a. its been a long time since I posted anything here
b. I am almost ready to graduate
c. God is pretty amazing
d. I just got through hell week only by His power
e. Accepted into Grad school and decision pretty much made
f. Here in the power of Christ I stand
g. Spring Break starts now
h. God is good all the time!!!!
i. AMEN!!!!

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What to do....

So question,

What do you do with homosexuality??? As a christian I do believe it is wrong but how do I come to that conclusion based on the bible, besides the section in Romans 1? And while I know it exists in Leviticus, why would we choose to follow that law and not the others that exist in that book.

If one were to have a discussion about why it is wrong biblically, what would that look like in the modern and liberal world that one lives in??

I seriously do want to's something that has been on my heart for quite awhile now.

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Simple and Sweet

Moving on in a way to this
Not that i still won't post here but there is a simplicity to this newness that i rather enjoy!!

So simple and sweet!!! A heart of dreams!!

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Living more than one separate life......

Today I am in this hugely contemplative much so that I am taking time away from cleaning and putting away clothes to write whats on my mind, before all of it is gone.....perhaps its because its a holiday weekend and I have had all the time in the world to think since Wednesday morning, perhaps it's because I have seen a max of 3 people in the last 4 days, and perhaps it's because more time alone, and more time sleeping than is my normal quota.'s thanksgiving time, and it will soon be Christmas break (3 weeks!!), and while I cannot wait to go home, I am also realizing how quickly time here is going....and it leaves me feeling weirdly contemplative and kind of here is a glimpse into the ramblings of my brain....

sometimes i feel like I live 2 or 3 completely separate lives...and its a strange feeling 

The last several weeks, I feel like I have only been doing enough to get by, and to keep on living, I haven't spent much time with friends, other than my roommates, and even that has been limited. My life has been so consumed by homework, and class, and internship, and work, and trying to get enough sleep, that I feel like everything is slipping through my fingers like sand, and I can't seem to be able to grab a hold of anything. I am realizing that I haven't taken enough pictures, I haven't taken in enough chapel or class, I haven't given enough hugs, I haven't stepped outside of my box enough, and its almost to late for any of that to be done. I am realizing that many of these moments here, will be many last moments and it makes me sad. I have loved going to school here at APU, and I have loved living on the west coast, and I have loved living close to LA. But I don't feel like I have taken advantage of those things like I should have and lived up those experiences like I wish I did. Often I find myself in a place of complaining about the ever abundant homework, and the professor I don't like, and the weather that's too cold, and the friends I never have time for and the home that I miss. But in reality I am quickly realizing that those things are so quickly slipping through my fingers and this all is a once in a lifetime experience and what I am going to do with it in the short time that God has granted it to me, complain or rejoice??? And maybe this feeling is in part, due to the fact that instead of having 4 years here, I have only had 2. While I don't regret going to community college for 2 years and having that paid off, however, I wish that i could have had this experience for 4 years. But what I have is the next 6 months.....

Sometimes I wish I could live here for many more years, and to continue in this life that I have been living. But I think more than anything, its because it's comfortable to me and anything else will be new and scary and NOT comfortable. Anyone who knows me well, knows that I hate change, unless of course I make the change and I am comfortable with it. So now that I am in my senior year with one semester almost done and only 1 more to comes change, whether I like it or not, and there is nothing I can do about it. I think my mom is probably right, I would stay in school forever because I like school, and because it would mean that I don't have to face life. But it's time for me to face the change, I can't stop it from coming, it will march steadily towards me, while I march towards it in only 160 days to the tune of Pomp and Circumstance. So instead of being sad, that I will have to leave this beautiful place, what will I do with the moments that I have left, and the time that I have left, and the once in a lifetime friends that God has granted me. What will I do that will bring glory to the One who has for now, given me this. I must seize those moments that come my way and I must jump on the opportunities, since they might just be my last. 

In no way, take this to mean that I don't want to graduate, I DO!!! After 4 years of school, I can't believe that its all coming true and that I will granted a Bachelors Degree in Social Work. I can't wait for that day May 7th, 2011!!!! But I am just realizing that I don't want to be so wrapped up in that day, and in the afterwards, that I miss all the beautiful pictures that God has yet to place before me. I think many of us seniors, would outwardly say that we can't wait until graduation, but inside we groan at the thought of having to leave what we love, and missing out on a life that has been good to us, and having to face reality for the first time in our lives....or maybe it's just me, who has these random thoughts. Regardless I am excited about the prospect of getting my Masters in Social Work and going to Grad school, at a place that only God knows where. I am excited about pursuing internships after that graduation, and working in a third world country, doing relief and development work, just like my dream has always been. And I am hopeful about pursuing photography that I can then use as a means of advocating for people, and children, and families, and communities, and villages, and countries, and nations that the world will finally sit up and take notice of these people. That's my dream, and I can't wait to pursue that. I can't wait for the day when I don't have homework, when my weekends are truly my weekends, when sleep is something that happens regularly, when holiday breaks get to be holiday breaks and not homework sessions, when a place to live is truly mine without a lot of rules and stipulations, when I get to own a dog, when life is not easier or grander or better or worse, its just simply......different. 

So can I be happy and sad, contemplative and excited all at once......I think I can.....Happy for what life is and where I am at, sad to be leaving this wonderful place, contemplative of lost and unclaimed and yet to come moments, and excited for all that God has in store for me, and the places I will go, and the things I will see. In 160 days, I know that I will be walking down an isle with all of my fellow graduates, but on day 161 I have no clue where life will take me. Will I stay here for another year for grad school, or will I be moving on from here. Where will grad school be? Only God knows where. Will it be New York City, or Los Angeles, Boston, or North Carolina, Cleveland or Cincinnati, Florida or Georgia, St. Louis or Chicago, Texas or Arizona. The options are plentiful and only God knows where...

If any of that makes any sense maybe now you will understand why sometimes I feel like I am living 2 or 3 completely different lives, and I am happy and I am sad all at the same time. What did I get from this? I will be excited for the future, loving the life I now life, thankful for opportunities that come my way, rejoicing in the small things, and not taking for granted all that God has, for now, given to me!! And now its back to cleaning and putting away clothes before all of the roommates come home!!

It's a new day....It's a new time....It's a new year....

Yes, this is the first blog post in a while... school is back in session now, and I have had to say goodbye to carefree days, days of shorts and tanks,  days spent with mom and my family, days spent sleeping in, days spent reading fiction for fun, days spent doing whatever, days spent with Kinzie, days at the fair, days at Crossing, and days spent blissfully in summer.... Instead I had to say Hello again, to school, to new transfer leader friends, to orientation weekend, to new students and their frantic parents, to the crazy move-in rush, to people all over my beautiful campus, to lines to get into chapel and lines in the caff and lines at the post-office and just generally lines everywhere, and going to mandatory new student meetings which i never thought I would have to do again, to crazy transfer events, to school actually starting and bringing with it homework and books and papers, to working and making money again, to getting to know new roommates, to starting an internship in which I need 400 hours before May, to making many new friends and connecting with old ones, and I said HELLO! to Senior Year..... all of this and more I have said hello to again in the last 3 weeks.
I was dreading coming back here. I had this amazing great summer, where God showed up and He blessed my life way more than I even deserve, and I grew in Him and in my faith and in my church, and in my friendships and I didn't want to leave all of that behind. But I also knew that God knew what He was doing and I knew I had to come back. It was only another year right?
And the most amazing thing about all of it was that God showed up here too! I don't know why I didn't think He would, or why I thought my time here would be of any less value than my time spent at home. But I have been incredibly blessed since coming back to APU. Everywhere I look I can see the hand of God in my life and the crazy part is that so much of it was set in motion last spring and was only waiting for my arrival.
This semester I am a transfer leader for new transfer students, and while I was happy to be one i wasn't jumping up and down for it. But I got here and the leader went on a retreat up in Big Bear (amazing place) for 2 days and it was so inspiring to develop those friendships and then when move-in day came getting to help all those new students move in and get them through orientation and all the events that happen and all the craziness of a new school reminded me of when I was in their shoes only a year ago and it was like God was saying "see look this is why you came back, this is why I put you here" and I love being a transfer leader and being that person for my transfers if they need.
This year I am living in a special living environment called the Discipleship House. And basically I have 20+ new people to call my friends and we are walking through life together. Which means once a week dinners and other events together and spending time in different spiritual disciplines and learning how to be a better follower of Jesus. Right now we are on meditation, and really it's no easy feat.
Plus I have 3 amazing roommates who I know are going to bless my life tremendously in this next year. I love them already!!
And now after 3 years of school, I get to say that I am a Senior!! One always dreams what it will be like to say that, and honestly I feel no different than if I were a sophomore or a junior. Its hard to envision that in only 9 months I will have my Bachelors in Social Work and that I will all of a sudden be an adult in a way. WOW!! I am not so sure I am ready for that. One part of my is super excited to graduate.... and the other part of me is really sad to have to say goodbye to all of this life and all of these friends, cause actually it's a pretty great place to be and a pretty great life.
ALSO, I started my internship last week. I am working with developmental disabilities and working on getting them paired up with the right services they need. I think I will like it and I am really excited to see where it's just the getting there that is hard for me. But 16 out of 400 hours down!!
And yes I had a birthday and yes I am another year older.... but more on that later....
Right now it's off to Senior Chapel...another Yeah and bonus for finally being a Senior!!!

Grace and Peace!!

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The Boundless Summer Challenge hasn't stopped.....I promise....I just need to type up the posts sometime....:)

In the meantime I am memorizing Romans is not an easy feat....but by the grace of God....And it will be one more thing to hide away in my heart and to allow it to transform my life...

"I appeal to you therefore, brothers by the mercies of God to present your bodies as a living sacrifice holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to the image of this world but be transformed by the renewal of your mind that you may discern what is the will of God, what is good, and acceptable and perfect. For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgement, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned. For as in one body we have many members and the members do not all have the same function, so we though many, are one body in Christ and individually members of one another. Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching; the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads, with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness. Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer, contribute to the needs to the saints and seek to show hospitality."

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Boundless Summer Challenge #8

Boundless Summer Challenge #8
Romans 12:3-8

AHHH another memorization....that was honestly my thought. But here I am again memorizing another portion of Romans 12. But while its hard to memorize I do feel that it is something that I can do, by the grace of God. I know that Satan would want to me to look and say that no I can't do it because I am horrible at memorizing things, but God says to hide his word in my heart and so I will. No matter what it takes. And this time around I don't have the excuse of 5 different verses that I have to memorize for VBS. And if my little group of 4 year-olds can memorize one verse from Proverbs in 5 days I think I can do this!! There that was my little pep talk to myself. :)

Romans 12:3-8.... “For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to thing of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned. For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, so we though many, are one body in Christ and individually members of one another. Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching; the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads, with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness.”

I love the fact that God has individuality within His body. If we were all the same then life would just be boring, I think. But he also has a caution for us to not let it get to our heads, which is way to easy to do. I think the phrase that stuck out to me the most was the one that says “ having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them.” God doesn't want us sitting around waiting for things to happen. He has saved us, he has given us each a measure of grace, so what then are we going to do with it. Sit around and wait for opportunity to knock or go out there and be intentional in our gifts of community.  

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Boundless Summer Challenge #7

Boundless Summer Challenge #7
Relationships from another perspective...

All around me I have seen relationships, but probably the most influential one in my 22.75+ years of living has been that of my parents 29 years of marriage. I never really got to watch my grandparents marriage as my grandfather died when I was 3 months old. I feel like my mom has the most to share and I feel like what she shares is probably the most important and the most biblical.
The one thing that my mom said is that life is not all about you. And that in a marriage it is all about reverencing your husband and giving him the honor that he deserves as a man. It is these things that has made my parents marriage stronger and better and I want a marriage like theirs some day.

Romans 12:1-8 and "We, Though Many, are one Body in Christ," by John Piper
I never really realized just how vital and just how important Christian community is to our lives. But reading Romans 12:1-8 I see just how much emphasis God is placing on the others in our lives and doing the one anothers with each other. I hadn't thought about for awhile that when I trusted in Christ as my Savior there was a union that is established between me and Christ in such a way that everything in Christ that can be shared will be shared with me. Everything that he is, and everything that he has can be shared will be shared with me except for his diety and his unique God attributes.
Secondly my individual identity, as God has created me to be- cannot be known except in serving you as I rely upon Christ. And Yours cannot be known except in serving others in reliance on Christ. It is such a counter-cultural idea that we are not our own really we are God's and we are a part of His body. But how much better is our christian life when we have this intentional christian community all around us.
I love this idea that unity of the body of Christ is created in Jesus Christ. And that my individuality is valued in Christ- and it is discovered in the body of Christ.
At the end of the day I want to stand in awe of Christ , I want to love Christ deeper, I want to admire Christ more, and I want to follow Christ and enjoy making much of Christ above all things. 

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Boundless Summer Challenge #6

Boundless Summer Challenge #6 
Essentials in a Marriage Partner....:)

In the list of essentials it is the Biblical list that is the only true one that even matters.... I don't believe that there is one right choice but good and bad choices. Something that is backed up in these articles and in 1 Cor 1:1-9. Primarily as a Christian, we should not even consider a relationship that would not feed my primary relationship with God. 
Some qualities in a guy that I see as essential are things like
-must be a believer and be growing (
-has to be willing and able to provide for his family
-be honest, good reputation, and strive for the qualities of a spiritual leader (Acts 6:3, 1 Timothy 3:1-7, and Titus 1:6-9). 
Measuring a man against this list and realizing he will grow, if he begins to meet these things then he could be considered marriageable.... even if he is shorter than me, or younger than me, or bald, or whatever other idea the culture around us has told us we should be looking for. 
Its not settling, its being decisive and making a Godly choice.

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Boundless Summer Challenge #5

Boundless Summer Challenge #5
I am on a role now getting caught up!!.....I did this one over the weekend....But I am just now writing about it.....:)

Today's challenge is about the kind of friend that you are, and it involved talking to a friend either in person or on the phone. You have no idea how difficult it was actually.....Because A) I hate talking on the phone...especially about serious stuff, and B) I hate asking about how I am doing as a friend to my friend....kind of awkward if you ask me...:)
But I had the prime opportunity this weekend when my friend and I were driving together and we had time to talk! She initially said she didn't know, but then we got to talking about ways that I felt I could improve as a friend and we talked at length about both of us being better friends. 
I know that I need to listen more to what my friends are saying and to be more in-tune with their lives and where they are going and what they are doing. I need to focus the conversation more on them than on me. Do you even know how hard that it is to do without thinking about it....
Lord let me be a person who is more focused on YOU and that You would enlighten my conversations.

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Nicole Yost
Azusa Pacific University
P.O. Box 9521 Unit 5026
Azusa, CA 91702
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Nicole Yost
Azusa Pacific University
701 E. Foothill Blvd. Unit 5026
Azusa, CA 91702
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Nicole Marie
Azusa Pacific University, 2011 Social Work Student. Los Angeles, California. Being Aunt Cole to my niece Kinzie Blaze. My Family. My Church family at Grace. The color Orange. Beaches. Photography. Family. Church. Reformed Theology. Ohio State Football. Kids. Shorts and Flipflops. Travel. 3rd World Country's. Sunshine. Graphic Design. Music. Movies old&new This is me and so much more
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