Wednesday, December 23, 2009
Anyways, I'm going to post more once I make more progress/finish the book.
If you want to check out the book you can order it here: Primal: A Quest for the Lost Soul of Christianity
Also, check out Mark's blog here. It's an interesting read.
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
The movie also re-kindled my desire to do something. Julia Child revolutionised the way people cooked. She made French cooking accessible to normal Americans like myself. I love that. And Julie decided to add something to her life to break out of the monotony.
I need that... I need to find a project to get out of the day after day routine. I would love to find something to do. Both women started their projects out of the need to do something. I need to find mine.
Maybe I'll stumble over one like these lovely ladies did. Who knows...
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Last Thursday night I had a rough time and was talking to Kate on IM about it. I was getting a bit more emotional that normal and started to cry and at that exact moment Kayla walked by. I think it surprised her to see me so upset, but maybe not. After I took a minute to "compose" myself I went down stairs to we could watch Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium like we had planned. After the movie I talked to Natalie and Kayla about what I had been thinking and how much it was hurting me. I don't know, somehow they got me laughing and from there on out for the rest of the night and the days to come I was good. It was like the breakdown never happened.
Then tonight happened. I know I should know better, but I skipped class today because I just wanted a break. Because of that I had an hour and a half to myself to think about whatever and once again my mind went to my lack of boyfriend. I was arguing with God (in my head) when Nat came up to see what I was doing. We talked for a couple hours and then we decided that it was a good night for her to learn how to play poker. So I taught her the basics and we played until Kayla was off the phone with her boyfriend then she joined us. When Kayla started playing it just bumped the fun up a couple notches. I mean, two person poker is OK, but three person is even better. They both kicked my ass tonight, but I'm not worried. I'll get them next time. I also am not sure I've laughed that hard in a long time. It was wonderful.
I am so thankful that I am living with them. They are wonderful and really do make my days so much better.
Thursday, October 22, 2009
Sunday, October 4, 2009
Thoughts and stuff about the last month:
- I have had 2 really awesome conversations with Kate Longtin. It's been really good talking with her about stuff that is on my mind. It is great that even though she is in Missouri and I am in Ohio that we can still stay close.
- I am really enjoying my life. I feel like I am starting to be able to just enjoy where I am when I am there. I was reading Lamb again and came a crossed something. It is Joshua talking to his Kung Fu master. Joshua says "Why did we set up twenty posts if we were only going to use three?" His Kung Fu master answers "Why were you thinking of twenty when you can only stand on one?" I love that. I love the realization that stressing about the future and thinking about the past doesn't do anything. I can only take one day at a time so why should I worry about what is to come?
- I am basically at peace with God. This is probably the first time in years that He and I have not been at odds over some decision. It is a wonderful feeling.
- I hate being sick. I have been coughing, sneezing, sniffling, and aching for about a week now. I'm totally done with it. I just want to be able to breath again and to not feel exhausted after 3 hours of class. But I am slowly getting better. Very slowly. Hopefully by Monday I will be rid of the fever and aches.
- I have been really into playing guitar again. I didn't play like at all last year so my fingers are sore after I play but I love it. I am learning more chords and through that more songs. It's great.
Ok, well my head is starting to hurt and I really should go to sleep before the sun comes up. Also, I am hoping to go to church before heading back to campus. So, good night all.
Sunday, September 6, 2009
Right now my housemates and I are hang out behind our appartment Natalie is coloring, Kayla is making a playlist of a dance party we want to have and I am, well, writing this blog post. It is awesome. It's like so crazy that this is real life. I mean, it's so surreal. But anyways, yeah.
Things I'm thinking:
- I love the weekends. All I have done is hang out with my housemates and just enjoy life. It's is so nice not to have to freak out about stuff. I love being this chill.
- My classes are FANTASTIC! I love them all. I'm getting better at ceramics, Old Testament is with Kaiser, so of course I love that. My two night classes are long, but very interesting, so I'm cool with them.
- I've decided to stop feeling bad about being single and just live in the moment instead of the future. I am missing the things that happen around me because I am always thinking that the next guy I meet may, in fact, be the one I live the rest of my life with. I am just going to enjoy and when I meet him I meet him. No worries. When I do start to feel bad for myself, I'm going to pray for him.
- That being said, I really want a baby. Is that bad? I don't think so because I am 20. I've had the abillity to have kids for the last 6-7 years. It's normal I think? Maybe?
Speaking of being in the moment, I need to go start thinking about making dinner. I'm gonna peace out. Catch you all later. <3
Thursday, August 6, 2009
- I love the weather we are having right now. It is 77 degrees outside and there are only the beautiful wispy clouds in the blue sky. It is the perfect weather to sit on my deck with some music and my computer and write.
- I officially have an apartment. I went to Witt on Tuesday and got the key to the place I will be living for the next two years. I am so excited to get moved in and start visiting friends.
- I cannot believe I am 20 and halfway done with college. I still feel really young and immature. I suppose that change one day.
- I want to bring back the Rock for a Change concert. I think I'm going to start planning it for this coming summer. I would love to get House of Heroes and Relient K to play for it. I think the cause we would be raising money for is Me to We/Free the Children. They work together on a lot of projects and both were founded by the brothers Kielburger.
- I am no longer going to feel bad about my idealism. Luther was an idealist, Mother Theresa was an idealist, and so was most every person who has changed and is changing the world for the better.
- I am really disliking being single right now. I was talking with Nat the other day about the kind of guy I think I need/want to marry. I want him to be an outdoorsy guys. I want to go canoeing and hiking with him. I would love for him to be able to sing and play guitar. I need him to be a strong Christian. Preferably a "light" guy to balance out my "darkness" as my friend calls it.
- Just found out my grandma is in the hospital. Now I'm worried that she won't make it to Christmas. I don't know that it is that bad, but I always assume the worst.
- The book of Romans is growing on me. DeEtte will be excited about that.
- Alina is moving to Seattle. That is like crazy far away. I'm gonna miss her. But I'm sure she will do great out there. And who knows, maybe I'll be able to go visit her someday.
- I really don't want to clean up the kitchen... please don't make me. Ok, fine. I will do it. But first I'm going to waste an hour on Facebook doing absolutely nothing, but not being bored at all while doing it.
So, that a little bit of what is going on in my head right now.
Friday, July 31, 2009
The week wasn't just about worship, but about service as well. My group helped to paint Room 310 in the Charles R. Drew Elementary School. It was a lot of work and by lunch most of us were in horrible moods, but in the end it was well worth it. We also got to know the guy in charge of the renovations on the school. His name is Troy. He hasn't left NOLA in over 4 years. He lost everything in Katrina, but is still working to get more and more schools open. He really is an incredible man.
Speaking of Katrina, you would be amazed how much is left to be done in the recovery from the storms of that fall. Everywhere we went there were houses and other buildings that are STILL boarded up. It's been 4 years since Katrina and Rita hit the gulf, and the levy broke. It is amazing how much work there is left to do. I mean, there are families still living in FEMA trailers. I know they wouldn't stand a chance with out them, but the trailers are smaller than my dorm room in Woodlawn. That is great for a short term fix, but not for as long as these people have been forced to live in them. There just isn't the man power to rebuild any faster than they are.
One of the things that was so cool about this trip was seeing how the 38,000 of us were such a presence in the city. You couldn't go anywhere without seeing some high schoolers wearing brightly colored t-shirts. It was incredible. We descended on that city like a swarm of non-destructive locust. The mayor of NOLA told us that the amount of we would accomplish in 3 days would take the city 3 years to complete normally.
In the mass gatherings we would have worship, then would listen to different speakers. It was really cool. I picked up on the recurring theme of how one person can change the world. It was an awesome time of affirmation for me. There was one speaker who literally said to not lose our idealism. That is something I needed to hear. It was also really cool how the Superdome was full of other people who are committed to changing the world.
I've been home from New Orleans for about 5 days now. I've spent those days resting and unpacking from the trip. Even still, I get really fired up thinking about the trip. I am so thankful I was able to go. It was most definitely a once in a lifetime experience.
Monday, July 20, 2009
Saturday, July 4, 2009
I love this line in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. For those of you who are not familiar with the plot of the movie/book allow me to explain. Voldemort is back and gaining power. The Minister of Magic, Cornelius Fudge, is denying the return of Voldemort and is increasingly paranoid that Dumbledore and Harry are going to create and army and over throw the Ministry. Because of this fear Fudge have placed Dolores Umbridge in Hogwarts as the new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher. She refuses to allow the student to use magic to practice the defense spells per Fudge’s orders. Harry and friends realize the folly in this choice, and they decide to take action.
That line says exactly how I feel about many things, including church. Though there isn’t a physical enemy we, as Christians, are supposed to fight, there is an “enemy”. We are supposed to fight against evil. I don’t know if you believe in a literal Devil, or just a figurative one, but either way we are instructed to continue to grow in Christ and not let evil get the upper hand in our lives. We are to not get discouraged, but rather put our hope in Christ Jesus; through whom all things are possible.
I do not believe that we have any excuses when we do not grow. We cannot blame our lack of growth on a bad youth program, or any other excuses you may be tempted to use. Just like in the movie, we are allowed to take matters into our own hands. Keep in mind, those in charge of the youth program are not against us. If the complaints are brought to those in charge as constructive criticism they will listen. I have faith that our leaders will not take offence as long as we are not insulting to them.
Some of you may be saying that you are too young, or the they won’t listen to you because you are only x# of years old. To this I say, rubbish! As it says in 1 Timothy 4:12, “Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity.” We are, as young people, told to stand up for what we know is right. If we aren’t growing in our faith, we need to do something about it. As I said before, we can talk to the leaders, or start up a Bible study of our own.
All of this to say that we, as young Christians, are not powerless in our growth In Christ. Recently I had been reminded that if something is not growing then it is dying. Please, I beg you; do not let that happen to you. I know we can do this. Trust God to show us the best way to approach this challenge. He will not let us down.
Tuesday, June 30, 2009
In memory of this year's YKBS here are some pics (and vids) from the year.
A clumsy princess:
An in-charge Ocelot
Old British Toucans:
A sleepy Sloth:
And a Sneezing Tree Frog:
There were also Crickets, Crocodiles and an Evil Sea Serpent who ended up accepting Christ because of the inhabitants of Shepherd's Island thus becoming known as "Nessie". He was names after Pirate Sparky's Cousin Nessie (she had a scaling problem...) Many shenanigans went on between shows and in rehearsals. Everything from the firing off of Diet Coke and Mentos to random dance parties and trust falls. It was insane, but I loved every minute of it.
Thursday, June 18, 2009
Sunday, June 14, 2009
I've been having a rough time recently being with these friends of mine. I love them all dearly, but I feel like they don't quite understand what I've been through in the last 12 months. I feel defective next to them. It's like, I'm still healing and am scared I'm going to ooze on them from my still fresh wound. I want to talk about it with them, but I don't want pity. I want to be able to just talk it all out, but there isn't the place for that.
My friends are still young. They are in high school. I used to get annoyed when people would tell me there is a huge gap between high school and college, but I understand now. We see things differently. I'm becoming bitter, they are still hardcore in love with God. I am not.
I am tired and never feel rested anymore. Maybe it's time I look for a therapist here in Hilliard. I'm starting to feel the cloud move in again.
For tonight I think I'm just going to go to bed. I'm exhausted and have an early morning ahead of me.
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
One thing that sucks is the lack of jobs here. I was supposed to work in the bank, but that unfortuantly fell through. I can't say I'm really upset about it though. I mean, I didn't really want to work there, but would for the money. Anyways, It's back to square one as far as the job search goes. I'm thinking maybe I'll check out Chick-Fil-A. They aren't open on Sundays, so that would be perfect for me.
OK, I need to do some major cleaning in my room if I ever want friends to be able to stay with me (which I do). Gonna crank some music and get to work.
Friday, May 15, 2009
I WAS JUST PREACHED TO BY A CATHOLIC MAN OVER FACEBOOK!!!!! HE WAS TRYING TO CONVERT ME!!!! I mean, what the HELL???? I am Christian. For God's sake, I am Lutheran... we are Catholic, just spelled with an L!!!!
I have nothing against this man. And even though the all caps would lead you to believe otherwise, I am not even angry about this virtual encounter. I am just trying to figure out why people think what they believe is the legit, singular truth. This man was convinced I am missing out on some part of God's Kingdom by being *gasp* Lutheran. I mean, sure I am missing out on something, but so is he. He is missing out on what it means to be Lutheran, or Baptist, or Episcopalian, or what have you, just as I am missing out on things. I feel as though we get so used to thinking we are right that we can't stop and see that other people may be right too.
In other news...
I am home for the summer!!!! YAY!!! I have really missed it here. There is just something calming about being home (even when I'm crazy pissed at my sister). I love coming home and spending time with my family and friends. And Grant and I are home at the same time, which is so cool. OK, I think I'm gonna go make coffee. Catch you all later.
Friday, May 8, 2009
This has been a shit-tastic year. I mean, let's recap, shall we?
Grandma Russell died in the summer before coming back to school. I didn't let myself grieve until I was back on campus (idk why, it just happened that way) Because of that I had a time of depression of which I am still feeling the effects. That was basically the first half of the year. When second semester started I spent a good 3 months fighting off various forms of the flu/colds/bronchitus. After I was finally "better" one of my friends killed himself. I got over that and started kicking major ass on classes (go me) but then last week a kid I graduated with died after fighting a nasty form of cancer for over a year. So, it's kinda been a rough year.
Even though it had been a horrendous year I have still had some great memories. There have been many nights of star gazing, including one last month when we saw 3 shooting stars. There was my fantastic Fall Break trip to DC with Sarah, Alyssa and Amanda. That was an all around great time. I found an instrument I'm pretty good at (aka drums) and have loved playing for CWS. I've played frisbee in the rain with some great people and have had awesome conversations with friends.
I guess this year hasn't been too terrible. I should remember that as it comes to a close.
I cannot wait for summer...
Friday, May 1, 2009
"RYAN LEFT HIS MARK!
Ryan Michael Salmons, age 19, passed away and earned his angel wings on Friday, May 1, 2009.
Over the past year, Ryan has fought with perseverance and grace. Many times when he could have been bitter and angry, Ryan carried himself with class and dignity. Ryan was the epitome of courage and strength.
People live various number of years. Some live to be a hundred, some in their 50's and 60's. I truly believe that only the good die young. My son Ryan was GREAT! Over the past year he has touch thousands of lives, many people he never met or knew. We would talk about making a difference and it is not the quantity of time but want you do with the time you have. Ryan could not understand why peoples lives changed because of him. He just continued to fight his battle. I tried to help him understand it is not the fight, but how you are fighting the fight. He just told me that he may never understand why people admire him.
Throughout the journey, Ryan continued to want to do for others. Ryan tried to help parents on J5 when their kids could not verbalize what the drugs did to them. He became friends with younger patients and treated them family. Even when the Blue Jackets signed him to a contract, he turned it into how he could help push the team to the playoffs. It was not about him. That was Ryan's spirit. That is who he was.
I am proud to be his father, friend, and have been blessed by having him in my life. Ryan, I love you with all my heart and look forward to seeing you again one day in heaven.
Once funeral arrangements have been completed, I will post the information on his blog.-Brad"
Needless to say it's been a rough one. And so close after the death of Peter. All I want right now is someone to cry too but everyone is out partying or working on homework and I don't want to bring them down. I want someone to come hold me, but once again I'm in my room alone. I don't know what to do. I don't know who to call. I just don't know...
Since finding out about his death this past afternoon all I've done is avoid thinking about it. I went right to a friend's room to be with people. After I went to dinner with them we went out and played Frisbee in the rain which turned into a game of ultimate in a downpour. It was fantastic. Allison, Julia and I went on a walk and just allowed ourselves to be washed by the rain. It was great, but now that I'm back in the room by myself every emotion I had been trying to avoid has come rushing in to suffocate me. I don't know what to do with myself...
Thursday, April 23, 2009
I pick up the New York Times today and that is the first headline I see. It is front page news, I mean, it's right below the main picture above the fold; prime real estate as far as journalism goes. I realize that there is a recession going on and all that jazz, but why is his death on the front page of the New York Times??? I'm not saying that he was a bad man or not worthy of the front page, I'm saying that there are many suicides committed through out the week all a crossed the nation, why him? I mean Peter didn't make the front page. Other than his obituary, I don't recall him even making it in the paper at all. Once again, I don't care that this man made it on the front page, but am rather lamenting the fact that Peter did not.
I don't understand why one life is seemingly being valued as more important that another. We are all create equal, right? We are all made of the image of the same, living, God. Why, then, are some people mourned as a greater loss than others? Plus, don't you think the family of the man in the above article is hurting enough without seeing that on the front page? I read the article and it didn't seem to care that he had left people behind, but was more concerned with what it meant for the company. This was a man's life that he cut short because of who knows what. Screw the economy. Let the family grieve in peace!
I did not know Peter very well, but since his death life has become so very different. When I am with friends who were close to him I can still feel their hurt when he is mentioned. I can only imagine the fealings of grief and remorse that his family is still dealing with. My heart breaks for them and my friends who loved him. I wish their was something I could do for them to make it better, but there is nothing but prayer for me to offer them. So, I will give them that.
OK, enough of this emoness. catch you all later.
Sunday, April 12, 2009
Saturday, March 21, 2009
That being said, I regret that time of my life. I regret that I didn't branch out more within the cast. I regret that I only got close to a handful of people, most of whom I don't talk to anymore. I regret not realizing that those years would fly by faster than I wanted them to.
I am so thankful to have had the chance to be in those casts with the people I was with. So many of them made an impact on my life and neither of us even realized it at the time. I see now how my experiences have helped to make me who I am today.
I hope that the kids in the cast realize that they are a part of something bigger than themselves. Those people they get dressed up in funny costumes and smear body makeup on every weekend will help make them who they are when they get to be as old as me. those memories, inside jokes, host family experiences and everything else that make Tetelestai so unique will stay with them for as long as they let it.
Sunday, March 15, 2009
What have I done with my life?
-Other than the year I was four I've never lived outside of Ohio.
-I've never been farther West than Chicago, further South than the Boarder of North and South Carolina, or further East than DC.
-I've never gone on a mission trip (I know... a shock.)
-I was a Girl Scout from Kindergarten through graduation, but never really camped (the rest of my troop was scared of bugs or raccoons or something stupid like that)
-I've never fully learned an instrument, but have a defined my taste in music (It's eclectic if you were wondering)
-I've never dated.
-I've never gotten straight A's
-I've never seen many movies (if you knew how many times I've gotten by on pop-culture references you would all be appalled.)
-I've never been to another country.
But I'm not the sum of all the things I've never done, am I? I mean, I have:
-played Softball, Soccer, Basketball, and Volleyball
-helped raise my baby brother
-gotten my picture taken in front of the Wiener-Mobile (with my mother of course)
-been through 3 (soon to be 4) semesters of college
-been to 6 or 7 Relient K concerts.
-taught VBS for 3 years
-worked in a Subway
-worked concessions at softball games
I'm sure there are more things of note that I have done, but I don't remember any of them.
Anyways, I'm not entirely satisfied with my life up to now. I am not one to regret things that have happened to me, but I do regret things I never did. I realize that if I had done more things like take a road trip out west, or gone on a mission trip to another country I would be a totally different person. I know that people are made up of experiences they have had and the experiences they never had. I just hope I have more to report after then next 20 years, but the way I'm going it's going to take damn near a miracle to make that happen.
Well, in 23 hours and 30 minutes I'm going to kiss my teen years goodbye... I hate this part.
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
OK, geek moment done for now.
Sunday, March 8, 2009
really? guard my heart?
What does that even mean???
Is it like guarding the basket from the other team when they have the ball?
I did a quick Biblegateway search for "guard your heart" and came up with 2 verses, one in Proverbs:
Thursday, February 5, 2009
Wednesday, February 4, 2009
Sunday, February 1, 2009
I put this up to cover the ugly green plastic thing that is in front of the light above my desk. I was looking at it and noticed how the light comes through so differently in each little section. None of the sections are the same size, or shape or intensity of color. That got me thinking about God and how he doesn't come through us in the same way. Some people show God by listening, others by talking, and still others by coloring a picture and taping it to their neighbor's door. We may not know how God is shining through us, but other people see it and ultimately that is what matters, right?
Friday, January 30, 2009
Day 19: Myers Hall
I know, it's practically a postcard, but I really liked how it looked today. My real camera died, so I had to take this with my cell. I think it turned out pretty well considering.
Thursday, January 29, 2009
OK, it really is time for bed now. I hope tomorrow this excitement is still here. lol. night!
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
Monday, January 26, 2009
The music swirls around me
I close my eyes
Hands in the air
In my mind I see her,
A person decaying and shriveled
Her green-grey skin falling off
As she tries to move forward in the dark.
Then a light shines on her
And blood pours over her
As it flows the decay peels away
And out of death, birth
The birth of a new me.
“This is who you were meant to be”
I can almost hear the words spoken
I love you and am proud.
This is who I see.
The song’s words echo around me
“What can make me whole again?
Nothing but the blood of Jesus”
I finally see how true they are.
Monday, January 19, 2009
I am TERRIFIED of my spanish class. I have no idea what's going on in there. She teaches in all spanish, and I am so lost. I wasn't very good at that language in High School and I'm so much worse now. it sucks! I mean, I've already been in tears over this class and it's only the second week of classes. that shouldn't be happening. I just don't even know.
On top of that, I was really looking forward to my family coming today, but they aren't here yet, and I'm getting nervous that they are going to bail. they have a history of doing that. All I need right now is my mom. I know that's real lame, but she's like my best friend, and I'm still a kid in my mind.
Basically, I'm really homesick and am having a bad day which makes everything so much worse! Whatever, I'm just gonna go take a shower and hope that helps me get back to being myself.
Saturday, January 17, 2009
Friday, January 16, 2009
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
This is my chance to show off my little brother. He is the one in the tan cargos. That basketball you see in the hoop just left his hand. He's gonna be the next (white) Michael Jordan. haha
Sunday, January 11, 2009
On another note... you guys should check out my friend Joey. His music is AMAZING!!!! So, yeah. Check him out.
Saturday, January 10, 2009
So, I know Christmas is over, but I love this manger scene. My grandparents made it years ago. It's one of the many things that remind me of home. With the time coming for me to head back to school and while I'm incredibly excited to be able to live my own life again I know a week into it I'm going to miss home like crazy. I will just have to remember that it's not like I won't ever get to go back home, I just have to wait a bit.
Friday, January 9, 2009
Wednesday, January 7, 2009
Tuesday, January 6, 2009
The church is not a building, but rather the people in the community of faith. How, then, can we expect to have a great church when there is next to no community? Part of me wonders if that is why the campus ministries aren't doing as well as they had hoped. Well, all of them accept Young Life. It's like YL is always together. They know what is going on in eachother's lives all the time. If someone is having a rough time the community lift's them up. If something good happened to someone the community celebrates with them. They are always living with each other and are sharing everything. It's the closest example we have on campus that we have to the church described in Acts. "All the believers were together and had everything in common." (Acts 2:44)
It is sad, but when I look around CWS I know about half of the people who come. That half I know well. They are some of my closest friends. The others I know nothing about. I don't even know most of their names. It's very different from last year. I felt like I knew basically everyone last year. This year I don't even really know the team very well. No wonder I'm starting to not enjoy going. I love hanging out with Sarah Dennett and Alyssa Armstrong, but I can do that outside of the service. There is very little reason for me to be there. Most of the time I don't even really listen to the sermon. How horrible is that?
I guess I just need to stop griping and try and deal with it. I would love to be able to change it, but I don't know how. I know that I can always talk to the people I don't know, but that only helps me. I want to help make the whole service better. I want to help strengthen the whole community. But how? We started a facebook group... no one uses it. I (and a couple others) want to overhaul the service, but Pastor Rachel fears that people who like the service the way it is won't continue to come. I don't know.
I feel like all people focus on is how to get the word out to the rest of campus so other people will come. I'm starting to think that we should really focus on the people we have before we try and expand. If we can get the members of our "congregation" to honestly be part of a community and be excited about it then they will spread the word themselves. We will have very little advertising to do. Word of mouth is one of the best forms of advertising in my opinion. I put more weight on things my friends ask me to go to than on things I see on fliers.
Ok, my little rant is done. if you have any input feel free to comment.
Sunday, January 4, 2009
It's 3 am and here I am; I'm still awake. I really don't know why. Maybe it is the Dr. Pepper I had at 10, or maybe it's the fact that my heart feels heavy tonight. I don't know what it is that is making me feel this way, but I just feel down. This has been really unexpected though. I mean, I have been learning so much from God, I have felt so connected to Him. It's not like a camp mountain top high, and I most certainly am not reading my Bible anymore than usual. I don't know, I just was feeling... whole. I was loving being home with my family and not having to worry about classes. I don't know. I guess I haven't been feeling able to really be myself. I'm sure once I talk to mom about it I will be ok.
Onto another topic of sorts, I've been feeling really convicted recently on a couple things:
I am incredibly blessed. I have so much and yet I feel like I am entitled to more stuff. I get mad that my car doesn’t work like it should and that it isn’t a nice, shiny new car. I want a nice house and clothes that are semi-cool. I have all of these things I want, but they do nothing to help the people around me. This greed, for lack of a better term, has blinded me to the many blessings that He has given me. I need to learn that my comfort is not necessarily guaranteed to me; only that God will be with me. Like Jesus said, “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.” (Matthew 6:28-29) Why do I think God can’t take care of me? So, in a nutshell, I am convicted in my greedy ways of thought.
I am not healthy. I am too out of shape. I’ll be honest, I’ve had to fight a lot of image issues seeing as I’ve always been on the larger side. Well, no more. I am going to get in shape. It will be an act of worship. I mean, Paul says it best in 1 Corinthians. “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20)
I need to get out of debt ASAP. I know, I’m in college and so debt just kinda happens. Well, I don’t think that is something that should be hanging over me. It may be unavoidable for a time, but eventually I will be able to work it off and get out of the hole I’m already in as a 20 year old. I’m going to start small; I’m going to pay off my credit card then try and not use it for things other than emergencies. I mean I’m just feeling really convicted in having debt because God tells us to not owe anyone anything. (Deut 15:6, Proverbs 22:7) Plus, person cannot serve two masters, God and Money, so as long as I have dept riding over me then I cannot fully serve God.
Thess may all seem like lofty goals, but I’m convinced that they are attainable. Even if I fail in some aspect as long as I follow God’s heart I should be fine. It can be read in Micah what the good way is. “He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” (Micah 6:8) So, yeah. I guess that’s all for tonight. I really should go to sleep now. I’m exhausted. Night!
Friday, January 2, 2009
Yesterday my mom, sister and I went to the store and bought a shit-ton of food, it was all finger food and appetizers. We threw a little New Year’s party for the five of us at the end of the night we still had a good amount of food left. I put it in plastic bags, but let’s be honest… who really wants day old mozzarella sticks? That food will either go bad or get thrown out. Either way it was wasted. This happens all the time with my family, but I’m sure something like it happens with other families in America. We can’t possibly be alone, and statistics say we aren’t. According to Timothy Jones Americans throw away 14% of the food we buy. We do this while there are “kids starving in Africa.” Yeah, ok, we really don’t need another guilt trip about world hunger, but no matter how often it is talked about nothing seems to be changing.
So, through all of this I’ve come to a harsh realization. I have no idea what Jesus is teaching. How can I? I’ve grown up in the equivalent of Ancient Rome. I am one of the oppressors that Jesus rants and rails against. It’s like all this time when He has been teaching on the necessity of loving your neighbors and praying for your persecutors He hasn’t been talking to me, but rather about me. I am part of an Empire. I am an Egyptian in the sense that I am an oppressor. I am the one demanding pyramids be built in the sweatshops in Asia. I am the one who expects more and more bricks be baked out in the coffee fields of Colombia. I am the problem.
So what can a member of the Empire do beyond know that they are working against what God wants and feel guilty about it? Well, for starters I can start to pray and ask God to align my heart with his. Once He has done that I can see clearly with His eyes instead of mine. I speculate that once we have become more in tune God will use me to help the oppressed. It is a lesson we have learned over and over in America. It is one thing for the oppressed to cry out in anguish over an injustice, but when a member of the oppressing party joins the cry people begin to take notice. Take, for instance, the Civil Rights movement. When you look at pictures of rallies you expect to see mass quantities of Black Americans holding picket signs, when your eye happens across a White American it makes you notice them, and in turn you look at the sign they are holding and then you see that they wanted equal rights for their American brothers and sisters. We may be an empire, but we don’t have to perpetuate the exile the rest of the world must feel they are in.
God hears the cries of the oppressed and he is on their side. As a Christian, it is my desire to be aligned with God. That means I am on the side of the oppressed. That is good in theory; the sticky part is how it looks. Right now, I’m basically failing at translating it to action. That’s ok, I’m not perfect. I’m going to continue to pray for God to break my heart in the way his breaks. I want him to present me with opportunities to be one of his faithful people.