Kingdom of the Heart (part 1)

This has been a pretty intense week between Staff Conference and the book of Acts. I just barely got my work done and turned in on time, but pushing really hard all week (except for when I fell on my face Friday and struggled to regain motivation) was really worth it. Today I am really grateful and want to share two things I gleaned this week from the Bible. In two parts because it turns out to be a lot of words 🙂

Paul. I’ll be honest, in the past I have not been a big fan of the guy. I have often felt like there was no way I could uphold his standards. I mean, he went immediately from hard core persecuting Christians to proving that Jesus was the Christ in a very short space of time. He’s headed like a freight train in one direction, meets Jesus on the road to Damascus and BAM he’s headed the other way in an equally unstoppable manner.
There is something in Paul’s heart which encourages God to interrupt him and change his course. Paul heard Stephen’s beautiful speech (Acts 7) before the religious leaders killed him and maybe there was even something in Stephen’s face which deeply disturbed Paul. Maybe in his zeal for God he felt he was facing a powerful adversary and he himself needed to strike back with strength against whatever Stephen had. Until he met Stephen’s reason for preaching and realized that Jesus was actually the God he thought he was defending…. Continue reading “Kingdom of the Heart (part 1)”

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?”

The Meaning of Life

Continuing with thoughts from Perelandra… here is something I’ve been meaning to share for a few weeks. The way I have been spending my time has not lent itself much to reading and with school coming I must make time to read, but probably not this great book.

As you may know, Ransom spent the first book of the “space trilogy” on a planet called Malacandra- which we know as Mars. It is his and our introduction to  life on other planets. While he is there, he becomes close with a particular “tribe” of beings. He learns their language and their ways which serve to be part of the reason he is commissioned to take another trip in the second book…. Continue reading “The Meaning of Life”

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

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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”

Out of a silent planet

I’ve been trying to read books. A little success was made this last week.

I picked up  Perelandra by CS Lewis. It’s the second of  the “space trilogy”. In all fairness, I have read this book several times, so it’s less of an exercise and more of a favorite world to visit. What I love so much about this book, though, is not the interesting world, but the depth of insight Lewis shows concerning the mind of the main female character.

The main male character, Ransom, is sent to the planet of Perelandra with the job of saving its perfect and innocent first inhabitants from the dark serpent sent to corrupt them. Ransom is just a man.

This suddenly reminds me of what I did last Thursday night. I went with a group of friends to down town Colorado Springs to see if God had anything he wanted to say to people there through us.  Back in the days of Bible college this would have been Evangelism time but this was much less about putting notches on the soul conversion chart and more about revealing God’s character and His heart for whoever needed to hear…. Continue reading “Out of a silent planet”

let us press on

Depression does funny things to the mind. Maybe funny isn’t the right word.
I have certain certainties in my mind and I know I’m not just having a bad day when those certainties pop up like a broken photo link in my heart and mind.

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But maybe there are good things to be found in the land of emptiness and question marks and broken links. It definitely leads me to pay closer attention, ask deeper questions, walk more gently with my feet, pray more thoughtfully.
Am I just repeating the things I always pray? Am I handing people comfort or advice out of some prepackaged place in my head?
Am I listening?

I am listening.
And tired, too. And restless…. Continue reading “let us press on”

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”

In the Garden Alone

Last Sunday I heard a message about Jesus and his ability to identify with my brokenness.
Since I have been experiencing a lot of stress the last few weeks- with challenging assignments due, life decisions to make and a lot of important but forgettable details to hang on to, I was really struck by one particular way that he can identify…. Continue reading “In the Garden Alone”

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”

Conflict Mismanagement

School is quickly nearing its end.

I have learned so much, not only about the more technical aspects of communication, but also about people. Specifically the people here. Myself included.

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Poor communication is not just a problem for those who don’t take time to learn about it, it is a problem for everyone. People who are ‘professional communicators’ also struggle to communicate well within their personal relationships… Continue reading “Conflict Mismanagement”

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”

Beloved, listen to me

Yesterday morning I spent some time reading Isaiah. For some reason this is the main thing I read when I read the Bible.

I’m drawn to Isaiah.
I find myself identifying with him, craving the words there to be spoken to me and also,  I’ll be honest, I find myself a bit confused sometimes. I used to struggle with making his words personal. I wanted to, but I often told myself,  “No, this was a long time ago and God was just speaking to Israel”, but there are actually many places in Isaiah where God speaks directly to those ‘outside’.

Here is what I read yesterday… Continue reading “Beloved, listen to me”

Voice of Truth in a World of Hurt

I watched the documentary War Photographer last week for class and it has changed my perspective… or, rather, it has focused my vision for my purpose as a photographer. I’m so inspired by this man, James Nachtwey.