Saturday, May 31, 2008

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Thursdays are the fridays of summer school.

Today I woke up feeling very rested and this dissipated when I realized that it was 10:04. Class, for me, starts at 10:10. There was no way I was gonna make it. I had set my alarm, and then I forgot to turn it on. I decided to make the best of it. I slept a little longer, took a shower, made some coffee, made spaghetti, watched Gilmore Girls. Funny how much you can do when you're not in class. At 12, Katie and I got into the car to go to UNCG, I with my travel mug of coffee. Silly me put the travel mug between my legs and somehow it got spilled directly onto my crotch. I looked like I wet myself. There was no way around it. Katie and I just laughed; I mean...really, what else could I do? I ran into a friend today in the halls. That was nice. I hadn't seen her in a while and it was good to find someone else still in this dear town. I walked home today. I stopped in the used book store. It was nice to just be in a room full of "friends", all having something to say, all saying nothing really. I like books.

I got a call today from Caribou Coffee. Yesterday I went there for a job fair and I sat there for seriously 2 hours waiting to get interviewed. I'm not exaggerating. I got there at 3:20 and I didn't leave til 5:10. I didn't even have a book. I rarely go somewhere without a book and this would have been a good time to have remembered. Anyways, I wasn't sure how the interview went because I didn't really feel like comparatively speaking I had a lot to offer. This one boy started talking about his life long passion for coffee and how he'd been to two coffee plantations and I was like...I like coffee, I can make it, and I can drink it. I got a call from the manger today and she offered me a job. Her boss had interviewed me (who knew...) and told her that she absolutely had to hire me. I got off the phone and cried. I couldn't stop. It wasn't like bawling. Let's get an accurate picture, I was just really relieved and so grateful. God is so good. My not getting the job wouldn't have made God any less good, I was just starting to get discouraged. I had been so worried that I wouldn't get a job and that I wouldn't be able to pay for school in the fall. Over and over I told God what He knew, that I needed Him to provide for me. Yesterday I wrote in my planner as I waited, "Dear Lord, I really need a job. Can you give me this one? Fight my battles. Please provide. I don't really feel like I have anything to offer. I need a job; you know that." Rather redundant. I don't know why I worry like I do. Sometimes it just seems like I see God's faithfulness all around me, somehow missing me. I know that's not true though, it just feels like that. It was silly of me to expect anything less than provision.

Currently listening to: A Fine Frenzy
Current time: 3:50 PM

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Emily Dickinson and I have made our peace.

After great pain, a formal feeling comes --
The Nerves sit ceremonious, like Tombs --
The stiff Heart questions was it He, that bore,
And Yesterday, or Centuries before?

The Feet, mechanical, go round --
Of Ground, or Air, or Ought --
A Wooden way
Regardless grown,
A Quartz contentment, like a stone --

This is the Hour of Lead --
Remembered, if outlived,
As Freezing persons, recollect the Snow --
First -- Chill -- then Stupor -- then the letting go --

_Emily Dickinson

Monday, May 26, 2008

I met the man who lives under the bridge.

I am watching Rory and Lorelei eat cake. Oh man. But it's okay, because I'm drinking coffee so it's almost as good. I may have mentioned this before, but when I watch Gilmore Girls, I just want to drink coffee and eat pie. Cake works too. I have been watching Gilmore Girls like there's no tomorrow and there isn't. This is not why I'm blogging, but it is important.

Today I was pumping gas (Ya know, you don't really pump anything...) when I was approached by a man. His name was Anthony. He was hungry. I can identify with this. He asked me for money, I said, "No, can I buy you something?" So we walked into the gas station, and I bought him a sandwich. But this is why I'm writing about this. He told me he needed extra onions because he had cancer and they would help him. (This is medically proven. I googled it.) The lady making the sandwich stopped putting on onions and he didn't think there were enough. Anthony got very angry and impatient and began to argue with her. I was standing there, trying to give the woman the "I'm so sorry, he doesn't mean it" look. I started to get angry myself. Because here I was trying to re-bestow humanity, show him his worth. I shook his hand, found out his name, listened to a little about him. He lived under the bridge. For as long as I can remember, I've looked up under the bridge and I've looked for him. He was mine; I know, I've got a problem with that. I just figure, it makes the world a little better, even if he doesn't know, to have someone worrying about everyone. I don't think that made sense, but I just don't care to parse it further. And in turn, he began to yell at the woman behind the counter, taking her humanity. I guess I can understand because it is really hard to ask for help, and maybe he felt like he had to make himself seem important by making her seem less important. I dunno, it just made me sad/mad. When I payed the lady, she said, "We see this all the time." I apologized for him. And then I gave him a quarter for the bus, and told him I'd pray for him.

I guess the thing is that woman's remark stuck with me. "We see this all the time." I have lived here for three years and I've seen it. I just hope that I never become jaded and used to it. I hope that it always affects me. I hope that I always remember that God cares for the birds, and he cares for us so much more. No matter how many sandwiches are bought, or quarters given, or kind words spoken, I am powerless to change lives. Only God has the power to change people. I've got to remember that. God doesn't need me, but He is willing and pleased to use me. He is willing and pleased to put people in my path, so that I can love them with the heart He is renewing in me, and then release them.

It's beautiful out. Make sure you take advantage of that.


Current time: 3:31 PM

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Wedding Wack and Pulling Splinters: a Few of Life's Simple Joys.

My cousin Tiffany got married on Friday. It was strange. I don't really know my family very well because we moved to NC when I was 5 or 6, but I feel like when cousins start to get married, you know that things are changing, because family is fairly consistent, even from a distance. Last year, my cousin on my other side of the family, Bonnie, got married. The funny thing about growing up is that it never really ends. I can imagine myself, ninety years old, in a rocking chair (which is really a must have for any age), still growing up. My friends Andrew and Katherine are getting married tomorrow. I have class and cannot go. But I've got the wedding wack anyways. You might not call it the wedding wack, but you've got to know what I'm talking about. It's that wack that makes you cry when Dean breaks up with Rory and she finally breaks down and cries. Because you remember what it feels like, even though the last time you were broken up with was when you were 19. It's the wack that makes you have fat days, where you feel like a whale even though the shirt you're wearing looked fine a week ago. Perhaps this makes no sense. Sometimes when I go to weddings, I just get a huge rush of emotion. The emotions of happiness, and excitement because two people are being joined together because they can better serve the kingdom that way and because they are committing to love each other no matter what, and that is so beautiful. Fear and soberness because weddings are serious. I went through stages. The "gosh, will-this-ceremony-ever-end-so-I-can-just-eat-cake" stage. The "weddings-are-so-cute, I-loved-her-dress" stage. And now I'm in the "this-is-seriously-serious-stuff" stage, "committing-to-someone-for-the-rest-of-your-life-is-hard-core" stage. (Maybe I'll feel differently when I am ready to get married/ have someone I want to marry)I get kinda sad and reminiscent too. It's inescapable, when you get married, things won't be the same because they can't be. Anyways, wedding wack is kind of an inexorable, deep and unexplainable sense of loss. It passes after a few days.

_____

Last night Lindsay came with a splinter into the house where Laura Jo, Nick, Matt, Ann, Eric, Kelsey and I were hanging out. I got a needle and some tweezers and began to carefully work it out. For some reason, splinter pulling is very nostalgic to me. That just made me laugh, but I'm serious. Splinters remind me of my Mom's parents who live in California (with just about the rest of my family.) Grandpa and Grandma lived in this sweetest ranch house with the coolest closet ever. You could walk from one side of the room to the other through it. This house makes me think of Asian things. It was decorated with Asian things. Fans and vases, and plants, and these crazy huge glass balls used for fishing that had washed ashore. When we'd walk into the kitchen, The backyard was huge. There was a big ditch and horses lived on the other side and I used to get carrots and go feed them. Their big, soft lips would brush my perfectly flat hand. (One time when I was ridding, all the adults were looking at the sunset and not at me, and I slipped right off. I was pretty resilient, I got right back on. Grandma had this neighbor, who would let me ride her horses, who had all sorts of other animals too, including pigs that she would let into her house, which at the time, seemed awesome. Not so much now. Her name was Sue and I called her Aunt Sue because I was confused. I had a real Aunt Sue, but she was my Great Aunt and I don't think I'd ever met her, I'd just heard about her, so in 6 year old logic, this woman was my aunt.) I used to get thorns in my socks from going across the ditch. When I got older, I realized that the ditch was actually kinda small, but when I was little, it seemed like a land form to be overcome and explored. There were paths in the ditch from my grandparent's dog who would create them by repetitive travel. One time at my grandparent's, I caught a mouse. The cat was trying to kill it, so I picked it up and brought it inside to show Mom and Grandma. They freaked out. Mom told me I was going to get a disease. Oh yeah...splinters. Grandpa and Grandma had a big, huge, wooden deck. And when I played out there sometimes I would get killer splinters and Grandma or Mom would have to take them out for me. It could be quite the ordeal cause those babies can get in there. I just started thinking about all of this because I was sitting there working on little Lindsay's hand. I think my favorite thing was her trying to keep talking to be distracted.




Current time: 4:04, nap time
Currently listening to: Brooke Waggoner
Currently drinking: Coffee
Word of the day: Trajectory: a chosen path

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Lessons from a park bench and other...things.

Today I walked out of African History to Foust Park, also known as the Salad Bowl to sit on my bench and eat my lunch. I was horrified to find some girl sitting on it. I'd been sitting there for "years"! I settled on a bench across the way so I could sit there and think horrible insults in my head like "bench stealer". Crushing, I know. One boy walking, looked at me and walked very close to my bench, all I could think was "I bet I stole your bench. See Bench Stealer, what a fuss you've caused." I'm not even kidding. Sometimes I just need to chill out and I need people to just be like, "seriously, Em?" I just get worked up about silly things, when it counts I'm pretty together. I feel like I have to defend myself since I just told you that silly story, anyways, I was reminded that nothing is mine, certainly not that bench, graciously donated by some alumni. Maybe that girl needed to sit on the best bench in the park. I began to think about meekness, giving up rights- giving up what's "yours". And I was reminded about flexibility and selflessness. All this from a park bench. You might say I'm an over thinker, or over analytical. Or you might say, I just want to learn, from everything.

Tonight I babysat for Noah (4) and Joshua (2). We played outside, got baths (I was pretty proud of how wet I didn't get.), and they got put to bed. I read to Joshua and then I sung "Jesus loves me," as is a bedtime tradition for him. As I held Joshua, his head on my shoulder, singing those simple words, I think it sunk in more for me than for him. I read to Noah about Adam and Eve, at his request and when Eve was being tempted, I said, "Noah, I am so worried, what's going to happen?" and he said, "I can't tell you," he said, "You have to keep reading." I would also like to report that I asked Noah if he were a dinosaur what his face would look like. It was pretty fierce, so watch out, dino world.

Jesus loves me this I know, for the Bible tells me so. Little ones to Him belong, they are weak, but he is strong. Yes Jesus, loves me, yes Jesus loves me, yes Jesus loves me, the Bible tells me so.

---

Shortly after, as the Serenades gratefully played "Stardust," Hillari Kimble walked up to Stargirl and said, "You ruin everything." And she slapped her. The crowd grew instantly still. The two girls stood facing each other for a long minute. Those nearby saw in Hillari's shoulders and eyes a flinching: She was waiting to be struck in reply. And in fact, when Stargirl finally moved, Hillari winced and shut her eyes. But it was lips that touched her, not the palm of a hand. Stargirl kissed her gently on the cheek. She was gone by the time Hillari opened her eyes. - Stargirl, Jerry Spinelli

Currently reading: The Outsiders
Currently waiting for: Ann to come home from her cross country travels
Current time: 10:27
Currently consuming: waffles and cream cheese, and coffee, also Laughy Taffy. I love Laughy Taffy, it's so funny. It really does make me laugh (What do you call a dinosaur that's sleeping? A DINOSNORE. Come on, that's funny.)

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Verse Disection

It was a beautiful day for biking. I know that as the summer goes on, it will get hotter and that won't be nearly so enjoyable, but I think for a bit longer, it will be wonderful.

I decided to begin reading through Proverbs today. I have read through the Psalms a lot, but I haven't read Proverbs so much. I decided to camp on Proverbs 1:7, " The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline." I think I've always wondered what that meant. I think that when you fear God, you acknowledge someone besides yourself. You are willing to put your faith in God, because you acquire a right understanding of who you are in relation to God. One meaning of fear is to be "in reverence of." Reverence means (sorry, I have to do it for my own good.), "attitude of deep respect." When we respect God, as God, we are able to admit that we have nothing to offer and that's when we are able to learn, or become wise. Next it says, fools despise wisdom and discipline. Where did this discipline come from? What does it have to do with wisdom? In order to become wise, we must be willing to accept the discipline that comes from God and those around us. I think. But the next step is, how do I apply this to my life? I think a lot of times, we consider God to be our friend. I think this kind of a problem with our American theology. We're all about having some friends. Who isn't? But God is a God of consuming fire, of strength and holiness, Lord most high. I think that we miss something when we're like "God's my friend" and it stops there. In the Bible God calls people His friends, but I don't think anyone in there ever says the reverse. Just something to think about.

I ate chocolate ice cream today. And I have a professor named Terry. Which makes me think of dinosaurs.


Current time: 8:30
Currently reading: History of Africa, Walt Whitman and Star Girl
Currently laughing at: Roommates. They are funny.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

The HEAT bus isn't running all summer. I will ride my bike and be sweaty and awesome.

Yesterday I decided to go home after much debate. Oh Wake Forest. Lindy has been having horrible headaches and shaking. She's had to go to the neurologist and be cat scanned and when I walked in the door she said, "Hi Emmy, I got this bruise from an IV." So I went home before summer school to try to be helpful. I really miss Chelsea and Lindy when I don't get to see them. Having sisters is one of my favorite things ever. It's like built in buddies. I'm sad that I don't get to see Lindy very often and I know that it hurts her too. I try to help her with her homework when I come home to make up for it. I knitted while Mom sewed; some strange womanly type of bonding. Dad wasn't there, I was bummed. He's my favorite man. I really love my family. They frustrate me greatly, but they are so delightful at the same time. Tonight on the way to Greensboro, I stopped in to see Miss Megan Finger. It was so nice. It's so good to be with people that love you and understand where you are coming from. As I drove down the road, I wished so badly that I'd brought my camera. The sky was so gorgeous. The clouds were gigantic and white, the sky all peachy and heaven-like. The world was newly washed by rain and the trees were alive.

I tried to talk to Mom about living in Glenwood again. She and Dad don't view it the way I do at all. They are not fans. Mom says that they're not comfortable with me living there without a man...what if I never get married? Veronica has this idea that Nicole and I will leave her when we get married, and well, we will, because otherwise that would be really weird, but we keep reassuring her that she has nothing to worry about since neither of us have any one to marry. I am praying that God will give my parents peace, and through that He will confirm what I feel so strongly to be what He has for me. It's funny because I was talking to Joey about GUPY and he said that the other incoming summer GUPYs were nervous and he was like, "They are going to have their eyes opened. For me, it's like hanging out with friends all summer." Because I have a budding relationship with the neighborhood, I see it differently than other people do. I wish that my parents could have sat through Kingdom Living. I'm just not the same person that I was when I started college. I have come to believe that Jesus was serious when He talked about serving the poor, and loving your neighbor. I have come to believe that if something were to happen to me because of my commitment to loving the poor, than it happened because God allowed it to happen. I have come to believe that we are to fight injustice as an act of worship, even though it might not make a change. I have come to believe that there are more purposeful ways of living than to build my own kingdom. Mom will agree to me getting rid of my TV, or having a compost (I am pro both.), but not to my moving in to Glenwood. It's too extreme. I am not content with living without passion, or blindly. Jesus is the ultimate example of relocation. This comes Philippians 2: Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:
[Jesus]Who, being in very nature God,
did not consider equality with God something to be grasped,
but made himself nothing,
taking the very nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
and became obedient to death—
even death on a cross!

My giving things up is nothing compared to the riches found in life through Christ. I felt so sad all week at Rockbridge because as I learned over and over that my heart was seeking things dear to Christ, I couldn't help thinking about how my parents wouldn't understand. We will see. I have to trust that if this is truly what God has for me, he will make a way. He is the maker of ways.



I will never get over the feeling that I have when I drive back into Greensboro.




Currently listening to: Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass, This Guy's in Love with You
Currently reading: The Little Prince
Currently should be doing: Sleeping
Real time: 11:59 PM

Monday, May 19, 2008

Notes from Kingdom Living (get psyched!)

I'm home in Wake Forest until Wednesday. Well, Wednesday is when summer school starts, so I'll probably go before that. It's funny how different the sounds are here in this little home. Earlier a donkey was braying. And the peacocks were crying and it's just so peaceful. In Greensboro, I sit in my room and listen to people playing beer pong or corn hole and wait for the train to go by.
This past week at Rockbridge was a good one, as always. I'm putting my notes up so maybe you can learn something too, and also to just keep processing everything that I heard. The topics that we discussed were the Sermon on the Mount, Relationship with Self, Multi-ethnicity, Relationship to Others, Sexuality, Social Justice, Environment, Christians and Politics. (I just started laughing because last night when I was babysitting I said, "slamming doors is one of my pet peeves" and Noah (age 4) said, "Me too.")

[Tuesday]
Sermon on the Mount, Beatitudes (Matt 5:1-16):
What does it look like to live in the Kingdom of God?
What is blessedness?
Not a reward, but a gift of grace upon those in whom He is working.

1. Poor in spirit: weak, needy, deserving nothing -> Kingdom: everything
2. Mourn: grief over the effects of sin which affects the Lord -> Comfort: God comforts
3. Meek: humility, giving up rights -> Inherit: God gives rights

[first three beatitudes have to do with our heart and relationship toward God.]

4. Hunger for righteousness: right relationships, not easy, for rightness in society and internally -> Filled: God is able to give
5. Merciful: I need mercy, I will give it. Care for people affected by sin, since we have been given blessing -> Shown mercy: God is merciful, so I can be.
6. Pure in heart: Psalm 24:4-6, We are beset by lesser lovers, know the Lord is all that we need
-> See God:
7. Peacemakers: Christ is our peace, so we make peace. -> Sons of God:
8. Persecuted: When we want what is right, it produces friction, 1 Peter 4- this come from reflecting His character

[last five beatitudes have to do with our heart and relationship toward others]

We are to preserve and flavor our world.

[Wednesday]
Sermon on the mount (Matt 5:17-48):
-Our culture defines sin as hurting someone else.
-We all want to be filled, but which well will we drink from.
-The world is not the way it's supposed to be because our hearts are not the way they should be (Deut 5:29)
You: lived out in community, plural.
-Many of us don't have real relationships withe the poor, broken, enemies; we don't know them, so we fear being taken advantage of.
"Do not resist an evil person."- continue to love people, love your enemies. Cycle of dehumanization ends with us because we love in response.
-when a fellowship loves well, it attracts people who are hard to love.

Relationship to Self:
self: identity, who we know, what we do
World says: physical appearance + job + performance = self
Matt 5 disciples vs. crowd
Matt 4 "I will make you fishers of men"-> God says who we are.
God says: what I say about you + relationship to me = self

We are always who God says we are.
-We are most aware of ourselves when who we want to be doesn't match up with who we are.
- We think we have to manage ourselves: self dismissive (ignores self), self antagonizing (beats up on self (most resembles me.)), self exempting (makes excuses for self)

God relates to us by the Gospel:
created in His image
affected by sin
forgiven by Christ
restored by the resurrection
sent by the spirit to be a part of the kingdom
-Godly character is a result of reconciled relationship to self.

Multi-ethnicity:
(The place of race in the kingdom of God.)
-The one institution that remains segregated: church
ethnicity: characteristic of a people, especially a group sharing a common and distinctive culture, religion, language, or the like...
-It is a problem in our theology that we cannot deal with racial and ethnic division.

Multi-ethnicity is scriptural:
Gen 1:27-28 (cultural mandate)
Groups spread and create culture
-relationship to self is crucial to this journey
-repentance can transform
Gen 12, 15 (master plan of multi-ethnicity)
Matt 28 (great commission)
Acts 1 (Jesus' final words)
Eph 2 (He is our peace)
-our ethnic identity is affirmed by God
Acts 2 and the "beauty of Pentecost"
Ethnicity is eternal
Rev 7:9
Rev 21:22-23
Rev 22:2

Our responsibility:
to care
new vision leads to new thoughts and actions
to be agents of transformation

How to be intentional:
pray
get educated
be an advocate against racism
take some risks
ask good questions
persevere

[Thursday]
Sermon on the mount (Matt 6:1- Matt 6:24)
Motives of the heart.
"Your Father knows what you need before you ask." -> Do I believe this?
How does the Lord's prayer shape how I pray?
-Who do you look to to provide for your needs? We will serve who we think will provide for us. (God or money)
"Your Father who sees" -> Do I believe this?

Relationship to Others:
World's view: Treat others the way they treat you, have friends who serve you/ meet your needs

meekness: Surrender of rights
-We cannot escape involving others. Community is crucial.
- World says relationships should be easy.
Jesus makes us like Him through sharpening us with people; used to transform
The more I strive for mankind, the less I love people

We have to learn to repent well. Maturity in Christ is repenting more quickly, not less frequently.

Sexuality:
Creation = God's yes to sex in marriage (Gen 2:24)
"Song of Solomon"- the Bible is not afraid of talking openly of sex.
-God's good intent for sex is ruined by the fall (Gen 3:16)
dehumanization: women find identity in man and he will rule her like the creation he was supposed to rule.
People can't meet people's needs
Introduction of shame

"Porneia" result of the fall is total sexual brokeness.

Jesus says sexual brokeness resides in the heart.

Lies cultures tells us:
-Sex can be wholly separated from procreation, separate identity from body.
-You should test drive the car before you drive it.
-Married sex is dull and boring. Constant sex is matched with sex is unattainable.

Lies the church tells us:
-Sexual sin will make you feel lousy. (We all know that we cannot trust our emotions, only the word of God. )
-Women don't really want to have sex anyway. (Both are sexual beings.)
-Our bodies are gross, dirty or unimportant. (1 Cor 6:20)

Sexuality is communal.
-What you do with your body is other people's business.
Accountability.

We give up on committed love before it starts.

[Friday]
Sermon on the Mount (Matt 6:25- 6:34)
-How would people respond to us if we lived in dependence on God?
-If you are serving God, don't worry.
-Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and all these things will be given to you as well:
poor in spirit
mourn
meek
hunger and thirst
merciful
pure in heart
peacemakers
persecuted

Social Justice:
What makes something unjust?

Psalm 10
-Injustice is rejection of God (3-4, 6, 11)
-Injustice is the elevation of the self (3-6)
- Injustice manifests itself in the destruction of others (2, 7-11)
Injustice is a social and cosmic disorder where God is rejected, self is elevated and others are destroyed.
personal injustice is in everyone's heart.
when oppressive hearts when they get together, they create oppression.

Features of mourning:
anger (1, 12, 15)
sadness (1, 17)
discontented (1, 12-13)

Direction of mourning:
the unjust (2-10)
God himself (11-18)

What you do with your life isn't something separate from justice. Do something more purposeful than building your own kingdoms and families.

We fight injustice as an act of worship to the Lord, even though it might not make a change.

[Saturday]
Sermon on the Mount (Matt7:1- 7:29):
-We are always aware of our own righteousness. As we seek the kingdom, it will seem easy to judge.
Will you be as gentle in rebuking others about their sn as you would be with yourself (plank and speck)
Community in relating to sin.
Intimacy brings conflict; forgiveness brings more intimacy.
Prov 9:8, Acts 18:5-6 Pearls, sacred = wisdom
We are still saved by works, not our own, Christ's. We accept his work and live by grace.

Environment:
Gen 1: 26-28 We are all made in God's image, but we are still of the earth.
fill
subdue
care for
Instead, we exploit it for our own purposes.

Sabbath for the land: 2 Chronicles 36:20-21, Leviticus 25:2-4, 20-22
Right relationship with the Creator starts right relationships with the creation.

Colossians 1:15-20 "all creation", "all things"
Romans 8:19-21 The creation waits.

Psalm 84:1-4, Matthew 10:29-31
We care for the creation because we care for God and it is His.
Care reflects love for and faith in our Creator.
Pollution and land mis-usage, etc = human rights violation
We don't care because we think it's going to be destroyed, we care because God cares. Love driven, not fear driven.

Christians and politics:
Causes of apathy:
sense of helplessness/ self absorption
lack of education

"Fear not your enemies- they can only kill you. Fear not your friends- they can only betray you. Fear instead the apathetic, for the will allow the killers and betrayers to safely walk the earth." - Edward Yashinski (Holocaust survivor)

Causes of division:
misplaced hope (church runs to political power to fix our problems)
misunderstanding (if you are a Christian, you vote Republican)
schism between liberal and conservative:
liberals embraced social justice issues
conservatives embraced moral/spiritual issues
civil rights movement: liberal/ conservative split

Christian values in the Republican party (2 Chronicles 7:14):
concern for unborn life
commitment to the nuclear family
value of work
American's allegiance to God
world wide freedom
commitment to individual morality

Christian values in the Democratic party (Micah 6:8):
care for the poor
human rights
concern for the environment
commitment to social morality
abolishment of the death penalty

Jesus' values (Luke 4:15-16):
pro all of life
concern for personal and social morality
social justice
peace and reconciliation
environment

Which kingdom?

"The church is a community of God's people rather than an institution and must not be identified with any particular culture, social or political system, or human ideology." - Lausanne Covenant

We have a civic duty.
Causes worthy of attention:
Concerns of the King.
Where is His focus? -The people, so that they can bring glory to Him.
immigration
environmental policy
abortion
foreign policy - war -global economic policy
local politicians
city councils and mayors
zoning laws
law enforcement
money to schools

How do we proceed?
kingdom hope -> The Savior and His work through people
kingdom role -> To speak against injustice
kingdom perspective -> Philippians 2:6-8, Good Samaritan, John 9:1-2 (The disciples saw a theological dilemma, not a person to be compassionate toward)
kingdom mission -> Do unto others

A verse that I reflected on during my much looked forward to Retreat of Silence: Psalm 147:2-3 The Lord builds up Jerusalem; He gathers together the outcasts of Israel. He heals the brokenhearted and binds up all their wounds. He counts the number of the stars, He calls them all by name.

Currently listening to: Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong- Can't we be Friends, also Mom's sewing machine.
Correct time: 8:52
Currently feeling: Hopeful about getting a job, and excited about summer school (Is that completely nerdy? I can't help it. I'm excited. Of course there are things I'd rather do, but this is it, so let's do it.)

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Tomorrow, I will type up my Rockbridge notes. But for tonight, this:

I was babysitting tonight, like 30 minutes after I got back from Rockbridge, which was crazy, but necessary. I was helping Singer London, age 9 monthes, learn to walk. She had her hand on a chest and the lid fell shut and she began to cry. I picked her up and held her; big tears were rolling down her cheeks. I felt so bad, and as I kissed her head, I couldn't help but wish she didn't have to experience the pain of learning to walk. I realized that if she never experienced that, she wouldn't learn to walk at all. Sometimes pain is a part of learning and growing. Just because I allowed her to learn from her pain, didn't mean that I loved her less. I began to think about God. How he lets us learn from pain. Just because pain happens doesn't mean he's not present, just like I was right there for Singer London, ready to pick her up and kiss her tears away.

I learn a lot about God from kids.




Leah wrote this: leah loves emily.

Monday, May 12, 2008

ROCKBRIDGE IS TOMORROW.

I sent out an email to the chapter to tell them what they needed to know about Rockbridge and it apparently had very many typos and I'm so embarrassed! I am normally so meticulous and careful about my syntax and grammar and Adam was telling me about my mistakes and how funny it was because it was me and I was like maaaan! And then it got worse because he was like, "this was my favorite mistake!" and I was like...I made so many mistakes, you have a favorite! I guess I pride myself on doing well linguistically and I clearly was brainless when I sent the email. Now, I've developed a sense of humor about it but at first I was like...

That was the random pointless story of the week. (: Now for my sermon notes!

May 11, 2008-1 Corinthians 13- Greg

Cultural context: Corinthians placed a high value on productivity, what they could see immediately.

chapter 13- rebuke on hierarchy of life

We base our value on the growth of our ministry, spiritual gifts, etc, but it means nothing.

v 11. still functioning as a child
v12. talking about Heaven

Everything will seem small when we get to Heaven, but love.
Faith and hope are vehicles to love.

When we get to Heaven, faith and hope will no longer be necessary.

"Heaven: a world of love." - Jonathan Edwards


-God offers His full heart without reservation to me.
When we make people the weight of our soul (to give us unconditional love), we crush them.

-It is irrational to long for something never experienced this side of heaven

Viseo Dei (face of God): Only place to find life, but sin has caused us to be unable to encounter that.

-Behavioral modification doesn't fix sin, sin is a poison in your blood.

Clouds, though beautiful and designed by God, cannot support the weight of a person, though they look like you could run all over them, they are like false infinites that we try to place the weight of our soul on.

Passions and longings aren't bad, but they should be pointed towards God.

"The people who are the most heavenly minded, will do the most earthly good."- CS Lewis

Currently listening to: Mayday Parade
Currently feeling: Hungry, (but no worries because Brittany and I are making Spiderman mac and cheese)and excited about Rockbridge. Also, sleepy.
Currently needing to: Write devotionals for camp
Currently wanting to: knit and watch a movie
real time: 2:05

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Revelations from Dan

Dan Stott: sheesh, you write a lot

It's true.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Saying goodbye, gracefully.

As I drove out of Greensboro today, I couldn't help but think that goodbyes are such lonely, sad rites of passage. Part of life, and yet dreadful. Who knows when you will see someone again, if ever. I get so sentimental. My roommates will be off to all corners of the world this summer (literally), and even when they come back, Brittany and Leah won't be my roommates anymore. I can't help but think about all the people who are changing. Cammy's moving to LA. Mary's getting married and moving to Asheville. Lydia and Alex are getting married. Andrew and Katherine are getting married and moving to a new town. Laura will be who knows where. Em Gar will move to Columbia (not SC). Em Wat will study in Scotland all year. Brittany graduate in December and will move to Alabama. Laura Jo will graduate early, and who knows where she'll go. David will be studying abroad. Adam is transferring to App. This isn't even my Senior year and people are going all sorts of places. It's like this every semester. College isn't ever constant, each semester brings a totally new dynamic. Just when I start to get used to how things are, and to love the rhythm, it all changes again. I sound so melancholy and whiny. I don't mean to, it's just that I get used to people, and I like them, so I want them to stay around me forever. I know that God is the one constant that I can depend on. He's the only one who will never change, never move.

In college, friends become family because they share your experiences, and your life, but now I see that I have a year left and my little makeshift family will be shoving off into the big world, the real world, spreading their wings to do great things. It's funny because when I am mid-semester, I am so ready to graduate and when things come to an end, I get so sad about it. I am excited and yet I am sad to think about college coming to an end. Over and over the Bible tells us to number our days and make the most of our time. I hope that I do.

I think that God comes quietly to hold my heart and say, "Don't be fooled. College days are not the best days of your life. The best is yet to come. You hear that college is as good as it gets, and wouldn't that stink, because you have years to come. I have promised good to you, take heart. "


PS. The time on these posts is wack and I cannot fix it so it says the right time. For example, it says it's 8, but really it's 11. Go figure.

Currently Listening to: Working Title, Heart (Unplugged).
Currently craving: Smores.

Ann and I are watching Full House.

James 2:14-18
What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him? Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to him, "Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed," but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.

But someone will say, "You have faith; I have deeds."
Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

I am so excited about:


Roommate time!!! (I cannot format this to save my life.)















Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Choosing to believe what we experiance, or what God tells us is true.

Currently listening to: Heart (Unplugged) Working Title
Currently drinking: Decaf coffee from Spring Garden Bakery

I would like to put some sort of disclaimer here. I think that people who know me will find that I am a happy, well adjusted person, and sometimes it seems that on here my posts are sort of melancholy. I just want to strive to be as genuine as possible, and genuine people have real feelings, so pardon me. I really am happy; I am surrounded by delightful people and live in my favorite city ever, it's just that sometimes I get over process-y. (:

Today my parents came from Wake Forest to see Chelsea get an award for her portfolio. It would have been awesome if it were a portfolio for art. But it was a portfolio for English.(I mean, it was still awesome.) I remember when I was little, every year, my science project won first place until the first year Chelsea competed with me, and then I didn't win and she did. So often, I feel that I have nothing to offer my family. Nothing that makes me special. Nothing that I do well. Chelsea's an artist, Lindy's a musician. I like art. I like music, and I play at the guitar, but I'm not outstanding in either area. My major isn't even based on a skill. If you can read or write, you can be an English major. People that have tried every other major narrow it down to English. (Of course, I love it.) Maybe teaching takes some skill. I just sat there listening to my parents tell Chelsea how awesome she was and I felt so disappointed. I feel like nothing I do makes them proud. I think that they wish that I would focus more on school and work and not bother with InterVarsity or Glenwood.

I feel like lately I've had to choose over and over whether I will believe what I feel or think, or what God says in the Bible. I know that God tells me that I am fearfully and wonderfully made. I am told by God that I am a workmanship, created to do good works, prepared in advance for me to do. I am told that God has begun a good work in me. God made me the way that I am, but I feel so disappointed in that. I guess I have to just trust that God knew what he was doing when he made me.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Philippians 4


Therefore, my brothers, you whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, that is how you should stand firm in the Lord, dear friends!

I plead with Euodia and I plead with Syntyche to agree with each other in the Lord. Yes, and I ask you, loyal yokefellow, help these women who have contended at my side in the cause of the gospel, along with Clement and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the book of life.

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.

I rejoice greatly in the Lord that at last you have renewed your concern for me. Indeed, you have been concerned, but you had no opportunity to show it. I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength.

Yet it was good of you to share in my troubles. Moreover, as you Philippians know, in the early days of your acquaintance with the gospel, when I set out from Macedonia, not one church shared with me in the matter of giving and receiving, except you only; for even when I was in Thessalonica, you sent me aid again and again when I was in need. Not that I am looking for a gift, but I am looking for what may be credited to your account. I have received full payment and even more; I am amply supplied, now that I have received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent. They are a fragrant offering, an acceptable sacrifice, pleasing to God. And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.

To our God and Father be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

Greet all the saints in Christ Jesus. The brothers who are with me send greetings. All the saints send you greetings, especially those who belong to Caesar's household. The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen.


I needed to read this today. Maybe you did too. (:

PS. Listen to Brooke Waggoner. I think that she is super.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Road to Emaus = worst Sunday school lesson ever

I taught Sunday school today with Kristi. As always when you have a room of 3, 4 and 5 year olds, it was eventful. My favorite were interactions with Emma Cate, the moodiest, most delightful 4 year old ever.

Emma C: Why did you change your hair? (I took it out of a ponytail.)
Me: I dunno, I just wanted to take it down. Does it look okay?
Emma C: It looks bad.
---

Me: Does anyone know what prophecy means?
(No one says anything.)
Kristi: No one?
Emma C: Is that something you do at the doctor's?
---

Me: Emma Cate, you shouldn't sit like that because people can see your underwear.
Emma C: I don't care.
Kristi: Can you sit right?
Me: Yeah, look at Kristi, she's sitting politely so you can't see her underwear. You gotta...keep your bases covered.
Emma C: Nope, I want to show my bases.

At that point, Kristi and I were laughing too hard for this Sunday school mini lesson to have much of an effect.

---

Emma Cate spills water down her dress, and I tell her not to worry, she'll be dry by the time Sunday school is over.
(Sunday school is over.)

Emma C: Emily.
Me: Yes?
Emma C: I'm not dry.
Me: I'm sorry.
(Emma Cate walks off.)

Believe it or not, we had like 7 kids today, but Emma was just on my case today.

Trust for the things you lack.

I am not very brave. I'm afraid of doing the wrong thing. I'm afraid of missing God's plan for my life. I'm afraid of change. Sometimes I think that it's not very fair that I didn't have a choice about being born. I just have to suck it up and be brave and live anyways. Not only do I have to live, I have to live well. Does this sound crazy? I'm okay if it does. All I'm trying to say, I guess is that growing up is hard and I think everyone should get more credit.
Tonight God and I sat on the steps in the cool air and discussed somethings. I told Him I wished that somehow I could make my parents proud and Him proud too. And then I wonder, do I at least bring joy to His heart? I need God to provide for me. Right now, I don't feel like He is; I just feel constantly worried. And sometimes I feel so pinned down. I hear that God offers freedom, but I don't experience it often. I feel like such a failure when actually I am a beloved child with a beautiful heart. How will I ever grasp these truths? I feel like there is no rest for me anywhere in the future. Today I picked up Lesli and Christian, Glenwood kids, to go to a marathon downtown and they needed breakfast, so I bought them some, but instead of cheerfully giving what God had graciously given me, I was so worried that I wouldn't have money later because I had spent it this morning. I was caught in this strange pull of knowing I should give, but feeling so overcome by the weight of money. And then, I was like, will this be my life? I will never have much money. Will this be a constant worry? Will I ever be able to give and not worry that my giving will break me? My parents tell my sisters not to be like me, because I chose a profession that will cause me to be poor.(out of a heart of wanting me to be well taken care of...) I have never worried before that I wouldn't have what I needed, but for the first time, today, a sudden panic hit me.
Laura Jo and I talked today about how we have this dual identity of materialism, and God's promise to provide along with his command to give. I was reading in Mark tonight and in Mark 10:24 Jesus says, "Children, how hard it is for those who trust in riches to enter the kingdom of God." This really hit me, because who doesn't trust in riches? We think that without money, we will be lost. I still am trying to process through all of this. I am broken hearted that right now I am not able to believe that God will provide for me, that I am struggling with this concept of money.

"Lord, I believe; help my unbelief."


"Of flesh and its false emotions I have quite had my fill. Of Jesus I cannot seem to get enough. Thank God, though, He does not thwart the soul's desire for Himself, but only whets the desire, intensifying, sublimating."
-Jim Elliot

Friday, May 2, 2008

I am a slow changer.

I don't like change. I love kickball because it's consistent. Every Friday at 4:30, we play. Never changes. Speaking of kickball, this weather was absolutely glorious. I rode my bike to class, sat on the lawn for hours and hours just talking to people, played kickball. I love being outside.

But I have to revisit the idea of change. Last night was Senior night. People are leaving. People I've grown to love and people I've been used to having around. I hate thinking about how in a year, I will be graduating. Of course when I'm in the middle of everything, I am ready to be done, but I love college and I love... this. I wouldn't change a thing. I don't see why people have to grow up and move and get married and all of that. People say it will happen to me, but I just don't think so. I feel like people are moving all around me and I just stay...the same, forever. It doesn't matter what I think, changes happen.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Unexpected reminders of how life should be lived

Last night Jay and I went to the grocery story. There was a man taking the bread off of the crates and stacking it on the shelf. He did it so meticulously and the bread was in such a straight lines and it looked so well done. I thought to myself, as Jay picked out the best brand of hot dog buns, that if I could do anything I might do so well as this man organized something so simple as bread, I would be very content. No task is too small to be done without care, but so often, I get caught up in wanting to do big, noticeable, "important" things. I forget that small things with great love are what show the Father's heart best.