My Lighthouse

Below are the lyrics to “My Lighthouse” by The Rend Collective Experiment. This song is my absolute favorite of theirs and it brought this blog into existence. I was listening to this song while praying about the title of the blog and it wasn’t until the very end where it says, “Fire before us, You’re the brightest You will lead us through the storms” I knew it was the title. To be sure I stopped mid-thought and asked God if that was the title and He just laughed as He said, “Yes.” God knows all too well I love play on words and puns. We are the Southeastern Fire and it was only fitting that my blog title should have something to do with fire. Now it does! It’s great and it makes me smile every time 🙂 Check out the song on YouTube! Also, kudos to my amazing sister-in-law for this awesome picture she took!

In my wrestling and in my doubts
In my failures You won’t walk out
Your great love will lead me through
You are the peace in my troubled sea
You are the peace in my troubled sea

In the silence, You won’t let go
In my questions, Your truth will hold
Your great love will lead me through
You are the peace in my troubled sea
You are the peace in my troubled sea

My Lighthouse, my lighthouse
Shining in the darkness, I will follow You
My Lighthouse, my Lighthouse
I will trust the promise,
You will carry me safe to shore (Oh-oh-oh-oh-oh)
Safe to shore (Oh-oh-oh-oh-oh)
Safe to shore (Oh-oh-oh-oh-oh)
Safe to shore

I won’t fear what tomorrow brings
With each morning I’ll rise and sing
My God’s love will lead me through
You are the peace in my troubled sea
You are the peace in my troubled sea

Fire before us, You’re the brightest
You will lead us through the storms

Modesty is the New Sexy

This topic of discussion is one that I’m deeply passionate about. If the title didn’t give it away already or you couldn’t guess already what I’m about to talk about, it’s modesty – more specifically, dressing modestly. Something that should be considered and thought about more than it has been. SEU seems to be lacking in the modesty department, especially from the young women on campus. I understand that most of the girls are coming straight from high school where their dress code was probably not as strict as SEU.

At SEU the dress code has changed since its beginning; now the shorts have to be the length of the University’s ID card from the bottom of the back short pocket. If the shorts don’t pass the “Card test” the girl needs to change. Has this been in effect? NOPE. Every time a girl walks on campus that is breaking this rule it really upsets me to the point where I want to run up with a blanket to cover them. I would have to make a personal investment in Snuggie if that were the case. There is no need to show that much skin; the only acceptable place would be at the beach or pool.

The saddest part of this whole thing is that these girls have been to the mandatory meeting that was held at the beginning of the year to go over the appropriate yet modest dress code. It seems that it went in one ear and out the other. They are going for fashion, living out the excuse that it’s hot out, and they’re comfortable wearing next to nothing. Ok, you have a fashion sense, great, I have one too and I still manage to obtain my certain look without being immodest. Yes, we live in Florida and it gets quite hot here; I understand that, but there are shorts and dresses that surprisingly have more fabric to them. Shocking realization, I know.

Now this excuse I’m a little skeptical of; how can you be comfortable wearing next to nothing? Even when I’m wearing a bathing suit I make sure it’s modest (one piece). I guess if you have the body for a bikini revel in it; just keep it on the beach or at the pool. I’m not sure there is an excuse to show your bare stomach on campus, so hey, let’s not. Crop tops are coming back – why? I have no clue, but they are – and these girls are taking to them like lint. Crop tops can be worn with a tank underneath and still be fashionably cute.

Soon enough their “fashion” choices are going to attract attention from:

  1. Guys with the wrong intent
  2. Girls who get jealous
  3. Concern for correction
  4. Girls who are most likely going to be their friends.

Number 1 is what I’m going to discuss in this post. Guys with the wrong intent are going to be everywhere and it would be beneficial to both sexes if the girls didn’t flaunt their shtuff. Physical beauty isn’t everything a girl has to offer, plus it won’t last forever; shocker, I know. Some of the modest dressers I know are the elders in and outside of the church – they should be our role models in a way. I’m not saying we should all start wearing their clothes or anything because that would be silly. Haha.

All of this to say, it makes me sad when I see girls walking around dressed immodestly and without a sense of self-respect. I don’t know how this campus will enforce their dress code in the future but it definitely needs some adjustment and enforcement now. This is just ridiculous and it has gone on long enough.

Shout out to all the lady readers: “Women! We are NOT dogs or a piece of meat to be drooled over. We are fearfully and wonderfully made! We should protect what is precious by dressing modestly. Haven’t you heard? Modesty is the new sexy!”

Shuwb

In Hebrew shuwb (shoob) means restoration. Fitting considering it’s exactly what God wants to do for Southeastern. Southeastern may seem like a pretty school on the outside (which it is) but sometimes the ones that smile the brightest are the ones going through a rough storm. Thank God our God is in the restoration business. He heals the brokenhearted and lifts the heavy burden. My heart is broken for this school and a heavy burden has been placed on my broken heart to start a change specifically for SEU.

I was doing my devotional one morning and as I was opening my Bible a folded piece of paper fell out. As I looked more closely at what the paper was I realized it was a list of Bible verses that I printed out for this blog. I then proceeded to look where it was placed and it happened to be in Ezekiel 36, which is about restoration. I found it to be interesting, but I wasn’t planning on reading it until after my devotional; well God had a different plan in mind. He told me to read it right then or else I would have forgotten about it. I read it and one thing I can say about Ezekiel 36 is that I don’t think I have underlined more verses in a chapter before. J God revealed so much to me about SEU through that chapter. Throughout the chapter God kept saying He wasn’t doing it (restoring them) because they deserved it but for His holy name’s sake.

Southeastern has been blinded by getting our name out there that we’ve forgotten about getting God’s name out first. God’s name should go before us in everything. Place Him first and at the center then everything will fall into place as He allows.

This post isn’t really speaking against anything that SEU has done consciously; it’s speaking to a misplaced focus and a word of hope. A misplaced focus is something that happens to everyone! It happens to me quite a bit. There have been times where I had to stop what I was doing and pray that God would refocus and redirect my focus so that He is #1, school is #2, work is #3, and extra stuff is #4. God is so faithful and awesome! He answers that prayer every time!

But I digress (not really)…what is this post actually about…SHUWB!

God is going to restore SEU for His holy name’s sake! Southeastern will become a beacon of light and hope for students again! No more hearing stories of graduates who were on fire for God but since graduating are now atheists or agnostics. No more fallen and broken people shall leave this school! God is in the restoration business and He will restore this school! The fallen and broken are the ones that seek out the church for stability and hope; AKA God. He meets them in their need and restores them.

Restoration doesn’t happen overnight though. Think of a house that needs fixing up. The windows are tainted, the tiles cracked and sharp, dirt and dust are caked on every surface, and there are gaping holes in the walls and doors. Now picture Bob the Builder or Fix-It Felix Jr. stepping into this house and letting out a slow whistle as they examine the mess. The whistle might sound disheartening but eventually they utter the words, “Let’s get to work.” Like the craftsmen that they are they take/put in special care, precision, time, and devotion into this house. That is exactly what God is doing with Southeastern. He is invested 100%.

Change and revival are coming to Southeastern. God’s house is dirty and it’s time to get to work on restoring it. Shuwb takes time, but you definitely gotta to start somewhere. Why not start by putting our minds, hearts, and hands together to begin this process of shuwb? God’s not giving up on Southeastern. He’s not like that. Like I said, God is in the restoration business. SEU will be returned to its former glory and people will be in awe at the way God is moving; they will breathe the words, “God is in this place.”

DON’T PUT THAT EVIL ON ME

This saying is one my best friend used to say all the time when she didn’t like a statement that she heard. I chose this as the title of this post because I honestly don’t want to fall into a rut here at SEU. I specifically chose this university so I could get closer in my relationship with God and be surrounded by people of the same mindset. I wasn’t expecting this school to be so drastically changed in two years with being overrun by perverse ideas/behavior. It’s really sad how we were once a college known for their sound – sometimes strict – Christian beliefs and now the students are saying it’s going to be like another college in the area (once Christian and now a party school). Don’t put that evil on me! That will NOT happen, not as long as I can help it.

Psalm 101:4 says, “I will reject perverse ideas and stay away from every evil.”

Google defines “perverse” in two ways:

  1. A person or their actions that show a deliberate and obstinate desire to behave in a way that is unreasonable or unacceptable, often in spite of the consequences.
  2. Contrary to the accepted or expected standard or practice

You might ask, how exactly are students being perverse?

Student & Actions

A student’s perverse actions might include: choice of words and behavior in chapel.

Chapel is a time and place for students across and off campus to congregate in the presence of God to delight in him and hear what he has to say to us. Obviously this time and place calls for certain etiquette so as not to offend/disrespect others. I understand that some people have never been to church and don’t know how to act in church but usually they are reserved because they honestly don’t know what to do. However, if say a student is openly mocking worship when it’s over by snickering, which is not OK, it probably means they know how to act in church but they just don’t care. That student and their actions are perverse because they don’t care if they behave unacceptable.

Another example of a perverse behavior on campus is the sneaking around just to fulfill their physical pleasurable desire. Students are going to have sex no matter what culture the university holds. It’s unfortunately inevitable. I know each individual person has a different past and struggle – I understand that. No matter what the past or struggle, God can redeem and conquer it all. The occurrence of sex on this campus has increased and frankly, it’s unacceptable. This act on a Christian campus is perverse and it needs to stop.

I may be speaking against their perverse ways but I am not judging them. I welcome people who aren’t Christians to enter into church; because even if they don’t walk out saved at least they heard God’s word – The word of the Lord does not return void (Isaiah 55:11). I stand firm on that verse and have seen it proven time and time again. Just like I stand on that verse, I stand on God’s promise that change will come to SEU and I can’t wait to see the change happen! The time has come to take our swords and fight against the perversity on this campus – the truth will rise up out of this timid girl because it is what I have been told to do. My sword is ready for battle. “Let’s end this” – The Emperor’s New Groove.

Two Types of People

We come to a Christian campus for the culture (surrounded by Christians who share the same beliefs as us). We have made a vow in the past, present, or want to make that vow before God that says, “I am laying my life, future and past, down at your feet. This life is no longer mine, but yours God. I die to self and live for your kingdom. Your thoughts and will be mine. Align my mind, body, and spirit up with yours God.” One of my favorite songs by For Today, The Call, sums up all of that into one simple quote, “God’s looking for people that will say Yes.” – [Damon Thompson]. Will you answer?…It’s a great decision. Really it is!

Now, there are these New Age people out there that say, “Oh, God’s grace abounds beyond my sin.” True, it does. “Oh, I can do anything and God will forgive me.” Err…no, no I don’t think so. I say that because there are two types of people:

  1. There are those that fall into temptation, realize their mistake, truly repent, and live a way that won’t tempt them to make the same mistake again, or over and over again.
  2. And then there are those that willingly fall into temptation, don’t care about their mistake, ask God for forgiveness because they know it’s the right thing to do, then go right back into that lifestyle of “sin and repent.”

The “sin and repent” roller-coaster is exhausting! You must (you must) give your life entirely into God’s hands. There is no better way to live than in God’s presence and care. God can and will help you shake off the past the devil tries to trap you with. Satan won’t win – God has already won the battle for you. Being a Christian isn’t easy, no one said it was, but it is such a better lifestyle than one of sin and decay.

God has called me to purify His temple because it’s been neglected. The temple that has been neglected is this campus. This campus is so hype! They are hyped up about everything: sports, construction, new programs, anything really to draw in more students. Where is the neglect in wanting more Christian students on campus to be involved in these new hyped-up-areas? The neglect is that we’ve been blinded by wanting more and doing more for the school rather than God’s Kingdom. We are firmly grounded on our Christian beliefs, so why are we allowing these students (some Christian and some not) to break the rules with no reprimand attached? Don’t get me wrong there is a system in place for those that get caught (a sit-down to talk about it and a chance to repent). I’m sorry but that just doesn’t seem to be effective. That question has been on my mind for over a year now and I can’t find any clarity on it, or even a way to change to how this school deals with those that get caught. Your thoughts/suggestions?

This campus is a place for the Lord to dwell and nothing unholy should be in His presence for He is holy. It’s high time for these things to leave this campus and never come back. Side note, whenever I say that last sentence I can’t help but think of Smeagol telling Gollum that in The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers. 😀

This has been on my heart and mind for about 4 months now so I’m really excited that this is coming to fruition. God is burning in this heart of mine and He has full range of motion throughout the entirety of this blog. “This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine.” Fire Before Us is that light God has placed in all of us; it’s time for this campus to recognize that light again.