9.13.2010

Lost!

Just because I'm losing
Doesn't mean I'm lost
Doesn't mean I'll stop
Doesn't mean I'm in a cross

Just because I'm hurting
Doesn't mean I'm hurt
Doesn't mean I didn't get what I deserve
No better and no worse

I just got lost
Every river that I've tried to cross
And every door I ever tried was locked
Ooh-Oh And I'm just waiting till the shine wears off...

You might be a big fish
In a little pond
Doesn't mean you've won
'Cause along may come
A bigger one

And you'll be lost
Every river that you try to cross
Every gun you ever held went off
Ooh-Oh And I'm just waiting till the firing stops
Ooh-Oh And I'm just waiting till the shine wears off
Ooh-Oh And I'm just waiting till the shine wears off
Ooh-Oh And I'm just waiting till the shine wears off...

Coldplay - Lost!
Viva la Vida or Death and All of His Friends

--------------------------------------------------------------------

I refuse to accept that my hangups are who I am.

I crave to be pure, set apart, secure.

But I'm tired of feeling like I have to convince myself of that truth.

Just because I'm tired of pursuing God doesn't mean my story is over.

But I'm tired. I've tried.

Everything in me is convinced that somewhere between my failure and my idiocy that I will be met by something greater.

But I fear collateral damage.

I fear the people my life could potentially hurt.

And I'm at a place
where part of me doesn't care
but the other part hates me everyday because I can't just do the right thing.

Because I'm tired of doing the right thing.

In Kenya, one of the houses had "Holiness & Repentance" painted on the wall.

At first, I thought it said, "Holiness is Repentance" and I was grieved. (It still is in my head as "is"...not that Holiness & Repentance isn't worth contemplating, also)

I regret the pride in which I wrote those letters that I sent to friends and family. I regret not guarding my heart. I regret feeling like I'm beyond some sins and not others.

Everything happens for a reason.

Everything
happens
for
a
reason.

It's like, whatever you set your mind to, you're going to end up doing.

I look at these kids. Toph is currently telling me about Pokemon. I don't want anything I do to ever impact them poorly.

Hell, I don't want anything I do to impact anyone poorly.

So why am I pissing away my life right now, hiding?

I don't want to feel like my life is the result of my gifts and talents, but I want to be innately and irreversibly aware of the power of God.

I have so many questions, but I don't even know what they are. I don't even know where to start.

I know what I don't want.

And that is me.

8.31.2010

Logos

Logos Bible Software is giving away thousands of dollars of prizes to celebrate the launch of Logos Bible Software 4 Mac on October 1. Prizes include an iMac, a MacBook Pro, an iPad, an iPod Touch, and more than 100 other prizes!

They’re also having a special limited-time sale on their Mac and PC base packages and upgrades. Check it out!

-------------------------

Yeaaaaaah that was totally the canned stuff from their website.

I'm thinking of another post. Wanted to put it together this morning, but I don't have time. (Yea, yea, I'm too busy entering giveaways. Hush.)

Go forth and win stuff!

8.13.2010

coming home

thoughts on war, fathers and running away.

spurred from a video on facebook.

1.) this video was sweet. yes, i cried. i always cry. i cried during the first clip. that's normal.

2.) i don't understand why we have to make the men of our families do this. i don't understand why we have to cause families such heartache and strain (emotionally, relationally...I can't count the number of boys i babysat as a kid who were unfortunate to train because their father was gone a whole heck of a lot) in order to "promote peace" -- the clip that really got me started on this one was the segment where the little boy ran into daddy's arms while he still held a gun.

love and war in a single frame?

2a.) it's almost like we need this. we need videos like this, we need closure. we need this emotional porn to make us feel like those few families that get their daddies back are okay. We're okay for doing this, and see, the families are back to normal and their bonds are even stronger.

the videos with dead or maimed soldiers, too. we force ourselves to think of them as honorable. what debt did they owe us that we coerced them to think they owed us their lives? that they fought for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness...we'll extend that to religious and economic freedoms...is our foremost cry.

I can't help but wonder if we are trusting our government too much to provide the things of the world that we should not depend on. You could take it even further from physical rights to marriage rights and etc. To quote a tweet I saw online by Cole Nesmith: "Show me even once where Jesus petitioned the government to validate or support his message."

In the separation of Church and State, instead of allowing the Church to be our State, we've sought the authority of our State as our Church. As Keith Watson once said, "the dichotomy between the secular and the spiritual is false." you have some mix of the two. it's how you live.

3.) all that said, it's a beautiful picture when a child runs into a father's arms. some are hesitant, they haven't seen their daddy up close in months, if ever. some are uninhibited. passionate, running, crying, jumping. some grab him and wrap themselves around daddy, others just kinda hang there while he picks them up.

i guess, in the same way, we respond differently to God. sometimes we run. sometimes we wait. sometimes we're unsure if it's really him.

it always makes me think of the prodigal child.

especially now because I feel like I'm there. I'm a prodigal. I don't know what I want.

And sometimes I just want to be picked up.

8.06.2010

finished aug-sept calendar


atleast, finished for now. inspiration from this place: http://www.aucegypt.edu/academics/dept/pva/PublishingImages/Spring_Events_2010.JPG

8.05.2010

finished neighBEARS


I'm pretty pleased. :)

7.28.2010

Be a Good NeighBEAR

Sometimes the design process amazes me. It's like, insanity. And it's rarely planned. It's felt. Odd. Anyway...

Here's a little taste of what I went through today. I'm actually leaving out a lot. But...

I sketched like mad:

I then picked out some concepts that I enjoyed (the bear couple, for example):

I made a naked bear baby:

Gave him some adorable overalls:


I made the Adam an Eve:


And then, colored them all in...


I think I like them. ;)

7.16.2010

7.06.2010

the botany of desire

watched part of a documentary with lali and mom last night.

it's called "the botany of desire" and it's about the migration of apples, tulips, marijuana, and potatoes from their humble origins to agricultural industry giants.

addressing their fulfilling of the human desires for sweetness, beauty, intoxication, and control (respectively, re: the list above), the botany of desire talks about each plant and how humans crave them.

in regards to my own struggles, however, i was struck by a line: "sex creates diversity"

sex creates diversity.

it's not just about pleasure, it's about creating life. in the way the Creator creates life, honoring Him is about making opportunities to create life and create diversity.

when we claim that our innate desires are God's
that He put them there
and we don't deny them--
decrying them as false and unable to give life--
we are erring.

i am errant.

i had two bad dreams last night:

1.) I was in a haunted house and the comfort that God was with me was not a prominent feeling like it normally is. I even woke up and was scared to get out of my bed.

2.) I was in the middle of an affair.

cryptics, code, and folly.

my heart hurts.

5.19.2010

hot wings


i feel tired today.

last night, i had a really bad dream. it was really, really bad. first bad dream i've had like that in a while.

i have an idea for a fun post...so i will do that soon.

but for now, here is a funny picture of me, mary cate, and sean kennedy. MC and i are eating hot wings. :)

5.14.2010

because i "have time"

hahahaha. "have time"?

not really, but because i feel like i do,

i recently purchased three or four books from the internet.

bumping back the queue that i've had on deck for the past two years.

anyways.

new book to be read...it looks short:


i'll keep you posted on what i think about it. :)

5.04.2010

5.03.2010

womans' times


WARNING: T.M.I. AHEAD

Do not read if you are easily grossed out or made uncomfortable about things having to do with menstruation, sex, and awkward situations.

Or if you are going to complain about me talking about it. Fair warning, quit now. Maybe I'll have a better post for you next week.

Maybe. Maybe I'll just stick with awkward topics for the rest of my blogging career. Heck yes!

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

are you all gone? okay. cool.

I promise this will be slightly entertaining. Maybe skip towards the end, where I'm just talking about getting KY Jelly. That part is the most funny.

For the rest of you still around, I started my period this past week. I'm not so good at counting the days or whatever, so I still can't figure out when I'll have my cycle for the month of June--which, as you probably know, I'm going to Kenya that month!

and this poses all sort of moral and ethical issues for me regarding how I should best handle my period (if i have it--i'm praying I don't) during my trip. I am really concerned about waste disposal (they don't have plumbing and garbage disposal programs...no landfills or anything) and comfort/hygiene (pads are gross. fabric pads are grosser.).

So, with that in mind, I've come up with a few feasible solutions:

1.) Get pregnant
2.) Use something like a diva cup
3a.) Use tampons with applicators
3b.) Use tampons without applicators

aside from the fact that i can't get pregnant as that would be silly, diva cups require access to soap and water, and tampons with applicators yield plastic and paper waster from the packaging and the applicator.

so, i decided it would be a good idea to learn how to use applicator-less tampons. I would produce less waste, not to mention how discrete they are in comparison to ones with applicators!

in an attempt to get used to them, i have been trying to use applicator-less tampons for the past two cycles, and just haven't done it right. I wasn't getting them far up enough, it was uncomfortable, blah, blah, blah.

so i did some research.

looking online, one website suggested using some KY Jelly as a lubricant. Genius!

Now, I don't have KY Jelly. I have had no need for it, as people mostly talk about it in use for sex and enemas and stuff like that. I am pretty sure i've never had an enema, and I'm a little more sure that I've never had sex.

So I asked my mom.

I know she has sex because I have two little brothers.

And she said she didn't have any, but I could use coconut oil. Ummm. I just didn't really want to use any of that.

So I needed to buy some KY Jelly.

I went to Kroger. They have a self-check out--human contact could be at a minimum, I could just go in, grab it, talk to the little non-judgmental lady in the computer at the self-scan, and be on my merry way to a happy period.

I get to the pharmacy section and all the sex-related products are locked in a display case. I don't have my glasses on because I just came from aerobics, so I do a pass to see where everything is, and then try to see if maybe there is another section with lubricants and stuff elsewhere. No.

To make everything better, all of the people waiting for their prescriptions in the pharmacy have a clear view of what I'm looking at. Awkward. I try the case, but it's definitely locked.

My mind is spinning. Why is it locked? Are they going to ask me questions about what I need and why I need it? Will I have to fill out a questionnaire? Will they want to call my mom? Will 0they ask for an ID? I don't have my ID. I'm so ill-prepared...

What would I say? Oh. I would play it off. "Yes, I need lubricant for the copious amounts of sex that I have with my copious amounts of partners." yes. That's what I would do. Maybe if I spoke breathily or moaned a little bit, that would serve me well.

About this time, I realize that this is completely silly, and I am not needing this for illicit means, but only for stupid womanly functions that [most] women would understand. So I approach the tech at the desk. I speak with confidence:

"Hey, I need some KY Jelly."
she acts like i just unveiled a deep dark secret she's been hiding for years. like a sex tape of her and her boyfriend or something.
"Oh...uh...it's um...not unlocked?"
"No, it's pretty well-locked. I tried. Could you please unloc-"
"Oh, yeah, we should get that unlocked for you..."
she grabs some keys and nervously throws them at me. I smile, get what I need, re-lock the case, and return the keys.

Part of me wished it was a teenage boy so I could wink at him or something.

I also realized that, while down there, I should've grabbed eight boxes of condoms and a couple pregnancy tests.

But I was home free. I paid the computer (at this point, I would've gone to a cashier if the lines weren't so long...), it was even generous enough to provide me a $5 coupon for the special lubricants that make you all tingly. I then jumped into the van, giggling like I had stolen something, and told my mom about the adventure I had just had.

I also gave her the coupon, in case she needed it.

I hope that little purchase goes on our family's record at Kroger so when the send us their bimonthly mailings, we'll have coupons for lube.


So there you go. tampons, KY Jelly and T.M.I.

You know you love me. I hope you got a laugh out of this, too.

4.27.2010

Spires [Edit]

Lali was right. It needed a giraffe.


4.26.2010

Spires

Book cover for the new Undergraduate Journal that Mercer will be publishing this year.

Imagine this, folded in half hamburger style and then wrapped around the book part. ;)


4.25.2010

Roots

I've been really enjoying Shawn McDonald's most recent cd, Roots. Some smooth jamming with great lyrics, I think you should check it out, too. :)

Clarity is the first track on the record.

Enjoy.



Well, I'm just a simple man with a simple plan, trying to find my way home
And this dusty, dirty way, with nothing left to say, I stagger and I roam
And I'm tired, and I'm worn and my clothes are kinda torn
From this long, hard road
My arms and legs are weak, I continue to seek, and leave behind this load

I need clarity and truth to be, and peace to make me whole
I want freedom to come, and hate to be done,
And love to guide my soul
I want love, yeah, I want love

Standing on the battle line I fight for my aching to be free
From this war that I face as I long to embrace and be with my King
And this fire in my soul, Desire to be whole is deep within my bones
And I long to be near as I cast away my fear, running for your throne

I need clarity and truth to be, and peace to make me whole
I want freedom to come, and hate to be done,
And love to guide my soul
I want love, yeah, I want love

I need clarity and truth to be, and peace to make me whole
I want freedom to come, and hate to be done,
And love to guide my soul
I want love, yeah, I want love
I want love, yeah, I want love
I want love, yeah, I want love
I want love, yeah, I want love
I want...

4.13.2010

heavy.

heart feels like lead.

sinking.

it's like something is sitting on my chest.

i don't know if it is guilt, stress, sadness, confusion, or desire.

i wish i had the guts to talk about this openly today.

but i'd rather not.

4.11.2010

redemption

i went to my home church today.

Southside Baptist in Warner Robins.

it was great.

Pastor brought a good message.

(Don't give up your future for the present. Your vision should be to see God, not for fleeting pleasures...things that DO feel good, but will not last)

after the service, I said hello to a few people.

I saw Mrs. Dale, and true to our nature, we were both crying after fifteen seconds of discussion. No joke. It's just something about her sweet spirit. She can say, 'hello' and I'll tear up.

I also talked to Pastor. Funny story, he randomly met Laura (Dr. Lackey/the professor-friend I've been working with this past year) a month or so ago at a meeting for the city of Warner Robins, and they talked a little bit about the Kenya trip (and subsequently how freaking awesome I am...or not...).

But, so Pastor was already familiar with what I'm doing.

And so we continued talking, and after mentioning that I'm really involved in New City Church Downtown, he said, "I know about you, Beth, I keep up with you--I see videos and stuff and I would comment on them more, but I don't want you to think I'm a stalker..." and it was so cute! :)

But the conversation kinda turned to the great place that SSBC is and how it has served as a great foundation for me -- spiritually, relationally, and musically.

And he was just so proud about Southside, and was just bragging on it. But not bragging on numbers or music or money. It was like I heard him saying, "Have you seen how we've changed? Have you seen how different we are? Listen and look and see the type of people that we have worshiping here. They are all different. They are from different backgrounds, and different communities. They have different hang-ups and different lives all-together. But something is happening. And it's happening for all of us."

And I felt something stirring in my heart.

Gratefulness for the part that I had in life at SSBC, thankfulness for what God is doing in SSBC, EXCITEMENT about what God has in store for all of our lives. Not just at SSBC or NCCd, but all across the world.

I felt redemption moving.

I hope you feel it, too.

There is so much left to do.

4.10.2010

Take Back the Night, Macon


T-Shirt for the Macon event -- this Thursday!

I'm bummed I won't be able to make it, but if you're around, you should support them!

For more information about TBTN, check them out on the web at http://www.takebackthenight.org/history.html


NCCd Sermon Series Graphic


I kinda like it. Inspiration from: http://www.kardoayoub.co.uk/design/trendy-poster.jpg

4.03.2010

mistakes

two things have happened in the past twenty-four hours that i haven't been able to shake from my mind.

the first was a dream that i had about my uncle and aunt.

the second was a song that we're playing at new city tomorrow.



both "experiences"--if you want to call my dream and the recollection of the song, experiences...I'm not really sure what I should call them, realizing the feelings caused by these..."events" (?)...are real, but the actual stimuli, themselves, are not. I also feel that by the very nature of this discussion, my grammar is going to be pitiful. I'm sorry.

the bottom line is this:

the dream
and
the song
--both--
reminded me of what a pitiful creature I am.

Here are the stories behind why these two events hit me so hard:

Backstory #1
A month or so ago, my uncle (the one in the dream) messaged me on facebook, basically telling me and my sister that we are intellectually dishonest and naive, and that our views are on the slippery slope to pain.

It came out of nowhere, to me. I felt attacked, I felt misunderstood, I felt persecuted. He lives on the other side of the country. How could he tell who I am and how I aspire to live in love aside from his limited view of my life on facebook?

On top of all that, he is a smart man, a knowledgeable man, but as sometimes (as is the burden of such scholarly types), he is very wordy. Traditionally, phone conversations and email exchanges are unwieldy, long, one-sided discussions, where he provides you the answer. The answer to what you should eat, what computer you should buy, what medicines you should take, what aspects of faith you should follow. I would like to know where I err, but feared that opening this door to discussion would suck me dry of time I already struggle to manage and energy that I already struggle to expend, rightly, on the things that I love and enjoy, and that are in front of me, here.

So I clammed up. I said a few things and then refused to pursue or allow him to pursue the situation more.

I labeled my uncle, feeling I didn't have the time to address every point of failure in my walk, and justified it by knowing he had labeled me because there was no way that he could know who I am in "real life."

For a while, I've just wanted to call him and say, "I'm sorry. We've both made assumptions about the other that may or may not be true, and can we just start over? Can we just start at the very beginning of a relationship and pretend like none of this happened? I'd like to learn about who you really are, and I'd like for you to learn about who I really am, and facebook is not the place to learn that."

It's also hard, because he lives three hours behind us, so times that are convenient for him are not as convenient for me. AND, unfortunately, my feelings are hurt. I don't want to willingly subject myself to his backhanded humor (like when i called the other day at 5pm EST, and he was understandably busy--we all get busy--he asked me to call in, like, 5 hours, and I said I couldn't, and he said, "why? are you busy?" and it made me so mad. Yes. I am busy. I would like to go to see my family. We were having a party for lali. Or maybe I'd like to go to sleep because I have practice in the morning...)

So, mistake #1. I want people to love me and look past who I have been known to be and know that I am continually learning and growing...but I often fail to extend that opportunity to other people.

I hope to call my uncle again, soon. Perhaps he will call me. I really don't know what to do there. The dream just made me feel even more uncomfortable about reaching out at all...and I know it's just a dream, but still...

Backstory #2

The summer before my senior year in college, I lived in an apartment on campus with another RA who really was a great girl. She was studious and helpful, loved God, arranged a celebration for my birthday, and just...all that stuff.

That summer, I would sit outside on a little hill next to our apartment and play guitar. The song that really hit me at that season of life was Hosanna by...(hillsong? i can't even remember now.). I would play it a lot.

I also did a lot of other stuff by myself.

I often kept the door to my bedroom locked.
I was selfish with my possessions.
I also made fun of her for how lovey-dovey she was with her boyfriend.
(Which, EVEN IF it was over the top, that is mean, and I know it now...)

and one day, she got upset with me about it.

and things haven't felt right ever since.

granted, I haven't talked to her in two years,
but
that was a summer that I sang songs about the King of Glory and new revivals and praying and seeking God,
and I was heartless
and selfish.

and so, mistake #2: not loving people unconditionally, and loving my comfort more than a relationship.

i often think about her and wonder if i should write a letter to her in apology.

i also often think about my life and how strange it is that sometimes i feel incredibly close to God and i look back on those times and feel sick for the ignorant arrogance I displayed in having that thought.

i also sometimes wonder if I think too much.

I want to love people.
and
I want to have no regrets.

but in the same breath that I utter those desires,

I thank God for mistakes
and for second chances,

but mostly for mistakes that don't feel like they can be fixed...
because surely it softens the heart
and makes you conscientious of things to be aware of in other relationships.

and thank God for the promise of hope and joy and peace
in the midst of a world of troubles.

3.29.2010

world-views

there is one stream of thought that says what you feel is who you are. you cannot deny evolution, nature, nurture, and your inner being.

there is another stream of thought that says what you feel is who you once were. but through Christ, you are denying evolution, nature, nurture, and your inner being so that you can be more like Jesus.

you are not who your mom or your teachers or your pastors or your guilty conscience say you are.

you are who Christ says you are.

and that is His.

choose your world-view.

one leads to hope and growth.

the other leads to apathy, despair and death.

love and let yourself live, friends.

3.24.2010

why do you seek the living among the dead?

for those of you that know me, you know that i've spent the last few days traveling.

while driving by myself, i brought some good jams -- some old, some new -- ...music that I haven't really been able to listen to in the manner i would like, for lyrics and for bass-lines. :)

and i found myself really enjoying Derek Webb's newest cd: Stockholm Syndrome.

I don't know if "enjoy" is the right word. i am convicted, burdened, and hopeful as a result of his lyrics. I like the style. Electronica is fun. :)

Webb got huge press with the song, What Matter's More -- where he used the words, sh** and da**, and seemingly supports the GLBT community by telling all the "Christians" (who are calling out gay people for sin while "denying all the dying of the remedy") that their priorities are in the wrong place.

The songs are thoughtful and thought-provoking. I'm still trying to listen and sort them out.

Jena and Jimmy is incredibly intriguing ("if you give me your love, and i'll give you my love/gonna take one kiss to shut you up", but also possibly discussing Civil rights?); Spirit vs. Kick Drum is convicting ("I don't want the Spirit, i want a kick drum/I don't want the Son, I want a jury of peers/I don't want the Father, I want a vending machine")...how often we live that way.

But the song that has really struck me this week is Freddy, Please.

DWebb wrote it about Fred Phelps, the leader of the Westboro Baptist Church...you know them. The ones who picket at soldiers' funerals and proclaim that every problem we've had--every natural disaster and every death--is due to homosexuals and homosexual sympathizers.

There is a line in it that says,

"The stone's been rolled away/And you're picketing my grave for loving the things you hate/But why do you seek the living among the dead"

and, geez.

Yes.

We get frustrated with the world for not "doing holy things" but the holy things are not to be expected from people that don't know God! They are dead. Dead people can't do anything. They do what they can do. And that is to be dead.

It's different to call out a [person who wholly follows Christ] on having an abortion or being a drunk or fostering an illicit relationship than to call out a [person who finds no value or joy in Christ] - we are set apart to show people what life could look like in light of Christ. Joy, hope, peace, miracles, wholeness. Lives free of addiction, free of hate and malice, free of pride and bondage.

Living in community and in love.

And we picket the things that we say God says are wrong; we complain and get uncomfortable to be around them...and rightly so! They should have no part in our lives...but we cannot and do not have the authority to remove them from the lives of people who don't think that Jesus is the one way to wholeness. Only God can do that -- for the heart of every man is in His hand.

Our judgment of the world around us is putting the cart before the horse.

We want "them" to get to know Jesus, but to clean themselves up at the same time. Immediate gratification.

We want great stories to tell people, stories with bows on them. Stories like the ones that Billy Graham can tell--we said a few words and 100000 people came to know Christ.

But that isn't where the transformation into the life of Christ occurs.

It's happening today. Now, fifteen minutes from now, tomorrow, next week, and next year. We are seeking to be made new--transformed. We have stuff and ways that we think that are bad. They are of the world. Some of us struggle with gluttony or laziness. Some of us struggle with pride. Some of us struggle with sexual sins. Some of us struggle with wanting to meet our own needs over the needs of others, and some of us struggle with not taking care of ourselves, and to only care for other people.

Some of us struggle with all of the above.

But all of us struggle.






and we are learning.

we are growing.

we are fighting pains, addictions, and pressures that are not necessarily borne from our wrongdoings, but just from the very fact that we live in a fallen world. Rape, murder, natural disasters, accidents, incest, molestation, suicide, depression...we are constantly affected by these things and we didn't ask for them.

but we move on.

we fight.

every step is a battle.

but Christ is the center and the head.

we are to seek to live in a way that is wholly pure and directed towards being like Him.

as Christians, the only label we should allow on our life is "Christ-follower".

everything else:

Glutton
Sluggard
Homosexual
Adulterer
Cheater
Liar
Murderer
Deviant

is to be laid at His feet, and buried with Death.

Our fulfillment doesn't come in chasing the desires that our instigated by our flesh, but from chasing God.

We are not the world.

We must not seek the living among the dead.

But we must seek to bring the dead back to life.

And there is only One who can do that.

and while we wait and we seek to bring other people to this Love that we know,
we are to walk alongside our brothers and sisters who may falter, who may be stuck in sin and in bondage,

because we are often stuck in sin and bondage, too.

but there is hope for us,
and just like there is hope for us,
there is hope for our friends and family who feel there is no hope.

Jesus came to seek and save those who are lost.
He came for the sick.
He came for the hurting.
He came to renew our minds and soften our hearts.

May we seek the same.

3.17.2010

BEARSTOCK

i am so frustrated about so many things right now.

mostly, i am sick.
secondly, i feel weighed down by complaints from myself and others. as i complain here. sorry.
thirdly, sometimes i feel like how we are supposed to live is so clear, and sometimes it just isn't.
fourthly, i have a lot to do.
fifthly, i don't know. my heart just feels heavy.

i suppose i should unpack a few things. i would like to. but mostly, i just wanted to share, somewhere, that i'm frustrated, and couldn't do it on twitter or facebook, because people actually read that and i didn't want to seem too complainy. ugh.

thanks for listening.

maybe i'll share something poignant here, soon.

2.10.2010

bearstock


what do you think?

i hate him.

The passage I read today in 1 Kings 22 was pretty interesting.
And the king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, “There is yet one man by whom we may inquire of the Lord, Micaiah the son of Imlah, but I hate him, for he never prophesies good concerning me, but evil.” And Jehoshaphat said, “Let not the king say so.” (Verse 8)
This probably shouldn't make me laugh, but it kinda does. In my head, the king of Israel (Ahab) sounds incredibly whiney. He's gathered all of these prophets. Like 400 of them, and they're all before the two kings, saying, "oh, yes! Go to war! You will win!" and Jehoshaphat (king of Judah) is like, "ummm, are there any prophets of like, the God that we base our whole culture on?" And Ahab is like, "aw, man! there's one, but he always shoots me down when i have these ideas. i haaaaaaaaaate him." (as an aside, that just made me think of this video...HAHA)

it made me think of the people in my life that i can't stand sometimes because they tell the truth about my situations back to me, and sometimes i don't really want to hear it.

who is that person in your life? why won't you listen? and why does the truth hurt so much sometimes?

2.06.2010

I love my job! :)


Mary Cate - Me - Mattie

1.29.2010

because I like you

Sometimes doing my job is hard, because I do everything that I can and don't feel like I like what I do and that I'm not the best person for the job.

and I came across this guy's blog. I really like his art, and this quotation really spoke to me and my heart:

It’s because being an artist is hard.

I think the process of being a creator is a process of sacrifice. There is sacrifice in the time it takes to prep and make art. A financial sacrifice on materials, space, tools. A sacrifice relationally with people… taking time away to make work. It’s choosing to deny other things to do this one thing. It’s a giving up of other things. And with all this sacrifice it sucks when you come across someone else’s creation that’s amazing cause your like “why do I keep doing this when they’re around?” Why all this hard work when this person is kicking butt in my field? Seriously God. Couldn’t you just let me do something else? You got them making stuff. Why do you want me to create?

And this is where the Almighty gave me an amazing response. He said “because I like you.”

1.22.2010

Hitler and a hope greater than war.

You may remember a frustrated post I wrote up this past fall about being pro-life and anti-war and how my mom said i was apathetic and what would i do if I was around during Hitler's day.

And i had no good answer.

Many people laud Deitrich Bonhoeffer, a great theologian, for participating in a plot to assassinate Hitler, which failed. And it's been hard for me to reconcile faith and war for a while, any conclusion I came up with made me feel like a traitor and compassionless hippie.

But I've been reading a book called Jesus for President by Shane Claiborne, and it helped to solidify my stance and understanding of how being anti-war is being pro-Christ. For your reading pleasure:

And we would say Deitrich Bonhoeffer also had a strong case when he tried to kill Hitler and could very well have invoked God's blessing on his operation, but he did not. As one committed to the cross and to the nonviolent, nonpassive love of Jesus, Bonhoeffer felt a paralyzing conflict: what to do in the face of such evil as the Holocaust? Bonhoeffer remorsefully plotted the assassination of Hitler. In stark contrast to the invocation of blessing on violence that we hear today, Bonhoeffer made it clear that what he was doing was evil and sinful, but he felt left with no choice. He didn't ask God's blessing; he asked only for God's mercy. And he and his co-conspirators planted a bomb under Hitler's desk, hoping to rid the world of evil with their own hands.

The documentary film Blindspot presents the provocative, heart-wrenching memoir of Hitler's secretary, Traudl Junge. In it, she remembers the assassination attempt (on July 20, 1944). She recalls how the bomb exploded in such a way and at a precise moment that Hitler narrowly escaped. She says that after survivng the attack, Hitler was more convinced than ever before that God was protecting him and his mission (with a triumphant smile Hitler showed Mussolini the site of the bombing). It fueled his reign of terror and confidence in his mission. Violence galvanized his violence. Ms. Junge says that after the bomb attempt, "Any hopes for peace were lost." Hitler rolled forward with record fervor to "rid the world of evil." Another attempt to pick up the sword went haywire, not only fueling further bloodshed, but costing our brother Bonhoeffer his own life as he was executed by the Nazis. Once again the cross lost, and the Devil laughed." (p. 202-203)

Earlier in the text, the authors state that "God called [His followers] out...to bless the world (not 'rid the world of evil'). God set them apart with a new law, a new culture, a new destiny that was nothing short of the redemption of the human race." (p. 31)

so that's all i have today.

trying to figure out what life means in light of the Gospel.

i may need to take some drastic measures--changing what i wear and what i eat, what i feel i'm owed and who i owe.

for the kingdom.

1.21.2010

How He Loves

He is jealous for me
loves like a hurricane, i am a tree,
bending beneath the weight of his wind and mercy

getting out of the car today,
it was windy and rainy
and i pulled up my umbrella to try and save my hair from the rain
(we're all a little bit vain--and i have a good excuse! i was getting my picture done for my passport stuff!)
and the wind kept bowing the umbrella up.
and so it was basically useless.
and my hair was getting wet.

and i thought about the lyrics to this song.

I also am very fond of the part where we sing,

when Heaven meets earth like a sloppy wet kiss
and my heart turns violently inside of my chest
and i don't have the time to maintain these regrets
when i think about the way He loves us

a friend once laughed about that line "sloppy wet kiss". David Crowder changed it to "unforseen kiss"... but "sloppy, wet" is amazing imagery.

Heaven meets earth -- God became man
like a sloppy wet kiss
passionate, unreserved, undignified, and full of love.
what a silly way for God to promise to uproot the oppression of this world...

but my heart aches to be close to that love.
and i don't have time to live for things that will not satisfy the way He will.

Oh, how He loves us.

[if you've never heard it before, the song is by John Mark McMillan]

1.19.2010

cleansing.

the past few years have been weird for me. a lot of soul-searching, a lot of refusing to believe what i've always believed, a lot of testing the waters and just trying to figure out what i believe and why.

it's been a hard go of it. i've struggled through all sorts of things, from sexual orientation questions and faith issues like prayer and "why Christ?" to political and social/cultural situations.

while i have by no means resolved all of these questions, i'm definitely at a place of peace and eager desire to learn. which is funny. for a while, i appreciated the consistency of knowing exactly what to believe.

but now, i think i'm more comfortable with the "why" of belief. i heard a quotation the other day..."a man can get through any 'hap if he only has a why".

and it's so true. i don't just follow the rules the Church lays out or do the things that make me feel spiritual because i have to. that is the what. i'm after the why.

i am a new creature. i'm chasing after God. i'm a part of something bigger. i am loved and cherished. i am capable of great things, and it isn't dependent on me, it's dependent on a God who loves people apart from our idiotic desire to make God's decisions for Him.

i am not made to be satisfied by myself, another person, or anything i can eat, drink, or aquire. i will only find this in being satisfied with God. a Christian Hedonist. Knowing that my greatest pleasure will be in Christ and in nothing else.

Christ is the why. perfection is unattainable. but i can pursue the best life for me. it is there for the taking. it may require some order, and some conventional wisdom, but that's okay.

picked up a new Bible yesterday. i woke up early today. i read and underlined some proverbs. i got the boys breakfast. i walked and ran and talked with a woman i met. and the cold air brightened my eyes and reminded me of fresh starts. the sun was dappling the sidewalk through the trees and reminded me of the beauty that God has made for us to enjoy.

i can live the best life God has for me. it's mine for the taking. and it's not just the freedom that i enjoy here...freedom of health and rest and wisdom and beauty, but it's the freedom to love and be loved and to associate myself with Christ.

so. there.

new start. every day is a new start.

we are new creatures.

1.16.2010

Proverbs 6

16 There are six things that the LORD hates,
seven that are an abomination to him:
17 haughty eyes, a lying tongue,
and hands that shed innocent blood,
18 a heart that devises wicked plans,
feet that make haste to run to evil,
19 a false witness who breathes out lies,
and one who sows discord among brothers.

1.15.2010

Proverbs 1-3

A few things that spoke into my circumstance today.

1:7
The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.

3:5-8
Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD, and turn away from evil. It will be healing to your flesh and refreshment to your bones.

3:13-18
Blessed is the one who finds wisdom, and the one who gets understanding, Long life is in her right hand; in her left hand are riches and honor. Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace. She is a tree of life to those who lay hold of her; those who hold her fast are called blessed.

1.13.2010

More Psalm 119

A lot of Psalm 119 is about being righteous and walking in His commandments, and thus God should bless the writer.

It got me a little sad, because today I wasn't feeling very victorious.

And then we got to the end.

There is hope for lost sheep.

175Let my soul live and praise you,
and let your rules help me.
176I have gone astray like a lost sheep; seek your servant,
for I do not forget your commandments.

1.11.2010

Psalm 119 excerpts

Beth (yes, I like this one because the Hebrew letter Beth is my name...haha)
9How can a young man keep his way pure?
By guarding it according to your word.
10 With my whole heart I seek you;
let me not wander from your commandments!
11I have stored up your word in my heart,
that I might not sin against you.
12Blessed are you, O LORD;
teach me your statutes!
13With my lips I declare
all the rules of your mouth.
14In the way of your testimonies I delight
as much as in all riches.
15I will meditate on your precepts
and fix my eyes on your ways.
16I will delight in your statutes;
I will not forget your word.

...

He
33 Teach me, O LORD, the way of your statutes;
and I will keep it to the end.
34 Give me understanding, that I may keep your law
and observe it with my whole heart.
35 Lead me in the path of your commandments,
for I delight in it.
36 Incline my heart to your testimonies,
and not to selfish gain!
37 Turn my eyes from looking at worthless things;
and give me life in your ways.
38 Confirm to your servant your promise,
that you may be feared.
39Turn away the reproach that I dread,
for your rules are good.
40Behold, I long for your precepts;
in your righteousness give me life!

...

Kaph
81My soul longs for your salvation;
I hope in your word.
82My eyes long for your promise;
I ask, "When will you comfort me?"
83For I have become like a wineskin in the smoke,
yet I have not forgotten your statutes.
84 How long must your servant endure?
When will you judge those who persecute me?
85 The insolent have dug pitfalls for me;
they do not live according to your law.
86All your commandments are sure;
they persecute me with falsehood; help me!
87They have almost made an end of me on earth,
but I have not forsaken your precepts.
88In your steadfast love give me life,
that I may keep the testimonies of your mouth.

1.08.2010

what i think about in the shower.

Matt. 22:15-22

Then the Pharisees went and plotted how to entangle him in his words. And they sent their disciples to him, along with the Herodians, saying, “Teacher, we know that you are true and teach the way of God truthfully, and you do not care about anyone's opinion, for you are not swayed by appearances. Tell us, then, what you think. Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, or not?” But Jesus, aware of their malice, said, “Why put me to the test, you hypocrites? Show me the coin for the tax.” And they brought him a denarius. And Jesus said to them, “Whose likeness and inscription is this?” They said, “Caesar's.” Then he said to them, “Therefore render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's.” When they heard it, they marveled. And they left him and went away.

-----------------------------------------
so.

taxes,
legal age limits for smoking, drinking, and all the rest,
drugs,
speeding,
the justice system (so murdering, kidnapping, rape, burglary, etc...),
whatever else the government monitors...

we are to give it up to caesar.

the worldly government is already monitoring our physical actions, promising punishment for failure to comply, and as an authority, we as humans should be willing to to either do good for the government we love, leave in search of a better government, or face the evils and encourage change for the rest of society.

and i could talk a lot about things we should change and shouldn't stand for.

but that's not what I'm thinking about today.

today, I'm thinking about the fact that we, ourselves, as followers of God (and bearers of the divine image), in fact bear HIS likeness and inscription.

that our whole lives are to be wholly committed to making God known. in what we do in front of people--how we speak, eat and drink, work, act, play, live (in addition to all the other things we should do as we "render unto caesar")--and in what we do when people aren't looking--the only word that is coming to mind here is "addictions".

so, i think that is all i had on my mind today.

it isn't just about being a law-abiding citizen, doing good things so that society can run well (which is important, but leads to religion, and self-righteousness, not Jesus).

it's about wholly pursuing God in every aspect of our lives, which, ultimately, we will always fail at, but again, it's the heart.

or something like that.

but the phrase that was stuck in my head: "whose image and likeness is on this?"

who do you belong to?

1.04.2010

affection.

chapter one
by shane and shane.

inspired by john 1:18

stir my affection
stir my affection
stir my affection for You
for You're my only hope

You Yeshua
explained the way He moves
as just an ordinary man
then again, You're the first, Jesus
and by Your hand we move
You're the image of the invisible God
You are God, You are God

bring fascination
bring fascination
bring fascination of You
for You're my only hope

1.01.2010

Ninjas.

the scene opens...for some reason, I'm chasing this dude. We both have samurai swords. One is green and one is black. Through some random happenstance, I end up with both swords, and I kill him.

Ugh. I kill a man.

In real life, I've never killed anyone...that I know of. I pretty much try to do things that are...legal...and...nice. But in this dream, it was apparently my job. Kinda like how Mr. and Mrs. Smith went to work and it turned into a command center for assassin operations, I went to work every morning at an unassuming brick house.

In this dream, I was going to work, and for some reason, the boys and lali were coming with me. Mom was dropping us off. Odd. Anyway, I show up to the house, and I felt nervous from killing that guy. Nervous and paranoid. I just knew that I was going to walk in that house and there was going to be a trap and I was going to die, and worse, my little brothers and sister were going to die. And I couldn't find the key. So I had to go find the hidden key behind the garden hose on the side of the house. Hahaha. I think that's funny. Coming back around the house, there are maintenance men--like, three of them--who are sitting on their truck, and they're actually making fun of me. They know that I'm nervous and concerned and their making fun of me. And toph can tell, and he gets visibly nervous and says he just wants to go home, and that's it. I immediately run out to the edge of the lawn and yell for my mom to come back and pick up the boys and lali. But she can't hear me. And the windows are open, and I yell louder, because I need her to pick them up. Surely there is a reason that those men are making fun of me. I don't want them to die.

It would be my fault.

So I'm yelling as loud as I can and now I'm crying and she turns the corner because she can't hear me.

And then the dream ends.

yuck.