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Archive for September, 2008

The simple plan.

In light of the fact that I know ABSOLUTELY NOTHING about the economy, $700billion plans, or the stock market, I have come up with the plan to fix it all. (Shocked, no? I should probably become a politician. Apparently my lack of knowledge qualifies me for something.)

The plan: “In God we trust…for more than just the value of our dollar bills.” – Derek Webb

Crazy times. Simple faith.

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Student-sitting.

I’m student-sitting for the week. I’ve been staying with three teenagers while their parents are out of town on vacation, and I’m having a blast. It’s been exhausting entertaining. My schedule has been ridiculously packed, so I haven’t had a lot of time to sit and process life, but I thought I would at least fill you on the small life lessons from my week so far.

Lessons learned this week (in organized mom-like bullet format, of course):

  • I’m still young enough to be cool to teenagers. They believe me when I tell them about cool YouTube videos and fun music to listen to. I wasn’t even cool when I was a teenager…but somehow I have arrived at being a cool semi-adult now that my own adolescence is over.  Don’t worry. I know I’m still awkward…but kind of an awkward-cool-geeky-fun semi-adult.
  • I am not, however, young enough to learn how to play street hockey. Jenn + roller blades + hockey sticks + concrete = BAD NEWS. My new hockey-playing mantra is this: Proceed With Caution. Become all things to all people…except hockey-playing middle school boys. Not safe.
  • Motherhood may defined by one four-letter word: TAXI.
  • The entire generation after mine will have serious problems with carpal tunnel by the age of 14. TEXTING is not just a hobby. In honor of the homework help I’ve offered this week, here is a simple analogy. Cell phones are to teenagers as my left lung is to my oxygen supply.
  • The heart of every middle school girl can be won with an overly dramatic rendition of any classic Disney song, particularly when the rendition involves a public location, loud singing, and matching dramatic movement. Yes, I did. No, I am not ashamed.
  • Getting to school by 7am, on time for FCA and with all homework, signed papers, and a lunch = a task only accomplishable by an ACT OF GOD.
  • NEVER use this phrase in reference to anything with siblings: “You can decide together.” Ha. Yeh right.
  • And finally, family life can be SO FUN. I cannot wait to have my own family. Or maybe I can. I don’t have the funds to supply the gas necessary for parenting right now. But I’m still really excited about it – taxi driving and all.

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Great quote.

From the first chapter of “The Life You’ve Always Wanted”  – John Ortberg

 

“I am disappointed with myself. I am disappointed not so much with particular things I have done as with aspects of who I have become. I have a nagging sense that all is not as it should be…I am disappointed that I still love God so little and sin so much. I always had the idea as a child that adults were pretty much the people they wanted to be. Yet, the truth is, I am embarrassingly sinful. I am capable of dismaying amounts of jealousy if someone succeeds more visibly than I do. I am disappointed at my capacity to be small and petty. I cannot pray for very long without my mind drifting into a fantasy of angry revenge over some past slight I thought I had long since forgiven or some grandiose fantasy of achievement. I can convince people I’m busy and productive and yet waste large amounts of time watching television.

            These are just some of the disappointments. I have other ones, darker ones, that I’m not ready to commit to paper. The truth is, even to write these words is a little misleading, because it makes me sound more sensitive to my fallenness than I really am. Sometimes, although I am aware of how far I fall short, it doesn’t even bother me very much. And I am disappointed at my lack of disappointment….

            The older and wiser answer is that the feeling of disappointment is not the problem, but a reflection of a deeper problem – my failure to be the person God had in mind when he created me. It is the pearly ache in my heart to be at home with the Father. I am in a state of disappointment. I am missing the life that I was appointed by God to live – missing my calling. And I have disappointed God. I have removed him from the central role he longs to play in my life. I am what I am.

            But that’s not all that I am. I am called to become the person God had in mind when he originally designed me. That is what is behind Kierkegaard’s wonderful prayer, “And now Lord, with your help I shall become myself.” We are called by God to live as our uniquely created selves – our temperament, our gene pool, our history. But to grow spiritually means to live increasingly as Jesus would in our unique place – to perceive what Jesus would perceive if he looked through our eyes, to think what he would think, to feel what he would feel, and therefore to do what he would do… God is not interested in your spiritual life. God is just interested in your life. And He intends to redeem it.”

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Quitting.

Full time school + full time work + meeting with girls + social life + Bible study + … =

I’m officially giving up the resolution to run another half marathon before the end of the year. Training hasn’t been terrible, but my schedule is out of control right now, and I just need to simplify. I figured it would be better to quit now and save my time, energy, and sanity than try to train and realize my failture shortly before the race. Adding one more thing to my schedule is just not wise right now, and in the list of priorities, running falls way down the line after a lot of non-negotiables (i.e. my source of income or my future career).

I hate being a quitter…but I hate chaos even more. 🙂

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There is more to preach about than Reformed Theology.

I listened to an entirely divisive sermon online today. I got a little bit worked up about it. And with the increase in my blood pressure came the motivation to blog something pretty opinionated. So – back to the letter format….

Dear I’veSimplifiedThousandsOfYearsOfTheologicalArgumentsIntoMyIntelligentDoctrine –

I’m obviously around church and church culture quite a bit in my day-to-day life. And I encounter a wide variety of opinions. I grew up in a Southern Baptist church and I attended a Church of God university. My social relationships are split right up the middle with 5-point Calvinists and charismatic Arminians. I’ve been there and done that with figuring out exactly what it is that I believe on the matter, and I have an immense respect for some great theologians, writers, and pastors on both sides. I’m not an idiot who has only scratched the surface. I’ve weighed the issues and I have a solid, Scripture-based opinion on the matter.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with a timely pit-stop at the theological arguments surrounding free will and the elect. I’ve done that. And I’m glad some leaders have been willing to go there with me.

BUT – it should be a pit-stop – not your weekly SERMON OUTLINE.  Not every conservative evangelical doctrine is related to the beloved TULIP, and there is no need to walk back through the same theological ideas over and over and over again. And there is certainly no need for divisive Christian doctrine to become the centerfold of all your preaching.

Are you hearing me correctly? It’s not about your theology – until you take a portion of your theology and teach it as if it’s the full counsel of the Word of God.

Take your side – either one – but settle the issue and MOVE ON. I’m getting tired of hearing you talk about it – especially when you talk about the issue as if you have personally solved a theological mystery that has been argued about by much wiser theologians than yourself. Let’s face it – you probably aren’t coming to any new conclusion that smarter scholars haven’t been arguing about for centuries.

Is this really what you want to be known for? For divisive doctrine? Or for teaching the Word of God in fullness and loving well and being a light in a dark world? What happened to all the other aspects of discipleship?

I do not know of any other doctrine as divisive as this. I know no other more effective turn-off to my social circle than to start talking about theological intricacies where God has given us simplicity. And while there is nothing wrong with having a firm opinion on this doctrine (I have one myself), is it really necessary to continually use this divisive doctrine as the foundation for every area of discipleship and teaching?

I don’t think so. And I’d be especially glad if you would move on, quit over-compensating for the likely insecurity or disproportionate pride you have in your own belief system, and teach the full counsel of the Word of God in a way that keeps simple what God has made simple. Abide in Christ. Love others. Tell the world. And, more often than not, avoid unnecessary division.

Sincerely,

A believer who believes in the simplicity of the statement that “God so loved the world.”

***Note: I’m definitely not talking about Long Hollow here. My pastor knows how to pit-stop and move on, and the only complaint we could possibly have against him is his deeply southern accent and the fact that he does not favor dogs that live in the house. Haha.***

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Coming soon….

..my motivation to blog again. Hopefully.

Sorry for the long delay since my last post.  Can I say MIDTERMS??? Yes. I can say it officially by the end of the day tomorrow…so until then, you will have to find satisfaction in a simple (profound) heading in the book I just finished reading.

“Jesus Loves (the real) Me, This I (finally) Know”

Amen?

From Hurt People Hurt People by Sandra Wilson.

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Capitol Hill.

Derek Webb – Voted most likely to have a political opinion in his Christian music, perhaps???? I think so.

This song is pretty funny. Enjoy!

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