Hello. Welcome.

I'm a very determined kind of individual. Sometimes my determination is misplaced and things get very ugly. But, sometimes my determination leads to laughter, deep thoughts, and words on paper.

I write everything. I'm not very good at filtering ... so you will see it all. Maybe there will be a little inspiration for someone else along the way. I hope so. My sister also likes to guest blog and I'm sure you will appreciate her wit and wisdom.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

I'm not writing tonight.

I thought I would accomplish so very much today. Instead of my "accomplished" agenda, I waited. I went to church, read my BRP, listened to more sermons, read articles, talked to my parents, and waited. I had set up a time to hang out with a student... for lunch.

Well, after an afternoon of wondering when "lunch" starts, she arrived at 4:45 pm (good thing I decided to have lunch anyway!). In HER words, not mine, "typical Honduran." :) She just left and now I want to choose to read instead of write tonight. This has been a truly restful Sabbath (which was what the message was about this morning in church!)... but strangely enough, if I had followed any of my own plans it wouldn't have turned out the same.

I am reading "Reasons for God" by Timothy Keller. I have always really respected this man and I am excited to read this book as a skeptic might. He wrote it for all those people who have valid questions that need answers. But, and I think this is interesting, he proposes that those who do not believe in God essentially have alternate beliefs about spiritual reality. He goes on to say that in order for these skeptics to have integrity, they must test their beliefs in the same way.
(See this video as an introduction).

Anyway, so I said I wasn't going to write tonight. I'm off to some reading!



.let love fly like crazy.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

the arrows

I had a great intention to write something brilliant today, but instead I am going to share my newest musical obsession: a group called The Arrows. From what I gather on the world wide web, they are from South Africa and their mission is to go around spreading the light.

Basically, I love the creativity I have seen and appreciate their honesty. Actually, I just think they make great art. I love art! Here are some samples:


I found this band recently through a Vessels of Mercy blogpost. This is CHALLENGING stuff and beautiful, too!

Enjoy...

oh yeah, and let love fly.

Friday, February 19, 2010

two poems

Here are two poems I wrote during the course of our 8 hour ACSI conference today, after a half-day of school.

from the ground
we are just dust, just particles
chemicals and dirt and ground
one day surely we will return
one day we will be found

so, then what makes this moving flesh
a vessel for something more?
what is this skin covering-
what more than dirt and bones?

O God, pierce the very land
that makes my heart its home
till and break and make submit
this wild heart to You alone

the dirt again will overtake
my breath and my lifeblood
captive to the cycle of death
and left with death-mixed mud

O God, O God, pierce this land
so stubborn in this season
that refuses to bear the fruit you ask
the dirt defiant without reason

how does the dirt dare to ask-
how does it find a voice,
when everything about its nature
is dependent on a greater force?

with what complaint can the ground reply
to the Maker's questions
when anything good in dirt
comes at the Maker's suggestion

O God, O God please pierce this land
that makes my heart its home
till and break and make submit
this wild heart to You alone



orphan child
orphan child, wrapped in bare skin
the night stole her innocence

darkness crept where light should be
and took wholeness from her side

and yet in the deepest dark dwells
a light that burns deeper still

someday the orphan child will no longer wander
but will be captured in redemption's glorious tide

Thursday, February 18, 2010

where once guilt crept

Today has been strange. Last night I had a mission trip meeting that started after school and ended... this morning when the last student left at 6:00 am. What? Yes, that's right. Just how it goes, I guess. Today, I thought I would get a ride home after school and I ended up in the back of a pick-up truck riding around the city with students making up raps on the fly, taking funny pictures, eating pizza at their house, and having an ice cube sucking contest. Just how it goes, I guess. :)

Today was the second day of Lent and I'm still processing everything. There is so much welling up in me to write and at the same time tomorrow looms so large.

I wanted to at least share a few things with you tonight, as I reflect on this Lenten journey (or at least try my best effort at reflection). I have been emotional lately. We are such a failed people. The waterworks are threatening now even as I try to punch this out before I crawl into bed and read more BRP before bed. I've been listening quite a bit to Brooks Ritter and he has a song called, "Samaritan's Love" that rips my heart open a little more every time. This is currently my favorite line,
cause the debt that was mine
yeah you paid every dime
where once guilt crept
now peace in me dwells
where once guilt crept
now peace in me dwells
These words keep running circles around whatever pressing matter vies for my brain's attention. The thought that the peace of Christ could actually replace guilt... it's heavy.

I started a Lenten devotional through www.Christianbook.com (you can find it here) and I read about how we usually try to 'give up something' for Lent to regain focus or purpose or whatever it is that we are lacking. We usually exchange what we've given up for an only somewhat lesser distraction (sugar for splenda, coke for tea, TV for books).

The devotional challenged me to think about what I am adding during these 40 days. Jesus went into the wilderness to be completely emptied. There was nothing earthly that was keeping Him alive after those 40 days. When He was completely emptied, we see something beautiful unfold. Satan came at His emptiest point to tempt Him - to offer the deception that earthly things would satisfy. Jesus responded that he was eating the bread of life, that He was depending on it for His very life. He intentionally walked out into the wilderness to be emptied of everything human so that He could be filled with everything holy.

Am I ready to be that willing, that intentional, and that ... empty?

If I want to be holy, my answer must be yes.

.let love fly like crazy.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Wednesday Funnies



You will NOT REGRET watching this video. Seriously, it'll make your day.

My favorite line?
"I'm her mom" "No she's not!"

Question of the day: How do you feel about the Olympics? I will go on record as HATING THEM. I know this makes me unAmerican or something but I'm just not a fan. Do you watch the Olympics? What's your favorite sport? Do you judge me for hating the Olympics?

Have a great day!
Christina

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

much is required

Yesterday's post got me thinking about the passage I was reading in my BRP (bible reading plan) the other day. I'm reading in Luke right now and I came upon the passage in Luke 12 that I've heard and read so many times, but never as part of this read-through-the-Bible idea and never with eyes to see the full landscape and not just the windmill jutting toward the sky to break the view. So, Luke 12 gives us some warnings against hypocrisy, also the parable of the rich fool and cautions against worrying (aren't we more than a blade of grass that God would care for us?).

Then we come to this strange story about watchfulness... about servants who stay and masters who go and what happens when the master returns. The servant was to continue doing his duties and obeying the master's wishes, prepared for his arrival at any moment. Then comes the last part of verse 48,

Everyone to whom much was given, of him much will be required, and from him to whom they entrusted much, they will demand the more.

Hm. So my thoughts went:

God cares for and loves every single human life in the same beautiful way. There are those with simple faith, who will never see the inside of a Sunday school room or own their own Bible or aspire to copy Billy Graham evangelism or follow in the courage of Elizabeth Eliot. These chosen children are precious in their simple faith and God will bless their hearts full with obedience and love. They receive the gift of highest price and perfect quality: the presence of the Almighty God for eternity.

And then there are those children that have on this earth a greater capacity and wider sphere of influence (not that they are greater) from the very beginning when they chose to believe. From these, MUCH IS REQUIRED.

I look at it like this: I have a stove and many don't. Therefore, I should use that stove as a sphere of influence. I have a roof and a bed and clothes and I have a degree and a job and I have two feet and I have two eyes and I have speech and hearing.

Maybe Billy Graham was one of those much-much required types, but I know that my station in life and my background have definitely placed me in the category of much required. So, I'm trying to ask, what areas can I be more obedient? Where can I be more ready and willing to serve my Master, though I sometimes can't see or hear Him clearly?

So, I guess I'll be thinking about this for awhile:)

In the meantime, I happened upon this book and it is now currently on my wishlist. It's all about learning to be a follower instead of a leader. Weird that it sounds so... wimpy.


Monday, February 15, 2010

olympi - what?

I'm sitting here in my room looking at my newly contrived laptop/monitor set-up (my laptop screen decided to stop lighting up), eating delicious watermelon and grapes with seeds (and trying to figure out how to type/eat/spit seeds).

It's a good night. I've got cookies just out of the oven for the Hands and Feet meeting on Wednesday. The kitchen floor is drying from a hands and feet scrubbing. Clothes are in the washer... (oops, hold on) ahem.. I mean dryer. And, yes, the room is still a mess.

Current battles:
  • how to exterminate little, bitty ants that are taking over our house
  • how to prepare food for a 6 o'clock meeting I planned for parents this Wednesday (refreshments or dinner? less work preferably)
  • how to market the student retreat (signup deadline on Wednesday) without looking desperate
  • how to love on my neighbors without being suspicious of ulterior motives (I'm talking about one very old man neighbor in particular who has said/done a few questionables) **more on this in a later post titled "my dad would be proud"
  • how to be as thoughtful as I wish I was
  • how to prioritize the randomness that is my day in a very logical non-random way
If you happened to have written how-to articles on any of these topics, please share! I am frazzled, but I suppose I am contentedly so. I know these next weeks will be absolutely insane, but I'm kind of okay with it. Bring it on, I say.

And that brings me to this so very strange question I asked myself recently, "Olympi-what?"

I had honestly no idea all the hype that is OLYMPICS 2010 was going on all over the television until I read this article about the "dirty little secret" that follows the Olympics and other international sporting events around the globe: sex-trafficking. It was more than alarming. I got a little sick to my stomach actually, when I thought of all the lights and the reporters and the athletes and then all THIS happening behind and under the fanfare.
Hmm.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

an email from mom

First, let me say that my mom wrote a pretty awesome blog post about throwing a Valentine's party for Victor and Dennis, her African sons. Their reaction, needless to say, is hilarious and as I wandered around today handing out heart-shaped cakes and cookies I wondered if people were thinking similar strange thoughts about this gringa.

Second, today my mom sent me an email and it's inspired me to write this Sunday night by the numbers.

1. love the Bible Reading Plan (need to stay on the plan)
2. pretty excited that my car has an appointment on Wednesday
3. thinking these weeks are going to be absolutely LOCO (spiritual emphasis week, HS retreat, mission trip, family fun day...)
4. so confused why I can't get around to finishing cleaning my room
5. love the Micah boys... seriously feel like I'm hanging out with Honduran versions of my brothers
6. wouldn't mind seeing the winter wonderland of the Midwest
7. remembering the many years of hand-written poems and love-filled dinners for Valentine's Day growing up
8. discovering new music by the psalters, a group out of philly (where my friend, Nicole, just moved and so now I'm obsessed with finding cool things/music for her there:)
9. a bit tired, but already looking forward to tomorrow's coffee
10. with love, caroline

Thanks mom, for the bit of inspiration it took to come up with 10 things worth updating about. Love - keep letting it fly.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

festivals of love and interruptions.

After a brilliant morning started with a 7:30 gentle arrival into this Saturday, I made a date with my Bible, journal, a plate of fruit and some cappuccino. I was really diggin' the Word and gettin' my study on. I love when I can connect the dots and know that the Word is not returning void.

Then I came back home and prepared for feeding center and festival of love number 2. The first, last night proved to be the exact ridiculous amount of fun and laughter I needed. We cooked up some hearty, healthy, heart-shaped pancakes (regular, banana, choc. chip) with tons of toppings to choose from: peanut butter, granola, syrup, yogurt, honey. YUM! Add a little orange juice/sprite mix to drink and some turkey bacon and you've got a festival of love: breakfast at dinner style. We played games (create your "dream man" out of objects that represent his characteristics) and gave prizes (journals, stuffed animals, and frogs that turn into princes) and told long, dramatic, fairytale stories. We laughed. a lot.

So, anyway, most of the day I could still fly on that high while I was baking vanilla cherry chip cake in the heart-shaped pans for festival of love number 2. I managed to pick up and clean a bit (common areas, my room is a disaster area right now) before heading off to the feeding center, where I was overjoyed to see Kenya sporting MY SWOOPS! (For those of you who don't know, I refer to the bangs that hang emo-like to the side of my face and have to be swept back with a jerk of the head as my swoops). She looked up at me real sweetly with her hair swooped over and jerked her head like I'm sure I do. I just wrapped her in a hug (and tried not to think how strange I look jerking my head like that). Then, another precious little one brought her mom back to the feeding center after we were all done and her mom proceeded to explain to me how I was her daughter's godmother! I was like, I do not deserve this praise... all I do is give her a hug every week and chat for a bit. I'm nothing like a godmother, but it made me smile all the same.

So, I made it back home and we had a wonderful dinner with good friends: baked potato bar, salad, fresh fruit, and dessert (which we were too full to consume). We told stories and laughed and got tired at the old-person hour of 9:30 pm.

So, there were two things that interrupted this otherwise perfect day.
1. I think I am lactose intolerant and need to stop denying (my stomach is hating me!)
2. Google decided this is not my blog and will no longer let me sign in

Interruption number 1, well, it's almost too painful to talk about. I love milk. I grew up on a dairy farm and it's more than a part of a balanced diet. It's my history! And ice cream... I can't even think of it!

Interruption number 2 really had me fuming for a few hours earlier today, but I set up another "author" so I can still write, but I'm still a little angry. On Friday, I was singing google's praises with Chrome and Buzz and iGoogle and everything. Today I feel like they stole my journal. Boo.

Well, anyway. Tomorrow I will celebrate love again, with plans to make cookies to pass out and maybe bring a girly, pink cake to Micah Project to celebrate the friendships there.

let love FLY, friends

Thursday, February 11, 2010

don't skimp on love.

Sometimes I can't believe that time is not dependent on anything. It goes and goes and goes and then a year later happens, whether I think it is slow or fast or just right. It goes.

Well, last year at this time, I was planning a sweet dinner for the 10th grade girls at my school with my roomie and co-conspirator Heather. It was maybe my all-time favorite memory of last year for a couple reasons, I was: 1. hanging out with a bunch of lovely ladies all in one place 2. laughing until my sides hurt and 3. being a small part of spreading some major love.

This year, I frankly wasn't "feelin' it." Whatever "it" is, the routine craziness and life's grand excuses had stolen the desire to make any big deal out of this love-soaked time of year. I said to myself, "Self. There are so many other battles to be fought and won: pep squad team, behavior contract plan, mission trip, etc... Come on, now. Narrow it down a bit."

Well, self, I have something to tell you:
When Jesus narrowed things down, He didn't skimp on love and I don't intend to either

This week, I can't seem to get over this: There is so much hurt. There is so much pain. There is so much. The 'so much' is making me nauseous this week. I hate seeing people hurt and I hate hearing about the people that hurt them. I hate it. I hate the "so much" that is choking out everything beautiful. And even as I see this "so much" getting bigger and growing stronger, I know and believe that right here in the present there is joy to be found.

Even still, I have been so encouraged in the past couple days (completely outside of my own doing). Every single day, I have to believe there is a beautiful treasure to be found, but it is hidden. And every day I can set out to uncover the mystery of joy that is waiting to show me that it can overwhelm the "so much" with something more pure and lovely.

I don't know, maybe this strange search is what led me to splurge and walk to two grocery stores, decidedly tie my apron firmly around my waist, allow decorations (sent with love from mom) to spill over onto a corner of our house, plan for a dinner of heart-shaped pancakes, and resign myself to a somewhat unkept house.

You may think it's funny that I have conversations with myself, or that I call myself "Self," or that I am bold enough to transcribe said conversation here for you to read. That's okay. I think it's funny too. Personally, these conversations have a great purpose.

I just want to leave you with a little something I learned way back in the day from my parents, who gave each other the same cheesy, red, GIANT, heart-shaped sucker every year: 
don't skimp on love this weekend.

You can skimp on a lot of things: decorations, chalky sweetheart candies, dinners out, roses, decoupage crafts... 
but whatever you do, let love fly like crazy and see how many people can be touched and to what great extent you can overwhelm the "so much" with your efforts!

Good night, friends.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

It's up to you (New York, New York)



Have I mentioned, dear readers, that I am FINALLY TRAVELING BACK TO NY this Spring Break? After 3 years away? I could NOT be more excited to travel back to the mother ship, my home away from home, my happy place. Thinking about traveling back in time to 2006 and the role NYC had in my life, I've taken a look back at my blog posts from that year. In honor of that-here's a thought from Christina of 2006. So different, yet so similar. Check out this post, from August of 2006.

Just got back from the library. Being in the library, looking at the stacks and stacks of books, reminds me more and more that I'm not who I want to be, or not who I percieve myself to be. See, I'm wandering through the stacks of books, attracted to the simple girly titles, all the while feeling guilty that I'm not looking for F. Scott Fitzgerald and Sylvia Plath. Isn't it weird how you have this idea of who you are, even though it's crazy different than the truth? I wouldn't know what to do with Sylvia Plath even if I bought the cliff notes.
I'm learning more now than ever that I know myself less and less. I mean, I KNEW who I was in college, I knew that I was the one to call if you didn't want to study, the one to throw the dinner party, the one to call if you needed some free counseling and "wisdom" from someone who's been through it. While I was IN college, I loved the social life much more than the classes. Now, being out of school, I wish I could go back and have 24 more hours in every day and suck all the learning out of Iowa State. Now that I have every night free, I long for the textbooks I sold back, wishing I had my advertising books so I could read up at night and feel a little more confidant when applying for jobs the upcoming morning. I don't know, it's just so weird to not have "student" "advertising major" "Iowa State University" and "Campus Crusade for Christ socialite" to define me. What defines me now, that I'm not an advertising student at Iowa state spending too much time socializing up the school? What kind of music do I like, now that I can't depend on having a Christian radio station to put on whenever I need some tunes? What kind of books do I like when I don't have a discipler or the local Christian culture telling me what the next big author is? Tough.
Man, my life is strange right now. I never in a million years would have expected for this to be my life right now. I feel like this year is such a long waiting moment in my life. Waiting for adulthood, waiting to find out who I really am without Campus crusade telling me, waiting for New York to feel like home, waiting for a "real" job. It's strange, this life of mine. I am so used to "glass-half-full" life theology that it's hard for me to really look at my life and ADMIT that it's tough. But the thing is, I'm doing alright. Little by little I am finding out who I am. Making the decision to be faithful even when I don't understand. Praying that my self-righteous pride will shut itself up while I just try to do the best that I can. And try to push the mother guilt away while I attempt to raise these children the way their parents want me to and push away my questions about whether they'll turn out really weird after watching this much T.V. What a year. :) But the thing is, I'm smiling my little face off right now, listening to John Legend on the computer (a singer I found all by myself and LOVE LOVE LOVE him) and thinking that I wouldn't trade my life for the world. because I know this is where I'm supposed to be. I know that learning all this is going to make me who I am, future tense :). I'm making no sense, right? Well, somehow in this moment, I'm happy, standing in this gap. I suppose these next couple years after college, I'll be climbing that mountain on the other side. And I'll come out on top,

you'll see :)


So thankful for God being faithful to introduce me more to myself in these last 3 years. To mold me and shape me and make me more and more okay with who I am. And SO fun to look back and see where I was, how far I've come! And to realize that, even though I certainly know myself better now than I did 3 years ago, the "mountain" will take a lifetime to climb. And I'm ok with that!

Question- dear readers. What grew you up? When did you really get to know who you were?

Christina

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

The Persecuted Church in Burma

Check out this sweet article from The Gospel Coalition and then pray with me for Burma. What are we learning in Haiti? Be love now. Be love before, during, and after crisis... not just when the earth shifts.

Be love now, folks.

The Persecuted Church in Burma

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Monday, February 08, 2010

Links for Tuesday

I finally got rid of my doubting spirit and have again a heart set course for joy. Praise God. I was in a funk and I'm so thankful those don't last forever! I have to share a wee-little story about my time in funk-city. I was riding the bus down last week, after staying after for Bible study. I sat in the front and let worship songs be an escape for awhile until a student came and sat next to me. She had questions about this and that and finally she asked (could it have been because I was obviously weeping?) me, "what's up?" I just said I was sad. I was sad about how deceptive life can be and how glittery the world looks and how so many people I love make the wrong choices. I was sad because I couldn't stop it, but also sad because I knew I wasn't doing enough. I was just sad.

Then (as if revelations such as these come so quickly and gently) she said, "Well, I bet that's how God feels when He looks down at us... only magnified."
.........whoooosh. This is the perspective I needed!

Today, please let me hook you up with a few things that are inspiring and interesting and accessible through this little monster called the internet.
ENJOY!


Free music by Shaun Groves. I really support the way that this man is going about his ministry through music. Check him out - he'll give you three songs for free here.


You probably know I just finished Forgotten God by Francis Chan. Well, I didn't use any of his internet resources for this book (even though I really liked using them when our Bible study read through Crazy Love). But, now I find out that there are some great resources there! Also, I happened upon this "trailer" on vimeo and I think it's worth checking out. It just might convince you that you should pick up the book too.


Forgotten God Trailer from Jacob Lewis on Vimeo.


Let's just say you are like my dad and in the car a lot. And let's also say you wouldn't mind having something intelligent to listen to (other than, let's say, radio talk and country music), then you should definitely check this out: Christian audio allows you to download one FREE book each MONTH! That's right - it's free! I'm all about getting things for freesies and this month I think it's a gem, so I'm sharing it with you. It's a book by Mark Driscoll called, "Religion Saves."

Download - christianaudio.com

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Sunday, February 07, 2010

preparing for the season of Lent

This is a short post. It doesn't happen often, so pay close attention.

I am preparing for the season of Lent. I don't know what this will mean, but I know I don't want to be about giving something up if I'm not adding more Truth to the daily mix. I want this time to be one where I understand better my history/why it is important, and how I will live differently beyond 40 days.

I just think I want to start some heart-preparing now.

I'm trudging on through the BRP (Bible Reading Plan) from the ESV study Bible and can't begin to count the blessings. Does anyone have any ideas, readings, books of common prayer, etc. that would be a good centering tool for this season (in addition to daily study)?

-------post script---------
Oh, and yes, I did watch the Super Bowl at Micah House tonight (amongst many uninterested Micah boys:) and I did see the pretty amazing two point conversion... and I did try to explain the game of fĂștbol americano to several Hondurans (fail). It was a good night!

Saturday, February 06, 2010

hibernation

I can't say much for the two days without posting...

only that my discouragement sent me into my little cave of questions. You know, if you set out to do anything, absolutely anything, and you have your own agenda about how it needs doing... you may (likely) be disappointed in the process. And this is me, disappointed.

So, what did my time in the cave teach me? Trust more that the Lord will complete the work, tarry on with God as means and end, serve and obey out of love for God and not for man, expect to see nothing/get nothing/show nothing for the work.

And what is waiting as I step into these lessons? Joy. Again, joy. The presence of the Lord awaits and (Ps. 16:11) there I will find fullness of joy. God promised his people through Jeremiah that "if you seek me, you will find me, if you seek me with all your heart" (29:12).

That right there is Truth I can hold onto... Truth I can cling to when I need to curl up into my cave in a mess of disappointments. I can hibernate on that and come out refreshed and revived. If I'm not shy about my heart for the Lord, He will not hold back in showing me His presence.

Now, for the doing...

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

thoughts on Truth

Thanks, Christina for writing yesterday about business vs. personal. I think the blurred line only gets more blurry when you are working in a Christian context. Because your business is also mission, and also community, and also the Body of Christ, and also family. All those things together make for a pretty crazy mix of business/personal. I have to echo the thoughts of our mom on this one... personal goes with you wherever you are. You bring 'personal' to every meeting, every encounter with a student, every board decision, and every pink slip. You bring personal because that is how we are made: personal, relational, human. I think God intended it this way. But, it sure is difficult.

Entirely unrelated (and mostly because I already have it written and it's an easy copy/paste job), I wanted to share something from awhile back. I spoke to two different sets of high school students a couple weeks ago on Nehemiah 8 (per my mother's brilliant suggestion) in an attempt to discuss joy and suffering. I did some writing before/after and here some excerpts:

When I stand up against Truth ...
first all confident and dignified,
(sin secret and hidden) spouting
nonsense words and misplaced
pleasantries                                      ...
when I stand up, beside Truth

SHAME fills me and
my knees buckle,                                     ...
too weak to stand
EVERY thought of comfort is
destroyed and scattered like
chaff, swept up by the hungry wind

pride is a monster
and I fall faster

fear, though I know its true place
surrounds the pieces
of what was once complete

the feeling that i have failed
again
that the world has failed
again
...
is only overcome by the
Presence

it is overcome by the
Presence
---------------


So, you may be trying to connect the dots and having trouble. 
"Joy, suffering, Nehemiah 8, and now this strange writing about Truth and destruction? You totally confused those kids, Caroline!"
Is that what you are thinking?

Well, I didn't share my personal writing in my message, but what I DID share was the beautiful realization that God offers His very presence to the people of Israel who had listened to Truth for seven hours and felt the meaning and their sin rip open their souls. They were destroyed by the gap Truth exposed between them and a precious, perfect God. At that moment, God reached out to their broken, bruised, battered hearts and said, "Do not grieve." He saw that they realized the depth of their brokenness and at that moment He invited them into JOY. He invited them into His presence to sit beside redemption and drink in life. 

I love that.

Monday, February 01, 2010

It's not personal- it's business



















"It's not personal, it's business." - quote from my favorite movie, You've Got Mail. The Tom Hanks character says it to the Meg Ryan character as he's putting her little Shop Around the Corner out of business.

Reminds me of something I've been talking over with a friend of mine lately. Over Thai food this Friday night, the question kept coming up- what's personal, and what's business? As someone who notoriously does not keep my cards held close, a difference between business and personal used to make little to no sense to me. A relationship is a relationship! Screw me over in business, you've screwed me over in life, end of story. But after 1 year nannying someone else's babies in NY, 2 years in a poorly lit cubicle at a Marketing Company (ironically, with the aforementioned Thai food buddy,) and now knocking on the door of the typical 18 month life span of a youth worker, I've seen that this is not the case. Turns out most people feel that business and personal are different.

-For instance, you can trust someone as a friend, but not as a colleague.
-You could admire someone as a family man but not as a businessman.
-You might enjoy someones jokes at a BBQ but not during a board meeting.
-You may respect someone as a professional but not as a person.

The problem is- seems that everyone has a different idea of the blurred lines between the two. It appears that everyone in today's workplace attended a different "Standard Business Practices 101" in College, rendering us in not only different pages, but entirely different books when it comes to these matters. This can be very frustrating! Bears to mention, of course, that looking inward has me even more frustrated in this area. Why am I so confident in 'real life' but lose it when it comes to a big meeting with the Big Dogs at the Big Ole Church where I work? Why do I trust my viewpoints in life, but not at work? Seems I have my own double standards going on.

So here's the question- where are the lines in your life? Do you have the same confidence as a professional as you do in 'real life'? Are you as trustworthy at work as you are as a friend? Are there people in your life that you like as a person, but not as a co-worker?

with the Sun, delight

I guess I'm on a bit of a poetry kick these days and I don't mind at all. I hope you don't either. I finished reading "The Singer" by Calvin Miller at the same time that the song, "Come and Sing" by Brooks Ritter (see yesterday) was repeating on my ipod. To put it shortly: after (what could have been merely) a frustrating day, I realized something... If all I accomplished today was getting myself to that beautiful throne to join in the angels' song, then that would be just fine. If I made it there and just really belted out my heart full of gratitude, then this day was alive. This song just kind of bubbled out of that joy.
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with the Sun, delight
straightaway I run 
to chase the kite
whipping, whirling forward 
in silent skyward flight

I run without care
abandoned and free
I race through golden rays
and dance the Sun with me

like a child to a mystery
I'll follow you on
like a melody to a symphony
I'll listen close the song

like a dawn to a day 
like a weekend to get away
like my heart to love
I'll follow you on

over flower meadows 
my chest heaves with defeat
the flimsy fantasy
seems to escape in repeat

I run heavy on
one sweet thought on my mind
I race the golden rays 
and with the Sun I'll dine

oh I'll race the golden waves
and with the Sun I'll dine

I run, careening careless 
with face stretched toward the bright
I race the golden waves
and with the Sun delight

I race the golden waves
and with the Sun delight