Monday, May 26, 2008

Portugal, Spain, and the Pope. Oh Treaty of Tordesillas!

I repent, I repent, of trading truth, for false unity.    -Derek Webb

I was thinking about how Christians have constantly made compromises for the sake of the organization continuing. The pope making two Christian countries sign treaties so they would not fight over the land they intended to acquire. I think also about the tolerance churches and denominations have made room for in their pews for the sake of unity and continuity. The problem I have with this is a misunderstanding of exactly what tolerance is. We consider it tolerance when two peoples come together in our country and get along by ignoring their differences or points of conflict. What are you tolerating then? Tolerance is when you both clearly address points of conflict or disagreement, but still continue to work together ACKNOWLEDGING those diversities; not destroying them or melding them into one view. That being said, for people to continue to make the point that 'all religions lead to the same place' is not really tolerance at all. It is one of two things as far as I can gather: either ignorance, or another religion! Nothing is being tolerated. There is nothing you can strongly disagree with and yet tolerate in that statement. I have no real idea as to why I was thinking about this, but I was. I need to start thinking more about the purpose and usefulness of tolerance. Then I will better understand when it can be used properly because there are time when tolerance is not beneficial. 
Well, anyway... one week in Marion is done! I cannot believe I've been here for a week. Church was encouraging yesterday. I am challenged to embrace the dissonance in my life and learn amidst it. I had an amazing dinner with Kristin and Grant Friday night (two students who are taking Greek at Taylor this summer). I think (and hope) that an intentional community is being made between the three of us. Perhaps, that community will enlarge this summer, or while I'm gone in the fall. Nonetheless I am so grateful to learn about the love that is entirely Christ's from them that night. How Christ's love is always direct and intentional because he abides in us. 1 John 4:10-... good stuff. I went to my grandparents house this weekend and spent time with my family and with Genna! She came up with them. Jack is so great, and it really hurts to not be around him much. He's 15 months old this week. My grandparents are full of insights and make me think... and if you know me, you know that I love that. 
     Well, I'm back at the house, and am cleaning up a bit before the Marion Family returns from their weekend vacation. I am going to go for a run, go chill at pastor's house, and aspire to almost finish Kite Runner tonight. It is exciting to read the arabic in it and recognize some of the phrases (like 'tubla' or 'inshallah')! I am reading a book about Africa and it's political, historical, social, and economical problems showing both sides of each debated issue. That should be good. 
       So what do you think? How do we stop China from providing arms and money to the Kharatorum government in Sudan and hurting Darfur? Do we refuse to provide aid for the earthquake? Is that fair? To hold back relief for them for political reasons? Well, divesting isn't being done in a big enough way to change their influence in Sudan yet, and even that will first affect the people of China- the same people we'd be holding relief from. Either way, it seems like anything we do would first affect the people of China instead of the government. I don't know... any thoughts? Will the Political statements made at the Olympics be enough? I fear that they will not do anything. These are some of my thoughts for the day...

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

My bike is... IN MARION!

Exciting news everyone! My father and I stepped outside Friday morning, onto our driveway and were conversing. What were we conversing you may ask? Well, we were conversing about the garage sales and the potential to find a bike. As we stepped outside, I realized that I needed to get my tires rotated, change the oil in my car, wash it, vacuum it and get an emissions test that day. I didn't really have a lot of time to chill in my neighborhood looking for bikes! Well, as we stepped outside, we both naturally glanced to the neighbor's houses. Suddenly...


Either the sun's light descended upon the frame of the race bike in their garage, or I entirely made that up, but emotionally my heart fluttered as if I'd seen the sun shinning on it. Our neighbor was having a garage sale and selling his race bike! Now, the bike is 15 years old, but in perfect condition, and it was custom built for him (250lbs and 6ft tall)... so it should fit me PERFECT, right? Well, we took the extension out of the seat, had the tires fixed up, and it was as good as new! A race bike that cost me... 20.00! 

So here I am, sitting in the Union at Taylor University, writing about my race bike, and thinking that God really answered the prayer in the previous post! I don't have internet a lot, so I will probably spend most of my time just updating on this blog... not necessarily checking facebook as much, but I'll get there! Post on here if you'd like! I'm taking one week off and just reading and getting settled in my house. The family I'm living with is wonderful. I really enjoy talking with them and getting to know them better! Anyway, family is coming in this weekend, and worship band practice went down last night. It was all great. I road my bike over to someone's house today and we just chatted! It was really fun. The Lord is stretching me right now. Seriously, I could use a lot of prayer. Maybe, if you are reading this, could you just stop a moment and pray for my relationship with Jesus? I cannot tell you how much I would appreciate it.

You are Loved. 

Oh, also: I would really enjoy keeping in touch with some people via snail mail! If you have any desire for that, e-mail me and let me know what your address is!


Friday, May 16, 2008

Home is... where my bike is.

I've  decided to try and blog a bit through my summer. This is in attempts to carry the interest of my friends, family, and maybe even a prof or two (shout out to Dr. C.. and Dr. L). This is also due to my desire to do better keeping people informed in how my life is going. Especially next semester. Anyway, here I am, home for a day. I am going to my cousin's wedding tomorrow and then I will be back in Marion on Monday.
      I'm moving in with a family from my church. I am terribly excited about it. I am attempting to purchase a street bike for cheap this weekend, in order to bike to work (about 10 miles) and anywhere else I go this summer. This way I can save gas money. The family is wonderful (as far as I can tell in the 30 minutes I've spent with them). That is at least a good sign right?! I am also very excited to tell you all that they do not have television. They have A television, but no cable: it is only useful for watching DVDs. I am so excited to not have to fight a TV while I am reading all summer (I really only had to do that when my brother was home though).
     Anyway, I will be working at Cracker Barrel, as well as working on a side job online, and at the church. I attend God's House. It is not the type of church I would typically desire initially (regarding liturgy and a whole list of other things), but they are an inner city church that loves people who live in inner city Marion, and they do it well. I am honored to be a part of this church. 
     I love my family so much, and I will miss baby Jack (my dad and stepmom's son) so much, and my parents. But I need to get out of the suburban lifestyle. I am sick of watching wealthy people drown themselves in television and shopping because they have a break in shifts at work. Mostly, I am sick of wanting those things also. They are temptation to me and I don't want them. I spent last summer fighting those things, but I just don't think it is worth the fight anymore: I just don't want to be around these temptations. 
      Well, hopefully next time I post will be at Paynes again, after biking to work and jumping over to paynes to do some internet work. Lord, you heard that prayer. :)

You are Loved.