Monday, May 21, 2012

graduation day

Yesterday I was privileged to attend my cousin's graduation ceremony from DePaul's College of Law. To be honest, initially I was not looking forward to attending this event. Not because I wasn't proud of my cousin's magnificent accomplishment, mind you; but because of my own physical aches and pains, and the hassle life becomes when you are trying to negotiate a limited physique around the likes of several hundred "pumped-up" family members and celebrating college graduates posing under the roof of one large public venue. But I went... and, of course, I'm so glad I did. For not only did God work out every detail, but He further blessed me with the entire experience. You see, early in the event the Holy Spirit impressed upon me that I was sharing a room with over 4200 people - all who were there to experience the same moment of joy, pride, and love with their own fellow family members and friends. It didn't matter if we came from Nigeria or a nearby suburb. In this moment, in this place, we were all connected. For we each had a graduate to acknowledge... and acknowledge we did! With every name read... with every diploma handed... with every hood dressed, we all cheered! Throughout the room, pockets of groups whistled loudly and applauded with delight as their own graduate completed the final stage of their law school education. Yes, for each of us, someone we adored was being recognized for something wonderful - and we were all thrilled to enjoy the moment together.

It was indeed nice to experience the joy of achievement and pride of every family member as they cheered on their related graduate yesterday. And it got me thinking: I wonder how graduation day will be in Heaven when we share it with our eternal family? How will we enjoy celebrating the happiness of every believer's race well won - Christians who lived in devotion, obedience, and deliberate purpose toward magnifying the glory of our God's kingdom? Won't it be incredible to see each child of the King receive their diploma and eternal crown of holiness, hooded personally from the nail driven hands of Jesus our Savior? Yesterday, some of the most touching moments occurred when faculty members were able to perform a "legacy" hooding with their graduate - - meaning a parent (who was a faculty member to the college) could hood their own child. How beautiful to be part of such an inheritance! To be formally escorted, acknowledged, and decorated by your own proud mama or papa. Words escape me to describe the immense pride accompanying this honor, and my heart yearns for that glorious day when I can experience the same delight with my Heavenly Father. For His decoration and acknowledgement is all I seek. His legacy is eternal. How I long to be kissed and hugged by Him. Believer, how cool will it be to have Him proudly present each of us before our eternal love-one's, claiming, "That's my girl!" or "That's my boy!"

His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord. (Matthew 25:21)

Yes, yesterday I was blessed with the realization that I too would graduate one day from law school. I would advance on into eternal holiness, with sin overruled, to enjoy a new day decorated by the One who is the greatest Honor of all life. Such joy cannot be contained, for real justice, and freedom, and community, and peace is available in Him alone... by His grace... because of His eternal love! How much I look forward to seeing His tears of pride, relief, and happiness. How elated I will be to hear Him acknowledge me with, "Well done, my good and faithful!" As such, today I will honor Him by making every effort to live obediently like my Jesus... for my graduation day is coming!

The DePaul president concluded yesterday's ceremony with this important point. He said that as a university, DePaul would be happy for every graduate that finds the things they have always hoped for in this life... a nice family, job, house, car. Sure, they would be happy to see such blessings happen for every single graduate. However, and more importantly, they would be proud of every graduate that actually went out and made a difference with their life - - to love others, to help others, and to represent the image of their prestigious college accurately and with thoughtfulness - no matter what trial or opposition must be faced. Yes, such a life would make them proud of their law school graduate. Such a life would make our Father proud of His graduate too. So, let us live such a life! Let us live today representing His rich image to those lost and less fortunate. Let us care and share for His Name's sake - always standing for what is good and right! Let us run this race to the end and graduate with full honors, Believers! This is the day to rejoice, for we are assured as His children to one day celebrate together in ceremony. There, we will all be personally hooded by Jesus and given His eternal legacy of grace and holiness. We will congratulate and cheer for one another as we are honored by Our Honor, The Almighty King of kings! Hallelujah! Our graduation day is coming! So, let us make every effort to learn from our Teacher and love like He loves!

Blessings!
Blog Posting Written By Victoria Anderson

Sunday, May 20, 2012

feast in His bounty

Let us feast with our eyes the bounty of which our gracious Lord gives to us. Let us enjoy every color, every landscape, and glorify Him with our gratitude! This is the day to rejoice in the splendor of our King and the beauty His hand has created for our benefit! Blessed be the Name of the Lord.

By Victoria Anderson

Saturday, May 12, 2012

before

Isn't it wonderful when the oldest and dearest of friends are able to reunite?
Isn't it heartwarming when childhood loyalties from simpler moments pick up exactly where they left off... as if no time has passed by? As if no difficult circumstance or trial has ever occurred within the layers of years lived apart?

Last night, I was honored to dine, and giggle, and hug, and love with two beloved girlfriends from my youth.
Two people who knew me "back when".
Two who remember my naiveté.
Two who shared some of my most happiest moments of play.
Before the pain.
Before the abuse.
Before.

Childhood is so fragile, isn't it?
Those moments when you obliviously live as your truest, free-est self.
Special times without boundaries - void of emotional barrier.
This is when we are most clueless to what would soon jade and change everything.
These were times when being defenseless was easy... normal.
When every friend was considered family.
When acceptance, and love, and things, and places all meshed together - and everyone shared and enjoyed in their bounty.

Then, sadly... life takes us away, doesn't it?
We become casualties of distance.
Or perhaps we are recruited by those already jaded and more experienced.
We become victims of this world - losing touch with ourselves and each other.
For somewhere along the way, we accept the skepticism, the isolation, the complications.
Somehow, love becomes shadowed with cynicism and selfishness.
Joy and peace are replaced with busyness and fear.
Awkward, messy moments of "growing up" turn our days into decades.
And our "before" becomes a longing - a reminder of youthfulness lost.

Remember your Creator in the days of your youth, before the days of trouble come and the years approach when you will say, “I find no pleasure in them”. (Ecclesiastes 12:1)

Last night, I drove home thinking about how neither of my beautiful friends had attended my wedding - nor I theirs. I thought about how quickly, easily, and inadvertently we lost touch simply because of life distractions; and how much time had passed since we had last dined, and giggled, and hugged, and loved one another. I thought about all the "in-betweens" that we missed together as great friends. All the good and bad moments that now define us in our adulthood. As I sat in my car, I remembered the us of "before" and was grateful for an evening to finally catch up. Then, I immediately thought of my Creator - my truest, dearest friend, Jesus.

Remembering the One who made me "before"...
The God who knew me "before"...
Before trouble came.
Before separation occurred.
Before the curse of sin dominated all my "in-betweens".
This is my King - the One who has always known my truest self even better than I could fathom.
The One who wishes for me to live fully in His company... freely in His grace.
Isn't it wonderful when the oldest and dearest of friends are able to reunite?
Isn't it heartwarming when the straightforwardness of childlike faith returns us back to the family of our Almighty?
What a pleasure to know that the love of the Most High is always nearby... that He is always available and waiting to return us to His limitless bounty.
What an honor to be given this new day to pick up with Him and rejoice as if no time has passed away.
What a wonder to know that He has promised to restore our "before" once again through the precious blood of Jesus Christ?

In you, O Lord, I have taken refuge; let me never be put to shame. Rescue me and deliver me in your righteousness; turn your ear to me and save me. Be my rock of refuge, to which I can always go; give the command to save me, for you are my rock and my fortress. Deliver me, O my God, from the hand of the wicked, from the grasp of evil and cruel men. For you have been my hope, O Sovereign Lord, my confidence since my youth. From birth I have relied on you; you brought me forth from my mother’s womb. I will ever praise you. I have become like a portent to many, but you are my strong refuge. My mouth is filled with your praise, declaring your splendor all day long. Do not cast me away when I am old; do not forsake me when my strength is gone. For my enemies speak against me; those who wait to kill me conspire together. They say, “God has forsaken him; pursue him and seize him, for no one will rescue him.” Be not far from me, O God; come quickly, O my God, to help me. May my accusers perish in shame; may those who want to harm men be covered with scorn and disgrace. But as for me, I will always have hope; I will praise you more and more. My mouth will tell of your righteousness, of your salvation all day long, though I know not its measure. I will come and proclaim your mighty acts, O Sovereign Lord; I will proclaim your righteousness, yours alone. Since my youth, O God, you have taught me, and to this day I declare your marvelous deeds. Even when I am old and gray, do not forsake me, O God, till I declare your power to the next generation, your might to all who are to come. Your righteousness reaches to the skies, O God, you who have done great things. Who, O God, is like you? Though you have made me see troubles, many and bitter, you will restore my life again; from the depths of the earth you will again bring me up. You will increase my honor and comfort me once again. I will praise you with the harp for your faithfulness, O my God; I will sing praise to you with the lyre, O Holy One of Israel. My lips will shout for joy when I sing praise to you - I, whom you have redeemed. My tongue will tell of your righteous acts all day long, for those who wanted to harm me have been put to shame and confusion. (Psalm 71)

Blessings!
Blog Posting Written By Victoria Anderson

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

devoted to Jesus

You are not insecure when you are secured in God's kingdom! 
You are not weak when you stand strong with God's word! 
You are not anxious when you abide close to God's presence! 
You are not defeated when you fight bravely for God's righteousness! 
You are not without a future when you remain devoted to God's only begotten Son! 

(Victoria Anderson)

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