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Archive for February, 2009

Random and unrelated.

Incomplete and unrelated thoughts from a girl who is way too busy to be starting her day on the blog:

1.  We are leaving for Winter Camp with our students here in one week. Long Hollow is having Quest this weekend…and even though I may never admit this and may be crazy for saying it – I kind of miss that chaos. Winter Camp is exciting, but I work in a team approach here and the chaos of getting ready is so minimal in comparison. I actually kind of miss the chaos. More thoughts on Winter Camp this weekend…

2. I decided last week that the absolute worst part of this season of life is sitting down alone in church every Sunday. There are not a lot of peers in my life stage at my particular church campus, and empty chairs on either side of me magnify any hint of dissatisfaction I have with being single. It does, however, make me think long and hard about how well I am loving the single parents in our church and what it’s like for them to sit alone every Sunday morning. And, clearly, if sitting alone in church is the worst part of being single and this entire season of life, I do not have much to complain about.

3. I went to look at a puppy on Monday, and I turned around and left the house before I even got out of the car.  All the references checked out well…but it was definitely a puppy mill. BUMMER. I’m on the hunt for a puppy again.

4. Starbucks has two new drinks that I’m pretty much obsessed with: The Apple Chai and the London Fog latte. YUM.

5. I fly home two weeks from today for my childhood best friend’s wedding.  Three things to note: (a) Does anyone else realize that we were annoying eight year olds like three days ago? When did we grow up? (b) I cringe to think of any home videos that may or may not be displayed during pre-wedding festivities. Let’s just say this: Jenn + Lori + a wide assortment of other friends = us dressed up like boys and creating ridiculous music videos. And (c) I am so excited I can barely contain myself.

6. Winter in Colorado has been a colossal disappointment thus far. We have had very little snow…and absolutely no snow days to speak of. I have heard lots of locals say that March and April are the biggest snow months, so I’m holding out for at least one good blizzard (that prayerfully does not happen on either of the weekends I am traveling).

More this weekend. For now, work and finals.

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For me.

I can’t figure out any other convenient way to get this song on here since it’s not up on YouTube yet.

I’ve been listening to this on repeat for about two weeks now.

Check it out – You Are For Me by Kari Jobe.

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Bahahahaha.

My new co-workers pass around quite a few funny YouTube videos….and some of them are too good to keep to myself. Like this one, for example. With the convenience of technology, it no longer has to be just your immediate family and your mirror that witness your idiocy. Now the whole world can know. Bahaha. Worth your thirty seconds.

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I ignore 98% of all requests from retarded Facebook applications like snowball fights and “Which ninja style are you?” quizzes.  But this was one was pretty interesting. All the (microscopic) names on my wheel are people I’m friends with on Facebook.  The application said it randomly pulled 600 of my friends to make the wheel, and there is a line to show every other connection my friends have. If they are on the wheel, I’m friends with them. If there is a line between them and another person, they are also friends on Facebook. 

It’s a pretty interesting graphic demonstration of social connectedness, you know?

 

friend-wheel

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Warning. Graphic.

Just finished reading a good book.  The book is Stumbling Toward Faith.  It’s a biography or memoir of sorts,  about a woman’s journey toward God after experiencing heinous sexual abuse from her father who was sang Christian hymns and recited the Lord’s prayer and prayed for her salvation while he molested her. Graphic. Very raw.

Here’s an excerpt…but (theological differences aside) it’s very much worth reading.

People often tell me how amazing it is that I am still searching, still seeking, still questioning after all this; they say it’s a miracle that I haven’t turned away entirely.

To be truthful, the miracle is that I haven’t totally given in [to that God].

I resist because the God I am seeking, the God I am slowly finding, does not live in that Christian bubble. He does not dwell among the petty scripture quotations and the “be thankful in everythings” and the pat answers that bring nothing but guilt and shame and confusion. Rather he lives in every “why?” I ask, in every moment I am afraid, in every part of my heart that dares to be honest with him, in every part that even dares to question his very existence.

And one more…

I’ve accepted Jesus more times than I can count. At a tender young age in Sunday school…At the beginning of adolescence…My junior year in high school…Twice in college…

It was the perfect blank chalkboard for me. Got a father who rapes you and tells you it’s your fault? Accept Jesus and it will all go away. Got some pain you can’t define floating around inside you? Accept Jesus and watch all your troubles turn to a peace that passes all understanding. It was the Holy Grail for a confused, troubled teen with a zillion voices shouting around her and no quiet in which to hear her own heart.

Yet in the end, after every prayer, I felt more and more alone. In spite of my salvation and the Holy Spirit, I found myself feeling more and more depressed, wracked with anguish, and facing more pain than I had ever had before….I wish that it was what they described. I wish I could say I’ve felt inexplicable peace, known the joy of forgiveness, had my life revolutionized by the cross…

But for now, there’s too much pain and darkness and endless doubt in my heart. For now the gospel [they talk about] doesn’t include people who have experienced my kind of life; the pat answers or cliches mean nothing to me, and they hurt me much more than they help…

I want the danger, community, a chance for connection. I want a gospel that understands my kind of pain – the gospel that has room for my kind of pain…

I’ll spare you the million thoughts runnning through my mind about the hurt and pain we so often ignore in those around us. Just read the book. It’s worth your time.

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I found the cure.

I found the cure for my waning patriotic spirit (from the last post).

We (our student ministry staff) spent about an hour this morning greeting homecoming soldiers as they got off the plane from their year-long deployments to Iraq. They were literally stepping off the plane straight from Amsterdam, first sight of American soil, having not yet even seen their families. A year (or longer) later, and they were a class-act all the way out of the airport parking lot.

Talk about humbling.

I’m learning a lot less about politics these days…and a lot more about genuine service to the country.  I’m living in a military mecca. Colorado Springs is, of course, home to the Air Force Academy…but it’s also home to Fort Carson, Peterson AFB, and NORAD.  Everywhere I turn out here, I am hearing about another dad who’s heading off to war, another daughter coming home on leave, another uncle leaving for his third deployment to Iraq.

And it’s crazy to me how much of a reality the war is to a student ministry full of students whose parents are connected with the military in some capacity. I’m getting to hear from my girls about what it’s like to have a dad gone for all the changes that their first year of middle school brings. I get to hear about the soldiers who are coming home to single-bed barracks and no family to greet them. I get to hear about not-so-single moms trying to take care of three small children while struggling to make it without their best friend around to share the joy.

I’ve never been so aware of the sacrifice involved in their serving our country.

So when I got to shake hands and pass out food and say thanks for their service before they even saw their families today, I had a whole new level of appreciation.

And, of course, I turned into a blubbering, grateful mess the minute I realized they were playing “God Bless America” behind us as we cheered our soldiers home.

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…especially when I find out things like this. (I know – I’m about a week late getting it up on the blog. Sorry.)

This was not allowed to air as a SuperBowl Commercial…too controversial they said.  But I’m not sure what’s so controversial about it…since it’s a true story.

But THIS  tells the story of what did air in the greater Tucson, Arizona community. Pornography. In the middle of the SuperBowl. 

Welcome to America.

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