Friday, June 27, 2008

The Purpose to Life

I'm getting my sewing machine fixed.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

The Moon Is Down

wow- going old school on ya huh?!

This week has been way too full of adventure. I will spend a few short paragraphs probably just bringing you up to speed. I ran into a fellow at paynes (coffee shop) while reading last week. He introduced himself and saw that I was reading "Jesus for President". Well, we got to talking and he mentioned that we was going to the PAPA festival (event focused on poverty). I talked with him briefly about it, got his information and said I'd e-mail him to hear how the event went. Well, long story short, I called Brock and we talked for a while. Then I told Brock he should go, but he said he works every weekend. He called me the next day to tell me that he was off ALL weekend. WELL... after several hours of confusing calls and texting while I was at work, Brock googled all he knew about the event (that it was in a Mennonite Community 2 hours from Chicago)... found one, and went. Ha. Within the first 30 minutes of being there he said he'd already seen or run into Shane Claiborne and heard the psalters playing. Pretty sweet. MewithoutYou played the following night. That was an adventure... even if I wasn't on it.

My friend J-Higgs came to town this weekend. That was SO good (such a blessing). It was beautiful to see her and be near her for a while. I really loved it. We hung out whenever I wasn't working. We had some TU people over after church for lunch, and ate well together.

Monday I went on quite the adventure to Alexandria Indiana. My friend Austin lives there and I drove down and then we embarked on a bike ride. We biked from about 1-5 or so I think. It was really nice... until he patted me on the shoulder WHILE biking (I still don't know what he was thinking) and I fell. My knee is still gushing strange liquid. But it was so good to be around Austin. I cannot believe how much I miss that trio (Austin, Grandma and Mark). So good. I laugh so hard when I am around them, and Austin seemed to laugh too... which is always good. What a Monday.

Then, yesterday I spent the morning with a lovely friend. A miss Kristin Eckhout. That was great. I played some piano in the recital hall, and thought about how strange it is that I have lead worship in that room: that I lead worship in general. Then Grant, Maija (ehhh.. spelling?) and I headed out to Indy to enjoy an evening of friends, speaker, music, food, and more friends. We heard Shane Claiborne speak. It was cool to hear the Psalters and to know more of exactly what Shane is doing and his goals include, not just through a book. One of the Psalter's dog's got out of the bus and went missing. After a short break it was announced that his dog was hit by a car. Pray for them. I feel like that is worth mentioning here. He seemed really sad about it. That is only day 2 of their journey too!

I went back to work today. I love it here. I love it in Marion with my family, in Marion with my church, in Upland with my friends. I have dear friends in these places. But next week, I will be with my FAMILY... with my FRIENDS. and I am excited about that also. Oh dear, I am so excited. Torn between two different worlds! How does one handle such a split? Easy... just leave and go around the world for 4 months. ;)

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Wrinkles, freckles, moles and warts.

All I know in this life is that I aspire to learn how to see with Jesus' eyes and love with his heart.

I think I might be at the pre-req stages of this phase, and it scares the shit out of me. Not because it requires more of me, but because it might require... less.

I think it requires less of me than the way our paraochial understanding (my paraochial understanding) of a successful, valuable life is. It may not require me to make my Grandparents proud. Maybe seeing and loving like Jesus requires me to meet people where they are at... or just running to them like the father did to the prodigal son ("he saw him while he was still far off and he ran to him"). It is radical that a distinguished father or just a grown man in that time would run to his son. His pride had to be stabbed to death and then removed off of him. My pride needs to be stabbed to death as the cancer that it most certainly is, inside of this soul. Maybe loving like Jesus will have nothing to do with global decisions and the UN or USA... maybe all these passions for other peoples are just here to increase my sight to be that of Jesus', in turn allowing liberation for me to then love different types of people as he would, in smaller more relational ways than the UN ever could. I think, maybe Jesus would love the people the UN couldn't touch, or has never protected from the start. Maybe seeing like Jesus did, involves idealism, and a new found HOPE and FAITH in Jesus Christ AND his church, when I have been so close to giving up on his people (as a church, globally speaking). Maybe this faith involves seeing his church (or people) the way Jesus did. Maybe that involves seeing those people as ONE body, that the CHURCH of this WORLD would be our world police or UN or justice force. That, when any other identity in this world would be in need, the church would be the one to work when the state's hands are tied (not the other way around).

and I think maybe -seeing like Jesus did- means trusting him to do his work his way. Instead of turning the stones into bread, or coming as Israel's king, he came as a LOWLY man, who loved women and lepors and sojourners alike with those pharisees who were seeking and others of the community.

Today, maybe seeing more like Jesus and loving more like him involves caring about my fellow employees and bosses: REALLY, and about the people in my life. Maybe it involves sacrificing my time and money and energy on the people here and now in my life. But I think TODAY, it necessitates GETTING AWAY IN A QUIET PLACE AND CRYING OUT TO MY FATHER, in all honesty, asking that this cup would pass. Jesus did that every once in a while. I think that is what this means right now, today and tomorrow.

I just thought I should share that.

Oh God! That you might be made known to your people, that I could TASTE and SEE you GOD (1 John 4:10...). That you would increase me, to be a blessing to others. That I would be a vessel for your use to declare your love. Give me opportunities to SPEAK and SING of my experiences and of your love. Yearning, I ask for more of you in these places represented by the eyes of those reading.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008


there were lots of mistakes on that post... but i'm on an old school computer, so I cannot fix them. The end though... should definitely say 'by' Jesus, not 'but' Jesus. fyi. also, I think there is an ever when there should be 'every'. I don't know... just let there be forgiveness there.

"I love you".

This week- wow, what a week. I really cannot talk about people or events this week. This week the only relationship I can talk about is the Lord. Ever situation and circumstance of the week has derived from his work through others into me. God has given a community and individuals here in Marion and Upland a vested interest in my life. That is a big statement, and it makes no sense. The main reason is because I don't really open up to any of them. I am very careful in regards to who I relate to and how much I relate, but God has really just given me friends who love me before I ever give them any reason to. Its kind of unbelievable.
This week God has really revealed spiritual warfare to me. He has revealed my false sense of humility in my life. This humility is incredibly unhealthy and is involved in probably every decision I make. I realize there are ways that this humilty is being used to mute the gifts the Lord has given me (specifically musically). So, there are more tangible things to understand in that issue, but we will all see/hear about that played out more this summer.
I'm learning to trust God now. I mean, could you imagine if the disciples didn't drop everything and follow Jesus because they didn't trust God? Why did they trust him? I think maybe it was just a sense in his immutability that was stunning to them. How does that immutability touch us though? Those of us that were not on the earth with him? Through others? Well, what happens when others DO change? When they leave? Does that just add value to God not changing? I don't know. I just know that the disciples trusted Jesus, and so I want to also. However, wanting to trust God and trusting God are two very different things. VERY different.
Today a guy walked up to me in Paynes and said he was going to some poverty event in Chicago. He came up to me because I was reading 'Jesus for President' and he had read it. His name was John. I was stoked. I wish I could go to this event also. Anyway, he reminded me so much of my friend Brock, and reminded me how much I missed Brock that I called him. We talked for a while. I hate that I lived around Brock for so long, but we were not friends. However, we never could have been or should have been during that season of my life (just speaking on behalf of myself here). But when we hung up, I was thinking about the body of Christ, and about his Kingdom. I thanked God in my soul for giving me a friend like Brock, who I can trust. A guy that has proven himself genuine in this friendship. I told Brock that I loved him. He said that he loved me too. It was great. I think, God's kingdom came in a small way today.

...but perhaps God never wanted his kingdom to come in a big way. Maybe if he did, he would have turned the stone into bread, or been a king to Israel. Instead, he did it his way- by entrusting his son to begin bringing it. Begin you ask? Crap, that means we might be responsible to continue bringing it huh?

as Mr. Claiborne would say, "More on that later".

I miss my friends deeply. I'm working about 50 hours this week at the CB. I'm gonna slow it down next week, but know that I am aware that I have been a horrible friend to some of you, and I recognize that. This week should lighten up a bit. Please know, you are loved so deeeply, but Jesus... who would never be like this to you. Love him for that.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Sugar Lows and High Fives

So, filling everyone in. I feel like this week was less doing and more reflecting. It was good though. I worked a lot. Overtime and the Barrel of Cracks and then spent a lot of time figuring out loan document stuff. But it was a good week. I biked right around 35-40 miles yesterday. I biked over to Taylor and then said hello to Mr. Bobbie Lay (am I allowed to say that? I'm just used to hearing Dave Voss say that in Inductive so much, but I'm no christian ed. major...). We chatted it up and then I went on a bike ride to visit this crazy cemetery where there were graves from the civil war. While walking around the grounds of the cemetery, the person I was biking with said they would like to just have initials on his gravestone. That's it. So, we will just refer to him as 'G.A.' from this point on. Anyway, we biked to Paynes from there where I treated myself to a peach smoothie (love 'em). God has just blessed me with the most incredible relationships this summer. Between 'G.A.' and K.E. (Kristin Eckout) and a few from God's House, I am overwhelmed by the... "sincerity" of these friendships. And for that, I am incredibly thankful.
Well, that was essentially my only day off so far (tomorrow is my only day off again until next week) so I thought I would share that. Oh, there have also been tons of storms coming in, and funny enough, most of them come while I am at work. So while a tornado flies by 3 miles away on 18, I'm asking if you want white gravy on your Country Fried Steak. Hey, look- somebody has to hold the fort down. Here, I AM(said with a certain... 2nd North attitude).
To finish off the post, I'm leaving right now to go get instructions concerning the sewing of my first skirt. I bought the material yesterday night, which was WITHIN my budget I'll have you know (I have a SMALL spending budget this summer). Anyway... here I go!

AHH, ok I forgot to explain the title. So clearly I mentioned biking a LOT yesterday. Well, I am used to making a point of eating when I run a far distance... because I've trained a lot. But not biking! So, in the rush of yesterday... I guess I just didn't eat enough. So today at work, I was freaking out. My mind wasn't working correctly. I asked my first table if they wanted 'cheese on their bacon'. WHAT?! Needless to say, I was told that my blood sugar was probably low? I drank some OJ and was golden (well, not really... I came home and slept for a long time too).

and High Fives? I suggested that the worship band high five after every song we do on stage on sundays. In my head, picturing it... was funny.

Ok, you are loved friends. Love others well, or at least aspire to.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

...Tearin' it up at the CB

SO, I realized with my post yesterday that I didn't really fill you in on my life like I said I would do weekly (like I am trying to do weekly). So, allow me to try that again...

Some of you knew that I was considering other work this summer, but I am indeed (and have) returned to the Cracker Barrel in Marion. I work 40 hours there, and work 20 hours on the side for CEO Focus on the internet. I am also helping out at God's House regaurding their worship ministry. Well, I now have been biking to work (11 miles one way) and unfortunately it has seemed to be rather rainy every time I've made the trip. But no worries, today on my way back after a long day of work the rain lightened up after about 10 minutes and it was a great ride back. I've also been biking anywhere else I can get to in order to conserve resources (that is right, with my 20 dollar race bike from the 1990s). It has been really great. I also finished reading Kite Runner and am moving onto Jesus for President by Shane Claiborne. I'd like to hear him speak on the 23rd in Indi, but I want to finish his book first. SO, a lot of reading to go!
Well, I don't want to bore you with random facts about my week, so a short story.
Ok, so Sunday I went to church, had a picnic with some friends and then spent the afternoon outside attempting to play frisbee. At 5:00 I went to work. Well again, I am a waitress at CB. There is another waitress there named 'Cheryl'. She is about 50+ years old, a heavier set woman, beautiful greying hair (really, she's beautiful). She's kinda a 'ma-ma' type lady... if you know the type. She's very sweet. Well, I'm in the kitchen getting a tray ready to take to a table, and she comes into the kitchen B-E-A-M-I-N-G. She looks at me with a look of utter championship on her face and states, "I got their appetizer out in 60 seconds FLAT... that's right, I'M THE SHIT".

Ok. Can we stop for a minute? Picture this in your head. Picture this sweet older woman, coming into the kitchen and yelling that SOOOO excitedly.

Well, needless to say, that has already been the suggested summer slogan for the Gas City CB. I thought that was hysterical.

I have also made a decision about some goals I have for the summer. One, to learn how to cook (and then to cook resourcefully). My 'house dad' (the dad of the home I'm staying in) is a very resourceful cook. He knows how to cook well, and knows how to use left overs in a meal for the next night. It is really cool. Secondly, I spent 3 dollars today on an investment. What type of investment you might ask? A pattern for sewing skirts. After much thought and contemplation as to what the real reasoning is, I have decided to learn how to sew. Here are some reasons:
1. It's a skill that is useful in any community I'm in
2. I think it would be sweet to make my own clothes
3. I want to reuse the fabric I already have in T-shirts and other clothes instead of throwing them out when they get old
4. I am getting so sick of researching clothing companies that I spend my money on, and finding out that they are connected with child sweat shops in other countries... or other ethically frustrating situations. So, I will buy clothes occasionally when I need to and when I do, it will be with a company I trust.

Wow. Ok, that is a lot. Those are my thoughts.
Cheers; to J-Samp tearin' it up... and then sewing it back together. ;)
Wow. Really... Wow.

Monday, June 2, 2008


I was thinking about the book, "Technopoly" that Dr. Cramer assigned us to read for COS104. We discussed the definition of technology and whether it was necessary or beneficial for us beyond our desires for instant gratification. I was thinking about that, but not really. What I was really thinking about was 'shortcuts'. Technology really is just a short cut isn't it? It just speeds up relationships. Sure it allows for business and communication that couldn't happen otherwise, but it is in a major way, nothing more than a short cut.
Of course I have relationships that are dependent upon technology: without a highway or roads it would take me considerably longer to get home to Chicago (well, unless I flew... exactly). I don't usually want my relationships built via internet or phone, but I understand that some seasons they just are, and I can make adjustments for that. Writting letters is another way to keep in touch, but it is still technology. So, perhaps it can be used in a way that is not merely instant gratification, because in our day and age snail mail isn't instant anymore anyway! So it isn't just 'instant gratification' or for the sake of it, but it is also still a sort of short cut isn't it?
Then I was thinking about shortcuts (relationally speaking). Are they ok? Is it ok to build a relationship or friendship via facebook or e-mails? Is it necessary? Are short cuts defined, or does it depend upon each relationship and circumstance? Are shortcuts expected now a days? I feel like I am constantly feeling the pressure of shortcuts. I feel like people just want to get to know me as fast as they can to determine what place I can fit in their lives. If I cannot fit a place, they want to know as soon as possible and get out without wasting time, energy, money, or other things of value to them (perhaps vulnerability?).

I don't know what I think about all these things, but I know who they make me think about. They make me think about Jesus. I don't think it would have necessarily made a whole lot of sense for the writters of the gospel to include stories when Jesus just listened, because they didn't see that as his teaching, but I think it had to be. Jesus knew everyone on this earth before meeting them physically, and he still spent time with them, spent time 'getting to know them better'. He didn't declare their poor motives each time they had them. He listened to them, and was patient with them. He loved them, and he knew what was best for them. I may not know what is best for my friends, but I think I can aspire to listen, have patience, love them, and embark upon this life with those around me for this portion of it.

These are some thoughts I have had since aquiring some new friendships this summer. Friendships at God's House, friendships with some playas in Upland, friendships with my Grandparents, and continued friendships (or failed attempts of them) after sophomore year at TU. All I know, is that God is throwing some incredible people into my life. People I am honored to know, and aspire to build lasting friendships with as time progresses. I don't know that anyone reads this other than Whitney (just because she posted), but if you do, you are probably in these categories. Thanks, so much.

You are Loved.