost nothing. Overall, I had a good visit, but I am sure of my decision to move now more than ever.
I got to visit most of my friends but not all. I went dancing for the first time with my good pal Laura.
I had a hilarious adventure with my friends Lydia and Lexy, when we tried going to see Monsters Inc 2, then realized it was Monsters 1, so snuck into Django, then had to leave because I forgot to pick up my mom from work.
I went to see my friend Kaya and her baby Rose. Rose is 7 months old, my favorite age, and laughed the ENTIRE time I was there. There is nothing that compares to the thrill of spending time with a giggly baby!
I also went out to lunch at my favorite local restaurant with my oldest friend Emily. Visited my friend Heidi in Gresham, and she and my brother decided to try to stay in contact with each other.
I spent an afternoon with my aunt going to meet her stepmother Mary. Mary is a retired pilot who is now an expert dog agility trainer and competitor.
My last day in Oregon I spent with the family at the beach. I loved it so much, especially because it's been 5 years since I've seen the ocean. With all the fun I have had visiting family and friends, I am ready for life to get back to the semi normal state of school.