Parenthetical Revelations

I’m in the middle of trying to write two final essays for the quarter, but wanted to record somewhere the things I’ve learned in the last three months.

There were lessons like how to turn a fraction into a decimal, into a percent; how to more effectively edit a piece of writing; how to (and how not to) interpret literature (this distinction was difficult because it’s very different than interpreting the Bible). But these things are not as fun to explore as the few tidbits that have taken me by surprise… Continue reading “Parenthetical Revelations”

Faith Part 2: On the Ground

We’re all trying very hard, aren’t we?

This morning I was awake an hour before my alarm was set to go off and I was filled with both excitement and anxiety (I start college today!). I decided to work out with that extra time and while working out I had so much inspiration about this specific post. I was going to title it, “Work: Burden or Blessing,” and it was going to help us all get a better view of God and who He has made us to be.

Not surprisingly, I managed to get really tangled up in stress before I could sit down and start writing. Instead of that calm inspiration I felt on the elliptical machine, I was staring at a white screen and I was filled with wordless frustration… Continue reading “Faith Part 2: On the Ground”

Paul’s Secret

During discussion group last night we went around in a circle talking about what we have learned from studying the New Testament. The students finished Revelation this week and will begin with Genesis on Monday.

It was so encouraging to hear the answers from the students because they are the reason that we, as staff, are here. I know that my part is a small one, but I’m grateful to have a part.

The staff shared, as well and I was glad to be last in the circle because I had no idea to say. I had some words floating around in my head and was also trying to listen to what others were sharing. It wasn’t until the person before me wrapped up that I grabbed ahold of the bones of a thought. Then the most unfortunate/wonderful thing happened. The truth I was trying to convey hit me as it was coming out of my mouth. Which, of course, means I cried.

Here is what I learned this last quarter:
Early on I was wrestling with the Apostle Paul… Continue reading “Paul’s Secret”

The Log in My Eye

Transitions often make it difficult for me to know who I am. I would like that to be different.

Oddly enough, one of my “Strength Finders” strengths is flexibility. I began to seriously question this “strength” sometime at the beginning of this year because I was flattened by a particular transition. Totally undone.

At that time I realized that what makes me flexible is my great intolerance for not fitting. It’s like a big splinter that I MUST get out RIGHT NOW.

no images were found

I’m not talking about morals or anything. I’m talking about cultural things which are not connected to morals- bed times, food habits, conversation topics, clothing, time orientation, what communicates respect or what is considered rude. All of these physical manifestations of culture come from underlying values and when I first enter a new culture those differences feel unbearable to me. So I have a tendency to wrestle hard with myself in order that those things not be points of conflict…. Continue reading “The Log in My Eye”

God In My Homework

The School of Biblical Studies was both the most difficult and the most rewarding thing I have ever done. Because I had not had a positive experience with school in the past, I had never wanted to do the SBS, afraid it would just be another opportunity to fail. And so when I felt like God might be calling me to do the school

no images were found

(just about 3 weeks before the school started) I wrestled hard to be totally sure I was hearing him correctly. To be honest, when it came down to it, I made the decision based on who God is and not upon what I feel I’m capable of accomplishing successfully. I took a dive because I would rather fall on my face in pursuit of God than be “safe” and miss what he has for me.

What I discovered during the SBS, was God himself… Continue reading “God In My Homework”

For Freedom

I have found an important clue to my life in the first 5 books of the Old Testament.

Let’s just ponder the Israelites. They spend 430 years in slavery in Egypt. They multiply while being oppressed. We’re not talking a little light name calling, we’re talking horrible physical labor with guards who have weapons to keep people in line. Then they are delivered from slavery by God through Moses and Aaron. The Hebrews at this time have all grown up in slavery in Egypt. They had likely heard stories about Abraham and Isaac and Jacob, but they may have been like distant fairy tales that meant nothing in the reality of daily toil.

So here God is through Moses with PLAGUES. Pharaoh finds it easy enough to not believe, but this guy is king and thinks himself to be a god.
The Hebrews, on the other hand are just watching while all this crazy stuff happens. Then they are ejected from Egypt and on the road. THEN God parts the Red Sea in front of them (not a puddle), while simultaneously keeping the Egyptian army (who was chasing them by this time) from reaching them. Then He destroys their enemies by allowing the Sea to fold in on them.

All that, plus a lot more, and what do the people do? They complain…. Continue reading “For Freedom”

Who do you say that I am?

I’m so impressed with Jesus.

Does that seem funny to say?

While reading the book of Mark several times now I have had a lot of thoughts- a lot of reactions which might be confusing if I write all of them down here.
The big thing that hit me at about the third reading is something a classmate expressed really well. She said, “the Jesus that we pray to? He’s the same guy we’re reading about right now.” For me it was more of a feeling or a kind of paradigm shift. Reading this “action” gospel, this telling of the ministry of Jesus which uses the word “immediately” so much as to be comical, I was suddenly reading a letter written by a friend about a friend. It stopped being a history book or even a “holy” book and became a first hand account of a man I know well. He is right here…. Continue reading “Who do you say that I am?”

Wake me up inside

Last night I watched the movie Amazing Grace with a few friends.
I heard about William Wilberforce during the school I did last fall on communications and I am again moved by his dedication to fight injustice… and keep fighting when it seemed too few were listening.

After the movie and while waiting for my laundry to dry I was thinking about this passionate abolitionist and, as

no images were found

usual, pondering what I will be when I grow up. I made some steps forward this week by letting go of some responsibilities that were not ‘the thing’  so that I can be freed up to for whatever ‘the thing’ might be. At the same time I have been totally exhausted and realizing that wherever I go I always end up having more people in my heart than I have energy to effectively walk with.
So I need boundaries and I need to stay really close to God who sees it all and knows for whom and how much I should be poured out…. Continue reading “Wake me up inside”

Influence vs. Propaganda

Today I am thinking about influence and propaganda.

I had a really good conversation with my friend Gorm about “social campaigns“. We studied social campaigns briefly in the communications course I recently took and although I did not have time to really dive deeply into the ramifications of it, I had warring thoughts in my mind about the rightness of them…. Continue reading “Influence vs. Propaganda”

Wherever You Go

Great change is required inside me for there to be great change on the outside.

I don’t think that is an exact quote, but I heard something like this on Sunday and it just came back to me as I was sitting here. I had a photo shoot yesterday with some friends and I was here at the computer to edit them.  I also needed to call someone with YWAM in Colorado to tell them that I will not be coming as soon as I had previously estimated, partially because I am broke.

Confused is a good word to describe how I feel. How much detail should I go into here on the internet?
I think, for one, that it fits with my personality to wrestle with decisions, directions and changes. I just do that. Sometimes I wonder if I overdue this part of the process. On the other hand it’s possible that I need the struggle to somehow prepare me for the eventual change…. Continue reading “Wherever You Go”

Choosing Awesome

Sometimes I get stuck in a horrible place in my head. It’s the place that believes that my lot is destined to be difficult and my future is clouded and full of lots of stuff I really don’t want to do.

No joke. It’s not pretty to admit it, but  I feel like admitting this might help me get out of the ditch I find myself laying in the last few days.
I wrestle and worry, crunching my eyebrows together and looking for places to hide. But it’s a little like slamming my eyes shut and cursing my self inflicted blindness. Since I cannot predict the future, what stops me from anticipating awesome things?… Continue reading “Choosing Awesome”

Coming to Town

Christmas comes but once a year.
Oddly enough that seems pretty frequent.

Every year I go through the same stages of Christmas Gift Anxiety. First, I don’t think about gifts until someone I know says they’ve almost finished their shopping. Then I think “holy crap, if they’ve just finished and I didn’t think about it until this moment, I’m way behind!”

no images were found

So if stage 1 is Oblivious, stage 2 is Stress. At this point I consider all of the people I want to bless and weigh that against all of the money I don’t have. This leads to stage 3, Disappointment. As a reaction to the disappointment I tell myself “it doesn’t matter. Why do we do this to ourselves every year? Everyone else knows how broke I am and will totally understand if I don’t get them anything.” I’m not sure what to call that stage… Denial? Continue reading “Coming to Town”

The Excellence of Joy

Several things want to burst out of my head and go galloping across this page.
I’ll start with the first and hopefully I will not get lost in a tangent and forget the big second thing.

Excellence
Last week this woman, a prophet, came and prayed  over us in class. Whatever you may think of prophesy or prayer, this woman was a beautiful, loud and honest version of wonderful. She said something to me about my desire for excellence in the details. At first I thought she was saying that I’m Detail Oriented, which would be an extremely inaccurate way to describe me. Unlike my mother and most of my close women friends, I am not a bean counter or an organizer. I do not get so much joy from making lists and checking them twice.
What she really meant was that I am Beauty Oriented…. Continue reading “The Excellence of Joy”

Part of You Pours Out of Me

Growth is painful. I attest to this.
Do I have to ask whether it is worth it?

Would I change the things I have gone through if I had the choice? This question has always bothered me a little. I wouldn’t want to boil down my hard times to one or two “why”s. Oh, THIS is why that happened. I don’t want to do that because it seems to limit the ripple effect of growth.

Today a friend payed me a high compliment by saying that he enjoys how honest I am with myself… not just honest to others about who I am, but honest with myself about who I am. After he said this I considered how it would be if I did otherwise… or rather, how it is when I do otherwise. I constantly come back to the reality that I must always live with myself. I cannot get away from me, no matter what I do or where I go. I am with myself when I wake up in the morning, at my side all day, and then, still there when I lay down to sleep at night….. Continue reading “Part of You Pours Out of Me”

Multiple Choice Personality

I recently took the Meyers Briggs test again. Several years ago when I took it said I was ENFP.  Extrovert, Intuitive, Feeling, Perceiving.

The info given seemed pretty accurate at the time.

When I took the test the other day I came up INFP. I went from being an extrovert to being an introvert. In one sense this is not such a big deal- my score as an extrovert several years ago was pretty close to the middle and my score now as an introvert is pretty close to the middle.

Somehow it still causes me to see myself differently. I have a  list of some of the main characteristics of all of the personality types and I find it interesting how much more I identify with the INFP than I do with the ENFP. So the shift is possibly not superficial but goes deeper into the ways I have been changed in the last few years. Continue reading “Multiple Choice Personality”