Sunday, November 05, 2006

Remembering


He passed away in June, but I just found out tonight. Grandpa Dick, as we called him, was a permanent fixture at Bethany College of Missions, where my family lived for two years. His pockets always jingled with the change he carried around for the kids of Bethany. After getting hugged/tickled, there would be a quarter or dime waiting for you, accompanied by the ever present smile. Out of all the adults I knew at Bethany, he was my hands down favorite.

After my family moved to Washington, he would write us letters, and always included a special note just for me. I have a sudden urge to dig those letters up now. The letters faded off as the years went by, especially after Grandpa Dick entered a nursing home.

I remember one Christmas--I believe it was 1997--where he sent me a small painting he did of a cardinal. I've put it out every Christmas since then, and every year when I unwrapped it, I was reminded of Grandpa Dick. I know that when I unwrap it this year, the memories will be a bit stronger, and perhaps be accompanied by some tears (much like the ones accompanying this post), but I will do it knowing that one day, I'll see Grandpa Dick again. His pockets won't jingle with change, but he'll still be smiling, and so will I.


Friday, November 03, 2006

Mentoring

I've heard a lot about mentoring, especially in the last couple years--I go to a school that wholeheartedly believes in the concept. Getting a mentor was always something I wanted to do...someday. Finally, after Spiritual Emphasis Week this year, I got one. My mentor is amazing, and I wish we had done this sooner.
When we first met, she asked me what I wanted to get out of a mentoring relationship--I told her that I wanted someone who had 'gone before me,' so to speak, and could advise and counsel me. Though my mom is amazing, she is also 2300 miles away, and I believe mentoring needs to be done face-to-face.
There's a quote from Elisabeth Elliot about this topic/Titus 2:3-5 that I found on girltalk and really like:

“It would help younger women to know there are a few listening ears when they don't know what to do with an uncommunicative husband, a 25-pound turkey, or a two-year-old's tantrum.

It is doubtful that the Apostle Paul had in mind Bible classes or seminars or books when he spoke of teaching younger women. He meant the simple things, the everyday example, the willingness to take time from one’s own concerns to pray with the anxious mother, to walk with her the way of the cross--with its tremendous demands of patience, selflessness, lovingkindness--and to show her, in the ordinariness of Monday through Saturday, how to keep a quiet heart.

These lessons will come perhaps most convincingly through rocking a baby, doing some mending, cooking a supper, or cleaning a refrigerator. Through such an example, one young woman--single or married, Christian or not--may glimpse the mystery of charity and the glory of womanhood.”

We see many examples of mentoring in the Bible--Paul and Timothy is probably the best, but Mary and Elizabeth are also good examples. I think the sign for this in ASL encapsulates the meaning of the word. In ASL, two hands (representing people) show that one person is right behind the other. (Grr at trying to explain a visual language in writing.) It's having that support to lean back on that Christ calls us to have as "God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved." (Col. 3:12)
There is so much wisdom to be gained from those who have gone ahead of us; we can't let it go to waste.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Learning

I found this quote on the five15 blog and thought it to be quite interesting. I'm trying to apply it to my life, but it's definitely not easy.

“G.K. Chesterton said that there is no such thing as a boring subject. There are only bored persons. Everything in God’s creation is intrinsically interesting, though we are so dull-minded that we often miss the wonder of it all.”- World Magazine, June 17, 2006, page 9.

I believe that we are to work heartily at whatever we do (Colossians 3:23 and 1 Corinthians 10:31). And last I checked, that means to work and glorify God in whatever situation God has placed us in. Be it in prob and stats, interpreting, working at McDonald's...whatever we do, our lives, actions and attitude should glorify God.

Our culture teaches that some things are uncool or boring, but as Chesterton said, there is no such thing as a boring subject. I'm convinced that t.v. and the internet are two reasons we as a culture are so easily bored. Combine that with the instant gratification mindset we have, and you have a nation of easily bored people. Instead of trying to come up with more new and exciting things, I suggest that we look at thing with a new mindset. A mindset that recognizes though we might not find everything interesting, we try our best because it glorifies God, and that is what we're called to do.

P.S. In "Your God is Too Safe" by Mark Buchanan, he has a chapter devoted to wonder, which I highly recommend.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

It moments

Have you ever had one of those moments when everything comes together and it happens? One of those moments when you pause and it's then that you understand what it is all about.

For me, it happened...
...after youth group in highschool, when some friends and I decided to walk around town during a perfect evening instead of heading straight home. It was enjoying spontaneous fellowship in God's beautiful creation.
...in Mississippi when I was hot, sweaty, gross and having a blast drywalling. It was then that I knew what it was like to physically serve and be fulfilled while doing so.
...during the Global Night Commute when I was tired, freezing and wet, realizing that thousands of kids every night do this and can't go home.
...interpreting for Joey in Mississippi, realizing how much I love interpreting [even though I need so much improvement].
...when I was cooking for my family, showing I love them in a small way.
...sitting in my apartment with some of my closest friends, doing nothing but talking and laughing. It was realizing that we don't need movies to something to do; just being with those girls is enough.

Find the it moments in life.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Honesty in music

I like honest music. Music that puts on a happy face or pretends to that life is always peachy keen is stuff I can't always relate to. Yeah, there are times when life is going amazingly well and I just want to jump for joy...but not always.

Andrew Peterson (among many others, but he is the topic of this rave) writes honest music. You all know that I am a huge fan of "Matthew's Begats" (which is hopefully going to be a children's book that I am SO buying). In addition to that song, he has many other excellent works. I recently procured two of his cds (The Far Country and Carried Along), and some of his best are "The Chasing Song," a reworking of Ira Sankey's first hymn, "The Ninety and Nine," "Little Boy Heart Alive," "More" and "Come, Lord Jesus."

"The Chasing Song" is honest when it says "Well I wish that I could say that at the close of every day/I was happy with the way that I'm behaving...David he chased God's own heart/all I ever seem to chase is me." As much as I hate it, I do find myself chasing me most of the time. Stupid sin. The second verse, however, affirms that "God knows the only time I'm winning is when I'm chasing Him." The song inspires me to be a God-chaser.

I also love how biblical his music is. The (first) chorus in "The Chasing Song" says,
'Cause Job, he chased and answer
The wise men chased the Child
Jacob chased her 14 years and he
Captured Rachel's smile
Moses chased the Promised Land
Joseph chased a dream
David, he chased God's own heart
All I ever seem to chase is me

"Matthew's Begats" also shows that Andrew knows his Bible and is able to creatively write truth into his songs.

His online journal is full of personal glimpses that let you see the heart of a man who truely desires to chase after God.

In addition to all that, one of his children is named Aedan--how much cooler can a person get? ;)

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

A few notes on music

(Pardon the cheesey pun.)

Anyhoo, I love music. I play a few instruments and love listening to music of almost any kind (rap and country excluded). The other day, I was pondering how amazing music is. By taking lines and circles (along with a few other random shapes), arranging them in an orderly fashion and adding some numbers, you can create an infinite number of musical pieces. Furthermore, that sheet of music can be played by any instrument in the world. Isn't that crazy?

The moral of this short story is that I love music. God loves music. You should love music, too. I don't mean love as in just enjoy listening to it, but love it that you are learned about what your ears are hearing. Know what kinds of lyrics go with which style of music. Understanding the inner workings of this amazing thing we call music makes listening to it much more enjoyable.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

"If you love Me you must love the Church"--Derek Webb

This post has been brewing in my head for quite some time. Before I start ranting, however, I must state that this is in no way directed at any one person. It’s a whole passel of folks. ;)

So what as me all riled up? The Church. Well, not the Church exactly, but the lack of commitment people (especially in ‘my generation’) seem to give to to the local church. I know there are many high school and college students who practically live at their church—if that’s you, way to go. You’re doing what we’re biblically called to do.

It’s the ‘other’ group of people that have me fired up. The ones who aren’t involved in a local church and don’t care about their lack of involvement. In Hebrews 10:24-25, we are told, “do not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good works.” In Ephesians 4:12, Paul tells us that our spiritual gifts were given to the Church “so that the body of Christ may be built up.” 1 Peter 3:9 (my personal favorite) states, “but you [the Church] chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.” The Church is special to God!

Many of the thoughts in this rant were formed by the book Stop Dating the Church: Fall in Love with the Family of God, which, despite its cheesy title, has some excellent points. Yes, it was written by Josh Harris, but don’t let that turn you off. I don’t have it with me right now as it’s at school and I’m at home, but I encourage you all to read it. Short book with a wealth of information about committment to the local body of Christ.

Anyways, I think the Bible makes it very clear that the Church is valuable to Christ. I mean, He came here and died for Her to make Her holy (Eph. 5:25-27) …can you get much more valuable than that? Because of this incredible worth, I think that we need to make church a priority and not just something that fits into our schedule whenever we make it work. Gathering with the Church is unique; it’s different from Bible studies, chapels or anything else. It is (or at least should be, in my opinion) a multi-generational, multi-racial coming together of those that love the Lord Jesus Christ. They gather to hear the Word, learn from the Word, corporately worship through music, break bread together (communion) and fellowship. I believe churches should have fun together! No, this doesn’t mean laughter must happen at every service, but I am a big fan of random ‘family fun nights’ as a church. Jesus saved you from hell; smile!

Is the Church perfect? No! In fact, I think it's done a pretty stinky job in some places (see: the 'good Christian kids' I knew in highschool who are definitely not living for God anymore), but Jesus says She is beautiful. To those who say the Church is full of hypocrites; come on in, there's always room for more. ;)

The Church is to be a place where people are committed to using their time, talents and gifts for the Lord. It is a place where people are built up, loved and exhorted. It’s not always easy, but then again, anything worth having is worth working for.