Some former fellow teachers and I were talking at lunch today about the different things we've noticed ourselves doing because we still have "the teacher mentality"
For example--we find ourselves trying to save the scraps of paper and every last paper clip instead of remember the supply cabinet is just a few feet away and almost always stocked with new supplies. Or acutally being able to ask for unique supplies--like a ruler or scissors, kleenex, (in my case a protractor and graph paper) and the pop-up post-it note dispenser--not having to supply one's own.
Or having trouble getting used to being able to leave work, at work. Ya know--we don't have to take it home! (Now granted, there will probably come times when weather/or upcoming deadline may result in work going home...) I still haven't gotten used to be able to come home without anything pressing to do and actually feeling like cooking!
I find myself in the mornings and afternoons as I leave for work/leave work having to stop and remind myself, that no, I'm not forgetting a back of grading or something like that. My shoulder is still confused that it ONLY carries a purse back and forth to work and the occasional small lunch.
And the fact that we don't have to be quite AS concerned about what we are doing in public and how it may or may not offend parents who could be nearby.
It's also hard, but pleasurable, to get used to the quiet...but yet also sort of missing the teacher camaraderie that would happen throughout the day. Or not getting used to be not being tied to a bell schedule. and the though that it is OKAY to take vacation time right before a holiday break! And being free to schedule dr appts whenever during the day rather than worry about getting things done during a conference period or after school or on a "free day" and really, none of us misses ALL the required inservice, committee meetings, and training days. or, even better DUTY! (a job where I'm not required to monitor the bathrooms or lunchroom or some other inane thing like that)
It's rather nice. I do miss interacting with students--but I'll look into working some kind of tutoring program on evenings/weekends once we get settled into our new home.
So, inspired by the thought of various friends pursuing or about to pursue a master's degree, I did a little bit of google browsing of master's programs for math education.
It made me drool and it made me think. It also gave me a few insights as I think about when I'll want to start this course of action.
First, for some reason, I think I'd prefer a Masters of Science over a Master's of Arts. I'm not fully sure why, I am quite well-rounded with the whole right-brain, left-brain thing, but just pondering the courses offered for each degree...something seems more appealing about the M.S. I don't know, I'll have to do a bit more studying and comparing.
This actually seems to narrow my options a bit as the M.S. doesn't appear to be as widely offered as an M.A.
Second thing I noticed is that I probably need at least another year of teaching to qualify for any decent program. Even U. of P. online wants at least three years of experience...hehehe. I'd like to go with the online route, but then, I really do love education for learning too and I think I'd get too bored and not think as much with online.
I really like the initial look of the Berkley and Syracuse programs. They make them so pretty looking and sounding! But I'm sure, depending on where we end up in the future, that there will be other options closer to where we could end up living...although you never know...maybe we could end up in NY or CA...if josh's dreams come true...
So for a little while longer I shall wait and ponder what I want my next degree to be like, to mean, and what really honestly interests me and "fits" me.
what inspired the early morning introspection, I don't know.
I was just thinking this morning about myself and friends and suddenly I began to think that I have a fear of rejection--based on past experience and thus irrational fears at times.
When I was younger, I tried to be friends with various school persons and wasn't accepted--somehow I was too smart or wasn't cool enough--wasn't preppy enough. I'm still grateful to God that I had my wonderful group of friends from church! (Love you Lady!)
In college, I started to overcome a shyness that developed as a teenager because of great college friends from my freshman year on. I didn't get close to everyone, but they helped me overcome a lot of things. It was possible to be me and to laugh with others at myself than have people laugh at me while I was hurt.
I'm not a natural idea-giver and go-getter at talking to people or calling them up because I've had bad experiences with this before, and I really do have this shyness--which means it's hard to maintain some of my friendships that have developed because I'm scared to do much. I'm so scared of things falling away over time that I don't do anything because I fear being hurt.
It also doesn't help that I discovered there isn't a perfect friendship except the one we have with Our Father Savior Encourager. I discovered this shortly after being married last year when I was intentionally excluded from a rather big thing...and when I tried in my bumbling way to express this hurt, I was given excuses and general pats on the back, but no direct apologies. It made me an outsider to a wonderful group of people. There I was again, feeling rejected and all the past stumbling blocks to me making an effort to be a part og a group came back. because I realized they didn't know me very well at all, nor I them. and now I feel this as I only get occasional news. I just have to pick up my phone and call...but I feel like I can't...and I'm afraid to.
I MUST ADMIT that part of the feeling that I can't is I also have this natural bent of wanting things to be "fair" and all parties to put in equal effort at things. But I realized this morning that maybe the effort has been equal because I've done little. Vicious cycle. and now, on top of this rather personal...and it's funny how I feel selfish after these kind of posts of "I...I...I"...I'm going to type out a prayer request.
A post made a couple of months ago on ego-centric praise songs got me thinking a lot about worship and different songs we sing at church and stuff. Something I've come to understand in the last couple of years is that worship is about giving glory to God, and so often we limit worship to the act of singing in church or chapel. Praying, service to others, and learning can all give glory to God depending on our attitude and motivation. Worship draws us closer to God. and as it seems to be with everything, everyone has their own unique way in getting close to God. Some revel in music, like me, and others enjoy learning and deep thinking. I enjoy this too, but music is the easiest pathway for me to connect to God--it's easier for me to focus with music and I am easily distracted during sermons and such when I try to focus on the material.
Songs too are very different in their nature, and I don't think that a song which doesn't specifically focus on God isn't worshipful. (That's a lot of negatives...) Anyways. There are songs that give glory to God by telling a story, testifying of what God has done. (such as "Amazing Grace") There are songs that are meant as encouragement to other Christians--as we are called to do. I think particularly of a song our music minister wrote for the installation of our now-gone rector. One of the best ways I receive encouragement is through music which is why I started to consider worship in a different way and why the comment-happy post got me thinking.
Psalms 29:2 (KJV)
Give unto the LORD the glory due unto his name; worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness.
As we were reading responsively in church this morning, this particular verse caught my attention. "Worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness"
I started to think....do I worship the Lord in the state of a beautiful holiness? I know that the Lord God has made me holy by the blood of Christ, although I sure miss the mark for living a holy life. What does this mean, "in the beauty of holiness" or "in holy array" (NASB)? What does holiness really mean and how do I give God the glory he is due?
somewhat along the same lines, I'm reminded of another thought I continually have regarding worship--"Worthy are you Lord" Of course he is Worthy, but are we Worthy to give him that honor? By what standard are we judging the Lord worthy? He makes us worthy to give him glory.
Again, just some thoughts to develop. I always appreciate comments.
Maybe I'm just in a thoughtful mood these days.
Anyways, I was just remembering how much I used to love to go grocery shopping with my mom. This was before oh so great Super Wal-Mart was around in Longview, so we did the majority of our shopping just about every Saturday at Brookshires...over where that new warehouse place is next to Cici's. Before the warehouse was being put in, the place held what was once a grocery store I remember well. I like straight-up grocery stores. There's something about wandering aisle by aise and through produce, and being checked out by a team--checker and bag-boy that gives me good memories, and makes something in the world seem more human. wal-mart is great sometimes...especially for late-night fun runs, but there's just something about doing one's weekly grocery shopping at the same store...becoming familiar with its employees and getting to know them by name. My mom and I used to get one of the same "bag-boys" each time...he was friendly, nice, and quite helpful with putting groceries into the car. In fact, he'd even walk us out to our car when we only had a small bag of something. Normally, they didn't do that. I don't know if my mom ever tipped him. But he was one that would have deserved it.
The good ole days. *sigh*
So I was thinking a bit again about something that really irked me during my student teaching--these guys who were making rude and mean comments about a girl who they deemed fat and thus ugly. It got me thinking a bit on the whole concept of physical flaws...
For me, the word flaw connotates something as imperfect and of low quality, something you would send back or sell at a lower price. Now, obviously, that is not how one deals with humanity and it is immoral to even think of someone as a lesser person because of some so-called flaw or defect.
There is an aspect of semantics--the word "abnormality" wouldn't bother me as much as "flaw" or "defect" or "blemish" does in relation to the body of a person. or even, "physical differences" Granted, there is a standard on what is deemed a "normal" body and "normal" functioning heart and other organs. Definition of normality as it relates to the brain is still a bit hazy... There is no truly normal standard for height and weight and other more relative physical characteristics. and there should not be. Course, this now makes defining a frame of reference when discussing abnormalities. It's complicated. But there is a simple thing to be understood. People are not less of a person because of physical "imperfections" or "abnormalities." and it really bugs me when I hear people even discussing someone else's physical traits in terms of goodness of appearance or quality as a person. I would assert that are appropriate comments one can make regarding physical appearance, but it should be tread carefully.
Just some general thoughts.
so I was sitting here earlier and realizing how much I missed some of my girly friends, like Lily--who I see every day but not very much and it's in the morning, and Lindsay and Sunny and Jenny. Girls I could drop on anytime (and still could) to talk and I could share anything with. I use to have them live real close and we used to be not so tied down with work and husbands/fiance'/boyfriend and such and thus had many a fun moment. I still get to see them occasionally for which I am grateful, but oh so soon....
and I was also sitting here realizing how many things about them that I've never thanked them for--such as modeling good character in different ways. There are things about them that would drive me up the wall, but hey, don't we all have such quirks that annoy someone or another? we worked through the annoyances as we needed. and we were/are there for each other when needed. But more than that, i can trust them and I have never heard them betray another or make fun of someone else. We have all shared some not so nice things about other people in venting, but they didn't poke fun at a person and they rarely called names. They accepted differences and strangeness.
so Thank you my girly friends. I hope to thank you in person very soon. *blows kiss* *HUUUUG* and Thank you for the late nights and walks, early morning coffee, and shared lives.
and a thank you too too my Smashley, also known as "Stretch" who, while I haven't been able to enjoy as many fun moments over the last few years, has been a great friend and still is and will be for many years. She helped keep things "good" but still fun and was ready to help along a workable crazy plan.
;-) I have many many memories to treasure and I hope we still have many more to make! (Awana sandbags....balloons and noses..."hi lady" notes...)
It's strange. Sometimes I feel as if I'm reliving my first semester...counting down the weeks until I'm done and can leave, get away from things. It's sort of a good and bad thing and it is obviously different this go-round because I have all these friends that I'm going to miss being around so often, and yet, I'm ready to move on and start a new life. This semester has held relational trials of all sorts with different people, and it's kind of nice to look back and see how God pulled me through and how I was better prepared (in some ways) to deal with things after that my freshman spring semester. (that semester was particularly rough...another story for another day) It's also strange to reflect upon how my emotional section has developed in the last four years.... Again, from my point of view for good and bad. I don't get bogged down in depression quite as easily and I'm better at dealing with emotional stress; I'm also better at not overempathsizing with friends. Taking friends' burdens upon oneself is good if one is able to give them up to God when the friend is too weak. But one cannot keep a part of that burden and I used to do that. Yet, I also feel an emotional hardening--sort of good for being a teacher, but sort of not good either in that I feel too removed and more callous than I'd like to be with different things. And then I begin to think about my relationship with God. I have grown spiritually in the last four years, but I don't feel as spirtually discliplined as I should be. It's crazy how I notice the parallels in my relationship with God to my relationship with others. An overly independent and prideful nature is hard to beat back. In fact, I can't do it myself and I need God to do it. But yet, that same nature distracts me from getting the strength I need at times.
*sigh* oh to be human.
Upon hearing that the pope died, I reflect yet again on my last four years and all of the things that have happened. It seems like these four years have been full of great change for the nation and world. I wonder if we could say that for every segment of four years. Very soon here, when I don't have other things that I really need to be doing (like picking up my junk around the apartment), I am going to sit down and just reflect upon everything has happened, and wonder yet again how the last four years have felt like eight simply because so much has happened.
It's awes me sometimes just to sit back and think about the next twenty, thirty years and where my friends are going and what they'll be doing, or at least, what I can imagine them doing. I wouldn't say I think of this because I'm so close to graduation, I've had various thoughts on different friends here and there for the last four years.
I have a friend who I could see paving a way into become well-known in the theatre world. I have other friends who are going to be missionaries and how awesome it will be to support them in prayer and hopefully finances. Other friends are going to make visibly noticeable differences on the world--maybe in politics, maybe in Computer science, maybe in another field. But I can see myself in twenty, thirty years sitting back and saying "Hey, I knew that person in college" (and even, I'm still good friends with that person!) Imagine the networking that has already begun! I can't think of one friend who I don't expect something amazing from. Others might not notice, but I've seen the work of my friends and I've seen their hearts...How awesome it will be to me to be a part of that and keep up with folk. I love watching the growth of an individual and I love watching progress being made.
Oh, the places we'll go...
The friends I've made and the friends yet to make...
How awesome our God is and how great he will use EVERY single one of us.
for Million Dollar Baby . I knew going in to the movie that there was a controversial ending and that Dobson was saying the movie supported euthanasia.
The movie had many messages. and it does have a controversial ending as in some ways, it takes a person into the gray areas of euthanasia. But that is all I can say.
I do say that Josh and I seem to be disagreeing on a certain thing now. Whether or not he's trying to just be disagreeable I don't know, but we do disagree on the issue at hand. Makes things interesting and now provides us with some interesting discussion.
I'm drafting out some thoughts in an extended entry for those who don't mind extra insight onto the movie. I won't discuss the movie itself but rather the controversial issue.
The first order of discussion would center on a definition. As I define it, euthanasia is taking an active step to end the life of someone who asks you to do since they themselves are unable.
Ahh, but now we have to define "active step to end the life"
--actively doing something that would harm the person (such as a lethal injection)
--actively removing articifial means of life support, such as a respirator (and Josh even mentioned pacemaker)
We agree that adding a substance or actively stopping a part of the body that is working on its own is wrong.
however, we are disagreeing on the fine line of "pulling the plug"
is it suicide/homicide to remove artificial means to keep a person alive?
One argument says that we are removing the only intervention to death and allowing for death to come naturally. The other argument says that it is still wrong because one is removing the means with the intent to die.
How can you really discuss this kind of issue? There is a lot of definition of terms needed and what answers can we find from the Bible? I'm asking you because I'm not completely sure and I like getting direction from others and hearing other thoughts. Is it a matter of perception?
In the end, it is in God's hands to judge.
Other fodder for the fire:
--withholding antibiotics, blood, and such from a person and thus not stopping death. Does a person's choice matter on this level?
--But then, since God is the giver and taker of life, he can either intervene on human action or inaction. For example, he could still allow someone to live was not given necessary antibiotics. As another example, he could also take someone's life who is given the necessary antibiotics and he does do this. Human action doesn't always save lives. (I realize that the code of ethics for doctors would assert that they must do whatever is necessary without legal written documenation signed by a rational patient in front of witnesses. Let's not consider this right now.)
Does human inaction always end lives? We can think of different stories we've heard of those who believe blood transfusions are religiously wrong and thus someone dies, or other parents who refuse to take their sick children to a doctor. What about the cases where a person can't afford the necessary means of saving his/her own life or the life of someone they love?
Many argue that the danger of allowing for euthanasia leads to justification of abortion. So there are some other issues at stake.
Abortion is taking an active step to end the life by articifical means--the baby hasn't even had a chance to live and you are removing it from it's current natural means of life. Thus, it is wrong.
Some argue--what about when the life of the mother is at stake? For example, ectopic pregnancies. I really don't know how to touch this one. All I do know is I pray I am never faced with that situation. In an ectopic pregnancy both the lives of mother and baby are at stake. If the baby embryo is removed, the mother will be able to live. If not, the odds aren't very good. However, there are those who have survived an ectopic pregnancy that wasn't caught before the tube burst. It took a lot of blood and medical care to do so. *does quick internet research to double-check understanding of how they take care of an ectopic pregnancy* Really all they can do is remove the pregnancy. While I am not an expert in the field, my understanding of "milking" or squeezing the embryo out of the tube will basically induce a miscarriage since I don't think the embryo can survive away from it's orginal location of fertilization??
Thus. lots of messiness and complication. But to the issue of disagreement--"pulling the plug." Is it wrong to remove artifical means of life support?
I've learned something.
There is another gift of grace that God gives us. When life throws us curveballs and disagreements, problems with other people, and such, it is easier to get through them because we can surround the situation with prayer---even if it is hard to pray. If multiple persons are involved and all are Christians trying to have the right focus, things can go easier and smooth over a little faster.
Not that things will become perfect necessarily. It just seems that it is easier to get through them than those people who don't have God. Of course, I also remember some very hard times when it seemed like I had to rely on God for a few months.... and some times where it seems things didn't smooth over. I'm not sure. But maybe it was easier this go around because other times made me stronger in God. Even if it felt like I was utterly weak. I was weak. But God was strong.
So a lot of people seem to have this free time and are enjoying laziness...enjoying their laziness so much that they don't have time to blog regularly?
Okay. I guess I could grant that some people are of my plight.
1. Nothing interesting to blog about because I haven't been doing anything.
2. Dial-up painfully slow.
3. Computer painfully slow.
Oh, I'm finding it really odd how when I'm at college, it definitely feels like three and a half years have gone by but when I come back here my little ole town, it feels like almost nothing! except there are lots of new people and the kids i helped out with and babysat have grown so much....
so tomorrow we leave for the very long trip to Illinois.
*I have a doctors appt in Montrose in the afternoon and from there we go to my cousin's in Denver.
*EARLY the next morning we pick up my older bro and wife at the airport and have fun in Colorado's capital.
*Thursday we are in Laramie for my younger brother's graduation from Auto-Mechanic school. *sigh*...
*We drive straight through, possibly through the night, to West Chicago.
*Merry Christmas with family.
*Josh comes up to visit. We leave to go to Ohio when my parents and siblings travel back to Colorado.
in Kilgore, TX
So we were discussing at lunch today how it seems that there were vew mathematicians who lived to an old age--many of them seemed to die young and tragically.
Thus, being the crazy almost teacher that I am, I came up with an assignment for a class:
Run a statistical analysis on the lifespans, causes of death, and levels of sanity on famous mathematicians from history.
Before I started to work on this paper, I really only thought of the soul as that part of that goes to heaven---I didnít really give it too much thought. Some of my friends joke that their souls are composed of blackened string while others of us have little shiny gold spheres. However, I have come to a new and deeper understanding of this part of man that God created in us. The soul is the life of an individual. It envelops intellect and emotions, personality and spirituality. The soul is the fingerprint of God upon each person. Each personís soul is composed of id, ego, and super-ego. Our minds think, but our souls determine what we think. We feel in our hearts, but the reasons we feel comes from our souls. Our spirits praise, cry out, commune with God because of the state of our soul through the blood of Jesus. It is in our souls that the Holy Spirit lives and gives us strength, comfort, and guidance. The soul is the source of passion for living in a human. I rather think that our souls are the clay which God molds into jars and then he breaks only to put the pieces back together.
The worst feeling in the world is watching a loved one suffer.
How well do we really know one another?
What is your "number"?
I forgot to brush my teeth.
What are your shadows?
It's amazing how one can draw out an analogy. For example, I was pondering the bloom of love--in family, friendship, or special others.
If we force it to unfurl too quickly, it will not be quite as beautiful. If we expose it to constant battering from our words and sometimes even teasing, it might be bruised and weak. If we cut it off, it will wither and die after a short while, although we can save the memory by drying it in the dark closet of our mind. It's nice, but not as good as the living one.
The only thing we can do is let the Master Gardener do all the work. He knows the proper amount of watering, sunshine, pruning, and nutrients a bloom needs to unfurl. He can even turn a bloom into a bush that sprouts other blooms. If we leave it in God's hands, he will return to us a beautiful flower that may live eternally in his will, that spreads joy to those who are able to witness it's growth and flower.
Be careful with your relationships of love with family and friends. Be careful with the relationships of others. Teasing might help a flower to have a hardy life, but even teasing can wear something down to ill health. Be careful, and most of all, leave everything in God's hands. Lift it up in prayer. and follow His example. all blooms take time. Some might unfurl faster than others, but it's been my own observation that the ones that take time are the most sweet-smelling and prettiest.
It struck me that I do not pray for my friends and family often enough. It's been haphazard, instead of daily lifting them up as I should. Granted I say, there are a lot of loved ones to pray for...but that still does not excuse the lack of praying I've been doing. I don't think I can even claim once a week for some people.
It also strikes that I do not pray often enough with my friends for other friends. That we talk about people instead of stopping to pray for their needs.
God, may I do better.
Solution: Maybe I should write a program that will pop up with notes during the day to pray for someone...but I'm not at my computer all day. I should rather come up with a way of associating a person with something I do see often during the day, such as...my tall friend Smashly when I see a tree (Love ya lady!) or my Sweet Sunny and Brenton when I see the security car or the result of sun shining down on God's beautiful Earth. I could go on and on...but for your sake, I won't.
But pray that I do better with this discipline...to pray daily for my parents, siblings, distant relatives, and friends.
"committment is in our hands, we can do with it as we wish, but surrender turns the reigns over to God "
I present this article not in support of any particular person this election, but as food for thought regarding the importance of this election.
Oh ye fuzzy majors (and some non-fuzzies too and people who aren't currently enrolled in college)...I'd be interested to hear your thoughts regarding the opinions expressed regarding this election as
our lifetime that will truly matter. Because America
is at a once-in-a-generation crossroads, more than an
election hangs in the balance.
Down one path lies retreat, abdication and a reign of
ambivalence. Down the other lies a nation that is
aware of its past and accepts the daunting obligation
its future demands. If we choose poorly, the
consequences will echo through the next 50 years of
Part of me asks, doesn't every election matter a whole lot? What really is the difference here? What did the elections of the late sixties and early seventies say regarding the war in Vietnam? and again...why I recognize the hard lives of the "Great Generation...", what is the difference in what they went through compared to the all the generations of the years before in America's lifetime...Civil War, Reconstruction, Revolutionaries....Pilgrims....
and we have no clue as to what our own (being college age) generation faces.
Heh....I just realize how often this kind of labeling bothers me....It bothered me with Fall Fest activities....the kind of labeling that puts one thing/person/idea above another. I don't even feel pleased with some of the "greater sin" discussions (while I do recognize the fact that Jesus does call a few things the greater sin and other places in God's word talk about it). For some odd reason, I want most everything on equal footing....but then again, not everything because I can grade papers and feel no problems at giving people what the deserve.
There is a difference in consequences though. (although even with that my mind tries to argue) Consequences that "match" the action. I guess in that context, I could see the difference in this election from others in my own lifetime--because there is a lot of stake regarding the War on Terror and the war in Iraq, but there's always a lot of stake because the major issues...education, economy, health care...are always at the forefront, as well as abortion and now h.s. marriage.
Rather, I hope. I hope that God truly hears the prayers of my heart even if I am not directly thinking them at a specific time. I hate it that I'm not as good at regularly praying for loved ones as I'd like to be. Instead I'm distracted by the silly things of life and being annoyed at people.
Being selfish. Like in the above paragraph where I am berating myself instead of just taking this moment to stop and pray for the people.
I feel like I am having a harder time staying focused on things these days. Chapel, church, school. Maybe it's senioritis. Course, chapels like today really odn't help matters....but I'll let someone else post about that. Pardon my ending with a preposition there. Anyways. Actually, I'll talk about the worship time and won't go into the speaker's words. Something felt off this morning at the beginning of worship. We just jumped right in....that time to be still and prepare myself just wasn't there. I guess in theory that time would be that bit of time before chapel actually starts when I usually am instead talking to friends and sharing the amusements of my morning in education class. But normally I don't have as much a problem easing into worship. But than, I was also thinking today during the worship how routine it gets to sing the words without even thinking and reflecting upon them and more importantly, who they are to. It got better with the slower song.
I was also annoyed because the roving photographer was distracting me and the worship leader kept starting off every phrase in the song....
But yeah. So I've got some more food for thought.
And for those dear ones out there who are in need of prayer, I am praying for and thinking of you.
So tonight I had the pleasure of going to see The Village with the lovely Ardith. I had heard some good things but still wasn't expecting to be as impressed as I was with the movie.
Excellently directed! The music was fantastic--of course, I am partial to soundtracks that include focus of either violin, piano, or guitar. Tonight it was the violin. Kudos also for the effects--lighting and props, and costuming combined with the videography. It all blended so well and wasn't overwhelming to the senses. It also kept me in suspense. I even jumped--even while I knew it was coming, I jumped at the classic spot.
Most of all the plot surprised me with its originality. (At least I haven't seen that sort of plot played over and over again.) The movie also made me think.
At any rate, I HIGHLY RECOMMEND that you go see the movie or take the opportunity to watch it sometime. No foul language, no adult content.
So go see it sometime. It's at the cheap movie theatre right now and apparently they've changed their prices back to $1.50 all the time.
Yup. 5 mornings in a row now. at least. I've overslept because my alarm clock has become a part of a routine. So now I need to change the alarm clock or place it far across the room where I'll have to climb out of bed to turn it off. To the unfortunate sleepings of my roommates.
You see. I woke up and grabbed my alarm. Snoozed and woke up again in 10 minutes. I turned off the alarm clock, snooze and all, and my brain thought "I need to get out of bed now. Sit up." But I didn't because my will was wanting to sleep more. Thus, I slept. Or maybe it was the other way--my mind wanted to sleep even though my will was to get out of bed.
It makes for an interesting reflection to consider the workings when two distinct entities work against one another. In this case, my will and mind. One won, and thus I slept on. I guess between reading Peretti's Nightmare Academy and almost getting into a discussion on trichotomy and dichotomy, I was musing on the workings of mind, body, soul, spirit. In the case of this morning, there seemed to be at least three areas functioning, two were fighting for control of the body. Mind, and we'll say spirit in this case, disagreed on what was to take place.
Some would probably group mind as a part of body. Spirit with soul. Thus, two natures: fleshly and spiritual. I do believe there are two areas to man: material and immaterial. But so many people group mind and emotions with the immaterial leaving body and components thereof as the sole material aspect. But those material aspects control some of the immaterial. Except for one. Or maybe two. Soul/Spirit. My view up until this point has been that we have material and immaterial and the immaterial is subdivided into two parts: mind and spirit/soul, or mind/spirit and soul, maybe mind/soul and spirit.
But what is the spirit? Soul is generally known as one's "life-force," or something. Mind is composed of the intellect and such. Is spirit the passion that moves people? The "emotion", maybe the "spiritual emotion"? How does the will come into play here? Is will our "strength" or is strength our spirit?
Well, before I continue much further off what many of you are thinking is the deep end, I'll stop and grab hold of a tree branch of needing to get other things done this morning. But maybe my comment box will be happy because people want to leave it some food.
(Yay, I have more material for my paper on the soul!)
So for always getting rather passionately involved in a "heated discussion" in which I disagree with someone else, I'm not great at thinking on feet to prove any good points.
It can be fun to be girly when a FEW close friends are involved.
It was nice not to do any work today. Although I could claim that reading Uncle Tom's Cabin was research for my paper on the soul.
I forgot about all the neat intricacies of the movie Frequency. It had some rather cool effects and plot twists. Even if it ends rather "too well". I like movies that make me think about how life would follow a very different road if even the smallest sort of thing was done differently. Butterfly Effect was another good one. I generally really enjoy "psychological" movies.
I enjoyed the play tonight in that I enjoy laughing. Even though attending live performances of things still makes me miss being on stage sometimes..... While I can't do everything, sometimes I regret giving up the violin and not practicing the piano enough so that my mother didn't pull me from lessons. I also miss being involved with theatre drama stuff. I guess I'll always enjoy "playing" and "pretending". Probably associated with the love of reading and stories.
Sometimes the reason my own individual life is going well and I'm feeling particularly "up" is because I need to be strong for others and more "there" for others. In other words, I need to not have my own distractions keeping me from trying to love others when they need me.
Maybe these reflections aren't all that random...
So as we were singing in chapel this morning ("I Surrender All"), I was struck by a thought.
The song is sung from the individual perspective--"I". But what about a community, a church--a body of believers? How often does a "body" surrender all to God--with everyone's participation in prayers?
I was thinking specifically about our school. Is the surrender something more subtle than I catch? Is that what communion is about at the beginning? or maybe what convocation should be? I'm not sure.
As I sit here, (should be working) I consider where in the Bible I might find answers and I remember something about Paul's letters, and how often he uses "you" to encompass an entire church. I think of one of my favorite passages, Phillipians 2:11-18 and Ephesians. I'll have to try and study this one out some more.
It just seems to me that a community's relationship with God probably works along the same lines as an individual's relationship with God and so I wonder how far the parallels extend...and more importantly, what things in a relationship with God as a community do we miss on because we focus more on individuals or other things?
Maybe it's because this time of my life is surrounded by relationships--including my very own--and maybe it's as a result of reviewing Gardner's Multiple Intelligence theory. At any rate, I was pondering the wide world of love. I recently went read through The Five Love Languages /i> with Josh. and while the theory made sense and works for much, something about listing five ways in which a person best loves and is loved didn't seem to cover it all. So I was pondering tonight amidst this insomnia the relationship of love to multiple intelligences and wondering how well the love languages connect. Is it possible to have 8 "intelligences" of love? I wouldn't even begin to argue that a person's "love intelligence" is necessarily the same as one's best learning intelligence and such. But it is giving me much thought.
Particularly as I pondered a question for determining one's love language, way, or whatever you may call it. I think I'll just use the word language for now. The question entered my mind: "How would I want someone to reach out to me in a time of hurting?" "How am I comforted by another person?" Some people are comforted by touch. Others can be comforted through words. I could see even still others who find their comfort through service. Others have an inward journey.
I also thought about different people I know. I know of one person who goes about love in a more logical way it seems. Others might go off more of a friendship level. Still others might distinguish a special person through touch.
I'm being amused at myself right now because I seem to keep limiting to just a few...particularly the five. Let me try to get back on track.
It's very obvious to an observer of relationships (at least I would think so) that all relationships ahve their own unique personality and way. No one couple has the same story. There might be similarities, but there is something definitively unique about all--some are shorter in time between meeting and marriage, others are longer. People relate to one another differently.
*sighs* The time of this thoughtfulness is now catching up to me. I tried to be coherent here. I'm going to say that I'll approach this theory of mine again about the multiple intelligences and love languages. We'll see. Life might get in the way :-) Anyways. Feel free to leave your own thoughts if you have any that relate to the theory. Observations, experiences, connections and such are welcome.
A week is done of my senior year of college. Barring any major setbacks, I will leave this school with a diploma in hand next May. This is a year of lasts for me...last times to attend chapels and participate in various activities. The last year I can spend under lighter responsibilities as an adult. This is really the last year I'll be able to claim a college student schedule--and not much at that considering my early classes this semester and student teaching next spring.
Something keeps hitting me again and again...and more so since Wheeler made mention of how he valued this summer for being able to spend time with the three of us who graduate (hopefully) in May. That something is that this is the last year I'll have to spend with the dear friends I've made...this is the last year of Waffle Shoppe runs for me and weekly Bode trips. of Friday night Bible studies. and Thursday night plays.
I know not what this year holds but I do know it is in God's hands. I know we'll have many many happy times, but we'll probably also continue to struggle and share in one another's trials. I'm sure the year will probably fly by and I'll be saying some bittersweet goodbyes sooner than I could have imagined.
Here's a prayer to these last 9-10 months...
It was a thoughtful weekend. And tomorrow shouldn't only be Wednesday. It needs to be Thursday or something.
Back to the thoughtfulness. Hmm. Maybe that block is moving.
So Friday...my boss, or the main one I guess I could say, moved out of her office and left us for a job in Dallas. I was kinda sad...and kepting getting weirded out by the fact that this is the second time I've had her move away on me. You see, she was my 8th grade Algebra teacher who left around February or so. She goes on my list of greatest teacher's ever.
and I started to reflect a little bit on my process of saying goodbye. I don't handle goodbyes well at all. not a even a tiny bit. It always feels like something unfinished, and in a way, it is. But that's not my point. I was sad, but somehow, I was also happy because it's easier to say goodbye and let go when you know the person is moving onto something that is better for them and is completely God's will. So I hugged the dear lady goodbye yet again and we now cope with the empty office while we wait.
It helped to continue having a good weekend with the visit of a friend and the wonderfulness of attending two very good plays, and spending time with more friends and a wonderful family who opened their home late at night and fed us with wonderful food and shared the best coffee I've had in a long time. Thank you Harclerodes!
It was a busy weekend, but it seemed to be a peaceful busy. Other than being sick...luckily, I wasn't sick at any really inconvenient time. I'm just tired of not a week going by without moments of feeling unwell. Just pray it's just normal allergies.
and now, it is "late". bah getting up at 7, or rather, 730. gotta keep truckin'....err, filing?
I'll tell you why later.
I'm busy being "e-social" right now. I should talk on IM more often.
I read an article that Dr. Coppinger had me copy earlier today. I'm pretty sure it was out of the Chronicle for Higher Education, but I'll have to double check when I get a hold of my copy again. Anyways, it was about a proposed resolution to encourage colleges to present more diverse and alternative views in the classroom. What was interesting is that it is both supported and opposed to members of the "Conservative Right." Those who support are those who support the Christian view on various issues to be presented in secular schools. They quoted a Georgia Tech student who filed a grievance against a professor for bashing Bush and Republicans during a lecture. On the other side are those who fear what such a resolution might do do Christian schools--they fear that Christian schools would not be able to discriminate easily in the hiring of faculty and admittance of students based on religious beliefs.
It was an interesting article and I wish I could access it online. But it does bring to mind a lot of interesting thoughts--much of it being towards an opinions against such a resolution. Yes, students should be aware of differing viewpoints. One would hope that by the time they are in college, they are aware that there are different opinions on just about everything in life. If students wish to know these differing viewpoints, they should have easy access to find out more information with the Internet and a library. It's hard to say--I want to agree that a professor shouldn't use a classroom for indoctrination--but then, maybe a prof who does so is just being more open about the fact that he believes certain things. Many teachers are more subtle and a wise student can discern. Views tend to come across in teaching, whether intentionally or unintentionally.
I'm trying to remember the exact name of the proposal so that those of who who desire may find out more. I think it's something like "Higher Education Bill of Rights" or "Freedom in Higher Education." I can't remember because they mentioned a couple of state bills and the national one. I'm sure my more politically knowing friends might be able to tell you.
I read a little passage in Matthew before going to bed last night:
As Jesus and his disciples were leaving Jericho, a large crowd followed him. Two blind men were sitting by the roadside, and when they heard that Jesus was going by, they shouted, "Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!"
(31) The crowd rebuked them and told them to be quiet, but they shouted all the louder, "Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!"
Jesus stopped and called them. "What do you want me to do for you?" he asked.
"Lord," they answered, "we want our sight."
Jesus had compassion on them and touched their eyes. Immediately they received their sight and followed him.
Something struck me while reading it, particularly verse 31. The blind men called out to Jesus--and the crowd rebuked them for asking for mercy. Yet they tried again, and Jesus responds. They want to see. They receive what they ask and they follow him. I'm not sure exactly why this passage touched me the way it did--I think it has to do with the parallels of today. How there are so many in the dark who cry out to Jesus for mercy--and society, many, sometimes even Jesus's followers, tell them to be quiet. Why? The blind men were persistent though and they received what they asked--mercy.
Any number of things could be drawn from this--in the church setting, or in the general world. I'd rather not do that though. I just wanted to share this so you too could think about it and respond with your thoughts. Do we shush people who are calling out for mercy and not realize it? Do we let ourselves be shushed when we call out recognizing the Son of David who can give us mercy and sight?
I thought that was rather speaking there too--maybe it's after studying and thinking about the doctrine of the Trinity for the last year. To recognize Jesus as the "Son of David" was to recognize him as the Messiah foretold in the prophets, the same who was spoken of as Lord and God.
Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us.
So I put these ear drops into my right ear and had to tilt my head to let them soak in. While waiting for it to fully go in, I realized I hadn't brushed my teeth yet. So I just brushed my teeth with my head tilted to the left. It made life interesting.
Doing things while one's head tilted makes things. . . .interesting.
As I label and stuff envelopes, create receipts, file away copies of statements and receipts, I never fail to be amazed...rather, subdued...hmm, still not the right word. Anyways, what I begin to think is about all the file folders and paperwork various places in the world with my name, or some particular I.D. number. It's crazy....just at LU--one would have a folder in FinAid, Student Affairs, advisor, Academic Affairs (if you're special enough), Student Accounts, Registrar's office, Student services--medical, and probably somewhere else that I can't think of. A lot of stuff is recorded on the computer now--but it is always safe for a little while to have things backed up in a folder with hard copies. They have to use up a lot of trees on us. And than I think of all the folders around the country--banks, schools and scholarship companies, credit card companies, hospitals and doctors' offices, ...
Oh yeah, the IRS and those special government people. I don't really want to know how much they know about me.
Lots and lots of information. Lots and lots of paper.
I'm listing to the new Avril c.d. again and one of the song particularly makes me think and I wanted to describe an unusual part of me when it comes to music. I don't think I've ever told anyone I do this. But for the sake of my going to bed soon like a good girl, I'll quit rambling...
Maybe it's from taking a year of dance in high school (when it comes to physical movement, "graceful" doesn't describe me), but, there are many songs that cause me to. . .choreograph an expression of the song in dance in my head. For example, with "Nobody's Home" on this c.d. I'm listening to, I can picture in my head a girl and a few others dancing...It's fairly dark and the main girl is frantic. It kind of ends with that once I started musing on this part of me that does this with songs. But, I have it set to play again in a little bit.
I mostly do this with slower songs...although there are more upbeat ones that I could see myself using for exercise or for cleaning. I also tend to choreograph the more emotional songs--I think the right word would be evocative. The songs are usually deeper, and sad. I don't always relate personally to the theme, but many times I do. But yes, I guess this would tell people that I am/have become a more physically expressive person. It's a pity I'm not more graceful in my movements--but it isn't my gift by any means. I'll leave that to Becca Ward, actually I think it's Becca Inwards now, and her crew--Nicole Thrift, Aaron Brown and those who have done an excellent job at Hootenanny the last two years.
Actually, thinking back a bit, I've done this a lot. I like to imagine story songs in my head and am disappointed many times when I get a chance to see the actual video for the song.
So those are my musings for now. I'm going to listen to the song of inspiration once more and go to bed. God bless all!
Wheeler's post brought be back into reality....how scary it is that I forgot I watched that last night too. But now, I read his post and I reflect on the movies I've watched in the last 30 hours and just the contrast.
The documentary Wheeler mentioned---I am mostly without words. Wondering how people can deny that the Holocaust ever happened. I was struck more on the level of how much we still don't mention as a part of that...I mean, you can't really don't want to shock kids that much with the horribleness...but, I don't know. I also wondered about the photographers....how anyone could take pictures I don't know. I don't feel right putting a "grade" to this one like I will with the others. It gets top honors for it's 'objective' parts.
We than watched a great comedy--Harvey. That's a great movie. Completely clean as far as I remember. Entertaining as all get out. It even provides food for thought about how we think about imagination, supernatural stuff, and crazy people. Harvey gets an A.
This afternoon I watched Along Came Polly. Guh. I give it a D out of graciousness for the funny ferrett and the father's only speaking scene in the movie...ya know, those words that change the character and cause all to see the light. The movie was supposed to be stupid and funny and it fits that bill. But the stupidity overwhelms the humor. Especially now as I reflect on other funny movies such as Harvey. I generally don't respond well to movies that center a lot on humor in bad taste. I give Along Came Polly a D.
Tonight, out with my most wonderful boyfriend, we watched The Terminal. It wasn't as good as I would have liked, but it was funny. Tom Hanks did an excellent job. but the movie . . .the story just didn't provide a whole lot. It's harder for me to put words to it really. I'm trying to put my finger on the different between good movies and B movies. I'd give Terminal a B+.
Wheeler really put out a good post on the documentary though so I redirect you there if you haven't seen it already. For now, I should get ready for bed as the new Avril Lavigne c.d. finishes up. It's also good.
I'm listening to the most recent Third Day C.d. "Wire." I highly recommend it. It has a little bit of a different style to it. less rock so far...i keep hearing bits of orchestra. At any rate, I highly recommend finding a copy.
This is a short post-it because I'm at work stuffing envelopes. Because I'm stuffing envelopes, I have a lot of time to reflect and I was reflecting upon a discussion had last night regarding Harry Potter and why Rowling keeps having him not go to Dumbledore when something doesn't seem right. For example, we were watching the second movie and it makes perfect sense for Harry to tell Dumbledore about hearing the voice in the walls, but he doesn't.
I think I may actually have an understanding of that piece of his character because I was thinking about myself....anyways, I should look too unproductive sitting here typing...
--reflecting on self not telling parents something when i probably should have
So more on that. I'm fiercely independent as most of you know and that might be one reason I keep things to myself. Over the years, I've kept a lot of things back because I didn't want to add extra worries to my parents' burdens, or because I wanted to work things through on my own. Other things I told my friends before my parents. I didn't want to take so called trivial matters to my parents, that and I've never had that close of a relationship with them. It was also a matter of not wanting to reveal my true self to my parents--not wanting to mar a good reputation I had with them (for selfish reasons and such), and not wanting them to take steps to try and fix my problems in ways that I wouldn't be agreeable too--such as taking me to a shrink or something.
--spiritual element--we don't tell God when we could. As I stuffed envelopes further, I realized how often we do this with God--particularly me. Sadly, it isn't my first inclincation to pray about something troubling although I'm getting better at it slowly. It makes perfect sense to tell the Man Upstairs about our problems, because he is great at fixing things and He even knows what is really going on. He has an understanding that we do not. Yet we still try to work things without his help.
Anyways, that's just a general idea that struck me after thinking about why Harry didn't go to Dumbledore. I wouldn't say that Rowling thought the same things, but it makes more sense to me now even.
I normally probably won't post a lot of responses to books I read...that would take awhile and criticism isn't my specialty when it comes to movies and books. I'll try and post opinions and stuff every once in awhile.
Now, some of you may scoff at the idea of Christian fiction--but I just finished the fourth book in a series by some of my favorite authors--Brock & Bodie Thoene. A long time ago, in my younger days, I had read the other two series--Zion Chronicles and Gates of Zion, and was very happy to hear that another one had been written--Zion Legacy. I finally got the chance to start reading those these last few months. THe first one in February to the cost of my homework and the second through fourth in the last week. I enjoyed the first three, but this last one--Jerusalem Scrolls--was one of those that kept me reading and reading, not wanting to put the book down. It was more than just good. The previous books are set in the early days of the nation of Israel--like after WWII. This one is set in that time period, but tells another story for most of the book instead of the days of Christ. Basically, it follows the story of a Jewish adulteress and the Roman Centurion. It's a love story, but that isn't the emphasis. The story is more about each of the two persons, and some other characters, as they come to know and hear of Yeshua of Nazareth. It tells the story of some of the miracles.
First thing that impressed me was the fact that I was given some separate perspectives on the story of Christ. Fictionalized perspectives of the people involved in the oft-told Bible stories. I was swept away in the story--I love getting lost in that world--I was gripped and moved, challenged. I fell in love with Jesus again through the story--based from the Gospels and the familiar words that were said here and there. I feel at peace. I don't have that peace all that often and I've missed it. The words are hard now. I still really don't understand it all--love, God, peace, faith, ... I won't while I walk the Earth as a mere human waiting for Christ to take me away in death or at his return.
At any rate. This is a book that could be read apart from the series, so if you get a chance, find a copy somewhere.
I should have been in bed long ago because I must be up again for another day. Goodnight all! God bless!!
The above link is the third of a series on Evangelical Christians in America. This is about the impact of the group. here is a quote:
"It's extremely influential. It's certainly the most rapid-growing of all of our religions. It's had an enormous impact on the society. Just look at who the President of the United States is."
"Evangelicals can't ignore the culture. Their whole religious sensibility is based upon meeting the culture halfway. At the same time, American culture -- just like American religion -- is an enormously powerful force. It will change religion, just as religion will change culture."
"The biggest thing that bothers me about culture is the "no fear" thing. I think it came in with THE SIMPSONS -- that you don't fear adults. There is no respect for authority, and I think it has slowly torn away at our youth."
increasing numbers of very random conversations on very random topics, particularly amongst floor mates and other random persons
the printer never stops printing
you can tell easily the difference between under and upper classmen because the upperclassmen look very bleary eyed and bedraggled.
people start laughing at the weirdest things. and make the weirdest comments.
the clutter in your room begins to look daunting as you realize you have to begin packing.
lots of girls are at target buying wedding gifts for friends.
you don't remember spring break very well. the last two weeks for that matter.
you look and plan for opportunities to procrastinate.
studying is planned around movies for those who normally plan movies around studying.
book-lovers begin to realize they will have the freedom to read "real" books soon.
you pay for things in loose change.
you stretch out your laundry for when you can do it for free.
prayer is unceasing.
the end of the weeks seems to be a VERY LONG way off. until you're crunching out that paper at the last minute.
fewer people in chapel.
fewer people in classes.
the grim reaper of financial aid is haunts you and friends.
you are calculating minimum grades needed.
homework doesn't seem so important anymore.
you realize yet again that you really should be in bed, not writing out stuff on your blog.
you check other people's blogs to see if they've updated in the last few hours on their own homework breaks.
While I do think Pat Tillman deserves the respect and honor he is getting, I wonder what makes him more special than the many others who have died "in action" the last year. A big deal was made for the first number who died, otherwise we've just gotten the names of others in yet another news report. Did others die with Tillman in the same mission? (*goes to check the story*), or how about those who have died since in the last 24 hours?
In general this is something that bothers me. The fame and such that some people get at their death for the various circumstances. Yet there are so many others who died heroic deaths and do not get the same amount it seems other than by those closest to the deceased. I realize it'll always be this way and that's the way it goes with celebrities.
Maybe it's the part of me that wonders at every person's story. I don't think that's fully it though. I have issues with it sometimes on the local level too, such as the IMPACT bit. "These students sacrifice so much blah blah blah" when I can share stories of student leaders who aren't IMPACT and yet do more than some IMPACT persons I know.
It's the imbalance from my perspective that bothers me. And it grates me in even other areas, such as various causes involving suffering. Most can sympathize with someone who has experience a more physical or "harsher" tragedy while others may be suffering from something more subtle and of a "lesser" degree.
At any rate, I should go to bed now. I would like to go to church in the morning.
So after seeing the interesting fact that Randy had run some blog post of mine through a gender predictor based on writing and it said I was male, I decided to check some other entries from that last few months, including some from last semester. It predicted male every time. Some of the scores were closer together but other scores showed strongly male.
I fed this one two posts and one came up female, the other came up male.
I fed each one my fairy story written for Inklings. They both predicted male.
I fed the the latter site my infamous story of the Evillies. It predicted female with literal, male with permissive. Gender Genie predicted male.
Storms, C. Samuel: "A Third Wave View." Grudem, Wayne. Gen. Ed. Are Miraculous Gifts for Today? Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1996. 222.
There is often the danger of emotionalism in those who seek to minister in the miraculous charismata and who not only acknowledge but expect the often tangible and sensible operation of the Holy Spirit in their lives. However, this need not be the case. As Jack Hayford has said, if wa are careful to create an enviornment where the Word of God is foundational and the person of Christ the focus, the Holy Spirit "can be trusted to do both--enlighten the intelligence and ignite the emotions. I soon discovered that to allow him tha tmuch space necessitates more a surender of my senseless fears than a surrender of sensible control. God is not asking any of us to abandon reason or succumb to some euphoric feeling. He is, however, calling us to trust Him--enough to give Him control"*(italics original)
*Jack Hayford, A Passion for Fulness (Waco, Tex.: Word, 1991), 31.
You know how I will reant every now and then on person(s) who tell me "I just gotta have faith and I'll be healed." Well, one of the freeing things I've been learning through doctrines and in research for my seminar paper is how this is very unfounded biblically. Here is a passage and a bit from the footnote reference from a book I'm using for doctrines research
"Scripture reveals that the level of God's working of miracles was not primarily dependent on human faith, but on his sovereign plan and purpose. Nowhere in the New Testament are believers encouraged to have faith so that they can become the recipients of miraculous works."
"While the ability to work miracles is related to faith (cf. Mark 9:23), the amount of faith is not emphasized. The reference of the disciples to cast out a demon because of "so little faith" is best understood not as a rebuke of a small quantity of faith, but of a misdirected faith (Matt. 17:17-20). Jesus immediatedly adds that "faith as small as a mustard seed" is sufficient to move mountains (v. 20). The disciples were apparently treating the power given to them as magical power rather than true faith, which depends totally on God. Mark's additional comment that prayer is required supports this understanding."
Robert Saucy, "An Open But Cautious View." Wayne Grudem, Gen. Ed. Are Miraculous Gifts for Today? Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1996. p. 119-120
Hello all. I am writing a paper for Doctrines on the different positions regarding spiritual gifts, particularly with regard to whether or not the "miraculous" gifts (prophecy, toungs, healing) continued past the apostolic age. Please leave a comment with your own thoughts and if you know of any helpful, accessible resources, leave that too.
I was reading the blog of the Codepainter and it brought back to mind thoughts I have when I get the chance to stare at the world as it passes by when in a car or what not. I see empty houses, broken down, old or businesses that have seen better days. I see the homeless, expressively sad folk wandering about and I wonder. Once upon a time did these people have a family story, loving parents? What happened? What brought them to this point? Those houses...Did someone and their family move in for the first time to the new house excited and full of plans? Or a little business, which was what I was thinking of more specifically when reading the post, did somebody start that little business with dreams of success? What did they wish to see? There are all these unknown stories everywhere. Those are just my meager thoughts. I would like to say that I think the Codepainter expressed his own quite well and are thoughts all should read this Easter day.
Father Tom made a great illustration in his message at church today using a mosaic--God takes our brokenness and puts together a picture in which we find the Lamb.
So tonight we saw "Eternal Sunshine in the Spotless Movie" Please remember, movie reviews are not my specialty.
If you like drama and you like psychotic movies, go see this. It's better than Memento, but sort of like it. Definitely no the same plot or anything, but the same sort of insaneness. It's one of those movies you have to be careful watching over again...might want some time and good comedies inbetween.
I liked it. I like movies that are original, and this was original. Everything in the movie worked together. The acting was superb. At any rate, I'll leave the good critiques to the crew.
I'm surprised no one has put up a Big Fish review yet (other than Wheeler's from sometime ago.) At any rate...
I really enjoyed the movie. It was funny; it was sweet; it was moving; it was inspiring; it was good.
I thought everything was well done and it all melded together nicely. It brought things to closure, yet left a little bit to make ya think. For example, the story about the day of the son's birth...in a way, it was true according to the father's perception. The basic theme was the idea of "things are how you see them." While there might not have been a literal fish and such, the story worked as a metaphor. The movie also bring to mind the the complexities of symbols and concepts, how words are symbols of something.
anyways. if you haven't seen it, see it when you get a chance.
Today's discussion in Doctrines was about "perseverance of the saints." a favorite topic for some who like to argue.
It was a really good class for me. Course, I don't know that there have been any classes that haven't. But anyways. Things just seemed to make sense. What is about to follow is my understanding--not the views of Grudem or of Dr Woodring or anyone else, but my understanding from the information I've been given thus far.
I believe it is possible to lose one's salvation, to commit some apostasy. Let me stress this though, once on loses it, one loses it for good. Not an easy thing to accept. I direct you towards Hebrews 6.
However, I've been understanding salvation as a continuous idea, something that is progressive and is completed fully at our earthly death. When we first accept Christ and receive the Holy Spirit, we become a Christian and have salvation. What follows is the process of God making us a new creation and we have a role to play in that process--bearing fruit and obeying in our actions and attitudes. However, we all know that we are failures and make mistakes. We all have doubts at some time or another. We make even take steps backwards towards our old lives. Apostasy happens when a person completely and fully rejects what they originally believed and accepted; they have no desire for God or knowing truth. I would assert that just as salvation is completed fully at death, so also is apostasy. A person may be stepping backwards and really close to falling over the line, but God is going to chase them down and always leave the door open for them until they chose to close it firmly. They shut the door in God's face. Even Satan and his angeld, who experience something of Heaven and God's glory and presence, turned their backs on God in disobedience and sought to be something more. and they are/will suffer eternally for that. One good point in class was made however that Adam and Eve also experienced God's presence in Eden and disobeyed. But then, they also were sorry for that and did face God for the consequences. I don't know. That is a lot of speculation there.
The class was good for me in that I've been experiencing waves of doubt lately, waves of doubt even while I still have desired to know God more (even though doing little to learn) and believing he existed. I cannot deny his existence. So class was comforting somewhat to realize that doubt & backsliding are a part of everyone's walk and that I have hope in my "remnant" of hope and belief in God still yet. It was also good to know because it still doesn't really change a position on evangelism other than emphasize it all the more, and also emphasize the need to exhort fellow believers to stay firm in faith too; call eveyone to trust God. For even while we may thing someone has backslidden a lot as a Christian, there is still a chance for we are not ones to judge the internal. We can discern from outward fruit or lack thereof, but we still do not know as God knows. he is the Judge and final Judge. anyways. it's off to bed with me now. This doesn't even really cover everything and for sure needs to be supported more with scripture, but alas, my bed calls anxiously. Goodnight, God bless.
I've spent the last semester and a half taking a class in Christian doctrine. The last two months I have also been learning about cults. I've been sitting here reading some other crazy stuff from the Urantia people and before that from the Unification Moonies. I've also been working on a paper about Wicca the last few weeks. Last night I listened to a practing homosexual bishop in the Christian church.
Many of us have read and heard and been taught that we should test all spirits and be ready to give an answer. We should be ready to defend our faith when someone comes along who disagrees. It's easy to know and believe and many people do try and become astute in the beliefs of the Christian faith. However, I thought of another reason to be firmly grounded in one's beliefs. We aren't immune to doubt. We are made to question and reason and think. Sometimes Satan can attack our minds and try to turn ourselves, just through individual study and thought, away from God. We need to be ready to test the and fight the nagging voices that come, those voices that try and twist and tangle everything up.
I cannot deny the existence of God. I cannot deny what he has done in my life and what he has created. I cannot deny that there seem to be threads in the different beliefs around the world that can be traced to one common root. (Threads that have been twisted and recolored and distorted from the Truth and their original meaning). This much right here is all the keeps me believing sometimes. Because I cannot deny these things, I can only find truth and consistency in one faith, that of Christianity and therefore I must accept the many things that don't make sense sometimes to my merely human mind.
We don't just battle other people. We battles ourselves sometimes.
So we watched the 60 minutes interview with the gay bishop, gene robinson tonight. It's hard to express my thoughts other than disgust and just the definite perception this guy is seriously being deceived. He kept mentioning God and how he feels God is supporting him in this and has given him peace about all this; God apparently wants this to happen--letting in openly gay bishops. I don't know what God he believes in, but that really doesn't sound like the God I know through Scripture. A priest who had been fired for not submitting to the bishop's authority was also interviewed, and he had a lot of good things to say--particularly with regards to his oath being to the authority of scripture first and teaching and fighting deception. Farther down the list of his oath is a promise to submit to bishop authority. Ah yes, and robinson also talked about his mainstream family (they all love and care and support one another) and such. Apparently mainstream is a good thing. At any rate, I'm just more apalled at this man who says he is serving God and those who are supporting this. If you get a chance to see the interview somehow, I'd say watch it for yourself. I think it reveals a lot about this man.
sometimes the consequence of a wrong action is a crack in the armor, a dent that makes something a little more weak and the action a little more likely to happen again. it's scary how much easier it is to justify something once you've made the mistake once. and how some things become do deeply ingrained--particularly from when you're younger. i guess it makes me want to be a better role model. and it makes me feel like such a failure.
God. help me. SOS. *white flag*
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*
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.
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.
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.
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.
I may have to expound on some of these later but here are some thoughts I had regarding chapel in general:
Most recently (or I was just able to put actual words to it):
There are chapels which are more like student assemblies.
and there are chapels that are true Christian fellowship.
In testing the Spirits, we should remember to test our own when listening to someone. For in some ways, I think that it's worse not to listen to a person because we dislike them or are of different persepectives than it is not to worship because one doesn't like the music or style or leaders.
I caught myself automatically freezing and getting ready to find something wrong when two people were up on the stage today and realized that in doing so, I could very well miss something God is saying.
Yesterday in Doctrines we were discussing the deity of Christ. One particular hard bit to understand is how Jesus could not know something (the hour and day , Mark 13:32 i think) and yet still be fully God and thus omniscient? and somewhere in my interesting mind I began to formulate an idea...God is not bound by time or anything. He can step in and out; he's omnipresent--everywhere here on Earth and everywhere in Heaven. If Christ is fully God as we believe he is, could it be possible that his person was "connected" between Heaven and Earth and through all time even as walked upon the Earth? maybe what makes the Christ we know on earth fully God is also to consider the Christ in Heaven before and after his earthly time. Fully Christ is more than just Christ upon the Earth and the cross. It would make a circle in a way if I'm understanding my own mind right--what makes Christ fully God while also being fully man is this "internatural" connection; making Christ fully Christ who is fully God and fully man. Would this require one to belive that Christ on earth, separate from his heavenly being, was not fully God, or gave up some part of his God-self? (and one at this point is ready to give up trying to understand with the finite human mind, like being blind and trying to understand "purple"--to steal an analgoy Woodring gave us) This is a bit hard to explain, so bear with me. God is not bound by time.
Of course, understanding Jesus is fully God requires the recognition of the distinction of roles and functions of each member of the Trinity. That is how Woodring tried to explain to us how Christ did not the hour of his second coming although God the Father does--it's God the Father's role to determine that. At any rate. I'm going to do something else now.
I was continuing these thoughts today during another class...and was reflecting on how God's eternality and omnipresence could be also thought of as God working in every second of Earth's existence in all lives and everything all at the same time...what would be the same time to us anyways. For example at the same moment I type this and God is causing the wind to blow and sun to shine, God could also be causing rain and night many years down the line or listening to the prayer of someone from a hundred years ago--all in the same moment that I am typing. Sort of infinite multi-tasking across time. I guess part of these thoughts come from a remembrance of a section in Charles Williams' Descent into Hell where Pauline take the burden of an ancestor who was burned at the stake a century or two earlier. We think of time as a line. God could see time as a dot.