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Friday, November 28, 2008

Year in Review

It has officially been one year since I (re)started blogging. I gave myself 23 days and apparently I liked it.

T13 favorite posts from the first year:

  1. A Prayer
  2. Most Days
  3. A Conversation
  4. I'm Not Getting Anything Done...
  5. A New Man in My Life
  6. Star Wars Haikus
  7. 3 am
  8. A Poem
  9. I Am Going to Seminary
  10. T7 Things I Love About Camp
  11. African Sun
  12. On Gaithers and Grandparents
  13. Of Mice and Men

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Proof of Life

A heaping pile of dirty laundry.
A counter hidden beneath soiled dishes.
A bathroom mirror clouded by water spots.
A doormat weighted down by dirt and sand.
A tube of toothpaste rolled tighter than a sleeping bag.
A trashcan filled to overflowing.
A spot on the carpet screaming to be cleaned.
A screen door waiting to be exchanged for glass.
A heating bill begging to be paid.

Burdensome housework?

Or proof of life?

I 'spose it depends on how thankful we are for each breath.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Broken

My computer screen.
My garage door (still).
The Church's system of denominational segregation.
The leaves under my feet.
Our part of the covenant, never His.
Friendships with two individuals whom I would still like to consider friends.
People who I insist on idolizing anyway.
Not a single one of his bones.
The "7" button on my phone.
The yoke of slavery.
My leg, wrist, and pinky finger at one time or another.
The tablets of stone.
So many bodies. And even more spirits.
His body, for me.
3 mirrors in 1 year.
Me.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

One of Those Weekends

I had a great weekend.

I got to spend time with some old friends. I especially enjoyed my time with one particular person who is "that friend" to me. She is that friend who I have more history with than any other person (with the exception of my sisters). That friend who saved the emails I sent her when we were sophomores in high school. That friend who can make me laugh so hard at inappropriate times (like, say, during a wedding) that I consider leaving the room. That friend who stays up late into the night sharing some of the deepest parts of herself with me. That friend who "gets me" and with whom there are no pretensions. That friend with whom I can clarify potentially hurtful misunderstandings while standing in a buffet line. That friend who understands my quirky humor and genuinely thinks it is funny. That friend who can read the non-verbals in my electronic communication. That friend who I know will be dear to me for as long as I live.

I love old friendships.

I also got to spend time with a friend who seems to become dearer and dearer to me on a daily basis. One of those friends who I suddenly realize that somewhere, somehow, over the last two years has become so precious to me that it pains me to think of a day when I might have to "do life" without her daily presence. One of those friends with whom the well of "things to talk about" never runs dry. One who gives me a knowing look when someone tells me I am having a good hair day and I suddenly realize that she knows me. One with whom I can lay in bed and giggle like a third grader over something as simple as a slanted mattress. One who humors me by spending time with people she barely knows or has never met simply because she is a part of my life and they are, too.

I love blossoming friendships.

I also had the blessed opportunity to lay some further foundations with new individuals that I am excited to get to know. Fun, interesting people like a French-speaking opera singer who learned how to ski in the Colorado mountains, learned how to surf in the Pacific Ocean and who lived and studied in Vienna (which is NOT the city with the water-streets, just FYI). She loves Jesus, loves kids, gets excited about Africa and gives good hugs.

I love new friendships.


This last year has been filled with moments of intense loneliness and overwhelmingly satisfying blessing.
I learn deep truths about God's goodness and faithfulness to me through both.
He gives and takes away.
Blessed be the name of the Lord.

Monday, November 10, 2008

The Bridge

Every time I drive over it, I think about what it would feel like to fall and it makes me sick to my stomach.

Cornfused

I think my professor just said that we are chunks of hardened lava waiting to be "gobbled up" by God.

But I'm pretty sure that God has to be molten.
(Or was he just saying something about Moltmann?)

The Trinity makes my head hurt and I need to sleep.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Eventful Day

The "productive" part of my day is drawing to a close as I am about to leave my house to go spend the afternoon/evening with two of my favorite Rochestarians.

I was feeling momentarily frustrated because my one goal for today was to scan through all of my sources and figure out what the thesis of my contextual theology paper was going to be. After 5 hours at Panera, I still have no direction (although I do have 10 untouched sources, so there is still hope that something will pique my interest....). I was hoping to have more "paper momentum" by the end of the day than I am currently experiencing, so that is frustrating.

However, upon further review, I must admit that I did not have a fruitless day.

Top 3 Events of the Day:

1) I got my garage door fixed. This may not sound like that great of an accomplishment seeing how it only required me to make a phone call and be home at a certain time, but a broken garage door is the kind of thing that I can leave unaddressed for LONG periods of time (along with cracked computer screens, flip phones that are broken in half and held together with a hair binder, backpacks with holes in the bottom big enough for books to fall out of, etc.) so the fact that I got it fixed six days after it happened is fairly impressive (if I don't say so myself).

2) My dad's PET scan results came back with NO sign of cancer in his lymph system. This required absolutely no effort on my part whatsoever, so I can't call it an "accomplishment," but it was a significant enough event that I could have accomlished nothing else the entire day and it still would have been a good day. Bone marrow biopsy is next week. Praying for good results there, too!

3) I contacted the person I needed to contact to get direction on how to go about selling my house. I am meeting with her in the morning to pick up the first set of paperwork that I need to fill out!

A functional garage door...a cancer free dad...movement forward in the house dilemma...and it's not even 4:00.

I'd call that an eventful day.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

A Canyon of Hope

I enjoyed being out of school and having time to post.

And I enjoyed being in the early part of the quarter when I had the illusion of having time to post because nothing is due.

I enjoyed it a lot.

Now the conundrum I face is that the further I get into the quarter, the more thoughts I have to write and the less time I have to write them. So I have approximately 9 posts floating around in my head (and by "approximately" I mean "exactly"), only two of which will probably ever get written and none of which will get written today.

But here are a few quick thoughts from my day yesterday, in order of increasing significance to me (i.e. if this post is too long for you, just read #6 because that is the one main idea that prompted me to write it in the first place):

1) Craziest book title I have seen in a long time: "How to Profit from the Coming Rapture: Getting Ahead When You're Left Behind."

2) On Saturday, Lindsay and I drove by a gas station and I commented, "Do you think we'll see gas get down in the "ones" again?" I saw it last night. $1.99 at the Phillips station on 35W and E2. Crazy.

3) I asked one of my classmates last night what movie he had done for our "Theology and Film" paper. He did The Matrix. This is one of the two films I repeatedly mentioned as obvious examples of movies I would never want to do for this assignment because of their predictability. He went on to explain that the reason he chose it was because he had heard at least seven sermons on it and he knew he could whip out the paper without even watching the movie again. He then said, and I quote, "I just want the degree that says I'm a spiritual leader, I don't actually want to learn anything."

About 90 seconds later I discovered that he is an open theist and, in his words, "I quote Boyd more than I quote the Bible."

After this brief conversation, I came to the conclusion that on the issues of "Why I am in seminary" and "What I believe about God's sovereignty and foreknowledge" we are polar opposites. Unfortunately, I was unable to discover one single area where we did agree.

4) The Trinity messes with my head. Seriously. Typically, I don't mind when something messes with my head. Sometimes I even enjoy it. But as I dig deeper into this and realize how core the Trinitarian doctrine is to everything I believe and how thoroughly the Trinity affects every. single. part. of the Christian life down to our very identity as human beings, all of the sudden my head doesn't like feeling messed with any more.

5) On Saturday night, as I sat in Lindsay's car in my driveway after we returned home from a powerful night at the "Step into Africa: Experience AIDS" exhibit in Edina, I told her that I thought it might do me some good to sleep on my floor for a while. Right beside my bed. I think the thought may have been sparked by the rice and beans dinner that they served us at the banquet. One simple comment was made about how we were going to be eating similar fare to what a majority of the world eats and then the show moved on. No comments about the "sacrifice" we were making. No apologies. No refund. Just rice and beans.

Very cool.

(Have I told you lately that I have a deep respect for World Vision? Because I do.)

Although I have been making a bigger deal about the bed than it actually is, I keep bringing it up in conversation because, for me, it symbolizes all of the silly things I am clinging to so tightly right now. Things that are making it difficult to make big decisions despite the fact that they are absolutely meaningless and bear no weight in my decisions whatsoever. So I had the thought that it would do me good to not sleep in my bed for a while.

15 minutes later I was curled up under my covers falling asleep.

The next morning, I went to church and heard a sermon that got me thinking about all of the things I love about my dad (there IS a connection here....keep reading....). I actually had tears running down my cheeks during the benediciton because I tuned out of the prayer, started thinking about everything I love about my father, and it moved me to tears. So I decided to write him an email that afternoon and share those thoughts with him.

Except I never wrote it.

So here is what these two stories taught me as I thought about my weekend: It is NOT the thought that counts. If I do not hold my thoughts with enough conviction/motivation/belief to act on them, my life will not be changed and others will not be blessed through me.

6) I got a free Brian Bates CD this weekend (he sang at the thing Linds and I went to Sat night) and I discovered a song that speaks more clearly to where I feel I am at right now than anything I have heard recently. Here are the lyrics:

****************
How do you choose a spark over a flame?
When the flame has kept you warm
And the spark may not be safe
But how do you stop a heart from wanting to change?
To follow when the wind calls you by name
The lull of the familiar has held me here too long
So I'm gathering my strength and moving on

Chorus:
The canyon between
Here and where you're calling me
Seems so wide, looks so deep
But I know that I can't stay
To become all that I can be
The canyon's wide, but hope runs deep tonight

How do you measure hope filling a heart?
When it overwhelms the fear
And illuminates the dark
Into the light of day, now I believe
A better way is waiting there for me
Memories familiar are slowly growing dim
And I don't need to turn around again

*****************

Here's what Brian said about the song:
"When writing for this CD, God was calling me out of my comfort zone to a new place. I was willing, but not quite ready for the big leap yet. So if you are contemplating a similar move, this one's for you. Think of "Canyon" as your 'packing-your-bags' song."



So, those are my thoughts from yesterday.

It was a good day.


In addition, I have one (and only one) political stance to share with you today:
I voted and you should, too.


Now if you'll excuse me, I am working tonight, so I need to go claim a spot on the floor for my nap.....