Lily "You cannot be a bulimic Christian...binge and spew forth"
So we reflected a little at lunch today on the different things we'll remember--9/11, OKC, Columbine & other shootings, Saddam, The Passion, The Lord of the Rings , War on Terror, The Columbia, The 2004 SuperBowl halftime show, Gore/Bush election & the Florida Recount, ...
How much postive do we really remember? What is yet to come?
and of course, on an extremely local level, what will our little crew remember and laugh about years in the future while our children are either annoyed, out of their beds listening "unbeknownst" to us, and what not?
I do hope we maintain contact in the years to come, to continue to be there to celebrate one another's joy's and weep and pray over one another's sorrows.
*raises up a prayer* *raises up a glass and wait's for the clink*
I'm sitting here pondering the wonderful world of ethics, mankind, and Christianity.
I am fairly conservative and have a fairly strict standard of ethics. I can only justify lying when a life is in danger. Commitments are meant to be kept. If one signs a contract, one should hold to the terms of that contract as far as they don't directly contradict the laws of God. I generally believe in working for money. I pray that I wouldn't see out on my ethics.
and it bothers me greatly when people around me have a lower set of ethics than myself. I realize that people have different perspectives, but I think ethics is one of those areas for Christians that there are some very strong absolutes.
Because if we can fudge on the little things, what will happen when something is important and matters? If we can compromise on some simple commitment, how easy would it be compromise on some other commitment like marriage? One thine I have seen work out fairly accurately is the idea that little compromises can and will lead to bigger compromises. If I were to be wary of a person, it would be of a person who compromises on little things.
I tell myself that I am blessed to not find myself stereotyping people based on their past or characteristics. But then, I think I have done that a few times with stuff like engineers, fuzzy people, computer geeks, and guys only to find my stereotypes proved wrong about fifty percent of the time.
But anyway. I really hate stereotypes and the habit of humans to profile someone based on their past or unique traits given by God. There are the amusing times--such as my being assumed ignorant or a ditz because I'm a female and/or blonde. But I've seen cases where people begin to judge another based on elements of their past--mistakes, circumstances, whatever.
I grant that there is a validity in being wary of "the what if's" based on something about a person. There are common threads with people of certain characteristics. But, I happen to be one who believes in the best of people. I know that they are fallen human beings, but I also believe that they can and have good in them. What drives me up the wall even more is when people profile other Christians. I guess it seems to me as if there is a lack of faith in God's redemptive work. I do realize that people aren't made completely perfect at the moment they accept Christ, but I also believe that people do change little by little and that we should watch for that change rather than watch for their mistakes. Trust God with the "what ifs" and "this could happens".
I'm not sure where the line falls when it comes to trusting people. I know we should trust God first and foremost, but trust is an element in relationships between people too. Does God use trust between humans to help bring about change?
With mistakes: God wipes the slate clean of eternal consequences but it does seem that earthly consequences continue. This is all so confusing and so many things run together in my head.
*reminds self to use this as a Doctrines journal entry*
Well. It wasn't horrible I will say. The latter half was much better than the morning for sure.
The theme of the conference was ethics in relativistic world.
After a nice little breakfast and two couple o coffeeThe first guy was a engineer/businessman and he gave a presentation I would expect to hear at a business chapel. Although there was some relevance, there wasn't much for me. I feel asleep since I had only had about six and a half hours of sleep. But I got some interesting things down. I'd wished I had had one of the crew to sit there with during a few moments of disagreement and frustration. And oh yeah, we had this father of a previewer who made some comments that were...interesting. Such as a comment on his brother who belives that money and power are corrupt and that missionaries also believe this fact. I turned to Trina and we were both very horribly stricken by this statement. Another element was one of the principles of the Christian employee: Count one's superiors worthy of honor in your thought, word, and deed. Respect yes. Honor, that is earned in my book. Although I do need to do some more pondering on the commandment to "Honor thy father and mother" and those parents were are quite unperfect and unparentlike. Anyways, finally we got out of that and were supposed to break out into groups to discuss "What? and So what?" but we stared out the window toward the construction of the parking lot and talked about other things until it was time for lunch. Saga catered lunch. Blah. Firecracker wrap things with olives, black beans, and unhealthy looking lettuce and tomato. But the chicken inside was good. And the apple pie was good.
After lunch we had the pleasure of listening to Dr. Kesler again. And although it wasn't as funny as chapel, it was just as good and I'm hoping that there is a recorded message somewhere because I can't take down quotes fast enough sometimes.
After a bit of break to my room for some socks and something warmer to wear in the cold MSC-3, I went back for another hour, this with Rosemary Farmer wife of Richard Allen Farmer who spoke at a chapel last semester. She did a good job too. It was a good discussion at how to go at moral dilemmas and also leaving behind a legacy idea.
And now, after some cheese and crackers, I'm back here at my room contemplating that I should get something done so as to expand my study time tomorrow for the three midterms I have Monday and Tuesday. And I'm thinking that a brief nap might be nice too.
I should be thinking less about myself and my struggles
and Praying for thosse I love instead.
Why is it such a struggle? I could stop writing this right now,
stop, get away into a quiet place and pray.
But yet I feel the need to write, to express my thoughts.
Am I really doing all I can?
Balance, balance, balance.
Is it really possible?
God help me.
But most of all, help them.
what to say
what to do
hurting are the people
you love them dearly
you want to reach out
but remembering it's not about you
toss aside what you're doing
ignore what you think
praying for help for you
wishing to take their pain
wanting to make it right
wanting to understand
to say the right thing
to offer the right touch
I want to carry their loads
I want to show love
They've been there for me
Am I being there for them?
So it seems to be destined to be another long, hard semester--and more than just on the academic level. I'll leave that at that for now.
In some ways, I think the students of this campus are going through a Job time.
There's so much I want to say, and yet I can't. Maybe I had better just pull out my doctrines notes from earlier and share a few of those more pleasant thoughts:
A new analogy for thinking about predestination/free will:
So we are dead in our sins and heart has stopped beating. But there is this great defibrillator uses on our heart and some of us respond and the heart begins beating again to a new life. Others do not and stay dead in their sins.
We were discussing regeneration today and Dr. Woodring was using the example of a dead car battery that must have an external action upon it to recharge it : as in, regeneration is action of God to give us that new life, as I think about it "that instantaneous spark."
All this, and I've been thinking quite a bit today about our response to other Christians. We learn in Education about "At-Risk" people and the traits that make them so. But you see, I'm more of a "take it as it comes person" and although I do place validity in being wary of how someone's background will affect their actions and such, I also believe the best of people and pray for their success. and if they do fail, I try to forgive, support, and encourage rather than judge. I see how someone's background might make them more liable to give in to a certain temptation, but I also believe that they have the power of the Holy Spirit upon them and they CAN escape. Christians from being born again are given the ability not to sin as Christ had on earth.
all right, i'm getting confused and really starting to sound confusing I am sure. so i'll leave now and go to bed.
"Great Light of the World" by Bebo Norman
Great Light Of The World
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Sometimes at night
I am afraid
I cover my eyes,
Cover my shame
So here in the dark
Come with your light
And fill up my heart
Oh great light of the world
Fill up my soul
Iím half a man here
So come make me whole
Oh great light of the world
Come to impart
The light of your grace
To fill up my heart
The wind of this world
Can push us around
Folding us up
Backing us down
But here in the dark
Iím not alone
So come with your strength
And carry me home
I don't know if I could express really this song affects me...all I know is I don't mind having it stuck in my head. and this semester, I need some good songs.
one week ago i was bundled up against a snow-blowing cold wind. Today I was able to walk around in a sleeveless shirt and shorts with flip flops. I like warm sunshiny days.
and now i sit waiting for time to roll around so as to have a lovely evening out with my favorite friends. and be glad that it is warm so as not to be quite cold while wearing my strappy formal.
Dr. Woodring is definitely blessed by God for coming up with analogies on the spot that work very well to get his point across.
Since we discussed Calvinism last week, we discussed Arminianism today. He explained some of the questions we had regarding imputed righteousness and other such stuff and than he began to talk about tension theology.
Ya see, he explained that all of these were methods of resolving the tension between free will and God's providence as both are presented in the Bible and that neither is all right. Dr. Woodring puts his vote in for tension not necessarily being a bad thing to have within Christian, biblical doctrine but rather, a good thing. He said that tension can be good in relationships. Conflict is not good, but tension is good. It was a nice distinction.
Than he gave two analogies in class today. One is hard to explain because it requires drawing a picture. The other I can explain here and has to do with the idea of discovering God. If God were a rainbow and the rainbow was behind a mountain that we were walking towards, we would slowly gain a better perspective of that rainbow as we got closer--could see more colors, or from different angles although you could never see all of it with all the colors. I came up with my own similar analogy: trying to discover EVERYTHING about God is like trying to come up with every digit of pi. You can get a clearer, more accurate estimation of pi as you get more digits and work through the steps. However, you'll never be able to find every single digit of pi.
I'll try to post some more thoughts later from class. For now, I must be ready for bed so as to be ready for a lovely and short Wednesday--with presentation in stats.
I'm halfway through reading an argument for Arminianism and I figured that I should write out my own thoughts regarding the topic of controversy.
I fall in the "middle ground" between Calvin and Arminius but probably have slightly more Arminian tendencies. This is how I see it:
God is the creator or the earth and all mankind. God crafted the heart of each and every person and I believe that he created into every heart a desire for him to fill that missing hole from the fall--Plumb has a song called "God-Shaped Hole" that reflects this idea well. God created into humans free will and a longing for Himself. He crafts the consequences to the choices that we'll make and he knows how we will choose. He has provided a way unto Himself and we choose whether or not we will follow that Way. He encourages and draws us, but some people ignore, reject, or miss it.
And it works well for me--but than I start to think about those who have never heard the gospel and I wonder what makes one person different from another. I just don't know. But God does. and somehow it all works together.
All I can say is, for those who missed chapel, you missed something special. The first half wasn't that great...didn't really know the songs and all that stuff that s hard to fight being distracted by when worshipping God. But the second half...there are almost no words to describe. I applaud God for using Vinny today and I pray that what happened this morning wasn't a one time thing and continue to impact the lives of students around here. It was so cool though, because at the beginning of chapel this morning I had prayed for God to make this one that people wouldn't forget and just to be there. and He was. oh how He was. *added later* Here are a few other thoughts I remember from chapel--When Vinny began his talk by asking the question of asking "who here is sick?" I knew what was coming and inwardly began a little battle or whether or not I would go forward. You see, with this heart stuff, I've asked myself often about asking for the annointing of oil and such, questioning faith-healing and what to do there. To get the pacemaker or no? I've had a lot of good discussions with people--and reminders of the classic parable type story of the man whose house was flooded and refused the help of three people who went by. Than he asked GOd why he hadn't saved him and God told the man that he offered his help in the three people who came by. anyways. i still haven't firmly decided on getting the pacemaker, and i would really appreciate prayer on making that decision in knowing what God's will is there--for me to live life trusting in him as my pacemaker, or whether he is offering me to trust him by getting the pacemaker. (i guess that doesn't have as much to do with chapel, but it gives a little more idea of what i internally was going through.) *end added thoughts*
and for the other stuff--off key singers, people not on beat, mistakes by people on stage--it happens. I pray and wish we could get past all that...even as I am one who has a lot of trouble not complaining. The point is not about sounding good to us.
This was just too good (to me) not to post up:
When things in your life seem almost too much to handle, when 24 hours in a day are not enough, remember the mayonnaise jar......and the coffee.
A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him. When the class began, wordlessly he picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls. He then asked the students if the jar was full.
They agreed that it was. So the professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls. He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was.
The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else. He asked once more if the jar was full. The students responded with a unanimous "Yes."
The professor then produced two cups of coffee from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar, effectively filling the empty space between the sand. The students laughed.
"Now," said the professor, as the laughter subsided, "I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life. The golf ball are the important things--your family, your children, your health, your friends, your favorite passions--things that if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full. The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, your house, your car. The sand is everything else--the small stuff."
"If you put the sand into the jar first," he continued, "there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls. The same goes for life. If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff, you will never have room for the things that are important to you. Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. Play with your children. Take time to get medical checkups. Take your partner out to dinner. Play another 18. There will always be time to clean the house and fix the disposal.
"Take care of the golf balls first, the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand."
One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the coffee represented.
The professor smiled. "I'm glad you asked. It just goes to show you that no matter how full your life may seem, there's always room for a couple of cups of coffee with a friend."
now i myself would probably polish this up a little bit by trying to make God the sole priority and than everything after that. maybe the jar is God :-) at any rate, i am off to me bed now.
So i just got finished rereading through the first three months of my blog.
it's odd though; it seems to me as if i was a stronger person spiritually last spring than i am now. i had more of the passion back then. I wonder what happened. it's probably just how life goes.
well, it is almost that time to have dinner with my absolutely wonderful loving caring and all good things boyfriend.
Happy Valentine's Day!
now I shall go add links on my sidebar for these.
ah, it's been a good day, good enough that i must post before i sleep.
work was nice and slow.
doctrines was full of thought as the current topic is "election" aka, free will & predestination and fun stuff. Dr. Woodring is an awesome teacher. I hope I can be that good of a teacher one day. He doesn't force us to side with him but to think, to study, to search, to build one's own understandings and beliefs. Everyone was sort of quiet as they were tired...I was quite full of questions and kept Dr. Woodring answering for awhile. Than other popped up after awhile :-) It was a good class and now I have a handout to read supporting Arminianism--since the author of the textbook is a Calvinist.
After that I finished cleaning my room before heading out for the evening for a concert in Shreveport. We grabbed Chick-Fil-A on the way (hey that rhymes!) and followed my roommate's boyfriend's sister's family. It was much easier to get to than I anticipated and easy getting to our main floor, front rows seats too. Bebo Norman opened. which was sad in that he only got to play five songs. Than Amy Grant played, and it was good although not near as nice compared to the other two. It was more than I expected and I enjoyed that part. After intermission came the best part of the concert--MercyMe. they did an excellent job--and I think the worship was more than crafted by the lights and music; it was genuine. They also sang a new song which is destined to be great for many reasons--one because it is great, two because it's a very moving song--tearjerker, and three, because people will see it as a "sequel" to "imagine" although it isn't as much. It was a song writted in sorrow because as the lead singer put it "that's what songwriters do." I was very happy to note that mercyMe and Bebo sound as good live as they do on c.d.--their voices are made to sound good by recording equipment. It was just fabulous. *odd thought* let's see 2004-1998 is 6 years ago on friday the 13th of february i attended a michael w. smith concert. and this year on thursday the 12th i attend another good Christian concert. oddness. that valentine's weekend of 1998 was a memorable one for lots of reasons...
and than we had a nice drive back to longview to pick up parts in the reading of "Romeo and Juliet". I am the Nurse and it is a fun part to have. And reading it with this crew is SOOOOOOOOOOO much better than it was when we read it in high school. and i think there is a scene or two that we didn't read in HS...
and now it is time for me to sleep. i had another though to expand my ideas on the tower of babel later--a connection between languages and communication, and possibly the added difficulties of different forms of communication post babel.
So i've been sitting here and contemplating the mysteries of the various philosophies of teaching and what not, and just how people are different in their approaches to something or another.
and somewhere in the recesses of my brain where connections are made, I thought of the Tower of Babel. Ya see, I was thinking that in a "idea world" where everyone was united and what not, maybe there really would only be one workable method for every single person when it comes to teaching. and I was struck by the thought that maybe with the spreading of peoples with different languages came also the beginnings (speculation here) of different methods and perspectives of attacking things like teaching the younger peoples.
eventually I'll procrastinate some form of homework and create some other flags
One thing that keeps striking at me is how people teach various things to children that aren't true. George Washington didn't really cut down a cherry tree. The things taught to us in Sunday School may not be right and/or agreed with by other well-educated and strong Christians. and the one I am pondering most right now: "Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me." That's such a lie. Words hurt and can strike deep. Words are a powerful weapon and even when something is said with one frame of meaning, they can strike a chord inside a person and open up an old wound. (or maybe fresh) No, we shouldn't teach children that words don't hurt but maybe we better help them along the journey of learning how to deal with the hurt individually--how to lean upon God and cry out to him, how to forgive and let go (although we'll never forget), how to know it isn't wrong to cry and feel hurt by what others call us or say to us; teach children how to take these example and be stronger, to teach them the importance of using words carefully and understanding that what they may say to other children may hurt them. We can't shelter our children from the world of hurt but we can teach them how to fight and how to think on their own.
Something else: Forgiveness doesn't mean immediate healing.
We are discussing God's grace in Doctrines tomorrow and I just finished reading the assignment. I could reflect on the wonders of His grace upon my life all day long and than some. One of the questions was to give an example of God's common grace in each of six realms--it was so easy and that is another blessing right there...that I am able to recognize the hand of God in my life.
It is so awesome to see little fingerprints of God's grace upon everyday little things to knowing his hands carried me through rough times or kept me safe from the world of sorrow. I think about the wonderful little moments of playing out in the mud and rain with friends instead of doing homework. I think about the friends I have. I think about how God has pulled me through school even while I was very sick. I think about how God has kept me safe whenever I've been on the road. How I was lucky to be raised in a good home. How I was able to come to an expensive school on a conglomeration of financial aid. I fight the tears as I remember God's continual grace on my life through some hard teenage years and moments. How he kept my hand from slicing my wrists. I consider the blessing and grace of knowledge that I have and ease of learning many things. I am fairly certain I could sit here all day and reflect upon God's grace in my life.
Always sweet to me will be the second and third verses of "Amazing Grace:"
twas grace that taught my heart to fear
and grace my fears relieved
how precious did that grace appear
the hour I first believed
Through many dangers, toils and snares
I Have already come
Tis grace that brought me safe thus far
and Grace will lead me home
Know that feeling of being tired and needing sleep but yet somehow not wanting to go to bed yet? Knowing that it is fully possible--nothing like homework is hampering you or your roommate's chattering or whatnot--but yet feeling like you'll miss something if you go to sleep or maybe it's just that feeling of something not completed yet, something is missing. That's me right now.
What is this thing that I cannot pinpoint that holds me from crawling underneath my blankets and sleeping to dream of a strange and nonsensical reality? Maybe it was all that thinking I did on my past. I'll be posting that on the old blog later since it's going to be a long one. Or maybe it was that strange feeling of sitting down and being just the slightest bit of lonely, of missing that one person who seems to make your world complete. Every once in awhile I feel like a completely different person in one little bubble than in another--by myself versus with this group of friends or with just Josh. It's disconcerting because I don't know which self is really me. Does anyone ever really know who they are?
This is what happens at 2:33 a.m. Please don't be worried if you are about me. For I'll go to sleep; I'll wake up; and go on as normal.
and this is just special : http://www.heartbeat2000.com/
Wow.... what a yesterday it was.
I'll start from Sunday. It was mostly normal and I had the pleasure of seeing The Godfather for the first time. I liked it well enough and it has a fairly well deserved spot on the list of great movies. Church was good as St. Michael's new rector preached his first Sunday as rector. He's a good one and I'm glad the church has a good rector now although Father Neil will be missed. However, on the way back from church my car started to have some serious issues.
Monday I woke up with a cold. Mostly just a stuffy/runny nose. It was a normal Monday as much as I remember and I spent all evening in the library with friends, finding that the library had recently added some books by some favorite authors of mine in continuing a favorite series. So yes, I am now spending my spare time and procrastination time by reading the book. I wasn't feeling as well by the end of the day so off I went to bed because it was to be an early morning.
I woke up at 7:45, got dressed, and stumbled out of the dorm into the freezing but sunny air to my car. I started it up and grabbed the scraper out of the back to scrape the frost off the windows so I could see. After warming it all up, I drove to the other end of the parking lot to meet up with Josh who was going to follow me to the car repair place and off we went. We made it there fine, left the keys and got some coffee at Promised Grounds since I like to see how Common Grounds compares to the Longview places. I had a mocha. I like C.G. better. We use actual chocolate. They used a chocolate flavoring it tasted like.
We came back since Josh had a 9:30 class. I was feeling very not well so I read in bed until the chaplains meeting where we learned some CPR basics (not certification but at least a general idea). Next was a normal SAGA lunch and than Doctrines which was nice and slow because it was small groups discussing papers. I went back to my room and discovered that my car was ready for pick-up and that all was nice and cheap. The people who did the tune-up didn't get all the wires connected. They now owe me. So Josh and I went off to pick up the car. After having to pay in cash since my credit card was declined for some unknown reason, we started the drive back. I had to make a fast start into traffic and the car acted up a bit with it but I wasn't too terribly concerned. Well, about 3 miles out of the car repair place at a stoplight I noticed that the car was idling at 400 rpm and I was having a lot of trouble getting it to go. So I decided we'd have to go back with it and made a left turn into a parking lot as the engine died during the turn and my power steering went but it was still fine. I tried starting the car and it didn't want to stay started. I called the repair man and he said get it back. Well, the only way to keep the car going was to keep gas on it at all times...including when stopped. I wasn't sure I could handle this so Josh and I traded keys and I followed him back to the repair shop. The repair guy took the keys, checked something in the engine and took it for a ride, came back, fixed what he wanted and all was well. (excepting my frayed nerves from being tired and ill). We got back to campus, had dinner. Than I had cults class and found out that an elder at a local church my parents attended had committed suicide. I knew I'd have to let my parents know so after class (about 9 p.m) I went back to my room and called my parents. They were fairly shocked as has been anyone who knew the man. We also discussed our lives in general and what not and I got off with the idea that i needed to get grading done. However, first I tried to access my credit card account and found that I could not. Finally around 10 I got to the grading, feeling very unwell so I didn't go and join the crew at the library this time. I was still grading at 12:30...far after I had planned to be done when I noticed this strange sound coming from above my head and to the left. It sounded like something was scratching inside the styrofoam cooler I have on my very top shelf. To make sure I wasn't hearing things again, I asked Lily if she heard it and she did too. She climbed to get the box while I held a shoe. Being as how the thought of a roach or something getting into our beds and chasing it around the room was very unpleasant, we took the whole box with lid firmly down into the well-lit and empty hallway. we opened it up, took things out and were baffled as we discovered nothing unusual and the sound had stopped. Well, I was shaking one of the boxes with styrofoam peanuts that had been inside the cooler and very suddenly a two and half inch long roach FLEW out of the box towards Lily who screamed and jumped back. The roach had flown to the inner frame of a door and we had attracted a few other girls who wanted to know what was going on. I took my shoe and hit the thing until it fell down on the carpet with legs wriggling in the air and explained to those who were still sleepy and confused what was going on. Lily finished off the still living roach and deposited it in the trash. I put the cooler back to its home upon the shelf and explained to Wheeler and Josh what had occured because I had been talking to them online before the whole bit. I finally finished the grading an hour later after finding my red pen again and took a shortened shower and crawled into bed a little before 2 a.m.
So I woke up this morning and dragged myself to statistics, chapel, education class which was again interestingly infuriating. Than lunch where Wheeler informed me of the ultimate rat story and than I went back to my room and read myself to sleep until dinner a few hours later. We had a good meal at Bodacious; we went to the library where i did devo prep and doctrines test prep. I had devos which was a very small crowd so we just decided to share all the prayer requests and pray and delay the study until another week. And after cleaning up some of my more in the way clutter and writing a check and washing dishes, I have been sitting here writing my story for your amusement.
I think it's time to read again :-)
Personality Disorder Test Results
from my planning and assessment textbook:
"It is usually wise to offer some less desirable rewards for a few tokens and most desirable rewards for a larger number of tokens....With older students you might offer being excused from a homework assignment for a few tokens and being allowed to listen to music in class for several tokens."
umm, pardon me...but wouldn't being excused from a homework assignment be more desirable for more students?