12.12.2007

Even Better News!

So...I've had a revelation. It's a good one. It makes me feel better about the church, which I think is important. I think it will help me let go a little bit. Are you ready for it? Good. You better be.

It's about love.
and life.
Together.

Deuteronomy 30:19-20

“I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse. Therefore choose life, that you and your offspring may live, loving the Lord your God, obeying his voice and holding fast to him, for he is your life and length of days, that you may dwell in the land that the Lord swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them.”


So I've been wondering how loving God and being loved by Him ties into doing His commands and being zealous for Him.

There! In Deuteronomy! There is the key!

LOVE AND LIFE. LIFE AND LOVE.

mmk. So here is the deal. We've done a really crappy job of understanding what our Father has to say. These commands are indeed about making Him happy, but it is more about making ourselves happy, because that is what makes Him happy. Does that make sense? I'm hoping it does. I shall expound.

There is a way that seems right to a man, but the end of that way is destruction.

God has a list of things that--if they are fulfilled by us in our life--will bring peace and stability and love to our society. Don't kill, don't commit adultery, don't eat pork, take a break every once in a while.

These statutes are about freeing us from pain and disappointment. They are about helping us have guidelines for making good decisions and about leading us to a greater connection with others and with our God!

A lot of times, as Christians, we forget that it is all about love. We look at the list as a bunch of things that we must do to make God happy or to be on His good side and get into heaven, rather than an opportunity to get closer to Him. We shun others and we shun ourselves when we don't do them correctly, but if we realized the extent of amazingness of God's commands, wouldn't we drop everything to pursue them? They are about life--full life.

And I guess with that being said, we also have to acknowledge that we can't do everything on our own. That was the point of the Old Covenant. It was to tell God's people that they would never be able to have a full life on their own accord--that rather, He would send us a Balm, a Healer, a Counselor, Strong Tower and Friend to connect us to God and to life.

We, as humans, innately choose death.

Sugar
Inactivity
Spiritually disconnected Sex
Horror and death
Hate
Greed
Pride

That's just what we do. That is the Fall in our hearts. We have a need to be connected and the flesh and the world tell us that these things will heal us--satisfy us, please us, connect us. In these things we feel that we will find connection in the world. Acceptance and love.

Which only come from God.

And I suppose we're insatiable. That is what Moses was talking about in the book of Genesis with Adam and Eve. They had everything! A tangible relationship with the God who created them, any needs that they had met by the Garden, a connection with each other. But that wasn't enough. Just the whiff of something beyond their reach and they were climbing on a ladder to reach the top of the forbidden tree.

So we have a hole. Even with our needs met, we are inherently going to be reaching for more. And that is what Jesus is about. Having a relationship with Him is to help us embrace life.

And having the rules--more like guidelines--is to help us embrace life, too. Sometimes we can't feel His presence or see His face, but if we try to follow those commands, life will be better for us because we will be embracing life.

This has a catch that we've been feeling the effects of for the past 2000+ years.

These rules don't determine if God loves us or not. Yea, they determine if God is happy with you (and that didn't come out right, but I mentioned earlier--God's happiness stems from our happiness. I'm pretty sure He is elated when He sees His children making life-giving decisions, just as it greatly grieves His heart to see us scrambling for death to satisfy our desire to live), but they don't determine His love for you. He isn't punishing us (necessarily--keep in mind that He is just and that things happen and He intervenes...), but rather, when we don't follow His guidelines, the things that He says would happen will happen, because that is the way of the world, and those are just the consequences of our actions.

The Church--we as Christians, me as a little Christ--fall into this trap! Thinking that doing or not doing these things will make God extremely angry. I think it actually just makes Him really sad. Yes, God is just and things are going to happen as consequences to our sin, but we are not supposed to turn people away who need and want completion. We're all broken, we're all undone. We turn away people from church because they smoke or they struggle with homosexuality or they cuss. They don't fit in with what a Christian should look like, we say. They aren't following the rules that we try so hard to follow. We have more brownie points than they do. We have nice clothes and nice cars and we have food on our table, so we must be doing something right.

Agh! How much we've missed the point and turned into Pharisees! How I've missed the point and turned into a Pharisee! The Church is about love and completion. The rules are about love and completion. When someone messes up, we should be the first by their side, loving them into a more intimate connection with our God, instead of shooing them away and trying to clean their sin-stain from the seat of the pew on which they were sitting.

So that is all I had to say.

Not much, right? lol.

But there you go. Love, law, grace, life, freedom. Together, the way it should be.
Comments?

12.10.2007

Good News

So I think that I didn't do too poorly on my EVE 491 (or 410 or 490 or whatever the number is...Water...err...Process Chemistry...) exam, the presentation for TCO (Edison Lighting Solutions) went well, and Dr. Lackey asked me if I wanted to do research with her next summer! Yippee! That would be so much darn fun.


I felt like it was exciting, but even more than that, Laura Jane mentioned that it really is an honor to get a professor to ask you if you want to do research. I really like Dr. Lackey. I actually really like all of the Environmental professors. She (Dr. Lackey) even made it sound like the other professors were considering asking me, too.

I have an exam tomorrow.

I have friends.

I have a good life and the sun was shining today.

And I had a spicy black bean burger.

And life is good and I get good things that I don't deserve.

And God is good.

And I want to be more like Him.

I want to love Him more.

I want to be drawn in and to shed my shoddy ideas of religion and just run after Him.

Awaken me.

But first I shall take a nap.

11.19.2007

What Matters More...

Or how do I balance the two?

1. That all You want is for us to be complete. Sex, food, pain, sin, all of it, is just our way of trying to complete ourselves, and You offer completion and connection.

2. We are to be zealous for your justice, holiness and glory. We should be willing to deny everything and everyone to be focused on You and our relationship with You, alone.

11.15.2007

Persecution and Intimidation

I'm feeling pretty down. I'm really tired of being me. I'm tired of the people and the pain and the fakeness.

I'm tired of doing things to make people feel better. I'm tired of guilt and selfishness. I'm tired of making excuses and lying to cover up mistakes.

I'm tired of doing a half-assed job.

I'm just so stinkin' tired.

11.14.2007

Forgetfulness.

I had a really great topic that I wanted to bring up on here, but I totally forgot it already.

We lost to Bama last night. 90 to 83. Good game, though. Good game.

11.13.2007

What is this stuff called Life and Work and Grades?

Why do we run around anxiously trying to make ends meet?

Why do these things matter more than other people?

Why do I think I matter more than other people?

Gah.

11.12.2007

Giving

America makes me mad. Why is it always so hard to give up stuff for others who need it more than I do? Gah.

11.07.2007

God

Do any of these things truly warrant me wondering and mulling over them?

I get this feeling at times--when I'm away from everyone--that God is so much bigger than we imagine Hir to be. Genderless, originless, limitless, my God meets and exceeds the ideas we present in trying to describe Hir. I mean, like way exceeds.

And we're so dumb, God just kinda broke it down for us--Allows us to feel pursuit and romantic love so we can sorta (?) identify the complexity of God's love--that it is so much deeper and passionate and fulfilling than our own. Allows us to think of Hir as a Father and Jesus as a Son so we can compare the depths of the similarities and the heartbreak and the sacrifice that God suffered through to find us again.

Shepard, King, Counselor, Friend, Judge, Mother, Father, Creator, Artist, Musician, Poet.

You are Truth.
You are Good.
You are Big, Big, Big.

Teach me how to center myself around You. May my interactions, work, and love of others be a reflection of You today.

You are bigger--more wonderful--more challenging--more loving--more wild--than any other ideas we may have of You. Unleash Yourself. Run wild in our midst. May we thirst for You and Draw all men to Yourself.

Fridays in the Cafe

They always feel different for some reason.
Maybe it's the unspoken tension-food service employees, eager to serve the last meal so they can run home to their
families,
cars,
shopping,
food,
addictions,
friends,
God.

Or students, tired from a week of
studying (or not),
working (or not),
networking (or not),
sleeping (or not),
eating (or not),
are ready to shake the dust from their heels and embrace one of those highly coveted weekends.

They're ready to
dance with that girl,
sleep for more than 3 hours,
drink choice beverages to excess,
visit family they haven't seen in 2 months,
work on service projects,
engage in someone else's life...
or maybe...
sit quietly and get lost in a book.

Weekends mean freedom:
from classes,
from peers,
from standards,
from life.

And we all sit around, waiting, anxiously, for Friday to die.

emh
10/05/07

11.06.2007

The Good Way

by Avalon

Traffic noise, expensive toys
A love that never last
Broken homes and self-made thrones
We're livin' life too fast
That we forget the things that His love brings
Beyond what this world is
I can hear it still today
What the preacher used to say
This is how you live
You've got to...

CHORUS
Believe in you heart
Right down to your soul
And speak the true things
And know that you know
'Cause this might be the day
So live like it is
Find the good way
And walk in it
Walk on

Saints of old and streets of gold
Will gaze upon His throne
Singin' holy, holy
God of glory
We'll worship Him alone
So keep your eye on the sky
While it's all passing by
This world is not our home
'Cause someday soon
We're gonna be made new
But until then
You've got to...

Take a look around
The world is falling down
Why can't we see
That it's almost over
The clouds are rollin' in
He's gonna break the sky
The dead are gonna rise
Those who are alive in Him
Will fly, will fly

Find, find the good way
Find, find the good way

11.04.2007

Burn Us Up

God, burn us up with a passion for making You known. All of us. Even those who don't think You're real or that You're good or Truth.

Burn Us Up

by Shane Barnard

There were three before the king.
There were three who wouldn't bow to him.
For when you heard the music play and you were standing you would burn.
They looked at him and said...

Burn us up. Burn us up. Burn us up.
Oh, king won't you burn us in the furnace your desire.
We give up. We give up. We give up.
Oh, king won't you burn us in the furnace your desire.
Oh won't you throw us in the fire.

The king enraged at what they said.
Sent the three away to find their death.
The palace stopped in unbelief when the guilty raised their hands to sing...

Burn us up. Burn us up. Burn us up.
Oh, king won't you burn us in the furnace your desire.
We give up. We give up. We give up.
Oh, king won't you burn us in the furnace your desire.
Oh won't you throw us in the fire.

You are able to deliver from the fire of affliction!
It's the declaration of my Lord!
You're not an image of gold!
You're the God of Old.
You have made us. Come and save us. We are yours!
But even if you don't we will burn.

So burn us up in the furnace of your desire.

11.02.2007

Pour Out

I think that it is so interesting--the switch between when a set of words mean something to when they are just words.

Where is the transition between meaning and repetition?

Why do we sing the same worship choruses over and over again? Should we come up with something new each time?

It makes me sad that
Shout to the Lord
Breathe
Unashamed Love
Shout to the Lord
Heart of Worship
Amazing Grace
Indescribable
How Great is Our God
and countless others...

...have become icons and idols, tangible expressions of our lazy and self-serving hearts. We sing songs because they meant something to us at one point in time, not because they are reflections of how much we think You are worth. Not now.

What does true worship look like? Is it in our lives? Is it how we read Your words? Is it how we love others? Is it making up new songs all the time?

I feel like claiming people.

I feel like loving people.

I want to love those that I've fallen out of love with.

I want to fall in love with You again, too.

Woo me. Seduce me. May I run after You.

Pour out your water, that I might take a sip
Your love consumes me, every drip
It is like honey on my lips
So pour out your water, that I might take a sip

And your words are a lamp unto my feet
And I walk down these dark and lonely streets
You are all I need

Pour out your mercy, and clear this busy mind
Your love is like eating a slice of apple pie
It is like sugar on my tongue
So pour out your mercy, clear my busy mind

And your words are a lamp unto my feet
And I walk down these dark and lonely streets
You are all I need

Your words are a lamp unto my feet
When I walk down these dark and lonely streets
You are all, You are all, You are all,
You are all, You are all, You are all, You're all I need

10.31.2007

J-Cup and Masturbation

So today was the beginning of something good. Hannahvann and I walked to Joshua Cup to talk and enjoy each other's company. That girl is beautiful and brilliant. She is a giver.

The big conversation of the night centered around sex. Abortion, concentration camps, connection, healthy relationships, charity (Britain, Kenya, and mosquito nets), societal norms, and masturbation were all brought up at some point in time as Hannah sipped her Moroccan Mint tea. I, of course, didn't get anything, because I couldn't make up my mind. I want to be healthy, but I want to support the businesses that need it...hm. Sometimes it seems that alot of my ideals don't always coincide.

I really feel like we have a connection and it is selfish of me to let my relationship with God slip, because I feel like Hannah needs someone strong to identify with. I don't think strong is the word. Well, but it is. I want to be strong in His Word, so that she can embrace it more readily. I want to be a champion of the Truth so that she desires You more readily.

I don't want to have a conflict of interests, either. I really want to engage and pursue with the goal of showing her You in mind. Same with all my other friends and--haha--girl crushes.

What is the benefit of being right? What is the punishment for being wrong? What is the goal in life? How do I center myself around it?

I feel far from You. I feel like I'm floundering, but I also feel like everything is going to be okay. I feel like I've got some big decisions in front of me, but I also feel like it's all gonna come out in the wash.

Please help me to center my life around You. Please help me to learn how to concentrate my focus so that I use my nature and nurture in a way that draws Your children to You.

God, You're calling. It's okay if You don't want to give me the words all the time, and if You want to let me stumble alot. I can take it, with Your help. I fall down, I get up again. Life is just a bunch of hits and misses. I've gotta learn to give and take.

Balance.
Yin and Yang.
Peace and Love.
Mercy and Justice.
Moderation.
Sexual Connection.

And on that note, I'll end with my

Thoughts over Proverbs
I just finished reading about the Proverbs 31 woman. She is wise, she is kind, she is strong, she is trustworthy


[A brief aside, I'm not wise nor kind--to emphasize this point, me and my dumb tongue spread cruelties about Ross again today. Gosh, I hate me! I will never, ever, tell the story of my first date ever again. I will speak good of Ross, I will encourage people to like him. Anyway. back to Proverbs]

I find none of these things in myself.
I am foolhardy and awkward.
I am selfish and bitter.
I am weak and falling.
I am deceitful and wrong.
Is there hope for a girl who is so easily right in her own eyes?
Is there hope for me to gain wisdom, kindness, strength, and honesty?
At my heart, I am evil, but at my soul I want more, higher, cleaner.
I am a lazy glutton.
And I half expect a miracle to change me.
Why can't I change me? Am I supposed to change me?
How does this work?
I take wisdom over silver and knowledge over gold. It is better than any jewels, and all I can desire can't compare.
You are wisdom.
I want You.

10.29.2007

Control

If you don't have self-control, who has control over you?

Ew.

I need to exercise some self control.

I'm going to play guitar.

10.24.2007

Restless Weaver

Restless Weaver, ever spinning threads of justice and shalom;
dreaming patterns of creation where all creatures find a home;
gathering up life's varied fibers - every texture, every hue;
grant us your creative vision. With us weave your world anew.

Where earth's fragile web is raveling, help us mend each broken strand.
Bless our urgent, bold endeavors, cleansing water, air and land.
Through the Spirit's inspiration, offering health where once was pain,
strengthen us to be the stewards of your world knit whole again.

When our violent lust for power ends in lives abused and torn,
from compassion's sturdy fabric fashion hope and trust reborn.
Where injustice rules as tyrant, give us courage, please, to dare
live our dreams of transformation. Make our lives incarnate prayer.

Restless Weaver, still conceiving new life - now and yet to be -
binding all Your vast creation in one living tapestry;
you have called us to be weavers. Let Your love guide all we do.
With your reign of peace our pattern, we will weave your world anew.

10.22.2007

computers

Quotes, ideas and responses are rolling in. Man, I hate the computer. What time I can waste!

10.21.2007

Wrong, wrong, wrong.

Ever just felt like everything you were doing was wrong?

Me too.

10.20.2007

Hate

I hate myself.

I hate that I am very curious about things that poison my mind.
I hate that I am so bitter towards others.
I hate that I can spend hours wasting precious time.
I hate that I am selfish and want more, always.
I hate that I'm lazy, and don't like to put forth more effort than necessary.
I hate that I hate people right now.
I hate that I don't push myself to do more.
I hate that I am always doing what I can to get attention.
I hate that I'm not motivated.
I hate that I am me.
I hate me.
I hate that I hate me.
I hate that I can't accept myself or others.
I hate that I'm so demanding.
I hate.
I hate.
I hate.

Running with wisdom

I've decided I'm going running today. After I get off this computer. I just wanted to reflect on a few things. It is funny how I can so often feel like I'm wise or brilliant or beyond everyone, but it always amazes me how quickly I am brought down. The things I struggle with...they seem so simple and so...fallow. Is that a word? Fallow? They are like, shallow, death centered, common sense, dumb things, that as a follower of Christ, I should already be practicing. I need wisdom, and that only comes from You, from Him. Lets get to the Word, shall we?

Whoever isolates himself seeks his own desire; he breaks out against all sound judgment. A fool takes no pleasure in understanding; but only in expressing his opinion...It is not good to be partial to the wicked or to deprive the righteous of justice...If one gives an answer before he hears, it is his folly and shame...Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits...It is a snare to say rashly, 'It is holy,' and to reflect only after making vows.


I understand that these wise sayings, taken from Proverbs 18 and 20, were from wise people. I want to be wise.

I want to take care of my body,
I want to take care of others,
I want to take care of life.

I don't want to be like, bitter and old, and mean and demanding.

I want to learn how to live life, without regrets, without hate...

without hating myself or others about the stupidest things. I mean, come on, God. I'm bitter over people that go exercise and I don't. It's because I'm embarrassed. It's because I'm lazy. It's because I have a sin and deficiency in my own life.

I want to find a new way. I want to be used and useful for you. I want to be clean in all areas of my life. Not just food. Not just your Word, not just helping people or loving people.

I want to love and to do and to live with joy even when it is the hardest thing to do.

I want to re-learn to have the strength and will to push on and to challenge myself.

I want to honor You with my life. With everything.

I need You. I need your strength, your insight, your...muse...inspiration.

So, I'm going running.

Make me clean.

No.

Make me realize that you have made me clean. Teach me to live like I am.

Amen.

10.18.2007

Mediation

I think it is funny that, as an RA, I need to help girls move through issues that they may be having.

It was weird sitting down and pleading with them to work with each other.

Bitterness,
Rudeness,
Respect,
Pride,
Anger...

and I cannot hold them to the standards of Christ. Can I? Their eyes are not opened to the ways of God. How can I show them?

I'm actually kinda in a hurry. Yesterday was a whirlwind day. Telling Gina I will be talking to her boss, Mediating, playing bass at Justin Wright's church.

Planning the meeting with Mr. Whittum. I feel like I have purpose--like I have something to do.

I like the feeling, and I wonder how that will tie into real life.

Hmmm.

I had breakfast with God this morning. I think I will purposely dedicate atleast two meals to God a week. Just to talk...you know, catch up.

With days like yesterday, I'm painfully aware of my lack of knowledge...thank God He is the One with wisdom!

10.16.2007

so...this is freedom?

So I have a few things I want to mention. First, it is amazing how much time I can waste. I mean, I can just sit in front of a computer and waste my day. Like, totally.

Secondly, I'm amazed at how much easier it is to talk when I know there is no one listening. On xanga, four years ago, I would muse over every little word: did I say this right? Does it portray what I'm thinking?

I don't have to worry about that here, with my dear sweet blog. I'm not blogging for the sake of hoping people will be amazed by my deepness and wisdom. I'm not looking to network or get pity. I'm looking to find solace in words and in the One who gives them. I'm looking to learn about myself and to remember certain things that I find interesting.

I'm going to talk to my boss next week. Kelli, my roommate from last year, is going to help me. Something needs to be done about the Student Admissions Team. I think that it is time for me to step in. And I do it, not for glory or for excitement, but because I have waited too long...I have watched people shrink and suffer, and I've watched others grow regardless of what they were faced with. It's for those who have shrunk and suffered far too long. Those who were expecting one thing and were dealt another. In a way, I look to help the hurting and lost. I feel justified in my Crusade.

Ooh, my orange Chucks and books came in today. I'm going to go check them out. Yippee!

10.15.2007

Ups and Downs

I think that it is funny how the depths of despair seem to pale in comparison to the joys of living, and how quickly I can turn around from the pain to see the wonderful-ness that is around me.

I don't think I'm manic depressive. I think I'm just sensitive. I can't always be even keel, that is just who I am. Right?

I suppose we'll see. I think I'm going to fight fire with fire. Self-control, delving into the love of God, identifying my wrongs and learning to give and receive Grace. If pain and depression is what I've been assigned, I'm going to make the best of it. I'm going to learn through the hurt. I'm going to grow through the dim, dark, dank, stuffy corridors of my heart. At the end, I'm going to come out better. I'm going to be able to love people and accept love from people.

This isn't the end. I'm feeling optimistic today. I have a lot to be positive about.

My God has won the battle. I'm just supposed to draw into Him more while pouring out for others.

Yippee! I can't wait to see what is going to happen...

10.14.2007

Lost and Found

I figured writing out my feelings would help me on my journey towards healing. But I don't really feel like writing right now. I'll try to post once a day. Like, a real post. Not like this crummy post.

For right now, I'll leave you with some notes I have scrawled on a napkin from the cafe':
Thoughts over Breakfast 10-10-2007
I've heard of bonetired...
but I'm like, soul-tired.
Waking up is a chore.
Accepting the new day is a task.
I feel I've lost the joy in living...
...in working
...in people and friendships
...in fun and hobbies.
My soul is tired.
There is something wrong!
Something missing, something extraneous...
I've considered soul-searching,
but it hurts and I don't feel like I can believe my own conclusions.
I don't feel like I am entitled to believe what I say.
I think there is something wrong with me at my roots--at my very core.
I long to get lost...to lose myself.
I don't know what in...
...sleep?
...laughter?
...love?
...You?
I don't know how long...
...a day?
...a night?
...a week?
...a month?
...a year?
...a lifetime?
I want to lose myself. What does that mean? To lose myself in You for a lifetime? Because that's what I want. I want to be lost.
Because then I can be found.
I just want to be found.