Sunday, December 11, 2005

Finished the first book and other news

I finished Black by Ted Dekker, it was a good book, I definately would recommend it.

In other news, as of December 23 (or sooner) Ben and I will be the new residents of the 4404 39th Av NW basement suite. Yup, we have an appartment of our own. This brings a lot of challenges, including my sudden realization that a desk and bookcase just don't cut it as furniture, but is absolutely wonderful. Not only is it cheep with everything included, it's also a pretty nice place. Let me know when you plan on coming to visit. Another plus is that it's only about a 10 minute walk from the mall I work at.

Which brings me to the other news. I quit my job. But only because I had an offer from a friend for a better job at another store. I'm done at La Sena this coming Friday (the 16th) and start at Esprit on the following Monday (the 19th...did I mention we're moving on the 23?....what is it with me and grouping major changes all at once?) It sucks that I'm leaving at Christmas, especially when the store was already short staffed (and for some reason the other full timers decided to quit as well) but the new position pays more and will be less stressful in general. Basically I'll make the same ammount in 4 days at the new store as I was making working 40 hours at the old one.

So that's life at the moment, I'll let you know if anything else changes

Friday, December 09, 2005

On the Band Wagon

I decided I'd try my hand at the 50 book challenge. I'm not too concerned about the difficulty because I estimate that I read about that number of books in a year anyway.

Currently reading : Captivating and Black

Friday, December 02, 2005

Broken Hearted

I've discovered that I have a passion for people who have searched for God and been swallowed up by false organizations, specifically JW's and Mormons.

I have a friend who is JW, we've known each other for a little more than a year. Her heart longs for God, I have no doubt in my mind about that, but she is controlled, lied to, decieved. We were talking one time and she was amazed that we had anything in common in our beliefs at all. This is because she has been taught that every church outside of the watchtower works for satan in decieving people.

It might shock some people that there is any truth in the Watchtower Society, but there is. They do have the Bible, they just grosly misinterpret it. My desire is to see my friend be exposed to truth and come to a saving knowledge of Christ. She wants God, she is seeking truth, and alredy I think she is realizing that truth can exist outside of what she has been told.

It's dangerous work what I'm trying to do. She could be shunned by her family, including her husband. She has been told that even spending time with people like me could jepordize her standing in the eyes of God. But truth calls her.

I don't tell her that her beliefs are wrong. I don't even tell her she's being controlled and lied to - at least not yet. She is seeking truth, and I am exposing her to as much of it as I can.

This week I also had the opportunity to meet with some Mormon missionaries. They said at the beginning to listent o the impressions of my heart as they talked. And so I did. And what I felt was heavy - opression, lies, deception. I told them that. They were, at least, at one point they had been, searching for God. THey found answers, they found logic and a prospeous promise. They devoted themselves to the organization, and in doing so gave up their quest for God eternal. As we spoke two of them lsitened, the other - well, I pray that he is not too far gone.

The world is in crisis. There are so many people seeking out God but who have been lied to by these organizations. What are we doing about it? Telling them the truth is too hard - especially for those who have grown up in one of these organizations. We need to be with them as they search for truth - showing them we care about who they are not just what they believe.

I pray for them. I take every opportunity I can to meet with them and talk with them. God has promised that if we seek for Him we will find Him, pray that they keep seeking.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Oh the Pain

Guess what I found out yesterday. 2.25mm knitting needles, when sitting on the floor at a slight angle because of a work-in-progress can go 2 inches into a human foot without hardly any pressure at all.

Yup, I managed to impale myself on a knitting needle. 2ish inches went into my foot (not out the top, in along the bottom) and I had to pull it out. It didn't really hurt when it happened, kinda felt like when you get something stuck in your sock. Only I wasn't wearing any socks.

I don't recommend it. Not so much fun.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Why do people hurt?

My heart aches

There is so much hurt and pain and lonliness and lostness in the world, I just want to hug everyone, or si in a corner and cry, or something along those lines.

My heart aches for these people because I was one of them. I was depressed, I was suicidal, I was abused, I was mistreated and misunderstood. I was lost and felt unloved and unlovable, hopless, damaged and discarded, I didn't even believe God truly wanted me.

Then my life got turned around, I not only survived, I was healed and changed from the inside out.

Why can't everyone feel that transformation?

Most of the time the people who hurt so badly didn't even do anything wrong, they are paying for the sins of others. I hate it. The world should not work like that...why do we sit back and watch that happen.

People out there truly believe that there is no hope, that they are stuck, abandoned, usless. What are we doing about it?

Jesus can take their hurt away, but befre that can happen they need to know that they can be loved, that someone here on earth cares about them regardless of what they do or have done.

Do we have a place for the broken, for the downtrodden? Do we have a palce where they can feel their pain in safety? Where they can find purpose and be used? Do we have a place where they can laugh and cry and heal? Do people feel safe sharing their pain with us?

If we do not offer them love and hope and peace, where will they find it?

Thursday, November 03, 2005


I believe in holiness.

I believe it is possible to live a day to day life without intentional sin.

I believe that when/if we unintentionally sin and are made aware of it we need to confess and repent.

I believe it is possible to gain victory over habitual sins.

I believe when we sin we are responsible, it is not "because we're human" but because we are choosing to live in disobedience to God.

I believe that when we are forgiven we are clean and righteous in the eyes of God.

I believe God wants to work in each individual life and lead people into a lifestyle of obedience and holiness.

I belive sin interrupts our relationship with God, making it harder for us to be used by Him.

I believe no sin is unforgivable except for denying Christ through whom we gain forgiveness.

I believe that you can't stop a bird from landing on your head but you can stop it from building a nest.

I believe that in true Christian community we are responsible for holding each other accountable, to confessing to one another as needed and upholding each other in prayer and support.

I believe that the world is seeking something true, genuine, life changing and does not accept Christianity because they do not see these key characteristics.

I believe that Christians are not only held accountable for the wrong they do but also the right they do not do.

I believe there is a life free from struggle and characterized with victory.

I believe that as a whole we have sold out and settle for a life that is less than what God intended, for a life free from condemnation but not free from bondage. I beleive that we allow ourselves to indulge in sin because we have accapted the lie that we will never be free. I believe that Christians who allow their brothers and sisters to intentionally sin are supporting disunity in the Body. I believe that pride and arogance are as harmful and damaging as adultery and murder. I believe that a relationship with God should be evident in the day to day and not only in church attendance. I beleive that we have diluted the powerful healing transforming work of God into a message of "try your best and see how it goes". I believe that the reason people don't experience victory over habitual sin is because they are not taught that it is possible. I believe that on our own we will continue to sin, and agree with Paul that it is no longer we who live, but Christ in us, and through Him all things are possible.

I believe that the body has been wounded by false teaching, false expectations and false pride.

I believe that there are those who have experienced freedom and victory, and that their stories should be told and heard.

I beleive that there is healing and hope and peace available to us as we turn our hearts towards Christ.

I beleive there are those seeking a fuller life and finding it.

I beleive that those who are living victorious will be beacons of light for the rest of the body.

I believe the Spirit is moving and calling us to a standard that we cannot attain on our own.

I believe in a closer walk with God, a deeper experience with Him and a more effective life as a result.

I believe holiness is a decision, but cannot be accomplished by our will, is an act of God, and that we have our part, is personal and is corperate.

I believe that coming to God is a process and that each day new areas may be revealed to be surrended, and that through the whole process we can be called holy.

I believe that when the world sees the change that happens in a life as a result of an encounter with God they will be drawn to Him.

Monday, October 31, 2005

The Para-Church

I have full knowledge that as I write this there will be people who disagree with me, including people I know who are planning to work in para-church ministries.

The Para-Church exists to meet needs of the community outside of the church walls. The idea is that people may not feel comfortable going to church, or that the church is not meeting felt needs well enough. These organizations may offer counseling, job training, food and shelter etc. that those around them truly need. This is all done in a Christian atmosphere but with no "Christian requirements" - the people receiving these services are not expected to go to church, read their Bible, grow closer to God etc. It is encouraged, but not pushed.

I think the only reason these organizations exist is because the church is not fulfilling it's responsibilites to the community at large. We are called to visit the sick and imprisoned, to clothe the naked, to feed the hungry, to give water to the thirsty. Historically, the church has done this very badly. During one of the famines in Ireland the people (most of which were pagan) were given the opportunity to receive food from the local church, if they would first go through confession and convert. The heart was right (at least I hope it was) - save their bodies and their souls - but we cannot turn God into a commodity, a bargaining chip. Come to church on Sunday and we'll help you find a job. Be part of this small group and we'll give you food. To do this is at best spiritual manipulation and at worst (and more likely) spiritual abuse.

Yes, we want people to be part of Christian community. Yes, we want to meet their needs. But the church should be able to perform both functions.

We see examples of this through Acts. Almost everything the early church did at the time added to the number of those who were being saved, and most of what they did would not fit in to what we call "evangelism". The met needs, they helped people, no strings attached. They loved, and that love brought the people they were loving on to God.

Didn't Jesus say they would know us by our love?

Not by our promotions, not by our preaching, not even by our relationship with Him, but by our love.

I think the ministry of parachurch organizations is good and necessary. But I think if the church fulfilled what it's function truly is that it would not be necessary.

Take a look at this church. They see a need, they meet it. The love, and the Spirit of God adds daily to the number of those being saved.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

My New Experiment

So if you can't tell in the picture what's different (besides my hair being short, I did that a few months ago) I have died my hair black actually. Usually I stick with red tones but thought I'd try something different. What do you think? Personally, I really like it. Now I just have to make sure it doesn't fade to just blue, then I'd have to dye it again...stupid work rules.....

Monday, October 24, 2005

Redefining Success in Evangelism

If I was still at Bethany I would write this as a paper. For me, this is something very important. For a lot of my Christian life I either felt like a failure or came across too strong because I felt in order to "evangelize" (which is something that all Christians should want to do, not just feel they are required to) I had to get someone to "pray the prayer". If they didn't, I felt like I hadn't done my job, and they would be eternally condemned. If there was something in my soul that just told me they weren't there yet, I would panic and either stay away from the God topic all together or make them feel like a horrible person.

No wonder I wasn't "good" at evangelism.

However, all this time, it was important to me. God had made such a huge impact in my life, had changed who I was and given me hope I could not have had otherwise. How could I not want to share that story with people? How could I leave people, friends, family, who came to me for help, and not tell them about the help and healing that God offers. I hold nothing against the youth leaders etc. that were always telling me I needed to share my faith. They were right. The methods and measure of success, however, were very wrong.

See, it's like football (and I am by no means an expert on football, someone else had to point this out to me). The goal is to get the ball all the way to the end zone for a touchdown, however, each play is designed only to get the ball a few yards. When we tell someone about God, the idea is to eventually get them to a point where they encounter and fall in love with Him, but for some people they have a long way to go first.

At one point it was easier to use tracts and "salvation messages" because everyone already knew the basics. They knew God was good and they were not, and being forgiven was the way to reconcile the two. They were closer to ready.

Now, however, things are different. There are some people who don't think God is good, or who don't know who God is, or who think Christians are all horrible people and why would they want to be one of them. Or they don't realize that they're not good, or hat they need help (to quote Pastor John "you need to get people lost before you can get them saved"). What do we do with these people?

When we share our story of how God changed us it should be with the purpose of bringing someone closer to God, and understanding that does not necisarily mean they will be ready to follow Him. We might be able to ring them a few yards, and then somewhere later down the line they're close enough for the touchdown.

And this is Biblical too. It is the Spirit that draws all men to God, not our work. Our work is to not pull them further away. An encounter with God is still important, a decision for Him is vital, but first people need to be able to get to know who He is.

This understanding is changing the way I interact with people who don't know God. I'm more intentional now than I ever was before in sharing my faith. I try to see where people are and bring them even one step closer, praying that others in the life will be faithful and help them further along their journey to God.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Somebody's Pregnant

No, it's not me...not yet anyways

Dan and Joy (MacElhinney) Pusey are 6ish weeks pregnant (well, ok, Joy's the one that's actually pregnant, but Dan had his part in the whole thing too.

If you would like to congratulate them, send an email to or they'd love to hear from you.

And this will let me know if anyone reads this or not lol

A bowl of Stew (art): The Ideal

A bowl of Stew (art): The Ideal

My wonderful friend Lizbrought up the question of an ideal community on her blog, and it makes my heartsing because community is where my heart is, and was one of the major themes of the A2 conference and so is fresh on my mind.

First, a disclaimer - I am not picking on the Church, I am not complaining about the church. I am seeing a problem within the current functioning of the Body and giving ideas that will (hopefully) bring us back to our intended function.

I think the major problem within the church is the humanistic self-centered attitude that we have allowed, especailly as a north american culture, to slip into the church. Christians are taught that "Jesus died just for you" and while it is true that Jesus died for them, it is not true that it is "just" for anyone. Chist died so that ALL would live. Our salvation is not a personal salvation, it is the salvation of the whole world. When God blessed Abraham it was so that the world could be blessed through him. What God does for each of us is not just for us but for all the lives we may have the power to touch.

This self-centered mentality shows up in a variety of ways, but one of the ways most damaging to community is the "I just need to be fed" idea. Erwin McManus puts it in terms of "spiritual bulemia" - we starve ourselves throughout the week and then become gluttons on Sunday morning. Those of us who are in Christ have the fullness of God, we have access to Him at any point in time, we don't need anyone to feed us, we should have the ability to feed ourselves, or to come along side each other through small groups (or friends getting together, whatever you want to call it).

The function of the chuch should be makig it as easy as possible for people who are far away from God to get close to Him. That means helping people in real ways, that means being their friend, not trating them like a project. That means loving them where they are with a love that lets them know that they can be better people.

Something that I heard recently really stuck out to me. It was the idea that humanity, everyone, already has a desire to be better than they are, already feels a disconnect from God and already feels needs. We don't need to tell people that God can change their lives, we need to show them what God's change in our lives looks like.

That would be my ideal community. People striving to make the lives of those around them better instead of trying to get other people to make their lives easier. We don't need to worry about changing how people behave, God will do that.

Monday, October 17, 2005


I was away last week. I was in Chicago at the A2 Willow Creek conference. I still haven't fully recovered or been able to process the whole event.

First off, 25 hours in a van with 4 other people wasn't at all what I expected it to be. The trip itself was wonderful, as was the ride back.

Secondly, Willow Creek (did anyone know that the church is actually by a creek with lots of weeping willows? The name makes sense now) is HUGE. Their new sanctuary seats 7095 people in 3 tears (I'll have pics up on my photo blog when I get a chance). Now, I've never really been a fan of mega churches for a bunch of reasons, the two most important being the practicality of it (organizing community in a large group would be very difficult) and also because I'll all for church planting. That aside, Willow does an amazing job. Even from the highest point furthest away from the stage it didn't feel like the nose bleed section. The entire sanctuary felt cozy, not huge. Hard thing to accomplish.

Now, as for the actual content of the conference, I'll get to that in a series of rants as I work thought it. I will say that it was amazing.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Thank you for loving me....

Than You for saving me, what can I say?
You are my everything, I will sing Your praise

I was just struck by the love of God

It's funny how we can know something, and we can feel it, and we can experience it, and still never understand it, never know it, never really feel it and completely miss out on it at the same time.

God always loves me, just as much today as every other day. But I don't always feel it, don't always know it. And anytime I think I do, I'm always shocked and amazed at how limited my view is.

You shed Your blood for me, what can I say?
You took me sin and shame
A sinner called by name

Most of the people who read this probably don't know this, but by my own power I would not be alive right now. I spent a long time depressed and lost in my own pain. I reached the point where I couldn't do it any more, couldn't win God's love, I just wasn't good enough. So I told Him that He had to fix it or I couldn't go on.

I guess I was asking God to prove that He loved me, even though I was far from where He wanted me to be.

Great is the Lord
Great is the Lord
For we know Your truth has set us free
You've set Your hope in me

Even after that amazing experience I still forget that amazing, wonderful unconditional love. I experienced saving grace in a very literal sense, and I still forget, I still worry, I still wonder if things *really* will work out or not.

In short, I'm stupid.

I won't say I'm human, because true humanity, my restored humanity, is secure in God. Doubting God isn't human, it's sinful.

Mercy and grace are mine, forgiven is my sin
Jesus, my only hope, the Saviour of the world

God loves me. No, that's not enough, it's not just me He loves.

God loves humanity, God loves His creation, and everything about Him is about restoring it to what we all should be experiencing.

How could I forget that? How can I miss that.

"Great is the Lord" we cry
God let Your Kingdom come
Your word has let me see
Thank You for saving me

I think the reason we forget the love of God is because we don't live it. We keep trying to do life by ourselves. We keep trying to earn God's love instead of living in it. There is freedom in love.

I don't know how to change this, but I know God is renewing my mind so that His love, His plan is rooted in my very heart, my very soul.

Maybe right now experiencing God's love all the time would be too much for me.....

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

I have (not) arrived

I'm working full time at a job and part time with a church. My husband has a full time job and is co-director of children's ministries at the same church. Once we get a house, it would be safe to say we've settled, that we've arrived, that we're doing what we will be for the rest of our lives.

But that's not it.

This isn't what we want to be doing for the rest of our lives. I love my job at the store, but I will only be there as long as necessary. I want to be full time at the Summit, but that just can't happen right now.

And I see the faces of people as they dig in to what God has said and I see the changes in them as God grabs hold of their hearts and it makes me praise and all of me desires to do that all the time.

But I can't.

And Ben loves his job too. It's a little frustrating at times because of the schedule, but he likes it, and once he's been there a little longer the pay will be great. But it's not where he's supposed to be either. When we can, he's going to go back to school, and when God says we're ready, we're going to go to Japan.

It's hard to be in the in between. To do what we need to do just so we can get to the next step. Or maybe it's just hard for me because I lack patience.

Thursday, September 22, 2005


I think differently than a lot of people. Well, not really, I just think differently than a lot of people I know.

This causes problems, because things I say, while making perfect sense to me, make little or no sense to them. Or, even worse, are taken completely in the wrong way. This is what happens when two people are speaking two different languages. Words are not absolute, they are fluid, and can have any meaning that a person chooses to give them at a time.

This becomes especially frustrating when talking to people about God. For some, hearing about God as "Leader" of their life is a perfectly pleasant and wonderful idea....for others, it gives a sort of "ick" feeling for some unknown reason. Not that leader is a bad way of describing the relationship we can have with God, no worse or better than Master, Saviour, Father, Lord, King etc. Slightly less biblical (then again, any english word isn't technically biblical) but not better or worse.

The meanings (some people call them connotations, but when the "usual" meaning of a word is swallowed in connotations ...say like the word's safe to say the meaning has changed) of words depend on our experiences, on our worldview and, at times, on our moods.

So with all this mess in the way, how can real communication take place?

I'm learning through experience that the key to communication is not speaking but listening. Through listening we can learn the meaning of the words the other person is using, then fit them in to what we are saying. Without listening there is no communication, only noise, only confusion, frustration, pain.

So why don't we listen? Obviously, because we want to be heard. However, if we want others to know our story, the way we think, the way we feel, what matters to us, we must first listen. We must agree upon a langauge, and stop the noise.

It's amazing what you can learn about a person when you listen.

Monday, September 19, 2005

A new thought on Truth

I'm reading "Velvet Elvis" by Rob Bell right now, and it's really streching me in the very best of ways. What is sticking out to me most though is his discussion of truth, and the need to claim truth all around us.

I have always understood that Christianity does not have a monopoly on truth. Why Jesus is the Way, Truth and Life, there are other religions that, in their quest to fing God, have found glimpses of truth. Rob Bell takes this idea further and proclaims the need for Christians, as heirs with Christ, to claim truth wherever they see it.

This is really a freeing concept. No need to feel that we cannot practice certain things that are found in other religions just because they are found in other religons. Dance is a part of religous cerimony in many cultures because they realize the truth that dace can be a way to connect with God. Yes, they misuse that truth, but I, as a Christian, can claim it and feel free to dance before my Lord and King.

There is no need to feel anxious or nervous when we find ourselves agreeing wth priciples or beliefs of other religions, if it is true, it is God, an we can claim it, like Paul did when he spoke to those on Mars Hill about their own poets knowing the truth that we were created by God, even if they did not know the God they were refering to. We can use this commmon ground to build bridges, to bring people together and show them the Ultimate Truth instead of just telling them that they are wrong.

I like this idea

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Living Grace

I work at a mall, so in the course of a day at work, I see a lot of people, and every day at some point my heart breaks and I cry out to God for them. There are so many people in this city and the vast majority of them (over 90%) don't know the love and grace that comes from God. They don't know the freedom that they can have. I see broken and hurting people, when I smile at them it seems to just fill them and break them at the same time.

I want to save the world, or at least this small part of it. I want my life to have an impact on the lives of those around me, whatever that takes and whatever it means.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Jehovah Jirah

I've been reading the blogs of a few friends lately and noticing a theme - we're all amazed when God does exactly what He said He will do. Now, I'm not saying I don't feel the same way, or that we shouldn't be amazed at miracles, but there are times when we're just so dense.

Ok, now I'm talking from personal experience. I know I need to trust God, I know God will provide for me, but I guess there's always this little bit of me that wonders "well, what if He doesn't"

Ben is getting on full time at the place he's been working as a temp. The wage will be between 13.75 and 15 something to start. I am amazed by this. How can it be that God would work that out. I mean, isn't it supposed to be harder than this?

I have another job offer too. For the past month or so I've been working at LaSenza (my 3rd job since moving to Calgary), making not very much money. I have an interview with a bank next week, full time, days, no weekends, starting at 10.00/h. But I don't know what to do. I see God opening this door, and there's a part of me wondering if it's just a trick. I mean, He's already given me a job, wouldn't it be a lack of faith in His prvision to look at getting something that pays more.

I want to follow God, I want to be where He wants me to be, and, I am. I'm in Calgary, I'm working at the church. And I'm starting to realize that whatever my second job is He will use me and provide for us.

Pray that the interview goes well

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Corporate Worship

I had a really good conversation with my husband last night about corporate worship. Well, really we were talking about the problem of an individualistic mindset within Christianity, but it lead to a discussion about worship, and I'd really appreciate feedback on this.

A lot of times in services I can remember being told to "close my eyes, block out everyone else and just meet with God" during a worship service. I'm starting to think that is entirely the wrong way to approach corporate worship. To meet with God is good, but to ignore the presence of everyone around me in order to do it just doesn't feel right. What is the point of gathering together if we are all going to build mental rooms to block everyone else out.

corporate worship should involve everyone. We should be aware of those around us and aware of their connection with God. There are times when I *gasp* open my eyes and look around during worship and watch other people. To see someone encountering God is amazing. To watch the changes in their expression, in their posture, just a light flowing through them causes me to worship God. To see another person not so connected, perhaps upset or distracted leads me to pray for them, to ask God to give them comfort and draw them to Him.

When we worship together I think it should be together, a shared experience, not a collection of individual experiences. Our mindset needs to change so that we are open with our connection to God, not hiding it. There still needs to be a servant heart, not doing things that would intentionally distract people, but freedom to share the experience.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Ok, so I finally got around to putting up some wedding pictures on my photoblog...hope you all enjoy! Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

New Photoblog

Check out my new photo blog at

Friday, July 29, 2005

The Use of Tongues

Another Voice: True Story

This is not the only story I have heard about people speaking/understanding other languages.

YHWH - Jehovah, Jireh, Raah and Rapha

YHWH - these letters appear together over 6500 times in the OT, a name for God whose translation was lost as it was unused to keep from the possibility of taking it in vain. Rendered as LORD in most Bibles, we loose the meaning. YHWH - the self existent omnipotent God.

Jehovah Jireh - the God who provides. I find it interesting that in Genesis 22, when Abraham is asked to sacrifice his son, his only son, the fulfillment of the promise of nations, he knows already that God will provide. His obedience is total, his faith secure, not matter what it is the LORD asks, He will provide.

Jehovah Raah - the Lord our shepherd. The 23 Psalm can teach us a lot about God. He leads us, He doesn't drive us or heard us like cattle. We can know His voice. Jesus used the wonderful language of the shepherd in John 10. The shepherd protects His sheep, fighting off evil. One person in my group had the visual of Jesus with a light saber.

Jehovah Rapha - the Lord our Healer. In Jeremiah 30:17 the Lord promises to heal His people. People who had rejected Him and gone their own way, people who did not listen to His warnings, people who were called rejected by those around them. Jesus healed many while on earth, not just physically. He healed spirits and hearts and minds. No matter what the cause of our pain, the Lord with heal.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

El Shaddai and El Elyon: Almighty God and Most High God

These two names for God show different facets of God's power. El Shaddai is used a lot sorrounding God's promises, especially the promise of descendants to Abraham and Jacob. I would imagine that by the time Jacob heard the promise of nations he would have been a bit cynical, there had only been two sons born to his father and only two born to Abraham. Then God reveals Himself as the Almighty God. Almighty, able to fulfill the promise.

Almighty is also used a lot in Job, describing how God is Almighty when He provides and also Almighty when He takes away.

El Elyon is used talking about God's power and dominion and soveringty. Nebuchadnezzar spoke of the Most High when his senses returned to him and he finally understood God's rule over the heavens and the earth.

El Shaddai and El Elyon - God not only has the power to fulfill His promises, and the soveringty and dominion to see it done. The God who protects His people and destroys His enimies, who is just and righteous in His judgement. Who gives rest in His shadow.

Monday, July 18, 2005

Knowing for Sure

I love it in Calgary. Ben loves it in Calgary. The decision to come here was made after a lot of prayer and a lot of confirmation. There were a lot of doors that opened and a lot of things that made it a little eaier. Otherwise, we would not have been able to come here at all.

Now things are getting a little tougher. We want to be able to save up to get a house, but in order to do that we need money. We're ok with making sacrifices, but it's hard. Honestly, I don't know how it is going to work out.

Now don't think that I am regretting coming here, not at all, because I know...well, I knew, that God wanted us here. Now it's just having to trust that He still wants us here and that He will provide.

Nothing is too difficult for my God, but I still find myself trying to find the answers on my own, trying to make it work myself. I'm not so good at it.

I know God will take care of us, it's just one of those hard times right now. We'd appriciate your prayer

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Elohim - Creator God

The first name used for God in the Bible is Elohim (Genesis 1:1 "In the beginning, Elohim created the heavens and the earth")

Its interesting, Elohim is word used to talk about many gods, such as the gods of the other nations, but in reference to the Creator, it is always used as a singular (Elohim and He appearing together, instead of They, which would be more gramatically correct). Deuteronomy 6:4 says "the Lord your Elohim (plural) is one".

Elohim is used mostly to speak of God's creative power or to speak about God in reference to creation (such as the earth trembling before Him). Elohim is the name used in Jeremiah 32:27 "Behold, I am the LORD, the Elohim of all flesh; is anything too difficult for Me?" - understanding Elohim as describing the creative power of God, this verse takes on new meaning "I am the Lord who created everything, is anything too difficult for Me?"

To know God as Elohim is to know Him as creator, as able to make, remake, sustain and control. It is to understand that He has created the world with a purpose (Isaiah 45:18) and to realize that we are part of that purpose, and that as His creation we too have a purpose. To see God as Elohim is to be swept up in the realization that the God who created all the world, before whom creation trembles is our Elohim, cares for us, looks after us, is with us.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

The Name of the Lord

Over the next few weeks I'm doing a study with my home group about the name of the Lord. It amazes me how the Lord has revealed so much of Himself through His names, and it saddens me that so often we ignore the importance of His names.

He is Father, Lord of Armies, the God who Provides
He is Peace, He is Shepherd, He is the Lord our Sanctifier

Knowing who God is, knowing the roles He fills in our lives is vital. Knowing that He is the Lord who sanctifies takes the pressure off of us, takes away the sense that we somehow make ourselves holy before Him.

I think it's sad that the names of od, the names describing who He is, are not used by many Christians, at least most Christians I know. I think we miss out on truly knowing God personally because we do not know His name, the most personal thing about Him.

Monday, July 11, 2005

Examining cynicism

My friend Dave is wondering about the cynics that seem to be taking over his youth. I offered some opinion on the subject, then he asked something along the lines of how to show that love is genuine and not driven by numbers.

In Christianity, especially with those who lead Christian groups, there is an emphasis on numbers - numbers mean people are coming, mean the ministry is working, mean things are getting done. They are a measure of success. It's even Biblical, in Acts and elsewhere numbers are mentioned.

But I'm not convinced that numbers are the only (or best) way to measure success. I mean, there could be 100 people at an event, but 50 of them could be there trying to hook up (especially speaking in the youth context), another 20 could be there to get away from their parents, 10 could have been made to go by their parents, leaving about 20 who actually want to be there. Yes, all of them will have the opportunity to "get saved" at the event, but is that really how success should be measured?

It goes to motivation - is the purpose of what is happening to "get people saved" (i.e. to get emotional, say a prayer, and not know where to go from there), or to bring people into a relationship with Christ (it is different, trust me). With too narrow of a plan, with too narrow of a focus, the measure of success would be how many people came to the alter, and to increase the odds of how many people do that, increase how many people come - success is numbers.

If the purpose is to see people move from not loving God to loving Him, then how many people go to the alter doesn't matter so much, because maybe only 5 took that step, but another 50 listened and didn't ignore the whole thing, didn't walk out when they had the chance, and might have changed their mind about this whole God thing.

Problem is, things like that are hard to measure....In fact, without knowing the person, there is no way of knowing if any change happened at all, so numbers themselves become useless.

I think the way to show people that we do not have an agenda is to not have an agenda. Have a purpose, but have the same purpose with everyone we come into contact with - helping them get closer to God, no matter where they may be at the moment. That is how we should love people, how we should love anyone. That will keep people from becoming lost and ignored once they "get saved", that will show people we really care about them, no matter what they do, think, say, or believe.

Loving people this way forces us to know them, to care about them, to want to help them. It takes away the pressure for them to do something, thus taking away the sense that we are manipulating or waiting for a certain reaction in order to accept them.

This may not cure cynicism, but it will take away the reason for it.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Amusement Park Spirituality

I took some children to an amusement park recently. It was a lot of fun, and I made an observation. People are willing to spend money, wait a long time in line, and all for a brief reward.

Basically, people give up personal rights (you have to stand in line, not go anywhere else) without hesitation for a brief enjoyment, knowing that the enjoyment will be brief.

But you ask someone to give up a little bit of money to help someone else, and they have a hard time. Or tell someone that they can't do such and such and they make a big deal about personal rights.

Taken to God, this means that people will not give up personal rights (like sinning) in order to gain an ultimate return (life with God).

So why not? Why are we so concerned about out own personal rights when it comes to our relationship with God? Why do we hold on to meaningless things and forfit the awesome amazing things that God has for us?

I want to spend my life on a ride, I want to enjoy every moment of it, hold nothing back....but from experience that is easier said than done.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Opposite Emtions

I was reading Isaiah today, where the prophet is speaking to thecity of Jerusalem, lamenting that when God has told them to weep and mourn because of their coming destruction, they are instead celebrating.

Do we do the same thing?

There are millions of people on the earth dying, starving, being killed, being abused, depressed, and any number of other things, and yet most of the time, we pay no attention to that fact. there are people who suffer daily, do we really understand this?

I personally try not to think too much about it because I can't handle it, I know I can't fix the problem, so I pretend it is not there. Somehow I think that is not the right way to deal with it.

On the other side, we can't focus on that stuff too much, because we also need the freedom and ability to celebrate all that God has done and is doing in the world. We need to rejoyce and dance and laugh and play and explore the riches of God's great love and kindness for us.

can we do both?

"for everything there is a season" - I think that's the key.

We need the bitter to understand the sweet, and to celebrate the good to fully apriciate the bad. The balance lies somewhere between the two. Acknowledging the direction the world is heading in while at the same time celebrating the work of God within the world.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

A new view of Christianity

I've been doing a lot of thinking lately, and a lot of praying, reading, talking, and all those other things I do when I'm reying to work things out. See, I was at District Camp this week, and I just really felt God speaking. Not just the general speaking, but direct to me speaking. Actually, it was more than speaking, it was sort of like an alarm clock going off in my spirit, waking up my soul. It was amazing and frightening at the same time.

I was thinking about how I live out being a Christian, and more than that, what Christianity really means. In one of the services I started journalling. The speaker said something along the lines of "We need a heart transplant, not just bypass surgery" and that set it off, it was as if those words explained everything that had been ringing in my soul.

God wants to change us. Becomming a Christian, getting "saved" has been simplified into a formula and perverted into nothing more than a selfish attempt to avoid judgement and pain. We comment all the time about people trying to be "good enough" to get into heaven without relying on God, and yet we use God to get into heaven. It's such a limited view of grace.

God desires more than just to save us, He desires to change us, to make us into something different. And all that work isn't just done so that we can live our lives and then get to heaven, it is done so that we can be a blessing to others, to expose them to the grace of God so that they can do the same for others. It is not about the destination, it is about the journey.

I talked with my husband about this and was shocked how hard it was. I somehow ended up doing the same thing I was fighting against. I was afraid to share what God was doing, because it wasn't "normal". I mean, yes, it's normal to want to be a blessing to others, but I'm talking about changing the way I (and many others around me) view what it is to be a Christian. The purpose, the main thing, isn't growing closer to God for ourselves, it's not just the feel good feelings of doing what needs to be done to "be a good Christian", it's taking that little bit of passion and love that we have for God and using it, nurturing it, watching it grow into something huge. It's breaking out of the mindset that this "CHristian Life" that we have is enough, because really, God's grace is bigger than that, He wants more, and we should seek after more.

After that conversation I started reading "A New Kind of Christian" (which I highly recommend), and a lot of what was happening in my soul was written there in that book, which was amazing, confirming, and just a God thing.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

What it means to Hope

At church we're doing a series on hope, which is really good considering we live in a culture that doesn't hope. There are a lot of wishful thinking, but a wish isn't hope. In fact, in the middle of a wish there seems to be this little speck of doubt, this little part that says it will never really happen. That is why no one ever expects wishes to come true.
Hope is different. Hope has substance, hope says that whatever it is will happen. But the thing about hope, the thing that was said that really stuck with me is that hope isnot hope unless it is in a hopless situation. You can not say that you have hope unless you are at the end of your rope, unless all options have been tried and failed. Hope doesn't only need to survive those situations, that is the only place that hope exists.
I used to wish that my parents would change their mind about God and about religion. I say wish because, as much as I wanted it to happen, I really honestly felt like it never would. And I didn't do a whole lot about it. Now, I am hoping for it. Hope also requires action. There is no passive hope, hope dies as a person just sits and waits. It's like someone in the destert lost and calling out, hoping that someone will hear them. If they are not yelling, there is no hope.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Settling In

It feels good to unpack. For the past few weeks I have been living out of a suitcase. Now we're settled, at least for now, and it feels really good.

Sometimes I wonder if it's crazy that we're out here. This place feels like home to me, the people feel like family, and everything just feels right. Not necisarily perfect, but definately right. On the other hand, we need to get an income, a place to live perminantly, and other such things.

But I'm not worried. We were talking yesterday to a friend about how unlikely it was that all of this happened, and how easy it is to see how the hand of God was moving over the last couple of years, the voice of God calling us here. All of this is in His hands, and so it will work.

It's amazing, and strange and comfortable and exciting and everyting all at once.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Being a Mrs.

The other night I was introduced as a wife. It made me want to giggle and such, I felt wonderful, if not a little childish. Sometimes I don't feel I fit this role, it seems so much bigger than I am, so much older than I am, but most of the time, actually, even when I feel I don't fit, it still feels perfect.

In life we all have many roles that change and move, but some stay. Even though I'm "all grown up" I am still my mother and father's little girl, I'm still my grandmother's little doll, I'm still like a sister to childhood friends. It's amazing, and wonderful, how some things never change.

Monday, May 16, 2005

The Rest of My Life....

It's been a while since I've posted/ranted/typed anything because, well, life got a little crazy, and for the past few weeks I havn't really had internet access.

As of May 7th, I am Mrs. Benjamin Perry. It's a good feeling. I'm also done Bethany, finished classes and school work and such, at least for now.

And the only thing odd about the whole thing is that it doesn't feel odd at all. My husband and I were talking about that while on our honeymoon. We had both expected to feel this big change, to feel different, both because of graduation and because of the wedding, but we didn't. It was completely natural, comepletely right feeling, and good. Although I still don't think that being done school has sunk in.

So now what? We're floating til the end of the month and then heading to Calgary. That is going to be the biggest change, I'll talk about that later (oh yeah, building suspence).

So far I'm liking the rest of my life, hopefully it will continue being this good.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Inanimate objects

The post under the 18th didn't show up yesterday, and in fact didn't show up today until I posted my new one.

That's all I have to say about that

Loving People

I've been thinking about loving people a lot. So much so, in fact, that this is my second time writing this (I'll deal with my hatred of inanimate objects at a later date).

I was thinking about God's love, how amazing, huge, unfathonable it is. And what do we do with it? We say thank you, get all mushy, and then go on as if nothing has changed.

Ok, that was a little too general, but still, are other peoples lives different because I have experienced the love of God? I know mine is, but is that it, am I saved only for myself, or has God allowed me to experience this richness, the vastness of who He is for something that goes beyond just who I am?

I want to love people. I want to truly love and apriciate and affirm and challenge those around me. And not just the ones who love back, the ones who hate me, ignore me, theones that drive me crazy. And I don't even want to do it so they'll feel bad or maybe be nice to me. I want to do it because I have experienced the love of God, and I can think of no other way to respond.

Responding to love can be hard. Love is free, so you can't say you have to respond a certain way, that makes it sound conditional. But really, when you have been loved, how can you not love back?

Monday, April 18, 2005

About Loving People

One thing that I've learned during my time in college has been how to love other people. I was a very selfish person at one point in my life. I had a hard time doing something for someone else unless I knew there would be some personal benefit. Of course, I was able to justify this and convince myself it was completely normal, but that only lasted so long.

Sometimes it's hard to love other people. Sometimes it's hard not to leave the room when certain people enter it, sometimes its hard not to say things that really should not even have been thought, sometimes it's hard to listen to someone else and deal with their issues when really you just want to deal with your own. But everyone learns how to love, and these things are not such an issue.

Except when other people, the people you are trying to love, don't know the rules. The thought comes in that really if no one else is looking out for our rights and no one else is trying to do what's best for us, then we should step back in and make sure all is how it should be.

But that is not how it is supposed to work. God says to follow Him, Jesus is the example, and He gave Himself to the point of death. So even if the person we are trying to love asks us to die for them we must comply.

How many people have you died for lately? How many people have I died for lately. I still have trouble sometimes taking the dog out when my mother asks me. It really puts things into perspective, my petty little issues seem even more so as I consider what God has done for me, and then what He requires of me.

Would the world be different if we all learned how to love like this? Would lives change if they realized the true cost of love? I'm not talking about the world, I'm talking about those within the Church, those who have experienced the perfect love of the sacrifice of Jesus. Do they realize what that love costs, and the high cost of accepting it. No, there are no "requirements" on the love of God, it is not conditional. But how can a person honestly accept such a sacrifice and not respond properly.

Love, true love, will change the world. And I want to be a part of that

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Nearing the End

A lot of things in my life are almost done. I'm almost graduated. I'm almost married. I'm almost ready to move. But not yet. Not quite. It's almost as though I'm standing at the top of a cliff, ready to jump, excited, anxious, wanting to just see it all happen.

but i'm not there yet

I need to remember that, remember where I am, remember that I need to be here, that I can grow here and learn here and help people here.

It's hard to be where I am when I'm so close to something else, something that I've been waiting for so long.

But I am here, I am in school, I am engaged, and I am in New Brunswick. In a few months I'll be mising all of this (well, maybe not the engaged part), and so I will try to get the most out of it I can

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Spur me

I have a pet peeve. Ok, I have more than one, but I promise to keep this on topic, at least for the most part.

I hate fluffyness. The fluffy God that doesn't care what you do, the fluffy religion that has no requirements, the fluffy Christians that let you get away with anything. (note: legalism is also a pet peeve of mine, keep reading, I make a point)

Know what, in the Bible, Jesus asked people to change, and those who followed Him were told to keep one another accountable. Yes, God loves everyone, no matter what they do. But to take that love and not respond to it in action is....well, just not right.

I have a habit of speaking my mind. Over the years, I've learned that there is more than one way to clearly state what I mean, and so I can usually still get my point across without causing any harm or regrets. However, when it comes to "spurring" on another Christian (have you seen spurs?) I usually end up feeling like I should feel guilty, or checking myself to see if I'm being legalistic or "holier than thou".

Really tho, honestly and truly (and if you can prove me wrong on this, please do), I believe that if there is a Christian I see doing something that is obviously wrong and it's clear they know it (let's say, lying, stealing, sleeping around), then I will probably speak to them about it. Not scold them, not tell them off, but defiantly rebuke them. Why do I feel I have a right to do this? Because they have the right to do the same to me.

We may not like it when someone else tells us what we already know. We may want to justify ourselves or say it's none of their business, but really, honestly, we need to get over it. If we are sinning we need to stop, and the sooner we do that, the better.

I think this is something that needs to change within Christianity. I'm sure every hypocrite that has been exposed by the world could have (should have) been brought aside by a Christian brother or sister and rebuked, helped and encouraged before the problem got out of hand and our God was made to look bad (because really, that's the end result)

So if I am doing something I shouldn't be, please, tell me about it. I'm not saying I'll like it, or even that I'll respond positively (at least immediately), but I will appreciate it. And I'll do the same for you? Deal?

Monday, March 28, 2005

Things on my mind when I should be asleep

I'm going to share quite a bit about myself right now. Thankfully, it seems few read my blog, and so I'm not too worried about what anyone would think. Not that there are things in my life I am hiding or am ashamed of, but I know the picture people have of me is not entirely accurate.

I used to think of myself as a contradiction, there were parts of me that did not seem to fit together. For a long time I thought that made me different, odd, even horrible. Now I see that in reality I was just a teenager, different like everyone else. I did not know who I was, what I was capable of, who I would become.

Funny thing is, a few years later I'm no better off. I've learned from more mistakes, met more amazing people, but I'm still not sure who I am, where I fit in this whole thing. It's not a question of what I'm supposed to do (at least in the general sense), odd thing is I've got that down. But who am I?

I always hate those quizzes that ask a bunch of random questions about favorite things. I can't choose favorites. I have multiple best friends. I listen to almost ever style of music. I watch almost any type of movie that comes out. I can't do favorites, I can't pick something over something else. For a moment I might like it better, but then I know that will change.

That's how I feel about myself sometimes. I feel as though I'm still constantly changing, always moving from one personality box to another. There are people who know me in one context that would describe me in a completely different way than people who know me in another context (as an example, my future inlaws once called me "quiet"). Does this mean I have a problem? That I am not being consistent?

That's something I struggled with for a while, but then I came to the conclusion that there is too much of me to happen all at once. Those who really know me see it all, but some people only see one part.

unfortunately, it seems I don't always have control over which aspect of Stephanie people are seeing.

Not that there is a certain image I want to portray, but I do truly want people to know me. I want to be open, I want to share my life with others, and yet at the same time I know that sometimes people will see a part of me and not like it, no matter what part it is, and that could be the end of it.

And I have to ask myself, do I do the same thing? I try not to make judgments about people, try not to put them into a box (I hate boxes, no one ever fits anyway), but there are those inevitable "feelings" I get about people.

There are people I have gone to school with for 4 years that I do not know beyond an acquaintance, and have not made much effort to know just because I have a feeling we wouldn't get along or couldn't connect or some odd ideal like that. No basis for it what so ever. And I have a feeling some of them have done the same with me (or maybe I'm the only one with that tendency)

so now what? I'm rambling about wanting to share myself with people, and then confessing my tendency to write people off. Another contradiction, but one I can (hopefully) fix.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Holding the hand of a dying man

I had an interesting experience this past week. My grandfather had been ill since Christmas, was hospitalized the beginning of March, and was laid to rest today. Last Friday I got a call from my mother, saying I should go home so I could see him.

I spent the weekend in the hospital. More for my grandmother's comfort than that of my grandfather. He was barely awake, let alone conscious, but still I sat with him, held his hand, spoke softly too him.

It's an interesting experience, being with someone who is dying. I don't know how to describe it really. Sad, but not tragic, not horrible. As a pastor it will be something I'm sure I'll encounter again.

However, I was not there as a pastor, I was there as a granddaughter.

Life is an interesting thing. We live it, we enjoy it, we waste it, but in the end only one thing matters. My grandfather was a wonderful man. He was a unique person. . But of all his deeds, all his accomplishments, one stands out. A few days before his death, he asked my grandmother if God would forgive an old sinner like him.

It amazes me, astounds me and blesses me that God would take a person at the end of his life and still accept him. I know my grandfather, he had no intention of "cheating" God, of making a commitment at the last moment. No, as he looked back over the life that he lived, the life that all who know him enjoy talking about, he knew there was something wrong, something that needed to be fixed.

and he fixed it.

So as I held the hand of this dying man, I felt peace and comfort, I sang praises to God. His life continues now in paradise, he is at rest.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Driving with God

I was in a car last night with a friend, driving back to school from home. We were chatting, there was music on, just us and the road.

then God showed up.

I don't know how i t happened. We weren't specifically talking about anything spiritual, just sharing stories, feelings, experiences, life. But there was no denying the presence of God in that car on that road. I felt comforted, at peace, uplifted, changed and blessed.

I thought about it afterword for a while, and realized that it shouldn't have suprised me. God has promised to be with us. When we talk about becomming a Christian, we talk about "asking Jesus into our heart". So why are we so suprised that God keeps His word, why are we so amazed that he acutally shows up?

Actually, I think amazed is the right way to be. How can we not be amazed that God Almighty, creator and sustainer of the universe dwells with us and is in our lives. However, we should't be suprised when it happens, only humbled and aware of the great blessing and love of God

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

On Passion

I would normally consider myself a pasionate person. Most people who know me, and probably all who know me well, would most likely agree. I get excited about things, I get emptional, I like to experience as much as there is to experience in any situation.

There are other people even more passionate than me, people who's every word drips with meaning and desie and emotion. Their every action is motivated by the object of their devotion, be it an idea, a task, a person, anything.

Is it possible to live continuously at that level of passion? Is passion more than just a response to an emotional desire.

I think of children. There are times when a child will be so consumed with passion for their parent that he or she will burst into heartfealt sobs if the parent tries to leave their side. This is no emotional manipulation (sometimes), it is the result of their passionate love and devotion to that parent. However, there are other times when a parent could be trying (even to the point of bribing) that same child for any sign of affection or any bit of attention.

Does that mean that the passion the child has for the love of the parent is only a temporary thing?

I think of my relationship with my fiance (67 days to the wedding). I am passionately in love with him, there are days when I can not get him out of my thoughts, when I feel the only way I will be content is to see his smile, to be close to him. There are other days when I don't have that same desire to see and experience him, but I feel just as passionately in love.

So what is passion? Must we be continually in a state of exaustive and despterate emotion in order to say that we are passionate about something?

I am passionate about God. There are times when I can not take abreath without saying a prayer of thanks for the very fact that I am alive. Other times, I don't nesicarily feel my passion. THere were times when I would punish myself and feel horrible for having lost my passion for God. Then it would return, and all would be right in the world.

My perspective is changing. Perhaps it is not always necisary to feel such extreme emotion in order to be passionate about something. My devotion, my intense love, my passion (minus the emotion of which) does not change. I just find it near impossible to sustain such a heightened emotional response for any length of time.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

The Mystery of Friendships

I spent some time with a bunch of friends last night and it was wonderful. The most wonderful thing about it was that there is really no reason for us to be friends. I looked around at the group of wonderful women I was with, and realize that there is nothing tying us together except for a genuine love of eachother.

Let me explain.

We all have those friends that we have because our parents were friends. Those are friends you are given. Yes, I understand that there comes a point when one must decide to keep the friendship (and it is always tragic when the other friend does not make the same effort), but for the most part, that is a frienship that just is.

Then there are those friends that you have had forever. These (i think) are the best kind, especially because at some point they move from being a friendship to being a true family relationship. There are friends I have in my life that I don't consider friends, I consider them family. They see sides of me that other friends would never see, I can be freeer with them. There is, however, a downside to this, if I am free in my expression with them, or they with me, there is a chance of becomming rude, or of taking advantage of their emotion or vice versa. We only hurt the ones we love, and we can hurt no one like family.

There are other friends that you have by mutual association. School friends, work friends, activity friends. These are people that you are comepletely comfortable with in certain settings. Outise of those settings, it gets a little uncomfortable.

I have friends in all of these areas, but the friends that I was with last night are diferent. On the outside, it looks like we're just activity friends, school friends or something like that. But the relationship we have goes deeper. We are getting to know eachother on a different level, we are not at the point where we can deeply wound eachother, but we can certainly bless and encourage one another on a level that other friends can not.

In a few months, I'll be leaving and there will be some people I will inevitably loose contact with. However, for this time, right now, they are amazing people to me, and I am extremely grateful.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Growing Up

In a few months I am going to be experiencing a lot of life changes. I will graduate with a BA, I will get married, I will move accros the country for a job. In other words, I will grow up.

So what does that really mean? I'm already an adult, and while I will technically be older at the end of all those changes than I was at the beginning, no real time will have passed. I don't think there will be many changes in my personality either, at least I hope not.

What is growing up? When does it happen and what does it look like? These are questions I have found myself asking quite frequently as I start to realize all the things that will be changing. I think it cold be fear that certian parts of my personality - my playfulness and prusuit of the positive and the humerous - will have to be cut out, or at least toned down.

Part of it could have to do with the nature of my vocation. I am going to be a pastor. I've already been told by a few people that I don't seem like a pastor (which I have taken as a compliment), but at the same time there are certain expectations that I will need to live up to. There is a certain maturity and ammount of leadership and credibility that is expected.

However, those are both very internal things. It's unfortunate that people are very bad at evaluating the internal, except through using external evidence. They should learn the secret of the fox "the important things can only be seen with the heart" (the little prince). I know there will be a certain image that I will need to portray, at least in some situations. However, if it is only an image, and not truly who I am, than it is worthless, a lie, and will be found out eventually anyway.

So truly, there will need to be a change in me, or perhaps not. I could, at this very moment, be just as mature and just as capable of leading as I will be when I graduate, get married, and take the position as a pastor. Could it be that there is no change needed at all, but that I only need to assume these roles using the characteristics I already posess. This would definatly be a much beter option.

The basis for this questioning is the changes I have seen in friends of mine as they have gone through similar experiences. They have changed, so much to the point that they are no longer the people I knew. Was their former life so horrible that it all needed to be abandoned for this new life? Which was the farce, their poersonality before, or that now? I do not want people to be asking the same questions about me.

Monday, February 21, 2005

What is this all about anyway

Blogging is something that I have heartfeltly avoided for the past few years. For a time, I had an online diary which was very similar to a blog, but it soon lost its novelty. The reason I stayed away from blogging is because message boards and random conversations had satisfied my need to share my thoughts with random people. But now time is hard to come by, and I'm actually seeing the merit of blogging, for those who read, it can offer great insight. I hope to offer insight, but if not, well, at least I might be able to cause a laugh here or there.

I suppose I should make some inital comments about who I am. I'm almost done college, I'm almost married, I'm almost out in the real-world. I guess I can say that I'm looking forward to all of those things, but I am not just living in the future. I am a student, and, as much as I want to be done, I am enjoying it.

As for these thoughts, I don't know where they will go. I have a habit of being very contemplative, of getting lost in things. I had always thought that I had a way of thinking differntly, and now I'm realizing that there are many other people who think the same way I do (the label we've been given is post-modern, but what does that mean anyway?), so hopefully at least one person out there will enjoy it.

Welcome to my blog, enjoy your stay. React to me however you want, I can take it...