Sunday, September 27, 2009

if you don't feel like being merciful to me, go read something else.

1560 sunday morning services - not counting separately for the years of 2, and even 3, services.
780 sunday evening services
520 midweek services
60 christmas & good friday services - again, not counting separately for 2 or 3 on one night
312 friday nights at youth
77 full days at church camp, all of which ended with a campfire service

that totals 3309 services, and is *conservative*. in more than half of those i have been an active participant, serving in some capacity. i have led worship, preached, led small groups, set up chairs, taken down chairs, rolled tables, rolled cables, watched babies, taught sunday school, set up food, baked food, greeted, made crafts, led kid worship, been a youth leader, been a camp counselor, and more. and each of those sundays, services & camps i was the "pastor's kid" or the "pastor's wife". the church has been my fishbowl - always someone watching to see if i get out of line, waiting to judge what i wear or say or do. if it wasn't you judging, trust me, it was someone else.

lately i have felt the cumulative weight of all 3309. Jesus said, "come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and i will give you rest." what happens when it is the service for Jesus, who i love, that makes me weary? what then?

Saturday, September 26, 2009

the times they are a changin'

this is not what my life looked like when i was 11. :)

Monday, September 21, 2009

proust questionnaire

made popular by the 19th century french writer, marcel proust, it's designed to give others insight into your personality.

your favorite virtue: integrity
your favorite qualities in a man: humor, honesty, Godliness, integrity & humility, loyalty
your favorite qualities in a woman: authenticity, humor, non-competitiveness
your chief characterisic: loyalty
what you appreciate most in your friends: dependability, acceptance of my whole self, laughing
your main fault: pride/stubborness
your idea of happiness: a tropical beach & nothing to do
your favorite occupation: teacher/speaker
your idea of misery: chaotic, loud, frantic
if not yourself, who would you be: a house cat
where would you like to live: right here
your favorite color & flower: red & stargazer lilies
your favorite prose authors: lee child, carol o'connell, brett battles, meg cabot
your favorite poets: vincent, sara groves
your favorite heros in fiction: jack reacher, westley "dread pirate roberts", inigo
your favorite heroines in fiction: kathy mallory
your favorite food & drink: steak, chocolate, dumplings, red wine, diet pepsi, fruity martini's
your favorite names: jacob, isaiah, kate, luca
what i hate the most: belittling
what history characters i hate the most: the boys who incited the crusades, and the holocaust
the natural talent i'd like to be gifted with: flying
how i wish to die: old, surrounded by family and friends who have loved me my whole life
what is your present state of mind: tired & sore
for what fault have you most toleration: opinionated
your favorite motto: nos cedamus Amori (now let us yield to Love)

Sunday, September 20, 2009

best (?) science fair project ever!

ok. i don't know if you guys all follow failblog, but this made me laugh OUT LOUD. enjoy!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

"Jewish Spirituality - A Brief Introduction for Christians"

i finished reading my first book from cj the other day... and i found it beautiful & fascinating on several levels.

first was the overwhelming feeling of gentleness. even when writing about mitzvah (the keeping of the commandments, observing the sabbath, etc), rabbi kushner speaks so gently, even tenderly, that i was struck by how our spiritual writings are so lacking in gentleness. maybe it's the "go get'em" attitude of american culture, but i just wanted to soak myself in his words. sadly, i could not imagine a Christian author from the contemporary marketplace being able to give someone of a Jewish faith such an introduction.

in sharp contrast to this, though, there was a real loss to me in reading such beauty and not having it point to Jesus. truly, the thing that sets Christianity apart from all other faiths is the unique belief that God not only created once, spoke then & acts now, but that he came, and in his coming in the person of Jesus invites me and you to know him personally and intimately. for real. it was almost lonely, or haunting, to read something so close to my own faith and yet so distinctly apart from the whole Person & Point of it. It struck me anew that without Jesus, i am lost.

one of the fascinating parts was how the book is so... storied. i got about half way through before it occurred to me that it was just how Jesus taught people. rabbi kushner would make a statement, for instance how the Jewish people see the Torah (first 5 books of the OT) as a beautiful orchard. he then proceeds to describe the orchard, not necessarily the Torah. or he makes a statement about the reality of something, but rather than attempt to define or clarify his statement, he tells a story, or two - parables. it's just like Jesus. he didn't lay out "the kingdom of God"... he talked about mustard seeds and yeast. the listener (or in this case, reader) is left to discern the meaning. it's really quite a beautiful thing, actually. it makes me want to back and reread Jesus teaching with parables, to hear about figs and coins and sheep.

i am very much looking forward to the next book....

Monday, September 14, 2009

Jesus was Jewish?

i borrowed 3 books from cj today:

'jewish spirituality - a brief introduction for christians'
'Jeshua - a guide to the real Jesus & the original church'
'the sage from galilee - rediscovering Jesus' genius' (this last with a caveat from cj that it was a bit... sketchy)

i am looking forward to reading them... it's an area of study i have barely pursued at all, and think is quite fascinating. i'll keep you up to date with anything good or sketchy! :)

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

a whole new world!

here are the best things - after day one - of my new job.
  1. i get to wear jeans & t's to work
  2. the people i work with are super nice
  3. i get to play my own music as loud as i want
  4. i get a lot of independence
  5. i get a fashion magazine's worth of new styles, textures & pieces every day
  6. the hours are absolutely perfect
  7. i earn actual currency
so... the hardest thing about my new job? not spending my paycheck on gorgeous dove-gray sweaters!

Wednesday, September 02, 2009


woe is me.

i suffer from all the maladies of my culture... insecurity, envy, self-everything. the voices shouting out from the advertisements have done me in. my hair is not shiny enough, my skin not smooth enough, my hips not narrow enough, my teeth not white enough.

woe, indeed.

i have a little book on my coffee table called "the lady who was beautiful on the inside". after hearing her woe over the ladies in the magazines, her hairdresser says to her, "... your beauty comes from DEEP WITHIN you. and that is the most beautiful BEAUTY of all."

so she goes off into the world, trying to believe her hairdresser (who had vanished after his pronouncement). sun shone, flowers bloomed, children laughed and people danced... and though she wondered if it was a "strange & fortunate coincidence", the book ends this way:

"in the end it did not matter. for the lady had seen the POWER of the beauty INSIDE her. and from then on, everywhere she went, LOVELINESS happened. for she did have a very BEAUTIFUL beauty indeed."

could it be true? could we each, differently, have a very BEAUTIFUL beauty within us? could it be that our very selves might be beautiful? that my very self might be? wouldn't it be wondrous if under our rather stubborn hair & lumpy sweaters, deep beneath, lay a beauty to make children laugh and people dance? and even more, what if we had the courage to let our beauty be seen? to let it grow and fall on the people around us, giving them freedom to live into and out of their own gift of beauty? what if we learned to live so that everywhere we went, LOVELINESS could happen?

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

from "the magnificent defeat"...

instead of everything standing still and sure, suddenly nothing is standing still, and everything is unsure. something new and shattering is breaking through into something old. something is trying to be born. and if the new thing is going to be born, then the old thing is going to have to give way, and there is agony in the process as well as joy, just as there is agony in the womb as it labors and contracts to bring forth new life. ... (but) we try to fend off this world we yearn for where men live as brothers because there is something in each of us that wants to live not for his brother but for himself. we fend it off because we know in our terrible wisdom that the price we must pay for it is death, the death of self and all the values of self, the death that must take place before the life can come.